Links 7/20/11

Stupidest Shark Ever Leaps Onto Boat Gawker

Charles Davies Sherborn, the Natural History Museum’s ‘magpie with a card-index mind’ Telegraph (hat tip reader Thomas B)

The Half-life of Words Paul Kedrosky

Are Chemicals Making Us Fat? TruthOut (hat tip reader May S)

Calorie Count Low in 40 Pct of Menu Items: Study Bloomberg

Japan Bans Cattle Shipments as Contamination Spreads Bloomberg

China’s debt crisis ‘solvable’: Standard Chartered MarketWatch (hat tip reader May S)

Mother of Alleged French DSK Victim Had Sex With Him Years Earlier [Updated] New York Magazine. Yowza.

Merkel losing her party’s old guard Ed Harrison

Murdoch humbly pleads ignorance Financial Times. Brilliant headline.

Behind Rupert and James Murdoch’s gloss, an intensely serious defence Guardian

News Corp Political Contributions (hat tip reader Tim S)

CIA veteran: Israel to attack Iran in fall Aljazeera (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

Ralph Nader: Obama is a “Political Coward” for Not Picking Elizabeth Warren to Head Consumer Bureau Democracy Now (hat tip reader Psychoanalytus)

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Address at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PA, October 1, 1936 Michael Moore

Leaving D.C., Warren ponders run for Senate Boston Globe. She does not sound eager at all, and as an astute political commentator noted, “She can’t carry on like this and be viable, even for two weeks.”

McConnell plan makes choices public Matt Stoller, Politico

Post-ABC poll: GOP too dug in on debt talks; public fears default consequences Washington Post

The Glenn Beck / DeBeers Connection Paul Krugman

Homeowners in Denial About Value of Properties New York Times

Why Fair Bosses Fall Behind Harvard Business Review (hat tip reader May S)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader James B):

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      1. F. Beard

        -that cat is never gonna feel a twinge of gratitude. LeeAnn

        Maybe not, but the dog will know.

        I wonder how that cat got into the water?

        1. LeeAnne

          “…the dog will know.” so true, and profound. all perspectives are welcome -or should be.

    1. LeeAnne

      OMG -Attempter, my most sincere apology. That comment doesn’t go there.

      I was writing something about Nader proving the power of the zeitgeist to draw everybody in, and decided to just quip about the dog instead.

      1. attempter

        No, I’m sure you’re right about the cat.

        I guess the dog represents the “progressives”. They’ll keep jumping in, let every ingrate climb aboard to be ferried wherever he wants to go, until they drown.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I don’t do allegory. I thought the pictures made for a nice story. That cat looks miserable.

          1. Max424

            “That cat looks miserable.”

            Indeed, the ears are flattened down; a telltale sign that the natural panache of the cat has given way … to something else.

            Most often, flattened ears are indicative of feline fear or panic, but in this case, they attest only to a state of abject misery.

            Question: In general, the genus felidae produces excellent swimmers, but is it true, that alone amongst the cats big and small, house and wild, only the tiger swims for pleasure?

            Note: I just said to my cat: “Baer, you wanna go for a swim!” and his ears perked up. The simple bastard; he understands, “you wanna go,” but doesn’t understand swim, because he’s never done it — and his not-so-cruel Master, would never make him do it.

  1. Riggsveda

    Judging by the pictures above, animals, unlike Republicans, apparently believe in safety nets and mutual aid. Maybe we need to start voting in dogs and cats.

  2. K Ackermann

    Seeing nothing else works with the banks, let’s try getting nationalistic on their ass…

    Deutsche Bank, a German company, comes to America, breaks laws, and swears not to do it again. Then we find out they continue to use robosigning to kick Americans out of their houses.

    How about this: they have 48 hours to leave this country before we stove in the heads of all their executives with aluminum baseball bats.

    Germany… feel free to reciprocate.

    1. psychohistorian

      This ethical lapse by the banks is all part of the plan of the inherited rich that own all the banks along with everything else all over the world.

      International rule of law is for little people.

      I continue to believe that our bought congress critters will memorialize a “solution” to the robo signing mess if it becomes necessary…..and no one will go to jail.

      1. thedailycannibal

        Hate to burst your bubble, but by far the majority of wealth in this country is not inherited: Gates, Buffett and Soros, for example. Try examining your own deficiencies before you blame the bogeyman and global conspiracies for your failure. Of course, that might entail accepting responsibility for yourself, and after all, that’s the government’s job, isn’t it? By the way, Hari Seldon was an ass.

        1. Skippy

          Self made man rubbish…eh…that has been thoroughly debunked around here. The opportunity[s exists because of the hole, and all that preceded their lives.

          Example: Gates took one piece, of a piece, of software from the combined efforts of others, and did what they would not do, claim title too it. So much for greatness and more like opportunism, only exceeded by his marketing strategy, imbuing the ground floor structure of the burgeoning PC market, hence all the anti trust kerfuffle.

          Where are the real capitalists these days…eh…is / was capitals job, to create jobs, in the dusty tombs of old? Where these days it just concentrates its self, into larger and larger piles, purely in a defensive fortress maneuver. And in the end be transferred into charity tax haven status….lolololol.

          Skippy…and for the measure of their greatness, what is the metric, what lasting benefit does humanity receive, over the destruction required to ascend, such monetary distinctions.

          1. neo-realist

            Gates went to a rich kids high school–Lakeside–in the Seattle area, which arguably provided a better education and more Computer Technology (from which he could draw his marketing ideas) than most Colleges at that time. Great foundations as well as a little extra $$$ enable the rich to get richer.

          2. Skippy

            @Neo… Personally I think his house on the sound is an eye sore and a monument unto him self.

            Skippy…did he step down of his own volition or was it a matter of handing over to cleans hands, burnish the brand image back up a bit.

        2. Francois T

          “Try examining your own deficiencies before you blame the bogeyman and global conspiracies for your failure.”

          An excellent piece of advice…that should motivate you to display more humility in the future.

        3. Seth

          Ever heard of Bill Gates senior? Bill junior got quite a bit of help getting started. The google is not your friend.

      1. EmilianoZ

        The weasely nature of Obama makes no doubt to me. Alas, he’s still wildly popular judging from the Obama T-shirts I never fail to see (*cringes*), taking a walk on weekends.

        I’m all for white guilt, but please extend it to someone more deserving.

        1. ambrit

          Dear Z;
          I must somewhat differ here. Fawning, toadying politicians are a most decidedly ‘equal opportunity’ group. Their ‘bankster’ masters are also; they’ll take advantage of any and every one. Consider it like having your pocket picked. If done well, you never know the color of the hand doing the ‘pickup.’ Nor should you care.

          1. Just Tired

            I’m with you. Lotsa folks want to make a big deal about where he was born so as to disqualify him. I’ve always believed that sensible people would have focused on his Chicago political experience. Now that is what definitely should have disqualified him!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Right, Lambert. Nader is too gracious. To so completely break his oaths and commit such serious crimes, Obama displays great nerve, chutzpah, and gall . . . not cowardice.

  3. Skippy

    @Krugman…thousands of years, historical precedent, generational beliefs transcending human time and space…globally. Yeah a few decades of Trust are reduced too curlicuing script, trust broken is hard to regain…eh.

    Gold shenanigans are for CBs, sovereigns and fat cats, just in case (heavy stuff). Where diamonds (gemstones) are historically, the ultimately transportable wealth. If they keep moving up, well, to me its a sign that those with means are packing for a move or just to *fill out* their monetary bug out bag.

    Skippy…disclaimer…could not give a shite about price. Societal trust is true value to me, churned up electrons (equity), promises (bonds) are by products of trust. Seemingly the two most important modern institutions, banks and government (in that pecking order) have a problem with veracity. Trust or Bust…methinks.

  4. ambrit

    Just reread the FDR speech. Looks like we’re going to have to wait for the next president to get anything usefull done. Then, of on a sidebar is this wonderful quote from Andy Borowitz: “Satan, disgusted with his behaviour, gives Murdoch back his soul.”

  5. LeeAnne

    Are Chemicals Making Us Fat?

    There’s also people’s stupidity. Is that from chemicals as well?

    I’ve seen babies; one notable image from a few summers back: a well dressed sensible looking woman holding a baby in her arms outside the ice cream store on Broadway. The best ice cream -very expensive. But the baby is fat -a 6 or 7 month old -and she’s feeding it ice cream.

    And, my doctor’s office a few weeks ago, a man with 2 young boys, the youngest still being pushed around in a fold up stroller is adorable, but fat, and has a huge, I mean man-sized huge, sandwich in his hand that he’s walking around with and nibbling on.

    The father is doting, but oblivious while I’m thinking about the health problems this child is going to have. Its so sad.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Back when I was in college one of my fellow students did a short presentation on Czechoslovakia. She said that before WWII, people were normal. After WWII & after Joe Stalin had forcibly imposed a pro-Russian Communist government, the people got fat, and fatter, and stayed that way. They were miserably unhappy their country had been stolen from them.

      I’ve remembered that ever since. Fat has nothing to do with what you eat. If you’re going to eat ice cream, eat the good stuff. Amish milk, in Lancaster, PA, has so much fat it comes out of the cows needing a diet. The Amish drink the stuff and for the most part, they’re not fat. Why do you think Hershey put his chocolate plant there?

      We will go on getting fatter and fatter until until we find out how to be happy again, as a nation. Until then, with each year that passes we will get fatter and fatter, and more and more drugged out. When Mao started his revolution his entire country was addicted to opium. When he finished, there wasn’t an addict in sight.

      Diets and guilt trips only make us fatter still.

      1. BondsOfSteel

        It’s the first law of thermodynamics.

        Energy in a system (fat) is the sum of existing energy (fat) + heat (food) – work (exercise).

        Some systems may be more efficent than others, but none break the law of conservation of energy.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Portion sizes in America are huge. That plus the amount of sugar in the average American’s diet (25%, I kid you not) and sedentary lifestyles are almost certainly the main culprits.

      However, people also find it very hard to lose and keep weight off. Part of that is that the body is an adaptation machine. Eat less and your metabolism down regulates, unless you play certain tricks while dieting to prevent that (eating at more normal levels periodically to keep your metabolism from adjusting). And if you do reset your metabolism lower, then when you start eating more normally, you pack the pounds on even faster.

      Even if you avoid those pitfalls, you then have to eat less on an ongoing basis not to put weight back on. Most people go back to their old habits, which assures a weight gain.

      But having said that, I know of people who’ve done all the right stuff and still have not been able to lose much if any weight. And I’m pretty convinced they weren’t cheating on their diets. So I’m willing to consider the notion that other factors may also be at work.

      1. Cedric Regula

        If you keep your muscle mass up, metabolism increases. This is why women should weightlift, IMHO.

        1. M.InTheCity

          Cedric – I totally agree. My trainer has me do weight-lifting, lunges, and some cardiac stuff. None of that aerobics nonsense. And I walk a lot in general. What I do in one hour + the walking is far more useful than going to gym classes 3 or 4 times a week. From my own experience, unless you are really working the muscles in a concentrated manner, you’ll never lose and keep off the weight.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Yours truly has lifted weights for over 20 years. Strength is the single best indicator of biological age (v. physical age). Muscle mass is second.

  6. LeeAnne

    the Murdochs, et al.

    How much more of this sorry bunch of psychopathic strivers are we going to be asked to tolerate?

    The issue monopoly and anti-trust. What has happened to sanity in public affairs. Why should we be watching the same play over and over again. The touchy-fealy language –no mention of law. Not at the hearing, not in reporting. Where’s the law?

    They’ve been doing this since Hank Paulson, trader/ traitor, pulled off the coupe of the last two centuries. Appearing before the cameras with public authorities soft balling; public relations in charge of sappy sound bites about the ‘feelings’ of the sociopathic class, their minions, cult devotees, and offspring, while the people, just plain saps.

  7. KFritz

    Re: Property Value

    The comments following the article @ the NYT are worth reading, at least #’s 1-10 at this moment. Not for macroeconomic insight, just variety & intelligence.

  8. Foppe

    Re the truth-out story about the role endocrine disruptors play in increasing the chance for diabetes-2:
    Further confirmation of the basic mechanism, as well as some additional information can be found in this review article in nature endo (june 2011). (A friend of mine suggests that 2000 patients is a bit too low to draw the conclusions presented; and I doubt the study is able to properly correct for the difference in diet quality/diversity.) Very interesting stuff, in any case.

  9. gazpacho

    “CIA veteran: Israel to attack Iran in fall Aljazeera”

    yawn. israel is/was predicted to attack Iran every fall, and summer, and spring, and winter.

    but in the event Israel Ben is a loon and does attack Iran, bye-bye American withdrawal from Iraq/AFghanistan and any temporary “fix” to the budget.

    Someone in the Pentagon should be reading up on how the Parthians/Persians humbled the supposedly invincible Romans at Carrhae. If the US military only can fight to draw in Iraq and Afghanistan, America completely will be bled broke by any war against Iran.

    1. justanobserver

      Not to mention that a renewed conflict will lead to oil price shock and probably send us into a full-blown depression.

      As Atrios says, we are ruled by evil people.

        1. Susan the other

          I was wondering that too. So far we have used Israel to keep our place, a toe in the door over there. But we have never sent troops to fight an Israeli war. Now things are getting interesting because we have spent the better part of this decade surrounding Iran. We could blockade them into submission. Maybe we think we’ve set it up so Israel can take it from here. Anyway, a very disconcerting article @ Baer.

        2. Cedric Regula

          Logistically, Israel can’t attack Iran without obtaining airspace clearance from either the US or some Arab nation.

          Except for one conceivable way – a one way suicide mission for close to the entire Israeli air force. Then that assumes we or someone else lets them thru the airspace unchallenged and they have planes left to go up against Iranian air defenses. Then they do whatever and run out of jet fuel.

          So if it happens, it is a conspiracy.

          1. John Merryman

            Leverage. What does Netanyahu want? Seems focused on the vote on Palestine at the UN. “Don’t make us feel insecure, or we start a war.”?

          2. neo-realist

            Israel does have access to Saudi Airspace.


            I’m wondering if this is an attempt on Baer’s part to try to bring some international pressure upon Israel to forstall an attack on Iran in response to the closed door confidences he’s been privy to?

            Furthermore, does Israel gives a damn about the potential responses from Russia and China to an attack since they’ve got some energy projects with Iran?

          3. Cedric Regula

            Hmm. OK, so it is a conspiracy.

            “Saudi Arabia will allow Israeli jets to use its airspace to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, the London Times reported on Saturday.

            The report cited a US defense source as saying the Saudis have already done tests to ensure no jet is shot down in the event of an Israeli attack. The source added that the US State Department is aware of the agreement.

            Iran has been having trouble paying Russia, and maybe China too, so they may not be staunch Allies afterall.

            Plus it’s a quick raid on nuke facilities, in and out. It’s unlikely Russia and China would retaliate with a strike on Israel over it, in my unknowledgeable opinion.

  10. Jefe


    Right as rain.

    problem is, the bleed out will keep a lot of folks in business and very happy, and legitimize a lot of otherwise impossible policies.

    for the few , at the detriment of the many, cloaked in the flag and national security.

    boy do we need a re-set to our very very complex society. P’rolly gwanna be fugly.

    our failure to imagine and act to create a new direction is stunning. shame on us

    1. aet

      With that attitude, you’ve “lost” already.

      How does wallowing in shame help action to ameliorate?

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Are chemicals making us fat?


    More than just that, I’m afraid.

    I believe you can attack a democratic country by inducing them, through ignorance and/or advertising, to allow not-immediately-lethal chemicals in their food that will alter their brains so as to vote themselves into self-destruction.

    It’s not too hard a task to come up with the right chemicals to do the job for smart people, you know.

    1. aet

      Too complex to be accurate.

      Simple misery leads people to self-destructive behaviours.

      Happy people are effective people. Want to screw people over? just make them unhappy. Spread the seeds of discord….

      1. Jim

        I don’t necessarily buy that. For happy people tend to be complacent people. And restless, ambitious people, though far from happy, are usually far more effective.

  12. Tony

    The reason Americans (and increasingly those in other countries as well) are fat and sick is because most of us are eating wrong. This is due to extremely poor, misleading, and many times downright harmful nutrition education. For example, NO ONE should be eating 6-11 servings of bread and pasta like the current USDA food pyramid says to do. That is a certain path to obesity and sickness.

    I’m convinced that the key to good health is a so-called ‘alkaline’ diet. Each food we eat has either a so-called alkaline (anti-acid) or acidic effect on the body. Unfortunately, most Americans today eat a diet that is highly acid-causing. Acid-causing foods cause inflammation which leads to disease. You can get a general sense of your body’s acid-alkaline balance by using those pH testing strips (Whole Foods has them).

    So, which foods are acid-causing and which foods are effectively anti-acids? You can find a detailed food break down in the chart I’ve linked to at the bottom of this post. However, for those that don’t want to click on a link to an unknown Web site, here’s the gist:

    Most fruits (watermelon, limes, cantaloupe, tangerine, etc.)
    Most vegetables (yam, kale, potato, etc.)
    Most herbs and spices
    Green tea

    All meat, fish, fowl
    Most grains and cereals
    All dairy
    Plums, prunes, tomatoes
    Spinach, carrots, peas, chard
    soy, tofu
    Most nuts

    Note that the food chart linked to below also breaks down the ‘strength’ of acidicy or alkalinity. That is, some foods are worse/better than others. For example, watermelon is a strong anti-acid while beer and sugar are highly acidic.

    Now that we have this knowledge how do we put it into practice? You need to eat a proper balance of acid and alkaline foods. Supposedly, the proper ratio is 4:1 alkaline:acid.

    One of the most nutritionally dense foods you can eat is kale. I typically steam kale with mustard greens, a couple of cut up beets for sweetness and a large, sliced red onion. I might also add garlic powder and paprika. This is a great substitute for the typical nutritionally wimpy salads that most Americans eat. For protein, I’ll pan-fry some chicken and flavor with real lemon juice from real lemons (I never use cooking oil). For carbs, I’ll maybe add boiled red potatoes. That makes a pretty good acid-alkaline balanced meal. I only have one acid-causing item (chicken) and the rest is alkaline.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to get an alkaline meal at a restaurant. The best you can usually hope for is to get some type of potato (baked, french-fried) and maybe a small serving of fruit with the comparatively massive servings of meat and bread. Plus, most restaurant meals are filled with unhealthy cooking oil. So, it’s best to make meals yourself.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that although most vegetables are alkaline, for some reason the acid-causing carrots, peas, and spinach are popular in America. I’m not sure why that is.

    1. Tony

      Most of us have experienced the nasty hangover after nice, hard night of drinking. We wake up with a bad headache, maybe our body is a little sore, and we are dehydrated. What causes that? Well, we all know that alcohol causes dehydration. But, why does alcohol cause dehydration?

      Well, the acid-alkaline theory explains it nicely. Beer is highly acid-causing. In order to try and reduce the acidic wastes, our body attempts to use water as a neutralizing agent. That’s why we get dehydrated and pee alot when drinking.

      You can combat the acidic affects of beer by eating alkaline foods. I always try to keep steamed kale and mustard greens in my fridge so that I can eat that once I get home after a night of drinking. This helps to neutralize the acidic wastes from the beer so that I wake up in much better shape than I otherwise would have been.

      You can also ‘cheat’ by taking calcium supplements after a night of drinking. I like the Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc supplements. The other night, I had about 10 Dos Equis. I used to wake up parched and with a headache after drinking that many beers. However, before going to sleep, I took 10 of the Cal-Mag-Zinc supplements (5x RDA of calcium) and woke up feeling pretty good. This is because my body used the alkaline calcium to neutralize the acidic wastes and didn’t suck my body dry of water.

      Now, it is always better to eat real alkaline foods as opposed to taking calcium supplements, but calcium can be used in a pinch. Additionally, beware that if you take too much, you will likely get diarrhea.

      1. craazyman

        Finally. Some advice on Naked Capitalism that I can use!

        Still hoping for a heads up on a nice 5-bagger but all the smart folks here want to do is talk theoretical macroeconomics blah blah and Nietsche this and Keynes that and Einstein this and Shroedingers’ cat that and etc etc. Totally useless. :)

        1. Cedric Regula

          I’m excited.

          One thing I can add from my hangover research is that not only does alcohol dehydrate you, but it also washes out water soluble vitamins like the B-complex. Both things are responsible for that post party crappy feeling.

          If you brew your own beer, yeast is still alive in the bottle and is one of the best sources of B-Complex. So a couple glasses of water and homebrew can make this problem manageable.

          If you are a wimp and buy store bought stuff, take a B-complex vitamin pill. I still may try a calcium pill too. They’re cheap, and this acid-alkaline balancing stuff seems complicated – especially when partying.

          Besides, I was just trying to make myself eat more spinach and now I see it’s the wrong thing for my chicken?!

          1. Cedric Regula

            Been trying to increase the broccoli. Mustard greens are good. Kale is intimidating. Preparation is everything.

      2. Pelle Schultz

        Forget the old wives’ tales.

        We get hangovers for a very simple reason: ethanol specifically reduces the (calcium-dependent) release of vasopressin from the pituitary gland (in the brain) into the bloodstream. This in turn disrupts the activity of AVPR2, a vasopressin receptor specific to the kidney that modulates reabsorption of water from urine. In this case it would normally increase reabsorption to counteract the presence of ethanol in the blood. The net effect is that the body (and most notably the brain) become dehydrated.

        It has nothing to do with pH. The only way to mitigate a hangover is to drink a lot of water, and even that won’t prevent it.

      3. Valissa

        Ewwww… the last thing I would want to eat after a night of drinking would be steamed kale or mustard greens.

        Personally I swear by chocolate milk for hangovers. That’s one or two large glasses of whole milk with a couple of small squirts of Hershey’s syrup (only mildly chocolatey). Sometimes I drink it before I go to bed and other times I end up drinking this upon waking in the middle of the night.

        Have always wondered why that worked, and thought it was because of the fat in the milk. Looks like the calcium helps too!

      4. robert57

        That’s not why drinking alcohol causes dehydration. Alcohol causes hormonal changes that prevent the nephrons of the kidneys from reabsorbing water back into the bloodstream as they normally would, and it gets peed out instead.

        This is literally the only thing I remember from my college biology class.

    2. Tony

      OMEGA 3; DAIRY
      A couple of more items and then I’ll stop spamming this thread.

      In addition to acid-alkaline balance, you also need to get the proper balance of Omega3 fat and Omega6 fat. Supposedly, we should be consuming Omega3 and Omega6 in a near 1:1 ratio. Omega3 is anti-inflammatory and Omega6 is inflammatory. Unfortunately, the typical American diet is around 15:1 Omega6:Omega3.

      Fortunately, most vegetables, in addition to being alkaline, also have equal amounts of Omega3 and Omega6 or actually have more Omega3 than Omega6. However, the amount of fat in vegetables is tiny compared to the amount of fat in cooking oils. Further, all cooking oils have way more Omega6 than Omega3. For example, olive oil, which many people consider to be healthy, actually has a 13:1 Omega6:Omega3 ratio. That’s horrible. So you want to try and avoid cooking oil as much as possible.

      Most nuts, seeds, grains, meat, dairy, and eggs have way more Omega6 than Omega3. The only foods that I know of that are high in Omega3 are salmon, sardines, hemp seeds, and flaxseed. I try to supplement with ground flaxseed in order to counterbalance the massive amount of Omega6 from most other food sources. I also try to avoid cooking oil as much as possible and have completely cut out dairy other than dark chocolate.

      I also wonder if we can actually extract the calcium from dairy. Since all dairy is acidic, it seems like our body would be taking calcium from our bones in order to neutralize it. I suspect that the alkaline vegetables and fruits are much better sources of the alkaline minerals like calcium.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Amen on omega 3. Carola oil is pretty good. Dairy and beef ate much better if grass fed.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I like green tea and tofu. One acidic and one alkaline, hopefully they balance each out.

      I want to try molasses with tofu. They also balance each out, I think.

    4. Sock Puppet

      I’m sorry, but this is completely incorrect. There are good reasons for eating the foods on the “alkaline” list, but included on the list are some of the most acidic foods in the human diet!

      Diet is common sense, not the latest pseudo-scientific fad.

      Disclosure: I’m a chemist, and I make my own bread, beer, yogurt, hummus, falafel, refried beans, salsa, dog food grow vegetables, shop at farm stands and cook from scratch most things I eat. I buy almost nothing with a “nutrition” label, I don’t eat meat, and I don’t shop at health food stores.

      1. Tony

        It’s not about the pH of the food itself. It’s about the pH-response during/after digestion.

        For example, limes are highly acidic, but, for whatever reason, they have an anti-acid response in the body.

        1. Pelle Schultz

          Think about it: the pH of your stomach (gastric) acid is between 1 and 3, mostly because of hydrochloric acid. pH is a log scale, for those who don’t remember (or never learned), so the acidity is multiple orders of magnitude lower than anything you’re typically eating (excepting Coca Cola and anything with lots of vinegar, among other things).

          This enables digestion of food, mainly by denaturing proteins, and is absolutely essential for life.

          Stomach acid is neutralized by the production (in your body) of bicarbonate ion, secreted in the form of sodium bicarbonate (yes, you make your own). Too much acidic food/drink is bad for your teeth…no question. But not your stomach, at least under normal operating conditions. Your genetics may vary.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You sound like a wholistic man from the Pre-Scientific Age.

        Are you spreading seeds of discord?

        1. Sock Puppet

          Dear Mr. Beef,
          Quite a compliment, but no. I’m a scientist. My beef is with those who abuse science in the name of greed, as well as those who embrace pseudoscience( homeopathy, economics, astrology, etc. ) to combat it. I’m a believer in a good education and a healthy dose of common sense.

          1. Just Tired

            I hesitate to combine two of today’s topics but on the subject of obesity and drinking too much, I have been on a new diet. I drink a bottle of gin every day and don’t eat anything. So far, I’ve lost two weeks.

    5. Jim

      The way I see it, man ate non-processed foods for the first 49.5K of his 50K years on Earth. I imagine it’s a shock to our bodies every time we consume anything processed.

      So, to the extent possible, consume as many natural foods as possible, and stay away from processed goods.

  13. Moopheus

    Re: Murdoch’s humilty.

    I think Rupert is being totally honest when he says being in front of parliament was the most humble day of his life. When you’ve lived as completely humility-free as he has, even feeling a wee tiny bit must have been a bring-down.

  14. craazyman

    @ Why Fair Bosses Fall Behind

    Is there anything at all about the corporate world that isn’t pathetically stupid, miserably craven and repugnantly psychopathic?

    And why do they even have “business schools”? What is there to learn that you can’t figure out in a month on the job? How to glad hand, shmooze, network and suck up? I guess that’s worth something in a corporate environment. ha hahahahaha. Maybe a lot, to be sure.

    In fact, that’s about all there really is, there.

    1. Just Tired

      This thing about bosses has me wondering. My father told me that when he was a kid it was pretty much beyond dispute that nice guys finish last. I just took his word but apparently these folks had to do a study to figure it out some 90 years later.

  15. Jackrabbit

    I think there may well be more to the Warren story.

    Obama could have made a recess appointment. He didn’t. I imagine that he came up with some excuse like that it would be against his basic philosophy of governing (consensus, “reaching across the aisle”, etc.) so in his view recess appointments are a last resort after the Senate has not acted.

    He might have also “reasoned” that the time leading up to a last-minute nomination was Warren’s chance to convince her critics that she was suitable. But her critics, of course, were simply hoping that she would self destruct, and when she didn’t they used the time to formulate their opposition to the leadership structure of the new Agency. Yet the time may have also also allowed for the “development” of an alternative – Raj Date.

    AFTER the GOP articulated their “concerns” it was clear that any (Warren!) nomination would go nowhere until they were addressed. So why NOT nominate her then? I wonder if maybe Obama DID talk with her about a nomination? Tying up Warren for months as she waited for a Senate confirmation that would never come would keep her safely “in the tent.”(*-see below) And a Warren nomination would’ve also thrilled “the base.”

    IF Obama offered her the nomination, then either she rejected it (seeing the futility of accepting the poisoned chalice) or it was shot down by Geithner because Warren had proven to be too good at moving herself/her agenda forward, or there was a different strategy afoot – installing Raj Date as Director?

    I see Richard Cordray as Warren’s choice. I think Geithner would have preferred Raj Date (Harvard MBA, Deutsche Bank, Capital One) – who was floated as likely to be Obama’s pick for weeks before. Then, a week after a “rumor” that Geithner might leave the administration, Cordray is picked.

    One can only speculate at this point, but its not hard to imagine that Date was “suggested” as an alternative once Warren had some to understand that GOP intransigence would mean that she would never be Director of the Agency. But if Geithner (and the FIRE industry) liked/supported Date, then one could imagine that some deal (as part of the debt ceiling talks?) might’ve been struck that allowed Date to ultimately become Director of the Agency.

    Why DIDN’T Warren accept Date? She must have pushed HARD for Cordray, who doesn’t have the same credentials, and who – if seen as a Warren protege – would have the same problem getting Senate confirmation as Warren. Prehaps the more that Obama/Geithner pushed for Date, the more suspicious Warren felt.

    So I wonder if there were machinations behind the scenes that will come out at a later date. Was Warren offered the nomination but turned it down (dodging a “bullet” that would’ve sidelined her for months *)? Why didn’t she accept Date as the nominee? Did she simply push for her own guy or did she suspect that GOP resistance might vanish once an industry-acceptable candidate were offered?

    Does any of this shed some light on her thinking about whether to run for Brown’s Senate seat? I just don’t see her as being too keen on being a politician. While she may navigate the political system to achieve an end, I don’t think she is comfortable with compromising her principles for self advantage. I think that this is reflected in her refusal to go along with a Date nomination.

    * Note: I believe/suspect that the acting head of the Agency until a nominee is confirmed is the Treasury Secretary and that Warren’s position as Advisor to the Treasury Secretary and President terminates upon a nomination (whether that is Warren or someone else).

    1. Just Tired

      Elizabeth Warren and Sheila Bair are going to wait until we ask them politely to please come back and clean up the mess the good ol’ boys have put on us. Maybe Brooksley Born will be able to chip in. The silence of womens’ rights advocates is absolutely stunning to me. You cannot read the history of their service and not believe that they were all cast aside and marginalized for their “uppity” behavior. Everyone seems to want to say that the three examples are not comparable. I say it is a pattern, and focusing solely on the latest outrage is merely missing the point.

  16. niat holder

    Does anyone seriously believe FBI is investigating the Murdoch media hacks? More like re-examining (CYA insurance) the “official” WTC story….Mueller will add,as obstruction and evidence destruction was modus operandi for what is it? ten years now, nothing more to be said.

    1. Cedric Regula

      I think people that write about L.A. should be required to live and work in L.A.

      The author makes the case that Carmageddon was not a problem because everyone stayed home for the 52 hour weekend.

      That’s what I would have done.

  17. Foppe

    Matt Taibbi on the coming Tax Repatriation holiday (part of the debt ceiling deal):

    Only there’s a catch. In 2004, the corporate lobby got together and major employers like Cisco and Apple and GE begged congress to give them a “one-time” tax holiday, arguing that they would use the savings to create jobs. Congress, shamefully, relented, and a tax holiday was declared. Now companies paid about 5% in taxes, instead of 35-40%.

    Money streamed back into America. But the companies did not use the savings to create jobs. Instead, they mostly just turned it into executive bonuses and ate the extra cash. Some of those companies promising waves of new hires have already committed to massive layoffs..

    It was bad enough when lobbyists managed to pull this trick off once, in 2004. But in one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington, companies immediately started to systematically “offshore” their profits right after the 2004 holiday with the expectation that somewhere down the road, and probably sooner rather than later, they would get another holiday.

    Companies used dozens of fiendish methods to keep profits overseas, including such scams as “transfer pricing,” a technique in which profits are shifted to overseas subsidiaries. A typical example might involve a pharmaceutical company that licenses the rights or the patent to one of its more successful drugs to a foreign affiliate, which in turn manufactures the product and sells it back to the U.S. branch, thereby shifting the profits overseas.

    Companies have been doing this for years, to incredible effect. Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker estimated that Google all by itself has saved $3.1 billion in taxes in the past three years by shifting its profits overseas. Add that to the already rampant system of loopholes and what you have is a completely broken corporate tax system.

    And the whole thing is predicated on that dirty little secret – the notion, long known to all would-be major corporate taxpayers, that there would come a day when there would be another tax holiday.

    That time, they hope, is now. According to Drucker, lobbyists met with President Obama last December to ask for another holiday. And now the drumbeats are rolling on the Hill for a new holiday to be included in the debt-ceiling deal.

    Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the same Senator who produced the damning report of corruption on Wall Street, has been trying to fight the problem, introducing a measure that would prevent companies from accessing offshored money through correspondent accounts and branches of offshore banks.

    1. Cedric Regula

      I know we aren’t supposed to mention ZH on NC, but since we are playing “find the corporate tax money”, ZH has some nice charts here on Apple’s cash hoard, along with how much tax Apple has been paying. Note lately 60% of Apple earnings are coming from offshore sales (drop shipping the iPhone from Asia to everywhere else).

      Good idea about a tax holiday to fix the debt ceiling. I was wondering if there was anything they missed.

      1. Valissa

        A great example of the definition of obsequious… a word I’ve found myself using more and more. A more traditional descriptor might be courtier. Of course, Summers himself is merely a higher echelon courtier.

        “The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly. They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a nobler race of men.”
        -Henry David Thoreau

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I don’ think I can stomach reading that story but I will just ask if ‘unctuous’ would just as good as ‘obsequious’ in this case?

          1. Valissa

            No, not really unctuous… although that’s another fun word. Unctuous implies an oily quality, and this really was more just straight up slobbering, as Foppe called it, or you could call it sucking up or brown-nosing.

            When I think of unctuous I think of the Game of Thrones character Lord Varys. In case you haven’t seen this most excellent HBO series….from wikipedia- Lord Varys, known as “The Spider”, a Eunuch and the Master of Whisperers, is the royal spymaster and a member of King Robert’s Small Council.

  18. Foppe

    Wow.. Surprising piece at the Guardian:

    What’s not remotely clear at this point, however, is whether the people and organisations who can actually do something to bring the America-based Murdoch empire to heel are paying much attention. I refer mainly to the agencies with subpoena and enforcement power in the federal government, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

    It will, in fact, surprise me if the authorities working for the Obama administration take this up in a serious way. After all, Obama’s typical approach is to insult his allies while he cozies up to his enemies.

    Imagine if the roles in this scandal were reversed. That is, imagine that the perpetrators of the voicemail hacking, apparent bribery of police and who knows what else were part of a liberal news conglomerate while Republicans controlled the White House and at least one house of Congress.

    You can bet that a George W Bush administration would respond with savage pleasure. It would use the situation like this to punish its political opponents. One would expect the same from any of the plausible Republican candidates for president in 2012. And Republicans in Congress would be frothing at the mouth to ensure that the company paid dearly for its transgressions.

    Indeed, in this parallel universe, the executives of the media company might well have been hauled before courts, congressional committees and grand juries already. And Fox News would be leading the calls for termination of this imaginary company’s broadcasting licenses, which surely would be in jeopardy.

    The Obama administration doesn’t seem terribly interested, despite news stories suggesting that an investigation has begun, and his party doesn’t have anything like enough spine to force the issue. The Democrats stand for essentially nothing, as they’ve shown repeatedly in recent years. To be fair, moreover, Washington has other issues on its table – the debt ceiling, for example, which threatens to blow an even bigger hole in the struggling economy.

  19. Up the Ante

    I have to take issue with the title “Stupidest Shark Ever ..”,

    you have to understand these creatures are tuned to their environment, to be dumping that much blood, chumming, into the water would drive these creatures Insane, they might leap from the water at the end to say WTF, essentially!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you measure sharks’ intelligence according to their view of the world, they’d be pretty smart and Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens would be not so sapiens.

      And if you measure molasses’ intelligence according to their view of the world, again, they’d be pretty smart and us pretty not so smart.

      So, I think we ought to be a little more humble about the whole thing.

      1. Cedric Regula

        I’m trying. I just bought some molasses. I was a little wary letting the stuff into my house not knowing what to expect of it. But my plan is to try and harness it and make my own barbecue sauce (I’m keeping it in the cupboard while typing this).

        Next I have a BBQ chicken recipe with a really good spice rub that goes on first, then after some cooking the BBQ sauce goes on next. I’ve made it with store bought BBQ sauce (the molasses is domesticated already) and it is really good.

        But I think you are right about sharks. If humans ever come across one, they would feel really, really dumb, I would think.

  20. Reverb

    The author of “Stupidest Shark Ever” apparently has not read Kontiki, the true story of a Norwegian crew who proved that ancient Peruvians could built sea-worthy craft capable of riding the currents to Polynesia. Lots of sharks jumped on their vessel during their voyage. Excellent summer read.

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