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The Lone Raver
Lone Raver
by
Mailing Address
This essay was first completed on Thursday, October 10, 1991 and was most recently revised on Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

This document is approximately 9,849 words long.

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This essay is dedicated to winning.
"I don't believe in the no-win scenario."
— Admiral James T. Kirk
Star Trek 2:  The Wrath of Khan

"I do believe in the no-win scenario, but I try to avoid it."
— Sam Aurelius Milam III

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This essay is LiteraShare.

That means that it isn't for sale and that it isn't protected by a formal establishment copyright.  As the author, I ask you to extend to me the courtesy that is reasonably due.  If you copy the essay, then copy all of it including my name and address as shown on each page, and this LiteraShare Statement.  I invite you to provide such copies for other readers.  If you quote from the essay, then do so accurately and give me credit.  If you care to make a voluntary contribution to me, then I prefer cash.  For checks, money orders, or PayPal payments, please inquire.
Caveat Lector

If you'd like to read the previous essay in this series, then ask for
Ravin' Evermore.

 
 
 
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An American Dream
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Avoid what is evil;  do what is good;  purify the mind — this is the teaching of the Awakened One [Buddha].
— Suttapitaka.  Dhammapada, 14:183
The Pali Canon
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The 60's were difficult for me.  As the decade began, I was coping with an escalating disintegration of my parents' marriage, a brutally conformist east Texas culture, a high school full of conservative yokels, and a serious infection of fundamentalist Christianity.  As the decade drew to a close, I was trying to start a marriage of my own, trying to graduate from college, trying to avoid Vietnam, and starting on an unsuspected journey.

Everyone who grew up during the 60's was aware of the evils inherent in "the system".  I saw the evils but I also got brainwashed.  I was taught that the only legitimate way to change the system is to work within it.  While working within the system, I had to comply with it.  I could write to my congressmen but if I didn't vote then I shouldn't complain.1   Yet I resented the imposition of so many arbitrary requirements.  My instincts told me that there should be more choices in America than love it or leave it.  By the time that I was out and on my own, I was ready to try for something better but my brainwashing constrained me to work within "the system".

Who can doubt that there's room for improvement?   The problem is where to start.  I started a long way from the beginning and pointed in the wrong direction.  It isn't surprising that I tried the wrong tactics against the wrong opponent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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It took me a long time to analyze the nonsense in that comment.  For the answer, see my essay The Constitution, The Government, and The Doctrine of Social Contract.

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Lie Ability
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No experiment is ever a complete failure.  It can always be used as a bad example.
— Carson's Consolation2
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During 1969, I concluded that the car insurance companies were collecting information about the cars that I owned for their own devious purposes and not with the intention of providing any benefit to me.  It appeared to me that the nature of the available insurance policies allowed them the excuse.  I reasoned that a different kind of policy might change things.  Since I can drive only one car at a time, and cause injury or damage only when driving, I decided that a policy covering only me and no one else, and covering me for liability only, would remove the excuse.  Then, the insurance company would not bear additional risk if I owned more than one car.  With that kind of policy, there wouldn't be any need for me to notify the insurance company if I changed cars or bought an extra car.  I saw the idea as an opportunity to remove their excuse for demanding information that I believed that they didn't really need.

I checked with a lot of insurance companies and was assured that Texas legislation didn't allow that kind of policy.  I then began writing to the Texas Legislature, seeking a change in the legislation.  Letters went back and forth during late 1969 and 1970 and I ended up working with Mr. Bill Presnal, of the Texas House of Representatives.  Eventually, we exhausted the subject and his final letter to me3 contained the following paragraphs:
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Thank you for your patience with me in researching the statutes that might prohibit insuring a driver of serveral (sic) vehicles on the same insurance policy in the manner in which you suggested.

There would seem to be no prohibition against this kind of insurance as far as the statutes in this state are concerned.  There is, for example, garage insurance authorized by Article 5.06-2 of the Texas Insurance Code.  The rate making authority granted under Article 5.01 of the article appears to present no barrier ....

To summarize I find no need for legislation to remove barriers that currently exist.  It appears the barriers are in the mechanics of this type insurance.

I am at a loss to know what to suggest further ....

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So I returned to the insurance companies.  After nearly another year of correspondence, I received a letter4 from Charles Wirth, Division Manager of the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, of Dallas.  It contained the following paragraph:
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According to the Texas Insurance Code, Article 5.06, the State Board of Insurance shall prescribe the policy forms used by the insurance companies writing insurance coverage in the state.  As pointed out in Mr. O'Brien's letter to your State Representative, no such form of policy is in existence;  therefore, neither State Farm or (sic) any other company operating in the state would be able to write the type of policy that you have suggested.
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I wrote a few more letters and found that the State Board of Insurance prescribed policy forms based on recommendations from the insurance companies.  That's when
2
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From Another Compendium of Wit and Wisdom.
3
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December 31, 1970
4
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August 11, 1971

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I realized that the buck had been passed in a complete circle and that the insurance companies just didn't want to write that kind of policy.  They had the system under control and I didn't have any power to change it.  My only options were to cooperate or to not buy insurance.  Of course, today we don't have even that choice.

I began to have doubts about the relevance of working within the system.  I wasn't ready to give up yet but I did begin to take a few precautions.  One thing that I did was to rent a post office box and make sure that the post office didn't have any record of my home address.  After that, I refused whenever possible to give my home address to anybody.  It might seem like a paranoid stratagem but it proved to be one of the most useful ones that I ever employed.5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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As I re-read this essay, I must add this footnote.  I won several brushes with the government because they couldn't find me to enforce their tyranny.  Eventually, however, a former girlfriend gave my correct address to the District Attorney's office in Santa Clara County, California.  After that, my camouflage was destroyed and they came after me.  Eventually, I was forced out of my home.
— Sam Aurelius Milam III
Thursday, February 1, 2007

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Their Most Important Product
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A bad example can be as instructive as a good one.
— February 17, 1991
Milam's Notes
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While the insurance company thing was going on, I graduated from college with a degree in nuclear engineering.  About the same time that I was giving up on the Texas insurance companies, I moved to California and got a good solid respectable establishment job with the General Electric Company.  It was my first real job and I was young and naive.  College is very academic and there were a lot of things that they forgot to teach me.  In college, for example, there wasn't any hint that nuclear engineering was anything more than a lot of calculations.  That's all we studied in college, yet the longer I stayed at GE the fewer calculations I did.  It turns out that actual calculations are done mostly by engineering assistants, engineering trainees, exchange students, and computers.  In the nuclear industry, most of the calculating was done years ago, probably during the Manhattan Project or shortly thereafter.  Today it's all scoping studies and parametric analyses, which means little refinements here and there.  Engineers do paperwork all right, but it's things like action plans, monthly highlights reports, charts for presentations, and long range forecasts for management.

Engineers also review the engineering designs that come out of the drafting department.  I was astonished to learn that new designs are largely markups of previous designs and that they're almost entirely the product of drafting personnel.  I was more than a little annoyed to discover that the actual nuts and bolts designing was done by draftsmen and that I, as an engineer, didn't have much control over it.  My job was to sign off the paperwork because policy and legislation doesn't allow draftsmen to bear the design responsibility.

I eventually discovered a whole nether world within the nuclear industry.  That is the insidious labyrinth of legislation and rules by which the industry is allegedly regulated.6   After I discovered the regulations and began to read them, I learned that I'd been routinely violating the Atomic Energy Act, the Code of Federal Regulations, a good many industry standards, most of GE's internal procedures, and various of GE's contractual obligations.  Nobody told me.  I just learned it by reading.  The violations were such a normal part of the system that most people didn't even care.  The secretaries didn't even have some of the required forms because nobody ever used them.  The more I learned, the more intractable I became.

I'll skip most of the sordid details of my 10 years at GE and, for the purposes of this essay, get to the conclusion.7  First, however, I'd like to emphasize particular wording of Section 223(b) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.  I'll underline some particularly important parts.
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Any individual director, officer, or employee of a firm constructing, or supplying the components of any utilization facility required to be licensed under sections 103 or 104 b. of this Act who by act or omission, in connection with such construction or supply, knowingly and willfully vio-
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6
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See my essay Liability, Ltd., Corpus Corporatum and Corpus Delicti.
7
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For a more nearly complete version of the story, see my memoir Outward Bound.

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lates or causes to be violated, any section of this Act, any rule, regulation, or order issued thereunder, or any license condition, which violation results or if undetected could have resulted in a significant impairment of a basic component of such facility shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $25,000 for each day of violation, or to imprisonment not to exceed two years, or both.
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I was such an employee.  My name was on the dotted line for lots of engineering design changes or design change verifications.  The wording of that legislation means that I was liable not just for doing something wrong but also for failing to do something right.  That includes failing to correct an error in a design for which I was responsible.  Responsibility for designs was routinely reassigned.  There were times when I was temporarily assigned responsibility for designs that contained errors that I wasn't permitted to correct.  It didn't take long for me to develop the conviction that, if something blew up, then the only reason that GE might stand behind me was if they thought that I might shield them from some of the shrapnel.  It was big league stuff, with big league penalties.  Take a second look at the number of zeros in that fine per day of violation.  I worked there for 10 years.  You can bet that I became a self-taught expert on the rules.  So far as I'm aware, I was the only engineer in the company with his own copy of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  I also requested custodianship of the various local controlled procedure stations because they were all out-of-date and I was the only one who was interested in maintaining them.  It also gave me the chance to read them.

In March of 1982, I submitted my final design task.8   It was in compliance with all of the various rules.  I was no longer as naive as I had once been, so I kept the design package under careful surveillance as it proceeded through the issue cycle.  When it arrived at the checker's desk in the drafting department, I noticed some changes.  They were serious changes and constituted a falsification of the record of design verification.  They indicated verification records that didn't exist and removed the required indication that verification was being deferred.  The changes were violations of 10CFR50 Appendix B and various internal procedures.  They'd been made without my knowledge or my consent.  They'd been made over my signature, making me responsible for them.9   I retrieved the package, corrected it, and re-submitted it.  Again, it was changed.  Again, I retrieved it but I didn't re-submit it.  I hid it and waited.  On Wednesday of that week my boss asked me if the package had been issued.  I told him that it had not been issued.  He asked me when it would be issued and I told him that I didn't intend to issue it at all.  He asked me why and I told him about the changes. He reminded me that the package was due on Friday.  I reminded him that it had taken me several months to do the job.  I suggested that they could start over with another engineer and try to finish it from scratch in two days or they could let me issue it correctly.  He went away puzzling over my attitude.  On Friday, they agreed to let me do it my way.  On the first of the next month, I was laid off due to lack of work.  The excess work being farmed out to subcontractors at the time was outside of my areas of


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Of course, I didn't know at the time that it was my final design task.
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That wasn't the exception.  It was the rule.  That's why I started watching my paperwork so carefully.

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expertise, which had become rather limited.  I was qualified only for work that was in compliance with the various regulations and there wasn't much of that being done.

Well darn, that's what happens when you buck the system.  I'd forgotten my brainwashing, become obstinate, and gotten laid off.  Smitten with remorse, I notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), had an interview with some investigators, got involved with some lawyers, and just really worked like hell within the system.  I even wrote a report, submitted it to the NRC, and had a real deposition with a court recorder and everything.  I was Mr. System Himself.  As I recall, I even wore a suit to the deposition.  SheeEEEiiiit!  As the proceedings proceeded, I began to notice how busy everybody was and how much job security they all had, mostly due to my allegations.  I also noticed that I was the only one who was laid off.  Then I noticed how very quickly nothing was being corrected at GE.  It finally occurred to me that if the problems were ever solved, then most of those guys would be out of work.  I started to view the ongoing investigations, responses, reviews, letters, audit reports, charges, and counter-charges with a degree of interest that pretty much corresponded to my level of hope that anything useful was ever going to be accomplished.  That is, I left them to their busy-work and moved on to other things.  Who knows?  They might still be kicking it around.  It wouldn't surprise me a bit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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The LibertaRepubliCrats
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The main difference between the idealist and the realist is that while the idealist is trying to improve the world, the realist is trying to improve the excuses.
— April 1, 1977
Milam's Notes
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While I was prowling through GE, I kept trying to work within the system in other ways.  I discovered a small clique of libertarians and we started a discussion group.  At last (at least) there were people who understood me and we thrashed the issues around thoroughly.  Then one of our members joined the new Libertarian Party and decided to run for office.  After that, our discussion group disbanded and we all spent our time campaigning.  I walked door-to-door with leaflets.  I manned (sorry ladies, I personed) the Libertarian booth at the county fair.  I registered voters.  None of us really expected or even wanted our candidates to get elected.  Our objectives were to educate people and to be a source of ideas for the political mainstream.  After all, we were the Party of Principle.

It happens, however, that a campaign committee is influenced by very different incentives than those that influence a discussion group.  Different incentives attract a different membership and also evoke different responses from the old membership.  The demise of our discussion group was a microcosm of the more gradual change in the libertarian movement.  Members became increasingly committed to registering candidates, maintaining ballot status, increasing membership, and protecting the party's growing vested interest in the elective process.  Their arguments gradually became apologies for compromise as they joined the struggle to win mainstream voters.  People who called themselves Libertarians began to advocate some very statist ideas, such as automatic vehicle identification systems and tax credits for private school participants.  They ranted against licensing and regulation but carried driver's licenses and drove licensed BMW's.  They objected to big government but worked at Lockheed.  They complained about controlled economies, then invested in the stock market.  They talked and argued and debated and analyzed and never did anything.  Before my very eyes, the "party of principle" slowly became the "party of principal".  Over the following years, my resistance against the system grew and the Libertarian Party eased further into the establishment.  Eventually, I rescinded my driver's license and refused to register my transportation.  By then, my principles were making my life kind of dangerous.  I was way out on the edge, all by myself.  Every time that I saw a cop and started to sweat I got more resentful of my old friends, the armchair libertarians.  I don't want to come right out and say that they were frauds, pretenders, and hypocrites, but it did become clear to me that they weren't risking anything.  They weren't even remotely opposing the system.  Libertarian Political Party is an oxymoron.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Courting Disaster
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You cannot change the past.  But you can change yourself, and thereby, the future.
— June 13, 1989
Milam's Notes
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While I was growing disillusioned with the libertarian movement, I searched further afield.  I soon discovered some people who were trying to solve the problems by using the courts.  They were fragmented into more little groups than you would think possible, but at least they were doing something.  The abundance of little splinter groups and maverick individuals hung loosely together under the name Constitutional Patriots.  I began going to various of their meetings and learning a new vocabulary.  I no longer disliked the system.  I had a "cause of action".  I was no longer trying to improve the system.  I was "moving" and what I sought was a "remedy."  Oh well, what the hell.  I bought some law books and a computer with a word processor.105x5 Page Background jpg Image11  I started reading such publications as  The Main Street Journal and Jurisdiction Journal and Sovereign Review.  I learned that it isn't the Constitution of the United States of America.  It's the Constitution for the United States of America.  I wasn't sure about those guys but it turned out that little bits of grammar like that can sometimes be real important.  Sadly, it also turned out that the Constitutional Patriots aren't very good at telling which bit of grammar is important and which bit of grammar isn't.

By that point in my career, I was no longer easily dazzled and it didn't take me long to pick the winning horse.  It wasn't the Constitutional Patriots.  Gary Martin's case is a sufficient example.  He spent months of careful work preparing a lot of excellent legal and constitutional arguments with which to oppose a traffic ticket.  It happens that there are a lot of implications that follow from traffic tickets.  How many of us can afford to go to the effort to raise those issues?  Gary's reward for his effort was to have his points rejected by the judge.  By that I mean that the judge "refused to hear them".  Damned arrogant for a public servant, but there you go.  He even threatened Gary with contempt of court if Gary made any more constitutional objections to his traffic ticket.  The judge decided to deny Gary's motions and rule against him.  He said that he was doing it so that Gary would have the opportunity for an appeal.  He acted like he was doing Gary a favor.  I was there and heard it with my own ears.

When Gary arrived at the court room on appeal day, he was a little surprised to see that his case was the only one on the docket for that afternoon.  It was a little puzzling, but he waited around until eventually nobody showed up and nothing happened.  Eventually, he located a clerk who was busily idling at a desk out front and asked when the court would convene.  The clerk showed unusual energy by acting surprised and said that there wouldn't be any session of the court that day because all of the


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By the way, say "hi" to Macky Tush.  She's the one doing all the work while I tap her keys.
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I cannot resist the temptation to add another footnote.  On this clear winter morning in February of 1997, Macky Tush sits unused in the barn, badly in need of new parts.  If ever my funds will allow it, then I intend to restore her to working condition and to use her for games and for whatever else she might enjoy.
— Sam Aurelius Milam III
Friday, February 7, 1997

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judges were in some kind of a meeting in one of the conference rooms.  There was little that Gary could do but leave.  Several days later he received the court's decision through the mail.  The court had ruled against him for failure to appear on the same day that he'd been there, about 15 minutes after he'd left.

It turned out that the Constitutional Patriots were wrong about a lot of things, and prone to misinterpretations of the Constitution.  However, they were also right about a lot of things.  It was during that time that I first began to think seriously about money, corporations, jurisdiction, despotism, social contract, and sovereignty.  I began to really study the Constitution.  I was still a licensed member of the regulated establishment but I was learning to understand the nature and the pedigree of the U.S. government, and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.  I was questioning everything that anybody had ever taught me.  At last, I was pointed in the right direction.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Check This
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Some things cannot be taught, but only learned.
— February 7, 1989
Milam's Notes
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On July 17, 1984, I began a learning experience that eventually led me away from the LibertaRepubliCrats and the Constitutional Patriots, away from the courts, away from the Constitution, away from the U.S. government, and onto the path that I'd been seeking for all of those years.  On that particular day, I sat in a long line of traffic, one of a long line of employees making a routine illegal turn onto the freeway (why do we call it free?).  There happened on that particular day to be a cop waiting beside the road, just out of sight around the corner.  He was handing out tickets to everyone in line.  We were only trying to get to work.  We hadn't designed the damned freeway.  If it wasn't adequate then why didn't he give the tickets to the designers?  We all made that turn every morning.  We did it carefully and nobody ever got hurt.  I was annoyed.

I considered the situation from all angles that I could see and paid the ticket with a large check that I wrote on 8 1/2 x 14 paper.  I wrote the check with a Marks-a-Lot marker, carefully including all of the funny little numbers along the bottom.  The traffic court sent it back and told me that they wouldn't accept it.
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Please be advised that the check written on paper is not acceptable.  Please submit another "correct" check or money order.
— Teresa G. Chapman
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They also threatened to increase the "bail" from $35 to some unspecified but presumably astronomical amount and issue a warrant for my arrest if I failed to cooperate with them.

The timing was excellent.  I was having serious doubts about the LibertaRepubliCrats and was just getting started with the Constitutional Patriots.  It seemed like a good time to try those new law books and see if they worked.  My letter of response was one of the most daring things that I had ever done up to that time.  With great trepidation I defied my brainwashing, clutched my shiny new California Code of Civil Procedures firmly to my breast, and replied as follows:
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On August 20, 1984, I sent to the Municipal Court a check as payment in full of a fine allegedly due under citation J630179.  On August 31, you rejected my offer to pay, making two written objections.

Your first written objection was that the instrument is written on paper.  Since all checks are written on paper, this objection is frivolous and without merit.

Your second written objection was that the instrument is not a "correct" check.  This objection is implied by your instruction that I send you a "correct" check.  In response, I personally took the check which you rejected to my credit union for evaluation.  On September 11, 1984, the personnel in the Membership Services office of the Alliance Federal Credit Union verified that the instrument does indeed have all information required for processing and they confirmed that they would honor it if it were presented to them for payment.  Also, the balance in my account has been confirmed to be sufficient to cover the check.  Thus, by any definition, the instrument is a "correct" check, and your second written objection is therefore specious, frivolous, and without legal merit.


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Section 2076 of the California Code of Civil Procedures requires that "The person to whom a tender is made must, at the time, specify any objection he may have to the ... instrument ... or he must be deemed to have waived it ...."  Since objections must be made at the time of tender (Smith v. Hill, (1965) 47 Cal.Rptr. 49) you are permitted no further objections to the instrument.

Section 2076 further provides that if the objection is to the "terms of the instrument ... he must specify the ... terms ... which he requires, or be precluded from objecting afterwards."   Your statement, "Please submit another 'correct' check or money order" does not require any specific terms of the instrument beyond those which have already been verified to be sufficient, binding, and "correct".  Since your objections are frivolous and without merit, and since you have failed to provide specific requirements beyond those already satisfied, your rejection of my check is without justification.

Section 2074 of the California Code of Civil Procedures states very clearly that "An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a written instrument ... is, if not accepted, equivalent to the actual production and tender of the ... instrument ...."   My check qualifies as a valid and negotiable offer in writing to pay, which you refused to accept for frivolous reasons.  Pursuant to section 2074 of the California Code of Civil procedures, my alleged obligation to pay has been fulfilled at law.

Your threat to issue "additional charges and/or a warrant" for my arrest is unwarranted.  I will view any such action as extortion, and deprivation of civil rights under color of law, both of which carry criminal and civil penalties under California and Federal law.  I hereby demand that you withdraw your threat, in writing, and cancel my alleged debt.  If you have any further questions, I suggest you refer them to the City Attorney.

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I also notified the city attorney who passed the buck to the county attorney.  I soon received another mindless extortion threat from the municipal (marsupial?) court and sent another objection to it.  I also sent an objection to John R. Triplett, Commissioner of the marsupial (kangaroo?) court.  I then received a rather apologetic letter from Kay Caragher, Chief Deputy of the San Jose Traffic Facility.  She requested that I return the large check so that they could process it.  She didn't make any mention whatsoever of my reference to the Code of Civil Procedures or to my clearly stated assertion that they had lost their opportunity to demand payment.  I responded by sending her a letter substantially identical to the one previously quoted (supra, if you're a Constitutional Patriot) and didn't hear anything more from the court on the matter.  After about 3 months of silence, I went to the traffic facility and asked to see my file.  They couldn't find it.  I waited over 30 minutes and they eventually found my file under a stack of "stuff" on the corner of the supervisor's desk.  The cute little sweetie behind the window just couldn't seem to grasp the idea that I didn't intend to give them any money.  I left her there puzzling over it.

Eventually, I sent another letter to Kay Caragher, again summarizing my position.  The court responded by informing me that my "bail" had been increased to $154, by warning me that they would report me to the DMV, and by declaring that I wouldn't be allowed to renew my driver's license.  Since then, I've not heard another word from them.  No mention of a warrant was made during my next visit to the DMV and they never got any money from me.  Although I continued to kick the matter around in a few more letters, I finally realized that I'd won.  It probably shouldn't have taken me so long to figure that out but I'd never won before and I just didn't recognize it for what it was.  The lesson here for those of you who seek such things is that, if they lose your file, then you've won.  That's the time to stop fighting and be quiet.


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Her Finest Hour
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It's better to be safe and sorry than just sorry.
— November 20, 1978
Milam's Notes
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At about the time that I was completing my confrontation with the traffic court, my friend Kim was victimized by some of the extortionists who work for the county.  They like to think of themselves as a family services organization.  They work for the district attorney's office.  Kim didn't have much formal education or many "skills" that were acceptable to the system.  She also had two small children and a husband who didn't work.  Mostly what he did was to spend her money on beer.  She was renting a place to live that, as I understand it, was pretty grim but was all that she could afford.  One day she arrived at her baby-sitter's home after work and was told that the county had taken her children into custody.  She hadn't received either notice or warning.  Someone (they wouldn't tell her who) had reported that she was failing to provide an adequate home for the children and the children just disappeared.  Kim was forced to beg and promise anything in order to get her children back.  As soon as they were again in her possession, she got on a bus and left the state.

There are lessons to be learned from that kind of thing.  It took my confrontation with the traffic court and Kim's escape from the county, but I was beginning to learn the lessons.  One important lesson is that you can't play the devil's game, on the devil's court, by the devil's rules, using the devil's ball, and expect to win.  That's why the Constitutional Patriots continue to lose.  No matter how correct they are, no matter how eloquently they explain it, they don't have any way to compel the courts.  The court room is the devil's turf.  The rules of practice are the devil's rules.  You get the idea. A judge will never rule against his employer and that's what they're asking him to do.  Another lesson is that the system doesn't have to obey the legislation because the judges work for the system and the police work for the system.  On the day that I received that final notice, I realized their arrogance.  They would increase my "bail" regardless of my objections and not even deign to notice the objections.  They wouldn't even bother to prove me wrong but just ignore my arguments and do what they damned well wanted to do.  That and the kidnapping of Kim's children finally showed me the government for what it is.  After that, the whole direction of my life changed forever.

My next trip to the DMV was my last.  My driver's license had expired and I wondered (remembering that warrant that the court had threatened to issue) what would happen if I tried to renew it.  At the DMV, nobody mentioned a warrant.  They took my money and all went well until I arrived at the thumb print counter.  The impetuous young criminal in charge of thumb prints eagerly ordered me to give mine and I declined, reminding him that it was voluntary.  "Not any more!" he enthused.  "Look!" he cheered, pointing gleefully to a notice posted on the wall.  Since my most recent previous visit, the thumb print was no longer voluntary.  I responded, "Well then, just return my money and I'll be on my way."  The change in the legislation didn't surprise me.  What surprised me was that they returned my money.  Amazing!  As I walked out of the DMV jingling the Eisenhower dollars that they'd returned, an unexpected


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feeling overwhelmed me.  It was a profound sense of relief and euphoria.  It felt good to be without that license.  It felt free.  I wasn't theirs anymore.
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Free at last, free at last,
Thank God Almighty, we're free at last.
— Anonymous
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Many people don't understand the meaning of those lines.  There was a time when I didn't.  Today, I still get a chill when I remember how I felt outside of the DMV that day.  It's a rare and wonderful thing to know that feeling.  That I felt it prematurely didn't make it any less real.  It was a magic moment of irrevocable change and my life will never be the same again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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An Embarrassment of Success
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Enlightenment isn't a destination.  It's a journey.
— August 14, 1991
Milam's Notes
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In June of 1987, the Employment Development Department (EDD) accused me of willfully making false statements and withholding relevant information for the purpose of receiving overpayment.  They ordered me to repay the alleged overpayment and threatened me with "legal action" if I failed to do so.  They even imposed a penalty of $99.60 just like if they were a real judge and jury and I was a real criminal.  The only recourse they allowed me was to appeal their decision to one of their pet administrative law judges.  Actually, my "criminal act" had all been a simple misunderstanding.  It just hadn't occurred to me at the time that what I was doing was a violation of their rules.  If they'd simply told me, then I'd probably have just returned the funds.  Oh well.  I don't like it when bureaucrats abuse me.  I can eat sissies like the EDD for breakfast.  Without milk.

Using an out-of-state address, I denied the accusations and blamed the situation on the temporary agency for which I'd been working at the time.  They construed my denial as an appeal, informed me that the appeal was being processed, and sent me some claim forms.  I thanked them kindly for the forms but assured them that I already had sufficient funds and didn't need to claim any more.  They notified me of the date of my appeal hearing.  I denied ever having made an appeal, accused them of fraudulently fabricating an appeal in my name, demanded to see the appeal that I'd allegedly made, and demanded that it be withdrawn.  Then just for good measure, I denied ever having done anything that would give them any jurisdiction over me.  They ignored me, held the appeal hearing, and ruled against me for failure to appear.  I notified the Administrative Law Judge that I had not made an appeal, that she didn't have jurisdiction over me, that any decision that she made wasn't of any interest to me, and that I would refuse to recognize any such decision.  I again demanded a copy of the fraudulent appeal that I'd allegedly made, since they hadn't yet sent it to me.  In response, they informed me that I owed them lots and lots of money so I again denied everything and accused them of everything.  The Presiding Administrative Law Judge (pronounced bo-zo) finally sent me an apologetic letter and said that she just couldn't see how I'd been harmed and that the determination of the Department was final.  I sent bozo a letter containing the following:
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I was notified by the Employment development Department (EDD), after the fact, that I had been accused of quitting a job without cause, that I had made willful false statements and withheld relevant information with the intent of obtaining overpayment.  I was never informed of the identity of my accuser.  The accusations were judged by some unidentified individual with (so far as I can tell) no participation by a judge or jury.  At no time during the judgement process was I informed of my rights, allowed to face my accuser, shown any evidence against me, or even informed that any of this was happening.  A judgement of guilty was made in my absence by some unidentified party, without my knowledge, and without any opportunity for me to seek counsel.  After the verdict had been issued, I was as (sic) last informed.
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There was more, but you get the idea.  In response, I received an overpayment reminder.  I sent two more letters but I wasn't getting responses from people anymore, just overpayment reminders.  It had been fun but I was busy writing essays.  It was

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time to dump the clowns.  I switched to an overseas address and sent their next overpayment reminder back to them torn into little pieces, accompanied by a cryptic note informing them that they were wasting their time.  They conspired with a tougher gang of criminals, the California Franchise Tax Board, to steal my state tax refund that year but it was only about half of what they wanted.  Somehow they failed to get their hands on the federal refund and for one reason or another I just never got around to sending it to them.  That was the last year that I ever filed a tax return and I've been continuously unemployed ever since.  I don't have any income, any tax refunds, or any bank accounts for them to steal.  I guess that there isn't much that they can do.  I haven't heard from them lately.  Maybe they lost my file.

In 1990, the Congress conducted a Census.  When the lady came to my place I told her that I didn't want to answer any questions.  She went away.  Maybe she was afraid that I'd eat her for breakfast.  Maybe she was right.  Several months later, another census lady showed up with a list in her hand.  She asked me if it was a "special" place.  I said yes.  She made a little mark on her list and went away.  I haven't heard from them since then.  Well, it was a special place.  I wonder what she meant by special.12

In January of 1991, I was sued by the Family Support Division of the District Attorney's Office.   That's the same gang of cutthroats that kidnapped Kim's children.  I gave them far better treatment than they deserved by utterly ignoring them.  I previously believed the racketeers to be dangerous and accorded them the same respect that I'd give a mad dog, a hungry crocodile, or a cornered rat.  However, I haven't heard a word from them.  I wonder what they're doing.  I haven't the faintest notion.  Probably the best thing for me to do is to recall the immortal words of that unknown platoon sergeant in 1918,13 hope for the best, and just get on with my life.14


12
 ^ 
I've relocated three times since then, first to Idaho, then to Arizona, and most recently to Georgia.  I still live in a special place.  Any place that I live is special.
— Sam Aurelius Milam III
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
13
 ^ 
I'm not going to tell you.  Go look it up.  It's at the beginning of Chapter One in Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein.  While you're there, read the book
14
 ^ 
Over the next few years, I accumulated quite a thick file of correspondence on this matter.  Predictably, the thugs utterly ignored every objection that I made and mindlessly demanded that I pay their Daddy Tax.  I consistently refused, except for $8000 in Monopoly Money that I sent to them.  They were pretty steamed about that.

What eventually happened was that they waited until I went somewhere and then arrested me out on the street where I was unarmed and not in a defensible position.  After that, I was forced out of my home.

— Sam Aurelius Milam III
Thursday, February 1, 2007

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I Think, Therefore — Huh?
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Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
—Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
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As I've learned a little about winning against the system, I've also learned that the system isn't really the problem.  The people are the problem.  One example is the common allegation of greedy capitalism.  Greed is a kind of human behavior.  Capitalism is a kind of economic system.  You don't need to be greedy to be a capitalist and you don't need to be a capitalist to be greedy.  The one doesn't have anything to do with the other, yet people consistently blame the failures of capitalism on capitalism rather than on the greedy way that people misuse capitalism. Greedy people could ruin Heaven itself.  That's probably why the entrance requirements are so strict.15   It isn't to reward the worthy but to protect Heaven from the unworthy.

That kind of thing is a clue.  It suggests that people don't think very clearly and that they sometimes make things a lot more complicated than is necessary.  Maybe some of it's because they feel guilty about being greedy and they try to compensate in peculiar ways.  Consider the folderol over the dolphins.  Why is it O.K. to eat tuna but not O.K. to eat dolphins?  Because dolphins are intelligent and tuna aren't?  Nonsense.  Tuna are intelligent.  They just aren't as intelligent as dolphins.  Intelligence isn't either on or off.  It varies from one species to the next.  So you want to set up a test and eat only animals that fall below some level of intelligence?   How're you gonna test them?  Here's a suggestion.  If something's too stupid to stay out of the tuna net then it's about as bright as a tuna.  Eat it.  How about people?  If a mentally deficient person has an IQ less than a dolphin, does that mean that it's O.K. to eat the person?  Make up your mind.  Either intelligence is the criterion or it isn't.

You see what I mean?  People just don't think.  They complain about something that they haven't thought about, can't explain, can't measure, can't control, and that isn't nearly as important as a lot of other things that are happening.  Then they pass a lot of stupid legislation that compels other people, but never themselves.  Did you ever see anybody advocate legislation that would correct his own behavior?  Of course you didn't.  If you don't eat dolphins anyway, then make it illegal to eat dolphins.  But a law against eating pigs?  No more BLT sandwiches?  Ridiculous!  Well why not?  Pigs are pretty darned smart.  At least you don't see many of them getting caught in tuna nets.

I tried for a while to educate people and found them to be resistant.  I got very tired of arguing with their stupidity.  Lately I've become rather selective.  If somebody isn't receptive to my ideas, then I don't waste my time on him.


15
 ^ 
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
— Matthew 19:24
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version

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It Ain't Over 'til the Fat Lady Sings
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An army, great in space, may offer opposition in a brief span of time.  One man, brief in space, must spread his opposition across a period of many years if he is to have a chance of succeeding.
— Lord Yama, Deathgod
in Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny
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Clear thinking is always important, but certain ideas are more important than others and less well understood.  Two such ideas are sovereignty and jurisdiction.  Our understanding of them is pivotal to our future.  They're inherently political ideas and are possibly the most important political concepts that people have ever failed to understand.  Prior to the first government, they were meaningless.  They were concepts without a context.  Since the first government, they've been the primal fuel of politics.

Sovereignty is freedom from imposed political control.  It's political autonomy.  A sovereign isn't subject to outside political authority.  Jurisdiction is an area or domain of political authority, power, and control.  Its nature is a consequence of assumptions regarding sovereignty.  In principle, one's belief concerning sovereignty conditions all subsequent political expectations.  In practice, the general failure to understand sovereignty causes most of the political confusion in the world.

In spite of the rhetoric, societies can be sorted into two categories:  those with sovereign people16 or those with sovereign governments.  None of the other differences between societies are of much significance.  For example, the number of children permitted to a Chinese peasant and the construction methods and materials with which an American is allowed to build his house are regulated by exactly the same kind of authority.  Both people are compelled by the penalty for disobedience and by the power of a government to impose the penalty.  The two governments, which loudly denounce one another, operate using exactly the same principles of intimidation.  The tragedy is that a choice could exist if people only knew that they could make it.

One of the missing ingredients is the understanding of sovereignty and jurisdiction.  An interesting way to explain it involves the licensing of the airwaves by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  It's ludicrous, in principle, to think that the FCC has any legitimate jurisdiction over something that it didn't create.  The electromagnetic principles were there first.  They predate the FCC.  It doesn't own them.  It can't own them.  That it presumes to control them is a usurpation and, indeed, a very foolish one.  The FCC can control such phenomena only by completely jamming the relevant frequencies.  Short of that, it doesn't have any power to prevent anyone with the proper equipment from using what God or nature has provided.  But (you object), anybody who does that gets a ticket and has to pay a penalty.  The implication of that isn't really very subtle.  What it means is that, lacking the ability to build a fence around the airwaves, the FCC has instead contrived a power over the people who want to use those airwaves.  It doesn't control the airwaves because they aren't susceptible to control.  It does control the people because they are.

The jurisdiction over people is a direct consequence of unspoken assumptions regarding sovereignty.  If individual human beings are sovereign, then each individual can


16
 ^ 
Hypothetical, so far.

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choose whether or not to submit to a jurisdiction.  If the government is sovereign, then no one has any such choice.  In the particular example of the airwaves, if the FCC didn't have the jurisdiction then anyone could use the airwaves.  The fact that no one can do so without permission demonstrates that the FCC does have the jurisdiction.  The general significance is that the exact same kind of reasoning applies to all government agencies.  That is, sovereignty resides not with individual human beings but with the U.S. government.  As a consequence of that, all activities must be regarded as privileges at least potentially regulated by government.  If you take a look around then I think that you'll see that, indeed, anything that you want to do requires one form or another of permission from the government.

I hear howls and screams.  People are yelling, "Yeah, but even with sovereign people, society has a right to protect itself!"  Nonsense.  Saying that society should be able to protect itself is like saying that literature should be able to write stories. Society exists only in our imaginations.  It's our subjective perception of the net result of all of the things that we do.  It isn't even an artificial person, like a corporation.  It isn't anything.  It doesn't have rights.  If rights exist, then people have them.  The alleged "will of society" can be exercised only in the person of the people's appointed representative who (surprise surprise!) turns out to be the government.  That means that you can't have it both ways.  Either individual human beings are sovereign or the government is sovereign.  You can't have sovereign people and then allow that "society" has a right to protect itself from the people.  Au contraire.  Individual human beings ought to have a right to protect themselves from "society", as embodied in the government.

How did the land of the free and the home of the brave end up in such a sorry state?  One reason is that the people allowed themselves to become frightened.  They allowed the government to convince them that (staying with the FCC example) if the airwaves are unregulated, then everybody will abuse them and nobody will be able to use them.  That's a stupid idea.  Any unregulated activity will develop customary forms and practices.17  Within the standard practices established by custom, people will cooperate in their own best interests.  That means that things will work as well as they need to work.  Of course, the occasional jerk will try to create problems for everybody else.18   In general, however, it's easier to deal with a jerk than it is to deal with a government that would be sufficiently powerful to prevent him from being a jerk.  That's especially true since the existence of such government tends to attract the jerks into the law enforcement business.

In the present example, and under the present system of enforcement, the FCC would move against the hypothetical jerk.  A free market of the airwaves might evolve different regulatory techniques.  A jerk who disrupts the airwaves can be located by triangulation.  I imagine that some of the jerk's fellow users of the airwaves would locate him and provide him with an opportunity to desist.  In the event that he didn't, they'd have several options.  The best option might be, all things considered, to


17
 ^ 
In fact, most if not all activities are regulated in some way.  We can choose the way.  Government isn't necessarily the best.
18
 ^ 
Computer viruses are a good example.

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just tolerate his behavior.  Self-restraint is often a great virtue.  Another option would be to pitch a bomb through his window late one evening.  That would be less costly to the taxpayers and much more effective as a regulatory technique than anything that the FCC is likely to do.

You think that it sounds like taking the law into our own hands?  If individual human beings are sovereign, then the law is already in our own hands, exactly where it ought to be.  This is where somebody always claims that people can't handle power in their own hands.  They'll abuse it, someone cries.  People haven't been any worse in that regard than governments, which are notorious for their abuses of power.  Given that choice, what's the big deal?  And besides that, if individual human beings are sovereign, then the government can't do anything about the jerk anyway because he'd have to consent first and he won't do that, because he's a jerk.  However, we can do something about him.  We're not subservient to him like the government is (if individual human beings are sovereign).  We're his equals and he annoys us at his own peril.  Think about it.  I like the sound of it, but maybe you don't.  Maybe you'd rather have a sovereign leader who makes all the rules and politically impotent people who obey him.  That way the government could keep everybody in line and you wouldn't need to be bothered.  Then there'd be a nice orderly mandatory system and anybody who defied it could be put away.  Admittedly, that's one way to run things.  I wonder what some of the consequences might be.  I suggest that you go study the lives of people who've lived under any of the various despotisms that have existed in the past.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Caveat Lector
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A place for everything and everything in it's place.
—The Book of Household Management
by Isabella Mary Beeton 
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Consider a colony of termites.  In a termite colony there's a place for everybody and nobody's out of that particular place.  Everybody's equal except, of course, for the Queen.  Everybody works for the good of society and nobody makes waves except, of course, when the Queen says to.  They all cooperate.  Nobody competes with anybody except, of course, at mating time.  What else would you expect from a bunch of males?  In that regard, I can't help but to mention that a termite colony is a totally female institution.  In a termite colony, the insect equivalent of sovereignty is entirely female and clearly resides at the top.

Did you ever wonder about the origin of termites?  Maybe they weren't always like that.  At some time in the past, the ancestors of termites might have been something different than what the termites are today.  The structured behavior and the dependence upon the nest might have evolved from some less communal arrangement in the past.  Here's a suggestion.

Suppose that our human societies just keep getting more and more regimented, allowing individuals fewer and fewer choices.  I don't mean just during the present presidential administration or even during the duration of the U.S. government, which I anticipate won't last much longer.  I mean through all of the coming cycles of human societies.  Suppose that our species just keeps getting more and more conditioned to decisions made at the top.  How many generations of that would it take before we didn't need to think anymore?  Take into account the potential influence, over many generations, of all of the things that we can do to ourselves.  Consider things like genetic engineering, selective breeding, specializations of skills (interdependence), public "education", and so forth.  Consider our incentives to conform.  Notice how women keep trying to dominate society and how security oriented they are.  Imagine a society so perfectly defined that we weren't permitted to deviate.  It's possible to imagine that we could, eventually, evolve into something like a termite colony.  All that's needed is a sufficient emphasis on security, some applicable technology, a gang of cutthroats for leaders, a lot of meek people, and enough time.  Heck.  That doesn't sound so different from what we have today.

How did the termites originate?  Maybe, after all, other intelligent life did exist on Earth in the past.  Maybe the same incentives that drove them drive us.  Maybe their past is our future and the next step will be a woman for president.  Nobody knows for sure and the termites aren't talking.  I plan to speculate, to resist, and to rave on.
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If you'd like to read the next essay in this series, then ask for
To Rave Is Madness.
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References
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1.1959
STARSHIP TROOPERS, ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, A SIGNET BOOK, Published by THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, © 1959 BY ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
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2.1962
THE Holy Bible, REVISED STANDARD VERSION, CONTAINING THE Old and New Testaments, TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL TONGUES, BEING THE VERSION SET FORTH A.D. 1611, REVISED A.D. 1881-1885 AND A.D. 1901, COMPARED WITH THE MOST ANCIENT AUTHORITIES AND REVISED A.D. 1946-1952, THE WORLD PUBLISHING COMPANY, CLEVELAND AND NEW YORK, Published by the World Publishing Company, 2231 West 110th Street, Cleveland 2, Ohio, © Copyright 1962 by The World Publishing Company
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3.1967
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny, AVON, PUBLISHERS OF BARD, CAMELOT, DISCUS EQUINOX AND FLARE BOOKS, Copyright © 1967 by Roger Zelazny, Copyright © 1967 by Mercury Press, Inc., Published by arrangement with Doubleday & Company, Inc.
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4.1980
Familiar Quotations, A collection of passages, phrases and proverbs traced to their sources in ancient and modern literature, FIFTEENTH AND 125TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED, John Bartlett, Edited by EMILY MORISON BECK and the editorial staff of Little, Brown and Company, LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY, BOSTON, TORONTO, COPYRIGHT 1980 BY LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY (INC.)
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5.1983
DEFERRED VERIFICATIONS, A Report by Sam A. Milam III, July 11, 1983
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6.1990
Liability, Ltd., Corpus Corporatum and Corpus Delecti, Friday, June 22, 1990, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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7.1991
The Constitution The Government and The Doctrine of Social Contract, Saturday, February 16, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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8.1991
Another Compendium of Wit and Wisdom, Saturday, February 23, 1991, Compiled by Sam Aurelius Milam III
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9.1991
Ravin' Evermore, Monday, August 12, 1991, Sam Aurelius Milam III

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10.1992
To Rave Is Madness, Thursday, February 20, 1992, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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11.2007
A Diary of My Relationship With Lorita Ann Taylor, as of Sunday, February 25, 2007, Sam Aurelius Milam III
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12.2012
Milam's Notes, as of Monday, July 2, 2012, Sam Aurelius Milam III

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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