EasyTax…. Maybe, Getting a mistake looked at and fixed…. Not so Easy.

Hello True believers. Here I am once again, with yet another trouble. (Big surprise right?)

Well let me tell you the story.

Last year In March I had my taxes done at Money Mart via thier EasyTax program. They claim to be no different than H&R Block, and have a “dedicated” (yes I made the quotes gesture as i typed) tax team. I have had my taxes done by them for many years, with seemingly no problems.

Until Now.

I recently received a letter from CRA indicating that I did not claim my RRSP income for the 2012 tax year, and as a result was reassessed. They have indicated that since this is the 2nd time in 3 calendar years that this happened there was also a fine attached. All said I done, I now owe CRA 1400.00. I said… WHHHAAAATTTT??? I knew I provided them with the forms. So i reached out the Money Mart branch, and sure enough, they provided me with the copies of what I submitted, and sure enough, I did provide that.

So I reached out to The tax department of Money Mart, called Easy Tax. I submitted via Email first, on Feb 25. I got a reply on Feb 26, asking a good number to reach me at. I gave 2 numbers. So I was thinking this would go fine.

WRONG !!!!!

I replied, and got no response. I followed up 3 times, no response. I wait a few days. I call them. The lady on the phone tells me she will get in touch with who I was speaking with and they will call me. 2 more days pass. Nothing. So this brings us to Friday March 14. Almost 3 weeks from the start. I go into the Branch and speak with the Manager. He assures me he will contact the Regional Manager of Easy Tax, as she should be the one to address the issue.

Can you guess what comes next?

Here we are, Tuesday the 18th and still nothing. My “debt” to CRA is growing daily interest, and I have had no response from Easy Tax. I will continue to persue, but I wanted to caution, no…. INSIST that any of you reading this, do not go to Money Mart to do your Taxes. Find an H&R block, the homeless guy on the corner, a circus monkey… anyrhing seems to be preferable to Easy Tax.

While I will continue to get a solution, I can assure you that I will NEVER go there again for this service.

Stay Vigilant True Believers!

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Is Intolerance Inherited?

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.- Mahatma Gandhi

intolerance

Hello my friends :)

So Once again I am back to spark controversy and conversation. I recently read an article on Yahoo Shine! about a Father who disowned his daughter because she kicked out her homosexual son. Here is the body of the letter:

I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family”, but mistaken about what it is. Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature.” The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay.” Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gays put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for heart-less B-word of a daughter. If you find your heart, give us a call.

(we now pause for absorption)

blogbrain
Ok, Got that taken in? Good. So Now here I go.

Firstly, This letter is the ultimate form of hypocrisy. An obviously intolerant father disowns his daughter for being intolerant? Make no mistake, he is intolerant. He cannot accept the fact that his daughter cannot accept that her son is gay. I wonder where she might have learned such intolerant behaviour? As parents, teaching our kids tolerance is crucial in this day in age, but when this father was raising this daughter, I wonder if tolerance was as important. We all know that there was a time when intolerance to those who were “different” was the norm.

Admittedly, I feel that what this mother has done is wrong. As parents we can, and will have expectations for our children. Some might even have designs on what they feel the child’s sexual orientation should be, or what they hope it to be. Is that wrong? No, but they have to understand that it with the hope for for the parent. The parent cannot control sexual preference. They can force their will until a certain point, but ultimately each person chooses who they love.

As parents, we should never have reason to disown our children. We may not always agree, or be OK with what they do, but communication and understanding should be the resolution,  not rash action. Our children are extensions of us. Yes they may develop their own views and thoughts, but we help to develop how they develop these.

The father who wrote the note should talk to his daughter, not summarily disown her based on her actions. In my mind he is no better than she is. Maybe even worse. He is chastising and judging her on intolerance that he potentially created in her by his own actions. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and he is not truly defending his grandson’s right to acceptance.

And it truly is about acceptance, not tolerance. We should accept people for who they are. We shouldn’t “tolerate” them, we should enjoy them.

Bottom line, we need to love our children. Unconditionally. Whether they are gay, straight, blue, yellow, orange, a hippy, a grunger, a thug, whatever they are.

Peace Out Peeps!

peaceout

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Homeless by Accident or Beggar by Design?

Good day True Believers!

So I want to bring a topic to the world that I usually reserve for ranting in the car to the windshield. (Yes, I talk to myself in the car, and yes I’m ok with it).

It’s the topic of the Homeless. More accurately, the homeless in Halifax, and the observations I’ve made. This is in no way a rant/attack/hate on the homeless in general.

That being said, please enter the hazy spectacle that is my brain………

So our fine city of Halifax. As of 2011 the population of Halifax was 390,096 and the urban area had a population of 297,943. In the city of Halifax, the 2 most popular places for homeless to hang out and ask for money is Spring Garden Rd and the Windsor Street Exchange. Let’s look at SGR first shall we?

A veritable Hub of activity, SGR seems to never sleep. At any given moment the street is full of people, and also has its share of panhandlers. So with that, let’s conduct a little math equation. Let’s say for argument’s sake, that each day from 9-5 approximately 10,000 people frequent the street. This is not unreasonable, and likely undershooting based on the fact that 20,000 people work in the downtown core, and likely many more visits from surrounding areas. So lets also hypothesize that 10% of these 10,000 feel the overwhelming urge to give a panhandler say 25 cents. Again likely undershooting on the 10%, but I’ll play fair. So there are 1000 people that pony up .25. So this makes a total of 250.00. If there are 3 panhandlers on the street sharing that 250.00 that day, then they each make 83.00. “Working” 9-5 nets them a cool 10.41 per hour. Minimum wage for NS is 10.30/hr.

See what I’m getting at? The Exchange is not a lot different. And let’s keep in mind, that I did low ball it a bit.

My next observation is a lot of these people (especially at the WSE) don’t look homeless, or malnourished. Nor do the dogs they bring for the sympathy money.

The Following Shelters operate in Halifax

Alcare Place (Transition – Men recovering from addictions)
Alice Housing (Second and third-stage housing – abused women)
Adsum House (Adsum for Women and Children offers Emergency Shelter for Women and Children, also Adsum Court and Adsum Centre providing affordable and supportive housing)
Barry House SLSNS
Bryony House (Abused Women)
Marguerite Centre (Addiction Recovery-Women)
Metro Turning Point
Shelter for Males (16+ experiencing homelessness)
Nehiley House SLSNS Halfway house for women released from prison
Phoenix Youth Shelter (Youth)
Salvation Army (Men)
Sir Sandford Fleming House SLSNS Halfway House for men released from prison

A lot, if not most of these, provide shelter, counselling, and Rehabilitation.

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that some, if not a lot, of these people choose homelessness to the alternatives. Why work when you can hang out and make the same money?

Again, I don’t think this applies to all, but I have to wonder. I once had a guy ask for change as I was coming out of a bar. I offered him 20 cents (all I had) and he refused! He refused! I know it wasn’t a lot, but still. Money is money. This type of exchange makes you wonder. How much better is he doing than what he lets on, if 20 cents isn’t worth taking?

So what Am I getting at, besides my rant? What truly bugs me about this? Well, I dislike the fact that people that work hard for their money, give it away to those who won’t. So the solution I present is a simple one. Want to help these people? Keep your money in your pocket. Each time you think of giving money, put it aside. Once you have 20, 50 or 100 dollars, and want to make a REAL difference, give to one of the charities above, or one in your local area. If we drop change in a beggar’s hand without donating to a charity, we’re acting to relieve our guilt rather than an underlying crisis of poverty.

See? Rant AND A PSA all in one :)

Best wishes my friends, and enjoy your Holidays.

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No Dodge-ing the bad Customer Service

So do many of you have issues with your Dodge vehicles?  I bet it doesn’t top my friend’s issue.

Recently he took his Dodge Calibre into a local Dodge dealer for a routine Safety Inspection and oil change.  The car is 7 years old, and has less than 70,000 KM.  Within a few hours they contacted him, and advised that his front and rear cross members were rusted out completely.  This is an amazing thing, since they are metal, and should not rust out in 7 years.  The car is a 2007.  There are cars 20+ years old on the road that do not have rusted crossmembers.  This is an obvious defect.  Well it seems the Crossmember is not the only defect.  The level of customer service for Dodge/Chrysler is also defective.

Here is a pic of the crossmember

So the crossmember is defective.  The Dodge dealer quoted a price to fix it, and also cited that any collateral damage as part of replacing the crosssmember would be his to pay, not the dealership.  Wait…..So they are saying if we break it, then you pay for it?  ARE YOU F’N kidding me?  That in itself would make me lose my mind, but my friend pressed on, keeping his wits about him.

Next there was an unsolicited (by him but was by the dealer) offer from Chrsyler corporate, to cover a portion of the cost of the crossmember only.   REALLY?  REALLY?

Let’s be realistic here. A crossmember should almost never rust out, and certainly not in 7 years, and less than 70,000 KM.  This is an obvious defect.  They should pay for all of it.  But it gets better.

So he is referred to the district manager, but no one can seem to give him the phone number.  He calls Chrysler Customer service, and they refuse to let him escalate the issue.  No one seems to want to get him where he needs to go.

They keep telling him that he would be responsible for any other damages that might be caused by replacing the crossmember.  They are like a broken record.

There are hundreds of sites that speak to other people that have had issues with the crossmember, but Dodge seems to ignore the fact that this seems to be an epidemic.

If the crossmember is faulty, and parts that are fine are damaged based on what the dealership does, it should not be the responsibility of the owner.

He has spent many hours on the phone, arguing with Dodge, and they have not, and seems won’t, step up to assist.

Dodge has had his car for 22 days now, and there has been no resolution.

So think twice before you buy that dodge vehicle.  It might end up biting you in the ass.    BIG TIME.

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Here’s your fine…. For Bullying?

Hello my true believing readers, and welcome to another episode of….  That is so Dumb! 
Ok, I take part of that back, the desire is true, and the heart was there, but I don’t think it was entirely thought through.  Let me explain. 
Coun. Linda Mosher said it’s time for the municipality to adopt an anti-bullying bylaw so police can issue tickets.  Issue tickets for bullying?  While I think her heart is in the right place, I don’t see how this would ever be a productive measure.  Bullying is a broad scope anyway, and this proposed fine will open it up even more. 
How do you prove it? Unless the Officer directly sees it, the “bullying” is open to interpretation.  Who’s to say that two kids would lie together to get a fine for some kid they just don’t like?  
Maybe they could lump it in with other bylaws that rarely get enforced, like helmets for skateboarders and cyclists.  Because we know how well these are enforced.  
She says that “Alberta and Saskatchewan currently have anti-bullying bylaws which can actually levy a fine to the allege [bully] or also someone witnessing it and I think it’s a great idea”.  A fine to someone who witnessed bullying?  Really?  So that leaves the “Witness” with two options.  Get involved and possibly get hurt, or get a ticket.  
Sorry, everyone, I’m struggling here.  I am failing to see where this has any merit or value.  She thinks fines will make bullies think twice….  I know many skateboarders (They will remain anonymous)who have gotten fines, and still skateboard without helmets. 
It still leaves the interpretation open, and it ultimately becomes an argument in court, and the best arguer wins. 
Personally I think that there should be less time spent on this, and more time on better, more realistic and beneficial anti-bullying initiatives.    

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No Talking Please!

This is a little poem inspired by the chatty person I once saw in a public bathroom. It’s happened more than once, so I decided to make a bit of a joke of it. You guys will appreciate this.

The urge it comes , you need to pee
To the bathroom you go with expediency
too proud to sit, we need to stand
So we prepare ourselves, junk in hand

There is a rule most men share
That when it’s out of our underwear
For the entire time, yes the duration
We do not engage in conversation

Eyes straight ahead, no looking, don’t gawk
When you are peeing, no time to talk
If we get distracted before the vein is drained
We might miss and our pants will get stained

But more importantly our pride is out
And I’ll tell you without a doubt
That when it’s exposed the LAST thing we seek
Is an opportunity to hear you speak

So remember when it’s time to shake the snake
Respect your urinal neighbour, for goodness sake
It’s not rude, mean or stuck up
Just please let me piss, and shut the fuck up!

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Please be A Thinker and Use Your Blinker!

We All hate traffic offenders.  Here is a little something to set them straight!

I know traffic sucks
It can be a real stinker
But would it really kill you
to just use your blinker ?

It’s a simple gesture
And an easy decision
that can make the difference
in avoiding that collision

it’s rather rude to assume
that I know what you are doing
don’t signal, and be sure
that my Lawyer and I will be suing

It’s a simple little switch
it just goes up and down
flick it with your finger
to avoid looking like a clown

so if you fail this task
and our cars become impacted
all the money you have in the bank
Will soon have to be extracted

so do us a both a favor
don’t ruin our day
Hit the switch to your left
and you won’t have to pay

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