Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for October 2017

Terrorist attack in Manhattan!

Six people killed after gunman driving Home Depot truck rips through bike lane, yells ‘Allahu Akbar!’

* * *

Eight people killed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 31, 2017 at 5:22 PM

Posted in News, Uncategorized

Did Paul Manafort really commit criminal tax fraud?

Let’s remember that big corporations like Apple hardly pay any federal income tax because of the fiction (or maybe the reality) that their profits actually belong to overseas subsidiaries, and according to the tax laws, the profits are only subject to U.S. income tax when the subsidiary pays a dividend to the parent corporation in the United States.

Paul Manafort presumably set up the same sort of structure for his international consulting business.

The primary illegality alleged in the indictments is that he had these foreign corporations spend millions of dollars on a mansion in the Hamptons, an apartment in Arlington Virginia, etc, and these were personal expenses not business expenses, and therefor were in the nature of dividends for which he didn’t pay income tax. (Also expensive cars, rugs, clothes, artwork.)

I don’t practice tax law in real life, so I have no idea if this would normally be a criminal fraud prosecution, or just a civil action by the IRS.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 31, 2017 at 5:03 PM

Posted in Politics, Taxes

Increase in MSM gloating

Initially I didn’t detect any MSM gloating about Mueller indictments. I guess they were genuinely worried over the weekend that more people than just Trump people would be indicted, but now they have convinced themselves that this is bad for Trump and not for any Democrats or anyone else, and this is the beginning of taking down the Trump administration, and the gloating has been amped up.

* * *

By the way, it’s interesting that Michael Flynn wasn’t indicted for anything. That confirms my conjecture that Flynn is just a bozo who’s not connected to anything bigger. A bozo, but not a tax cheat like Manafort. I should say an alleged tax cheat, an indictment theoretically only means that a simple majority of a grand jury believes that there is probable cause, not that anyone is guilty of anything. In practice, it means even less than that. It has been said that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if that’s what the prosecutor wanted them to do.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 31, 2017 at 8:06 AM

Posted in Politics

Star Trek: TOS, S01E07, Mudd’s Women

With Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd being a recurring guest character on Star Trek Discovery, I thought I’d watch the original TOS episode where he appears.

The Mudd of TOS (who would be ten years older than the Mudd of Discovery) was not a supervillain but just some schlub petty-criminal transporting a cargo of mail-order brides to lonely male colonists.

Yes, that’s right, mail-order brides. Or maybe subspace-radio-order brides. I guess that, in the future, they don’t have OkCupid or Tinder.

Also, in the future, we learn that women are valued only for their looks. And maybe a little for their cooking and house-cleaning skills. Making the future more like the past than the present.

In the future, they’ve somehow lost the secret of easy-to-clean Teflon pots and pans. And although the “litihium-crystal” mines must be highly automated because there are only three miners on the entire planet of Rigel 12, this automation hasn’t extended to robots that can cook and clean for you.

Too bad the miners don’t have a Holosuite. Then they could just go into the Holosuite and have sex with hot babes whenever they want to, without having to deal with them getting ugly or complaining about stuff.

One thing I’m still trying to figure out about the future is whether they have capitalism, or if it has been replaced by a communist technocracy where there’s no need for anyone to have money. In this episode, it seems pretty capitalist. One of Mudd’s past crimes is “purchase of a space vessel with counterfeit currency.” So according to this episode, there’s still currency in the future, and peoples still counterfeit it, so they can buy space vessels they otherwise couldn’t afford.

When Kirk needs lithium crystals from the miners, he tells them that he’s authorized to pay them a fair price. And Mudd tells his bevy of husband-seeking women that lithium crystal miners are rich. So in the future, men will do crappy jobs like lithium crystal mining so they can get rich, so they can afford to buy mail-order brides. I don’t know, it seems a lot easier to just stay on a more civilized planet where your basic-income entitlements include Holosuite time.

The galaxy looks very white and very male in this episode. Beside the token black woman (Uhura) and Asian man (Sulu), everyone else on the Enterprise is a white male, the miners are white, Mudd is white, the mail-order brides are white. Spock may be Vulcan, but he’s also white.

Very white, very male, and yes, very heterosexual. All of the men are bedazzled by the beauty of Mudd’s women. It’s not the Discovery where white male heterosexual humans are a minority of two (Lorca and Tyler).

Mudd’s women are taking illegal “Venus pills” to make themselves look all glamorous and babelicious. But then at the end, Kirk replaces the “Venus pill” with a placebo, and the woman still gets beautiful from taking the placebo. Kirk says “see, beauty is just about believing in yourself.” We need a Kirk to visit planet Earth today in the year 2017 and put all of those plastic surgeons out of business. “You don’t need to spend a fortune on makeup and clothes, just believe in yourself damn it.”

Two other things to note about the future:

1. You can’t fly a spaceship without a spaceship license or filing a flight plan. For those who thought space travel would bring freedom and libertarianism, think again.

2. There are mining planets all over the place. After the planet earth was strip mined, they have to go find new planets to mine to satisfy mankind’s insatiable desire for lithium crystals.

Why did Star Trek Discovery choose this particular TOS episode to memorialize? It’s definitely down there in the bottom half of TOS episodes, maybe even worse than that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2017 at 3:28 PM

Posted in Star Trek

Read the indictment

After all this talk about Russia collusion, the indictment is strictly about Manafort and Gates of getting paid huge amounts of money from Ukraine, and not paying taxes on it. Plus not registering as a foreign agent of the Ukraine (which is probably just part of his alleged scheme to cheat on taxes).

Has nothing to do with Russia or Putin or the 2016 campaign.

* * *

Note that the “conspiracy” was a conspiracy between Manafort and Gates to not pay taxes.

The “money laundering” was his own money, to hide it from the IRS. He wasn’t laundering other people’s money.

So all this adds up to is that Trump hired a tax cheat. And Trump later fired him.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2017 at 9:58 AM

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized

Who’s gloating today?

I see lots of gloating from internet commenters who hate Trump (people who genuinely believe the Trump-Russia collusion story even though it was a fake narrative created by Fusion GPS paid for by Hillary Clinton).

I’m not sure I see any gloating from the MSM.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2017 at 9:46 AM

Posted in Politics

Only Paul Manafort and Rick Gates

“Rick Gates” is a name I’ve never heard before, but if he has nothing to do with Trump, then it takes the spotlight off of the Trump campaign and onto stuff that happened before Trump ran for office that Trump had nothing to do with.

* * *

Well actually, I was wrong, Rick Gates apparently worked for/with Manafort on the Trump campaign.

Notice that the CNN article now includes the word “indictment” because it is only Trump campaign people who were indicted.

* * *

Remember that all of the stuff that Manafort has been incited for–tax fraud, money laundering, some technicalities of being a foreign lobbyist the wrong way–had nothing to do with the Trump campaign.

Trump hired him in March 2016 because he was the only guy Trump could find who was willing to work for him who was an expert at contested conventions. Trump fired him a few months later after some of Manafort’s sleazy past associations were in the news.

But there surely are lots of sleazy lobbyists, and I bet that half of Washington could be indicted if they were investigated with the same fine tooth comb used against Manafort, so therefore it’s unfair that Manafort is being punished for helping Trump become President.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2017 at 8:11 AM

Posted in Politics

Star Trek Discovery S01E07 “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”

I am not a fan of this episode.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 29, 2017 at 10:19 PM

Posted in Television

Crazy conjecture on Mueller indictments

If this turns out to be totally false, I will be very embarrassed

But the MSM is using “charges” instead of “indictments.” I get no sense of gloating that would be expected if the MSM knew that whatever was coming down from Mueller was going to hurt Trump and lead to his impeachment.

Also, in case it’s not obvious, grand jury proceedings are secret and it’s a crime to reveal information about them, so the MSM is protecting their source(s) and keeping a lot of what they know to themselves. And probably, only the top and most powerful members of the MSM are privy to the leaked information.

Trump is just a real-estate developer and part-time reality TV actor who had nothing to do with Russian collusion. He just honestly believed that it would benefit the United States to cooperate with Russia on issues like defeating ISIS.

Trump’s kids are in the same boat. The meeting with the Russian lawyer was entirely innocent with respect to Trump’s kids, but rather was a setup by Fusion GPS, a firm hired by HRC (through intermediaries so it looks like HRC didn’t know anything about it) to create the false perception, using any means necessary, that Trump was involved in nefarious collusion with Russia.

Michael Flynn is a bozo who might very well be indicted on some bullshit in order to punish him for helping Trump get elected, but he has no deeper links to any big conspiracy. Or he might not be indicted if Mueller thinks that would just be a distraction from a bigger case.

Paul Manafort, on the other hand, is deeply connected to the whole corrupt Washington network of lobbying and influence buying, and the investigation of Manafort led Mueller into that rabbit hole. The end result will be a bunch of people indicted for crimes related to such lobbying that have nothing to do with Trump (who was just a real-estate developer) and a lot to do with people tied to the Obama administration and the Clintons.

But wait, isn’t Mueller on the side of Obama and the Clintons? Well those people, especially the Clintons, no long have any power, and Mueller is more interested in becoming the most famous special prosecutor in U.S. history than he is in protecting people who are now politically irrelevant.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 29, 2017 at 11:47 AM

Posted in Politics

When did MSM stop using the word “indictment”?

Federal grand juries issue indictments. Nearly all of the MSM articles about the Mueller indictments use the word “charges” instead. As in: “first charges filed in Mueller investigation.”

I presume that someone recently wrote a memo that said something like “the average American is too stupid to know what the word ‘indictment’ means, use the word ‘charge’ instead.” (Only NBC News didn’t get the memo.)

* * *

If we want to go total conspiracy, this could indicate that Tony Podesta or some other big Democrats or people involved with the Uranium One deal got indicted, and the MSM knows that or suspects it, and is using the word “charges” because they want the Democrats to sound less guilty.

In this CNN article from September: “A grand jury in LaSalle County, Illinois, returned a 17-count indictment on Tuesday night accusing Brian Towne of official misconduct and misappropriating public funds while in office.”

But in Friday’s CNN article: “A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.”

See the difference? The language in the September article is how the MSM media has always reported grand jury indictments, but all of a sudden they stop using the word “indictment.”

* * *

Richard asks in a comment

If the average American no longer understands what the word “indictment” means, wouldn’t the liberal media keep using it if they believed some Democrats were about to get nailed?

I thought it was obvious that people confuse “indictment” with “conviction.” “Indictment” makes people sound more guilty.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 29, 2017 at 9:48 AM

Posted in News

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