Confusion Prevails

A loquacious little boy – talkative, voluble, communicative, expansive, garrulous, unreserved, chatty, gossipy, gossiping, informal, the gift of gab, gabby, gassy, motor-mouthed, talky, windy.

— How great is this kid? 

— Let’s elect the intrusionary little bastard! 

— Wait a minute, that’s not being fair of me. 

— How do I know he’s a little bastard? 

What’s the story on all this stuff? We’ve got Democrats agreeing with Republicans; Republicans agreeing with Democrats; the Los Angeles Times condemning the IRS; the New York Times bad mouthing the Left; the Left agreeing with the New York Times; and everyone out there agreeing with Eric Holder when he keeps saying he doesn’t know anything about what’s going on. But, when the head of the FBI says he doesn’t know who’s in charge of his investigation of the IRS, one wonders (that would be me wondering out loud, or lewd if you prefer) who’s in charge of anything our government is supposed to be in charge of.

Why don’t the people who are supposed to be in charge just Google what they’re claiming to be investigating, or what, in many cases, we elected them to do as the so-called servants of the people?

I don’t understand why we can’t merely dismiss the people who aren’t doing their jobs. Both sides of the aisle agree about how difficult it is to fire a government worker. They say that if it was an easy task to let a government employee go, there would be the chance that wholesale firings might take place. Again, I find myself in a state of wonderment. Would something like that really be that bad?

da harv Takes a Personal Test.

Question: What would I do without the post office?

Answer:  United Parcel Service, Federal Express, Electronic Transfer, e-mail, fax, iPhone

Question:  What if we did away with the Internal Revenue Service?

Answers:  (Far too many benefits for me to list at this time, but I’ll try)
  • We would be eliminating an enormous cost to the taxpayer.

  • We would immediately remove the people who are perhaps the most odious group of public employees in the history of western civilization. They are rude, deceitful, pompous, heartless, and far too powerful, unconstitutionally so. Without hesitation, an IRS agent will inform you they plan on placing a lien on every piece of property you might own, and if you choose to file for bankruptcy in order to seek protection from them, it won’t work because they don’t have to abide by any of the rules.
  • No longer will there be groups of people taking expensive trips paid for with the same tax dollars gleaned from you by exerting extreme duress.

By installing a flat tax system, or a consumption tax for all point of purchase transaction sites, goods, or services, Congressmen are quick to point out what a complicated procedure this would be. Only the truly uninformed, or those void of any business acumen, are willing to accept this plain and unadulterated bullshit they insist on handing us from both sides of the isle. Any of the top accounting firms could easily figure it out and, within a very short period of time, come up with a program we could all understand!

Think about it — whether they are a Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian — what would our Congress have to do in the event that their legislation was limited to the subject at hand?

In other words… Remove the pork.

Personally, I don’t see or understand how getting healthy might become a problem. Imagine going to your daily job and not having to be sidetracked by an elected official or any civil servant intruding in your life or the lives of your family and friends.

The nature of my work requires me to see many people. (If you’d like to know and have a rather complete understanding of what da harv does for a living, Google me. There isn’t too much by way of secrets about me at this stage of my life.)

The numbers of members in our acting community that I see on a regular basis, would stagger the imagination of any normal civilian-type person. When we’re busy, (the way it used to be when the economy was sound) I’d audition between fifty and one hundred actors each and every day of the week. We have a rather unique relationship. By that, I mean the nature of the actor-director relationship is one of creativity and search; we’re attempting to find the hidden magic that makes winners out of all of us. And, during this process, I involuntarily become privy to what a wide variety of families must deal with daily. For those who have shared the depths of their personal lives with me, they do so with the knowledge that I value their privacy, and that their personal information is sacrosanct.
What I’ve learned from and about actors during the course of my many years in this, the industry of my choice, is certainly far more revealing than that of what an average man may be privileged to absorb.
Our makeup, as people who labor within the confines of a creative world, is one of sharing emotions — either after much deliberation, shooting from the hip, or as a merry picaresque character marching in life’s parade without an apparent care in the world.  

I’ve observed that folks, who have a problem with placing their emotions on display, usually fall by the wayside. While the vast majority of journeyman actors earn very little money during their thespian lifetime, it has nothing to do with the high degree of skill it takes to even become a borderline successful actor. The general public’s love affair with the publicized celebrities rarely comes with any understanding of the real men and women directly responsible for making our industry work. The journeyman actor has been, and will always remain, the bulwark of our entertainment society.

The blatant differences between acting and being a politician become more apparent to me as our recent governmental fiascos unfold. I wonder what would happen, if a few rules and regulations were made to apply to our elected officials…

What If’s?

  • What if our elected officials were required to audition on a regular basis, conducted without the customary legal formalities?

At our place of business, on time means early. If I call a press conference, I don’t keep the press or the general public waiting for me to arrive. Here’s the concept: I’m being paid to provide a service.

  • What if, when voters don’t turn out for an election, those running for office are disqualified?

When audiences don’t attend a performance, the play closes.

  • What if politicians were required to read and understand any and all legislation before being allowed to vote on said legislation?

Can you imagine the result if an actor refused to read their script?

  • What if politicians were docked for not being present?
  • What if our elected officials didn’t receive any benefits unless the budgets they presented were balanced, and on time?
  • What if elected officials, as well as all civil servants, were required to tell the truth, with failure to do so resulting in automatic dismissal from their position, as well as the responsibility of paying a penalty for lying under oath?

I find it odd that our officials are required to (re)take their oath when brought before a Congressional investigating committee. What about the oath of office that is administered when our servants are sworn in accordance with the Constitution of the United States?

I don’t know about you, but by now it has to have become obvious, this guy (me) is tired of our elected officials, and the pure and plain arrogance they conduct themselves with.

When I ask a colleague a simple question, more often than not that colleague effortlessly offers a reasonable answer, regardless of the subject matter and regardless of whether or not we share a similar political bend. We are, after all, human beings first and foremost. When I ask a guy or gal what they think, I really don’t care to worry about a partisan answer.

“How’s your kid in college doing?” I’ll often ask. There’s always the parents mutuality popping up. The general woes of what it’s like to have a teenager or a kid away at school. No form of ingenuineness enters our conversation. That isn’t the case, however, when I turn on the television and watch the proceedings of one scandal after another being investigated by individuals who could easily be on the other side of the investigation.

A woman stands and agrees to tell the truth. She makes a preemptive statement and announces that she has no intention of answering any of the questions being posed.

When she made her opening statement, she concurrently waived her rights, according to the Constitution, of preventing self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. So, what did our elected officials do, you might ask? Absolutely nothing, they sat there with egg on their faces!

  • Our tax dollars are paying for the proceedings.
  • Our tax dollars are paying the woman’s salary.
  • The woman is removed from her position, yet her salary continues. You guessed it — our tax dollars will continue to secure her lifestyle, that of the rich and famous.

Not to worry gang, our distinguished investigative body, known as the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, is on it. The head guy himself steps up to the table, raises his right hand and swears to tell us the truth. When he’s asked who was assigned as the lead FBI investigator looking into the now-admitted wrong doings of the IRS, he responds with a degree of vacancy strong enough to raise J. Edgar Hoover from his grave. The man says he doesn’t know.

I find myself troubled by all of this. Everything transpiring, with regard to our welfare, that is administered by our elected leaders and their appointees, appears to be in a state of flummox. Were it merely bewilderment that governed the answers being made and not being made by our elected and appointed servants, as one of the taxpayers footing the bill, I might not be registering the degree of indignation that currently grips my soul. My dearest friends, what troubles me to the core is our leaders’ apparent lack of caring. I object to the way they are conducting my country’s business. What I’m getting from this gargantuan malaise of ineptitude is an underbelly of deceit. The people my tax dollars are paying to investigate people, who are unmitigated liars, are equally inept at what they purport to be doing.    

A lifetime ago, a man named Frank Sinatra best summed up my feelings, as a man living in a country veering from the foundation that made us what and who we are today.

Note: Frank Sinatra was one of the most admirably patriotic Americans ever. He never thought being in love with his country was the least bit cornball. He practiced what he preached without hubris.
In private, and then without reservation, he referred to those who received their coin by the work of others, as beings pimps and whores — parasites to the core.

Frank Sinatra admittedly had been an ardent Democrat his entire adult life. When he found himself at odds with some of his chosen party’s doctrines, he changed allegiances and moved on. Although I was a much younger man at the time, I was aware of the political environment and can say, without exception, that no one questioned Mr. Sinatra’s position as being insincere.  

I’ve chosen to mention Frank Sinatra in this piece almost entirely out of pure frustration. At rise, I referred to my feelings by way of my title:  “CONFUSION PREVAILS.”

As a child growing up on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, it wasn’t uncommon to hear a friend spouting off to another friend, “Hey we’re in America. This is a free country, ain’t it? I get to say whatever I like.”

We grew up under the guise of our American Constitution, hearing our leaders profess to the greatness of our country and the “Four Freedoms” it has provided us with. And, as that same child, I watched and listened to my baseball heroes take leave of the game we all loved, in order to serve our country. People like Ted Williams and my favorite, Pee Wee Reese, stood up for our truth and let the world know and understand that we weren’t going to be stepped on. We had right on our side. We knew the truth. We weren’t confused!

Today, confusion prevails. Mere logic can’t seem to answer my logical questions. Imbalance in our society continues to breed upon imbalance.

A few logical questions:

(Is it my right?)

  • To expect an employee to answer my questions truthfully?

  • As an employer to dismiss an untrustworthy employee?
  • To not have my right of privacy infringed upon?

  • To run my own, honest business free from governmental intervention? 

  • To expect my government to protect me from harm? 

  • To operate my business and affairs safely, and free from the unmerciful duress applied by our own Internal Revenue Service?

The Internal Revenue Service

As my first order of descriptive business, I feel it important to bring forth the accepted definition of the word “duress.”

duress |d(y)oŏˈres|
threats, violence, constraints, or other action brought to bear on someone to do something against their will or better judgment: confessions extracted under duress.

ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense ‘harshness, severity, cruel treatment’)

I do believe that the dictionary definition of the word “duress” is spelled out clearly enough for even an entry-level member of our government, especially an agent of the IRS, to comprehend. As a matter of fact, our Attorney General, our chief of the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, or our former Secretary of State would not be able to say that they don’t know anything about the word “duress.”

Imbalance and Duress

(What a combo)

In this great country of ours, some families, for what ever their reasons may be, offer up much more in the form of service to country than others. Keep in mind, I’m not complaining, just merely pointing out a fact of life. Service to our country is something we do. We are not forced to do so by means of duress. Believe it or not, some of us actually love our country. When Frank Sinatra sang to me, “…This is my country, to have and to hold,” it lit my fire. And, guess what — that fire burns stronger today than ever before. Perhaps the burning is what fosters much of my confusion, concern, and frustration. (Sounds like a perfect name for a Congressional Committee; they’d be known as the CCF.)

My brother-in-law served in the Air Force during WW2. He was shot down over Germany, and bailed out of his plane with shrapnel wounds in both legs. A German doctor operated on him after administering a local anesthetic. He was wide-awake as the doctor removed the metal from both of his legs while referring to him as Sergeant Judaea. Al received the Distinguished Flying Cross, with bronze stars, and the Purple Heart. He died at age eighty-nine, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.
Cathy’s Dad served with honor as a United States Marine during the Korean War. He was seriously wounded, ultimately losing a kidney and eventually succumbing to the effects of his wounds. Ron was forty-six years old at the time of his death.

I joined the army at nineteen. While in Korea, on three separate occasions, I came close to buying it for good. Charming way to put it, but that’s the vernacular of the era. Buying it was another term for being killed. Obviously, God was on my side. Truth be told, I have nothing more than some minor mental and physical remembrances to deal with. I’m sure my brother-in-law Al and my father-in-law Ron share a similar feeling: if we had to do it all over again, we’d probably do as we did during our first go-around. I guess it would be nice to compare notes, but that will never be. What will be the case, however, is an imbalance remaining forever.

Three of us, not remotely under any form of duress, without the pressure of a governmental body telling us what to do, and at the time not even knowing one another, managed to join and become proud members of one of the greatest organizations the world has ever known. We three were in the service of the United States of America. That, my friend, is not an imbalance; it is a call to arms in order to do what we three were trained to do by immigrant parents. To love and fight for our families and our country; to take a knee and thank a higher power for our blessings here on earth.
The most interesting part about being a veteran is how all of us rarely complain about having to have served our country. On the holidays, when a great number of us are present, a highlight for me is always getting to shake as many hands as I can as we thank each other for our service to the country. There’s no imbalance amongst us other than the degree of severity of wounds having been suffered by some in attendance. The talk is about survival. Meeting a man who had served as a soldier in your same theater of operations is indeed a revelation. At the last event, I chatted with a guy who had served on a hillside in Korea that was less than a few hundred yards from where I was at the very same moment in time.

“How are you doing?” he asked.

When I responded with, “I’d be fine if not for the IRS audit I’ve been under going for the past three years,” a new dam opened. My goodness, did we have a great deal in common. Not only had we served in the Army and in Korea at the exact time and location, but we were both part of our government’s perpetration of an unfair imbalance.

In common:
  • Neither of us were monetarily rich men.

  • Multiple audits during our lifetime.

Note: We are now coming to the end of an almost three year ordeal with this insidious group sent to us by our federal government. During this time period, the IRS did everything possible to unnerve us with direct threats of what they would be taking away from my wife and me in the event we didn’t pay up. They made numerous mistakes in their calculations and consequently, on several occasions during the course of their onslaught, lowered the total amount they required us to pay.

During the last three years, we were in contact with a series of different people than the ones the IRS originally assigned to our case. I distinctly remember the stupidity and lack of communication skills on display by the first agent they sent out for the audit. It was laughable. The lady had such a thick accent, that it was difficult at best to understand her. Hard to believe that an IRS audit was being conducted on American citizens by a woman who could barely speak the language. And, she was a tricky little devil. During the full day she spent at our in-home office, she proceeded to ask questions as if we were crooked.

“Do you ever go to the Marina Del Ray docks? Do you have a boat?”

I could go on and on, but there would be a danger of me using four letter words as I described, in detail, the total arrogance of these power-hungry parasites we refer to as the IRS. I’ll leave it in Frank Sinatra’s capable hands; pimps and whores is quite descriptive.

This makes four times in my life I have undergone an IRS inquisition. That is an imbalance. There are times when even I get tired of fighting the fight. But if people like me don’t stand up, who out there is willing to join me?

Think about the truth of the matter. If you get a letter from the IRS, you’re going to have to defend yourself. The mongrels our government sends out have one purpose in life — to extract as much money from you and your family as they can. Think about that fact when you hear about the Internal Revenue Service spending millions upon millions of dollars taking trips to exotic places, using our money to do so. And guess what, according to the federal workers union that they have strongly in place, the people working at the IRS are about to receive one of their largest salary increases ever.

Isn’t it about time we get rid of all of them? If not, put some extra money aside in order to pay for an accountant or tax attorney. Our government has no provision for helping you. They audit, you pay. The whole system is broken. You send them taxes in advance on a predetermined formula; they don’t pay you interest on the money sent to them. If you should happen to pay late, our same IRS hits you with a compounded interest penalty. There will be no negotiations. They say, you pay, and pay, and pay.

You all have a great choice to make. Our country still allows you to raise hell over the terms and conditions created by the mutual covenants of ineptitude on parade down both sides of the aisle. I implore you – let’s band together and fire, dismiss, dislodge, and, in general, trash the folks we have given our hard-earned dollars to. They may be members of Congress, but I no longer want them working for me. They claim to be patriotic. If that is truly the case, let ‘em all take a hike. By the way… when they do finally take leave from our midst, da harv won’t be thanking them for their service, as that would be an enactment of true imbalance.

If you agree with what I have scribed, please pass my words on to another fellow American regardless of what part of the world they happen to be in. All I ask from you is a word of encouragement. I sometimes wonder if this microphone is turned on. Besides our government, is anyone out there reading what I have written?

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