Things I Might Say

(But Probably Won't Get a Chance)


Plea Bargain
In Court
Paying Taxes
Muslim Blasphemy


This came up a year ago while reading Breathless by Dean Koontz. These commandos assault the hero and promise him immunity in exchange for information he prefers not to give. I am required by God to comply with the government (except when God's law overrides), so this is only interesting in that exceptional case, or if the assailant is not in fact a government agent.

The key point to consider is that anybody pointing a gun at me, either has by that fact proven himself a liar, or in any case is unworthy of my help. If he intends to shoot me but claims otherwise, his claim is a lie and I cannot believe anything else he might have to say; if he does not intend to shoot me, pointing the gun at me is the lie, and he still cannot be believed; if he intends to shoot me and admits it, why should I help him if he has nothing to offer me? Of course if God authorized his demand (he's a government agent not exceeding his God-given limits), that is reason enough.

Regardless of the agent's authority or lack thereof, any promise given at gunpoint is worthless. That includes any promise of immunity. So unless I have reason to believe my attacker is a duly authorized government agent operating within God's law, I have no reason to help him.

Hmm, now that I think of it, Jesus also said not to resist evil people. That takes all the fun out of it! (Just joking).

A young fellow came up to me in church yesterday, and wanted to know where in the Bible it said he could defend himself. All I could think of was Matt.5:39 where Jesus said rather the opposite. The guy looked disappointed. God expects us to defend the defenseless (widows and orphans), but never tells us to defend ourselves. Jesus did invite the disciples to get a "sword" when he was about to be crucified, but he also stopped Peter from using it later that same evening.

Another guy overheard my reply and said "That goes against all logic and reason!" He's right. The God of the Bible has no need to teach us to do reasonable and logical things, because reasonable people would do them anyway. We need extra teaching to encourage us to do things that seem illogical. Self-defense is logical. That's why it's a sufficient justification for homicide pretty much all over the world. God expects his servants to go beyond logic.

The threat of my personal safety is no real threat at all. The people of this world -- including far too many of those in churches and calling themselves "Christians" -- love this world and their life in this world too much. If you're a Christian and believe God, then being killed is a quick trip to Heaven. That's not a bad thing. Furthermore, God is God, and He is able to defend His people any time He wants to. While we are doing God's work God's way, we are immortal; when that work is over, nothing can keep us alive. I got that from Jesus' cryptic reply to my namesake in John 11:9.

Plea Bargain

A movie I saw last week really rubbed me the wrong way. I forgot the title, but a couple of cops got the wrong address and burst in on an innocent citizen, mistook his hair dryer for a gun and shot him, knocking him out but not killing him. These were the movie's bad guys, so they planted a plastic bag of drugs in his front room and a pistol in his hand and claimed he shot first.

The guy apparently got an idiot for a lawyer, who assumed our hero was guilty, so his only defense was to offer a plea bargain for reduced time in jail. The hero rightly refused, and was wrongly convicted. It's fiction. For this story to work, the screenwriter needed to send the poor guy to the finest training in the world for criminal behavior -- which is a USA maximum security prison. They said it was in Oroville, but I worked for a while in Oroville, and there were no mountains in view which could be snow-capped any time of the year (the credits said it was filmed in Canada: another consequence of the socialist idiots in Sacramento chasing away the creators of wealth, which is why their budget deficit is one of the worst in the country). But that's another story.

If the guy had had a competent lawyer, they would have discovered the accused fingerprints were not on the drug bag, there were no other such bags anywhere in the house, nor any of the usual paraphernalia for dealing drugs. Any guy likely to step out of the bathroom in his bathrobe carrying a handgun is going to have another gun in each room of the house, and at least a box of cartridges to load said guns. The bad cops did not have time to distribute all that incriminating evidence, and nobody asked for it. If it were happening to me, there is the further fact that they got the wrong hand. I would have fired the lawyer and defended myself before letting this idiot do it. Like I said, it's fiction.

Chuck Colson of Watergate fame was invited to plead guilty to a lesser crime, and refused to admit to anything he didn't do. They finally agreed that he had obstructed justice, and he did time for that.

It seems to me that if I'm being accused of what should be a capital crime, and they are offering instead to send me to one of those criminal training centers, I would insist that any plea bargain should come with the promise of a swift and gentle capital punishment, and not the cruel and inhumane treatment you get in a maximum security prison. Probably wouldn't work, but it would be fun trying.

In Court

In 1776 our forefathers threw off the yoke of King George, and their successors have appointed themselves a new King over us, who wears nine black robes and is even more a tyrant than George was. We cannot, however, throw off the new king's yoke. They probably couldn't have in 1776 either, but King George was lazy and had other things to do.

The point is that the king can do anything the king wants to do, granting rights where there are none, or taking away rights that are ours by Natural Law, and there is nothing we mere mortals can do about it. And when the king is too lazy to be bothered or otherwise occupied, the king's agents, which are the government and the lower courts, get to do anything they want to do. And that is the situation we have here today, and everywhere throughout all history. The government gets to do anything to the rest of us that they want to do, and if they have a law to point to, they are slightly less likely to get their wrists slapped than if they don't. And God implicitly gives them permission to do that, by denying us permission to resist. Yes, our forefathers in 1776 were in violation of God's Law. Oh well. I'm not complaining about the result, because I get to live in a country that is so far ahead of whatever is in second place, that people are sneaking in, not trying to leave.

But the time may come, and for some people in this country now is, when they are taken to court to be deprived of life or liberty or property because the king has decided to take away some right they have by Natural Law or God's Law. We are permitted to avail ourselves of any and all resources that the king allows us for self-defense, but at the end of the day, what the king or the king's agent decides is what happens, and there is nothing more we can do about it.

Paying Taxes

Some years ago I had the incredible bad judgment to go into business partnership with a man of whose ethics I knew less than I thought. When it fell apart, there were some tax anomalies which percolated down to my personal income tax liability. I timely and repeatedly called these to the attention of the local IRS office, where agent Cynthia Zambito intentionally and with malice of forethought denied my Constitutional and civil right to a timely resolution. I know this because her final letter was dated one day after (according to her letter) the statute of limitations ran out, despite her previous promise of resolution more than a year earlier.

It is my policy to pay all taxes due in full and on time, but the Internal Revenue Code is so complex and burdensome as to preclude any mere mortal knowing exactly how much I owe on tax day, so I overpay by enough to cover the anomalies, and designate the excess to be applied to the following year's tax. The feds and the State of California are mostly able to do the right thing; Missouri tax people are untrained and they just threw the excess away irrecoverably. But that's another story. The feds bungled it too, once, and sent the money back. Silly me! I thought I'd made a calculation error and cashed the check. Then they hit me for unpaid back taxes and penalties and interest. I sent back the $4000 estimated tax payment and went to see a tax lawyer. He told me he could get the $10,000 bill reduced to about a third, but my best bet would be to pay the whole thing and then apply for a refund. That was before I knew about the "Pay first, litigate later" rule for taxes.

So I paid it and started writing letters. After several fruitless rounds I started getting frustrated with the IRS and decided to ask my Congressman for help. The IRS is the world's largest terrorist organization, answerable to nobody but Congress. So I added "cc: Congressman Norman Panetta" to the bottom of my next letter to the IRS. Before I even got around to writing the cover letter to Panetta, there was a check from the IRS for more than $11,000 in my mailbox. It took a whole year. I never again cashed another government check unless I knew exactly what it was for and agreed that they owed it to me.

This was several years before my business fiasco, which involved almost twice as much tax liability, paid in the wrong year. I suspect my ex-partner would have a hard time defending against a charge of fraud, so I spent the next couple years trying in vain to find or get some Ruling, or section of the IRS Code, or Regulation, or court order, or act of Congress, absolving me of liability for fraud for which I am not responsible. Failing that, I have left in the system enough prepaid tax money dating from the previous year to cover any additional tax liability that some overzealous agent might come up with for that year. I will leave it there until the statute of limitations runs out on fraud, which as Ms Zambito was careful to point out, is never. The fact that the money was paid in advance explicitly for that year's tax liability should be proof enough that there was no fraud on my part.

Why is this important?

I am a member of a demographic minority that has been targeted for intimidation, harassment and persecution by all sectors of society and all levels of government -- including the Obama administration, and including (now recently) the IRS. It would be imprudent of me to expose myself unnecessarily to such risk. If some overly eager IRS agent should choose to re-examine those old business records, the statute of limitations has already expired on the year in which the tax was paid, so no refund is possible there, but the year in which it was due is underpaid. If that is determined to be fraud, the taxes and penalties and interest -- by now grown to perhaps $50,000 or more -- would be due and payable. Because the money from me was prepaid and they still have it, no penalties and interest would be due from me, only the actual tax, which is already paid. From him? I guess that's his problem. I'm the one the government might want to harass, and leaving that money in there protects also my ex.

So every year I get one or more envelopes from the IRS apparently containing a tax refund check, but with no accompanying documentation. So I write "Refused, return to sender" on them and drop them back in the mail without opening them, and usually before I even leave the post office.

Maybe some day I will get justice, but America has the finest justice that money can buy. I didn't pay for any, so I have little hope of getting any.


I have been sending out resumes on a regular basis for a number of years now. A couple of the colleges where I applied admitted to something like a hundred applicants for every position. What was that line? "It's the economy, stupid!"

Mostly I don't bother with community colleges, because they have lower requirements, so (I assume) they get far more applicants with less education and experience, who are therefore cheaper to hire. This assumption is based on the fact that almost all the community colleges use computerized application viruses, which don't penetrate my rather robust firewall. The higher-level colleges use a manual process more suited to a limited number of applicants. The first one to mention "more than a hundred applicants" seemed surprised by the number. "It's the economy, stupid" was Clinton's line. Bush started the current recession, and Obama has given us three years of "more of the same, only more so," as promised.

Once in a while, however, especially with state colleges in California (I don't much like the State of Misery), I use another computer to get through the application robot. California and Illinois state colleges (and most community colleges) have a little notice that union membership or "a negotiating fee" is a requirement of employment. Union members are generally overpaid for the services rendered, so I just figure it's a salary reduction from the advertized rates (also known as "bait and switch") which I can think of as the cost of doing business. I still have the union card for the one summer I worked in a cannery. The union was no benefit to me, and rather a hinderance, but the workers on the floor just worked around (or ignored) the union rules.

In the unlikely case that one of these oppressive union-shop colleges hire me, they will require me to agree to a wage deduction for the union dues, or else the "negotiating fee" which I suspect is unlawfully not less than the dues. I intend to sign the agreement (or they won't hire me), but with the added line

The union does not represent my interests at the collective bargaining table.
It's like refusing to confess to a lesser crime not committed in exchange for a reduced sentence. I can't stop them from reducing my salary to fatten the wallets of corrupt union officials, but I don't have to admit that they are earning that money from me. They are not.

Most people who give me forms to sign look to make sure the signature and date are there, nothing else. I once got out of paying for unwanted and ineffectual medical services because of that. But if the HR people do look and want to make an issue of it, it's easily enough proved. All they need to do is provide a list of the union demands they took to the table, and which ones they did not concede.

Unions tend to ask for seniority-based hiring, firing and promotions. Merit-based employment is more in the interests of the customers (in this case, students) and also of workers (like myself) willing to work for their pay.

Unions tend to ask for fat benefits packages. I and the management both know that the dollars are fungible; benefits come out of the available salary funds. Medical care packages are counter-productive to medical costs in the USA: Insurance is the problem, not the solution. I get better medical care when it's my money paying the doctor, so I prefer that to be paid in salary, not as bundled health insurance. Unions are notoriously corrupt in handling retirement funds; I don't want to see any money nominally mine going to union-controlled funds. Unions often argue for better working conditions, but there are Federal laws (OSHA) to do most of what's needed these days, again no benefit.

Unions often ask for higher wages and shorter work weeks, which makes union labor uncompetitive and drives the customers to other places; I prefer to ask for market rates and merit-based pay, so the management can compete successfully for the clients who will bring in the revenue needed to pay the workers.

What else do they ask for at the negotiation table? Oh yes, closed shops. Not in my interest at all.

Perhaps a poster in my personal space (if they grant me any), in the style of the communist posters of the 30s, "Workers of the world unite! Throw off the chains of corrupt unions!" Probably imprudent. Corrupt union officials are likely to do unlawful and injurius things to free-thinkers. They only want mindless slaves. But since they won't hire me anyway, it's fun to think about.

Muslim Blasphemy

Similar to corrupt union officials and unthinking drone union members, I am reminded of a particular religion whose schools encourage, and whose members often rejoice over terrorism against other people. I think more Christians died for their faith at the hands of Muslims in the last century than all people of any religion for their faith in all of the previous recorded history. Do you know how many people died from the entire Spanish Inquisition? Less than 700, over three centuries.

The remarkable fact is that the Muslim terrorists are ashamed of their faith and their acts. Look at the pictures. Every one of them has his face covered so you don't know who it is! There's a reason for that. It's an ignominious act and they are ashamed of their involvement.

Much more insidious, they are implicitly blaspheming their own god by implying that Allah is incapable of fighting his own battles. Maybe Allah is as impotent as the extremists paint him to be, and they should be ashamed of him.

A small minority of Christians also do not believe their God is able to fight His own battles, but most of us -- the ones who read the Bible -- know better. Our hero is Gideon, who earned the taunting name JeruBa'al ("Let Ba'al fight his own battles") when he put the question to the false prophets. Gideon, as we all know, went up against 120,000 Midianites with a brave band of 300 soldiers armed only with pottery jugs and trumpets. They made a lot of racket from the bleachers, while God fought the battle. Jesus told his disciple to put his weapon away, "those who draw the sword will die by the sword." The prophet Elisha on one occasion opened the eyes of his servant to see a vast army of angels protecting the city.

The unbelievers are not our Enemy, they are prisoners of war. Our job is to rescue the POWs, not kill them. Our enemies are spiritual, and it is God and His angels who do the killing, not we Christians. That's because we are proud of our God. We are the cheering section. Muslims are ashamed of theirs.

There's a reason for that. If the Muslims had a higher regard for their own deity, they would expect more from him. That's dangerous. Suppose he doesn't deliver? Then people would lose their faith and switch over to the Christian God Who can fight His own battles. The Muslims are afraid of that happening. Maybe they know something.

Curiously, the September (2013) issue of ChristianityToday [p.78] quotes a Muslim as admitting that their prophet (and implicitly, his god) is powerless to defend himself. I guess the irony of accusing the other person of blasphemy in the context of such an admission escaped him.

Tom Pittman
rev. 2013 September 23