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Tale of Two Dogs: The Rhadmanthy Gambit

Tale of Two Dogs: The Rhadmanthy Gambit

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Tale of Two Dogs: The Rhadmanthy Gambit

Lunghezza:
439 pagine
7 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781257851096
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The religious faction of the GOP reacts to a deadly threat by transforming the party into a religious one. Starting with Georgia, they institute predator and community safety laws based upon church membership with the pastor assuming oversight of his flock. This involves housing, jobs, medical matters and pensions; he has total control. All residents not church affiliated are controlled and the Supreme Court rules that internal state laws are sacrosanct; thus other states enact similar laws. The result is that lobbyist money and business pandering is no longer necessary and the economy goes completely local meaning that out of state ownership ends, money stays local and there is a total withdrawal from global business and imports. Small town simple life America returns. The Christianizing movement spreads into other Republican controlled states.
America isolates itself and solves the terrorist problem, full employment results and there is no housing problem.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781257851096
Formato:
Libro

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Tale of Two Dogs - Wendell A. Yitis

1

Evert scooted his chair a few inches forward, straightened up a bit, then leaned forward and after placing an elbow on the table, rested his jaw on his hand and waited for the judge. This was the forth time that they had been in the room and it hadn’t changed. It was just short of being square, maybe twenty-five by twenty with no windows with two tube fluorescent’s running down the middle of the ceiling; the walls were devoid of hangings, if you exempted four fire extinguishers each in its niche by a door. The doors, four in all, were located in pairs at each end of the room. The room had a stuffy feeling and Evert was glad that weather was mild, for the building was old and the ventilation appeared to be minimal. At a table barely large enough for his lawyer and himself they were positioned in a side by side conflict with the company’s attorney who was at his adjacent table. His name was Joseph DeArno, but he bet it was actually Giuseppe, and he had the look of a bored Chicago or Italian New Yorker wearing his paper thin square toed shoes with their mirror black shine. He’d often wondered whether there wasn’t some kind of foam insert in them that absorbed the punch of rocks and debris that one inevitably trod on; from his perspective they weren’t a practical shoe. They tables faced two US flags guarding the judge who was serving as an arbitrator for company-employee disputes. The audience was minimal, but why wouldn’t it be? He was a nobody, and the sole observer was seated in a chair directly behind the company lawyer probably as a back-up from the company otherwise the three rows of chairs, ten to a row, were vacant.

The Arbitrator paused, he was finally getting to the summation, and after glancing about the room he looked directly at Evert, giving him a Judge’s stare that had to have been practiced, which shouted—‘You! Pay attention, I’m talking to you!’ It succeeded, and Evert shut down his wayward thoughts about the room as well as why the company had only one lawyer present, for earlier they had had five during the hearing preliminaries; two at the table and three behind each carrying a brief case, all bulging indicating that they held a massive amount of documents or large lunches—none were ever opened.

This action or hearing or whatever, at least from his viewpoint, warranted a larger representation. Another thought that he filed away was why was there no court reporter present? But, then he remembered Dave’s comment,

Arbitration hearings have no appeal process; therefore no actual records are required. One of the first acts that the last Administration did when they got total control of the Houses was revising the entire labor and judicial process. Any case not requiring a jury means that there is no appeal; hence no court record, only the rendered opinion is preserved.

From his biased viewpoint, Evert felt that this hearing was important and the potential was big enough that a record should be required.

There should have also been background statements explaining what the dispute was about, but no; nothing other than a brief statement from the company attorney and a lengthy preamble from the judge rewording the company’s statement on why they were justified in bringing the action. Evert knew that very shortly the decision would be rendered, and it would not be favorable. The Judge had telegraphed that message several times and the company’s token lawyer indicated that the company knew that the ruling would be in their favor; however there was an element of doubt for a few of the Judge’s comments indicated that all might not be lost. The only doubt resided in the details; the overall decision would favor the company. The Arbitrator, a retired judge, Judge Mousey by name —what an appropriate name—continued, brazenly announcing to the world that this person in front of him, Evert Hale, was having several years of hard work taken from him; reality had been reached and the only option remaining was that of getting up from the table, quitting the fight and walking away. It made him furious that he had no right of appeal, what kind of government was it that let greedy companies just walk in and steal; but all one had to do was consider history and there it was, adequate precedence, for what other conclusion could on draw if you considered what had been done by the government for the railroads when they trampled Indian right’s stealing their lands for right-of-ways. But, it was not comparable; his was a Mickey Mouse theft. Well, possibly later he’d find a way for effectively complaining, he was mad enough to bite the heads off nails and then spit the metal fragments, molten would be better, into their eyes or ears. The entire hearing was an accurate reflection of what that Administration had done to the legal system and, David Johns, his attorney had accurately predicted the outcome.

David, sitting in his chair shifted his attention from the Judge towards Evert, and thought; ‘that poor guy, there he sits with his thinning whitish hair complete with the start of a monk’s spot, oversize safety glasses and a long ways from being well fed; certainly he was not an eater of fast foods and the few times they’d had lunch together all he ever had was a salad. Wouldn’t take much more and he could be called a scarecrow. He needs an appetite, but I can’t say I blame him, I’d probably lose mine too knowing that I’m about to have my patent stripped from me. It was a good development; a non-wood computer paper that could be recycled. All the effort and it was all for naught!’

Evert, it was preordained that you would lose, labor laws have been restructured, more accurately they’ve been entirely trashed. As I told you earlier, your error was that you tried convincing your company that your concept was worthwhile and that it would result in a valuable product. You should have said nothing, simply retired, and then worked on it in your garage.

Evert reflected back on those words, nodded at the memory, and then placed his attention towards the Arbitrator. There he was comfortably seated at his table facing them with his white-headed patrician face with ears reflecting what ears generally did with advancing years, they grew larger. The Judge’s attitude bespoke of an ‘old-boy’ made good, now in the twilight of his working years, wearing his black robe trimmed with black velvet and bearing hash marks, presumably so many years per mark. That robe did not represent Justice for it was a display of big business at its best, and for all Evert knew those hash marks represented multimillion dollar judgments in favor of various companies.

Judge Andrew Mousey at one time must have dominated the courtroom and he was still massive; quite a bit over six feet tall and definitely large boned. Evert could picture an irate Mousey glaring at those in front of him and cowering all into abject submission. The robe hid everything but the head, one couldn’t even see his tie, and his sagging jowls were what remained of a full face. Had retirement or illness resulted in such privations that he had been forced into a catastrophic weight loss? He would wager that the Judge chewed his food very carefully, for an incautious bite or chew would certainly result in a tongue or cheek getting in the way.

As an aside thought he wondered whether those dogs with the sagging ears and jowls had problems when they chewed. Those cheeks were just short of flapping, and his ears! They evoked images of such a hound. Evert briefly wondered how Charles Dickens with his florid way with words would have described Judge Andrew. It would certainly have been more picturesque and would have produced a picture much more vivid than any image he could draw.

"The company has presented documents establishing that you, Mr. Hale did purposefully utilize knowledge gained while working at the Centralized Starch and Chemicals Corporation, for your own gain. After terminating your employment, you applied your stolen knowledge and developed a commercial product, and then patented this stolen knowledge. That patent disclosed a method for producing a starch based non-cellulosic paper as well as a printing process for the paper. The fact that you have used a modified starch does not free you of your obligations to the company.

This patent then describes the development of a compact device married:"

Married! Evert thought to himself where did that term come from? He had never used such a term.

To a computer printer and capable of converting the modified dry starch granules into a printable paper suitable for computer use; further that device or attachment has the capability of recycling the starch paper, for direct reuse. This recycle is solely your development, but the question remains whether this development occurred before you were retired.

The Judge paused, giving the impression that this was the heart of his findings and the basis for the decision.

In your reply to the company’s charge,

There the Judge shuffled through some papers,

You noted that you presented the concept to the company, and upon receiving no encouragement you requested immediate retirement. Once retired, you proceeded on your own and ultimately developed the product and finally, claiming it as your own, you patented the entire process.

There was a noise as the door opened, the Arbitrator gave a disapproving look, but before he could say anything the door was quietly shut. We all turned back towards the front of the room and he continued.

The company alleges that you purposefully downplayed the value of this for personal gain."

Evert interrupted,

"Your Honor, I presented my preliminary thoughts, only the concept of the invention to my department head, and he reacted with derision, stating.

‘You will continue your present assignment of physical testing and if you want to develop your silly idea, do it on your own time.’

"He made it very clear, and in no uncertain terms, that all of my company time was to be on my assigned job. I responded by stating that I would retire early; he smiled and responded, saying:

‘Fine, I will forward your request to personnel and they will contact you regarding your pension and they will have the necessary retirement papers ready by the end of the week. Your last day will be Friday.’

These papers had only one restriction; I could not apply my experience by working for a competitor. My patented development does not involve a competitor and while it utilizes a company product, starch, I had never worked with starch in any assigned company project; further, no one in my department had ever worked with starch, and my modifier is unique; it is not in the literature. Starch research and production was in a completely different division. My terminating evaluation specifically stated that my work was substandard and that I continually made impractical research suggestions. That document included, and used as an example, my concept of using starch to produce a paper not based upon wood pulp.

The Judge impatiently interrupted.

Mr. Hale I have that document in front of me as well as others that the company provided. Your Supervisor denies ever stating that he ever gave you permission to develop this on your own time. The other relevant paper is a deposition from two coworkers, both attesting that you frequently expressed very derisive opinions of management, claiming that they had no vision; further that you intended on translating your concept into a viable product that would have a value impossible to estimate. Additionally, they attest that the product would be an economic success since it would solve a major environmental problem as well as sticking it to the company.

Evert forced himself to be quiet, for this was no surprise; the two, Jerry and Manuel, had warned Evert about the company’s actions, and he had told them that he understood; it was Ok for them to do what was best for them.

That is correct Your Honor. There is one other item that should be included with those documents, and that is that shortly after signing those depositions these two workers both received job promotions, even though their immediate supervisor had rated their job performances as little more than satisfactory with no promotions being recommended.

The Judge smiled, and then sat up a bit straighter, placed his elbows on the desk, folded his hands together and very patiently said:

Mr. Hale the depositions stand; other documents supplied by the company convince me that your development was the direct result of your work while actively employed. You basically stole knowledge and skills from the company.

Your Honor, might I ask a question? Did the company provide an accurate job description of the work I was doing? My sole work assignment involved laboratory work specifically directed towards testing plastic; nothing even remotely involving starch.

Judge Mousey tightened his lips in an impatience gesture and pointed towards one document.

The company provided me the research concerns of your department, and the job description of your work and this information satisfies me that the skills and knowledge displayed in your patent were directly related to your work.

Right then Evert knew that the cards were stacked against him, and no matter how much he protested he would lose.

Your Honor, your summary of the patent is accurate and nothing in it remotely relates to my work; my patent is in several distinct steps with the invention being the following.

A computer printer was modified so that a different toner or printing ink could be used for printing on a substrate using a natural product, starch as the paper.

1. One pound of starch as a dry powder and a small amount of modifier is charged into a custom designed two part attachment fastened onto the printer or adjacent to it. It is this modifier that is unique for it has to ability to temporarily convert the starch into a moldable material. The attachment converts the starch into a flexible paper-like film. The attachment has two chambers and in one chamber of the attachment, the newly made paper substitute is surface treated with minute ferrite particles. When subjected to an electric charge from a sintered metal platen a printable paper surface results which is toner acceptable and suitable for direct use in the modified printer."

I got no further for I was interrupted.

Mr. Hale, stop right there, I’ve read the patent and I’ll not have you reading it to me.

Evert nodded, and concluded.

Nothing in that patent relates to my department or my assigned work.

Evert noted that the Judge was sending a ‘get finished message’ to him. The eyes were an excellent communicator. He should stop, but he was proud of what he’d developed.

My goal was the development of a paper-like material that would function as a direct substitute for common wood fiber based paper. The target application was the production of printable stock for use in printers, particularly for printing on-line newspapers and other computer generated printed matter which after reading is not stored. The physical properties of this paper are not comparable to regular paper since there is a limited shelf life and moisture induced deterioration begins in about one week. In other words this product is not suitable for producing a permanent copy.

Evert paused, the Judge shifted his glance causing Evert to note that this patrician faced Judge had shifty eyes, but no, it was a look of boredom; the Judge was getting impatient, well he’d carry this charade through to the end, even though it appeared that the Judge had just signaled that he wanted to give his decision and windup things up so that he could go on to other things. There was no way that Evert could visualize the Judge doing the golf course stroll; no, a massive buffet lunch was most probable. Should he have launched into this description of what he had developed? He was certain that the Arbitrator had a description of everything in front of him; but he was proud of what he had done. It was a good and timely development—interesting thought; the difference between an invention and a development—his was actually a bit of both with a bias towards development.

The development was finding a modifier and a plasticizer for the starch capable of transforming it into a film suitable for use as paper. The printer, or rather the unit that accompanied the printer was the invention; at the push of a button the mechanism started and a blend of the modifier and dry starch granules was converted into a ferrite surfaced paper suitable for printing. The multipurpose feature was that the machine also had recycle ability for when the ferrite surface when subjected to an electrical field it rejected the toner or ink, resulting in recyclable paper stock.

Back to the spiel:

Your Honor, it is inevitable that the demand for computer paper will grow and one of the greatest growth areas will be using computers for printing online newspapers. My development will permit producing a readable newspaper imminently suitable for short term use, thereby reducing paper wastage by over 90%…would the Judge question that number?

Evert hoped that he wouldn’t be challenged for it was made up.

"I firmly predict that this starch paper will ultimately replace all single use paper stock based upon wood pulp, and once the physical properties are improved it could ultimately usurp the entire one-use paper application areas. Recycling is many times easier than wood pulp paper and fewer trees would be cut down for conversion into paper; in short, starch is a single season product and it truly qualifies as a renewable resource, diverging completely from the current paper which requires years of growth before it can be harvested and then is basically wasted.

This starch film or paper is translucent, meaning that it is printable on one side only; continued research will develop an opaque paper, printable on both sides. It can be reused approximately ten times; at which point it has lost enough integrity such that its paper qualities are gone."

He was repeating himself, he had better finish.

I’ll repeat, my entire work history for the company did not remotely relate to the development of such a product. The company’s job description of my work substantiates this.

This is very interesting Mr. Hale, but I am satisfied with the company documents. This labor arbitration board finds in favor of the company. I will order a reassignment of your patent. The US Patent will still bear your name as the inventor, but shall be totally owned by the company. Since you are totally responsible for the patent, and you developed a unique printer it is fitting that your work, which I will add is praiseworthy, be recognized; the company has agreed to my recommendation, and you will be reimbursed for your costs as well as a modest award for your development. That sum is sizeable, for it amounts to $500,000. I am also ordering that the company pay the costs accruing from this hearing. There is no appeal. You will be contacted by the end of the week by the company.

As the Judge got up he added.

This hearing is adjourned.

The company’s attorney shot a glance towards Evert and then, after getting up shook the Judge’s hand and with his backup, they exited the room.

Evert’s first thought was that he was being bought off, and that his old starch company thought that they were grabbing something of real value. As they left the room he looked at his lawyer who patted him on the arm saying.

You are lucky; I would have wagered that you’d get nothing; your printer development is what did it. Just remember that if you accept that award, the signed paper that goes with it irretrievably gives them everything. It’s my opinion that you should take it and walk away.

I agree, when I received the papers for this hearing I assumed that it would be a regular trial. I actually thought that I’d have had a fighting chance, but after checking my retirement papers I found out that arbitration is required for all employee disputes and I agreed that binding arbitration would prevail when I accepted retirement. At that point I knew that they’d take everything. What surprises me is that award.

You’re right, and a real trial was never a possibility. The laws have been changed, retroactively I might add, and all employee disputes including racial, are now settled by binding arbitration. You could have balked in signing retirement papers years ago, but today balking is not a possibility, and if you had showed up with a lawyer at the personnel office for signing such papers they would have proudly pointed out that the labor laws have been changed; and with a broader smile they additionally would have pointed out that a provision in the labor laws state that if an employee comes onto company premises with a lawyer then he might be subject to arrest.

Have we reached that point where employees are nothing more than chattels David?

The law has been broadened and it now states that if a company institutes a new employee policy which covers all employees, even earlier hires and this includes pensions; further, any change that affects pension calculations automatically alters existing pensions with the exception that no pension is ever increased. Where this has found wide use is at the state and county level no longer can workers retire using pension calculation that include overtime pay, and all now have to be computed on the basis of the average last five years of service The older employees have no grandfathered rights and notifying the older retirees is not an obligation. That’s not the least of it, for companies are completely revising their personnel structures on account of the loosened labor laws. This recession has made life easier for all companies. The accountants are having a field day figuring out cost saving measures. The medical field is where it’s very evident with nonprofit hospitals being the prime example.

Why there, for I would think that the nonprofit classification would release them from the grubby scheming for profits.

It would seem that way, but scratch deeper, that nonprofit term means that their books show no profit. Examine still deeper and compare the executive compensations of such hospitals. You’ll find that the nonprofits are at the top by quite a bit. Cost savings are balanced by the upper compensation packages. One way they’re doing this is by rearranging the job descriptions and having their employees reapply for their jobs. If the job requires minor skills then restructuring results in the older worker being thrown out if he refuses accepting what he was doing at half the pay; the redefined job is then given to three or four part time workers with no benefits at the lower pay structure. That’s not all, the skilled jobs have been completely redefined by changing the state training and licensing requirements; thus, a weeks training suffices for running a medical instrument and they replace a college trained medical worker. The weakness here is that the college trained medical worker understands what’s going on whereas the trainee, possibly with a high school graduate has no background. It doesn’t end there, for states having licensing requirements the hospitals now hire supposedly qualified people having overseas qualifications, but licensed after passing the state examination. The problem is that stand-in runners take the test, but the hospitals don’t care since these workers have the credentials, and all they do is crank out numbers all day. Most of the time this is OK, but they lack the background for interpreting slightly askew results. This often results in serious problems if the doctor is not attentive; none of this is ever publicized and I only know about it as a result of legal actions. This is also true for nurses, but as I said the hospitals don’t mind for malpractice suits are infrequent and an occasional judgment can be ignored since the savings in labor costs outweigh the award.

David hesitated and it was apparent that he had gone to far.

Don’t ask for details for I can’t give them since the trial records are always sealed. Returning to your situation, only the company can request a trial in labor disputes and the employee has no option, only arbitration.

David submitted his smile and added.

That’s why it is imperative that departing employees should never leave hard feelings behind them. At one time the Arbitration boards rendered just decisions and they were composed mostly of retired judges or law professors, but when the laws were changed a new business area opened up. It could even be called a growth industry. The sole requirement for these Arbitration companies is that they be run by someone with a law degree; if that condition is met then literally anyone can adjudge the findings. The companies like the arrangement.

He hesitated and I could see that he’d thought of something else.

Are you familiar with what caused this elimination of labor courts?

Evert thought, yes I am, in fact, you’ve given me the story two times. He wondered how this dapper fellow, all neatly dressed wearing what he considered mini-glasses and wearing practical shoes could have ever have agreed representing him; especially since it was pro bono He wondered whether the half a million award would change David. Evert could not picture David wearing the Eastern lawyer garb with the required shiny black Italian shoes and paper thin soles.

I think you might have mentioned something about it at our first conference.

"There was a holdover Judge in a Legislator’s district that rendered some decisions that really infuriated him, well actually his friends; these contributors ran a company and the Judge rendered a decision that hurt it. They lobbied and their good friend changed the laws. The result was that all labor laws including those covering you were combined, and arbitration was made mandatory, entirely skipping a regular court process. The Judge that caused this has effectively been ostracized and even though he is still theoretically active, no case has been assigned to him for the last five years. It didn’t stop there; a ruling by the Justice Department prevents any Judge from standing in for a Judge if another Judge in the affected District objects, for example, substituting for a vacationing Judge would not be possible if another Judge objects. They didn’t stop there, another ruling changed compensation standards and a Judge is paid only if he actively is engaged in court actions; a person might be an officially appointed Judge but he receives pay only if he’s doing assigned court cases. This Judge has received no pay for the last five years, but he refuses to be forced out and he has made a large number of Legislators unhappy with his public statements.

The companies naturally favor binding arbitration since they never lose, it costs little and lobbying costs are now deductible, and as we have just witnessed, the proof requirements are miniscule. You are very lucky that the Judge didn’t request that court costs be paid by the losing party; he could have. There is a web site listing Arbitration decisions and if my memory is correct, in the last four years there have been only three cases, out of over five hundred that have found against the company; the web site, in its initial posting listed political contributions and these three companies were the only ones that failed in measuring up. The posting was there for only one week since the blogging law forced its removal; that ten thousand a hit fine makes the web administrators toe the line; anything negative regarding companies results in the site immediately being shut down until the complaint is resolved.

Companies don’t lose; and in this case, it was stacked against you. The Judges, if you can call them that are not sitting Judges. Your Judge retired over twenty years ago; additionally, the company chooses which Arbitrator they want. Those three cases I mentioned, the Arbitrator in those cases has never sat on later cases. Your Judge is one of the worst, but any trial held today would probably have resulted in the same decision.

There are no active Liberal Judges left. In a sense I think that awarding you the money is recognition that your patent will end up being a money maker and a cash award works and it will deter future legal actions. Even thought there is no appeal, a money maker would attract sharks and a good lawyer could make a cash cow of this. What we’ve witnessed is a flagrant wrong and the award takes that into account; by giving you this bit of payback they’re home free providing that you take it and walk away and not fight the system. Lord knows, a civil suit would be interesting, the facts support your case any jury trial involving normal people would certainly yield a favorable decision. As it is, if the company develops this properly, the potential profits from this are great enough that the half a mil is insignificant. Your problem is that what you developed a winner. The potential is just too great, and the bottom-line people running the company recognized that. If you had happened to be a night janitor cleaning up for them, the results would have been the same; it would have been taken away. If I were you I’d use that money for buying some of their stock and parlay it up since this decision is going to have a market impact. As you were describing the process I couldn’t help thinking that there was a lot more to it than your description."

There is David, believe me, a lot more and, of course, a lot of sweat. For example, starch, most people know that its primary industrial use is for coating paper, it being the binder for those premium white glossy coatings, but many are unaware that only certain grades of starch yield an acceptable film. Even then, such a film is unusable since it has no physical integrity and becomes extremely brittle. As such it has a negligible tensile strength; further, converting starch from a dry granular solid into a swollen polymer involves much more than simply adding water. If you carelessly add water you’ll get a sticky mix. There were many hours of frustrating work before I hit upon that modifier and plasticizer. The printer chamber for doing this involves a modified static mixer the yields a uniform preliminary mix.

Wait a second, what’s a static mixer?

"Classically it’s simply a tube or pipe, into which two items are pumped, but the tube has internal baffles resulting in a torturous interconnected mixing path, nothing straight, the baffles produce bends and curves whereby the two flowing streams interact with a mixing action. In this case it’s wide bore tube with a single element or baffle producing the initial mix driven by a pulsating diaphragm pump. This prevents the starch from gumming and it is helped by a stepping motor that controls the swelling process via a vigorous pulsing coupled with agitation; additionally some heat is required. After that the swollen mass it is converted into a film accomplished by an extrusion process with rollers pressing the ferrites onto one surface as the completed film is rolled out. It’s a calendering operation converting the mass into a film having the proper width and thickness with a surface carrying the ferrite particles for toner application.

Doing it solely from water gives you complications since the water in the film will slowly evaporate, and as it dries it would become increasingly brittle. That’s where the plasticizer and modifier come into it for they contribute the necessary properties yielding an acceptable product. Starch is a water sensitive material. That’s why my initial application thoughts were for computer paper; and away from outside humidity, hopefully it never sees moisture; certainly not spilled coffee. For any kind of reliability the water-plasticizer ratio has to be exact and reproducible. The final water content is five and a half percent with most of it being held as a hydrate resulting in negative evaporation.

The stabilizing plasticizer is responsible for imparting the needed flexibility as well as achieving acceptable physical properties. Since it is a swollen flat mass and not a true solution the paper is opaque. The plasticizer does an awful lot since it also stabilizes the surface producing a product that has flexibility along with tear and tensile strength; otherwise you would end up with a paper that becomes increasingly brittle. The plasticizer also interacts with the ferrites in some manner so that the surface feels completely dry. A prime requirement for paper is that will withstand repeated bending or flexing as well as having tear strength. I won’t elaborate any further, but the ferrite surface accepts the toner and the printed page when given a later electrical treatment rejects the toner; thus achieving a practical recycle for the film. I’m ignoring any description about the printer and its mechanics. Describing that printer and how it works will take longer than you have time.’

One quick question, what kind of chance is there for broadening the applications?

I could tell that David was interested. He had never indicated it, but I suspected that he had some kind of technical background. His question wasn’t simply one of politeness.

If I were going to do more work it would be for non-computer uses, but as I think about it, my friendly starch company probably bought themselves a patent that’ll go nowhere. The use of starch is doomed since it comes from corn.

David thought he knew what was coming for he had wondered about the same thing.

What’s in the news today regarding corn is its conversion into ethyl alcohol, meaning that reasonably priced starch is not in the future. I’d forget starch and direct research towards using other natural products, but all coming from one season crops. My first choice for this would be using raw materials that are waste products such as bagesse, the residue from sugar cane. I’d try it with a binder similar to what is used in hot melt adhesives. They’d need modifying so that a suitable paper-like feel results and formulating them so that they would lack adhesive properties. One property some hot melts have is that they come from one season crops and they are hydrophobic, opposite of water loving and they probably would furnish a long lived paper.

Evert paused, squinted a bit, polished his glasses and then went on.

The problem is getting the proper ink pickup combined with a non-smudging surface. I’ve done a bit of work using powdered corn cobs as filler with starch as the binder and I have obtained a wide range of absorbency characteristics but getting the proper feel will require more work.

Evert paused there and with a smile added.

"What I’m referring to is the big volume one time paper use; toilet paper, and if you don’t have a proper feel you don’t have a market.

I’m not going to do anything; I’m through working on starch or anything else. That’s it for me. This hearing is an example of how our government has been taken over by lobbyists and big business. A garage inventor has no chance today; anything worthwhile would be taken from him. I’m bitter, in fact more than that, but I don’t see how one could effectively fight the corrupt system that we’ve got; however, if I found a means of fighting back, I think that I would, in fact, I know I would."

David could tell that Evert was serious and wondered how far he would go in fighting back.

Evert, just walk away from this. Let it fade away. Reminds of when I was a fresh lawyer, right after the bar examination. One of my first cases was an assault involving a Greek, Konstantine Karass or something similar, and it was very interesting. I defended him in an assault case, and he claimed that he had an inherent right in forcefully resisting an aggressor (which happened to be his fatherin-law); really beat the guy up and he quoted a Greek custom going back to Hercules. Turns out that Hercules as a lad was being beaten upon by a guy named of Linus; well he resisted Linus by hitting him with a lyre, killed him, and got off by evoking the Rhadamanthy’ right of defense even though his resistance was completely out of proportion to the offense. The problem is that I’ve forgotten further details.

Father-in-law eh, I won’t ask for any details on that. How did you do?

"It’d be nice claiming that I got him off, but the jury held him responsible for using excessive force, and then recommended leniency; the father-in-law was a real study. Anyway for

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