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User Journal

Journal: "What Liberal Bias?" Dept

Journal by MrLogic17

"What Liberal Bias?" Dept
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=584&e=1&u=/nm/20050314/pl_nm/media_report_dc

36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry.

20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry.

Stores about the Iraq war were 25 percent were negative and 20 percent were positive.

The three network nightly newscasts and public broadcaster PBS tended to be more negative than positive, while Fox News was twice as likely to be positive as negative.

To which I reply, someone *paid* to find this out? News flash! The Pope's Catholic, film at 11.

User Journal

Journal: England's Mythical VAT Refund

Journal by MrLogic17

Random Rant:
On a recent (Feb 2005) trip to London, every store we went to told us that the 17.5% VAT (sales tax) was refundable for goods we took out of the country. 17.5% is a mighty stiff tax (remember that the Boston Tea Party was over a 1% tax on one product!), but if it's refunded, it's not an issue, right?

That is, until we got to the airport. After checking in, checking bags, and going through customs, we found the VAT refund office at the end of a long, narrow, poorly marked hallway. (No, there was no "Beware of leapoard" sign, but you get the idea...) The ever friendly government employee had no intention of helping us get a refund. She informed us that:
-Not all shops participate in the VAT refund (Apparently it's the store's burden, not the Queen's)
-You have to get a form from *each and every* store you shop at
-You have to prove to the VAT officer that you really did purchase the stuff you paid for- by showing all goods at the window (yes, after you've checked you bags and gone through security!)
-I think she also said there was a per store minimum of 200 pounds before you could get a refund. (Don't quote me on this one.)
-If you've managed to get this far, you have to mail back the VAT refund form to each and every store for a refund, less a service fee!

Needless to say, we didn't get a single pence back from the VAT refund. The part that most upsets me is that *none* of the stores, clerks, or information we'd read hinted at *any* of the barriers involved. Be warned: if you travel to England, don't be fooled into thinking you'll get any of that 17.5% VAT back.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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