What's Wrong with America [ P ]

Here is what is wrong with America, from a beer standpoint.

Say one finds a pico-brewery in Belgium, beneath the radar of other US importers. You realize you could import the beer and distribute it to a few stores, keep some for yourself, and friends, and the profits cover the operating costs.

Now, to import beer into America, to distribute in Connecticut:

Create an LLC - limited liability corporation in Connecticut (this assumes all other items work out)

Register in my town in CT as a business.

Register in CT with the Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division, as a distributor.

Register in CT with the Department of Revenue Services to pay beer tax - $0.20 per gallon

Register in CT with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (?) for the bottle deposits.

Create a separate bank account to put in bottle deposits, and pay beer stores back $0.05 for each bottle returned; the remainder (if people do not redeem the bottle for $0.05) is sent to the CT general funds. Note there is a possible exemption if you sell less than 250,000 bottles per year; applications are reviewed annually in November.

Register with US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; US BATF will among other things:
- review an "Application for and Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval" for each beer type; BATF approves bottle label additions to comply with US regs (distributor name, deposit in CT, etc.)
- inspect my storage area (fortunately I have a secure locked area inside a barn protected by cameras).

Register with BATF for excise tax - $0.10 per bottle.

Register with US Customs and Border Patrol, and define Port of Entry where beer will be imported to (note this is clear as mud, is it to me c/o the POE? to my house address via POE?). Federal import duty on bottled beer - $0.0 (woo hoo!)

Act as an agent to register the Belgian brewery with US Food and Drug Administration, including the port of planned entry, under the FDA's Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.

If the beer is not primarily a "malted beverage" it should have ingredients listed as part of FDA's Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.

In Belgium, to export it's €50 and a set of forms.

But you know I'll do it.

- Posted - BlogPress iPhone


Taxes as Beer [ G ]

I did not write this; it has been attributed to David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia.

Explaining Income Taxes with Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beers by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.’

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected.

They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free, but once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got TEN times more than I!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something very important….they didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works.

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.


Useless Superpowers [ H, PI ]

- X-ray vision, works through any wrapping paper.
- Able to speak with dogs, only if dogs know Swedish.
- Ability to tell - at a glance - who is ovulating.
- Invulnerability to bullets, but only if shooter believes you are truly invulnerable.
- "Spider sense" that warns of impending freshness date expiration of milk in the 'fridge.
- Stretch-ability to reach dozens of feet in the air, if reaching for a sweater.
- Like a cat, you always land in your feet when you fall; however you also land on your eyes.
- Can tune a TV with your mind, however the sound remains set to the last channel.
- Semi-immunity to any poison consumed. It still kills you, but you know to the exact millisecond the moment of your impending demise.


Tough App Reviewer [ A T ]

Good but not complete

Where is Peyton Randolph, the first elected President of the Continental Congress? Seven men served as President of Congress, well before George Washington was elected.

What about President John Hanson, the first president of the US under the Articles of Confederation? For complete accuracy there were seven other "Presidents" elected under the Articles, before the US adopted the current Constitution.

And there should be a footnote about the 1849 "president for a day" David Rice Atchison. Although the claim has been refuted, technically he could be considered to have been the acting President before Zachary Taylor was officially sworn in; a statue in his honor in Kansas City, MO says "President of the U.S. [for] one day".


Occupy Wall Street may be metastasizing [ P. PI ]

Warning 'Occupy Wall Street' may be metastasizing!

I was finishing filling up with gasoline at a Mobil station near work. A clipboard-carrying black youth approached me. His attire - including béret - suggested Sociology Major with a semester or two of Art History.

He said "May I ask you a question"?
I said "You mean besides that one."
He paused for a moment, possibly realizing he may be dealing with a different IQ level than he was accustomed to.

He then asked "Do you know what 'banks' are"?

Thinking my earlier response to his question had stripped some gears in his head, I replied "What????!!"
He said again very clearly "Do you know what 'banks' are"?

Sighing inwardly, I realized this was either a very bad trick question - sort of like when you sign up to 'win' a 'free' rug shampooing at the county fair - or I was in the presence of a drug-addled sociopath. I replied calmly so as not to agitate the hipster; "yes, I know what 'banks' are".

He then said rather ecstatically, "That answer qualifies you for our survey".
"Great" I thought; "the only people who COULDN'T answer correctly would be infants, people who can't understand English, and those in 6th or 7th stage Alzheimer's".

Cursing to myself that the Venn diagram intersection of me and the above three items is a 'null set', I said "Let me ask you a question, do you know how a 'gas station' works"?

Blank stare back at me; I swear if he had gulls they would have been flapping.

"Here's how it works, I just filled my car with gas, and now I'm leaving.

(cue Foley artist for engine rev and tire screeching)


The Strutt [ Be ]

I had the pleasure of going to The Strutt in Kalamazoo MI. Sort of an unusual name, it nonetheless offered very good food, a great beer selection, and what appeared to be good coffee (based on those who partook of it).

I tried the vegetarian fajita, which included eggplant - it was very good. The beers as you note include chupacabras, which was actually better than expected.

Also had a bit of a beer scoop - Craft Bräu will be brewing at The Strutt by 2012. That's why they moved out their coffee roaster.


Moderate in Maumee [ Be ]

Went to the Granite City Food and Brewery brewpub in Maumee OH last night. Beers were good, nothing exceptional except the IPA; food was very good.

In summary:
Granite City Food & Brewery - Northern Light Lager - 5.5
Granite City Food & Brewery - Pilsner - 6.0
Granite City Food & Brewery - Wag's Wheat American Wheat - 6.5
Granite City Food & Brewery - Brother Benedict's Bock - 7.5
Granite City Food & Brewery - Duke of Wellington IPA - 8.5
Granite City Food & Brewery - Broad Axe Stout - 7.0

I did not try the abomination of Northern Light and Bock called Two Pull - apparently there's a whole slew of "mix and match" beers available. Note this is punishable by death in Belgium.