"More than three months after the European Commission started investigating the possibility that Ireland had been providing illegal state aid for Apple, it finally published a letter containing the information that aroused its suspicions. Essentially, in 1991 and 2007, Apple and Ireland agreed that much of the money flowing into the company’s Irish accounts had nothing to do with its operations in the country, and hence shouldn’t be taxed as profit in Ireland. Instead, the two sides negotiated a deal in which Apple paid tax on a certain percentage of its Ireland-related costs. The deal stood for 15 years, much longer than most European countries would allow such tax rulings to remain in force. Even after some amendments, Apple Sales International paid taxes on less than $80 million in 2011, a year in which the Ireland-incorporated entity recorded $22 billion in pretax income, according to the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations."

Hey so now we know how Apple’s been avoiding taxes in Ireland - in exchange for situating a few employees in Ireland, the Irish government agreed to pretend that the profits Apple was storing in Ireland didn’t actually count as profits. The European Commission has been investigating and their letter is actually pretty angry by government bureaucracy standards. Let’s review why this kind of special tax shelter deal is terrible for everyone:

  1. Obviously, this deprives the US government of a ton of tax revenue. Apple gets all the benefits of a US company - educated workforce, transportation and utilities infrastructure, intellectual property law - and lets poorer people and companies pay for it. This deal has basically been a free ride of several billion dollars for Apple.
  2. Deals like this mean a huge race to the bottom between countries in terms of negotiating special deals. It looks great to announce to your voters that you’ve attracted a few dozen high-profile tech jobs by massively weakening your financial regulations, so you can see why it might seem like a good deal for Ireland. But they’re not just yentzing some other country’s finances here - they’re creating an incentive for everyone to scramble to offer sweeter and sweeter deals to massive companies with effective popular branding.
  3. On a broader scale, handing companies tens of billions of dollars just for the ability to lobby for a deal like this totally destroys the incentives for innovation in the tech industry. Our system is geared to rely on the promise of private-sector profits to deliver us new technology in terms of computers and mobile devices. If we’re turning around and saying “nope wait you get more profit from cajoling a small country whose politician want to impress the public to give you tax breaks than you ever would from new products” this weakens the incentives for new projects even further.

So yeah, what Apple has done here is just terrible. Seriously hoping the European Commission can crack down effectively? Obviously it would be cool if the US government could act but not holding my breath on that one.

(via jakke)

onlylolgifs:

Huge Saint Bernard dog being needy

(via thegamingmuse)

adultinsect:

mrcaptaincook:

kinesin (a motor protein) pulling a some kind of vesicle along some kind of cytoskeletal filament
via John Liebler at Art of the Cell

me coming into the club

adultinsect:

mrcaptaincook:

kinesin (a motor protein) pulling a some kind of vesicle along some kind of cytoskeletal filament

via John Liebler at Art of the Cell

me coming into the club

(via r-flavored-vowels)

New Who Doctors in their previous incarnation’s clothes

(Source: themostimpassionedsong, via twin-city-ankh-and-morpork)

Tags: racism

(Source: aside47, via openbookopenmind)

shodobear:

stunningpicture:

A grape, wearing a raspberry.

I am froot.

shodobear:

stunningpicture:

A grape, wearing a raspberry.

I am froot.

(via openbookopenmind)

pleatedjeans:

Nick Offerman, ladies and gentlemen. [x]

pleatedjeans:

Nick Offerman, ladies and gentlemen. [x]

(via prowl-great-cain)

bnedge:

Terry Pratchett on 25 years of Discworld.
Have you read Discworld? 
My favourite is ‘Mort’, what’s yours?

(via twin-city-ankh-and-morpork)

"Human beings took our animal need for palatable food … and turned it into chocolate souffles with salted caramel cream. We took our ability to co-operate as a social species … and turned it into craft circles and bowling leagues and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We took our capacity to make and use tools … and turned it into the Apollo moon landing. We took our uniquely precise ability to communicate through language … and turned it into King Lear.

None of these things are necessary for survival and reproduction. That is exactly what makes them so splendid. When we take our basic evolutionary wiring and transform it into something far beyond any prosaic matters of survival and reproduction … that’s when humanity is at its best. That’s when we show ourselves to be capable of creating meaning and joy, for ourselves and for one another. That’s when we’re most uniquely human.

And the same is true for sex. Human beings have a deep, hard-wired urge to replicate our DNA, instilled in us by millions of years of evolution. And we’ve turned it into an intense and delightful form of communication, intimacy, creativity, community, personal expression, transcendence, joy, pleasure, and love. Regardless of whether any DNA gets replicated in the process.

Why should we see this as sinful? What makes this any different from chocolate souffles and King Lear?"

— Greta Christina (Sex and the Off-Label Use of Our Bodies) (via sexisnottheenemy) (via finkspiration) (via itswalky) (via stormteller)

aconnormanning:

maneth985:

fallen-angel-with-a-shotgun:

dajo42:

if you dont have me on facebook you are probably not missing out on any posts but the comment section is important too lmao

I went to the Renaissance faire dressed as a warrior.  I had a real sword with me, too.  I was standing (in character) next to a sword-fighting ring, where kids of all ages got the chance to pick up a sword and challenge the champion.  Some woman walks by, with her little girl.  The girl starts walking towards the ring, saying she wants to fight.  But the mom pulled her away hella sharply, and was like, “That’s for boys.”  You don’t want to be a BOY, do you?”    And the girl looked around and saw me.  I think she thought I was a boy; I had my hair in a ponytail, and was wearing a hood.  So she comes up to me and asks me, “Do you think girls can be fighters, too?”  And her mom looks like she’s silently gloating.  Like she thinks I’m going to say no.  So I take off my hood, untie my hair so that it flows freely, and kneel before her.  And I’m like, “Milady, anyone can be a fighter.”  I swear, the look on that mother’s face made my day.



This post was good but then it got better

aconnormanning:

maneth985:

fallen-angel-with-a-shotgun:

dajo42:

if you dont have me on facebook you are probably not missing out on any posts but the comment section is important too lmao

I went to the Renaissance faire dressed as a warrior.  I had a real sword with me, too.  I was standing (in character) next to a sword-fighting ring, where kids of all ages got the chance to pick up a sword and challenge the champion.  Some woman walks by, with her little girl.  The girl starts walking towards the ring, saying she wants to fight.  But the mom pulled her away hella sharply, and was like, “That’s for boys.”  You don’t want to be a BOY, do you?”    And the girl looked around and saw me.  I think she thought I was a boy; I had my hair in a ponytail, and was wearing a hood.  So she comes up to me and asks me, “Do you think girls can be fighters, too?”  And her mom looks like she’s silently gloating.  Like she thinks I’m going to say no.  So I take off my hood, untie my hair so that it flows freely, and kneel before her.  And I’m like, “Milady, anyone can be a fighter.”  I swear, the look on that mother’s face made my day.

This post was good but then it got better

(via wilwheaton)

(Source: sodaking, via wilwheaton)

letterstomycountry:

If you don’t already know the story behind this photo, it’s a good one.  When Keshia Thomas was 18, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Counter protesters came out in droves to tell the KKK that they were not welcome.  At one point, a man with SS tattoos and a vest emblazoned with the confederate flag wound up on the side of the counter-protesters.  He was thrown to the ground and multiple protesters began to beat him with picket signs and sticks.  Keshia Thomas became uncomfortable with the scene, so much so that she threw herself over the man to protect him, and begged the crowd to stop.
When asked about why she protected a man who almost certainly hated her for the color of her skin, she responded:

I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

A little while ago, AZSpot posted about Robert Farrar Capon, who talked about the idea of “vulgar grace” within the Christian religious tradition.  He described it as “indiscriminate compassion,” which could be slightly re-worded as “unconditional compassion.”  The idea is that you show compassion even to those that don’t deserve it.  So you give a dollar to the homeless man who may or may not use it to buy drugs—but you do it anyway because there’s a chance he’s telling the truth.  Or When your screw-up of a brother needs a place to stay because he got fired from another job, you give it to him, because he’s your brother.  When someone does something to hurt you, you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it wasn’t personal.
Or in the case of Keshia Thomas, you sacrifice your own body to protect someone who rejects the legitimacy of your very existence.  But you still do it.  Because “violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
h/t A Mighty Girl

letterstomycountry:

If you don’t already know the story behind this photo, it’s a good one.  When Keshia Thomas was 18, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Counter protesters came out in droves to tell the KKK that they were not welcome.  At one point, a man with SS tattoos and a vest emblazoned with the confederate flag wound up on the side of the counter-protesters.  He was thrown to the ground and multiple protesters began to beat him with picket signs and sticks.  Keshia Thomas became uncomfortable with the scene, so much so that she threw herself over the man to protect him, and begged the crowd to stop.

When asked about why she protected a man who almost certainly hated her for the color of her skin, she responded:

I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

A little while ago, AZSpot posted about Robert Farrar Capon, who talked about the idea of “vulgar grace” within the Christian religious tradition.  He described it as “indiscriminate compassion,” which could be slightly re-worded as “unconditional compassion.”  The idea is that you show compassion even to those that don’t deserve it.  So you give a dollar to the homeless man who may or may not use it to buy drugs—but you do it anyway because there’s a chance he’s telling the truth.  Or When your screw-up of a brother needs a place to stay because he got fired from another job, you give it to him, because he’s your brother.  When someone does something to hurt you, you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it wasn’t personal.

Or in the case of Keshia Thomas, you sacrifice your own body to protect someone who rejects the legitimacy of your very existence.  But you still do it.  Because “violence is violence - nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

h/t A Mighty Girl

soulpunchftw:

buzzfeedgeeky:

ADVENTURE TIME LAYING DOWN THE LAW

Adventure Time demonstrates a clearer understanding of morality than 98% of the world’s adult population

(Source: thespookymissioner, via openbookopenmind)