Monday, March 11, 2019

Brexit without Travell

Sydney stations where commuters fall through gaps, get stuck in lifts - The Age

NSW voters divided over which party has the best economic credentials - Sydney Morning Herald

Bill Shorten given Winx-like odds to win election as Coalition fortunes collapse

A third of British billionaires have already moved to a tax haven

Taxpayers face bill of up to $1b to fund MPs' retirements - The Age

TROLL LEVEL: GRANDMASTER. Putin Thanks Women For Taking Care Of The Home And Staying Beautiful On International Women’s Day.

Physicists are decoding math-y secrets of knitting to make bespoke materials Ars Technica

Meet the men who got paid while Nant Whisky investors lost millions

Sixof the best: Martin Hoffman’s frank guide to public service improvement

Dump the jargon, tell the brutal truth and get over change fatigue. Martin Hoffman’s vision of a high performing public service is frank, gutsy and very human.

Jussie Smollett is facing up to 48 YEARS behind bars after being hit with 16 charges over claims that he staged a homophobic and racist attack to help him get a pay rise Daily Mail: re Silc: “manafort will do far less time usa usa.”

To be more specific, the average tax refund has increased to $3,143 from $3,103 last February, according to cumulative statistics comparing the 2018 and 2019 filing seasons.
Oddly enough, certain newsrooms have responded to this development with total silence. I say “odd,” because it was just a few weeks ago that these same newsrooms rushed to report that tax refunds were smaller this year, suggesting either implicitly or explicitly that the decrease was tied to the Republican Party’s tax reform bill.
“Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink,” read a headline published on Feb. 10 by the Washington Post. The story reported, “Many Americans may confuse their meager refunds as a sign that they paid more in taxes as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Generally, that is not true.” On Feb. 14, the Post ran a story titled, “IRS says average tax refund is down nearly 9 percent so far this year.”
That story included a line that reads, “Many early filers are still upset about getting a smaller refund or unexpectedly owing money, even if they did pay lower taxes overall as a result of the Republican tax bill that passed in December 2017.”
As of March 2, the Post has published nothing showing the average refund is now greater than it was at this point in 2018.
I DON’T: The 21st Century Belongs to China? Don’t Buy It.

As I write in Bully of Asia, China is becoming more totalitarian almost by the day. To give just one example, everyone’s social media is monitored all the time, and used as the basis for a “social credit score” that goes down if you criticize the regime, and goes up if you flatter it.
This score is then used by Beijing to determine whether you will be allowed to travel outside the country, obtain a low-interest rate loan, or even buy an in-country plane ticket. If your social credit score falls low enough, you will be sent to a re-education camp even if you have not committed a crime.
Runciman, our British cousin, argues that China’s lack of “individual dignity” is more than compensated for by a surfeit of “national dignity.” In this he is parroting the current party leadership which, in effect, proposes just such a trade-off to the people it oppresses.
Here is, in essence, what the Chinese Communist Party tells the masses: You may be under constant state surveillance, unable to speak freely, and prevented from forming political associations. But remember that to be Chinese is to be part of the greatest phenomenon in human history, and China’s growing economic and military greatness is your greatness.
The national narcissism that such xenophobic and nationalistic appeals are intended to stoke, however, are a poor substitute for the universally recognized human rights that the Chinese people are being systematically deprived of.

It’s also no way to drive innovation, without which nations and cultures go sterile and stagnate.