The Flipping Witch Tax: Part 2


Back in January, I seriously hoped I had heard the last of the flipping witch tax but alas, it is not so.

My unsleeping internet “eye” picked up a gaggle of idiots chortling about the witch tax and I managed to track it down to this AP report filed by an anonymous reporter and released just two hours ago. Since then it’s spread to a variety of other sites and I’m sure it’ll wend its way to the vaunted New York Times in a week or so.

After searching through the English-language sites, I realized that this Bratara Buzea had called the AP directly. Other articles in Romanian largely quote or refer back to the earlier witch tax articles, all of which began with Bratara as well. Clearly she somehow got the phone number of an AP reporter and has been blowing outrage about this subject since at least April 2010.

Parsing out the details, it looks like the cash-strapped Romanian government (currently in hock to western bankers for a ton of money) decided to incorporate “witches” as ordinary jobs under the tax code. As I mentioned last time, witches have been taxed for a long time as self-employed persons in the United States and it’s really no big deal.

Not that this stopped the supercilious smug laughter from ignorant bastards worldwide, especially when it’s just so fun to smear Romania as superstitious and backwards when it’s the thousands of foreigners coming here who are obsessed with vampires and Dracula, not Romanians.

But the new “angle” to the story here is that there’s now a bill to impose criminal punishments and/or fines to witches who don’t predict the future correctly. A better article on this is here but it omits the names of the idiots in the Romanian congress who wrote this legislation.

Clearly even a simpleton could figure out that it’s impossible to establish what constitutes a “correct” palm reading versus an “incorrect” one but that never stopped the PD-L party from writing this mockery of a legislation. From everything I can see, it looks like this is Constantin “The Genius from Dolj” Dascalu’s baby, although he has quite a few idiots co-signing this bill with him:

deputati PD-L: Boghicevici Claudia, Boiangiu Victor, Cionca-Arghir Iustin-Marinel, Dascălu Constantin, Giurgiu Mircia, Göndör Marius-Sorin, Hogea Gheorghe, Holdiş Ioan, Leşe Doru Braşoan, Militaru Constantin Severus, Niţu Adrian Henorel, Oajdea Daniel Vasile, Olar Corneliu, Popoviciu Alin Augustin Florin, Riviş-Tipei Lucian, Seremi Ştefan, Trăşculescu Alin Silviu
deputati PSD: Barna Maria Eugenia
deputati PNL: Ţaga Claudiu
deputati Minoritati: Buciuta Ştefan
deputati Indep.: Cherecheş Cătălin

That’s your tax dollars hard at work, folks!

I managed to track down the actual legislation itself, which you can find here (PDF file). I won’t write out the whole thing here but I had to type out the following just so you can see what these morons actually signed their names to:

Art. 2 – In intelesul prezentei legi, aceste practici [witchcraft] nu sunt integrate in sistemul principal al serviciilor oferite populatiei si au la baza doar teoriile, credintele si experientele empirice ale asa-ziselor clarvazatoare, in prezicerea viitorului, tamaduire de boli si alte afectiuni sufletesi.

I had to stop and catch my breath laughing at that one because it’d be easy to rewrite this to say the exact same thing about Orthodox priests.

But the jewel is here:

Sectiunea a 2-a
Definitii

Art. 4 In sensul prezentei legi, termenii si expresiile de ma jos au urmatoarele semnificatii:

a) ghicitor – persoana care se indeletniceste cu prezicerea viitorului;
b) practicile oculte – activitati de ghicit si vrajitorie, prin invocarea unor realitati spirituale demonice, ezoterice;
c) vrajitoria – ritualuri magice prin care se invoca realitati spirituale demonice, cu scopul de a inlatura anumite boli, de a reface sau destrama legaturi dintre oameni;
d) farmecele – legaturi de vrajitorie.

Holy moley guacamole! Seriously that is just so shameless and shortsighted, to actually pen those words and try to make some kind of legal definition for palm reading and “witchcraft”. If this bill passes (and who knows if it will, after all this is Romania) then summoning demons and using magic is now invested with the full weight of law. Sheesh.

But I’ve saved the best for last:

Art. 6
Practicianul din domeniul ocult va fi obligat sa adere la organizatie profesionala specifica; organizatia profesionala respectiva isi da avizul in privinta autorizarii pentru practica in domeniul respectiv.

Long story short – you need to join the witches’ union and make sure you’re a fully licensed witch following only legal witchery practices if you want to make a living as a witch ;)

Oh mercy. Well if you’re Romanian and any of the above genius politicians are your current Senator or Representative, you know who to vote for during the next election!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Lavinia says:

    you do realize that even if this dill passes, who is going to control the witches? how do you prove that X is a which ? :D …. And how do you prove that her spell worked? :D

    Like

  2. Florin says:

    I bet they will film Paranormal Activity 3 in Romania. It would make for a “demonic” location!

    However, I don’t think they will pass this. After all, event a thief needs a certain amount of intelligence to be able to steal without getting caught, so they will see this for the mockery that it really is.

    There are also the following avenues of taxation:
    – beggars (as far as i know, it is a misdemeanor. Still…)
    – prostitution (it is an “infractiune” en- felony?; however, this might actually work)
    – maneliști (“au valoare”)
    – pickpockets (again an “infractiune”)

    If they pass this, one might argue that the church should fall under the same law. Or another has to be passed to tax priests, as you said. They dabble in the same kind of mumbo jumbo.

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    1. Sam R. says:

      Well if you follow all of those links, you can see that the original bill (on taxing witches) also included taxing prostitution as well, in effect legalizing it. The key thing here is that NONE of these bills have become law. Just perusing the Camera Deputatilor website, I see there are tons of junk bills, such as making Dolj “un oras martor” and all kinds of other crap. The American Congress does the same exact thing.

      The inanity of Romanian politicians is one issue. Foreigners mocking Romania out of a sense of snide superiority is the other. With the “witch tax”, both of these issues have come into play.

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      1. Andy H says:

        I really don’t think these stories represent mockery of Romania. Media outlets around the world are always on the lookout for weird and/or funny stories to pad out the news. These stories are just that. If you think Romania’s image to the outside world is just witches and vampires, just be grateful you don’t live in Austria, a country whose reputation is now about psychopath paedophiles who sexually enslave children in their basements.

        Here’s a quiz: Given that Romania is either entirely ignored globally or has a reputation based on news stories and reportage, which of these reputations would you rather it had:
        1. A place where the CIA was able to host torture chambers
        2. A country with some places which are desperately poor, villages without running water or electricity, and people living in abject squalor and misery
        3. A country which horrifically mistreated vast numbers of orphans
        4. A country which has slightly amusing witches and is (mythically) famous for vampires
        5. A country which people are fleeing in vast numbers too work elsewhere, due to the incredibly low wages and government led attacks on the public sector

        As you will note, the reputation has moved from 3 to 4. I mean it would be great if the world at large saw Romania as a country of outstanding natural beauty with clever hospitable people. But no country ever gets that kind of reputation. It could as you can see above, be much worse.

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      2. Dragos says:

        Speaking of Austria, Fritzl’s “15 minutes” of celebrity are due to expire by now and Austria’s temporarily bruised and battered reputation will recover soon, being again associated with Vienna, Salzburg, the Alps, good beer, skiing, Mozart (and Mozartkugeln:), Johann Strauss etc. In contrast, Romanians seem to be extremely embarrassed and disheartened by the lack of enduring (after all, Nastase’s and Nadia’s fame won’t last forever), widespread, well-established positive popular stereotypes / narratives about their country in the mainstream Western media and public perception, that might somehow absorb the shock of disturbing / outrageous news, current affairs and images related to Romania – something that, ironically, other places which normally do not have a very good press and don’t make positive headlines in the daily press seem to enjoy to various degrees. Just a few very close at hand examples: India “means” overpopulation, extreme poverty, squalor and urban chaos, but also spicy food, Taj Mahal, yoga, ancient lore, Kama Sutra, Ravi Shankar, emerging economy,etc.; Russia – world bully for several decades, Communism, authoritarianism, corruption, but also vodka, Tolstoy, Dostoyevski, Tchaikovski, ballet etc.; Latin America – druglords, political upheaval, various “revolutionary armadas”, favellas, but also salsa, samba, tango, mariachi bands, flamboyant festivals, ancient lore and monuments, the Maya calendar:) etc., even the Arab world continues to deliver its oriental charms and flavors and belly-dancing, along with Al-Qaida and suicide bombers, to the Western collective psyche. Romania wasn’t even lucky enough to fly under the radar, to remain relatively obscure and neutral in terms of external perception.

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      3. Sam R. says:

        Would you prefer a shit sandwich sir or just plain shit on a plate? :P Yeah of course you’re right, a few goofy stories about witchcraft are better than some other choices (esp #1 but lately Egypt is getting the focus for that).

        I think in this case I’m far more dismayed that the politicians in Romania aren’t just CORRUPT – which I could understand and partially forgive – but actually incredibly stupid. Basescu, for all of his faults, is at least a very canny individual. The ones behind this “regulate witchcraft” bill are just morons, sadly.

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