Archive for March, 2009

Support The Arts (NSFW)

Posted in Politics, Society on March 28th, 2009

Support The Arts…One Dollar At A Time

Recently New York Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett rendered a ruling that classified pole dancing as a dramatic or artistic performance. So, in New York at least, pole dancing is now a “dramatic art.”

From a pragmatic standpoint this means that strip clubs offering pole dancing – I assume the bulk of them – qualify for the “dramatic arts” New York state sales tax exemption under New York state Tax Law 1105(f)(1):

The tax imposed by this subdivision shall not apply to: The tax imposed by this subdivision shall not apply to:

Any admission charge where such admission charge is in excess of ten cents to or for the use of any place of amusement in the state, except charges for admission to race tracks, boxing, sparring or wrestling matches or exhibitions which charges are taxed under any other law of this state, or dramatic or musical arts performances, or live circus performances, or motion picture theaters, and except charges to a patron for admission to, or use of, facilities for sporting activities in which such patron is to be a participant, such as bowling alleys and swimming pools. For any person having the permanent use or possession of a box or seat or a lease or a license, other than a season ticket, for the use of a box or seat at a place of amusement, the tax shall be upon the amount for which a similar box or seat is sold for each performance or exhibition at which the box or seat is used or reserved by the holder, licensee or lessee, and shall be paid by the holder, licensee or lessee.

So now, under Judge Bennett’s ruling, the cover charge for a strip club is exempt from New York stat sales tax. I expect that this will provide a needed economic stimulus to the New York strip clubs, which are mostly “small businesses” and as likely to be suffering under this economy as any other.

This may “play well” with Obama and his Liberals’ tax cuts that were part of the Stimulus. The $8 / week extra that these cuts add to paychecks seem well suited for use at strip clubs. 😉

Judge Bennett was quite clear on her reasoning for deciding that, under New York state tax laws, pole dancing qualified for the “dramatic arts” exemption from state sales tax:

The fact someone may believe that this entertainment is not appropriate for any audience is not the issue. The fact that the dancers remove all or part of their costume during the performances, that the dance routines are seductive in nature and titillation of a patron is the outcome, simply does not render such dance routines as something less than choreographed performances, or remove them from the exception to the general rule of Tax Law 1105(f)(1).

— Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett
Via the New York Law Journal

New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance spokesman Thomas Bergin said Bennett’s decision will probably be appealed to the Tax Appeals Tribunal – a statement that had to expected by everyone no matter what their ethical and moral views pole dancing and strip clubs are; it’s only logical that the Department of Taxation would appeal any ruling that reduced the state government’s tax income.

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Reading:

New York's New Edge: Contemporary Art, the High Line, and Urban Megaprojects on the Far West Side
Sacred Sex (Naughty Hot Shots)
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
Wealth, Poverty and Politics
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

iPhone Support

Posted in Announcements on March 27th, 2009

jonolaniPhone & iPod Touch Support

Reflections From A Murky Pond now supports iPhone and iPod Touch usage. The blog has been augmented to a customized response to those devices’ Safari browsers.

Thank you all.

Related Reading:

Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community
The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers: Secrets of 17 Successful Bloggers You Can Use to Build a Six-Figure Online Business
Blogging For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog
Blogging All-in-One For Dummies

Vick Raids Pension

Posted in Society on March 26th, 2009

Some creatures just seem incapable of appropriate and/or legal behavior or of learning the simple fact that they’re just not smart enough to not get get caught in whatever vileness or filth they’re current doing.

From Associated Press (AP):

The U.S. Department of Labor filed complaints Wednesday accusing suspended NFL star Michael Vick of illegally spending about $1.3 million in pension plan funds for his own benefit, including paying restitution ordered in his dogfighting conspiracy case.

The department filed the complaints in federal district and bankruptcy courts the same day Vick left a federal lockup in Kansas, apparently bound for Virginia to appear at a bankruptcy hearing next week. Vick was at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City late Wednesday afternoon.

Mark Lichtenstein, one of Vick’s bankruptcy attorneys, declined to comment on both the Labor Department allegations and the details of Vick’s apparent temporary move to Virginia for the April 2 hearing.

The Labor Department said Vick made a series of prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by MV7, a celebrity marketing company owned by the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback. The department alleges that Vick violated his duties as trustee of a pension plan that covered nine current or former MV7 employees.

“This action sends a message that the Labor Department will not tolerate the misuse of plan money and will take whatever steps necessary to recover the assets owed to eligible workers,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a prepared statement.

The department also accused two of Vick’s former financial advisers, Mary R. Wong and David A. Talbot, of participating in some of the transfers.

It seems that Michael “Sick” Vick wasn’t content with his infamy for running an interstate dogfighting operation; he just had to add illegally raiding one of his company’s pension fund to the list of his crimes.

One has to hope that they’ll throw the book at him for this and revoke the deal that allowed him to walk free the last time. This thug has more than proven that he doesn’t deserve to walk among Americans.

Related Reading:

Love The Way You Thug Me
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s
The Found Dogs: The Fates and Fortunes of Michael Vick's Pitbulls, 10 Years After Their Heroic Rescue
Las Vegas Crime: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller (Baxter and Holt Book 3)
Tango Uniform (Vietnam Air War Book 3)