• “A LOT OF WHAT PASSES FOR AIRPORT ‘SECURITY’ IS MORE THEATRICAL THAN REAL… essentially a performance to reassure passengers… but there are legitimate doubts about how much the kind of security currently inflicted on passengers really contributes to their safety.” It’s been nearly a decade since anyone was apprehended trying to get liquids or shoe-bombs on board, foiled a single terrorist plot or caught a single terrorist – despite a $7 billion annual TSA budget combined with most-sophisticated scanning technologies. A recent test of systems by Inspector-General of Homeland Security “succeeded in getting fake bombs & weapons through the screening process in 67 out of 70 airports across America.” Our greatest vulnerability likely comes from ‘insider threat’ – “people working airside who follow jihadist social media… employees not screened if they have an ID Card… a psychologically disturbed pilot… and some 7,500 ‘missing-property-from-checked-in luggage’ reports filed annually with TSA which evidence “how easy it would be to put a bomb in somebody else’s bag.” Experts concur that ‘profiling’ – psychological observation of suspects rather than looking for weapons – would be more effective, but gets rejected for political-correctness. Apart from that, “less predictable forms of screening (e.g. sniffer dogs) would be good. But the most important thing of all might be to keep a sense of proportion. Many travel on buses & trains, go to sporting events & open-air concerts – all potential targets for terrorists, yet they receive not even a fraction of the attention that air travel gets.”  [THE ECONOMIST – Nov 14, 15]
  • A ‘LIKE-KIND’ EXCHANGE ON SALE OF ASSETS, which avoids current capital gain taxes, can work for intangible assets as well as property. “Like-kind refers to the nature, character or class of the property but not necessarily to its grade or quality… and copyrights, trademarks, patents, even certain types of ‘business agreements’ (e.g. Manufacturing or Distribution) “ can qualify as long as they relate to “substantially similar” assets and rights. This strategy is not allowed for Goodwill or Going-Concern Value of a business, but can be exceptionally viable for other intangible sales. DCG can help with structure. [TAX ADVISOR – Nov 1, 15]
  •  CAUCASIAN AMERICANS ARE DYING AT AN INCREASING AND STATISTICALLY ALARMING RATE, while every other demographic group in America (and other developed countries) have increasingly healthier and longer lives. Princeton University research attributes the cause to “suicide, alcohol and drug poisonings… prompted by despair over stagnating wages and evaporating jobs… A wide feeling of ‘dispossession’ now haunts workers…who (1) grew up believing they were the country’s hardworking backbone and would have better lives than their parents… but (2) find their lives devoid of any meaning – a result of doubled divorce rates, waning religion (once a source of community support), and profound shift in the culture over the past 15 years, as 1 in 9 Americans subsist on a government disability payments provided by our bloated welfare state.” [THE WEEK – Nov 20 15]
  • OVER 60% OF INTERNET USES LIVE IN COUNTRIES WHERE GOVERNMENT CRITICISM IS RESTRICTED. Fourteen countries, including the U.S. & Canada, have zero censorship, but over fifty other countries do – mostly relating to “criticism of authorities or political opposition; news or opinions on conflict, terrorism or violence; insult to religion; satire, ridicule, cultural or social commentary; online protests, positions or campaigns; info about minorities or LGBT issues.” [TIME – Nov 12, 15]
  • SOME MURPHY LAWS ON COMMITTEE MEETINGS: “Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough conferences are held to discuss it… A meeting is no substitute for progress… The efficiency of a committee meeting is inversely proportional to the number of participants and the time spent on deliberations… Once the way to screw up a project is presented for consideration, it will invariably be accepted as the soundest solution… If people listened to themselves more often, they would talk less.”
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” Henry Ford      “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living…”

          “It’s useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while wolves remain of a different opinion.”