Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Recent Comments:

In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
Uber is a scam. Exploit gaps in regulation for as long as you can, get investors, spend their money (keeping a nice slice for yourself), run away. Lots of this gig economy stuff is like that. Deliveroo isn't sustainable either.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
yes, who might have imagined that a company set up to aggressively drive their competition out of business in a winner-takes-all mindset would selectively hire people who drive their own careers in the same way.

And HR investigating HR? Oh please, HR are the ultimate CYA grouping, they're every company's Mr Wolf, the cleaner, the people who make inconvenient things go away. There will be no bodies found, because they hid the bodies. They know where to avoid looking.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
The swedish(or nordic) model is interesting in comparison. Here the the central union (LO for blue collar labour, TCO for white collar labour) bargains for all unions to collectively raise wages and has a policy of trying to combat wage inequality.

In a sense, central unions transcend a more narrow self-iterest and becomes more of societal institution. This depends on union solidarity and a high degree of unionization but also promote the same values when it is succesful. This is a key reason why we have such high unionization and low wage inequality in Sweden and how the social democrats there came to be so dominant. It is similar in some ways to corporatism but crucially it keeps the central conflict between employers and employees.

by chumchu on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
I recently read Naked Capitalism's series on Uber.

Starts here:

Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part One - Understanding Uber's Bleak Operating Economics | naked capitalism

By Hubert Horan, who has 40 years of experience in the management and regulation of transportation companies (primarily airlines). Horan has no financial links with any urban car service industry competitors, investors or regulators, or any firms that work on behalf of industry participants.

Uber is currently the most highly valued private company in the world. Its primarily Silicon Valley-based investors have a achieved a venture capital valuation of $69 billion based on direct investment of over $13 billion. Uber hopes to earn billions in returns for those investors out of an urban car service industry that historically had razor-thin margins producing a commodity product. Although the industry has been competitively fragmented and structurally stable for over a century, Uber has been aggressively pursuing global industry dominance, in the belief that the industry has been radically transformed into a "winner-take-all" market.

This is the first of a series of articles addressing the question of whether Uber's pursuit of global industry dominance would actually improve the efficiency of the urban car service industry and improve overall economic welfare.

The short version is that the only way the company makes sense is if the purpose is to establish a de-facto monopoly on taxis, enforced by dumping prices if they are threatened anywhere. There is dicussions in the comments sections on wheter this is possible or if the management is fleecing the investors.

Then today I came across this blogpost which is mostly about sexual harassment encountered at Uber:

Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber -- Susan J. Fowler

Myself and a few of the women who had reported him in the past decided to all schedule meetings with HR to insist that something be done. In my meeting, the rep I spoke with told me that he had never been reported before, he had only ever committed one offense (in his chats with me), and that none of the other women who they met with had anything bad to say about him, so no further action could or would be taken. It was such a blatant lie that there was really nothing I could do. There was nothing any of us could do. We all gave up on Uber HR and our managers after that. Eventually he "left" the company. I don't know what he did that finally convinced them to fire him.

In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor's job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like. I remember countless meetings with my managers and skip-levels where I would sit there, not saying anything, and the manager would be boasting about finding favor with their skip-level and that I should expect them to have their manager's job within a quarter or two. I also remember a very disturbing team meeting in which one of the directors boasted to our team that he had withheld business-critical information from one of the executives so that he could curry favor with one of the other executives (and, he told us with a smile on his face, it worked!).

The ramifications of these political games were significant: projects were abandoned left and right, OKRs were changed multiple times each quarter, nobody knew what our organizational priorities would be one day to the next, and very little ever got done. We all lived under fear that our teams would be dissolved, there would be another re-org, and we'd have to start on yet another new project with an impossible deadline. It was an organization in complete, unrelenting chaos.  

But as you see it also covers dysfunctional organisation. And I get the nagging feeling that it is connected, the striving for monopoly, the perhaps fleecing of investors, the suckering of drivers, the blatant contempt for rules and regulations, the surveilliance of customers, the political games inside the organisation and the covering for managers who harass their underlings.

by fjallstrom on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
Malmö is said to have good and cheap falafels.
by fjallstrom on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
I'll be there in June. How do I get him to pay?

I noticed that he doesn't say he'll pay for food. Charging prices like Copenhagen would be a real crime...

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
Prison Planet? I am not sure if they are a step up or a step down from Infowars, but they are definitely not far.
by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
No, the media is trying to preserve the old duopoly at all costs.
Renzi sold himself as 'Il rottomatore' (the smasher) promising to break with politics-as-usual.
The only thing he's smashed to smithereens is his own party, which he hijacked with sleight-of-rhetoric and a bubbly, mischievous, mediagenic persona.
But his promised 'growth' never happened, sadly for him.
Now his megalomanic babbling has wearied the public to their wits' end, but he does not know when to call it quits.
Emiliano is the closest to 5*M. The rest of the PV fragments are pretty lightweight/new or stodgy/old.
Berlusconi has been dragged out of mothballs and fathers are locking up their daughters again. The right is just as divided as the left.
They will probably quarrel about the electoral law until their session runs out in autumn, that way they get fat pensions for life.
L, R and 5* are polling 30/30/30. Present electoral law demands one party has 40% to govern pretty unimpeded.
Imo it's just possible 5* could campaign their asses off and claw another 10%, the country is so fed up with the mess left by 40 years of worst practice and then to see the same old faces spouting meta about what they need their new directions to be and there's not one new idea from any of them, just tired old tropes endlessly recycled like frying oil in a cheap diner.
Renzi has delusional hopes of whipping up another froth of adulation for his neo-Blairite antics, but I suspect his glory days of leading the country by the nose are over.
His father is implicated is a corruption scandal to do with Europe's biggest works project right now, after dodging repercussions from the crash of his old bank Etruria.
With both right and left in such confusion, the red Sea is parting for our heroes to prevail.
Election could be as early as June. If 5*M campaign as hard -and victoriously- as they did against Renzi's ill-fated referendum, they might just ace it...


by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Smoking in Japan -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tobacco use has been in nearly constant decline since 1996 and the decline has been mainly accelerating in recent years. Per capita consumption of cigarettes in 2015 was 1,618 sticks, roughly 46% of the peak figure in 1977 and a number last seen in 1956.
By mechanical statistics, the Japanese should start smoking more again to get their birthrates up.
by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
You imply (rather than disclose a fact) that Japanese women are particularly emancipated. What they won't take shit from is socially or financially inhibited "nice boys". Westerns feminism is for protection from the same crowd.
by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Just correlating some objective realities (low birth rate, decline in sex, the fact that emancipated women won't take shit from arseholes)

I don't know of any correlation, positive or negative, between being "hot" in the sense you seem to find so important, and being a good husband and father.

by eurogreen on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 20 - 26 February 2017

Re: Trump: This will help.
( / )
Trump associates received informal Ukraine policy proposal  WaPo  Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman
President Trump's personal lawyer and a former business associate met privately in New York City last month with a member of the Ukrainian parliament to discuss a peace plan for that country that could give Russia long-term control over territory it seized in 2014 and lead to the lifting of sanctions against Moscow.

The meeting with Andrii V. Artemenko, the Ukrainian politician, involved Michael Cohen, a Trump Organization lawyer since 2007, and Felix Sater, a former business partner who worked on real estate projects with Trump's company.  WaPo Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman

The occurrence of the meeting, first reported Sunday by the New York Times, suggests that some in the region aligned with Russia have been seeking to use Trump business associates as an informal conduit to a new president who has signaled a desire to forge warmer relations with Russia. The discussion took place amid increasingly intense scrutiny of the ties between Trump's team and Russia, as well as escalating investigations on Capitol Hill of the determination by U.S. intelligence agencies that the Kremlin intervened in last year's election to help Trump.



by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )
If only I were a journalist...
Plus, once he's paid for travel cost, no one is stopping you from heading to Stockholm.


by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Renzi's opponents in the PD include Enrico Rossi, president of the Tuscany region, Roberto Speranza, a former PD chief whip in the lower house, and Michele Emiliano, president of the southern Apulia region and a possible challenger for the PD leadership. Rossi called for "a party which is on the side of the workers."

"a party which is on the side of the workers."

Does he mean he thinks Italians are tired of third way posers? If only enough of PD would either split or agree to enter a coalition Italy could have its first 5* government. It appears the Italian voters are insisting on a choice between the two parties.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Open Thread 20-26 Feb

Re: Open Thread 20-26 Feb
( / )

Up for a holiday?

by generic on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
In story: 20 - 26 February 2017

Re: People & Klatsch
( / )
No doubt, FIFA and EUFA will blame the victim as usual. Or maybe they can find an English supporter to blame it all on.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Rankings are for mindless leisure, surely. But still, as typical for Pacific islands, there is nothing wrong with natural selection of men over there. It is just that times of tougher selection are coming again. Japan is leading the 21st century, so to speak.

by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 20 - 26 February 2017

Re: Living On the Planet
( / )
SpaceX rocket successfully launches into orbit, booster returns safely to earth

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off a historic NASA launch pad Sunday, carrying tons of food and supplies to the International Space Station.

The white rocket was visible for just seconds before it ducked behind the clouds over Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 9:38 a.m. (1438 UTC).

Watch video 01:35
SpaceX founder Musk sets out plans for Mars colony

The SpaceX mission was the first from NASA's 39A launchpad, where the country's pioneering spaceflights first took astronauts to the Moon nearly half a century ago. It was also the site of the Space Shuttle missions that ran from 1981 to 2011 and had not been used for more than six years.

The rocket, carrying 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) of food, clothes and equipment, won't reach the space station until Wednesday, but the launch is already being seen as a major success. About 10 minutes after take-off, SpaceX fired the engines, anew, on the booster portion of the Falcon 9, separating the 15-story booster from the rocket.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
30% of them smoke. Your source may therefore regard them as "hot" but surely not "conscious of their health" -  the latter applies to Japanese women only at around 10%.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: 20 - 26 February 2017

Re: People & Klatsch
( / )
Belgrade soccer star leaves pitch in tears after racial abuse

Local TV broadcast images of Luiz making an obscene gesture to Rad Belgrade's fans after the final whistle after being subjected to a torrent of racial abuse during Sunday's local derby match against Partizan.

The Brazilian midfielder witnessed monkey chants from Rad fans in the stands, but his own actions prompted the home side's players to confront him at the end of the game.

A full scale brawl broke out before staff from both sides eventually managed to separate the players.

Luiz later described how he left the pitch crying, adding "I couldn't hold back the tears as I had to face racist insults from the terraces for 90 minutes."

"I was even more shocked by the attitude of opposing players who, instead of calming things down, backed this behavior," he added.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Italy's former PM Renzi resigns as PD head as party split beckons

Resisting pressure from a small group of party dissidents, Renzi resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) during a special conference in Rome on Sunday.

Renzi said he would be seeking re-election at a party congress expected to be held in April or May. Party officials are due to decide on Tuesday when to hold the leadership ballot.

"The only word worse than 'schism' is the word 'blackmail,' Renzi told the PD assembly in Rome. "To ask me to leave is not democratic."

"You have the right to defeat us, not eliminate us. That's the heart of a democracy," Renzi told party dissidents.

Opposition to Renzi within the party centers on three key figures who issued a statement on Sunday promoting a PD in favor of welfare spending and tackling inequality. "It is now clear that Renzi has chosen the path of a schism and bears a heavy burden of responsibility," the dissidents wrote in a statement.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
French protests against police violence move to central Paris

Anti-racism groups and other protesters rallied in Paris on Saturday to support victims of police violence after a young black man was allegedly raped with a police baton earlier this month.

Paris police installed a security perimeter around Saturday's rally on the Place de la République in eastern Paris. Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, meanwhile, urged the government to ban the protest out of respect for police who are ensuring public safety in France during the country's ongoing state of emergency.

Demonstrators carried banners reading "Justice for Théo," the name of the 22-year-old alleged rape victim, and called for justice in the investigation. The protesters argue that Théo is just one example of many young men unfairly targeted by police in ID checks and sometimes abused.

"There's a lot of support for Théo," FRANCE 24's Julia Kim said on Saturday. "We're seeing 1,000, possibly 2,000 people. "Police have closed all access into the Place de la République ... but all-in-all it seems rather calm."

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]

Brexit: Lords to begin debating bill to trigger Article 50

Peers are to begin debating the bill paving the way for the start of Brexit.

MPs agreed the proposed law unchanged, authorising Theresa May to inform the EU of the UK's intention to leave.

But the government does not have a majority in the House of Lords and eight amendments have been tabled by Labour's front bench.

Opposition and crossbench peers are seeking guarantees about the rights of EU citizens in Britain and the role of parliament in scrutinising the process.

Mrs May has said she wants to invoke Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, the formal mechanism by which a state must leave the EU, by the end of March.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Marine Le Pen is latest French politician embroiled in fraud allegations.

A Friday email from the European Union's anti-fraud group claimed that two of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen's employees received salaries as European Parliament assistants, positions about which the unit's probe discovered "serious irregularities," according to the email.

The latest allegations make Ms. Le Pen the second major presidential contender to face fraud accusations after the French newspaper "Le Canard enchaîné" published an article stating that Conservative frontrunner François Fillon provided his wife and two of his children with fictitious employment as parliamentary assistants - positions from which they received income for years.

While Mr. Fillon has been forthright about the fact that his family did indeed hold such positions and received salaries, he has repeatedly claimed that they performed the required work and thus committed no legal infraction.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Ecuador vote down to the wire, leftist a whisker from first round win

By Alexandra Ulmer and Alexandra Valencia

QUITO (Reuters) - Leftist government candidate Lenin Moreno was within striking distance of winning the first round of Ecuador's presidential election on Monday, as the Andean country's electoral body counted ballots late into the night.

In a nail-biter vote with eight candidates, Moreno was close to the threshold needed to avoid an April runoff and continue a decade-long period of leftist rule, just as South America is moving to the right.

While Ecuadoreans are angry over an economic downturn and corruption scandals, the opposition split its votes among candidates and the ruling Country Alliance remains popular with many poor voters, thanks to social welfare programs.

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
Why 160,000 protestors in Barcelona want Spain to welcome more refugees

In 2015, Spain's government made a promise: welcome in more than 17,000 refugees within two years.

On Saturday, at least 160,000 protesters at a march in Barcelona said the conservative government is not living up to its pledge.

The marchers, who organizers said numbered 300,000, held banners and posters that read in the Catalan language: "Enough Excuses! Take Them in Now!" and "No More Deaths, Open the Borders!"

by Zwackus on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Creeping Despotism Log #1

Re: Creeping Despotism Log #1
( / )
Is this how nerd dreams come true?
by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
In story: Creeping Despotism Log #1

Re: Creeping Despotism Log #1
( / )
The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine
[...] "with a mere ten `likes' as input his model could appraise a person's character better than an average coworker. With seventy, it could `know' a subject better than a friend; with 150 likes, better than their parents. With 300 likes, Kosinski's machine could predict a subject's behavior better than their partner. With even more likes it could exceed what a person thinks they know about themselves."

[...] the feedback is instant and the response automated: Did this specific swing voter in Pennsylvania click on the ad attacking Clinton's negligence over her email server? Yes? Serve her more content that emphasizes failures of personal responsibility. No? The automated script will try a different headline, perhaps one that plays on a different personality trait -- say the voter's tendency to be agreeable toward authority figures. Perhaps: "Top Intelligence Officials Agree: Clinton's Emails Jeopardized National Security."

Much of this is done through Facebook dark posts, which are only visible to those being targeted [...]

Dark posts were also used to depress voter turnout among key groups of democratic voters.

by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | ]
Statistically speaking, philosophers and sex do not mesh.
by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]
LOL, really! Do you talk what you know?

There are quite a few ranking where Japanese men come near the top:

Top 10 Countries With The Hottest Men

3. Japan

Japanese men are known for being elegant and refined. These men also have great fashion sense, which is never a bad thing. Men in Japan are quite conscious of their health, so it's not uncommon to see a Japanese man with a great physique and smooth skin. Yes, Sumo is Japan's national sport, but the average Japanese guy has a pretty slim build. Men from Japan enjoy playing baseball and football, so attending sporting events may likely be in your future if you fall for a man from Japan.

And similarly here.

by das monde on
[ Read Story | Read Comment | Parent ]

News and Views

 20 - 26 February 2017

by Bjinse - Feb 19, 23 comments

Your take on this week's news

 13 - 19 February 2017

by Bjinse - Feb 13, 104 comments

Your take on this week's news

 Open Thread 20-26 Feb

by Bjinse - Feb 19, 9 comments

We need never be ashamed of our threads

 Open Thread 13-19 Feb

by Bjinse - Feb 13, 25 comments

Outside of a dog, a thread is man's best friend.

Occasional Series
Click for full list


Top Diaries

Creeping Despotism Log #1

by THE Twank - Feb 13
14 comments

Austria: No new elections

by generic - Jan 30
7 comments

The Nemesis

by Luis de Sousa - Feb 3
82 comments

My Brick

by Drew J Jones - Jan 30
85 comments