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

Thursday Open Thread

by In Wales Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 10:56:27 AM EST

Because it is Thursday


Display:
How do you do?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 10:57:34 AM EST
How do you do what?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a gnu

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who've been fortunate enough to have never heard of him, morrisey was once the front man for a band called the Smiths who purveyed 80s bedsit miserabilism to self-identifed "tragic teenagers".

Rapidly disappearing into a cloud of his own self-importance he felt obliged to pontificate idiotically on world events. this would have been bearable if it were not for the fact that those self-same "tragic teenagers" have grown up to be movers and shakers in the media-verse and so he still finds ways of spreading banal idiocies to the masses.

Hi latest wheeze is to claim that wars are only ever fought by heterosexuals. Julie Bindel, a woman with whom I have never knowingly previously agreed, takes him to task.

Guardian - Julie Bindel - Sorry Morrissey, gay people can be warmongering fascists too

So Morrissey has said that wars are "heterosexual hobbies", and that: "If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men." In an amazing feat of generalisation he even said that "women don't go to war to kill other women".

Morrissey is in danger of relying on age-old stereotypes. Does he really think, like those daft gender essentialists, that women are innately gentle and men are big brutes out for a ruck? And gay men? Well, they just want to come round and wash your curtains before settling down to watch Cash in the Attic.

If I could launch just one experiment, it may well be that I temporarily banish all straight men from the planet for six months (don't worry - I would send you to planet Jock where you could drive around on quad bikes or in Porsches, and in the evening there would be poker and beer), and see if this peaceful utopia occurred. I was never a Greenham Common girl, but I have been on holidays with groups of women and I could have started my own war right there on the beach. At the infamous lesbian holiday resort of Lesbos, which more resembles Hackney-on-Sea once the sun goes down, I have seen some spectacular fallings-out between the sisters, almost resulting in WW3.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:13:27 AM EST
For those who've been fortunate enough to have never heard of him, morrisey was once the front man for a band called the Smiths who purveyed 80s bedsit miserabilism to self-identifed "tragic teenagers".
The original Emo?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sort of, but there have always been a sub-species of singer songwriters who've sung downbeat songs.

Take this self-pity party from '75



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:33:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's entirely possible men use aggression to fight their own repression of desire.

the shame, driven in by peer pressure at impressionable age, goes deep...

of course there's a big warrior streak in gay history too, so it maybe be true what he said, but not for everyone.

can you be emo and shoegaze simultaneously?

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
it's entirely possible men use aggression to fight their own repression of desire.

Women, of course, are well known for not repressing their desire.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:02:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
really?

i'm not one, so can't speak of that.

;)

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Smiths who purveyed 80s bedsit miserabilism to self-identifed "tragic teenagers".

I resemble that remark! Though I was in my 20s at the time.

Yeah I say the Morrissey article and I thought, "WTF?" Not that I was surprised at his oddball opinions, but by the fact that they should be considered news...

Is there a testable hypothesis in there somewhere? In the form of a double-blind experiment with homogeneous groups of men, either homosexual or heterosexual, in stress-inducing situations, to see who turns violent?

Actually I think I should sell the concept to a reality-show producer.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, history has examples that disprove "homosexual men would never kill other men".

My favourite is Sacred Band of Thebes

The Sacred Band of Thebes (Ancient Greek: Ἱερὸς Λόχος, Hieròs Lókhos) was a troop of picked soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. It is said to have been organised by the Theban commander Gorgidas in 378 BC and to have played a crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra. It was annihilated by Philip II of Macedon in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC.

Somehow movies like "Sparta" often forgets this aspect of ancient Greece as quickly it forgets the thousands of Greek slaves and allies that died at Thermopyle.

Or, if one likes an example after the modern 19th century definition of hetro-/homo-sexuality how about Ernst Röhm?

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

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there's a classic Private eye cartoon of two shocked looking Hoplites with a speach bubble saying "Theyre going to allow Hetrosexuals into the army?" from arround the time that changes happened here

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:10:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"They're going to let heterosexuals into the Catholic priesthood?"
"They're going to let heterosexuals into the Boy Scout leadership?"

Question now here is whether the post office is going to have to print up a new batch of Selective Service signup cards that mention both women and men...

by asdf on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bindel:
I temporarily banish all straight men from the planet for six months (don't worry - I would send you to planet Jock where you could drive around on quad bikes or in Porsches, and in the evening there would be poker and beer)

I have to be gay or a jock? Gimme a break!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sacred Band of Thebes
The Sacred Band of Thebes (Ancient Greek: Ἱερὸς Λόχος, Hieròs Lókhos) was a troop of picked soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 05:16:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My next band name. Merci.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 05:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems like somebody else is reading (mis-reading ?) the same runes as me

Telegraph blogs - Rowena Mason - Conservatives could finish third in the Eastleigh by-election

Senior Conservatives conceded that they could be pushed into third place by Ukip, despite the Prime Minister having pledged to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

I do hope so, as I said yesterday, it would trigger a very bloody civil war within the Tory party.

I must confess, that in the interests of sowing woe and despair amidst the Tories, if I lived in Eastleigh I'd hold my nose and vote UKIP.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:38:35 AM EST
Well strangely desperation has reached the point where theyve been printing Tory leaflets in UKIP colours to get people to read them, and Labour  are expecting an utter disaster in votes, as their supporters switch to UKIP in the hopes of pushing the Tories into third place.

Im sure that all the wrong lessons will be learned from this though (and is interesting in terms of general elections, The tories will think that it shows how much Europe is hated, so will move further to the right, The Lib Dems will come out feeling adequate, whereas they are seen as the only people in that constituency who can actually beat the tories. Labour will come out thinking they haven't moved far enough to the right centre, whereas it really is a constituency too far.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:11:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, if the labour vote does collapse to the benefit of ukip, I think even the dumb arses at labour HQ might take a hint.

Anyway, I'm more upbeat about the idea of ukip coming second. It will really hurt the tories who are already showing signs of a serious fracture line between the social liberals and conservatives. There will be war and I can't wait to sit back and enjoy it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lib Dems hold off Ukip surge as Tories drop to third in Eastleigh byelection | Politics | The Guardian

The Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Thornton won the seat with a majority of 1,771, taking 13,342 votes to Ukip's 11,571.

The Tories' candidate Maria Hutchings came in third with 10,559. Labour's John O'Farrell came fourth with 4,088. The Liberal Democrat share of the vote fell by 14.5%, the Ukip share rose 24.2 %, the Tories fell 14% and Labour went up 0.2%. Turnout was 52.8 %.

Triumph! Labour vote increased!

I feel for the candidate. I once managed a Labour candidate who came fourth. (And that was the year Labour won in a landslide)

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

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 04:22:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if they slip to third they are heading for a Sub/Dom 50 Shades of Tory slap fest?

(Now try getting that image out of your head!  :-)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really knowing what 50 shades of grey is about, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to imagine.

however, the Cameron/Osborne axis will be toast with substantial parts of the cabinet in open revolt against the social liberal element which is keeping the coalition together. I don't think it can be underestimated how much the far right hated the gay marriage vote.

They don't trust cameron on europe or on domestic policy. this wing is most easily understood as the Rove republicans, seeking purity in conservative ideology. they don't understand compromise and won't compromise.

I have no idea how it would turn out, but I'm really looking forward to watching the fight

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:24:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many rumours coming from the eastleigh count that it is running in the order LibDem, Middle class BNP, Tories.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Betfair now has Tories at 250/1 in Eastleigh

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and reports say that they are coming about 1000 votes behind UKIP in third place

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 09:17:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pessimism about the future may lead to longer, healthier life, research finds
Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association."Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade," said lead author Frieder R. Lang, PhD, of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. "Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions." The study was published online in the journal Psychology and Aging.

Time for a Smiths revival.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 11:59:26 AM EST
If that is the case then most of us around here will still be blogging away in 2259.

(lol)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not even lol, I've decided to go really downbeat.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 05:17:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whole grains, rather than dietary fibre, found to be fundamental to the prevention of chronic disease
The apparent links between various food types and the prevention of chronic diseases - such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD) and hypertension - are well established. In particular, dietary fibre has long been regarded as a powerful means of reducing health risks. However, this study finds that it is not fibre, but whole grain cereals specifically, which prevent chronic disease.

What with me pessimism, me mediterranean diet and me muesli, I'm bloody immortal mate.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:05:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like you're actually optimistic. That means you'll die soon. Which should make you pessimistic. Repeat as often as you want.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 12:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paging Dr. Mobius, please report to the psych ward. ;-)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I sleep well too. As for the pessimism thing, I trump that with Gramsci : Optimism of the will. Pessimism of the intellect. So I guess I'll get happier as I get older.

Free the radicals! Let your telomeres hang down!

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

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 04:13:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which type of optimism was the American Psychological Association studying? The other way out of the dilemma is to become a Christian. If you believe that the world is a vale of tears, then there are two equilibria: believing you will die soon and being optimistic, or believing you will live a long life, and therefore being pessimistic.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 04:18:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree with that comment.  The people I know who are older and fit are the optimists.  The grumpy ones are the ones who are least likely to eat well, exercise or have other healthy habits.
by stevesim on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who said anything about "grumpy"? I'm pessimistic, but not the least bit grumpy.


'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 Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 08:12:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From here:

Kurzweil's overheated triumphalism aside (he seems determined to prove that careful thought is not necessary to be human by displaying a tremendous lack of care himself) ...

PWNED!

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

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:17:37 PM EST
Lanny Breuer, formerly of DOJ, on why he never prosecuted banks. (Out take from Frontline interview: he didn't want to end up like Wm. K. Black!) H/T naked capitalism

Can't help but laugh, even though the joke is on us. It is not even an instance of in vino veritas as there is no wine.


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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:23:46 PM EST
European Investment Bank considers legal action over hoax coal statement - 28 Feb 2013 - News from BusinessGreen

"The EIB is aware that a fake press release on its energy policy has been issued today by a so-called Philippe Wallace who is neither an employee of the EIB nor is he working under the authority of the EIB," the statement read. "The content of the release is incorrect and unauthorised, and the Bank will consider legal action against this misuse of the Bank's identity."

The fake press release, sent from the email address press@europeaninvestmentbank.org, falsely attributed quotes to EIB president Werner Hoyer which declared the bank would halt coal investment in order to help the EU achieve its climate objectives.

Financial institutions are under mounting pressure from campaigners to divest investments in carbon-intensive assets, amid fears such investments will lock Europe's energy infrastructure into a high-carbon model that makes it difficult to meet long-term emission reduction targets.

brilliant hit to the nerve!


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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 01:32:04 PM EST

Germany to Add Most Coal-Fired Plants in Two Decades, IWR Says

Germany will this year start up more coal-fired power stations than at any time in the past 20 years as the country advances a plan to exit nuclear energy by 2022.

New coal plants with about 5,300 megawatts of capacity will start generating power this year, the Muenster-based IWR renewable energy institute said in an e-mailed statement today, citing data from the German regulator. About 1,000 megawatts of coal-fired capacity are expected to come offline, it said.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 05:31:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i guess it would take far too many turbines to run those tank factories making the latest hardware to keep the saudis in power.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 06:59:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany has always been in the lead for the development of renewable energy and even a sustainable life. Now, Germany is in the forefront of the global attack on renewables and sustainability in civilization, as its government destroys Europe and everything else we built the future upon.

I'm still betting on the people here in 'Schland rising up, as evidenced by the growing fuckin' fracking debate. "Goes without saying," i could be wrong.

the debate on who carries the cost of banking investment fuckups will now be repeated on those firms which invested in "new coal." i can't predict the outcome.

Other than, humanity continues to lose. (And, progressives really need to understand framing and the Overton Window.)

me shut up now.

or not.

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

by Crazy Horse on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 07:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany has always been in the lead for the development of renewable energy and even a sustainable life. Now, Germany is in the forefront of the global attack on renewables and sustainability in civilization, as its government destroys Europe and everything else we built the future upon.
Maybe Germany has been on an 80-year-cycle of bipolar disorder.

Me shut up now.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 01:19:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a few of things to say here:
  1. German utilities have not been very successful at building new coal-fired power plants, so it's more of an coincidence that these plants managed to get built the same year, because most other years, pretty much nothing was built and the omens for other projects are not that good (a lot of local opposition);
  2. Germany uses coal plants for flexibility of the system, so these are not necessarily baseload plants (that would need to be checked) and thus the coal burning will be slightly less (flexibility does require burning of fossil fuels, but that can probably be accepted as a unavoidable cost of the system if you don't have enough hydro handy)
  3. At least these plants are brand new and up to pretty stringent environmental standards so, other than the CO2, they are not as bad as the plants they replace (yeah, I know, small comfort)
  4. in the current market environment (prices crushed by low-margnal-cost renewables pushed into the system), the utilities won't make a lot of money off these plants and may not use them at full regime...


Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 03:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to attribute this to the collapse of the EU carbon market? The investment decisions must be a few years old, but the load factors of coal plants have been increasing, at the expense of gas, since the excess of tree CO2 quotas has pushed the carbon price through the floor.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 04:17:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the other way round. The problem is easy to fix, but the investment decisions of the past make that unprofitable.
by Katrin on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 04:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the European power generators have been pushing for a rescue of the zombie carbon market, because they have been basing their investment decisions in recent years on their expectation of a price of, say, €20 currently, and rising (whereas it's around €4 and going nowhere). Sure, they make windfall profits, but their spreadsheets are all messed up.

The people with their foot on the throat of the carbon markets are the energy-intensive industrialists. Particularly those with growing economies; Poland will fight hard to keep the carbon market dead.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 05:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just hopeless: hilarious video of skipping George Osborne tripping over his feet in MPs' contest - Politics - News - London Evening Standard

Members of Parliament are used to battling over policies and scoring political points against each other.

But now it emerges they are also engaged in a far more unusual competition - skipping.

Unflattering videos of senior politicans including Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Ed Balls have emerged showing them trying to outdo each other by completing as many skips as possible in two minutes.

The amusing clips show them taking part - with varying degrees of success - in an ongoing unofficial competition between MPs.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:04:14 PM EST
Cameron and Clegg `perfect couple' for Mars Mission, insists everyone

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are the ideal choice for Dennis Tito's Mars adventure wildcard voyage to the Red Planet, according to the entire population of the UK.

A team led by millionaire and former space tourist Dennis Tito plans to send a "tested couple" to Mars in a privately funded mission, which will explore the effects of lethal gamma radiation on the human torso.

The Inspiration Mars Foundation plans to start its one-and-a-half-year mission in January 2018, but Britons insist that the couple are `good to go' by October 2013 latest.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:48:35 PM EST
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21610485

observe at 00.57 to 00.59 he channels musso, the jaw jut, followed by the double-elbow pump.

hmm. shades of chaplin.

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 02:58:43 PM EST
In Spanish Beppe Grillo translates as Pepito Grillo which is the name of the Disney character of Jiminy Cricket in the movie Pinocchio. I always assumed Beppe Grillo was an artistic name after this well-known voice of conscience character, but apparently in Italian the character in Pinocchio is called grillo parlante (talking cricket).

Oh, well.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 at 03:20:33 PM EST
Bad Economics is so much cheaper than a Death Star! (H/TSteve Keen's FB)



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 Feb 28th, 2013 at 04:35:47 PM EST


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