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Monday, December 30, 2013

When Charity Is Not Charity.

It is the end of the year and many organizations classified as "charities" according to the tax code of the United States are suggesting that people of good financial means (i.e. wealthy people) make a donation or two or three in order to get a tax write-off for the year under the tax code that will allow them to pay less taxes. This is a common practice targeted at wealthy people that will allow those wealthy people to position themselves into a lower percentage tax bracket and consequently increase their personal net income.

Are these wealthy people really being charitable? Would they make the same "charitable" contribution if they could not take that tax write-off? I think not. To me, when an individual makes a "charitable" contribution in order to get a tax deduction, that is not charity; it is a financial decision intended to increase the person's monetary wealth.

IMHO, another charity practice that is really not charity involves the business world.

I am constantly amazed that people express appreciation to corporate entities, such as financial institutions, petroleum companies, grocery chain stores, retail chain stores, computer and other technology businesses, public utility companies, hospitals, etc., etc., etc. for charitable contributions.

These business interests participate in what is known as corporate giving. When business entities participate in corporate giving, they really are not being charitable as many people mistakenly believe. Reality check: these so-called charitable contributions are actually sound business decisions. Simply put, the practice is a business manuveur intended to increase profits and/or enhance a positive public image via public relations.

I mean come on, people: WAKE UP!!

Do you really think the corporate world would donate money out of the business coffers if it could not take a tax write-off and/or pass on the cost of the "charitable" contribution to the unsuspecting, gullible public who is the customer or the consumer that has no say in the matter. I think not!

It is you and I who really pay for all these charitable contributions.

We pay for them in at least two different ways.
One: Our individual tax rates are what they are because of the tax loopholes involving the above-referenced donations to "charity" by the wealthy individuals and by corporations. If those tax breaks were not allowed, those who I have mentioned would pay their fair share of taxes and the rest of us would actually pay less in taxes. Take away those tax credits, deductions, and write-offs; and, we would not be in the tax bracket we are in. The reason we are paying the amount of taxes that we are paying is because the government needs to make up the difference in what would otherwise be lost revenues from the tax breaks given the wealthy and the corporations.
Did you follow that? Think about it.
Government at all levels expects a certain level of revenue. That revenue must come from somewhere. If the governmental entity does not receive the "required" revenue from one sector of taxpayers, it will get that revenue from other sectors of the taxpaying public, i.e. middle class Americans who are on the wrong side of the income gap, those of us who are not wealthy.
Two: Whatever amounts of "charitable donations" cannot be written off on corporate business tax returns are passed on to the consumer/customer in the form of increased prices and fees.

Now, back to the main topic - Charity.
Charity is freely given by an individual to those in need out of an act of caring, kindness, and love.

So --- When is charity not charity?
Simply put, charity is not charity when it is given with the expectation of something in return.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hate Speech. Freedom of Speech. Free Speech.

PREFACE: You will really need to open the embedded links to take a look-see and read in order to truly get the gist of this Roland Hansen Commentary.

First an excerpt from an article on the internet:
"Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Should hate speech be discouraged?"
Now, go read the entire article:

Next up; for a good visual, click onto this link to some really interesting images and take a good hard look. I dare you!

Okay, another excerpt, another source:
"The United States is almost alone among Western liberal democracies in not punishing what is called hate speech"
Read the entire article from which it was taken:
McConnell, Michael W., You Can't Say That, 'The Harm in Hate Speech,' by Jeramy Waldron, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, June 22, 2012.

One last excerpt from yet one more source:
"... we have overprotected speech that not only causes significant harm to the dignity of minority groups but also, more importantly, diminishes the public good of inclusiveness that is an essential attribute of our society."
And now, read the entire article:
Stevens, John Paul, Should Hate Speech Be Outlawed?, 'The Harm in Hate Speech,' by Jeramy Waldron, The New York Review of Books

I sure hope you took the necessary time to read all that to which I linked. If you did, what do you think of it all as a whole?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is 2014 the Year of Denmark for Me, Roland Louis Hansen?

For a long time now, I have had this yearning to visit Denmark. Heck, I have even considered the possibility of moving to Denmark, as you may read by clicking over to Moving to Denmark. Maybe yes, maybe no.

Often and from a variety of sources, Denmark has been reported as the happiest place in the world, Below are embedded links that will take to just two of the articles concerning the claim:
Why Denmark is Ranked the Happiest Country in the World from The JD Journal;
Bill Weir and Sylvia Johnson, Denmark: The Happiest Place on Earth, abcNews,go, January 8, 2007.

How about a visual? Yes?
Okay. Watch the following video, Happy Moments - Denmark, courtesy of

Uff da!
What am I waiting for?
Is 2014 the Year of Denmark for Me, Roland Louis Hansen?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

UFO? Flying Saucer? Alien Spacecraft?
The Truth Is Out There.

UFO? Flying Saucer? Alien Spacecraft?

FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder worked tirelessly in his investigations of The X Files. He was determined to uncover some the "cover ups" and to expose them for what they were.

As in many of the televised episodes of The X-Files, Mulder would say:
"The Truth Is Out There."

Below is a video containing a compilation of UFO sightings.

Anyone out there?
Open Minds, a research-based organization with a mission to investigate and report evidence of extra-terrestrial, UFO, and other phenomena to a global audience, wants to know.

What do you think?
Is there something "out there" or what?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7, 1941; A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

Today, the date is December 7; and, it is the year 2013.
Let's turn back the clock 72 years ago to this date in 1941.

The following is the first sentence that I have excerpted from an article that I found on the website of in its web pages of This Date In History.
"On this day, in an early-morning sneak attack, Japanese warplanes bomb the U.S. naval base at Oahu Island's Pearl Harbor—and the United States enters World War II."
Read the article in its entirety by clicking on over to Dec 7, 1941: "A date which will live in infamy" as it appears on

Here is another excerpt from another article concerning that dark day in the history of the United States of America:
"At 7:55 a.m. on December 7, 1941 in Hawaii, a Japanese dive bomber displaying the Rising Sun of Japan appeared above the island of Oahu. 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a brutal assault. The surprise attack served as a critical setback against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States into the Second World War."
Read the rest of that article which appears in The Maritime Executive by clicking on its headline, as follows, Remembering Maritime History: A Date Which Will Live In Infamy.

On December 8th, 1941 at 12:30 p.m., President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered the speech to a Joint Session of Congress that has become known as the Infamy Speech or Day of Infamy Speech.

Watch, Listen, Never Forget!

You may click on over to read the text of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Infamy Speech courtesy of The University of Oklahoma College of Law.

If you wish to learn more about December 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor, you may watch and listen to the following documentary History Channel video that is 1 hour 22 minutes in length.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013