Archive for August, 2016
People pay taxes because the alternative is ultimately death. Yes, the State will go so far as to murder you if you don’t fork over the “protection” money it demands. The threat of death convinces most people to pay their taxes. Furthermore, as if hoping to curry favor with the State, many people perform a great deal of virtue signaling by proclaiming how much they enjoy paying taxes. But obeying the State’s
expropriation tax laws and virtue signaling won’t save you. Even if you obey and pay the State will try to steal more of your wealth if it thinks it can get away with it:
Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.
The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.
Apple has a massive team of lawyers whose job is to ensure it complies with the laws of the regions it operates in so it can avoid the State’s wrath. The European Union decided that this dedication to obedience wasn’t enough and chose to demand billions of dollars more from the largest tax victim in its territory. In the eyes of the European Union Apple and every other organization and individual are little more than giant Automated Teller Machines. When it decides it wants more cash it claims the wealthy didn’t pay enough taxes and demands they either pay more or else.
This should be a lesson to all the people hoping to avoid the State’s wrath by publicly proclaiming how much they enjoy paying taxes. Apple has a long history of touting its efforts to be a “responsible citizen”, which includes publicly stating its desire to pay its “fair share”. But the European Union still went after Apple for more. Don’t fool yourself into believing the State will let you live your life so long as you kowtow to it.
While a lot of sectors of the economy are in the toilet the firearms sector is doing quite well. Guns and ammunition sales remain high, which has causes more manufacturers to enter the market. In fact the sector is getting large enough that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is beginning to whine about being unable to perform its duties:
Florida has more “gun manufacturers” than any other state except Texas, after a surge of 346 percent in licenses for gun makers since 2009, fueled by the nation’s growing demand for firearms.
That has created some concerns about the regulatory oversight of these businesses by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal law enforcement agency that monitors the nation’s gun sales and distribution.
“Maybe we are on the edge of a point where the ATF will not be able to keep up anymore,” said former ATF special agent William Vizzard.
Denial of service attacks against the State are always fun. First, they’re usually unintentional so there’s nobody’s head to put on a pike. Second, they exploit the State’s bureaucracy and therefore cannot be mitigated because the State won’t give up the one thing it relies on. Third, it gets more goods into the hands of consumers.
Anybody who has tried to purchase a suppressor in recent times knows that the ATF is already at the point where it cannot keep up. Wait times for six to eight months are the norm when waiting for ATF approval when purchasing a suppressor. That wait time is only going to increase as suppressors become more popular. And the ATF is constantly grasping for more power (again, that reliance on bureaucracy is biting it in the ass), which only further burdens the agency. Eventually the ATF will grind to a halt under the weight of its own regulations and then something may finally be done about the agency.
For a long time the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has adopted a strategy where it seeks out people of lukewarm intelligence who are socially isolated and radicalizes them. Once radicalize the target is given a fake bomb and explicit plans on how to use it. When the target finally executes the FBI’s plan they are arrested and charged for terrorism related crimes. In other words the FBI has been creating criminals for it to catch and touting itself as a hero for it.
But what happens when the FBI’s target slips their leash? People die:
THE REVELATION THAT an undercover FBI agent encouraged a would-be terrorist to “Tear up Texas” shortly before he opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, last year raises new concerns about FBI counterterrorism efforts that were already under fire for manufacturing terrorism cases rather than halting them.
According to an affidavit filed in a related case last week, Elton Simpson — one of two men who donned body armor and fired assault weapons before being shot dead by a Garland police officer — had been corresponding with an undercover FBI agent. And in a text message roughly a week before the attack, as they discussed the cartoon contest, the agent had exhorted Simpson to “Tear up Texas.”
It was only a matter of time until this happened. Only a government agency could be so idiotic as to expect that it could go around radicalizing people and not lose control over one of them eventually. Humans are creative creatures and don’t always act as expected. While a majority of the people the FBI targets are pretty dull it only takes one creative individual for the FBI’s strategy to backfire.
I’m sure the double standards of the legal system will come into play here as well. If you or I were to radicalize somebody and provide them materials and encouragement to perform a terrorist attack we’d be brought up on charges of providing material support to terrorists. So far the FBI hasn’t faced those charges when it radicalizes somebody and provides them a means to perform an attack. Since the FBI is a government agency the law doesn’t apply to it so it will likely face zero consequences for this case as well.
It’s a big club and we’re not in it.
Every time an officer shoots somebody we’re bombarded with people saying we need to trust the judgement of the officer. In this case, I agree. An officer recently shot somebody who was armed. After reading the details about the case I find myself having to side with the cop apologists. If the man didn’t want to get shot he shouldn’t have gone for his gun:
A $75,000 personal injury case against Glock filed by an Arkansas policeman has been scheduled for trial in a federal court, according to the final scheduling order issued last week.
The jury trial will start Aug. 21, 2017, in a federal court in Helena, Arkansas, the order says. Final arguments and discovery exhibits are due in the beginning months of the year.
The plaintiff in the case, Larry Jones, of Cherry Valley, Arkansas, was injured when his Glock 19C pistol discharged unexpectedly at the shooting range in June 2013, the lawsuit says. At the time he was trying to attach a tactical light.
An officer managed to shoot himself in the foot because he pulled the trigger of his gun when he was trying to attach a light. Why was he trying to attach a light to a loaded gun? Why was his finger on the trigger? Why was the gun pointed at his foot? These are all very good questions but it turns out that the officer investigated himself and found that he did nothing wrong so he’s suing Glock.
I hope this case is dismissed and the officer in question is forced to pay Glock’s legal expenses.
This week we’re listening to some old school Maiden. While this song is much better than
Rockets and Bombs The Star Spangled Banner, nobody will flip their shit if you don’t stand while this is playing.
The new Deus Ex game came out and I decided to play that last night instead of blogging.
I’m guessing you’re curious how the game is. So far the gameplay has been Deus Ex: Human Revolution plus more, which is a winning formula in my book. I haven’t gotten very far in the game yet so I can’t tell you how the story is but so far it’s been decent.
“Muh roads!” is a libertarian meme started because anytime you discuss eliminating government with a statists they eventually break down and say, “But who will build the roads?” As it turns out, the people who need the roads will build them:
Gangs smuggling goods into Russia have secretly repaired a road on the Belarussian border in order to boost business, the TASS news agency reported Monday.
Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said.
The market in action. Having a great product doesn’t do any good if you can’t get it to buyers. That means producers will either build the infrastructure necessary to get their products to consumers or will partner with another producer who is willing to build the infrastructure.
Transportation infrastructure isn’t some magical good that can only be brought into being by the wave of a government wand. Individuals and non-governmental organizations have been building and maintaining roads for a very long time. And they’re still doing it whenever they need a road that isn’t expressly approved of by the State.
It’s inevitable that any company that becomes popular will begin receiving an endless stream of demands from politicians. Each politician will demand the company comply with their person agenda. One example of this are when anti-gun politicians demanded Facebook stop allowing its service to be used for perfectly legal gun sales. Facebook voluntarily complied and started taking down groups and posts related to gun sales. Now the politicians are back and demanding Facebook do a better job at blocking perfectly legal gun sales:
A United States Senator released Facebook’s response on Tuesday to a slew of questions he sent company officials last month about gun sales initiated through the site. But the two-page response, which was supposed to address what impact, if any, Facebook’s ban on gun sales has had, left many questions unanswered.
“While I commend the platforms’ facilitating the reporting of prohibited content related to gun sales by users, I urge Facebook and Instagram to redouble their efforts to develop and deploy technology that can enforce their gun-sales ban without relying so heavily on user reporting,” Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said in a written statement. “Facebook and Instagram’s ban on private firearms sales should have the teeth it needs to be effective, so that it can truly prevent guns from falling into the hands of those who should not have them.”
Never comply with demands from politicians. They’re never satisfied. No matter how well you comply with their demands they will always demand that you do a better job. Politicians are like spoiled children. Once you’ve rolled over for them they’ll never stop.
Treat politicians like terrorists (because they are); never negotiate with them. If a politician tells you to do something just ignore them. They’ll threaten to pass a law but complying with their demands will just give them a poster child to hold up as an example of the industry supporting the law they’re going to pass anyways.
Who’s a good politician? You are! Yes you are!
CORMORANT, Minn. —Nine-year-old Duke, a Great Pyrenees, handily won another one-year term as mayor of the small northwestern Minnesota town of Cormorant, Detroit Lakes Online reports.
“I don’t know who would run against him because he’s done such great things for the community,” Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told Detroit Lakes Online.
The locals say Duke has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.
The people of Cormorant have their heads screwed on right. They’ve corrected one of the biggest mistakes more people make, which is electing humans to political office. Not only are dogs generally loyal but they’re also unable to speak any human language so they can’t make decrees. Furthermore, their scheming consists almost entirely of getting treats, being pet, and playing fetch. If everybody political office was occupied by a dog instead of a human politician the world would be a much better place.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) seemingly went scorched Earth during its campaign to takedown a hidden child pornography site. Except it didn’t take the site down. It not only left it running once it discovered where it was being hosted and continued hosting the site itself but it even actively worked to upgrade the site so it could distribute more child pornography:
Under the FBI’s stewardship, Playpen membership rose by 30 percent and the number of visitors to the site increased from roughly 11,000 to 50,000 per week, assistant federal defender Peter Adolf argued in a motion to dismiss his client’s indictment. Playpen distributed 200 videos, 9,000 images and 13,000 links to child pornography while the FBI ran the site from February 20th to March 4th, Adolf said. He supported his claims with archived messages from Playpen users commenting on how well the site was running during this same timeframe.
“Government agents worked hard to upgrade the website’s capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running ‘illegally,'” Adolf wrote.
How can the FBI claim it was fighting child pornography when it was not only distributing it but also working to distribute more of it? I’m sure the FBI and its apologists will claim that the ends justified the means but it’s exactly that attitude that allowed a supposed law enforcement agency to perpetrate a crime that a large portion of society finds especially heinous.
Furthermore, if the FBI isn’t punished for this what’s to stop it from setting up another child pornography site and permanently operating it in the name of fighting child pornography? What’s to stop it from partnering with child pornographers so it can increase the available content on its site so it can attract more child pornography consumers? I’m sure there are FBI apologists who will claim my insinuation is ridiculous but they would have probably told me that the FBI hosting child pornography was ridiculous just a year or two ago.
What’s the point of having a law enforcement agency that perpetrates the very crimes it’s supposed to fight?