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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 15-16 December

by DoDo Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:33:23 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on these dates in history:

1852 - birth of Henri Becquerel, French physicist and co-Nobel-laureate with the Curies for the discovery of radioactivity (d. 1908)

More here

1922 - a nationalist painter assassinates Gabriel Narutowicz (b. 1865), the first President of the inter-war Second Polish Republic, after just five days in office

More here and here

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 EUROPE 



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:54:34 PM EST
Latest eurozone summit ends in stalemate | Business | The Guardian
European leaders wound up their final summit of 2012 on Friday in much the same manner as they started the year - kicking the euro crisis can down the road, playing for time, crossing their fingers, hoping the worst is behind them.

Is there a point in quoting any more?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:54:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monti emerges as EU summit darling | EurActiv

Following a push by the Italian Prime Minister, the draft summit conclusions state, in the second paragraph, that public investments in large infrastructure projects can be counted out of public deficit calculations.

"The possibilities offered by the EU's existing fiscal framework to balance productive public investment needs with fiscal discipline objectives can be exploited in the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact," according to the draft summit conclusions.

In other words, Italy could be given a green light to implement public investment programmes, such as road building, or other large infrastructure projects, without these impacting on the country's deficit.

This has long been a request of Monti, and had been resisted by Merkel up to this point.

Does this mean that deficit numbers will be re-calculated and official deficits will be reduced significantly? Back in September 2005, when Hungary was a fresh EU member, the EU didn't allow the continuation of the practice to exclude highway construction from deficit calculations, which alone meant an increase of the official public deficit for 2005 by 1.9%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More like zugzwang.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:53:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia denies involvement in death of ex-spy Litvinenko - RUSSIA-UK - FRANCE 24
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said: "We hope that as a result of the (legal process) ... all the baseless allegations about some kind of a Russian involvement in this affair will be dispelled once and for all."


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Former policeman jailed in Politkovskaya murder case - RUSSIA - FRANCE 24
A Moscow judge has sentenced a former police officer to 11 years in prison and fined him 3 million rubles (about $100,000) for his part in the 2006 murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who prosecutors claimed helped to track Politkovskaya's movements and provided the triggerman with a gun, had struck a plea bargain that qualified him for a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation.

Politkovskaya's family opposed the deal, which allowed Pavlyuchenkov to admit his guilt without testifying, on the grounds that it would not help find the masterminds of the killing.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia opens second criminal case against opposition leader | World news | guardian.co.uk

Russia has opened a second criminal investigation into the opposition leader Alexey Navalny, one day before he was due to lead thousands in an anti-Kremlin rally.

Investigators accuse Navalny, and his brother Oleg, of stealing 55m roubles (£1.1m) from a trading company.

"So am I to understand, that I'm no longer enough and now they're going after my family?" Navalny wrote on Twitter. He later called the accusations "total nonsense".

Navalny, an anti-corruption crusader and blogger (video), has spearheaded the growing opposition to Vladimir Putin, exposing corrupt practices inside the government and attacking officials with venomous wit via his popular social media accounts.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German Legislative Chamber Approves Bid to Ban Neo Nazi NPD - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Germany's upper legislative chamber on Friday unanimously backed a bid to submit a petition to ban the far-right National Democratic Party to the nation's highest court. However, the initiative still requires approval from the German parliament and the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And the arch-conservative federal interior minister is still pulling his leg.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is factually incorrect.


§ 43
(1) Der Antrag auf Entscheidung, ob eine Partei verfassungswidrig ist (Artikel 21 Abs. 2 des Grundgesetzes), kann von dem Bundestag, dem Bundesrat oder von der Bundesregierung gestellt werden.
(2) Eine Landesregierung kann den Antrag nur gegen eine Partei stellen, deren Organisation sich auf das Gebiet ihres Landes beschränkt.

(1) The request on a decision, whether a party is unconstitutional (art. 21 part 2 of the Basic Law) can be made by the lower house, the upper house and the federal government.

by oliver on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:19:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct, the lower house and the federal government aren't asked for approval but for joining the request. In case of the federal government, that's significant because of their own information on the NPD, which could be used to bolster the request.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Ireland remains sectarian and without political leadership | Adam McGibbon | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

We are now well into the second week of Northern Ireland-wide protests over Belfast city council's decision to only fly the union flag on designated days, rather than all year round.

My native East Belfast is wild with protest, with petrol bombs thrown into an unmarked police car, the inhabitants of which were lucky to escape with their lives. A typical wry Northern Irish wit takes some of the edge off the horror for bystanders, but the fact remains that this is the worst and most widespread disorder in decades.

...So, disgusted at our politician's lack of leadership - and even more disgusted at some of the politicians who have inflamed the recent situation - many in my generation now join the oft-discussed Northern Ireland "brain drain". Ironically, this is an issue that worries unionist politicians most, who worry about their future cultural identity in a society they do not dominate. It's fair to say that the ferocious response to the union flag issue is in part a reaction to this fear. I imagine that worry is compounded by the census results that show a continuing decline in the Protestant population, now at 48%, down 5% from 2001.

Regarding census figures, until they repair the gaulty Javascript on the census pages, check page 19 of this report. There are separate tables for religion and religion one was brought up in. The latter is more relevant for sectarianism and was used by Adam McGibbon above. Below I give the 'religion one was brought in' figure and also the figure for actually professed religion in parantheses:

  • Catholic: 45.14% (40.76%)
  • Protestant or Other Christian: 48.36% (41.56%)
  • Other religions: 0.92% (0.82%)
  • None: 5.59% (10.11%)
  • No reply: 0% (6.75%)

I predict that the real shocker will be in the confessional distribution according to age group, a data not yet released. An analysis of the 2011 census already shows that Unionists as a political force are inexorably damned to minority status (whether non-sectarian forces receive significant support or not), with Catholics outnumbering Protestants in all age groups below the one that would become 35 years old in 2011.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The biggest problem in N Ireland is that, due to the stupid idea of religious education, the two communities are educated separately. So they grow up seeing people who worship the same god slightly differently as "other", as different from them.

It should be no surprise that they end up with entirely different cultural traditions and beliefs and feel that these others represent a threat to their way of lie. Especially  when this threat is backed by the force of law.

However, these people claim to be loyalists. But to what are they loyal ? Their belligerent monoculture is almost entirely absent on the mainland apart from the more idiot fringes of Glasgow's football grounds

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:47:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those nutters are the ur-population from whence sprang the US FundieCons (aka Tea Baggers.)  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:35:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The punchline is that the decline in professed protestantism is popularly ascribed to differential natality (I have no numbers on that), but it's clear that there's a strong differential in the decline in professed religion, in favour of Catholicism.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 11:00:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:51 PM EST
Algerian state may invest in PSA Peugeot Citroen - FRANCE-ALGERIA - FRANCE 24
Troubled PSA Peugeot Citroen's future may lie in a growing closeness between France and its former colony Algeria.

French President François Hollande, keen to promote a business relationship "between equals" is due in Algiers on December 19 for a landmark two-day visit to the former French territory.

That equal partnership is likely to feature the auto industry, in which the Algerian state is desperate to invest, according to French business daily, La Tribune.

For PSA, input from the Algerian state could be a much-needed panacea for Europe's second-largest car maker, which has been haemorrhaging jobs and seen a year of disastrous sales.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:55:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telecoms treaty sunk by US with EU allies | EurActiv

Efforts to update international telecommunications regulations collapsed yesterday (13 December) after six EU member states joined the US and Canada in refusing to agree a text at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN body, organised the 12-day conference to revise a communications treaty last overhauled 24 years ago. 193 countries have been debating changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations in Dubai since 3 December, with the conference concluding today.

The UK joined the US and Canada in outright objecting to calls for all states to have equal rights to the governance of the internet at the conference.

Gang of six EU states refused to sign

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden all said they needed to consult with their national governments about how to proceed and would also not be able to sign the treaty as planned today.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:56:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Enjoy the unrestrained Internet while it lasts...
by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / Tobacco firms held quiet meetings with top EU officials

BRUSSELS - Tobacco lobbyists and top European Commission officials held several quiet meetings over at least the past two years, says Brussels-based pro-transparency group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).

Among them are people from commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso's own cabinet, his secretariat-general and others in the commission's directorate for health and consumer affairs (DG Sanco).

The EU's anti-fraud office, Olaf, says undisclosed meetings with the tobacco industry are a direct violation of an article in the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:56:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is why I hate the EU.  It is profoundly corrupt.
by stevesim on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 09:56:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coppola Comment: Who pulled the switch? (14 December 2012)
The creator of the concept of psychological games, Eric Berne, defined them thus:
"A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions... with a concealed motivation... or gimmick."
Games have a characteristic pattern: all players participate willingly in what appears to be a mutually satisfying serious of exchanges until someone breaks the rules ("pulls the switch") and the game comes to an abrupt end, accompanied by confusion, panic and anger as all participants are forced to face the truth they have been avoiding.  In TA, games have one purpose only, and that is to avoid what Berne calls "intimacy" and we might call "reality". And they are anything but fun. Psychological games range from mildly upsetting to downright vicious and even murderous. Someone always gets hurt.

...

What is depressing is that the world has played this sequence of games before: "Profligacy" ("we will never run out of money") followed by "Austerity" ("there's no money left"). The last time this sequence was played in earnest, it caused enormous suffering across the developed world and ended in world war. We played a milder version in the 1970s and 80s, which ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union and wars in Eastern Europe. Perhaps the "switch" in the Austerity game is popular uprising and replacement of political regimes - but as Orwell described in "Animal Farm", one political regime looks much like another.....

...

What is needed is for economists and politicians to put their various ideologies to one side and take a hard look at how the economy ACTUALLY works, and what is really going on. Shortage of money is not the problem: allocation of money is the issue. Money is being created, but it is not going where it is needed, and this leads to unnecessary shortages of goods that actually are in abundant supply. That is the defining characteristic of both games - Profligacy as much as Austerity. The underlying reality is gross inequality and misallocation of resources. Until the world recognises this, we are doomed forever to play out the same sequence of games.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:23:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:56:34 PM EST
Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will face no further action says CPS - Crime - UK - The Independent
Computer hacker, Gary McKinnon, will face no further criminal proceedings over the hacking of US government computers the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said today.

Mr McKinnon, 46, admitted he accessed the government computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

He could have faced up to 60 years in prison if he was convicted in the US.

In October McKinnon sensationally won his fight against extradition to the United States, as the Home Secretary, Theresa May, ruled that the former computer hacker was not well enough to stand trial overseas.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, they want to keep good hackers at home where they mau be useful one day.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 09:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Embattled Rice pulls out of US secretary of state race - USA - FRANCE 24

Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration as US secretary of state on Thursday in the face of what promised to be a difficult Senate confirmation battle.

Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidante of President Barack Obama, said she was withdrawing from the process to avoid a lengthy, costly and disruptive confirmation battle.

Baseless character assassination still works (on Democrats).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:56:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
she was criticised from the left too.

heavily invested in the big pipeline...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 09:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But let's face it, leftist critiques would not impact her confirmation hearings in any way, and the leftist critique wasn't that she omitted calling Benghazi a terror attack. I think the noteworthy fact about this incident is that Democrats will falter in face of loud opposition even if that noise is totally baseless; and this is true on several other issues, too, hence the constant march to the right.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the leftist critique wasn't that she omitted calling Benghazi a terror attack

She didn't just omit something. She played to the meme that those inherently violent Muslim crowds couldn't stomach a bit of free speech and spontaneously became murderous. Bomb them all. Scared to be judged not belligerent enough, and this backfired.

She deliberately lied: there was no crowd. And yes: shame on every leftist who didn't criticise her for it.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 07:56:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand she repeated what she'd been told to say, using lines decided by the CIA as being the most likely to avoid exacerbating the situation while they worked out what was really happening in a fast moving situation.

Sometimes you can't tell the whole truth, sometimes you are sent out with a misleading picture as it suits strategic purposes.

Rice was not responsible for what was said. McCain and his cohorts knew that but he's a rancid and bitter old man who can't forgive a perceived slight from Rice 5 or so years ago.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 08:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen, isn't your version even worse for a candidate to a public office? If the CIA used poor little Susan for their own game, give her a dummy and send her home to Mummy. And if Rice has an agenda and is too vile to speak the truth, except accidentally, she mustn't have power either. I think the latter explanation is more likely, but in both cases she is not fit for a public office.

The next candidate, whoever that may be, probably isn't either, but that doesn't make it better for Rice.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 09:23:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that's realpolitik. Diplomacy isn't about always telling the truth. Domestic American politics requires the appearance of control, even when it is absent.

As a spokesperson for the Government, she delivers the message the government decides is most advantageous to its agenda; that's her job. Rice cannot have an agenda of her own in that situation, that really would be a sackable offense.

Did the CIA know something she didn't ? who knows but it's not her job to say anything different whatever she knew.

Do you seriously think Obama doesn't lie if it suits his purpose ? Or tell the whole truth when other messages serve better ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:15:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find that the whole idea that these vague initial talking points were supposed to support some agenda is always based on selective reading, is rather unconvincing and besides the point; and for me the person of the Secretary of State is unimportant. The really bad parts of current US foreign policy, like the drone war (see elsewhere in the Salon), are decided at the top and receive bipartisan support. All that's interesting in this story IMHO is a peek at the mindset that results in a bipartisan foreign policy even though there is an asymmetry between the two sides.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you lie, the lie must be plausible. That lie wasn't.
by oliver on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not her fault; her job as a spokesperson is to say what she's told to say. No more, no less.

Blaming her for that is like blaming the announcer when your football team gets beaten

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:47:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Domestic American politics requires the appearance of control, even when it is absent.

And there was not even the appearance of the truth, right? Officials aren't always responsible for their lies: only when they are caught. Off with her head.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only in hindsight. It looked right at the time and then within 2 hours, the story was changed.

but you're still blaming the TV announcer for saying your team lost

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am blaming the TV announcer for saying my team won while in reality it was beaten.
by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hear hear Katrin.

she was bad news, we dodged a bullet with her gone, mccain unwittingly did us a favour, for all the predictably wrong reasons!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 08:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know her story, but in general the way it works in large organizations is that you have so much stuff across your table and so little consideration time, that you rely on 'experts with ground knowledge'. What else can you do given the logistics?

A President, for example, gets a 2 page summary of domestic and world events for breakfast. That's for everything in the government purview. It works like our very own individual sensory system: raw data sensory information is gathered at 'ground level', but as it gets sent up through to consciousness (whatever that is) raw data becomes 'intelligent' data. Data is filtered for novelty, threat, condition, and the various filtered feeds prioritize themselves. By the time you are aware of it, you have few options. The system has already taken most of the decisions.

Obviously the system can be 'trained' (behaviourally) over time, and we expect those who represent us to react, inform and lead in accordance with agreed behavioural actions (inner values?).

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 09:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i think the benghazi thing is a big fat zero, terra schmerra, the distinction/difference has left the building.

imagine if adam lanza's name had been fareed abdul.

no what bothers me was just instinctive, till i read about the pipeline thing.
that makes her the enemy, trojan horse, mole, 5th columnist, imo.

other spurious irrelevancies: her skin colour and gender.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but here is the potential fallout:

  • Obama gets to select an all white male cabinet, because "the GOP won't approve minorities."
  • John Kerry gets made Secretary of State.
  • John Kerry's senate seat goes up for a vote.
  • Rice is added to the list of potential Security Advisor candidates, a more powerful job and one that doesn't need confirmation.
by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Rice does a Liz Warren and goes for Kerry's old seat and ends up in the Senate in a position to blow raspberries at the rancid old man on a daily basis


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:59:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't immediately see how "there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine." lends itself better for bomb-them-all propaganda than an attack by a hundreds-strong militia (of the same extremists) previously tolerated by local government. As for deliberate lie, that supposes she and the US government had unequivocal information to the contrary.

If you ckeck the actual (sourced) timeline on Wikipedia, you'll see that the claim of a protest against the Muhhammad video surfaced in the media sourced to Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, and multiple local witnesses interviewed thought there was a protest, too. In fact, as I reported back then, even Ansar el-Sharia claimed that there was a peaceful protest:

Who are Libya's Ansar al-Sharia? - LIBYA - FRANCE 24

But on September 13, a spokesman for the group denied responsibility for the attack. "It was a peaceful protest, and the firing on the protesters inflamed the situation and gave it a different course," Hani Mansouri said at a press conference. But he also added that the US should have evacuated its ambassador on September 11 as "a precautionary measure".


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fact is, there was no protest. There were only the US' nice dear anti-Gaddafi allies and plenty of CIA who ought to report to Washington. If she wasn't in the know, she must be completely incapable for her job.

Every repug behaving in the same way (and they do behave in the same way, and their policy is the same) would have been torn apart by the left, and rightly so.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:26:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan witnesses recount organized Benghazi attack

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- It began around nightfall on Sept. 11 with around 150 bearded gunmen, some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants, sealing off the streets leading to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They set up roadblocks with pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, according to witnesses.

The trucks bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a powerful local group of Islamist militants who worked with the municipal government to manage security in Benghazi, the main city in eastern Libya and birthplace of the uprising last year that ousted Moammar Gadhafi after a 42-year dictatorship.

There was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam's Prophet Muhammad. But a lawyer passing by the scene said he saw the militants gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film. Within an hour or so, the assault began, guns blazing as the militants blasted into the compound.

(My bold)

If true, there was a deliberate attempt from the attackers to create an impression of a protest. Earlier the same day, there had been the big demonstration against the US embassy in Cairo. So there was something that can have been reported as a protest.

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 Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:48:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, if I ever organise a protest and only 20 people come, I'll know that at least Washington trembles.

If this was an attempt to fake the impression of a protest it was a damn pitiful attempt.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will you at least admit that a demonstration was not an invention by the American government but information that also reached the American government?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:33:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment Replies
Will you at least admit that a demonstration was not an invention by the American government but information that also reached the American government?

Not really. There is one press report claiming they had heard one witness say there were 20 militants trying to look like a protest. In a country with hundreds of militias, some of them armed to the teeth by the US themselves, and others armed by the remnants of Gaddafi's forces. Even if there was conflicting info in Washington (which I doubt), the protest resulting in violence meme would have been the least likely story. There are witnesses saying there was definitely no protest.

by Katrin on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
20 people in addition to the more than a hundred militants. Let's get back to your original claim about a motivation, too. The CIA's and Rice's original claim was that a presumably smaller number of extremists with heavy weapons joined a protest and escalated violence, while the version that transpires by now is that a larger number of the ame extremists with heavy weapons recruited protesters as a cover. How is either version better for denigrating Muslims?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:43:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly the "Muslim mob incensed over a video" is a meme that is used by neocon islamophobes. Islam, a danger for all of us. Not all Muslims are terrorists but nearly all terrorists are Muslims. That sort of stuff. I am fed up with it.

In reality this was a militia. In a Muslim country this tends to consist of Muslims, but there was absolutely no nexus to any protest of a Muslim-hating video or so. Just a militia armed by the US like so many militias and death squadrons all over the world and turning out to be not quite under control. Has happened before and will happen again.

by Katrin on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fact is, there were several sources claiming that there was a protest, including the perpetrators, and all of this information landed on the desk of the intelligence chiefs at Langley and Washington and had first to be sorted out. Fact is, the initial CIA talking points and Rice's rendering of them were vague, heavily hedged and emphatically temporary, nothing like the denfinite claims you treat them like. You are making too much fuss over nothing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, is it me who is making the fuss? I remember there was some fuss claiming she was treated unfairly, which I reject. Rice gave the opposition the opportunity to do what an opposition is meant to do. She lied. Or if she didn't lie deliberately, her behaviour is only explicable by extreme stupidity, which I find less likely than malice. Would your reaction really have been the same, if this was a Bushite administration?
by Katrin on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:25:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pain Continues after War for American Drone Pilot - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Much has been made of the devastating impact American drones have on civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. One soldier's story shows that it can also adversely affect the lives of those who operate the remote-controlled weapons. Former servicemember Brandon Bryant is still haunted by images of the injured and dying.

Excuse me if I spare my sympathy for his victims.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:57:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure some of the guards at Guantanamo find their sleep is sometimes disturbed by the screams of those they tortured. Our hearts go out to their suffering

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i found this article encouraging, in that no matter how far away, the human heart still feels.

the distance may indeed add to the horror, by virtue of the pure facility.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 08:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This guy 'felt' because by pure chance, during the n'th video game attack he conducted, he noticed a child walking outside the house. How many other children has he killed without seeing anything on the monitor? How many of his colleagues have continued killing off entire fasmilies without ever accidentally seeing one of their 'collateral damage' victims? And how many of them had mental routines like the one this guy chatted with, who just assumed that the child was rather a dog (walking on two legs)?

This is a case where anecdotal evidence runs counter to the general truth, which is still that the drone war desensitises the killers even more than classic aerial bombing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:37:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is true that militaries show their fighting people gory movies to desensitize them - so they will obey orders and stay focused, even if their best buddy standing close by just had his head blown off - then I'd say there is evidence that gore of all kinds, virtually and in the flesh, desensitizes to some degree.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:55:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of something completely different; perhaps "desensitise" wasn't the right word. I meant disconnect, cognitive dissonance, virtuality: the bomber pilot and even more the remote controller drone pilot doesn't see his/her victims, the pain and suffering s/he causes. In contrast, desensitization like watching gory movies is for ground troops engaging in shootouts and hand-to-hand combat.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also desensitization to video games!

But the inability to envisage the human consequences of one's actions is part and parcel of being in the same world that uses the phrase 'collateral damage', instead of 'innocent civilians getting blown to shit.' It's all about, as ever, the manipulation of perceptions.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:22:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NSFW



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

by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
This guy 'felt' because by pure chance,

i kinda doesn't matter what triggered the remembrance that he was human.

another huge component is the utter lack of heroism or bravery needed. war was reliably used as proof of manhood, and still is, though less than before.

these guys are just... computer operators. fast reflexes do not glory make.

keyboard murder, something you do, like playing shoot'em up virtual reality...as long as the indoctrination dike holds back the sea of humanity pressing agin it.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i kinda doesn't matter what triggered the remembrance that he was human.

What matters is the low likelihood of that trigger, which spared the operators from a 'remembrance of being human' in the overwhelming number of cases.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no argument there, but my point is that he could have chosen to further harden himself, but didn't.

and if it hadn't been her, it could be something else, anything that reminded him he was a suffering, flesh-and-bone being as well, and that the cognitive dissonance between on one side the conditioning to all that's good, pure and holy, love, connection, kittens, and the other from the military, (well started in childhood probably, but honed by the military) to de-activate the connection with his conscience and imagine real flesh-and-blood people as just pixels to be vaporised.

we know more committed suicide after vietnam than died at war, it's obvious what a toll it takes to realise that once de-activated, that connection is incredibly hard to repair and reset, and if you don't succeed, then life is not worth the effort to live.

the pentagon hoped that these 'soldiers' would lobotomise their souls at work, then haul off and act 'normal' after hours.

stories like this, once again, show us what hacks they are at basic psychology, how estranged from reality their expectations remain, and little they really care about anything else than 'winning', people be damned.

moments like this in history, when a nation takes stock of itself after a reflection in the reality-mirror, are agents of awakening. the attitudes so prevalent in america of problem-resolution-through-violence start with cartoons, move through cars, guns, organised sports and media/movies/games into a strange new world where all that counts is your ability to do terrible things without any inconvenient moral pangs. take it all the way to no more rule of law if you bought the courts if you want.

then it's "how sad, how tragic" bla bla.

btw i agree with everything you say, perhaps from a slightly different angle.

and if there is a way out of it, it will take a whole lot of bla bla, sigh...

thanks for the good discussion. ;)

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 08:24:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moscow `will not' change its stance on Syria, says official - RUSSIA - FRANCE 24
"We have never changed our position (on Syria) and we never will," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov said earlier this week the Syrian regime "is losing more and more control" and it was not excluded that President Bashar al-Assad could lose the conflict with the rebels.

The United States swiftly welcomed Bogdanov's comments, saying it appeared Moscow was "finally waking up to the reality."

Lukashevich retorted Friday that "we were never sleeping to begin with."

I think Russia is interested first and foremost in not setting a precedent that could be used for interventions in its closer sphere of influence, second in preventing an increase in US influence to establish some sort of Great Powers balance, and third in maintaining regimes that make business with Russia. I also think Russia often ends up losing on all three counts, failing to prepare for good relations with the new regime for the eventuality that the ruling unpopular autocrat is toppled (with or without substantial Western help).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
could it be also that Assad is secular, and if he goes he will probably be replaced by a Moslem Brotherhood type?

they have as you know their own issues in Checnya, and the recent empowerment in the arab spring countries could lead to more dissent within their own borders.

the three reasons you cite are spot on, imo.

with the little improvement ensuing from these other 'revolutions', the could also be skeptical that deposing Assad will have any real benefit to the country, rather a frying pan/fire situation.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
blowback's a bitch, ain't it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, post-Assad Syria will most likely be even worse than post-Gaddafi Lybia, possibly almost as bad as post-Saddam Iraq. However, while that's something Western humanitarian intervention enthusiasts should have thought about; for Russia, the question should have been whether the Assad regime even has a chance to survive now, or is propping him up only ensuring an even worse aftermath (and whether diplomatic action or economic pressure much much earlier in the conflict could have actually prevented civil war and ensured the survival of the regime and stability with it).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:49:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns after fraud charge - Middle East - World - The Independent
Israel's powerful foreign minister announced his resignation from government today, a day after an indictment for breach of trust was filed against him by the country's attorney general, in a move that shakes up the election campaign and heavily impacts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election calculations.

...Prosecutors have long suspected that Lieberman illicitly received millions of dollars from businessmen and laundered the cash through straw companies in eastern Europe while he was a lawmaker and Cabinet minister. In his decision Thursday, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said the case was not strong enough.

...Instead, Lieberman was charged with the lesser offense of receiving official material from the investigation against him from the former Israeli ambassador to Belarus.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's LDP set for big win in Sunday election: polls | Reuters

(Reuters) - Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is on track for a stunning victory in Sunday's election, returning to power with hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the helm, and possibly ending Japan's political gridlock.

Opinion polls by the Asahi, Yomiuri and Nikkei newspapers on Friday forecast that the LDP was headed for a hefty majority in the powerful, 480-seat lower house of parliament.

The LDP and its smaller ally, the New Komeito party, could even gain the two-thirds majority needed to break through a policy deadlock that has plagued the world's third biggest economy since 2007.

An LDP win on Sunday would usher in a government committed to a tough stance in a territorial row with China, a pro-nuclear power energy policy despite last year's Fukushima disaster and a radical recipe of hyper-easy monetary policy and big fiscal spending to end persistent deflation and tame a strong yen.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters
Israeli soldiers punched two Reuters cameramen and forced them to strip in the street, before letting off a tear gas canister in front of them, leaving one of them needing hospital treatment.

Israel's military said on Thursday it took the allegations seriously, but offered no explanation for the assault that occurred on Wednesday evening in the heart of Hebron.

Turns out that they mistook them for human rights workers.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:21:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, well that would explain it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Journalists ? Human rights workers ? Witnesses ?

If they were in Waziristan they'd be getting a Hellfire down the tailpipe, so they should be thankful for small mercies.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 07:00:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MercoPress: Venezuelan doctor Jose Rafael Marquina, who is based in the US and is known for his accurate prognoses on President Hugo Chavez's health, told a local Florida radio that the Venezuelan leader Chavez has "between two and three months to live".
Analysis from NACLA.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Members of the ruling party met behind closed doors, bartering all night for votes to depose four Supreme Court justices who had rejected the president's plan to weed out corrupt police. Ominously, soldiers and police surrounded the National Congress.

The Cuban Triangle: The cooperatives will be self-governing businesses that are not connected to any state institution.  In that sense they differ from state enterprises, all of which have a connection to ministries and their enterprise groups and, in spite of efforts to engender autonomy, have in large measure remained subordinated to government entities.  The cooperatives will be on their own to sink or swim.
(...)
I think this is a major step, even though the full definition of the policy will only come with time as cooperatives are created and as the government moves beyond the experimental phase. Certainly from a capitalist perspective, all we see are the restrictions - first and foremost in the requirement that these businesses organize as cooperatives. But from the perspective of the Cuba of five years ago, this new law was unimaginable.

Tim's El Salvador Blog: The truce between the El Salvador's major rival gangs continues to hold. along with the resulting dramatic reduction in the number of homicides in the country.     Now the original mediators of the truce as well as other actors are hoping to build on the momentum towards peace that the truce represents.

Puerto Rico, SAN JUAN - Ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Thursday slashed Puerto Rico's credit rating two notches to Baa3, or one level above speculative grade.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 05:39:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PCRM: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: Email - PCRM Breaking Medical News: Vegan Diets Have Lower Cancer Risk

Vegan Diets Have Lower Cancer Risk

Vegan diets are linked to a lower overall cancer rate, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. The diets of 69,120 participants from the Adventist Health Study-2 were tracked for more than four years. Dietary patterns were divided into five categories: nonvegetarian, semivegetarians, lacto-vegetarians (consumes dairy products and eggs), pesco-vegetarians (consumes dairy, eggs, and fish), and vegans. Vegans had a 16 percent decreased risk of all cancers, and vegan women had a 34 percent decreased risk for other specific cancers including breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, compared with nonvegetarians.



"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 09:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As is usually the case, it pays to go to the primary source.

From the abstract:

2,939 incident cancer cases were identified. The multivariate HR of overall cancer risk among vegetarians compared to non-vegetarians was statistically significant (HR=0.92; 95%CI: 0.85, 0.99) for both genders combined.

In other words, they are 97.5 % certain that there is at least 1 % improvement in the primary outcome.

Color me skeptical of the practical significance.

Also, a statistically significant association was found between vegetarian diet and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (HR=0.76; 95%CI: 0.63, 0.90).

This is what physicists call a fishing expedition: When you break down your sample into multiple sub-samples, you have to adjust your significance threshold for the look-elsewhere effect.

When analyzing the association of specific vegetarian dietary patterns, vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence (HR=0.84; 95%CI: 0.72, 0.99) in both genders combined

Again with the confidence intervals with an upper bound that's basically indistinguishable from unity.

and for female-specific cancers (HR=0.66; 95%CI: 0.47, 0.92).

More fishing expedition.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians appeared to be associated with decreased risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal system (HR=0.75; 95%CI: 0.60, 0.92).

More fishing expedition.

So yeah, not terribly convincing all in all.

Oh and the PCRM is a crank animal rights group, not a serious medical outfit. You don't want to take health advice from them.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he hasn't changed. But his voters have.
Avigdon Lieberman and Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Beitenu party is losing support to the hard right. Likud Bietenu is currently polling 37 seats (the two parties have 42 Knesset sears right now), and more importantly, the general trend is downward (Likud Beitenu had more than 38 seats in last week's average, and closer to 40 a month ago). At the same time, Naftali Bennet's National Religious Party now averages 12 seats, while the radical Otzma Le'Israel Party - which had a racist campaign ad disqualified by the central election committee last week - is coming very close to passing the minimum threshold. Combined, their average of 13 seats represent a rise of 6 seats from the number they have in the current Knesset. Netanyahu's recent behavior and his willingness to confront the world on the issue of the settlements betray an understanding that his real challenge comes from the right.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 02:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:02:02 PM EST
Landmark climate change report leaked online | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The fifth assessment report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is not due to be published in full until September 2013, was uploaded onto a website called Stop Green Suicide on Thursday and has since been mirrored elsewhere on the internet.

...A little-known US-based climate sceptic called Alex Rawls, who had been accepted by the IPCC to be one of the report's 800 expert reviewers, admitted to leaking the document. In a statement posted online, he sought to justify the leak: "The addition of one single sentence [discussing the influence of cosmic rays on the earth's climate] demands the release of the whole. That sentence is an astounding bit of honesty, a killing admission that completely undercuts the main premise and the main conclusion of the full report, revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the whole."

...The isolation by climate sceptics of one sentence in the 14-chapter draft report was described as "completely ridiculous" by one of the report's lead authors. Prof Steve Sherwood, a director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, told ABC Radio in Australia: "You could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite, that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible ... It's a pretty severe case of [cherry-picking], because even the sentence doesn't say what [climate sceptics] say and certainly if you look at the context, we're really saying the opposite."

The Guardian also has a detailed article on cosmic rays and climate (showing just how much of a non-issue this latest denialist ray of hope is).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Extreme weather more persuasive on climate change than scientists | Environment | guardian.co.uk

A poll released on Friday by the Associated Press-GfK found rising concern about climate change among Americans in general, with 80% citing it as a serious problem for the US, up from 73% in 2009. Belief and worry about climate change were rising faster still among people who do tend not to trust scientists on the environment.

Some of the doubters said in follow-up interviews that they were persuaded by personal experience: such as record temperatures, flooding of New York City subway tunnels, and news of sea ice melt in the Arctic and extreme drought in the mid-west.

About 78% of respondents overall believed in climate change, a slight rise from AP's last poll in 2009. The result was in line with other recent polls.

Among climate doubters, however, 61% now say temperatures have been rising over the past century, a substantial rise from 2009 when only 47% believed in climate change.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a graph I found which is relevant:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
by njh on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HOCKEY STICK!!! :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:47:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, at least 2% reckon it's a serious problem but don't believe in it? Do they reckon the problem is all these people believing in it?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Dec 17th, 2012 at 02:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Household electricity consumption reaches new high: Report | EurActiv

Between 2005 and 2009, overall residential energy consumption in the EU member states fell after years of growing rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,192,536 kilotons in 2005.

Between 2008 and 2009 total final energy consumption decreased by as much as 5.2% in the residential sector.

But now, according to the Energy Efficiency Status Report 2012 by the EU Commission's Joint Research Centre, the figure is on the rise again. Between 2009 and 2010 residential energy consumption increased by 3.6%.

Household consumption accounted for 26.7% of total final energy usage in 2010 in the EU. Only the transport sector took a bigger share of the total (31.7%).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU freezes Lithuanian nuclear plant decommissioning funds | EurActiv

The European Commission announced yesterday (13 December) that international donors, among which the largest is the EU, have decided to suspend the funding of one specific decommissioning project in the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania.

The project covers the construction of the storage area for the leftover spent fuel and the supply of storage casks for defueling the centre's two reactors.

The decision was taken on the grounds that the operator of the power plant (INPP) and the consortium delivering the project (GNS/NUKEM) have not managed to settle their dispute, now on-going for more than two years, on how to implement the project concretely...

As the two reactor units can only be fully dismantled once the spent fuel is stored safely outside the reactors, a delay of the storage facility can lead to significant delays in the overall decommissioning process.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're decommissioning nuclear power plants beyond our means.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
funny...it's making it ever clearer how cost projections for the economic viability of nukes is way beyond delusional.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 10:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Acclaimed Mugaritz restaurant fined over foie gras | World news | guardian.co.uk

One of the world's top restaurants, Mugaritz, has been fined after animal rights campaigners targeted it for serving foie gras from force-fed ducks who were slowly bled to death after having corn rammed down their throats to bloat their livers.

But Andoni Luis Aduriz, voted the world's greatest chef by his colleagues last year, said he was proud to pay the fine for buying from an unlicensed source as a way of showing support to local farmers who produce the best quality foie gras on smallholdings that cannot obtain licences.

Sources at the restaurant said Aduriz bought his foie gras from Momotegi, a smallholder farm that used similar methods to those of larger producers with licences - and that the animals' livers had previously been tested by a private laboratory used by Mugaritz. But campaigners said Momotegi broke laws and inflicted cruel deaths on the animals.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
10 Old-Timey Medicines That Got People High | Alternet
Hadacol was the brainchild of Dudley J. LeBlanc, a one-time Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate, prospective Governor of Louisiana and all-around huckster extraordinaire. In the midst of his political career, LeBlanc made millions flogging Hadacol, a "vitamin supplement" that was heavily laden with alcohol and grew quite popular in the dry counties of the South. The tonic contained 12% alcohol as well as multivitamins and a heavily diluted form of hydrochloric acid that worked to open the arteries, which allowed the body to absorb the alcohol more quickly. In other words, it helped you get smashed...fast. In dry counties, some pharmacies were known to sell Hadacol by the shot glass and in some New Orleans bars, it was a key ingredient in a concoction known as the Tassel Cocktail. Something of a marketing genius, LeBlanc even went as far as to write a ditty called "The Hadacol Boogie" which was later recorded by good old boy hell-raiser Jerry Lee Lewis. In the end, it wasn't the presence of dangerous ingredients that brought the attention of the FDA down upon Hadacol but the outlandish claims LeBlanc made about its effectiveness in curing cancer, epilepsy and many other diseases. While Hadacol was on the market, LeBlanc sold more than $3.6 million worth of the tonic and then sold the company to a group of investors for $8.2 million.

that was serious $ back then!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:50 PM EST
Secret video is released of `drunk' man asking strangers to help him into his car - IV Drip - Voices - The Independent

Confused.com commissioned a secret camera to film an actor playing a drunk man trying to get into his car and failing while stumbling around.

He then asked over 50 members of the public to help him get into the car, with surprising results.

  • More than two thirds of people helped the `drunk' man into his car

  • Only eight refused to help him

  • One person called the police and retained the actor's keys


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While it is not the best judgement to help a drunk person drive, I am mostly surprised that "Only eight refused to help him". So a man is asking for help and 42 out of 50 responds with helping him rather then just walking past him.

Good grade on emphaty, low grade on judgement.

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 Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 08:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i remember a party in london in c.1970 where i saw someone slip someone else a packet of smack, saying "go home and take care of yourself."

empathy?

random factoid, joe cocker was there looking the closest to death i have ever seen any man before or since, made keith richards look like heidi in comparison.

very glad to see him still belting years later, the situation obviously not as dire as it seemed.

i'll never forget it, long as i live...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 08:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The legend (and Cocker himself) have it that the situation was indeed dire at that time. But here's a whiter shade of Cocker ten years later:

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the Colorado air that he breathes. Lots of leftover rockers live out here in the wilderness...mostly in Aspen if they have money, or in the sticks if they don't.

Hint: Base your musical career on writing songs, there's no percentage in singing stuff other people wrote.

by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my personal experience (as passenger), most people view the responsibility of the driver (both when it's them or acquaintances) as a responsibility for oneself, with a surprising lack of thought about responsibility for co-passengers, other drivers or pedestrians. In this case: "if he wants to drive, it's his decision and he has to take care for himself, and not be caught by a police control". Possibly related to people's emphaty for known persons and lack of emphaty for unspecified persons (the pedestrian the drunkard may run over is someone unknown in an unknown place).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2014 Tour de France to start in UK county of Yorkshire - TOUR DE FRANCE - FRANCE 24
The 2014 Tour de France will start in the north of England county Yorkshire and pass through London before returning to mainland Europe, in a tribute to the recent successes of British cycling, organisers ASO said in a statement on Friday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:04:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'At least twenty-seven killed including children' in Connecticut school shooting, say reports - Americas - World - The Independent
There have been 'multiple deaths' at an elementary school in Connecticut after a gunman opened fire, with some reports claiming that at least 27 people, including 18 children, have been killed.

A number of people are also said to have been injured in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Hartford. It was also reported that at least three people have been taken to hospital and are in a 'serious condition'.

Among those shot were children roughly ages 5 to 10, the Hartford Courant newspaper said, citing police.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com
A heavily armed gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school, killing at least 26 people, including 20 children, in the latest in a series of shootings that have tormented the United States this year. The gunman was dead inside the school, police said.

Elsewhere I'm hearing 27 dead of whom 18 children.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
18 children died in the school, 2 later on in hospital. I've no explanation for the 26/27 discrepancy.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:05:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters now says 28, including the killer who committed suicide and a person at a "secondary scene".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:06:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
The gunman walked into a Connecticut school where his mother was a teacher. He shot and killed her and then shot 20 students, law enforcement officials said.

In all 6 adults + the killer himself + 20 children make 27.

The "secondary scene" seems to have gone off the radar.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
27 Killed in Connecticut Shooting, Including 20 Children - NYTimes.com
Another body related to the shooting was at another scene, the authorities said, declining to provide more specifics.

28

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The NYT is now reporting the dead person at another scene is the killer's mother, shot at home. The shooter then took her car to drive to the school.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:17:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The press is really covering itself with glory in this case with the quality of their 'braking news' reporting.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the police or the DA came through with a clear communiqué that would no doubt be echoed through the media. Including Twitter, where I find mostly the usual slush about prayers.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Re TV coverage:

How TV is covering the Newtown, CT, school massacre: For the most part, badly, inevitably | Ken Tucker's TV | EW.com

The problem is the nature of TV news at this moment. There is a compulsion to stay on the story for hours on end, with each network looking at the other, not wanting to become the first to cut away. The result is an endless repetition of the few known facts, surrounded by far too much improvised speculation, and the kind of sentimentality that does not do justice to the victims. There is a parade of experts on child and psychopathic psychology, weapons, and police investigative policy that adds little enlightenment (none of the experts know the people they're opining about). And, most disgracefully, especially in the early hours of the TV coverage, there were interviews with young children who attend the school. People who are not public figures, or who are too young to know they have the option to remain quiet, should not be made to feel compelled to comment to the media.

Watching TV, we got hours of misinformation about the killer, Adam Lanza, and the entire incident. Early reports had Adam's brother Ryan as the shooter; there was a "source confirms gunman's father dead" chyron running beneath at least one news channel's screen, which proved not true; some TV outlets said the killer's mother was a teacher at the school, while others said she was not, but "may have been an aide."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
an endless repetition of the few known facts, surrounded by far too much improvised speculation, and the kind of sentimentality that does not do justice to the victims

You don't say. That was my conclusion on the night of 9/11 already, when I found much better coverage on European public channels with half-hourly news cuts than CNN or CNBC. (Of course, since then, European media followed US examples in too many ways... for example, the idiot foreign correspondents who covered Hurricane Sandy with the now US-media-standard live reports in windy spots.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:11:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reporters who report from ground zero of natural disasters might perhaps be surmised to be a problem with a built-in solution.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conflicting reports that he killed his father at home, that he killed his brother, that the brother is being interrogated...

And the press has divulged a wrong name and a wrong facebook profile for the killer...

Oh, how I love humankind...

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just possible that the press is not at fault this time.
Adam Lanza's older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., is being questioned by police, said the first official. Earlier, a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers' first names.
It's also possible, of course, that the press got this wrong as well.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adults?

</facepalm>

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The perpetrator.
by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, you meant between 26 and 27?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:09:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course.
by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If all school children had automatic firearms too, they could have shot back. Not enough guns in the US.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:03:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well...
Schools nationwide have increased security measures since the fatal shooting at Columbine. Many installed metal detectors, developed detailed crisis plans, implemented polices to keep school doors locked and accessible only by buzzer, and put teachers and staff through training sessions on how to recognize and deal with threats.

Michael Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit group that works with thousands of U.S. schools to develop safety plans, said there has been a dramatic improvement in school safety "but so much more" could be done.

Mr. Dorn said every school staffer should receive training on recognizing potential threats and feel confident reacting to them. "There is no strategy that guarantees you can stop school violence, but we need to empower people to feel like they are prepared to deal with potential threats," he said.

(WSJ)

Or how about you institute weapon control?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, harassing children with "security measures" sounds much more efficient than banning gun possession.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:12:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are our 9-year olds prepared and confident to identify, react to and deal with potential threats?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a business idea. Compulsory gun training from kindergarten onwards.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't be silly.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 04:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Connecticut shooting victims honoroed as gun control debated | abc7chicago.com
"I could tell you what a meaningful response is: a national recognition that there has to be some sort of tracking, not even gun control, accountability for gun owners," said Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Yeah sure, with both the owner (the mother) and the shooter (the son) dead, good luck applying accountability.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anti-Gun Donations Surge After Connecticut Shooting

Within hours of the mass shooting that killed more than two dozen people in Connecticut on Friday, social media channels surged with grief and heartfelt condolences. There also was an avalanche of donations to anti-gun organizations.

"Our site crashed today, and its bandwidth had been boosted after Aurora," said Caroline Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign, a nonprofit organization that lobbies for gun-control laws, referring to the movie theater slaughter in the Colorado town. "Americans are reaching out in extraordinary numbers."

While it is not unusual for nonprofit organizations to see an uptick in donations following a devastating event, anti-gun violence organizations reported on Friday afternoon the number of gifts they had received far surpassed the bump in charitable giving they usually see after mass shootings.

But also expect a rise in gun sales, since pro-guns people will hasten to buy, anticipating tighter gun laws. This happened after Aurora.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Karzai calls for foreign troops to leave Afghan villages - Al Jazeera Blogs

The Afghan president also addressed the victims of a mass shooting at a US school that left 27 dead:

I express my sorrow and condolences to the American people for this painful accident and I hope that nobody around the world suffers from such incidents. Afghanistan, especially, feels the pain of such incidents and almost every day such pains come to our people and we are dealing with it.

by Katrin on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:08:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Civil rights Movement - Mike Huckabee: Connecticut Massacre Happened Because We `Removed God From Our Schools'

Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said today's Newtown, Connecticut tragic massacre happened because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, told Fox News host Neil Cavuto that fixing the laws aren't the answer, but fixing people's hearts are.

Somehow, Huckabee saying the problem is "we've systematically removed God from our schools" in this context feels like he's blaming the gunman's mother, a victim, and a kindergarten teacher, for today's massacre.

Huckabee is one of the first people Todd "legitimate rape" Akin turned to after his offensive comments on rape, and Huckabee walked him through an on-air "explanation."

So it seems that "Guns don't kill children, God does"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 07:11:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And since God is good and merciful, he does it to test us, which is good.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:23:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Same old, same old...

Tom DeLay in His Own Words | Alternet | May 15, 2002

DeLay on causes of the Columbine High School massacre:

    "Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."
by Bernard on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 08:47:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conn. school shooter had 4 weapons - CBS News

A law enforcement source told CBS News that Adam Lanza had three weapons with him during the attack: Two handguns (a Sig Sauer and a Glock), and a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle; spent shells were found in the school. Those three weapons were registered to his mother.

There was also a fourth weapon (a long gun) found in the car he drove to the school.

In addition, the source told CBS News there were "a few" other weapons found at the mother's house. The registry of the weapon in the car and at the house are still be checked. The tracing of all the weapons - such as where and when they were purchased - is still being conducted.

Either the mother registered the weapons for her idiot son or the weapons failed to protect the mother when he took them. Either way, there go the gun nutter and gun lobbyist lines about 'illegal weapons' (as if stolen weapons had nothing to do with the supply and stock of legal weapons), protection given by owning guns, the responsibleness of legal gun owners, and the supposedly superior training of legal gun owners.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But gun advocates are already saying that the fact that the guns were registered to the mother is an argument against gun control.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:17:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As in here
Gun lobbyists also point out that the guns used in Newtown were not owned by the suspected killer and had been legally bought and owned by his mother.
First rule of political debate: acknowledge all undeniable evidence and claim it supports your case, with a one-liner. People won't stop to think about the logic of the argument, since there is none. You're arguing from conviction - if there weren't a logical argument from A to B, why would you be so convinced? All people are going to remember is the conclusion anyway, and you repeat that often as it follows from every individual bit of evidence.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:22:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's why she needed the guns.
There's been some level of mystery about just why Adam Lanza's first victim, Nancy Lanza, had such a stock of weapons, particularly military style weapons like the .223 Bushmaster, the weapon we now know was actually used in the killings. She wasn't just into guns. She was apparently stocked up for when the economy collapses and when everyone's on their own with their guns.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 07:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:04:33 PM EST
Jon Stewart bans 'pain in the ass' Hugh Grant from the Daily Show - News - TV & Radio - The Independent

Stewart singled out the actor as The Daily Show's worst guest, criticising his behaviour towards the programme's staff and banned him from making further appearances.

"And we've had dictators on the show," noted Stewart, who criticised Grant's attitude when the Four Weddings and a Funeral actor appeared on the show in 2009 to promote a romantic comedy, Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Giving an on-stage interview at the Montclair Film Festival in New Jersey, Stewart said of Grant: "He's giving everyone s*** the whole time, and he's a big pain in the ass".

...When the Daily Show covered the hacking scandal last year, the programme mocked Grant's leading role in the Hacked Off campaign, which is calling for a new press regulatory regime underpinned by statute.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 03:04:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty clear after this tragedy, trombones should be banned.

Killed me.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 09:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  • Why is the bell of his horn not varnished?
  • What are the drops of water inside the bell?

I suspect there is some theory going on about warming up the horn by running hot water on it just before going on stage...
by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A trombone does not get unvarnished by running hot water on it, it gets wet.

I suspect he has a cool look on his trombone because it is a way to distinguish himself. Self-branding and all that.

Nils Landgren, who is without a doubt the most famous trombone player in Sweden, has a red trombone. The color does nothing for the sound, but it is an important piece of his trade-mark.

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 Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:58:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, thanks, Sven. Can't believe you remembered this, makes me jealous of your plenitude of braincells!

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:04:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rebel Songwriters at Daily Kos

In 1991, armed with only a guitar and a fictional Oklahoma back story, Agent Stankopov was planted in Nashville, TN to begin his assignment: A career in Country music. After establishing success in this entertainment field, Keith was to begin incorporating the belligerent jingoism and political ignorance that the singer is now so well-known for.

When asked why he's admitting this today, Keith says, "I just can't take it anymore. I need to clear my conscience. I never expected the American public to be this brain-dead and gullible. It's like taking candy from a baby. There's no challenge in it anymore. The stupidity in this country astounds me. If I have to keep this charade up any longer, I think I'll lose my fucking mind... Look, I've done my part for Mother Russia. The American empire is in irreversible decline. Now I'm ready to quit and get the fuck out of here. I'd really like to see my mother in Viborgskiy before she dies."

When asked what the Russian operative's specific goals were, he said, "It was twofold. One - To make Americans look as ugly, arrogant, and xenophobic as possible to the rest of the world, thus turning world opinion against the US and in favor of Russia and her allies. Two - To increase American public support for costly military misadventures overseas. That's what all those flag-waving ass-kicking bullshit songs were about. You know, 'we'll stick a boot in your ass, it's the American way'. I'm particularly ashamed of that one. But it did the job, didn't it? Thousands of your men died needlessly while your treasury was decimated. There's a reason they call Afghanistan the graveyard of empires. You guys suckered us into that quagmire back in the 70's and 80's. So we figured we'd do the same to you. I just didn't think it would be so damn easy."

/snark :)

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:50:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly correct link.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:17:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he put no thought into it, it would have been better than normal country music.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:51:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

ice carving competition, Harbin, China.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:15:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFP: Actor Depardieu 'giving up French passport' in tax row

PARIS -- France's leading actor Gerard Depardieu said on Sunday he is giving up his French passport after the prime minister called him "pathetic" for seeking to avoid taxes by moving to Belgium.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the 63-year-old "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Green Card" film star said he had been treated unfairly after years of supporting France and paying millions of euros in taxes.

"I am not asking to be approved of, but I could at least be respected. All of those who have left France have not been insulted as I have been," he said in the letter published in newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

Not mentioned in the AFP story: Depardieu also "gave up" his social security (national health insurance) card, stating he "had never used it": this is bull of course, Depardieu was born and grew up in a working class family and benefited from the France's famed safety net. Minister Aurélie Filippetti underlined that Depardieu acted in movies that could be shot thanks to the French cinema subsidy system that is often criticized by the laissez-faire purists, movies that made him the wealthy man he is now -- a quote that curiously has not made it to the AFP story either.

Depardieu has unwittingly become a symbol of the Sarkozy years (he's a friend and longtime support of the ex-president): the arrogance of the 1% class posturing as victim of the tax'n-spend Socialists and the deeply ingrained notion that paying one's fair share of taxes is somehow immoral and must be fought by every means.

It will be interesting to see how much Depardieu's image has been altered in the French public and what impact it will have on his future career. I suppose a quote from his BFF comes to mind.

by Bernard on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 10:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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