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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 19 November

by afew Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 04:15:03 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europe on this date in history:

1943 – Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lwów (today Lviv, western Ukraine), murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.

More here and here

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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:07:12 PM EST
IPS - How Austerity Plans Failed the European Union | Inter Press Service

BERLIN, Nov 16 2012 (IPS) - The austerity programmes being rolled out in virtually every member state of the European Union (EU) - particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy - have failed to reach their stated objective of consolidating public finances in order to solve sovereign debt crises.

Instead, these programmes - which entail massive public spending cuts in sectors such as education, health and governance - are "leading to collective folly" and even to "a social breakdown" across the continent, according to numerous economic experts.

Far from solving the debt crisis, as promised, the current fiscal consolidation plans will result in higher debt-GDP ratios in the EU in 2013, according to recent research.

Several reports have now confirmed what economists and activists warned months and even years ago: that the economic crisis, triggered by the financial collapse of 2007-2008 and the subsequent state-sponsored bailout of banks and investment funds, has resulted in higher unemployment and poverty rates in every country.

According to figures published by the official European statistics office, Eurostat, youth unemployment in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain is presently above 30 percent.

The situation is particularly difficult in Greece, where youth unemployment has more than doubled since 2008, to reach 55.4 percent in 2012. In Spain, where a 37 percent youth unemployment rate was the norm in 2008, the crisis has rendered over 50 percent of the youth labour force jobless.

Further deterioration of the social climate in Greece, where unions have orchestrated a wave of general strikes against yet another bout of state budget cuts, this time worth 17 billion dollars, augurs ill for the future of the Union under the shadow of austerity.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Finance Chiefs Seek to Close Greek Gap Amid IMF Spat - Bloomberg

European finance ministers aim to stitch together Greece's next aid payment this week as a sputtering euro-area economy and a spat with the International Monetary Fund cloud efforts to resolve the debt crisis.

The finance chiefs are meeting Nov. 20 in Brussels for the second time in a week after they agreed seven days ago to keep Greece's bailout aid flowing. In addition to a disagreement between the European Union and IMF over softening Greece's debt target, the ministers will attempt to re-engineer the current bailout without asking taxpayers to put up more money.

The Nov. 20 talks are "likely to be tense as all players set out their positions," Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered in London, said in an e-mail. "Greece's debt can is likely to be kicked further down the road, but we could see some constructive statements."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
"Greece's debt can is likely to be kicked further down the road, but we could see some constructive statements."

translation: we got nothing... oh and our porcine cousins may develop aeronautic skills.

enjoy your fancy meals! try not to trip over the homeless guys and don't forget to tip!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Several reports have now confirmed what economists and activists ET gurus warned months and even years ago: that the economic crisis , triggered by the financial collapse of 2007-2008 and the subsequent state-sponsored bailout of banks and investment funds, is austerity and has resulted in higher unemployment and poverty rates in every country.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:14:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but the wealthy who control the show are doing FAB - U- LOUS  !!!!!

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 Nov 19th, 2012 at 10:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tobacco lobbying: the sleazy path to success | New Europe

There was something marvellously sleazy about the controversy that led John Dalli to resign as the EU's health commissioner.  Combining hints of secret payments and improper access and a proven burglary, the whole affair demolished the myth that Brussels is boring. 

It was especially satisfying to see solid evidence - some produced by Dalli himself - that the tobacco industry is willing to grease the palms of those lobbyists who can provide it with one-on-one contact with the powerful. 

The most proper response to this scandal would be for the EU institutions to collectively decide that all representatives of cigarette and snus companies are personae non gratae. Corporations that make and sell weapons of mass destruction  should have no role in determining public policy. 

By definition, every cent that lobbyists receive from the tobacco industry is dirty money. So why are some of these grubby guns for hire treated as respectable "experts" on European politics? 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Entrepreneurs key to combating EU unemployment: theparliament.com
Young entrepreneurs are the 'real' answer to Europe's unemployment, a public hearing in parliament has heard.

Speaking on Wednesday, Austrian MEP Paul Rübig told participants, "It is our job to create an environment for people to be able to be self-employed."

The event, hosted by EPP deputy Zofija Mazej Kukovic, looked at ways of combating the economic crisis through industrial leadership.

Chairing the event, Rübig said, "Unemployment is not acceptable at all in a social market environment. We are responsible for creating the right jobs."

Rübig, who is rapporteur of 'SMEs: competitiveness and business opportunities', went on to say that, "It is important to get the message across to young people.

"Young entrepreneurs are the real answer to unemployment."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:50:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Young entrepreneurs are the real answer to unemployment."

busking? selling matches? all you budding steve jobses, line up!

if you want to play into the young unemployed's interests, teach them how to code video games...

then stand back and watch anonymous really hit their stride...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Internet companies operate almost `tax free' in EU | New Europe

Some of the biggest names in global commerce stand accused of using `immoral' schemes to avoid paying tax in the EU.

In a three hour hearing in the UK parliament, Google, Starbucks and Amazon executives faced the wrath of members of parliament as they tried to justify their tax structures that mean they pay little tax in the UK and other EU member states.

Amazon's public-policy director, Andrew Cecil, refused to answer most of the committee's questions and claimed that he didn't know certain information about his company or could not make it public, something that infuriated lawmakers.

"The idea that you come here and simply don't answer the question and pretend ignorance, it's just not on, it's awful," said Margaret Hodge, head of parliament's Public Accounts Committee, calling Cecil a "not serious person." 

"You've come to us with absolutely no information," she said. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:53:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
he's pleading the 5th.

oh wait we don't have that here do we?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:30:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is quite straight-forward to fix these problems, but you need the political will. But that is what is lacking.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is quite straight-forward to fix these problems, but you need the political will an uncorrupted political system. But that is what is lacking.

Syria is currently trying to uncorrupt its political system. Stay tuned.

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 Nov 19th, 2012 at 10:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Saudi paid thugs and regime thugs are murdering each other and everyone in between. Depending on whom you ask.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:45:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Online gambling: Michel Barnier: theparliament.com

As the largest market for online gambling it is essential that Europe protects the most vulnerable users of the internet , writes Michel Barnier.

Europe is the largest market for online gambling, one of the most rapidly expanding commercial activities on the internet. With nearly seven million users in the EU, the revenue from online gambling is expected to reach €13bn by 2015.

As the EU commissioner in charge of online services, I believe that the size and special nature of this market means that its regulation and supervision must go hand in hand with societal considerations, to protect consumers and avoid fraud and match-fixing in sports.

Due to the fast development of technology, online gambling is now available not only on computers, but also via mobile phones and TVs; around 15,000 sites are accessible in Europe. But over 85 per cent of these are unlicensed, bringing with them the dangers of fraud, money laundering and gambling-related disorders such as addiction.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting, considering the strict rules on banks and money laundering.

(Have only seen this in the UK, could be recent or part of the "poor people shouldn't have bank accounts" programme.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:44:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
56% of Britons would vote to quit EU in referendum, poll finds | Politics | The Observer

Well over half of British voters now want to leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll that shows anti-EU sentiment is sweeping through all three main political parties.

The Opinium/Observer survey finds that 56% of people would probably or definitely vote for the UK to go it alone if they were offered the choice in a referendum. About 68% of Conservative voters want to leave the EU, against 24% who want to remain; 44% of Labour voters would probably choose to get out, against 39% who would back staying in, while some 39% of Liberal Democrats would probably or definitely vote to get out, compared with 47% who would prefer to remain in the EU.

The findings will make sobering reading for all three major parties, which are at risk of losing support to the buoyant anti-EU party Ukip - now two points ahead of the Lib Dems on 10%.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so it's odd couples time again, ukip team up with labour for the franken-coalition to beat the band.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:29:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if this is comparable to the Republicans in the U.S. who want significantly less government spending, and expect all the cuts to come from programs that they don't use--or think they don't use.

Wouldn't Britain lose things like trading preferences, banking business, manufacturing agreements, defense arrangements if they left? I don't have a feel for the actual pros and cons of this possibility. How isolated would they be? Or would things continue pretty much like they do now?

by asdf on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 10:04:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of British trade is now with the EU, so manufacturers and most people in the UK would lose out big time. But the banksters would be ecstatic as Britain could continue to function as a tax haven for the EU without the possibility of interference from adults.

The media represents banksters, as do the Tory and labour parties, so there would be a consensus on leaving. Then when the shit hits the fan, everybody would blame Labour for misleading them.

I suspect that this, more than anything, would propel scotland into voting for independence, so that they could stay in Europe

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as long as we have the Empire, what's the problem?
This is 1946, isn't it?

People are like small children, they always answer in the affirmative:
Should we focus on the deficit at the cost of every other economic issue - yes.
Do you support the president's efforts in the war on terror (and do you accept minor things like torture/drone strikes/kill lists) - yes.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Global warming petitions, Cleveland | The Yes Men

Us: "Wait--first we have to explain what you're signing. This is about supporting the Pentagon's positive approach to global warming, rather than the Democrats' negative one. See, global warming could lead to a new ice age, which would freeze over Europe, turn China into a desert, sink Japan under rising water levels. That's bad for them--but they're our competitors! America would emerge relatively okay, and at a big economic advantage. So global warming is on our side. Plus, if something really bad happens, we can always spew more greenhouse gases into the air, and heat the world up even more."
Citizen: "This supports Bush, right?"
Us: "Well, yes, this is about his administration's approach to global warming--freezing Europe, sinking Japan..."
Citizen: "Where do I sign?"
Us: "Um, here..."

We make our explanation as brutal as we can, but people keep signing, even with a video camera shooting the whole thing.



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 Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Britain, the EU is good value for money | Guardian CIF | Radosław Sikorski
This EU budget is roughly 1% of the GDP of all members of the EU. UK public spending is about 50% of GDP. The UK's annual national contribution is about £9bn. Put another way: in 2011 the contribution from every UK citizen did not exceed £150.
[...]every UK household "earns" between £1,500 and £3,500 each year thanks to the single market, according to UK government estimates.
[...]  there remains just one justification for the British rebate - the common agricultural policy (CAP). This makes the UK a defender of the CAP because, if it disappeared, so would the British rebate.

(I really have to stop even glancing at the comments section anywhere. )

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:23:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But independence sovereignty empire monarchy empire great britain blah etc.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
empire?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:36:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can feel my muttonchops growing just reading that out loud.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:45:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(I really have to stop even glancing at the comments section anywhere. )

Except ET, of course.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"See, that's the kind of thing I expect from, you pinko comies, if Maggie was still arund, she'd give you whatfor, why dont' you go read the 'Guardian" and do an honiest days work ..."

(I'm turning into a BBC Radio 4 programme. I like Jeremy Hardie but they should edit some of his longer rants.)

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Catalan leader will fall short of majority to press for independence, polls say | World news | guardian.co.uk

Catalan president Artur Mas's party will fall short of the overall majority it needs at regional elections on 25 November to hold a referendum over Catalonia's independence from Spain, opinion polls published in several Spanish newspapers on Sunday have predicted.

A survey by the Metroscopia polling group in El País, Spain's biggest selling non-sports paper, predicted Convergència i Unió's (CiU) haul would be unchanged at 62 seats in the 135-member Catalan parliament after next Sunday's polls. Meanwhile, Barcelona-based daily La Vanguardia forecast the conservative party would garner 62-64 legislators in the assembly, compared with the 68 they would need to govern without the support of six other parties expected to win seats.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:44:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France's opposition party rivals dispute election result - FRANCE - FRANCE 24
The battle to succeed former president Nicolas Sarkozy at the helm of France's main opposition party, the UMP, was left undecided early Monday after both candidates claimed victory amid allegations of ballot rigging.
              
Jean-Francois Cope, the party's populist secretary-general, claimed a clear win while former prime minister Francois Fillon said he believed he had edged the contest subject to confirmation by the electoral commission which oversaw the poll.
              
"The French people are watching us. We do not have the right to announce the result before those in charge of the vote," said Fillon in a swipe at Cope that reflected the acrimonious nature of the campaign.
              
Cope said: "The activists of the UMP have accorded me a majority of their votes and therefore have elected me as the president of the party."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy's great unified party of the right continues its process of dislocation.

The centre-right has already gone off to do its own thing with Borloo. What remains are the "legitimist" Gaullist right (represented by Fillon) and the Sarkozian demagogic right, eager to tap the angry old right vote and unconcerned about the means to that end (personified by Jean-François Copé). The UMP is now split between these currents.

And this is happening live in an organisational mess with accusations of fraud and attempts to pre-empt the issue...

Arrêt sur images - Jean-François Bush contre François Gore Arrêt sur images - Jean-François Bush versus François Gore
Jean-François Gbagbo contre François Ouattara, François Bush contre Jean-François Gore, Roquefort contre Camembert: ce que révèle cette soirée de décomposition du Sarkozistan, ce que révèle ce match de sourires glaçants, c'est justement la nature profonde du Sarkozistan, même si nous la connaissions déjà. Larvé tout au long du quinquennat précédent, le tropisme pustchiste y a fait son coming out, à l'instant où Copé se proclama vainqueur, avant même toute proclamation des résultats par l'instance compétente du parti. Plus personne ne pourra dire qu'il ne sait pas. Riche soirée. Jean-François Gbagbo against François Ouattara, Jean-François Bush versus François Gore, Camembert versus Roquefort: what is revealed by this evening of the decomposition of Sarkozistan, what is revealed by this match of chilling smiles, is precisely the very nature of Sarkozistan, even if we already knew what that was. Latent throughout the previous five-year mandate, the putschist tropism made its coming-out at the moment Copé proclaimed himself winner, even before any announcement of results by the competent body of the party. Now nobody can say he does not know. Rich evening.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:11:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

... we wish them all happiness!

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

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 08:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The second time as another farce. Reminds of Aubry vs. Royal in 2008.
by IM on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 09:39:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a sitcom?
The stern, choleric one on the left and the kindly, "let me explain" one on the right?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 09:43:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Murdoch on Twitter
Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch

Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:15:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, not so much, Murdoch is himself famously pro-Israeli. dKos looked at this and suggested that the only major jewish owned media group was the NYT, which is quite sniffy about likud and even handed when it comes to Israel's wars. so, it's all part of his media wars

But it's still pretty sleazy, which funnily enough is exactly what you'd expect from Rupert.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:36:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Jewish-owned press" is a classical antisemitic phrase, even (especially?) when it's not true. Being pro-Israel does not contradict being antisemitic.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
gk:
Being pro-Israel does not contradict being antisemitic.

Witness Jean-Marie Le Pen.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:46:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Eurogroup and IMF seek staggered compromise on Greece (19.11.2012)
Eurogroup will meet Tuesday for extraordinary meeting on Greece;  Jean-Claude Juncker expects definite decision this Tuesday;  Christine Lagarde cut short her travels to assist the meeting; This week's focus is on finding a compromise on how to finance the two-year extension; IMF still favours some sort of haircut, opposed by Germany and others; compromise on debt target to be resolved later; Joerg Assmussen warns that Greece will probably need another aid package after 2014; Jens Weidmann says Geece may need write-off after reforms; Jyrki Katainen rejected any further funding for Greece;  Antonio Samarras plans to bring in more ministers from coalition partners to strengthen coalition;  La Repubblica reports that Mario Monti is going to make a big push for eurobonds at a forthcoming eurozone summit; Monti eyes a first eurobond issue in 2015; President Giorgio Napolitano is considering early national elections in March to coincide with regional elections; a political movement set up by Ferrari's chairman will support Monti as PM, or president; Gianfranco Fini, speaker of the Italian chamber of deputies, says there is a lot of cross-party support for Monti; FT Deutschland reports that the ECB will sharpen collateral rules, and possibly get rid of a hitherto unpublished list of exemptions; Spain has asked Latin American countries for help at the Latin American/Iberian summit; Latin American leaders have expressed irritation that the eurozone is repeating all the mistakes made by Latin Americans countries in their own financial crises;  Mariano Rajoy calls Herman van Rompuy's budget proposals unacceptable, as they include cuts to Spanish structural funds; the opposition Socialist refuse to sign up to the Spanish government legislative proposals for reforms to the eviction laws; an association of Spanish judges says the reform is a patchwork, and hardly make no difference to most people facing eviction; Alessandro Penati warns about an austerity-recession death spiral, and calls for a Marshall-plan led by Germany; the German council of economic advisers advocates a full banking union, a resolution system separate from the ECB, and a euro-wide insurance only as a final step; Wolfgang Münchau, meanwhile, says there is a lot of things to worry about in the eurozone crisis - but France is not one of them.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:14:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany's Council of Economic Advisers on banking union

The German Council of Economic Experts published a note about its vision for a banking union on VoxEU. The five German economic experts see the Euro crisis as the result of "flaws in the design of the internal market" in the context of monetary union, and the banking union as a necessary step to fix these internal market flaws.

The German experts advocate European supervision of all banks in all of the EU, with an opt-out for non-Euro countries. To protect monetary policy independence from interference by the supervisory function and by the member states, they also advocate a European-level banking resolution authority separate from the ECB, as well as functional and personal separation of monetary and supervisory roles within the ECB. Finally the five experts are against EU-level deposit insurance until after a common resolution authority is established.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of the recommendations by the "five wise (wo)men" will de adopted in the short term, as they are either opposed by Germany itself or require treaty change.

What's most important about the article is the underlying frame: there crisis does not reveal flaws in the construction of monetary union, but rather the perfect monetary union reveals flaws in the single market for financial services.

VoxEU: From the internal market to a banking union: A proposal by the German Council of Economic Experts (12 November 2012)

The European sovereign debt crisis has revealed severe flaws in the design of the internal market. Both private and public borrowers had incentives for excessive borrowing, which have been created by deficits in the regulatory structure of financial markets. Capital requirements for banks were too low and had procyclical effects (Favara and Ratnovski 2012). Supervision has been ineffective with regard to containing the build-up of risks in banks' balance sheets. Common monetary policy in the Eurozone has not been accompanied by the transfer of authority to supervise and restructure banks which has, in turn, created incentives to shift risks to the European level. Risks of banks and states have become dangerously intertwined.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
there crisis does not reveal flaws in the construction of monetary union, but rather the perfect monetary union reveals flaws in the single market for financial services.

You beat me to it, though I wouldn't have put it as well.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe with fewer typos...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A cynic would remark on the simultaneity of reports of a slowing German economy and the GCEE discovering "flaws in the design of the internal market."

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:46:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The word "extraordinary" has lost all meaning.

Alessandro Penati warns about an austerity-recession death spiral

Hmm, who is he? Sounds almost sensible.
University professor, CEO of Polaris Investments. Need more data.

the German council of economic advisers advocates a full banking union, a resolution system separate from the ECB, and a euro-wide insurance only as a final step

I take it they want all those three as a final step only? Or is this a renegade group we haven't heard of?

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:56:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Penati warns about an austerity-recession death spiral

Austerity will drive Eurozone into an abyss, Alessandro Penati writes on La Repubblica. He says Monti should persuade Angela Merkel of the negative consequences of austerity for growth. Italy is in great danger. Despite a primary surplus, Italy's debt will rise to near 130% of GDP next year because of an austerity-recession death spiral, Penati said. Italy, and other countries as well, should use the crisis to restructure its industrial sector, cutting the unproductive firms and launching a Marshall Plan lead by Germany to boost competitiveness and innovation in the country.

Yeah, because the original Marshall Plan was about competitiveness and innovation.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:56:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfgang Munchau on the five things not to worry about in the eurozone

In his FT column, Wolfgang Munchau list five things not to worry about in the eurozone crisis. The first on his list is France. He says the Economist is simply wrong in its French bashing, which he says is politically motivated, not much to do with the economic prospects of the country - which are not great, but not significant worse than that of Germany - as the last GDP data show. The second is competitiveness. The third is the rise of extremist political parties. The fourth is the German constitutional court. And the last is the next tranche for Greece, which he says he is confident the technocrats are going to work out somehow. The three things to worry about is the impact of austerity on growth, the fundamental insolvency of several entities, and the political reluctance to accept it, and finally the delays and lack of ambition of the banking union.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: What not to worry about in the euro crisis (Wolfgang Munchau, 18 November 2012)
My list of things not to worry about contains five items. The first is France. The Economist last week appeared to pass the honorary title of "sick man of Europe" to France. I think this is wrong. The relatively robust growth during the third quarter was a fitting example that France is often more resilient than forecasters and commentators generally acknowledge. The French economy has had a relatively good crisis and has often defied negative expectations, especially from commentators who view the universe from a perspective of competitiveness alone. I suspect that the currently fashionable French-bashing is politically motivated - a rightwing reaction against a Socialist president. I am wondering that if France was really an economic basket case, why did so few people say so while Nicolas Sarkozy was in power? What reforms did he make? In 1999, by the way, The Economist awarded the title of "the sick man of the euro" to Germany.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:02:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/19/greece-debt-idUSL5E8MJ7QP20121119

This is wholesale capitulation to the EU. I hope the EU realizes that the Greeks are going to renege on this ASAP, and that they agreed to this only to get by (for some bizarre reason).

The thing that gets me is that the laws were issued by gov't decree, not voted upon by parliament.

by Upstate NY on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Asked about Greek declarations that the government had completed all the major steps required of them at this stage, a senior euro zone official said: "They have done so, and two small items remain to be done before disbursement."

Greek government officials said Athens had rejected a last-minute demand by inspectors from the European Union and International Monetary Fund seeking immediate dismissal or transfer of public sector workers earmarked under a "labour reserve" scheme.

"We rejected it, we are not discussing this scenario," a government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, adding the lenders then withdrew the demand.

Thank God for small mercies.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:08:17 PM EST
Shadow Banking Grows to $67 Trillion Industry, Regulators Say - Bloomberg

The shadow banking industry has grown to about $67 trillion, $6 trillion bigger than previously thought, leading global regulators to seek more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight.

The size of the shadow banking system, which includes the activities of money market funds, monoline insurers and off- balance sheet investment vehicles, "can create systemic risks" and "amplify market reactions when market liquidity is scarce," the Financial Stability Board said in a report, which utilized more data than last year's probe into the sector.

"Appropriate monitoring and regulatory frameworks for the shadow banking system needs to be in place to mitigate the build-up of risks," the FSB said in the report published on its website.

While watchdogs have reined in excessive risk-taking by banks in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, they are concerned that lenders might use shadow banking to evade the clampdown. Michel Barnier, the European Union's financial services chief, is planning to target money market funds in a first wave of rules for shadow banks next year.

The FSB, a global financial policy group comprised of regulators and central bankers, found that shadow banking grew by $41 trillion between 2002 and 2011. The share of activity based in the U.S. has declined from 44 percent in 2005 to 35 percent in 2011, moving to the U.K. and the rest of Europe.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, this stuff could be stopped in the interests of the national/global economy if the will was there. but you need the will.

What I hate are all these counsels of despair who say "you can never stop these things so you might as well let them go ahead". It's like tax evasion or drug trafficking. You can stop it if you want, but you have to really want to.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenspan Says Recession Cheap Price to Fix Fiscal Policy - Bloomberg
Allowing taxes to rise would be a small price to pay to get U.S. lawmakers to accept spending cuts on entitlement programs, even if it leads to a "moderate recession," former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said today during an interview on Bloomberg Television and also at a panel discussion in Washington.

"Even if we have to pay the cost of a significant rise in taxes to get a significant slowing, and then decline, in social benefits that is a very cheap price," Greenspan said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop" with Betty Liu. "A large increase in taxes required to fund what is currently in the books is going to cause a recession," he said. "If we can get away with that as the only cost to this whole problem, I think that's a pretty good deal."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand that euthanasia is illegal in the States, but surely a sniper would do the job.

Each time I think he's hit bottom he finds unbelievable diggind strength for such an old man.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China's Next Step on Yuan Is Convertibility, Zhou Says - Bloomberg

China's central bank governor said convertibility will be the next step in the overhaul of the exchange-rate system as calls grow for the nation's new leadership to deepen changes in the economy to sustain growth.

"For the central bank, I think the next movement related to the yuan is going to be reform of convertibility," Zhou Xiaochuan said at a conference in Beijing on Nov. 17. "We are going to realize it, we are moving in this direction, we need to go further, we will have some deregulation."

Zhou's comments underscore pledges by the ruling Communist Party, which last week completed the most important phase of a once-a-decade power transition, to promote freer movement of capital in and out of the country for investment purposes and to make the exchange rate more market based. The reforms may be part of a broader sweep of changes the nation's new leadership, headed by Xi Jinping, will be pressured to roll out in the world's second-biggest economy over the next decade.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:07:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is a revolution in economic thinking under way? | Reuters blogs | Kaletsky

Four years after the start of the Great Recession, the global economy has not recovered, voters are losing patience and governments around the world are falling like ninepins. This is a situation conducive to revolutionary thinking, if not yet in politics, then maybe in economics.
[...]
Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, found himself fighting a rearguard action against a groundswell of support for "dropping money from helicopters" [...]
King had to speak out because the sort of calculations presented here last summer started to catch on in Britain. The BoE has spent £50 billion over the past six months to support bond prices. That could instead have financed a cash handout of £830 for every man, woman and child in Britain, or £3,300 for a typical family of four.
[...]
In a research paper that has gone viral among economists, Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof, two senior IMF staffers, describe a reform of monetary management that could potentially restore all the output lost in the Great Recession and simultaneously eliminate the government debt burdens of the United States, Britain and most European countries.

These miracles could be achieved without painful tax increases or spending cuts, by restoring to governments the exclusive right to create money they gradually lost to commercial banks.

Paper is linked above. From the Abstract:

At the height of the Great Depression a number of leading U.S. economists advanced a proposal for monetary reform that became known as the Chicago Plan. It envisaged the separation of the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, by requiring 100% reserve backing for deposits.
Irving Fisher (1936) claimed the following advantages for this plan:
(1) Much better control of [...] sudden increases and contractions of bank credit and of the supply of bank-created money.
(2) Complete elimination of bank runs.
(3) Dramatic reduction of the (net) public debt.
(4) Dramatic reduction of private debt, as money creation no longer requires simultaneous debt creation.
[...]We find support for all four of Fisher's claims.



-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worth a diary perhaps, immediately I think there are a couple of issues with the plan:

  1. The detail of the transition - handled badly it could be very destabilising.

  2. What about the shadow banking system?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been meaning to write about this fullreserve/narrow banking issue (and the IMF paper on the "Chicago Plan" in particular) for some time.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:08:41 PM EST
Israel ready to 'expand' Gaza operation - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israel is ready to "significantly expand" its operation against Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, has said.

His announcement came as at least five people in the Palestinian enclave were killed in Israeli bombardment for a fifth straight day from air and sea.

On their part, fighters in Gaza have continued to fire rockets into Israel. Two of them, aimed at the commercial hub of Tel Aviv, were shot down by Israel's anti-missile system, police said.

"The operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing, and we are preparing to expand it," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"We are extracting a heavy price from Hamas and the terror organisations."

Meanwhile, thousands of Israeli troops backed by armour massed along the Gaza border, fuelling fears that Israel is poised to expand its aerial bombing campaign into a ground operation.

Ashraf al-Kidra, spokesman of the health ministry in Gaza, said on Sunday the Palestinian death toll had risen to more than 60 - about half of them civilians. More than 500 were wounded.

In the single deadliest attack of the Israeli operation so far, 11 civilians were killed in an Israeli air attack on a four-storey house in northern Gaza City, health officials said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No panic for old men, watching Gaza rockets by the Jaffa shore | Reuters

The siren allows 90 seconds maximum to take shelter. It had gone silent by the time Emanuel, easing the bad knee where the bullet went through in 1948, got down in a corner of the wall, the Mediterranean Sea glinting lazily in the sunlight on the other side.

There was a double detonation in the sky somewhere over Jaffa, inland from the shore.

"That was two bangs," he corroborated. Israel's Iron Dome interceptor had knocked out two long-range rockets fired by Palestinian militants for the fourth time in four days.

He screwed up his eyes and looked up at a lingering twist of white smoke and vapor trailing in the sky above the old Arab town of quiet lanes and little stone mosques, now a Tel Aviv district. It was the only trace of the war to the south. (...)

Old men who daily play backgammon and fish from the seawall don't bother much to jump for cover when the siren goes. Or they crouch a bit, on creaky knees.

"This will go on forever," says Emanuel.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
"This will go on forever," says Emanuel.

mix bad religion and lotsa military hardware, whaddya get? peach pie?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:00:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"This will go on forever," says Emanuel.

I doubt it. At some point--maybe now--it will blow up. Arab Spring is a lot more than just some rabble rousers having a local riot or two...

by asdf on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 10:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel is a modern army with an awful lot of hi-tech weaponry. The arab spring features guys driving around on pick up trucks with ak-47s.

It's a whole different league

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:43:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Israel Prepares for Deeper Confrontation | Inter Press Service

Though Israel still enjoyed relative freedom of action and Western support as at the start of operation `Cast Lead' four years ago, one factor that might constrain the Israeli military is the risk of the current operation sliding into evermore disproportionate use of force and indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians.

The three-week war in 2008-9 resulted in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, 300 of them under 18 years of age. Israel was subsequently accused of "war crimes" by the Goldstone inquiry commission in a report following the war.

Israel then argued that it had restored deterrence. In effect, periods of calm alternated with periods of tension. This year, with a total of 750 rockets launched on Israel by Palestinian guerrillas prior to the current escalation and tit-for-tat retaliation by Israel, lulls in hostilities were increasingly short-lived.

Yet, there's an important consideration in Israel's contingency plans for a ground attack - the Arab Spring that has radically changed the region and closed in on Israel's northern and southern borders, hyping Israel's prevalent feeling of insecurity.

Within one week, adding to the missile attack claimed by Hamas on an Israeli jeep - the `match' that Israel says ignited the present conflict - in the north errant shells launched by the Syrian army against rebel positions landed on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israel twice retaliated by shelling Syrian positions. It also faces guerrilla attacks from Egypt's Sinai, a region adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

The current offensive is thus also meant to test the reaction of Egypt, whose security cooperation is necessary for enforcing the 1979 peace treaty, and stability in Sinai and Gaza.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Pillar Built on Sand « LRB blog

what is going on here? At the most basic level, Israel's actions in Gaza are inextricably bound up with its efforts to create a Greater Israel that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the endless palaver about a two-state solution, the Palestinians are not going to get their own state, not least because the Netanyahu government is firmly opposed to it. The prime minister and his political allies are deeply committed to making the Occupied Territories a permanent part of Israel. To pull this off, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will be forced to live in impoverished enclaves similar to the Bantustans in white-ruled South Africa. Israeli Jews understand this quite well: a recent survey found that 58 per cent of them believe Israel already practises apartheid against the Palestinians.

Creating a Greater Israel will produce even bigger problems, however. In addition to doing enormous damage to Israel's reputation around the world, the quest for a Greater Israel will not break the will of the Palestinians. They remain adamantly opposed not only to the Occupation, but also to the idea of living in an apartheid state. They will continue to resist Israel's efforts to deny them self-determination. What is happening in Gaza is one dimension of that resistance. Another is Mahmoud Abbas's plan to ask the UN General Assembly on 29 November to recognise Palestine as a non-member state.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 01:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Pillar Built on Sand « LRB blog

The Israelis were under no illusion that the 2008-9 conflict had defanged Hamas. The only question for them was when the next punishment campaign would start.

The timing of the present operation is easy to explain. For starters, President Obama has just won a second term despite Netanyahu's transparent attempt to help Mitt Romney win the election. The prime minister's mistake is likely to have hurt his personal relations with the president and might even threaten America's `special relationship' with Israel. A war in Gaza, however, is a good antidote for that problem, because Obama, who faces daunting economic and political challenges in the months ahead, has little choice but to back Israel to the hilt and blame the Palestinians.

The Israeli prime minter faces an election of his own in January and as Mitchell Plitnick writes, `Netanyahu's gambit of forming a joint ticket with the fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party has not yielded anything close to the polling results he had hoped for.' A war over Gaza not only allows Netanyahu to show how tough he is when Israel's security is at stake, but it is also likely to have a `rally round the flag' effect, improving his chances of being re-elected.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 01:37:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So far I don't see the same western response to the Israeli bantustans as helped dismantle South african apartheid.

Far as I can see many people think palestinians bring this all on themselves and everything would be fine if only they weren't irrational blood thirsty islamist suicide bombers who just want to destroy things because that's how they're brought up

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel's Shortsighted Assassination - NYTimes.com

Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn't just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas's deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.

The goal was to move beyond the patterns of the past.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 01:43:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel killed him because he could keep the cease fire. Israel doesn't want peace, how can likud get re-elected unless the security state is always in high alert?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will Republicans Fire Karl Rove? - Businessweek

For the time being, some donors continue to express confidence in Rove--at least in public. John Dowd, a partner in the Washington law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, who made several contributions to American Crossroads, says he'll keep giving to Rove's groups. Dowd blames Romney, not Rove, for the loss. "The Romney camp blew it," he says. "I wish Karl had been running the campaign, then Romney probably would have won."

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, declined an interview request, but said recently on MSNBC that the group has been talking to a lot of its donors. "Everyone is disappointed with the results, but everyone also fully understands the contribution we had in the 2012 election," he said.

Rove has been busy deflecting blame, attributing the loss to forces of nature, such as Hurricane Sandy, beyond any ad man's control. That may be enough to save face, but not necessarily to get the job the next time. "A flop, especially a visible flop, is very damaging," says Adamson. "Competitors will jump on it."

The bottom line: Rove's groups spent $125 million on ads during the campaign with poor results, calling his reputation--and business model--into question.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deaths reported in Kenya bus blast - Africa - Al Jazeera English

At least five people have been killed after a grenade destroyed a minibus in a Somali-dominated part of Nairobi, Kenyan security officials say.

Police said Sunday's blast in the capital's Eastleigh neighbourhood was probably caused  by an explosive device.

Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi, reporting from the scene of the explosion, said here is a big population of Somalis in Eastleigh, adding that "it is very worrying because just last week there were two IED attacks in this neighbourhood", using the acronym for improvised explosive devices

"I saw bodies ripped apart," a Reuters photographer who witnessed Sunday's blast.

Moses Ombati, Nairobi regional police commander, said a grenade had been thrown into the minibus, commonly referred to as matatus in Kenya.

He confirmed that five people had been killed, while the Kenya Red Cross said on its Twitter account that seven people had died and 24 had been taken to hospital.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:18:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gilad Sharon: A decisive conclusion is necessary (Jerusalem Post, 18 November 2012)
There is no middle path here - either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.

...

THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren't hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

The Gaza Strip functions as a state - it has a government and conducts foreign relations, there are schools, medical facilities, there are armed forces and all the other trappings of statehood. We have no territorial conflict with "Gaza State," and it is not under Israeli siege - it shares a border with Egypt. Despite this, it fires on our citizens without restraint.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:12:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone posted this analogy on Twitter, I think it's unavoidable:

Decisive conclusion or final solution?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only is the collective guilt and punishment flabbergasting, but the claim that Gaza functions "as a state" is delusional.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren't hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

There's a boomerang argument for Israelis there.

What's sauce for the goose...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Practical Guide to Marijuana (Seattle Police Department)
Will police officers be able to smoke marijuana?

As of right now, no. This is still a very complicated issue.

[...]

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

[...]

December 6th seems like a really long ways away. What happens if I get caught with marijuana before then?

Hold your breath. Your case will be processed under current state law. However, there is already a city ordinance making marijuana enforcement the lowest law enforcement priority.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha'aretz
7:55 P.M. Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel's operation in Gaza: "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years."
The Middle Ages? Wasn't that when the Muslims kicked the Crusaders out of Palestine? Is this really what he wants?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:06:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least they're not being bombed back to the stone age...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess he meant that in geological terms. Back to the mesozoic.
by oliver on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerusalem Post: Blair: Quartet is working to end Gaza conflict (11/19/2012)
The Quartet is working with the US, the UN and Egypt to bring a cessation of hostilities on a sustainable basis that will stop missiles from coming to Israel, Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair told President Shimon Peres in a meeting at the President's Residence on Monday.

While Israelis are suffering, Gazans are also suffering, Blair said.

...

The firing has to be stopped, said Peres. Though he admitted to being surprised by the stand taken by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who he said is playing a very positive role which Israel appreciates, but Hamas does not.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 08:04:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:09:06 PM EST
IPS - Teach a Woman to Farm...And She Creates Jobs | Inter Press Service

DES MOINES, Iowa, USA, Nov 16 2012 (IPS) - Give a woman a hand-out and you feed her for a day. But teach her to farm, and how to add value to her product, and you feed her and her family for a lifetime. And if she happens to be Nigerian smallholder farmer Susan Godwin, she in turn will also provide jobs for her community and become a national food hero.

Instead of turning to financial hand-outs when her crop failed four years ago, Godwin went back to the classroom to learn new farming methods, how to add value to her product and how to draw up a business plan to access credit.

"Some of the women I trained with gave up after realising that the training had no financial hand-outs, but I wanted to see it to the end," Godwin told IPS.

The following harvest, Godwin's yam and groundnut yield doubled. From the sales she bought a peanut shelling machine and began processing them into oil and groundnut cake, something a few people in her community have done.

Today, her family is food and financially secure. Not many smallholder farmers in her village of Tunduadabu in Nasarawa State in central Nigeria can make that claim. While Godwin employs three women to help her process the peanuts she grows, many farmers in the village are struggling. This is because, unlike Godwin, they have not been educated about adopting new farming methods and still rely on traditional techniques.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:45:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I agree with the ideas put forward here, I note with apprehension that the article gives a fair amount of space to CropLife International, a lobbying/PR org for the agrochem and biotech industries, such as:

Members - CropLife International

Empower women in small farming, yes. Chain them into GM contracts with the likes of Monsanto, no.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Green energy producers cheating with coal | Presseurop (English)

"Green energy providers wants to make coal," leads Tageszeitung, punning on the German word for "coal", which also means "money". The Berlin daily, always fretting about environmental issues, reveals that the three biggest renewable electricity distributors in Germany - Lichtblick, Greenpeace Energy and Naturstrom - may soon be going for coal. In fact, all three buy electricity from the Austrian company Verbund AG, which since 2011 has been building a coal-fired plant in Turkey, while continuing to proclaim that its power remains "100% hydroelectric".

This is highly embarrassing for the three German companies, notes Tageszeitung, citing studies that find that "the emissions from the Turkish plant exceed the limit values defined by the EU and the World Health Organisation." For the TAZ, it's time to act -

Whoever wants to remain credible as a green energy supplier should not be signing contracts with such companies - especially when the business plan of the entire company is based on positioning oneself as a moral leader.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Red Bull Energy Drinks Named in 21 Reports to U.S. FDA - Bloomberg

Red Bull energy drinks were named in 21 adverse event reports submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. No deaths were cited.

The events date to 2004 and in some cases involved increased heart rate and abdominal pain, according to a list posted today on the FDA's website. The reports cited four hospitalizations. The incidents are voluntarily reported and are deemed allegations with no conclusion drawn until investigations are completed.

The FDA released reports yesterday for Rockstar Inc., Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST), and Living Essentials LLC's 5-Hour Energy products. The agency is making the reports public as they become available, Shelly Burgess, an FDA spokeswoman, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

5-Hour Energy was cited in 92 reports, including 33 hospitalizations and 13 deaths, according to the data covering Jan. 1, 2004, to Oct. 23, 2012. Monster products were in 40 reports, with 20 hospital stays and five deaths. Rockstar was listed in 13 reports, including four hospitalizations. No deaths were attributed to Rockstar.

Monster and competitors such as PepsiCo Inc. (PEP)'s AMP Energy, for which the FDA hasn't released data yet, aren't bound by the agency's guidelines for caffeine in sodas because energy drinks are often sold as dietary supplements. Soda typically can have as many as 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces for the FDA to consider it safe. The FDA may require companies to prove caffeine levels are safe if they exceed the guideline.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CU-NOAA study shows summer climate change, mostly warming

Analysis of 90 years of observational data has revealed that summer climates in regions across the globe are changing - mostly, but not always, warming --according to a new study led by a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences headquartered at the University of Colorado Boulder.

"It is the first time that we show on a local scale that there are significant changes in summer temperatures," said lead author CIRES scientist Irina Mahlstein. "This result shows us that we are experiencing a new summer climate regime in some regions."

The technique, which reveals location-by-location temperature changes rather than global averages, could yield valuable insights into changes in ecosystems on a regional scale. Because the methodology relies on detecting temperatures outside the expected norm, it is more relevant to understand changes to the animal and plant life of a particular region, which scientists would expect to show sensitivity to changes that lie outside of normal variability.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ingredient in diarrhea medicine leads to sustainable new farm fertilizer

The search for a sustainable slow-release fertilizer - a key to sustaining global food production at a time of burgeoning population growth - has led scientists to an ingredient used in some diarrhea medicines. They describe use of the substance, attapulgite, as a "carrier" for plant nutrients in a report in ACS' journal Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research.

Boli Ni and colleagues explain that about half of the 150 million tons of fertilizer used worldwide every year goes to waste. That's because most fertilizers release nutrients too fast for the crops to use. The rest can run off farm fields and create water pollution problems.

Existing slow-release fertilizers have drawbacks. So Ni's team turned to the environmentally friendly substance attapulgite, an inexpensive, nutrient-rich clay used for decades to treat diarrhea and for other applications.

It once was an ingredient in the Kaopectate marketed in the United States. They also included guar gum, used in cosmetics and to thicken foods, and humic acid from decayed plant material.

The report describes development and successful tests of a new fertilizer composed of those three ingredients.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High radiation found in Fukushima's fish

Fish caught near Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant have radiation levels 100 times higher than normal, officials say.

Japan's Environment Ministry carried out a study that found fish caught near the plant had more radiation than fish caught elsewhere, RIA Novosti reported.

The levels found ranged from 4,400 becquerels per kilogram to 11,400 becquerels per kilogram, against the maximum "safe" level of 100 becquerels per kilogram.

The findings have prompted a government investigation into the physiological basis for contamination and why radiation readings in some specimens remain hundreds of times over the official safe limit, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

The Council for Science and Technology Policy, a government panel, is to study why radiation levels in fish near the plant have not decreased since March.

Researchers will analyze cesium levels in the fish's otolith, a part of the inner ear.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:28:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IPS - Soy and Sugar Cane Fuel Native Land Conflicts in Brazil | Inter Press Service

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 15 2012 (IPS) - The threat of mass suicide by native Guaraní-Kaiowá people in southwest Brazil brought to light a new formula for worsening conflicts over indigenous territory: the expansion of the cultivation of soy beans and sugar cane, two top export crops.

The situation is the focus of a study, "Em terras alheias - a produção de soja e cana em áreas Guarani no Mato Grosso do Sul" (On other people's land: Production of soy beans and sugar cane in Guaraní areas of Mato Grosso do Sul), by Repórter Brasil, a local NGO.

Drawing on official data and research in villages of the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the study mapped the cultivation of sugar cane and soy beans in six indigenous areas.

"When international commodity prices go up, it becomes more profitable to grow soy beans or sugar cane, and land values rise," investigative journalist Verena Glass, one of the authors of the study, told IPS. "With greater demand for land, large landowners arm themselves against the indigenous people, and conflicts surge, as happened last year."

In Mato Grosso do Sul, which is home to some 44,000 Guaraní-Kaiowá, conflicts broke out this year on cattle ranches. But the same logic is at work: there is "a dispute between commodities and lands claimed by indigenous people," she said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:34:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 08:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why do you hate america ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 03:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The seventh starling (Murmuration) [video] | @GrrlScientist | Science | guardian.co.uk

The research team also found that any particular starling's spatial orientation and velocity correlates with the orientation and velocity of its six closest neighbors, regardless of flock size. But why not five or seven or ...? Dr Cavagna and Dr Giardina think that seven may serve as the cognitive limit for starlings: they simply cannot track the movements of a larger number of neighbours. (Perhaps not coincidentally, this limitation appears to be shared with humans too.)

Nevertheless, starling flocks are ultimately democratic. If any one bird turns or changes speed, so will all the others. Such changes radiate outwards in a wave from the individual to affect the flock. Statistically speaking, every individual bird is interconnected within the same dynamic web of interactions.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
starling flocks are ultimately democratic

Democratic or totalitarian?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that a necessary duality? could they be complementary antagonists?

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration | Wired Science | Wired.com

What makes possible the uncanny coordination of these murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics.

Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of "critical transitions" -- systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas. Each starling in a flock is connected to every other. When a flock turns in unison, it's a phase transition.

At the individual level, the rules guiding this are relatively simple. When a neighbor moves, so do you. Depending on the flock's size and speed and its members' flight physiologies, the large-scale pattern changes. What's complicated, or at least unknown, is how criticality is created and maintained.

It's easy for a starling to turn when its neighbor turns -- but what physiological mechanisms allow it to happen almost simultaneously in two birds separated by hundreds of feet and hundreds of other birds? That remains to be discovered, and the implications extend beyond birds. Starlings may simply be the most visible and beautiful example of a biological criticality that also seems to operate in proteins and neurons, hinting at universal principles yet to be understood.

sympathetic resonance at work.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Similar things have been observed in "the physics of traffic jams".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:21:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good Lord, it's a blast from the past!

Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics.

This has been known, and used in various ways, since 1987.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:07:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
_ spatial orientation and velocity correlates with the orientation and velocity of its six closest neighbors, regardless of flock size. But why not five or seven or ...? Dr Cavagna and Dr Giardina think that seven may serve as the cognitive limit for starlings_

It can have nothing to do with the fact that the flock arranges itself essentially in a flat arrangement and a packing of objects with a definite mean distance to the nearest neighbours results in each object having six closest neighbours? (Basically, a hexagonal arrangement of circles is the most dense packing possible)

In 3D, a packing of spheres results in 12 nearest neighbours (on the vertices of an icosahedron or faces of a dodecahedron) with some wiggle room which is not enough to actually insert a 13th. In fact, certain fish that swim in banks like their cardumen to number at least 13, so the socially dominant fish can be in the centre of a sphere of 12 others. Why 12? Because of geometry. If there is a cognitive limit it's an adaptation to swimming in 3D. The cognitive limit is not the cause of the arrangement.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i think they may have sensors (in the plumage?) that do 1000's of spatio-trajectoral microcalculations.
a function of their nervous system, which parts of their brain would be interesting to know, perhaps.

it could be a form of animal telepathy i guess...

sure gives new meaning to the term 'situational awareness'!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 10:45:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:09:28 PM EST
BBC News - Scottish dig unearths '10,000-year-old home' at Echline

The remains of what is believed to be one of Scotland's earliest homes have been uncovered during construction works for the new Forth crossing.

The site dates from the Mesolithic period, about 10,000 years ago.

The remains feature a number of postholes which would have held wooden posts to support the walls and roof, probably covered with turf.

Several internal fireplace hearths were also identified and more than 1,000 flint artefacts were found, including materials which would have been used as tools and arrowheads.

Other discoveries included large quantities of charred hazelnut shells, suggesting they were an important source of food for the occupants of the house.

Archaeologists believe the dwelling would have been occupied on a seasonal basis, probably during the winter months, rather than all year round.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 02:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Photos show Einstein's brain 'different'

Recently discovered photographs of Albert Einstein's brain made after his death show it was unlike those of most people, a U.S. researcher says.

After Einstein died in 1955, his brain was removed and photographed but many of the photos were thought to be lost for more than 55 years.

Fourteen were recently uncovered by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md., as part of a donation from the estate of Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who took the original photos, USA Today reported.

A study of the photographs was led by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk.

"Einstein's brain has an extraordinary prefrontal cortex, which may have contributed to ... some of his remarkable cognitive abilities," Falk said.

The study is being published in the journal Brain.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:29:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Medical devices powered by the ear itself

Deep in the inner ear of mammals is a natural battery - a chamber filled with ions that produces an electrical potential to drive neural signals. In the latest issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology, a team of researchers from MIT, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) demonstrate for the first time that this battery could power implantable electronic devices without impairing hearing.

The devices could monitor biological activity in the ears of people with hearing or balance impairments, or responses to therapies. Eventually, they might even deliver therapies themselves.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Knuckles and nails get invite to the touchscreen party - tech - 18 November 2012 - New Scientist

FOR all the swiping, flicking, pinching and zooming, our interactions with touchscreens are still pretty limited. That could be about to change.

To open up the screens to commands from other parts of the hand, Chris Harrison, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, has built a prototype smartphone that can distinguish between touches from the knuckle, fingertip and even fingernail. He has just launched a company called Qeexo to sell his device.

A modified Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, fitted with a small vibration sensor and running Harrison's FingerSense software, listens for the acoustic and vibrational differences between the three different types of touch. A fingertip could select an object while a knuckle tap could work like the right-click on a computer mouse and open up a submenu, for example.

"A big problem with touchscreens right now is that they are very simplistic, relative to the capability of our hands," Harrison says. "We could do so much more."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:37:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is, to do anything actually useful with a GUI you need more degrees of freedom. Like around 6 for an excavator.

That's what's nice about the old-fashioned keyboard CLI interfaces--completely controlled by touch typing and plenty of buttons to push...The good interfaces like vi and EDT lost now to everybody but doddering old men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDT_(text_editor)

by asdf on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 10:36:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Currently trying to run Baldur's Gate on gemrb on android. Strange experience to have to emulate a second "mouse button" and a keyboard on a touch screen.

A bit like those "easy to use" programs on MacOS that don't "confuse you with a second mouse button" - instead you hold down a key while clicking or you "press and hold".

Neal Stevenson: "In the Beginning was the Command Line"

By using GUIs all the time we have insensibly bought into a premise that few people would have accepted if it were presented to them bluntly: namely, that hard things can be made easy, and complicated things simple, by putting the right interface on them.

Stevenson takes on Microsoft, Apple, control freak hippies, voters, Disney, Kawaii, GUI metaphors, features/simplicity/control, RTFM ...

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think trying to work a smartphone via vi is an entirely good idea.

I'm not sure knuckle touches are a good idea either. They just feel weird to me.

Fingernail touches could be interesting, for short values of fingernail.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<shrug> Vi works fairly well on a phone, so long as your ssh client has a convenient ESC key. It's designed for slow terminal connections, for a start.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try playing Angry Birds with it.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:20:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try editing a file by pulling back on the 'a' and firing it at the paragraph.

Actually, some days that might improve my writing.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I went back to using vi recently. What other editor works so well when you have a file of several gigabytes?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 07:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
emacs :)
by njh on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 08:38:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you actually tried it on such a large file?.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 08:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hahaha vi on steroids...

Seriously, you should not be able to read your mail from inside your editor...

by asdf on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to access the internet from emacs. In the days when the web was very slow, emacs made it very easy to turn off images.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2012 at 09:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The online highway code: three simple rules to solve the internet | Charlie Brooker | Comment is free | The Guardian

Like the wheel, social media is another invention that is starting to resemble more of a millstone than a breakthrough. By way of illustration, if anybody out there fancies winning next year's Turner prize, here's an attention-grabbing performance art project for you: see how long it takes to get yourself murdered using nothing but Facebook and Twitter.

Should be straightforward. You don't even have to go outside. Just sit at home methodically typing the most grotesque and inflammatory statements you can think of, rounding off each post with a link highlighting your precise co-ordinates on Google Maps. Start at 10am and, providing you have been provocative enough, a self-righteous mob should be sawing your head off and kicking it around like a football by teatime. Think of it as a crowd-sourced version of Dignitas. There are less physically agonising ways to die, yes - but this is one of the easiest.

And it's not a far-fetched scenario: last month, a teenager went on Facebook and posted a string of tasteless jokes about a recent child murder. Before long, a 50-strong "vigilante mob" turned up at his home address. He was arrested - apparently for his own safety - and then jailed. Hang on, I'll just type that last word again in capitals: JAILED.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People are morons, what else is new? Very few of them ever go beyond stimulus-response.

(My fingers actually wrote this by themselves while my brain was thinking about lolcats.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cuban transsexual elected to public office | World news | The Guardian

A Cuban transsexual has become the first known transgender person to hold public office in the country, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.

Adela Hernandez, 48, hailed her election in a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to rural work camps as another milestone in the gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.

Hernandez, who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality.

"As time evolves, homophobic people - although they will always exist - are the minority," Hernandez said by phone from her home town. Becoming a delegate "is a great triumph", she added.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:46:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The day I saw 248 girls suffering genital mutilation | Society | The Observer

By geopolitical standards, modern Indonesia is an Asian superstar. The world's fourth-largest country and most populous Muslim nation of 240 million people, it is beloved by foreign investors for its buoyant economy and stable democracy. It is feted as a model of tolerant Islam. Last month, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited London to receive an honorary knighthood from the Queen in recognition of Indonesia's "remarkable transformation". Yet, as befitting an archipelago of 17,000 islands, it's a complicated place, too. Corruption and superstition often rule by stealth. Patriarchy runs deep. Abortion is illegal, and hardline edicts controlling what women wear and do are steadily creeping into local by-laws.

Although Indonesia is not a country where FGM is widely reported, the practice is endemic. Two nationwide studies carried out by population researchers in 2003 and 2010 found that between 86 and 100% of households surveyed subjected their daughters to genital cutting, usually before the age of five. More than 90% of adults said they wanted the practice to continue.

In late 2006, a breakthrough towards ending FGM in Indonesia occurred when the Ministry of Health banned doctors from performing it on the grounds that it was "potentially harmful". The authorities, however, did not enforce the ruling

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NY Times: As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living (November 17, 2012)
Despite the rumors of hordes of hip programmers starting million-dollar businesses from their kitchen tables, only a small minority of developers actually make a living by creating their own apps, according to surveys and experts. The Grimeses began their venture with high hopes, but their apps, most of them for toddlers, did not come quickly enough or sell fast enough.

And programming is not a skill that just anyone can learn. While people already employed in tech jobs have added app writing to their résumés, the profession offers few options to most unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers.

...

The boom in apps comes as economists are debating the changing nature of work, which technology is reshaping at an accelerating speed. The upheaval, in some ways echoing the mechanization of agriculture a century ago, began its latest turbulent phase with the migration of tech manufacturing to places like China. Now service and even white-collar jobs, like file clerks and data entry specialists or office support staff and mechanical drafters, are disappearing.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 04:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As always, the only safe money is in owning the infrastructure or being a broker.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:03:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wired: Young gamers offer insights into robotic surgery training (16 November 12)
A maternal nag familiar to the ears of many young gamers usually follows the lines of "you're wasting your life in front of a console". Browbeaten controller wielders rejoice -- a new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has proven that the superior hand-eye coordination skills honed from hours of joystick-based gaming are the same talents required to master the world's most advanced robotic surgery tools.

The study sought to identify the developmental effect video games have on training future surgeons. "A new era has started," explained Sami Kilic, lead author of the study and associate professor and director of minimally invasive gynaecology at UTMB. Kilic was inspired to conduct the study after seeing his son easily take control of a robotic surgery simulator at a medical convention. "Robotic surgery has been implemented in the medical field recently -- most of the physicians were not trained for it. We had to come up with an idea of how to train our trainers."

...

The surgical skills of the high school students (who played video games an average of two hours a day) and the college students (some of whom spent four hours a day gaming) were found to be equal to the UTMB physicians -- and in some cases, even exceeded the skills of the residents. The UTMB physicians were able to save face when the same test groups were asked to perform non-robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery, the physicians unsurprisingly coming out on top.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 04:28:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Joystick? I remember those ...
How old are Wired readers? 30's/40's?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:07:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Think progress: Republicans Abandon Romney in Droves After `Gifts' Comments (November 18, 2012)
Mitt Romney's comments to donors about the "gifts" that President Barack Obama gave to constituents to win the election continue to cause members of his party to run away from the former candidate. Despite their insistence during the election that Romney's position on entitlement in America was accurate, the new consensus among the GOP politicians, if not their pundits, is that Romney's statements could not be more wrong.

...

Those who didn't outright disagree with Romney's words disagreed with his message. Appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated that it wasn't his intention to vilify those who are beneficiaries of public assistance programs:

People can be on public assistance and scheme the system and that's real, these systems are teetering on bankruptcy. But most people on public assistance don't have a character flaw. They just have a tough life. I want to create more jobs. The focus should be on creating more jobs, not demonize those who find themselves on hard times.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave an interview highlighting his issues with Romney's belief. "I don't want to rebut him point by point. I would just say to you, I don't believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don't want to work," Rubio said. "I think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can't find a job."


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 04:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like the GOP circular firing squad is even more deadly than that of the democrats. Two weeks ago they all loved Romney, but now he's off in the wilderness with W Bush.

2016 should be interesting, with presumably Bill Clinton and Obama both actively cheering on the candidate (Hillary, probably), and with the GOP relying on...uh, not sure who but not Romney, Bush, Rove, Palin, Gingrich, Bachmann, Mourdock, Akin, Snowe...lots of casualties this time around...

by asdf on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 10:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If he'd won they'd be repeating those words as gospel.

Trying to get on the winning team.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 06:09:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting:

Science Magazine | Europe's First Farmers Came, Then Went:

The first farmers who swept into Europe 6000 to 7000 years ago may have grown too big for their britches--or animal skins--too fast. A new study of archaeological sites across Western Europe highlights a strikingly consistent pattern in Neolithic farmers' communities: Their populations grew too big, too quickly, and crashed right after they peaked.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 12:09:50 PM EST
Waiting for Depardieu: how one modest village acquired French celebrity status | World news | The Observer

In the Café à l'Amitié in Néchin, the talk over the Belgian beers is of Gégé. Since the French film star Gérard Depardieu was spotted in the local gastronomic restaurant after visiting the notary to acquire a house in the village, the chatter has been of little else, says Pierrot, 52, in for his lunchtime apéritif.

The word is that the famous bon vivant described by the Gallic press as an "ogre of French cinema" is buying an impressive pied-à-terre in Néchin, which sits on the Franco-Belgian border.

Gégé, as he is fondly known, is expected to take ownership of the house on what locals have nicknamed Millionaires Road, just down from the à l'Amitié, this week.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:52:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not just Belgium though. All the F1 drivers move their money to Monaco - as do many of the rest of the 1%. Some use Luxembourg/Lichtenstein. Europe needs to close it's own tax havens if it wants to survive.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Swiss paper recently had a report on rich people moving their money to tax havens in South Germany.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:18:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you find that?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I can't find it any more. It was a few months back. Some Swiss journalist sent a reporter to banks in Bavaria and Baden-Württemburg, asking to deposit money and to be sure that the Swiss bank authorities wouldn't find out about it. They were all very cooperative.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 05:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Definitely agree.

The reason it's Belgium for some wealthy French is that French nationals can't avoid French taxation by moving to Monaco. Belgium is easy (within Schengen) and "tax-friendly".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 04:43:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WTFlevel.com: WTF? What the hell is this?
WTFLevel.com is a project to track and monitor the amount of swearing on Twitter at any given moment. It's mostly a humorous attempt to get an idea of how aggravated the planet is at any moment.
Leaderboard
Top-Scoring Times
1 Hour Timespans
When		     Rate  Words
4am - 5am Nov 7th  10.72%  romney
			   obama
			   election
			   stupid
			   white
			   black


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 10:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can someone do a UK version with current estimated legal cost (total, per account, and per follower)?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 11:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What legal cost?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 02:25:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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