Recent Items

Links 6/20/11

Posted on by

Republicans cut short Obama impersonator BBC

Learn Sarver Heart Center’s Continuous Chest Compression CPR University of Arizona School of Medicine (hat tip reader Ken K). This public service announcement is important, please watch.

If more women were elected, would political sex scandals disappear? Syracuse (hat tip reader bob). I’m not big on this sort of article, but I liked the straightforward thesis (which does not depend on the annoying assumption of greater virtue among women): powerful women don’t attract interest from the opposite sex they way powerful men do.

Electrical Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling Pool at Nebraska Nuclear Plant Planetsave (hat tip reader May S)

Airspace over flooded Nebraska nuclear plant closed by FAA Mark Cripsin Miller

US orders news blackout over crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant: report The Nation (Pakistan, hat tip reader May S)

Why Germany must exit the euro Edmund Conway, Telegraph (hat tip reader Thomas B)

Please respect FT.com’s ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article –

PFI projects switched to tax havens, report claims Financial Times (hat tip reader Tim C). “PFI” is the UK term of art for infrastructure deals.

It’s official: Ascot just ain’t posh no more Independent (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Justices Have Been Forced To Resign For Doing What Clarence Thomas Has Done ThinkProgress

Catholic diocese challenges award to abused altar boy McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Al Jazeera at Home on a Former PBS Outlet New York Times. If this keeps up, the right may come to regret its defunding of PBS.

How to End the War on Terror Karen Greenberg, TomDispatch

Companies Push for Tax Break on Foreign Cash New York Times

The Regulator Down the Hall Wall Street Journal

Home equity loan losses pile up for Bank of America Charlotte Observer (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

The Case of The Disappearing Docket Entry re: Alleged Original Note & Mortgage Foreclosure Hamlet

The Emperor Has No Clothes, But Still He Rules: Three Critiques of Neoclassical Economics Michael Yates (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

Three words: Predator Drones. Domestically. Lambert Strether. Today’s must read

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Lance N):

The cat mother, Tito. The kitten, Paco. And the baby squirrel, Firulais. They became family last year, when Rubén Darío Gaviria, who lives in Colombia, found the squirrel under a tree, limping and unable to climb up. The squirrel instinctively cuddled with him, hiding from the cold weather, at 6 a.m.

As Rubén got home, he introduced the little squirrel to mom Tito, who was not so pleased to see the newcomer. A quick reprimand of “Bad Tito! He’s family now,” followed. The mom got the message and immediately welcomed the squirrel into her bed with Paco, the baby kitten. The squirrel, then named Firulais, bonded with his new mother when she started nursing him back to health.

The unusual family plays together daily. At night, Firulais ventures into the woods, where he dug a hole. He’s free to go whenever he wants, says Rubén, but he doesn’t seem to be very interested in giving up the comforts of his new home. He always comes back to sleep all curled up with Tito and Paco.

See more pictures at The Daily Tail.

Print Friendly
Twitter8DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook1LinkedIn1Google+0bufferEmail

47 comments

  1. Scott M

    Good morning. Every day I am thankful for you and your colleagues for this blog. I am nonetheless obliged to point out that of your three nuclear energy stories in today’s reading list, the first (electrical fire) is nearly two weeks old, the second (airspace) is misleading (nothing to do with the nuclear power station), and the third (meltdown & news blackout) is complete silliness & probably low-end propaganda placed by the not-very-creative kids in the security service of a foreign government. So many people love and respect you and your work, and it may be fair to include electric companies in your general distrust of corporations, but the instant collection of anti-nuclear propaganda goes too far into the realm of fantasy. Thank you & happy summer.

    1. Cedric Regula

      Actually, the article you describe as “two week old news”, should probably be described as a “followup article”. Sort of a recounting of facts and events.

      I’ll copy some salient points here:

      “Officials at Fort Calhoun said the situation at their plant came nowhere near to Fukushima’s. They said it would have taken 88 hours for the heat produced by the fuel to boil away the cooling water.

      Workers restored cooling in about 90 minutes, and plant officials said the temperature in the pool only increased by two degrees.

      The fire, reported at 9:30 a.m., led to the loss of electrical power for the system that circulates cooling water through the spent fuel pool, according to a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A chemical fire suppression system discharged, and the plant’s fire brigade cleared smoke from the room and reported that the fire was out at 10:20 a.m., the NRC said.”

      So it looks like something worked right, for a change.

      Didn’t read the other two articles. I’ve already decided not to believe anything unless Al-Jazerra says it’s true.

    2. Jim

      Why do you say closing the airspace has nothing to do with the fire at the nuclear power plant? I see nothing in the article that indicates otherwise. Certainly the airspace was closed. Was this a coincidence for the stated “security” reasons? How often does the FAA close an area to traffic? Why that area? Why is reporting this anti-nuclear propaganda? Is any negative about nuclear power propaganda. You should take a closer look at Japan now. Everything we have heard about it here in Amerika (sic) has been propaganda. That is demonstrable.

  2. Alexandra Lomakin

    You say about “If more women were in power there would be less sex scandals” that the premise, that powerful women are not attractive in the way powerful men are is at least original, since it does not depend of any prejudiced assumption on women virtuosity. The premise is, however, predicated in the fact that we live in a world were men do not need women’s influence to succeed, as it is a “men’s world”. More women in power, would most probably imply that all along the production structure women have more power. With the balance shifted, quite a few powerful men would lose their attractive qualities, and powerful women would gain some glamour. The frequency of sex scandals would indeed be determined by virtue. (We may observe less virtuosity in women, as the can afford it).

    1. Cynthia

      Most sexual scandals in Washington have about as much criminal weight to them as jaywalking or illegal parking does. So if we were to put the bulk of these scandals on a criminal scale and judge them to be nothing more than irrelevant misdemeanors, as we should be doing, then there would be no need for any of us to make this needless argument that there would be less sexual scandals in government if we only elected more women to public office. The only reason why our government-controlled news outlets are giving far too much airtime covering the sex lives on our elected officials, even if they are merely soft core as well as cyber in nature, as was the case with Rep. Anthony Weiner and his digital dick, is to distract us from all of real and hardcore crimes being committed by our elected officials — anything from looting our social security trust fund to starting illegal wars in Iraq and Libya, so that they and their criminal friends on Wall Street can get stinking rich at great expense to the rest of us!

      1. Andrew not the Saint

        Exactly my thoughts too. Critizing politicians for their personal moral failures whilst ignoring their massive public criminal failures seems like yet another distraction eagerly propelled by MSM.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe not ALL moral failures.

          We might want to care about some.

          If that moral failure is personal greed, it could be why he or she kowtows to banksters.

          1. Cynthia

            Prime Beef,

            There is very little correlation between financial fraud and marital infidelity. So just because Lloyd Blankfein and other Ponzi banksters cheat on Wall Street doesn’t automatically mean they cheat on their wives. In fact, people who lead corrupt and criminal lives at work tend to make up for this by being goody-two-shoes at home. It’s all part and parcel of doing God’s work, I reckon.

      2. auditor

        Hey it works every. single. time.

        People are perfectly willing to trade their health, security, fortune, liberty, and happiness for a few seconds of moral indignation. Who are we to stop them?

    2. Dave of Maryland

      Powerful men see sex as a fringe benefit.

      Powerful women have replaced sex with power.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        So far as “let the boys be boys”, it’s way more complicated than that. Sex on this level isn’t a sport. It’s a power game. There are winners & losers, and when the boys play, the boys aren’t always the winners and the girls aren’t always the losers. This should have been clear from Clinton-Rodham-Lewinsky, but instead we were distracted (deliberately) by the size of the Prez’s schlong.

    3. Lidia

      I don’t think that’s necessarily true, because of the sociopathic personality types that are attracted to high office. Nikki Haley glided away from a sex scandal and won her seat. Sarah Palin has had adulterous relationships. Maybe society is just getting pathological, that we are excusing the behavior of so many of these people? Vitter? Craig? Come on!! I’m figuring IOKIYOR is more the operating principle.

      1. Alexandra Lomakin

        If sociopath personalities are attracted to high office – a view I share- then stopping careers when indicators of such character is apparent, makes a lot of sense. Not all sex scandals are equal, the same goes for reactions to them. Some of them reveal more that a “personal failure” or a propensity to jaywalk. Indeed, we can not separate greed from anti-social personalities.

  3. ambrit

    Dear NCers;
    I just noticed the wonderfully understated iteration of what could mean the collapse of BofA, by its former Chief Executive, Ken Lewis. The Charlotte Observer article, (BofAs home team no less!) says by 2013 BofA could be facing $73billion in losses from housing related business. This isn’t trivial in anyones book. But listen to Ken Lewis’ take on it; “That is a major disappointment for me that our consumer loan portfolio in these two areas performed as poorly as that.”
    In any civilized country Mr Lewis would be required to “do the honourable thing.” I don’t think he’s even offered to give any of his salary or bonus money back. Considering the groundswell of popular anger against the political and financial elites, the militarization of domestic security in the West makes a perverse sense.

  4. bush and obama gave birth to skynet :)

    the only way to stop the militarization of domestic security is via a libertarian-ACLU coalition, but given that there’s always some fissure-issue that separates the two (gay marriage, immigration, guns, prayer in schools, whatever) it seems pretty hopeless barring some big headline event in the future.

    so stock up on WD-40 and be nice to our Skynet overlords :)

  5. Cedric Regula

    File: One More Thing To Worry About

    Three words: Predator Drones. Domestically. Lambert Strether

    I know some of our NC Revolutionaries are unperturbed about this, but one thing that has concerned me when that day comes that I need to grab a kitchen knife and take to the streets and join the comrades’ struggle to take back our country by force, is that I come face to face with the world’s most powerful military and find a kevlar clad soldier pointing a machine gun, or mortar fire, or howitzer shells, or a flame thrower, or a M-1 Abrams tank, or assault aircraft, or a cruise missile, or a hellfire missile and chain gun equipped AH-64 Apache helicopter.

    Now we find out it could be a hellfire missile armed Predator too. Sh*t. They must of got that idea from the TV show “24″.

    Just sayin’.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s why it’s better to stick to non-subversive topics, like the Education Paradox.

      The Education Paradox – When every working adult in a country has a college degree, who is going to collect trash or be janitors?

      If you say immigrants, you would be speaking for the elite, for truly, the universal goal is that every working adult in the world, be she or he an immigrant or otherwise, has a college degree.

      You might say, let college students be busboys or streetsweepers…before they graduate. But there might not be enough of them, so you might have to make their study 8 years instead of 4, to ensure enough workers for jobs not requiring a college degree, and judging by the scarcity of which, you might want to make that a 10 or 20 year program, instead of the current 4.

  6. mpinca

    How pathetic that The Nation and other “journalistically reputable” online sites would let themselves be punked by the improbable “Sorcha Faal,” perpetrator of the hysterical (in both senses of the word) whatdoesitmean.com site, a favorite of the outermost fringes of the conspiracy theory community. If you do a search on the first paragraph, you’ll see that this “report” first appeared on “her” site on June 16 and then pinged around the conspiracy universe for a couple of days before it managed to slip by editors who should know better. One could spend hours trying to find that original report from the “scientists” at that Russian agency, to no avail. David Brooks must be laughing his head off.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The reasons I gave this some consideration is:

      1. There was an announcement out of the Russian agency, and despite the hysterical tone of the piece, the reporting on the Russian announcement (which challenged the legitimacy of the US reporting) looked to be faithful

      2. TEPCO lied through its teeth for the first six weeks of the Fukushima disaster. This isn’t remotely the same sort of incident, but the initial rebuttal by the Fort Calhoun plant operator nonsensically claimed that there was no such thing as a Level 4 disaster (as opposed to merely denying that any such thing had happened). The seven-level system is a standard international classification, so the operator’s remark was pretty stunning. They now have a more detailed discussion on their site and it does not contain the bizarre denial of the classification scheme.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Good points. Unfortunately too many commentators who may be on the right side of things in many ways have little science education and have an anti-science bias worthy of the Bush administration. A hysterical tone is usually a sign to leave a commentary to one side until some one with some perspective (say an Arnie Gundersen) picks it up. Or link to them with an invite to some NCers to weigh in on the plausibility. Perhaps that’s meant to be understood already. Always good to see what other people’s propaganda looks like in any case.

        1. Skippy

          All the subterfuge post meltdown was an act to preserve market price and not public safety[?] (globally), say it ain’t so.

          Skippy…****free market**** resolution to crisis is truly an awesome sight…of CYA…market digestion is numero uno!

          1. psychohistorian

            I agree but hold to my prediction that when “the public” really gets what the implications are of Fukushima the market will be stopped for a period…to adjust.

            I give the Germans credit for responding to the facts with immediate public policy change. Lets hope other countries take their enlightened example…..soon.

      2. Scott M

        Dear Ms. Smith, Thank you for your kind reply. I was wrong about the airspace: it is indeed closed because of the plant. In fact, the airspace above Fort Calhoun and every other nuclear power station in the United States has been closed to civilian air traffic since shortly after September 11, 2001 [http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2011/06/17/rumors-and-the-rising-river/]. But wrong too is the writer of the airspace story you listed this morning: he’s seeing Howard Hunt on some muddy knoll in Nebraska and such silliness is not worthy of this site. As for the Pakistan piece, we know you get up early in the morning and publish a great deal of material; no one can hold you responsible for the full content of every story/blog in the reading list. About the Fort Calhoun event classification, you may be thinking of INES [http://www-ns.iaea.org/tech-areas/emergency/ines.asp] whereas OPPD & the people at Fort Calhoun were undoubtedly referring to the NRC’s event classifications, under which they operate [http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/emerg-classification.html], and which does not admit of any such thing as a ‘level 4 disaster.’ Apologies for filling your website, and continued best wishes to you & your colleagues. Please keep up the good work. SM

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s squirrel.

    This little guy could be like those Japanese reg bug nymphs that move to a different nest when their mother can’t provide enough food.

    When politicians switch parties, totalitarian generals ditch their leaders or radical communists remake themselves into savvy capitalists, it could be that they are eating too many Japanese red bugs.

  8. Eureka Springs

    These sweeping generalizations of – we need more women in power are fraught with errorisim of the worst kind. Look no further than Di Fi, Pelosi, Clinton, Bachman, Palin to wake the heck up people. Women sell out too, promote class warfare, looting sprees, torture, women in power seemingly also cower to fear and support more police state as much as any man.

    What kind of power? Be far more specific. As one of my favorite women in the world once said to me – “Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.”

  9. Tertium Squid

    Uh, I don’t think that “The Nation” article about the Nebraska power plant is “The Nation” we are accustomed to thinking about.

    The second page of the article is also rather polemical, with stuff like this:

    ““If you’re still living under the delusion that the TSA is just restricted to airports then think again. A joint VIPR “security exercise” involving military personnel has Transportation Security Administration workers covering 5,000 miles and three states, illustrating once again how the TSA is turning into a literal occupying army for domestic repression in America.”

  10. Tertium Squid

    Presented without commentary, here is what Lindsay Graham said on Meet the Press about Libya:

    “The War Powers Act is unconstitutional, not worth the paper it is written on. I think it is an infringement on the power of the commander-in-chief…the president has done a lousy job of communicating and managing our involvement in Libya. If we fail against Gaddhafi, that is the end of NATO. Egypt is going to be overrun, and the mad dog of the Mideast, Gaddhafi, if he survives this, you are going to have double the price of oil that you have today, because he will take the whole region and put it into chaos.”

    1. Cedric Regula

      I thought it was Saddam and his WMD equipped 500,000 man Army that was going to do that. Or the Taliban. Or Iran. Or Hezbollah. Or Al Qaeda.

      How many kooks bent on world domination do they have over there?

    2. ἀεὶ Λιβύη φέρει τι καινόν


      Libya. If we fail against Gaddhafi, that is the end of NATO. Egypt is going to be overrun, and the mad dog of the Mideast, Gaddhafi,

      ~~Tertium Squid~

      Commanding the Forces is simple. Paying for the war will be one tough mekcufrehtor. We got out within the nick of time. Why we should pay for all things Mediterranean, all things Euro, all things NATO? Let Euro Guys pick up the tab. Let The Greeks pay for it. Give it to Mikey. He’ll eat anything.

  11. kevinearick

    Time, Currency, & the Rush Hour Perspective

    The Problem: It’s about the process of designing the process, which results in exponential derivative outcomes. Only reptiles attempt to catch the curve by addressing the aggregate symptoms of individual outcomes by blaming the individual. The NPV window / value / wealth / currency (voltage) depends entirely upon trust for timing, and reptiles breed competition, eliminating trust. Welcome to the Boeing catch-22, Microsoft.

    In order to prime the pump, a cohort of kids must be brought up through the new process to prove it works, so others will follow, which will take 30 years, assuming the process is ready, but, in a little over a month, the reptiles are going to “see” that the best the dollar can do is gain traction on other currencies imploding into the black hole of bankruptcy.

    Methodology: The universe is a black hole of black holes, with a composite neutral line serving as a relatively instantaneous communication bus. From the long-term perspective, it’s a pendulum; from the short-term perspective, it’s a bridge.

    The old radio knob was continuous; the old tv knob was discreet. A dc signal can by piggy-backed on an ac signal, with the remainder going to the quantum neutral of neutrals. The education system trains in dc; you are born, you grow old, and you die, but you can just as easily see it from the reverse perspective. We call those ascribing to the latter kids with old souls and old people young at heart. When these types bond, it begins the priming process. They are always on the event horizon and they can affect time rather than simply having it affect them.

    The kid is building the foundation with the old person in mind, and the old person is trimming out with the kid in mind, which induces the semi-neutral middle class. Parallel circuits are an illusion created by time. The more things change, the more they stay the same is another way of saying that physics is physics.

    Analogy / Angle of Perspective: The reptiles herd their prey into the hour to create a bottleneck, “rewarding” the competitors on the front end of the ponzi, capturing the rest, and catching the front end on the next iteration. To solve loss of circulation, you want people to slow down to 40 mph, to temporarily cooperate, and maximize throughput until capacity is increased QUANTUMLY.

    If you have a fast timed camera / meter, you will capture the pendulum swing. If you have a slow “income meter,” which averages, smoothes, and extrapolates, you will capture a dc average. From one perspective, you have many channels. From another, you have one channel and each class viewer has a filter to view the desired sub-channel. The universe is a tuner of tuners, which creates time in the process of installing filters, or creates filters in the process of establishing time.

    On the first pass across the organization’s floor, an architect has 95% of the channels tuned and the bottleneck identified. All that is left is to design the irrational energy to be imparted upon the existing irrational energy, like multiplying a negative by a negative, only dimensions. The architect broadcasts on the required channels to ensure placement at the bottleneck (feedback loop of feedback loops). Due to the ego of egos, the architect’s participation will soon be discounted upon departure, like an old memory.

    The automated line has to be aligned along the new direction for the to-be. In the as-is, the demand for variability naturally increases, but the line is general use, so the “errors” increase, resulting in processor timing errors. Humans are specifically designed to transform error demand into supply, by practicing errors, but the endgame of currency exchange forgives the dc machine while blaming the ac human, in a temporarily symbiotic relationship between agency and senior labor, with a ponzi TBTF entitlement system and a revolving door for junior labor, until the irresolvable crash, when the new facility is brought online and the process is re-initiated. Under equilibrium condition, however, a dc solution is not possible. The Mayans could evade the Internet.

    The architect repeats an individual error within firm tolerance until backlash builds to the required threshold, “tuning in” all the systematic errors up the chain of command, while making prototypical corrections to the process, which will only clear the bottleneck on the last insertion (compilation of the wave). The filters will automatically tune in the individual error until design change is complete. An architect builds a prototype of prototypes, keeping the pieces in a mental closet.

    The Turner Diaries Media Manipulation Model: Class identification, goals, funding, recruiting, media, proto-action, action/word positive feedback cycle. Just add channels and you have reptile herding of the sheeple. A dinosaur cannot change its spots in real time.

    The reptilian mind cannot solve a problem it doesn’t recognize, so it becomes a hammer looking for a nail. Fiat money may only control the make-work economy, by measuring quantity. Only you can judge quality, which is the difference between a thinking human and a replicating reptile. From time to time, an architect appears to be any number of critters.

    … another white elephant bytes the dust, because a quantum solution is required.

    Architects have an acute sense of leverage. The art is in taking all the resulting energy and producing any productive outcome to balance the neutral line. The fusion/fission reactor is there; what others do with it is up to them, but they should not attempt to isolate the architects with Family Law. Only their virtual image resides within the box.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Powerful anything is not good.

    Concentration of power does noboby any good, not even the powerholders.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Shamaness-in-chief doing the voodoo dance today to ‘sooth nerves,’ it is being reported.

    It’s amazing how the whole thing works.

    Let’s hope she is not too busy for a raindance.

  14. petered

    great links! the one with the critiques to neoclassic economics blow my mind!

    and the others links followed! any other day at NC I would say good links but today is just great..great job..thx!

  15. Bernard

    all i have to do is think of Margaret Thatcher to know evil is worse in a woman sometimes. to be on the same par as the Iron Lady is quite an achievement.

    Rasputin sounds so much nicer than anything i hear about Thatcher.

    i suppose it is the upbringing more than the sex of the lunatic. since fewer women reach the heights of power as easily as men, this might be a case for the odd woman out.

    but then again, i see women like Di Fi, President Snowe, Palin, Bachman and the merry band of female lunatics. Power does something to the women in the US Congress. my own Senator, Landrieu, is quite in “bed” with the Oil industry as well. one of those Blue Dogs, and i forgot Blanche Lincoln, lol. have you heard Virginia Foxx of Va? gosh seems like power corrupts even the “fairer” sex on a greater percentage than men.

    No, i don’t think your sex has much to do with being evil lol

    I almost forgot Nancy Reagan, lol. couldn’t we just say “NO” to evil to begin with. after all, Just saying NO works every time! Margaret Thatcher and Nancy Reagan! gosh evil personified as women in my generation

    1. psychohistorian

      How so rudely correct.

      Ronnie was no saint either….in bed with evil. Which was worse? Ronnie of course!

  16. retardrenegade

    What the million dollar pay outs are really doing is making it increasingly difficult for any men to interact with young people.

    In the UK, for example, draconian safety requirements have forced many hobby clubs to close their doors to under 18s. Men are not looking towards teaching or childcare. The Scouts are fading. Boy choirs are almost finished. Men who work with children are suspect, and are not permitted the latitude of women. Nobody wants to take a risk on men.

    Research I read some time ago about early childhood education noted that while feminists argue that men do not enter ECE because of low pay and status, the men themselves reported that they do not remain because of stigma, not from outside the profession but within it. In other words, the female-dominated work space made men feel uncomfortable. Why? Because all men are suspect. They can’t touch the children, hug the children, be with the children. Therefore, men tend to leave the field, or go into administration.

    The next generation is going to be dominated by women, who look down on men as pathetic losers. It is already happening. Enjoy that 5 million dollar schaedenfreude while you still can.

    1. Lidia

      I’ve heard that female teachers are not allowed to hug the children, either…

      Part of the problem is also just in the scale and institutional nature of the enterprise, as opposed to dealing one-on-one and establishing human trust. See healthcare and malpractice, see onerous food regulations… all the things designed to protect us assume the worst in everyone.

  17. Colton

    Ok, just to start off I am still new to this site, but I try to read and understand all that I can. I know that the information that I recive on this blog will not be messed with or changed to make me feel better about what is going on with our economy. Yet I am still young and dont know a whole lot about what is going on and how things work here in out country. I am twenty four years old and feel like the media has such a huge influence on people my age these days not to mention me, until I heard about this blog. Just today in my home town news paper, our secretary of finance and revenue stated, “I think it is safe to say the steady improvement in our economy led to dramatic increases in motor vehicle taxes from a year ago.” Is this someone trying to sugar coat things to make me feel better? maybe feel good enough to buy a brand new car? I am not buying it…

Comments are closed.