“I have 21 years of Army service going back to the Vietnam War. My loyalty to the government should be a given. It is gone. I am certain it will never return regardless of how long I might have lived.”
Here we go again….
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
New York Times Deal Book, 4 July 2011
Wall Street often tries to play down its influence in Washington. As Congress pushed through financial regulations that seemed to get watered down last year, Wall Street’s chief executives tried to suggest, somewhat surprisingly, that their highly paid lobbyists did not have much sway.
If there is still any question about how much power Wall Street actually has in Washington, here is some fresh evidence worth examining.
In a piece of legislation recently passed by the House and the Senate to revamp patent law, a tiny provision was inserted at the last minute called Section 18.
The provision, which my colleague Edward Wyatt detailed in an article ahead of the House’s vote on the bill last month, has only one purpose: to allow the banking industry to skirt paying for certain important patents involving “business methods.”
The provision even allows “retroactive reviews of approved business method patents, allowing the financial services industry to challenge patents that have already been found valid both at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and in Federal Court,” according to Representative Aaron Schock, an Illinois Republican who tried to strike the provision.
Phi Beta Iota: In the absence of accountability, holistic analytics, and transparency, it is very easy for specific individuals to give up their integrity. The implications of this are breath-taking: Wall Street is showing it can legislate retrospective and ex post facto crime, not just future crime.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
I’ve enjoyed The War Nerd for years. Great, colorful writing. The author of the column, “Gary Brecher,” was never on the same page as me when it came to warfare. However, that’s changed.
He now thinks, and makes an excellent case for global guerrilla thinking. In short: that blood and guts warfare is counter productive and that systems disruption (hiting network systempunkts/nodes to generate high ROI‘s and publicity) is a potential path to long term victory for guerrillas. In short: in the modern context, if you keep the blood/guts to a min, and keep the cost ratio massively in your favor while staying alive, you will eventually win.
To demonstrate this, he has a great article on how the IRA eventually adopted systems disruption:
“In 1994, they took the idea of non-lethal warfare a notch up by doing one of the most revolutionary things any guerrilla army has ever done: IRA mortar teams dropped shells on the runways at Heathrow Airport, totally stopping air traffic… but the shells weren’t even designed to explode. Intentional duds. That’s amazing; I’ve never heard of anything like that. It shows how far they’d come by that stage, away from the simple Al Qaeda maximum-blood crap I bought into in that earlier article. In contemporary urban guerrilla warfare, at least in Western Europe, killing civvies is counterproductive. What you want to do, what the IRA had mastered by the 1990s, was messing with the incredibly fragile and expensive networks that keep a huge city going. Interrupt them and you cost the enemy billions of dollars, and they don’t even have any gory corpses to shake in your faces. Fucking brilliant, and I was too dumb to see it!