Best Of The Web
“An elderly neighbor of mine recently gave me some life-changing advice. In an alleyway near our building, representatives from three different political campaign groups have set up camp, and every morning they cling to anyone who passes them by, like those suckerfish who won’t leave whales alone. Since I find it hard to deal with that kind of thing—especially early in the morning—I asked my neighbor, Mr. Rupp, how he deals with our unwelcome guests.
“It’s simple,” he barked at me. “When they first moved in, I gave them €20 [$22] each so they’d never speak to me again. They’ve left me in peace ever since.”
Until then, bribery had never crossed my mind. But the more I thought about it, the more logical it seemed. According to a ranking done by Transparency International, Austria is in 16 place on the index of corruption—so although we’re not doing too badly, we’re still pretty far from absolution.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t need an international study to tell me what I already know. Growing up, I watched members of my own family bribe often, and well—to gently encourage builders get the job done faster, for example, or in an attempt to get served more promptly in a restaurant.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"You are being watched. Right now, cookies are tracking which websites you visit and what you click on while you’re there. Your smartphone is logging your location."
"The US placed sanctions on 17 Saudis on Thursday as punishment for their alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... according to experts, the move doesn’t go far enough to reprimand the kingdom."
"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."
"Nicholas Parisi's new biography, 'Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination,' fails to present a complete picture of the legendary screenwriter who did his best work outside the TV show that made him famous."
"Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag."
"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."
"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."
"Capitalism disadvantages women along several axes. The dawn of the industrial revolution enshrined a division of labor that largely confined them to the domestic sphere."
"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."
"Are these business owners trying to keep out certain customers? What about children? Or people who are paid in cash, or others who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t open a bank account..."
"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."
"...the more modern form of the movement has its roots in late 19th-century Europe... The sole focus of some missions based in England and the U.S. was the conversion of the Jews to Christianity..."