Links 7/6/12

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Dust today, gone tomorrow: Astronomers discover Houdini-like vanishing act in space Science Daily (Chuck L)

Dark matter’s tendrils revealed Nature (furzy mouse)

Fukushima Disaster Was Man-Made, Investigation Finds Bloomberg. Um, since the reactor was man made, this has to be true….

Fired Florida Lifeguard’s Coworkers Out After Admitting They’d Save Man Outside Zone Yahoo. So why isn’t someone getting the company fired?

What the ‘Internet doomsday’ virus is and how to fix it Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Crammed Into Cheap Bunks, Dreaming of Future Digital Glory New York Times

Money Won’t Make You Nicer: What Science Says About Rich People’s Behavior Huffington Post

Mother describes horrific abuse of son who had legs broken at military school in his first four days and vows she will not stop until the ‘kids are safe’ Daily Mail

WikiLeaks begins publishing two million Syria e-mails AFP

WikiLeaks begins publishing two million Syria e-mails Guardian (Nigeria, furzy mouse)

China’s ghost ships ply the bulk routes MacroBusiness

Obama challenges Chinese car import tax Financial Times

Eurozone crisis: Tough questions for Franco-German axis after Merkel’s big defeat Guardian

Greece drops demand to ease bailout terms Financial Times

ECB Death Wish Paul Krugman


The rotten heart of finance Economist. Debunks the idea that the rate fiddling was “victimless.”

Barclays’ US deal rewrites Libor process Financial Times (furzy mouse)

Traders’ Messages Provide Grist for Investigators Wall Street Journal

Osborne and Balls trade blows as MPs vote on bank inquiry Independent

The Barclays ethos infects our culture. Purge the entire board Guardian

Wall Street Bank Investors In Dark On Libor Liability Bloomberg

Mitt Romney’s Irrational Conservative Critics Bloomberg

June Retail Sales Reflect Consumer Qualms Wall Street Journal

Don’t Expect the Affordable Care Act to Get Popular Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Five reasons the summer curse may strike Gillian Tett, Financial Times. The old Tett seems to be baaack. Welcome but a bearish sign if I ever saw one.

States Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Could Reduce Their Rolls Without Consequences Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Fannie and Freddie Demands Could Pressure Bank Earnings WSJ Deal Journal. Um, Chris Whalen has been saying this for quite some time.

Lambert has landed in Thailand but is having power woes, so he’ll be back to you later. He thanks you for the feedback.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Richard Kline

    ‘Dark Matter Tendrils Revealed’ to be hairs growing from the nose of the Dimon, seeking fresh capital and the first born of the suckers’ masses to engulf and devour.

    1. fresno dan

      Yeah, talk about being between his tendrils and the vampire squid’s tenticles…

  2. rjs

    Maple Seed ‘Samarai’ Drones Will Swarm The Future, Lockheed Martin Predicts

    Imagine a cheap, tiny, hovering aerial drone capable of being launched with the flick of a person’s wrist and able to provide manipulable 360-degree surveillance views.

    It’s real, it’s inspired by maple seeds, and the company behind it, Lockheed Martin, envisions a future in which swarms of the new drones can be deployed at a fraction of the cost and with greater capabilities than drones being used today by the military and other agencies.

    1. James

      I’ve got a friend whose wife is an exec for Lockheed. For the life of me, I can’t understand how defense contractor employees and their families can possibly think that “the force” they’re creating is now being or will ever only be used for good. It takes a high degree of brainwashed enhanced naivete I guess. That and a whole lot of cash and benefits enhanced willful ignorance. Now if they’d just turn some of that high tech weaponry loose on Wall St (for starters) I might reconsider…

    2. BondsOfSteel

      What helps me sleep better at night is the realization that this technology is like Pandora’s Box. This stuff isn’t like an F-22… the technology/cost barrier is so low that not just goverments will have these. Everyone will.

      Sure, the goverments might try and control them, but since they can be built using off the shelf components and controled remotely….

      Oh, and weaponizing them isn’t a huge leap either. Pandora’s Box indeed.

      1. F. Beard

        Reminds me of this:

        He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. Revelation 9:2-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    3. enouf

      Don’t look now .. this is a Re-Broadcast from 02/21/2011

      Think small to solve big problems. That, in a nutshell, is the promise of nanotechnology. In this barely visible world, batteries charge 100 times faster and drugs go straight to their targets in the body. Discover some of these nano breakthroughs and how what you can’t see can help you.. …or hurt you? What if tiny machines turn out to be nothing but trouble? We’ll look at the health and safety risks of nanotech. Plus, scaling up in science fiction: why a Godzilla-sized insect is fun, but just doesn’t fly.


      * Bill Flounders – executive director of the Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley

      * Joseph DeSimone – professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chemical engineering at North Carolina State University

      * David Guston – political scientist at Arizona State University where he directs The Center for Nanotechnology in Society

      * Stan Williams – Senior Fellow and founding director of the Information and Quantum Systems Lab at Hewlett-Packard

      * Michael LaBarbera – Professor in organismal biology, anatomy and geophysical sciences, University of Chicago

      May God have mercy on us all …


  3. fresno dan

    The rotten heart of finance Economist. Debunks the idea that the rate fiddling was “victimless.”

    “Another issue is the conflict central banks face, in times of systemic banking crises, between maintaining financial stability and allowing markets to operate transparently. Whether the BoE instructed Barclays to lower its submissions or not, regulators had a pretty clear motive for wanting lower LIBOR: British banks, in effect, were being shut out of the markets. The two hardest-hit banks, RBS and HBOS, were both far too big to fail, and higher LIBOR rates would have made the regulators’ job of supporting them more difficult.”

    There it is again – once you get into the Far TBTF mess, you see that regulators spend more time worrying about the banks instead of the nation. You simply can’t have a market economy if it is not possible to allow companies to fail – especially when their failure is due to such obvious incompetence and criminality.

    1. K Ackermann

      And TBTF is an incetive for criminality. Game theory is telling these banks they MUST behave like criminals.

    1. LucyLulu

      Sounds very promising indeed, if it pans out as hoped. I had posted a couple days ago that biological products were where the research was being done now. They are seen as the wave of the future, having very specific type cells that they target, while having no effect on others (in theory, anyways). There are already somewhere between 10 and 20 on the market now, Humira for rh. arthritis, one of the ashthma products (Advair???), cancer chemos, etc. They bring in big bucks for the drug companies and have particularly incentivized patent protections.

      They’re still a ways off from moving to clinical trials in humans for this diabetic treatment. And you noticed the research is being conducted by academia, thus enjoying slave-labor wages, at a government-funded institution (though bigPharma may have provided some grant money, and despite the government does NOT create jobs or provide meaningful services). When they’re ready to start human trials, where will they find the young children to use as the first test patients? Would you volunteer your child? DM Type I is a serious chronic illness but its a known entity, i.e. “the devil you know”.

  4. Valissa

    HI-C sounding rocket mission has finest mirrors ever made

    On July 11, NASA scientists will launch into space the highest resolution solar telescope ever to observe the solar corona, the million degree outer solar atmosphere. The instrument, called HI-C for High Resolution Coronal Imager, will fly aboard a Black Brant sounding rocket to be launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The mission will have just 620 seconds for its flight, spending about half of that time high enough that Earth’s atmosphere will not block ultraviolet rays from the sun. By looking at a specific range of UV light, HI-C scientists hope to observe fundamental structures on the sun, as narrow as 100 miles across.

  5. D. Mathews

    This looks like a veritable disaster-in-the-making for Haiti. Apart from the labor relations history of the company, there is this:
    The consultants acknowledged later that they had done no environmental analysis before making their recommendations. In January 2011, the same consultants returned to do a more in-depth study, required for financing. This time, they sounded some alarms, upgrading the project from moderate to high risk,…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      DM, First they had to kill the UPPITY “Citoyen” Toussaint L’Ouverture.” Then they had to kill whoever has had the temerity to consider “HAITI” (called “St. Domingue” in the French Colonial Era–NOT the same as the Spanish Colonial sector of the island called “Santo Domingo”) for what it came to be under the leadership of French “Citizen” Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Sovereign Free Black Nation-State, to kill/ruin whoever dares to lead this State accordingly.

      Even though this Revolution against the “Imperium” served to free the slaves, to put most of the French Master Class to flight into Louisiana, and to end Napoleon’s dream of French Imperial dominance in the New World, leading to the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803, it is tragic that Toussaint followed the example of Napoleon in his will to “govern” St. Domingue.

      Nevertheless, what Revolutionary Model, what “good example” of Citizen Government did the 99% of “Haiti” set in the 18th Century, which has led to its being CRUSHED evermore by the 1%?

      According to the “realpolitik” of the Agents of the Global Reich the.01%DNA, such a State “sets a good example”–the example of the POSSIBILITY of “democratic self-government” of/by/for the People–to other slave-states ruled by the .01% through their .99% Agency du jour. Such “good examples” of States that have attempted to free themselves from the yoke of the Anglo-American .01%DNA Imperium and their .99% Agency du jour in C.20 are Iran, Chile, Honduras, Guatamala, Viet Nam, El Salvador, and even New Orleans. These “good examples” have been CRUSHED under the IRON HEEL of the 1% Master Class, to “teach a lesson of murderous poverty and oppression” to the REST. For, up to now, it is ordained: that the .01% DNA Global Reich SHALL RULE Earth by self-entitlement to rule Earth, and that There Is No Alternative.

      In sum, “Haiti”–the FIRST NEW WORLD REVOLUTIONARY MODEL of the decisive overthrow of the “White Christian Euro-Slaver .01% Master Class” (and its .99% Agency du jour), by the 99% Servile “Free French Citizen Class–canNOT be permitted to prosper EVER, so long as that .01% DNA Master Class shall live, from generation to generation.

      What should We the People the 99% learn about “Haiti” and its example? See:

      “A COLONY OF CITIZENS: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804” by Laurent Dubois (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Willamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 2004.

      This book was one of many that “turned the tide” of “AMERICAN HISTORY”–that “OTHER” AMERICAN HISTORY, the NOTAnglo-American AMERICAN HISTORY–at the watershed Conference in New Orleans in 2003, entitled: “The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial.” This Conference marked a TURNING POINT for LOUISIANA HISTORICAL TOURISM–which began in 1997 with the Celebration of Francophone Louisiana, called “Francofete,” exploring Acadian and African AMERICAN HISTORY and GENEOLOGY; and which led to the result of an Official Apology, from Imperial Britain, for the Expulsion of the Acadians” from French Canada in the 18th Cenury.

      This JOYFUL SPIRIT of a “New Louisiana” blossomed into an official Tourist Attraction Programme CELEBRATED at a spectacular Conference in_AUGUST, 2005_with the joyful participation of the “Mardi Gras Indians” of New Orleans, in a display of CREATIVE COMPLEX AMERICAN DIVERSITY. In this Conference, Mitch Landrieu (now Mayor of ruined New Orleans) announced to the world that LOUISIANA would become a prosperous, diversified UNIQUE DESTINATION for “HISTORICAL TOURISM.” We screamed in joyful anticipation of the future.

      This joyful Celebration, and the PROMISE of the Prosperous Future of Francophone Louisiana, ENDED abruptly with the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina and the Great Man-Made Flood of 2005.

      Is New Orleans the “Haiti” of the “United States of America?”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The above text is FREE to be posted by all and sundry, in the interest of clarity.

        ISAIAH 55

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        It’s time to re-combine politics and economics more vastly: Tipping Point is nigh:

        The “Auld Alliance” lodged itself in Colonial Louisiana: Roberson-Landry => Landry-Coquille => Coquille-Blanchard is but one strain of Auld Alliance recombinant DNA still living in exile, under Anglo-American Tyranny.

        The “Treaty of Edinburgh” did NOT put paid to the Auld Alliance:

        “Franco-Scottish alliance against England one of the longest in history” – 12 Aug 2011″ – relates the radical discovery of this “harsh reality” by Dr. Siobhan Talbott at the University of Manchester website:

        Reference the “Euro Crisis.” Is the German “Windsor”-Saxon-American .01%DNA Reich the Boss of Us?

        When will the “Ladies from Hell” rise up against the “Anglo-American” FIX in MONOPOLY FINANCE, and join “la belle France” in a Re-combined European Union, opening wide the gate to radical change for the 99% in Europe?

        Will Geoffrey Robertson and Steve Keen “sound the trump” for the Global 99% Revolution right now? Let the world’s pipers lead our parade to freedom.

        The “Higgs Boson Party” at work in the world: “The Word Made Flesh.”
        Haydn: “The Creation.” PSALM 19. Our “Divine God” is a force, not a being.

        “Mesdames et Messieurs, les jeux sont fait.”

      3. D. Mathews

        Pour marquer le départ d’un grand homme, d’un penseur qui a marqué notre temps et notre monde; pour exprimer notre peine, pour témoigner de l’impact d’une vie sur la notre, nous vous invitons à partager avec nous et avec le monde, des témoignages, des photos, des citations dans la langue de votre choix.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Merci, “Tande” – “Vous povez utiliser l’espace des commentaires ou nous envoyer des mails a pour que nous les ajoutons.”
            –Tande, jeudi 5 jeuillet 2012

            in response to “Anthropology Report post on July 5, 2012:
            “In Memorian, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, 1949-2012” — “Michel-Rolph Trouillot–brilliant anthropologist, historian, inspiring thinker–has passed away. Devastating loss for anthropology, history, Haiti, all of us.”

            “Michel-Rolph Trouillot: Power and the Production of History, Zinn Education Project: Haitian scholar, professor, and writer Michel-Rolph Trouillot passed away in the early hours of July 5, 2012 at his residence in Chicago….In his memory, we share an excerpt from the preface to “Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History”: ‘I grew up in a family where history sat at the dinner table. All his life my father engaged in a number of parallel professional activities, none of which defined him, but most of which were steeped in his love of history.'”
            — Teaching a People’s History, 7 July 2012

            This was news to me. Obviously, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, is NOT DEAD!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does the professor have any idea why there should be only 61 elementary particles?

      Is 61 another universal constant? What so special about the number 61?

      1. reslez

        What’s so special about the number 3.141592…?

        Does it need to be specal? It is what it is.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It is what it is, I agree.

          Some people, though, don’t like 4 difference forces. They want a unified theory.

          Some people don’t like universal constants. They think there should be none.

          I imagine these people will take on the number 61.

          1. F. Beard

            What if this universe is a somewhat arbitrary play-pen? What if the chief question to be solved is not what this universe is but who we are?

    2. Mark P.

      Oh, as with the discovery of the electron, it’ll take a while but the probability is that we’ll get some profound technologies out of this.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think this is where science trespasses on faith as we hope we will get some technologies out of it and we pray it will be the good kind rather than the bad kind.

        The eventual outcome ( that we will get some and they will all be good or at least the positive ones outweigh the negative ones) can’t be scientifically proven.

        So here is an interesting moral question: if we can’t be certain what we do will not be harmful, should we still do it?

        1. enouf

          You already know the Arms-Race_Preemptive-Strike_Shock-and-Awe doctrinal answer…

          “If we don’t [pursue this], someone else will”

          (with someone else implied as the Evil-Doers)

          What a dump!


          1. enouf

            This is why why sort of an Us v. Them meme will NEVER result in Harmony for humankind.

            Even as we feel so sleighted by our oppressors (the 0.01% v. the 99.99%), there is one true way, as best i can tell, to end their oppression — Refuse to believe they are your oppressors ; Ignore them (completely, utterly, entirely) ; do Not engage in any sort of activity which they benefit from ; unplug ; opt-out ; do not consent! that, and you take away all sense of control you thought they have over you and your life.

            Nobody ever said it was going to be easy.


  6. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NEWS: Re endangered species: Guardian: A fairy tale “twist” on the frog prince?

    See opinion on “Hyloscirtus princecharlesi” — a Windsor of the Rain Forest.

    Has the City flipped its bread for buttering?

  7. Jim Haygood

    Comment submitted on the ‘Quelle surprise! GAO finds Foreclosure …’ thread, which ‘disappeared’ after submittal [as happens about one of every 20 times with comments]:

    On a subject somewhat related to foreclosure, a realtor acquaintance described to me an online system sponsored by several large banks, which is used to apply for a short sale [i.e., a sale for less than the mortgage balance].

    She described it as a step-by-step process, in which one must submit an exhaustively detailed form at each step, wait for a reply from a bank reviewer [often from elsewhere in the country, with no knowledge of one’s local market] and then proceed to the next step within a tight time constraint.

    If at any point you miss a deadline in the multi-step process, all your work to date is null and void, and you must start all over again at square one.

    My acquaintance claimed that completing the entire process takes weeks and generates dozen of pages of forms and correspondence — all for an uncertain result. She was effusively praised by the attorneys at a closing for having negotiated this ball-busting bankster gauntlet, from which few contestants ever emerge with a prize.

    So unwieldy is the banks’ short sale approval process that many simply give up. Probably a feature, not a bug!

    1. LucyLulu

      I’ve heard that getting approval for short sales from the bank can take weeks and even months. Maybe this is why?

      What a waste of time and manpower on the bank side, too. Seems to me that all the bank needs to know is fair market value, terms of the offer, and the information they already have on the loan. Who knows, maybe that is the only relevant info, and only info they use, and the endless questionnaires are merely a cover for their mortgage dept being so backed out and not getting to the offers for months. It makes it look like somebody is working on the approval.

  8. Cap'n Magic

    Is it me, or does that water pachyderm’s puttin’ down looks just a tad unnatural, colorwise?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When you are a ‘civilized’ elephant, but unemployed, circuses are not doing well, besides, the trainers don’t seem civilized, you drink whatever water you can get your trunk on.

      If you are an ‘uncivilzied’ elephant, you are always busy, doing stuff in the wild, but you have not the foggiest idea what employement or unemployement means.

    2. evodevo

      Yeah, that struck me too. Water only appears blue when it is in bulk, so to speak. It should appear transparent when streaming from his trunk.

    3. craazyman

      It didn’t look right to me either, at first.

      Then, as I contemplated the situation and it’s potential causitive factors, struggling logically to think through all the reasons why someone would Photoshop something that trivial and artistically irrelevant, it dawned on me suddenly, in that way things fly into your hed from everywhere and nowhere without you even summoning them with premeditated conscious exertion: It must be water from the Blue Nile. Yeah!

      1. LucyLulu

        Or the Blue Lagoon. He’s got a thing for young lady elephants. Dirty old bull…..

        Isn’t there a blue lens that photographers will use on cameras?

  9. Susan the other

    MacroBz. China’s Ghost Ships. I think this is what Bernanke is talking about when he tells the Banking Committee that the situation is closer to collapse than they can imagine. So new question: Did we go to war because our banking system had outlived its capabilities? And people still think global free trade is one of the answers? What a mess. What a terrifying mess.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The 2 charts over there look like Hokusai/Hiroshige tsunami block prints. I used to think them pretty, but they can be in fact terrifying.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Greece drops demand to ease bailout terms.


    Is Germany asking that they lift the ban on women on Mt. Athos?

    That should be a separate issue, besides, Japan has done nothing either about the ban on women on Mt. Omine, that stronghold of yamabushi on the Kii penisula.

    1. Susan the other

      So, bottom line, if it is all fiat ( and it is) why don’t we just admit it and make it moral, humane and democratic?

  11. Jill

    wikileaks–the newz! Here’s what the wikileaks site posted: “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents. It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”

    At this time Syria is undergoing a violent internal conflict that has killed between 6,000 and 15,000 people in the last 18 months. The Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.”

    Here’s what the NYT wrote: “In a statement announced in London, WikiLeaks said that it aimed to “shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy” and that the disclosures in the e-mails would embarrass not only President Bashar al-Assad of Syria but also adversaries of Mr. Assad and his ruling Baath Party.

    The statement cited the “violent internal conflict” that has riven that country and led to widespread condemnation of Mr. Assad for ordering a harsh repression of the uprising against him, which he has called a war against terrorists.”

    The difference in meaning cannot be missed. BBC did an interview with a Syrian broadcaster who defected. He explained how private newzcoprses in syria were told what to say by their govt. I thought it was interesting because I’m certain all this and more happens in the US.

    1. LucyLulu

      So far Wikileaks has released a few dozen of the emails. New information thus far:

      “So far, the only information released has to do with the Italian defense giant Finmeccanica, which is reported to have provided communications equipment and expertise about helicopters to the Syrian military and police.

      Finmeccanica (which is 30 percent owned by the Italian government and is also one of Britain’s largest defense suppliers) says it is investigating the authenticity of the e-mails before commenting.”

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Disappearing star dust.

    This calls for an investigation by the Cosmic Court into whether another universe has been stealing from us other than neutrons.

    We need someone qualified to argue before the Supreme Comic Court.

  13. Hugh

    Re Greece drops demand to ease bailout terms, so much for the new Greek government standing up for its people. It folded like a cheap lawn chair, pretty much as expected. It huffed and it puffed and then went quietly home with its tail between its legs. Apologies for mixing metaphors. Chalk up another one for the kleptocrats.

    1. Jessica

      I suspect that the Greek people knew that all along. The point of this lie was not to fool anyone, but to give Greeks pretend to themselves while they voted for the old, proven failure parties out of fear of what the Euro-1% would do to them otherwise.

      1. Jessica

        I suspect that the Greek people knew that all along. The point of this lie was not to fool anyone, but to let Greeks pretend to themselves that they weren’t betraying their own people when they voted for the old, proven failure parties out of fear of what the Euro-1% would do to them otherwise.
        I am not in their shoes. Sometimes surrender in the face of overwhelming force is the wiser course. Denmark 1940, for example

  14. Yes, Jimmy

    “It’s true, we have got into the habit of admiring colossal bandits, whose opulence is revered by the entire world, yet whose existence, once we stop to examine it, proves to be one long crime repeated ad infinitum, but those same bandits are heaped with glory, honors, and power, their crimes are hallowed by the law of the land, whereas, as far back in history as the eye can see — and history, as you know is my business — everything conspires to show that a venial theft, especially of inglorious foodstuffs, such as bread crusts, ham, or cheese, unfailingly subjects its perpetrator to irreparable opprobrium, the categoric condemnation of the community, major punishment, automatic dishonor, and inexpiable shame, and this for two reasons, first because the perpetrator of such an offense is usually poor, which in itself connotes basic unworthiness, and secondly because his act implies, as it were, a tacit reproach to the community. A poor man’s theft is seen as a malicious attempt at individual redress . . . ”

    Louis-Ferdinand Celine, “Journey to the end of Night”

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