Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Information and Muzika are the Currency of Democracy: Bias Incident Team

A writer … is always being asked by people who should know better: “Whom do you write for?” The question is, of course, a silly one, but I can give it a silly answer. Occasionally I come across a book which I feel has been written especially for me and for me only. Like a jealous lover, I don’t want anybody else to hear of it. To have a million such readers, unaware of each other’s existence, to be read with passion and never talked about, is the daydream, surely, of every author.
~W.H. Auden (February 21, 1907–September 29, 1973)

Which celebrities are loved equally by Republicans and Democrats?

On his Facebook page, he wrote: "Note to self: when fetching a glass of water late at night, don't walk down the stairs in your socks with the lights out."
NSW premier Mike Baird fractures vertebrae falling downstairs...

A week ago Surly Groupies posted  some of the history and context of the Beatle’s “Taxman.” It got me thinking about something I’ve been wondering about for a while: what songs are out there that talk about tax?[fn1]   Sam Brunson on tax canon music edition 

They tried to bury Gawkers and Media Dragons under Zobor Mountain. They did not know we were seeds ... 
~  Taxing Song Dedicated to Our Czechslokak Socialist Army Fuzy Days at Nitra 1977-79 Noro Cervenak - … an absurd living testament to the incredibly improbable trip that we’re on

Songs and Stories of Indigenous Incarceration

This tree in Greece is Europe’s oldest known living tree almost as old as MEdia Dragon Christian Science Monitor

Via SmarterData Gartner – “Public sector organizations could harness digital disruption in times of change to bring about a revolution in citizen services, said Gartner, Inc. These efforts are often hindered by top-down hierarchies, cultural legacies and the lack of a compelling vision. There are, however, successful examples that can be replicated. “Public sector organizations often have cultural and organizational mechanisms to buffer them from rapid swings in the political or economic landscape,” said Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner. “While this provides stability, it also makes large-scale organizational change a difficult prospect.” Frequently, public sector CIOs who champion change are challenged by a risk-averse culture and a resource allocation that is restricted to discrete outputs rather than holistic outcomes. They also face short election and budget cycles that are out of phase with organizational needs. Public sector leaders — including CIOs — must create a culture that is less averse to change, unified in vision and direction, and that can manage change more effectively over longer time frames. “None of these challenges are insurmountable,” said Ms. Olding. “Based on our conversations with public sector CIOs who have seen success in their digital transformation, Gartner has identified three key recommendations

“We are drowning in law.” New reform project from Philip K. Howard’s Common Good [Take-Charge.org]

The Deregularization of Land Titles” is a new paper by Sebastian Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky [New York Magazine]

Where’s My Jurisdiction? Congressional Efforts to Strip Federal Courts of Jurisdiction 

Czech (sic) out - AIPIO Conference 22-24 August 2016 AD Brisbane

AIPIO Annual Conference at BisVegas
Wikiverse is an independent initiative and not affiliated with Wikipedia. or the Wikimedia foundation.” Wikipedia Is A Giant Unfathomable Universe—Now You Can Explore It Like One

In Many Courtrooms, Bad Interpreters Can Mean Justice Denied Pew Research

Via Urban Institute – Dropping Out, Clocking In, and Falling Behind: What Happens to Youth Who Work and Drop Out? by Sierra Latham, Molly M. Scott, Heather Koball. August 18, 2016.
“Graduating from high school is vital to young people’s life chances. Much of the current policy conversation around helping youth stay the course focuses on disconnected youth who are not in school or employed, but there is another group: youth who drop out and work. This brief uses data from the American Community Survey on 16- to 18-year-old youth to describe trends in early employment. The analyses show that young workers contribute substantially to their households, raising important questions about the economic role of youth and future approaches to dropout prevention.”

 Science And Poetry Both Depend On Metaphors | Big Think 

E. O. Wilson is quoted as saying that "scientists should think like poets and work like accountants." He should take his own advice. If he thought more like a poet, he'd understand religion better.

When rulers despise the ruled. It’s like The Hunger Games: the Capital City, and its hangers-on, flourish, while the provinces starve

New poll puts Labour ahead of Tories for first time since Jeremy Corbyn became leader

The “Sharing” Economy is based on a Fissured Workplace progressive-economy

For “writing” read “Google” and you have much of the burden of current worries about how use of the internet may be degrading our minds. Writing itself is just as much an external prosthetic technology (“characters which are no part of themselves,” as the Egyptian king complains) as the internet is. Writing is also a tool of extended cognition. The difference is that we have had thousands of years to get used to it. The truth about the question of whether our reliance on modern electronic prostheses is better or worse for us is that it’s simply too early to tell  The Internet Is Changing The Ways We Think (But Then, So Did Writing)

Why the Swiss case against whistleblower Elmer may hurt the bankers

Firms giving advice on aggressive tax avoidance could face large fines
Government to target accountants and advisers who help clients avoid paying tax in latest crackdown  
HMRC Consultation document - Strengthening Tax Avoidance Sanctions and Deterrents: A discussion document 

Proposal to fine tax avoidance enablers lacks teeth, campaigners  

Canada: KPMG allegedly involved in offshore tax "sham" 

CEO Tim Cook Decides Apple Doesn't Have to Pay Corporate Tax Rate Because It's "Unfair"

 What Apple CEO Tim Cook Really Thinks About Corporate Taxes  

Dating site scam victim convicted of money laundering  

French drug firm eyes Dublin amid drive to cut tax  

Apple, GE And Others Calling For Corporate Tax Reform Compromise

These "Tax Haven" Companies Have the Most Profits Stashed Overseas

Panama Papers expose Africa tax evasion

How America Grew — and Grew Unequal American Prospect (resilc)

Sherlock Holmes

You wield knowledge like an art form. You get legitimately excited over motion practice. There is no precedent too obscure to have escaped your notice. But your secret weapon is preparation. You know the answer before the client even asks the question Take This Fun Quiz To Find Out Which Famous Detective You Are (No matter which famous detective represents your investigation style, MEdiaDragons can help you discover what you don’t know ..)

Justice Sotomayor explains what it takes to be a good judge [News Minor]

"I think one of the great sins of cable news is that we tend to make everything two-sided. We ask questions like 'some say,' or 'critics will say,' except that the answer is it's just not true. And if it's not true, let's call it not true." — Dan Abrams on CNN’s “Reliable Sources”   

IRS Weapons 

CRS report via FAS – The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS): “The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is comprised of nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group’s operations under intense scrutiny byMembers of Congress and the public.

EPA’s Own Advisory Board Demands Revision of Deeply Flawed Fracking Report Common Dreams

Rio 2016: DoS attack made on Swimming Australia website after Mack Horton's drug remarks

But of course, in a world of socialism — that is, where a government attempts to create perfect fairness and justice by means of coercive distribution — arbitrage poses a mortal threat.  Do you understand why?  If not, there are some good examples coming out of Venezuela, not to mention the ongoing saga of “affordable housing” here in New York.
At the Washington Post’s Wonkblog on Monday, a guy named Matt O’Brien reports on the ongoing disaster in Venezuela.  The title of the article is “Venezuela’s death spiral is getting worse.”   I will give serious credit to Mr. O’Brien for actually doing some investigation of what is causing Venezuela’s problems.  (Contrast that to the likes of idiots from such outlets as the New York Times, CNN and Time Magazine, cited in my posts from May here and here, who purport to give reasons for Venezuela’s economic disaster without ever mentioning socialism, price controls, nationalizations, or anything else of significance.)
Venezuela of course has made a run at creating perfect justice and fairness by the device of price controls.  Included among items with controlled prices are most consumer staples, as well as the currency itself.  As a result, the consumer staples with controlled prices have completely disappeared from stores.  As to the currency, you can’t buy anything with a bolivar, so you need to get dollars; but you can’t get dollars at the controlled price unless you are somehow connected.  On the other hand, if you are importing, say, butter, and you have the right connections, you can get the dollars.  Yet somehow butter still does not appear in the stores.  The government blames “hoarders” — but is someone really hoarding tons of butter somewhere?
As Glenn noted on Saturday in regards to Venezuela, “Leftism impoverishes and kills, again and again. But politicians like it because it offers them control, and opportunities for graft. Voters like it because, well, it’s a con game designed to take advantage of greed and envy. Remember, under free markets the rich become powerful. But under socialism, the powerful become rich. Entirely unrelated: Candidate Who Said There Were Too Many Kinds Of Deodorant Buys His Third House.
And finally, an exit question: Why Couldn’t What Happened In Venezuela Happen Here?


A coalition of 46 business groups from the United States, Europe and Asia has appealed to China to change proposed cybersecurity rules they warn will harm trade and isolate the country. Business Groups Appeal to China Over Cybersecurity Law

Via I'm pointed to Isaac Stone Fish's article in Foreign Policy, arguing: 'Why apocalyptic fiction and film haven't caught on in the Middle Kingdom', The End of Days Is Coming -- Just Not to China.
       An interesting overview and explanation. 

3.5 million people using their Personal Tax Account
HMRC Digital blog - Personal Tax Account now has over 3.5 million active users with satisfaction scores currently running at around the mid-70s mark
myTax lodgers sets lodgement record

We have been telling you that foreign agents will continue to be a big and growing issue (NYT, #Ukraine, #Russia, #Manafort)

Democrats Trying to Assess Scope of Leak of Personal Information WSJ. Pelosi stays on message asserting a Russian connection– sans providing any evidence
The digital workplace is about a fundamentally different way of working. Influence, networks, and dynamic decisions become much more important than power, hierarchies, static decisions, processes, and rules that made sense in a slow-moving, traditional environment
Digital Natives at Work

What sorcery is this? A £140 ticket for new Harry Potter play now costs £8,327 The Guardian 

Corporate bookmakers face tougher time in Northern Territory - Report that corporate bookmakers could be hit with an increased wagering tax in the Northern Territory to boost government revenues annually by $100m 

Why the R&D Tax Incentive is an investment, not a cost - Story on the R&D Tax Incentive, the marquee program for supporting research and development in Australia, that innovation is absolutely key to fostering global competitiveness, driving productivity improvements and creating jobs 

The ABA joins the PC speech police: It's time to fight back

Art and digital replicas 

Communication and Yammer 

David Cay Johnston, Clinton vs. Trump: What Happens to Your Income Taxes?: Let’s look at a few of the more curious aspects of the Clinton and Trump plans for individual income tax now that both candidates have put out reasonably comprehensive proposals they promise to take to Congress next year. The bottom line: Clinton and Trump both offer conventional, predictable and minimally significant changes, not reform. .. 

NSW shapes up as the big winner in GST carve-up - Story that the biggest immediate winner in Malcolm Turnbull's GST shake-up would be NSW rather than Western Australia because it is the only state that could fall below a proposed minimum share of 75% in GST receipts over the next four years  

The number of information technology (IT) workers now stands at 4.6 million, compared with just 450,000 in 1970 according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. 

Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research. 

Male economists stand out once again (pdf) 

Sexual harassment within Australian Federal Police 'almost twice national average' 

Cyprus offers Thai investors EU citizenship