Links 5/6/10

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How Capt. Kirk Changed the World PhysOrg and while we are at it, Kirk’s ad boldly sends him to the top of the rich list Times Online

New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer Nicholas Kristof, New York Times. Wow, the granola-heads no longer look kooky.

Meet the ‘sabre-toothed sausage’ BBC. If you have seen Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, you’ve already met him.

BP is drilling itself into deep water John Gapper, Financial Times

Slick Operator: The BP I’ve Known Too Well Greg Palast, Truthout. This is important.

Clearing Currencies Streetwise Professor

Wen Conflicted as Yuan Rise Moving Teddy-Bear Jobs Bloomberg

Wall Street Profits, Subsidies and Lobbyists Truthout (hat tip reader John D)

“As it turns out, hair adheres to oil pretty efficiently, which is why your hair gets greasy. Now salons are donating their discarded locks to help with the Gulf Coast cleanup.” Tim Solanic. No joke, you can donate your hair from you regular haircut. Dog groomers are an even better sour. The site has a link to a signup.

The NYT Doesn’t Know the White House’s Views on Fed Independence Dean Baker

Expect Nothing Simon Johnson

The Market Ate My (Bear Stearns) Homework Dude…..Where’s the Dharma?

Was It Really a Bubble? Economix Blog (hat tip reader Swedish Lex). Do not read this if you have eaten in the last 15 minutes. It’s the sort of garbage-in, garbage out analysis that gives economists a bad name. It claims that the housing market isn’t in a bubble because prices have not dropped to a level the writer deems to be non-bubbly. Ahem, he has conveniently airbrushed out that the Fed, Frannie and Freddie are laboring mightily to prop housing prices up, and no less than mortgage maven Lew Ranieri anticipates four more years of price declines.

“On the brink of the abyss” Eurointelligence

The message from Berlin that Europe failed to grasp Adam Tooze, Financial Times

Antidote du jour. I am told no mammals were hurt in the making of this picture:

Picture 4

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  1. attempter

    Re Dean Baker:

    Now that’s definitely uncodified but nevertheless systematic, intentional practice at the NYT, and in the MSM in general – to “report”, not that so-and-so in the power structure “claimed to believe” (my emphasis) or to be motivated by such-and-such, but that they do believe or are so motivated.

    Never mind that the evidence of actions, like in this case empirical fact of an ideologically aggressive and overwhelmingly Wall Street-dependent Fed, almost always contradicts the flack’s, and therefore the “reporter’s”, lies.

  2. alex black

    “I am told no mammals were hurt in the making of this picture.” I assume we’re excluding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder….

  3. dearieme

    If Merkel were feeling bold, she’d announce that the murders in Athens had persuaded her that Greece can’t deliver austerity by agreement, so that the offer of the subsidy is withdrawn, and the money will be spent on protecting Portugal instead. If you’re going to risk huge sums, you might as well risk them in a battle that might conceivably be won rather than a battle where defeat is guaranteed. On the other hand, “bold” and “Eurozone” don’t really go together as naturally as, for instance, “Eurozone” and “Bloody stupid idea in the first place”.

  4. Bates

    RE; ‘The message from Berlin that Europe failed to grasp’

    Gotta love this comment from Tooze quoting Manchau ‘Outraged by Berlin’s lack of economic sophistication and despairing of its implications for the euro, Mr Münchau suggested that, at root, the Germans were possessed by an atavistic aversion towards the modern credit system.’

    If a lack of economic sophistication causes sensible Germans to avoid some of the sophisticated policies of it’s fellow EU members and the US that have led to unmitigated disaster, then a sensible Germany is on the right course.

    Then there is this missive: ‘ With the hawkish constitutional court looking on, aid for Greece is pitted cent for cent against benefits for Germany’s unemployed. If the long-term survival of the euro requires greater fiscal co-ordination, Berlin has tied itself to a standard of the most dour and simple-minded conservatism.’

    Any state’s right to govern should be immediately revoked if that state does not place the well being of it’s own citizens above all other interests.

    Manchu and Tooze be damned!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I agree.


      Small is beuttiful.
      Less is more.
      Short is sweet.

      We can add:

      Simple is good.

  5. Tom Bradford

    “I am told no mammals were hurt in the making of this picture.” Probably because bears don’t eat apples. Had they tried it with a sausage the kids would probably have snared their bear. Or vice versa.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we are being a little mammal-centric here.

      Remembering William Blake…if a grain of sand is hurt, the world is hurt.

  6. dearieme

    “bears don’t eat apples”: but mightn’t they enjoy a little apple sauce with their pork?

    1. MindtheGAAP

      I dunno if apples are relevant here. The bear looks like it’s pole dancing to me…

      *Sigh* I gotta get out a bit more…

  7. TimOfEngland

    Re: Chemical alarm bells.

    Well knock me down with a feather! The chemicals are bad for us. There they were, locked away in all and sundry bits of the planet and its many inhabitants, just minding their own business doing what they were evolved to do. Along comes king humankind, digs, eviscerates, boils, steams, chops and refines them into concentrations, combinations and configurations never before experienced. Then what does he do? Eats them.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They don’t call them Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens for nothing.

      By the way, a public announcement – I consider myself a Bonobo ape for now and that’s why I use the third person plural in referring to them.

  8. jbmoore61

    I used to think that chemical exposure was likely the cause of breast cancer in the US. It’s a known fact that women who move to the US from countries with a low rate of breast cancer also have an increased risk of breast cancer. So, the cause is due to our environment. However, it turns out that many cancers are due to a lack of vitamin D. If cancer risk is reduced 50% in those that take vitamin D, then a vitamin D deficiency is likely the main cause. I still think that plastic food wrapping isn’t necessarily a good thing, but spoiled or contaminated food will kill you much quicker, and with a greater certainty through food poisoning, than the plasticizers in the wrapping.

    Farmers have to use fertilizers to increase crop yields. Which is it? Do we ask for 19th Century agricultural practices, with lower crop yields and more expensive food? Or do we live with what we have? At some point, the alternative is famine and death by malnutrition and starvation? Cancer rates in the past were low because people didn’t live long enough to develop cancers. They died from disease, malnutrition, and starvation due to lack of vaccines, antibiotics, and crop failures. Disease, heart disease, and cancers were the leading cause of death before 1945 to be replaced by heart disease and cancers. One doctor argued that our increased health and life span were due to better nutrition than any thing else. If people were healthier to begin with they could withstand the ravages of disease and trauma.

    I’m not saying that we should not debate what we ingest, but we should have an informed perspective about the risks. Cancer is primarily a disease of the elderly. As immune systems and cells age, the risk of cancer increases. If chemicals were involved in many cancers, they will tend to cluster around certain groups first such as chemical workers or farm workers who are exposed to them in higher concentrations. Those people will be the canaries and epidemiologists know this.

    1. alpwalker

      Refinement of organic farming techniques did not stop in the 19th Century. Organic farming can compete with industrial on a production basis and, I am willing to bet the farm, would be far more cost effective if industrial farming lost its immense subsidies and had to account for the cost of significant environmental and health related externalities.

      The end of cheap energy, cheap chemicals, cheap water, and cheap phosphate means the end of the chemical green revolution. Better embrace sustainable agriculture now if you want to eat later.

  9. Cynthia

    Concerning the ecological disaster taking place in the Gulf of Mexico, Kieran Suckling, the Director of The Center for Biological Diversity seems to think that the buck should stop with Ken Salazar, Obama’s Interior Secretary:

    But if Kieran Suckling knew that Obama was fully aware of the fact that Salazar would be an Interior Secretary who’d protect Big Oil over protecting the environment, he’d realize that the buck ultimately stops with Obama, not Salazar. Suckling apparently doesn’t know that Obama is bought and paid for by anything and everything Big on Wall Street — be it Big Finance, Big Military or Big Oil. This is probably why he doesn’t understand that Obama won’t ever fire Ken Salazar, an eco-disaster enabler in his Interior Department, just as he won’t ever fire Tim Geithner, an econ-disaster enabler in his Treasury Department. I must say that between his Treasury, his Interior and his Pentagon, Obama has managed to put together one helluva wrecking crew — something that only a disaster capitalist could love!

  10. craazyman

    What did I say about this one?

    Sorry if this is off topic, but here is proof that neanderthals and humans mated and had offspring, even without bars and nightclubs. Not sure if they had beer back then, but they must have had something to drink or smoke. This is what I said, right here on this board in defiance of the so-called “scientific studies”.

    Channeling beats hard science any day, especially when hard science is chasing after the information you can get directly from channeling. Eventually it catches up, though. Also, just looking around the streets you can study facial bone structure and see Neanderthals. ha ha ha.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Luckily, I believe, there are still Neanderthals around to mate with if anyone thought he or she might have missed that golden opporutnity.

    2. Cynthia

      It’s a bit of a mystery as to why Ardipithecus, having a fully opposable big toe, would want to give up their knuckle dragging to walk upright. Some have speculated that walking upright enabled males to bring more food to their mates. Their speculation is based on the assumption that the more stuff males can give to females — anything from a bag of fruits and nuts to a portfolio of stocks and bonds — the more sex they’ll get from them. And it goes without saying that more sex leads to more offspring. But I must say that it’s no longer true that the more offspring males have, the more power and prestige they’ll get.

      Let me also add that if Ardi’s species hadn’t gone extinct, and if their males are anything like ours, believe me, they’d select their mates to the point where Ardipithecus females wind up with breasts the size of watermelons. And even though Ardipithecus males did find a way to stop dragging their knuckles on the ground, I’m not so sure that they’d find a way to keep their females from dragging their breast to the ground.;~)

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