Links 4/28/13

We are on Harry Shearer’s Le Show today, starting at 1 PM EDT. Check local listings here!

Big brains, no fur, sinuses … are these clues to our ancestors’ lives as ‘aquatic apes’? Guardian (John L)

Nest camera uncovers osprey love triangle drama on Hog Island; female bird lays first egg of season Bangor Daily News (Lambert)

Ice cube volume video Arctic Sea Ice (Chuck L)

Craft Beer-Crazy Oregon Poised To Name Official State Microbe WAMU (furzy mouse)

A comparative evaluation of the regulation of GM crops or products containing dsRNA and suggested improvements to risk assessments ScienceDirect (furzy mouse)

Roundup, An Herbicide, Could Be Linked To Parkinson’s, Cancer And Other Health Issues, Study Shows Reuters. Paper here: Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases entropy (furzy mouse)

blip: a tool for seeing your Internet latency (Chuck L)

Race against time for Dhaka rescuers BBC

Six-year-old Indian girl raped in New Delhi Aljazeera

Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong Bloomberg

Italy agrees coalition government Financial Times

WATCH: President Barack Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner one-liners Washington Post. Lambert: “What’s fascinating is the last one is open corruption. Way past nod nod wink wink.”

Matt Yglesias resigns from the presumed-progressive community — with prejudice Gaius Publius

Glenn Greenwald on the High Cost of Government Secrecy Bill Moyers

USDA Ruffles Feathers With New Poultry Inspection Policy Mother Jones (Chuck L)

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: RJ Eskow endorses Medicare for All (kinda) Corrente

Modern-day debtors’ prison alleged in Ohio Associated Press (1 SK). We highlighted the ACLU report when it came out a few weeks ago. Good to see the MSM taking note.

Saying Privacy Is ‘Off the Table,’ NYC Police Commissioner Demands More Surveillance Cameras Reason (Chuck L)

Rising Costs Have Sandy Victims Contemplating Walking Away Ocean City, NJ Patch (Carol B)

The Diploma’s Vanishing Value Wall Street Journal

S&P Makes Proposed ‘Too Big To Fail’ Rules Sound Like Wall Street Armageddon Clusterstock

Half block of Minneapolis for sale StarTribune (Chuck L)

Harry Dexter White on Austerity and Confidence Fairies Matias Vernengo

Today’s Dream House May Not Be Tomorrow’s Robert Shiller, New York Times (Mark Thoma)

Big Commodity Traders Pocketed $250 Billion Profit Real News Network

Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees New York Times

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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  1. dearieme

    “If they were all the result of our lives in watery environments, we would have to have spent millions of years there and there is no evidence for this – not to mention like crocodiles and other creatures would have made the water a very dangerous place.”” Whereas terra firma is safe as you like, lions and all.

    1. Susan the other

      Of Dolphins and Golden Labs. We had 2 labs in one of our incarnations lost in the mist of time. Trucker and Sly. As smart as any dolphin. And yes, they sat in the ditch too.

  2. Skeptic

    “Rising Costs Have Sandy Victims Contemplating Walking Away”

    In that story:

    “The advisory maps, or ABFE’s, were released in December and recommend that residents in flood zones raise their homes on average between 1 and 5 feet. Based on a scientific analysis of recent and past storms, the flood maps estimate the kind of flooding various zones can expect during a once-a-century storm, such as Hurricane Sandy.”

    Now do sentient NC folk realize that there are Armies of Lobbyists roaming DC, State Capitals and CIty/Town Halls trying to get Rules and Regulations changed for their Corporate Clients’ benefit? Thus Sandy becomes Opportunity to line some more 1% pockets. Instead of some long, protracted Legislative battle, simply go the Captured Regulatory route and get some favorable changes made and watch the $$$$ flow in. Just another form of tax, if you will.

    And am I too cynical to believe that some Hedge Fund is not lining up to buy these deliberately distressed properties for a racketeering song, bundle them up MBS style and sell the lot off to “investors”.

    So, I would suggest that Billions may ride on the above ABFE’s and that the Crooks, Thieves and Liars are well aware of this, unlike average Joe Donuts.

    Multiply this by all the facets of our lives that are regulated and one begins to comprehend the enormity of the Looting taking place.

    To repackage an old adage: “Thar’s Gold in them thar maps.”

    1. LucyLulu

      Are they recommending or requiring raising the homes? However, I’d imagine the cost of obtaining flood insurance would depend heavily on whether this had been done. It would be like houses in coastal areas in other parts of the country that are routinely built up either on stilts or landfill. The talk of coastal areas being eroded and eventually disappearing isn’t new, it has been around for decades.

      Would you want to stay and sink your money for 30 years in a home that might get washed away again, along with your life savings? I wouldn’t. That doesn’t mean that there may not be investors ready to swoop in and make some quick money off others’ misfortune. There always is.

  3. Pete

    RE reduction in poultry factory inspections… Why would anyone with even a moderate understanding of the criminality of corporate agriculture still be allocating their wallet digits for an assembly line chicken (or any other meat) sold at the “supermarket”? There may not be a worse way to vote with your billfold. The sooner everyone reunites with their local small scale food producer the better.

  4. Goin' South

    Re: Matt Yglesias—

    Hardly a surprise. He wrote for the Harvard Independent, initially created as a right-wing alternative to the Crimson. He’s always been a right-winger. He even supported the Iraq War.

    How was he ever viewed as a “progressive?” He was an atheist and pro gay rights. That was it. Kos and Atrios promoted him relentlessly in their blogs, and The Prospect was stupid or corrupt enough to buy it.

    Ezra Klein falls in the same category.

      1. down2long

        Several of us “white bearded peaceniks” were marching and raising general hell against the Iraq war, in one case with almost 80 thousand of our closest friends.

        What galls me most, the current “conventional wisdom” is that “oh yes, I was wrong, but the whole country got it wrong, so it is a lesser crime.”

        No, a**holes, the whole country did NOT get it wrong. We marched, one day over several million strong in various cities. And were COMPLETELY ignored by the MSM. I DID NOT GET IT WRONG, and viz Dick Chaney, no matter how many times you say that”everyone was lied to by our corrupt government, I mean, “everyone got it wrong” and use that phrase as your mea culpa and get out of jail free card, the truth remains. On your death bed, may you be visited by the slaughtered Iraqis, Americans, etc., et al. Dare I hope even in your quiet moments every day. It is not justice, but it is something. Oh yes, never to be overstated: f**k Colin Powell. Just like Obama, another striver Uncle Tom. Disgraceful.

    1. Ned Ludd

      In addition to hiring Ezra Klein, The American Prospect also hired Robert Farley. According to Klein, this was Farley’s attitude towards people who protested the war (censored to avoid spam filter).

      Update: Robert Farley seems to have felt similarly: “I know that one of the hardest obstacles I had to overcome in adopting an anti-war position on Iraq was the recognition that I would be on the same side as all those dumba–– hippies I knew at the University of Oregon, as well as those dumba–– hippies I know in Seattle. At the time, I always strove to distance my arguments from theirs”

      Truly a brother-in-arms.

      The American Prospect seems to financially support and promote the careers of liberals who have a deep-seated antipathy towards the left, even when the “dumba–– hippies” turn out to be right.

    2. jrs

      He’s probably at his best with critiques at crendentialism, which wouldn’t be so important if the rest of the middle class hadn’t or weren’t being wiped out through the outsourcing of manfacturing, the death of unions, and the importing of high skilled labor to replace Americans via H1Bs. But you can’t have some tiny caste requiring super high expenses from a population of peasants. Excess crendentialism (and not all credentialism is excessive but much nowdays is) is an attempt to solve a problem that can’t be solved except for a tiny sliver of people that way: trying to assure middle class wages in a world setup to destroy them.

      He’s at his worst defending Bangladeshishi factories, I mean many may indirectly support it financially if it’s where all our stuff is made, but really who defends that @#$#?

      And he was never a deep thinker, never where you go when you think: I want to read something with depth.

      1. scraping_by

        “the importing of high skilled labor to replace Americans via H1Bs”

        Medium skilled labor. Or rather, entry-level skilled labor. The dirty little secret that most of them come over here and immediately begin training, often by the Americans and Canadians they’re replacing, is beginning to leak out.

    3. bob

      And since no one else is saying it- gay is the left wing kryptonite.

      All you have to do to establish your liberal credibilty is admit that you are gay. What used to take years to develop can now be established with three words “I am gay”.

      And not unrelated- the fact that a person admits that they are gay doesn’t say anything about their views on gay rights….”but can’t it be inferred?” See above.

      1. Valissa

        How do the Log Cabin Republicans fit into your picture? One of our gay friends has a hissy fit (queen that he is) whenever I bring them up as contributing to the overall success of gay rights.

          1. Valissa

            Hey Bob, I’m not deaf ;)

            Not sure if I didn’t really understand your point or you didn’t understand mine… LOL…

        1. bob

          My point was very simple-

          All you have to do to establish your LEFT WING credibity is say three words “I am gay”

          You countered asking about log cabin republicans. Where are log cabin reblicans in the LEFT WING?

          1. Valissa

            Then it turns out I did understand your point after all. Geez, I guess I thought I was furthering the conversation by going off on a related tangent and doing so a bit provocatively per the identity politics issue. C’est la vie!

          2. bob

            BS, it was straight up gotcha politcs. It’s exaclty the reason that no with any stage dares come out and say what I did.

            They would get pummeled by sneering “moderate” pundits who want to see “both sides of the issue”, and “further the discussion”.

            “One of our gay friends has a hissy fit (queen that he is) whenever I bring them up as contributing to the overall success of gay rights.”

            The reason he might have a “hissy fit” is that the statement is ludicurus. Absolutely insane in no uncertain terms. Hateful? Homophobic? You be the jeudge.

    4. Procopius

      Thanks for the background. I had been wondering, especially about Exra. I keep seeing references to Yg and Ezra as “left-leaning” or “liberal” and I think, “Whaaaa?” Yeah, they often write things I find interesting or agree with, but every now and then there’s something like this. Mostly from Ezra. Now I’ve got a better perspective.

  5. Steve Ruble

    The corresponding author (Stephanie Seneff) of the article on Roundup doesn’t seem very credible. She’s a computer science and AI researcher and doesn’t appear to have any credentials or academic background that would be relevant to the subject of the article. She may have acquired the relevant expertise elsewhere, of course, but it’s a little suspicious. Reducing her credibility further is the fact that on her MIT bio page she claims her papers for the journal Entropy “collectively explain how widespread cholesterol sulfate deficiency throughout the body is behind most modern diseases and conditions”. Anyone who claims to have found the single cause “behind most modern diseases and conditions” is quite likely to be a crank. Finally, the article appears to be part of a “special issue” of Entropy dedicated to “Biosemiotic Entropy”, in which Stephanie Seneff contributed to most of the articles. Surely this is not typical for a serious academic journal…

    1. Mark

      It’s odd Steve. Yves et al are well aware of the fact that lots of peer reviewed publications in economics and finance can be and are in fact crap but they set aside their BS detectors when it comes to science.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        1. If Reuters picked up the article, it is newsworthy for that fact ALONE. I posted a Reuters link.

        2. I have friends who are biomedical engineers, including one who worked for the NIH who are outraged at GMOs. They consider them to be an irresponsible mass experiment run on the general public. And the worse is there are no controls. They’ve become so pervasive that we don’t have a no-GMO consuming population to compare to the GMO-eating population in terms of health outcomes (as in a lot of people who eat organic food can’t afford to eat 100% organic, either from a financial or practical perspective, for instance, they are in business and wind up eating out some of the time).

        So I regard the stakes as sufficiently high and the conduct of the companies and the government to be so irresponsible that I’d rather err on the side of excessive caution.

        1. Kim Kaufman

          And what might be even worse is Monsanto is strong-arming everyone else out of business around the world.

          1. AbyNormal

            just in the US…
            Since farmers first began buying into Monsanto’s scheme in 1995, the average cost to plant one acre of soybeans has risen 325 percent, according to the Center for Food Safety’s report. Corn seed prices are up by 259 percent. Those increases don’t include the cost of the lawsuits Monsanto has aggressively filed against farmers the company claims have violated patent agreements. By the end of 2012, Center for Food Safety calculates that Monsanto had received over $23.5 million from patent infringement lawsuits against farmers and farm businesses.

            heres a documentary ‘The World According to Monsanto’ that highlights some of the strong arming in Africa etc

          2. LucyLulu

            From the same link by Aby above:

            Last year, a Monsanto ally threatened to sue the state of Vermont if legislators passed a law requiring labels on all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Lawmakers capitulated, despite the fact that voter support was running at more than 90 percent.

            The new norm, apparently…….. Lawmakers that no longer represent the interests of the people that elect them, nor care if they keep the voters happy. The voters have learned that replacing the current set brings in more that are no different than the last. That includes most independents who get elected as well, as the large amounts of money that come from special interests are necessary for a successful campaign. The people who would be needed to make political reform possible are the same people whose interests are best served by the status quo. It’s quite the paradox.

        2. Mark

          1. You went out of your way to post the link to the journal article.

          2.Biomedical engineers have no special knowledge about GMO’s (even if you actually meant molecular biologists who specialize in what is often referred to as genetic engineering they still have no special insight into the health effects of GMO foods – I might consider the views of a toxicologist who has actually done research on the issue)

          Most importantly by highlighting obviously crappy work you undermine credibility – your own and those who are doing good work.

          FYI – I’m a retired bioorganic chemist with no special insight into the GMO issue. I do have an interest in good science though and that article is bad science.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            “Went out of my way”? I provide a link to an article and you use that to attack me?

            Look, buddy, I put up a link to a Reuters article, which is a recognized MSM outlet and therefore has basic fact checking procecdures, so it is not as barmy as you imply for me to link to it. A reader also sent the article link, that’s why I provided it. And this is hardly the first time I’ve linked to academic articles. But you try insinuating that I have motive, or should not post science articles. I post all sorts of science articles that are picked up by tech or MSM-ish sites.

            The onus is on you to debunk the article. So far, all I’ve seen is ad hominem attacks on her and her web page, not the article proper. The article may very well have problems, but so far, you’ve not made anything resembling a case. All any one here has done is make noise about the author. If you read his letter to the SEC on Bernie Madoff, you also could have characterized whistleblower Harry Markopolos as a crank.

            Your sniffing about the issues raised by NIH staffers about GMOs is also suspect. The point about GMOs being a reckless experiment foisted on the public at large without consent holds. The fact that you’d try credentialism there too suggests you have a personal axe to grind (an association with agribiz?)

            Might I point out that a very simple study done by a high school girl of feeding fruit flies organic v. non-organic food is being treated as worthwhile? So lack of conventional credentials is not an obstacle to doing bona fide work.

            So please, tell me what you don’t like about the article. So far, you’ve offered nothing on that front except name calling.

          2. Mark

            Steve Rubie and the link from rjs provide all that anyone ought to need.

            I have never had links to agribiz and cashed out my pension so I have no links to my former employer. I only care about good vs bad research.

            You started the credentialism by your reference to “biomedical engineer” friends.

            This is not unlike the Rogoff and Reinhart business. By uncritically accepting an obviously poor paper simply because its conclusion confirms what one wants to be true one hurts ones cause and does not advance it. I would very much have liked for GMO foods to have been treated like drugs and subjected to high quality RCT’s. But they weren’t. More poor research will only hurt not help.

          3. Yves Smith Post author


            You gotta do a lot better than this to be taken seriously.

            1. The point re GMOs generally is that the public is being subjected to a massive experiment without consent. You are seriously trying to defend it, the concerns of the biomedical engineers or not? You attack the fact that I cited experts, yet you have NEITHER offered a rebuttal to that issue NOR cited an expert saying “gee, it’s just hunky dory to mess with public health with no controls or consent.” You’ve instead tried yet another ad hominem.

            2. You have yet to lay a glove on the Roundup study. You’ve name called the author as has Steve Rubie. You and he have only attacked the author personally and have failed to identify shortcomings in the paper. I’m still waiting for you to address the study.

            3. The comments to the article rjs linked to indicate that the person leading the charge against the article was one Kloor who is a pro-corporate, anti climate skeptic. So we seem to have dueling agendas.

            As you perversely complained, the article is easily accessible from Links. Please tell me what is wrong with IT, not with the author. I’m prepared to hear that it’s no good, but you’ve not made the case.

            The article itself goes through past research that supports each of the claims it makes. I also note the claims in the paper proper are less boldly stated than in the synopsis. So is this a bad paper or is the problem more that the synopsis was unduly sensationalistic, and the paper proper points to a mechanism that Roundup may indeed compromise and then points to all the research on what the impact could include?

            More generally, this is a classic example of halo effect, which is to see people as all bad or all good. The author writes in a screechy manner, ergo, the paper must be totally worthless. That has yet to be established. As a reader commented later in this thread, she appears to have focused on a particular mechanism that Roundup may compromise over time, and then has collected the research related to that. Now some of those studies may indeed be weak or too small scale to be conclusive. But I suspect a fairer-minded reading would be something like, “well there is some indication that Roundup could indeed operate as indicated, as if so, of the X problems that she says this mechanism could impact, the studies for [some smaller # than X] are large scale enough that for [these conditions] Roundup could contribute to them.”

          4. MacCruiskeen

            There’s nothing here to debunk. The author presents no original research, no real analysis of the work she references. It barely qualifies as a literature review. It’s just a long bunch of references strung together to try to link roundup with every known ailment, in a low-grade pay-for-play publication. Which is often a bad sign in a research paper. The great and powerful Orac explains her method in a similar paper:


            I mean, when you’re getting trashed by Orac and promoted by Joe Mercola, it’s pretty clear which side you’re on.

            It may be that some of the underlying research she references is perfectly valid, but it’s not worth wading through this mess.

          5. skippy

            @MacCruiskeen… have you vectored all possible influence’s for the last 200 years (increasing toxicity)[?], is it even possible to establish a base line anymore (crap… resort to anthropological forensics?)

            Skippy… industrial scientist’s… barf~

      2. Steve Ruble

        Mark, I agree it’s odd. I love this blog, and it’s really shifted my thinking about economics in the six months since I started following it, but the credulity occasionally exhibited towards bogus science sometimes makes me wonder how much I should trust the writers here when they write about things I don’t know anything about. It’s a little worrying…

        1. skippy

          @mark and steve… blow to the head lately?

          Firstly… “doesn’t seem very credible” – steve… this ain’t a scientific retort or perspective btw.

          Doin #2’s… “Surely this is not typical for a serious academic* (*academic credentials has become a poisoned well – thank you – for profit – academia + history + discovery channel – ihole plug in – et al) journal” – steve… see #1

          Tres amigos… every thing in your statement[s is just fogging the mirror… cough… blind conjecture and speculation with out substantive empiric rebuttal.

          Next blow to the head… “It’s odd Steve” – mark… yes it is odd mark that you would pop up and say WTF[?] or not.

          Gallbladder stones (mental) are painful… “Yves et al are well aware of the fact that lots of peer reviewed publications in economics and finance can be and are in fact crap but they set aside their BS detectors when it comes to science.” – steve… Sorry mate science is void of BS detectors, as you have evidence or not, theory not with standing, so whats your point again… oh yeah… rhetorical.

          skippy… so kiddos… if your new to this joint (months) FYI… stuff is put up for digestion… its a learning thingy… so… if you have any acumen wrt a subject ***please*** disgorge… provide links or evidence based opinion… but… and I repeat… go after this blogs hostess with mental ass crack rhetoric as pointed out above… and I’ll take a personal interest (ask around).

          PS. have a nice day… imt.

      1. AbyNormal

        ahhh your ole buddy just posted some DD in that area
        Giving Head
        John Bennett

        The expression
        giving head
        originated with
        Saint John
        the Baptist.

        (you dudes crack me up)

    2. Paul Tioxon

      The introduction of antibiotics such as vancomycin allow for the introduction of bacteria that can trigger colitis. The disruption of intestine bacteria colonies as a result of widespread consumption of GMO corn coincides with the public increase in IBS, colitis, etc.,Monsanto,GMO,Genetic,Engineering,Modified,Organism,Food,Sustainable,Local,Locavore,Organic,RoundUp/irritable-bowel-syndrome/

  6. Pete

    It’s not a crime, silly people. It’s a “secret”…. Uncle Ruslan’s former daddy in-law. Dismissed as coincidence.

    “Let’s watch and observe the coverage, or lack of, pertaining to CIA’s Graham Fuller and his three-decade long connections to CIA-Made terror in the Caucasus and Central Asia. I suspect we will not be seeing any coverage with substance. You will not find a single media outlet in the United States that would dare expose what I exposed several years ago on Graham Fuller’s major role in my State Secrets Privilege Case, in black operations in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and in the propping and handling of infamous Islamic Imam Fethullah Gulen and his $20+ Billion Dollar network of NGO’s in the US.”

    1. Marc Dutroux, NATO Deputy Secretary-General of CP

      The only quibble one might have is as follows: it may well be that the hot-line conversation resulted in a deal at the highest levels. But the negotiating parties are not equal in ability. Russian intelligence is still quite meritocratic, while NCS, the US counterpart, is a mafia. In NCS and its civilian-agency billets, you get ahead by proving your fealty to a patron and by accumulating criminal skeletons in your closet. If you are malleable enough and blackmailable enough, you can claw your way to the top in the clandestine service. In consequence, senior officials are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Look at Brennan.

      It may well be that the Russians dropped their opposition to US military intervention in Syria… now. Now, when the armed irregulars in Syria have lost momentum and cohesion. Now, when Iraq is blowing up again and Saudi succession is looming. Now, when Turkey is cuddling up with the SCO, just in case. Now, when Iran is an island of relative stability with ingeniously-adapted defensive capacity and a broad net of deepening international ties. Let us hope that Putin said, “Go ahead, whack that hornet’s nest, here’s a big fat stick.” One would like to be a fly on the wall – not to listen but to see his face.

      The likely outcome is not war. The likely outcomes is that cooler heads prevail, NCS is further discredited, and some future president, one with balls, does what it takes to dismantle the NCS. It’s of no use even to the kleptocrats now.

  7. Jim Haygood

    From the WSJ‘s article on ‘the diploma’s vanishing value’:

    Think a community-college degree is worth less than a credential from a four-year college? In Tennessee, the average first-year salaries of graduates with a two-year degree are $1,000 higher than those with a bachelor’s degree. Technical degree holders from the state’s community colleges often earn more their first year out than those who studied the same field at a four-year university.

    Take graduates in health professions from Dyersburg State Community College. They not only finish two years earlier than their counterparts at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, but they also earn $5,300 more, on average, in their first year after graduation.

    In Virginia, graduates with technical degrees from community colleges make $20,000 more in the first year after college than do graduates in several fields who get bachelor’s degrees. Yet high-school seniors are regularly told that community colleges are for students who can’t hack it on a four-year campus.

    Huh … why would a 2-year technical degree command a higher market value than a 4-year degree? Probably because, like far costlier postgraduate studies in law and medicine, 2-year degrees are focused on vocational knowledge.

    So are most 4-year degrees … for a career in academia. But since only a small minority of college students will go on to become professors themselves, it’s profoundly dysfunctional and narcissistic for higher education to maintain such a focus.

    Thanks to higher ed’s sleazy constellation of lavish government subsidies, collusive tuition pricing, deceptive marketing and kneecapping debt collection tactics, consumers are waking up to the academic scam and walking away. Autodidacticism never looked better.

    If it don’t pay, it don’t play.

    1. craazyman

      You can learn anything in the world for free at the University of Magonia but if you try to tell people about it they look at you like you’re crazy. Ah, the problem of “monetization.”

      1. AbyNormal

        The creation of a network of active but informal groups would
        also help solve the problem of documentation and publication. When the main organized groups do conduct investigations, they bury them in their files or publish only biased, heavily edited summaries, thus screwing down the lid on the observational material they precisely set out to reveal. pg.158 Passport to Magonia
        ‘ )

        1. craazyman

          when the going gets weird, the weird shut up.

          I thought that waz gonna be about retired Redskin’s running back Clinton Portis . . . aka “Coach Janky Spanky”, “Bro Sweets”, “Choo-Choo”, “Sheriff Gonnagetcha”, and “Dolemite Jenkins”, among others.

    2. Susan the other

      You can read any state or federal code on the internet. The language is simple and clear. And autodidacts can teach themselves the whole thing in less than a year. So clearly clepping is economical. Getting into a comfort zone requires things like shmoozing the old-boys’ club still. But not for long.

    3. jrs

      Autodidactism may be ok if what you want is knowledge, if you what you want is a job, haha just try convincing an employer to hire you. The colleges are an uneasy compromise on how to produce a citizenry that knows anything in a culture that only values money. It could all be done with autodidactism? Yea with highly motivated people who had any time, but this society isn’t exactly setup to give people much time. Though credentialism for everything is a bad solution, that the uneasy compromise might break down and the only value being money win, is not any kind of victory.

      1. scraping_by

        True enough about getting hired, but if you’re in a company already, it’s often a way to get ahead. Or stand out in cost cutting time.

        Avoid ‘seminars’ or ‘conferences’ though. Boondoggle by definition. Better spend the money on a book.

  8. ambrit

    Clicking through to read the Schiller article about housing, (which seemed a bit ‘commonsensical’ to me,) I noticed and had to read the Dick Cavett piece titled, “With Winters gone, can we be far behind?” Is it just me, or did anyone else expect a piece about ‘Global Warming?’

    1. petridish

      “Commonsensical” indeed!! The last line or conclusion:

      “Instead, it may be wisest to choose the housing that best meets your personal needs, among the choices you can afford.”

      Gee, ya’ think? If he thinks we’ve all been doing something else, I’d like to know what it is and why we’ve all been doing it–that would have been a better story.

      1. Susan the other

        The “renting connotes mobility” is a little superficial because it also connotes an instable, usurioous, kleptocratic econimic paradigm. Always looking for unproductive productivity to use as propaganda.

  9. kjboro

    Matt Yglesias has a ready answer for those who might be upset at the Obama administration’s policies that put profits-for-Big-Agriculture way, way ahead of consumer and worker safety (Mother Jones link). It is, by the way, the same answer he has for ignoring any concerns raised by the financial innovations of Big Finance now laying waste to retirees (NY Times link):

    “There are very good reasons for Bangladeshi people to make different choices (about unsafe working and/or consumption choices)… than Americans.”


    1. lambert strether

      I don’t understand why the Sandy victims would walk away. Didn’t Chris Christie hug them or something? In a moment of totally genuine emotion captured on TV?

  10. Joshua Ellinger

    The Aquatic Ape story is junk.

    Pr. Chris Stringer politely (heh, Brits :) points out some of the major flaws. He understands that you have to look at the whole package behind a theory and the evidence just isn’t there.

    In support, they cite an medical doctor and a conference organizer.

    I am referring to the authorities just to make the reader’s life easier. Follow the link to PZ Myers if you want the detail. He refers you to someone who put together all the counter evidence in one place.

    1. Valissa

      I was thinking of posting the link to Jim Moore’s Aquatic Ape webpage, but since you already took care of that I will most some silly cartoons that came up when I searched on that topic. note: not many cartoons on that exact topic, but some other fun stuff came up.

      Aquatic Ape theory illustrated

      Hairless vs. not competition :)

      I love a good visual pun, part 1

      I love a good visual pun, part 2

      I love a good visual pun, part 3

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The article clearly indicated near the top that the proponents were a small and lonely bunch.

    3. TK421

      Okay, so how does the trees-to-savannah hypothesis explain lost of hair? Breath control? Repositioning of bodily fat? Alteration of sweat glands? And so on.

      1. Valissa

        Those are some of the reasons someone came up with the aquatic ape theory and why some continue to support it or use it as a platform for speculation. It is an interesting theory, even if it’s probably not correct.

        1. TK421

          Right, but how did we get to be how we are? What’s the official story? Mote in thy brother’s eye, beam in thine own, and so on.

          1. Valissa

            Never trust the official story ;) The unofficial stories are often more entertaining and thought provoking… plus science keeps disproving it’s own theories over time and coming up with new ones.

            The Galaxy Song, from the Monty Python movie “The Meaning of Life”

    4. TK421

      “Now for the first question, does lack of body hair make us faster swimmers? human swimmers are, sadly, pathetically slow. The fastest human swimmers in the fastest Olympic event can’t quite manage 6 miles per hour, and they’re one heck of a lot faster than average people (twice as fast or faster). Given the long legs which propel them, we can be pretty sure that they’re one heck of a lot faster than our early ancestors too. Yet 6 miles per hour is slow; it’s a speed which can be easily exceeded on land by children . It’s also deadly slow in the water, crocs and sharks are several times faster.”

      So…we stayed on land, where there was nothing that was faster than we were?


  11. William

    Schiller article–incredibly commonplace, conventional thinking. IOW, out-of-touch with reality. He must have dusted off some old 1990s real estate advice article, just changed a few words to make it seem modern. I thought this was going to be a piece on alternative building techniques and designs that require less energy to heat and cool, employ water-saving and greywater usage, use more natural, locally available materials, cost much less, and overall just make more sense. I wish.

  12. p78

    “Europe is on the brink of a landmark ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides, which have increasingly been linked to serious declines in bee numbers. Despite intense secret lobbying by British ministers and chemical companies (Syngenta, Bayer) against the ban, revealed in documents obtained by the Observer, a vote in Brussels on Monday is expected to lead to the suspension of the nerve agents.”

      1. diane

        long live any concept worth living, and dying for, that is kinder than the the ‘concept’ we are living under.

      2. jrs

        Oh I’m sure they will. I predice the descrepencies between European and American lifespans should continue to grow despite some problems with austerity there.

        America, where the quality of life is @#$# and the length of it short, or nasty, brutish and short iow.

  13. Ned Ludd

    The ice cube video is only 31 seconds long. In one hundred years, people will wonder why daily warnings about climate change weren’t printed on the front page of every newspaper and broadcast at the beginning of every news show.

    1. psychohistorian

      Those folks 100 years from now will also wonder why all the truth of the day came out of comedians.

      Its all faith, all the time. Except when the music stops.

  14. When Timmies attack

    In Wurlitzer news: endearingly fierce attacks on skeptics. Have you noticed the obvious and well-established pattern of state-supported terror enabling increased repression, lately in Boston? Well then, the Democrat hasbara scolds have a bone to pick with you.

    Here’s William Rivers Pitt, groveling Truthout snool, trying to talk tough in his high, squeaky authorial voice, “No we didn’t knuckle under to state authority, we were brave! Oh yeah? Put up your dukes, lemme at em, lemme at em!” Watch him try to whip up any residual resentment in the subject population of Watertown, and divert it toward defenders of civil and political rights.

    Say, hero, Did anyone in Watertown inform the massed squadrons of SWAT apes at their door that they did not consent to search? You know, just to keep the joints out of the picture? Or because it is your right? Yeah, get back to me on that, tough guy.

    Then there’s Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon. He reports that, in accusing the US government of armed attacks on civilian populations, which it does every frickin day, you are just like Hitler & al Qaeda and you are just like mad bomber Tamerlan, who likes Alex Jones, by the way, just like you, but you’re probably too far gone cause you are nuts, say many eminent psychologists. Because US government crime is like UFOs and it means you don’t believe in anything if you think the US government might commit any crimes other than the ones everybody agrees it committed.

    I like the frantic tone. Snf, snf. Mmmm. Smells like Mary Margaret Graham’s apocrine pits.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Alda Sigmundsdóttir is an Icelandic writer who is a big supporter of Iceland joining the E.U. (and, presumably, the euro). She harshly criticized the right-wing Progressive Party but, towards the end of her post, also revealed why it became more popular than the center-left.

      Key persons within the Progressive Party have also been linked to all manner of corruption, relating to fishing quotas, large-scale debt write-offs, and a plethora of other issues too lengthy to relate here.

      Their current chairman, and the man likely to become Iceland’s next prime minister, is one Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. He is 38 years old and the wealthiest MP in the Icelandic parliament, with net assets valued at ISK 600 million. His wife is a wealthy heiress valued at over ISK 1 billion.

      So by now you are probably asking: WHY is this dude so popular?

      There are a couple of reasons. First, there’s the glowing promise of the debt relief, outlined above. Then there’s Icesave. Remember the presidential elections last year? They were won almost exclusively on the strength of the president’s Icesave veto. Same thing here. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was the most vehement opponent of Icesave in the Icelandic parliament, and to many people, this translates into trustworthiness. All else notwithstanding.

      The Progressives are also strongly opposed to joining the European Union, which sits well with a lot of voters. Sadly, it looks like, if this coalition comes into effect, the ongoing negotiations with the EU, which have claimed so much time, effort and expense, will be blown off entirely.

      In Europe, right-wing nationalists seem to put nationalism (and national oligarchs) ahead of the interests of foreign oligarchs – at least when it gives then a political advantage. The center-left, in contrast, is always pining for status with the larger, European oligarchy.

      1. sd

        To best understand the character of Icelanders, read Halldor Laxness who pretty much nailed it 50 years ago.

        In regards to the campaign, the Progressive Party pretty much promised everyone in Iceland a pony.

    2. Ned Ludd

      The Financial Times lists results for the parties that made it into Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althingi. “The result will give the Pirate party three MPs, the first time the international movement will enter a national parliament.”

      • Independence Party (up 3%) – 26.7%
      • Progressive Party (up 10%) – 24.4%
      • Social Democrats (down 17%) – 12.9%
      • Left-Green Alliance (down 11%) – 10.9%
      • Bright Future – 8.2%
      • Pirate Party – 5.1%

      The rest of the votes went “to parties that did not cross the 5 per cent barrier to get into parliament.”

  15. Valissa

    Yoohoo Lambert and other Mainers… Calling All Eyewitnesses of Maine Squatch!

    UFO researchers meet with Brazilian Ministry of Defense

    Creative ways to make a buck, part 1… Company insures against Nessie collision

    Creative ways to make a buck, part 2… Lingerie firm launches women’s underwear for men

    Superheroes vs anarchists, what is the world coming to? Report: WA cops should ‘restrict’ superheroes

  16. David Lentini

    Late Comments on Yglesias and Our Sorry Political Lexicon.

    It’s time that the “progressives” (whatever that really means) start to develop and enforce a political lexicon that is more robust than just “conservative” and “liberal”, or we’ll never be able to foment serious political change. I’ll take a stab here.

    Generally, I would argue,”conservative” and “liberal” are not really opposites. The opposite of “conservative” is “radical”: Conservatives want to make change slowly, if at all; Radicals want to make change at the most fundamental level (“radical” coming from “radix”, the Latin word for root), usually rapidly. Thus, both terms can apply to any variety of goals; the question is the degree and speed of change that is sought.

    When it comes to social behavior, i.e., the range of behavior that one is willing to accept in a society, then “liberal” describes someone who favors, or is comfortable with, a wider range of acceptable expression while a “traditionalist” seeks to keep the range of expression more narrowly confined to established social norms. (Think Harvey Milk vs. Archie Bunker.) Of course, we can see our first point of confusion–Since new forms of expression are likely to run counter to traditional forms, then traditionalists in this context can also be conservative while liberals are radical. But my point is that this doesn’t have to be the case every time: As Hillary Clinton, among others, remarked in the 2008 presidential race, it was the Democrats–traditionally the “liberal” party (no pun intended)–who were the true conservatives in the face of the Republican attempts to “radically” change our government to a more “conservative” vision. (Ouch! My eyes are starting to spin.)

    On top of this, we also have “left” and “right”, which originally referred to the social distribution of property. The left favored a more egalitarian, even equalitarian, sharing of wealth among citizens; the right favored individual property ownership. (See Thus the “left” includes such political groups as communists and socialists; the right includes groups such hierarchy-oriented groups as monarchists, aristocrats, fascists, and other groups that argue in favor of inequality. (See

    In American politics, we have allowed these terms to become blurred and even adopt contradictory meanings. Thus, “liberal” has become synonymous with “left” and “radical”, and “conservative” synonymous with “right” and “traditionalist”. Yet, one can be a radical traditionalist (i.e., a “reactionary”, a term all but gone from America save the dictionary) or a conservative liberal (i.e., one who rejects a reactionary). I argue this is at the heart of our problem in devloping a real “progressive” or “left” political movement: By compacting so many different meanings into a few terms, we have lost the ability to accurately describe our politics.

    In the case of faux progressives like Yglesias, I argue that the “left” in America, i.e., the groups that traditionally supported a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and property and supported unions as an important social mechanism for achieving that goal, has been dead for nearly 30 years. Thus, “liberal” in the sense of “left” has no (or very little) meaning anymore. The “liberals” are now just those who support a wider range of acceptable social behavior, which today usually means things like gay marriage and abortion rights. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy to find lots of common ground between liberals and libertarians when it comes to behavior–both generally agree in letting people do what they want, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else. (Remember when Barry Goldwater came out in support of gay rights in the early ’90s?) The difference has more to do with how to guarantee that freedom, with liberals favoring government action and libertarians favoring individual action. In fact, by the end of the ’80s the intellectual liberal elites had largely abandoned the leftist ideas of income distribution and started moving to the laissez-faire rightist ideas in the GOP, arguing that personal freedom through an economic and academic meritocratic economic system was worth the cost of a less equal distribution of wealth. Thus we see how many Democrats have abandoned the unions and so too have abandoned public education–Just look a Rham Emanuel’s actions against the CTU and compare those to Mitt Romney’s infamous “47% Speech”.

    The shift has been well documented and discussed among such writers as Christopher Lasch (“The Age of Narcissism”, “The Revolt of the Elites”, and “The Minimal Self”), E.J. Dionne (“Why Americans Hate Politics”), and Chris Hedges (“The Death of the Liberal Class”), among others. These authors trace the history to the death of the left in the ’50s McCarthy witch hunts and the riots and discontent in the ’60s, the assumption of political power by the college educated, contented middle class baby boomers in the ’70s who forgot their working class roots (see, Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”, and the retirement of the older generation who remembered the Great Depression and repression by the rich until the end of World War II.

    So, we need to rebuild a progressive or left movement we need to expand our sorry excuse for a political lexicon.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am frustrated talking to my Libertarian friend that keeps bashing all government, mostly with good reason these days, and agrees after much pushing that corporations have corrupted our government and that these corporations are owned and mostly directed by the rich.

      What he refuses to entertain, so far, is that the solution to curtail the power of our past and current overlords is to reduce inheritance to levels that don’t allow for social engineering.

      The hubris of some humans to think that they are so special because our current financial accounting (known and hidden) say they own everything is both humorous and potentially species threatening.

      I believe we have the capability to make a much better world but getting there from here is more than just a matter of common social will. It takes a common admittance of our strengths, weaknesses and understanding the benefits of sharing resources.

      We need to redefine and assert what we want government to do for society…….when it breaks down here real soon people will have a fresh view of what constitutes civil society.

      1. AbyNormal

        “the solution to curtail the power of our past and current overlords is to reduce inheritance to levels that don’t allow for social engineering.”
        the least we could do is force ‘them’ to blow their wads on corralling us…
        don’t sit down cause i moved your chair!

      2. jrs

        They’d be better off arguing it can’t be acheived with the current government structure (that real taxes on the rich would never be passed by it). Which is chicken and egg, they won’t until money is out of the picture (ie politicians aren’t voting on bribes), and maybe not even then.

    2. Valissa

      Great comment! +100! I went through a similar thought process at one time. My solution to the problem of definition was to become an ex-liberal and non-aligned. Wish you luck with getting people to have more intelligent (and less subjective, emotional and religious) political definitions or labels to believe in.

    3. Charles LeSeau

      A great post. Semantics are important. And yea, the left…hmm..

      I live in farm country (come from the city). There is an enormous sign in front of a neighbor’s house that says: “The Definition Of Socialism? OBAMA.”

      I’m not sure how many viewers of this sign take it seriously, but it’s up there every day staring down any motorist who drives by it and is thus functional advertisement and ready information. Maybe believers of this Obama socialist stuff are in the minority at this point even out here. But almost weirder than that sign is that I know waves of people from both city and country who only passively care (if at all) about the concerns of the world’s various power structures, current events, and sociopolitical designs. They have their jobs and their lives and their problems and their entertainment and their stuff and easy market access, but they are largely apolitical in anything beyond simply having an opinion on some wedge issues, about as serious a thing to them as their opinion on yogurt brands.

      I think it’s what we should reclassify, rather than liberal or conservative or anything, as the “fuck it” faction, and they are large I think. They have a light hold on news or global data at best, and it’s never what they talk about or access if they can help it. They are starting to get the hint, maybe, but the aorta of conversation is pumping trivia and it’s almost considered a social sin to violate the breezy “what’s up?” nature of their public discourse. Predictions of anything that might resemble disaster, descriptions of our own support of documented global oppression in cases like child slave labor in the chocolate market etc, and specifically anything resembling “negativity” have been nixed as whining, maybe the worst American sin, and the polite response is a passive “yeah right/oh I know” sort of thing followed by some attempt to change the subject. Maybe I’m an isolated case – this is empirical after all (people I know and see), but damn. Nobody is making headway against this any time soon.

      We may be the weirdest society ever. We’ve got a character that is unique, especially in our sense of humor and abandon, but I’m not so sure the masters of mass communication haven’t unlocked the secret to not letting “history repeat itself” in terms of public control. I think Orwell might have given them some lessons by mistake. Lots of sins of omission, misinformation, twisted logic, abrogation of word meaning, and corporate personality molds out there for people to absorb.

      Sometimes I feel like it’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers out there.

      1. David Lentini

        Sometimes I feel like it’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers out there.

        I recently saw that movie again and had the feeling it capture the last 30 years of American culture.

      2. diane

        Sometimes I feel like it’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers out there.

        you’re certainly not alone, I feel like I woke up …. one day,… just before shrub’s (George W. Bush’s) ascendancy (after a short, 8 year, delusional, reprieve from Reagan and Herbert Walker), ….. into a hideous nightmare (not to say that his predecessors, and successor are innocent, at all) … it has not stopped, since then.

          1. diane

            and you, are always on a roll! Much appreciated.

            (I attempted to post some Van Gogh pictures (currently in spam), below, for you honey, I hope they show up ;0) …)

        1. diane

          (excuse me, and sorry for jumping the gun; it was 12 years of those fuckers, Reagan and Herbert W., not 8 years .. How could I forget? … because nature kindly blurs pain sometimes, for survival’s sake.)

    4. Chris Rogers

      Hate to break it to you, but that paradigm of Liberalism, Woodrow Wilson, throttled the growth of an actual “leftwing” movement in the USA nearly as soon as he entered the Oval Office – for a good take on the US left, do read Jack London’s The Iron Heel and then consider the date it was actually published.

      Indeed, much of the US history from the end of the Civil War until the 1960’s attack on a Negro-led civil rights movement has been highly anti-left.

      Further, your average Yank has difficulty with concepts such as ‘Socialist’, which is why many of Obama’s most vociferous rightist opponents refer to as a ‘Socialist’, even though he’s to the right of the UK’s Conservative Party.

      1. David Lentini

        No argument here. In fact your post brings up a problem with the use of “progressive” that I hope to write about soon.

      2. Synopticist

        Obama isn’t to the right of the conservative party, he’d probably be on it’s centrist, “reformist” (but not really) moderate wing.

        He’s more right wing than the conservatives pretended to be though, before they got elected.

    5. Kim Kaufman

      Caution about taking Wikipedia very seriously on these matters. The right wing has been rewriting Wikipedia for some time now. Thom Hartmann got on a tour of a right wing think tank some time ago (they didn’t know who he was) and a roomful of people at computers were pointed out as the ones rewriting Wikipedia.

      1. David Lentini

        I know, but I thought the pages I pointed to were reasonable (at least when I last read them).

        1. Valissa

          Lots of people who post and edit Wikipedia articles are lefties and they likewise effect the info there. There are virtual wiki wars in some topics areas, therefore certain topics are very carefully watched by Wiki central due to this. I think the wiki definitions you used are reasonable.

    1. Valissa

      What I want to know I why anyone wastes their time reading the type of twaddle those guys post! As far as I’m concerned the exploits of the Kardashians are a better commentary on the state of our society.

  17. Valissa

    RIP Richie Havens…

    A Transcendent Musician – Freed by Richie Havens

    Folk icon Richie Havens is dead

    Richie Havens – Freedom at Woodstock 1969 (HD)

    Richie Havens – Here Comes The Sun (live 1971)

    Richie Havens – Night they drove old dixie down

  18. Susan the other

    Make sure to read the Corrente repost on Medicare for all: all payer or single payer. And note the NOTES.

  19. Herman Sniffles

    I first read the aquatic ape theory in the book “The Naked Ape” by Desmond Morris in about 1968 (I think it was Desmond Morris, anyway. And it could have been 69, or even 67, but I don’t think it was 66. No, it definiely wasn’t 66 because that’s when I started eating mushrooms)and have followed it ever since. I’d bet the theory is correct, but I also bought some more ASA gold stock a few months ago. And by the way, this article doesn’t mention some other obvious aquatic human attributes, like the fact that when we put our fingers together our hands look and act like flippers. And that humans have the same response that seals do to extremely cold water in that all our blood rushes from our extremities to our heart and brain, which is why people can “drown” for long periods of time in extremely cold water and then be reived intact if a bit cross-eyed, and also why surgeons can cool us down to very low temps to do surgery. Why would our bodies do that if we weren’t at least partially adapted to an aquatic environment? But I think the number one thing that convices me they are right is watching the difference between a swimming orangutan and a swimming Mark Spitz.

    1. scraping_by

      As I recall, Desmond Morris theorized humans lost their hair because less hair meant more pleasurable skin on skin contact, which meant more sex, which meant more babies. Darwin for heavy breathers.

      The closest personal information I’ve ever gathered were girls who shaved their legs vs those who didn’t. No big difference.

  20. diane

    About that Press Correspondent’s din din, last ‘evening’ (Malarial SWAMP, DC, ‘Eastern Daylight Time’ ):

    There is (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by lentinel on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 09:25:03 AM EST

    something about this event in particular that turns my stomach.

    There used to be a cinematic cliché which contrasted the reality of what was happening to people in WW2 Germany, particularly Jewish people, and then the film would inter-cut scenes of Germans singing and drinking in their local taverns – oblivious.

    That’s the way I feel about this obscene convocation of fat-cats.

    The media, combined with self-serving elected officials, combined with an incompetent opposition, have created the dire circumstances which face many Americans. But they do not suffer, and they feel nothing.

    And then there must be somewhere in their feeble skulls the knowledge of what is happening in Afghanistan, the indifferent treatment accorded wounded veterans, and the horrific hunger strike going on in Guantanamo.

    It is not a time for levity by sophomoric amateurs.

    1. diane

      I was going to watch (5.00 / 4) (#2)
      by Payaso on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:14:55 AM EST

      but I decided to watch the Mr Ed marathon instead.

      LOL (5.00 / 2) (#3)
      by shoephone on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:55:45 AM EST

      I would have made the same choice. “Now, Wilburrrr…”

        1. diane

          I can’t read the link hon, I’m on dial up, and don’t allow scripting as I don’t really want to ‘log on’ and find ugly ads directed at me (meant to humiliate and force me to spend money so ‘I will be acceptable to Mainstream Society’ [Not Mainstream Society]). I’m already finding life pretty difficult, let alone tryin to sort through the “Free Trade” fucker’s algorithmic lazer beams of shame for those who are not on board with the goings on.

          Anywho I trust you, far more than your REP. I’m sorry, but that is how, I feel. In order to attain Office, one has to let ‘certain concerns’ (many, of high importance), go by the wayside …

          I have absoluteley given up on our ‘elected’ officials, I guess that will have me categorized as a terrorist ….. so be it, even though I will not be using any firearms anytime soon, …. or late.

  21. Herman Sniffles

    Swimming chimpanzee (honestly, I share his technique)

    Human female olympic swimmers. How can anybody watch this and not know we are aquatic animals? Look at how we dive. I’ve watched animals all my life and this diving is obviously some kind of an escape response. Show me another animal that can swims like this and isn’t considered and aquatic animal. In fact, show me another animal that swims like this at all! (at lease one without fins and scales) The scientists who pooh pooh this theory should get their noses out of their journals and take a look around them at the real world.
    I rest my case…again.

    1. diane

      Rigorous Intuition spoke to that thought, I found it heartening; ….. then again, I have a love for dolphins and whales …. (unfortunately, so does “the military.”)

      Was it ever determined what caused all those dolphins to wash up, dead, along the southeastern seaboard in the late nineties, with an ailment quite similar to AIDS?

    2. jrs

      Yea, the aquatic ape is a nice theory, that water love affair is so poetic, such an archtype, more than just the aquatic environment in utero. No wonder some people insist they have to live near the sea (of course that’s pretty unaffordable some places). Regardless of whether we are aquatic apes, the article was correct about the need for omega 3s, gotten mostly from seafood, with seafood populations crashing, overfishing, and ocean acidification, and warming, we’d be screwed if we weren’t already screwed in 100 other ways first. Still I grieve for the quality of life in the future, if there is any human life in that future.

  22. Chauncey Gardiner

    To honor the memory of those who died in the tragedy in Dhaka, noted that today (April 28) is International Workers Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work. In Canada this has been declared a National Day of Mourning, to commemorate workers killed, injured, or suffering illness from occupational hazards and accidents. [See:

    Just a thought in what is a very sad time for a lot of people. Hope the implications of this tragic event lead to significantly improved working conditions.

  23. bhikshuni

    curious story here for finance geeks

    “In April 2005, Linda Grant Williams, a structured finance and real estate lawyer living in Bedford, New York, came up with a new way to finance the construction of airport terminals. Her way of financing and refinancing these deals could have saved airlines billions of dollars, she claims in a lawsuit filed in 2008.
    The idea was to issue bonds with ratings based on the demand for passengers that fly in and out of busy U.S. airports like La Guardia, JFK or LAX. High and reliable flyer traffic would translate into top bond ratings and thus lower interest rates for the terminal bonds based on that passenger stream. This method contrasts with how airport bonds are issued now, based on the considerably lower credit ratings of the individual airlines that use the terminals.

    But then, she claims, some strange things began happening.
    A few weeks after meeting with Williams, Citigroup backed out, despite the fact that they were initially gung ho. In March, 2006, her law firm asked her to resign, although it did let her retain her patent, she claims in her suit.
    Williams joined another law firm, Greenberg Traurig, a few months later. That company also thought her idea was worth pursuing, she maintains. She met with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, who initially loved the idea. But once again, something happened. A year after she joined Greenberg, the law firm refused to renew her contract. The banks would not return her call.”

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