Columns

Can you Survive without reading these 21 books?

Not everyone appreciates being told to “chill out” about unmet goals.
According to USA TODAY, “GQ” magazine has ignited a firestorm on social media by publishing an article titled “21 Books You Don’t Have To Read.”
Yes, Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell To Arms,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher In The Rye” and other classics of Western Civilization are dismissed as expendable, out-of-date and/or boring.

Tom Purcell

Facebook knows what about me?

A chat window opened on my computer screen. A Facebook “friend” I didn’t know began communicating with me.
“Happy birthday, Tom!” wrote the woman.
“Who told you it was my birthday?” I wrote back.
“You did, Tom. You provided that information when you joined Facebook.”
“I did?”
“Sure, Tom. The information you willingly provide to Facebook — combined with sophisticated tools that monitor your online usage patterns — gives Facebook a detailed understanding of who you are.”
“Why does Facebook care about who I am?”

Rick Jensen

Tom Purcell

From the moment Mark Zuckerberg began to read his opening statement, you knew he wasn’t going to change Facebook.
Clueless politicians made it clear they didn’t understand Facebook, so members of Congress were unable to drill down into details of Facebook’s business model and just how much of your personal information is owned by thousands of companies.
Perplexed members of Congress suggesting Facebook change its business model to “fee-based” don’t understand the advertising business and how many hundreds of millions of dollars and users they would lose.

Tom Purcell

Advice, consolation to taxpayers

The tax season is upon us. I’m no CPA, but let me offer advice and consolation to my fellow taxpayers.
Q. Dear Tom: My CPA told me that a tax bracket is a heavy, metal object that the government uses to hit you over the head every time you succeed in pushing your income up. Can you elaborate? - Annoyed in Minnesota

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