Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Some people are like popcorn

"Some people are like popcorn: they will only succeed when under heat or pressure."

Charbel Tadros

His dear friend has died.

His own being has grown less.

When next will we talk?

The trees cast shadows 

On the old school’s brick walls

Time present. Time past.

PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1939: German police barge into the house of anti-lockdown activist Dr Andreas Noack, arrest him during YouTube livestream: Watch video.

Or perhaps 1979: there are plenty of leftists — and obviously not just in Germany — who view The Lives of Others as a how-to guide for efficient government

Bad Treasurer Great Architect Perrottet

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington), Restoring Democracy Through Tax Policy:

Restoring DemocracyIn this white paper, commissioned by the Great Democracy Institute, I offer a broad menu of tax tools to help restore our democracy. By undoing current levels of inequality, our tax code can help fulfill the promise of equal political voice and equal opportunity for all. To do this, progressives must be willing to move beyond loophole closers to assert a new, affirmative vision for tax policy. This report offers such a vision — one that puts workers before holders of capital, revives the regulatory potential of tax policy, and treats taxpaying as a civic act.

Together, these tax proposals help revive a democracy under attack.

Hidden world of bacteria and fungi discovered on Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings LiveScience

Joseph Bankman (Stanford) presents Mr. Smith Gets an Education: Why it is so Hard to get Easy Tax Filing virtually at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Lily Batchelder and Daniel Shaviro:

Imagine that one day, you get a note in the mail from Visa saying that starting next month, Visa will no longer be sending itemized bills (or indeed, any bills at all) to its cardholders. Instead, it will be the responsibility of every Visa cardholder to keep a record of all purchases, and refunds charged or credited to their account during the month, along with late payments and late fees, interest accruing on unpaid balances, and then tote it all up at the end of the month to figure out how much they owe Visa. If cardholders inadvertently omit some charges and pay Visa too little, you’re informed, Visa will assess interest and penalties on the underpayment.

Why on earth would Visa do such a thing?, you wonder. After all, Visa already has all that information in its computers, which can automatically calculate from that information the net amount you owe. Why should individual cardholders duplicate that effort, at considerable annoyance and expense to themselves, and with the dead certainty of errors?

Why, indeed. And yet, that is exactly what the government asks taxpayers to do each year, in computing their tax liability and filing their returns.

How it works: Truly innovative businesses create value by unlocking economic potential where it was previously entirely untapped. Suburban restaurants never used to deliver meals, while vacationers wanting to stay in such areas had almost no good choices at all.

1 big thing: Small-town home runs Felix Salmon, Axios

‘The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family’: GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate Giants

Taxpayer money subsidizes the looting of the Walton family. Why should one family reap billions while its workers can barely survive?

 The Age reporters Nick McKenzie and Sumeyya Illanbey, joined by Nine colleague Joel Tozer, were recognised for their work on The Faceless Man series, a branch-stacking scandal within the Australian Labor Party that brought down three Victorian ministers.

Science reporter Liam Mannix was awarded for his feature on the two gene tweaks that turned COVID-19 into a killer, while associate editor Tony Wright was recognised for his series of insightful commentary and critiques.

The SMH’s and Age's 'excellent reporting' recognised in 2020 Walkley awards

  State capacity: Italian Police Use Lamborghini To Transport Donor Kidney 300 Miles In Two Hours

Lifehacker: “In the time it takes you to watch the video above, you will probably receive 3-5 spam calls. Or at least it feels like that. Robocalls are hard to block because they 1) always come from a different number and 2) often come from your own area code, to make you think it’s someone you know. While you can’t block all the spam numbers, and scammers are always figuring out new ways to get through the phone lines, there are still some things you can do to do limit the number of robocalls you receive. In iOS 13 or later, you can stop unknown numbers from ringing at all by selecting “silence unknown callers.” The call will go straight to your missed call, but will at least buy you some peace of mind. On many Android phones, you can open up your default caller ID and spam options and enable “filter spam calls,” “see caller and spam ID” and “verified numbers.”..

Government-Funded Scientists Laid the Groundwork for Billion-Dollar Vaccines

Muxh of the initial funding for COVID-19 vaccines originally arose from federally-funded research. Socialize costs, privatize profits

Waste Watch: Carbon Emissions to Increase in the UK from Waste Disposal; Yet Another Reason We Need To Cease Making So Much Plastic

Absent immediate and drastic action to limit plastics use, global emissions will increase as incineration is used for waste disposal.

China now has the nuclear strength to hit back at a first strike, former PLA colonel says SCMP

Winners & Losers From The New Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Jing Daily

We are being asked to believe that a cosy coterie of retired public servants and academics are going to drive change and make things all wonderfully transparent for us. Where do I get my tickets for that show?