Toxic botulism in animals linked to RoundUp Food Freedom (hat tip reader Aquifer). Scary. If this story is remotely accurate, we are in a whole lotta trouble.
D’oh! Oil industry lobbyists punked by enviro activist (AUDIO) The Lookout (hat tip Lambert Strether)
Thoughts on Europe and the global synchronised slowdown Ed Harrison
The ECB’s all you can eat cheap money buffet – a primer FT Alphaville. My buddies who read the German press continue to say the ECB has no appetite to balloon its balance sheet to the size needed to forestall real problems (€2-3 trillion).
Mass March by Cairo Women in Protest Over Abuse by Soldiers New York Times
Israel’s emerging ‘Jewish Hezbollah’? Foreign Policy (hat tip reader May S)
China Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber Wall Street Journal. The Journal is nuts. Hacking the Chamber is “bold” when Chinese hackers have already gone after the DoD?
Can the U.S. Government close social media accounts? Glenn Greenwald
Obama and the GOP Circus Show Black Agenda Report (hat tip reader Valissa)
Father Nathan Monk at Pensacola City Council YouTube (hat tip Matt Weidner). This is pretty appalling.
Can We Afford Medicare? James Kwak
Fleet of Wahhhhhmbulances Arrive to Carry Off Grieving 1% Dave Dayen, Firedoglake
Anti-war banker ordered to pay taxes McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)
Republicans vote down 2012 tax deal Financial Times
The Meme that Refuses to Die: Government Debt Must Be Paid Back Steve Roth, Angry Bear (hat tip reader Aquifer)
BofA Said Close to Settling Fair-Lending Probe Bloomberg
Kamala Harris, California Attorney General, Sues Fannie & Freddie Huffington Post
E-Mail Clues in Tracking MF Global Client Funds New York Times
Fed proposes new bank capital rules Financial Times
NY top court allows private securities claims Wall Street Journal
Obama and Geithner: Government, Enron-Style Matt Taibbi (hat tip reader Aquifer)
Antidote du jour. Porcupines are very much underrepresented in Antidotes. I;m told they have nice personalities (why wouldn’t you, if you didn’t have to be afraid of predators?)
@Aquifer, thanks again.
@China hackers: my main customer is one of the 48 chemical companies hacked by China. (I write regulatory compliance software). They have not yet reopened VPN access, so I have had a vacation for almost 2 months. The industry will learn and move on.
The fallout from the attack on the chamber may be greater, if it takes the form of lobbyists storming the Hill screaming “the chinese are coming, quick, regulate the internet!”. There may be an agenda behind pumping this story.
The “Chamber” is simply a business lobby group , right? A purely private outfit, claiming “public spirit”, is it not?
What “valuable secrets” could “the Chamber” have to “compromise”, anyhow?
Are they now part of the US Government (like the CME is taken by some to be)? If they are not, then why should their being “hacked” be of any greater concern whatsoever than anybody else being “hacked”?
What possible damage to anybody could come from that? So they have had some of their computer info copied…so what, exactly? Why should we care?
We should care about the potential overreaction by those who wish to further curb our freedom.
What “valuable secrets” could this business lobby group have the Chinese want?
If you recognize the US Chamber represents big multi-national corporations (NOT small business in the US or even domestic-US-only businesses) and you believe these corporations own the US government, then you can view this as one big business group conducting business espionage against another big business group to obtain advanced warning of acts a puppet Congress may be cuing up to disadvantage the China business group.
Then you should care if you believe either one of those business groups is pursuing outcomes consistent with your interests.
I, however, share the concerns of those who fear further attempts to restrict and control internet content.
The US Chamber of Commerce is like the CIA of business.
Well well, it seems that “hacking” by right-wing newspapers was the standard way they “did business” for many years…
Now that’s some actual factual harmful hacking, invading individual human beings’ rights to security & privacy: and there ought to be heavy penalties for it.
As it’s “business” doing the “hacking”, and not some unknown “Chinese hackers”, nothing is to be done about it.
Especially not heavy coverage on Piers Morgan’s nightly prime-time hour-long show on CNN.
This Chamber thing is a distraction from the ongoing right-wing-tabloid hacking scandals unfolding now in the UK: wasn’t there any of that “journalistic hacking” going on in the USA? None at all? Really?
Quoted from the BBC piece already cited above:
“Phone hacking appeared to be a “bog-standard journalistic tool” for gathering information, a former Daily Mirror financial reporter has said….
He told the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics that he overheard showbiz journalists openly talking about it. ”
I guess hacking was (is?) A-OK if you’re a right-wing “reporter”.
Eleven real Americans are arrested in front of the White House for protesting the KongressKlown-approved indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA:
Normally the president has ten days to sign a bill after it’s sent to him. I’m guessing he will wait until this holiday weekend, perhaps sneaking into the toilet of Air Force One to autograph it while most people are distracted by festivities.
It’s entirely appropriate his squalid act should be conducted in shame and secrecy, as President Osama … sorry, Obama … pounds the final nail into the coffin of American freedom.
That “final nail” , if it is to be pounded at all, will need to be driven by the US Supreme Court.
Just more work for lawyers, imho, this purely symbolic law, uselessly passed by this useless Congress, a “law” which will collapse at the first touch of a Judge.
You US guys may not have noticed, but the wars are over. Really. You can stop fighting now, and relax.
And, lest we forget, it was on President Obama’s watch…that the wars ended.
The wars are over? Not quite sure about that.
Is the welfare over? ………not really.
How ’bout the deficit? …..is that over, too?
Didn’t think so.
Tally ho–carry on, the welfare-warfare state.
And, lest we forget, it was on President Obama’s watch…that the wars ended.
There are more American soldiers in Afghanistan now than there were when Obama took office in January 2009. Although then-candidate Obama promised to bring American troops home by July 2011(1), he has extended their stay until 2014.
Senior US and European military officers are now claiming US and NATO troops may stay even longer.(2)
Well, except for Libya, Afghanistan, whatever the heck’s going on with Iran, coming domestic use of the military, plus whatever we don’t know about yet.
More Kool-Aid, vicar?
We, The People, are aware of that. The war profiteers, (and yes! that includes the sorry collection of bandits and rascals in CONgress) well, they do not war to stop…ever! Too profitable, monetary and politically.
I don’t take my tea backwards, but that seems kind of broad – you US guys?
Probably the best visualization of where we’re headed with these draconian laws is in a fictional work — Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story.
In his near-future dystopia, Americans returning from overseas are quizzed by a sinister interactive cartoon character; one has to pass through a TSA-style gauntlet to board the Staten Island ferry; everyone’s credit score is available on the internet (and only the Chinese yuan counts as hard currency). Despite the grim backdrop, black humor and parody are ladled on plentifully.
From Shteyngart’s recent interview by the Times-Titanic:
A nice touch on the Derridean concept, “the future has a future.” Relatedly, you remember the “future” part of the movie, “Back to the Future?” 2015.
Onion skin jeans…hmmmm, sounds like a good idea.
For that alone, he should get a lot of respect.
You mean the jeggings aren’t close enough?
I’d say his clock is right twice a day. Or, you could always go to the ballet.
This morning I was contacted by the “Master Hilarion” people in London about their new book. Never mind what it is.
In researching my reply, I had reason to google “Gurudas” to find that he is still active. “Gurudas” is a high-grade channel (spooky stuff from beyond the real) who has been active since the 1980’s. Most channeled stuff is rubbish, but I digress.
Seems that “Gurudas” has a new book, on treason. In an interview, he says the military, which would be the Pentagon, is locked in battle with the “secret government” which, for the sake of argument I will call our corporate Presidency.
What I found interesting is that “Gurudas” says the military would like to shut down the secret government, but can’t. Lacks the power.
If this is true, and it seems to be a straw in the wind, the military may use their new domestic powers to selectively arrest members of the secret government. The military presumably got these powers by suckering key members of Congress, such as Lieberman, to act on their behalf, leaving Obama out in the cold. (Obama has already been outwitted by Iraq.)
If anyone has contacts (Winslow?), this military vs: presidency could possibly be fleshed out.
Hey, it’s a thin reed. Ralph Nader thinks the rich will save us. Which I took as evidence of senility. The government attacking itself seems like a possibility. Tensions and tempers are awfully high.
In replying to myself, note that Obama’s reluctance to sign the bill was explicitly because it would shift power away from him and to the military. There’s a battle brewing here.
Let’s see if the Obama-rama hate fest can escape from the day is night, up is down, Oh my god, I’m caught in a hall of mirrors simple minded political bullshit mindset. Sorry, no technical graphs on inverse curve relationships, qualitative thinking only. Read the 3 links, do the math and try to allow my to enjoy my Christmas, I’m serious folks, don’t make me put my dashiki on!
“Ralph Nader thinks the rich will save us. Which I took as evidence of senility. ”
“The government attacking itself seems like a possibility. ”
How dare you accuse ‘the Mormons’ of doing that ? [again] ?
Just because the US is still widely regarded as the leader of the free world doesn’t guarantee that its law-abiding citizens won’t ever be shot down by a CIA-operated drone or locked up in a military dungeon for life without so much as a single charge being brought against them. Thanks to President Obama, he has given himself and all future US presidents the power to arrest, detain and even kill American citizens without trial or any due process whatsoever!
So until the Bill of Rights is restored to its former glory, and the president is stripped of his power to act as judge, jury and executioner, the US is no longer deserving of the title “Sweet Land of Liberty,” and Lady Liberty must be shipped back to France before she becomes the next victim of Obama’s love affair with drone justice.
How Nero Obama can get away with calling himself a constitutional scholar is beyond me. If anything, he should be teleported back in time to Imperial Rome where he is can get a taste of his own poison, suffering under the injustice of a tyrannical dictatorship.
What keeps me up at night more than anything else about the indefinite detention bill being signed into law is the fact the mainstream news has been totally tight-lipped about it. This says to me that the news industry is no longer free and independent. It has made the very undemocratic decision to join itself at the hip with the federal government. So when more and more anti-war and anti-Wall Street protesters start demanding that our war and financial criminals be put behind bars (and I’m sure that this is being anticipated by Congress and the White House), there won’t be any news reporters around to report that the president has ordered militarized police forces around the country to round up these protesters and put them behind bars, indefinitely.
Cynthia, I have given up. The criminality has grown beyond what I can comprehend–the outcome for our nation is not certain. I am stepping back, away from it as well as I can, and keeping my head down.
A Timid Wulf
Harmless little guy who sure knows how to stick it to the man. Maybe he has a point. :-P
He looks like he has been doing too much thinking…I think.
From the “Fleet of Wahhhhhmbulances Arrive to Carry Off Grieving 1%” article:
If successful businesspeople don’t go public to share their stories and talk about their troubles, “they deserve what they’re going to get,” said Marcus, 82, a founding member of Job Creators Alliance, a Dallas-based nonprofit that develops talking points and op-ed pieces aimed at “shaping the national agenda,” according to the group’s website.
The “Job Creators Alliance” exists to “develop talking points and op-ed pieces”?
Shouldn’t they be working to develop policies that would, you know, create jobs?
Maybe, if the “Job Creators” were to start actually creating jobs, people would stop being mean to them.
Those who can, do create jobs.
Those who can’t, they wash brains…when they are not busy washing dishes.
From the BBC:
There’s lots of blame to go around here, all the way back to the admittedly anti-Semitic British Mandate Authority and the terrorist Stern Group.
If you want an overview of the ‘Settlement Building Controversy,’ Google the Judaea and Samaria Movement. Then take a gander at the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, circa 1920 to 1940. Then ‘Glubb Pasha’ and the Arab Legion of the ’47 War. It goes on and on.
Good that you mentioned those highly salient points, just be sure to not criticise that nation else George Ballanchine will feel slighted.
Who says Trolls don’t have a sense of humour. I must be particularly dense for I just got the joke in Mr. Ballanchines name/handle. Who would have thought that a world famous choreographer would himself be a puppet for a less than Stravinskyian conductor? “Rights of Spring” my a—!
If any of you are on Yahoo, like I am, Big Brother Is Watching!
Now, the previous 90 day erasure policy for ‘search data’ has been changed to, they keep all ‘search data’ for 18 months! I wonder if the data mining for that lot has been outsourced to Asia too?
But wait! There’s more! Now, if you act at all, Yahoo is now ‘retiring’ their 90 day retention policy on ‘non-search’ information and replacing it with… They don’t say what it’s being replaced with, just that it’s now open ended. Non search data, could that be e-mails?
The one possible silver lining to all this is that ‘after the Crash’ we might all be forced back to a direct, human interaction kind of economic behaviour. (As in: “Hi, I’m Jim, from your local bank. This is a foreclosire notice in my pocket. Don’t do anything funny, and no one will get hurt. Just give me your wallet and empty your pockets. Thanks, have a nice day.”)
Yves, Re: the Monsanto story. Since the source is Joseph Mercola please take it with a mountain of salt. His credibility gap is on the order of Tom Miller due to his association with the antivaccination movement. See, e.g. http://www.skepticblog.org/2010/11/01/joseph-mercola-misinformation-and-fear-mongering-about-vaccines/
I’ll have to partially second that. Glyphosate (Roundup) is NOT a chelator. The interviewed “expert” is calling virtually all pesticides (in broad sense this includes glyphosate) “chelators”. A chelator is a molecule that selectively binds tightly to metals (sequestoring them). Glyphosate is a transition-state analog. It binds to an enzyme in plants that normally generates various important amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan) and blocks its activity. It does so, like many enzymatic inhibitors, by mimicking a transition molecule in the normal process of amino acid generation, but it is a dead-end molecule that cannot be changed to an amino acid. Basically, it plugs up the amino acid generating pipeline. It DOES concentrate in growing portions of the plant as he says (that is why it is only effective against growing plants and will not harm non-actively growing plants).
It does NOT chelate anything. Now, it CAN interfer with non-target organisms too (bacteria, fungi) if their equivalent enzyme will also bind to the transition state analog (glyphosate). It will jam them up just like it will the plant. The OTHER issue with it is as a potential endocrine disruptor. It is shown to disrupt normal activity of nitrogen fixing bacteria associated with plants, degrading richness of soil (as the subject in interview says). It does screw up development of frogs and other amphibians, appears to do harm to earthworms and other beneficial organisms. In mammals, glyphosate (roundup) effects progesterone production, causing problems with fetal development/fertility.
There are reasons to restrict the use of glyphosate and others but the reasons presented must be correct. THEY ARE NOT CHELATORS.
Thank you. I too find it counterproductive when people use bad science in an attempt to advance an otherwise worthy cause. It just damages the credibility of the cause.
Further looking into glyphosate, it can form a salt with either calcium or manganese (not the same as chelation). These salt forms of glyphosate reduces its effectiveness because it is less readily absorbed into the plant.
Furthermore…concerning “Sudden Death Syndrome” in soy (new/unknown life form my ASS). This is from the Purdue University plant disease website at http://www.btny.purdue.edu/extension/pathology/cropdiseases/soybean/Soybean.html
“Disease Name: Sudden Death Syndrome
Pathogen: Fungus. Fusarium solani race A
Symptoms: Yellow interveinal blotches, which become necrotic leaving green tissue along the leaf veins. Leaf blades drop, leaving petioles attached to the stem. Foliar symptoms similar to brown stem rot. Light brown or gray discoloration occurs in internal taproot tissue, while pith remains white.
Conditions: Often occurs with soybean cyst nematode, but SCN not necessary for disease to occur. Cool wet soils in early spring favor infection.
Inoculum Survival: Soil, infected crop residue.
Inoculum Dispersal: Soilborne spores and hyphal fragments.
Management: Crop rotation. Plant as late as possible in the spring, and use cultivars from more than one maturity group. Manage SCN. Timely harvest.”
ALL references to this new so-called “Sudden Death Syndrome” as associated with livestock are, interesting enough, self-referential and link back to the same couple fairly nutty websites. Not a single reference can I find in scientific journals.
One can tie any miscarriages due to glyphosate to the simple, non-sensational, but just as damning effect of glyphosate on progesterone regulation in mammals.
I live surrounded by goddamned GMO crops (corn and soybeans). The farmers spray the f*ck out of them with roundup and other crap. With that much chemical being sprayed it would be no surprise if any local pig farmers or cattle ranchers had issues with livestock fertility (too early to tell if I have issues with poultry fertility – just backyard birds/pets, not some commercial venture). As it is, I see the beginnings of roundup resistant weeds in my pastures. THAT is a certain outcome that is/was easily predicted: evolution happens, you cannot escape it. You do something silly like modify this or that crop to be resistant to herbicide X, it is an absolute certainty that there will develop/evolve a whole host of resistant weeds and other plants. Genes migrate horizontally in plants relatively easily (even happens in vertebrates). Monsanto and the farmers sucked into their criminal food cartel are morons.
As the saying goes, As you occupy Wall Street, Wall Street occupies Nature.
They cover that in Military Strategies 101, maybe also in the Art of War.
Four posts in a row talking about “self referential”,
man, you tell us all about it.
Here’s a good source of information on all things organic.
And as far as absence of pesticides and animal and human health, here’s a tidbit:
There is less salmonella in organic chicken than in conventionally raised chickens, according to a study published in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Diseases.
A team from the University of Georgia, Ohio State University and North Carolina State University tested 300 organic and 400 conventional samples, which included floor droppings, feed sample and drinking water. The scientists concluded that the organic broiler (chickens raised for meat) farms had a 4.3% rate of salmonella prevalence, while the conventional farms rate was nearly seven times that at 28.8%.
I’ve learned more from reading Mercola, in terms of actual improvements to my health, than I have from any other source. My winter colds and flus are virtually gone because he made me aware of the importance of vitamin D3 for example. Perhaps the research doesn’t support this, but everyone I know who supplements with a reasonable amount of D3 (> 2000 IU) over Winter reports similar results.
Mercola also warned us about BPA well before it hit the mainstream. He’s a good source, especially if you have any skepticism about big pharma and allopathic treatment.
Shaxson’s “Treasure Islands” blog links to an article in the Guardian in which UK Lib Dem minister Vince Cable actually publicly says that the interests of Britain are not identical to the interests of The City.
This really does seem an interesting shift in public conversation, as up to now, The City (like Voldemort) preferred to remain invisible in public debates. But the subject can no longer be ignored.
Which I read as fairly cheering news.
Re Kamala Harris…
It’s just publicity churning noise to angle for a cabinet post in D.C.
“What’s the nominal value of the property?””any explosives on the property”? etc.
Cue the song: “LOOK AT ME…”
In the article “Can we Afford Medicare,” the author accurately states that Part B is not pre-funded with taxes.
He left out Part D, which is in the same boat.
75% of the premiums are paid from general revenues, a direct, immediate budget expense, which increases the deficit.
I am curious how he views the trust assets?
Does he take the “Trust Fund Perspective,” which believes Part D is fully funded?
Or, does he take the Budget Government-Wide Perspective, which says that Part D will be a huge drain of federal general revenues?
Regarding the CoC hacking- reverse your framing of WSJ’s logic- think about the fact that the WSJ considers the CoC to be more important than the DoD because in fact it’s the lobbyists who ultimately control the DoD anyway. Maybe, just maybe, the lobbyists need to be considered the center of government now…
Why do I get the impression it’s the settlers against the IDF, and the U.S. ?
And against the cameraman/reporter ?
These people’s arrogance will consume them.
Government debt should be paid back.
When it’s not to be paid back, perhaps we are better off calling it something else.
I see this as a communication problem. When people see the word ‘debt,’ they expect certain things.
Don’t know about social media accounts.
But if we properly call them political media accounts (just ask Mubarak), that will give them better legal protection.
Organic does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms, pesticides or weedkillers like Roundup.
Organic is more nutritious because of the fertility of the organic soil in which it is raised and therefore the produce contains more minerals and it tastes better and thus you eat less of it and obtain the needed minerals and enzymes without the additional calories of factory food.
Organic is more profitable too. Only thing is that the profits go to the farmer and not the chemical corporation.
“…More important than yield, from the farmer’s perspective, is income, and here organic is clearly superior. The 30-year comparison showed organic systems were almost three times as profitable as the conventional systems. The average net return for the organic systems was $558/acre/ year versus just $190/acre/year for the conventional systems. The much higher income reflects the premium organic farmers receive and consumers pay for.
But even without a price premium, the Rodale study found organic systems are competitive with the conventional systems because of marginally lower input costs…Importantly, the Rodale study, which started in 1981, found organic farming is more sustainable than conventional systems. They found, for example, that:
. Organic systems used 45 per cent less energy than conventional.
. Production efficiency was 28 per cent higher in the organic systems, with the conventional no-till system being the least efficient in terms of energy usage.
. Soil health in the organic systems has increased over time while the conventional systems remain essentially unchanged. One measure of soil health is the amount of carbon contained in the soil…”
Good for Erik Thompson. It would be better though, if he got on the main peace bandwagon. The current consensus on tax exaction for war is Santiago Declaration Article 5, paragraph 6:
“Individuals, individually or as members of a group, have the right to object to participate in a working or professional capacity, and to oppose taxation for military expenditures connected with military operations in support of armed conflicts that violate international human rights law or international humanitarian law. States shall provide acceptable alternatives to tax payers who object to the use of their tax money for military purposes.”
So the formula is, withhold consent for use of your taxes for war. Demand verified accounting of nonmilitary use of your funds. Cite the UN Charter and your right to peace.
Re: “1%ers fighting back”…the best quote of the article came from private-equity Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, who was bemoaning the lack of “skin in the game” by low-income workers who pay no (federal) income taxes, yet complain about people like Stevie who pay only cap gains @ 15% on what should be earned income @ 35%!! Well, it’s good to see that the “Job Creators Alliance” is placing op-eds, talking points, and getting “the word out” by scheduling prime-time cable appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg, FBN, and through other idolatrous media to highlight the societal good that being obscenely wealthy can provide to the proles. The entire article reeks of Marie Antoinette-ism, and does offer a better morning jolt than super-caffeinated espresso could ever hope to.
Superwealthy mobilize to mute attacks on rich
Billionaires are using speeches, open letters and television appearances to defend themselves and the richest 1 percent of the population targeted by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
Origin of Stonehenge rocks discovered http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/origin-stonehenge-rocks-discovered-154814786.html
At the end of the article there’s a short video clip (<2 min) on the Winter Solstice, which is TODAY.
Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
Re Jewish Hezbollah, Likud’s Begin was Irgun and Rabin, the last chance for a two state solution, was assassinated by a Jewish extremist in 1995. Jewish extremism has been around since the founding of the state. It’s only getting play now because the scuffles with IDF which have been around for years, anyone remember the evacuation of Gaza in 2005?, are escalating and scaring Israel’s Establishment.
Yves – From Eliot Spitzer today on Slate:
What do you think? Sounds like a great idea to me, but the general timidity of corporate shareholders seems like a huge impediment.
Yves – here’s another one: Countrywide settlement.
I did the math from the article: $335M/210K borrowers amounts to about $1600 per borrower.
Bet they charged them 4-5 times that or more in fees and interest.
4-5x? More likely 20-50x..
I also wasn’t counting the potential foreclosures, loss of housing, mental stress, family disruption, etc.
That’s part of the Big Bankster Outstanding Balance, IMO. It can never be repaid.
Just circulating. Anyone want to put this through the traps?Head spinning…. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/belovenow/2011/12/13/living-in-the-now
Finland ‘finds Patriot missiles’ on China-bound ship WTF is this?
Some days the links are so depressing that in addition to the antidote du jour, I think we need another antidote in the evening.
My antidote for this evening was to watch Mulholland Dr, David Lynch’s masterpiece.
“No hay banda. Il n’y a pas d’orchestre . There is no band. It is all a recording….it’s an illusion.”
Mulholland Dr. trailer 1:42 sec
Antidote. Does vehicle below need to be updated?
Q. What’s the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?
A. A porcupine has its pricks on the outside.