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8-9 June 2013

by DoDo Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 03:30:53 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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EUROPE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:41:13 PM EST
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Rehn enters war of words with IMF

BRUSSELS - EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn joined the increasingly bitter war of words between the EU's executive body and the IMF on Friday, accusing the Washington-based fund of 'washing its hands' of its role in the Greek debt crisis.

Speaking during a conference in Helsinki on Friday (7 June), the normally cerebral Rehn commented that "I don't think it's fair and just (for the IMF) to wash its hands and throw the dirty water on the Europeans' shoulders."

The commission has been stung by criticisms contained in a 50-page IMF staff report published Wednesday night, particularly the charge that it had done little to stimulate Greece's recession-hit economy which is projected to have contracted by over 23 percent between 2008 and 2013.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel Challenger Steinbrück Criticizes Her Foreign Policy - SPIEGEL ONLINE
More money for Europe. That was the central message delivered by Peer Steinbrück, the center-left challenger to Angela Merkel in fall elections, in a major foreign policy speech he delivered on Tuesday afternoon in Berlin. As the chancellor herself was wading through Bavarian floodwaters, Steinbrück was blasting her for continuing to impose strict austerity measures on the rest of the Continent.

"Do you have any idea what would happen if Germany had to save 5 percent (of its gross national product) each year?" he asked in his speech, delivered to students at the Free University in Berlin. "You wouldn't be here. You'd be out on the streets."

Instead, he said, a "kind of Marshall Plan" for Europe should be launched in an effort to reverse catastrophically high youth unemployment in the euro zone and to revive Southern European economies that remain stuck in recession. He also said that Berlin needed to re-examine its role in the euro crisis and said that "Germany has to be a society of good neighbors." He also said that "Germany should not lay claim to leadership in Europe."

He told some of the same earlier, still, too little too late. Meanwhile, Merkel's job approval is at 70% in the latest poll.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:41:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation | Technology | guardian.co.uk

The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.

The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's been going on for decades, we don't have a constitution so GCHQ can do what it wants.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:51:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is supposed to prevent other countries from doing likewise?

If not, they're all accumulating a bunch of traffic = noise. What matters is the quality and power of analysis. So what do we know about that?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:43:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are plenty of efficient ways to find a particular person in a big communications database, unless they go to some length to disguise their trail.

It won't find anybody you don't already know about. But that was never the point: The point is to spy on people you do know about, because if they are making trouble for you then you do know about them.

(And no, blowing up a train station here and assassinating a couple of politicians there is not "making trouble" as far as the deep state is concerned.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France to ban violent neo-Nazi groups as eight claim self-defence over 'anti-fascist' student Clément Méric's death - Europe - World - The Independent

The French government promised today to ban all violent neo-Nazi groups after the death of 19-year-old "anti-fascist" student  Clément Méric in the heart of Paris.

Eight people are in custody after a slanging match and scuffles between far-right and far-left activist ended in the beating to death of the brilliant young student.

The eight detainees claim to have acted in "self-defence" during a street brawl which began when both sets of young activists turned up at the same discount sale for casual clothes. Witnesses said that Mr Meric was punched savagely in the face by a young man wearing a knuckle-duster. His head struck a metal post as he fell the ground and he died later in hospital. However, how the fight developed and the circumstances leading to Mr Meric's death remains unclear.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Six would-be terrorists were responding to EDL provocation, court hears | UK news | guardian.co.uk

The six would-be terrorists who planned to attack a far-right demonstration using knives, machetes and a homemade bomb were reacting to violence and intimidation aimed at provoking the UK's Muslim population, a court has heard.

In mitigation, Joel Bennathan QC, defending, said the six men, who have already pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration in Dewsbury last year, were amateurish and "hopelessly incompetent".

He told the Old Bailey on Friday that although the "great bulk" of the Muslim community had the sense to ignore the activities of the EDL, this group - who were "not particularly intellectual" - reacted to a series of EDL demonstrations targeting Muslim areas that were provocative, insulting and intimidating.

"This is an undoubtedly domestic bit of planned violence with young British men reacting to these calculated insults of another group of young men," said Bennathan.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They and the EDL deserved each other

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the EDL deserves more focused opponents who are as competent or more competent at inflicting damage as they are.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 10:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Terrorists attack people who are not terrorists.

What else is new?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Violent neo-Nazi groups were previously authorized.

Or is there sumpin I didn't get?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protests over ID numbers highlight Bosnia's divisions | EurActiv

The protestors, mainly students and young parents with babies, surrounded the assembly, held back by police and preventing anyone except journalists from entering or leaving the building.

There is public fury over the failure of lawmakers from the country's rival Serb, Croat and Muslim communities to agree on how to draw up the districts that determine the 13-digit identification numbers assigned to every citizen.

Without a deal, a court ruling effectively froze registrations in early February, meaning newborns cannot be issued with passports or the medical cards they need to be seen by a doctor.

The row is one of the most egregious examples of the ethnic politicking that has plagued Bosnia since the end of its 1992-'95 war, which left the country with a weak central government and a system of ethnic quotas that has stifled development.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:42:36 PM EST
Oil reporting agencies reel at proposed EU `benchmarking' | EurActiv

Oil price reporting agencies were already under renewed scrutiny after European authorities raided the London office of lead price publisher Platts - a unit of McGraw Hill - as well as oil majors BP, Shell and Statoil , saying they suspected oil prices had been manipulated (see background).

The EU's draft law, which is unlikely to take effect before 2014, proposes that regulation of top benchmarks like Libor and oil be shifted to the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

"This is heavy-handed regulation, and if it's applied as written, it will make oil price reporting unworkable," said a senior oil industry source who requested anonymity.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:42:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"This is heavy-handed regulation, and if it's applied as written, it will make oil price reporting fixing unworkable," said a senior oil industry source who requested anonymity.

FTFH.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 07:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then they might have to endure that most dreaded of all business situations - market competition.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 10:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Roman reveals Milton's Preference

In Warsaw, Roman (Frydman) started out studying physics. He recalls: "My initial interest was in economics and the social sciences. But since the curriculum was based on Marxist ideology, I chose to study mathematics and physics. Moreover, the techniques taught in sciences were considered useful to managing the centrally planned economy." Much to his surprise, he would be faced with a similar bias in American universities, where "mathematics was used to build macroeconomic models that seemed like an ideal version of the planned economy."

....

After his undergraduate studies at Cooper Union, whose mission is to welcome poor and deserving students, he earned his master's degree in applied mathematics from New York University - where he subsequently pursued his career - before earning a master's degree and a doctorate in economics from Columbia University, where the future Nobel Prize winner Edmund Phelps was then teaching. "In those days, it was still possible to criticize the theory of rational expectations [the possibility of predicting exactly economic agents' behavior on the basis of their supposed rationally], because it was not yet the dogma that it has become," says Frydman. "For me, the fundamental reason for the failure of the Soviet planned economy was the impossibility of knowing and precisely predicting economic agents' behavior. The engine of markets is that no group of actors, not even economists, can predict outcomes! Phelps supported me in my thinking, though he did not hide that to build my career under these auspices would be very difficult ..."

In the middle of the 1980's, at Stanford's Hoover Institution, Roman Frydman met another Friedman, Milton, also with Jewish European origins and opposed to any state intervention. "But neither Hayek nor he thought that the functioning of markets could be summed up in equations. Friedman even showed empirically that the short-term effects of monetary policy on employment and output were unpredictable." And yet, "he did not publicly oppose the theory of rational expectations. Strangely, he thus seemed to have made a political choice that was incompatible with his academic stance."


Clearly Milton had the better sense of the side on which his bread was buttered and/or understood that economics WAS subordinate to politics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also interesting is the degree to which Soviet economics and Chicago School economics were just different sides of the same coin of the Rational Expectations Hypothesis (REH), which when capitalized and made into an acronym is supposed to become more awe inspiring, despite all of the evidence and arguments that the assumptions do not hold.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 01:01:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The soviets and REH? It was not like their  government was expecting anything fancy from citizen. And the citizen learned to expect  little from the government - for better and for worse.

I do not get the big point that if the government cannot predict transactions, expectations well, then... what? Government should not do anything? Who can meet that standard of prediction? Government is a player in the market one way or other, and it better play its hand well, with its own purpose. As we well see in todays "more sterile from government" markets, there is even more need for continuous reforms and stimulations than the soviets ever dreamed of.

by das monde on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:35:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not get the big point that if the government cannot predict transactions, expectations well, then... what?

Well, for one thing it means that you cannot simply put a set of rules in place and then step aside and let the market sort things out, stepping in only intermittently to address manifest market failures with new rules. The government has to continually monitor and intervene, because all rules have unintended and unpredictable consequences alongside the intended and predictable ones.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 07:04:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But in centrally planned economies the government doesn't expect the economy to run itself. By definition. Why is the inability to predict the behaviour of individual agents supposed to be a problem for the communist states?
by generic on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 07:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But why have an economic theory that is known to be unfounded? The answer to that question will probably answer your question.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 09:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is important if you are chasing the global maximum utility solution (as opposed to a solution that's merely good enough).

Of course, since utility theory is a load of Jesuit logic in the first place, chasing a global optimum is a nonsense. But that hasn't prevented a substantial fraction of the dismal science from being devoted to precisely that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 10:20:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Before the 70s, governments were mostly solving particular distribution problems -routinely solvable by a simplex method, a Hungarian algorithm. Ambitious general declarations really started with the Chicago school. Hayek put into Keynes that much all-knowning that became the caricature frame for neoliberalism itself now.
by das monde on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 11:47:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is the inability to predict the behaviour of individual agents supposed to be a problem for the communist states?

It is a problem for Top/Down authoritarian states.

The easiest way to put it is: it is impossible to accurately Model, thus predict, a system expressing a tide of non-linear Emergent Phenomena.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:01:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what's the policy conclusion? What the bleep do we know?

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Policy: Compile some General Rules, such as it's generally better for people to get an adequate percentage of the wealth they create, reinforcing Bubbles is a really bad idea, etc., then:

  1.  Take your best shot

  2.  Implement it

  3.  See where it goes splat

  4.  Inject some Thinking

  5.  GOTO Step One

I'm not a fan of Write Once economic policies.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is the inability to predict the behaviour of individual agents supposed to be a problem for the communist states?

A Soviet style command-control economy assumes that planners can direct people to do things and they will get done as intended. Several problems arise: the direction is inadequately specified so the result is not as desired; the agents may not possess skills adequate to accomplish the directive; the agents may introduce their own agendas beyond the expectation (if any) of the planners; and the direction can be incompetent in that what is desired cannot be accomplished by the specified means. The old question "why won't people just do what they are told?" is much more profound than most assume.

For the purposes of turning a traditional, religious based, predominantly rural society into a modern industrial society and organizing society so as to meet the challenges of WW II Soviet style command and control performed remarkably well. After WW II - not so well. IMO, when enough people began asking themselves "Is this as good as it gets?" and as the government came increasingly to disproportionately reward high ranking party members who, themselves, came to hold their offices as much on account of birth as any other factor the willingness to defer gratification of basic needs by the average citizen declined and the overall effectiveness of the system declined.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 05:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presently, the same dynamic is affecting the USA, but through a very different social, political and economic structure. The inequality of the distribution of the fruits of our labors makes that of the Soviet system pale by comparison, birth is coming more and more to be the most significant determinant of success and the country is run by an elite that only care for their own welfare. We should be so lucky as to have our own Gorbachev to dismantle the system from the inside, even if inadvertently.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 05:27:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be hard now to quantify how bad was the Soviet inequality of the distribution of the fruits of labors, but to my view, that inequality was not that bad. Since when Thatcher's "equally poor" rhetoric was changed to "terrible soviet inequality"?

You may know already that my view of the Soviet break up does not fit usual paradigms. The system was stagnating, ineffective indeed. But my guess is, the apparatchiks and party functionaries were more aware of own dissatisfaction than average citizen. The latter might had less expectations than widely assumed. Besides, the movie and pop-culture changed drastically in the Gorbachov era; some argue, they turned to key consumerism educators.

Here is a thing. Most of the soviet elites (military, security, lawyers) did relatively just as splendidly after the wild break up. Which times and privileges would they prefer? Sitting in a Soviet dacha, planning building new schools and hospitals? Or looking for offshore accounts after the privatization boom? Deficit imports and dachas may have been "disproportional" rewards, but at least they had to pretend to take care of common welfare then. Those offices held on account of birth? I bet there is little hard numbers or facts on that. Those tendencies may have been there, but there were so few soviet generations that it is hard to let this set in stone. The post-break-up system was way much better for inter-generational position transfer and not caring for the wealth of others.

by das monde on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 06:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On fairness metrics I have no disagreement with you. The problem, as I saw it, had to do more with the ability to deliver a satisfactory level of desired goods to the people. While this can be denigrated as 'consumerism' TVs, VCRs tape recorders, cameras, autos, and, especially, housing were in woefully short supply. We will never really know if the Soviet system could have turned this around because it was destroyed from the inside. Gorbachev obviously thought drastic changes were needed. The changes he introduced were sufficiently drastic to bring down the system.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 01:59:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was indeed a big mismatch between supply and demand - and the system showed no signs of adaptation, even if technology progress was picking up in the 80s beyond system's "specifications". The top-down perestroika tempo was higher than the bottom-up dissatisfaction growth, though.

The change in cinematography is a good example. The 5th Congress of Filmmakers (May 1986) may be lauded as an vanguard perestroika reform move. On the other hand, delegate election and activity details are rather fishy, interestingly coordinated. The khozrachet reforms of self-sufficient accounting were applied uber-radically (for Soviet ideology) in movie making. Even if production reforms were too ambitious for those few years, they met little opposition. Soviet realism vanished into thin year, while clear chernukha (blackness) was ruling movie screens with Little Vera and Intergirl. If the young generation was looking for purpose, they got that kind of answers. When Stalone and Schwarzenegger's cold war flicks become a legal cult (along with Latin soaps of course), you may know that Commie planning is a joke.

by das monde on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 03:58:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
when enough people began asking themselves "Is this as good as it gets?"

capitalism looked like so much more fun...

its iconic products like levis, rock-n-roll, coca-cola and 'sex appeal' acted like solvents on the social glue of communism, and watching their superstars like nuryev defect helped a lot too.

they'd pay a week's wages for a big mac, or a month's for a pair of jeans, jazz musicians crossed town by night risking imprisonment for playing.

if early communism ever was a rose (some of the early snapshots suggest this was possibly the case in some situations), the bloom was completely absent by this point, breadlines and trabants looked drab even through the most ideologically rosy of spectacles.

FAIL...

next it's predatory capitalism's turn to bite the dust!

'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 Jun 9th, 2013 at 05:36:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the purposes of turning a traditional, religious based, predominantly rural society into a modern industrial society and organizing society so as to meet the challenges of WW II Soviet style command and control performed remarkably well. After WW II - not so well.

The problem with that explanation of the differing performance of the Soviet and American economies is that once you correct for GDP in 1918, the size of their respective trade blocs and the breakdown of the Anglo-American trade system during the interbellum, then there's no such difference to explain.

You can't tell from macroeconomic data which countries have communist and which have capitalist governments. You can only tell which belonged in the larger (effective) trade bloc.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But if government intervention has unintended consequences, why then should the government intervene at all, let alone continually?

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 12:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it also has intended consequences. And if you have a competent civil service, that doesn't suffer from neoliberal brain rot, then the expected consequences are orders of magnitude more important than the unexpected.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 12:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First off, I'll (annoyingly) submit there's no such thing as a "Free Market."  There are only - and only ever has been (to my knowledge) - "Regulated Markets."

Over regulate and end-up with the People's Directorate in Charge of Safety Pins ... and a sclerotic, unresponsive to human need, economy.

Under regulate and end-up with sociopathic predatory capitalists stealing everything that isn't bolted to a mountain .. and a sclerotic, unresponsive to human need, economy.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously. But if you're chasing the maximum utility will-o-wisp, then you're already so far down the road to empirical irrelevance that adding a couple of fictional institutions doesn't do much further damage.

Neoclassical economists are like physicists who assume away friction to make it easier to explain the motion of a wheel.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:42:59 PM EST
France's Hollande lauds Abe on Tokyo trip | News | DW.DE | 07.06.2013

French President Francois Hollande is in Japan on a three-day tour. He and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have signed a host of trade and tourism deals. Hollande also praised Abe's stimulus-driven economic policies.

Francois Hollande and Shinzo Abe agreed to closer bilateral coordination in areas including nuclear power, investment, space and tourism during the French president's trip to Japan. Hollande spoke of "a new ambience" during his trip to Tokyo, saying the two countries were taking their relationship to "a new level."

"Together, we must encourage innovation and profit from the opportunities of growth," Hollande said, praising Abe for his stimulus-driven economic policies, sometimes dubbed "Abenomics."

"The priority given to growth and the fight against deflation, along with the emphasis on competitiveness for business... is good news for Europe, because in Europe we also have to give priority to growth," Hollande said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's Orandu, not Hollande.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia offers to send replacements for Austrian troops on Israel-Syria border | World news | The Guardian

Russia has stunned the international community by offering to replace Austrian troops withdrawn from the peacekeeping forces on the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, despite its open political and military support for the Assad regime.

"Given the complicated situation in the Golan Heights, we could replace the leaving Austrian contingent in this region on the border between Israeli troops and the Syrian army," Vladimir Putin announced during a televised meeting with Russian military officers.

"But this will happen, of course, only if the regional powers show interest, and if the UN secretary general asks us to do so," the president added.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
given the willingness of the Israelis to fire rockets at and kill UN peace keepers from time to time, that will have interesting repercussions.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'would have'

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 10:29:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the agreement between Israel and Syria bans permament members of the Security Council from the forces (did Syria originally want to exclude the US?)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 08:53:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents   Gizmodo

In the wake of last night's revelation that everyone in the world has a creepy NSA-shaped stalker, defenders of online liberty and generally angry internet people Anonymous have leaked a treasure trove of NSA documents, including seriously important stuff like the US Department of Defense's `Strategic Vision' for controlling the internet.

The documents -- 13 in total -- were posted online, along with an accompanying message full of the normal Anonymous bluster: people won't be silenced, they have the memory of trivia-master elephants, the governments of the world will fall, your average press release really.

The documents seem to mostly relate to PRISM and supporting operations, and mostly date from around 2008, supposedly not long after PRISM first reared its ugly head. One of the key things Anonymous has highlighted from the documents is the existence of an "intelligence-sharing network" that shares data gleaned from PRISM with "intelligence partners" around the world. Although we're still in the process of combing through the documents, you can bet your last Bitcoin that `intelligence' has been shared with British security services.


More links at title link.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 12:47:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:43:32 PM EST
Denmark's new NOx tax keeps politicians nervous | EurActiv

The centre-left Danish government, which was formed in October 2011, decided at the end of that year to raise the tax from 5 to 25 Danish crowns (from €0.7 to 3.4) per kilo of nitrogen oxide NOx emissions. The tax was introduced on 1 July 2012.

The increased NOx tax was adopted after long debates in the Danish parliament where opposition parties warned it would be expensive not only for companies emitting NOx, but for all businesses.

...When the Danish government started discussions on a new job plan in January 2013, Socialist Environment Minister Ida Auken mentioned that she would be ready to look into the NOx tax and change it if the tax did not produce the right effects.

...The Danish NOx tax was eventually not affected by the government's new job plan.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shippers under the gun to meet new air quality standards | EurActiv
The German-built Schieborg Delfzijl is one of the first cargo vessels built to comply with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard for nitrogen oxides (NOx), using a catalytic reduction system. The IMO standards apply for new vessels starting in 2016.

...Whether in harbours or on the open sea, the shipping industry has come under the microscope to reduce pollution and faces a 2016 deadline under the IMO's Marpol convention to slash NOx emissions.

The treaty requires an 80% reduction in NOx emissions from 2000 levels in some coastal areas, and has also set caps on sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon and other pollutants.

In some busy European ports, including Rotterdam and Gothenburg, shipping companies get discounted port dues for using catalytic systems, scrubbers and cleaner-burning engines. At Zeebrugge, the Schieborg Delfzijl and other vessels use dockside electricity connections to cut the need to run fuel-fired generators while loading and unloading.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:43:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting data point on this topic. The original Honda Insight (sorry for bringing this up yet again!) came in two models. The manual transmission version was tuned to optimize fuel economy at the cost of less efficient control of NOx. The main difference is that this version can run with a very lean fuel-air mixture of 22:1 (instead of the normal 14:1). A side effect is higher NOx emissions.

The automatic transmission version was optimized to minimize NOx at the cost of less fuel economy. It does not have the lean-burn mode of operation. (The automatic transmission insured that it would get worse economy than the five speed would anyway.) So the two models ended up being rated in two different pollution categories.

  • 5-speed, ULEV
  • CTV, SULEV
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/faq-cvt.html#LowerEfficiency

I suppose the ship manufacturers encounter similar difficulties, trying to get the best efficiency possible while dealing with emissions regulations that conflict with fuel economy.

by asdf on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 01:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Farmers brace for major losses from Central European floods | EurActiv

Copa-Cogeca, a pan-European organisation that represents farmers and growers cooperatives, said Thursday (6 June) it was evaluating flood damage in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.

Areas along the Danube in southern Germany and Austria, and along the Vltava in the Czech Republic, are some of the nations' most fertile agricultural and wine-producing regions.

In parts of Italy, Copa-Cogeca said, wheat, barley and oats have been affected and maize and sunflower crops could also suffer.

Amid dramatic photos of floodwaters threatening picturesque towns and the 610-year-old Charles Bridge in central Prague, the impact on farming has had little attention. But in addition to overflowing streams and soggy fields, rescue personnel have protected towns by opening dikes to take pressure off surging rivers, flooding farms and pastures in the process.

IMHO the problem is fundamental. The best solution against floods is the reservation of floodplains as wild or semi-wild areas, but agriculture won't want to waste the most fertile areas.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:44:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking back, it seems humans are wont to expand agriculture, to feed a growing population, into ever more marginal lands.  Because agriculture is expanded into ever more marginal lands the population increases.  Eventually agricultural production on marginal lands collapses ... because it is marginal (duh) ... and the population collapses.

We all live on "Easter Island."  (Although the planet is a whole bunch bigger.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:18:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Flood plains aren't marginal land for agriculture. The point is they are awful land for habitation.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Generally speaking, agricultural fields are directly adjacent to human habitation.  

But, yeah, river plains have a very low 'marginality' as compared to, e.g., the short grass prairie here in the US.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are awful for storing bulky, expensive stuff such as furniture or modern industrial machinery.

But they're quite good for habitation by mobile, lightly equipped seasonal subsistence farmers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:54:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here my point was more on agriculture: even if you move cities out of harms' way, the risk for agriculture on floodplains along rivers dammed in tight won't go away. Floodplains are among the most fertile land, thus farmers can expect high turnovers in most years, but can lose all in some years. It's similar (but even more extreme) for volcanoes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 02:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German experts: Fracking is unnecessary and risky | EurActiv
German environmental experts doubt that developing shale gas is economically profitable and worthwhile for the country's energy transition. They also question the technology of fracking and call for a European Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure to be adopted. EurActiv Germany reports.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two nuclear reactors shut down permanently at California power plant | Environment | guardian.co.uk

America's nuclear reactor fleet moved deeper into middle-aged crisis on Friday when operators decide to shut down two reactors at the troubled San Onofre power plant in California.

They were the third and fourth reactors to be permanently retired this year, underlining the harsh economics facing America's ageing fleet of nuclear reactors, forced to pay for expensive upkeep at a time of increased competition from cheap natural gas and renewable energy.

The two reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (Songs) in southern California had been off-line since January 2012, after the discovery of a radioactive steam leak in one of the units.

Southern California Edison, which runs the plant, had been pushing to re-start one of the reactors on a limited basis.

But there was strong public opposition, and the risk of legal action after the Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, last week asked the Justice Department to investigate the plant.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:44:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Delhi created its own energy crisis | Kavitha Rao | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Delhi is in the midst of a power struggle, but not the political kind. The city is rapidly running out of energy, as government, opposition and private suppliers all bicker about who is to blame. In the past two years, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has hiked power rates four times, by a whopping 26%, and another hike is expected, despite the fury of consumers. Meanwhile, many beleaguered Delhi residents suffer eight-hour-long power cuts in 45 degree summer heat.

...Meanwhile, as the government muddles along, green campaigners point out that Delhi has completely ignored other solutions. A recent report by Greenpeace India revealed Delhi's miserable failure to attain renewable energy targets. Delhi actually achieved less than 1% of its target, making it the worst performer amongst 22 states, despite being by far the wealthiest.

Part of the problem, says report author and senior Greenpeace campaigner Abhishek Pratap, is Delhi's cossetted status. "As the capital, Delhi gets 75% of its energy from coal plants in other states. This has made the city complacent, and slow to consider other alternatives. The DERC does not even have a proper policy for renewable energy," he points out.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:45:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:45:31 PM EST
The Returned: how British TV viewers came to lose their fear of subtitles | Television & radio | The Guardian
Channel 4's French zombie drama is the latest import that will have us reading to keep up with the plot

In recent years, quality European drama has become so familiar to British viewers that Nigel Farage may well be experiencing night terrors. For most countries, non-native content is nothing unusual, as anyone who has found Towie improbably belching itself out of a hotel telly abroad can confirm, but the assumption had reigned for many years that anything featuring foreign tongues would make Britons squirm away in horror. Nowadays, continental drama routinely outclasses British counterparts with the ease of Barcelona taking on Grimsby Town. And not just critically: from the 30 most-watched programmes since BBC4 started in 2002, 14 places are taken up by episodes of Scandinavian thrillers The Killing, The Bridge and Borgen. It's a mystery why subtitled drama was missing from British television for so long.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:45:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just went to see the new Kon Tiki movie. It's sort of bland, actually (except where they almost get eaten by sharks). Supposedly they didn't want subtitles, so they filmed the whole thing twice, once in Norwegian and once in English. Rumor has it that the movies end up being noticeably different.

I wonder if you can get a subtitled copy of the Norwegian version? Would be interesting to compare them side by side.

(Also I have some complaints about how they do the radios in the movie, but that is for a different forum.)

by asdf on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 01:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TOWIE is broadcast abroad !!!!

Oh, the shame.

Not all of Essex is like that {d e s p a i r}

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:59:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're like the Gaulish village in Astérix?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel's Christian Democrats accept verdict on tax break for gay couples | News | DW.DE | 07.06.2013
The chancellor's party has voted in favor of a draft bill that would extend married tax rights to same-sex partners. The move is a forced one, following a Constitutional Court ruling saying that the government must act.

...Members of the CDU/CSU sister parties - the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) - met for a special sitting on Friday to approve the measure. Only three lawmakers voted against the bill, one abstained.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that both sides of the political divide on gays' rights can be content that they have won: one side gets equal rights for gay marriages. The other side can point out that this decision was forced. All voters can be sure the CDU is on their side, whatever that is.
by Katrin on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 06:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal - Nazi Islamic Bikes From Hell

Well, yesterday I was inconvenienced by the new Citi Bikes: a newly installed line of bike racks blocked the place where I usually cross John Street, forcing me to make a 20-foot detour. Impeach Michael Bloomberg!

Or, maybe not. But the absolutely hysterical reaction of right-wingers to the bike program just keeps mounting -- and in a way that almost makes the program worth it, all by itself. Not, I hasten to add, because annoying conservatives is the goal per se; instead, what we're getting is a wonderful window into the conservative psyche.

Same for the recent controversy about same sex marriage (aka "marriage for all") in France, I thought: here too, it provided "a wonderful window into the conservative psyche." Except for the view that has been anything but wonderful: sheer homophobia and bigotry of all stripes, not to mention the extreme-right groups that suddenly felt emboldened, if not endorsed - being a "fag-hater" became cool, all the way to this...

by Bernard on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 05:48:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
W T F
Here's Front Page magazine:
Bicycles are one of the obsessions of Mayor Bloomberg and his transportation secretary Janette Sadik-Khan. Khan is the granddaughter of Imam Alimjan Idris, a Nazi collaborator and principle teacher at an SS school for Imams under Hitler's Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. The bio of his son, Wall Street executive Orhan Sadik-Khan, frequently mentions the bombing of the family home in Dresden and surviving trying times after World War II. It neglects to mention that the times were only trying because their side was losing.

...

In partial revenge, Khan has made many New York streets nearly as impassable as those of her grandfather's wartime Dresden.

No, this isn't a parody.
Hell-fucking-o!?

In the long run, we're all misquoted — not Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 06:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought he was Britain's Mufti, since they appointed him after he came fourth in the elections. So it's really Britain's revenge for our kicking them out of their colonies.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 06:21:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you seen the anti-gay-marriage protesters at the French Open final? Made idiots of themselves and their movement.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 05:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:46:17 PM EST
8 June 793 – Viking raid on Lindisfarne Priory in the English kingdom of Northumbria, traditionally considered the start of the Viking Age


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:46:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
9 June 1923 – military coup in Bulgaria against the anti-imperialist government of the peasantry-based Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, followed by a reign of terror under the new government of Aleksandar Tsankov (who would become an imitator of and a quisling for the Nazis)


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:46:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:46:53 PM EST
Police break up topless Femen protest at Merkel's office | News | DW.DE | 07.06.2013

Topless feminist protesters calling for the release of fellow Femen activists detained in Tunisia have taken their protest to Berlin. The women, urging Chancellor Merkel to take up their case, were removed by police.

The protest coincided with a visit to Berlin on Friday by Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh and came in response to the detention and trial of three Femen demonstrators who were arrested in the North African country.

The women staged their demonstration outside the German chancellery, ahead of a meeting there between the Tunisian premier and Merkel.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:47:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Verhofstadt, Cohn-Bendit get European Leader award | EurActiv

Guy Verhofstadt and Daniel Cohn-Bendit won the European Leader Award on Thursday (6 June), after several weeks of online voting organised ahead of the State of the European Union forum.

Presenting the award, the chairman of the selection jury, Bernard Vergnes, noted that leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept. "We are looking here at someone that people would choose to follow, someone we all would like to play a greater European role in the future," he said..



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 7th, 2013 at 01:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this sickens me to give such an award to a pedophile (not  convicted of any offense, but read about his writings to see what I'm talking about).  the French élite of all parties makes me sick.  Can't anyone except self-indulgent narcissists make it in that country?

And I speak as a Frenchman here.

by stevesim on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 05:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trolling again?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 10:07:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whenever I post something you don't like, you think I'm a troll.

by that same standard, I would think you're a troll every day.

google Daniel Cohen Bendit and pedophile to get some background on the topic

by stevesim on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 01:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Don't tell other people to Google what you are too lazy to do.

You have made an extremely serious accusation concerning the private behaviour of a public figure.

Prove what you have said or back off.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume you mean prove beyond the hyperbole from Cohn-Bendit's right-wing detractors in the well-known controversy (in France and later in Hungary), re-hashing which would be transparent trolling for more controversy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 03:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, I am referring to the video of youtube video of this man proudly referring to himself as a pedophile.

I suggested people google for themselves because I have found that certain people only trust certain sources.

As for his behaviour, it's openly spoken about just like Frederic Mitterand's is, because both have published poem  s or other literary works about it, then disavow it later when it becomes politically expedient to do so.

I am not even speaking of certain figures that were rumoured to be arrested in Morrocco abusing young boys and whose identity has never become public....

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:55:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Your comment contains nothing whatever that deserves the name of evidence.

Do not make defamatory statements on this blog without serious backing, or your comments will be purely and simply deleted.

Do not reply to this moderation comment, go read the Editorial Guidelines instead.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:19:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So why not link this video?
by generic on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 06:09:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggested people google for themselves because I have found that certain people only trust certain sources.
Unfortunately, you choose not to be a source at all.

In the long run, we're all misquoted — not Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 10:15:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh please.  Whenever I provide a source for any controversial material, I get criticized on it, for odd reasons.

the funny thing is, I am usually way ahead of the curve, and call trends years before others, and ironically, in a few years, you will be saying the same thing yourselves, and wondering how so many people were taken in.

I was calling the war between fundamental Chritian vs fundamental Islam problem in 2000 before GWB was elected.  

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you link to the damned youtube of DCB on paedophilia? Thanks.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:18:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am having problems with the sound of this video, but I don't know if it's my computer.  On the other computer, I think this was the youtube I saw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P7UKzSTwgQ

let me know if you have any sound problems with this.  

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
User guide: How do I embed a video?



Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 02:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sound is poor, but the French is undestandable.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 02:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfectly comprehansible. There is a great deal of provocation in what he's doing there. Plus the assertion, very common at the time in leftie counter-culture circles, of childhood sexuality. But nothing that substantiates a charge of paedophilia.

There have never been any complaints against him on that score, either, yet that might have been expected, given his public profile, if he had really engaged in abusive activity.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the funny thing is, I am usually way ahead of the curve
I presume you mean, in this instance, you're way ahead of ET's curve on the DCB paedophilia allegations...

May 14th, 2013

The inquiry follows a row over the Green party MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit's apparent endorsement of sex with children in his 1975 book The Great Bazaar, in which he reported on his alleged sexual interactions with children while working at an anti-authoritarian kindergarten in the 70s
April 8th, 2011
A month ago Cohn-Bendit attacked Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán when he visited the EP over Hungary's restrictive media law. Since then, the local right-wing media (which, like in Berlusconiland, now includes public media) fires away at him. This included anti-semitic attacks, and of course, the paedophile accusations were dug up.


Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
stevesim:
And I speak as a Frenchman here.

If something was about Mars, you'd claim to be a Martian.

(Now why did I choose the letter M ?)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 at 02:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
just because you aspire to something which you can never attain, doesn't mean nobody else can have it.

I am French and have a French passport.  It is my mother tongue, unlike you.

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:31:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
J'attends avec impatience la petite conversation qu'on aura tous les deux, le jour où tu auras le courage de te pointer à une rencontre ET.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 07:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cause encore mon vieux
by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 09:00:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and another thing  -  a lot of Europeans are so homogeneous in their genetic background that they cannot claim multiple heritages.  I can lay claim to many and speak the languages to boot, and have lived in many countries.  It's your loss if you haven't.
by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want a medal?

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  Just clarifying a long standing issue here.

Being me is it's own reward.  ;-)

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 01:33:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What "long-standing issue"?

Show us where anyone has denied you are French, or German, or work for a Chinese company, or anything else you say when it is handy for you to claim authority on a topic under discussion.

Which is why I said if it was about Mars, you'd turn out to be a Martian.

That makes M.M., funny, isn't it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so, I work for a Chinese company, and have multiple passports and speak a few languages.

And you try to pass yourself off as French, despite not knowing very much background on people in French politics and I never say anything about that

by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Show where anyone here has ever denied your claims.

Victimisation is another troll's game that we have seen before here.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And another thing we have seen before: a troll rating without prior warning or justification against someone in direct discussion with the troll-rater. Stevesim, please change your rating and/or justify it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 04:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you try to pass yourself off as French

After you try to imply that you are an expert due to your genetic heritage, now you invert it into a silly accusation. That's some trolling. As for what really influences your relative expertise, I bet afew has quite a few more years of residence in France and immersion in French media.

I never say anything about that

Yes. Whether it's airplane engines impacting the Pentagon or French politics, you never contribute your expertise, just claim it.

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 02:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't think he has, although he thinks he does.
by stevesim on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is, of course, an unsubstantiated statement because we don't know how many years he (or you, for that matter) have spent in France... nor do we need to care because this site does not usually adjudicate disagreements on argument by authority, or by residence.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a lot of Europeans are so homogeneous in their genetic background

...which is not even true, whether you look at genetic studies or actually researched family histories. It's more the case that people easily ignore and deny part of their (not just genetic but cultural) heritage, even one or two generations down. But more preposterous is the implication that your genetic heritage has anything to do with your expertise in some question.

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 02:30:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paedophile or not, DCB is about the only MEP (together with Guy Verhofstadt, incidentally) that has denounced the insanity of European Union policy in the sovereign debt crisis:

Cohn Bendit's defence on the Paedophile allegations is pretty weak: Green party in Germany to investigate backing for paedophiles in 80s (14 May 2013)

In the book, he wrote: "My constant flirtations with the children took on erotic characteristics. It happened to me several times that a few children undid my flies and started to stroke me."

The damning passage, which the Observer reported on in 2001, and a subsequent TV interview in which he also talked frankly on the topic, came back to haunt Cohn-Bendit recently when the remarks came to light ahead of an awards ceremony. Because of his comments, several high-profile people refused to attend an event at which Cohn-Bendit received the Theodor Heuss prize for bridge-building in Europe.

In an interview in Der Spiegel magazine Cohn-Bendit, 64, who alternately represents the French and German Green parties in the European parliament, said he had made the remarks in order to provoke prudish, bourgeois Germany while insisting he had never been a paedophile.



Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 02:57:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who cares if he's a bastard as long as he's our bastard?
by stevesim on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 03:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm trying to explain to you why he and Verhofstadt might have been deemed worthy of receiving a joint prize. I also quoted a news story about him receiving another prize and being boycotted at the awards ceremony. So I don't know what you're so worked up about.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 9th, 2013 at 04:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cohn Bendit's defence on the Paedophile allegations is pretty weak

Where is the real accusation to defend against? The main fact here is that over the years his seventies talk has been held against him, no one came forward to accuse Cohn-Bendit of abusing him/her. That's not the pattern known in the scandals of Catholic priests or educators or the likes of Jimmy Saville once the scandal hit the media.

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 02:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's accused of writing an apology of paedophilia (yeah, thoughtcrime, I know), and his defence is that he was actually lying just to be provocative.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 04:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and reading the text now is sickening. It is inconceivable how anyone could write such stuff. I say that now, but I wouldn't have said that before the mid-80's when legislation had started to match at least to some measure contemporary mores. As long as everything that is fun was indiscriminately banned by law it was right to indiscriminately provoke. Without that we wouldn't have arrived at a legislation that focuses on consent among persons who are able to consent. We would still be stuck in a world that was profoundly hypocritical--as this campaign against D C-B.
by Katrin on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 04:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A diary would be nice.

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 04:54:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll see if I find enough material. This evening.
by Katrin on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 05:47:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as everything that is fun was indiscriminately banned by law

Actually, how long was marriage a way to escape punishment for seducing under-consent-age girls?

it was right to indiscriminately provoke

Additionally, there was a super-Freudian counter-culture notion that repressed sexuality leads to repressive personality. But, from what I read of the age (for lack of own experience, having been too young and across the Iron Curtain at the time), this led to some real abuse, and not just of the pedo kind at alternative schools, but the adult hetero kind at places like hippy communes where some males took it as license to behave like alpha males.

profoundly hypocritical--as this campaign against D C-B.

Where I add the context of why this came up again: after the president of the Constitutional Court protested another award for Cohn-Bendit, CDU regional politicians started campaigns, also digging up other instances of pro-pedophilism among the Greens from the eighties, and the CDU's youth organisation staged small but loud protests. It's campaign time. (Nevertheless, possibly also motivated by campaign concerns, it led to the opening of party archives for an independent investigation.)

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

by DoDo on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 07:34:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the UK still has at least one very high profile lawyer who has been stating now that the age of consent should be lowered to the point where it would legalise was it is now classed as paedophilia - and can we please stop prosecuting all those elderly guys for what they did a long time ago?

The British establishment is notoriously lenient towards establishment paedophiles. Graham Ovenden, an artist known for his 'celebration' of nudity in childhood, received a suspended sentence recently in spite of clear evidence of overt abuse.

Back in the 30s, Eric Gill - who abused his children, had sex with his sister and his dog - was commissioned by the BBC to provide some prominent statues for Broadcasting House. And at least one prominent media figure from the 50s was so scandalised by what went on at the BBC even then that she voluntarily gave up a TV career.

So in context, a provocative essay from the 70s is relatively mild.

Of course if evidence of actual abuse and harm appears, we can all change our minds.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does anyone know what word we're using for sexual interest in pre-pubescents now that "paedophilia" has become synonymous with "statutory rape"?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't some Catholic bishop or other use "ephebophile"?

Vatican: Abusive Priests Not Pedophiles, but 'Ephebophiles'

You say that like it's a good thing

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 06:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a specific term for obsession with late adolescents. Synonym for "tabloid", I believe.

And he's full of shit: as far as I can tell, most abuse was institutional, like a lot of the homosexual relationships that take place in prisons and the like: many people will take what they can get when they can't get their preference.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 07:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the otherwise saintly  human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell used to suggest that the age of consent for both gays and heteros should be a maximum of 14, if not lower.

I'm sure it was common amongst the left to argue the same thing during the 70s. The priorities of the frustrated young as opposed to those of the parents they have now become.

It's almost incomprehensible now but the Paedophile Information Exchange was legal and legitimate back then (c 85).

I think  lot of people who are now social icons and commentators from the late 60s through to the early 80s have such skeletons in their cupboards, simply because such thoughts and ideas were common and accepted back. I know it was a time from challenging taboos so some were more challenging than others and some cachet could be gained for such disregard of acceptable behaviour, jeez, you couldn't be a pop star in the early 70s unless you were a drug raddled fiend with a taste for barely legal girls. It's no surprise that a lot of people from back then must be terrified of their past haunting them, especially if they are now politicians.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 10th, 2013 at 08:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DCB also said "il est interdit d'interdire". I guess you take that literally too, Steve.

It must be really tough to go through life without any capacity to understand nuance, subtlety, irony etc.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 11th, 2013 at 04:05:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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