dimecres, 28 de setembre del 2011

A human-dolphin sex story

A self-described sex cult survivor, peyote enthusiast, and Wiccan, Malcolm Brenner claims to have had a nine-month sexual relationship with a female theme park dolphin in the '70s:
She began raking her teeth lightly against my arms and legs which was indescribably erotic. Some might find it frightening, I found it erotic [...]
The dolphin initiated the whole sexual thing. As I mentioned, she was in isolation—she'd be using me to satisfy her sexual needs [...]

Here is an excerpt from Wet Goddess, in which the protagonist diddles his dolphin lover while his prudish human girlfriend watches, unaware:

She rolled in my arms, bringing her head up and pushing us farther out, so my feet came off the bottom. A second later, I felt her genital slit pressing the waffled soles of my sneakers. But her efforts seemed half-hearted compared to her usual flagrance, as if she found the audience inhibiting.
Cut that out!
I thought.

Ruby was gentle and circumspect, but she wouldn't stop. She stared blankly, pretending she couldn't receive me, trying to convince me that human-dolphin telepathy was a stupid fantasy I'd dreamed up while getting stoned one night.

Gawker. A man's dolphin sex memoir suddenly very popular.

Amazon customer's comment –Franklin H. Fischer– on Wet Goddes:
(I've owned a guinea pig for a couple years now. Her name is Fluffy, and I'm pretty sure she flirts with me. She squeaks enthusiastically when I pet her back, lets me feed her alfalfa sprouts by hand, and sometimes lightly nibbles on my fingers.
After reading Wet Goddess, I now know that Fluffy IS flirting with me and signaling that she wants a more intimate relationship. I told her it's time to stop playing games and let's do this if we're gonna do this. She seemed receptive, so I'm taking her out on a date this Friday. We're doing a tour of a mulching company and will sample some wood chips at the end of it. After we've had our fill, we'll go the McDonalds playland because they have those tubes you can crawl in, and I know Fluffy loves crawling thru tubes.
Look, I know people are going to judge when they see me walking around town with a gorgeous guinea pig in my arms, but whatever. They're just jealous haters who don't understand the bond one can feel with a different species.
There will be obstacles to overcome in this relationship, but there are challenges in every relationship. It's all about compromise. I'm trying to teach Fluffy to stop pooping on herself, and she's teaching me how to drink water from an upside-down bottle.)

dilluns, 26 de setembre del 2011

A beast in every fighting man

“Ask them, ‘Do they understand why we shot this dude?’ ” the lieutenant told his interpreter. During their last patrol to Qualaday, soldiers in the platoon had attacked Mullah Allah Dad with rifles and a fragmentation grenade that blew off the lower halves of his legs and badly disfigured his face. The soldiers claimed that Allah Dad was trying to throw a grenade at them. Two days after the killing, however, a company commander attended a council during which the district leader announced that people believed the incident had been staged and that the Americans had planted the grenade in order to justify a murder.

“Tell them it’s important that not only the people in this village know, but the people in surrounding villages know, that this guy was shot because he took an aggressive action against coalition forces,” the lieutenant told his interpreter. “We didn’t just [expletive] come over and just shoot him randomly. We don’t do that.”

Last month, in a military courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., 22-year-old Jeremy Morlock confessed to participating in the premeditated murder of Mullah Allah Dad, as well as the murders of two other Afghan civilians.

One of the earliest investigations into U.S. war crimes took place in 1902, when a Senate committee agreed to examine mounting allegations of misconduct in the Philippine-American War. The conflict cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and though many of these deaths were from disease, veterans testified at Congressional hearings about rampant brutality by American soldiers. Years later, the ongoing violence in the Philippines would inspire a young George C. Marshall, on his first assignment fresh out of military school, to tell a fellow officer: “Once an army is involved in war, there is a beast in every fighting man which begins tugging at its chains. And a good officer must learn early on how to keep the beast under control, both in his men and himself.”

Luke Mogelson. A beast in the heart of every fighting man. The New York Times.

dissabte, 24 de setembre del 2011

Men are finished

Women now earn the majority of college degrees. Men play video games. Women thrive in information-age jobs. Men go to prison. Women hold families together. Men watch football. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. live debate series will ask and answer a fundamental question about modern society: Are men finished?
The debate proposition is "men are finished." What does that actually mean? A modern, post-industrial economy that seems better suited to women than men has led many experts to wonder if men are being permanently left behind. Education and employment statistics point to a clear and growing dominance in women's status at home and in the workplace. Are men primed for a comeback, or have the old rules changed for good?

Slate, Men are finished.

dimarts, 20 de setembre del 2011

Sense servitud reiau

En nòm de Crist. Sàpie tot eth mon que deuant Nos, JAIME, pera gràcia de Diu, rei d’Aragon, de València, de Cerdenha e de Corsega e comde de Barcelona,

compareisheren Guilhèm de Montcorbau, shivalièr; Joan de Casarilh; Ramon Arnau de Castelhars; Guilhèm de Santa Maria de Cap d’Aran; Guilhèm de Montanèr, de Puig; Bernat de Castelhvaquèr; Sanç de Canal, de Canejalho, procuradors e sindics de toti es òmes e des comunautats dera nòsta Val d’Aran, pregant damb insisténcia e suplicant umilment, tant en nòm d’eri, com en des comunautats, qu’es sues libertats, franqueses e immunitats e costums observades ena nomenada Val pendent longtemps pes nòsti predecessors, mos dignèssem confirmà-les pera nòsta benignitat reiau, es quaus mos son presentades per escrit en capítols. E Nos, benignament inclinat entàs sues supliques, volent reconfortar ena justícia a toti e cadun des abitants dera nomentada Val coma naturaus e fidèus nòsti e assolidà-les en sòn estat pacific e tranquille atau com correspon ara dignitat reiau, per açò auem determinat de confirmà-les e sus bèra ua d’eres auem hèt provisions e ordenaments, atau com se dideràn ara seguida:


Prumèr concedim e conmfirmam eth capítol segontes eth quau es òmes dera Val d’Aran possedissen es tèrres, es vinhes, es cases, es casaus, e es arbes frutèrs, liures e francs, sense cap usatge ne servitud reiau, subvencion o precària, e que les pòden véner coma pròpies, sense eth requeriment o vènia deth senhor. Conservam, totun, tostemp entà Nos e es nòsti, sus eres eth sextèrç de blat que per cada casa mos an de dar cada un.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segontes eth quau an e possedisen es aigües franques e liures, e qu’en eres pòden pescar e bastir mòles e arrossar es prats en comun, sense eth requeriment dera nòsta potestat.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segons eth quau an e possedissen es bòsqui, e es sèuves francs e liures, e que deth madeish lòc pòden extrèir era husta, es cabirons entàs tets des cases e tota sòrta de husta entath sòn usatge e era sua conveniéncia. Tanben pòden caçà-i ancipids, o esturnids e faucons. E aqueth que prumèr tròbe es nins ds nomentadi audèths, pòt cuelhé-les des nins quan volgue. Tanben pòden caçar, enes madeishi bòsqui, ossi sanglièrs, cèrvis, e tota auta sòrta de bèsties, vené-les a qui volguen, sense eth requeriment dera nòsta potestat.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segons eth quau an e possedissen s sòns peisheus e es sòns bòsqui francs e liures, e hè-ne usatge com quinsevolh cap de família hè usatge des sues pròpries causes. Tanben enes sues montanhes e peisheus pòden es sòns animaus e dalhar èrbes entar iuèrn e hèr a pàgar as òmes de l’auti lòcs vesins que talhen èrbes enes sues montanhes, e aucir anhèths des sòns peisheus o enes barratges des sòns peisheus e ds sues montanhes, e cremar es èrbes que sigueren dalhades pes òmes de d’auti parçans vesins contra era volentat ds cònsols o des jurats, sense eth requeriment dera nòsta potestat.


Concedim tanben eth capítol segontes eth quau es cònsols o jurats de quinsevolh lòc dera Val pòden hèr a pagar as abitants deth lòc d’a on son eri sense cap contradiccion, tant shivalièrs com escudèrs de quinsevolha categoria, o es sòns enviats, entàs sues montanhes o viles, o entàs bosqui, se treiguessen profit dera comunautat de vesins, ei a díder, des montanhes barrades e possedissen o portèssen husta o arbes enes bòsqui barradi, abantes deth temps acostumat, aquiu a on es sòns vesins en ua epòca determinada an costum de talar per mandat des cònsols o des jurats; ei a díder, que pòden aucir es anhèths o es oelhes e minjà-se-les o ben trèir de sues cases quinsevolha causa e obligà-les a redimí-les, segons que demanen e exigisquen es guanhs des excedents, e açò sense eth manament deth jutge o dera nòsta potestat.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segons eth quau es òmes dera Val mos an de seguir, a nosati e as nòsti successors, en exèrcit e ena cavalcada damb es sues pròpries despenes a cargue d’eri pendent un dia. E se pera nòsta volentat o era des nòsti successors mos auessen de seguir en aguest exèrcit o cavalcada mès d’un dia, alavetz nosalti, o eth nòste lòctenent, auem de provedir ed aguesti òmes en totes es causes qu’agen de besonh.


Mès sus eth capítol segontes eth quau cap òme dera nomentada Val non pòt èster capturat o retengut captiu, se pòt aufrir ua fiança sufisenta trèt que sigue manifest qu’ei un lairon, o un usurpador, o qu’age hèt un crim de lesa majestat, aurà de comparéisher, totun açò, deuant un judici es dies e es ores enes quaus eth jutge l’age citat. E se bèth un dera Val cometesse un omicidi, se non ei que lo hèsque a traïson, pòt arténher era libertat se pague sòs as amics en nòm deth mort, cossent damb era longa costum observada des d’antic, ei a díder de pagar 1000 sòus jaquesi per shivalier mòrt, o persona de categoria semblanta, 600 sòus jaquesi per òme liure o mainatge, 300 sòus jaquesi per servent e tanben per libèrt, e atau pòt evadir era responsabilitat s’er omicidi pòt èster satisfèt cossent damb era costum. Pera extraccion d’ua daga o eth lançament d’ua sageta, o d’ua lança, o d’ua pèira, o de quinsevolha auta sòrta d’arma, en tant era sang non gesque, demorarà immune ara pena deth jutge. Atau, peth benestar e tranquille estat dera nomentada Val e d’aqueri que i abiten, ordenam que sus aguestes causes se hèsque a servir era ordinacion hèta per illustre Jaime, de bona memòria, rei de Malhòrca, oncle nòste, quan auie jos eth sòn domeni aguesta Val, que la demanèrem com ua des sues leis, era quau, Nos, dam coma boma rasonabla e justa, e des d’ara damb just coneishement confirmam e aprovam.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segons eth quau quinsevolh òme dera Val se vò véner es cases, es tèrres, es vinhes, es prats, es mòles, o d’auti bens immòbles, a de requerir as sòns germàs, se les auesse, o as sòns cosins, o parents mès pròpers per linha de parentiu, per se volessen comprà-les, sense que sigue obstacle çò qu’en lengua vulgara se nomente “TORNERIA”, pòt vené-les licitament a qui volgue, encara que sigue alien ara “TORNERIA”. E dempús d’un an e un dia, cap de parent non pòt ecuperar ua causa venuda, e mès s’abantes i auesse agut requeriment per part deth venedor, e s’es familiars e parents non auessen estat requerits peth venedor dempús de jurar que non an agut coneishement dera venta hèta, que la poguen recuperar se vòlen.


Sus eth capítol, totun, segons eth quau se bèth un des òmes dera Val bastís ua casa, o ua mòla, o ua vinha o sémie era tèrra e plante arbes en lòc dera comunautat de vesins, es cònsols e es jurats d’aguesti vesins, un còp convocat eth pòble e tota era comunautat de vesins, pòden des-hèir aquestes cases, aguestes mòles, aguestes vinhes e bracar es arbes, pèisher es èrbes damb es animaus, e dalhà-les e retornà-les ar usatge es vesins sense cap requeriment des jutges; atau, entà evitar er escandal que se poderie produsir, ordenam e tanben volem qu’eth nòste casterèr dera nomentada Val, damb eth requeriment des cònsols e de tota era comunautat d’aguest lòc hèsque çò qu’abantes s’a dit.


Tanben concedim eth capítol, segontes eth quau es òmes d’aguesta comunautat an era possesion, usatge e costum e era manèra des de hè ja tant de temps qu’era memòria des òmes non la rebrembe, que s’un òme, dempús de contrèir matrimòni, auesse convengut o hèt convèni damb era sua hemna sus causes aquerides o per aquerir, se’n gessesse bèra carga l’auràn de pagar as sòns creditors a parts iguales. E se hèn melhores o guanhs, tanben s’ac auràn de dividir a parts iguales, s’estant er un viu e er aute mòrt non an deishat hilhs. E açò tanben se manteng s’eth hilh d’ua família, o era hilha, auesse hèt un convèni damb es sòns pairs sobre bens ja aquerits o per aquerir dempús deth convèni, que s’auràn per indivisi enquia qu’eth nomentat convèni e er assentiment de cadua des parts siguen trencadi. Tanben servís çò que s’a dit s’un estranh hè un convèni o un contracte similar damb un aute estranh. Mès s’era hemna non auesse convengut damb eth sòn òme, o non auesse estat hèt convèni damb es nomentats o damb d’autes persones abantes dites, alavetz es bens dera hemna no poiràn vedé-se amendridi de cap manèra pes deutes o gravaments deth sòn òme. Açò s’enten entad aquerò que hè ath foncionament dera casa e non pas en cas de delictes u’agen etat cometudi.


Sus eth capítol, totun, segontes eth quau es òmes dera nomentada Val, comunautat en temps des nòsti antecessors, auien en possesion er usatge e era costum de crear es pròpris notaris e escrivans e determinats “saigs”, s’ac exigien es sòns demerits, les podien privar des sòns cargues, respècte ara quau causa supliquèren que les siguesse integrament restituïda per règia majestat; atau nosati concedim que poguen crear notaris e remplaçà-les damb causa, mès non pòden instituïr ne méter “saigs”, ja qu’an d`èster metudi per nosati o pes nòsti oficiaus e an d’exercir era jurisdiccion reiau. Per aguest motiu, damb era escrivania dera nomentada Val ara nòsta cort.


Sus eth capítol segontes eth quau es cònsols o es notables des òmes d’aguesta comunautat an e aueren era possession, er usatge, e era costum de tractar e confirmar era patz, de proïbir e méter penes e portà-les as contradictors e desobedients, sense cap requeriment, ne er assentiment nòste, ne des nòsti oficiaus, estatuïm e tanben ordenam qu’es nomentats cònsols e notables, se vòlen pòden sonque tractar e convier sus un acòrd amistós entre es discordants, mès non pòden hèr es autes causes que se contien en capítol, pr’amor que pertanhen d’ua manèra especiau ara nòsta jurisdiccion, e atau les volem e manam expedir a tràuers deth casterèr dera Val.


Tanben en çò que hè ath capítol segonts eth quau es òmes dera comunautat auien era possession, er usatge, ea costum que se quauqu’un des òmes dera nomentada comunautat, herie a un aute e trucaue damb sang o non, que se po-
desse arténher era patz e era concòrdia d’ua manera amigabla, sense que siguesse dada o aplicada era lei per part nòsta, se deuant nòste o des nòsti oficiaus non siguesse requerida, quina causa demanèren que siguesse restituïda intègrament. Atau determinam establir entath benestar e tranquille estat d’aguesta Val que sigue conservada aguesta ordinacion, èta per adés nomentat rei de Malhòrca, quan auie eth domeni dera Val e a mès, en demanà-la es òmes dera nometada Val, coma ja s’a dit, siguec acceptada per eri coma ua des sues leis, era quau tanben nosati jutjam coma bona, rasonabla e justa e, coma ja s’a dit, la confirmam.


Tanben confirmam eth capítol segons eth quau es òmes dera Val an era possession, er usatge e era costum de hèr era patz e d’auer ua trèva, d’an en an, damb eth nòble comde e Comenge e Arnau d’Ispània e damb d’auti vesins dera comunautat. Atau determinam respóner e ordenar qu’ac hèsquen, segons siguen acostumadi, en tot auer present, que se nos o ben nòsti les ordenéssem çò de contrari, dempús de dar dètz dies ad aqueth o ad aqueri damb es quaus auessen hèt era patz o aquera trèva.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segontes eth quau ei e siguec costum ena Val d’Aran qu’eth jutge ordinari ecote es parts litigantes sense cap despena, ne cap salari que siguesse dat pes parts, senon qu’eth nomentat jutge jutjaue en sòn judici a cargue deth rei, en tot híger, maugrat açò, que s’eth nomentat jutge per requeriment des parts qu’auien de litigar damunt d’eth, o ben d’ua d’eres, auesse de gésser de casa sua entà anar tà un aute endret dera nomentada Val, dehòra deth lòc designat entà escotar es causes, alavetz se li a de hèr era provision e qu’aquiu madeish se hèsque çò qu’ei costum de hèr.


Concedim eth capítol segontes eth quau des deth començament e encara ara ei costum ena Val d’Aran, que se bèth un diguie o proferie bèth insult, o bèra paraula desaunèsta, com leprós, tradidor, omicida, o d’autes paraules qu’ocasionèssen mau o vergonha, trucaue a bèth un damb eth punh ena cara, o en cap, o en còs, se comprometien deuant d’uns arbitres, ecuelhuts per ua e ua auta part e decidien quina quanititat de sòs a pagar s’impausarie ad aqueth qu’auesse hèt aguest insult e injúria, cossent damb era importància e era qualitat des persones. Atau ordenam e decidim us aguestes causes, que se mantengue era nomentada ordinacion hèta peth rei de Malhòrca quan auie aguesta Val jos eth sòn domeni, qu’atau com è dit, sigue acceptada com ua des sues leis a demana des òmes dera nomentada Val, era quau tanben Nos acceptam coma bona, rasonabla e justa, e la confirmam atau coma ja se contié mès ensús.


Tanben en çò que tanh ath capítol segontes eth quau ei costum ena Val d’Aran, observada des deth començament enquia aué, qu’es cònsols dera Val dAran, amassats en lòc de costum, acostumen a constituïr e convocar era Cort dera Val, era quau, pendent un an pòt regir e encuedà-se’n des ahèrs dera nomentada Val. Atau establim qu’aguesti cònsols pòden méter e designar bères persones aunèstes entà tot açò, mès non qu’agen eth nòm de corts, senon eth de procuradors o jutges de patz, o conselhèrs dera Val.


Tanben sus eth capítol en quau i a contengut qu’ei ua antiga costum dera Val d’Aran que quinsevolh que volgue pòt engatjar ath sòn vesin per un deute clar e reconeishut, e se non reconeishie eth deute qu’auesse convengut per pròpria paraula deuant deth jutge, un còp age estat demostrat deuant deth jutge e auese perdut en judici, aurà de hè-se cargue des depenes. Establim e odenam entà evitar que se suscite entre eri cap disputa, ço qu’adés s’a dit, sigue hèt peth nòste casterèr dera Val.


Tanben concedim eth capítol segontes eth quau ei costum que se bèth òme dera Val marchaue dera vila a on a neishut e establie era sua residéncia en ua auta, non pòt hèr us des montanhes, ne des bòsqui, ne des terrens comunaus dera vila a on a neishut e d’a on se n’a anat, ne hèr a pèisher es sòns animaus, ne arrossar era èrba, ne bracar era husta, ne explotar tèrres naues, enquia que non age eth sòn domicili o fixe era sua residéncia. E se bèth estrangèr establie era sua residéncia en bèra vila receberà era sua part comunau, com aqueth que siguec e ei hilh d’aguesta.


Tanben volem e concedim qu’eth casterèr dera Val o d’auti oficiaus nòsti non se mèsclen en ofici des auti en çò que se referís a excèssi o delictes, sense compdar eth cas que sus aguestes fautes sigue reclamada deuant d’eri era Querimònia. Sonque poiràn intervier per rason deth sòn cargue, encara que non sigue reclamada era aplicación dera Querimònia enes cassi des quaus pogue seguir era pena de mòrt o era mutilacion des membres.


En çò que hè ath pagament o ath salari qu’an de percèver es notaris dera nomentada Val, creat pes proòms dera val, pes protocòus e d’autes escritures qu’agen de hèr establim e manam qu’es nomentats notaris agen e receben per ua carta d’un simple deute, ena quau non intervengue jurament, tres dinèrs jaquesi; s’era carta includís jurament, quate dinèrs dera madeisha moneda. Per convènis auràn de recéber sies dinèrs dera madeisha moneda. Per convèni damb declaracion, nau dinèrs. Per ua carta de vena o de crompa receberàn sèis dinèrs dera madeisha moneda. Per un testament qu’arribe as 500 sòus, perceberàn 18 dinèrs, e, se siguesse de mèsvquantitat, dus sòus. Tanben per cada huelha dera acta dera comunautat que li siguen agats très dinèrs, e per ua còpia dera madeisha acta, dus dinèrs per cada huelha. Entà ua auta classe d’escritures seràn utilizades es madeishes tarifes. E se calie qu’es nomentats notaris gessessen dehòra dera vila entà protestar o hèr d’auti protocòus o d’autes escritures, a mès deth salari nomentat, auràn d’èster provedits de totes es causes de besonh.


Atau donques, pera madeisha instància e suplica ds procuradors de des sindics nomentats, hèta a nosati, tant en sòn nòm, com en des comunautats d’a on son aguesti procuradors, establim, concedim e ordenam entà tostemp, per nosati e pes nòsti qu’aguesta Val, per aguest nòste estatut, sigue tostemp amassada ath nòste reine d’Aragon e ara sua corona, e ne per venta, n per donacion ne permuta, ne cap aute procediment, pogue èster de cap manèra separada, ne alienada d’aguest reine ne dera sua corona. Atau, donques, manam as procuradors, veguèrs, bailes, jutges judiciaus, delegats reiaus, jutges, atau com ath casterèr dera Val tant presents com futurs, e as sòns lòctenents, que totes e cada ua des causes epausades mès ensús, qu’an estat concedides, establides, porvedides e ordenades, que siguen plan tengudes e observades e que toti les hèsquen observar inviolablement entà tostemp e que non i contravenguen ne permeten qu’arrés i contravengue per cap motiu.

E com testimòni de totes aguestes causes, manam hèr aguesta nòsta presenta carta, corroborada damb eth sagèth dera nòsta Majestat que i penjam.

Datat en Lhèida eth dia dètz des calendes de seteme der an deth Senhor mil tres cents tretze.

Signatura de Jaime, pera gràcia de Diu, rei d’Aragon, de Valéncia, de Cerdenha e de Corcega e comde de Barcelona.

Ne son testimonis Felip de Saluci, Odon de Montcada, Guilhèm de Montcada, Berenguèr d’Angulària, Guilhèm de Cervera, Signatura de Guilhèm Llobet, escrivent deth nomentat senhor rei, eth quau peth sòn manament hèc a escríuer e la barrèc en lòc eth dia e er an prefixat.

Era Querimonia. Lleida, 10 setembre 1313.

dimecres, 14 de setembre del 2011

Conceived in sin and born in corruption

One of Rajaratnam’s most enthusiastic informants was Danielle Chiesi, a former teen beauty queen from upstate New York. She worked at a hedge fund called New Castle, which was owned by Bear Stearns. A bottle blonde in her early forties, Chiesi lived alone in midtown and slept with men who gave her stock tips. She said that when she profited from such tips she felt “mentally fabulous.” By 2008, Chiesi had entered a relationship with Hector Ruiz, the chief executive of A.M.D. (Ruiz has denied that it was intimate.) Rajaratnam, hearing of Chiesi’s highly placed source, told Kumar that he had established a new inroad at the company, noting, “Your value to me is a bit diminished.”
In October, 2008, Kieran Taylor, an executive with Akamai, an Internet-services company, told Chiesi over the phone, “Danielle, I have a major present for you.”
“Drugs?” she asked. “I hope not.”
“Information, information.”
“I love you for that. When am I going to see you?”
After another phone conversation with Taylor, Chiesi told Rajaratnam, “I played him like a finely tuned piano.” She was eager to impress Rajaratnam, flirting with him as if by reflex, and passing him secrets without expecting much in return. Rajaratnam kept his distance, and declined to tell her when her information confirmed tips from other sources. After receiving one tip, he warned, “We got to keep this radio silence.”
“That is my pleasure,” Chiesi said.
“Not even to your little boyfriends, you know?”
“Believe me, I don’t have any friends.”
Rajaratnam’s view of human nature was not so different from that of Willie Stark, in “All the King’s Men”: “Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud.”

A month after Rajaratnam’s arrest, Bharara gave an unusually dark speech at N.Y.U.’s law school, speaking of “epic frauds surfacing with increasing frequency.” He noted, “There is a lack of faith in the economic system; a lack of belief in the markets; and a lack of trust that the playing field is level.” He made no apologies for ferreting out insider trading by using wiretaps, a practice that was unpopular on Wall Street. “When sophisticated business people begin to adopt the methods of common criminals, we have no choice but to treat them as such,” he said.

One day, in the eighth-floor cafeteria, I noticed Rajaratnam standing alone by a refrigerator case, contemplating the beverage choices. By unspoken agreement, reporters had refrained from approaching him, but it was a chance that seemed unlikely to come again. In court that day, he had been carrying a small paperback. I walked over and asked what he was reading.
Rajaratnam recoiled. “Why?”
“I saw you had a book. I just wondered what it was.”
He smiled in a shy way that seemed self-protective. “No, it was just some papers.”
In a mere ten seconds, Rajaratnam had managed to lie. I didn’t blame him. I was sorry that I’d broken the invisible barrier. He was facing the end of his freedom, and it was a kind of cruelty to make him engage.

George Packer, The New Yorker. A dirty business.

dimecres, 7 de setembre del 2011

Let the weapons flow

Bin Laden was George senior`s clan
Not so long ago
Set George up
With a retirement plan
Lots of low tax , Doe
Go down White House
Way down in pay-off land
Tell the
Leave the Saudis alone.

There is oil and gas
In Uzbekistan
Oil and gas must flow
So we depose the taliban
Weirdoes` summer go
Bend down
Kneel down and lend a hand
Tell the people
Liberty must go.

There is more to gain
In war then peace
Let the weapons flow
Destabilize the Middle East
Enrich the CEO
Go down brother
Way down on florida`s sand
Tell the
Not to let my people vote.

The VP (= Vice President) had a heart attack
Oily blood , you know
While he`s still here
Let`s bomb Iraq
Give the rubes a show
Lie down, people
Lay down your Bill of Rights
James Madison
We had to let those amendments go.

The opium crop was blown away
Let them poppies grow
Thanks to US troops
It`s back today
Only goes to show
Go down
Wall Street
Sell off my shares today
Tell my broker
Put it it all in blow.

The Fugs, Go down Congress.

dimarts, 6 de setembre del 2011

Dysfunctional electorate

[...] When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.
One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, If I were President...