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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:18:56 PM EST
Irish voters back EU fiscal treaty in referendum - Ireland - FRANCE 24
Ireland voted in favour of the European Union's new fiscal treaty for stricter budget rules, with official results showing 60 percent for the pro-treaty side. Ireland is the only eurozone country to put the treaty to a referendum.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza launches new programme | Athens News
A Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) would annul the memorandum, keep strategic companies under state control, freeze wage and pension cuts demanded by the troika if it wins the June 17 election, its leader announced on Friday.

Alexis Tsipras was speaking at the launch of Syriza's new programme, which he described as a "programme of dignity and hope".

Tsipras said he would also introduce measures to relieve the debt burden of overborrowed households and cut valued added tax (VAT), especially on basic food items.

...The Syriza leader also said banks receiving recapitalisation from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund could face nationalisation.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest poll shows Syriza with 6pt lead | Athens News
A new poll published on Friday shows the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) on its highest performance yet and a full six points ahead of its main opponent.   The Public Issue/Kathimerini poll, published on Friday, shows Syriza on 31.5 percent and New Democracy on 25.5 percent.

...Two more polls appeared on Friday, when a moratorium on their publication comes into force at midnight.

By contrast, pollsters Rass (for Ta Nea) and Kapa (for Eleftheros Typos) out New Democracy ahead by between 2.3 and 2.5 points.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Samaras presents ND financial plan for Greece | Athens News
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday described the framework in which he would seek to renegotiate the terms of the bailout agreements for Greece, if his party won the elections and promised action that would create 150,000 new jobs in the private sector, while speaking at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA).

...ND's leader said an escape from the current mire could be achieved both with measures "renegotiated" with Greece's creditors and "measures we can take ourselves", presenting a list of 18 such proposals.

The list included restoring low pensions, child benefits for large families and other special benefits to the same levels as in 2009, to compensate bond holders and social insurance funds for the damage they suffered as a result of PSI, prolonging unemployment benefit for two years, introducing an unemployment benefit for the self-employed that were not currently eligible, and settlements to ensure that the tax burden over the past couple of years did not exceed 25 percent of the average family income, with the rest payable at a later date.

He also promised action to shore up wages in the private sector, saying that lower wages would not lead to growth.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman: the full transcript | Ben Chu | Independent Eagle Eye - Breaking views from commentators - Blogs

Can Greece make it in the euro? Or is an exit now inevitable?

Something has to happen and in the end it does have to be a Greek exit. I'd be astonished if they can go more than two years. I'd be astonished if they could go even one year. It will become obvious, even if New Democracy [which backs austerity] is leading a new government within a couple of months it will obvious within a couple of months that nothing has changed. The forcing event is when the European Central Bank puts a stop to the emergency lending. Nobody wants to do that but at some point the numbers will make that unavoidable. There's a bank "jog" going on [in Greek banks] - a slow exit. If I was a Greek depositor I'd be trying to shift money out because there's a reasonable probability that after a long weekend you'll find out that it has turned into a new drachma account worth 50 or 30 per cent of what the original one was. Of course there could be action forcing events elsewhere. Spain is looking pretty interesting this week.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He hasn't made sense in a long while.
by Euroliberal on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 02:22:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said to Colman, I expect Sain to be the forcing issue. I imagine that Greece will hang on as long as possible, whoever wins,but a spanish collapse will render anything Greece does to be irrelevant.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody can make it in the Euro.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 04:30:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Parliament votes bring ACTA closer to final rejection | EurActiv

The Civil Liberties, Industry and the Legal Affairs committees in the European Parliament all rejected ACTA in separate opinions adopted yesterday (31 May).

The Trade Committee, which has the lead on the dossier, is scheduled to give its opinion on ACTA on 21 June, paving the way for a vote in plenary before the summer recess, where a growing number of MEPs appear ready to kill the agreement.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Owen Jones: It's time to demolish the myth about Tony Blair - Commentators - Opinion - The Independent
You will struggle to find more devout supporters of Tony Blair than those at the top of the Conservative leadership. "I can't hold it back any more; I love Tony!" Michael Gove once exclaimed. David Cameron famously described himself as "the heir to Blair", and senior Tories refer to him as "The Master". "His influence is very firmly felt," a senior Tory told The Times. "He's like the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo - gone but still greatly admired." Screaming teenagers at Take That concerts in the mid-1990s come to mind.

...His defenders argue that Labour could not have won without him. It is a myth. Black Wednesday in 1992 finished off the Tories, and Labour enjoyed subsequent massive poll leads under John Smith. Of the five million votes that Labour lost in its 13 years in power, four million went awol under Blair's leadership. It wasn't so-called "Middle England" that deserted the party. According to Ipsos MORI, while middle-class professional support for Labour declined by five percentage points between 1997 and 2010, support among skilled workers plummeted by 21 per cent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad somebody said it, Labour shuld stop believing in the Third Way tory-lite myth and start being a Labour party again

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:28:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a "Friends of Tony Blair" similar to Sarko's posse?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, most of the parliamentary labour party count as sycophants

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 11:52:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kosovo Serbs shoot at NATO peacekeepers | EurActiv
At least five Kosovo Serbs and a NATO soldier were wounded in a gunfight today (1 June), as peacekeepers tried to dismantle Serb roadblocks blocking traffic, a Reuters witness said.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†ECONOMY & FINANCE†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:30 PM EST
Anxious Spaniards withdraw billions from banks - SPAIN - FRANCE 24
Spaniards worried about the health of their ailing banks are withdrawing money at record rates, new data revealed on Thursday. Figures from Bank of Spain showed 66.2 billion euros was transferred abroad in March.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rich, 1% spaniards that is. Not normal suffering spaniards

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone unemployment reaches all-time high - Eurozone crisis - FRANCE 24

AP - Unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro stuck at 11 percent in April - the highest level since the single currency was introduced back in 1999, piling further pressure on the region's leaders to switch from austerity to focus on stimulating growth.

The eurozone's stagnant economy left 17.4 million people out of a population of some 330 million without a job, with rates continuing to climb in struggling Spain, Portugal and Greece. The EU's Eurostat office said 110,000 unemployed were added in April alone.

In recession-hit Spain, unemployment spiked to 24.3 percent, the worst rate in the EU. It was up 0.2 points since March, and 3.6 percentage points compared to last year. Youth unemployment ballooned to a 51.5 percent, up from 45 percent last year.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Business leaders call for investment in `humanware' | EurActiv

Leading business executives meeting in Brussels yesterday (31 May) complained about the constant nagging over austerity and structural reforms and urged policymakers to focus on those areas that will boost Europe's competitive advantage against the rest of the world - investment in people.

"A tree cannot grow without good soil and Europe cannot push for growth without a sound structure," said Hendrik Bourgeois, Vice-President of European Affairs at General Electric, speaking at the State of the European Union conference.

"Fiscal consolidation is not enough," he said, criticising Europe's single-minded austerity drive.

The current eurozone crisis presents a rare window of opportunity for carrying out long-overdue structural reforms and even questioning the EU's existing political and economic structures, corporate executives noted.

...Business people insist that Europe has a great competitive advantage - its workforce. Corporate executives applauded the old continent for its investment in "hardware". The EU, they felt, has played a critical and successful role in building infrastructures - transportation, information, energy - but EU leaders lack ambition when it comes to investing in "humanware" and "software," they said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"please train people so that they cost us less"

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've got to be kidding me.

As one of the 15M slogans could be translated: "we're not wares in the hands of politicians and bankers".

So, we're humans, not humanware.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:40:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we're cattle. I've said it before.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:48:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or chattel, rather :P

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:50:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Power regulator warns of energy meltdown | Athens News
The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the country's electricity and natural gas system.

...RAE took the decision after receiving a letter from the Public Gas Corporation (Depa), which threatened to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company.

Ealier, the chief of the Public Power Corporation (DEI) said that the country may suffer power cuts later this year unless the troika allows an emergency cash injection into electricity producers to allow them to buy fuel,.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suu Kyi warns of 'reckless optimism' over Burma - THAILAND - BURMA - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi urged foreign firms on Friday to invest cautiously in fast-changing Myanmar and give priority to creating jobs as much as making profits in order to defuse the "time bomb" that is the country's high unemployment rate.

Speaking during her first trip outside her country in 24 years, the leader of the fight against dictatorship in the former Burma also warned against "reckless optimism" about Myanmar's rapid reforms.

Suu Kyi, 66, said Myanmar faced a crisis due to the number of people without work and urged foreign companies to provide jobs and training. Their investments should not fuel corruption or line the pockets only of the business elite.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†WORLD†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:29 PM EST
Putin, Merkel push for political solution in Syria - SYRIA - FRANCE 24

AFP - Germany and Russia agreed on the need for a political solution to end the Syrian bloodshed, their leaders said here Friday, as Vladimir Putin warned the country could be on the brink of civil war.

The Russian president said the situation in strife-wracked Syria was "extremely dangerous" but underlined his opposition to military intervention, after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the second leg of his first foreign tour since returning to the Kremlin.

Amid mounting pressure for Moscow to drop its resistance to tougher UN action on Syria, Putin, who was later due in Paris, warned at a joint press conference with Merkel: "You cannot do anything by force."

..."As far as arms supplies are concerned, Russia does not supply the weapons that could be used in a civil conflict," he said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia and Germany getting together. Where have I seen this before? History buffs ... anything?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't go that far back: Iraq War.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet he is referring to the Holy Alliance or perhaps the League of the Three Emperors.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 09:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing's sacred: the illegal trade in India's holy cows - Nature - Environment - The Independent
Even in the dog days of summer, the quiet paddy fields that mark the border between India and Bangladesh look as supple and green as the soft stems of herbs grown in a window box. But the daytime tranquillity belies a stark reality. This delta region of the Ganges river is a place of often deadly conflict that underpins an activity many in India would rather not discuss. Every year, hundreds of thousands of cows - considered sacred in India, with export of the beasts banned - are illegally smuggled into Bangladesh where they are turned into shoes, belts, bone china crockery and, of course, meat.

"There is smuggling here every day," said Umesh, a member of a three-man Indian Border Security Force (BSF) team on duty at a watchtower near the village of Kaharpara, just a few hundred yards from the Bangladesh border. "The smugglers will take 50, 100 or 200 cattle at a time. We try to create an ambush and surround the smugglers."

The story of the annual smuggling of an estimated 1.5 million cattle says much about modern India - about the sometimes hypocritical treatment of supposedly sacred cows, the political power of right-wing Hinduism and the corruption that allows the £320m illegal trade to flourish. But ultimately this story is about supply and demand. Hindu-majority India has an estimated 280 million cows but killing and eating them is legal in only a handful of states. Meanwhile, Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where beef is eaten with relish, suffers from a shortage of cattle. Half of the beef consumed in Bangladesh comes from its large, western neighbour.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Zimmerman's bond revoked as judge rules he 'deceived' court | World news | guardian.co.uk

George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch captain accused of murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, had his bail revoked on Friday for "deceiving" a court over the amount of donations made to his defence fund.

Circuit judge Kenneth Lester Jr ordered that Zimmerman, 28, must turn himself in within 48 hours after hearing from prosecutors that the defendant and his wife Shellie had more than $135,000 available to them from donations to a PayPal account set up on his private website soon after his arrest in April for the shooting on 26 February.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING OFF THE PLANET†
†Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:08 PM EST
Greenhouse gas levels pass symbolic 400ppm CO2 milestone | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.

Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Green groups in Germany say 'no' to Bhopal waste | Asia | DW.DE | 31.05.2012

Development experts and environmentalists in Germany are at odds over a plan to dispose of toxic waste from Bhopal, even though the move is highly welcome in India.

The toxic chemicals in question originate from the site of the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India, which killed thousands of people and contaminated the surrounding area.

Much of the waste dates from before the accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant. The earth around the site contains somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of toxins, which are steadily seeping into the groundwater and polluting the water sources of nearby slums.

The key points are scattered too wide in the article to quote, so in summary: the concern is with the shipping of the waste and the profit motivation of the companies behind the project, which only concerns 350 tons in the first step; the critics want a disposal pőlant built locally.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After 26 years, farms emerge from the cloud of Chernobyl - Home News - UK - The Independent

When nuclear rain swept the UK in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, farmers saw their livelihoods and even their families threatened. Some 9,700 farms and four million sheep were placed under restriction as radiocaesium- 137 seeped into the upland soils of England, Scotland and Wales.

Twenty-six years after the explosions at Reactor Four, restrictions remained on 334 farms in North Wales, and eight in Cumbria. But as of today, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) regulations on these farms were lifted, giving long-suffering livestock owners cause for celebration.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pro-smoking activists threaten and harass health campaigners | Society | The Guardian

Academics and health campaigners are being subjected to threats of violence, harassment and personal abuse by pro-smoking activists as UK ministers consult over whether tobacco should be sold only in plain packets.

Leading advocates of tobacco control have been targeted in an apparent escalation of hate campaigns and intimidation by bloggers and groups who view moves to curb smoking as assaults on personal freedom.

One article, called "sniper the flappers," hosted by the campaign group Freedom2choose's website in March, suggested shooting staff of Action and Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK, entrepreneur and anti-smoker Duncan Bannatyne and Shona Robison, a former health minister in the Scottish government. The blogpost gave the addresses of Ash offices in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Ash called the police.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personally I think smoking doesn't need much more in the way of prhobition, people increasingly view it as a silly habit.

I just worry that the more we push, the more it will be driven into the hands of criminals who have a different agenda.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the more it will be driven into the hands of criminals who have a different agenda.

What? Will I have to go to the bank to buy that shit?

by Euroliberal on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 05:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that smoking, or at least the tobacco industry, is the original validation of the effectiveness of advertising. And by the time many people realize how silly it is, they're already addicted. So to my mind, making them sell cigarettes in plain packages would probably be an effective way to prevent people (usually adolescents) from taking up the habit in the first place.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 05:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now they have packages with the label "smoking kills" or suchlike...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 05:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that most people, given a choice, will choose (the illusion of) social status over health. Taking branding out of the picture would change the behavior pattern completely.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 05:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As those of you who know me know, i enjoy smoking, though i have always smoked pure tobacco with no chemicals or additives. I thoroughly enjoy smoking... having nothing to do with ceremonial tobacco use, which is for more than enjoyment.

But i know very few people who smoke because they enjoy it. Most smoke simply because of addiction, even if it was begun to be seen as ___.

Some would fight the addiction if there were no more branding, but most would remain addicted. (And how would you differentiate the brands with a black pack? I would still wish to choose my additive free Mohawks.)

PS. I'm also addicted by now, though only 12-16 a day.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:34:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have nothing against tobacco consumption as a personal choice when one enjoys the effects of nicotine. My problem is with how the industry promotes the consumption of its products.

De-branding (genericizing?) cigarettes is not a measure that will help the addicted, but I think that eliminating the cigarette pack as a lifestyle badge would drastically cut the number of new addicts.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:18:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recently I read of new statistics for some country (forgot which) that showed smoking rates dropping overall but rising among teenagers, especially the youngest. I wonder how much this is down to dirty advertising the the industry how much with unsolicited but irresponsible trend-setting by individual stars like Lady Gaga.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:25:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which has been shown to actually have slightly negative effectiveness.  Plain packaging, particularly in drab colours such as olive has been shown to reduce the desirability.  You can tell the effectiveness by how aggressively the tobacco lobby fights.
by njh on Sun Jun 3rd, 2012 at 02:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't give a damn about smokers killing themselves, personally - the public case to save people from themselves is mediocre in that case (smokers die when they start receiving pensions, so I suspect the net result for society is a financial gain, rather than a loss).

No, the problem is that cigarette smoke is incredibly intrusive and invasive, and the majority of smokers don't give a damn about non-smokers, and never will. They don't care if they stink up places, they don't mind throwing cigarette butts in the street and elsewhere, and they don't tolerate any comment about it.

It's impossible to have smoke-free restaurants, bars and other public places because, given the choice, restaurants will always choose to welcome smokers and thus you end up with no non-smoking restaurant, concert hall, public event or else.

That's the hard reality of smokers being unable to restrain themselves, because they are sick and get annoyed when you point i to them. So the only way to limit the massive inconvenience they cause to others is brute force.

And yes, I know considerate smokers, but they are a minority. Smoking makes assholes of most people.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:23:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a considerate smoker sensitive to those who are threatened by 2nd hand smoke, and who doesn't throw butts, i know i'm in a small minority.

But even in Germany, most public places are smoke free, though there are a fair number of bars which allow smoking. In most places, you must smoke outside, or in a separate room.

There's a deeper problem of course. Here in Germany, teenagers love to smash bier bottles on the very paths on which they ride their bikes.

the disconnect from one's complete environment is astounding, whether speaking of coal mining and fracking, or littering. at least Germans pick up after their dogs.

Can you really smoke at a concert in France?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:47:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here in Germany, teenagers love to smash bier bottles on the very paths on which they ride their bikes.

Bottle-smashing (as part of hanging around street corners and getting drunk while talking) is a new teenager trend all across the 'West', and I got angry at it when I had to pull a centimetre-long piece from the foot of my late dog (and that after trying to steer her clear of the 'worst-hit zones' of the pavement).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:01:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hanging around in public places and getting drunk is what the Spanish botellón ("whopping bottle") is about, but not the bottle-smashing. Anti-botellon ordinances are usually justified on noise grounds.

It is popular with teenagers mostly because drinking at bars or clubs is several times more expensive than buying the drinks at a supermarket. There is also the getting around age restrictions at pubs and clubs, but the practice is not restricted to the younger teenagers because places that sell alcohol are actually pretty good about carding people to ensure they don't sell alcohol under-age.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:10:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe bottle-smashing is just not universal?

Spain botellons | Spain binge drinking

Residents in nearby apartment blocks complain of screams and loud music from "disco-cars;" vandalism; trash from broken glass, plastic cups and bags; and urine in the streets and on their doorsteps.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To clarify, i didn't mean that smashing bottles is a problem worse than smoking. i meant that all problems which represent a disconnect from the environment are a problem, equating not caring about those around you affected by smoke is like not caring about smashing bottles.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:56:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Smashing pumpkins is better.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding smoking prohibitions, that's not to make people kick the silly habit burt to protect non-smkers. I don't know what's the situation in the UK at the moment, but if it reached the state as in Hungary (total ban in restaurants, closed workplaces, public transport, and even open places where people mass like underpasses, waiting platforms and stations), then the issue is enforcement, because there are too many assholes like Jérôme says (even if they are not a majority).

Regarding criminals with a different agenda, what about he manufacturers? For me the whole story reeks of a tobacco industry 'black' campaign gone awry: that "Freedom2Choose" website, although they claim no connections to the tobacco industry, sounds suspicious.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I distinctly said more prohibition, which is to accept that the current prohibitions are enough imo.

I accept that people get addicted to smoking; I was as well to the tune of about 300 - 350 a week. But, after several attempts, I stopped. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't that hard either.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:45:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What "no"? Do you class white packaging under "prohibition" and do you think it is unnecessary? And do you have a total restaurant ban and train station and bus stop ban in the UK, and if not, what would you think about such additional prohibition?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:57:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Umm, off the top of my head, smoking is prohibited in every enclosed public space. Trains, restaurants, pubs, buses, offices, taxis and, I hear, even the cabs of company vehicles like lorries. Most hospitals ban smoking anywhere on the grounds.

Most train stations are smoke free, especially the Tube which has been so since the Kings Z fire in '87. That said, in open air overground stations it may be ignored occasionally, but never on the Tube's suburban open air stations..

Cigarettes are no longer on open display but held in a closed cabinet. Taxes on them are very high as well, the average pack of 20 probably costs about 6.5 - 7 euros.

That's good enough for me. White packs won't make any difference.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 08:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Regarding criminals with a different agenda, what about he manufacturers? For me the whole story reeks of a tobacco industry 'black' campaign gone awry: that "Freedom2Choose" website, although they claim no connections to the tobacco industry, sounds suspicious.

While the manufactrers are the main culprits, tobacco smuggling is lucrative (mainly thanks to differences in taxation) and relative low punishments compared to drugs and such. Though it appears to depend on normal channels to sell to the customers, so enforcement can be targeted at shops.

And at least in Sweden, when the tobacco taxes are adjusted, the debate centers on what te consequences for the black market are. A small black market is unavoidable, but a large one might very well mean larger consumption then the current situation.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 11:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is old news (from Tuesday) but interesting:

Renewable energy investors fear UK dash for gas, says Ernst & Young | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Fears the UK will use gas-fired power stations to deal with its looming energy crisis rather than turn to renewable sources have seen the country drop out of the top five most attractive countries for clean energy investment.

The UK dropped to sixth out of 40 countries in Ernst & Young's quarterly report, published today, falling back below Italy after a strong performance in offshore wind energy had raised its position earlier in the year.

The new emissions performance standard for power plants unveiled in last week's draft Energy Bill sparked fears of a new dash for gas if it is used as a bridge fuel while coal-fired stations are phased out.

Recall the shale gas lobbyist featuring in the discussion on British energy policy. Also ceebs's Salon story on the IEA's warning.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
right now gas-fired power plants are being mothballed because they are not profitable enough (and so coal fired lanes are running harder).

The whining of renewable energy investors about the sector is becoming counterproductive as it's scaring people off from investment (I've just had a case this week of a client deciding to wait because they keep on hearing negative news from banks and financial investors about the non-existing unavailability of money for the sector...)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
right now gas-fired power plants are being mothballed

In the UK? Source?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:42:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mopre to the point: what do you think, how does the UK's new emissions performance standard change the profitability calculation for gas?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
REVE - Regulación Eólica con Vehículos Eléctricos -

Siemens has installed 21 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines off the coast of the Rudong district in the East China Sea having a total output of approximately 50 megawatts (MW).

The Jiangsu Rudong Offshore Wind Power Plant began operation in May 2012 and is Siemens' first order for offshore wind power outside Europe.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some perspective:

The project is actually a near shore inter-tidal project, significant that it's the first one with western turbines. (The project also uses Sinovel's 3MW machine, so someone will have some serious comparable data.)

The Siemens turbine is not an offshore turbine, it's a larger rotor version of an onshore turbine used for over a decade, which has also been used on some early Danish and British near shore projects.

What's significant is that the project owner/operator at least will have some very strong comparable data on the performance and reliability of the two turbines.

(Basic Data Here) with click-through map.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany, along with Poland, Finland, Austria and others, is making a concerted attempt to water down the proposed new EU efficiency standards. So much for the Energiewende (energy transition).

apparently it's a fight between the environmental ministry and Rösler's ministry and his fuckin FDP. Bastards.

And Karl Rove is speaking at the AWEA conference this week, and Rösler is speaking at the WAB offshore conf in a few weeks here. what a world.

(at least Jérôme is also speaking.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:56:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerians will bury us all in business as usual.

I'll save this tidbit for the next time somebody tells us Austeritariansm has anything to do with "resource limits".

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 07:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
World's first phone with radiation detection shown in Japan (June 02, 2012)
Japanese mobile operator Softbank will launch the world's first phone that can detect radiation, the company announced.

The model is built by Sharp and belongs to the Pantone line. It has a special chip that is able to detect gamma radiation in the air for levels between 0.05 and 9.99 microsieverts per hour. It takes about ten seconds until the detector makes a reading. The level of radiation is then placed on a map, after localization of the physical position through GPS.

"I received many tweets asking for some way to detect radiation" after the disaster, said Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. "So I decided, `let's do it.'"



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 10:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
†LIVING ON THE PLANET†
†Society, Culture, History, Information†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:23:36 PM EST
Recent German Debate on Islam Triggered by Tiny anti-Muslim Party - SPIEGEL ONLINE
For weeks, German politicians and media outlets alike have been focusing their attention on the country's Salafist Muslims. The reason, however, can be found far away from the halls of power in Berlin. A regional anti-Islam party known as Pro-NRW staged a cartoon contest ahead of a state election last month -- and pulled off an extraordinary coup.

...Pro-NRW then planned a series of events in the run-up to the election to display the winning drawings in front of mosques and other Muslim facilities in the state. They named the top prize after Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who is currently living under heavy police protection due to his authorship of one of the controversial Muhammad caricatures printed in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005.

The results, though execrable, were predictable. On May 1 in the town of Solingen, not far from Düsseldorf, Salafists, many of whom had travelled from afar to take place in a counterdemonstration, became violent. Three police officers were injured as was a passerby. Undeterred, Pro-NRW continued its road show, assembling in front of the King Fahd Academy, a Saudi Arabian school in Bonn, on May 5. The Salafists were waiting. By the time the violence finally came to an end, 29 police had been injured, two of them landing in the hospital with stab wounds. The pro-NRW demonstrators that the police had been protecting were unharmed.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Salafists would do well to take some drawing lessons and combat the wingers in kind. It's not like there isn't plenty to make fun of.
by Andhakari on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 04:10:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Supervolcanoes that could destroy humanity 'may explode sooner than scientists thought' - Science - News - The Independent
Super-eruptions from massive volcanoes with the power to destroy humanity could take much less time to form than scientists previously thought, it was reported yesterday.

...They were previously thought to take between 100,000 to 200,000 years to build up enough pressure for the massive eruption to take place.`

However research published in the online journal, Public Library of Science ONE, now suggests the process could take just thousands or even hundreds of years.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah don't worry, an asteroid will probably get us first.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nature, nurture... or neither? Epigenetics is the new twist in an age-old argument - Science - News - The Independent

It is a shibboleth of family life - that every individual is the product of their genes and environment, the one an immutable inheritance, the other a mutable array of influences and pressures with unpredictable outcomes.

But new research has demonstrated that genes can change, identical twins with the same genetic inheritance can turn out completely different and the impact of environmental influences can be passed down the generations.

The new science of epigenetics has shown that in addition to nature and nurture, what makes us who we are is also determined by biological mechanisms that can switch genes on or off.




"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 09:42:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
†PEOPLE AND KLATSCH†


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:24:05 PM EST
'Drama queen' Murray rounds on Wade after gutsy recovery - Tennis - Sport - The Independent
Perhaps officials in Paris should consider relocating Andy Murray's matches across the city from Stade Roland Garros to the Palais-Royal, home of the Comédie Française, the state theatre company. Twelve months after he reached the semi-finals of the French Open despite an ankle injury sustained early in the tournament, Murray was at the centre of more high drama here yesterday as he overcame a painful back problem to beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and book his place in the third round.

...Murray has been criticised in the past for making a meal of his physical problems and Virginia Wade, commentating on Eurosport, said he had been "a drama queen" against Nieminen and was "not really acting in an adult way".

When told of the former Wimbledon champion's comments, Murray said: "To me that's quite disappointing, to be honest. I know how I felt on the court. I know how bad it was. And then you have people like that who always have to come out and say something controversial, something like that, when really they should be supportive, or maybe ask me a question first.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 1st, 2012 at 05:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shut up Andy, we know you're just a slightly more frustrating Tim Henman, gong close but never actually winning a grand slam, especailly not wimbledon. So we're gonna be as snippy as we like till you retire, at which point you'll be forgotten

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 03:43:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So is he a Scotsman or a Brit?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 04:37:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotsman is he loses and Brit if he wins, no?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, just a Scotsman cos he always loses eventually

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 06:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

It's quite interesting, you know, the number of biscuits that are named after revolutionaries. You've got your Garibaldi, of course, you've got your Bourbons, then of course you've got your Peek Freens Trotsky Assortment.

"Revolutionary biscuits of Italy / Rise up out of your box! / You have nothing to lose but your wafers / Yum yum yum yum yum!"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 08:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot the Royal Trot. MacVitie's Chocolate Progressive. Jacob's Elite-Buster. Bath Oliver Cromwell.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 09:24:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, cream crackered

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 2nd, 2012 at 09:58:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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