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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:59:06 PM EST
Verhofstadt vows to follow Delors' path as Commission President | EurActiv

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE leader, and party candidate for the European Commission Presidency, presented his program Friday (25 April), which he said was inspired by vintage politician Jacques Delors, widely seen as the most visionary EU leader.

Speaking to the press just one month ahead of the European elections vote in his home country, Belgium, Verhofstadt made several references to Delors, the long-serving Commission president (1985-1994), seen as a champion of the community method, also known as the "Delors method'.

He also took aim at the current Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, for his lack of initiative, and for making use instead of the community method, of the "telephone method", by consulting with the leaders of Germany and France.

Verhofstadt said that today, the EU needed a strategy resembling the 1993 Delors White Paper `Growth, Competitiveness, Employment', in which he justified the Commission's initiative as an invitation to the member states to jointly solve the problems of the Union.

Did you see that coming?...

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

by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:59:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nigel Farage changes position on audit of his MEP allowance spending | Politics | theguardian.com

Nigel Farage has shifted ground on an offer to allow an independent audit of his spending of European parliamentary allowances, denying he ever accepted the suggestion.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Ukip leader instead claims it would be wrong for him to be singled out for a spending audit as it would put him in a different position to every other British MEP.

...But Farage appeared to say something different when he was questioned on 15 April following allegations in the Times newspaper about the misuse of his allowances.

...His new stance was challenged by the Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies who said almost all Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MEPs commission professional accountants to audit or certify the spending of their allowances.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Farage's "strength" is that he shoots from the hip in so far as what he says are saloon bar opinions unmediated by wider consideration for consequences or the opinions of others.

His weakness is that such opinions tend to run into problems and challenges very quickly as the inconsistencies and hypocrisies accumulate.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:51:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I certainly didn't.

But I also guess he isn't likely to win.

Also of course, I hate to be cynical, one must note that "Growth, Competitiveness, Employment" often just means "Reform, Reform, Reform" these days.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 06:08:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU executive says Greece behind schedule in debt reduction efforts | Business | DW.DE | 25.04.2014

In its latest assessment of a bailout-related economic adjustment program for Greece, the European Commission concluded Friday the southern eurozone member looked set to miss long-term targets for the reduction of the country's public debt.

As hopes increased in Athens the domestic economy might finally turn a corner with the nation recently having returned to the bond market, EU officials insisted Greece's debt load was still a huge nightmare.

The EU executive noted in its report the nation's mountain of debt totaled more than 170 percent of overall economic output, marking the largest such burden on the economy across the 28-member bloc.

... "This represents a deterioration compared to the previous targets," the Commission remarked laconically, attributing the development to delays in the negotiated privatization of government assets.

And again, austerity fails at the professed target of reducing debt, but does not fail at the goal of pushing undemocratic "reforms".

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

by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:59:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And again, austerity fails at the professed target of reducing debt, but does not fail at the goal of pushing undemocratic "reforms".

You say "fail" as if these were not the desired outcomes

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia offers proposal to resolve Ukraine crisis | World news | theguardian.com

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, appears to have offered a deal to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, suggesting that if the country's government clears out the nationalist protest camp in Kiev, then pro-Moscow separatists will lay down their arms.

Western officials greeted the proposal with scepticism, noting that such confidence-building measures were at the heart of an international agreement reached last week, but which failed to end the separatists' occupation of public buildings in eastern Ukraine. They said the protest camp in Independence Square in Kiev, erected in February during the uprising that toppled the Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych, was already being dismantled.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 01:59:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least the Guardian characterizes Lavrov's statement as 'a deal'. The US summarily dismisses the offer. Of course, were the Kiev provisional government set about demolishing the protest encampments there may well soon be no provisional government, but that was part of the deal made in Geneva.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 10:50:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
real economics: Canada loses its diplomatic mind
The notion that Russia wants to occupy Ukraine or even invade it to protect ethnic Russians is far from the mark. The last thing Russia wants is responsibility for one of the worst basket cases in all of Europe. Ukraine is a nearly-failed state, all of its politicians are corrupt to a greater or lesser degree, it is bankrupt, has no effective police force and is held down by crumbling infrastructure, a decrepit industrial base, massive unemployment and a dysfunctional legal system. Putin is likely delighted to see the whole mess dumped into the lap of the U.S. and EU to try to sort out -- a process that will take a decade and tens of billions of dollars just to tread water.

In its current state Ukraine will never be invited to join the EU because then the EU would be directly responsible for bailing it out. And trying now to bring Ukraine into NATO would be seen everywhere as madness -- a provocation to which Russia would reply by cutting off gas to western Europe. So Putin will watch with the comfort of an oligarch as the IMF puts the fiscal boots to a country already on its knees. And, of course, he can play mischief with gas prices any time he wants. The IMF prescription of drastic cuts to government programs could well cause widespread social unrest -- and play into the hands of the fascist parties given new prominence by the U.S.-inspired coup. It could also turn many ethnic Ukrainians against the West, making its task of establishing stability that much more difficult.

It is extremely unlikely that Putin will intervene to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, either, unless there is virtual bloodbath. He will calculate that even a few hundred deaths of Russian separatists will simply reinforce his public relations victory over the West -- confirming his framing of the issue as the ineptness and brutality of an illegal Kyiv government that hates Russia and Russians. It makes far more sense for him to let the U.S. and EU deal with such a crisis and damage what's left of NATO's shaky credibility than it is to be the bad guy and intervene militarily.

Sounds about right...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 11:31:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
good find

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 27th, 2014 at 07:55:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áECONOMY & FINANCEá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:00:13 PM EST
ECB finalises euro zone bank rules | EurActiv

The European Central Bank has today (25 April) finalised rules giving it wide-ranging powers over euro zone banks, including the right to demand they increase their capital buffers.

The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) framework regulation sets out how the SSM will cooperate with national supervisors from 4 November.

It also outlines the criteria that will define which euro zone retail banks will qualify for direct supervision by the ECB.

A list will be published in September, and those that do not qualify will continue to be overseen by their national authority.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurobarometer: Only half of Europeans say they have good working conditions | EurActiv

Over half of Europeans (53%) say that working conditions are good, according to a new survey by Eurobarometer covering the 28 member states.

At the same time, almost 60% say their working conditions have deteriorated in the last 5 years. 27% say conditions have stayed the same, while 12% think they have improved. But 77% of the respondents still say that they are 'satisfied' with their current working conditions, though these have deteriorated in the last five years, according to almost 60% of the workers.

The boiled frog effect?

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

by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Danes the happiest EU workers, survey finds

...more than 80 percent of respondents in Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland and The Netherlands consider working conditions in their country to be good.

At the other end of the scale, Greece is the only country among the European Union's 28 member states where fewer than half of its workers describe themselves as happy with working conditions.

After four years of stiff austerity policies that have seen unemployment rise to one in four Greeks, a mere 16 percent felt their country was a good place to work. Only 38 percent were happy with their own conditions, the survey found.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trial begins in Phnom Penh for Cambodian workers seeking better wages | News | DW.DE | 25.04.2014

Twenty-three Cambodian activists and workers arrested during a deadly crackdown on a garment industry strike in January went on trial Friday despite international appeals for their release. During the protests in January (pictured), police opened fire on textile workers calling for a monthly minimum wage of $160 (115 euros), killing at least four civilians.

"The Cambodian government must drop all charges on the 23 garment workers and human rights defenders arrested during the 2-3 January brutal suppression of demonstrators in Phnom Penh," the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights wrote in a statement this week.

According to rights groups, the 23 defendants - most detained for months now without bail - could face up to five years' imprisonment on charges including committing intentional violence. On Friday, Kong Athit, of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, denounced what he described as "politically-motivated charges" against the defendants.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN calls on Qatar to abolish kafala migrant worker system | Global development | theguardian.com

The UN has called on Qatar to abolish the kafala system that ties migrant workers to their employers, amid trenchant criticism of the conditions endured by those working in a construction boom in the runup to the 2022 World Cup.

In a report (pdf) by the special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, the UN general assembly has added to the pressure on the Gulf state to fundamentally reform and properly enforce its labour laws.

Reports in the Guardian and by human rights groups have consistently warned of the exploitation and abuse of up to 1.2 million migrant workers, who are propping up a £123bn construction boom over the next four years.

The UN report found that exploitation was "frequent", confirming that migrants often worked without pay and "live in substandard conditions", and also called for changes to the recruitment process. Domestic workers, currently excluded from labour laws, and the majority of whom are women and girls, were "extremely vulnerable to violence and abuse" it said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:01:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áWORLDá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:01:18 PM EST
Central African Republic's Seleka rebels call for secession amid sectarian war | World news | theguardian.com

Rebels in the Central African Republic are calling for the establishment of a new country as a radical solution to the worsening sectarian conflict.

The name - the Republic of Northern Central Africa - and a design for a national flag, are circulating by mobile phone in the dusty town of Bambari, which divides the CAR's largely Christian south from a northern region now controlled by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, according to Reuters. But the United Nations, the African Union, the former colonial power, France, and many analysts insist that this is neither likely nor desirable.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Desmond Tutu: why I won't vote ANC | World news | theguardian.com

Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu has spoken of his pain at being snubbed by organisers of Nelson Mandela's funeral last year as his relationship with South Africa's dominant party continues to sour.

...The archbishop emeritus, who has been described as the moral conscience of South Africa, and the de facto leader of the liberation struggle while Mandela was in jail, has become a fierce critic of the African National Congress (ANC) under president Jacob Zuma. There is little sign of the rift being healed.

..."We dreamt about a society that would be compassionate, a society that really made people feel they mattered. You can't do that in a society where you have people who go to bed hungry, where many of our children still attend classes under trees."

...He also declined to condemn a controversial plea by a group of former ANC stalwarts, led by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, for voters to choose one of the smaller parties or spoil their ballots in protest against what they see as a betrayal of the ANC's principles.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:01:51 PM EST
China strengthens environmental laws | Environment | theguardian.com

Chinese legislators have passed the first amendments to the country's environmental protection law in 25 years, promising greater powers for
environmental authorities and harsher punishments for polluters.

The amendments, which the Standing Committee of National People's
Congress passed on Thursday after two years of debate
, will allow
authorities to detain company bosses for 15 days if they do not
complete environmental impact assessments or ignore warnings to stop
polluting. The new law will come into practice on 1 January.

Since China's environmental protection law was passed in 1989, the
country has become the world's second-largest economy and its biggest
carbon emitter
; decades of breakneck economic growth have left many of its rivers desiccated and its cities perennially shrouded in smog.

Over the past year, the Chinese government has begun to emphasise
environmental protection in its official rhetoric. The new law "sets
environmental protection as the country's basic policy," state news agency Xinhua reported.

Let's ait and see if it makes any difference in practice.

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

by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia postpones planting of GMOs by 3 years

Russia will not start certifying GM seeds for at least three more years due to delays in creating the necessary infrastructure, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told MPs. Earlier Russia had expected to allow planting such seeds from June.

The delay comes amid the general GMO-skeptic mood that the Russian government adopted recently. The country may even ban the cultivation and import of genetically modified foodstuffs.

Last year, the government allowed the planting of GM seeds starting July 2014 as part of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. Now the deadline will have to change, Medvedev told Russian MPs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes

Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is a potential source of new types of antibiotic resistance genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where food is grown.

Thousands of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast majority of them don't pose a problem when found in harmless bacteria. The real worry is when these genes appear in the types of pathogenic bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses or hospital infections.

"Since there is a connection between AR genes found in environmental bacteria and bacteria in hospitals, we wanted to know what kind of bacteria are released into the environment via this route," of manure fertilization, says Fabienne Wichmann, lead study author and former postdoctoral researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:13:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 04:03:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING ON THE PLANETá
áSociety, Culture, History, Informationá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:02:15 PM EST
French police hunt witnesses who left woman alone with metro attacker | World news | theguardian.com

French police are investigating whether they can prosecute bystanders who did nothing to help a woman who was sexually assaulted on the metro, after a man was jailed for 18 months over the attack.

The 30-year-old woman's ordeal began as she entered a metro station in the northern city of Lille to catch a train home on Wednesday night. The 19-year-old man, who was drunk and brandishing a bottle of vodka, started groping her and threatening her with rape.

In a tearful interview on RTL radio, the woman said: "I tried to calm him down, to talk to him. I told him: 'Listen, I am the mother of four children, don't hurt me.' But he didn't want to know."

She fled down to the platform, where CCTV images showed five other people waiting for the train. Despite her repeated appeals for help, they ignored her. When her attacker followed her on to the train, all the other people piled into another carriage.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:02:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hillsborough families express disgust following Wikipedia insult claims | UK news | theguardian.com

Families of those who died at Hillsborough in 1989 have reacted with anger to claims that insulting remarks about the disaster were made from government computers. Family members arriving in Warrington for the 12th day of the new inquest into how their relatives died said they were disgusted, and called for a thorough government investigation.

The Cabinet Office has said it will investigate after a report by the Liverpool Echo said that text on the Wikipedia page on the disaster had been changed from computers within Whitehall. The paper said that in 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the disaster, in which 96 people died, "Blame Liverpool Fans" was added to the page. In 2012, the phrase "You'll never walk alone" was changed to "You'll never walk again" and other insulting variations.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh those sentiments were pretty much common currency in conservative circles until very recently. Where does anyone think the name "self-pity city" came from?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 04:05:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / First Roma restaurant opens in Slovenia

Ljubljana - Traditional Balkan dishes like goulash, sarma or burek can be found all over Europe, but not traditional Roma goulash; Roma burek, known as picinta; Roma sarmave or sah mas, traditional Roma food made of cabbage and meat.

"Roma food is different. It is better. Its distinctive taste comes from slower cooking and a specific way of preparation, different kinds of herbs and, of course, love, all at an affordable price," says Roma cook Ajsa Mehmeti, explaining what Europeans have been missing until now from their international cuisine.

This is now set to change as the first Roma restaurant was opened in the Slovenian city of Maribor earlier in April.

If the restaurant - which has been partially funded with EU money - proves successful, explains Fatmir Beciri, the local president of the Roma society, Romano Pralipe, more will be opened.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:02:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A plague in your family

For the first time, researchers have studied the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree to fully understand how some of the family members evolve to become harmful.

Contrary to popular belief, the team found pathogenic members of this bacterial family do not share a recent common disease-causing ancestor, but instead, have followed parallel evolutionary paths to become harmful.

The Yersinia family of bacteria has many sub species, some of which are harmful and others not. Two of the most feared members of this bacterial family are Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the bubonic plague or the Black Death, and Yersinia enterocolitica, a major cause of gastroenteritis. Previous studies of this family of bacteria have focused on the harmful or pathogenic species, fragmenting our full understanding of the evolution of these species.

"In order to understand how an organism becomes dangerous or pathogenic, we need to understand their non-pathogenic family members to see what makes them different to the pathogenic forms," says Dr Sandra Reuter, first author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists Identify Source of Mysterious Low-Frequency Sound Heard for Decades in the Southern Ocean

Scientists have conclusive evidence that the source of a unique rhythmic sound, recorded for decades in the Southern Ocean and called the "bio-duck," is the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis). First described and named by submarine personnel in the 1960s who thought it sounded like a duck, the bio-duck sound has been recorded at various locations in the Southern Ocean, but its source has remained a mystery, until now.

In February 2013, an international team of researchers deployed acoustic tags on two Antarctic minke whales in Wilhelmina Bay off the western Antarctic Peninsula. These tags were the first acoustic tags successfully deployed on this species. The acoustic analysis of the data, which contained the bio-duck sound, was led by Denise Risch of NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and was published April 23, 2014 in Biology Letters.

The bio-duck sound is heard mainly during the austral winter in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica and off Australia's west coast. Described as a series of pulses in a highly repetitive pattern, the bio-duck's presence in higher and lower latitudes during the winter season also contributed to its mystery. No one knew the minke whales were there. The identification of the Antarctic minke whale as the source of the sound now indicates that some minke whales stay in ice-covered Antarctic waters year-round, while others undertake seasonal migrations to lower latitudes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 03:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:03:08 PM EST
26 April 1944 – British and Cretan SOE agents kidnap General Kreipe, commander of the German occupying forces in Crete. On the same day in Cairo, George II of Greece replaces Sofoklis Venizelos of the Liberal Party with Georgios Papandreou of the Democratic Socialist Party as Prime Minister of the Greek government-in-exile


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
27 April 1784 – after being blocked for years by censors for its attack on aristocratic privileges, Pierre Beaumarchais's play The Marriage of Figaro premieres in Paris. Mozart would turn it into an opera only two years later


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áPEOPLE AND KLATSCHá


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:03:46 PM EST
Search for Cervantes' lost remains: team to begin sweep of Madrid convent | World news | The Guardian

For years, Fernando de Prado felt he was tilting at windmills in his quest to find the remains of Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes.

But on Monday the historian and his small team will begin a high-tech search for the lost remains of one of western literature's most significant authors, putting an end to any comparisons between Prado and the author's knight-errant, Don Quixote.

Cervantes is recorded as having died on 22 April 1616 and been buried a day later, somewhere in the Convent of las Trinitarias Descalzas, in the heart of Madrid, but the precise spot is unknown.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 02:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just noticed that Cervantes and Shakespeare died within a day of each other.

People who are paying attention will have connected the dots.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 03:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And where was afew on the days in question?

The dot connection is clear...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Apr 25th, 2014 at 06:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Curses, foiled again.

The hard part was getting from Madrid to London in 24 hours.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 01:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RyanHorse™
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 05:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time tunnel from subterranean Rennes le Chateau, obviously.

and please, check out the photos of the reputed afew and Dan Brown.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 27th, 2014 at 05:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a nefarious esoteric plot, Brown stole Afew's manuscripts about a medieval esoteric plot. And Umberto Eco. Also.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Apr 27th, 2014 at 11:23:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let Them Eat Empathy | Tricycle

This sleight of hand should come as no surprise from an adept salesman like Brooks. The shocking kicker, though, is that Brooks appropriates the Dalai Lama and Buddhism as New Age window dressing. It's a libertarian politics perfectly crafted for our happiness-obsessed cultural moment. Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama, Brooks celebrates his assertion that "the secret to human flourishing is the development of every individual." To buttress the point, he quotes a statement from His Holiness at AEI's panel, during which the monk wondered, "Where does a happy world start? From government? No. From United Nations? No. From individual." It takes only a short inferential leap to link Buddhism and free market capitalism at the nexus of personal responsibility. Dragging Buddhism across that divide, Brooks presents a Western flavor of the religion that deemphasizes sangha and hallows self-improvement.

This 21st-century conservatism transforms self-reliance from a material question to a metaphysical one. That approach aligns seamlessly with a slim-fitting Buddhism. The ensuing marriage allows Brooks to elude any questions of power and wealth disparity. After all, each bloke can be just as happy as the next. It doesn't matter if he's the director of a Washington think tank or the lunch lady at the school cafeteria down the street. Make no mistake, this is the ruling elite denying redistribution on spiritualized terms. It's paternalism with a wide, loving smile--an easy grin that, when seen from afar, looks a lot like the one we've come to expect from the Dalai Lama.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 26th, 2014 at 05:49:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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