Links 12/1/11

Genetic genocide: Genetically altered mosquito warriors could wipe out humanity’s biggest killer Gizmag (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Reactor Core Melted Fully, Japan Says Wall Street Journal

Horsemeat Datapoint Confirms Economy on Upswing Outside the (Cardboard) Box

How Food Affects Genes Institute for Science in Society (hat tip reader Aquifer). Not certain re the science here….

How Stephen Wolfram Is Preparing For The Singularity CoExist (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Economics of piracy MacroBusiness

Official Action and Why Italy is Still at the Vortex Credit Writedowns

Fed saves Europe’s banks as ECB stands pat Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. This is correct. If the ECB was backstopping the banks adequately (or if they were forced to recapitalize), dollar lenders would not be so wary.

Vivement le retour des socialistes au pouvoir en…Allemagne Jean Quatremer (hat tip reader Swedish Lex). The German SPD and Socialist parties now favor ECB monetizing and Eurobonds.

Chinese manufacturing activity slows Financial Times

Big Picture: Does Romney Go Down the More Voters See of Him? Fox News (hat tip reader Pat Caddell)

Obama’s morbid fear of EU meltdown Financial Times. Hah, would serve him right after not getting tough with the banks.

The Individual Health Insurance Mandate Is Still Very Unpopular Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens on US Soil Still in Pentagon Spending Bill Alternet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools New York Times (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Is A Universal Social Net Good Macro Economics? Real News Network (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Banks Act, Stocks Surge and Skeptics See a Pattern New York Times


Miley Cyrus Rock Mafia – IT’S A LIBERTY WALK! YouTube (hat tip Lamber Strether). An OWS remix.

Congress push to relax US securities laws Financial Times. This is a guaranteed to rip off investors and set the US capital markets back 80 years. Which means it is certain to become law.

“The Wikipedia of Land Registration Systems” Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Um, this is actually a diss to Wikipedia.

Also, Max Gardner’s Boot Camp (the source for cutting edge real estate/foreclosure litigation strategies) has a few slots open for its next CLE course. His last Bankruptcy Boot Camp of the year on December 8 and is offering NC readers (attorneys only) a great discount on the last couple of spaces by signing up through this link by Friday. Take advantage of this special offer to join the amazing list of graduates like Nick Wooten, Tom Cox, April Charney and many others who have learned Max’s approaches for representing consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure defense clients.

Antidote du jour. According to the e-mail from furzy mouse, George, who looked to be the runt of his litter, is now the biggest dog in the world. He is 7 feet long, nearly 4 feet tall at his shoulder and weighs 250 lbs.

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  1. dearieme

    We were once strolling down a street in Tours. One garden gate carried the sign “Chien mechant”. So did another; and a third, and a fourth. Then we came to one that announced “Chien bizzare”.

    1. Jim

      I spent a quarter in Tours and so enjoyed running along the Loire River at sunrise, seeing the crest marks under the bridges. So much history (compared to US cities).

  2. Middle Seaman

    The article on Yasha Levin accents the violent police forces putting down a dangerous insurrection. Except for the fatalities, Assad is in the house and we are Syria.

    Only anti-democratic regimes consider popular opposition as a violent insurrection. If we had a Democratic president, she/he would send the military to stop the police.

    1. ambrit

      Mr Seaman;
      Alas, the history of America is for any ‘military’ interventions to be for the benefit of the elites, not the masses. Even the much vaunted Little Rock National Guard desegregation was in the interests of the Federal Authority dominating the Local Authority. (Even bad policies can be popular, as the Tea Party ‘movement’ attests.) The Posse Comitatus doctrine is in our system for a very good reason. Military culture is inherently anti Democratic. The military was wisely kept out of domestic affairs. They do what they do, and we do what we do; do not mix the two.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        ALERT: find a new route to FOIA:

        “Paul Schiff Berman Named Dean of GW Law” came up on click today: – announcement by “GW President Steven Knapp” duly noted: Knapp name connects GW, Tulane University, Aspen Institute (with *German Romantic* roots), and *history* of service to the 1% from Holy Roman Reich III-IV.

        On the site today is a photo set of the *usual suspects* for Obama’s *anti-AIDS global putsch* on news today.

        Re ZALMAY KHALILZAD’s running connection with the malefactors listed in the post above, see my commenariat post yesterday on NC’s: “Woman Facing Sentincing For Foreclosure Fraud… by Yves, which led to 200+ comments. The dots between KHALILZAD, Bush-Cheney-Unocal/Chevron and Cheney’s Halliburton with Karzai/Unocal/Afghanistan and Iran’s alternative pipeline plan.

        One of the references used for Khalilzad’s role for the Reich is to a piece in The George Washington University’s “The National Security Archive” – entitled: “The Nuclear Vault: The Making of the Cheney Regional Defense Strategy, 1991-1992.” Khalilzad, George W. Bush’s *Ambassador to Afghanistan* was a major writer of the document at issue, under the wing of “Scooter” Libby, delivering the WILL of Richard Cheny in print.

        The document morphed into “The Project for a New American Century” — the *PNAC* of “conspiracy theory” infamy.

    2. craazyman

      that’s a big “except” h ahahaha hahaha

      ws thinkin other day how much the Syrians must think Americans are nuts.

      A few kids get the tabasco sauce sprayed on their hair by a fat guy with a badge in Californya and the whole country convulses like it was Armageddon. LOL.

      I think that’s a sign of enlightenment, personally and I’m sure the Syrians are double-minded about it. They probably think we’re total wimps on the one hand and on the other, wish they were here. Or at least there but have tabasco sauce instead of lead. Weird how the double mind works.

    1. Anon

      That is not a dog, it is a horse.

      When animals of the same species can no longer mate, are they still the same species?

      Because that thing could do a lot of damage to a chihuahua.

        1. K Ackermann

          By some accounts, Wolfram’s Mathematica is the best designed (internally) piece of software there is. He’s done many amazing things, and is interested in many amazing things, but teaming up with Ray Kurtzweil is suspect.

          RK is a smart man who is close to running off the rails, and won’t leave this man-machine fusion thing alone. He attempted to objectively quantify man’s technology advancement through the ages, which is difficult because it always appears to be leaping forward at a great clip to every generation (fractal-like), but by using careful metrics such as communication bandwidth, he claims we are about to go hyperbolic.

          Maybe he’s right, but why he thinks it will be with robots is beyond me. I believe we will identify and the gene that controls the amount of wrinkling in the cerebral cortex and be able to increase the surface area of our own brains faster than we can make an artificial intelligence.

          It’s almost like he doesn’t understand the problems with AI, or the lesson of Kurt Goddel. It’s not algorithmic, buddy.

          1. Flying Kiwi

            Unfortunately brain size has very little correlation to ‘intelligence’. AI will always be ‘smarter’ because it excludes the extraneous, like ego and even self-preservation, and is ruthless in applying logic to its outcome however undesirable it might be.

            Of course what constitutes the extraneous and the rules of logic to be applied will always be programmed in by human ‘intelligence’.

      1. Jim Sterling

        “Is A Universal Social Net Good Macro Economics?”

        Yes, because the more workers turn down unemployment because the social net is better than the job, the better the jobs have to be to attract workers. Macroeconomically, labor shortage is a known good thing: think of the Sixties. The better the jobs, the more the workers spend in the economy (rich people don’t spend, they lock their wealth up in safe stores of value).

        Generous social nets share this trait with other kinds of artificial labor shortage, like the European Working Time Directive, that limits the number of hours an employer or combination of employers can employ one worker in a week.

        (instead of employing two workers for 54 hrs/wk, employers must employ three workers for 36 hrs/wk instead. The third worker, who would otherwise be unemployed, goes out and spends her wages on groceries and furniture, creating a demand for yet more workers, and higher wages per worker)

        The result is everyone working, low unemployment, low benefit costs to the taxpayer, and high production. But it makes for unhappy employers microeconomically, because each employer thinks he could out-compete the other employers if only he was able to can a third of his workers. He doesn’t appreciate that that only works if the other employers can’t do the same thing.

      2. Jim Sterling

        “When animals of the same species can no longer mate, are they still the same species?”

        It’s a good question, but the answer is that no animal is of a species. Only populations are species.

        If a population of Great Danes mated with each other a lot, and another population of chihuahuas mated with each other, but each rarely mated with one of the other population, the result would be recognized by biologists as two species (for example, biologists treat wolves and coyotes as two species, even though they are known to occasionally interbreed in the wild, with fertile offspring, because they usually don’t)

        There are little gotchas around this usually useful rule. One is human interference with breeding, another is “ring species”, gulls that consist of one interfertile population in a band around the pole, where the individuals of one end of the ring can’t interbreed with the individuals of the other end. One species? If not, then how many?

        Finally, there’s the Alpha Centauri question: if a group of people blasted off in a ship to Alpha Centauri, knowing none of them would ever meet anyone from Earth again, do they become a new human species on the exact day of the launch?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          The answer is No? Consider the .01% DNA sets shipped to occupy Mars. They will still be the .01% if they live, won’t they?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Jim Sterling, I have a question.

          If members from the Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens population of those making $1 billion/year don’t breed with members of the Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens popultion of those making $250,000/yr, even with fertile offspring, are they two different species?

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I guess what I am asking is, are the 0.1% of a different species from that of the 99.9% if they don’t mate with each other?

          1. Glenn Condell

            ‘I guess what I am asking is, are the 0.1% of a different species from that of the 99.9% if they don’t mate with each other?’

            It’s only if they can’t produce offspring together. We’ve not reached that point yet, but if the 1% end up winning the war (after ‘losing’ the odd battle here and there) and tighten their iron grip on governance; not just on the electoral and policy-making aspects but over it’s coercive and social control powers, then it won’t be long before their ownership of bio-tech innovation will begin the process of genetic manipulation that will produce bigger, smarter, better-looking 1%ers who will never get sick, need almost no sleep, live for hundreds of years and only frolic with starving 99%ers for sport.

            If it CAN happen, it will.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Going with what Jim Sterling wrote, if they can reproduce successful but don’t mate often (as in more than just frolicking for fun), they don’t belong to the same species today, not some near or distant future.

            Is that correct?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know if you notice, but in nature, it’s rare for a member of species to be 2 or 3 times the average size of that species – in brain size, weight, height, food consumption, energy consumption, wealth size, etc – much less 1,000 times.

      And yet, here we are, we have nations that are 1,000 times bigger than others.

      To have a country with a billion people in this world is like having a billionaire in a village of 100 where most are making $10,000/yr. It’s not a friction-free village, to put it mildly.

      Even in a country of 200 million people, to have trillonaire-wannabees and billionaires where most are making $40k/yr is not natural. Maybe 2 or 3 times size difference, but not 25,000 times!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Isn’t this what’s behind the ChristianEvangelical and “White Guy” Breeding Putsch designed to outbreed *Muslims*?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Extremistan/non gaussian distribution is very rare in terms of animal/plant size or their engery consumption.

          I don’t think Taleb offered any evidence at all of a bird owning 25,000 times more worms than any other birds in the same species.

          Or a ‘master of his harem’ elephant seal having 25,000 times more wives than other elephant seals.

          Or a rat 25,000 times larger than its fellow rats.

          It’s rare in nature.

          1. EmilianoZ

            That’s exactly the point that Taleb makes. Natural, physical phenomena usually follow a Gaussian distribution. Man-made stuff (like income) doesn’t.

            Maybe “fat tail” distribution is better than “non Gaussian” distribution.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It should be ‘Extremistan/non gaussian distribution is very rare in terms of animal/plant size or their engery consumption WITHIN THE SAME SPECIES.’

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s broader than just income.

            One has to be amazed that in a world of 100 (plus or minus) countries, one nation is 10 times more populous than average and wonders at the consequences.

  3. Maju

    “Hah, would serve him right after not getting tough with the banks”.

    What worries me the least is how the Eurocrisis may affect Obama. I’m worried about my life and that of all Europeans.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I think ACLU actually dropped the ball this week. Failure of Udall was likely a good thing. Emptywheel and her stellar commenters covered it all very well over the last few days. I would highly recommend to those who have time read the last few days worth of posts on this matter… If you only have time to read one post… check the current post on where we are now and what she suggests should be done.

  4. Hubert

    “The German SPD and Socialist parties now favor ECB monetizing and Eurobonds.”
    This is definitely NOT news. They always did.

  5. Hubert

    Fish or meat ?

    Does Anybody Who Gets It Believe Central Banks Did All That Much Yesterday? – 12/01/2011

    Fed saves Europe’s banks as ECB stands pat Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. This is correct. If the ECB was backstopping the banks adequately (or if they were forced to recapitalize), dollar lenders would not be so wary.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think more than Europe’s banks are saved…are we talking about American hedge funds maybe or banks?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Saving them on their dollar funding gap only buys them time. It does not really save them. When a big Eurobank fails (and my candidate is Unicredit, but who knows who it will be) a ton of dominoes fall.

      And Fed currency swaps have to be reversed. The Fed can offer new swaps but Republicans don’t like the Fed and like foreign bailouts even less. That doesn’t mean the Fed will stop, but I expect a pound of flesh to be extracted from the Fed if the swap lines are used for a meaningful time.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Jim S;
      What’s not to like? (Insert snark here.) If one were a dedicated LiberDarwinian, the idea of inefficient old mankind being supplanted by the shiny new UberNieMann hordes, (ur, swarms,) would be heaven on earth.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          I get a kick out of Kurzweil.

          In the documentary Transcendent Man, he is seen dismissing the “negative” types out there by saying that we can imbue AI with “human values” and this will make everything all right!

          He says this without a hint of irony. And certainly without a hint of understanding!

          I think you can imagine the guffaws that erupted from the A. Jones central compound when that phrase was sent forth into the world! My neighbors still talk of that day and the maniacal laughter that could be heard throughout the entire community.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Consider the *neuronal circuitry* of computer programmer engineers with delusions of grandeur. Consider the neuronal circuitry of quants and “high-speed traders.” Consider the passionate boosters of *the singularity* who relish the thought that THEIR robot-brain will the the Boss of Humanity. Consider the number of those with autism and Asberger’s syndrome who dominate these “professions.”

      Do WE want “THEM!” to be the “Boss of Us?” Do something.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          I have great sympathy for those on the *autistic* spectrum, my brother is one of these. Because I know this condition so well, I must insist that the programmers, quants, engineers, etc. with autistic tendencies canNOT be permitted to creat robots and *the singularity* which will govern the life of all persons in the world. This is unacceptable TYRANNY by persons known to have difficulty RELATING to other humans emotionally, who have “trouble” with empathy.

          Your comment attempts to box my view into a cruel cliche.

  6. Jeff

    Nice backup to this article:
    “In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats”.

    Another reason to eat organic food. No GMOs allowed.
    And it has to be proven by certification.

    Organic comes in various strengths. The strongest and most thoroughly vetted is Oregon Tilth. Oregon based companies and others that choose to use it, like many of Costco’s outstanding organic products, are certified by Oregon Tilth.

    Next in quality is CCOF, or California Certified Organic Farmers. It covers CA companies and is much better than what is light years further down in quality, which is
    “USDA Organic”, a national label that is still far better than conventional, (the government was going to allow irradiated food, sewage sludge fertilizer, etc. until the largest comment in history from outraged citizens made them back down).

    Finally, the weakest organic standard is ‘Quality Assurance International’. This is a large set of profit seeking middlemen that hires foreign inspectors to “guarantee” that food has been raised to exacting organic standards. Whole Foods uses them to “guarantee” that their Chinese raised produce is organic.

    Best site to learn about organic food and the organic industry.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      I thought Costco was a Chinese company. If so, do you really trust their *organic*-labelled products? Do you recall the melamine-in-the-milk (or baby formula) scandal, the lead in paint? Do you think Chinese ubercapitalists *give a fig* about us?

        1. Lois

          Costco is not a Chinese company, it is based out of Issaquah, WA (near Seattle). I grew up in Seattle; the very first store opened south of downtown when I was about 10.

          1. NeilK

            You might be confusing Costco the wholesaler with Cosco Container Lines – which is based in Shanghai.

    2. non-GMO

      Since bees cross fertilize GMO fields with non-GMO fields, it’s hard to say that any produce is 100% non-GMO now.

      just FYI

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Yes, Monsanto (and ADM?) have contaminated the food chain deliberately, counting on bees and other “nature” to finish their dirty work for them. Think of what the wind does for them. Right up there with the Japanese nuclear pollution.

        This is truly wicked.

  7. Gareth

    Re: The push to relax securities laws:

    At our house we have small collection of worthless railroad stock certificates peddled to my wife’s Grandfather by an insurance salesman in the 1920’s. The railroad company just kept printing new stock and selling it without any record of how many shares were outstanding. Come 1929 the company collapsed like a house of cards, but the CEO did end up dying in prison, unlike today.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Isn’t that how *naked derivatives* work for hyperdilution of basis, on the quick and on the cheap (for some)?

  8. Doc Holiday

    What can I do to be part of the occupation? What am I going to do to occupy Wall Street?”­11/11/25/occupy_everywhere_mic­hael_moore_naomi_klein

    But I just please want to second what Naomi said, that this is the “no kidding around” moment. My friends, please, the ship has sailed in. The ship will leave. As Bill said, many of these things that have happened in our 200-plus-year history have failed or been crushed. And this is our moment. This is the moment for it to happen. It will only happen if every single person in this room, tonight, when you leave, and you go home, you have to say to yourself, “What am I doing? What can I do to be part of the occupation? What am I going to do to occupy Wall Street?”

  9. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Vivement le retour…” German election that might put the socialists in power is far away: September 2013. What to do? Brussels explains German law to Merkel, how she *don’t git it*. That’s all.

  10. Perplexed

    Just curious, why hasn’t there been any discussion on this blog about the Bloomberg story alleging that Hank Paulson tipped off a group of hedge fund managers of the impending government takeover of Fannie and Freddie?

    As an unsophisticated observer, I rely on the excellent analysis and comments in this blog. Did I miss something or is this story not worthy of discussion?

    1. barrisj

      I posted it here a couple of days ago, and although YS responded, the story didn’t seem to have legs…my thought is that this is yet again another in a long series of subtle corruption stories into which the banksters and USGov have been immersed since 2008, and, so —what else is new?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Hate to say it, this sort of thing is OLD news. Gonzalez tried getting people up in arms about how the Greenspan telegraphed coming interest rate moves to various investors in the mid 1990s.

      1. Perplexed

        Thanks barrisj and Ms. Smith. I suspected as much. But does it indicate any shift in how events are being portrayed in the msm?

  11. barrisj

    More despatches from the bankster front:

    Banks fuel cartel-money problem

    Despite strict rules set by international regulatory bodies that require banks to “know their customer,” inquire about the source of large cash deposits and report suspicious activity, they have failed to do so in many high-profile cases and instead have allowed billions in dirty money to be laundered

    MEXICO CITY — Money launderers for ruthless Mexican drug gangs long have had a formidable ally: international banks.

    Despite strict rules set by international regulatory bodies that require banks to “know their customer,” inquire about the source of large cash deposits and report suspicious activity, they have failed to do so in many high-profile cases and instead have allowed billions in dirty money to be laundered.

    And those who want to stop cartels from easily moving money express concern that guilty banks get off with a slap on the wrist.

    Wachovia last year agreed to pay $160 million in forfeitures and fines after U.S. prosecutors accused the banking powerhouse of “willfully” overlooking the suspicious character of more than $420 billion in transactions between the bank and Mexican currency-exchange houses — much of it probably drug money, investigators say.

    Wachovia was moving money through wire transfers, traveler’s checks, even large hauls of bulk cash, investigators said. Some money was traced to purchases of small airplanes used to smuggle cocaine from South America to Mexico, they said.

    “Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said last year.

    Wachovia paid the $160 million in what is called a deferred-prosecution deal; no one went to prison, and the fines were a tiny fraction of the money the bank had filtered. Wachovia acknowledged serious lapses.

    Yet again the DOJ/Holder declines to file charges against big banks for outright criminal actions…do we see a pattern here? Yet again a derisively low pay-a-fine “settlement” to avoid prosecution. All the DOJ does, for God’s sake, is incentivize criminal conduct amongst the banksters – where is the force of deterrence that perp-walking can impose on these hoodlums? DOJ vigourously chases after Muslim organisations with their halwa money transfers, charging “material aid to terrorist organisations”, whatever, but turn a blind eye to blatant money laundering by the banksters. Where is “Justice” in the DOJ? Banks now are little more than white-collar criminal organisations that have received fed protection and sanction for their conduct, and NOBODY is doing anything about it, least of all the Nobel Laureate hopey-changey dickhead.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      HSBC “complying* – “without admitting to wrongdoing.” This means that the folks they screwed cannot sue. Nice touch.

      Surely HSNC principal DNA goes back to the days of the “Opium Wars” and the British East India Company bought out by the “British Empire”–the German Empire promulgated through Victoria’s grandsons in Prussia/Germany, Russia, England-Ireland-Scotland-Wales and in *the colonies* which still exist north of our border (even in “French Canada”).

      Connect with The Russell Foundation of YALE, with Skull and Bones: Dulles, Bush, CIA, for the Global Reich of Aryan Power and Glory: “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History” by the Jesuit-schooled Portuguese Plinio Correa de Oliveira (York, PA, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), “a registered name of The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc.”–which has enthralled the new Olde Confederacy and Aryan Nations as a militant force for the 1% at the behest of the .01%, in conjunction with:

      “TOP SECRET AMERICA: The Rise of the New American Security State” — book of that name by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin (New York, Little, Brown and Company, 2011).

      Little, Brown and Company was the publisher in June, 1932 of Garet Garrett’s “THE [A] BUBBLE THAT BROKE THE WORLD”–see:

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Horsemeat datapoint.

    In Japan, you can get it as sushi.

    Welcome to the world of Basashi.

    If you want donkey burger, you will have to go to Baoding, Hebei (China).

  13. c.

    RE: Wolfram. Someone very close to me used to work for Wolfram, very high/close to him. Personal saga did not end well there as Wolfram was paranoid and very inappropriate ego’d. The person close to me left because he said “I don’t get paid to play doctor to that” (He’s a tech, not a doctor) The stories I heard from the inside tell me that I wouldn’t trust anything out of him except to think that it’s the ravings of an insane man.

    1. Al

      I like the singularity as a scifi concept, but yeah, as has been said elsewhere, it’s just a geek version of the Rapture.

    2. liberal

      AI has been a spectacular failure, so why should anyone believe Kurzweil et al.?

      Re nanotech, the late Nobel laureate Richard Smalley totally demolished Drexler in a debate about the viability of key nanotech concepts (like nanoassemblers).

  14. Al

    Anyone else think that the WSJ article on Fukushima was another load of bs?

    They even mention how TEPCO themselves continaully obfuscated the situation and yet quote them on how the situation is ‘under control.’

    There will be no cold shutdown by the end of the year. The cores will not be cleaned up and dismantled in our lifetimes.

    1. manhatto

      For months there were industry hacks writing in to this blog saying how they “knew” that nothing had melted down and we were all just a bunch of paranoid conspiracy freaks.

      Where are they now?

  15. Jessica

    From Obama’s morbid fear of European meltdown
    “Despite the severe threat that the crisis poses to the US, Washington’s leverage remains frustratingly limited.
    Even if Europe needed and requested financial help from the US, the money would not be forthcoming. “Congress would say no,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.”

    Won’t the Fed just extend them funds as it did yesterday?

  16. Hugh

    Is it just me or does the title of the French article look grammatically incorrect? What does “vivement” modify? I can see “vivent” or “le retour vif” but not “vivement”.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, “Vivement” is the adjective modifying “le retour.” We likely would place a comma after “Vivement” to make this clear.

      1. EmilianoZ

        I think “vivement” is rather an adverb which could be translated as “quickly”. The verb here is omitted.

        A simpler example is the title of a Truffaut movie: “Vivement dimanche!”, which could be translated as “may sunday come quickly!”. In the French version the verb was omitted.

        1. Hugh

          Actually “vivement dimanche” works for me as well. “Vivement le retour” clunks. Even if you take it as “Vivement qu’il vienne le retour”, a sort of hortatory use of the subjunctive, this clashes with the ellipsis in “en … Allemagne”. That is there is no reason for the three dots if the meaning were “may it come”. I also noted another grammatical error in the text which did not give me any confidence about the writer’s command of style.

  17. paper mac

    The science behind the paper in the “How Food Affects Genes” is fine, it’s just interpreted tendentiously. The paper reported that naturally occurring microRNAs from rice can be found in human blood, that in mice, they tend to concentrate in the liver, and that when transformed liver cells (in a dish) are exposed at extremely high levels to these microRNAs, the expression of some genes changes. That’s pretty interesting in and of itself, but it doesn’t say much about GM foods. The transgenes in GM foods do not code for microRNAs, and there’s no evidence that the messenger RNAs they DO code for are transported in this manner.

    The evidence around the use of corporate GM crops is compelling- they exist to destroy local knowledge and landraces, to extract rent from previously unprofitable seed propagation activities, and to generate a legible, appropriable surplus from monoculture cultivation. They are the point of Corporate Ag’s spear, and should be opposed on that basis. There is no need to go for weird interpretations of exploratory papers investigating the effects of rice microRNAs on cholesterol metabolism.

      1. liberal

        Yeah—that’s really what this site is about, is central to why modern political economy is totally f*cked up, etc etc.

  18. barrisj

    Has anyone seen Jon Corzine recently?

    Where in the World Is Jon Corzine?
    When was the last time anybody saw Jon Corzine?

    For several days following the bankruptcy of MF Global, Corzine was regularly appearing in the office. Sources at MF Global told me he spent his days in conference rooms with teams of lawyers and accountants. Then he abruptly resigned as chief executive.

    And for his next act, he vanished.

    Corzine is not an ordinary chief executive. As a former US Senator and former Governor of New Jersey, he is a public figure. He was even under consideration to be the next Treasury Secretary.

    As one of the few people who can answer questions about what happened to MF Global-how it went from a healthy midsized commodities brokerage to a fatality-Corzine should be in front of the public offering explanations. He used publicity to climb his way to the top of America’s power-structure, and now he’s trying to hide. This seems unfair.

    The explanation, no doubt, is that his lawyers have told him to keep quiet. They realize that there is a very high risk that civil and criminal cases may be filed against Corzine. As they say on the cop shows, anything he says can and will be used against him.

    This strategy may protect Corzine legally. But it won’t save his reputation.

    Every day of silence, every day of invisibility, just adds to the public impression that Corzine is not an honorable man.

    Every day of silence, every day of invisibility, just adds to the public impression that Corzine is not an honorable man. Ya think? No, really, ya reckon? He probably has a long-term lease on one of Dick Cheney’s “secure and undisclosed locations”, and is well-removed from process servers and the like. But wait, this surely won’t bar his consideration for SecTreas in a second Obama administration, will it? Come on, pay a fine – if necessary, then make a Croesus-sized contribution to Obama’s re-election campaign, and Bob’s yer uncle.

        1. barrisj

          Regrettably, “Kenny-boy” bunged off before his sorry arse was hauled into Federal Court – never mind, his successors live on. Late-capitalism survives on massive fraud and government collusion, and the clock is ticking, mo’fo’s.

  19. OregonChris

    Anyone want to sponsor an under-employed recent law grad to go to Max Gardener’s BK boot camp? I only represent consumers. Swear I will forsake a career in the law before I would ever work for the dark side!

  20. reslez

    Luke Alphey, whose company Oxitec was originally hired by James to design the flightless female genetic modification, is so confident that these genetic warriors work, and that there will be no environmental ill effects, that he has taken advantage of the lack of regulation in many areas to conduct full scale field tests in the wild.

    These tests are reckless, will not work, and ought to be criminal. The researchers are certainly able to cause a temporary population crash, but this creates an empty ecological niche. A niche that’s quickly taken over by other disease-bearing mosquito species (some even worse). And the crash is only temporary, since the females that don’t reproduce… don’t reproduce, and those genes die out. And this is assuming everything goes as expected. Experts rate risks far differently than the population as a whole and are not immune to bias. When it comes to unleashing genetically modified organisms in the wild one would prefer to see a bit of prudence and oversight. It’s not like we have a planet to spare.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      YY, thank you for the link to a delightfully intelligent, candid conversation, broadcast on Late Night Live”” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio National), between the interviewer and former Australian P.M., Paul Keating. NEVER would I expect such a conversation to be broadcast from the U.S.

      The discussion of Mr. Keating’s new book, “AFTERWORDS: The Post-Prime Ministerial Speeches of Paul Keating”, was like manna from heaven for the brain and nervous system, a wonderful stimulation to the imagination.

      What a treat this was, especially after dealing with the insanity of the Great Reactionary Mediocrity coming into NC from foreign quarters. It is such a relief to know that somewhere in the world there is sanity, expressed fully, with grace and great intelligence.

      I wish Mr. Keating were our President. He puts Obama to shame, and he buries the Republican contenders correctly. What a horrible choice we have to make. We are not worthy to be *the sole superpower* by a long shot, and we’d better come to terms with this reality quickly.

      Anyhow, you made my day.

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