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Posts tagged IRS

Sauce for the goose

In the federal government’s ongoing efforts to salvage COINTELPRO from the dustbin of history, the House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 1955, a bill that would, if it also passes the Senate, create a new National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism and a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States (sic!), which would study the social, criminal, political, psychological, and economic roots of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States and methods that can be utilized by Federal, State, local, and tribal homeland security officials to mitigate violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

Here are the definitions for the unwieldy jargon used in the bill:

(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION–The term violent radicalization means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM–The term homegrown terrorism means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE–The term ideologically based violence means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.

Well, O.K., fine. If that is what the Center for Excellence &c. is going to study, then they may as well start with the worst offenders. May I suggest that they begin with studying the social, criminal, political, psychological, and economic roots of the extremist propaganda coming out of Office of National Drug Control Policy, which promotes the use of force or violence by armed narcs to promote the Drug Warriors’ political and social beliefs against the will of the civilian population? Or perhaps the Internal Revenue Service, which routinely engages in the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence to intimidate or coerce the civilian population of the United States, in furtherance of the United States government’s political objectives with respect to the war on Iraq, Social Security, corporate welfare, government schooling, the drug war, etc.? Or perhaps the Department of Defense, which has used repeated, massive, and merciless ideologically-based violence in order to promote the federal government’s ideology with respect to parliamentary government, nuclear disarmament, etc., etc., etc., in countries all over the world?

I fully expect that they will get right on it. After all, you’d hardly expect a double-standard from the State when it comes to ideologically-based violence.

(Story thanks to Stephanie McMillan 2007-10-28.)

Death and Taxes

Posting on Geekery Today may be held up for a while in the next several days, as I grudgingly prepare the paperwork for my annual surrender of tribute to the State.

In honor of the occasion, though, you can follow my argument on Slashdot with Shakrai, who castigates those who would dare to cheat the State of its booty. Since I argue that taxation is nothing more than robbery with more paperwork, I can’t muster much outrage at those who lie to the taxman in order to keep some of their own damn money (thank you very much!).

For what it’s worth, while I don’t see anything morally wrong in cheating on your taxes, that doesn’t mean that I do it; since I make most of my money through self-employment I no doubt look pretty suspicious to the IRS from the get-go, and I have no desire to encourage them to come along and help me get my finances in order by being less than scrupulous in my reporting. It just goes to show that while nothing immoral could count as expedient, lots of things that are morally permissible are still not particularly smart. Such is life in this possible world.

photo: Donald Rumsfeld
photo: Evil Lord Skeletor

In international news, Donald Evil Lord Skeletor Rumsfeld has announced that the situation in Iraq is not out of control. Meanwhile, in Iraq, your tax dollars are hard at work:

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) U.S. Marines battled insurgents for control of this Sunni Muslim stronghold Wednesday, calling in airstrikes against a mosque compound where witnesses said dozens were killed in six hours of fighting. An anti-U.S. uprising led by a radical Shiite cleric raged for the fourth day in southern cities.

The Abdel-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque was hit by U.S. aircraft that launched a Hellfire missile at its minaret and dropped a 500-pound bomb on a wall surrounding the compound.

The U.S. military said insurgents were using the mosque for a military fire base. Iraqi witnesses estimated 40 people were killed as they gathered for afternoon prayers. U.S. officials said no civilians died.

An Associated Press reporter who went to the mosque said the minaret was standing, but damaged, apparently by shrapnel. The bomb blew away part of a wall, opening an entry for the Marine assault. The reporter saw at least three cars leaving, each with a number of dead and wounded.

Chaos spreads, people are murdered, and you and I are forced to foot the bill for a war that many of us wanted absolutely no part of. Sooner or later there will be a reckoning for the terrible destruction that is being wrought on Iraq; I can only hope against hope that terrorist logic will not win the day, and that we will not be forced to face the consequences yet again for things that other people decided to do–using stolen money and professing to act on our behalf.

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