Monday, May 25, 2020

News Update | Lefsetz Letter

“The American ideology, on the left and the right, that props up inequality”

The problem is us.

This is the most important article you will read this week, assuming you read it at all. If I sent it to you personally, if you were the only one getting it, I know you’d at least skim it. But since this is a mailing list, one to many, you can avoid taking the time to read this article, but you shouldn’t.

Now the nature of writing anything about politics is those on the right come out in force to tell you you’re wrong. The left tends to sit somnambulantly knowing it is right, therefore not having to act. This is wrong. But I focus on the left because it is not as right as it believes it is.

The above link takes you to a review of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital and Ideology.” That’s right, the French economist whose previous book was the definitive statement on income inequality.

You see the left is self-righteous, to the point of obfuscation, it’s got no idea what is really going on in this country. And it’s simple, globalization has left many behind. We live in a country of haves and have-nots, and the haves in the Democratic Party, who earned their wealth, have contempt for the less advantaged, if they think of them at all.

“‘Improving the lot of the disadvantaged ceased to be its (the Democratic Party) main focus. Instead, it turned its attention primarily to serving the interests of the winners in the educational competition.’ By 2016, according to post-election surveys that Piketty analyzes in depth and across several countries, the Democrats were the party of not just the highly educated but even the highly paid.”

And the consequence of this?

“…Piketty identifies the turn toward identitarian politics as a direct consequence of the left-wing parties’ conversion to market capitalism. ‘The disadvantaged classes felt abandoned by the social-democratic parties (in the broadest sense) and this sense of abandonment provided fertile ground for anti-immigrant rhetoric and nativist ideologies to take root.'”

But the lambasting of Democrats goes further:

“Beginning with Bill ‘The era of big government is over’ Clinton, party leaders actively repudiated what they saw as an embarrassing legacy of industrial unions, welfare programs and redistribution. Having repeated for decades that public policy must bow to the iron laws of economics, the Democrats ‘remain unable even today to perceive the alternatives to the situation they themselves created.'”

It gets even worse, and I know I’m quoting a lot of the article, but there’s so much genius in it:

“The result is that economic elites in the United States have their choice of two party ideologies: one favoring educational achievement and rationality, the other entrepreneurialism and wealth. Both assume the primacy of competitive markets and justify their outcomes as the natural workings of a meritocratic system. Compared with earlier belief systems that conferred advantages based on birth or race, this shared ideology of meritocracy has the distinct advantage of justifying inequality as a pure product of natural (market) forces operating on a presumed starting point (however fictional) of equal opportunity.”

And the conclusion:

“…if redistribution between the rich and poor is ruled out…then it is all but inevitable that political conflict will focus on the one area in which nation-states are still free to act, namely, defining and controlling their borders.’ And so, in the United States, a pro-market party that claims to defend rural, white, Christian America faces off against a pro-market party that embraces the image of a diverse, cosmopolitan, urban America. To the half of the population that has known only stagnant incomes and increasing income insecurity, one party offers modestly beneficial economic policies bestowed by a technocratic elite; the other promises to restore their faded glory by winning trade wars and expelling immigrants.”

So, the Democrats have become the Republicans without even realizing it. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, got a good education, made it as a professional or business person and then conferred these same advantages squared upon their progeny. Meanwhile, the traditional blue collar Democrats were left out, even worse their unions were busted and their jobs shipped overseas and they were told it was the market’s fault, no one took responsibility.

Now the truth is that Biden and the DNC are on the wrong side of this. Sanders and Warren were on the right side. But Biden got the votes. Is it because only the aged and entitled vote? Possibly. Or is it that everybody else is so disillusioned they don’t even bother to vote, if they’re paying attention at all. Bezos is on the way to becoming a trillionaire, and the rank and file lost their jobs. It can’t be their fault, maybe it’s China’s? Or the immigrants stealing their jobs. Trump is speaking to these constituents, the left is just telling them they know better and are less bad than the Republicans and they need to be trusted…does anybody trust a politician anymore?

In other words, the problems in America today are much deeper than Trump. He won because he tapped into them. People were sick of a two-faced overeducated Clinton who didn’t seem to benefit them, as Hillary and her husband became millionaires.

Oh, don’t point to egregious behavior on the right. As stated above, being an entrepreneur and becoming rich is the ethos of the right! And it’s all about perception. And the perception is Democrats don’t care about working people. But it’s even worse, Democrats don’t care about struggling college graduates either. Biden, the man from Delaware, the home of the corporation, was pushed over the threshold and is now depending upon those corporations to get him elected. The funny thing is the people popped up more money for Sanders, who has boatloads of Twitter followers, who said you were entitled to health care and that the corporations were the bad guys.

But it’s got to be business as usual. The writers at the “New York Times” played the educational game, they’re friends with the rich and powerful, they don’t want to demote themselves to the hoi polloi.

And the news is laden with stories of Bernie Sanders putting a stake in his own heart. He just wouldn’t play the game. Hell, most people don’t even get a chance to play the game, who is speaking, who is even thinking about them?

Vote for Biden, I will, but it will only be the beginning. The vaunted Obama didn’t solve any of the above problems. If the rich get richer and the poor get poorer…WATCH OUT!

“WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: Trump Is Gambling on a Resurrection, With Lives and Livelihoods – There is another way. A realist’s guide to getting through the pandemic, rebooted and safe.”

I told my shrink it was raw insanity. And he agreed. I’m looking for leadership, a way out. And there is none. Some are partying like it’s 1999 and the death rate in L.A. County keeps going up and am I supposed to stay home or go out or..?

Michael Bloomberg may have fumbled the nomination, but he resurrected “Businessweek.” A staid McGraw-Hill publication, in the wake of the last economic crisis, 2008, “Businessweek” was sold to Bloomberg and it got better! It could be the best pure business publication out there. If you have no time, subscribe to “Businessweek” and “The Week” and you’ll be caught up, even more than most people who say they follow the news.

Anyway, in this week’s magazine, “Businessweek” has the definitive statement on Covid-19, where we are, what is happening, and how we can get out of this mess.

David Rocke, a mathematician at UC Davis, says it’s all about game theory:

“The concept is that if you’re behind in a game – say, a presidential campaign – big, bold moves can make sense, even if there’s only a small chance they will pay off. If someone does stumble on a miracle cure for Covid-19, or the national economy somehow gets going by Election Day, then both Trump and the American people win. If the gambles fail, he’s no worse off because he was probably going to lose the election anyway. As far as the American people, they could wind up much worse off from his experiments. But if the president has a bad Election Day, that won’t be his problem anymore.”

In other words, it’s all about Trump, protecting his presidency, the penumbra is irrelevant, just noise. He’s betting that Covid-19 will fade, the economy will bounce back, and even if a few oldsters die, people will forget the crisis and vote for him. He’s throwing the long ball. The news media and the Democrats are grunting it out in the ground game, going for inches and yards, moving forward and then getting pushed back.

“There’s actually a fair chance that Trump’s bet will pay off. Let’s say the number of new cases continues to fall nationally, as it has in most of the world, because most people take precautions. Deaths remain elevated in nursing homes, prisons and crowded multigenerational housing, but the public regards that as an inevitable consequence of the pandemic and doesn’t blame Trump. Democrats come to be seen as silly hand-wringers, or worse, obstructionists who tried to kill the growth for political ends. Trump suddenly has a good shot at winning a second term.

Two points about that scenario. One, allowing more vulnerable people to die is a choice, not an inevitability. Two, there’s a risk that things will turn out much worse, with a second or third wave of infections that kills tens of thousands or more.”

The author of this article, Peter Coy, says that our failure in fighting Covid-19 has been one of

“imagination: an inability to grasp the magnitude of this disaster and the measures required to combat it.”

“By now we know what works. The pandemic-fighting strategy that was pioneered by China and applied successfully elsewhere is to get the rate of new infections low enough that you can stamp out fresh flare-ups through testing and tracing. If there are too many active infections, though, testers and tracers won’t be able to keep up. They’d be fighting a brushfire with a water pistol.”

The U.S. doesn’t want to spend the money, on testing, or employing citizens to do contact tracing, but according to NYU economist Paul Romer:

“‘To control this pandemic, and any future pandemic, the U.S. should make the investment necessary to test people every two weeks, which would mean 25 million tests per day on an ongoing basis.'”

In other words, there is a way out.

As for economic costs…many people are self-quarantining still, and a second wave will put us even further behind.

In other words, we don’t have to throw our hands in the air and just march forward ignorantly. But this doesn’t align with Trump’s plan to throw the long ball. He’s gambling that it’ll all work out. And if it doesn’t? He still might win.

“Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night. – A group of worst-case scenario planners – mostly Democrats, but also some anti-Trump Republicans – have been gaming out how to respond to various doomsday options for the 2020 presidential election.”

1. Is the election going to happen.

2. To what degree will voting be suppressed.

3. To what degree will the voting process be hacked.

4. Will Trump decide the election is illegitimate if he doesn’t win.

People are now planning for these possibilities. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the rank and file can do here. We’re dependent upon elected officials and a few insiders with power. Pelosi is speaking about the integrity of our elections, but the issue is not sexy until AFTER elections occur. We sit on our duffs and complain about the result, oftentimes not having voted to begin with. You can’t complain if you didn’t vote.

It’s twenty years since Bush vs. Gore, and we still don’t have a handle on the voting process. It is not run by the best and the brightest and the more it becomes computerized the more questions come up. We’ve been so convinced that the United States is the greatest country in the world that we refuse to acknowledge our deficiencies and address them.

But in this case, some are.


“Gambling on a resurrection is one of the pathologies that can emerge from what finance types call the principal/agent problem: the potential for misalignment of interests between the principal (in this case, the American people) and the agent who works for them (in this case, Trump). In business, the fix for a principal/agent problem is for shareholders to have the information and power to control the CEO.”

This is from the “Businessweek” article above. Leftists live in the land of emotions, whereas Trump is first and foremost a businessman, and therefore you need to analyze his acts through this lens. We do have a problem. The checks and balances have been minimized, if not outright eliminated. We cannot depend upon the Republicans to fix our national problems. Trump delivers what most Republicans want…an unfettered economy wherein you’re entitled to your spoils and you live by your smarts and your wits. If you don’t succeed, the problem is you. Of course there are distractions, like immigration and school vouchers and gay marriage and abortion…but that’s just to keep the hoi polloi busy as the fat cats get fatter. A realignment, if it is to ever arrive, must come from the Democrats. But that would mean fat cat Democrats would have to suffer a bit. But when Joe Biden considers $400,000 a year borderline compensation, that must have tax advantages, it’s hard to have hope.

So, here we are, with a President running amok and the Democrats disunited, complaining about social issues, while it really all comes down to money. Who’s got it, who controls it and how it is distributed.

In other words, if you’re expecting the ship to be turned around, don’t hold your breath, elite Democrats are more similar to elite Republicans than you. We’re stuck in the middle, and if we’re going anywhere, it’s probably down.


Chrome and Firefox Block Torrent Site YTS over “Phishing” | TorrentFreak

Google regularly checks websites for harmful and malicious content to help people avoid running into dangerous situations.

This Safe Browsing service is used by popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. When a site is flagged, they throw up a warning before people attempt to visit risky sites.

This is also what’s happening to at the moment, which is one of the most popular torrent sites around. While the site’s homepage can be visited just fine, navigating to a torrent detail page throws up the following warning in Chrome.

“Deceptive site ahead. Attackers on may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards).”

YTS phishing warning

Firefox shows a similar alert and also prevents people from going directly to the download pages. In both browsers, people can, however, accept the risk and visit the page they were looking for.

It’s not clear what the exact problem is but the Chrome warning mentions that YTS was caught phishing. This is also reflected in Google’s Safe Browsing report, which states the torrent site recently tried to trick visitors into sharing personal info or downloading software.

Whether any of this is intentional remains a question. It seems more likely that the warning was triggered by some type of malicious advertisement.

google says unsafe

While we don’t encounter these kinds of warnings on pirate sites often, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen them. Similar issues have affected other sites, including The Pirate Bay. These warnings generally disappear when the site operator takes appropriate action.

We have checked several other popular pirate sites for similar warnings but this particular issue seems to be limited to YTS. The other sites we looked into were all reported as clean.

However, Google has a caveat when it comes to The Pirate Bay. Instead of reporting the torrent site as safe or unsafe, Google asks users to check a more specific URL than the homepage.

“It’s hard to provide a simple safety status for sites like, which have a lot of content. Sites that are generally safe sometimes contain some unsafe content. For more detailed safety info, check a specific directory or webpage,” Google notes.

While we expect YTS to resolve the matter in due course, being flagged by Google is not without risk. A few years ago the Safe Browsing team announced that “repeat offenders” will remain flagged for 30 days at least, which will seriously harm traffic.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.


APAP Names Lisa Richards Toney President and CEO | Hypebot

APAP Names Lisa Richards Toney President and CEO

The Association of Performing Arts Professionals announced the appointment of veteran performing arts executive Lisa Richards Toney as the organization’s next President and CEO.

In her new role at APAP, Toney will work with the APAP board of directors and staff to address both the strategic vision of the organization and the immediate and emerging needs of the performing arts field in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Lisa Richards Toney

Toney brings more than 20 years of experience in the performing arts world to her new role and she previously served as the first Executive Director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and as Director, Literature to Life, for The American Place Theatre where she presented performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Library of Congress.

Richards Toney currently serves as the Strategic Planning Chair of the Mosaic Theatre Company of DC, co-chair of the Jack and Jill DC Chapter Jumoke Black History Festival, and a booking and producing consultant for cellist Okorie “OkCello” Johnson.

Her past experience also roles as a consultant for the Reel to Reel Filmmaker’s Project for the Prince George’s County Arts Council, and, earlier in her career, she supported Moving Forward Dance Company/Dana Tai Soon Burgess with tour management strategic planning.

Toney will succeed Mario Garcia Durham, who steps down from his leadership role at APAP on June 30, 2020.

“In November 2019, when we announced Mario’s departure from APAP, we envisioned new leadership that would help set the direction for APAP’s future. The COVID-19 crisis gave us an added urgency to identify leadership that can manage us through and out of crisis, as well as help guide us forward. Lisa’s combination of strengths and her hands-on experience in many realms of the performing arts field give the board confidence that she is the right voice for APAP at this time,” said APAP’s board chair Karen Fischer.

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MGT155: Turning Artists Into Pearls – Jason Davis (One One 7) | Dotted Music

Jason Davis, described by The 700 Club as “a music mogul,” has been in the music industry for more than two decades as an award-winning songwriter, author, president of a record label, executive TV producer, and entertainment consultant. Davis has worked with numerous worldwide stars, including Boyz ll Men, Sugar Ray, P. Diddy, Alabama, Lonestar, Dolly Parton, among many others. He has secured record deals with CEOs of companies like Capitol Records, Sony, Interscope, Island / Def Jam, Epic, and more.

Jason Davis

Jason Davis

Davis has also launched and runs several major companies, including One One 7, Radar Label Group (Jimmy Eat World, Plain White T’s, Neon Trees, The Unlikely Candidates), Awaken Records (Austin French), and Care For Kids.

On this Music Growth Talks episode, Jason Davis talks about his approach to the development of up-and-coming artists, finding new talent (and why he only meets new artists in person), as well as what changed his whole approach to life and business—something he wrote two books about.

Listen to the episode in full to learn how they develop very particular artist skills at One One 7, and to hear Davis’ insights on what many people in the entertainment industries get wrong.

The [artist’s] gift is always hidden, and it takes a lot of love and care to uncover it.” – Jason Davis

You can listen to today’s episode at or below:

Relevant Links:


AM BRIEF: Spotify Crackdown • Apple Streams Vintage Concerts • US Copyright Battle • More | Hypebot

MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY 5.23.2020 • Music Business News From Across The Web Updated Continuously Under The More News Tab Above READ HERE

The post AM BRIEF: Spotify Crackdown • Apple Streams Vintage Concerts • US Copyright Battle • More appeared first on Hypebot.


DISH Sues Canada-Based Pirate IPTV Provider ‘Voodoo IPTV’ | TorrentFreak

IPTVTV broadcaster DISH Network has filed more lawsuits against ‘pirate’ IPTV providers and resellers than any other company in the world. Depending on how the services operate, the company either brings cases under the Copyright Act or the Federal Communications Act (FCA).

This week DISH won a $3.3 million default judgment against pirate IPTV reseller Boom Media and its operators John and Debra Henderson. The case was actioned under the FCA and before the judge’s ink was dry, DISH was in court again filing a similar lawsuit against Voodoo IPTV and its alleged operators.

“The Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service is, and has been, retransmitting the DISH Programming without authorization from DISH. The DISH Programming was received from DISH’s satellite television service without authorization,” the complaint alleges.

Unlike many other cases filed by DISH, the defendants in this matter aren’t based in the United States. Cren Motasaki, Atta Ur Rauf, Rafayet Alam and Pepin Woolcock are all said to be based in Ontario, Canada. A fifth defendant, Sajan Kyubi Shrestha, is reportedly a resident of Nepal while the locations of 11 ‘Doe’ defendants are yet to be determined.

Filed in a Texas court this week, the complaint alleges that Motasaki is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Voodoo IPTV and has overall decision-making power. He is said to have a history of involvement with piracy-related activities and was identified as a member of the forum having made posts in an Xtream Codes-related thread.

Alam (aka Rafa Abdul) is reportedly in charge of sales at Voodoo, with DISH claiming that he operated which hosted VOD content for the JadooTV service, including DISH programming.

Woolcock, a programmer and developer for Voodoo, reportedly controls another domain offering IPTV services while Shrestha, who has the same role at Voodoo, is said to run four piracy-related repos on Github including Stalker, Xtream-Codes-2.2.0-Nulled, and eurekatv.

Rauf is said to be the person who manages sales and finance at Voodoo while several others are accused of being the sources for some of its content.

“Defendants Does 1-11 are one or more persons responsible for eleven DISH subscription accounts that were created with false information and used to receive DISH’s channels for retransmission on the Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service without authorization. An Internet Protocol (‘IP’) address located in Toronto, Canada was used to access at least seven of these eleven DISH subscription accounts,” the complaint reads.

DISH says that all defendants act in concert to steal its programming and as a result requests relief that holds them jointly and severally liable. The company says that the court has jurisdiction over the defendants because they have purposefully directed their conduct towards the United States while causing injury there.

“Upon information and belief, Defendants sold subscriptions to approximately 50,000 users of the Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service, many of whom are located in the United States,” DISH notes.

The complaint alleges that ‘device codes’ (aka IPTV subscriptions) were sold on various websites including,, and At the time of writing only the latter is still available, offering monthly subscriptions at US$15 or CAD$20 up to US$75 or CAD$100 for six months.

Voodoo IPTV subscription

As the image above shows, processors including PayPal are used to buy and sell the Voodoo service and DISH indicates it has identified at least three connected email accounts that were also used to pay for computer servers running the Voodoo platform.

“Defendants’ sale and distribution of Android TV Boxes and Device Codes [subscriptions] for accessing the Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service assists end users to receive the DISH Programming or the content therein, without having authorization from DISH and for the benefit of the Voodoo IPTV end users, in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(a),” the complaint notes, adding:

“Defendants sell and distribute Android TV Boxes and Device Codes used for accessing the Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(4). The Android TV Boxes and Device Codes are knowingly provided by Defendants for purposes of enabling customers access to the servers that are used to stream the television programming on the Voodoo IPTV pirate streaming service, including the DISH Programming.”

In addition to a permanent injunction, DISH predictably requests a damages award to compensate for the activities of Voodoo in the United States.

Statutory damages of between $1,000 and $10,000 are available for each violation of Section 605(a) and up to $100,000 if the violation was committed willfully and for financial gain.

Section 605(e)(4) allows for statutory damages up to $100,000 for each violation which at least on paper has the potential to push any damages award into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The complaint filed by DISH this week can be found here (pdf)

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.


YouTube Music is Killing Music Ownership | Medium

Google won't allow users to re-download their music files on YouTube Music, effectively ending the company's often lauded music locker service. [from]