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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 18 July

by afew Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 03:54:10 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1925 - Adolf Hitler published Volume One of a work he intended to entitle Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit, or Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice (the publisher cut it to Mein Kampf)

More here and here

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:24:49 AM EST
Let China save Europe - New Europe
There are many aspects of the EU-China relationship where tension is now as prevalent as cooperation. Many European diplomats see renewed Chinese assertiveness across a range of policy spheres, from human rights to the environment. And they ask themselves whether this portends definitive failure of the EU's efforts at positive engagement. But one policy area especially prominent amidst such calculations is that related to Europe's on-going financial crisis.

Monetary issues have come to dominate EU-China relations. The European Union has pressed the Chinese authorities to revalue.  European exports to the Asian giant are even more acutely in need of a boost to help recovery from the worst economic crisis in decades. Of course, the US is also trying to press Beijing in the same direction. Chinese president Hu Jintao has promised a reform of the exchange rate system, but has not set a firm agenda and seems unlikely to move forward any time soon. Indeed, the peg to the dollar remains and the renminbi if anything faces some downward pressure.

This will engender tension during this year's G-20 meetings, but the only thing Westerners can do about it is complain.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:42:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only "war" Europe and the US recognize is one where bombs go off, bullets are flying.  If the final goal is global domination of resources for your own select few, China is well on its way to victory and the rest of us mill around like ... (wait for it) ... cattle.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's really paying for the financial crisis? - Interview with John Monks - New Europe

This is a very, very dangerous period for Europe because the economic crisis was the most severe crisis, and it's affected the world, rather than specific countries. The costs of the bank rescue have been transferred to the public balance sheet. Within a period of about three or four weeks, the mood in European governments changed, from being relaxed about debt, to panicking.

Greece was the start and it spread to Spain and Portugal and the rest of them dread being in the same position, not least Britain. If Standard and Poor or Moody's mark you down, that sends your interest rates up and the Greek one is still, on a 10 year market bond, over 10% a year. On a German one, it's 2.5%.

The power of the markets, which were ironically bailed out by the bank rescues, otherwise they'd have all gone down, has now turned their attention to sovereign debt. They managed to transfer their debt onto the public authorities, who are now in trouble. The initial response to the crisis was quite good, they kept up spending, stimulus packages to varying degrees.

The European approach, since the problem burst on individual countries has been less sure. It took them a long time to deal with Greece and the price of dealing with Greece has got higher and higher. Worse, the terms that Greece has got are penal. The basic message being, if you get into the position Greece was in, Europe will punish you, you've broken the rules.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The costs of the bank rescue have been transferred to the public balance sheet.

Yes, the banks were in trouble, so the public bailed them out. Now the public is in trouble, the banks want their pound of flesh.

If all nations just agreed that the banks can go to hell, who would be troubled apart from a few thousand psychotically greedy people in London, New York and chicago ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 05:44:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If all nations just agreed that the banks can go to hell, who would be troubled apart from a few thousand psychotically greedy people in London, New York and chicago ?

Exactly WHO is in this concept "nation"?  Our bought off and controlled members of government?  Cue pigs flying.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:38:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...who would be troubled apart from a few thousand psychotically greedy people in London, New York and chicago ?

...perhaps only the few hundred ultras for whom those few thousand keep the system well-rigged.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Poland hosts landmark European gay pride

Several thousand people have attended a European-wide gay rights parade in the Polish capital Warsaw.

It was the first time the annual EuroPride march was being held in Central or Eastern Europe.

Several small counter-demonstrations were also held and some people hurled eggs and abuse at those in the parade.

A BBC correspondent says gay people in staunchly Roman Catholic Poland find it hard to be open about their sexuality.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:54:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not so much the Catholicism that makes them anti-gay as a particular cultural quirk of the Soviet era. I've always assumed that the sanctification of the male physique in soviet style propaganda, which was readily appropriated by homo-erotic artists such as Tom of Finland meant that they had to be very brutal about policing the boundary to prevent State iconography becoming a source of difficulty. this quickly became a cultural value retained to this day.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:14:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Grenoble rioters fire shots at police and burn cars

Rioters in the south-eastern French city of Grenoble have fired shots and burned cars after police shot dead a man accused of robbing a local casino.

The violence flared early on Saturday morning after a memorial service for the man, who was killed 24 hours earlier in a shootout with police.

He was one of two men believed to have held up a casino, escaping with more than 20,000 euros (£17,000; $26,000).

The rioters also attacked a tram with baseball bats and iron bars.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:56:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Five arrested amid riots after fatal police shooting
AFP - Rioters exchanged gunfire with police in the French city of Grenoble early Saturday, setting fire to shops and cars after police shot dead a man accused of robbing a casino.
   
Youths torched between 50 and 60 cars in the southeastern French city, as well as construction equipment and two shops, while police said they made five arrests.
   
Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux was to visit the city Saturday afternoon, his ministry said.
   
The rioting started after a memorial service for 27-year-old Karim Boudouda, who died 24 hours earlier in a shootout with police after allegedly holding up the Uriage-les-Bains casino near Grenoble.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:57:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is something not quite right about this story.  Who are the rioters?
by njh on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Friends and accomplices of the dead guy, from the underclass ghetto of La Villeneuve.

Hortefeux veut «rétablir l'ordre public» à Grenoble après les violences de la - Libération
Les jeunes de la Villeneuve, qui crient vengeance et haine de la police, contestent la version de la légitime défense pour les policiers qui ont pousuivi le braqueur du casino.The youth of the Villeneuve, who are yelling for vengeance and hatred of the police, do not accept the "legitimate defence" version given by the police who chased the casino heister.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably, young inhabitants of the southern projects, who feel more solidarity with the victims of the shooting than the police (Which, thanks to Sarkozy's policies, behaves more like an occupation force than an actual policing entity...)

These southern developments where quite successful in the end of the 70's and beginning of the 80's to maintain a mixed population ; but the right wing municipality that got to power then transformed it into a socially segregated project, with the current results...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, i don't mean to make light of another serious example of social breakdown, certainly not on ET, but...  (OK, but)...

baseball bats in Grenoble?

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Useful, cheap and readily available weapons.

Of course the best thing I've ever seen are chimney brush extension poles which have a heavy brass end, but you didn't hear that from me.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Police release l'Oreal quartet after two days of questioning
AFP - French police released four associates of France's richest woman Friday after questioning them as part of a probe into a tax scandal that has rocked the government.
   
Investigators probing the affairs of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt had detained her financial advisor Patrice de Maistre and celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier since Thursday.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BALKANS: Yugoslavia Tribunal Faces Uncertain Legacy - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - On the eve of World Day for International Justice, launched to recognise the emerging body of international criminal law, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) faces an uncertain legacy. Initially slated to finish its work in 2008, the ICTY is two years behind schedule and at least four years from the final thump of its gavel.

The ICTY is regarded as a groundbreaking model for the trial and prosecution of individuals responsible for crimes against populations and has been a pioneer in the development and application of international law. However, the tribunal has also been criticized for its slow pace, inconsistent sentencing patterns and long-lasting impunity - all concerns reflected in an Open Society Justice Initiative report launched here Thursday.

The report, titled "That Someone Guilty Be Punished", and authored by Diane F. Orentlicher, Deputy for the Office of War Crimes Issues for the U.S. Department of State, examines the effects of the ICTY in Bosnia.

At a panel discussion at the report's launch, Refik Hodzic, Outreach Expert and former official of the ICTY and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, referred to the publication as one of the most important of its kind because it is the first to examine the tribunal's impact on the main constituents for whom the tribunal was created: the people who witnessed and survived the atrocities of the 1990's Balkan wars.

Despite the overall support given to the tribunal by those interviewed, the publication also chronicles dissatisfaction with the ICTY's performance. The report, said Hodzic, shows that "The tribunal has to fight for its legacy."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:02:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary, IMF/EU still disagree on some issues: reports | Reuters

(Reuters) - Hungary and its international lenders have not yet resolved differences over some important issues in talks which are expected to be finished by early next week, local media reports said.

News portal Index.hu said late on Friday, citing unnamed sources, that Hungary needs to come up with a plan on how to meet its deficit targets this year and in 2011 as the International Monetary Fund and the EU have made it clear there was no room for budget loosening.

National news agency MTI said on Saturday, citing unnamed government politicians, that there was disagreement over two issues between the government and the IMF and EU delegation -- a plan to introduce a tax on banks and another proposal which would cut the central bank governor's salary.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - L'Oreal wealth manager's testimony puts pressure on labour minister

AFP - The wealth manager of France's richest woman has told police Labour Minister Eric Woerth asked him to give his wife career advice a few months before she was recruited to help manage the fortune, the newspaper Le Monde reported on Saturday. Quoting what it said were transcripts of police questioning of wealth manager Patrice de Maistre, it said he had referred the hiring decision to L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her late husband because of the political sensitivity.   "I saw him (Woerth) two or three times in early 2007 because he asked me to meet his wife to try to give her advice on her career, which according to him, she was not entirely satisfied with," De Maistre was quoted as telling investigators.   Florence Woerth, the conservative politician's wife, was hired at a salary of 140,000 euros ($181,700) a year and a bonus of 60,000 euros. She stepped down in June after allegations that Bettencourt had evaded tax on some of her assets.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arrests As English Defence League Protest Turns Violent In Dudley | UK News | Sky News
Twenty people have been arrested at a rally by the English Defence League in Dudley.

There were angry scenes as riot police and sections of the crowd clashed on the streets of the town.

Members of the 500-strong demo reportedly threw cans and bricks at officers.

Part of the town had already been sealed off ahead of the demonstration, that was due to take place on the same day as a Unite Against Fascism rally.

Sky correspondent Darren Little said trouble erupted after when EDL members tore down metal barriers.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 03:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like playing language games.  The Anglish whatchacallit sounded like a lot of fun along the "Make-Up Your Own Language" lines, going through Germanic dictionaries and grammars, finding old words and fitting them into modern English, it's all a bunch of fun.  When I first heard of it.  

Unfortunately, the people behind it are a bunch of racist jerkwads.  

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 04:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 04:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ack


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 04:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my favourite language games - and I was playing it with la fille over a glass of red wine and under the apple tree, just two nights ago - is where each player in turn adds a letter, before or after, to the letters already given. The first to go can choose any letter. If you finish a word of 3 letters or more - even by mistake - you lose a life. But you can be challenged by the next player to say a word that includes the letter group so far. You lose a life if you can't. The next player starts a new word when a life has been lost.

It gets quite complex when you try to avoid being caught a few letters onward.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 04:58:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It gets quite complex when you try to avoid being caught a few letters onward.

or litres

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 07:37:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone here know anything about Webster University in Geneva, or Vienna or UK campuses?

I am pondering a Master's degree with them and want some feedback. It would be in Leadership and Management, with the Geneva campus, and would also include some environmental science and law courses thrown in too.

Thanks for the feedback if you have any!

by LokiMom on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 05:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pardon me.

I'm sure we've not spoken before and are unacquainted, but I'd like to share my opinion. I looked up Webster and the MA curricula, specifically Leadership and Management degree. Your estimation of the marketability of this credential may be substantially weighted by your knowledge of EU hiring practices validating the degree or your desire to relocate temporarily to the EU to immerse yourself in another culture.

In the US, this credential will get you nowhere. It is too generic. It will get you nowhere in the UK either. So unless the admissions office can demonstrate placement success, I recommend that you reconsider the project of acquiring academic management and leadership skills.

If you are interested in acquiring management and leadership skills in a practical, institutional setting, I recommend that you pursue at least PMI certification. Commercial, nonprofit, and public institutions in the US actively recruit PMI certified candidates for full-time and, more important, contract hire.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 07:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this feedback.

I have PM cert and 10 years at a SW company near Seattle, WA. :-) Now I am a fund raiser and have a lot of skills that I need to work on for future marketability - and they have a relationship with World Wildlife Fund and some other NGOs that I think I would like to pursue.

Your points are really valid though and I do appreciate them.

Primarily I want to go back to school for lots of reasons (personal satisfaction; skills like finance and biz admin, HR stuff; requirements for future jobs/roles; and also for the ability to move out of the job I am in now and up).  A lot of places here in GVA require a Master's and as I am only 2 years into this new career in NGOs I think it would be a good option.

But - I do think that you are correct in placing the academic focus on the leadership and mgmt skills. Interesting observation and I will also ask them about their placement numbers.

cheers and thank you again!

by LokiMom on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 03:42:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Couple more things: I am based in GVA now, so it is local for me (Webster) and will be here at least another 2 years for a role I am in. ;-) Maybe longer too.  
by LokiMom on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 03:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lord Goldsmith on Torture: the full transcript | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs

We have an interview with Peter Goldsmith, who was Attorney General 2001-07, in The Independent on Sunday.

I think it is an interesting and important interview, primarily about the inquiry, which David Cameron announced last week, into allegations that the Government in which Goldsmith served, and to which he was the chief legal adviser, was complicit in the rendition and torture of terrorist suspects.

This is a full transcript (16 July 2010).



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:45:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A whole load of lawyerly pettifogging bs that carefully denies responsibility for absolutely everything that happened while he was in office (but, apparently, not in power). It all adds up the Shaggy defence. "I didn't do it, I didn't know, I didn't say it, you can't prove it, it wasn't me".



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:13:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - UK health system is top on 'efficiency', says report

The UK's health care system is the most efficient, says a study of seven industrialised countries.

The Commonwealth Fund report looked at five areas of performance - quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and healthy lives.

The US came last in the overall rankings, which also included data from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

But there is room for improvement in every country, says the report.

The report, which is an update to three earlier editions, includes patients and doctors' ratings of their experiences in their own health care systems.

More than 27,000 patients and primary care doctors were surveyed across all seven countries as part of the study, starting in 2007.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:30:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:25:21 AM EST
Dollar Declines Most in 14 Months on Signs of Economic Slowdown - Bloomberg.com

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar fell the most against the euro in 14 months and dropped to the lowest level this year versus the yen as economic reports added to evidence that the U.S. recovery is losing momentum.

The greenback touched a level weaker than $1.30 versus the shared currency as minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting last month indicated policy makers trimmed their forecasts for growth. The euro rallied for a third straight week against the dollar before partial results of stress tests on the region's banking system due on July 23.

"It's really dollar weakness based on some evidence the economy is slowing," said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York. "The economic indicators are pointing strongly toward slower growth in the second half of the year."

The dollar declined 2.24 percent, the most since May 2009, to $1.2930 per euro yesterday, from $1.2641 on July 9. It touched $1.3008 yesterday, the weakest level since May 10. The U.S. currency dropped 2.3 percent to 86.57 yen, from 88.62 yen, after reaching 86.27 yesterday, the lowest level since Dec. 1. The euro was little changed at 111.96 yen, compared with 112.01.

The euro has rallied 8.9 percent versus the dollar since reaching a four-year low of $1.1877 on June 7 as concern eased that Europe's sovereign-debt crisis would undermine the region's economic recovery.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Economy: Confidence Tumbles Risking Slowdown (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Confidence among U.S. consumers tumbled in July to the lowest level in a year, heightening the risk of a slowdown in economic growth.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment decreased to 66.5, the lowest since August and less than the most pessimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Another report showed inflation cooled last month.

The sentiment figures showed a record-low share of Americans expected their incomes will rise in the next 12 months, underscoring growing pessimism over employment prospects. Declining confidence may further restrain consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, and hinder the recovery in coming months.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the most remarkable thingy is the blackout by mainstream Western media of information that US debt was downgraded by Dagong. There were few sneering blog posts but not in the printed editions or editorials. Also noticeably Economist glaringly gave this news a miss despite not missing any other news and poking its rather long nose into everything else from Tibet to russian oligarchs and iranian spies.
by FarEasterner on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:24:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell the truth.  Who here is going to miss the US once it disintegrates like the old USSR?  I know I won't.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The French media have mentioned at length the downgrading of several countries' debt by Dagong. They naturally focused on the downgrading of the French debt, but they mentioned US and the UK, too.

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 12:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Investments / Trading Ideas - Trader: Continent's dirty secrects will hit the euro hard

Continental Europe is a bastion of privacy, especially compared with the US. The individual's right to "dignity" is much more highly prized in Europe than the freedom of the public to pore over all the salacious details of some luminary's recreational activities in the tabloids.

It was only after his death, for example, that that François Mitterrand, former French president, was revealed to have cohabited with his
mistress and love-child throughout much of his period in office.

A similar code of omertà appears to prevail when it comes to the credit crisis.

Whereas the US has more or less dished the dirt on its troubled financial institutions, the European authorities regard airing the shortcomings of the region's banks as taboo.

But while hushing up celebrity frolics deprives only the paparazzi of earnings, concealing insolvency at, say, savings banks could have potentially disastrous consequences for customers and the wider financial system.

It is painfully obvious that the eurozone's problems extend far beyond Greek over-indebtedness or the bursting of Spain's property bubble. Even prudent Germany's state banks are tainted by
dodgy lending.

And the region's less dynamic nations are blighted by a profound lack of economic competitiveness

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Europe.Is.Doomed™ Alert] except for the non "Continental", transparent, not "blighted by a profound lack of economic competitiveness part, if I get the FT.

And the EUR having hit a new low against the USD; oh, wait...

by Bernard on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe baulks at GM-style shakeout that could transform prospects | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Europe's automotive manufacturers lack the will to rid themselves of unprofitable operations that threaten their future, and experts predict a future of muddling through rather than decisive action to restore health and profits.

At a conference in Bilbao, Spain, last month, Ford Europe Chairman and CEO John Fleming said overcapacity had reached 35 percent and was getting worse.

In a sane world, this would mean that the least productive producers in Europe would be under pressure to close. After all, the existence of a chronically inefficient manufacturer simply makes it uneconomic for everybody. As the worst offender tries to dump its cars by slashing prices or offering massive incentives, the best ones need to cut prices too, otherwise their production lines will slow and their operations slip into the red.

But in Europe any logical pressure to close unviable operations almost always founders on political pressure. Governments cannot bear to preside over the closure of factories and fear the negative reaction from voters if the nightly TV news shows lines of frustrated workers chanting insults as they march away from highly paid and often high tech jobs to years on the dole. No matter that this means problems will fester and worsen. If decisions can be delayed, perhaps the next election can be won, and pension and retirement attained. This pass-the-parcel policy means that hopefully, someone else will take the decision, and receive the brickbats.

Advertisement

European leaders marvel at the way the U.S. industry finally came to grips with its chronic overcapacity last year as General Motors shed factories and brands, and re-emerged slimmer and a more effective global player. Chrysler's new life as a subsidiary of Fiat of Italy looks less compelling.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely if you have over production it would be more efficient to get rid of the most effective manufacturers, losing the fewest jobs for the maximum drop in production?
by njh on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 12:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can argy-bargy all you like, but the US is a brilliant success and Europe is doomed. OK?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 02:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh absolutely.
by njh on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 09:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECRI Index annualized change almost a lock for double dip territory  Edward Harrison  Credit Writedowns

The ECRI Weekly Leading Index (WLI), a measure of future U.S. economic growth stands at 120.6 unchanged from a week ago. We first began actively talking about the WLI in April as a predictive indicator for either sustained recovery or a double dip recession. However, the gauge most of us are looking for is the annualized year-on-year change. Reuters says:

   The index was last below 120.6 in the week of July 24, 2009, when it measured 120.3, according to ECRI. The index's annualized growth rate fell to minus 9.8 percent from minus 9.1 percent the previous week, originally reported as minus 8.3 percent.

The index is saying that growth is slowing quite rapidly. But there is no imminent recession on the horizon.  However, what happens by the end of the year or in 2011 is another story. David Rosenberg mentioned in June that a minus ten reading is a recession lock for the entire 42 years of ECRI data available. The minus 9.8 reading is about as close to a double dip warning as you are going to get from the WLI. These numbers are telling us that the manufacturing and inventory led recovery is so stalled that a double dip recession is likely within six months.



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 Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 02:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Friday Data Dump: Disappointing, Deflationary, Double Dip?  Edward Harrison  Credit Writedowns

Friday morning also brought fresh weekly ECRI leading index data. The debate about a "double-dip" recession has been deafening, but according to this index, we seem to already be in back-to-back recessions that are worse than the 1980/1982 experience.

The ECRI data series only includes just over 40 years of data, the blink of an economic eye, but the recent behavior of this leading index is disconcerting.


-30, -30%! Do I hear -40?  Watch out below!

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 Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 02:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenspan says Bush tax cuts should expire for all - Jul. 16, 2010
Former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan believes Congress should let the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush expire for all Americans in order to address the widening deficit, according to a TV interview airing Friday.

"They should follow the law and let them lapse," Greenspan told Bloomberg TV's Judy Woodruff.

Hat tip Booman Tribune

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 06:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess he's had enough of being a Serious Economic Commentator. Can you be on Meet the Press too often ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:25:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenspan says Bush tax cuts should expire for all

It's going to be sooooo much fun watching Mr. GreenJeans being thrown under the bus by all the Repubs/Conservs/Wealthy.  Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:47:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Phibro Takes On Willy Wonka: Chocolitango In The Futures Market Reeks Of A Physical Squeeze Attempt  Zero Hedge

It appears that a Phibro/Buffett-inspired attempt to corner a commodity market is in progress. Amusingly (or not so much for chocolate mousse cake makers), it is occurring in the relatively compact and illiquid cocoa market, where the WSJ reports ten brokers (mainly BNP Paribas) took possession of more than 240,000 tons of cocoa, valued at as much as $1 billion, leaving just 6,710 tons available for purchase. The Telegraph adds some further color: "The cocoa beans, which are sitting in warehouses either in The Netherlands, Hamburg, or closer to home in London, Liverpool or Humberside is equivalent to the entire supply of the commodity in Europe, and would fill more than five Titanics. They are worth £658 million." This is nothing less than an attempt to squeeze existing shorts, with an emphasis of the on the run, July contract. Indeed, the contango between July and September has surged to 11%, even as the settlement price on the continuous front-month, closing at $3,165, approaches all time highs: "Thursday, cocoa for July delivery settled at £2,732 ($4,221) a metric ton. Friday, the new front-month contract, for September delivery, rose 1% to £2,445 a metric ton." And that's not all: "Already, cocoa for September delivery is trading at a big premium to December cocoa, sparking talk that another run on inventories may occur when the September contract expires." In other words, with half of America beckoning diabetes with open arms, a rather sharp bout of inflation is about to be felt for all those whose daily calorie intake is over 2,000. Incidentally, this is precisely the kind of action that would happen if and when someone had the urge to pull a Buffett and send the price of gold and silver through the roof (and destroy JPM and the LBMA in a matter of hours).

Are there no laws or market rules about cornering the market? Or are existing laws and rules inadequate? Chris? If there indeed are no opposing laws physical silver would seem to be a target of opportunity.

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 Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 07:32:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:25:44 AM EST
Agencies warn of more fighting, more aid required in Afghanistan - New Europe

The need for humanitarian aid will increase in Afghanistan over the next 12 months when more than 130,000 US/NATO troops, backed by tens of thousands of Afghan forces, seek to make military gains against a resurgent Taliban, aid agencies warn.

"My sense is that the tough fighting will continue; indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months," newly appointed commander of all US/NATO forces Gen David Petraeus told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing on 29 June.

"In the experience of the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross], more troops have led to more fighting which has always left more casualties," Bijan Fredric Farnoudi, an ICRC spokesman, told IRIN, adding that humanitarian needs would rise as a result.

ICRC's concerns have been echoed by its local counterpart, the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), and several other NGOs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
mission creep of this nature makes meeting withdrawal targets harder. How deliberate is this ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US will be in this place for at least the next decade.  The question is ... will Eur/Eng be stupid enough to be there too?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mainland European countries ? No. Sooner or later it will be electorally counter-productive and they will leave.

UK ? No, we will stay as long as the US does because our elites gain too much of their political and financial capital from links that would be damaged if they separated British Foreign policy from that of the US.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:02:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does England have a draft or are the people dying do so voluntarily?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 09:16:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the UK's armed forces are all volunteers.

btw England is only part of the UK

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 09:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What if the UK had tied its interests to Germany a couple of decades ago, when things were looking grim there, instead of the US?

One might think that at some point a question about the value of the UK-US special relationship might arise...

by asdf on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 10:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US-IRAN: Mosque Blasts Denounced by Obama, Clinton - IPS ipsnews.net
WASHINGTON, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday denounced Thursday's suicide bomb attacks on a Shi'ite mosque in Sistan-va Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran by a Sunni extremist group that Tehran charges is being supported by Washington.

"I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attacks on a mosque in southeast Iran," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "The murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship is an intolerable offence, and those who carried it out must be held accountable."

In a separate statement, Clinton condemned the attacks "in the strongest possible terms" and suggested that Jundallah, the group that claimed responsibility, may be added to the State Department's terrorism list. "This attack, along with the recent attacks in Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Algeria, underscores the global community's need to work together to combat terrorist organisations that threaten the lives of innocent civilians around the world," according to the statement, which cited Jundallah by name.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sixteen Shia Muslims killed in ambush | RFI

Sixteen Shia Muslims were killed in an ambush in northwest Pakistan on Saturday. The victims were travelling to Peshawar in two vehicles when they were fired upon by militants armed with assault rifles, according to officials. The attack took place in the Sunni dominated Charkhel area on Tal-Parachinar road in the Kurram tribal district, close to the Afghan border. Four people were wounded. The gunmen flee the scene.

"This took place in an area which is particularly hit by sectarian clashes," says Peshawar correspondent Beroz Khan. "The Sunnis and the Shias, among the Muslims - they are fighting each other since three years."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Car bombs in Iran, Afghanistan, and other far away places are one thing, but when they are in Mexico, it's sure to get the attention of the US politicos...

Four people, including two federal police officers, were killed in what the Mexican Army said on Friday appeared to be first case of a car bomb in the country's drug war.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/world/americas/17briefs-mexico.html
by asdf on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 10:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're seeing more Mexican citizens fleeing the corruption, disruption, and fighting to settle in New Mexico.  They are living in "vacation" or "investment" property or staying with friends and relatives.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 11:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Iraq hotel fire kills 30 people

A fire in a hotel in northern Iraq has killed 30 people, including 14 foreigners, hospital officials say.

At least 40 people were wounded as the fire spread through the Soma Hotel in Suleimaniya during the night.

Some died jumping from their windows to escape the flames, which broke out late on Thursday, witnesses said.

City officials said it was likely that the fire was started by an electrical fault, with no indication that it was a result of a terror attack.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:07:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Pakistan army accused of extrajudicial killings in Swat

The Pakistani army has carried out 238 extrajudicial killings of people in the Swat Valley since September last year, says a report from Human Rights Watch.

It documents cases where members of the army allegedly took away Taliban suspects, who were later found dead, their bodies riddled with bullets.

A military spokesman denied the army had engaged in extrajudicial killings.

The army said it had driven insurgents from Swat following a massive offensive against them last year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PAKISTAN: Swat Valley's Festival Speaks Up for Peace - IPS ipsnews.net
PESHAWAR, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - The threats against officials and ordinary people alike have not stopped, with yet another suicide bomber sowing terror in the district's main town just on Jul. 15.

But residents of Swat Valley in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province say they are tired of cowering in fright and have come all out in support of the district's first major event in two years.

"It's a big event because we hadn't ever thought that life would flow normal after the fears of people due to the Taliban's presence," 25-year-old Jamila Bibi said on the phone from Swat Valley, in reference to the two-week Amn Mela (Peace Festival) organised by the provincial government.

Begun on Jun. 29, the festival closes on July 18. Musical and acrobatic performances are among its attractions, along with a merchandise fair.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:13:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right-Wing Agenda Slips Through Canada's Political Deadlock - IPS ipsnews.net
TORONTO, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - Canada's parliament is so broken and dysfunctional that the country is in danger of becoming "the laughing stock" of the world.

So says Peter Russell, a University of Toronto political scientist and author, and he is not alone.

Both Stephen Harper's minority-led Conservative government and the various opposition parties are on a continuous war footing in preparing for the next election. As a result, they are accomplishing little and turning off the Canadian public, which is voting in fewer numbers, Russell told IPS.

"The math of parliament is that no party has the majority in parliament, no party is popular [enough] with the people. And to adapt to that you have got to figure out ways on working together, to pass legislation and to get policies through and we've had a dysfunctional parliament mainly because of that failure of political leadership," he said.

Russell was referring to the Canadian political conundrum where since 2004 the appearance of five competitive federal political parties in a highly regionalised nation, including the Greens and a Quebec-specific sovereignist party, the Bloc Quebecois, has made minority parliamentary governments likely inevitable for the foreseeable future.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Canada's parliament is so broken and dysfunctional that the country is in danger of becoming "the laughing stock" of the world.

The only reason this doesn't apply to the US is because we'd bomb the crap out of you if we caught you laughing.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MIDEAST: Israel Chokes Gaza Despite Announced Easing - IPS ipsnews.net
RAMALLAH, Jul 15, 2010 (IPS) - Israel has received international praise for its decision to ease its crippling blockade on Gaza following the country's deadly assault on a humanitarian flotilla trying to bring desperately needed humanitarian aid to the coastal territory. But according to the UN and human rights organisations, the easing of the blockade is insufficient in meeting Gaza's needs.

"Even if the blockade is eased it remains illegal under international law as it is a collective form of punishment on a civilian population," Chris Gunness from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) told IPS.

"Eighty percent of Gaza's population is aid-dependent. Allowing more aid in is perpetuating this dependency and not addressing the issue of self- sufficiency or the root causes of the crisis," added Gunness.

Israeli commandos shot dead nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, one of the flotilla boats, when they raided it in international waters at the end of May. The killings sparked international outrage but also drew global attention to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza as a result of Israel's, and to a lesser degree Egypt's, hermetic sealing of the territory.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:24:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, of course. Netenyahu has been to DC and soft soaped Obama. As he says elsewhere in this Salon, "America is easy to manipulate".

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:08:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Americans Blame Bush, Not Obama, for Deficit, Jobs, Afghan War - Bloomberg.com

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats, facing a U.S. electorate angry about the economy and other issues, still have one political asset: George W. Bush.

The former Republican president is blamed more than President Barack Obama for the budget deficit, unemployment and illegal immigration, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted July 9-12.

Most surprising is that 60 percent say Bush is primarily responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan. Just 10 percent point to Obama, who has ordered 51,000 additional troops to that country since taking office, doubling the number deployed by Bush.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:27:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is how journalists's integrity is being destroyed before our eyes. In other words prostitution rackets.

 

New York Times: A Defector Goes Home, but to What End?WASHINGTON -- When Shahram Amiri, the Iranian scientist, took his C.I.A. handlers by surprise last week by un-defecting back to Tehran, he was gambling with his life.

On this side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, one mystery in this bizarre case is why, after Mr. Amiri rejected the pleas of American officials to stay in the United States as a $5 million ward of the C.I.A., American officials were suddenly willing to talk about his role.

After all, for a year American and European officials had pretty uniformly responded to questions about him with blank stares.  

This is the proof Westerners used to lie professionally and shamelessly and why I prefer to live in more corrupt the East where officials do not (or cannot) hide that they lie or cheat or do so very unconvincingly. In the industry of propaganda and lies the West can give a run for money to anybody on this planet. Just check readers's comments to this "article":

Washington Post: CIA says it moved Iranian scientist..The Iranian scientist who returned to his homeland this week was one of two CIA informants whisked out of Iran last year by the agency amid concerns that the Tehran government had discovered they were providing secrets to the United States, current and former U.S. officials said....

and readers' reaction:

The sad thing is that the CIA lies so much that almost everything They say is not believable. We probably will never know the full truth but it seems incredible to Me Amiri would return to Iran if He was suspected of being a Traitor, Death would be a certainty. More likely, the CIA is CIA(covering It's A--) on another failure. The CIA has a long sordid History of ruthlessness and Failures and certainly is not known for It's truthfulness. Propaganda is one of It's tools of the trade and It's not very good at that either.
by mnlennon
...
Wow, $30 million dollars for lies. The 'scientists' said he is a "mere researcher". In other words, he is lower level. His 'information' turned out to be talking bad about Iran, be a propaganda mouthpiece for the CIA.

And for that we the people pay 30 millions. Imagine the other more expensive shenanigans going on that we don't know about.

But the interesting thing is that the government and politician have being taught by YOU that financial crisis do not threaten their political jobs so now, even the CIA -the ultra 'secretive' CIA - can come in the open to show you their lies in the comfortable knowledge that YOU will do nothing about it except venting a few comments in the MSM.

Never forget: the day before 9/11 (the 10!) Rumsfeld gave a press conference saying that he could not account for 3 trillion dollars in the Pentagon.

You are fleeced by your government and Wall Street daily.

Only the little thief gets caught.

Justice is only for the petty criminal.
by coqui44

by FarEasterner on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite the ongoing India hype campaign in the Western media (one may suspect some purpose in favourable coverage India gets) Indian authorities did not change a bit from Indira Gandhi's era.

Calcutta Telegraph: Reports on poverty? Japan scribe shown door

New Delhi, July 16: A Japanese journalist has been given marching orders for his allegedly biased and "consistently negative reporting" about India.

Government sources said the Centre had refused to extend Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) journalist Shogo Takahashi's visa because his reports focused "excessively" on poverty and caste system in India.

Takahashi, 46, returned home after working as NHK's New Delhi bureau chief since early 2008. Sources said he was told a month ago that the Indian government was unhappy with his reports and that his visa would not be extended.

by FarEasterner on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Netanyahu: US easily manipulated - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

A recently-revealed tape has shown Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, discussing ways to undermine the Oslo Accords and calling the United States "easy" to manipulate.

The video was filmed in 2001, apparently without Netanyahu's knowledge, during a meeting with Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. It aired on Friday night on Israel's Channel 10, and several translations have been posted online.

At one point on the tape, Netanyahu threatens a "broad attack" against the Palestinian Authority.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:44:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:26:12 AM EST
BBC News - Comparative photos of Mount Everest 'confirm ice loss'

Photos taken by a mountaineer on Everest from the same spot where similar pictures were taken in 1921 have revealed an "alarming" ice loss.

The Asia Society (AS) arranged for the pictures to be taken in exactly the same place where British climber George Mallory took photos in 1921.

"The photographs reveal a startling truth: the ice of the Himalaya is disappearing," an AS statement said.

"They reveal an alarming loss in ice mass over an 89-year period."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:32:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow thanks for the info on this - I have several friends with whom I will share this - many are climbers. Ugh.
by LokiMom on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 05:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - No sign of new leaks in capped oil well, BP says
AFP - A leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well has shown no sign of sub-seabed damage after two days of pressure tests following the placing of a new sealing cap, BP said Saturday.
   
"We're feeling more confident that we have integrity," said BP senior vice president Kent Wells. "At this point there's no evidence that we don't have integrity."
   
"That's very good and the fact that the pressure continues to rise is giving us more and more confidence as we are getting through the test."
   
BP sealed a cap placed over the leak on Thursday, shutting off the flow of crude into the ocean for the first time as it began a series of pressure tests intended to establish the condition of the wellbore below the seabed.
   
The tests are intended to determine whether the sealing cap can remain closed, or whether the wellbore could spring new leaks if the gushing oil is shut in.
   
Engineers had hoped to register readings of up to 8,000-9,000 pounds per square inch (psi), a high level that would have suggested no oil was leaking below the seabed.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:59:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cool.

Now we only have 10,000 other abandoned wells in the Gulf to monitor.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 04:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

AP Investigates Abandoned Wells

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wow

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nigeria Suffers Acute Lead-Poisoning Outbreak - IPS ipsnews.net
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - The Nigerian government is trying to cope with an outbreak of lead poisoning which has killed over 200 people in Zamfara State since early July.

According to NGO News Africa, medical personnel supervising the treatment of victims confirmed that most of those who died were children aged five years and younger.

Doctor Alhassan Hamisu Dama, told Good Health Weekly, "I cannot say precisely, but more than 200 children died and that is why we are concentrating on treating victims of that age group."

He also urged for financial and technical assistance. "The World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with its U.N. partners to mobilise funds to deal with this unprecedented environmental emergency," Dama said.

However, WHO had no response for IPS as to when these funds were going to be mobilised or where they were explicitly coming from.

Dama told IPS, that the treatment for the children is fund demanding. He said "to place just one child on the complete dose of drug treatment requires about N480,000 [3,190 U.S. dollars]."

U. Joy Ogwu, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria, refused to comment to IPS about the outbreak and its affect on the country's citizens and environment.

However, an on-site medic told NGO News Africa, " all the victims had more than 65,000 microgrammes per decilitre lead blood levels....
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ROMANIA: Digging Gold With a Cyanide Lining - IPS ipsnews.net
BUCHAREST, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - Canadian company Gabriel Resources has managed to resurrect a cyanide-based gold exploitation project which had been declared illegal in courts, and is opposed by most Romanians.

The gold exploitation planned by the Canadian company in Rosia Montana (Alba county, northwest Romania) is set to be the largest in Europe. Three hundred tons of gold and 1,400 tons of silver are to be extracted over 16 years from four quarries in Apuseni Mountains.

Toronto-registered Gabriel Resources owns 80 percent of the stakes in Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC, the entity set up to build and run the operation), while Romanian state-owned Minvest Deva has most of the remaining shares.

With the price of gold more than doubling since the project was planned, profits from the exploitation are set to be huge. Over the past couple of years, RMGC has been claiming that the Romanian state alone would gain between 2 and 4 billion dollars from this project.

The project has been opposed since 2002 by locals and activists across the country. The Save Rosia Montana campaign has grown into the strongest civic movement in contemporary Romania.

The project would involve the resettlement of all villagers from Rosia Montana (situated between the quarries) and relocating churches and cemeteries. Even though RMGC has bought close to 80 percent of the property in Rosia Montana village, the remaining villagers are determined not to sell their lands.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause | Full Comment | National Post
Have you heard about the "growing number" of eminent scientists who reject the theory that man-made greenhouse gases are increasing the earth's temperature? It's one of those factoids that, for years, has been casually dropped into the opening paragraphs of conservative manifestos against climate-change treaties and legislation. A web site maintained by the office of a U.S. Senator has for years instructed us that a "growing number of scientists" are becoming climate-change "skeptics." This year, the chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation gave a speech praising the "growing number of distinguished scientists [who are] challenging the conventional wisdom with alternative theories and peer reviewed research." In this newspaper, a columnist recently described the "growing skepticism about the theory of man-made climate change." Surely, the conventional wisdom is on the cusp of being overthrown entirely: Another colleague proclaimed that we are approaching "the church of global warming's Galileo moment."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:51:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rants and slogans may help conservatives deal with the emotional problem of cognitive dissonance. But they aren't the building blocks of a serious ideological movement. And the impulse toward denialism must be fought if conservatism is to prosper in a century when environmental issues will assume an ever greater profile on this increasingly hot, parched, crowded planet. Otherwise, the movement will come to be defined -- and discredited -- by its noisiest cranks and conspiracists.

It's interesting to have read this practically back to back with Susan Gardner's review on dKos of "Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance" by Alexander Zaitchik where he explores very similar themes;-

The content of Common Sense, which debuted at number one in June 2009, is standard Beckian corporate-populist quack-quack. Underneath the colonial theme-park prose are the usual bromides held together by spit and venom. It is spiced with idiotic historical assessments  ("Our collective experience since the Founding has taught us all governments are fascist in nature") and sprinkled with Mormon dispensationalism ("Great and powerful miracles are about to unfold before us").

I have long argued that Glenn Beck is a good thing for liberal america in that he can only appeal to the Bush base of about 25% of America and yet, in so completely capturing the GOP base, he's preventing them from ever formulating a reasoned response to Democratic policies that might appeal beyond that base.

Conservatives are beginning to recognise that their basement crazies are electoral albatrosses. But, given Fox news business priorities, it's probably far too late to stop it now. I suspect they will need to wait until Palin gets badly beaten by Obama in 2012 before they can do anything about it. and I'm not sure they could even then.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:56:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but read the comments following the article. With the facts thrown directly in their faces, the deniers continue their routine arguments.

It's all the fault of the Internet. That's going to be my new slogan.

by asdf on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 11:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
California Sues Feds for Haulting PACE Program | GetSolar.com Blog
By filing a suit on Wednesday, July 14, in an Oakland federal court, California Attorney General Jerry Brown clearly defined the battle lines in a fight that could impact the future of the clean energy industry in California.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your iPhone Depends on Water

The technology magazine IEEE Spectrum considers just how much water is used in creating the energy that runs our everyday electronic devices--and our society at large:

Plug your iPhone into the wall, and about half a liter of water must flow through kilometers of pipes, pumps, and the heat exchangers of a power plant. That's a lot of money and machinery just so you can get a 6-watt-hour charge for your flashy little phone. Now, add up all the half-liters of water used to generate the roughly 17 billion megawatt-hours that the world will burn through this year. Trust us, it's a lot of water. In the United States alone, on just one average day, more than 500 billion liters of freshwater travel through the country's power plants--more than twice what flows through the Nile.

This illuminating bit of number crunching is part of an ambitious IEEE Spectrum special report, "Water vs. Energy," that explores the intertwined, sometimes oppositional relationships of these two resources.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:13:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:26:38 AM EST
BBC News - Accusations of child witchcraft rise in Africa

The number of accusations of child witchcraft in sub-Saharan Africa is rising, the UN children's agency says.

It warned that African children, some as young as eight, accused of being witches have been been burned, beaten and even killed as punishment.

Orphans, street-children, albinos and the disabled are most at risk, according to a new report.

Unicef acknowledged there was little it could do about belief in witchcraft.

The agency says the increase in incidents of abuse of vulnerable children is linked to greater urbanisation in the continent and disruption caused by war.

The growing economic burden of raising children is also thought to be a factor.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the 17th century.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 09:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, Roman Catholic church!

Witchcraft is real, and it is destroying the church in Africa, Catholic experts warned earlier this week [in 2007]. Scholars from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) expressed concern that the church continued to dismiss the dark arts as mere superstition, thereby unwittingly helping the devil advance his reign.

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=22994

by asdf on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 11:39:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SOUTH AFRICA: Trauma of Children Caring for HIV-Positive Parents - IPS ipsnews.net
JOHANNESBURG, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - Nine-year-old Nomasonto* had no choice but to switch roles with her mother and care for the HIV-positive woman who gave birth to her. Instead of worrying about homework and going out to play with her friends, Nomasonto's daily concerns were now a matter of life and death.

Suddenly the child had to wash her mother, change and feed her. She even had to take her ill mother to hospital for checkups and to collect her medication.

Nomasonto cared for her mother until she was 10. That year her mother died of an AIDS-related illness. It is now four years later, but when Nomasonto tells IPS her story, she does so in a tiny voice, which seems to contain some anger. It is hard for her to talk. She still remains traumatised by suddenly having to care for her parent.

But sadly Nomasonto is not the only child in South Africa traumatised after being forced into the role of becoming a care-giver to HIV-positive parents.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HEALTH: To Fight AIDS, Fight Gender Inequality - IPS ipsnews.net
BUENOS AIRES, Jul 16, 2010 (IPS) - Under the banner that gender inequality is one of the main drivers of the spread of AIDS, women from around the world are uniting to demand a stop to the epidemic among all females -- whether adults or girls.

"There is too much written, too many declarations and laws. We need to move from words to action," said Argentine activist Mabel Bianco, coordinator of Women ARISE, a new collective of 35 women's networks from all parts of the globe.

Founded in March in New York, Women ARISE is ready to bring its proposals to the XVIII International AIDS Conference, taking place Jul. 18-23 in Vienna.

The women want their governments to comply with the "Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV (2010- 2014)," launched in March by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

UNAIDS states that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the principal cause of illness and death among child-bearing-age women in the world.

The agenda is a response "to the pressing need to address the persistent gender inequalities and human rights violations that put women and girls at a greater risk of HIV" through specific actions, focussing at the groups most at risk.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:11:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple Sets Up Cots for Engineers Solving iPhone Flaw (Update1) - Bloomberg.com

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- At Apple Inc., "working our butts off" means cots in the engineering department and cars in the parking lot at all hours of the night.

Seeking a solution to the antenna flaw that is dropping calls for some iPhone 4 users, Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said yesterday that employees started a round-the-clock effort to improve the reception amid complaints since the device's debut on June 24.

"We've been working our butts off in the last 22 days to understand what the real issues are here so we can come up with real solutions," Jobs said at a press conference.

Jobs offered customers free rubber cases that prevent the dropped calls by covering the external antenna on the left-hand corner of the iPhone. That will stop users from gripping it in a way that interferes with reception. He is giving full refunds to buyers who are still dissatisfied.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 12:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jobs in meeting with engineers: "So change the fucking laws of physics, then. You've got one week."

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 10:12:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's wrong with putting some electrical tape over the antenna gap? If it's acceptable to tape up a $6000 Leica camera, one would think it would be ok on an iPhone...

by asdf on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 11:45:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Burka ban: Why must I cast off the veil? - Telegraph

Given the choice, I would never have embraced the niqab. My initial teenage revulsion was inspired by the fact that it was mandatory. Implicit in any law that proscribes women's dress lies the most sinister, ideologically myopic assumption that a woman cannot be trusted not to succumb to pressure to dress a certain way. In the same way that Muslim countries accuse the hyper-sexualised West of corrupting their women, European societies cannot fathom that a woman would want to wear a niqab or burka unless it is attributable to some brute influence either by a man or general social coercion. In that sense, I do not see a potential ban on the burka in the UK as any different to the oppression in Saudi Arabia in terms of how it assumes that the way a woman dresses is never really down to her.

A mix of Islamophobia, busy-bodying feminism and resurgent nationalist sentiment has contributed to this demonisation of a minority of Muslim women. The niqab and burka are indeed powerful symbols and reminders of the ongoing fissures between the West and Islam. Indeed, it is understandable that something as final and ostensibly exclusionary as a face veil would be alienating. But surely that lies more in the realm of social inappropriateness?

To legislate against the extremes would be a highly intrusive extension of authority. To mobilise the mechanism of the state to tackle Islamic fundamentalism via cracking down on the face veil is not the answer. To force a female to remove her veil is just as subjugating as forcing her to cover.
by Bernard on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe they could wear gas masks instead... burquas probably originated as early pollution protectors.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 09:46:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ConservativeHome's Election Review: Tories ditched £300,000 election ads that included gay shower scene

The Sunday Times (£) reports that CCHQ commissioned and paid for a party election broadcast that portrayed people 'coming out' as Conservatives:

"One of the suppressed films that have now emerged shows naked men grappling in a shower, while another depicts a teenager being caught reading what at first appears to be a top shelf magazine. The third unshown ad makes light of teenage sex, portraying a girl confessing to her parents: "I am three months Conservative."

The Sunday Times says that the ads were dropped for fear of a public backlash. My understanding is a little different. Senior Tories felt that the ads commissioned by Steve Hilton were at best out-of-date and at worst self-loathing.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New paywall costs the Times 66% of its internet readership | Media | The Observer

The Times newspaper's website has lost two‑thirds of its audience following the implementation of a paywall, according to data published yesterday - a dramatic decline, but not as steep as many had forecast.

Readership figures for the site will be keenly scrutinised by the rest of the media industry, and particularly by rival newspapers, which are still struggling to work out a viable business model as readers migrate to online news and circulations decline.

Rupert Murdoch, who controls News International, the owner of the Times, announced the decision to install a paywall around the paper and its sister, the Sunday Times, last year, pitching him against many in the industry who are banking on the idea that drawing a mass audience with free news will eventually deliver strong advertising revenues.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 07:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He already successfully charges for access to the Wall Street Journal online,

WSJ online debuted behind the "wall." (I use to pay the subscription USD 72 p.a. to get to archived DJI info, apps, and historical reporting. And this info still is not GOOG indexed.) Before Murdoch bought it. Let's suppose that's why Murdoch bought it.

but it is accepted that readers are readier to pay for the kind of specialist data the WSJ produces.

Yes, high-value information. So the ABC accounting inquiry remains, What is the maximum amount the 33% will pay for Times material (deemed low-value by other "unique visitors")? What is the maximum amount advertisers will pay Newscorp to communicate to qualified Times subscriber demo?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 11:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't this still based on the original trial period?

I suspect when the trial ends it will be down to 25% and falling.

That's not going to impress advertisers - unless some significant proportion is the magic high income 'exclusive' demographic.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 12:02:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Ive said more than once that it's the magical, willing to pay for anything 'suckers' demographic, which may be almost as valuable to advertisers.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 12:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How's Rupert Murdoch's paywall working out at the Times of London? - Projo Subterranean Homepage News

What's Really Going on Behind Murdoch's Paywall?. In London, Rupert Murdoch put a paywall around The Times and Sunday Times July 2: Any click off the homepage pops up the subscription screen above.

How's that going? Thinly sourced, but it's from Michael Wolff -- Newser founder, Vanity Fair media columnist and biographer of Rudolph Murdoch:


My sources say that not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself--who have free access to the site--are not going beyond the registration page. It's an empty world.

The wider implications of this emptiness are only just starting to become clear. A Murdoch and Fleet Street veteran with whom I've been corresponding about the paywall reported to me on his recent conversation with an A-list entertainment publicist: "What was really interesting to me was that this person volunteered a blinding realization. 'Why would I get any of my clients to talk to the Times or the Sunday Times if they are behind a paywall? Who can see it? I can't even share a link and they aren't on search. It's as though their writers don't exist anymore.'"



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 12:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 11:27:01 AM EST
Le cancer a emporté Bernard Giraudeau - LibérationBernard Giraudeau dies of cancer
Le comédien Bernard Giraudeau, qui souffrait d'un cancer depuis longtemps, est mort à 63 ans samedi matin à 7h00 dans un hôpital à Paris, a annoncé son agent.Actor Bernard Giraudeau, who had long suffered from cancer, died aged 63 on Saturday morning at 7.00 in a Paris hospital, his agent announced.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 03:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meet Ilda Boccassini, the lady who scares the Italian Mob - TelegraphA fearless anti-Mafia judge has launched a new onslaught against the country's most dangerous gangsters, writes Philip Willan in Rome.

Ilda Boccassini has had some spectacular moments in her 30-year career as a prosecutor, taking on the Sicilian Mafia, corrupt fellow magistrates and the terrorists of the Red Brigades.

But none have been quite so dramatic as the morning last week when "Ilda the Red" - as she is known for her flame-coloured hair - helped launch the biggest police operation against the Calabrian Mafia for 40 years.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 02:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of us, without disparaging the intellect behind that powerful website ET, might take note of what today's editor has choosed for the opening of this Salon. Marking a historic book at a time when the Yurpeen relationship with our saviors is at an all-time low...

though the € is at a 4 month high.

I'm not certain i would classify Adolf as one of the world's greatest writers, but i would note that we're still fighting against idiocy. i do think Goldman Sachs would hire him.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 05:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice

Isn't that how long the War in Europe took after the USA joined in ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 06:42:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Mad Men": Stillbirth of the American dream - Heather Havrilesky - Salon.com

Crafty insta-celebrities and self-branding geniuses and social media gurus assert that submitting to the daily grind to pay the mortgage constitutes a meager existence. Books like "The 4-Hour Work Week" tell us that working the same job for years is for suckers. We should be paid handsomely for our creative talents, we should have the freedom to travel and live wherever we like, our children should be exposed to the wonders of the globe at an early age.

In other words, we're always falling short, no matter what our resources, and we pass this discontent to our offspring. And so millions of aspiring 3-year-old princesses hum "Someday my prince will come!" to themselves, turning their backs on the sweetness of the day at hand.

Maybe this is why AMC's hit series "Mad Men" (premieres 10 p.m. Sunday, July 25) resonates so clearly at this point in history, when the promise of the boom years has given way to two wars, a stubborn recession and a string of calamities that threaten to damage our way of life irreparably. Somehow "Mad Men" captures this ultra-mediated, postmodern moment, underscoring the disconnect between the American dream and reality by distilling our deep-seated frustrations as a nation into painfully palpable vignettes. Even as the former denizens of Sterling Cooper unearth a groundswell of discontent beneath the skin-deep promises of adulthood, they keep struggling to concoct chirpy advertising messages that provide a creepily fantastical backdrop to this modern tragedy.

...

 While "Mad Men's" detractors often decry the empty sheen of it all, claiming that it has no soul, clearly that's the point. The American dream itself is a carefully packaged, soulless affair. This is the automobile a man of your means should drive. This is the liquor a happy homemaker like yourself should serve to your husband's business guests.  As absurd as it seems to cobble together a dream around a handful of consumer goods, that's precisely what the advertising industry did so effectively in the '50s and '60s, until we couldn't distinguish our own desires from the desires ascribed to us by professional manipulators, suggesting antidotes for every real or imagined malady, supplying escapist fantasies to circumvent the supposedly unbearable tedium of ordinary life. In show creator Matthew Weiner's telling, the birth of the advertising age coincides directly with the birth of our discontent as a nation -- and what got lost in the hustle was our souls.

sauce bernays!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never seen this product. I do not subscribe to HBO "channels" ($USD 25/mo.) I think that Svenki and I are the only ET readers who have been or are currently employed in the industry either client- or agency-side; I welcome correction. I'd also like to know if this product is available to broadcast audiences in the EU?

I think the timing of this PR placement in Salon.com is calculated to diffuse anxiety about evident market failures in which advertising culture and apparatus (e.g. "social networking," AdSense) is a crucial component of corporate liquidity, i.e. sales.

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner tells Fox News (of all places) that Barack Obama sent him a letter telling him how much he enjoyed season three. Now we know Obama won't be spending summer Sundays working on that oil spill!

Read more...

In this instance, borrowed interest levers Mr Obama's purported charisma and proven "marketing" competence to enhance the value of a property, a fiction title, among persons predisposed to consuming romance and gothic genres of fiction.

The advertising industry is largely mysterious to "the general audience." Ad Age online is a subscription product. Notice the reviewer's laser-like attention to details of personality that express the function of the business in terms disappointed, affluent "general audience" subscribers are unable or unwilling to express for themselves.

We're drawn to "Mad Men" week after week because each and every episode asks us, What's missing from this pretty picture?

What's missing on both a personal and a broader scale is empathy, of course -- embodied most gruesomely in the lawn mower accident last season, but also wrapped up in the sharp edicts Don and Betty issue to their children, in the distracted insults Don aims at Peggy, in the self-involved funk of Joan's doctor fiancé, in the cruelty that springs from Pete's existential desperation.

What is missing in the show and its review apparently is a text or an antagonist that continually disrupts the fantasy of the invisible hand of universal, plausible deniability with historically accurate documentary on racism, sexism, industrialism, electioneering, regulatory indemnification, M&A.

Possibly related American canon of "mad men:"
Thirtysomething
Bewitched
J. Walter Thompson

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 01:53:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no clue what this show is, or the relevance of what you wrote...but you said it so well and you drove me through your points so emphatically that I read every word. I still don't understand a thing, but it was brilliant nonetheless. I will be daring anyone tomorrow to challenge me on my position(s) on the matters and I will defend them with your idea(l)s.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Mon Jul 19th, 2010 at 12:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BWAH!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 21st, 2010 at 01:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you can rent the series on dvd, there have been 2 seasons now, and they are hawking the 3rd.

impossible to predict whether you'd like it, but if you did, you, like many, may like it a lot.

Cat:

I think the timing of this PR placement in Salon.com is calculated to diffuse anxiety about evident market failures in which advertising culture and apparatus (e.g. "social networking," AdSense) is a crucial component of corporate liquidity, i.e. sales.

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner tells Fox News (of all places) that Barack Obama sent him a letter telling him how much he enjoyed season three. Now we know Obama won't be spending summer Sundays working on that oil spill!

Read more...

In this instance, borrowed interest levers Mr Obama's purported charisma and proven "marketing" competence to enhance the value of a property, a fiction title, among persons predisposed to consuming romance and gothic genres of fiction.

nice work, hadn't seen those angles! (except romance and goth fiction are not the markets aimed for by madmen. well a little bit for retro-romance certainly, but that's a detail.

what it does do is hold a cruelly fascinating mirror up to the american id, at that crucial moment in time when the 'consumer throwaway economy', and the media tools to socially engineer that reality.

soma for the masses. jeebus lerb suxess! more, baby!

pour it on, supersize me!

the world is on its material knees, we feel so tall we could be godz! gimme some!

Cat:

What is missing in the show and its review apparently is a text or an antagonist that continually disrupts the fantasy of the invisible hand

well that's what saves the show from being just a BJ of the meticulously faithful period scenography dept. the plot weaves in politics very well too.

my dad's first job out of the war was JWT, and he went through Y&R too before starting his own shop. i watched this syndrome unfold very close up indeed, and can vouch for its unerring accuracy in capturing the zeitgeist, especially wrt the forging, grabbing and deployment of the tools to create the 'bright shiny lie'.

it was a fork in the road, one can clearly see in retrospect how if there had been less venal, and more visionary leadership, (a changing JFK surviving for example) the infantilisation of the public that now permits the politics of teh stupid to rule so much.

bla bla, i thought at first that it was just me fascinated by this series because it helped me understand my own past, but rapidly came to appreciate it for many other reasons.

i think the reviewer is the authoress of this blog, http://www.rabbitblog.com/  which to my mind would bely the possibility that she is being instrumentalised. she's like a demented dear abby in fact, good for a chuckle.

nice deconstruction, try watching a bit of the show, and mebbe try not to be put off by the perfectionism at first blush. with your background, i bet you will relate. it is brilliant tv, right up there with sopranos, six feet under, and thirty something, which i hadn't thought of for years, but was a predecessor for similar sensibility.

seeing the building blocks of what became a global psychopathology assembled like lego is cool. think watching a scientist handling anthrax spores...

the acting is quality and the script postscient. you really see why psychotherapy had to come along shortly after, lol!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jul 19th, 2010 at 01:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "except romance and goth fiction are not the markets aimed for by madmen. well a little bit for retro-romance certainly, but that's a detail."

lol. m'K, pornography --which conveys a little of the voyeurism required for full appreciation of tension and conflict depicted; and gothic --NOT "goth"-- I say. I hope that most readers, or audiences, today understand samples of the genre to express morbid fascination with living itself. This attitude isn't always nor necessarily dressed in blood and pins; indeed the "creepy" quality associated with gothic fiction is the horror evoked and repressed (subverted or thwarted) by innocuous, deadpan or droll appearance of the actors' script. Twin Peaks for one is a superlative "prime-time" rendition of gothic, not goth, dare I say romance...

since Dark Shadows.

Then again, I make no warrantee as to how the suits and retailers' agreed to classify this particular franchise. I'm not in the market.

As it happens though (during a PR campaign) this weekend another channel, AMC, broadcast a "marathon" of "Mad Men" episodes --however many prior season selections could fit a 24 hr period. I watched 15 min of one.

I'm not insisting that 15 min is representative of the writer's genius. But. I was somewhat amused to find a three-man, British-accented gallery observing the exit interview of the lawnmower assailant and her unrequited lover in the hushed agency lobby (accessorized with vintage Dr Pepper vending machine).

lol.

The Cold War nostalgia: yeah, well, that ticket is a generational thang.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jul 21st, 2010 at 02:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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