Monday, August 14, 2017

Idiotic to say Amazon is a "no-tax" Monopoly

Screen cap
(8/14/2017) --- There is plenty to get entertained by within the Twisterphere, mostly because it is now used as the official channel of communication of the White House. I wish I was joking; but, we can see the musings of the President within such a close-range and we don't even have to turn the T.V. we can see everything under 140 characters or less.

Let's analyze something Amazon had more than US$136 billion dollars in sale last year; yes, that is a lot of money and is also an indicator as a consolidated brand that specializes in e-commerce; but Amazon is not and I repeat is not a monopoly. Let's analyze something really quick, a monopoly happens when a company exists to dominate a market, that it can reduce competition and rise the prices of the goods for more than a brief period of time (i.e. think a supermarket that is central in Georgia and Florida; even if there is some competition as Florida antitrust laws say that there has to be more than five competitors but still that supermarket is the one who dominates the market in terms of quantity and locations, as well placing high level prices on the items which can be found anywhere else for a lesser amount).

There is no need to worry because usually antitrust violation comes within consumer harm and not harm to the competitors... seriously that doesn't make any sense because if you hurt competition you are hurting the customers by not offering variety of services and most complains about Amazon are usually set by the own competition. Yet it shouldn't be complicated, as monopoly laws only take places when a company controls 75% of a any X market, much as when Microsoft was the dominant business of computers in the early 2000 by owning a 90% of the market; but Amazon has always been clear of that term.

Of course our President is more than wrong to say "Amazon is not subject to tax" but as any other business Amazon pays taxes on a corporate income, property, payroll and unemployment insurances. Last year Amazon paid US$412 millions in federal, state, local and foreign last year but still Amazon is not except of criticism that they took advantage of legal loopholes and tax breaks, such as placing their tax burden was 35% on the official corporate tax rate, Amazon just paid a 9.3% of federal income tax.

One aspect that is interesting to mention is that at this moment Trump has't appointed  someone to guide the Federal Trade Commission, and he is still has a high number of vacant positions in his administration; which the Trade Commission must review the acquisition before the deal completion of this planned acquisition.

For a more detailed point of view, click here (3) and you will be redirect to Market Watch which they explain more properly the next steps of the acquisition and how Amazon plans to go into the grocery business.

Reference:

  1. Politifact.com - http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jul/26/donald-trump/amazon-no-tax-monopoly-donald-trump-said/
  2. ABC - http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-empty-administration-whats-high-number-vacant-government/story?id=47851403
  3. Market Watch - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-to-issue-up-to-16-billion-in-debt-to-fund-whole-foods-acquisition-2017-08-14

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The War That Came With Fire and Fury

Juche Tower Wiki Commons
(8/13/2017) --- From the West we have the North Korea threat which is nothing compared to the menace that comes from the heart of our country we have the real enemies of the State which encompass Trump voters and supporters; we are being sold the idea that North Korea is the real enemy of the United States while the truth is in less than a year we will be heading for a second civil war that has relations again to race, immigration and American Exceptionalism that only the whites are the superior race.

We are being sold to the State propaganda that the biggest threats come from outside, while inside everything is "perfect" but we are going to talk about that in another entry. At this moment, Donald Trump after his speech on August the 10 that he was going to bring Fire and Fury to DPRK which brings his security team to the brink of darkness as they don't know what he is going to do or say based in his "improv" style of handling international politics.

Last Tuesday our President was in a "feisty" mood after the Washington Post published had developed small nuclear warheads that can be placed on ballistic missiles; his aides placed on him to "rehearse" but it seems Mr. Trump has reached a point in his life where doesn't go what the script says and wouldn't even take a moment to think what is in risk if he opens his mouth and place a war declaration on a country that over decades has been with the mentality that there is a perpetual war against the Godspell Imperialism sent by the United States and that perpetrated over the decades after the Juche.

None of the staffer on the Trump administration thought about asking him to rehease or to stick with the script; probably they gave up at this moment; albeit, their best excuse to defend our leader behavior was that "he wanted to say a message to Kim, using his same rhetoric"  so, technically this has been a justification to start World War 3 with a country that has been living in a delusion for decades and that also has nuclear arsenal that could reach places beyond Guam, such as California and Nevada without any inconvenience.

It is incredibly reckless, not only to think if the country gets "freed" from the Kim family regime, they won't recover overnight economically and socially, that would be a process that can take decades before the country shows any sign of improvement. The war beyond being outside is at home, with the incendiary words that depart from any attempt of diplomacy and it looks more as a bully in high school than an actual politician.

Let's think on 1968 when North Korea seized an American vessel and Lyndon Johnson called for diplomacy to appease the crisis or when Bill Clinton used soft threats mixed with serious one that the U.S. could strike Pyongyang to stop their preemptive use of nuclear weapons. The best example was Dwight D. Eisenhower in which he used a preemptive message to the regime if they didn't wanted to talk to Seoul, he would send a nuclear strike to North Korea.

Probably not the best example in terms of long-term action, but they managed to keep their image and class instead of sending a tantrum that the world could see. The problem is that Trump is making empty treats while his entire team keeps defying him, as he doesn't show coordination towards managing international diplomacy of any kind and seems to be motivated by the mere impulse of bragging rather than showing .

He needs to be clear, but instead he seems to be diverging his attention because he keeps getting validation to the American Nazi's that supported him up to the Oval Office or changing his speech saying that there is an opioid epidemic and offenders needs to go to jail. Yet, we are facing a bigger problem here in the States, the rise of a Third Reich and facing the consequence will be a struggle but fixing them it will take decades to improve the social and economical disparities that we as Americans we are living.

Reference:

The New York Times International; Thursday August the 10th

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Brett Gleason Manifest Album Review



(08/08/2017) --- Brett Gleason is just one unique musician, not only for being an indie artist but also being multi-instrumental, and with the ability to reach to the deep of your soul but the complexity of the songs that contain a twist. His second album Manifest released on  April 14th of 2017, which the ten songs album directs the attention to topics about life such as sex, death and times where sorrow seems to be striking on almost every corner; it is an amazing album to listen to, not only from the music perspective but from the humanism side too.

What is fantastic about Gleason is that he brings different approaches to his brand of indie-rock through the use of piano as a central element in the compositions; such as "Rough Love" there is the sound of menacing verses in contrast of sweet phrases that talk about an emotional turmoil and manipulation that can be the product of a abusive relationship.

The sounds that Brett produce is radio radio, it can be set to a more mainstream audience as it goes between a transgression of beats that start on a simple set of harmonies such as "Humane" which evolve into a more complex ballad as it develops into a heart-wrenching performing. The sounds of Brett with his melancholic tone of voice, gives a very unique sound and quality of music that is not common, that is unique and which makes easy to identify Brett's music.

The lyrics are quite beautiful and full of sorrow, they offer introspection as well an analysis to what is about to be alive being comfortable in your own skin; the songs can be quite uplifting and they can have hope, they have perseverance to never give up to anything that is in front of you.

I totally recommend buying Manifest (1) as is a very unique experience of indie-rock but also it reach to your soul and is amazing to listen for a second, third and fourth time with more detail and notice that the lyrics paint the basic human experience of being alive. Also, the album is on the iTunes Store (2)

Reference:

  1. Web retrieved: Brett Gleason Store http://store.brettgleason.com/album/manifest
  2. Web retrieved: iTunes Store - Brett Gleason Manifest - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/manifest/id1212194149

Monday, August 7, 2017

Caleb Hyles and Jonathan Young Youtubers Reviews

(8/7/2017) --- Hello everyone, I went for the first time to MetroCon Tampa last weekend and I had a blast. I'd never been to a comic book convention and I plan to go back again next year but if I can I already set my goals to go to one of the last ones of the year in Tampa that is coming at the end of next month which is going to be MegaCon Tampa.

Senpai did noticed Me!
I thought about doing cosplay but I want to plan it carefully next year with a friend, in which I hope we can do a gender swap version or go together as high school college girls and scream senpai notice me to every single person we see.

Going back to the topic, one of the reasons I decided to give it a go and see the convention after postponing it for many years was because two of my favorite Youtubers Caleb Hyles and Jonathan Young were going to be there and I was curious to see them, I missed them on their first day with the singing and autograph signing but I had the chance to go on the second day and saw them on their Disney Sing-A-Long and it was quite fantastic.

Jonathan and Caleb
I always try to see how the performers interact with the fans and how the fans receive them; I am a marketing major and lately the term influencers as a form of marketing has been in my head as a thesis that is inherent in the marketing field, much as a integration on how there is a relation between the seller and the purchaser to obtain a desire result in a product acquisition.

I regret that I didn't took a photo with them and ask for an autograph, but there is always the time to fanboy next year or even just purchase it through their respective e-stores. The most important part of my experience was that what (if you are a fan already) you see on their videos and social media accounts is what you get, two really nice guys who love what they do and they know that their fan base gives them their support to be in the place they are right now.

It was fun to see the rise of two new celebrities in the music scene, how they promote their products and how people adore them because they are honest and the consumers or in this case their viewers can see that. 

Caleb Hyles
One aspect I found amazing to watch, inside the convention is that is a space free of hate, is essentially a safe space where people can enjoy a good time without any objections or harassment. It's a space where you can see fully everyone enjoying the moment and themselves. One of those moments I thought it was the best one I ever seen in my life it was on the sing-a-long where two guys dressed as Esmeralda from the Hunchback sang and stole the show, it was amazing.

A moment before the sing-a-long ended Caleb went down the podium and the crowd went wild, everyone was happy to see someone they admire and support his channel and music through Patreon  which it can make a difference in the life of an artiste.

That moment where Caleb and Jonathan were walking in between the crowd was just amazing, spectacular, I felt humble to be there and watch a new generation of entertainers connect on a one on one with their fans and the fans replying positive. I hope next year they are invited to any of the conventions in Central Florida, I really hope they can come back to MetroCon because surely I will ask for an autograph this time.

References:

  • Caleb's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/calebhyles
  • Jonathan's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jonathanyoung
  • Caleb's Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CalebsCovers
  • Jonathan's Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC40gs0opj389ohjLnJIAJzA