Links of Interest to Tax Resisters

A couple more bits and pieces from around the web:

  • George Weigel is one of those Catholics who thinks the Pope has laid down the letter of the law pretty clearly on the subject of abortion, and all good Catholics clearly ought to get with the program. He also seems to be one of those Catholics who’d like to change the subject if the Pope’s views on war or capital punishment come up. (Doesn’t it often seem like religion is just a way of cherry picking irrefutable bits of dogma that happen to coincide with political points of view you wanted to take anyway?) But be that as it may, he’s officially “gone there” and suggested, in a column for Newsweek that not only must Catholics refrain from voting for Obama, but

    …should an Obama administration reintroduce large-scale federal funding of abortion, the bishops will have to confront a grave moral question they have managed to avoid for decades…: does the payment of federal taxes that go to support abortion constitute a form of moral complicity in an “intrinsic evil”? And if so, what should the conscientious Catholic citizen do?

  • I’ve vented some schadenfreude before about the trouble the IRS is having in upgrading its decades-old database software. It’s a big project, with archaic software using the computer programming equivalent of cuneiform that few engineers understand anymore, complicated by a vast government bureaucracy with its red tape and its cumbersome regulations and its temptations to shape the job to squeeze the most money out of the taxpayer (it must be so tempting, right there next to the taxpayer aorta). Even so, they’ve been bungling it big time. The latest news shows the project to have “very troublesome” “security and privacy vulnerabilities” such as:

    …unscrupulous people could gain access to vast amounts of taxpayer information with little chance of detection… systems could not be recovered effectively during an emergency… administrators to the CADE system could access, modify and delete information without being detected… contractors could make changes to system configurations without approval… backup tapes from offsite storage facilities were not adequately tested to ensure that data would be restored without errors or losses… [the] system might be vulnerable to malicious code attacks such as computer viruses.… the auditing controls for the AMS system were not sufficient to make sure that illegal browsing, changes or theft of taxpayer files would be detected.