New Zealand playing offside? (via Integrity Talking Points)

Courtesy of KNOL Google

The problem of tax havens has worsened each year with more and more countries making relatively small sums of money protecting enormous sums from taxation in their home nations. It is hardcore unethical both for the nations doing it and for the people and corporations taking advantage of it.

The author here worries whether or not New Zealand will choose the ethical or the profitable path. It’s a good article.

By the way, I have read several entries from this blog. I am impressed and I added the site to my favorites.

James Pilant

15 April 2011 Is New Zealand a tax haven?   By opposing the conversion of the United Nations Tax Committee into a specialist enforcement body, New Zealand is seen as a supporter of tax havens and those who move illicit funds into such jurisdictions.  Nicholas Shaxson, a campaigner and author of books about tax avoidance claims New Zealand is “letting down the developed world” and within a few years will join rogue nations listed on the Financial … Read More

via Integrity Talking Points

Screw Sam! Reconstruct the Mortgages with their Rightful Owners (via Deadly Clear)

There is a lot of anger in this article. But I too share disgust with this government’s willingness to help out every kind of financial institution while ignoring the needs of the Middle Class. These people no longer have a defender in the government just a facilitator of the predation

James Pilant

Screw Sam! Reconstruct the Mortgages with their Rightful Owners U.S.Seeks Ideas on Renting Out Foreclosed Property By EDWARD WYATT Published: August 10, 2011 WASHINGTON— Uncle Sam wants you — to rent a house from Uncle Sam. The Obama administration said on Wednesday that it was soliciting ideas on how to turn the federal government’s inventory of foreclosed houses into rental properties that could be managed by private enterprises or sold in bulk. The goal, the administration said, is to stabilize neighborhoo … Read More

via Deadly Clear

Introduction (via inDiginous)

This is a call for “digital natives” to stand up and start changing the world.

Yes, my thoughts as well.

James Pilant

I'm a college student, and as I've learned from taking one too many classes on digital media, I'm apparently also part of this new breed called "Digital Natives." Rather than a silver spoons, we were raised with a silver mouse in our hands and access to millions of ideas and people online. Generally, before we even knew what that entailed. The Internet doesn't make our lives easier – it is an integral part of our daily activity. And while we take … Read More

via inDiginous

Heritage Foundation’s Report Lacks Real Information (via Colloquial Usage)

I was appalled when I read the Heritage report. Apparently if your children have video games and you can afford a fridge, you really can’t be in that much economic distress? How weird are these guys? I appreciate this take down of their case that appliance ownership negates economic insecurity.

James Pilant

Heritage Foundation's Report Lacks Real Information What is Poverty? a new report by The Heritage Foundation, has been getting a lot of press this week, first from Fox News and then from The Colbert Report. In fact, a link to the report was the first item that came up this morning when I searched for the term “poor in America” on Google. According to the abstract, the report's aim is to address the following problem: Exaggeration and misinformation about poverty obscure the nature, extent, and cau … Read More

via Colloquial Usage

How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Net Neutrality (via Web 2.0 – Instructional Systems – FSU)

This is a very straightforward explanation of the case for net neutrality.

James Pilant

Net Neutrality – a topic often debated in congress with little understanding. What is it? In short it takes away the right from data providers (comcast, verizon, etc.) to treat users differently. Why is this important? Well a few years ago it wasn't. The days off users simply checking their email or a static website are over now. Now a days people visit web 2.0 (facebook), stream netflix, play games, and do many thing that use a lot of broadband. … Read More

via Web 2.0 – Instructional Systems – FSU

Is the Met copping the consequences? (via Integrity Talking Points)

(When we speak of the Met, what is being referred to is the Metropolitan Police.)

One of the police officials who resigned on Monday had taken gifts and trips from the Murdoch holdings. Since the police are implicated in covering up the crimes of the News of the World and also implicated in providing the scandal sheets with information about crimes and victims, it is not surprising that in hind sight taking these gifts were a mistake.

From the essay – No official in the course of their job, should accept gifts, hospitality or other benefits of any value from anyone other than their employing agency without the explicit consent of their employer. In the vast majority of circumstances, the only reason anyone would give such benefits relates to the exercise of functions by that official – either before decisions are made or following the making of decisions. It is difficult to conceive of a gifting purpose unrelated to either “oiling the wheels” or to recognise the favourable way the wheels have turned for the person making the gift.

If a gift is to be accepted, that acceptance must be transparent. This involves open disclosure to a superior officer, the granting of approval, and formally recording the benefit in a publicly accessible register.

It would be difficult to say it better than this author in these paragraphs.

James Pilant

18 July 2011 The News of the World saga illustrates how any organisation can quickly lose public trust. A media spotlight on the Metropolitan Police over the next few weeks will inevitably have this effect. The resignation of the Commissioner may moderate criticism. The allegations made by the Sunday Telegraph about the Commissioner accepting gifts and hospitality related to the News of the World will challenge the commitment to the ethics polici … Read More

via Integrity Talking Points

Typical academic consideration of police lying (via Allcoppedout’s Blog)

Here we discuss police lying and the legal fictions that figure so much in the language and practice of criminal justice. I like this paragraph –

My own belief is we are scared of transparency, partly because all our cupboards hide skeletons. When the ‘red witch’ placed at the heart of the hacking scandal admitted she knew her organization had paid police officers, this was seen as a blunder and admission of ‘criminality’. This is not the right approach and seems to be putting people we want to tell the truth in the same position as the police officer having to ‘game’ in the legal system.

I agree we do not value the truth so much as we value playing some strange kind of game designed to elude responsibility and honor.

James Pilant

Police lying is not best described as a “dirty little secret.”‘ For instance, police lying is no “dirtier” than the prosecutor’s encouragement or conscious use of tailored testimony2 or knowing suppression of Brady material;3 it is no more hypocritical than the wink and nod of judges who regularly pass on incredible police testimony4 and no more insincere than the demagogic politicians who decry criminality in our communities, but will not legisl … Read More

via Allcoppedout’s Blog

stealth marketing (via consummate consumer)

I think this is a very clever post about a growing method of marketing. This is a kind of supercharged “keeping up with the Jones” method which has more than a few moral failings. Of course, in movies and television, the struggling middle class is largely absent. We focus on corporate over achievers with vast sums of money (The Proposal, etc.) or supposedly Middle Americans who never seem to have real money problems. This move is, of course, tripe, and the author here calls it out appropriately.

It’s a good post and this blogger is focused on consumer, So, you might pay more than one visit.

James Pilant

stealth marketing i watched "The Joneses" today, a mildly amusing movie about a fabulous fake family of four that is actually a walking-talking advertisement. Demi Moore and David Duchovny play Mom and Dad to two attractive teenagers, and they sweep into sweet suburbia with their seductive lifestyle and get their unassuming neighbors to keep up with the Joneses by buying everything they have. they call this "stealth marketing.": movie is alright. it gets a little … Read More

via consummate consumer

Beijing consensus fails even in China (via Charles Rowley’s Blog)

Is the Beijing model something Americans should emulate?

No. China develops because the government allows its citizens more freedom and less top down control. It slows down when the government limits freedom by top down economic  control. When I speak of control I mean decisions about what resources are to be allocated, what industries encouraged and what should be made. These severely limit the power of a market economy.

James Pilant

My favorite paragraph –

More recently, China has reverted to the Beijing Consensus, with its leaders picking trade fights, for example by restricting the exports of rare earth minerals. It has back-tracked on banking reforms, forcing banks to engage in state-directed lending during the global crisis. It has crawled all over such elements of the rule of law as had emerged under Deng, cracking down on dissent, and jailing dissidents without any pretense of due process of law. Not coincidentally, this period of illiberalism has been accompanied by slowing growth rates and rampant inflation, traits that have fueled social instability and that now threaten a Chinese spring that is the worst fear of the central autocracy that cowers in the nation’s capital.

“In his speech last Friday marking the Chinese Communist Party’s 90th anniversary, Hu Jintao made one point clear above all: ‘Success in China hinges on the party.’  That view is to be expected from the party secretary.  Perhaps more surprising is the extent to which outside observers have come to believe it too.  These foreigners – academics and journalists prominent among them – look to the ‘Beijing model’ or the ‘Beijing consensus’ as a desira … Read More

via Charles Rowley’s Blog

Netherlands becomes second country to make net neutrality a law (via VentureBeat)

I would like to see the United States do this. I would like to point out that the time to get to my site after hitting a link has increased by a third. I believe that is due to other services being given priority. I wonder how many people will bother to read my stuff when the wait becomes double or triple.

James Pilant

Netherlands becomes second country to make net neutrality a law The Dutch Parliament on Wednesday passed a law that prohibits Internet service providers from slowing down any kind of Internet traffic unless it's to ease congestion, preserve security, or block spam. The practice of treating all Internet traffic equally—whether it's text, e-mail, audio, or video—is commonly referred to as net neutrality. This move makes the Netherlands the second country in the world to put net neutrality into law, after Chile. … Read More

via VentureBeat