A Day in the Life

The following story is just one of many email exchanges that are shared between myself and the great friend of POM, Annette (aka Annspinwall.)  She felt that this would be a worthy human interest story to share with a broader audience, and I agreed (after some cajoling.)

Hi Annette,

This message is a long one.  You may want to save it for bedtime.

As you know, this morning I did my first “salt flush.”  You may also recall that around lunchtime, thanks to said flush, I reported feeling hungry in a healthier kind of way.  I decided to forgo eating until dinnertime but wanted a cup of coffee.  Since it was such a beautiful day today, I decided to go to a nearby convenience store instead of making it myself (something that I rarely do.)  Before I proceed, I must back up a bit.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life”

Irony

I write here about a personal event, but also one that happened 31 years ago, so time has healed most of the wound. The event was as follows: A man broke into our house and raped our eight-year-old daughter on March 20, 1987. I was asleep in the basement, my then-wife asleep on the couch after having watched March Madness (she followed Notre Dame).

Police were unable to solve the crime, and because of its gruesome nature, had to provide the public with a perpetrator. They settled on a young man, Jimmy Ray Bromgard, and lacking any evidence, forged hair samples and provided an “expert”witness who said those hairs were Jim’s. The kid spent fifteen years in prison. In 2002 the Innocence Project set him free, and because the State of Montana was fraudulent in its case against him, he received a $3.5 million settlement. I imagine he got some of that. I hope he did.

In 2015 the real perpetrator was uncovered, Ronald Dwight Tipton, whose family name appears in the 1988 Billings, Montana phone book as living one block from our home. Why did he choose our daughter? That’s a family matter. I understand it now, though I did not before this year. However, Tipton will walk free now, as the statute has run.

I understand irony. It is a thing quite apart from humor. It cuts deep. Our “justice” system first imprisoned an innocent man. No one cared that Jim Bromgard was innocent. They “solved” the crime. The system worked. The lead detective on the crime landed a nice FBI position!

They have now let the guilty man go free. It cuts no deeper than that.

How not to rebel?

Immanuel Velikovsky died in 1979. The following passage is from his book Mankind in Amnesia, published in 1982. I found it, like him, profoundly insightful. He describes a situation that has not changed in the intervening years. It is, in fact, much, much worse. We are surrounded not just by stagnated and bureaucratic science, but with corrupt science. Warm your globe on that.

Continue reading “How not to rebel?”

Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong

Zero-Cut No Commercial Logging again? A quarter century after it became the banner and guiding star for much of the grassroots forest movement, and then over a decade of semi-retirement, the campaign for this legislation is trying to mount a national revival. My question is simple: Is it the best strategy for a collapsed forest movement, daily confronting the debacle of rapidly increasing logging and roadbuilding in the national forests?

The combination of President Trump and an overtly hostile Republican-controlled Congress has shocked the grassroots, non-collaboration forest movement. Awakening from over a decade of a sort of slumber, these forest defense activists are daily burning up internet chat rooms with news chronicling cascading losses in Agriculture and Interior Department rules, regulations, administrative edicts, and newly-passed laws and congressional riders that roll back decades of environmental laws and court victories.

They are stunned to see the reality that their strategy of timber sales appeals and lawsuits are no longer holding back the bulldozers and chain saws of the timber industry and its U.S. Forest Service puppet. As they ponder these mounting losses, they watch their local forests logged with increasing ferocity, a comprehensive assault on public lands with transgressions that few imagined they would live to see. Continue reading “Campaign of Illusions: Where the Zero Cut Movement to Save the National Forests Went Wrong”

What is up with 8, 11 and 33?

Find the next two numbers in this series:

1,2,2,4,8,11,33

The answer, as shown here, is 37 and 148. This has no significance in regard to this post, but I thought it kind of funny that the three numbers I will be discussing, 8,11 and 33, just happened to pop up. That is a coincidence.

I was listening to Ab over at Fakeologist some time ago, one of his call-in podcasts, and in it he said something to the effect that he does not pay much attention to numerology. I tend to agree with him, but only to a degree. I do not think there is any particular significance to any number any more than there is to any one hair on my head. Numbers serve a useful purpose. They help us quantify and measure things.

I know that some numbers have unusual properties, 9 for example – any time two numbers are transposed, 18 for 81 for example, the difference is divisible by nine. There is a such a thing called the “rule of 72”: Divide the rate of return on an investment into 72 and the answer is how many years it will take to double. It works. A 6% return doubles in 12 years, and a 12% return doubles in 6 years.

That is just fun and games, however, and has no cosmic significance. There is, however, something going on with numbers and public hoaxes and fake events. There may be superstition beneath it – if so, I do not care. Numbers still mean nothing. Superstitious people often have odd beliefs.

I am going to go through some numbers here, taken right out of real events, just to demonstrate the importance of what I once heard a man named Michael Parenti say: “Just because we don’t know what they are doing does not mean that they don’t know what they are doing.”

Continue reading “What is up with 8, 11 and 33?”

Pro$perity Pu$hers: An Oral Report

Welcome to the second edition in my series based on the materialistic and heretical theology known as the “Prosperity Gospel.”

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Joyce Meyer (born Pauline Joyce Hutchison) is a Charismatic Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries.  Meyer claims that she was praying while driving to work one morning in 1976 (age 33) when she said she heard God call her name.  She came home later that day from a beauty appointment “full of liquid love” and was “drunk with the Spirit of God” that night while at the local bowling alley.  (I think that’s called “a bender.”)  Within a few years, Meyer was an associate pastor.  In 1985, she resigned as associate pastor and began her own ministry, airing a radio show on six stations from Chicago to Kansas City.  In 1993, her husband Dave suggested they start a TV ministry initially airing on superstation WGN-TV in Chicago and Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Continue reading “Pro$perity Pu$hers: An Oral Report”

Taxes Part 2: The Tax on Social Security Benefits

Note to readers: Part one of this two-part essay was about FICA, and how a hidden tax affecting only people who work for wages is used to levy a heavy tax on those workers. Part of the strategy behind that tax is to hide half of it behind the employer, calling it a matching tax.

This part of the essay deals with another tax, this one not so hidden, but its creeping nature slowly taking more and more benefits from Social Security recipients each year. The means by which they accomplished this were diabolically clever.

This essay will be a bit more complicated than the one before, so if you find the calculations incomprehensible, merely skim them, as I will describe the  outcome in understandable terms.

As Johnny Carson used to say of comedy, “If you buy the premise, you buy the bit.” The premises behind taxation of Social Security benefits are two: (1) The program is in dire straits, and will soon run out of money, and (2) Recipients receive a gift in the form of the employer match, so that it is just to levy income tax on half of the benefits paid.

Continue reading “Taxes Part 2: The Tax on Social Security Benefits”