The Online Black Market, the Folly of the F-35, and Putting a Dollar Amount on Life

Escaping the Recession by BoatOutside
“The Kleeman brothers are classic examples of a timeless urge: to do something very different with your life—now, not years from now, even if doing so requires walking away from ordinary comforts and charting a radical, potentially dangerous new course. They’re middle-class Midwesterners from suburban Chicago, and they grew up about as far from the Pacific as the Americas are from Polynesia. But they decided to ride out the Great Recession with a full-on adventure, so they pooled their savings, bought a yacht for half-price on Craigslist, took a few sailing lessons, and set off to circle the world.”

The Iroquois Are Not Giving UpThe Atlantic
“In 2005, the Onondaga filed a lawsuit against New York State, the city of Syracuse, Onondaga County, and five corporations, claiming that the state had illegally seized the tribe’s land and that the corporations had been destroying the environment in the area. At the time, The New York Times reported that the tribe was using the land claim as leverage to force environmental cleanup–they had no intention of taking back the land by evicting people currently living on it.”

F’d: How the US and It’s Allies Got Stuck With the World’s Worst Airplane Medium
“But the chorus of praise is wrong. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — a do-it-all strike jet being designed by Lockheed Martin to evade enemy radars, bomb ground targets and shoot down rival fighters — is as troubled as ever. Any recent tidbits of apparent good news can’t alter a fundamental flaw in the plane’s design with roots going back decades.”

After Guantanamo, Another InjusticeThe New York Times
“For reasons that had nothing to do with terror, war or criminal behavior, Nabil was living peacefully in an Algerian guesthouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2001. Following the United States invasion, word spread among the Arab communities that the Afghan Northern Alliance was rounding up and killing foreign Arabs. Nabil and many others headed for Pakistan in a desperate effort to escape the danger. En route, he said, he was wounded in a bombing raid and woke up in a hospital in Jalalabad.”

Meet the Dread Pirate Roberts, the Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk RoadForbes
“An entrepreneur as professionally careful as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t trust instant messaging services. Forget phones or Skype. At one point during our eight-month preinterview courtship, I offer to meet him at an undisclosed location outside the United States. “Meeting in person is out of the question,” he says. “I don’t meet in person even with my closest advisors.” When I ask for his name and nationality, he’s so spooked that he refuses to answer any other questions and we lose contact for a month.”

The Poorest Rich Kids in the WorldRolling Stone
“Raised by two drug addicts with virtually unlimited wealth, Georgia and Patterson survived a gilded childhood that was also a horror story of Dickensian neglect and abuse. They were globe-trotting trust-fund babies who snorkeled in Fiji, owned a pet lion cub and considered it normal to bring loose diamonds to elementary school for show and tell. And yet they also spent their childhoods inhaling freebase fumes, locked in cellars and deadbolted into their bedrooms at night in the secluded Wyoming mountains and on their ancestral South Carolina plantation. While their father spent millions on drug binges and extravagances, the children lived like terrified prisoners, kept at bay by a revolving door of some four dozen nannies and caregivers, underfed, undereducated, scarcely noticed except as objects of wrath.”

How Much is a Life Worth?National Journal
“Feinberg is the nearly ubiquitous expert who has been called in to divvy up funds for the fallen and the injured in a stomach-churning sequence of tragedies, from the Sept. 11 attacks to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, from the Virginia Tech shootings to the Boston bombings. He’s Death’s accountant.”

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