Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m Pat Pope and I’m addicted to reading negative comments and abuse hurled at me on the Internet. For the sake of my own sanity, this is me going cold turkey.
Last week I made the mistake of writing one of those open letters you hear about. I wrote it in response to a request from Garbage’s management company that they’d like my permission to use a photo that I took and I own in a book they intend to publish and sell for money. But they’d like to not pay me.
Since it went out on the Internet, it’s caused a huge debate, and within that debate I’ve been called a “whiney weener”, a “sh*tty douchebag”, and an “egomaniac”, and I’ve been encouraged to “watch your back” because “we will find you”.
I found it quite hard to read those comments, not least because I’m English and I’m not sure what two of them actually mean. For the sake of balance, I’ve also been described as an “Internet warrior” and someone who is “standing up for the little guy”, so it wasn’t all terrifying, some of it was just a bit mad.
Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.
“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”
The 60-year-old founder of Coral Gables, Florida-based Florida Sunshine Investments said his biggest fund was up more than 20 percent last year with bets on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG), bank stocks and mortgage-backed securities.
“I’m remarkably long for my level of pessimism,” he said. “Our economy is in deep trouble. We need to be honest with ourselves. We’ve had a realistic level of job destruction, and those jobs aren’t coming back.”
Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.
Seriously fuck this guy with a guillotine blade.
Here’s an interesting article on scientific studies that demonstrate how rationality and empathy break down is the presence of large amounts of money.
Ever wondered how much money (and stock, assets, etc.) you needed to make the cutoff for the wealthiest 1 percent? Or even for the wealthiest 20 percent?
I’m nowhere close. Not even in the conversation.
A marquee Senate race pitting Democrat Kay Hagan against whichever Republican emerges from next Tuesday’s crowded primary is getting all the attention in North Carolina, boosting voter interest and turnout. At the same time, significant sums of money, totaling $1 million at last count, are flowing into the state to affect the outcome of a judicial primary, “usually a pretty sleepy enterprise,” says Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake, a nonpartisan group that monitors judicial elections.
Money buys airtime, and across North Carolina on 10 stations, incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, a Democrat, is labeled in a television ad “not tough on child molesters.” That’s based on her dissent in a narrowly decided 4-3 ruling that said satellite monitoring of some sex offenders was not a new punishment, which would be unconstitutional, even though it did not exist at the time of their offense.
“This is a way of trying to bully the bench,” says Brandenburg. “Nasty campaign ads send a message to judges that as they make rulings on controversial cases, they may get ads against them down the line, and that’s not what they should be thinking about. They’re supposed to focus on facts and the law.”
Now North Carolina is ground zero in the partisan battles, but just a few years ago, the state was working hard to insulate judges from the onslaught of cash that many see as distorting democracy. It was the first in the nation to try public financing in judicial races, saying candidates shouldn’t have to spend all their time raising money, especially Supreme Court judges.
Over a decade ago, a fund was created using attorney fees to provide minimal campaign financing through state grants to qualifying candidates. The program was enormously popular; 80 percent of judges who ran used it, and it helped diversify the bench with more women and African-Americans. But there was always ideological opposition from the right on free speech grounds, and when Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took office in January 2013, one of the first things his budget director did was zero out public financing for judges.
The dam had broken anyway with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United 2010 decision, and judicial races have become a free-for-all just like every other political contest. Judges in North Carolina run without party identification; the races are nonpartisan, but everyone knows where their party allegiance lies. Two years ago, in a contested judicial race, “Ninety percent of outside money came from the conservative side,” says Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies. “They were way more on top of this game.”
It’s no surprise that Comcast donates money to members of Congress. Political connections come in handy for a company seeking government approval of mergers, like Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC).
But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast’s political arm? In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them.
We need to talk. I’ve been meaning to write this letter to you for a while, but I got side-tracked and spent a whole lot of time doing other stuff, and then I was busy starting a new agency and so it didn’t happen. But it turns out that open letters are the in thing now, so I thought I might as well jump on the overloaded bandwagon before it gets pulled over by the Metro cops.
This isn’t easy for me. We’ve never really got on very well, but it’s time I was honest. The truth is, I’ve always felt nervous around you, like I need to apologise for something. I’m not exactly sure why, but I find it difficult to ask for you or talk about you, and when you come up in conversation, I go bright red and change the subject.
More: An Open Letter to Money
The Bleach Blonde From Hell reminds us once again how ugly and bigoted her world is. CPAC is where Democracy Goes To Die. Ann Fugly states her case. Don’t step in it.
“I think [women] should be armed but should not vote…women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it…it´s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.” - AC 2001
In a new interview conducted by Emma Watson, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling drops a bombshell: She’s not so sure she should have put Ron and Hermione together.
The shocking revelation came in the new issue of Wonderland, of which Watson is a guest editor this month. The comments were obtained by The Sunday Times.
Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron, according to the publication’s headline, which reads, “JK admits Hermione should have wed Harry.”
For what it’s worth, I thought the Hermione/Ron relationship was possibly the one that might have made sense, whereas Hermione/Harry seemed too “pat” and obvious.
Maybe the subtitle should read: “C. Underkoffler Continues to Question
s Rowling’s Questions Writing Ability”.
I mean, it’s not like I didn’t buy and read all the books and watch half the movies, and mostly enjoy them, but when Rowling does something I don’t enjoy or agree with or think was done below a basic artistic level of quality, I really dislike it and/or believe it to be utter crap.
And, no lie, that feeling gets magnified by the fame/cultural currency/money generated by the Potter series.
To take another example: I quite like Stephen King’s work. When I read/view poorer work of his, I’m more disappointed in it than I would be with poor work from John or Jane Q. Writer, because of the scope of the impact of King’s work in general (and, in King’s case over Rowling, a long track record of creating stuff I dig).
Grumpy mode, OFF.
An interesting article in the NY Times outlines a former money addict’s journey.
To me just the term ‘money addict’ explains a great deal of the behaviour of those on Wall Street and the upper management of corporations. Addicts tend to be erratic and driven in their quest for their next hit. They also don’t care who gets hurt.
Food for thought.