writes: Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes
Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.
Google's income shifting — involving strategies known to lawyers as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich" — helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.
Even the Brookings Institute says the system needs reform: http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2007/06corporatetaxes_clausing.aspx
Salon has more discussion: http://www.salon.com/2011/11/11/corporate_tax_open2011/singleton/Link to Original Source
Anonymous to protect the guilty
writes: Wallmart, of all folks, has their own blog on sustainability and details their plans for more environmentally friendly packaging and changes to consoles and games to make them more green. It seems that they called a summit with all the big players, Nintendo, MS and Sony included. According to the Walmart guy:
"This has been a very interesting week for us in Bentonville. We had the opportunity to bring in folks from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony as well as Electronic Arts, Activision and American Game Factory for a "green gaming summit." It was truly eye opening. We also had a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council to assist us in this process. We talked about a lot at this meeting about packaging, power consumption and education."
And here is how things are going to change:
* Switching to cardboard packaging would be like taking almost 4,000 cars off the road in terms of equivalent green house gas emissions.
* Working with console manufacturers on coding and power usage design can reduce the power consumption when we use our devices for media playback.
* Developing software and hardware that allows us to save the game so we do not have to leave it on would allow us to turn it off during a meal break or overnight without loosing our place. Additionally, come clever programming would allow the console to go into a lower power, standby mode when not in use.
* Focusing on the next generation of consoles would allow the machines to be built from the ground up to use less power while providing an even better experience.
Looks like the NRDC has been very busy researching video games. Is this a past due change or will this destroy gaming?Link to Original Source
writes: Accordign to this storyThe neocons vow to rock the casbah before the casbah rocks us: Subjecting suspected terrorists to grating rock music was one interrogation technique used by the CIA, reports Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker.
"America faces its most serious crisis since the height of the cold war," Richard Perle warns. "Iran has launched a secret program to develop offensive rock music. Within five years they may posses music as repellent as anything in the American arsenal, including 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Mary J Blige. No secret will be safe if they obtain these frightful weapons."
Paul Wolfowitz agrees. "The prospect of the Jihadist in Iran armed with odious rock music is terrifying. Such music could make Ehud Olmert talk. Iran must be stopped before they obtain Rock Music of Mass Destruction, even if this means war."
"Think of a world where radical Islamists can access our most guarded scientific, military, and diplomatic secrets," Norman Podhoretz cautions. "We must act quickly and forcefully to cripple Iranian rock production before this nightmare becomes a reality."
Vice President Dick Cheney recently met with Perle, Wolfowitz, Podhoretz, and other neocons to plan a surgical strike against the Iranian rock industry. According to Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, "A few thousand precision-guided munitions would send Iran back to the Bing Crosby age."
While such bombing will inevitably entail collateral damage, Cheney asserts that Iranian civilians will welcome being maimed and killed as part of their liberation from oppressive rock music.
Cheney will present plans to President Bush for a pre-emptive strike on Iran a few days after they are implemented.
In a recent National Intelligence Estimate, the CIA stated that Iran discontinued its rock program in 2003 due to severe shortage of songwriters and rhythm guitarists.
Cheney is not convinced. "Those wusses at the CIA don't understand rock," Cheney reportedly said. Cheney considers himself an expert on rock music, having amassed a large personal collection of Eddie Fisher and Perry Como 45s.
The current dispute is reminiscent of the "LL Cool Dmitri" scare of the 1980s. Spurred by Wolfowitz, Perle, Podhoretz, Abrams, and Cheney, the Committee for Present Danger (CPD) charged that the Soviet Union had developed LL Cool Dmitri-class rock music that could threaten U.S. superiority.
According the CPD, Soviet LL Cool Dmitri-class singers had voices that "could intercept an ICBM in flight."
"Once they deploy LL Cool Dmitri-class rock music, they can learn 'Who shot J.R.' before we do," Cheney warned at the time.
Responding to the threat, President Reagan launched "Music Star Wars," featuring loathsome signers such as Lionel Richie, Huey Lewis and the News, and Sheena Easton. Spending billions, Reagan produced the 1980s, the worst decade of rock music in history.
The Soviets bankrupted themselves trying to compete. It was later learned that the neocons had overstated the Soviet threat because LL Cool Dmitri, LL Cool Dmitri Fydorovitch, LL Cool Mitka, LL Cool Mitri Fydorovitch, LL Cool Mitya, LL Cool Mitya Fydorovitch, LL Cool Mitri, LL Cool Mitneka, and LL Cool Mitka Fydorovitch were, in fact, the same person.