The terrorist group engulfing broad swaths of Iraq and Syria is raking in large amounts of cash through a wide network of lucrative commercial activities. The Islamic State may be raising more than $2 million a day in revenue from crude and refined oil sales, extortion, taxes and smuggling, U.S. intelligence officials and anti-terrorism finance experts told Bloomberg News this week.

The extremists’ ability to self-finance could undermine U.S. and European efforts to contain and quash the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS. By contrast, other terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, have relied heavily on money laundering and donations from foreign patrons — funding sources that can be tracked and blocked by international sanctions and banking regulations, Bloomberg said.

I am laughing my ass off at these reporters who are trying so hard to delegitimize Islamic State efforts to collect revenue just like any other government.


If you’re having trouble seeing the joke, no one calls the U.S. government a “self-financed organization”

You almost have to evade taxes, you’re expected to. Smart businesses evade taxes; responsible Americans evade taxes. It’s the responsible thing to do.

This is essentially what I heard a Republican talk show host say on the radio today. The only reason I’m not putting it into quotation marks is that I don’t remember exactly how he said it, except that “It’s the responsible thing to do” is an exact quote. I remember that crystal clear because I’ve been absolutely furious FURIOUS about it all day.

Look, I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat or Green or a member of the tea party, etc., YOU DO NOT ENCOURAGE BREAKING THE LAW. That is not, nor will it ever be, the “responsible thing to do.” You don’t agree with the tax system? Then you fricking finance and vote for a politician who campaigns on tax reform pledges, like a responsible American. THAT is “the responsible thing to do.” Don’t you dare enjoy the plentiful benefits of living and doing business in this country, then break the law and leave your fellow countrymen to carry your bill. You people who say things like “I don’t want to pay for your health care” and “I don’t want to pay for some welfare queen’s six babies” or “I don’t want to pay for anyone’s drug addiction” — Well, I don’t want to pay for fricking corporations enjoying massive profits and then refusing to pay their fair share of taxes; I happily pay my taxes on what meager living I make only to see someone who makes 400% more than I do try to sneak out of paying their fair share. You corporations that don’t want to pay to help keep your government running, you should think about not paying your CEOs millions of dollars even if they run you into the ground (J.C. Penney, I’m looking at you. Big banks that built up the housing bubble and allowed it to fester and burst, I’m looking at you. General Motors, I’m looking at you). Evading taxes is the LEAST responsible thing to do. It’s downright sleazy. Hell, the Supreme Court recognizes corporations as people when it comes to campaign financing now, thanks to Citizens United; why don’t you use your dollars to push some politicians to reform the tax system. It would cost you in the short term but, as they say: no pain, no gain.

This proud American happily pays her taxes and votes. I still happily paid my taxes when a Republican was in the White House, even though I didn’t agree with his administration’s policies; and I’ll do it again in the future because THAT is “the responsible thing to do.”

When it comes to doing taxes, we all have our own strategies. Get them done as soon as possible.  Wait until the last minute. Ask for an extension. Avoid the hassle by hiring someone to do them for you. As for filing, you can stick with the old-fashioned method, which requires a trip to the post office, or you can click submit on your computer and send them along the information superhighway. Some people use a program like TurboTax to prepare their taxes, but then print them out and mail them via snail mail.  There really isn’t a wrong way to get them done (as long as you do, in fact, get them done).

This map provides a state-by-state breakdown of how FY2013 individual income tax returns were filed. As mentioned, some prepare their taxes electronically, but file them through the mail. So the percentages who do their taxes using software are likely higher than the values shown.

Washington is currently in the lead for online tax filing at just a hair under 50%. Half that percentage files online in New York, which ranks last in the country. The diverging color scheme is centered at 36.4%, which is the percentage of all US individual income tax returns filed online.

Data source:,-by-Type-of-Return-and-State-IRS-Data-Book-Table-4

Colorado is expected to make $134M in taxes and fees from marijuana this year 

Colorado’s cash crop is turning out to be even more lucrative than officials could have hoped.

According to his latest budget proposal, Gov. John Hickenlooper expects $1 billion in marijuana sales over the next fiscal year. That means nearly $134 million in taxes and fees for the state of Colorado. Sales from recreational shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is a more than 50% increase over what was originally expected.

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The Bible is packed with tales of impure women meeting a just end under a pile of stones. Today, in certain countries, they’re known as honor killings. Will the court make an exception to murder for the deeply religious?


Most religions profess a deep affinity for peace (while drenching history in blood in the name of religion, but whatever). Why should religious pacifists be compelled to pay taxes that subsidize war? Why should Randians, believers in Atlas Shrugged, the bible for dorm-room free-market evangelists, be forced to support the evil that is government?

For the rest of the laws that could be ignored go here.