Evidently the State Doesn’t Want My Money…

So let me lead off with the email I’m sending GoodToGo as I type this:

So some how I wasn’t notified as my account level got low. It’s now at -0.35 cents. I just went to go put money on it and am told “I can’t make a payment currently because the account is in negative balance.”

OK, I’ll try to call. I call and it wants some pin number that I don’t have and cannot find anywhere to set one on the website. I try to find a way to talk to a human and cannot find one.

So just to make sure I’m clear on this. I give an interest free loan to GoodToGo (WA DOT), am finally notified when I have a negative account balance because it’s run over, and when I try to go give another interest free loan I can’t? If it wasn’t for the fact this is “sanctioned by the state” I’d be calling the BBB to report a scam.

Why would I report a scam? Because at this point my assumption must be that the reason it is so difficult to pay a negative account balance is to accrue interest against the user, in which case why is my loan to the state an interest free one? And if not that to bill the user at a higher rate for using the toll bridge because my account is out-of-order. This also ignores the fact the first time I drove across the bridge I was billed through GoodToGo and sent a paper bill at a higher rate in the mail.

I have updated to a different card, although I would prefer not to have automatic payments configured on that card, but if this is going to be the way the state is going to behave I do not have much of a choice.

I had been making a habit of making one time payments when notified and this time I couldn’t.

As an additional note I will be forwarding this to my state representatives asking how this type of user interface and treatment of Washington State citizens is acceptable. Especially for those of us who purely use this in transportation to or from work. I will also be posting a copy of my experience and this letter, along with how the situation is handled on my blog.

Thank you and sincerely,
Barron Barnett

So for those not familiar with the GoodToGo system, you maintain a balance for toll roads around Western  Washington.  When you take one it subtracts from that balance.  When the balance gets low it can automatically get more from a credit card or deduct from a bank account.

The initial credit card I was using has been disabled, not because of lack of payment or anything, it just has and I’m too lazy to go call the bank to fix it.  I’m going debt free so why bother worrying about it, it forces me to not use it.

So I take to paying off my debit card when I get a low balance notice.  I get no low balance notice until I get a call and email about it this morning.  I go look at my account, -$0.35.  Well I need to fix that, I go into payments and see:

Outstanding Balance
Account balance is negative, payment not allowed. Please contact the Customer Service Center.

I then hop on the phone and start getting drug through automated menus.  Finally get to one that sounds reasonable, it asks me for my account number. I enter it.  Then it asks for a 4 digit pin.  A what?  I never configured a 4 digit pin, not that I remember anyway, and I cannot find anywhere in the online forms to find or configure a 4 digit pin.

So lets recap.  I’ve been giving interest free loans to the State of Washington so that I can drive over public roads at a non-inflated price.  I guess you could say that’s the interest, but then some pay more interest in others do they not because that becomes dependent on how long it takes for them to dwindle their account balance, but I digress.

Evidently my account ran negative and I just discovered this.  I attempt to use the manual payment system and am told to contact the Customer Service Center.  I do exactly that, and am greeted with an automated system asking for information that I do not know and cannot find a method to find out or set.

Ultimately leaving me in the following state, an outstanding balance I’m now aware of and unable to pay because their system is so screwy I could swear it was built by the same idiots that made the Obama-care website, and some would wonder why I don’t want my financial information stored within it.

And people wonder why I view the state as worthless and unable to pour piss out of a boot reading the directions off the heel.  If I can’t pay them when I owe them money, what the hell do they need the money for in the first place?

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Citizens take law into own hands

Not only did the Sheriff’s Office narrow its scope to “life-threatening” situations, but it even encouraged people who felt unsafe to relocate. “… the Sheriff’s Office regretfully advises that, if you know you are in a potentially volatile situation (for example, you are a protected person in a restraining order that you believe the respondent may violate), you may want to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services,” the original release stated.

Selig’s community watch group, looking to fill in the law enforcement cracks, now meets once a month to discuss crime and teach its approximately 100 members about personal safety. The group also has a trained “response team,” which consists of 12 people who will respond to the scene of a reported non-life-threatening situation if called.

I’ll summarize the full details real quick for everyone.  A county in Oregon lost a federal grant for timber that was a large source of revenue for them.  The county attempted to pass a tax levy to make up the difference, but it was voted down.  Because of this, they cut law enforcement back because that’s the obvious area to reduce funding. *SMH* One of the officers who was forced to retire early because of this mess decides to create a neighborhood watch group that is basically performing some of the duties of law enforcement mainly focused around property crime.  They’re not handing out tickets or arresting anyone, at least from what the article said.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  There are obviously legal ramifications here.  There are liability issues and then the question of what they do when they are in a situation where they should arrest a person.  So far it seems like everything they’ve been involved in has been pretty harmless, but I’m sure that won’t last forever.  While I don’t agree with the scope of law enforcement at times, I also don’t want to trivialize their job and make it sound like anyone can do it.  Since it’s a prior officer that’s running this thing, I’m hoping that there is some good quality training going on and that the people doing this are prior MIL/LEO.

Some of the citizens are saying that the local government is cutting law enforcement to basically force their hand and get them to approve the levy.  I haven’t seen their budget, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this was the case.  Regardless of whether or not there is enough money, I’m impressed with the citizens’ willingness to step up and get the job done.  While law enforcement isn’t the first place I would think that we should have citizens stepping up to fill the gap, I am glad to see them doing what needs to be done, and I’m really hoping they do it right since this is the type of thing that can set a precedent going forward.

~John

But you can have property!

Can you?  This started as a rant I was sending to Facebook and then I decided to push it here.  You see Chris made a post on Facebook yesterday, the crux of which was this image.

Taxation

The the thread predictably devolved into people saying how taxation is not a form a slavery because you can have property.* Guess he missed all those taxes on that property where if you don’t pay they seize your property (so in reality rent). And my personal favorite, where the state can take your property under eminent domain and give you pennies on the dollar, if the state feels like spending the pennies.  (Seriously check out that link… The City of Seattle is seizing a 103 year old woman’s property, currently a parking lot, to make it a parking lot. I can’t make this crap up.)

So don’t tell me I’m not a slave when there is nothing voluntary about my relationship with my government and I live in fear of them deciding to seize my property without cause and me with no legal recourse. Remember, this is the land of the free, where the mob can vote to have the state steal your stuff to give it to them.

If everyone saw equal services from the state, then I might not call it slavery, but entitlements are horse shit. I should not be taxed to feed someone else’s kids because they squandered their money on a big screen TV.

Go ahead and say I have no heart. Know why I don’t have kids yet? Because I’m paying for someone else’s. But remember I’m the heartless asshole for merely being the responsible person and staying within my means.

I’m paying more now for my healthcare too, why? To subsidize people who didn’t want to take care of it themselves. Pardon me while I say screw all of you who support this BS.

*He also made a comment about the ballot box being involved so it wasn’t really against your will.  Uhh, so because the mob votes to steal my stuff makes it some how morally ok and just?  WTFO!?  Seriously, how does the fact a ballot box being involved make it OK for the state to take, by force, property from one person and give it to another.  If it was really that person’s property it couldn’t be taken in such a way now could it?

**As someone who’s now working as a contractor, I’m well versed in exactly how much I’m paying out in taxes and it’s far beyond most people. For every dollar I earn I see about .46 cents.  I could easily start a family with all that money being dumped into a government who spends more frivolously than a drunken sailor… But I’m not a slave since I can rent property from the state and they can seize at any time to do with as they please.

I’m going to end the rant here because I think I’ve made my point.  But seriously if you think you’re not a slave merely because they’ve provided you some illusions of freedom, you’re an idiot.  The greatest trick the government ever pulled was making the people think they’re free when they’re really slaves, they just don’t know it yet.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

A Short Story…

Terry from the Boomershoot staff emailed this to me and honestly it’s worth the read.

Once upon a time there was a street fair. It had striped awnings and bright colors and from far and near, farmers came with wagons full of produce to sell at the street fair. The produce was plentiful and cheap and the crowds it drew were huge which created all sorts of concerns for the government.

So the government created a Ministry of Street Fairs which it funded by taxing the produce sold at the fair. At first the Ministry brought some some order to the street fair, but it would periodically launch new “street fair initiatives” to justify another expansion and pay for them by raising taxes on the produce.

Just keep reading.  For many of us the results were obvious, others however will continue to insist the story is wrong and their false view of the world is real.

I wanted to snap something as the quote of the day but honestly, it only works as a story.  Go, read, spread it far and wide.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Yet Another Lie From Our Fearless Leader…

“The Administration strongly supports S. 743, which will level the playing field for local small business retailers that are in competition every day with large out-of-state online companies,” reads the Obama administration’s statement on the policy.

*Blink*.  Seriously anyone who believes that helps small business is a burger, fries, and a drink short of a Happy Meal.  All you have is an empty box full of napkins.

All this serves to do is raise costs equally across everyone, small and large businesses alike.  In the end that will affect small businesses more because it will trim down their profit margin if they attempt to stay competitive.  Larger retailers have a larger profit margin and can eat the smaller loss.

The assumption for the above is that the majority of my business is coming from local states.  Not only that, but that I can in no way compete with local companies merely because of sales tax.  Further many of the large retailers do have to charge sales tax because they have store fronts within the state.

So all this law would do, is cause small businesses to have to raise prices and append an additional tax.  Large companies would have to do it just the same but they could more easily eat the cost giving them an advantage over small business.  This is merely another example of how this Administration hates small business owners.

As a small business owner the mere mention of this while claiming it will help me is down right offensive, doubly so since that no talent ass-clown of a President accused me last Wednesday of being a liar for telling the truth.  Here we are not even a week later and that narcissist is lying and trying to tell me swallow this pill of cyanide because it will help my business.  This coming from a man who’s never run a business in his life.

Mr. President, shut the hell up and stop trying to destroy my business.  It’s hard enough to get the damn thing rolling without you meddling in it and causing us to have to raise prices.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

No BAG Day for Me…

Instead I owed my child molesting financially irresponsible uncle $600.  So no gun for me, doubly so since I have to pay property taxes soon too.

I did however make myself feel a little better during the tail end of doing my taxes:

PayingMyChildMolestingUncle

I wanted to avoid Turbo-Tax but it was the easiest for what all was involved this year.  At least I had a little fun with it.  I gave them a 1 because I actually used them.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

SSCC #539-#540: Miami

Malinsky Bazile, a young Miami police officer, pocketed about $140,000 over the past two years — but not in salary for his patrol duties, authorities say.

While on duty, Bazile ran the names of more than 1,000 people in the state driver’s license database, according to a criminal complaint. Then he took their personal information and filed bogus federal income-tax returns, all to score stolen refunds.

Remember though they need all that information to do their job and it couldn’t possibly be used for wrong.  Seriously those two took identity theft to a whole new level where honestly there’s no way to stop it.

Welcome to the world of the police state.  Where the police can ruin your life whenever they want and you are left to clean up the mess.

State Sponsored Criminal #539: Malinsky Bazile

#540: Vital Frederick

Because ultimately being a police officer means that you can rob and ruin the life of whoever you want merely because of the information available at your fingertips.*

*If you don’t know what I’m talking about.  The IRS has ruined the lives of victims of this type of identity theft.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Can We Please Bring on the Apocalypse Already?

I’ll let Tallahassee Explain.

Well life is now imitating art and soon that box of Twinkies on the shelf may very well be the last box of Twinkies.

Hostess Brands, the bankrupt maker of cream-filled pastries like Twinkies and Ho Hos, said on Friday that it planned to wind down its operations. The decision comes a week after one of the company’s biggest unions went on strike to protest a labor contract.

The unions were protesting a cut in pay which occurred because of increased operating costs.  I do find it funny that in this wonderful market, where I know many people who have taken pay cuts instead of raises, these people decided they were going to go on strike. Tell me geniuses, how is no income better than some income?  Have no fear though because I’m sure they will all be collecting unemployment from the government.  That means you and I get to pay them for their stupidity.

Doubly so since the company warned the union that they were going to have to liquidate and shutdown if they didn’t return to work.  Well, the union called the bluff with one minor mistake, the company wasn’t bluffing.

The last thing I need is freaking Twinkies but man they take me back to my childhood.  Thank’s for ruining a direct link back idiots.

Welcome to the demise folks.  This is what happens as government regulation gets to the point where businesses can no longer thrive or be profitable.  Things crash and augur into the ground.  Get ready folks because this is going to get worse, a lot worse.  Especially when you consider the number of people dependent on the government, when the hand outs stop, they’ll just attempt to take their handouts from others.

Atlas is starting to shrug and it seems a lot of people don’t even realize it.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.