As cigarette taxes rise year after year, buttlegging is still a problem according to a recent Breitbart report:
‘Smuggled cigarettes have become the new currency of organized crime, and a lot of these criminal organizations are finding that it’s more profitable than illegal narcotics,’ Rich Marianos, the retired Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, recently noted.
Marianos said that black market tobacco smuggling has become “a high-profit, low-risk criminal enterprise. Compared to drug offenses where there’s a mandatory minimum sentence, there’s no penalties out there for the cigarette trafficker.”
We’ve been saying this for years. This was more than a decade ago:
. . .keep in mind that all those smuggling dollars floating around are completely unregulated and may even end up in the hands of terrorists. One Michigan cigarette smuggling operation was suspected of having funneled millions to the Hezbolah terrorist group.
The Post also notes that since they are dealing a legal product, police and judges go pretty easy on them. A person busted for dealing cigarettes usually faces a summons or a small fine. With big pay days on the line, dealers engaged in turf wars have little remorse for their violent actions. Said one dealer, “Think about crack, man, how raw that got back in the 1980s. This ain’t that bad yet, but there’s easy, almost make-believe money to be made hawking smokes, so it don’t matter what the police do . . . you’re going to have crews setting up franchises, cutting up the city, and deading the competition.”
And back in 2005, we noted that…
Over-regulation leads to under-regulation. When prohibition of alcohol took affect, your average Joe didn’t think twice about civil disobedience. Speak-easies popped up and alcohol was available for anyone with the money to buy it. The price went up, the quality went down, and any of the laws that controlled product quality or safety were moot. As neo-temperance takes hold people will gradually start to ignore anti-smoking laws. That is, when cigarettes are outlawed only outlaws will have cigarettes. When that happens, the government will be powerless to control what goes into cigarettes. They could become more harmful, even deadly depending on how cheaply they’re produced. Laws governing the nicotine, tar, and carcinogens produced from tobacco will be worthless. And what about the children? There will be no way to limit access to cigarettes. All those age-limits that anti-smokers pushed through a few years back will be negated once cigarettes are sold in mass quantities on the streets. By over-regulating the product, they’ll actually increase it’s overall availability. The only thing between a child and a cigarette will be the conscience of the dealer.
Obama plans to act “unilaterally” on guns, reports The Blaze. Responding to the latest school shooting, White House spokesman Josh Earnest notes that Obama is frustrated that Congress won’t advance his anti-gun agenda for him, so he’s got no choice but to issue exective orders.
“There’s no doubt there has been an alarming frequency of tragic incidents of gun violence that are concerning to Democrats and Republicans in Washington but more importantly to people all across the country,” Earnest said. “The question is what can we do to make certain something like this never ever happens again? There are going to be other tragedies. The question I think really facing lawmakers right now is what common sense steps can Democrats and Republicans take to reduce the likelihood of gun violence.”
Well they could start by making guns in school illegal. Maybe make murder illegal too. Or at least murder in schools should be illegal. After all if simply making things illegal elminates them, that’s a good place to start.
Fifty-three tons of plastic that Washington D.C. claimed was to be recycled was shipped to Virginia landfills and incinerators.
Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla. says that Communism works, especially for those with good government jobs!
“Let me give you an example, the kind of money we’ve poured in,” he said. “So the most dangerous – sorry, the safest city in America is El Paso, Texas. It happens to be across the border from the most dangerous city in the Americas, which is Juarez. Right?”
“And two of the safest cities in America, two of them are on the border with Mexico,” Garcia continued. “And of course, the reason is we’ve proved that Communism works. If you give everybody a good government job, there’s no crime.”
And just how well does Communism work for those of us who are stuck footing the bill for all those good government jobs?
In the quest to find something (anything) that global warming doesn’t cause, we can now cross avalanches off the list. Apparently snow, ice, and glaciers are melting at such an alarming rate that Mount Everest will soon become a tropical oasis in the Himalayas.
Scientists have claimed that climbing Mount Everest is becoming less predictable and possibly more dangerous, as climate change brings warmer temperatures that may eat through the ice and snow on the highest peak in the world.
Then again, maybe it won’t.
While it is impossible to link any single event to long-term changes in the global climate, scientists say the future will likely hold more such dangers in high-altitude regions, Fox News reported.
So before long, climbing Mount Everest will no longer be the safe and leisurly activity that it is today.
What with all the will-she/won’t-she speculation of the Hildabeast 2016 campaign, the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is once again making news.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results — Albert Einstein.
Gun violence in Chicago has the Police Superintendent calling for (surprise) more gun control. Chicago, the city that brings us bulletproof Subway stores, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country along with the highest murder rate. Knowing their politics, this would be pretty much a non-story. But then there’s this:
“There was a legal gun that became an illegal gun,” he said, saying state law should be changed to require guns to be kept more securely.
“In this case, the simple fact that the law states that you can store a firearm in a vehicle is absolutely insane,” [Chicago Police Supt. Garry] McCarthy said. “Those guns need to be in lock boxes, in safes, in people’s residences or on their person.”
On their person implies open or concealed carry. This is a relatively new concept in Chicago (and Illinois in general) which just last year was dragged kicking and screaming into Free America.
In Virginia where carrying guns is both legal and common place, leaving your gun in your car is typically a law abiding citizen’s only option when encountering a gun-free zone.
So the L.A. Clippers owner was banned for life from the NBA for some private recordings that were leaked. As a Redskins fan, I can only hope that somewhere out there are some recordings of Dan Snyder.
What’s an alarmist to do when statistics don’t show a correlation between Global Warming and the strength of tornadoes? Just go invent a new statistic that does!
See, meteorologists use the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which looks at damage to buildings and vegetation to rank a storm from EF0 to EF5. But that’s subjective, and it doesn’t work well in areas with few structures or trees. And you can’t look inside the categories to see if one EF5 storm is stronger than another.
Damn that Fujita!
A tornado-power equation that actually gauges a twister’s kinetic energy would be more useful to scientists who are also examining the effects of climate change, so that’s what Elsner built. He looked at the length and width of a storm’s damage path, correlated that to the amount of damage, and then used the result to estimate wind 1.0 speed. A little more crunching and bam!—integrated kinetic energy of a storm.
So the Fujita scale measures ground damage, but that’s subjective. But if you use this new fangle system that measure damage on the ground and that’s evidence that global warming causes everything.
Guns save lives, and here’s a prime example. A driver in Detroit accidentally struck a young boy, and was attacked by an angry mob when he stopped to tend to the lad. One woman saved his life, and she used her lawfully carried handgun to do it.
As many as 10 – 12 people are believed to have participated in the beating while dozens of others stood by and watched – saying nothing, doing nothing.
Deborah Hughes lives across the street. The retired nurse may have saved the life of that driver, Steve Utash. She broke up the angry mob that was beating him.
I’ve been saying for years that guns are a great equalizer. A 6′ 2″ – 300-lb thug doesn’t stand much of a chance against even the smallest victim if they are ready, willing, and able to use a gun for their personal protection.