Thursday, November 19, 2015

Specter: Certainty of Living Forward and Surviving

We feel better and perform better when four core energy needs are met: sufficient rest, including the opportunity for intermittent renewal during the work day; feeling valued and appreciated; having the freedom to focus in an absorbed way on the highest priorities; and feeling connected to a mission or a cause greater than ourselves.
~ Secret of Taxing Lives

Bob Dylan notes in his very  own songs: “Make your money while you can, before you have to stop, / For when you pull that dead man’s hand, your gamblin’ days are up.” 

Specter spoiler ahead James Bond gets the girl in his latest movie ;-) Ruby and Malchkin going Italiano on MEdia Dragon ...  " A dread of spectres and witches affected every aspect of daily..."

Brilliant Brissie Based blogger, John Quiggin, points why Australia is rather good at making dough while it can and that New Zealand, in particular, should never be used as a model in anything to do with economic policy ; "Idiot Buys Bottle of Water for $4.50"  Sydney - The city where beer is cheaper than water 

FATCA Helps IRS Net £5 Billion In Lost Tax

Auburn council calls on controversial money making deputy mayor Salim Mehajer to consider resigning

New York Times, A Tax-Cutting Move That Pfizer Can Hardly Resist:
Give Pfizer, the giant drug maker, points for boldness and persistence: The company has bravely put “tax inversions” back in the headlines. Pfizer, which already holds roughly $140 billion overseas and is quite skillful at minimizing its taxes, is considering a deal that could move its legal tax headquarters from New York to Dublin, where it could save bundles more. This has drawn plenty of criticism, naturally. ...

Wall Street Journal, G-20 Leaders Set to Approve Overhaul of Corporate-Tax Rules:
A push to close international corporate-tax loopholes is expected to spur competition for lower rates overseas and increase pressure in Washington for a bipartisan deal to revamp the corporate-tax code.
'The rules... were developed for the industrial age' said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.
'The rules... were developed for the industrial age' said former Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

Labor frontbencher Sam Dastyari told ABC TV on Wednesday Chevron was the 'godfather' of Australian tax avoidance.

"For example, one thing I find odd is when firms are marketing goods and services here in Australia we're told that it's a 'low value add' activity. But when Australian goods and services are marketed to foreign countries through marketing hubs it is suddenly a highly valuable activity. It just doesn't add up." Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan

A quick take on today's #taxinquiry. Chevron* , Uber Airbnb, Big4 Michael West Tweet links to the Senate Corporate Tax hearings Biggest racket in town (via M West)

Uber Is Not the Future of Work – The Atlantic

Uber calls for investigation into Australian Tax Office as it defends tax affairs in Australia 

“You’re a braver man than I am,” Labor’s Sam Dastyari told Kitschke. Jordan later hit back at Kitschke’s “misleading” evidence. You are Braver man than Iam ...

New York Times, After Outcry, Ireland Adjusts Its Corporate Tax Draw:
In recent years, other European countries have accused the country of acting like an unfair low-tax haven. The European Commission, for example, is investigating whether Ireland gave Apple a preferential tax deal that broke the region’s tough state-aid rules. While lawmakers and the company have repeatedly denied wrongdoing, the country is already phasing out the most controversial loopholes. 

The federal government has been under pressure over foreign investment after a Chinese Company with links to the People's Liberation Army was allowed to lease the Port of Darwin without scrutiny by the Foreign Investment Review Board. The new divestment order, announced on Wednesday, covers a mansion in Hawthorn East in Melbourne bought by Chinese businessman Li Jian Guo in March last year. The properties will now have to be resold. Forced sale of $10m of property after ATO investigation 

Obama to Turnbull: 'Let us know next time'

Barack Obama  has chided Malcolm Turnbull for not keeping him in the loop about the Darwin port sale. Sale of Port

Australians' private tax records were left unsecured thanks to a serious flaw in how the tax office's online services connect with myGov, in the latest of a series of security flaw related to the federal government's online services:
"Do we put everybody through that experience to close off what might be a handful of ID theft issues? It's this whole issue of how do you make something easy and convenient to use, while providing the maximum degree of protection"
Taxpayer records exposed by serious ATO, myGov security flaw

The Digital Transformation Office (DTO) is tasked with making government services online more user-friendly but it is also turning its attention to "identity assurance".
'Ethical hackers' hired to test Government's online security, Digital Transformation Office chief Paul Shetler says

'University officials talk endlessly about how hard the financial times are and say that’s why they can’t fund anything but the flashy hardware for the wet and hard sciences. I’m sure that’s true, but I’m not convinced we can just say that and fold. We make choices. Great Britain started its Arts Council during the Blitz. The Nazis bombed British cities every day and while it was going on the Brits worked diligently to make music, theater, poetry and painting available to more and more people. Their notion was, if you just dig in and hide in your bunker, then the Nazis win. Screw the Nazis, the Brits said, we like music and we are going to have music. And they had music. Things happen when there’s the imagination and courage to make music happen.

“I’ve been tap dancing around the past here, but the past is only good for how it helps us see today and get ready for tomorrow. I keep thinking of the line from Kierkegaard that Jerome Groopman quoted in one of his wonderful medical stories in the New Yorker: ‘It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backward. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forward.'”

– Prof. Bruce Jackson, State University of New York at Buffalo

Roses are Red at Eaton
Prophets are always to be distrusted, often rightly, even when their prophecies prove accurate. In their own time, prophets and crackpots are indistinguishable. Both are obsessive, sometimes Ahab-like monomaniacs, and generally less than polite, well-groomed and telegenic. It’s their message that matters to them, not the niceties of delivery. In a letter to William F. Buckley dated Oct. 8, 1956 (Odyssey of a Friend: Whittaker Chambers’ Letters to William F. Buckley, Jr. 1954-1961, 1969), Chambers writes ...

Amazon Selling $40 Android Tablets That Come With Pre-Installed Malware  International Business Times

Montreal is going to start dumping untreated sewage into one of Canada’s biggest rivers Reuters

Apple Inc. Wants To Be Your Bank, And The Big Banks Should Be Worried International Business Times. I don’t buy the concern at all. Banks have been entering into co-branded arrangements for years; I did a series of projects for Amex on this business nearly 20 years ago. Apple won’t get the other skills, like risk management or credit underwriting, from this exercise.

Richard McGregor, The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers.  As Chris Blattman wrote, a very good book.  In China, never underestimate the role of The Party. 

All knowledge is built from previous knowledge. As we read, study, write, draw hypothesis, and gather perspectives, we are drawing on other people's ideas. In building on their ideas and experiences, we create our own. But, when ideas are put on paper, people want to distinguish between the building block ideas borrowed from other people and your own newly reasoned perspectives or conclusions. When a person fails to acknowledge the source of an idea, is this plagiarism or copyright infringement?

 Lessig noted: (L Lessig Free Culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity Penguin Press, New York 2004 )
"The problems that the law creates for us as a culture are produced by insane and unintended consequences of laws written centuries ago, applied to a technology that only Jefferson could have imagined. The rules may well have made sense against a background of technologies from centuries ago, but they do not make sense against the background of digital technologies."

In 1970, John Fogerty's then band, Creedence Clearwater Revival released a song called In the Jungle, penned by Fogerty himself. It sold well and achieved gold status. Many years later in 1985, Fogerty, as a solo artist released The Old Man Down the Road which went top 10 in the USA. Unfortunately for him, Fantasy, the record company which owned the rights to In the Jungle decided that the similarities to The Old Man Down the Road were too great, and sued him for sounding too much like himself. Ultimately, sense prevailed and Fogerty won the case and costs -- but not before it dragged through several courts, including the US Supreme Court, over the course of 8 years...

The internet has and continues to change the world in many ways, including modifying conventions about use and ownership particularly in the context of the media. In June 2014, for example, News Corp Australia had taken aim at a new local online competitor Daily Mail Australia, accusing the news website of plagiarism and labelling its journalists "copy snatchers and parasites". Along with new opportunities, the internet with the "be here, be now" focus has perhaps brought new pitfalls. David Shields, in his book Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, for example, alludes to time pressure on journalists which results in copying of other newspaper articles. He also highlights the thin line between legal and moral plagiarism:
When I worked at a newspaper, we were routinely dispatched to "match" a story from the Times: to do a new version of someone else's idea. But had we "matched" any of the Times's words -- even the most banal of phrases -- it could have been a firing offense. The ethics of plagiarism have turned into the narcissism of small differences: because journalism cannot own up to its heavily derivative nature, it must enforce originality on the level of the sentence.

The ability to identify instances of plagiarism is amplified due to the use of technology. Writers for newspapers that use unacknowledged facts and borrow phrases must keep in mind that the scale is an important factor, and is not a defence.