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

Evening Open Thread - Monday

by Colman Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:18:31 PM EST

Busy here. How's it there?


Display:
Off to my Iaido class now ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:20:20 PM EST
So that's how you produce such quick, cutting snark!
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:21:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman is a lovechild of Sartre. Few people know of this. And Sartre himself never mentioned it. But the rumours persist.... J-P died 26 years ago. Need I say more?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wondering how I owuld like Europe to be....

I would like it to be a confederation of city-states...this I know.. but it is impossible in the short term...

So I am wondering .. what I would like Europe to be in the 10-20 years frame.....

I would certainly like a European president and a comission selected by the paralament...I would also like the head of states council as and organism....

BU over all.. I would like to have a clear criteria about who has power on what....

Something like the Spanish consitution and Catalan Statue but for Europe...

Would I like something else?....

on foreign policy? who , how?
on climate change? Is it ok right now? It seems so..
on social welfare? How who?
on trade?

I am still wondering..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:24:35 PM EST
Renewable energy please.  Everything flows from that, I think.  Plus, it's do-able, plus it should keep many many european engineers involved in high-tech, pull them from the oil industries, and plus plus, the city states would be energy independennt...

Yes, city states...but who will control the high passes and the long coastlines?  And who gives the letters of introduction and who recognises them?

But I think (I mean I act as if) I live in a city state already...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewables on Climate change.. yes... it is exactly that.. I was thinking who would be in charge of implementing the huge resources needed..

And yes..we almost live in city-states.. and I think it is probably what the future will bring if everything goes fine....but you are right.. presently they are impossible.... they first need somethin like a supranational structure..and then some kind of recognition without the states..so well..who know in the future...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:55:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it will take a single european govt. (or, more likely I think, a single US state) to decide to go for the 5 year plan.  The rule will be:

"Is this action in accord with energy conservation and/or production of renewable energy?"

From education to unemployment benefits, all govt. activity would be dedicated to answering yes to the question.  Facilities depts. would have to buy energy efficient bulbs; all new buildings would have to be energy neutral (or--even better--energy producing)

All the while the key aim of govt. is not energy conservation and/or renewable energy, we're in Chris Cook's world of spending someone else's resources (the someone else being the future generations not just of humans but of all large animals--the small ones always survive...)

(Indeed, a friend of mine said a while back, "It's not looking good for the large mammals; they're all becoming extinct."  The thing that gets me is that it's do-able...if it wasn't, it'd be a dream.  But it is, so it's politics...we need that new narrative, kcurie!  Simple phrases that define directions...the smooth cut, the simple line, effortless...wu wei...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I typed "single european govt.", I didn't mean the European Parliament or variations thereof, I mean one of the EU countries (or better, one of the countries in the geographical area we hazily call Europe.)

Spain is better placed than Italy (more receptive govt.?)  But any of 'em will do.  The surge of enthusiasm...giving people a simple direction...etc... yadda!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:45:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New blog:
Bonddad is one of the highly recommended bloggers on dKos. He mostly writes about economic conditions (with an obvious US focus), but his remarks may be of general interest.

He has now started his own blog, take a look and see if his topics are things you wish to follow.

http://bonddad.blogspot.com/index.html

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:29:04 PM EST
Thanks, I meant to mention this. A certain BruceMcF seems to be involved as well ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Interest Rate Roundup


11th largest subprime lender goes POOF!

The fallout from the housing bust continues. This week, the 11th largest subprime mortgage lender in the country, basically went POOF! Here's a MarketWatch story with the details. The culprit appears to be the forced buyback of loans from mortgage investors. In a nutshell, subprime originators make loans, then sell them off to end investors. If those loans go bad quickly, or if other conditions are met, the investor can put those loans back to the originator. The company, Ownit Mortgage Solutions of California, reportedly ran out of cash to buy those loans back. According to one employee, the company (which made more than $8 billion in loans last year) basically shut down overnight.

I'm not surprised one bit. I've been following this industry in one capacity or another since 1998 -- ironically, the last time there was a mega-implosion in the subprime lending sector. Back then, the Russian bond default that led to the Long-Term Capital Management crisis also caused ALL high-risk debt markets to seize up. Subprime lenders had been originating lots of high-LTV loans, particularly a hot product called the 125% LTV home equity loan. Just like the name suggests, you could borrow up to 125% of your home's value as a second mortgage.

Almost overnight, the demand for bonds backed by pools of high risk mortgage loans dried up. Went Poof! That caused several firms to fold or sell themselves off to better capitalized institutions. It's worth noting that the 1998 implosion happened at a time when home prices were still relatively reasonable vs. incomes, and when housing wasn't coming off the biggest bubble in U.S. history (like it is now). Will the fallout be worse in this cycle? We'll see.

I'm still wondering who'll end up with the hot potato...

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 03:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerusalem Post: Olmert indicates Israel has nuclear capability (Dec. 11, 2006)
The prime minister became enraged when he was asked if the fact that Israel possessed nuclear power weakened the West's position against Iran.

"Israel is a democracy and does not threaten anyone," Olmert exclaimed. The only thing we have tried to do is to live without [threats of] terror, but we have never threatened anyone with annihilation. Iran explicitly, openly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map."

"Can you say that this is the same level, when they [Iran] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, like America, France, Israel and Russia [JPost italics]?" he said, adding that these were "civilized nations" who did not threaten the world's foundations with nuclear destruction.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:05:27 PM EST
That's crap and he knows it. Ahmadinejhad didn't say he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. He used the exact same same phrase that Ayatollah Khomeini used when he was a friend and supplier of arms to Israel.

And he used it in response to a belligerent militaristic threat by Sharon against Iran.

And anyway, Israel isn't really trying to wipe Palestine off the map, mile by square mile. They have a new tactic. They simply deny it ever existed in the first place, that it is only occupied by untermenschen and was given to them by God. Other than that, nothing to see here folks.

I ain't saying that hamas or fatah are nice guys I'd want running any country near me, but can he at least try to be honest about it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC- Iran defends its hosting of a conference to discuss the existence and scale of the holocaust

Despite a Hammer Horror guest list of the usual anti-semitic suspects, rabbis have also been invited to affirm its historical truth.

Whatever conclusion is drawn (and second-guessing Iran is not for the faint-hearted), the perceived legitimacy of holocaust denial in the Middle East is about to undergo a shift in scale...

by Sassafras on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Holocaust denial has always been an ongoing sub-text in arabic politics. Personally I can't see it gaining much traction, however many column inches it generates amongst politically sympathetic newspapers.

This is just Ahmadinejhad being a prick again due to his religious beliefs (which strangely refelct the end-times beliefs of evangelical Christians).


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 06:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Holocaust denial has always been an ongoing sub-text in arabic politics.

Not true.  Holocaust denial is actually fairly new in the Arab world.  The more common attitude here has always been something along the lines of, "The West imposed a Jewish state on the Holy Land because of guilt over the Holocaust, so Arabs had to pay for European sins."  Etc.  It's harder to make that argument if you think the Holocaust is just made up, although people do find ways to do it....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah good point. I stand corrected

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:37:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Roz Kaveney has a good point to make on her blog

http://rozk.livejournal.com/136647.html


I see that the Iranians are having their Holocaust denial jamboree and signalling it as much in terms of teasing the West about our commitment to free speech as of the way that the moral capital of the Holocaust has had a role in the oppression of the Palestinians.

What Holocaust denial is, is not so much a use of free speech as incitement to violence - how many people deny it who don't want to kill Jews, gypsies and queers on general principles? It is also an abuse of historical fact and the process of historical scholarship.

I don't, myself, favour bans, though I can see why the French and the Germans might think it an appropriate discipline given their past. I do favour the regular and condign mocking of people who believe in Holocaust denial, an intellectual position which makes most UFO true believers look wholly rational; I was very happy when the intellectual bankruptcy of David Irving was exposed in a British court of law when he was silly enough to sue a genuine scholar.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:58:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She has been receiving ugly comments on her blog and would welcome some support.

We're with you here on ET, in any case.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:23:08 PM EST
Am I being paranoid or over sensitive but I seem to get a hell of a lot of this stuff for such a small-time blogger? I am talking about 10-15 seriously racist/vile comments per week. Does anyone else experience this type of thing? Or is it a thing against women? or women of colour? Or just random trollishness?

I really do not want to be taking up discussion time on other issues but this is really bothering me.

The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

by deviousdiva (thedeviousdiva@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Past experience indicates that 10-15 vile comments a week can easily come out of 1 or 2 people (often under a host of names.) Sadly, anyone can come to the attention of a couple of trolls in this manner, particularly if you write about politics. It just takes one link in a nasty right wing site to get you a following of the nastiest stripe.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:46:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My suggestions:

a) Have a read of one of the troll.faqs (just type troll faq into google and you'll find a bunch)--they give you a good sense of the "who" and the "why", and they offer good advice on the "what to do aspect"...which boils down to the simple instruction:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLL

sorta like when small kids swear, you just let it pass by...and if the troll(s) start swarming, it's your blog so you can always block their access somehow, after giving them a simple warning...  But I'd read the faqs--trolls are nothing new and they can be dealt with.

So: do not argue with a troll.  Indeed...

b) as you can post pics, why not post one of these after any comment you consider trollish?  It's funky and it makes its point without words.

The image source for the above pic is

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/b/b5/20060306010514!DoNotFeedTroll.png

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm just going to echo metatone and rg here. Don't feed the trolls. Just delete and try to ignore, if you can.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi DD.  I tried to comment on your blog but it didn't show up, so I'll say it here:  Keep fighting the good fight.  Your work matters.

As for the trolls, deleting is probably best.  They crave the attention....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:33:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I have a whole heap of words in my moderation filter now! Sorry your comment didn't get through, stormy present. I appreciate your support anyway. Did you type the anti-spam word?
That might be the problem over there. Or multiple links. Or a number of words that the racists use!

Cheers you!

The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

by deviousdiva (thedeviousdiva@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had to try a couple of times, cuz I left out the e-mail address the first time and then forgot to change the anti-spam word to the new one the second time.  But eventually I got my ducks in a row.  Don't think I said anything filterable, but who knows....

Anyway, you keep fighting.  We're with you.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have posted on that thread and it is horrible what she has to put up with. If they have substantive responses to her criticisms of Grecian policies towards certain ethnic groups, then it would help if they were more adult in how they express it.

But, as we see with the Political Right in the USA, hit and run abuse is their forte. What is it with them that their world-view is so secure it can only be maintained by deception, lies and personal attacks ?


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 04:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the difference between a troll and a racist?
Is there a difference ?
Is there ever a case when we should argue against one and ignore the other?
Or is it best to ignore the lot of them and have no discussion?

I find it to be a fine line many times. I lean towards discussion but it often spills over into hatred and nonsense.


The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

by deviousdiva (thedeviousdiva@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, just because you think someone is racist, prejudiced or bigoted doesn't make them a troll, trolling means basically picking a fight, or derailing the discussion, or beiing plain offensive. For instance, we had three long and intense discussions on Bulgarian Roma some of which you may or may not find racist, but I don't think there was any trolling:
As for your blog, it's your blog, so you can delete comments, or block specific users or specific IP addresses if you feel you must.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A racist will pick a fight over race.

A troll will pick a fight over absolutely anything, including, but not limited to, hair colour, spelling and grammar, geography, race, gender, choice of computer, and season.

The meta-point of trolling is personal verbal attacks, and a refusal to engage in any kind of give and take. The excuse for the fight is just that - an excuse for aggression and abuse, and no more than that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've seen that exact same comment on a couple other blogs over the past few weeks. Like in this case the connection with the post wasn't all that clear, though given the content I guess that would be too much to expect.
by MarekNYC on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:34:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found out later that this was posted all over. The other copious cr*p was definitely directed at me including this
http://hellenicnationalist.blogspot.com/2006/12/racist-graffiti.html
Remind me to delete this link later

The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing
by deviousdiva (thedeviousdiva@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh... ick.  Now I need to go take a shower.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:57:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cute.  Glanced at the blog. Sounds just like their counterparts in Poland. Sorry you had to attract this guy's attention.
by MarekNYC on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nosemonkey of Europhobia (on his new blog) has a link up to The 2006 Weblog awards. Here's the category 'Best European Blog (Non UK)'.

There seem to be a lot of rather crazy right wingers in there...

Retecool, which is now at #1, is a somewhat juvenile Dutch blog. There's also the Italian left-wing Bella Ciao site. But you should of course all give some love to A Fistful of Euros.

Let's at least get them above the crazy right wingers.

So everybody, go vote!

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:04:39 PM EST
I checked out the nominated blogs in the Middle East/Africa category, and I have to say I'm not terribly impressed.  First of all, there are no African blogs at all, which is not a terrible surprise, unfortunately.  Poor Africa just can't get anybody to pay attention.

A couple are nice blogs, and I enjoy them, but I don't know if I think any of them is the "best Middle East blog in the world."  And one of them just plain freaks me out.

I voted for Global Voices, which really is the standout.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any suggestions for african blogs?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Head Beeb (American) has great coverage of Africa, and some Africa-interest and African blogs on his blogroll.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:31:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi rg.  Unfortunately, I don't follow the African blogs so much anymore.  I've only got so much time!

Ethan Zuckerman links to a number of African blogs on his blog, My Heart's in Accra....  And he's involved in the Global Voices project, which does actually have an African section.

Most of the other ones I can think of off the top of my head are political.  Sokwanele is an angry opposition blog from Zimbabwe, which I think is actually linked to the opposition MDC party.  And ethiopundit is an angry Ethiopian-American blog that's very political and has been blocked by the Meles government in Addis.

I found this blog by a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho while I was looking for a different Lesotho blog, written by a Basotho blogger (Rethabile Masilo) who's living in France and has recently announced that he'll be blogging a little less.  Hopefully not too much less.

And last but not least, here are the South African blog awards.  No idea who any of the winners are.  Blogging was nonexistant in SA when I lived there.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 04:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and if you have trouble navigating the Global Voices site (it's not necessarily intuitive), the sub-Saharan Africa section is here.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 04:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Onto brighter things. Is there a list of member blogs? I'd love to hang out at your places?


The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing
by deviousdiva (thedeviousdiva@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:14:38 PM EST
Come join the fun :-)

http://djnozem.blogspot.com

Another active user blog is no right turn

http://norightturn.blogspot.com

There are a number of user/gnome blogs on the blogroll, but many of them are dead.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Zapatero is driving a car, stopped in honking traffic, while talking with the Interior Minister.
In the back seat there is a Frankenstein baby, named Procesito that keeps interrupting every two seconds

"Are we there yet?".


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 06:45:50 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

Whistling in the wind...

by Frank Schnittger - Jul 17
43 comments

A Gordian Knot: IC-Gate

by Oui - Jul 13
3 comments

First Daughter at G20 Table

by Oui - Jul 9
32 comments

LQD: Brexodus has begun

by Gag Halfrunt - Jul 1
33 comments