Friday, October 20, 2006

[NOTE: Once again, blogspot.com was down until past my normal posting time of 12 noon, Eastern. This is just to let you know that Yr Editor was, as always, working for you.]

It turns out that Wesley Snipes is now in Namibia working on a movie, rather than being seriously on the lam from the federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday in Tampa charging him and two others with tax-fraud conspiracy (and Snipes personally with failure to file for 6 years). Snipes is the gov’t’s highest-profile "Section 861" schmuck yet, and the word on the street is that IRS might finally, at last, be getting tough with these guys who are certain that the Code is interpretable as requiring only that foreign income is taxable (thus conveniently ignoring several other sections making it clear that all income from any source is taxable unless specifically excluded). Usually, even dumb people who are high-profile have an array of advisers who seriously want nothing bad to happen to their meal tick–, er, clients. Snipes apparently lacks these advisers, so when smooth-talking tax lingo-ists told him he could save $11.3M in taxes, he got all moist. He’s facing 16 yrs and should surely see prison time when this is all over. Whether they’ll send Tommy Lee Jones and Joe Pantoliano to Namibia to bring his ass back is another question. [In case you run into any of these hucksters, here is IRS’s handy, comprehensive guide to frivolous tax arguments.]

Philadelphia street-corner newsstand operator Muhammad Shaukat (a native of India) said he’d defy city license inspectors who, responding to complaints, want him not to display Penthouse and competitors so much in-the-faces of passersby. "Everybody sells those magazines," he said. He also posted a sign warning what would happen if the inspectors came by again: "I gone a [f] his mother, sister, wife or her . . . who complain my newsstand. Come front of me." On Wednesday, the City Council promptly banned newsstands on Shaukat’s corner.

And yet another poor job of journalism, in which Yr Editor is left without a clear explanation: All the Agence France-Presse story says is that the only clothing shop in a small New Zealand town stopped selling women’s underwear but that an Anglican minister in a nearby town plans to start making deliveries. End of story.

Below The Fold
An Australian inmate lost 30 lbs. on a laxative diet, for the sole purpose of getting small enough to squeeze through an escape hole . . . . . And in Melbourne, an airline baggage handler was revealed to have an extensive collection of, er, women’s hair, in 87 plastic bags (80 labeled, by supplier) . . . . . Trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., voted (36-1) a campuswide ban on speaking in tongues . . . . . A Korean-American showed up at her naturalization ceremony in Brooklyn on Wednesday with a gun in her possession, but then she proved just how American she had become by trying to sell authorities on the excuse that, well, someone must’ve dropped it in her purse . . . . . Mirza Tahir Hussain, a dual-Brit-Pakistani citizen, had his execution in Islamabad postponed until December 31; he was convicted of murder in 1989, had the verdict overturned in court, but then was sentenced to die, anyway, under Islamic law . . . . . A NYC pedestrian was killed by a drunk driver wearing nothing but a seat belt.