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Thursday Open Thread

by Jerome a Paris Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:22:38 AM EST

Last one this year, enjoy it while it lasts


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Revenge of the Reality-Based Community
By BRUCE BARTLETT * November 26, 2012

For more than 30 years, I was very comfortable within the conservative wing of the Republican Party. I still recall supporting Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater as a schoolchild. As a student, I was a member of Young Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom at the height of the Vietnam War, when conservatives on college campuses mostly kept their heads down.

(...)

But as the Bush 43 administration progressed, I developed an increasingly uneasy feeling about its direction. Its tax policy was incoherent, and it had an extremely lackadaisical attitude toward spending. In November 2003, I had an intellectual crisis.

(...)

A couple of weeks before the 2004 election, Suskind wrote a long article for the New York Times Magazine that quoted some of my comments to him that were highly critical of Bush and the drift of Republican policy. The article is best remembered for his quote from an anonymous White House official dismissing critics like me for being "the reality-based community."

The day after the article appeared, my boss called to chew me out, saying that Karl Rove had called him personally to complain about it. I promised to be more circumspect in the future.

Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.

Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.

I was flabbergasted.

(...)

After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion.

(...)

For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy's problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades.

The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he's barely a liberal--and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.

(...)

So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them.

It's quite long, but definitely worth a read.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:27:07 AM EST
I've paid a heavy price, both personal and financial, for my evolution from comfortably within the Republican Party and conservative movement to a less than comfortable position somewhere on the center-left. Honest to God, I am not a liberal or a Democrat. But these days, they are the only people who will listen to me. When Republicans and conservatives once again start asking my opinion, I will know they are on the road to recovery.
Well, at least the Democrats will listen to a conservative Keynesian convert. Here in Europe, even the Social Democrats would consider him unserious.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:03:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My time is almost up, though.  Currently in NYC.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 11:58:34 AM EST
Hi All! Hope you all have been having a good Christmas/Holiday season, and also wish you all the bestin 2013!!

Hey, here is a cool article by Eyra Klein in his Washington Post Wonkblog, that shows graphs from different economists...check it out!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/27/2012-the-year-in-graphs/

Peace and cheers!
Bob

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 01:31:19 PM EST
I'm trying to reach a number in Frankfurt and am getting a strange message

Diese Nummer ist gestört

it's got area code 69  -  is that a cell phone in Germany?

thanks for your help

by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 01:57:03 PM EST
ok, it's the area code for Frankfurt someone tells me.  but is this a temporary situation?  I have never got this message when calling a number in Germany - ungültig yes but not this
by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:20:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that's landline. The message is that the number you are trying to reach is out of order, why is that strange instead of just annoying?
by Katrin on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:20:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand what they mean by "out of order" as I have never had that message before.  Does it mean the party no uses that number or is it something temporary?

I find it odd and frustrating as I really need to talk to these people.

by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's temporary. Tree on the line or whatever.  
by Katrin on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ok. thanks
by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand what they mean by "out of order" as I have never had that message before.

zOMG!!!111 A piece of infrastructure is malfunctioning in Germany!

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:20:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
actually, the phone and train systems in Germany are the shits.
by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:02:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That explains why it is German policy that the rest of Europe must destroy its public infrastructure.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are playing Indian poker with people. Everyone writes a name of a known person on a post-it, which they stick on the forehead of the player to their left. Each person can then ask questions to find out who they are - in turn. Play passes to the next player on a 'no' answer. ("Am I a singer?").

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:21:02 PM EST
But I promise to start work again tomorrow.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah the Rizla game

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously you're not G.W. Bush :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds like a lot of fun.

'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 Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The game above segued into a particularly melodramatic version of charades. But fun.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last one of the year ??? We have to make this last 4 days

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:16:07 PM EST
Last Thursday...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just been drinking with Bruno-ken, should anyone remember him. He remembers you all fondly but regrets he's been very busy for the last couple of year and can only drop in very occasionally.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:17:22 PM EST
Bruno-Ken I will not forget ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruno-Ken is not at all forgotten.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For your interactive reading pleasure; this amazing piece of feature journalism. Not just the story, or the writing, but the interactive graphics seamlessly interwoven.

NY Times: Tunnel Creek

I can't say how advanced a system is needed to enjoy this full screen, please be aware.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:38:30 PM EST
Now that i think about it, many of you are likely quite familiar with modern digital storytelling, You read e-books, and have tablets with magazines made to wow. But i've hardly even seen over friends' shoulders.

Almost makes me want to be a writer/director again.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, I'm not this ecstatic



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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What bullshit.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not about the science, but how one interprets it. ;-)  to wit:



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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 07:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why use scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo?

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 28th, 2012 at 04:39:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're going to get mystical, I much prefer Bruce Lee:



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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 06:04:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascinating and terribly sad. The only comfort to be had is that there could easily have been more fatalities than there were.

This is a wonderful development in reportage, as you said. I've also noticed that, in schools, kids are doing reports in their classes that include video, etc., rather than the simple spoken reports (read from a page) with flat exhibits that ruled my school days.

'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 Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Me wondering how long it will take for ET to discover the Idle No More movement which appears to be shaking north amurka, indigenous rising?

i provide no links, we'll see what's found. Sound byte: a woman chief is two weeks into her hunger strike. It resonates around the still free (for how long) net. against certain poison, and broken treaties. Native people seem to be on the modern warpath, and Canada will be only the first casualty. not to mention oil shale, and fracking.

Have any of you already known this was happening? Did you forget that native peoples still sound the call to your own childrens' futures?

In rational and statistical terms, how do i denominate that the water of life is being poisoned?

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:15:50 PM EST
First I've heard of it.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 08:59:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:31:29 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 Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:22:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also in Northern Ontario, where it all started

http://www.northernlife.ca/news/localNews/2012/12/27-idle-no-more-sudbury.aspx

I spent a lot of time near James Bay and the conditions on First Nations reserves are truly appalling

by stevesim on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:59:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm finding the twitter feed of Margaret Atwood is a prime source of information on this...

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 28th, 2012 at 04:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democracy Now: Idle No More: Indigenous-Led Protests Sweep Canada for Native Sovereignty and Environmental Justice (December 26, 2012)
A new campaign for indigenous rights and environmental justice is spreading across Canada. The "Idle No More" movement began as a series of protests against a controversial government budget bill but has since expanded into a nationwide movement for political transformation. Aboriginal and environmental activists are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to honor treaties with aborigines, open dialogue with environmentalists, and reject tar sands pipelines that would infiltrate First Nation territories. We go to Toronto to speak with Pamela Palmater, chair in indigenous governance at Ryerson University and spokeswoman for the Idle No More movement. "We, First Nations people, have been subsidizing the wealth and prosperity and programs and services of Canadians from our lands and resources," Palmater says. "And that's the reality here that most people don't understand." [includes rush transcript]
(with video)

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 28th, 2012 at 04:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't use twitter, but i get updates from a friend on facecrack, Gary Farmer. (Yes, the great native actor/blues harp player; famous for all manner of native films, plus playing Nobody with J. Depp in Jarmusch's Dead Man)

Interesting to me is how the native movement is connecting to the anti-tar sands, pipeline and fracking movements.

Chief Theresa Spence is in the middle of her third week of hunger strike. Below another friend, Adam Beach (Smoke Signals) is meeting with her. (Nice ribbon dress, Chief)

Source Notes

Most important for me, and many native friends, is that Idle No More has publicized a horrible bill in the Canadian Parliament which will eliminate protection for North American waterways. Just a horrible example of how western "civilization" thinks, where money is more important than water..


(search tar sands aerial for photos that will make you sick but are too large format to post here.)

But what do you expect from people who believe god game them tar sands to exploit.

I hope Harper's children bind him to a stake, in the name of protecting their future. (me feeling feisty today.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Harper was famously shown shaking hands with his 5 year old son when sending him off to school instead of hugging him
by stevesim on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 12:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Toronto Star: Why `Idle No More' is gaining strength, and why all Canadians should care (Jeff Denis, December 20, 2012)
Why should non-Indigenous Canadians care?

First, it is a matter of social and environmental justice. When corporate profit is privileged over the health of our lands and waters, we all suffer. When government stifles debate, democracy is diminished. Bill C-45 is just the latest in a slew of legislation that undermines Canadians' rights. In standing against it, the First Nations are standing for us too.

Second, as Justice Linden of the Ipperwash Inquiry said, "we are all treaty people." When our governments unilaterally impose legislation on the First Nations, they dishonour the Crown, they dishonour us, and they dishonour our treaty relationship. We are responsible for ensuring that our governments fulfill their commitments. If our governments do not respect Indigenous and treaty rights, then the very legitimacy of the Canadian state -- and thus of all our citizenship rights -- is in doubt. That's what Idle No More is about.

So, yes, Harper should meet with Spence. But a meeting alone will not suffice. Change requires action. It requires a shift in public consciousness. It requires all of us being there, Dec. 21 and beyond, to "live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work toward justice in action, and protect Mother Earth".



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 28th, 2012 at 06:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A map of the shadow banking system. Apparently the piece above the top line is the actual banking system.

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/284613365886758912/photo/1

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:59:26 AM EST
@faisalislam
Zoom showing Federal Reserve's alphabetic role in shadow banking, by the NY Fed. Full link: p3 http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr458.pdf ... pic.twitter.com/P6hW2dA0



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 28th, 2012 at 06:14:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Farmer who told repo men to strip and get in with boar is found guilty - Courts, National News - Independent.ie

Patrick Mulvey and Justin Tighe, employees of a repossession company called Assets Security in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, had earlier told the court that they feared for their lives after going to JAC Pigs Ltd in Co Longford to repossess items on behalf of GE Money.

A scuffle had taken place in the yard at the pig farm during which Mr Mulvey and Mr Tighe said they were assaulted.

They had told the court in evidence that Donal Connaughton had ordered them to strip and get into the pen with the agitated boar and they feared they were going to be violated by the animal. The animal could be heard on the audio recording.

The two men were heard pleading to be let go and promised Donal Connaughton that they would never return to the premises, but he said he wanted to "teach them a lesson".

The two men were told to strip naked and they would be allowed walk out of the yard and when they refused Donal Connaughton made them get down on their knees and say the 'Our Father' before they were let go, leaving their truck behind.

The two repo men had arrived at the farm to repossess a generator and two power-washers.

He was, however, found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment, two charges of threatening to cause serious harm, one count of assault and two of criminal damage.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:57:08 AM EST

Boing Boing

Three decades before Yelp and Craigslist, there was the Community Memory Terminal.

In the early 1970s, Efrem Lipkin, Mark Szpakowski and Lee Felsenstein set up a series of these terminals around San Francisco and Berkeley, providing access to an electronic bulletin board housed by a XDS-940 mainframe computer.

This started out as a social experiment to see if people would be willing to share via computer -- a kind of "information flea market," a "communication system which allows people to make contact with each other on the basis of mutually expressed interest," according to a brochure from the time.

Read for free, write for 25c. And the aesthetics!

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

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 10:21:05 AM EST


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