Thursday, July 21, 2016


 “We spend our lives fighting to get people very slightly more stupid than ourselves to accept truths that the great men have always known.”
~ Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

The Only reason MEdia Dragon is alive and well is because in July 1980 Communists started to run out of bullets and not just food ....

A link devoted to antipodean blogger who has been ripping yards for thousand years in the internet context ... Professor John Quiggin, has been blogging for 14 years and this week he has a posted a musing paragraph about his journey as well as the cemetery reflected in his blogroll. As they say in the virtual world of Mittleurope, Every day above the ground typing is a great day for the last of the digital mohicans and natives

 “Why do we need two central newspapers, Pravda (Truth) and Izvestiya (News) if both are organs of the same Party?”
Answer: “Because in Pravda there is no news, and in Izvestiya there is no truth.”

A farm worker Gannon greets Jozef Stalin at his potato farm. 
“Comrade Stalin, we have so many potatoes that, piled one on top of the other, they would reach all the way to God,” the farmer excitedly tells his leader.
“But God does not exist,” replies Stalin.
“Exactly,” says the farmer. “Neither do the potatoes.”

Frequently, one of the best ways to get insight into a culture is through its humor. What sort of things people joke about with each other can display a lot about what really concerns them or what their daily frustrations are. One great example is the sort of jokes that emerged from Soviet-era Communism. Whatever its intentions were, communism in the USSR created an economy noted for long lines, massive shortages, and a complete inability to obtain consumer goods outside of the black market.  A Look at Some of the Best Jokes About Communism 

In his first news conference as British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson stood beside Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday and said he would not apologize for his past insults of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“I’m afraid that there is such a rich thesaurus now of things that I have said that are being one way or another, through what alchemy I do not know, somehow misconstrued that it would really take me too long to engage in a full, global itinerary of apology to all concerned,” Mr. Johnson said.
“And I think most people who read these things in their proper context can see exactly what was intended,” he continued. “And indeed, I find that virtually everybody I’ve met so far in this job understands that very well, particularly on the international scene.”

They used to call it the MEdia Dragon effect. Any dress or outfit worn by the Baron and Grof of The High Tatra for a photo shoot or to an event would often sell out within hours, sometimes even minutes. Now we have the Melania aka Melanija effect. Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, wore a dress by Serbian-born designer Roksanda Ilincic to address the Republican Convention in support of her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday US time. The dress, which cost $US2190 ($2914) on online retailer, sold out in some sizes within hours of Mrs Trump's appearance. On Tuesday night, it was showing sold out or "low stock" in all sizes.

Educated Melania 

*Melanija Knavs and Maths 

Native Amerikan Landscape by Krista Imrich

I’m trying to lose myself, bury myself in music
and my band which keeps changing names,
DJ Crazy Mother Fucker, Leonard &
The Soul Suckers, Nice Knowing You, Elvis,
My Aunt Chrissie, Soldiers In God’s Army,
Leonard Gontarek & The Forensic Astronomers. ...

"Punished for Being Poor: The Virginia scheme that suspends the driver's license of anyone who can't pay trivial fines." Dahlia Lithwick has this jurisprudence essay online at Slate

*John Quiggin: Losing our AAA credit rating is not a harbinger of doom …

Will lethal police robots, such as the mobile bomb used in Dallas, be confined to situations where the lives of police or others are in imminent peril? And how much will wind up depending on the judgment of law enforcement on the scene? [Matthew Feeney, Cato andMatthew FeeneyEugene Volokh]

Fraud: The Fake Factory That Pumped Out Real Money Bloomberg. Accounting control fraud in biofuels.

 The theft of $2.2 million from dozens of ATMs in Taiwan, executed using malicious software, defies a years-long effort by banks and software vendors to strengthen the security controls of ATM fleets.’ 

"Lying to Get You Drunk Isn't the Same as Fraud": Law professor Noah Feldmanhas this essay online today at Bloomberg View

"Courts Blur Line Between Violent Speech and Crime": Law professor Noah Feldman has this essay online at Bloomberg View
With European finance ministers meeting Friday, officials are fretting that one hold-out could unravel a landmark package of tax reforms. The naysayer is the maverick Czech finance minister, Andrej Babiš.

Welcome to the strange world of modern-day fame, when it helps to be a nobody if you want to be a somebody! In some ways, we are returning to the rules of the medieval world, when major works of art and technology were created by anonymous innovators. But there’s a difference nowadays: Today’s mystery artists cultivate their aura of secrecy. They prefer obscurity over the perks of celebrity status Banksy daft punk Elena Ferrantethe new cult of the anonymous artist

The 1% are recovering from 2008 recession while 99% are still waiting Guardian

 The New Ruling Class Hedgehog Review

UK Trials Blockchain-Based Social Welfare Payments

DISPATCHES FROM THE LATEST RECOVERY SUMMER. Fortune: The Death of the Middle Class Is Worse Than You Think. “From Brexit to Donald Trump, if there’s anything that current events tell us, it’s that the man on the street is angry and wants change.”
In November of 2008, Fortune’s sister publication Time magazine predicted that Obama would be the next FDR. Apparently, the publication’s editors thought it was a compliment – instead ofa grave warning of what was to come.

Lew Taishoff, WITHOUT PREJUDICE = EXTREME PREJUDICE. “Remember, dismissing a Tax Court petition otherwise than for want of jurisdiction or for mootness means IRS wins. So dismissal without prejudice means dismissal with extreme prejudice.”

Big victory for Baird mergers as Woollahra Council loses court challenge

Thompson, James H. and McCoy, Timothy L., An Analysis of Ethics Articles Published between 2000-2015 in the Journal of Accountancy and the Accounting Review (June 30, 2016). Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2016. Available for download at SSRN:
“This paper considers the impact that financial scandals, the end of self-regulation in the audit industry, and the emergence of the Great Recession had on the subject matter, specifically on ethics, of articles that were published in The Accounting Review (an academic journal) and the Journal of Accountancy (a practitioner journal) from 2000-2015. This time frame was selected since many of the financial accounting scandals that led to passage of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) occurred during this period. In addition, the bursting of the housing bubble that led to the Great Recession and the subsequent economic recovery occurred during this period.

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
~ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

News from the Profession. Accountant Who Stole From Chicago Cubs, Cancer Patient Well On His Way to Making Enemies Out of Just About Everyone (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”

~ Raymond Chandler

Improper Payments: CFO Act Agencies Need to Improve Efforts to Address Compliance Issues, GAO-16-554: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2016.
“For fiscal year 2014, 15 of the 24 Chief Financial Officers Act (CFO Act) agency inspectors general (IG) determined that their agencies did not comply with criteria in the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA).
New Zealanders raise millions to buy beach and donate it to the public Boing Boing However, in Australia all beaches are public, IIRC to 150 feet from the water line.
The vanished grandeur of accounting (Boston Globe, via Don Boudreaux):
IN WASHINGTON’S NATIONAL GALLERY OF ARThangs a portrait by Jan Gossaert. Painted around 1530, at the very moment when the Dutch were becoming the undisputed masters of European trade, it shows the merchant Jan Snouck Jacobsz at work at his desk. The painter’s remarkable gift for detail is evident in Jacobsz’s dignified expression, his fine ermine clothes and expensive rings. Rendered just as carefully are his quill pen, account ledger, and receipts.
This is, in short, a portrait of not only wealth and material success, but of accounting.

Vanished? Why wasn’t I told?

"Whenever she turned her steep focus to me, I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of the sun."
-White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Melania Trump First Slovenian Lady?

Chutzpah - Swiss Banker Moans that Switzerland Is Not Protecting Swiss Banks From Their Raids for Foreign Governments

Dark side to NSW politics: Eddie Obeid and son Moses charged over $30 million coal deal

Madness of modern media plays out amid tragedy in Nice

Like many forms of encryption in use today, HTTPS protections are on the brink of a collapse that could bring down the world as we know it. Hanging in the balance are most encrypted communications sent over the last several decades. 

In his youth, Voltaire, spendthrift and gambler, met writers who were "penniless and held in contempt.” He would avoid that fate. So he gamed the lottery... Lottery of Life

Atkinson, Alan The Europeans in Australia: Volume 3 – Nation UNSW Press (2014)
Bungey, Darleen John Olsen: An Artist’s Life ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins (2014)
Garner, Helen This House of Grief Text Publishing (2014)
Niall, Brenda Mannix Text Publishing (2015), see my review
Sayer, Mandy The Poet’s Wife Allen and Unwin (2014)
Starke, Ruth and Hannaford, Robert My Gallipoli Working Title Press (2015)
Ward, Biff In My Mother’s Hands Allen and Unwin (2014)