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#SuspectedLooters

eBook readers literally can't follow the plot

(Human readers, that is; not tablets.) Look at the bottom finding:

When Will Today's Political Class Admit the U.S. Lost the Two Major Land Wars in Asia They Got Us Into?

On the 1st of Never. Here's the closest we're going to come to a victory parade. WaPo's Dana Milbank writes:

Gen. Harold Greene’s funeral is a fitting coda to a dozen years of war

Oh. A "fitting coda." Oddly, or not, although Cilizza mentions the 33-car press motorcade, he doesn't name any of the dignitaries who were in attendance; Greene was, like defeat is, an orphan. Read below the fold...

In the garden: Morning poppies

I don't have to be the only one posting gardening pictures, as Dromaius has shown, so feel free to post away; the default size for pictures is bigger for posts than comments (because comments narrow as they nest). But herewith, the Rastafarian color spectrum:

Read below the fold...

Perry (R-TX) joins Cuomo (D-NY) in the corruption sweepstakes

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA! To be fair, Governor Perry has much better hair. Texas Tribune: Read below the fold...

It's clear that there's a massive battle over NHS privatization in the UK that I'm entirely missing

Tweet of the day (2)

Ecuador doing the right thing again.

In the garden: Happy bee at the borage

Here's borage, backlit by the setting sun:

Read below the fold...

Facebook to have employee dorms, like factories in China

This Atlantic article was on policing, but this paragraph jumped out at me:

When I read, early last week, about the police officer whose salary is currently being paid by Facebook, I was suspicious. The tech company agreed to pay the officer’s salary and benefits, which totaled roughly $200,000, even though she’s officially part of a government organization, the Menlo Park Police Department. “It's not the 'Facebook officer,’” a company spokesperson insisted in the Wall Street Journal article. “It's the officer for the whole community.” While the officer’s duties seemed innocuous enough—she works with truants and juvenile offenders, and helps local businesses like Facebook plan for emergencies—something about a private company funding a cop didn’t sit well with me.

The sources the Journal interviewed didn’t exactly allay any of my concerns. The paper's reporter, Zusha Elinson, talked to a resident of the neighborhood that the officer patrols, who suspected that endowing a cop had to do with Facebook’s desire to straighten out a traditionally lower-income, higher-crime area as it made plans to expand its headquarters to include dorm-like dwellings for employees. Elinson also spoke to a police ethicist, who posed the question that cut to the core of my concern: If you’re the chief of the Menlo Park Police Department, "what do you tell your officers about how to treat people who work at Facebook?"

"[D]orm-like dwellings for employees"? Will they have suicide netting? Read below the fold...

The stench of a slave ship

I finished "The Empire of Necessity" by Greg Grandin. I'm not sure I can replicate the thesis in a more granular way than "follow the money" -- the book is almost a picaresque -- but the "see, hear, feel, touch, taste, smell" language is amazing, and Grandin's sourcing is brilliant. It's pleasant to see that America can still produce scholarship, even if readable, popular scholarship. Here's Grandin on the hold of a slave ship. Typing it in, from page 38:

Along the way, Africans died from contagious diseases or from the miseries of crossing the ocean in a claustrophobically small space. Some went blind. Others lost their minds. Even when the circus [?] followed the best practices of the early nineteenth century, the holds were never cleaned fast enough to counter the accumulating strata of excrement, vomit, blood, and pus. With poor ventilation, baking under the equatorial sun, cargo bays festered and putrefied. Slave ships could be smelled from miles away. "The confined air, rendered noxious by the effluvia exhaled from their bodies, and by being repeatedly breathed, soon produces fevers and fluxes, which generally carries off great numbers of them." observed a British slave ship surgeon in the 1780s. When bad weather forced the portholes and hatches to be closed for long periods of time, the floors of the holds would become so covered with "blood and mucus" that they "resembled a slaughter-house." "It is not," said the surgeon, "in the power of the human imagination to picture to itself a situation more dreadful or disgusting."

Some quick reactions: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Volunteers

Going on the offense with the 12-Point Platform

[I'm leaving this sticky, since this plan is going to dominate my blogging life for the next six months. So, the more commentary, the better! --lambert]

My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.

-- Ferdinand Foch



Something I've been noticing lately is that there's too much news to react to. Ferguson; Gaza; ISIS; Iraq; Ukraine; NSA; and the ongoing clusterfucks of ObamaCare, permanently high disemployment, the failure to prosecute criminal banksters. And that's before we get to campaign 2016 (already underway), as well as the 2014 skirmishing. MR SUBLIMINAL Hillary! Warren! Also too climate change.

It's almost like the elite is gaslighting us, isn't it? If we've got too much to think about, we won't think at all, right? Worse, as a blogger, I'm reacting. I'm being pushed around, and there's no chance to push back. So I want to push back. I want to go on the offense.

Things become simpler when we know what we want. Let's take all the news stories I listed above and reorganize them: Read below the fold...

The 12-point platform

Happy birthday, Social Security!

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

"The 12-Point Platform" is a simple and self-explanatory list of common-sense programs that will benefit every American, no matter their class, gender, race, or age. "The 12 Reforms" are the programs needed to secure the benefits of the Platform. The Single Value ties the Platform and the Reforms together: Government is to be used for "public purpose," and not for privilege (which means "private law").

The 12-Point Platform

  1. A Living Wage
  2. Medicare for all
  3. Tax the Rich
  4. Job and Income Guarantee
  5. Debt Jubilee
  6. Retirement Security
  7. Free Public Education, K-16
  8. Post Office Bank
  9. Enforce the Bill of Rights
  10. End the Wars
  11. Clean Air, Water, Soil, and Food
  12. Carbon Negative Economy
Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Getting sucked into ObamaCare is a lot like being on probation

I got a cheery note in the mail from HHS about "life changes" that the grateful recipients of ObamaCare must "report"[1] the following "life changes." Be on the lookout for the real piece of fuckery, because it's not obvioius at first glance:

Life changes to report

You must report a change if you:

  • Get married or divorced

  • Have a child, adopt a child, or place a child for adoption

  • Have a change in income

  • Get health coverage through a job or a program like Medicare or Medicaid

  • Change your place of residence

  • Have a change in disability status

  • Gain or lose a dependent

  • Become pregnant

  • Experience other changes that may affect your income and household size

  • Other changes to report: change in tax filing status; change of citizenship or immigration status; incarceration or release from incarceration; change in status as an American Indian/Alaska Native or tribal status; correction to name, date of birth, or Social Security number.

When and how to report changes

You should report these changes to the Marketplace as soon as possible.

If these changes qualify you for a special enrollment period to change plans, in most cases you have 60 days from the life event to enroll in new coverage. If the changes qualify you for more or less savings, it’s important to make adjustments as soon as possible.

Important: Do not report these changes by mail.

You can report these changes 2 ways:

  • Online. Log in to your account. Select your application, then select “Report a life change” from the menu on the left.

  • By phone. Contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)

Learn more from the IRS about how changes can affect the premium tax credit you may be eligible for.

Look. Wouldn't it be simpler if they just make ObamaCare recipients wear ankle bracelets?

As for the mindfuckery: Read below the fold...

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