Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Really Damn Interesting Essay

Ponzi schemes, money laundering, a charimatic criminal (maybe), new and possibly intrepretations of laws and a mind hurting application of logic... Man this essay has got it all!

Last, week, Dentara Rast -- a character in CCP's Eve Online massively multiplayer online world -- pulled off an impressive stunt. He ran a classic Ponzi scheme and walked off with 700 billion ISK (in game money, and quite a lot of it). Normally, this kind of in-game bravado would generate nothing but a confuse stare from someone not deep inside the Eve universe, and little more than scandal-of-the-week titillation and subsequent yawns there. But I believe this case is more interesting than that.

I believe Dentara Rast committed fraud.
I believe he owes the IRS a lot of money.

Take the time to read the entire essay.


Sunday, August 27, 2006



To quote Billmon.
Having the U.S. government investigate Israel's use of cluster bombs is like having the Unibomber investigate the London subway bombings.


Infrastructure Crisis in America

If you have a sense that America is in decline, well you may be right.

The American Society of Civil Engineers last year graded the nation "D" for its overall infrastructure conditions, estimating that it would take $1.6 trillion over five years to fix the problem.

The results include leaking pipelines, failed air traffic control systems in major metropolitan areas, and - in an eye-opener - a power failure that paralyzed the NSA. American citizens are at risk for bridge failures and other life-threatening disasters.

The Society’s director adds:

"I thought [Hurricane] Katrina was a hell of a wake-up call, but people are missing the alarm."

Another analyst observes:

"If a terrorist group were able to knock the NSA offline, or disrupt one of the nation’s busiest airports, or shut down the most important oil pipeline in the nation, the impact would be perceived as devastating. And yet we’ve essentially let these things happen — or almost happen — to ourselves."

One function of government is to ensure that its citizens have a safe and functional physical environment. The problem is that we have a political movement in power that doesn’t believe in government. They would rather "drown it in a bathbub" - or in the Ninth Ward



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