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Sunday Open Thread

by dvx Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 11:45:11 AM EST

Pleasant Valley version.


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And that, by way of YouTube's perniciously addictive logic, leads inexorably to

And I've got a Salon to do!

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

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 11:50:37 AM EST
Cor, what a sourpuss Mike Nesmith was being, but what a great track. I'd totally forgotten about it.

I notice Nesmith wasn't wearing his bobble hat, I guess he'd already sent it to The Edge of U2 by then.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 11:58:34 AM EST
Guardian - Nik Cohen - Viscount Astor, you really are a class apart

Victimhood is the national malaise and its upper-class variant is the most incoherent. Sufferers believe that their privilege marks them for punishment; that if they did not carry the burdens of wealth or position their lives would be sweeter. Logically, they ought to renounce their titles and give away their possessions, but somehow they never do. After engaging in one of his habitual celebrations of know-nothing obscurantism, Prince Charles uttered a heart-rending cry: "I battle so hard in this area despite the unbelievable abuse that is heaped on me every time I open my mouth. All I can hope is when I am dead it will be appreciated what I was trying to do."

In other words, "you'll be sorry when I die" - the scream of every drama queen and pouting teenager. The prince will become Britain's head of state, a role for which he is wholly unsuited, without submitting himself to anything so vulgar as a free and fair election. Instead of being grateful or wondering by what right he will assume power, he pictures Windsor Castle as Golgotha and himself as a new Christ dying so that ungrateful mockers can be saved.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:01:24 PM EST
which leads me to this quote;-

"People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as parasites fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognised by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing to be a burden. Such is the nature of the ruling class in a capitalist society"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it wasn't so long it would make a great sigline.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm now officially the proud parent of one. Thankfully not pouting (yet anyway).

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My commiserations

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 01:07:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, the wilderness years.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 01:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this is what surfing YouTube will get you.

Personally, I think it's awesome.



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

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:19:04 PM EST
pretty cool, were they the ones who did the original running machine vid ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and that's the one I like the best.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Dear team at European Tribune,

We have been following your organisation's website and reading some of your blog posts over the last few months, as individuals and as members of the Stronger Europe team, a non-affiliated pro-European campaigning group.

We are emailing because we thought you might be interested by our upcoming campaign for the direct election of the President of the European Commission.

We have sought feedback from our readers and twitter followers, and contacted MEPs to ask if they would be willing to table a Written Declaration showing support for the campaign. The feedback we got was generally very positive and we will be launching our campaign site, getting people to contact their MEPs and national representatives asking them to support the campaign.

We wanted to check what your team thought of this campaign and whether you would like to participate or get involved in any way.

We look forward to hearing from you. For more info about us, feel free to check out our blog at blog.strongereurope.com or follow us on twitter @strongereurope

Best wishes,

Clement and the Stronger Europe team.

Does anyone know them? Worth joining. Can anyone investigate and do a diary?

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:54:57 PM EST
I'm looking into it. But if anyone else wants to diary about it, that's fine.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 01:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First thing to notice is ET is on their (not long) blogroll.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 01:40:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
flattery 101

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 02:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second thing to note is The way out of the current European debt (November 1, 2011)
The way out of this deadlock is a stronger Europe. As detailed in our previous policy proposals, through the enforcement of fiscal policies, Europe, as one economic unit, can develop the capacity to raise money on financial markets. This capacity could be used to solve Europe's debt crisis. It would enable Europe to take on part of member states' debt and relieve the pressure on their shoulders in exchange of their binding commitment to respect budgetary sobriety. Additionally, Europe's borrowing capacity should be used to launch a stimulus package boosting member states' growth and therefore enabling them to quickly reach budgetary equilibrium. This stimulus package should encompass areas such as education and infrastructure projects and aim at making Europe a place of opportunities for the coming decade.

We therefore think that the way out of the debt crisis for Europe is to collect taxes to be able to borrow money and:

  • Take on part of the debt of member states to put an end to the current debt crisis
  • Impose a binding commitment to member states to respect budgetary sobriety/equilibrium
  • Invest in a European stimulus package encompassing different areas of growth
Do you agree?


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stronger Europe, not as in "stronger America" but rather as in "strive in a strong union" (in case you were concerned with the adjective choice):
At Stronger Europe, we believe that there are two ways out of these upcoming crises: die weakly divided or thrive in a strong union.

They are a London based team: two French and one Briton in their early 20s. What Mig would rightly call the Erasmus generation.

Apparently, they're getting in touch because of this:

Welcome to Stronger Europe! | Stronger Europe

The second step, due to launch in February 2012, is an online campaigning platform to allow citizens across Europe to effectively campaign for a stronger, better governed Europe guided by the proposals created in our policy discussion.

(that's all I know: I discovered them tonight and just browsed their blog)

by Bernard on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:00:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sceptical that direct election of the Commission President is going to solve any of our problems or make Europe "stonger".

  1. Had Blair run for President of the Commissionin 2009, might he have won?
  2. Had the EPP run Barroso as their candidate, would he have won?
  3. If Europe-wide political parties ran a primary to select their candidate, would voters vote along national lines?


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. No
  2. Don't know; perhaps.
  3. at first, probably. Hopefully they would give up that behaviour quickly.

We need initiatives to establish a European public badly. I wouldn't have started with the office of a president, but I welcome every initiative of introducing real European elections.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:13:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, given the likely answer to 3, why don't we just nominate Merkel as President of Europe? Oh, wait...!

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there reason to suppose pols like Blair or Merkel would run for the office of Commission president?

Though what might happen is a drift towards the office being held by major political leaders.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 01:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think egotists like Blair, Merkel and, presumably, Sarkozy believe they are uniquely gifted and thus suited to perpetual high office.

Blair was very interested in the Euro Presidency and was looking forward to accepting it before various rabble rousers and scruffy oiks began to make a nuisance of themselves and all went quiet.

I'm sure Merkozy would enjoy the chance for another 4 years bathed in the light of consequence.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 02:52:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe Blair was surprised about the protests, but Merkel and Sarkozy know they wouldn't get elected, they would not even run. The results would be embarassing for them.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 03:54:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would depend who they ran against. And yo uhave to factor in low voter information, and the natural tendency of voters to follow national or party lines.

Whoever the EPP nominates would probably win. If the EPP member parties can get over their respective nationalistic impulses and agree on a candidate.

Else, you'd get a German speaker.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 04:37:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:

Whoever the EPP nominates would probably win. If the EPP member parties can get over their respective nationalistic impulses and agree on a candidate.

But the EPP has a problem in that they do play more heavily to nationalistic themes then PES does. So say that we run primaries in the parties and then a French-style two-step election. EPP and PES ends up with one candidate each. Would then the EPP be better at PES in whipping up support for their foreigner in all other countries?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 05:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Vote for Merkel or the pinko commie lefties will eat your babies and take your freedoms away" would work wonders with conservative voters.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 05:51:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, and the EPP would try to compensate that by agreeing on a candidate from a country there is not much nationalistic feeling against. Definitely not a German and not Napoleon Bonsai either. The smaller the country the better.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 06:00:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it wasn't the Commission presidency Blair wanted - it was the presidency of the European Council.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 11:32:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair sooo wanted van Rompuy's job.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 04:35:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad we opposed him for it.

I'm not so glad about who we got in exchange.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 11:33:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least there would be one election that would be about Europe.

Though I think it would suffice to have the parliament appoint the Commission President in accordance with normal parliamentary rules, that is each party (or party group in EP-lingo) makes clear from the start who their candidate is and who their potential coalition partners are. This could also be accomplished without changes, just declare the candidates, run them on the posters and vote against alternatives the Council might churn out while de-crying how the Council tries to circumvent the democratic vote. Eventually, this would give the Council more of a royal/speaker role in the appointment process.

Who would win is a lot about the system. If Blair run, not-Blair would have a lot of votes for free.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 05:35:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their site seems to be down right now.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 12:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like John Grisham's definition, in the first few lines of his latest novel, The Litigators:


Boutique, as in small, gifted and expert at one specialized area. Boutique, as in pretty cool and chic, right down to the Frenchness of the word itself. Boutique, as in thoroughly happy to be small, selective and prosperous.


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 12:58:29 PM EST
Well, if you read Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column in the NYT, "European" seems to mean pretty much "French" in today's America, and it's to be reviled accordingly.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That'll piss off the Germans.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 05:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there's one country calling the shots today in Europe, it's not France; USian perceptions notwithstanding.
by Bernard on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 02:37:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that is so irrelevant in regard to the US perception (or rather propaganda piece) of ascribing all European problems to the welfare state and to warn against it. If Merkel had to comment that view, she would probably say it's a bit over the top, but on the whole a correct view.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 03:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Hollywood movies I have learnt that Europe is France, or actually Paris - if anyone "goes to Europe", it is in 95% Paris. England is not in Europe.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 05:45:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Think a lot of Brits would agree.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 03:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mostly just by the folks who can't afford to visit anyway, if my personal experience avails me correctly.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 10:46:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
excuse my language, but I'm still fucking shocked that they are selling radioactive fucking tissue holders in the fucking USA from fucking radioactive steel made in fucking India and fucking no one seems to be the least fucking bit upset about this.

thank you.

by stevesim on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 02:46:00 PM EST
we don't need no regulations

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:06:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we don't need no price control?

all in all it's just another

bank gone to the wall.

</bad floyd>

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 Jan 15th, 2012 at 05:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dude!

Radioactive tissue holders pulled - USATODAY.com

"There's no real health threat from these, but we advise people to return them," he said.

See? It's totally OK man. That guy even said so.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:11:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you know, I read about this in naturalnews.com

not in the fucking NY Times, or the fucking Washington Post.

I don't know if you remember the fucking radioactive elevator handle bars in Germany from a few years ago.  they also came from fucking India.  

in fact, between the poisonous tooth paste from China and the fucking radioactive handle bars from India, I am fucking surprised I have enough life energy left to fucking curse.

by stevesim on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:21:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a bit like the joke Paul Krugman told a few years back: We have fair trade with China.  They sell us poison toys, we see them fraudulent securities.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 09:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How deadly are they? Where can I get some? I've got quite a list of potential recipients.

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 Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Call me Mr. Glass - is - Half - Full.

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 Jan 15th, 2012 at 03:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For some years it's been clear Consumer Protection laws - as well as basic common sense - are routinely ignored by our glorious Ruling Elite.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 05:01:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rules are for little people

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 02:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Back here in deliquescent Europe.

I'd rather be scaling fish in New Zealand. On the other hand, I have a job here, and they don't have much of an economy there.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 04:07:11 PM EST
They don't?

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 15th, 2012 at 06:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, Adventurers of the Year 2012 -- National Geographic

When Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa first saw paragliders arrive in the Himalaya, he dreamed of flying above the massive peaks of his home--the Khumbu region. After his third successful summit guiding trip on Everest, he viewed paragliding as a simpler, faster, and more graceful way of descending through the peak's perilous slopes.

In October of 2010, Lakpa borrowed a paraglider, got a few pointers, and launched from a hillside above his home. He promptly crashed into a tree. With his paraglider wing badly damaged, Lakpa set out for the town of Pokhara, considered to be the gathering spot for paragliders, to seek repairs and find a mentor. He ran into Sano Babu Sunuwar, whom Lakpa had met years earlier on Island Peak. Babu repaired the glider and the two men hatched the plan for the Ultimate Descent.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 05:23:40 AM EST

Just Because.

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 Mon Jan 16th, 2012 at 07:05:47 AM EST


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