10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

Parents told to delete social media apps to prevent kids from seeing Hamas atrocities: Facebook, X, TikTok and other social media services have been filled with graphic imagery out of Israel and Gaza since the weekend’s terror attack. (NBC News) see also Hamas Attack on Israel Brings New Scrutiny of Group’s Ties to Iran: Officials from Iran and Hezbollah helped plan the attack, people familiar with the operation said, but the U.S. and its allies have not found evidence directly linking Tehran. New York Times)

Teens Are Developing ‘Severe Gambling Problems’ as Online Betting Surges. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that young adults and even minors are easily able to bet online despite a variety of industry safeguards. (Vice)

Oil Prices Could Spike Above $100 if the Israel-Hamas War Widens: Hamas’ surprise attack on Israeli civilians has set off a conflict that in past eras would have upended oil markets. This time, the effect on prices lasted just one day and registered as a blip in the longer-term models of most analysts. But as war rages in the world’s largest storehouse of oil reserves, there are risks that the calm won’t last. The wild card this time is Iran, Israel’s most powerful foe and a growing force in oil markets. (Barron’s)

We Don’t Talk About Leonard: The Man Behind the Right’s Supreme Court Supermajority: The inside story of how Leonard Leo built a machine that remade the American legal system — and what he plans to do next. (ProPublica)

As false war information spreads on X, Musk promotes unvetted accounts: Information researchers said that the new outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas is an early test of how the revamped X conveys accurate data during a major crisis. (Washington Post) see also X Is a Fog-of-War Machine: What Elon Musk did to his social network to make it almost useless for news about Israel and Gaza: Musk’s changes to the foundation of how Twitter works have not only rendered Twitter useless as a means of making sense of the conflict as (or even hours after) it unfolds, but made it actively counterproductive for users trying to figure out what’s going on. As Musk and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino have rolled back the platform’s rules of engagement and rid their ranks of the content-moderation teams and tools that actually keep X trustworthy, they’ve also put in place a system that fundamentally incentivizes the spread of misinformation during times of mass panic and confusion, in part because X is now a platform that pays for viral content. (Slate)

How a Series of Air Traffic Control Lapses Nearly Killed 131 People: Two planes were moments from colliding in Texas, a harrowing example of the country’s fraying air safety system. (New York Times)

Politicians say this Florida news site lets them buy coverage. Is your state next? Epstein-Ortiz labeled what he does “pay-to-play” on X, previously called Twitter, much to Schorsch’s anger, though she did not name him or his site. Schorsch rejects Epstein-Ortiz’s version of events. He says neither her campaign’s payments nor the lack of payment by the union influenced his coverage. (NPR)

• Charles Koch’s audacious new $5 billion political scheme: Large donations to charitable causes are not subject to gift taxes. But, after the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, 501(c)4 organizations began to engage directly in political campaigns, which are not charitable causes. So, by 2015, the IRS said they were considering applying the gift tax to large donations to 501(c)4 groups that were not used for charitable purposes. (Popular Information)

Trump’s Bloody Campaign Promises: It’s tempting to ignore the former President’s expressions of rage, but the stakes for American democracy demand that attention be paid. (New Yorker) see also Mouths Full of Blood: Trump and His Backers Spread Lies, Violence and Fascism: Death threats have become rampant as MAGA culture twists norms and makes once-marginal forms of violence mainstream. (TruthOut)

Giuliani’s Drinking, Long a Fraught Subject, Has Trump Prosecutors’ Attention: The former mayor’s drinking has become an investigative subplot in Donald Trump’s federal case over 2020 election interference. But long before that, friends had grown deeply concerned. (New York Times)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Graeme Forster, a director at Orbis Holdings Ltd., which has $51 billion in assets under management. Orbis deploys a unique fee arrangement, where they are only paid a fee when they outperform their benchmark and refund fees to clients when they underperform. The Orbis Global Equity is their flagship fund, accounting for 67% of their assets, and has compounded at 11% annually, outperforming its benchmark since its 1990 inception.


US economy going strong under Biden – Americans don’t believe it

Source: The Guardian


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