Friday, December 2, 2011

Breaking News Fri. Dec. 2, 2011

I got this, this morning, from our excellent friend RJ, and thought it needed to be up here for all to see.
AndrewGelman: Lamentably common misunderstanding of meritocracy - Tyler Cowen pointed to an article by business-school professor Luigi Zingales about meritocracy. I’d expect a b-school prof to support the idea of meritocracy, and Zingales does not disappoint. But he says a bunch of other things that to me represent a confused conflation of ideas. Here’s Zingales: America became known as a land of opportunity—a place whose capitalist system benefited the hardworking and the virtuous [emphasis added]. In a word, it was a meritocracy. That’s interesting—and revealing. Here’s what I get when I look up “meritocracy” in the dictionary:
1 : a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement
2 : leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria
Nothing here about “hardworking” or “virtuous.” In a meritocracy, you can be as hardworking as John Kruk or as virtuous as Kobe Bryant and you’ll still get ahead—if you have the talent and achievement. Throwing in “hardworking” and “virtuous” seems to me to an attempt (unconscious, I expect) to retroactively assign moral standing to the winners in an economic race.

Don't forget to check out RJ's super duper weekly wrap up of the financial news today at Global Glass Onion and tomorrow, I think our wise and gentle Ozarker will have one of her thought provoking posts up in the afternoon over at Conflicted Doomer,.
And check out the great posts at our forums! You'll find links at the bottom of this post, as always. :D

I hope you all have a good weekend, be sure to stop by tomorrow for a documentary! See you all again on Monday for Breaking News.

ScientificAmerican: Fukushima Earthquake Moved Seafloor Half a Football Field
DesdemonaDespair: Fukushima nuclear reactor: TEPCO and NHK obfuscate meltdown penetration into concrete foundation
RawStory: Japan nuclear meltdown ‘maybe worse than thought’  - Molten nuclear fuel at Japan’s Fukushima plant might have eaten two thirds of the way through a concrete containment base, its operator said, citing a new simulation of the extent of the March disaster.  

Global Conflict
CNN: Al Qaeda leader claims responsibility for capture of American
TruthOut: EXCLUSIVE: An Open Letter to the US Congress From Members of the British Parliament About Guantanamo 
TheAtlantic: Egypt's Election: As Islamists Dominate, a Power Struggle with the Military Begins
TheAtlantic: Is Iran Already Under Attack?
LAT: Al Qaeda says it is holding US hostage in Pakistan
LegitGov: Former top Israeli general says explosions that reportedly hit Iranian nuclear sites not accidents
ExtinctionProtocol: UN: Syria now in a civil war with 4,000 dead
BusinessWeek: Egypt's Islamist Blocs Claim 70% Vote Share in Delayed Count 
Fox: US Military Hands Camp Victory Over to Iraqis 
Reuters: After NATO strike, Pakistan adjusts rules of engagement 
CNN: UN rights chief warns of 'civil war' in Syria 
LAT: Senate votes for new Iran sanctions, defying White House 
MSNBC: End of an era as US military hands Camp Victory to Iraqis - Sprawling complex included former Saddam palaces, lakes and even a zoo
SeattleTimes: EU foreign ministers fail to agree on Iran oil ban - EU foreign ministers failed Thursday to reach an agreement to impose an oil embargo against Iran - a measure that some argued would have choked off funding for Iran's alleged program to develop nuclear weapons.
SeattleTimes: Germany probes if Iran pondering attacks - German prosecutors are investigating information authorities received that Iran has been planning attacks on American targets inside the country, but has no indication of anything in the works, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
VOA: Pakistan to Respond 'Instantly' to Any Border Aggression

WashingtonPost: Shell tells employees in Syria to obey EU sanctions, not clear production will stop

WitnessLA: DANGEROUS JAILS, Part 2: Ignoring the Warnings - This is the jail where eXiled writer Yasha Levine is being held.
LAWeekly: L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Puts Occupy L.A. Price Tag at Over $1 Million; City Spent More Than That on Michael Jackson Memorial
Brookings: What Does U.S. Military Deployment Mean for Asia-Pacific?
CNN: Exclusive: Inside the offices of Occupy Wall Street 
Yahoo: How Republicans are being taught to talk about Occupy Wall Street - The Republican Governors Association met this week in Florida to give GOP state executives a chance to rejuvenate, strategize and team-build. But during a plenary session on Wednesday, one question kept coming up: How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street? "I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death," said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation's foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. "They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism." 

Financial News
BlacklistedNews: Turns out the ‘Government Sachs’ conspiracy theorists were right all along
Zerohedge: US Needs To Generate 263,700 Jobs Monthly To Return To Pre-Depression Employment By End Of Obama Second Term
Reuters: Jobless rate drops to 8.6 percent, hiring picks up 
CuriousCapitalist: American Unemployment Falls to 8.6%: Amazing News, But Is It a Game Changer? 
Slate: The $7 trillion secret loan program: The government and big banks should be punished for deceiving the public about their hush-hush bailout scheme. - Eliot Spitzer
Reuters: China says can't use reserves to rescue foreign countries - China cannot use its $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves to rescue other countries, a top foreign ministry official said on Friday, in Beijing's strongest rebuttal yet to talk that it should help Europe overcome its debt crisis. 
CBSNews: Merkel: Financial crisis solution to 'take years'
BusinessInsider: George Soros: The Global Financial System Is In A 'SELF-REINFORCING PROCESS OF DISINTEGRATION'
IBTimes: European Crisis Will Deteriorate, Oil Will Soar in 2012: Goldman Sachs
CNN: End welfare for the wealthy
Bloomberg: Commodities to Rally on ‘Cheap Money,’ Renaissance Predicts
MyBudget360: When the clock strikes 12 - the midnight economy of food assistance. Millions of people shop on the first of the month because electronic food assistance cards are credited. The lost wages of a decade and a Fed determined to bailout the world.
BusinessInsider: Look How Europe Has Changed From November 2010 To December 2011
BusinessWeek: Senate rejects, for now, extending payroll tax cut
Reuters: Germany's Merkel fights for euro
StarTribune: Decade after Enron, US still duped by hidden debt, promises of quick profit and dizzying deals 
BusinessInsider: WHOOPS: Another Big Canadian Unemployment Flop
WashingtonPost: The European debt crisis in eight graphs
TheAtlantic: There Is Not Enough Money to Save Europe
CNBC: Europe's Real Problem? Deflation
NYT: French President Warns of Dire Consequences if Euro Crisis Goes Unsolved
NakedCapitalism: Massachusetts Announces First Comprehensive Lawsuit Against Major Banks
DolanEcon: Afghanistan's Economic Future, Aid, and the Curse of Riches - We hear a lot about the future of Afghanistan after NATO withdrawal in 2014. Most of the speculation focuses on security and politics. Too little of it concerns economics. A pair of new reports, one from the World Bank and the other from the IMF, help fill the gap. If you thought the security and political prognosis was problematic, wait until you read what lies ahead for the country’s economy.
MJPerry: Excluding Cash for Clunkers, November Car Sales Are the Highest Since June 2008, 2.5 Years Ago
CalculatedRisk: LPS: Mortgages In Foreclosure Process at an All-Time High
Economix: Why Do Foreign Banks Need Dollars?
WBIR: Tennessee prepares for more budget cuts - A steadier economy is easing pressure on Tennessee's finances, but officials are nonetheless initiating another round of cuts.
FDL: While Coakley Sues Banks, Treasury Goes After Penny-Ante Mortgage Thieves
BusinessInsider: Landlords Turning To 'Powerful Software' To Hike Up Rents This Season

Peak oil and Energy News
TruthOut: Kasich, Koch and Big-Industry Bucks: Why Ohio Is the Next Fracking Frontier
CNNMoney: Oil's up, gas is down. Why? 
StarTelegram: Rotating blackouts possible in Texas this winter - Rotating blackouts like the ones that occurred during February's cold snap are possible this winter if there is a "simultaneous occurrence of extreme weather and worst-case generation outages," the leader of the state's major power grid operator said Thursday.
IBTimes: Brazil Oil Regulators Order Shut-In of Chevron Wells at Frade Field
CNNMoney: A costly winter ahead for home heating oil users 
FCNP: Tom Whipple:  The Peak Oil Crisis: The IEA’s Road Show
ThinkProgress/3Es: One Third of World's Energy Could Be Solar by 2060, Predicts Historically Conservative IEA
Mineweb: Platinum 2012 Outlook Bleak
Mineweb: Reasons to have a silver lining to your portfolio

Environmental News 
M 5.7, Bali Sea
M 4.7, Mid Indian RidgeScienceMag: How Sharks Go Fast - Researchers have discovered what makes the shark almost impossible to outswim.
LAT: Santa Ana wind damage stuns Southland residents
MSNBC: World's biggest bug? That depends...
(wow! thanks Ozarker! what a bug!)
CBS: Violent winds cut destructive path through West
USNews: Poll: Republicans Coming Around on Global Warming
Yahoo: Thawing permafrost vents gases to worsen warming 
MSNBC: Ski season in Switzerland stalled by lack of snow - Resorts now trying to lure tourists with special offers  
BBC: How animals predict earthquakes
MSNBC: Global warming creates 'new normal' in Arctic - 'It is troubling how fast the change is proceeding,' scientist says 
TulsaWorld: Report: Arctic region much worse than 2006
IrishTimes: There is still time to avoid being locked into a high-carbon energy system - but not much
NRDC/3Es: Protecting America's Clean Water Legacy
ExtinctionProtocol: Seattle airport records highest atmospheric pressure reading ever
December 2, 2011 – SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Washington — The highest atmospheric pressure ever recorded at Sea-Tac Airport was recorded Wednesday night, KIRO 7 Chief Meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson reports. At midnight, the barometer hit 1043.4 millibars, breaking the previous record of 1043.0 millibars, set on January 28, 1949. The all-time highest atmospheric pressure recorded in Seattle, with records dating back to the late 19th century, was 1043.9 millibars, or 30.83 inches of Mercury. It was recorded in downtown Seattle on December 3, 1921.
WorldwideMeteorNews: NEOs Close Approach to Bring Green Fireballs 2DEC2011

America in Decline
Cryptogon: Wall Street’s “Secret Government”
BlacklistedNews: U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets admits Obama national security lawyers
USPIRG: Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead  - Privatized traffic law enforcement systems are spreading rapidly across the United States. As many as 700 local jurisdictions have entered into deals with for-profit companies to install camera systems at intersections and along roadways to encourage drivers to obey traffic signals and follow speed limits.  
NationofChange: EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Magazine National Review Buoyed by Drug Lobbyist Cash - The time period in which PhRMA made its contribution coincided with helpful political attacks emanating from the pages of the National Review. The National Review took a leading role demonizing a cost-saving proposal from the Obama administration that could diminish millions, if not billions, in pharmaceutical company profits.
The following two stories from RJ are very troubling
BusinessInsider: The Media’s Blackout Of The National Defense Authorization Act Is Shameful - The broadcast media's ignorance and unwillingness to cover the National Defense Authorization Act, a radical piece of legislation which outrageously redefines the US homeland as a "battlefield" and makes US citizens subject to military apprehension and detainment for life without access to a trial or attorney, is unacceptable. Guys, this is far more important than Penn State's Disgusting Creep of the Decade, or even Conrad Murray's sentencing. Call it what you will: a military junta, a secret invalidation of Americans' civil rights, a Congress gone mad. Whatever it is, it needs to be covered by the press, and quickly. Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and the other handful of household names that mainstream America relies on for news should be talking about this non-stop.
Wired: Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial - Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just let the military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate is poised to pass its bill as early as tonight. There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled to end the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects.
CNN: Senate passes defense bill with detainee policy compromise
CNN: Taking obese child from mom is wrong - Is child obesity a form of child neglect?

Science and Technology
TechReview: Going Offline - Google reveals how often ­governments ask it to banish things from its services and how often it complies.
RawStory: YouTube Revamp Foreshadows Google's Vision of Media
PopSci: Video: Playing With Fire Aboard the International Space Station
PopSci: Controversial Tracker CarrierIQ Found on iPhone (in Limited Form)
InfoWorld: Carrier IQ and Facebook pose the least of your privacy threats 
PopSci: China Daily: The Should Be a Beijing-Washington Hotline to Avoid Cyber-Misunderstandings 
CosmicLog: Fl and Lv headed for periodic table
InsideTV: Nielsen report: TV ownership declines

Medical and Health
M&C: UN: Ending AIDS is possible after four decades
ScientificAmerican: New Flu Strain Makes Health Experts Nervous
PopSci: A 3-D Printer Makes Customized Human Bones To Order World AIDS Day Pushes For Zero Infections By 2015 [VIDEO]
GayCityNews: NYC World AIDS Day Demo Demands Millionaire's, Wall Street Taxes 
TheChart: Gene could be factor in frequent cold sores - People who get frequent flare-ups of cold sores may have variations of an obscure gene, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. This is the first gene to be associated with cold sore outbreaks.
GlobeandMail: End of an era for Lipitor 
CNN: U.S. medical 'trash' saving lives abroad 

Other News
Do Christians believe in atheists? UBC study finds believers distrust atheists as much as rapists
Cryptogon: Woman “Imprisoned” on Scientology Cruise Ship for 12 Years
MJPerry: More Pot, Less Beer, and Fewer Traffic Fatalities
PalomaEsquivel: 60% of adult illegal immigrants in U.S. for 10 years or more, report says 
TruthOut: Will Texas Execute Man, Despite Untested Evidence? 
MSNBC: After duty, dogs suffer like soldiers - At least 5 percent used in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with PTSD 

RawStory: Bachmann suggests intelligent design is a ‘scientific fact’
BusinessWeek: Cain Tells Newspaper Ending Presidential Campaign Is 'An Option'
Fox: Senate Rejects Rival Payroll Tax Cut Plans as Vote Exposes GOP Split
USNews: Herman Cain Is Not Going to Drop Out 
PoliticKerny: Mayor Bloomberg: ‘I Have My Own Army’
TheAtlantic: Cain's Wife Didn't Know He Was Giving Ginger White Money 

The Forums
TinfoilPalace: And We Think Our Leaders are Nuts.... 
TinfoilPalace: Sheriff Who Traded Sex for Meth Ends Up in Jail Named After Him
TheOilAge: Insulin and Doom 
TheOilAge: Durban climate summit dominated by bitter rivalries 
HubbertsArms: US Senators back law authorizing indefinite military detention without trial or HubbertsArms: Germany remains oblivious to apocalyptic warnings  
SilentCountry: Best holiday decorations. Ever.
SilentCountry: Stockpile Money NOW warns Mervyn King!


  1. Hi Pam, loved the photo of the weta, they certainly are awesome "bugs" we get a lot of smaller varieties where I live and when you find them in the wood pile they certainly make you take a step back.


  2. Hey Kiwi! thanks for commenting and yes, that is an awesome insect! Dang!
    I wonder if people keep them as pets. LOL
    at first, when I saw that photo, I thought someone had photoshopped it. Thanks to the Ozarker for sending in that link too.