We bring you yet another edition of the now infamous TBB Best of Web links: We go deep into the American aristocracy and one percenters, get you a vicious beat down of dumb Bitcoin crypto crap, freak out how widespread the fake Amazon reviews really are, an inspiring speech by Michael Bloomberg to the Rice University class of 2018 about life honor code and a warning from a psychologist to all parents about your kids’ potential and of course we end it with some sharp political humor. Still freeeeeeeee!
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As always, click on the headline to be taken to the original source. Sometimes I insert my incendiary comments on article excerpts between [brackets].
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Warning: This is a long read. Author is hell bent to make you feel guilty if you happen to be part of the 9.9 percent. I am not sure he succeeds but he does make a lot of points that will make you think. In fact, in my own biased opinion, he does make the point that the 0.1% is indeed the problem:
It is in fact the top 0.1 percent who have been the big winners in the growing concentration of wealth over the past half century. According to the UC Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the 160,000 or so households in that group held 22 percent of America’s wealth in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1963. If you’re looking for the kind of money that can buy elections, you’ll find it inside the top 0.1 percent alone.
I think the most important part is Part 8: The politics of resentment. The author nails it in my own biased opinion again 🙂
The 2016 presidential election marked a decisive moment in the history of resentment in the United States. In the person of Donald Trump, resentment entered the White House. It rode in on the back of an alliance between a tiny subset of super-wealthy 0.1 percenters (not all of them necessarily American) and a large number of 90 percenters who stand for pretty much everything the 9.9 percent are not.
According to exit polls by CNN and Pew, Trump won white voters by about 20 percent. But these weren’t just any old whites (though they were old, too). The first thing to know about the substantial majority of them is that they weren’t the winners in the new economy. To be sure, for the most part they weren’t poor either. But they did have reason to feel judged by the market—and found wanting. The counties that supported Hillary Clinton represented an astonishing 64 percent of the GDP, while Trump counties accounted for a mere 36 percent. Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, found that the median home value in Clinton counties was $250,000, while the median in Trump counties was $154,000. When you adjust for inflation, Clinton counties enjoyed real-estate price appreciation of 27 percent from January 2000 to October 2016; Trump counties got only a 6 percent bump.
For a rebuttal of the above, this one is better: Actually, the 1 Percent Are Still The Problem.
And no, before you rip me, I am no fan of Bernie Sanders okay?
You have probably noticed that I am no fan of bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies. And this article is an absolute masterful beat down of them! But at the very end it turns waaaaay left which kind of ruins it, sad! I wish they just stopped at the beatdown part lol.
If you read this and you are not disturbed you must be a robot…
This is how it starts…
One morning in late January, Jake picked up the box on his desk, tore through the packing tape, unearthed the iPhone case inside, snapped a picture, and uploaded it to an Amazon review he’d been writing. The review included a sentence about the case’s sleek design and cool, clear volume buttons. He finished off the blurb with a glowing title (“The perfect case!!”) and rated the product a perfect five stars. Click. Submitted.
Jake never tried the case. He doesn’t even have an iPhone.
Jake then copied the link to his review and pasted it into an invite-only Slack channel for paid Amazon reviewers. A day later, he received a notification from PayPal, alerting him to a new credit in his account: a $10 refund for the phone case he’ll never use, along with $3 for his trouble — potentially more, if he can resell the iPhone case.
Jake is not his real name. He — along with the four other reviewers who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story — wanted to remain anonymous for fear Amazon would ban their accounts. They are part of an extensive, invisible workforce fueling a review-fraud economy that persists in every corner of the largest marketplace on the internet. Drawn in by easy money and free stuff, they’ve seeded Amazon with fake five-star reviews of LED lights, dog bowls, clothing, and even health items like prenatal vitamins — all meant to convince you that this product is the best and bolster the sales of profiteers hoping to grab a piece of the Amazon Gold Rush. Meanwhile, sellers trying to play by the rules are struggling to stay afloat amid a sea of fraudulent reviews, and buyers are unwittingly purchasing inferior or downright faulty products. And Amazon is all but powerless to stop it.
And the article keeps going after that…It will shock you! If not, I will give you your money back! 🙂
This is the text of the speech of Michael R. Bloomberg to the Rice University class of 2018. And it is wonderful! Just a small part of it to inspire you!
Graduates: You’re ready for this challenge. Because bringing the country back together starts with the first lesson you learned here: Honesty matters. And everyone must be held accountable for being honest.
So as you go out into the world, I urge you to do what honesty requires: Recognize that no one, nor either party, has a monopoly on good ideas. Judge events based on what happened, not who did it. Hold yourself and our leaders to the highest standards of ethics and morality. Respect the knowledge of scientists. Follow the data, wherever it leads.
Listen to people you disagree with — without trying to censor them or shout over them. And have the courage to say things that your own side does not want to hear.
Let me leave you with one final thought: We can all recite the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
But remember that the Founding Fathers were able to bring those truths to life only because of the Declaration’s final words: “We mutually pledge to each other, our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
That pledge of honor — and that commitment to truth — is why we are here today. And in order to preserve those truths, and the rights they guarantee us, every generation must take that same pledge. Now it’s your turn.
Another must read. Hey, everything that makes it on a Sunday ‘TBB Best of Web’ post is a must read!
I have always been non pushy to my kids. I keep telling them “Just stay off drugs, do your best and never forget we love you” and things of that sort. But sometimes I see some other parents that put ridiculous pressure on their kids and make me want to scream WTF!
But I digress. If you belong in that group…PLEASE read this article. It should shock you. But if it doesn’t…it will sure help you.
Friends, neighbors, and the “child improvement” industry are quick to tell us everything we need to do to help our children reach their potential. They insist:
– Play Mozart while your baby is in the womb.
– Use the “brain boosting” baby formula.
– Sign your toddler up for gym classes to develop gross motor skills.
– Arrange for music classes to develop your child’s mathematical thinking.
– Start soccer by three or it will be too late.
– Language immersion must take place before the critical period ends.
– It’s not enough to do one activity; you have to make sure your child is well rounded.
From all sides, the message is, “Start early; go faster; do more.” The earnestness and intensity of this advice makes it seem as though any parent who doesn’t sign her children up for a bevy of enriching activities is neglectful.
We all know that overscheduled children (that is, kids who do more activities than ours do!) are a national problem, but the pressure and competition continue, and nothing changes. Philosophically, we might appreciate the value of down time, but as parents, we’re afraid to do anything less than everything possible to develop our children’s potential.
In our zeal and anxiety to make sure our children fulfill their potential, we look to grades, test scores, and class placement as if they were crystal balls into the future — objective and infallible indicators of what lies ahead. We fret if a grade is low. We worry that our children might not be working hard enough. We fear that the curriculum offerings might not be challenging enough. Again, we are bombarded by advice: “Oh, isn’t your daughter doing the computer-based tutoring that will advance her test scores one whole year?” We monitor homework, help them study for tests, critique their papers, supervise their science projects, and worry we’re not doing enough. We wouldn’t want our children to waste their potential.
You like it? There is more! But after you get your grandmother a CSP card with my links bwahahahaha…
And I leave you with this…
Okay, that was way on the right so lets get back to our roots, shall we? Deep down, your blogger here belongs to the center lol
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