While I’ve been studying my Aristotle, links have been piling up in my bookmarks. Here are some of them:
- A new documentary film called The Pacifist is doing the festival circuit. It concerns war tax resister Larry Bassett, his large act of income tax resistance and redirection, and his attempts to provoke the U.S. government to respond to his stand. It features interviews of Bassett, interspersed with historical footage from government propaganda films encouraging people to pay their taxes to keep the war machine going, and with a collage of contemporary news footage about American militarism. It does a good job of helping you get to know Bassett better and to learn about the history of his pacifism and his war tax resistance stand.
- Speaking of documentaries, I thought this article on five lessons I learned while making a documentary film about FIRE (the “financial independence, retire early” community) was very interesting.
- Finland evidently publishes the taxable income of every citizen as a public record that any busybody can browse through. Do you suppose more or fewer people would resist their taxes if such a practice were typical? Ruth Benn considers issues of taxation, privacy, and openness about our finances at NWTRCC’s blog.
- Senator Rand Paul has published his Annual Festivus Report of federal government waste. Just the thing to infuriate some people about how their hard-earned taxes are spent. If that doesn’t do the trick, check out this map showing the 40% of the world’s nations in which the U.S. military is engaged in “counterterrorism” operations.
- Conscientious objector Halil Karapasiaoglou of Turkish Cyprus was convicted of evading the military draft. He vowed to go to jail rather than pay the fine.
- Some encouraging numbers here:
Because of the repeated [budget] cuts, the IRS has drastically stopped pursuing “nonfilers” who do not submit their tax returns. The number of investigations into nonfilers fell from 2.4 million in to 362,000 in . The agency has also drastically reduced its investigations of filers who do not pay their tax debts. In , the IRS let $482 million in old tax debt lapse, but by , that number increased to $8.3 billion.
- Hey look: Another “suspicious package” evacuates an IRS building.
- The federal government “shutdown” is also taking its toll on the IRS. At a time of year when the agency is usually bulking up its temporary workforce and preparing for income tax filing season, instead it’s sending most of its workforce home, and making the rest work without pay. Protests by employees are planned, and there’s also a lawsuit in the works that claims forcing the agency workers to work without pay violates labor laws.
“From the executive leadership of top weapons-makers, to the senior government officials designing and purchasing the nation’s military arsenal, the United States’ national defense hierarchy is, for the first time, largely run by women.”
And: “CIA Director Gina Haspel has appointed another woman to the top level of the agency, naming Cynthia ‘Didi’ Rapp as deputy director for analysis, essentially the top analyst in the CIA. The appointment means that the top three directorates of the agency, for operations, analysis, and science and technology are now all headed by women.”
Boy am I looking forward to all of the peace and justice I was promised would happen once that bad ol’ patriarchy got smashed.
- A family in Alberta has refused to pay the carbon tax portion of their heating bill in protest against broken promises from the government.
- The epidemic of speed camera destruction continues worldwide:
- One got torched in Glazebury, England
- Another was converted into a trash bin in Senigallia, Italy and several others were toppled or sawed down elsewhere in that country, some as quickly as they were installed
- Frederick Gramcko took a baseball bat to one in Encinitas, U.S.A.
- In the Netherlands, the elves use gaily-wrapped gift boxes to obscure the cameras.
- And in Germany radar outposts were transformed into huge candy canes.
- While South Africa uses the good old-fashioned firebomb to stop those ticket machines.
- Yellow vests are the latest fashion trend for French speed cameras
- There are no longer any functioning radars on the roads of Vaucluse after the last of them were burned
- All of the radars on the Toulouse ring road have been disabled
- 60% of the radars in Grand Reims were taken out
- 50 radars vandalized in le Cher
- 23 of the 33 radars in the Tarn are out of service
- 21 out of 22 in Puy-de-Dôme no longer ticket drivers
- All five of the radars in Pays-Haut are now monuments to direct action
- “Almost all” of the radars in the Loire are out of service. The article seems to indicate that the government has stopped trying to repair them since they get vandalized again so soon.
- A radar on the RD 9 became the tenth burned in Haute-Loire in recent months
- Two more Alsatian radars, five in Vaucluse, one in Yzeux, another in Ploudaniel, four in the Rethélois, three in Pluneret, Ploeren, and Theix-Noyalo, and three more in Lapalisse were put to the torch in December
- Three radars were taken out in Cambrésis, one in Cayenne, and five in Martinique
- Radar cameras were painted over in Sochaux, Belfort, Cateau-Cambresis, and Surmoulin
- Three radars burned in Lot-et-Garonne, making 46 of 49 disabled there; one burned in Saint-Herblain to join the ⅔s rendered inoperable in Loire-Atlantique; and two more burned in Mesnil-le-Roi and Mureaux, another two in Couvrot, four in Puy-en-Velay, two in Haute-Garonne, one on Bordes, one in Hérault, another in Matelles, one in Loudes, and three in Gers
- A radar at Truttemer-le-Grand, one on the Mazures coast and another in town, one at Pinas, one in Ouilly-le-Vicomte, one in Fourdrain, two in Tarn, one in Landivisiau, one in Monbalen, two in la Vienne, and another in Chavagne were torched
- A radar was sawed from its post then taken away and burned in Villerbon
- One was wrapped up securely in Goult
- Five radars burned in Ariège, and three of those were completely destroyed
- Six days after it was first installed, a radar in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres was destroyed
- A nicely-wrapped gift box covered a camera in Domalain
- A mobile radar station posted on the D-928 was taken out of service for the tenth time, and another was victimized at Thillot
- “Not a week goes by without a machine taken out of service” reports Le Bien Public of the Côte-d’Or
- There’s a strange feature of Obamacare. If your income is low, the government subsidizes your health insurance premium. But if your income is higher than you thought it would be, you’re supposed to pay some of that subsidy back when you file your taxes. But there’s a limit to how much you have to pay back. Because of this, the government is paying out about a billion dollars in subsidies that people don’t qualify for and yet will never have to repay.
- Ministers in Samoa are defying the government’s attempt to tax them on the offerings they accept in church.