Monday, April 28, 2014

Country Post Office


The small town post office is a bit different then the big city.  I don’t get home mail delivery, I have to go in and open my little PO box and look in.  People out in the country get mail delivery,RFD,

Wonder how much the post office could save if they stopped home delivery in the cities.  Set up mail kiosks in the neighborhoods for people to pick up their mail.  They would save a lots on vehicles, some of the letter carries are hell on wheels.

It is such a contrast between the cities and the towns.  The city slickers whine n cry, most of the country folks go about their business.

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This little town Post Office is kind of unique because of the old building it is in.  Lots of the small towns got cookie cutter block buildings a number of years ago and the old post office building disappeared. 

Some of the wide spot villages have a pre-fab cubicle.  Maybe have 10-30 customers. 

In these little buildings, the local gossip is exchanged, how are the crops, how is the kids, or how was the trip.  They are kind of a social point.

Wonder how much longer they will last.  UPS, Fedx and the computer are replacing the mail box.  I still like to get my bills by mail and pay by mail but that is slowly changing. 

My bank was hacked a number of years ago so I am kind of leery of electronic banking.  I also like the jaunt to the post office.  Although I have gotten to know the UPS driver and we say hi when we meet. 

The paradigm of humanity keeps shifting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Small Town America


Scattered across the land are a variety of small villages.  Many have disappeared into ghost towns or been absorbed into a metro-plex.  In my travels, I try to avoid the Interstate and travel the old two land black tops.  Time limits me on haw of these little burgs I can tarry in.  I enjoy the old store fronts, that classic brick buildings and their details and the occasional wood frame that is still standing.

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The little towns reveal a character that is disappearing.  So many want big things, including big cities.  So the little towns get left behind, the politicians over look them and they struggle to live on.

What kind of stores were they?  Some are obvious because the sign is still there.  Others is left to the imagination.  The butcher, baker and candle stick maker all had shops.  There would have been harness shops, the livery, shoe repair, moving picture houses, boarding/rooming houses, the drug store and oh yes… the local greasy. DSCN5967 (620x800)

There is the trash barrel a burning, keeping the insects down and doing their earth day trash burning.

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Then there is the junk collector, usually disguised as a repair garage and oh yeah, thing are repaired there.  Be prepared for lots of hot air ushering out when passing by.

Small towns operate at a different pace.  They are not toied to the hectic frenzy of the big cities.  Yet they keep their eye on the markets, pay attention to the news around he world and generally are pretty savvy of what happening.   They tend to be pretty independent and take care of themselves, democrat or republican. 

Most are prosperous and many are millionaires.  One thing is the work ethic, they work when it is time to work.  This is the pace the big city slickers do not understand.  For they tend to see them as laid back and moving at the pace of a snail.  Well if that what their crop is, snails, that’s how fast life moves for them.

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Then there are the towns that are next to the Interstate.  No longer is there a town center.  Things have moved to the fast pace of the cross country slab.  The highway used to jog through town and business had sprung up next to the road to serve the traveler.  The Interstate left these places high and dry.  A few hang on and survive, clinging to a life dream. 

Yet as long as there are back roads I will travel them, peeking through a window in to a time that is disappearing. 

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I will search out the buildings, watch the trains and enjoy the brief moments.  The pace moves with the balance of nature.  It is not forced, hectic and a person does not feel harried. 

As people insist on bigger things, cars, trucks, homes, stores… etc, the small towns will continue to shrink. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter and the Lawyers


As one reads a Gospel in the Bible, one is reading a history of Jesus Christ.  From his birth to his  death.  Some parts are very detailed, others are sketchy.  Throughout there is one thorn that follows the Messiah on his brief journey and that is the Lawyers.  The Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes among others challenged Christ during his ministry.

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During the journey to the cross, more and more people followed Jesus.  With the growing crowds the Jewish leaders, lawyers became fearful.  Fearful of losing their control as leaders of the Jewish people.  Numerous times throughout the Gospel there are mention of plots to Kill the Messiah.  None came to fruitation for it was not time yet. 

Jewish Law is based on the books of Moses, Mosaic law.  Like the laws of today, there were numerous laws the Jewish Lawyers wrote down to control the people.  It is these laws that were used to try and trick Jesus so they would have justification to kill him.

If it had not been for the Jewish Lawyers Legalism, the ministry of Christ would have been fairly uneventful.  Yet the follies of this legalism is what the Grace of Christ is about.  Yet the lawyers did not understand that their laws were not working and that life did not need volumes of laws to live by. 

Look at how Christ confronts the lawyers as He goes into the temple at Jerusalem.  It is not the Jews that Killed Christ, but by trickery the Jews got the Romans to execute Christ.  The laws of the Jews failed them.

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Look at the legalism of the churches today and our country, are they failing us?


He is risen, Indeed He is risen.  Happy Easter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Slavery Of Taxes


The Slavery of Taxes


                When I first heard the use of taxes as slavery, I was taken aback.  It did make me stop and think, what was being referred to.  So I go looking for definitions of slavery.  And there a whole variety of slavery types, the closest was bondage.  Bondage meaning subject to ………… Involuntary subjection. 


, enthrallment. Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another orothers. Slavery emphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery.Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: inbondage to a cruel master. Servitude is compulsory service, often such as is required by a legal penalty:penal servitude. Unabridged


On that definition of being in subjection, one can see how taxes can create a form of slavery.  Being citizens of a country, there is a certain level of obligation to help the government.  It is usually done by collecting revenue.  So various types of taxes, were created to help the government to operate.  Most taxes were use taxes.  Taxes imposed on goods and or real property.  Other types of taxes were head taxes, just for being a citizen, a person had to pay a tax. Then there were taxes imposed, for nothing in particular. 

In early history, some of the most despised people were the tax collectors.  Along with royalty, these people lived a lavish life.  The tax collector developed a following of a few people who would help him collect taxes usually the local bully.  Along with the taxes, a tribute would be collected so that the bully would not damage the person’s property or self.  To become a tax collector meant riches for that person and sometimes a small empire and maybe up the ranks to a royal standing.

Over the years the tax collector has lost this status but not their fear.  For if one does not pay taxes, there are some pretty nasty consequences.  In this lies the state of slavery. 



something that limits or restricts something else; a qualification: you may enter only under certainconditions


( plural ) external or existing circumstances: conditions were right for a takeover Unabridged



 When the United States came into existence, taxes for the most part were voluntary.  With some people not paying taxes, laws were passed compelling people to pay taxes.  Then shop keeps and business were compelled by the government to collect taxes for them.  All these laws of compulsion carried some stiff penalties of non-compliance.   Years in prison and or large fines were imposed if people did not pay their taxes or if businesses did not collect taxes.    Much like slavery, if one did not do the job there were severe punishments.  Usually in the form of whippings and or locked away in some manner. 


The parallels between tax laws and slave laws are ominous to the person who thinks they are free. 




a. to alter the response of (a person or animal) to a particular stimulus or situation


b. to establish a conditioned response in (a person or animal)


to put into a fit condition or state Unabridged



The other way tax laws are used is to control behavior and or alter certain behavior.  The sin taxes are in that category.  There are those who do not like drinking or smoking and as such these items are easily taxed.  It is hoped that by taxing these items to excess people will alter their behavior or abstain from consuming these products. 

A variety of laws have passed to make consumption of tobacco and alcoholic beverages illegal under certain conditions.  If any of these laws are violated, taxes of another kind are imposed, fines. 

When looking at taxes and laws and how they are used to subjugate people to conform to certain behaviors, one can see a form of slavery.

To control a person, there is usually some type of intimidation used.   To force one to follow certain rules, the slave master would use various punishments.  Public flogging is but one example, public executions: hanging by the neck or beheading, are but a few example of public intimidation.   These public events have also been used by various governments over the centuries.  Publishing of debts and criminal records is another example of an attempt to humiliate and control people.  

Taxes are a volatile debate, yet one had never considered taxes as a form of slavery.  Yet if I do not conform to rules that are imposed by governments, I will suffer severe consequences. 

So at what level of slavery is acceptable?  Some people were asked: would you rather be a slave or free?  Many answered a slave for they got room and board if they were slaves.  Kind of like the guy would sold his soul to the devil.


Who Are The Slave Master(s)?

Interesting question, the obvious finger points at the politicians, the politician controls the purse strings to a certain extent.  Next look at where the tax dollars go.  The cronies of politicians would be a good place to start.  Then there are the bureaucrats, those whose, wages are paid by tax dollars.  Some of these agencies have become very adept at manipulating the political process to funnel more money into their agencies, to expand their fiefdoms. 

A good example is the highway/roadway departments.  People like to drive on smooth roads for an easy drive and if there are problems with a road, the bickering begins.  Politicians wanting to get re-elected are quick to respond.  They meet with the citizens, hear the complaint then the political type goes to the road keepers.  The transportation people say they can fix the problem but it will cost X more dollars. 

Such begins the cry for more tax money.  This is but one example of how different agencies clamor for more taxes.  Each year there are budget hearings and each time there is a clamor for more money in their budget.  It is a part of the American fabric, bigger is better, so if there is a bigger government, it will be better. 

The government bureaucracies have grown beyond the management level of one or two people.  The cabinet heads command a large staff and the President has numerous czars to oversee the cabinet members and their staffs.  These people serve at the pleasure of the current administration and change as the political winds change.  Whereas the bureaucrats remain the same throughout their careers, their appetites ever growing, wanting more.

Like most people, they want more pay, some status, power and their base for this comes from the tax[payers.  Read somewhere that the average government worker makes 22% more than their counterpart in the private sector.  The Civil Servant has outstripped the pay of the taxpayers that support them, kind of ironic.  The other way they gain prestige and more money is by creating department heads.  Then the wages jump into the 6 figure income bracket and on up.  Sometimes these people have no more then 5-10 people under them.  Stop in at the local agency office, see how many bosses there are and how many are under them, it is surprising.


So if someone wants to search out slave masters, they have to look beyond the politician.  One can not just look at one political party either.  The Republicans have their favorite taxes as well as the Democrats.  For the Republicans their sacred cow is the military among others.  The Department of Defense has grown like the other bureaucracies and like them the DOD has become top heavy with administrators. 

So one can not point a finger at any particular political group and say they are the slaves masters. 



Lost Taxes


What would have if taxes of a certain type were discontinued or changed?  One of the excuses politicians use for raising taxes is to help the poor.  Welfare is the first to jump out of the bushes, so look at that.   

This is where money is taken from all and then sent to a bureaucracy and these bureaucrats in turn give a small portion back to certain people that are in a certain income bracket.   Now a 100% of the money does not go to these people, a portion is retained by the bureaucracy to administer the tax dollars. 

So, how to do it different?  I asked a friend once, “How would you like a raise of $200.00-$300.00 per month?  I got a quizzical stare.  I explained that if the tax rates were changed it would provide more disposable income for the household, still a blank look.

Depending on who one talks to, the poverty rate is an income of less than $25,000.00 per year.  Yet these people still have to pay an income tax, and they qualify for various welfare benefits.  So, do it differently, exempt certain income levels from personal income tax.

To get out from under the slavery of taxes, the rule of taxes need to change.  Politicians have been arguing over reforming the tax codes for years, not much has happened.  Taxes can not be eliminated, the government needs to function, at what level is the debate, which leads to what level of slavery does one want.

If those who were below $25,000.00 income were exempted from personal income tax, they would have another $200.00 to $400.00 per month to spend.  That would be groceries, a monthly payment on something, some extra disposable income.  It would also make the minim wage jobs a little more attractive. 

With the burden of personal income tax gone the person in the poverty income range could live a different life.  No longer would they be dependent for government programs, their burden of slavery would be reduced.   They would be more productive members of society and still be in support of society for they would still pay the consumption taxes.  These are the taxes that support the schools, roads and local police/fire agencies. 

For years a few have argued that personal income tax is not constitutional, that is not in question here.  What is being pointed to is the burden it places on people and how people become subjugated to the slavery of taxes. 

There is a small element in society that has control issues and occasionally they get into Congress and laws that control behavior are passed, not laws of consequences.  Personal income tax is a law of behavior and used to control behavior.  For if one does not pay their taxes or collect them there are sever consequences, including the loss of personal property and or real property.  These are the things a slaver would tend to do to control his slaves. 

Personal Income tax removes one’s freedom of choice.  Whereas consumption taxes, one has a choice on what to consume.  There is a difference, albeit subtle.  In this difference one can see why there has been such a reluctance why the people in Washington DC are so reluctant to give up the control they over people with personal income taxes. 


Whatever the political affiliation is, fingers point all directions.  The Republicans have their sacred cow taxes as do the Democrats. 


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Death of a Windmill


For many years the windmill has captured the breezes.  Throughout the years I have taken pictures of it.  It is an old wood frame wind tower, They are few and far between, so it became a windy model for me.  Went down the road other day and saw its propeller had fallen off.

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No longer was it spinning in the breezes.  The pasture and sheds appear to of been abandoned many years ago and it just sat there spinning freely.  The fierceness of the wind with lube finally took its toll.

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Down in the weeds n grasses is its final resting place.  The winds shall flow on by, ruffling the grasses, no longer spinning the propeller. 

Over the years I have taken videos of windmills and this one usually made the final cut.  Alas I could not remember where I spotted it.

When I first spotted it, it was a nice summer day and the blades were slowly turning.  There was water in the stock tank and a couple of horses were eyeing the stranger taking pictures.

No longer will the pastoral scene be there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Ancient Dwellings of the Anasazi


Across the southwestern US is a large collection of ancient native Indian villages.  Most are abandoned and in various stages of ruins.  A few of these villages survived the Spanish invasion and are still inhabited by a few of the natives. 

In my travels I made it a point to visit as many of these old village sites as possible.  A few were National Parks, like Mesa Verde, others were National Monuments, like Canyon De Chelley, and some were State Parks.  The ones on federal land like the BLM were abused and very neglected.  Yet with good maps I could search these places out and have quite the adventure bounding over the dirt roads into lots of back country. 

I have been scanning some slides into digital and it has brought back lots of memories of these jaunts.  I met various Archeologists and Anthropologists during these visits and read lots of books about the Ancient Ones.  I had a good friend that was an Archeologist that had been on digs to Mexico and South America plus other places in the world.  We would sit on evenings when I would visit and talk about the all types of old stuff. 

Over time my appreciation for what I was looking at grew.  How the dwellings were constructed the purpose of the various rooms and how the Indians lived thousands of years ago. 

The recent slides I scanned were from Frijoles Canyon, just West of Santa Fe, New Mexico on the edge of the Los Alamos Caldera. 

The Bean Canyon is carved out of volcanic tuff and pumice, creating almost sheer walls in the canyon.  There was a small stream that flows through it providing water for the village.  It is off the beaten path so the number of visitors was low.

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Along the base of the cliffs, dwellings were carved out and houses were built using the cliffs as a wall. 

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Footholds were carved into the cliffs to climb out of the canyon.  Up the sheer rock they went.  Quite often it was from a rooftop.

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In some instances, a small portion would be constructed to show people what it looked like when the dwellings were inhabited.  Adobe blocks were made and used to build the walls, trees were cut for floors/roofs and covered with mud.  Up the cliff they would build, sometimes three, four stories or more. 

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Walls that were still standing were stabilized and held in place to preserve what little bit was left. 

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On the upper part of the cliff in a cave they built and over look which contained a Kiva, a ceremonial room.  There were no doors, only entry through the roof via the ladder.  Here were the drums, the pipes and other paraphernalia used for their various celebrations. 

Their culture is based somewhat on the present day Pueblo Indians, which they feel were their  ancestors. 

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Caves were dug into the cliffs behind the rooms.  The round holes in the rock were sockets fro holding the vigas after the walls were built.  Average height for these people was about five feet.  Most ceilings were just over six feet.

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Down in the canyon bottom they built.  South facing to catch the sun.  Water near by to water their crops of beans, corn and squash.  They were farmers, not hunter gathers. 

The canyon walls reveal the various layers of eruption from the volcano over the eons.