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Links Boxing Day

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How Unitarians Saved Christmas Rdan, Angry Bear

David Versus Monsanto YouTube (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Russian Meridian satellite crashes into street named after cosmonauts AFP

Springtime for Toxics Paul Krugman, New York Times

The Muses of Insert, Delete and Execute New York Times

‘Anonymous’ hackers hit US security firm Stratfor BBC

A Dispute Over Who Owns a Twitter Account Goes to Court New York Times

IMF’s Lagarde warns global economy threatened Reuters

Iran begins naval drills in Strait of Hormuz Aljazeera

Pakistan on the Precipice Shahid Javed Burki, Project Syndicate

U.S. Tax Breaks for Investments May Be Fading as Job Creator Bloomberg

FBI Pulls Off ‘Perfect Hedge’ to Nab New Insider Trading Class Bloomberg (hat tip reader May S)

Obama to Approve a Series of Anti-Small Business Policies That Will Cheat the Middle Class out of Billions Huffington Post (hat tip reader May S)

Banks still waiting on most Dodd-Frank rules Washington Post

Newt Gingrich Compares His Failure To Make The Virginia Ballot To The Pearl Harbor Attack Think Progress

Massachusetts Senate race tests feelings about Wall Street Los Angeles Times

Mentally ill flood ER as states cut services Reuters (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Prichard asks to file brief supporting Jefferson County’s bankruptcy filing Birmingham News (hat tip reader May S)

Police Pepper Spray Occupy Albany Resisters for Clinging to “Info Tent” Firedoglake

RAP NEWS X – #Occupy2012 (feat. Noam Chomsky & Anonymous) YouTube (hat tip reader Martha R). This is clever in a deranged way.

Antidote du jour:

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39 comments

  1. Paul Tioxon

    IN RE Russian satellite crash. We were told that the Russians were intellectually prepped for science and engineering by the intensity of their entire culture. From Chess playing kids, classical music and ballet enriched lives, devoid of vulgar pop culture. It seems now, that they were far less serious a contender in every way, economically, educational systems and even military technology.

    Another Cold War tale comes in out of the cold.

    http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/63501–decades-later-a-cold-war-secret-is-revealed

    1. Cathryn Mataga

      I’ll give the Russians a break on rocket failures. Rockets are just difficult to make 100% reliable. What year was it, that the USA had so many rocket failures? I forget, but it wasn’t that far back.

    2. Parvaneh Ferhadi

      Russians have rocket launches far more often than the U.S., or any other nation, does – about one every other week, sometimes one every week.
      Two failures occurred with two different types of Soyuz rockets that have the same type of 3rd stage. One failure, that of the Mars probe occurred because the probe’s engines didn’t fire, they rocket worked just fine.
      Most launches and missions are successful though, but they don’t usually make the news.

      1. Mark P.

        Thank you. You are correct: the Russians have maintained an industrial-era approach to launchers that has over the years proved to be more consistently reliable in terms of number of payloads placed in orbit than anybody else’s.

    3. tom allen

      I suppose it’s not *quite* the Star of Bethlehem, but it will have to do this Christmas. Perhaps the Russians will ask for help from Chinese astronomical technicians — sorry, three wise men from the East — to figure out what went wrong. Now back to watching “The Life of Brian.” :-P

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The best Chinese astronomers all came from Hindu, at least during the most powerful dynasty in Chinese history, the Tang Dynasty.

  2. psychohistorian

    I have been chewing on the “How Unitarians Saved Christmas” posting at Angry Bear since before your link. It does provide grist for the fundies to point to the examples as commercialization.

    I did like the commenters calling out the War against Festivus!!!

    The Stratfor situation is why I minimize my financial transactions online and will continue to until IPV6 is everywhere. Implementation of IPV6 would be a great job creation opportunity…..quick, where is the political leadership? Never mind……..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the article about Unitarians:

      Another fact: The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus’ birth at all. In other words, there were no Christmas Eve services and no pageants and no ministers trying to make sense of it all! Only over centuries, and only after these solstice feasts turned really wild and really out of control, did Christians seek to offer an alternative, calling it “Christ’s Mass,” or Christmas.

      Was that like MOVE ON trying to co opt #OWC?

    2. Stephen Nightingale

      psychohistorian: “Implementation of IPV6 would be a great job creation opportunity….”.

      Funds for IPv6 deployment in the Federal Government are coming from Tech Refresh, which means when they need to replace ageing IPv4 capable computers, Agencies must do so by acquiring dual-stack IPv6&IPv4 capable systems. Hence, no additional dollars. However v6-savvy consultants are being hired …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Regarding pets, when in-laws get together with their pets, or more accurately, pets-in-law, I imagine it could be quite stressful.

      ‘We are related?’

      ‘Yes, by marriage. I am your tarantula-cousin-in-law.’

      ‘Noooo…you don’t say’

  3. Parvaneh Ferhadi

    STRATFOR didn’t encrypt their data? That’s a bit disappointing. On the other hand, the list of clients published didn’t reveal much, IMHO. Showing firms like Credit Suisse, UBS, Nestlé and even the Zurich State Police being customers would be in the realm of expected.
    Rather ominous are the absences: Like no central banks, for example.

  4. Lloyd C. Bankster

    Christmas is the season for shopping! Period. Christmas means outspending friends and colleagues so they feel like dog turds.

    This Christmas I bought my wife’s pooch a $3.2 million diamond dog collar, adorned with 1,600 hand-set diamonds, and featuring a stunning 7-carat, D-IF, brilliant-shaped centerpiece. Its 18-carat white gold and crocodile leather provide extreme comfort and durability.

    Here’s a picture:

    http://www.ilovedogsdiamonds.com/#

    Tim Price bragged to me that he bought his wife a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L’Or Blanc (sports car) that, according to him, uses porcelain for its’ caviar trays, for a total price tag of $2.4 million.

    Pathetic.

    In other words, his wife will be driving around in a car that cost $800,000 less than the f**king dog collar on my wife’s dog!

    You should’ve seen the look on Tim Price’s face when I pointed this out.

      1. Lloyd C. Bankster

        You’re telling me you paid $43.2 million for an artwork by some cartoon artist?

        Big f**king deal. You got ripped off. I found the original comic art upon which the Lichtenstein painting was based, and purchased it on eBay for $431 dollars. And here’s the best part: the Lichtenstein painting is a piece of crap compared to the original art work, meaning you overpaid by $43,199,569.

        1. James

          In a world where it’s all about conspicuous consumption, the only way one can be “ripped off” is by paying too little. Mega-wealth creates its own value-based reality.

      2. SR6917

        Speaking of the $43.2 million paid for the Lichtenstein painting, this artwork was nothing more than an enlargement of a scene taken from a comic strip, and was part of a $247.59 million contemporary art auction which took place at Christie’s on Nov 8th and 9th, 2011.

        So $247 million was paid for contemporary art works which raise aesthetic banality to a new level and this happened one week before the NYPD raid which chased Occupy Wall Street out of Zucotti Park.

        What lies behind this falsely transparent art world? Another kind of intelligence or a terminal lobotomy?

  5. Bill C

    ahh, cute kitty with fire and plastic holly = recipe for charm? or disaster…….

    sorry, I should have harrumphed bah humbug with that…..but the cat is very beautiful.

    1. aletheia33

      well you know there are a lot of people out there who just cannot see the disaster that is coming–very soon.

      1. Bill C

        Yes aletheia33, and I give thanks to this blog and others like it who have made me very disaster sensitive… ;-)

  6. Susan the other

    Christine Lagarde believes that to maintain a minimum world economy, a growth of less than 4%, every country is going to have to pay up their debts in a timely manner or there will be no investment. She accuses the European countries of sounding nationalistic and protectionist, probably because she doesn’t want anything to derail the new efforts of the ECB to be the buyer of bad debts. She seems to be insinuating that nationalism is bad for the economy. But she is using an incomplete diagnosis. Nationalism, or localism, would be good for everyone because it uses far less energy, saves the environment and provides grass roots employment. Local and regional production and consumption is what the world needs more of, not less of. Maybe she is afraid of the use of local currencies.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Traditionally, we measure trade deficits in dollar (or some other currency) terms.

      But for the same $1 million of goods traded between the US and North Korea, for example, (assuming no trade deficit), it might support 20 times more North Korean workers than American workers.

      If you take the dollar amount of the goods China sells to us and divide that by their average hourly wage and take the dollar amount of the goods America sells to China and divide that by our average hourly wage, you will find this ‘deficit’ number to be much bigger when you compare the two.

  7. alex

    Currently the lead article at http://www.washingtonpost.com is “Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs”. Not that this isn’t a legitimate subject for an article, but it’s amazing how much has been written about Solyndra vs. the utterly corrupt kid gloves treatment the banksters have gotten. It’s like having a headline about fixing a parking ticket while ignoring the fact that the mayor is a Mafia don.

  8. Dan

    Could be that someone’s fed up with your tiresome sniveling every time your precious apartheid state gets called out for its many crimes. Just a guess.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      For readers late to the plot, Dan was replying to a comment I unpublished (something I do very rarely, and then generally to people who have been banned and seem unable to get the message). In this case, the commentor had been indeed been banned and had the bad taste to complain about it (the usual tired assertion that he has some sort of right to throw invective at me, when this site happens to be my private property). He had already been designated as a troll by readers, and his remarks were no value added ad hominem attacks.

    1. James

      The “you don’t say?” line of the year:

      “These are people without a previous psychiatric history who are coming in and telling us they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve lost sometimes their homes, they can’t provide for their families, and they are becoming severely depressed,” said Dr. Felicia Smith, director of the acute psychiatric service at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

      Oh to be around long enough to watch the cancer of unemployment and homelessness march steadily up the economic ladder to those who are still incapable of imagining that it can happen to them. The cognitive dissonance alone, as they continue to clutch to the myth of American Exceptionalism and the wonders of “free market capitalism,” will drive many of them crazy. Political indoctrination and blind faith will do that to you.

      1. Parvaneh Ferhadi

        Well, those people who end up in ER for mental problems because their lives are in shambles are not the mentally ill, in my view. Theirs is a totally sane reaction to an insane and cruel world.
        The really mentally ill are those who are in power and who have created – and still are creating – a world like this.
        I guess ours is a world of psychopaths, by psychopaths, for pyschopaths.The rest need not apply, but everyone who complains or doesn’t fit in will be labeled insane.

  9. Don Levit

    The author of Why the Unitarians Saved Christmas, Dan Crawford, was part of the kabal that kicked me off of the Angry Bear Blog.
    And, why was I blacklisted?
    For profanity – no.
    For inane comments — no.
    For posting comments about the solvency (actually, the lack thereof) of Social Security and Medicare.
    These experts simply had no legitimate responses to the excerpts and links i posted from the GAO, CBO, Treasury, and even the Social Security Administration itself.
    The way I was blackballed was very evil.
    I could see my comments at the library, but could not see them posted on the computer.
    After asking the operators of the web site, including this story’s author, what was the deal, they appeared to be perplexed.
    Maybe something was out of kilter with my computer.
    They admitted, after 2 weeks, I was kicked off.
    I felt like a lowly serf in a crushing dictatorship for being censored.
    The author is a Unitarian Universalist.
    I am too!
    It’s good to know he is the exception to the rule: UUs are sincere pursuers of truth and right living.
    Don Levit

    1. EH

      It’s lame to try to force people to respond to “links and excerpts.” I don’t know you from Adam, but it sounds like maybe you could work on making your own arguments instead of using ^V.

  10. Don Levit

    EH:
    Using links and excerpts provide objectivity and credibility to the discussion.
    Otherwise, it is my word against Dan Crawford’s or Bruce Webb’s.
    I think it is more accurate to pit Bruce Webb’s word versus all the governmental department links I provided, and more.
    That way, his only credible comeback is “Believe me,” not the Treasury, etc.
    Don Levit

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I wondered about that. Anonymous has not gone for making bogus credit charges before, that did not seem like their sort of move.

  11. Jesse

    Ah yes, American Unitarians ‘saved Christmas’ with the help of a British Unitarian, Charles Dickens.

    The rest of the world and peoples throughout history are certainly in their debt.

    Of course, it appears that the author of that piece is appallingly ignorant of history, the traditions of celebration of Christmas since the time of Constantine at least, the development of the liturgical year, and of course, pretty much the rest of the world.

    No one ‘owns’ Christmas. It is a gift that has been given to the world. If it has been ‘saved’ however, it is sometimes hard to see it.

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