Why the SEC Won’t Hunt Big Dogs

SEC Why the SEC Won’t Hunt Big Dogs

By Jesse Eisinger, Pro Publica

Back when the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was doing its work, I would check in periodically with someone who worked there to find out how it was going.

“Good news!” my source would joke. “We got the guy who caused it.”

That is the way I felt last week when the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had, well, agreed to a measly $285 million settlement with Citigroup over the bank having misled its own customers in selling an investment it created out of mortgage securities as the housing market was beginning its collapse.

In addition, the S.E.C. accused one person—a low-level banker. Hooray, we finally got the guy who caused the financial crisis! The Occupy Wall Street protestors can now go home.

After years of lengthy investigations into collateralized debt obligations, the mortgage securities at the heart of the financial crisis, the S.E.C. has brought civil actions against only two small-time bankers. But compared with the Justice Department, the S.E.C. is the second coming of Eliot Ness. No major investment banker has been brought up on criminal charges stemming from the financial crisis. (more…)

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The last master of shastar vidya

Nihang 12 The last master of shastar vidya
Don’t let all that Gandhi noise fool you, Indians have just as much history killing people as any other civilization that, you know, exists. One of its many martial arts is shastar vidya, or the science of weapons. Its last known grand master, Nidar Singh, lives in England where he teaches its techniques, and is now looking to start conditioning a student to take over the academy. (more…)

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7 suicidal zombie flick weapons

zombie shotgun ving rhames 7 suicidal zombie flick weapons

The eponymous staff at Cracked have come up with another great piece deconstructing the efficacy of weapons selected by zombie movie protagonists that would, in the event of a real zombie outbreak, leave their wielders dead, briefly, then undead.

They include all the famous weapons, from shotguns to lawnmowers, but their insights make some assumptions that may undermine their findings in the face of actual zompoc.

First and foremost is the stultifying assumption that shotguns spread and are only effective at short ranges. This is only really true when compared to rifles. But the amount of spread is far, far less than what people assume it to be. If you only have video games and westerns as your supplier of truthishness, then we get it. But the reality is that your run-of-the-mill buck from your off-the-shelf shotgun will spread about an inch or less for every yard it travels. Each shot is the ballistic equivalent of about a 9mm bullet fired from a handgun, and has almost the same effective range.

At close-quarters you don’t even need to aim: pump-actions turn you into a chick-chacking death machine, while double-barrels convert a crowded hallway into an escape path lightly misted with Eau De Corpse. (more…)

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Third St. Paul clergyman to resign over protester’s eviction

St Pauls Cathedral 007 Third St. Paul clergyman to resign over protesters eviction

In the face of rising public outcry against the eviction of Occupy London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral protesters, three members of the Church of England have resigned.

The first of St. Paul’s clergyman to resign was Giles Fraser, a part-time chancellor who reputedly had great rapport with London’s younger Anglicans. His resignation via tweet, at the very least, supports this.

In a statement to the Guardian, Fraser, who was appointed canon in May 2009, confirmed his resignation, saying: “I resigned because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church.”

But he was immediately followed by a higher-ranking, more established chaplain, Fraser Dyer, citing his disappointment with the church. The Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, had this to say about it.

It has… been disappointing to learn of today’s announcement that St Paul’s will instigate legal proceedings seeking the removal of the protesters. It is particularly poignant that this announcement comes on the day that IDS report an increase in top directors’ pay of almost 50% over the last year.

I appreciate that St Paul’s has its own means of speaking to the issue of corporate and financial conduct in the City, but am sorry that a way could not be found of – at the very least – continuing to thole the occupation of the precinct by those with a genuine and prophetic complaint that has much in keeping with the values of the gospel. (more…)

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Anonymous Threatens Mexico’s Murderous Drug Lords

By Robert Beckhusen

A ruthless campaign of killing, extortion and kidnapping by Mexico’s powerful Zetas drug cartel has created plenty of enemies, from the Mexican government to paramilitary vigilantes to rival cartels. But now the Zetas have a new adversary: the hacker collective Anonymous.

In a video uploaded Oct. 6, an Anonymous spokesperson said that unless the Zetas release one of the group’s members, the group will reveal the photos, names and addresses of Zetas-affiliated cops and taxi drivers. (The member was allegedly kidnapped in the western coastal city of Veracruz during an “Operation Paperstorm” demonstration.) Anonymous also threatened to out journalists accused of “crapping on honest authorities like the army and the navy,” the spokesperson said.

“For the time being, we won’t post photos or the names … of the taxi drivers, the journalists or the newspapers nor of the police officers, but if needed, we will publish them including their addresses, to see if by doing so the government will arrest them,” the spokesperson added. (more…)

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Robot Venus Flytrap catches and eats bugs for fuel

Venus Flytarp Insect Eating Robot2 Robot Venus Flytrap catches and eats bugs for fuel

These robots have ability to snatch and digest insects just like Venus Flytraps and the convert them into bio fuel through their internal coding system.

The scientists have understood its entire mechanism and have discovered the materials those are not only capable of sensing the existence of insects and bugs but can also close up as quickly as the living Venus Flytrap can shut its leaves. So we can say that these robots operate by doing perfect mimicry of Venus Flytrap plants.

A part of me thinks this is pretty genius and takes microcomputers and materials design to a completely new level, not to mention, speaks something to the efficiency of using biofuels as energy sources without the use of combustion, just bacterial chemical reactions and catalysis.  It’s all very interesting and completely compelling, down to the different approaches these scientists have used in the design and fabrication of their Venus Flytrap machines.

The other part of me thinks all of these fucking wonks that taught robots to eat meat need to get right goddamn brained.

We can only hope that this science never, ever takes off because the machines all smell like rotting flies.

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