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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 8 November

by dvx Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Class actions on this date in history:

1892 - The New Orleans general strike begins, uniting black and white American trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

More here and here

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


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 EUROPE 



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:10:28 PM EST
French Cabinet approves same-sex marriage bill | News | DW.DE | 07.11.2012

President Francois Hollande's government has signed off on a bill that could legalize same-sex marriage in France. The move comes as leaders from major religious groups are sharply criticizing the change.

Same-sex couples in France have been able to enter into civil unions for over a decade, but the government set a bill into motion on Wednesday that would broaden their rights. Under the proposed legislation, approved by Hollande's Cabinet, all couples would have the right to marry and to adopt children.

Hollande told Cabinet members that the bill represented "progress, not just for a few, but for all society," a government spokeswoman said to reporters after Wednesday's meeting.

The spokeswoman, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, also quoted the French president as saying that the bill "resolutely takes into account the greater interest of the child."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek workers strike ahead of austerity vote | News | DW.DE | 07.11.2012

Greek workers have entered the second day of a national strike to protest a vote to approve new austerity measures. The vote is needed to unlock a tranche of international aid and stave off bankruptcy.

A general strike was expected to paralyze Athens for a second straight day, causing major disruptions to public transportation.

The country's two biggest trade unions, the GSEE and ADEY, called the 48-hour work stoppage, which started Tuesday, to protest against the latest austerity measures that the Greek parliament is scheduled to vote for on Wednesday.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rallies criple Athens as MPs debate austerity - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Greek police have fired teargas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters who massed outside parliament in central Athens in a massive show of anger against legislators who are due to narrowly pass an austerity package.

Wednesday's violence erupted as a handful of protesters tried to break through a barricade to enter parliament, where Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to barely eke out a win for the belt-tightening law despite opposition from a coalition partner.

But the parliamentary session was briefly interrupted when parliament workers went on strike and opposition legislators walked out of the chamber in protest.

Outside parliament, loud booms rang out as protesters hurled petrol bombs and police responded with teargas and stun grenades. Smoke and small fires could be seen on a street next to parliament.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:57:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Debate: How do we push this through and save our sorry asses? Any sugestions? Any?

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 Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 04:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:29:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel delivers an EU pep talk in Brussels | News | DW.DE | 07.11.2012

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on EU leaders to solidify plans for economic integration over two to three years. She spoke in Brussels en route to London for talks with PM David Cameron on the 2014-20 EU budget.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Merkel said the eurozone must press reforms and draw a roadmap for unity. Ahead of a December EU summit to deal with the debt crisis, Merkel told lawmakers that countries must allow the European Union to police budgets when necessary if the bloc is to maintain prosperity.

"Much still has to be done to win back trust in the European Union as a whole," Merkel said. "We cannot stop halfway. We have to be creative: We have to find our own new solutions."

She also said policies need to become "more common," adding that a pan-EU supervisory body with the power to police banks to avoid risks must be effective. She said budgets across the EU must be determined with a one-for-all outlook.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel :
We cannot stop halfway

Van Morrison

It's too late to stop now

Alain Souchon

On avance, on avance, on avance.
C'est une évidence :
On a pas assez d'essence
Pour faire la route dans l'autre sens.
On avance.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
am i alone in thinking that while a great majority of EU citizens might be up for an united states of europe, they would balk at the idea that such a union might be led by the likes of angela merkel?

but if not she, who? Danny the red?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not adopt the Swiss model, where nobody seems to know or care who the president is?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:22:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See, I didn't even know they had a president. Thought it was some prime minister thing.

The one year term may have something to do with it. Also indirect election.

The current one looks like your local green candidate  - which doesn't appear accurate, SVP seem to be quite conservative. Perhaps she's more a kind of a tweed wearing country gentlewoman with a well-kept allotment the size of a football field.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:34:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've said before in the current conditions my vote is for Guy Verhofstadt.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:27:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle talks up the pep talk by the Deutsche Bundeskanzlerin, but the European Parliament press service is more subdued
Political group leaders repeatedly pressed Ms Merkel on the need for greater political decisiveness. The EPP emphasised the need for an EU budget capable of dynamising the EU economy. S&D, Greens and GUE called for a new anti-crisis plan less reliant on austerity. The liberals stressed the need to move rapidly towards a federal EU. The ECR and EFD, on the other hand, pushed for countries to be able to leave the Eurozone system.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:29:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and we have to crack down on an imbalance in either direction! As in no excessive surplus!
Can you deliver that? Then you have my vote.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:42:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Czech government survives confidence vote on tax | News | DW.DE | 07.11.2012

The Czech Republic's center-right government has survived a taxation vote that turned into a "no-confidence" motion. Rebels from the prime minister's own party eventually backed down, fearing a snap election.

Lawmakers approved a 1 percent increase in sales tax on retail goods and a 7 percent increase in taxes for the highest earners by 101 votes to 93 on Wednesday.

"This vote confirmed confidence in the government," Prime Minister Petr Necas said.

The bill, aimed at helping to bring the country's budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP, was originally rejected in September. Six members of Necas' Civic Democrat (ODS) party had said the measures went against their center-right principles.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
November 7 edition.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:36:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Instantly bookmarked, but to be honest I think it will take me a while to get used to it -there are at least three languages, for a start!

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:18:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're getting a small taste of my twitter feed...

I normally tweak the selection by moving english language items up to the top headlines, as well as Spanish and Eurozone news, but I am not sure if there's a way to add links to the selection (say, an English language item instead of an equivalent Spanish item) other than to tweet them myself.

Still experimenting...

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:21:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why from Liechtenstein?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you want to use the English ending -ly for marketing purposes (as in "Bit.ly") but you don't want to do depend on Libya for domain registration?

Why do people register domains in tuvalu?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:04:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kim Dotcom (kim.com) registered me.ga  but apparently the FBI got onto the Gambian government, who deregistered it

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh.
-li just sounds like a jolly Swiss stereotype to me.

Actually I guess "jolly" is more Bavarian or Austrian. "Kindly" is better. (In either case you can have a bierli, if you like.)

Ooh arr.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence e-mail briefing:

Deconstruction of a banking union: Draghi says no deposit insurance

It is becoming increase improbable that the EU will end up with a banking union that can make even a slight dent to the crisis. The two issues that matter are resolution authority, and deposit insurance. The first is not likely to be proposed for a long. And now the ECB is also giving up on the latter. As Boersenzeitung reports, Mario Draghi says deposit insurance can stay national The article says that the German banks have reacted with enthusiasm to Draghi's clarification, as they would not have to levy higher deposit insurances fees/taxes on their customers.

Eurointelligence commentary:

(This is really bad news. It seems to us that the debate about banking union is now reduced only who gets to do what - not about content, and especially not about economic incentives. Without joint deposit insurance, Spanish savers continue to have a rational incentive to put their money in German banks, whose deposit insurance is more credible than that of Spain.).

Hands up if you're surprised German banks are enthusiastic.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:34:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Les magistrats grecs jugent "anticonstitutionnelles" les coupes dans leurs salaires Greek Judges deem cuts in their salaries "unconstitutional"
La Cour suprême grecque a jugé mercredi 7 novembre "anticonstitutionnelle" et "illégale" la réduction de près de 27 % des salaires des juges prévue dans le projet de loi d'austérité pluriannuel soumis au vote des députés dans la soirée. Selon une source judiciaire, la Cour suprême rappelle que la Constitution prévoit que le salaire des juges est "proportionnel au salaire des députés", qui, lui, ne subit pas de coupes dans le projet de loi.The Greek Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, November 7 "unconstitutional" and "illegal" a reduction of nearly 27% of judges' salaries provided for in the multi-year austerity bill MPs voted in the evening. According to a judicial source, the Supreme Court said that the Constitution provides that judges' salaries is "proportional to the salaries of MPs" , which do not suffer cuts in the bill.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have Greek MPs reduced previously reduced their own salaries?
If not, how are any of them still alive?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:33:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All those murderous bastards authorities always warn us about? They mostly draw a state salary.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity for the rest of you. Us ... not so much. Loooooove it!!

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 Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:11:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Knife-edge majority forebodes ill for Greek coalition (08.11.2012)
The Greek parliament voted with a slim majority of 153 out of 300 MPs in favour of the austerity and reform package; Pasok ejects six MPs, reducing its number to 27; to ensure that the vote could go ahead, the finance minister had to withdraw a plan to cut the number of parliamentary employees; the vote was accompanied by mass protests outside the parliament; the Greek Supreme Court ruled that the cuts in the pay of judges were unconstitutional; Bloomberg reports that the Bundesbank managed to set tough conditions to any OMT programme, which now act as a disincentive for Spain to apply; Mario Draghi says there is no need for a European-wide deposit insurance scheme, as national schemes are good enough;  the European Commission disputes the IMF's multiplier analysis, arguing that it was a lack of austerity that triggered the panic among investors; in its autumn forecast, the Commission says Spain will miss its deficit targets by a wide margin, with a rising deficit in 2014; France is also projected to miss its targets in 2013 and 2014; the French Senate yesterday rejected the multi-annual budget framework; Belgium and France inject €5.5bn into Dexia; Ireland seeks more austerity to make up for a fiscal shortfall; the Spanish government and opposition are discussing measures to tackle the home repossession crisis; MEPs tell Merkel that Spain is about to go down the tube, like Greece; there are signs that foreign investment funds are returning to Italy; Paolo Manasse, meanwhile, has done the math on Italian politics, and concludes that Mario Monti is most likely to stay.
(See parallel subthread on 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 Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the European Commission disputes the IMF's multiplier analysis, arguing that it was a lack of austerity that triggered the panic among investors

And since they already know that governments are not applying enough austerity, they have their explanation and excuse for continued economic decline. Devise an inapplicable policy, then complain when it isn't applied correctly. That always works. The patient died because we didn't bleed him enough.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU to unveil multi-billion euro support scheme for auto sector | EurActiv

EXCLUSIVE: The EU pledges funding worth billions of euros to the automotive industry up 2020 in a leaked draft of its cars strategy, to be presented today (8 November). The new strategy comes amid a wave of announced factory closures and lay-offs in the sector but was criticised by Green activists for lacking ambition on CO2 emission cuts.

Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, is due to present the `Cars 2020' strategy on Thursday (8 November).

In the draft document, seen by EurActiv, the EU executive says it intends to support the growth of the automotive sector into 20% of European GDP by 2020, from its current level of 16%, laying out a number of financing mechanisms for the sector.

The document earmarks a share of the planned €80 billion `Horizon 2020' research and innovation fund and the €2.5 billion Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs programme, as well as support for workers laid off as a result of "industrial adjustment" in the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:31:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
growth of the automotive sector into 20% of European GDP by 2020

And by "growth" they presumably mean "collapse slower".

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter

by generic on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron warns against 'witch-hunt' amid paedophilia allegations | Society | guardian.co.uk

The presenter Phillip Schofield passed Cameron a piece of paper listing names he had gathered from the internet, telling Cameron "you know the names on that piece of paper, will you be speaking to these people?".

Cameron replied: "There is a danger if we are not careful that this can turn into a sort of witch hunt, particularly about people who are gay, and I'm worried about the sort of thing you are doing right now, taking a list of names off the internet."

Subtle!

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

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:10:47 PM EST
Wall Street sell-off gathers pace - FT.com

Wednesday 16:00 GMT. Stocks on Wall Street slumped, while demand for Treasuries jumped, as investors' attention switched to the fiscal problems in the world's largest economy after Barack Obama was re-elected the US president.

Mr Obama''s victory boosted speculation that further stimulus may be added to the US economy as it faces the potential "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts next year -- which can further weigh on the country's recovery.

All three major benchmark stock indices in the US fell sharply, with the S&P 500 trading below the 1,400 points mark for the first time since September as the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 300 points to below 13,000.

The sell-off in the US helped drag global stocks lower, with the FTSE All World index down 1.3 per cent.

In contrast, investors flocked to the US Treasury market, with the securities headed for their biggest advance in almost three months. The yield on the 10-year note fell 12 basis points and was last trading at 1.62 per cent.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:51:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Smith & Wesson, Gunmakers Rally After Obama Re-Elected - Bloomberg

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) climbed the most in two months to lead a rally among firearms manufacturers as traders speculated that President Barack Obama's re-election will spur gun sales.

Smith & Wesson, a maker of pistols and rifles, jumped 7.8 percent to $10.20 at 11:51 a.m. in New York following an 11 percent gain that was the biggest in intraday trading since Sept. 7. Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) rose 5.5 percent to $47.10.

Investors are wagering that more Americans will buy guns after the win by Obama, who said last month he would consider reintroducing a ban on civilian purchases of military-style assault weapons. Firearm sales have grown at 10 percent annually since 2008, when Obama was elected, compared with a 7 percent rate from 2001 to 2007, according to Benchmark Co.

"While we maintain our view that these political sales do not represent the entirety of recent firearms sales growth, we expect that with President Obama's re-election these sales could continue well into his second term," Mike Greene, an analyst at New York-based Benchmark, wrote in a note to clients today.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can always count on "My friend Wildey".


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is all marketing strategy from the gun manufacturers, rather than any real chance of Obama expending political capital on restricting this - The odds of any such law ending up before the supreme court and being struck down is much too high.
Indeed, any such move has a quite substantial chance of backfiring - Currently, the law of the land permits some restrictions on automatic assault rifles.

The problem is that this restriction blatantly violates any non-insane reading of the second amendment. If the purpose of allowing personal arms is military defense, disallowing the standard side arm of the armed forces requires utterly contorted legal reasoning. Current doctrine more or less amounts to the court doing a legal Coyote-Standing-On-Thin-Air. Poke it, and it is quite likely to collapse. Obama knows this, and he is not going to be the one that does the poking. Too cautious.

So why are US gun owners paranoid about it? Because gun merchants want them to be and are spending advertising dollars to make it so.

Which is deeply stupid in the long term. Because what it actually does is make people buy more firearms than they actually want or need in the present, and guns last a really long time. At some point, the average hunter / survivalist / former mugging victim will realize that the guberment is not, in fact, coming for his or her guns.

And sell off the spares. Creating a completely glutted second hand market, and in the process bankrupt half the gun manufacturers in the US.

by Thomas on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At some point, the average hunter / survivalist / former mugging victim will realize that the guberment is not, in fact, coming for his or her guns.

I think you are giving at least one demographic too much credit.

Second amendment discussions can be fun if you don't have to participate: Who knew there were so many people who understood the ablative absolute - or the comma?
(Of course it very much matters whether it's the possible meanings - "if", "when" or "as" "a regulated militia is required" - or the one the founders would have  learned at school - "because".)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This makes no sense. Further stimulus because of massive spending cuts.

Hrrrr?????

by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU executive presents bloc's dire economic outlook | Business | DW.DE | 07.11.2012

The European Commission has unveiled its closely watched autumn forecast for the economic development of the 27-member bloc. Good news is few and far between as the debt crisis lingers on.

On Wednesday, the EU's executive released its autumn forecast looking at the prospects of economic growth in the bloc. It painted a rather bleak picture of developments in the months ahead.

The European Commission anounced that it expects the economies in the 17-member eurozone to contract by 0.4 percent this year, before recovering only slightly by 0.1 percent in 2013. In the wider 27-member EU, gross domestic product (GDP) would drop by 0.4 percent this year to be followed by meager 0.3 percent growth in 2013.

"Europe is going through a difficult process of macroeconomic rebalancing which will still last for some time," Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn said in Brussels, adding that unemployment in the EU would reach a new peak next year, at a little below 11 percent.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:51:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Europe is going through a difficult process of macroeconomic rebalancing which will still last for some time, ...

Translation: The slaves won't succumb, damn it!

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 Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 04:58:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Russian underground economy has democratized cybercrime | Ars Technica
Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents The Russian underground economy has democratized cybercrime You can buy a botnet for $700, or rent one for just $2 per hour.

by Ian Steadman, wired.co.uk - Nov 4, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

38 Javier

If you want to buy a botnet, it'll cost you somewhere in the region of $700. If you just want to hire someone else's for an hour, though, it can cost as little as $2--that's long enough to take down, say, a call center, if that's what you were in the mood for. Maybe you'd like to spy on an ex--for $350 you can purchase a trojan that lets you see all their incoming and outgoing texts. Or maybe you're just in the market for some good, old-fashioned spamming--it'll only cost you $10 for a million e-mails. That's the hourly minimum wage in the UK.

This is the current state of Russia's underground market in cybercrime--a vibrant community of ne'er-do-wells offering every conceivable kind of method for compromising computer security. It's been profiled in security firm Trend Micro's report, Russian Underground 101, and its findings are as fascinating as they are alarming. It's an insight into the workings of an entirely hidden economy, but also one that's pretty scary. Some of these things are really, really cheap.

Rik Ferguson, Trend Micro's director of security research and communications, explains to Wired.co.uk that Russia's cybercrime market is "very much a well-established market." He says: "It's very mature. It's been in place for quite some time. There are people offering niche services, and every niche is catered for." Russia is one of the major centers of cybercrime, alongside other nations like China and Brazil ("the spiritual home of banking malware").



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irked by cyberspying, Georgia outs Russia-based hacker -- with photos
In an unprecedented move, the country of Georgia -- irritated by persistent cyber-spying attacks -- has published two photos of a Russia-based hacker who, the Georgians allege, waged a persistent, months-long campaign that stole confidential information from Georgian government ministries, parliament, banks and NGOs.
[...]

Then, an irresistible trap was set.

They allowed the hacker to infect one of their computers on purpose. On that computer, they placed a ZIP archive entitled "Georgian-Nato Agreement." He took the bait, which caused the investigators' own spying program to be installed.

From there, his webcam was turned on, which resulted in fairly clear photos of his face. But after five to 10 minutes, the connection was cut off, presumably because the hacker knew he had been hacked. But in those few minutes, his computer -- like the ones he targeted in the Georgian government -- was mined for documents.

One Microsoft Word document, written in Russian, contained instructions from the hacker's handler over which targets to infect and how. Other circumstantial evidence pointing to Russian involvement included the registration of a website that was used to send malicious emails. It was registered to an address next to the country's Federal Security Service, formerly known as the KGB, the report said.

by Bernard on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:07:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hubris.
To have that level of skill and yet forget the most basic rule: Don't run random executables you have downloaded from "the internet".


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They actually used a PDF file (you didn't know PDF could be "executable"? Now, you know...):

Irked by cyberspying, Georgia outs Russia-based hacker -- with photos

The PDF attacks used the XDP file format, which is an XML data file that contains a Base64 encoded copy of a standard PDF file. The method at one time evaded all antivirus software and intrusion detection systems.
by Bernard on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah. Thanks. I can see how that would be surprising.

Did he have a dedicated, non-software firewall?
Why a webcam on a machine used for that work? Guess it was built in. Truly no one is immune to "convenience".

Maybe Stallman has a point in staying off the internet.
Remind me to uninstall the Adobe reader and install something less clever ...

("You have a virus. It's called Windows.")


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:15:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you didn't know PDF could be "executable"?

I did know that Postscript is a turing-complete language, and PDF is based on postscript. However, it is fascinating that they could exploit PDF side-effects to make a virus.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:24:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dollar Rises After Election as Haven Play; Euro Declines - Bloomberg

The Dollar Index rose to a two-month high as investors sought safety amid concern President Barack Obama will struggle to convince Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff after his historic re-election.

The euro fell to its weakest in two months versus the dollar after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the region's crisis is affecting Germany. The U.S. currency declined against the yen as Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who disagreed with current Federal Reserve policy of monetary stimulus. U.S. stocks fell the most in a year as Obama faces the fiscal cliff, $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to be implemented in 2013, which may push the U.S. back into recession.

"It's still the same problem and there is no magic solution, and that is a big part of the selloff today," said Greg Anderson, the North American head of Group of 10 currency strategy at Citigroup Inc. in New York. "We're skeptical of the ability of Congress plus the president to pass some grand bargain, at least before Dec. 31."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington Post: Fresh from reelection, president finds himself on edge of `fiscal cliff' (November 7)
The president, who won reelection late Tuesday, must now confront the "fiscal cliff," nearly $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January that could throw the nation back into recession.

If Obama can engineer a compromise to avert the cliff with the freshly reelected Republican House, he could set the stage for progress on other second-term priorities, including immigration reform, climate change and investments in education and manufacturing. Such a compromise could also infuse fresh energy into an economic recovery that has suffered from uncertainty over the future of federal budget policies.

...

Obama has threatened to veto legislation to avert the cliff that extends the Bush tax rates for the wealthy. After a campaign focused heavily on that pledge, Democrats say the president is prepared to draw a firm line in the sand, even if it means letting one of the largest tax hikes in U.S. history take effect on Jan. 1.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
the president is prepared to draw a firm line in the sand

And we all know what a permanent medium sand is.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:08:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worm sign!


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:37:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crooked Timber: Black Swans, Fat Tails, and me (Daniel Davies, November 7, 2012)
Long time readers will recall that with respect to the "fat tails" debate, I occupy something of an extreme left-wing position. I don't think that big stock market crashes or bond defaults are "tail events", because I don't think there's any probability distribution for them to be in the tails of [2]. They're not draws from any underlying distribution[3]. They're individual historic events which have individual causes and effects. In so far as we understand them at all, then we understand them by their family resemblance to other things that have happened in the past, but this doesn't at all mean that our way of reasoning about the likely future effects of (say) a combination of rising real estate prices, stagnant real incomes and increasing debt ought to be expressed in the form of a stochastic process.[4]

...

I think people are underestimating quite how well-tested Keynesian theory is, by now, in the Popperian sense. It not only works, as shown in dozens of recession cases, it's also seemingly the only thing that works, also demonstrated by many of the same cases. It explains why alternative solutions don't work and nearly all of its bad effects exist only in hypotheticals and fairy stories. It doesn't provide particularly accurate point estimates of future states of the economy's stochastic process, but as suggested above, I don't think that's a reasonable thing to ask for. If this was a medicine, you'd have stopped giving placebo to the control group by now on grounds of pure ethics. Certainly, human behavioural and institutional regularities might change, but we can deal with them when they do. For the time being, Keynesian theory (and I emphasise theory here - Simon Wren-Lewis has changed my mind here on the value of empirics without theory, which would have given you completely the wrong steer in terms of guesstimating the fiscal policy multiplier) is a toolkit that works. We should be dealing with the future by predicting it based on the best theory we have, coupled with a sensible range of assumptions for the unpredictable course of events, and making policy in response to what we think is going to happen. Sometimes we will be wrong, sometimes we will be disastrously wrong, but I don't think anyone thought that this was going to be easy. Resilience and robustness in economic arrangements aren't basically an engineering concept - you guess the range of storms that might hit your levee, then build it for twice or three times the worst case. They're much more like steering a ship into a difficult harbour with moving sandbanks; you react to conditions as they occur, based on training, understanding and common sense.

...

[2] Personal hobby horse alert - economists, decision theorists and moral philosophers are always helping themselves to probability distributions where there's no very obvious reason to presume that they exist at all, let alone exist in the well-behaved and stable form that would be required for the "expected utility" of one or another course of action to exist. There's just no reason to believe a priori that the set of possible outcomes can be put in one-to-one correspondence with the real numbers.

[3] Not even some mega-mega-mega hierarchical True Probability Distribution known only to God and Victor Niederhoffer. My slogan has always been that the Great Depression and the Russian Revolution did actually happen - they weren't just particularly inaccurate observations of the true underlying economic growth rate.

[4] This is the difference between my background in financial markets and NNT's. I don't come from a derivatives background - I made my career in cash equities research. That's a part of the industry which requires surprisingly little in the way of advanced mathematics, but a whole load of institutional detail and accumulated newsflow, a certain streetwise instinct for the way the world works, and a constant willingness to accept that if you're only wrong half the time, you're doing well[5]. We deal in personalities, educated guesses and rules of thumb. Scientists tend to hate us, and genuinely rigorous financial economists often spend a surprising amount of their time proving to themselves that we add no value and are just meaningless journalists[7]. On the other hand, cash equities brokerage is one of the only business lines in investment banking where people regularly set up in business using their own money.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:12:11 PM EST
Republicans Stung by Loss Begin Debate Over Future - Bloomberg

he feud within the Republican Party after the shock of losing to an incumbent president weakened by four years of economic discontent started before the votes were even counted.

The political trauma over Republican Mitt Romney's defeat by President Barack Obama was compounded by the party losing ground in the U.S. Senate.

"If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn't conservative enough, I'm going to go nuts," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a Nov. 5 interview with Politico. "We're not losing 95 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we're not being hard-ass enough."

Republicans, who haven't won the presidency since 2004, are headed for an internal battle over whether the party's future rests in reaching back to a tradition of moderation or pressing ahead with the anti-government tone of a Tea Party movement that dominated its primaries and alienated critical voting blocs -- notably the Hispanic community.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:51:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Californians Approve Brown Tax Plan, Averting School Cuts - Bloomberg

California voters approved Governor Jerry Brown's sales- and income-tax increases, handing the Democrat his biggest victory since he was elected two years ago and averting $5.5 billion of cuts to public schools.

Proposition 30 won by 54 percent to 46 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said.

Brown's successful referendum contrasts with the 1978 passage of tax limits known as Proposition 13, which he opposed in his previous term as governor. The measure capped local property taxes, led to cuts that reduced per-student school spending to 29th nationally from seventh, and pushed the state into budget gridlock. Without the ability to boost local levies, three municipalities -- Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes -- have filed for bankruptcy protection since June.

Voters backed the governor's tax increase because they believe in "our schools and our universities, and in the capacity of our state government to make some wise investments, that will benefit all of us," Brown said.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Washington, Colorado Allow Recreational Use of Marijuana - Bloomberg

Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational use of marijuana, making them the first U.S. states to decriminalize the practice.

Washington will allow those at least 21 years old to buy as much as one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana from a licensed retailer. Colorado's measure allows possession of an ounce, and permits growing as many as six plants in private, secure areas. Oregon voters rejected a similar measure.

"The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."

Support for marijuana's recreational use built on measures that allow it for medical purposes in one-third of U.S. states. Previous attempts to legalize pot through ballot measures failed in California, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada since 1972, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Elizabeth Warren Takes Down Scott Brown | Mother Jones

Two years ago, Elizabeth Warren told David Corn that she'd rather stab herself in the eye than go back to Washington. On Tuesday, the Harvard Law professor and creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ate her words, knocking off Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) in one of the most closely watched--and at times nastiest--races of the 2012 cycle. Warren's win isn't just a case of a Democrat winning in Massachusetts; perhaps no candidate, President Obama included, inspired as much enthusiasm from progressives across the country. (She raised more money than any other Senate challenger in the country, much of it from out of state.) NBC News called the race shortly after polls closed in Boston.

Warren did it largely by sticking with what made her a political star in the first place--a fierce defense of the social contract, which led Republican to dub her "Matriarch of Mayhem" for her support of Occupy Wall Street:



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama Re-Election Spells Trouble For Netanyahu
JERUSALEM, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces an even more awkward time with Washington and re-energised critics at home who accused him on Wednesday of backing the loser in the U.S. presidential election.

With Iran topping his conservative agenda, Netanyahu will have to contend with a strengthened second-term Democratic president after four years of frosty dealings with Barack Obama and a rift over how to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

Facing his own re-election battle in January, polls give Netanyahu little chance of losing but perceptions that he has mishandled Israel's main ally have been seized on by opponents.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... pressing ahead with the anti-government tone of a Tea Party movement that dominated its primaries and alienated critical voting blocs ...

That's the way to go, just a lot more. Plus more talk about rape ... always a crowd pleaser.

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 Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:03:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Qatar and UAE look to bolster defence systems - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have requested the sale of up to $7.6bn in Lockheed Martin Corp missile-defence systems to counter perceived threats and lower their dependence on US forces, the Pentagon announced.
 
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees foreign arms sales, formally notified lawmakers on Friday that it had approved the possible sales, which come against the backdrop of heightened tensions with Iran.

The notifications were posted to the agency's website late on Monday.
 
Lawmakers now have 30 days to block the potential sales although such action is rare since deals are carefully vetted with lawmakers weeks before the notifications are posted.
 
The sale is part of Washington's ongoing effort to deepen its co-operation with Gulf nations on missile defence and increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:56:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah right...arm them you greedy bastards and wait for the time when they use it against you...already seen before...
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coal miners strike deal in South Africa - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Coal companies in South Africa have signed a surprise wage deal with unions in an effort to avoid a wave of deadly illegal strikes that have rocked the country's gold and platinum sectors.

The Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday that the companies, which include Anglo American, had agreed to raise certain entry-level wages by up to 5 per cent and offered one-off payments to higher categories of workers.

The main wage agreements in the coal sector do not expire until the middle of next year, but restless unions have ignored existing contracts in platinum and gold, leading to rolling wildcat action that has led to the killing of over 50 people so far this year, most of them shot dead by police.

Phillemon Motlhamme, deputy head for industrial relations at the chamber, said the body that represents the industry was approached by unions in September to ensure that illegal strikes would not spread to coal.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rohingya refugee boat sinks off Bangladesh - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Around 85 people are missing after another boat carrying Rohingya refugees towards Malaysia sank off Bangladesh, the second such tragedy in less than a fortnight, officials have said.

Bangladesh Border Guard commander Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hasan said the vessel was carrying around 110 passengers when it went down off early on Wednesday around 15km off the southern Cox's Bazaar coastal district.

"We have now rescued 25 survivors with the help of local fishermen and a search and rescue operation is underway," Hasan told AFP.

"The boat was heading to Malaysia illegally," he added.

Hasan confirmed that at least two of those who had been rescued were Rohingya and that they were all being kept in custody.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Bahrain revokes 31 opposition activists' citizenship

Bahrain's government has revoked the citizenship of 31 opposition activists for "undermining state security".

An interior ministry statement published by state media said Article 10 of the Citizenship Law permitted the "re-evaluation of nationality".

Those affected include Jawad and Jalal Fairuz, former MPs for the leading Shia movement, al-Wifaq, and Ali Mushaimaa, son of al-Haq's imprisoned leader.

Last week, the government banned all public gatherings and rallies.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifah said "repeated abuse" of the rights to freedom of speech and expression could no longer be accepted.

However, the UN said the restrictions "could aggravate the situation in the country" and urged the government "to lift them without delay".



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. Now let's see all those human rights fighters from the west...where are they?
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amnesty International:

PressTV - Amnesty International condemns Bahrain for revoking activists' nationality

Amnesty International (AI) has condemned the Bahraini regime for revoking the citizenship of 31 political activists, saying the authorities are rendering some of its own citizens stateless.

also

Amnesty International Bahrain page

Human Rights Watch:

Bahrain: Don't Arbitrarily Revoke Citizenship | Human Rights Watch

(Beirut)-Bahraini authorities should rescind their announced decision to strip citizenship from 31 people for allegedly damaging the country's security. The people affected included opposition political activists, lawyers, and rights activists. The order was imposed without due process of law and will leave the majority of the people affected stateless.

also

Human Rights Watch Bahrain page.

Those are the two major global human rights organisations. If you are in fact talking about neoconservatives, perhaps you should say so.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:12:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Nice to see this. I hope some action will follow as it usually does when western non friends are in case...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:26:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The human rights organisations are pretty dependable. But it is only when they condemn the current "bad guys" that it makes headlines and calls for action.

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 Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Headline in Israel's leading paper (owned by Sheldon Adelson)

Subhead: Obama's second term may lead to a bigger economic crisis than 2008/The dollar, that rose to greatness via capitalism, may develop under the president to a mega-bubble

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Bibi et al are the Israeli wing of the Repubs. How wonderful for you.

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 Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Socialism or Mormonism?

Talk about a false dychotomy...

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Adelson persuades the repugs to push america over the fiscal cliff by simply continuing their intransigence, then they can say "we told you"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democracy Now: Bradley Manning Offers to Plead Guilty to WikiLeaks Charges if Gov't Drops Espionage, Enemy Case (November 8, 2012)
Accused U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning has offered to submit a partial guilty plea on charges of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks in return for the government agreeing to pursue lesser charges. Manning's attorney David Coombs says he is prepared to plead guilty to some of the charges, but not the entire case as a whole. Manning is reportedly ready to admit to leaking the documents to WikiLeaks, but is refusing to plead guilty to the charges of espionage or aiding the enemy. He has been held in military custody since May 2010 following his arrest while serving in Iraq. We are joined by Denver Nicks, author of the book, "Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History."


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:12:30 PM EST
Chevron Subpoenas Google and Others for Private Email Info | Mother Jones

After two decades of contentious court battles, a group of indigenous Ecuadorian communities clinched a $19 billion judgment against Chevron in 2011 for the destruction its subsidiary Texaco oversaw in the Amazon rainforest. Chevron has fought bitterly against the enforcement of the payout--one of the largest ever handed down in an environmental suit--and is attempting to build up evidence for a fraud case it's leveling against the Ecuadorians, their legal advisor, and his associates.*

In its latest effort, Chevron has effectively sucked a whole cast of environmental activists, attorneys, and journalists into the vortex of the litigation with a series of wide-reaching subpoenas for private email data. Most of the dozens of targets of Chevron's massive "fishing expedition" are not directly tied to the original lawsuit against the company or its current legal claims; they include the plantiff attorney's summer intern who only worked on the case briefly in 2007, a writer who worked for a non-profit on behalf of the affected Amazon communities, and an environmental activist in Ecuador who fears that Chevron could use information about his whereabouts to intimidate or harass him or pass it along to third parties "that could do the same or worse."

Revealing data for more than a hundred private email accounts over the span of nine years will fall into Chevron's hands if federal courts in New York and California fail to dismiss what legal experts call "sweeping" and "invasive" subpoenas the oil giant has issued to service providers Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

In briefs filed on behalf of 32 clients late last month by the digital civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and environmental organization EarthRights Internationalattorneys argue that Chevron is threatening constitutional rights to free speech and free association with its "chilling" requests for sensitive information about individuals not accused of any wrongdoing in the company's  legal claims against the plaintiffs. "They just basically drag the net through these set of activists...and just basically [say], 'Let's get what we can and see what it turns up,'" says Jennifer Granick, the director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Revealed: The Day Obama Chose a Strategy of Silence on Climate Change | Mother Jones

The invitation to the White House in the spring of 2009 struck Barack Obama's allies in the environmental movement as a big moment: a clear sign that climate change was on his radar and that the president was eager to get to work.

The event was indeed a turning point, but not the one campaigners expected. Instead, it marked a strategic decision by the White House to downplay climate change--avoiding the very word--a decision some campaigners on the guest list say produced the strange absence of climate change from the 2012 campaign, until Hurricane Sandy blew it right back on the political agenda.

The storm--which interrupted campaigning for three of the last eight days of the presidential race--may even prove the decisive factor in the elections, with voters watching how Obama handles Sandy's aftermath. The devastation has already sparked debate about America's present-day vulnerability to climate change.

But back in 2009, the off-the-record event with the White House green team at the old executive office building offered the first chance for the White House to share its plans for getting a climate change law through Congress. Aides handed round a one-page memo of polling data and talking points.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indian monsoon failure more frequent with global warming, research suggests

ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2012) -- Global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries, new research suggests.

The effects of these unprecedented changes would be extremely detrimental to India's economy which relies heavily on the monsoon season to bring fresh water to the farmlands.

The findings have been published November 6, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Potsdam University.

They found that as we move towards the end of the 21st, and into the 22nd, century, increasing temperatures and a change in strength of the Pacific Walker circulation in spring could cause more frequent and severe changes in monsoon rainfall.

The Walker circulation usually brings areas of high pressure to the western Indian Ocean but, in years when El Niño occurs, this pattern gets shifted eastward, bringing high pressure over India and suppressing the monsoon, especially in spring when the monsoon begins to develop.

The researchers' simulations showed that as temperatures increase in the future, the Walker circulation, on average, brings more high pressure over India, even though the occurrence of El Niño doesn't increase.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ash dieback: number of affected counties doubles | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The number of English counties suffering outbreaks of a deadly tree disease in the wild has more than doubled, the government said on Wednesday.

As forestry and plant health experts met at a summit convened by the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that ash dieback had been confirmed in the wild in six new counties: Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland, Sussex and Yorkshire.

The findings add to the discovery of ash affected by the fungus, Chalara fraxinea, in Essex and Kent on Monday, bringing the total number of counties where it is found in the "wider environment" to 10. A total of 115 sites have been confirmed now, with the number in forests and woodlands (61) now outnumbering those in nurseries and recent plantings.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my favourite tree. It was a sapling when I started building stone walls to create terraces on the sloping ground at my back door, and I made a curve in one wall to avoid it. It provided welcome shade in summer, and a stately presence in all seasons, seen from the main living area. I wrote a couple of haikus in its honour.

Seven or eight years ago I noticed it was sickly, whole sections of leaves dieing off in summer. Eventually it died altogether, and I cut it down before selling the house a couple of years ago.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:34:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alas.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:47:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN begins 'crunch' debate over airline emissions as EU deadline looms | EurActiv

The council of the UN's airline body, ICAO, will today (9 November) grapple with the dispute over how to make airlines pay for their carbon emissions, just months before EU law is due to oblige airlines to comply with its Emissions Trading System (ETS).

A statement is expected by International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] President Roberto Kobeh González at the group's council meeting in Montréal. It could have profound consequences.

"This is the crunch meeting," said Bill Hemmings, the aviation specialist for Transport & Environment, a green activist group. "ICAO will either commit to a proposal next year, or go back to declarations on whether a market-based mechanism (MBM) is feasible or not."

EurActiv understands that the ICAO Council will be presented with a working group paper outlining progress on three potential measures:

  • Mandatory offsetting of aviation emissions;
  • Mandatory offsetting of aviation emissions plus a revenue generating mechanism;
  • A global cap and trade scheme, similar to the ETS.

None of these though, is likely to come to fruition before the EU's 30 April 2013 deadline for ETS compliance, and officials say that a timetable for action is needed to prevent the dispute from spiralling then.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 07:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:12:46 PM EST
For Women in Climate Sciences, a Struggle to Find a Voice: Scientific American

In surprising numbers, women in climate science in particular and the physical sciences in general are abandoning academic careers. 

The reasons are as varied as the individuals - some leave for maternity issues or other family pressures, others give up in the face of subtle gender bias within the academic world. And others feel there are better platforms than a university position to apply the science they love and to speak out to a broader audience, with greater impact.

Regardless of the cause, the female brain drain from the academy has an impact on climate science, say researchers. A 2008 study found that while 34 percent of all geosciences doctoral degrees were awarded to females, women comprised only 8 percent of top-ranking geosciences faculty positions at U.S. colleges and universities.

Scientific inquiry is surely at stake, said Mary Anne Holmes, a mineralogist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and former president of the Association for Women Geoscientists.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Star formation slumps to 1/30th of its peak

ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2012) -- While parts of the world experience economic hardship, a team of Portuguese, UK, Japanese, Italian and Dutch astronomers has found an even bigger slump happening on a cosmic scale. In the largest ever study of its kind, the international team of astronomers has established that the rate of formation of new stars in the Universe is now only 1/30th of its peak and that this decline is only set to continue.

The team, led by David Sobral of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The accepted model for the evolution of the Universe predicts that stars began to form about 13.4 billion years ago, or around three hundred million years after the Big Bang. Many of these first stars are thought to have been monsters by today's standards, and were probably hundreds of times more massive than our Sun. Such beasts aged very quickly, exhausted their fuel, and exploded as supernovae within a million years or so. Lower mass stars in contrast have much longer lives and last for billions of years.

Much of the dust and gas from stellar explosions was (and is still) recycled to form newer and newer generations of stars. Our Sun, for example, is thought to be a third generation star, and has a very typical mass by today's standards. But regardless of their mass and properties, stars are key ingredients of galaxies like our own Milky Way. Unveiling the history of star formation across cosmic time is fundamental to understanding how galaxies form and evolve.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
between this item and the one above. Perhaps a lack of female astronomers is limiting the universe's fecundity?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:37:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fun fact: before astronomy became a university subject (and paid), there was lots of women in the field. Rich women of course, but it was in the early 19th century a field where if you could afford a telescope and had the time there was not much of barriers.

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 Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. A telescope of her own.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mammoth Skeleton Discovered Near Paris

It turns out Paris has not only been the long-standing destination of choice for lovers, artists and tourists, but also for shaggy pre-historic elephants. French archeologists say they have marked a milestone after digging up a rare complete skeleton of a mammoth along the Changis-sur-Marne riverbanks near Paris.

Researchers at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) told AFP Tuesday that the remains, which date back to some 200,000-500,000 years ago, include a femur, a complete pelvis, jawbones and four connected vertebrae.

They christened the animal "Helmut" and said it was in its 20s at the time of its death, AFP reported.

"Such a discovery is extraordinary in France, since only three specimens have been unearthed in 150 years," the archeologists wrote on the INRAP website.

According to the INRAP researchers, two flint axes were also found near the skull, which suggest that the mammoth was in touch with the Neanderthals, French magazine L'Express reported. The flint tools could have been used to cut up the animal, while it was already dead or when it was trapped in a quarry.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:51:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:13:28 PM EST
1949 - birth of Bonnie Raitt, American singer



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 01:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:23:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Psychiatric Alchemy: An Interview with Oscar Janiger | Reality Sandwich
There's a lot of documentation about psychopathology and creativity but I think it's all from a central pool, kind of a well-spring of the creative imagination that we can draw from. It equally gives its strength to psychosis in one sense, or breaks through in creativity, theological revelation in the world of the near-dying and people who are seriously ill, and so on. All of that provides us with a look into this cauldron, this very dynamic, efficacious part of the brain, that for some reason or other is kept away from us by a semi-permeable membrane that could be ruptured in different ways, under different circumstances. I recall reading that James Joyce had a daughter named Lucia who was schizophrenic. She was the sorrow of his life. Upon persuasion from Joyce's patron, both of them were brought to Carl Jung. This was against Joyce's wishes because he didn't like psychiatrists. Jung examined Lucia, then finally came in and sat down with Joyce. Joyce said to him that he thought Lucia was a greater artist and writer than he was. Can you imagine? So Jung said, "That may be true, but the two of you are like deep-sea divers. You go into the ocean, a rich, interesting, dramatic setting, with your baskets, and you fill them up with improbable creatures of the deep. The only difference between the two of you is that you can come up to the surface, and she can't."

Basically it's like the difference between being able to swim in the ocean or being....

Caught by the waves and dashed to pieces, right.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:08:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scary.
The difference between owning your shadow and it owning you.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
um

All Janiger is saying is neurology underlies behavior.  Which is true.  And not terribly exciting.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
neurology underlies behavior

But "psychiatric alchemy" sounds a lot more exciting!

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a lot of horse poop.

 

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

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Shouters is a Finnish male choir that has been performing their angry chants for 25 years. I still have one of their black-ties-made-out-of-an-inner-tube given to me by founder/conductor Petri when the choir performed with Bonk in Stockholm nearly 20 years ago.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a lot of communication going on, me duck.

As far as I can tell it's a bunch of guy screaming.  (Is Primal Therapy 'a Thing' again?)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Au contraire, this choir goes for the sergeant-major type of in your face communication that is extremely effective, message-wise. I think you may be confused by them singing in Finnish, which indeed limits a typical monoculturist's comprehension of the vigorous resonating poetry of the libretto.

So for you, I suppose, it must appear to be highly stylized noise. And there's nothing wrong with that, as seen through post-modern bifocals. In the McLuhan sense, pure noise is the hottest of media. May I remind you that the passing of the cathode ray tube will deny true seekers the video snow of a signal-less channel. A man who has drawn meaning from contemplation of this snow is a man who has deeply appreciated the utter futility of technology and the ultimate answer of the Cosmos: the noise IS the signal.

Once you understand that, it's possible to be happy ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 07:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't heard this, but seems a bit like "Trombones in the wild".

(Which is what you'd expect, a dozen or so trombones spread out a bit in hilly country and recorded - I'm assuming - in surround.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 07:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trombones represent the nadir of technology over common sense. If ever there was an object that needed uninventing - it's the trombone.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 09:04:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at all, it has its perfect niche. Slide brass can adopt seamlessly - without pausing for tuning - when temperatures alters the tune.

So in other words it is the perfect instrument for playing in the wild.

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 Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:40:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately the trombone has a low melting point.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 10th, 2012 at 12:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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