Seeing past Vern Buchanan’s nose

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My Florida congressman, Vern Buchanan, sends out these inane email surveys almost every week, which always ask one question in a way that screams, “Answer this way!” A recent one, for instance, was designed to get constituents to say that congressional salaries are too high. Which is really rich, because Vern Buchanan is, uh, really rich. As one of the… Read more »

The Ten-ish Commandments

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Despite their iconic status in Christian and Jewish theology, it is unlikely that even the most Bible-literate person you encounter could easily and accurately name all ten of the commandments from chapter 20 in the Old Testament book of Exodus. [1] Bring up your computer’s notepad and try it yourself before looking at the source below. You shouldn’t be too… Read more »

How SHOULD you tax a corporation?

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In two recent posts [1] I have criticized the methods by which the state and federal governments tax corporations and how they treat the state-granted limited liability privileges. In this post I will make some proposals as to how best to tax corporations and limited liability companies given their ubiquity in the economy and international nature. While I disagree with… Read more »

King Hammurabi and your “deontology brain”

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For many people, especially the most religious of a fundamentalist bent, the whole idea of ethics and morality is only about rules. In this continuing exploration of our four “ethical brains” (see this earlier post for an introduction to that concept), it is practical to start with “rules and exceptions,” not because they are the earliest or dominant ethical modes, but… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #4 – What’s at risk?

In the prior post in this series, I looked at where the likely differential between Trump’s self-proclaimed net worth of $10 billion and Forbes’ $3.1 billion estimate came from. In this last post in this series (for now) I want to take a harder look at the Forbes valuation. Skip to the “Trump Businesses at Risk” section at the end… Read more »

Diversions: the NME Awards Show of 1965

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In a recent post about the 1964 “T.A.M.I. Show” I noted the scarcity of good live performances by rock bands of the “British Invasion” era. In 1965, New Musical Express (NME) a British music magazine, produced a major live awards show that is available on YouTube (below). While the video and sound quality is not nearly as good as the American… Read more »

Hearing, seeing, and choosing in logarithms – part 2

In Part One of this series of posts, I demonstrated the non-linear “natural logarithmic” relationship between the frequency of a sound and our perception of it. Likewise, our perception of the volume of sound has this same “proportion-based” relationship, and I noted that this is true for our other senses as well. These are manifestations of what is called the… Read more »

Trump real estate finance #3 – valuation baloney

The prior two parts of this series of posts have looked at my take on the basic Donald Trump real estate investment strategy and on his likely issues with collateral. In this and the next posts, I want to take a look at the basic issue of “valuation,” that is, “How much is Trump worth?” First up, we need to… Read more »