IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt
Says you. Try having the IRS owe you a few grand. Still waiting on that check from several years back.
In the IRS' defense, the mailman could have cashed it, since banks rarely do pesky stuff like read anymore.
I've also had them unilateraly apply tax credits that I wasn't legally eligible for (thank heaven I can't be held liable for their mistakes... yet).
That said, it was a big tax giveaway (making work pay act) in an election year so I can't say I'm too surprised.
Their behavior can appear quite baffling unless you have looked deeply at the history of their actions.
Seriously, read a few Inspector General's reports before you defend an organization that you know little about. They regularly violate their own rules; especially the ones about not keeping an "enemies list" of tax protestors and not auditing because of RO's personal vendettas. Practically every administration since (and including) FDR have used them as a political weapon against their opponents. Judges and Jurors who decide against them get singled out for audit. Repeated studies by lawyers have shown the Revenue Code to be so self-contradictory that prosecution is effectively discretionary. As such "following the law" is basically whatever they feel like at the moment. Oh, and there's a special tax court that is exempt from due process if they so choose to subject you to it (usually reserved for aformentioned protestors).
But, you are right in saying it's not about the money. It's mostly about Revenue Officers and their self-aggrandizement. The way to get promoted is to maximize seizures, and that has been the case from the beginning. The money comes naturally with those incentives. The frequent strong-arm tactics they use to achieve said siezures (and the above bending of rules) is why they are considered little different from a private criminal organization running a protection racket. The things the tax money is spent on (international murder, political blackmail, crony arrangements) is also little different in practice, so you can forgive why a person could mistake the IRS for a mafia organization. Duck rule and all that.
Now I know some 'a youse are thinking -- "but the government does X charitable thing! They're not all bad, they're compartmentalized, blah blah..." Well, the Mafia runs charities too. Both organizations rely on the forebearance of their victims, so they gotta have some way to paint a positive image over the majority of their activities being rotten. And there will always be fools that believe they can join the Mafia to do good -- however, they will not achieve influence because of the incentive structure (the most rapacious get promoted).
Get over yourselves, people. It's a tough world out there, and a government funded by invoulntary contribution doesn't make any of that go away. Doing Evil that Good May Come (TM) doesn't work out in the long run, so either get used to doing things the hard way, or living in a world dominated by evil. By and large, we've chosen the latter, and we need to accept that rather than getting Stockholm Syndrome about the whole affair. Quit defending people who would kill you with your own money without thinking twice about it.
So, I hope you guys reading TFA realize what this is really about: A bunch of ROs got together and figured out a plausible enough justification to pull in more siezures (and hence more promotions/$$$). They win, the taxpayer loses, the Bureacracies doesn't really care because at the end of the day they have a printing press and whole lots of trigger-pullers. The politicians will continue to try and avoid the subject of the IRS altogether, as that makes people think too much about how the sausage is made rather than the delicious *free* sausage they want to offer up. The courts can be relied upon not to rein in the IRS, as they would prefer not to bite the hand that feeds them. The people (in general) cannot be relied upon because they are widely bamboozled that voting can somehow dislodge such ingrained corruption of incentives. The only person you can rely on is yourself -- If you want this to change, you have to be the change you want to see in others.
Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
If I leave a story page open for a while, I expect the filters to update like a good little AJAXY wob 2.0 thingy that this appears to be. Yet in the time it took to write this post, I saw no 'funny' comments until I opened it in a new tab to check.
That said, I like the new filtering options, except that I can't filter for troll and flamebait comments. I mean, how else am I going to keep up with the latest GNAA spam?
I don't like not seeing UIDs -- how am I supposed to be bigoted against new users?
Also, I can only read the first page of comments for this story in lynx. Add some GET param that allows you to get the different filters/pages by default and have the links to see that stuff degrade gracefully. I also don't like not being able to middle-click a thread title and have the thread open in a new tab.
Wow, the style for p tags is wack. Way too much space between them; I'm having to be a dweeb and use double <br>s here.
Seriously though, I think it's a good sign that so many users are getting worked up about this. Slashdot's biggest danger isn't a boycott, it's being so boring that people wouldn't even care enough to boycott. Lord knows there have been some LONG stretches in the last few years where I couldn't care less about the topic discussed in this here tarted up IRC channel. Been picking up a bit lately though; otherwise I would have just lurked on by today.
The original slashdot interface was way crappier than this beta, folks. We used it because the stories were worth commenting on -- so I understand why the admins appear less than concerned about this whole 'fuck beta' business. If they can keep the post quality up, the quality of the software used for commenting is not really a deal-breaker.
Bitcoin Used For the Narcotics Trade
One can make a similar argument about paper moneies, as they all have hyperinflations built-in. This conclusion is easily reached by simply looking at history; no fiat system has ever survived the abuses politics subject it to, not to mention fractional-reserves being abused to the point of fraud.
Bitcoin won't necesarily enrich the early adopters. It would be more accurate to say that it enriches savers at the expense of spenders. To be fair, unlimited monies (practically all fiat monies) with their inflations do the opposite; they reward spenders and borrowers by undercutting rates of interest, and punish savers by making their savings lose purchasing power. By this measure, if bitcoin is a ponzi scheme, then all other money is at least a pyramid scheme.
I don't see bitcoin as being bad from an economic point of view. The people who want a store of value *can* use this (so long as SHA-256 is safe), as it would benefit them; though they'll probably hold on to their gold instead. They can then use the inflating government money for their loans, and get a good deal both places.
Also, don't be playa hatin' on the money launderers. It's a crime that doesn't exist without income taxation, which is to say not really a crime in the classic sense, as nobody is harmed; it's really just tax evasion -- which itself was not criminal until fairly recently (it was only a tort).
And good luck stamping out stores of value from existence. People have tried outlawing gold, silver, and nearly all other forms of capital; all it has ever accomplished is impoverishing the society that tries. Maybe that's why your post is so heavy on pejoratives, like "buttcoin".
Bitcoin Used For the Narcotics Trade
Yeah, but bitcoin is infinitely sub-dividable, so that argument is irrelevant. Everyone will always be able to get enough to transact.
The instabilities in hard money economies are due to fractional reserves creating inflations, or centralized debasement (coin clipping, etc).
In reality, all economies are difficult to grow. Inflationary economies just front-load the prosperity, which is popular, as we are impatient.
The real weakness of bitcoin is that it is only as strong as SHA-256. When that is broken, your bitcoins become basically worthless.
WikiLeaks 'a Clear and Present Danger,' Says WaPo
Too bad our patriotic freedom soldiers of love 'accidentally' made the Afghanis 'leak' some material, clearly and presently endangering their health. Surely that must have been Saddam's fault, not those glorious administrators doing 'god's work' in the pentagram.. er pentagon!
UK Police Plan To Use Military-Style Spy Drones
When I first saw this story I said to myself: "But wait! I thought that the USA (whoo whoo) already does this! Jack Bauer used one to get the terrorists in NYC!" Then I remembered that 24 wasn't real life. *sigh*
Which Filesystem Do You Use On Portable Media For Linux Systems?
That'd be an awesome formatting option when installing Windows 7.
'Wiretapping' Charges May Be Oddest Ever Recorded
Or we could make the other assumption that most people happily agree on: That the people representing us in the government don't mean what they say, nor do they know what they are doing!
Fa fa fa!
...Unless they're in with the Federal Reserve, who I welcomed as my new overlords long ago, as they seem to be the only ones who have actually gotten things done for good or evil in some time.
Future of Financial Mathematics?
It seems that the fundamental problem with financial mathematics is that most models rely on the 'efficient markets hypothesis' which assumes our market is deterministic. Until we find (which we have not) that the human decision making process IS deterministic, the results of EMH backed formulae will never produce consistent results at predicting market behavior.
Some of the most interesting research into trying to predict things that normally seem nondeterministic (like markets, human behavior, etc.) was being done by Orlin Grabbe (with fractal modeling techniques), but unfortunately, he seems to have died too early to finish that work.
Huge Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Off
Even the liberal media agrees that having ice caps at the poles is a relatively odd thing to have in earth's history. I should think that having them melt is probably a good thing.
Much more biomass can be supported by a hotter earth, as has been shown through the fossil record (fossil as in stones and fuel). Even if the planet obtained a climate more like it had one billion years ago, the temperatures from back then do not seem to have created a worldwide desert. Indeed, quite the opposite occurred.
So... why is global warming a bad thing again?