Friday, October 11, 2013

Expect to see more of this

Much, much more, as every government that has the authority to levy a tax or a fine tries to enhance their revenues.

Earlier this week the home-renting company Airbnb publicly objected to what it saw as an overreaching subpoena by the New York Attorney General. The subpoena demanded data on all 15,000 of its hosts.

Airbnb lawyers have now filed their objections in court. Airbnb's petition, filed yesterday in Supreme Court in Albany, is more ambitious than the company let on earlier. It isn't merely trying to quash the AG's request for data on its users. Rather, a good portion of the 24-page petition is dedicated to directly attacking New York's hotel tax as unconstitutionally vague.

This, boys and girls, is what is known as a "fishing expedition".  The New York Attorney General doesn't want this information for just the Airbnb clients who reside in New York, but for all of them.  So if you are an Airbnb client who has rented you house in Iowa and who in turn has rented a house in Texas, the New York Attorney General wants to know about you.

The death spiral has started, and as it gets tighter and tighter, those in power will grasp harder and harder.  Get ready for it.

Monday, October 07, 2013

More, more on the Springfield XD-S recall has an update on the Springfield XD-S recall, with some interesting information and speculation of just what is going on inside your gun.  If you've sent yours in, don't be in any hurry to get it back.

There are occasions where less is more

This essay by Dave Carter is one of them.  Nothing I can say will add to it.. Go read.  Now.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Watching the Federal Government "shutdown"

I've been watching this farcical shutdown show this week and I just can't help but shake my head in disgust and disbelief.

First, how is it that it's considered a "shutdown" when 83% of the Federal government is unaffected by it?  That's like me shutting down my front porch and saying my house is unlivable.  Stupid on the face of it.

Second, we have the Chicago politics aspect of the thing.  The deliberate closures of outdoor memorials, the ocean and scenic overlooks, at a cost that is actually higher than leaving them open, is a totally transparent slap in the face of the American public.  A public that is starting to wake up and realize (at least to some extent) just how asleep at the switch they've been for the last several decades.

The third and biggest thing that strikes me is this--revolutions sometimes start from something small and inconspicuous.  Think about Libya--one guy setting himself on fire eventually brought down a government.  That one guy, doing something that we look at as desperate and foolish, started a cascade of events that ended in the toppling of a government.

You elected idiots in DC might want to consider doing your jobs for a change.  It's a while yet before we can clean house the nice way.  You don't want it cleaned the other way, and you never know when you've just done or said the stupid thing that starts that process moving.  I don't think people are angry enough or scarred enough to start cleaning house just yet, but the weather will still be warm for several weeks, and things can go to hell in a handbasket a lot faster than you seem to think.