philosophy



Please help me. I have been struggling more than a month to port Word 2013 onto my new HP computer. Buying that has proved to be a massive mistake, as you all have been fighting me away from the minute I plugged it in, and made yourselves impossible for me to deal with. I have had s light stroke, Dr Blazer thinks. That is why I cannot type fast enough to answer all the questions you posed before your page timed out, and why I resorted to the shortened  version that you decided was not enough.

Today, I feel helpless as none of the new passwords allow me past your barriers. The paranoia that drives you to perform all sorts of horrors in the guise of offering protection must be contagious. In lieu of your advance of anything to salvage my former respect for Microsoft, I have downloaded a free copy of Open Office, which can read and write Word files in immaculate fashion, https://www.openoffice.org/ . Mistreatment of your customers should only serve to increase their revenues.

I hope I misread your intentions, and that you do experience empathy so that I will hear from you in a day or two. If not, I will post this on Facebook so you can read it sooner or later.

On 9/14/2015 5:25 PM, Microsoft account team wrote:

Microsoft account
Security info was replaced
Good news! The waiting period you started 30 days ago is over, and your old security info has been replaced with XXXXXXX. No further action is required.
If you’d like to review the security info for xxxxxxxxx, CLICK HERE.
Thanks,
The Microsoft account team

I have had little, if any, trouble dealing with any other vendors whose products populate this new system. Since my only interest was to enable my copy of Word, for which I paid full price and waited a month for the disc to arrive, I felt immense glee at being able to convince you enough that I am me to let me log on to my account. Imagine my chagrin when you refused with the excuse that my Word is associated with a different email. Really? Things I buy get associated with email? What happened to my name?

I took a wild guess and submitted the Juno link I had abandoned months ago, after which you attempted to repeat the very same routine again. You know?— the one where you ask a lot of questions, and the page times out because I can’t type fast enough to get them all answered—the one that earned me that thirty days of punishment for failing to live up to your expectations. I have survived a series of strokes. I have already been punished.

I have decided it is possible your vulnerable position makes you subject to paranoia, but your actions tell me to follow the money. I am not cave to purchase a second copy of Word, however giant your company. I wrote, about a month and a half ago, to the return address on the envelope in which the Word disc arrived. I have never heard back. That puts another false face on your caring attitude.

Maybe you’ll wonder why I chose to post this here. The answer is that you have blocked every normal channel of contact. You don’t respond to direct mail. You initiated this action against me with no apparent way to defend against it. While this may accomplish nothing for myself, I hope it will serve as a warning for others. Customers are not property just because you call us “yours”.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.


Tax-free Churches? There’s No Such Thing!

You pay what churches don’t! US churches* received an official federal income tax exemption in 1894, and they have been unofficially tax-exempt since the country’s founding. All 50 US states and the District of Columbia exempt churches from paying property tax. Donations to churches are tax-deductible, making for a double-dip loss of revenues by the government. They are not tax free. YOU pay their taxes.

Grant’s prophecy prediction (below) seems to be off by at least a couple hundred years. We can poke fun at that, or see if there’s any sense in the rest of the quote:

I would call your attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our land before the close of the Nineteenth century. It is the acquisition of vast amounts of untaxed church property…. In a growing country, where real estate enhances so rapidly with time as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to the wealth that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise, if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to sequestration without constitutional authority, and through blood. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation.” (Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President [1869-1877], Message to Congress, December 7, 1875; Congressional Record, Vol. 4, part 7, page 175; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 288)

Churches and corporations are artificial entities created by people and authorized by government. In a sense, an unrestricted religious or corporate leader could exercise multiple votes—his own, plus whatever he could influence from his employees or congregation from his power position. That said, why are religions allowed property-tax exemptions? I would suppose the threat of taxation had been expected to keep them from acting like ordinary people with an interest in the works of government, and so would prevent religious groups’ hands from interfering. It appears that cannot work without a government agent posted in every edifice during every meeting to assure complete adherence to the law. That would happen only at great expense and set a regrettable precedent.

The govern, itself, is an artificial entity created and authorized by its subjects. The various layers of government perform many necessary functions for which they prepare annual budgets. Many of those layers suffer deficits even while billions are handed out to religious and corporate enterprises for questionable reasons. Overall, our government seems senselessly generous with our money, with both political parties equally guilty. Allowing massive acreage to go untaxed while some favored enterprise holds the title is but one example. The government should maintain titles to all properties from which it does not collect full taxes, and collect rent otherwise.

The following quote inspires questions about how it leads to governmental interference in religion, still at taxpayer expense:

The government has leverage on religious groups because of the tax-exemption privilege. Church leaders, eager for the church to be free to be the church, should ask for the removal of this privilege. If there were no tax privilege for religious groups, hucksters and people who are using religion as a cover for political movements would be discouraged.” (William Stringfellow, lawyer and lay theologian, as quoted in the Dallas Times Herald, December 9, 1978, p. A-27, according to Alan F. Pater and Jason R. Pater, compilers and editors, What They Said in 1978: The Yearbook of Spoken Opinion, Beverly Hills, CA: Monitor Book Co., 1979, p. 447.)

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