Good Morning Ted and Jody:
When I got up this morning, Nancy was already up and watching the morning news. To the best of my recollection her getting up first is a first. Television has always fascinated me. I was 8-years-old before my family bought a television set. Consequently, for decades, I could not walk through a room with a television on and not stop and look. Of late, I seem to have lost that compulsion. Indeed, when Nancy is off visiting relatives, I go for days on end without even turning it on. This morning there was a news segment about bald eagles on a river somewhere in northern Washington. Nancy came and got me, rewinded the television; and, I watched it. I was impressed as a reporter/photographer took a day’s trip up a river. He counted 400 eagles that day and took many photos from a moving boat. He confessed that about 90% of the shots he took from the boat were unusable with heads or bodies cut off. However, just the handful of shots we got to see on television were worth his trip. Indeed, I can imagine doing just such a trip for just one close-up of a bald eagle.
As the bald eagle segment ended, an advertisement for a tax service came on. That stimulated a political thought. As I recall, the pestilence elect had promised to release his tax returns as soon as the tax audit was over. That suggested to potential political actions to me. The first would be to start a movement of all Americans refusing to release their 2016 tax returns to the IRS until the pestilence elect’s entire tax history is released with full commentary to make it understandable to anyone with a 5th grade education and then people would file their taxes and make the IRS an initial offer that would be withdrawn if the tax filings were challenged in any manner. A second movement would be to have people pay the same percentage of their incomes that the pestilence elect paid, on average, over the past 10 years. This would entail not filing until such time as the pestilence elect’s Federal Income Tax percentage could be estimated. The logic in these movements is rather simple. The pestilence elect doesn’t seem to have paid any taxes yet he expects us to support his rent-free living for the next four years, pay for his security for the rest of his life, pay for his travel for the next four years, pay his pension when he is out of office, and etc. Working for a $1/year does not begin to make up for the millions he should have paid in the past. And it does not take in to account how much he is going to cost us in addition to any stupid things he does while in office. Just a thought. He wants to be a role model, let’s model his tax paying behavior. But then, I am being childish, just like the pestilence elect. See, he is already a role model.
Tomorrow January begins. That means 20 days of adult governance left.
I am attaching the next installment of the Amanda Saga.
Warmest regards, Ed
024 Edith Gunderson’s List
Fiction in 1122 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
Detectives Batan and Philipson were reviewing the meager stack of potential evidence taken from Judge Belemany’s Law Office on 32nd Street.
“I suppose we could go back and shake out every law book on his shelves and see if he stuck anything incriminating in the books.” Said Detective Philipson.
“Detective Batan scratched the back of his neck and said, “It will wait. It isn’t like he is going to be evicted for not paying rent. He owned every building on that block.” With that the detective held up a folder marked deeds. “I wonder if the city was planning on building something there? Maybe that was his angle.”
At that point Edith Gunderson came in the squad room. She marched across the room much like one might imagine General Patton taking a tank battalion into battle—full speed ahead and don’t mind the tank traps. When she got to Detective Batan’s desk she handed him a couple of sheets of paper. “Those are probable.”
Despite having watched her entrance, Detective Batan was taken somewhat off guard and asked “Probable what?”
Edith Gunderson straightened us as if to say, listen closely, this is important and I am not going to repeat myself. Edith Gunderson had recovered every bit of self-confidence that she may have temporarily misplaced when the Judge tried to send her to her death eight stories below the parapet on the roof. “These are cases that Judge Belemany may have suggested I look into. I noted on the paper case files my initial source of information. For the Judge I used ‘reliable source’. However, some of the early ones like the White case, I wrote nothing. So, this is all of my ‘reliable source’ cases and those with no notation.”
Detective Philips looked at the list of names, dates and dispositions and said “There are only about 25 here.”
“He was not very active, a case or two a year, at most.” Replied Edith Gunderson. “I had one hell of a night looking at every paper file cover over the past 22 years for these.”
Detective Philipson’s face show signs of being very impressed, said “You were up all night?”
“Look, your partner wanted these as soon as possible. This is as soon as possible. I do want to find out why Judge Belemany wanted me dead. What if he had an accomplice someplace waiting to finish the job? The sooner you find out why, the sooner I can really relax.” Then Edith Gunderson sat down and pointed across the room to Interrogation Room #4. “What is that man doing in there.”
The man was Special Agent Anderson Fleishman and he was making hand signals like a shadow puppet show on the one-way mirror from the inside.
Detective Philipson looked at his watch. “Oops, we’re late, its 4:35”
Edith Gunderson asked “Late for what?”
Pointing to the show in Interrogation Room 4, Detective Batan said, “If I am not mistaken that is a Bureau guy who wants to talk to us about this case.”
“Bureau, my, my. I knew the SEC and Attorney General were interested, but the FBI too?” Edith Gunderson then said, “I must be more important than I thought. Can I come?”
Detective Batan replied, “You can watch until we figure out what he wants or knows. But do not turn on the speaker. Watch, but no listening. Funny, I didn’t see him come in the squad room.”
“From where I was standing, I would have seen him. I think he had to be in there before I came in.” Said, Edith Gunderson.
When the two of them reached the door, Detective Philipson had just finished unlocking it. “The guys an escape artist. He had it locked from the outside.” He said grinning. “I have got to find out how he did that.”
Detective Batan said, “Since he locked himself in, doesn’t that make him an incarceration artist?” But he was not grinning, or smiling, he was concerned. Turning to Edith Gunderson, “Remember, no listening. We will fill you in if we can.”
When the two detectives entered the interrogation room Detective Batan stuck his hand out to introduce himself. “We haven’t met. I am Detective Mohamad Batan. You are Special Agent Fleishman of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
“This is always the awkward point.” Said Special Agent Fleishman. “I am not with your Federal Bureau of Investigation.” He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out an identity case and badge and handed it to Detective Batan. “I am with the Agency for Timeline Integrity.”
Detective Batan looked at the credentials, handed them to his partner and asked, “Is this some kind of joke?”
Detective Philipson added, “Hey, these move with the light” as he turned the Special Agent’s ID this way and that. “This is clever.”
“You know we can arrest you for impersonating an FBI agent.” Said Detective Batan.
“Yes, standard procedure. That is what I meant about the awkward point. I am not impersonating anyone. I have clearly identified myself. The trouble is the agency I represent hasn’t been formed yet. Won’t be for half a millennium.”
“So, we have a nut case on our hands. Say, how did you get the door locked from the inside?” asked Detective Batan.
“Yah, I’d like to know that too.” Said Detective Philipson.
“OK, I am going to have to convince you that I am a cop from the future.” Said Special Agent Fleishman. “Which one of you is the most difficult to persuade?”
Detective Philipison pointed to his partner and said, “He is senior.”
Special Agent Fleishman turned to Detective Batan, “You have a wrist watch on. What you need to do is make sure you have that door open,” pointing to the interrogation room door, “in 15 seconds and look at the area by your desk.” With that, Special Agent Fleishman put his hand on Detective Philipson’s shoulder and the two men disappeared. No smoke, no clap of thunder, nothing indicating two people had been standing there; the two men simply vanished.
Detective Batan rushed to the door and wrenched it open. Checked his watch. It had been less than 15 seconds. But not much less, for in a few more seconds, the special agent and his Detective Philipson appeared standing next to his desk. No noise, nothing. One second the space was empty, the next the two men were standing there. In the background, he could hear Edith Gunderson muttering “I do not believe that. I do not believe that. I do not . . “
“It happened, Ms. Gunderson. It happened” and Detective Batan pointed to his work area where the two men had just materialized. “Look there for more not to believe.”
I added some 400 words to the first installment of this SAGA. They are totally redundant and change nothing at this point in the story. Most of those words will come in handy near the end. It is only the first 400 words of that segment published on December 1. 2016: One Small Girl Found in the Brentwood District Answering to Amanda