Sunday Reads: Amoeba, Mount Etna, London Riots and The Goat Man

Good morning!

Sunday is here, and I am just going to dive into today’s post because I have so much to share with you.

Well, lets start off here in the US…

Summertime in Florida is a lot like being in hell, the heat is unbearable and if you ever try to cool off in some fresh water lake or river, there are dangerous alligators and snakes that can come at you so fast in the murky water, you never know they are there until it is too late. Well, it looks like there is another deadly organism that lurks in the fresh water in Florida.

Amoeba brain infection: Brevard girl suffers amoeba brain infection – OrlandoSentinel.com

Central Florida’s fresh water lakes and rivers offer swimmers a natural, scenic and cool respite from the summer’s scorching heat.

But beneath those sparkling waters lurks a microscopic single-celled parasite that thrives in the hot summer months and, if disturbed, can infect and kill an unsuspecting swimmer in less than a week.

State health officials Friday issued an alert about the deadly amoeba Naegleria fowleri, found in the silt at the bottom of most Florida lakes and rivers, after suspecting it infected 16-year-old Brevard County resident Courtney Nash.

Courtney went swimming with her family in the St. John’s River and after a couple of days, she began showing symptoms of similar to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) A infection caused by waterborne amoebas when they enter the human body through the nose, mouth or ears.  For people who become infected with the parasite, death comes within seven days.

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba lives in many Florida lakes and, when water temperatures rise as they have in recent weeks, health experts warn swimmers to stay out of fresh water.

[…]

Experts also caution swimmers to avoid lakes when the water temperature rises above 80 degrees because that’s when they think amoebas are most active.

It sounds like some sort of horror movie. I just wanted to bring it to your attention.

Twin Towers in Summer of 2000, a picture I took when we lived in an apartment in Hanover Square.

When we lived in Manhattan, and later moved to Connecticut, the Twin Towers were more than the place my husband worked at.  No matter where you were in the city, they seemed to stand tall and act like protectors. Especially, since we lived down in Hanover Square, and spent most of our time in Lower Manhattan.  It wasn’t until I went back to Manhattan after they fell that I realized just what a comfort those buildings were to me. Twin Towers photographer reflects on new Trade Center – CNN.com

“When the Twin Towers were gone I felt disoriented in the city for a long time,” said Brian Rose, an architectural photographer with a degree in Urban Planning. He started taking pictures of the Towers from just about every angle imaginable in the late 1970s. Some of those photographs appear in his self-published book titled WTC.

“I started photographing the Lower East Side and I saw distant views from the Lower East Side where the Twin Towers were there,” said Rose. “Then, I photographed Lower Manhattan as part of a project. … The Twin Towers became very present in those pictures.”

It was hard not to include the towers. Rose would see them as he drove toward the city on the New Jersey Turnpike. There was the view from Kennedy Airport of the buildings rising above the New York skyline way off in the distance. But he most liked the glimpses that he would catch of the Twin Towers rising between smaller buildings as he looked downtown on many of the city’s streets.

“The buildings were really signposts. If you came out of the subway anywhere in the city and you were a little bit disoriented at first you could always look one way or the other and see the Twin Towers,” Rose said. “It was almost like a needle of a compass for me.”

Give that CNN link a click and look at some of the images Rose has taken over the years. The tenth anniversary is coming up a month from now. It is unbelievable to me that so many years have passed.

We have experienced a horrible summer here on the eastern side of the country, but over in the Northwestern US, the weather conditions have been colder than usual.  A Long, Cold Summer at Mount Rainier – NYTimes.com

Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

A hiker in August. Visitors to the Mount Rainier park are down by 30 percent this year.

Usually by August, most of the snow on Mount Rainier, the sleeping volcanic giant here, has long since melted. The meadows of wildflowers are abloom, and hikers galore are tramping along the trails.

But this year, temperatures have been colder than usual, keeping record mounds of old snow lying around. This has discouraged everyone, from the most rigorous climbers to backpackers, hikers and Sunday drivers.

[…]

The amount of snow still on the ground, as measured at Paradise, the park’s main visitor area, is setting records. Last Sunday, it set a record of 44 inches, said Stefan Lofgren, the park’s mountaineering district ranger. The previous record for Aug. 7 was 40 inches, set in 1974.

Another record was set Tuesday, when 43 inches remained on the ground. Mr. Lofgren said he expected records for another couple of weeks. At this elevation (5,400 feet), Paradise normally gets about 630 inches of snow a year, but this year it received a whopping 907 inches.

Heading over to some updates in World News, Tribal Rifts Threaten to Undermine Libya Uprising – NYTimes.com

Saddled with infighting and undermined by the occasionally ruthless and undisciplined behavior of its fighters, the six-month-old rebel uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is showing signs of sliding from a struggle to overthrow an autocrat into a murkier contest between factions and tribes.

The increase in discord and factionalism is undermining the effort to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi, and it comes immediately after recognition of the rebel government by the Western powers, including the United States, potentially giving the rebels access to billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets, and the chance to purchase more modern weaponry.

The infighting could also erode support for the rebels among members of the NATO alliance, which faces a September deadline for renewing its air campaign amid growing unease about the war’s costs and direction.

I really wonder how long Gaddafi is going to linger over there, and will the Rebel forces actually come together and put Libya back on track.

In Somalia, the people are dealing with famine, rape, violence and now cholera.  WHO: Cholera on the Rise in Somali Capital « VOA Breaking News

The World Heath Organization says Somalia has seen a spike in cholera in the Mogadishu area.

WHO said Friday more than 4,000 cases of diarrheal disease have been reported in Mogadishu’s Banadir hospital this year.

It says children under five account for 75 percent of those cases.

We’ll leave Africa and head north to England.  This past week Boston Boomer wrote one hell of a post about the riots in London.  She discussed the social and political issues that have brought about the anger that was key within the scope of violence at the hands of young Londoners.  According to one controversial historian, Black Culture is to blame for the riots.  English Historian Blames Black Culture for Riots – NYTimes.com

During a televised discussion of the past week’s riots in England on Friday night, a prominent English historian sparked outrage by insisting that black, Afro-Caribbean culture was to blame for the mayhem and looting, even when the rioters were white.

David Starkey, who has presented several documentaries on the Tudor period, said during a BBC debate: “the problem is that the whites have become black — a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion — and black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together; this language, which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England, and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.”

Asked if he was saying that the prophecy of Enoch Powell — an English politician who claimed in a speech in 1968 that immigration would eventually mean, “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man” in Britain — had come true, Mr. Starkey replied: “That’s not true.” He added, “it’s not skin color, it’s cultural.”

At least the other people on the show spoke up…

The other participants in the debate quickly objected to Mr. Starkey’s remarks. Owen Jones, the author of a book about working class culture in Britain, told the historian: “It’s utterly outrageous, obviously, what you’re saying. What you’re doing is you’re equating black culture with criminality.”

A short time later, Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who was moderating the discussion, told Mr. Starkey that he was using the terms black culture and white culture as synonyms for bad and good.

Wow…Be sure to read the entire article. There is also video to the BBC debate.

One of the things that Boston Boomer mentioned in her post, was the possibility that the powers that be would take this opportunity to put the last remaining nails in the proverbial coffin of the poor and “social welfare” class.  Families of London Rioters to Be Evicted, and Denied Welfare. | MyFDL

According to BBC radio : Prime Minister David Cameron has gone back to court to obtain actions that will be served to convicted rioters. These actions will cause the eviction of the rioters families as well as the termination of welfare payments.

Prime Minister Cameron says “They should have thought of this before they were caught burgling”.

Refresh my memory if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall “social welfare” being increased for the banks after having been caught red handed committing the largest theft known to recorded history.

One such eviction action has already been served as of this evening, against the single mother and sibling of a minor convicted in the riots. Don’t know for certain, but the rioter’s juvenile status seems to have facilitated the speed of the justice exacted.

For more on the evictions and the reactions of this decision by Cameron that is sure to evoke more riots and violence.  England riots: coalition row grows over ‘kneejerk’ response | Politics | The Observer

Coalition efforts to present a united front over the riots have come under strain as senior Liberal Democrats call for an end to “kneejerk” reactions by politicians and warn that stripping those involved of their benefits could worsen crime on the streets.

In a clear sign of tensions between the governing parties, the Lib Dems’ deputy leader, Simon Hughes, insists that long-term solutions lie in supporting communities by offering opportunities and redistributing wealth, not slashing help from the state and cutting taxes for the rich.

This is how the process works:

With the support of David Cameron, Conservative Wandsworth council was the first to attempt to evict tenants who had been caught up in the rioting. The prime minister also pledged to support “zero tolerance” policing where minor offences are prosecuted and said a series of tough measures would be unveiled in coming months to fight crime and reclaim the streets. “We haven’t talked the language of zero tolerance enough but the message is getting through,” he said.

Wandsworth announced on Friday that the first eviction notice had been served – to the mother of an 18-year-old boy accused of violent disorder and attempted theft. The teenager has not yet been convicted but has appeared in court in connection with disturbances on Monday at Clapham Junction.

Other authorities, including Westminster, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Nottingham and Salford, are also considering evicting those found to have taken part in the unrest.

It really is disturbing to see governments and countries, like the US and Great Britain, doing these things to their own people. Wait, their own poor and middle class people.

From Minx’s Missing Link File:  While Romans burn: Italian sunbathers sizzle on Sicily beach as Mount Etna erupts | Mail Online

Relaxing: These sunbathers on a beach in Sicily seems unbothered by the eruption of Mt Etna in the distance

Relaxing: These sunbathers on a beach in Sicily seems unbothered by the eruption of Mt Etna in the distance

These Italian sunbathers seem to be making the most of their summer holidays

So determined are they to enjoy their time on the beach, they don’t even turn their heads to the sight of Europe’s largest volcano erupting behind them.

Or perhaps it’s just volcano fatigue – after all, this is the sixth time Mt Etna has erupted in the last month.

Hey, Sicilians have grown up with the Mafia, an erupting volcano is not going to scare them.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  Here are a couple of links for you. I am curious if anyone has ever seen The Goat Man when he traveled the Dixie Highway, or any of the other back roads across the continental U.S. and Canada.  My father remembers seeing the Goat Man when he was a child in Tampa, FL. Imagine his surprise to see a picture of the same man and his goats in a Cherokee County, NC history book. This made my dad check out the Circle Box, and when he Googled “The Goat Man” he found out that memory he had of a smelly man, with a wagon full of clanking metal being pulled by a herd of goats was one he shared with many people across the country.  The Goat Man was even inspiration for some famous authors, like Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy, who based characters on him in their novels and stories.

The New York Times wrote this obituary about The Goat Man in 1998:  Charles McCartney, Known for Travels With Goats, Dies at 97 – New York Times

Whatever the scope of his travels, Mr. McCartney, who averaged seven miles a day and had a regular route between Iowa and Georgia, spent most of his time creating traffic jams throughout the South, primarily along the old Dixie Highway running through Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

As many who grew up in the South in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s could attest, when the Goat Man came to town it was an event, one that inevitably produced a story and a photograph in the local paper.

So please enjoy these websites that highlight The Goat Man, America’s Legend

Charles “Ches” McCartney, the legendary “Goat Man”, was a wanderer, who spent decades traveling across the country while guiding a massive iron-wheeled wagon loaded with pots and pans, pails, bails of hay, car tags lead by a team of goats. “The Goat Man” entwined himself in the folklore of rural America for more than six decades.

The Goat Man lead a very colorful life. At age 14, having a reputation as an eccentric, his left his hometown in Iowa for New York. There he married a Spanish maiden and became a target for her knife-tossing act for two years. In the 1930’s McCartney hit the road with his wife and son. His wife later tired of the travels and returned home to Iowa while McCartney traveled on with his son.

The Goat Man and the Goat Boy, as his son Albert Gene was known as, would travel the roads together.

Albert Gene stayed in Iowa to attend school, rejoining Ches on his vacations. But Ches traveled on, gaining notoriety across the country as the “Goat Man.” His goat skin outfit eventually gave way to several layers of greasy, sooty clothes, which he would peel off depending on the weather. He never shaved or bathed, and it was said that his smell would roll into town long before he did. “[The goats] don’t care how I smell or how I look,” he later wrote. “They trust me and have faith in me, and this is more than I can say about a lot of people.”

At its height, the Goat Man’s junk-filled “goatvoy” consisted of two wagons pulled by a team of over thirty goats. The larger billies were hitched to the front of the wagon with homemade leather leads. Nannies were tied to the back with a couple of strong billies that served as the “brakes” on steep hills. The Goat Man also collected stray and neglected goats that he found during his travels, including a three-legged goat that rode in a special box on the front wagon. He referred to the goats as his “babies,” and called each of them by name as he walked beside them.

The Goat Man traveled over 100,000 miles, and covered 49 states, the only state he missed was Hawaii.  He even has his own Wikipedia page.

So check out these links and if any of you have ever come across The Goat Man please let me know…

That is all I have for you today, what else are you reading about today?


Thursday Reads: Poverty and Joblessness *Are* Social and Political Issues

Guess who said this:

“There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but are frankly sick.

“It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities and their actions do not have consequences. Well, they do have consequences.”

You’re darn right! The global elites have gone too far! The banksters have stolen trillions from ordinary taxpayers, and then demanded and received massive government bailouts. Politicians have lost any sense of responsibility toward their constituents, only listening to their corporate masters and their lobbyists. Yes there are consequences and these wealthy elites will discover there are consequences for their corrupt and immoral actions.

Oh wait. That was Prime Minister David Cameron talking about the poor and jobless young people who have been rioting in the streets of London and other British cities for the past five days. I’ll bet he has absolutely no clue how ridiculous it is that he is chastising these people for looting after he and other global elites allowed banksters to steal and loot trillions with absolutely no consequences. From Raw Story:

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government’s first-ever audit of the central bank.

Last year, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S. economy was $14.5 trillion.

Of the $16.1 trillion loaned out, $3.08 trillion went to financial institutions in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) analysis shows.

Additionally, asset swap arrangements were opened with banks in the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Mexico, Singapore and Switzerland. Twelve of those arrangements are still ongoing, having been extended through August 2012.

Out of all borrowers, Citigroup received the most financial assistance from the Fed, at $2.5 trillion. Morgan Stanley came in second with $2.04 trillion, followed by Merill Lynch at $1.9 trillion and Bank of America at $1.3 trillion.

Lambert has been highlighting the hypocrisy of the global elites on the riots. Yesterday he linked to this article in the Guardian.

This scepticism toward the potency of democratic politicians – and therefore democratic politics itself – is oddly echoed by the looters themselves. Certainly no one outside the Iranian state media is calling them “protesters”, but even “rioters” seems the wrong word, carrying with it a hint of political purpose. For some, especially at the start in Tottenham, there was clearly a political dimension – with the police the prime focus of their anger. But many of the copycat actions across London and elsewhere have no apparent drive beyond the opportunistic desire to steal and get away with it. It’s striking that the targets have not been town halls or, say, Tory HQ – stormed by students last November – but branches of Dixons, Boots and Carphone Warehouse. If they are making a political statement, it is that politics does not matter.

Lambert notes that at least these looters didn’t steal $16 trillion from the U.S. Treasury.

And while the revulsion at the looting has been widespread and bipartisan – with plenty of liberals admitting to “coming over all Daily Mail” at the ugliness of the vandalism – that sense of the impotence of politics is widespread, too. One aspect of the phone-hacking scandal that went deep was its revelation that those we might think exert authority – police and politicians – were in fact supine before an unelected media corporation. The sheer power of News Corp contrasted with the craven behaviour of those we elect or entrust to look out for us.

But elected officials are supposed to protect all citizens–even the poor, the unemployed, and the elderly–aren’t they? Yet in the U.S. and Europe, the burden of the economic crisis is falling on those with the least ability to pay, while the wealthy continue to receive their government handouts. When people are pushed to the point that they feel they have nothing to lose, this is what happens. Why it is coming as such a surprise to the comfortable elites is the real mystery.

Let’s take a look at what some of the rioters themselves have said about the meaning of their actions. From Yahoo News:

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, making deep cuts to public services to tackle a record budget deficit, has been quick to deny that the unrest was linked to austerity measures, calling the disorder “pure criminality.” [....]

Public anger over the widespread looting of shops appears to have strengthened the government’s argument, with stolen goods ranging from the expensive — televisions and jewelry — to the absurd — sweets and bottles of alcohol.

However, community leaders and rioters themselves said the violence was an expression of the frustration felt by the poorest inhabitants of a country that ranks among the most unequal in the developed world.

“They’ve raised rates, cut child benefit. Everyone just used it as a chance to vent,” one man who took part in unrest in the east London district of Hackney told Reuters.

Surprise, surprise. Cutting social services to pay for the bankers’ failures has real life consequences. Austerity measures create more unemployment, and people who don’t have jobs get hungry and scared. When you take everything from people who can least afford it, they get angry. What on earth do these people expect? What planet are they living on anyway? And no, I’m not condoning violence. I’m just saying that it’s going to happen when you push people too far.

Here are some quotes from two young women who participated in the British riots:

Two girls who took part in Monday night’s riots in Croydon have boasted that they were showing police and “the rich” that “we can do what we want”.

From The New York Times: London Riots Put Spotlight on Troubled, Unemployed Youths in Britain

“I came here to get my penny’s worth,” said a man who gave his name as Louis James, 19, a slightly built participant in the widening riots that have shaken London to its core. With a touch of guilt on Tuesday, Mr. James showed off what he described as a $195 designer sweater that he said he took during looting in Camden Town, a gentrified area of north London.

Politicians from both the right and the left, the police and most residents of the areas hit by violence nearly unanimously describe the most recent riots as criminal and anarchic, lacking even a hint of the anti-government, anti-austerity message that has driven many of the violent protests in other European countries.

But the riots also reflect the alienation and resentment of many young people in Britain, where one million people from the ages of 16 to 24 are officially unemployed, the most since the deep recession of the mid-1980s.

Don’t these politicians, police, and other observers understand that poverty and jobless *are* sociopolitical issues? Just because people are acting out of desperation or even opportunism doesn’t mean that their actions are not political. Just because someone is young and poor does not mean he or she isn’t aware that government and corporate corruption have caused much of their distress. Back to the NYT article:

In many ways, Mr. James’s circumstances are typical. He lives in a government-subsidized apartment in northern London and receives $125 in jobless benefits every two weeks, even though he says he has largely given up looking for work. He says he has never had a proper job and learned to read only three years ago. His mother can barely support herself and his stepbrothers and sisters. His father, who was a heroin addict, is dead.

He says he has been in and out of too many schools to count and left the educational system for good when he was 15.

“No one has ever given me a chance; I am just angry at how the whole system works,” Mr. James said. He would like to get a job at a retail store, but admits that he spends most days watching television and just trying to get by. “That is the way they want it,” he said, without specifying exactly who “they” were. “They give me just enough money so that I can eat and watch TV all day. I don’t even pay my bills anymore.”

Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, says that Mr. James’s plight reflects a broader trend here. More challenging students, Mr. Portes says, have not been receiving the attention they should as teachers, under pressure to meet educational goals, focus on children from more stable homes and those with greater abilities and social skills. Disillusioned, those who cannot keep up just drop out.

The Los Angeles Times in an opinion piece searches for the reasons for the violence and asks if it could happen here.

The Tottenham riots that blindsided Britain were sparked by the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man. Over the past few days, they’ve continued and spread, turning into what has largely become youths’ looting and destroying parts of London. But no one is exactly sure why they’re doing it. Prime Minister David Cameron called it “criminality, pure and simple.”

But why have the riots continued day after day?

The riots are neither politically or racially fueled, wrote Doug Sanders of the Globe and Mail. They’re the result of a “lost generation” of youth under 20 who have little to lose and a bleak future. Here’s an excerpt:

Whether the thousands of rioters actually did express disillusionment — some did say they were angry at police or the world, but many appeared gleeful or greedy — it is clear that most had nothing else to do with themselves, and no reason to fear or feel responsible for the consequences of their actions.

This is a chronic problem in Britain, which has a “lost generation” of young high school dropouts far larger than most other Western countries’.

It’s so simple-minded to expect that youthful rioters are going to calmly explain their behavior in a reasoned, intellectual manner or that they are not going to act euphoric once they let go of restraint and begin acting out as part of a mob. None of that means that the reasons for their behavior are not political.

It seems to me that masses of young people who have “little to lose and bleak future” is in fact a powerful political issue for any society. And when people are powerless, there are few ways for them express their anger. Violence is one way to get attention from the powerful.

Can it happen here? You bet it can. As long as the President and Congress continue enacting austerity measures and ignoring unemployment and general misery among ordinary Americans, it’s guaranteed the U.S. will see riots in the streets–as we have in the past. When it happens here, will our elites be as dumbfounded and out-of-touch with reality as those in Great Britain? Probably.

I posted this in a comment yesterday, but I’m going to put it up again here. It’s an interview of writer and broadcaster Darcus Howe by a clueless BBC “journalist.”

—————————————-

That’s my suggested reading for today. What do you recommend?

UPDATE: I found a piece in the Guardian that reflects my thinking.

Seumas Milne: These riots reflect a society run on greed and looting

It is essential for those in power in Britain that the riots now sweeping the country can have no cause beyond feral wickedness. This is nothing but “criminality, pure and simple”, David Cameron declared after cutting short his holiday in Tuscany. The London mayor and fellow former Bullingdon Club member Boris Johnson, heckled by hostile Londoners in Clapham Junction, warned that rioters must stop hearing “economic and sociological justifications” (though who was offering them he never explained) for what they were doing.

When his predecessor Ken Livingstone linked the riots to the impact of public spending cuts, it was almost as if he’d torched a building himself. The Daily Mail thundered that blaming cuts was “immoral and cynical”, echoed by a string of armchair riot control enthusiasts. There was nothing to explain, they’ve insisted, and the only response should be plastic bullets, water cannon and troops on the streets.

We’ll hear a lot more of that when parliament meets – and it’s not hard to see why. If these riots have no social or political causes, then clearly no one in authority can be held responsible….If this week’s eruption is an expression of pure criminality and has nothing to do with police harassment or youth unemployment or rampant inequality or deepening economic crisis, why is it happening now and not a decade ago? The criminal classes, as the Victorians branded those at the margins of society, are always with us, after all. And if it has no connection with Britain’s savage social divide and ghettoes of deprivation, why did it kick off in Haringey and not Henley?

…To refuse to recognise the causes of the unrest is to make it more likely to recur – and ministers themselves certainly won’t be making that mistake behind closed doors if they care about their own political futures.


SDB Evening News Reads for 080911: Zither…Baby

Well, with all the bad news going on at least yesterday was Orson Wells day on TCM, and fortunately I was able to record The Third Man.  So as I write this post today I am listening to the film, and the sounds from the zither, composed and performed by Anton Karas, are eerily acting as a backdrop to the news articles I am collecting for this evening reads…

As you may already know, today the stock market was more like a lame ride at some sultry summer night carnival.  Where the air is so thick it becomes difficult to breathe, and then when by chance you do feel a breeze..it feels like someone opened a hot oven door. The rush of scorching heat makes your eyes tear up.  And the only relief you can find is a Rainbow Flavored Snow Cone as you walk out and head back home…

Yup, that is what Wall Street was, an agonizing circus, but at least there was a bit of shaved ice at the end, with the Dow closing at 11,239.54…up 429.62 from yesterdays close.

Dow Jones Industrial Average: INDEXDJX:.DJI quotes & news – Google Finance

US Stocks End Sharply Higher, Dow Surges 400 – CNBC

The Dow Jones Industrial Average regained its footing finish up more than 400 points after fluctuating heavily in the wake of the Fed decision. The Dow swung in a 600-point range during the session.

The Fed released this statement earlier today, and for a summary, here are a couple of articles from the National Journal:

Fed to Keep Interest Rates Low Through 2013 – National Journal staff – NationalJournal.com

The Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday that it would keep interest rates low through 2013, just as the already weak economy sustains jolts from the recent U.S. credit downgrade and a tumultuous few days on Wall Street.

Fed Opens Door to Stimulus But Doesn’t Jump Through – Catherine Hollander and Jim Tankersley – NationalJournal.com

Chet Susslin

Reading the materials provided, participants wait in line to enter the fourteenth annual D.C. job fair presented by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton at the Washington Convention Center on Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve didn’t announce any new monetary jolts for the fading economic recovery on Tuesday, but it signaled that help could be on the way soon if conditions don’t improve.

It was a largely disappointing result for investors, some of whom had hoped for bold Fed action to calm increasingly frazzled markets. Stocks seesawed on the news.

[…]

The Fed didn’t announce a third round of quantitative easing, or any other monetary stimulus, even though the committee painted a significantly bleaker picture of the recovery than it did in June.

Instead, the committee offered a large hint that it may act at its next meeting. Members “discussed the range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery” during Tuesday’s meeting, the statement said, and the Fed “will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate.”

To catch you up on the Riots in London…

UK riots: trouble flares in Salford, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich | UK news | guardian.co.uk

In Salford, officers in riot gear confronted about 70 teenagers who tried to break into a closed shopping centre and pelted armoured police vans with stones.

Terry Sweeney, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said on the force’s Twitter feed: “Aware of pockets of minor disorder in Salford city centre. Advising people to stay out of city centre but also keep calm.”

The trouble followed the increasingly familiar pattern of large groups of young people gathering after messages by text, Twitter or BlackBerry Messenger and targeting shops before police arrived in strength.

The Labour MP for West Bromwich East, Tom Watson, said: “The messages can be distributed very quickly. I think that should probably have an impact on the way we do future policing.”

Police are also using social network sites and the West Midlands force tweeted during the afternoon to calm fears, saying that an Asda in Wolverhampton that closed early was not acting on police advice.

You may have seen this picture, a woman is jumping from a burning building…

Here are a few more links for you on this…

Britain braces for more riots – latimes.com

British officials anticipating more riots Tuesday night sharply increased police presence in London and elsewhere to try to control the country’s worst uprising in years.

About 16,000 officers, roughly triple the number on duty in London a day earlier, were being deployed to try to accomplish what some observers described as “reclaiming the streets.”

Then there is this from Guardian, London riots: ‘A generation who don’t respect their parents or police’ | UK news | The Guardian

Pat Burn, a retired social worker who has lived in west London for 30 years, said she heard the sirens and feared for her and her elderly husband’s safety.

“I think everybody around here is very worried. It feels as if things are out of control.” She too thought military support might be needed. “The police should get the water cannon out and use the army if they can’t cope.
“I’m not sure how it will all end. This area will be a target because it is wealthy. The problem is that in this country we live in extremes of rich and poor. We need to live in the middle, like they do in Scandinavia.”

Then there is this comment from a man in the street who did not want to be identified:

“You have a generation of kids now that don’t respect their parents or the police,” chipped in his friend. “When we were youngsters we were made to have respect for the olders. Now if an older was to slap a youth that kid is going to pick up a hammer.

“I was one of these kids but it’s bloody hard for them. There’s nothing to do at all. University fees have gone up, education costs money. And there’s no jobs. This is them sending out a message.”

And AJE has just posted this article, Rioting for ‘justice’ in London – Features – Al Jazeera English

On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered outside the Tottenham police station, peacefully calling for “justice” for Mark Duggan, a man killed by officers three days prior.

Police stood in formation, separating the community members from the station they were guarding, until a 16-year-old woman reportedly approached an officer to find out what was going on.

According to a witness account, some officers pushed the young woman and drew their batons.

“And that’s when the people started to retaliate. Now I think in all circumstances, having seen that, most people retaliate,” said the witness.

The “retaliation”, from peaceful chants of “justice” in front of the police station, have since turned into massive groups of Londoners in numerous parts of the city who seem unafraid of breaking windows, looting stores, and burning buildings, doubtless causing millions of pounds’ worth of damage.

Scores of businesses have been looted and international media continue to play images of smoldering buildings, in areas where firefighters were reportedly too afraid to enter – for their own safety

I don’t know, maybe the Mayans were right?

Remember, today is the Wisconsin Recall Vote…

The Day of Reckoning in Wisconsin Recall Fight – Abe Sauer – Politics – The Atlantic

The Wisconsin recall vacuum – The Fix – The Washington Post

So let us see what happens when those polls close,  we will keep you up to date on that.

This is the latest from MSNBC Will Wis. recalls be leading indicator for 2012? – politics – msnbc.com

For a few hours Tuesday night a half dozen state Senate districts in Wisconsin will be the focus of American politics as voters cast ballots in recall elections for six Republican lawmakers.

Tens of millions of dollars are being pumped into these recall battles with one local expert, J.R. Ross of WisPolitics.com, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd on Tuesday that in five of the races, the amount of money spent has already exceeded the most costly state Senate race in Wisconsin history.

That is all I have for you this evening…I am off to make some meatballs, the family has been hungry for some good home-made spaghetti and meatballs and I must appease them.

So, here is the opening theme and scene from The Third Man, enjoy it:

If you would like to see Anton Karas playing this on a zither, just click on this link here…the quality is not as good, but it is cool to see him playing on this odd instrument.  Geez, take a look at those fingers in action!