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Izzy's Renegade New Year's DIY Salon - 2 Jan 2013

by Izzy Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:50:16 AM EST

So I dropped in to say hi and happy new year the other day. Innocent enough. Then, as I feared, before you knew it I was engaged in a deeply wonkish and probably irrelevant discussion of US Congressional procedure. Then, hey! Where's the salon? Is everyone on vacation? Well guess what? I still have the keys to this place. I think there's rules or templates or something, but I'm in a 'we don't need no stinkin' templates' mood, so follow me over the jump for a little salon anarchy....


I think I got the categories somewhat wrestled in place. Bring me your news, your snark, you're huddled stories. I declare this a safe haven. Who knows? I may even throw in some shoes and pancakes if I can't rouse any of the rabble any other way. BTW, I've decided to only post good news today, so this may take awhile. Also... I can't remember the difference between living on and off the planet... I always did have trouble with categories!

Display:


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:51:15 AM EST
The Scotsman: Hogmanay: Scotland welcomes `greatest party of all'

http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/scotland/hogmanay-scotland-welcomes-greatest-party-of-all-1-271 3830

TOURISM leaders have hailed Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations as Scotland's equivalent to the Olympic Games, as up to 75,000 revellers flocked into the capital last night.

Experts at VisitScotland said the impact of images beamed around the world from the capital's celebrations to more than a billion TV viewers were as strong as ever.

And hoteliers claimed scenes of famous backdrops, such as Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill, which were being broadcast during the three-day festival were the "envy of the world".



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure if Scotland's in Europe ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe Scotland is, England is not.
by Katrin on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the UK is a member in bad standing of the EU and Scotland is part of the UK for the nonce.  

Britain has, however, refused to budge off the by-god-british pound, whereas Scotland keeps saying if they gain independence they'll be happy to be in the EU and switch to the Euro. At least that's where things stood last I paid attention. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong here...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotland keeps saying if they gain independence they'll be happy to be in the EU and switch to the Euro.

Which means they are not ready to think outside the box on monetary policy and they have no ideathat they cannot build a newly independent state without monetary sovereignty.

In addition, given that there is a lot of alternative monetary thinking going on in Scotland, I find it rather remarkeble that they'd let the opportunity to try something new pass.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Candidate Criticized for Comments about Chancellor Salary - SPIEGEL ONLINE

After a handful of controversial remarks, some in Germany are asking if Social Democratic Party (SPD) chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück is doing himself any favors with his outspoken demeanor.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), Steinbrück, a former finance minister, complained of poor pay for elected officials, saying that a regional director of one of Germany's Sparkassen savings banks in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia earns more than the country's leader. While the claim may be subject to debate, many are questioning Steinbrück's timing, which comes at the start of the election campaign.

Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel earned €289,986 ($382,521) in 2011. That sum will increase this year following the first raise given to the chancellor in 12 years. The Berlin daily Die Tageszeitung, citing public records, reported that the average Sparkassen director in North Rhine-Westphalia earns between €311,500 and €593,000.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:29:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe savings bank directors should earn less? Or at least pay higher taxes? Perhaps those could be demands from a Social Democratic Party?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that there are >1.4 million German workers making €4/hr perhaps there should be a high tax rate on incomes more than twenty times that amount on a yearly rate, or, perhaps, a rule that tax rates on incomes more than 20x the lowest paid in a company should be taxed at an 80% rate. That rate should only apply to about the top 10% of wage earners and might lead to the establishment or raising of minimum wages generally in Germany which would be quite stimulative for the European economy. Were the revenue from such a tax dedicated to assistance programs for Eurozone countries with balance of payment problems the current crisis might more quickly be resolved.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:23:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
, Steinbrück, a former finance minister, complained of poor pay for elected officials,

No, he did not. He complained of a hypocritical debate demonising the pay of politicians.

Peer Steinbrück im Gespräch: ,,Bundeskanzler verdient zu wenig" - Inland - FAZ peer Steinbr ck in conversation ch:%% u201D u201EBundeskanzler earns too little - Domestic - FAZ ?
Gerhard Schröder wollte nach dem Ende seiner Kanzlerschaft mal richtig Geld verdienen. Hatten Sie nach dem Ende Ihrer Ministerzeit auch so ein Gefühl? Gerhard Schröder wanted to make big money after the end of his chancellorship. Did you have the same feeling after your time as a minister?
Nein. Dieses Gefühl gab es nie. Im Übrigen finde ich allerdings, dass manche Debatte über die Bezahlung unserer Abgeordneten bis hin zur Spitze der Bundesregierung sehr schief ist. Nahezu jeder Sparkassendirektor in Nordrhein-Westfalen verdient mehr als die Kanzlerin. Abgeordnete des Bundestags arbeiten fast sieben Tage die Woche, durchschnittlich zwölf bis 13 Stunden. Sie sind gemessen an ihrer Leistung nicht überbezahlt. Manche Debatte, die unsere Tugendwächter führen, ist grotesk und schadet dem politischen Engagement.There was never this feeling. By the way, I find some debates about the pay for our representatives and members of the government is very slanted. Almost every savings bank director in North Rhine Westphalia earns more than the Chancellor. Members of parliament are working almost seven days a week, on average 12 to 13 hours. Measured by their performance they are not overpaid. Some debates, run by our moral guardians Is grotesque and harms the political commitment.

It's just that the vice-chancellor candidate no longer can use the word money without everyone thinking that he wants it.

by Katrin on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 06:00:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, forgot the SPIEGEL alert tag, sorry about that :)
and thanks for the information.
by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:30:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oddly, it is not only the former news magazine. All our media seem to be agreed on reporting Steinbrück had demanded a rise in the chancellor's pay, which is false. And note the headline chosen by the FAZ.
by Katrin on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German Finance Minister Schäuble Says Worst Over in Euro Crisis - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Asked if the euro crisis would continue to worsen in 2013, Schäuble told German daily Bild: "I think we have the worst behind us. Countries like Greece have recognized that they can only overcome the crisis with hard reforms. I hope the progress will continue. We are moving ahead step by step."

Asked if France would turn out to be the biggest threat to the euro, Schäuble said: "I am sure that France will meet its obligations. The government knows very well that every country has to continually carry out reforms to remain competitive. That applies to us Germans as well, by the way."

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:30:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Red Cross disagrees.

Röda Korset varnar för uppror i Europa - Nyheter | SVT.se The Red Cross warns of uprisings in Europe - News | SVT.se
Miljoner européer som för inte så länge sedan var ganska välmående har nu svårt att skaffa mat. Europa bör därför förbereda sig på folkliga uppror, liknande dem som skakat Nordafrika, varnar Internationella rödakorskommittén (ICRC).Millions of Europeans who not long ago was quite well of have now trouble to get food. Europe should therefore prepare for popular uprisings like those that has rocked North Africa, warns the International Committee of the Red Cross. (ICRC).
Europas ekonomiska kris ligger bakom varningen. ICRC lägger nu upp en strategi och rustar för första gången i modern tid Röda korsorganisationer i Sydeuropa så att de kan hantera svår nöd och konflikter.Europe's economic crisis is the reason for the warning. ICRC is planning a strategy and prepares for the first time in modern times the Red Cross organizations in southern Europe so that they can handle disasters and conflicts.


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:49:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The level of Schäuble-stupid keeps rising.

Of course, if every Eurozone country carried out German-style internal devaluation, Germany would have to follow with a fresh round of the same, or lose its balance-of-payments surplus.

Until we all go down the drain.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 06:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:51:38 AM EST
Reuters:  With final vote, Congress resolves "fiscal cliff" drama

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/02/us-usa-fiscal-idUSBRE8A80WV20130102

The United States averted economic calamity on Tuesday when lawmakers approved a deal preventing huge tax hikes and spending cuts that would have pushed the world's largest economy off the "fiscal cliff" into recession.

By a vote of 257 to 167, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill that fulfills President Barack Obama's re-election promise to raise taxes on top earners.

The Senate passed the measure earlier in a rare New Year's Day session and Obama said he will sign it into law shortly.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Somebody must have confused the talking head at Swedish public news, as he was talking about "passing the necessary cuts to stop the increase of debt". That must have been from the cue cards for the crisis in Europe.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that call for a ROFL, a <sob> or a <facepalm>?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:53:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To sob, or to facepalm - that is the question
whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous mainstream media
or to take arms against a sea of troubles
and turn of the telly

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:52:00 AM EST
The Guardian: Turkish talks offer hope of peace with Kurdish militants

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/31/turkish-peace-talks-kurdish-militants-pkk

If you were looking for some new year cheer, you could do worse than look toward Turkey, with confirmation this weekend that talks between Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK), are continuing and that the focus of the negotiations was getting the movement to lay down its arms.

Any glimmer of hope for an end to an insurgency that has cost at least 40,000 lives is to be welcomed. Especially since the last 18 months have witnessed a surge in violence the like of which has not been seen since Ocalan was seized by Turkish special forces in 1999.

Please forgive me if this should go in the Europe section...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:11:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calitics - Robert Cruikshank - What California Can Teach America About Stopping Extremist Obstruction

If you read Calitics at any time between 2007 and 2010, you'd have seen a site focused on the same problem now facing the country as a whole: how to keep a government, an economy, and a society functioning in the face of Republican obstruction. The latest nonsense surrounding the so-called "fiscal cliff" shows that the House Republicans have learned well from their Sacramento counterparts. The method is the same: make Democrats do what they otherwise would not do by threatening to block passage of crucial legislation, then up the ante by rejecting initial deals and demanding even more once Democrats have shown they will make concessions to avoid the predicted disaster that comes with legislative inaction. The resulting deals were destructive to the state's economy and safety net, worsening the already bad financial and social crisis.

For a long time, Sacramento Democrats argued they had no other choice. We heard from Speakers of the Assembly and Presidents of the Senate that unless concessions were made to obtain Republican votes, budgets would not be passed and people would suffer. Republicans made good on their threats and delayed budgets - the 2008-09 budget was three months late.  Now we're watching a similar script play out in Congress.

Here in 2013, California is in a very different place - precisely because of the lessons learned from the era of Republican obstruction. Voters approved a tax increase to help schools. The state budget is headed toward surplus. Budgets are passed on time and without hostage tactics. State government is starting to become functional again.

That did not happen by accident. It happened because Democrats and progressives decided they had enough of Republican obstructionism and developed a plan to stop it for good. The plan included smarter legislative tactics, but the real keys were changes to the political process as well as an unprecedented organizing effort, all aimed at the same core goal: restoring political power to the people, not allowing it to remain concentrated in an extremist fringe.

The first step requires being honest about how politics now works.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:33:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But a slightly more cynical view is....

Orange Satan - Retro Postmodernist - Dems and GOP play good cop, bad cop (again)

The Democrats look so much better than the Republicans on policy, but with results like the "fiscal cliff" crap, it's clear that they work together in a good cop/bad cop dynamic to screw us over.  

The Republicans can take any extremist position they like, trying to end all of the New Deal, removing any obstacles to corporations doing whatever they want, and making sure the rich pay little in taxes.

Then the Dems can come in as the "good cop" and say, "These nasty Republicans want to make things terrible for you.  We're much more reasonable-- we'll only do those Republican things half as much, so you should support us."  Meanwhile, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the New Deal is slowly shredded.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the standard of UK reporting on the US. Standard Beltway BS. I'd never know what was going on if I had to rely on this nonsense

Independent - Rupert cornwell - This dysfunctional system has just kicked the can down the road

All parties to the mess must share in the blame: Republican right-wing zealots with their blind resistance to tax increases of any nature, the ineptitude of the House Speaker John Boehner, who lost control of his Republican troops, and the liberal Democrats who will have no truck with changes in the costly entitlement programmes, Medicare and Social Security, that are essential if the country's finances are to be put on a stable long-term footing.

Nor can the President himself escape criticism. Barack Obama, whose failure to establish good personal relationships with key Republicans has contributed to the deadlock, has too often seemed disdainful not only of the recalcitrant House, but of the entire legislative process.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 08:02:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the essential antidote to it, see http://www.driftglass.com

His specialty is dismantling David Brooks of the NYTimes.

Some of his Photoshops approach genius. He also does an hourlong Friday podcast with his wife, BlueGal. NSFW

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kim Jong Un calls to end strife between Koreas - latimes.com

In an unusual televised address for the new year, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called to defuse tensions with South Korea and boost the economy of his  impoverished nation.

"An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontations between the north and the south," Kim declared.

Almost anything emerging from the isolated North Korean regime is bound to be parsed by analysts seeking clues to its next steps, but it is striking that Kim gave such a speech at all.

[...]

Despite the call to make peace, some experts were skeptical that it signaled any dramatic shift by North Korea. The regime prizes its military might, Kim emphasized later in his speech, delivered just a few weeks after North Korea  launched a rocket to loft a satellite into space.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Delhi gang-rape: look westward in disgust | Emer O'Toole | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

There's something uncomfortably neocolonial about the way the Delhi gang-rape and subsequent death of the woman now known as Damini is being handled in the UK and US media. While India's civil and political spheres are alight with protest and demands for changes to the country's culture of sexual violence, commentators here are using the event to simultaneously demonise Indian society, lionise our own, and minimise the enormity of western rape culture.

A particularly blatant example of this is Libby Purves's piece for the Times. She says the Delhi bus rape should "shatter our Bollywood fantasies". For Purves, westerners enjoy a romanticised view of India, all heady spirituality and Marigold Hotels; and especially romantic in their views, for reasons Purves neglects to address, are the British. Thus, upright Europeans have sentimentally ignored the "murderous, hyena-like male contempt" that Purves says is an Indian cultural norm. Neatly excised from her account however is the relationship between poverty, lack of education and repressive attitudes towards women, and, by extension, the role of Europe in creating and sustaining poverty in its former colonies. Attitudes towards women in the east were once used by colonialists to, first, prop up the logic of cultural superiority that justified unequal power relations (the "white man's burden") and second, silence feminists working back in the west by telling them that, comparatively, they had nothing to complain about.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:21:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal Conspiracy - Sunny Hundal - Yes, it IS right to point fingers at Indian culture for its rape epidemic

Sometimes people miss the wood for the trees. Owen Jones says that `Sexual violence is not a cultural phenomenon in India - it is endemic everywhere'.

As Owen summarises a key strand of thinkin, one that many have referred me to, I think its worth challenging as it can be counter-productive.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 08:27:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
these rapists had pretended to be a passenger bus service, picked up a woman and her boyfriend and raped the woman with a steel bar, beat up her boyfriend, and tried to run over the woman.

That's appallingly violent and preplanned!

by stevesim on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:17:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal Conspiracy - Sunny hundal - What Indian women have been saying on the Delhi gang-rape case

Arundhati Roy interview

    However, the real problem is why is this crime creating such a lot of outrage is because it plays into the idea of the criminal poor, like the vegetable vendor, gym instructor or bus driver actually assaulting a middle class girl. Whereas when rape is used as a means of domination by upper castes, the army or the police it is not even punished," said the feted author.

    When asked if there was any chance that these huge protests are going to ring in some genuine change, Roy said, "I think it will lead to some new laws perhaps, an increased surveillance, but all of that will protect middle class women. But in cases of the army and the police as perpetrators, we are not looking for laws. What do you do when the police themselves burn down villages, gang-rape women. I have personally listened to so many testimonies of women to whom this has been done.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 08:39:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India Has a Woman Problem - By Rashmee Roshan Lall | Foreign Policy
The Indians who argue that they elected a woman as head of government back in the 1960s (something the United States has yet to do), and that modern Indian women are free to work, need to accept they live in an intensely patriarchal society. This reflexive conservatism runs deep, despite the changes wrought by the Internet, mobile telephony, and the commercial forces of the 21st century. Just listen to India's elected politicians: In October, a rash of nearly 20 rapes in the small north Indian state of Haryana led the female chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, to blame the increasing interaction between men and women. "It's like an open market with open options," she complained. Another Haryana politician suggested, along the lines of the Republican Party's Todd "legitimate rape" Akin, that he didn't know what the fuss was about because 90 percent of rapes are consensual. Meanwhile, a council of village elders advocated lowering the marriageable age for women from 18 to 15 or 16 to decrease rape. It was left to four U.N. agencies to respond with a letter to government officials stating that "child marriage is not a solution to protecting girls from sexual crimes including rape" and that 40 percent of the world's child marriages already happen in India.
by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:21:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also quoted in the above article:

Rewriting Indian Legends | The Revealer

The violence against the female starts long before she's even born, with gender bias expressed as soon as an ultrasound shows a pregnant woman is carrying a girl child, and she then decides to abort it in hopes that the next one will be a boy. If she makes it to birth, the girl child faces a lifetime of less medical attention and less schooling than her brothers.

In 1990, Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen argued that the bias has led to 100 million missing women. The estimate today is that in India alone there are 15 million "extra" men. More recently, Mara Hvistendahl, the author of Unnatural Selection, and Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea den Boer, co-authors of Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population, all contend that in a world where there are increasingly more men who are unable to find a mate because of this skewed gender imbalance, there will be an increase in violence in general and sexual violence against women in particular. These unattached males move in packs, more brazen in their actions in a culture where sexual harassment is already endemic. As women have made socio-economic gains, becoming more educated, more independent, and more visible in the public sphere, it seems that the backlash from men threatened by their presence is increasing in stride.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:27:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:52:33 AM EST
IPS - Indigenous Chileans Still Fighting Pinochet-Era Highway Project | Inter Press Service

PUERTO SAAVEDRA, Chile, Dec 27 2012 (IPS) - For more than two decades, Mapuche indigenous people in the Chilean region of Araucanía have been fighting the construction of the Ruta Costera (Coastal Highway), a megaproject initially conceived during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) which has already caused significant archeological and cultural losses and damages.

The Coastal Highway is meant to connect one end of Chile's long, narrow territory to the other, running north to south as close to the Pacific Ocean as possible. The completed highway would be more than 3,340 km long, of which more than 2,600 km have already been built.

This highway project has become one of the main challenges facing numerous successive governments in Chile, who have consistently come up against the opposition of native communities.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:24:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:52:50 AM EST
From The Guardian: Maryland holds seven gay marriages to mark arrival of New Year

...crap - I can't remember the html for linking, so here it is in it's cludgy format

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/01/maryland-gay-marriage-new-year

Seven gay couples rang in the New Year in Maryland with wedding bells early Tuesday, marking the first wave of nuptials since voters in the state backed the legalization of same-sex marriage. The couples were pronounced lawfully married at the 12.30am ceremony on New Year's Day in Baltimore's City Hall.

Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake officiated at the wedding of the first of the couples, 68-year-old James Scales and 60-year-old William Tasker. The couple have been together for 35 years. The mayor joked that everyone had come to celebrate a relationship that began many years ago - "and I mean that, many years ago." Soon after the November vote legalizing gay marriage, Scales, a long-time city employee, asked the mayor to marry the two.

The mayor's press secretary, Ian Brennan, said the mayor "wanted to make a statement to tell gay, lesbian, transgendered couples that they're welcome here".



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:05:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Long-lived bats offer clues on diseases, aging

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/21/us-bats-immunity-flight-idUSBRE8BK0BV20121221

The bat, a reservoir for viruses like Ebola, SARS and Nipah, has for decades stumped scientists trying to figure out how it is immune to many deadly bugs but a recent study into its genes may finally shed some light, scientists said on Friday.

Studying the DNA of two distant bat species, the scientists discovered how genes dealing with the bats' immune system had undergone the most rapid change.

This may explain why they are relatively free of disease and live exceptionally long lives compared with other mammals of similar size, such as the rat...

[...]

What was missing from both species of bats was a gene segment known to trigger extreme, and potentially fatal, immune reactions to infections, called the cytokine storm.

Cytokine storms end up killing not only offending viruses in the body, but the host's own cells and tissues too.

"Viruses rarely kill the host. The killing comes from the host's immune response. So it looks like what bats are doing is depress the inflammation (cytokine storm). If we can learn that, we can design drugs to minimize the inflammation damage and control viral infection," Wang said.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have heard that people with strong immune systems are more likely to die if they contract Legionnaire's disease for a similar reason. I also vaguely remember that having supposed to have been a problem with the 1918 "Spanish" flu as well.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd heard that about the 1918 flu as well. At the time, it was a complete mystery why so many babies and elderly survived and healthy young men died in large numbers. It was rumored to be some biological warfare.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:57:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, in the 1918 flu people died from their systems being clogged by the wasteproducts of the immune system fighting the disease. (It was a documentary or something, hence the imagery.)

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the same holds for the H1N1 virus.  it only kills healthy adults.

as for the cytokine storm, well....

remember the poor schmucks who had some horrible reactions during a drug trial in the UK some years ago?  that was a cytokine storm reaction, so, I think scientists are really smoking the good stuff if they think they can control this.

by stevesim on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ada Initiative: Ending sexism in hacker culture: A work in progress (JANUARY 2, 2013)
Last week, sexism in hacker culture became a topic of worldwide dialogue again. The trigger was a series of sexist incidents at the 29th Chaos Communications Congress, held every year in Germany during the last week of the year.

The incidents started with a wall in the conference center, where a picture of a woman's nude body (link does not show image directly) was created using "Creeper Move cards," printed paper cards used to raise awareness of sexism. (They definitely raised awareness in this case.) The conference wiki was edited to create a game in which participants were rewarded for offending people by making sexist comments or unwanted sexual propositions. During the popular conference event "Hacker Jeopardy," a moderator repeatedly made sexist comments like "For reasons of gender-equality, we'll sadly have to pick a woman now," unhindered by the conference organizers present.

The reaction was swift, both at the conference and around the world. Many of the incidents were chronicled on a web site set up to document sexist incidents at CCC (in German, English here). Social media exploded with criticism of the events - e.g., "I think the conference leadership (the ccc) has failed horribly and that your team is a token and meaningless gesture." - which quickly spread to include not just people at the conference but also people around the world.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:31:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The incidents started with a wall in the conference center, where a picture of a woman's nude body (link does not show image directly) was created using "Creeper Move cards," printed paper cards used to raise awareness of sexism.

Looking at these cards I'm not quite sure how they are supposed to raise awareness of anything. Threatening a punch to the face?

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

by generic on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 10:01:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess the red card is intended for situations where a punch in the face would also have been an appropriate response.

Ending sexism in hacker culture: A work in progress

For context, the cards were only intended to make the problem visible, not become a solution. Most people agree that the solution is for the conference organizers to adopt, publicize, and enforce a specific anti-harassment policy. The cards just made it clear that sexism was happening and that the enforcement was not working.

Our goal is to create a future in which creeper move cards are unnecessary and they end up in a dusty museum display case with the tag: "Early 3rd millenium women's rights activists used these cards to raise awareness of sexism in the primitive computing communities of their time." (I'm keeping mine, they might become collector's items!)

DEFCON: Why conference harassment matters

The cards are a hilarious way to raise awareness of the problem of brutal sexual harassment at DEFCON and similar conferences. Unfortunately, it will take more than raising awareness to make hacker conferences safe for women. That's one reason why I quit my cushy computer programmer job and co-founded the Ada Initiative, a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture. Our scope includes open source software, open hardware, and open data - all of which are major parts of hacker conferences like DEFCON.

The Ada Initiative's first project: an example written policy that bans harassment at conferences, sexual or otherwise, of people of all genders. Organizers for literally hundreds of conferences have adopted some form of this policy, including open source software conferences from Linux to Python to Git, the world's largest Wikipedia conference, Wikimania, and a plethora of others including gaming cons, open video conferences, science fiction conventions, and even skeptic/atheist meetups.

Using them at all appears to at least have raised awareness of sexist climate at CCC.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:50:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But even looking at the green thank-you-card I'd probably feel more then a little irritated when receiving one. "You could have gotten a yellow one instead" is hardly something I would understand as "thank you" as opposed to "you might not have done something objectionable now but I'm watching you".

Furthermore I'm not aware that the CCC really had a problem with harassment as opposed to the usual sexism you find everywhere. And now everyone is defensive and  the stupid exploded all over the internet.

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

by generic on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You need a doctorate in semiotics to make sense of all the memes involved in this spat.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Becoming a 'thing' in the Open Source community.  Women want to be able to attend meetings and contribute without being hassled.  (Ya know, just like they were Real People©?)  The cards are an attempt to tell a male they've crossed the line without getting into a verbal altercation: hand 'em the card and walk away.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then some smartasshole made this anti-feminist creeper card panel:

On the right, an actual creeper.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a smartasshole.  Just an asshole.

 

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

explanation of another picture which angered the fans of the cards

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that the creeper cards are probably not very effective, but I can see why the naked woman poster would be instantly offensive to a great many people.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, so can I, of course. Reading the blogpost changed er, the picture, though.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue is women have stated are being subjected to sexual harassment at Open Source/Hacker computer symposia, congresses, & so on.  These meetings are not only a way for women to learn about, contribute,to be able to be more effective in their area of interest, and to obtain job skills they are also important for job networking.  This is how they are promoted.  They are not promoted as a venue for sex-whoopie time.

Women have stated they have tried to stop the harassment by going to the (male) organizers.  If the organizers had adequately responded to the complaints we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Individual opinions wrt the female body is irrelevant.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 12:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have they? The organisers had an "awareness team" and a hotline. Both weren't contacted (says Fefe, in German). As far as I can make it out (I wasn't there) there were more than two cultures clashing.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 12:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh. One of Fefe's updates says that the main complainant had never been on the congress.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 12:38:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:53:23 AM EST
The Scotsman: Ultravox have the last laugh as Vienna is No1

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/music/news-and-features/ultravox-have-the-last-laugh-as-vienna-is- no1-1-2713856

A GRAVE musical wrong has at last been set right.

Three decades ago Ultravox's classic track Vienna was held off the No1 spot in the charts by an Australian in a tiny pork-pie hat and a mandolin screeching "Shaddap You Face".

Today, the track written by the Scots singer Midge Ure will be hailed as an honorary chart-topper after being named Britain's favourite No2 single.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So many good records never made it to number one. But to me the obvious one is Strawberry Fields Forever

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm honestly not sure if ANY of my favorite songs have made it to number 1...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the price you pay for liking unpopular music

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I mentioned pancakes and went looking through my photos from Jerome's visit. I know for a fact I dragged him to IHOP, but evidently I did not get photographic evidence of it. I got him eating corndogs and donuts, but not pancakes. Sorry to disappoint.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:57:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew will be especially disappointed.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:05:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm so sorry...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:08:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and Drew and I were just discussing Man vs Food yesterday.

I saw an episode which featured El Tepeyac in LA, wish I'd gone there when I visited

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG, it's Izzy!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't faint. Take slow breaths and keep your arms and legs inside the blog at all times.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:53:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing an old-fashioned Salon, just like the old days

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh! Is this what the kids call "kickin' it old school?"  Am I cool yet??

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:58:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've always been cool, it's just never been cool to say so (I can say that cos I'm not cool)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:01:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for this Izzy. I guess the regular Salon creating machines are still drunk

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's hope so. The poor dears need the break.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seemed likely everyone would be too drunk to notice there was no Salon, so we thought we could get away with it.

<in fact>Nomad's away and offline.</in fact>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's okay, I'm always grateful there's a Salon (and an ET come to that), and if things don't always run in grooves, that's understandable and entirely fine too.

Izzy's doing a great job

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, it's Wednesday.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT// Beate Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women's Rights, Dies at 89

Beate Sirota Gordon, the daughter of Russian Jewish parents who at 22 almost single-handedly wrote women's rights into the Constitution of modern Japan, and then kept silent about it for decades, only to become a feminist heroine there in recent years, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

[snip]

A civilian attached to Gen. Douglas MacArthur's army of occupation after World War II, Ms. Gordon was the last living member of the American team that wrote Japan's postwar Constitution.

Her work -- drafting language that gave women a set of legal rights pertaining to marriage, divorce, property and inheritance that they had long been without in Japan's feudal society -- had an effect on their status that endures to this day.

"It set a basis for a better, a more equal society," Carol Gluck, a professor of Japanese history at Columbia University, said Monday in a telephone interview. "By just writing those things into the Constitution -- our Constitution doesn't have any of those things -- Beate Gordon intervened at a critical moment. And what kind of 22-year-old gets to write a constitution?"

a sense of marvel and humility for the new year

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:20:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

De Gondi's natural-leavened sour batter buckwheat and cornmeal pancake with no-sugar wild strawberry preserves.

Maple syrup lurking in the background.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AKA The Heretic's Breakfast

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:16:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AKA The Healthy Heretic's Delicious Breakfast.

(Hell, i even use maple syrup in homemade spicy avocado salsa.)

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(Hell, i even use maple syrup in homemade spicy avocado salsa.)

You're sounding like that commie Fra Dolcino. You're risking a schism among heretics with your extremism.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd call it moderate extremism. People who eat salsa are free to put whatever they like in it. It's their sphincter. Salsa is the ultimate FOI food. Same with guacamole. These are all foods for people with poor dental hygiene aka empty gums. Salsa and guacamole suck. I'm not sure who to blame. </needless rant about Cuisino Mehico>

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can accept some salsa so long as they are made by a hand. Those who avail themselves of electrical contrivances are simply massacring any residual variance in taste combinations. If instead ingredients are reduced by knife, tearing or pounding in a mortar (think of the legendary pesto genovese) they do make for pleasant and varied sensations in the oral cavity as mastication releases further essences. Mashed potatoes should be properly mashed by hand.

Food reduced to mush with blenders should just as well go straight down the gullet. Or used to cultivate bacteria.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, "Extremism in defense of Liberty is no Vice."  AuH20

Second, i fully enjoy chopping everything in the salsa by tedious hand labor, while also enjoying the olfactory and gustatory pleasures.

Third (in reply to Izzy's lemon meltdown remembrance), I've been known to chop up tiny bits of lemon into my pancake batter itself.

And Finally, Fra Dolcino was cited by Umberto Ecco for using maple syrup to begin a rational heresy?

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A touch of nutmeg and grated orange peel of the smooth skin variety are most welcome.

Fra Dolcino is a miserable attempt at puns. Dolcino meant sweet, tender, soft.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:02:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
got it then...  ;-)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Salsa and guacamole suck.

Them's fighting words 'round these hyar parts, pardner.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:03:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what'd ya 'spect from a marmight?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, you Yanks!

Mind you, a month or so ago we got the entire Friends oeuvre on Blu-Ray and we are slowly working through a masterwork. Mostly it looks like film, though maybe not 35mm, but there are some parts that look video.

Anyway, this is Whitehall farce meets Wilder dialogue meets "they were the zeitgeist of their time".

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like the efficiency of committee writing - Friends dialogue does an amazing amount of work for the words used. But somehow I am tied to the auteur theory.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait... are we talking about Friends the tv show with Jennifer Anniston et al?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am, I don't know about the other buggers...


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 04:08:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
at the taste of industry insiders...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm so sorry - while I DO appreciate the effort to help in bringing pancakes to this thread, I can't bring myself to recommend your comment.

I swear, I thought that was some weird hamburger patty with a ketchup blob on it.  Actually, I thought something worse first. I'm STILL having trouble looking at it, never mind thinking of it as a pancake. I may not be able to eat anything for the rest of the day...

You DO remember my meltdown of the revelation that some of you people put LEMON JUICE on pancakes, right?  Your pancake is making that shit seem normal!!

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine is simply a nostalgic tribute to epic battles here at ET, a subject which you first brought up above.

I have been eating pancakes every day for most of my life as my parents did and my Czech grandfather did. What we call pancakes are a cross culture staple food that date back to the neolithic, I would hazard. I have even found them in the desert of Thar, made with wild gram, or in Romania where they are called clatite.

Beyond that, I would take umbrage with your characterization of my morning breakfast were it not for the incommensurable esteem I have always nurtured in your regards. Welcome back!

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let the healing begin!  I think we've all learned something here tonight... (ok, I have, but I'm somehow coming to appreciate the 'both sides' narrative!)

(oh, and good to see you, too! xo)

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh cripes - I have to start working again...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:18:42 AM EST
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
A Tunisian minister in charge of emigres wished a Merry Christmas to the country's Jews.

"I want to wish all the Jews of Tunisia a happy holiday tonight, it is a big holiday all over the world," Houcine El Jaziri, Tunisia's state secretary for immigration and Tunisians living abroad, said while participating in the talk show "Attasia" on the Ettounisya network, which was aired on Dec. 31. He also wished the Jews a milaad Majid, or Merry Christmas.

What does a minister in charge of emigres do?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 08:44:00 AM EST
Give him a break, he's an Islamic scholar, he's already showing an admirable spirit of ouverture.

What a minister for emigrés does : Tries to talk them into coming home, I guess. I wish him luck with Tunisian Jews, who are probably 50/50 between Israel and France.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 09:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greetings from N'Djamena.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 10:00:32 AM EST

Wow, Izzy and you !!!

A great day

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 10:10:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greetings from darkest France, o DarkEarth.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 10:14:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi! Good to see you again.
by Bernard on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 10:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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