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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 23 April

by Fran Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:38:10 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1943 Ė Birth of Frans Koppelaar, a Dutch painter. His landscapes and Amsterdam cityscapes are painted in a style that recalls the classical tradition of the Hague School and the Amsterdam Impressionists.

More here and here

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by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:22:17 PM EST
EUobserver / German house in landmark vote on Iceland EU membership

The Bundestag on Thursday (22 April) is set to hold a landmark vote on European affairs, with the first binding EU recommendation for its government to follow in respect to Iceland's membership bid to join the bloc.

Although not a controversial one, the vote is a premiere in German politics, after lawmakers acquired a greater say on the government's EU policies. These extra powers were key for the Bundestag last year to approve the Lisbon Treaty, the EU's new legal framework, which the German constitutional court said did not provide enough parliamentary oversight.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Belgium catapulted into fresh chaos as PM resigns

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Belgian politics were once again hurled into chaos on Thursday (22 April) after the Flemish Liberal party (Open VLD) - a key member of the ruling coalition - decided to pull out of the five-month-old government. .

Prime Minister Yves Leterme subsequently tendered his resignation to the country's head of state, King Albert II, around 1:30pm. "There was no other choice but for the government to resign," finance minister Didier Reynders told reporters.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Flemish and Francophones, into the void - Trouw/Presseurop - English

Just two months before Belgium takes over the EU presidency, the 22 April resignation of PM Yves Leterme has once again revived fears that the country is on the verge of falling apart at the seams. At the heart of the crisis, disputes over rights and privileges of French and Flemish speakers in the bilingual constituency of BHV, or Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde.

Five Flemish flags flutter proudly in front of the town hall in Lennik. Unfurled across the balcony is a banner saying "Divide BHV". The mayor of Flemish Lennik, Willy De Waele, explains the situation. "It's quite simple really: the very existence of BHV is at odds with the partitioning of Belgium." The country is in fact split up into three regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital. BHV (Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde) is the only voting district straddling the regional border. It encompasses the Brussels-Capital region [with its 19 municipalities], which is bilingual, along with 35 Flemish municipalities, including Lennik.

Consequently, the French-speaking parties can garner votes there [in European and federal elections] among voters officially residing in Flanders. [Conversely, however, Flemish residents of Wallonia are not allowed to vote on the Flemish party tickets in Brussels, which the Flemish consider unfair]. But that's not the only thing that peeves the Flemings: "Two legal principles are at loggerheads: jus soli and human rights. The French speakers living here in Flanders assert their rights. They settle down here, but don't accept our language or our culture," bemoans De Waele.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And thus, the legacy built on the money from King Leopold's slavery, torture, mass environmental destruction, and (one of) the world's largest holocausts, slowly degrades to its logical conclusion; faux racism based upon language and heritage and whether one is in favor of immediate changeover to IP6 or a gradual transition.

I propose the Israeli solution. First, the rich Flems gets grants for several billion per year in military hardware from an as yet un-named bankrupt North American country, plus the tools and parts for a nuclear arsenal.

A little fence...a little 24 meter high, several hundred meter long fence built on the farmland of those pesky ingrate french speakers to keep them out of the Phlegmatic promised land.  

Any french-speakers who leave for a little vacation during our brief periods of enthusiastic nationalism will not be allowed back, ever, not even if the Geneva Protocols ever get mentioned in discussions (which they rarely will since that would be impolite and cause a disruption in the decades long discussions that we are working so hard on in this difficult time.) We will use some of the left over money from the morally bankrupt un-named north american country to build 'settlements' for 'settlers', a noble race doing noble work for our noble G_d.

No trade with France to the french speakers in the Occupied Territories of Eretz Belgium.

All the water sources diverted to central control for fair and balanced distribution.

Bruxelles sounds to french. From here on, the name reverts to the original Broeksel, which means, the home of the Marshians, from whence the yaun God of all promised us this land North of the river Seine and South and West of the Rhine, both areas of our national history from where we escaped slavery and worse.

The french speakers can entire the capital, but not if they use the roads or railroad or don't go through a checkpoint with full body search for the men, and worse for their donkey. They can live in the capital city if they have a permit that we are in the process of designing, but if they have an old permit, they shall be allowed to be deported.

That is all. We are kind. But if they continue to throw cow patties and those little fart joke rockets, we will kill a few hundred more kids and all the best and brightest. Oh, and sorry about invading Luxembourg - those buildings used to be so pretty.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 07:49:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Barroso asks Romania to preserve EU-backed anti-corruption body
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday urged Romanian authorities to resolve the legal uncertainty surrounding an EU-backed agency scrutinising public officials' conflicts of interest, after the country's constitutional court stripped it of its main powers.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver
Ukrainian president Yanukovych has signed an extension of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's lease of its naval base in Sevastopol in the Crimea, which was due to expire in 2017, in return for a discount on gas imports. His predecessor, Victor Yuschenko, had opposed the move.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:30:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver
UK Tory leader David Cameron is sending shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert, who is gay, to Warsaw to try to convince the EU Parliament allies in the anti-gay Law and Justice Party to moderate its positions.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's odd that a party which is europhobic is trying to dampen the widespread belief that it is homophobic by sending a prominent gay person to europe.

I met a gay person last week...

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:45:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the only one in the village?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 03:05:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was it a black Tory gay person?

You know, the Republican party in the states is mocked...mocked, I tell you...but they are very very diverse group. Very representative. Gays, Atheists, People Who Know How To Think.

Are your Torys the same?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 07:56:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Armenia halts ratification of peace deal with Turkey

REUTERS - Armenia on Thursday suspended ratification of peace accords with Turkey, setting back to square one U.S.-backed efforts to bury a century of hostility between the neighbours.   Christian Armenia and Muslim Turkey signed accords in October last year to establish diplomatic relations and open their land border, bidding to overcome the legacy of the World War One mass killing f Armenians by Ottoman Turks.   But the process was already deadlocked before Thursday's decision, with each side accusing the other of trying to re-write the texts and setting new conditions.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German chancellor defends Afghanistan mission | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 22.04.2010

Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated Germany's commitment to the war against Taliban Islamist militants in Afghanistan, saying to withdraw Bundeswehr troops from the country at this time would be "irresponsible."

Thursday's plenary session in the Bundestag opened on a somber note, as tributes were paid to the 43 German soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan, and Polish President Lech Kaczynski who was recently killed in a plane crash.

"The soldiers gave their lives to help build a safe, democratic state in Afghanistan," the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert said.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:50:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German Catholic bishop resigns in disgrace, church members` exodus continues | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 22.04.2010

The bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, has written a letter to the pope offering his resignation after being accused of using violence against children in his care, and of misusing funds donated to a local orphanage.

His decision comes after senior figures in the German Catholic Church - who do not have the authority to call on him to resign -suggested he take a leave of absence from his post, a move which revealed a rare lack of solidarity within the ranks of the Catholic Church.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the context of the second part of that headline:

German Catholic bishop resigns in disgrace, church members` exodus continues | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 22.04.2010

In Germany, many people are official members of their church, and as such, they pay a "church tax" which is deducted directly from their monthly pay-checks.

More and more people have been leaving Germany's Catholic church this year, and these increases coincide with revelations of a string of sexual abuse scandals and the church's perceived failure to deal swiftly and openly with the cases.

The government collects what amounts to tithes from the faithful on behalf of the major religions in Germany (Catholicism, Lutheran Protestantism, orthodox Judaism) in the form of a payroll deduction, but people have the option of formally declaring their non-membership in a religious community to the revenue authorities. So when it comes to churches in Germany, voting with your feet means voting with your wallet.

So Church-sanctioned pederasty is costing the Church dearly.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 03:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no doubt they'll start whining about how poor the church is and how their charitable work with children is suffering.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The option to withdraw financial support, and the pain that will cause to the Church, is the only justification I can see for such a tax. Surely Ratzinger would never send an indulgence peddler to make good the shortfall.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:56:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this true? My understanding was that they didn't actually collect tithes for Jews,but that the Jewish organizations had a legal right to collect the money themselves. I've no idea what happens in practice: I put "none" under religion anyway.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 02:39:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically, for non-Christian groups it's called a "Kultussteuer", and from what I've read, the Finanzamt collects it on behalf of the group.

Kirchensteuer (Deutschland) - Wikipedia

Derzeit nutzen folgende Kirchen und Organisationen die Möglichkeit des Kirchensteuereinzugs durch staatliche Organe:

That said, other sources seem to indicate that the decision to have the state collect the tax is made on a regional or local level; at any rate, the potential revenues for smaller groups are apparently outweighed by the costs.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 03:20:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Adding:

I honestly cannot think of a way in which a non-governmental/quasigovernmental organization could legally assert a payroll deduction for member contributions.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 03:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Charles Martel or his grandson Charlemagne says it is to be done, it is to be done. We live in modern times.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
General election 2010: Surge in voter registration makes election outcome more volatile | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The number of people registering to vote has increased markedly, adding a new generation of voters to the electorate and making the outcome of the election even more volatile, according to a survey of marginal constituencies conducted by the Guardian.

Figures collected from more than 20 of the most marginal areas following Tuesday's deadline to register to vote indicate across-the-board increases in the electorate, compared with the last general election, suggesting that turnout could soar on 6 May.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:53:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pleased. I think people should vote, but up until last week the "plague on all your houses" cynicism was likely to lead to a very low turnout.

hopefully now people think they've got something a reason to vote rather than nothing much worthwhile.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:50:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Voting is compulsory in .au.  I had assumed we got this from the motherland, apparently not.
by njh on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 07:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you got it from politicians, who wanted to make it harder for people to just ignore them.

Likewise, your perverted version of STV.

by IdiotSavant on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 07:07:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scottish television?

And I like the fact that everyone watches the polies.  Funnier than the comedy channel, bigger than big brother, more educational than sesame street.  What other country would the leader of the opposition call the prime minister an 'arse licker'?

by njh on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 07:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have your points.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:59:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
voting is compulsory in Greece as well!
and if I am correct, registered voters in Italy enjoy certain privileges, related to employment opportunities and work progress, which, at the end of the day,is a powerful incentive!
by hitchhiker on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 04:13:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
H'mmmm.

In the US an increase in voter turnout is almost always a bad sign for the establishment; which in the UK case is the Tory/NuLab duopoly.

The Lib/Dems must be over the moon excited.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crime falls by 7% despite recession | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Crime fell by 7% in England and Wales during 2009 despite the recession, according to the latest set of crime figures, published today.

The dramatic drop in overall crime was accompanied by further falls in the levels of gun and knife crime, including a 21% fall in fatal stabbings.

The latest British Crime Survey (BCS) results show a 1% rise in violent crime, but Home Office statisticians said that this was not statistically significant and overall levels of violent crime remained stable.

Both the BCS and the number of offences recorded by police show a 7% fall in overall crime in 2009. The number of offences recorded by the police in 2009, 4.4m, represents a fall of 340,000 in the past year and is now below the crime level recorded in 1997 when Labour came to power.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bomb Components to Iran: US and Germany Tussle over Arresting Suspected Smuggler - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

US investigators have been trying to get Germany to arrest and extradite a German citizen who allegedly belongs to a network smuggling US electronic components to Iran to be used in roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a German court is blocking the move.

The case has to do with temperature and humidity gauges as well as valves that regulate water flow -- the kind of things you can pick up in any sanitation-equipment store.

But what makes it unusual is that it also has to do with a request by American law-enforcement officials for their German counterparts to search through the office of a man they have in their sights and confiscate, in particular, "electronic data, written correspondence, invoices and lists of addresses."

What's more, these same officials would also like the Germans to extradite the suspect -- a German citizen who, for legal reasons, can only be identified as "N." -- so he can face criminal charges in the US. As far as the Americans are concerned, the ethnic Iranian businessman from the northern German city of Kiel is an enemy of the state who deserves to be put in prison for up to five years -- whether he was involved with the temperature and humidity gauges or not.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WaPo: NATO ministers want disarmament, within limits

NATO's top official said Thursday that the alliance should take steps to support President Obama's ambitious nuclear-disarmament agenda, but he made clear that there are limits -- specifically, that U.S. atomic weapons should not be removed from Europe.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke as NATO foreign ministers discussed for the first time in more than a decade whether to get rid of the last remnants of the U.S. nuclear force that blanketed Western Europe during the Cold War...

But some European officials -- particularly in former Warsaw Pact countries -- worry that eliminating the weapons could send the wrong signal to Russia or other potential antagonists. U.S. officials acknowledged Thursday that Rasmussen's feelings are widely shared in the alliance.

"There is now new wind in the sails when it comes to reducing nuclear weapons and nuclear risks, and I want to commend President Obama for this, because he is leading the way," Rasmussen told a news conference, indicating that NATO could back some cuts in the short-range weapons. He said, however, that NATO's "core business" was assuring the alliance's members that they are protected.

"I do believe the presence of American nuclear weapons in Europe is an essential part of a credible deterrent," he said.

by Magnifico on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 07:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: UK cannot deliver on pledged withdrawal from Afghanistan, Nato partners warn
Military leaders say Britain's election should not be allowed to influence timetable for Afghans to take over

Nice to see NATO supports democracy...

by IdiotSavant on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO supports democracy, whether you like it or not.
by paving on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Marina Hyde wins word/phrase of the day, word/phrase of the election and possibly word/phrase of the year:

Sky leaders' debate spin room: the live abortion of democracy | Marina Hyde | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

"Mos Eisley spaceport," sighs Ben Kenobi in Star Wars. "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy ... " Evidently Obi Wan never visited Sky's post-debate spin room, which - pound-of-flesh for pound-of-flesh - must have been one of the most distasteful places to be in this galaxy or any other tonight.

The venue was an interactive science museum in Bristol, magically transformed by Rupert Murdoch's news network into a fully operational 10th circle of hell. Behold, the cream of Britain's arseoisie, as journalists, spin doctors and politicians interact in scenes that just scream "Come, friendly bombs ..."

[CrŤme de la Arseoisieô Alert]

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hee, you beat me to it, I was gonna quote that too.

Arseoisie is such a great word, every time I see Alaistair Campbell it will come to mind.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 06:11:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:22:36 PM EST
EUobserver / UK big pharma loses EU court battle over cheaper drugs

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - UK pharmaceutical firms have been defeated in their attempt to put an end to British government incentives to doctors to supply patients with cheaper but equivalent medicines.

The European Court of Justice rejected a complaint by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) that such National Health Service (NHS) schemes were not an illegal inducement under EU law.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / European big business admits to lobbying Washington, but not Brussels

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Many of Europe's biggest corporations are avoiding registering their lobbying activities in Brussels even as they admit to the scale of their operations in Washington where registration of lobbyists is required by law, according to a new study.

As a result of the different registry frameworks between the two legislative capitals - in Brussels, the European Commission's lobby registry is a voluntary affair - European big business on the whole is able to make it appear that it is engaged in much more lobbying in Washington than in Brussels. This is the conclusion of a new study by lobbying watchdogs that analyses what the EU's 50 biggest corporations say they are spending on influencing policy.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver / Chinese netizens spurring protectionism, says EU chamber

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The growing nationalist sentiment expressed by Chinese internet users is making the country more protectionist, according to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

"When we meet [Chinese] officials they are very worried about the netizens. They really feel they have to be responsive to these interest groups," said Mr Wuttke earlier this week (20 April).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver
Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou said after the first day of crucial meetings with EU, IMF and European Central Bank officials on Wednesday (21 April) that an agreement on a contingency rescue plan could be reached by 15 May.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:30:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Thousands strike hoping to influence talks with EU and IMF
Reuters - Thousands of striking Greek civil servants marched on Thursday to protest against austerity measures, warning of a social explosion if the government agreed further cuts in aid talks with the EU and IMF.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said he is to fight EU laws that require airlines pay for customers' hotel bills after cancelled flights in the wake of the volcano ash troubles. "There's no legislation designed that says any airline getting a fare of €30 should be reimbursing passengers," he said.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Industry chiefs push for compensation as Europe's skies reopen
AFP - As Europe's airspace reopened and weary passengers boarded long-delayed flights home, airline executives pressed for government compensation to cover the industry's massive losses.
   
Eurocontrol, Europe's air safety authority, said they expected air traffic to be "almost 100 percent" on Thursday, estimating that 75 percent of the 28,000 flights normally scheduled Wednesday had flown.
   
All Europe's main air hubs were up and running Wednesday and experts in Iceland said the Eyjafjjoell volcano had lost most of its intensity.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:39:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For once, I sympathise with his case. This was an international emergency grounding, not a canceled aircraft, and is exactly the sort of things governments should be involved in co-ordinating. The rather piecemeal patchwork response was an abdication of responsibility for something that was entirely the sort of thing they're supposed to do.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can UK liberal hold on to his soaring popularity for election? | The Observers
After the first battle in a three part televised debate between Britain's major party leaders led to a massive boost for the "third man", Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been catapulted into the spotlight, lavished over and picked apart by both the electorate and the press. Welcome to the UK, where "Cleggmania" is contagious... but for how long?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Obama seeks Wall Street's support for financial reform
US President Barack Obama on Thursday will warn that the United States is doomed to a repeat of its economic crisis if it fails to embrace his proposed financial regulatory reforms.
   
In advance excerpts of a major speech he is due to give later in New York, Obama calls on Wall Street finance chiefs to join his effort to pass what he has billed as the most sweeping reforms since the 1930s.
   
The president notes that he visited Cooper Union, a prestigious college where he will give Thursday's speech, to warn of the dangers of Wall Street excess during his 2008 election campaign.
   
"I take no satisfaction in noting that my comments have largely been borne out by the events that followed," Obama says.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In case you haven't caught on yet, this is not actually Obama seeking Wall St support, rather it's him making a play in the media.  This way it appears that he's working with them and he knows the moronic media will parrot it.

In reality Obama seems to know that negotiating in the media does nothing and the reports are that several GOP Senators are already backing the bill, likely ensuring it will pass.

by paving on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regulations Alone Are Never Enough, But Here's How They Can Easily Be Made Pointless  Jesse's Café Américain

The solution is put simple and effective regulations in the hand of stronger, independent, ad highly capable regulators to bear on the financial services industry, and to understand that the regulations must evolve with a dynamicly evolving business. The idea that you can erect some impregnable and unchanging Maginot line against bank fraud is laughable, a farce.

You want to wipe that smirk off Lloyd Blankfein's face? Nominate Eliot Spitzer or Elizabeth Warren to be the head of the SEC, or the CFTC, and provide them with a adequate budget and a staff of financial experts and a few experienced prosectors.

Even with strong regulations, unless you have capable and motivated regulators, there are always ways to evade the rules, especially if they are complex and provide exceptions. The simpler they are, the stronger the regulations will be, provided they are flexible enough to be amended and expanded efficiently to match the changing and dynamic nature of the industry that they are overseeing.

This is not that difficult, and these jokers are not that smart, although part of their con is to paint themselves as the smartest, the best, and practically unstoppable.

The root of the US financial crisis is always and everywhere regulatory capture, political cronyism, and fraud. It really is that simple.


I would put Wm. K. Black at the top of my list for a new top regulator. He has shown what can be done.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:45:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland is sooo fornicated.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
give 'em a couple more years of that level of deficit spending.

Ireland is a sad test case for liberal democracy...innovative democratic institutions (irv) meant to break the UK/American-style first-past-the-post corruption of democracy...so far, only partial progress and continuing democratic cronyism bleeding into economic cronyism (or perhaps of course the other way 'round), and as in the US and UK, little to no elite accountability.

So, maybe liberal democracy isn't the solution?

by redstar on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:20:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Institutions only help if the culture isn't bollocks. Irish elections are still being run on the basis of  Civil War ninety years gone. In any other European system , Fine Gael and Fianna Fail would be splitting the right/centre right between them and there would be more space for the the left. Instead, we have two parties mostly differentiated by on which side your grandfather (great-grandfather?) fought. Except no one likes to talk about the Civil War much, so it doesn't come up.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 06:01:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
re: not yet

True. The current position represents mere yet remarkable magnitude of change in deficit level -- whatever that is exactly. It indicates to me trouble retiring debt outstanding and, more important, government's accelerating cost of capital to service banks' debt. Compounding cost. That's what I mean by fornicated.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Fed Chairman Ruml got it right in 1946" Hat tip Warren Mosler's blog (http://www.moslereconomics.com/)

On his recent piece "Taxes For Revenue Are Obsolete " that appeared on the Huffington Post he notes:

   April 15th has come and gone, but the issue of taxation remains the course de jour. I was recently forwarded an article entitled Taxes For Revenue Are Obsolete, written in 1946 by Beardsley Ruml, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and published in a periodical named American Affairs. While Ruml was writing about the merits of corporate taxes, it is his discussion about how the function of taxes changed after the nation exited the gold standard that make this a must read. As Ruml's stated, with an "...inconvertible currency, a sovereign national government is finally free of money worries and need no longer levy taxes for the purpose of providing itself with revenue... It follows that our Federal Government has final freedom from the money market in meeting its financial requirements... All federal taxes must meet the test of public policy and practical effect. The public purpose which is served should never be obscured in a tax program under the mask of raising revenue." He goes on to explain how, with Federal spending not revenue constrained, the first function of taxation is to regulate the value of the dollar, which we know as regulating inflation. The notion of the Federal government 'running out of money' and 'dependence on foreign borrowing' as well as 'sustainability' is categorically inapplicable. The operative CBO 'scoring' is the inflationary effect, rather than simply a revenue forecast. And while Social Security and Medicare may turn out to be inflationary, they are not 'bankrupting the nation' as most believe, including a Democratic Congress that cut Medicare spending with the recent health care bill and has all entitlements 'on the table.'

It seems that the USA, as a nation, suffers both from amnesia and hysterical paralysis in matters concerning economic, fiscal and monetary policy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
America must face up to the dangers of derivatives  George Soros  FT  H/T naked capitalism

Derivatives can serve many useful purposes, but they also contain hidden dangers. For instance, they can pile up hidden imbalances in supply or demand which may suddenly be revealed when a threshold is breached. This is true of so-called knockout options, used in currency hedging. It was also true of the portfolio insurance programs that caused the New York Stock Exchange's Black Monday in October 1987. The subsequent introduction of circuit breakers tacitly acknowledged that derivatives can cause discontinuities, but the proper conclusions were not drawn.

Credit default swaps are particularly suspect. They are supposed to provide insurance against default to bondholders. But because they are freely tradable, they can be used to mount bear raids; in addition to insurance they also provide a licence to kill. Their use ought to be confined to those who have an insurable interest in the bonds of a country or company.

It will be the task of regulators to understand derivatives and synthetic securities and refuse to allow their creation if they cannot fully evaluate their systemic risks. That task cannot be left to investors, contrary to the diktats of the market fundamentalist dogma that prevailed until recently.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of cows, communities and credit default swaps | FT.com / Columnists / John Kay et seq.

in particular


I would add: The first action to eliminate the problem of public exposure to private CDS liabilities is to prohibit the re-sale of a CDS policy ("contract") by the policy holder or policy beneficiary.

Immediately. Before the practice spread much further as it has in individual whole life and annuity insurance markets.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:17:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:22:50 PM EST
France24 - Series of deadly blasts rock Bangkok
AFP - A series of grenade attacks rocked central Bangkok on Thursday, killing one person and injuring more than 50, including foreigners, amid a tense standoff between groups of rival protesters.
   
Five grenades were fired into a crowd in the capital's business district, said army spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, where pro-government demonstrators were facing off with their rival "Red Shirts".
   
One Thai woman died, according to a local hospital, after the grenades hit the mass of pro-government supporters. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva immediately called an emergency meeting with security officials.
   
Ambulances rushed to the scene to load up bloodied victims after the blasts sent relaxed and cheerful pro-government crowds fleeing from the area, home to dozens of corporate towers and a notorious red-light district.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The army doesn't plan to break up the protest at night because it would be too dangerous, army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd told reporters after the blast. Earlier he warned protesters that "time is running out" and said the military was waiting for "an appropriate time" to reclaim the area.

"We will try to make sure the area is secure so nobody can launch any more grenades," government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said by phone. "This is not a normal peaceful protest."

About 14,000 people rallied in the demonstration site, where they set up showers next to the Four Seasons Hotel and slept under advertisements for Prada and Louis Vuitton. The protesters, who are demanding new elections, have cordoned off an area roughly the size of New York's Central Park with bamboo barricades.

Read more...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:57:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - India urban size to double, could face 'chaos': report

AFP - India's city population will nearly double to close to 600 million people by 2030, requiring huge investment to avoid urban "chaos", a report by global consultancy McKinsey warned Thursday.

India must invest 1.2 trillion dollars for core urban infrastructure in its cities over the next 20 years, equivalent to 134 dollars per capita a year, the report said -- almost eight times current spending in per capita terms.

"The need for change is urgent. India's current approach to urbanization is likely to result in urban gridlock and chaos," said Ireena Vittal, one of the report's authors

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - In Haiti, schools lure back students with a free daily meal

AFP - The meal doesn't look like much, rice, a few vegetables and a little bit of meat, but for the Haitian school children who receive it for free, it is reason enough to come to class.

By 10:30 am on a Wednesday, the smell of chicken stock wafts through the Rosalie Javoukey school, located in a neighborhood of Haiti's devastated capital Port-au-Prince.

In the shade of a three-story building scheduled for demolition, women bustle about, doling food onto metal and plastic plates on huge tables set up in between white Unicef tents.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - PM certain Aqaba rockets were not fired from Jordinian soil

AFP - Two military-grade rockets struck Jordan early on Thursday, one slamming into an empty warehouse in Aqaba and the other splashing into the Red Sea near the Israeli border, a security official said.

"The preliminary investigation determined that the explosion in the (Red Sea) port of Aqaba on Thursday morning was due to a Katyusha rocket," the security official said, citing sources close to investigators.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:45:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Seoul believes North Korea torpedoed navy ship

AFP - South Korea's military believes that a North Korean submarine launched a torpedo attack to sink a South Korean warship last month near their disputed sea border, the Yonhap news agency said Thursday.

The assessment was reported to the office of President Lee Myung-Bak and the defence ministry immediately after the ship sank last month, an unnamed senior military source told Yonhap.

"It's our military intelligence's assessment that North Korean submarines attacked the ship with a heavy torpedo," the source said, adding that the subs were armed with torpedoes with 200-kilogram (440-pound) warheads.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:46:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - US warns Syria after suspected missile transfer to Hezbollah
REUTERS - US President Barack Obama's administration has warned that "all options" are on the table if Syria supplied Scud missiles to Hezbollah but defended its pursuit of dialogue with Damascus.
   
Israel believes that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with the ballistic missiles, which could dramatically increase the Lebanese Shiite militia's ability to attack the Jewish state.
   
Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said Wednesday the United States would have "really, really serious concern" if Syria had delivered such high-grade weapons to Hezbollah.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strike at University of Puerto Rico...
This may likely be of little or no interest to anybody but me.  However, with our local police riot squad deployed and the students just finished decreeing a continuation of what was supposed to have been a 48 hour stoppage, the stage is set for anything to happen.  If there is a bloody clash, this will become international news (in which case you can say you first learned of it from yours truly):

English Facebook link (unfortunately not updated)

Unknown blog note (in English but somewhat alarmist)

The most reliable and up-to-date source is this (unfortunately in Spanish)

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne

by maracatu on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 07:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't stop writing.

On a planet where a world war can conflagrate when a primpy prince of a 3rd rate country gets killed by a lone-anarchist and millions of people die in trenches...and all this just over 90 years ago...

...it is important to be able to gather as much data as possible.

Good luck. Have clean bandages and good lawyers available.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:22:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive: WellPoint routinely targets breast cancer patients | Reuters

(Reuters) - Shortly after they were diagnosed with breast cancer, each of the women learned that her health insurance had been canceled. There was Yenny Hsu, who lived and worked in Los Angeles. And there was Patricia Reilling, a successful art gallery owner and interior designer from Louisville, Kentucky.

U.S.  |  Health  |  Healthcare Reform

Neither of these women knew about the other. But besides their similar narratives, they had something else in common: Their health insurance carriers were subsidiaries of WellPoint, which has 33.7 million policyholders -- more than any other health insurance company in the United States.

The women paid their premiums on time. Before they fell ill, neither had any problems with their insurance. Initially, they believed their policies had been canceled by mistake.

They had no idea that WellPoint was using a computer algorithm that automatically targeted them and every other policyholder recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation, as the company searched for some pretext to drop their policies, according to government regulators and investigators.

Once the women were singled out, they say, the insurer then canceled their policies based on either erroneous or flimsy information. WellPoint declined to comment on the women's specific cases without a signed waiver from them, citing privacy laws.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's uncannily and almost unexpectedly like - a death panel.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but its privatised so its ok,

dont yew kno nuffink?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:14:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "The software triggered an immediate fraud investigation"

Insurance production and marketing is regluated in and by each of the several states. Definitions of "fraud" as pertains to enforceability of the contract differentiate obligations of the counterparties, issuer and insured. In some respects the Patient Protection and Affordability Act seeks to unify formally states' statutes by affirming federal authority and establishing minimum standards of liability according to USC.

In general,

Insured may not...
knowingly present an insurer documentation or communication in support of a claim that contains false or misleading information concerning a matter material to a claim or an insurance application

Issuer may not...
misrepresent pertinent facts or policy provisions that relate to a claim or coverage at issue or in dispute. Fraudulent acts are

  • knowingly fail to return to an insured money or premiums paid for a policy not ultimately provided
  • knowingly make a false statement in reference to any insurance application
  • willfully collect as an insurance premium a sum in excess of the premium applicable to the insurance
  • misappropriate or withhold unreasonably funds received that represent premiums or benefits
  • act as an insurance producer, broker, or adjuster without appropriate license
  • place insurance with an insurer not regulated by the state
  • refuse an order by a state commissioner to produce for examination all policies and other documentation evidencing the insurance and premium amounts paid

"Unfair discrimination" is illegal but not necessarily a fraudulent act: It is illegal to discriminate unfairly between individuals of the same class and life expectancy for the rates charged, dividends, other benefits payable, and any other condition of life insurance or life annuity contract.

To be "fair," issuer's treatment of one is applicable to all individuals of the same class and life expectancy.

disclosure

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 09:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:23:14 PM EST
EUobserver
Romanian President Traian Basescu on Thursday said his country was against an EU-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, unless other big international players were also aiming for the same target. Romania, however, does support the 20% target agreed at EU level.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems clash over environment policies | Environment | The Guardian

Important differences between the major parties on the environment emerged last night, as they clashed over nuclear power, windfarms, expanding flying, and the number of climate change sceptics in their ranks.

Despite similar-sounding manifestos, Labour's climate and energy secretary, Ed Miliband, and his Conservative and Liberal Democrat shadow spokesmen attacked each other's policies at a special debate organised by the Guardian.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Revolt of the Sun Kings: Solar Industry Fights to Save Subsidies - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Government subsidies for solar energy in Germany have reached absurd proportions, as ordinary consumers pay out billions to support solar power. Now plans to reduce the subsidies are encountering massive resistance from the industry and a number of German states, which benefit from the current arrangement.

Stuart Brannigan believes that the subsidization of solar power practiced in Germany is extremely exaggerated. Brannigan, a British citizen, says that it's "absolutely necessary" that it be drastically reduced in size.

It's a surprising remark, considering that Brannigan is the European managing director of Yingli Green Energy, a Chinese solar energy company which largely has German government subsidies to thank for the fact that it has been able to grow from a small business into a major player in just six years. Brannigan hasn't exactly made any friends in the photovoltaic sector, especially not in Germany, with comments like this.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland plans 'massive' renewable energy boost


(HELSINKI) - Finland's government on Tuesday outlined a plan to massively boost renewable energy production to meet European Union requirements on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

"This addition of renewable energy is equivalent in scale to three big nuclear power plants," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said in comments broadcast by YLE.

"In terms of scale, this is a massive solution," Vanhanen said after a ministerial working group on climate and energy policy agreed on the proposal.

Finland's energy mix currently includes nuclear power, and the government is due to decide this month on how many new nuclear reactor permits to allow.

Three utilities have made requests for permits, and the decision will need parliamentary approval.

To meet an EU requirement for raising the share of renewables to 38 percent of energy consumption by 2020, Finland must increase energy production based on renewables by 38 terawatt hours, the employment and economy ministry said in a statement.

It plans to do so by increasing the use of wood-based energy, wind power, biofuels and heat pumps, with support for renewable energy envisioned at around 327 million euros (439 million dollars) per year in 2020.

The efforts would see Finland's annual carbon dioxide emissions cut by seven million tonnes by 2020 while reducing coal use would cut emissions by a further two million tonnes, the statement said.



Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:28:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Art of Farming - Third Conference on Sustainable Agriculture

The event will look at the role that sustainable agriculture can play in feeding the world while addressing such concerns as reducing the so-called 'carbon footprint', the start of farming 'cool' and protecting soil from pesticides and erosion.

Industry stakeholders will share knowledge, insights and experiences in a programme designed around working sessions, keynote speeches, workshops, networking opportunities and roundtables. Topics on the agenda include:

  • successful cases of sustainable agriculture,
  • sharing risk and value across the supply chain,
  • the importance of local and global policy for sustainable agriculture,
  • the practicality of a global framework for farm metrics,
  • responsible soy production,
  • sustainable palm production,
  • collaboration work in the value chain,
  • insights and successful strategies in farmer capacity development.

More information about this event...


Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:24:32 PM EST
Asian Carp May Be Invaders, but May Be Quite Tasty - NYTimes.com

Asian carp are reviled as vanquishers of native species, feared as hefty jumpers able to break a boatman's jaw, and scorned as, well, carp. But even as Northern states battle to keep them from ravaging the Great Lakes, officials in the South, where the alien species have multiplied like guppies, are working to transform the carp into marketable assets.

First, the rebranding. In January, Louisiana wildlife officials rolled out the Silverfin Promotion, enlisting chefs to create recipes for what they called the tasty white meat of the bighead carp and silver carp, the two dominant invaders.

"A cross between scallops and crabmeat," declared Philippe Parola, a noted seafood chef whose new recipes include silverfin almondine.

Meanwhile, would-be carp exploiters in Kentucky, after trying the fish smoked, canned and in fried balls, concluded that it tasted remarkably like tuna and proposed labeling it Kentucky tuna.

No one has yet declared the Asian carp to taste just like chicken, but a new image does seem essential.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Comes Reinheitsgebot Tag, 23 April 1516.

When the German Bier Purity ordnance came into effect, sorta.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 06:42:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that should be a Europe wide holiday.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:15:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, thank you. My Saints Day.

I may have a beer tonight to celebrate

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 09:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:24:49 PM EST
France24 - Playboy porn breaks into Disney channel

AFP - Children watching the Disney Channel in Chile were offered a startling adults-only peek of Playboy programming this week because of a technical error, media reported Thursday.

And the glimpse they caught went a long way beyond Playboy's bunny logo romping around on a channel normally reserved for Mickey Mouse and friends.

"My eldest daughter told me one of her friends said to put on channel 21 (Disney), and instead of the usual program there was the Playboy channel. Luckily my smallest one, 10 years old, was sleeping at the time," one Chilean mother, Jacqueline Orchad, told the daily El Mercurio.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Luckily my smallest one, 10 years old, was sleeping at the time," one Chilean mother, Jacqueline Orchad, told the daily El Mercurio.

You wouldn't want the little one to be wondering why people would spend money on malforming plastic enhancements (and violations of the Laws of the Bezier Curve) when there are people starving on the planet.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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