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Links 1/20/12

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Helping Injured Dogs Walk Again New York Times

Crap Economist Explains How Gay Marriage Leads Straight to Apocalypse Jezebel (hat tip reader Cocoman)

New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests New York Times. Interesting how one definition that psychiatrists are tightening up is also one that Big Pharma does not treat. This does not appear to be a coincidence.

Anonymous Shuts Down Corporate and Government Websites Worldwide … The Timing Couldn’t Be Worse George Washington

Fake iPad 2s made of clay sold at Canadian stores Sideshow (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Google drops 10% after surge in costs Financial Times

Hammer Falls on Housing Auctions in Australia Bloomberg. Wow, when I lived in Oz, it seemed that property was sold only by auction.

Mainland property market in crisis South China Morning Post (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

As European Union Beckons, Allure Fades for Wary Croatia New York Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Lagarde Joins Warning on Fiscal Cuts Before Davos Bloomberg

European banks prepare to shrink MacroBusiness

Britain admits ‘fake rock’ plot to spy on Russians Guardian (hat tip reader May S)

Afghanistan’s Soldiers Step Up Killings of Allied Forces New York Times

Dear Andrew Sullivan: Why Focus on Obama’s Dumbest Critics? Atlantic (hat tip reader Max24)

Supreme Court holds the fate of Medicaid Politico

Outlawing dissent: Rahm Emanuel’s new regime Guardian (hat tip reader May S)

Private Prisons Don’t Save Money in Arizona Firedoglake

Theocratic Libertarianism: Quotes from Gary North, Ludwig von Mises Institute Scholar Talk to Action. Eeek.

Trust no one with your money is the tragic legacy of the crisis Satyajit Das, Financial Times

Taxes at the Top Paul Krugman, New York Times

An Inside Look At Homelessness In Atlantic City Clusterstock :-(

Sucking up to power, Timothy Geithner edition Ed Harrison

THE YEARS OF STAGNATION AND THE POODLES OF POWER Adam Curtis, BBC

Antidote du jour:

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116 comments

  1. Foppe

    I dislike that GW post because it seems to suggest that SOPA/PIPA has anything at all to do with DDoS attacks. It doesn’t.

        1. CB

          Have you tried IE9? After years of Firefox because I didn’t like, or trust, IE, I installed IE9 and it’s fine. Perfect illustration of the power of competition. Microsoft was forced to work up a decent browser and it did. FF is still my default, but I use IE without qualms.

          1. Cal

            Does it have a 100% effective ad blocker and auto flush of cookies on closing the browswer like Firefox does if you
            prefer that?

          2. CB

            Good question. I can only suggest you look thru the internet options tabs. FF does NOT block all pop ups, or pop unders, actually. I see one now and again. I don’t use IE often enough to know how well it blocks.

      1. Valissa

        OK, so I decided to intall Firefox on my current laptop (it was on my old one a couple of years ago) and it did enable me to see Washingtons’ SOPA post and comments. HOWEVER, in the older version Firefox made it very easy to import my Favorites from IE and now it’s NOT. SO I have to take the time to figure it out. No one gives a shit about useability any more. My first impression of Firefox when I downloaded it a couple of years ago was great, today my first impression of it is sucky.

        1. Valissa

          btw, I searched on: firefox user interface sucks

          and guess what? This is a very common opinion. Old Firefox was MUCH better. WTF is wrong with web designers these days? Yahoo Maps used to be GREAT then they changed the UI and now it sucks, and not only that a huge amount of users have told them so in comments. Complexification… grrrrrrrr

          1. Richard Kline

            So Valissa, you describe a phenomena in regard to tech revisions which I have observed for many years: Everything Always Gets Worse. The _first_, and only the first, revision of a web site design, software intervace, or under-the-hood features is typically a slight improvement over launch; sometimes a significant improvement. All other revisons invariably decline in functionality, coherence, and competence. I couldn’t really say why this holds true. Complexification, yes. Indifference; “We’re going with a new launch soon, so who cares.” Launch sometimes has design-heads involved, but revisions are left to mid-tier codergineers. But later revsions almost always seem uglier too, and it’s hard to see how that could escape notice. My hypothesis is that later revisions are driven by a need to differentiate product from others rather than a focus on functionality, so functionality gets left in the toilet stall.

            It’s hard to believe that this phenomenon doesn’t have a name yet, like Shannon’s Law or Murphy’s since it is at least as pervasive in effect in my observation. I certainly don’t want _my_ name associated with it. Call the effect ‘MacGillicuddy’s Mulligan’ is what I say. But this is one reason why I am always very slow to abandon my previous tech and software: it you focus on getting the early revision, it almost always holds up better than later ones until there is a later ‘state change’ overhaul.

        2. CB

          I installed FF 7 and uninstalled it an hour later. Absolute crap. Tried again with FF 8 and really like it. Updated to 9 and really like it. Between 3.6 and 8, FF screwed the pooch, but they’re back on the rails now.

          1. Valissa

            Just installed Firefox about an hour ago, and I can’t even figure out what version I got but I would assume it’s the latest. The UI totally sucks! Useability sucks! Clearly this is no longer a user friendly company. Once upon a time I understood the appeal of this browser, but no longer.

          2. CB

            To each her own. I like it, I’m keeping it. I’m replying from it as we post. It’s also quite a bit faster than 3.6, which is where I jumped from. Maybe it’s not your time to ride the learning curve. Several years ago, I tried Office 2007 and unloaded it pretty quickly to return to 2003. Now, I’m firmly enscounced in 2007 and really enjoying it. If I had the money, I’d go for 2010. The re-size and crop features alone are worth the initial discomfort of learning the updated ropes.

          3. Valissa

            “ride the learning curve” yeah, I get what you’re saying. What I’m saying is that a web browser should be easy to use and learn. I expect software in general to have a learning curve, and one always makes a choice about investing in that. But really, a web browser should be easy and intuitive to use… MUCH EASIER than learning something like Office 2010 (which I have and I’ve gone through all the learning curvies on all the updates of that over the years).

          4. CB

            When you find that browser, share. I found FF 8 a seamless transition and 9 appears to be some technical wrinkle smoothing because I haven’t noticed any user differences between 8 and 9.

          5. Valissa

            Thanks but I did finally figure out where the About was. btw, I bought my first PC in 1983 so have been dealing with ugrades and learning curves for 29 years. At this point I’m generally pretty good at finding out what I need to know. And in general, useability has improved over time. But I have noticed in the past year a definite decline in useability on several of my favorite websites (job security for programmers?). My two biggest gripes are Yahoo Maps and Zagat. I used to love both FOR their useability but now I prefer OpenTable to Zagat. And I’m spending some time checking out other map sites and comparing.

            Back to Firefox, I did finally learn that the ALT key will temporarily put up the older pulldown menu bar – hurray! What I would like to know is how to make it stay up there. That one little thing would make FireFox worth my time to learn more about. Otherwise I’ll stick to IE and only use FireFox as a backup when I’m having issues reading a particular site. In the meantime I will hunt around over at YouTube for a good video tutorial and getting acclimated at FireFox.

          6. CB

            If you’re a long time IEer, I don’t know that you need to switch. Those articles purporting to measure speed and usability have a how-to point or two worth knowing, but all the commonly used browsers are pretty good. Competition, competition, and more competition.

            You might take a look at Opera. I have it and use it as secondary browser. IE is third team. I used to have K-Meleon, and it’s fine, but I rarely used it and I haven’t re-installed it. Chrome flummoxes me. Cannot get the hang of the interface and it insists on installing itself as default. Not my style. By me, computers are for doing stuff and I don’t like to play with them just to see………

    1. ambrit

      Friends;
      I’m having exactly the same problem, and I’m using IE9.
      Last night I tried to see the post, and got a blank post box. All the sidebars etc. were fine, only no post, and no comments.
      I THOUGHT IT WAS A SPOOF! I posted a comment to that effect on the next post. Now I find that it isn’t? Harrison is either fiendishly clever and funny, (as in a big double spoof,) or someones spyware has triped up and disclosed itself. (I’m voting for the big Spoof. Harrison,and our Esteemed Blogatrix have shown signs of subtle humour tendencies before.)
      Now to see if other posts start falling down the memory hole.

    2. nowhereman

      No, but the Rahm Emanuel link doesn’t work and even a search at the Guardian turns up zip.
      Big brother is watching.

    3. James

      Google Chrome’s TRULY da bomb! Its minimalist approach is off-putting to some at first, but BELIEVE ME, the adjustment curve’s short (a day or two MAYBE), and once you get used to it, you’ll never use anything else. I curse IE and FF both on the odd occasion that I have to use them to interface with proprietary vendor software at work.

  2. craazyman

    Here’s one for the links. Foxconn chairman equates workers with animals. Working conditions described.

    Foxconn may not be one of the lowest rungs of hell, but it doesn’t sound like it qualifies for purgatory.

    Here’s a money quote (pun intended) — “Attempting to improve working conditions in the factory to a level equal with American working conditions would likely have a severe impact on the prices of new iPads, iPhones and other Apple electronics. The company would also make less money per unit sold which would ultimately impact shareholder confidence in the company.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/foxconn-chairman-equates-iphone-creating-workforce-animals-050020339.html

    I do not have an iPhone or iPad, partly because my sensitive imagination revolts at scenes like these. Whoever made my Droid is no better, I’m sure, but I think I’ll stop there, for now.

    I wonder if Steve Jobs is furiously assembling iPads as we speak, someplace kind of warm. ha hahahaha hahahah. It must be crowded as a Foxconn factory down there too. ecce homo

      1. craazyman

        When I saw that UFO office they’re building I knew the end was near.

        It must be like a cult there. I wonder if Mr. Jobs is still hanging around in his astral body. Probly he is. I bet there will be sightings, like Jesus.

        Funny thing is they could probly juice their stock $100 if they built a PR campaign around cleaning up Foxconn and added $10 to the iPad’s price in a big show of support for the Chinese girls. Hell, they make Steve the Jesus of China, probly. He could have a third career at Apple as a Saint.

  3. Juneau

    Regarding the tightening of the autism disorder criteria-seems to me the other reason to do this (as mentioned in the article) is to have a ready excuse to reduce entitlements for what appears to be an epidemic of congenital neurologic diseases which require lifetime support for some.

    Regarding the impact on Big Pharma’s bottom line you are right. If you can’t medicate an illness with a brand name medication it doesn’t seem to exist in some circles.

  4. René

    Do not stand for this flagrant abuse of our farcical democracy!

    Megaupload has been forcibly closed by the FBI. In a sickening undermining of the people’s will, they are making an example out of an historic, legitimate, useful and well-known website. This is a prophetic glimmer of the coming war against pure free speech- the internet.

    http://bitcoinmedia.com/megaupload-conspiracy/

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Yep. I suspect you’re right. The target was specifically chosen as was the timing. This was a huge site with a lot of traffic.

      The bad cop, the AG, is throwing some chairs against the wall while the good cops, Pelosi and her GOP pals, negotiate with the bad cops to protect us.

  5. René

    Never-Ending Witch Hunt

    In short, SOPA is nothing but an never-ending witch hunt proposal that would allow the shutting down of websites, including mine, Zero Hedge, Max Keiser, Town Hall, ML-Implode, Calculated Risk, Naked Capitalism, Patrick, the Big Picture, and other alternative news sites on the most flimsy of reasons without doing anything to curb online piracy.

    In the title to this post, I used the phrase “won’t work” rather loosely. By “won’t work” I meant the bill will not achieve the stated goal of stopping piracy. It may indeed “work” in the sense it would allow government to shut down sites for political reasons on trumped-up charges.

    Close analysis shows the bill is really nothing but more “big brother” legislation and another attack on freedom of speech. Ron Paul is on the right side of this issue. Once again, he is the only one.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/01/ron-paul-only-gop-candidate-to-publicly.html

    1. CB

      We used to make fun of the Soviets doing things like this. People summarily dragged off to gulags for indefinite detainment and “re-education” on vague charges. And the pitiful living conditions, the shops with empty shelves, the interminable lines to buy basics. Ho, ho, funny, eh? Now it’s All Hail the American Emperor.

      1. tom allen

        The only people who resisted were the clowns. The satirists. Like Mark Twain and now Vaclav Havel. Just sayin’.

      1. James

        Candles in the wind of temporarily vocal public opinion. You’re right, as soon as the furor dies down, they’ll pass it as a rider to something else or some such shit. Bad intentions never go unrewarded for long these days. WHY are we electing these clowns?

  6. Jim A

    Is anybody else amused by Newt going after Mitt on his taxes when under Newt’s plan, taxes on capital gains would be ZERO? This would mean that Mitt would only be paying taxes on that “insignificant” ~350k speaking fees, so his effective tax rate would be something like 2%.

    1. James

      When the rich and powerful go after one another it’s always a moment of high farce. The fact that they can do it all with a straight face and comically stern visage is what makes them all so entertaining. It’s for that alone that they earn their keep, as we’re certainly not paying them for their profound policy making skills. Support the system’s demise by refusing to engage it. Let’s pull the plug on this bloated beast and let it die of benign neglect. “Starve the beast” indeed! Let’s reappropriate that tired worn out slogan and take it back from the thieving right, whose only vision was the skulduggery of lower taxes for the plutocracy. How about a democracy where the rank and file simply say “no thank you” to all of the above come election time? It’s the only thing that’s gonna get their attention.

      1. James

        OR, when the menu says “Shit Sandwiches” from here to eternity, it just might be time to change your diet.

  7. Jim3981

    Thanks for the link on homelessness in Atlantic city. I found it inspiring. Sure beats sleeping on the beach like I see around here.

    That shelter Should be a model for how to create more homeless housing. We are going to need more of it.

    Couple that shelter with employment and probably all kinds of drug abuse, crime, and other problems wiped out.

  8. wunsacon

    We’ve got to address SOPA and the numerous fascists bills at their source: by boycotting goods from the Corporations that buy the influence that results in SOPA, etc.

    This means I’m not going to theme parks (Disneyland, Universal, Six Flags), watching movies in theaters, buying a new car, eating at chain restaurants, or anything else I can think of that might enrich the bastard rentiers.

    We’ve got to try to cut these people off from the source of their strength — the money we keep giving them.

    1. Optimader

      People that refer to themselves as Dr that are not MDs are usually deadwood in my expierince. G N orth is such a bag of gas it is difficult to even persist in reading his crap all the way through if you bother to start for sme reason. I somtimes do the mental experiment of considering what it would be like to go on vacation with someone. G North falls into the catagory of creepy. He is actually one of the reasons i stopped e en occasionally grazing at Lew Rockwell out of curiosity. Anyone that wastes bandwidth on G North must also have a screw loose .The politicalvariant of the pentacostal fire and brimstone rap trying to shill newletters . Must be a tough way to make a buck

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I was praying for some endurance to last myself throught the first few sentences.

        But I had no luck.

        So I gave up.

  9. Cal

    “Doctor” Gary North?

    That same blowhard that joined up
    with “The Code is Broken” Cory Haramatsu sp?, to predict
    Y2K apocalypse? That Gary North?

    Is there some Christian charity that I can donate my 500 pounds of twelve year old stale beans to in “Doctor North’s” name?

      1. Tim

        Yeah, absolutely. It’s obviously beyond coincidental, it’s purely intentional.

        Mainstream reporting has to be careful and could never infer such a thing, but come-on, how many occurences do we need? There clearly is an established pattern here.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    First, theoretical economists explain something will lead to apocalypse.

    Then, experimental economists design experiments on people (without FDA approvals) to verfiy.

    It’s called the Scientific Economist’s Way.

  11. liberal

    Trust no one with your money …

    Wife doesn’t like us having so much cash stashed away at Vanguard. My attitude is (a) V is one of hte better players, (b) mutual funds have to have custodians etc.

    What does everyone else think?

    1. CB

      If VG goes down, most of my meager net worth goes with it, so I do hope your wife is wrong. I’d bet with VG before betting with many banks.

  12. Hugh

    I often write about soldiers of kleptocracy. It is not an abstract metaphor. Our kleptocratic elites have stolen untold trillions from us. They are not going to yield them back to us without a fight. If you want to see the typical face of the kleptocratic thug and enforcer, you could do no better than Rahm Emanuel. When it comes to challenging the powers that be as we must and will, the gloves will come off and we will find there are many authoritarian hoodlums like Emanuel willing to defend to the end a thoroughly corrupt system because it is their thoroughly corrupt system.

  13. barrisj

    Despatches from the front (NYT):

    Afghanistan’s Soldiers Step Up Killings of Allied Forces

    KABUL, Afghanistan — American and other coalition forces here are being killed in increasing numbers by the very Afghan soldiers they fight alongside and train, in attacks motivated by deep-seated animosity between the supposedly allied forces, according to American and Afghan officers and a classified coalition report.

    A decade into the war in Afghanistan, the report makes clear that these killings have become the most visible symptom of a far deeper ailment plaguing the war effort: the contempt each side holds for the other, never mind the Taliban. The ill will and mistrust run deep among civilians and militaries on both sides, raising questions about what future role the United States and its allies can expect to play in Afghanistan.

    Underscoring the danger, a gunman in an Afghan Army uniform killed four French service members and wounded several others on Friday, according to an Afghan police official in Kapisa Province in eastern Afghanistan, prompting the French president to suspend his country’s operations here.

    The violence, and the failure by coalition commanders to address it, casts a harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of American efforts to build a functional Afghan Army, a pillar of the Obama administration’s strategy for extricating the United States from the war in Afghanistan, said the officers and experts who helped shape the strategy.

    The problems risk leaving the United States and its allies dependent on an Afghan force that is permeated by anti-Western sentiment and incapable of combating the Taliban and other militants when NATO’s combat mission ends in 2014, they said.
    [more...]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/world/asia/afghan-soldiers-step-up-killings-of-allied-forces.html?_r=1&hp

    And this from “the good war”? Not even Kabul can be described as “secure”, after a suicide bombing two days ago killed nearly 2 dozen people, including Nato soldiers. Obama really needs to think about pulling the plug on a futile military campaign now into its second decade with absolutely no end in sight, certainly no “victory”, obviously. If re-elected, his first action as President should be a 100% withdrawal, no conditions, and no permanent bases, full stop. Otherwise, it’s death by a thousand cuts, despite upbeat BS predictions about “turning corners” and “light at the end of the tunnel” shite from the military and other believers in COIN doctrines.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Yes indeed, Obama should think about this and he should remove troops as his first order of business.

      But he won’t. The issue is settled. There is ZERO point in making the effort to try to convince Obama or to reason with him or put pressure on him–he is a rock that will not budge (in fact, he’s using all his political skills and effort to OPPOSE what you want and to fool liberals).

      So what are we going to do about it?

      I say we first drop the pretense that Obama will listen to logic or the democratic process. He is a war criminal hell bent on more war. Let’s accept reality.

      Once we admit that Obama is a conservative that lies to liberals then we can decide on the first action: at the very least we should not support or vote for him. Why reward someone that is attacking and punking you?

      I would also like to see him impeached and put in jail.

      Supporting or voting for him in the hopes of changing his mind or his policies is foolish, ce n’est pas? Based on the evidence?

      I think liberals are better off writing Obama and the Dems off and simply attacking them from the left.

    2. CB

      The Russians who aren’t dumfounded at American stupidity are laughing their asses off. FP had an article by a Russian general who is among the dumbfounded. Can’t believe the
      Americans stepped into this tar pit–eyes wide open.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I also note Brzenzski and Obama’s role in perpetrating the fake controversy vis a vis Israel and the U.S. The media play up the potential that Obama and Brzenzski are somehow pushing back against the Israeli lobby when they really don’t differ much at all.

        2. CB

          Unquestionably Brzenzski’s animus played large in America’s involvement in Afghhanistan. He still brags about it.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    iPad made of clay.

    That’s positively paleolithic.

    For the more advanced medieval intellectuals, the preferred choice was wax tablets.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    European banks prepare to shrink.

    Like sheep does when it rains, banks naturally would shrink in a financial storm – it’s wet!

    Duh.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I hate to be so trite, but this is simply unbelievable.

      And I’m no longer surprised fascists like Rahm Emmanuel engage in naked power grabs like this . . . what I’m surprised at is the millions of liberal Democrats that vote for and support these fascists.

      Why did liberals in Illinois voted for this fascist?

      What’s unbelievable to me is that Democrats enact right-wing fascist legislation and their zombie supporters keep on supporting them.

      Why in the world would any liberal vote Democrat?

      1. CB

        Liberals can rationalize with the best of ‘em. One of the hispanic groups took itself out of the Obama camp and declared that they survived eight years of Bush, they’ll survive whoever else is elected. They won’t vote for Obama. I’m with them.

        What happened to spellcheck here?

      2. James

        Better question: why would any rational human being vote AT ALL given the choices. Suggestion: DON’T!

        REFUSE TO LOSE! DON’T PARTICIPATE IN A LOSING SYSTEM!

      3. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Walter, Rahm was Oreobama’s *quid pro quo* — Rahm as Mayor of Chi, and Daley into the Inner Sanctum of the White House.

        This is Old Guard dirty politics, going back to the days of the Mob from New Orleans, through Ponchatoula, through Cicero, to Chicago–the route of the famous Panama Limited luxury train with swank bedrooms, lounge car, fine restaurant, shined shoes overnight, with a breakfast of grits, ham and eggs before you took your exit in style.

        That’s the way Rockefeller’s U of Chi guys like it. Rahm’s the heavy.

  16. kevinearick

    The Traveling Salesman: Empire Tax Collection

    “tax collection depended very much on powerful individuals who acted as tax farmers. They were given a fixed amount to raise and what private profits they made were, if they were within reason, ignored by the Crown. Indeed, in the outbreak of every great revolt…tax collectors played a vital role!”

    Under Socialism, as it is practiced, all participants are tax collectors, creating artificial demand and supply, to be paid for by OPC, each with a convenient scapegoat in the others, until the misdirection becomes so cumbersome that they trap themselves in their own recursion, prisoners dilemma, the only possible result of which is tyranny, as all seek to avoid responsibility for their own inability to adapt, having run out of time, because their behavior is embedded in the DNA of irrational markets, with no more room to grow the ponzi.

    If you don’t want gum on your shoe, stop throwing gum out into the street, instead of hiring cops to imprison other offenders, subjecting yourself to the police State. Corporate is a revolving door, which always runs out of sheep. Politicians agree to fleece each other’s voters; that’s what they do.

    How’s that?

      1. Valissa

        I’m sticking with IE8 for now. I see no cost benefit to learning the current FireFox, and I have no tribal position for or against MSFT. btw, I put IE9 on my travel laptop but ended up giving that to my husband when his other laptop died. I liked some of the IE9 differences but I love the ability to switch between search engines easily that IE8 has (and was dropped for IE9), and since I do ALOT of searching I’m sticking with IE8 for now.

          1. Valissa

            yeah, and we’re all quirky. What I like best about IE9 is having the Favorites come down over on the right (thought that change made sense and more natural!), and what my husband hates about IE9 is the Favorites now come down on the right. But he’s a software engineer and feels the need to always be current, regardless of his analysis of any plusses or minusses about the current version. All the professional software people seem to be like that… ‘hey, suck it up and learn the new version even if it is worse in some ways.’ It’s a weird kind of tech macho conformism. Also usability does not seem to be as much of a priority as it used to be.

          2. CB

            There’s a irony here: software usability may be declining as it becomes more and more gadgetware, but hardware is worlds more reliable and usable than it used to be. Stuffing “features” into applications doesn’t cut across performance in any way that gets peoples’ attention because modern processors and all the attendant acoutrements can handle the load. CAD users complain, but they’re a special class. CAD users are NEVER satisfied.

  17. Sam X

    Want to throw in my two cents on the Adam Curtis piece–a great summary of contemporary Russian politics/culture and how it evolved out of late Soviet Union politics/culture. Wish he had spent more time on the 80s Soviet Union / 00s America comparison, but I guess that’ll have to be another article. Does anyone know of a good article doing just that?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        nobody, thanks for the very important link. Dmitri Orlov gets it!

        I guess the only decision to face is whether to go fill those beehives waiting for us in China, or to find friendly artists in Russia.

        When the end comes, can you imagine the Mexican cartel takeover of USA!USA?

  18. Valissa

    Making Science Fun With High-Tech Popsicle Sticks And Pipe Cleaners http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2012/01/10/making-science-fun-with-high-tech-popsicle-sticks-and-pipe-cleaners/

    littleBits, a Lego-like toy for electronics education http://littlebits.cc/

    note: there are some cool demos at their website, also this article…

    littleBits closes first round of financing, also enters MoMA’s collection! http://littlebits.cc/littlebits-closes-first-round-of-financing

    Very creative approach to science education. A toy that appears to have paid a great deal of attention to usability.

  19. Cris Kennedy

    Regarding “Crap Economist Explains How Gay Marriage Leads Straight to Apocalypse,”

    the article and its comments section were devoid of the obvious; gay marriage is a secret conspiracy by divorce attorneys to gin up more business…..a lot more business.

    As always, the liberals are in the hip pockets of the trial attorneys.

    1. Valissa

      I could not get past the first paragraph of that article, so I congratulate you on reading the whole thing and coming up with the buried gem… of course it’s a conspiracy by the trial attorneys… DUH! (slaps self on head) ;)

    2. Lambert Strether

      And conservatives are in the hip pockets of some other 1% faction. I mean, who cares?

      And Ron Paul me no Ron Pauls. Show me the link where Paul advocates prosecuting bankster C*Os for accounting control fraud. Until then, Paul is just on the right hand side of the conventional wisdom, and no different from any other partisan shill.

      1. skippy

        Ron Paul is the pastor that preaches the Body and Mind are a Temple… to the congregation… and after the sermon, ducks out the side door to have a smoke… pull of the plug.

        Skippy… Preaching is a tough racket… medicinal thingy.

          1. skippy

            You can do better than that, I hope.

            Skippy… Non Sequitur Rectum is not an argument against the previous, but an extension of it, try harder.

        1. F. Beard

          Certain churches strain out gnats (moderate use of alcohol, dancing[?!], rock music, cigarettes, etc.) but swallow the camel of State backed oppression of the poor (banking):

          “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

          “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:23-24

  20. Darren Kenworthy

    “Theocratic Libertarians” claim to aspire toward a society organized according to biblical principles, but seem to have stopped reading after Leviticus. Why do so many Christians hate Jesus?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      N.B. they “CONSPIRED to eliminate competition…”

      Yes, conspiracies do exist. And among “free trade” corporate preachers. Truly, their greed and duplicity know no bounds.

      Occupy Facebook. Occupy Google. Occupy Monopolists Every One.

  21. F. Beard

    Ah yes, Gary North.

    This is what clued me to Austrian hypocrisy:

    “The government does have the right to establish the form of money that citizens must use to pay their taxes. The government should limit itself to a statement regarding the weight and fineness of the tax coins. If private enterprise produces coins that meet these standards, the government must accept such coins as valid for the payment of taxes. The government lawfully controls the form of taxation; but it should not have any power to monopolize the production of coins. Governments have always asserted this authority, and they have always done so to the detriment of liberty.” Gary North from http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north895.html [bold added]

    North would replace government counterfeiting of private money (our current system) with private counterfeiting of government money (fascist).

    He also defends usury.

    1. skippy

      Note to self beard… temples of what ever stripe… are fascist… if they control value.

      Skippy… sanctioned from above.

      1. F. Beard

        temples of what ever stripe… are fascist… skippy

        No. The definition of fascism is government privilege for private interests. The Blue Laws (couldn’t work on Sunday) was an example of religious fascism as was/is Prohibition.

  22. Anon

    Adam Curtis’s blog piece is interesting, as ever.

    What I find slightly frustrating about him, though, is his seeming reluctance to “follow the money”.

    Does he really think that the alphabetti-spaghetti of the US security state had no hand in fomenting oppositionist youth-music movements in the former USSR? Curtis seems almost wilfully naïve on the subject.

    On a side note (sic), Sergey Kuryokhin certainly paid a high price once the USSR fell. Suffering from a rare form of heart cancer, he died in 1996, since he lacked funds to pay for treatment. He was 42.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Anon, shouldn’t we be following the money to those Harvard “economists” on the take big-time, facilitating the “fall” of the USSR?

      Occupy the Harvard Endowment Fund.

  23. Parvaneh Ferhadi

    There were several articles in the Russian press recently (RIA Novosti, Komersant, Vesti, Komsomolskaya Pravda, e.g.) which are citing some experts who are investigating the Fobos-Grunt mission failure – which failed shortly after the start – as possibly being attributable to a “strong radar signal” from the RTS on the Kwajalein atoll on the Marshall Islands.

    RIA also claimed the strategic command, I guess the mean SAC, had removed or changed previously published information about the Fobos-Grunt crash from their site (www.space-track.org). When asked why, the staff said “because our superiors told us to”.

    The official report is slated to be handed in on January 25, 2012. I wonder what they will write. This could become an interesting story rather quickly, if the Russian make this an official finding of their report.

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