Around Christmas time, when the mood was good, I wrote to my representative about the ridiculous American system of taxation. One thing I said was that if, no, when I am working the checkout line at the Meijer’s, and the fellow who designed these tax forms comes to my checkout lane, we are going to go through everything in the store he didn’t buy. To clarify the analogy, we might rather first take a bunch of his money, then go through each thing in the store and have him certify that he did not buy it, giving him his money back. This is obviously backward, and the cause is, in part, that we cannot trust ourselves to do our taxes honestly. The system of being overtaxed, then saving receipts and writing things off is absurd. Then the government wants to promote this or that good cause, and gets into the forms so that this or that incentive must be chronicled. Every single person in the United States needs a tax accountant, or else their employer is paying for a service. A single businessman, a painter, paid a service 18$ per hour to process 12$ an hour labor, required by the tax system. The strain on the GNP, as well as on American patriotism, is staggering.And Now the IRS cannot keep up, so there are errors all over, with parts not knowing what other parts of the bureaucratic Babylon are doing. I have received six letters telling me that they need more time to respond to some communication I have long since forgot, regarding money I owe and cannot pay. I cannot afford a tax attorney or accountant, who would only tell me that if I do not exaggerate deductions, he cannot get me a big tax break. It took over one month and five trips to the library to report four numbers. That is already one tenth of a year, not of course entirely devoted to filling out forms, but plagued by the process in a way that seriously impairs my work, including the work with which I hope to pay my tax. Nationwide, such a system is destroying self-employment and hobbling the GNP. We have to start over, phasing in a plan that begins from a flat tax, but makes necessary adjustments, by taking into account how things got to be the way they are now. We need a tax system that is fair and that it is possible to obey without being ruined. How many of the poor are forced just below the need for welfare by being incapable of dealing with the tax system? Is it possible to turn around the backward assumptions?

It is of course not constitutional to require of citizens things that cannot be fulfilled. Due process requires that the laws be reasonable. If I were to fill out my tax forms on court time, complete with trips to the library for forms and phone calls to the IRS, we would see how long it would take a Judge to agree that the system as it is now is not constitutional. It may also be contrary to self preservation to tax the poor below subsistence, and to make subsistence labor illegal. And shall we read the instruction booklet, or try to figure out what functions are safe to do online?

Ben Carson may be able to do such a thing, and just in time. Representative Walberg has been very concerned about the problems with the Tax system and the IRS.


There is a sudden debate on a proposal to replace Hamilton on the ten dollar bill. The obvious suggestion that Andrew Jackson be replaced has also been proposed. Long ago, we suggested booting Madison up from the 5000 dollar bill to the twenty. Grant too may be vulnerable, while Franklin on the 100 is solid. McKinley and Cleveland, on the 500 and 1000, might also be open to review, as well as Chase and Wilson, on the ten and one hundred thousand.

It is an interesting question which woman might be chosen from American history for a place on a bill. Pocahontas and Susan B Anthony have already been on a dollar coin, and of course, there was once Liberty on many coins. Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton come to mind, Sarah Grimke. and Eleanor Roosevelt. We could have Maggie Thatcher, but she’s not even our guy!

Facial Recognition Technology and Facebook

It is time the people get a hold of this internet. We just heard the public Radio Show “On Point,” on the question of the new technology. The occasion is that privacy advocates walked out of talks last week on the question of whether companies ought be allowed to use facial recognition to track us without our consent. As usual, my position is that we cannot foresee or imagine the harms that will come from any other principle than that we are the owners of information about ourselves. But it is not even safe to allow the use of facial recognition with consent. We simply are not thinking, once again, and are bound to run into the consequences. The example of the facial recognition of children ought be “enough said,” as Ben Carson might say. So what about the elderly, beautiful women, police, public servants, government officials? Is it ok with us if Facebook tracks these persons? We, the citizens need to insist that congress say no to these companies, and stop prostituting the rights, liberties and security that our nation and our founders went to such trouble to provide.

Why is there not a competitor to Facebook that practices integrity and respects the customer’s privacy? To spy on another is a hostile act. What if we do that to the owners of these companies, until they understand? I’m sure the owner allows just anyone to track him and collect his information. Then we will see what they have to hide. But that would be a hostile act. But we need to boycott Facebook until they learn how to treat their customers. If the companies had to pay us when they prostitute us, They would surely be less inclined to place us in dangerous circumstances for their own profit. We are the owners of our faces. Our privacy extends into the public, because our souls and minds are not public. If they do not believe us, they may believe a future congress. If your company takes this from me and my fellow citizens, especially without consent, we have a problem.

As usual, the lobbyists for the information industry emphasize the convenience and security that can result from the new technology. They want this to appear like every other question of the new technology. How useful it might be if everyone were tracked from morning till night in all their movements, we could end crime! And who needs oversight!

It is time we get a hold of this internet thing. We insist on the American Bill of Rights. Push back. Survey Surveillance. Restore ownership of ourselves to ourselves, and secure liberty for our nation. Industry better get on board, or we, the voters, must sweep them and the panders of our liberties in congress quite away.

We are encouraged to contact our state representative about a law similar to Illinois.

Ben Carson for President

As a centrist libertarian, we are supporting Ben Carson, so far, for the presidency in 2016. As a neurosurgeon, he does seem to be the steady hand on the scalpel of budget cuts as well as foreign policy, at a very crucial time. He was an independent until recently joining the Republicans for the election. He emphasizes bipartisan solutions, noting that the bald eagle is able to soar because it has both a left and a right wing. He also taught me that the meaning of “bald” here comes from the old English word piebald, meaning crowned with white. Having become discouraged in looking for candidates who had even read the Constitution, Declaration and fundamental documents of American Government, we are pleased to find one that is properly our teacher on American History, and a few other things as well. He showed me that the line of Jeremiah, saying that the prophet was known in the womb, also appears in Psalm 139. It is not quite clear, though, that he appreciates the distinction between the fetus and the born child in Exodus 21, where to kill a child is murder, but to cause a miscarriage results only in a fine. Still, it is clear that in Mosaic law, the fetus is something, while in American law the unborn have fewer rights than many animals. He has read the Proverbs extensively, though curiously he does not mention, in the book One Nation, the key passage in Chapter 3 about wisdom as a tree of life (3:16-17; 4:8-9). He also leaves out Solomon’s prayer for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9-14), which, along with his strange fate, is the crucial thing about Solomon in our reading. Nor does he seem to appreciate the meaning of the poverty of Jesus and Socrates, but is much too quick to assume the oligarchic identification of wealth with wisdom, the ability to manage a business with the ability to govern. But he is involved in education, and understands the importance of education to a self governing people. And he is able to ask:

As a society, are we free if we tolerate intimidation by government agencies like the IRS?Are we free if we allow the NSA to illegally search and seize our private documents without cause (p. 206)?

Is he then the only candidate beside Rand Paul who is not afraid to oppose the agencies he will be supposed to govern? He seems, then, most likely to support my other pet critical issues, opposing the special interests in campaign finance reform and even prescription drug abuse (though I am waiting to hear his position on that), internet integrity, property seizures, and police brutality. He seems to look to a flat tax, modeled on the Biblical tithe, for tax system reform. That itself will free up one tenth of the GNP from tax filing and accounting companies, to be set to more constructive use. Not every successful business produces a real product or real wealth, or add value. Some produce nothing more than dealing with bureaucracy that is unnecessary to begin. And does Mr. Carson see how the control of politics by the rich and corporate interests prevents the growth of a middle class? What effect does property seizure have on a poor household? Try to start a business on the internet, and everything is controlled to serve the information brokers, with our government’s blessing. Or what effect to gain an education and be denied a career because affirmative action says you are the wrong sort of person? Or what effect to be accused of crimes when violating the rights of no one? And be captured by a judicial system based on further fleecing the poor. Ah, but we know, the rich do not want to hear it, and we have only ourselves to blame for poverty: nutz! Remove the obstacles government itself, controlled by oligarchs one term and demagogues the next, has placed in our way, then come to tell us there is no such thing as good and bad fortune, but we are ourselves responsible, and the lucky shyster, who sets the pursuit of money above all else, wise. But Mr. Carson may himself be our best chance to removing these obstacles and rescuing the possibility of a middle class.

Opposition to his candidacy will come fro m those he calls the “secular progressives.” The serious objections I have heard are mostly for his extreme opposition to President Obama. We like the attempt to set individual responsibility into the health care system, and see disaster looming if the insurance companies and the drug companies decide what government health care will pay. We want the fifty percent fraud rate in food stamps to be addressed, even while expanding the program to feed the poor and cover genuine basic needs. We are not approaching a 17 trillion dollar deficit from feeding the poor, but from the fraud and corruption that result from the single minded honoring of wealth in our superficial portrait of the “American Dream.” If one is on disability or medicare, one was prevented from supplementing their income, say, with a vegetable stand. And can the unemployed poor not do a little gardening? Oh, but we had to allow Monsanto to control seeds and destroy the honeybees, so now we will have to be content with food stamps, with organized crime cashing half of them in!

The abilities required of a person by the U. S. presidency are truly staggering. It is amazing that persons of any sort rise to this position. Yet the job itself seems to make the persons greater than we would otherwise be. Ben Carson has much to say about humility, and is himself the writer of a proverb, that we might “step out of the center of the circle,” and to “take oneself out of the center of the circle (pp. 16, 20).” While this is no guarantee that he will not be corrupted by so powerful a position, the suggestion is that here we have a better chance than with one incapable of entertaining such a thought. And He may inspire us to fiscal responsibility!

So at this early phase of the presidential primary, we are prepared to envision Mr. Carson dressed in a Revolutionary war suit with a ponderous English whig. He knows what the Star Spangled Banner means!

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy in a strawberry

Poison ivy in a strawberry

“Leaves of three, let it be,”

unless its a tree or raspberry.

Every year about this time, we end up getting poison Ivy. This year, I was attacking some on the edge of the garden, where a visiting four year old was playing. To pull poison ivy, we get a garbage bag in one hand and a grocery bag in the other, contacting the leaves and stems only with the inside of the bags. Then we can pull the vines out from their base. But one always gets carried away, and the oil gets on shoes and the cuffs of pants. I collected a whole garbage bag full, and got some on my hands and face from a hole in the grocery bag. I was worried that I had breathed some, and it should be well known that if one burns a pile of brush, the poison ivy fumes can cause suffocation by inflaming the lungs in the allergic reaction. This happened to an old friend’s wife, driving down Ford road one day when they were burning brush. She was hospitalized, and nearly died.

The best way to remove poison ivy is to employ goats, who love to eat the stuff. This sounds terrible, but goats, like one in twenty people, are not allergic to poison ivy at all. Goat owners might even rent them out for the purpose.

The best method of treating the skin is a drawing salve concocted from a mixture of corn starch and egg white, with a little peroxide thrown in to counter bacteria from the egg, and vinegar to melt the oil. As the paste dries on the skin, it draws the oil out. An acquaintance long ago found the recipe on the internet. This paste can then be washed off when it dries, and reapplied as the oil seeps out of the skin. It is a bit messy as it flakes off, but well worth the trouble. To wet the skin with Vinegar works to break the oil, and stops the itch within a few minutes, much better than calamine lotion. Jewel weed, an orange flowered plant that grows in swamps, is a natural remedy used in many over the counter salves. We learned this from Mrs. Emrick, who learned it from her husband Paul, who learned it from the Indians in Ohio. My sister makes an extract suspended in alcohol, which then can be stored in a bottle. One might add aloe and vitamin E cream to get fancy. But the key above all is to dissolve the oil on the surface with soap and vinegar, and then draw out what oil has gone into the skin. Antihistamines like Benedryl might also help, since it is an allergic reaction.

Once my friend had ivy in his tennis shoes. The doctor did not figure out, and treated him for athlete’s foot. I guessed it from having seen so much of the stuff.

Lawn Farming

In America, we spend this astronomical amount of money and effort growing lawns. It is said that this comes from the experience of the great plains somehow, and it is nice to have the grass cut in the places that we walk. It is for many a kind of yard art, the semblance of a liberal art, to have well trimmed bushes and edged sidewalks, and in the communities it is in part an obligation But this investment is a bit embarrassing from a world perspective, or even as a way to spend the GNP. So we might rethink it.

Everyone in the burbs has a lawn tractor, in the upper middle class, and a lawn service in the upper class. Lots of adolescent entrepreneurs started good businesses on lawn care, and now they buzz and blitz through neighborhoods with these super-dexterous machines, and then do edging, and then blow the grass off pavement. Huge lanscaping companies reap a fortune selling yard trees that produce nothing, bushes without berries, because people do not want the mess of fruit. Why not substitute gleaner companies and neighborhood projects to add to the store of food for security and charity? And we would then have something to do for the kids, when they are not playing baseball games between the subdivision teams. Sub Urban farming.

We cut away a lot of good things, and people have just lately begun to save the wildflowers, having heard about the trouble of the butterflies and bees. The problem, again, with GMO’s in maybe not so much chemical or biological as it is ecosystemical: The GMO- pesticide system is really very dangerous done wrongly, and the harms cannot be foreseen. The Monsanto-Roundup system seems to have caused the butterflies and bees to disappear, and we ought consider hormonal poisons when we use lawn weed killers. Turns out we were managing the ecosystems without knowing it, and it is not surprising that a blind driver will go off the road, or that the result would be disastrous. But maybe the ecosystem, with a little help, can recover. Yet I would not get my compost from the city compost lot of lawn clippings, at least until we make clean piles.

So, what if a group something like the gleaners, who collect and distribute food, what if a group would persuade these conscientious trash re-cyclers to devote a quarter, or even an eighth of each area under cultivation in lawn farming rather to some food crop suited to the purpose, say wheats or soybeans, or sugar beets, whatever turns out to fit the program. Sunflowers might be nice in the wasted spaces between the lots. Yesterday, we wondered if a grass might be grown short, to have the seed down low, or some other way of combining the ideas of lawn and produce. The surplus, after expenses, might even be stored or sent to places that happen to be short on food, like Nepal in the earthquake or places of war and drought. If one in one hundred lawn farmers would take them up on it, the effect might be significant. Such a thing could become very fun and fashionable, like compost piles have become over the past ten years.

This appeared because every year, about May and June, I much regret the time spent farming the lawn, when I could be planting raspberries or grafting fruit trees, cleaning the garage and shed, or working on the roofs, or making strawberry rhubarb pie. Some of it, too, I’d be sure to muse away.

Viagra and Prescription Drug Abuse

Viagra is a fine example of prescription drug abuse, of the sort that will make a joke out of our efforts to institute a national health care. Ever since Bob Dole, then the leading Republican candidate for president, was enlisted to break the embarrassment and taboo against discussing these matters, we have not been able to consider the Republican party with complete seriousness. Americans now just assume that this sort of thing is central to the meaning of happiness, and, as usual, American medicine and psychology follow in the chorus to sing along. Just yesterday, there was a serious discussion in the halls of congress about the need for a female version of the same thing. The American drug companies are cashing in, and soon Obamacare will be taxed with supporting this most serious issue in American politics and medicine. News agencies will barely report that heart problems have been linked to Viagra. But if any funding could be found for a scientific study, we suspect that circulatory corruption would be only the beginning of the harmful side effects of this profitable drug. If the matter could be studied, it would be found that Viagra is linked to an increase in pedophilia. Common sense, upon reflection, might easily know that the last we want to do with the perverse American honoring of sex is to jack these drooling codgers up with artificially increased appetite. We need only suggest an hypothesis to be tested: that ninety percent of the time that pedophiles are arrested, legal or illegal Viagra or some other form of these enhancers will also be found. And do we really want the High School gymnastics teacher to be taking Viagra, and perhaps conducting practice in his four hour mode? The stupidity of Americans is just astonishing, layed bare on certain points of great contradiction like these. Do not worry, though, the gymnastics and swimming coaches have been drug tested, and do not smoke!

It is difficult not to fall into comic sarcasm without spelling out explanations that perhaps would not need to be given if America were not attempting to go the way of imperial Rome as the great city was entering its most corrupt phase. The comedian Dennis Miller once joked, “See Alice!” He also noted that if he were possessed of a four hour long erection, the last person he would call is his doctor. So it is clear after all that these companies are very concerned about the side effects, far more than advertising! But hey, just don’t smoke weed! It is against the law. It is the promotion of Viagra and the psychiatric drugs without a scientific basis and in disregard of the consequences that makes a joke out of American drug prohibition. The drug companies, paying off our politicians and probably organized crime as well, are laughing all the way to the bank, while American public opinion cows along, and the American people are again fleeced, the dupe of another very simple strategy to profit while corrupting our nation. But ask those Republicans the first indication of one suitable for high office, and they will assure you that it is that he is rich. This is called “success,” a demonstration that one has the ability to manage men, and the fulfillment of the American dream. Perhaps the swindler who devised the prescription drug system would be for them a suitable candidate. We are still, cautiously, supporting Ben Carson, though we have not heard that he agrees on this issue. Perhaps he cannot afford to agree.

The Hippocratic oath requires that medicine be used only to heal. Jean-Jocques Rousseau wrote that he would not take his Emile’ to the doctor unless he is dying, for in that case they can do no harm. The truth is that it is imprudent to take any prescription drugs unless very necessary for a clear and definite reason, because the side effects and the drug interactions cannot be controlled or even known. One would think that the medical doctors would be the first to say this, but it is in reality left to the philosophers, because the doctors are the art of practicing the art of money-making above medicine. In Plato’s Republic, the topic of medicine enters the dialogue as an example of an art that gives what is owed or what is fitting.  When discussing old age, again in the first book of Plato’s Republic, Socrates relates how he was present when someone asked the aged Sophocles if he could still have intercourse with a woman. “Silence, man,” he said. “Most joyfully did I escape it, as though I had run away from a sort of frenzied and savage master.”

WordPress Controls Speech by Holding “Likes” “In House,” and Controls Access to the Internet

Following the new executive agencies, private businesses too can disregard the constitution, in effect setting up their own countries within their domains, where there is no Bill of Rights. What began with drug testing and telemarketing has blossomed into setting up webpages where it appears that one can start a business, only to find that they are captured and prostituted without regard to their little businesses. After being told I was wrong for some six months, it turns out that no one can “like” my pages or posts without signing up for WordPress. Wordpress staff have said this is “impossible,” because likes at word press are “in house.” In house is of course a euphemism, or a nice way of saying that they are selling access to likes, and there is nothing we can do about it, because they do not have to observe the First Amendment unless they find it profitable. When complaining about the lack of access to my writings on the internet through search engines, I was asked how much I was willing to spend to fix the problem, and presented a sliding scale. I have many words, you see, and it is mathematically impossible that these come up so rarely in searches. Most of my traffic is word of mouth, though the engines must still be used to access the website. When one types in mmcdonald77, I get “unknown search terms,” where otherwise, the terms entered show up. Google controls searches, is practicing monopoly tactics to exclude competition, and this is being allowed, we suspect, because Google is apparently indeed a “search engine,” in the sense of FBI search, and would have been limited by the Fourth Amendment back when we had a Bill of Rights. Google is being used by our government to collect information, in exchange for winking at monopoly tactics, or at least that is how this appears, and we welcome Google to deny this and set us straight with the truth, but they will not. In the WordPress Forum, under “Likes and comments are being inhibited,” there is a discussion I had with staff, which anyone can see. Someone else seems to be controlling comments, though they admit to controlling “likes, ” and have in the past admitted controlling access. Where comments follow likes, these too are inhibited, when visitors decide they did not want to comment badly enough to share their information with Google. The writing and editing function does not work well on Yahoo, so one is chanelled in yet another way to the compulsory Google. WordPress, though, is shaking down my visitors for information they can use, and could not care less whether I “upgrade.” All this Congress does not care about, the FBI is too busy with our information to look in to, and we have no access to lawyers or the courts, so these things will continue. Europe charged Google some 8 Billion dollars for antitrust violations, though the story was hushed up in America. While we still have the appearance of courts, they might lose a First Amendment case, if someone, or a class action, were capable of getting the case before a Judge. But what is most likely is that we will simply have to go on, sick from too many cookies, and from having been taken in our hopes to pay back loans by selling books. I spent seven years writing two books on topics that would sell. Have fun paying back my loans! The national debt is over 16 trillion dollars.

In the name of national pride and security, lets put a stop to these things, before WordPress finds their business environment looking like Syria or Moscow. Our executive agencies, both foreign and domestic, cannot answer as to what the difference is between policing or CIA/FBI-ing in a free country and a tyranny, and will soon be unburdened of that annoying distinction.

We are supporting Rand Paul and Ben Carson.

The U. S. dollar is based on trust, and will collapse from a lack of trust if these things continue. But business does not discriminate against rubles!

And I am still waiting for the one called “Timetheif” to set me straight. She apparently has no response unless she takes me down an alley to which I “subscribe,” and then I can see what wordstaff press are saying to control damage. Forget about it! No one cares. Besides, we control access! With no free speech, he’s just talking to himself. He won’t get six views of a blog on that, because Americans do not read or think, and are slaves to money in the short term, and do not care about tyranny in the future.

Next time you present the sliding scale in exchange for access, consider to whom you are presenting it. A droid cannot make these fine distinctions.

NPR Show “On the Media,” on the Patriot Act and Executive Order 12333

While Congress debated the Patriot Act, and Rand Paul led his solitary Filibuster, NPR ran a show that confirmed the basic attitude that it does not matter what Congress does or says, because the executive agencies will do what they want anyway. The reasoning that dominates these agencies is that national security justifies absolutely anything, replacing the Constitution and all rule of law, though certain formalities must be followed to hold up the appearances. The Patriot Act never justified the bulk collection of phone records, and phone call content has been available to our government without limit at least since the program called Eschelon, which used British intelligence to search phone calls. I have not been able to speak to my friend from Israel, a U. S. citizen, even when he is on U. S. soil, without an interfering echo, for quite some time.

The show also played a scene from Mayberry RFD which showed how Americans used to view the matter. Opey had recorded a conversation between a lawyer and client, and Andy erased it, explaining that though it may be useful information, the ability to gain a fair trial requires that the attorney-client relation be considered sacred. Foreign policy has led America to set aside the Fourth Amendment in domestic matters as well. The effect reach into business, as we are no longer willing to set limits on information brokering, and, as we have argued, this will prove tragic, when the collection of information from top to bottom leaves us in effect spying on ourselves for foreign governments.

We never cared about the rights of non-U. S. citizens, allowing that the executive of the U. S. may do anything, just or unjust, to non- U. S. citizens. This too will prove tragic.

The reasoning of the executive branch, that whatever they want to do saves lives, and so is justified and should be allowed, also justifies a fake attack to change opinion, saving lives in the long term when we recognize that liberty is outmoded, and only tyranny can assure security. The executive, it turns out, does understand the argument about long term as opposed to short term interests. This is the supreme tragic result, and it is only one event away. No attacks have been demonstrably thwarted yet using the unconstitutional “tools,” though one may now occur, and will surely be used to clinch the argument.