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November 23rd, 2013
thesmithian
Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing. “Free” only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. “Low-cost” and “sliding scale” sounds like “money you have to spend” to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway. I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding. I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term.
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July 26th, 2013
thesmithian

Adidas, E*Trade, Geico, Land Rover…have made…gains in terms of positive awareness among black teens and adults during the last year…

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June 28th, 2013
thesmithian

…the overall picture of Wall Street that emerges is more diverse and complex than the prevailing image of a decade ago. Today, every aspect of finance—even insider trading and its prosecution—requires greater technical skills and smarts than it did in the past…The good guys are now more ethnically and culturally varied. And so are the bad ones.

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…the overall picture of Wall Street that emerges is more diverse and complex than the prevailing image of a decade ago. Today, every aspect of finance—even insider trading and its prosecution—requires greater technical skills and smarts than it did in the past…The good guys are now more ethnically and culturally varied. And so are the bad ones.

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May 9th, 2013
thesmithian
We’ve created a global financial and manufacturing system that has come to control and concentrate the world wealth and power into the hands of a small elite. The only difference it that it is no longer the crowned heads of Europe setting policy, but the technocrat managers of large corporations, financial institutions, and the political class. The rising concerns about inequity—shown in Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and the rewriting of the constitution in Iceland—are an echo of the early rise of anticolonial insurgents. Populist groups will argue against the entrenched power of the the global financial order, and will ultimately elect governments that take control back, and decrease the sway of global neoliberalism.
Stowe Boyd, at Fast Company
March 1st, 2013
thesmithian

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced…Friday that…Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster. “There is probably no city that is more financially challenged in the entire United States. If you look at the quality of services for citizens it’s ranked among the worst. So we went from the top to the bottom over the last 50 or 60 years…It’s time to say we should stop going downhill…There have been many good people that have had many plans, many attempts to turn this around, they haven’t worked. The way I view it, today is a day to call all hands on deck.”

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March 1st, 2013
thesmithian

In 2008, “farmers produced more grain than ever, enough to feed twice as many people as were on Earth. In the same year, for the first time in history, a billion people went hungry.” How could we produce more food and more hunger? The answer…is that food became virtualized, or in this case “financialized.” Instead of using data systems to find sensible ways to distribute real food, we have increasingly used them to trade virtual food as a speculative object, much like the complicated financial products that helped pump up the housing bubble. The result: Prices skyrocket, real food sits uselessly, people starve.

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December 13th, 2012
thesmithian
Obama will be on a short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years. He’s not gonna have any fun at all. He may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won’t be any fun to be here, because he won’t be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to.

Grover Norquist

[his] comment that spending cuts would lead President Obama to launch a war of choice…demonstrates his shoddy memory…George W. Bush’s $806 billion Iraq War—waged under false pretenses and unfunded—was a major driver of the decline from the surpluses left by President Bill Clinton to the shortfalls inherited by President Obama.

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December 11th, 2012
thesmithian

Britain—which last decade could call itself the most dynamic country in Europe—has simply accepted mass unemployment, stagnated growth, and a ravaged urban landscape one Tory columnist called “Detroit UK.” And the economic disaster has far-reaching social consequences: far more than the United States, Britain is now suffering from a crisis not just of finance but also of institutions.

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November 11th, 2012
thesmithian

'Since 9/11…truth has been destabilized in America.'

….The Bush administration’s contempt for what it dismissed as the “reality-based community” was vindicated when it successfully ginned up a war by convincing Americans that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Our susceptibility to elaborate, beautifully wrought myths remains intact—whether we’re being spun by politicians, captains of finance pumping up a bubble, or sports heroes like Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno. The news business, which we once counted on to vet hoaxes and fictions, is now so insecure about its existential future that it was cowed to some extent…ignoring the statistical data…and instead predicting a long, nail-biting Election Night. (In reality, the election was called for Obama at 11:12 p.m. EST on NBC, just twelve minutes after it had been in 2008.) Our remaining journalistic institutions have even outsourced what used to be the very core of their craft, fact-checking, to surrogates relegated to gimmicky sidebars (awarding Pinocchios and “pants on fire”). The fact-checkers have predictably become partisan targets, only further destabilizing the whole notion of what is meant by “news.”

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