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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch -13 February

by dvx Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:01:58 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Astrophysics on this date in history:

2004 - The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

More here and here.

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


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 EUROPE 



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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:41:19 PM EST
Greece debates austerity bill as Germany demands action | Europe | DW.DE | 12.02.2012

Greek lawmakers have begun debating a deeply unpopular austerity bill, with a decision expected later Sunday. Germany's finance minister has warned Greece must take firm action in order to remain in the eurozone.

Chaotic scenes marred a crucial Greek parliamentary debate on Sunday as lawmakers looked set to endorse a deeply unpopular austerity bill. Amid fiery exchanges and loud interruptions one Communist Party deputy hurled the pages of the deeply unpopular bill on the floor of the chamber.

Addressing parliament, however, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos warned that "if the law is not passed, the country will go bankrupt."

The 300-seat parliament had to come to a decision by midnight, he said, "because come Monday morning, banking and financial markets must get the message that Greece can and will survive."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek crisis: thousands join protests as MPs debate bailout deal | World news | The Guardian

Police fired teargas at protesters outside the Greek parliament as MPs began debating the deeply unpopular bailout deal setting out €3.3bn in wage, pension and job cuts as the price of a €130bn (£108bn) rescue package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Thousands of protesters gathered in the square outside the national assembly building in Athens, but the demonstrations quickly turned ugly, with the crowds facing off against an estimated 6,000 riot police.

Parliamentarians are expected to approve the deal. Greece needs the rescue package - the country's second since 2010 - before 20 March to meet debt repayments of €14.5bn. But the bill has stirred anger on the streets and turmoil within the Greek coalition government.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, it's a done deal.

The Greek Parliament has acted.

'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 Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most catastrophic thing is that everybody involved knows this is a dishonest process.

Austerity doesn't work, this has been demonstrated time and time again. It makes the restoration of the Greek economy less likely, not just in the long term, but in the short term as well.

The bailout funds make the situation worse, not better. So we have a spiral of decline that leaves a wasteland in its wake, that will drag more countries into the whirlpool, simply because central bankers will not admit that they have the wrong solution.

Everybody involved knows this. But they do it anyway and I think it's because the truth is electorally disastrous for the carpetbaggers who've been peddling the lie in the countries which enforce the decisions.

Greece died that Merkel might win re-election

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calls for tolerance aim to eclipse right-wing Dresden marches | Germany | DW.DE | 12.02.2012

While up to 2,000 right-wing extremists are expected to march in Dresden on the 67th anniversary of the city's destruction, even more people are planning to protest against the demonstration. Police have called for calm.[...]

In 1998, far-right and neo-Nazi groups staged their demonstrations on the anniversary of the city's destruction to deny German war guilt and the Holocaust. What started with less than 100 participants grew into mass demonstrations with some 6,500 neo-Nazis taking part in the 2011 protest that was billed as a "funeral march." The city said it expects between 1,000 and 2,000 people this year to take part in the march.

The people of Dresden, as well as many people from outside the city, have organized large-scale protests against the annual far-right marches. In 2011, some 15,000 people took part in sit-ins, and formed human chains to obstruct the march's path.

Police and protesters clashed in 2010 and 2011

Police forcibly removed the protesters to allow the far-right groups, including skinheads and neo-Nazis, access to the city. From the state's point of view, the sit-ins represented criminal obstruction of an officially authorized demonstration.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For France's blighted north, a Green path out of crisis - FRENCH POLITICS - FRANCE 24

Eva Joly, the Green candidate in France's forthcoming presidential election, sought to breathe new life into her faltering presidential campaign on Saturday as she unveiled her programme in the northern town of Roubaix.

The Norwegian-born former magistrate, whose campaign has been dogged by rumours of sedition within her party's ranks, picked the impoverished former industrial hub near the border with Belgium to present a green platform with a strong social agenda.

Her 67-page programme, which includes plans for a 70% tax on France's wealthiest and more benefits for the poorest, positions her clearly to the left of the frontrunner, Socialist candidate François Hollande.

Joly, 68, was under pressure to bring a new focus to an erratic campaign marked by a number of controversial remarks - including her suggestion that Muslim and Jewish feasts be granted national holiday status - and knee-jerk reactions by right-wing opponents, who have repeatedly questioned her French credentials.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RBS bankers arrested in tax fraud investigation | Business | The Guardian

Bankers from the Royal Bank of Scotland have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged tax fraud.

Four current employees and one former employee of the Edinburgh-based bank were arrested at their homes across London and the home counties on Wednesday, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said.

HMRC said the allegations related to the financial affairs of the individuals rather than the activity of the bank.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would they bother to defraud the HMRC ? We all know that if bankers go and ask nicely, their taxes will be waived.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:35:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deadly avalanche hits Kosovo as freeze grips Europe - WEATHER - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Nine people were killed when an avalanche hit the village of Restelica in southern Kosovo, officials said on Sunday, adding to more than 500 killed in snow and bitter cold across Europe in the past two weeks.

In Poland, the interior ministry said 20 people had died in the past 24 hours because of the freezing weather, bringing the toll there so far this year to at least 100. A spokeswoman said the latest victims froze to death or were suffocated or killed by fires due to defective or improvised heaters.

The Kosovo avalanche enveloped about 15 houses on Saturday but only two were occupied at the time.

One person was missing and a girl aged about six was found alive late on Saturday after residents and emergency services helped dig out the houses. She was taken to hospital.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turkmen leader set for victory in one-sided election - TURKMENISTAN - FRANCE 24

REUTERS - Turkmenistan votes on Sunday in a one-sided election certain to extend the rule of President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov over a Central Asian country holding 4 percent of global gas reserves, which rights groups rank among the world's most repressive.

Berdymukhamedov, a 54-year-old qualified dentist, is also prime minister, commander of the armed forces and chairman of the only political party in Turkmenistan. His word is final in the former Soviet republic, which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Few citizens recognise anyone on the ballot paper other than the president, whose portrait - smiling and dressed in business suit and tie - can be found in parks, streets, offices and hotel lobbies across the desert nation of 5.5 million people.

Icy roads and frosts greeted the first trickle of voters who made their way to polling stations in Ashgabat, the country's showpiece capital. Piped music filled the air along the city's fountain-lined avenues as the sun came up.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tories fear row over health bill may 'retoxify' party on NHS | Politics | The Observer

David Cameron's government is not trusted on the NHS by two-thirds of the country, in a sign that the furore over proposed reforms is "retoxifying" the Conservative brand.

A new poll today reveals the extent of the damage being inflicted on the Tory party by the controversial bill being pushed forward by health secretary Andrew Lansley. It shows that 62% of voters do not trust ministers on the health service, nearly double the 34% who say they do. Among Tory voters, nearly a quarter (24%) said they did not now trust their own government to handle the NHS, a belief shared by 59% of Liberal Democrat voters.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the health union Unison, follows reports that three cabinet ministers supported an editorial on the influential Conservative Home website last week describing the NHS bill as "potentially fatal to the Conservative party's electoral prospects".

The prime minister has remained steadfast in his support of Lansley's reforms, but fears are growing in Tory ranks that the government's attachment to the health and social care bill, which would further open up the NHS to private providers, means their party will take the blame for any future problems in the NHS. Some within the party have dubbed it the government's "poll tax", the policy that proved so damaging to Margaret Thatcher's last government.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron facing serial rebellion from Thatcher's ministers in the Lords | Alastair Campbell

One of the frustrating things about a programme like Question Time is that you can do all sorts of research but unless the right question or moment comes up, it might be wasted. The great thing about a blog is that nothing need be wasted.

When I was researching Shirley Williams' `talk the talk but don't vote the vote' record in the Lords, I came across a fascinating pattern, which for some reason the mainstream media do not seem onto.

In the House of Lords, there is a seeming permanent rebellion going on from some of the big names of the Thatcher era. If my calculations are correct, the league table looks something like this

Tony Newton has rebelled 13 times. Geoffrey Howe 12. Michael Forsyth 8. Norman Lamont 5. Nigel Lawson and Leon Brittan 4. Norman Tebbit 3



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have to research this, was Norman Tebbit one of my board members? why does that name ring my feeble bell?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all the bells ringing for me are scary ones :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was he with Thatcher when the Howden nuclear cooling plant factory was turned into making windmills? 198X? Checked the Howden site, they don't even list board members.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
83 to 85 he was secretary of state for trade and industry, so you would assume that he would be doing that sort of thing then.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:10:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
34% is the rough percent of the people who voted for the Tories in the last election.  Tories are trying to institute policy without a majority, or even strong plurality, support.  

Recipe for political death by 10,000 by-elections.

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

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bizzarely Simon Hughes, a senior Lib dem was on tv this morning saying that Lansley should be allowed to bring his changes through and then should be sacked. afterwards. a worst of both worlds situation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simon Hughes is in the running for the Nadine Dorries crazy-frothing-at-the-mouth-hypocrite award. The man is a serial idiot and if I was a Lib Dem supporter I'd be actively engaged in attempting to have him chained to a wall in a basement of Westminster and then bricked in.

He's the only LD I think is hatefully contemptible

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:41:34 PM EST
The Greece Crisis: Break away from Groundhog Day

In the contemporary saga of the Greek/Eurozone (=Eurozone) crisis, there are basically four sorts of policy propositions. There are the ones that say that Greece is helpless, that the Eurozone is a poor design and, thus, that Greece should default and the Eurozone should dissolve. There are those that say that Greece is at a deadlock and thus it should indeed default - but inside the Eurozone, which should improve its governance and complete its integration (towards fiscal union). Then, there are those that say that Greece is a sinner in an otherwise catholic Eurozone and should thus suffer (aka undergo an internal devaluation of as much as it takes) until it redeems itself (i.e., until it becomes competitive - whatever that means outside the virtual reality of economics textbooks). And then there are those discredited ones that say that Greece has been in the wrong end of things and it needs to be supported within a programme of socio-institutional modernisation, capital deepening, economic restructuring and technological upgrading in order to increase its productivity in line with the (imaginary) "Eurozone average".

And then there is reality. A reality that involves politics (with their moral hazards, their veto points, their ideational rigidities, their micro-electoral considerations and all that), a reality that involves institutions (with their path-dependencies, their reform resistances, their capture, their pathologies and everything else), a reality that involves markets (with the quasi-educated credit risk analysts, the hawkish floor operators, the societally-detached hedge-funds, the CDSs, the LTROs, the NPVs, the SPVs, the SMPs, the WTFs and whatever else is there to be summarised in the finite - 17,576 in all - universe of three-letter acronyms), a reality that involves power relations (with their informational asymmetries, their unequal access, their epistemically-legitimised ideology, and so on and so forth).

Putting all these into a single equation (excuse my analogy, but I wish the markets to understand what I am talking about), translates simply and plainly to one single proposition: the impossibility of a viable and socially desirable solution to the Greek drama. No matter how passionate one is about a resolution of the crisis and no matter how one approaches the issue, the bottom line is that anything that lets Greece off the hook, given the bets in the market, will be unacceptable for the institutional architects of the Eurozone who want to institutionalise fiscal discipline and avoid writing a cheque that will see them lose office; anything that meets the concerns of these architects, given Greece's dead-ends, will fail to satisfy the markets in their pursuit of reduced risks with sustained rates of profit; and anything that will satisfy (more precisely, appease) the markets, given the architects' concerns, will simply be impossible for Greece to implement (let alone swallow).



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash | Science | The Observer

It was the holy grail of investors. The Black-Scholes equation, brainchild of economists Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, provided a rational way to price a financial contract when it still had time to run. It was like buying or selling a bet on a horse, halfway through the race. It opened up a new world of ever more complex investments, blossoming into a gigantic global industry. But when the sub-prime mortgage market turned sour, the darling of the financial markets became the Black Hole equation, sucking money out of the universe in an unending stream.

Anyone who has followed the crisis will understand that the real economy of businesses and commodities is being upstaged by complicated financial instruments known as derivatives. These are not money or goods. They are investments in investments, bets about bets. Derivatives created a booming global economy, but they also led to turbulent markets, the credit crunch, the near collapse of the banking system and the economic slump. And it was the Black-Scholes equation that opened up the world of derivatives.

The equation itself wasn't the real problem. It was useful, it was precise, and its limitations were clearly stated. It provided an industry-standard method to assess the likely value of a financial derivative. So derivatives could be traded before they matured. The formula was fine if you used it sensibly and abandoned it when market conditions weren't appropriate. The trouble was its potential for abuse. It allowed derivatives to become commodities that could be traded in their own right. The financial sector called it the Midas Formula and saw it as a recipe for making everything turn to gold. But the markets forgot how the story of King Midas ended.

Black-Scholes underpinned massive economic growth. By 2007, the international financial system was trading derivatives valued at one quadrillion dollars per year. This is 10 times the total worth, adjusted for inflation, of all products made by the world's manufacturing industries over the last century. The downside was the invention of ever-more complex financial instruments whose value and risk were increasingly opaque. So companies hired mathematically talented analysts to develop similar formulas, telling them how much those new instruments were worth and how risky they were. Then, disastrously, they forgot to ask how reliable the answers would be if market conditions changed.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:05:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We know that opaqueness of Wall Street instruments is not an unfortunate consequence of glorious growth, but an important part of their strategies. From a few corporate points of few, the Black-Scholes equation and other math models were god-sent tools to foul a certain level of half-smart competition. All new wannabe hedge funds run on new BRIC or Arabian money, European and Asian institutional funds...

Recently I saw "Margin Call" - enjoyable, and much better than Gekko II "Wall Street Never Sleeps". (Hard to believe that Mr Greed would come out of prison right before the crunch time, would get the whole picture, but instead of gearing himself up for a bundle of Credit Default Swaps on CDOs he would settle for oracle lecturing at universities.) Wikipedia says that "Margin Call" is loosely modeled on (alter?) Lehman Brothers, but GS came to my mind as well: they successfully reversed their CDO positions in the last weeks, though not in one day.  Risk model computations woke up the guys in the film, but I would be skeptical that they could have enough "historical data". The way to realize the shit storm was to see the derivative pyramid based on subprime mortgages for what it is: an elaborate house of cards.

by das monde on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:08:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
China tells banks to roll over loans - FT.com

China has instructed its banks to embark on a mammoth roll-over of loans to local governments, delaying the country's reckoning with debts that have clouded its economic prospects.

China's stimulus response to the global financial crisis saddled its provinces and cities with Rmb10.7tn ($1.7tn) in debts - about a quarter of the country's output - and more than half those loans are scheduled to come due over the next three years.

Since the principal on many of the loans is not repayable, banks have started extending maturities for local governments to avoid a wave of defaults, bankers and analysts familiar with the matter told the Financial Times. One person briefed on the plan said in some cases the maturities would be extended by as much as four years.

While some analysts have warned that many loans will still go bad and that a roll-over only postpones the problem, government advisers believe that it will give Beijing time to find a more permanent solution to its debt troubles.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like someone can't believe that debt you owe to yourself is just a silly number.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't remember where i read it but I saw a report that there's a large amount of (illegal) shadow banking going on in china due to a lot of corporations being cash bloated and using shadowy fixers to spread the good news on a short term basis at high interest rates.

the biggest problem being that the government has no oversight or regulation and the whole thing is getting out of control. I wonder if this is some attempt at putting the frighteners on.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pentagon's Budget Plan Is Said to Get 40% of Cuts From Weapons Procurement - Bloomberg

The U.S. Defense Department (USBODEFN)'s fiscal 2013 spending plan draws more than 40 percent of proposed reductions from weapons accounts that contribute less than a fifth of the budget, based on Pentagon projections.

The military budget that President Barack Obama will send to Congress on Feb. 13 calls for $525 billion in spending, a reduction of $45 billion from previous projections. About $18.7 billion of the cuts would come from weapons procurement, according to data provided by an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the budget hasn't been submitted.

The breakdown shows the Pentagon is cutting weapons more deeply in an effort to limit cuts in personnel and benefits, according to Todd Harrison, a defense analyst.

"Compare that to spending on military personnel, which accounts for one-third of the budget but is only taking one- ninth of the cuts," Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said yesterday in an e- mail. "Protecting pay, benefits, and end strength is a higher priority than modernizing weapon systems."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Am I wrong to think that we are not talking about cuts in the sense that the budget is reduced but only that it grows slower than thought? Because that is not how the word is usually used.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think that's so. there is no chance the Pentagon is gonna have an actual budget cut.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:41:59 PM EST
Arab bloc to request Syria peacekeeping force - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

The Arab League will ask the United Nations to form a joint peacekeeping force and appoint a special Arab envoy to try to halt the violence in Syria, members have agreed.

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday also decided to halt all diplomatic dealings with representatives of the Syrian government, though they did not demand the expulsion of Syrian ambassadors from member states.

The new efforts came a week after Russia and China vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council that would have supported an earlier Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power and begin a transition to a new government.

But Nabil el-Arabi, the league's chairman, said he had received a message from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that expressed support for the league's efforts and an expanded "observer" mission. Lavrov earlier defended Russia's veto and subsequently visited with Assad in Damascus.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hundreds in Israeli jails join hunger strike - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have joined a fellow inmate on a hunger strike, after human rights groups reported the original protester's life was in danger.

Khader Adnan, widely believed to be a leader of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, has been refusing food and water since he was detained on December 17, without trial or charge.

Jamil Khatib, Adnan's lawyer, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that an appeal against his detention will likely be decided by an Israeli military court on Monday.

On Thursday, Adnan appealed his detention without charge before an Israeli military judge sitting in a special session in hospital.

His hunger strike, longer than any Palestinian prisoner before him, according to Palestinian officials, is in protest over what he calls his unjust detention and mistreatment by Israeli authorities



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peru's Shining Path rebel leader found alive - Americas - Al Jazeera English

The top leader of Peru's Shining Path rebel group was alive but badly wounded, Peru's military said, retracting an earlier statement that the rebel leader had been found dead.

"He is alive and receiving the appropriate medical attention," said Defense Minister Alberto Otarola, correcting an earlier statement on Sunday from President Ollanta Humala that the guerrilla fighter's body had been found.

Peruvian officials had announced on Friday that Comrade Artemio, whose real name is Florindo Flores, was shot the previous day in the village of Puerto Pizana in the Upper Huallaga Valley.

A local official there, Nanci Zamora, told reporters the rebel leader had sought medical attention for gunshot wounds in his chest and leg early on Thursday. After seeking medical treatment, other fighters reportedly took their leader into hiding.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya demands Niger hand over Gaddafi's son - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Libya has demanded Niger hand over one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons who is under house arrest in the neighbouring nation after he warned in a television interview that his homeland was facing a new uprising.

Mohammed Hareizi, spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), said on Saturday that Niger must extradite Saadi Gaddafi and other ex-regime officials to "preserve its relationship and interests" in Libya.

The demand came days before the first anniversary of the February 17 start of the uprising that led to months of civil war and the eventual removal and death of the longtime Libyan leader.

Saadi Gaddafi and more than 30 other loyalists fled to Niger after Tripoli fell to rebels in September.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Canada mining boom leaves natives in the cold - Features - Al Jazeera English

Despite living just 90km from a massive diamond mine, Jackie Hookimaw Witt has watched poverty tear at the fabric of Attawapiskat, an indigenous community in northern Canada. 

The northern Ontario community made international headlines recently, when the chief declared a state of emergency, as many houses lacked heating during frozen winters, and families were left sleeping in storage sheds, shacks or run-down trailers, often with no running water.

"Why are our people living in such extreme poverty when we are so close to this rich mine?" asked Witt, a mining critic born and raised in Attawapiskat. "There is something wrong with this."

As mining companies around the world reap profits from high commodity prices, people in Attawapiskat are demanding a bigger slice of the pie from the diamonds extracted from their traditional territory.

"Our native politicians are pushing for revenue sharing," where resource royalties from the Victor diamond mine would go directly to indigenous administrations, known as band councils, rather than straight to the provincial government, Witt told Al Jazeera.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghan War Risks Are Shifting to Contractors - NYTimes.com

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Even dying is being outsourced here.

This is a war where traditional military jobs, from mess hall cooks to base guards and convoy drivers, have increasingly been shifted to the private sector. Many American generals and diplomats have private contractors for their personal bodyguards. And along with the risks have come the consequences: More civilian contractors working for American companies than American soldiers died in Afghanistan last year for the first time during the war.

American employers here are under no obligation to publicly report the deaths of their employees and frequently do not. While the military announces the names of all its war dead, private companies routinely notify only family members. Most of the contractors die unheralded and uncounted -- and in some cases, leave their survivors uncompensated.

"By continuing to outsource high-risk jobs that were previously performed by soldiers, the military, in effect, is privatizing the ultimate sacrifice," said Steven L. Schooner, a law professor at George Washington University who has studied the civilian casualties issue.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If NATO is outsourcing, what happens if some corporate takes over the contract and decides there's more profit elsewhere ? Private armies are so not a good idea.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 09:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably the same thing that happened when they outsourced the war against the Soviets to a bunch of mullahs.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Panetta seeks probe of Marine SS flag - CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

The military's top brass went into damage control mode Friday after a picture of an elite Marine unit posing with a flag symbol that is similar to a Nazi "SS" logo surfaced on the Internet a day earlier.

First, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked the Marine Corps to look into the matter and take appropriate action, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little.

"Racist and anti-Semitic symbols have absolutely no place alongside the men and women of America's armed forces," Little said in a statement.

Then the Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. James Amos, weighed in, apologizing to "all offended by this regrettable incident."

"I want to be clear that the Marine Corps unequivocally does not condone the use of any such symbols to represent our units or Marines," Amos said.

Marine Corps Scout Snipers from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion are seen in the photo standing and kneeling with their sniper rifles in front of a blue flag with white Nazi "SS" runes. The picture was taken in 2010 in Afghanistan and the photo's description says the "SS" flag had been "adopted and used by the Marines in reference to Scout Sniper."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does this make any sense?
As Rachel Maddow explains in this report, the Ron Paul strategy is to let the caucus results fall where they may, and then ensure Ron Paul delegates are elected to the convention. Because these caucus results are non-binding, it ensures that the votes matter less than the delegates sent to the convention. And right now, the Iowa, Minnesota, and likely Maine delegates will be attending not for Mitt Romney, but Ron Paul. Not for Gingrich or Santorum, but Ron Paul.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:50:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well there were some talk after the first couple of Primaries that Paul supporters were hanging around after the votes. where other candidates supporters were disappearing as they thought they had won.

You would think that other candidates organisations would have this under control by now.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The GOP has been run Top/Down for so many decades the current leadership has forgotten how to operate at the grassroots, Bottom/Up.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apart from Romney and Paul the others don't have much of an organization. that said, this divide between beauty contests and delegates elected later mostly seems to be a feature of the early caucus states.
by IM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the story make sense? Yes, the local voting process is poorly managed. Does it make sense from the overall viewpoint of the best method for selection of a candidate? No.

Our primary system is broken in many ways. For example, one theory is that with these "small" states going first, somebody without much money can compete against a rich guy. But in fact, the rich guy will run attack ads against any realistic opposition and squash them.

Further, since only the truly committed participate, the primaries select party extremists. Santorum is a great example of this, because he is not electable in his own state due to his extreme positions, and in a place like Colorado--where we have in the past year had a preview of this with a similar nut job running for governor--the R party here is extremely frustrated.

Rick Santorum surprised Mitt Romney last night in Colorado's caucuses, but he surprised a number of GOP lawmakers, too. Sen. Nancy Spence of Centennial, a Romney backer, said she couldn't believe Santorum, who received 40 percent of the vote in the straw poll, beat Romney with 35 percent. In Broomfield County, Romney easily won with 44 percent of the vote so caucus goers there, including Rep. Don Beezley, were surprised to hear of Santorum's win. Beezley backed Ron Paul, who took 17 percent of the vote in Broomfield County

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/topic/nancy-spence/

by asdf on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:23:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just happened to get this news first from 972mag.com, where Larry Derfner wrote, under the above headline
Once again, there's a taboo against stating the obvious. It's an open secret, and a source of great Israeli satisfaction, that the Mossad killed Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh four years and a day ago, and that the Mossad was behind a half-dozen killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, as well as explosions at Iranian military sites. Israel didn't have to do any of that - we have the power to deter attacks by Hizbullah and Iran, we don't have to pick fights. But we did, so this is what we get. Israel provoked the car bomb attack today on the wife of the diplomat in New Delhi, and we're making life dangerous for Israelis and Jews everywhere.
Here is how most of the media covers this story
Israeli diplomats have been targeted by car bombs in India and Georgia, leaving four injured and Israel's foreign minister promising a response.

Police in New Delhi said a bomb wrecked a car belonging to the Israeli embassy in the Indian capital carrying the wife of the Israeli defence attache as she was going to pick up her children from school on Monday.

She needed surgery to remove shrapnel but her life was not in danger, officials said.

"She was able to drag herself from the car and is now at the American hospital (in New Delhi), where two Israeli doctors are treating her," an Israeli defence ministry spokesman said.

Three others suffered lesser injuries in the same blast.

Another Israeli embassy vehicle was targeted in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where the car's driver found a package attached to the undercarriage and police discovered and defused a grenade.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:43:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:42:15 PM EST
Fukushima reactor readings raise reheating concern | World news | The Guardian

Concern is growing that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan is no longer stable after temperature readings suggested one of its damaged reactors was reheating.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said the temperature inside No 2 reactor - one of three that suffered meltdown after last year's earthquake and tsunami - may have reached 82C on Sunday.

Tepco said there was no evidence that the melted fuel inside had reached criticality. The utility reportedly increased the amount of cooling water being injected into the reactor along with a boric acid solution, which is used to prevent the fuel from undergoing sustained nuclear reactions.

Confirmation that the temperature has risen above 80C could force the government to reverse its declaration two months ago that the crippled plant was in a safe state known as cold shutdown.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:14:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tepco said it did not know the cause of the apparent temperature rise, but speculated that it might be due to problems with the supply of coolant or a faulty thermometer.

Another day passes, and they are less sure about faulty thermometers... An NHK article quoted here (but now not accessible) was much clearer.

Meanwhile: Nuke dangers nowhere near resolved: [ex-premier] Kan's crisis adviser

by das monde on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:32:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ocean microbe communities changing, but long-term environmental impact is unclear

ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2012) -- As oceans warm due to climate change, water layers will mix less and affect the microbes and plankton that pump carbon out of the atmosphere -- but researchers say it's still unclear whether these processes will further increase global warming or decrease it.

The forces at work are enormous and the stakes huge, said Oregon State University scientists in an article published February 10 in the journal Science. But inadequate ocean monitoring and lack of agreement on how to assess microbial diversity has made it difficult to reach a consensus on what the future may hold, they said.

"We're just beginning to understand microbial diversity in the oceans and what that may mean to the environment," said Stephen Giovannoni, an OSU professor of microbiology. "However, a large portion of the carbon emitted from human activities ends up in the oceans, which with both their mass of water and biological processes act as a huge buffer against climate change. These are extremely important issues."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:33:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

Humans may have been causing climate change for much longer than we've been burning fossil fuels. In fact, the agrarian revolution may have started human-induced climate changes long before the industrial revolution began to sully the skies. How? Through the clearing of forests, which still remains the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.

Sediment cores from the mouth of the Congo River--the deepest river in the world--suggest that humans may have played a significant role in changing the landscapes of Central Africa. That river curves through the world's second-biggest lingering tropical forest, but it and its tributaries also flow through the savannas so prized by modern-day safaris.

Scientists had previously thought that a climate shift from warm and humid to seasonally cooler and drier had helped create those savannas, which covered even more of Central Africa in the past. But the 40,000-year-old record preserved in the sediment cores tells a different story. Roughly 3,500 years ago the Congo River suddenly began dumping a lot more muck without any appreciable increase in rainfall to explain such weathering. One plausible explanation is the simultaneous arrival of the so-called Bantu people, who brought farming into the region.

They cultivated oil palm, pearl millet and yams, crops that need plenty of sunlight, which, of course, necessitated clearing forests. They also cut down trees for charcoal and as fuel for the fires of iron-smelting, which enabled them to make tools and weapons. Coupled with climate change, the result was savannas--and mutually reinforcing climate change.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So it's not Exxon's (and every other modern carbon burner's) fault, it's those damned Bantu 35 hundred years ago. An interesting, but nonproductive, development in PR: we're moving from 'it's a hoax' to 'it's not our fault'.
by Andhakari on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 12:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This type of research is often comfortably accepted by climate skeptics: You see, Buntu farmers were changing climate millennia ago. So don't worry about whole Africa and the whole industrial world compulsively spewing unprecedented amounts of CO2 day and night.
by das monde on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:16:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's scientific enquiry.

I take the opposite tack : we broke the climate, we own it. Any "climate skeptic" who accepts this type of research has taken a major step towards ownership of the problem. Yes, even slash-and-burn agriculture has a measurable effect on the climate. Now, what about my hummer?

See my thread from last year, The Anthropocene controversy.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition to the previous comments, the article already underlines it's not even that clear-cut:

Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

At the same time, the presence of crops such as millet and yams suggests that climate had already changed given that they require alternating seasons of wet and dry. So it remains unclear whether changing climate conditions created the savannas that made Bantu-style farming possible or if Bantu-style farming created the conditions for savannas and changed the climate. What is clear is that "the environmental impact of human population in the central African rainforest was already significant about 2,500 years ago," as the researchers write in the paper presenting their findings published online in Science on February 9.

It's the chicken and the egg question - the climate was already changing, which  allowed human population to start a living in new regions - affecting the region further.

That the environment was changed under the influence of human impacts, there is little doubt.

But the key-point: it remains unclear, certainly from this research, to what extent human activities were the actual cause of changing temperatures.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 08:20:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
But the key-point: it remains unclear, certainly from this research, to what extent human activities were the actual cause of changing temperatures.

It's still unclear, but the evidence is mounting. It ties in with similar research from Asia. It's getting the carbon balance to add up that is the most challenging.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 10:56:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is why we can't have anything nice.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 08:22:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Evangelical group holds firm on `pro-life' link to EPA rule - The Hill's E2-Wire

A green evangelical group won't bow to conservative anti-abortion-rights leaders or Republicans who are pressuring them to stop casting support for new EPA pollution rules as a "pro-life" position.

The Environmental Evangelical Network (EEN) is under attack from the religious right over its campaign in favor of EPA's new restrictions on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants -- rules the EEN calls vital to protecting the health of the unborn.

Alexei Laushkin, an EEN spokesman, said in an interview Thursday that the group won't back off the way it frames support for the rules issued late last year.

"We believe protecting the unborn from mercury poisoning is a consistent pro-life position," he said. "An issue that impacts the unborn - that's where we resonate as a pro-life organization."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Santorum, or similar nutcase, were to be elected Americans would probably be able to use DDT, lead-based paints, and leaded gasoline again. I'd love to see that political ad.
by Andhakari on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and the one with the founding fathers expounding on the virtues of incandescent light bulbs...

and growing 'tea' for partying.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:25:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:42:29 PM EST
Murdoch flies to UK after Sun arrests - FT.com

Rupert Murdoch is flying to London after police investigating allegations of illegal newsgathering arrested another five senior journalists at The Sun, the News Corp-owned daily sister paper to the disgraced News Of The World.

Mr Murdoch is to reassure staff that he stands by Sun editor Dominic Mohan and that he has no plan to shut the paper, one person familiar with his plans said.

The trip was described as one he had planned for some time, but will again see the 80-year-old proprietor having to address an atmosphere of crisis at his print operations.

The reporters arrested on Saturday were named by colleagues as deputy editor Geoff Webster, picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker and John Sturgis, a reporter.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:17:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murdoch's empire depends on flim-flam accounting and a steady diet of cash to keep the thing running.  If the revenue streams start drying up the whole thing goes.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:10:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hard to imagine the London Times and the Wall Street Journal both evaporating--not to mention the dozens of tabloids... But would be a welcome development.

This latest development could cause him some serious problems over here, because while we don't really care that much about trashy British newspapers or political scandals, when it turns into a MOD issue with active duty military people, he just stepped on some powerful toes...

by asdf on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 06:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the Sun were to collapse (not likely - but it did happen to the News of the World) then the London Times would be extremely short of money...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merdock would flog the Times to some other influence-peddler. It won't close down.

By essence, a "paper of record" like the Times (or the NYT or Le Monde) is a loss-making operation. It needs a rich sponsor willing to piss money away. Usually in order to buy political influence, lucrative contracts etc. More rarely, out of philanthropy.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:32:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when he flies from the UK.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:28:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vertical take-off, space shuttle tour, bransonmobile ejector seat!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:37:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he must be pretty confident he has thrown enough execs to the wolves, not to mention prolly more lawyered up than OJ.  still counting on those contacts in high places, who must be squirming just a tad...

citizens' arrest? the tower?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:32:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drug quickly reverses Alzheimer's symptoms in mice

ScienceDaily (Feb. 9, 2012) -- Neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have made a dramatic breakthrough in their efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease. The researchers' findings, published in the journal Science, show that use of a drug in mice appears to quickly reverse the pathological, cognitive and memory deficits caused by the onset of Alzheimer's. The results point to the significant potential that the medication, bexarotene, has to help the roughly 5.4 million Americans suffering from the progressive brain disease.

Bexarotene has been approved for the treatment of cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more than a decade. These experiments explored whether the medication might also be used to help patients with Alzheimer's disease, and the results were more than promising.

Alzheimer's disease arises in large part from the body's inability to clear naturally-occurring amyloid beta from the brain. In 2008 Case Western Reserve researcher Gary Landreth, PhD, professor of neurosciences, discovered that the main cholesterol carrier in the brain, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), facilitated the clearance of the amyloid beta proteins. Landreth, a professor of neurosciences in the university's medical school, is the senior author of this study as well.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:34:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah the Guiness treatment

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, buy some stock in the company that has the license on Targretin (bexarotene)?  From what I can tell, that's no longer Ligand, but a Japanese company called Eisai Co. Ltd. (Pharmaceuticals) -- ESALY.

'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 Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 05:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
has to help the roughly 5.4 million Americans suffering from the progressive brain disease.

oops, there go fox's ratings!

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:33:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Annapolis Alderman Kenneth Kirby deserves to stay in office - baltimoresun.com
It's nothing new for politicians' opponents to try to throw them out of office by claiming they don't live in the district they represent. But the effort to unseat Annapolis Alderman Kenneth Kirby comes with an unusual twist. Republicans have challenged Mr. Kirby's residency, and the mayor and the rest of the council are scheduled to take up the matter on Monday, not because he has moved somewhere else but because he is, effectively, homeless. Mr. Kirby says he stays with family and friends. His only income is his council salary, not much more than $12,000 a year, and he can't afford anything else.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:24:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 12:42:46 PM EST
Whitney Houston: squandered talent of a record-breaking singer who had it all | Music | The Guardian

At the outset of her record-breaking career, Whitney Houston did not seem like the kind of artist whose life would end prematurely in a hotel room after years of drink and drug abuse. If she had any problem at all, it was that she was too squeaky clean.

No one ever doubted her talent: descended from a line of great singers, she was blessed with a voice that everyone from Smokey Robinson to Simon Cowell agreed was one of the best in the world. But her critics claimed the records she made with it erred on the safe side, tending towards pop rather than soul, the middle of the road rather than the cutting edge.

But her talent became eclipsed by a troubled personal life: Houston turned out to be far more unpredictable than initial appearances as a consummate professional suggested.

The reactions to Houston's death from her peers and fellow musicians were varied. Some expressed shock at her demise, aged 48. Others spoke of their sadness but seemed less surprised. "We all knew she had issues," said Cowell, referring to a well-publicised struggle with drink and drugs.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 01:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spitze, dvx. Good one.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Feb 12th, 2012 at 04:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
:-))

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 05:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whitney Houston: squandered talent of a record-breaking singer who had it all | Music | The Guardian
Her voice was clean and cool, full of melismatic embellishments. It spoke of dazzling virtuosity rather than raw power or emotions dredged from the depths of a troubled soul. Even when her public image spiralled out of control, her music didn't follow suit.

she didn't take risks with her emotions while singing, though the pyrotechnics were a reasonable facsimile.

larger-than-life voice, a wonder of nature (and the creme de la creme musical nurture).

while it seems you never found what you were looking for, RIP, whitney, you sure touched many people with your gifts and range, epic in your one-off way.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 07:49:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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