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What Does it All Mean?

March 2, 2010

I have no idea but we needed a new thread.

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. artemis54 permalink
    March 2, 2010 3:16 pm

    I guess I’m stuck on the amphibian today.

    New frog species named for Al Gore

    “It’s a tribute to a notable figure in the fight for environmental preservation, with his contribution to reflection and action against climate change,” herpetologist César Barrio, director of the environmental foundation Andígena, which made the frog discovery.

    Attn Glen Beck: The frog turned up in Chavez-land. Coincidence? I’m just sayin’.

  2. artemis54 permalink
    March 2, 2010 11:27 pm

    What we need to do is hire Temple Grandin to redesign the Senate.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 3, 2010 7:28 am

      Ha! She’d probably recommend that a herd of Jerseys could do a better job running the country than these clowns.

  3. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 6:56 am

    So I was reading Brad Friedman’s latest piece about the Sibel Edmonds case. Not much new there, mostly a rundown of several other columns. There does seem to be a lot of evidence to back up Edmonds’ claims and many of those she mentions have been involved in lots of pretty illegal things in the past and this wouldn’t be the first instance where nobody felt it necessary to look further into what Feith, Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman etc were doing. But sometimes when nobody looks into stories like this, pretty much what happened during the entire Bush administration when they broke the law time and time again, it gives you a weird feeling that just maybe it’s all in your head and you’re making something out of nothing because if it were serious then surely somebody else would care.

    Anyhoo, I was scrolling down through the comments and came across a reference to the David Hawkins guy melvin had mentioned a day or two. Holy Shit! That guy is bat shit insane.

    Big difference between guys like that and Brad Friedman. Personally I find Friedman to be pretty credible – he has been proven right about the faulty voter machines and his coverage of the ACORN story has been excellent as opposed to that of the supposedly credible corporate media. If anyone is interested Friedman has been doing a series of articles at Bradblog pounding the crap out of the NYT for their awful coverage of the ACORN story and their refusal to issue a retraction when it’s been shown how wrong they were. When the history of the era is written about years from now I suspect that people may look back on the Help America Vote Act as a mini coup of sorts. Pretty amazing to me that in response to the voting debacle that allowed Bush into office the solution was to pass legislation that allowed and encouraged computerized machines with private source codes to be installed all over the place making it even easier to steal elections. But Friedman sure does attract the crazies.

  4. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 7:49 am

    New DNA research has found that polar bears evolved relatively recently.

    “Our results confirm that the polar bear is an evolutionarily young species that split off from brown bears some 150,000 years ago and evolved extremely rapidly during the late Pleistocene, perhaps adapting to the opening of new habitats and food sources in response to climate changes just before the last interglacial period,” says Charlotte Lindqvist, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the UB Department of Biological Sciences and lead author on the paper with Stephan C. Schuster at Penn State’s Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics.

    This doesn’t seem all that surprising to me in light of reports of hybrid polar/grizzly bears from recent years. Side note – I saw a TV program on the trophy hunter who shot that bear and he is a real asshole. Anyhow, moving on. I’ve also seen documented reports of hybrids between blue whales and fin whales. So just when does a species become a species? This is something that isn’t terribly well defined. I think the generally accepted idea for animals at least is that if two animals can produce a viable offspring then they are the same species. So in that case wouldn’t grizzlies and polar bears just be variations of the same species which is in the process of diverging into two separate ones? Maybe it isn’t known whether the hybrid bear can itself reproduce (since that asshole shot it). If not then I guess you’d have to stick with calling the two bears separate species. Obviously this is a touchy subject (for political reasons more than biological ones perhaps) but I suspect as the science of genetics gets more advanced we will see changes in how these notions are talked about.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 3, 2010 8:49 am

      I found this discussion on the intrusion of grizzlies into Polar territory in a Calgary paper

      Grizzly bears on move to polar bear country where there is also mention of inter-breeding. Perhaps that will be the path for the Polar bears to survive complete extinction with the loss of their ice habitat.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 3, 2010 8:59 am

        That’s one of the political aspects the scares me a bit. If it can be shown that polar bears can live in grizzly habitat and mate with them too, I’m sure there will be people who would use that as an excuse to do nothing about the polar bear habitat and the environment in general.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 3, 2010 1:17 pm

      So just when does a species become a species?

      That’s both a great question and to some degree an irrelevant one. As far as systematics goes, there will forever be new and more subtle arguments between the lumpers and the splitters.

      But it’s important to remember that the term is really a construct in our minds, not a concrete thing like water or carbon. Trying to find the line is a bit like trying to mark not on the calendar but in your mind the moment when spring turned into summer. “Well . . . ” All you know is that it was spring when the crocuses came up, and now it’s summer and you’re barbecuing. In a way we put too much emphasis on it.

      You refer to the possible – well, certain – attempts to use these things politically. Then there’s subspecies. For purposes of the ESA, Distinct Population Segments are more important than subspecies definitions and deserve the same consideration as species, really – and you-know-who would love to get around to overturning that one of these days. That is as it shoud be, pace Bush and I am sorry to say Obama as well. Species or whatever don’t fulfill their function, if you will, on a diagram of the family tree. They fulfill it in the Fraser River or the Snake, in the forests of the Olympics or the Sierra Nevada. Hence the absurdity of Bush & Co claiming that the marbled murrelet did not need protection in the US because they were doing fine in Canada – a claim that also proved to be false – as well as Obama & Co’s identical argument for the pika.

      • artemis54 permalink
        March 3, 2010 1:43 pm

        What I meant to say is that while it’s fascinating scientifically, it doesn’t belong in the kind of kindergarten full of spoiled brats politics we seem doomed to.

        • cometman permalink*
          March 3, 2010 2:00 pm

          I hear you- pretty much what I was trying to say in the response I just posted.

          One of these days I’ll learn to consolidate my thoughts and be a little less verbose, but I certainly do appreciate the company here tolerating all the thinking out loud I type onto the page :)

      • cometman permalink*
        March 3, 2010 1:56 pm

        That analogy using the seasons was very good. That’s pretty much what I was getting at near the end of my comment but you said it much better. The exact definition of a species is largely irrelevant from a scientific standpoint but from a political one it can cause lots of problems like the ones you mentioned. And that’s without even getting into differences between various members of homo sapiens. I think the discussion about the homo floresiensis fossils and whether they represent a distinct new species or a variation on homo sapiens is pretty interesting but the one thing I think you can take from it is the realization that animal populations adapt relatively rapidly when they are isolated if they manage not to die off first. There is lots of fossil evidence from non-hominids to back this up to.

        Hard to explain exactly what I’m getting at without it coming across the wrong way, but basically those of a racist bent have in the past, still do and will in the future most likely twist these definitions. For some reason homo sapiens likes to put things into neat little categories but that isn’t necessarily how nature works.

  5. Stemella permalink*
    March 3, 2010 8:39 am

    Past is prelude in Iraq, again it seems. Elections are to be held in Iraq this coming Sunday and the outcome could be interesting. I wonder if they will do the purple finger fandango thing again with fanfare on Faux and CNN? There have been numerous suicide bombings in preparation. And then there is this:

    Ex-U.S. ally Chalabi, now Iran’s friend, likely winner in Iraq

    he’s No. 3 on an electoral ticket alongside Iraq’s biggest Shiite Muslim factions and his name is cropping up regularly as a potential prime minister. If Chalabi does, finally, ascend to an elected post in Iraq, Washington won’t be cheering. These days, the nimble politician’s fortunes are more closely tied to militant Shiite factions and their allies in Tehran than they are to Washington.

    “The Americans outplayed themselves, nobody outplayed them,” Chalabi said in an interview with McClatchy this week in Baghdad. “They believed their own propaganda.”

    If Chalupa Chalabi becomes PM will it be the culmination of a neo-con wetdream?

    • cometman permalink*
      March 3, 2010 9:57 am

      Oh ferxrissakes. The current puppet government is incredibly corrupt and I’ve read that a lot of candidates have been barred from running at all so I have no illusions that the next “election” in Iraq will produce anything but another corrupt puppet government. But I hadn’t heard that Chalabi had a chance. That guy has switched allegiances so many times he is a modern day Alcibiades. Wonder how long it will be before one of the parties he’s fucked over gets sick of his bullshit too?

  6. Stemella permalink*
    March 3, 2010 9:21 am

    America, will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64? 60? 55? 50? Shit.

    Over 50 and homeless: Recession’s toll rises

    Loaves & Fishes reports upticks in the number of formerly middle-class men and women past the age of 50 who are now on the streets, said advocacy director Joan Burke.

    Similarly, Women’s Empowerment, which helps homeless women learn job skills and find housing, saw its population past age 50 soar to 29 percent in 2008 before dropping to 16 percent in 2009, the year Betancourt graduated from the program.

    And at the Gathering Inn, which feeds and shelters Placer County’s homeless, 27 percent of people seeking services each night are age 50 to 62 – up from 10 percent in 2004.

    “When you’re 50 and homeless on the street, that’s like being 65,” said the Gathering Inn’s Suzi deFosset. “It’s so hard. It takes a toll.”

    People past 50 who have lost blue collar and service industry jobs have skills that may not translate into 21st century work – one reason that the AARP Public Policy Institute finds that older, unemployed job-seekers are likely to be on the job market longer.

    Gov’t adopts formula that doubles elderly poor

    The government took steps Tuesday to highlight the increasing numbers of poor Americans, adopting a revised formula that is expected to double the number of older people classified as living in poverty to nearly 1 in 5.

    Under the new formula, overall poverty is expected to increase from 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million people, to 15.8 percent, or 47.4 million, mostly due to rising expenses from medical care and other factors.

    The new measure will not replace the official poverty rate but will be published alongside the traditional figure next year as a “supplement” for federal agencies and state governments, according to the directive announced Tuesday by the Commerce Department and White House.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 3, 2010 10:02 am

      How nice of them when at the same time they’re looking for a way to gut benefits for those same elderly poor. Rrrrrrrrr.

  7. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 9:38 am

    Thought this article from Ellen Brown was good for several reasons – IMF-Style Austerity Comes to America .

    She mentions the austerity measures being pushed by the likes of Peter G Peterson and his company the Blackstone Group which has Social Security and Medicare in its sights. Blackstone was also heavily involved with the bank bailouts although I can’t remember in exactly what capacity off the top of my head- I think it was in administering funds to their various cronies. These Blackstone people seem like really bad actors and bear at least as much scrutiny as Goldman has been getting if you ask me. If if nobody is willing to do that maybe just toss Peterson to one of the friendly shamus he currently owns.

    Brown does maybe the best job of any writer I’ve come across in the last year and a half of this financial crisis of explaining exactly what money is and where it comes from.

    What the President seems to have missed is that all of our money except coins now comes into the world as “red ink,” or debt. It is all created on the books of private banks and lent into the economy. If there is no debt, there is no money; and private debt has collapsed. This year to date, U.S. lending has been contracting at the fastest rate in recorded history. A credit freeze has struck globally; and when credit shrinks, the money supply shrinks with it. That means there is insufficient money to buy goods, so workers get laid off and factories get shut down, perpetuating a vicious spiral of economic collapse and depression. To reverse that cycle, credit needs to be restored; and when the banks can’t do it, the government needs to step in and start “monetizing” debt itself, or turning debt into dollars.

    I’ve been seeing more and more financial writers suggest that we just print more money to get ourselves out of the hole and she has the best explanation I’ve seen so far about how that could actually work. The danger is in causing inflation, but inflation isn’t necessarily bad as long as it doesn’t get out of control and it doesn’t get out of control if the money is distributed somewhat equally through the economy. Doesn’t matter too much if a loaf of bread goes up by 50 cents if workers wind up getting a raise at the same time. That seems to be what she is touching on here:

    What invariably kills any discussion of this sensible solution is another myth long perpetrated by the financial elite — that allowing the government to increase the money supply would lead to hyperinflation. Rather than exercising its sovereign right to create the liquidity the nation needs, the government is told that it must borrow. Borrow from whom? From the bankers, of course. And where do bankers get the money they lend? They create it on their books, just as the government would have done. The difference is that when bankers create it, it comes with a hefty fee attached in the form of interest.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has been trying to increase the money supply; and rather than producing hyperinflation, we continue to suffer from deflation. Frantically pushing money at the banks has not gotten money into the real economy. Rather than lending it to businesses and individuals, the larger banks have been speculating with it or buying up smaller banks, land, farms, and productive capacity, while the credit freeze continues on Main Street. Only the government can reverse this vicious syndrome, by spending money directly on projects that will create jobs, provide services, and stimulate productivity. Increasing the money supply is not inflationary if the money is used to increase goods and services. Inflation results when “demand” (money) exceeds “supply” (goods and services). When supply and demand increase together, prices remain stable.

    My biggest concern is that as taxpayers we do have to pay back the interest on the national debt and that is currently a pretty good chunk of what our taxes go to. And the debt keeps getting bigger, increasing the tax burden, while wages remain stagnant. I’m not completely convinced yet, but she does address that problem in the article too.

    She also uses a quote from Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope about political systems being basically captured by elite bankers. Tocquedeville had a really good piece on this book at Klub Kumquat a while back too which peaked my interest in it. There were of course those who labeled this a conspiracy theory but here’s my thing about so called “conspiracy theories”. It isn’t a conspiracy any more when it’s right out in the open for everyone to see. What is the purpose of constructing fantasies about some secret unnamed group of Illuminati? There are small groups of elites who meet and make decisions that affect billions of people but we know who they are and we can see the results. The Federal Reserve, The WTO, etc. It’s just that nobody seems to pay attention until they start to really fuck things up royally.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 3, 2010 11:00 am

      Here’s another from Mike Whitney which refers to the Brown article and comes to about the same conclusions regarding the spending that will be necessary.

      This part is explains the situation well and I do think more spending would help rectify the current predicament:

      US households sustained huge losses during the recession; nearly $12 trillion has been slashed from home equity and personal savings in the last two years. Millions of baby boomers, who believed they had sufficient savings for retirement, now must either put off their retirement and work longer, or cut back sharply on spending to pad the nest-egg. The process of deleveraging typically lasts for 6 to 7 years following a financial crisis, according to McKinsey Global Institute. Unfortunately, recent data show that US households have barely begun the process. Their debt-to-disposable income ratio is still extremely high and must return to its historic trend. That means they will not be able to spend as freely as they did before. As private spending slows, businesses will be forced to reduce inventory, lay off workers, and curtail investment. (There’s no need to reinvest when the system is already saturated with overcapacity.) When consumers can’t spend, and businesses have no incentive to invest; the economy nosedives. The government can either boost stimulus to make up for the loss in activity or cut spending and risk another recession.

      However I think much more needs to be done to keep the whole cycle of boom and bust from repeating itself. People in this country have driven expansion by buying things they didn’t really need with money they didn’t really have. We simply can’t infuse a bunch of cash into the system just to get people buying useless crap again (even if it is with cash instead of credit the next time around) in order to create new jobs just for the sake of having them. We have made technological advances that require a lot fewer workers to produce more than ever before and a lot of what people do now is just busy work. How much time and energy is wasted by people trying to convince others to buy one syrupy carbonated beverage over another for example? The boom and bust cycle isn’t good for the average person who works for a living and overconsumption just to keep everybody busy has been a disaster for the planet. I think eventually we will have to figure out a system that pays people more to work less. People fought for similar measures during the robber baron period when the industrialization of that age made certain kinds of work unnecessary and it’s time to do it again. Double the pay and cut the work week in half or something like that. We need to get to an economic system that isn’t driven by finance but by labor. As technology and automation increase the trend away from physical labor and manufacturing towards a more service oriented labor force will continue. Still a ways away from a robot that can cook up a coq au vin. But if people have their needs provided for with a shorter work week they’d have more leisure time and money to spend in that service economy.

      Of course any systemic change like that would require those at the top to take a huge haircut and they might have to figure out how to live on a million or two a year instead of amassing billions all for themselves. And the oligarchy will resist that with everything they have just like they always have.

      Probably just have to wait for the whole thing to collapse before we get a better system.

  8. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 10:10 am

    Charlie Rangel is temporarily stepping down from his chairmanship position. Jon Stewart did a great job ridiculing him and Pelosi last night.

  9. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 1:08 pm

    I get a kick out of meta articles about the intertubes. Here’s another one – What Does the Internet Look Like?

    Ha!

    We can rule certain images out right at the start. We know, contra former Senator Ted Stevens, that the Internet is not a “series of tubes.” We know that “the Wild West” doesn’t fit, not for a landscape that’s been so nicely parceled, policed and manicured. We also know that it’s not that other Nineties favorite, an “information superhighway”— the point of a highway is to get somewhere, after all, somewhere that is not a highway, while the point of the Internet is to stay there, forever and ever, like a hot tub. A hot tub, after all, is shared with friends and strangers, whose warm water swirls around you, lulling you into complacency while silently transmitting disease. Yes: The Internet is definitely more like a hot tub than a highway.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 3, 2010 1:47 pm

      Even the tackiest strip mall may have a comfort station or an interesting art gallery.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 3, 2010 2:02 pm

        Not really any different from TV or newspapers when they were more ubiquitous than today. The trick is sorting out the worthwhile from the garbage.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 4, 2010 8:50 am

      Here’s another very thoughtful take on Internet meta, a Frontline expose called Digital Nation – Life on the Virtual Frontier

      I’ve watched about half of of the hour and a half program. Quite a bit of it so far focuses on the impact of online connectivity and techno multi-tasking on kids and educational processes, but also more generally on society. Several trends we’ve discussed here are discussed. I highly recommend it.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 4, 2010 9:29 am

        I watched that one on the TV last month and it was really good. Watched the first hour and then went back later for the last half hour. IIRC, in the last half hour or so the tone shifts and it starts to get pretty heavy. Excellent program. Let me know what you think when you watch the whole thing.

        • Stemella permalink*
          March 4, 2010 10:54 am

          I finished it. You are right, that last half hour with all the military applications of drones and virtual reality is unnerving and disturbing.

          So will the digital revolution result in utopia or dystopia? Right now the present and future is feeling pretty Brave New World dystopic to me, but it will probably end up along a spectrum, more utopian in some places, less so in others and in different time frames. The capacity for curiosity, love, creativity and humor in humanity will always give me hope that pockets of light will continue to exist.

          Right now S. Korea seems to be worse for the wear for all that digireality and gaming. Those poor kids. Perhaps Korea will adapt more successfully in time as this country succumbs to the more violent aspects of digitized reality.

          Much to think about. I know I’ve already been affected by being online so much in the last 5 yrs. Those effects are both positive and negative. The important thing, I think, is maintaining the freedom and will to shut it off. And with that, I’m shutting the box off and heading out to get some manure, seeds and starts to get the gardens going again. I’m also going to get a machete and retire the gas powered weedeater for donation. I’ll keep the chainsaw for emergencies, but some tasks are simply better done low tech. :)

  10. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 1:16 pm

    Interesting – Mossad: the elite women who work for ‘the family’ .

  11. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 1:29 pm

    Holy shit. Just 15 years ago the 6 biggest US banks had combined assets equal to about 17% of US GDP. Today it’s 63%. Of course it probably depends on exactly what the banks are considering “assets”, but still.

  12. artemis54 permalink
    March 3, 2010 7:08 pm

    Oy.

    I can’t take it any more.

  13. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2010 8:46 pm

    Neat-o.

    The blurb for the video mentions the machine was designed and built by the band and people from Syyn Labs. Pretty cool stuff at that website. Anybody want to give the Cloud Mirror a spin?

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 4, 2010 8:52 am

      That was really fun to watch. I can’t imagine how long that took to set up. As to the Cloud Mirror, nope, not gonna do it. Not surprised that others would, however. It relates nicely to the Frontline piece I linked to one of your comments above.

  14. artemis54 permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:21 am

    Go cephs! Octopus Imitating Flounder in the Atlantic

    • cometman permalink*
      March 4, 2010 8:38 am

      That is really cool. I’d seen films of mimic octopi from the Pacific doing that but the show suggested it was just the one species(!) that did it. Wonder how many other tricks they have that nobody knows about yet?

  15. artemis54 permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:30 am

    Interesting in view of the subject of blurry lines that came up yesterday: Do elephants run?

    well, sort of

    • cometman permalink*
      March 4, 2010 10:58 am

      Here’s some more about the blurry lines – Canine Morphology: Hunting for Genes and Tracking Mutations.

      Tried to find a link to the original from PLoS Biology but I think the site must be having server problems since I couldn’t get the page to load.

  16. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 8:25 am

    More on our burgeoning idiocracy. The Caribou Barbie entourage as The 8th Plague and the necessity of stoning Shamu.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 4, 2010 8:52 am

      Gotta love the AFA, bravely leading us into the 14th century. Animals on trial? Hell, why not? We’ve already brought back a modern version of the rack; the dunking stools and book burnings can’t be far behind.

  17. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 9:32 am

    Really wish we lived in a world where this wasn’t necessary, but we don’t so Naomi Klein reminds us that Chile isn’t Haiti and it wasn’t the invisible hand of Milton Friedman which kept the vast majority of their buildings standing-Chile’s Socialist Rebar.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 4, 2010 10:15 am

      My brother is in construction. His first remark on Haiti was “That’s what you get with no oversight, no building codes and no inspections.”

  18. Stemella permalink*
    March 4, 2010 9:39 am

    Obama seems to not care for certain inconvenient truths coming from the Labor Department, so he’s simply going to shut them down. Nice. How’s that bubble going for ya, Barry?

    Obama administration plans to close International Labor Comparisons office

  19. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 9:54 am

    A few years ago I may have given some credence to the arguments Michael Lerner presents here – Why I Disagree with Hedges on Obama
.

    Now I don’t.

    First of all it’s hard to take people seriously who contradict themselves in the course of the same article:

    Few of them expected change overnight, none of them expected change without compromise, but all of them expected that Obama would unequivocally speak the same language and the same critique of the corporate powerful and the same critique of the Bush abandonment of human rights and civil liberties, to the whole country that he had spoken to his supporters when telling them that “you are the people we’ve been waiting for” and that he would deliver “change you can believe in.”

    Followed later by:

    Obama never named or targeted corporate power…

    What Lerner’s argument boils down to is that he’s met Obama and Obama is not a liar and manipulator but a very nice man (presumably Lerner gave Obama W’s Putin treatment). And the problem isn’t so much that he “compromised” by continuing the policies of war, financial predation, etc, it’s that he didn’t tell us why. Presumably once Lerner gets the answer to that everything will be okey dokey. To get the answer Lerner suggests that we need to reframe our complaints in more positive language filled with spirituality and Jeebus (the good one though, not the Pat Robertson Jeebus). And on and on with the milquetoastian claptrap.

    Hedges is right, Lerner is wrong and Jeebus doesn’t give a shit.

    Which reminds me it’s about time to watch this movie again:

  20. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 10:09 am

    As the vast readership of this website are aware, I enjoy a good art heist almost as much as stupid people being eaten by wild animals. The FBI is revisiting the case of the gazillions worth or artwork lifted from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 20 years ago.

    If you are ever in the Boston area be sure to check out this museum. It is really tremendous and Gardner is a very interesting figure a la Dorothy Parker. If I remember right she left instructions that the layout of the museum was not to be changed so as you walk through you see blank frames where the Rembrants and Vermeer used to be.

  21. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 10:50 am

    Good article on a couple subjects we’ve been talking about lately, autism and toxic chemicals – The Autism – Environment Link .

    Hard to argue with the following in light of the fact that there are 60,000 chemicals which the US has never really bothered to test at all:

    Landrigan has long characterized the release of industrial chemicals into the environment as a “massive, toxicological experiment, with our children and our children’s children as the experimental subjects.”

    I don’t deny that some chemicals may be beneficial and fairly harmless but until the long term effects are known for a fact I really resent being part of the experiment.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 4, 2010 11:17 am

      Please see Bitter Sweet or Toxic? Indigenous people, diabetes and the burden of pollution from Ahni.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 4, 2010 2:32 pm

        Wow. Thanks for posting that. First I’d heard of diabetes being linked to toxins – I thought it was primarily from sucking down all that high fructose corn syrup (which probably doesn’t help either).

        Sounds like their research is pretty solid.

        In 2006, Dr. Dae-Hee Lee and her colleagues showed that people with the highest rate of exposure to POPs were roughly 38 times more likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest rate of exposure. Further, “they showed that people who were obese but did not have high levels of POPs were not at increased risk of developing diabetes,” continues Dr. Carpenter. “Probably the reason most people get obese is that they eat too many animal fats, and this is where the POPs are.”

  22. artemis54 permalink
    March 4, 2010 12:15 pm

    Temple Grandin at TED

  23. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 1:01 pm

    Ha! Somebody’s been reading Matt Taibbi’s columns.

    On a related note, here’s just how dumb the Fed thinks we all are. From the Cleveland branch of the Fed:

    here’s the zerohedge take on the second one –The Federal Reserve Explains… The Federal Reserve In One Easy, Retard-Accessible Video.

  24. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 2:11 pm

    Couple of posts from Naked Capitalism. Think that new credit card reform legislation will keep credit card compamies from bending you over and having their way with you? – Think again.

    And I found this post about the pro-Rahmbo propaganda campaign of the last couple weeks interesting not so much for the subject matter but for this little tidbit from Yves Smith:

    (aside: for unrelated reasons Rahm has become a Person of Interest to this blog, as will become evident over the next ten days or so)

    Wonder what she’s got on this douchenozzle?

  25. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2010 2:46 pm

    It’s just so hard to slough off that white man’s burden when duty calls (and pays extremely well) – The Ultimate Idiot’s Guide to Being an African Junta. If I were Guinea I think I’d be demanding a refund.

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