One hand washes the other


21st Century Wire

Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel in the United States over 30 years ago, landed in Israel early on Wednesday.

…The jet that delivered the Pollards belonged to a casino owned by Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who is a longtime benefactor of Mr. Netanyahu’s…Mr. Adelson, one of the world’s richest men and a key supporter of President Trump’s, had long lobbied for Mr. Pollard’s release.

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“The United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July…The Israeli business newspaper Globes has identified the buyer as the U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of both President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The sale helped to cement Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem in 2018 and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. By selling the residence, it would make it harder for future presidents to reverse the decision to move the embassy.

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Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave another $35 million to three super-PACs supporting Donald Trump and the GOP during the second half of October…That brought their total spending on the 2020 election to more than $215 million.”

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SAME AS IT EVER WAS, Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

A year after COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, Americans there – look back at the U.S.


NBC News

Benjamin Wilson, a Louisiana native who lives in the Chinese city where the Covid-19 virus was first identified a year ago, is watching the unfolding crisis back home with disappointment.

“I would be very afraid if I were living in the States,” said Wilson, who has lived in Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Hubei province, for almost two decades. “I didn’t really think that I would be where I’m at now, worried more about my family than myself.”

The contrast between his homeland and his adopted home is stark, the English teacher said. Although he endured more than 70 days of strict lockdown, that at times made him feel almost “imprisoned,” being shuttered indoors was a sacrifice that has paid off, he said.

Now, Wuhan is “one of the safest places in the world,” he added.

If we lived in a nation that treasured science, education, healthcare more than the quest for the almighty dollar$…I might question what the English teacher in China is seeing. But, we witness, every day, every week, here in the GOUSA, exactly what is discussed in this article from NBC News. Not at all surprising to any globally well-read American.

Tech Companies moving to Non-Localized wages

Tech workers and employers alike are beginning to question location-focused pay scales. A handful of companies are moving to abandon them altogether.

In setting pay without regard for location, tech companies including Reddit Inc. and Zillow Group Inc. are making a potentially expensive gamble to retain talent and gain a hiring edge. The move can entail maintaining relatively high salaries of employees who are relocating, and adopting a revised scale for new hires. Though it is early, the move challenges a long-held, but not universal, notion that where people live should determine what they make…

Zillow, the Seattle-based real-estate search firm, told its 5,600 employees in October that if they chose to relocate from their current city, their pay wouldn’t be adjusted. “We’re not making this change to save money,” said Dan Spaulding, chief people officer of Zillow. “We’re making this change to retain our employees.”…

“If people think the world is going to snap back to where it was 18 months after the pandemic starts, I don’t think that’s realistic,” said Mr. Spaulding. “Your best talent is going to have options coming out of this.”

Overdue!

Trump signs bill in time for Congress-critter paychecks. Unemployed millions get to wait another week.

President Trump unexpectedly capitulated Sunday night and signed the stimulus bill into law, releasing $900 billion in emergency relief funds into the economy and averting a Tuesday government shutdown…

Trump signed the bill while vacationing in Florida and on a weekend when he had allowed unemployment benefits for 14 million Americans to expire.

Trump takes care of his own. Democrats and Republicans in Congress get their paychecks. Why lay economic problems on the class of bureaucrats keeping visions of sugar plums rolling out to the Press?

The people he screwed are workers already out of a job. Never his concern.

A visual reinterpretation of self

By OM MALIK

As someone who lives in the grays, I immensely appreciate a cold rainy weekend in San Francisco. This morning, I made myself a nice cup of tea and sat down on the writing table with my iPad, hoping to spend time reading some articles and catching up on books that have slowly started to pile up on the bed-stand. For some odd reason, I began to look at some of my older photos. I had edited them over the past twelve months.

As I flipped through the gigantic photoshop files, it felt as if I was looking at the work of someone else. I felt assaulted by the colors — even though I had stripped out the extraneous as much as I could. It is not as if I don’t enjoy a beautiful sunset or a glorious sunrise. It is not that I don’t enjoy the pinks, mauve, and gentle oranges over the breaking waves of the Pacific. However, when it comes to the visual interpretation of these same landscapes, I can’t help wrinkling my proverbial nose as if the color was a piece of rotting vegetation?

How did I end up here? Why? I often ask myself.

I always enjoy Om’s musings. Whether the topic is writing about the technical machinery that seems to be cranking full speed in his neck of the prairie…or photography…he’s just about always addressing something of interest to me.

I’m not the dedicated photographer I have been in decades past; but, my interest has never waned. Om’s style and commentary always finds the heart of whatever values he examines.