The Strange Story of Bradley R. Smith

I recently learned of a one-act/one-man play, a monologue really, on the theme of tax resistance that was developed and performed in : The Man Who Stopped Paying. (It has also been recently put out as a novelization.)

On a first, quick read, it seems to be a graceful (if a bit didactic in parts), strange, dream-worldish meditation on the Sword of Damocles anxiety of the nuclear-armed cold war and on personal responsibility.

Unfortunately, it’s poisonous. I couldn’t help but notice that the text of the play is found on the website of The Committee for Open Debate on The Holocaust — an organization founded by Bradley R. Smith, the play’s author. Yep, he’s a Holocaust denier. He apparently believes, for instance, that:

  • It cannot be demonstrated that the German State had a policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe, or anyone else, by putting them to death in gas chambers or by killing them through abuse or neglect.
  • It cannot be demonstrated that 6 million Jews were “exterminated” during WWⅡ.
  • It cannot be demonstrated that homicidal gas chambers existed in any camp in Europe which was under German control.
  • It cannot be demonstrated that the awful scenes of the dead and emaciated inmates captured on newsreel footage at Dachau, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen—were the victims of intentional killing and intentional starvation.

The play itself refers to the Holocaust in a couple of places, but not in any particularly controversial way. Either Smith still accepted the mainstream Holocaust history at the time he wrote the play, or he wisely decided to keep his crackpot opinions out of it.

The IRS has a thing or two to learn about computer security, according to a recent TIGTA audit:

TIGTA scanned IRS networks and determined that 11 percent of the approximately 1,900 databases scanned had 1 or more installation accounts with a default or blank password. A total of 369 installation accounts had default or blank passwords; 26 contained powerful database administrator privileges.…

Databases found with default or blank passwords during our scans include those that contain personally identifiable tax information. Malicious users can exploit accounts with default or blank passwords to steal taxpayer identities and carry out fraud schemes.

A majority of the IRS databases scanned do not have the latest software updates (patches) installed; 65 percent of the databases scanned needed to be updated, with more than 300 databases being outdated from 11 months to 20 months. As a result, outdated IRS databases were collectively susceptible to nearly 40,000 database vulnerabilities, one-half of which are considered high risk. These vulnerabilities include those used for common penetration attacks.