Links Groundhog Day

Malaysian scientists find stone tools ‘oldest in Southeast Asia’ AFP

Biologists Find Stem Cell-Like Functions in Other Types of Plant Cells NYU

China birth defects ‘up sharply’ BBC

Iran’s nuclear terrorism fears Asia Times

Violent clashes in Russia as angry protesters call for Putin to resign over economy Daily Mail. The article hyperventilates, but has photos from protests in two cities.

Depression economics: Four options Brad DeLong, Project Syndicate (hat tip Mark Thoma)

World Leaders Wary of U.S. Economic Measures New York Times. The Davos coverage I read elsewhere said the antipathy is even worse.

Chrysler turns the screw on part makers Financial Times

Is Getting Someone to Buy a Home Worth 5 Kid Years of Health Care? Dean Baker

Natural gas glut could hit U.S. Houston Chronicle (hat tip reader Michael)

I have fallen into recession’s web of fear Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times

Corruption And The Global Financial Crisis Forbes (hat tip Jesse)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader keenan; the story and photos come from a co-worker):

I was on my way home from work last week when I saw a dead broad-winged hawk on its back in the middle of a two lane road. I drove by it and then decided to take it home and get a better look at a bird of prey since it was dead. I turned around and when I pulled up next to it and stopped traffic, its head moved slightly. I picked it up and it flapped one wing. I set it on its belly on the passenger seat and its head just lay there like it was going to die.

On the 25 minute drive home it started to move its head more and pick its head up. By the time I got home it was standing on its feet and looking around but not afraid of me. I didn’t want to scare it or have it try to fly during the drive home so I had my gloved hand on its back.

When I got home I slowly climbed out of the car and then called around for a vet. I finally found a lady who takes birds of prey at her hospital in Hershey. She said I need to put it in a box for its safety, which now was quite difficult because the bird was wide awake and aware of its surroundings. It must have been stunned from getting hit or flying into a car window.

It looked healthy with no broken leg so Steph and I opened the car doors and I had to force it out using a box. It was in no hurry to leave the car. It dropped to the ground and flew away. It was okay. I think if I would have left it on the road, other cars would have hit it. It just needed time to recover from being stunned.

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  1. Anonymous

    Regarding the Times’ report from Davos…mark your calendars: February 2nd, 2009 is probably the first time the phrase “free trade dogma” could be found in the Business section of the Times.

    And not quite ten years since Seattle…

  2. Anonymous

    WOW, great antidote.

    The add below is the MC Hammer Cash4Gold spot (in my opinion, the best Super Bowl commercial — “goodbye, old friend.”)

  3. Riggsveda

    What an amazing story on the hawk. And look at the musculature under the feathers–what a powerful bird. Makes you wonder what kind of attitude he or she will have toward humans in the future. Thanks for posting the story. These things really ARE antidotes.

  4. Anonymous

    Brad DeLong is a witty and intelligent commentator of political economy or is it ecomedy ?

    None-the-less, his non-apologetic preach of laissez-faire, global trade from the academic bully pulpit has made him, in my mind, a major protagonist of much that has gone wrong. Beginning with the reign of Clinton, where DeLOng had more than a passing influence, the US and world embarked on a foolish and ruinious adventure in lop-sided trade policies. The non-stop pronouncements and promises of great global enrichment have, predictably, turned to warnings of disaster for anyone attempting to regulate the trade imbalances that lie at the heart of the current global mess.

    Based on puffery and economic handwaving, DeLong and company played into the hands of the “supply side” hogwash of Reagan/Bush, lending support to a set of policies whose first real world test brought us the Great Depression and, possibly, WWII.

    I always feel a sense of an unspoken altruism for the world’s poor in DeLong’s POV. But dealing off your neighbor’s job, in the name of altruism has no real place in economics. Let us hope that Dr. DeLong’s POV is considered in the light of reality. The unbalanced world that he promotes is a dangerous, and less prosperous place, in which to live.

  5. Lim

    Beautiful photo and story! (yes I know this is spam post but couldn’t stop myself from saying this out loud….)

  6. Anonymous

    World Leaders Wary of U.S. Economic Measures

    From another NYT article Global Worries Over U.S. Stimulus Spending:

    “A top White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, promised in Davos on Thursday that once the stimulus plan achieved its intended affect, the United States would “restore fiscal responsibility and return to a sustainable economic path.””

    A fair reading then of US Economic Policy in the interim is to be fiscally irresponsible and continue on an unsustainable economic path. I guess this is really something you would not have wanted revealed during the election. If I heard this firshand from Obama’s “headliner” at Klosters****, I would be appalled. The Media wasn’t and I have seen no comments on her frank statement.…l?ref=business

  7. Anonymous

    Corruption And The Global Financial Crisis

    “In order to restore confidence, citizens, entrepreneurs and bankers need to have renewed trust in the financial system. That way they can be persuaded that it is no longer a giant Ponzi scheme. Transparency is the key.”

    The Corruption that created the Great Implosion is the same Corruption that is supposed to get us out of it. Nothing has changed as regards Corruption, Indeed, it is accelerating as the Corrupters and Corruptees see less likelihood in the future for profits. (For starters, there is not even a mention of Campaign Finance Reform.)

    So, Trust, Confidence, faith in the Rule of Law, how and when will these be restored? Platitudes from a podium will not suffice.

    Thus, more Bailouts of the Corrupters so the Corruptees may be reelected to continue receiving the proceeds of the Corruption.

    Economists consider Corruption a secondary problem if they think of it at all. (Or maybe they are too afraid to mention it.) In fact, it is the epicenter of America’s economic problems and without addressing it, downward ho!

  8. John

    Thanks for the story and your good deed. There are two hawks who live in my area and they are something to see just gliding thru the air.

  9. Richard Kline

    Hawks are soooooo beautiful. Raptors are definitely my power animal, and I love them all. I have no particular desire to handle them: they are wild, and biodesigned to fly solo, as it were. Let them be; set them free; come and see. A good deed indeed by your co-worker.

    There is an interesting side note here: the Road of the Dead leads down through the mouth of an Eagle; the Fisher King. It’s a long story (going on 16000 years), and I could show you the constellation; it covers an eighth of the heavens. But anyway, to have a near death experience is, metaphorically in that context, to enter the mouth of the Eagle and still return. Or other raptor. The hawk returns from the hawk’s bill . . . that is a special tale.

  10. MarcoPolo

    So, when was that picture taken? Not last week I hope. Immature Broad-wings should be in Argentina this week. Not near Hershey.

  11. JP

    It looked healthy with no broken leg so Steph and I opened the car doors and I had to force it out using a box. It was in no hurry to leave the car.

    Great. Now all the hawks are going to want us to give them free rides. If you bail one of them out, what do you think the others will expect?

  12. Anonymous

    Wonderful hawk photos. Hope the bird is doing well.

    Great. Now all the hawks are going to want us to give them free rides.


  13. Fraud Guy

    My wife found a red-tailed hawk in similar circumstances. She was going on to an interstate on ramp and saw it dive towards the ground, when it got clipped by an Escalade. She was able to get it into a box in her car, with a semi blocking traffic behind her so that she did not get hit while rescuing the hawk.

    She brought it to a local rescue shelter, where they informed her that hawks zone out everything but their prey when they dive, and so may not notice objects that suddenly intrude into their path (such as vehicles).

    Unfortunately, the hawk succumbed to its injuries, having suffered brain damage from its impact.

  14. Keenan

    Marco Polo – According to my correspondent the photos & incident occurred on Jan 27.

    More on the Broad Tail Hawk

    I’ve contacted a wildlife biologist to see if there are other unusual sightings of this bird. We’ve had crossbills in SW Pennsylvania this year which is a rare occurrence as well.

    PS – Word Verification : exxessi – a play on what has caused the bubble economy

  15. g.

    Sorry, and not to offend anyone, but the hawk pictures look fake to me. I’ve never thought that about any of the pics in Yves’ antidote du jour, which I usually look forward to. But this bird’s been definitely photoshopped. Just my 2¢.

  16. Anonymous

    Surprised you didn’t link to Krugman’s latest op-ed. No new ideas, but very well-said and entertaining.

  17. Charles Kiting

    I wonder what hawk tastes like.

    Seriously those photos are fantastic. I almost did the same thing yesterday with a blue jay but I was on the way out rather than on the way home.

  18. Keenan

    g. – I don’t have a reason to disbelieve the man who reported the story to me, but what is it that prompts you say “definitely photoshopped” ?

  19. Riggsveda

    g–a close inspection of the photos enlarged makes me think they are absolutely genuine. Marks left by the talons on the upholstery, the way the wing drapes over and into the dashboard in the last shot. Not fake.

  20. Waldo

    “Economists consider Corruption a secondary problem if they think of it at all. (Or maybe they are too afraid to mention it.) In fact, it is the epicenter of America’s economic problems and without addressing it, downward ho!”

    I think prominent economists promote it (Gary S. Becker, Paul Wolfowitz, Kudlow). Economists can be profoundly shallow. Put a Nobel into jail things would change. It is ironic, it is a strong understanding of economics that is the cure (transparency). As it stands all economic insight is suspect; especially if it originates here in the States. Sad.

  21. S

    I am still waiting for the cusips from the Beas Stearns assets that Geithner promised to disclose at the congressional hearing.

  22. doc holiday

    I see this hawk as a metaphor, i.e, an economy in shock, hit by a tsunami of stupidity, over confident and then hit between the eyes by the reality of poor management. The economy is in shock, but like this hawk will recover. Nonetheless, I’m afraid we need to nationalize all our banking system and put it in a box and protect it from further injury!

  23. Evelyn Sinclair

    Thanks for the gorgeous photos of the hawk, along with the story.

    I had a similar “Lazarus” experience with a bird I though I was saving from a death in the road, fully expecting to be able only to move it to some sheltered spot to die in peace. It was just a small bird. I held it gently in my hand for a while, wondering what exactly to do next. It took several minutes to become convincingly alive, but it gathered its wits and stirred.
    I opened my hand and it flew away.

  24. Yves Smith

    I didn’t want to detract from the hawk story, but one Sunday morning while still in bed, I heard a thunk. I pull myself up and see a dead pigeon on my floor with my cat perched on top of him. I decide to go back to bed (I am very attached to my sleep), the pigeon is dead, I’ll deal with the depressing mess later.

    Soon thereafter, there is tremendous commotion: pigeon flying around my bedroom, cat in pursuit.

    Being a New Yorker, I call my doorman and play hysterical female, which I am not above doing once in a great while. He protests but comes upstairs, manages to throw a large towel over the poor upset bird, carted it to the fire escape, and released it.

    I later figured out what happened: the bedroom air conditioner isn’t as wide as the window, and I have plexiglass pieces on either side. The bird flew into one, stunned himself, and knocked the pexiglass out.

  25. Keenan

    Yves & All:

    I'll add my own recent avian experience to your interesting list: On a cold clear sub-zero morning in January I noticed a Cooper's Hawk at a distance of perhaps 30 feet, on a snow bank inside my front yard hedge next to its victim, a pigeon. The hawk remained there for at least 15 minutes looking about before proceeding to casually consume its meal. The dinner was equally unhurried. While I had the lengthy opportunity to observe through binoculars, moments like these compel one to invest in a digital camera.

  26. donna

    My most amazing hawk sighting was after having my big ash tree trimmed. There were three main big branches at the top, and I came out one morning to see a hawk on one, a mocking bird on another, and a crow on the third. Around here, the crows eat the mocker’s eggs, and the hawks eat the crow’s eggs, so the mockers are always chasing the crows and the crows chase the hawks. This three-way standoff was just fascinating to see.

  27. Keenan

    Donna @ 8:10 Would you refer to that as the “pecking order” ?

    Several crows going after a soaring hawk evoke those images of WW2 air combat in which a swarm of fighter planes press attacks on bombers.

  28. Anonymous

    OK, my hawk story. A friend and I were teeing off on a rural, wooded golf course. I had teed off, and put one right down the fairway. A couple squirrels were frolicking around in the middle of the fairway around my ball, distracting my partner. I told him “I wish had a gun to scare that *stard off,” and a second later a red tail hawk dove down down and swooped off with the squirrel dangling from his claws.
    Awesome–unforgettable, just like living in my own comic movie, although I don’t think the squirrel was amused.

  29. Keenan

    Anon 7:05:
    That will teach those charismatic rodents that the wide open fairways present more hazards than just the dimpled white spheres.

  30. Fraud Guy

    Add on story.

    We used to have a bird feeder off of our back patio, with birds and squirrels taking food out of it, and then squirrels and ground squirrels picking up whatever seeds dropped on the ground below it. Beyond the patio, we have about 3/4 acre of open back yard.

    One day my wife filled the bird feeder, then walked back through the house to let our dogs out of our lower level basement to their run. As she walked to the sliding glass doors, she saw a hawk swoop past the glass towards the back patio. Looking over, she then saw the hawk flying up, clutching a ground squirrel in its claws.

    That afternoon when I got home from work, I got to move the bird feeders to inside the back tree line so that she wouldn’t have to watch more “circle of life” activities.

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