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

5-6 October 2013

by DoDo Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:47:23 AM EST

Your take on today's news media


If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  •  ECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
  • WORLD - geopolitics, the affairs of nations and supranational entities.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - how humans live together: society, culture, history, science and technology, information...
  • ON THIS DATE - an occasional item about what happened on this date in history.
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • If you click on "Post a Comment", this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page. Please use "Reply to This" to avoid doing that.

Display:
EUROPE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:47:40 AM EST
Golden Dawn case opens up Pandora's box in Greek politics | EurActiv

Syriza called for a plenary session of the Greek parliament to discuss the Golden Dawn case, claiming that "the defense of democracy requires the isolation of those who undermine it".

Opposition Syriza blamed the communication of the government, saying that it tried to justify its long inaction while at the same time it "invested" in the TV show of the arrests.

The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, said that the Greek PM was trying to polarize the political climate in order to present himself as the "guarantor of Democracy" in the debt-ridden country.

Close advisors of the Greek PM are supporters of the "Two Poles Theory", attempting to equate the criminal activity of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn with the main opposition of Syriza.

"The case of Golden Dawn is primarily political. The adoption of the Theory of the Two Poles by the PM himself undermines the efforts to combat this fascist phenomenon.

Also see European Tribune by talos.


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

by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this a case of Greek right wingers being so dense that such a policy has to be explicitly spelled out and published so they can get on board, a case of them being so arrogant that they can't see possible downsides to publicizing the policy or both?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 08:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's just a shameless political attempt to demonize the only viable opposition.

It's been commonplace for decades in French political life for the right to equate the FN with the PCF (subtext : the PS is allowed to ally itself with the left-wing extremists, why can't we ally with the extreme right?) We're hearing less of this now that the right has understood that they need to form an alliance with the FN.

Hence Fillon's recent speech where he effectively equated the PS and the FN as extremists...

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

by eurogreen on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 09:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Federalists table `Treaty of Bozar' | EurActiv

The federalist Spinelli Group and German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung launched yesterday (3 October) a proposal for a reform of the Treaty of Lisbon in the form of a draft treaty called 'A Fundamental Law of the European Union'.

...A brief look at the book sows the following advances in EU integration proposed:

  • The EU is defined as a federation of member states;
  • EU countries are obliged to respect the "values of the EU";
  • The European Commission becomes the EU government, while the Council where member countries sit becomes a second chamber of Parliament. The Commission is responsible to both chambers (the European Parliament and the Council);
  • The Council and the Parliament obtain the right of limited legislative initiative;
  • The rotating presidency is abolished. The number of Commissioners is reduced, the Commission President decides the commissioners' nominations;
  • Some MEPs are elected in pan-European electoral districts, on the basis of transnational lists;
  • The Eurozone gets a separate budget;
  • A new category of "Associated member state" is created;
  • The ECB powers are enhanced. Mutualisation of debt becomes possible on the basis of strict budget discipline;
  • Unanimity for treaty change is no longer required.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the Council plus Parliament system would be roughly like the U.S.'s Senate and House. One would think that there are enough examples of that method not working that you would want to steer clear of it when constructing a new system...
by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 11:44:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a lot like the German federal parliament and federal council, too...

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:04:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, what else have you got?

Unicameral systems are much more open to radical, ill-considered change, and hijacking by the executive.

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

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I sort of think that we are perfectly able to do that within our system.

It seems to me that systems with kings and serfs seem to have the best long-term stability.

by asdf on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 07:10:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ankara fails to deliver on democracy | Elif Shafak | Comment is free | The Guardian

As difficult as last summer was for the nation, autumn brings new hope. The long-awaited "democratisation package" was announced this week at a huge press conference, and translated into Arabic and English simultaneously. The details tell a lot. The fact that it was named "democratization package" gave the impression that it would have something for every religious, ethnic and political group. Thus, like eager children, all 76 million of us gathered around the presents, expecting there to be something for us. Writers and journalists wanted freedom of expression. Tired of being sued and brought to court for our words, we hoped that the package would recognise the importance of a free, diverse press in a democracy The Alevi minority wanted equal rights and the recognition of their cemevi as houses of worship. Students and academics wanted universities to be places where science and free thought flourish, as well as the right to peaceful demonstration. And the Kurds? They wanted serious steps to be taken now that they have invested so much in the peace process. It is significant that Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned head of the PKK, was watching the press conference live from his prison cell.

...The problem with the democratisation package is that it is not enough, not any more. Society has changed: Turkey's people are changing faster than its politicians. And the gap is increasingly visible. These reforms do not embrace the whole of society, giving the impression that some citizens are being favoured and others forgotten. The Alevis, who were not even mentioned in the prime minister's speech, are massively disappointed - and rightly so.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain's biggest corruption trial ends with 53 people convicted | World news | theguardian.com

Spain's largest-ever corruption trial has ended with a former adviser at Marbella town hall sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined €240m (£203m) for his role in masterminding a network of real estate fraud and bribery.

Former urban planning adviser Juan Antonio Roca was among 53 people convicted in the Costa del Sol resort after a two-year trial that involved former mayors, numerous town councillors and a German aristocrat.

The convictions centred around a cash-for-votes scandal - known as the Malaya case - that saw around €670m paid in bribes from municipal funds over three years in the mid-1990s.

The scheme, which extended across political parties, began when Jesús Gil, the former owner of Atlético de Madrid football club who died in 2006, was mayor of Marbella between 1991 and 2002.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least somewhere there have been prosecutions for financial fraud.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 08:56:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlusconi decides he prefers community service over palace arrest. No more details yet, but you're welcome to make suggestions.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:35:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume his preference is to work with wayward girls?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 01:03:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Every fallen angel needs an uncle.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
It was a way of building that unassailable self-confidence that has kept him at the top level of international politics for longer than any leader except maybe Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe.
Fidel Castro? Shimon Peres? Berlusconi lasted (we hope) a mere 20 years. But at least he got elected often, unlike the others.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 06:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how long Bill Clinton could have managed to hang on we're US presidents not term limited out, and discouraged by tradition from staying in active politics after they step down.
by Zwackus on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 01:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see America mourning incumbent president Ronald Reagan in 2004.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:14:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That second point, about staying out of politics after leaving office, hasn't really been tested lately. Mostly we have had either really old guys as President, or younger guys who have left office under a cloud (Carter, Clinton, and W). It would not surprise me if Obama showed up as a Senator in a few years; he's only 52 now.

Well, except for the global economic collapse that is about to be triggered under his administration.

by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 11:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:02 AM EST
Ireland will need EU support when bailout ends this year, says IMF | World news | theguardian.com

A slowing economy, sky-high debts and a weak banking sector mean Ireland will need support from the European Union when its current bailout ends later this year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Friday.

In a clear call for Brussels to accede to Irish demands for a credit line next year, the IMF warned that Dublin's recovery would be hampered without cheaper funding for its ailing banks.

The report will deal a blow to the Irish government, which is under pressure domestically to maintain business and consumer confidence in the face of significant economic headwinds. In particular, export growth, which has underpinned the economy's recovery, has fallen in 2013.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU launches anti-trust case against Gazprom

BRUSSELS - The EU has started legal action against Russian energy giant Gazprom, the bloc's competition chief said on Thursday (3 October).

Speaking at an event to mark European Competition Day in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia confirmed that the EU executive had started to draw up a formal charge sheet against the firm.

He refused to speculate on the time frame of the case, which comes against a backdrop of increased tensions between Russia and the EU over Russian pressure on former Soviet states to eschew EU integration.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Swiss authorities investigate potential manipulation of £3tn currency markets | Business | The Guardian

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority said in a brief statement: "Finma is currently conducting investigations into several Swiss financial institutions in connection with possible manipulation of foreign exchange markets. Finma is co-ordinating closely with authorities in other countries as multiple banks around the world are potentially implicated."

The regulator said it would give no further details on the investigations or the banks potentially involved.

In June the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, the City regulator, also launched an investigation into potential rigging of currency markets, and the role of benchmarks, in some of the most liquid and actively traded markets in the world.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully they will be able to obtain testimony from Lord Libor.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 09:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:49 AM EST
Egyptian army opens fire on Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Cairo | World news | theguardian.com

Thousands of supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have defied a government-imposed crackdown to march through Cairo and Alexandria following Friday prayers.

In Cairo, Islamist supporters marched towards the site of sit-ins that had been broken up with tremendous force by the military in August. Army vehicles fired live rounds in the direction of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, who had been pushed away from the city's Tahrir Square by security forces, a witness told Reuters. At least one Muslim Brotherhood supporter was reportedly shot dead in the clashes.

Onlookers joined soldiers in their assault, throwing rocks at the demonstrators who then threw them back. Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanted slogans calling for the downfall of the military chief General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Riot police had earlier fired teargas to push back the march.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:49:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Capitol hill shooting: family criticises police deadly force - video

(The Guardian) - The sisters of Miriam Carey say the family is 'confused' after the 34-year-old was shot dead by police near the White House. Carey, who was reportedly suffering from depression, was in the car with her one-year-old daughter when she tried to cross a barrier at Capitol Hill.

White House and DC police tight-lipped over handling of fatal car chase

Police and the Obama administration remained tight-lipped on Friday over the handling of a car chase in Washington DC that ended when officers shot dead an unarmed woman in front of her one-year-old daughter. Officials from the agencies involved in the incident declined to provide any explanation of their officers' actions, beyond praising them in glowing terms.

Officers from the secret service and Capitol police attempted to detain Miriam Carey, 34, after her car tried to breach a perimeter barrier close to the White House. Video footage showed police appearing to corner her car before Carey managed to get away. Police gave chase and shot her dead around 1.7 miles from where the incident began. Carey's daughter was in the car at the time.

The White House refused to comment on the police's response to the incident. Spokesman Jay Carney refused to answer when asked how the secret service had handled the situation. Calls to the secret service's public information officer went unreturned.

NYC sisters of woman killed by police in DC following chase question use of deadly force

See earlier comment - In Loving Memory - RIP Miriam Carey.

by Oui on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 03:45:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop "the Great Betrayal:" Kabuki Update   Joe Firestone  New Economic Perspectives

The President has options to defeat the debt ceiling without doing the "Great Betrayal." (AKA The Grand Bargain)  

  1. A selective default strategy by the Executive, prioritizing not paying for things that Congress needed, and perhaps not paying debt to the Fed when it falls due and working with the Fed to get the $2.05 Trillion in bonds that it was holding canceled;

  2. An exploding option involving selling a 90-day option to the Fed for purchasing some Federal property for $ 2 Trillion. Then when Congress lifts the debt ceiling, the Treasury could buy back the option for one dollar, or the Fed could simply let the option expire;

  3. Using the authority of a 1996 law to mint proof platinum coins with arbitrary face values in the trillions of dollars to fill the Treasury General Account (TGA) with enough money to cease issuing debt instruments, and even enough to pay off the existing debt; and

  4. Using the authority of the 14th Amendment to keep issuing debt in defiance of the debt ceiling, while declaring that the debt ceiling legislation was unconstitutional because it violated the 14th Amendment in the context of Congressional appropriations passed after the debt ceiling mandating deficit spending.

  5. Beowulf has offered yet a fifth option for getting around the debt ceiling by issuing consols. Consols are debt instruments that pay a fixed rate on interest in perpetuity, but never promise principal repayment at a maturity date. The debt ceiling law is written in such a way that what counts against the ceiling is the principal repayment guaranteed by the instrument. Since consols provide no principal repayment, one can have unlimited consol issuance without increasing the debt-subject-to-the-limit.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 11:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beowulf has offered yet a fifth option for getting around the debt ceiling by issuing consols. Consols are debt instruments that pay a fixed rate on interest in perpetuity, but never promise principal repayment at a maturity date. The debt ceiling law is written in such a way that what counts against the ceiling is the principal repayment guaranteed by the instrument. Since consols provide no principal repayment, one can have unlimited consol issuance without increasing the debt-subject-to-the-limit.
Ooh, nice.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 06:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to worry. The nutters would find some other existential threat to use so as to get the language of that debt ceiling law changed so that consuls would count.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 09:23:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha'aretz
The interview with Netanyahu wasn't really in Persian. Most of it was simultaneously translated in subtitles. In fact, Netanyahu said about two words in the Iranian's language: "harf-e pootch," which can loosely be translated as "nonsense," and "Sadeh-lowh" - "sucker."

According to one of the announcements made by the prime minister's bureau, some 12 million Iranians watch BBC Persian every week. Netanyahu's words were received loud and clear on the other end, although instead of eliciting positive reactions they spurred antagonism and fury, especially among Iran's liberal youth who voted for Iranian President Hassan Rohani en masse in the last election.

The young Iranians were not angry over Netanyahu's strange choice of Persian expressions, rather a single sentence that he uttered in English: "If the people of Iran were free they could wear jeans and listen to Western music."

Over the past 24 hours, dozens of young Iranians responded to Netanyahu with a "jeans protest" - tweeting pictures of themselves in jeans. Some of them mocked Israel's intelligence agencies, saying they were so busy with the surveillance of the Iranian nuclear program that they neglected to update Netanyahu on fashion trends in Tehran.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:02:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:50:15 AM EST
UN aviation body reaches consensus on emissions deal | EurActiv
The UN's civil aviation body reached consensus on 3 October for a roadmap to decide to create a market-based scheme curbing aviation emissions by 2020, but rejected an EU proposal allowing it to apply its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to foreign airlines in the interim.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:50:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not a concensus, it's a defeat. A black day for the planet, to be followed by decades of prevarication.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 03:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When 'agree to disagree' is 'a consensus'.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 03:47:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there is no "agree to disagree". The EU wanted to impose a tax without waiting for 2020; and is not allowed to do so. Who said the UN is powerless?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:13:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, to quote Satu Hassi:

UN aviation body reaches consensus on emissions deal | EurActiv

The EU must now stand firm and stick by its original plans on aviation emissions. We should not dismantle effective climate policy instruments in exchange for a vague promise on a global scheme in the distant future without guarantees of environmental integrity or ambition.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is what he should be saying. But he is only a Green MEP. And remember, the EU parliament already instituted the tax, and was shot down in flames by China et al, who promised a major trade war. What has changed since then?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 05:09:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, nothing I guess.

But there you have the real power, which rests in China et al, not the UN. Or would China et al withdrawn their treath with major trade war if EU had managed to get its way on this panel?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 05:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US surpasses Russia as world's top oil and natural gas producer | Business | theguardian.com

The US was on pace to achieve global energy domination on Friday, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil and natural gas producer.

New estimates released on Friday by the Energy Information Administration showed America pulling ahead of both countries in oil and natural gas production for 2013.

The rise to the top was fuelled by new drilling techniques, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which have unlocked vast quantities of oil and gas from shale rock formations - especially in North Dakota and Texas.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:50:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fracking produces annual toxic waste water enough to flood Washington DC | Environment | theguardian.com

Fracking in America generated 280bn US gallons of toxic waste water last year - enough to flood all of Washington DC beneath a 22ft deep toxic lagoon, a new report out on Thursday found.

The report from campaign group Environment America said America's transformation into an energy superpower was exacting growing costs on the environment.

"Our analysis shows that damage from fracking is widespread and occurs on a scale unimagined just a few years ago," the report, Fracking by the Numbers, said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:50:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometimes people forget how big the U.S. is, area-wise--and how much concentrated wealth there is to buy property. The entire District of Columbia is smaller than many, many privately owned ranches.

The King Ranch in Texas is 3340 square kilometers. One guy owns 2.2 million acres (about 9000 sq km) of property, bigger than a couple of states. If pollution from fracking were really to become a problem, it would be trivially easy for these guys to buy a "ranch" in Nevada or Texas or some other god-forsaken backwater and just put it all in a "pond."

Sort of like we were trying to do with nuclear waste there for a while...

http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-private-landowners-2013-10

by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 11:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Global energy domination" my arse. The US is the biggest producer. The US is also the biggest consumerer, and still one of the biggest importers.

Slightly less powerless, no doubt. Still largely dependent on the actions of the dominant players in the international energy market, viz. KSA and Russia.

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

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish coast hit by waves of earth tremors linked to huge offshore gas storage plant - Europe - World - The Independent

Thousands of Spanish homeowners on a 200km stretch of Mediterranean coastline have suffered a month of sleepless nights after a wave of minor earthquakes. Many people, including the country's Minister of Industry, say a massive offshore gas storage plant could be to blame.

More than 300 earthquakes, some of them as strong as 4.2 on the Richter scale, have struck the region of northern Valencia and the southern tip of Catalonia, which is not known for seismic activity. More than 20 quakes struck on Wednesday night alone.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:51:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate Council raises $1m through itObama-style fundraising drive | Environment | theguardian.com

The climate change expert Professor Tim Flannery's "Obama-style" campaign to raise cash for a new Climate Council has generated $1m.

Flannery was sacked as head of the federal government's Climate Commission when the prime minister, Tony Abbott, announced he was abolishing the body to save money.

It was set up two years ago by the former Labor government to increase public awareness of climate change science.

The commission once had $1.6m in annual taxpayer funding at its disposal but the new council is relying entirely on donations generated through an "Obama-style" online fundraising drive.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Global warming sceptics using media campaign to discredit IPCC | Bob Ward | Environment | theguardian.com

Lord Lawson's campaign group for climate change sceptics, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has been executing a carefully co-ordinated campaign with its media and political allies to discredit and misrepresent the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

...As leaked internal documents revealed last year, Heartland has been paying retired scientists to produce a campaign document for sceptics under the title of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

Two of its authors, Fred Singer and Robert Carter, were invited to London for the Civitas press conference and to exploit the practice by some editors to create a "false balance" by putting up a sceptic to counter the view of climate researchers.

The BBC jumped at the chance and Carter and Singer were soon touring the studios at Broadcasting House giving back-to-back interviews. Radio 4's The World At One even gave Carter more airtime than the IPCC.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC: Fair and Balanced coverage of climate change.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 09:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nongovernmental International Panel

Surely that should read "Nongovernmental Multinational Panel"?

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

by eurogreen on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 03:21:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:52:04 AM EST
Leonardo da Vinci experts identify painting as lost Isabella D'Este portrait | Art and design | theguardian.com

Researchers in Italy claim to have unearthed the portrait of a noblewoman by Leonardo da Vinci which has been lost for 500 years and features the same enigmatic smile as his Mona Lisa.

The portrait of Isabella d'Este, which carbon dating suggests was painted around the start of the 16th century, has been found in a vault in a private collection in Switzerland, and has been verified by a leading authority on the renaissance polymath.

"There are no doubts that the portrait is Leonardo's work," said Carlo Pedretti, an emeritus professor of art history at the University of California.

If acknowledged as genuine - and if experts concur that it was painted before the Mona Lisa - the portrait could shake up academic studies of one of the world's most famous paintings.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With the base of Da Vinci works so dramatically expanded there is now the possibility of entire academic departments with undergraduate majors and graduate degrees in Da Vinci studies.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 09:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I recall there's a department in Da Vinci studies somewhere in California. He actually deserves it. I wonder if there are other university departments dedicated solely to one person.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 01:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if they had a jump in applications thanks to Dan Brown, the way some anthropology departments had a jump thanks to Indiana Jones (I'm not making this up....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I share your curiousity.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 07:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or obscure medieval history as taught by Christopher Tolkien, JRR's son, in the late '60s at Oxford, when TLOR was in its first vogue (and JRR was still alive, just up the hill). I remember a huge hall in the Examination Schools packed with undergrads and grads listening to Tolkien fils (who looked pretty pissed off by the whole thing) deliver a hermetic lecture on the finer points of Theodoric's relationship with Boethius. Probably only the two note-taking nuns in the front row had any notion of what he was on about.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Boethius is really quite fascinating. He and Porphyry had an immense influence throughout the Middle Ages through their interpretation of Aristotle. The development of medieval logic and medieval dialectics owes much to Boethius. It would take humanism and the Renaissance to radically put in doubt this world vision, a sort of intellectual civil war that lasted some centuries.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:37:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed. Boethius was the only figure I knew anything about when I went to that lecture, through his influence on the later Middle Ages. But I'm sure 99% of that audience, me included, were just there to bask in the reflected Tolkien glow. And Christopher Tolkien made his lecture really hard to follow, probably because he was well aware of what was happening and wasn't happy about it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:53:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A great anecdote at that anyway. Do you recall his take on Teodoric's final option to do away with Boethius in such an unkind manner?

I was personally unable to appreciate Tolkein babbo at the time- nor really after. I definitely enjoy the films.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 05:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This was the first of eight lectures, so he didn't get to the murder. I didn't go back for the others.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 01:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't pinpoint the time when I grew out of Tolkienmania, but it was not long after this lecture, which may or may not have had some influence on the process.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 01:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the time a person was either into Marcuse or the freak/hippie culture. Brautigan. Hesse. Kerouac. Tolkien. In Europe it was Fanon and Deleuzeguattari. other stuff like the underground press. I was hung up on classics. Flaubert. Dostoievski.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 05:55:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a Da Vinci program at the University of Miami. I could see it might be justified were an institution to come into a sizable archive of Da Vinci material dating from the time and a large collection of secondary works on Da Vinci, but it just seems bizarre to me to have an entire department focused on one man, even if it is The Buddha, Jesus Christ or Mohammed. It too easily lends itself to hagiography.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 08:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Academics can make careers out of writing papers about anything.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Academics are required by the system to make their careers out of writing papers about anything, the more obscure and specialized the better.

--fixed.

by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 11:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Academics are required by the system to make their careers out of publishing drivel.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, now, something good does turn up now and then.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Slow TV: the Norwegian movement with universal appeal | Television & radio | theguardian.com

Oh, to be Norwegian. It has been announced that NRK, the country's state broadcaster, will soon show a programme about a sweater being knitted. That's it. Norwegian viewers will tune in and watch a sheep being sheared, before seeing its wool being spun and used to knit a sweater. This will happen in real time. Nobody seems to know how long this show will last for. Some say five hours, some say eight. It's enough to make non-Norwegians everywhere insane with jealousy.

And the fact that this isn't even Norway's first incredibly long TV show about hardly anything just makes it worse. In February there was a 12-hour programme about a log fire being built and maintained. And a 10-hour show following a train journey from Oslo to Bergen. And 18 consecutive hours of salmon spawning. And a five-day broadcast of a cruise ship travelling up the Norwegian coast. It's all part of a movement called Slow TV, and I desperately want to see it happen over here.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Germans could easily beat this. All they have to do is set up a live broadcast of Cage's ASLSP from Halberstadt. The performance started in 2001 and is estimatedto last 639 years. The note being played changes today; the next change is in 2020.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 08:31:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain has had this for ages. It's called "cricket".
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, we have it too; it's called NASCAR. the plot is that the cars drive around and around in a circle.
by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 12:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But to be frank, Britain also has change-ringing, which is the absolute epitome of pointlessness.
by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 12:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean pointlessness? It led to the study of Gray codes. See Knuth Volume 4a for details. It's on page 4 of the prepublication draft.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 03:55:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Rosamunde Pilcher trail: why German tourists flock to Cornwall | Travel | theguardian.com

Each year, a quarter of a million Germans come to Cornwall, lured by the books of a British author largely unknown in her own country - and the gorgeous locations in German TV adaptations of her work

"Rosamunde Pilcher?" The guy behind the bar gives me a blank look with a hint of social fear: should he know the name? He shouldn't worry. Rosamunde Pilcher was born in 1924, barely 10 miles down the road from The Gurnard's Head, a cosy pub in the village of Lelant, in Cornwall's storm-battered, rugged west. After marrying in 1946 she left for Scotland, where she went on to become a writer. Pilcher never came back to live in Cornwall, but many of her stories are set in the rough landscape of her childhood home.

Now, aged 89, she has sold more than 60m books and has a fortune thought to exceed £100m. Her international breakthrough came late, in 1987, when The Shell Seekers entered the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for 48 weeks. Although Pilcher continued to write prolifically, none of her novels and stories since has matched the huge success of that one. She still leads - as family and friends are keen to stress - a very regular life near Dundee, untroubled by a public largely unaware of her work. In the UK, that is.

In Germany, it is a different story. Pilcher is a household name, not because of its German ring nor the 15m sales of her books - but because for 20 years she has been a firm fixture in the TV schedules. In Germany, Sunday night is Rosamunde Pilcher night: around six million people in Munich and Berlin, in Heidelberg and Hamburg, tune in to one of her dramas. Public broadcaster ZDF aired its first Pilcher movie, The Day of the Storm, in 1993. More than eight million - 25% of viewers - watched it, and a further 111 films have followed, all similarly successful. The movies feature mostly German actors, but they're filmed on location in England, usually in Cornwall, and each show typically contains long stretches of scenic footage, fly-overs of the cliffs at Bedruthan steps or of sun-flooded moorland in the west.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<digs out copy of The Shell Seekers that hasn't moved from its shelf since the late '80s (with the exception of a house move)>

The back of cover blurb says:

With THE SHELL SEEKERS, the great family novel is reborn. Refreshing in its traditional values and people with characters that you will recognize, warm to and remember for the rest of your life, it is a magical reading experience.

Having completely forgotten all the characters and indeed everything but the pretty title, I open the book at random.

'How shall we get there?'
'We shall have to work it out. A train to Truro, perhaps. A taxi.'
'But wouldn't it be more fun to drive?' She was struck by a brilliant idea. 'We'll take the Bentley. Papa will lend us the Bentley.'

So refreshing, the traditional values.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 09:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gorgeous landscapes or not, it was never more than 30 seconds before I channel-surfed away from ZDF whenever one of these films were on...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 10:16:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhhhh, yummy, yummy snark; better than dessert.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 03:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's remarkable how many supposedly literary novels are stories about dull people living in large country houses and/or North London.

Between that and guilt fic - the shocking story by that famous ethnic author whose country we invaded a few years ago - the lit fic market pretty much has the imperial thing nailed.

(And don't get me started on Game of Thrones.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:19:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See the Aga Saga.

The colonial guilt things come with added spices, which distinguishes them from the kind of tasteless soup cooked on the Agas.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 11:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The traditional values of which you speak make up a huge, gigantic part of literature. Agatha Christie, as one very small example. Popular literature is all about escaping reality, and what better way to do it than to read "Murder on the Orient Express" or "The Inimitable Jeeves" or "Farthest North"?

There's nothing like sitting on the train home after a day of wage slavery in your cubicle, studying the antics of rich people.

by asdf on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 12:12:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the people I see on trains returning from the day's cubicle are either fiddling with their smartphones or listening to music. And, as far as escaping reality by reading Agatha Christie goes, chacun son goût.

But at least Agatha Christie stories are honest whodunnits. The "country life" genre, aka Aga Saga, doesn't even offer that kind of basic amusement. Someone must like it, though, or it wouldn't get published... er, would it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least going by the TV versions, the main attraction seems to be that it's possible to follow the plot while  doing household chores, routine paperwork or by just passing by the running TV on the way to the fridge.
by generic on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 05:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression was always that the target audience is older housewives in rural towns. More broadly, the rural demographic is one leftists always had a difficulty with.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 06:41:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, that is interesting. The people who gain the most by non-proportional representation, or support from centralized government, or subsidies from the state, are the ones who most loudly claim that they are independent.

It would be pretty easy to cut them off, though, I suppose.

"Ok, we aren't going to pave the roads any more."
"Ok, you can come into town to get your mail."
"Sorry, you will have to pay for your own cell towers and power lines."
"No more agriculture subsidies."
"Incidentally, we want to turn your farm into a subdivision."
"Ambulances will stop at city limits, you can hitch-hike to the hospital."

by asdf on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 07:16:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:52:51 AM EST
5 October 1143 – in the Treaty of Zamora, King Alfonso VII of León and Castile finally recognises the independence of Portugal under its self-proclaimed first King Afonso I, son of a Burgundian crusader


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:53:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
6 October 1923 – the first Turkish troops enter Istanbul following the end of the five-year Allied Occupation of Constantinople


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:53:50 AM EST
Silvio Berlusconi believed the world revolved around him - not any more | World news | theguardian.com

One of the most telling anecdotes from Silvio Berlusconi's long career is to be found in a book published in 1994 by a journalist and a sociologist, just as the former Italian leader was entering politics.

The writers' aim was to observe him "in his natural habitat", and they tracked him to a training session for sales reps of the advertising subsidiary of his TV empire.

Every morning, Berlusconi told them, he stood in front of a mirror and repeated: "I like myself. I like myself."

..."Berlusconi believes that the world revolves around him - the ultimate narcissistic fantasy," his American biographer, Alexander Stille, observed. "But he has bent reality to fit his fantasy, so that much of life in Italy does indeed revolve around him."

As he stood in front of his mirror on Thursday morning, however, even Berlusconi must have realised this was suddenly no longer true: for the first time in almost 20 years, he is no longer the undisputed master of his party, and for the first time since 2001, he neither leads the government of Italy nor has any credible prospect of destroying it if it fails to do his bidding.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Mayor of Messina Takes on Corruption and the Mafia in Sicily - SPIEGEL ONLINE
The new mayor of Messina is a man of the people. The tireless nonpartisan is known to go barefoot through the city. And in the land of Berlusconi, he is fighting against corruption, organized crime and widespread disenchantment with politics.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's have his name- Renato Accorinti.  
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 01:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wow, what's next? the pope opens the vatican state and coffers to build a shipping line from libya to lampedusa, with 'welcome centres' up and down the italian coast, and free beds and food in saint peter's square?

italy is changing, thank god.

by refusing the perks and salaries of parliamentarians, the grillini remind me of the francescans preaching against church finery 800 years ago.

some of the 'casta' receive E90,000 a month pensions, while some little old nonnas are receiving E3-400.

these deaths at sea are causing a crisis of conscience in italy. the bossi-fini law made it a criminal offence to help an alien, so fishermen and other boat people have been prosecuted for offering food, shelter or rescue.

of course alfano wiggled when asked about this, saying 'it is shameful to talk about politics on a day of mourning'.

?!?!?!

laura boldrini was quite orwellian yesterday as she explained the law of the sea made it ok to stop them dying, in fact it was a crime not to, but then when they got to shore aiding them was abetting a crime as just because they didn't have contracts to work in italy that made them de facto criminals for coming here.

such a christian way of doing things... the mind boggles at the idea of the coast guard asking these refugees in open seas and leaky boats if their papers are in order.

otherwise, ciao!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This all comes back to employment. Immigration was welcomed - and actively recruited - during the post war expansion when labor was scarce. But when it is economic policy to suppress wages by maintaining a reserve army of labor, demonizing immigrants is easy. Think about it - by far the majority of the derogatory term I have ever heard about immigrants is in some way related to jobs.

The more I look at it, the more it looks like the response to the oil crisis was disastrously mishandled, and we have been paying for it in social ills and reduced productivity - and thus, economic - growth ever since.

.. Okay, new political slogans.

  1. The Natural Rate of Unemployment is Zero.
  2. Wage Growth is Economic Growth.

Investments in increasing labor output are much
by Thomas on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 10:10:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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