I'm now able to pay the bills due in the first part of August, including rent, but only because of the wonderful kindness of those individuals who have exhibited both generosity and the willingness to deal with the inconvenience of sending donations by mail. I think I'm up to date with acknowledgments for donations I've already received, with one exception: I received yesterday a very generous donation from someone in the Seattle area. It arrived with no note or return address identifying the donor. I think I know who this person is, but I'm not entirely sure. To the mystery donor: thank you very much indeed.
If I've failed to acknowledge a donation which I should have received by now (which would exclude donations sent in the last several days), please forgive me for the oversight. Feel free to remind me of my error; I always want to assure donors that donations by mail have arrived safely. To the best of my knowledge, all donations have come through, unmolested by the IRS, NSA or other interested parties.
There are only two or three inquiries about donating by mail that I haven't yet answered. I apologize for that, and I'll take care of it in the next few days. And as I look ahead several weeks, I continue to have grave financial concerns. If there are additional people who would consider donating by mail, I would be very grateful to hear from you. You can write me at: arthur4801 at yahoo dot com. It's possible I may be able to use PayPal, at least in a very limited way, in the near future, but I'm extremely nervous about doing so while this IRS business continues. And it will continue at least for another month, and possibly considerably longer than that. For that reason -- and because I have no way of knowing what other surprises the IRS may have in store for me -- I'm trying to build up as much of a financial cushion as I can. So, especially at this time, the more donors the better.
The manner in which the IRS has upended my life has had very bad effects on me. Of greatest concern is that it has made my already bad health noticeably worse. Low-level anxiety is now a constant companion, and it doesn't take much at all to push my anxiety to a much higher level. I spend some of my time doing meditation exercises, and I spend a lot of time in bed. In fact, most of my time has been spent in bed over the past week. I try to stay as calm as possible; so far, my efforts have not been rewarded to any significant extent. As a result, I'm completely exhausted; hence, the retreat to bed, where I sleep very fitfully.
I've had many thoughts about this episode and what it reveals about the State that rules us, and that attempts to control us in all the ways that matter -- and that will attempt to destroy us when it suits the State's purposes. When I'm able to think and write more clearly, I'll discuss all that. But here I will mention one aspect of this business. I should note that, from one perspective, none of this surprises me; I've written about many of these dynamics for years. Nonetheless, when you are the target, these mechanisms assume a terrible clarity and specificity.
Consider the monstrousness of the State and the ruling class. (I refer you to, well, everything in my archives if the multitude of reasons for that statement are not immediately clear to you.) Consider that the most powerful of our leaders are serial murderers, murderers who boast of their deeds and are proud of them. Consider that the ruling class continues to amass ever greater power and wealth with each day that passes, while ever greater numbers of Americans not favored by privilege and wealth sink deeper into increasingly dire conditions. Consider, as just one example of the inversion of anything that remotely resembles decency and justice, that the financial criminals who recently destroyed the economy of not only the United States but the world, have not only not been punished in any manner -- but have been made more powerful than ever, and have been rewarded with many trillions of dollars taken from taxpayers.
Against that very briefly sketched background, consider the nature of the IRS's actions in my case, and the amount of money involved. I have learned that the immediate concern of the IRS is one particular year. According to the IRS's own records (which accord with my best recollection of my earnings for that year), my total income for the year in question was ... $21,863.00. The IRS further contends that, including penalties and interest, I owe them close to $10,000.00. Yes, that's right: the IRS says I now owe them almost half of my total income for that year. It therefore appears that usury is a noble practice, at least when practiced by the State (or by the large financial institutions, but I repeat myself).
On this basis, the IRS helped itself to everything in my PayPal account -- which only happens to be the money I barely survive on. And they may not be done.
I try to write with precision. I can only observe that this is absolutely, utterly insane. From the State's perspective, the amount of money involved is trivial and meaningless. But what the IRS is doing to me has nothing whatsoever to do with the money involved, and it's a very bad mistake to think that it does. This is the brutal, vicious exercise of power for its own sake. The IRS is attempting to crush me because it can. To put it crudely, but in a manner which is doubtless fully accurate, there are people who do the bidding of the State who get off on this. There are probably quite a lot of them.
And even though the money involved is trivial from the State's perspective, for me it is nothing less than life itself. Keep in mind one other critical point: I am fully aware -- and you should never forget -- that what the State is now doing to me is far, far less brutal than what it does to many others.
At the moment, the primary, awful, sickening example of what I mean is Bradley Manning, and the verdict that was announced yesterday. Understand that I would never presume to compare myself to Manning in any way at all, just as I would not dream of comparing my situation to his. The sole connection between the two examples is the behavior of the State, and the varieties of ways in which the State seeks to destroy those who fail to obey its commands. If there were any justice in the world, Manning would be celebrated as a great hero. He would be honored in multiple ways, and he would be rewarded for his actions to a degree that would enable him to spend the rest of his life in luxury, doing only what he wished. Of course, in that kind of world, Manning would not have found it necessary to take the actions he did. In this world, he still faces the possibility of decades in prison.
How does a decent human being, a person who understands the precious, irreplaceable value of a single life, live in a world like ours? But, you see, the State doesn't care if such people live. Ultimately, the State would prefer that such people cease to trouble it, that they don't exist at all -- that is, that they die. That is the final meaning of our State and its actions. If you won't obey, the State wants you to die.
That is what people desperately need to understand. When enough people finally understand it, then we can talk about resistance that will make a difference. Until that day arrives, we aren't living, not in anything close to the fullest sense in which I use that word. We are surviving, which is not at all the same.
I will have more to say about Manning when I am able to think more clearly. For the moment, I must turn back to the task of survival. I add that I have no intention of dying any time soon, much as the State might wish me to. I have one further thought:
God damn these motherfuckers. God damn them to the lowest reaches of hell.