Recent Articles

Farce Democracy

| August 16, 2014 | 1 Reply

A paper by Princeton University’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page questions whether the United States can claim to be a meaningful democracy. Bloomberg reports:

Economic elites have “quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy.” Interest groups have a lesser but still “substantial” influence, the paper says. In contrast, the authors found, “It makes very little difference what the general public thinks.

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The new version of brick and mortar

| August 15, 2014 | Reply

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine, a lawyer from Kansas City, who mentioned that he is moving to Birmingham, Alabama. He’s fully intending to maintain his Missouri practice with his Kansas City law partner.

I’m increasingly hearing these sorts of stories from experienced lawyers who handle complex litigation. That is my situation too, and it’s working out well. My two law partners ( John Campbell and Alicia Campbell) are based in Denver, where John teaches law at Denver University, but also handles litigation with our firm. We have a workload based mainly in Missouri, and the Campbells often “commute” by airplane to Missouri to handle court hearings, depositions and trials. In the meantime, much of what all of us do involves creating pleadings and researching at our computers, exchanging tons of email and having phone conferences with other attorneys and judges. We keep our files almost entirely in the cloud and we make use of quite a few internet services and computer programs to keep our workload moving and accessible.

IMG_0764 CampbellLaw - trio portrait - March 17 2013

Functionally, it’s really not much different than it would have been had we been working together daily in a brick and mortar office. Campbell Law, LLC was featured for the way we employ technology in an article published by the Bar Assn of Metropolitan St. Louis for being one of the prominent St. Louis firms to make such extensive use of technology (I’ve attached the article as a jpeg). I’m feeling gratified about how well things are working out, especially as Campbell Law is in the process of preparing for its five-year anniversary, Alicia having founded the firm in 2009.

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Recipe for dysfunction, corporate or governmental

| August 13, 2014 | 2 Replies

Because of my recent divorce, I needed to make some changes to my health care policy which my family had purchased under Obamacare. Therefore, today, I spent almost 3 hours on the phone, first with the Obamacare people at and then with my current insurer, Anthem/Blue Cross, one of only two health insurers offering coverage on the exchange in St. Louis. For me, it was as revealing as it was frustrating. Significant dysfunction permeated both organizations.

For those who say that they would not trust the government to have a hand in health insurance, I would respond that Anthem was terrible. It took 15 minutes to even get a live human being on the line. After the man demonstrated that he was not able to answer my concerns, he refused to elevate my concern to a supervisor. He made claims that he would not confirm in writing. I do not trust large powerful corporations to be responsive to consumers whenever there is a monopoly or a near monopoly (e.g., health insurers and telecoms).

For those who say that they do not trust big corporations to handle health care, I would say that a big lumbering government is not necessarily going to solve your problems either. runs a dysfunctional site when it comes to people like me, who are attempting a special enrollment due to life changes. I would offer that the problem is that there is little meaningful pressure we can exert when the government site is deficient [In fairness, signing up for my family’s original policy through was somewhat straightforward].

The bottom line: Whenever there is substantial power and no direct pressure consumers can assert to force a big organization to change its ways, there will be substantial long-term dysfunction. It doesn’t matter whether the organization is a big corporation or a government entity.

Unless there is a meaningful feedback loop whereby consumers can force the government OR corporations to improve performance, we can expect dysfunction.

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John Oliver takes on Payday Lenders

| August 12, 2014 | Reply

John Oliver takes on Payday Lenders with a vengeance.   Check out Sarah Silverman’s payday loan alternative commercial at the end.

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I have often been highly critical of Payday Loans at this website. They are dangerous financial products that drive the working poor into bankruptcy, foreclosure and worse.

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Running from the Grim Reaper

Running from the Grim Reaper

| August 11, 2014 | Reply

I’m starting to run for exercise, but I couldn’t find a watch. My old watches have dead batteries because I’ve long used my phone to know the time. Except . . . I DO have one working watch, but it is highly specialized. It is my new Tikker existential watch.

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Jim Carrey takes on guns

| August 11, 2014 | 1 Reply

This video, a parody of a show called “Hee-Haw,” takes on the glorification of guns with a feisty song. Jim Carrey plays the role of Charleston Heston.

The 2013 video caused quite a stir, even bringing Ted Nugent and other “patriots” out into the limelight.

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Man accepted by a pride of lions

| August 10, 2014 | Reply

This is amazing footage, indeed.

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Alice and Dorothy

| August 10, 2014 | Reply

A lot of worthy Facebook images show up unattributed. Here a recent one I enjoyed:

weird shit

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The economics of prostitution

| August 9, 2014 | Reply

The Economist has gathered statistics that I didn’t know exist to determine the value of prostitution in various cities, and also considering other variables. The illegality of the trade in most places would make the gathering of statistics difficult, it would seem. I suspect that many of these attributes correspond to variables that draw attention on dating sites, at least the attributes that can be gleaned from looking at a photo (to determine body type, race, length of hair).

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