Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Nice Weekend and Some Mark Steyn

Nice weekend.

Friends came into town for a visit. They saw other friends, but they stopped by for about 6:00 on Saturday. Beers all around, dinner eaten, talked into the wee hours. Nice time.

Sunday was nothing but the tube, a dip in the pool, then the tube again. Brain was turned off pretty much all weekend. Apologies to the founding fathers. I should meditate on their sacrifice and their wisdom and the Republic which they laid the groundwork for, but I really needed a weekend of totally laziness and this one always fits the bill for me.

We walked to the grocery for a couple of things. I let Daughter No. 1 pick what she wanted at the little stand at the corner. Total cost $10. Girls. They don't have the natural ambition to blow things up. To destroy. I miss that.

Yesterday, out-of-town friends dropped by again for a quick visit before their plane left. Other friends came over for dinner and fireworks. Beers again, food. Things going boom. Listened to the noise downtown. Fun.

Now work. Sucks.

Building up to my Beatleobus, a little bit of Mark Steyn column today on the Live8-Onanism-for-Africa concert. To total is found here.
Seven years ago, you'll recall, Sir Paul's wife died of cancer. Linda McCartney had been a resident of the United Kingdom for three decades but her Manhattan tax lawyers, Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts, devoted considerable energy in her final months to establishing her right to have her estate probated in New York state.

That way she could set up a "qualified domestic marital trust" that would... Yeah, yeah, yeah, in the immortal words of Lennon and/or McCartney. Big deal, you say. We're into world peace and saving the planet and feeding Africa. What difference does it make which jurisdiction some squaresville suit files the boring paperwork in?

Okay, I'll cut to the chase. By filing for probate in New York rather than the United Kingdom, Linda McCartney avoided the 40 per cent death duties levied by Her Majesty's Government. That way, her family gets all 100 per cent - and 100 per cent of Linda McCartney's estate isn't to be sneezed at.

For purposes of comparison, Bob Geldof's original Live Aid concert in 1985 raised £50 million. Lady McCartney's estate was estimated at around £150 million. In other words, had she paid her 40 per cent death duties, the British Treasury would have raised more money than Sir Bob did with Bananarama and all the gang at Wembley Stadium that day.

Short week. Have fun.

Stay You.
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