Saturday, February 28, 2009
He Stold Not Just Money, But Livelihoods
Labels: harm caused by psychopaths
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sumatran Tigers 6 Humans 3
Pete brought up the topic of the tiger parts trade in Sumatra as another cause of tiger decline. Between habitat loss and hunting them for medicine, tigers have little chance of survival in the wild. The demise of wilderness and all that that word encompasses will one day will be seen as a desecration and destruction of the Garden of Eden. The paradox is that it is easier to destroy than create, ravage than preserve. But economically, it is much cheaper to preserve rather than recreate those priceless things which are lost. For all we know, this stimulus plan for tigers may be more effective than Obama's plan to save the banks. Or, it may be even more futile. It depends upon people and their values.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Carbon Dioxide Monitoring Mission Scrubbed
Most engineering failures are due to human errors, and this one may be as well. Why did it happen to a science mission that had huge political repercussions though? If volcanoes are pumping the majority of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rather than mankind (in other words, the human contribution is negligible), and the biosphere couldn't absorb it all, this mission would have proved the anthropogenic climate change proponents wrong. Or, it might have vindicated them and finally shut up the critics. But it will be many years before a successor mission will be launched now, if ever.
Earthquake Mitigation Engineering (Geoengineering)
Dennis Moore Economics ( Monty Python )
* I never believed in trickle down economics. But one individual's belief is nothing when the collective buys into the belief hook, line, and sinker. A successful dissenter is called a prophet. An unsuccessful dissenter is called a pariah, traitor, or heretic. An untimely death generally befalls both types in times of great turmoil.
** We will either find our true collective wealth now as a society, or we will lose it all. Individually, some will become spiritually wealthy when everything false is stripped away even if society stays mired in delusion. The only thing our global society has in abundance at this moment is fear, if we believe the media.That is a lie. The people who fear the most are those who think they have the most to lose.
Labels: Delusion and resolution
Monday, February 16, 2009
Has the U.S. Become a Nation Like Russia?
Nature's Cleanup Crew
Labels: Turkey Vultures
JP Morgan Chase and WaMu
*With apologies to turkey vultures and raccoons for the insult.
Labels: The banking crisis.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Circling the Drain While Fools Ask for Stock Tips
Martin Wolf ponders the possibility that the Obama Administration is already a failed enterprise for not being bold enough.
Meanwhile, the two men who warned the world that the financial system was broken before it broke, who have suggested solutions, are asked about stock tips by CNBC anchors. Paul Krugman compares their ordeal to a Monty Python sketch. We are seeing two disconnects with our government and our news media. This begs the question of asking whether our government and news media are as broken as our financial system.
As Roubini points out, it's not a question of nationalizing the failed banks, it's when nationalization takes place. The longer that decision is postponed, the more damage to the economy takes place. As Taleb points out, cash is king. Stocks are too risky and the people who have caused all of this mess are still in power. Throw the bums out by nationalizing the failed banks. The FDIC knows how to do this. Extremely wealthy people got themselves into this mess. It would be funny to see free market capitalists' ideals be realigned with reality except for the fact that these professed capitalists want the people whose retirement funds they've destroyed or damaged to bailout their jobs and their fortunes. For the record, I'm a regulated market capitalist. Governments should regulate markets to preserve commons and level economic playing fields which is what markets are.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Labels: deafened marine mammals
Monday, February 02, 2009
Scientists have found a cheap harmless way to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria dubbed MRSA. Meanwhile, the use of tetracycline by swine farmers is causing the spread of MRSA in pigs and workers. I'm not eating pork, bacon, or ham ever again. I wonder if MRSA is spreading in the poultry industry since tetracycline is used there as well. The use of antibiotics in the livestock trade is the Ag industry's dirty little secret. The CDC and FDA have been trying to stop the practice of feeding antibiotics to poultry and livestock without much success because animals on antibiotics put on weight faster than animals that aren't given antibiotics. But, infected meat from the treated animals usually contains antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli or Salmonella.
There's no such thing as a Siberian tiger. It appears that tigers migrated to Siberia from the Caspian Sea region according to mitochondrial analysis. Mitochondria have their own DNA and are maternally inherited. It would be nice to see a Y chromosomal study using the same samples to see if the paternal and nuclear DNA results confirms the mitochondrial study. It would be nice if tigers could be reintroduced to the Caspians. It would be even nicer if the Chinese would give up using tiger parts as medicine so that the South China tiger stands a chance of survival.
Labels: that about wraps it up
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron catching fish
A better view
What an interesting theropod!
Labels: great blue heron
Blue Jay and Cardinal
Closeup of female Nothern Cardinal:
Northern Cardinal female
Blue Jay and Cardinal together.
Blue Jay and cadinal
See the ice on the porch?
Labels: birds on a cold day
In 33 A.D., the Romans had their own credit crisis as documented by Tacitus. It is not known if the instigators of the crisis were ever brought to justice, but the sole scapegoat was likely an "innocent" rich man whose wealth fueled the recovery. To be fair, we know so little about the Accused, we don't know if he deserved what befell him or not, though it is likely the charges were trumped up.
Perhaps if a few instigators of this mess fell out of their high rise penthouse apartments in Manhattan or "fell on their swords" in other ways, the average man, whom these same people likely hold in contempt, might feel that a little justice has been served. As it is, it takes a certain foolish and greedy genius to turn countless billions of dollars into countable ones. Such foolish genius should be rewarded with an entirely appropriate response, and should said fool survive the reward, that person should never practice banking or finance ever again.
As it is, the American and Chinese people are rewarding them and their stockholders for their failure. Joe Galloway noticed that TARP funds are being used to ensure that the banks are "too big to fail" as they buy more banks with that money. What are our leaders thinking? There are other ideas about how to solve the problem.
A new phase has entered the American vocabulary. It's called lemon socialism. It appears to be practiced by both Republicans and Democrats alike. The causes may be different, but the effect will be the same. With Republicans, it was idealogical. With Democrats, it is listening to either incompetent economists or banking lobbyists, or perhaps both. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (If Obama's not careful.)
Labels: Fixing messes