Seven Plus…

Since my order on launch day didn’t entitle me to a “first day of availability” delivery of the iPhone 7 Plus, I exercised one of my lesser developed qualities and sat patiently until it was available for walk in sales. If I can’t get my hands on it right out of the gate, having it delivered to the house weeks later and then getting hit with the additional 6% State of Maryland premium was mostly a case on injury and insult. I didn’t anticipate that was going to take three months, but at long last my patience has been rewarded with a shiny new toy from the wizards in Cupertino (picked up tax free thanks to the fine people of Delaware).

I don’t have any assessment of it yet and in any case anything I find will have already been covered to death by the tech world. Suffice to say that it is small and thiner and from an initial test the camera is probably better than any stand alone camera I ever owned. I’m looking forward to taking this little number out for a test drive… just as soon as all the apps finish downloading.

A taxing case of hypotheticals…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fan of tax-free shopping on the internet. Of course I know that theoretically I’m supposed to self-report and pay Maryland state sales taxes due on the items I purchase, but… Yeah. I’m going to invoke the 5th Amendment and not discuss the particulars of what I may or may not do.

As a Republican, I should probably be up in arms about this “new” tax, but as a Constitutionalist, it’s pretty well established (i.e. expressly written) that the Congress has every right to fiddle with interstate commerce as it sees fit. As much as I wish it otherwise, my reading of the tea leaves is that the collection of state income taxes by internet retailers is going to become a fact of life sooner rather than later. Do I like it? No, of course not. Am I going to gird myself for battle against it? No, not so much. I’ve got limited brain power and limited time to dedicate to causes and this isn’t going to become part of the long list of the windmills I enjoy tilting at from time to time.

If I were a good patriot who disagrees with state and federal tax policy, I’d hypothetically vote with my dollars – and have as many hypothetical major purchases as possible shipped for in store pickup in Delaware, where at least for the time being can hypothetically continue to avoid onerous state sales taxes and excessive commercial regulation. Of course if I were really to take by business out of state, I’d obviously file the appropriate quarterly tax forms with the Comptroller of Maryland in accordance with whatever batshit crazy laws the legislature has passed.