Welcome to TFL, Charles Mosteller!
That's quite a first post you've put together there, and I'll have to read it in more depth when I get back from the groc store.
As for the quote button, you have to hit "Post Reply," and look above the box that you type in. It's not out there on the forum page, and has nothing to do with being a new member.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.