Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Aura of Moral Legitimacy


Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.

My discussions at have made me realize the importance of this idea. In an effort to help spread the word, I thought it would be a good idea to post it there in the Political Discussions group because in order for education to get more people to reject electoral politics, it has to be directed to people who do not reject electoral politics.

How can I "reject electoral politics" and support Ron Paul or the Tea Party at the same time? My support for them is based on the fact that both Ron Paul and the Tea Party provide opportunities for people to learn why voluntaryism is really the way to go. All the other parties and political groups tend to suggest that "the masses" are stupid and have to be forced to behave properly. It's malarky.

Here are some examples of the "Aura of Moral Legitimacy" our federal government has used as a cloak, and if you'd like to add some, that would be great!
  • The central bank was created in order to stabilize prices
  • The FDA protects us from bad food
  • The Department of Education helps make children smarter
  • The Iraq War was waged in order to spread democracy
  • The 9/11 attackers attacked us because we have freedom
  • Free people will become vicious and mean if they aren't threatened into being good
So what can we do about it if we reject electoral politics? Oh, ok, so I have to add one more to the list:
  • Your moral responsibility to help the country go in the right direction should be fulfilled by voting
Actually, I think the best thing we can do is for each of us to find his or her own moral compass through education about peace, freedom, and compassion, and then follow it and encourage others to do so as well. Jury duty is where our power lies. Check out the Fully Informed Jury Association and start judging the laws as well as the defendants. Some people commit crimes in order to make the world a better place, and if you're on a jury, it's your responsibility to recognize when that is the case and repudiate the law that criminalized the defendant's behavior.

When you agree that the federal government's damage to our country is proportional to the taxes it collects, you may wish to learn about the Tax Honesty movement. Tom Cryer points out that before you stop contributing to this destruction by simply following the letter of the tax laws instead of doing whatever the IRS tells you, you should be prepared to lose and go to prison, because the IRS can do that (see the transcript of Dr. Phil Roberts' trial). But if you ever get on a jury in a federal tax case, you'll have an opportunity to explain things to your fellow jurors and help stop the destruction.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Existence of Great Evil

After this?  Keep Reading.  Send me questions.  Use the comment feature.  Whatever.

I've been asking around about "great evil" - because I think a "Central Bank" is one, and I suspect any institution that uses a majority vote to force the minority into covering the cost of what that minority feels is unethical is also a GREAT evil.  Obviously, forcing someone to pay for what they believe is unethical is evil itself, but it isn't great - I think - because we can individually fight against it.  But when democracy is used to magnify the injustice of such an arrangement, it becomes a great evil.  In my mind, it explains why "Blowback" has proven to be such a problem for America, why we had a financial crisis in the first place, and why we're heading for a double-dip recession.

Many of the people who talk to me remark that my input is very helpful.  I seem to have a knack for identifying the crucial differences when people disagree, and I can represent each side in a manner that shows both sides that the other side isn't unreasonable, but just starts from a few different axioms.  I often have to tiptoe around the axioms because when they are starkly described, they are shameful.  And really, the people who start from an axiom like "People are generally stupid," will gradually back away from it, and also from their opposing positions, as I lead them to see that the shameful axiom is partly to blame for their position.

Since you're here, I have to assume that you mostly will agree with me, which suggests that staying here to read more won't help you much - that it's just confirming what you already understand.  But represent your toughest opponents to me.  Ask me what I might look for to convince them.

Here's an example where I may have at least weakened my friend Scott's conviction that a stronger central government is better:

Scott Smith -
Ahhh, there is a difference. You see yourself as a victim of society, wherein I see myself as a participant IN society.

    The fact is, there is always a need for balance. Society and a democratically run government is in constant flux to keep balance. They are (we are) ever adjusting and never stagnant. The greatest destroyer of our system of government and way of life will be when we no longer go to the polls.
Dave Scotese -
What distinction is there in your mind between our system of government and our way of life? What distinction is there in your mind between society and government? I certainly see myself (and most everyone else) as a victim of government, but I see myself as a beneficiary of society. So I'm not sure where you got the impression that I see myself as a victim of society. The distinction for me is choice. One provides me with opportunity, and the other takes opportunity away. One expands the choices I have, and the other eliminates some of my choices.

    In the adjustments and constant flux you mentioned, what are the two poles between which balance is being kept?
Scott Smith -
Transpose society for government if it makes better sense to you. Indeed, both are different and separate, but I participate and strengthen government, wherein you choose to see yourself as a victim.

    Always question authority is a motto I truly believe and live by, but to think myself a victim is to equate my life with that which my mother lived (under a totalitarian regime)...
    ...we are not that world.

Dave Scotese -
- How are they different and separate? Why is it government that you wrote that you participate in and strengthen, rather than society? What are the two poles between which balance is kept?

    Isn't there a gradual movement between one extreme, being the totalitarian world in which your mom lived, and the other extreme? How would you characterize that other extreme? If we are moving in the right direction, would we ever be able to move in that direction faster by ending or shrinking certain institutions, or does the existence of an institution of any sort indicate progress in the right direction?

    Aren't we all victims in some way? I know it's usually not too useful to see things that way, but how can we know when it is useful?

Scott Smith -
Great wordplay and trickery...

    ....of course, government and society are different, especially in the USA. We, as a society that is of us, by us and for us. At least that is what we continually strive to keep. I am for a strong central government as a representation of what I desire for society and self, and am ever skeptical at a power structure that tries to deny anyone a fair shake at life. Today's power structure is the corporation(s) that are overly dominant on our government. To rid that we must speak out and fight for our government to speak for us and not them.

    If we go the route you prefer, you are allowing free reign by those very corporations trying to takeover now, but without the buffer of a government with which we can block them through.

    Once again, I am not, nor will ever be, a victim. Your words and your choice (which is exactly what you prefer).

Dave Scotese -
"Today's power structure is the corporation(s) that are overly dominant on our government."

    That's it exactly. Check out

    Victimhood isn't really important here, right? What's important is that we recognize the ways in which power can transfer from those who are not "overly dominant" to those who are. I heard that Judo tends to use the power of one's enemy against that enemy. In this case, it seems that is what happens as we work to strengthen the government to reduce the overly dominant position - it backfires. Stigler's theory seems to back up that impression, and that is why I thought the idea of a strong central government should be challenged.
Scott Smith -
And it is backfiring, for those that are trying to control government want nothing more than to have government get out of it's way. A lesser impediment to controlling society are those believing that small government is better for all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welfare vs Charity

Michael E, thank you for posting.  I'd like to drive your point even further:

Let's pretend we know someone is in need.  I mean, everyone reading this knows there's this, say, family, that is in need.  We have two ideas on the table about how to help them:

1) Let's agree to have everyone put $100 in a fund.  We'll have an election to see who will collect the money and deliver it to the family.  We'll provide that person with a few percent of the fund in return for making sure everyone contributed.  If anyone refuses, either we'll get their employer (or whoever owes them money) to put it in the fund before paying them, or else lock them in a cage for a while.  Maybe both.

2) Let's each provide whatever we feel like providing, directly, to the family.

Many people very strongly believe that the family will benefit more if we use the first idea, which is the one our government has implemented.  Whether or not it's an ethical plan is something they haven't considered (isn't it obviously unethical?) because the amount isn't $100.  It's more like 30 cents or maybe three cents.

But let's pretend for a moment that there isn't anything immoral about it.  Pretend you're a member of the family in need. 

Do you have dignity?  Do you have honor and integrity?  What is your response to the elected official bringing you money to help you out?  A fund, you have to remember, that you were forced to contribute to when you weren't needy enough.  Are you grateful?  Or would "expectant", "entitled", or "demanding" be more accurate?  Perhaps you are grateful. 

Now suppose that we used idea #2 instead, and you didn't get enough money, because people just aren't generous enough.  Are you more "demanding/expectant/entitled", or more grateful?  Let's suppose that you are more demanding simply because your needs haven't been met.  You sarcastically say "Gee, Thanks A LOT!" to the people who give you quarters and pennies.  But because of that need, wouldn't you be pretty motivated to find and engage in useful work to earn what you need? 

Now let's switch back to idea #1, where you do get enough, and it comes from an official fund.  How motivated are you in that case?

You can argue that you would be just as grateful and kind with #1 as with #2.  You can also argue that you'd be just as motivated with #1 as with #2.  If that's true, then you're an angel.  I know that I'm a pretty good person, but not that good, and I can't believe that anywhere close to half the people in need are that good either. 

Welfare damages motivation, which makes it impractical.  It also requires what most would consider stealing or kidnapping.  It's an immoral and impractical solution to the problem of poverty.

Facebook: "The message could not be posted to this Wall."

Solution for Facebook wall posting problem.  I was trying to post to my own wall and FB gave me this error: "The message could not be posted to this Wall."

If you get this error, you might want to log out and log back in.  This seems to have fixed the problem for me at least once.

I tried updating my status and got a message that said something like it couldn't be done at this time - try again later.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bad Internet Citizens

Just about everyone on the Internet has suffered because of bad Internet citizens.  They drop spam in our forums.  They drop it in our email boxes.  They create elaborate methods of copying code to thousands of machines and then use it to attack a business and extort money from it, raising the costs of everything.  What's sad is that the best of them could be writing video games or logistics algorithms or advertising copy.  They could be useful, but instead, they are attracted, like flies to poop, to the freedom the Internet gives them, and our failure to cooperate in an effort to frustrate their depravity.

My proposition is this: Website owners should have a place to register bad IP addresses.   Such a centralized database will provide a method of tracking the decisions of the individuals who are misbehaving, but it provides a valuable resource to everyone with a website.  While spam in forums and email is bothersome and wastes a lot of time, Denial of Service attacks cause much more concentrated damage.  Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks are much much worse.

Many DDOS attacks are executed on botnets, which consist of computers belonging to naive Internet users.  These users have executed some "unsafe" code which installed "malware" on their computer.  It doesn't do much harm to them, but en masse, it can be directed to wreak havoc on a website business until the owners pay a ransom.  But here comes the catch...

Those users undoubtedly sometimes use other websites that also suffer from DDOS attacks from time to time, and those sites would also benefit from educating the naive owners about the compromise of their systems.  Armed with the fact that several "other victims" have reported their IP address as that of a compromised system, some will choose to deny access for a time, or perhaps until the naive owner submits a log of the output from a cleaning program like Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware.  Others will simply offer the info.

But none will be able to use the system until someone compiles a database of IP addresses used in a DDOS attack, and then puts in the effort to keep it up to date.  That's me.  Can you help?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weiner vs Libya

What should be done is that anyone talking about Weiner should be directed to information about Obama's violation of the War Powers Act in Libya, and furthermore, the War Power's Act's own violation of the Constitution. Or perhaps the Paul Ryan "VoucherCare" proposal that someone claimed is another possible media story that is getting crowded out by Weiner.
Don't you think this story is crowding out much more important news?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Rep. Mary Bono Mack

Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding one of the recent congressional bills. I value your opinions on this and all other legislative matters and appreciate your efforts to keep your constituents informed.

As you may know, the boilerplate letter you send out in response to email inquiries does not include the recipient's original email.  As a result, I have no idea what email you're responding to and can't really put the information you've provided to use.  If you could please begin including the original email in your response, or at least the subject line or a brief summary, your effectiveness as a representative would be greatly enhanced.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your views with me on critical legislation. Rest assured I will keep pestering you whenever your representation seems lacking.  For example, you placed security at a higher level of importance than adherence to the Constitution when you voted for H.R. 514.  You may have heard of Ben Franklin, who said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  As you'll see in the coming months, this was a mistake you may soon regret.  Your regret will stem not from any kind of violence (which we abhor), but rather from the PR headache of dealing with persistent supporters of the constitution who demand that you do your job of protecting their freedom, as opposed to keeping them secure by passing laws that violate the Bill of Rights.

For your convenience, you can sign up to receive regular email updates from me at Please feel free to contact me on other matters of mutual concern.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Open letter to the IRS

Thanks to Dave Zuniga, I have started down the long road of understanding the tax code.  I will be relying on answers from the IRS to my questions as I go about determining what "the tax imposed upon... a head of a household, [or] a married individual filing a separate return," as described at the beginning of Title 26.  This is because I am afraid that despite the horror of the situation in which it has placed us, powerful agents of the federal government continue working to enforce it.  My first request was for a link to or the text of "subsection Sec. 1(b)" or of "subsection Sec. 1(d)" of section 1, as indicated in Title 26, § 1.1-1   Income tax on individuals, (a)(2)(i):

Hi IRS Folks,

I have a few questions, as I am attempting to establish what tax is imposed upon me, given that I have a choice whether to file as a Head of household, a married couple filing jointly, or a married individual filing a separate return, or, presumably, not filing a return at all:

  1. Are the contents of "subsection Sec. 1(b)" or of "subsection Sec. 1(d)" of section 1, as indicated in Title 26, § 1.1-1   Income tax on individuals, (a)(2)(i) available anywhere on the Internet?  If not, I will need that information in order to determine and pay any income tax I owe.
  2. One of the options on the 1040 is "Married filing jointly", but Title 26, § 1.1-1   Income tax on individuals, (a)(2)(i) does not mention where the imposition can be determined, that is, none of the rows in the table there indicates which subsection of section 1 contains the "appropriate table" for a married individual filing jointly.
  3. If I must file a return, please send me the list of possible IRS forms and the text of the law that imposes the requirement on me.  There are 2 occurrences of "file" near "shall" near "1040" in the e-CFR data as of May 5th, and neither of them asserts that anyone shall file the form.  I tried the word "must" as well, and got three more hits, but they all apply to "Coordination of United States and Virgin Islands income taxes."

Without this information, I will unable to determine or pay any income tax I owe.

I do have another question which only affects my personal moral Scylla and Charybdis, which may or may not be more important to you than upholding the requirements of your job:

  1. Is there any recourse for a victim of the imposition of the income tax to avoid supporting immoral government programs without imposing on his or her fellow countrymen the added tax burden of supporting another prisoner convicted of not paying taxes?  For example, does the IRS prosecute War Resistors despite the gross immorality of doing so?


After doing some more research, I have determined that any information from the IRS may not be useful anyway.  It appears that we need a new justice system.  However, asking the questions might help existing IRS personnel to follow the law more carefully.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Send the IRS a Certified Letter

The IRS provides a live chat help function, and I figured I'd use it to find out where I can send my questions about taxation.  Unfortunately, the live chat wasn't much help.  For your entertainment, here is how it went:

Chat InformationThank you for contacting the IRS Web Site Help Desk, one of our representatives will be with you in approximately 1 minute(s). We would like your feedback regarding your chat experience. At the conclusion of this chat, you will be invited to take a short survey. Thank you.
Chat InformationYou are now chatting with 'Andrea'
Chat InformationYour Issue ID for this chat is LTK4190162860788X
Andrea: Thank you for contacting the Web Site Help Desk.  How may I help you?
Dave Scotese: If I want to send something certified mail to the IRS, what is the best address to use?
Andrea: We apologize, but the IRS Service Centers do not list their street addresses on the IRS Web site. For any mailing alternative not available on the IRS Web site, please call our toll-free assistance line at: Individuals: 1-800-829-1040 Businesses: 1-800-829-4933 Outside the U.S.: 215-516-2000 TTY/TDD: 1-800-829-4059 IRS Hours of Operation: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Andrea: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Dave Scotese: So there is no way to get a written address from the IRS for the address to use?
Andrea: The IRS website does have address available on the website to mail particular items, but the do not provide the actual street address for these locations.
Andrea: If you need the actual street address you will need to call one of the numbers provided above related to you specific situation.
Andrea: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Dave Scotese: I looked through those items, but none of them fit the requirement. The certified letter I would like to send is a list of questions.
Andrea: I do apologize, you will need to call the number provided above for further assistance. 
Dave Scotese: Thanks for trying anyway.

I heard there was an address for them in Fresno, so I'm going to try this one:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0002

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Accurate Perceptions of the IRS

In a previous article, I wrote about juries acquitting perpetrators of bald-faced tax evasion because they exhibit believable convictions that supporting the parasitic institution government has become is immoral.  The IRS' own publication on the issue of taxpayers who point out the immorality of collecting taxes to be spent in ways that violate the taxpayers' religious beliefs does not mention a single jury decision.

The document consists of 27 examples of the legal system protecting the government's right to your money.  The first mention of a jury is one that acquitted, but it is immediately followed by a similar case in which the jury convicted.

All of the other seven mentions of jury decisions are convictions, in favor of the IRS.  Nobody likes to admit their mistakes, but wouldn't it be wise to keep a healthy record of the mistakes that a government bureaucracy makes?  In fact, shouldn't that be one of the functions of the IRS?  The website,, contains five documents with the words "jury acquitted" and 52 with the words "jury convicted".  The Internet itself contains about 85,000 (according to Google) pages with IRS and "jury convicted" in them, and about 25,000 with IRS and "jury acquitted".

So why is the ratio of convictions to acquittals on the Internet so much lower than it is on the IRS site?  Perhaps a clue can be found in the case of the Rutherfords, who may have suffered from a jury whose judgment was compromised by a fear of audits.  Bullies only retain their power as long as they continue being bullies.  If they wish to have power some other way, they must learn to cooperate instead of intimidate.

It's also interesting to note that the IRS first suggests that it's Ok for the court to interpret the law for the jury, even though later, on the same page!, they explain that the Supreme Court said it is NOT OK.  Search for occurrences of "Cheek" in that IRS publication.

The popular perception of the IRS as more like a ring of thugs than a helpful "Accounts Receivable" department of the government appears to be quite accurate.  This perception should, and will eventually translate into jury decisions, and that explains why out of the 178 cases mentioned in the IRS publication, jury decisions are mentioned only seven times.  Prohibition was repealed because of popular demand, and the pressure against the government brought by juries who refused to honor the law.

The 16th amendment will go the same way, along with the cushion it offers to the federal government as it overspends.  The income tax is only a cushion because it dampens the effect of borrowing money.  The federal government spends at least 1/5 of the income tax revenue on interest on the national debt.

Another good reason to expect the 16th amendment to either be repealed, or, more accurately and honestly, recognized as having never been ratified, is the state constitutions that barred some of the allegedly ratifying states from actually ratifying it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Subjugated Government

We have a constitution that defines a government that has been subjugated to serve us.  We are living under a subjugated government, but it is subjugated not to us, but to what seems to be a conglomeration of corporations, most notably a collection of international central banks.  When the colonies found themselves living under an intolerable government, they had already formed their own governments, and found it convenient to put these local governments to use in throwing off the more distant imperial British government.  We have that too, but we have not yet begun our tea parties.

The Boston Tea Party happened because colonists who opted not to import the tea from British ships found that Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain.  Rather than accept the burden of taxes that was being forced upon them, they broke the law that protected the property of the British merchant who was shipping tea to the colonies, which was, in fact, one of the very first corporations that paved the way for the modern corporation, the East India Company.  When the law is oppressive enough, people will start breaking it, and their choice of what to break is often not very precise.

What saved the colonists from anarchy and chaos was the twin social principles of the common law and existing local government, which I would prefer to call customs.  All we have to do is refuse to obey the laws we feel are doing the most damage to our country.  In my opinion, there are two. 

The first is legal tender.  Breaking the law of legal tender means that courts can require that the defendant restore value to the plaintiff in some form other than Federal Reserve Notes.  This, of course, is a great hurdle because of the incestuous relationship between our court systems and our federal government.  I'm sure there are courts where it can start, but even better, if the defendant and plaintiff can at least agree that the legal tender laws are screwing up our country (Audit the Fed!), they may both be willing to go to arbitration, where I believe legal tender no longer applies.

The second is the income tax.  People break this maybe-a-law all the time ("maybe-a-law" after studying Aaron Russo's documentaries about the fact that the federal government has never produced a law that requires a free citizen to pay taxes, and that the passage of the 16th amendment seems to have been "deemed" rather than real).  When the public begins acquitting perpetrators of bald-faced tax evasion because they exhibit believable convictions that supporting the parasitic institution government has become is immoral, the ball will really get rolling.  The IRS will get nasty, and perhaps nasty enough to... I don't know... get itself shrunk?  Maybe government contractors will find a way to do productive work, having seen the writing on the wall all these years, and finding that the Federal Reserve Notes they've been collecting are no longer doing them much good.

I cannot advocate tax evasion, because that is against the law, but I can predict that it will happen more, and that as it happens more, it will provide this country with a good opportunity to heal from all of the wounds it has suffered under the federal government.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IRS Form CO69

This is a proposal, and it may need to be undertaken by the public and supported by juries before it is honored by our governments.  I have written this proposal for the federal government, but it should be relatively easy to adapt it to state and local governments.  This is Conscientious Objector Form 69, a standard mechanism through which taxpayers can avoid paying for programs to which they have conscientious objections.

Because I have children and believe that our federal government will take me away from them if I lead the way in using this form, I can't do it.  I think it's a great idea, and I'm looking for information on how the brave citizens who use it can prepare for the attack on them from the IRS that may result from filing form CO69.

The form consists of the following seven fields.  You may use more than one form.

Line 1, Source: Enter the document from the government that you used for your amounts.

Line 2, Explanation: If the revenue department of your country offers a code for explanations, you can use the code.  Otherwise, enter an explanation of how you used the source document to gather the amounts entered in the next three fields

Line 3, Total Expense: Enter the total of what the government spent, according to the source document listed in Line 1.

Line 4, Unsupported Expense: Enter the total spent by the department, branch, or program which you do not support, according to the source document listed in Line 1.

Line 5, Unsupported Percentage: Divide Line 4 by Line 3 and multiply by 100.

Line 6, Your Total Tax: Enter your Total Tax (line 60 on the 2010 form 1040)

Line 7, Tax Credit: Divide Line 6 by 100 and then multiply by Line 5

On tax return (Line 71 of your 1040), you would include the sum of all the Line 7 amounts from your various form CO69, and you'd have to add a note indicating the credits are from form CO69, and attach that form to your return.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Running a batch file on your IIS 6 server

You'll probably run into the same problem I did:

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0046'  

Permission denied  
/<file>.asp, line <line>

MS discusses it a little here, but they say to make sure the windows account have access to all the files necessary to execute the code without identifying what files those are.  The ultimate solution that worked for me, after giving IUSR and IIS_WPG and NETWORK SERVICE access to everything I could think of, was to give IUSR and NETWORK SERVICE access to cmd.exe.  I don't have time to mess with it, but I suspect that IUSR hands the task off to NETWORK SERVICE and doesn't need permission on all the other items.  Maybe I'll play with it later to figure it out.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Resolving your PHP, MSSQL, msdblib, FreeTDS headache on Linux

The last thing I searched for was "Adaptive Server connection failed" because I kept getting that without ever telling it that I was trying to make an "Adaptive Server" connection.

James K. Lowden explains this in  When FreeTDS is unable to find whatever you entered as the "$Servername" parameter to mssql_connect in the freetds.conf file (which I found in /usr/local/freetds/etc - as in "--with-mssql=/usr/local/freetds" from my PHP configuration string), it falls back to it's default settings, which happen to include TDS Version 5.0.  Apparently, that TDS version isn't supported by SQL Server 2005 (unless it was something else that caused my connection to consistently report "unable to connect").

Since I had already added a [TDS] section to my freetds.conf file, my Servername is now "TDS".  Here's the code that gives me a workable connection:

$con = mssql_connect('TDS','user','password')
    or die('Could not connect to the server!');
echo "con: "; print_r($con);
// Select a database:
    or die('Could not select a database.');

// Example query: (TOP 10 equal LIMIT 0,10 in MySQL)
$SQL = ...

I hope this helps someone out there.  It took me about 4 hours to figure it out.