“The strength and stability of democracy has become a subject of intense debate in the United States and around the world. But how do Americans feel about their own democracy? As part of a year-long effort to study “Facts, Trust and Democracy” Pew Research Center has conducted a major survey of public views of the U.S. political system and American democracy. The survey finds that while Americans are in broad agreement on important ideals relating to democracy in the U.S., they think the nation is falling short in realizing many of these ideals. Here are some of the survey’s other major findings..”
OK Facebook posts $10m loss on ATO bill; Google Aussie sales top $3bn
'Mates culture' must end now in banks, ATO and defence contracting
Reliance on Counsel "Defense" and Jury Instructions
I just read an interesting article -- Stephen A. Saltzburg, Evidence Supporting Advice of Counsel Defense (ABA Criminal Justice Spring 2018) [no link available]. Saltzburg. here, is a prominent law professor and expert on rules of evidence in criminal trials; he makes his publications available on his publications page here, but this article does not appear yet.
Michael Little, British/US Lawyer, Convicted for Offshore Account Enabler and Personal Income Tax Charges
In Larson v. United States, ___ F.3d ___, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10418 (2d Cir. 2018), here, the Second Circuit held that, in order to pursue the refund suit for the § 6707 penalty, Larson, a convicted tax shelter promoter, had to prepay the $67,661,349 penalty assessed. Needless to say, the tax shelter was of the BullShit genre. I had written on this litigation at the trial level. SD NY District Court Rejects Partial Payment § 6707 Penalty Refund Suit (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 1/2/17; 1/9/17), here.
Veils of secrecy: enhancing tax and ownership transparency in development projects
AFP revives investigation system replacement
The United States Holocaust Museum – Americans and the Holocaust [this presentation includes text, video/audio and photographs] – “Holocaust history raises important questions about what Europeans could have done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and its assault on Europe’s Jews.
BuzzFeed: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ordered a review of the US Attorneys’ Manual, which features high-level policy statements as well as practical guidance to prosecutors on how to do their jobs.
New report: The Global Battle for Corporate TransparencyOn 25 May 2018, the European Council will meet in Brussels and will likely consider new rules on corporate transparency, the introduction of public country by country reporting. The meeting will take place 40 years to the day since the OECD sabotaged attempts to introduce similar transparency measures via the United Nations.
The long and arduous road towards country by country reporting is the subject of a new report published today by Markus Meinzer and Christoph Trautvetter with the Tax Justice Network. To download the full report, click here.
The report details how greater corporate transparency, and specifically rules to compel multinational companies to break down their consolidated accounts to a company specific, or regional, basis have been blocked by the business lobby for a period of over forty years. This is despite widespread support for the measure from the public and many governments.
One of the most promising initiatives came from the UN Commission on Transnational Corporations which was founded in 1975. The commission convened a group of experts to come forward with proposals to increase the transparency of multinational corporations. The group proposed compelling companies to publish accounts for each company the multinational operated and details of transactions made between them
Blockchain – Where it came from, what it does, and how you make one by MIT Technology Review Editors. April 23, 2018.
- “What is it? A public, permanent, append-only distributed ledger.
- What’s that? A mathematical structure for storing data in a way that is nearly impossible to fake. It can be used for all kinds of valuable data.
- Where did it come from? “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.” These are the words of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, in a message sent to a cryptography-focused mailing list in October 2008. Included was a link to a nine-page white paper describing a technology that some are now convinced will disrupt the financial system…”
London Apartments Show Ongoing Ties of Odesa Mayor to Oil Mafia
Officials from the Ministry of Finance expressed serious doubts about the abolition of the dividend tax during the Rutte III government formation, according to secret memos on this topic that the government released under pressure on Tuesday, AD reports.
The Netherlands is a big riser in the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index, driven by an increase in its secrecy score https://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/PDF/Netherlands.pdf … https://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/introduction/fsi-2018-results … #FSI2018 #FSI18 @TaxJusticeNL
Detainers, Detention and Deportation: From Presence to Personhood – Ken Strutin’s latest guide on criminal law is an expansive, extensively documented, expert work that provides researchers, scholars, lawyers, judges, advocates for criminal justice, librarians, students, and Americans, a timely and essential guide to seminal issues that are currently the subject of widespread debate – in Congress, in states and local communities across the country – and litigation – in America’s courts, the court of public opinion, and on social media.
Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now via Fast Company – In a world of fake news, the only antidote is our ability to judge the reputation of the people supplying us with information: “There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. What makes this paradoxical is that the vastly increased access to information and knowledge we have today does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, it renders us more dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations of the information with which we are faced. We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the “information age,” we are moving towards the “reputation age,” in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated, and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know…”
The pie chart: Why data visualization’s greatest villain will never die via Quartz – “The point of charts is to communicate data effectively. Or, at least, that is the point according to data-visualization experts. The truth about why people like and use charts is more complicated than that. For the regular person, it’s more about art than science. There is no better demonstration of this than the popularity of the pie chart. The pie chart has long been reviled by data-visualization experts. “The circle with sectors is not a desirable form of presentation,” wrote the engineer and visualization researcher William Brinton in his 1914 book Graphical Methods. Brinton believed pie charts were difficult to decipher and that it was nearly always better to use a bar chart to convey information. Over the following century, nearly every other serious chart maker came to the same conclusion. Experimental evidence also backed them up. In a paper published in 1984 (paywall), statisticians William Cleveland and Robert McGill showed that people are much more likely to accurately assess information when it’s put in a bar chart than in a pie chart. This is because people tend to underestimate the size of acute angles (<90 and="" obtuse="" of="" ones="" overestimate="" size="" the="">90°)…” 90>
<90 and="" obtuse="" of="" ones="" overestimate="" size="" the="">What the public sector can learn from those quitting Facebook
Organisations want their investment in social media to pay off, especially in the public sector where any costs are sensitive. Should government ditch social media if its channel metrics are low? 90>