JG52

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About JG52

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  • Location Darmstadt
  • Nationality US
  • Gender Male
  1. The "DOWN" side of Corona

      By the time that happens, I will likely be beyond caring about who knows where I am.  I think the current surveillance restrictions in Germany will require a major facelift before we see the same level of surveillance that exists in the UK.   A couple of years ago, I spent over a month documenting and assembling evidence to successfully demonstrate to the German government that the perimeter video surveillance system at one of our military installations was not capable of providing the video resolution to identify an individual or a the license plate of a passing vehicle.
  2.   My response would depend on the sender:   Response 1 if the sender was a friend in good standing. Response 3 if I had a voodoo doll of the person on my punishment shelf. 
  3.   While instant and painless death by potassium cyanide (KCN) poisoning might be reassuring, observations by witnesses and post mortem examinations indicate that death from KCN is not instant and likely not painless.  A sufficiently lethal dose of KCN can take two to five minutes to be effective, since the heart and brain need the most oxygen to remain viable.  For the person involved, this short time might seem like an eternity.   However, in the scenario you described, five minutes of agony might be preferable to the prolonged tender mercies of the Gestapo. 
  4. The "DOWN" side of Corona

    The German authorities can track me all day long by my cell phone and will be pleased to see I stay home all day perched on a table by the front door.  Unless I'm going on an overnight trip or travel specifically to meet someone, I don't carry my cell phone.  I do not have the need to be instantly connected to anyone else at all times.
  5. President Donald J. Trump

      Maybe he thinks the checks will be valuable as souvenirs with his signature and people won't cash them.     
  6. I just checked the Qatar flight schedule, and there are no flights available between Aukland (AKL) and London Heathrow (LHR) until 2 April 2020, and those are Business Class seats.  However, the cost is no where near the £40K price quoted in The Guardian.  The cost when booking directly from Qatar Airlines is NZD 16,645, or about £8,100.  I attached a screen shot from the Qatar Airlines website showing some options and prices.     
  7. Coronavirus

        United States Code is the consolidated laws of the USA.  The USC is organized by title, and is referenced as XX USC § YYYY, where XX refers to the specific title and YYYY refers to the section of the title.  During my entire adult life, I worked within Titles 10 and 50.   50 USC § 1621 allows the President to declare a national emergency, and 50 USC § 1622 details how and when the national emergency is terminated.  The governors of individual states can declare their own states of emergencies independent of 50 USC § 1621.  I certainly don't know the nuances of a governor's authority when this happens, but the governor can mobilize the National Guard and State Police under his or her command to meet the needs of the state.  
  8. Coronavirus

      A couple of days ago, I was surfing through the news channel and stopped at the CNN interview with the Lt. Governor, Billy Nungesser.  He told the interviewer that they had no idea the problem would be so severe and would affect the residents of Louisiana so quickly.  He added that nothing prepared them for this.  However, he defended the state leadership's decision to not delay Mardi Gras because it brought $1.9B in taxes to the state.  Here is a partial clip on Facebook of the interview:   https://www.facebook.com/CNNReplay/videos/514826739428769/      
  9. We just returned from our weekend shopping at the local Rewe.  Access to the store was controlled, one out, one in, and shopping was a breeze.  All the shelves were stocked, with no shortages that I could see.  The toilet paper and kitchen towel shelves were about two-thirds full with several brands, and there was a pallet of ja! toilet paper and kitchen towels near the checkout line.  There was a store limit of one pack of toilet paper (10 rolls of 160 sheets) per person per visit.  I didn't notice if there was any hand sanitizer.   We still have paper from our last purchase two months ago, so we didn't buy any today.  While waiting the four or five minutes in line to get in the store, I noticed that at least half of the people leaving didn't have any toilet paper in their carts.  Maybe the hoarding madness is over...at least in my town.
  10. I retired from the Department of the Army last year and will be filing U.S. and German tax returns for 2019.  I wouldn't think of wading through the German tax law or the nuances of the U.S.-German tax treaty on my own.  I also use a U.S. tax professional in the States for my U.S. federal return.  These are situations where throwing money at the problems make the problems go away...legally and safely.  My tax professional in the U.S. is an Enrolled Agent with the IRS, so I sleep soundly knowing she is my direct interface with the IRS for any questions about my U.S. federal return.   I contacted Thomas Zitzelsberger earlier this year for assistance with my 2019 German taxes.  There was no need for a face-to-face meeting, which was good since we are in different parts of the country.  After the initial free phone consultation, I had a better understanding of what would be required to allow Thomas's firm to prepare my tax return.  Soon after that, I went to the UK for three weeks, but while I was there, I had another phone conversation with Heike Reil, who will be preparing my German return.  We spoke for about 30 minutes, and she answered all of my questions, and provided additional information for questions I didn't realize I should have asked.   I remember Heike telling me about a 2018 change in the tax law for retirement annuities, but didn't pay much attention to it since the impact to me would be negligible, if even noticeable.This is obviously not her first rodeo.   Heike sent me the link and password for their secure portal that I use to upload all of tax documents.  Most of the documents were already in electronic format, but for those that weren't, I used my multi-function printer to scan them to PDFs and upload them.   The world situation now is likely not the best for time-sensitive requirements, but I would be surprised if any of the tax firms are shut down.  I wish you the best!!!            
  11. You should be asking a Steuerberater these questions.  I recommend contacting any of the firms recommended on TT. 
  12. Coronavirus

      Last night, during one of the repeating news loops on Sky News, the mayor of Bergamo was being interviewed about the death rate.  He said he believed the published numbers were lower than the actual number of deaths in his city because people are dying at home without ever being treated at a hospital.  According to the mayor, these deaths are not included in the hospital statistics as either infected or dead.  I was only half listening the first time, but I listened intently the second time the report aired.
  13. Coronavirus

  14. Coronavirus

      Sheeple can vote.