Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cheeseburger in Paradise and Bohemian Antipodean Luncheon: Havelean and Human Ickiness

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness 
~Michel de Montaigne, born around this date in 1533  The taxman and jazz

“A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, “Want to hear an tax officer joke?” The guy next to him replies, “Well, before you tell that joke, you should know that I’m 6'2" feet tall, 110 kg, and I’m a tax officer. And the guy sitting next to me is 6’4″ tall, 120 kg, and he’s a tax officer too. Now, do you still want to tell that joke?”
The first guy says, “No, I don’t want to have to explain it two times.”

Never has so small drop of three taxing characters resonated so loudly... outside Cold River 
Extreme Orwellian corruption of discourse about where power lies and how it is exercised in Australia needs to be incisively deconstructed and strenuously resisted ...

IS THERE ANYTHING THEY CAN’T DO? How Alcohol and Caffeine Built Civilization

 “Communication is health; communication is truth; communication is happiness. To share is our duty… if we are ignorant to say so; if we love our friends to let them know it" Woolf 

"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes via St Matthew"

  What Would You Order For Your Last Meal?

Jimmy Buffett - Cheeseburger In Paradise

Death and Taxes and Cheeseburger in Paradise

Jimmy Buffett's famous song comes to life at Cheeseburger In Paradise as guests wave goodbye to the real world and escape to paradise.
 Whaddya know, actions have consequences. Blows my mind too. [Slate] 

Slavery and higher education. "I don’t know how you conduct research that shows that your very existence is rooted in a great crime and just say, ‘Well,’ shrug—and maybe at best say, ‘I’m sorry’"... Fastest Slavs Slaves

INK BOTTLE“There is a view that jazz is ‘evil’ because it comes from evil people, but actually the greatest priests on 52nd Street and on the streets of New York City were the musicians. They were doing the greatest healing work. They knew how to punch through music that would cure and make people feel good.”
Garth Hudson (quoted in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz)

        The pleasures of friendship are exquisite,
          How pleasant to go to a friend on a visit!
          I go to my friend, we walk on the grass,
          And the hours and moments like minutes pass.

The Pleasures of Friendship, Stevie Smith (1902-1971)

This sounds like clickbait but an ancient mind trick really can help you become a "memory athlete", scientists say. Inside your "memory palace", boring old names, faces, words and objects are mixed with vivid imagery (like "Claudia Schiffer swimming in a tub of cottage cheese") to make them easier to recall. Neuroscientist Boris Konrad, ranked 24th in the world for remembering things, explains how it rewires the brain: "It does not make your memory capacity bigger; you use a different form of memory that already has a large capacity."

“There is history the way Tolstoy imagined it, as a great, slow-moving weather system in which even tsars and generals are just leaves before the storm. And there is history the way Hollywood imagines it, as a single story line in which the right move by the tsar or the wrong move by the general changes everything. Most of us, deep down, are probably Hollywood people. We like to invent “what if” scenarios--what if x had never happened, what if y had happened instead?--because we like to believe that individual decisions make a difference: that, if not for x, or if only there had been y, history might have plunged forever down a completely different path. Since we are agents, we have an interest in the efficacy of agency.”

After 32,000 Years, an Ice Age Flower Blooms Again

Dental plaque DNA shows Neandertals used ‘aspirin’ PhysOrg “And Penicillium fungus!”

John R. Brooks (Georgetown), The Definitions of Income, 71 Tax L. Rev. ___ (2017):
What is income? It’s a seemingly simple question that’s surprisingly hard to answer. Income is the basis for assigning tax burdens, for distributing transfers, and for broader normative issues of inequality and justice. Yet we lack a shared conception of income, and a pure, rigorous definition of income is impossible. In this Article I review the intellectual history of the income concept among tax and fiscal theorists to show the difficulty of the problem, and also to show that some important debates about what’s proper under an income tax can be explained instead as arguments over competing income definitions that necessarily incorporate policy choices. These insights are applied to more modern questions, like the role of tax expenditure analysis and optimal income tax theory. I also perform — for the first time in the literature — a close examination and comparison of 12 different income definitions used by the federal government for different purposes. This examination illustrates that there is wide range of income concepts actively in use, but that the measure of income for tax purposes has a prominent and growing role.
“If you want to consume the cream of Christ's philosophy, then don't read the Bible, read Tolstoy.”
Abhijit Naskar


Young women 'greatest untapped potential' in Australia: OECD report

Sound waves boost older adults’ memory, deep sleep Science Daily. I guess falling asleep to a podcast is a smart move for me, then…

Of course, the novel simplifies somewhat, calling the IRS’s periodic release on the tax gap an “annual report” and referring to taxes that are “underpaid,” while the Tax Gap Map (even the one available in 2015) distinguishes among nonfiling, underreporting, and underpayment. But I suspect that this is just simplification for a lay audience. The novel’s author, Diane Kelly, is no tax novice. She is described on her website as follows: “A former tax advisor, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals. Lest she end up in an orange jumpsuit, Diane decided self-employment would be a good idea.” This site adds: “A CPA/tax attorney, Diane spent several years at an international accounting firm, where she had the pleasure of working with a partner later convicted of tax shelter fraud. She also served a stint as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas under an AG who pled guilty to criminal charges related to the tobacco company lawsuits.”

The heroine of this “romantic mystery series” is CPA Tara Holloway, who’s described as“kicking ass, taking social security numbers, and keeping the world safe for honest taxpayers.” She’s a Special Agent with the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division who is also a crack shot, though she often improvises other weapons. The back of “Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses” quotes author Gemma Halliday as stating “Tara Holloway is the IRS’s answer toStephanie Plum—smart, sassy, and so much fun.”

As the quote above from the first page of “Death, Taxes, and Cheap Sunglasses” may suggest, Diane Kelly takes a few liberties with what Tara can get away with. The acknowledgments in “Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria” include the following statement: “To the IRS special agents, thank you for sharing your fascinating world with me and for all you do on behalf of honest taxpayers. Please forgive Tara for being such a naughty agent and breaking the rules.” 
Death, Taxes, and a Beach Read