5.24.2015

Adelson: Graft in China

US court to hear suit accusing Adelson of graft in China | TheHill:
"The gambling tycoon reportedly spent nearly $150 million trying to halt President Obama’s reelection in 2012."
Note that Adelson wasn't "trying to halt President Obama’s reelection", .. he was, sort-of, but only because he was trying to buy better/more US support of Israel. If Obama had said "BiBi can have all the settlements he wants" and "Jerusalem was the capital of Israel,.. get those damned Palestinians out of there", Adelson would have been giving Obama the cash. He could care less who runs the US as long as they pledge allegiance to Israel.



'via Blog this'

Breaking The Rules

globalinequality: Henry and Kant: outsourcing morality: (emphasis by TNB)
But what I found interesting  in this story is not soccer but the role of morality and the institutions. The common defense of Henry’s act was as follows: sure, handball is a violation of soccer rules, but it is no different from a professional foul, or simulations to force a penalty kick. In every soccer game players try to use these tricks in order to win. To quote José Mourinho's famous words: to win is my job. So, the defense of Henry went on: it is the task of the referee, that is of institutions, to catch him, prevent them from breaking the rules and eventually to punish him. Hence Henry’s handball is not his problem (everybody would do the same), but the problem of inefficient institutions. Either the referees were not up to the task or soccer should improve its institutions, for example by the introducing more referees or by the use of video recordings. 
Now I would like the reader to forget that we are talking about soccer. Consider it more generally.  Henry’s defense implies that  in life everything is allowed in order to achieve one’s objective,  and one should not feel at all bad or dishonest for doing it.  Institutions ought to prevent the achievement of such goals by illegal means. If I am a trader on Wall Street, my objective is to make money, by whatever means I can. It is the role of institutions to stop me. If they failed and the financial crisis happened, it is because they were badly designed. The entire moral order of society is outsourced, away from individuals and their internal controls to  institutions. We do not expect ourselves to be moral and behave fairly. It is not our duty: it is the duty of society to provide good institutions which would  punish those who steal and lie, and to create a good system of incentives which would reward those who contribute to society through their work, capital or inventiveness. 

Until those institutions are destroyed in the interest of "freedom", "the free market", "the invisible hand" or "getting government out of the way".

'via Blog this'

5.21.2015

US Presidents and Israel

Christie in the news today.

TPM on Christie: why-is-chris-christie-still-pretending-to-run-for-president
But the truth is Christie stands out in every poll over Republican proto-candidates in almost any state where there’s polling as someone GOP voters have considered and rejected. 
but this.... will help.

Christie promises Elie Wiesel he’ll be Israel’s best friend in White House - Diplomacy and Defense -  Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie promised renowned Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel that he would be the biggest friend Israel has ever had if he occupies the White House in 2017, NJ Politicker reported Wednesday.
You have to sign your soul to Israel to run for high office in the US.

'via Blog this'

5.20.2015

Why did we go to war in Iraq?

The only time I've ever heard this from our corporate Media.

The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity – Mondoweiss:
"The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney.. it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, .. it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a neverending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. … we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran."

'via Blog this'

Apple Watch

Too Much Coffee Man Understands

Adhesive Comics » Online cartoons since 1995 ● Cartoons Weekly ● Sometimes Comics:

881_2226_iwatch_COLOR

'via Blog this'

Timing the Market?

Is This the Top? - A Wealth of Common SenseA Wealth of Common Sense:

Top

Also,... Don't worry be Happy

'via Blog this'

Working for a living

The second job you don’t know you have – POLITICO:
Consider my father, who in 1937 began on the bottom rung of the ladder as a messenger in a small-town bank in New Jersey. In 1963 he became president, chairman of the board and CEO after having been promoted through the ranks as a teller, bookkeeper, loan officer and executive vice president. He understood every facet of banking by the time he took the helm of the company. Contrast this with the preparation many banking executives get today: an M.B.A. with specialization in finance and a penchant for high-risk derivatives. If these bankers had gone out on hundreds of mortgage appraisals like my dad, seeing the actual houses for which they were lending money and meeting real, live borrowers, would the 2008 banking crisis have happened?

'via Blog this'

Distribution of Wealth

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13:

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010 13

'via Blog this'

5.18.2015

Jerusalem

Who does Jerusalem belong To? | Informed Comment:

Far right Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commemorated Israel’s “Jerusalem Day” with a speech in which he said, “Jerusalem was always the capital of the Jewish people only, and no other,” and warned that Muslim terrorism menaced it.  
Jerusalem, Daru Shalem, was founded sometime between 6500 and 5500 years ago, by the proto-Canaanite people long before Judaism existed. It was dedicated to the god of dusk, Shalem.
The first mention of it was after 2000 BC, again, before Judaism existed, in an Egyptian text. 
So I think we may conclude that the City of Shalem the god of dusk was probably the capital of a lot of peoples long before there was any religion called Judaism.
'via Blog this'

5.16.2015

Buying Politicians

Marco Rubio's wife long an unseen presence in his career | Tampa Bay Times:
"Jeanette Rubio has eschewed the Washington scene, staying home in West Miami. In 2011, she got a job with a charity financed by Norman Braman, the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. They knew the job would raise questions, and it has as Rubio's close ties to Braman, who has funded his political career and employed him as a lawyer, are exposed.  
Records show Mrs. Rubio was paid at least $54,000 for her part-time job in 2013.
The charity's IRS forms show it gave out only $250 that year despite having assets exceeding $9 million. The charity spent nearly $150,000 in air travel."
Also

Clintons earned more than $25 million for speeches since 2014

'via Blog this'

5.15.2015

Friday Morning Links

Broken Windows

Buying Pols

Rent vs Buy

Yeah, but at least we pay them well
When researchers asked hundreds of chief financial officers from a variety of industries to forecast yearly returns for the S&P 500 over a nine-year horizon, their 80% ranges were right only one-third of the time. That’s a terribly low rate of accuracy for a group of executives with presumably vast knowledge of the U.S. economy. 
Better Decision Making

Online Data, Marketing, privacy, etc..

Buying Republicans

It looks like Pro-Israeli Republicans cost about as much to own as a Picasso

Sheldon Adelson now proud owner of George W. Bush original painting - Jewish World News - Israel News | Haaretz:
"The fiercely pro-Israel Adelson will likely spend tens (if not hundreds) of millions on the next Republican presidential candidate"
The $179 Million Picasso That Explains Global Inequality




'via Blog this'

5.14.2015

War on terrorism

This is from the UK but there are similar ideas afoot in the US.

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It - The Intercept:

War on terrorism is a lot like the war on drugs

Like drug laws, It's not really the drugs they care about, it's who's drugs. The medical industry can sell oxycotin and kill lots of people every year but if I sell some pot, which has never killed anyone, I can go to jail.

And,.. like the drug laws, the harm caused to the majority of those affected by the "war on" is really due to the laws created to fight that war and not by the "enemy" themselves.

also,......

At some point they really need to stop calling it " the war on terrorism" and call it what it really is "a war on Islam" Do you think they would use this to hush all those evangelical preachers who hammer on Obama every Sunday.
It will also contain new powers to close premises including mosques where extremists seek to influence others. The powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities that misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism will also be strengthened.
or this to stop those Tea-Bagger, Evangelical types from brainwashing our young minds.
They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.
It ain't about preaching hate, It's about who you hate.


'via Blog this'