Monday, November 14, 2016

Blogging Among Ghosts and Moons

As John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, “The dispute recalls John Lennon’s words: You may say I’m bats**t crazy, but I’m not the only one.” Heh, indeed Earthquake and supermoons

Earthquake: there's no evidence the moon causes quakes Trust MEdia Dragon there is none ;-)
Best image of tonight's moon was taken by Lou M it is on my phone and I am not sharing as his copyrights are priceless - Trade Mark of Colombia
Story image for moon from SBS The largest moon in 70 years

Here’s how to take a look at EVERY SINGLE Google search you have ever made ThaiTech

You have to tell your own story simultaneously as you hear and respond to the stories of others,” the poet Elizabeth Alexander wrote in contemplating power, possibility, and language as a tool of transformation

Look for these 6 red flags before sharing social media

‘If I can do it, anyone can’: The 25-year-old Tasmanian blogger who’s been travelling non-stop for four years

Here’s (some of) the best political journalism of 2016

Journalists too easily charmed by power, access, and creamy risotto Columbia Journalism Review (We used to watch the journos during the Pariliamentary Press Parties circa 1982 to 2004 )

The Art of Spin Jacobin

Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen

Nowhere is this interplay of darkness and light more nuanced, nor more prescient, than in Cohen’s song “Democracy.”

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Western world was ablaze with the euphoria of a blind faith that democracy was coming to the East. I was there — that’s not what happened. Cohen, too, saw things differently. Ever the enchanter of nuance, he foresaw the complexity and darkness that this reach for light would unravel, and he captured it in this iconic and astonishingly timely song. It begins:

It’s coming through a hole in the air
From those nights in Tiananmen Square
It’s coming from the feel
That this ain’t exactly real
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there
From the wars against disorder
From the sirens night and day
From the fires of the homeless
From the ashes of the gay
Democracy is coming to the USA
It’s coming through a crack in the wall
Facebook's strange new feature

EXCLUSIVE. THE world's biggest social media website is again using Australia as a testbed for new features, and is rolling out a bulletin board-style, real-time messaging feature to Australian users

Facebook bug tells people they are dead

A GLITCH on Facebook has changed profiles of several users, including that of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, to memorial pages, according to multiple news outlets

Super mooooon...

Great thinkers console themselves with the thought that there is always the Revolution. As the saying goes, the Revolution cometh. And if you don’t agree you have an orgasmic deficiency, because don’t you see the pun in the word: come?

We do better to recall Shakespeare’s  words:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
Every six years or so, the question of the ethics of ghostwritten legal blogs rears itshead around the blogosphere. And while most bonafide bloggers stubbornly maintain that ghostwriting is either plainly unethical, not to mention unwisefor other reasons, a full sixty percent of lawyers surveyed by the ABA Journal did not perceive any problem with outsourcing blogging to others since lawyers have long relied on marketing experts for advertising copy  Ghostwritten legal blogs once and-for all

Judging a Book By its Cover, Brian Kenji Iwana, Seiichi Uchida. [v1] Fri, 28 Oct 2016. arXiv:1610.09204
“Book covers communicate information to potential reader... Computer 

Bless this boy, born with the strong facet
of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don’t be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.
“Ray at 14” by Dorianne Laux from Smoke. © Dorianne Laux, 2000,  (buy now)

Czech out, a new repository for government open source code now featuring nearly 50 open sources ...

Latest Battle In Russia’s Culture Wars: Theatre Director Vs. Biker Gang

In a speech decrying growing censorship, Konstantin Raikin, director and lead actor of the Satirikon Theatre, said, “I see how people are itching to change things and send us back to the past. And not just to the time of stagnation, but further back – to Stalin’s times.” Putin’s spokesman gave a “no, but” denial – and then the Night Wolves got involved.

No, this isn’t what “double entry bookkeeping” means. A government attorney reminds us of an inherent danger in business tax cheating. In remarks to a meeting of the California Tax Bar reported by Tax Analysts ($link), Tax Division Senior Litigation Counsel Mark Daly told of a technique to sniff out people who systematically underreport business income:
Daly said his favorite cases come from the IRS Criminal Investigation division’s business opportunity program, in which undercover agents pose as prospective buyers of a taxpayer’s business. He explained that when the agents request information on what they’re buying, the taxpayer will frequently show them a second set of books. The beauty is that the agents are wearing a wire and the taxpayer has basically written the search warrant, Daly added. 
Taxpayers will show the agents the tax returns but then say “that’s not really the gross receipts,” and it’s all on tape, Conte said, adding, “Within a few weeks of that meeting to buy the business, a search warrant will be executed [and] all the books and records will be seized.”
We have seen cases where this has happened (see here and here), and it is apparently a standard part of the IRS toolkit.
The risk of jail time and financial ruin aside, there is another inherent problem with this taxpayer tactic: it can’t help your credibility with a prospective buyer. “I lie to the IRS, but you can trust me” seems to be a less than persuasive pitch.