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Monday Open Thread

by dvx Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 11:45:47 AM EST

Take it away!


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Right!

Where do I deliver it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 11:48:00 AM EST
Why I want to open a gay-friendly mosque in Paris | Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

I'm a French Muslim who is gay, and a feminist. I no longer want people in my country to think that it is an impossible blend, and that these different aspects of my identity are incompatible. Today in France, gay teenagers are almost 15 times more likely than those who are straight to kill themselves because of their gender identity. Left deeply bruised by this fact, I decided to create an association in support of gay French Muslims, which launched in 2010.

This eventually led me to plan an inclusive mosque in Paris - the first of its kind. It is a project born after a long personal journey. As a teenager, when my representation of Islam was a radical one, I learned half of the Qur'an by heart. I was bewitched by the beauty of the texts, which were steeped in universalism. But at the age of 17, I came to terms with the fact that I was gay. After more than 15 years of reflection on the matter, I now understand that the Qur'an does not explicitly refer to "homosexuality", nor does it refer to women as "inferior". Indeed, the strict and dogmatic interpretation of some verses of the Qur'an is no longer unanimous, especially in the eyes of progressive Muslims across the world (even if we remain, for the time being, a minority).

I've heard this guy on the radio, I like the message. I fear that it will be a marginal one among French muslims, in the short term at least. But it's a crucial one.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 11:53:14 AM EST
Visitors hurl Nazi abuse at German Kiwi event worker - National - NZ Herald News

A German-born Auckland woman was called a Nazi and asked if she liked to stamp people "just like at Auschwitz" after she denied four men entry to a concert she was working at.

Silke Hartung, 33, who has lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years, decided to speak up about the verbal attack in Parnell to make people aware of just how offensive racist comments are to foreign-born Kiwis.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 12:06:35 PM EST
When I was in the US in the early 90's, there were some people saying the Serbian group shouldn't be allowed on some market/fair. As the Serbs rightly pointed out, that war was in Europe halfway across the world. No Serb was bombing anyone at all over in the USA.

Look, we have some pretty stupid things currently and historically in Europe. We think they are stupid. Do people elsewhere think they're so great they want to import them?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 01:02:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: The Goldman Sachs Project to take over Europe nearly complete

At what point does conspiracy theory become conspiracy fact? At what point do you have to admit that the guys with the tinfoil hats are telling the truth? At what point do you stop saying, "it's just a coincidence" to saying "this is something more than a coincidence"?

  Sometimes a person or organization becomes so powerful and Evil that they appear cartoonish.
It might seem impossible to find a similar character outside of a James Bond movie or a cartoon about a mouse with an oversized brain. After all, who really wants to take over the world and has a plan to do it, right?

  And yet, Goldman Sachs is on the verge of doing what Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Hitler and Napoleon tried and failed to do.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 12:48:47 PM EST
From the cited diary:
 Most companies are usually content to pump-and-dump a stock to the public. Goldman Sachs does it with nations.
  The normal scenario usually involves helping a nation hide a problem and sell its debt until the problem blow up into a bubble that bursts in a spectacular way. Goldman Sachs makes money selling the overpriced debt, and by betting against the nation.

   Goldman Sachs then puts their "man" into a position of power to direct the bailouts so that Goldman gets all its money back and more, while the nation's economy gets gutted.

   3rd world nations have seen this before, but Goldman Sachs have been sparing no one.

  The fact that Goldman Sachs has felt it necessary to put one of their own in the Bank of England should raise alarm bells about what the future holds for Britain.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that, whatever the extent of the relationship between Dave Cameron and Murdoch, the relationship between Dave and Goldman, if ever revealed, will be much more compromising.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more likely that the connection is between Osborne and Goldmans.  Cameron's connections are old school Establishment and don't include bankers

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Osborne was never in banking, he spent his previous career within the Conservative Party. What evidence can you point to of a connection between him and GS?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing specific; but contacts, relationships, handshakes, who knows ? But Osborne has always wanted Carney, has been chasing him for months. Tories rarely make policy with regard to the wider good of the country, practically every headline policy delivers profit to their mates, promotes their friends etc etc.

2 + 2 = ??

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:45:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I thought. Connect the dots, connect the dots...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
The fact that Goldman Sachs has felt it necessary to put one of their own in the Bank of England

OMG.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:32:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a catalogue of bad things GS has done and does, but the title is way out of sight. Amazingly, no sign of Armando getting pissy about it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it really out of sight? As gj points out GS were at the centre of the Greek crisis and seem to be steering the Troika. So that's a lot of influence for one corporation.

We'll see if interest rates start rising in the UK. If they do, GS will do well from speculation.

But there may also be blood in the streets. (Literally.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Old discussion. Yes, I think language of that kind is ridiculous. GS is a big bad organisation in a big bad sector of the economy that has far too much influence over the economy and hence politics (or vice versa), and, like any mob organisation, spreads the tentacles of its influence. It's certainly far too big for the health of democracy, but, as far as I can see, its aim is to maximise money-making. In doing so, (like any mob organisation) its effect on society is conservative in that it retains or increases the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. But the plutocracy doesn't only express itself through GS. The entire financial sector is a problem, the intellectual and communications hold on mass thinking in favour of individualistic pro-market ideology is a problem. Carney himself is associated with other established groups of excessive influence (even though everyone is chattering about GS), the Basel banking rules apparatus and Oxford University for example. Davos, no doubt. Bilderberg? The Trilateral? Possibly. Is each of these groups plotting to take over (Europe, USA, World)? Are they all working in synch together?

What looks certain to me is that there's a class war that the plutocrats are winning. I think that situation is complex and diffuse, and that the notion of a tightly-knit group of conspirators offers us only the comfort of having a precise enemy to get excited about. GS is a hideous pile of evil greed, but I don't think it's planning to take over the world.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:46:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
someone at least thinks that Britain is in Europe...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 01:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent - Owen Jones  - The cosy consensus I saw on Question Time's panel is a disservice to every man and woman in Britain

Given that one running joke is that I look like I should be delivering newspapers rather than writing for one, it might jar for me to get dewy-eyed about politicians of the past, but hear me out.
[....]
And look at where we have ended up. An increasingly technocratic, professionalised political elite, who could not fail the "imagine them down the pub" test any more painfully. According to the Sutton Trust, well over a third of new MPs elected in 2010 were privately educated, compared to 7 per cent of the rest of the population. A stunning one in five new MPs already worked in the Westminster Bubble before their election; and only one in 20 MPs hails from any form of manual background. During the expenses scandal, MPs - who are in the top 5 per cent of earners - privately whinged that they were paid less than City bankers or lawyers, as though it was just another upper-middle-class profession, rather than a service or duty to the community.

The political establishment is not only drawn from increasingly narrow backgrounds. The differences between them have narrowed so much that is often nuance, rather than substantial policies, that divide them. Appearing on Question Time last week with Yvette Cooper, Iain Duncan-Smith and Charles Kennedy, it struck me just how suffocating the political consensus has become. Kennedy - who once courageously spoke out against the obscenity of the Iraq war - could not bring himself to challenge the Government's line on Israel's onslaught on Gaza.

Yes, this. The political classes are now almost alien to the rest of us, educated apart from us, working in the cloistered bubble of westminster before being parachuted into constituencies they'd never heard of so that they can "represent" us. they all have more in common with each other than they do with any of us

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:00:29 PM EST

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:46:49 PM EST
Is tbis a Jon Wealleans?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jon Wealleans

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:59:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1024 × 671 - Victorian Conservatory by *OokamiKasumi on deviantART

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 04:02:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
Many Italian banks, beginning with some of the biggest ones, are involved in a huge game of tax evasion, in other words the non-payment of taxes. There is the case of Unicredit, which had bought some foreign government bonds. It seems that there is always some sort of foreign connection because where there is tax evasion there is always the need to go abroad and we can safely say that whenever there is any sort of foreign operations that are not matched by other operations involving, for example, some sort of funding or an transfer of goods, then invariably something stinks and there is therefore always a suspicion that the operations in question are being undertaken purely to bypass the taxman or the country's laws. In Unicredit's case the target was Luxemburg and the shares known as Brontos, with the help of a British bank. Barclays Bank was accused of tax evasion to the tune of more than 750 million Euro of profits. The bank agreed to pay and they therefore did a transaction and paid the applicable taxes amounting to almost 250 million Euro. This happened just a few months ago and a trial has only just begun in Milan, involving former Unicredit Managing Director and current President of the "Monte dei Paschi di Siena" Bank, Alessandro Profumo, as well as various other bankers from both Unicredit and Barclays, who are facing charges of tax evasion. Even the Banca Intesa San Paolo, the other major Italian bank, is accused of tax evasion using foreign government bonds, amounting to more than one billion Euro of profit and has already agreed to pay a significant sum, however, the funny thing is that the bank's former Managing Director, Corrado Passera, whom we all know very well because he subsequently became Minister of Economic development in the Monti government, minister of development that has never materialised because the current crisis continues to get worse day by day, is currently essentially under investigation for submitting false tax returns and for tax evasion. Yet he became Minister anyway and seems to have no intention whatsoever of resigning from the post. The other curious aspect is that no one ever seems to be bothering to remind him of this problem or to demand an explanation from him.

...

Behind the scenes, however, the major and decidedly hazardous games continue unabated, those major speculative acrobatics of International finance that starts in America and eventually arrives in Europe, and the Italian financial and banking system is also part of that interconnected system. In recent months we have seen the emergence of some major cases of fraud involving derivatives, which are essentially speculative shares and are much the same as gambling bets, even though certain major bankers call them operations that are being conducted in order to protect the bank, however, for example, the J.P. Morgan Bank in the United States took a loss of 4 or 5 billion Dollars on derivatives, or at least that is merely what they declared and the actual losses could be even be far greater. Nevertheless, the head of the bank's London investment office, Ms. Ina Drew, was shown the door and was given a magnificent golden handshake amounting to tens of millions of Euro before tax. Then there was also the scandal of the "rigged" interest rates, namely the Libor and Euribor rates which are reference rates used across the globe, including in Italy, to determine the applicable lending rates, mortgage rates and other interest rates. The highly-placed banker, however, never seems to be made to pay for any mistakes and the first bank chief that ever admitted to playing a part in this scandal, in this cartel that was rigging the interest rates, namely Bob Diamond of Barclays Bank, was obliged to resign back in July, yet he even had the gall to demand a golden handshake that was reportedly in the regions of more than 10 million Pounds. Following the outrage in the press the settlement was reduced to 2 million Pounds, which is still a huge amount of money, over 2 million Euro, at which point the British press nicknamed him "Bob the Diamond". This is pretty much a snapshot of what happens and when there is any damage caused or whenever there is some problem the big financial managers and the financiers always come out smelling like roses and the people lower down are always left to face the cuts.
Spread the word!



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 04:06:07 PM EST


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Nov 26th, 2012 at 05:18:57 PM EST
They're getting at you.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought an image with big red letters "No Image Available" superimposed was a bit of a hoot.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 03:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The advertising bar on the right hand side? I thought it was my browser, but??? can other people see it?

it seems to be called "Jeetyet media" ?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 01:51:13 AM EST
No, I can't see it.
by Katrin on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. Somebody got in your browser?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well I checked with IE (after FFox).
I guess it's some sort of local proxy, then. Will research.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how embarassing. Just crapware, barely even a virus.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:31:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeetyet media is adware. See here for example.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:32:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, see you've fixed it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 02:33:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just an empty grey rectangle, the content was blocked by my ad-blocker.

Probably payload from some rugby streaming site. Wash hands after going to the toilet, etc.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 03:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Revenge of the Reality-Based Community
I decided to write a book elaborating my argument. I thought I had a nice thesis to put forward. All successful schools of economic thought follow a progression of being outsiders and revolutionaries, achieving success when economic circumstances cannot be explained by orthodox theory, acceptance for the dissidents, followed by inevitable failure when new circumstances arise that don't fit the model, leading to the rise of a fresh school of thought. It was basically a Thomas Kuhnian view of economic theory.

I thought I had two perfect examples that fit my model of the rise and fall of economic ideas: Keynesian economics and supply-side economics. I thought at first I knew enough about the former to say what I wanted to say, but eventually I found the research I had previously done to be wanting. It was based too much on what academics thought and not enough on how Keynesian ideas penetrated the policymaking community.

I hit upon the idea of ignoring the academic journals and looking instead at what economists like John Maynard Keynes, Irving Fisher, and others said in newspaper interviews and articles for popular publications. Recently computerized databases made such investigation far easier than it previously had been.

After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion. It didn't affect the argument in my book, which was only about the rise and fall of ideas. The fact that Keynesian ideas were correct as well as popular simply made my thesis stronger.

I finished the book just as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008. This created another intellectual crisis for me. Having just finished a careful study of the 1930s, it was immediately obvious to me that the economy was suffering from the very same problem, a lack of aggregate demand. We needed Keynesian policies again, which completely ruined my nice rise-and-fall thesis. Keynesian ideas had arisen from the intellectual grave.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 at 04:44:20 AM EST


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