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Meddlesome Commissioner?

by afew Tue Aug 19th, 2014 at 08:04:19 AM EST

European Commissioner for Employment Laszlo Andor gave an interview to German conservative newspaper Die Welt (behind subs wall, and not much available in Eng-lang media as of posting):

Luxemburger Wort - Brussels pleads with Germany to let wages rise

AFP) Germany must increase workers' salaries to help its neighbours out of the economic slump, the European Union's employment commissioner Laszlo Andor said Saturday.

The Hungarian said Berlin's big foreign trade surplus was hurting its European partners, and urged it to stimulate domestic demand by increasing wages and public expenditure.

"The rise in salaries has fallen behind the rise in productivity in Germany" for more than a decade, Andor told the German conservative daily Die Welt, in an interview due to be published on Sunday.

Brussels was now urging Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, to relax its iron grip on wages, which he said was "indispensible" for the recovery of the rest of the region.

"It would be better if salaries rise in parallel with productivity," Andor added.

His comments come amid signs of stalling growth in the 18-member eurozone, particularly its largest economies Germany and France, as the bloc struggles to recover from years of financial crisis.

Brussels now appears to be taking a view long championed by France that a rise in German salaries would give the struggling eurozone a much-needed stimulus.

France's President Francois Hollande this month called on Berlin to boost spending as "the best favour Germany could do for France and for Europe" to help growth.

"It's very important that Germany increases public spending, stimulates demand and reduces its excessive trade surplus, which is hurting its European neighbours," Andor said.

(emphasis mine).

Hollande (as reported) made feeble noises in this sense at the beginning of the month. Official communications in France, echoed by the MSM, say that Hollande's policy is to bring together European social democrats to militate for a change of direction on austerity. But Andor is particularly clear... and a Commissioner.

The ball is in Angie's court. Will she smash it? Ignore it? Send back a spin shot? Place your bets.

Comments >> (63 comments)

Buying time [Part 2] : Marktvolk vs. Staatsvolk

by eurogreen Sun Aug 17th, 2014 at 03:29:51 PM EST

Continuing my review of Wolfgang Streeck's Buying Time : The delayed crisis of democratic capitalism. (The first installment is here)

I want to strongly recommend reading the book.  Streeck is a philosopher and sociologist, and his take on economics is a refreshing re-injection of the social element that orthodox economics so rigorously excludes and ignores. My feeling is that, in the fightback against neoliberalism, "Buying Time" is as important as, and convergent with, Thomas Piketty's "Capital".

Chapter 2 : Neoliberal reform : from tax state to debt state

Streeck documents the progressive disenfranchising of actual electors, as each nation's creditors gain the whip hand after the transformation of our "tax states" into "debt states", and aggressively counters the neo-liberal meme that the slide into debt has been the product of demagogic profligacy.

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Buying time : Where now for capitalism and democracy? [Part 1]

by eurogreen Fri Aug 15th, 2014 at 12:53:53 PM EST

Wolfgang Streeck, leading figure of the Frankfurt school of philosophy, has published an incisive and compelling analysis of the interplay between capitalism and democracy in the developed world over the past forty years or so : Buying Time : The delayed crisis of democratic capitalism.

Eurotrib having been offered a copy, I have undertaken to review it. I feel suited to the task because I have nothing but an autodidact's random smattering of economics, sociology and philosophy, and will mostly restrict myself to a naïve synthesis of Streeck's theses, leaving my far more erudite and insightful readers to do the serious work. I will resist quoting directly from the text because I wouldn't know where to stop; everything is eminently quotable, written with admirable clarity and humour, nicely translated, a constant pleasure to read.

The book, based on the 2012 Adorno lectures, was published last year in Germany, and the English translation (by Patrick Camiller) has just been published by Verso, an imprint of New Left Books. It can be ordered in physical form from the publisher, or electronically from Amazon, iTunes, or Nook. (Yes, it's buying "Buying time" time).

The three chapters correspond to the three lectures on which they are based. Despite the book's relative brevity (less than 200 pages, excluding the extensive bibliography and index) I propose to do a diary on each chapter; each one is of sufficient density to merit discussion.

front-paged by afew

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Russia EU Rapprochement: Cui Bono?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Aug 7th, 2014 at 12:59:00 PM EST

Usually when I write a diary it is because I want to present a thesis and make an argument; one I have not seen expressed elsewhere, but one which I think has at least some evidence pointing in its favour.  My hope is that commentators here will either debunk the thesis or present further supporting facts/arguments.

Thus in Time for Europe to get real I presented the argument that if the EU has a problem with Russian actions in Ukraine, the appropriate response is not sanctions, but a strategic plan to reduce European energy dependence on Russian gas.

In An Irish perspective on Scottish Independence, I expressed surprise at the lack of debate on the case for and against Scottish indepence both here and elsewhere outside the UK, and tried to fill some of that gap by providing a perspective based on the Irish historical experience of independence.

And in Merkel, Putin & Obama: The changing balance of power I tried to present a thesis that the USA has engaged in imperial over-reach and has alienated many potential allies in the process, so much so that Merkel and Putin may even be driven to reach an historic rapprochement in an effort to restore some sanity and balance to world affairs.

I am very grateful to the many commentators here and elsewhere who have added to our collective knowledge of these topics, but also a bit non-plussed that two of the last three diary discussion threads have been largely taken over by a discussion of the causes of the MH17 tragedy, especially after Colman had already published a front page story on that subject.

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Dutch PM Rutte Abruptly Calls-off MH-17 Recovery Mission

by Oui Wed Aug 6th, 2014 at 02:39:31 PM EST

BREAKING NEWS

Most likely the Dutch government has received intelligence of increased violence in the Donetsk region. Ukranian warplanes straved the city of Donetsk last night. Ukraine has used ballistic missiles in their attack on the anti-Kiev rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia has advanced 20,000 troops along the border with Ukraine. There is a chance Putin will decide to intervene on the U.N. principle of R2P, the Right to Protect.

Russia has asked for the U.N. Security Council to meet about the worsening humanitarian situation for the Russian-speaking population.

NOS: Recovery Mission Stopped and NRC news blog
Transcript PM Rutte: 'Repatriëringsmissie in huidige vorm gestaakt' [Dutch]
Dutch Safety Board OvV - report of flight recorders delayed by weeks, does not meet official deadline

My earlier report today ...

Nieuwsuur August 5, 2014

Airlift cargo from Eindhoven, The Netherlands to Kharkiv, Ukraine in joint Dutch/Australian MH-17 Recovery Mission.

Australian cargo planes 24/7 continu flights from Eindhoven to Kharkiv loaded with 100 ton goods. Presumably for medical facilities, six ambulances, a humvee armored vehicle. Two planes are in use. Any idea if more than medical/rescue goods are involved?

Facebook RAAF: Operation Bring Them Home

The Royal Australia Air Force contribution to Operation Bring Them Home has continued, with a C-17A Globemaster transporting medical equipment and supplies into the Ukraine on August 1st, 2014. The Australian Government continues to work alongside Dutch and Ukrainian authorities to ensure the swift identification and repatriation of victims of the MH17 tragedy. (See photos}

Two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemasters and a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport, all from RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane, sit on the tarmac at Eindhoven Airfield.

NATO/European Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). Heavy Airlift C-17 supports MH17 ops

NATO says Russian invasion is imminent

Further updates below the fold …

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Merkel, Putin & Obama: The changing balance of power

by Frank Schnittger Wed Aug 6th, 2014 at 04:11:13 AM EST

The USA has been the undisputed Global superpower since the collapse of the Soviet Union; dominating the world militarily, politically, economically and culturally. In recent times China has begun to make some inroads into that economic dominance, Russia has begun to become more assertive again, and Merkel has consolidated her position as undisputed leader of the Eurozone. But the most significant changes have possibly been within the USA itself.

First came 9/11 which punctured the sense of American invincibility: that the US could do what it liked abroad without it having much in the way of repercussions at home. In military terms the event wasn't all that significant: 3,000 deaths is all in a weeks work in some of the bloodier conflicts around the world.  But what was significant was the reaction: America went collectively mad.

front-paged by afew

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Dutch FM Timmermans An Apologist for Israel's War on Gaza

by Oui Tue Aug 5th, 2014 at 01:41:22 PM EST

I can hardly believe how Frans Timmermans has changed from a PvdA (Labor party) parlementarian to an establishment Foreign Minister and placing all blame on Hamas in the Gaza conflict. He even suggests to let the Palestinian Authority rule over all Gazans as a first step towards security for Israel. It's a sad, sad day for Dutch politics and the Partij van de Arbeid, Dutch Labor Party of Drees and Den Uyl. Dutch society has changed and has adapted to the presence of Geert Wilders and the default position of anti-Islam. The FM of the Dutch cabinet toeing the narritive line of conservative politics in Europe and the United States on Israel.

An astonishing fact in his writing, in the article Jews are written with capital letter J, for the muslims that would be just too much of equality, he used a lower case letter. Link via Facebook page Frans Timmermans.

"Palestinian Authority must lead in an unity coalition in Gaza," according to minister Frans Timmermans in today's NRC newspaper.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The images of the suffering in Gaza are branded on our retina. The number of civilian casualties is difficult to comprehend, as well as the apparent inability make it end. This unacceptable tragedy repeats itself every few years, without the result, pursued by Hamas with the rain of missiles, or by Israel with the bombardments, getting any closer. The fate of the Gazans is not improved, Israel's security cannot be guaranteed as durable. Only the hatred, the fear and the hopelessness is fueled by it.

Without the Iron Dome missile shield, the rain of rockets coming from Gaza would have claimed many lives. [FALSE] Israel has the right to defend itself and uses the principle that civilian casualties should be avoided wherever possible. Despite this, and despite the most modern weapons, a very high number of civilian casualties is the result. The consequences of the attacks on Gaza are that UN schools and even hospitals are hit. That is unacceptable and contrary to the careful conduct which the Israeli army said to pursue. In all these incidents, independent investigation must be done. Israel should be held to the standard that it itself says to pursue.

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Dutch Prime Minister Opposes Water Boycott [he says]  Reality is quite harsh for Netanyahu!

Timmermans and the PvdA used to be solidair with the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation

Continued below the fold ...

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Coalition of the Willing Against Iran: US Justice Dept, Ungar, UANI and Mossad

by Oui Sat Aug 2nd, 2014 at 05:34:46 AM EST

Where is U.S. Foreign policy drafted? In think-tanks, billionaires, political friends and business alliances? WTF

U.S. Anti-Iran Lobby Group Accused of Mossad Ties

(Tikun Olam) - The New York Times reports a blockbuster story about the anti-Iran lobby group, United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI).  It's an especially perfidious group supporting regime change, though it couches its approach in terms of opposing Iran' nuclear program.  Curiously, this is precisely the same way Israel's far-right government disguises its own support for the violent overthrow of the Iranian government.  Knowing that such a plan is not supported by the west including the Obama administration, they believe that they can paint Iran as enough of a threat to the world through it's alleged plans to create nuclear weapons, that this will get them half-way to regime change.

UANI specializes in "outing" companies which allegedly violate UN sanctions against Iran.  The Times article revealed that the companies are usually approached by an Israeli "fixer" with close ties to the Mossad.  He's Rami Ungar, owner of an Israeli company, Ray Shipping, who's worth $500-million.

Ungar gives them an opportunity to renounce their supposed trade with Iran.  Sometimes they're extorted for a donation to UANI as well.  Though the article doesn't mention it, I'm certain that the Mossad intermediary probes for companies that will serve Israel's interests in its fight against Iran.  Companies doing business with Iran who are willing to become Mossad assets are worth their weight in gold, since the Iranians trust them and Israel can use such trust to sabotage whatever aspect of the Iranian military or commercial interests the sanctions-buster participates in.

U.S. Justice Dept. Moves to Shield Anti-Iran Group's Files United Against a Nuclear Iran

Continued below the fold ...

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An Irish perspective on Scottish Independence

by Frank Schnittger Wed Jul 30th, 2014 at 08:51:50 PM EST


Scotland votes in an independence referendum on 18 September.

Whilst the debate on independence is hotting up in Scotland, I have been surprised at the lack of discussion both here and in Ireland.  Indeed Irish Government Ministers have been briefed to avoid commenting on the issue one way or the other.  So far the major "external" interventions have been by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, saying that an independent Scotland can't have the "British pound", and outgoing EC President Barosso saying that Scotland can't take continued EU membership for granted.  Both have been seen as somewhat maladroit attempts to bully Scotland into remaining within the UK.

For those interested in following the debate in Scotland more closely, a good summary can be found here.  I am interested in discussing the issue primarily from an Irish perspective, but hope this diary will provoke a broader discussion here.

On the face of it, you would expect Ireland to be exhibit A in any discussion on the feasibility of an independent Scotland: after all Ireland and Scotland are close neighbours, share a somewhat similar Celtic cultural background and language, and are of remarkably similar size in terms of GDP, area and population (Ireland €162 Billion, 84,421 km², 4.6 M; Scotland €161 Billion, 78,387 km², 5.3M).

However from what I can see, Ireland has barely featured in the discussion.  I suspect that the demise of the Celtic Tiger and the embarrassing bank bail-out has reduced Ireland to the rather wayward cousin no one mentions to avoid embarrassment all round.  Indeed the referendum could not have been timed better from the point of view of advocates of the Union, what with Ireland having fallen from grace, and the EU and Euro generally seen as being in something of a mess.

But if you were trying to articulate a view on Scottish independence based on the Irish experience, what would it be?

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Israel Crosses 'Red-Line' with Criticism of Obama and Kerry

by Oui Mon Jul 28th, 2014 at 06:22:17 PM EST

Israel was undertaking an "appropriate and legitimate effort" to defend itself but the consequences were of deep concern, Kerry said. President Obama made it clear: "Israel has a right to defend itself."

US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration pushed back strongly at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat.

"It's simply not the way partners and allies treat each other," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Her comments were echoed by the White House, where National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the U.S. was "dismayed" by mischaracterizations of Kerry's efforts. Israeli media reports have cast Kerry as seeking a cease-fire that is more favorable to Hamas and being dismissive of key Israeli concerns.

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Rice Attempts to Quell Concerns Over US-Israel Relations (Arutz Sheva)

Kerry himself, in a speech to the Center for American Progress, noted the criticism but did not give ground.

Poll: 86.5% of Israelis oppose cease-fire

Continued below the fold ...

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Climate Change and Geotherapy: Two Conferences, Two Workshops, and Another Chance

by gmoke Sun Jul 27th, 2014 at 07:33:38 PM EST

I've been going to public lectures on climate change at Harvard, MIT, and other places since at least 1980.  Lately I've been thinking that I have yet to hear an ecologist talk about the subject.  I've seen climatologists, atmospheric chemists, atmospheric physicists, glaciologists, rocket scientists (thanks, S Fred Singer), oceanographers, and geologists address the subject.  But I can't recall hearing an ecologist talk about climate change and ecological systems.  This becomes even more frustrating to me when I attend a lecture on geoengineering.  In the last couple of years, a joint Harvard and MIT group has been meeting to discuss this topic and the enormous intellectual effort devoted to rather simplistic solutions to complex systems problems is astonishing to me, especially since there seems to be such a great reluctance to engage on the systems issues.

Recently, some friends and colleagues have begun trying to remedy the situation, focusing on the global carbon cycle and, in particular, soil carbon.  Part of this is through the work of Allan Savory and his practice of Holistic Management in relation to livestock grazing patterns.  Another part is through the work of Tom Goreau protecting and, in some cases, restoring coral reefs.  Through their efforts, this year's Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference will have an extensive "Soil Carbon and Climate Track" introducing practicing farmers to ways in which their daily work can sequester carbon from the atmosphere for years, decades, and even centuries, becoming an important tool in diminishing climate change and, just possibly, reversing it.

A few weeks later, the NOFA Massachusetts chapter will host two day-long workshops with Dr. Christine Jones, an Australian soil biologist, on "Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate."  One workshop will be in the Boston area and the other will be in Western Massachusetts.

Lastly and certainly not least, they are organizing a conference at Tufts University at the end of November on "Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming."  Not only will the conference bring together experts from all over the world to talk about ecosystem solutions to confront climate change and global warming but it is also designed to start a global conversation and network to begin practicing these systemic solutions, sharing what works and understanding what doesn't and why.

This is a development I have long waited for and will participate in as much as I can.

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Estonia Celebrates Annual Waffen SS Division Heroes

by Oui Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 10:55:24 AM EST

h/t Fran @MoA  - she provided the link to this story here and also here. Of course it got no coverage in the western media of anti-Russian propaganda. Here is a news source from Estonia ...

Politsei kaitseb veterane Sinimägedel [Police will protect veterans Sinimägedel]

Ida-Virumaal avati Sinimägede muuseum - 2008 [Ida-Viru County Museum opened in the Blue Mountains - 2008]

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Source: Vaivara Sinimägede Muuseum on the border of civilization.

In the Shadow of the Bronze Soldier

In May, 2007, I wrote a paper on the nostalgia for the Nazi-era collaborators in the Baltic States, especially as manifested in Estonia by the ex-prime minister, revisionist historian and Milton Friedman prize-winner, Mart Laar. [Interesting representation on the selection committe for the award: i.a. Anne Applebaum. Damn, she gets around between the Orange Revolution and marrying Polands neocon FM Radek Sikorski. He became British citizen and war correspondent in Angola and Afghanistan (1986-89) reporting from the partizan side.  - Oui]

Since Mr Laar acts as an adviser to the Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, as well as a propagandist on his behalf in the American media, it seemed appropriate to republish the paper, In the Shadow of the Bronze Soldier: Estonia Removes Red Army Memorials and Restores SS Graves.

Simon Wiesenthal Center accuses Lithuania of glorifying pro-Nazi leader

Continued below the fold ...

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Time for Europe to get real

by Frank Schnittger Sat Jul 26th, 2014 at 03:04:09 AM EST

298 mostly European civilians lost their lives when a civilian airliner was apparently shot down by a sophisticated homing missile available only to the most advanced armies in the world and fired from an area controlled by Ukrainian insurgents. Such weapons had allegedly been previously used to shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. Whether it was operated by Ukrainian insurgents, Russian "advisers", or regular Russian troops, is almost immaterial: Putin and the Russian federation are almost certainly ultimately responsible. And yet European leaders do little but wring their hands and complain about the chaotic crash scene investigation and the recovery of bodies and personal effects.

No one expects European leaders to go to war with a nuclear power like Russia over such a provocation - but the repeated mincing of words by Obama and his Nato allies is nothing short of embarrassing. Well might Putin et al obfuscate until the outcry dies down.  But isn't it about time that the EU took some concerted action?  How about a strategic EU energy policy and plan to reduce all dependence on Russian gas within 10 years to zero by building a European supergrid powered from largely sustainable sources?

The problem with most forms of sustainable energy is that they require very large amounts of capital upfront, reasonable interest rates, and guaranteed feed in tariffs to be economically viable.  This is problematic at a time when many EU states - particularly those at the periphery are over-borrowed and under huge pressure to reduce Sovereign and private indebtedness. But how about making such capital available through the European Investment Bank for EU Commission approved projects?  

Irish and Scottish wind, wave and tidal turbines allied to eastern European and Mediterranean solar farms could make up a huge amount of the energy deficit created by a progressive reduction in Russian energy imports, whilst at the same time providing a much needed boost to investment and employment starved peripheral EU economies.  Would it be too much to ask the EU to be proactive and actually take the lead in such a continent wide project?  Would it be too much to ask for the EU to actually have a continent wide energy policy?

front-paged by afew

Comments >> (245 comments)

The Dutch Have Gone Mad [More Mad]

by Oui Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 04:41:35 PM EST

BREAKING NEWS: Mayor of Dutch Town threatens Putin's daughter because of MH-17.

One sees a slow process of nations moving towards another war, is this what my dad felt when he undertook an adventurous bike ride through Rhineland, passed through Mannheim, Strasburg and Freiburg into Basel Switzerland in 1935. He wasn't at ease from his analysis of radio broadcasts. Just like my interest to listen and watch the propaganda from all sides, I see my dad late at night with his ear to a Philips short-wave radio and dial from one station to the next. He listened to all major capitals in the western world.

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During the German occupation 1940-45, radios were forbidden, so my dad took it apart and stored in a small space of the stairs. (Erres/Philips model 1946)

Shortly before the German invasion and occupation of Holland, he was drafted during a general mobilization of Dutch forces and served as a guard at the Moerdijkbrug over a main water artery. One of the crucial spots of a defense line along the length of the Rhine and its arteries.

Mayor of Dutch Town threatens Putin's daughter because of MH-17

Continued below the fold ...

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Gaza

by Frank Schnittger Fri Jul 25th, 2014 at 07:22:01 AM EST

I haven't written about Gaza because some things are just too evil for human comprehension.  Who uses flechette and white phosphorous shells on civilian populations? Flechette shells available here at Ammo To Go at a reduced price of $21.95...

When listening to Netanyahu It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of the irony that the people on whom the Holocaust was perpetrated are now engaging in similar genocide themselves, and doing so with a self-righteous pomposity that beggars belief.

When you look at the map below, who can doubt the central thesis of my diary Israel/Palestine: One state or two? written almost 7 years ago (that a separate Palestinian State is no longer viable)?

But seven years on we are no closer to a political settlement in the region, and have, if anything, moved further away. Maybe those writers and religious seers  who predicted Armageddon have a point, at least as far as the chosen land and people are concerned. "Those whom the God's seek to destroy, they first make mad" (Sophocles, Antigone).

Comments >> (14 comments)

We Share Their Moral Values ... Israel

by Oui Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 07:51:05 PM EST

BREAKING NEWS: UN staff killed in attack on UN-run school in Gaza: Ban Ki-moon

Both nations are morally bankrupt. The U.S. has their school of the Americas with training in death squads and torture. This has been known especially after the investigation and report by the Church Commission.

After 9/11 devastation Ariel Sharon and George Bush joined forces to pronounce an all-out War On Terror (WOT)TM. This was not just on the enemy that attacked New York, Pennsylvania and Washington but included Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah. The neocons created their war of civilizations and we stood by and let it happen. See all the Islamophobes funded and supported by the terror state Israel and its minions.

I wasn't surprised that the U.N. school with civilians was targeted. This happens in every battle Israel engages with its neighbors, so it's planned and not by accident. It's part of political and military strategy. Netanyahu was pissed at the United Nations and SG Ban Ki-moon for his condemnation of the number of civilian deaths in Gaza.

    Netanyahu directly responded to Ban regarding the two-state solution option, saying that Hamas is just another manifestation of violent, Islamic extremist organizations like ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah or Boko Haram. Hamas's grievance, he said, "is that we exist. They don't want a two state solution. They don't want any solution."

The UNHRC decided to start an investigation into war crimes in Gaza by both Hamas and the IDF. Much to the disgust of Netanyahu, his master Ariel Sharon knew hoe to react. The vicious attack on civilians was a 'price-tag' for U.N. interference. I watched war criminal Bibi Netanyahu after Ban Ki-moon spoke at the press-conference, he was f*cking mad. All he spouted was war rhetoric, he was possessed.

Gaza War: Bringing Out the Worst in Israeli Misogyny, Racism

Continued below the fold ...

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On the culture of non-peer-reviewed research dissemination

by Migeru Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 04:36:38 AM EST

"why do people submit drafts that have already been posted on Arxiv to peer-reviewed journals then?"
This may be a cultural issue and it helps to know where the arXiv comes from.

Originally posted in the Voice of the Researchers forum

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Do we want free movement of capital in Europe?

by Migeru Thu Jul 24th, 2014 at 01:52:29 AM EST

In the discussion of Britain's EU exit initiated by Frank, Cyrille challenges me repeatedly on free movement of capital:

I think the "four freedoms" should apply as widely as possible so, on that basis, it would be a bad thing if the UK were to leave the EU.
That is a consistent view, ...

[b]ut I had been under the impression that you were no fan of the free movement of capital -certainly an unrestricted one.

Well, touche
Unfettered cross-border capital flows are a bad idea. Just look at the financial crises of the last 30 years, worldwide.
So, do we want free movement of capital? More below the fold.

front-paged by afew

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Shrapnel Damage of Cockpit MH-17 Devastating

by Oui Wed Jul 23rd, 2014 at 02:37:53 PM EST

Pretty devastating footage, the missile warhead with fragmentation shrapnel must have exploded right underneath cockpit at front side of plane - photo.  [port front of cockpit = left side]

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Crash site in Donetsk district near village of Shakhtars'k

This is a Malaysian Boeing 777 at Schiphol airport.

Posted earlier @MoA - No Evidence - Administration's MH17 Case Against Russia Falls Apart.

Interesting, FT Europe explains photo thus: MH17 crash: FT photo shows signs of damage from missile strike.

A Buk missile is with proximity fuse, gets within 30 meters of target and triggers a high fragmentation explosive. Another missile in Ukrainian possession is the S-300 which does most damage as it explodes upon impact. This will destroy the plane just about instantly with no chance of survival. A few days earlier, the anti-Kiev forces downed an Antonov military transport plane. Eight crew members bailed out to safety with a parachute. Quite a difference. The two recorders can provide substantial data to verify what happened in milliseconds after impact.

The Dutch take over the crash investigation of shot-down Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17

(WAN) - The Dutch Safety Board [OvV - Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid] took over formal responsibility for the air crash investigation from Ukraine yesterday evening (July 22). The two black boxes have since arrived in the United Kingdom [Farnborough], where they are currently being read out and analyzed by a team of international specialists. The on-site investigation in Ukraine is currently in full swing. Although investigators still do not have safe access to the crash site, work to gather and analyse data from various sources is underway in bothKiev and the Netherlands.

The first priorities will be to gather information from the crash site, analyse the black boxes and coordinate the international team. Ultimately, the air crash investigation should offer victims families and the international community a clear and comprehensive overview of the causes and course of the crash.

With the Dutch Safety Board now heading the investigation, the international investigation team will have more freedom to go about its tasks unhindered. The Dutch Safety Board is also responsible for coordinating all participating investigators and investigation teams from the countries involved (Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The international team currently consists of 24 investigators. A total of four Dutch Safety Board investigators are currently operating inUkraine.

OvV presentation: Turkish Airways Boeing 737-800 crash at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam - 2009 [pdf]

Comments >> (7 comments)

Through MIT's Nuclear Goggles

by gmoke Mon Jul 21st, 2014 at 01:12:41 PM EST

Switzerland came to the Boston area a week or so ago.  There was a conversation with one of the political leaders of the country, Doris Leuthard, Councillor of the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications, at MIT on "Future Energy Supply and Security in Switzerland" and the next day a seminar on Watt d'Or, the Swiss award for the best energy projects in the country (http://www.bfe.admin.ch/org/00483/00638/?lang=en), at Northeastern University to celebrate the opening of an exhibit that will stay up at Northeastern's International Village until September.

I attended both events and learned quite a few exciting ideas from the Swiss and, inadvertently, something more about the limitations of MIT's view of the energy future.

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News and Views

 18-19 August 2014

by afew - Aug 17, 66 comments

Your take on today's news media

 16-17 August 2014

by DoDo - Aug 15, 61 comments

Your take on today's news media

 StartThe Week Open Thread

by Helen - Aug 18, 17 comments

Here we go again

 Into the Weekend Open Thread

by Helen - Aug 15, 56 comments

And I came home with a brand new plan

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Recent Diaries

Meddlesome Commissioner?

by afew - Aug 19
63 comments

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by Frank Schnittger - Jul 25
14 comments

Through MIT's Nuclear Goggles

by gmoke - Jul 21
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