Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St John's Eve bonfires continued to be lit on every hill in the High Tatra Mountain ...

Most men talk too much. Much of my success has been due to keeping my mouth shut.
-J. Ogden Armour

Human creativity thrived in prehistoric life where our ancestors were crowded into small spaces, mingling and talking ... Party animals

One of two certainties Distant voices, desperate lives
The recent conference on tax reform organised by the Henry tax review and the Melbourne Institute was outstanding, with giants of the field advancing far-reaching proposals. But some crucial perspectives were missing, creating risks for the ultimate outcome.

A strong point of the conference was recognition that a revolution has occurred in the analysis of taxation in recent decades. That revolution is based on the realisation that when governments set taxes, they don't know the productive potential of individual income earners.

• Henry Ergas has produced a tax reform proposal for Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbul Taxing Inspiration; [Fight billion (and counting). This is the sum that has potentially been lost by hundreds of thousands of savers across middle-class Australia who invested in failed schemes arranged by the likes of Westpoint, Fincorp. Storm, Opes Prime, Great Southern and Timbercorp. The collapse of the country s two biggest managed investment scheme providers has shone a light on the potential risks associated with using niche investment strategies solely to reduce tax. ; THE Australian Taxation Office is looking to cut a deal with a high-flying businessman claimed to owe $35 million as part of the nation's largest tax fraud probe ]
• · Without strong upper houses, parliaments cannot rely on watchdogs alone to guard against bad government. ACROSS MODERN DEMOCRACIES, there have been increasing public complaints that executive government is too powerful and too dominant. The concern is not new, but it has become more urgent as executive government increasingly controls and manipulates not only parliament but also the other institutions of state, such as the public service, advisory bodies and, in some cases, the judiciary. In the 1970s, British Conservative politician Lord Hailsham believed such trends meant modern government had become an ‘‘elective dictatorship’’, whereby, although elected, it dominated all aspects of the political process at the expense of democratic practice Perils of government dominance ; As the prime minister said to public service leaders: 'We cannot afford a public service culture where all you do is tell the government what you think the government wants to hear' ; David Flint The ‘Utegate’ affair and the constitution
• · In an upside to the rugby s*x scandal the community has been forced to think about morality. Love, s*x, pride and morality; 'I feel more at home as editor of The Big Issue ... than I did for much of my time working in the mainstream media.' Working on big issues
• · · Fresh claims over Barclays tax - alleged tax avoidance schemes so highly orchestrated HMRC is struggling to comprehend them The alleged Barclays tax avoidance schemes entered into to make a profit involved companies with headquarters in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, and are said to be so complex HM Revenue and Customs is having difficulty deciphering them. Earlier this week, a court injunction forced the Guardian to remove internal bank documents from its website, according to Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said public disclosure of the documents is in the interest of taxpayers. This is a sad day for democracy. British taxpayers are being asked to underwrite Barclays' loans... banks use the finest legal brains money can buy to avoid tax, but HM Revenue & Customs is underpaid and overstretched, so it is far from a level playing field,' he said New whistleblower claims over £1bn Barclays tax deals ; Zipped Documents; Further detailed allegations about tax avoidance schemes set up by Barclays Bank emerged tonight from whistleblowers who said the bank made close to £1bn profit a year from a series of elaborate deals. The schemes are similar to those detailed in documents published by the Guardian this week which have been the centre of a three-day hearing at the high court, and are the subject of a gagging order. The Tax Gap series; Snapshot;
• · · · 2008 ushered in an unprecedented global downturn that originated in 2007. What started as a financial crisis soon expanded into the larger economy, affecting mature and emerging markets alike. World equity markets lost a decade of gains, and volatility reached record levels. Our 2008 findings show HNWIs began to lose trust in the markets, regulators, and, in some cases, their financial advisory firms. They also extended their allocations to safer investments—a trend that had its inception a year earlier. As a result, our research shows, cash and fixed-income instruments now make up 50% of HNWIs’ portfolios overall, and many HNWIs have retreated to familiar domestic markets Australia Endorses Ongoing Global Efforts to Combat Tax Avoidance and Evasion; UK companies are using lax visa rules to bring in cheap offshore IT staff at the expense of local contractors, an investigation by the BBC’s File on 4 programme has found. IT Trends of Global Fame
• · · · · Consumers are neck deep in information and I believe what they are after now is an experience. Some fun, some intrigue, maybe a little romance. If this thought strikes a chord with you, crack open Cristina Nehring's book A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-First Century… The Wild Side of Love ; This site aspires to be nothing less than the definitive site for human achievement, based on its belief that every person on earth has the potential to be the world's best 'something'. What your 'something' is depends on the limits of your imagination… The Universal Record Database
• · · · · · Can you compare it across countries and regions or across different fields of human activity? If yes, in what way? Can creativity be measured?; The reason for the bonfires? They're a reminder of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Slovakia has a very colourful St John aka Jan Jan Figel