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Archive for May, 2021

Whether mining of crypto coins and possessing those would be a taxable income?


www.proofofstakealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/IRS-Tax-Litigation.pdf

There is no case law on this, however a litigation is in progress by Jarrett demanding a refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the USA claiming that the cryptos mined by the Plaintiffs and held by them would not be taxable. However, I have attached a link above which contains the Plaint relating to the refund of Income Tax already paid.

The Code relating to Income is, gross income minus the permitted deductions. The mining and possessing of the crypto coins are includible in the gross income as per the Code.

The argument forwarded is that these coins did NOT exist but were generated through the work and therefore created. On the basis of which the cryptos in the hands of the Plaintiff cannot be treated as income, till the same is paid out for some goods or services or converted into a Fiat currency.
The persuasive analogy is taken from a case law where the cake baked by a baker cannot be taxed as the baker had created the cake and till sold and the value realised, the cake would be a property created, rather an asset created but the value of which has not been realised and hence not an income. Further, it is argued that the “coming in” would be an income and in this case, the Plaintiff claims he has merely created an asset for which certain expenses had been incurred, therefore, there has been a “going out” than a coming in.

It would be interesting to watch the verdict on this case.

More so because, the IRS would lose track of who mined how much in which year if the arguments of the Plaintiffs are to be accepted in toto.
Secondly, if those mined crypto coins are used in subsequent years for some goods or services, how would the IRS know that these cryptos had been realised in value, unless there has been a compelling reporting mechanism for the year of generation and a statement of assertion by the Assessee that the crypto is still with him under his control?

Supposing, the Assessee asserts that he had lost the secret password to the place of storage in the internet, what would be his liability? If the Assessee were to somehow retrieve after many years the password, how would be be able to bring into accounting the lost cryptos? What if a person gets undeclared remuneration for generating cryptos and ‘sells’ it to an investor, who retains it without a trace in the blockchain and later declares it as having mined by him? Should the Government give MINER’S LICENSE?

Either way, the decision in this case is likely to spawn many further issues, which would compel the US government to bring in stricter reporting requirements as regards mining of cryptos.

The COVID Vaccine status in India


The newspapers are abuzz with the news items that since COVAXIN has not been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), except by 9 other countries, the rest of the countries would not allow Indians to enter those other countries which have not recognised COVAXIN based on the yet to be received approvals by the WHO.

This is the hot news today 23/05/2021.

Let us see the status of the two vaccines which have been approved for use in India; they are Covishield by Astra Zeneca in collaboration with Serum Institute of India and the other being COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech.

To understand the status of each of these two vaccines accepted for use in India let us visit the website of WHO, which tells us a little about the processes involved and the present status:

In the above table, please refer to the serial numbers 4 and 16, they refer to the vaccines approved by the DCGI, which is the abbreviation of Drugs Controller General of India. Sl. No. 4 deals with Covishield and the final approval had been granted on 15/02/2021, whereas the status of COVAXIN under the column head “PRE SUBMISSION MEETING HELD” is mentioned as “to be planned May, June 2021”.

So one can understand that COVAXIN is under the consideration of the WHO, which has not been brought out in any of the news items appearing today – strange are the ways of the mainstream media. They don’t bother to check with the WHO website, from where any diligent person could get those facts.

While the process is still on, as of today, an anxiety has been let loose on the Indian public that in the absence of having been vaccinated with Covishield, aspirant students who want to study in any country other than those 9 countries which have recognised COVAXIN, may not be admitted into those countries.

Stop stop stop…

Which of those other Universities have mentioned in their admission brochures that those who are NOT vaccinated by any of the WHO approved vaccines would be ineligible for admission?

Secondly, have the Governments of those Countries, where those Universities are situated, enacted that those persons who have not been vaccinated with WHO recognised vaccines for COVID would NOT BE ALLOWED into their Country?

I guess not.

So who is behind this anxiety driving agenda?

Elementary, look for who benefits from this anxiety?

Covishield manufacturers and the promoters of Covishield vaccine, and those who are interested in the failure of Bharat Biotech! The first would benefit, if it remains as the only cock in the yard – it can create monopoly. Secondly, there are many new entrants such as Dr.Reddy’s Lab, which have also entered the fray. Pfizer had always been on its wings, so it could benefit anyone of those, or all of them. Further, these new entrants are faced with a new finding in favour of COVAXIN that the vaccine is efficacious against certain new strains, therefore jealousy cannot be ruled out. Therefore this news item is to be viewed with a lot of suspicion!

But there is already a story in the public domain that Covishield has huge order book both from India and abroad and that there would be no need for taking any further orders! What about the new entrants?

Good idea, but there is an abiding economic principle which says that demand drives up the cost, so why not build up your order book and make the product more expensive?

Secondly, the thicker the Order book, the easier it would be for the company to raise cheap money from the Nationalised banks, which in any case have been not so prudent either in their norms of disbursal or in their pursuit of recovery.

By the way, an event happened in the past few weeks, which has been suppressed by the mainstream media, which is the DEATH OF DR.K.K.AGGARWAL – due to COVID.

I am just curious to know, whether he was vaccinated and if so, which of the two vaccines was used?

There has been a lot of talk stating that once vaccinated, with either of the vaccines, the severity of the disease would be mitigated and that surely death could be avoided – Oh, yeah?

What is the basis of these assertions? When cornered, the Latin spewing allopaths state that the morale is very important and hence alloying their treatment methods with a little cupric lies would enhance the morale! Oh, yeah?

If so when the Siddha, Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners purvey faith based on their beliefs of efficacy on their concoctions, from where do these allopaths get the nerve to condemn them?

Let us build MODESTY in propagating the efficacy of the vaccines, at the same time tell everyone that as on date being vaccinated may provide better protection than not being vaccinated.

Secondly, let us propagate GOOD HYGIENE and COVID appropriate behaviour.

We know very less and even those practitioners who are supposed to be following the scientific principles are not only not sure but CANNOT be sure of any infected case, as the infection itself hits only @2% of the population and out of that only a few get into real bad situation and meet their end. So not only that those so called physicians know not, they are caught in the cusp between sure knowledge and evolving research, which also they know not.

Let us in the meanwhile also recognise that these two vaccine purveyors, along with those new entrants, are business houses and working on profits. To be drawn into their agenda is unsavoury for our health. If the Government has provided only two vaccines, let us get vaccinated and maintain good hygiene and COVID appropriate behaviour with the HOPE that God would be on our side.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Robinhood’s game in GameStop!


Whether one owns any crypto currencies or not is not as important as having an idea as to how these crypto currencies’ valuations get set. It is important because, the assets which we hold could be purchased by the spawning new billionaires at the cost that we demand. Funnily, the payments that they would be making for those assets would not be out of their blood and sweat, nor out of liquidating some other assets of some value.

These crypto cowboys had entered the market very low and purchased their cryptos. For example, the Dodge coin millionaire’s average cost of his four million dogecoin is 4. odd cents per coin, and the present cost is round about 30 cents, which means he is already sitting on a pile of appreciation of 700%. The Dogecoin millionaire has diversified into YouTube spots and has become a celebrity and icon for the millennials who have collectively invested small amounts on doge, thereby he has ensured an internet following with financial accruals which would not visible to others. Good for him, but that’s the icon he has to exalt, come what may! He has claimed that his personal target would be ten million dollars before he would think of selling. He recommends HOLD HOLD HOLD! There is no intrinsic value to doge except for the fact that there is a huge crowd following him like the Pied Piper and it is that following which by holding on to doge stabilises the price of the coin.

Hope is purveyed on a perennial basis! And nobody wants to be left out in this Second Coming of the crypto, everyone is waiting for the Rapture!

That on the one side, there are sharks which operate on the processes and make it confusing even for Congressional committees to arrive at ‘facts’ integral to ascertaining the TRUTH!

The example of the ROBINHOOD, headed by Vlad Tenev in the context of GameStop would be apt on this count. Please read the screen shots of the article which appeared in Medium:

The context of the above screenshots is that GameStop was the scrip and the brokerage firm was Robinhood. The players were the millennials of Reddit on the one hand and the Hedge fund guys on the other side.

So this is the game of sentiments and the collective might of the fries on the one side, and the knowledgeable hedge fund bosses with financial might on the other side!

GameStop, pumped up on the sentiments of the millennials starts rising and the Hedge fund managers see the non-sustainability of the price of GameStop and go short on the same scrip!

The game continues and at one point the millennials keep buying the scrip even though the prices kept going up, whereas the Hedge fund guys are required to buy up the shares and provide delivery to the buyers (millennials). Now the scrips for delivery have to be bought from the very millennials who are in a bought position, which they would not be willing to sell and thereby constrict the Hedge fund guys. The process escalates and the hedge-fund guys had to offer more and more to buy and deliver.

At this juncture an event is supposed to have happened: The clearing house demands a 100% on any further purchases by Robinhood on behalf of its clients. The amount demanded was reportedly $ 3.7 billion in cash. Robinhood was NOT ABLE TO ARRANGE THAT COLLATERAL AND IT APPREHENDED THAT THE FIRM WOULD SINK – hence they shut shop without notice to the clients! This brought down the momentum and the Hedge fund guys were the ‘UNINTENDED’ beneficiaries!

What i am unable to believe is that, as already mused in the article screenshotted above, who impelled the Clearing house to put up a demand of 100% collateral at that juncture?

Anyone would know that a brokerage firm may neither hold that much in cash nor be able to arrange for it at such short notice.

Did the Congressional inquiry team get behind such a demand – if so whether it was sanctioned by Law that the clearing house could make such a condition midstream?

What baffles me is that Vlad Tenev, who had been the beneficiary of the millennial crowd instead of bringing that fact to the knowledge of its millennial customers and requesting them to put in 100% margin, silently closed the operations, which “unintended ly” and “unintentionally“ helped the Hedge fund guys who had gone short beyond their means with no sellers of GameStop in sight.

The article by James Surowiecki is too kind on Vlad. Further, he gives another example of another brokerage firm which went through the same stuff on the same scrip at the same time and did the same thing, and goes on to add that Vlad was faced with an uncanny situation and that he could have explained it post facto like that other guy! What a fallacy!

When the millennials were baying for the blood of the Hedgefund guys and the momentum was in favour of the millennials, instead of relying on those very millennials on whose money Vlad was riding the wave, chose NOT to take the Reddit millennials into confidence and inform them of the demand of the clearing house, instead went sneakily supporting the cause of the Hedge fund guys!

Why?

Because the crowd would dissipate in time, but the Hedge fund abides for ever! That was MUTUAL FUNDING‼️

KARNAN – the Thamizh movie


Finally Education in Tamil Nadu has paid off!

The purpose of education is not merely to accumulate facts and become a server of information, but to process that in some human context for the betterment of humanity as a whole.

That’s what is called a definition of Education in clichés!

An art form has to translate these jargons and clichés into a thriving reality and present it to the observer in a human context triggering in the observer an interpretation of a reality, in which the observer exists but has never interpreted it that way. That’s what the Tamil Movie KARNAN has done.

What’s so great about KARNAN, the Tamil movie in which Dhanush plays the protagonist?

The movie has no foreign sounds, no glottalised expressions which are not native to the Thamizh sounds. The movie is an allegory – it shows something but means a deeper Truth, which unless one has been a part of such archetypal lot, cannot understand.

If John Bunyan’s PILGRIM’s PROGRESS is read as a traveler’s travelogue, Good for the reader – but that classic has not had its intended truthful impact. It is a distilled experience of the Soul shorn of all its accreted embellishments.

KARNAN is a classic.

The story, i don’t want to call it plot, as if it were a play where the plot plays an important role with a denouement! No denouement is required for one who lives Life everyday- each day and each moment has its own meaning. Multiple lives lived like that in a community by many individuals leads to a indelible history of the community, which neither requires revision nor embellishments.

What a movie!

The movie opens with a predatory eagle/kite, which swoops on a brood of chicks and right in front of the mother hen takes out a chick and settles on a perch. This imagery sets the tone of the movie- a predator who has to survive only by depriving the life of another bird. That’s the law of Life, but neither that hen nor the chicks are a product of the wild, they are domesticated poultry in a small decrepit village owned by households which have no regular incomes and life is lived on a day to day basis. It is a loss to that family, but it is that response of the owner of those chicks, the mother of Dhanush (Karnan), which reflects the response of a soul burdened perennially with helpless possibilities.

Mother of KARNAN begs the eagle/kite to spare that chick. It is the crux. A certain helplessness caused by a situation leading the victim to make prayers to the perpetrator of the situation.

It is in this back drop that there arises a consciousness – a reality that there is no point in pleading to a perpetrator of undesirable situation, but to take head on, unmindful of the consequences. The underlying ethical principle being that an individual has the God given Liberty to either raise chickens or have unhindered access to the public utilities, provided for the common Good; and none has the right to prevent any individual or a community from exercising that Liberty either in the name of tradition or man made constructs rooted in ideologies or practices.

The setting is a small village called Podiyangulam, situated not far away from a larger village or town called Melur . The names chosen are redolent of the caste considerations exercised by caste based communities in Tamil Nadu for many centuries, and without naming any one community, the movie has distilled the truth, preventing such cussed groups from rebelling against release of this movie. The boys and girls who have been the beneficiaries of the Education policy of the Tamil Nadu politics would understand this. Each episode of the movie resurrects the plight once felt or avoided narrowly by their parents’ generation, having left a scar seldom recognised by that parents’ generation but observed clearly by the succeeding generation.

The gnarled knuckles and the calloused necks may be a reality to the old, but the new generation looks at those and figures out as to who caused it or which ideology caused it. The empathy and reaction of the succeeding generations come into play – not for revenge, but to set right those processes and systems so that the oppressive nature in man and certain predatory groups don’t infest those systems and processes with self aggrandising agendas any more in the future, in the name of development and growth and other attractive words!

For those who do not understand Thamizh, Podiyangulam means a ‘tiny water pond’ and Melur means “Higher Town” or even a ‘Western Town’.

One of the abiding images in the movie is a donkey whose front legs are tied together so that the donkey doesn’t take off! The front legs are knotted with a cloth and the knot is so complicated that only the person who knotted it could unloose it. Karnan, like Alexander, cuts the knot and liberates the animal. The prancing of that animal is shown for a long time showing the New found Liberty of the donkey.

The villagers are strapped to the town with no transport bus stopping near the village. Karnan reads the situation differently from that of the village elders – the purpose of education! Karnan states that it is the agenda of the ‘Upper town’ fellows to keep them confined to their small village so that no development could take place through exchange of ideas which happen through interaction with outside individuals and communities.

Anecdotal sentiments such as a girl being denied free movement to the college by the rowdyism of the upper town youths, exemplify the wilful constrictions exercised by dominant communities, in the name of tradition and practices.

Finally, how even a police force is filled with constables and officers with prejudices, all because there is none to represent that small village community before those officers is sensitively brought out.

The whole village’s aspiration gets diminished and minimised to an individual getting an appointment as a sepoy in a para military force! It is a great achievement – what a pity. A community had been made to subsist on the produce of that pond and live out of the provisions vended by the Melur-ians!

It is from this milieu that Karnan resolved to fight back, not just to hurt the perpetrators as revenge, but as a rescuing operation and survival of the villagers.

A powerful allegory with NO CARNATIC music and no glottalised sounds whatsoever.

A microcosm of how oppressive systems are perpetuated in the name of some obsolete ideologies by some agenda driven communities and the explosion of that oppression through individual realisation and action.

Dhanush’s portrayal is amazing and realistic. Those small town rituals of fish slicing, sword handing over ceremonies may not be attractive initially, but when the movie is felt as a whole, the Director Mari Selvaraj has done a great job, with those utterly parochial images representing a larger point.

I watched it twice, which I’ve never done before except for Mckenna’s Gold, more because my inability to follow the movie’s English pronunciation, without subtitles in those 80’s, but this movie was watched twice to imbibe the representation of the larger point through an allegory.

A great allegory. But i don’t expect non Thamizhans to even understand this, may be a few could relate it to their own way, but the Thamizhan way would be the right way.

Gideon’s Justification!


Gideon’s Justification!

https://movid.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/gideons-justification/
— Read on movid.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/gideons-justification/

Jesus & Paul


The following two passages, one from the Gospel of John and the other from the Acts of the Apostles, relate to a somewhat similar incident which happened in the life of Jesus and the life of Paul, the Evangelist.

Gospel of John chapter 18

19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

The passage shows how the ‘High Priest’ Annas interrogated Jesus about his doctrine and his disciples and how Jesus was not inclined to provide Annas the details. I feel that Jesus was indifferent to the authority of Annas, however Jesus told Annas: why Annas wanted Jesus to furnish the details whereas Annas could ask the persons who had heard Jesus. Jesus further states that He had not said anything in secret and had openly preached and as such the public would be better witnesses – rather disinterested factual witnesses rather than asking the very person who had been arrayed as an accused before the High Priest – (Annas had been a High Priest earlier), but at that point it has been historically accepted that it was Joseph Caiaphas who was the High Priest. When Jesus answered thus, one of those officers struck Jesus and asked Jesus if that was the proper way of addressing the High Priest.

Jesus, brilliantly answered that rhetorical question implying: no sentence before conviction!

Let us advert to the passage which refers to a similar incident in the life of Paul, who had also been brought before the then High Priest Ananias.

Paul opens, as usual, with his self exculpatory defence, which infuriates the High Priest. In fact Paul opens his defence more as a person who had led a life of good conscience before God. Immediately, the High Priest Ananias directs an officer to strike Paul in his mouth.

Here, it is the High Priest Himself who directed the officer to strike – was it because of the contempt that the High Priest had for a person who, not so long ago, had been obtaining warrants from the same office of the High Priest to arrest and produce followers of Jesus? May be, but no direct evidence is available on that.

Paul immediately reacts and uttered almost impulsively that the High Priest was ‘whited sepulchre’. In fact immediately Paul accuses the High Priest of an inconsistency: that the High Priest who was to judge by the law, was ordering an executive to strike him on his mouth, which was inflicting a punishment without convicting him of an offence.

Paul, when called upon to defend himself, instead of pleading guilty or defending himself against the charges, Paul opens his defence by stating how he was faultless – a certification which is to be given by the High Priest and not by the individual. Read the following passage:

Acts of the Apostles chapter 23

1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest?

5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

Please read verse 5 above. Paul states that he didn’t know that the instructions to smite came from the High Priest and launched on a self reminder as to how one should not speak evil of the rulers! Paul was not to indulge in self certification and it was that usurpation which probably infuriated the High Priest.

Paul, unlike Jesus, did not want the High Priest to rely on third party independent witnesses, but relied on his own assertions to convince the Council, which Paul thought was the Jury. Paul tried to convince the jury (the council members) by his oration and self certification; and in fact when he realised that the council consisted of Pharisees and Sadducees, Paul takes advantage of his Pharisaical past to his advantage.

Jesus, on the other hand, does neither defend Himself nor does He launch on convincing the Sanhedrin! Jesus’ Supreme indifference is born out of the unshakable belief that: When all my hairs are numbered, why bother to answer these wilful mortals! He neither answered the High Priest nor did He get the members converted into a Jury and persuade them of his innocence – He requests the High Priest to call for witnesses, who were contemporaneous to the sermons He preached earlier, and not the wilful gathering there!

This is where God is distinguished from a mere man! Jesus tells Annas to call for contemporaneous witnesses to His teachings, whereas Paul indulges in self justification of his own ‘righteousness’ – the expression of one’s own ego partially alloyed with faith in God!

(Some of my readers have informed me that i am harsh in my assessment of Paul- surely Not. What Paul has done, at that point in time, is incomparable with any other human effort for the spread of the name of Jesus. But like any mortal, he had his failings. Merely because we notice those failings, we are none the better, nor can i ever be presumptuous enough to even entertain a thought that because i critique on Shakespeare’s plays, i could write a better play.)

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