Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Have a great Thanksgiving, see you next week.

From The Truth Laid Bear's New Webblog Showcase:

Psyche's Knot: Black & Decker® - You're Scaring Me!

Moving on to another ingenuous, labor saving device from Black & Decker®.... the Gizmo Grater™! Now I know not a day goes by that I don't grate chocolate, or cheese.... you too, right? Don't you find that chore of actually moving the food item across the grater terribly tiring? I know I'd rather plow a field than haul that heavy hunk of cheese across my old fashioned grater. Gizmo Grater™ saves the day and your arm.

"Go on, then, in your generous enterprise with gratitude to
Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the future.
For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with
you the common danger and common glory ... that these American
States may never cease to be free and independent." --Samuel Adams

"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I
don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it.
But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger
than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of
all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports
that hummed with commerce and creativity. ...After 200 years, two
centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge,
and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's
still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom,
for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling
through the darkness, toward home." --Ronald Reagan

"What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than
that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their
mutual & surest support?" --James Madison

That would explain the lack of learning in our public educational system.

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time;
the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them
--Thomas Jefferson

Read it, I am crying like a baby.

The following letter was written by a 14 year old daughter of one of our troops who was killed when the convoy he was in was attacked with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenades in Samarra, Iraq, on October 1, 2003. It was just 17 days after he was deployed. This letter was written after he died. The soldier/father/husband in question was Command Sergeant Major Blankenbecler. Photo of father and daughter hugging goodbye appears at the end of this entry.

It makes me think of Saving Private Ryan,

"Earn this"

Mistrial is declared in tax case
By Toni Heinzl
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH - Bedford businessman Richard Simkanin remained in federal custody Tuesday night after jurors said they could not reach a verdict on a 27-count indictment accusing him of failing to withhold taxes from his employees' wages and of filing fraudulent claims for tax refunds.

U.S. District Judge John McBryde declared a mistrial after jurors said they were deadlocked after eight hours of deliberations.

Prosecutors said they would retry Simkanin, 59, who couched his opposition to federal income tax in the patriotic language of the Founding Fathers, publicly declared his contempt for the federal government and once wrote to the Treasury secretary that he had repatriated himself from the United States to the "Republic of Texas."

On his Web site, Simkanin published a warning that spoke of the "fury of a fire" that would consume his adversaries. McBryde cited the warning in a scathing order issued July 14 in which he stated his reasons for keeping Simkanin in jail pending trial.

Simkanin, 59, the owner of Arrow Custom Plastics, pleaded guilty Sept. 30 to charges of failing to collect and pay taxes on his employees' wages. The plea agreement was accepted by McBryde.

But it was later discovered that the plea documents contained a mistake regarding the potential maximum sentence. The original plea documents said the maximum possible sentence was three years, but attorneys later realized that the document should have said five years.

McBryde threw out the plea agreement, and Simkanin then decided not to accept another plea offer with a possible penalty of five years. He opted to go to trial.

He went on trial Monday on 12 counts of failing to collect and pay $175,000 in taxes on his employees' wages from January 2000 through December 2002 and 15 counts of filing fraudulent claims for tax refunds totaling $234,515 for the years 1997 through 1999.

Defense attorney Arch McColl of Dallas said seven attorneys and the judge overlooked the mistake in the original plea agreement.

McColl and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis, the lead prosecutor in the case, said they had never known of a case going from a final plea agreement to a trial.

Simkanin was a member of a group of citizens who took out a full-page ad in USA Today on March 2, 2001, declaring their opposition to the federal income tax. Members of the group call themselves "non-filers"-- the term they prefer over "tax protesters."

Simkanin testified Monday that he followed the advice of a certified public accountant who told him it was legal to stop withholding taxes from his employees' paychecks. He said his tax views are based on his Christian faith.

"I was robbing [the employees] of their opportunity if I withheld the fruits of their labor," Simkanin testified.

Jurors in Simkanin's trial had to weigh the evidence in light of a unique feature of federal tax laws: Ignorance of the law is a legal defense if a taxpayer unintentionally violates the law after accepting wrong advice in good faith.

Prosecutors argued that Simkanin knew that his employees' wages were taxable income.

The government witnesses included Simkanin's former accountant, Fred Taylor, who testified that his firm stopped representing Simkanin when Simkanin refused Taylor's advice to keep withholding and paying taxes on employees' wages. Taylor, an accountant with more than 25 years of experience, said he told Simkanin that it would be unlawful to drop out of the tax system.

Jarvis said Simkanin wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, on Aug. 2, 2000, urging Barton to support legislation to abolish the withholding requirement proposed by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Clute, the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for president.

"If Mr. Simkanin had a good-faith misunderstanding of the law, if he believed withholding wasn't required under the existing law, why would he ask Congressman Barton to support a change in the law?" Jarvis asked.

McColl said his client trusted certified public accountant Wayne Paul.

"Mr. Paul advised my client he did not have a requirement to withhold because of the particular business he was in," Mccoll said. "He relied on that opinion in good faith."

Why presidential candidate weblogs aren't working by Dave Winer

My response;

Given the tone in Washington, no candidate can really be him/herself. Yes, we want to feel connected to them. No, we don?t want to be marketed to.

Recognize that the blog is a tool, and use it as that. Acting like their blog is a look into what they really are thinking is a joke as long as they are running everything through a campaign staff.

I do think that it is possible for a freshman congressman to blog, and do it well. That is only if they start blogging before they get to DC. Can you imagine if they blogged about their disgust at how petty the fighting can be, or how they have no way reading the bill that they are voting on. I would love to have access to their thought process beyond the talking points memo. Why they voted up or down on an issue. Getting past the sound byte.

When politicians can be honest, then we will see their human side. But as long as the supermajority of voters only respond with knee-jerk reactions, they wont be able to handle an honest blog from a veteran politician.

The first person that I thought of that I could imagine writing a blog from DC was Linda Smith.

Go read her Bio then come back.

I remember seeing her on a platform with Ross Perot discussing campaign finance reform on CSPAN in 1995.

Linda Smith's strong belief that politicians should not be "for sale" by lobbyists caused her to launch the "Clean Congress Campaign" in her first year. More importantly, she believed so strongly that she quit taking any money herself from these special interests. Nevertheless, Linda won re-election in 1996 without taking any special interest money.

This is a woman with integrity. And there are more like her, you just don't see them. They get hounded by their party leaders for not selling out. They don't get funding from the party because they are not a "team player".

If those voices can start blogs, we can really change the tone in DC. Of course the party would never allow such impudence. That why it needs to be started by those that have real grassroots campaigns.

Before I go to bed I need to point out that Dick Simkanin was almost acquitted

Employer Simkanin Prosecution Ends in Mistrial
Judge Stymies Both Jury & Defense
DOJ Intends to Retry Simkanin ASAP
Jury Hung at 11-1 Favoring Acquittal

Thoughts that run through my mind,

1. Dick was held without bail for almost six months

2. He agreed to plead guilty (I might too if you took me away from my wife and child)

3. The judge did not want the LAW to be heard

4. Withholding is a voluntary agreement, W4, read this alternate W4 that shows the law. Print out all of these forms, hold them in your hand. Think about what the law says. It is eye opening.

I get pissed! In an information age, you cant keep this from comming down. And when it does we need to find a new source of funding for those government grants to open your own espresso stand or to study lichen in the mohabe desert.

When that time comes, enter the Fair Tax to save the day.

I enjoyed the whole article from the last post, but I am not sure that I want to go public. I really want to protect my family from the IRS. The fact that 98% of people would be afraid to buck the system even if they knew they were right is a testimony to what kind of society we live in. It's ok to say anything as long as you are participating in the collectivist socialism. Its like living under mafia rule that allows you to say whatever you please, as long as you pay your protection money.

privacy through identity control

We're all celebrities now, in a sense. Everything that we say or do is on the record. And everything that's on the record is recorded for posterity, and indexed far better than any file photo or PR bio ever was. It used to be that only those who chose career paths that resulted in notoriety or celebrity would face having to censor themselves or be forced to consciously control the image that they project. But this faded as celebrity culture grew and as individuals are increasingly marketed as brands, even products.
Few of us who were alive in 1980 have to be concerned that any of our statements from that year will come back to haunt us, let alone some of our more obscure comments, aimed at audiences that we feel might be sympathetic. But that won't be the expectation of the generation of kids growing up today. Even their most casual instant messages will be "on the record". And it's not the sort of record that suffers the vagaries of our files today, where the audio to that reel might be lost, or the words on the original obscured by an errant coffee cup's ring.
So what to do? Well, first, of course, social expectations will change. The fear everyone has is that we'll all have to be nice all the time. And niceness sucks. It's the valid part of the backlash against "political correctness".
One or two generations from now, the impossibility of scrubbing every private utterance for the demands of permanent public presentation will lead to a society much more accepting of occasional flubs, faults, and flaws. Behold, the triumph of context. Metadata about a person, and hyperlinks to their lifelong record, will inform the decisions made by a public used to an informal, non-governmental version of Total Information Awareness.
I own my name. I am the first, and definitive, source of information on me.

One of the biggest benefits of that reality is that I now have control. The information I choose to reveal on my site sets the biggest boundaries for my privacy on the web. Granted, I'll never have total control. But look at most people, especially novice Internet users, who are concerned with privacy. They're fighting a losing battle, trying to prevent their personal information from being available on the web at all. If you recognize that it's going to happen, your best bet is to choose how, when, and where it shows up.

That's the future. Own your name. Buy the domain name, get yourself linked to, and put up a page. Make it a blank page, if you want. Fill it with disinformation or gibberish. Plug in other random people's names into Googlism and paste their realities into your own. Or, just reveal the parts of your life that you feel represent you most effectively on the web. Publish things that advance your career or your love life or that document your travels around the world. But if you care about your privacy, and you care about your identity, take the steps to control it now.
For now, recognize that you're a celebrity, treat your likeness and personal information with that gravity, and choose which statements and facts are going to represent your presence in the global media universe. Any adult in an industrialized society who hasn't taken these steps is forfeiting opportunity and security, out of either laziness or ignorance. Maintaining privacy in the face of corporations and governments that wish to violate it requires a bit of identity judo, neutralizing their desire for everything by freely giving away just a little bit.

Ive got three words for you,


I can dig it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

My last rant got deleated so I will take that as a sign not to post it. Trust me on this one.

My good friend Allen Hacker has something for us. I like it. It's long but worth it. What is it with those of us that not only want to change the world but believe that we will? Allen, can you do me a favor and take this personality test? Or if you have, let me know what you are? I am very curious. I happen to be an ENFP. It is amazing when you break it out to 16 different personality types, they can really nail you.

Ok Tim, I think that Vox made a good case for why she wont to run in 2008. What say you?

Are we being watched by the eye that never sleeps? I don't believe that it is that sinister.

From Aakash

This afternoon, I was checking the visitor stats on my blog's hit counter, and I noticed that someone, using the "" domain, was at my blog. (I had noticed visitors from that domain before.) The visit report stated that this visitor had visited many pages within my weblog site. After doing a web search for information about "" (I don't think that it is a website url), I IM'ed Pieter... I noted during that IM conversation that my hit counter was reporting that this visitor had now visited 13 pages within my site. Then it showed that the number of pages that he/she had visited was up to 21, and that visitor had spent over 27 minutes at my blog. I refreshed that SiteMeter page, and it reported that he/she had now been to a total of 22 pages within my site, and had spent over 41 minutes there. When that visit had finally concluded, that individual had been through an amazing 27 pages within my blog, and had spent a phenomenal 48 minutes and 55 seconds doing so.

and of course, my reply via comments
I get them from the IRS. I dont think that is of ill intent. I think that it is someone working in a department killing time, wasting it on the internet. Military networks are locked out of going to places like ebay for this reason. But they cant lock them out of searching with google. So the end up searhing what is of intrest to them.

If it was to glean info for ill intent they would not leak their IP address all over.

Just realize that your audience is bigger than you thought. And pray that the truth you speak will get through to them.

Gov employees are people too, and the less work they do the better. I say that they should be allowwed to waste all day reading the public diaries of those who declare that their job is irrelivant :)

Pieter at Deux Ego asks the question, What will it take for you to Leave the GOP? Go there and read the comments, and then sound off. I am also posting my response here because I need to have some updates.

My response,
I think that it would take God telling me that I am to leave, which He may do one day. But at this time I feel him pushing me back into the den of lions that is the republican party.

Politics is about power. Both parties are fighting for power for powers sake. Most people on the right and left are blinded from the truth by ideology.

The dems are becoming the godless party, and the republicans are putting more and more faith in the state.

There is no third party that can win, only spoil elections.

The ONLY way that a third party could win is if one of the other parties disolved and a new one created, filled with people that already where elected to office. So that the debate was between two parties. That is the way it is. This opinion has come in part from listening to Michael Medved discuss the history of third party politics in america.

In this day and age, when only 25%(?) of people vote, and their opinion is formed by watching cable news, there is no way someone can be elected on principal. Only marketing and spin, pure and simple.

Ok, now its your turn. Tell me if I'm wrong and why. I need to interchange people.

Is it a bad thing to not post to your blog in over a week? Yes, but its not as bad as posting hundreds of pointless posts :)

Monday, November 17, 2003

And you thought National Socialism was a bad thing

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek in cartoons. [Buried Treasure]

Funny how close we are.

Also from Vox

Do you ever get the impression that a young baby is more aware of what is going on than you think it should be? One of the pastors I respect most theorizes that the spirit is mature at birth, and is capable of being influenced by things that can't possibly be grasped by its developing mind.

Not only that, but unclean spirits are capable of much more than what we talk about. It can get freaky once you start to see into the spiritual realms. We have authority through Christ, but we need to use it to be effective.

Listen to this message from Greg Boyd, The World in Between

Greg Boyd wrote an awesome book called Letters from a Skeptic

A great new column from Vox Day, The irrational atheist

This is what is so cool about a blog. Vox is a nationaly sydicated columnist, his column comes out at 12am on Monday, by 5am he is responding to emails that are bashing his column. That is a hard working man.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

A friend of mine was talking to me about the fear of attracting the attention of the IRS. They can really make your life hell. But we want to live a life of integrity. This is what he emailed to me after our talk.

It's as if we are in the matrix. We chose the red pill and now we know that our life is better. We realize that by choosing this life, we have to live in constant fear, looking over our shoulder...but we also feel that this is the only way. We took the red pill, became enlightened, and now we cant go back.

Yep, that's it. I dont want to go head to head with an agent, but if they choose to come after me, so be it.

Friday, November 14, 2003

I just started a new blog for the sole purpose of documenting my slow but steady migration to Linux.

Now if only I could get that CD in the mail :)

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Allen Hacker got a little angry and let it out today. I am with you and I am not. Allen has some great wisdom about fighting for freedom, and then I feel he also misses it.

I just saw The Matrix 3, I loved it. Neo does what he has to. Niobe does what she has to. Everyone does what they have to, they make the choice. And while the are fighting for the same thing, freedom and peace, they don't do it in the same way. At times it appears that they are going in opposite directions, but they are fighting on the same side.

Allen, my point is that they go back into the matrix when they need to, for a purpose, to pull someone else out, to set just one more captive free. There are many in the grassroots of the republican party that are frustrated, on the verge of waking up to reality. Do not alienate them by calling them idiots. We all fight with what we have, don't fight with those that would stand beside you.

And don't tell me that I am part of the problem just because I am choosing to stay in the republican party. I am going back in for a purpose. Back me up the same as you would back up the guy fighting for the right to travel without a license.

I am going into dangerous territory, don't cut me off.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Ok Vox, I am tracking with you buddy. I haven't had much time to read things on the internet this week but I have had many hours of hard manual labor. It leaves you exhausted but your mind has had time to think things through, dream about the possibilities.

I pray all the time for people in other countries. I have a longing for justice, that they could grasp the concept of freedom and also meet the Creator of the universe.

My heart aches for China, I hate totalitarianism. Have you heard the stories? Forced child labor, forced abortions, abortions if the baby is going to be a girl (girls are of no value).

People claim that if you just wait, China will come around, because of capitalism. Well Vox just spoke my mind about the Third Way that we are becoming and so is China. How quaint, here comes 1984. Not exactly but you have to admit that at this rate, how much longer do we need?

Free trade good, government control bad. Real free trade, not this perversion of NAFTA.

Go to the heart of the matters and clear your mind. Then ask yourself simple questions like,

What does the 2nd Amendment mean? (don't ask a lawyer, you answer)

wouldn't the 13th Amendment mean that I am a slave to no one? Not even government?

Actually when you look at the constitution, nothing good has been added since 1870. Name one of those amendments since 1870 that has helped us as a nation. I would love to hear your thoughts. The coments have been rather quiet. I know that not many people read this thing. Oh well, I really do it so that I can see how much I have changed later on, and also to keep track of all those links.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

You can't have your cake (work as a wage slave for corp america) and eat it too (expect to live free from paying tribute).

Live Free To Be Free

Hey Doug, I have had a very busy two weeks and just found out about the whole levy thing. If I knew that you banked at Bank of America I would have let you in on a little secret. The bigger they are the less they listen to you. Did you know that anyone that has access to your back account number (ever written a check? Paid with a debit card?) and knows the last 4 digits of your ssn can find out EVERY TRANSACTION amount that via B of A banker by phone. That is very useful info when preparing to lien a bank account. If it can be done, it will be done. The IRS will always take what they can, because they can. I am sorry for your loss but you have had some time to prepare for this one.

Anyone can be made to just about anything once they are being held by the short and curls. Why keep your head in the chopping block waiting for the inevitable. Stand up and start your new life. You still have more opportunity that 95% of the world. Remember, they cant take it if it isnt yours, next time that is :)

Saturday, November 01, 2003

This site is certified 67% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Claire Wolfe - 10/28/2003: "Helplessness": "But it did have to do with it, and even though we couldn't make the connection in a linear way, everybody in the conversation groked that these things were connected. The connection is that the powers that be disregard the individual for the sake of 'convenience' or 'efficiency' or 'collecting aggregate data' or whatever. The individual becomes nothing but a data point, a case study, a unit. And 'units' have no rights. Units don't have feelings or hopes or desires -- certainly not any that need to be acknowledged by planners of 'efficient' systems. Or so the systemizers appear to believe.

This is where things begin to break down. The system evolves to serve the individual. Then it evolves to where the individual serves the system. That's where we're going now (and where we already are in many terrifying ways). But it can't last. You can manipulate people so far -- incredibly far. You can use and abuse them to a shocking degree. But in the end a system that disregards the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual -- and above all, highly individual -- nature of the individuals within it ... cannot hold."

Claire Wolfe - 10/29/2003: "Simon Jester in the air?": "Hmmm. Is Simon Jester loose in America's skies? Are Americans saying a big 'F U' to the Keystone Kops of the TSA? Has the humble box cutter become the burning draft card or the Jarbridge shovel of twenty-first century protest against stupid, brutal authority?

Are crowds of little Hogan's Heroes flitting across American skies, leaving box cutters behind to twit the comico-Nazis who pomp and posture and threaten -- while totally failing to secure the Stalag 13 of our airports?"