Links 10/17/09

Dolphin football off north coast BBC

Major Arctic Ice Survey Finds a Significant Drop in Ice Thickness Yale environment360

In Praise of the Crack-Up Jeanette Winterson, Wall Street Journal

New Report: Conservative Republicans Are Delusional Paranoids FireDogLake (hat tip reader John D). We need new terminology. Traditional conservatives will not doubt take offense at being included with the extremists. But the underlying phenomenon is pretty scary.

Going ‘deep’, not ‘big’, in Afghanistan Gareth Porter, Asia Times

Look beyond usual suspects in countdown to next crisis Francesco Guerrera Financial Times (hat tip Swedish Lex)

SP Weekly Chart Updated Jesse. I think this chart is cool, even though all properly trained finance people are supposed to think technical analysis is bunk.

Harvard’s Bet on Interest Rate Rise Cost $500 Million to Exit Bloomberg

Words from the Wise? Michael Panzner

Is ECRI’s Optimism Sign of an Impending Market Top? DoctoRx

Subprime mortgages: Myths and reality Kent Cherny, Yuliya Demyanyk VoxEU. Not sure I buy all the conclusions, the reason being any analysis that looks at first mortgages alone tells you nothing (you need to look at seconds and HELOCs for each borrower to get full picture, and what I have read suggests that is brutally difficult to do and therefore has not been done)

China’s September data suggest that the long-term overcapacity problem is only intensifying Michael Pettis

Antidote du jour (hat tip DoctoRx, these are Japanese serow at the LA zoo):

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  1. Fred

    “But the underlying phenomenon is pretty scary.”

    Yeah, it is. I think we are looking at different things, though. The idea that political opponents can be labelled mentally ill is older than Stalin and not a good thing.

    1. Dikaios Logos

      If you go to “The Fox Nation” webiste, the paranoid delusional mind is on obvious display. What do you think is a fair way to distinguish between conservatives with a strong bias against regulation and people (commonly found on that Fox website) who claim, with metaphysical certainty, that “Obama is trying to take over all business”?

  2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Regarding the Arctic ice story, I’ve noticed something interesting:

    As the world gets warmer, people’s hearts get colder.

    Nice balance!

  3. Albert

    FireDogLake calling anybody “delusional paranoids” is the perfect illustration of the idiom “the pot calling the kettle black”.

  4. CJS

    Indeed Albert. I seem to recall quite a few people on the other end of the spectrum who were convinced of various conspiracies involving the last administration…

  5. bob

    Firedoglake is dead on, whether or not they are crazy themselves.

    I live amongst the ‘delusional paranoids’, the campaign in question is complete crazy. If an idea came off the national news, it is not to be believed and more than that to be fought against. Truth is defined in the negative.


    Read though the comments after the story.

    You have no idea of the level of stupid involved.

  6. joebek

    Reading Gareth Porter’s report of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L Davis’ views on strategy in Afghanistan, you have to wonder when Republicans will pull a de Gaulle on Afghanistan and concentrate on preserving the victory in Iraq. You have to wonder what those who are advocating a “go deep” or counter-terrorism strategy are thinking in terms of its viability. To put it another way, will the new name for Dien Bien Phu be Kanadhar?

  7. Bob Goodwin

    “Conservative Republicans Are Delusional Paranoids”

    My objection to this piece is not that you are painting all conservatives with the extremist view. The article accurately paints the opinions of many conservatives, but I believe draws the wrong conclusions.

    Of course there is great concern about a supermajority that would spend trillions bailing out banks, and is now trying to nationalize an industry that is approaching 20% of GDP. That is rational. The fact that people are personalizing their apprehension against Obama is normal. Look at the rabid personalization of fears of republicanism against Sarah Palin. Easily 2/3rds of democrats cringe at the sight of her.

    Calling this paranoid or delusional does not offer the respect of opposition that is deserved. I can make the case for or against current government policy without ad hominim attacks. Most can’t.

  8. burnside

    The referenced Catlin Arctic Ice Survey has very much the same reliability and function in the ecological realm as the stress tests had in finance.

    It was too a light sampling of the data universe to carry the weight which has been placed upon it.

  9. Seal

    and to save time for those who like the classic comic version of stuff

    The Afghan mistake Why sending more troops won’t work

    White House explained that American policy had “a clear goal in Afghanistan. We will help the people of Afghanistan defeat the terrorists, and establish a stable, moderate and democratic state that respects the rights of its citizens, governs its territory effectively and is a reliable ally in the War on Terror.” These objectives go against centuries of culture in Afghanistan to a remarkable degree.

    Sun Tzu “Know thyself, but not thy enemy, and you will lose as many battles as you win.”

    Where the lives of Americans are concerned, there is no room for political correctness in the search for effective policy.

    First, the bulk of all combat forces must be withdrawn from Afghanistan…continue to make appropriate investments in the Afghan government at the State Deparment/Foreign Ministry level

    23 consecutive years of warfare before our arrival in 2001.

    It is vitally important, then, that we reorient our effort in Afghanistan and throughout the region in a way that acknowledges cultural and historical realities and postures the U.S. and NATO to deal effectively with transnational terror groups that pose legitimate strategic threats.

  10. Skippy

    Well said Seal. We would need to colonize and establish 360 degree DMZ border, to begin a transformation to Western style government.

    Skippy…most of the population just wants to feed its family and observe their historical rights.

  11. Flabbergasted

    How on earth can anyone take the Democracy Corps “Report” seriously? I read the first few pages and found it chock-full of pseudo social science that wouldn’t get a gentleman’s C in a college poli sci class. A thin veneer of objectivity does not disguise a partisan smear job. I thought you were smarter than than Yves.

  12. Jan H

    “The fact that people are personalizing their apprehension against Obama is normal. Look at the rabid personalization of fears of republicanism against Sarah Palin…..Calling this paranoid or delusional does not offer the respect of opposition that is deserved.”

    One of the main points of the article was the extent to which republican supporters believe and are promoting things that are simply and demonstrably not true. And not just at teabagger/birther/gun-toting astroturfer level either – Grassley’s cynical promotion of the ‘death panel’ lie in congress, for instance, was an utter disgrace to the republic and a disgusting insult to every American citizen, nomatter their political persuasion.

    You might want to rebrand belief in lies as ‘personalizing …apprehension’ and ‘normal’, but for most of us the ‘delusional’ tag is uncontroversial.

    And your suggestion that there is some sort of moral equivalence between the reactions to Obama and Palin and by implication between Obama and Palin themselves is, frankly, pathetic. It was not lies about Palin that the American people feared and inevitably rejected so resoundingly, but the awful truth of her mediocre intellect, lack of ethics and woeful inadequacy for a national leadership role.

    As for respect, if the republicans want respect then it is time they stepped up, put an end to the lies and fear mongering, and starting earning it.

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