Links 1/16/13

Soot ‘has bigger role in warming’ BBC

2 More Horrific Gang Rapes: Why Rage Against Women Is Boiling Over in India, Lynn Parramore, Alternet

Japanese airlines ground Dreamliners after emergency landing Reuters

Vauxhall helicopter crash leaves two dead: live updates from London Guardian

Britain to drop out of world’s top ten economies Telegraph

France Alone? Project Syndicate

Data reveals German slowdown Guardian

Hotel Mama: Bad Economy Has Young Europeans at Home Der Spiegel

World Bank cautions on economic stimulus Financial Times

Aaron Swartz:

Berners-Lee Calls Prosecution of Aaron Swartz ‘Travesty’ Bloomberg. Notice how slanted the story is. Calls what he did “hacking” when was not, see here.

How the Legal System Failed Aaron Swartz—And Us New Yorker


‘Aaron was killed by the government’ – Robert Swartz on his son’s death RT

On humanity, a big failure in Aaron Swartz case Boston Globe. Makes it clear MIT refused to cut a deal. I hope tech donors never give a dime to MIT again.

Catfood watch:

Hardliners shift stance on US debt ceiling Financial Times. The Kochs are trying to get the Republicans to cool off.

Apparently, the National Review’s Editors Plan to Swear Off Flying. And Eating Farm Products. And Want to Force the Rest of Us To, Too. Angry Bear

Obamacare Sticker Shock; Expect Insurance Premiums to Soar; Aetna CEO Says Some Rates Will Double Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Obama Considering Ruth Porat For Deputy Treasury Secretary Despite Dodd-Frank Lobbying DSWright, Firedoglake

Why We’re Raising the Signature Threshold for We the People White House. His Highness will talk to the peasants. On second, thought, not really. Or Lambert’s shorter take: White House: LA LA LA LA I can’t hear you!

Yet more on the floor with Paul Krugman Steve Waldman

Treasury yields capped by public sector purchases Sober Look. That’s the plan!

A Weak “Defense of the CEO” James Kwak

SPECIAL EVENT: AN EVENING WITH SYRIZA Columbia Law School, Jan. 24. Part of the Modern Money and Public Purpose series. Be there if you are in NYC. It will also be live streamed.

Justice is not Law, Law is Not Justice Ian Welsh

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. hondje

    I tend to ignore Mish because it’s not worth the time digging through the trash to find the occasional gem he pulls out, so I will be ‘that guy’ and just ask if premiums are really going to skyrocket or if he’s taking a corner case out of context and trying to make a big deal about it?

    1. rjs

      ive been told rural mail carriers (USPS) have seen a 60% increase in what’s taken out of their paychecks for their health care plan..

    2. JohnL

      Well I read it. Don’t bother. No thought or analysis in it at all.

      Rates likely will go up. If it really is because more people are going receive the care they need, as he implies, surely that would be a good thing.

      More likely Obamacare will be used as a cover by providers and insurers alike to increase rates and the quantity of tests and pills pushed for basically the same treated population. He fails to consider that possibility.

      He also omits to mention single payer as the obvious fix for the gaming he thinks will happen. I think gaming will happen. It just won’t be the insured who are doing it. So we’ll likely go from paying double what anyone else does for healthcare ranked 42nd in the world to three times to jump up to maybe 39th.

    3. LucyLulu

      According to a recent NYTimes article, it all depends…… on which you state you live in, if you have employer-provided insurance, etc.

      “Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.

      In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers’ filings with the state for 2013. These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.

      In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month.

      The proposed increases compare with about 4 percent for families with employer-based policies.

      Under the health care law, regulators are now required to review any request for a rate increase of 10 percent or more; the requests are posted on a federal Web site,, along with regulators’ evaluations.

      The review process not only reveals the sharp disparity in the rates themselves, it also demonstrates the striking difference between places like New York, one of the 37 states where legislatures have given regulators some authority to deny or roll back rates deemed excessive, and California, which is among the states that do not have that ability.

      New York, for example, recently used its sweeping powers to hold rate increases for 2013 in the individual and small group markets to under 10 percent. California can review rate requests for technical errors but cannot deny rate increases.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My mistake was, they told me, that I kept entering age groups that were more expensive.

          I knew I should have stayed forever young.

      1. bob

        NY is not somewhere to point at as a “sucess”. The ins dept was just rolled into another state reg and it seems that no one is in charge. My rates have more than doubled over the past four years.

        And, the ‘non-profit’ insurance company, and it’s CEO are doing very well. The state AG has no interest in looking into this very obvious scam.

        Excellus reports $223 million profit for 2011

        David Klein, the Rochester-based company’s chief executive officer, took home $5.2 million in 2011, up from $1.9 million in 2010. The company said Klein’s compensation last year included a $2.8 million payment for completion of a long-term retention agreement.

        1. Nathanael

          (1) Excellus BCBS charges obscene prices for health insurance — roughly $12,000 / year for individuals.
          (2) Excellus BCBS routinely overcharges individuals who purchase health insurance through them, and then is forced to refund some of it by the state health department. The refunds are in the thousands, showing that the overcharge is routinely more than 10%.
          (3) NYS regulators finally forced Excellus to cut its extortionate individual insurance rates this year.

          A more suitable payment for David Klein’s services as CEO would be multiple gunshot wounds to the head; that’s about what he deserves.

          But believe it or not, NYS regulators are actually relatively good by US standards. In other places, Excellus would not have been forced to regurgitate the excess premiums, ever.

    4. ChrisPacific

      The Mish column references a Bloomberg article quoting Aetna, along with a piece from the Institute of Policy Innovation (a “think tank” in Texas) that was run in the WSJ. They talk about how insurers intend to stick everyone with massively increased premiums, which is all the fault of Obama because he is making them expand their coverage scope, even though it still falls well short of what public health care in other countries is able to deliver for a fraction of the cost (OK, I added that last bit). Oh, and even though he made it illegal to opt out, the penalties for doing so aren’t severe enough, which is another catastrophe requiring a further massive premium hike. Blame Obama, not us. If we could only deny coverage to anyone who is sick or injured, and tar and feather anyone who tries to opt out, we wouldn’t have to increase your premiums! (Much).

      Mish, being an anti-big government libertarian, accepts all of this largely at face value and takes some (admittedly mostly deserved) potshots at Obamacare. A Naked Capitalism take would likely be somewhat different. The debunking of the articles more or less writes itself, but tracing the funding sources of the Institute of Policy Innovation might be interesting.

      …actually it turns out that writes itself too:

    1. citalopram

      Greewald writes:

      “The US has become a society in which political and financial elites systematically evade accountability for their bad acts, no matter how destructive. Those who torture, illegally eavesdrop, commit systemic financial fraud, even launder money for designated terrorists and drug dealers are all protected from criminal liability, while those who are powerless – or especially, as in Swartz’s case, those who challenge power – are mercilessly punished for trivial transgressions.”


      1. Nathanael

        It’s a very dangerous thing for the elites to do. Once people conclude that the system isn’t getting them any benefits, and that the elite get away with murder, people will stop complying with *any* law (“if it’s good enough for the elite, why not for me?”). Assassinations of the rich and powerful will be cheered, and when the police show up, nobody will have seen anything and the security tapes will be missing.

        I would prefer reform, but I would also prefer a peaceful revolution to THAT scenario. The elites should prefer it too, but our elites are STUPID, so we face some really serious risks of social breakdown.

        1. Maximilien

          Justice Louis Brandeis said it well:

          “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes the law breaker, it breeds contempt for laws; it invites every man to become a law unto himself. A lawless government invites anarchy.”

  2. AbyNormal

    “Following Swartz’ passing, members of the hacktivist group Anonymous gained unauthorized access to MIT’s servers and posted a tribute that was cited during Tuesday’s service, which also included eulogies from some of the most respected figures of Internet culture.”

    (‘be afraid’ echoing thru crypts)

    1. different clue

      One hopes they figure out how to lock up or even destroy those servers if possible. Punishment isn’t punishment if it doesn’t inflict permanent pain against The Enemy.

  3. datch

    Here’s an idea of accountability I hadn’t considered before…

    The company’s involvement in the academy isn’t about business deals, said Aleta Stampley, TI’s K-12 education and community relations director. It’s a reflection of the need for industry leaders to be more directly involved in shaping education, she said.

    “Businesses are the biggest consumers of the school system,” she said. “The kids that come out of here will be our future workforce for the community. There needs to be accountability for corporations to be a part of that and not just sit back and watch.”

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Businesses are the biggest consumers of the school system,” she said. “The kids that come out of here will be our future workforce for the community. There needs to be accountability for corporations to be a part of that and not just sit back and watch.”

      So it takes a village, as Hillary would say.

      Those rare students who don’t get seduced by this woolly-minded mush will realize that THEY are the most important consumers of education, for the purpose of acquiring skills. Businesses are just places where some of them will work.

      Businesses are ‘accountable’ because if they fail to provide value, they lose their customers and close shop. Public schools are not accountable because they collect revenue by legal fiat, regardless of value provided.

      Again, those unusual students who acquire critical thinking skills (despite being subjected to insidious propaganda like that quoted above) will understand that there’s no such thing as ‘accountability’ from a hidebound monopoly whose customers can leave, but still have to pay regardless.

      1. JohnL

        ” Businesses are ‘accountable’ because if they fail to provide value, they lose their customers and close shop. Public schools are not accountable because they collect revenue by legal fiat, regardless of value provided.”

        Unless the business is TBTF.

        Schools have boards, public meetings, budgets that are voted on by the public. Unless they’re charter schools.

      2. YankeeFrank

        In our monopoly economy, many businesses, or more accurately, the monopoly businesses who supply products to the fronts that sell their wares, are not accountable because if you want to buy a product within their industry, you have to buy it from them. For example, if I need sunglasses, there is one italian firm that makes every single pair of sunglasses I can chose from. If I want food, I can go to the supermarket and there are four companies that make almost everything that is sold there. There is no accountability there. Just because one huge corporate front goes out of business, which is a rare enough occurrence, doesn’t mean the same products won’t be the only thing I can find at the other front that hasn’t gone out of business. Welcome to monopoly capitalism, where there is no accountability and if I want to find a decent, let’s say sprayer for my garden hose then I’m out of luck because the three companies that still make such products in the world all make them out of crap and they break within a week or two of purchasing them. Watch as more and more of the things we buy are crap with no choice for something better and NO ACCOUNTABILITY. Wake up.

        1. different clue

          For food . . . do you have a farmers market(s) you can go to? Do you have legacy-hippie food co-ops you can go to? If those choices don’t exist in your area, then you are indeed as stuck/limited as you feel yourself to be.

          If you have gardenable yardspace, you also have the choice of grow-it-yourself for some things.

    2. Socrates wants some more hemlock

      “The kids that come out of here will be our future workforce.” Take it from the poster girl of corporatist compliance training. Aleta Stampley’s own shit education has evidently kept her blissfully ignorant of the categorical imperative, seminal norm of modern civilization and foundation of human rights, so she can use children as a means to her employer’s ends.

      1. JTFaraday

        I have a similar reaction every time I see someone natter on about how necessary it is to reduce unemployment in order to drive “aggregate demand.” The industrial revolution lives!

        But, I suspect modernity is less Kant than it is “Kant for the household use of the little man.” Consequently Stampley and the aggregate demandists, are “just doing their job.”

        Arbeit will macht frei one of these days. I just know it!

  4. Jim Haygood

    ‘Congressional Democrats who crafted [Obamacare] ignored virtually every actuarial principle governing rational insurance pricing. Premiums will soon reflect that disregard—indeed, premiums are already reflecting it.’

    Even Mish is trapped in the semantic distortion of ‘insurance.’ Routine health care expenses are not insurable. Insurance only works for unusual events (house fires, major surgery, etc.), where pooled premiums can be redistributed to the victims of rare but ruinous catastrophes. Start with the wrong assumption, and you get a defective answer.

    Here’s a video illustrating what air travel (bad enough as it is) would be like, if it worked like health care:

    1. binky bear

      Democrats like LIncoln Chafee, Mitt Romney, Bob Dole and the Heritage Foundation. Yeah, those rotten Democrats, I mean RINOS, I mean, wha?

      Mish is a mesh.

  5. rjs

    on the first link BBC News – Climate change: Soot’s role underestimated, says study:
    estimates are soot has a warming effect approximately two thirds that of carbon dioxide..
    as shown in links jan 12th, methane is one third the effect of CO3, and nitrous oxide is 1/4, so together they would contribute more than CO2…

    however, excerpting from an email exchange yesterday:
    “BC is almost never emitted on its own. There is usually a lot of organic carbon (OC) and other factors that lead to other aerosols (i.e., nitrous oxides, etc.). Reductions in specific BC-rich activities also reduce reflective aerosols, too, so you don’t get a reduction in forcing of the ‘headline’ number.”

    Basically, what he is saying is that some of the aerosols produced at the same time as the soot also create global dimming. So they cancel each other out to a certain extent. He finds the “headline” number to be too large.

    Pretty much everyone knows that if all the pollutants were taken out of the air, the temperature would go up sharply.

    his new paper just plainly left out many of the known factors. The press has misrepresented it, as usual.

    1. JohnL

      “Pretty much everyone knows that if all the pollutants were taken out of the air, the temperature would go up sharply.”

      Did you omit CO2, N2O, methane from pollutants?

      1. rjs

        i was quoting (copying) the exchange; in the context, pollutants referred to reflectives which cause dimming…

        nothing above is meant to suggest soot should not be removed from the atmosphere; just that it’s much more complex than the article suggests..

        1. different clue

          I am just a layman to be sure, but I believe that soot causes warming by a different mechanism than the mechanism by which the IR reflector gases cause warming. The IR reflectors cause warming by re-reflecting any outward-bound IR rays back down and around into and within the atmosphere where they keep heating or heat-maintaining whatever they touch. They merely preVENT IR-mediated heat esCAPE.

          Whereas soot particls actively absorb all the NON-IR wavelengths as well as the IR wavelengths, and actively transform the energy of all these absorbed wavelengths into HEAT, which they can then transfer to their neighboring particles or molecules by physical collision or by IR emission. I almost just about betcha that the soot particles would keep producing just as much heat withOUT global dimming as they would WITH it.

          I am open to correction, of course.

          1. different clue

            Or rather, I just about betcha that soot would produce as much warming WITH global dimming as withOUT global dimming. Yeah. That’s what I meant to type.

            Soot will come from different places. Third World cooking fires all over the Third World. Diesel engines all over the world. Coal burning all over China (a huge and growing contributer). And forest fires and brush fires and grass fires all over a Burning Earth. With hugely vasterrific
            ginormalous peat fires all over Canada and Siberia and Alaska once the permafrost warms up and dries out enough to support vast peat fires.

  6. Ed

    Lynn Parramore’s article on rape in India makes me wonder if the author actually knows anything at all about India, or just cooked up an “analysis” out of thin air. The factors she left out are many, including decades of systematic female infanticide, which has left a large surplus of males relative to females, lack of goverance (as in efficient administration) of all areas of public life, and a very unapologetic and aggressive culture of masculinity, which, coupled with half the population being under the age of 30, makes for a very toxic public atmosphere for women.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You seem to have your some of the causality backwards. The most germane issues you cite, infanticide and aggressive culture of masculinity, are effects of misogyny.

      1. Ed

        They are specifics, indicating knowledge. Which were lacking the the article. Which was very long on generalities.

      2. Brindle

        An example of historical misogyny from Parramore’s piece, describing the 1400-1600 period in Europe:

        —” Anthropologist Marvin Harris, in his book Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches, proposes that witches were targeted by the Church and secular lords to focus and divert public anger at a time of enormous economic upheaval.

        “The practical significance of the witch mania…,” he writes, “was that it shifted responsibility for the crisis of late medieval society from both Church and state to imaginary demons in human form.” Harris argues that religious and secular authorities led the witch hunts in order to deflect the blame for bad economic conditions from themselves and to reassert their power.”—

    2. JohnL

      Why would female infanticide, horrendous though it is, lead to more rape in India but not in China?

      1. AbyNormal

        interesting question
        (im still scouting)

        “We don’t see a lot of research in this field in mainland China,” Luo said. “In this aspect, we need to compare all the research from different regions, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and even Singapore, which are all Chinese communities… Although we have different political and economic systems, the cultural views are similar.”

        While the topic is troubling worldwide, it is particularly taboo within Chinese culture. An old saying notes that “to die of hunger is a small matter, but to lose your chastity is a huge matter,” and still resonates in contemporary culture. Traditional gender stereotypes see males as possessing a sexual drive that the desire-free women must resist. In this view, if a woman is raped, she must have brought it upon herself.

        “A woman may be viewed that she should be responsible for being raped because she aspired to date or go to a man’s premises; or that she took the risk of being raped as she went out alone late at night or drank alcohol; or that she enticed others to rape her with her behavior or dressing,” said Linda Wong, Executive Director of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women in Hong Kong.

        The perception that a raped woman is dirty or ruined further compounds the stigma, even within a woman’s own family. Luo studied one case in which after a girl was raped, “her family wouldn’t put her clothes together into the washing machine when they washed the clothes. They divided them from the other family members, because they thought she was dirty.”
        (geographic & relationship between Perp an victim Graphs)

        1. AbyNormal

          help, i’ve fallen down a worm hole

          Internet regulators in China have changed their attitude from allowing open discussion to banning online debate over the death of the young Indian woman who died after being gang-raped on a bus in Delhi, following bloggers’ calls for Beijing to allow public protests like those seen in India since the incident.
          from Global Times:
          Six decades ago, China and India maintained a similar development level, but there has been a widening gap after China explored reform and opening-up. Analysts hold that India is about a decade behind China in economic development and three decades behind in social development.”

          The piece went on to indicate that it’s India’s political system – parliamentary democracy – that has failed.

          In China, the law on rape is stricter. Article 236 of the Criminal Law of the country says: “Whoever rapes a woman by violence, coercion or any other means shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 14 shall be deemed to have committed rape and shall be given a heavier punishment. Whoever rapes a woman or has sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 14 shall, in any of the following circumstances, be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years, life imprisonment or death.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s interest about the political systmes of the 2 countries being cited like that.

            So China’s proletarian dictatorship has achieved what Indian’s parliamentary democracy could not.

          2. Aquifer

            Hmmm – methinks that women need to figure out how to instantiate the concept of “vagina dentata” …

      2. tyaresun

        Interesting question. Abortion of female fetuses is much more prevelant in North India. Reports of rape are also more from North India. I believe the difference is due to culture, misogyny is a huge problem in North India.

        FYI, I am not from South India.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Petitioning the White House is akin to petitioning a scorpion. The White House: “…as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to…” be officially ignored by the Obama administration.

    2. Flush to submit

      Or, if you’re not in the mood for ass-covering lies from some low-level Dem hack, you can go over the head of this discredited kleptocracy and solicit review by an objective authority – in this case, for Aaron Swartz, a victim of US government’s vindictive prosecution with frivolous charges arbitrarily compounded to compel a confession of guilt with the threat of unlawfully disproportionate punishment in breach of CCPR Article 14, clause (g).

      Because there’s no point in petitioning a government that’s rotten to the core. Unless you’re Jamie Dimon.

    1. LucyLulu

      I’m not so sure which versions are the propaganda but here is another version that conforms to what I have heard and read about the situation in Mali. Paris has a large Mali population and they have supported the French invasion, and allegedly the Mali government also requested French assistance. Because of the large Mali population in France, estimates are difficult but placed at ~70,000 on the east side of Paris, Hollande is concerned about terrorist activity coming home to roost. The problem reached critical mass when the rebels began marching south to the capital after taking the north several months ago (to the dismay of black African residents who have opposed the occupation by the well-armed Taureg minority/Islamist radiacal alliance and some who have lost limbs with the imposition of sharia law), Mali has been a traditionally a secular democratic state despite predominantly of Muslim faith, as is Algeria, per an exchange student I came to know.

      I have seen the imperialistic accusations and did research into the uranium mining rights. France has none, only Canada and Australia at this point, and still in the speculative or exploratory stage. France does have uranium mines in Algeria though. France is not a significant importer of their gold, or any of their products. I could be wrong, I didn’t complete a thorough search, but I don’t believe there is any petro drilling or exploration currently underway.

      From first link you posted above:

      “The Tuareg independence movement is led by the National. Movement for the Liberation of Awazad (MNLA), a secular organization that only wants autonomy for the Tuareg areas of Mali.”

      And then from this link:

      “Ethnic Tuareg separatists are ready to support the French military intervention in Mali by taking on Islamist rebels on the ground in the north of the country, one of their senior officials told AFP on Monday.

      “We’re ready to help, we are already involved in the fight against terrorism,” Moussa Ag Assarid, a representative of the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), said by telephone from northern Mali.”

      And another article: African may troops may arrive in a week, allowing France to back out shortly after.

      Sometimes when you hear hoofbeats, it really is horses, not zebras.

      1. jsmith

        Please give me one example of Western intervention in the last two decades that was truly based upon an actual concern for fighting “scary, scary” terrorists and/or humanitarian claptrap and NOT the stealing of resources and the furtherance of Western hegemony.

        I mean really.

        How can any sane, rational person in 2013 even entertain any notions as the credibility of the West as they continue to destabilize regions and directly intervene militarily?

        What, just b/c the fascists’ time-frame is a bit longer than the MSM can seemingly comprehend as it so obediently jumps from one silly storyline to the next?

        From the landdestroyer report:

        “What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

        As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

        Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

        And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.”

        How many more people and countries have to been blatantly and consciously destroyed before these war criminals are not given ANY BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT when discussing their motives?

        Why, would should anyone even begin to believe the words of murderous war criminals and their press mouthpieces?


        1. jsmith

          And here we go:

          Algeria: French National Killed and Five Japanese BP Workers Abducted by Al-Qaida Islamists

          You see, the West’s plan is to CREATE chaos not to calm it down in these regions and at home.

          We can’t have economic protests when there are some many scary, scary Mailian terrorists in the heart of Paris, could we?

          What a lucky coincidence!

          The more terrorist groups, fanatics and crazies all the more “reason” for the need for intervention, bases, military buildup and domestic oppression etc etc.

          Now, a few French/Western journalists will probably get smoked for good measure and then there will be an approach to the UN security council for an official NATO-backed invasion.

          Where have I read this script before?

      2. JEHR

        I might have known. When I heard that PM Harper was sending a plane to help the French in Mali, I should have known that there was an alternative reason, which is, Canada has gold mining interests in Mali! Yeah!

    2. different clue

      Here’s something strange I am noticing. The same “anti-imperialists” who are condemning the West for suPPORting salafi jihadis in Syria are the same “anti-imperialists” who are condemning the West ( well . . . France) for oPPOSing salafi jihadis in Mali. Their approach seems to be . . . if the West does it, it is bad. Even if it is for two opposite reasons in two opposite cases.

    3. Nathanael

      In practice, the problems originated from the domination of the northern (Tuareg) part of Mali by the southern part of Mali. The correct thing to do was to allow the Tuareg part to secede. Having *failed to do that* for 50 years, the Tuaregs turned to right-wing Islamist militants in their quest for independence. The rest has been predictable.

      The correct thing to do is STILL to allow the Tuareg part to secede, with a negotiated border and the right of people in the northern part to move to the southern part if they want to.

      But of course nobody will consider that, because the policy since the 1950s has been that the completely arbitrary and artificial colonial borders of African countries are “sacrosanct”. Woodrow Wilson, a realist about borders, would have laughed.

    1. AbyNormal

      wow, the blogs contributors are ‘boots on the ground’ in their industry…will be following. THANKS Ben

    2. Aquifer

      That was very interesting – and raises a possibility – is it possible that Ortiz’ mistake was that she thought she could handle this case as she did the healthcare execs – threaten them and then settle – it didn’t occur to her that Schwartz would kill himself … She was confident there would be a last minute settlement, an “admission” of guilt, a fine, maybe some time … Another notch in her prosecutorial belt, without actually having to jail anyone, much less drive them to suicide … Methinks she didn’t understand Swartz at all …

      The reason this occurred to me is because i noticed this the other day:

      “Meanwhile, the husband of Carmen Ortiz — the Obama administration’s Boston-based US Attorney spearheading the Aaron Swartz prosecution — has bizarrely publicly criticized Aaron’s family.

      Tom Dolan, an IBM executive, posted on his @TomJDolan Twitter feed: “Truly incredible that in their own son’s obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the 6 month offer.”

      Dolan’s comments attracted outrage on Twitter. Dolan’s account was deleted earlier today.”

      Hmm – was there a 6 month offer? What was it? Does it matter if there was? Methinks it might change the terms of the discussion a bit, perhaps, in terms of the human dynamics ….

      If so, is it possible that Ortiz isn’t that absolute AH she is painted as, but “simply” another overly ambitious, careless “climber” in the system? Now i realize that is of no comfort to Aaron’s family – the result would be the same – and it doesn’t lend itself to quite the righteous indignation that has arisen in this affair …

      Of course one can argue that as, we are told, prosecutors were warned that he was a suicide risk, continued hardline prosecution could be considered “reckless endangerment” on the part of the prosecution, but perhaps that “6 month offer” was a recognition of the need to back off. Lessig describes Aaron as a “troubled” individual – did the prosecution not know, or not care, how “troubled” he was? Does it matter? I think it does …

      But although focusing on individuals makes for much better stories and arouses emotions more – does it perhaps serve to take the focus off the absurdity of a law that sets up the possibility for such a travesty – whereby the wielder of the instrument doesn’t even have to be a real AH to do real damage? where should the focus be – on the wielder, or the size, of the club?

      Now i realize that this argument, again, may well label me as a “defender of the status quo”, maybe a troll, or whatever, and one could argue that even if my speculations are correct, they are not terribly “helpful” at this point …

      But i suppose that all depends on one’s focus – if the point is to “bring the system down” then I suppose a straightforward narrative of the white hat/black hat type is more empowering, but if the focus is on keeping folks like Aaron alive (and that, by nature and training is what I tend to focus on), then perhaps it might be a good idea to consider other dynamics that might be in play – if we do not, and those dynamics are overlooked – whacking Ortiz may feel good, but will it keep more Aarons from suffering from the same fate?

      OK, whack away, what the heck – I may be full of baloney (as usual, right?) but methinks it is a least worthy of consideration before being discarded out of hand …

      1. Susan Pizzo

        “Although focusing on individuals makes for much better stories and arouses emotions more – does it perhaps serve to take the focus off the absurdity of a law that sets up the possibility for such a travesty – whereby the wielder of the instrument doesn’t even have to be a real AH to do real damage? where should the focus be – on the wielder, or the size, of the club?”

        Why not on both? And why stop there? Aaron Swartz’s original sin was not the JSTOR intrusion after all, but his success in leading the charge to stop SOPA, which would have been a powerful weapon in the arsenal of our corporate owned and operated surveillance/security state. Like the gun violence issue, this story has multiple moving parts. Including Ms. Ortiz’s purported political ambitions. Somehow I think the cost of her miscarriage of justice should be a little higher than the death of her husband’s Twitter account…

        1. Aquifer

          I don’t give a damn about her husband’s Twitter account – what i do care about is whether, when we get all het up and ready to go we don’t do it with one foot on a banana peel …

          That little piece of info is bound to get circulated sooner or later and can/will be used to chip away at Aaron’s legacy – so not incorporating, and dealing with, that in the discussion from the get go and then deleting the account of, read “censoring”, someone who mentions it is not, IMO a “smart” move …

          This whole affair is a tragedy – it will be hard enough to deal with for those left behind, but not working it out within the terms within which it actually occurred, ISTM would be worse …

      2. Hugh

        What is the difference between an AH and “another overly ambitious, careless “climber” in the system”? The one looks like a definition of the other.

        We live in a kleptocracy. Ortiz and Heymann are an important part of its enforcement mechanism. Swartz had challenged the property rights which powerful interests controlled and derived rents from. The clear intention was that he was to be made an example of. Hence the over the top pursuit of him.

        Ortiz, Heymann, Holder, the DOJ, and Obama can’t say, “Oh sorry, we only meant to squash him. We didn’t know he would take it so hard.” Or rather, as Ortiz’s husband’s Twitter makes clear, this is exactly what they thought. But there is zero reason for us to accept it or in any way construe to be mitigating.

        Ortiz was not serving the law or justice or the American people in the Swartz affair. She was serving her own career and the interests of the very anti-99% powers that be.

        I have written a lot about the concept of bad faith to explain how our elites justify and come to believe in their looting and depredations. I use the example of the SS officer engaged in massacres in the East. It doesn’t matter what the officer thought. It doesn’t matter what he believed. The standard is what he should have known, not arcane or arbitrary knowledge but what any of us would be expected to know.

        So what Ortiz thought or believed is irrelevant. She was and is acting in bad faith. Her actions fail at the level of our common humanity. Her expert knowledge of the law, her prosecutorial discretion, and the power of her office are aggravating factors. More than most she knew what she was doing and did it anyway.

        We must stop giving to the soldiers of kleptocracy the benefit of the doubt, according them the presumption that they are acting in good faith. They are not. There was no mistake here, no accident, only some unexpected bad PR. Ortiz will soldier on in her efforts to make the country safe for its rich and elites. She has chosen her side. We should acknowledge the fact and realize it is not ours.

        1. Aquifer

          Hugh – your black and white view of everything makes for some great posts but methinks does not describe the “real” …

          Suggesting that Ortiz “miscalculated” is NOT the same thing as suggesting she “acted in good faith” – from what I have read of your posts, you generally don’t put words in folks mouths, so why you have done so here I don’t know ….

          That she is an ambitious schmuck i have no doubt – but is she a “murderer” in the same way as, e.g., Obama when he signs off on the drones …

          I am not “excusing” her – I am really trying to figure out what really happened, what really went on, and i wonder whether anybody really cares, or whether, at this point, in folks minds it is enough that the story have a hero and a villain and that is all that matters …

        2. Hugh

          Aquifer: “your black and white view of everything … methinks does not describe the “real” …”

          We are living amid the greatest heists in human history. Somehow that isn’t “real” enough for you. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year because the rich and elites and the corporations and government they control make more money that way. Tens of millions of Americans have seen their lives thrown in the trash, their houses lost, their savings gone. Nothing remains but the debts. But to say this, to say that we live in a kleptocracy, that we are in the midst of a great class war which the rich and our elites are waging against us, and which they are winning, well, that is just too black and white for some.

          So here we have this case of legalized thuggery by Ortiz on behalf of corporate interests. Was Ortiz putting her career on the line going after the Dimons and Blankfeins, the banks and the mortgage servicers? Of course not. She was just being a good soldier of kleptocracy. Instead of condemning her, we are counseled to make excuses for her, or if not excuses, ways to mitigate her culpability. We are supposed to give her points for offering a plea deal of six months in prison, guilty pleas on multiple felonies, and the obligatory ritual humiliation. Oh look, how wonderfully enlightened of her that she was willing to forego cutting off both Swartz’s legs and that she was just willing to take a pound or two of his flesh. Obviously, she has been much maligned. She isn’t a monster after all. She just does monstrous things and defends a monstrous system.

          We need to see the shades of gray here. Our elites, of which Ortiz is one, are really just like you and me when they aren’t looting us. And we should be grateful to them that sometimes instead of taking a machete to us they use a shiv and only turn it once or twice. What humanity! They rob us and oppress us. They are destroying us, but golly, what a bunch of nice guys!

          1. Aquifer

            “Instead of condemning her, we are counseled to make excuses for her, or if not excuses, ways to mitigate her culpability. We are supposed to give her points for offering a plea deal of six months in prison, guilty pleas on multiple felonies, and the obligatory ritual humiliation. Oh look, how wonderfully enlightened of her that she was willing to forego cutting off both Swartz’s legs and that she was just willing to take a pound or two of his flesh. Obviously, she has been much maligned. She isn’t a monster after all. She just does monstrous things and defends a monstrous system.

            We need to see the shades of gray here. Our elites, of which Ortiz is one, are really just like you and me when they aren’t looting us. And we should be grateful to them that sometimes instead of taking a machete to us they use a shiv and only turn it once or twice. What humanity! They rob us and oppress us. They are destroying us, but golly, what a bunch of nice guys!”

            Oh give me a break, cheap shots – what a bunch of BS – you are twisting my point even farther than in your previous reply – I am not “giving her points” or saying she was “wonderfully enlightened” or a “nice guy (sic)” – It is unfortunate, ISTM that you feel a need to answer this way – but it does seem to support my assessment of your black and white world … So what should be her punishment? From your extreme characterization i would think nothing less than drawing and quartering, literally, would do. In a black and white world, where white is life, black is death and there is no in-between …

            So tell me. Hugh, how would you deal with Carmen Ottiz, not as an abstract symbol of the kleptocracy, but as a person who fucked up – what weould you do with/to her? I would like to know ….

          2. Nathanael

            Well, Aquifer, I can’t speak for Hugh, but I’m a bit more bloodthirsty than average.

            I think she should commit seppuku if she’s honorable. If she’s not, she should be executed.

            Others, who oppose the death penalty, might say that she should resign and drop her lawyer’s license if she is honorable, and should be fired and disbarred if now. In addition, all her money should be transferred to charities which Swartz supported.

            In my less eye-for-an-eye moods, I think that would be acceptable.

          3. Hugh

            How many times are you going to raise this Manichean strawman? You say you would like to know what really happened, but I don’t think you really do. Kleptocracies destroy people. They kill some and trash the lives of many others. That is a reality you can not apparently face.

            Somehow you make a distinction between Obama signing off on a drone strike and Obama arranging a healthcare system that will allow tens of thousands of Americans to die each year who didn’t need to. If the dead could speak, do you think those tens of thousands would care about the distinction you are making? Do you think they would say, “We’re OK with the way Obama killed us.”

            Am I supposed to care that Ortiz, an up and comer in this same murderous system, just meant to crush Aaron Swartz, but inadvertently pushed him to suicide instead.

            Am I supposed to care what justifications the Obamas and Ortizs of this world throw up? They have substituted their good for the general good. So in their pursuit of this newly defined greater good, they really aren’t to blame for all the deaths and misery that seem to happen around them. No one could have foreseen. Forces beyond their control. Historical processes. The business cycle. Natural laws. Swartz was depressed. Ortiz was just doing her job. They were following orders. It is never their fault. Their responsibility melts away into a sea of gray. Kleptocracy depends on that happening. To understand kleptocracy, you have to understand that it is a class phenomenon. Ortiz is guilty of killing Aaron Swartz because her whole class is guilty of his murder. She was just the proximate cause. Did Ortiz’s class mean to kill Swartz? No, it was worse than that. They didn’t care whether they killed him or not. They never do. People, many people, die because of the rich and the elites, but who can we blame? Ortiz was just a fine upstanding cog in the machine of looting. Yet with all these fine upstanding cogs, people keep dying, keep having their lives destroyed. At some point, we have to cut through the BS and say Ortiz is responsible. She and her whole class are. They are as responsible for Aaron Swartz’s death as if they had stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Their excuses don’t interest me. Their body counts are far more eloquent, as is their ever increasing power and wealth.

          4. Aquifer


            Ah well, i wrote a full reply to you, but it seems “the system” won’t allow it …. oh well, maybe another time ….

          5. Aquifer

            Part of response ….


            “So in their pursuit of this newly defined greater good, they really aren’t to blame for all the deaths and misery that seem to happen around them.”

            Those are your words, not mine ….

            “You say you would like to know what really happened, but I don’t think you really do.”

            No, Hugh, I think it is you who do not want to know what really happened – your mind is made up, it was made up before Ortiz or Swartz ever entered the scene – they are ciphers in your drama – which is quite Manichean indeed …

            And for you there is no distinction between Obama’s sign off on drone missions and Obama’s healthcare plan ….. on the one hand he personally signs a death order, on the other he fails to provide a system to pay for healthcare – that is equivalent in your eyes …. I dunno, Hugh, makes for great drama, great rhetoric, but that’s about it, IMO … I hate Obamacare, i hate drones, but for me the answer is not to mush them altogether to come up with a unified theory of everything ala kleptocracy, but to work to get the crooks, the criminals or the just plain schmucks the hell out of office where they can harm no more –

          6. Aquifer

            Part 2 of response


            Hmmmmm, how about this one Hugh – what about those who don’t do all they can to get these folks out of office – knowing what they do, knowing what they are responsible for – knowing that if the system doesn’t change these atrocities, great and small will continue – what responsibility do they have? In your system there appear to be only perpetrators and victims and the victims are helpless to change that – but what if those victims aren’t totally helpless, Hugh, what if they could change the system and don’t? That would be a “problem”, wouldn’t it because in your scenario that might make them facilitators. And in your system isn’t any facilitator equally guilty? What responsibility do we have, Hugh, in your scenario? None? How convenient …. or is it only folks like myself who see persons and not caricatures who are facilitators, and those like yourself who make no such fine distinctions, who are not ….

          7. Aquifer

            Interesting – there is something in the last paragraph (Part 3) of my reply the system won’t print – don’t know what it is, but it was the the finale – LOL

          8. different clue

            To Aquifer actually . . .

            The government and its personell will keep persecuting or prison-disappearing or suicide-engineering the most creative high-value activists to exterminate such activism in general unless they are stopped. One way to stop them might be to make so high the personal price against those who carry out the government’s wishes that future wannabe-hatchetscum feel themselves to be personally afraid and deterred by the known mass-movement vengeance that follows their legally-covered crime.
            Why did the FBI keep assassinating Black Panther leaders?
            Because the FBIs knew they could and they knew there was not a damn thing the Black Panthers could do about it. The FBIs were doing it to display their untouchable power as much as anything else.
            So . . . if we hope to deter government functionaries from arranging further prison-disappearances or engineered suicides against further government targets, Ortiz and the other government henchscum involved in this engineered suicide must be made to pay a visible price so high as to deter future government henchscum from suiciding future Aron Swartz’s. The methods used must be punctiliously legal, of absolute course. So what does Ortiz deserve? Ideally, she deserves to be driven to commit suicide, if possible. (And so do all the other goverscum personell involved in arranging this engineered suicide.) If she can’t be driven to suicide, can she be driven out of work and her future employability destroyed for the rest of her life? Can she be turned into a street person who ends up living and dying in a carboard box? And can cause and effect be very closely linked so that the activist community and its huge pool of ordinary-citizen-beneficiaries can credibly point out to every other piece of legal-enforcement-system filth that if they destroy the next Aron Swartz, they too will be credibly and visibly destroyed? That’s the only way there is to prevent more such engineered suicides against high-value social-uplift people.

          9. different clue

            In other words, make the vengeance for Aron Swartz’s death so visibly terrible to the particular people who caused it that the Upper Government may not be able to find
            Lower Government soldiers to carry out the Upper Government’s engineered-suicide missions against future high-value citizen-targets.

          10. Hugh

            I think you are still sore that Jill Stein was easily and effectively marginalized. You have a reformer’s mentality. You think that if A, B, C, or D is done, then change can come to the system. But these things never happen and when some of us point out to you why they never will happen, you just doubledown.

            Ortiz and Heymann are not ordinary Americans. They are the USA and deputy USA for Massachusetts. They are higher level elites and integral parts of the enforcement mechanism of the kleptocratic machine. So yes, in terms of guilt and responsibility, they carry a lot.

            As I have said many times, I am not wedded to my kleptocracy, wealth inequality, and class war analysis, but it still gives by far the best explanation of why things happen the way they do and why other things do not happen. You may not like this analytical framework, it precludes the possibility of meaningful reform, but until or unless you have something better than suggesting reform programs that won’t even make it to the table or end up as Potemkin caricatures, I will be sticking with my current perspective. However unrealistic it is in your eyes it does explain and predict what is happening in a coherent fashion whereas your reformist perspective is undercut by events on a daily basis.

        1. Aquifer

          Would you commit suicide to avoid that?

          Would you consider that making such a deal would lead someone to suicide …?

          Look, don’t misunderstand me – what the government did was despicable, but that it lead to Swartz’s death, ISTM, was a miscalculation on Ortiz part, not the intention …

          Again it matters not with respect to his family and those who cared for him, but methinks it may matter in where we go from here …

      3. Mark P.

        There was an offer to Swartz that if he just pled guilty on, IIRC, thirteen charges, he’d do six months in jail.

        That was the prosecutors’ game: it’s about regime dominance/control and personal credits on individual prosecutors’ (Ortiz and Heymann’s) CVs. Swartz didn’t understand that and/or was too depressed to play.

        I’ll take a bet that at this moment Ortiz and her husband, and others, are full of righteous anger at the “unfairness” of the fact that this stupid young man, Swartz, wouldn’t play the game and thereby may have messed up their careers.

        1. Aquifer

          Thank you for clarifying that – your post is the only other place i have seen that little factoid other than the reference in the Tweet –

          And you may be right – their reaction may be anger and not remorse, but if it was a miscalculation and not an intent, that will, ISTM, at least change their modus operandi, for whatever reason, and that ISTM is a good thing. If it was intent, nothing changes …

        2. Maximilien

          @Mark P. “…this stupid young man, Swartz, wouldn’t play the game …”

          But the game MUST be played and it WILL be played. Therefore this will not be allowed to happen again. In future, “defendants-of-special-interest” will be placed in solitary confinement, put on suicide watch, and medicated if necessary. Precedent: Bradley Manning.

          Spoil-sports will not be allowed to obstruct the career ambitions of US attorneys or disrupt the lesson the government is trying to teach us. The show trial must go on—and it will.

      4. Aquifer

        I knew i would get grief for that one – but i wanted to see what folks would say, and i really wanted to find out if there was such a deal …

        So if he had taken the deal, what would folks be saying then?

        If this deal had been mentioned from the beginning, in the accounts that talked about 35 or 50 years, would the discussion have been different?

        Folks want the discussion to be about “the system”, and so should much of it be. But I would like a discussion about particular persons in particular circumstances because, in the end, all politics, all justice, all life, IS personal and the devil is always in the details ….

        So I guess i have screwed myself here, as well, but you know what, that’s OK because I think it needs to be said …. …I think it matters

      5. Howard Beale IV

        Methinks it might be worthwhile to ask IBM if its their corporate policy to allow employees to tweet in such a matter…

      6. different clue

        I doubt it. If it wasn’t (too stupid to see it coming?) Ortiz’s goal to achieve Swartz’s engineered-suicide, it was certainly the goal of her superiors who directed her against
        Swartz in order to . . . trigger his engineered-suicide. The Nazi camp kommandants may not have been “as” guilty as Keitel and Jodl and Eichman and Himmler and Goering . . . . but they are guilty enough. And so is Ortiz . . . allegedly ( fair being fair and all).

  7. KFritz

    Re: European adults live w/ Parents

    The phenomenon of young adults living w/ their parents can be seen as the re-emergence of the extended family living under one roof (or in a compound of buildings).

    Many humans view the institution of family with a sentimental eye. This is in many ways a good thing, especially for the development of fellow feeling/empathy, not to mention harmonious family relations. Nonetheless the family is an economic and self-preservational institution, existing for very practical reasons–with or without fine sentiments. The atomized family can only be the default model in very prosperous societies. Without prosperity, the extended family model will recur, almost automatically.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Teen pot smoking lowers adult IQ.

    Google it and you will find a link.

    Number one, I will repeat that we have too much ‘science’ today. ‘Study’ is a word one uses to intimidate and to threaten others. ‘I will study you!’

    Secondly, I think it’s time we focus more on WQ than IQ. What is WQ?

    WQ = Wisdom Quotient.

    WQ is not the same as IQ. It’s true a child prodigy can have a high IQ and that makes other kids sad. WRT to WQ, the assumption is that we are all equally capable of being highly wise. It’s an index that will not embarrass nor depress anyone. The belief is that we are all born with the same WQ. That’s a comfort to know, especailly in a democractic society. However, WQ can be blocked from being put into action by greed and one’s will for domination – that’s my theory.

    With that said, I would say I am not bothered teen pot smoking will lower adult IQ.

    My objection remains, as always, is that weed is a sacred, and not a casual/recreational, herb and one needs to clease and purify oneself, by abstaining from alcohol, loud music and carnal knowledge, at least a week prior to smoking it – only for the purpose of helping others in the village.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks for the links.

        One correction. That should read ‘for at least one week prior to,’ and not ‘at lease one week prior to.’

        However, if it is to be institutionalized, I would recommend purification for at least a month prior to undertaking a journey to help others in the village, and never for one’s own enrichment, not evenfor one’s own spiritual enrichment. It should always be for helping others in the village. To desire one’s own spiritual enrichment is still an attachment and can never lead to any enlightenment.

        1. Valissa

          For some reason, this quote comes to mind…

          Monks, this committed life is not lived in order to deceive people, or to convert them. It is not lived for the sake of gain or honor or reputation or financial profit. There is no idea of “let me draw people’s attention to me by being a this or a that.” No, monks, this committed life is lived for the sake of seeing into things and understanding them.
          -Itivuttaka Sutta

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, wiping greed and desire for domination off one’s ‘windshield’ helps with seeing into and understanding things, I believe.

          2. skippy

            I should know to leave them home
            They follow me through the store with these toys I can’t afford
            Kids, take them back, you know better than that
            Dolls that talk, astronauts, t.v. games, airplanes
            They don’t understand and how can I explain?

            I try and try but I can’t save
            Pennies, nickels dollars slip away
            I’ve tried and tried but I can’t save

            My youngest girl has bad fever, sure
            All night with alcohol to cool and rub her down
            Ruby, I’m tired, try and get some sleep
            I’m adding doctor’s fees to remedies
            With the cost of three day’s work lost

            I try and try but I can’t save
            Pennies, nickels, dollars slip away
            I’ve tried and tried but I can’t save

            The hole in my pocketbook is growing
            There’s a new wind blowing they say
            It’s gonna be a cold, cold one
            So brace yourselves my darlings
            It won’t bring anything much our way
            But more bust bowl days

            I played a card in this weeks game
            Took the first and the last letters in three of their names
            This lottery’s been building up for weeks
            I could be lucky me with the five million prize
            Tears of disbelief spilling out of my eyes

            I try and try but I can’t save
            Pennies, nickels, dollars slip away
            I’ve tried and tried but I can’t save

            The hole in my pocketbook is growing
            There’s a new wind blowing they say
            It’s gonna be a cold, cold one
            So brace yourselves my darlings
            It won’t bring anything much our way
            But more dust bowl days

            10,000 MANIACS – DUST BOWL LYRICS


            Skippy… a maniac for…. caring

    1. Aquifer

      Yeah, but what if the village needs help more than once a month, more like once a day, or maybe many times a day or …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Group therapy, I guess.

        The village chief might even negotiate a group discount, instead of, for example, two, you pay only one chicken per session.

        That’s how single payer works, I think.

        1. AbyNormal

          appoint Skippy manic therapist of compassion an the villagers will prosper

          The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there. roshi

    2. craazyman

      why would teen pot smoking lower an adult’s IQ?

      It doesn’t make any sense, why would my IQ go down if kids are doing bong hits?

      I did lots of bong hits when I was a teen and I don’t think it effected the adults in any way.

      whoa. Doobie Brothers rocked way back.

    1. Aquifer

      Ah so now it’s illegal to smother with love …

      Sigh, well at least he died a happy man, n’est pas?

  9. different clue

    About the Postal System . . . every privatisation scheme sabotaged and prevented . . . is another upper class enrichment opportunity denied.

    How to extend the Postal System’s tenuous-hold-on-life span long enough for people to realize that the Postal System is being defunded on purpose in order to Yeltsinize it . . . so they can perhaps rise up against that Yeltsinization?

    Well . . . if everyone who pays bills were to pay ever bill with a check, sent to the biller in an envelope with a Postal Service stamp on it, the way I do . . . that would direct more survival money into the Postal Service. How many millions of people currently pay all their bills electronically? What if ten million of those people went back to paying all their bills with checks in envelopes with stamps on them? That would help out the Postal System a lot.

    1. Aquifer


      My motto, if it was good enough for Ben Franklin, it’s good enough for me (though maybe i better be careful with that one ….)

    2. Nathanael

      I already do this. If it’s not on paper, it’s forgeable, and nothing financial I do is gonna be forgeable, period.

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