No Agenda Episode 380

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 2:10 PM.

Cover Art

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 1:47 PM.

na380 art big

Art By: dmacdonald


By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 1:47 PM.

Trusted Bedouin Sources

Executive Producers: Anonymous, Sir Melancon, Sir Paul Schneider, Sir Austin Voss, Scott, Robert Slaght

Associate Executive Producers: Sam Leung, Robert Rinehart, Bryan Smith, Sir Lawrence Roik, Robert Burgess, Kent O'Rourke, Anonymous, Wayne Harvey, Fishguy, Sir David C Pugh, Joshua Poulson

380 Club Members: Sir Melancon, Sir Paul Schneider

214 Valentine Donations: Bryan Smith, Sir Lawrence Roik, Robert Burgess

Become a member of the 381 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Matthew Becker, Austin Voss, David C Pugh

Art By: dmacdonald

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc)

Fanscribed Transcription: (Pitch in!)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used)

The No Agenda News Network-




Could an infection be behind mysterious Tourette's-like syndrome affecting teenagers? | Mail Online

A 36-year-old nurse practitioner has been diagnosed as the first adult to have the mysterious Tourette-like illness that has spread across a rural New York town.

Marge Fitzsimmons, who works with developmentally disabled patients and has no immediate ties to the town's high school at the centre of the outbreak, has had to stop going to work because her body tics and twitches have gotten so severe that she can no longer work with her patients.

Details of her condition emerged today as researchers offered a new explanation for the strange symptoms that have been diagnosed in 14 teenage girls and one teenage boy.

Doctors have singled out the possibilty of paediatric acute-onset neuropsychaitric syndrome, or PANS, as a solution.

NYS Health Department details preliminary findings on LeRoy girls - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

WorkFitMedical, LLC - Western New York's Favorite Full-service Occupational Health Provider

Occupational Health Services

Experience the uniqueness of the WorkFit Medical approach as we customize our services to fit your organization's or company's needs. If a special service not listed here is required please let us know by calling 585.426.4990 anytime. Our Clients may log in our "client Log In area" to find results or to assist them in scheduling appointments.

To Keep your employees healthy we can provide:


2007 Report-Expert: Mystery illness is stress -

The girl had been under a lot of stress when her leg inexplicably started to shake. The twitching then spread to a group of girls in her high school, sparking widespread anxiety.

It was 1939, in Bellevue, La.

Almost seven decades later, something similar is happening at William Byrd High School in Roanoke County.

Today, scientists say the Louisiana twitching was a case of "mass psychogenic illness," a psychological condition caused by anxiety that can produce seemingly inexplicable symptoms.

Robert Bartholomew, who has studied the phenomenon extensively, said he has no doubt that what caused the Louisiana symptoms is also causing the symptoms at William Byrd.

"The events at William Byrd High have all the hallmarks of a collective stress reaction," he wrote in an e-mail.

Young women who are living with a great deal of pent-up stress are more susceptible to psychogenic illnesses, according to Bartholomew, a sociologist in Australia who has been following the case at William Byrd via the Internet.

"The symptoms aren't just 'all in their heads.' They're real, though the cause is psychological," he wrote.

School officials say they have heard from roughly 10 people at William Byrd complaining of the twitching symptoms, including one female teacher. Students and parents have said that all the students affected are also female.

Cooked eggs recalled in California, 33 other states -

Cooked eggs are being recalled in California and 33 other states over concerns about possible listeria contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it has not received reports of illness, but listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. In healthy people, listeria can cause high fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

MRSA strain USA300: Flesh-eating bug spread by coughs and sneezes 'has spread from U.S. to UK' | Mail Online

A flesh-eating form of pneumonia that is easily passed between healthy people on public transport is spreading across the UK, experts have warned.

The deadly strain of MRSA called USA300 passes easily through skin-to-skin contact. It can also survive on surfaces and so has the potential to be picked up on crowded buses and tubes.

It was first seen in the U.S but cases are now being reported in the community and not just hospitals in Britain.


Climate Gate

Min 23: Nederland beleefde de koudste nacht in 27 jaar - De winter van 2012 - VK

Science behind the big freeze: is climate change bringing the Arctic to Europe? - Science - News - The Independent

A growing number of experts believe complex wind patterns are being changed because melting Arctic sea ice has exposed huge swaths of normally frozen ocean to the atmosphere above.

In particular, the loss of Arctic sea ice could be influencing the development of high-pressure weather systems over northern Russia, which bring very cold winds from the Arctic and Siberia to Western Europe and the British Isles, the scientists believe. An intense anticyclone over north-west Russia is behind the bitterly cold easterly winds that have swept across Europe and some climate scientists say the lack of Arctic sea ice brought about by global warming is responsible.

"The current weather pattern fits earlier predictions of computer models for how the atmosphere responds to the loss of sea ice due to global warming," said Professor Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "The ice-free areas of the ocean act like a heater as the water is warmer than the Arctic air above it. This favours the formation of a high-pressure system near the Barents Sea, which steers cold air into Europe."


Obama Complains -- I Wanna Be Cool Again! -- -- Readability

The poor bastard wants to be cool again.- Hours and hours spent preparing to sing a few words.- Many more hours spent by the campaign spreading the video of that moment.- Don't know if this is worth much of your time, but I found it both sad and funny that this is what this country's president is obsessed with.-Trying to be cool.- Good God.

It still boggles my damn mind that me and others gotta be working this hard to defeat him.- Guess it goes to show how far wrong things have gone in the country.

One last thing.- A heads up.- Our friend Mr. DOJ has got some interesting announcements coming his way soon.- Don't be discouraged.- The sh-t is moving slow but it's moving.- Things are going better than the outside view would appear.- I know it's a broken record to you, but we got him.- Good meeting in -deleted- and then on the road again early next week.- Will be in touch after that.


UPDATE:- It appears Barack Obama's desire to return to 2008 with his most recent singing gesture is provided some VIDEO PROOF of him doing a very similar thing on the campaign trail three years ago!- (Is everything recycled with this president?)

First -- it is clear then-candidate Obama's singing voice was not quite so...adequate as it was more recently, which would once again confirm the insights shared by Insider.- Second -- Obama even repeats the "wasn't gonna do it" line in 2012 as was spoken here in 2008.

Rather sad...

And here is President Obama attempting to sing in 2010. Note how poorly his voice sounds at the 28 second mark. Yes indeed, it appears a bit of music coaching has been underway to ensure a more "cool" moment for the Leader of the Free World in 2012...



Micron Chief Dies in Small-Plane Crash, Investigation Ongoing | Fox Business

The CEO had been known to fly his own planes, surviving an earlier crash in the Idaho desert in 2004 with only minor injuries.

The company's stock was halted shortly before the company released a brief statement reporting the news and remained that way through Friday's close. Shares last traded up 3% to $7.95.

The news comes a week after Micron chief operating officer, D. Mark Durcan, said he would retire at the end of August and be succeeded by current sales vice president, Mark. W. Adams.

Flight transcript from Micron CEO Steve Appleton's plane crash: 'We've got a problem' | Micron Technology | Idaho Statesman

Greenhill Profit Jumps, and Firm Honors Its Fallen Bankers -

Greenhill & Company had a lot of good earnings news to report on Wednesday -- but it acknowledged its continued sadness over the deaths of two senior bankers last month.

For its fourth quarter, Greenhill said that it earned $20.4 million in net income allocated to common shareholders, up nearly tenfold. For all of last year, the boutique investment bank earned $48.9 million, up 42 percent from 2010.

But both of those numbers exclude the accelerated vesting of restricted stock paid to the two executives, Jeffrey F. Buckalew and Rakesh Chawla, who died in a plane crash in New Jersey last month. Mr. Buckalew's wife and two children also died on the flight.


Panetta isn't commenting on report that he believes Israel will attack Iran in the spring - The Washington Post

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta won't dispute a report that he believes Israel may attack Iran this spring in an attempt to set back the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Panetta was asked by reporters to comment on a Washington Post opinion column by David Ignatius that said Panetta believes there is a "strong likelihood" that Israel will attack in April, May or June. Ignatius did not say who told him this.

Is Iran trying to develop a missile that could reach America? -

The missile under construction at an Iranian research-and-development facility, which was damaged by a mysterious explosion in November, was a long-range missile prototype with a range of 6,000 miles -- enough to hit the United States, a senior Israeli official said Thursday in a speech to a defense and security forum.

At the time of the Nov. 12 explosion at a facility some 30 miles outside Tehran, Iranian officials insisted that the suspicious blast was an accident. It occurred, they said, during experimentation on a medium-range missile -- one capable of reaching Israel.


Syria resolution text agreed | End the Lie - Independent News

Diplomats have reportedly agreed to drop demands for an arms embargo against Syria and the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad -- both of which Russia had vocally opposed.

However, the draft still "fully supports" the Arab League's decision to "facilitate a political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system," the Associated Press reports.

The Security Council could soon reach a consensus on issue, current council president Kodjo Menan of Togo said on Thursday. Security Council members want "swift action," Menan said, but added that there is no deadline for such a decision.

In Homs, Syrian Forces Are Said to Have Killed Hundreds -

Syrian government forces used a barrage of mortar shells and heavy machine-gun fire in an assault that began Friday night in the central city of Homs, killing at least 200 people and wounding hundreds more, opposition activists reported on Saturday.


Damascus Avoids Blood of Uprising, but Not Pain (February 4, 2012)

Waiting in the Wings, a Survivor of Three Decades of Syrian Politics (February 4, 2012)

World Twitter Logo.

Connect With Us on Twitter

Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.

Twitter List: Reporters and Editors

The reports could not be independently confirmed, but it appeared to be the bloodiest episode in the nearly 11-month-old uprising. As word spread via Twitter and [VIDEO] , opposition protests broke out Saturday at Syrian embassies around the world, including in Egypt, Germany and Kuwait.

Statement by the President on Syria | The White House

EUORLand | All on the line for Papademos ahead of talks with leaders

However, a number of sticking points remain. One of the main issues on which the party leaders are finding it difficult to agree is the private sector wage reductions that are being demanded by the troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Sources told Kathimerini that the troika is demanding that the minimum wage of 751 euros per month (gross) be reduced and that labor costs in the private sector drop by 25 percent in a bid to help Greece regain competitiveness.

Labor unions and employers wrote to Papademos on Friday to inform him that they cannot agree on a wage cut.

Papademos needs the agreement of the political leaders so the prospect of Greece receiving a new bailout can be discussed at the meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday.

Greece will have to set out the measures it plans to take over the next two years to reform its economy and create a primary budget surplus as well as the framework for the debt restructuring agreement with its bondholders.

Skai TV and radio reported on Friday that should the leaders fail to agree a deal, Papademos will tender his resignation on Monday.

Speaking to Bloomberg, government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis denied that Papademos is considering quitting.

Euro zone loses patience with Greece | Reuters

Euro zone ministers had hoped to meet on Monday to finalize the second Greek bailout, which has to be in place by mid-March if Athens is to avoid a chaotic default. But the meeting was postponed because of Greek reluctance to commit to reforms.

Instead, the ministers held a conference call on Saturday to take stock of progress on the second financing package, which euro zone leaders set at 130 billion euros back in October.

"There was a very clear message that was conveyed from all participants of the teleconference ... to the Greeks that enough is enough," one euro zone official said. "There is a great sense of frustration that they are dragging their feet.

"They should get their act together and start talking honestly, decisively and speedily with the Troika on the aspects of the programme that remain to be finalized - on fiscal and labor market reforms," the official said.

The Troika are the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who have prepared a Greek debt sustainability analysis on which the second financing programme will be based.

MEP suggests rebranding Greece - The Local

Jorgos Chatzimarkakis, a German member of the European Parliament, made his remarks to the Bild daily.

"For many in Europe, the name 'Greece' stands for a broken political system, nepotism," said Chatzimarkakis, who is of Greek descent.

"As part of an honest new beginning, the Greek constitution should be rewritten, and the country should be renamed 'Hellas' in all languages."

"Hellas" is the name Greeks themselves use for their country.

Chatzimarkakis told the paper that Athens must do away with the current political system and replace it completely. Moreover, he argued that the money Europe is pumping into Greece is going to debt repayment but is not solving the country's problems.

Ministry of Truth

Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low -

FDA whistleblowers say government retaliated with spyware

A group of former FDA scientists who spoke out against the agency's allegedly flawed device-approval process are suing the feds for intercepting Gmail and Yahoo Mail messages by installing spy programs on their work computers. Although the computers were owned by the government, the plaintiffs say they were explicitly granted the right to use them for personal purposes.

Back in January 2009, nine scientists known as the "FDA Nine" anonymously wrote to the leader of then President-elect Barack Obama's transition team "pleading with him to restructure the agency," the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Among other things, the Food and Drug Administration scientists complained that the agency approved devices in a flawed process that ignored science, and was driven by political lobbying.

A lawsuit filed January 25, 2012 in US District Court in Washington, DC on behalf of six of the scientists (two of whom remain anonymous) says agency officials responded to their whistleblowing by installing spyware on their computers to capture screen shots of private e-mail. The defendants in the suit allegedly stored the e-mails in a file called "FDA 9" with sub-directories related to each of the scientists. The FDA later used the e-mails to file complaints against the scientists with the Office of Inspector General (OIG), claiming that the scientists violated the law by providing information to the media and Congress. The scientists say their actions were protected by whistleblower laws, and the OIG repeatedly declined to take action against them.

BBC admits receiving millions in grants from EU and councils - Telegraph

The news prompted MPs to raise questions about the BBC's impartiality when its journalists report on events in the EU.

The BBC admitted in a letter to a Tory MP that it has received nearly 3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years.

Other grants totalling 16million came from local authorities across the UK. The money was spent on "research and development projects".

The broadcaster also disclosed that its commercial arm BBC Worldwide borrowed over 141million from the European Investment Bank since 2003. Of that figure 30million is still due to be repaid by the end of May this year.

These figures are disclosed in the commercial arm's annual report, while the BBC's annual report does not make clear where the grant money comes from.


Paying cash in hand is 'diddling the country', says HMRC's Dave Hartnett - Telegraph

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hartnett says that householders have a duty to ensure that other people do not evade paying their share of tax.

Paying a builder or cleaner in cash, allowing them to evade VAT or income tax, will result in even deeper government cuts to public services, he says. People who contribute to the cash economy cannot then complain about austerity measures, he adds.


Elsevier's Publishing Model Might be About to Go Up in Smoke - Forbes

However, there's something happening that might change this, for Reed Elsevier shareholders, quite delightful position. That is, a revolt of the academics who provide both the papers and the readership.

A start was made by British mathematician Tim Gowers, in a blog post here. That wasn't the very start, but it looks like one of those pebbles that starts the avalanche rather than the one that just tumbles down the hillside. And there's a great deal to be said for a scientific post which references Spike Milligan's superb book, Adolf Hitler, My Part in his Downfall.

As he says:

"I am not only going to refuse to have anything to do with Elsevier journals from now on, but I am saying so publicly. I am by no means the first person to do this, but the more of us there are, the more socially acceptable it becomes, and that is my main reason for writing this post,"

Magic Numbers


Bank of England's glittering stash of 156BN in gold bars stored in former canteen under London | Mail Online

Cash-strapped British people will breathe a sigh of relief when they see these impressive treasure troves.

Despite the financial crisis, it seems the country still has some money left in the Bank of England's vault beneath London.

In fact, there are stacks of gold bars worth a whopping 156billion stored in an old canteen deep below the streets of the capital.

Techno Experts

UK Olympics internet rationing

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist | Public Intelligence

Sinai Peninsula kidnapping: American tourists praise kidnappers after their release in Egypt | Mail Online

Security officials secured the release of two female American tourists and their guide, hours after they were kidnapped at gunpoint while vacationing in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula yesterday.

But after their release, one of the American women said that they had been well-treated and were 'not at all afraid' of their kidnappers.

'They were very nice,' said the woman, who has not been named. 'They kept on reassuring us that we will be fine... they treated us like family.'

Feds: We obtained MegaUpload conversations with search warrant | Media Maverick - CNET News

While it's still not clear how federal investigators gained access to the conversations of founder Kim DotCom and other top managers, there are hints that the FBI managed to place government-issued spyware on the defendants' computers.

The FBI cites alleged conversations between DotCom and his top lieutenants, including e-mail and Skype instant-messaging logs. Some of the records go back nearly five years, to MegaUpload's earliest days as a cyberlocker service--even though Skype says "IM history messages will be stored for a maximum of 30 days" and the criminal investigation didn't begin until a few months ago.

Sources told CNET yesterday that Skype, the Internet phone service now owned by Microsoft, was not asked by the feds to turn over information and was not served with legal process.

Demon Drink

The Local - Breathalyzers to be compulsory in all French cars

Every car in France will have to be equipped with a breathalyzer from the spring of 2012. The announcement was made by President Nicolas Sarkozy in a speech on Wednesday.

The new plan will force every driver to have a breathalyzer kit in their cars so they can check their alcohol level before driving.

The president's office said in a statement on Thursday that a kit costs just €1.50 to €2 ($2 to $2.70).

Anyone caught without a kit will face a €17 ($23) fine.

The president has made it a personal crusade to cut the number of road deaths in France. In 2007 he pledged to get the annual number of deaths below 3,000 in 2012, which now seems unlikely.

The total fell just below 4,000 for the first time ever in 2010, with a total number of 3,994 deaths. The figure for 2011 is likely to be similar.

The president also announced an additional 400 speed cameras between now and the end of 2012 and the creation of a national day to remember road accident victims.

France has made huge gains in road safety over the last ten years, with the number of deaths being cut by half.

France's road safety association has reported that alcohol is the biggest factor in deaths on the road with 28.5 percent involving a car driven by someone with an excessive blood alcohol level.

Sarkozy accused of bussing in 'extras' to pose as supporters - Telegraph

The accusations against the French president come ahead of elections he is polled to lose.

Mr Sarkozy, 57, received a warm response from workers when he visited the social housing construction site in Mennecy, Essonne, near Paris on Thursday.

However, yesterday it was claimed that half the crowd of "workers" who braved the cold to meet the President had been specially drafted in for the occasion and had nothing to do with the building work.

"I only recognised two or three but I didn't know the others," Ambroise, one bona fide bricklayer told Europe 1 radio.

"They wanted more people around Nicolas Sarkozy," he said, adding that there were twice as many workers than usual.

Distraction of the Week

Last of secret Kennedy tapes released | Reuters

On the November 12, 1963 recordings, Kennedy can be heard asking how they will win over voters. "But what is it that we can make them decide that they want to vote for us, Democrats and Kennedy," he said, according to a written transcript of the tapes.

"What is it we have to sell them?" he asked.

Later, he said that if film of the convention was made in color it could have a big impact.

"Probably a million watching it in color and it would have an effect. I don't know how much more expensive it is. The color is so damn good. If you do it right," he said.

The last meeting taped was on November 20, 1963 where Kennedy can be heard commenting on a briefing book he would need to take with him to Texas.

He left for Dallas the next day and was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

The existence of the tapes was first announced in 1973 and the final set of recordings are now available for research use at the presidential library in Boston and online.


Drone Nation

Congress Calls for Accelerated Use of Drones in U.S. | Secrecy News

A House-Senate conference report this week called on the Administration to accelerate the use of civilian unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or "drones," in U.S. airspace.

The pending authorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration directs the Secretary of Transporation to develop within nine months "a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system."

"The plan... shall provide for the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as practicable, but not later than September 30, 2015."


CNN Fructose=Sugar

BBC News - The dark web: Guns and drugs for sale on the internet's secret black market

American Tourists Kidnapped In Egypt! - [VIDEO]

Could an infection be behind mysterious Tourette's-like syndrome affecting teenagers? | Mail Online

A 36-year-old nurse practitioner has been diagnosed as the first adult to have the mysterious Tourette-like illness that has spread across a rural New York town.

Marge Fitzsimmons, who works with developmentally disabled patients and has no immediate ties to the town's high school at the centre of the outbreak, has had to stop going to work because her body tics and twitches have gotten so severe that she can no longer work with her patients.

Details of her condition emerged today as researchers offered a new explanation for the strange symptoms that have been diagnosed in 14 teenage girls and one teenage boy.

Doctors have singled out the possibilty of paediatric acute-onset neuropsychaitric syndrome, or PANS, as a solution.

Anti-Acta sentiment in Slovenia, Greece and Poland | euronews, world news