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In story: Open Thread 4 - 11 December

Re: Open Thread 4 - 11 December
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Francis Fukuyama's 'End of History' thesis was one of the most egregious bits of conservative triumphalism to date. Better to say that the conservative world view has become the modern equivalent of the 'ancien regime' and hope that the modern equivalents of the whole cast of characters that comprised the leadership of the revolutionaries in France from 1789 to 1795 and their reactionary equivalents in surrounding countries prove wiser and that there is less bloodshed. The situations of our contemporary working classes in most countries has become rather similar when compared to the condition of the ruling elites - if differences in standards of living and social institutions are taken into account. The rhetoric and the institutions are different. Same arrogance. Same incompetence. Same blindness.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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To do better than Sanders we would have needed someone with all of the personal history, charisma and social analysis of Sanders to have inherited the DNC and had a lock on the Mainstream Media. Thanks to Sanders the bar might not be so high the next time.


by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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Death of John Lennon -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
On 8 December 1980, Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.
by das monde on
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Internet rips `draft-dodging coward' Gingrich for praising Japanese `brilliance' in Pearl Harbor attack
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used the opportunity to honor Pearl Harbor Day by giving a shout-out to -- the Japanese.

On the 75th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that destroyed most the United State's Pacific fleet and claimed the lives of 2,403 Americans, leaving 1,178 wounded, Gingrich tweeted out praise for the Japanese Empire's achievement.

"75 years ago the Japanese displayed professional brilliance and technological power launching surprises from Hawaii to the Philippines, " the Trump adviser wrote.

by das monde on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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Was he inspiring enough to leave Clinton behind? Sanders only underscores than no one better showed up.
by das monde on
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In story: McKinsey Talks Energy and Climate at MIT

Re: Houston office of McKinsey?
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My impression was that Scott Nyquist very well understands the severity of climate change and the acceleration of renewables.  I was pleasantly surprised at how far he was going AWAY from fossil fuels in his talk.

Of course, McKinsey and Company is in the consulting business and will take just about anybody's money so their devotion to climate progress is somewhat, ahem, equivocal.

As for Boston, GE is building its new headquarters in an area that they know will be flooded regularly within a decade or so.  They seem to have designed it so that the lower floors will accommodate storm surge and flooding.  The city itself is  very serious about preparing for climate change at the same time they are welcoming billions of dollars in shoreline development.  Money talks and drowns out (I see what I did there) all other voices.

by gmoke on
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What does that tell you?

74% (not 75%) of our energy from fossil fuels in 2050 still? Boston will be partially (or regularly) under water in 2050.

Waiting for further technological development is simply bullshit. And there is no problem with the cost of renewables, there is a serious political problem of allocating the actual costs of conventional fuels we already have researched to death...

by Crazy Horse on
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In story: Open Thread 4 - 11 December

Re: Open Thread 4 - 11 December
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Guardian - George Monbiot - No country with a McDonald's can remain a democracy

A wave of revulsion rolls around the world. Approval ratings for incumbent leaders are everywhere collapsing. Symbols, slogans and sensation trump facts and nuanced argument. One in six Americans now believe that military rule would be a good idea. From all this I draw the following, peculiar conclusion: no country with a McDonald's can remain a democracy.
Globalisation as we know it is over - and Brexit is the biggest sign yet
Ruchir Sharma
Read more

Twenty years ago, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman proposed his "golden arches theory of conflict prevention". This holds that "no two countries that both have McDonald's have ever fought a war against each other since they each got their McDonald's".

Friedman's was one of several end-of-history narratives suggesting that global capitalism would lead to permanent peace. He claimed that it might create "a tip-over point at which a country, by integrating with the global economy, opening itself up to foreign investment and empowering its consumers, permanently restricts its capacity for troublemaking and promotes gradual democratisation and widening peace". He didn't mean that McDonald's ends war, but that its arrival in a nation symbolised the transition.

In using McDonald's as shorthand for the forces tearing democracy apart, I am, like him, writing figuratively. I do not mean that the presence of the burger chain itself is the cause of the decline of open, democratic societies (though it has played its part in Britain, using our defamation laws against its critics). Nor do I mean that countries hosting McDonald's will necessarily mutate into dictatorships.



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
He could well be doing it again, depending on the results of the recounts. Penn is only a few thousand votes away from a mandatory recount if the results are within 0.5%. The results from Mich. are a totally embarrassment and a Federal Judge has ordered a hand count. Local officials in Wayne County are now saying that they can't do a recount because of the tampered ballot boxes and failed voting machines! And in Wis. the total is moving towards Clinton and there are massive problems in key counties. If Arkansas can have a mandatory paper trail for electronic voting machines why can't those three states, plus Florida? I hope. and one might expect, voter fraud to be a criminal offense with mandatory prison time.

Comment is based on reporting by The Palmer Report, which is well rated. Center-Left in this case appears to mean that it actually reports on this story as it happens, as opposed to the MSM, supposedly left of center, which studiously ignores it.


by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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New attempt.

This is a wide question, perhaps to wide.

When in 2008 the European Pirates did a common platform for the 2009 elections we struggled with similar questions and in the end landed on a generic formulation of as good transparency as any member state. This meant cases of bad transparency could be attacked if the pirate in question knew of a better, national solution. Which was often the basis for complaining anyway.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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This
by fjallstrom on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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Don't worry. You will have to try harder before you can offend me and I took it as a jest in any case.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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Regular reminder that Bernie Sanders, a thousand years old socialist filled stadiums. Inspiring depends on context more than anything.

by generic on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
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we are left with is a Dem gerontocracy with almost no young leadership cohort well positioned to take their places
Breaking up gerontocracy would not be a problem for a real leader. It is more questionable whether younger generations will produce any leftish leaders that we would uplift.

If we write the Clintons away, and Obama is too complacent, when was the last time the left had inspiring leaders? The 60s?

by das monde on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
PS my Thanx4Trump line was more in the way of a transatlantic jibe than a personal comment! :-)


by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
I fully agree that it is important for groups like DIEM to map out a route to their preferred Nirvana even if it looks unlikely to be practicable, given current political realities.  Less glamorously, it is perhaps also necessary to have a defensive plan to protect what is currently good in the EU from likely assaults by right wing xenophobes and demagogues, even if the best result one can hope for is less ground lost from the current status quo.  

The latter task risks one being painted as a conservative defender of the status quo, as a bastion of the elite, establishment, old order.  It is hardly a recipe for building a new, youth oriented, organisation promoting radical change.  It is perhaps a similar dilemma faced by progressive voters in the US when faced with the choice or Clinton or Sanders.  If both could have defeated Trump, Sanders would have been the better choice.  If neither could have defeated Trump, Sanders would have been the better choice setting the Dem party up for more successful battles in the future.

Now that Clinton has lost, all we are left with is a Dem gerontocracy with almost no young leadership cohort well positioned to take their places.  So yes, by all means let Diem fight to develop a vision and a new generation of leaders for the future, and perhaps leave defending what we have as a task for others.  The problem is that in both the US and EU those "others" are getting progressively older and weaker, and perhaps soon both will pass away into history leading to a new flood tide of fascism to take over the world.  Who new that the lessons of WWII could be forgotten so quickly?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
See my sig line.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
While I can't return the compliment, perhaps Ireland can derail Brexit. I actually voted for Clinton, all things considered, but, barring successful recounts in three states, it looks like he will be my president. For that I am truly sorry.

I totally agree about your comments otherwise. But this is DIEM's path towards an improved EU, and I consider it helpful to actually have a plan for an organization that works for all members of the EU and Eurozone, despite the odds that it can ever be implemented. We can never rule out some event that could change that calculus, in which case it would be better to have a coherent plan.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
I doubt there will be any new Treaty any time soon - given the requirement for unanimous agreement of member states - by referendum in some countries.  Given the trend towards right wing nationalism and attempts to repatriate powers already ceded to the EU, I also doubt there will be much in the way of further integration in the near future.

Probably the best we can hope for is small wins on the lines of making it easier for citizens to move and work from one country to another, harmonisation of educational standards and professional qualifications etc.  Attempts to impose a common consolidated tax base for corporate taxation will be resisted by smaller low tax countries like Ireland and the Baltics.

Most of the available political energy will be taken up by negotiating Brexit on terms advantageous to the EU, preventing further bank and sovereign defaults in Greece, Italy, Spain etc. and shoring up the Euro from attempts at secession by some countries like Italy.

All in all the EU seems in defensive mode now, trying to retain what it has and losing as little as possible in the face of a political onslaught from the nationalist right. Few, if any, new trade deals will be negotiated - probably not even one with the departing UK. Protectionism and xenophobia will become the new normal.

BTW - thanks a bunch for Trump...

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Transparency in the European Union
( / )
What is needed will be resisted by the wealthy EU members, so it might be best to formulate EU policy goals as a guide to further steps towards integration. Create and build support for EU policies that move towards these goals. Embed these goals in the next treaty. Then allow the courts to strike down legislation that goes against these goals.

Monetary policy for the ECB and fiscal policy for the EU Parliament must be based on legislation originating in the EP. It must be based on the needs of all member countries and no one nation should be able to dominate that decision. Formal principals must be formulated with practical political realities in mind. Present economic disparities are best dealt with by policies that promote growth in all countries through effective recycling of national surpluses via investments in deficit countries by the surplus countries and by, over time, combining the social insurance programs in all member states into one EU wide system. This should start with the present transport-ability of pensions and continue through  harmonization of health care quality throughout the EU.

This approach has the advantage of familiarity - moving towards convergence, but will redirect that convergence towards the goal of raising the standards of pensions and health care where it lags. This could be done in some ways by initially tying surplus country investment in specific deficit countries in  proportion to the number of nationals retiring in that country.

Institutionally it might be advantageous to create a legislative body in the EP to promote convergence and make that committee also responsible for laws affecting how this will be done. Handling of the CAP should be a subcommittee of this committee. The problem is how to deal with the related Executive functions as the EC is woefully unsuited to such a function. Implementation will have to be coordinated with the plans for creating an effective Executive Branch for the EU.

The problem is that none of these things are likely to happen until the crippling effects of current 'austerity' policies are reversed. Else current trends to the right will only intensify and the result will likely be that what ever changes are made would be implemented by right wing parties that oppose the entire agenda.    
 

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Open Thread 4 - 11 December

Re: WaPo states the bleedin' obvious
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Brexit can serve as a great example to be observed by the Calexit folks. As the damage caused by the Trump crime cabal mounts, California has the opportunity to avoid the mistakes Britain's making. Thank you. Britain!

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on
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In story: Open Thread 4 - 11 December

WaPo states the bleedin' obvious
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WaPo - Anne Applebaum - Britain has no idea what to do next, and that's dangerous

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does government. If no one knows what to do, if there is chaos and indecision, then the person with the clearest vision -- for good or for ill -- wins the argument. That's the lesson of the Russian Revolution, of Weimar Germany, and, without meaning to overdramatize -- we are not talking about events on that scale -- that's also the lesson of Brexit Britain.

Britain is past the surprise of June's referendum and well into the stage of trying to make Brexit happen. Theresa May, the prime minister, has promised to invoke Article 50, the legal mechanism for leaving the European Union, next March. She won cheers at her party conference by declaring that "Brexit means Brexit." She does not appear to be deterred by a court decision requiring more parliamentary scrutiny of the process.

But because the European Union is so many things -- a trading bloc, a manager of agricultural subsidies, a coordinator of anti-terrorism teams, a funder of culture and scientific research -- this statement is farcical. "Brexit means Brexit" -- but what does Brexit mean? During the referendum, the "leave" campaigners avoided talking about Britain's future relationship with Europe (and the rest of the world) because their visions differed so profoundly. Should Britain retain close economic links to the continent, remaining a member of its single market? Should Britain annul all treaties and start again? Are there other options, some organizations in which it would be useful to remain? The situation is further clouded by the fact that the "leave" campaign, like the other populist campaigns this political season, made a series of unfulfillable promises, from the general ("take back control!") to the specific (350 million pounds a week, a number plucked from the air, for the National Health Service!). None of these can possibly be delivered.

tbh, I think the problem with the referendum is that it was asking a question similar to that posed to the Deep Thought computer in the books "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe". Having been being asked by the great philosophers what meaning is of "Life, the Universe and Everything", the computer eventually told them it was "42".

when they queried this the philosophers were told;-

"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

"But it was the Great Question! The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything," howled Loonquawl.

"Yes," said Deep Thought with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, "but what actually is it?"
A slow stupefied silence crept over the men as they stared at the computer and then at each other.

"Well, you know, it's just Everything ... Everything ..." offered Phouchg weakly.

"Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means."

And that's the problem. they have their answer, but they don't know what the question meant.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Transparency in the European Union

Re: Eurogroup and Transparency
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Well, it looks like the Eurogroup President will be sacked by his own electors. That's something. They'll have to find another nonentity to do their dirty work.

I admire the efforts of the ombudsperson, but it's clear she has little power of constraint over this non-institution.

It's clear that the next treaty (assuming there is one), or rather, the EU constitution, needs to create formal organs of governance to replace the Eurogroup clusterf*ck. Parliamentary, not only intergovernmental, with an obligation of as much transparency as is functionally possible.

by eurogreen on
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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In story: 5 - 11 December 2016

Living On the Planet
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by Bjinse on
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In story: 5 - 11 December 2016

Living Off the Planet
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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In story: 5 - 11 December 2016

Economy & Finance
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by Bjinse on
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by Bjinse on
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News and Views

 5 - 11 December 2016

by Bjinse - Dec 5, 9 comments

Your take on today's news media

 28 Nov - 4 Dec 2016

by Bjinse - Nov 27, 55 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Open Thread 4 - 11 December

by Bjinse - Dec 5, 4 comments

You're gonna need a bigger thread

 Open Thread 28 November - 4 December

by Bjinse - Nov 27, 39 comments

Open the pod bay doors, thread

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