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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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