RANT: Income Tax and Taxes as theft!


***Begin Quote***

Kicking off from there, "Freedom to Fascism" deals primarily with the basic question of the tax education movement — who owes the income tax, and why won't the IRS show us the law that requires an average wage-earner living in one of the 50 states to file and pay a tax on his wages?

Of course we do have to file and pay, in the sense that armed government goons will seize our houses and cars and paychecks if we don't.

But that's no different from saying you "have to" give your wallet to an armed thug who's threatening you in a parking garage. The question is why judges refuse to allow any detailed reading and discussion of the actual written statutes and relevant Supreme Court rulings in their courtrooms — witness the recent federal trial of Irwin Schiff here in Las Vegas.

***End Quote***

Do I detect a trend here? Are real people, little peopel, beginning to show signs of becoming fed up with taxation. Time for a tea party? 

The Hollywood “elite”, should be effite, always offend me!


***Begin Quote***

Also see:

Movie star JAKE GYLLENHAAL has shocked American Gulf War veterans by joking they did nothing but "masturbate" during their time in the desert in 1991. The cheeky 25-year-old stars in JARHEAD, a movie exposing the US soldiers' lack of combat in the Middle Eastern conflict. He said, "The US soldiers were sent to the desert for 122 days and they sat in the same tent and did nothing, except a little too much masturbating."
29/04/2006 14:28  
***End Quote***

I guess this bozo was trying to impress his Hollywood friends by trying to win the Jane Fonda award for "most unpatriotic most ungrateful most insensitive Hollywood snob". Now I'm not for war. But you don't insult the the people that you sent there. Yes, by being part of the American gravy train, Hollywood has to accept blame for the decisions that send our boys and girls in harm's way. I  think that the Hollywood elite demonstrate their shallowness when they open their mouths with unscripted unrehearsed lines. They have been given a great gift by (Pick One: the Intelligent Designer; the American public; the hander out of lucky breaks) and have a chance to demonstrate their sensitivity, humility, and all the other good virtues that American's admire. My model for a Hollywood star is Bob Hope. I don't know if he agreed with any war; he certainly was sarcastic about generals and Presidents. But I do know that he was out do his part for the troops. Not tha the woudl, but if he said something like that, I'd give him a lot of slack. For an actor, who ain't done much for the public good, I give no quarter. By the way, I saw Jarhead and was disappointed. The whole thing stunk. Boring, predictable, and the acting left me "uninvolved". So to quote Nicholson in "A Few Good Men":

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!"

My words to this fellow, and Hollywood in general, is:

"You have a lot of nerve. You benefit from this society more than anyone. Yet, from your position of privilege and honor, you insult the very people who make you possible. You better repent and atone soon 'cause retribution comes swiftly. Vets, even non-combat ones like me, have very long memories. Ask Jane Fonda. To this day, I shun her. If someone brings it up, I explain that you can NOT bite the hand that feeds you with expecting some adverse consequences. You can be sure that I will inform every vet I know to boycott you and your ilk."

By the way, I sent this is on its way to every vet I know, the American Legion, the VFW, and several thousand of my fellow alums.

I won't be watching any more of his work. He's in my "Jane Fonda" folder.


TECHNOLOGY: “SYNCURA” securely share files with your team (free of course)


***Begin Quote***

Synchronize folders with your team!

Syncura has rearraged the peer-to-peer file sharing concept into a secure, invitation-only product that will keep your team's crucially important files in sync.

How does it work?

Syncura automatically encrypts and synchronizes files with the rest of your team. Copy or save a file to a shared folder and it is automatically sent to all your teammates. Only the portion of the file that changed is transferred to your teammates. So if you only add one page to a 100 page document, only the changes you made are transferred. This strategy reduces network bandwidth by over 80%.

Who can use it?

Anyone with Internet access can be invited to share files with your team. Collaborate on documents with clients from other organizations or with colleagues on different networks. If a direct connection between your computer and a teammate's computer is not available, Syncura will perform a ProxySync to synchronize files. A ProxySync will relay your encrypted file changes through our servers.

Instant document sharing

Syncura instantly synchronizes files updated by your teammates to your local hard drive. No more wasting time finding the latest version of a shared document before heading to an offsite meeting. Syncura will also download any changes your teammates made while you were offline. Additonally, Syncura detects any files you changed while offline and immediately synchronizes them with the rest of your team.

***End Quote***

Well it's free. It does exchange files. How secure it is I can't say I know. It solves a problem I have about sharing data between machines.

The 9 Dimensions of Procrastination


***Begin Quote***

So why can't people just buckle down and get the job done?

1.) False beliefs

2.) Fear of failure

3.) Perfectionism

4.) Self-control

5.) Punitive parenting

6.) Thrill-seeking

7.) Task-related anxieties

8.) Unclear expectations

9.) Depression

***End Quote***


Picture this: Brutus the crocodile with the chainsaw yesterday in AU.


***Begin Quote***

He didn’t want to go into Brutus’ pen so he stood on a ladder and leaned over to cut the tree,” Tavern owner Peter Shappert said.

“I think Brutus was a bit upset with all the noise and in two seconds he leapt 20ft off the water and scrambled up the tree, snatching the chainsaw out of his hand.

“Freddy got a bit of a scare and jumped straight off the ladder. He was certainly ready for his rum for the day and it was only 10am.

***End Quote***

I would have soiled myself and then went for the drink. I didn’t know they could move like that. Note to self: DOn’t annoy animals EVER.

Categories FUN

They say he also consented to a search


***Begin Quote***

Investigators went to the school and obtained his consent to search his person. They say they found a set of brass knuckles and a knife.

They say he also consented to a search of his vehicle, where deputies found two more knives and a pipe with marijuana residue in it.

***End Quote***

Nope sorry. No one can consent to a search. Put me on this fellow's jury and he walks everytime. He was detained pending arrest. They obviously had no probably cause because why did they ask for his consent. he was in no position to freely consent.

Furhter he has an Intelligent Deisgned given right to carry any weapon he chooses for self-defense. The "no weapons near a school" guearantees that the bad guys have no opposition when they seek to do bad things. Drugs, what a joke. Anyone is free, again with right that is inherent to all of our species, to put anything they want into their bodies. While I think drug abuse is "bad", I don't impose my opinions on others' by force of arms.

This story saddens me how we have lost our liberties.

Coming to the end of April, some soul searching. Or is it sole searching?

Is this activity of any use? I’m really not sure it’s being read. And if it’s being read, is it of value? And, value to whom?

All I get out of it is a toilet paper roll of random musings. At least they are all captured in one place. I does discharge that self-imposed need to discharge nervous energy. (I just typoed gry. What were those three words — hungry, angry, and ?)

See I am crazy.

Does this advance my thought that each individual has a duty to publish? To share their own particular data – information – knowledge – wisdom. When I do the alumni obits, I always ask “what have we lost”. Each individual has a unique value. Maybe that’s why I’m pro life. Maybe that baby is going to cure cancer, advance human thinking, or just make people laugh.

(I can see the groans on your faces! He’s going to tell the Wally Crowther Cave story again! Arghh! Run. He is “in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike” in his sick mind. Now he’s going to tell that story again. Run! Ahhh! Too late. Not fast enough!)

When I was at AT&T I found adventure. Not out on the plains of Africa, not in the dangerous streets of manhattan, not on a mountain. I found it at the end of a teletype terminal. I dragged it everywhere there was a phone line. I was hooked. Colossal Cave Adventure was the first known interactive fiction game, created by Will Crowther originally, to simulate his cave exploring experiences. I played Adventure so often that sometimes I would fall asleep at the computer, not go to class, or ignore everything. I made maps. And shared them with my fellow geeks. Meeting dwarfs and saying “plugh”. I figured out how to traverse the identical caves. I actually had the path memorized. When I was dropped in the maze randomly. All I need was one object (I always kept the empty bird cage for that purpose) and I could be out of the maze in no more than thirty two steps with the cage. I would find my way out and then go back to get may cage for when it happened again. I enjoyed the world that existed solely in my head and some far off server. Adventure by my keyboard.

Anyway, I became aware of the unknown value of a potential life from a stupid computer game. (No, I was not on drugs! It just came as one of my “insights”. You know, bang your head on the wall long enough and you get the “insight” that maybe it would hurt less if you stopped!)

Early in the game there’s a bird. Fifth or sixth move. And you can do lot’s of things with the bird. Kill it. Eat it. But if you leave it alone, then a few caves later, you’ll find a bird cage. And a few caves later, your progress is blocked by a giant snake. So having nothing much else to do, you go back get the cage, catch the bird, and release it at the snake. The bird drives off the snake and you are free to explore Walter’s world that everyone is raving about.

Now I introduced a number of people to the game. I was amazed at how many smart people for no good reason would kill the bird. It told me something about human nature and life.

(1) Killing things chokes off possibilities. That’s when I became a pro-lifer. Maybe we have aborted the person who will cure cancer, lead us to the stars, or just make us laugh. Look at Hawking advancing the forefront of physics and tell me that it can’t happen. So I formed my opinion, that we ought not be killing people. Before they are born, after they do bad things, because they are deformed, old, sick, or don’t conform to someone’s opinions of what should be.

(2) People do things for no good reason just cause they can. And, they are never aware that they have limited their possibilities. Eliminated a path of great possible reward. Scoped themselves down. Hence I relized that making choices is fraught with hidden risks and I always thought about my choices very very carefully. Choices end to be mutually exclusive. Doing X means you can’t do Y. That makes life tough.

By The Way, I never told any of them what they missed. It was perverse. But those of us who had gotten by the snake formed a sacred oath never to divulge the secret of the snake. It was hysterical to watch people spend literally hours trying to find the now permanently blocked path. Someone once said something about “experience is a hard teach but fools will learn form no other”.

Any way, does this blog matter? It represents a choice. By doing this, I am not doing somethign else. And you now know why choices are so hard for me. I know there is a lot I don’t know but I don’t know what I don’t know. Help me?

Conversed with an interesting fellow alum yesterday.



Vincent M. Cramer

We had a great conversation. He said I just listened. Anyone who knows me know that can’t posibly be true. We had a few laughs about the old days in the Engineering Cafeteria. I told him about my Ds in theology and he shared how he got out of trudging up the hill to the main campue to be be abused as barabarians. Even in those days, he was pretty smart. Not many injineers figured out his escape route. Or, maybe we were just dense. Us injineers don’t think like gazelles.

Anyway, he was kind enough to share some of his thinking in his book. And I pushed some of my tired old ideas (i.e., Jasper Jottings; using alumni connections as a way to establish instant rapport; pay it forward rather than back; the value of loose connections).

During our conversation, I kept some notes. It would have been rude not to. Like a good little Gladwell connector, I linked him with two contacts that might be helpful to him. I kept track of my promises and his. He promised to stop for coffee as he whizzed by my Mount Laurel location. Maybe I’ll still be there; reorg you know.

Hopefully, it was as valauable for him as it was for me.

Playing with Yahoo’s Phone In / Phone Out serivce

I'm a sucker. Yahoo sent me a dollar to use on their new Phone In / Phone Out service. It's appealing. I can make or receive phone calls from my laptop. Out is not much difference there from Skype or Gizmo. In to it's own phone number is unique. But, when I am untethered with my Verizon Wireless Broad Band Card, I'm a rolling phone booth. Comcast's Digital Voice, part of their triple play, would also be nice when it gets to my area.

But three features of Yahoo's offering peaked my interest.

(1) Cheap; penny a minute.

(2) Turn my untethered laptop into a mobile phone [Yeah, I have a wireless phone. Buy a laptop phone would be nerdy kool.]

(3) Give my laptop it's own phone number. How kool would that be? And useful.

I figure that using Yahoo Instant Messenger, people might be more likely to give you a quick call.

SO FAR, it's been a modest disaster.

YIM75 will not install on my luggable laptop. Queries to Yahoo Support get a canned message — we'll be back to you within a day — followed by telling me where to dl the software or asking me questions about what happens when YIM runs.

Hey guys and gals, read the messages. IT DOESN'T INSTALL. Arghhh.

If I ever get a customer support group, then I am going have reading and listening lessons.

Maybe Ed Gripeline Foster would be interested in this?

“When parents’ values conflict with public schools” change the paradigm!


When parents' values conflict with public schools By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist  |  April 27, 2006 

***Begin Quote***

When it comes to the education of children, there is always an agenda — and those who don't share that agenda too often find themselves belittled, marginalized, or ignored. Perhaps it was true, as Thomas Reilly says, that the public schools his children attended "reinforced the values of our home." But as the Parkers and Wirthlins in Lexington can testify, other families have a very different experience. When Kerry Healey says she wants her children "to be in an environment where they can talk about values ….. in a way that you can't always do in a public school setting," many public-school parents will know exactly what she means.

***End Quote***

Sorry to say it but the "gmmamint publik skoolz" are a socialist idea that were designed from the beginning to create cannon fodder and factory robots. It's an "experiment" that needs to stop.

In no particular order. It's racist! It's sexist! It's egalitarian! It's unfair! It's ineffective! It's inefficient! It's unsafe! It's dehumanizing! It's socialist! It's "one size fits all". It's not subject to marketplace discipline! It's a financial rat hole! It's social engineering! It's a class warfare! It's divisive! It's anti-family! It's anti-religious! It's union dominated! It's corrupt! It's inescapable! It's anti senior citizen!

Other than that it's a great system.

Oh I'm exaggerating am I?

It's racist! Can you tell em the black and white literacy rates? It's ok use their numbers. We know they are fudged but go ahead.

It's sexist! Boys get treated badly. Girls are pushed around. Both lose.

It's egalitarian! As cited in the article 5/6 of rich white people don't send their children to publik skool. Why?

It's unfair! The childless pay to educate other people's children. Why is that? I don't pay to clothe them.

It's ineffective! Even using their fudged stats, the results are an absolute joke.

It's inefficient! Does it take twelve years to not tech these people to read? They are out of school more than they are in. It's unsafe! Look at teen violence in skoolz. Skool buz accidents. Guns and drugs?

It's dehumanizing! More like a prison, ring bells to change classes like a Pavlovian dog. Justice in proceedings. Rights?

It's socialist! The designers like Horrace Mann wanted a classless society.

It teaches socialism! It's "one size fits all". Too smart;too dumb. Look at the boundary students. Handicap? Everyone is ADD and dosed with drugs if they won't sit still for the nonsense paraded as education.

It's not subject to marketplace discipline! No child left behind? When a business doesn't serve, the marketplace "rewards" it with a going out business sale. When a school fails, they give it more money.

It's a financial rat hole! Look at private preschools, there's financial and quality competition. Look at the parochial schools; even with one foot in a bucket, they cost a third of a state skool.

It's social engineering! The stat skool fosters worship of the state religion — state worship. Children are taught and trained to expect the gummamint to solve their problems.

It's a class warfare! There's a reason that the suburbs have better skoolz. And, it ain't cause we are all equal. The curse of low expectations is placed on all who enter the 'system'.

It's divisive! Parents fight among themselves to get the best, or any, education for their children. It's played by the state as a zero sum game.

It's anti-family! It contradicts the beliefs of the parents and the community.

It's anti-religious! It teaches state worship and Earth Day paganism. It sneers at the cultural and religious values. It subsumes the religious holidays and relabels them.

It's union dominated! Guess that goes without saying. Tenure in skoolz?

It's corrupt! There is a education industry that has grown up around the politicians – 'educators' – contractors. They've got a nice scam going and it keeps everyone rich and happy.

It's inescapable! A Catholic friend of mine can't afford to pay the taxes and pay to send his kids to the Catholic school. Then as the final kick in the <pick your favorite sensitive region> they teach his kids things contrary to his beliefs.

It's anti senior citizen! Why are seniors taxed to pay for skoolz from their fixed incomes?

Did I miss anything? Any redeeming value? Nope!

Add the career builder monkey’s to your team!


***Begin Quote***

Monkey Mail

By Jason Meserve on Thu, 04/27/2006 – 6:46pm
Applications | timekiller
If you're like me and love the CareerBuilder.com "I work with monkeys" commercial than you'll lover their new Monk-E-Mail service. Go to the Web site, type in a message and a customized monkey will read your message to the intended recipient. Brilliant! (Wait, that's Guinness… but still, brilliant!)

***End Quote***

I LOVE it. I think there can be many valuable messages that it can be used for. If there is an anonymous method. 


Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum! Join the anti-spam army of the blue frogs.

***Begin Quote***

Another online pharmacy spam ring, nick-named PP, has decided to listen to the frog. PP, a medium size spammer, elected to stop spamming us. This is good news, but what is even more important is that we never sent a single opt-out request to PP. Yep, that's right. Zero opt-outs were sent to PP.

This spam ring was large enough to attract our attention, but there were a few other spammers who irritate our community more than PP. Therefore, we were essentially just watching them and their spam. We never took the time to create an opt-out script for PP's sites.

However, PP has decided there is no point in waiting for our community to take action. After all, our actions never generate revenues, just opt-outs. In a smart move, PP simply complied with the Registry. And don't think PP stopped spamming. We keep getting loads of their Vi@gra spam to our unregistered honeypot accounts. PP avoids sending spam to the Blue community.

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war. This piece of advice was given by a Roman general a couple of thousands years ago. It was proven right again today. We want peace. We are prepared to fight for our rights. Spammers understand and respect this.

Posted by Eran Reshef Apr 27, 2006 08:48

***End Quote***

I wanted to invite you to join the Blue Community and benefit from Blue Security's free anti-spam service, the Do Not Intrude Registry. I highly recommend you join the service – it's simple, safe and easy to use. Many users already report a significant reduction in spam.

Blue Security allows us to actively do something to stop receiving spam. Here's how it works:

1. I report spam I receive to Blue Security.
2. The Blue Frog software, installed on my machine, automatically posts opt-out requests on spammers' sites demanding they stop sending spam to members of the Blue Community.
3. Spammers use the Do Not Intrude Registry in order to clean their lists and avoid sending us spam.

The service is free, and if you sign up now, Blue Security guaranties you will never have to pay for it in the future.

Stop filtering spam, Start deterring spammers – Sign up with the Do Not Intrude Registry.

RANT: LET THEM eat cake — or wait in line for a Prius.


***Begin Quote***

''Gasoline price increases are like a hidden tax on the working people," President Bush said in a speech that called for a federal inquiry into possible price-gouging, an easing of environmental rules on gasoline production, and a halt to new purchases for the nation's energy reserve.

Bush conveniently ignored one built-in cost: Government levies include a federal 18.4 cents-a-gallon tax on gas; and the states tax on top of that.

***End Quote***

Hey, somebody figured out that the tax on gasoline gets added into everything we buy. Hmmm, think I heard that before. What are we stupid?

TECHNOLOGY: Conference Place aka Microsoft Live Meeting (definitely not free)

Pig here, as in guinea pig. My employer has contracted for Conference Place, it's a shell that covers Microsoft's Live Meeting, aka Placewhere. After kicking the tires, I'm blah about it. It requires BOTH an inet connection and phone line. That's ugly. I was expecting only a net connect. After all voip means never having to say telephone. The phone connect is an added hassle and expense. You'd think that Microsoft would support two way voice over the net. Silly user. I'll be playing with it over the next few days and will advise. Makes me think that Asterisk would be a really neat home project that would have useful results.

“jury nullification” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification


***Begin Quote***

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court, in overturning the verdict, said a juror had had inappropriate communication with an attorney.

“Juror A” had asked the attorney during trial whether she had to follow the law or could vote her conscience because she suspected Rosenthal was growing marijuana for medicinal uses. The attorney told her she must follow the judge’s instructions to follow federal law or she would get in “trouble.”

“We hold that here the communication was an improper influence upon Juror A’s decision to acquit or convict,” the appeals court wrote.

***End Quote***

Interesting that people don't know about "jury nullification" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification. I guess that's why I never get on a jury. I do. It's a pre-constitutional tradition emerging out of English common law and I first learned about it in connection with the Peter Zenger trial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenger. It says the jury is sovereign. They can not only judge the guilt or innocence of the accused. But they can judge the law. Sort of like a one person veto.

Now, needless to say, the judge ain't gonna be to happy if you vote "not guilty". For example, in your opinion, the Drug Laws may unconstitutional, or they may be intrusive, or they may be draconian, or they may be just plain stupid. You may think that the cops planted it, or that the Prosecutors are picking on some poor dumb defendant. Or that the judge is just a horse's behind. Bottom line, for what ever reason, you can vote "not guilty".

My personal advice is if you do, keep your mouth shut. Do NOT elaborate. Don't discuss. Don't tell anybody anything. Just say "not guilty" when asked.

It doesn't matter if he was caught on video tape, recorded, and 22 people swear that they bought drugs from him. Just smile quizzically and say "I believe the defendant. Hence, I vote "not guilty"." and shut up.

There are cases where your fellow juror will report all sorts of stuff to the judge in their zeal to do their duty.

You have to be just a zealous doing yours.

:-)  "Not guilty" ;-)

Did you have a preformed opinion? Nope! Did you apply the law as I explained it? Yup! Did you go into the deliberations with an open mind? Yes! Have you ever heard of the FIJA http://www.fija.org/or jury nullification? Nope!


How can you justify your verdict? I heard the defendant and believed him.


Bet you never get called for jury duty again! Yeah, I know it's completely random. Just register as a Libertarian and see how often you get called.

It's a rigged game.

RANT: Against mindless forwarding of email

Dear fellow traveler,

I don't understand how forwarding an email that may or may not be authentic helps anyone. Usually I counsel people not to do this bcause:

(1) Cause it doesn't get read.
(2) It absorbs a lot of different kinds of "space".
(3) Exposing all those email addresses to spammers is a bad idea.
(4) It doesn't influence anyone.

[The reader's are urge to improve my list by sharing their own points.]

If you were moved by the underlying message, then tell us about your experience. Trim the text so it has a high signal to noise ratio. Distill it.

(By the way, pictures don't usually come thru the forwarding process well. And they take a lot of space.)

That adding, distillation, and trimming all has value and merit. And, it might influence your fellow XYZers to think about something, think about it differently, or Intelligent Designer forbid they might actually change an opinion. See the way you did it, forwarding a many times forwarded message with no value added, makes people think that it was done in a careless fashion. Where as, if you add some value to it by telling people why you think it's important to share it, then you might actually do some good.

Email is a wonderful tool properly used. This message did nothing for me but make me rant.

Why do the players have to sit out?

The New York Post
April 26, 2006 Wednesday
SECTION: All Editions; Pg. 82
LOAD-DATE: April 26, 2006

***Begin Quote***

Xavier, a sophomore guard from Pawtucket, R.I., who averaged 16.6 points this season, has a scholarship waiting for him at Providence if he’d like to transfer, sit out a season and play for his hometown Friars. The Big East might be too tough to turn down, but he is keeping all options open.

***End Quote***

It really not fair that the coach can change at will, and yet the players have to sit out a year if they transfer. It’s just rotten! Now, why doesn’t the coach have to sit out for a year?

Why do the players have to sit out?

At the very least, to compensate them for the “lost years” (i.e., for the time they invested in the departing coach who leaves them in the lurch), they should be allowed to play for some one else right away.

The CEO, the COO, and the CFO conspire to weenie the employees of a start up!


***Begin Quote***

In several emails he outlined a plan where the company assets (intellectual property, equipment, etc) would be sold and transferred to the buying company. The employees "are not a transferable asset, nor are they essential to a successful IP transition. We are prepared to 'trickle' them out in groups during the transition period". In other emails to C-level executives at our company, he repeatedly fought off the CEO and COO desire for compensation packages for employees that had been around for at least one year of employment. The CFO spewed financial nonsense and bull$hit, however he was accurate to the penny on what each executive would receive as compensation. These guys were going to make millions. In a few of the last emails, the CEO and COO caved under the pressure and greed.

***End Quote***

For anyone who has NOT yet realized that the "rules of engagement" for employment, here is you wake up call.

While I personally deplore the actions that were supposedly taken, I have to admire when justice is served. There is no way, no how, that seekers should be deceived into working like a dog WITHOUT a just reward.


Professor Williams nails Oprah for minimum wage nonsense!


***Begin Quote***

Minimum wages can have a more insidious effect. In research for my book "South Africa's War Against Capitalism" (1989), I found that during South Africa's apartheid era, racist unions, who'd never admit blacks, were the major supporters of higher minimum wages for blacks. Gert Beetge, secretary of South Africa's avowedly racist Building Worker's Union, in response to contractors hiring black workers, said, "There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances I support the rate-for-the-job [minimum wages] as the second best way of protecting our white artisans." Racists recognized the discriminatory effects of mandated minimum wages.
***End Quote***

Dear Professor Williams,

As usual, spot on!

My own observation is that a raise in the minimum wage is an automatic pay increase for unions, government workers, and politicians!

I never get a raise due to minimum wage laws.

And, when I was running my own business (twice) where do I get my “minimum wage” from? I know that many a week I worked my tush off for zero income. Did I miss the memo of which “gummamint agenze” to submit my claim to? Interesting that because I formed my own business, I wasn’t eligible for unemployment “insurance” (another misnomer). If I could have kept all those “contributions” (nothing voluntary there), then I could have paid myself my minimum wage!

Any way just thought I’d chime in.

“student” John

“I vote small government. Every issue. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.”

I've taken the liberty of reproducing Cloud's excellent advice. I have signed the Small Government pledge and I try never to miss a chance to toss an incumbent, defeat a school budget, nuke a proposition, or otherwise gum up the works.


***Begin Quote***

"Here's what the Small Government PledgeSM means:

I will vote for and support only those candidates who consistently vote for small government; who work to make government smaller than it is today. For candidates who have never served in office, I will vote only for those who campaign to make government smaller than it is today.

I will vote against and refuse to support every candidate who votes to sustain or enlarge today's Big Government – or campaigns for it.

I will vote in every federal, state, and local election. If necessary, I'll get an absentee ballot. I'll find out about the choices on my ballot – and make sure I always vote small government.

If there is no small government candidate on the ballot, I will either write in and vote for a small government candidate or leave the ballot blank for that office.

I will vote for every ballot initiative and referendum that shrinks the size, spending, taxes, scope, or power of today's Big Government.

I will vote against every ballot initiative, referendum, and bond that increases the size, spending, taxes, scope, or power of today's Big Government."

***End Quote***

AND here's the Cloud article that I thought was GREAT!

***Begin Quote***


A well-known libertarian scholar once told me:

“Voting is an act of force. Libertarians are opposed to force. Ergo, true libertarians don’t vote.”

His syllogism was, as H.L. Mencken wrote, “… simple, neat, and wrong.”


“War is simply the continuation of politics by other means,” wrote Carl von Clausewitz.

True, but libertarians recognize that the opposite is also true:

“Politics is war by other means.”

Voting is conflict by ballots, not bullets. Big Government is domination and looting by the victors. Voting is force.

But the argument misstates and misrepresents the libertarian principle.
Libertarians oppose the INITIATION of force. Libertarians recognize and endorse the right of self-defense.

For true libertarians, for champions of small government – voting is an act of self-defense.

I live by the Small Government Pledge:

“I vote small government. Every issue. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.”

Every vote I cast is designed to dismantle, reduce, and remove Big Government programs and policies. At all levels of government: local, state, and federal.

Neither I, nor any other champion of small government votes to take our neighbors’ life, liberty, or property. We vote to reduce or stop Big Government aggression and plunder.

Voting to shrink government is an act of self-defense.

NON-voting is political pacifism.

And, for one who loves liberty, it is slow motion suicide.

But the political pacifists do not stop there. They insist that the rest of us surrender, too – stop voting in self-defense.

In 2002, Carla Howell and I put Question 1 on the Ballot in Massachusetts.
This Ballot Initiative would END our state income tax, put $9 Billion per year back in the hands of the men and women who earned it, and cut state government spending 39%.

Yet several ANTI-voting libertarians told us that Carla Howell and I are UN-libertarian, immoral, and evil for putting this to a vote. These paragons of libertarian principle told us that they refused to vote for it – because voting is force.

But the income tax is the initiation of force.

Voting to END the income tax is a vote to END the use of force. ENDING a tax is an act of self-defense.

We earned 881,738 votes to END the state income tax. 45.3% of the vote. In Massachusetts!

Would freedom have been better served if 881,738 voters had stayed home?

And wouldn’t that have made Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney, and John Kerry giddy?

Anti-voting libertarians are the people who attack Richard Rider, tax cut activist, for opposing tax increases and tax bonds in San Diego.

Politics is war by other means. Demanding that libertarians cease voting is like urging Colonial Soldiers to desert George Washington’s Army in the winter of 1776.

In that hard winter, many American soldiers did desert. Tom Paine sought to rally and inspire those hard-pressed and discouraged soldiers who remained when he wrote in “The Crisis”:

“These are times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Aren’t you grateful that our colonial soldiers refused pacifism and desertion?

Because of their efforts over 230 years ago, you and we have the opportunity to move freedom forward.

[This is the first of several rebuttals of false libertarian arguments against and objections to voting. Moral and practical.]

***End Quote***

FUP a turkey’s question about following up with a hiring manager … (Answer gently!)

***Begin Quote***

Tomorrow morning marks the seventh day since, through a combination of your kind efforts, I was able to put my candidate information in front of XXXX for the YYYY position at ZZZZ.  Thus far I have received no responses from either XXXX or YYYY HR to my emails, and so I plan to contact XXXX tomorrow via phone.  I will call him at around 7 AM Eastern time (4 AM my time) and my approach will be "just wanted to make sure you had received my information and to answer any questions you might have."  I don't want to appear over-eager, but at the same time I think I have waited too long in the past for responses from potential employers, and want to avoid that mistake here.  If you have any comments, I would be very interested to hear them.  Once again, your assistance is deeply appreciated.  

***End Quote***

My suggestion, while it may be too late, is three fold.

(1) Prepare by writing your message. Script it out. Prepare for voice mail. If you get voice mail, then you won’t sound like your disorganized, drunk (why else would you be up at 4am to call him – he knows where you live), or whining. When you deliver your message, don’t read it. It’ll sound read. AND, deliver it standing up, smiling, but not yelling. Quiet enthusiasm.

(2) Offer to help in any way that you can. Try to have something to offer. Commiserate with administrative systems that make it hard to get things done since he directed you to the internal HR site. Tell a tiny story.

(3) Leave your cell phone number at the front of the message. Clearly. And slowly. Tell him that you want the job and it’s NOT necessary for him to call you back. (He may have nothing to offer. I know at Comcast all contact MUST be done by HR. And, he may have to waste time calling you when he could be advancing the ball.)

My thoughts FWIW,

***Begin Quote***

Actually, your email arrived just as I was leaving him a voicemail. I hit Cancel and got out of there. :) I will make a script later this morning (I'm going back to sleep) and contact him from work (via my cell phone, walking outside – that'll force me to stand up, although I may get some looks walking around with a big smile.) Can I clarify your "story" point on suggestion two? I take your meaning as "I understand you may be waiting for HR to process the paperwork of your applicants – my present company's the same way" or similar.

Thanks again for the suggestions – the better my message to him, the more likely I'll get an affirmative response.

***End Quote***

Exactly. You want to try to establish rapport. A common foe is always useful. The vagaries of corporate HR, the Post Office, ISPs in general, or even the green meanies. You need a common foe to bind him to you. "Heck, he's a great guy, understands that everyone has problems, and I can work with him." That's the key hump. Make him like you. You know a Sally Field moment. "You like me. You really like me." Now I'm a generally disagreeable sort so I have to work extra hard at that. And being an injineer by trade, I try to create a "make me likeable" process. Tell a clean joke that a third grader would "laff" at. Establish a common enemy. Help by giving him some topical current information like the PDF I've attached. Change yourself from a resume to a person. May not get you the job, but if it's a close call, who would you pick? The faceless resume or the person. IMHO YMMV, john


FUP on age discrimintation

QUESTION> Graduation year for university on resume.  Yes or no?

Put it on. Your age is no real secret. Sell thru the objection.

See Dave’s blog this week about age discrimination, http://execunet.blogspot.com/2006/04/selling-experience_24.html and my comment.

Then, “pull up your Big Girl undies” and compete. No sense making an issue out of it; make a value out of it. “I’m not old; I’m experienced; You can benefit ‘cause I’m house broken and I made all my mistakes when some one else was paying for them!”.

RETORT: Need the job!

Well, I’ll quibble. SunTse always advises things like “When weak, appear strong. When strong, appear weak.” You may need the bucks. But you never need THAT job. I would suggest that there are certain moral, ethical, and personal boundaries that you should NEVER cross. The casting couch is a great example of a line that should never be crossed. I also firmly believe that the appropriate deity (i.e., Jesus; the Intelligent Designer; the Universe; the Flying Spaghetti Monster) will always provide what we need. The famous Wayne Dyer admonition applies: “you'll believe it when you see it OR you’ll see it when you believe it”. His formulation is that you visualize what you want and the Universal Soul will supply it. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Now, I don’t believe that one should sit on one’s butt and wait for the Publisher’s Clearing House Lottery van to arrive. But there is anecdotal evidence in my own life that this has some truth to the idea that “lucky breaks” occur. Funny how the harder I work at something, the more breaks go my way. So, let’s agree that you don’t need THAT particular job.

ALSO, I’d admonish you never even to think of the HR people as morons. It may be flip, but I have seen people sink their own ship with a loose lip. While there are a few “bad” people, (in my personal trek, I have met FOUR out of a grazillion.) by an large, people, while they may be: dumb as a stump, overworked, underpaid, overwhelmed by volume, completely inept, or just plain disagreeable, they are the Intelligent Designer’s creation and as such worthy of our respect. When I get totally in a knot, I ask myself things like: would you do that job, what problems can I help that person overcome, or what lesson is the Universe trying to teach me here. I get a lot of lessons in humility and patience. I need them because I’m not very humble or patient. Lessons are repeated until the student learns.


Jasper Joseph Webb (MC78) nails the gummamint profiting from high gas prices!


***Begin Quote***

Industry profits still are exceeded by taxes paid from the processing level to the consumer price. There are 43 different direct and indirect taxes on gasoline, from pumping from the ground until the customer puts it in their tank. Maybe stopping the tax shell game would lower the prices, ya think? Tax collections are so strong, especially in states where sales tax as a percentage of the sale is collected, that there is no incentive to lower or remove the taxes; there is only an incentive to have meaningless press conferences with much flailing about. 

***End Quote***

I know why they tax everything in sight! Because they think we're too stupid to realize it. Taxes are bad enough. But taxes on something that every business and person depends upon? Let come to the realization that only "the folks" pay taxes. You and me and him and her. Real people, who can't include in the cost of producing a good for sale, are the ones who PAY taxes. Do you think that UPS doesn't price their services to INCLUDE the full cost of any taxes that they pay on gas? Do you think, that when you buy bread and milk at the grocery store, you are NOT paying for the gas that got them there? Do you think that any business doesn't just mark up their price to cover the gas? (If they can't sell their product for a profit, including the price of gas, guess what? They close their doors!)

So there you have it. The gummamint sticks it too us by taxing gasoline. It gets buried in the price of everything we buy. And we really really do NOT know how much we pay in taxes!

We'd be better off, to know the true cost of everything minus the hidden gas tax, if we paid more at the annual blood letting than allowing them to think that they have fooled us. The dead old white guys would have never stood for this nonsense. The american revolution was fought over a 1% tax! Best solution is not to pay any taxes at all.

But then I am a Libertarian. I want freedom. And for me to be free, I have to let you be as free as I want to be. So none of us should pay any taxes. PERIOD!