Native American Art ThunderbirdWritten by Clint Leung
The thunderbird has been one of most dominant icons in Native American art and legends. In fact, concept of thunderbird has been so popular that it has been used in non-Native world to name a classic automobile, liquor, a 1960's children's adventure television show (and subsequent recent movie), a US Air Force squadron and is referenced in pop music (remember word 't-bird' in 1950's rock and roll?). The thunderbird is one of few cross-cultural characters in Native American mythology since it is found in legends of Pacific Northwest, Plains, and Northeastern tribes.
The Native Indians of Pacific Northwest Coast always lived along shores and never ventured inland to mountains. Legend has it that thunderbird, a mighty God in form of a giant, supernatural bird lives in mountains. The Quileute tribe of Washington state considered a cave on Mount Olympus as home of thunderbird while Coast Salish believed it is located on Black Tusk peak in British Columbia. It is thought that thunderbird never wants anyone to come near its home. If Native hunters get too close, thunderbird will smell them and make a thunder sound by flapping its wings. It would also roll ice out of its cave and down mountain with chunks breaking up into many smaller pieces.
Some tribes such as Kwakwaka'wakw believe that their people once made a deal with thunderbird for its help during a food crisis and in return, tribe agreed to honor thunderbird for all time by making its image prominent in their Northwest Native American art. This is why West Coast art totem poles are often carved with thunderbirds with outstretched wings at top.
The wingspan of thunderbird was described to be twice as long as a Native Indian war canoe. Underneath its wings are lightning snakes which thunderbird uses as weapons. Lightning is created when thunderbird throws these lighting snakes or when he blinks his eyes that glow like fire. Sometimes these lightning snakes are depicted in Native American art as having wolf or dog-like heads with serpent tongues. They are occasionally referred to as thunderbird's dogs. Native American art portrays thunderbird with a huge curving beak and prominent ears or horns.
How to Make Money in Real Estate InvestingWritten by Madan "Raja" Ahluwalia
How to Make Money in Real Estate Investing
Lower Your Taxes
Tax incentives for real estate investors can often make difference in your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used to offset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a loss into a profit. For which items can investors get tax breaks? You could claim deductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing and operating rental property. This includes mortgage interest payments, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, property management fees, travel, advertising, and utilities (assuming tenant doesn''t pay them). These expenses can be subtracted from your adjusted gross income when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, these deductions cannot exceed amount of real estate income you receive. In addition to deductions for operating costs, you can also receive breaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time, and these "losses" can be deducted regardless of actual market value of property. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense -- you are not actually spending any money -- tax code can get a bit tricky. For more information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, ask your tax advisor about Section 1031 of U.S. Tax Code.
Have a Positive Cash Flow
There are two kinds of positive cash flows: pre-tax and after-tax. A pre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater than expenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but they are usually a strong and safe investment. An after-tax positive cash flow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various tax breaks allow for a positive cash flow. This is more common, but it is generally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow.