Links 6/23/10

Loss of bees could be ‘a blow to UK economy’ BBC. Soylent Green is in your future.

Carlsberg drivers strike over ‘lunchtime beer’ cut Telegraph

McChrystal Does Not Matter New York Review of Books

Chimps, Too, Wage War and Annex Rival Territory New York Times (hat tip reader Down South)

There Will Be War Forbes (hat tip Crocodile Chuck). Um, this is really rather belligerent, which seems to be the point…

Is America tuning out Capitol Hill? Julian Zelizer, CNN (hat tip reader Down South)

Obama dismisses health-care reform repeal: ‘I refuse to go back’ Christian Science Monitor. Hello, Obama is still “selling” his bill? What does that tell you?

Another View: Don’t Gut Proxy Access Lucien Bebchuck, New York Times

Volcker Rule Under Attack as Lawmakers Seek Hedge Fund Loophole Bloomberg

What Does the Federal Reserve Think that It Is Doing Right Now? Brad DeLong

China Bans Online Virtual Money Dealing for Minors Bloomberg

Gulf oil spill: Five numbers that could sink BP CEO Hayward Christian Science Monitor (hat tip reader bill)

Oil spill: BP reassures over Russian, North Sea assets Telegraph

Too Small to Matter Jim Quinn. More on fracking, a very good write-up of an HBO documentary, in case you didn’t see it.

Relief oil well drilling in Gulf of Mexico enters a new phase nola (hat tip Glenn Stehle)

The greased wheels of offshore drilling justice Andrew Leonard, Salon (hat tip Gonzalo Lira)

The Coming Era of Energy Disasters Michael Klare. This will ruin your day.

Antidote du jour:

Picture 66

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  1. rjs

    it could be the loss of weedy pasture that is impacting the pollinators; bees will not survive the entire year on one monoculture crop alone…

    even the chickweed that blooms during a january thaw supplies nectar and pollen for the bees during the winter…

  2. Toby

    Re: Warring chimps.

    Fascinating stuff, particularly this:

    “Dr. Mitani, however, is reluctant to infer any genetic link between human and chimp warfare, despite the similarity of purpose, cost and tactics. “It’s just not at all clear to me that these lethal raids are similar sorts of phenomena,” he said. More interesting than warfare, in his view, is the cooperative behavior that makes war possible.

    Why do chimps incur the risk and time costs of patrolling into enemy territory when the advantage accrues most evidently to the group? Dr. Mitani invokes the idea of group-level selection — the idea that natural selection can work on groups and favor behaviors, like altruism and cooperation, that benefit the group at the expense of the individual. Selection usually depends only on whether an individual, not a group, leaves more surviving children.

    And there is also the question of ‘provisioning:’

    “Chimp watching is an arduous task since researchers must first get the chimpanzees used to their presence, but without inducements like bananas, which could interfere with their natural behavior.”

    Margaret Powers wrote “The Egalitarians — Human and Chimpanzee” about 20 years ago, which attempts to look at provisioning as the primary explanation of the aggression primate watchers observe. I have not read the work, but know it has been quite harshly criticized for lack of scholarship and cherry picking. However, according to one critic:

    “However, her thesis cannot be dismissed as readily as her handling of the evidence with which she supports it. Despite its faults, it is founded on a true and troubling statement: “Despite more than 30 years of study … there is no firm agreement as to the social organization of [chimpanzees]” (p. 1). Anyone believing this to be hyperbole should see, for example, Rodman’s recent attempt to force Mahale chimpanzees into a Gombe mold (Rodman, 1991).” Jim Moore, University of California.

    Probably yet more important is determining the real pathways from genes to behaviours. That humans, apes, dolphins etc., can be aggressive and territorial is most likely true. What makes it so is the big question. For example, there is a troop of baboons that’s been living in an egalitarian society for the last 20 years, ever since all its alphas suddenly died because they had exclusive access rights to (what turned out to be) rotten flesh in the trash cans outside some restaurant. A sudden change of conditions led to a change of societal structure.

  3. attempter

    “There will be war”.

    That’s why the jingo NYT is featuring implicit Social Darwinism by highlighting chimp aggression. Standard fare in the 19th century MSM.

    (That’s also why there’s a small faction among neoconservatives trying to get the wingnuts to tone down their opposition to evolution. They think evolution can still do some ideological work justifying imperial war, just like it did in the old days.)

    I guess they’ll latch onto anything by now.

    For some good confued-jingo comedy, see today’s NYT editorial on McC and the travails of the war.

    What, O what ever went wrong?

    They’re struggling (unsuccessfully) to figure out these microproblems of the war, while it never even crosses their blood-addled brains that the technical and subordination problems are just epiphenomena of the structural fact that the war itself is insane and evil, and that all of its notions are necessarily flawed since they follow from a false premise.

    I especially like how they whine about Karzai. Umm, recalcitrant stooges like this are endemic to imperial wars fought with the charade of setting up quisling regimes. News flash, Mr. “Paper of Record”, you choose such a war, as you have, you choose the things that are endemic to it. The likes of Karzai or Diem are a feature of your wars of aggression, not something that “goes wrong”.

    On the contrary, if for once you ever did find a halfway decent stooge, competent and obedient, it would be an accident. You can never expect that as part of your plan. But these idiots always do.

  4. RueTheDay

    An exemption to the Volcker rule for banks to own hedge funds? That’s like a racketeering law with an exemption for the mafia. Defeats the entire purpose.

  5. Debra

    It seems to me that one of the problems with our current relationship with the animals, and our current theories about OUR behavior in comparison to animal behavior is our difficulty in integrating the historical aspects of behavior (ours or the animals) in our rush to generalize about instinct.
    We are quick to talk about “the chimpanzees” without taking the time to consider that THOSE chimpanzees could have a history too (that we know nothing about).
    THEY can not be reduced to a gene pool or a mishmash of vague instincts. (Like WE can’t be reduced to that either.)
    I have a book at home written by an ethologist who is also a photographer.
    He has spent time with the great apes in zoos, getting to know them, shall we say, and has done portraits of several… INDIVIDUALS.
    And when you look at those portraits you say… “damned, but it’s true I never thought before that there could be such a thing as a PORTRAIT of a gorilla.”
    (This was a new experience for me, at least.)
    These remarks go towards highlighting… our assumptions about how to observe “the animals”.
    And obviously, the way we observe the animals will determine WHAT we see.
    It is rather simplistic and CONDESCENDING to imagine that because we don’t hand out bananas to chimpanzees, our presence in their communities is totally neutral, and will not affect their behavior.
    Like it is rather reductionist, perhaps to think that the chimpanzees are not capable of experiencing trust, for example. (End of article)
    But then, if you think about it, Western civilization has been condescending towards the animals, and so called… “primitive” peoples for a very long time now… Condescension is everywhere.
    One of my scientific friends observed that… when light was observed FROM DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW, well, as “object” it had different properties.
    Food for thought, in my opinion.
    I have no problem with the theory of evolution.
    But I have a BIG problem with what we have done with this theory.
    The way it has been used to justify predatory behavior, and social darwinism, for example. Unfortunate, in my book.
    And I don’t really think that many people who say they believe in (…) evolution have really drawn out all the conclusions that believing in the theory entails.
    Without drawing out those conclusions, the belief remains a reductionist one.
    After all, if we are animals AMONG other animals, it would be best if we had… a better opinion of the other animals, right ?
    And maybe curbed some of our tendancies to generalize at their expense ?

    1. Bates

      Debra…It is you that are missing the point of Darwinisim. Nature is amoral. There is no gods except those humans invented in the human image. Humans invented gods and afterlifes because they cannot deal with the FACT of mortality.

      ‘Civilization’, as extolled by humans, has existed for 5,000 years or much longer. What good has it brought to the planet that we are all (including the countless species besides homo sapiens) dependent upon? Humans are on the verge of eradicating themselves. Fortunately, the earth will continue and will repair itself.

      I hold all life that is not dependent on clothing, shelter, or a financial system, in much higher esteem than humans. I watch as many animals as I can in their natural habitat and continue to be astounded by their behavoir. I have been watching and writing in my journals for over 60 years and much of what I have observed is not documented in any books written by ‘naturalists’. Animals do reason and communicate in very complex ways, regardless of what you have read elsewhere. I have witnessed some animals in the wild display more intelligence than 90% of the humans that I have encountered. Animals in the wild are dependent upon their intelligence and making rational decisions to survive. If they make a bad decision, they are erased from the gene pool…unfortunately, Wall St bankers are not.

      1. PJ

        “Debra…It is you that are missing the point of Darwinisim. Nature is amoral. There is no gods except those humans invented in the human image. Humans invented gods and afterlifes because they cannot deal with the FACT of mortality.”
        Bates, YOU have NO point. The existence of transcendence or divinity depends on whether or not,or to what degree, the universe is deterministic and that (determinism) is unknowable to humans at least at this time. Science is best left agnostic and confined to areas humans can explore.

      2. Toby

        If nature is ‘amoral’, then how come there’s morality? Where did the word come from? God? Have a look at the moral behaviour of chimps, it’s definitely there if you care to do the research. Of course, whatever we observe must be interpreted. How do we go about interpreting what we have witnessed? How much information did we catch, how much did we miss? What about smells? What effect does the smell of a human have on chimpanzees?

        We must, of course, then go on to explain what we have observed with language, and the language itself must be understood by others who weren’t there. Then ideas spread out like wildfire, buoyed on the winds of our rich imaginations. It’s a problem we simply can’t escape. It demands humility, not arrogance and certitude … of all of us.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Where did the word “unicorn” come from?

          Your interpretation of any behavior of chimps as “moral” is nothing more than your interpretation and the attachment of a label.

          Seriously, I like your comments, but you are going to need a lot more firepower to deal with any moral skeptic who has thought through his position.

          1. Toby

            ‘Unicorn’ came from humans (as did all other words, obviously), an animal as a part of nature as any other. A unicorn is a mythical beast (if this was your point) made of a horse and a horn, and a bunch of powers to do with healing. All things that exist in nature. ‘Morality’ is a more complex word, but describes something we directly experience. We are in nature. Morality is natural.

            As for ‘morality’ amongst chimps of course this is about interpretation, but that was my point. It’s just as much a matter of interpretation to say there is no morality in nature (a very poor interpretation in my opinion since humans are a part of nature). For incidents of morality among chimps see Kropotkin (Mutual Aid) and Boehm (Hierarchy in the Forest). I imagine there are other sources, but I can’t read everything for you guys, nor am I prepared to lay it all out in tiny detail. I don’t always have the time to furnish everyone with what they might possibly not know. I have a life outside Naked Capitalism, believe it or not!

            Also, my reasoning is just one man’s reasoning. I’m only slightly more powerful that an ant, and in the end can only contribute to the debate an amount and a quality I have sufficient time and energy for.

        2. Bates

          ‘Amoral’ in the sense that nature takes no stance on whether an individual or species thrives or goes extinct. Nature is an impartial observer. Sorry, I did not make this point clear enough.

          God was definitely invented by homo sapiens because we cannot accept our own mortality. A good example, and there are many, is the enormous effort and expense the Egyptians expended in order to assure their ‘afterlife’ was as pleasant as possible and that they reached that ‘afterlife’ through many trials by various gods after individual Egyptians died. The belief of reincarnation is another example of trying to escape mortality. There is some type of afterlife imbedded in almost every religion that I am familiar with.

          If gods were not invented by humans then why do most gods display the worst of human traits? Vengefulness, capriciousness, jealousy, incest, cannibalisim, etc? Not only were gods invented by humans…the humans doing the inventing gave them the worst of human traits! BTW, very few people have really read the old and new versions of the Christian bible. In fact, most that profess to be Christians have no idea how much bad behavior (by contempory standards) was on display by god in the old testament and Jesus in the new testament. For example, Jesus took slavery for granted and never questioned the practice. Before spouting off about your ‘faith’, do yourself a favor and read, to the point of comprehension, your religious texts of choice. You may learn something… god forbid! LOL

          1. Toby

            Was that aimed at me, Bates? I did not spout off about my faith. You have no clue whatsoever about my faith, or even if I have any. And as for reading, I do too much of that. Whether I learn anything from it, that’s another question! ;-)

            As for nature itself being amoral that is an interesting question, but I think it is unanswerable. To my mind we simple cannot say. Amorality and morality are too ‘human’ to be applied to a set of processes as large as nature, as is the word ‘care.’ I have argued myself elsewhere, in recent weeks actually, that ‘Mother Nature’ does not care, is merciless, and so on. Nowadays I’m inclined to believe we cannot know, or that we project. Language gets in the way…

      3. DownSouth

        ”Humans invented gods and afterlifes because they cannot deal with the FACT of mortality.”

        But this is only one of several evolutionary theories of religion, and a totally non-flattering one at that, for it holds that religion is nonadaptive.

        The crux of this theory is that religion is a byproduct, or “spandrel,” of genetic or cultural evolution: Self-awareness evolved by natural selection for its survival value, with the unfortunate byproduct that self-aware individuals can foresee their own deaths. Religion then arose to help allay the fear of death, a secondary adaptation that can be understood only in the context of a more primary adaptation (self-awareness).

        Given your unbridled pessimism, it is not surprising that you would seize upon an evolutionary theory of religion that is most disdainful of religion.

        This is not to say that all religions or religious practices are adaptive. The process of natural selection involves many failures for each success.

        Your attributing traits like “intelligence and making rational decisions” to animals in the wild takes J.W.N. Watkins’ methodological individualism, which he of course applied only to human behavior, to a new and extreme level.

        But even more extreme is that you deny these same traits to humans. You proclaim humans “on the verge of eradicating themselves”—-an absolutist’s embrace of genetic determinism and a rejection of the many mechanisms that guide the process of cultural evolution, such as trial and error, rational thought and imitation—-while maintaining that animals in the wild are capable of and use these very same mechanisms.

        From your comment it becomes rather obvious that you have an extremely low opinion of humanity. I don’t see why someone like yourself, who is intent upon blowing up humankind, should be looked to as a source for solutions to our problems.

        1. Bates

          ‘Intent upon blowing up man kind’?

          A poor attempt to attribute a quote to me that I did not make!

          I am not intent ‘upon blowing up man kind’. Man kind is doing an excellent job of it while I observe.

          “But this is only one of several evolutionary theories of religion, and a totally non-flattering one at that, for it holds that religion is nonadaptive.”

          What does it matter if religion is ‘adaptive’…it is myth. I care not if myth adapts to what?…new technology…fiat currency?…new moral standards?…get real!

          You certainly blather a LOT and say little. I don’t give a whit about Watkins hypothesis…if they cannot be independently reproduced by others in his field they are worthless…as are most all ‘soft’ science hypothesis.

          “From your comment it becomes rather obvious that you have an extremely low opinion of humanity.”

          Voila! the only correct observation in your long, meaningless ramble. I have come to my conclusions through a lifetime of observation, on all contients except Antartica, and through reading a lot of history and religious texts.

          Empire building…the course America has been on since the Civil War or the Spanish American war at latest, never ends well. If you are as well versed in history as you profess, you should be well aware of this fact. We have been one wrong move away from nuclear war since WW2. How long can our luck hold?

      4. i on the ball patriot

        Debra …

        Condescension is a form of demonization. It is a deception made to set the stage for exploiting and cannibalizing the so demonized organism.

        ‘Morality’ is a construct of humans essential for survival. It regulates alliances …

        It IS a dog eat dog cannibalistic world, with all organisms governed by the base powers of perception and deception. Perception is the decision making function, and deception is the externalization of that perception. All externalizations of all organisms are deceptions (tools of dominance) made to get the needs of the organism met. Humans are presently the big dogs on the planet due to their superior ability to externalize themselves (the externalizations are now taking on a life of their own and represent what we are evolving into — disregard that for now).

        It IS an amoral dynamic whether you like it or not, and also, again whether you like it or not, your base sustenance is dependent on consuming; carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc., from other, once living, or live as consumed, organisms. It is the food you eat. Nothing reveals the cannibalization for sustenance dynamic of organisms more clearly than putting food in your mouth (yes, we all work real hard to erase the blood dripping from the carcass in the slaughterhouse image).

        Organisms that do adapt and survive do so because they choose, by virtue of their perceptions, to form alliances and focus their deceptions on other organisms. We have the ability of free choice to do that, within our own spheres of influence, dependent upon our perception ability. So … rather than deny our predatory behavior, or use it to rationalize EXTREME predatory behavior betwixt and between each other, we should embrace it, and rise above it as much as possible. In that process we imbue the amoral situation that we are thrust into with an agreed upon ‘morality’ that best serves our needs.

        The best we can hope to do, to rise above the very dicey situation that we are thrust into then, is to form open and transparent well regulated alliances planet wide with all other humans, alliances that control fairly our intra-cannibalization, and at the same time, treat those other organisms that we use for our base line sustenance, as food, as humanely as possible.

        We are in the soup we are in today because the intra-cannibalization alliances of institutions and nation states have been hijacked and co-opted by the wealthy ruling elite who now turn their deceptions against all.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    2. NOTaREALmerican

      Re: The way it has been used to justify predatory behavior, and social darwinism, for example. Unfortunate, in my book.

      “Justify” is what people do. It allows the stories that their brains is creating to be (more) complete (perhaps “happiness” is just the ability to have conflicting stories “equal and active” in the brain) . There’s just as much nutty “justification” on the “smothering mommy side”.

      Both “sides” love to convince others of their wisdom.

  6. Bates

    RE: War…
    The ‘Fog Of War’ obfuscates much and right now there is a great deal in the US and world economies that is in dire need of obfuscation. Under the guise of war the word ‘patriotism’ can emerge and squelch dissent about unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, etc). War can be useful in attribution of huge federal deficits, inflation, more money printing, etc. Truth is always the first victim in war.

    It matters not who the war is fought with nor what the trumped up reasons for going to war are.

    Humans exhibit no more reason than the chimps. Examine our recent wonderful acchievments…The Gulf oil debacle and the many varaitions of nuclear weapons. What happens if the war on Iran causes the closure of the Straits of Hormuz and the price of crude zooms above $400 per barrel…does anyone think a development like this could heal the world economy? Does anyone think?

    It matters not what we the citizens of the US think or want. Our government is going to insure that we get ‘Change We Can Believe In’…LOL

  7. LeeAnne

    Social Security is the most FUNDED federal program in existence and can continue to be funded easily because US citizens like it and want it.

    It is only wingnut propaganda that says otherwise.

    1. DownSouth

      Great catch LeeAnne.

      Bates doesn’t parrot the entire right-wing party line, just part of it.

      1. Bates

        “Bates doesn’t parrot the entire right-wing party line, just part of it.”

        You are making a lot of suppositions! I said that in the fog of war many things are done that would not be possible in peacetime (I had almost forgotten since we have been at war so long). From this you draw the conclusion that I am anti-social security? A very stupid deduction and wrong in the bargain.

        My party affiliation is that I have no party affiliation. politics does not matter now as much as it did when the US was a functioning Democracy and occasionally at peace with the world. We face a world financial collapse that has been inflicted on us by both US parties in their Keynesian madness, greed and moral corruption…and both parties are parroting a very perverted version of what Keynes really said about fiscal policy in times of recession.

        Stop making suppostions and stop attributing quotes to me that I did not make…otherwise, your comments will be ignored and you will be classified as a common liar.

        1. LeeAnne

          Bates, your exact quote:

          “Under the guise of war the word ‘patriotism’ can emerge and squelch dissent about unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, etc).”

          You are repeating corporatist talking points that suggest they are the same program with the same funding, in spite of the fact that is not the case.

          Social Security is not an unfunded liability, and it is a different program, funded differently from Medicare.

          What the two programs have in common is that they both serve the elderly, but each in a different way for different purposes.

          Social Security is prepaid, funded by deductions from wages, a program used to supplement income for retirees; whereas, Medicare is a health insurance program. The government does not provide health care. The Medicare insurance program is affected by the soaring costs of the private health care system.

          The private health care system is in need of reform –for everyone, not just the elderly.

  8. REL

    I am a US Citizen of around 30 years of age and I do not like or want SS. Most of the members of my generation (the ones that are paying attention) also do not like or want it. It is not that we are against the concept, but we understand that we are going to spend our entire lives paying for a system that is unlikely to pay us back.

    I suspect that when the vast majority of the people that want to fund SS are SS recipients, you will find out how easily funded it is.

    1. RueTheDay

      “we understand that we are going to spend our entire lives paying for a system that is unlikely to pay us back”

      You only “understand” that because of a massive propaganda push by a few right wing think tanks and politicians designed to convince you of something that simply isn’t true.

      The fact of the matter is that Social Security is never going to go bankrupt. Even at the peak of Baby Boomer retirement, SS taxes will still be able to fund ~75% of benefits paid if nothing else is done. Getting that 75% back to 100% is fairly trivial – change the COLA indexing from CPI-w to CPI-u and raise the retirement age by a year or two and the problem disappears. Worst case, we may have to raise the cap on wages subject to FICA by a little bit.

      Social Security is a complete non-problem. Medicare, on the other hand, is becoming a massive problem. However, the people spouting doom and gloom on SS are strangely silent on that problem, for fear of offending their constituency.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        Does anybody know what the funding/growth assumptions are of SS? As most of the Ponzi retirement funds (ie CalPers) assume (something like) a perpetual 8% growth rate, what happens when reality returns? How can CalPers (or SS) “beat the average” forever (yes, I do know that American itself is completely above average, so perhaps it’s possible).

        1. Glen

          The 2009 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds:

          PDF report here:

          SS is extremely well funded especially considering that the US taxpayer gave over $8 trillion dollars in a very short period of time to Wall St banks starting in 2008 to keep the world financial system afloat:

          Wall St would just love to get their hands on your SS money, and then “poof”, they would make it disappear (but some people would get very rich – just not you.)

    2. emca

      Talking to friends is not a particularly accurate way of gaging overall public opinion on a matter, only the limits of your associations.

      1. REL

        I don’t disagree, but I was responding to a post that simply asserts that US citizens like and want SS without any support. The bar for the level of support needed for a response to the statement isn’t that high.

        1. emca

          So you substitute one unsubstantiated statement with another of your own making…

          Ah, now I see.

        2. D. Warbucks

          U.S. Citizens don’t like social security. It’s a well known fact. None of them in fact. That’s why we need to take it away from them, and put it all in the stock market.

          And let the young ones have a few extra dollars in their paychecks instead of social security. Which would be great because then we can pay them less.

      2. Anonymous Jones

        That was a skillful reply, emca.

        Unlike REL, I’m not sure what “most” people want (though I like his half-assed peremptory move to protect his flank with the self-congratulatory, delusional “the ones that are paying attention” aside).

        That said, in my limited interaction with humans, I’ve come to find that many of those I’ve met at least profess to crave safety and security (though a few are daredevils and risk seekers, I’ll admit). Generally, from the widespread purchase of insurance for all sorts of things, it seems that many people like insurance. And I have to say that most people I know worry about the counterparty providing that same insurance, especially whether that counterparty is (and will stay) creditworthy over the long haul. I don’t really see why you wouldn’t worry about counterparty risk, but maybe that’s because I’m some “lefty” or something. So with all that, I’d be surprised that most people (of any age class) want to see social security disappear, but I will admit that I can’t know that for certain.

        1. Glenn Stehle

          Anonymous Jones,

          That’s a great comment.

          The gold bugs and hard money guys have been around for a long time, ever since I was a kid. And in my younger days I used to buy into their predictions of financial Armageddon.

          But I remember one time I was sitting some wells for a couple of these mega-rich guys (in fact at the time their cousins were listed as the richest men in the world), and I was going on about how the government might not be able to meet its obligations to pay social security or some such nonsense. And one of these scions of great wealth responded that, if the government of the United States gets to the point where it can’t pay social security, that’s going to be the least of my worries.

          The bottom line is that, as you say, the US government is probably about the most creditworthy counterparty on the planet.

    3. NOTaREALmerican

      This might not be any consolation but I didn’t think we’d have SS when I retired either. I’m 55 now.

      Never underestimate the US Ponzi scam. As long as we can scam the rest of the world SS will be fine. Don’t forget, in life: if you’re not running a scam, or participating in one, you’re not going to succeed. We’ve all been participating in the greatest Ponzi scam the world has ever seen: The US Dollar scam.

      Here’s hoping my 2big2fail bank AND the US Dollar scam continue forever!

    4. LeeAnne


      Many thanks for your comment. Please allow me to recommend a Huff Post article to you on the Social Security issue. It is a good read with reliable facts, an antidote to the propaganda campaign by the respected journalist, Robert Kuttner here

      From the article, to your point:

      “… the argument that Social Security is adding to the federal deficit is a bum rap. Ever since Congress in 1983 acted to anticipate the retirement of the baby boom generation by raising Social Security taxes and pushing back the retirement age from 65 to 67, Social Security has contributed trillions of dollars to a government surplus. The intent was to pre-fund the additional cost of the boomers. George W. Bush pilfered that surplus for his wars and his tax cuts for the rich, but even so, Social Security is still in great shape for at least 30 more years.”

      The article provides reliable reporting with fact based information from a journalist’s point of view rather than from the special interests running a campaign for their own benefit; the antidote to propaganda. Armed with reliable facts you can make up your own mind on the costs and benefits of Social Security.

      The article mentions the stealth of the Social Security propaganda campaign. The campaign is exceptionally well funded by the same Wall Street guys who caused the collapse of the financial system in the first place who are now have embarked on this propaganda campaign in order, not only to persuade you, but also to confuse you and prevent discussion of the issue on its merits. I hope you will read it and enjoy it.

      1. REL

        I have read the article you linked. It talks about the fact that SS has contributed to government surplus. That fact appears to be about to turn around – please see:

        The article you cited also alludes to one of the problems I see with SS in that the author states that wages need to grow again to “normal post-war levels” to ensure long-term solvency (or politically unpopular “tweaks” will need to be made). I do not believe that “wages” as taxed by SS will necessarily recover for a variety of reasons. I also believe that increased life-expectancy will tax SS more than expected.

        While I acknowledge that my original comment was a bit flippant, I stand by my earlier statement that I do not believe that I will receive the benefit of my SS contributions. That is not to say that I think that it is an ill-intentioned program, or that it not a “good deal” for those receiving benefits. If it is still there when I am able to retire (I hope this occurs), I will think it was a great deal. I just don’t think that will be the case.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I suggest you look at the analysis at Angry Bear of Krasting’s analyses…..they have some serious methodological shortcomings.

  9. Valissa

    re: Is America tuning out Capitol Hill?

    How about is Capitol Hill tuning out America? The Villagers of both parties now rarely listen to the American people on most issues. Many people from both major parties have been calling and emailing their Congress critters on various issues in recent years to no avail. No wonder people are tuning out DC!

    From the ever more obvious lies & propaganda, to the ever lower quality of real news, to the ever more obvious cronyism and corruption, to the increasing punishment of whistleblowers and others who speak out, and the increasing feelings of powerlessness due to politicians ignoring real civic needs in favor of pushing their respective party platforms no matter what is happening in the real world… people feel overhwlemd and trapped in the system. The netroots (of both major parties) initially seemed a venue for citizen participation, but has turned out to be totally useless in effecting any change in politics (they were totally gamed by party strategists) except to act as yet another avenue for propaganda and fund raising. So really, from the citizen’s point of view, why bother with politics when there is no reward for participation?

    A good question might be… what is typical of citizen participation in politics anyway.

    From the book “Culture and Politics: An Introduction to Mass and Elite Behavior” by Oliver Woshinsky here is his Pyramid of Political Involvement. Note that the numbers are broad, but it gives you some idea of the ratios. This pyramid shows that political participation occurs at various levels – the author designates 4 of them and describes. Each level of involvement requires a greater output of time, energy and personal resources than the one below it.

    1-3% Influentials – Leaders & full time political activists
    10-20% Participants – Regularly active in politics
    40-70% Citizens – Voters, occasionally politically active
    20-40% Apathetics – Wholly uninvolved in politics

    Given the current state of affairs I’m guessing the Apathetics category is heading toward to larger number shown.

  10. K Ackermann

    REL, I too am in your generation, but I seem to have a much smarter set of friends than you.

    Social Security is a good deal. You see, not everyone will be as smart as you are and sock their money away in… whatever type of account you have so much faith in.

    Some will get pregnant and raise children as a single parent, some will get sick, and some will hawk everything they have to keep their rotten, selfish children out of prison. That’s the way life works.

    You will get sick of stepping over these people as they beg for food in your world. Let’s hope you don’t trip over one and break your neck. You would be useless then.

    1. REL

      K Ackermann,
      Your condescending, snide post has made me see the error of my ways.

      I will sleep better tonight knowing that all of your smarter friends have read the last 5 trustee reports by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees and come up with reasons not to worry about the fact that they indicate that trust assets will be exhausted by 2037-2041. I also will trust that they have good reason not to be concerned about the fact that benefits appear poised to exceed tax income in the second half of this year, about 5 year prior to predicted in the above-referenced Trustee reports.

      I suspect that your “smarter” friends have just made different assumptions than I have. My assumptions include (1) that SS recipients are going to continue to comprise a larger and larger percentage of the voting public for most of my working life; (2) that this group going to be extremely persuasive in arguing against any adjustment to the current COLA system; and (3) that, as a result, SS will need to be funded from outside sources, where it will compete with a variety of other entitlements. Given the current level of competency in our government, on both sides of the aisle, I do not have a great degree of confidence that a solution will be found and that the funds I am paying in will be there in 32-35 years. As a result, I am not wild about paying $1.00 today for, what I perceive to be, a small chance of getting a return in the future.

      This does not mean that I think that SS is a “bad” program, or that some form of safety net for retirement and disability is not necessary.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        If you don’t believe REL: the Ponzi dies, and we all die with it.

        You’ve just got to have faith that the smart amoral scumbags will figure something out and be able to continue screwing the world. Don’t forget, we still got the most freedom and democracy (both spreadable), eagles, flags, the green lady, billionaires, and a kick-ass military.

        What can go wrong?

      2. Anonymous Jones

        Who will be voting in 2037-2041? It will certainly be at least a plurality of social security recipients.

        Yes, social security will be competing with other entitlements once the “trust fund” is exhausted.

        Then again, think about it. What entitlement do you think will win? This is a no-brainer. It’s the social security recipients who will be running the elections. You will never be able to kill the program. Never. Until there’s a revolution.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Sorry, just to be clear, I meant a plurality when considering the other fractured interests in the country and assuming SS and medicare are the two most important political points to that age group (*BIG* assumption, I agree). Obviously, when you are talking about recipients v. non-recipients, the concept of plurality makes no sense.

  11. K Ackermann

    As to war with Iran…

    That’s a cute article about how the people of Iran will rise up and take care of everything once we start bombing.

    It says written by anonymous, but the stench of a Krystol or a Feith is all over it.

    I seriously doubt the US will attack Iran, but if it does, we can thank Iran for being so up front about what they will do in retaliation.

    They can stop 33% of the world’s oil supply by sinking their own ships in the straights of Hormuz, not to mention the world’s largest refinery and oil loading terminal is a six minute flight for their middle-of-the-road surface-to-surface missiles. They have produced these missiles in the tens-of-thousands.

    They also know where all our bases are in Iraq.

    They have a night-capable military that has studied all our tactics in Iraq, and have only a few overland routes from which we mount any kind of land invasion. They would be more than happy to draw us in to see how many casualties we can tolerate per month, or year, or decade. They have 80 million people.

    We can bomb their nuclear facilities, but we can’t erase the knowledge. It doesn’t work that way.

    All the smart military people are saying that since Iran has been around for 5000 years and we haven’t, we should look to them as not being suicidal, but rather as a product of our imperial aggression who are looking for a bargaining chip.

    We can either be stupid, or smart. It would be nice of the article pointed that out.

    1. DownSouth

      “We can bomb their nuclear facilities….”

      Can we?

      It seems like that would require some intelligence, such as to the exact location of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

      After Israel Bombed Iraq’s Osirak Nuclear Research Facility back in 1981, Iran is believed to have taken its nuclear program underground (both literally and figuratively).

      So how are we to pinpoint Iran’s nuclear facilities? As Iraq made clarion, our intelligence in these mid-eastern countries is all but non-existent.

      After all, our “intelligence” in Iraq was so bad that it assured us that Iraq had nuclear facilities, when in fact it did not. If our intelligence is so shoddy that it can’t even accurately determine the very existence of a nuclear program, how is it to achieve the much more exacting task of pinpointing the exact location of the facilities?

      (And this doesn’t address the fact that it is believed that Iran’s nuclear facilities are literally underground, buried deep below the surface in bunkers impenetrable to anything short of nuclear weaponry.)

      1. K Ackermann

        I generally agree with the exception of a production facility. Spinning off the isotopes require a huge amount of electricity. We may have a fix on one or two places.

        It doesn’t matter. The risk/reward is so far below marginal that it’s asinine – which means nothing, right?

        1. DownSouth

          “The risk/reward is so far below marginal that it’s asinine…

          That’s the understatement of the century:

          Never in history has it happened that nuclear power plants and nuclear enrichment facilities have been deliberately bombed. Such facilities, everywhere in the world, operate under severe safety conditions because the release of radioactive materials is deadly, immediately and also long after exposure. If the USA or Israel deliberately bomb a fully fueled nuclear power plant or nuclear fuel enrichment facilities, containment will be breached; radioactive elements will be released into the environment. There will be horrific deaths for families in the surrounding vicinity. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated 3 million deaths would result in 3 weeks from bombing the nuclear enrichment facilities near Esfahan, and the contamination would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, all the way to India.

          Reactors and enrichment facilities are built of extra strong concrete, often with multiple layers of containment domes, often built underground. Bombing such facilities will require powerful explosives, earth penetrator war heads, maybe nuclear warheads. The explosions will blow the contamination high into the atmosphere. Where will it go is a question that is difficult to predict.

          During the January 1991 Gulf War, many oil wells in Kuwait were set afire. According to the US State Department, “black rains were reported in Turkey, and black snow fell in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains”. The radioactive plumes from bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would reach the same destinations, in the same weather conditions. But the radioactive plume might go north, into Europe. During the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by the USA, UK, Australia, and others, armour piercing shells and bombs tipped with depleted uranium (U238) were used. It took 9 days for uranium particles from these weapons in Iraq to reach England, where air sample filters showed a 300% increase in uranium particles attributable to the war. The weather patterns at the time that carried the particles to England passed over central Turkey, the Ukraine, Austria, Poland, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, to England, then over Norway and Finland to the Arctic. This was reported by The Times, summarizing a study in European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            You won’t see this on MSM.

            An article on by Wayne Madsen alleges that the BP disaster is directly connected to war plans on Iran—that Obama-Salazar expressly waived safety regs when the size of the reservoir was discovered and drilling was fast-tracked.

            “Obama Administration Knew About Deepwater Horizon 35,000 Feet Well Bore”


            “According to the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) sources within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Pentagon and Interior and Energy Departments told the Obama Administration that the newly-discovered estimated 3-4 billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico would cover America’s oil needs for up to eight months if there was a military attack on Iran that resulted in the bottling up of the Strait of Hormuz to oil tanker traffic, resulting in a cut-off of oil to the United States from the Persian Gulf.”

          2. Glenn Stehle


            That story is over the top, and gives Gulf oil production way more importance than it merits.

            And while it may be the sort of hype the multinational oil companies and their propagandists are spouting—-i.e. “deepwater Gulf drilling is our ticket off imported oil” and “deepwater Gulf drilling is our ticket to national energy security”—-let me just cite the following to put that claim in perspective:

            (the figures are off the top of my head, so are very approximate)

            World oil production: 85 million BOPD
            US oil consumption: 20 million BOPD
            US oil production: 6 million BOPD
            Gulf oil production: 1.7 million BOPD
            Deepwater Gulf oil production: 1.4 million BOPD

            It must be remembered that, even if the Maconda No. 1 is a 4 billion-barrel discovery, we’re talking extremely long lead-times here. It would take several years to build the production platform (or platforms), drill the development wells and initiate production. Then that 4 billion of proven reserves (and they would only be proven after more confirmation wells are drilled) would take years, maybe decades, to produce.

            The American Petroleum Institute estimates, for instance, that the six-month moratorium on all Gulf offshore drilling will only diminish Gulf production by between 80,000 and 130,000 barrels. Oil is a fungible commodity, and 130,000 in relationship to world produciton of 85 million barrels constitutes little more than statistical noise.

    2. Stelios Theoharidis

      I don’t know what Reza Kahlili is smoking or how Forbes can be a propaganda device for the hawks bent on fomenting a conflict with Iran, but that article is a propaganda piece pure and simple.

      Given our history with Iran and the negative sentiment regarding the US government it would be absolutely disasterous for the opposition to get a wimper of support from the US government. It would delegitimize their movement completely and only serve to strengthen the hand of the hardliners who are trying to present the image that these groups are in the pocket of foreign interests and that there is some sort of global conspiracy against Islam and Iran to control their oil deposits.

      When will we stop listening to these people and get the hell out of the sand trap that is international conflict. Is two wars not enough. The trillions of dollars not enough.

      The more we feed into these groups and give them legitimacy on the international stage the more powerful they become. The more kids, wives, brothers, and cousins we kill in their homelands the more there will be to fight our soldiers. Americans may have a 2-day memory but these people definitely don’t. I don’t know if this guy was a CIA asset and I don’t care. The USA is already on the precipice of economic collapse due to 2 foreign wars that took our attention away from handling our domestic affairs and letting Banks and Resource extraction firms run free. Now on top of two wars we have a ongoing bank crisis, a massive oil spill in the gulf, and an emerging debt crisis. Who cares if they get the bomb, North Korea has one.

    3. emca

      Not to get rolled too much in speculation, but couldn’t the attack by a foreign power, one especially with a nefarious history as the U.S. in other nation’s affairs, actually decease internal strife?

      If the U.S. was physically attacked, by say Iran, would not Democrats and Republicans, left and right, unite behind their government in the holy grail of total unity over partisan ideology? My thinking is this would be so.

      I don’t live in Iran, so maybe the situation is different.

      Those young, lefty protesting types wanting to overthrown the conservative religious rulers are salivating at the prospect of U.S. led insurrection promote in fullness by U.S. aligned conservative religious zealots.

      Its too easy to misplace dissension as disloyalty.

  12. justaperson

    Re–regarding Social Security: The Boomers’ SS benefits are already funded. I know, because I paid for into the Trust Fund since I was 16 (I am now 62) on the promise from my government that I would have an income stream upon my future retirement that would not be subject to the vagaries of stock/bond fluctuations, inflation, etc. You, too, can decide that you want this steady income stream in your retirement or not. The main people affected by any future Social Security reform are the middle-aged and the young—those who would be future retirees under SS. The nonelderly must decide whether they want to slow the growth in benefits for themselves when they retire in order to provide more for other programs, such as education or wage subsidies, or to raise tax rates even more on themselves and their children.

    1. DownSouth

      They might also decide they want to spend less on militarism and corporate welfare, the two fastest-growing federal govenment expenditures.

  13. Jacob M.

    On Chimpanzees – If you can see similarities between our species’ behavior and that of Chimps, I suggest you do a search on Bonobos, and how they deal with social conflict.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Human, chimps, cats, dogs…

      All explained by the 4 F’s of life: Food, Fear, Fighting, and (uh) sex. All the things that make life fun.

  14. Doc Holiday

    Theme: Southern Man

    BP-like oil businesses and the destructive forces of under water mining, and all the good ol’ boys that are stripping the Gulf of resources are a reminder that this is not a generational problem but a genetic defect — where people in one region of America go over ethical and moral lines — in the pursuit of satisfying their greed, as they ignore the reality of their actions.

    The bogus Fed judge that wants block Obama’s reform of outdated deepsea drilling regulations — is a great example of an individual that has conflicts of interest in his plantation and his slaves …. I mean a judge that holds shares in corporations that don’t want to be regulated.

    Southern people often seem disgusting (in general) because they often strike me as being obnoxious. In that regard, the Gulf does not belong to just one group of Southern people — and obviously the hillbilly judges that want to block reform need to be removed — and replaced with people that have clear minds and hearts! Good luck with that, because DNA has a way of not changing, and years of inbreeding can be fatal.

      1. doc holiday

        I can’t help myself… I think the good people in the South (and every direction) need to wake up to change. The good ol’ boy games of the past need to be snuffed out and people need to be held accountable for their actions. This is a very bleak time in our history and reform is needed ASAP — versus playing the game of denial and pretending the Gulf is not being trashed for future generations!

        Perhaps I am being too general and perhaps there will be Gulf people that look beyond the next way to cash in. Maybe I need to be even more general and say this BP oil spill is an American problem that needs a new generational solution.

  15. Cynthia

    This is what Truman said about MacArthur:

    “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.”,9171,908217,00.html

    Why oh why can’t our president get enough backbone to say that Nails-For-Breakfast, Tacks-For-Snacks McChrystal is a dumb son of bitch, too. If we were fortunate enough to have this happen, we would finally have the pleasure of seeing the peace doves overtake the war hawks as the rulers of the rooster in Washington!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      McChrystal is out, replaced by Petraeus, who seems at least more likely to understand there is no military victory apart from a political solution. Let’s hope.

      Humpty Dumpty is now sitting on a wall, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men are desperately scrambling to cover their own asses.

      Seymour Hersh put out a damning article on McChrystal in May 2009:

      “McChrystal was Cheney’s Chief Assassin”

      “…Dick Cheney headed a secret assassination wing and the head of the wing has just been named as the new commander in Afghanistan.” This was Obama’s choice for Obama’s war.

      1. Cynthia

        Obama should have fired McChrystal back in September for strong-arming him into escalating the war in Afghanistan. And, more to the point, Obama should’ve never hired him in the first place to be the top commander in Afghanistan after knowing full well that he played a key role in covering up Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death and authorizing the torture of detainees at Camp Nama. By doing this, Obama is sending the message to all military employees that the more murderous and hate-filled you are, the farther and the faster you’ll move up the ranks.

  16. Doc Holiday

    Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
    a southern man don’t need him around anyhow

    ==> It continues to be debatable, if Lynyrd Skynyrd was actually alluding to the hope that Southern folks could regulate themselves and didn’t need someone from Canada to help them figure stuff out — or, if indeed and more likely, a case was being made that Southern people don’t want or need regulation and that they wish for outsiders to stay out of their environment.

    Although a long ranting thesis could be drawn out here, I’ll close this sentence by saying that the Southern judge that wants to block deepsea drilling reform — is a crooked idiot that can’t see the dead fish in front of his eyes, and thus he is blind as to the justice that needs to take place!

  17. charcad

    r.e. Forbes “There Will Be War”.

    Ah yes. Shades of Our Man In Baghdad:

    Now another anonymous (and fictitious?) self-proclaimed inside operator (also heavily promoted by Manhattan based media like Forbes, Simon & Shuster) promises – again – that The People will rise in joy as soon as they hear the boom of the first bomb.

    “Only with international support will Iran’s people be emboldened to rebel and will regime loyalists abandon ship. The desire to overthrow the regime is already so great within Iran that this alone could be enough to lead to successful rebellion.”

    The only gloss left out is another promise that rapturous crowds will strew flowers in US troops’ path.

  18. mystery holday

    Spirit Airlines: ‘Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches’

    And now Spirit Airlines, whose sale promotion urges folks to “Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches” (screen grab above from Spirit’s home page).


    Todd Wright, writing a post on NBC’s Miami website, says this: ”With hotels and other tourism-related businesses in panic mode awaiting the black ooze from the Gulf oil spill, now is not the time for parody.”

    ==> Check the oil in our seafood and DNA too!

  19. spirit of stupidity

    It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today’s beach promotion. We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots.

    We are excited to continue offering customers huge savings with specials like today’s offer promoting travel to our many beach destinations. The only oil you’ll find when traveling to our beaches is sun tan oil.

  20. spirit of stupidity

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission continues to keep state waters open to fishing despite contamination by the BP oil disaster, the Wonk Room has learned. On June 16, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) extended the federal fisheries closure to the federal waters seven miles off Panama City Beach. Meanwhile, the state encouraged fishing with the announcement that “all Florida residents and visitors are invited to fish statewide for saltwater species without a license during the upcoming Father’s Day weekend, June 19-20.” On June 19, tarballs began washing up on Panama City Beach. On June 20, the visible oil slick spread to one mile of the Panama City coast, well within the seven-mile state boundary, but the state did not put the waters off limits to fishing:

  21. tyaresun

    White House speaks with forked tongue:

    In 2009, according to the Defense Energy Support Center, the military awarded $22.5 billion in energy contracts. More than $16 billion of that went to purchasing bulk fuel. Some 10 top petroleum suppliers got the lion’s share, more than $11.5 billion, among them big names like Shell, Exxon Mobil and Valero. The largest contractor, however, was BP, which received more than $2.2 billion – almost 12% of all petroleum-contract dollars awarded by the Pentagon for the year.

    According to the Center for Public Integrity, “BP account[ed] for 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the [oil] refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years.

  22. spirit of stupidity

    “The bottom line is that you can see this on TV and have time to digest it, but it’s totally different when you see it in person,” New Brunswick Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet said. “I knew I was coming to a disaster, but it’s still quite shocking when you see it first-hand.”

    On Tuesday, Doucet and Prince Edward Island Environment and Energy Minister Richard Brown hitched a ride with Louisiana Department of Fisheries pilot Eugene E. Rackle, and got to see some of effects of the April 20 oil spill first-hand.

    Their 25-minute flight from the Big Easy to Grand Isle was both amazing and sad – the bayou gorgeous, the disaster New Brunswickers’ Cajun cousins are dealing with overwhelming.

    In the morning, Doucet and Brown met with Myron Fischer, the director of the State of Louisiana’s Fisheries Research Lab in Grand Isle, as well as Randy Pausina, the assistant secretary of fisheries.

    Later, they met with marine biologist Mandy Tumlin, who is heading up the rescue efforts for sea turtles and marine mammals.

    There is little good news at this point, only hope and wishful thinking.

    Dolphins are calving in the Gulf, it is nesting season for endangered sea turtles, and the giant bluefin tuna that migrate to near P.E.I. are currently spawning in an area about 150 miles from the spill site. To survive, their larvae has to run a gamut get through areas closed to fishing due to oil.

    “We have caught some turtles in the oil stream,” Tumlin says. “We found a Kemp’s Ridley, which is critically endangered, floating on the surface the other day, literally cooking in the oil.

    “Once you pick up a sea turtle and you hear it wheezing, it is surreal. It is very sad.”

  23. Robber Toll Jr. Jr.

    “New-home sales in May fell from April to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 300,000, the government said Wednesday. That was the slowest sales pace on records dating back to 1963. And it’s the largest monthly drop on record. Sales have now sunk 78 percent from their peak in July 2005.”

  24. dsawy

    re: the NG frac’ing issue:

    In most western states, the issue could be addressed much more quickly by pushing for legislation and regulation at the state level, using the state water engineer to enforce a ban on hydraulic fracturing of sub-strata.

  25. gordon

    Readers interested in Australia might like to know that the Aust. Labor Party has dumped the PM (Kevin Rudd) and installed Julia Gillard in his place. This is an extraordinary action just before an election.

    MSM coverage is here:

    It will be interesting to see the outcome re: the proposed “super profits tax” which the Rudd Govt. intended to impose on the Aust. mining industry. Though commentators here don’t seem to think it was the determining issue, I think it was very important, and we’ll see an early move by the new Gillard Govt. to abandon the idea.

  26. Doc Holiday

    Miles of oil washing up in Florida Panhandle

    “It’s pretty ugly. There’s no question about it,” said Crist, who arrived at the beach expecting to see tar balls, not pools of sticky goo. “We don’t want to take `the sky is falling’ attitude about this. We want to clean it up and stay after it and stay after it and we will.”
    Despite a faint odor from the oil, a couple of dozen sunbathers watched as workers snaked along the sand with their shovels and rakes, occasionally resting under tents to sip water.

  27. Richard Kline

    Koala-byte: “I’m going to just wait right here until you stop being STUPID. And I can wait a very long time indeed.”

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