RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Smarter Government

About 3 months ago, a visiting scientist coming to work in my lab applied for a visa. We issued a necessary DS-2019, on which we mistyped a birthdate (1967 instead of 1964). The State Department a couple of days ago denied the visa because of this single small typo. Now we have to do it again. I'm not sure we can do it in time.

Meanwhile today I got a notice from the Nebraska Department of Revenue. They announced they had, unfortunately, miscalculated an underpayment of taxes they claim I made. Three weeks ago they had sent a downright hostile letter, threatening liens, and claiming I owed them about $300. I couldn't see how they came up with that number, but decided I wasn't going to hire a tax lawyer for $300. So I sent them a cheque. They cashed the check, but never credited to my account. So now they claim I owe them another $80, even though it is they who owe me $220. I have no idea how long it's going to take to get this all sorted out.

Smarter government is less government. Don't let anyone tell you different.

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