Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Comcast - Xfinity Nightmare



If you're thinking of dealing with Xfinity/Comcast, maybe you should look elsewhere if you have any other options. They have printed at the bottom of an email they sent me “Expect Superior Service.”
If you should fall victim to such expectation you will be bitterly disappointed.

For the past several years I had been using Clear Internet, but the company was bought out and shut down. Xfinity/Comcast is available in my area, so I called them about service. They asked if I currently had cable and I told them I did not.

They said I could get 3mps (or something like that) service for $19.99 per month and a $59.95 installation fee. I called back a week or so later and went through the rigamarole of qualifying. I was given the figure of $87.00 for my first bill.

I was sent an email on December 14, 2015 telling me that the installer would come by between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M. the next day. As it so happened, I got a call about 9:30 saying that the installer couldn't arrive until 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. so I was going to get a $20.00 credit.

Around 6:00 or so the guy showed up and noted that I didn't have a cable. I told him that the company had asked me if I had cable and I told him I didn't. He estimated the approximate distance that they would have to run the cable at ¼ mile and called in to advise that they needed to send the construction crew to run the cable because of the distance. When he got off the phone I asked him how long it would be before the construction crew ran the cable and he said “About a week.”

I didn't see or hear anything else from them so I called on January 5, 2016 and was told that somehow the job had been put on hold, but that they were going to change the deal to 5mps for $9.95 per month for the first year. January 10, 2016 I got another email scheduling the installation for the following day from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. I got a call that the guy could come early, which was fine, but when he arrived he said something about my not having a cable and I told him that the first guy had already advised them of that. He tried to run the cable, but thought that is was too far, so he called a supervisor who came out and measured the distance which was something like 350 feet, not the ¼ mile that the first guy had estimated and advised the company about. They stayed about 2 hours or so and took pictures or video and did a lot of talking on the phone. The supervisor said they needed to send the construction crew (which I already knew by this time) and that they would advise. Later that day a bucket truck from Comcast showed up, which I assumed had something to do with the construction crew, but when I walked toward him he drove off without saying anything.

I went in and called Xfinty/Comcast and was told that they would send somebody the next day. January 12, 2016. Next day around 2:00 P.M. a guy showed up and couldn't do it because I needed a “tap” which of course the company already knew, but kept wasting my time and the time of its subcontractors. I went back in and called to advise that they needed somebody that knows something about scheduling and coordination so that there is some minimum level of efficiency and competence.
January 14, 2016 a guy came around 10:55 A.M. and measured the distance again and told me it would be $468.00 to run the line.

Around Noon I called and got somebody named Lequan or something like that who could tell me nothing except that he would have the construction people call me. I told him I didn't need them, I wanted somebody who had some decision making power, but all he could do is to say repeatedly that he would have them “give me a call.” My biggest question was why the price went from $50.00 to $468.00 after they already knew the distance (actually the distance was much less than the ¼ the first guy had told them) they would have to run the cable. Why did they keep sending out people who didn't have the capability to do the job? After the first installer came, the company knew what the situation was.

I finally decided to call Clark Howard's help line ( 404-892-8227, M-F, 10am-7pm ET.) and they gave me the number (215 665-1700) of the Comcast Corporate Office. They probably should see if they can get the first three numbers clanged to 666 instead of 665, but that's for them to decide.

I called the office of the president and got somebody named Mariah who said she would assign it to somebody who would call me the next before 12:00 Noon. About 11:30 the next day somebody named Sam called and said she would investigate it and get back the next week, but that she had 60 cases so it might take several days, but to send her the email quoting the price, which I did. She gave me her direct number (615 874-7471) and told me she worked between 11:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Below is my fruitless correspondence with Sam G. with case number etc. omitted.

Sam: Here is the January 5, 2016 email. The first man came on the 15th of December and said he couldn't install it because the connection was about 1/4 mile away. This was sent after that (obviously), but the second man they sent (and the third) all had the same capability as the first. This is in reference to ESL ******. I hope you can read this as this is all typing on one line for some reason





To: Sullivan

Jan 21 at 8:14 PM

Dear Chris Sullivan,
I wanted to follow up with you regarding your request for new service. I had a chance to review the information that you provided regarding the installation charges. The $50 installation charge that was referenced in the letter only referred to the installation of your service inside the home. However, the quote that was provided of the $907 amount involves rebuilding on the outside of your property in order to make your address serviceable. Once that amount has been satisfied then the construction department can begin the process of rebuilding at your property to make it serviceable.
Comcast strives to provide outstanding customer service and I appreciate your bringing this matter to my attention.

Regards,
Sam G.
Executive Customer Relations
Comcast | Big South Region
Office: 615-874-7471 /615-750-8953
Office Hours: Tue - Sat: 11am -8pm (CT)

To: Sam G.

If this is the case I should have been told that after the first person came in December. Why did they keep sending people who couldn't do the job? Why did they quote a price of $50.00 after the first installer had advised them of the situation?
Comcast has wasted over a month of my time and several hours of its sub-contractor's time. There seems to be an unbelievable level of incompetence in the scheduling and installation departments...
As far as the $907.00 quote, this is the first I've heard of it.

I got no response.

As a post script, I have no complaints about the sub contractors they sent out. All were unaware of the situation and had no way to deal with it. When I mentioned the incompetence of the office people one of the guys looked disgusted and said something like "Yeah, it's the people in the office." 
I had a modem that I had bought at Walmart which I returned. When I mentioned Comcast at the return desk the clerk launched into a diatribe about how they had made a mess of her bill and was charging her for something (a phone, I think) she didn't even have.

Sunday, December 6, 2015



Planet Of The Slaves


Mendax News Service

I must be one of the very few people who has never seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies, but around the same time of the first one there was a commercial failure made called Planet of the Slaves.

If I remember correctly it was produced by Milton Mayer, with a screenplay by Lysander Spooner and starred a B-grade actor named Robert Nozick who plays the protagonist W. L “Bill” Garrison.

Garrison and his band land on a planet that is governed by a kakistocracy of omnicompetent – or so they think – men. The people seem happy and brag to the visitors about their freedom and how they have all kinds of rights that are protected and enumerated by their foundational charter. The visitors discover that the people of the planet are known as the Snacirema and that they are hospitable to strangers, but easily herded into a sort of unanimity of thought. There are a few independent thinkers, but they are derided as “Nockites” or “Remnantists.”

After a few days of intermingling, Garrison becomes convinced that all the supposed rights and freedoms the Snacirema brag about are illusory, in fact he becomes convinced that they are slaves.

His first inkling is when Ollie Holmes, one of the people he has befriended mentions that he has to send the government part of his wages or he will be jailed or have his property seized. Garrison is incredulous, but Holmes explains that it's only one percent and that it is the price of civilization. Garrison tries to explain that it isn't the amount that makes him a slave, it's the fact that the government has a superior claim to the fruits of his labor. Holmes is unconvinced.

A few days later, Garrison discovers that the people are compelled to send their children to school and that the government operates a huge network of schools that teach many things that the parents find repugnant. There are some people who teach their children at home and there are a few private schools, but they aren't free like the government schools.

The Snacirema maintain an enormous military with land, sea and air forces in which boys are required to register for service in if called. The chances of actually being called are very small since the whole apparatus is for defense, not aggression, and they haven't been attacked in over seventy years. Still, Garrison doesn't see how compulsory service is compatible with the freedom he keeps hearing about.

One day, as Holmes is taking Garrison to see the Thomas W. Wilson Memorial, they are stopped by a Compliance Officer – sort of like police – for not paying alimony and not having insurance. Garrison asks the officer how he knew that Holmes hadn't paid alimony and the officer explains that there are tag reading cameras everywhere that alert the officer if someone is “out of compliance.” After they are on their way again Garrison tells Holmes that he doesn't see how mass surveillance is compatible with freedom. Holmes explains that it's no big deal if you have nothing to hide and that he'll get matter resolved.

The next day Garrison finds that there is a meeting of Nockites at the Horatio Bunce Auditorium that night. He decides to go and see what their opinions are, but he can't persuade Holmes to accompany him since they are viewed as kooks, so he has to go alone.

When he gets there he sees that it's a very small group and they all seem to know each other and suspect he's some kind of spy or agent provocateur. He explains that he is from another planet and is only studying their beliefs and customs. A man named Fishel Chodorovic introduces himself as one of the group's founders and launches into a litany of objections to the way the planet is run and explains that the people are slaves without chains.

Garrison doesn't contradict Chodorovic, but asks him why he thinks as he does since most of the people seem to be perfectly happy or at least accepting of the situation.

Chodorovic responds that the people are bound with mental chains almost from birth and that they are firmly fastened by the compulsory school system which those in charge style “education.”

Garrison: Why don't the people just refuse to send their children to be indoctrinated?

Chodorovic: Most of the people not only don't object, they think it's a good idea to have compulsory schooling and if the parents don't send the children the children will be taken away and become wards of the state. The people are inured to control by everything they see and hear. Is something harmful? Outlaw it, or license it. There is a license for everything. Do you want to get married? You need a license. Do you want to braid hair? You need a license. Do you want to grow tobacco or peanuts? You need a license. You need a license to do everything: sell real estate, carry a gun, practice medicine, operate a motor vehicle, fly a plane, operate a business, practice law, sell used cars, cash checks, put up a sign, hold a garage sale, hunt or fish, dance in a strip club, sell alcohol, operate a boiler, sell firearms, sell insurance, ad infinitum. Then there are permits which are licenses by another name, building permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits, tree-cutting permits, etc. There are also requirements that you do as you're told: wear your seat belt, buy insurance on your car, buy medical insurance, keep your grass cut below a designated height, tag your car and your dog. The people have accepted control over everything.

The control is so complete that politicians seeking office promise to cut income taxes or “reform” the code, but never to eliminate and forbid income taxation. It is taken for granted that government has first claim on all income and can raise or lower its share at will.

There are prohibitions against having certain plants because somebody thinks you might do something harmful with them. Imagine that, outlawing plants! There are also certain drugs and treatments you aren't allowed to use because they are “unapproved.” The great god government has decreed that you can't use them, so needless to say they aren't covered under your mandatory insurance.

Garrison: That does sound like government is more intrusive than I had heard, but how does it keep track of who's doing what?

Chodorovic: Everybody is required to send in a tax return with their address and an identifying number unless they didn't have any “taxable income.” To claim dependents, each one also has to have a number.
To open a bank account you need a number and the banks have to report any “suspicious activity.”
It's considered suspicious if you structure you banking transactions to avoid being reported.
There are tag readers that record your location and time. All of your mail is photographed front and back. All of your electronic communications are intercepted and stored. It's not known if it's being done, but you could be tracked and recorded continuously by having a phone on you.

Garrison: Do you think it's possible to reverse this?

Chodorovic: It's an uphill battle, but if I could do one thing with the wave of a magic wand it would be to forbid government involvement of any kind in schooling. No compulsion, no certification, no textbook advice, no grants of money or property, no teacher licensing, no tax credits, no nothing. And if I had a second wave of the wand I would utterly forbid any taxation of income from whatever source derived. Without funding there can be no tyranny.

Garrison: Well, I've got to be leaving for home tomorrow, but if I ever get back to Earth I'm going to see how you're progressing – or regressing – with your program of deconstruction.

Chodorovic: It's at least a fifty-year project.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Building A Bug Out Bag



Bug Out bags used to be an item unfamiliar to most people, nowadays there are any number of sites selling ready-made bug out bags, and lots of others advising what to put in one.

Some of the advice as to what to include seems premised on the idea that the person bugging out is going to have motorized transport or a covered wagon with a yoke of oxen to pull it. There is so much stuff that a person couldn't possibly carry it any distance.

The most likely scenario that I see myself bugging out from is some sort of disaster (natural, financial, social) where the government is going to take charge and help everybody by corralling them in the Super Dome or its equivalent. This is to be avoided at all costs.

In such a situation it would be advisable to head for the woods unless you have a mountain cabin or beach house or something similar, in which case you wouldn't need much of a bug out bag. With this in mind I present my idea as to what I think is necessary, or at least very useful.
A few items in the bag. Note double-sheave pulley blocks, salt and small file.





 My number one priority is fire starting and I have lots of redundancy in that department. My bag has waterproof matches, magnifying glass, magnesium fire starter, Bic multi-purpose lighter, vaseline coated cotton balls and a can of Sterno. The Sterno can be used for starting stubborn material or for cooking on. Sterno is also available in a plastic bottle, but it seems more likely to be punctured in that form and lacks the cooking option.

For a cutting implement I have an Estwing carpenter's hatchet. The reason for this is that it is all steel and is almost indestructible. The carpenter's hatchet has a hammer head on the backside and a nail puller in the blade. The hammer head works much better than using the back side of a conventional hatchet. A machete would also be useful, but I haven't found one that I think is worth buying.
Popeil's Pocket Fisherman

Back in the '70s, Ron Popeil proclaimed it "The fishing invention of the century!" which probably overstated things a bit, but the Pocket Fisherman is almost tailor made for an emergency fishing expedient. Shakespeare makes a telescoping rod called "Travel Mate" which
might be as good or better, but takes up more space. A gill net is also very useful.

I have three leg-hold traps which will provide you with more game than a days worth of hunting. These are suitable for catching possum, raccoon, coyotes, bobcats and other small game. It is very socially unacceptable to have leg-hold traps so they will almost certainly have to be purchased online.

Traps never sleep and they don't make any noise like a gunshot, which could be very important. I think it makes sense to have as many of these as you can reasonably carry.

Everybody has paracord and so do I, but I have included two small double-sheave pulley blocks. These vastly increase a person's pulling power and weigh almost nothing.

Salt, Stanley cooker and cups.
Stanley makes a handy little stainless steel cooker with two plastic nesting cups. The cooker has a top and a folding handle. I don't like plastic, but it won't break which is an advantage over glass and it doesn't conduct heat when you're trying to drink out of it which metal cups do.

An 8 X 10' heavy duty tarp is useful for many things. Larger might be better, but larger means heavier. The standard tarps are pretty well worthless since they tear easily. The HD is twice as heavy, but it's better than twice as good.

A Melitta filter cone with filters found its way into the bag for at least two reasons. The obvious one is that it can be used to make coffee with, but it can also be used to filter (not purify) water to remove sediment, bugs and whatever else won't pass through it.

US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76 should probably be in anybody's bag unless he's Jim Bridger or an Indian Chief.

Almost everybody advises carrying enough water to cross the Sahara desert, but since I'm in Georgia, water is not a problem at all. All I need is a way to purify it. It seems that people forget that water is very heavy and if you carry enough to drink in one or two days, you can't carry anything else. At 8.34 pounds per gallon, it doesn't take many gallons to add up. As far as edibles, I have a few cans of sardines and some MREs, but food is really another thing. This bag is devoted to tools.

A multi-tool is super handy (even if you aren't bugging out) and I have an old Gerber 300, I think it is. It's very good, but I've had it about 15 years and most of Gerber's products have declined drastically in quality, although I don't know that the multi-tools have. Leatherman makes a 'Super Tool 300" that looks good, but I haven't used one. A general rule in almost anything is, don't buy cheap junk. I can never remember an occasion when I was using a tool and wished I'd bought the cheaper one.

Most of the other stuff in the bag is pretty conventional. A military signal mirror, P38 can opener, bottle of Excedrine, hydrogen peroxide, 2 wash rags, a bar of Fels-Naptha soap, which is a laundry soap, but is useful for washing off poison ivy and also seems to help somewhat on bug bites, iodine, honey, dental floss, needles, small file, Repel insect repellant (DEET free), box of salt, 150 feet of MIG wire, 1 sheet of emery cloth, small flashlight, compass, plastic bottle with graduations, small bottle of bleach, slingshot, bottle of DMSO, cheap gloves with plastic coated palms and fingers, comb, tweezers, disposable razor, colloidal silver, 2 carabiners and a small flip open mirror with a standard mirror and a magnifying mirror for getting stuff out of the eye.

There should also be a high quality knife for skinning and dressing fish and game. Lots of modern knives look like something out of a Boris Vallejo painting rather than a useful tool. Avoid "fantasy" junk. The salt is useful for seasoning, preserving game and as a wound disinfectant. Honey can also be used on cuts and wounds as well as sweetening the coffee that you make with your filter cone.

Although I don't have any guns in the bag, it's good to keep in mind that a common caliber is the practical thing to have. Any .22 LR and a .308 Winchester or 30/06 would serve well. Since I'm in Georgia, dangerous game isn't a problem and most game can be killed with a .22 LR, but for deer, hogs and black bear the .30s would be useful.  Lots and lots of people have some firearm that fires .223 Remington, but it's way more than you need for squirrels, coons, possum, rabbit, etc. and not very good for hogs, deer or bear.  You might have a .264 Win. Mag. or a .257 Roberts that you shoot really well, but forget about finding ammo in an ordinary store selling ammo. Also keep in mind that the centerfires attract a whole lot more attention than the rimfires. A shotgun would be nice, but the ammo is bulky and heavy. If you have a bug out partner it might be reasonable for one of you to have a shotgun.

Coleman makes a skillet with a folding handle, but it has a non-stick surface which I don't want and it has very mixed reviews, so I'm leaning toward the much heavier (3 lbs.) 8" cast iron skillet. Coleman also makes an emergency blanket and poncho, both about the size of a cigarette package, but much thinner. Emergency is the key word here. You wouldn't want this to be your primary gear.

If you have pre-selected a place or places to go, it would be a good idea to have a topographical map of the area. It would also be a good idea to go there (assuming it's legal) and camp to familiarize yourself with the area, game and vegetation. The compass and map will come in handy if the battery dies in your Magellan.

This is a project that will never be completely "tuned." If you have any ideas (and why they're good) I'd like to hear them.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Anti-War Songs

This will be a continuing work, I think

Londonderry Air or Danny Boy - Judith Durham
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnLnwWjrIyk

Willie McBride or The Green Fields of France
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVE5d2PLWP0

Johnny I Hardly Knew You - The Irish Rovers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFUTHcjiZGo

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VktJNNKm3B0&feature=youtu.be - The Irish Tenors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFCekeoSTwg - Liam Clancy

Universal Soldier
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGWsGyNsw00 - Buffy Sainte-Marie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC9pc4U40sI - Donovan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMo3p17W10E - Glen Campbell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3fP-soxB7Q - Scruggs & Flatt

Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMUBWKJ5A_0

The Forgotten Soldier Boy - The Monroe Brothers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPx9EFEZLcM

War - Edwin Star
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQHUAJTZqF0

I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier - The Peerless Quartet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C2qOAgMCl4

I Ain't Marching Anymore - Phil Ochs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=62&v=gv1KEF8Uw2k

The Americanization of Emily - "War is not moral" clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reUstMn4bM8
 
Simple Song of Freedom - Bobby Darin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ1ohsissjE

Gordon Lightfoot - The Patriot's Dream(Original Studio Recording).wmv
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b6QA4CtQUM

Country Joe McDonald - I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W7-ngmO_p8

Southampton Dock - Pink Floyd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-EFiDLPjM8

Black Sabbath - War Pigs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4FuqVbwifk

One Tin Soldier - The Original Caste [Original]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTBx-hHf4BE

30 Days Back - The White Buffalo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfIF-3KlPsE

Joey White - The White Buffalo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHBEkPyHEBo

The Stanfields - Ship to Shore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQaUtizFSaI

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Time To Go Home
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwxqJ3X6Z6k

Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Time In The Jungle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MC0HNPiy18

Travelin' Soldier - Dixie Chicks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C0QS3IDyP8

With God on Our Side - Bob Dylan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0YLuFZcOe4

Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation - Tom Paxton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTyqoV1d2Ys

Billy Don't Be A Hero - Paper Lace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX-JeV37Uqw

The Town I loved So Well - Luke Kelly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg_3t-CHBZs&spfreload=10

Cops of the world - Phil Ochs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaTbI7FCLl0

In The Army Now - Status Quo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-u87agJunY

Twilight Zone, "No Time Like The Past", aired on 07 March 1963.- Clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPtJLWa8JJI

Bring 'em Home - Pete Seeger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4-w2FYIJbw

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Ohio 1970 Kent State University
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68g76j9VBvM

The Bankers and the Diplomats Are Going in the Army - Michael Cooney
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oAVx86T8jI

Hero of War Lyrics - Rise Against
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOV3X0dxed0

Belleau Wood [Garth Brooks]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjXa7DnaGjQ

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Populist Pair Spreads Fear, Hate



March A.D. 1996

Veritas News Service – Controversial populist presidential candidate Iesu Nazarenus was accused of spewing hate today when he called a group of rabbis a “brood of vipers,” “whited sepulchers,” “hypocrites,” “blind fools,” “blind guides,” etc. 
 
Nazarenus has also been linked to right-wing militia leaders when it was reported that a physician who would identify himself only as Luke overheard him advising one of his supporters who was without a sword to “sell your tunic and buy one.” He is also related to the religious extremist of the desert who goes by the name of John. John apparently has very low self-esteem, telling some of his listeners that he is not worthy to loosen Nazarenus' sandal strap and that he must decrease and Nazarenus increase.

Since his appearance Nazarenus has sown division wherever he goes. In one place he actually told some of his followers, “I have come to bring a sword, not peace,” and he is quoted by informed sources as saying that “brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against their parents and put them to death” because of him or his ideology. Environmentalists are outraged at his killing a fig tree, and his supporters', mostly uneducated blue collar workers, fishing without a license. He also reportedly said to some of his more fanatical followers that he had “come to cast fire upon the earth.”

ATF officials are investigating reports that he made wine some time back, at the request of his mother apparently, during a wedding reception without paying any tax thereon.

In another investigation, FDA officials have received reports that he used unapproved methods to cure blindness. Eye-witnesses (no pun intended) said that he took spit and mud and spread it on the eyes of some homeless person supposedly born blind thereby effecting a cure. If proven he could be prosecuted for using unapproved quack remedies.

Nazarenus appears to be no friend of working people either. Informed sources report that he sided with a vineyard owner who paid his workers the same amount, even though some worked only one hour while others worked the whole day. This is a blatant case of equal pay for vastly unequal work.

Animal rights activists oppose him vehemently because of his statements that “you (his followers) are of more value than many sparrows” which they see as a dangerous kind of speciesism. Also his apparent indifference to fishing and animal sacrifice have outraged many. Nazarenus has also been accused of nativisim and anti-gentile bias because of his admonition, “Do not go in the direction of the Gentiles, nor enter the towns of the Samaritans” when sending out his provocateurs. He even referred to a Gentile woman (a Syrophoenician) as a dog, telling her when she requested his assistance, “It is not fair to take the children's bread and to cast it to the dogs.”

His running mate for the vice-presidency, Paul T. Arsus, is widely known as a homophobic hate monger. In a speech at Corinth he told those present, “Do not err, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor the evil tongued, nor the greedy will possess the kingdom of God.”

Pundits have said that the pair has virtually no chance of being elected, but if they were, they would have to tone down their rhetoric and move toward the middle to govern.

Even Pontius Robertson of the Jellyfish Coalition has distanced himself from the pair, supporting instead Boob “Windsock” Dole. Robertson and his spokesperson Caiphas Reed decided to support Dole when it appeared to them that Nazarenus and Arsus were not team players who could work with the Democrats to help support the family and return the country to its moral foundation.

Republican front-runner Boob Dole has called them extreme, and President Clinton has advocated the forming of a new agency to be called the Bureau of Free Speech, to monitor and regulate certain types of speech that spread fear, intolerance, homophobia, sexism, speciesism, sightism, adultism, lookism, racism, nativism and all types of unapproved thought and speech.

Some of the more conservative religions have actually agreed with this extreme rhetoric but have admitted that anyone espousing their views would be unelectable.

Other responsible conservatives have said Nazarenus would be more electable if he dumped Arsus in favor of a more moderate choice such as Barrabas Powell.

This was originally written in 1996 as a satire on the conduct of people like Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nowhere To Run


The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 to deal with the problem of runaway slaves and the weakening of a 1793 law with the same objective. All people want to keep the fruits of their labor and when this desire is violated they seek some remedy, whether it be a change in the law or a change in location. If a slave could make it to Canada he was probably safe from the slave catchers. Some northern states had laws against black people – slave or free – moving into the state, so Canada was probably the best option. If a slave could escape to a free area he could keep all his earnings since there was no income tax at the time.

Today the state of affairs is a little different. If an American citizen wants to keep all his income there is no place to escape to. If such a person moves to Switzerland, Uganda, Haiti or Antarctica the IRS wants its “share” of his income. It doesn't matter that the person no longer lives in the US or makes any money in the US, just by virtue of citizenship, Uncle Sam wants his share.

If the plantation owner of yesteryear could somehow reap the benefits of the runaway slave's labor no matter where he was, he would have had no incentive to capture him and bring him back. What difference would it make where he was if the “owner” still had an irrevocable claim against his productivity? The slave had an advantage over the modern counterpart if he could escape the country.

In feudal times there were serfs known as serfs “regardant” and serfs “in gross.” A serf regardant was only a serf in regards to one Lord, otherwise he was free. A serf in gross was a serf always and everywhere no matter who he worked for. Americans are now what could be described as serfs in gross. No matter where they live or work, the federal vampire demands its gallon of blood even though the victim is using none of its “services.”

Every time a national holiday of some sort comes around, be it Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day or some other, we hear the usual script about how Americans are free and that we owe a huge debt to founders, veterans or somebody for all the freedom we enjoy. This presents an odd definition of freedom. What exactly does it mean to be free? Is it possible to be free when someone has an irrevocable, unlimited claim on everything you earn? Some will object that the income tax is not unlimited, it's “only” thirty-nine percent or whatever it happens to be, but this can be changed at any time for any reason. Serfs generally owed about twenty percent to the Lord - were they free?

Americans are so indoctrinated in the slave mentality that they will refer to someone who wants to keep the fruits of his labor as a “tax cheat.” Our Founding Fathers probably would not even have understood such a term. Weren't all of them aspiring tax cheats?

During every election politicians prattle on about reducing taxes, closing loopholes, tax reform or some other bromide to hoodwink the greatest number of voters. Almost none ever talk about abolishing the income tax and abolishing the IRS. The government loves an income tax because it allows it to pry into the financial affairs of all its citizens and it gives it a sword of Damocles to hold over any person or group that might have the wrong opinions. Many people like the income tax because they envy those more successful than themselves and like to see them punished. Marx and Engels undoubtedly realized this when they made “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” the second plank of the Communist Manifesto. Anything short of abolition is adjusting the fit of the chains on the slaves.

Not only does the government tax income of those living outside the country, it prohibits those who “owe” back taxes from leaving the plantation country. Nobody is free who has a master that has first claim against all his earnings. Proverbs XXII:7 says that the borrower is slave to the lender, but in the land of the free, even those who haven't borrowed are slaves by virtue of citizenship, and there's nowhere to run.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

White Envy


You won't need pencils and paper for this one-question pop quiz.

All people and all groups are equally smart, talented, industrious, honest, inventive, deserving of respect and so on except one. So, here is the question.

What group is it perfectly acceptable – even encouraged – to denigrate in movies, advertising, jokes, academics and any other way?

Think real hard before answering because this is a real head scratcher. If you answered “white men” you scored 100 percent.

Everybody has his own ideas about what motivates other people, but I think it can be agreed that envy is near the top of the list, along with pride, which is probably number one. People tend to tear down their superiors, it's human nature. Mention to your wife or girlfriend that Helen of Troy was a beautiful woman and see how fast she can find fault with Helen's hairdo or the way she talks or that dress! that makes her look fat. Some will agree with you, but many will find defects.

This is why white men are the targets of ridicule in popular culture.

Think of how life would be different without the telephone, airplane, FAX machine, television, movie camera, light bulb, automobile, steam engine, electric motor, air conditioner, screw propeller, internal combustion engine, nuclear reactor, power loom, jet engine, refrigerator, transistor, microchip, magnetic clutch, phonograph, metallic cartridge, washing machine, radio, drive belts, reaper, interchangeable parts, pneumatic tire, farm tractor, modern rocket, submarine, roller chain, chainsaw, elevator, escalator, moveable-type printing press, bread slicer, electric mixer for cooking, toaster, arc welder, tapered roller bearing, centerless grinder, telescope, microwave oven, RADAR, aqua lung, auto pistol, revolver, machine gun, mouse trap, sewing machine, hydraulic brakes, disc brake, radial engine, water heater, battery, solar cell, generator, alternator, piano, electric guitar, electric clock, weed eater, airbag, helicopter, parachute, vacuum tube, microscope, zipper, rifled barrel, intermittent wiper switch, autogyro, seat belts, electron microscope, sleeve valve engine, Wankel engine, stirling engine, typewriter, photocopier, dynamite, boxer primers, matches, toilet paper, electric drill, ball bearing, electrical fuse, safety razor, stainless steel, swivel chair, electric razor, universal joint, pressure cooker and cell phone, to name a few inventions. What all these have in common is that they were invented by white men, not black men or white women; white men.

Pointing this out is now considered racist, sexist, or perhaps unimportant, as though any other group even comes close to comparing favorably. The above list only enumerates the invention of physical things and doesn't encompass advances in law, philosophy, medicine, science, music, mathematics, engineering, exploration, botany and so on.

Camille Paglia wrote an article recently about the importance of men – not specifically white men – for which she probably had opprobrium heaped upon her for even thinking. It's the worst taboo to even imply that modern civilization is an invention of white men, but if you were to eliminate only the inventions enumerated above, civilization would be cast into the pre-industrial age. There would be no motorized transport, no music unless you made it yourself or went to a performance somewhere, no way to communicate other than face to face or by letter, no efficient mode of printing, no hot water unless you heated it over a fire, not even an efficient way to plow or hunt game.

European countries that used to be almost all white have experienced a flood of immigration from non-white countries. This is really strange if white men are as stupid, self-centered, prejudiced and boorish as portrayed in movies. Maybe the proffered stereotype is inaccurate.

It is a sad state of affairs when the group most responsible for modern Western Civilization is the most denigrated by those in that civilization. C. S. Lewis might have been referring to what American children are taught in schools on up to college when he wrote, The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept." *

* The Screwtape Letters – Screwtape Proposes A Toast