Links 12/8/12

Lambert is having a fundraiser! Go to his site RIGHT NOW and make a donation!!!

Honey Laundering Open (Richard Smith)


Rosamond Gifford Zoo staff rushed to mother delivering baby on path (bob)

Scientists Warn of Sperm Count Crisis Alternet (Aquifer)

UT-Austin Administration Distances Itself from “Frackademia” Study Steve Horn (Carol B)

Julian Assange: the fugitive Guardian

When painful faux-hip-hop slang meets the FT style guide Climateer Investing (Scott)

Depression Deepens Greek Middle Class Despair With Crime Bloomberg

How Angela Merkel saw off the Financial Times Deutschland Guardian

ECB mulls negative rates as Europe’s economic crisis deepens Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. You know it’s bad when Berlusconi sounds more sensible than anyone in office.

Morsi offer rejected as protests swell Guardian

In WikiLeaks Case, Defense Puts the Jailers on Trial New York Times. Wow, that headline is disgraceful. The treatment of Manning was appalling, but “defense” depersonalizes him and makes bringing up the issue seem like a lawyer’s ruse, and “jailers” emphasizes that he’s incarcerated.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: SCOTUS Takes on Same-Sex Marriage American Prospect

The U.S. Immigration Detention Boom ACLU (furzy mouse)

The Shameless Vacuity of Susan Rice’s Black Boosters Glen Ford

Catfood watch:

Welfare Spending: Medicare vs Corporate/Business Subsidies (or does the GOP really support WalMart’s behavior in Bangladesh?) Linda Beale

Bernanke Cliff Analogy Overstates Immediate Economic Harm Bloomberg. This is progress in terms of getting a more accurate message out, but the headline for the same article on the first page of the Bloomberg website was pointedly neutral: What’s the Real Economic Impact of the Fiscal Cliff?

If We Did Not Share in the Prosperity, Why Should We Have to Share in the Sacrifice? Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

Dear Rep. Cleaver, Medicare is already means tested Daily Kos (Carol B)

Fiscal Cliff + OMB or Fool Me Once/Twice Patrick Durusau (Lambert). This is a MUST READ. Then go and raise holy hell with your elected officials. More evidence of books-cooking or incompetence, take your pick.

Labor rebellion: Fast-food workers, inspired by Walmart strikers, demand higher wages Yahoo (Lambert)

HFT Study Pulls Back the Veil and the Bride is Ugly Global Economic Intersection (LeonovaBalletRusse)

Has MBS become a crowded trade? Sober Look

Dear readers: a meetup was scheduled in NYC for next Friday without consulting with me. Last year, I had suggested January as a better time. I’ve tried to make this work but can’t do the 14th. I could do Jan 4 or Jan 11. You can obviously have a holiday party on your own, you’ll certainly have fun meeting each other.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse). My mood these days:

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    1. heresy101

      A 3.9 earthquake from injecting waste water is nothing to worry about; California doesn’t even report those on the news. If they’re over 5.0 begin to get concerned.

      In the Geyers geothermal fields in northern CA, there are thousands of 1.0 – 2.0 quakes from injecting water into the hot rock fields to create steam. The utilities have paid the local residents in Anderson several million dollars to pay for the damage done from larger (3 level) earthquakes.

      The earthquakes are not the problem from fracking; it is the chemicals they are using and refusing to report. Fracking would not be bad if the chemicals were not cancerous, but we do not know what they are using.

      1. Eclair

        Yeah, Heresy, we are, admitedly, trembler wimps here in Colorado.

        But, Boulder County, well aware of the dangers to water, air, and people, posed by fracking, is girding for revolt. After the city of Longmont voted, by referendum, to ban fracking, county residents swarmed into the County Commissioners’ meeting this week. The moratorium on fracking is due to expire in February, and Commissioners have been working on regulations, which, mirabile dictu, are always deemed too stringent by Encana, the oil and gas corporation poised to swoop in and begin fracking operations.

        The Commissioners will implement stronger “security measures” after their tender sensibilities were bruised by their constituents’ unbending resistance to fracking.

        In a righteous display of civil disobedience, the meeting was taken over at the start by a group of ten-year olds, who performed a poetry reading. The Commissioners fled in terror, but returned, after the children filed out peacefully, and spent the next hour attempting homicide by boredom, as staff droned on about “set-backs” and “expedited permitting processes.”

        The Boulder Weekly does a balanced job of reporting the meeting.

        The Denver Post, on the other hand made Boulder residents sound like thugs who were sandbagging the Commissioners and Encana’s PR person. Well, ten-year olds can be brutal.

  1. ambrit

    What’s going on with that Japan earthquake? Any word from TEPCO about Dai Ichi? Enquiring minds and all that.

    1. Aquifer

      Personally – I think it has more to do with all the crap, er, “products of progress” we are tossing into the environment – a number of studies in a variety of animals demonstrates the hormone mimetic effects of various chemicals on gender/gender expression/behaviour, fertility, etc.; to think that they could/would not have similar effects on us is, at best, naive, ISTM … These chemicals have been found all over the planet and many are persistent – who knows, we may discover their 1/2 lives rival those of long active nuclear materials, and may actually do more harm …

      In my more philosophical musings on this sort of thing i have often thought of it as poetic justice, or karma, whatever …. There is more than one way to get rid of noxious creatures who refuse to obey the rules and this may be (one of) MN way(s) …

        1. LucyLulu

          Reread the article. Unless its dairy or you’re eating manure, meat products aren’t a source of estogen per the link you gave. Usually its male androgens used to add muscle bulk (not muscles that will get used though) in beef cattle, along with growth hormones, not female hormones. You wouldn’t want your beef cattle to be dainty, or even necessarily your dairy cattle, since you want cows that produce the largest quantities of milk possible. There’s plenty of other good stuff in meat (not) besides estrogen though, including plenty of antibiotics to prevent the illnesses they become prone to by being kept crammed shoulder-shoulder and unable to move rather than grazing freely on open ranges, one of the prime reasons for the increasingly problematic AB resistance (about run out of AB’s that are still effective against some resistant bugs, and AB research is not profitable enough for pharma to pursue so no new ones entering market, AFAIK.) Better ranching through chemicals and all that.

          Part 5 of 6 part series on Superbugs vs. Antibiotics, links to Parts 1-4, 6 at base of page

          (Referring to latest generation of NDM-1 superbug, responsive only to drug from 1970’s called colistin, and which resistant strains already beginning to appear)
          “It doesn’t seem likely at the moment, but should the gene for this enzyme manage to get transferred to a superbug there will be truly nothing left to stop them. The only option left to save a patient’s life will be surgery, including amputation.”

  2. Ep3

    Yves, I just want to get in record. I love Medicare and SS and think they should be expanded. But, I am willing to see the end of them, starting immediately. On two conditions. 1. End the FICA taxes associated with them. Thats what those taxes were created for so if the programs are ended, there’s no reason to have the tax revenue still. 2. Everyone has to leave those programs immediately. No matter what age, time for the free market to take over. If I don’t get my entitlements, then why should anyone else? I have been paying into them my whole life as well.
    My second point establishes that the reductions of benefits is a political voter buy off. Young ppl don’t vote nearly as much as elderly ppl. Plus, with our changing demographics, more young ppl are a mix of Spanish, black, Asian, etc. Rascism alive and well in the free USA!

  3. JohnL

    Honey laundering – buy your honey from a local apiarist if you can. Bees are essential to our food supply and they and the apiarists need our support.

  4. matt

    I read that Assange piece on the Guardian’s site last night. What crap. Tries to make Assange seem insane, or paranoid. Like everyone else’s mental state wouldn’t be affected by being one of the most wanted men in the world. The man is one of the people respsonsible for shedding light on some awful, immoral behavior by the US and other governments, and everyone that writes about him at places like the Guardian seems more worried about whether or not he’s a “nice guy.” Who cares?!?! Think about what Wikileaks has accomplsihed and ask yourself if you care about his personality.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      well, of course the media is trying to make Assange look like a freak. They’re failing at informing the public and he’s doing their job for them.

    2. Klassy!

      Shoulda seen the interview by Erin Burnett on CNN. Now that one would make you pop an aneurysm. Wall Street courtier decides to get all tough when interviewing a whistleblower.

    3. Goatman

      It’s unfortunate even indie journalist like the Exile/NSFWcorp folks hate Assange so much since wikileaks is a cause that should be supported, but Assange doesn’t really help himself, and the identities of Wikileaks and Assange are intertwined. As they explained, they think he’s paranoid and that he does not face a real threat of extradition to the US, so he should just go ahead and face rape charges he might deserve. Also by cozying up with an Ecuadorian government with an atrocious record of attacking journalists he has become the most hypocritical of dissidents, so it would be just great if he were extradited by the US and locked up forever anyways. And maybe it has a little bit to do with Mark Ames feeling the need to contradict whatever position Glenn Greenwald takes (don’t expect that blood feud to end since Greenwald isn’t entirely innocent).

      I don’t know what to make of the situation now.

      1. Synopticist

        Yeah, there’s lots of spin going on. Legally it would be very difficult to extradite him to the US from Sweden. He keeps saying he’d go if the Swedish govt promised not to extradite him, but they cant actually make that promise. It would have to go through the courts, and only then, if the extradition was allowed by the courts, could the govt step in.
        Also, under the terms of the warrant that he was arrested under in the UK, the British courts and govt would have to approve extradition. I dunno exactly how that would work, but extraditing anyone from Britain is a hurculean task at best. It took 10 years to extradite some guys who blew up a station on the Paris subway.

        On the other hand, he has some very powerful enemies, so you never know.

        1. JohnL

          ” but extraditing anyone from Britain is a hurculean task at best”. Unless it’s to do with intellectual property of course.

          Best thing Assange could do is become a martyr to the cause. Go to Sweden, face the rape charges, clear his name (or not), and, if extradited, suffer the incarceration with as much dignity as Bradley Manning.

          1. Maximilien

            He already IS a martyr. He was under house arrest and police supervision for months. Now he is effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. He hasn’t been a free man for two years. He has sacrificed his freedom for a cause he and hundreds of millions of others believe in.

            If he were to be extradited to the US he would be buried—figuratively if not literally. And dead martyrs are always in danger of being forgotten. But living martyrs—like Mandella, like Assange— go on and on being thorns in the side of arrogant power.

            This interview with him in The Guardian proves my point.

          2. LucyLulu

            In the case of Assange, I wouldn’t underestimate US extradition powers. Assange is about right up there with bin Laden with some of our top officials and the US knows how to throw their weight around. I don’t know about Sweden’s extradition policies in general, only remember from the book “Catch Me If You Can” that the thief did his time in Sweden and then was extradited here immediately. And that he described Swedish prisons as like a bed and breakfast and he wanted to stay there forever.

      2. matt

        Umm you’re not trolling are you? I was unaware that the exile(d) and NSFWCorp were against Assange.

        Also, an excellent article from Patrick Cockburn–one of the most respected Anglo journos in the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter–on the importance of Wikileaks.

        1. Goatman

          Yes, I am trolling! Except I was only trolling you, and everybody else who read my comment I was not trolling, because I only want to waste your time and nobody else’s time. Here, waste your time with this spam link:

          Mark Ames did actually come across as a lot more even-handed than I remember, compared to the level of disdain the rest of the NSFW journalists have for Assange. The desknotes behind it is harsh like they say, pay to access it ok it is good for independent journalism or whatever:

  5. jsmith

    Nice overview on the recent encouragement and rise of right-wing nationalism and militarism in Japan who have elections in a little more than a week.

      1. barrisj

        That Nato acts merely as a US proxy has been evident for years, as it had become an military organisation in search of a mission since the demise of the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact. As in the States, you have a military command structure desperately needing justification for its very existence, and the US has the most militaristic foreign policy on the planet, so it clearly behooves Nato to firmly attach its wagon to the Americans in order to gain lifetime job security.
        “Humanitarian intervention” “liberal intervention”, “responsibility to protect” – all figleaf “doctrines” contrived to further meddling, neocolonialism, and support of the status quo in order to serve the so-called “national interest”. How a group of disparate countries that comprise Nato can even begin to claim that US “national security interests” are congruent with their own utterly baffles one, but there is no evidence that any resistance to US strong-arming is forthcoming in the near term.

    1. baby, bathwater...

      Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is actually an uncontroversial statement of the whole world’s shared opinion on good government. R2P got a bad rap when the US government perverted it in domestic media to justify aggression. Here’s R2P in black and white,

      The US propaganda version features a monomaniacal focus on pillar 3. Under the actual doctrine, US irresponsibility begs for foreign intervention under pillar 1 at least, because the US has compromised its sovereignty with crime. And in fact the US is getting some effective intervention in accord with R2P: the International Baccalaureate is a brilliant capacity-building initiative. It imparts long-suppressed critical reasoning skills and knowledge of human rights and rule of law.

  6. juliania

    In light of your site’s excellent coverage of New Zealand’s foray into the tax haven scene, it was interesting to me to go to the NZHerald site this morning and find no coverage of the aftermath of the supercell storm the country experienced on Thursday. It does seem that business/government NZ would very much like to forget this happened – after all it would be bad for the image and we can’t have that.

    All I found was the following link to the death of one of three workmen killed during the storm – admittedly very small in the general scheme of things, but still I would have liked to get a count on the number of homes damaged – the videos on Friday were pretty shocking.

  7. kevinearick

    The Vortex Elevator: Economic Mobility & Growth

    Economic mobility, growth, is a function of effective labor, what it chooses to do or not to do. The empire robots have not been programmed to understand that they are efficient multiplier effects, in one direction or the other. They simply get paid in empire credit to serve as points of control.

    Attempting to explain economics to a robot only increases its fear threshold, which is counterproductive to your purpose. Global pain is being ratcheted up for you, as the Fed attempts to monetize the tax base in lieu of economic growth. Just time your entry, when the proprietor just realizes he/she is going to lose the business to corporate recycling.

    Then maintain the appropriate equilibrium, return on labor, however you choose to define quality of life, to return to capital, however the proprietor chooses to define risk for income versus reward to assets. Unfortunately, given the craven nature of capital, you must become a benevolent dictator, implicitly allowing authority, by choosing to share, in a feedback loop. Always be prepared to drop the subsystem load back onto the proprietor’s shoulders.

    If you understand the example of Jesus, you will recognize the signs to your path. If you seek God, the unknown, you will be ready when you arrive at your destination. Let your spirit guide you, in an evolving state of resonance over time, as a negative feedback signal. You were granted resonance at birth. If you have not yet given it up, guard it with your life, because getting it back will take a lifetime.

    Unfortunately, parents have also been saying yes to their government-controlled children for a few generations now, upon penalty of losing them, so you will receive an overwhelming amount of no in the resulting economic collapse. Get used to it. Have a friend scream no in your face repeatedly if that is what it takes. I can maximize the probability of placing you in a position to receive a yes, but I cannot change the percentage of no. Only you can do that, as you find your way.

    Relearn faith. We will place the bridge when you need it. Take what is offered and move on immediately. Only an empire whore will encourage you to sit and consume from the tree of knowledge, which is poison to your spirit. If I see you coming, and I will see you long before you see me, I may drop a cigarette and disappear, if that is what you need, or I may offer an encouraging word as you pass. Don’t judge a book by its cover; I will not be the one looking at you in judgment and I may be dressed as a tramp or in a $1000 suit, whatever is not expected.

    In the center of the queues, you will find others revolving around the main vortex, each with its own vortex. From the perspective of each building, you are the elevator in its center. From your perspective, as a tangent gap to each, all the buildings are revolving around you. The buildings revolve around the elevator because they are simply perceptions of gravity in your mind’s time, which you may learn to adjust.

    In the beginning, it may take you years to find your own sweat spot. Once you understand the implicit algorithm, you will require only two points to obtain the third. Only you can find your own. It’s been a week here and already all the event horizons are spinning around me. By the end of next week, I will have established a connection to the kernel of each. I recognize my charges because they are prepared to make their connections. Drop your baggage. You are not going to need it where you are going.

  8. charles sereno

    Re the “Rapping,” sorry, “Rappin’ Financial Times.” Cut these pink complexioned gentlemen, sorry, guys some slack. What’s to lose after being booted out of Germany?

  9. JohnL

    Meetups – alas no longer on the East coast, so cannot make it. Up for something “over town”, as we out here on the rock call Seattle, if we can reach critical mass. Not sure if Yves ever makes a state visit to the Pacific Northwest?

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