The Spectacle Blog
CPAC starts today! We’ll be in the main ballroom from today through Saturday.
- General to Admit Guilt on 3 Counts; Denies Assault
- Survey: Cost A Growing Factor in College Decisions
- Silicon Valley Boom Eludes Many, Drives Income Gap
Tax season is here, and the government has a license to hunt. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are caught like wide-eyed deer in the light of their computer screens. The percentage of people who filed their taxes online using services such as H&R Block and Turbotax has increased 27 percent since 2008.
The burgeoning population of middlemen between your pocket and the government’s coffers is growing. As the tax-filing industry has increased, the length of the 101-year-old tax code itself has swelled to 73,954 pages. That’s 60 copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy or 62 copies of Atlas Shrugged, if that’s your credo. The IRS instructions explaining the tax code drone on for 90 pages.
Asserting that Truth is knowable is punishable by guillotine in contemporary philosophy. Last week, Gary Gutting interviewed philosopher Louise Antony on the possibility of God’s existence. It’s safe to say that the heads of both philosophers will be spared.
The interview led to the fundamental question of what it means to know something in a genuine sense of the word:
[L.A.:] I don’t think that when two people take opposing stands on any issue that one of them has to be irrational or ignorant.
G.G.: No, they may both be rational.
I can’t agree with either Antony or Gutting. If two people have properly functioning rational faculties, and if they arrive at contradicting conclusions, then at least one reasoned poorly, dare I say wrongly? Of course, that assumes the decapitating position that truth is not subjective.
Antony tosses my objection into the “abstract” world:
Has Hillary Clinton gone hawk? She has reportedly likened Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula to those of Hitler in Czecholslovakia and Romania in the late 1930s.
The former Secretary of State made these comments last night in California while speaking at a private benefit for The Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach. According to the Long Beach Telegram, Hillary, who was commenting on the Russian population of Crimea, said, “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s. All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”
At 18, you can drive a car, enlist in the military, get married, purchase cigarettes and lottery tickets, and even buy things off infomercial ads. What you can’t do? Support yourself.
At least that is what 18-year-old Rachel Canning believes, and New Jersey law might back her up.
Canning claimed that her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18 and refused to pay the rest of her private high school tuition, give her access to her college fund, or pay for her daily living and transportation costs. So Canning sued.
Contrarily, her parents said that Canning left home because she didn’t want to abide by house rules, including breaking up with a boyfriend they considered a bad influence, abiding by a curfew, and doing household chores.
Seven Democrats voted with all Senate Republicans to oppose the nomination of Debo Adegbile as assistant attorney general.
You know a person is radical when he can't get even the simple majority now required after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's use of the "nuclear option" last year to block filibusters of the Obama administration's nominees.
And Adegbile certainly is.
Wondering what Lois Lerner had to say at this morning’s House Oversight Committee meeting?
On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.
Although the IRS division caught targeting conservative groups was under Lerner’s leadership, this is the second time she's pled the Fifth, dodging the committee’s attempts to uncover the truth.
On March 1, Lerner’s lawyer said in an email that Lerner was willing to testify, but her brief response proved otherwise.
Last year at similar hearing, Lerner made the following claim:
I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.
Today, the Israeli Navy seized Iranian weapons on a cargo ship en route to Sudan. These weapons would have been transported by ground to Gaza via Egypt from where they would have been launched against civilian targets in Israel. The ship contained M-302 rockets, the same weapon used by Hezbollah in the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war.
Of course, this is not the first time Israel has seized Iranian weapons at sea. In 2002, Israel seized weapons aboard the Karine A which were bound for the Palestinian Authority. This incident led President George W. Bush to ostracize the late Yasser Arafat after he lied to Bush about his knowledge of the shipment.