Links 7/13/11

Researchers Use DNA to Coax Quantum Dots Into Self-Assembling into a Light Antenna Popular Science (hat tip reader Robert M)

Radioactive meat circulating on Japanese market CNN (hat tip reader Lee S)

Markets rocked as debt crisis deepens Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Greece set to default on massive debt burden, European leaders concede Guardian (hat tip reader Tim C)

Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis at Critical Point Ed Harrison

Bxxxxxt the Sxxxxxxxxxs! Israeli Knesset Bans Free Speech for Jews CommonDreams

Debt-Sale Hype Under Fire in EU Wall Street Journal

US senator calls for News Corp probe Financial Times

Levin Says Better Offshore Tax Compliance Would Reduce Deficit Bloomberg

Hopes Dwindling for Compromise in Budget Talks New York Times

Lies, damned lies, and statistics Bill MItchell

From Bad to Worse Counterpunch (hat tip reader Carol B)

Authorities could bail out banks again, S&P says Financial Times. S&P says officially that TBTF lives and the authorities will bend Dodd Frank if they deem necessary.

Foreclosure fraud investigators forced out at attorney general’s office Palm Beach Post (hat tip Lynn Syzmoniak) Quelle surprise!

Antidote du jour:

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  1. dearieme

    There was a field stocked with a few Highland Cattle near us when I was a boy. Lovely creatures.

      1. Cedric Regula

        I think they are Irish Yak Rock Stars, and I’m going with that as a filename for my download.

    1. Billions for me, None for you

      Just wait for the new drugs which offer a chemical lobotomy in pill form. It will be used to treat mental disorders such as nonconformism and anti-corporate ideations.

  2. M.InTheCity

    Re: Debt Sale Hype Under Fire in EU. A very good friend of mine works in Infrastructure investments. He won’t touch anything in Greece. He said maybe in Spain, but even that doesn’t look good (i.e. no way to model for profits due to giant uncertainties). The only things he’ll touch are in Germany and the like. Only Private Equity will go into a place like Greece (and other likely defaulters) and will demand pennies on the Euro. Selling the family jewels in a fire sale will net these countries nothing in the short-term and even worse than nothing in the long-term.

  3. Paul in TO

    I was just wondering if that cartel of American rating agencies that the Europeans keep talking about includes the one owned by the French and staffed with Europeans out of London?

    1. Foppe

      Yeah, that does seem a bit odd. Guess they can’t bring themselves to say ‘privately owned’ companies are trying to screw us over..

  4. ambrit

    It’s been how long since the reactors at Fukushima melted down, and Japan still doesn’t have their food safety system adjusted to the new dangers? The farmers around the reactor site are required to “self report” details of forage storage practices well within the fallout zone? Even given the great respect for social harmony of the Japaneese, self serving actions are merely human. The government should have taken ‘frail humanity’ into account in managing this crisis.

    1. bee

      Isn’t the Japanese government trying to kill off its citizens though? What will happen to that if they suddenly start enforcing their health laws?

      1. Cedric Regula

        They say their citizens are getting old anyway. Time to head for The Great Big Beehive in the sky.

  5. Jim A

    Re: getting fired for telling inconvenient and unpopular thruths. Those two should get together and commiserate with Armando Falcon, erstwhile head of Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, OFHEO.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Jin A;
      I like that they’re opening a boutique law peactice for anti-forclosure litigation. They have found a high growth business model here. Hope they get rich.

  6. Valissa

    Obama 2012 campaign far exceeds fundraising goal

    Obviously some people/corporations with big bucks think he’s doing a good job. And… NO, this is not just about fear of Republicans, although that makes for better theater! So far the elites are sticking by their man… not that it would make much difference if they picked someone else to be their puppet. But Obama is already “broken in” so why spend the time and effort needed to “train” a replacement.

    1. bee

      The corps are only hiring people with experience now. Obama has the experience, and a proven track record of success in meeting their objectives. He’s an ideal candidate and his rehiring for next term is a near certainty. When he’s rehired the stock market will celebrate.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The call for News Corp probe.

    Are they going to have British intelligence hack Murdoch’s accounts?

          1. ambrit

            Mz Valissa;
            It would be nice if we had some, but the Good Lord has decreed otherwise. Our last good deed was Ultra.

          2. Valissa

            Sir Ambrit, I will always love the Brits for two things… tea and murder mysteries. I start every day witha wonderful cup of British tea… Taylors of Harrogate’s Scottish Breakfast blend (their other blends are good too). So imagine my dismay when I traveled through Great Britain about 5 years ago only to discover that most places had pretty lousy commercial tea and the tea rooms of novel fame were difficult to find. Fortunately Talyors of Harrogate tea is part of the same company as the delightful Betty’s Tea Room in York, which quite satsified all my tea room dreams. Looooooved York! Admittedly my Danish ancestry might have something to do with that :)

  8. DejaVu

    Yes, once again you have singled out Israel for criticism, ignoring the many different US client states other than Israel that have much worse human rights records. I could mention a few but why bother. Your anti-Israel bias is very clear.


    1. Hugh

      So you admit that Israel has a bad human rights record.

      It’s always interesting to see how Israeli exceptionalism is raised when it is advantageous to do so. And it is just another client when it is advantageous to push that line.

      I am curious how applying the same standards to Israel that we use with all other countries, including the US, is an example of bias. Note “standards” is plural. Purported democracies are not judged by the same standards as authoritarian regimes and military dictatorships. Yet these much lower standards are precisely the ones you wish to apply to Israel. So is your argument that Israel is, in fact, not a democracy, that it is an authoritarian regime and should be judged accordingly?

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘The parliament of “the only democracy in the Middle East” has passed legislation to punish Israeli Jews who call for a boycott of the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.’

        Although Israel has numerous laws and policies which discriminate against non-Jews, it is quite unlikely that the anti-boycott legislation seeks to punish only Israeli Jews. Non-Jewish Israelis who constitute 20 percent of the population would surely be targeted by this law too.

        But the sensationalist phrase ‘punishing Jews’ stirs up folks like DejaVu, so the journo who coined this misleading formulation managed to push the desired buttons.

      2. DejaVu


        Yes, Israel has a bad human rights record in some respects, the same way every country has a bad human rights record.
        My point is this(are you listening?):

        In NC(and many other places), the only country criticized is Israel, never Egypt under Mubarek say, or the Chinese, both for running authoritarian police states. Not Cuba, for its imprisonment of homosexuals and for being a police state. Certainly not Colombia, the recipient of billions of dollars in US aid over the last 10 years(or so), a major violator of human rights to put it mildly.
        Iran is not criticized for having a president who advocates the annihilation of the Jewish people. In fact, Ms. Smith recently defended Ahmadinajad, saying that he’s been “misunderstood”.

        NO, IT’S ONLY ISRAEL that’s criticized, over and over again.
        I don’t see how this can’t be viewed as bias, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to excuse it.

        The really heartbreaking thing about this anti-Semitism on the Left, is that it has crippled the ability of people to think clearly about the world, economics and many other things.
        Most importantly, it’s a moral blemish, a plague almost, that discredits the so-called “Left” almost completely.

        And then there’s the other thing, the “Left’s” adoption of Green doctrine with respect to global warming which, in my opinion, means that the Left must accept austerity, and the lowering of people’s living standards so that their “carbon footprints” will shrink. But that’s another discussion.


        1. ambrit

          Dear DejaVu;
          I feel you’re somewhat confusing ‘Green’ with ‘Luddite.’
          As for the anti-Semitism issue, where to start. I wish ‘attempter’ were here to post an appropriate quote from “Eichman in Jerusalem.” Hannah Arendt has written the best explication of the mystery of the Holocaust I’ve come across. Painful as it is, we must avoid at all costs, demonizing entire classes of our fellow human beings. Once that has occured, true evil can do its work. The Mufti of Jerusalem did it with the Arab populations of the Palestine and Trans Jordan. The British anti Semites of the Civil Service did it with the troops and administrators of the Middle East. The radical Zionists of the Irgun and Sternists did it with the Jewish settlers in Palestine. Everyone ended up with blood on their hands. The dead stay dead and the living remain blind.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Been there, done that, DejaVu. I can’t remember the last reference to Israel here, can you? Really? When?

      Despite the fact that most of our wars and rumors of wars to come revolve around Israel, using certain words here at NC related to the state-sponsored racism of Israel and or its crimes will get you banned or put in moderation. I suggest trolling somewhere else where your tiresome anti-Semitic bait is more effective.

      Robert Naiman’s article about the Knesset banning free speech for Jews shows the right wing to be sadly comical in its desperation. “Excessive and bordering on hysterical” is about right. It is a hopeful sign that, like South Africa’s apartheid, the occupation is at last nearing stage three in Gandhi’s progression of resistance:

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi

      1. Cedric Regula

        Unlike other bad human rights places, Israel has the anti-Semitism/ Jewish Anti-defamation League here (I could be a little mixed up about who has what).

        They are quit sensitive and vocal about all things Jewish and Israel, so if you can’t recall any slights, it’s your fault – not theirs.

        Contrast that support with say, Italians. They’ve got their own people betraying them and making a bundle. Think Puzo, Coppola, Brando, Pacino and Martin Scorsese. Then remember American Indians had to sue Hollywood so they could be cast as American Indians. Even in non-speaking parts.

        Germans. Fuhgeddaboudit. If 50s & 60s TV, then Spielberg, hadn’t done you in, along comes Inglorious Basterds and you’ve got Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt after your shiny white Aryan ass. Then skinheads say they are on your side!

        So we could tell the that jewish league to lighten up and get a sense of humor – but I think that goes against their charter.

        P.S. This comment will never make it past wordpress either.

        1. ambrit

          Mr Regula;
          Yes, indeed, it is fun to see how PC has tried to ‘degrade’ discourse. This is not a strictly local, nor indeed contemporary phenonemnon. The battle for clarity and honesty is eternal, unceasing. It’s nice to encounter a site with little to no anti-Semitism roiling the threads. Indeed, it’s a sign that these threads are evidentiary and rational at heart. Barring the occasional Ad Hominem Troll, NC is remarkably free of the hyper emotionalist ranting that cloggs up so many of the other blogs. (Ouch! I think I just dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back. That should teach me!)

  9. Valissa

    Mish today… Only 22% of US Wants to Raise Debt Ceiling, 44% Don’t; Senate Minority Leader Proposes Granting Obama Unilateral Power to Raise Ceiling; Gold Reacts

    Of course what the public thinks about the debt ceiling is irrelevant. Also… McConnell was always going to fold if that’s what the banksters want and meanwhile the political kabuki goes on. The reaction of buying gold is an interesting emotional message about indicating how people feel about the current state of fiat money games. The glamor of gold continues… it’s spellbinding!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      People need to be brainwas…check that, educated about this.

      It’s not like the voters have never been wrong. They have voted for wrong candidates so often that it’s better they don’t bother to apologize for them.

      Why set a precedent?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am surprised McConnell didn’t also propose granting the president unilateral power to go into war.

      Why not two birds with one stone – take the wisdom from our Stone Age forefathers?

    3. Anonymous Jones

      44% of the voters also want more government services and lower taxes.

      44% of the voters also want to work less and earn more.

      44% of the voters also want to be in shape but not work out or eat healthy.

      44% of the voters also want “criminals” to be prosecuted and put away for life but don’t want to pay for it and also don’t want to be subject to prosecution for their own crimes (because, you know, inside, they are really “good” people and their actions don’t show their inner-selves, but those “others,” those criminals, are really the terrible people; their criminal actions proved it).

      Are you kidding me with this?

      Yes, ask anyone if they would like something that seems good for them (as long as they don’t have to make any of the hard decisions or apparently suffer any of the deleterious consequences), what do you think they’re going to say?

      Yeah, maybe the framing the question has just a little to do with the response. I don’t know. I just thought of this explanation right now. I’m sure no one’s ever thought of it or written about it before.

        1. ambrit

          Mr Regula;
          Perhaps a Party rally would be more appropriate.
          I fondly recall the controversy we sparked when we refused to enroll our three children in the ‘Reagan Youth’.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the conclusion part of the Billy Mitchell link:

    It is clear that a solution to unemployment is to stimulate private spending


    What if the stimulated private spending went to generate employment in India and China but very little here?

    Do we stimulate it more?

    1. bee

      Yes because we need to pump all the wealth out of America and into India, China and various tax havens with bank secrecy. Duh!

    2. Cedric Regula

      After an appropriate rest cycle…so we are not pushing on a string, of course.

    3. ambrit

      Mr MLTPB;
      Unfortunately. a great deal of the problem rests with the public. No one has yet made an effective arguement to the public as to why they should pay a little more to “Buy American.” This is plainly an opportunity for an ‘educational experience.’
      I have personally seen contractors on Federal and State jobs buy foreign supplies for jobs where “Buy American” was mandated. How it got done, I don’t even want to know anymore. I’ve burned out on fighting corruption and expediency on job sites. Things have become so dishonest and meretricious, at least what I’ve seen in construction, that I’m convinced it’s high time for the whole lot to pass through the fires of Molochs’ Holocaust so as to be tryed and refined.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I think it speaks volume on the efficacy of our voodoo shaman in chief and his raindance that on the day Martin Wolf’s article about the markets getting rocked is linked here, Dow is up over 100+ points.

    Luckily, for Martin, history is cyclical and his article will be good tomorrow.

    1. Cedric Regula

      I keep a daily real time chart handy, just so I can stay in sync better. Unfortunately, I forgot to check pre-market futures before making coffee this morning, and I’ve been feeling over stimulated ever since market open.

      To make matters worse, the treasury bond market shrugged it all off so far, so I don’t whether I will get some depression in the future or if I will experience a rise in my inflation expectations.

      On the other hand, the markets are open a couple more hours, and my coffee will wear off eventually anyway.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Coffee is like the hare while tea is more like the turtle.

        Try tea the nex time. It won’t wear off so soon.

        1. Cedric Regula

          You’ll probably never believe this, but I roast my own coffee beans too. Better and cheaper than anything anywhere.

          Been going with Colombian Supremo so far (green beans went from $4.25/lb to $5.50/lb during QE2), but I just got a 25Lb of Guatemalian, and those might even be better.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, that’s not inflation, you know. I can hear Mish shout from the other room. It’s all about money and credit supply.

        2. ambrit

          Mr Regula;
          I lived quite some time in New Orleans,(met my wife there,) and am well aquainted with the smell of fresh roasted coffee. Even still have our old hand grinder around here somewhere. But, being an export model Brit, I was socialized as a tea drinker. For some reason, the roasting aroma triggers extra pleasure centres in the brain for me. Enjoy!

  12. Francois T

    Re: Foreclosure fraud investigators forced out at attorney general’s office”

    Given the Rick Scott et al do not want to uphold the law and prefer to protect bandits and criminals, Florida must be avoided at all costs as a destination for real estate investments of any kind.

    Now, if big international investment houses to write a public note to their clients to this effect…

  13. K Ackermann

    I think Israel should build out their settlements as much and as fast as they can. It will only speed up the one state solution, for certainly the Palestinians are not going to go away.

    What other nations have a mandate of racial or religious purity? Can they not see the damage it does to themselves?

    For such an intelligent people, they sure are stupid.

    1. psychohistorian

      They are faith based, what do you expect?

      Religion of any sort is a poor excuse for heartfelt awe.

    2. Cedric Regula

      File: The Marry A Palestinian Plan

      If a non-Jew and a Jew are to be married, the non-Jew must convert to Judaism [1]. It makes quite a lot of sense if Jewish women would do it for the flag of Israel and just marry a Palestinian. No more wars, no more Palestinians and no more arguing. Not if you expect to get any, anyway.

      [1] Those loose and liberal Jewish girls I used to date.

      1. ambrit

        Mr Regula;
        What about those puritanical and reactionary Jewish Girls who’d spend a quiet afternoon chatting with that nice Dutch Reformed boy about Kaffirs and Shvuggies?

  14. Max424

    re: bad meat in Japan

    I don’t think radioactive beef is gonna hurt anybody. To paraphrase what a Japanese state minister said, if you don’t eat a lot of it, there is a high probability you won’t die.

    My advice to my Japanese brothers and sisters who are on the Adkins Diet — the tried and true meat lovers of Nippon? Now might be a good time to get off. Take one of those periodic Adkins breaks, you know, the ones where you gain 30 pounds, in 8 days?

    And if you’re one of those types who absolutely have to eat meat, no matter what, I suggest eating beef jerky, preferably jerk packaged before the tsunami struck. Don’t know if you can get your hands on it over there (do we export to you?), but I highly recommend the Honey Teriyaki from Jenny’s Jerky. It’s American, too, so you know it’s not radioactive.

    Speaking of American radioactivity, anybody heard anything about our nuke plant that is currently half submerged in rising flood waters? You have to give the American state credit; when it comes to news blackouts, we do it better than anybody.

    You want to know was going on at Ft. Calhoun? Forgettaboutit. On this topic (and many others), The Google Machine — and ALL other potential news sources — has been shut down.

    1. Foppe

      If that radioactive cesium gets stuck in your GI tract somewhere, you’re guaranteed to get “hurt”.

      1. ambrit

        My Dear Foppe;
        Someone on an earlier thread mentioned that the really dangerous isotope is Iodine. That and plutonium, neither of which do I hear any real data about, just some ‘reports’ of plutonium found in soil samples off the reactor site. Any hard data about those ‘radioactive’ car air filters turned in in Seattle?

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