Links 3/27/10

Gorillas in central Africa ‘extinct in 20 years’ BBC

Why Women Don’t Want Macho Men Wall Street Journal

Monkey See or Is One Man’s Fix Another’s Enhancement? h+

An Unaccustomed Truth: American Commander Admits Afghan Atrocities Chris Floyd

Arrest the Pope? Alternet and Christopher Hitchens: Catholic Church Wants ‘Wiggle Room’ For Rape And Torture Of Children Huffington Post. I’ve stayed away from this story, but it doesn’t seem to be going away…and Swedish Lex thinks that Hitchens is focusing on the right issues.

Some Say Trade Numbers Don’t Deliver the Goods Wall Street Journal.

Rising taxes push London’s house prices to ‘tipping point’ Times Online

Not Necessarily the Greatest Fools Michael Panzner

Now Private Equity Jumps into the Health Care Fray: Will Cerberus Do Better with Caritas Christi than It Did with Chrysler? Health Care Renewal (hat tip reader Francois)

EU bank tax Linda Beale

Hard Pressed, Senator Dodd Gives Ground Simon Johnson. I hope his optimism is warranted.

Consequences Of Health Care: Valuations Karl Denninger (hat tip reader Scott)

Also, Corrente is hosting a chat on ECONNED on Sunday (meaning tomorrow) between 2:00 and 4:00 PM EDT. I’ll join in.

Antidote du jour. My first pets were turtles. They died on me. It was terribly upsetting, so I am fonder of turtles than I should be, no doubt out of guilt. Mammals are much easier. It’s part of the cat and dog operating system to tell their humans when they are screwing up.


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  1. attempter

    When I was a kid I had a box turtle. Tommy the turtle.

    While I’m not going to break out the violin for those corporations (I admit I’ve never gotten it 100% straight why non-FIRE sector corporations don’t want single payer, which I’d think would be a boon to them, since they sure wouldn’t convert all their health plan savings into higher wages), it’s grimly gratifying to see the contrary results of the lies of Obama and his hacks already materializing.

  2. dearieme

    ““We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”
    Again: what do you call it when innocent, unarmed, defenseless people who “have never proven to be a threat” are gunned down in cold blood? What do you call such an act?”

    How about “Waco”?

  3. BDBlue

    I, too, have very little sympathy for non-FIRE corporations who don’t push single payer (or even national healthcare) because of ideology. Healthcare costs have almost driven the auto sector to bankruptcy and some of them would rather that than have “government-run” healthcare.

    The U.S. may have the worst management class in the developed world. Lazy and inept.

    I also don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for stock traders, most of whom also would scream about government-run healthcare. They’re perfectly happy to have private insurance bleed individuals to death, like a giant parasite on the nation’s wallet and health, so long as they can get the benefit of investing in healthcare and pharma stocks. But when it might hurt the stock market, well that’s just awful.

    The reason we’re in this mess is that we’ve spent the last 30 years caring more about the stock market and corporate profits than we have about the standard of living of the average American. Despite the latest health insurance bill, there’s no real indication that preference has changed, there’s just a price associated with maintaining it (because health insurers were on the verge of failing and needed the government to bail them out via a mandate and that had to be made more politically acceptable to the masses).

    1. alex

      “Healthcare costs have almost driven the auto sector to bankruptcy and some of them would rather that than have ‘government-run’ healthcare.”

      Back in the late 1940’s Walter Reuther, head of the UAW and self-avowed socialist, told car makers that they’d be better off supporting Truman’s universal healthcare proposal than agreeing to healthcare provisions in UAW contracts, as the latter might lead to large and unpredictable costs.

      Unsurprisingly the car makers’ management didn’t take Reuther’s suggestion. It says something sad about the big business mentality that the socialist labor leader suggested the more economical alternative.

  4. alex

    Re: “Some Say Trade Numbers Don’t Deliver the Goods”

    It raises good points about how much of our trade deficit comes from specific countries. Something that says “Made in China” may have much of the value-added in components that come from elsewhere.

    That’s one reason why ending China’s (and other countries) currency manipulation is better than imposing tariffs. I still think the latter is a good idea if the former fails, but the former is preferable. Imagine if something is assembled in China using US components and then we wind up imposing a tariff on a finished good that’s made largely with our own components!

  5. i on the ball patriot


    Short the pope,
    Get the Catholics fighting,
    Short the Greeks,
    Get em all back biting,

    Short your granny,
    Bet she’s gonna die,
    Cut off her oxygen,
    And collect her pie,

    Shorts are words,
    Shorts are CDOs too,
    We got all kinds of shorts,
    In the cannibal’s zoo,

    Shorts you buy,
    Shorts you tell,
    Shorts you put on,
    And shorts you sell,

    Money like electrons,
    Reveals the flow,
    Control the shorts,
    And you control the show,

    The rich own the circuit,
    They run the short machine,
    They’ve shorted all the wires,
    They are getting mean,

    Wake the fuck up,
    If you don’t want to die,
    Resistance stops the shorts,
    It will save your pie,

    Get your sorry asses,
    Out on the streets,
    Resist the wealthy,
    Accept NO defeats …

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      1. i on the ball patriot

        True — controlling your shorts is a big part of what its all about.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet

  6. rjs

    “They died on me. It was terribly upsetting.” “no doubt out of guilt.”

    my story same. that guilt is still there.

  7. Ignim Brites

    Re: “Why Women Don’t Want Macho Men”. Evolutionary psychology remains riven with teleological concepts. It assumes that there is a survival purpose to life whereas evolution only teaches the historical truth that what has survived lives. And why what has survived lives is purely a matter of accident as the unfortunate dinosaurs “learned” to their demise. We don’t even know that there are not genes that when expressed disposes a species to population decline. But how else to explain the declining populations of Europe? So until there is some greater clarity about the enduring accidental characteristics of life, one would be well advised to assume that the most amusing explaination of phenomena is the best.

    1. spamSoup Party

      prefer more feminine-looking men.

      If you want the wrong answer, ask the wrong question, set out with the wrong hypothesis. Do this study showing photos to women not of men from the neck up but from the neck down. Sounds like a joke? I don’t have a funny bone in my body. I am dead serious. The face is not there to attract the horny woman. It is there for contrast.

      Do you see what I am saying? The lower elements of the physique look more masculine by contrast to less masculine face, but will look less masculine when overshadowed by horse face. I learned this from young women at nudist park. Only after I shaved off my full beard they would all come up to me and ask to feel my biceps.

      Build up your triceps and biceps with curls and presses but not bench-presses. If your face is horse, you need to wear a ski mask or snorkel mask everywhere. If you have baby face go naked.

      Think about it

  8. velobabe

    Why Women Don’t Want Macho Men
    theory of sexual selection.
    breed and marry for each others’ DNA.
    “metrosexuals” glad we got Wikipedia
    i am confused

    Private Equity = domestic shock doctrine

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps there is hope for the world after all, as women bring forth more ying energy and balance to a world with too much yang energy by preferring feminine men and rejecting macho men.

      On the other hand, maybe feminine men are easier to talk with and more like women, in a case of like attracts like.

      In any case, my main point here is that the petite turtle is today’s antidote not by accident. This is in fact our unconscious telling us that if all banks were of that tiny size, the world will live long and prosper; otherwise, Wall Street bankers could go extinct like the gorillas of central Africa in 20 years.

      1. velobabe

        true for me. i married for DNA.
        but now my boyfriend constantly gets in touch with his “feminine” side. gettin older has it merits.

  9. derek

    The title of that “Murdoch Times” article is a bait and switch. It claims house prices are in trouble in London, but the body of the article admits it’s only the most overpriced luxury houses.

    And blames it on teh evul taxation. Nothing to do with the global financial meltdown denting the purchasing power of City finance wizards, or their unfortunate rich investors.

    The end of the article admits that labor is thriving, and looking for places to live. I suggest some enterprising rich house owners subdivide their expensive homes and rent them to workers.

  10. Kalpa

    I put my box turtle in the grass to enjoy the day and decided to go on a short bike ride (around age 9). I came back and he was no where to be found. Up until then, I thought turtles were slow. So, I share your childhood horror turtle pet story. That wasn’t as bad as when my brother walked out of the house on a windy day with my beloved parakeet on his shoulder, however (when I was age 7). The parakeet was never to be seen again.

  11. Kevin de Bruxelles

    Re: Macho men. This is a way complicated subject. Women in general are hypergamous, they prefer high status men. How they define “higher status” depends on their environment. Women who live in a violent, poverty ridden society will definitely prefer violent men, in other words alpha males. Women living in a safe and secure prosperous society will certainly choose earning potential over killing potential, they tend towards beta providers.

    Men on the other hand generally seek youth and fertility clues (beauty) in their potential mates no matter what kind of society they live in.

    For a great introduction to some of these ideas I suggest the blog The Rawness especially his post, “Why Black American Chicks Like Thugs”.

    1. velobabe

      fascinating article, kevin.
      i probably would never of found that or maybe never found it interesting except for the lead up with yves submitted macho men article.
      Tupac with a degree. but it is so true. everything he said fits to a T.
      kinda helps explain to me, tiger’s indiscretions.
      i was so out of control as a young person my parents were surprised i didn’t bring home a black man to marry¿
      it is a WAY complicated subject, but now i am laughing at myself, when it was already predetermined behavior.

        1. velobabe

          damn you kevin i haven’t been able to tear myself from that website! i am learning so much about my gender and yours.
          everything is starting to make sense. too funny, our different cultures, really relative.

  12. Alex

    It may be true that masculine physical traits are going out of style in the developed world, but making money is the ultimate inducement.

    And while testosterone makes for often rash decision-making, it also induces massive risk-taking. A few very lucky guys who take hilarious risks gets all the chips…and all the women (and children) they want. NO matter what they look like. The other 90% may not do so well, but in the animal world they never do.

    In my opinion, these kinds of studies focus on aggregate trends, when in fact its the exceptions that define the situation. Women are on average smarter than men (in my opinion), but there will always be some T-cranked and obsessed guy who will find a way to do something “notable” intellectually in one particular area…allowing him to be a (likely lousy) husband and father of many. Don’t believe me, go to a trading floor and look around. Or is it they are just the national russian roulette champions? They still get paid the same these days…

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