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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 12 December

by ceebs Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 05:54:59 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1731 - birth of Erasmus Darwin, Doctor and Natural Philosopher (d. 1802)

More here and here

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:49:10 AM EST
BBC News - Silvio Berlusconi launches attack on Mario Monti

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has launched a pre-election attack on his successor, Mario Monti, saying the country is now worse off.

He accused Mr Monti of following policies which benefited Berlin, saying Germany had lowered its own borrowing costs at the expense of other states.

Mr Monti is due to resign after Mr Berlusconi's party withdrew its support for his government on Thursday.

Mr Berlusconi will run in the February election, but Mr Monti has not decided.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh God, look who's back!

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 Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:07:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - K-152 Nerpa: Russia submarine disaster retrial opens

A retrial has begun in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok of two men accused of causing an accident on a nuclear submarine in which 20 people died in 2008.

Another 21 people were injured when the K-152 Nerpa's fire extinguishing system was activated, releasing a deadly gas.

Captain Dmitry Lavrentyev and engineer Dmitry Grobov are accused of causing "death by negligence".

They were acquitted last year, but the verdict was later overturned on appeal.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:58:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis live: Greek secures crucial debt deal | Business | guardian.co.uk

European markets have ended on a positive note, with Greece getting its bond buyback away, a reasonable Spanish bond auction and hopes for a resolution to America's budget impasse.

* The FTSE 100 edged closer to March's peak, up 3.34 points to 5924.97

* Germany's Dax is up 0.78%

* France's Cac has climbed 0.94%

* Italy's FTSE MIB is 1.51% better

* Spain's Ibex has added 1.49%

* The Athen's market has climbed 2.28%

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently 115 points higher, up 0.87%



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Lincoln Prison condemned in inspectors' report

Inspectors have produced a damning report into care and safety standards at Lincoln Prison, calling the Victorian jail ''not safe, overcrowded and dirty''.

In once case, it was discovered a foreign national prisoner had been incarcerated for nine years after the date his sentence originally ended.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said the inmate had "simply been forgotten''.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:55:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French university professors decry a failing system - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Although the classroom in which she teaches is brand new, Nathalie Montoya, a professor of sociology at Paris Diderot University, is not happy with her working conditions.

"We have a beautiful facility here, but there's no heat," the 35-year-old Montoya said, seated next to a radiator.

The university's recently opened campus in the southeastern 13th district of the French capital may be spiffy on the outside, but several factors have brought university personnel to the breaking point.

Last month, several professors and researchers penned an op-ed in left-wing daily newspaper Libération, denouncing the deterioration of France's public universities and enumerating their grievances. Chief among them were poorly equipped classrooms, libraries being shut down and insufficient funds.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 05:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French educational system is obviously lacking in sufficient minor league sports teams. Over on this more enlightened side of the pond, we have cleverly merged our colleges with our football clubs, so that the state can subsidize the sport under the "education" line in the budget.

For example, in Colorado today we had two big news stories about the University of Colorado.

1.) New football coach was hired. The previous one was fired amidst charges of racism and unfair treatment after compiling a win-loss record of 1-11 for this year. Buyout $1.5M. This took up most of the front page of the newspaper and much of the sports section.

2.) David Winland, physics department instructor, won the Nobel Prize for Physics. This was mentioned in the newspaper.

If you would just attach your professional "football" (aka soccer) clubs to your universities, you could shift money into games and at the same time attract more top-notch scientists, because what physicist doesn't enjoy a bit of gladiatorial entertainment on a weekend?

CU physics building tower overlooking football field.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wmgobuffs/380679349/

by asdf on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 12:19:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, most football clubs are bankrupt, and are only jut about kept going enough to pay their first team's exorbitant wage demands.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:44:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most US college football programs are also broke, and depend on funding from the state. That's how the state sponsors sport under the heading of education.
by asdf on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 02:49:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: Will they delay banking union? (12.12.2012)
Finance ministers meet in Brussels today to discuss banking union, but the hopes of a breakthrough are not high; the Cypriot EU presidency came out with another proposal according to which banks with more than €30bn in assets are to be supervised by the ECB - but crucially with the ECB having the right to usurp powers as it sees fit; the proposal retains the GC as the board of the SSM; virtually all banking union deadlines are getting out of reach - final agreement by end-year, plus the Jan 2014 implementation;  Vittorio Grilli says it is dangerous to have separate supervision for smaller banks; several commentators are saying now that the OMT has reduced the pressure on politicians to agree a banking union; Angela Merkel said the EU should do more important things, such as focus on R&D spending; Sweden said it would stay outside a banking union, along with Britain; a UK House of Lord's committee warns the government about the consequences of a European banking union for the City of London; Silvio Berlusconi stepped up his attack on Germany, accusing Germany of orchestrating a speculative attack on the Italian sovereign debt market, he also criticised Mario Monti for conducting Germano-centric policies; Guido Westerwelle says Germany will not accept becoming the target of a populist election campaign; the polls suggest that Berlusconi is unlikely to win, but he may get a majority in the Senate; Pier Luigi Bersani promises more rigor and austerity;  Confidustria says the Italian recession will be much deeper than thought and last a lot longer - all the way through 2013; Greece accepted tenders for €31.8bn, with an average price of 33.5 cents, leaving a shortfall that has yet to plugged; the hope is that the amount could be tapped from German bad banks; The leader of Syriza is calling for a debt conference to cancel part of Greece's debts; the Dutch finance minister said he won't confirm the deficit target for next year; the ECB says the room for rate cuts is limited; the first tranche of Spain's bank aid programme has been paid; the European Commission is preparing to fine banks over collusion to fix the Euribor rate; the US treasury says the eurozone `s austerity policies are holding back global growth; Forbes has done the math on the French poverty trap; Sebastian Mallaby compares the eurozone with Japan and says that, politically, the situation in the eurozone is more fraught; Kevin O'Rourke , meanwhile, pokes fun at those who claim that the good times are just around the corner.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The eurozone and Mr Micawber

Kevin O'Rourke has a nice post in the Irish Economy blog on the hope that the good times are just around the corner.

"One of the things that makes it possible for Europe's politicians to persist with this nonsense is their conviction, like Mr Micawber, that something will turn up. There is no sign in Ireland that anything at all is turning up. The most important indicator of all, employment, is still falling, and you can see signs of strain all around if you care to look. At the panto last night, I was struck by the lack of sparkly fairy wands, light sabres, and all the rest compared with previous years: it really was very noticeable. And these were the people who could still afford to take their kids to the panto. Also noticeable was the almost complete absence of recession jokes, which were such a feature in 2008 and 2009. It just isn't funny any more."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, my sense of it is that the Irish economy is trying to recover but that austerity has been repeatedly quashing that recovery. Certainly the business environment feels like it has reached bottom and is bouncing along there. A bit of stimulus would probably make a rapid difference. Anecdote, not data, but an anecdote from the trenches of running a business in this environment.

Think of it as a patient who is put on a new course of chemotherapy every time they look like they've recovered a bit. And doesn't have cancer.

But yeah, it's getting sort of old to be in a depression for so long. The current round of cuts is eliciting anger that wasn't really there before.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:09:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sebastian Mallaby on Japan's lesson for the eurozone

Sebastian Mallaby's column in the FT attempts a comparison between the eurozone and Japan. Not all of it is new. The most interesting bit is his last paragraph where he says the real difference is political:

"But the scariest lessons from a Japan-eurozone comparison are social and political. For better or worse Japan has a homogenous society and placid politics;
the Liberal Democratic party, architect of the bubble that laid waste to the economy, heads into next Sunday's election as clear favourite.

Japan's cohesion is both reflected in and protected by surprisingly low official unemployment, which has never risen above 5.4 per cent in the past 30 years. Contrast that with Spain or Greece, where unemployment stands at about 25 per cent, or France or Italy, where it stands at 11 per cent. Add in riots and demonstrations across Europe, and you begin to wonder how the centre can hold."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:19:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First €40bn of ESM loans reach Spain's FROB

Europa Press reports that the ESM has transferred a first tranche of the agreed €39.5bn bank aid to Spain bank restructuring fund FROB. The ESM loans to the FROB, at a rate of around 1%, have an average maturity of 12.5 years. In order to disburse the funds, the ESM had created various debt instruments a week earlier: €2.5bn at two month maturity, €6.5 at 10 months, €6.5bn at 18 months and a further €24bn at 2 and 3 year maturities. In a story by International Financing Review, an unnamed Eurozone official explained that this was "a payment in kind. The banks can post these bonds as collateral to the ECB and receive cash".

(Apparently fiscal authorities can make payments by issuing debt to be monetised by the ECB, so long as a nationalised bank acts as intermediary)



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Sweden said it would stay outside a banking union, along with Britain

And by getting an opt-out withdraws the threath of veto.

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 Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 08:02:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:49:43 AM EST
HSBC pays record $1.9bn fine to settle US money-laundering accusations | Business | guardian.co.uk

HSBC was guilty of a "blatant failure" to implement anti-money laundering controls and wilfully flouted US sanctions, American prosecutors said, as the bank was forced to pay a record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to settle allegations it allowed terrorists to move money around the financial system.

Hours after the bank's chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, said he was "profoundly sorry" for the failures, assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer told a press conference in New York that Mexican drug traffickers deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars each day in HSBC accounts. At least $881m in drug trafficking money was laundered throughout the bank's accounts.

"HSBC is being held accountable for stunning failures of oversight - and worse," said Breuer, "that led the bank to permit narcotics traffickers and others to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through HSBC subsidiaries and to facilitate hundreds of millions more in transactions with sanctioned countries."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - HSBC blasted for 'stunning failures over oversight'

The US said "dangerous practices" at HSBC allowed the bank to pass money to "drug kingpins and rogue nations", as it fined it $1.9bn (£1.2bn).

HSBC agreed the fine, the largest of its kind, earlier on Tuesday.

A US Senate investigation said the UK-based bank had been a conduit for drug barons and nations such as Iran against which it had sanctions, making it illegal to do business there.

HSBC admitted having poor money laundering controls and apologised.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 05:52:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Iceland has demonstrated, until bankers go to jail, the authorities are effectively telling them to carry on and "don't get caught next time"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:50:04 AM EST
Mali prime minister resigns hours after army arrest | World news | guardian.co.uk

Mali's prime minister resigned on state television in a broadcast at 4am local time on Tuesday, hours after soldiers who led a recent coup burst into his home and arrested him.

Cheik Modibo Diarra appeared somber in his national address, saying: "Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace.

"It's for this reason that I, Cheik Modibo Diarra, am resigning along with my entire government on this day, Tuesday, 11 December, 2012. I apologise before the entire population of Mali."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:01:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rival rallies held in Egypt over constitution - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Thousands of pro-government and opposition protesters have held rival rallies in Cairo for and against a controversial constitutional referendum proposed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Leftists, liberals and other opposition groups called for Tuesday's marches to the presidential palace to protest against the hastily arranged referendum planned for Saturday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's wrong? Don't you want to see your Theocratic Dictatorship in writing?

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 Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scores reportedly killed in Syria's Hama - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Scores of civilians from the minority Alawite community of which President Bashar al-Assad is a member have been reportedly killed in the central province of Hama.

Bomb attacks in the village of Aqrab killed or wounded at least 125 civilians, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which could not immediately give a breakdown of the casualties.

"We cannot know whether the rebels were behind this attack, but if they were, this would be the largest-scale revenge attack against Alawites," said observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:57:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Number of Syrian refugees tops half a million, UN says - HURRIYET DAILY NEWS - FRANCE 24
The number of refugees registered in the Middle East and North Africa has surpassed half a million, the UN said on Tuesday, with numbers climbing by more than 3,000 per day.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 05:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Philippine typhoon toll passes 700 - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

The death toll of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines has exceeded 700 and hundreds of people are still missing, the government has said.

Typhoon Bopha unleashed floods and landslides across the main southern island of Mindanao on December 4, obliterating entire communities.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protests as Michigan passes 'anti-union' law - Americas - Al Jazeera English

The Republican-majority Michigan legislature has given its final approval to "right-to-work" restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organised labour.

Protesters chanted in the gallery and thousands rallied outside the building on Tuesday as the House passed the measure which makes membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote.

The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blood & Treasure

Imagine for a brief moment, that the world's last five remaining communist countries decided to unite forces and hire the world's top advertising agencies to re-brand and create a resurgence in the ideologies of Communism? Television Commercial for Communism [TVCC] embarks to re-position our relationship to current global economics and socio-politics by getting the world's leading advertising companies to pitch their most radical ideas to re-brand Communism. How will capitalism's most influential by-product, the advertising machine, process its former political opponent in a post Cold War context, still saturated with Cold War idiosyncrasies?

This, oddly enough, seems to be coming from TBWA Vietnam.

Needless to say, the last question is redundant since we already know from China how communism and capitalism rub along together. The ad proposed is one of those big NGOs-do-cable-news things with a little girl traversing the world exchanging smiles with all manner of good, plain folk and the smiles eventually reconstituting as a hammer and sickle. An ad for actually exsiting communism would be an Ayn Randish montage of thrusting skyscrapers, packed airport VIP lounges, guys in dark glasses sitting inside top of the line audis with tinted windows, tiny hard-faced beauties sneering at expensive trinkets in Harrods, manicured hands peeling off crisp 100 yuan notes from bulging clips and so on. Eventually, a cluster of diamonds will appear and form the words COMMUNISM - FUCK YEAH! 



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:42:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, the times seem about right for a new rebranding and repackaging of communism.  Much of the world seems about ready for a new wave of revolutionary fervor.

I mean, the old time slogans are pretty hard to beat, you just need to figure out how to really show their relevance to the modern situation.

It could start off like Office Space, but with the oppressed office workers looting and burning the office, trashing their bosses cars, and burning the financial district to the ground.

Well, maybe not.

by Zwackus on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 01:10:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem for communism is party control. Every communist country there ever was rapidly decays into a joyless militaristic economic shambles where, as Twank pointed out, the central party committee grow fat and everybody else looks starved.

And sticking the lipstick of capitalism on china hasn't changed that one iota

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, of course.  But that was then, you see.  I'm sure it will be much better the next time.

Totally.  Of course.

by Zwackus on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
World Revolution Z (5 December 2012)
In both The Walking Dead and World War Z, a key strategy to cope with this spatial disintegration is the production of walled, fortified spatial enclaves. Yet whereas in The Walking Dead these walled enclaves are created locally by scattered survivors who have no idea what is going on elsewhere, in World War Z they are largely the product of a globally-coordinated policy of counter-insurgency. Nothing makes Brooks' conservative anxieties more transparent than the fact his book presents South Africa and Israel as the world leaders in containing the zombie insurrection because of their commitment to Apartheid-style policies. In South Africa, Brooks tells us, the author of the successful plan to contain the zombies through fortified spatial enclosures was a former official of the Apartheid regime who originally devised this plan to combat a human insurrection. "It was a doomsday scenario for the country's white minority, the plan to deal with the all-out uprising of its indigenous African population." In short, a human rebellion against a brutal, racist regime becomes indistinguishable from a zombie outbreak. Likewise, Brooks presents Israel's Apartheid as efficient and humanitarian, for it opens its militarized borders to all uninfected Palestinians fleeing the zombies. And the Wall of Separation is rebranded, and whitewashed, as the object that protects generic humans from the zombie apocalypse. The recent bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military disrupts this fantasy of humanitarian colonialism to remind us that the current Israeli state would never act so kindly, for the Wall was built to contain not zombies but millions of Palestinians who have for decades lived under foreign military occupation.

The genre of a zombie pandemic is quite distinct within the larger genre of end-of-the-world scenarios that currently fascinates popular culture. This is the only apocalypse created not by natural cataclysms but, rather, by human bodies that stop obeying the state. In being guided by one unrelenting desire, zombies are human bodies that have been freed from hierarchies, conventions, consumerism, and indoctrination by the media; and this un-coding creates a collective, leaderless, and expansive occupation of space that makes the state crumble. Zombies have this unique power to destroy the state, primarily, because they are free from fear. Brooks was asked why he thinks we are witnessing a growing fascination with zombies, and he candidly replied that they represent anxieties about a world in turmoil and about "chaos in the streets." And this takes us back to the power of fearless multitudes. The phrase "we are no longer afraid" was one of the most recurring sentiments uttered during the 2011 insurrections of North Africa and the Middle East. Those were, indeed, multitudes that could no longer be "shocked and awed." That is the affect that terrifies Brooks and that made him fantasize about a global campaign of indiscriminate state violence against rebellious hordes.

But the fear of the coming zombie insurrection may also be a tangential, not-fully-articulated recognition of the zombie-like conditions that capitalism has long cultivated at a planetary scale. After all, the global grinding machine depends on turning billions of people into passive, depoliticized bodies guided (like ticks and zombies) by just a few rudimentary affects: working, consuming, and obeying. Maybe what makes World War Z truly terrifying is the hidden recognition that the insurgent multitudes presented as lifeless hordes have woken up from their zombie nightmare to become unbearably human.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:34:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also: Super Position (By David Graeber)
Let me clarify one thing from the start: Christopher Nolan's Batman: The Dark Knight Rises really is a piece of anti-Occupy propaganda.  Nolan, the director, claims the script was written before the movement even started, and that the famous scenes of the occupation of New York ("Gotham") were really inspired by Dickens' account of the French Revolution.

This is probably true, but it's disingenuous. Everyone knows Hollywood scripts are continually being rewritten while movies are in production, and that when it comes to messaging, even details like where a scene is shot ("I know, let's have the cops face off with Bane's followers right in front of the New York Stock Exchange!") or a minor change of wording ("let's change `take control of' to `occupy'") can make all the difference. Then there's the fact that the villains actually do attack the Stock Exchange. Still, it's precisely this ambition, the filmmaker's willingness to take on the great issues of the day, that ruins the movie.

It's sad, because both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had moments of genuine eloquence. In the first films of the trilogy, Nolan has some interesting things to say about human psychology, and, particularly, about the relationship between creativity and violence. The Dark Knight Rises is more ambitious. It dares to speak on a scale and grandeur appropriate to the times. And in doing so, it stuttered into incoherence.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Full Poll. Highlights:
Q3 Do you believe in Santa Claus, or not?

Believe............................................................ 52%
Don't believe ................................................... 45%
Not sure .......................................................... 3%

[...]

Q5 Do you think Santa Claus is a Democrat or a
Republican?

Democrat ........................................................ 44%
Republican...................................................... 28%
Not sure .......................................................... 28%

[...]

Q8 Are you concerned that the fiscal cliff will force
Santa to cut back on the benefits he provides,
or not?

Concerned ...................................................... 54%
Not concerned ................................................ 35%
Not sure .......................................................... 11%

[...]

Q14 How many days do you think are in Hanukkah:
three days, four days, seven days, eight days,
twelve days, or the entire month of December?

3...................................................................... 4%
4...................................................................... 4%
7...................................................................... 18%
8...................................................................... 32%
12.................................................................... 18%
Entire month ................................................... 7%
Not sure .......................................................... 18%

Q15 If Grandma got run over by a reindeer, would
you press charges against Santa, or not?

Would press charges ...................................... 24%
Would not........................................................ 61%
Not sure .......................................................... 15%

Q16 If you saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, would
you tell Daddy?

Would tell Daddy............................................. 43%
Would not........................................................ 40%
Not sure .......................................................... 17%

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 12:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which character do you think could most
plausibly exist: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny,
the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, or Cupid?
Santa Claus .................................................... 52%
Easter Bunny .................................................. 5%
Confidence Fairy...................................................... 6%
Leprechauns ................................................... 19%
Cupid .............................................................. 17%

(Well OK I cheated.)

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

by eurogreen on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:02:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Electronic intifada
One soldier admits that the presence of cameras - presumably in the hands of Palestinian and other videographers - inhibits the soldiers from being even more abusive:

T. says the cameras on the ground undermine the forces' efforts. "A commander or an officer sees a camera and becomes a diplomat, calculating every rubber bullet, every step. It's intolerable, we're left utterly exposed. The cameras are our kryptonite."

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 12:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:50:26 AM EST
Sea Shepherd buys anti-whaling ship from Japan | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has scored a propaganda victory over Japan after it emerged it had bought its newest anti-whaling vessel from the Japanese government, apparently without its knowledge.

The $2m dollar vessel, which previously belonged to the country's meteorological agency, was bought from unsuspecting Japanese authorities by a US company, re-registered in the Pacific island of Tuvalu as the New Atlantis, and delivered to Australia by a Japanese crew.

The ship, which was unveiled on Tuesday in Hobart, was reflagged to Australia and named after Sam Simon, the founding producer of The Simpsons TV series and a prominent animal rights campaigner.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:03:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Across two decades and thousands of pages of reports, the world's most authoritative voice on climate science has consistently understated the rate and intensity of climate change and the danger those impacts represent, say a growing number of studies on the topic.

This conservative bias, say some scientists, could have significant political implications, as reports from the group - the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - influence policy and planning decisions worldwide, from national governments down to local town councils.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/report-ipcc-underestimate-assessing-climate-risks-15338

by asdf on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 12:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:51:16 AM EST
Study Finds Half Of Those Shot By Police Are Mentally Ill | ThinkProgress
A new study conducted by the Portland Press Herald in Maine found that nearly half of people shot by police since 2000 were mentally ill. Forty-two percent of those shot by police in Maine had a history of mental illness, but fatality rates were even higher. Fifty-eight percent of those who died after being shot by police were mentally ill.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:55:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - 2011 Census: Rise in foreign-born residents

The number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales has risen by nearly three million since 2001 to 7.5 million people, the 2011 census shows.

The most common birthplaces outside of the UK for residents are India, Poland and Pakistan. The number of ethnic white British has dropped to 80%.

The number of people living in England and Wales is up 7% to 56.1 million.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope it wasn't intentional, but there was a certain faint but decidedly rancid whiff about the reporting of this on the BBC. I suspect that the common discourse from the tabloids about asylum seekers and illegal immigrants has placed certain cliches in the journalistic palette which, when used, can only be interpreted as a negative comment.

As I say, I hope it wasn't intentional but I felt the segment sounded sensationalist and vaguely horrified

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Australian Police Issue Anti-Apple Maps Warning After Spate Of Stranded Tourists | Fast Company

If Apple Maps users go down to the woods today, they're sure of a big surprise, say cops in Australia. The Victoria Police Force has put out a warning to iPhone 5 users after several tourists got lost inside Murray-Sunset National Park.

The problem lies with the location of the town of Mildura, tucked away in the middle of this Aussie beauty spot. On the iOS 6 mapping system, Mildura appears to be 44 miles away from its actual location. With temperatures reaching as high as 46 degrees Celsius, or 114 degrees Fahrenheit (while we all shiver in the grip of winter, it's shrimp-on-barbie time Down Under), some motorists have even been stranded for up to 24 hours with no food and water.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 11:32:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to a poster on slashdot, the problem in this case is that there is a Mildura town and a Mildura administrative region (county?), and the iPhone map application prioritized the administrative region over the town. So unless you specify that you want the town, it defaults to point to the center of the administrative region, which is in the middle of nowhere.
by asdf on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 02:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moral of teh story : doesn't matter how good your solution is technically; if you don't know what it's for, it's going to be all cuffed up. What do people use mapping software for? Does our solution do it well? Why would anyone want to navigate to the geographic center of an administrative region? Why did nobody ask this question?

IT projects should be piloted by people who keep a functional focus.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 05:06:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a warning issued for Google Maps too.

Did anyone cover that?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 05:27:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google Maps Is Now Available for iOS Devices, Offers Turn-by-Turn Driving Directions, Street View, and More

iPhone and iPad users, your wait is over: Google has unveiled an official Google Maps app for iOS, and it's available now in the iTunes App Store. It comes with all of the features you'd expect: turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions, transit and walking directions, 2D and 3D maps, Street View and aerial imagery, and more.

If you don't see Google Maps in the iTunes App Store now, wait a bit--Google says it's rolling out across the globe right now. We tried it out, and it works as advertised: a similar experience to Google Maps in Android, and the addition of Google's great turn-by-turn driving directions is a nice bonus.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 05:41:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't be true. We were assured by those who know that Apple would never approve such a thing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 05:52:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
go check the app store, it's there. just waiting for it to open on my phone. i don't use navs often si won't try review it.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 07:11:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, can't be. The pundits have spoken.

<checks Twitter>

Oh sorry, reality has been revised.

Now the app has been readmitted to the App Store. Where "readmitted" means "entered for the first time".

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 07:20:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But now it's a stand-alone app, not integrated like it was before...
by asdf on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 10:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Royal prank radio station donates advertising profits to nurse's family | Media | guardian.co.uk

The radio station behind the prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying has pledged to donate all advertising profits until the end of the year to a fund that will benefit the family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who took the call and was later found dead.

In a statement, Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, said a minimum contribution of A$500,000 (£325,000) would be made. Advertising was suspended on the station on Saturday afternoon but will resume on Thursday.

"All profits from advertising on 2DayFM until the end of the year will be donated to an appropriate fund that will directly benefit the family of Jacintha Saldanha," Southern Cross Austereo said



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Snooper's charter': leading Tories back Nick Clegg's call for complete rewrite | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Leading Conservatives have backed Nick Clegg's call to send Theresa May's "snooper's charter" legislation back to the drawing board as Downing Street conceded that parts of the bill would have to be rewritten.

The former Tory shadow home secretary David Davis said the chances of the draft communications data bill getting through parliament now depended on the Liberal Democrats "if they have the testosterone".

Davis told the Guardian: "This bill needs to go straight back to the drawing board. What it requires is a wholesale rewrite." Even then, Davis said, it would still probably not make it on to the statute book before the next general election.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The minister and a warning to the Telegraph before expenses story - Telegraph

The Culture Secretary's special adviser said she wanted to "flag up" the Cabinet minister's connection to press regulation after reporters established that Mrs Miller's parents lived in her taxpayer-funded second home.

On Monday after initially refusing to answer questions about the controversial claims, Mrs Miller and her advisers indicated that this newspaper had timed its disclosures to overshadow Monday's announcement about same-sex marriage.

The Daily Telegraph has decided to disclose details of the private conversations amid widespread concern about the potential dangers of politicians being given a role in overseeing the regulation of the press.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 06:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What was she thinking ???

Ever since the Telegraph highlighted the lax regulations and borderline fraud perpetrated by MPs regarding their expenses, barely anything has changed. They're still at i !!t, as the Telegraph takes delight in demonstrating on a regular basis.

So, Miller thought she could try to use Leveson as cover for her tricks ?? More fool her.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:00:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 05:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - The hum that helps to fight crime

A rape victim has come forward to the police. She says she has confronted her attacker and has secretly recorded him admitting his guilt.

A suspected terrorist has been taped planning a deadly attack, and the police want to use this evidence in court. Or someone has been captured on CCTV threatening an assault.

Increasingly, recordings like these are playing a role in criminal investigations.

But how can the police be sure that the audio evidence is genuine, that it has not been tampered with or cleverly edited?



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 06:54:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Busting a Cyberstalker: How Carla Franklin Fought Back - The Daily Beast
I remember feeling stunned, then sick. Sitting at my desk at a New York City consulting firm in 2009, I had randomly Googled my name. The jarring result: a series of strange montages on YouTube--all containing snapshots of me, along with the label "whore." The photos, cobbled together from various corners of the Internet, were shots from a beauty pageant and a few acting jobs I had held in the past, when I was signed with a regional modeling agency. My mind raced. Who hated me this much to post these things? Who would call me a whore?


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:00:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 08:51:39 AM EST
Monkey business: primate found wandering Ikea sparks custody battle | World news | guardian.co.uk

The owner of a monkey caught wandering outside an Ikea store in Toronto says the tiny primate rarely left her side until it was confiscated by authorities - and she wants it back.

The monkey let itself out of Yasmin Nakhuda's parked car on Sunday and ambled around Ikea's car park dressed in a fitted sheepskin coat.

It was captured by animal control officers and taken to a primate sanctuary.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chavez undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has admitted that his cancer has returned and is currently undergoing surgery in Cuba.

His friend and political ally Ecuadorean leader Rafael Correa said on Tuesday that the surgery is "a very delicate operation".

Having designated Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his heir apparent in case "something happened" to him, Chavez had returned to Cuba on Monday, where he was greeted at the airport by President Raul Castro.

Video of Chavez's departure, played hours later on state television, showed him raising a fist as he climbed the stairs alone. From top of the stairs, he waved and shouted "Long live our homeland!"



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2012 at 04:58:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ravi Shankar dies | Music | guardian.co.uk
Ravi Shankar, who has died aged 92 in San Diego, was the Indian maestro who put the sitar on the musical map. George Harrison called him "the godfather of world music" and it was Shankar's vision that brought the sounds of the raga into western consciousness, thus bridging the gap between eastern and western music for the first time. In a long career he was still winning awards in 2002 when his album Full Circle/Live at Carnegie Hall (2000) achieved a Grammy for best album in the world music category. Shankar's distinction as a sitar player was his brilliant virtuosity, creativity and vast range of musicianship. In the west, certainly, his name is also synonymous with the music of India.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 02:24:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another great of the first era of recorded Indian musicians dies.

I always compare them to Armstrong, Ellington, et. al.

Go see the ones who are left before they are gone!

Today I nominate Imrat Khan - he's now based in St. Louis, teaches at the university there and plays every now and then - I think he's getting too old for much travelling...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:24:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always been partial to the genius of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes indeed!

He's based in Delhi, but he's touring the USA in February and there are rumours he may play in Europe later in 2013.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 04:33:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I chaperoned him around Rome in the 70's for the international poetry festival. There was Ginsburg, Burroughs, Orlovsky, if I recall well. Anyway Ustad was young and it was his first time in Italy. Despite the humidity the concert in Villa Borghese was enchanting. I think Zakir Hussain was on the tabla that evening.

It was simply incredible. I still have the tapes of the concert and some of our conversations.

One thing interesting about the Roman festivals at the time was the possibility to have subcontinent artists from different musical traditions play together. They greatly enjoyed the experience and would never have played together in India at the time.

As for applause, it drives me up the tree. An occasional "wa-wa" murmured in admiration characterized the Roman experiences. Crystalline silence was the best tribute and Indian musicians are masters at creating ineffable silence. it's too bad the uneducated clutter it up with their damned applause.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 06:39:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Today is International Soundcheck Day...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 03:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
does it take to change a lightbulb?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 07:09:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell me...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 at 01:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(HUM crack pop) One.

(Bzzzz) Two. Two. One. Two. One...

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

by eurogreen on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 05:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a couple of talented sound engineers here. I'm sure it's appreciated ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 at 02:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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