Fed Judge Fines UPS $18 per Cigarette ‘Illegally’ Shipped

Analysis by Kyle A. Lohmeier

People often wonder how I can hate the government so much; I always wonder why more people don’t hate it as much as I do.

For more than a year now, the purpose of this blog has been to encourage people to adopt a healthy amount of fear and loathing for the morons wielding a monopoly on violence that we call “government.” During that time, I’ve written a few pieces about government abuses so egregious that I was convinced that all who read it would immediately want to “spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats,” to quote the great H.L. Mencken’s assertion as to what every normal man must be tempted to do from time to time. Maybe such was the case back in the early 20th century when he was around; today, such inclinations are derided as madness, not normalcy.

Well, we’ll see what this one does for anarchy flag sales. Yesterday (talk about burying the lead), a federal judge ordered United Parcel Service (UPS) to pay nearly $247 million dollars in damages and penalties to two “injured” complainants. Who were said complainants? The State and city of New York. What sort of injury did UPS visit upon them? Well none, actually, but its government so that doesn’t matter.

Here’s the deal: Since 2010 many, many individuals in New York State received untaxed cigarettes to avoid the state and city’s massive, oppressive and draconian cigarette taxes. Most of these “contraband” smokes went to unlicensed retailers, wholesalers and residences, often shipped from smoke shops on Native American reservations. UPS is appealing the judge’s moronic order, and actually, the state and city weren’t as happy as they could have been either. The state and city of New York felt so victimized by UPS that they sought substantially more than the $247 million in stolen money they were awarded. They originally filed for an eye-popping $872 million.

“’The court’s monetary award is excessive and far out of the bounds of constitutional limits, particularly given that the shipments at issue generated around $1 million in revenue,’ UPS said in an emailed statement,” Reuters reported.

The state and city claim UPS shipped more than 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes since 2010.

So, let’s review. It’s somehow UPS’s responsibility to verify the trade licenses of both shippers and recipients of the parcels it ships, even though the company doesn’t know what’s inside the boxes. UPS did not do that, and in fact was paid money to ship items from people to others who hadn’t paid the appropriate bribes to state officials to be in the business they’re in. For that, the state and city figured they were owed more than three-quarters of a billion bucks, and a corrupt judge decided they should at least get about a quarter billion. For each cigarette “illegally” shipped, UPS owes governments about $18.

“’We are pleased that the award of nearly $247 million to the city and state reflects the serious nature of the offenses at issue. Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and the city and the state will continue in their efforts to protect the public health,’ said New York City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter.” Reuters reported.

Seriously? Is anyone really expected to fall for that disingenuous word salad? The smoking of cigarettes wasn’t at issue here; it was selling them in the state and city of New York without paying the appropriate bribes and taxes. It turns out that in New York City, selling cigarettes without a license can be more immediately dangerous than smoking cigarettes.

What makes this case so amazing to me isn’t so much the absurd numbers, but the fact that the beast that is government has revealed itself in its true form; Carter’s idiotic statement, his obvious, disingenuous lie was the last bit of the mask government wears slipping away.

Government is a gang, nothing more. It’s made up of greedy, useless people who couldn’t make it in the private sector. Like all gangs, its primary concern is making money from its various rackets, and taxation is the biggest such racket. If you’re just one guy daring to threaten their revenue flow, they’ll just kill you on the street with impunity. If you’re a big company, but not big enough to be among the oligarchy, they’ll just use their monopoly on violence to compel you to pay them millions of dollars in punitive damages for daring defy them; or, in the case of the UPS, for daring facilitate others in defying them.

Because, let’s face it, it’s easier and more profitable for the government to go after UPS and its big bottom line rather than the scores of individuals who received those shipments, or the shops they originated from.

And let’s remember, in reality, the Non-Aggression Principle is the only objectively moral law. Imposing a tax violates the NAP. Avoiding a tax is mere self-preservation, an instinct as old as mankind itself and one that has served us pretty well though the ages. As such, government itself is so objectively immoral that it not only demands to be allowed to aggress against us all at will, but will violently lash out and ratchet up the aggression exponentially if resisted.

So, who’s ready to hoist a flag?




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