Links Bastille Day

I need to turn in early for me. Tune in later today for more posts.

A rare he-she butterfly is born in London’s NHM BBC

The secret history of Monsanto, Agent Orange and the mutilation of innocent Vietnamese Natural News (hat tip Steve A)

Aquamarine Power Unveils Oyster 800 Wave Energy Generator – Exclusive Photos! Inhabitat

Radiation Raises Food-Safety Concerns in Japan Bloomberg

Utility Shelves Ambitious Plan to Limit Carbon New York Times

Greece now, America in due course Credit Writedowns

Moody’s places US rating on review Financial Times. The officialdom is now bearing the costs of having failed to reform the ratings agencies. Was there ANY information content in this negative watch? No. The ratings agencies are lagging indicators. But too many people flip out with a restatement of what is already known. And there’s no science or objective standards in what the various ratings are for sovereign credits either.

Tensions Escalate as Stakes Grow in Fiscal Clash New York Times

News Corp abandons BSkyB bid Financial Times. They hope they’ve cauterized the situation. We’ll see.

News Corp is all about the family John Gapper, Financial Times

Phone hacking: MPs ‘could summon Rebekah Brooks’ BBC. Why wouldn’t they summon her?

Obama Walks Out Of Tense Debt Ceiling Meeting: Reports Huffington Post. Marshall Auerback notes: “Obama thinks he’s growing a pair.

Mass psychosis in the US: How Big Pharma got Americans hooked on anti-psychotic drugs Aljazeera Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:

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76 comments

  1. prostratedragon

    According to Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian, Brooks is being given a chance to come voluntarily Tuesday, or she will be summoned; they’ve already decided that, I guess. Maybe the Harry Potter business argues for caution, long poles, etc., with them.

    1. Sock Puppet

      Update from the guardian: “Rebekah Brooks to face MPs over phone hacking News International chief to face Commons committee, but Rupert Murdoch and James ‘not available’ for 19 July hearing”. Yves commented last week, the Murdochs declined her resignation so they could use her as a human shield. She named that tune!

        1. Valissa

          Phone hacking: both Murdochs agree to face MPs following jail threat http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/14/phone-hacking-murdoch-parliament-summons

          A threat of imprisonment by parliament forced Rupert Murdoch and his son James to perform a volte face and agree to give evidence next week to a Commons committee investigating why News International executives provided false information to MPs.

          Hours after the parliamentary authorities delivered a summons by hand to the two Murdochs, News International announced that father and son would accept an invitation to appear before the Commons culture select committee next Tuesday.

          … The capitulation by the Murdochs represents a victory for parliament and the select committee system, which is often criticised for lacking bite.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Are you saying they will put on a Sophocles play and not charge the public?

  2. prostratedragon

    On further reflection, since the MPs want to hear from Brooks and the Murdochs, maybe they would rather delay summoning anyone because they might be legally unable to summon the U.S. citizens (yecch); but to summon the U.K. citizen who furthermore is junior in the corporation to at least one of the Murdochs kind of puts her testimony on different basis, as it were.

  3. Another Gordon

    My understanding is that the Murdochs can certainly choose to be no shows at the House of Commons Media Committe but that if they are, they would then be referred to the full house at which point thngs get a little hazy – it’s uncharted territory.

    But, one has to ask. If they are not prepared to appear how can they be deemed to be ‘fit and proper persons’ (as the law has it) to hold a media licence?

  4. Jim Haygood

    Marshall Auerback notes: “Obama thinks he’s growing a pair.”

    D-cup Barry, eh!

    He could do with a wig to accent the new hooters.

  5. optimader

    RE: Antidote
    Yoga Position 12.. Cat Strech”

    RE: Agent Orange
    Isnt it 3-5 generations for a mutagen to fully manifest.. Monsanto’s version of cerium 137. they are so fckd and they dont even know it. the food chain is forever contaminated, practically speaking.

    1. optimader

      food chain comment refers to japan.. at least A Orange will presumably biodegrade, radioactive sources are strictly on their respective decay timeline.

      1. ambrit

        Dear optimander;
        As for Agent Orange, also used ‘back home’ for county ditches ans rights of way etc., check out the recession of the Mekong River Delta over time. Mort environmental.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The cat is probably meditating on his own austerity demanded by human GDP growth, as he tries to lose himself in yoga.

        1. Valissa

          That leopard looks sleepy to me… or perhaps in post-dinner contemplation… “prrrrrr, impala, yummmmmmm”

  6. alex

    re: Moody’s places US rating on review Financial Times. The officialdom is now bearing the costs of having failed to reform the ratings agencies.

    Indeed, it’s the US government that should be putting Moody’s and the other rating agencies on review. These are the folks who rated those CDO’s AAA, right?

    And get rid of any legal/regulatory requirements that require various outfits (pensions?, etc.) to only invest what the raters call AAA. Make them do their own due diligence, as the ratings agencies are a scam.

    1. hermanas

      @ Alex
      Listen up Congress, oh your more interested in Roger Clemens and light bulbs? Get a real job soon.

  7. Anon

    Eliot Spitzer wades in to News Corpse fight, aims his kicks well, calls for FCC to revoke Murdoch licenses in the US:

    The rampant violations of British law alleged — payments to cops to influence ongoing investigations and the hacking of phones — are sufficient predicates for the Justice Department to investigate…

    …The other reason to investigate here is that there is serious doubt that this matter can be investigated properly in Great Britain. Scotland Yard is already implicated, as is Cameron’s government. DoJ can and should fill the void.

    If DoJ does investigate and if a court were to find News Corp. liable, the penalties should extend beyond the traditional monetary fine. News Corp. should also have its FCC licenses revoked. Licensure and relicensure by the FCC require that the licensee abide by the law and serve the public interest. News Corp. appears to have blatantly violated this basic standard. Its licenses should be pulled.

    The Murdoch empire is like a rotten, old tree. The winds of change are swirling at high speed, and the thing is creaking, branches are tumbling, and not long now before the whole thing falls. As with Enron, AIG, News Corpse has been hoisted by its own greed and stupidity.

    And yes, Bastille Day: I hope to be breaking out the Bréton cider later, and toasting the striking down of Rupert’s bloody standard. Le jour de gloire est pretty much arrivée.

  8. ep3

    re: obama walks out of debt deal.

    bfd. he’s just doing that for political capital with the left/center. that way he can say “i fought for the best deal i could get”.

  9. otter

    “But too many people flip out with a restatement of what is already known”

    That’s because when you run off a cliff, if you don’t look down you can’t fall. Any fan of Wile E. Coyote knows this.

    Really Yves, you need to brush up your basic physics!

  10. dearieme

    Isn’t it all far too late for all this stuff about tax rises/benefit cuts? I doubt if the problems will be solved until you’re on your Fourth Republic.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Would be even smarter for Big Pharma if they can get us not only hooked on anti-psychotic drugs but also not recognize and not believe we are hooked when we are told.

      1. Valissa

        “Remarkably virtually everyone in developed countries desperately tries to believe that they are immune to indoctrination. They think they think for themselves and readily know the difference between truth and falsity, fantasy and reality, superstition and science, fact and fiction. Technologically sophisticated cultures are conditioned to accept belief systems, behaviors, and values that would have been rejected out of hand by their stone-age predecessors. Primitives would instantly sense the obvious threats to survival and adjustment, or simple nonsense, inherent in many of the treasured beliefs of modern society.” – Wilson Bryan Key

  12. Susan the other

    Just thinking about the standard reply of the rich to the poor. The rich ask the poor, “What have you ever done to create jobs? All you do is complain. We rich people have the initiative to go out and be entrepreneurs. Build factories. Hire people. Make a profit for our shareholders.” And the poor back down. They do not ask, “Then why are things so inequitable? Why is the economy so destroyed? Why doesn’t anything work?”

    Congress doesn’t care. Not unless 51% of the voters are destitute. And the Fed has a goal to prevent that from happening. So even though legislation and statutes are sketchy, sometimes irrelevant and inadequate, even though they are hundreds of pages long and full of blatant loopholes, Congress is prepared to wait until the situation is completely lost. Jobs, Drugs, Housing, Transportation, Health Care, the Environment. No one wants to redefine how things should be; could be better. Because it is an argument that has no legs. Its the standard reply: “Because it just is, thats all.” If there is no profit to be made, or stolen, it is a non-argument. Congress is a joke.

  13. Hugh

    The great budget debate has much in common with the great healthcare debate. The healthcare debate went on for a year. The budget debate has been going on for 7 months, going back to Cat Food Commission report and tax cut deal in December of last year. The current phase of negotiations began back in March, 4 months ago. In both, there was a lot of kabuki to-ing and fro-ing. In both, Obama outlined a hard right corporatist line at the beginning which he stuck to.

    In the end, the great healthcare debate was not a debate but a con. Much the same seems to be going on here. The PTB are not trying to fix anything. All the Sturm und Drang is about how they are going to loot us and who gets credit for it.

    1. Cynthia

      “China says US is spending too much on its military amid its financial woes”:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/top-us-military-official-meets-chinese-counterpart-in-beijing/2011/07/10/gIQAb8z57H_story.html?wprss=rss_world

      It’s a very sad day in America when we have to look to China’s top general, Chen Bingde, to speak the truth about how we can make huge strides in reducing our national debt by making significant cuts in defense. He goes on to suggest that we must keep our social programs well funded to order maintain a healthy and productive economy. What he is essentially telling us, which is the absolute truth by the way, is that we are doing more harm than good to our country and our economy by starving our most vital social programs, i.e. Medicare and Medicaid, in order to add more fat to an already very fat defense budget.

      Let me also mention that the medical-industrial complex receives roughly half of its funds from the taxpaying public, mostly in the form of Medicare and Medicaid, which enables our for-profit healthcare system to socialize some of its losses. The same thing can’t be said about the military-industrial complex. Our for-profit military receives ALL of its funds from the taxpaying public, enabling it to socialize ALL of its losses.

      This is what happens when Big Business morphs into Big Government, and vice versa, creating the backbone of the corporate state. This in turn helps explain why our for-profit military has been far more successful than our for-profit healthcare system at preventing its corporate welfare programs from falling victim to federal budget cuts. Had our for-profit healthcare system been the backbone of our corporate state, instead of just a mere appendage of it, then our for-profit healthcare system would also be in a position where it would never fall victim to federal budget cuts.

      So in order to dismantle our corporate state, we first must disentangle our for-profit military from the wealth and power of Big Government. And the only way we can do this is by completely de-privatizing our military, thus causing all profit motives it once had to vanish. And to prevent our healthcare system from becoming the next great backbone of our corporate state, we must act now to de-privatize it as well. And the best and least painful way to do this is to throw our health-insurance industry under the bus and replace it with a Medicare-For-All type single-payer system.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am for Small Government AND Small Companies.

        People look at the failure of ‘Small Government+Big Corporations’ and argue for Big Government.

        What you get is then Big Government AND Big Business.

        The solution to the failure of Small Government with Big Corporations is not that, but Small Government and Small Companies.

        Yours Respectively,

        Small Soceity Of Small People For Small Things

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Forget to add, small things include small countries.

          That one is for our friendly Chinese general.

          1. Valissa

            The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right. The ten thousand things depend upon it; it holds nothing back. It fulfill its purpose silently and makes no claim.

            It nourishes the ten thousand things, and yet is not their lord. It has no aim; it is very small.

            The ten thousand things return to it, yet it is not their lord. It is very great.

            It does not show greatness, and is therefore truly great.

            — Verse 34, Tao te Ching (Lao Tsu)

            Now THAT’s Chinese ;)

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s so true and why a Zen master doesn’t say nor know he’s a Zen master.

            He’s probably a butcher.

      2. hermanas

        The military may have a real mission when those social security retirees don’t get their checks.

      1. Cedric Regula

        But the stock market will rally 500 points as soon as they conclude whatever deal and raise the debt limit.

        Then treasury yields will go to 2.5% on double dip recession fears.

        The dollar will rally on no US news, then drop 10% on QE3 worries.

        Gold will go down, then up, then down, and then up again.

        Oil will move in sympathy.

        90 days after the data proves we are actually in a recession(this is still hypothetical – only 26.8% expectation chance presently), all prices collapse in unison and equilibrium is reached when diversified and hedged portfolios are 30% smaller than they are now.

        Wall Street screams for the government to do something.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        Yup, Hugh is right — another big con, a farcical teapot tempest. To think that the Wall Street MOTU’s would ever allow their minions to play a real game of chicken with their casino operations is laughable, and cartel insiders know it. This is cynically staged brinkmanship for the rubes, with circus freaks to scare old folks and deliver as much loot from Social Security, Medicare, and commonwealth as possible to Wall Street and the MIC, just short of open revolt. It’s got shock doctrine formula written all over it.

        It also gives Obama a very bright pre-election spotlight to display a bit of spine and spray testosterone for his aggrieved base. The carnie game is fixed yet again as a “win” for Wall Street’s waterboy — but of course only a facsimile of a win relative to the mad tea-potters’ scorched-earth agenda.

        You can well imagine the martial oratory about to soar from the teleprompter as the great O celebrates his triumph over Cantor and cronies. It will be something like the second coming of 2008, even as the credulous sheeple are fleeced once again. It’s also increasingly likely the ship will collide with the iceberg anyway, with most passengers stuck in steerage.

  14. bmeisen

    See former chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s column “Das Geldhaus” on the front page of the print version of this week’s Die Zeit. In German, it wasn’t online when I checked.

    He says the Landesbanken became megalomaniacal and deserve to be devolved, except for maybe one or two. He writes that there are 3 kinds of people: 98% of us are morally OK, 1% are congenitally criminal and deserve to be in jail, and 1% are investment bankers and fund managers and “… die haben uns in die Scheisse geritten.” They rode us into the shit.

    And he says that Deutsche Bank can no longer be trusted to represent the interests of Germany, which at one time, e.g. when he was Chancellor, it was.

    Has he been reading Econned or maybe The Big Short?

    who are hard to distinguish from the criminals.

      1. bmeisen

        Sounds OK to me. Maybe geritten should be translated as steered. Gruß aus Frankfurt!

  15. Anonymous Jones

    I was hoping someone would debunk the wave energy generator article.

    I’m sure there’s some reason that wave energy is the worst thing in the world and will lead us to our doom.

    No EROEI screeds? No marine ecology destruction rants?

    No attacks on do-good-ing greens and Prius owners by some self-loathing denier who gins up psychotic, unjustified disgust?

    Who is going to take up this important cause?!?!

    I can’t wait.

    1. ambrit

      Deat AJ;
      Sorry to disappoint, but the first models are being used in the Orkneys, a quite remote location. Reading the article, it’s plainly stated that this Gen 2 of the design, and is being used as a working test model to help improve the design. This model is claimed to be 250% more efficient at 1/3 the cost. Late in the piece, the head of the outfit says they’re working towards ‘cost competitiveness.’ So, not to be installed near your house any time soon. As in all ‘Green’ endeavours, the ‘cost competitiveness’ is the key. For out of the way places like the Orkneys, this could be a real boon.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I used to think love is the greatest untapped source of energy.

      Maybe anger is a greater source.

      1. ambrit

        Fiends;
        Considering that Love and Hate are consensually viewed as the polar opposites of one emotion complex, this would make the energetic ones ‘bi-polar’ and candidates for ‘drug therapy.’ (If things get much worse, ‘energetically applied.’)

    3. alex

      Anonymous Jones,

      I share your angst.

      These wave energy generators have an EROEI of 0.01, and the energy necessary to build and deploy them comes entirely from fossil fuels. They’re being subsidized by a coalition of Big Oil and Big Coal. Big Nuclear is looking for a piece of the action too.

      Worse, they’ll disrupt the ocean currents in a way that will not only destroy vast swaths of marine life (especially the cute cuddly kind) but will also accelerate what would otherwise be a mythical AGW. Higher temperatures will in turn create a demand for more air conditioning run from coal and oil, and incidentally starve half the planet due to the resulting crop failures. That may not matter though since the resulting global strife will result in thermonuclear war. The only habitable part of the planet left will be the Arctic, but that will be polluted as Big Oil drills in what will then be ice free waters.

      Oh, they’re also ugly, unreliable and cost the taxpayers a fortune in subsidies lobbied for by Big Oil and Big Coal. We should all go back to being hunter-gatherers before it’s too late.

      Feel better now?

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Seriously!

          The unintentionally-hilarious arrogant, sanctimonious attacks on tree-huggers (by those with barely enough intelligence to figure out how to breathe) was the most important part!!!

      1. Cedric Regula

        We studied tide power way back in college in one of my energy conversion courses. Back then I was worried tide generators may suck energy out of the moon and cause it to go on a decaying orbit and crash back into the pacific or atlantic – which ever one it origonally came from.

        But I think if they work on the engineering hard enough and get it to the point of being practical and more or less affordable, it will probably be ok.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          From Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets)

          Poem 7

          ama-no-hara

          furisakemireba

          Kasuga naru

          Mikasa-no-yama ni

          ideshi tsuki kamo

          Lifting my gaze to

          The broad expanse of the sky,

          I see the same moon

          That once rose in Kasuga

          Over Mount Mikasa!

          — Abe no Nakamaro

          Comments

          This waka first appears in the “Travel” section of the Kokin wakashū. As a youth, Abe was sent by the Nara court to study in China, where he spent 54 years (including a period as the Chinese governor-general of Vietnam) before dying in Chang’an.

          This relatively straightforward poem, said to have been composed before Abe made an abortive attempt to return to Japan, is conventionally held to reveal both the strength of his affection for his homeland and a poignant awareness of the intervening years spent in China. Two place names are mentioned: Kasuga and Mount Mikasa. The former refers to an area in present-day Nara between Nara Park and Kasuga Shrine; the latter is a mountain located to the back of the same shrine, between Mount Wakakusa and Mount Takamado. The ending particle kamo in the last line is characteristic of Nara-period usage (Abe’s dates are 698-770), adding the force of an exclamation to what has been said.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks. Lots of interesting titles.

            The one that pops out immediately is ‘Rehabilitating the Luddites, 200 years on.’

            I have a haiku I like to get published.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          Right, and too many wind turbines could blow Earth off her orbit or change its axis. Don’t worry, be happy about global warming, but be afraid, very afraid, of alternative energy.

    4. hermanas

      The draw backs are the supports, but autonomous floating cities(tax havens) “money changes everything”.

    1. ambrit

      Time for us to start singing the second verses of “God Save the Queen.”
      This whole thing is beginning to sound like a play by Tom Stoppard or David Mamet.

  16. Eureka Springs

    I wonder if the percentage of left thinking individuals under the influence of these new drugs are much higher. I ,mean the wingnuts I know are far less likely to seek mental health treatment.

    This could be a feature, not a bug. Of course there are a lot of Stepford/Laura Bush types on something.

  17. scraping_by

    I would like to raise a small defense of the bent coppers in the Met Police Force.

    While we civilians are used to thinking of law enforcement officers as quasi-omnipotent, and when you look eat their powers they’re pretty close in a day-to-day fashion, they’re really rather lowly government employees, quite far down on the totem pole. And like most employees, they’re quite sensitive to the winds that blow on high.

    The detectives who cooperated with the Mudoch Family (think, Gambino Family, only better tailors) were cooperating with their boss’s friends. That is, Rupert was obvious about being butt-buddies with Blair, Cameron, and all those in between. Saying no to a NOTW reporter was saying no to Rupert, who would certainly mention your name to Bush’s Poodle, who would certainly let your boss know you weren’t very good in your position. Given that street-level bobbies are out picking up dog shit, a position would be a good thing to have.

    This is not a very large extension of the principal that, in the same situation, the kids of the rich need a talking-to while the kids of the poor need a few days in jail. It’s the principle that friends of the mayor don’t really need traffic tickets. It’s the principle of large houses need search warrants while small ones can be tossed as an arrest site. It’s the principle that promotions go to friends, or at least people that can counted on. It’s the principle that shit flows downward, and it’s good to get some cover.

    While they got some money for it, the police breaking into England’s totalitarian machinery for a few spicy bits were certainly doing the sort of thing their bosses wanted done, whether those bosses would ever admit it or not.

  18. BondsOfSteel

    If no deal is done, can’t the a USG default be avoided by simply declaring an emergency bank holiday (via the Emergency Banking Act)?

    If the markets are closed and all the banks too, it limits the impact of a default.

  19. F. Beard

    I wonder if carnivores prefer raw or cooked meat? I guess that since “hunger is the best cook” (German saying) it’s all good to them.

  20. Sundog

    Is this about art, design, or economics?

    The process is the product.
    The most important aspects of a process are time, relationship and change.
    The process produces formations rather than forms.
    We search for unexpected but correlative, emergent patterns.
    Even though a process has the appearance of objectivity, we realize the fact that it stems from subjective intentions.

    http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2011/07/the-conditional-design-manifesto/

    I like to toy with the idea that for some time to come economics will play much of the imaginative role that hard science played during twentieth century.

  21. Billi Huyard

    Your never to old to start your Martial Arts Training, on the other hand you do have to keep in mind at our age the body takes longer to recover.

  22. tim mccarthy

    In regards to the agent orange story. I can’t source this now, but several years age I read that the most harmful component of agent orange was dioxin. Dioxin is not a necessary ingredient of the herbicide, but was produced in the manufacturing practice. It was not removed because agent orange was purchased by weight, and it made the solution heavier. Therefore, much of the human and environmental damage was unnecessary.

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