I hardly have the time to get into a discussion about how awful our tax code is, but I can at least offer this piece of advice for any residents of California, Michigan, Montana, or my home state of Pennsylvania: do it the cheap and easy way. E-filing is yet another great internet convenience, and the federal government offers a free e-file program. This is the wonderful offer you always hear about on H&R Block commercials - FREE 1040EZ FILING! These companies still need to make a buck though, so if you want to file your state return through them or claim certain deductions, you better pony up $35 or more. Less-known companies looking to break into the market will hover around $15.
I could hardly hope to write a more compelling or comprehensive post regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act or Protect IP Act than the multitude of sites already covering it. This bill is simply wrong, and in case Wikipedia's protest blackout yesterday caught you off guard and unaware, here's a collection of information about the SOPA\PIPA bills and how they will exact Draconian control of free speech through internet censorship, not to mention hurt the very technological foundations of the Internet.
Cognitive dissonance is an intellectual tension that occurs
when two contrary ideas present themselves.
Normally, this happens when a person invests themselves in a belief and
then is presented with contrary information. All rational responses to contradicting facts lie between these axes:
Either your old belief was wrong, or
The new information is wrong
We usually try to resolve this disharmony of ideas by taking the path of least resistance, which often results in an irrational third option that we
see all too often in religion (among other things): Rather than dissecting how either idea is false,
we accept both conclusions as true and then reverse engineer supporting data
for both ideas using confirmation bias.
There must be some way both things can be right!