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Weekend Open Thread

by afew Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 12:41:04 PM EST

Sixteen men on a dead man's chest


Display:
Drink and the devil had done for the rest.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 12:41:50 PM EST

(arr, bite the parrot, arr.)

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 01:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With a nod to Sven ...

It's kinda surprising the success of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise hasn't impelled someone to make a film based on the Victual Brothers or their successors the Likedealers.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 01:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the setting is too exotic for Hollywood? It's Likedeeler, not dealer, by the way: "equal-sharers", each pirate got an equal share. A very unusual thought for the era.
by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 02:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I remember the pirates of the carribean were somewhat similar.
by IM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The pirates in the Caribbean weren't medieval. There is a fascinating children's story by Bredel that connects the Likedeeler history and the struggle of the guilds against the rich merchants in the Hanseatic league at the same time.
by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But they did profitsharing. Of course they weren't medieval.
by IM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the reference.  Couldn't find a reference to a children's book by Bredel but I did find this [Danger!  Autotranslated by Google] giving more details.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the  book I mean:
Also under Marxist interpretation, which would amend the Nazi reception, the myth seems to Willi Bredel novel The Vitalienbrueder [95] to be working: The Hanseatic patrician families were stylized as the ruling class, who took up the proletarian hero Störtebeker with its socialist-minded Likedeelern contrary.

I have a copy and it's an interesting take of the story. Of course there are many more. There is a myth that there is a huge treasure not yet found (Störtebeker's gold. I bet Migeru will comment). The equal shares are most inspiring. Our rich merchants still start to hyperventilate. In 1982 there was an initiative to erect a sculpture on the historic site where Störtebeker was beheaded, but the Chamber of Commerce intervened. The compromise was to depict S with tied hands, not defiant as in most other pictures of him.

by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the work was never translated.  Checking a dead tree edition of The Baltic: A New History of the Region and Its People gives a one paragraph summation and no reference.

There is a paucity of information in English.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was anything by Bredel ever translated? A commie writer specialising in Northern Germany's class struggle and history?

If you are looking for the historical facts, I recommend you look for the history of the Hanseatic League. Gotland was a hub of the hanseatic trade in the Baltic, not just for the pirates.  The Likedeeler were active in the North Sea too, and for quite a time they merged with the Frisians who had their own ideas about the ships to Flandres which had to pass their coasts.

I find the fiction even more interesting. The Likedeeler are perfect for stories about injustice of the rich and revenge of the poor and downtrodden.

by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 06:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(checking)

The Death of General Moreau and Other Stories was translated and published in 1962.  Seems to be the only one.  The Socialist Archive for Fiction has some of his short stories available (here) which are from that translation(?) and Rosenhof Road.

All I could find doing quickie search.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 09:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Socialist Archive for Fiction uses automatic "translations". Aargh.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 05:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or the history of the Union of Kalmar. The Victual Brethren were in the beginning employed by Mecklenburg to bring food to beseiged Stockholm after the capture of Albreckt of Mecklenburg, King of Sweden. Victualia is latin for foodstuff, hence the name.

They were invited to Gotland by Sven Sture - great-great-grandfather of Sten Sture the younger who led Sweden against Kristian the Tyrant - after Sven switched sides in the war. Oh, and possible for profit, Swedish Wikipedia says Sven had 50% of incomes but the only source for the page does not back it up.

They also had dealings with other Hanseatic cities, as the Hansa was not very unified.

From a nordic history perspective this is generally treated as part of a centuries long struggle for control between the nordic kings and the Hanseatic League.

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 Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 04:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading about The Kalmar Union, the Hansa League and Gotland (which I know quite well), reminds me that I really must broaden my reading of Nordic history. It took me quite a while to understand that the balanced view of world history that I thought I had acquired at school was rabidly anglocentric.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:18:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell me about it.  I teach World History with an American book.  It's quite modern and they really do try to be balanced - most of the world is covered, in some detail.  But they still give 10 chapters to the European Middle Ages - while Muslim Spain got a paragraph, and Tang/Song China got a single chapter.
by Zwackus on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 07:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aside from trigonometry, algebra, astronomy, chemistry, Hindu numbers, architecture, basic logic, miscellaneous poetic meters, oranges, spices, dyes, mordants, high temperature iron metallurgy, the windmill, the stirrup, and civil engineering ... what have the Arabs done for us?  

And Johnny Chinaman only gave us rice, porcelain, paper, the stern post rudder, the compass, the spinning wheel, the horizontal loom, and gunpowder ... hardly worth mentioning, really.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 12:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some people claim that Austrian economics should be added to your list....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 10:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McKay, A History of World Societies?

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 Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 10:10:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Giant Committee of Historians gathered by McDougal Little, World History - Patterns of Interaction.
by Zwackus on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:09:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nordic kingdoms lost control of the Baltic Trade because of a change in ship design (the cog) and the nobles and kings were busy fighting amongst themselves and/or each other.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The history of sail could occupy a lifetime's study.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 06:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Nordic Kingdoms rarely existed as any larger enteties before the establishment of the Hansa. The cog out-competed the Viking ships (though for military purposes Viking ships were still around at the time of the Victual Brethren). But it was not just the trade. At its height the Hansa intervened in political conflicts, supported and overthrew kings, and basically owned subordinate cities and provinces. At the same time the peasantry was still a major force, overthrowing kings and storming cities.

Anyway the rise of the centralized state, bolstered with the nationalised assets of the church and enforcing its rule from renaissance castles, ended all of that.

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 Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 10:08:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hhhmmm. An interesting possibility for CGI. I imagine a 'galleon' type pirate ship has already been modeled in 3D space in believable detail. It would be a very large and complex model, and a bugger to render, but the problems of simulating wood structures, taut or loose ropes, sails flapping, masts bending etc are all solved. And in the late 1300s the ships of the Victualists would be simpler to model.

 I would guess that trying to simulate ocean and its intimate contact with the sailing ship are a much greater challenge.

I believe the Iron Sky crew could have a lot of fun with a story about socialist hard drinking Gotland pirates, who in their spare summer time built windmills, and in winters had massed scribing of books.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:42:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the Iron Sky crew could have a lot of fun with a story about socialist hard drinking Gotland pirates, who in their spare summer time built windmills, and in winters had massed scribing of books uploaded films and pop songs to the internet.

Brought it up to date to appeal to a modern mass audience.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:43:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
angling for political sponsors?

On the other hand perhaps the entertainment industry likes it: In the end likedeelers are beheaded, after all.

by IM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only because Simon van Utrecht had paid a fisherman to pour lead on the rudder of Störtebeker's ship. And beheading the Likedeeler wasn't the end of the story. Here is it:


by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Picture of the beheaded Simon didn't load. Here:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simon_van_utrecht_denkmal.jpg
by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's called Humor®.  (At least as close as I get.  ;-)

Hollywood is ... strange.  

Example:

Which I'd never figure for the opening to a Walt Disney film.


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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 09:20:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction noted.  (It's hard to think in English and type in foreign.  :-)

Think it's more likely nobody in Hollywood has heard of them.  

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:27:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I am amazed that somebody in NM has heard of our local medieval pirates. :-)
by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:36:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven mentioned them on ET a couple of years ago and it stuck in my head.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 06:00:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it was Chris Cook who first mentioned the Likedeelers - as I recall, during one of our many discussions on LLPs and cooperatives.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:59:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dole (n.)
    Old English dal "state of being divided; sharing, giving out," shortened from gedal "portion," related to dæl "deal," from P.Gmc. *dailiz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon del, Middle Dutch deil, Dutch deel, Old High German teil, German Teil).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:35:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second Time i Done It On My Own

This is the version from the songwriter, but if you're not in Germany, you can find a better version from Waylon Jennings

Way down in Louisiana amongst the tall grown sugar canes
Lived a simple man and a domineerin' hen and a rose of a different name
The first time I fell lightly I was standing in the drizzlin' rain
With a trembling hand and a bottle of gin and a rose of a different name
The devil made me do it the first time the second time I done it on my own
Lord put a handle on a simple handed man and help me leave that black rose alone
[| From: http://www.elyrics.net |]
[ harmonica ]
When the devil made that woman Lord she threw the pattern away
She was built for speed with the tools you need to make a new fool every day
Way down deep and dirty on the darker side of shame
You caught a cane cuttin' man with a bottle of gin with a rose of a different name
The devil made me do it the first time...
The devil made me do it the first time...

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Googie got the lyrics wrong. 3rd line:
The first time i felt lightning.

ah yeah, them mid-century southern crackers couldn't quite come to terms with having sex with black women.

the black women on the other hand...

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently the native community and Idle No More are having a supreme effect on the PriMinister of Canada.

Stephen Harper finally caves to pressure from animal spirit guide


"I stood in his path and our gazes locked. As the great moon reflected in his eyes I saw into his spirit and could tell he knew my purpose. But his mind was resistant, blaming my appearance on the consumption of half-a-glass of sparkling fire water."

But not for lack of trying, the persistent totem practiced a medicine of patience, attempting to convince the Prime Minister at every opportunity.

"Later that night I gazed through his window while he watched CNN and tried to pretend that I did not exist. That night, I placed the feather of the mighty eagle upon his pillow while he slept, but to no avail. Feeling thwarted, I took a subtler tack and let the air out of his tires," said the musteline messenger of natural balance and oneness with all creations.

Read on for an even better political commentary.

PS. because Occupy was founded on frustration, without a central guiding force, it's taking its time at best to become a movement. Idle No More, being based upon existent native tradition, is gaining real steam, and finding resonance with the dominant culture as well.

Hard to be politically nuanced about protecting your water.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:21:12 PM EST
Even after obtaining Harper's pledge, Odjiig's work remained far from done. In fact, Harper agreeing to meet publicly with the chiefs appears to be just one in a series of recent unexpected policy actions, seemingly resulting from the spectre of Odjiig's weasel guidance. These include increased funding to national parks, support for the creation of a Palestinian state, and millions of dollars in research into animal spirit guides and how to get rid of them.

Priceless

by Katrin on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The 1613 treaty was recorded by the Haudenosaunee in a wampum belt known as the Two Row Wampum. The pattern of the belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads against a background of white beads. The purple beads signify the courses of two vessels -- a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship -- traveling down the river of life together, parallel but never touching. The three white stripes denote peace and friendship. This wampum records the meaning of the agreement, which declared peaceful coexistence between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers in the area.

Haudenosaunee tradition also records the specific meaning of the belt as follows, in the form of a Haudenosaunee reply to the initial Dutch treaty proposal:

You say that you are our Father and I am your Son We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. This wampum belt confirms our words. '. Neither of us will make compulsory laws or interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other's vessel. The agreement has been kept by the Iroquois to this date.

The treaty is considered by Haudenosaunee people to still be in effect. Further Haudenosaunee tradition states the duration of the Two Row Wampum agreement:

As long as the Sun shines upon this Earth, that is how long OUR Agreement will stand; Second, as long as the Water still flows; and Third, as long as the Grass Grows Green at a certain time of the year. Now we have Symbolized this Agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.

Every time i'm in the Netherlands i remember this treaty, and the wampum belt. Will people ever learn that 'Skins were never primitive?

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, out into the

wolf full moon

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 03:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will people ever learn that 'Skins were never primitive?

No.

By the time Europeans reached the Mississippian Culture and other population centers smallpox had preceded them and all they encountered were scattered and impoverished survivors, doing the best they could.  

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

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not quite the case for the Spanish and Tenochtitlán.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:10:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
Will people ever learn that 'Skins were never primitive?

A first step could be to identify with teh situation. War Nerd took a newish approach to identifying.

Not Safe For Work Corporation | The War Nerd's Twelve Days of 1812, Day Six: Tecumseh's War Part I

Some of the Lenape allied with the Brits, some with the Yankees, and some ran to the peace of Christ, huddled with the German peaceniks and shunned war.

And none of those strategies worked. That's the lesson here: When the aliens land, there is no good strategy.

It is in one way a really old appraoch as the whole genre of alien invasion was invented by HG Wells to teach the Brits what it was like to be on the other side of the gun. But its not like that is widely understood today.

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 Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 04:50:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was an interesting article in the Globe and Mail about why the First Nations are  demanding to meet vwith the governor general of Canada -  basically, because they want to deal with the head of state as they think of themselves as sovereign nations, rather than as Canadians, under the purvue of the Canadian PM.

Good for them!

I was at a dinner party with some bigwigs in Québec about 20 years ago, and they were all basically saying that Québec would one day become a sovereign nation, and then lose a lot of territory to smaller First Nations  as the treaties dictated it.

by stevesim on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read these reviews before amazon take 'em down

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 04:52:42 PM EST
You've had a busy play day - You've wiretapped Mom's cell phone and e-mail without a warrant, you've indefinitely detained your little brother Timmy in the linen closet without trial, and you've confiscated all the Super-Soakers from the neighborhood children (after all, why does any kid - besides you, of course - even NEED a Super-Soaker for self-defense? A regular water pistol should be enough). What do you do for an encore?

That's where the US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator from Maisto comes in. Let's say that Dad has been labeled a terrorist in secret through your disposition matrix. Rather than just arrest him and go through the hassle of trying and convicting him in a court of law, and having to fool with all those terrorist-loving Constitutional protections, you can just use one of these flying death robots to assassinate him! Remember, due process and oversight are for sissies. Plus, you get the added bonus of taking out potential terrorists before they've even done anything - estimates have determined that you can kill up to 49 potential future terrorists of any age for every confirmed terrorist you kill, and with the innovative 'double-tap' option, you can even kill a few terrorist first responders, preventing them from committing terrorist acts like helping the wounded and rescuing survivors trapped in the rubble. Don't let Dad get away with anti-American activities! Show him who's boss, whether he's at a wedding, a funeral, or just having his morning coffee. Sow fear and carnage in your wake! Win a Nobel Peace Prize and be declared Time Magazine's Person of the Year - Twice!

This goes well with the Maisto Extraordinary Rendition playset, by the way - which gives you all the tools you need to kidnap the family pet and take him for interrogation at a neighbor's house, where the rules of the Geneva Convention may not apply. Loads of fun!

Priceless...

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

by DoDo on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 05:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody tell Calvin.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:04:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Maisto Fresh Metal Tailwinds 1:97 Scale Die Cast United States Military Aircraft - US Air Force Medium Altitude, Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) RQ-1 Predator with Display Stand (Dimension: 6" x 3-1/2" x 1")
God what I would give to be able to be a child my son's age these days. They can make believe destroying houses and buildings from miles away up in the sky. They don't have to get dirty, and are more environmentally clean than those dirty diesel engines. Plus, as an added bonus, the little brown people don't have a warning to be able to run away so you get to kill many more people while you destroy the buildings. Plus, the mindset that this instills in my son will one day, I hope, allow him to become a productive member of the ruling class.

great find helen

(were you looking for one for the mantelpiece?)

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 07:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A comment by one 'Manzani' re Larry Elliott's Guardian article Osborne's economic strategy has failed has to be in line for Comment of the Year.

Scientists have announced that they may have discovered a previously unknown level of incompetence.

We have hypothesized for a long time that a level of proficiency so incredibly small as to be almost undetectable could theoretically occur, but now it appears that we may be close to proving its existence, said leading researcher Dr Tony Crust.

Incompetence research enjoyed its golden age in the 1970's when the Clueless, the Useless, and the Hopeless elements were all discovered, but it was probably the discovery of the Total Fuckwit, just a few years ago, which revitalized the entire field and led directly to this newest breakthrough.

Scientists have dubbed this latest discovery the Osborne Particle.

The Osborne Particle, if confirmed, will represents a level of capability several magnitudes below even the Total Fuckwit  Explained Dr Crust. It really is almost impossible to overstate just how small a level of competence we are talking about here



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jan 26th, 2013 at 07:25:58 PM EST

Klaus is the King of Pop-Ups. We have a large library of brochures, business cards, greetings cards, invitations and presentations that aspire to an additional dimension. The clients love them, and Klaus gets to sniff glue.

When I saw him working on this one, I thought it was designed as a sales aid for the salespeople in the field. But no. And my suggestions for doing it in Strata3D and Motion were rightly rejected. This is simple and effective. And, apart from my overpriced voiceover, cost effective.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 03:20:28 AM EST
When ever I think he can't get any worse, he does it again.

Berlusconi praises Fascist dictator Mussolini on Holocaust Remembrance Day | The Raw Story

Italy's gaffe-prone former premier Silvio Berlusconi sparked outrage Sunday with remarks praising wartime dictator Benito Mussolini despite Il Duce's persecution of Jews and allowing thousands to be deported to Auschwitz.

"The racial laws were the worst mistake of a leader, Mussolini, who however did good things in so many other areas," Berlusconi, who is angling for a return to politics in elections next month, said on the sidelines of a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day in Milan.

Starting in 1938, Mussolini promulgated decrees known collectively as racial laws that barred Jews from the civil service, the armed forces and the National Fascist Party. The laws also banned intermarriage.

Mussolini's Italy participated in the deportation of Jews to the Auschwitz death camp, and an estimated 7,500 are estimated to have been victims of the Holocaust.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 12:25:35 PM EST
Berlusconi praises Fascist dictator Mussolini on Holocaust Remembrance Day | The Raw Story
Mussolini's Italy participated in the deportation of Jews to the Auschwitz death camp, and an estimated 7,500 are estimated to have been victims of the Holocaust.

Just to be right on the facts here, Mussolini's second Italy (the Italian Social Republic) that was a German puppet state participated. Mussolini's first Italy (Kingdom of Italy) that was a German ally did not.

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 Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One-third of fish caught in English Channel have plastic contamination | The Raw Story
 

Fish were found to contain small pieces of plastic known as `microbeads', in a study of 10 species

One-third of fish caught off the south-west coast of England have traces of plastic contamination from sources including sanitary products and carrier bags, scientists have found.

The Plymouth University study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, looked at the occurrence of plastic in 10 species of fish caught in the English Channel.

Of 504 fish examined, more than one-third were found to contain small pieces of plastic less than 1mm in size, referred to by scientists as "microbeads".

Prof Richard Thompson of Plymouth University said in a statement: "We have previously shown that on shorelines worldwide and on the seabed and in the water column around the UK, these tiny fragments of plastic are widespread. But this new reseach has shown that such fragments are also being ingested by fish. Laboratory studies on mussels have shown that some organisms can retain plastic after ingestion, hence microplastic debris could also accumulate in natural populations."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 12:34:56 PM EST


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:08:10 PM EST


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy - NYTimes.com

Politicians across the political spectrum herald "job creation," but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Yet this clearly matters: According to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working but do not earn enough to support themselves and their families.

A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing temp recruitment agencies, outsourcing specialists and the like.

Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. But for some reason this isn't causing a scandal. At least in the business press, we are more likely to hear plaudits for "lean and mean" companies than angst about the changing nature of work for ordinary Americans.

How did we arrive at this state of affairs? Many argue that it was the inevitable result of macroeconomic forces -- globalization, deindustrialization and technological change -- beyond our political control. Yet employers had (and have) choices. Rather than squeezing workers, they could have invested in workers and boosted product quality, taking what economists call the high road toward more advanced manufacturing and skilled service work. But this hasn't happened. Instead, American employers have generally taken the low road: lowering wages and cutting benefits, converting permanent employees into part-time and contingent workers, busting unions and subcontracting and outsourcing jobs. They have done so, in part, because of the extraordinary evangelizing of the temp industry, which rose from humble origins to become a global behemoth.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:21:02 PM EST
The temp agencies' Kelly Girl strategy was clever (and successful) because it exploited the era's cultural ambivalence about white, middle-class women working outside the home. Instead of seeking to replace "breadwinning" union jobs with low-wage temp work, temp agencies went the culturally safer route: selling temp work for housewives who were (allegedly) only working for pin money. As a Kelly executive told The New York Times in 1958, "The typical Kelly Girl... doesn't want full-time work, but she's bored with strictly keeping house. Or maybe she just wants to take a job until she pays for a davenport or a new fur coat."
Just like the German mini-job. Start with upper middle class housewives and then expand the model to everyone.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:28:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is another article out there that talks about how workers are responding to this situation. (Maybe it is even this same NYT article.) It talks about a young woman who brags about having 3 (or 4?) part time temp jobs, and how she juggles the hours, the benefits, etc. Basically, she's running her own life as a consulting outfit, and since no single customer will pay for a full salary, she is using the situation to keep multiple employers engaged at the same time.

Another similar example is the guy reported on recently who had outsourced his programming job to somebody in China so he could sit on the beach.

So corporate leadership is going to have to figure out how to deal with this environment. With salaried employees, you expect them to dedicate their energy to your cause (and not have second jobs), you expect to own their intellectual property (patents, creative output), and you expect them to work on your defined schedule (9 to 5, or, nowadays, 8 to 6). As companies pull out of this "standard" employee contract, they can only expect the employees to do likewise, and clever employees can manipulate that situation to their advantage.

I work with a large number of "offshore" IT workers, mostly in India, and I am convinced that they are working multiple jobs. There is no way to be sure, but all indications suggest that is the case. And that's just too bad for the companies who hire them: they won't pay for a proper workplace and a proper (traditional) employee support system,  so the employees make up their own.

by asdf on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 07:28:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So SRW has a good piece on Inequality and Demand, with some good correlations that suggest a mechanism.

http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/3830.html

I think a key thing that is missing in general is a nice simple explanation why saving is not turning into economic activity. The rich are piling money up - most simple economic theories assume saving is the root of finance. Now we know that isn't how banking works (loanable funds fallacy), but does anyone have a nice compact explanation of why saving takes money out of the economy at the moment?

Assets is part of it. Much of the 1% money goes into things like property...

But my brain isn't working well at tying it all together.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:24:43 PM EST
There's no economic necessity to use accumulated capital to invest in the Real Economy.  As I've said - to the point of boredom - financial assets return a minimum of 12% per year; physical assets return a maximum of 8% per year.

Second, physical assets are "plunderable" using and manipulating the tools and techniques of finance.

Third, using and manipulating the tools and techniques of finance destroys the necessary conditions, one being a large enough surplus of consumer discretionary income, for physical asset firms to survive.  

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

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saw this on a number or sites:

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 01:57:49 PM EST
by Katrin on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:03:36 PM EST
Predatory capitalism requires authoritarian structures to interdict and suppress people fighting and resisting the theft.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 02:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Trade Union Confederation: High-level conference - ETUC 40th anniversary #ETUC40 - Celebrating the past looking to the future
Why the Conference

...

At the conference the following issues will be discussed : the social dimension of Europe and how we could crystallise it. The Economic governance will also be debate - considering that it does not deliver sustainable growth and employment, what needs to be done? Finally, a discussion on Democracy, what should be the role of citizens, workers and their unions within a genuine economic and monetary union?

This event will bring together the main European trade union leaders, as well as Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament; Lásló Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

On this occasion, the ETUC will also be celebrating its fortieth anniversary and unveiling its new visual branding.

Gotta love that fighting spirit...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 03:47:08 PM EST
Visual branding. I like how they leave the possibility open that, while Economic governance doesn't deliver sustainable growth and employment, it might deliver growth, employment or be sustainable.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 06:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mainly Macro: Misinterpreting the history of macroeconomic thought (24 JANUARY 2013)
An attractive way to give a broad sweep over the history of macroeconomic ideas is to talk about a series of reactions to crises (see Matthew Klein and Noah Smith). However it is too simple, and misleads as a result. The Great Depression led to Keynesian economics. So far so good. The inflation of the 1970s led to ? Monetarism - well maybe in terms of a few brief policy experiments in the early 1980s, but Monetarist-Keynesian debates were going strong before the 1970s. The New Classical revolution? Well rational expectations can be helpful in adapting the Phillips curve to explain what happened in the 1970s, but I'm not sure that was the main reason why the idea was so rapidly adopted. The New Classical revolution was much more than rational expectations.

...

What the `macroeconomic ideas develop as a response to crises' story leaves out is the rest of economics, and ideology. The Keynesian revolution (by which I mean macroeconomics after the second world war) can be seen as a methodological revolution. Models were informed by theory, but their equations were built to explain the data. Time series econometrics played an essential role. However this appeared to be different from how other areas of the discipline worked. In these other areas of economics, explaining behaviour in terms of optimisation by individual agents was all important. This created a tension, and a major divide within economics as a whole. Macro appeared quite different from micro.

...

Does this have anything to tell us about how macroeconomics will respond to the Great Recession? I think it does. If you bought the `responding to the last crisis' narrative, you would expect to see some sea change, akin to Keynesian economics or the New Classical revolution. I suspect you would be disappointed. While I see plenty of financial frictions being added to DSGE models, I do not see any significant body of macroeconomists wanting to ply their trade in a radically different way. If this crisis is going to generate a new revolution in macroeconomics, where are the revolutionaries? However, if you read the history of macro thought the way I do, then macro crises are neither necessary nor sufficient for revolutions in macro thought. Perhaps there was only one real revolution, and we have been adjusting to the tensions that created ever since.  



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 04:00:49 PM EST
A little bedtime music to take your clothes off to.

by sgr2 on Sun Jan 27th, 2013 at 05:11:55 PM EST
The Guardian
Please don't come to Britain - it rains and the jobs are scarce and low-paid. Ministers are considering launching a negative advertising campaign in Bulgaria and Romania to persuade potential immigrants to stay away from the UK.


The plan, which would focus on the downsides of British life, is one of a range of potential measures to stem immigration to Britain next year when curbs imposed on both country's citizens living and working in the UK will expire.


A report over the weekend quoted one minister saying that such a negative advert would "correct the impression that the streets here are paved with gold".


There was no word on how any advert might look or whether it would use the strategy of making Britain look as horrible as possible or try to encourage would-be migrants to wake up to the joys of their own countries whether Romania's Carpathian mountains or Bulgaria's Black Sea resorts.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Jan 28th, 2013 at 03:08:31 AM EST


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