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Frank Dudley Berry, Jr.
Novelist, playwright (writing under names that are variants of the surname 'Wurtenbaugh'), retired criminal law practitioner.
Recent Activity
The Stanford White Paper on Securing American Elections, published a few weeks, ago is an extremely disappointing presentation, to put it mildly. Summarizing, it focuses almost exclusively on Russian efforts to affect the 2016 election, ignoring other nations and individuals... Continue reading
[Written on Reddit in response to a poster who still believes all the 60's myths of the Vietnam War perpetrated by the war opposition. They fall apart on the slightest examination, but very few Boomers ever undertake that - too... Continue reading
A few years ago, I read Atul Gawande's book 'Better'. The book is a series of essays on a deceptively simple concept - a discussion of medical improvements and process that did not end or eliminate a problem (e;g. the... Continue reading
Let's suppose Elizabeth Warren's proposal for a wealth tax becomes law. It's pretty picayune compared to what we have been discussing in this blog i.e., a wholesale substitution of a net wealth tax for income tax. But let us suppose. I read a blog or Twitter post the other day,... Continue reading
Let me round out the entire scheme of Wealth Taxation in this post. Just a friendly reminder - we are not talking of a tax increase in advancing this proposal. The issue is the sources of revenue, not the amount. There may be all sorts of good reasons for a... Continue reading
Everything written on this blog is a speculation, a thought experiment about the means by which a net wealth tax might actually be implemented and administered. When a good or interesting idea comes along, consideration of it will be integrated into the discussion. In response to my last post on... Continue reading
Thus, the overview of the objectives of the Net Wealth Tax, and the basic administration. But God is in the details, and never more so than with the Net Wealth Tax. The tax requires that every asset and liability owned or owed by every taxpayer be accounted for and taxed... Continue reading
No administration of a direct tax is free from problems. But the administration of net wealth tax will be far easier than an income tax, for the same reason that it is much easier to construct a balance sheet than an income statement. Here is one likely template: (a) The... Continue reading
The one and only subject matter of this blog is the proposal that the United States impose an annual tax on the net wealth of citizens and residents, in lieu of an annual income tax. (I do not propose a tax increase. Tax rates would be calculated to produce the... Continue reading
[Derived from discussion posts of mine, lightly edited] My own thoughts for solutions to the problems posed by automatic weapons involve two simple elements, implementable tomorrow in one case, in a half-year in the other. (1) You create a 'no-buy'... Continue reading
It might be useful to step back for a second at the world as it existed in 1776, to realize how important Washington, Jefferson, and the nation they founded are to the entire human race. On January 1, 1776, slave... Continue reading
Wurtenbaugh's account is stunningly original, and he plausibly conjures a remarkably full vision of alternative history. . . [T]his is an impressive work, as bold as it is meticulous. A masterful exercise in historical hypothesis. - Kirkus Reviews (recommended) I... Continue reading
Several of the posters on the Facebook page about 'A Prophet Without Honor' discuss Neville Chamberlain, and various revisionist historians who attempt to rehabilitate his conduct at Munich. I'm a novelist, not a historian, but I did do my research... Continue reading
‘A Prophet Without Honor’ is subtitled ‘A Novel of Alternative History’ because there is no better genre description at present. But the book is actually a novel of what might be called ‘contrafactual history’. ‘Alternative history’ is exemplified by Philip... Continue reading
I recently became aware of the extraordinary novel 'Life and Fate', by an extraordinary writer, Vasily Grossman. Grossman was a Soviet/Russian Jewish writer and closet dissident who was born in 1905 and died in 1964. For most of his career,... Continue reading
I'm likely a minority of one here, but in my not-so-humble-opinion, the FBI investigation is going to blow up in the face of the NCAA and the college basketball establishment. The reason? There is no social harm here, none at... Continue reading
A Prophet Without Honor It has become a cliche of modern history that the best chance the West had to resist the onslaught of Nazi aggression was in March 1936, when Hitler ordered the reoccupation and remilitarization of the Rhineland... Continue reading
I dealt with race and racism pretty much constantly between 1972 and 2007, with greater or lesser wisdom. At any rate, here are some stories. Make of them what you will. 1. The Twofer. Sometime in the mid 70's, when... Continue reading
Is there a justification for jury nullification? Indeed there is, though on a far more limited and abstract basis than naive 'informed juror types' would suggest. I discussed the applicable rationale in a lecture I have years ago to a... Continue reading
Shakespeare's play 'Othello' is fascinating. For a long time, I had problems with the play. In the Chamber Scene at the end, when Othello smothers Desdemona, he cat-and-mouses her, bullies her, for a while. It's not pleasant. Also, Othello's gullibility... Continue reading
I call my politics Populist. Forty years of working with juries, the American public at its best, will do that to you. I trust popular will, popular judgments, popular values. That makes me unpopular, because populism itself isn’t very popular.... Continue reading
You Gotta Have Class (To the tune of 'You Gotta Have Heart', from Damn Yankees) You gotta . . . have . . . . cl-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ssssss, Or you fall flat on your a-a-a-a-a-a-a-sssss, When they’re saying, ‘you are a fool’,... Continue reading
(1) So we have been living with information distribution services for some time now - in fact, the measure of advancing civilization seems to me to be directly correlated to the increasing quantum and ewfficiency of information distribution, The postal... Continue reading
But before we let the case sink gently under the surface, let's have a little fun with it. The actual case involved a suspect and an attempt to verify his proximity to the scene of the crimes. Let's turn it around. Consider a hypothetical in which we have a number of crime scenes and no identified suspect. Continue reading
A college would not penalize an actor who was fortunate enough to gain an Equity card. He can still try out for the school play. A student trumpeter good enough to join the Musician's Union can still play in the... Continue reading