Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Lovely IRS

Just a quick fact for everyone to ponder: this country did quite well without the IRS for many years.  For 5 years?  For 10 years?  For 25 years?  NO, FOR NEARLY 100 YEARS.  The IRS was not founded until 1862, during the civil war, and only in 1913 was the 16th amendment passed as a result of a three-quarter majority vote by the states.
The following is directly from the IRS website:


The roots of IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress, in 1862, created the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. The income tax was repealed 10 years later. Congress revived the income tax in 1894, but the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year.

16th Amendment
In 1913, Wyoming ratified the 16th Amendment, providing the three-quarter majority of states necessary to amend the Constitution. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year, the first Form 1040 appeared after Congress levied a 1 percent tax on net personal incomes above $3,000 with a 6 percent surtax on incomes of more than $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of the income tax rose to 77 percent to help finance the war effort. It dropped sharply in the post-war years, down to 24 percent in 1929, and rose again during the Depression. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

A New Name
In the 50s, the agency was reorganized to replace a patronage system with career, professional employees. The Bureau of Internal Revenue name was changed to the Internal Revenue Service. Only the IRS commissioner and chief counsel are selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Today's IRS Organization
The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 prompted the most comprehensive reorganization and modernization of IRS in nearly half a century. The IRS reorganized itself to closely resemble the private sector model of organizing around customers with similar needs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recent Radio/Blog Interview with Monroe Mann

Here is a recent article about me.  I was a guest on Ginger's radio show, "Conscious Lifestyles" this summer.  Enjoy.  '

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monroe Mann's Awesome Fall Update!

Hey All,

Been a while since I've 'shared the vibe' about what I've been up to lately.  I appreciate you reading about my adventures, and hope it inspires you in some way to get off your ass and do great things with your life too!

A) PHD UPDATE -- as many of you know, I am now pursuing a PhD in psychology through Capella University, one of the greatest schools I have ever attended.  Brilliantly organized, brilliant professors, brilliant students.  Couldn't ask for a better learning program.  This school is the unsung hero of modern education, and the vanguard of what is to come.  Seriously, if you are considering a degree, I can recommend no better place than  My PhD dissertation topic as of today will be answering this question: what is the correlation -- if any -- between an individuals' attachment style and infatuation.  Another possibility is whether an individual's attachment style is fixed, or whether it changes depending on circumstances and environment.

B) TWO NEW BOOKS COMING SOON -- I am excited to report that two new Monroe Mann books are coming out in the next few months.  The first, "Romantic Suicide - The 12 Unbreakable Rules of Dating" is a book born of my own foibles and 'learning experiences' in the dating world.  I have learned what TO do by focusing on what NOT to do--in other words, this book will show you how to succeed by showing how not to fail.  Just like all my other books, it is very inspiring, and in fact, can be applied to any type of negotiation, since many of the rules are equally applicable there.

The second book is entitled, "Battle Cries for the Hollywood Underdog" and is co-written with the great Lou Bortone.  If you liked my first Battle Cries book, you're going to love this one too--particularly if you pursuing an impossible dream such as showbiz success.  

You can check out all of my books on at my Amazon page: Click here to see all Monroe Mann books..  You can also visit as well.

C) OUR FEATURE FILM IS ALMOST COMPLETED! --  Hooray, "You Can't Kill Stephen King" is about 95% completed!  The film clocks in at about 84 minutes, and is currently going through the final stages of audio post production and visual after effects.  You can read more at -- just search for the film by name.

D) CHECK OUT MY UNIQUE MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING/MUSIC ALBUM -- As many of you know, I recently released my first full-length album, and it sure is different.  It has 30 tracks---15 are motivational speaking tracks, and 15 are original songs written and performed by me and my band.  You can pick up the album at,, and  You can listen to all tracks for free at

E) MUSIC VIDEO ONE IS DONE; NUMBER TWO COMING SOON! -- The first music video from my album was completed and launched last spring at for the song, "The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere".  The video has over 7500 views so far, and the song has been picked up by numerous college radio stations nationwide.  Video numer two, for the song, "Life is Tough" is currently in production, with an expected launch date in mid-November. 

F) FILING FIRST FEDERAL LAWSUIT IN TWO WEEKS -- I am an attorney, and in about two weeks, I am filing my first federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of a client.  Beyond that, can't say much more right now, but it's my biggest case to date, and I am very excited.  More info at my other blog, which has inspirationg and tips:

G) LIFEGUARD SUMMER/EMT RENEWAL -- Guess what?  I was a beach lifeguard this past summer at Oakland Beach in Rye, NY!  What great fun that was--truly, no joke, a dream come true.  Something I have wanted to do for many many years, since I was a little kid.  And I had the time of my life!  In related news, I need to renew my EMT license, which expires early next year.  To that end, I am making plans to return to in New Hampshire to renew not only my EMT license, but also my WEMT (Wilderness EMT) certification as well.

H) AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE -- Speaking of renewals, I just renewed my general class amateur radio license.  Don't know what that is?  That's okay--many don't.  It is an FCC issued radio license that allows me to use radios to communicate cross-town, cross-country, and even across the globe.  I have had conversations (by voice and morse code) with people as far away as Australia and China... all by using radio waves.  Pretty cool.  Amateur radio licenses last for ten years, so I'm good now until 2022!

I) RANDOM OTHER STUFF --In other news, I am barefoot as I write this post.  I also just want to send a shout out to Herman Cain, who I think has a real shot at the presidency next year, and who clearly has a genuine concern for our nation.  I recently traveled to Germany to visit my friend Louisa, and visited Denmark with her too, which was only a 90-minute drive from her house.  I also traveled to Maine twice with my friends over the summer.  I sadly had to get rid of my t-mobile sidekick about six months ago because the new Android powered one is TERRIBLE; I now have a blackberry.  It was a tough call between a blackberry and an iphone, except that the blackberry only cost $25, so... easy decision.  Another shout-out to Steve Jobs, who truly had as much an impact on this world as Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Da Vinci.  Well done sir!  Let us ALL try to be as influential and significant as Jobs--shall we?

Thanks for reading!  I really appreciate your support.
-Monroe Mann

(Monroe Mann, Esq, MBA, ME, JD, and in 2013, PhD)

PhD: Here is my argument that Zen Buddhism Psychology is something we should all deeply investigate and consider.

by Monroe Mann, Esq.
PhD Candidate, Capella University
Written August 21, 2011

Despite popular belief, Buddhism and modern Western psychology have much in common. Today, modern psychology is beginning to learn from and embrace the teachings of the Buddhists. Buddhism in turn is benefiting from modern psychology's experiments that are proving that Buddhism has a great deal of scientific merit as a psychological theory of treatment and/or a preventative measure.

Buddhism has for the last 2,500 years focused exclusively on developing a positive and healthy mental state. Clinical psychology, however, has almost exclusively (and historically) focused on curing mental ailments. In many ways, therefore, Buddhism was ahead of its time given the recent advent of positive psychology. (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006).

In trying to understand why Buddhism was not embraced in earlier centuries by the West, it may perhaps be understandable given the East’s failure to impress the West with its offerings at the time. In the centuries before our own, Japan and China and the East in general were involved in bitter feuds between warlords, and were not focused on scientific inquiry as was the West. Further, in some cases, e.g. Japan, the East was purposely isolating itself from the West, which further dampened any cross-scientific pollination. (Sato & Sato, 2005). However, today, the world has opened up its scientific trading routes, and the West today even tips her hat to Japan’s automotive prowess and to China’s immense manufacturing empire—a clear sign that the West can (and does) now learn from the East.

For example, Western psychology has recently come to agreement with Buddhist psychology in finding that happiness resulting from internal mental training is far more durable than 'happiness' resulting from stimulus-driven pleasures. (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). This in turn is one of the bases of positive psychology. While there has often been a debate over the merits of Western vs. Eastern philosophies, religion, and science, the recent melding of the two cultural approaches to psychology may ultimately prove how similar we all are, and may introduce new and more effective treatment methods.

On that note, an interesting dichotomy is that which separates mindfulness practice (e.g. Buddhism) from cognitive therapy. (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). Mindfulness encourages the practitioner to change one's relationship to thoughts, instead of changing the content of thoughts themselves. On the flip side, cognitive therapy actually emphasizes the changing of the content of thoughts themselves. While at first glance, it appears that the approaches are opposed to one another, further investigation may show that the two therapies can work together, thus melding Buddhism with cognitive therapy. Many studies (such as those cited in this discussion) are beginning to show the similarities between and/or the complementary aspects of Buddhist teachings and cognitive therapy.

In other words, what Buddhist monks and zen masters have practiced for thousands of years as a mere cultural tradition, Western science is now proving to be powerful psychology. Buddhism states that our misguided attempts to find happiness through external means are a result of our confusion about what really brings true happiness. (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). Modern Western psychological research by Nanamoli & Bodhi (1995) have helped to confirm these Buddhist beliefs.

Further, Western science has begun to overturn some scientific beliefs as a result of investigations into Buddhist theories. For example, until recently, Western science believed that one's level of happiness was primarily genetically determined. Buddhists, however, have always believed that one's happiness is not fixed but can be consciously cultivated, and have for centuries practiced meditation, claiming that this practice boosts happiness. Indeed, in 2003, Davidson et al. concluded that novice meditation practice was associated with a clear increase in brain activity of the left frontal cortex, an area known to be associated with positive emotions. (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). Further, Benson (1997) helped to show a connection between meditation and lower stress levels. (Tyson & Pongruengphant, 2007). In other words, Western science has helped to prove that the Buddhist ideas of 'self', ‘interconnectedness', and 'meditation' may have more relevance to Western clinical psychology than historically presumed.

For these reasons, Western positive and cognitive psychology today embrace Buddhism as a key to better understanding the human condition, and how best to live a life without negative anxiety and stress. Buddhism seeks to do this by endowing its practitioners with a state of well-being that results from "freeing the mind of its afflictive tendencies and obscurations". (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). While traditional psychology once only viewed the self as a fixed entity, Gergen & Kaye (1992) noted that "it is not independent selves who come together to form a relationship, but particular forms of relationships that engender what we take to be the individual's identity." (Sugamura, Haruki, & Koshikawa, 2007). In other words, modern psychology's tendency to view a patient as an island--as a problem in a vacuum--may not tell the whole story. Indeed, no man is an island, and it is not our solitude that makes us who we are, but our interaction with others. In this regard (and in many others), modern psychology is finally beginning to realize that Buddhist psychological teachings have merit, and indeed, great merit.

Nonetheless, modern Western science has not yet fully embraced Zen Buddhism as an effective psychological treatment. This is perhaps ironic because the major objective of Zen teaching is to free the individual from the chains of the physical world and the mental obstacles that cloud a full awareness of the self and the world. (Berger, 1962). Does this not appear to be exactly what positive psychology and the humanists aim to do?

Therefore, perhaps the alleged differences between modern psychology and Buddhism are more a result of cultural blindness and a refusal to 'see'. From the above analysis, it should be clear that these two schools of thought (Western psychology and Buddhist psychology) have far more in common than is popularly recognized.


Berger, E. M. (1962). Zen buddhism, general psychology, and counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 9(2).

Sato, T., & Sato, T. (2005). The early 20th century: shaping the discipline of psychology in Japan. Japanese Psychological Research, 47(2), 52-62.

Sugamura, G., Haruki, Y., & Koshikawa, F. (2007). Building more bridges between buddhism and western psychology. American Pscyhologist, December 2007, 1080-1081.

Tyson, P. D., & Pongruengphant, R. (2007). Buddhist and western perspectives on suffering, stress, and coping. J. Relig. Health, 46, 351-357.

Wallace, B. A., & Shapiro, S. L. (2006). Mental balance and well-being -- building bridges between buddhism and western psychology. American Psychologist, 61(7), 690-701.

PhD Assignment: My counterargument to the theory that social psychology began in the 1890s; I believe it began with Pythagoras.

by Monroe Mann, Esq
PhD Candidate, Capella University
Written October 12, 2011

Psychology itself is argued to be a relatively new science, as encapsulized in Herman Ebbinghaus' observation that "psychology has a long past, but only a short history." (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2008). Further, social psychology itself is argued to have an even shorter history, with researchers such as Kassin, Fein, & Markus (2008) stating that the field was created in the late 19th century by psychologists such as Triplett and Ringelmann.

On the contrary, it was William Wundt, the founder of experimental psychology (Hergenhahn, 2009) who in fact should be credited as the founder of experimental social psychology (Greenwood, 2003). According to Greenwood, the term 'social psychology' was in fact first promulgated by Wundt in his 10-volume Volkerpsychologie.

While it is clear that Wundt did not make the 'leap' that Triplett and Ringelmann made by finding correlations between the social variable and the human behavior variable, to claim that social psychology only began in the late 1890s is to discount Wundt's clear contributions to the field, i.e. by laying the experimental foundation upon which others built the field.

While it is true that Wundt did not believe that social psychological phenomena could be measued experimentally (Greenwood, 2003), the fact that he even made such a statement shows that he was indeed thinking of social psychology many years before anyone else in the field. Greenwood (2003) believes that Volkerpsychologie is in fact an early form of social psychology.

While Kassin, Fein, and Markus (2008) do recognize that Plato potentially discussed some social psychological phenomena, I posit that social psychology's foundation itself began even earlier than Plato. While Wundt may have been the foundation of experimental social psychology, I argue that social psychological phenomena (or at least the foundation for them) were--long before Plato--being considered by philosophers such as Pythagoras, Protagoras, Xenophanes, and Socrates. (Hergenhahn, 2003).

First, I believe that Pythagoras laid the foundation for correlational research with his postulation that everything could be explained with numbers. Next, Protagoras helped to show the unique psychological makeup of human beings with his statement that "man is the measure of all things". Later, Xenophanes concluded that religion was a human invention (certainly one of the world's first social psychological hypotheses: that the human condition encouraged humans to fabricate the idea of 'God' as a way to make this life more bearable). And finally, Socrates perhaps made the biggest contribution of all to social psychology with his statement: "Know thyself". That statement is so profound that indeed it seems to be the modern battle cry of social psychological research, which focuses on the study of... the individual.

In conclusion, while more modern researchers such as Triplett and Ringelmann certainly marked the definitive codification of experimental social psychology, the actual establishment of experimental social psychology clearly rests with Wundt, and the foundation with the early Greek philosophers. Perhaps the history of psychology (and therefore social psychology) is not as short as Ebbinghaus believes.


Greenwood, J. D. (2003)., Wundt, Völkerpsychologie, and experimental social psychology. History of Psychology, 6(1), 1093-4510.

Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An introduction to the history of psychology., Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2008). Social psychology, Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.