Links 3/27/13

Dear patient readers,

I hope you’ll forgive me for the lack of my own posts over the last couple of days. I’ve had a ton of competing priorities, most of them blog related. Plus I think the cross posts are really good, so I hope you enjoy them too.

Paignton zoo gorilla N’Dowe paints gorilla sculpture BBC

You don’t ‘own’ your own genes: Researchers raise alarm about loss of individual ‘genomic liberty’ due to gene patents MedicalXpress

Wastewater injection spurred biggest earthquake yet, study finds PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Parts of Low Country Now Quake Country New York Times

The Day I Taught How Not to Rape Accidental Devotional (Chuck L). Aiee, the conversation is disturbing. Probably reflects overly perp sympathetic media coverage, but I also wonder how much is due to the ever-rising sexualization of our culture. In my youth, even without cameras to show what happened, I’m pretty confident Steubenville would not have gone as far because someone would have recognized that they’d get in huge trouble if they were found out (if nothing else, by being beaten to a pulp by a male relative of the victim) and would have tried to persuade the others to stop.

Sexism in the workplace is alive and well: Adria Richards is its latest victim Guardian. I’m not sympathetic with Richards. Yes, her employer’s reaction was cowardly. But what she did was lousy judgment and shows women promoting a double standard: they want equal rights yet want to be treated like dainty ladies. The conversation that offended her was not at her workplace, it was at a convention, meaning a public place, and not directed at her, she was listening in!

Erasing electronic footprints to protect victims of domestic violence EurekAlert (Chuck L)

Taiwan earthquake: 6.0 magnitude earthquake sways buildings Christian Science Monitor

Argentina Loses Bid for Full-Court Rehearing on Bonds Bloomberg

Yet more Cyprus:

Cyprus Finance Minister: Uninsured Laiki Depositors Could Face 80% Haircut Wall Street Journal. I expect 100%. My grandparents got only 3 cents back on the dollar in the Depression.

Damage ripples through Cypriot economy Financial Times

What Cyprus Tells Us about Germany’s Character Der Spiegel (furzy mouse)

G4S struggling with Cyprus workload as it prepares to guard banks Telegraph

Stern magazine calls Big Four bosses “Legal Enemies of the State” Tax Justice Network (Angus)

Cyprus fallout: over half of Germans doubt deposit guarantee Richard Field

The Lesson From Cyprus: Europe Is Politically Bankrupt Illargi

What happened today? Pawel Morski. This is hysterical (on the European markets falling out of bed after the Netherlands finance minister had a bout of excessive candor on Eurobanks, excessive candor being a very bad idea from official in general and on the topic of wobbly banks in particular).

Cyprus, Seriously Paul Krugman

Denmark Reviews Bail-In Law as ‘Terrorists’ Shape Banking Bloomberg (David P)

Slovenia’s Nascent Cabinet Under Pressure to Avoid Cyprus Fate Bloomberg

A Clearer View of the Space Bullet That Grazed Russia New York Times

Moscow renews crackdown on NGOs Financial Times

Pain across the Eurozone MacroBusiness

Peter Scott Telegraph (Lambert)

Guccifer emails link Tony Blair to top-secret Bohemian Grove gathering RT (Deontos)

When Oil Revenues Go Awry OilPrice

US military veterans face inadequate care after returning from war – report Guardian

Mayors Plan National Day of Action To Push Congress On Gun Control Alternet (furzy mouse)

Supreme Court: Police Dog Powers Do Not Include Warrantless Searches of a Person’s Home Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake. Scalia randomly is on the right side of an issue.

Store Charges Browsing Customers $5 Daily Finance (Carol B)

US in crackdown on Citigroup anti-laundering flaws Financial Times

JPMorgan Chase Faces Full-Court Press of Federal Investigations New York Times

No Harsher CFAA! Support Aaron’s Law Instead DemandProgress. Please sign ASAP. There’s a good chance of beating this one back, and the proposed changes are HORRIBLE and can snare pretty much anyone. As we indicated yesterday, they make thoughtcrimes felonies. Merely discussing something that is a violation of terms of service that never actually gets done is a felony!

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the two linked articles on Citi andJP Morgan from the Financial Times and NYT, respectively, it will be instructive to see whether legal action is taken if warranted.

    This article yesterday is very distressing and confirms for me what many here have been saying:

    The revelations about the size of derivatives positions at these institutions and recent events in Cyprus and other countries in Europe suggest these issues are not going to be easily and painlessly resolved.

    1. David Petraitis

      Just a small point:
      Golem traces about $42 Trillion in assets for the 28 bank G-SIFI’s; this compares with a total Global GDP of $70 trillion (World Bank 2011) and notional derivatives as mentioned yesterday of $1.2 quadrillion.

      This shows the concentration (28 banks, 60% of GDP held as assets) and the leverage (17+ times GDP in just one asset class) which is at work in the global financial system.

      What could go wrong?

  2. please

    The whole Richard’s case makes me very sad. But it makes me even sadder when Richard’s is put down.

    I will vigorously accept that she handled the situation badly but as a guy, I know if gender roles had been reversed and it was a man who called out two others for making crass jokes, the reaction would not have been the same.

    A man (somewhat prominent in his community) and known for promoting women, losing his job for [i]twitting[/i] because he thought another two men were making sexual jokes? That would be blasphemy and you know it.

    I startles me that people can see the double standard that arises in the way women have to confront and manage the roles imposed on them but fail to see how that duality arises from the very same fact that society more than often imposes double standards on them as well. The interaction between the two seems lost on folks.

    I’m very sadden by the note here unless I’m misreading your tone. Again, I really wished things had gone differently especially given the private/public nature of the conversation and the reputation she already had. Maybe I’m wrong and please give me an example of a man in an equivalent position that lost his job or getting so much negative attention because he was trying to call attention to what he deemed inappropriate jokes?

    Public shaming is disproportionate in either case but its not hard to ignore vitriol directed at a woman in this one.

      1. Valissa

        It’s very simple. (Almost) no one likes a tattle tale, especially when the tattle tale misplays the sexism card. I think most people are pretty tired of certain types of political correctness. I have no sympathy for Richards, and I consider myself a feminist.

        1. BondsOfSteel

          Really? Since when are death and rape threats ok? Sending anyone, female or male, a photo of a naked, decapitated, bound body with the caption “When I’m done” has to be over the line.

          The joke and tweet is a MacGuffin. The story is response it’s generated.

          1. ScottS

            No one said rape and death threats were okay. We can stipulate that they aren’t.

            I don’t see why anyone had to be fired. Richards should get a lecture from management on right-sizing her response — start with the stink eye if someone says something offensive, then escalate quickly if they continue or get aggressive.

            If the two jokers were there on company time as representatives of their respective companies, they should get an extremely stern lecture from management.

            If they were there on their own time and on their own dime, then their companies should mind their own business.

            Why jump straight to the nuclear option? It’s a teachable moment for everyone, nothing was beyond repair.

    1. Tech

      Her employment was as a “developer evangelist” for her company. A male using his twitter to stir up drama at a developer conference he was attending to promote his employer would have received a similar blowback from his company.

      Online reaction, of a personal nature, is ripe with lazy sexism though, I will grant you that. The tech community is by no means egalitarian.

        1. chris

          I keep waiting for someone to open a chain called “Peckers” though how it’d manifest (pun unintended) I’m not sure… hunks in tight boxers and tees maybe… of course, it would more than likely end up w/ a gay clientele, cuz no straight guy would put up with his date ogling the “package” of another guy… and, of course, most of the wait staff would probably be gay too… in any event, the howls of outrage from the xy set would be a “hoot” to behold… and said eateries would be closed post haste.

          don’t know why i just had to post that idea, but, for what it’s worth…

          1. Procopius

            I’m pretty sure there’s a restaurant like that in Bangkok. Of course it’s not the kind of place you’d take a date to. It’s primarily for high society (ultra-rich) women and rich gay men. There are quite a few “members’ clubs” for the hi-so set, primarily for the men, but of course peons like me will never see the insides.

      1. Klassy!

        What is a “developer evenagelist” and why were scare quotes not used around this term in the Guardian story?

          1. Valissa

            Given the nature of the developer evangelist as an official spokesperson for a company, their communciations are more closely scrutinized and evaluated than other types of employees. Perhaps this makes it more clear why she was fired.

          2. Klassy!

            Thanks. I see. I should have been less lazy and searched the term before I spoke. Some things are better left unknown though.

          3. Larry Barber

            Her job as an “evangelist” was likely part of the reason why she was fired. She is supposed to be reaching out to developers, but after this episode no (male) developer is going to want to get within 100 yards of her. You make one slightly off-color comment, or are just misunderstood, and she will get you fired, or at least defame you on Twitter. Who would want to get near that? Hard to be an evangelist under those conditions.

        1. Ms G

          It’s a real niche in the taxpayer-subsidized housing racket. That’s probably why it wasn’t in quotes. A good example in NYC is the AME Church which has an “economic development” branch that does nothing but “affordable housing” developments richly funded by federal, state and city tax money and usually conducted as JV’s with private equity players like Apollo, et al (the PE guys syndicate the massive tax credits that are funnelled to “affordable housing” projects via the Low Income Tax Credit Program).

          A less formal term is “real estate reverends.”

          I’m sure Chicago has its equivalents, and that part of Obama’s “community activism” (which it turns out was “affordable housing redevelopment” of various swaths of Chicago, with Valerie Jarrett) would have included working in tandem with part of the evangelical real estate crowd there.

    2. Inverness (@Inverness)

      The creepiness factor of the surveillance state is what bothers me the most. I do understand and appreciate what you’re saying — but there are ways in which I still can’t believe that someone can overhear me saying the “wrong thing” which can certainly be open to interpretation, and take my picture and publicly broadcast their interpretation of events.

      1. please

        Quite right, (It’s also a good example of how we’ve primed ourselves to be self policing in an environment where everyone is hyper aware). I do not at all like the authoritarian streak in her actions or the public shaming she attempted to do. But it was the online reaction that heavily swayed the eventual turn of events and the firings on both sides not her immediate actions.

        @Tech: Unless we have different timelines of the event I just don’t see the headlines or the internet furor about a man calling out two other men because he was concerned abou the “future” of girls working in the computing community.

        Sure it could have been a controversy but I seriously doubt it would have resulted in the denial of service, death threats, etc. It was precisely this blowup that led the company to eventually let her go (initially it didn’t, the decision came through later as the story exploded).

    3. hunkerdown

      Let me reintroduce into the record this tweet by Ms. Richards as sent the day before she was fired (which she has wisely “protected” from public view on her feed):

      “Hey @mundanematt, it’s clear from the last 24 hours you’re a bully. @SendGrid supports me. Stop trolling.”

      SendGrid did stand behind her… until she dragged them into her own personal battle by insinuating that the company endorsed her pissing match.

      In my view based on that timeline, Adria Richards was fired for, in essence, abusing company letterhead. What is complicated or controversial about that?

  3. bmeisen

    re What Cyprus tells us …

    Barker insinuates that Germans are unusual in their caution towards moral hazard and tax havens. His rundown on German efforts to bring tax evaders to justice reads like a J’accuse!

    On the contrary it is the almost 61 mil. American voters who prefered a presidential candidate with Cayman Island accounts who are unusual – in their self-willed ignorance.

    Beware societies where the rip-off becomes standard practice, where public figures get prestige points for getting away with self-serving and self-enriching behavior. Happens in Germany, Teddy Gutenberg for example. He almost got away with it. ULtimately he got the pie in the face that he deserved and let out for America where I expect he said a mea culpa in the Bertelsmann cafeteria.

    1. jrs

      “On the contrary it is the almost 61 mil. American voters who prefered a presidential candidate with Cayman Island accounts who are unusual”

      And the rest prefered a lawless drone murderer.

      1. different clue

        Well, 1.5% of us preferred some Third Party choice. ( And millions of citizens did not vote at all).

  4. Jim Haygood

    ‘As we indicated yesterday, [changes to CFAA] make thoughtcrimes felonies. Merely discussing something that is a violation of terms of service that never actually gets done is a felony!’

    Another innovation from the War on Drugs! Merely discussing a large drug deal on the phone with someone else can get both parties sent up for 20 years on a ‘conspiracy’ conviction, even if neither person actually possessed any drugs.

    We’re the Depublicrat Party, and we’re building a stronger federal Gulag to protect you.

    1. The Illuminatum

      So they’re afraid of conspiracies, eh? Hey lookit me here, conspiring with Jim Haygood to breach efile terms of service to exercise our universal human right to conscientious objection to military operations not authorised by the United Nations, or to armed operations, international or internal, which violate the principles and norms of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. (I especially liked the guy who claimed the entire population of the earth as dependents.)

      Blow me, Eric Holder.

  5. Steve

    I’d consider signing some petitions except that they all sign you up for “updates”. I don’t want more spam, thanks.

  6. Jenny-O

    RE: Mayors Plan National Day of Action To Push Congress On Gun Control

    Posted with no sarcasm or irony whatsoever. We can doubt the motives and beginnings and agenda for just about any other political action taken anywhere, but not this.

    Can we all agree that these mayors’ actions are completely grassroots efforts, thought up by the mayors themselves, with no pressure from the federal government?

    Clearly there could have been absolutely no persuasions offered or penalties threatened to get mayors to do this. This is gun control after all, not some healthcare bill, or oil legislation , or big agra subsidy. When its gun control, it must come from the heart.

    /sarc off

  7. Keenan

    RE: Wastewater induced quakes:

    So … uh … who picks up the costs of the damages?

    The standard procedure is to protect the profits for “private” enterprise, so the costs will be socialized just as they were with underground mining induced subsidence.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They are working on quake prediction. Apparently, they did pretty well in this month’s quakes here in La Angelless. So, we can look forward to minimizing taxpayers’ expense.

    1. AbyNormal

      uh Skippy that bank ‘suggestion’ shoved a steel rod up my spine an smarted my cyprus nerve endings…

      Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother fucker’s reflection. lady gaga bahahahahaahahaaa

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I hope they take that saved money and use it to help other besieged homeowners fight banksters.

      1. AbyNormal

        The Bank of Your Coffee Table filled with fake rocks full of your money guarded by snakes experiencing near hunger pangs.

  8. briansays

    this is the first morning since FDR was President that there are no human being toll collectors on the Golden Gate Bridge

    the loss of a human element means the loss of memory

    “A woman who had worked as a toll taker on the Bridge arrived at work early one morning to find a young man sitting on the curb near the entrance to the walkway across the bridge. She asked him why he was sitting there and he explained that he had arrived from Japan the evening before with the intent of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge but was too late as the walkway is closed at night. He had spent the night patiently waiting for sunrise when the walkway would reopen. As the woman opened the gate to the walkway she observed him open his backpack and lovingly remove a pair of shoes wrapped in a piece of silk. As he removed his own shoes and put on the pair from his backpack, she asked “What’s with the shoes?” The young man explained that the shoes belonged to his grandfather. It was his grandfather’s fondest wish to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, but he had died before accomplishing that dream. He was here to fulfill his grandfather’s wish. The woman explained that she watched, with tears in her eyes, as the young man began his journey across the Bridge in his grandfather’s shoes. She was still in her booth when he returned later in the day and watched as he carefully removed his grandfather’s shoes, wrapped them in the piece of silk and return them to his pack before climbing into a cab for a return trip to the airport and his return to Japan…”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Domo arigato, Roboto san.

          Sayonara, Roboto san

          Don’t let the door hit you, Roboto san.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do you know if Roboto san likes Na no hana?

          It’s blooming around this time of the year.

          They say Sen no Rikyu, the founder of modern tea ceremony, when he was ordered to commit suicide by the Kampaku, Na no Hana was blooming. And I am having some for lunch today.

  9. Jagger

    The gene patent article is worth a read. Concluding statement:

    “I am extremely pro-patent, but I simply believe that people should not be able to patent a product of nature,” Dr. Mason says. “Moreover, I believe that individuals have an innate right to their own genome, or to allow their doctor to look at that genome, just like the lungs or kidneys. Failure to resolve these ambiguities perpetuates a direct threat to genomic liberty, or the right to one’s own DNA.”

    I wonder if it is too late to patent the air or water.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe people don’t own their fingerprints either.

      ‘Sorry, the finger prints on that gun – well, I know they match mine, but they belong to XYZ corporation who patented them,’ says cowboy Wayne.

      1. ScottS

        Patenting fingerprints is absurd! You can only patent ideas, not the expression of those ideas.

        Now, copyright, on the other hand…

        1. hunkerdown

          If they use finger scanners or the like to authenticate themselves to a computer, time clock, or whatever, copies of those fingerprints could very likely be treated under the DMCA as “circumvention tools” against “technological measures” that “effectively control access” to a copyrighted work.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I guess I didn’t know that they only patented gene ideas and not how genes express themselves or something like that…

          1. ScottS

            Well, A, C, G, and T in a novel combination is an idea, and therefore patentable. The expression of it would be the flying monkey those ideas would lead to, and thus be copyrightable.

            And I wouldn’t be surprised at all, by this point, to see the Supreme Court debate the patentability of flying monkeys’ DNA.

    2. ambrit

      A ton of possibilities here.
      Since corporations are now “people” in the eyes of the Law, couldn’t someone patent each corporation, and have huge fun manipulating the results?
      When a “persons'” genes are patented by a third party, isn’t that a direct violation of the 13th Amendment? (Would gene patenting be legally “indenture?”)
      What about the descendants of the “patented” person? (As with drugs, are mixtures of genes considered “new,” or do predominance patterns rule?)
      How would “patent rights” be enforced? (Can a “patent” holder enforce the removal or modification of any entity “infringing” on said patents?

  10. Jim Haygood

    Early reports indicate that outgoing wire transfers from Cyprus are banned, except for a limited list of exempted purposes.

    Citizens can carry out €3,000 in cash, and can spend €5,000 per month off-island on credit cards.

    Chances are these limits will be tightened, depending on how the capital flight goes.

  11. Synopticist

    Why aren’t people slating the employer in that sexist/tweet/vigilantism, teacup sh*tstorm?

    They fire a programmer for making a stupid joke someone over-reacted to, then fire the over-reacter when everyone over-reacts.

    So it’s become some pathetic new skirmish in the mostly imagined gender wars, rather than another illustration of the ruthlessness of modern capitalism.

    1. Valissa

      So it’s become some pathetic new skirmish in the mostly imagined gender wars, rather than another illustration of the ruthlessness of modern capitalism.

      Excellent point! I agree that the biggest problem with this whole situation was the attitude of the employers. No one should have been fired for this tempest in a tea pot.

      1. Brick

        I disagree. She needed to be fired. It is absolutely inacceptable to drag somebody, who made a stupid joke, into the public view.

        It was a form of punishment. She has no right to punish, and bad taste and/or a black sense of humor is not a punishable offence. Using her publicity, in part gained through her employer, to “modern form of pillory” somebody can therefore IMO only end in the termination of her contract.

        1. Valissa

          Very good points and I partially agree in the sense that her being fired is a form of punishment for her bad behavior in this situation sends a message that informers are culpable for their acts as well. As I said above, I have no sympathy for her as I personally disapprove of her behavior myself. However I also see a civil liberties/free speech aspect to this as well as concerns about corporate power. The incident brings up a complex set of issues, and it’s not morally tidy, which is probably why it’s being discussed so much.

          1. Brick

            Agreed. Now I do not know the right to privacy situation in the US, but in Germany if you are not a public figure you have the “right of your own image”. meaning: Nobody has the right to take a photograph and then publish it.

            My personal believe is that the right to privacy (even though they made their private statement in public) should in this case be regarded as more important than her right to free speech. Calling out random persons for something, which she probably has no prove for, “infront” of a large following, is damaging to said persons. We should not tolerate such behavior.

          2. hunkerdown

            Very few people involved in that discussion are mentioning that she made one statement (now hidden) on her Twitter feed claiming that SendGrid supported her, implying that they supported her in her tiff with the fired PlayHaven dev.

            Say what you will about the rest of the case; being fired for essentially abusing company letterhead shouldn’t be controversial — unless one is trying to provoke controversy.

  12. Brindle

    Re: “The Day I Taught How Not To Rape”….

    Unfortunately, tip of the iceberg.

    Eighteen year old H.S boys charged with sexual assault on 13 year old girls.

    —“Across social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, students in Torrington, Conn., continue to express support for 18-year-old high school football players Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, who were charged with the sexual assault of two 13-year-old girls.
    That support has touched off even more controversy in the community.”—

  13. Brick

    Shortened link to the google translation of Ariel Rubinsteins rather provocatively titled comment (Can game theory solve the problems of the Eurozone and stop Irans nuclear program?) in the German FAZ. It is at least in German well worth one’s time. So if one can live with the short comings of the ever improving translate, here’s the link:

  14. rur42

    Teaching about rape. I don’t think I’ve ever read a single story on this event that focussed on the fact that everyone was drinking booze and many besides the victim were intoxicated.
    This rape would not have ocurred if the victim and the rapists had not been drinking.

    My mistake: as I scrolled through the 363 responses, I see that several commenters did mention the role of booze. But I haven’t seen a any major stories focus much attention on the booze issue.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When they ban public smoking, they should ban public drinking as well. The same goes for tobacco free apartments and alcohol free apartments. If you have a house, you may be OK.

    2. Garrett Pace

      There’s risky behavior and unrisky behavior, but frankly the alcohol deal is a subtle way of blaming the victim, and an unsubtle way of giving the aggressor a pass for semi-conscious actions.

      When people are intoxicated their inhibitions fade to the background and they become more themselves, not less themselves.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have wondered why people go after smokers and tobacco makers more aggressively than drinkers and alcohol makers.

    3. cwaltz

      I felt that there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on the fact that it was underaged drinking. However,my thought was that this could have happened to someone over 21 easily. By accounts, she went to the party with people she knew. These were supposed to be her friends. How many of us haven’t at one time or another gotten rip roaring drunk thinking we were among friends?

      This girl is going to have some major trust issues as a result of these little animals behavior.

  15. AbyNormal

    Above the Radar ALERT

    The Biggest Cyber Attack In History Is Taking Place Right Now

    Read more:

    The attacks were focused on a company called Spamhaus, which maintains a “domain name system” to connect a typed-in URL to the correct server hosting the appropriate content. With this company’s services compromised, large portions of the web became less stable.

    A Dutch web host called Cyberbunker states that it will host anything except child pornography or terrorism-related content. Spamhaus blocked Cyberbunker’s servers in an effort to weed out any spammers that might host their content with the company.

    Now Spamhaus is alleging that Cyberbunker is collaborating with a Russian and Eastern European criminal organizations to facilitate the attacks.

    A DDoS attack of 50 gigabits per second is usually enough to take out a major bank. Spamhaus is seeing sustained attacks of 300 gigabits per second. It’s only because of its distributed structure helping to effectively reduce the load that it’s still operational.

    should i be grabbin hold of somethin:-/

      1. AbyNormal

        WoW, Thanks a Heep
        (i should of checked rt)

        RUPTLY: Which person or organization angers you the most?

        SOK: The Spamhaus mafia tactics definitely are the largest threat to the freedom of the internet at this moment, yes so they piss me off the most.

        Probably the copyright people, that’s a good second. The IRAA and the MPAA and all their wannabe attorneys are a good second but at least they go to court even though they may try to corrupt the court, at least they go to court which is something that cannot be said for Spamhaus.

        RUPTLY: What is your issue with the copyright organizations?

        SOK: Well, the copyright people constantly try to shut down any communications platform outside of their control. It’s not about money. They never tried to sell a license. We have tried to contact Sony intellectual property, directly. We have spoken to presidents doing video streaming so they could do it all in high definition.

        They basically don’t want the money. They want to own the platforms, any of the platforms on which communication takes place. And that is obviously not going to happen. Just like with Spamhaus, it’s about control.

        ***not in it for money?…bullshit, that kind of control wish has timing all over it

  16. Ned Ludd

    Bohemian Grove’s spokesperson calls the ceremony “a traditional musical drama celebrating nature and summertime.” […]

    Another infiltrator, Spy magazine writer Philip Weiss, posed as a guest for seven days in 1989, when the waiting list was 33 years long and the grove had several thousand members. Weiss published the article “Inside Bohemian Grove,” writing: “You know you are inside the Bohemian Grove when you come down a trail in the woods and hear piano music from amid a group of tents and then round a bend to see a man with a beer in one hand … urinating into the bushes.”

    Urinating into bushes with a beer in hand and piano music playing in the background is apparently how U.S. oligarchs enjoy culture and commune with nature.

    1. Klassy!

      Yes! That is the very thing I remember about the Spy article– the members’ (pun not intended) preoccupation with peeing wherever and whenever they wanted.

  17. pjay

    Re: Richards, she was broadcasting penis jokes before she got all hot and flustered about dongles. Live by the sword, die by the sword, as far as I am concerned.

    Re: Steubenville, I think what you are seeing is the result of sexualization of childhood in America coupled with the endorsement of single parenthood. Most criminals come from single mother households, the same households we now incentivize.

    The “male relative” you now speak of is also now the husband, father and big brother – it’s the government which administers beatdowns via our legal system. Many women’s groups are very happy about this situation, and worked hard over decades to welcome Hubby State into their homes.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Store charges browsing customers $5.

    That’s cheap. In many places here, it’s $25 per dance. You can browse, but no touching – that’s extra (I imagine it’s the same down under. How much to finger the merchandize there?).

  19. AbyNormal

    “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

    Wells Fargo Paid Director’s Son $1.4 Million Last Year

    Scott P. Quigley, 44, received the compensation as a manager in the principal investments group, according to the San Francisco-based lender’s most recent proxy filing. His father, Philip J. Quigley, a Wells Fargo director since 1994, is retiring from the board in April. Scott Quigley declined to comment, and his father didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. The bank declined to make them available.
    The principal investments group, which buys bonds with the bank’s own money and excess customer deposits, has been among Wells Fargo’s most profitable units, said three former employees who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the lender’s behalf. Jobs there are among the most sought- after by personnel seeking transfers, one of the people said.

    Wait for it *** Waaaait

    …before he joined the firm, in 2006, his father didn’t know he had applied for a job.

    “The company was unaware of the family relationship with Mr. Quigley until after the job offer had been made,” Wells Fargo said in the proxy filing.

    1. Ms G

      That is your good old american meritocracy in action, and Scott Quigley a true Horatio Alger. What a guy. I’d say he’d be a bargain for WF at double the price.

      What a suprise, too, that part of his brief was to gamble with customer deposits (sorry, that’s “excess deposits” in Whale terminology).

      1. AbyNormal

        Ms G im glad i wasn’t alone in noting the ease in which ‘excess reserves’ was (in our face) replaced with ‘excess Deposits’…the new programing is well underway and they are coming.

  20. YankeeFrank

    Re the 4th Amendment case, everyone should read the parts of Alito’s dissent quoted to understand the scary mind of the authoritarian. He basically does away with all privacy rights by asserting that since someone is allowed to place flyers on your door, and dogs have been used for their powerful noses for thousands of years (really? relevant?), that therefore the government has the right to use a dog to commit an invasive search of your house without a warrant. He apparently thinks warrants are only required for the police to actually enter your home, but don’t quote me on that. So any invasive search, such as peering through curtains, using heat or infra-red tech, x-ray, or whatever new imaging techniques are invented going forward are perfectly okay without a warrant. The man has no apparent understanding that there should be reasonable limits on government intrusion into the private lives of the people it supposedly works for. Roberts of course concurs, as do Breyer (the liberal – hah) and Thomas.

    Bush’s appointees to the SC will haunt us for decades.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There was a time when people thought seeing involved the eyes sending out something to the object.

      Now we understand it’s light waves reflecting off the object before entering our eyes.

      The same with hearing.

      When someone forces you to see or hear (and I detest that), that’s invasion of your body, by forcibly having foreign matters (light being both a particle and a wave phenomenon) or foreign phenomena (sound waves) enter your body.

      Peering through curtains, using hi-tech sensors should not be allowed for the reason that we don’t want that to happen, but not necessarily as an invasion of our bodies or houses. We are the ones emitting waves.

      So, I agree that the government shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

    2. neo-realist

      The Roberts Court would have upheld separate but equal–probably on the grounds that to stop discriminating on the basis of race, you stop focusing on the racial separation.

    1. Ms G

      I wonder how many pension or health benefit payments that $20M would cover.

      The photo of Mr. Horton — not a face that telegraphs much contrition.

      1. ScottS

        Oddly, it’s exactly the face I would make if someone told me I was getting a $20 million severance.

        “I’m sorry? Beg your pardon?”

  21. JTT

    “But what she did was lousy judgment and shows women promoting a double standard: they want equal rights yet want to be treated like dainty ladies.”
    Wow, Yves. Regardless of the merits of this particular complaint, that’s quite a blanket statement. You’re saying I only deserve equal rights if I play by men’s rules?

    1. ScottS

      Richards did tweet a penis joke a few days before the conference incident. I believe that’s the double-standard. “It’s okay for me to be vulgar in public, but not you,” she seems to say.

  22. Zachary Smith

    My apologies if this is too much off-topic, but I’m still simmering from a story I found at The Raw Story blog.

    The teacher played it straight – same as he has for 18 years. As in straight out of the book, and students were told beforehand they could opt out of attending the sex-ed lesson.

    Now some local parents want his head for the use of the word “vagina” in the sex-ed class.

    How can this country make any progress with fluff-brains like that making up such a large part of the population?

    I, for one, simply don’t know.

  23. My Shed Plans Review

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell
    and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
    and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off
    topic but I had to tell someone!

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