Monday, November 21, 2016

The Small Steps That Have a Big Impact

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was again asked about the refugee issue on Friday as he toured the Tasmanian winery of Josef Chromy who fled his war-torn Czech village in 1950 as a penniless 19-year-old to emigrate to Australia. "Josef's story, like so many other migrant stories, have made us what we are. We're inspired by Josef and we're inspired by thousands of other Australians with the same migrant tale, the same tale of fleeing persecution and creating us, our nation," he said Second Chances

Citibank is the first Australian bank to stop taking cash Business Insider - From November 9

"The commission, in short, is paid to speak truth to power, creating an inevitable tension with the government of the day on some issues," she told the conference  Taking on government not good for career: Gillian Triggs

A surprising number of IRS employees are sending unencrypted emails containing personal taxpayer information to private accounts, putting that information at risk of being stolen, the agency’s inspector general said Thursday.
Auditors found hundreds of unencrypted emails sent that risked leaking taxpayers’ personal information, after running through a random sample of 80 employees’ emails from the IRS’s small business/self employed division for four weeks in 2015. Extrapolated over a year, that could mean more than 1.1 million emails, covering more than 28 million taxpayers’ information, could have been sent by the division.
“These unencrypted e-mails violated IRM requirements and potentially compromised the security of taxpayer information,” Inspector General J. Russell George said.

Tim Wallace, New York Times: “For many Americans, it feels as if the 2016 election split the country in two. To visualize this, we took the election results and created two new imaginary nations by slicing the country along the sharp divide between Republican and Democratic Americas.”

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as anoutspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule inconcentration camps
Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation: 
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Keith Fogg, Pursuing Non-Filers (Procedurally Taxing). “The unflattering report exposes some of the dysfunction of the IRS and how that dysfunction, in this case, benefits high income non-filers.”

Aggressive Tax Planning & the Ethical Tax Lawyer, by Heather M. Field (UC-Hastings)

SEC approves vast surveillance system for stock market FT

The economists are leveraging their academic prestige with secret reports justifying corporate concentration. Their predictions are often wrong and consumers pay the price.

Lew Taishoff, “TELL THE JUDGE I’M BUSY”. “Dear readers, I do not recommend trying that answer in the courtroom, or anywhere else.”

Jack Townsend, Swiss Federal Court Limits For Now Swiss Bank Disclosure of Enablers Under DOJ Swiss Bank Program

Asian Leaders Attempt to Decode Trump on the Future of Pivot Bloomberg

Statcheck: a data-fakery algorithm that flagged 50,000 articles Boing Boing 

Chicago Sun-Times, Vrdolyak indicted on income tax evasion, impeding IRS. A long-time political figure in Chicago. He served time for charges relating to a “high-profile financial scam” a few years ago. If you can’t trust a Chicago Machine politician to obey the tax laws, what have we come to as a society?

“…33 Thomas Street is different: An investigation by The Intercept indicates that the skyscraper is more than a mere nerve center for long-distance phone calls. It also appears to be one of the most important National Security Agency surveillance sites on U.S. soil — a covert monitoring hub that is used to tap into phone calls, faxes, and internet data…Inside 33 Thomas Street there is a major international “gateway switch,” according to a former AT&T engineer, which routes phone calls between the United States and countries across the world

2016 Global Terrorism Index - LONDON, November 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/
  • 10% fall in global deaths from terrorism in 2015 overshadowed by a rise in the overall impact of terrorism as more countries register record terrorist levels
  • Military success against ISIL and Boko Haram resulted in fewer deaths in Iraq and Nigeria, however the two groups spread terror to neighbouring states and regions