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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: Brexit: A reforming act for the EU?
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Melo, that is the discourse of the British right, and true, the discourse of some right parties in Europe. They are unhappy with the social and regulatory order imposed by the EU and therefore blame it for everything that is bad. Their goal is sole and simply to dismantle the EU. They abject people like me, symbols of an acquired level of social mobility that is unprecedented in History. Naturally they understand how an EU without social or geographical borders is threatening the Conservative ideal. For now they prevail by instilling all sorts of external fears into citizens, but reality will eventually impose itself on them.

And the ridiculous claim we are punishing the UK. Like it was us who voted them to leave. Their purgatory is exclusively of their own making. I reject any responsibility on the predicament of that vagrant nation.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on
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The Independent | Leaked diplomatic dossier says Tory party 'chaos' is undermining UK in Brexit talks

Internal chaos in Theresa May's Government is seriously undermining the Brexit negotiations, according to a leaked internal report drawn up by the Irish government.

The dossier, based on meetings between Irish diplomats and senior government officials in capital cities around the European Union, shows the low esteem Britain is being held in across the continent while talks sit in the grip of deadlock.

Leaked to Irish public broadcaster RTÉ, the document, which is based on diplomatic intelligence from the start of November, says that "chaos in the Conservative Government" has alarmed a number of European countries.



by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: Brexit: A reforming act for the EU?
( / )
As long ... the Brussels gang will not be credible as truly entitled to govern such a wide and varied continent.

This is on a par with the disinformation of which Monbiot is being accused. Go back through your list of grievances and identify how many are primarily (or even exclusively) the domain of the national governments.

Even in the case of EU-wide directives, they are the result of agreement between the national governments. The lie of a "EU government" was the comfortable lie underpinning the entire Brexit debate. If people are unwilling to hold their own governments to account while they are part of the EU, it is naïve to think they will suddenly start to hold them to account if they leave.

As for your final paragraph, the EU might wish to punished the UK for leaving, but the British are doing such a bang-up job of spanking themselves it is hard to see what else the EU could do to make it worse.

BTW, exactly which parts of the official EU position do you consider to be punitive punishment as opposed to legitimate attempts to protect the interests of the EU and its people?

by det on
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by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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Retailers in the USA have colluded, so to speak, to regulate price discounting, competition. "Black Friday" is the most successful and long-lived date. e-Marketers added "Cyber Monday", 2005. AMZN introduced a proprietary, mid-year "Prime Day", 2015, which is something of a harbinger of the advantage of operating scope to volume sales as negative trend and weakness of tactical demand creation accumulate over all. Conspicuous deep discounting has faded. Efforts to replicate past magnitude of revenue gain in foreign markets --where there's little consumer conditioning or perceived PPP savings-- indicates to me a bit of desperation with US consumer "performance".

That said, the Republica news is amusing, because quoted AMZN spokesperson repeats exactly AMZN response ( through floor managers) when IBEW attempted to organize the Bal'more center back in '15. Collective bargaining is not the AMZN way! (Individualized threats and harassment are!) IBEW didn't even get past parking lot leafletting, so efficient is employee churn and private security patrol.

by Cat on
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Amount greater than $5.45 million is taxable.
Valuation includes all probate assets not just real estate.
The issue is a dead letter to 90% of households in the US

by Cat on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Trump makes Thanksgiving shorter
( / )
My immediate response to this information is to question the unstated assumptions, or null hypotheses, of the researchers. The three most startling are:
  1. Politics is not 'personal'. Of course it is. Interpersonal psychology defines all political relations, and vice versa. Political observance are expressions of obedience or disobedience to societal sanctions, norms. Binding the terms to incorporated party affiliation is a spurious identity made all the more ridiculous by the facts of ambivalent 'self-identification' of subjects with various factions over the past two centuries and, more recently, more poignantly, substantial population growth of unaffiliated, or independent, voter registrations in the past 20 years.
  2. each smartphone owner's "home". Honestly, I can't get past the presumption that Safegraph trafficking so-called personal identifiable information on the open market is permissable at all, much less for the trivial purpose of identifying the locations of 10 million "anonymized" phone subscribers between 1PM and 5PM.
  3. "the unbiasedness of our home-to-precinct likely-vote imputation".


by Cat on
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In story: Open Thread 13 - 26 Nov

Re: Open Thread 13 - 26 Nov
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I don't know how it works in the US, but the level for it kicking in seems set deliberately low in order to build up middle class resentment.

It wouldn't make much difference if it was a little bit progressive, but I and most people could live with it being set at twice the price of the normal family house in an epensive part of London. Instead of £1 million, which includes a lot of houses, it could be £2 or 2.5 million.

that'd shut the Daily Mail up. but they'd never do that cos that's not the point.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Judenzählung
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the chasm between the thinking of Israeli extremist right wingers and US liberals has finally been shown to be no longer bridgable with appeals to religious kinship.

But AIPAC don't care, they're nothing to do with the diaspora anyway, and that's who she's talking with. Israel spends $1 billion courting the power in DC, which gives Israel $3 billion in aid. And again and again.

But they seem to have given up pretending it's being done with the support of American Jews

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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Black Friday seems to be spreading like a plague over the entire world. Ha'aretz is sending me emails about a "Black Friday sale". The English make it worse by adding bad puns ("Blackwell Friday"). The only people who have some sense are the Italians, where Cgil and other unions in Piacenza are planning to make it into a truly black Friday for Amazon by going on strike.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: Open Thread 13 - 26 Nov

Re: Open Thread 13 - 26 Nov
( / )
A hated tax but a fair one - The Economist


NO TAX is popular. But one attracts particular venom. Inheritance tax is routinely seen as the least fair by Britons and Americans. This hostility spans income brackets. Indeed, surveys suggest that opposition to inheritance and estate taxes (one levied on heirs and the other on legacies) is even stronger among the poor than the rich.

Politicians know a vote-winner when they see one. The estate of a dead adult American is 95% less likely to face tax now than in the 1960s. And Republicans want to go all the way: the House of Representatives has passed a tax-reform plan that would completely abolish "death taxes" by 2025. For a time before the second world war, Britons were more likely to pay death duties than income tax; today less than 5% of estates catch the taxman's eye. It is not just Anglo-Saxons. Revenue from these taxes in OECD countries, as a share of total government revenue, has fallen sharply since the 1960s (see article). Many other countries have gone down the same path. In 2004 even the egalitarian Swedes decided that their inheritance tax should be abolished.

Yet this trend towards trifling or zero estate taxes ought to give pause. Such levies pit two vital liberal principles against each other. One is that governments should leave people to dispose of their wealth as they see fit. The other is that a permanent, hereditary elite makes a society unhealthy and unfair. How to choose between them?

by Bjinse on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: Brexit: A reforming act for the EU?
( / )
In many ways the UK is the greatest beneficiary of the worst aspects of the EU. In some respects, Brexit itself is a reforming act for the EU.

Excellent insight, Frank. I wish the latter were even more true, as Jungker's neo-liberalism is only a few shades less toxic than May's.

As long as policies favour finance over peoples' savings, as long as countries in the EU Zone continue to do worse than they did before joining, as long as the wealth gap keeps widening, and growth is so sluggish, as long as the cost of living continues to outpace the costs of employment and wages, as long as we continue to spend useless Euros on armaments while millions slip below the poverty line, as long as scandals such as Libor and the emissions scam go blind-eyed, wrist-slapped, relatively unpunished, as long as policies on mass immigration remain incoherent,as long as even after Paradise and Panama papers are revealed as business as usual nothing is done, as long as the cream of Europe's wealth is siphoned off leaving ballooning debts and underfunded pensions, as long as high taxes do not return to workers in the form of better social benefits, as long as every subsequent generation for the last three lives poorer than the previous ones the Brussels gang will not be credible as truly entitled to govern such a wide and varied continent.
If we don't change soon another country or two will want to bail and and risk their chances on their own.

Britain will spanked very hard by Brussels because if they do do well post-Brexit, it will show Europe up no end, and even if they just don't do worse, could be the thread that unravels the whole sweater.  

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Judenzählung
( / )
But do her remarks play well in Israel?


by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Missed a perfectly good chance
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"Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" was sung as a lament. That seems like turning a complaint w/ ridicule into a badge of honor. That this turned into something iconic must indeed be chilling to the Blairites and Kinnocks.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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Ha'aretz
In one short interview on the English language i24 News, Hotovely [Israel's deputy foreign minister] managed to step on each and every conceivable land mine. She slandered the American-Jewish campaign for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall, describing it as a purely political ploy. She used the recent cancellation of her appearance at Princeton University to lambast a so-called "liberal dictatorship" that stifles free speech on U.S. campuses. She undermined the legitimacy of American-Jewish criticism of Israel with the stale rationale that they don't live here. But worst of all was her assertion that American Jews not only refrain from sending their children to fight in the Israel Defense Forces; they don't send them to fight for the U.S. Army, either. They lead "convenient lives," she said.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Missed a perfectly good chance
( / )
`Labour - The Summer That Changed Everything' on BBC

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead
( / )
But at the moment it's hardly contributing to these goals, let alone reaching them.

Some of it may indeed be the responsibility of the governments - and Monbiot does slam the Tory record. That does not change that those goals are not close to being met, and in may ways we are actually moving away from them.

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead
( / )
Eligibility rules have changed substantially this decade. The CAP is presently undergoing a reform process, better known as the Simplification Agenda.

We can always discuss if the CAP is reaching the goals it is supposed ot, or if there are alternative and more efficient ways of achieving them. However, I do not see food security, environmental protection or rural development and cohesion as particularly dividing issues.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: Brexit: A reforming act for the EU?
( / )
While by and large avoiding specifics, I do note that Monbiot mentions putting a cap in CAP that we discussed here some seven years ago.
by fjallstrom on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Missed a perfectly good chance
( / )
Do you remember the name of the program?

Would be fun to watch if it is accessible somewhere.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead
( / )
Commissioner Sicco Mansholt and the creation of the CAP

Dutch minister urged to resign in CAP row | The Guardian - Aug. 2005 |

Dutch Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman is being urged to resign over his ownership of a French farm which campaigners say gets more than £100,000 a year in subsidies from European taxpayers.

Opposition Green party politicians have demanded an emergency debate in parliament this week, after The Observer revealed on 14 August that Veerman's farm in the Dordogne is being run by his son, despite a promise to avoid conflicts of interest by putting it at arm's length.

Jan Peter Balkenende, the Prime Minister, has defended Veerman but there have been angry calls for him to surrender his portfolio to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest during controversial debates about the Common Agricultural Policy's future.

Campaigners are hoping to build a consensus for radical reform of the CAP in the Netherlands. 'There will be a debate that maybe the Minister for Economic Affairs should take over,' said the Dutch MEP Max van den Berg. 'That could help, because it was clear that Veerman was willing to support agricultural reform only within certain limits.'

Veerman, who was made an honorary citizen of France for his services to agriculture, and also owns a large agri-business in the Netherlands, signed an agreement handing his French farm to a third party in 2002, but the deal lapsed after a year. His spokesman last week admitted 'mistakes' were made.

Yannick Du Pont, of the anti-CAP Evert Vermeer Foundation, said Veerman was the only obstacle to reform in the government.  

The EU agrofood sector: facts and challenges (2008) | Slide Player |

by Oui on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead...
( / )
Monbiot is no where near as smart as he thinks on technical issues: he's executed a couple of u-turns recently - nuclear power and eating meat, I think - from prior convictions that, uh, suffered from a lack of evidential support.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead...
( / )
Perhaps yes, UK farmers that do not deserve these subsidies are receiving them. But as I have shown, it is not the EU to blame for it.

The misinformation spread by Monbiot is outright invented. I doubt it is the result of a misunderstanding.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on
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The Irish Times | Brexit: Barnier says EU at one with Varadkar on Border demand

Michel Barnier has made clear in no uncertain terms that Ireland's demand for UK assurances on the Border are completely at one with the EU Brexit negotiating task force position.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator told a thinktank meeting in Brussels that it is up the UK government to provide a way to avoid imposing a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019.

The onus was on the UK "to come forward with proposals" to avoid imposing a physical border in Ireland. "Those who want Brexit must offer solutions", said Mr Barnier.



by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on
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And Monbiot is supposed to be one of the good guys... There is no doubt that a lot of CAP money ends up in the hands of the "landed gentry" or agri-businesses which do not need such subsidies. The CAP was supposed to enable family farming to survive in the face of cheaper global competition.  It was as much a social construct to support rural areas in decline, and strategic construct to avoid too much food dependence on external sources.

No doubt national governments had the power to prevent many of these abuses, but what national government is going to oppose EU money going to their donors, natural supporters, and local industries? CAP reform is essential, but blaming the EU is at best disingenuous  when most of it is in the hands of national governments to drive such reforms. Ironically the greatest abuses may have been in the UK with its extremely unequal land-owning class structure.

In many ways the UK is the greatest beneficiary of the worst aspects of the EU. In some respects, Brexit itself is a reforming act for the EU.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Trump makes Thanksgiving shorter
( / )
Politics Gets Personal: Effects of Political Partisanship and Advertising on Family Ties
Research on growing American political polarization and antipathy primarily studies effects on public institutions and political processes, ignoring private effects such as damaged family ties. Using smartphone-tracking data and precinct-level voting, we show that politically-divided families shortened Thanksgiving dinners by 20-30 minutes following the divisive 2016 election. This decline survives comparisons with 2015 and extensive demographic and spatial controls, and more than doubles in media markets with heavy political advertising. These effects appear asymmetric: while Democratic voters traveled less in 2016, political differences shortened Thanksgiving dinners more among Republican voters, especially where political advertising was heaviest. Partisan polarization may degrade close family ties with large aggregate implications; we estimate 27 million person-hours of cross-partisan Thanksgiving discourse were lost in 2016 to ad-fueled partisan effects.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead...
( / )
Ironically, right after engaging in these deceptions, Monbiot declares himself against Brexit. If Monbiot actually wanted the UK to remain in the EU, he would have not spent time spreading false claims about the CAP and demonising the Union. He would have instead called out the implications of leaving the legal framework protecting farming in Europe.

Since George Monbiot is a Remainer, perhaps he misunderstands how the CAP works and is not wilfully spreading disinformation.

When he says that subsidies goes to big landowners (and he has given specific figures for major UK landowners in his Guardian columns), it's surely a given that the money is paid to an entity that meets all the requirements for active farmer status, regardless of whatever other businesses the ultimate owner might have.

by Gag Halfrunt on
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In story: A good example of how Brits were mislead on the EU

Re: A good example of how Brits were mislead
( / )
The British have been eurosceptics for many years, also by influencing Brussels on globalization and undermining the rights of labor. Brexit was always going to be a choice of the establishment (capital, wealth and the 1%) and their henchmen the politicians. How close was the EU and the US on the new trade treaty of the TTIP? Yes, under the rule of Democrats in the White House.

London was the trojan horse for America inside Europe, NATO played a key role in pushing an agressive stance towards Moscow. People will always suffer at the hands of politicians looking after the welfare of the elite.

The referendum on Brexit was never abour ratio, similar to elections it's based on falsehoods and emotion.  

America First - Déjà Vu

by Oui on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Economy & Finance
( / )
Annals of never-waste-a-crisis
Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race
"The only ad that took longer than three minutes to be approved by Facebook sought to exclude potential renters 'interested in Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam.' It was approved after 22 minutes."
Did You 'Like' Russian Propaganda? Facebook Will Tell You
"But it won't show users if they merely saw -- or even 'liked' -- posts from those pages."

()Nomenclature: the statement "bought ads" wherever it appears is incorrect; ProPublica ("advertiser") purchases publishing services for the advertisement supplied by the advertiser in terms of time, location ("placement"), and consideration (money payment) from Facebook (title "publisher"); the advertiser, its advertising agent, or employees, creates the advertisement contents.


by Cat on
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In story: 20 - 26 Nov 2017

Re: Hap Map UPDATE
( / )
Another Upset to Closely Held Beliefs
Plague Likely a Stone Age Arrival to Central Europe
Beginning around 4,800 years ago, there was a major expansion of people from the Caspian-Pontic Steppe into Europe. These people carried distinct genetic markers that allow their movements and genetic influence, present in essentially all modern-day Europeans, to be traced. Interestingly, the earliest indications of the plague in Europe coincide with the arrival of steppe ancestry in the human populations.

Neandertal and Denisovan allele-bearing cousins: biological invaders?
Furthermore, the introduction of the disease in Europe could have played a role in the genetic turnover of European populations. "It's possible that certain European populations, or the steppe people, may have had a different level of immunity."


by Cat on
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News and Views

 20 - 26 Nov 2017

by Bjinse - Nov 20, 39 comments

Your take on this week's news

 13 - 19 Nov 2017

by Bjinse - Nov 14, 57 comments

Your take on this week's news

 Open Thread 13 - 26 Nov

by Bjinse - Nov 14, 21 comments

That thread which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling

 Open Thread 6 - 12 Nov

by Bjinse - Nov 5, 38 comments

A new thread is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire

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