Ernest Cassara

My Better Half and I received the following essay in the mail recently:

How Gandhi Brought Democracy to India

A tiny man in home spun cloth with no hair changed the world.  A famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi was: "An eye for an eye and we would all be blind."  Gandhi brought democracy to India without using violence.  Instead of fighting, he fasted, marched over three hundred miles to the ocean to make salt, and wove his own cloth.

First Gandhi fasted, which means to not eat until a certain point in time.  Gandhi's purpose was to fast until there was peace in India.  He grew very weak while he was doing this.  He almost died.  He fasted many times in his life and they were all for peace.

India was being taxed on salt by England.  The people needed and used salt to preserve meats.  So, Gandhi marched over three hundred miles to the ocean to make salt.  This was meant to boycott the English tax on salt.  Millions of people went with him.  When they got there he taught them how to make salt.  At that time the British had made it illegal for the people of India to make their own salt.

Gandhi made his own cloth.  This was meant to boycott English made cloth.  It took years to make one piece of cloth.  It was hard work.  He did it to keep himself busy in jail.

In conclusion, these examples are a few of the nonviolent acts against the British government that Gandhi led.  Gandhi did not give up and he was willing to die for his people for the sake of peace.  I learned that he was a strong role model for Martin Luther King Jr.

It makes one proud to see that his granddaughter Susannah Winder is following in the footsteps of her old grandfather, in pursuing history.  And, for that matter, of her grandmother, who, before she joined the ranks of the professorate, was a radio news editor. Now eleven years old, Susannah has a promising future ahead of her.

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What he labeled my "contretemps" with the phone company, which I wrote about in last week's issue, led our former editorial colleague Larry Hamby to send this on to us:

Ernest, I really enjoyed your contretemps with Verizon, and like would to share somethng with you.

Several days ago I received a 1099-INT from Reserve Investments which I could  not identify. After a day of amateur detective work, I sent them the following:

Dear Persons,

I am attaching (in .pdf format) two documents which you sent me:
1. a 1099-INT form
2. and a note accompanying it.

1. Nothing in my records for 2005 matches this form. I cannot identify it.
2. When I called your customer service office, I was told that the only information you have is what was sent
  you by Pershing Clearing House and that it related to an account I supposedly opened in July, 2005. No
  other information was available, including identifying the brokerage account number.
3. My broker does not use that account number and there is apparently no way I can use it to find out who
  this broker might be who is associated with that number.
4. There is apparently no way I can contact Pershing Clearing House.

Considering all this, I am asking you to do the following;
1. Find out and tell me where the interest mentioned in the 1099 originated.
2. Failing that, please issue a corrected 1099 eliminating the interest.

Many thanks for your help,
L. M. Hamby
My identifying information is on the 1099-INT.

So far no response. I suspect that I may have an argument with the IRS in future years.

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I notice of late that one of the Republican talking points labels the Democrats weak on defending the country.  They would starve the military, it is claimed.  Ah, it was not too many years ago that Bob Dole complained of "Democrat wars."  So, the Dems should retaliate, and complain of "Republican wars."  And, there would be more of them, you can be sure, were it not for the fact that President Bush and company are making such a hash of things in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week, Michael Chertoff said "I am accountable and accept responsibility."  That is, for the hash that his agency made of things during and following hurricane Katrina. He made the statement  with  a  certain measure of bravado. People nod their heads in approval at such forthrightness. The trouble is that it means nothing to "accept responsibility" for failure under our government. How different from the parliamentary system in the United Kingdom, for example. There, when a public official makes a hash of things, he is expected to resign.

In the United States, we have developed a "no fault" government.

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