Mar
22
2014
19

Cigarette smuggling business booming in NYC. Of course.

There are days when I wish that classes in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century European history were mandatory for government officials – wait, no, I always wish that. There are simply days where my desires are given explicit validation by a new report: “More than half of the cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other places to avoid the Empire State’s taxes on smokes, which have soared nearly 200 percent since 2006, according to a report issued by the conservative Tax Foundation.” And apparently that’s also true for a bunch of other places in at least the Northeast.

Now, the reason for the history: if our erstwhile public servants had ever read any (books that have ‘Peoples’ or ‘Social’ in the title don’t count) they’d know that when you create a situation where a legal good is available in one place for price X, and available in another for price X+Y, with Y being a protective / ruinously high government tariff, something inevitably happens.  And no, that inevitable thing is not smuggling.  Human beings already smuggle as naturally as we breathe. It is practically instinctive for us. No, what inevitably happens in that situation is that the population enthusiastically joins in on breaking the law. And gets remarkably close-mouthed when tax men start nosing around*. (more…)

Jan
19
2013
2

The Smugglers of Old New York.

So I hear (as did our own Dan McLaughlin, last week) that New York is the place to go for an exciting and remunerative career in the cigarette-smuggling trade:

Last week, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy released a report chronicling the rate of cigarette smuggling in the United States, revealing what retailers in New York have long known: state-to-state smuggling has become a big problem. This especially true for higher taxed states like New York, which boasts both the highest state excise taxes in the country ($4.35 per pack) and the highest rate of smuggling (with 60.9% of all New York’s cigarettes entering the state illegally).

Do you know what the real problem is, with our modern Left? It’s not their anti-science crazies*, or their general blind spot when it comes to anti-Semitism, or even the way that some of them tend to project the voices in their heads into our mouths.  No, the real problem is that most of ‘em don’t seem to recognize that history started prior to the mid-Nineties.  Because anybody could have told New York what happens when you combine high excise taxes and unsecured borders.  Take it away, Rudyard Kipling and Michael Longcor: (more…)

Jan
27
2010
--

“Actually, officer, they’re forty-four lizards…”

“…so I can’t say that I’m particularly happy to see you”:

A German man who stuffed 44 small lizards into his underwear before trying to board a flight has been sentenced to prison in New Zealand for plundering the country’s protected species.

Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, will spend 14 weeks behind bars and must pay a 5,000 New Zealand dollar ($3,540) fine before being deported to Germany as soon as he is released, District Court Judge Colin Doherty ruled onTuesday.

Kubus was caught by wildlife officials at Christchurch International Airport on South Island in December, about to board an overseas flight with 44 geckos and skinks in a hand-sewn package concealed in his underwear.

(via Drudge) I have to ask: if your current career path requires you to illegally transport wild animals in immediate proximity to your genitals… well, don’t you think that maybe you should consider finding alternative forms of employment?

Moe Lane
PS: Heh. The Other McCain went with the same joke.

Jan
14
2010
2

Arrests made in nuclear tech transfer to Iran.

Well. How reassuring.

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — Three men were accused in an alleged conspiracy to illegally export nuclear technology to Iran, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The three suspects, a Los Angeles resident and two Iranians, violated trade sanctions imposed on Iran, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

[snip]

An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Dec. 30 charges Jiraiir Avanessian, 56, a Los Angeles resident, and Farhoud Masoumian, 42, of Tehran, with multiple violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian trade embargo, including smuggling, money laundering and other crimes.

[snip]

A third man, Amirhossein Sairafi of Iran, was charged on Jan. 4 in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles for his alleged role in the scheme.

This is technically via Hot Air Headlines, but the LA Times article that it linked to somehow managed to obscure critical details.  It’s a hell of a thing when the press arm of the freaking People’s Republic of China gives you better basic information than a major American newspaper…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

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