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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:32:33 PM EST
Inter-institutional row brews on Schengen | EurActiv
EU home affairs ministers voted unanimously yesterday (7 June) for the re-introduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area, dwarfing the decision-making role of EU institutions in that policy area. The Commission regretted the decision and MEPs vowed to reject the draft legislation.

...The developments suggest that in spite of the departure of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy from the political scene, the Schengen reform spearheaded by his administration remains valid.

...The European Parliament reacted in an unusually strong manner, considering the ministers' vote "a serious inter-institutional incident". MEPs are particularly concerned over the fact that ministers voted to change the co-decision procedure on Schengen matters to a mere consultation procedure - meaning the EP position can be totally ignored.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Osborne threatens referendum over place in the EU - Europe - World - The Independent
George Osborne delighted Tory MPs yesterday - and fired a shot across the bow of European leaders - as he signalled that ministers were prepared to call a referendum over Britain's place in the European Union.

The Chancellor also warned that the Government was ready to wield its veto in Brussels if there was an attempt to impose fresh controls on British banks as a result of moves to tackle the deepening eurozone crisis.

He spoke out after David Cameron returned from talks in Berlin with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, at which she rejected Britain's demands that Germany come up with an immediate plan of action to prevent the implosion of the euro.

A meeting of hypocrites.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:32:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least Merkel puts on a show of wanting to be in Europe...
by asdf on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 04:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But who would want to live in her kind of Europe?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 09:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i would if i could pick and choose which of her policies to roll out EU wide.

i can't speak for Ireland, portugal, spain or greece, but from my 20 years of observing italy, there isn't the remotest of chances that she is capable of proper self-governance, the political system here is so corroded and entitled.

there are many 'germanic' attributes which we would do very well to adopt in the sunny south, like taking more responsibility, feeling more faith in peoples' word, services efficient and professional, etc etc.

italy is already nuke-free so that's a given, (though severely threatened by the berlu mob), but there still is a huge catch-up to do with sun and wind.

germany seems to be the only country in yurp with a major clue in this regard, though denmark can be proud too.

italy needs the kind of political shake up that comes every 150 years or so, so much dead wood standing, so many untended, deepseated issues, a truly epic clusterfuck with no hope other than an amusingly (and justifiably!) ~but still too~ demented-sounding beppe grillo.

italy's history is so tumultuous and sanguinary, sometimes it feels like half the people here haven't got their heads around her 150 year-old unification yet...

altro che europa!

merkel is not my idea of a visionary leader under whose aegis europe will magically come together, but neither is any other leading euro-pol, they all seem like frontmen for our own military industrial complex and abject enablers of a wormholed banking system which has gambled itself off into lalaland and now expects the poor and suffering to pick up the tab for their losses, the one distinguishing, (and in my view, decisive) policy is their truly modern attitude to making alternative energy mainstream, to the point where the epithet 'alternative' has rightly become a joke, and an undismissable slap in the face to all the shills for the fossil fuel industries who continue to make shit up to smear anything other than the usual suspects, that left untramelled will leave us all choking on our knees, whatever fancy names we give to our political systems.

like democracy, for example.

change the energy, the rest will follow...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:06:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's Monti admits loss of big powers' support | EurActiv

In a speech at the Association of Banking Institutions and Savings Bank, Monti said: "Today we don't have anymore the support of strong powers and the support of a newspaper which is the voice of strong powers. Today we are not very popular even in Confindustria [the Italian employers' organisation]."

"I do not deny that we could do more and better, but many reforms have been developed with great rapidity and in the wake of need, and now are given as achievements, but these reforms have broken the taboo remained untouched for decades," Italy's Prime Minister added.

Earlier this week, Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi wrote in the Corriere della Sera that the government has taken the wrong direction and is focusing on "false priorities." Italy's leading newspaper, which has championed Monti to replace Berlusconi last November, has launched an offensive criticising Monti's government saying his reforms risked failure.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there's a misunderstanding here. Monti's declaration is more a tongue in cheek retort to his friends and colleagues that criticize him. Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi are more an inner circle or informal club of academics of which Monti is member. This of course does not belittle their contribution to the debate (whether we agree or not- or are even all that interested), they simply aren't the poteri forti that most of us automatically assume to be.

As in all complex situations it would be better to define the premises of one's arguments. If we are to consider the internal political impact of Monti's tenure, he and his government have very much shaken up the desolate situation Italy had driven itself into through rampant corruption, sheer greed, favouritism and political improvisation. He has the balls and guts Prodi- who preferred preaching to piranhas- never had and hasn't the slightest problem of dismissing Berlusconi's vociferous posturing when need be. We are in a "Machiavellian" situation in which all the parties are in a no-win situation. They all have everything to loss by withdrawing support of the government- and hope to garner token gains by staying in the coalition.

What we are witnessing is a conflict between Italian elites. On one hand an incompetent subversive and corrupt elite that dominated the political landscape for 17 years, in coalition with an irresponsible elite (the ignavi of Dante memory) that sought its own conveniences, while a traditional civic and entrepreneurial elite was excluded. In this optic we can see Monti as representing the latter's interests which is frankly the only elite that should be allowed to fence in the political arena. The subversive elite, represented by the Berlusconi-Gelli-Previti triumvirate, is presently on the defensive and held under heel as part of the coalition, while the middle elite wasteground is what it is, quaquaraqua.

The citizen is excluded from these events- leave aside vapid rhetoric to the contrary- by constitutional and normative frameworks, just as in all contemporary democratic regimes. And it is the citizen who is shackled with the enormous sacrifices forced upon it by a transnational irresponsible elite. But that, I would like to stress, is another argument, often affronted on this site.

By the way, the Corriere is not Italy's leading newspaper. In numbers it has long since been surpassed by la Repubblica. In order to find something half decent to read in the Corriere it's the norm to tear off the first page.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 05:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Owen Jones: The incoherence of Englishness, and why Ed Miliband's England is a lost country - Commentators - Opinion - The Independent
...No other demographic in Britain spends more time mulling over what "Englishness" means than a well-connected coterie of think-tankers, political advisers and certain academics. Their efforts came to full fruition yesterday with Ed Miliband's much-trailed speech on Englishness...

The Labour leadership is talking about Englishness for a number of reasons. Firstly, they lack a coherent narrative, or "story", as some advisers put it. How the next Labour government would meet people's need for jobs, housing and good wages is unclear. With "Englishness", the party offers a "story" to fill that vacuum. But it is also tapping into a perceived surge in a sense of English identity, driven by devolution in Scotland and Wales. A report by the IPPR earlier this year revealed that 17 per cent of people in England rejected the "British" label altogether in favour of "English"; and nearly a quarter opted for "more English than British".

...There is no coherent or cohesive "Englishness". It is a catch-all term for all those who live in England's borders, who have a range of identities, interests and histories. Other than newspaper columnists like myself, I doubt most will spend much time musing over Ed Miliband's thoughts on Englishness. Labour would do better to talk about championing the interests of the people it was set up to represent: working people, regardless of their national affiliations.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!

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 Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 03:52:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When the problem is finance, you have become a creature of the financiers and your country is in a financial crisis you cannot address the real problem for fear of loss of donations. Thus you need to change the subject. Useless turds trying to pass themselves off as useless tools. Like the Democrats in the USA, their only virtue is that they are not quite as bad as the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. Both countries need to flush the toilet and start anew with at least one party that tries to address the real problem.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 10:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Political parties ab origine represented the interests of competing elites. When parties were not outright banned as sources of violent factionalism, they were tamed through the institution of electoral systems. The bottom line is that political parties and electoral systems are by their very nature and history elitist.

Any effective check to power in our present regimes would be best effectuated through the institution of popular assemblies with the power of legislative initiative and veto and the use of sortition in the choice of its members.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
de Gondi:
popular assemblies

like the movimento 5*?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not aware that popular assemblies would be part of Grillo's program. Judging by how is party is run, it is strongly centralized at the moment and embodied in Grillo's persona which is the epitome of personal political entities, quite the contrary to the institution of popular assemblies or people's assemblies.

It would be difficult to realize under the present republican constitutions although I could see the "occupy movements" enacting mock legislative procedures in which laws passed by Parliament or Congress are publicly discussed and symbolically modified or vetoed. The movement could also present, discuss and vote bills in their mock assemblies so as to demonstrate to public opinion the possibility that power can be responsibly exercised by other institutional forms than those associated with elite electoral systems.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I met a guy yesterday who wanted to talk about "englishness" by extolling Enoch Powell (most famous for his "Rivers of Blood" speech against immigration, extolling 1000 years of British empire - socio-historical illiteracy from a history professor).

Smelling the racist rat, I immediately went into my standard rant about how small Enock's idea of England was and all this guy could say in reply was some small beer about forced marriage and sundry EDL talking point anti-muslim nonsense. Realising he wasn't gonna get away with it, he changed the subject.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:44:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought this englishness question was already answered:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhUFVrdsd2A

(Note; In this song England, Britain and even the Empire is happily mixed in one)

by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time: Euro 2012: Racist Abuse of Dutch Players in Poland Clouds Soccer Tournament
Dutch captain Mark Van Bommel was appalled: Just one day after he and his players had made an emotional pilgrimage to Auschwitz, they were targeted by the same vile racism that the Nazi death camp's architects used to rationalize their crimes--the dehumanizing people they deemed the "other." As Holland's players jogged out for a training session in front of 25,000 people in a stadium at Wroclaw on Thursday, black players like fullback Gregory van der Wiel and midfield enforcer Nigel De Jong were targeted by a section of the crowd making monkey noises -- a signature gesture of racists populating Europe's stadiums.

"It is a real disgrace especially after getting back from Auschwitz that you are confronted with this," Van Bommel said after the session. "We will take it up with UEFA and if it happens at a match we will talk to the referee and ask him to take us off the field."

But Van Bommel got what could be an early taste of how UEFA plans to deal with the issue, when officials -- including those representing the Dutch Football Association -- initially denied that there had been any racist abuse during the Dutch training session. That response further infuriated the Dutch skipper. "You need to open your ears," he said, clearly exasperated. "If you did hear it, and don't want to hear it, that is even worse."



If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 01:54:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also downthread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 02:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stand with the Greek Left for a Democratic Europe!

 Stand with the Greek Left for a Democratic Europe!

It is clear that the responsibility for the chain of events that in a mere three years has plunged Greece into the abyss lies overwhelmingly with the parties that have held office since 1974. New Democracy (the Right) and PASOK (the Socialists) have not only maintained the system of corruption and privilege -- they have benefitted from it and enabled Greece's suppliers and creditors to profit considerably from this system while the institutions of the European Community looked the other way. Under such conditions, it is astonishing that the leaders of Europe and the IMF, posing as paragons of virtue and economic rigor, should seek to restore those same bankrupt and discredited parties to office by denouncing the "red peril" supposedly represented by SYRIZA (the radical Left coalition) and by threatening to cut off food supplies if the new round of elections to be held on June 17 confirms the rejection of the "Memorandum" clearly expressed in the elections of 6 May. Not only does this intervention flagrantly contradict the most elementary democratic norms but it would have terrible consequences for our common future.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 04:53:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:26 PM EST
Obama urges Europe to act swiftly to prevent economic collapse | Business | guardian.co.uk

Europe must act quickly to stem its economic crisis, president Barack Obama said on Friday as he called on European leaders to strengthen their banks and urged Greece to remain in the eurozone.

Obama addressed reporters at the White House as it emerged that Spanish officials would meet EU officials this weekend and ask for help shoring up their troubled banks.

"There is a path out of this challenge. These decisions are in the hands of Europe's leaders; they understand the urgent need to act. There are specific steps they can take right now to prevent the situation from getting worse. One of those steps is taking clear action as soon as possible to inject capital into weak banks," said Obama.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
These decisions are in the hands of Europe's leaders; they understand the urgent need to act.

huh? evidence? plenty to the contrary.

thanks for the bromide, obama, but methinks fluffy rhetoric ain't going to cut it this time, not with this crew anyway...

waffle on

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:13:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Estonia and Latvia: Europe's champions of austerity? | World news | guardian.co.uk

Not every European country is gasping under the straitjacket of austerity. Estonia and Latvia are both powering ahead after a period of excruciating belt-tightening.

The example of Latvia is particularly stark. The small Baltic state suffered the worst recession in Europe, with a 24% drop in GDP between 2007 and 2009. Two years later its economy was the fastest growing in the EU, putting Latvia in a position possibly to join the euro. Estonia, meanwhile, grew by 7.6% last year, five times the eurozone average.

...But before George Osborne goes trumpeting the Baltics as a shining example, he may want to look at the social cost of these austerity measures. The Centre for Economic and Policy Research estimates that unemployment in Latvia rocketed to 30% in 2010, taking into account people forced into part-time work and those who had given up looking. It has since fallen back, but is still high at 15%.

What's more, the recoveries should be seen in the context of their previous collapse. Both economies are growing fast but neither has got back up to pre-crisis levels.

What recoveries they have enjoyed, many economists put down to geography. Christensen said: "If you compare the Baltic states to Bulgaria, which has passed similar austerity measures and has not recovered in any way to the same degree, there is only one real difference and that is, who's your neighbour."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Blaze: The Puerto Rican economic story is a perfect counter-narrative to the Obama message. It is a real world object lesson in why we should be doing the opposite of the failed policies of the last three years. Fortuño came to power in 2008 facing massive structural budget deficits, a stagnant economy, and stubborn unemployment. Over the protests of unions and government workers, he took to the Island's public system with garden shears. Fortuño cut the budget by 90%, froze salaries and fired 39,000 public employees. Today private investment is flooding in. According to Barclay's, Puerto Rican bonds are outperforming every state in the country.
...Oh, really???
Puerto Rico Daily News: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded its outlook on Puerto Rico's general obligation and appropriation debt ratings from stable to negative, the ratings service announced Wednesday. (...) The ratings agency said it was taking the measure despite steps taken by the Fortuño government to stabilize the economy. "In our opinion, the current administration has taken decisive measures to restore fiscal balance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Horacio Aldrete-Sanchez. "However Consequently, a steady economic recovery has failed to take hold, which we believe limits the government's ability to implement additional expenditure cuts and revenue enhancement measures in the near term."
I wish I could take credit for that bit of editing.  However, I didn't have the idea.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 07:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Eurozone's Architects Have Created a Doomsday Machine and a Gift for Speculative Capital  Marshall Auerbach

As it stands...the architects of the euro have created a doomsday machine and a gift for speculative capital.  Which brings me to our second view:  in a scholarly paper "Sudden Stops In The Euro Area", Silvia Merler and Jean Pisani-Ferry, (Bruegel Policy Contribution, March 2012), the authors tell us that throughout the evolution of the architecture of the European monetary union, it was assumed that deposit movements from one country to another would all be smoothly handled by the market mechanism.

CISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

   "In one of the earliest papers on European monetary union, Ingram (1973) notes that in such a union "payments imbalances among member nations can be financed in the short run through the financial markets, without need for interventions by a monetary authority. Intercommunity payments become analogous to interregional payments within a single country"3. This view was not challenged in the debate of the 1980s and the 1990s on the economics of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It quickly became conventional wisdom. The European Commission's One Market, One Money report (1990) similarly posits that "a major effect of EMU is that balance-of-payments constraints will disappear [..]. Private markets will finance all viable borrowers, and savings and investment balances will no longer be constraints at the national level"4."

    However, as early as 1998 Peter Garber challenged this benign view. He recognized that if there was any skepticism about the cohesion of the euro, the European monetary union was a perfect mechanism for fostering an unmanageable bank run.

    "To our knowledge, the only one to challenge this benign view was Peter Garber in a 1998 paper on the role of TARGET in a crisis of monetary union (Garber, 1998). The paper insightfully recognized that the federal structure of the Eurosystem and the corresponding continued existence of national central banks with separate individual balance sheets made it possible to imagine a speculative attack within monetary union. According to Garber, the precondition for an attack "must be skepticism that a strong currency national central bank will provide through TARGET unlimited credit in euros to the weak national central banks". His conclusion is that "as long as some doubt remains about the permanence of Stage III exchange rates, the existence of the currently proposed structure of the ECB and TARGET does not create additional security against the possibility of an attack. Quite the contrary, it creates a perfect mechanism to make an explosive attack on the system".

And clearly, that is what we are seeing today.  Incredibly, Europe's leaders still apparently believe they can bluff their way out of the problem....  

    Merler and Pisani-Ferry wrote the following in March:

   "The benign view prevailed during the first ten years of EMU. It even continues to dominate today."

Apparently this remarkable denial behavior persisted even after the current euro crisis broke out with the revelation of grave fiscal problems facing Greece in late 2009. It seems that it persisted even when the euro crisis engulfed all of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain in 2010 and early 2011.

....

Now that the deposit run has unexpectedly gotten out of hand, the ECB and the EU authorities have been afraid to make any mention of it because, in drawing attention to it, they fear exacerbating the run.  Intense efforts in Brussels and Frankfurt and maybe even Washington to deal with the fatal flaw that Peter Garber identified 14 years ago have probably been underway since last fall. Because the flaw is so fatal, solutions have probably been hard to come by, especially for politicians, each with their vested interests, and central bankers desiring to cling to their precious "independence" and their belief in "rational markets".

This has led to the existential crisis which affects the very future of the euro itself.  It is technocratic hubris run amok.  And now the markets are delivering nemesis.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 10:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Giles Tremlett - Spain's savings banks' culture of greed, cronyism and political meddling

As European taxpayers prepare to rescue Spain's ailing banks, anti-corruption prosecutors, academics and regional parliaments are uncovering a tale of greed, cronyism and political meddling that has brought many of the country's leading savings institutions to their knees.

With the fourth biggest lender, Bankia, demanding €19bn (£15.4bn) and authorities now admitting a further €9bn is needed by two former savings banks - CatalunyaCaixa and Novagalicia - concern is focusing on both the mushrooming bill and the way banks have been run.

Court investigators are also scrutinising payments to former senior executives and the part-flotation of Bankia, in which 350,000 small investors saw two-thirds of their money wiped out.

The bill that Europe's rescue funds must pay has been increased by the multi-million euro payoffs taken by some senior executives shortly before their banks collapsed and decisions taken by unqualified board members who admit they were incapable of analysing the banks' books. Boards were stuffed with political placements or people who had little idea about banking - including, in one case, a supermarket checkout worker.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:54:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:33:54 PM EST
Egyptian politicians agree to elect constitutional panel - EGYPT - FRANCE 24
Egypt's political parties on Thursday agreed to elect a commission to draft a new constitution, ending a three-month deadlock, officials have reported. A meeting was called for next Tuesday for parliament to elect the 100 panel members.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mali's Tuareg and Islamist rebels clash over breakaway state - MALI - FRANCE 24
Clashes broke out in northern Mali Friday between separatist group MNLA and their sometime-allies, the Islamists Ansar Dine, after the two fell out over forming a breakaway state in the desert region they control, raising fears of widening chaos.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:34:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
are indications that, beside tribal differences, it's a conflict with the aim to gain the upper hand in the profitable business of smuggling wares. Diversions by faith are a tool, hardly the objective.
by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 07:39:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel backs deportation of illegal immigrants - ISRAEL - FRANCE 24

In a controversial ruling, an Israeli court Thursday upheld the planned deportation of an estimated 1,500 South Sudanese thought to have entered the country illegally, sparking outrage among human rights organisations.

The deportations, which were originally ordered by the Interior Ministry on April 1, were temporarily suspended after human rights groups petitioned on the grounds that repatriation would ultimately place South Sudanese immigrants in harm's way, as tensions between the Sudans continue to mount.

While some are economic migrants, human rights groups argue that many are refugees fleeing violence or persecution in their home countries.

European football's governing body UEFA had said that a small group of protesters targeted the Dutch team's training ground in Krakow on Wednesday but denied the demonstrations were racist.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former Pentagon Analyst Says China Can Shut Down All The Telecom Gear It Sold To The US   F. Michael Maloof, G2 Bulletin    (H/T Business Insider)

Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could "disable a country's telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement," according to former and current intelligence sources. The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks "to enable China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets," according to the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of former U.S. intelligence analysts.

The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese government and the People's Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as ZTE Corp. have "electronic backdoors" to telecommunications technology sold to the U.S. and other countries.

Revelation of China's electronic backdoor capability into U.S. and Western telecommunications networks comes on the heels of recent WND/G2Bulletin revelations that China has been manufacturing counterfeit components that have made their way into sensitive U.S. weapons systems. The problem of fake Chinese electronic components, which were installed by defense contractors without prior testing and are operating in U.S. military systems, is far more widespread than originally thought.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 11:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who could have predicted?
by Andhakari on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 02:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
The problem of fake Chinese electronic components, which were installed by defense contractors without prior testing and are operating in U.S. military systems, is far more widespread than originally thought.

This is worth what, billions? Trillions? I can hear the product liability lawyers salivating already.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, the lawyers will spend years on the case and appeals up the chain, making each millions, until the final appeal is settled by the highest relevant court in the case... the court of WAR.

At which point even the lawyers realize their side's military doesn't actually work anymore.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:49:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ultima ratio regum and

inter arma enim silent leges

by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 06:51:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still waiting for evidence.

Not that that will stop the lawyers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 07:13:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 11:55:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One might imagine, or at least hope, that the specification writers for the acquisition of equipment for the military that contains field programmable gate arrays would be sufficiently aware of the technical details of the chips to provide clauses that insure, or at least attempt to insure, that these devices remain secure, especially when not in the physical possession of potential enemies. And why is it not a good idea to insist that all electronics with mission or intelligence significance be manufactured in US based plants and lines? If the citizens of the USA are to spend as much as on 'national security' as all the other countries in the world combined why should we accept avoidable risk? The only answer that comes to mind is the deeply embedded hatred of high wages for any but themselves held by and propagated on behalf of a wealthy few.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 01:27:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"sufficiently aware of the technical details"

Nope.

by asdf on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 12:55:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That might be fortunate for them, as, had they been and had they inserted the appropriate clauses, they may well have gotten slapped down by unconcerned superiors.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 09:14:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:34:54 PM EST
EU gears up CO2 car targets for 2025, 2030 | EurActiv

Brussels is poised to set two new carbon emissions targets that all new cars will need to meet by 2025 and 2030, as well as a standard of 95 grams of CO2 emissions per km (g/km) for 2020, according to a draft regulation seen by EurActiv.

The paper, due for release next month, is a statement of intent to the car industry, as the EU inches forward its plans to decarbonise the continent's economy to between 80-95% of 1990 levels, by 2050.

Passenger cars are currently responsible for about 12% of Europe's carbon dioxide pollution and EU minds have been focused by figures showing that between 1990 and 2008, road emissions actually increased by 26%.

Why focus on specific emissions, instead of traffic levels?

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's about 4 l/100km or 60 mpg. Extremely aggressive for pure internal combustion (non hybrid) cars...
by asdf on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 05:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
4 l/100 km is already reached by many smaller European cars (which make up a large part of the fleet), mostly diesels. A lot of them are below 95 g/km. 95 g/km vs. the 2015 goal of 130 g/km looks impressive only until you consider potential traffic growth, and compare it to the avowed goal of 80-95% overall reduction by 2050. It is also less ambitious than the US goal.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 05:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Commission hails fish stocks revival boost - Europe - World - The Independent
Fishing fleets could net millions in extra income thanks to a revival
in stocks of key species, the European Commission (EC) said today.

Twenty fish stocks in European Union (EU) waters are now considered to be within sustainable fishing limits, compared with only five in 2009, fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said.

The figures are rare good news after years in which fishermen have faced massive catch reductions in the name of conservation and on the promise of plenty tomorrow.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do I think this is bullshit?

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 Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 03:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think it's BS because you read somewhere that

in 1600 English fishing captains still reported cod shoals
"so thick by the shore that we hardly have been able to row a boat through them"

and you think that the definition of "within sustainable fishing limits" has something to do with that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cod_fishing_in_Newfoundland

by asdf on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 05:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three days old but not reported in prior Salons:

Peter Gleick reinstated by Pacific Institute following Heartland exposé | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The scientist who exposed the inner workings of the ultra-conservative Heartland Institute, triggering the defection of key donors, has been reinstated after an investigation.

Peter Gleick, who impersonated a Heartland board member to obtain and make public confidential budget and strategy documents, was restored to his position as president of the Pacific Institute, the organisation announced on its website.

The Pacific Institute indicated in the statement that it had found no evidence for Heartland's charges that Gleick had forged one of several documents he released last February.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
should have explained a bit better by the Guardian.

Peter Gleick's Pacific Institute Return - NYTimes.com

Here's the troubling part: The Pacific Institute described its investigation as "a confidential personnel matter" and said for that reason no details on the process or findings would be released. Most notably, the group and its board declined to elaborate on the finding that the investigation, conducted by Independent Employment Counsel, "supported what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute."

Does that mean the group expressly confirmed that a particularly provocative, and disputed, document was in fact produced by the Heartland Institute and not by Gleick himself or someone else?

No answer.

It's fine to have an internal personnel investigation, but if you're going to then release the finding publicly, but not any other details, it's hard to see that carrying much weight in discourse outside the organization itself.

No one can judge the outcomes other than the institute which had Gleick as president. For investigating the case of someone who has used a lack of transparency as an excuse to commit identity fraud, that beats incomprehension.

PR-wise, it matters little. The role of Gleick as an independent scholar is done and buried. What remains to him is advocacy. And I've no doubts that it will be worthless advocacy. With this move, the Pacific Institute hands their enemies another hammer to pummel them.

Personally, it's getting pretty hard advocating Green ideals, with this kind of idiocy without bounds. Same applies for the Dutch Greens these days.

by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:00:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you a tad to pessimistic? As far as I understand, the Heartland Institute is dissolving before our eyes. And Gleick started all this and the Heartland Institute more or less admitted that the documents are real.
by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been pessimistic for years about the ways of climate scientists joining in excessive (and foolish) public and political displays and presenting highly skewed and sometimes untrue scenario's or scientific results.

This has not helped improving the debate, it has exacerbated it - and it was done by their own actions, and their own (misguided) strategies, which have backfired time and time again. The list has grown long. Gleick's actions are only a few amidst many.

Gleick's credibility as a "serious" scientist is done for, if not in the scientific community, then certainly in the public spotlight. Gleick has committed to a crime, worse, he persuaded himself to an illegal act driven by his ideologies.

There is nothing objective or scientific about that.

Furthermore, there is no clarity about the most disputed document, that forms the dark heart of the affair. The decision to not pursue transparency only adds to this. There is no resolve there and it will haunt Gleick's career like a shadow.

As for Heartland, as I wrote 2 weeks ago:

Nomad:

Romm gloating over a decline of influence (not unlikely over-rated) of Heartland entirely neglects how it represents merely a tool; one can be cast away easily whilst picking up a new one.

Of course he also entirely neglects the slow collapse of public interest into the importance of the subject - as well as a decline of media attention.

The noise will remain, an effective counter strategy is not even remotely in view.

I still don't see Heartland dissolving just yet. Perhaps their public influence is, I can't say and haven't looked into it.

Not that all of it matters, really. The political momentum of climate change has completely wilted under the onslaught of the teetering economy.

by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:53:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blaming the victim.The scientific community can't be blamed for the aggressive attacks of the climate denial scene. Heartland is of course only a tool of them. But Heartland has been hit hard, even if their own billboard campaign is the main culprit: sponsors and affiliated scientist dropped right and left.

As far as backfiring goes, you are using a double standard: Did the theft of a lot of emails of climate scientists backfire on the denial crowd? Not at all.

And no that isn't science: It was aggressive investigative journalism. True, Gleick shouldn't have done it himself, but left these side of affairs to people like the mentioned Romm or some similar activist. But yes, investigative journalism of the climate denial scene and it's sponsors is needed.

by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 09:18:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess you're new to my stance, which has never been too popular at ET - but as I've tracked the developments on the climate change front through the past years, I've not been persuaded differently. And for clarity, I've changed positions in different issues, partly due to the feedback and increased knowledge gained here.

IM:

The scientific community can't be blamed for the aggressive attacks of the climate denial scene.

True enough and I never wrote differently. What I argue, and have done so for many a year, is that scientists should be scolded for handing effective weapons to the climate denial scene over and over again. That varies from pitching wildly dramatic and inaccurate scientific claims to PR tools just as idiotic as Heartland's latest nonsense.

In essence: Adopted strategies used by scientists to counter aggressive attacks have been entirely counter-productive. And yes, I do blame the scientists for not changing their tactics, since the results have been coming in the past years and it ain't grade A.

Did the theft of a lot of emails of climate scientists backfire on the denial crowd?

It was never resolved who released the two batches of so-called Climategate emails.

It doesn't matter either - scientists have the disadvantage of a moral high ground to uphold. They were found to be wanting. The resulting PR-damage is self-evident.

by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 09:58:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It was never resolved who released the two batches of so-called Climategate emails."

Oh please. Is there any sort of excuse you won't accept from the denialists? So everything would have been ok if Gleick hadn't been catched?

I still think e. g. the proof of plagiarism of the Wegman report and yes the current weakening of Heartland is a success.  

by IM on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 10:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just out of curiosity, could you show me an example of what you mean by "pitching wildly dramatic and inaccurate scientific claims"?
by asdf on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 11:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A change of frame might be in order.

the context is that scientists are trying to discover cause and effect in a very complex system. Data so far, and common sense, tell us that if the science is even partly right, there's real trouble on the horizon. If they're right, bigger trouble. If they're not right enough, like tipping point already reached, very serious trouble.

And if they're wrong, we've begun to move to a sustainable system anyway. After all, even without warming, burning fossils (and using them for fertilizer) is poisonous to humans and ecosystems, and as a civilization, quite insane.

With so much at stake, of course there's going to be shrill voices, and miscalculations. And since there's so much at stake for the existing centers of power as well, wow, we're in warfare land.

Add to the madness that most scientists can't get reasonable funding for fucking anything of value, and it's truly a war zone.

Shills need their god damn butts kicked in.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 01:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They were found to be wanting.

By whom? All I have seen was truckloads of denialist misinterpretation and a dozen or so official investigations finding no serious fault.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 02:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been pessimistic for years about the ways of climate scientists joining in excessive (and foolish) public and political displays and presenting highly skewed and sometimes untrue scenario's or scientific results.

This has not helped improving the debate,


What debate? There's no debate - there's crackpots like McIntyre and paid liars like Heartland. I don't see any debate.

You don't debate shills and cranks. You expose them.

Gleick has committed to a crime, worse, he persuaded himself to an illegal act driven by his ideologies.

shrug

So do union activists at picket lines in every serious industrial conflict. "Legal," "tactically advisable" and "ethical" are far from coterminous.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 09:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no debate - there's crackpots like McIntyre

To be fair, McIntyre at least managed to spot actual calculation errors. Though that doesn't excuse his serial quoting out of context, his Yamal obsession or his increasingly paranoid constructs to explain away contradicting statements.

and paid liars like Heartland.

I think there is a third element: actual scientists who side with the former as a form of holier-than-thou posturing. One example is Richard A. Muller, who scolded the "Climategate" scientists and set up his own programme for temperature reconstructions (BEST), and ended up confirming the existing models. Ore there are the Pielkes.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 11:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are also old geezers who are using oil company money to boost their poorly invested retirement funds. "Professor Emeritus" sounds so good in a presentation flyer...
by asdf on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 12:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I fail to see anything at all wrong or at even morally questionable about impersonating a board member at a nest of vermin like Heartland, any more than I see a problem with infiltrating Bild Zeitung or releasing American embassy cables.

If Heartland's internal security is such shit that they can't keep out infiltrators and agent provocateurs, then maybe they should consider not being in the business of lying for profit.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But your personal opinion does not matter in this.

There is law, there is public perception and there is the edifice of scientific integrity.

Gleick has compromised all three of these.

His actions may appeal to your moral compass. His words of advocacy may resonate with yours.

But that's likely all he will have from this point.

by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is law, there is public perception

Those are operational, not ethical, considerations.

and there is the edifice of scientific integrity.

Heartland is not a scientific enterprise. There is no reason they should benefit from any professional courtesy from scientists.

Gleick has compromised all three of these.

I disagree. If the documents are genuine (and even the most intractable detractors only contest the authenticity of one of a fairly substantial number of documents recovered), then there is no scientific integrity issue. Facts are facts, and hiding facts behind corporate confidentiality clauses is neither admirable nor worthy of protection.

If you want to make the case that Gleick's actions were tactically or strategically inadvisable, then you need to make that case. However, this would then also be true for Günter Walraf's infiltration of Bild Zeitung, Wikileaks' solicitation of classified communications, and most whistleblowing operations.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 09:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The role of Gleick as an independent scholar is done and buried.

Huh!? Just because Hearthland is foaming? Whatever you think of the investigation of Gleick by  theIndependent Employment Counsel, the accusation that Gleick forged a document isn't proven, either.

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

by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 12:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plan for new Bosphorus bridge sparks row over future of Istanbul | World news | The Guardian

When Turkey's transport minister announced the launch of one of the most contested construction projects in Turkey - a third bridge over the Bosphorus - on 29 May, he said the date of the announcement had been chosen because it marked the anniversary of Istanbul's conquest by the Ottomans.

Now many fear that it might spell its final defeat.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, who once said that a third bridge "would mean the murder of the city", has thrown his weight behind the 4.5bn Turkish lira (£1.6bn) project and the bridge is now predicted to open as early as 2015. But environmentalists, urban planners and many Istanbul residents are furious at the plan, arguing that it will create more traffic, increase the number of vehicles in Istanbul and spell an end to the few remaining green areas and urgently needed drinking water reservoirs that have so far resisted the urban sprawl. Then there's the lack of thorough geological research in a major earthquake zone.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:43 PM EST
Dutch team complain of racist abuse in Poland - EURO 2012 - FRANCE 24

AFP - Fears over Euro 2012 being overshadowed by racist incidents returned on Friday after Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel said the team heard racist chanting during a public training session in the southern Polish city of Krakow.

Co-hosts Poland and Ukraine have already rejected claims that racist violence is rife at their football grounds, which has led to governments of some participating nations to warn travelling fans to be on their guard.

...The AC Milan midfielder added: "During the tournament, if any one of us is confronted with such a thing, we'll immediately go to the referee to ask him to intervene."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Typical tale that suddenly got international traction because of a splash story in a major Dutch newspaper...

Banners in the protesting crowds also showed the UEFA logo crossed out - which matches with protesters' argument that they were venting their anger because Krakow, as a major Polish city, wasn't chosen as a tournament host city.

I'm not saying that there weren't racist chanting, but I do note a certain sensitivity to the subject. Watch for the signal through the noise...

by Nomad on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 08:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen reports that said protesters were largely the Kraków ultras, so protest and racism are not exclusive. On the other hand, piecing bits of info together from different reports, it appears that stadium officials intervened quickly after the chants started. If so, the media magnified and the real issue is that UEFA mentioned the intervention without acknowledging the racist nature of the chants. If so, their attitude would remind of Blatter's attitude.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 02:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nasa abandons X-ray telescope mission - Science - News - The Independent
Nasa has killed a new X-ray telescope mission, two years before its planned launch.

The Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer mission, or GEMS, was supposed to blast off in 2014 to study black holes and neutron stars. But external reviews found the project would probably come in considerably over budget.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Empire needs the funds for WAR!

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 Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 03:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:36:18 PM EST
Super-sub keeper saves the day for Poland after Szczesny sees red - International - Football - The Independent

Tyton came off the bench in the second half for the co-hosts after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had been sent off for bringing down Greek substitute Dimitris Salpigidis.

The reserve goalkeeper promptly saved the resulting spot-kick from Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis to ensure the points were shared in a wonderfully entertaining match in Group A at the National Stadium.

Poland will be kicking themselves, however, after throwing it away having gone in at half-time with a one-goal lead and with Greece down to 10 men after defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off harshly for two innocuous yellow cards.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 02:36:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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