Links 11/29/11

How food manufacturers turn mouldy, mislabelled or outright contaminated foods into edible — and profitable — goods Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)

Arizona gun club lets children hold high-powered guns while posing for Christmas pictures Sideshow (hat tip Lambert Strether)

Study: Over Time, Even a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Kill Discover (hat tip reader Robert M). I don’t take Tylenol, period. Anything that can kill you if you take too much is not worth using, particularly when there are lots of alternatives.

3 Asset Managers Win $254 Million Powerball Lottery New York Times (hat tip reader Scott). I thought lotteries were a tax on people who were bad at math…

AT&T’s 11th-Hour Plan to Save Its Deal With T-Mobile New York Times

Have we passed peak travel? MacroBusiness

Crisis in Europe Tightens Credit Across the Globe New York Times. Did you notice the Times is now using more NC-like orange in its layout? We are apparently ahead of the MSM in more ways than one.

Moody’s Signals Possible Cut For Europe Banks Bloomberg

Foreign News: The missing 20,000 Greek pensioners Ed Harrison

Just Another Goldman Sachs Take Over CounterPunch (hat tip reader 1 SK)

Back From China? American Prospect (hat tip reader Tim F)

Black Friday sales fail to dispel retail gloom Financial Times

Money Found in Britain May Belong to MF Global New York Times. Hhm, and JP Morgan, which was owed the money, asked a few, but not enough, questions.

Fannie and Freddie watchdog under fire Financial Times

Occupy This: Crazy Tom the FBI Provocateur rsn

US lenders review military foreclosures Financial Times. This is a disgrace. Violations of the Servicmans Civil Relief Act are criminal. So where are the prosecutions?

Lawyers’ Bonuses Under Pressure Wall Street Journal

Top 10 List of What Might Be Next For Barney Frank Outside the (Cardboard) Box (hat tip reader TomoftheNorth)

A Columnist Recants, but the WSJ Edit Page Won’t Hear it Columbia Journalism Review

Should the Courts Appoint an Equitable Receiver for Bank of America? Chris Whalen

At Top Colleges, Anti-Wall St. Fervor Complicates Recruiting New York Times. Mirabile dictu!

Antidote du jour. A capivara, photographed by reader Rodolfo in the Pantanal mid-west region of Brazil.

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  1. Demented Chimp

    Paracetemol saves many more than it kills. Cheap and effective antipyretic especially in areas where heamoraghic fevers are prevalent and essential for pediatric care.

    Taking aspirin in the tropics is not a good idea you magnify the effects of dengue.
    Ibuprofen is expensive and less available.

    Every pill you pop entails a risk. Read the label.

  2. rjs

    re: Arizona gun club lets children hold high-powered guns while posing for Christmas pictures

    except for the eastern corridor & the left coast, that’s the country you live in…no one here in rural ohio would find that strange…

    1. aet

      But nevertheless…it IS strange…nobody else anywhere on this planet now or ever in the past has ever done anything similar with the kids and the holidays.

      Any conterexamples? Of examples of children depicted with weapons in works of art or craft, created for and in association with a Christian holiday…or ANY holiday….anywhere, ever?

      I don’t care what you may have become accustomed to, it is creepy, weird and strange.

      It is always barbarous to go about armed in the midst of peace. Un-Christian, too.

      1. roaring mouse

        Kids with guns isn’t strange at all. Just head on safari to war-torn Africa to get up-close-and-personal with a bunch of 10-14 year old boys blasting away with their AK-47s! In the US, citizens with guns is a freedom indicator. It makes it a bit harder of the closest government goon to steal something from them.

        1. cwaltz

          Giving a 4 year old an AK-47 which he legally isn’t entitled to shoot is a freedom indicator? Good to know(tongue firmly in cheek).

          I’m more inclined that this is a great opportunity for nutballs to pretend- kinda like we all still pretend that we have a democracy- even as we watch police crack heads when citizens peacably assemble to voice grievances(ooopsie I guess the gun toting thing really doesn’t scare a government that has access to drones and other weaponry far superior to most citizen firepower.)

        2. EH

          I’m pretty sure that each of the child soldiers you mention also considers his gun to be “a freedom indicator,” Mr. Orwell.

        1. Dave of Maryland

          In the 1930’s it was common for children in Germany to have their photo taken on Santa’s lap, Santa with a swastika armband.

      2. Brett Bim

        Something that is out of the ordinary is not necessarily strange. Strange is in the subjective eye of the viewer. Out of the ordinary is just the fact that it doesn’t happen often. Just because you believe something is strange does not actually mean it is.

        If you don’t arm yourself during peace, you won’t be able to arm yourself during war.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        It may be proven apocryphal now, but in 1212, there was the children’s crusade.

        It was Christian, sort of, amidst peace, or as much as it was possible. While their ami was to convert Muslims peacefully, you can nevertheless still see in some works of art children with weapons.

    2. YankeeFrank

      “Except for the Eastern corridor & left coast” — you mean the vast majority of the populace of the nation? The gun fetish of these flyover douchebags is pathetic.

      1. cwaltz

        That’s the part that torques me off. If you like guns-great. I don’t have a problem with that(we own a few ourselves.) However, let’s not play pretend and rationalize that your 38 is a match for the US military firepower and it is standing between you and an authoritarian government.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Maybe the parents will use their gun-toting kids as *human shields* between them and *authoritarian fire-power* and the *Drones w/ Tomahawk Missiles*.

    3. Jeff

      So what? Kids pose next to race cars, high powered motorcycles and airplanes. It’s a function of the parents’ intelligence and taste. I’d rather see kids thus posed
      than wearing ghetto clothing and trying to imitate the lowest levels of our society. I heard this conversation between to White children who couldn’t have been older than sixth grade:

      “Was up my nigga’, you gwine a fuck yo woman tonight..”

      1. aletheia33

        it’s remarks like this that make me breathe a sigh of relief that soon whites will be outnumbered in this great country of ours.

      2. cwaltz

        I guess you and I have different opinions on what qualifies as “low levels of society.” The difference between some of the people in the ghetto and some of the people who own airplanes for their children stand next to, is mainly the difference between dollars and cents.

        Frankly, I question the intelligence of anyone who would hand a toddler an automatic weapon as if it were a toy.

        It’s how stuff like THIS happens.

        You keep talking smack though. Oh and for the record it’s TWO, not to. If you’re gonna be a criticizing elitist putz at least be an accurate criticizing elitist putz.

      3. another

        “I’d rather see kids thus posed than wearing ghetto clothing and trying to imitate the lowest levels of our society.”

        This is pure comedy gold.

  3. Lambert Strether

    Is this as bad as I think it is? Seeking Alpha:

    Bloomberg reports that Bank of America (BAC) has shifted about $22 trillion worth of derivative obligations from Merrill Lynch and the BAC holding company to the FDIC insured retail deposit division. Along with this information came the revelation that the FDIC insured unit was already stuffed with $53 trillion worth of these potentially toxic obligations, making a total of $75 trillion.

    1. Max424

      “Is this as bad as I think it is?”

      No, everything is fine. When I go out, my S.B.R.* has $50 trillion in it (tied up a in rubber band in my left sock), so to people like me, $75 trillion is not a particularly large number.

      Only when you’re talking quadrillions, are you talking real money.

      * S.B.R. — Secondary Bank Roll

    2. Eureka Springs

      Link of the month award right there, Lambert. I’ve been amazed at how little attention this news garnered. And the post is excellent… even I can understand it.

      This is what shock doctrine feels like… so mad/frustrated I can’t feel a thing.

    3. Cal

      In case of bank failure,
      Can’t the FDIC just insure the oldest deposits first?
      That would exclude the latest scam co-mingling.
      Also, isn’t there some way to tell what’s a real deposit by human beings versus an insertion of funds from some other division?

    4. VietnamVet

      Thanks for the Link.

      Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction. They caused the 2008 financial seizure. They are still uncontrolled and unregulated. 75 trillion dollars of derivative obligations placed under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)? There are only around 1.25 trillion dollars in circulation. For comparison, the 2012 proposed federal budget was 3.7 trillion dollars. The USA cannot pay these outstanding derivatives if invoked by the collapse of the Euro.

      The vast amount of money insured by derivatives together with the Get out of Jail Cards for Bankers assure that there will be no haircuts for the oligarchs or bank nationalizations and that taxpayers will be simply be milked dry until the Middle Class disappears. These neoliberal edifices assure that western civilization will shatter (See Greece). Our offspring will have to survive in the Neo Dark Age.

  4. greybeard

    Palin has some good points. After listening to her speak, I have to wonder who actually wrote the article. I was liking what I read until the last paragraph. Palin has no business lecturing the OWS movement about what they must realize. And her plug for the Tea Party, about always being about cutting waste seems to gloss over the military problem. Are we to assume that there is no waste in the military? I don’t recall any effort on the Tea Party’s part to reign in the military spending. Apparently the only waste the TP sees in in social spending.

    1. roaring mouse

      At least you recognize Palin’s piece makes some good points. Coming from someone with your left-lean, that’s a high compliment. Agree, military spending needs to be whacked, and the US needs to use the military less as an everyday foreign policy tool.

      1. cwaltz

        Sarah Palin hate is overblown. She wasn’t a horrid governor(or overly right wing.) She increased funding for head start and health care for poor. She vetoed a bill that would have outlawed same sex marriage on constitutionality. She went toe to toe with her own party and with big oil.She sent a pro choice justice to the bench. Overall, when she was running for VP I thought she was to the left of Obama. However, after hanging with the Tea Party she started sounding bonkers. Death panels? C’mon. Whadda you call the arbitrars at Anthem that declined coverage for treatment for cancer based on the fact that someone didn’t disclose her acne that she was treated for at 13. Geez. She lost major points from me after that.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          She is a shill for the 1% *just taking orders*. Her official *position* is to *stand up against the elites*.

  5. CB

    A Pantanal capybara with what looks like a piece of plastic trash. A crushed container of some kind, my guess. How paradigmatic.

    1. Dr. Brian Oblivion

      Acetaminophen (paracetamol) causes liver toxicity at surprisingly low doses. I suspect most people have no idea as Tylenol (tampering cases aside) is generally considered by the public to be as safe as aspirin and other otc medications.

      What percentage of people bother to try to read the lengthy warnings printed on otc medicine at such a tiny point size?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It looks like I might have to give up on this modern invention.

        Oh well, I take them to cope with the stress of living in a ‘modern’ world, like people are barinwashed by the system to use underarm deorderant to get themselves to work in ever smaller and tighter work areas without their biological signals interfering with productivity.

        If you want to rebel against the system, I think a good place to start is to stop using deorderant.

        I suspect a Neanderthal would have very little need of either.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I just think the world would be a much safer place if we keep each other at a distant further apart than our free-ranging, organic bio-signals can reach.

            Anyone is welcome to join the Neo-Neanderthal Society.

  6. Ed

    “Anything that can kill you if you take too much is not worth using.”

    Do you consume alcohol? Water? Cholesterol? Caffeine?

  7. JTFaraday

    “Did you notice the Times is now using more NC-like orange in its layout? We are apparently ahead of the MSM in more ways than one.”

    I hadn’t noticed. The only orange I see is the Occupy sign in the photo currently at the bottom of the page that says

    “With great power comes great responsibility.”

    1. Jim Sterling

      Orange on a web site says Daily Kos to me, not naked capitalism. No criticism of Yves intended, and I think her shade of orange is less eye-hurting, both in tone and quantity, than Markos’s.

  8. ep3

    re: black friday.

    yves, just an update. My small (one store) mens clothing store suffered the whole holiday weekend. Their November sales were up significantly going into the holiday. But the weekend killed that increase (versus last year, which was really good). In fact, as I said before, vehicle traffic seems low too. my mom works for kohls (as a sales associate)and they told employees sales were up 20% over last year for their store.
    I think these pseudo stories about how successful friday sales were are only based upon big retailers. Because who cares about small business. The new definition of the small business is each individual walmart store. Most people I speak with on a regular basis (us poor, barely getting by, average lower middle class folks. fyi yves,i have an accounting degree and don’t even make $16 an hour and no benefits. the boss says that is more than satisfactory for me to live on and that I don’t need insurance.), anyway, we have been discussing these “sales” and besides a few $199 big tvs, we don’t see much in the way of ‘great deals’. It just seems stores are pulling the old “one great deal to get u in the store so you spend more than u intended”. In fact, some of my fellow poor americans are even saying “why buy now, when I can wait for the after xmas sales”.

    Just trying to give a perspective from the michigan area.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      “Instant sales totals” are suspect. For large stores it can take more than a day to total up actual sales, including holds, layaways, installments, contracts, returns, defects, shop soiled/damaged, missing/stolen, etc. To get totals across the entire country by Sunday night? Completely impossible, on any level. The stories are fabricated, always have been. Back before the current mess you could write the story in advance, add on the rate of inflation/increase in the GDP year over year and not be far off.

      Wait til final totals come out in a few weeks.

  9. Michael Finn

    While I don’t use Tylenol myself, it’s because you should really only use it for either heart conditions or headaches, that link headline is very misleading.

    It’s a study on people who try to commit suicide by taking too much Tylenol, I’m talking 24G of the stuff at once, meaning they were TRYING to kill themselves by shutting down their livers.

    The study shows that taking too much on one day vs. taking too much over several days was less lethal. It was even that much less lethal, it was a difference of 37% vs. 28%.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      What’s menacing is that Tylenol is often used in combination with other drugs as a way of making those other drugs acceptable to the authorities. Thus, Tylenol/codeine as a pain killer. There are some kinds of intense pain that only codeine can hit, but you can only get it with Tylenol. People in pain gulp that stuff down.

  10. YankeeFrank

    Nice theory over on counterpunch about the failed German auction. The takeover of our democracies by banksters is pretty much complete. They will of course completely overstep and create a truly nasty backlash. Their greed knows no bounds, and will destroy them eventually.

    1. Cynthia

      The auctions are stuck in a bog

      The future is shrouded in fog

      For Christmas this year

      Some old Bankster cheer

      The sheeple get rammed with their log

      H/T: The Limerick King

  11. mutt50

    Here in New Mexico, the gun culture is alive and very well. Aside from some ranchers, and rural residents who need some varmint control, it’s mainly about tribal identity. We have a very interesting tribe here that seems to consist mostly of overweight guys and gals in cammo. Most of these folks don’t live in the sticks, but in the ‘burbs.
    At the gun shows,( I’ve been to a few) you can see lots of these folks. Aside from camo and military dress, they like religious and pro-gun t-shirts. there is a lot of talk about “taking our country back”, my guess is from people like me. They are waiting for Mexican drug gangs, muslims, or Obama’s re-education police to show up, at which time they will pull out all the cool hardware and save America, hopefully before having a coronary, or running out of medications they got from some commie/socialist medicine outfit, like the VA or medicare.
    I don’t know the exact numbers, but I have known many of these people and they are often stubbornly ignorant of anything outside their own small world. Fox is their news source, except when it’s to liberal, which they believe it is. Many of them actually believe we are in a permanent war with Islam, Mexico, Dirty Hippies, and of course, the hated secular humanists, who took their God out of schools. And they always vote. Always.
    The big question is, Does Jesus prefer the AK47, or the M16?

    1. F. Beard

      Obviously the AK-47. The M-16, while adhering to the letter of the Geneva Convention, grievously violates the spirit of it with a bullet designed to tumble on impact.

      The AK-47, by contrast, make neat, round 30 cal holes.

      My faith in the US began to waver when I learned that.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        I heard an old story that an M-16 round that passed close by but did not hit could still rip your arm off. Thank-you. Now I know how that’s done.

        Stay away from guns. They’re not good for you.

    2. ambrit

      Dear mutt50;
      Silly rabbit! Jesus was from a certain piece of real estate famous for its own munitions industry. He’d likely prefer an Uzzi or a Galil.

    3. propertius

      The big question is, Does Jesus prefer the AK47, or the M16?

      See Luke 22:36

      And the answer to your question is: “the AK, because .223 doesn’t have sufficient stopping power.”

  12. Cal

    “…World War II shipyards swelled the population to nearly
    its current 103,000. But Richmond has struggled since
    and is regularly listed among the nation’s 25 most dangerous cities…”

    Black sharecroppers from the south came up by the trainload to Richmond, San Francisco and Los Angeles in WWII.
    The perennial housing projects there are still occupied
    by their grand and great grandchildren. Tens of millions
    have spent by taxpayers to create jobs with little
    success. Illegals travel thousands of miles to find and do the jobs that locals can’t seem to encounter.

    The Black Panthers and the Black Muslims started bakeries and co-operatives but have been mostly shut down by prosecution of their ringleaders who were cooking the books or frying the opposition.

    These co-ops always seem to be
    started by outsiders sensing an opportunity to rent or
    buy cheap property and to build political capital.
    Wonder why is that?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Is it true that 2 GS guys just won the lottery? Did they figure out the algorithm? More to come.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Back from China?

    It might to cheaper to buy imports but there are reasons to buy American (or domestic, this applies to any country).

    1. When Greek workers are unemployed, Americans don’t pay for their unemployment benefits, as much as we want to share solidarity. When American workers are out of work, Americans do pay for their unemployment benefits. This cost must to considered when comparing domestic and import products. Buying imports means putting Americans out of work, costing you and me more to fund those unemployment benefits.

    2. Ford paid his workers more becuase he wanted them to be able to buy his cars. Same here. When you do pay more for a American product (not always the case), hopefully some of that would trickle down to American workers and they will buy more products/services from you (a fellow American). You can say the same about foreign workers, though the law of proximity, one would think, rules here.

    3. Don’t be afraid of being called nationalistic. That’s just the 1% wanting you to buy from their offshore sources.

    4. The more you buy domestic, the great the scale of economy in domestic production and hopefully, the cheaper the products/services become.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The missing 20,000 Greek pensioners?

    I wonder if there are any missing German, American or Chinese pensioners.

    1. Jim

      I’d be willing to bet that 95% of the pension checks of those 20K are immediately recycled into the economy as consumption. Is it wise to stop sending those checks from a GDP standpoint right now?

      I have no problem with the government stopping the checks if Greece were growing 3% a year.

      But the economy is contracting. The last thing it needs is less consumption.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      So, will the Scots seize the day? Will the people of England remove the *vampire squid* of their German monarchy and *royal* apparatchiks? Will the Irish reclaim their heritage, and live without the Pope and the *Windsors*?

  15. Sock Puppet

    Lest we forget:

    Sarah Palin: Babies, Guns, Jesus – The Rush Limbaugh Show

    Beck-Palin Rally in Washington Drawing Supporters of `Babies, Guns, Jesus’ – Bloomberg

    Her approval rating in Alaska is lower than in any state except Massachussets.

    Just sayin’

  16. tz

    “US lenders review military foreclosures Financial Times. This is a disgrace. Violations of the Servicmans Civil Relief Act are criminal. So where are the prosecutions?”

    They aren’t there because the servicemen THEMSELVES cannot file suit, only someone from the benevolent government can. The banks might have a very different attitude if the moment the foreclosure papers hit some official location they would owe the Servicemen 150% of the ORIGINAL value of the mortgage, prima facie, or have the entire balance of the mortgage forgiven, though they would have to go to court and get a judgment, but you have seen cases where the sheriffs arrived at bank offices.

    I’m a rule-of-natural-law libertarian, so laws allowing people who are defrauded (or is this larceny by conversion or something else?) to have immediate standing and punitive damages are more than acceptable – they would be more efficient and effective. (For that matter, student loans and everything else ought to be just as dischargeable as any other debt).

    Why don’t you ever seem to want to empower individuals, but only find better bureaucrats or through some unknown method find politicians and appointees who won’t be corrupted?

    You want the police that many are using assault weapons or pepper spraying nonviolent resistance to enforce things? For those in the pockets of the banks who carefully craft the laws so they have full discretion? Wake up.

  17. Jim

    I’ve often wondered about “moldy” foods and whether they can enhance the immune system. In Mexico, huatlichoche is a favorite dish. What is huatlicoche?


    Corn smut (Ustilago maydis) is a pathogenic plant fungus that causes smut disease on maize (Zea mays) and teosinte (Euchlena mexicana). The fungus forms galls on all above grounds parts of corn species, and is known in Mexico as huitlacoche; it is eaten, usually as a filling in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods and soups.


  18. pwndecaf

    The OTCB bit on Barney Frank is not why I sent a donation for your work. I think it is disappointing. Was no one watching?

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