Wednesday, January 03, 2018

What I am reading 1/3/2018

Pakistan has been accused of playing a "double game" and harbouring "terrorists" by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, as the war of words continues between the two countries over military aid.
Haley's comments come a day after President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Pakistan for allegedly lying to the US and offering "little help" in hunting "terrorists" in neighbouring Afghanistan.
 Without a doubt the Taliban has been seeking refuge in Pakistan's tribal areas and the ISI has been backstabbing the US for years, but the problem is more systemic.  Pakistan's government is a corrupt kleptocracy and even if they weren't fucking around with this they are not deserving of US support.

LA Times - A longtime Republican senator says he'll retire, and the White House nervously eyes his likely successor, Mitt Romney -
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s announcement Tuesday that he would retire rather than seek an eighth term representing Utah opened the door to a return to public office by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a sometimes harsh critic of President Trump.
The contentiousness between the president and Romney has been so acute that Trump had publicly implored Hatch to run again, a barely veiled effort to deny Romney a route to the Senate. But at 83, having spent nearly half his life as a senator, Hatch spurned the president’s request and made good on his long-ago vow to leave office at the conclusion of his current term. He will depart as the longest-serving Republican in the Senate’s history.
This is a tough one for me, I am not a fan of President Trump, but I do agree with some of his policies, whereas I do like Romney personally but disagree with his stances on immigration and a couple other things.    It will drive the Trump base batshit if he wins. 

NYTimes - China Offers Tax Incentives to Persuade U.S. Companies to Stay -
BEIJING — China said on Thursday that it would temporarily exempt foreign companies from paying tax on their earnings, a bid to keep American businesses from taking their profits out of China following Washington’s overhaul of the United States tax code.
There is, however, a catch: To be eligible, foreign companies must invest those earnings in sectors encouraged by China’s government — including railways, mining, technology and agriculture — according to a statement from the Finance Ministry. The measure is retroactive from Jan. 1 this year, the ministry said.

HMMM, I thought the tax overhaul was going to be ineffective in convincing businesses to repatriate overseas earnings. 

Reuters - The Bitcoin Hoax -
...(I)f the issue is more competition, the remedy is to break up the big banks, not to return to a digitized version of 19th century boom and bust credit creation. I may agree with Dimon on Bitcoin – I agreed with Steve Bannon on not going to nuclear war with North Korea – but that doesn’t mean I support either Bannon’s racism or Dimon’s predatory banking.
In sum, we should hardly be surprised that Bitcoin is on a wild speculative ride—that’s the essence of privatized credit creation. And if you think this gambling is zero-sum and victimless, kindly Google these: Panic of 1837, Panic of 1857, Panic of 1873, Panic of 1893, Panic of 1907 and, of course, the Great Depression of 1929-1940 and the Collapse of 2008.
Boing Boing - Cory Doctrow has restarted his podcast -

Some people may be interested so I included it.  I, personally, consider him to be the most overrated writer alive and am actually kind of upset that DefCon included him in their DefCon26 reading list. (His story, When Sysadmins Ruled The Earth, kind of says it all.  Whatadouche)

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