Welcome to October Open Thread

HankP's picture

Remember, citizen, banks are your friends.

 

Amazon looks like they're going to shake up the pad market.

 

iPhone 5 coming soon, I'll bet Harley is already waiting in line paid a guy to wait in line for him.

 

I'll say it again, think twice about what you share with Facebook.

 

The Ig Nobels are out!

 

 

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Karzai inks deal with India to train Afghan Army

(#267894)

According to The Hindu, Pakistan is downplaying the deal, but Express Tribune uses the phrase "alarm bells in Pakistan".    There was once talk of Pakistan training those troops but Karzai seems to have reached the end of his patience with Islamabad.   Dawn uses the phrase "a move likely to raise suspicion in Pakistan, which is already wary of the relationship between its two neighbours."

 

Text of agreements here.

 

EDIT:   Pakistan warns of point scoring.

From Grantland.Com. . .

(#267802)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .an excerpt from a book about the greatest of all Yankee center fielders. (No, not JoeD--regardless of what your grandpa told you before he passed away).

I'm just grateful that--for the sake of fifty years of Dodger history if nothing else--that it wasn't Vin Scully steering Sandy Koufax to a quack doctor to deal with a case of the clap.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

(#267789)
Jay C's picture

Well, that was (obscenely, disgustingly, and depressingly) quick: and, needless to say, utterly awful:

 

Apple Founder Steve Jobs dead at at age 56.

 

 

Before the obsequious hagiography makes me spit bile

(#267792)

That's a sad thing to die so young, and pancreatic cancer is a tough way for anyone, at any age -- even if, thanks to his enormous wealth, he could do an end run around transplant ethics in an effort to fight it.

 

(OK, maybe just a little bile now.)

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Apparently some people think his transplant liver

(#267804)

"jumped the line" somehow...that there were others on the donor list ahead of him, but that money bought him a shorter wait. No idea if any of that is true, no clue what the details of the story might be.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Not quite, J.

(#267806)

People of means are able to get themselves on multiple registries across the country, especially in places where wait times tend to be shorter -- like, say, Memphis vis-a-vis California.  Read about it here.

 

All perfectly legal (unlike buying one's way up a registry list), but certainly confounding the purposes of regional transplant lists.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

A rich man shouldn't buy the best healthcare available?

(#267808)
mmghosh's picture

He became supremely rich because of the best use of his available talents.  IIRC, he was given away for adoption, and had to make his own way up in life - against the odds.  He didn't break any rules.

 

What can be more egalitarian than this story?  Isn't this what America is about?

What can be more egalitarian

(#267811)

than a wealthy man -- however the wealth was gotten -- violating the spirit of the transplant rules (which Hank refers to below) by shopping around for the registry list that gives him the best chance of a kidney?  Are you trolling us, Manish?

 

Look, if you want to say that the rich ought to have preferential treatment when it comes to organ transplants, fine; but don't drape the argument in the flag of egalitarianism.  It just looks silly.

 

 

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

An 8-year-old with acute liver failure

(#267829)

has the same healthcare opportunities as Steve Jobs? You sure about that?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I'm coming at it from another angle.

(#267832)
mmghosh's picture

The parents of an 8-year old with acute liver failure here have no chance of even getting to a situation where they can consider a liver transplant.  Whereas if they live in the US, have the ability to make a good life for themselves and they can create an opportunity where this can be conceived.

 

I'm thinking of Steve Jobs' Syrian Muslim father's equivalent today - a similar individual's children have no chance.

 

I'm saying Steve created a [i]legitimate[/i] opportunity for himself.  He should be admired and not censured.  So he gamed the system, to whatever extent it was possible.  I can't see myself doing any different were it my children, and I had the opportunity.

He should be admired and not censured for what?

(#267839)

Making the most of his talents and making lots of money in the process?  Sure.  

 

Using that money to circumvent the rules that try to distribute a scarce, life-saving commodity according to need, rather than wealth & station?  Not so much.  The fact that you'd do the same for your children is irrelevant; first of all, he didn't do it for his children, and second, judging ethical rules by how people respond to them under durress is, I'd suggest, a wrong-headed approach.  

 

And the fact that things are worse in India?  Really?  So you're saying, what, that the American medical system should look to how the poor get treated in India for guidance?  "But [insert-group-name-here] has it so much worse" is a classic bit of ethical sophistry -- and by 'classic', I mean hackneyed & lame.  

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Whoa there

(#267859)
HankP's picture

judging ethical rules by how people respond to them under durress is, I'd suggest, a wrong-headed approach

 

I'd say that's the only test that counts.

I blame it all on the Internet

I didn't say that quite right.

(#267872)

What I meant was that the fact that people in extreme circumstances would violate an ethical rule -- and that maybe we wouldn't think the worse of them if they did -- doesn't obviate the rule's legitimacy.  That hypothetical Manish would work around, and maybe even break, the ethical rules governing organ transplant for his children's sake, and that we would understand & sympathize those actions, doesn't mean the rules are bunk, and it doesn't mean we shouldn't shore up the rules to prevent work-arounds.  Egalitarian norms, I suspect, are particularly vulnerable to being ignored or dismissed when more primal, kin-based values come into play -- which is all the more reason we need to insist on the former's inviolability.

 

And that has to be right in a case like this, where there's nothing but people in extreme circumstances.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

I guess my point

(#267880)
HankP's picture

is that morals and ethics are like the first amendment - they don't really matter when times are good and there's no conflict. They're designed to deal with the difficult cases when times are bad, people are desperate, and there's severe disagreement. If they fail under those conditions then they obviously need to be rethought. It's like a seat beat that works great until the car crashes, something that makes us feel safe and virtuous but is nothing but a polite fiction.

 

Oh, and I am quite pleased at being able to point out that it's spelled duress.

I blame it all on the Internet

No one likes a pedant, Hank -nt-

(#267891)

.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Shure, dood nt

(#267899)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

SNAP! Effing SNAP! SNAP! SNAP!

(#267885)

'Oh, and I am quite pleased at being able to point out that it's spelled duress.'


I am also quite pleased that you did.  Today there is a warmness and fuzziness to the universe that wasn't there yesterday. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Just a thought here Hobbesist

(#267849)

But doesn't the fact that we are dealing with a life-saving resource automatically mean that we're dealing with folks under duress at the outset.  I'm asking you as the bona fide philosopher, how do you determine who gets the last seat on the lifeboat, or evaluate the decisions others have made in that situation? Second, since that is always going to be an extreme situation does the Ivory Tower solution have any value if it doen't account for the actions of people in extreme situations.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I'm not sure what you're asking.

(#267873)

Of course the people who need a new kidney, or heart, or lungs, and their families are under durress; some more immediately than others.  But the people who make the decisions, unlike those in the lifeboat scenario, aren't; they're bound, as I understand it, to consider a limited range of medically salient factors in deciding who, in the area they serve, stands where in line for the organ.

 

My point -- badly expressed, as I already said -- was that the decisions of people under durress to violate a rule don't necessarily obviate that rule, even if, on reflection, we'd call those violations permissible or excusable.  It's for that very reason, in fact, that we insulate the decisions in organ transplant from the welter of emotions that come with durress as far as possible.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Hobbesisit, for the most part you answered my...

(#268054)

...question when responding to Hank.  I understand your point but not the direction of criticism.  Jobs was in the extreme situation, the medical professionals who got him the liver were not.  It seems to me that Jobs can be forgiven for the violation of Ivory Tower ethics but the doctors shouldn't be.


 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

How do you classify need?

(#267841)
mmghosh's picture

This scarce, life-saving commodity you speak of is distributed - how, exactly?  

 

Are children (to use Jordan's example) more of a need than adults?  [url=http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mouse-man/200902/do-alcoholics-deserve-liver-transplants]What about alcoholics (such as George Best)[/url], or those who are in liver failure having overdosed on painkillers - should they be refused transplants? [url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4631153/Transplant-row-as-one-in-four-livers-go-to-heavy-drinkers.html]One in four liver transplants goes to alcoholics.[/url]   These are ethical minefields.  This is why there are transplant registries and lists, and transplants go to the next in line.  Jobs simply stood in whichever line was available.

 

Your point about making ethical rules under duress is valid, and I suspect the transplant guidelines in place have been set up to make sure of exactly that.  Jobs didn't do anything illegitimate, in any case!

 

I don't know the criteria they use to establish precedence

(#267878)

... and I'm sure it's terrible burden to establish the calculus of need and prognosis that puts people on the list.  But it seems clear that calculus does not take the means of the patient or his/her family into account, and that this is based on the judgment that, to the greatest extent possible, wealth ought not be salient to access to organs.  Jobs' approach to getting a transplant -- the maxim which his actions instantiate, to put it in Kantian terms -- is, at the very least, inconsistent with that judgment.

 

Look, I never claimed Jobs broke the letter of the law; I see no evidence to think he did, and I suspect he'd take great care to avoid doing so.  But he used his resources to make a mockery of the aim of a means-blind distribution of organs.

 

I'm not sure I have anything else to add, so this'll be my last word on it.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

But we aren't talking about her parents.

(#267836)

If you want to talk about "equality of opportunity," I don't think there's any way you can claim that the 8-year old has the same opportunities as Steve Jobs had. Maybe she's an orphan. Maybe her parents are disabled. Maybe they are rich...just not rich enough to buy her way onto multiple regional donor lists. Either way, from the point of view that actually matters – the girl's – opportunities are not equal.

 

As far as your own children, how do you see yourself reacting if your daughter missed out on a transplant opportunity because some obscenely rich f--k jumped the line?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That is a wrong reading of what happened.

(#267840)
mmghosh's picture

I'm simply going by what came up on hobbesist's link.  Steve Jobs did not jump the line by paying off some transplant authority.  He simply seems to have gone to another region (from where he lived) where the queue for recipients was much shorter.

 

As for my kids?  I couldn't afford a liver transplant for them in any case.  In fact, we lot couldn't afford a whole host of treatments that you in the West can, forget complex treatments such as transplants!  Are we up in arms because of the supposed (and actual) lack of facilities, because of economic inequalities?  

Shouldn't you be? -nt-

(#267844)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Neither is apathy. -nt-

(#267847)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

both are sins

(#267977)

in the Catholic code.

Where's the envy

(#267863)

in wanting to survive a terrible illness? Where's the envy in demanding that a public resource be shared fairly among the public? Where's the envy in wanting to improve public resources so that more people can survive terrible illnesses, or in demanding that the rich not keep these resources for themselves? This is your word...envy...I don't think it applies here.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Transplant organs aren't supposed to be for sale

(#267810)
HankP's picture

there's a protocol determining who should get an organ based on survivability, years of life left, etc. Being wealthy isn't supposed to factor into it.

I blame it all on the Internet

Agreed. But the protocol presumably

(#267812)
mmghosh's picture

factors in supply and demand.  A largely rural area (say) would be expected to have high supply and low demand.  The supply has a limited shelf life - obviously if there are people who need the transplant, and the demand isn't there, then the supply must go to whoever needs it.

 

From hobbesist's link, this seems to be the heart of the issue

 

[quote](1) patients meet the clinical evaluation criteria, can afford to pay and have access to follow-up care 

---

(2) the focus should be on helping uninsured and underinsured patients gain adequate access to life-saving transplant care[/quote]

If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that the reason there is a difference between supply and demand is because poorer areas can supply donors, but cannot afford to be recipients, and that there should be a system to empower recipients financially so that they should be able to afford the transplant. That is all very well, but obviously this situation hasn't been sorted out yet. While this is in the process of being sorted, what is to be done in the interim? One can't very well let donated livers be wasted, simply because political decisions haven't been made. It seems Steve Jobs should not be faulted. So I don't get this "bile" issue.

From what I understand,

(#267908)
aireachail's picture

the controversy comes from

(1) patients meet the clinical evaluation criteria, can afford to pay and have access to follow-up care

I certainly don't know what all the protocols are, but the physician wife of one of my colleagues says she's stunned by the notion that a pancreatic cancer patient would be anywhere in line for a liver transplant. According to her, a key element of that clinical evaluation criteria is the prospect of long-term survival.

Yeah

(#267797)
HankP's picture

he was very successful financially and did a lot for the development of the computer industry in the 70s and 80s, but I couldn't disagree more with his influence on the computer industry in the past twenty years.

I blame it all on the Internet

Interestingly, nobody is

(#267795)

Interestingly, nobody is saying what his clinical course really was.  Did he have metastatic disease?  Why did they do the transplant?  It would be very unusual for someone with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer to have a transplant for liver metastases.  Did he have the transplant for another reason?  Did he die from complications related to his whipple procedure or transplant?  Who knows but complications related to these surgeries are many and potentially devastating, even out this far.  Just some questions I've thought about over the years.  He died young, that's for sure.

Isn't it up to his heirs

(#267796)
HankP's picture

to decide what information to release?

 

I am surprised, though, usually when a famous person gets cancer they make all kinds of statements and PSAs telling people to get a checkup.

I blame it all on the Internet

The public isn't entitled to

(#267809)

The public isn't entitled to his medical information, you are right.

Heh

(#267793)

I share your bile.

Holy cow that was quick

(#267790)
HankP's picture

don't know what was obscene or disgusting about it though, it seems that he enjoyed his work and did it until he couldn't do it anymore.

I blame it all on the Internet

Sorry, I just plucked some adjectives

(#267791)
Jay C's picture

Still a bummer, though, IMO: Steve Jobs was lucky enough to win a fight (not to mention, fortunately affluent enough to afford the combat) against one of the worst types of cancer- for a while, anyway. At least he more-or-less died "in the saddle" - one wonders what the industry pioneer of 1976 would have thought of the notion that his eventual  demise (as Legendary Industry Tycoon) would have to be sprung (pretty much) as a surprise - to keep the value of his company competetive with Standard Oil Exxon/Mobil.

 

I actually met Steve Jobs once (my  business, not his), very nice and low-key guy. Made me quite self-conscious over the Dell equipment sitting on my desk...

Hey catchy

(#267788)
HankP's picture

Not Terribly Challenging

(#267780)
M Scott Eiland's picture

One Ryan Young responds to mumbling coming from the Needs Directions Gang. Yep, I've seen this sort of thing before:

Particularly *dumb* fish in this case, but the metaphor still fits.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Mr. Young needs a brush up on economics

(#267787)
HankP's picture

because several of his arguments are garbage. Socialized medical care isn't some crazy utopian idea, it's the norm in advanced economies - it costs less (much less) and gives better outcomes. Trading across national borders (actually across different currencies) is far different than interstate trade within a currency zone. So he'd better work on his economic understanding before making statements like that.

I blame it all on the Internet

The Bonnie Situation and I'm late to the show

(#267778)
brutusettu's picture

Did you read a sign on a rock in the front of the property that still faintly said "****erhead?" [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urpYdtFqc_o]NSFW[/url]

Someone At Daily Kos. . .

(#267779)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .remembered what I did: the most prominent user of that word in the last fifty odd years was Ian Fleming: when is the boycott of the James Bond franchise going to commence?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Ian Fleming died almost 50 years ago

(#267786)
HankP's picture

so yeah, that kind of belongs to an earlier culture as far as vocabulary goes.

I blame it all on the Internet

That Camp Was Named Over Fifty Years Ago

(#267794)
M Scott Eiland's picture

So, why aren't the people whining about Rick Perry not single-handedly obliterating the camp and its hisory also boycotting the publishing companies who profit from unedited copies of Ian Fleming's novels with that word proudly displayed? And yes, that goes for Herman Cain, too.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Best thing I have read on this...

(#267798)

This and Another view... Interesting that so few people understand White privilage.... 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

Great link, Scott

(#267783)
Jay C's picture

and while I doubt that Mr. Fleming's literary reputation will much suffer (more than usual, that is), I appreciated the opportunity to discover that:

 

...the Chinese character that in Japanese means "avoid" comes from a character for "anal sex" and that for "business" or "trade" comes from a character which originally meant "sex".  But perhaps my favorite of all etymological coincidences is that the character that is short for "nuclear weapon" and "clitoris" is the same in Japanese.

Really gives more poignanacy to the title: "Hiroshima Mon Amour"....

 

 

A Tribute To The Non-Optimized

(#267749)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Wherein one Roy Greenhilt layeth down the hurt with the help of a cross-class skill.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

not sure if anyone else will like it but I did

(#267752)
TXG1112's picture

I'm in a couple of 4E campaigns and I just can't bring myself to min/max my characters to where they have negatives on their non-essential stats. On some level I feel obligated to make them well rounded enough to be realistic. My rogue is actually pretty smart (13 int and wis) which nets her a bunch extra feat choices and skill bonuses.

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

Well that's a big problem with 4e

(#267765)

All of the simulationist elements of 3.5 are gone, and what you have left is basically a table-top video game where you use certain powers.

 

So the sort of uses of different skills that we see referenced in the comic don't work as well as they would have in 2 and 3e.  You basically get a class, which then gives you a fairly rigid set of powers that you can and can't used, which in turn leads you to min max your scores rationally and in a way that lacks all excitement.

 

 

I don't agree

(#267770)
TXG1112's picture

We do a lot of role playing so non combat skill checks happen regularly and are pretty important. In reference to Scott below, my rogues lowest stat is actually an 11 con as she's a 5 foot nothing, 100 lb girl. Imagine if you actually had to group with a real person with an 8 charisma. (hint - you probably work with someone like that and really dislike them) At any rate, being able to intimidate and persuade are important in non combat role playing scenarios.

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

One 8 Isn't So Bad

(#267754)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Most characters can dump it into CHA, just as was common practice for non-CHA based characters in 3E. Of course, the fact that there's not much of a mechanical penalty in 4E for being below average in intelligence (particularly if DEX is high) is a bit annoying--WIS penalties at least annoy a character by making Perception rolls lousy.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Gabby Johnson approves

(#267756)
HankP's picture

I blame it all on the Internet

In Fairness, There Is A Dissenting Position

(#267758)
M Scott Eiland's picture

[IMG]http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn311/eilandesq/Charisma5.jpg[/IMG]

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Too bad the business world doesn't use that ruleset.

(#267763)

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Why We Love Getting Screwed

(#267727)

Drum ponders the dumb but persistent fact that people seem to instinctively prefer hidden fees and costs to transparent costs and voluntary payments. The topic is debit card transaction fees (i.e. swipe fees), which have been prohibited, and the plan among some large banks to begin replacing the fees with monthly charges that will show up on your bill. 

 

The thing is, as we all know, people are going to get annoyed with these "new" charges. Sure, they were already paying the charges before, in the form of hidden swipe fees that never showed up on a bill, but people are funny that way. They get mad when they know they're paying for something, not so much when you simply filch the funds when they aren't looking.

 

Imagine this applying to health insurance, says Austin Frakt.

Many policy experts and economists think it’d be far better if people knew the cost of health care, if they were aware what their full, employer-sponsored premiums cost, etc. I agree. Transparency is the right way to go.

 

But make no mistake, people will be annoyed. No, that’s not right. A $5/month debit card use fee is annoying. Suddenly learning that your income is lower than it would otherwise be by $10,000 because of your “employer-paid” premium is not annoying. It is enraging.

This is true. Even though just about every American who has health insurance is covered through an employer plan which pulls a good $10-20k out of their total compensation package, most Americans don't ever really do the math to figure out that insurance companies are pocketing 10-30% of their paychecks. They would of course be beyond infuriated if they ever stopped for one second to think it over in rational terms.

 

There's also the fun little factoid that if you add health insurance premiums to total federal, state & local tax burden...you suddenly realize Americans pay as much or more in total wage reduction as our socialist European counterparts. Only with measurably worse outcomes in nearly all categories. Oh, and the deductions are generally mandatory...the only way to "opt out" of paying murderously high premiums is to refuse to accept a salaried job.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

So...

(#267728)

Deducting health insurance premiums...hidden, deceptive.

Deducting income tax witholding...???

 

"Employer-paid" share of insurance premiums...scare quotes required.

Employer-paid payroll taxes....???

 

 

 

Confused...

(#267729)

Income tax withholding is listed on every single pay stub and on your W-4s. The amount your company pays to cover your insurance premiums is listed....?

 

Employer-paid payroll taxes are invisible (they're identical to employee contributions, but they aren't listed anywhere). So...you got me there.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

When I was an employee

(#267733)
HankP's picture

the detail to the paycheck did show all deductions. Some jobs the employer paid all the premiums, in which case it was invisible. Nowadays most employees have to pay at least a portion of the premiums, so that part does show up.

I blame it all on the Internet

Also Drum lists a bunch of other good examples

(#267730)

if you click through. Turns out there are lots of things we pay for without being aware we pay for those things, and we seem happier than when someone brings these payments to our attention. 

 

People is so stupid.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Plan 9 from Spaced Out Cain

(#267708)

So Herman Cain, now a serious primary runner-up after the spectacular Perry and Bachmann falls from grace, is pushing his luck with a new campaign proposal on taxes. Called the 9-9-9 plan, like so many Republican proposals it has the advantage of being simple and memorable, and the disadvantage of being utterly insane.

He's running on a plan to wipe out the current tax code and replace it with one branded 9-9-9 -- a nine percent personal income tax, a nine percent corporate income tax and a nine percent sales tax.

 

This, even conservative experts agree, wouldn't provide the federal government with enough revenue to maintain the safety net and would lead therefore to either persistent deficits and growing debt, or a drastic reduction in social programs.

In addition to the small problem that this plan would destroy Medicare and likely Social Security and nearly everything else the government does (I'm not clear if the plan would abolish FICA payroll taxes), Cain's proposal has the additional disadvantage that it would be legislatively illegal. I.e., unconstitutional, since one Congress cannot bind another without an amendment change (or at the very least a Senate rules change which would require a 2/3 vote).

 

So, it's a Republican idea that sounds good on the stump but which obviously hasn't been thought through in any detail whatsoever. Now what does that remind me of? Oh yeah, every single idea Republicans have proposed for the past 20 years, from the Iraq war to the "self-regulation" of investment banks.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Without getting into the merits

(#267719)

of 9-9-9,  I'd have to point out that the House and Senate rules have all kinds of 2/3 and 60/100 provisions that they've put on themselves, and they could just as easily add another one specific to this.

 

 

As far as "unconstitutional", show me where it says the House or Senate can't attempt to bind their successors. Of course, they're just rules and the next House or Senate can toss the rules by a simple majority vote. They could do that with filibusters, for example. One Senate can pass a rule that the light bulbs can't be changed without 9/10 majority and a frog kissing ceremony; the next Senate can change the rule (by a 50%+1 vote), and then vote (again 50%+1) to change the bulbs without any frogs involved.

 

Of course, Senators seem resistant to tossing their rules by simple 51 vote majorities.   That's our fault, we just need to elect people willing to do it.

Do you know the merits of 9-9-9?

(#267722)

I'm asking because I haven't seen details.  Ha, to tell the truth I haven't really looked before now because I figured Herman Cain would end up thumb wrestling Ron Paul in the background.  Ok, to be clear, I've seen the framework but I haven't seen anything on some of the details.  For instance, those folks in an 'empowerment zone' will get a deduction but I can't find the definition of 'empowerment zone'.   The downside I've seen so far is that it looks like a big cut in revenue unless there's more to the plan like user fees etc.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

no "loop holes" and everyone pays

(#267741)

of course everyone paying is often viewed as regressive.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

I guess you are not a believer in progressive taxation

(#267757)

Many taxes are regressive in nature. Sales taxes, entitlements etc... 

 

The 9,9,9 plan has no basis in revenue reality.... It is a pipe dream.... 

You know that isn't true.

(#267745)

You know that isn't true.

Side note

(#267761)
brutusettu's picture

Someone working 3 days to pay their heating bill for one month in the winter is just like someone working 3 days to pay their entire electric/gas bill for the year. So if there happens to be regressive sales taxes on other stuff, what's so wrong with that?

I think "everyone pays" is everyone pays an [i]equal[/i] rate on every and all taxes?

What isn't true? nt

(#267746)

.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Details?

(#267725)

You're assuming there are some details.  Having any plan at all is more than we could expect from him,  and now you're demanding details.

 

However, I can help a little. "Empowerment Zones" are areas with influential congressmen. 

Also it sounds like "Nein! Nein! Nein!"

(#267723)

Not really relevant, I'm just trying to get a jump on the Hitler baiting here.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Mix Some Dixie Chicks With A Dash Of Godwin. . .

(#267687)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .and a two-decade tradition on MNF goes bye-bye. You really stepped on the ol' crank with golf shoes, Hank.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

As a Wag at MetaFilter Put It

(#267716)

"Are you ready for some FOOTMOUTH?!!"

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME HITLER

(#267724)

I liked that one too.

Without that name

(#267692)
HankP's picture

no one would have ever heard of him.  BTW, just because you play a crappy song for two decades doesn't make it a tradition, it just means you're too cheap to get a decent song written for you.

I blame it all on the Internet

Sounds like a bad case of crazy uncle syndrome.

(#267689)

Though I believe the technical DSM-IV classification would be Nugentosis.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

love it

(#267707)

love it

Attempts were made and fairly successful

(#267695)
brutusettu's picture

At making Sean Penn seem reasonable by comparison.

And In The Meantime. . .

(#267699)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .a certain failed national anthem singer makes all of them look the picture of sanity by comparison:

Tom Arnold still must wake up screaming at night from having had intimate contact with that creature.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

That's crazy?

(#267726)

She was being dryly humorous with her slightly over-the-top prescription for bankers and a little wise in her encouragement for women to come together and fix a lot of our problems.  

Sorry. . .

(#267731)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .but after two and a half years of crying wolf about how the Tea Party movement is going to lead to violence, suggestions of decapitation as an economic policy from the Hollywood Left don't get a pass.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Do you think she is sincere...

(#267734)
brutusettu's picture

or speaking to a critical mass of people that just won't get the hyperbole and take the "watering the tree of liberty with blood" stuff kind of literally?

[b]One of the things is, there was actual genuine concern that more than a few garden variety kooks, that weren't insane in the TP movement, weren't just playing cosplay[/b].

Is there genuine concern that Rosanne will get the garden variety lefty kooks out to water the tree of liberty?

Has any lefty become a suicide bomber and flown a plane into a [s]government[/s] banking hq and then had his grievances defended basically 1st and foremost?

The fact that a couple dozen examples of right wing

(#267735)

violence in the past 2 1/2 years can be set against exactly zero from the left, well, some houses have a lot more pox than others.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Exactly zero?

(#267755)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Panama_City_school_board_shootings


That's 30 seconds of Googling.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Hm, first I've heard of that one.

(#267764)

Happily the guy seems to have been a terrible shot, that or his real intent was death by cop to begin with. Michelle Malkin has an enormous list of supposed left-wing violence because of course she does...tire slashings, ok, bricks through windows, ok. But her list gets really, truly Malkinian when it starts running to arrest reports like "arrested after they threw custard cream pies at Ann Coulter"; "arrested after he asked a vulgar question and made lewd hand gestures" at the same event; "allegedly using a power tool to cut down a Bush/Cheney sign"; "a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace after Mesick threw a cup of salad dressing on Pat Buchanan." (!) And of course she lumps Muslim extremist violence in with leftist violence, because who other than ultra orthodox religious fanatics would embrace atheist socialism?

 

She is so funny. 

 

Anyhow, I'll give you a few serious incidents vs. several dozen.

 

 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Awfully charitable of you

(#267769)

But I'm not denying that there is more violence from right-wing extremists than from their lefty counterparts.  That wasn't the case 25 years ago and it might not be the case down the road, but right now and for the last 15 years or so the extreme right has been more violent.  That doesn't mean the left should get a pass on violent rhetoric.  If, as has been assumed by many here, that rhetoric enables violence I'm not seeing too many upsides to having both lefty and righty extremists getting violent rather than an either/or or preferably neither.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I agree with you, but Roseanne is still funny.

(#267772)

http://nymag.com/arts/tv/upfronts/2011/roseanne-barr-2011-5/

 

I'll worry when people get serious about bringing back the guillotine. For now, the most rich people have to fear would seem to be higher taxes in order to pay down the debt.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

A "couple dozen", I would love to see that list.

(#267740)

Please just name the top six

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Here's 14 to start with

(#267742)
HankP's picture

[link]

I blame it all on the Internet

Using your parameters, do I get to count

(#267744)

all the deaths associated with "Fast and Furious".


 


BTW, if a lone wolf hates Bush 43 and Jews, does he count as a right wing?

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Only if you count "Operation Wide Receiver" as well. -nt-

(#267750)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Ha! Bankers can pay back everything over $100 million,

(#267718)

and if that doesn't work, behead them. Now that's a platform!

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"Baseball playoffs here, I don't care about but some people do"

(#267684)
brutusettu's picture

Be Quiet and Drive

(#267683)
brutusettu's picture

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERAuBY7e8Yo]Kavinsky - Nightcall (Alcala Remix) [/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K7rmxjk5RQ]Desire:Under Your Spell [/url]
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DSVDcw6iW8]College feat. Electric Youth - A Real Hero (Drive original soundtrack) [/url]

Koch brothers bombshell...they've been trading with Iran.

(#267672)

Oops. Their French affiliate has also been violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to officials, according to Bloomberg reporting made public today

Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show.

 

The company's products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran's state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.

IOKIYAR?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Much as it Pains Me To Type This

(#267676)

That Bloomberg article was less focused than the OWS' protest. 

 

The Iran bombshell is defused by, 1) it stopped a couple of years ago; 2) it was carried out by Koch subsidiaries distant enoungh from Koch proper to comply with the letter, if not the spirit, of the law.

 

The rest is just the usual litany of corporate regulation bending and compliance foot-dragging.

 

Which is too bad.

 

------------------

Weird. Halliburton was involved, via subsidiaries, with the development of the South Pars gas field which gas is processed at the Zagros plant Koch helped build. Small world.

 

and re, the IOKIAR: Skirting the Iran trade ban and lobbying for same didn't seem to hurt Dick Cheney's influence much, either.

 

 

The records were sealed 2 years ago,

(#267677)

and only released to the media this week. FCPA doesn't allow US firms to do business with foreign firms (i.e. in partnerships, subsidiary holdings, etc.) who violate its terms. 

 

Even if no legal case can be made to stick, it makes a difference that the public now gets to find out about what the Kochs have been up to.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Scattershot

(#267679)

Like the Bloomberg story.

 

The FCPA violations are not linked to the possible Iran trade ban violations, which aren't linked to the benzene emissions and attempted cover up, which aren't linked to the pipeline explosion, which aren't linked to the Good Koch's funding of PBS...

 

As a means of forcing Koch spokespeople to deny that they're pig diddlers, this may be fun and interesting. Wouldn't expect much more than that, however.

 

 

Denial isn't rebuttal. Koch-Glitsch fired the ethics person.

(#267680)

The interesting part of all this is the Koch Industries pre-buttal.    They knew this was coming out and have been calling everyone and his brother to tell 'em this is all a Big Nothing.  

 

Well it just isn't.   Koch-Glitsch shot the messenger and did deals with Iran, circumventing both American and French laws on the subject.

Indeed

(#267678)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Perhaps the OWS braintrust can put this on their poll list of potential grievances to choose as the One True Grievance.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Meet the new Super People

(#267616)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/opinion/sunday/meet-the-new-super-people.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

 

It must be scary to be a teenager or  a parent these days if you get sucked into that competitive gauntlet.

And of course the caste-ification of the US proceeds apace.

(#267623)

Just as the concentration of wealth at the very top reduces wealth at the bottom, the aggressive hoarding of intellectual capital in the most sought-after colleges and universities has curtailed our investment in less prestigious institutions. There’s no curricular trickle-down effect. The educator E. D. Hirsch Jr. has pointed to a trend he labels the Matthew Effect, citing the Biblical injunction: “ ‘For unto every one that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.’ We’ve lifted up rich kids beyond their competence,” he says, “while the verbal skills of the black underclass continue to decline.”

 

Affluent families can literally buy a better résumé. “In a bad economy, the demographic shift has the potential to reinforce a socio-economic gap,” says Todd Breyfogle, who oversaw the honors program at the University of Denver and is now director of seminars at the Aspen Institute. “Only those families who can help their students be more competitive will have students who can get into elite institutions.” Schools are now giving out less scholarship money in the tight economy, favoring students who can pay full freight. Meanwhile, Super People jet off on Mom and Dad’s dime to archaeological digs in the Negev desert, when they might once have opted to be counselors in training at Camp Shewahmegon for the summer. And the privilege of laboring as a volunteer in a day care center in Guatemala — “service learning,” as it’s sometimes called — doesn’t come cheap once you tote up the air fare, room and board.

But remember, these are the elite of the elite. The vast majority, and I mean vast majority (>98%) of college students will still while away their college years smoking dope and getting treated for STDs just like always. This article is a well-written piece of pseudo-sociology of the kind newspaper reporters specialize in. 

 

The real, underlying story, hinted at in the paragraphs above, is the vast under-investment in education in the US. We have 50 million more people, but we aren't building any new Harvards. Obviously, competition for the same old spots will just keep getting more vicious, thus the cute epiphenomenal stuff journalists get paid to write.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Why not make Harvards of the non-Harvards?

(#267633)
mmghosh's picture

I mean - giving the State Unis a leg up.  Incidentally, the Harvards are angling to open branches here.  And we're giving 'em [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11551856]the money to do that.[/url] [quote]India's Tata Group has given $50m (£31.38m) to the Harvard Business School, the biggest foreign donation in the US school's 102-year history.[/quote]

The so-called "flagship" state universities

(#267665)

are often pretty good:  Some, such as UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, UNC Chapel Hill, and a few others, are close to Ivy Quality at least in terms of educational quality and quality of faculty (but there's not the same opportunity to network with the rich and powerful).  But schools such as U Mich have been carrying out a set of policies over the last three decades that effectively amount to privatization.

Connections

(#267653)
HankP's picture

you're not going to meet the son of the European Minister of Development or the daughter of one of the CXOs of Goldman Sachs.

I blame it all on the Internet

That would work fine.

(#267651)

Scott's basically wrong...the prestige attaching to a name like Harvard is a function of scarcity and the school's longevity, but even more than that it's a function of Harvard's massive endowment, which is able to bring in the best researchers, the top professors, the best facilities, etc. Harvard wouldn't be Harvard for long without the moolah.

 

All you have to do is start pumping new schools full of money and talent, and the prestige will come. But that isn't happening in the US. Population is growing, but seats in America's colleges...aren't.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I think not

(#267656)

I think Scott's right that the prestige (with employers and government) has to do with the small number of people let in.  That, and the fact that the judiciary and high-level career bureaucrat posts are stuffed with Harvard alumni. Don't get me wrong, the money helps, and they actually are  good,  maybe the best in some areas, but not ten times as good as the next best school.

 

But note that Saudi and UAE schools are slathered in money, offer enormous salaries, and no one is particularly impressed.  Decent universities but students from there will choose a mid-level US school if they can get in.   Also, $50 million buy in from Tata is nice, but frankly that isn't a lot of money anymore.  Maybe things are cheaper in India but $50M wouldn't be enough start a mid-sized community college in the US. 

 

Nothing wrong with the idea of Harvard opening branches in India, but if there were a "Harvard-Newark",  "Harvard-Tulsa", and a "Harvard-Phoenix(TM) Online University" they wouldn't have the same value as the original, and might dilute its value a bit.

 

 

Harvard was plenty prestigious when it was still

(#267666)

three or four times easier to get into, i.e. three or four times less exclusive. Point being, there's at least that much "give" in the exclusivity market before it goes from Porsche to Pinto. The alumni issue is trickier, since the American peerage with its pedigree from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown, MIT is never really going to get easier to break into no matter what happens with college admissions. 

 

My point is, we'd better re-democratize education, or we're going to become England (or worse).

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It was easier to get in

(#267668)

but harder to get out - the average GPA at Harvard has risen from 2.55 in 1950 to 3.48 several years ago,  so I think that partially offsets the change in admissions standards.

 

Breaking into the peerage is tough but gaining admission to an Ivy League is one of the few accepted ways for a commoner to join.  If Barack Obama hadn't made it into Columbia and then Harvard,  he most likely would not have had much of a notable career; in fact, given his former drug use, he could have easily become an unemployable felon.  Cops don't spend nearly as much time trying to bust Harvard students as they do people going to community colleges, or no college at all.

 

BTW,  MIT might get you a really cool job but won't get you into the peerage.

 

Democratizing education is fine up to a point, and maybe we haven't reached that point yet.  But once you declare a particular credential to be a universal civil right, there is unavoidable pressure to reduce standards to a level that any citizen can reach through diligence and hard work, regardless of innate talent.

 

A few weeks ago catchy and I exchanged some comments on College Algebra, which traditionally has been the minimum acceptable level of math to get a degree.  Well, the unfortunate fact is that some decent, hardworking, ambitious and articulate people, the kind of people you think deserve the kind of job reserved for college grads, are simply incapable of passing Algebra.  So universities are starting to alter the requirements to allow them to graduate with no math at all.  That's what happens when fairness overtakes learning as the main priority.

 

I understand you're more concerned with the financial barriers than the academic barriers.  OK, but college is too late.  Someone who's lived in abject poverty for 18 years in a substandard school district is unlikely to be academically ready for Harvard.  Does it ever happen? Sure, and those rare gems with $10K family income from Harlem but a 1300 SAT already get slathered with unimaginably lavish financial aid packages.

US education is underfunded at all levels.

(#267671)

And of course even with adequate funding, schools can't make up for the effects of poverty and discrimination. That's not a reason to argue they *shouldn't* be better funded nonetheless. And my argument here is that Harvard (and the other ivies) can and should be bigger, and that expansion wouldn't harm its prestige by much.

 

Grade inflation is a widely recognized (and now empirically proven) phenomenon, but I don't know how it correlates with fewer admissions. Students today probably aren't 35% smarter than kids in the 50s and 60s.

Recent data leave little doubt that grades are rising at American colleges, universities and high schools. An evaluation of grading practices in US colleges and universities written in 2003,[8] shows that since the 1960s, grades in the US have risen at a rate of 0.15 per decade on a 4.0 scale. The study included over 80 institutions with a combined enrollment of over 1,000,000 students. An annual national survey of college freshmen[9] indicates that students are studying less in high school, yet an increasing number report high school grades of A- or better.

Also, don't be dissin MIT. Their graduates do okay for themselves.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

MIT? Pffft! Wake me up when they can claim that...

(#267674)

...the guy who invented the Slinky graduated from there.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

There Are Intangibles Involved

(#267635)
M Scott Eiland's picture

A lot of the benefit from the prestigious schools has nothing to do with the actual merits of the education received there, but simply the perceived value of having attended *HARVARD*. Obviously, the scarcity of the degrees is part of that.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yes, and

(#267642)

the chance to get a sweatshirt that says "Harvard Tatas."


 

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

It's not that wild there

(#267657)

Harvard students are avant garde and might go in for a lot of tattoos, piercing, and other modifications.  But I don't believe they've gone so far as to move stuff front to back.

Tax the Super People!

(#267622)

I have nothing against the rich but hyper-achieving kids somehow tick me off.  Also, we need to tax them now, 'cause they'll burn out around age 35.

Don't you teach them, eeyn?

(#267629)
mmghosh's picture

I try not to rant but

(#267639)

you've given me an opening.

 

First, I'm at a "lesser" college (thanks Scott) and teach mostly the people he describes.   And even here, the hypers tend to concentrate in pre-Med.  The engineering majors I teach may be smart but generally don't have a compulsive need to check off every box on life's achievement menu.

 

--

 

A few anecdotes:

 

I was teaching a 9:45am engineering class.  Typically about 40% of my students are in the room at 9:45; 30% wander in over the next 15 minutes; and 30% don't show.  The next class in the same room was some kind of Chem for Pre-Med starting at 10:45am.  When I'd exit the room at 10:35am the entire group of pre-Meds would be lined up single file out in the hallway waiting to come in.  If I happened to go over time to 10:38am the first pre-Med in line would start pushing her face up against the window in the door. Keep in mind these are legal adults.

 

In a given semester I'll get one or maybe two students total who come in to ask about their grades, and they're usually guys that got an F in the course, who limit themselves to asking once if I'll let them do extra work to get a D so they can graduate.  My wife teaches classes with a high concentration of pre-Meds.  She gets one or maybe two students in a day coming in to litigate their grade, and they're often trying to get a B changed into a A on a single assignment through sheer persistence and volume of argument.

 

--

 

My general impression of the so-called "super people", at least at the college level:  competitive and motivated to a fault, strong belief in the "system" and that one can win by not making any mistakes and getting all the ducks in a row, good work ethic but generally in expectation of a tangible return. In a tough class they will usually get A's but will not be the top student, because getting to a minimum A is the main thing that matters to them.  Generally quite good about academic honesty, but shameless when operating within the rules and manipulating them to advantage. They are the only type of student that would report someone else for cheating. And of course lots of scrambling for brownie points.

 

If I had to pick students for admission I'd go pretty much entirely by SAT/ACT score.  Yeah, it's crude, but high school grades are more about obedience and discipline than ability,  and I just flat don't care much about their volunteer work or how many student organizations they were president of, or their essay about their Hopes for Mankind.  Fortunately for everyone I'm not in charge of admissions, and in any case we're not all that selective.  

 

 

 

The sad truth is, they have

(#267690)

The sad truth is, they have to play that ridiculous game to get in.  It is dehumanizing and pathetic, really.  My experience wasn't extreme and yet I've... done things I'm not proud of.  I would want to stab the heck out of those chumps if I was a college educator.

My viewpoint

(#267681)

I attended maybe 20% of my college classes. Too busy with social life and athletics. I had no trouble getting a degree but my GPA was only around a 2.8. Didn't look too good compared to the super students. My GRE scores got me into grad school and once there I finally got serious about academics and did very well.

 

Saw many of the super student types from undegrad have major problems in grad school. They got good grades as undergrads because of hard work and diligence. Sadly though thats not enough in a rigorous field and some of them really struggled. It really does take talent and I seem to recall reading somewhere that GRE scores are a better predictor of success in graduate school than undergrad grades.

 

When I've hired new college graduates I've made a point of not weighting their undergrad GPA very heavily if they were involved in other activities. A graduate who was a D1 athlete and got a 3.0 GPA probably has more talent than a 3.8 GPA super student type.

Perhaps your hyper-achieving Pre-Meds, nurses

(#267648)
mmghosh's picture

That's All Right

(#267624)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The kids who went to junior college for two years before transferring to a good state or "lesser" private university will do just fine in keeping us going, particularly with less debt to drag them down. I'd rather depend on one of them than an Ivy-League "Grievance Studies" major any day of the week.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Excellently written.

(#267620)
mmghosh's picture

A definite "bite" in the metaphors there.

 

[quote]Such students are known in college admissions circles as “pointy” — being well-rounded doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to have a spike in your achievement chart.[/quote]

Send your kids to a better school, go to jail

(#267613)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903285704576557610352019804.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

 

Ok, it's actually for lying about your kids living in a better public school district, but jail?

Silicon Valley startup AirBNB charging VCs an entrance fee

(#267509)

Linking the discussion in the tech startup community at Hacker News.  An interesting insight into one of the corners of the US that's actually doing very well:

 

 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3061083

 http://allthingsd.com/20111001/vcs-unite-chamath-palihapitiya-decries-airbnbs-recent-112m-funding-for-excessive-founder-control-and-cashout-in-email/

 

Greedy people fighting over money

(#267522)
HankP's picture

congratulations on finding two groups of the least sympathetic people I've come across in a while.

I blame it all on the Internet

which two?

(#267526)

Founders, VCs, investors, early employees, or someone else?

Founders and VCs

(#267530)
HankP's picture

both want leverage over the other and couldn't care less about investors or early employees (with rare exceptions).

 

BTW, financing like this was one of the earlier signs of the dot com bubble. If IPOs based on sales start popping up, get ready for a repeat.

I blame it all on the Internet

Like Wet Toilet Paper

(#267471)
M Scott Eiland's picture

An inconvenient rainstorm with an unexpected path shreds two heavily ace-dependent rotations with one fell stroke.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The Tea Party protests vs. Occupy Wall Street

(#267447)

Our liberal media.

 

... I wonder if HuffPo weren't under new management whether they'd be pushing OWS or at least covering it extensively.

Maybe If They Hadn't Been. . .

(#267452)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .publicly conducting a poll to determine what the idiots were going to be protesting about, they'd have been taken more seriously.

Probably not--listening to what they're actually saying tends to kill the buzz.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

We all remember those very articulate Tea Partiers

(#267458)

wandering around with Tea bags on their heads or wigs. They were so serious and thoughtful, I see now your crucial distinction.

As The Forvm's resident Establishment Toady

(#267619)

I should point out that the thing about the Tea Party was that it was successful in large part because it rested on a well-organized right-wing political superstructure.  Yeah, there were the idiots with the tricorn hats, but the actual reason that the extreme right enjoys influence out of proportion to its popularity with the American public is because they've spent the last forty years organizing.  No, doing the work of building party structure down at the local level lacks the sexiness of and catharsis of marching in protest of Corporate Greed, but changing the political system is a Long Game.  You don't solve it by throwing some bricks in Seattle, you don't change it by carrying around puppets, you change it by canvassing, by finding congenial candidates and supporting them with time and money, by voting in primaries, and a million other dull things.

 

The right knows this.  The American acts as though it does not.

 

 

 

They've got a built in disadvantage, ET

(#267626)

It starts at the basic small unit ops, e.g.,  seizing control of a precinct meeting or county convention.  The details vary from state to state, but typically the county Republican convention even in an large county is a smallish thing with maybe 50 ET regulars attending.  A Tea Party group shows up with, say, 70 people, kind of raucous and without an unduly deep committment to Robert's Rules of Order or excessive respect for authority.  They aren't going to let the ETs defeat them through parliamentary procedure or (heh) moral suasion; they'll make noise and say harsh or embarrassing things that make ETs want to go do their thing someplace quieter like the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Now your average progressive Democrat believes strongly in the moral legitimacy of governmental authority, and the Democrat county chair, despite being an ET, represents that authority.  They also believe that people can be swayed by things like candlelight vigils and passionate heartfelt arguments. They believe that ETs are neverthess people who deserve to be treated with civility. So when they show up, the ETs make a big deal about how everyone will get their say,  let the lefties make their very passionate speeches, and then politely and quietly defeat the lefties in some kind of rules subcommittee.

 

You want to win you have to play rougher.

That's a good addendum

(#267664)

You need to work within the system, but you need to figure out where its weak points are. 

 

But camped out on Wall Street is pretty much attacking the system at its strongest point with the weakest tools.

Also. . .

(#267459)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .they tended to have one day protests instead of befouling Wall Street with an extended temper tantrum/glorified campout. I'd point out that among those people who are choosing to ignore the pseudo-hippies are just about all prominent Democrats, who could easily choose to spotlight them in speeches and in appearances on cable news shows. Oddly enough, they're declining the opportunity. Gee, I wonder why.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

"Gee I wonder why"

(#267488)

Maybe they're mostly beholden to the same monied interests the protesters are targeting and wary of being hit by the corporate media? 

It looks to me as if our media isn't covering a nascent anti-corporate populist movement on the left with the same intensity as it covered the nascent pro free-market Tea Party movement on the right.

If that's right, a certain theory suggests itself.

Yes. . .

(#267495)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the media is obviously derelict in its duty by declining to seriously consider a "movement" that defines its grievances by Internet polling, apparently resorts to phony rumors about an unscheduled Radiohead performance to get its attendance level into the low four digits, and which--in the age of MapQuest--marched over and protested in front of the wrong building. Calling these people brainless would be to flatter their intellect.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

At least half the people of the nation are below average.

(#267753)

At least half the people of the nation are below average.

 

And a mob of idiots can be just as effective as a mob drawn from the smarter half of the population. Hard to understand but sometimes being brainless has its advantages, and I think this could be one of them. A dull witted mob member is probably going to perform (holding up signs, breaking windows) just as effectively as a clever mob member.

 

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Bogus distinctions

(#267501)

Low four digits was very large for a Tea Party rally.

 

Getting pwned by a fake radiohead email isn't relevant, and neither is going to a wrong building once. 

 

The Tea Partiers wandered around with misspelled, incoherent signs, sometimes comparing Obama to Hitler, often accusing him of being foreign born, a Muslim, etc. with tights and wigs and aggressive behavior with guns and tea bags hanging from their heads. 

 

The double standard in what kind of movement is going to get pumped up by the US's corporate media looks pretty striking to me.

In Fairness, They're Improving

(#267503)
M Scott Eiland's picture

This particular group of the Needs Directions protesters managed to find the bridge they decided to block before being dragged off to the drunk tank. It's a start!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

So have you worked out your post-OWS response

(#267504)

to people warning of social unrest if there isn't a little less wealth concentration and wage stagnation in this country?

Let Me Know When Something Significant Happens

(#267505)
M Scott Eiland's picture

This ain't it, particularly given the months involved in trying to set it up. So far, throwing them in the drunk tank when they break the law non-violently seems to be working for this collection of losers.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

52 cities and counting

(#267511)
HankP's picture

much more impressive than the tea bag losers.

I blame it all on the Internet

The TEa Party has been very successful

(#267523)

I don't think anyone can deny that.

You might want to explain the 2010 election outcome(s)

(#267514)

and a message which was both short, coherant and still resonates.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Short, coherent and still resonates

(#267518)
HankP's picture

I blame it all on the Internet

You've been a follower of Larouche for how long?

(#267529)

just curious

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

That's the teabaggers Timmy

(#267531)
HankP's picture

or would you prefer Obama as witch doctor?

I blame it all on the Internet

No Hank, that is Lyndon's group

(#267533)

I would prefer that Obama is a "one termer' and the outlook is promising.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Keep your government hands off my Medicare? -nt-

(#267516)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Honoring the founding fathers by celebrating all the values

(#267550)

they hated - anti-intellectualism, anti-science, xenophobia, and religious fundamentalism.

 

My favorite is Glenn Beck - perhaps the central Tea party leader - regularly dressing up as Thomas Paine ... a non-believer who regularly slammed Christianity in particular.

 

Those Wall Street protesters are so ignorant! 

A Thomas Paine quote that stuck with me

(#267551)

"I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system."

My experience bears this our. I have a religiously conservative brother with 7 kids. Each of my nieces or nephews over 5 has expressed dismay that I'm not going to heaven. SOmewhere along the line the Paine quote started popping into my head when this happened. 

It always thought redheads had it rough

(#267558)

I didn't know there was a religion that said they couldn't get into heaven though.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Not as rough as they deserve nt

(#267559)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

They have no souls anyway,

(#267562)

how could they get into heaven?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I had a similar situation

(#267554)
HankP's picture

my religious and conservative* brother once pulled my aside and asked my to lie to his two kids about being an atheist. I said I wouldn't bring it up, but if they asked me I'd tell them the truth. He got quite angry, especially when I asked him why he didn't have more faith.

 

*conservative until the government threatened to cut the program that he writes software for at his job.

I blame it all on the Internet

To me it's like telling kids there's no Santy Claus.

(#267563)

Which I generally don't go around doing. Thing is in this case, the adults believe in Santy Claus too. Well, same policy...so long as they're harmlessly far from imposing religious law on me, I don't view it as my job to try to puncture the fond illusion. Anyhow my own position..."I don't know"...doesn't do much for anyone.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

What do you mean "Je ne sais pas?"

(#267682)
brutusettu's picture

Jordan puts "Homer" and the many authors and editors of [i]the[/i] different versions of the Bible in the same boat.

An interesting observation about Obamacare. nt

(#267534)

.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

You mean Ryancare. -nt-

(#267538)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

No Obamacare, which destroys as compared to Ryan

(#267539)

which relies on restructuring in order to deliver.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

That's funny, since in actuality the opposite is true.

(#267545)

Ryancare replaces Medicare with vouchers of diminishing value, replacing guaranteed care for seniors with good frickin luck, old-timer.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I'll keep you posted

(#267506)

I'm not sure you're really ready to revise your beliefs in light of the evidence, but maybe you'll have the opportunity to show the site's readers otherwise. 

Evidence and Facts would be nice

(#267513)

I'm looking fwd to a post which address one or the other.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

They're not here yet

(#267521)

Me and MScott are both watching to see if this grows.

 

MScott apparently thinks it will fizzle out. I'm guessing it catches on enough to show that social unrest should actually be a factor that is considered when our elites determine policy.

I'm just looking for a narrative and a little less whinning.

(#267532)

So far the primary driver is "my life sucks and the outlook doesn't look promising" but not much else.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Poor babies with no jobs, having to go live at home

(#267547)

with your parents.

 

Stop whining, you 25 million under and unemployed, and go make something of yourself. 

 

I think we're all pretty familiar with the conservative narrative on the recession. 

The conservative narrative relies on less government

(#267566)

more individual liberty; it is a classic confrontation.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Those two aren't necessarily & always opposed. -nt-

(#267570)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"tipping point" with respect to the size and scope

(#267571)

of the Federal Gov't, generates a binomial situation (only two pathways).

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

Neat theory. -nt-

(#267587)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Wouldn't be the first revolution to start

(#267537)

based on that exact premise.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Since we are tossing around

(#267486)

Since we are tossing around partisan vitriol - if the Occupiers had AKs over their shoulder, would they be taken more seriously by the righties?

Bernie Sanders does support them

(#267461)
HankP's picture

and said so. BTW the hatred is just seething in your comments. I guess only tea baggers can protest?

I blame it all on the Internet

Exactly

(#267464)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Bernie Sanders endorses them. Which is why the actual Democrats are running away from them fast enough to cause sonic booms.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Not running away

(#267467)
HankP's picture

just taken by surprise. This is a real grassroots movement, unlike the tea baggers, so they didn't have synthetic support built in from the beginning.

I blame it all on the Internet

This. OWS is beginning to snowball interest from the

(#267476)

press, but it's obvious that the reason it appeared out of nowhere is because it formed completely off the grid, no doubt organized on social media like so many other (genuine) populist movements this year....

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

While Interest in OWS May Be Snowballing

(#267487)

one wonders if the arrival of real snow will dampen dissent.

 

Springtime is the better time to plant grassroots.

 

Although "Wall Street Winter" has a nice ring to it. "Winter of OWS' Discontent"?

What I'm wondering is

(#267524)

whether the Democratic party attempts to channel this outrage and win an election or keeps up the DLC corporate Dem approach and goes down in flames in '12.

outrage at whom, is how I would phrase my retort. nt

(#267568)

.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

You have to ask? nt

(#267527)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

They're not idiots

(#267456)
HankP's picture

they know they've been getting screwed economically.

I blame it all on the Internet

"Oh, Hell No."

(#267441)
M Scott Eiland's picture

--Curt Schilling's reaction to the question, "Would you like to be the next manager of the Red Sox?" from an ESPN interviewer. I wouldn't, either.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Kindle Fire's gonna rock you

(#267418)

I want one yesterday.  On the downside, I have to ship it here from the US somehow.  On the upside, it's priced in dollars, and US$199 in yen by now is what, a lunch?

I don't believe you can buy a kindle fire with yen

(#267445)

Japan will have a debt-to-GDP ratio of 230% by the year's end. 

 

Therefore its economy has collapsed and you can't purchase anything. 

 

The USA will make sure most of our elderly are hungry and sick, and tens of millions remain under/unemployed before allowing any such thing.

I don't understand how they got to 230%

(#267454)

Apparently most of the debt is held by Japanese households, but where did those savings come from?  The cost of living here is so high and the price of consumer goods is generally twice the US price, so how are Japanese families saving money?  After a year here, I certainly haven't found myself saving much more than I did in the US.

 

It's too bad I can't pay with yen, so I guess it's time to buy some dollars.

What does it have going for it

(#267443)

besides the price?

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Lots of things

(#267450)

* I prefer the size for reading on the train.

* Integration with Amazon MP3/Cloud Player and Instant Video is nice (although the  Android tablets)

* The Silk browser sounds cool -- an interesting competitor to Opera Turbo
* UI details like customized notification tray widgets to control music instead of switching to the ongoing Android activity
* From the video demos available so far it seems like they did a good job on perceived UI performance.

For one thing

(#267449)
HankP's picture

they have a new "split" browser called Silk, which connects you to the internet via Amazon so they can track absolutely everything you do.

I blame it all on the Internet

Tracking

(#267451)

They've said usage data will be anonimized, so the recommendations (for prefetching pages, for example) will come from aggregate usage patterns.

Uh-huh

(#267455)
HankP's picture

and Facebook only wants to enhance the social experience. Tell me another one.

I blame it all on the Internet

Three solutions

(#267457)

1. I think if their terms say they'll anonimize the data, and then you find out they don't, you might be able to sue them.

2. You can turn it off.

3. You can install Firefox or another browser.

 

And why would you be concerned about Amazon but not Opera or Skyfire?

OK

(#267462)
HankP's picture

1. It will never say that, have you ever read a license agreement?

2. Yes, most electronic devices have an off button

3. Not clear what other browsers will work on this specific piece of hardware (their version of android is modified) and also not clear whether all traffic will go through their infrastructure even with other browsers.

I blame it all on the Internet

I mean you can turn the Amazon connection off

(#267463)

The Silk browser has a toggle to turn that cloud mode on or off.  Turn it off and it becomes a normal browser.

My understanding

(#267465)
HankP's picture

is that Amazon provides the wireless connectivity, so who's to say where the traffic goes?

I blame it all on the Internet

They don't

(#267468)

You use your own wifi.  When you browse in Silk's cloud mode, web traffic goes through Amazon, but when you browse outside of cloud mode, you make direct connections as usual, without going through Amazon.  You can verify this yourself by sniffing your wifi traffic.

My mistake

(#267470)
HankP's picture

I must have been looking at the kindle dx, the fire doesn't offer free 3g like some of their other units. So yes, you can use a different browser.

 

But I still don't like the fact that it's (supposedly) a heavily modified android and they have a walled off app store like Apple.

 

BTW, this is completely academic for me, I have no need for a pad. I would just prefer to see more openness and innovation in computers, and I think the more proprietary the device and it's ecosystem the further away we get from those goals.

I blame it all on the Internet

This Thread Would Make A Good Diary -nt-

(#267469)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I've never yet been caught sniffing wifi traffic,

(#267475)

and I don't intend on starting now.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Should Clarence Thomas be forced off SCOTUS

(#267415)

for failing to disclose income?    Apparently he's been denying his wife has been earning outside income.   Partisan witch hunt or another Abe Fortas money-grubbing scandal?

 

I hardly know which way to go on this.   If this is true and he's been falsifying his financial disclosure forms, he ought to resign.   He won't, of course.   The only way he's leaving is if he's impeached.

Abe Fortas had a wife who generated income

(#267535)

Thomas isn't going to be impeached, so you are just stuck with him.

““I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration!”” –H

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

(#267412)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Terry Francona--the only living man to manage the Red Sox to a World Championship--is on his way to the door.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

All right, Scott

(#267423)

A few minutes until TB-TEX starts: let's hear your picks.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

*Scott Points To The Diary Sidebar*

(#267425)
M Scott Eiland's picture

What, am I invisible now? :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

D'oh. -nt-

(#267426)

.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Buh-Bye, Traitor

(#267405)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Anwar Awlaki explosively attains room temperature.

This is your early warning to take cover for the impending Glenn Greenwald hissy fit.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

GG is like a faster than light Neutrino

(#267407)
brutusettu's picture

[url=http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/09/30/awlaki/index.html]link[/url]

Indeed

(#267409)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I made the assumption that even a GG hissy fit would take time to reach critical mass. A awesome blast indeed.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Five severed heads left outside Mexican school...

(#267404)

 

Seriously, what does a failed state of over a hundred million people on our Southern Border mean? For the United States? (I actually think this belongs up front on everyone's mind because it is such an unbelievably important issue...and so I do put this forward here hoping people will see and ponder this question)

~~~~~

Mexican police have found five decomposing heads left in a sack outside a primary school in Acapulco.

Handwritten messages were also found, reportedly threatening the state governor as well as local drug lords.

It was not clear if the discovery of the heads and five decapitated bodies elsewhere in the city was linked to extortion threats against teachers.

Dozens of schools have been closed since last month after teachers went on strike over security concerns.

Police were called to a street in the Garita neighbourhood of Acapulco on Tuesday morning.

There they found a sack inside a wooden crate placed near the school, officers said.

Inside were the heads of five men, as well as the threatening messages.
Threats

Police had earlier discovered five headless bodies in another part of the city, left either inside or near a burned-out vehicle.

But as the government crackdown on cartels continues, criminal organisations here and in other parts of Mexico are fracturing and increasingly turning to extortion.

Last month, as the new school year began, dozens of teachers in Acapulco said criminal gangs had threatened them with violence if they did not hand over half their salaries from 1 October.

They and colleagues have since been on strike, leading to the closure of more than 100 schools.

~~~~

 

People can complain and bitch all they want about Immigration here in the United States....but if a city once as vibrant as Acapulco can descend into madness...no one can honestly in their heart of hearts blame people for fleeing towards el Norte.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

Did the heads match the bodies?

(#267555)
mmghosh's picture

Please provide a link for this most interesting story.

 

Is Mexico officially still a Catholic State?  I seem to recall a recent movie about the Cristiada in the Obregon days.

The mother of all conservative hypocrisy

(#267395)

Charles Koch and Friedrich Hayek correspond on how best to secure social security and medicare benefits.

 

http://www.thenation.com/article/163672/charles-koch-friedrich-hayek-use...

I think that would be the father

(#267396)
HankP's picture

the mother would be Ayn Rand receiving Medicare, even though she was wealthy enough to pay her own medical bills.

I blame it all on the Internet