Can the IRS Hrass Anybody

The answer might surprise you. The really do it all the time.

Personally I have had this. An agent will go beyond what it can legally do and ask questions that are not his business. This is a physiological trick to catch you.

This has been documented elsewhere. Here are just a few of the websites where individuals claim the government went to far in an attempt to get more money.

Account Forums

Kemberley Washington on CBNC

UncleFed’s Tax Board

Internal Revenue Manual

Please notice this post does not say yu should stop paying tax. Not at all. Rather do not let a few greedy people cheat you to promote their own self-interest. Pay you tax. Pay only what you owe.

Freedom pop. Is it Free or not ?

The Ffreedompop co,pany  claims a free monthly service to smart phone users.  Not  exactly what you think.

Here are the details. Read carefully, very carefully. You buy a Sim card from them for about one dollar and from then on you are able to make phone calls without the need to pay anything more. But it has a  catch, you must agree to a  30 day trial.


During the 30 day trial plan you must cancel your plan. But you get to keep the Sim card and use it to make a few phone calls once in a while. How can they do that? Well, I was not able to locate this information actually printed out in a clear and concise form,.

Here is what I assume they are doing. If you do  go over a certain amount of time any month, they will bill you. But  they don’t tell you. Now if you protest they cancel your account. That, in a nutshell is there a business plan. Now I admit, but I cannot prove it, but this seems to be the case judging by complaints that many have made against the company.

Currently I have a Sim card from freedom pop that works. I only use it when absolutely necessary to make a call when I don’t have my cregular ell phone with me. Here’s what I do: I put  an old smart phone  in my car.  It has he freedom pop Sim card in it along with the freedom pop messaging software. With that I am able to make an occasional telephone call with just that smart phone and the freedom pop Sim card. I

I am unable to tell you exactly how it works, because my online account with freedom pop does not tell me how many minutes I have used and I cannot depend on the phone itself to tell me how much time I have left .

You can check this out yourself and find that a number of big companies have invested in venture capital into this idea. The company is located in California and has expanded into the United Kingdom recently.

This is not an endorsement. I just want to warn you that if you do get into freedom pop expect to have to pay something for the service. It  is a free service only when you  pay attention to the rules, which are rather narrow and hard to understand.

Above is a picture of what they will send you in the mail. It contains a Sim card that looks like any other Sim card. Plus they give you instructions about how to get there messaging service from the Google place site. They claim it also works on the Apple iPhone, but I have not been able to confirm this.


Ifyou need a bigger image to read, click here

If you have comments?

Disclaimer. I don’t work for anyody. I am retired.

How Methane, LNG, improved the lives of the poor.

Natural gas has drooped the price of energy everywhere. The poorest people have benefited in a big way.

Natural gas is methane. Before it is shipped to homes a chemical is added to give it a strong  smelly odour. Unlike kerosene or gasoline, it must it must be held in sealed pressure tank.

More about why methane is important, but first I’m going to relate a personal observation I have. After living and travelling about for several years in Third World countries.several times I’ve flown over parts of the Amazon basin. I recall seeing large areas of dense forest they could go as far as the ice could see. But over the years I began to notice that what they said was true. More and more the land was being cut up into chunks for farming and the trees were not this many as they used to be. The poor people  cut down the forest to try and make a living. But the Amazon forest is too slow to recover.

Another thing I’ve surf while living in two different countries was the extreme poverty that existed among the lowest class. It was unlike anything I ever saw on growing up in the United States people had so little to eat and they had to live in shelters that could hardly be called houses. After a while we had to quit and go back home.

After many years of living back in the United States and having a satisfying life, we decided to go back again and try South America in one of the poorest countries around. It has a land area larger than that of taxes, but a population more like  Washington state.

Before I left that country the government began in put in more and more narwhal gas pipes in all the mayor cities. This was done at very low cost, or free in some places. The natural gas proven robe very effective and low cost.  As a direct result, the poor people could eat better and have more time to work in industry  instead of small-scale farming.

I got to meet a man who was  part of this. He helped the government make a contract wit foreign petroleum companies to develop and export oil reserves newly discovered that country.  I would say it was a success.  Exportation of methane is not cost-effective. But using it inside the country made good economic sense.

So, that is how methane has helped the poor people. Now there  is more news about methane. I will tell next post.kohn-bird

Learn More About Methane.

Methane will be a big part of your future. For  better or worse.

Credible publications are warring people about the the dangs and the benefits of methane. Yes,  the common invisible gas that is made by animals and vegetable decay can benefit you if men make the right decisions now. But if not, methane will bring on global warming more that just carbon dioxide.

But here is the good part. Methane is a good fuel. It becomes Co2 when consumed. But that is good. Because CO2 is much less harmful to the earth than  methane.

True, this may seem hard to understand. If we ignore it, methane can make weather on the Earth much more severe. But if you harness it, we can have abundant energy for our needs for a long time into the future.

I will post some news findings about methane in my next post.

Avoid Microsoft Surface Pro Now.

Until they fix the battery battery trouble,  a new Surface Pro  may be a real headache.

The problem is not new at all. But they can not fix it. Users keep reporting thebateriesoverheat and do not hold the advertised 6 hours change. So far, Microsoft, the maker, has not fould a believable excuse.

There are a number of web sites that give the new table tablet  computer  less that perfect scores. It is all about the battery life. Unless you don’t mind sjhor battery life, you should look elsewhere for a new table tablet computer.

( It is a ‘table tablet’ because it allows a keyboard to be attached and stand up on a table top.)

Here is a link that criticizes the Surface Pro.

This Reddit makes me think I should avoid surface devices from Surface



Don’t buy a solar energy system now.

Don’t get caught up in the current solar energy mania. There are other ways to cut your energy costs without doing a major investment.

First of all, do you live in an area where solar energy would be very productive? Actually, only a portion of the United States is well-suited to solar energy. It is the area known as the Southwest United States which includes the lower half of California and the western half of Texas and all of Arizona and most of new Mexico.
Do not expect a solar panel salesmen to provide you with all the relevant facts. In some areas the cost of electric power is very low and will probably stay that way for a long time. Also, if some new development should occur, the power companies would be the first to take advantage of it for their own benefit.
What many homeowners do not realize is that many large companies have looked at the alternatives and have made other decisions. In some cases they are using fuel cells to convert natural gas and electricity. Of course, that doesn’t do a whole lot for the environment, but it is very cost effective. The reason is that natural gas is available almost everywhere. It can be piped across United States through pipelines or it can be liquefied and freight trains. Natural gas is extremely available everywhere. In some parts of United States is not enough sunlight to justify solar energy installations. But those areas can benefit by the use of fuel cells that depend on natural gas.
So then, to answer the question here are the two major issues. The first is do you live in an area where solar energy really would be productive? The second question: What is the cost is relative to the cost of electrical energy in your area?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that we consume all the fossil fuels we can find. Rather my objection is to the flimflam shoddy misrepresentation being made by solar panel salesmen. It is not a good return on your investment. It takes years and years for become cost effective. There are other ways to save your energy costs.
Here are some other things that will help you cut your energy costs. Improve the insulation in your existing home. Think about heating or cooling your home with other types of equipment. In some places a water-cooler can be just as effective as an air-conditioning unit and cost a lot less to maintain and use.
At the present time there is a lot of research being done on alternate forms of energy. Most likely the big energy companies are going to get into this before the average person can benefit. It is just the way it is. It takes money to save money. The big companies will invest their money in the kind of research that will produce real results inside of a reasonable timeline.

Now in your case, do you really think that you can wait 40 years to see if you got the right return on your investment?  Probably not.

Why Amazon and Netflix went Down.

Netflix was down for much of the World along with Amazon.

The trouble was really with Amazon. Netflix uses service that come from equipment owned by Amazon. So when Amazon had trouble, it stopped services for a number of other compares. Could they  do anything about it? No,  they were apparently not prepared. The lost to Amazon is much more that you might imagine. (Google it and see for yourself.)

What made it confusing is the error sesame was not clear not did it tell people how longstanding it  would be. It was completely unexpected.

What do we take from this? Well, do you really want any computer to drive your car? Think about it.

Saturday night, July 30, all services were back to normal.





Price of Food in Venezuela out of control.

News reports from the northern most  South America country tell about unprecedented food shortages in all of Venezuela.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted that inflation in Venezuela will hit 720% this year. That might be an optimistic assessment, according to some local economic analysts, who expect the rate to reach as high as 1,200%.

The quotation above is from the Los Angeles times. Other  sources confirm the economy of this otherwise prosperous country is in grave danger.

Venezuela is in Big Trouble. (Los Angeles Times.)

This is a sudden turn of events.  My Wife and I have vised different countries in South America and never would have thought this could happen to Venezuela, one of the most wealthy countries in South America.

About two months ago the Cellphone service in Venezuela staoope3d international calls.

The telephone companies have said they are tens of millions of dollars in debt to foreign providers and have unsuccessfully asked the government to increase rates for international calls.

The above is from CBS news.

If you are thinking about  visiting friends in that country, consult carefully with your travel agent. This might not be the best time.