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Links 3/28/11

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Saber-Toothed Vegetarian Found By Juan Carlos Cisneros In Brazil BatangasToday (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

We’re Number One! On American Superiority Yes! (hat tip Marshall Auerback)

Chinese Vase Zooms From $800 to $18 Million in Record N.Y. Sale Bloomberg (hat tip reader Buzz Potamkin

Poison Pools Point to Meltdown Wall Street Journal. Eeek….

A grand bargain that cannot end the crisis Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

Anti-cuts march draws hundreds of thousands as police battle rioters Guardian (hat tip reader Buzz Potamkin)

UK watchdogs’ stance on bank capital attacked Financial Times

The Republicans’ Hispanic problem Chris Chillizza, Washington Post

FHA slow to flag problem lenders, stop them USA Today (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Was the fix in on Libya? Read the Dennis Kucinich submission in the Guardian, at the very end, where he points to war games with France and Great Britain that bear a very strong resemblance to an invasion of Libya (hat tip reader Externality). Before you deem this thinking to be paranoid, there’s precedent. The 2002 Millennium Challenge, then the most expensive war games ever staged, was for the invasion of an oil rich Middle Eastern nation that bore an awfully strong resemblance to Iraq.

Gov’t emails: Political reviews over requests for US records ‘meddling,’ ‘crazy’ and ‘bananas’ Washington Post (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

On financial regulation, it’s Warren vs. Dimon Reuters

Robert Samuelson’s Troubled TARP Arithmetic Dean Baker

Everyone Has a Stake in US Uncut’s Fight The Nation (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-03-28 at 7.11.00 AM

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24 comments

  1. rjs

    Elevated radiation found in rainwater – Low levels of radioactive iodine linked to the nuclear disaster in Japan were detected in a sample of rainwater in Massachusetts, state health officials announced yesterday. The concentration of radioiodine-131 found in the sample is very low and did not affect the health of the state’s drinking-water supplies, said John Auerbach, commissioner of the Department of Public Health. The rain sample was taken during the past week in Boston as part of regular monitoring by the US Environmental Protection Agency. No detectable increases in radiation were discovered in the air that was tested in the same location where the rainwater was collected, Auerbach said at a press conference yesterday at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Jamaica Plain. “In Massachusetts, none of the cities and towns rely on rainwater as their primary source of water,’’ Auerbach said. “That’s why we’re so comfortable in saying that the drinking-water supplies throughout the state are pretty safe.’’
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/03/28/state_steps_up_monitoring_after_radioactivity_found_in_rainwater/?rss_id=Boston.com+–+Local+news

    EPA: Expect More Radiation in Rainwater – The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday reported finding elevated levels of iodine-131, a product of nuclear fission, in rainwater in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The levels exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL) permitted in drinking water, but EPA continues to assure the public there is no need for alarm:“It is important to note that the corresponding MCL for iodine-131 was calculated based on long-term chronic exposures over the course of a lifetime – 70 years. The levels seen in rainwater are expected to be relatively short in duration,” the agency states in a FAQ that accompanied yesterday’s brief news release.“In both cases these are levels above the normal background levels historically reported in these areas.” EPA said it is receiving “verbal reports” of higher levels of radiation in rainwater samples from other states as well, and that Americans should continue to expect short-term contamination of rainwater.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffmcmahon/2011/03/28/epa-expect-more-radiation-in-rainwater/

  2. bmeisen

    Green minister president in Baden Württemberg!

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,753503,00.html

    This is comparable to the Greens winning the governorship in California or New York. Also it has consequences at the German federal level that a Green governor in CA would not have for Washington. Merkel and Westerwelle are reeling. She’ll hold on if only because her main challenger for leadership of CDU/CSU crashed and burned 2 weeks ago, figuratively speaking. Westerwelle is similarly safe – Brüderle, the FDP Economics MInister has a bullseye on his back. Immediately after Fukushima, Merkel postponed the extension of permits for nuclear plants that her government had announced in 2010. The postponement was suspicious and also welcomed. Shortly thereafter Brüderle made a big boo-boo telling a collection of corporate executives that the postponement was politically motivated. The chair of the meeting, a pretentious CSU wannabe, allowed the meeting minutes to include Brüderle’s comments and then he allowed the minutes to leak to the press. As a result, Westerwelle is unchallenged for leadership of the FDP. But he and FDP are bankrupt, and that at a time when Merkel and the CDU need big-time help.

    Polluters and gear-fetishists: don’t worry. There will be changes but they won’t be as radical as I would like. I live in Frankfurt am Main, a city where the Greens are junior partners in the current reigning coalition. They’ve had the transit and traffic planning department for several years and have achieved little more than cosmetic changes.

  3. spc

    - Holy scissors Batman!! It appears sombody has truncated our feed.
    - My God, Robin you are absolutely right. To Batmobile, we need to catch this rss hawk!!!

  4. Matthew

    Dr David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering. The area of human endeavor with the most experience and sophistication in dealing with feedbacks and analyzing complex systems is electrical engineering, and the most crucial and disputed aspects of understanding the climate system are the feedbacks. The evidence supporting the idea that CO2 emissions were the main cause of global warming reversed itself from 1998 to 2006, causing Evans to move from being a warmist to a skeptic.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/david-evans-carbon-modeler-says-its-a-scam/

    Someone talking from the inside and making coherent arguments….nice change of pace in this debate.

  5. arhonick

    I’d like to send a photo to consider for your antidote du jour…how can I do that?
    Thanks

  6. DragQueen Capitalism

    In reference to the idea that the War exercises being a precursor to the invasion of Libya, as those in 2002 were for Iraq, is paranoid, perhaps it would be helpful to remember that when GW took (literally) office, there were 2 MENA countries where light, sweet crude oil could be produced for about $1/bbl: Libya & Iraq.

  7. kevinearick

    Well, it’s federal layoff day, and I’m in another ghost town, with people hiding in homes they are not making payments on, or driving down to Wal-Mart in big trucks they are not making payments on, to buy Ipads with the Fed’s amazing infinite credit machine that is destroying everything in its path, hunting …

    Enterprise Architecture, Empire Economics, & Global Revolution

    An independent economy is the aggregate function of individual effective decisions. An empire, the supply-side counterweight to the portfolio, seeks to replace natural demand with artificial demand, to rest replication control, with the intent of holding children hostage to its efficient replication. When the intersection exceeds equilibrium, the consumption virus takes off exponentially until threshold, resulting in cancer across the tracks. Empires reward efficiency (economic activity) and penalize effectiveness (economic profit). That’s what they do. They are also relatively counter-intuitive.

    Nothing is as simple or complex as it sounds. Nothing is free. Evolution has made an incredible investment in you specifically; reward it by building onto the gate system, to grow the circuit. Free riders are the temporary counterweight in any system; employ accordingly, in cascading tracks.

    The unknown door is always labeled heads I win, tails you lose, which is an invitation to cooperation or competition, depending upon perspective. Build the counter-balance to form the looking glass and the necessary wave thrust will present itself. Balance the fulcrum to provide the opposite direction and the empire will do the rest. Leverage, leverage, leverage, up and down, and across each dimension to provide the necessary energy of catalysis; that’s transformation.

    You are given a straight-line dragster, seated with billions of want-a-be drivers, watching the video stream in a shoe store. The starting line is a dead stop at the base of the largest economic mountain in History, which has no established roadway, and the fuel at your back is the largest wave of defaults in History, which the Fed is “engineering” across the global economy. Backlash is a threat or an opportunity, depending upon perspective.

    Empires present false threats to their ordained destiny (divine providence) as SOP. Filter to identify a desirable abutment (exit), add delay devices on the empire side of the switch as necessary to load the spring with each revolution, build a multiplexing (parallel) bridge system to the unknown, and repeat. You climb Mt Everest for the adventure; the view is icing on the cake. Sometimes, the mountain is a volcano.

    You are not free; you are an investment and return is expected. Value yourself accordingly.

    So, as we have seen all the lies of empire History pop off the stack, we learn that supply-side welfare begins at the top, driving corporate nexus accounting profits, to incorporate governments, companies, unions, churches, and non-profits across the system, incrementally building a middle-class delay mechanism to prevent backlash as required, all depending entirely upon unsustainable natural resource exploitation.

    The artificial majority hiding behind artificial borders gets paid off in ponzi promises to enslave larger and larger sub-populations, farther and farther from the empire epicenter. Noriega, Mubarak, Gadhafi, and the rest are just disposable dictators acting as middlemen for a fee.

    Both the US and the USSR were bankrupt back in the 70s; the US simply had many more delay mechanisms in its part of the fountain. A tiny minority, which is actually capable of creating economic profit, pumps the wealth up from the bottom, employing quantum physics. They do so because the backlash serves as the thrust to launch a better system into the next orbit.

    The individual’s stack of lies, the voices in our heads, that justify our participatory actions, works accordingly. The individual accepts false fear as presented by the empire and balances the resulting insecurity with a false ego, which is rewarded by the propaganda education system, beginning with the false parents of civil marriage, as the onramp to temporary property credit in the empire’s monetary expansion gate system. Over time, natural individual fulcrum balances are completely replaced by social artifices and the empire implodes.

    You will never learn anything from a book, except all the “mistakes” that created the black holes of History beckoning you to enter. Along with real life experience, you can identify gaps between current “realities” and what is necessary to increase amperage to the enterprise system.

    Architects set gaps t adjust power to meet demand, so they cannot work directly for any organization within the enterprise system. Some architects are the gap. Attempting to jump this lock and key system is counter-productive.

    To learn, give everything away, go to an unknown town at random, build yourself up to a stable economic position, and repeat as necessary to penetrate the layers. The most difficult part of the job is ramping up a system from a dead stop without frying the devices going up and around the first curve.

    Any moron can take a system at full momentum, place it on a downhill straightaway, and remove the resulting unused devices to simulate performance. The point of the practice is to appreciate all the devices installed and compare the resulting knowledge to your development ideas.

    The great illusion lies in the timing of unique solutions, which requires patience, which requires humility. Sometimes, you merge with the cattle, sometimes you don’t. Adjust ego response accordingly. Each dc track runs on a specific frequency. AC divides all frequency.

    They just can’t help themselves; they must take the short cut. It’s how their mind is wired from birth and they can no longer offer resistance. You could give them the blueprint for a fusion/fission reactor and all they would do is blow themselves and you up. Now, who do you think the enterprise architects want to work for at this point, people that are going to treat workers as disposable commodities?

    Like spoiled children, the proprietors offer to appreciate the last gift when they get the next gift. Life is a gift from God, but they want to see another miracle before acceptance in their proffered contract negotiation. That’s supply-side economics. Faith in numbers doesn’t work. The greater the fear, the greater the love required. That’s God, and quantum physics.

    1. KEN S

      This essay is so soundly constructed and substantial, the
      effect on me has been similar to first readings of the classics in psychology, history, etc.
      This is the first, which I have read, which reveals the
      complex machinery of state from which you cannot flee,
      and cannot understand, in language I have seen only in
      classical, popular descriptions such as Huxley, from many decades ago.

      The intuitive style of the writing, and presentation in a
      somewhat free form of speculation and intuition, in language which accommodates this flexibility, within the bounds of of clarity and style, is a pleasure to read and understand.

      The point is survival. Understanding this essay, and others
      similar, is the only defense.

      1. Artaud the Schizo

        I agree. All of kevinearick’s posts have been excellent, and
        deserve careful reading.

        As for “the complex machinery of state from which you cannot flee, and cannot understand…”

        Reminds me of a quote from Maurice Blanchot, one I’ve read a number of times but still struggle to understand:

        “For the State will know how to use your insubordination, and not only will it take advantage of it, but you, in opposition and revolt, will be its delegate and representative as fully as you would have been in your office, following the law. The only change is that you want change and there won’t be any. What you’d like to call destruction of the State will always appear to you really as service to the State. What you’ll do to escape the law will still be the force of the law for you. And when the State decides to annihilate you, you’ll know that this annihilation doesn’t sanction your error, doesn’t give you, before history, the vain arrogance of men in revolt, but rather that it makes you one of these modest and correct servants on the dust of whom rests the good of all — and your good as well…” (Blanchot, “The Most High”, pg 137)

  8. Max424

    YS: “Was the fix in on Libya?”

    I don’t think the fix was in, per se, but certainly we war gamed it. Libya has 44 billion barrels of oil,* it’s the good stuff, and it is easy to get at, so of course there are invasion plans for Libya, on many national boards.

    But I can’t stress this enough; it is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to the West (and the East) who is in charge in Libya — Libya’s oil production is the ONLY thing that matters.

    Nobody gave a rat’s ass about protests in Libya until Mu’ammar Qaddafi lost control of his oil fields, and Western ears didn’t really perk up until Moamar compounded this foolish error (not protecting his political lifeblood), by announcing that in the future, only India, China, and Russia would be allowed to co-develop Libyan oil.

    Then the psycho really went and did it, he actually met, face to face, with officials from India, China, and Russia, to discuss future production plans! Only then did we (the West, obviously) officially declare our former great good friend, mutual enemy of al-qaeda, and all-around trusted ally in the War on Terror, Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, Public Enemy Number One.

    Note: Guess who didn’t sign UN Resolution 1973?** That’s right, India, China, and Russia. And you know who else. Brazil. And where was Obama when action started. Brazil. And why was Obama in Brazil? To beg the Brazilians, on his hand and knees, to sell HIS “helpless in all matters related to oil” country at least some of their oil, instead of giving it all to, you guessed it, India, China, and Russia.

    * Iraq, Iran, and Libya have represented an unholy trinity for more than two decades. Why? Terror! (Giggle) No, it’s not that. It’s because all three still have big oil reserves, but despite these reserves, all three produce FAR LESS OIL than they did in a previous era — for whatever reason. Hence…

    ** 1973, the year of the first oil spike! Spooky.

  9. Michael H

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) compiled a list of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders:

    1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

    2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

    3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

    4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

    5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

    6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

    7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

    8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

    9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

    10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

    http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/index.cfm?id=67562604-8280-4d56-8af4-a27f59d70de5

  10. Wiseguy

    So I guess by now Obie has explained to the “folks” why we’ve gotta send our working class kids to fight yet another war, this time in Libya.

    No mention of banksters being prosecuted, or putting a stop to illegal foreclosures. Oh no, let’s start a third war while banksters keep foreclosing illegally and looting the homeland with impunity.

    This month Libya, next month Obie and the MSM will be explaining why we had to go to war with Uruguay.

    I wonder how many times tonight Obama used the expression “make no mistake”.

    I would have counted myself, but to do that would have meant actually listening to the fraudster.

    Are you kidding? Is there anyone out there who still listens to this clown?

    On his blog this morning, J.H. Kunstler wrote: “If I hear him say “make no mistake” one more time, someone will have to restrain me from kicking in the flat screen TV. Obama, it turns out, is the mistake.”

    One of his commenters, RyeBeachBum, responded:

    “No shit Jim I could have told you that over two years ago.”

  11. Advocatus Diaboli

    FYI.

    Making sure ‘motel kids’ don’t go hungry

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/03/24/cnnheroes.serato.motel.kids/index.html

    Anaheim, California (CNN) — In the shadows of Disneyland, often referred to as the “happiest place on Earth,” many children are living a reality that’s far from carefree. They are living in cheap motels more commonly associated with drug dealers, prostitutes and illicit affairs. It’s the only option for many families that are struggling financially and can’t scrape together a deposit for an apartment. By living week to week in these cramped quarters, they stay one step ahead of homelessness. “Some people are stuck, they have no money. They need to live in that room,” said Bruno Serato, a local chef and restaurateur. “They’ve lost everything they have. They have no other chance. No choice.”

  12. kevinearick

    The back-ups will fail simultaneously. Remember, it’s a global IC chip. If you are not at a gate, get there. If you are there and waiting for it to open, turn your anxiety into productive capacity by preparing to be at future gates. It’s the traveling salesman problem. Do not employ anxiety in an effort to repair past mistakes. That’s the black hole. Time is simply accelerating too fast to go back.

    The states are tapped and Canada is going over the housing edge. Stay away from the critters that cannot employ anxiety productively, especially if they are in numbers. Go back and forth, keeping your gap at the edge.

  13. SH

    I’m an adopted Colombian, raised by a PhD Economist that worked for the Carter adminstration, with libertarian tendancies, and is studying the concept of revisionist history, as Yves has been presenting lately, as well as from other sources.

    Just to lay the facts straight, if there is a republican problem with hispanics, here’s the spark.

    http://sparkaction.org/content/ted-kennedy-immigration-legacy

    This is a quick source and it sucks, but it gets to the point. Let’s all see how this plays out and see how we describe it to future generations. An article that does not lay out the facts is in need though. These topics may be more relevant than banksters one day.

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