Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday miscellaneous (5/18)

Actor Will Smith doesn’t mind paying higher taxes because he’s wealthy. But he thinks 75% is too high. His face when he hears that number (which is being proposed in France) is priceless.

Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who famously said something about not being able to believe everything you read on the internet? Anyway, apparently Wikipedia is fighting off fake history.

Oh, and in unrelated news, the Obama Administration staff got caught rewriting the Presidential biographies on the White House website. Which prompted another website devoted to uncovering those other historical events President Obama was able to attend.

This week President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. He may have just done Mitt Romney a huge favor.

And we all know President Obama doesn’t handle criticism well. But criticizing polls that don’t live up to his expectations may just be a sign of desperation. Although to be fair, he’s never faced a campaign as well organized as Romney’s.

You’ve seen The Avengers. But did you ever wonder what it cost to repair the damage to NY? One firm which seems to have practice in the field estimates $60-$70 Billion with secondary impacts of around $90 Billion. That’s the good news. The bad news?

Most insurance policies have special provisions for acts of war, civil unrest, or terrorism. Given the involvement of individuals considered deities in some cultures (Thor, Loki), there is even the potential to classify the event as an “Act of God”, although that designation would be subject to strenuous theological and legal debate. . . .

As a quasi-governmental organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. is in all likelihood protected from liability through sovereign immunity. While gratitude over repelling the invasion will persist in the short term, in the longer term the events leading up to the opening of the portal will in all likelihood be examined in detail,and that immunity probed for legal weakness (recall the regulatory and legal consequences to the Ghostbusters over the Gozer incident of 1984). In addition, there was considerable collateral damage of questionable necessity by at least one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives (Hulk).

A friend of ours wrote an excellent review of The Avengers, especially working out the cultural and personality differences between Captain America and Iron Man:

On the one hand, there is Captain America; defender of justice, defeater of tyranny, and denouncer of every lofty, selfish ambition. Pride of patriots, yet the relic of a bygone era. It is no coincidence that the strongest iteration of this philosophy was given by an old man only a little younger than the good cap'n himself- but the genius of Joss Whedon is that it was given by a German old man.
Stark is the New Virtue, Captain America's true contrast.

And finally, it appears that the empire’s reach is growing.

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