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Hung Out to Dry

July 28, 2009

Six months in to the new administration not much has changed and I think it’s safe to say the bloom is off the rose. New boss is the same as the old boss, just with a better vocabulary. Those who enthusiastically voted for Obama are slowly coming to the realization that they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

I’m coming to the realization that I’d much rather be sitting on the sand in Crete watching my dinner dry than working my ass off here and being hung out to dry as a hefty chunk of my paycheck is handed to bankers and defense contractors every week.

Statusquobama is hoping that people think he still looks California but the rest of us are feeling pretty damn Minnesota these days.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    July 28, 2009 12:53 pm

    Found via this Sciencedaily article about Green Pea galaxies, here’s something else fun and productive you can do over the interwebs – help astronomers classify galaxies at The Galaxy Zoo.

    The Story So Far

    The original Galaxy Zoo was launched in July 2007, with a data set made up of a million galaxies imaged with the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With so many galaxies, the team thought that it might take at least two years for visitors to the site to work through them all. Within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour, and more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, from almost 150,000 people.

    Having multiple classifications of the same object is important, as it allows us to assess how reliable each one is. For some projects, we may only need a few thousand galaxies but want to be sure they’re all spirals. No problem – just use those that 100% of classifiers agree on. For other projects we might want larger numbers of galaxies, so might use those that a majority say are spiral.

    The task of the first Galaxy Zoo users was simpler than yours; all they had to do was split the galaxies into ellipticals and spirals and — if the galaxy was a spiral — record the direction of the arms. Using the data the project provided, we were able to prove that the classifications Galaxy Zoo provides are as good as those completed by professional astronomers.

    Many projects are now underway using this data; you can read about the first few in our list of papers published and in progress, on the Galaxy Zoo blog and below. We’ve been successful in getting time on professional telescopes to follow up many Galaxy Zoo discoveries, too; the list currently includes the Isaac Newton and William Herschel Telescopes on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Gemini South in Chile, the WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona, the IRAM radio telescope in Spain’s Sierra Nevada, the Swift and GALEX satellites, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

  2. Stemella permalink*
    July 28, 2009 4:32 pm

    I relate to the feeling, this being hung out to dry by the powers that be, by all the let downs and burst bubbles of desires for badly needed changes in the system of governance.

    There is so much corruption at every level these days. It is spreading like cancer into everything. I walk into Safeway and see that it is all poison wrapped in fancy packages, dripping with salt, preservatives and corn syrup. Chicken breasts were never meant to be so big. I’ve raised and killed them. Real chicken breasts are half the size of these steroidal gleaming wads of plumpness beneath plastic that have the texture of rubber. It is the same in the store I shop where it says the bird meat is organic. They are lying. They are lying to us and they are killing us, emptying our bank accounts as they tighten our nooses.

    Speaking of steroids, here’s one artist’s take on the corruption, the new normal, in America’s greatest pasttime

    • cometman permalink*
      July 29, 2009 10:30 am

      Nice video. That guy puts out some good stuff. I grew up listening to just about every single Sox game as a kid and I still do. If I’m not near the TV then I’m listening to the game on my little transistor radio. Been at a few weddings and other events where I snuck away to check the score with the radio pressed against my ear which made some people think I was talking on the largest cell phone still extant :) This steroid abuse has been really disappointing to me because there are likely way more people than we know about who have used them. It was refreshing to see one of my boyhood heroes Jim Rice go into the Hall of Fame and have his number retired by the Sox last night. It took Rice a while to get elected to the Hall because his career numbers weren’t as high as some others, but he was often injured later in his career and didn’t play as long as many Hall of Famers. These days players just start juicing up to get back from injuries quicker and put up numbers late in their careers which had been unthinkable before the steroid era. Rice has been pretty outspoken about steroids and it’s interesting that in his prime in the late 70s he put up some single season numbers that nobody before or since has matched, even the steroid users.

      My take on the whole frankenfoods/pharmaceuticals/genetically engineered everything craze is that in the long run some of the discoveries that have been made may turn out to be beneficial in the long run, but until the long run gets here millions and millions of people are basically just guinea pigs for the likes of Monsanto and Pfizer. We haven’t been using any of these products for even one human lifespan yet so who is to say that any of the stuff already on the market is really safe? We’ve seen several drugs recalled for being dangerous after they’d been on the market for years and used by millions. Shit like Ambien turns a lot of people into whacked out zombies but somehow it made it on the market anyway and was only recalled after lots of people fell victim to its ill effects. And most drugs have a benefit only to a percentage of the people who use them and researchers in the majority of cases have no idea why. So until the ‘why’ is known definitively, I don’t see why they are allowed to be sold. Maybe the Monsanto and Pfizer execs who are so gung ho to get this stuff on the market would volunteer to have their kids be text subjects for several decades just to make certain the stuff is really safe for the rest of us.

      The problem is how do you avoid all the crap, especially with the food? I can avoid the pharmaceuticals by simply not taking any medicine, which I don’t, but like you said, I sure as hell don’t trust the organic labels I see in the grocery store, especially when so called organic veggies are often wrapped in enough plastic to make a decent sized raincoat. Kind of defeats the purpose of even trying to buy organic. I love my garden but I can only grow so much food on a couple hundred square feet.

  3. Stemella permalink*
    July 29, 2009 6:33 am

    More proof of scheming and scamming comes to light, scams about oil pricing, which have definitely hung us out to dry, bleeding us in the process.

    This article in the WSJ The Politics of ‘Speculation’ reviews recent testimony of Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, who admitted that the high prices we paid last year were due not to supply/demand issues as Bush told us, but by speculation from traders.

    Just as with Goldman, this market too is rigged. For a good review of the phenomenon read this article, Oil: the Market is the Manipulation over at the Oil Drum.

    Clearly manipulation has been going on in the global market in oil – there’s nothing new about that – it’s what intermediaries who transact for profit do and have always done. Indeed, some market wags say that trading could be defined as “acceptable market manipulation”. But until the last few years what consenting adults were doing among themselves in the oil market didn’t really affect the man in the street.

    But things have changed. We have now reached the culmination of a process of financialisation of the oil market to a degree where the market has become entirely sociopathic. It now operates to the detriment of consumers and producers alike and for the benefit of the intermediaries who control the market.

    How did we get here? Who’s doing it? How are they doing it? And what can be done about it?

    • cometman permalink*
      July 29, 2009 11:30 am

      Wow that was a really good article from Oil Drum. Are we surprised to find Goldman Sux right in the middle of the scam? I think the quote the author used here –

      In a competitive, amoral environment, middle managers in these mega-organizations have the authority to hijack an institution’s reputation and the financial clout to manipulate the market—and they do. As long as they succeed, they enjoy promotions and perks and, sometimes, the fruits of embezzlement. If the manipulation unravels, the company denies any knowledge and hangs the rogue out to dry. We’ve seen this over and over again, most recently with D’Avila and Codelco, Hamanaka and Sumitomo, Leeson and Barings and Tsuda and Daiwa Bank.

      and his own follow up to it –

      The manipulation in the oil market is taking place at a different “meta” level to the Leesons and Hamanakas. The Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan Chase’s of this world do not break rules: if rules are inconvenient to their purpose they have them changed.

      The Market is the Manipulation.

      are right on the money. Exactly what I was arguing below – the system is designed to allow this kind of crap to take place.

  4. Stemella permalink*
    July 29, 2009 6:50 am

    More on market manipulation. Remember that article on China that spoke about their stock piling copper and the significance of copper prices?

    Here’s this: Copper price rise prompts market manipulation rumours

    Copper has jumped to the highest price in almost 10 months, prompting suggestions of market manipulation, though these rumours have been officially denied.


    Copper is often used as an indicator for the world economy and may set the pace for other base metals because more than 50lb (23kg) of copper is used in an average car and an average of 439lb is used in a 195sq m US home.

    The price rise has sparked reports that a buyer or buyers are trying to corner the market. The Daily Telegraph reports one trader as saying: “It looks funny. There are vast volumes being bought in the markets, it’s got all the hallmarks of someone trying to corner the market.”

    Ever since 1996, when Yasuo “Mr Copper” Hamanaka of Sumitomo Bank managed to buy 5% of the copper market in what was then the world’s biggest fraud, the non-ferrous metals market is periodically swept up in conspiracy theories of foul play and manipulation.

    Subsequent “Mr Copper” scares have ranged from the spurious to politically controversial. The sharp rise in copper futures this year is good enough reason for the latest bout of rumours.

    Once again China is a prime suspect where there has been strong buying interest. But there are other theories, too.

    Some traders argue that some of the biggest firms could be trying to corner the market to keep their share prices high in what has been a torrid time for commodities firms.

    All the big firms deny this as nonsense while the LME itself has told several individuals who have complained that it can see no irregularities.

    Someone is a liar liar pants on fire. I personally would like to see a pyre with a rather large fire with a lineup of several corporate types for kindling.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 29, 2009 10:51 am

      Nice catch. And yeah, somebody definitely knows what’s really going on here but we’ll never find out until everyone has been scalped first. Seems like the duplicity just goes from one market sector to another these days – get caught manipulating stocks and move on to mortgage securities, get caught there and move to the commodities markets. And the blame is always placed on some “rogue trader”, not on the economic system which thanks to corporate lobbyists and corrupt elected officials is basically designed to allow this type of thing to happen.

  5. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2009 11:46 am

    Good piece from Robert Scheer on the Chinese visit.

    What a hoot. The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world’s most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic.

    “China has a huge amount of investment in the United States, mainly in the form of Treasury bonds. We are concerned about the security of our financial assets” was the way China’s assistant finance minister put it. Briefing reporters at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, he added, “We sincerely hope the U.S. fiscal deficit will be reduced, year after year.” Quite sincerely, one suspects, given a U.S. budget shortfall this year that is slated to reach $1.85 trillion.

    Suddenly, it was U.S. officials who were promising deep reform to their disgraced economic system rather than demanding it from incompetent foreigners. President Barack Obama’s economic team of Clinton-era holdovers, who a decade ago had hectored China on the virtues of fiscal responsibility, now were falling over themselves to reassure the Chinese that their $1.5 trillion stake in U.S. government-issued securities is safe, and that they should buy more at this week’s $200 billion Treasury auction. If they don’t, we’re in big trouble.

    I liked the caption under the picture at the link which showed US and Chinese officials signing a “memorandum of understanding”. Somehow I think it’s the Chinese who were doing the talking and the US who was doing the understanding, as in “We understand that you have us by the short hairs and how high would you like us to jump”.

  6. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2009 12:09 pm

    Uh oh. Werner Herzog are you listening because I detect another “Grizzly Man” opportunity coming on – Researcher finds Humboldt Squid Timid and Non-Threatening:

    Recent news reports about scuba divers off San Diego being menaced by large numbers of Humboldt’s or jumbo squid have raised the ire of University of Rhode Island biologist Brad Seibel. As a leading expert on the species who has dived with them several times, he calls the reports “alarmist” and says the squid’s man-eating reputation is seriously overblown.

    For years Seibel has heard stories claiming that Humboldt squid will devour a dog in minutes and could kill or maim unsuspecting divers.

    “Private dive companies in Mexico play up this myth by insisting that their customers wear body armor or dive in cages while diving in waters where the squid are found. Many also encourage the squid’s aggressive behavior by chumming the waters. I didn’t believe the hype, but there was still some doubt in my mind, so I was a little nervous getting into the water with them for the first time,” Seibel said.


    “Based on the stories I had heard, I was expecting them to be very aggressive, so I was surprised at how timid they were. As soon as we turned on the lights, they were gone,” he said. “I didn’t get the sense that they saw the entire diver as a food item, but they were definitely going after pieces of our equipment.”

    Uh huh. Because they were scared of your little light. The first time you went in. What happens when they realize that the little light won’t harm them and that you taste good Mr. Smarty pants biologist? :P

    Which reminds me that I really love Werner Herzog. And speaking of learning not to fear death, here’s a clip from Herzog’s movie “White Diamond” – a kid doing the moonwalk on a slippery rock beside a several hundred foot cliff:

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 29, 2009 6:42 pm

      Werner Herzog and Peter Weir are my two all time favorite Directors. I saw Aguirre when I was in high school for a class comparing literature to film, in that case Heart of Darkness. It changed the way I looked at the world. My other fave is Where the Green Ants Dream.

      Here is Werner telling us to declare war of Teevee, Commercials and talk shows in Herzog Eats his Shoe (Es lebe der Schuh!)

      I haven’t yet seen the bear film, though I’ve read about it. I also haven’t yet seen White Diamond. That scene you posted was stunning.

      I think that biologist who thinks the squid gods are timid is a Hemmingway wanna be. He’s pretending he’s all macho about it. Boooool caca. I saw the way those critters went after the disco strobe in that NOVA program. No messy around with.

  7. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2009 12:27 pm

    Lies, damn lies and statistics – Paul Craig Roberts tells us not to put too much faith in the figures touted by the corporate media.

    Last week on NPR a professor in the Sloan School of Management at MIT explained that what is really at stake in the health care bill is the US government’s ability to borrow. In other words, the bill is about cutting health care costs, not about providing hard-pressed Americans with health care.

    The professor said that if we didn’t get health care costs under control, in 30 years the US government would not be able to sell Treasury bonds.

    It is not at all clear that the Treasury will be able to sell its debt instruments in 30 months, and it has nothing to do with health care costs. The Treasury debt marketing problem has to do with two back-to-back US fiscal year budgets, each with a $2 trillion deficit. The size of the US deficit exceeds in these troubled times the supply of world savings available to fund the US government’s wars, bailouts and stimulus plans. If the Federal Reserve has to monetize the Treasury’s new borrowings by creating demand deposits for the Treasury (printing money), America’s foreign creditors might flee the dollar.

    He goes on to debunk stats on housing starts, unemployment and my personal favorite, the substitution/let-them-eat-dog-food method used to figure the CPI.

  8. cometman permalink*
    July 29, 2009 12:44 pm

    Here’s something you don’t see every day – a South Carolina man was arrested for buggery and it wasn’t Mark Sanford.

    A man remains jailed after police say he was caught on video surveillance having sexual intercourse with a horse at a South Carolina stable for the second time in the past three years.

    Rodell Vereen, 50, is charged with buggery and trespassing after a woman who owns Lazy B Stables on Coates Road in the Wampee section of Horry County told officers she caught the suspect having sex with a horse.

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 29, 2009 7:17 pm

      The horse was 21 yrs old. That’s an old horse. I was laughing until I saw that the horse was being treated for infections obtained from the experience. Poor horse. I hope the buggerer gets the help he needs too.

  9. Stemella permalink*
    July 29, 2009 11:38 pm

    This story has some potential mileage

    Senate probes Goldman, Deutsche: report

    Can you say, “Subpoena?” :-D

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank AG were issued subpoenas by a U.S. Senate panel looking for evidence of fraud in the 2008 mortgage-market meltdown, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

    The paper said the focus of the investigation is on whether internal communications show executives at the banks had private doubts on the soundness of the mortgage-related securities they were putting together.

    The people told the paper Washington Mutual Inc, which is now mostly owned by JP Morgan Chase & Co, was also issued a subpoena by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

    The paper said several other financial institutions may also have received subpoenas from the sub-committee that is headed by Senator Carl Levin.

    A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment on the subpoena to the paper, while Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the paper. Subcommittee investigators declined to comment to the paper.

    That sure is a lot of comment declining going on there.

    Here’s another version of the story from the WSJ: Senate Probes Banks for Meltdown Fraud

    WaMu via JPM are in the hotseat too.

    I expect this to be more kabuki in the end, but maybe, just maybe this might tip the scale of justice a smidge in a better direction than its been tilting for quite some time now.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 30, 2009 9:42 am

      Haven’t we already seen repeatedly that the assholes at GSux knew damn well that the securities were crap? They wouldn’t have taken out billions in Credit Default Swaps from AIG betting that they’d go bust if they thought they were good investments. So why are we wasting time on an investigation? Seems like they ought to be getting an indictment or a grand jury together at this point. So yeah, this will probably turn out to be more kabuki just to make it look like they are doing something. But damn I’d really love to see these fucks get their comeuppance, especially my former employers at WAMU.

  10. triv33 permalink
    July 30, 2009 8:34 am

    Hey! Great news, guys! Visa’s quarterly profits jumped nearly 73 percent. I’d invite you out to a nice dinner to celebrate, but it seems that Chase has cut my credit limit to almost the exact amount I owe. Oh, well. It’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

    • cometman permalink*
      July 30, 2009 9:17 am

      Ha! We’ll see if their earnings are really that high or if they have to be restated in a couple weeks. The article mentions this:

      Visa earns revenue primarily from fees it charges to process payments made with credit and debit cards, which has enabled it to weather the recession better than banks that issue credit cards and make loans.

      Every single time a purchase is made with a VISA card they take a little chunk of change for themselves. The vendor loses about 2-3% on every single transaction although some of this goes to the credit card processing company and not all goes right to VISA. Now with purchases going down nationwide I really don’t see how their profits could have jumped that much no matter how many people they laid off. Their profits are directly tied to people spending money with their credit cards and that hasn’t been happening as much lately.

      Now there have been reports that consumer “savings” have increased to about 6% in recent months IIRC but these aren’t really savings in the traditional sense. People aren’t socking away cash for a rainy day, they are simply not spending as much on new stuff and paying down the money they already owe on their credit cards and other loans. But I’d think paying down the interest would go to the issuing banks’ bottom lines and not to VISA, but maybe some of that does go to VISA too. If so, that might account for some of their increased profits, but I’m pretty skeptical about those numbers.

      One other thing that could account for the increase is that they have simply jacked up the percentage that they charge vendors which happens about twice per year according to the credit card processors I’ve spoken with. I’ve had a few conversations with the processor our company uses and they’ve told me that they’ve actually eaten several of the recent fee increases coming from VISA and Mastercard and haven’t passed them along to vendors. And if you want to know the reason why credit card companies can impose these fee increases that nobody really knows about, I’d suggest asking Joe Biden and the other rats in Congress who go out of their way to make sure these companies get whatever the hell they want.

      Now if you ask me, this practice of skimming a percentage off of every transfer of money between buyer and seller is pretty much by definition a TAX. But in this case the revenue doesn’t go to the government but to a private company and we don’t get jack in return. While the teabaggers spend all their time bitching about government taxes, they don’t seem to realize how they’re getting cleaned out by corporate taxes like credit card fees, bank fees, fees to receive a bill in the mail, etc, etc.

      Did I mention that I really really hate the fucking credit card companies???? Thanks for getting me started triv :)

    • cometman permalink*
      July 30, 2009 11:36 am

      Hey looky here! Exxon’s profits were down by 66%. That means they only made 1/3 of a gazillion dollars instead of the whole gazillion. But I exaggerate – it was only about $4 billion profit for three months. Boo-hoo. Poor Exxon.

  11. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2009 11:32 am

    Still no justice for Don Siegelman. He’s trying to get a new trial and the government is fighting tooth and nail not to give him one despite what seems to be quite a bit of evidence the one he got wasn’t even close to being fair.

    In arguing against granting Siegelman a new trial, prosecutors essentially argued that conspiracies between jurors to pre-determine a verdict are acceptable, Siegelman said in an email to the Locust Fork blog.

    Last month, Siegelman alleged witness and jury tampering in his 2006 corruption case, and requested a new trial.

    In a legal filing, his lawyers argued that “because of prosecutorial misconduct in this case, including improper contacts with jurors, improper … communication with the court, and improper conduct in preparing government witnesses to testify at trial … Siegelman was deprived of his Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial and his Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.

    The article mentions what he was originally charged for –

    Siegelman was convicted in 2006 of taking a $500,000 bribe from a HealthSouth executive, Richard Scrushy, in exchange for giving Scrushy a high-ranking government job.

    – and I still can’t figure out how in the world it constitutes bribery when the cash in question didn’t go to Siegelman or his campaign but to a non-profit foundation set up to promote a state lottery to fund education and the job Scrushy was appointed to was the same position he’d been appointed to a few times before by republican governors. But Siegelman is doing time while Ted Stevens is let loose almost as soon as Holder becomes AG. There may have been misconduct in Stevens’ case but why was his release so swift while Siegelman can’t get anyone to give him the time of day?

    Some “justice” system we’ve got.

  12. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2009 12:09 pm

    So the conservatives and Blue Dog Dems are working to torpedo any meaningful health care reform by watering down the legislation and delaying a vote and guess who Obama and the Dem leadership decide to call to the carpet? Why the progressive caucus of course for threatening to block the watered down piece of crap that the charlatans are trying to pass off as universal health care.

    The White House and Democratic leaders moved quickly to try to quell the liberal insurrection. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called a group of liberals to her office in the mid-afternoon, and Democrats postponed plans to continue a stalled markup of the bill by the Energy and Commerce Committee until Friday. Instead, they held a caucus meeting to answer member questions.

    “It’s more important to let members ask questions, raise concerns,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of Energy and Commerce.

    Within hours of the liberal complaints, Obama was on the phone with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a fellow Illinois Democrat and Energy and Commerce member who is in charge of the healthcare issue for the Progressive Caucus.

    He told her the bill should go forward, Schakowsky said.

    The White House also released a statement from Obama that singled out “some” Blue Dogs on Energy and Commerce for striving to find “common ground.”

    The Democrats in Name Only are singled out for praise while the real liberals are subject to arm twisting? WTF?!?!?!?! This doesn’t even mention the compromise the liberals are already making by not forcing a discussion of single payer and now they are expected to roll over and leave all their principles behind so Obama can try and say he got something done, even if that something doesn’t really help anybody.

    And then there is the matter of “scoring” which the budget office does to make a cost estimate.

    “The current draft of the bill scores below $900 billion over 10 years, covers 95 percent of all Americans by 2015 and is fully offset,” said Baucus. “In fact, according to the preliminary CBO report, the bill would actually reduce the federal deficit in the 10th year by several billion dollars.”

    But a little searching yields this link from a few months back where Baucus is asking the CBO Director who is supposed to be impartial to be “creative” with his cost estimates. And of course the CBO hasn’t even been asked to score a single payer option which would very likely prove to be the most cost effective plan of all.

    What a bunch of scumbags. I hope they all get ebola. Meanwhile the rest of us without the primo coverage Congress has will just have to settle for the Don’t Get Sick plan.

  13. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2009 12:19 pm

    Great article by Chalmers Johnson today – Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire And Ten Steps to Take to Do So.

  14. cometman permalink*
    July 30, 2009 12:32 pm

    I can relate to this article decrying the timidity of left leaning groups. I got a call from a local progressive group I’m involved with a couple days ago asking me to call my senator about the health care “public option”. I told the caller that while I agreed with them that we needed much better health care, I was not going to be wasting my time calling my senator. I mentioned that calling my senator had never done a bit of good the dozens of times I’d called in the past and I wasn’t going to waste any more of my time doing so. Also told them that if we wanted anything to change in this country it was going to take more than calling and writing letters because it should be obvious that the Powers That Be aren’t listening to us.

    For some reason telling them that I was not going to help anymore, at least not in the way they’d requested, felt really good.

    • triv33 permalink
      July 30, 2009 7:20 pm

      Oh, I don’t even wait for them to call anymore. I use the little contact us link at the bottom of the e-mails they send and tell them I’m done and why. I’d like to tell OFA I’m going to use their call your neighbor tool to alert my neighbors to the big bait and switch we’re being sold on the so-called public option, but that might make the guys in suits show up at my door.

  15. cometman permalink*
    July 31, 2009 12:19 pm

    Three very good, if somewhat rambling, essays about materialism and the quest for more.

    The Bastards Never Die – A short history of why we eat oil, can’t smoke pot, and why assault weapons are so expensive in our hour of need

    War is the only language humanity understands

    The Name of the Game is Wipe-Out

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