Links 8/24/11

The Truth About Gardasil TruthOut (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Funds sought to keep ahead of landslide Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Moody’s downgrades Japan’s debt rating Financial Times

The future of the Eurozone Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (hat tip Richard Smith via Alea)

China, Libya and the cost of doing business McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Bailout nation MacroBusiness

Beware of Rick Perry, the French cuff cowboy Aljazeera (hat tip reader bruno)

US business sees Republican game of bluff Financial Times

New York Removed From State Group Working on Nationwide Foreclosure Deal Bloomberg. This is super tacky. Tom Miller kicks Eric Schneiderman out of the AG mortgage negotiations. This looks like an effort to keep a dissenter away from everyone else.

Barack Obama and the cost of doing nothing Chris Whalen, Reuters

USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable? Reuters (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Sex, lies and pitfalls of overblown statistics John Kay, Financial Times

Antidote du jour:

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89 comments

    1. ambrit

      Mr Smith;
      Yes, but, did you look at it? It’s a Pinko Frog! Probably end up voting for that D—-d Stork!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the ‘fr’ from the word ‘frog’ derives from the fact that the animal has always populated France, or maybe it’s because it came from the Fr River in France…something like that.

  1. Kevin Smith

    That Truth about Gardasil link has the ring of hype to it.

    Extreme claims, no evidence, no supporting links.

    Gardasil will, in fact, save a lot of lives and grief.

    Like all new medicines, Gardasil was subject to extensive Phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials for safety and efficacy before being licensed, and is subject to extensive post-marketing surveillance [and post-marketing liability litigation — which drives up YOUR medical insurance costs, and is a barrier to entry for potential competitors, further driving up YOUR medical insurance costs.]

    What reasoning process did you follow when you posted THAT link?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I will confess the post lacks specifics, furzy mouse is usually reliable and given the hour, and that I lost 2 hours last night at the Apple Store due to compute woes, I did not click through.

      However, safety studies are performed over a pretty short term horizon, two to at most four months. Monitoring of complaints is pretty terrible. This is a major shortcoming in our drug regime. So the idea that a relatively new drug is producing malign side effects is entirely plausible.

      I understand the cost of longer trials would be prohibitive, but you need to compensate with good monitoring of experience in use. That pretty much does not happen.

      I’m also sympathetic because vaccinating on a widespread basis for HPV seems to be overkill (no pun intended).

      1. ambrit

        Maam;
        Considering that one primary result of contracting HPV is loss of childbearing ability,(those born with it are truly damned, poor things,) the widespread resistance to an effective vaccine sounds suspiciously like a conspiracy nuts version of ZPG. (I have a relative with it, and it signifigantly affected her life.)

      2. Jessica

        I am additionally suspicious of this story because of right-wing opposition to Gardasil for non-medical reasons, namely the claim that it encourages or condones sexual activity.
        Of course, that does not make Gardasil safe and does not make drug companies trustworthy. It just raises the bar for the caliber of data it would take to convince me.

        1. mememe

          Agreed, I’d be more sympathetic with “truthaboutgardasil” if it didn’t smell like religious astro-turfing.

          all vaccines have side effects and you could easily replace Gardasil with “chicken pox vaccine” and the facts are the same.

          a truly independent FDA could quash all these rumors/speculations as the data would be unimpeachable. sadly I have little trust of the FDA due to the revolving door. but I still trust non-USA drug regulatory agencies as they have less incentive to kow-tow to the pharmas.

          1. F. Graeber

            Yes, why is that link there? A totally unsubstantiated assertion about 89 girls dying from Gardasil, no evidence about the extent or severity of the side effects, no evidence of whether the side effects are, in fact, due to Gardasil, as opposed to being simply random outcomes. It’s an awful site — the worst of what the Internet can be.

          2. ginnienyc

            Actually, if you go the left-hand sidebar on the Truth About Gardasil page, you’ll see a heading “Injuries”. There are over 15 accounts of middle-American girls having severe neurological and immunological reactions to Gardasil, sometimes given with other vaccines, sometimes alone.

            These accounts are truly horrifying, and have the ring of truth, to my ears. Before we exercise scepticism, perhaps we could let our fingers do some walking, look at the other links on that website, and then offer an opinion

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          furzy is not a right winger and keeps on top of medical and health research.

          The vaccine does not prevent all types of cervical cancer. And it hasn’t been out long enough to see if it really does lead to lower incidence. For instance, it might lead to those taking the vaccine not to get Pap smears as often as they should, it could lead to later detection of other types of cervical cancer.

          In general, US medicine has gone vaccination happy and I see reason to be cautious about it.

      3. mememe

        “I lost 2 hours last night at the Apple Store due to compute woes, I did not click through”

        as an aside—if you’re computer problems were due to your hard drive, you might consider switching to a SSD for your main computer. a bit expensive per GB, but definitely worth it.

        a visit to newegg.com or crucial.com or your local genius bar will hook you up.

    2. Dirk77

      As one who can easily say that my life would have been so much better if I never walked into a hospital, drug testing should be done on the timescale of lifetimes—because that is how long human beings live. The present timescale used in such testing is totally arbitrary. Set by some p-value I guess, that determined by people who apparently have not ever lived on the tail of a normal distribution. My experience is that people, including myself, really have trouble understanding something beyond their personal, immediate experience. It takes effort. So I can’t fault them really. But they don’t get any sympathy from me either.

      So are some deaths worth more children in an already overpopulated world? You decide.

      1. loading questions

        “already over-populated”?

        It seems you’ve “already decided” what the answer ought to be to your stupid and pointless rhetorical question.

        By the way, have you tried to personally prevent anyone from dieing lately? No?

        Why not? Too many people around already for your taste?

      2. Dave of Maryland

        If you want reliable drugs, use herbs.

        If you want a first-class, time-tested way of combining and administering drugs, with practitioners who are available in most every major city and many of the smaller ones, go to a Chinese herbalist, aka acupuncturist.

        This whiny crap about poisonous new drugs is stupid. All laboratory drugs are poisons, the only question is if you will die of natural causes before you die of the drug. What were you expecting? An HPV drug? Sure. Take the drug. It might cure the disease, or it might prevent the disease, but it WILL HAVE SIDE EFFECTS. Usually nasty ones. The side effects drug makers admit on TV commercials (which I presume are soft-pedaled) are still horrifying.

        You have no idea how bad these drugs are, no idea how superb Chinese herbs can be, until you have seen both, side by side. People who take up with Chinese medicine, presuming they find a good, Chinese-trained, Chinese native (and not American wannabes) rarely go back.

        There are alternatives. You have no excuse.

        1. pepster

          I second Dave’s comments on acupunture and chinese herbs. I laughed at this modality. . . .until I tried it and various health problems I had disappeared. I consider myself fortunate though because the doctor I see is over 80 years old, trained in China, and has been practicing for well over 50 years.

          That said, chinese herbs hasn’t worked in all cases. A friend of mine saw our doctor for a year or so complaining of stomach problems, and nothing the doctor prescribed worked. It wasn’t until we saw a Western style doctor who diagnosed an ulcer and prescribed antibiotics did the illness go away.

          Nowadays, I usually go to my Western doctor any time I have a problem. If he can’t fix things, I go straight to my herbalist.

          1. Dave of Maryland

            Several things:

            One, an 80 year old Chinese man, trained in China, is exactly what you’re looking for. I have a wonderful mid-50’s woman, Chinese, trained in China. I tried a well-meaning, very sincere, very hard working American Jewish man, also in his 50’s, with many years experience, and while he is good, while he became a personal friend, as a doctor he just wasn’t good enough.

            Second: Some Chinese doctors are good at some things, some are good at others. Nobody is good at everything.

            Finally, if I am forced to go to western medicine, I want to go to the intake clinic at the Big Fancy Teaching Hospital With An International Reputation (Johns Hopkins) and throw myself on their mercy. Such places have a large, diverse staff. If you’ve got a Mystery Malady, your best chance is to have your initial doctor find some arcane practitioner on the third floor who can take one look at you, say, “Yep, that’s what he’s got, I’ve seen it a dozen times,” and then get you on the way to treatment.

            Which comes down to diagnosis. There is a way of diagnosing in ten minutes flat with a very high degree of reliability. The method is centuries old. It was never well-received, as it required real intelligence. Post Newton, the Know-Nothings threw it out entirely, so it will not profit me to name it. Go to your doctor at your own risk, but with your eyes open.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s best to use both.

            It’s like Western medicine is yan and Chinese medicine is yin. You gotta have balance.

            The political equivalent is to lean little to your left and lean a little to your right. That way, you’re straight.

          3. justanobserver

            Great so Tigers, Rhinos have to go extinct for all of that unsubstantianated Chinese medicine.

            There is no such thing as alternative medicine. There is medicine that works and there is medecine that doesn’t.

            Richard Dawkins

            Run those ancient Chinese secrets through some double blind trials and we’ll see how effective ground up Bear gall bladder is at healing you. It sure healed the bear, as it suffers not once dead.

          4. Foppe

            Double-blind clinical studies would verify such claims objectively.

            Studies are only as ‘objective’ as the people designing them. And in such a prestigious field as medicine, you are certainly not going to find too many ‘researchers’ who will be willing to suggest that they aren’t the only source of cures. So we’re not very likely to see (good) studies, and even if they are done, it will be difficult as can be to get them published, because your ‘peers’ also have to agree that the findings are “interesting” etc.

        2. Patriot

          Herbs can be toxic just like anything else. Plants can kill you dead too– nightshade, etc.

          Taking herbs internally and western medicine at the same time is a good way to kill yourself. There is no way to do a drug interaction screen. You pick one or the other.

          The external stuff and acupuncture is fine to mix, but the other way has killed at least one person within my extended family.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The rule of thumb is if you need something done fast, like mend a broken leg, go see a Western doctor.

            If you have time to slowly improve your overall health, make a habit of drinking tea or taking ginseng.

            I agree you don’t mix them at the same time.

      3. Dirk77

        I apologize for my remark above.  Being lazy, I had assumed from the previous comments that somehow cervical cancer was self-terminating in some way (crazy maybe, but I try to keep an open mind), leaving only infertility as its consequence.   This is hardly the case.  I assume then that the situation for Gardasil may be like the first polio vaccine, the “live” one.  There, some people were paralyzed by it, but the number was far less than the polio virus itself, so widespread inoculation was done.  The introduction of the “dead” vaccine eliminated the problem with the first.  I think the additional hitch is how cervical cancer is almost always contracted.  Anyways, my tirade was needless here.

        1. Ken W

          Cervical cancer self-terminating? Yeah. Sure. It self-terminated my grandmother when I was 4 years old. She was a tall, beautiful German woman in a time when women pointed at dolls to tell doctors about their problems. Self-terminating. What a thing to say.

    3. Jef

      My daughter became seriously ill about 3 or 4 days after her second injection. I took me two days before I put 2&2 together.

      She had boils all over her body, dementia, spiking fever, extreme headaches, she was screaming with pain and she is one tough little rugby player who never complains.

      Doctors took every test they could think of, 8 different blood tests.

      This all went on for 4 almost 5 days.

      I finally decided it must be Serum syndrome from the Gardasil so I reported it and found out that (at least) 3 other girls had reported similar reactions. The clinic eventually told us that the vaccine had simply been stored improperly but I have been researching through the internet and have found hundreds of parents who have had similar experience across the country.

      My daughter (and so my wife and I) went through a week of hell.

      1. AnnikaB

        As long as we’re contributing anecdotal evidence, I had the Gardasil shots about two years ago, all three properly spaced. No reactions. Paid for it out of pocket since I am outside the age range where insurance will cover it.

        Also anecdotally speaking, you almost never find people bumrushing the internet to tell everybody that things proceeded normally and unremarkably.

    4. curlydan

      Also, the link as stated is not from TruthOut (that I would think has an established reputation), but from a website call The Truth about Gardasil.

    5. Binky the Bear

      http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/authoringleg.pdf

      Vaccines do not contribute to the increase in medical insurance costs.

      Demanding brand name drugs from heavily marketed product lines where two or more drugs are lumped together to create a new one, e.g. mixing two generic drugs that cost pennies to create a “new” drug, then paying for tv ads and a lot of golf and cocktails at AMA shindigs is driving up your insurance and medical costs, as are the increasing prices for private jets, golf club memberships, hookers, Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris, etc.

    6. LucyLulu

      Agreed that widespread vaccination may be overkill. At $300 for the series, annual Pap smears are a more cost-effective approach to cervical cancer prevention/early detection. Pap smears provide no protection against HPV itself however, which has reached epidemic proportions, affecting 50-75% of sexually active teens and young adults in the US. HPV can also be a very painful and disabling disease in women with symptoms that sometimes last for years.

      Working in the medical field, I ran a quick search on medscape to see what has been published in the last couple of years. According to a statement issued last year by the CDC, there had been 28 million doses of Gardasil administered. They had received 16,000 AE (adverse event) reports (not unusually high, soreness at an injection site is a reportable event, though most practitioners don’t, we’re too busy) through the VAERS network. Over 90% of these events were of a non-serious nature, demonstrating an AE profile similar to other vaccines administered in that age group. Syncope (fainting) is one that is not uncommon with either Gardasil or in the population that receives Gardasil.

      The most common serious AE reported has been VTE’s, or blood clots. Usually the women had other risk factors for VTE, e.g. use of oral contraceptives, smoking, obesity. All deaths reported in relation to Gardasil were fully investigated (by CDC and FDA) and no pattern was found to suggest they were caused by the vaccine. All deaths could be attributed to other factors, heart failure, diabetes, viral illness, illicit drug use.

      You can find Dr. Claudia Vellozzi’s of the CDC talking about the above findings at the link here. Free registration/sign-in is required. Not all material at medscape is available to non-healthcare practitioners (unfortunately, I’m not sure if this link is or not….. cookies and all that, which is why I summarized the contents.)

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/722555

      I just found this blog about a month ago. It’s become my new favorite.

      1. K Clifford

        I had “unresolved” HPV and troubling Pap smears for nearly a decade before opting for a Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy. The data on the CDC site suggests the vaccine is as safe as any other vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/gardasil.html

        Had my tween daughter vaccinated as soon as available. No ill effects. Been there and do not want her to go through my struggles.

        1. LucyLulu

          K Clifford,
          My oldest daughter had similar issues although not quite as severe. It was five years before she was cleared to return to annual checks and she was miserable for about three years. If and when she ever has children, she was advised to have a C-section, symptomatic or not, to prevent possible transmission to her baby. It’s possible the thinking has changed on that though. OB is not my specialty.

          I was teaching at the time and mentioned the problems to a couple of my classes (hey, it was informative). I was shocked when three of my female students came to me after class to share that they were either having similar problems or had in the past (out of 40 students, approx half were girls). This was back in 2002? I also have a nephew who suffered problems for a long time. I had no idea how prevalent HPV had become. When I was young we didn’t face such serious STD’s as HIV and HPV, and chlamydia was uncommon. Herpes was the only “awful” one.

          When Gardasil came out, you can bet I got my 14 year old daughter vaccinated. I didn’t want to have to watch her suffer like my older daughter if I could prevent it. She didn’t have any problems with the vaccine either, for what its worth. Check out my post further down about the salon blog link posted that makes alleged claims that the Gardasil researcher is saying the vaccine is “unsafe”.

    1. justanobserver

      the whole point is enforce them unequally.

      this allows you to go after your political enemies using “the law”.

  2. Deb Schultz

    Re The Truth About Gardasil: According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System data, there has been a total of 68 reports of deaths among those who received Gardasil as of June 22, 2011. 54 were females, 3 males, and 11 were unknown gender. (VAERS accepts data on adverse events from many sources; some of the reports do not contain sufficient data but are still counted as events.) Of the 68 reported deaths, 32 were confirmed and 36 were unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report. The 32 reported and confirmed deaths showed no unusual clustering or pattern.

    VAERS is concerned solely with adverse events and relies on reporting from doctors, parents, public health operations, drug manufacturers, etc. It does not determine causality and it doesn’t concern itself with the denominator; i.e., how many doses of the vaccine in question have been administered. It’s really just an alert system, to discover unforeseen effects quickly after a vaccine is approved and has begun to be administered.

    1. ambrit

      Mz Schultz;
      You’re telling me that the FDA won’t even ask the CDC to help them to set up an effective tracking system? How we’ve managed to avoid a new Great Plague so far is truly incredible.

      1. Stepph

        The vaccine industry reminds me of the nuclear industry in one respect: it has managed to effectively exempt itself from serious liability in the US with legislation. Check out the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (VICP) and the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

        The most damning evidence I can remember reading about Gardasil was this:

        http://open.salon.com/blog/gordon_wagner/2009/10/27/gardasil_researcher_drops_a_bombshell

        —–

        Dr. Harper, director of the Gynecologic Cancer Prevention Research Group at the University of Missouri, made these remarks during an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination which took place in Reston, Virginia on Oct. 2-4. Although her talk was intended to promote the vaccine, participants said they came away convinced the vaccine should not be received.

        “I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn’t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,” said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.

        The clincher:

        The outspoken researcher also weighed in last month on a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that raised questions about the safety of the vaccine, saying bluntly: “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”

    2. Jessica

      “According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System data, there has been a total of 68 reports of deaths among those who received Gardasil as of June 22, 2011…. Of the 68 reported deaths, 32 were confirmed”
      Using either the 68 or the 32 figure, I would want to know, given the large number of those who received Gardasil, how many deaths would be expected for unrelated reasons.
      I do agree that we should have a much better system for tracking adverse reactions to drugs and for restricting or withdrawing permission for their use, if necessary. And that the chances of that happening will increase greatly when we change from our current corrupt political-economic system.

    3. Kevin Smith

      The fact that a death was reported in a person who had been given Gardasil in no way proves that the two were related. The system is simply a dragnet, collecting raw data which must then be evaluated.

      If millions of people are monitored, there will be a few deaths and lots of other random things in that population, even if they were randomly selected.

      Bottom line: don’t misinterpret raw data, don’t jump to conclusions.

  3. attempter

    Re food stamps:

    As the piece describes, feudal employers like Walmart and Target massively free ride on food stamps, just like they do on all other forms of public interest spending. So while food stamps are not welfare for the recipients, they certainly do function as corporate welfare for these employers.

    So if any “conservative” really doesn’t like the cost of food stamps, let him advocate disgorging that cost from Walmart. Otherwise he can STFU because we know he’s just a liar, just like all other welfare-leeching conservatives, as long as it’s corporate welfare.

    As for the big picture, the social contract, as agreed upon between capitalism and representative government, was supposed to be that we’d tolerate the food supply becoming ever more concentrated in ever fewer oligopoly hands, and their side of the bargain was that they’d provide an adequate supply of affordable food. As the surge in food stamp use proves, Big Ag has unilaterally broken the contract. So why should the people view them as legitimate? Their land, their machinery, their patents, etc. – if any of it was ever valid, isn’t it all forfeit now? Why should we still tolerate a food system that doesn’t work?

    Regarding electronic food stamps, while a stated purpose of this was to help remove any stigma*, the real purpose was of course to set up corporate rent extraction points for the machine manufacturer (most or all of whose business is probably this government contract) and the banksters. It’s also had the effect, probably intended, of rendering it difficult for people to use food stamps at farmers’ markets and other decentralized sites, since the cost of the machines is often prohibitive. Just another part of entrenching junk food and discouraging fruits and vegetables; entrenching corporate food and discouraging food relocalization.

    *Shouldn’t we be getting over all stigmas by now? We’re workers and crime victims, who should be proudly reasserting ourselves as citizens, fighting to take back our country. That includes taking anything we can still get back from the system which has stolen so much from us. And we know what absolute liars politicians, business, and media are. But those are the sources of all stigma, no one else. Why would anyone still listen to their filth?

    1. aet

      “… the social contract, as agreed upon between capitalism and representative government, was supposed to be that we’d tolerate the food supply becoming ever more concentrated in ever fewer oligopoly hands, and their side of the bargain was that they’d provide an adequate supply of affordable food. ”

      That’s utter nonsense, from first to last.

      1. attempter

        I guess if it were nonsense, you’d be able to explain the flaw in it. But you clearly can’t, since it’s self-evidently true – morally, rationally, and on a practical level.

        If you can impugn it on any of those levels, do so. I propose you start by explaining the level of food stamp usage in a way which still leaves the legitimacy of food corporatism intact. Then maybe you can move to on explaining what, exactly, you think civilization is for.

        Unless you have enough moral courage to openly admit you want to do away with civilization completely. But most of your pro-gangster kind are not just barbarians but moral cowards as well.

      2. Dave of Maryland

        The social contract is that we agree to have corporations so as to enrich the general welfare of the people as a whole.

        When corporations are super-rich, but the majority of people are so poor as to no longer pay taxes to support their government, then the system has failed outright. A society that does not pay taxes to its government is a society that no longer has responsibility to that government.

        1. reslez

          Then since some of the rich can escape taxes they have no responsibility to government?

          The majority of the people do pay taxes.

          You’re confusing income tax with taxes in general. Poor people who work pay Social Security/FICA taxes even if they earn too little to pay income tax. Then there are sales, property and all other taxes and fees. What exactly is this mythical majority that pays no taxes?

      3. Externality

        Whenever food prices go down, the elites begin screaming about “deflation” and demanding that the Fed further debase the currency.

        QE has blown a massive bubble in the price of food and other commodities that benefits the investing classes at the expense of the rest of society. If the Fed had allowed prices to fall to their natural level, food would be less expensive.

    2. doom

      Heartrending detail in that story, the way that woman internalized the deficit propaganda and called herself part of the problem. No inkling of her universal right to food or any of the economic rights that are written into law and constitutions around the world.

  4. Linus Huber

    with some corrections:

    SCARE 20.12.2012
    (Stop Corruption And Repression Effective 20.12.2012)

    Banks were given a very important privilege to create money in the form of extending credit. This function requires diligence and careful consideration in regard to individual credit risks as well as to overall credit levels in the system. The financial crisis revealed that the banks were operating at too high a leverage and with too much risk. They were used to be saved by the Central Banks and certain that in times of difficulties the Central Banks were there to save them. They were like trained dogs and their master Greenspan or Bernanke would always be there to rescue them when unforeseen difficulties arose.

    That may be true but that does not absolve them from their obligation to monitor overall debt levels in the system as well as being diligent in evaluating the debtors ability to not only service a debt but to be able to repay it over time. The banks clearly failed in this function that is the core function of banking but focused mainly on their compensation packages. The way these bankers enriched themselves in the process of driving the financial system into a wall was appalling and the average income earner was never able to comprehend their schemes but preferred to simply ignore them. Of course, the bankers explained their outrages income levels with free market principles of supply and demand, where the best simply could be hired with those kinds of benefits only. In hindsight those superior managers seem to have missed their mark considerably. The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that, after we have been more than 3 years in this financial crisis, the bankers continue to loot the system as if nothing ever happened.

    True to form the Central Banks “saved” the financial system by saving those great financial institutions without whom the system would have collapsed, as was argued. Hardly were we out of the danger of collapse, the banks immediately went back to their old ways and were certain that this was a problem that would occur just once in a lifetime and now all was clear again. The real problem, however, had not been addressed but had simply been muddied.
    In actuality, the losses produced of extending unsustainable levels of credit by the banks have been transferred to the public. Different ways were chosen to achieve this task in the form of free money for the banks, injection of government funds into some institutions, increase of basic money supply and so on.

    The threat of system collapse would have been labelled blackmail if it would have occurred in another setting. However the bankers were able to influence the media, the legislators and regulators in their favour with all the financial resources available to them. Nobody was made to take any responsibility and no one was taken to account.

    This represents a serious violation of the spirit of the Rule of Law that is the basis of western society. It seems that now the new rule is Might is Right. This changes many parameters in the compass of the social system within the western world. No one can be sure on what level and when one will be subjected to the financial abuse of those elites. Presently, the people in charge are trying to enhance financial repression of which one form is to keep interest rates below the level of inflation which affects mainly those that lived within their means over the past many years; another clear violation of the spirit of the Rule of Law as it transfers losses from bad investments to the innocent and decent part of the population. In addition, the increased level of government debt puts in doubt all those benefits promised by governments the world over.

    It is interesting how the banks were able to confuse the public who was/is unable to grasp the actual situation. But considering the banker’s great financial resources, it seems not that much of a miracle to influence the media and the legislator and having politicians do their bidding. The question is what the heck can WE, THE PEOPLE do about it.

    Usually, we could address such things on a political level as we are a democracy, right? But it seems that the system has been corrupted by all the money sloshing around and it is extremely difficult to find any electable person that will act against those powerful interests. In addition, it will take many years until sufficient numbers of persons with the new thinking and with integrity not to be corrupted by those lobbying efforts will be elected to office that will implement the changes needed. So, what should we do? Start a revolution?

    Well, the blackmail used by the banks may be the only way to address the injustices that have occurred over the past few years. They showed us how to leverage one’s limited resources to achieve one’s goal. Therefore the following proposal to start the movement “SCARE 20.12.2012” should be seen in this context. The idea is that if by that time (20.12.2012) some serious injustices have not been removed from the system, people will start to withdraw their money from all financial institutions driving them into default. And it might work, because those who hesitate to support this threat may be left with no money as the banks will have to close down before all has been paid out.
    Now, what demands are made if that scenario is to be avoided.

    1. Bankers and past Bankers (all those working in the financial industry that earned in excess of $500k plus annually for more than 2 years during the past 15 years and this without any downside risk i.e. risk of financial losses, except the possibility of losing their job) have to be made personally accountable for their past activities and be removed from any such position that might directly or indirectly have influence on the money creation and lending aspects of the economy (this includes regulating agencies and politics) before 20.12.2012.

    2. Present and past regulators have to be made personally accountable for their past activities and be removed from any such position that might directly or indirectly have influence on the money creation and lending aspects of the economy (this includes financial institutions and politics) before 20.12.2012.

    3. Politicians that accept any financial support from institutions that are involved in the money creation and lending aspects of the economy will have to face a jail term of no less than 2 years without the possibility of parole.

    When these 3 points are implemented before 20.12.2012, we the public will not destroy the financial system but support the way to find back to the RULE OF LAW and away from the idea of MIGHT IS RIGHT.

    1. Susan the other

      Re Chris Whalen on our lost opportunity: It is certainly obvious (from Summer’s forum where Yves suggested we make banks utilities, and the trend in globalization) that the objective of Summers, Rubin, Obama, et. al. is global banking. The top players in this country are already jumping ship. We see the evidence of this in their refusal to make our banking industry work. They have no interest in it. They want to replace it at some point with global banking. So as of now they must be secretly positioning themselves for this transition and making US banking healthy really goes against their objectives. Anybody notice the US Navy’s ad on TV? Claiming a global humanitarian mandate…. I don’t think that is in the Constitution any more than global banking is.

  5. Susan the other

    Just a quick thought on the Schneiderman-Miller fight. Miller lost his temper because he couldn’t bully or cajole Schneiderman. Miller does have the authority to kick Schneiderman out of the executive committee. But it is absurd. The “executive committee,” really? So things must have become pretty heated between them. Here’s the thing I’m wondering about: Beau Biden made the same statements that Schneiderman has been making and he didn’t get kicked out. Hmmm. So Biden is ready to make concessions to the banks? Shouldn’t all of the dissenters have been kicked out? And isn’t Miller’s desperation also Obama’s? Wouldn’t now be a good time for Obama to find the courage to step up? If the whole question of fraudulent securitization is so awful, what is the solution?

  6. Thomas

    Cancer is an economic disease.

    Wonder what the position of the
    American Cancer Society is on Gardasil?
    Does the maker of Gardasil help to fund the
    American Cancer Society?

    All the focus on cures for cancer means big bucks. Prevention of cancer means zero profits for the cancer industry. What if pesticide makers made money off manufacturing chemotherapy chemicals? They do.

    What if radiological machine makers caused cancer by x-ray exposure? They do.

    What if these companies formed a front company to stress cures, not prevention? They do. It’s called the American Cancer Society and they have over a billion dollars in the bank and keep getting people to volunteer to raise more cash for them.

    Google”american cancer society fraud”if you want a clue what they are about.

    The ACS was against banning DES, against any research into the link between cancer and pesticides, controls most research journals, bans researchers that do controlled studies on no-profit nutrition and in general is a front group for those that harvest profit from cancer.

    Cancer is an economic disease.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      stress cures, not prevention?

      ——–

      Cures are often about science/technology, and big money.

      Prevention is, again, often about doing things the old fashioned way…eating organic, not over-eating, sleeping 10 hours when your body tells you so, etc.

      It’s the same with protecting the environment. It’s more about new technology and big money. It’s less about using less.

      I guess corporations want a bigger world population, more people means more consumers and they also want each consumer to consume more, unless…

      Unless they invent robo-consumers.

      Then the elite will have robots making things for robot consumers. Of course, these rich humans would need robot military to make sure these robot workers don’t revolt and take away their wealth.

      What will happen to human consumers? They will disappear completely, all of them replaced by robot consumers.

      It’s possible that China, who today has more human consumers than any other nation on the planet, will pale in comparison to the Grand Duchy of Fenwick who will amass trillions of robot consumers.

    2. Kevin Smith

      It would be more accurate to say that:
      “Cancer [like most diseases] has economic connections, both with regard to causality, prevention, and treatment.”

  7. Tertium Squid

    Rumor that JP Morgan May take over BAC:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-may-take-over-bank-of-america-2011-08-23

    “The government will support the deal with a $100 billion investment in preferred shares issued by the combined entity. Alternatively, the government may guarantee the value of a large pool of Bank of America assets.”

    Will there even be controversy about this? Is it just commonplace that a significant portion a trillion $ in taxpayer money will be at risk bolstering a private arrangement?

    And this is great:

    “The government’s preference for a deal with JP Morgan rather than a federal takeover may be because it does not want to set the precedent of Washington owning one of the world’s largest banks “paid for” with taxpayer money.”

    Own or not, it’s still “paid for” with taxpayer money. And that is somehow better?

    Bankruptcy is so 20th century.

  8. Doug Terpstra

    The excommunication of Eric Schneiderman on the foreclosure-fraud immunity cabal is a good thing. So those unwilling to collude and collaborate in the conspiracy are disinvited. Oh, the pain! Schneiderman himself shrugs it off.

    Beau Biden in a HuffPost: “In a statement of support for Schneiderman, said that the ‘events leading up to the mortgage crisis must be fully investigated, including origination and securitization practices, before any broad immunity is granted.’”

    Biden may not deserve it, but this sounds so much like another politician we know too well when he too was maneuvering for loftier office. O the campaigner was against Telecom immunity before he voted for it; supported FISA accountability before he was against it . . . ditto for every successive campaign pledge on GITMO, war, torture, taxes, NAFTA, unions, DADT, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. The VP’s son may well be an honest politician—and camels may also thread needles.

    “The administration says that a settlement would quickly deliver much needed relief to hard-pressed borrowers . . .” Right . . . choke, gasp, sputter . . . just like the farcical HAMP program, designed to HAMPER beleaguered borrowers while aiding and abetting the looters and kicking the can closer to the cliff. HAMP was hooked bait that produced mostly denied applicants who were saddled with even more debt by the end of the grueling process in retroactive penalties, late charges and jacked interest rates. It was worse than a scam; it was and is organized crime.

    1. scraping_by

      It’s a good character test for those of us who try to work on proof.

      If Beau follows him out, he’s for real.

      If he “tries to change from the inside” he’s auditioning for bootlicker-to-be.

      Another is deep research. One of Barry’s techniques is to make a statement that affims both sides of a disagreement. People may hear what they want, but later, his flacks point to the other part of the statement as proof he’s not a liar, pretending that’s the side he meant all along. Or, there’s always the obscure forum. Or the odd allusion. Might want to find Beau’s full statement, and any speeches he’s made to the East Newark Garden Club.

      Nice to know early.

  9. sue

    Can you please tell me what gardasil is for? what is it? how and what does it protect from? Any info would be helpful , thank you

    1. Jack

      Hi Sue,

      Since you asked…

      In 2010, an estimated 12,200 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and an estimated 4,210 will die of the disease.

      Worldwide, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and the second most frequent cause of cancer-related death, accounting for nearly 300,000 deaths annually. In developing nations, it is often the most common cause of cancer-related death among women and a leading cause of death overall.

      Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 40 can be sexually transmitted. Among these, about 15 are considered to be cancer-causing, or high-risk, types. Two of these high-risk types, HPV-16 and HPV-18, cause about 70% of cervical cancers worldwide. HPV infection is very common, but it usually goes away on its own. Persistent HPV infections can, however, cause cellular abnormalities that sometimes develop into cervical cancer if not treated.

      The FDA has approved two vaccines, Gardasil® and Cervarix®, which are highly effective in preventing persistent infections with HPV types 16 and 18, the two high-risk HPV types that cause the majority of cervical cancers. Gardasil also protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause about 90% of genital warts.

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/cancer-advances-in-focus/cervical

      Now, for the rest of the histrionic commenters on this economic blog, please remind me again how 68 > 4,210?
      (And that’s allowing that each of the 68 deaths were, in fact, attributable to Gardisil, which is far from clear. Plus, they have a Vaccine Compensation Fund to pay for vaccine related complications. Is anyone aware of a payout for complications resulting from Gardisil? If not, then perhaps we should all step back, take a deep breath, and refocus our hysteria on the Republicans like they all deserve, especially that Palin chick!)

        1. Jack

          Com on Yves…
          Be aware that the 68 number was a “reported” cummulative number. The 4200 number was PER YEAR, and only in the UNITED STATES! Cervical cancer is one of the top causes of death in poor countries in young women (20-30)!

          And, while there are other causes of cervical cancer, they are NEGLIGABLE in comparison to the numbers that arise from HPV.

          Why do you want these women to die? How is it even comparable? I know that you hate traditional medicine, but, come on Yves. Look at this logically instead of emotionally!

  10. ScottS

    Re: Rick Parry

    As someone who is in favor of pushing the poo-pile we call politics over and starting fresh, Obama has made excellent progress on that front. He’s gone further, faster than even Governor Bush did. I don’t think Bush would have got away with such blatant fellating of BP and the FIRE sector.

    That said, Parry is the only person I can imagine surpassing Obama in this regard. I mean, Bachmann is too looney and everyone with half a brain would be looking over her shoulder, getting in her way. Mitt Romney comes off as bush-league with respect to truly being able to toss that final straw on the camel’s back. So he was a private equity slash-and-burner. Yawn. Obama puts more people out of work before breakfast than that guy.

    Nope. Parry is my man. Call it battered wife syndrome, call it Stockholm Syndrome — but I miss being talked down in a fake Texan accent by someone I wouldn’t trust to run a lemonade stand. He’s run Texas into the ground and calls it “The Texas Miracle!” That’s the kind of Orwellian doublethink we need to get this show on the road (to anarchy). Obama’s done a good job setting the kindling, now let’s get a real arsonist in there to finish the job.

  11. craazyman

    I’d like to request a bunch of bearish links tomorrow. That one from Max Plank today was good, although they need an editor. Getting roughed up today with GLD and I think Uncle Ben has some tricks up his sleeve for Friday. I Think he’s gonna try like hell to wrong-foot us with some big sueprize that sends the market up about 5 percent just so he can laugh. So We Need some fire and brimstone Savanarola stuff here to keep the morale up during this difficult and stressful time. Havent had a Xanax for a month, but when I’m down even 0.9% I don’t like it. It’s hell trying to get rich quick. But what else is economics good for? I mean really. :)

  12. Francois T

    Best place to peruse the reported side effects of Gardasil is;

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/gardasil

    I must confess I was surprised. As a retired physician, I confess I would have never give any credence to a non-medical institution for that kind of topic. Alas, given the very serious deterioration of adequate regulation in medicine and health care in general, one cannot be dogmatic anymore. 20 years ago, I could trust what was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Now, I double check everything.

    1. Francois T

      Here’s some stuff for the CDC. However, a caveat is called for here: Please remember that correlation is NOT causation. The fact that a patient receive Gardasil, then experience a side effect does not prove that Gardasil is the culprit. History of medicine is replete with examples of false alerts of causation. Silicone breasts implants “association” with a bevy of various auto-immune diseases comes to mind. For doubting this shit, the great Marcia Angell lost her post as editor of the NEJM.

      On to the CDC:

      As of June 22, 2011, approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® were distributed in the U.S. and VAERS received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination: 17,958 reports among females and 346 reports for males, of which 285 reports were received after the vaccine was licensed for males in October 2009. VAERS received 423 reports of unknown gender. Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious.

      Non-serious adverse event reports
      VAERS defines non-serious adverse events as those other than hospitalization, death, permanent disability, or life-threatening illness.

      The vast majority (92%) of the adverse events reports following Gardasil® vaccination have included fainting, pain, and swelling at the injection site (the arm), headache, nausea, and fever. Syncope (fainting) is common after injections and vaccinations, especially in adolescents. Falls after fainting may sometimes cause serious injuries, such as head injuries, which can be prevented by closely observing the person for 15 minutes after vaccination.

      Serious adverse event reports
      Any VAERS report that indicated hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, congenital anomaly or death is classified as serious. As with all VAERS reports, serious events may or may not have been caused by the vaccine.

      Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
      Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported after vaccination with Gardasil® . GBS is a rare neurologic disorder that causes muscle weakness. It occurs in 1-2 out of every 100,000 people in their teens. A number of infections have been associated with GBS. There has been no indication that Gardasil® increases the rate of GBS above the rate expected in the general population, whether or not they were vaccinated.

      Blood Clots
      There have been some reports of blood clots in females after receiving Gardasil®. These clots have occurred in the heart, lungs, and legs. Most of these people had a risk of getting blood clots, such as taking oral contraceptives (the birth control pill), smoking, obesity, and other risk factors.

      Deaths
      As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil® . There were 54 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty two of the total death reports have been confirmed and 36 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. A death report is confirmed (verified) after a medical doctor reviews the report and any associated records. In the 32 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine [FT – That is, correlation is NOT causation.] and some reports indicated a cause of death unrelated to vaccination.

  13. Sundog

    Not an antidote but quite spectacular, and indicative of data being gathered on biological organisms which will be deployed in the creation of swarmed autonomous robots meant to discourage certain forms of human behavior.

    Eagle owl at 1000fps
    http://www.dogwork.com/owfo8/

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