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KenMillerSteals.com
 
One of the worst political villains every to have challenged the Tea Party was Ken Miller, the current Treasurer of Oklahoma.    Miller had entered the fray by preventing the hearing of a 2nd Amendment bill in the 2010 legislative session, partnering with former state rep Guy Liebman to tuck a key piece of legislation into Lieberman’s committee where it could only be dislodged by Ken Miller who was the House Appropriations and Budget Chairman.   When confronted with his deed Miller actually dragged Lieberman off the House floor  to the lobby of the House Chamber where with clenched jaw Lieberman proclaimed “It will be a cold day in hell before I release that bill.”'
 
Ken Miller further distinguished himself by lying about his voting record during his 2010 Treasurers race, claiming to have never voted for a tax increase despite being the AUTHOR of over a third of a billion in increased taxes on Oklahomans in the 2010 legislative session.   Removing his name just minutes before the final vote, once enough arms had been twisted to assure passage, and voting against the legislation he had authored and shepherded through the process counted as voting against a tax increase.  One  bill that passed the final vote with his name still intact as author so Miller decided to blame his secretary for not removing his name, a mere typo he called it.
 
Lieberman of course paid for his deed in the 2012 election, losing his seat to newcomer Mike Turner after a Tea Party newspaper was dropped on 30,000 of Lieberman’s constituents.   Miller paid a price earlier with the creation of KenMillerLied.com right before his primary race for State Treasurer in 2010, along with thousands of KenMillerLied.com signs posted from border to border.  Had Miller’s opponent not been allegedly a notorious drunk Miller might have lost that race but Miller was rattled and looking over his shoulder for years afterward.
 
And just like an old Batman TV show back in the sixties, the villain appears once again after being sued by an Oklahoma patriot over the Universal Unclaimed Property Act Trust, the UUPA.  The Trust was established in 1967 for unclaimed money and property from businesses, with the state holding the assets in trust until the rightful owner or heirs could be found. Currently there are almost one million people with money sitting in that trust, over a half billion dollars in liabilities, yet under the Ken Miller administration less than 100 million dollars in assets remain and new money to the tune of around ten million dollars a year comes in to pay the old debts as people successfully apply for their unclaimed property.  As in the classic example of a Ponzi scheme, the new money coming in pays for the outstanding debts of the initial investors.
 
Up steps Bob Dani, the head of the conservative High Noon Club that meets at the H&H Gun Range on Fridays, a well know public figure.   Dani was owed a substantial sum from the UUPA, some of the cash dating back a decade.   Dani sues Miller and the past Attorney Generals of the state for running a Ponzi scheme and misappropriating nearly a half billion dollars in the public’s money.
 
The UUPA was set up in Title 60 of the Oklahoma Statutes, Section 668, where it is labeled a trust fund and the state treasurer is given responsibility and sole control over the trust fund.  Now we all know what trust funds are, they protect the assets of minors or individuals and are supposed to be administered so that the assets are safe from embezzlement, safely invested, so that the trust fund is able to pay expenses and carry out its duty to the trust beneficiary.
 
The fund has been challenged before but several  Oklahoma Court decisions have maintained that the UUPA is “custodial in nature” and does not “escheat” to the state, a fancy word that means the State can claim the money if no rightful heirs step forward.  Basically the state gets the cash if they can successfully challenge any attempt by the heirs to recover the money or assets.  But the courts laid it out in plain language; the UUPA holds property in trust for rightful owners.
 
Miller publically agrees with this, running ads on KTOK radio asking people to apply for “their” money and hat Miller wants them to have it.   How sweet….  Miller even claimed in the ads that the money winds up in a safe at the State Capitol.
 
Section 670 of Title 60 states that Miller is to retain enough money as a reserve to ensure that all claims are paid promptly and that a rightful owner’s claims are never extinguished, yet Miller has allowed the reserved funds to fall to a mere 20% of the liabilities.  Section 671 obligates Miller to withhold payments to the state general funds if the reserve falls below the legal limit. 
 
Traditionally the transfers to the state general fund from the UUPA have been in the range of 2 to 10 million dollars per year, transferring around a half billion dollars of your money into the state general fund over the forty years the trust has been in existence.   But Treasurer Ken Miller vastly inflated the plundering of the trust fund once he took office:
 
· His first year, 2010, 60 million dollars was transferred
·  2nd year, 2011, 10 million dollars transferred
·3rd year, 2012, 25 million transferred
·4th year, 2013, 37 million transferred
·5th year, 2014, 45 million transferred
· 6th year, 2015, 51 million transferred
 
But the theft doesn’t end there, the UUPA money is required by statute to be invested safely and the proceeds are to be deposited into the state general fund, something that no other trust fund allows.  The amount of annual interest or income usually is between 70 and 80 million dollars, now imagine how large that fund would be had the interest and income been returned to the rightful owners over 4 decades.
 
And it gets worse, Article 10 section 23 of the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits debt incurred by the state yet Miller has watched while the UUPA debt has ballooned to nearly a half billion dollars.   And the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 2 Section 7 of the Oklahoma Constitution prohibit the state from taking property without due process of law, meaning the 460 million dollars and the interest/income from that pot of cash cannot be taken without due process, without a trial.
 
Miller is going to scream “But the statute of limitations has tolled.” And he would be wrong as our state Constitution says that unconstitutional actions do not ever toll with time and numerous court decisions affirm this is true.
 
And worse, Miller signed an oath as a state rep and as the state treasurer to uphold the state and federal constitutions.    Not only has Miller broken that oath, he has systematically robbed the trust fund according to allegations in the lawsuit that claim inappropriate expenses were claimed against the trust fund.
 
The lawsuit asks that Bob Dani be made whole with the return of the interest on his money while in state custody and that the state refrain from robbing the trust fund in the future.   Attorney fees and a small amount to the nearly one million property owners are also requested.
 
Miller of course is falling back to what worked so well last time; lying his butt off.   Miller requested the A.G. office to defend him and then Miller had Tim Allen of the Treasurer’s office leak the email to a newspaper:
 
From: Ken Miller Internal
 Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 5:22 PM
 To: '
kindanne.jones@oag.ok.gov
<mailto:< span>kindanne.jones@oag.ok.gov>'
Subject: Legal Representation

 Kindanne,

 Please consider this a formal request for representation for Oklahoma County District Court Case No. CJ-2015-3445, Dani v. Miller. While this office has yet to receive formal notification of filing of the suit, the attorney for the plaintiff, Jerry Fent, delivered copies of the suit to the news media on Monday and the text of the petition is currently available via OSCN. A copy of the suit, as downloaded from OSCN, is attached.

 The suit, which contains numerous factual errors, alleges the Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Program has operated illegally and unconstitutionally since its inception in 1967. It should be noted that the legality of the state program is well established and is based on uniform laws used by all 50 states.

 It has been well documented in the press that I do not like the extent to which the Legislature has relied on the Unclaimed Property to fund recurring expenditures, but that does not make it illegal. Ironically, just this year I proposed legislation to convert the UP fund into an endowment and allow the Legislature to only spend the interest earnings, but the bill did not advance. However, in addition to being a consumer protection and service, UP laws are in place so that the public benefits from unclaimed monies that go uncollected rather than the private businesses that retained them.

 By statute, after the treasurer determines the reserves necessary to meet expected claims, the Legislature may take for a public purpose money in excess of the reserve. Nonetheless, no unclaimed property owner ever surrenders their right to claim their money. It should also be noted that Oklahoma has NEVER had insufficient reserves to meet claims – even as we have doubled our payback to citizens in the last two years.

The plaintiff, Robert Dani, is a private investigator who is on record in this office as having worked with former representative Mike Reynolds in an heir finder business. He is also the same Bob Dani who ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in 2012 and heads the ultraconservative High Noon Club that meets monthly at the H & H Gun Range. Of course he is requesting $10,000 interest for his $169 claim. I guess the state is now supposed to reward him for losing track of his property rather than provide a safekeeping service. So, I am not sure if his motive is publicity to aid his political or business interest or just for the money, but I do know his allegations are absurd and especially infuriating by suggesting that I have not upheld my oath of office.

As such, I request the state consider seeking a declaration that this is frivolous lawsuit and that the costs of defending it be ordered paid by the defendant.

Warm regards,

 Ken Miller
 
 
Miller of course spins the story for self protection and attacks Bob Dani, calling him an ultra conservative when everyone knows that Dani is more a moderate Republican.   There is no request for $10,000 in interest for Dani in the lawsuit and Dani expects to be treated the same as the nearly one million other citizens who have been robbed.   Miller goes on to impugn both Dani and the lawsuit as intended for publicity for business or political reasons and reveals the real reason that Miller is upset; that Miller hasn’t upheld his oath of office.
 
 
 
 
 
Turn Em’ Lose, Yeah That’s The Ticket
By Ms PM
 
Missy Mary could be suffering from a lack of blood supply to her brain with this latest scheme to release inmates. With the age old excuse from government used to protect Oklahomans from every form of any perceived safety issue one would think that opening prison doors onto society might go against this philosophy. 
 
As it stands now prisoners serving time under the dandy term of “85% crimes” must serve at least 85% of their sentence. First degree murder, rape and lewd molestation, aggravated drug trafficking, first degree burglary and not to mention certain forms of assault and battery are lumped into this term of 85% crimes.
 
So this sweet deal isn’t so sweet because the ding-bat wants the corrections board to change policy and allow most of our “best in society” serving time to get early release credits.
 
Governess Stupid says “It is clear that the current one-size-fits-all policy of the Department of Corrections does not correctly reflect the law of Oklahoma.” Is this a pattern we see when laws are written and government can’t seem to spell out the language that distinguishes shit from shinola? Didn’t government give away a ton of money to insurance companies over a five year period then want to raid the unclaimed property fund because they aren’t bright enough to run a state within a budget? And while talking about money…lets follow the trail.
 
This “dumping the unsavory” onto society will “save the state around $2.3 million over 18 months.” Yum yum another wad of money to frivolously play with. Now that the top priority of saving money has been identified we can look at the other things on the justification list:
 
-“Allowing prisoners to receive early release lowers the prison population.” Do we have this right? Our money is spent to lock them up but the ultimate goal is to change the law to let them out so our Governor appears to be doing a fine job at lowering incarceration rates.
-“Provides inmates with an incentive to abide by prison rules and policies.” Ring the freedom bell somebody…It must be a better incentive to be locked behind bars because some folks want to take the chance at getting caught doing crimes against their fellow citizens.  Is letting them out early really going to stop the stupid?
-“Perceived advantage of a safer work environment for correctional officers.” (note the chosen word, doesn’t mean it will be an advantage, but it sounds very governmental.)
-“Allowing those prisoners to accrue early-release credits prior to serving 85% of their time was one of the recommendations of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in 2012.” So let’s look at that grand plan.
 
The Justice Reinvestment Initiative was promised to use alternatives to steer people away from prison by lowering incarceration rates and save money which would be spent in public safety efforts. Oops, not working in Oklahoma, another bait and switch from the forked tongues that run the state. It’s set up to be a talking point of how great Ms Slick Fallin is but unfortunately she wasn’t able to fund what was needed to make it work. It could be said that the corruption runs too deep and her participation makes for an unlikely positive outcome.
 
 
Now we have a coincidental visit from O-Shithead to visit El Reno Medium security prison. The Big Head’s mouthpiece says that the Shithead has “campaigned for months to overhaul sentencing guidelines for non-violent offences. The president will outline the unfairness in much of our criminal justice system, highlight bipartisan ideas for reform and lay out his ideas to make our country fairer, smarter and more cost effective while keeping the American people safe and secure."
 
This sounds like a piece taken from the Fallin handbook. She takes a deep breath as she pumps up her bosom and distorts the facts. All we know is she will likely pander to the Big Boy by saying what she is in the process of getting done all the while extending her hand for handouts. We wonder… did she get the curvature of her pie hole by practicing on frozen tubular ice cream treats? It’s all in a day’s work!
 
 
 
 
Absolute Power
Absolute corruption
By the Watchman
 
Seldom in Oklahoma History has Corruption at the State Capital been so transparent as it is at this time. The most powerful man in the House of Representatives has committed an unpardonable crime against the citizens of the state of Oklahoma. The Speaker of the House cannot cover up the sins of a former business partner who has violated the law. This was first brought to our attention by this article Going Down Corruption’s Road At The Capitol. We knew from this article that the investigation had to be removed from his hands.
 
We started our investigation by going to Speaker Hickman’s home page at www.Ok.gov. This is what we found Speaker Hickman, Jeffrey - Oklahoma House of Representatives. There was very little personal information on this page.
 
The next item of interest we found was this Jeff W. Hickman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here we found information on his family and his early life. It doesn’t indicate any prior business dealings with Representative McBride.
 
 
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what information they had on the Speaker.
 
We next went to the Issue Position page which you can see here Jeff Hickman's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. His stand was rather disappointing. He refused to indicate his position on anything that is important to the Citizens of Oklahoma. We must ask how he can be in office and not have an opinion on anything?
 
We next went to the Endorsement and ratings page. Here is what we found Jeff Hickman's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. The one thing to remember about this page is the higher the percentage the lower you as a Citizen rate in their book. Here are just a few examples.
 
Agriculture and Food
2015 Oklahoma Farm Bureau                                                100%
2013 Oklahoma Farm Bureau                                                100%
 
Business and Consumers
2014 Research Institute for Economic Development 100%
2013 Oklahoma National Federation of Independent Business            100%
 
 
 
Fiscal Conservative
2011 Sooner Tea Party                               30%
2013 Sooner Tea Party                               23%
 
Folks those are numbers that any big government big spending liberal would like to have. He certainly isn’t following the party platform.
 
 
The next item of interest we found was this Jeffrey W. Hickman - Oklahoma Legislature - Open States. This one is important because it shows that the Senator voted yes on the funding of the Tulsa Pop Museum and the Native American Cultural Museum funding even though they needed to make up a $611 million dollar shortfall in the state’s budget. How can this happen without putting the state further in debt. They did it by stealing funds from the unclaimed property  fund is how they did it. We don’t recall seeing any plans to replace those funds either.
 
The next item of interest we found was this Oklahoma Farm Report - House Speaker Jeff Hickman Cheers Right to Farm and Extols Virtues of FFA at State Convention. The man has the gall to go back to his FFA roots and claim his honesty, yet he protects a friend and alleged former business partner from punishment for violations of numerous laws.
 
We hereby accuse the Speaker of the House, Jeff Hickman, of covering up the violations of the following state statutes by Representative Mark McBride. We further call on the Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma to investigate Representative McBride’s violation of the codes listed below as well as Speaker Hickman’s cover-up of the violations.
 
Rule 4.21. Representation of Constituents by Governor and Legislature. 
  Neither the Governor nor any member of the Legislature, nor any employee of the Governor acting at the direction of and on behalf of the Governor or any employee of the Legislature acting at the direction of and on behalf of a member of the Legislature shall be in violation of these Rules by engaging in activities inherent in representing constituents, gathering information or advocating policy positions, provided none of these activities include illegal threats, intimidation, coercion or promises of actions inconsistent with the Constitution or statutes of the State of Oklahoma or with these Rules
Stalking       Okla. Stat. Title 21, § 1173
 
 
Abuse of Office    is covered by Oklahoma Statute  §21-360  Public employee or official retaliates against any employee for exercising his or her rights or for not participating in permitted political activities as provided in Ethics Commission Rules.
 
Catch all statute for abuse of office or bad conduct of a public official    §21-343  State officer willfully disobeys any provisions of law regulating his official conduct, in cases other than those specified (Other violation of official conduct)
 
Federal statute on threatening communications:

18 U.S.C. § 875(c) states: "Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both." From the wording of § 875(c) it is clear that the legislator did not require the element of 'intent.' Thus, it is irrelevant if the accused claims he/she did not have the intent to produce any injury on the victim; the mere act of a phone call  with threatening messages typifies the criminal conduct
 
It is clear that the Speaker of the House and Representative McBride are covering up gross violations of the law. The time has passed for the Speaker to do the right thing. It’s now time for the Oklahoma county District Attorney David Prater and the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma to do the right thing. It’s time for a criminal investigation of the actions of Representative McBride and Speaker Hickman. We call for the immediate resignation of Representative Mark McBride as his contempt for the law negates his ability to serve the people of Oklahoma.
 

 
Meet Joe Stack
 
Back in 2010 when Joe Stack flew his single engine plane into an IRS office in Texas the Tea Party didn’t do much else other than be sure to say that Joe Stack wasn’t a Tea Party supporter.  Stack used violence for political means, something that the vast majority of Tea Party activists were extremely worried about.   The goal of the movement was to get out in front of the Joe Stacks of the world and ensure that peaceful change occurred before too many citizens adapted violence in self defense or as a method of political change.
 
Looking back at the man that sacrificed his own life to make a statement it is obvious why the federal government panicked and clamped down hard on the few websites and Face Book pages that popped up to support what Stack did, if in philosophical support if not in direct support of violence.  That was also the start of the IRS crackdown on conservative groups and few think that the two were unconnected.
Joe Stack was feared because you couldn’t put him in a category.  He wasn’t a liberal radical or a right wing radical.  The guy was a musician for God’s sake, extremely laid back according to those that knew him, at least until he had enough and snapped.  But the newly emergent Tea Party had the feds worried because this sort of backlash was never middle class Americans but militia types, libertarians, anti illegal immigration groups, and groups like the John Birch Society.   All of a sudden the fight against tyranny had millions of new activists, from the Republican Party, from the middle class, with a large cadre coming from state and federal workers.   Not only Barak Obama was at risk but also RINO Republicans like John McCain.
 
Stack was an orphan, raised in an orphanage, had lived in California, worked as a software engineer, hardly the archetypical Tea Party type.  The Southern Poverty Law Center tried its best to tie Stack in with white supremacists yet no one ever found any link between Joe Stack and any anti government group.
 
Left behind was a six page manifesto of why Joe Stack  erupted into violence and despite the characterizations of the document being a rambling screed most would consider it well written and coherent.  Stack was angry at big business that had passed legislation that made it nearly impossible for IT experts to form their own businesses.   He was for Obama Care, against Bush and big businesses, anti big government and anti union.  Stack couldn’t be conveniently pigeon holed into a preexisting list of threatening demographics; he was a guy who just snapped and took matters into his own hands.
 
Even worse, Stack coupled his well written set of complaints against the government with a call to action and then acted on it.  The government knew well that there were many Joe Stacks out there smoldering with resentment of the federal government, understanding that the wealthy were protected in economic collapses while the poor and middle class lost everything, and that this last crop of young people will not have a better life than their parents before them.  Add to that the wildfire called the Tea Party movement lead to a massive attack on the Tea Party and suppression of anyone that thought Joe Stack had valid points.
 
If things were smoldering in 2010 they are worse now.  Despite the massive influence of new activists and common folk the country continues to slide down the path of economic collapse and increasing tyranny.  How long until Joe Stack’s ways become the only way for more and more upset and angry people?
 
 I’ve always said that before revolution came people would have to suffer, their families would have to suffer conquest, war, famine, and death before they had lost so much that striking back was worth the risk.  The four horses of the apocalypse would need to ride the central plains and the South before people had enough.    Thankfully the battle since 2010 has prepared Oklahoma legislators to the threat and while we as a state are not there yet we are well on our way to understanding that bad things will happen if we don’t change our ways.  The entire goal of the Tea Party here in Oklahoma has always been to set up a fortress Oklahoma, where the legislature would and could act on a moment’s notice to protect the citizens from a tyrannical federal government for from chaos.  Reading Joe Stack’s last words ought to be required reading to vote much less run for office.
 
Below is the entire six page manifesto left behind by Joe Stack.   Let’s all hope that a better way can be found to force change and lets all work to ensure that those suffering have a peaceful manner to express their outrage and frustration.    Either a pot blows off steam or it explodes.
 
Joe Stack’s last words:
 
If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?”  The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time.  The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken.  Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it.  I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head.  Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy.  Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all.  We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers.  Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”.  I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood.  These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind.  Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?  Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies.  Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”.  It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system?  Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand.  Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand.  The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than what is.  If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ‘80s.  Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English.  Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions.  In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy.  We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God).  We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living.  However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0.  It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie.  It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father.  I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker.  Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement.  Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement.  All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time.  When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me).  I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread.  I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made.  I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer... and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

(a) IN GENERAL - Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. - This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. - The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.

Note:

·      "another person" is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

·      "taxpayer" is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

·      "individual", "employee", or "worker" is you.

 

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated.  The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d).  Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave.  Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time.  I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity.  This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”.  Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise.  The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists).  This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle.  If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks.  Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s.  Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that.  The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco.  However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall.  Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed.  Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare.  Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months.  This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive.  Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY!  After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change.  Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while.  So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done.  I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work.  The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA.  This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income.  I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need.  The sleazy government decided that they disagreed.  But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out.  Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present.  After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again.  But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle.  After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order.  I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting.  Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit.  By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented).  Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone.  The end result is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything.  Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”.  Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone.  The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government.  Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough).  In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand.  It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants.  I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after.  But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change.  I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less.  I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are.  Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.  The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different.  I am finally ready to stop this insanity.  Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

 

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

 
Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010