Monday, January 23, 2012

Breaking News Mon. Jan. 23, 2012

Good Monday to everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend. I finally got the greenhouse ready and have some lettuces and salad things sprouting even as we speak!

This important story was sent in by RJ this morning.

InvestmentWatchBlog: Threatening New Bill H.R. 1981 – Worse Than SOPA/PIPA – This Bill Entitled “The Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act Of 2011″ Is A Bill With Overly Broadened Language That Greatly Threatens All Of Us. - It’s their solution that appalls me: under language approved 19 to 10 by a House committee, the firm that sells you Internet access would be required to track all of your Internet activity and save it for 18 months, along with your name, the address where you live, your bank account numbers, your credit card numbers, and IP addresses you’ve been assigned. Tracking the private daily behavior of everyone in order to help catch a small number of child criminals is itself the noxious practice of police states. Said an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “The data retention mandate in this bill would treat every Internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of every American.” Even more troubling is what the government would need to do in order to access this trove of private information: ask for it. I kid you not — that’s it. As written, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 doesn’t require that someone be under investigation on child pornography charges in order for police to access their Internet history — being suspected of any crime is enough. (It may even be made available in civil matters like divorce trials or child custody battles.) Nor do police need probable cause to search this information. As Rep. James Sensenbrenner says, (R-Wisc.) “It poses numerous risks that well outweigh any benefits, and I’m not convinced it will contribute in a significant way to protecting children.” Among those risks: blackmail.

and also one from the Ozarker

FreakOutNation: Meet ACTA; It’s SOPA and PIPA on steroids, the Global Edition

Much thanks to RJ at the Global Glass Onion and the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer for their support and help finding important stories for us! Be sure to support their work and let them know you appreciate it.
Also, don't forget to check out the forums at the bottom of the blog post. Always something interesting going on there!

DesdemonaDespair: Japans citizens take food safety into their own hands – ‘The government’s food-monitoring system is simply not credible’
LegitGov: Radioactive iodine in rainwater: Public was in the dark
CommonDreams: Japanese Govt Kept Secret Worst-Case Scenario Post-Fukushima

Global Conflict
BusinessWeek: Egypt's Islamists to Dominate First Post-Mubarak Parliament
LegitGov: US rights group says Iraq becoming 'police state'
BlacklistedNews: Press TV: US deploys 12,000 troops in Libya
SeattlePI: Syria rejects new Arab League plan to end crisis
Cryptogon: Military Vehicles on Train Near Santa Cruz
WashingtonPost: Final results confirms Islamists winners in Egypt's elections
BostonHerald: US to keep 11 aircraft carriers to show sea power
Hosted: Yemen's leader allowed to come to US 
FT: Spiral of revenge claims 200 victims in Nigeria 
NYT: European Union Moves Closer to Imposing Tough Sanctions on Iran
LegitGov: Most Syrians back President Assad, but you'd never know from western media 
Collapsenet: Iranian news sources claim Obama recognizes Iran's nuclear rights
Iraq Becoming ‘Police State’, Says Rights Group
BusinessInsider: Following New EU Sanctions, Iran Says Closing The Strait Of Hormuz Is Now Its Legal Right
VOA: Syria Rejects Arab League Call for Power Transfer
Bloomberg: Iran Said to Seek Yen Oil Payment From India Amid Tighter Global Sanctions
StarTribune: Arab League demands Assad step down
CNN: Nigeria's president visits city where bombings killed at least 157
CNN: Human Rights Watch: Iraq getting worse
SeattleTimes: Egypt's Islamists win 75 percent of parliament  - Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt's first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.
CNN: Lawyer: Mubarak is still Egypt's president
Corrente: Trip report from Washington, MacPherson Square, Occupy Congress, and Freedom Plaza - Lambert Strether -  Readers, there are a number of photographs on the full post, and I hope the page isn't too slow to load. And I'm sorry this post took so long for me to write, but as it turned out I had a lot to think about.
TruthOut: Utah Doctors Join the Occupy Movement

Hacker/SOPA News
Zerohedge: Megaupload Takedown: The Real Meaning
Cryptogon: Kill Hollywood
CSMonitor: If feds can bust Megaupload, why bother with anti-piracy bills?
CNN: What's the controversial site all about?
HuffingtonPost: Kim Dotcom: Police Cut Way Into Mansion To Arrest Megaupload Founder - New Zealand police on Saturday revealed bizarre details of the arrest of the suspected kingpin of an Internet copyright theft case against the James Bond-like backdrop of a country mansion hideaway with electronic locks, a safe room and a pink Cadillac.
IBTimes: SOPA is Dead: Lamar Smith Withdraws Bill from the House

Domestic Financial News 
Zerohedge: Is This Why They Won’t Prosecute? Top Justice Officials Represented Big Banks, Freddie, Fannie and Mers
MyBudget60: The catastrophe of our economy for the young American worker. Average college debt higher than typical new automobile cost, annihilation of pensions, and younger Americans moving back home because of financial necessity.
NYT: How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
- A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
(and why? because we outlawed slavery a long time ago. Why in the hell would anyone point to an example like that as something to be proud of? Would you leave your family and live in a goddamn dorm room with strangers just so you could condemn yourself to a life like that? Um, that's a big Hell No, if you have any scrap of pride about you, and I'm sure you do. Watch out what they point to as a great achievement or a positive trait, next thing you know you or your children or grandchildren will be trying to find a way to commit suicide as a means of escape from some hideous factory. Let them have the damned jobs if that's how they want to run them. And good riddance.)
BusinessInsider: The Delicate Art Of Making A Lowball Offer On Your New Home - Lowball offers are not exactly music to a seller's ears, but how you present your "underbid" can apparently make all the difference
Zerohedge: 10 Predictions For 2012 From BlackRock's Bob Doll
NYT: Fed Set to Introduce Communications Policies - The Federal Reserve, which does not like to surprise financial markets, has worked unusually hard to prepare the public for the changes to its communications policies that it plans to introduce on Wednesday.
NewYorker: Private Inequity - At this point, the people who run America’s private-equity funds must be ruing the day Mitt Romney decided to run for President. His fellow Republican candidates, of all people, have painted a vivid picture of private-equity firms—including Bain Capital, where he worked for fifteen years—as job-destroying vultures, who scavenge the meat from American companies and leave their carcasses by the side of the road. Not since the days of “Wall Street” and “Barbarians at the Gate” have the masters of leveraged buyouts looked quite so bad.
FT: Talks set out terms of US mortgage deal - Banks and government negotiators have cleared a big hurdle in efforts to resolve allegations of widespread mortgage-related misdeeds, agreeing on terms for a settlement that are being circulated to the 50 US states for approval, state officials and a bank representative say. The proposed pact would potentially reduce mortgage balances and monthly payments by more than $25bn for distressed US homeowners, these five people said.
NakedCapitalism: Obama to Use Pension Funds of Ordinary Americans to Pay for Bank Mortgage “Settlement” - Yves Smith - Obama’s latest housing market chicanery should come as no surprise. As we discuss below, he will use the State of the Union address to announce a mortgage “settlement” by Federal regulators, and at least some state attorneys general. It’s yet another gambit designed to generate a campaign talking point while making the underlying problem worse.
EconomicCollapseBlog: If The U.S. Government Keeps Spending Money Like This We Are Doomed And If The U.S. Government Stops Spending Money Like This We Are Doomed
Time: Obama's State of the Union: Jobs, re-election time - Obama's State of the Union: Blueprint for a better economy, implicit pitch for re-election
GlobeandMail: U.S. economy may never fully recover: Carney
BottomLine: Housing ends year on strong note, but prices still falling
MSNBC: Fed, earnings top Wall Street's agenda this week 

Global Financial News
Zerohedge: Forget China, 'System D' Is World's Second Largest Economy (Infographic) 
CreditWritedowns: News Links: Portugal to need Greek style debt haircut

DailyBail: Shilling Says New Global Recession Is Already Here (Links)
CharlesHughSmith: I Was Wrong About Everything
Time for a mea maxima culpa: I've been wrong about everything: the stock market, the economy, globalization, energy, everything. Heck, I've even been wrong about the American diet and poor fitness; it's now clear that ice cream sundaes are health food that have been shown to extend life dramatically. Fast food is nutritious and cheap, a great combination, and there is basically nothing in the mind-body that can't be fixed in a jiffy with a handful of pills, all of which are almost free once you qualify for government healthcare programs.
Mish: Irish Journalist Hounds ECB Official Regarding Irish Taxpayer Bailout of French and German Banks - The video below is from a European Central Bank press-conference in Ireland. Journalist Vincent Browne demands that the ECB representative explain why the ECB required the Irish people to bail out a bank's uninsured creditors. The bureaucrat mouths bland reassurances, then asserts (despite all appearances to the contrary) that the question has been answered. Browne doesn't let up.
BusinessInsider: Here's A Huge Sign That The European Financial Crisis Is Ending
MacroMonitor: Will the Collapse of the Shanghai Composite Drag On?
EnergyBulletin: Suppressing volatility makes the world more dangerous
Berkeley: An iPod Has Global Value. Ask the (Many) Countries That Make It. - New York Times - Who makes the Apple iPod? The company outsources the entire manufacture of the device to a number of Asian enterprises, among them Asustek, Inventec Appliances and Foxconn. But this list of companies isn’t a satisfactory answer either: They only do final assembly. What about the 451 parts that go into the iPod? Where are they made and by whom?  
Krugman: Apple And Agglomeration 
AlterNet: Apple’s Foreign Suppliers Demonstrate Widespread Scamming and Horrific Abuse of Employees - Bill Black - Apple has released a report on working conditions in its suppliers’ factories, highlighting a form of control fraud (fraud in which the head of a company subverts it for personal gain) that criminology has identified but rarely discussed.

NakedCapitalism: Greece Lines Up Portugal - Another weekend…. and we are still waiting for an outcome on Greece. The chief negotiators from Institute of International Finance (IIF) have left the country yet we still haven’t heard anything that sounds remotely like a deal.
NakedCapitalism: Philip Pilkington: ‘Does Capitalism Have a Future?’ – Why the Financial Times Asks All the Wrong Questions to Avoid the Real Issues - The Financial Times recently ran a series on the future of capitalism. The FT is usually an excellent publication – but the series came up seriously lacking.
Mish: Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recession
EconomicCollapseBlog: The Global Elite Are Hiding 18 Trillion Dollars In Offshore Banks - In recent days, the fact that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands has made headlines all over the world. But when it comes to offshore banking, what Mitt Romney is doing is small potatoes.
FT: IMF should stay out of the eurozone crisis
Reuters: Japan manufacturers brace for euro zone breakup: Reuters poll
Portugal to need "debt haircut" as economy tips into Grecian downward spiral  - Portugal's borrowing costs have jumped to record highs and are tracking the moves seen in the culminating phase of Greece's debt crisis, dashing hopes that the country will be able to stave off contagion by embracing drastic austerity.
BottomLine: Greek bond deal won't fix Athens' debt woes
Bloomberg: A Greek Default: It's a-Comin'  - Talks are under way, but settlement options look a lot like—a default

Peak Oil and Energy News
BlacklistedNews: SCO: China gets jump on U.S. for Brazil’s oil
OilDrum: Tech Talk - The Potential for Future Production from Romania
OilVoice: Success for AGR's EC-Drill on Petrobras wells in Brazil
Slate: Saudi Arabia. Nigeria. Venezuela. Canada?  - Is our neighbor to the north becoming a jingoistic petro-state?
GlobeAndMail: The day the oil-sands battle went global 
NYT: As Price of Oil Soars, Users Shiver and Cross Their Fingers
Bloomberg: Crude Oil Rises in London as EU Officials Agree to Phased Iran Embargo

Mineweb: The how, when and why of gold confiscation by governments
Mineweb: How realistic are the chances of a return to a gold standard?
ETFDaily: Smith McKenna: Silver To Hit $50 Early 2012, $75 Mid 2012, $150 By Year End (SLV, AGQ, PSLV, ZSL, SIL, SIVR)
Mineweb: Gold up but silver climbing faster  

ExtinctionProtocol: 5 killed by first tropical storm to hit southern Mozambique since 1984
MSNBC: Solar weather sparks super sights

DesdemonaDespair: Come hell with high water: Global warming in Bangladesh 
Tutor2U: Unit 1 Micro: Illegal logging and the human cost - This (video) news report looks at the human cost of an example of the tragedy of the commons - illegal logging in the south Philippines which contributed to tens of deaths from the effects of flash flooding. Ecosystems and economic prospects are damaged at the same time because of failures in environmental management.
TomDispatch: An Environmental Occupy Fracks Corporate America -- At a time when the International Energy Agency reports that we have five more years of fossil-fuel use at current levels before the planet goes into irreversible climate change, fracking has a greenhouse gas footprint larger than that of coal. And with the greatest water crisis in human history underway, fracking injects mind-numbing quantities of purposely-poisoned fresh water into the Earth. As for the trillions (repeat: trillions) of gallons of wastewater generated by the industry, getting rid of it is its own story.
ThinkProgress: Wired Pulls a Charlie Sheen on Clean Energy: Experts Easily Debunk Absurd Hit-Job on Solar and Wind Power - In 2011, global investment in renewable energy surpassed fossil fuels for the first time.  And the U.S. surged back into the lead in clean investment ahead of China by about $8 billion.
MSNBC: 2 people killed as storms sweep through Alabama
CBS: Survivors sought after deadly storms pound South
MSNBC: Flash floods feared after deadly Reno wildfire  
DailyKos: Sea Ice Death Spiral Driving Atlantic Water into Arctic Causing Wild Weather
LAT: The verdict is in on climate change  - When it comes to climate change, open-mindedness is the wrong approach.
StarTelegram: Tanker truck overturns, spills ethanol in north Arlington

Read more here:
America in Decline
BusinessInsider: THE COMING HOMELESS SURGE: Trapped Between Rising Rents And Low Wages
DeclineoftheEmpire: America On The Move!
CommonDreams: Banning Books in Tucson - Outrage and disgust continue to build over the decision by the Tucson, Arizona, unified school system to ban books by Chicano and Native-American authors.
Alternet: DHS Pumping Money into Drones for Domestic Surveillance, Hunting Immigrants and Seizing Pot 
TruthOut: Citizens United: A Tsunami of Secret Corporate Cash Is Drowning Our Democracy
Isaiah J. Poole, Campaign for America's Future: "Today is the two-year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Since then, our democracy has been drowning in a tsunami of corporate special interest money. Our government is under the thumb of the Koch brothers and other corporate moguls instead of the hands of the people. And citizens are uniting in their disgust."  
McClatchy: Commentary: Getting ‘those people’ to straighten up and fly right - The General Assembly is back in session, thank the Lord; now, we'll have some protection against Those People. Take, for instance, the bill Republicans have introduced to require drug tests for anyone applying for unemployment checks. We certainly don't want to give taxpayers' hard-earned money to some druggie just because he's out of work. Gov. Haley's all for this idea. Last year she pointed out that half of the applicants for jobs at the Savannah River Site were being disqualified because they failed a drug test. Sure, she later had to retract her claim after learning that the actual rejection rate was only about one percent, but her main point was correct: You just can't be too careful with Those People.
CBS: Evicted 101-year-old Detroit woman can't go home - The federal government now says a 101-year-old Detroit woman it promised could move back into her foreclosed home four months ago can't return because the building's unsanitary and unsafe.

Salon: Creeping authoritarianism on Capitol Hill
AddictingInfo: Georgia Judge Orders President Obama To Appear In Court To Defend Citizenship

Food and Water
CityFarmer: A Handbook for Citizen Farmers – for children
CityFarmer: Salon Magazine – Urban gardens: The future of food 

Science and Technology
Just now showed up in my inbox. Looks like we got another CME headed our way. 
Space Weather News for Jan. 23, 2012
INCOMING CME: Big sunspot 1402 erupted on Jan. 23rd, producing a strong M9-class solar flare and a fast-moving coronal mass ejection (CME).  Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the CME should reach Earth on Jan. 24th at 14:18 UT (+/- 7 hr) and Mars a little more than a day later.  Strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud reaches Earth.  Our magnetic field is still reverberating from a CME impact on Jan. 22nd, so another blow could spark impressive auroras at high latitudes.  Sky watchers in northern Europe, Canada, Alaska, and northern-tier US states such as the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin should be alert for Northern Lights.
ScientificAmerican: Leap Second Granted Extra Time
NewScientist: A meeting of minds at the Secret Science Club
MSNBC: Mystery surrounds Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane landing plan  - Spacecraft has been aloft for 321 days, mission and cargo remain are unknown

ZDNet: Apple’s mind-bogglingly greedy and evil license agreement - Over the years, I have read hundreds of license agreements, looking for little gotchas and clear descriptions of rights. But I have never, ever seen a legal document like the one Apple has attached to its new iBooks Author program. Follow-up: How Apple is sabotaging an open standard for digital books. I’ve spent years reading end user license agreements, EULAs, looking for little gotchas or just trying to figure out what the agreement allows and doesn’t allow. I have never seen a EULA as mind-bogglingly greedy and evil as Apple’s EULA for its new ebook authoring program.
MedicalXpress: The price of your soul: How the brain decides whether to ‘sell out’
BigThink: Evolution Is Still Happening: Beneficial Mutations in Humans - One of my all-time most popular posts on Daylight Atheism, "The Scars of Evolution", lists some of the kludges, hacks and jury-rigs left behind in the human genome, the telltale signature of evolution. The vestigial structures and design compromises still found in human bodies are tangible evidence that our species has a long evolutionary history and didn't just pop into existence ex nihilo. But a different line of evidence comes in the form of ongoing mutations in the human gene pool. Most random genetic changes are neutral, and some are harmful, but a few turn out to be positive improvements. These beneficial mutations are the raw material that may, in time, be taken up by natural selection and spread through the population. In this post, I'll list some examples of beneficial mutations that are known to exist in human beings..

NewScientist: Impossible reactions: Five chemistry rules broken
MSNBC: What if there were another advanced species?  - Would we break bread with our brainy cohabitants or be locked in battle?

Medical and Health
CBS: Calif. HS student devises possible cancer cure - If you ever worry about the future of America, there is no need: it is in good hands. A high school student named Angela is proof of that. We think you'll agree she is nothing short of amazing. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman met her on the road. 
ScientificAmerican: Scientists Call for 60-Day Suspension of Mutant Flu Research
NewScientist: New bug-fighter cell may force immune response rethink - The body's response to bacterial infection may rely on a newly discovered type of immune cell.
TheZeitgeist: What is ADD, and Why Are You Giving My Child Narcotics?!
ExtinctionProtocol: Pestilence Watch: It’s back- H1N1 deaths reported in Mexico and Greece - January 22, 2012 – MEXICO – An outbreak of A(H1N1) swine flu claimed the lives of two people — 19 and 21 years old
NewScientist: Too many given no right to refuse in medical trials
TodayHealth: Doctor offers new details on teen girls' mystery illness
CNN: A show of hands to explore disability

Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
ModernSurvivalBlog: How To Select Firearms On A Budget
CanadianDoomer: On Making Bread  
ModernSurvivalBlog: How To Fix-Troubleshoot Your Pressure Canner Problems
Reuters: Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse(oh cool! We're a subculture! LOL and like the Ozarker said when she sent this in, This article may sound a little dismissive, but the fact that REUTERS is carrying it is a sign that more people are paying attention to the message)
PreppingtoSurvive: Winter Driving: Be Prepared for the Unexpected - As I peck away at the keyboard while writing this post, a harsh wind howls just outside my office window.

Other News
SOTT: Bad Bosses: The Psycho-path to Success?
CNN: Jewish paper's column catches Secret Service's eyeStoryofStuff: Story of Citizens United v. FEC « The Story of Stuff Project
BusinessInsider: Hey CEOs, THIS Is The Right Way To Apologize For A Mistake - I saw this Sunday morning and wanted to share. It really did my heart good  to see that there are still people out there in the world that have a sense of right and wrong and are willing to take responsibility for their mistakes. A hearty Well Done to the young man who wrote the apology letter. I'd like to see his sense of humility and honesty go viral.
MarginalRevolution: Have we reached peak TV?
Atlantic: The Bravery of Iran's Female Athletes 
CommonDreams: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to Resign This Week
WashingtonPost: Chinese ring in the Lunar New Year

TheAtlantic: The Dangerously Unpredictable Foreign Policy of Newt Gingrich
ThinkProgress: Breaking: Clean Energy Defunder Wins South Carolina Primary
- No single politician since Ronald Reagan has done more to set back America’s leadership in clean technology than Newt Gingrich.
AngryBear: Mitt Headroom
TruthOut: Gingrich Surges With Old, Familiar Ploy: Racist Attacks on Poor People
Seth Freed Wessler, "Newt Gingrich has done as much to wreck the federal safety net and translate the Southern Strategy into the post-racial era as anyone in Washington. His chances of gaining the Republican nomination are slim, but the war against poor people that Gingrich has lead is well entrenched. Regardless of who wins the GOP nomination, Gingrich’s legacy will carry on."

TinfoilPalace: Psychopath, Sociopath, Narcissist Thread
TinfoilPalace: Your government on drugs
TheOilAge: cooking from staples 
TheOilAge: Libya's new "democratic" election laws: SICK joke, civil war 
HubbertsArms: Just Another Sad Tale of Small Town America   
HubbertsArms: You Can't Fool Mother Nature For Long: Profiting from Sickcare SilentCountry: Starting Seeds Early
SilentCountry: 75% drop in living standards?

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