Recent comments by azurite

Jackdawracy wrote:

Maybe i'll go back to it.

I liked Juvenal Delinquent better, although you don't quote Juvenal much. Be interesting to see quotes from Ovid, et al, scattered through HCN posts, Wink

robj wrote:

On the other hand, about 30000 troops chased about 50 Apache around the Southwest for a year,

Plus the US used disease as a weapon against Native Americans, were taking over the land completely (not acknowledging Native American sovereignty except on paper, and had no hesitation on breaking treaties), so not a particularly good analogy.

I noted the writer's use of "savages", etc., so a rather biased attitude towards "natives." (whether in AZ or Yemen) even though he acknowledges that those "savage" tribes had rules, such as affording hospitality to strangers, etc.

dilbert dogbert wrote:

Another day another Murikan crisis this time in Yemen

A few years ago I went to hear a talk by a man who'd gone to Yemen when he joined the Peace Corps and had never really left. Married a Yemeni woman. I think he was still in the Peace Corps, but as a paid employee. Lives or lived in Saana. He was supposed to talk about the politics, but mostly talked about what it'd been like when he'd been a PC volunteer and what great people Yemenis were, etc., he seemed to think that most of the rebel/fighting was happening in another part of Yemen. Too bad he hasn't returned for an update since the US started using drones to kill targets chosen by the now former Yemeni regime (i.e, kill enemies of that regime, regardless of whether they're enemies of the US). Assuming he's still in Yemen.

Comrade Gibbon wrote:

I'm suspecting that death in modern countries is far more drawn out and gruesome than in previous times.

"Although the lungs are the major site of damage caused by tuberculosis, many other organs and tissues in the body may be affected. The usual progression is for the disease to spread from the lungs to locations outside the lungs (extrapulmonary sites). In some cases, however, the first sign of disease appears outside the lungs. The many tissues or organs that tuberculosis may affect include:

Bones. TB is particularly likely to attack the spine and the ends of the long bones. Children are especially prone to spinal tuberculosis. If not treated, the spinal segments (vertebrae) may collapse and cause paralysis in one or both legs."

TB became very common in areas of early industrialization--try reading about children in workhouses or on the streets suffering from bone tuberculosis. I think there was plenty of suffering before dying before "modern times" (pre-antibiotic). Bone Tuberculosis - definition of Bone Tuberculosis by Medical dictionary

Rickkk wrote:

People who leave the workforce and go on disability qualify for Medicare, the government health care program that also covers the elderly.

Date of disability, cash monthly benefits begin 5 months after the "date of onset" of disability. Disabled person has to have received (or been entitled to receive) monthly cash benefits for 24 months (2 years) before becoming entitled to Medicare coverage. Or a disabled person doesn't get Medicare coverage until he/she has been disabled for 29 months, or over 2 years.

Average wait for a hearing before an administrative law judge (3rd stage of disability determination process, prior to stages can take about 6 to 9 months), 18 months or longer. Average allowance at initial level is about 20 something % in many states. ALJ allowance rates have dropped from an average of about 47% to 20 something percent from about 2009 to the present. Stats available at Social Security Online - The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration

If the disabled person doesn't qualify for some other kind of health care coverage, he/she is likely to become even more ill/disabled, or die. Quite a few people lose their homes etc.

The Congressional choice of 29 months w/out Medicare coverage is deliberate--it's meant to save money and probably an unspoken hope that some people will die. Which happens. Some commit suicide.

But that's ok, right? Because really, just about all of them could find a job if they really "wanted" to. Snark

Another idea on how to fund the non-self-supporting highway trust fund:

"Paul floats another idea: Meanwhile, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan is looking at boosting the Highway Trust Fund by relying on revenue from expanded oil and gas drilling. More from the Kenosha News: http://bit.ly/1JqqVJ4 "

Drill baby drill, whether it makes economic sense or not, whether it destroys other needed resources (like drinking water) or not.

Citizen AllenM wrote:

In short, we are being cut out of the biggest area on planet earth left to develop, and populate.

What about Africa?

"In Great Ajax Corp.'s just-issued prospectus, you'll learn how the little-known Beaverton company hopes to raise $100 million this quarter in its initial public stock offering, how it will use that money to buy distressed mortgage loans, and how it developed whiz-bang technology to spot hot deals.

Great Ajax's prospectus makes no mention, however, of CEO Larry Mendelsohn's 2003 guilty plea to a felony tax charge. It is silent on Mendelsohn's sentence of six months of home detention. It omits the details of the bankruptcy of Wilshire Financial Services Group. Wilshire was in a similar business to Great Ajax, buying large blocks of mortgage loans. Its collapse in 1998 ignited one of the biggest corporate scandals in Portland history, as well as the protracted criminal investigation that led to the charges against Mendelsohn and 11 other defendants." Oregon company's bid to raise $100 million from public silent on CEO's felony record | OregonLive.com

No mention if Mr. Mendelsohn's wealth was confiscated to pay the expense of his incarceration --oh wait he was never incarcerated for his felony but allowed to serve his sentence at home.

"Another of the lawsuit the Supreme Court declined to hear was filed by the parents of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, who was electrocuted in his barracks shower at an Army base in Iraq in 2008. The suit claims KBR unit Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. was legally responsible for the shoddy electrical work that was common in Iraqi-built structures taken over by the U.S. military. KBR disputes that claim.

Dozens of lawsuits by soldiers and others assert they were harmed by improper waste disposal while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They seek to hold KBR and Halliburton Co. responsible for exposing soldiers to toxic emissions and contaminated water when they burned waste in open pits without proper safety controls.

The contractors say they cannot be sued because they essentially were operating in war zones as an extension of the military.

The Obama administration agreed with the contractors that lower courts should have dismissed the lawsuits, but said the Supreme Court should not get involved now because lower courts still could dismiss or narrow the claims. Supreme Court allows suits against contractor KBR to proceed | OregonLive.com

Support our troops-- as long as it doesn't decrease corporate profits.

Doc Holiday wrote:

but to speculate in already existing assets for capital gain, thereby pushing up asset prices

In the US, how much effect did the tax code have on investor choices? NAFTA & GATT? If it's cheaper to invest in production facilities outside the US because of subsidies/favorable tax treatment/no safety, etc., rules in those nations, and the US tax code, trade treaties etc also make it a good idea (i.e., it's easy to avoid US taxes on profits from out of nation facilities, etc.) those are factors as well.

How many corporations in the US already choose locations partly based on how big of property and other tax breaks they can squeeze out of municipalities and/or counties? (and sometimes never even begin to keep their part of the bargain).

yuan wrote:

(e.g. towards the Fuck You I've Got Rope mob).

nope, that's what militarization of the police AND increasing usurpation of federal "public" lands by the military is for.

Jefferson, Kitsap engage in land-use compatibility study with U.S. Navy grant - News - ptleader.com | mobile

Dahr Jamail | Documents Show Navy's Electromagnetic Warfare Training Would Harm Humans and Wildlife

Navy's NW Training Range Complex covers ocean from northern CA to WA/CN border and inland to Idaho. There are similar "Training" Range Complexes all over the continental US (any state w/a coastline--not sure what happens in Great Lakes area).

The proposed use of the Olympic national forest AND Olympic Penninsula wilderness area (which includes a spot on the list of quietest places in the world--at the moment) is in ADDITION to all the training range complex activities.

ResistanceIsFeudal wrote:

Red? Blue? I see only shades of purple.

note the use of 21st C Democrat. Blue violet maybe.

EngineerJim wrote:

"Billionaire Jeff Greene can fly into Davos on a private jet with wife, children and two nannies in tow."

Typical FYIGM Democrat

More like a 21st C version of Democrat: "On July 23, 2010, the St Petersburg Times reported that Greene's luxury yacht Summerwind had caused damage to a coral reef off the coast of Belize when it attempted to drop anchor. The alleged incident occurred in 2005 when Greene was not present on the vessel. When questioned, the chief environmental officer of Belize's Department of the Environment informed the newspaper that both Greene and the former captain of the Summerwind face a fine of up to $1.87 million should either return to Belize. According to newspaper reports at the time, the captain was interrogated by police and was then released. Then, according to Greene's former yacht manager, Rupert Connor, the boat left Belize as scheduled, and he was never notified of any claim against the vessel. Greene's campaign denies that the incident occurred.[9]" Jeff Greene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Perhaps just a GOP/bluedog Dem who decided he might progress faster in the other party. If the above excerpt is accurate: he's got the GOP environmental disregard and general arrogance down pat.

Ed S. wrote:

What's the value of owning a cell phone network if people can't afford the monthly fees?

interesting question, but so far, people continue to increase their spending. 2014 Smartphone Ownership Demographics - Edison Research

edit to add: be interesting to do cost comparison between cost of cell and/or smartphone ownership in 3 or 4 of the EU nations, the UK and the US.

Comrade Kristina wrote:

Barrett was also ordered to pay over 800K in restitution to Stratfor and another group.

State of OR got summary judgment in suit by prisoner contesting right of state to take more then 50% of medical products liability award (person developed diabetes after taking prescribed medication--happened prior to incarceration) --to repay the state the costs of incarceration. Shinault v. Hawks - FindLaw

Wonder if any of the white collar criminals, (Skilling, et al) in federal "country club" prisons have to pay incarceration costs? Just think how well this could work out: state charges prisoners incarceration costs while enabling various corporations to utilize prisoners as cheap labor, i.e, have literally captive workforce that's paid maybe 1/5 (if that) of what workers on the outside are paid, because living costs are paid for--by the taxpayer and/or the incarcerated person.

No wonder the private sector's gotten into the prison industry. And it seems the "free/democractic" US can't overcome its love of imprisoning people.

poicv2.0 wrote:

"Yemeni president quits, throwing nation deeper into chaos"

Maybe they can do an emergency rate cut?

Nope, all that's needed is a big increase in drone bombings, maybe the establishment of a few US military bases, where US "military advisors" and mercenaries will "help train" the US choice of factions. Because drone attacks have clearly made Yemen so much more stable so far.

emergency hotdog wrote:

every hvac company everywhere is always looking for techs. apprentice with the steamfitters local 420 and after that earn $38/hr as a mechanic.

How long does a tech last in that field? I've talked to only a few HVAC people (installers/repair/maintenance residential & industrial) but it seemed pretty strenuous, back problems, etc., seemed pretty common. Just what I've been told, maybe you have more information.

Wisdom Seeker wrote:

Then again, it's still safer than pretty much any other energy source.

Safer then solar energy?

vtcodger wrote:

Or you can leave the waste where it is and wait for it to become a serious problem.

Which it will.

Bet on it.

So, losing situation either way. What a great idea it was to build so many nuclear power plants in the US without figuring out what to do w/the waste first. Or just doing what the military does, which is spread it around. Lots of DU in the ocean.

josap wrote:

Conserve and pay more is the way it works.

That's a function of the political system. I meant in terms of whether or not additional or replacement nuclear power plants (since US plants are aging out and at least one is, I think, past replacement date) were even necessary if there was more effort to promote conservation of energy. From what you say, the efforts are going in the other direction in AZ.

vtcodger wrote:

It may not be unconditionally safe -- whatever that means -- but the liklihood of any meaningful harm should a cask rupture or whatever is probably way less than that of Des Moines being struck by an asteroid.

No doubt that's what was said about Hanford, particularly about the efforts at waste disposal made since it was closed.

You think the corporation running the reactors in Japan gave similar assurance prior to the earthquake and tsunami?

What about trying conservation first?

vtcodger wrote:

Gubmint pays above that.

Taxpayers, not "gubmint" and it sure doesn't have to be that way and that liability had to be renewed.

Rob Dawg wrote:

And: Because that has been US nuclear power policy since the first generating plant. Just like the last time you tried this claim years ago.

" WASHINGTON – As the Senate continued to debate a broad energy bill, lawmakers quietly voted to extend a federal law providing nuclear power plant operators with special government liability insurance that would kick in if there was a major accident at one of their facilities.

The Bush administration sees the anti-free market law as critical to having more nuclear power plants built across the country. [Vice President Cheney earlier admitted that no one would invest in nuclear power if it did not have special privileges. It's not competitive.] Federal Government Abandons Free Market Competition - The Progress Report

It would've died had it not been renewed during the Bush, Cheney, Inc administration. No belief in the "free market" or "capitalism" on their parts.

vtcodger wrote:

From what I can see, Yucca Mountain would be fine

Is the Yucca Nuke Dump All Wet? | MIT Technology Review One of the USGS articles I read on geologic results of drilling in the area (to measure the response of the rocks/geologic structures in the area, suggested that (1) they didn't really know how much movement drilling might produce in the many fault zones, (2) the results from their experimental drilling didn't match w/what they'd initially predicted based on the geology.

Doesn't sound like a sure thing to me.

Why is it this article doesn't mention that the Bush,Cheney, Inc., administration already forced the taxpayer to become the insurer of last resort--and that was the major barrier for new nuclear power plants. Because insurers refused to insure new plants.

That and Chernobyl, Japan's mess, and the dismal record of the NRC in regulating/inspecting, etc., US nuclear power plants AND that there's no safe place to store the waste. Unless you want to follow the military's lead of putting in everything--ordnance, etc. Just spread it all over the world, see what happens-- Iraq: War's legacy of cancer - Features - Al Jazeera English

Cinco-X wrote:

Know anyone that had a good divorce?

Depends on what you call "good". I know several people who did their own divorces even though they had children, doesn't mean there weren't hurt feelings, etc., but the parents managed to overcome them to get the divorce done. Few other people who didn't have kids and their divorces were quick/simple.

Former Idealist wrote:

So pathetic.

compared to what? Increased rate of suicide in the military? Bush, Cheney, Incs' and Congress' refusal to increase VA funding so there'd be sufficient MDs, psychologists, PTs, etc., to treat/rehab all the soldiers coming back w/PTSD, TBIs and the need for prosthetic devices? Push the military into doing decent assessment/evaluation/treatment of those same people before they were discharged?

Jackdawracy wrote:

It's nice of him to grow a pair now that he's completely ineffective.

What he's doing isn't unusual for lame duck prezs, at least not since the late 20th C.

At least he's not running a 2 trillion 2 front "war" "off the books" and/or what the esteemed TR did--send the US Navy out and then dare Congress not to fund them once they were out & about: "Roosevelt’s overconfidence in sending the fleet without congressional authorization only increased the impression that he had usurped the legislature. When criticized before the fleet’s departure that he would exceed the Navy’s yearly appropriation for coal if he dared proceed with his plan, Roosevelt taunted his opponents in a public speech. He had enough money to get the battleships to the Pacific, he argued. It would be up to Congress to bring them back." Teddy the Bear, Theodore Roosevelt ruled politics with an iron fist and big stick - The Flagship: Top Stories He was two "birds" a lame duck and a hawk

edit to add: I know TR wasn't a late 20th C prez, it was perhaps more unusual for lame ducks to do stuff like TR did.

Jackdawracy wrote:

So, Napoleon Obamaparte is gonna really let the rich have it vis a vis taxes in the SOTU?

Nope, just proposing it now when he knows there's no way it'll happen. Need an icon for image burnishing (for history).

Another win for the banks, and ultimately loss for "consumers" since any fees are usually passed on to them.

Supreme Court won't hear dispute over debit card fees | OregonLive.com

Senate Dems showed their true colors by (almost all of them) confirming Bush, Cheney Inc.'s nominations to the S.Ct.

adornosghost wrote:

One of Montana's Blue Ribbon Streams.

And the longest un dammed river in the lower 48.

Navy's growler jets would be flying (at least 200 days/year) over one of the quietest places left on earth.
FSEEE

Paradigm Lost wrote:

. 'Employers steal billions of dollars from their employees each year by working them off the clock, by failing to pay the minimum wage, or by cheating them of overtime pay they have a right to receive. Survey research shows that well over two-thirds of low-wage workers have been the victims of wage theft,' they wrote. "

I think someone linked to an article about this S.Ct (bring back the '20's!) decision before: Supreme Court: Amazon Doesn't Have To Pay Employees For Time Spent Going Through Security Checks | Business Insider

Apparently, NY & IL AG offices have been the most aggressive in prosecuting wage theft, not coincedentally, it's partly because both still have a fair number of unions and union members notice (and report) when it seems that workers (at a construction site, etc.) seem to be receiving lower then legal wages, etc. AGs in the News: Labor | National State Attorneys General Program | Columbia Law School

tg wrote:

A Compendium of Abandoned Greenhouses | Messy Nessy Chic

some redemption at the end

There is, or was, a nice greenhouse at an old estate (belonged to one of Pratt's children--Pratt was part of Standard Oil & must've owned close to 200 acres at one time in that part of the North Shore), that was eventually purchased by Nassau county (LI, NY). Beautiful place, nice mix of ecologies from beach, wetland and white pine groves. Almost every glass pane of the greenhouse has been smashed by vandals--or had been the last time I was there maybe 6 years ago.

bearly wrote:

Probably going to be a few more unemployment claims in FL.

nope, plenty of jobs in private security, TSA and DHS where a variety of types of bigotry aren't a problem.

Besides according to Rand Paul and so many other members of the GOP, they can just file for disability, claim their backs hurt/they feel anxious, have the claims approved and live off those more then ample benefits for the rest of their lives.

Blackhalo wrote:

I bet there are more ex-Colonels working for Boeing, than ex-regulators, working for Goldman, and they ain't pilots...

Would Boeing & Lockheed Martin still exist if it weren't for defense contracts? (Not a snark question, but real).

Feckless Ness wrote:

Government contractor - not a good example. How many IRS employees for Vampire Squid from Hell ?

or defense contractors--or are they a special category that isn't supposed to be audited regularly?

Two Recent False Claims Act Settlements Reveal Rampant Fraud in Defense Contracting

Paul Davis On Crime: Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty To Major Fraud In Provision Of Supplies To U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

Defense Contractor Agrees to Pay $27.5 Million to Settle Overbilling Allegations | OPA | Department of Justice

Defense Contractors to Repay Government Close to $20 Million for Alleged Fraud — Whistleblower Attorneys Blog

that's just a few from a search restricted to 2014. The amounts dwarf practitioner-related Medicare & Medicaid fraud and I can't imagine the feds come even close to catching most of the MIC fraud.

then there's duplicative systems: " There are costs and benefits associated with both the Army and Navy's acquisition approaches; however, if the Army and Navy fulfill their guided rocket needs separately instead of cooperatively, it could result in the inefficient use of weapon system investment dollars and a loss of buying power." and "require the Army and Navy to jointly assess the possibility of using a single solution and a cooperative, preferably competitive, contracting strategy to meet their guided rocket needs. DOD partially agreed with GAO's first recommendation, but stated it should not be mandatory." DoD didn't agree w/recommendation until GAO added the "not mandatory" clause. U.S. GAO - Ground Radar and Guided Munitions: Increased Oversight and Cooperation Can Help Avoid Duplication among the Services' Programs

edit to add: the DoD itself hasn't managed a full audit in at least 15 years.

Mike_PNW wrote:

(esp those that handle cash).

I definitely saw some of that when I was younger and working in/around some businesses w/fair number of cash transactions. But still disagree re: megacorps.

sm_landlord wrote:

Personally, I consider that to be bureaucratic posturing. The BigCorps get pretty thoroughly audited, because that's where the money is.

Some of it might be--but provide datum that the megacorps have been thoroughly audited by the IRS every year since the Bush 1 administration.

edit to add: a friend worked for one of the big accounting firms (not as CPA) from about the mid-1980's to early 1990's--the firm did some of Microsoft's tax stuff. He said that, at the time, the IRS had a small office that dealt just w/M's tax stuff--and he laughed when he told me because the number of IRS staff devoted to M's stuff was so many fewer people then M had working on money/tax stuff--he clearly thought that the IRS was way outstaffed and unable to keep up.

sm_landlord wrote:

IRS is threatening to shut down due to budget cuts:
What an IRS shutdown would mean to you - MarketWatch

As long ago as Bush I's administration, the IRS has warned that decreases in funding meant no real ability to review complex megacorp tax returns (like Microsoft, et al) and so probably loss of many millions, maybe billion in lost revenues. That was part of the then IRS head's response to Bush I's statement re: cracking down on lower class tax cheats--IRS head pointed out that wage/middle class salary earners had pretty simply tax returns that were run through computers so much easier to pick up discrepancies. Not so w/complex returns of megacorps, review of those takes many people.

I don't think much has changed since, i.e, IRS funding has been greatly increased so there could be more reviews of complex returns. So the megacorps have probably been getting a free ride for years. To me, this just means Congress doesn't even care anymore about maintaining a pretense of public service/assisting the masses. All that matters is pumping up the MIC and coddling megacorps, and the wealthy.

I wonder what % of investors were "surprised" and why they were.

Jackdawracy wrote:

Self-Important, presumptuous, high & mighty (gee, that might work for the gate), superior, conceited, pompous, bumptious, and about a dozen more that seem to fit perfectly.

Depending on one's POV, since most, if not all, of those adjectives are subjective, they might be believed to be descriptive of a number of HCN commenters.

If you don't want to read her posts, why not use ignore?

Mary wrote:

I would wonder, idly, how many HCN correspondents read the entire essay

I did. But what it reminded me of wasn't necessary the "real" subject of the essay--but of an article I read in the NYer years ago of a "scandal" in France re: failure to test blood for HIV because HIV/AIDs was an "American" disease--just like for many people in the US for years, HIV/AIDs was an illness those warped/perverted gay people got--and Haitians. Because France didn't require screening, many hemophiliacs became HIV positive. CNN - Former French ministers go on trial in AIDS blood scandal - February 7, 1999 I couldn't find a way to access the NYer article.

Isn't self-imposed and "socially acceptable" somewhat self-contradictory? Unless the self meant is the societal "self." Whatever that is. What's "acceptable" for joke purposes seems to vary depending on what group of people you're with sometimes--very evident on HCN.

Yoringe wrote:

I dont want to sound selfish.... But i am alive... Tongue

You're a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS or HIV via transfusion? If so, and you're still alive, that's great.

Mary wrote:

If you live in a bubble that allows you not to know that millions of Africans died, thousands of gay men died,

Many hemophiliacs too in the US, France, and elsewhere.

Antipodes wrote:

I brought this up the other day and was ridiculed by HCN. Puzzled

guess those particular HCN commenters have been well-schooled. Sad