Monday, April 21, 2014

The Return of the Militias and the New Fascism

In January 2013 I wrote that the growing threat to liberty by the federal government requires us to support and fund the militias that exist throughout the United States.  Never before in my lifetime have I seen a more aggressive, overreaching and threatening federal government.  Indeed, it seems obsessed with acquiring power over our lives, thoughts and deeds.  Based on my readings, I see these tendencies as fascism rather than communism (see this post).

I had believed that the militia movement was dead, killed off by negative publicity after the libs blamed them (falsely) for the Oklahoma City bombing.  Happily, I find I was wrong.  The Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff was brought to a conclusion by militia members from several states, as well as by many other citizens who faced down the feds.

Now the BLM is eyeballing land in Texas that the feds "own."  With the left's corrupt and bankrupt policies, they are motivated to extract all the cash they can from the private sector. However, the Oklahoma militia has said they will oppose further incursions of the feds into the western states, and are ready to shoot if necessary.  Obviously, we all hope that will never be necessary.  However, there is a point where discussion ends and revolution begins.  Many Americans feel they are being increasingly pushed towards the latter.

Note to the feds:  you work for us, we do not work for you.  We own you, you do not own us.  You answer to us, we do not answer to you.

BACK OFF.

Swapping Sports Stories at Easter: How I Met Jack Dempsey

For Easter my wife and I visited her sister in San Jose and had dinner there with sis, her husband and other relatives.  One of these was a doctor from Vallejo.  We soon learned we were both Giants fans and watched the former play the San Diego Padres on a large screen television.  The Giants won 4-3 and we were gratified.

During the game, however, we began swapping real-life sports stories; I told him about how I won a 49er football in an auction, the ball being autographed by all the 49er greats (Joe Montana, Steve Young, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and many others).

He told me how he and three friends found Barry Bonds alone after a game, with few people around, and asked him to autograph their baseballs.  Bonds refused them three times, saying he was "too busy."  So they found that Bonds is, in real life, something of an A-hole.

Then I remembered another story from my distant past, the day I met boxing great Jack Dempsey.  I was in New York City in August of 1974, during the same week that Nixon resigned the presidency.  I was there for training as an employee of the big accounting firm, Peat, Marwick and Mitchell (now KPMG).  At lunch one of my colleagues told me we should eat at Jack Dempsey's restaurant.  While there, the colleague told me how his parents had brought him there years ago and he had actually met Jack Dempsey.  Suddenly, he gasped and said, "There he is!"

Jack Dempsey, now an aged man, was sitting all alone in a restaurant booth reading a newspaper.  We went over and said hello, and Mr. Dempsey autographed a paper menu for each of us.  I believe I still have that menu.  When I returned home to Scottsdale, Arizona, where I then lived, I told my father, who was aghast that I had met his childhood hero.  My father had met him once too, in 1929, if I remember correctly.

Jack Dempsey died in 1983, but he was once the Heavyweight Champion of the World, from 1919 through 1926 -- and I met him.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Who Are You? What Have You Sacrificed?

EASTER, 2014
Jesus Christ, Superstar was the musical hit of the 1970's.  The Andrew Lloyd Webber production was filmed on location in Israel.  In my younger days, it satisfied my agnostic bent to a large extent, with Judas, played wonderfully well by Carl Anderson, asking what seemed to me to be pertinent questions.  If Jesus was the Messiah, why did he pick such a backward time and such a strange land in which to appear?  Don't get me wrong, now, I only wanna know, sings Judas.

The movie was released in 1973, a year when my life began to bloom.  I had completed college and left my six year job as a chemical laboratory technician and moved into my first accounting job in San Francisco.  I also met and fell in love with the pretty little Asian girl who would become my wife.  It was a time of change, most of it positive.  My girl saw the movie with me.

Jesus Christ, Superstar, for me anyway, captures the joy, the hope, the excitement, the pain and sorrow of the crucifixion, but also includes the questions and doubts of many people like me.

Here are two of my favorite scenes from the movie; the one with Judas asking Jesus (Ted Neeley) who he is and why did he sacrifice himself?  Jesus Christ, Superstar -- do you think that you're what they say you are?

The other video below shows the talented Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene, who sang one of my favorite songs of all time, "I Don't Know How to Love Him."




 

The Federal Government's Tyrannical Land Grabs

The recent standoff between ranchers and federal officials at the Clive Bundy ranch in Nevada has revealed the absurd control of state lands by the federal government.  The feds "own" over 80% of Nevada, about 50% of California, and a massive portion of Alaska.  Several other western states, like Utah and New Mexico, are also affected.  See here for more details.

How the feds can own large portions of individual states is appalling.  The ownership and control of these lands provides the federal government with the power to regulate and control the economies of these states, and is inconsistent with the "equal footing" of the states upon admission to the Union.

Now, however, representatives of the western states are meeting to discuss how to take control of their lands from the federal government.  The feds "ownership" of lumber and mineral rights within the states gives them an enormous source of revenue, and hence, power over the states, and denies the states rights to benefit from these resources.

Something must be done, and the western states are beginning to think about what to do.




Must Read Article on the Bias of the New York Times

Over at the American Thinker, J. Paul Masko has penned an article exposing the prevalent bias of the New York Times, Living in the New York Times World.  The Times, long heralded as "the Paper of Record," from which many sources of news and commentary are derived, is utterly biased, dedicated to impressing upon the American mind the goals and principles of progressivism.

The Times does this by suppressing news that is negative to Democrat goals and policies, by placing other news in the far pages of the paper where it will be overlooked by many readers, and by applying a leftward spin to stories on its front page.

The Times is actually a propaganda sheet.  Read it and be informed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tax Season Is Over At Last

Yesterday, April 15, was Hell Day for tax accountants.  I saw client after client up until 9 PM when we closed.

A rude woman with an irrevocable trust insisted that I finish the 1041 by April 15, even though she came in only a week ago, without an accounting, and with stacks of contracts that needed to be discounted to their present value and amortized over their life to determine the taxable portion representing interest.  When I realized she couldn't do it, I bought a great loan amortization program called TValue5 and was able to discount and amortize all 40 of them, so I had enough information to file an extension.

Today I am in a pleasant stupor, unwinding as the giant rock on my back has been lifted.

This cinnamon tea and the cigar sure taste good.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark Twain's Eloquence and His Distaste for Islam

I finally finished "The Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain.  It was a very entertaining read, and I was impressed with Twain's descriptive prose and vocabulary.  He uses some archaic language, but I found most of it in the Kindle dictionary.  Also impressive was his knowledge of the Bible and that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, of kings and emperors, generals and personages, and ancient battles and events.

Mark Twain's Eloquence
I was impressed with his description of the Sphinx.  He described it as follows:
After years of waiting, it was before me at last. The great face was so sad, so earnest, so longing, so patient. There was a dignity not of earth in its mien, and in its countenance a benignity such as never any thing human wore. It was stone, but it seemed sentient. If ever image of stone thought, it was thinking. It was looking toward the verge of the landscape, yet looking at nothing—nothing but distance and vacancy. It was looking over and beyond every thing of the present, and far into the past. It was gazing out over the ocean of Time—over lines of century-waves which, further and further receding, closed nearer and nearer together, and blended at last into one unbroken tide, away toward the horizon of remote antiquity.
 And this:
The Sphynx is grand in its loneliness; it is imposing in its magnitude; it is impressive in the mystery that hangs over its story. And there is that in the overshadowing majesty of this eternal figure of stone, with its accusing memory of the deeds of all ages, which reveals to one something of what he shall feel when he shall stand at last in the awful presence of God.
Twain was disgusted with the habit of some of his travel companions, who wanted to chip off pieces from every ancient building, tomb, statue or artifact they visited, to take home as souvenirs.  One fool tried to knock a piece off the chin of the sphinx with a hammer, but was stopped by officials before he could do any damage.  [In 1867 the Sphinx was buried in sand up to its neck, making the face accessible to miscreants like this.]

Twain's Distaste for Islam
Mark Twain wrote disparagingly of Muslims and Islamic culture and living conditions, noting the latter's hostility and antipathy towards non-Muslims.  He reported seeing some Muslim women dressed in body covers from head to toe, noting that they resembled mummies.

He saw Abdul Aziz, lord of the Ottoman Empire, sharing a parade in Paris, with Napoleon III, leader of France, and was disgusted by the presence of the former.  He wrote:
Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization, progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive, superstitious—and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris, under this majestic Arch of Triumph, the First Century greets the Nineteenth!
And this, while describing the Muslim Middle East:
Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.
And this:
The Moslems watch the Golden Gate with a jealous eye, and an anxious one, for they have an honored tradition that when it falls, Islamism will fall and with it the Ottoman Empire. It did not grieve me any to notice that the old gate was getting a little shaky.
I almost hated finishing the book.  A good book is like a valued friend, visited nightly for conversation and cigars before bed.  When the book ends, there is a feeling of sadness.  I have resolved to read all of Twain's books and short stories.

Tax Day: The End Is In Sight

9:13 AM.  It's safe to say my 9 AM client isn't going to show.

A couple of days ago I was feeling a lot of pressure to get a lot of returns done, and wasn't sure I could do it and also prepare union reports for a bookkeeping client. Amazing what you can do when you have to do it.  I gave up some sleep but got it done.  Last night I celebrated with a big cigar and a cup of hot herbal tea.

My last obstacle is a woman with an irrevocable trust, that requires amortizing 40+ notes (she's doing it, not I).  That's why God invented extensions.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Enjoying Spring in California with Sam Clemens

California Poppies
I hear it is still cold in parts of the US.  Not here in California.  My persimmon tree has exploded in green foilage, my lawn is luxuriant, and there are lemons growing on my lemon tree.  The green hills are splashed with the orange of wild poppies and the yellow of wild mustard.  It is a lovely sight to see.

For the past few weeks I have been reading Mark Twain's book, The Innocents Abroad.  In 1867, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) took a voyage and visited places in Europe, Greece and the Middle East.  His tale of the foreign cities and peoples and cultures is fascinating, and made more enjoyable by his sense of humor.

One of the gambits he and his traveling companions enjoyed was baiting the hired guides.  No matter what ancient statue or artifact they were shown, they asked if it were by Michelangelo.  "No, this was made 2,000 years before Michelangelo was born!"

When they were shown a mummy, they asked if he was dead.  "Of course he's dead, he's been dead for 3,000 years!"  What's his name?  "I don't know his name, what does it matter??"  (or words to that effect).

When shown an ancient manuscript penned by Christopher Columbus, they feigned disinterest, and criticized his handwriting.  Their guide quickly concluded that they were lunatics.  I was laughing like a fool as I read these passages, loudly and boisterously -- over a text written 147 years ago!

The Innocents Abroad is a long book, and worth your time.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Quiet Before the Storm: Tax Season 2014

It's quiet today in the tax office.  So far I have had two clients this morning who were not required to file a tax return.  I so informed them and sent them on their way, no charge.

After several days of needed rain, it is sunny in Hollister, with blue skies and white cumulus clouds floating majestically overhead. My mind drifts toward my backyard gazebo, fresh cigars, hot tea, and good books.  Thirteen days to go.

We expect the usual mad rush in the final week.  People who owe money put off taxes as long as possible.  When clients are getting big refunds, they look at me like I'm a hero.  When they owe large liabilities, they eyeball me like I'm an incompetent moron.  I just tell the truth, wherever it may be, good or bad.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Two Weeks To Go Til April 15

Two weeks to go.  I am a little tired but not overly so.  Yesterday and today, I have to go see friends who want me to do their tax returns.  Yesterday, I spent the whole afternoon working on my attorney's tax return, which is fairly complicated.

When I finally got home, it was raining hard.  I enjoyed a cigar and a cup of tea, and then a nap.  It was glorious.

One thing I have learned from this tax season, is that I am pretty good at taxes.  Clients have confidence in me and like me.  I will seek better opportunities next year.  Wifey recently passed the IRS Enrolled Agent's exam, so we could open our own tax practice quite easily.  Wifey, though, is afraid of the legal liability and doesn't want to do so.

Two weeks to go.  Hurry up!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lawrence Auster: First Anniversary of His Death on March 29, 2013

Lawrence Auster of View From the Right died one year ago today.  Since his death, some of his followers have created the Lawrence Auster Society.  Here's what they say about Mr. Auster and his life:

Up until the death of Lawrence Auster on March 29, 2013, thousands of devoted fans came to this website everyday, sometimes two or three times a day. They came for Mr. Auster’s brilliant political and cultural commentary. They felt that his unique combination of insight, combativeness, erudition, wit and warmth could not be found elsewhere. He is much missed and this site continues to draw many visitors each day.

Fortunately, Mr. Auster left this abundant archive and it is a generous gift to those who wish to explore it. It includes quick, trenchant analysis of current events; lengthy essays on a variety of subjects; elegant debate and a systematic philosophy of modern decline. The articles featured in the sidebar are especially important and relevant.

Please feel free to quote from the material here. Those who wish to use longer excerpts may request permission here.

Mr. Auster was a “traditionalist” who is best known for his writings on immigration, race, Islam, Darwinism, politics and feminism. His book, “The Path to National Suicide” was a seminal work in the immigration restrictionist movement.

“The Path to National Suicide,” originally published in 1990, was his first book and is regarded, along with Peter Brimelow’s, “Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster”, as a foundational text in the modern immigration restriction movement. In “Alien Nation” Brimelow refers to Auster’s book as “perhaps the most remarkable literary product of the Restrictionist underground, a work which I think will one day be seen as a political pamphlet to rank with Tom Paine’s Common Sense.” His subsequent booklets on immigration have been “Huddled Cliches: Exposing the Fraudulent Arguments that Have Opened America’s Borders to the World,” and “Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation.”

But it was as a blogger at this website, where Mr. Auster was an indefatigable author and editor, that he found his most popular success. From the year 2000, when he took over the weblog from its founder, James Kalb, Mr. Auster posted thousands of entries, in his concise and elegant style, on “The passing scene and what it’s about viewed from the traditionalist politically incorrect Right,” as stated on its masthead. Mr. Auster also stood duty as moderator and editor for the many comments sent in by readers.

Lawrence Auster was no stranger to controversy and aimed his criticisms not only at obvious targets on the left but also at those on the right whom he saw losing one battle after another. After Pope Benedict XVI apologized for his 2006 speech in Regensburg, which criticized Islam, Auster wrote, “As long as our own principles are liberal, as long as such liberal values as pluralism and tolerance, rather than traditionalist values such as nation and civilization, are our ultimate governing values, we will not be able to oppose liberalism and the liberalism-assisted takeover of the West by the Other. Mainstream conservatism is itself largely liberal. Only a belief system that is non-liberal at its core, namely traditionalism, can save the West.”

Mr. Auster was born in Union, New Jersey in 1949 to Sean Irving Auster, an early electronics whizkid, businessman, and real estate investor, and Charlotte Auster, a homemaker. From the age of 11 he grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, where his older siblings introduced him to classical music and Bob Dylan, both lifelong passions, along with poetry. He attended Columbia University for a year and witnessed the student riots in 1968. He did not like the Ivy League university, which he found too impersonal. He also attended Bard College for a semester before deciding that he needed to educate himself on his own before completing a bachelor’s degree.

In the 1970s, he lived a bohemian life in Aspen, Colorado, playing guitar, reading great works of literature, working at a book store, and, it amused him to recount later, wearing a sandwich board through the streets of Aspen with the menu of a local restaurant. For a while, he was a professional astrologer. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Colorado in Boulder. For a time, he was a follower of the Indian spiritual leader Meher Baba, traveling to India to visit his center there.

He then moved to Manhattan, rented a spartan studio apartment on the Upper West Side in which he lived up until his final weeks, and began an often frustrating search for the right career. He attended law school for a year, but decided he would never make a good lawyer. He worked as an administrator at a private school, drove a cab, read lots of books and worked as a temp. He referred candidly to his “odd and eccentric life.”

“I’ve never had any mainstream “moves” in my makeup. I’ve been a solitary intellectual seeker and spiritual seeker all my life, and a misfit in mainstream society,” Mr. Auster wrote, late in life. “I’ve never had a normal career. Even if I had wanted to, I could not have had a mainstream career as a writer, because writing for money or fame or whatever was simply not part of my makeup. Everything I’ve written, I’ve written because it’s been intensely important me to say something that I had to say. I can’t write any other way.”

He discovered his main subject when he was walking through Manhattan one day and, looking at the people around him, suddenly realized that whites were on their way to becoming a minority in America. He said that since he was so firmly convinced of the essential humanity of all people, he felt suited to writing about the controversial subject of race and challenging the crippling plague of white guilt.

Mr. Auster, who never married, was raised in the Jewish religion. He was baptized as an Anglican at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City in 1990 and then, in the days prior to his death, joined the Roman Catholic Church.

He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 64, when he was still at the peak of his abilities. His experience with cancer (he survived much longer than most) is well-documented here. He continued posting entries until a few days before his death, when he entered a coma. Not long before, he commented that he sometimes thought he was too admired by some of his readers. And he often claimed that he was not courageous for saying things so politically and socially unacceptable that he would never be admitted into the conventional world of journalism or publishing. He insisted he wasn’t brave. He was just Lawrence Auster.


*************
One year later, you are in our thoughts, Larry.  We miss you.


     

Friday, March 28, 2014

Results of My Stress Test and My Heart

I went into the doctor's office today for the results of my stress test.  The doctor said I have no blockages at all and my heart is very healthy and strong.  No followup appointments are necessary.

That's good news I guess.  My wife's heart is not in such great shape, and I would hate to outlive her.  I'd be lost without her.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Latest Bow Tie: a Classic Design

One of my latest bow ties.  I bought this one from China on EBay.  It's silk, cost $8 with shipping, and is a classic rep tie design of red and blue broad stripes.

I am getting to where I can tie these with some skill now, and I continue my new found fascination with bow ties.

Clients seem to really like them.  Bow ties are formal but friendly, and not nearly as stuffy as the usual business tie.

I recommend them!

BACKUP YOUR BLOGSPOT BLOG! Protect Your Blog From Sabotage.

Kimberlin Unmasked was a blogspot blog, but the author did not backup the blog.  When Team Kimberlin lied to Google about the nature of the blog, Google terminated the blog without any confirmation of TK's false claims (i.e., that KU was a "spoof site").  The result of this was that the blog owner lost months of posts and comments.

To protect your blog content from similar malfeasance, you should back up your blog on a regular basis.  I back mine up after every post I consider most important.

Here are the steps I follow to backup my blogs:

1.  Create a folder on your hard drive called "Blog Backup."

2.  Bring up the home page of your blogspot blog.  Be sure you are signed in.

3.  In the upper right hand corner of the blog page, click on "Design."  The "My Blogs" page will appear.

4.  To backup your blog template (the blog design, page structure, colors and such), click on "Backup/Restore."  A file of your template will download into your download folder.  Move this file into your "Blog Backup" folder (created in step 1 above).  Note:  this template does NOT include your blog content, i.e. your posts, your comments, your pictures and graphics.  However, if you have customized your blog page in any way, backing up the template can save a lot of work in recreating it, should disaster strike.

5. To backup your blog content, click on "Settings" at the left of this same page.  A list of subheadings appear.  At the bottom of this list, click on "Other."  A new page will appear.

6.  At the top of the page, click on "Export Blog."  A file will now download.  This is your content backup.  Move it from your download folder to your "Blog Backup" folder.  These files designate the date of the download in the file name, so it is easy to see the date of the latest backup.

You are now backed up.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brett Kimberlin Whacks Hornets Nest, Complains About Stings

Hogewash post today explains Kimberlin's motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to order various bloggers to delete all of their posts since July 7, 2013 that mention Kimberlin.  So we see the essence of what Kimberlin's lawsuits are really all about:  censorship of his critics.  Like most liberals, Kimberlin doesn't want to be held accountable for his misdeeds, and doesn't want anyone writing about them.

As W.J.J. Hoge points out, recent discussions of Kimberlin's crimes, though occurring more than thirty years in the past, are relevant to Kimberlin's current lawfare activities.  They are relevant as well to his possible involvement in related illegalities like SWATting, lying about Kimberlin Unmasked blogsite being a "spoof site" in order to shut it down, and the recent DDOS attack on the new Kimberlin Unmasked website. Kimberlin's past gives clues as to his current behavior and character.  Hoge writes:
Hogewash! got involved with coverage of Brett Kimberlin because of his ongoing anti-First-Amendment thuggery. Any incidental discussion of his criminal past has been to provide context concerning his character.
Based on what I've seen and read, Kimberlin lies as easily as he breathes, so much so and to such an extent that I wonder if he is suffering from a form of dementia, unaware that his delusions sharply differ from reality.

As an example consider this snippet from Kimberlin's lawsuit complaint:

 
The above statement is a complete falsehood, inserted into a legal filing that is supposed to be made under oath and the penalty of perjury.  Out of "hundreds of blog posts" Kimberlin cannot cite a single specific example of this defamation, mainly because it does not exist.

Now Kimberlin is whining that he is being picked on for crimes thirty-five years in his past, and that he deserves to be able "to live in peace."  Hoge does not disagree, but with a caveat:
Let me be very specific: I believe that Brett Kimberlin has the right to live in peace. But in order to do so, he will need to live a peaceable life himself. Shutupery via lawfare isn’t peaceful.
Since this latest installment of the Brett Kimberlin Saga began, Kimberlin has been anything but peaceful.  He sued Seth Allen, a liberal blogger, because Allen criticized ads from one of Kimberlin's non-profits offering huge rewards for disclosures of Republican malfeasance.  Allen considered the ads to be unethical and/or somewhat dishonest.  Kimberlin sued him, then sued blogger and attorney Aaron Walker for trying to provide Allen with legal advice on how to handle the suit.  Later, Kimberlin lied about Walker physically attacking him in the courthouse, with numerous deputies having to intervene to save Kimberlin.  However, the court house camera filmed the entire scenario, which proved nothing like it happened.  Without this proof, Walker might very well have gone to jail for a crime he did not commit, based on Kimberlin's perjury.  Again, Kimberlin lies as easily as he breathes, and seems incapable of differentiating illusion from reality.  It is not clear to me whether he is evil or possibly just demented.  A psychiatric evaluation of Brett Kimberlin might help everyone concerned, including Brett Kimberlin himself.

Other bloggers heard about the injustice perpetrated on Aaron Walker, and began investigating and writing about his tormentor, i.e. Brett Kimberlin.  Kimberlin then began attacking these other writers.  When three of these writers were criminally SWATed, suspicion naturally turned towards Kimberlin.  Now this was serious, as the crime of SWATing could have gotten these bloggers killed, in a "murder by cop" scenario.

Kimberlin denies he was behind the SWATing episodes.  Nevertheless, since there appeared to be a link (which has been neither proved nor disproved), and with lives possibly at stake, the conservative blogosphere was right to question whether there was a link between Kimberlin and these SWATing episodes.  The attention paid off, in that the SWATings stopped.  Whoever was perpetrating these SWATing episodes apparently felt the heat.

Most of us in the conservative blogosphere would never have known, or cared, who Brett Kimberlin is, or what he did thirty-five years ago, had Kimberlin not launched these vicious lawfare attacks on many people, merely to force them to self-censor.  These legal attacks were not merely to redress a perceived wrong, but appear calculated to do maximum damage to people's lives, reputations and livelihoods.  In short, Kimberlin's activities against bloggers appear hate-filled and vengeful, a form of the "politics of personal destruction," which we see so often from the left.  This is not exactly the "peaceful life" one should be leading if he wants to avoid negative publicity and pushback.

In short, Brett Kimberlin has been whacking a hornet's nest with a stick for some time now  Until he stops, he shouldn't complain about the stings.

NOTE:  Readers are encouraged to correct any inadvertant misstatements of fact, or offer additional facts and insights to this blog post, via the comments section.  Brett Kimberlin is invited to rebut this article as well, subject to counter-rebuttal.

The Stogiemeister Felled by Flu

I started feeling ill last Thursday at work; went home and soon found myself overwhelmed by flu symptoms, evacuating all bodily fluids and toxins from my body via the usual routes.  The worst symptom of the flu, for me, is the vomiting.  I hate that.  For some reason food doesn't taste as good coming up as it did going down.  I imagine it is similar to what Obama voters are feeling today.  It felt much better to vote for the well-dressed, hip, progressive black guy than it does to actually live under his policies.

For some reason, one of my symptoms was a shooting pain at the base of my spine, which later moved around to my right hip.  This phenomenon is also reminiscent of the Obama experience, i.e. a severe pain in the ass.  So not only did I have to exit my bed every quarter hour for a bathroom trip, I got to do it in excruciating pain.

All this after having had an extra-strength flu shot back in October.  I won't complain:  flu shots have kept me flu-free since my last awful bout with the illness, back in November 2000.  Perhaps I was infected by a different strain this time.

On Friday I was better, but slept most of the day, repeating this regimen on Saturday.  Those stick on self-heating pads greatly reduced the pain in my hip.  This morning I can declare myself fully recovered.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Obama's America.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Note to Brett Kimberlin: Pro Se Litigation Works Both Ways

Hogewash is reporting this morning that the federal copyright lawsuit against Kimberlin Unmasked will go forward.  Judge Titus of the federal court accepted Kimberlin's amended complaint, which allegedly identifies the person or persons blogging as Kimberlin Unmasked.  As a result, Judge Titus has ordered the issuance of summons to the defendants.

It's amazing how much a vengeful litigant, acting as his own attorney, can disrupt lives and cost his targets lots of time, money and mental anguish.  Lawsuits are often nothing more than legal extortion, but you have to go through the process of the litigation.  Knowing that the system is grossly flawed won't protect you from the system.  To defend yourself, you need to learn how to use the system.  You must go through the process, no matter how repugnant or fearful it seems to you.  When I was being sued by a ruthless POS plaintiff, I kept this little piece of verse in mind:

Have you come to that Red Sea time in your life,
When in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through.

Face the lawsuit with determination to win it.

To escape financial ruin, you may need to learn how to become a pro-se litigant, to defend yourself from lawsuits and to file your own lawsuits -- perhaps for malicious prosecution against those plaintiffs who abused the system and lost their lawsuit against you.  (You can also file a counter lawsuit against the plaintiff for wrongs he may have done to you.  Kimberlin Unmasked may have some great reasons to countersue.)

Google "pro se litigants" and you will find numerous resources on how to be a pro se plaintiff or defendant, how to deal with pro se lawsuits against you, and the knowledge and skills you need to carry it all off.  For instance, check here.

I have been a pro se defendant in the federal court system (Ninth Circuit), and won.  My opponent intended to use the court system to ruin me financially, but by firing my attorney and taking over my own case, I denied him that weapon (if you can afford an attorney, use one -- I fired mine because I couldn't meet her demands for up front fees).  The suit cost me time and money, but it cost the plaintiff even more.  Once all their appeals were exhausted, my opponent and his attorney began suing each other, to my sublime delight.

I will begin researching the literature and available resources that are available to those who wish to represent themselves in lawsuits, either as a plaintiff or a defendant.  I will prepare myself to become a pro-se litigant, merely as a defensive measure, if nothing else. 

I'll report back on what I find.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Treadmill Stress Test

I had my first ever stress test on a treadmill today.  The doctor is checking my heart to be sure it is made of cold flint lest I be cast out of the Tea Party.  I'm hoping it's okay.  It feels right.

Well five minutes into the treadmill I threw up all over the treadmill then fainted.  Outside of that, though, I think I did pretty well.

Results will be discussed with the doctor on Friday.




P.S.  I was kidding about throwing up and fainting.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Stogie the Tax Meister

At the tax firm where I work, clients are asked by email to rate their tax preparer.  My ratings have been very positive.

Last night there was a meeting of the employees at the tax firm, and the manager informed the crew that my comments from clients were "rave reviews," were the best ones received, and that I was THE "tax professional of the office."

Needless to say, this was an ego boost for me.    It is gratifying to know one is doing his job well.

The truth is, I enjoy doing taxes.  I relate very well to the clients, from the lowliest bus boy to the high tech guy making six figures.  I treat everyone with respect, because I consider their trust in me to be an honor.  I fight for every dollar they have coming, and I know the angles.  Or most of them, anyway.

I don't, however, help anyone to cheat.  I resent cheaters.

I particularly enjoy writing opposition letters to the IRS or California Franchise Tax Board, when those bodies have exceeded their authority or wrongly assessed additional taxes from the client.  I have a very good record of getting these bodies to reverse their assessments.

The tax season ends in 30 more days.  It's been fun, but I'm looking forward to the off season.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Brett Kimberlin's Persecution of Kimberlin Unmasked

W.J.J. Hoge has posted Brett Kimberlin's amended complaint for copyright violation against Kimberlin Unmasked ("KU").  See it here.

What has the terrible copyright violator, Kimberlin Unmasked, done to damage Kimberlin?  She or he published screen grabs of Kimberlin's face from his "Justice Through Music" videos that are published on YouTube.

So now you know.  According to Kimberlin, someone's face is copyrighted, no matter how infamous, and no depiction of it can be published without permission lest he be accused of copyright violation. However, I doubt that this is true in most cases.  Use of a celebrity's face without permission to promote a product would obviously be a copyright violation, but use of an ex-felon's face for purposes of criticism is another thing altogether, particularly when the YouTube videos are political in nature and advocating a cause or political position.

Of course, the YouTube videos of Brett Kimberlin's face in the "Justice Through Music" videos are all linkable and embeddable on any blog that chooses to display them.  I know, because I just checked.  Obviously, Kimberlin wants these images disseminated far and wide, or the videos would not be linkable or embeddable.  What he doesn't want, obviously, is for them to be disseminated for purposes of criticism.

Also, there is no fee to view Kimberlin's mug on YouTube.  It's all free.  So what did Kimberlin lose by KU posting screen grabs of his face?  Nothing financial.  The screen grabs were fair use for purposes of criticism, education or satire, and therefore not a copyright violation.  Kimberlin's beef, as usual, was to damage anyone who criticizes him, to suppress criticism and free speech, to deny First Amendment rights to anyone he doesn't like, through the abuse and misuse of the court system.

In the process of shutting up KU, Kimberlin, or one of his minions acting on his behalf, lied to Blogger that the Kimberlin Unmasked's Blogger blogsite was a "spoof site," which is against Blogger's terms of use.  A spoof site is one where the author pretends to be someone else, i.e. by impersonating them.  The KU Blogger blogsite was most certainly not a "spoof site," but was taken down anyway by the bad-faith misrepresentation of Team Kimberlin.  Sounds both fraudulent and actionable to me, but I am no attorney.  So when Kimberlin claims in his court filings that KU was taken down by Blogger due to "violation of its terms of service," naturally he doesn't mention that it was taken down due to his own possibly fraudulent misrepresentations.  In a similar way, Team Kimberlin got two of KU's twitter accounts shut down by equally bad faith misrepresentations.

After KU replaced its Blogsite blog with another one hosted elsewhere, persons unknown but undoubtedly loyal to Brett Kimberlin, launched an illegal DDOS attack on the site, shutting it down for several hours.  Of course, there's the possibility that Brett Kimberlin had nothing to do with this felonious act, but I personally find that very hard to believe.  DDOS attacks are a specialty of the illegal hacker group "Anonymous."  Neal Rauhauser, a top Kimberlin associate, has been linked to "Anonymous":
Neal Rauhauser is a far-left activist who has engaged in violent rhetoric, contacts members from the hacking group Anonymous, and is an admitted associate of Brett Kimberlin’s. He has written how-to guides regarding methods to use phony identities and hide one’s Internet activities from law enforcement.
The truth is this:  Kimberlin Unmasked has violated no laws, federal or otherwise, against Brett Kimberlin.  However, there is substantial evidence that Kimberlin and/or his associates have committed torts or crimes against Kimberlin Unmasked.  If the ill-advised copyright suit against Kimberlin Unmasked is allowed to proceed, I would expect a countersuit and counterclaims against Kimberlin, and my money is on Kimberlin Unmasked as to the outcome.

Corrections as to any errors in facts in this post are welcome.  Brett Kimberlin is invited to rebut the above, subject to counter-rebuttals, should he wish to do so.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Telephone Conversation With Ali Akbar and Robert Stacy McCain Tonight

Ali Akbar called me tonight and I had a nice phone conversation with him and with Stacy McCain.  It was good to hear Stacy's Southern lilt again, as we haven't talked in months.

It seems my fears were misplaced.  Ali has been quite active behind the scenes to reinstate the National Bloggers Club with the Secretary of State of Texas, and that should happen fairly soon.  There is more good news, but I am not at liberty to discuss it at the current time.  In any case, my confidence in Ali Akbar was given a booster shot.

Brett Kimberlin has NOT taken over the National Bloggers Club, and has no legal standing to order anyone to do anything with regards to the NBC.

Ali says he is interested in having me be the NBC's accountant, and we will work together to bring everything current and to bring the books into shape.  I look forward to this, as a way to serve the conservative blogging community.

Expect good things.  If you are a member of the National Bloggers Club, remain so; if all goes according to plan, things are going to get a lot better.

Update on Kimberlin the Corporate Raider

Ali Akbar
Apparently Ali Akbar hasn't decided whether or not to avail himself of my offer to prepare the delinquent tax filings for the National Bloggers Club ("the NBC").  The offer stands, and I won't nag him about it.  His attorney may have other plans and strategies, given the ongoing lawsuits against Ali and the NBC by Brett Kimberlin.  However, I urge Akbar to act, in order to protect the NBC and its members, in a timely fashion, with a great sense of urgency, if he has not already done so.

I have read recent responses to Kimberlin's motions in the RICO lawsuit, and ones from Michelle Malkin's attorney seem particularly devastating to Kimberlin's claims and case.  My understanding of the facts is that Kimberlin may be in legal trouble for presenting a forged summons to the court.  The summons was a cut and paste job of another summons sent to a different defendant.  The judge in the case has asked for an order to show cause as to why Kimberlin should not be sanctioned for this. 

The buzz in various comments sections says that Kimberlin may have forged a summons to Seth Allen, the first blogger he sued, which resulted in Allen losing the lawsuit by default, for alleged failure to timely respond to a summons that he never actually received.  I don't know if this is true, but it seems plausible in light of the above.

Anyone who has additional facts or corrections to the above, please supply it in the comments section.

UPDATE:  Hogewash is reporting that Brett Kimberlin has admitted to the forgery of  a summons he mailed to Twitchy, a company originally owned by Michelle Malkin.

Monday, March 10, 2014

National Bloggers Club Update: I Will Work With Ali Akbar to Bring Tax Status to Current

I have offered my assistance as a CPA to Ali Akbar and the National Bloggers Club, to bring all tax filings up to date and apply for 501(c)3 status.  Akbar seems interested in working with me to accomplish this.

Since Ali is taking steps to correct the situation, I hereby withdraw my call for him to resign as President of the National Bloggers Club.

I will provide this assistance free of charge.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Brett Kimberlin's Alleged Highjacking of The National Bloggers Club: I Have Serious Doubts That It Is True

I have been doing some research on Brett Kimberlin's alleged takeover of the National Bloggers Club, Inc, a Texas corporation.

I have grave doubts about the veracity of Kimberlin's claims.

There are two issues in this case.  One is the Texas Franchise tax; if it is not paid, a corporation can lose its active status and be denied the right to transact business in Texas.  The other issue is the organization's name.  I have seen no indication that the corporation loses the right to its corporate name if it fails to pay the state franchise tax.  Therefore, I doubt that Brett Kimberlin has obtained the legal right to use the name of the National Bloggers Club in Texas.

What forms did Kimberlin file and what fees did he pay to obtain the right to the Texas corporate name, "National Bloggers Club?"  I'd really like to know.

In order to do business as a Texas corporation, you have to jump through some hoops.  You have to submit Articles of Incorporation, issue stock, and elect a Board of Directors.  Did Kimberlin do that?  I doubt it.

Further, you can apply for a corporate name, but a preliminary approval of such a name isn't final.  The Texas Secretary of State website says this about corporate names:
  1. How do I determine whether the name I have chosen for my entity will be accepted for filing by the secretary of state?

    Under section 5.053 of the BOC, a filing entity cannot have a name that is the same as or deceptively similar to a filing entity, foreign filing entity, name reservation, or name registration filed with the secretary of state. Furthermore, a filing entity cannot have a name that is similar to an existing name on file with the secretary of state unless the existing entity consents in writing to the use of the similar name.
    Texas Administrative Code, title 1, part 4, chapter 79, subchapter C sets out the rules for determining whether names are the same, deceptively similar, or similar. If you wish the secretary of state to provide a preliminary determination on name availability, you may call (512) 463-5555, dial 7-1-1 for relay services, or e-mail your name inquiry to Corporations SectionA final determination cannot be made until the document is received and processed by the secretary of state. Do not make financial expenditures or execute documents based on a preliminary clearance. Also note that the preclearance of a name or the issuance of a certificate of formation under a name does not authorize the use of a name in violation of another person’s rights to the name. See Trademark FAQs for more information.
Until such time as Brett Kimberlin supplies documentation of Texas's approval of his use of the name "National Bloggers Club, Inc" I shall have grave doubts that he is telling the truth.  It seems to me that Brett Kimberlin and Bill Schmalfeldt may be in violation of copyright or trademark law, i.e. using someone else's trademark without permission, in a clear effort to disrupt existing business relationships.  I am no attorney, but that surely sounds actionable to me.

HOWEVER, I stand by my call for Ali Akbar's resignation.   Failure to file and pay franchise taxes timely does more than cause a corporation to lose its active standing.  It also removes the corporate shield for liability, exposing its directors to personal liability in the event of a lawsuit.  That is serious enough to call for Akbar's removal.

The National Bloggers Club: Ali Akbar Should Resign as President

National Bloggers Club per Team Kimberlin
Ali Akbar has been the leader of the organization known as the National Bloggers Club (NBC) since he formed it a few years ago.  It is an organization of conservative bloggers, and puts on the "Blogbash" event at CPAC each year.

Apparently, Akbar did not file tax returns with the State of Texas for two years, and the State revoked the NBC's ability to do business as a Texas corporation.  It also released the name "National Bloggers Club" for anyone else to grab, and notorious ex-felon, vexatious litigant and righty-hater Brett Kimberlin did so.  Now Kimberlin's favorite toady, Bill Schmalfeldt, is tweeting from the "NBC" claiming to be the National Bloggers Club.  Brett Kimberlin has put up a notice on the "New National Bloggers Club" website, ordering Ali Akbar to remove all references to the name "National Bloggers Club":
To: ali@blogbash.org
Sent: Friday, March 7, 2014 8:13:13 PM
Subject: Official Notification re National Bloggers Club Inc.

To whom it may concern:

Please take this as formal notice that the State of Texas has forfeited your rights to the National Bloggers Club as of February 21, 2014, after revoking your right to transact business on October 16, 2013. I have assumed those rights through proper legal processes.

You are hereby notified that you may not use the National Bloggers Club name for any purpose, including on any website, for any fundraising, or for marketing or promotion. You must immediately remove any and all references to the National Bloggers Club on any website and from any bank accounts. If you opened any bank accounts or set up any fundraising tools or sites using the National Bloggers Club name or any corporate papers issued by the State of Texas, you must shut those down immediately.

Please note that within four days, I will be meeting or talking with officials from the State of Texas in the Attorney General’s Office, other departments, the FBI and the IRS regarding your use of the National Bloggers Club to raise funds based on fraudulent misrepresentations regarding the validity and 501c3 status of the National Bloggers Club.

Brett Kimberlin
 Another controversy surrounding Akbar's leadership of the National Bloggers Club is the organization's non-profit status.  Initially, the Club advertised itself as a 501(c)3 organization (to which donations are deductible for tax purposes), but there is no proof that the NBC ever filed papers with the IRS to become such an organization.  So what is the status of the 501(c)3 application, Ali?  

As an aside, I do not believe that the NBC ever deliberately tried to misrepresent their status as a non-profit organization.  I believe they intended to become one, but just dropped the ball.  I have only seen one such representation, and no more.  This appears to have been an honest mistake rather than an intent to mislead anyone.  Of course, Kimberlin and his toadies have jumped on it and blew it all out of proportion.  They were apparently able to do so due to Akbar's negligence in the matter.

MY CONCLUSIONS to all of this is that Kimberlin has used Akbar's administrative incompetence to harrass and embarrass the National Bloggers Club.  This happened due to Ali Akbar's failure to take care of business.  This is especially surprising because Kimberlin has has had an extreme grudge against Akbar and the NBC for at least two years, and Akbar should have known better than to be so sloppy and allow Kimberlin a clear shot.

Ali Akbar should resign as president of the National Bloggers Club.  I am not a member, and will not become one unless the Club installs a leadership that I can trust for competence and professionalism to protect my interests as a conservative blogger.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Brett Kimberlin's Continuing Assault on Truth and Justice: How About a Lie Detector Test, Brett?

Brett Kimberlin has continued his assault on truth and justice with a second amended complaint in his lawsuit against various bloggers, pundits and companies.  I didn't read it all, as I have read the first two and do not wish to wade though all of that manure again.  It appears to be 90% innuendo, long on ambiguous accusations and very short on specifics.

However, if you wish to read it, you can read it at Hogewash here.

Kimberlin complains about "false narratives" directed at him by the multitude of defendants, for implying that he had anything to do with the criminal SWATtings of conservative bloggers who, just coincidentally, had concluded court disputes with him or had written critical things about him.

I know that lie detector tests are not allowed as evidence in courts of law anymore -- it is too easy to get a false read.  However, I would be happy to accept the results of such a test, voluntarily taken by Kimberlin, that tend to exonerate Brett Kimberlin in the following areas:

1.  Whether or not Brett Kimberlin was in any way connected to the murder of Julia Scyphers, either as one ordering or acquiescing in the hit, or as one concealing the identity of the murderer, or in any other capacity as an accomplice before or after the fact.

2.  Whether or not Brett Kimberlin ordered the Swattings of various conservative bloggers or pundits, or if he knows who did, or is in any other capacity an accomplice before or after the fact.

3.  Whether or not Brett Kimberlin ordered the recent DDOS attack on Kimberlin Unmasked website, or if he knows who did, or is in any other capacity an accomplice before or after the fact.

4.  Whether or not he lied about being physically attacked and injured by Aaron Walker as claimed in his Second Amended Complaint.

The author of the book "Citizen K:  The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin" wrote that when given a lie detector test about the Speedway bombings, Kimberlin's heart figuratively exploded, which tends to indicate Kimberlin is sensitive to questions in a lie detector test, and that such a test would prove reliable.

I also acknowledge that no one is obligated to disprove allegations or suspicions against himself, but in Kimberlin's case, suspicion is reasonable and inevitable in the above issues, given Kimberlin's criminal past and ruthless behavior.  That suspicion will continue until Kimberlin takes susbstantive steps to remove it.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Innocence of Muslims Film

I should have downloaded it before the 9th Circuit banned it.  Does anyone know where I can get a copy of this film?

I would like to archive all films banned by the world's most hateful and murderous "religion."

Update:  Reader Horatio directed me to Liveleak where I was able to download a poor quality copy of the video, with the controversial actress removed.  It is a video of the film while playing on a television screen. It's better than nothing, but I would still like to find a quality copy of this film if anyone knows where I can get one.


Putin the Bully: or What Should We Do About Russian Invasion of the Ukraine? Answer: Nothing.

I am somewhat conflicted about Putin's invasion of the Ukraine.  I think it is wanton piracy, the stealing of another nation's sovereignty through armed conquest, and it is immoral and evil.

So what do we do about it?

The wisest answer:  nothing.  Well, except for denouncing Russia in the United Nations and in speeches and in print, all the usual political and diplomatic channels that accomplish nothing much.  However, we should not commit troops, or invade the Ukraine, or fight Russia with arms.

Why?  Because the Ukraine and Russia have a shared history, though not an honorable one, and the Ukraine is within the Russian sphere of influence.  We have nothing to gain by intervening in the Russian-Ukrainian war.  We have no strategic interest in doing so, and we should not do so.

Dixon Diaz: Funny Man of FaceBook is a Conservative!

Dixon Diaz is a conservative Hispanic with a great skill for satire, humor and outraging liberals.  I think he is an undiscovered talent, because Dixon is truly FUNNY, all while making salient points about the hypocrisy and stupidity of liberalism.  He expresses his biting satire on FaceBook, most often as a short article, but sometimes as a cartoon.  One of his best cartoons is below.  It describes the Massive Jewish Conspiracy, which every leftist knows penetrates into every crack and crevice of American life.

You can see more of Dixon's work at this link, and do "Like" him on FaceBook to get his latest creations.  The Conservative Blogosphere would do well to disseminate Dixon's work far and wide.

Republished with permission.


Friday, February 28, 2014

I'm Fit to be Tied -- Bow Tied, That is.


Wifey went shopping yesterday and bought me a couple of new Brooks Brothers bow ties.  These normally sell for $50 each, but the Gilroy Outlets had them available for $20 each.  One was a nice wine red color with little paisley designs.  I love it, and find it easier to tie than my green silk bow tie.  That's it there in the pic at the left.

I have another four bow ties scheduled to arrive today from the Tie Bar in Illinois.

Move over George Will.



Rainy Friday in California

We've had a pouring rain for the past three days.  A nap on a rainy day is utterly glorious. 

It stormed all night.  The howling wind woke me up a few times.  This morning, however my lawn was very green and looked quite enthusiastic.  I was afraid to walk on it lest I be eaten like that monster in "The Little Shop of Horrors."  Mr. Lawn didn't actually say anything, but I could infer from his facial expression that the water had better damn not stop, or a RICO lawsuit could be in the offing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Does Brett Kimberlin Want?

Brett Kimberlin has sued a number of bloggers and media pundits, claiming "defamation" in a racketeering conspiracy to "harm" him while the defendants enriched themselves by garnering many thousands of dollars in contributions to the National Bloggers Club, based on their defamation of Kimberlin.  Kimberlin also claims that the National Bloggers Club has wrongfully represented itself to be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to which contributions are legally deductible.

As a layman who is not an attorney, it would seem to me that this accusation against the National Bloggers Club ("NBC") should fail in short order, as Kimberlin does not have legal standing to sue for this, unless he himself has donated material sums of money to the National Bloggers Club based on his belief that the contributions are tax deductible.  Attorneys, correct me if I'm wrong, but Kimberlin cannot sue for other donors who donated under this scenario, because, (1) Kimberlin is not an attorney, (2) none of these donors have hired him to represent them in such a suit, and (3) Kimberlin does not know who these donors are, how much they donated, or their reasons for doing so.  Further, the NBC is under no legal obligation to disprove these allegations, it is up to BK to prove them, which on its face, appears impossible.

After reading through the legal briefs, claims and counter-claims, it seems that Brett Kimberlin wants these things, and they are the reasons for his lawsuits:

1.  To be given a clean slate in public opinion, and no longer have his past crimes held against him, on the grounds that he has served his time; to erase his criminal past from the collective mind of polite society, so that it does not work against his current projects and ability to earn income.

2.  To stop online and public discussion of his prior crimes, to help erase them from public memory, in order to facilitate the clean slate that he seeks;

3.  To redeem himself in the eyes of donors to his non profit organizations, which employed him, i.e. "Justice Through Music" and "Velvet Revolution."  If Kimberlin were successful in proving that the defendants "defamed" him through discussion of his past crimes, it might substantially restore his credibility with such donors and restore donations to his organizations.

4.  To be seen as a hero to his liberal donors, by seriously punishing prominent conservative bloggers and pundits, like Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck, both of whom are defendants in the federal lawsuit.  Also, the National Bloggers Club has a membership of conservative bloggers and pundits, and winning a lawsuit against the NBC would punish a whole mass of conservatives in a single blow, by implicating their organization in wrong-doing and unlawful activity -- and allow Kimberlin to receive damages to replenish his cash reserves.

5.  To relieve him of suspicion of unsolved crimes of which he is suspected (rightly or wrongly), such as the murder of Julia Scyphers and the dangerous SWATting episodes against various conservative bloggers.

6.  To exonerate himself as a "vexatious litigant," someone who abuses the court system to file frivolous lawsuits to punish political opponents with expensive legal fees, mental anguish, and many hours of time lost to more productive purposes.  Indeed, should Kimberlin lose these lawsuits, some of the defendants are determined to have Kimberlin declared a "vexatious litigant," thereby curtailing his filing of such lawsuits in the future.

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION,
  • Brett Kimberlin's "Scarlet Letter" of his past crimes cannot be erased, and that is simply one of the consequences of having been convicted of those crimes.
  • There is no legal or moral requirement to grant Kimberlin a "clean slate" in public opinion.  He could improve his reputation, however, by sincerely forswearing illegal or unethical practices now and in the future, and by refraining from filing frivolous lawsuits, which appear to be vindictive and vengeful and not supported by any legitimate claims for redress of valid grievances.
  • Kimberlin could further improve his lot in life by assuming a lower profile:  getting a job in a trade, like auto mechanics, landscaping, carpentry, etc, where earning money depends on producing a real product of economic value, and is not dependent on getting donations from the public.  
  • Become involved in nonpartisan charitable work, e.g., seeking to prevent youth crimes, help the poor, or assist ex-felons to reintegrate themselves into society as productive citizens. In other words, seek to provide value to society, rather than seeking dubious ways to acquire money through manipulating people or the system, as he appears to be doing now.

The Kimberlin Lawsuits Against Bloggers; Legal Briefs Make For Interesting Reading

I probably read W.J.J. Hoge's blog "Hogewash" more than any other lately.  Hoge is an educated and refined gentleman with a nice sense of humor, and his commentary on Brett Kimberlin's federal and state lawsuits is compelling.   Another site that deals with these lawsuits is that of Aaron Walker, at his blog "Allergic to Bull."  Both of these sites often publish links to legal briefs submitted for these cases.  I read them all.

It appears that the courts, both the federal one and the Maryland court, will allow the suits to go forward.  In fact, Marlyand has already denied all defendant motions to dismiss the case, but the federal court has not yet ruled on similar motions before it.  However, whether granted or denied, these motions to dismiss have been interesting and informative.  Courts have a legally-mandated prejudice in favor of plaintiffs, and must assume that the plaintiff's accusations are plausibly true, to be proven or disproven at trial.  

Most of the legal briefs associated with these two cases have been posted on Scribd or Pacer.  Pacer is an online database for federal filings.

In my humble layman's opinion, Brett Kimberlin's complaints and rationales are specious and implausible in the extreme, and he should lose both lawsuits.  However, this won't occur until many thousands of dollars in legal fees have been incurred by the defendants, and hundreds of hours spent studying legal briefs, claims and counter-claims.  

Lawsuits are ruinous, that's what these suits are really all about.  And, unlike homemade bombs of Tovex, they are legal.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Rotten Tomatoes" = Rotten Reviews; "The Monument Men"

The website "Rotten Tomatoes" reviews movies.  According to "Rotten Tomatoes," every movie from the first silent film on is an artistic disaster.  There are no good movies, only varying degrees of terrible, awful and vomit-worthy.

So what's going on at that website?  Obviously, it's a testosterone-fueled game:  the worse the review you can write, the bigger your gonads.

Today I went on the site to see what it said about the new movie "The Monument Men," based on a true story about a squad of art curators and experts who were drafted into the army to locate paintings and sculptures stolen by the Nazis, and to return them to their rightful owners.   The reviews were very negative.  One reviewer said the film was a cross between Gomer Pyle and Saving Private Ryan.

I found the film interesting and engaging, and worth the price of admission.  Screw you, Rotten Tomatoes.

Song For Sunday: "The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker

Here is one of my favorite songs. It was meaningful to me when I was separated from my fiancee on a work assignment in Phoenix, back in 1975, when the song first appeared. Not only is the song romantic, it reminds us of a time when "Old England" was a courageous nation of British patriots who put love of country and duty above their own lives and personal safety. That was the country we Americans were so proud to be descended from. Now today both of our nations are in decline, due to population replacement and the corrosive acid of socialism.

 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Stogie All Cleaned Up With Bow Tie
I like that H&R Block ad where a man wearing a green bow tie rambles on about the billion dollars in tax refunds that Americans leave behind when they try to do their own taxes.  I do taxes.  I wanted a green bow tie.  So I bought one off of E-Bay and decided to learn to tie it.

I have never before worn or tied a real bow tie.  When I was a kid, I wore those clip on bow ties to church or other dress-up occasions.  However, tying a real one is tricky, at least at first.

I watched a few YouTube videos on the subject, and most of them are worthless.  I managed to get through most of it, but the last step is the hard one, and I wound up with a wild glob of green silk bunched under my chin.  I looked more mad than dashing.  After much swearing and cussing at the infernal, rebellious ribbon, I gave up in disgust.  However, my secretary at work watched a YouTube video (the best one is here), and tied a very neat bow tie around a Pringles can.  I then had her tie it on me, and she again did a great job (see picture).

Now, after much practice, I can tie my own bow tie and plan to buy several more in different colors and designs (e.g. paisley, stripes, polka-dots).

The tax clients seemed to like the tie and their reactions were friendly, solicitous and cheerful.  A bow tie is dress-up, but in a friendly fun-filled way.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is Venezuela on the Brink of Civil War?

Well, well, it appears that popular opposition to Venezuela's communist leaders is reaching a critical point. Bigger and bigger crowds of demonstrators are rallying against the socialist insanity, and the Marxists are nervous.  This reminds me of Chile in 1973, when communist leadership had ruined the economy and left the people in dire straits.  Massive protests occurred there too, when grocery store shelves were empty and there were no more jobs.  Finally, the Chilean military decided it had to act, and deposed the moronic Marxist Salvador Allende.  American leftists to this day swear to God Almighty that Chile would have become a socialist paradise had not President Nixon "declared economic warfare" on the "democratically elected" Socialist Allende.  Socialism never works, but leftists never run out of excuses for the failure.

Venezuela is now experiencing the same kind of economic dislocation, because socialism destroys prosperity, it never, ever creates it.  You can order a doubling of the minimum wage, as Allende did, and the result will  be widespread unemployment and  businesses closing their doors.  Socialism is a radical religion that believes in a kind of perpetual motion, that you can eliminate production and magically have more, that you can kill the Kulaks and dispossess the producers, and somehow the goodies will just keep flowing like manna from heaven.

Socialism always fails, but there is no end of the fools who will continue to impose it on the populace, thinking that this time it will work.  And if it doesn't, if millions starve, well then, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

More at Powerline.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Letters From Earth: Mark Twain's Most Controversial Tale

I saw a scene on FaceBook, of a bench on a cliff overlooking surf and beach below.  The caption read, "If you could spend an hour in conversation with anyone living or dead, who would it be?"

It is a fascinating question.  I would undoubtedly opt for conversing with someone who is now dead, some personality from history.  They might include Thomas Edison, Robert E. Lee, General George Patton, John Lennon, Jesus Christ, Vince Guaraldi, Jefferson Davis, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin...the list goes on and on.

Mark Twain
However, one of my top choices would be Mark Twain, the great American writer of the 19th Century.  I find him to be a fascinating personality; I love his wit and wisdom.  Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemmons, was born in 1835 and died in 1910.  He is most famous for his novels, like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, as well as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and The Prince and the Pauper.  He also wrote some great short stories, like "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyville."  All of these works have strong moral messages, and focus on the hypocrisies and idiosyncrasies of the human race.

Two of his novels, Connecticut Yankee and Prince and the Pauper, make the reader see through the other guy's eyes, and take a walk in the other guy's shoes.  If you are not the pariah in a society, reviled and spat upon, you should consider how it would feel.  Some believe these two novels were a disguised appeal for better treatment of blacks in America, at a time when a more obvious appeal would have been met with derision and rejection.

Mark Twain had an amazingly open mind for his time.  I especially enjoyed one of his most controversial short stories, "Letters From Earth."  In this story, Satan is one of Heaven's Archangels but gets on the wrong side of God, and is banished from Heaven for a time.  Having nothing to do, Satan visits earth and finds human concepts of God and Heaven to be highly errant and humorous.  He writes to the other Archangels still in Heaven about his observations.  It is a thought-provoking read, and quite funny -- at least, in the first half of the story.  The second half isn't funny at all, but quite alarming.

Satan finds the tale of Adam and Eve strange and contradictory.  He writes:
Naturally you will think the threat to punish Adam and Eve for disobeying was of course not carried out, since they did not create themselves, nor their natures nor their impulses nor their weaknesses, and hence were not properly subject to anyone's commands, and not responsible to anybody for their acts. It will surprise you to know that the threat was carried out. Adam and Eve were punished, and that crime finds apologists unto this day. The sentence of death was executed.
Satan continues:
Very well, God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden, and eventually assassinated them. All for disobeying a command which he had no right to utter. But he did not stop there, as you will see. He has one code of morals for himself, and quite another for his children. He requires his children to deal justly -- and gently -- with offenders, and forgive them seventy-and-seven times; whereas he deals neither justly nor gently with anyone, and he did not forgive the ignorant and thoughtless first pair of juveniles even their first small offense and say, "You may go free this time, and I will give you another chance." On the contrary! He elected to punish their children, all through the ages to the end of time, for a trifling offense committed by others before they were born. He is punishing them yet. In mild ways? No, in atrocious ones.
And this:
You would not suppose that this kind of Being gets many compliments. Undeceive yourself: the world calls him the All-Just, the All-Righteous, the All-Good, the All-Merciful, the All-Forgiving, the All-Truthful, the All-Loving, the Source of All Morality. These sarcasms are uttered daily, all over the world. But not as conscious sarcasms. No, they are meant seriously: they are uttered without a smile.
It is obvious that Mark Twain did not have a high opinion of many Judeo-Christian beliefs.  Through the years I have come to agree with "Letters From Earth," or much of it anyway, and have rejected many of these doctrines.  A just God would not torture souls in Hell for all eternity for being just what He made them to be.  Nor would he order the slaughter of innocents, as He allegedly did to the Midianites.

I will say that being a Christian has the effect of making people more loving and forgiving of each other, and kind to strangers, and predisposed to do good towards their fellow passengers to the grave.  Christianity does much good for the world, and for the human soul.  However, its bad points are that it saddles its adherents with feelings of guilt and fear, for merely being human; and this deters Christians from fully enjoying their lives on earth.

I like Mark Twain very much.  Like him, I refuse to live a life of guilt and fear.

Postscript:  "Letters From Earth" becomes a bitter rant against the God of the Bible in the second half of the tale, describing the mass murder of the Midianites, saving only the virgin women (to be later raped or sold into slavery) and some of the little children.  Indeed, the Midianite episode describes a cruel God similar to Allah, and is comparable to Mohammed's slaughter of the Quraysh, a Jewish tribe, in 622 AD.  When I first read these Biblical passages, many years ago, I was disgusted and immediately concluded that no just God would order such an atrocity.  However, man is quite capable of such slaughter while using God as his excuse and justification.


Friday, February 14, 2014

A Stogie Valentine


Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

My wife and I have been married for over 37 years.  When we were dating, she refused to believe that she was “the one” for me, and always told me “I’m just your Saturday girl.”  As if I had a different girl for every day of the week!  Yeah, right.

Wifey was referring to the Liza Minelli movie “The Sterile Cuckoo,” whose theme song was “Come Saturday Morning” by the Sandpipers.  We went and saw that movie together.  So now that song always reminds me of my young and sweet girlfriend, now my wife.  This morning when we exchanged Valentine's gifts and cards, mine was addressed "To My Saturday Girl."

Here’s the video of the song for your enjoyment.
  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Far-Fetched Feminist Folly

The Other McCain has a post about feminism today.  One quote bears repeating, as it is, IMHO, the absolute crux of what feminism is all about.  He writes:

...feminism is an ideology developed by lesbian Marxists who hate men. Feminist ideology is therefore not about improving relationships between men and women; it’s about teaching women to hate men, so that all women can become Marxist lesbians.
This is a concise but accurate summation of feminist folly. I noted this very same truth back in the late 70's when a female feminist colleague invited me to see a one woman play in San Francisco, about feminist Virginia Woolf.

The small audience was filled with lesbians (me being an exception) who were all members of NOW (the National Organization for Angry Lesbians Women). My earlier impression was that NOW and its feminist followers were a legitimate movement to support women's rights and improve relations between women and men, particularly in the market place. I was quickly disabused of that notion.  The actress and the audience demonstrated an obvious bitterness and a hostility towards men.

I later told my friend that the NOW members seemed to all hate men, or even wanted to be men themselves. They had no more credibility with me. I was faced with the awful truth, that they were a bunch of kooks.

Note:  by "Kooks" I mean a group of people who believe in weird, implausible, illogical or unnatural ideologies or scenarios.  Kooks rarely have anything beneficial to offer mankind.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

THE BEATLES - 50 Years Later, a Personal Reminiscence

February 9, 1964 was a Sunday, and that was the night the Ed Sullivan Show was live on television.  On that night, fifty years ago today, the Beatles debuted in America on that show.

On that long ago Sunday, I was practicing with my rock and roll band in my best friend's garage in the Kooser area of San Jose.  Joe was my best friend through high school, and is still a friend today.

Joe's mom stuck her head in the door to the garage and told us to come quick, and hear this new band on television.  We turned off our amplifiers, put our guitars down and sat on the floor in front of the television in the living room.  The Beatles came on and girls were screaming.  While the Beatles were singing and playing, captions appeared beneath each face giving the name of the Beatle on the screen.  The one beneath John's face read "Sorry girls, he's married."

What was striking about the Beatles was their appearance.  Gone were the Elvis-style pompadour hair helmets.  These guys looked like Little Boy Blue with their hair mops, devoid of pomade, but somehow, we liked it.  They wore cute little black suits with white shirts and black ties.  They used harmony singing, except for the Beach Boys, this was almost unheard of!  When the show was over, the Beatles bowed from the waist in unison.  We went back to our guitars and tried to pick out the tune to "She Loves You," but found it difficult.  This music was a lot different than the boogie woogie rock beat we were used to.

Early in 1964, we were all still in a blue funk over the assassination of President Kennedy.  Traditional rock and roll was dying out.  Anyone who could barely carry a tune was recording songs heavily overlaid with echo chamber effects (to hide their crummy voices), and instead of guitar, bass and drums, had whole orchestras providing the instrumentals.  It sucked.  Elvis was still making forgettable movies like "It Happened at the World's Fair" and Dion sang some monstrosity about "Do the Madison," another idiotic dance step.  It didn't catch on, thankfully.

The music fad just before the Beatles arrived was the hootenanny.  Hootenannies featured folks singers playing acoustic guitars and singing crap like "Don't Let the Rain Come Down -- My Roof's Got a Hole In It and I Might Drown."  One could could only hope.

If you weren't there, it may be hard to understand just how special the Beatles were.  They launched "the British Invasion," a whole slew of British bands that saved rock and roll and created a new genre of great music, i.e. British Rock.  Following in their footsteps were the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Animals, and many more.

I saw the Beatles perform live at the Cow Palace near San Francisco in 1964 and 1965.  They were so cutting edge, so innovative, so talented -- George's fantastic guitar solos added so much to John's and Paul's singing, with Ringo providing the drum beat.  They seemed magical, and it was a magical time in those early days.

Now, fifty years later, John and George are dead, Paul and Ringo are in their seventies.  When I see a photograph of the foursome now, I remember that magic and how it felt, and they still seem cutting edge to me, even though they're not.  Cutting edge today is rap crap and stupid gimmicks, and "songs" that you can't even hum.

Now, like the night they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, popular music is in a low place, dominated by no-talent hacks, the great rock beat nowhere to be found.  Now is the perfect opportunity for a new rock group to emerge, to capture the public imagination, to restore the beat, revive the magic, and restore the joy that rock music can bring.  I hope I live to see it.

Here's some of their greats.

A Rainy Day, a Good Cigar, God and the Near Death Experience

I delivered some bookkeeping reports and checks to a client in Gilroy this morning, then swung by the Morgan Hill Cigar Company in Morgan Hill.  I bought five Churchill cigars for $7 each, and am enjoying one right now.  I am sitting in the backyard gazebo; the sky is completely overcast and the air is cold and moist with rain.  Great nap weather, and I shall avail myself of it after my cigar.

As I grow older, I think more and more about death and what comes next.  I am not afraid of death, but feel I need to prepare for it.   I am not a member of any religion, but I believe in God, not a big man in the sky with a giant beard, but as a force that permeates and includes the universe and anything beyond.

I have been reading books on the near death experience (NDE), and find them very interesting.  One of the best was Science and the Near Death Experience, How Consciousness Survives Death, by Chris Carter.  Carter discusses quantum mechanics and posits that consciousness is not produced by the brain, though it uses the brain to carry out bodily functions in the here and now.  Carter gives examples of how consciousness is greatly expanded at times when the brain is near death or otherwise nonfunctioning.  Of course, he points to NDEs as proof.  (Note:  it is not true that a nonfunctioning brain makes one into a Democrat, though the mistake is understandable.)  Carter spends some time refuting skeptic theories about the NDE.

Near Death Experiences sometimes occur when someone flatlines and is near physical death.  The person experiences an out-of-body perspective, where he or she watches from above a team of doctors working to save his or her life, from a vantage point on the ceiling.  If the NDE continues for a time, the voyager is pulled into a dark tunnel with a bright light at the end, and finds himself speeding toward the light, which grows bigger and nearer.  He meets and communicates with departed friends and relatives. He may experience a life review, where every moment of his life is replayed for his viewing and lessons learned. Wonderful gardens, colors and music are often experienced during the NDE as well.  The greatest impression NDE voyagers describe is being enveloped in great love, with a feeling of peace, acceptance and well-being.

Finally, those who live to tell about the experience are sent back to this life.  They are told "it's not your time, you have to go back," at which time they are returned to their body.  NDEs are fairly common, and have been described in many cultures and time periods.  One's religious persuasion usually has little effect on what the voyager sees, hears and experiences.  Most people who have an NDE lose all fear of death, and may find renewed purpose and meaning for their lives.

Another book I am reading is The Experience of God, by David Bentley Hart.  Hart's book seeks to clarify issues and terms for atheists, so that deists and atheists can at least be on the same page in the great debate.  His book clarifies some concepts for me, but his writing is highly technical and filled with vernacular, so frequent use of the dictionary is necessary.  The reader has to work quite hard to get to the meaning of his essays, and I suspect many will give up before finishing the book.  It is not written for the layman, unfortunately.

The opponents of both these writers are generally called "materialists," that is, people who believe there is no reality beyond our physical existence.  If they can't see it, smell it, taste it or measure it, then (or so they believe) it does not exist.  Needless to say, I am not a materialist.