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Friday, November 03, 2006

Kent Hovind Guilty of Unintelligent Tax Evasion

Boy do I have conflicting emotions right now. A jury just found Kent Hovind, a.k.a. Dr. Dino, guilty of 44 counts of tax evasion.

He faces up to 288 years in prison, while his wife faces up to 225 years.

I think Kent Hovind is a moonbat. He is disingenuous, spectacularly stupid, and an all around butt head. However, I don't think he should go to jail for not passively accepting the monetary theft perpetrated by the state.

Kent Hovind is deserving of ridicule. Kent Hovind is deserving of ostracization. Kent Hovind may even be deserving of a banana cream pie to the face. But he is not deserving of prison time merely for not paying taxes.

In fact, I think he should be commended for standing up to the government and not paying taxes. Too bad nobody else will see it that way. Kent Hovind got taken down, which is good, but for wrong and immoral reasons, which is bad. Unfortunately, Kent's defense was extremely weak. His attorneys presented no evidence, and called no witnesses. He attempted to use a religious excuse, something to the effect of,"We are doing God's work and therefore shouldn't have to pay taxes." Looks like the jury didn't but that one.

I may just have to start wearing a "Free Kent!" t-shirt.

Only an entity as evil as the government can make me stand in solidarity with a particularly revolting creationist.

On a side note, not too long ago I was kicked out of jury duty for my political and social views. If I was somehow seated in the jury for this case, I most definitely would have voted not guilty for Hovind. How odd.

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14 Comments:

At 11/03/2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I'm strangely conflicted as well. On the one hand, I agree that taxation is immoral, although on the other hand I find Hovind's rationalization for this to be ridiculous. Although Hovind would share our views about the IRS as it relates to him, he also feels that he deserves special dispensation and that you and I should be obliged to pay taxes.

But on the other hand, I really doubt that Hovind was stupid enough to think that what he was doing was a good idea. I may think that running a stoplight is no big deal, but at the same time I recognize that if I'm caught, I'm going to be confronted by a man with a gun. What kind of idiot would tempt a man with a gun, even if that man was immoral in principle?

And on the other, other hand, I suspect that Hovind will spin this conviction (and jailtime, I assume) as persecution for teaching creationism. Not that I think it will help him in the long run, but the kooks out there really don't need any more paranoia added to their unstable fundamentalism.

 
At 11/03/2006 1:46 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I think its more fun to have Kent Hovind on the loose than in the slammer.

Its not like hes killing people or stealing property. Hes just a liar and a moron. Hes not really a "danger" to society, but more of an amusing yet frustrating annoyance.

 
At 11/03/2006 2:21 PM, Blogger olly declaimed...

I'm right there with both you and Zach on this one. Hovind was a moron, an idiot, and any other number of unflattering things. But he went to jail for the law that is tied for number one in my books for government immorality: Taxes (tied with Drug Enforcment).

Such is life though. I think that Hugo Chavez is a wank too, but couldn't help but smile when I heard he had called Bush 'the Devil' repeatedly in the U.N. General Assembly.

Sometimes, even idiots have shining moments I guess.

-olly

 
At 11/03/2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Let's face it, they probably were after him for his bullshit amusement park or whatever. Tax evasion is how they nail people they can't pin any real crime on.

 
At 11/03/2006 2:40 PM, Blogger The Knight Who Says Nee declaimed...

It is a shame that in this country you can get 288 years of prison time for tax evasion and yet rapists, kidnappers and murderers get off with a few years.

I hope reason prevails during the sentencing. Even morons deserve justice.

 
At 11/03/2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Hovind is not a criminal. Not paying income taxes is actually not a crime in the US.

And being a deluded creationist is not a crime either.

I cant believe Im actually SIDING with Kent!

 
At 11/03/2006 4:30 PM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

Are you guys serious? Whether you agree with taxation or not, are you really going to claim that it isn't a law to pay taxes? Or are you saying you would've voted a man "not guilty" although he broke the law [albeit one you disagree with], rendering yourself incapable of objective judgment?

The day that you just follow your "moral intuitions" or hatred for government [or whatever] in determining the objective facts of reality (that reporting and paying income taxes is the law) is the day you become like those you detest. I thought you guys were rationalists?

 
At 11/03/2006 6:02 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Daniel Morgan,

Are you guys serious? Whether you agree with taxation or not, are you really going to claim that it isn't a law to pay taxes?

I can only speak for myself, but since I am an anarchist, I have a hard time understanding the alleged validity of "laws" to which I never consented nor agreed to (and neither did Hovind).

Or are you saying you would've voted a man "not guilty" although he broke the law [albeit one you disagree with], rendering yourself incapable of objective judgment?

I would be incapable of holding Hovind accountable for payments to an entity which he never consented to pay.

How does one objectively judge theft to be valid?

The day that you just follow your "moral intuitions" or hatred for government [or whatever] in determining the objective facts of reality (that reporting and paying income taxes is the law) is the day you become like those you detest. I thought you guys were rationalists?

Just because an organized gang in expensive suits declares that it has written "laws" that require individuals to give it money, doesnt create a true objective obligation on the part of the individual being pursued by said gang.

Daniel, can you objectively judge that an individual has an obligation to give his property to an entity when he never consented to do so?

 
At 11/03/2006 7:43 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Daniel, you seem slightly confused. The people who express these positions are anarchists. That is to say, we don't recognize the jurisdiction of the state in such matters. To us, the state's decisions are NEVER facts of a matter. It's a question of basic morality and decency.

 
At 11/03/2006 11:50 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

And during my jury duty interview, the defense attorney asked if I could impartially judge the evidence and facts in relation to the law even thogh I "clearly am morally opposed to the law," and I said that I could (I did believe that I could), but they kicked me out anyway.

But in this case, I dont think that I could judge that Hovind was guilty of tax evasion. Hovind never consented to being taxed, and he does operate a ministry, which is supposed to be tax exempt anyway (even if it technically wasnt).

I genuinely feel bad for Hovind, even though I despise his ideology and argumentation methods. He does not deserve to be persecuted for this, and he definitely doesnt deserve prison time.

I bet that Kent would be surprised to find a bunch of atheists picking his side in this case ;)

 
At 11/04/2006 6:11 AM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

Aaron and Francois,

I know that you guys are anarchists. I suppose my point was more, "even if you don't agree with objective reality, you can't deny it exists."

Our nation is a nation of law. You could absolve your citizenship, and deny yourself the services that it provides (transportation roadways, police, firefighters, national defense, social security, healthcare for the poor...etc, etc). Perhaps then, you would not have a moral or legal obligation to pay taxes. I am not sure.

But as it stands today, the government doesn't "just steal" without your consent -- they trade you one thing for another. In exchange for taxes, you get all of the above (and a lot more, of course).

You guys are too smart not to know the difference between, "I don't agree with law X," and "Law X doesn't apply to me and Hovind." That is my major contention.

If you can't objectively determine that law X was broken, whether or not you think it should exist in the first place, then that's one thing. It's another thing to say that you have a moral impediment to finding law X justified, and admitting that your subjective moral intuitions are what prevent you from being able to render justice via objective judgment.

I never "asked" for a state, no. It is an authority. Its laws apply to me so long as I live within it. Hobbes wrote a lot about the social contract, and I see states much in this cynical way -- a way to ensure that people peacefully cooperate more often than that they violently compete; a way to protect large groups; etc.

We can get bogged down in the morality of the state's existence. I don't want to do that. My point is just that you must objectively admit that it does exist, and that there are therefore laws that apply.

If you do not wish this to be reality, you cannot wish it away, but you can take objective measures to get out from under its authority -- renouncing your citizenship, forgoing the use of the state's services, etc. That is quite different from saying that the tax laws don't exist.

I know we disagree politically, and that's fine. But you guys are too rational to not admit that the state does exist, and the state does have authority over its citizens, and laws, and that you were born a citizen and can takes steps to undo only that last part.

 
At 11/04/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger Joe Otten declaimed...

Daniel,

It is simpler even than that. Go live in one of the third world hellholes that has no effective government or tax collection infrastructure. But then I think having no effective government is part of what makes them hellholes.

But, while I would personally wish to convict tax dodgers, I agree with the anarchists on one point. Every jury has a right to acquit a defendent if they don't agree with the law. They will never be told of this right, of course. But the jury is the final authority on guilt or innocence, they are not answerable to anybody else, not the judge, nobody.

 
At 11/04/2006 1:49 PM, Blogger olly declaimed...

You guys are too smart not to know the difference between, "I don't agree with law X," and "Law X doesn't apply to me and Hovind." That is my major contention.

Daniel, you still are missing the point. None of us are arguing that the law doesn't APPLY to Hovind. Unfortunatly, this country has a government that is fucked up and immoral (as all governments are). Unfortunatly, they've unjustly applied all of their laws to people that live within the arbitrary borders they defend. Unfortunatly they tax all those same folk, and unfortunatly they jail folks who don't pay their taxes. We are well aware of the scope of the law, and that Hovind broke it, but that doesn't mean we have to support it as just, does it?

As anarchists, we aren't saying the law 'doesn't apply to us', we are saying the law shouldn't apply to anyone.

We're not naive, we realize we live in a country that has laws. But should we stop lamenting those laws because we are subject to them? You are basically arguing that any law created is a just law, and no one has the right to question it!

That's all we're doing here, is lamenting that unjust laws (and in our case, we see all laws from a government unjust) must exist in the first place.

As for telling us to move to another country, or dissolve our citizenship, that's a cop out. Again, instead of actually standing up to injustice, should we simply run away from it?

-olly

 
At 11/05/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Daniel,

I know that you guys are anarchists. I suppose my point was more, "even if you don't agree with objective reality, you can't deny it exists."

Agreed.

But as it stands today, the government doesn't "just steal" without your consent -- they trade you one thing for another. In exchange for taxes, you get all of the above (and a lot more, of course).

These services were not requested by me, and I do not have a choice but to pay for and accept these services. Furthermore, I cannot choose an alternative agency to obtain similar services, as the government does not allow competition.

It is akin to a mafia forcing a shop to pay for "protection."

You guys are too smart not to know the difference between, "I don't agree with law X," and "Law X doesn't apply to me and Hovind." That is my major contention.

Again, agreed.

If you can't objectively determine that law X was broken, whether or not you think it should exist in the first place, then that's one thing. It's another thing to say that you have a moral impediment to finding law X justified, and admitting that your subjective moral intuitions are what prevent you from being able to render justice via objective judgment.

But justice is not necessarily convicting Hovind for tax evasion, even if he broke a "rule" that the government forced onto him.

Could you objectively convict a shop in court for failing to pay for "protection" that is forced down its throat by a crime syndicate?

I know we disagree politically, and that's fine. But you guys are too rational to not admit that the state does exist, and the state does have authority over its citizens, and laws, and that you were born a citizen and can takes steps to undo only that last part.

The state does exist, yes. However, the state does not have "authority" over its citizens just because it says it does. Authority is an objective, not subjective, thing. Just because I claim that you, Daniel, owe me money, doesnt make it so, does it?

I see where you are coming from Daniel, and I respect your desire to rationally figure this out and challenge our claims that we could not convict Hovind in a US court of law, but I believe that our anarchistic positions on this matter are still valid.

 

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