Showing posts from June 18, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Report: Utility-scale solar prices drop below $1/watt for first time

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[The oil and gas emperors have no clothes. See also: For First Time Ever, U.S. Gets 10% of Electricity From Wind and Solar, Solar And Wind Revolution Happening Much Faster Than Expected, and Jobs in Wind Energy in 2016. What was that about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Mister President? See this piece, proudly trumpeted on Fox News: First New Coal Mine of Trump Era Opens in Pennsylvania. A grand total of 70 jobs! It's pretty clear exactly how stupid they believe the public to be. Finally, see how Bloomberg opines that the price of oil is going nowhere fast: The Long-Term Price of Oil Is ... *RON*]

Robert Walton, Utility Dive, 12 June 2017

Dive Brief: Solar capacity additions are continuing to amass while the installed price-per-watt falls, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. According to the report, utility-scale solar systems were priced at an average of $.99 to $1.08/wat…

How Amazon’s Accounting Makes Rich People’s Income Invisible

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[Under the corporatocracy it's not about profits, it's all about capital gains. "instead of being double-taxed on profits for all that time, investors' income is taxed once, at the low 20% capital gains rate. And that, only when those gains are realized through sale of the stock. In the meantime it’s all tax-deferred — yet another huge effective-tax-rate win for shareholders. The longer they hold, the bigger the win. If they pass the stock on to their heirs, those gains are never taxed at all." *RON*]
Steve Roth, Evonomics, 19 February 2017
Image you’re Jeff Bezos, circa 1998. You’re building a company (Amazon) that stands to make you and your compatriots vastly rich.

But looking forward, you see a problem: if your company makes profits, it will have to pay taxes on them. (At least nominally, in theory, 35%!) Then you and your investors will have to pay taxes on them again when they’re distributed to you as dividends. (Thou…

Ireland’s first gay prime minister is formally elected

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[Ireland and Belgium are the only two democratic states in modern history to have elected openly gay national leaders. Both are majority Catholic countries. *RON*]
Lucy Purdy, Positive News, 15 June, 2017

Leo Varadkar has made history in Ireland by becoming the country’s first openly gay prime minister, as well as the youngest.

Leo Varadkar was formally elected taoiseach at a confirmation ceremony in the Dáil in Dublin yesterday after winning the Fine Gael party leadership earlier this month.

The former GP and son of an Indian father and Irish mother, won the vote by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstaining. His parents Ashok and Miriam were present to see him receive his seal of office. The couple met when they worked in an English hospital in the 1960s.

Varadkar’s partner, Matthew Barrett, who is a doctor, was also watching. Varadkar came out as gay shortly before the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland during an interview with RTÉ, Ireland’s …

Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?

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[The corporatocracy complains that government interferes with non-existent free markets. In fact, government should exist to protect the public interest against a profoundly undemocratic autocracy of greed. From 3 years ago, and considered by the writer to be an update of what he wrote 5 years ago. For the current context, see this Atlantic piece from Friday: When Does Amazon Become a Monopoly? *RON*]
Charlie Stross, Charlie's Diary, 26 May 2014

(I've written before on this blog, notably in 2012, about how to understand Amazon's business strategy. Consider this an update.)

Last week, began removing the pre-order links from titles by the publishing group Hachette. This is a cruel and unpleasant action, from an author's point of view; if you're a new author with a title about to come out, it utterly fucks your first-week sales and probably dooms your career from the outset. And if you're someone like me, with a tit…

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States

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[Their own biggest threat. See also: Turns out people get angry when you say white Americans are terrorists, too. *RON*]

By GlobalPost Writer, Public Radio International, 18 June 2017


White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror” attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country's lawless border regions