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Links 2/3/12

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Trunk-loads of talent: Can you guess which painting is by an ELEPHANT (and which is the work of a top modern artist worth £7.4m)? Actually, the painting called Digit Master really is good.

The World’s Heaviest Insect Is 3,500 Times More Massive Than the Smallest Vertebrate Discover (hat tip Valissa). I am not squeamish, but I don’t think I’d like being all that near that insect. Eeew.

Malaria toll ‘is twice as high’ BBC

Apple’s supply chain problem MarketWatch

Floods create ‘inland sea’ in Australia Raw Story

FDA USING ‘INTERSTATE COMMERCE’ TO REGULATE YOUR STEM CELLS AS A ‘DRUG’ TheBlaze

AP Exclusive: US No-Fly list doubles in 1 year Associated Press (hat tip Lambert)

Touring China’s ‘Ghost Coast’ MacroBusiness

Woman Alleges Abuse At Kazakh Police Station Radio Free Europe. Confirms Ames in Ames v. Foust dispute over a massacre and related violence in Kazakhstan.

Iran says it launched satellite Washington Post

End this masochism in economic policymaking Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Facebook ought to ditch its public offering John Gapper, Financial Times

Romney Isn’t Concerned New York Times

Koch Bros. Mouthpiece Tells Occupy: “Forget the 1%, Go After Granny” Firedoglake

Nationwide Title Clearing Sued by Illinois Over Foreclosure Documents Bloomberg. So get this: Illinois AG Lisa Madigan does NOT like robosiging if done by a big title company, but is prepared to let banks how do it off pretty cheaply in the mortgage settlement. This will be the pattern: bust the small fry and let the big boys off.

After Three Years, Homeowners Still Being Treated as Political Pawns Mother Jones. Obama has a “blame Congress” strategy in motion.

Analysis: Obstacles high for more mortgage prosecutions Reuters. The public is being reminded the Credit Suisse prosecutions were just for show and don’t get your hopes up.

Obama Administration propaganda on prosecuting elite financial frauds Bill Black

Unintended profits and the custodians Deus Ex Macchiato (hat tip Richard Smith). Short and important.

Follow Alternative Banking on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OWSaltbanking

Antidote du jour:

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31 comments

    1. tom allen

      “Gone away is the bluebird.
      Here to stay is a new bird.
      He sings a love song
      As we go along
      Walking in a winter wonderland.”

      (And if I were a bluebird, I’d stay as far away from those cute, vicious cats as possible. There’s a reason the Egyptians worshiped them as gods.) :-P

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The choice is between being ‘ugly’ to humans and live free in the wild or being ‘cute’ to humans and have your water and food bowls filled promptly everyday.

  1. KFritz

    Re: PRC Ghost Towns

    Has any of the high-sulphur, corrosive drywall that PRC shipped to the US (esp Florida) turned up in any of their own buildings?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think if China can continue to accumulate foreign reserves, they can afford to build more ghost towns. ..at least by these wealthy developers from Hong Hong.

      Who will buy them? Maybe Foxconn’s rich Taiwanese investors.

      In a way, US consumers are financing these fabulous projects.

  2. MGK

    Interesting case with the FDA stem cells. One could argue that FDA does have authority over the specific device isolates the stem cells from blood. But to claim that FDA can limit their medical applications is too intrusive on teh practice of medicine which FDA typically claims they don’t do.

    This is just oe more example of where overreach is creeping in in an attmept to prevent any and all “bad stuff” from ever happening.

    1. George

      The FDA’s regulations mean that it costs an average of $500M to take a drug to market. Thus, only the large drug companies can do so.

      The FDA’s regulations mean that drugs cannot be taken to market if they aren’t patentable or if the size of the market is less than $1B / year.

      The FDA also is biased against multi-drug therapies, so those never make it to market.

      Natural substances cannot be patented.

      Thus drugs are very expensive, and only about 50 significant drugs come to market every year. Europe uses 500-1000 drugs that are not available in the US.

      Most people in the US die of ‘you can’t afford that drug’ or ‘sorry, that drug didn’t get developed because the market wasn’t big enough’ or one of the variations on ‘big drug companies have no incentive to do that’.

      We support a huge amount of medical research on stem cells. The therapies are being developed in Asia or Russia.

      The FDA is a fine example of an agency that accomplishes the opposite of its goals : people are dying due to its regulations at a much higher rate than they are being saved because of unsafe drugs. (Note that that is becoming more of a problem — the FDA has allowed unsafe drugs to continue to be sold more often lately.)

    1. barrisj

      Looks as though SGK beat a hasty retreat:
      Komen reverses decision to cut Planned Parenthood funding
      http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-komen-planned-parenthood-reversal-20120203,0,5693397.story

      It is absolutely remarkable the power that a right-wing anti-abortion MALE Congressperson could have that would have caused SGK to stiff Planned Parenthood in such a manner, totally contrary to SGK’s own goals re: breast cancer detection and prevention. Why is it ALWAYS that men in positions of power can decide or influence womens’ health issues??? Add to this latest insult the on-going battle mounted by the Catholic Church and its ecumenical fundamentalist allies to junk Griswold and have states roll back contraceptive aid to women seeking to avoid unnecessary pregnancies. Shockingly medieval attitudes that seemingly never die in the LAND OF FREEDOM.
      prevention.

  3. Externality

    From the Jerusalem Post:

    Occupy chapter votes to support Israel boycott

    [...]

    The Oakland, Calif., chapter of the US Occupy movement overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

    According to Twitter accounts by pro-Palestinian activists pushing the proposal, the statement won nearly unanimous backing in a vote Wednesday following a brief discussion. A lengthy statement on the Occupy Oakland website attacked US aid to Israel and suggested that Israel had “prodded” the United States into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishFeatures/Article.aspx?id=256334

    This is apparently the proposal they passed: http://occupyoakland.org/2012/01/proposal-occupy-wallstreet-not-palestine/

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Externality, do you see the scam? It’s backed by “Pro-Palestinian activists.” This keeps it safely in the “He said, she said” camp. It would be much more interesting it the protest had been backed by Evangelical “Zionist Christians” and American Jews.

  4. barrisj

    Looks as though SGK beat a hasty retreat:
    Komen reverses decision to cut Planned Parenthood funding
    http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-komen-planned-parenthood-reversal-20120203,0,5693397.story

    It is absolutely remarkable the power that a right-wing anti-abortion MALE Congressperson could have that would have caused SGK to stiff Planned Parenthood in such a manner, totally contrary to SGK’s own goals re: breast cancer detection and prevention. Why is it ALWAYS that men in positions of power can decide or influence womens’ health issues??? Add to this latest insult the on-going battle mounted by the Catholic Church and its ecumenical fundamentalist allies to junk Griswold and have states roll back contraceptive aid to women seeking to avoid unnecessary pregnancies. Shockingly medieval attitudes that seemingly never die in the LAND OF FREEDOM.

        1. Valissa

          I get that… but it’s a start! I am not expecting much in the way of perp walks, except for a few tokens… whatever pressure can be applied is a plus, IMO. I’m a realist, not a hopey changey type.

          1. craazyman

            I’m a cynic. I don’t know what to make of a country that lets its campaign contributors run like little shitting pigs over the law that applies its pepper spray and batons to the rest of us. I really don’t know. I’m spiritually lost now. My religion was freedom and my church was the idea of America. Now I have nothing except the memory of a dream. Maybe this happens to everybody when they wake up unless they’re a psychotic or a saint.

          2. Valissa

            paraphrasing Fleetwood Mac… Seems like dream, got me myth-tified… truth is a bitch… that’s why the goddess created intoxicants ;)

            There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth. — Agnes Repplier

            Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. — Sir Winston Churchill

            The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear. — Herbert Agar

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    First we worry about humans losing jobs to robots.

    Now we worry about losing more human jobs…this times high paying painting jobs to elephants.

    Time for government intervention?

  6. kevinearick

    “Don’t Muck It Up”

    It’s getting downright Orwellian out there isn’t it? The Titanic is sinking faster so a greater percentage of survivors are getting seats (participation rate), and the Trump-backed Republicans have no cogent response. Stupidity is growing parabolically, more and more people are willingly ignoring more and more data, to produce the aesthetically pleasing linear outcome. Great, the stated unemployment rate is 8.3%; throw some more fuel on the fire.

    When you consider that the vast majority is a cop, collecting benefits from the State, indirectly or directly, to ensure continued conformity, and isolate nonconformance accordingly, you see the true magnitude and shape of the black hole, and, if you look, you can travel right down its history to see how the stack/hash table functions. When the herd finally awakens, it will be consumed by anxiety, from cognitive dissonance. The remedy is to disburse the herd before tyranny threshold, but there is no geography available to that end (for the majority).

    Policeman to the world is a stupid policy, with obvious results. It’s like hearing a woman scream when you open your door, and then seeing a man beating on her. If you go over to pull that guy off and expect his wife not to hit you in the back of the head with a hammer, you are the stupid one. Don’t meddle in other people’s marriages. If you have money to throw away to enter the German/Greek sh**-show over in Europe, by all means do so.

    Cops are weasels by nature. Good cops understand their role in the empire’s ecology. Do whatever you want with law-breakers, but leave the other non-conformers be, as we increase the age to majority. Yes, Mr. FBI Director, don’t interfere with the Persians; they simply await the conclusion of the financial stage in this war, and they can hurt you beyond your imagination. They eagerly await the Jewish Hypocrites. Homogeneity knows no bounds.

    Expect the emperor to open the temple again, but do not enter. Always observe the sh**-show from a convenient watchtower, out of time with the herd. The root implicit multiplexer appears random to the explicit multiplexer only because the latter follows the dying rule of law. Learning comes before knowledge. Language begets equations. The emperor will get his equations, once the noose around his neck becomes so tight that he must relinquish his grip on children.

    Raising children is not about instilling fear. Any passive/aggressive moron can be a bully, and be bullied. Ask the Indian what happens to the bully. The brain is a muscle. Thinking is an exercise in consideration. The more you practice, the stronger it gets. Sex is a thinking person’s game. Children learn by example. By age one, they know who the bullies are. By age two, they are practicing. After that, parents are pretty much spectators.

    The Persian kids don’t like their derivative leaders either, but they are acutely aware that the melting pot employs a homogeneous catalyst. Containment swings both ways. The empire blows itself up every time. Just give it some rope, the fuse.

    China upped the bridge to nowhere ante with cities to nowhere…

  7. Tim

    I’ve got to hand it to the elephant. The balanced use of white space contrasted with the bright colors is exquisite!

    Ape art sucked though.

  8. sedeer

    Wetas are fantastic! Thanks for the link — it’s always great to see such a nice demonstration that vertebrates like us aren’t necessarily all that special. ;)

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