Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Wednesday Open Thread

by dvx Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 11:48:53 AM EST

For a late-starting week!


Display:
Ha! I should check the front page and not just Recent Comments! :)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:03:32 PM EST
Fooled you, didn't I?

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 Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:10:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
City slicker!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From EDF's 2011 Facts and figures (16 MB!)

And from Alpha Ventus:


The alpha ventus consortium DOTI, formed by the companies of EWE, E.ON and Vattenfall, can look back with satisfaction on a successful 2011: the twelve wind power turbines of Germany's first offshore wind farm have fed over 267 gigawatt hours of electricity into the German power grid over the entire year. This puts the amount of power generated by alpha ventus at around 15 percent over the projected total for the year.

"These results exceed our expectations", says a pleased Dr. Claus Burkhardt of EWE in his capacity as DOTI Managing Director and General Project Manager. "The exceptionally high power yields achieved by alpha ventus in 2011 are due primarily to the nearly constant and excellent wind conditions at the wind farm together with a high turbine availability of up to 97 percent."

267 GWh with 60 MW is 51% net capacity factor (what EDF calls the load factor)

Which means that the actual load factor of German offshore wind is 2/3 of that of French nukes (and that is with a mediocre wind year in 2011, let's wait until we have 2012 data which was a better wind year)

With Flamanville now budgeted at EUR 8.6 billion by EDF, we're talking 5.4 EUR/W, compared to 3.5 EUR/W for offshore wind. Which means that nuclear MWhs, for plants built today, cannot be cheaper than offshore wind MWhs...

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:24:39 PM EST
And that is a front-page story!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be interesting to see how the green hating UK press spin that into a wind bashing story

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, neither datapoint is very recent - let's see when we have 2012 data in a few weeks' time.

In any case, the usual suspects now have an easy solution: both wind and nukes require subsidies, let's do cheap gas!

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheap, cleaner-burning gas!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheap, cleaner-burning gas coal!

FIFY to maximize ecological destruction.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention that the flipside of fracking is likely a nasty case of the Dutch Disease.

This is already manifest in Canada where oil sands money has driven up the price of the looney and driven quite a bit of manufacturing back south of the border.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EDF admits French nuclear reactor delayed  Guardian

EDF, the French company at the heart of plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants in Britain, has admitted that a similar plant being constructed in France is going to take almost twice as long and cost nearly twice the anticipated price.

Another confirmation of The Rule of Two and a Half:
"Everything takes twice as long, costs twice as much and is only half as profitable as originally anticipated."
But the rule is not necessarily applicable in cases where what is being done has recently been done under similar circumstances and by the same organization or group of organizations.

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 01:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The United States of Amurka, in all its collective wisdom, has extended the Production Tax Credit given to windpower for another year.

Vestas, Gamesa Rise After U.S. Extends Wind-Power Tax Break (bloomberg version)

The markets have reacted favorably, even though significant damage has already been done by not extending it 6 months ago, or earlier. I can not write how much of the supply chain has been decimated already, not to mention the hits to major US OEMs.

This one year extension could perhaps add another 4- 8 GW to the ridiculously low projection of 1.5 GW for 2013, accent on the 4 GW side. The extension will only be effective if sometime in the next two quarters, it is extended further, or something similar put in place. Period.

Concurrently, the industry is still under attack in Yurp as well.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's been extended by slightly more than one year, as it is the date of start of construction, rather than the date of connection to the grid, which will now count towards the obtention of the PTC.

But yeah, the regulatory framework for wind in the Us is probably the best example of what not to do.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, haven't yet seen if it's 18 or 24 months to account for start of construction in 2013. Also the definition of construction, as it's highly likely that projects possible within the window would begin site work, roads and even foundations. Another interpretation is if a fixed signed construction contract or TSA (turbine sales agreement with delivery commencing within the period) would count.

either way, without a further extension or similar new support, it isn't going to bring back the workers already fired, or the supply chain companies already bankrupt.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:27:57 PM EST
House Leaders Draw Ire for Dropping Sandy Relief Package  Democracy Now
House Republicans have reversed their pledge to take up an emergency aid bill this week for states devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The move potentially leaves the $60 billion aid package to die at the end of the legislative session Thursday. The House was expected to consider the bill today but dropped it following lengthy talks on the "fiscal cliff." The decision drew harsh condemnation from both sides of the aisle. Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island -- one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy -- said, "It is with an extremely heavy heart that I stand here almost in disbelief and somewhat ashamed." Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York blasted his colleagues for failing to take urgent action.

   Rep. Jerrold Nadler: "Hurricane Sandy struck on October 29th, eight, nine weeks ago. It's unprecedented that it should take so long. I can understand -- I would not sympathize, but I can understand -- with members who might say the amount requested is too much, we should change it, we should quibble with it, we should debate it. Fine. But to ignore it, to ignore the plight of millions of American citizens? Unprecedented, disgusting, unworthy of the leadership of this House. They should reconsider, or they should hang their heads in shame, Mr. Speaker."



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 01:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that the Speaker's decision? Or repug caucus?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears to have been Boehner's on the spot decision. Likely he had been so absorbed in the 'Fiscal Cliff' debacle that he failed to consider what a firestorm he might ignite by NOT bringing a $60 billion Emergency Relief bill up for a vote. At least it wasn't another swipe of the sandpaper by the Tea Party that hit him this time.

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 Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
n+1: Denmark's a Prison

If we're to create a new Denmark together, we have to invent a new way of communicating and of doing politics. Words like socialism, liberalism, and solidarity might just be words describing the world of yesterday and not the world of tomorrow. A modern world is manifold, and our democracy should be as well.

This is surely part of the story of how Borgen became the most important program on European television. The current failure of Europe is epistemological as much as economic, and not only have the structures of parliamentary representation outlived their functionality, but so have the very terms and principles by which we conceive of democracy. As the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck has argued, the shift we are seeing in Europe is one from "government" to "governance"--or, if you prefer, from democracy to administration, from a system in which political leaders enact the will of the people to one in which they act merely as "debt-collecting agencies on behalf of a global oligarchy of investors." It's not as if Germany and the other, richer EU nations are bailing out the citizens of the EU's troubled nations (if only!); instead they're going to banks and other financial institutions capable of pressuring the chancelleries of Europe, net creditors and net debtors alike, into submission. Market orthodoxy has reduced politics to such narrow territory that, in this fourth year of the crisis, even Iceland has a brighter political and economic future than the states of the Eurozone and European Union. So one part of Borgen`s appeal is that it postulates a Europe of another kind, where different politicians still generate different outcomes, and where the future of the country is not yet written in the bank ledgers. This is alluring even in Denmark. Partly because the Danish krone is pegged to the euro, Denmark's economy is still nowhere near recovery, and Thorning-Schmidt has driven Socialdemokraterne to its lowest opinion poll ratings in decades.

do you watch this, Jake?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:29:52 PM EST
I've watched the first series, the second is due to start here this weekend, and I don't remember those themes being prominent. As I remember (twas a year ago) it was more about the arm twisting, deal making and plain dishonesty that goes into building political coalitions. With a generous side order of how that degrades idealism.

Twas very good. But it followed on almost immediately after The Killing and so it as a case of seeing the same actors in different roles (there's a small TV actor base in Denmark) and playing at being confused by it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:54:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why was my comment pulled ? There were no spoilers

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:16:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It wasn't.

Don't know what happened.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fished out of Recent Comments:

Helen:

I've watched the first series, the second is due to start here this weekend, and I don't remember those themes being prominent. As I remember (twas a year ago) it was more about the arm twisting, deal making and plain dishonesty that goes into building political coalitions. With a generous side order of how that degrades idealism.

Twas very good. But it followed on almost immediately after The Killing and so it as a case of seeing the same actors in different roles (there's a small TV actor base in Denmark) and playing at being confused by it

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must have been an accidental toggle by a fellow frontpager. I now untoggled it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Currently, I can't see toggled comments. There was nothing in the Hidden Comments list either.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:51:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just stumbled onto it not long ago.  Got to watch maybe half a dozen episodes of the last season.  I'm hooked.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:59:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I prefer cynical farce over idealist tragedy in political fiction.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:30:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, reality....

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A casual evaluation caused me to decide it would make me angry to no useful end, so I've skipped it. But perhaps it's my duty to watch it or something.

We're watching Game of Thrones instead. i.e. what Jake said.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent - Doctor's daughter, nine months pregnant, is terrorist suspect

Morgan Gliedman lives in Manhattan's fashionable Greenwich Village and is nine-months pregnant with a child by her Harvard-educated partner. Few would have thought the 27-year-old daughter of a respected doctor could be an aspiring terrorist.

Yet police who searched the couple's apartment while investigating a credit card theft found an explosive material, bomb-making manuals, a sawn-off shotgun with 60 rounds, nine rifle magazines and a flare gun modelled on a grenade launcher.

Ms Gliedman was arrested at her home on West Ninth Street on Saturday with her boyfriend Aaron Greene, 31, according to the New York Post. But her appearance in court had to be delayed when she went into labour.

The building and others nearby were briefly evacuated after a plastic container containing seven grams of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine was found in the living room.

Despite the fact that it turns out they're heroin addicts, you can't help but wonder if this connection is the one that'll be pushed hardest

Mr Greene, 31, is reported to be a member of the Occupy Wall Street protest group


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:01:01 PM EST
They sound more like fledging members of the NRA.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:06:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, all pregnant women will have to be x-rayed to see if they are carrying 5 kilos of baby or 5 kilos of explosives...
by asdf on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate the fact that this article needs serious editing and probably a re-write, cos she's making a good point in there, somewhere

Guardian - Zoe Williams - Iain Duncan Smith's polemic is politics at its most cynical

And this, I think, is the true division of the Conservative party - the ones who are mistaken versus those who are wrong deliberately. Some of them are simply out of their depth, do not understand the benefits system or a government's realistic prospects of controlling the economy, don't get why well-meaning guys who are prepared to suck up to enterprise and clobber the unemployed wouldn't, on that basis alone, be enough to instil confidence and growth and convince a ratings agency.

Others take the Fox News approach: if you can just get enough misinformation out there, enough people who were only half-listening might half-believe you. Competing claims don't need to relate to facts, their validity will be judged on the manner in which they're delivered. You may have to retract later, but what does that matter? Does it even count as humiliation when the only people talking about it are the ones who disagreed with you anyway?

This is politics at its most cynical, its most rebarbative; this is politics pursued purely for personal advancement and for the game, in defiance of the public interest and the long term. I have a feeling that the first type of Tory would despise this second type even more than I do. The trick now is to tell them apart.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:04:55 PM EST
Way of the World is the first people to massively spread a message is becomes the opinion of news-consumers.

We saw that with the Fukushima disaster.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 01:34:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My old CRT telly died the other day, so I've upgraded to a new flat screen thingy about 2 cms deep.

However, I can't help ut notice that the sound is quite tinny compared to my old set, which makes me think that a "Home Cinema" kit may be needed.

anybody got any hints or tips about what to look for ? I'm more the cheapskate end of the deal than all singing all dancing.

And DVD players ? If I'm joining the 21st century I might as well do it properly.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:25:22 PM EST
Possible to get a perfectly adequate "Home Theater" sound system for $100 here in the States by hunting around.  For that, here, you'll get an older mid-range receiver and speakers in decent condition.

 

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

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally threw that brick throw it, eh?

I am not up to date on sound equipment so substantial answer. Still use old telly though has considered upgrading by way of grabbing bigger old telly from the electric trash - many of them has notes "functions well - take if you want".

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 02:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing quite so dramatic, it stopped showing the colour red. Which is a little annoying.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ElaineinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:25:19 PM EST


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:43:40 PM EST
Coppola Comment: When governments become banks (2 JANUARY 2013)
The Bank of International Settlements has produced a paper discussing the global shortage of safe assets and suggesting a solution. It's a fascinating paper, not least because of the glimpse it affords into the looking-glass world of finance. I've noted before that to the financial world, the real economy is simply a source of resources to support financial trading and investment. If the BIS paper is anything to go by, so are governments.

...

The BIS paper makes it very clear that a country that has no central bank, does not issue its own currency and has no control of monetary policy cannot create "safe" assets - although it seems to make an exception for Germany, probably because its dominance in the Eurozone means that effectively it runs the place. ...

...

... As BIS puts it:

"It is of the essence of a safe asset that it should not become unsafe."
Therefore, governments whose debt is regarded as a safe asset must operate monetary and fiscal policy in such a way that their debt retains its value. They cannot allow inflation to rise significantly, and they must maintain control of public spending to ensure that they can always meet their liabilities when they fall due. The very existence of safe assets relies on the soundness of sovereign monetary and fiscal policy.

From a national economic perspective, this looks completely ridiculous. On the one hand, government must produce unlimited amounts of debt to meet the financial system's demand for safe assets, and allow the central bank to exchange this debt freely for new money. But on the other hand, they must maintain strict control of inflation and government spending so that the safe assets they are producing remain safe. So the debt/GDP level can rise to the skies, though they will pay nothing much for it: in fact debt/GDP would become a completely meaningless measure of the soundness of public finances. But woe betide any government that ran a deficit. ...

...

However, there is one very important point to the BIS proposal. It eliminates once and for all the idea that monetizing public debt inevitably leads to hyperinflation. The BIS model shows that monetizing debt can be done at at little risk of inflation. And for BIS, sovereign default is a disaster, because it destroys safe assets and risks the stability of the financial system. That reason alone is sufficient to justify debt monetization, given central banks' responsibility for financial stability. The IMF, the EU and - especially - the Bundesbank should take note. Better to load the central bank up to the skies with its own government's debt than risk a catastrophic sovereign default and global financial system meltdown.

And the other thing to note is this. In the BIS model, each currency-issuing nation has a public savings bank - government - and a public fractional reserve lending bank - the central bank. The fractional reserve lending bank acts as lender of last resort for the savings bank - hence debt monetization. And it is itself backed by government, because as a last resort government would use tax income to recapitalise the central bank. ...

Rank insanity from the Basel Bank...

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 03:46:30 PM EST
Who'll be first to the Moon to set up the Extraplanetary Central Bank?

Very smart blogging and excellent responses to comments.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet, this is good. there was a time just a few years ago when they never felt the need to set it down. but increasingly the ideological argument for austerity is breaking down, certainties are revealed as shadow and bluff. So, now they have to stand their ground.

It's not insanity cos these have always been the underlying operating assumptions which they've used as an unspoken justification for three decades. The moment they say it out loud is the moment they lay themselves open to critique.

this is weakness; desperation not insanity

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 05:00:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Mail: Brussels plot to make Britain a second-class member of the EU denying country our veto and MEP seats (31 December 2012)
Britain could become a `second-class' member of the European Union under plans floated in Brussels yesterday.
An influential group of European federalists, who want to see Brussels given even greater powers, is suggesting the UK is relegated to `associate member' status.
The move would see Britain remain part of the single market but freed from much of the social legislation and bureaucracy associated with full EU membership.
It's called European Economic Area membership, as enjoyed by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. (Switzerland enjoy their own tailor-made association agreement)

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 03:54:49 PM EST
So why does the Fail sound peeved, isn't this what they've always been campaigning for?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're not campaigning for anything. They're chasing readers addicted to outrage.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being thrown out must rankle even if you really want to leave.

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 05:01:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazing !!!! They don't want to be in europe, they get hives every time they go near the south coast for fear of catching something blown across the channel.

But the idea that a bunch of ungrateful europeans might reduce us to second class status. How dare they ? The ungrateful wretches !!!!

Conservative disconnect in full flow

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of Jacques Delors's proposal of last week, which they reported thus :

Jacques Delors: Britain could quit the EU and 'still be friends', admits the former European Commission president | Mail Online

  • Jacques Delors' u-turn after trying to force European federalism on UK
  • He suggested Britain could be EU 'partner' instead of fully fledged member

 Britain could negotiate a looser relationship with the EU under plans floated by a key architect of the European project.

In a remarkable change of heart, the arch-federalist Jacques Delors suggested the UK could be an EU 'partner' rather than a fully fledged member of an organisation committed to ever-closer union.

Mr Delors, who was president of the European Commission three times, said 'the British are solely interested in their own economic interests, and nothing else. We could offer them another kind of partnership.'

The U-turn comes 22 years after Mr Delors infuriated Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, and other Eurosceptics by trying to force European federalism on the UK.

In November 1990 the French economist was the subject of a famous headline in The Sun that read: 'Up yours Delors'.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 04:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Economic Perspectives: Austerity's Irrationality: The Age of Economic Anorexia (Michael Hoexter, January 2, 2013)
Rational public debate about the economy and government's role in the economy is currently in extremely short supply.  In a debt-deflation, a weak economy saved from Great Depression-level misery by half-way, inadequate government action, government spending is now blamed categorically for the ills of the economy by the aggressive austerity campaign that has captured the political discussion in major capitals.  Previous flaws in the economic theory of the state and theory of money, typically consigned to the realm of different economic "tastes" or moral persuasions, are now revealed to be catastrophic gaps in most economists' and the public's understanding of the basics of the capitalist economy.  The predatory austerity campaigners, many originating from within the financial industry, have turned what should have been an era of greater clarity about government's critical role in the economy into a scapegoating of government for ills perpetrated for the most part by components of the financial sector or by the subservience of the public sector to the financial sector.  Austerity policies when implemented are the equivalent of `economicide' as they strangle government's ability to spur lagging demand for real goods and services as well as government's role in steering the economy to deal with challenges that the private sector can't or doesn't want to face on its own.


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 03:56:54 PM EST
Squatters storm Vatican Embassy in Paris | libcom.org

Yesterday around 70 immigrant squatters and protesters have stormed the Vatican Embassy in Paris in protest against the church and its decision to evict squatters from an empty church in Lille to "preserve the sacred space". Many of the squatters are now on hunger strike.

The protest started mid-morning as the squatters pushed their way through police and security staff into the Embassy. They unfurled a banner through an upstairs window that read, "Jesus defended the stranger. What have you Christians done for your undocumented brothers?" The protesters decided that they had `made their point', and finally left the building two hours later.

No arrests were made by the attending riot police, but a spokesperson said that: Quote:

"The invasion of a sacred diplomatic space was being viewed with extreme seriousness".


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:05:17 PM EST
Gah, Fuck!

Ana Palacio (Spain's foreign minister under Aznar): Europe's Narrative Struggle (Project Syndicate, Jan. 2, 2013)

The main impediment to further progress is that two competing narratives have emerged to explain Europe's economic travails and lay out a path forward. One centers on the eurozone's structural flaws and aims at strengthening the institutional framework, whereas the other highlights faulty domestic policies and focuses on austerity. Alarmingly, the resulting political debate has degenerated into a shrill cacophony of moral righteousness, finger-pointing, scapegoating, and stereotyping.

In fact, though often portrayed as irreconcilable opposites, the two approaches to resolving the euro's problems are complementary - indeed, essential - components of any realistic approach to ensuring the eurozone's future. Likewise, neither narrative alone can provide a vision for the EU; the gap between them can be filled only by trust.

Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and even France need to control their deficits and streamline debt. But no degree of austerity on its own will enable Europe's southern economies to get back on their feet.

If only she were talking about "strenghtening an insitutional framework" that is not a tool to ensure nobody can escape the austerity trap.

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 04:06:09 PM EST
http://dirtycello.wix.com/dirtycellofunkjazzblues

 

www.dirtycello.com

Rebecca Roudman is a professional cellist in the Oakland East-Bay Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, and the Jazz Mafia. She has performed with Carlos Santana, Isaac Hayes, Liz Phair and Lyrics Born, and shared a stage with Elvis Costello, JJ Cale and Ry Cooder. She is well-known in the bay area for being a very versatile cellist, being able to play all sorts of musical genres - from classical to rock to improv.

Dirty Cello on Community: Our community is everyone who loves music with a back beat and some groove. Dirty Cello connects to a world wide community through a strong Youtube and Facebook presence.

by ElaineinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 04:37:03 PM EST
Do you play cello?

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 05:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, off and on...lately I'm been delinquent on the practice.    I started as an adult and play in a flute and cello duet called Silver and Wood.  We play  art gallery openings, public library, and  Christmas gigs and the like. Our favorite music to play is baroquey in style.  

I'm also chairman of a local Music in the Parks committee that sponsors both outdoor concerts and an indoor classical series. In 2012 I organized 4 summer concerts featuring blues, New Mexican music, sax quartet and fiddling, and 4 classical concerts, 3 of which were also repeated for the local school system. You know, if it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing!  I'm particularly interested in bringing classical music to the school kids since they have no music or art available.  Money for football, but not the arts!  Last year I was able to bring a concert harp, a flute and piano duet, a cello and violin duet and a classical guitar to our little town, all professionals.  

by ElaineinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 06:47:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries