Jots with dots 2/6

He’s wrong, we have no such obligation, there is no trade off Here’s the way it works: We have freedom of speech. If you’re insulted, it’s against the law to respond with violence. Period. I like Victor Davis Hansen and would be keen to understand a serious critique of him. One might be, I suppose, that he’s a nativist and western exceptionalist in ways that are unappealing. We’ve broached that before. In this passage a Douthat piece is elipsed, and I do think it’s very philosophically robust in terms of its truth or falseness.

Software is not the cause of fraudulent returns, I say with certitude. Anywho, I use HR Blocks software, do my own taxes. I filed. The sporting goods business is down. I could have shown a loss on my schedule C with a fairly unexotic home office deduction. I yanked it, I’d rather book a profit and I think its smarter inasmuch as a person needs to embrace a tax filing philosophy that overrides what entries you put on what lines. And I think ya do need that philosophy.

PolitifactMN (that’s false…): Specifically, the quote that these cabinet heads could get ten times more in private commerce. Nope. They probably equate well to operational VPs of decent sized companies. Ballpark for that might be at $300k plus a bonus. Not “10 times”. But they might be underpaid for the jobs they end up doing, but thing is you’re not picking cabinet heads from people who have prior executive experience, these are political appointments. I think state employees are underpaid, their IT people certainly seem to be compared to the commercial market.

I’m not at all surprised. And thus, I think the TPM people are bemused at a false irony. The dominant political ideology of the gun rights people is libertarian. Their ranks are not much at all cross-pollinated with people of religious fundamental persuasion. And to the extent the gun activists are, ya know, totally obsessed with penises, I don’t think I’ve been within earshot of anyone who had anything at all to say about gays.

Totally for him: Her answer on civil forfeitures was completely unacceptable. No one believes that anymore ‘cept for the prosecutorial bar and the police. She’s been an abuser of this process as an DA AG.


3 thoughts on “Jots with dots 2/6

  1. pm1956

    Let me try to take a stab at the Allahpundit piece:

    1. All speech in the US is protected–even abhorrent speech, pornography, blasphemy, etc.
    2. People are also allowed to express themselves about others speech–this is equally protected. Shouting people down is not necessarily illegal, although issuing terroristic threats certainly is.
    3. The role of the government is not to be a referee, but to ensure that the laws are obeyed.
    4. One of those laws is that you can’t go and kill or harm people because of what they say.
    5. None of that prevents the government or the President from engaging in free speech, which includes things like saying that we like Muslims in this country.
    6. There can be some limits on freedom of speech (yelling “fire” in a theater, disclosing state secrets, insider trading, libel, threats, etc.).

    All of the above is generally consistent with the excerpt quoted from Douthat.

    The problem with the piece is that none of this is inconsistent with what Obama said–speech that says that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons are boorish and insulting are correct, just as it is correct to say that the preacher (Terry Jones?) who wanted to burn Korans (also a protected action in the US) was silly and over the top and designed to incite anger. Similarly, the movie that caused the riots in Egypt (at the time of the Benghazi attack) was also insulting and provocative. In all of those instances it is appropriate for the US Government to attempt to draw a distinction between the legal actions of some of its citizens and the policies of the US–which certainly is not to insult other countries. If Obama wishes to question the judgement, wisdom and/or intention of those who engage in such provocative actions, i think that is perfectly fine. We have many Muslim countries that are our allies, and it is appropriate to remind them that the actions of some Americans are not representative of the country as a whole.

    Allahpundit writes this:
    “Does this guy, who swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, actually believe that our duty to defend a blasphemer’s right to free speech is no greater than our duty to condemn him for affronting religion?”

    which is silly. That is not the question at all. There is no conflict there. We can and should do both. Of course, there is no sanction at all involved in the condemnation–there is simply the act of noting the poor judgement/taste/manners/whatever of people who do this. Affronts to religion, while legal, can also be stupid. And there is nothing wrong with saying so (nor does saying so imply, in any way, any limit on the person in question’s right to do so, and the right of that person to be protected and free from physical threats and harm). Indeed, saying so is just as protected a free speech act as the affront in question.

  2. pm1956

    One last point, regarding taxes.

    i think you are wise to avoid the home office deduction thing. It is the type of claim that is a frequent trigger of audits. I assume that it probably doesn’t make a huge difference in your total return, and probably increases the risk of an audit (which is a huge pain in the ass, even if you are found to be clean).

    I ran a small business for a couple of years and was randomly selected for a joint MN/IRS audit as part of a program they were doing to make certain their audit procedures were consistent. No problems at all were found (whew!), but what a major time consuming pain in the ass. The only good thing to come of it was 2 years later when i closed the business, Mn wanted to do an audit–I referred them to the auditor who had done the test, and they then decided that they didn’t need to do so.


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