Some longer form reads to begin your extended weekend:

• Scientology: The Tip of the Spear (LA Magazine) Note: This is the article that brought Scientology into the light tears ago
Ooh a chair! Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China (NYT)
• The Structure of Scientific Revolutions at Fifty (The New Atlantis) but see The Folly of Scientism (The New Atlantis)
• The Boy Who Became a World War II Veteran at 13 Years Old (Past Imperfect)
• The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America’s Middle Class (Rolling Stone)
• The Fixers: How ‘Fix the Debt’ Won Over Wall Street and Built a Fiscal Cliff Army (NY Magazine)
• What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web? (Smithsonian)
• Three lessons from the near-final popular vote (Los Angeles Times) see also Setting the Stage for a Second Term (TIME)
• Alan Turing in three words (The Times Literary Supplement)
• What are the top five books you must-read? (Barking Up The Wrong Tree)

What do you have going  on this weekend?


Why you’re right to be obsessed with Apple stock

Source: Fortune

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

11 Responses to “10 Weekend Reads”

  1. rtalcott says:

    5 books I need to read? Don’t think so…they all look weak to me…more of the same….what was that quote about people and history?

  2. RW says:

    Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy

    Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another – from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball – imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.

    How did we get here?

    Excerpt from recent Joseph Stiglitz talk [video 12:02m]

    The median income in America today is lower than it was a decade and a half ago; median wealth is now as low as it was two decades ago. …all the increase in the American economy over the past two decades has gone to the top. …[currently] the lifetime prospects of a young American are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any of the other advanced countries for which we have data.

    Not promising trends for any economic system based on consumption (and any equity investors therein)

    Not particularly good news for a democracy either …or civil society generally if it comes to that.

  3. PeterR says:

    Besides watching Gallagher reruns, some thoughtful New Years’ reflections may be in order, on the meaning of life, and then unsaid good-byes to loved ones.

    A touching article on the latter:

    For the first: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps.

    Have a good weekend.

  4. Overseas American says:

    I read the Rolling Stones story about the unemployed and homeless folks living in their vans and RV’s and wondered why they don’t drive their vans and RV’s to North Dakota where the unemployment rate is 2.4 % and there are hundreds of jobs available. Sure, the winters aren’t as easy in Fargo as they are in Santa Monica, but at least they could feed themselves and their children.

    One of the strengths of America is that people have always been willing to move in order to stay employed (think of the “Okies” during the first Great Depression). Have we lost this strength?

  5. leeward says:

    re: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a truly important read, though long. The points made in summary would be empty without the entire discussion. Save the link for a snowy day.

    You don’t have to live in Calif. to know about the GMO v. non-GMO and the monied battle for share of voice. This link seems rantish but to both sides of the argument.
    Another great example of money=speech=the agenda (in Congress) evidenced by the fact that we all eat GMO grown food and are saved from the debate because science has not proven it yet. I don’t have a side in the argument but my gut tells me money seems to drive the discussion and not science-y truth.

  6. Molesworth says:

    Going to miss Boockvar if he’s gone forever.
    Re: His new boss

    * Compare your opponent to Adolf Hitler.
    This is your heavy artillery, for when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong. Bring Hitler up subtly.
    How to win any argument”

    Mr Cooperman, Mr Bockvar’s new boss, pulled out that heavy artillery last May when he compared President Obama to Hitler:

    Then he received the ultimate insult:
    After Cooperman made his Hitler comment, he has said, his wife called him a “schmuck.”
    Read more:

    As best stated by Danny Devito as Phil Cooper in The Big Kahuna:
    Phil Cooper: A man hasn’t any idea what his soul looks like until he gazes into the eyes for the woman that he’s married to. And then, if he’s any kind of decent human being, he spends the next couple of days throwing up. Because no honest man can stand that image.

    Best of luck to Peter.
    Smart business people take a Teflon shower every day. For Boockvar’s sake, hope Cooperman has calmed down and regained his perspective.

  7. PeterR says:

    The Coneheads is on the Comedy Channel . . .

  8. rd says:

    I have been enjoying reading the various accounts of the various tax increases our household will be facing Jan1 since the GOP haven’t wanted to negotiate any tax increases with the democrats.

    1. Payroll tax – about 85% of our household income is subject to this, so there is about a $3k hit next year – I won’t complain about this one because this was supposed to be temporary.

    2. A couple of tax credit and deuction programs such as Educators Tax Credit and Tuition Deduction/Tax Credit smorgasboard (need a tax lawyer to figure out the various college deduction-credits)

    3. Married Filing Jointly adjustments to get rid of marriage penalty;

    4. Marginal tax rates – about 3% typically, so a few more thousand; however the marginal tax rates don’t really matter because of

    5. AMT – the bizarro world of US government accounting means that the fixes for this are always hand to mouth, so the 2012 adjustment has still not been made to account for inflation. We have been subject to the AMT for a number of years and the unadjusted AMT will likely take a massive chunk out of our 2012 tax return, never mind 2013. I expect that the unadjusted AMT would likely be a hit of $5k or more. If they do pass a fix for this sometime in January or February, it is unlikely that the IRS, tax preparers, and tax software will be able to process returns until late March.

    At this point, the GOP refusal to increase marginal taxes on a small percentage of the population is likely to cost our household about 3% or so of our gross income in taxes for 2012 and 10% of our gross income in 2013. This hit across the $60k+ household income bracket would almost certainly put the country into recession. Apparently since the GOP couldn’t achieve their primary agenda item of making Obama a one-term president, they are determined to start his second term with a recession.

    If they want to keep the AMT I suggest that they throw all income into it including capital gains, dividends, and Social Security but they allow for all taxes to be deducted including payroll taxes (despite the belief of many politicians that these are not really taxes since wealthy people don’t pay a significant amount of them). Obviosuly, since it is official government and Federal Reseve policy that inflation is desirable, that the AMT standard deduction be indexed for inflation.

  9. Jojo says:

    China – making major investments in military hardware and they have an active space program. I won’t be surprised if China winds up landing the first person on Mars. Meanwhile, our leaders/politicians spend their time stonewalling each other, spewing ideological BS and getting little done.
    Popular Science
    Inside China’s Secret Arsenal
    The Chinese government is rapidly building a bigger, more sophisticated military. Here’s what they have, what they want, and what it means for the U.S.

    Posted 12.20.2012

    In a single generation, China has transformed itself from a largely agrarian country into a global manufacturing and trading powerhouse. China’s economy is 20 times bigger than it was two decades ago and is on track to surpass the United States’ as the world’s largest. But perhaps most startling has been the growth of China’s ambitious and increasingly powerful military.

    Just 10 years ago, the budget for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was roughly $20 billion. Today, that number is more like $100 billion. (Some analysts think it’s closer to $160 billion.) The PLA’s budget is only a sixth of what the U.S. devotes to defense annually, but defense dollars go much further in China, and in the years ahead, Chinese military spending will grow at the same rate as its economy. Meanwhile, Chinese president Hu Jintao has called for the PLA to carry out “new historic missions” in the 21st century–to move beyond the traditional goal of defending the nation’s sovereignty and develop the global military reach of a true world superpower. In some cases, China’s increasing international presence could lead to greater cooperation with the U.S., as it did in 2008 when China joined antipiracy patrols off Somalia. But if American and Chinese forces end up in the same place with different goals, the result could be a standoff between two of the best-equipped militaries in the world.

    American officials aren’t just concerned about the amount of money the Chinese military is spending. They’re worried about the technology that money is buying. U.S. military hardware remains a generation ahead of any rival’s, but the Chinese have begun to close the gap. Consider China’s progress in building advanced warplanes. Until recently, American officials thought their F-22 and F-35 aircraft were the world’s only fifth-generation fighters (the name given to a class of stealthy fighter jets developed in the past decade, which are equipped with radar-evading features, high-performance engines and avionics, and networked computer systems).

  10. ilsm says:


    If we are lucky the Chinese will regard military jet plants as jobs programs like Lockheed and buy commuter jets from us.

    Popular Science, please!

    The challenge from China is beyond the US’ military industry congress complex. The MICC is in it for the money plundering 5% of US GDP for perpetual war with good returns. Selling the same tactics that ‘won’ WW II, with hugley more expensive wepons which do not stop when they do not work.

    “Defense” is secondary to selling perpetual war profits.

    Beside the Chinese military read a philosopher from 2500 years ago, who said: “No prince prospers by long war”, and “the successful prince achieves his aims without battle”.

    What you should fear is the enemy the MICC are not prepared to fight.

    China will not be so kind as to fight the US’ strength.

  11. call me ahab says:

    from the Rolling Stones article:

    “When flood waters cover our homes, we expect that FEMA workers with emergency checks and blankets will find us. There is no moral or substantive difference between a hundred-year flood and the near-destruction of the global financial system by speculators immune from consequence.”

    the difference that I can see is that the former situation is seen as a temporary phenomena whereas the latter situation is potentially permanent

    maybe a greater permanent underclass is inevitable