Links 1/30/11

Lake Vostok drilling in Antarctic ‘running out of time’ BBC. Why do I think “Andromeda Strain” when I read this?

Genghis Khan the GREEN: Invader killed so many people that carbon levels plummeted Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)

Bats in Borneo roost in carnivorous pitcher plants BBC (hat tip reader John M)

Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play Wired

Egypt shutdown worst in Internet history: experts Agence France Presse (hat tip reader May S)

Health alert as sewage spill becomes next threat for riverside homes The Australian (hat tip reader Skippy)

Australia’s Katrina Moment TruthOut (hat tip reader May S)

Saudi Stocks Decline Most Since May as Egyptians Defy Curfew Bloomberg

Egypt protests: Bloodshed on the streets as human price of Hosni Mubarak’s clampdown emerges Telegraph

Egypt protests: Hosni Mubarak under world pressure BBC

Israel watches Egypt uprising with fear Associated Press

Red Alert: Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood Stratfor

Egypt approaches an endgame Financial Times

Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington TruthOut (hat tip reader May S)

Mubarak’s Secret Police “Thugs” Try to Disrupt Revolution FireDogLake

The Armchair General Rides Again MacroMan

The tearful origins of China’s stealth Asia Times (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

‘China syndrome’ means country faces dangerous property bubble Telegraph

The Tea Party Wags the Dog Frank Rich, New York Times

Google Finds It Hard to Reinvent Philanthropy New York Times

Banks Get Tough With Municipalities Wall Street Journal

For Governors, Medicaid Looks Ripe for Slashing TruthOut (hat tip reader May S)

Davos: Two Worlds, Ready Or Not Simon Johnson

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-01-30 at 4.27.05 AM

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. attempter

    Frank Rich sure is on the tea party case! Relevant as always!

    In his defense, that is his job. What could he possibly write about, say, Egypt, other than to express the same disgruntled confusion as everyone else in the MSM?

    Of course if one wanted to write a real exposee of th tea party, one would ask about their strange silence about the Internet kill switch. How is that not Big Government at its worst?

    But the Republican party wants the kill switch, and the tea party’s actions, like in this case, prove it’s nothing but an appendage of the Rep party.

    Re Genghis Khan:

    I should’ve been expecting to see a revival of the hysterical Middle Ages demonization of Genghis Khan, since with all the China-bashing it’s Yellow Peril time again.

    And here there’s a two-fer, as it obscurely smears environmentalists as well by associating them with this alleged demon.

    In reality the Mongol empire, while certainly no bastion of humanism, was far more egalitarian in every way, including in wealth distribution (rank and file soldiers were earmarked a share of the loot, and this was in fact usually distributed), than the Western societies of then or now.

    They also had vastly greater religious and cultural tolerance.

    While they were warlike, they were no more so than Europeans themselves. The notion that Genghis Khan was some murderous scourge was propaganda. His only truly unusual quality in that sense was that he was a non-European who dared to win wars against Europeans and other “civilized” empires.

    That hypocritical kind of propaganda is also familiar today.

    As for forests growing back, assuming it’s true at all, that’s an error of chronology. It must refer to periods following the collapse of the portions of the empire.

    The Mongols themselves systematically caused all possible land to revert to grassland, since their whole mode of travel and warfare depended upon ample grassland for their horses to graze. They required grassland like a fish requires water.

    The full geographical extent of the Mongol empire correlates precisely with the extent of terrain favorable for grassland. Where they reached the limits of that habitat, in the Middle Eastern deserts and the Central European forests, they stopped.

    1. DownSouth

      Yep. This was an extremely disappointing performance from Rich.

      Rich’s obtuseness (or is it perfidy?) is captured in his concluding paragraph when he writes: “But the state of the union itself could yet be in the hands of radicals whose eagerness to see the president fail…”

      See the president fail? Not hardly. The job of the Tea Party is to make sure the president succeeds.

      What we have here is a perfectly choreographed good cop bad cop routine. Obama’s brand of fascism only looks attractive in juxtaposition to the Tea Party/Republican Party’s fascism on steroids.

      And you gotta love it when Rich says “Obama must be laughing about how the party that spent a year hammering him for focusing on health care over jobs is now committing the same supposed sin.”

      Well Obama may indeed be laughing, but the American people certainly are not, because the laugh is on them.

      1. attempter

        I have no doubt that this psychopath laughs alot over the crimes he commits and the pain he inflicts.

        But I bet the one thing he doesn’t laugh at is Republican foibles in waging partisan warfare, because the record is absolutely clear that Obama hates the Democratic party and wants the Reps to win.

        Although I reject the stupid hagiography about how allegedly smart Obama is, when he’s clearly not very bright at all in any real world sense, he still can’t be so stupid as to unwittingly be as inept as he’s been at partisanship. (If he wanted to, he could easily have served the banksters and still stuck it to the Republicans.) I’m sure he wants to throw the game.

        So once again Rich gets it exactly wrong.

        1. attempter

          By every single measure of fascism other than institutionalized racism, Obama’s already a fascist or heading hard in that direction.


    2. rd

      The Genghis Khan the Green is a useful article for identifying actionable agendas for the global leadership. We know that they aren’t capable of negotiating environmental improvement, budgets, or sundry other items.

      However, they have proven over the past couple of hundred years at being very good at starting wars and genocides. This is a green approach that could actually be accomplished in our lifetime in order to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. It would only require a small re-ordering of priorities in order to accomplish the greater good of carbon reduction instead of the usual simple devastation of countries’ populations and economies.

      1. attempter

        One strain of corporate environmentalism is to seek partnership with the Pentagon and weapons rackets to help develop more corporate-greenish ways of killing people.

        But then, their partnerships with the likes of Monsanto and Walmart are just sublimated versions of that.

  2. attempter

    One more thought on Rich:

    Bachmann specified no cuts on Tuesday night, if only because she was too busy attacking Obama with unreconstructed pre-Tucson vitriol. In the end, her substance differed little from Ryan’s. She chastised government spending six times (vs. Ryan’s 13), and, like him, mentioned the twin federal money pits — Social Security and Medicare — not once. For a night anyway, these G.O.P. fiscal hawks were actually less forthright about entitlements than the Democratic president, who at least paid lip service to someday finding “a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security.”

    So for all he said in the piece about Reps “tilting to the right”, where it comes to at least the rhetoric of gutting Social Security, Rich identifies both Obama and himself as being “to the right” of both Ryan and Bachman. Got it.

  3. rd

    So far, we know that fraudulent accounting of billions of dollars, forging documents to take people’s houses, and selling billions of dollars of securities that don’t actually have assets are insufficient to warrant investigation and conviction of felonies resulting in jail time.

    So, what does it take in the US to be convicted of a felony and go to jail related to false statements? We know the answer now. It turns out that what is required is to lie about your address so that you can send your child to a better school system. Seeking the best education for your child if you can’t live in a wealthy school district is now considered a felony.

  4. Yearning to Learn

    So for all he said in the piece about Reps “tilting to the right”, where it comes to at least the rhetoric of gutting Social Security, Rich identifies both Obama and himself as being “to the right” of both Ryan and Bachman.

    although he may not have meant it, read the article again. It just shows you how far right EVERYBODY in politics has moved.

    There is no “left” in politics anymore.

    I’m a Minnesotan, and thus have had the displeasure to see Bachman’s antics for many years now, before she cuckoo-ed herself to the national stage. she is clearly to the right.

    Not far from me (Wisconsin) is Ryan, an intelligent but also far-right leaning man.

    Per the article, Obama is funneling Reagan. that certainly isn’t left. Nor was Clinton by the way (he was more a moderate that the Right feared so they tried to pretend he was a far lefty)

    so as a Minnesotan, I have to ask, where are the Paul Wellstones????? Where? There isn’t a single one that I know of anymore.

    our country has become total hostage to the corporations. we truly are a corporatocracy… and it is worsening every day.

    Jeff Immelt in charge of jobs in America indeed.

    why don’t we just appoint the Kmher Rouge as the new “Freedom Czar”.

    1. attempter

      That’s why Left vs. Right is a worthless and intentionally misdirectional metric by now.

      The only metrics which are real (these are all synonymous):

      Democratic vs. Elitist.

      Citizenship vs. Corporatism.

      Humanity vs. subhuman sociopathy and post-civilization barbarism.

  5. taunger

    re: Banks Get Tough . . .

    just another reason to create state owned banks. acting as a guarantor for municipal bonds seems like a natural fit for a state bank.

  6. Ignim Brites

    Love that elephant. What is it about elephants that makes one think they know they are fortunate and are happy?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The photo, I guess, was taken near Rome and it’s the same old story.

      First, you have Tunisian elephants bathing in the rivers of Italy.

      Soon, you end up with change in Egypt.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you cross an elephant with a raven, you get an ‘eleven.’

        This being 2011, I expect we will see some raven antidotes at some point.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not if the elephant is gentle and patient.

            Even without the ‘flatness’ concern, I would hesitate to cross a pheasant and a duck though. No one quite knows what one would get.

  7. DumpTheBankInfoWiki

    I am finally fed up enough with the banks that I have decided to stop thinking about it and turn my thoughts into action.

    I have been asking my local business owners who they bank with. So far, the conversations that have erupted from this question has been overwhelmingly positive. The small businesses know what happened. They all have told me (thus far) that they closed their accounts with the “big boys” long ago.

    Next, will be county treasurers and the state treasurer. I won’t stop until I have made a significant impact.

    Fuck you JPMorgan/Chase, BOA, Citi, Wells, US Bank! Fuck YOU!

  8. Elliot X

    Remember the blizzard in NYC? That story going around about
    all those evil public union workers, those sanitation workers who refused to plow streets during the snowstorm?
    Or so we were told. Well, just like that Mosque controversy last summer that was funded by a Wall Street Hedge fund manager, it looks like this “conspiracy by public union employees” to stop plowing snow was just another fiction, this one invented by NYC Councilman Daniel J. Halloran, Republican of Queens:

    See, occasionally the NY Times is still good for something other than scooping up cat litter.

  9. anon2

    An Open Challenge to Dan Duncan (or any of your pseudonyms):

    For quite a while now, we’ve seen you engage in ad hominem attacks against any number of regular commenters here on this blog, calling them stupid, “quite dumb”, pseudo-intellectual dorks, possessing “middlin intellects”, etc

    Presumably all of this is in contrast to your own vastly superior intellect. And yet, to this day, you have not deigned to grace us with the least evidence of this vastly superior intellect you claim to possess.

    And so here’s my challenge to you: Prove it! Give us one post which does not involve either personal attacks or insults, but is an example of your own superior intellect.

    Show off your superior intellect and leave us all dumbfounded. Just once, that’s all I’m asking. One post proving that you possess an intellect superior to everyone you like to insult.

    I dare you!

    However if you’re unable to do this, if you can’t produce even one post proving your vastly superior intellect, or refrain from engaging in personal attacks and insults even for the duration of a single post, then my advice to you would be to stop criticizing others and STFU.

    And one more thing: we’re onto your game of using one or two pseudonyms each time you post, to give the appearance that there is someone who actually agrees with you.

    Yeah right, they just magically appear each time you post from out of nowhere?

    1. Tamara G Ecclestone III

      anon2 said: “And so here’s my challenge to you: Prove it! Give us one post which does not involve either personal attacks or insults, but is an example of your own superior intellect.”

      Dan Duncan and I both have one essential trait in common: we are both rather contemptible individuals. Also he’s a coward, and so there’s no way that he’ll ever accept your challenge.

      Besides, you complain that, so far, despite claiming to possess a superior intellect, Dan Duncan has yet to show you a single original idea, or for that matter, any idea whatsoever.

      But how could he show you an original idea. How could he do that, when he doesn’t have a single idea in his head, original or otherwise?

      He is, in fact, a complete idiot. Trust me on this, I know what I’m talking about.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        These two posts were so bizarre and unnecessary that I can only think of one poster who could have drafted them…

        1. Dan Duncan

          It was me! I drafted them…

          Like the snake that I am, I am feasting on my own tail, engaging in ad-hominem attacks on myself.

          The only problem with the preceding, of course, is that this type of self-loathing is reserved for “enlightened” Leftists.

          But all is not lost. For right now I feel like the anti-Sally Fields:

          “You hate me. You really hate me!”

  10. GregG

    In honor of the Egyptian protests, we should officially rename the “Internet Kill Switch” as the “Cloud Kill Switch” — I don’t exactly see a lot of mention of the “Cloud Kill Switch” in today’s high-tech brochures.

  11. Jack Parsons

    No, this is not the worst Internet shutdown.

    In last 2009 China shut down all internet access to the far west provinces where there were race riots. It was off for nearly a year, broadband and cell phones. People had to take a 24-hour kidney-killing bus ride from Urumqi to get to a Chinese border outpost with internet cafes. They would sit for a few hours, do business deals, then get on the bus back home. This went on for almost a year.

    It came back on May 14, 2010. But, major Uighur portals stayed off until later.

    I don’t see the Egyptian cutoff as anywhere near this severe or with as much lasting damage.

Comments are closed.