Category Archives: Barely A Blog

Infernal Revenue Blues By Myron Pauli

BAB's A List, Barely A Blog, Ilana Mercer, Taxation

Barely a Blog contributor Myron Robert Pauli, Ph.D., says theoretical nuclear physics is far simpler than filing a US tax return.

As you enjoy the musings of BAB’s resident physicist, do consider a one-time contribution or a regular monthly contribution to BAB, without which you’d be bereft of Dr. Myron Pauli’s polemics. Read more about our pal and patron below. And do give generously. (The PayPal buttons are to your right). Our Myron is a genius, but he is no Sheldon Cooper when it comes to syntax. Posting a Myron piece means WORK for yours truly. Enjoy.

Infernal Revenue Blues
By Myron Pauli

This is the lovely time of the year where I get to file 12 tax returns – mine and my child’s and my late wife’s “estate” (which I had to take from my child and give back to my wife!) times federal and state times regular and estimated = 3 x 2 x 2 = 12. Lots of FUN!
Suppose you owned A shares of company B – and they spun off C shares of company D which then had stock splits (regular or reverse) making E shares which then acquired company F but subsequently merged with company G to now make H shares of company J with a payout of K from the merger. Calculate the capital gains tax! Think that is hard – what if the shares were in brokerage house L which became M and N and P? What if your deceased mother acquired some of the shares in multiple intervals over many years from since deceased brokerage house L? What if some of the companies had dividend reinvestment? Have you ever tried to find the 40 year old price of stocks that no longer exist? You don’t just need an accountant, you need an archeologist. I’ve done theoretical nuclear physics which is far simpler than this.
How about bonds? Some are subject to federal and state tax, some to federal but not state; some to state and not federal, some are double exempt. But what if it is a mixed-bond fund? And some which are exempt are subject to AMT – the “Alternative Minimum Tax”.
Ah – the AMT – designed in 1969 to catch a handful of “feeelthy rich” zillionaires with oil depletion allowances. For single people, the “feeelthy rich” start below $100,000 and no credit for dependents. I am a single parent with one child. What about single parents with 10 children – feeelthy rich, I suppose.
But “Saviour of the Poor” Obama is going after the tax loopholes! And what loophole is he after? Cash contributions to charity! Yessir, I give cash to the nefarious Salvation Army to give chowder to the homeless on frosty winters. The head of the Salvation Army earns under $100,000 – no doubt one of the feeelthy rich – and every cup of chowder consumed by the homeless takes needed revenue from Solyndra and their deserving lobbyists. And “conservatives” should be angry when I donate to frivolous fluff like the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and take away from such good deeds as dropping another cluster bomb on some Pakistani children.
And the “Fighters Against Big Government” Republicans? Well, half of them are trying to festoon the tax code with even more loopholes, and the others promote the Orwellian-named “Fair Tax” – a 30% sales tax on all spending. Such a draconian sales tax will necessitate the elimination of cash. It will not be sufficient for government to know my income and my investments – now they will have to know every dime I spend on socks, tuna, aspirin, and sex toys. Then picture what Nanny Bloomberg will do with the National Sales Tax – tax broccoli at the same rate as truffles? Bring on the lobbyists.
Benjamin Franklin said that nothing can be certain in this world except death and taxes. He failed to say which he feared the most!

Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


UPDATED CONTINUALLY: Independent Against The Establishment

Barely A Blog, Ilana Mercer,, Liberty, Media, Reason, South-Africa

IF YOU ARE new to and its sister site,, welcome! Read a better rounded biographical and professional exposé here.

In brief:

I am a US-based, classical liberal writer. I pen’s longest-standing, exclusive, paleolibertarian, weekly column, “Return to Reason.” With a unique audience of 8 million, WND.COM has been rated by Alexa as the most frequented “conservative” site on the Internet. I also feature on RT, ranked 999 on the WWW, with the “Paleolibertarian Column.” (Here are some thoughts on RT’s overall excellence as compared to the malfunctioning American media.)

Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, I contribute to London’s Quarterly Review, and am a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, an independent, non-profit economic policy think tank.

Dare I say that millions have read this writer’s work over the years on WND.COM (ranked 1,874th on the internet rater, Alexa)?

Nevertheless, I am forever being peppered with patronizing notes from readers—hardly patrons, for a patron is “one that supports, protects, or champions; a sponsor or benefactor.” This persistent condescension (usually from older, authoritarian males, some in position of influence) necessitates that I remind reality bound readers of the following: The age of the Internet guarantees the futility of energetic efforts to marginalize myself and others, who like me, write outside of accepted orthodoxy. In my case, for almost two decades.

A recent exercise helped me to appreciate just how much the libertarian establishment, much like its mainstream cohort—and desperate to sustain its sinecured monopoly over the marketplace of ideas—will forever opt for the “statist quo” (to use a Jeff Tuckerism), in the face of popular trends to the contrary.

I was asked to attend a workshop and deliver an address at a local chapter of a property rights organization. Closer to the time, however, I was informed that I had been dropped in favor of an individual from a well-heeled think tank.

(Poor me. Instead, I got to travel to Manhattan Le Magnifique, to feature as speaker for the month of May, 2012, at the libertarian-cum-Objectivist New York City Junto gathering.)

You see, this writer is an independent, one-woman band, whose fidelity is to the truth alone. As such, or so I was told, I lacked name recognition. Since I had never heard of the individual who was to fill my much-smaller shoes, I did a few Internet searches. I discovered that the group had opted for establishment, not for name recognition.

GOOGLE threw up 245,000 results for the establishmentarian to my name’s 1,310,000 results.
FACEBOOK had me at 3400 Friends (and no time YET to vet the rest). Mr. Establishment was stuck at … 4. (Here is my FACEBOOK “FRIENDSHIP” POLICY.)
MY BOOK’S FACEBOOK FAN PAGE garnered 594 Likes; Mr. Establishment’s Author Page had all of 25 Likes. Amazon was as dismally populated.
TWITTER: Mr. Name Recognition had 67 followers to my modest 771.
WND & RT, as mentioned, carry my weekly column. They rank, respectively, 1,874 and 999 on the WWW by Alexa, the premier website ranking site. I presume that Mr. Establishment produces the occasional ponderous, desiccated, extremely well-concealed position paper. If so, he does it on a site that ranks 47,094th on Alexa.

How long can these Beltway based think tanks and their patrons delude themselves about their reach or appeal? They excite as much passion as a wet blanket during the perennial, Washington State power outage.

As mentioned, a year on Facebook finds me communicating with a community of over 3400 Facebook Friends and growing. Expanding too is the Facebook following on Into the Cannibal’s Pot’s Fan Page.

Not too shabby for one woman.

Please log-in to, or join, Facebook in order to “Like” The Cannibal. To read The Cannibal is to love it. Guaranteed. To review this book on Amazon is to support what will prove to be a prophetic text.

In a gracious note to this writer, the one and only Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “I believe your book is being sold [or bundled on Amazon] along with my new book, ‘Suicide of a Superpower: Will America survive to 2025.’ … my 18,000-word chapter on ethnonationalism and tribalism and the surge of both throughout the Third World—as well as our own declining world—tracks pretty much with what you wrote…”

Every bit as gratifying to this writer was a courtesy copy of “Suicide of a Superpower,” thus inscribed: “To Ilana Mercer: Fellow Columnist and Fellow Conservative, with The Respect and good wishes of The Author.”

Still and all, to say that the publication process of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa has been punishing would be an understatement. …

Read on about these travails, but return to this page.

All in all, patrons are preferable to the patronizing. I thank my patrons—you know who you are.

Speaking of patrons, as was announced in July of 2012 , Barely A Blog (BAB) Comments Section was closed down by necessity. (Related are the posts, “The Closing of The American Mind? What Mind?” as well as “Barely A Blog (BAB) Closes Comments (& Says ‘So Long’ To Cowards).”

For years, I’ve moderated this forum, hoping to educate visitors. The goal was noble, but naive. The labor-intense effort involved considerable opportunity costs, and few returns (Comments do not drive traffic to BAB or to
Time is scarce and thus precious.
With the exception of a few valued voices (who may, like Myron Pauli, submit editorials), this public-minded forum attracted a lot of maladroit, often maladaptive, men and women who, for the most, hadn’t the faintest idea how to behave on private property (BAB).

For over a decade, I’ve written a quality, consistently hardcore, paleolibertarian column, which no paleo site carries. Not one. This is quite astonishing, if you think of it. It says a great deal about the ossified mindset within this community. Assorted sites will feature, year-in and year-out, the same establishment columns. Or choose more malleable mediocrities. But they avoid like the plague even mention of the weekly output of this hard-right writer. Does the paleo practice of ignoring reality, highlighted in the post “The Paleo Problem: Intellectual Dishonesty Or Senility?”, amount to a child covering his ears and humming loudly, in the hope that reality will magically change?

Yes, and worse.

In his Foreword to Nonsense, Robert J. Gula’s handbook of logical fallacies, Hunter Lewis cautions that it is, in “a broader sense” (“broad” being Gula’s genius and sensibility), a logical fallacy to inject information or arguments that are … incomplete, or to omit some important fact, point, or perceptive, … whether intentionally or unintentionally.

In “Ilana Mercer and the Paleolibertarian Ideal,” columnist and political philosopher Jack Kerwick parses paleolibertarianism as “the conviction [first] … that a world in which men and women are free to order their lives in accordance with their own moral purposes, not those of the governments under which they live, is an ethical ideal worth aspiring toward.”

But that’s not all:

For years, Mercer has authored a weekly column — ‘Return to Reason’ — at the very popular WorldNetDaily website. The most casual perusal of her archives there readily reveals that she is as ardent a champion as any of that tradition … applauded for affirming ‘libertarian principles while opposing open borders, libertinism, egalitarianism, and political correctness.’
…It is this conviction that explains why everyone who is familiar with Mercer’s thought locates it squarely within the classical liberal or libertarian tradition. Yet to look at it more deeply — though not much more deeply — is to see why it just as solidly compels us to locate it within libertarianism’s paleo strain.
…Whether addressing a broad range of issues in an equally broad range of arenas — as she does in Broad Sides — or shedding blood, sweat, and tears to draw the Western world’s attention to the systematic injustices to which her native South Africa is daily subjected — as she does in Cannibal — Mercer is forever cautioning readers against succumbing to the contemporary Western temptation to indulge in abstractions. To put it another way, she has been laboring tirelessly to remind us of something that this generation of liberty’s defenders are all too ready to forget: Liberty is as dependent upon historical and cultural contingencies as is any other artifact. And it is just as fragile.


Help keep the topical commentary on this space coming. Show your support by purchasing “Into the Cannibal’s Pot.” In the same spirit, review it on Amazon.

And/or Contribute to my efforts.


UPDATED: ‘Libertarian Top 50 Sites’ ‘Misses’ Mercer

Barely A Blog, Ilana Mercer,, Israel, libertarianism, Media, Political Philosophy

DBKP’s list featuring the “Libertarian Top 50 Sites” has “missed” Barely a Blog (BAB), which is ranked 188,158th on Alexa, globally. That would make BAB number 28 (or thereabouts) on this list of 50. Not bad for a one-woman operation, helped a little by regular monetary and epistolary contributions (to the Comments Section).

Also left-off the DBKP “Libertarian Top 50 Sites” was, which has been up since 2000. (This golden oldie against the invasion of Iraq was written in 2002, which was when many “top-rated” Beltway libertarians were whooping it up for Bush’s war and bubble economy.)

A ranking of 202,294th on Alexa should make, also on the ascendancy, 31 on the list of 50 top libertarian sites.

That’s if it had been ranked; it was not. archives the “Return to Reason” column. “Return to Reason” is WorldNetDaily’s longest-standing, exclusive libertarian column.

The DBKP Report was apprised of these omissions (the relevant emails are: & Still, it has no excuse. Perhaps the list privileges members of the “Libertarian Lite” community, which likes to pretend paleolibertarians are not part of the genus libertarian? I doubt it, as my good pal Vox Day is a paleolibertarian (who questions free trade, no less), and his Vox Popoli weblog has, I’m pleased to report, been listed.

The author of and Barely a Blog has never sought what one wag called “the warm smell of the herd.” However, the problem with those who think they can wish-away an individual’s substantial, indubitably classical liberal, output (this work included) is this: One day not so far away, they’ll look bad. Maybe even a little malevolent. Their credibility is at stake, not my 14 years of writing in the cause of liberty.

Many thanks to my many readers for making the two sites, maintained single-handedly by myself, so popular.

TTFN (Ta-ta for now).

UPDATE (Aug. 10): Darn, Neboja (see comment below), you’ve alerted me to the fact that I gave publicity to the DBKP self-appointed outfit. However, this conduct is emblematic and all-pervasive when it comes to my work; so what I said above needed to be said: “One day not so far away, [a lot of people] will look bad. Maybe even a little malevolent.”

If this utterly independent public intellectual cared one bit about the various tribal establishments—libertarian or other, as the dynamics of all these factions are comparable—she would be sitting on the phone NOW, replying to a couple of recent inquiries from the producer of a major libertarian television talent. (A polite, appreciative email that provided a contact # was plenty good enough for me.)

Even some of my readers, so mired in the idea that what the herd does matters to me—and in general—think that because B (Mercer’s not on TV), she has to be A (a B-talent). Of course, reasoning backward is an error. However, I like RT, as they seem truly interested in ideas. In this RT segment, I was asked about the Freedom Fest (to which I had never been invited, naturally, like I care), where a couple of neophytes had been asked to expatiate about the vexing topic of Israel. That, when this Jewish, ex-Israeli, libertarian woman has been writing cogent libertarian tracts about Israel for over a decade, one of which was even solicited by the Paul Campaign (before said Campaign was apprised by an establishmentarians, presumably, against the practice of using Mercer).

My Israel tracts have always departed from the tinny, robotic, anti-Israel, hackneyed lines you hear from the paleo- and libertarian Regulars. Yet these columns are fiercely American-centered, patriotic, and belong squarely in the American classical liberal tradition.

Mercer At The 2010 HL Mencken Club

Barely A Blog, Ilana Mercer,, Political Correctness, South-Africa

I will speaking at the 3rd annual meeting of the HL Mencken Club, which will take place on Friday, October 22, through Sunday, October 24, 2010, at the Holiday Inn BWI, in Linthicum, Maryland, just outside Baltimore.”

I’ll be discussing my new book, Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For the West From Post-Apartheid South Africa. The book, unfortunately, is still in the publishing works.

But please purchase your copy of my libertarian manifesto, Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Society, and join me for a preview of an important work of which I am very proud.