Links 8/6/12

Fish Kills in Midwest Rise As Drought Effects Intensify Wall Street Journal :-(

Unsafe Gun Safes Can Be Opened By A Three-Year Old Forbes (Chuck L)

Chilling Account of Near-Miss Wall Street Journal. If you are tired of worrying about sharks, you can worry about this.

Wal-Mart OK with selling genetically modified sweet corn Chicago Tribune (martha r). Quelle surprise!

Kevlar Tires Now Required to Traverse ‘Spear-Like’ GMO Crops Nation of Change (martha r)

Fracking Debate Racks South Africa Wall Street Journal

Key repo contracts market falls 14% Financial Times (Joe Costello)

Spanish government accused of purging critics from national radio and TV Guardian (Chuck L)

IMF’s Talks With Greece Show Progress, Fund Official Says Bloomberg

New York Times Acknowledges that Syrian Opposition Is Persecuting Christians and Other Minorities George Washington

China’s July lending and retail appear weak MacroBusiness

Zambian miners kill Chinese supervisor and injure another in pay dispute Guardian (Ed Harrison)

Massacre at La Visite Black Agenda Report (martha r)

How Mitt Romney Got Rich Destroying American Jobs and Promoting Sweatshop Capitalism Paul Davidson, Alternet

An Interview With Mike Lofgren, Author of “The Party Is Over” Truthout (Aquifer)

Wisconsin Temple Shooting: Oak Creek Incident Leaves At Least 7 Dead (LIVE UPDATES) Huffington Post :-(


Things Will Get Worse Before They’ll Get Better Joe Firestone, Corrente (Carol B)

Capital One To Pay Millions After Being Charged With Improper Military Foreclosures Huffington Post (Lisa Epstein)

Two years after foreclosure probe launched, investigation winds down Palm Beach Post (martha r)

Four-year silver probe set to be dropped Financial Times

Solidarity Through a Plexiglass Window Occupied Stories (martha r)

Bankers uber alles Eclectic Lip

The Conservative Brookings Institute masaccio Firedoglake

Antidote du jour (martha r):

And a bonus (furzy mouse):

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  1. JGordon

    That GMO Monsanto corn story was pretty interesting, and should be filed under the category of “unintended consequences” I think.

    Anyway, it’s an added benefit to all you people thinking of studying and implementing permaculture designs–not only will you get survive when everyone else is shooting eachother when society collapses, but before then you’ll also get to eat non-Monsanto organic food.

    Although, I was just thinking that those Monsanto corn seeds could be pretty useful for producing bladed hand weapons, man-traps, barbed security fencing, spears, utility knives, and (sort of?) food, and so in keeping with the permaculture core principle that elements should serve multiple functions, growing Monsanto corn myself in my permaculture garden (if I can get some mutants that actually reproduce) wouldn’t be against the rules I think.

    1. MacCruiskeen

      But Kevlar lined tires are less odd than the story makes out. Maybe this is new for tractors, but it’s been available for bicycle tires for years. I have it on my bike. And Kevlar tire lining isn’t bulletproof. I picked up a nasty industrial staple once and get a flat.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        One can reasonably expect a bike (which goes fast, hence a lot of force relative to weight) over roads (with rocks, potentially glass shards) to encounter a lot more things that could puncture it than a tractor in a field. It’s normally a much more demanding performance environment.

    2. Kyrie Eleison

      Instead of beating swords into plowshares, just weaponize the crops themselves. It’s a big time-saver.

      1. Aquifer

        They are already “weaponized”, right off the shelf – they are messing up critters (including us) even as we speak.

          1. Kyrie Eleison

            Yes, those Frankenfarmers over at Monsanto are doing their best to make all those seed vaults a total waste of money.

    3. Susan the other

      Genetically modified organisms, seeds by Monsanto, poison bees, all beneficial insects, and every other critter including cattle, sheep, chickens, goats and us. Our livers will pay. If drought is the new trend in the American Breadbasket, we are in trouble – not because of cyclical droughts – but because Monsanto, in evil cahoots with Bill Gates, is pushing for broad spectrum GMO agriculture in Africa – hence Goldman Sachs’ extreme interest in packing it in here and going there. Not good.

      1. hermanas

        Poetic justice, why shouldn’t we be the filters that rid the earth of the poisons we make?

    4. different clue

      Those would have to be Monsanto corn stalks, would they not? I cannot imagine canola or cotton stalks being tire-harmful no matter how strengthened.

      1. Aquifer

        Hmmm – trying to put in new Corrente link as that one doesn’t work, but it won’t post here …

    1. ambrit

      Dear Aquifer;
      I’ve been told to Google the article itself, as a stand alone. Sometimes works.

  2. craazyman

    Rollerman is so cool I can’t believe it!

    I want a rollerman suit for Central Park. I bet you could hit 25 or 30 miles per hour on the hill at the north end.

    What better way to unwind after the ordeal of spending several hours reading a litany of tedious financial and economic articles?

    1. Robin Hood

      Ya mon! Wonder how Marvell Comics ever missed that one. Da’ya think roller girl would work too? – think cleavage!

      But back to serious econ stuff. How ’bout that employment report!? That got the markets going around the whole world. At the rate the BLS is making seasonal adjustments and those birth-death jobs the US should have about 400 million virtually employed people in just a few short years! The BLS deserves a a big thumbs up for a job well done IMO.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The best advertising used to be ‘We use what we sell.’

    If they want to sell GM corn, they should live on it first.

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      Yes, just like the frackers won’t drink the water they ordain as being “perfectly safe”. Though, maybe they are different creatures that require a different sort of liquid for sustenance.

  4. citalopram

    Things Will Get Worse Before They’ll Get Better – link is dead and the page does not exist.

  5. Externality

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    City Declines to Defend Sued Officer
    New York City has distanced itself from a high-ranking police official accused of firing pepper spray at Occupy Wall Street protesters, taking the unusual step of declining to defend him in a civil lawsuit over the incident.

    The decision means Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna also could be personally liable for financial damages that may arise out of the suit, said lawyers familiar with similar civil-rights claims.


    Mr. Bologna was one of the most contentious public figures to emerge out of frequent clashes between Occupy Wall Street protesters and police officers last fall. A video that purported to show him aiming pepper spray at a group of demonstrators who were being held behind orange netting was widely viewed on the Internet.

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      I’m still struggling with the idea that “Tony Bologna” is the guy’s real name.

        1. hermanas

          “Enron’s silent partner was named M. Yass”. Hah!
          Yves will push the Daily Show to late night.

  6. LeeAnne

    Wisconsin Temple Shooting: Oak Creek Incident Leaves At Least 7 Dead (LIVE UPDATES) Huffington Post :-(

    There will be no updates. You heard the story. What more do you need?

    ‘“He did not speak, he just began shooting,” said Harpreet Singh, relaying a description of the attack from the wife of his uncle, temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka.’

    So, there’s the story. Authority has spoken. The faithful will be kept in line. Move along. Nothing to see here.

    I fear for the safety of the person reportedly witnessed 4 men in black doing the shooting. The lone shooter in every case is too whacky to be believed or dead.

    Police investigators kept witnesses inside the bowling alley’s basement into the evening.

    “We don’t even know who’s downstairs,” Ravi P. Singh, 25, of Greenfield, said after going to the bowling alley to see if he could get more information about what had happened.

    Sixteen-year-old LeRon Bridges, of Oak Creek, works at the bowling alley said police brought people from the temple over in two armored trucks. At one point, about 50 to 60 people were at the bowling alley, including police officers questioning witnesses and paramedics treating victims’ wounds, he said.

    “They were just hysterical,” Bridges said. “There were kids. One big load came out of the truck.”

    The authorities always grab the chlidren away from their parents. Does anyone know the justification for that -if there’s any legitimate justification for any of this behavior on the part of ‘authorities.’

    The public has a right to know who these people are who were illegally detained. That information would protect them from future harm at the hands of the real perpetrators of this crime.

    There’s a pattern here that we all need to think about.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Jessie;
      Curiouser indeed, I often run across commentary about the manipulation of the silver market whenever I read the silver journals, especially the comments. JPMorgan seems to be particularly heavily involved. Put banks and potential profits together in a room, mix well, and step back. Some sort of Frankenstiens Monster is sure to lumber out of the shadows and into the horribly revealing light!

  7. bob

    Forbes “Gun Safes”-

    Calling them “safes” is a misnomer. If you can pick up and carry away a safe, it isn’t very “safe”.

    Bouncing it seems to be the way to trigger the solenoid to retract. Yes, it’s a horrible design to begin with.

    Any safe, gun safe or personal safe, that you can carry away without much effort just makes the job of a burglar much easier. There is a very good reason why “good” safes are large and heavy. Someone usually notices a forklift.

    Security is a journey, not a destination. It does not come in a box.

  8. Westcoastliberal

    Dead Link on: Things Will Get Worse Before They’ll Get Better Joe Firestone, Corrente (Carol B)

  9. ferd

    Links 8/5/12 followup.

    Bloomberg story about Hedge-Fund Chief’s Son Freed in Death at Yellowstone Club a death at the Yellowstone Club has some biographical information as does a prior Blomberg story Fatal Crash at Yellowstone Club Happened on ’Camp Weekend

    The background information doesn’t say what everyone at the Yellowstone Club probably knows.

    Welch Family

    Welch is the son of Leighton Welch, founder of Welch Capital Partners LLC. The hedge fund, with offices on Park Avenue in New York, had $350 million in assets at the end of December, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The family lives in Bronxville, New York. Leighton Welch, reached in Montana, declined to comment on the accident.

    Leighton Welch is the son of James O. Welch Jr., according to his 1987 wedding announcement in the New York Times. The James O. Welch Co., founded by Leighton’s grandfather, made Junior Mints and other candy before being sold to the National Biscuit Co., according to the elder James’s obituary in the Times in 1985.

    Yes, that’s the John Birch Society founder. Bloomberg must have run out of space.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Earthlings are coming!

      The Earthlings are coming!

      And the Martians would be right to fear as the invasion is to enslave any captured Martians and exploit Martian resources.

  10. Hugh

    There was a review of Stiglitz’s new book on wealth inequality in the New York Times Book Review. The subject is important but I found the review at once offsetting and unintentionally enlightening. Stiglitz is portrayed as cutting edge, but he only is from an Establishment point of view. Indeed the reviewer places Stiglitz in a pantheon of neoliberal and Establishment liberal types like Hacker and Krugman. Economic arguments are cast within a standard conservative (bad) and liberal (good) framework. Criminality, especially the systemic criminality of kleptocracy is not touched on at all.

    Stiglitz’s prescription is a market based one. Markets are to be freed up so that there can be real competition and growth in the economy. Either Stiglitz or the reviewer or both seem to think that the purpose of the economy is growth, but it is not. The purpose of the economy is to provide the goods and services for the kind of society society’s members want. I would think this would be front and center with an economist who has talked about things like a happiness index.

    I have seen this a lot in Establishment thinkers. They correctly identify bits and pieces of the problems we face, so they are trumpetted as “getting it”. But they leave crucial parts, like criminality, out of their analysis and they finish by grafting something that looks very much like the current status quo market model on to their critique. The result is incoherent but with a few good ideas in the mix. Still because this is Stiglitz and he is an Establishment credentialed and certified “iconoclast” we are all supposed to be suitably impressed.

    1. jsmith

      Read the same review:

      I really liked how the reviewer juxtaposed the “free-market Republicans” against the “neoliberal Democrats”.

      Whoa, how are they supposed to bridge a divide like that?!

      Yup, one needn’t get too anxious with Stiglitz et al, the current system – growth before humanity – is always saved in the end with only minor alterations if any.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Speaking of happiness indices, in terms of happiness per dollar spent, what are the best deals?

      1 star gazing (1 unit of happiness per zero dollar)
      2 navel gazing (tied with the above)
      3 napping (tied with 1 and. 2)
      4 petting your friend’s cat (u pet, she feeds)

      All things Homo Not-So-Sapiens will be happy with. Nature too.

      Happiness for us and equally important, happiness for Nature.

  11. Hugh

    That is a good piece by masaccio. The Brookings Institute has been filled with conservatives and neoliberals for years. Its Saban Center is an unabashed propaganda mill for Israel. Its experts have been cheerleaders for the Iraq war, the global war on terror, and the gutting of the Bill of Rights. That it is also an anti-99% mouthpiece of the 1% is completely predictable.

    The problem with the Brookings Institute is not which way it leans politically however but that it is an elite enterprise. As such, its purpose is not to serve our interests but those of the elite and the kleptocratic rich who employ them, and provide them with their wealth and privileges.

    1. F. Beard

      “He doesn’t mention that if Bush administration cheerleaders and PR flacks for real estate and financial interests hadn’t been spreading the story that real estate equity gains were real, they would have acted differently.” from

      Those gains could STILL be real if the entire population was bailed out with new fiat. The houses built are real, aren’t they? But what isn’t real is our money supply that is conjured out of nothing but only temporarily and which goes back to nothing as debts are repaid and which removes additional money from circulation in the form of interest.

      The Austrians call much of what is built during booms “malinvestments” which strangely they cannot identify till the bust “reveals them.” But given a severe enough bust what wouldn’t be a “malinvestment”?

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      Ack, I couldn’t watch it for very long.

      What’s sad is that the place is packed, unlike the Olympics.

      Crap like this might be why orcas attack their trainers.

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