Rochester Rag December 1995
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ROCHESTER RAG December 1995

(formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independance.

-- C.A. Beard


Steve Langer
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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,

"What would be fairer than a national sales tax?"

probably nothing. Several people, Dick Armey and Forbes among them, are espousing the merits of a national flat sales tax. It's no good, for the following reasons

And finally here's another scenario. Since the flat income tax form could fit on a post card and be filled out in 15 minutes (ie tax = Income*TaxRate), why bother trusting Joe Lunch Box with the task at all? If "Johnny can't read" he certainly can't do percents, so our caring govt. will simply do the calculation for us and perform a direct electronic withdrawl from our accounts. "No way!", you say. Look at your next annual interest stub from your savings account, the part that says, "... a copy of this is being sent to the IRS." And of course they already know exactly what your weekly salary is. Electronic filing will be expanded to include direct electronic access to accounts - for depositing your well earned refund of course - an allowance from Daddy. And what initially began as a convenience will eventually be compulsory.

People say that with a sales tax, you won't know how much you are paying and hence will not hold the miscreants in Wash. responsible. I respectfully submit that I'm subject to a state sales tax, and I know damn well how much it adds to the cost of goods I purchase. A National Flat Sales Tax has the following merits;

Well, I'm back from Chicago's RSNA and as usual I met many interesting folks. Some Europeans who dined with us one evening tried to convince me that we Americans could solve all of our social and pollution problems if we just paid higher taxes. Longtime readers will know this is a hot button issue with me. I decided for future reference to make up the following spread sheet to demonstrate what happens to a dollar for various purchases. Notice that the taxes imposed depend upon the item being purchased so not all taxes apply to all purchases. Also, I'll be using State numbers from Minn. Also, property taxes are not included.

                % Tax Devaluation of a Dollar To Buy Various Goods
Tax             Non-Food        Food    Gasoline
FedInc          31              31              31

FICA            15              15              15

SInc            7               7               7

SSales          6               -               6

CSales          1               -               1

Energy          -               -               21
Totl            60              53.             81

I don't have hard data on the sin taxes for things like alcohol and tobacco products (they vary by product anyway). Also, I don't have numbers for the phone service taxes which we pay for the privelage of being spied on. Also not included is the 55% punishment AHEM inheritence tax meated out for willing stocks or estates upon death. I hope some of you will help me out with these missing numbers.

Some of you will also opine that I have not tallied the tax flow that occurs througout the total product cycle. The simple answer is that I have no way to do so. For instance, what happens to iron ore as it is mined, refined, sold as sheet, formed into a fender, sold to an assembly plant, sold to a car dealer, sold to buyer, taxed on registration and licensing, resold on a used car lot, etc? Who knows and who cares? No business ever pays a tax, they just pass it on to the next point in the chain. Consumers, ultimately, pay all taxes. If I could compute these numbers, they would just increase the overall tax fraction of each product's price, which in many cases is already several times the raw material worth already.

Now consider as you look at the above that one of the prime motivations of the American Revolution was that taxes were too high and colonists had no say in the tax law (taxation without representation). The effective income tax rate at that time is estimated at between 1-2 %.

Make a copy of this chart. Carry it on you. The next time someone tells you that you don't pay enough in taxes, shove this in their face and tell them to get the HELL out of yours. Furthermore, tell them if they feel so strongly, they should leave the IRS a tip. It will be gladly accepted.

On The Sexes

Also while in Chicago, I made the remark to a women with us that despite all the gains made in "gender equity" the vast majority of women marry up (considering education, monetary and social class). I thought this was so patently obvious that I could move on to my real point which was, women have more power than men if power is defined as choice. Women can get married and elect to work or stay at home and society is comfortable with either choice. Men are highly unlikely to have the same option (although that is finally changing).

She exploded before I got there.

The usual epithets were tossed about such as I was a Neanderthal who should get out more often. To supplant my argument she named exactly three couples who were counter-examples. "Hmmm. Out of the hundreds of couples you know there are three exceptions. Yep I guess I'm completely wrong."

This went on throughout dinner and I concluded that I would check the library to attone for my sins of vast ignorance. The next day I used the GratefulMed search tool at the RSNA. A search of Medline with the key words "socioeconomic" and "marriage" revealed,

  UI - 94024099
  AU - Sander W
  TI - Unemployment and marital status in Great Britain
  AB - During the past decade, the marriage rate has declined and the divorce
        rate has increased in Great Britain. Becker (1981) attributes such 
        changes to improvements in the economic status of women, in that high 
        wage women gain less from marriage than other women. However, an 
        empirical analysis of the data from the General Household Survey 1985 
        in Great Britain shows that male unemployment is another important 
        determinant of changes in marital status. High rates of male 
        unemploymnet reduce the incidence of marriage and increase the 
        likelihood of divorce.
  SO - Soc Biol 1992 Fall-Winter; 39 (3-4): 299-305.
  SS  6 /C?
So single women with money are less likely to get married, and women married to a poor guy are more likely to divorce him. But of course that cannot possibly be due to economic Darwinism on the female side. More than likely, it's because poorer men are suffering feelings of inadequacy which leads to anger and increases the likelihood that they will beat their wives and children. After all, we all know that everything is the man's fault. Just ask Congresswomen Enid Waldholz (Rep. Utah) who tearfully laid all blame for her missing campaign money on her no good scoundral of a husband (who is now unemployed, so she's divorcing him).

On the Weather

I hereby predict that the recent record cold front that moved through the Continental US this week (Dec. 8) will be blamed for accelerating global warming. The argument will go like this, "The cold caused people to burn more fossil fuels to stay warm, which in turn boosted atmospheric CO2, which led to the global warming of '96."

Remember, you heard it here first.

On Time

You've got to hand it to the editors of Time . When they decide to slap Christians in the face, they do it right - right before Christmas. In this week's (Dec. 18) issue, the cover story is "Is the Bible Fact or Fiction" where they debunk most of the Bible including

Those of you who know me at all know I'm pretty agnostic, but even I'm not crass enough to insult millions of Christians on the eve of their greatest celebration. No, it takes truly sensitive, caring jouralists to do that.

On Language

I come from the school that believes that words mean things. Take - for instance - the terms liberal and conservative. Traditionally, the term conservative has meant someone who wants to maintain the status quo while a liberal is considered an agent for change, er, reforms, as in to fix existing injustices. In modern times, the terms have been attached to ideology, i.e the conservative moniker has been tied to Reps. while liberal has been attached to Dems.

Now switch gears to Russian politics. In this week's (Dec. 15) Russian elections, the press reports that "... hard line conservatives won many seats at the expense of the reform liberal parties." Now what is this? A US conservative is a anti-tax, anti-govt., free marketeer while a Russian conservative wants a return to closed market dictatorship. How can they both be conservatives? We better list these definitions:

So a Russian conservative is a Type I. US Reps., who are trying to "reform" the spending patterns of 40 years of the Great Society, are "classic liberals" and Type II conservatives. But the US media doesn't discriminate, they lump Newt Gingrinch and ultra-nationalist Vladmir Gherinovsky under a one-size-fits-all heading - conservative. What do they have in common? Well, any journalist could tell you - liberals are good, conservatives are evil.

Guest Editorial:

from an October issue of the Detroit News

The Wake-up call from Canada
Thomas Bray

If Canada can't make multiculturalism work, what hope is there for the rest of us. Last Monday's defeat of Quebec's separtist referendum settled the question of Canada's integrity for now, but the narrow margin suggests that the French speaking Quebec will be contentious toward English speaking Canada for a long time to come.

Can people of differing culturural backgrounds live together in harmony or are such communities doomed to fatal conflict? Its a question that Americans are increasingly asking. The 60's view of integration is being challanged by recent events such as the Million Man March and a "Sudentenland" movement in the Southwest for a separatist Spanish speaking govt.

Canada's first reaction to Quebec was to promise to shower more money and privelages on the province. Like all appeasment, its a doomed strategy. It only reinforces group divisions - resentment among the donors, dependence on the recipients. Far better to emphasize individual rights before the law and focus on ways to enlarge the economic pie.

It has become fashionable in the US to denigrate the early 1900's as an era of "robber barons." But is was also a period of rapid economic growth that reduced tensions. After WWII America enjoyed over 4% growth per year until 1973. With the exception of the seven fat years of the 80's, growth has been 1/2 that rate. Result: income stagnation and rising social resentment.

In Canada and many European countries where the govt's are even more socialized, the problem is even worse with 9-11% unemployment. Little wonder that skinheads are running amok in Germany. And it is probably not a conincidence that Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims have decided to go their sepate ways after the International Monetary Fund prescribed a dose of economic austerity measures for ex-Yugoslavia.

Alas it is a rare country that can return to the high growth path after having once left it. Tax and spending cuts are judged mean spirited and polls show many Americans are uneasy about the plans to downsize Wash. More than one empire has collapsed due to bankruptcy.

That's why the budget battle in Wash is crucial to the US and world. Foriegn policy is only incindentally a matter for diplomats and troops. It's primarily about setting a good example. What the world needs now is an example of how to climb back from the economic precipice over which many countries are tipping. If the US can point the way back to high growth, it will also be showing how multicutural societies can succeed. Quebec was simply a wake-up call.


1. In view of the season, I'm going to repeat a cute story that Dr. Renee Redman submitted last December.
>From Wed Dec 21 09:43:45 1994

Steve -

This message was from a friend of mine in Canada.  I thought you might find
it mildly amusing.  Merry Christmas

       Well, Virginia there may have been a Santa Claus...



But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be
classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does
not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever


But since Santa doesn't (appear to) handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish
& Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -
378 million according to Population Reference Bureau.   At an average
(census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million
homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.


This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the
earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This
works out to 822.6 visits/second. This is to say that for each
Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 second to
park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the
stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat
whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back
into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of
these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth
(which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our
calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78
miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting
stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours,
plus feeding & etc.

So Santa's sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times
the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made
vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4
miles/second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles/hour.


Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego
set (2 lb), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa,
who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional
reindeer can pull no more than 300 lb. Even granting that "flying
reindeer" (see #1) could pull 10 times the normal amount, we cannot
do the job with 8, or even 9 reindeer. We need 214,200. This
increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh - to
353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen


This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft
reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will
absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy.

Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously,
exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating deafening sonic
booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized
within .00426 of a second. Meanwhile, Santa will be subjected to
centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 lb
Santa (seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his
sleigh by 4,315,015 lb of force.

If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

2. And David Gersten keeps us up on the antics of Buddy Bill.
>From dgersten Tue Dec  5 10:26:34 1995
To: sglanger
Subject: Micorsoft and Internet Browsers


Did you hear that the goverment is investigating Microsofts web browser?
It seem if you install it then none of your other browsers (i.e. NetScape)
will work. Can you imagine that?

Mircosoft claims that the other manufactures s/w is just not robust enough
to work under Win95 and have graciously offered to help those manufactures
bring their code up to MS standards.

Gee isn't Bill a nice guy.

3. And Paul Campell writes from the Keeweenaw.

>From Fri Dec  8 12:31:54 1995
From: "Paul E. Campbell" 
Subject: News submiss.
Hello from the VERY cold U.P. (just had a week straight of -20 dipping temps. with high winds and we're having yet another snow storm this weekend).

Found out from one of the managers at Minneapolis Minntac (iron mining company in Minnesota)..they now openly advertise that women will not be hired. The reason? The cost of the discrimination law suits is so high that Minntac will simply pay the discrimination fines, which are cheaper than the law suits.

On a related note, I have put the following items on my web gunk:

You may wish to read through the U.C.C. It contains the seeds to taint the evidence of any government form which you are "forced" to sign. See Book 1, Section 207. Also I've included a message explaining it below.


Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 07:55:48 -0500

Message-ID: <>

Subject: Re: UCC 1-207

I've been pointing this out for a while now (actually, I got tired of it and haven't said anything for a number of weeks). Some people insist on using a blowtorch for a job that requires a hammer.

Also, it might interest some to know that signing a document 'without prejudice' that you might want to use as evidence in court, like, say, a response to a letter from the IRS, makes that letter inadmissable as evidence in court. Some pertinent info for those who might be prepared to listen this time...

The ONLY use for signing documents 'Without Prejudice' is to protect oneself from any possible HIDDEN CONTRACTS. Many people in the Patriot Community are misinformed as to the proper legal application and use of 'Without Prejudice' ABOVE your signature on documents and correspondence, the ONLY purpose of which is to reserve your rights, thereby protecting them from loss. Also, you can ONLY protect rights that you are IN POSSESSION of at the time you sign the document. If you happen to be a resident alien subject slave, you don't have many 'rights', but one that you DO have is not to be liable for any UNREVEALED contracts or IMPLIED obligations.

The fact is, there is case law which states that the use of 'Without Prejudice' PREVENTS A DOCUMENT FROM BEING USED AS EVIDENCE IN COURT.

"It may, however, be considered SETTLED that letters or admission containing the expression in substance that they are to be 'Without Prejudice' WILL NOT BE ADMITTED IN EVIDENCE...and arrangement stating the letter was 'without prejudice' was held to be INADMISSABLE as evidence...not only will the letter bearing the words, 'Without Prejudice' but also the ANSWER THERETO, whoich was NOT so guarded, was inadmissable..." Ferry v Taylor, 33 Mo. 323; Durgin v Somers, 117 Mass 55; Molyneaux v Collier, 13 Ga. 406

"When correspondence had commenced 'Without Prejudice' but afterwards those words were dropped, it was IMMATERIAL;" 6 Ont 719

When you do not want to be 'presumed' to be waiving rights or acquiescing to de facto statutes, you should sign ALL documents 'Without Prejudice' ABOVE your signature. These documents cannot then be used against you if you properly challenge their admission as evidence.

However, if you are making claims that you may WANT to use as potential evidence IN YOUR FAVOR, DO NOT sign 'Without Prejudice'.

The above from 'The Higher Truth' newsletter, by Lynne Meredith, author of 'Vultures in Eagles Clothing', 714-375-6331.

I believe it was Howard Freeman who originated the following, although what I heard on a tape of his didn't mention bankruptcy. The one I am quoting is from Nord Davis' pamphlet, 'Sui Juris'.

"Your honor, my use of 'Without Prejudice' above my signature on this document indicates that I have excercised the remedy provided for me in the Uniform Commercial Code at Article 1, Section 207, whereby I might reserve my Common Law Right not to be bound by, nor compelled to perform under any contract, commercial agreement or bankruptcy that I have not entered into Knowingly, Voluntarily, and Intentionally. That reservation also serves notice upon ALL of the administrative agencies of government, Federal, State and Local, that I do not and WILL not accept the liability associated with the 'compelled benefit' of any unrevealed contract, commercial agreement or bankruptcy."

Now, what IS the 'compelled benefit' mentioned in the last sentence? It is the 'priveledge' of being able to DISCHARGE our debts, using funny money, rather than PAYING them with Lawful Money (Gold and Silver Coin).

I would highly recommend memorizing this statement (alter it at your own will and risk), so that you can rattle it off at a moment's notice. By the way, a Judge is the ONLY person who can legally ask you what you mean(t) by signing 'Without prejudice' on any document. Also, it is NOT neccessary to write 'per UCC 1-207' on the document. The UCC itself says that simply putting the words 'without prejudice' or 'under protest' are sufficient.

In Liberty,


On a related note, a fellow has also compiled a list of the documents necessary to understand the fraudulent nature of Social Security Insurance, and the fact that there are *no* requirements to buy into the social insecurity scheme.

Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 16:05:58 -0800 (PST)

From: Patrick Lear


The following list shows you the information you must find to get out of=20 Social Security. Straight from the horse's mouth!

Have fun :-)

Citizen Patrick Lear, Sui Juris

How to leave Social Security:

Look-up the following:

  1. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
  2. Supreme Court Rule 17.1
  3. Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917 (12 USC 95a) (50 USC App. 5b)
  4. Act of April 28, 1942 (40 USC 278b)
  5. Act of June 30, 1949 (41 USC 252)
  6. Section 3477 Revised Statutes (31 USC 203)
  7. Section 3737 Revised Statutes (41 USC 15)
  8. Public Law 85-804 (Act of Aug. 28, 1958, 72 Stat. 927; 50 USC 1431-1435)
  9. Section 2304(a)(1) Title 10 USC
  10. Title 10 USC Sec. 3313, 6386(c), 8313.

Have fun 'til next time.

4. NC State Jeff takes up the tax challenge;

>From Mon Dec 18 15:15:57 1995

Hi again,

> "Can you come up with anything that would be fairer than
> a national flat sales tax?"

Yes.  The status quo.  The status quo sucks but pretty much anything would be
more fair that a national flat sales tax.  A big lottery where everyone in
the country is forced to participate would be more fair.  With this
annual lottery, the government would get absolutely everything you own if your
number came up and otherwise you'd pay nothing.  Even this lottery would be more
fair than a national flat sales tax because, with the lottery, everyone
would have the same risk.  With your sales tax and no inheritance tax,
those who inherit a lot of money would be tempted to sit on their fat asses and
waste their lives instead of learning to work.

hope things are fine and I look forward to a harder question next month,

Ed: So Jeff is a Type I conservative. Ah yes, and I'm sure that no one sits on their ass now. And exactly how big a percentage of rich people do you think have inherited their wealth (aside from Kennedy, Gore and Rockefellar)?

5. And Joe takes a stab;

>From Mon Dec 18 15:25:03 1995

Survey Answer:

I can think of something better than a national flat sales tax.
First the problems: A national sales tax would actually MASK or HIDE the
true rate of taxation from the citizenry.

We don't REALLY know how much of each product dollar we spend goes toward
some sort of taxation... As goods travel from raw materials, through
production and to the various channels of distribution, taxes are added at
every step. Raw materials are taxed, labor is "taxed" (FICA, Medicare
Taxes, etc.), distribution is taxed via interstate transport and "usage"
fees, inventory is taxed via advelorum taxes based on the stock in the
warehouse. When finished goods are purchased, we pay other federal, state,
or local taxes. The price of goods is higher at every level of production.
The final consumer price is higher, because businesses must pass these
prices on.

At this point, the rate of taxation is really quite high. It has been said
that the actual total taxes we each pay per year might be as high as
45-50%!! This assumes a 28% marginal rate - the "rich" who take risks and
invest in our growth are often liable for more! Count your 1994 Federal and
State returns - that number isn't derived from there alone... BUT, count in
your FICA, Medicare and other payroll taxes, your present Federal sales
taxes (like gasoline) and State and local taxes (like everything you buy at
the mall and computer store). It adds up! Don't forget the higher prices
from "production/distribution" taxes.

A flat Federal sales tax would drive consumer prices sky-high, as this tax
would be appended to everything else already levied. The ecconomy could
suffer. Since this tax would be "hidden" (don't make me explain all THAT
again!), politicians and buracrats could incrementally move the rate (yes,
upward!) and we would never really know - not for a long time, at least...

The solution: A flat-rate income tax. If everyone could count on paying
say, 17% of their income and nothing else, they could budget this payment
like any utility bill. Even better, we would know EXACTLY what we are
paying in taxes (a FIRST in my lifetime)! We could then be appropriately
pleased or outraged. Polititions would have no place to hide. They would be
fully accountable.

The whole tax code would be trashed, the IRS would be a skeleton-crew
mailroom, and polititians would not be able to discreatly steal more money
from us via some unknown "loophole" they invented. The present tax code =
POWER. People have made their careers creating and feeding this present
monster. It must be abolished.

We would fill out a poscard for a return - about 15 minutes of time. We
would pay our bills monthly or quarterly. We would know EXACTLY how much we
are paying. The electorate would find such a structure easy to understand,
and they would find it easier to be vigilant

A flat rate income tax is the best solution for our failed system of taxation.

6. Rafe Donahue;

>From Mon Dec 18 15:32:42 1995

Maybe just a cost per person would be fairer. Or a poll tax. Yeah,
that'd be cool.

 Anyway, I
think that we should have a graduated income tax that has %-age go DOWN
as income goes up. Reasoning: People that make lots of money cannot do
so totally independently. Thus, people who make lots of money are
already bearing their fair share of helping people out by providing jobs
to people who help them make money. Also, that way incentive to work and
earn would increase which would help the economy.

If you want to be *really* fair, you cannot tax people in proportion to
earnings. The only really fair thing to do is to tax people equally;
that is, charge everyone a certain fee to live in the US. One person=one
vote=one charge. Essentially that boils down to a poll tax. But it's
fair. Charging people in proportion to their consumption (ie, flat sales
tax) is not fair. Why not tax people in proportion to the amount that
they sleep at night? Or in proportion to their height? Or weight? The
only 'fair' thing is a flat DOLLAR tax. Maybe $2500/person/year. Or
whatever it turns out to be. If you don't pay, you either go to jail (do
not pass go) or you don't get to vote.


8. Texas Tom writes;

>From Mon Dec 18 12:27:28 1995

>"Can you come up with anything that would be fairer than
>a national flat sales tax?"
I think there should be a national exponential sales tax, so that after a
certain point, you're actually paying more tax than the cost of the item you
are purchasing.

Ed: Well Tom, you have your wish now. There are many products, alcohol and tobacco and ammunition come to mind, where the tax is several times the base product worth.

9. Sheryl writes;

>From RSC!RSC! Fri Dec 22 13:00:42 1995

To all of Steve's readers:

I thought I would take this moment (since Steve probably won't) to wish you
all a very Merry Christmas and A wonderful new year!!!  The reason a lot of
you didn't get paper Christmas wishes from Steve is because he believes in
the world of electronics and does not save paper addresses.  To all of you
that sent cards to Steve's old address he has relocated and his new address
is 408 14th Ave SE, Rochester, MN  55904.  His mail is still forwarded-all
EXCEPT for his LINUX journal!!!(that we know of)


In reply to U.P. Chuck's message last month you were right.  All
conversations somehow eventually end up returning to one subject.  SHI_!
 Why is this?


This was in the Rochester Post Bulletin on 12-20-95

A motorist stopped at a red light was surprised Monday evening when a woman
opened the door and jumped into his car about 7pm.  The man was stopped in
traffic when the woman got in his car, he told police.  When the woman
refused to get out, he drove a couple blocks to the gov't center for police
help.  Two officers responded and got the woman, who smelled of alcohol, out
of the car and into the back of a squad car.  But when the officers went to
get in, the woman had removed her clothes.  The officers said her speech was
slurred and the squad smelled of alcohol.  They took her to the Zumbro
Valley Crisis Receiving Center.  Police said she refused to put on any
clothes, even after officers opened the car windows hoping she would get
cold enough to cover up.  Police said she did put on a coat to go into the
Crisis Center, but immediately tossed it aside once inside.  Officers
grabbed a blanket to cover her until she was admitted.
(I think she had to many Christmas Spirits to drink!)

Oh, the answer to this month's fix- I don't know-that's why I have YOU!

Faithfully Yours,

10. Dr. Grimm writes:
From: (Jerry Grimm)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: LASTCALL
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 1995 13:01:50 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <> from "LANGER STEVEN
C" at Dec 18, 95 10:56:50 am
X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL23]
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Status: R


Actually, the Marion Barry follies have been somewhat subdued, while we
have the Newt-n-Bill follies instead.  So why are Social security admins
essential employees but park rangers aren't?

> "Can you come up with anything that would be fairer than
> a national flat sales tax?"

Sure can.  But it won't be simple.  Fair and simple are mutually
exclusive.  But given that my complexity tends to affect those with
more money, that is ok.  It would be somewhat graduated, as follows:
   1st 10,000 per wage earner:  tax-free
   Exemptions for children, such that a single-parent family of 3 at the
poverty level pays no taxes (or a higher exemption for kids as well).
   The tax rate on income is then:
      10,000 - 50,000    15%
      50,000 - 125,000   19%
     125,000 - 200,000   24%
     200,000+            30%
   And as for capitol gains, assets held for less than 2 years are taxed
at income rates, more than two years a capitol gains tax of 15%.

You see my basic principles:  some gradation in rates and a capitol gains
tax which rewards long-term investment thinking.  What defines income?  I
would keep much of the same structure as currently, except exclude the
first 10,000 of interst income, the first 5,000 of dividend income on
stocks held less than 2 years, and the first 10,000 of div income on
stocks, etc held more than 2 years, and exclude unemployment compensation
(is anyone surprised at this last item?).

The only deductions I would allow, would be interest income on a primary
residence and charitable giving.  And I would get rid of any tax credits.

All in all, I think that our tax systems is reasonably fair, except for
the sudden jump in rates between 15% and 28%.

Fair?  I think so.  Simple?  No way.

Mike Grimm

Quotes(s) of the month:

"Bigot: Anyone who defeats a liberal in a debate."

--Bumper Sticker

"Never underestimate the attraction of the obvious."

--SGL on learning that one of the most honored posters at RSNA 95 basically said that you can read X-ray film better with no glare than when you're looking at it with the equivalent of oncoming halogen headlights in your face.

"You make policy with verbs and nouns. Rhetoric with adjectives and adverbs. We have only heard the latter from this President."

-- Rep. Congressperson Dick Army on budget negotiations with Clinton.

Fix of the month:

"Given that the Reps. will fail to balance the budget, Clinton will be reelected, the govt will go bankrupt and civilization will die by the year 2050, how will you and yours survive the coming cataclysm?"



1. Rochester, Dec. 19: A woman picked up for disorderly conduct disrobed in the squad car while officers attempted to drive her to Detox. In an attempt to convince her to re-clothe herself, they lowered the windows to the 20 deg external temps, but she remained nude until they reached the Detox shelter.


1. Salt Lake, Dec. 16: Fresh Rep. Congressperson Enid Waldholz held a tearful 5 hour press conference to denounce her campaign finance chair/husband as a deceitful thief. When questioned why she did not respond to inquiries left by investigators on her anwering machine, she claimed she didn't know the access code.

Ed: I'm not aware of any machine that requires a code if you are standing by it.


1. LA, Dec. 13: Alledgedly, OJ Simpson trial judge Lance Ito sent out personalized X-mas cards to his closest friends with a picture of himself at the bench with his face buried in his hands. The caption read, "Mr. Cochran, for the last time, the song White Christmas is not a racial slur."


1. Dec. 22: The state supreme Court upheld the nullification of a law that held a man responsible for debts ammased by his spouse. The court held that since the arrow of responsibility only went one way, the law was discriminitory. The Natl. Org. of Women immediatly denounced the decision on the grounds that it weakened the depth of committment in a marriage.

Wash. D.C.

1. Dec. 11: The President signed into law a bill to revert speed limit controls on the nation's highways back to the states. Opponents make the obvious claims that death tolls and fuel use will soar. The Montana state legislature lost no time in repealing all daytime speed limits for auto drivers on their state freeways.

2. Dec. 19: While claiming that Rep. increases in Medicare will bankrupt seniors, the AARP's (American Assoc. for Retired persons) own insurance plan has issued a 50% premium increase effective for next year.

3. Dec. 14: Congressperson Pat Schroeder (Dem Col) has announced her retirement.

4. Dec. 18: Time magazine repeated, as did all other major news weeklies and TV shows, that Clinton vetoed the latest Rep. budget with the same pen used by Lyndon Johnson when he signed Medicaid and Medicare into law. What Time and the other media neglected to observe, is that while Johnson signed those bills with a felt tip pen, Clinton was using a ball point.


1. Paris, Dec. 12: The French Commanding General in Bosnia was dismissed from his post for the unpardonable sin of speaking the truth. It appears that he has read the Dayton peace accord, found it completely unenforceable, and has denounced it as a gimmick by the Clinton Admin. to improve Clinton's image while going into the 96 election. France's Prime Minister explained the dismissal as a punishment for the General's tactlessness.

Net News;

1. To continue a year end tradition, I will list the last known email addresses of all the folks that I have tabs on. No doubt some of these are out of date. Please mail in the corrections if you have them. Join the Holliday spirit and talk to someone you haven't for awhile. Merry X-mas everyone and a very happy New Year.

# MSU Folks
anita scripter          ''
chuck scripter          ''
reg ronningen           ''
reman pfaff             ''
jeff karn               ''
lawrence heilbronn      'gunner%wsvax3.hepnet@Lbl.Gov'
jim clayton             ''
aaron galonsky          'galonsky@msunscl.bitnet'
mike grimm              ''
john johnson            ''
rooster                 ''
paul rutt               ''
pete markowitz          ''
frans pigeaud           ''
mike mohar              ''

# Hartford pals
matt birkholz           ''
renee redman            ''
steve schauer           'chem011@uabdpo.bitnet'
rafe donahue            ''
jim smith               ''
brian donahue           ''

# Madison pals
tom hall                ''
jeff thorne             ''
kerry  neef             ''

# Misc contacts
alias rush              ''
alias clinton           ''

# Michigan Tech
doug wilkin             ''
paul campbel            ''
l howard                ''
dave gay                ''
bob langer              ''

# Beaumont
lauri townsend          ''
peter corry             ''
david gersten           ''
bruce steinert          ''
barb chapman            ''
bo gao                  ''
john ofenstein          ''

# Rochester MN folks
kim  butts              ''
ben brinkman            ''
david thiele            ''
rich berger             ''
sheryl quimby           'rsc!rsc!'
craig hildestad         ''
joe nottoli             ''
fred potts              ''
smithson                ''

2. The following is from a fellow medical physicist from a private mailing list. Since I don't have permission to use his name for this, I'll just include the content.

>From owner-medphys@CMS.CC.WAYNE.EDU Sun Dec 17 18:28:34 1995

Dear Colleagues -

The telecommunications legislation (S 652 and HR 1555) is indeed grave
cause for concern.

The column below by Howard Rheingold, the noted author, has more passion
than information about the current situation. Still, I send it to you as
a kind of ringing alarm clock. The problem is that the reasoned
technical and legal discussion involves a lot of lengthy detail that too
few have time for. S.652 is a poorly organized 300K. You can get to it
via the Thomas Legislative Database at

There are several organizations with WWW sites that have information
about the net censorship legislation:

American Civil Liberties Union (
Center for Democracy and Technology (
Electronic Frontier Foundation (
Electronic Privacy Information Center (
Wired Magazine (
Voters Telecommunications Watch (

Let me know if I can help you with any more detailed pursuits of the



Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 23:32:58 -0800
From: (Howard Rheingold)
Subject: Call The White House Now

The following "Tomorrow" column will be published by King Features client
newspapers the week of December 25. Permission is granted to reproduce this
and retransmit this column electronically. Fax it to offline friends.

Last Stop Before the Censorship State

By Howard Rheingold

        Americans have one last chance before we lose the Net. If American
citizens write, call, and fax the President now and urge him to veto the
telecommunications deregulation bill, we might not lose an opportunity to
revitalize the democratic process and grow hundreds of thousands of small
Net-based businesses. And we might not hand over a nascent native  industry
(the dominant industry of the twenty first century) to international
        The effects of this legislation (S 652) go far beyond the Internet,
reaching into every aspect of American lives, undoubtedly influencing the
shape of the democracy our children will grow up in. This
telecommunications bill encourages the concentration of ownership of all
news, entertainment, and communication media, institutes censorship
provisions that will put online service providers out of business, cut off
universities from the worldwide network, and turn American scientists,
engineers, educators, entrepreneurs into a nation of Net-morons in an
increasingly online world. This bill allows rates to rise too high and too
fast, is generous with megacorporations and stingy with education, and it
completely ignores the widening gap between information-rich and
        Through months of committee debates and decisions, censors and
monopolists have won every battle over the future of the Internet. By
shamelessly exploiting legislators' and citizens' ignorance of the nature
of the Internet, a small group who are intent upon imposing their brand of
morality on everyone else,are about to silence a potentially powerful
medium for citizen-to-citizen communication, cripple American industries
trying to compete in global markets, and create a Federal bureaucracy with
the power to determine what is decent for citizens to say.
        Congress will almost certainly send to the President a
telecommunications reform bill that can send people to jail for two years
and fine them $100,000 for mentioning the seven words that are forbidden
from radio and television. Mention of abortion, condoms or safe sex are
almost certain to be the next items forbidden. American universities, on
the advice of their attorneys will turn off all Internet access for their
students as soon as the law goes into effect.
        American citizens don't have to be electrical engineers to
understand the nature of the new communication media. But we do need to
have the truth told and the complexities explained, and that has not
happened. Computer BBSs, e-mail, citizen networks, mean that you no longer
have to own a press to benefit from freedom of the press: every desktop
connected to the Net is a printing press, a place of assembly, a
broadcasting station. The idea that ordinary taxpayers should have the
power to publish eyewitness reports, argue policy, distribute information
threatens the old power structures. Politicians and corporations whose
fortunes are based on control of mass media  fear their power will erode to
the citizens.
        Legislators have failed to uphold their oath to defend the
Constitution by pursuing such nonsense as flag-burning amendments to the
Constitution while at the same time destroying the liberties that flag
symbolizes. Internet censorship legislation is not about pornography on the
Internet (which will easily move offshore). It's about who will have the
power and control to broadcast words, images, and sounds, to everyone else.
Citizens? Or cartels?
        A trillion-dollar pie is being cut up. We, the people, are getting
cut out. Speak up. We still have the right to communicate with the
President and demand that he hold the line. Tell him to send this back to
Congress. We've been living for sixty years under the rules set forth in
the Communications Act of 1934. Now the Congress is changing the rules
again, determining the way our nation and its industries will communicate,
educate, and do business for decades to come. We deserve better than this.
Tell Clinton to tell Congress to try again, to cut the citizens of this
country into the deal, and to keep their hands off the Bill of Rights.
        Contact the White House right now:
        (202) 456-1414 Phone
        (202) 456-1111 Comment Line
        (202) 456-2461 Fax.


Howard Rheingold
Fax: 415 388 3913

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