When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sex doesn't sell

Disintermediation for the world's oldest profession?

" . . . . The days of being able to make a full-time living out of prostitution are long gone, reckons Vivienne, at least in larger towns and cities. “It’s stupidly competitive right now,” she laments. More people are entering prostitution, agrees Cari Mitchell of the English Collective of Prostitutes. Some working women in Westminster say they have halved their prices because the market has become so saturated. In London, and increasingly elsewhere, immigrants provide strong competition. . . ." (source: economist.com)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

UK tax debate and Google

BBC News - Google's Eric Schmidt 'perplexed' over UK tax debate: "Mr Schmidt told the BBC that the company did what was "legally required" to pay the right amount of taxes. Google paid £10m in UK corporate taxes between 2006 and 2011, despite revenues of £11.9bn. Mr Schmidt said it was up to the government to change its tax system if it wanted companies to pay more taxes. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week, he said: "What we are doing is legal. I'm rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. "I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It's not a debate. You pay the taxes. "If the British system changes the tax laws, then we will comply. If the taxes go up, we will pay more, if they go down, we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom.""

Sounds rational to me. Why blame taxpayers for the tax laws passed by any government?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How much do Fannie and Freddie still owe US? Everything

GSE stands for Government Sponsored Enterprise and that is exactly what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are--entities created by the US Government. Fannie and Freddie were bailed out by the US government in the housing crash, but their history is filled with corruption, political contributions (some would call them "kickbacks") and other sordid tales of overpaid incompetent executives and worse--about what you would expect of any "Government Sponsored Enterprise." Now, stories appear throughout mainstream media whose implied line is to remove direct US involvement and return to the pre-bubble (i.e., corrupt) status of both organizations.  Better idea--abolish both entities and return mortgage markets to regular market entities--bankers, mortgage lenders, etc.

How much do Fannie and Freddie still owe us? - CBS News: " . . . the U.S. government stands to potentially make a profit on its massive bailout of the two mortgage giants after they unilaterally failed in the fall of 2008. This raises a bunch of new questions about the future of Fannie and Freddie. There's been a lot of talk in Washington about shifting the role the two companies have in the mortgage market and bringing private companies back to the secondary mortgage market plate. Now that Fannie and Freddie are operating as government cash cows, with all their profits going into a general fund that the Treasury may spend as it pleases, it might be harder for the government to give them up."


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Listen to Chen Guangcheng, blind Chinese activist

Listen to Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese activist who left his country a year ago, soon after taking refuge in the American embassy in Beijing. Mr Chen was in London recently to receive an award for his work defending the rights of rural Chinese women. The Economist's China Editor, Rob Gifford, caught up with him at the Houses of Parliament, to ask him about recent changes in China and about his own exile.
(source: Economist.com May 24th 2013)


Monday, May 27, 2013

Why Microsoft should ditch Windows Phone and go Android

Microsoft's most profitable mobile operating system: Android | ZDNet: " . . . Microsoft has been making hundreds of millions a year from Android since 2011. Where do these profits come from? Patent licenses. And if vendors don't want to pay, Microsoft will threaten patent lawsuits. Sometimes, Microsoft even follows up with an actual lawsuit. . . . Today, only Motorola Mobility, a division of Google and Huawei, remains free of the Microsoft-Android intellectual-property (IP) tax. In a statement to Dow Jones Business News, Google spokesman Matt Kallman said: "This is the same tactic we've seen time and again from Microsoft. Instead of building great new products, Microsoft attacks the competition, and tries to drive up the prices of Android devices for consumers.""

Well Google can complain, but it appears Microsoft is making more off Android directly than Google ever will. In fact, at this point, Microsoft should scrap its Windows Phone OS and go "all in" with Android--heck Microsoft (and Nokia) could even make a forked version of Android like Amazon did!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Internet's Darkening Digital Future

Authoritarian regimes want to set up separate, ideological and religious versions of the Internet--and they are getting help from the UN and its ITU--

Crovitz: A Darkening Digital Future - WSJ.com: "The bad news: Many authoritarian regimes dedicate significant resources to limiting what their people can do online. The authors predict a "Balkanization of the Internet" as more countries and groups hive off their own corners, narrowing what has been a globally connected network. The authors warn of separate ideological and religious versions of the Internet. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Yemen could create a "Sunni Web," especially now that the Internet domain system allows characters from non-Roman alphabets, including Arabic. Iran says it plans to build its own "halal Internet," then disconnect from the rest of the world." (read more at the link above)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Global Liquidity Trap

Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal - NYTimes.com: " . . . the whole advanced world is in a liquidity trap these days — and we can’t all massively devalue against each other . . ."

And yet that is exactly what is happening--and another reason why it isn't working.


Friday, May 24, 2013

"The world in the next five years is NOT going 100 percent to touch"

Yeah, but apparently Microsoft is--so you better prepare to move to Apple or Google products--

PC Makers Hopeful on Windows 8 Changes - Wall Street Journal - WSJ.com: "“When we were talking to Microsoft, our input to them is balance,” said Acer President Jim Wong. “The world in the next five years is not going 100 percent to touch. Although touch makes a lot of possibilities for PCs, you need to take care of the rest of the world that doesn’t need touch.”"

Microsoft either forgot about their huge PC user base--or just decided to be arrogant (and inept) in trying to force everyone to a touch screen. Ever hear of gorilla arm?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mark Sanford on his Comeback (Video)

Mark Sanford on his Comeback - Video - TIME.com: Representative-elect of South Carolina, Mark Sanford talks about his fiancee's support and how he has learned from his mistakes.

I don't begrudge the guy a second chance, and wish the best for his family, ex-wife, future wife, et al. But watching and listening to this guy, something isn't right. Know what I mean?


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Senators, the problem is Washington, not Apple

I watched the US Senate committee hearing yesterday on Apple's tax strategy--long story short--Tim Cook and US Senator Rand Paul shut down Carl Levin 's (and John McCain's) attempt to villify and harrass Apple for its prudent tax planning. Senators, the problem is with Washington--not Apple, Google, Microsoft et al  http://www.apple.com/pr/pdf/Apple_Testimony_to_PSI.pdf


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Windows 8 - WTF do we do?

Answer: Windows 7 will have (in the United States) "Mainstream Support" until January 13, 2015 and "Extended Support" until January 14, 2020.

So buy a non-touch screen computer and load Windows 7.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Microsoft, Windows 8, Learning Curves, Live Tiles, Charm Bar, Design Disaster

Yes, Microsoft is doing some things right--SkyDrive, Outlook.com, and IE10, just to mention three--but what a disappointment and disaster Windows 8 has been--because of it I won't be buying any Windows phone or tablet, for sure, and I have no confidence that Blue will be enough to fix the Windows 8 mess--  

Microsoft: The Windows 8 learning curve is 'real and needs to be addressed' | ZDNet: " . . . Usability experts were quick to criticize Windows 8, in particular the new user interface changes. Jakob Nielsen, who holds a PhD in human-computer interaction, called the operating system "disappointing" for "both novice and power users", and "a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity". Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist with the Nielsen Norman Group, called the new Windows 8 user interface "confusing" and said that it imposed "a cognitive burden" on the users. . . Back in June of 2012, I called Windows 8 a "design disaster", and my opinion hasn't changed since. . . the last thing I want is for my PC to force me into playing "hunt the app" every time I want to get something done. . ."

What would I (and most "office workers") like? A successor to Windows 7 for the PC (keyboard, mouse, non-touch screen) with start button and start menu.  And a way to turn off or uninstall the Metro, charms bar, live tiles, apps, etc.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Memo to Obama: this is YOUR government, YOUR administration

Bill Clinton calls Obama ‘amateur’ president: book - NYPOST.com: "“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”. . . Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”"

Obama likes to perform the functions of a figurehead--speeches, fund raising, etc., but when it comes to real governance, well, he's MIA--no one told me, etc.  There are no leadership or management skills evident. In fact, because he lacks any prior executive, management, or business experience, the entire Obama administration appears to function as a cocoon around its "leader." He's isolated, out of touch. That's why when the US ambassador to Libya was murdered, he thought he could just issue an "order" and go off to do more fund raising/speech making (in that case he went to Las Vegas). In the meanwhile, others were left to try to get something done (or in the case of the U.S. military, to "stand down").

So what do we have now? A dysfunctional government (that Obama sentimentalizes is doing "good" while railing against "small government" advocates)--GSA scandals, Fast and Furious, AP reporters targeted by the DOJ, political groups targeted by IRS, Benghazi cover-up/YouTube blamed, Obamacare mess about to engulf the health care system and skyrocket costs--just to name a few examples of many, very many. And for all of you "big government progressives," here's a picture of what your "big government" really is--a bully:

IRS probe ignored most influential groups - Business - Boston.com: "‘‘The IRS goes AWOL when wealthy and powerful forces want to break the law in order to hide their wrongful efforts and secret political influence,’’ said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat who is among a small Senate group pushing campaign finance reform measures that would force these big outside groups to disclose their donors. ‘‘Picking on the little guy is a pretty lousy thing to do.’’"

Little wonder that even the New Yorker has had enough--Obama Denies Role in Government : The New Yorker: "President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to reassure the American people that he has “played no role whatsoever” in the U.S. government over the past four years. “Right now, many of you are angry at the government, and no one is angrier than I am,” he said. “Quite frankly, I am glad that I have had no involvement in such an organization.”. . . ." (read more at The Borowitz Report parody)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

How Not to Get Anyone's Attention

How NOT to contact someone--

Forbes: "Phone: This is dead last by a mile. Your chances of getting a return phone call are slim to none unless I already know you. Why? Because it’s an arduous process and a giant time suck. The only reason to make contact by phone is if the thing you need to tell me is genuinely time-sensitive."


Friday, May 17, 2013

Apple Missing Out as Global Carriers Balk

A follow-up to my post days ago about Apple--

Apple Misses IPhone Customers as Global Carriers Balk - Bloomberg: "Apple Inc. (AAPL) is missing out on a chance to court as many as 2.8 billion new smartphone customers, many of them in Asia, as wireless-service providers balk at conditions imposed by the iPhone maker and drag their heels in signing on as partners. Apple has announced fewer than a dozen new wireless-service providers to sell the device since September 2011, leaving the total at about 240. Holdouts represent billions of would-be subscribers in countries such as China, Japan, India and Russia . . . ."

Apple's problem is Apple.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Benghazi Truths and Disgusting Democrats

Elliott Abrams: Benghazi Truths vs. Washington Politics - WSJ.com: "The hearing deepened the mystery of how Ms. Rice came to say such things. It added a new political wrinkle in the person of Cheryl Mills, whose role was previously unnoticed. Mr. Hicks testified that when a Republican member of the committee, Jason Chaffetz, visited Libya to investigate what had happened, he was instructed that no State Department officer was ever to be alone with the congressman—and that a lawyer was to attend every meeting he had. When the lawyer was excluded from one meeting with intelligence officers because he lacked the security clearances, Mr. Hicks received a furious call from Ms. Mills, who was then chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We can be confident that Ms. Mills, who represented Bill Clinton in his impeachment hearings and who was counsel to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008, was not calling to guarantee due process. She was calling to protect Hillary Clinton."

Protect from what? The lies, the incompetence of Hillary Clinton?

And to top that off, the House Democrats wasted the entire Benghazi hearing last week grandstanding and doing everything but get to the substance and truth about the whole sad Benghazi saga, and this administration's inept and shameful performance. I have only word for those Democrats--disgusting!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

President Obama joked in 2009 he could use the IRS to target political enemies

Review & Outlook: The IRS Wants You - WSJ.com: "President Obama famously joked in a college commencement address in 2009 that he could use the IRS to target political enemies but of course he never would. It appears that people at the Internal Revenue Service didn't think he was joking. . . ." (read more at link above)


White House Meets Privately with Press to Discuss Benghazi

Huh?--I know the mainstream media is far-left liberal and in Obama's back pocket--but a private meeting? Why private? What are they afraid of, and why can't the public just know the truth? Was the meeting to plot strategy on how to "spin" the Obama administration's "story" on Benghazi?

White House Meets Privately with Press to Discuss Benghazi: "Politico reports:
The off-the-record session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi." read more at the link above


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’ a Whopper Lie says Washington Post

Obama now desperately engaging in revisionist history--"I'll say I said it even when I know I didn't"--

" . . . For unknown reasons, CBS did not release this clip (see below) until just two days before the elections, and it attracted little notice at the time because Superstorm Sandy dominated the news." (source infra)

Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’ - The Washington Post: " . . . on Sept. 12, immediately after the Rose Garden statement the day after the attack, Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and acknowledged he purposely avoided the using the word “terrorism:”
KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.”
OBAMA: “Right.”
KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”
OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”

(. . . he avoided using “terrorism.” For unknown reasons, CBS did not release this clip until just two days before the elections, and it attracted little notice at the time because Superstorm Sandy dominated the news.) . . . ."

Washington Post Fact Checker gives Obama 4 pinocchios--a whopper lie!


In Washington--business as usual

"The government we have is not the government we need. We live in a 21st-century economy, but we've still got a government organized for the 20th century. . . . No business leader would allow this kind of duplication or unnecessary complexity in their operations. You wouldn't do it when you're thinking about your businesses. So why is it okay for government? It's not. It has to change."--Barack Obama, January, 2012

Review & Outlook: Pritzker's Progress - WSJ.com: "President Obama presumably nominated Penny Pritzker to be Commerce Secretary for reasons other than her record-breaking fundraising as his 2008 campaign chair. And we assume it's despite her history of investing in toxic mortgage-backed securities and her family trusts' allegedly copious use of offshore tax shelter strategies. (Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was confirmed despite similar history.) . . . "

Oh, nothing changes, everything stays the same--in Washington D.C. Talk is cheap.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Benghazi E-Mails Show Obama Administration Came Up with the YouTube "story"

Benghazi E-Mails Put White House on the Defensive - A disclosure of e-mails showed the White House was more involved in revising talking points about the attack in Benghazi, Libya, than officials have previously acknowledged.

Benghazi E-Mails Put White House on the Defensive - NYTimes.com: " A long-simmering dispute over the White House’s account of the deadly assault on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, flared up on Friday, with a disclosure of e-mails that show the White House was more deeply involved in revising talking points about the attack than officials have previously acknowledged." The e-mails, which the administration turned over to Congress, show the White House coordinating an intensive process with the State Department, the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and other agencies to obtain the final version of the talking points, used by Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, in television appearances after the attack. The State Department, in particular, pushed to remove references to Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, the Libyan militant group suspected of carrying out the attack as well as warnings about other potential terrorist threats from C.I.A., which drafted the initial talking points.  . . ."

I suspected this at the time Susan Rice opened her mouth and lied five times on national TV, the Sunday following the Benghazi attack, blaming the Benghazi death of the US ambassador to Libya on a YouTube video protest. OK, maybe she was just "following orders" and didn't intend to mislead anyone--really, the Obama administration must think everyone is as stupid as they and the Washington press corps are!

This just proves what everyone has said--you cannot believe anything the Obama administration says anymore--it's all lies or spin for perceived political gain.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Obama administration used IRS to target conservative groups

News from The Associated Press: "according to a draft of a watchdog's report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011. The Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week."  (read more at link above)

A yearlong investigation? How convenient in a Presidential election year (2012)!


Hillary Clinton Disqualified by Benghazi

Forget about Whitewater, forget about her disastrous, failed attempt at health care reform (HillaryCare), her "front-runner to loser" campaign against Barack Obama 5 years ago--Hillary Clinton disqualified herself from ever being President of the United States with her despicable performance and failure of leadership, including, but not limited to, her lack of control of her political operatives in the State Department, during the Benghazi episode and its aftermath--

Clinton remains GOP focus as administration defends Benghazi talking points - NBC Politics: " . . . her response to the attacks should disqualify her from a presidential run.  “The evidence we had in January already suggested that Mrs. Clinton ignored repeated requests for more security in Benghazi,” he (Rand Paul) wrote in the Washington Times on Friday morning. “The new evidence we have today — and that continues to mount — suggests that at the very least, Mrs. Clinton should never hold high office again.”"

Rand Paul challenges Hillary Clinton in key Iowa speech - NBC Politics: "Hillary Clinton"--"It was inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty, and it should preclude her from holding higher office," the Kentucky Republican added to loud applause."


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Is This Why The Obama Administration Lied About Benghazi?

The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi - WSJ.com: "Because the White House could not tolerate the idea of Benghazi as a planned and deliberate terrorist assault, it had to be made into something else. So they said it was a spontaneous street demonstration over an anti-Muhammad YouTube video made by a nutty California con man. After all, that had happened earlier in the day, in Cairo. It sounded plausible. And maybe they believed it at first. Maybe they wanted to believe it. But the message was out: Provocative video plus primitive street Arabs equals sparky explosion. Not our fault. Blame the producer! Who was promptly jailed." (read more at the link above)

Who knows? The Obama administration is stonewalling the Congressional Committee and doesn't (obviously) want the truth  to come out. They have attempted to keep Department of State employees from even talking to members of Congress! So much for transparency and accountability.


Wireless Accessory Makers Think Beyond Apple

Apple's Problem:  litigious, paranoid, obsessive, controlling--of users and vendors--

Apple’s Rivals See an Edge in Using Wireless Accessories - NYTimes.com: " . . .“At some point Apple’s obsession with having control over everything that is associated with its products may wind up biting it,” Mr. Horwitz said. The Bluetooth standard for wireless connections has allowed accessory makers to build products that can work with many kinds of devices because they no longer have to worry about a physical hook. Other phone makers like Samsung and tablet-computing device makers like Amazon have become strong alternatives in the eyes of gadget shoppers. And Apple itself provided an opening for competitors when it changed the way its phones connect to other devices, aggravating both its business partners and consumers. Now accessory makers are eager, even obliged, to think beyond Apple. . . "


Friday, May 10, 2013

End of Megaupload Case?

This is what happens when Hollywood buys political influence (with contributions to the Obama campaign) and turns the US Department of Justice into their pawns--

U.S. Government Fears End of Megaupload Case | TorrentFreak: " . . . The Government’s response ends with a “warning” that dismissing the indictment against Megaupload, even temporarily, may mean the end of the case. . . the Government suggests that the entire case against Megaupload could collapse, putting a lot of weight on the decision of District Court Judge Liam O’Grady, and perhaps not unintentionally. Under this pressure the Judge now has to decide whether or not Megaupload should be dismissed from the indictment." (read more at link above)


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Self-radicalized - the new face of terrorists?

"Self-radicalized terrorist"--not very bright, resentful, emotionally immature and/or socially retarded--

Carl Hiaasen: It’s too easy to become a terrorist - Carl Hiaasen - MiamiHerald.com: " . . . the new face of terror. . . A disgruntled young athlete, his career stymied, violently attacks the country that he’d once hoped to represent in the Olympics. Maybe Tamarlan Tsarnaev had been “self-radicalized” into an Islamic fanatic . . . These days, anybody with a laptop and a grudge can arrange a massacre on a shoestring budget. You don’t need fake IDs. You don’t need special training. You don’t even need to be very smart. All you need is the one dark impulse." (read more at link above)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lindsey Graham: 'Dam is about to break' on Benghazi

Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk circuit to assure Americans that the attack was not orchestrated by terrorists.

Lindsey Graham: 'Dam is about to break' on Benghazi - Washington Times: "“I think the dam is about to break and you are going to find a system failure before, during and after,” Mr. Graham said. “You are going to find political manipulation seven weeks before an election. You are going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton.” The Washington Times reported Monday that Gregory N. Hicks, who became the chief of the U.S. mission when Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed in the attack, told House investigators on Libya that more could have been one to defend Mr. Stevens and the three others who died in the attack." Mr. Hicks is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday on Capitol Hill."

John Bolton: Benghazi could bring down Obama administration - Washington Times: "Mr. Bolton is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His comments came as Congress is readying to hear testimony from several witnesses about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Witness Greg Hicks already has stated publicly that the (Obama) administration was aware that the attack was terrorist in nature, and not related to protests of a YouTube film about Muslims, as originally stated."

Bottom line question: Why did the Obama administration lie? Surely it wasn't just because they didn't want to look "weak" seven weeks before the election? That would imply that Obama put his own self-interests, his own political ambitions, and politics, before the national interests--in other words, he is unfit for the office he now holds. I hope there is a better answer forthcoming.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz Speaks in Opposition to the Internet Sales Tax

Senator Ted Cruz speaks the truth--but the greedy politicians in the US Senate wouldn't listen. Small onlline sellers would have to file with 9600 taxing jurisdictions in the United States.


Internet sales tax bill is unfair and a job killer

Congress is about to kill the economy. Only internet businesses would have to deal with thousands of taxing jurisdictions, instead of just the jurisdiction where they are physically located. This bill is not only unfair, it may be unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

If this passes the House, Republicans can forget about taking the Senate, and better prepare for a Democratic House of Representatives.

Why I Oppose the Internet Tax Bill | RealClearPolitics: Senator Ted Cruz:  " . . . Consider this: Online and catalogue retailers with gross sales of $1 million -- a level that is mom & pop size in many places -- will be forced to collect sales taxes for the country’s 9,600 state and local tax jurisdictions. Just as Obamacare punishes small business with taxes and regulations for employing more than 50 people, this legislation would punish small businesses for making more than $1 million in sales. For many businesses it may be more beneficial to make less money than to keep track of all the different taxes. Small and medium-size businesses would be subjected to monthly or quarterly tax returns to all 46 states who collect sales tax; in addition, one amendment likely to be added to the bill would also include all 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the definition of “state,” so businesses would need to collect applicable taxes for them, too. As if that wasn’t enough, each of the nearly 10,000 jurisdictions gets to have its own tax rates and sales tax holidays with thresholds and caps. Each state can give sellers their own “tax app” and it’s up to the seller to pay for integration into their in-house systems for ordering, fulfillment, and accounting. Keep in mind, each state still gets to have its own audit, forms, tax base, and definitions. That means every online seller could be subject to dozens -- or eventually hundreds -- of audits each year. So, how is this fair? After all, brick and mortar stores aren’t subjected to all these rules. Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/05/why_i_oppose_the_internet_tax_bill_118255.html#ixzz2SZ3fg36q

Sen. Ted Cruz slams Internet sales tax bill - Washington Times: "Mr. Cruz . . . called the Internet a “thriving ecosystem” that has allowed new businesses to “compete in the national marketplace in ways that would have been impossible 15 years ago, and it empowers consumer choice.” “But tax-hungry politicians view the Internet as yet another source of revenue to bail out their big-spending governments,” Mr. Cruz wrote in an op-ed article for Real Clear Politics. “The misleadingly titled ‘Marketplace Fairness Act’ is a job-killing tax hike, plain and simple. It is, in effect, a national Internet sales tax, which would hammer the little guy and benefit giant corporations.”"


Monday, May 6, 2013

When Facebook Bought Instagram

A good read--

Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom on What Really Happened When Facebook Bought Instagram | Vanity Fair: "The sale of Instagram to Facebook for a cool billion in the spring of 2012 was the ultimate Silicon Valley fairy tale: 18 months from launch to offer. But, for co-founder and C.E.O. Kevin Systrom, it was more of a roller-coaster ride, with several missed opportunities, at least two “aha” moments, and one major reboot. . . ." (read entire article at link)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Obamacare Cost Explosion Begins to Hit

At some point, the denial in Washington about Obamacare will end--

The Cost Explosion of Obamacare Begins to Hit Home: "Insurers will no longer be able to offer catastrophic coverage, and employers will find that it’s either easier to pay the fines for refusing to provide comprehensive coverage – or stop providing full-time employment. Small wonder, then, that stock prices for agencies like Manpower and Kelly have “soared,” as corporations start rethinking the cost of in-house employment with the ObamaCare overhead costs in play.  As the Washington Post points out in its article, the use of part-timers will let employers off the hook, but will force taxpayers to provide even more in subsidies than projected for those workers to buy insurance through the exchanges, which will make Obamacare’s deficits soar further still."


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Benghazi - Obama and Clinton lied

Obama and Clinton blew it--

House GOP concludes Hillary Clinton blew Benghazi response - Washington Times: " . . . In the most damning finding, House Republicans said Mr. Obama and his team lied about the attacks afterward, first by blaming mob violence spawned by an anti-Muslim video, and then wrongly saying it had misled the public because it was trying to protect an FBI investigation. “This progress report reveals a fundamental lack of understanding at the highest levels of the State Department as to the dangers presented in Benghazi, Libya, as well as a concerted attempt to insulate the Department of State from blame following the terrorist attacks,” the GOP investigation concluded in its 46-page report. The Obama administration has acknowledged providing an inaccurate explanation for the attacks early on — even though officials at the Defense Department said they knew it was a terrorist assault from the beginning. . . ." Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/23/house-gop-administration-blew-benghazi-response/#ixzz2RL7X8lyB


Friday, May 3, 2013

Flying the idiotic US Government Skies

Review & Outlook: Flying the Government Skies - WSJ.com: "The FAA still uses ground radar and voice-based communications that were the best technology the 1950s had to offer. Many planes are now equipped with advanced avionics that enable more direct and precise flight paths, but they aren't allowed to fly these faster, safer routes because the FAA can't track their navigation methods."

The idiots in charge of the FAA in Washington should be thrown out! They are less than inept and incompetent. 1950s technology is the best the FAA can do in 2013???


Thursday, May 2, 2013

ObamacareFail - Health Law Provision for Small Business Is Delayed

In Silicon Valley they would call this "failure to execute"--and it has sunk many a startup. That's usually the end of the story--unless the "startup" is a government program--unfortunately we are (thanks to the US Supreme Court) trapped in this "tax" scheme to deliver health care--and the Obama administration has dropped the ball--

Health Law Provision for Small Business Is Delayed - NYTimes.com: "Unable to meet tight deadlines in the new health care law, the Obama administration is delaying parts of a program intended to provide affordable health insurance to small businesses and their employees — a major selling point for the health care legislation." (read more at link above)

Oh well. Nevermind. Health care costs are skyrocketing. Full time employment is dropping (due to the costs of Obamacare)--WTF!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

BlackBerry CEO thinks BlackBerry will dominate Apple, Google and Microsoft in mobile computing

Well, the BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins keeps on spewing "spin"--just look at the two short quotes below from his recent Bloomberg interview--

BlackBerry CEO Questions Future of Tablets - Bloomberg:
  • “In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing." 
  • “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said.
I'm sure the folks in Cupertino, Mountain View, and Redmond are shaking in their boots!


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects