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

11 - 17 Sep 2017

by Bjinse Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:09:26 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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

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

Display:
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:10:34 PM EST
"probably the least bad individualist option is freeganism, but freeganism sucks. and doesn't scale."

... We live in an economic system where sellers only value land and commodities relative to their capacity to generate profit. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with advertising telling them to discard and replace the goods they already have because this increases sales. This practice of affluent societies produces an amount of waste so enormous that many people can be fed and supported simply on its trash....


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 01:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RT
With two weeks left till the general election in Germany, the Washington Post is "worried" to see no evidence of a massive Russian meddling campaign. The article does not, however, consider the possibility that Russia had no intention of conducting one in the first place.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bezos is determined to promote the bollocks fest that the Russians (and their dupes the "Berniebots") are what cost Hillary the election.  I doubt any of the German candidates will be thrashing around for such a scapegoat.
by rifek on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 11:46:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
anti-BREXIT march in London 9 Sep 2017

It appears to me, protest organizers have hung the gov't basket of egg --the pending malaprop, omnibus "Repeal" act-- on one shaky peg. EP resolution RC-B8-0237/2017
peoplesmarch4eu.org

The European Union has offered the UK an olive branch, a way to stop all this, a way out of this madness. Taking no-Brexit is officially on the table, offered by the EU. This is the option our Government must take to protect our future and that of generations to come.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 02:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I'm somewhat confused as to why the conservative liberal press of the USA takes such joy in reporting Macron's PLUMMETING APPROVAL: more unpopular in France than Trump in US!!

Insanity explains all, but. Any other interpretation?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 02:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Google search link you posted returns mostly EU based sources, only the Washington Times and Examiner are US based (and no, Zerohedge doesn't count as a "source" 'round here).

French presidents approval ratings have been overall lower than their US counterpart for years; this is nothing new. This could be explained by us, French, being a grumpy bunch, as opposed to our ever cheerful friends across the Atlantic.

Macron (who actually won the popular vote) was elected for not being Le Pen; he enjoyed a brief period of post-election euphoria where he was literally walking on water. His nickname was Jupiter, residing on Mt Olympus.

But now, summer's over, kid: Macron's cabinet is pushing his neo-lib "reform" package. French people are not happy at seeing their labor protection rights being rolled back, housing subsidies  being slashed, etc...

Again, no surprise there: Macron's real patrons are the French oligarchs (or 1% to be polite), Jupiter is back to Earth, among us mere mortals and his approval ratings are back in "normal" territory. The only thing of note is that he went to this level much faster than his predecessors Hollande, Sarkozy and Chirac.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot wait until 26 September when "Jupiter" delivers his SOTEU!

Will he wear black serge?

Will the cameras pan to Mutti in the audience?

Will he wag a finger or raise a fist?

Any predictions ...


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 01:08:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically, the SOTEU address was delivered by Juncker in front of the EP last Wednesday.

What Macron is slated to unveil on September 26 are "Eurozone reform proposals", two days after the German elections, and Merkel presumably re-conducted for yet another term in office.

I'm sure he wouldn't mind some dramatic effects, like the Acropolis in the background when he was in Athens, but the CDU crowd is not going to be impressed so easily and will insist that France reduces its budget deficit first.

by Bernard on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 12:20:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be precise, it was not a popularly emerging nickname: Macron likened himself to Jupiter.

That tells you something about the man. Nothing I have seen makes me worry less about him now than I did before the election.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 08:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was he hinting at his plans to rape Europe?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 03:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A brilliantly witty retort, and indeed much was made of his being the youngest French leader since Napoléon...

At the moment he is certainly trying to rape France. I still hold some hope he might fail, though I would maybe not bet on it. I doubt he will have much impact abroad, as the incredible media propaganda he received at home should not be replicated to the same extent (although I am baffled by how many people tell me they are envious of  "leadership" - then again those people tend to be from the US, the UK, Poland or Turkey, so I suppose they start from a pretty low point).

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 10:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A large segment of the US wants a strong leader to tell them what to do. Freedom is too heavy a burden for them to bear, thus an instinctive wish for submission.

To misquote Fromm.
   

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 10:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's typical of a hierarchical primate species :-]

Even we "progressives" are followers - perhaps not of a Bible or a Leader, but of certain principles, institutions.

by das monde on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 02:09:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had sifted through through the fall out from Juncker's SOTEU bomb;

I had read the EC "positioning" paper Future of the EU which is a portfolio of EU reform proposals;

I am well aware, center-right publishers like euractiv can shave the scope of political dynamics within the union to a totem pole. Juncker, Merkel, Macron.

so when I wondered what readers here expected from Macron's SOTEU, I expected responses, at least, to reflect on its own rich history of "-speed" and "-pack" critiques in the context of institutional changes.

  1. Permanent presidency. Has the campaign begun already?
  2. Apportionment of EP seats. When will eurogreen post likely "degressive proportionality" distribution?
  3. Federal funding. Will EU27 permit eurobond issuance to "deepen integration"?


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 02:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been puzzled these past years how on earth Juncker pulled off election to EC president. And now I'm wondering where on earth is opposition to institution of a permanent president, because I had admired in principle the purpose of rotating presidential appointment among EU28 heads of state. That purpose, I imagined, was to  effect a dynamic authority in confederation.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 02:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been puzzled these past years how on earth Juncker pulled off election to EC president

Because he knows where people stash tax money they want to avoid paying?
Because he's the kind of guy you want to have a wee dram with?

In principle it is good to rotate presidency. While largely symbolic and too short a time frame to do much good (or damage), it was useful as sign of distribution of (nominal) power.

When I look at Jungker, Tusk and Disselbloem, I wonder how we came to this.
Not that Barroso was any better!

'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 Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 12:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are mixing up the presidents.

The Council had rotating presidentship, which was replaced 2009 with an appointed president. After Blair was stopped as you well know Von Rompuy and after him Tusk.

Juncker got to be president of the Commission because the parliamentarians realised (finally) that they could grab the real power to appoint president of the Commission if the party groups presented their candidates before the Parliament election so tat they could use the legitimacy of an election. EPP is the largest group in parliament but also contains most prime ministers and presidents in the Council, so they were kind of split on whether they should run a candidate in the election or fight the parliament and try to hold on to the real power in the Council. In the end they ran a candidate and Juncker had placed himself  perfectly to become that candidate.

Juncker fits the bill for Commission president anyway. Former PM, check. One of the big three party groups, check (EPP,ALDE and PES). From old member state, check.

by fjallstrom on Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 at 03:05:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sloppy.

Juncker's SOTEU proposed a NEW! permanent EU president office. This is not ostensibly an extension of Council or EC. But it won't be subject to EU-wide plenary election either... yet.

the idea of combining the Commission and Council presidencies?

The possibility that the Council would vote to eliminate that role seemed far-fetched, and several EU officials and diplomats suggested Juncker was playing to his audience in the European Parliament, where federalist sentiment is strong. [...] In his speech, Juncker said: "Europe would be easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship." It was part of a broader push for increasing the role of electoral politics in filling EU offices, including, potentially, the adoption of a new system of transnational party lists in the parliamentary elections.

I can't say which of the other heads in the totem encouraged Juncker to float the idea. But euractiv immediately began helping to survey initial, dismissive responses by career politicians to "another layer of complication".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 at 03:52:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Juncker proposes one president for all of the EU

One of his other key ideas is to merge the presidencies of the European Commission and the European Council into a single position, in order to have one clear leader of the EU.

Juncker calls for united EU under one leader

PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER'S State of the Union Address 2017

...More democracy means more efficiency. Europe would function better if we were to merge the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.

This is nothing against my good friend Donald, with whom I have worked seamlessly together for the past three years. This is nothing against Donald or against me.

Europe would be easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship.

Having a single President would better reflect the true nature of our European Union as both a Union of States and a Union of citizens.

OUR ROADMAP ...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 at 04:00:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was parachuted in from Central Casting Goldman Sachs by the media making Le Pen followers into 'deplorables' and Jupiter posing as the last exit before the neonazis took over (and smashed their shiny toy currency).

Just like Blair, Obama and Renzi, yawn.

And to think I thought the French were smarter than that!

'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 Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 11:37:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We were just smart enough to avoid the Nigel/Boris/Donald factions, but as Bjinse remarked, we are just catching up with the rest of Europe in experiencing the third way. First returns after the initial summer honeymoon period, indicate that French people don't like it one bit.
by Bernard on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 12:29:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
It is official: Brexit is boring - at least on the continent. As the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his "state of the union" address on Wednesday, setting the tone for the new political year, Brexit was relegated to a brief mention at the end. And even there, it was framed as a moment of sadness and regret, not horror. In last week's TV encounter between the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her challenger, Martin Schulz, Brexit was totally absent.

The European press is increasingly uninterested as well. Checking the online home pages of four leading European newspapers on 12 September (FAZ, Le Monde, El País, and Corriere della Sera), there were only five stories about Brexit. The shock and fear are ebbing away. Nowadays continental papers talk about Brexit only to give factual updates or express bemusement at the apparent confusion on the UK side.

Yet the Euopean Tribune goes on and on....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 08:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, EU has other business to attend to. Distribution of BREXIT booty is upon you.

Last night I was sifting through the fall out from Juncker's SOTEU bomb -- trappings of supranational gov't, or "Without changing treaties, Juncker changes the EU". (euractiv "feed") I encountered several "think tanks" with whom I am unfamiliar, Spinelli, Bruegel, for example, seeming to represent the priorities of EP parties.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:28:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the risk of saddening our British friends: it's not always about you, people. But you already knew that; the Brexiters don't. The only country among the remaining EU27 where Brexit is a major issue is Ireland, for reasons abundantly documented here.
by Bernard on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

Most of us realise the European response is "LOL OK whatever."

The Brexiters still think Europe is cowering in terror at our massed centuries of imperial omnipotence and can barely work out how to survive without the UK.

There is an interesting question here, with a non-obvious answer - how does a modern(ish) country get so far out of touch with reality?

While there's evidence of foreign involvement, there's still an unavoidable truth - a significant segment of the population has absolutely no grasp of modern politics, economics, or trade.

And it's not enough to blame recent changes to education, because the core of this segment is old enough to have lived through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, when education was still more or less working.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 01:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But tabloid propaganda works because it resonates with pre-existing mythologies about Britain, Empire and how Churhchill won World War 2 all by himself.

Didn't you know the EU was going nowhere until Britain agreed to join? Didn't you know that the Germans are quaking in their boots trying to work out how to pay for Greek and Italian profligacy without Britain keep shelling out to pay for it all?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 03:25:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was educated during the 60's in private schools in England and the quality of teaching was very poor, much inferior to the grammar schools of the period.
Not that that's particularly representative of anything!
Ridiculously parochial.
We were a better educated generation than the one before (interrupted by ww2) and the one after who had substituted cathode rays for the its dopamine, and left the ability to read deeply and actively slowly behind them, as their brains became deconcentrated by eyeball-grabbing consumerism.
Parallel with the growth in size and number of billboards blocking the view of the countryside as one motored through it. Once relatively polite requests to try new products became screechy and deliberately annoying, frying young brain cells from womb to tomb.
The Mad Men years...
It's ramped up beyond all recognition since then, leaving average concentration capacity to near zero in this existentially restive postmodern era of the impermanent Now and eternal Wow.  .

'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 Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 10:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm dominantly at odds with this opnion - but let's put it out here.

Barcelona attacks: Twelve of our own kind


This portrayal of the terrorists as savages is a part of our cultural archetype, as Edward Said and Roger Pol-Droit have demonstrated: to the Christian world, the Middle East is a space of brutality. But not just any kind of brutality: a brutality that is especially cruel, sophisticated and fanaticised, and exact antonym, a worthy rival.
Ordinary citizens

This is the tale produced by the media treatment of the attacks and the previously mentioned ritualised reaction of the public. In fact, this is an inadequate portrayal of the Ripoll group. They were not savages alien to our reality, but citizens formed by our educational institutions, assisted by our health care since their youth, and who took part in leisure activities enjoyed by ordinary citizens. Moreover, they spoke two of Spain's official languages: Spanish and Catalan, the latter reportedly with a very local accent. They did not come from a sophisticated Middle-Eastern culture. Their social media profiles reflected tastes and interests typical of any average European youth. They did not even appear to be religious fanatics. They had only recently begun to pray and their knowledge of Islam was limited.

They were not savages, nor were they ultraorthodox fanatics or the devil's reincarnation: they were 12 of our own. And they chose the path that took them furthest away from us. To understand what motivated them, a strategy of demonisation is the worst option. As Javier Lesaca has demonstrated in his valuable investigation, Daesh gathers followers by creating aspirational models through western cultural codes. Amongst other resources, they employ videos showing other young men explaining why they joined Daesh, or massacre scenes clearly inspired by popular videogames and films. By contrast to Al-Qaeda and Osama Ben-Laden's archaism, whose Afghan elegance embodied the middle-eastern topic of sophisticated evil, Daech videos do not even feature their leader, Al Baghdadi, whose priest-like appearance would not gain a lot of followers.

by Bjinse on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 09:03:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, is that controversial?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 09:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, it is. Many people, many patriotic people are unwilling or unable to accept responsibility for the "offenders." The author is asking readers abandon prejudices and practice uh "restorative justice" in their words and deeds.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks to me the author wants it to be... I couldn't say, as I'm not sure what it is he attempts to address anyway, as the whole thing is such a mess.

The thoughttrain goes off the rails already in the first paragraph - the words 'criminal' or 'murderer' have no correlation to "a condition of irrationality". Additionally, describing someone as murderer, doesn't mean attempts to comprehend the process behind radicalisation are abandoned - to the contrary. His thesis that media's usage of CCTV or photos serves a 'morbidity of catching a glimpse of an evasive radical evil' is really at the ROFLOL-level ludicrous. Not mentioning jihad-recruitor (and convicted criminal...) Abdelbaki Es Satty, whom most likely played a central role in, you know, radicalizing the Ripoll 12, that is wilfully ignorant in a piece that appears to argue against the reduction of jihadist attacks to radical evil...

Ad nauseam...

by Bjinse on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 06:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I quite disagree.

"Crude criminals" and "mere murderers" are intimately associated with irrationality, passion, insanity, adolescence, MAOA and CDH13 genes (my personal favorite), trauma, and mental cognitive disability in press reports and, more important, pleas at trial. The search for mitigating circumstances --necessarily substituting for motive-- is a ritual in ah mostly-christian nations. There are as many elaborate explanations of weaknesses in "character" as there are methods of violence. For violence is diametrically opposed to the rational mind, the ne plus ultra of beasts, is it not?

This "insult" is that the author objects to the extent forgiveness offered blameless beasts is denied to the muslim "terrorist" next-door shot dead on sight like Younes Abouyaaqoub ... while Breivik, for example, is alive, complaining about cold coffee like some husband before he kills his wife.

The other part is dissociative impulse expressed by the culture from which Abouyaaqoub and Breivik emerged.

Younes Abouyaaqoub, the author argues, was ordinary, too, although it's difficult to see through the orientalist's monocle. Sure, ordinary people are aroused to violence. At weekend they hunt the beasts to collect trophies like those salacious CCTV stills. During the work week they "box" for trophies. They flagellate themselves raw. And fail suicide. They drink drive. They beat discipline into loved ones. They rob others of their life savings. Poison their classmates. They calculate how many many can be killed with depleted uranium or guided missiles. Are they "radicalized"? They were not radicalized by those religious fanatics on YouTube.

This difference is what you seem to me to be reaching for beyond the author's simple exhortation.

We must consolidate aspirational models allowing Muslim people living in Europe to be proud to be simultaneously Muslim and European, Spanish and Catalan. We must create a dialogue based on knowledge and mutual respect, not on the underlying cultural prejudice surrounding Middle-Eastern culture.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 04:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent
Conservative leadership favourite Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the growing use of food banks in the UK is "rather uplifting".

The Tory MP insisted that rather than demonstrating the scale of poverty in the country, the development showed what a "good compassionate country we are."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 12:11:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's an empathy-free, reactionary  xenophobic asshole with only a tenuous connection to reality, so almost certainly the next British PM.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 12:21:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
only the next PM if May resigns, which I wouldn't bet on personally.

Cos the next elected PM is gonna be Corbyn. whatever New Statesman, the Mail and Mordor think

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at 2017, I wouldn't bet on outcomes.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at 2017, I wouldn't bet on elections.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 10:58:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

PM's father intervened to get a child molester pardoned. Failed at coverup.

by generic on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:49:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Advice how to get your bomb right next time
Maj-Gen Chapman said shrapnel would have increased the toll, but that part of the device appeared to have failed, adding: "One of the things in the chain didn't work and that is a great thing, or it would have been a horrendous scene of carnage and destruction."
Was it really necessary to say this?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 04:28:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, I'd have thought it was fairly obvious. If you want your bomb to hurt pople, make sure it explodes properly, put some shrapnel in it.

I didn't see anything on how to make it explode properly

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 08:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:10:37 PM EST
We are cogs in a machine of violence, death, exploitation, and destruction. Is the retail clerk who rings up a cut of veal any less responsible for the cruelty of factory farming than the farm worker? What about the ad designer who finds ways to make the product palatable? How about the accountant who does the grocery books and allows it to stay in business? Or the worker in the factory that manufacturers refrigerator cases? And, of course, the high level managers of the corporations bear the greatest responsibility of all for they make the decisions which causes the destruction and waste. You don't have to own stock in a corporation or own a factory or chemical plant to be held to blame.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:10:39 PM EST
Clinton's book
Clinton was hammered by both Sanders and Trump over her paid speeches to Wall Street. She admits these were a "mistake", explaining: "Just because many former government officials have been paid large fees to give speeches, I shouldn't have assumed it was okay for me to do it.
Sure it's OK. Obama did it too. That's why she's remained a "former" government official, like Obama.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 07:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
{s i g h}

Yea, but Obama was running against John McCain and Mitt Romney ferchrissakes. Those guys were the Establishment candidates against Obama, who was just trying to run it better.

Trump was playing the anti-Establisment candidate cos the elite have never done any good for the working men. Yes, of course it was ridiculous, but as an outsider non-politician salesman-on-TV hecould make it stick.

So, Hillary went out of her way to be the Establisment candidate in campaign where the Establishment were seen to be failing the American people.

She could speak to and for Wall St anytime she likes and nobody will fault her for it, but not then, not when being the Establishment candidate is the last thing you want to be.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:07:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't talking about his campaign. He waited until he was no longer president before cashing in for his services to Wall Street. Clinton didn't. Giving secret talks to Wall Street for huge amounts of money is something that should obviously have been a bad idea.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:12:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inside Obama's bank CEOs meeting 9 April 2009

"My administration," the president added, "is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Very little here that wasn't to be expected from anyone who knows Hillary the person - and yet insightful to see the arrogance on display.

by Bjinse on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yea, it's quite damning, isn't it?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 09:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And she WILL be back. The Clintons, the Bushes, The Trumps ... what more evidence do you need of a failed species.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 10:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hillary is always the smartest person in the room, just ask her.  Or her fawning minions.
by rifek on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 11:59:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Thomas Frank - Hillary Clinton's book has a clear message: Don't blame me

How do you lose the presidency to a man like Donald Trump? He was the most unpopular presidential candidate of all time, compounding blunder with blunder and heaping gaffe upon gaffe. Keeping him from the Oval Office should have been the single-minded mission of the Democratic party. And it should have been easy for them.

Instead they lost, and now their 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton comes before us to account for this monumental failure, to tell us What Happened. Unfortunately, her new book is less an effort to explain than it is to explain away.

No real blame ever settles anywhere near Clinton's person. And while she wrestles gamely with the larger historical question of why the party of the people has withered as inequality grows, she never offers a satisfying answer. Instead, most of the blame is directed outward, at familiar suspects like James Comey, the Russians and the media.

Still, by exercising a little discernment, readers can find clues to the mystery of 2016 here and there among the clouds of blame-evasion and positive thinking.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jacobin
Clinton is also annoyed now that Sanders supposedly created Trump's attacks against her. But this is not only an accusation one can level against any primary opponent, but it's also one that particularly applies to her '08 campaign. Clinton spent that campaign attacking Obama as inexperienced and incapable of protecting Americans' security, a line John McCain and other Republicans would later take. In March, she actually suggested to reporters that McCain -- by then the GOP nominee -- was better qualified to be president than Obama, explaining that he would bring "his lifetime of experience" to the post while Obama would "put forth a speech he made in 2002."

Say what you will about Sanders's criticisms of Clinton, but even at the campaign's most acrimonious, I don't recall him ever suggesting Trump would be a better president than her.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 02:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see, Mr Frank has quickly tacked into the curious wind of change.
YOU'RE FIRED: retracted story on Russian ties June 2017

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 02:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is another Thomas Frank.
by fjallstrom on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 04:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So it is! Only one Thomas Frank is a Pulitzer prize laureate. Only one Thomas Frank wrote What's the Matter with Kansas.

For other people named Thomas Frank, see Thomas Frank (disambiguation)


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 05:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hero leaders take any responsibility they can. Hillary ain't that.
by das monde on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just came across this, from May - this take from Nate Silver seems appropriate to tip. Silver also does what media largely appear to have shunned to do: take responsibility for their own role (but in my experience, people working in media just aren't wired that way...)

The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election

So you could postulate that the Comey letter had only about a 1-point impact. Perhaps Clinton's lead would have been whittled down to around 4.5 points anyway by Election Day because of mean-reversion. And she led in the final polls by about 3.5 points. Yes, she also underperformed her final polls on Election Day, but that could reflect pollster error or undecideds breaking against her for other reasons, this case would say -- there was no particular reason to attribute it to Comey.

Nonetheless, Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 percentage point, and those states were enough to cost her the election. She lost Florida by just slightly more than 1 point. If the Comey letter had a net impact of only a point or so, we'd have been in recount territory in several of these states -- but Clinton would probably have come out ahead. I call this the "Little Comey" case -- sure, the Comey letter mattered, but only because the election was so close.

(...)

The Comey letter wasn't necessarily the most important factor in Clinton's defeat, although it's probably the one we can be most certain about. To explain the distinction, consider Clinton's decision to run a highly negative campaign that focused on branding Trump as an unacceptable choice. One can imagine this being a huge, election-losing mistake: Trump's negatives didn't need any reinforcing, whereas Clinton should have used her resources to improve her own image. But one could also argue that Clinton's strategy worked, up to a point: Trump was exceptionally unpopular and needed a lot of things to break his way to win the election despite that. The range of possible impacts from this strategic choice is wide; perhaps it cost Clinton several percentage points, or perhaps it helped her instead. The range from the Comey letter is narrower, by contrast, and easier to measure. It was a discrete event that came late in the campaign and had a direct effect on the polls.

(...)

If I were advising a future candidate on what to learn from 2016, I'd tell him or her to mostly forget about the Comey letter and focus on the factors that were within the control of Clinton and Trump. That's not my purpose here. Instead, it's to get at the truth -- to figure out the real story of the election. The real story is that the Comey letter had a fairly large and measurable impact, probably enough to cost Clinton the election. It wasn't the only thing that mattered, and it might not have been the most important. But the media is still largely in denial about how much of an effect it had.


by Bjinse on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 08:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've posted in OT-

I still think that all this talk of the odd percent here and there misses the point. The worst candidate in US history beat Clinton. Now, to my mind, Clinton would have been a great candidate in another time, indeed she would have beaten McCain and Romney if it hadn't been for Obama.

But, America is looking for different answers than the ones she provides, the old verities about Wall St and Big Business and Free Trade no longer ring true for many who desperately need a Democratic legislative programme.

Yes, it's absolutely true that, whatever the political question, Trump is not the answer. But the success of his insurgency demonstrates that the odd percent wasnt gonna cut it. Cos even if Hillary won the WH, the GOP won both houses, so she'd have been legislatively dead in the water but she'd have been blamed for the deadlock and the GOP would have won again in 2020. Hillary did NOT enthuse people about her Presidency. The Democratic Party did NOT enthuse anybody about them winning the House and the Senate, they were all about minimal, marignal pointless improvements; almost like they don't really want the responsibility of making real changes.

At least, the Dems can look to 2020 with hope that they can utterly reverse the situation

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 11:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "worst candidate" obtained sufficient electoral votes in the the so-called "college" to win the office. The point evaded is, an archaic and anti-democratic, but constitutional, law establishes US gov't and thwarts majoritarian preferences.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 02:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sam Wang had the same analysis in December 2016 from looking at the polls.

The Comey effect

After the Affordable Care Act premium hike announcement, opinion did not move for days, arguing against this as a main driver of the late swing in opinion. It could still be a factor, as is the case for many events. But such an effect would have to be gradual.

However, the big change does coincide well with the release of the Comey letter. Opinion swung toward Trump by 4 percentage points, and about half of this was a lasting change. This was larger than the victory margin in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin. Many factors went into this year's Presidental race, but on the home stretch, Comey's letter appears to have been a critical factor in the home stretch.

Then again, it should really be completed with studies on what percentage was reached by what news. After all, the whole arguments around Cambridge Analytica and/or russian trolls, is based on filter bubbles. If the MSM still reaches the whole population and everybody knew about ACA rate hikes and the Comey letter, then is there really any filter bubbles?

Also, the Democratic party study this spring that concluded that many Obama-to-Trump voters in the Midwest were motivated by economic concerns. So when did they make up there minds?

by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 12:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton lost because of this 1987 book:

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

by das monde on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 04:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The modern liberal philosophy, he says, enshrined in the Enlightenment thought of John Locke--that a just society could be based upon self-interest alone, coupled by the emergence of relativism in American thought--had led to this crisis.

The rational self-interested actor is the true messiah.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 04:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Harold Bloom, The American Religion
Harold Bloom, The Book of J
11 Now the man knew Hava, his wife, in the flesh; she conceived Cain: "I have created a man as Yahweh has," she said when he was born.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 05:04:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's other Bloom, right? Connection?
by das monde on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 05:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloom:Bloom,
original liberalism:USA liberalism,
original religion:USA religion,
original sin:hava

This is why Clinton lost.

ha.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 01:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush -- by Ron Suskind
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality."

I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

One Bloom studied an American religious reality. The other Bloom defined the American liberalism.

Hillary is still studying "what happened" in 2016. She was then supposed to define what was happening.

"There are people who make things happen,
there are people who watch things happen,
and there are people who wonder what happened."

by das monde on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 06:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the noble lady called J was too discrete to broach the question that came to my mind at age 8 when reading Genesis: "But where did Cain and Able's wives come from? Were they Adam and Eve's daughters?" For literalist fundamentalists one might think this to be an important question. But, then, I highly doubt Bloom counts himself among that group. And I doubt that J was either. It is another affliction of modernity.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 03:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well-known billionaire cashes 13-cent check
Back in 1990, Spy magazine conducted an experiment in "comparative chintziness." Its goal was to find out "Who is America's cheapest zillionaire?" Or, put another way, "how cheap are the rich?"

To determine this they sent various rich people each a check for 13 cents, and then waited to see who would actually cash such a tiny check. Two people did: Donald Trump and the Saudi Arabian businessman Adnan Khashoggi.

by das monde on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But did he declare it on his income tax return?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has nothing to do with Trumpy's chintziness.  He probably has a brainless accounting gofer doing his deposits, with clear instructions to deposit EVERYTHING or get fired. Some idiot just preserving his job.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either way, Trump is exceptional.
by das monde on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 03:02:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes he (it?) is.  Keith Olbermann keeps harping on "Trump is crazy!"  Trumpy acts like an elected Emperor and is attempting to get there.  Plus, his main worry is going to jail, dying there.  How would you be acting if you had Trump's history and had Meuller at el on your trail?  The only thing that will save Trumpy will be Meuller's findings being covered up, "CLASSIFIED", so that the public doesn't see all of the TREASON and collusion by that TERRORIST GROUP, the REPUBLICANS!

Truly interesting times.  I won't miss them.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 11:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 05:36:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty funny. Another byline I created for calculatedrisk correspondents was actually a refrain.

THERE IS ONE ECONOMY.
THE ECONOMY IS THE TRUE MESSIAH.

Like punctuation, a comma certainly.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 03:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 06:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Enemy of the People is all atwitter today, because Mr Trump has indicated he will not oppose (and may even support) Democratic Party sponsored legislation to enact DACA in United States Code (USC). Many supercilious photo opportunities and political "analyses" have since cascaded the people's media of choice.

Well, I am livid. COME TO FIND OUT, Lindsey Graham Cracker introduced the bill S.1615 -- 115th Congress (2017-2018) 20 July 2017. It boasts nine (9) co-sponsors, of which Durbin, Schumer, Feinstein, Cortez, Harris, and Bennet --six Democrats who may well claim weeks from now to have only been born 14 September 2017.

Tell me. What pleasure do these people experience from torturing one million "dreamers"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 05:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump confirms a single sentence

To authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain individuals who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 05:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:10:41 PM EST
RT
A Connecticut town councilor was forced to resign after his profile on a website for people who like to dress up in animal costumes was posted online.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 09:38:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They did a CSI episode on this topic.  What's the big deal?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CSI???  A check on acronymfinder yields Crime Scene Investigation, Construction Specifications Institute, California Solar Initiative, Computer Society of India, Church of Scientology International, Can't Spell It, Can't Stand Idiots and may more. Which did you mean?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:30:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Com'on ... Marg Helgenberger's old gig.  Love that lady ... especially when she was young.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The TV prog - Crime Scene Investigation

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:42:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was defending Begin a while back. Here, in today's 972 is a similar comment, from a human rights activist
The Labor Party actually maintained the occupation for 10 whole years and didn't do anything about it.

"Don't say Mapai didn't do anything. They were the ones who established the settlements. Begin was the only righteous leader we have had. I mean it. Under his rule torture was completely forbidden. When the head of the Shin Bet came to him and asked `Sir, not even a slap?' He said: `No. Not even a slap.'

"Begin forbade demolishing houses, he forbade expulsion. He was the only righteous man in Sodom. There was not a single righteous man either before him or after him."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:35:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your link to Uri Avnery's memoir of early Begin? I found it sympathetic, yes. Pls post it again.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 01:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't remember what it was, but it's probably one of his recent weekly articles at Gush-Shalom.

He's written extensively, both on Begin and on Jabotinsky in his books. Almost all of them are downloadable from his website, but his most extensive writing on this is in his autobiography, which doesn't seem to have  been translated (and the second, recent, volume isn't available for download anyway).

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 03:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AHA!
I read Kaya, the royal Dog . Your link that week was to the Gush-Shalom edition.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 04:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Confession

(because I love conversations with old people. Except my mother. When she is annoying.)

The best description of the conflict was given by the historian Isaac Deutscher: a man lives in an upper floor of a house that catches fire. In desperation the man jumps out of the window and lands on a passer-by down below, who is grievously injured and becomes an invalid. Between the two, there erupts a deadly conflict. Who is right?

Not an exact parallel, but close enough to inspire thought.

Religion has nothing to do with [Zionism]. Judaism and Islam are close relatives, much closer to each other than either of them is to Christianity. The catchphrase "Judeo-Christian" is bogus, an invention of ignoramuses. If our conflict turns into a religious one, that would be a tragic aberration.

< wipes tears >


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 05:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Russia-China Plan for North Korea: Stability, Connectivity
North Korea, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, plus the US

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VOA/NPR commuter programming schedule

12 hrs ago
Harvard [KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOV'T] Withdraws Fellowship Invitation To Chelsea Manning

47 min ago
Harvard [KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOV'T] Withdraws Chelsea Manning's Fellowship After CIA Director Backlash (AUDIO DELAYED)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Whorehouse-on-the-Charles

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely the most interesting question is my initial reaction to the Manning appointment: Why on earth did they make it?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 09:35:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Fellow(ship)" is customary, perfunctory, and temporary title of address.

The later VOA/NPR(audio) when posted explains. The admin stripped Manning of the honorific and she will still appear for the event. The file ends with Manning's quip about her reprieve.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 10:20:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most vaccuous syllabus published this week. Good thing the prof doesn't link to SCOTUS opinions or even wikipedia.
Free Speech for the Right? A Primer [SIC] on Key Legal Questions and Principles
When can free speech be limited, if ever? What are the implications of attempting to limit controversial speech? And what precedents has the Supreme Court set regarding free speech? I address these questions below via an exploration of historical Supreme Court cases, which show that there's no legal pretext [SIC] for a blanket ban on far-right protests.
[...]
"The left" appears to be engaged in a debate over free speech that is taking place within a vacuum ...

yes, a vacuum in which BDS v. US will not not prevail.

"(j) Violations of section 8(a).--Whoever knowingly violates or conspires to or attempts to violate any provision of section 8(a) or any regulation, order, or license issued thereunder shall be fined in accordance with section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705)."

btw
(d)(7) the term `international governmental organization' includes the United Nations and the European Union;".


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 10:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexican teacher barred from traveling to US to collect Internet Society award - Guardian

And the reason is quite unexpected:

Mariano Gómez, 23, was to have been honoured by the Internet Society (Isoc) at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 18 September for his working installing a wireless internet network in the remote community of San Martín Abasolo, which has no telephone or radio service.

But when Gómez travelled 16 hours from his home in Chiapas state for a visa appointment at the US embassy in Mexico City, he was told that he could not apply.

Gómez, a member of the Tseltal indigenous community, said was told his application was rejected because he was unable to provide a street address and because he does not have a bank account. Rural Mexican villages often have no street names, while 70% of the population of Chiapas live in poverty.

by Bernard on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 08:49:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:11:28 PM EST
UNDERCOVER IN TEMP NATION

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh I think that's more or less the same in every country all over the world.

the poor exist to be exploited while inspection regimes to enforce regulations are just too damn expensive to be worth the candle.

that report could have come from anywhere in the UK and the entire first series of Roseanne was all about shit like that back in 1989.

It's shit, but it's profitable and the corporations who benefit "donate" a lot of money to politicians to ensure it remains exactly like tht

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:45:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it is really hard to ensure that effective inspection is performed when the target of said inspection is a big donor to your reelection campaign. And none of the big boys will give you campaign contributions until you have already been reelected unless you look like a sure thing.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fatberg blocks London sewage system


A fatberg weighing the same as 11 double decker buses and stretching the length of two football pitches is blocking a section of London's ageing sewage network.

The congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies is one of the biggest ever found and would have risked raw sewage flooding on to the streets in Whitechapel, east London, had it not been discovered during a routine inspection earlier this month.

Now workmen armed with shovels and high-powered jets are working seven days a week to break it up. The grim task is expected to take three weeks.

Thames Water's head of waste networks, Matt Rimmer, said: "This fatberg is up there with the biggest we've ever seen. It's a total monster and taking a lot of manpower and machinery to remove as it's set hard.

"It's basically like trying to break up concrete. It's frustrating as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo."

by Bjinse on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 07:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I thought we had problems...

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember the scene in the next-to-last Harry Potter where everyone has to enter the Ministry of Magic by flushing themselves down the toilet?  This is what the UK gets for letting American tourists act that scene out IRL.
by rifek on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:04:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index
... The continuous block mining cycle incentivizes people all over the world to mine Bitcoin. As mining can provide a solid stream of revenue, people are very willing to run power-hungry machines to get a piece of it. Over the years this has caused the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin network to grow to epic proportions, as the price of the currency reached new highs. The entire Bitcoin network now consumes more energy than a number of countries, based on a report published by the International Energy Agency. If Bitcoin was a country, it would rank as shown below ...

archived: Always read the footnotes

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 at 04:59:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:11:31 PM EST
$1,552 tax-free cash per month @ CAD 11.50/hr
Statistics Canada stopped collecting data on temp agency workers a decade ago, making it difficult to paint a picture of the workforce here. To fill that gap, the Star filed multiple Freedom of Information requests with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and obtained custom data from the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC).
While temp agencies are traditionally associated with casual office work, statistics from the WSIB show the majority of temps are now being placed in other sectors -- including non-clerical, construction, restaurant and driving jobs.

archived: Canada demands U.S. end `right to work' laws as part of NAFTA talks

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 02:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is nearly equivalent to after-tax ("net") pay for an AMZ fulfillment associate in MD @ $14.75/hr, 40 hr week, and two years seniority.

At AMZN working the line can be hazardous, and safety promotion is a significant part of labor relations communication from management. Managers impute time off task (eg. bathroom breaks) from length of inactivity between package scans. An indeterminate, cumulative level of TOT in any one day or week is cause for disciplinary action. Periodic variable compensation distributions and mandatory overtime hours and rates inflate annual average pay calculation. Unpaid voluntary or involuntary and per min. docking (eg. tardy 30 min. lunch punches) leave deflate annual average pay calculation.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why Blacks and Hispanics Benefit From Low Unemployment
Figure 1 below shows the increase in employment rates (the percentage of people over age 16 who are employed) for whites, blacks, and Hispanics over the last two years.[1]

Here inflation is not the cause, but neither is a "surge" in educational attainment -- the go-to explanation.

References (abridged)
Why Do Unemployment Rates Vary by Race and Ethnicity?

For starters, on average, the unemployment rate for blacks is:
34 percent greater than that of Hispanics
93 percent higher than that of whites
104 percent greater than that of Asians

Black and Hispanic unemployment rates have never been below those for whites
What's more, the rate for black Americans has never been less than 66 percent higher than that for whites -- and since January 1974, it has been at least twice the rate for whites 80 percent of the time.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who knows really? In the UK the Bank of england is warning about inflationary wage deals because the declared unemployment rate has fallen so low and vacancies so high that they think things are gonna result in a round of wage rises.....

except that there are no vacancies at the shitty end of the stick where millions of people are incarcerated on minimum wage temporary jobs of variable and often insufficient hours with few benefits and minimal paid holiday. And that's where the majority of the working population seem to be trapped these days. In jobs that don't pay enough to even keep a roof over your head, let alone pay for food. Dependent on benefits while the DWP hassle you to get a job with more pay to reduce the amount the state subsidises the employer, while knowing full well no such jobs exist.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The very first table talks about employment rates, which may be harder to fudge. But then it confuses the issue by talking mostly about unemployment.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to continue after accidental post.....

the official statistics say we have full employment, reality is so much differnt because the stats have been skewed and twisted to present a rosy picture for so long that it is probably impossible to determine the actual state of the national employment situation going by the figures supplied to the government.

I don't doubt that similar lies are told in the USA

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The unemployment number to watch here in the US is U6.  Since the Infotainment Mediums don't report it it's fairly accurate.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 03:52:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it accurate? U6 purports to describe the size of a population reporting any of these characteristics: unemployed or employed part-time for one or more "reasons" defined by BLS.

For some time I've searched BLS and DoL for signs that anyone is counting the number of survey respondents who are employed in two or more jobs. Failure to control or recognize double counting engrossed by an employed, or FTE, estimate (ergo participation rate) would be a hazard to virtuous industrial "policy".

Do you have a link to that information?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 01:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are alternatively derived numbers available from the US Census Bureau. You might check there.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 02:01:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have.

Which agency collects data, how they collect data, and which data sets inform BLS weekly and monthly statistical descriptions is the sort of information with which one tries to be familiar, when one attempts to communicate with calculatedrisk correspondents who rely on shadowstat.com for counterfactual headline figures. ACS series characteristics sometimes appear in Employment Situation reports. Otherwise,

X-12 ARIMA software, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, is used to seasonally adjust CES data on a concurrent basis, meaning the software incorporates estimates up through and including the current month's data to achieve the best possible series. Using special features of X-12 ARIMA, adjustments are made to remove the effect of the variable number of weeks between surveys from month to month (about 1 month in 3 has a 5-week instead of a 4-week interval) and to remove the effect of the variable number of work days in the reference month, to adjust for moving holidays, and to adjust for the variations in the number of election poll workers in November from year to year.

CES and CPS Technical Documentation

My question is who is counting how many jobs any one respondent claims.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 06:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess is no one, but some info might be teased out of some of the data. But not by me.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 03:25:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How Accurate is the Federal Unemployment Rate?

These unemployment rates are derived from a monthly survey of 60,000 households known as the Current Population Survey (CPS).  The CPS sample is selected to be representative of the entire population of the U. S.  All of the counties and county-equivalent cities in the country are grouped into 2,025 geographic areas (sampling units), and the Census Bureau then designs and selects a sample consisting of 824 of these geographic areas to represent each state and the District of Columbia.

Report is complied by surveying households and so accurate enough for all practical purposes.  

The BLS reports the number of people holding two or more jobs here

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

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 03:02:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
always read the footnotes

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 05:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Monthly Labor Review,Job Holding during the 2000s 2010
since regular monthly estimates of multiple jobholding became available in 1994, the multiple jobholding  rate has shown no clear cyclical pattern. [p 1]
[...]
How is multiple jobholding measured?
Since January 1994, employed respondents have been asked the following question in the monthly CPS: "Last week, did you have more than one job (or business), including part-time, evening, or weekend work?" If they answer "yes," they are also  asked how many jobs (or businesses) they had altogether  and how many hours they worked each week at all their jobs.[p3]
[...]
fn 2.The regular collection of data on multiple jobholding has proven to be useful in reconciling the differences in employment levels and trends between data from the CPS and those from the Current Employment Statistics ( CES ) survey. For more information on reconciling data from the CPS and the CES survey, see Employment from the BLS household and payroll surveys: summary of recent trends (Bureau of Labor Statistics), on the Internet at www.bls.gov/web/ces_cps_trends.pdf (visited July 1, 2010). [p 21]
 Comparing employment from the BLS household [CPS] and payroll [CES] surveys
sampling error, major outputs, reference periods, employment concepts &tc.
[CPS] Estimate of employed people (multiple jobholders are counted only once).
[CES] Estimate of jobs (multiple jobholders are counted for each nonfarm payroll job).


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Sep 15th, 2017 at 06:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poisonous science: the dark side of the lab


His work involved investigating various infectious diseases, and he even hoped one day to discover a cure for the leukaemia that had killed his mother. Unfortunately, Patrick quickly realised that the work he loved was imperilled by a vicious culture of competition, back-stabbing and more sabotage. He wrote a letter to a leading international newspaper expressing his concern over the competition that drove some scientists to hoard valuable research materials, for which he was attacked. But much of the bad behaviour came from a place he least expected it: his own mentor.

While I am not a scientist, I understand the incidents he told me about with enough clarity to realise that these things should never have happened in a professional environment. According to Patrick, his boss regularly reduced graduate students and postdocs to tears in front of the entire department. Lab members were required to account every week for what they had found and those with no new results to show were often threatened with dismissal - threats that were sometimes carried through. In Patrick's case, his supervisor also refused to fund further investigation of one of his successful results because the process would take "too long".

This continual stream of pressure and intimidation took its toll. One of Patrick's fellow postdocs nearly suffered a miscarriage and was hospitalised, while another signed himself into a psychiatric ward. These should have been red flags to any responsible manager, but when Patrick sought assistance from the departmental chair and then the dean, he was rebuffed, and no one investigated what was going on in his supervisor's lab.

A man who had survived the loss of his mother, overcome a childhood of neglect and loneliness, and used his brilliant mind to propel himself to the heights of academic achievement was now so plagued by the stress of never knowing from one day to the next whether he would have a job that he sought counselling. However, the antidepressant he was prescribed caused him so much distress that he ended up in a psychiatric ward himself.

During his 10-day observation, the university counsellor from whom Patrick had sought help repeatedly called him to ask if he would participate in an experiment she was conducting for her own research. She persisted despite Patrick repeatedly telling her that he needed to focus on his own health and well-being.

While in the hospital, he was put on five different psychoactive medications. These exacerbated his previously undiagnosed ADHD and led to impulsivity and a lapse of judgement that would ruin his career. Desperate to get the recommendation letter from his supervisor that he would need to move to another lab, Patrick decided to take his good data and manufacture the replications that he needed.

by Bjinse on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 08:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression of some collaborations is that of competitive waste of time.
by das monde on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 03:04:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's bit of US high school slang my daughter introduced to me. "Take the loss." I suspect, she exhumed it from some Type-A chat board. But it's an ethical choice, a judgment, and a lesson she discovered by trial and error after a couple of years adjustment to competing academic demands and social hurdles presented by her program, international baccalaureate (IB).

She wanted the diploma, and she got it. But in the beginning, she assumed that achievement required a pursuit for top marks by any means necessary. She didn't work "smart" at first. She studied all the time. She attempted to follow every rule to the letter. She did not prioritize assignments or details therein. (I named this the "misplaced precision" complex.) Group assignments especially nearly drove her mad, because "free riders" actually, not competition. See, she'd acquired an unstated reputation: she'd do the work no one else would to get the grade from which all benefited (Nash theorem, ha ha).

"Get used to it," sez I, over and over again. "Life process, a life project I can't teach you. You have to experience it so you learn how and when and to what enterprise you will commit your self. Fall on your sword and all that or walk away."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Graduate student sentenced to three-year probation after poisoning case
The second-year graduate student confessed to dosing her own water with the toxic chemical as well, court documents state. In December 2014, Ouyang pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:11:34 PM EST

Today -100: September 12, 1917: Of coup attempts, and envelopes of true information


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:19:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 at 08:11:39 PM EST
I finally received my Maryland Medical Care Program Card. I suspect there was some confusion at HQ on how best to split the hair separating HH members and HH member contributions to total household income. This public insurance plan replaces the employer-owned private insurance plan that I'd paid for my family. When my employment was terminated, I declined to pay $985/mo (as was my right under COBRA) to continue coverage with that carrier. I had been paying $174.

My daughter received her Maryland Medical Care Program Card one month ago. At that time we agreed, it would be prudent for her to purchase medical coverage for herself from her college -- in another state. US states' "medical care program" insurance typically ends at the border where issued.

< pick teeth, suck vigorously >
My understanding is, that is not the agreement between states of the EU. To what extent is my understanding of this citizens' right true?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
within the EU, each member country will pick up the tab for treatment of its citizens in another country.

However, what happens with associate members such as Norway I don't know. When the UK leaves the EU, one of the agenda items is going to be this reciprocal health care reimbursement. With over a million UK citizens living in Spain alone, that's going to be an interesting line item.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 03:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the EU, your country should cover you when travelling. If you live in a country, such as Spain, you should get coverage from where you live, and you should have the same rights to get this as any Spaniard. In any sane Brexit plan (ha!) this should be preserved. The problem seems to be that many Brits pretend not to be living in Spain, but only to be there as tourists. The right to remain as long-term "tourists" will probably be regarded after Brexit as having your cake and eating it.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
table of agree terms a/o 31 Aug, 2nd Round end is here, "Joint technical note on EU-UK positions on citizens' rights after third round of negotiations" (pdf)

GOOD LORD! Talk about a Thursday "news dump". See what EU release in one day, 7 Sep.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 12th, 2017 at 04:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checking information for Norway it appears that the whole of EEC plus Switzerland are members of that collaboration.
by fjallstrom on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 05:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And it leads to some interesting cost saving possibilties

Guardian June 2007 - 'Norway looks after its elderly - in Spain'

A friend wrote to his MP suggesting that the UK did the same. No reply received.

by oldremainmer48 on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 02:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway is exporting its elderly and infirm to the Costa Blanca in the hope that the Mediterranean climate will help them live longer

Does that answer your question?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Sep 16th, 2017 at 02:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the UK was already doing this with almost a million UK pensioners resident in Spain???


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 03:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
alrighty then.

Which US presidential candidate ironically endorsed interstate (national charter) health insurance coverage and sales?

Here is a litany of the "wrong" reasons to adopt such "market reform".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 13th, 2017 at 12:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At long last 4 years in evil conditions is far to long for an innocent man to spend in prison.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 03:10:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully he'll clean up by suing the living daylights out of every asshole journalist who called him a terrorist.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 18th, 2017 at 04:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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