Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch – 30 November

by Fran Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:32:28 AM EST

1936 - Crystal Palace, London, destroyed by fire.

More here and pictures


Welcome to the new European Salon!

This will replace the former Breakfast Thread. Over time it looked like people show up in cycles, some for Breakfast, though less and less, many for Lunch and some stayed in to the Evening. Thus, a Salon that is open for discussions, exchange, and gossip and just plain socializing all day long, seems to be more appropriate.

The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. 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 - is the place for anything to do with Europe.

WORLD - here you can add the links to topics concerning the rest of the World.

THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER - is the place for everything from environment to health to curiosa.

KLATSCH - if you like gossip, this is the place. But you can also use this place as an Open Thread until the one in the Evening opens.

SPECIAL FOCUS - will be up only for special events and topics, like elections or other stuff.

I hope you will find this place inspiring – of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries. :-)

There is just one favor I would like to ask you – please do NOT click on “Post a Comment”, as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

Actually, there is another favor I would like to ask you – please, enjoy yourself and have fun at this place!

This link goes directly to the Klatsch section

Display:
EUROPE
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:33:39 AM EST
Le Figaro: Chirac's planned birthday dinner with Putin upsets NATO summit

Jacques Chirac is faithful in friendship, but he had planned to celebrate his 74th birthday the evening of November 29th, in Riga, where the NATO summit ...

Jacques Chirac is faithful in friendship, but he had planned to celebrate his 74th birthday the evening of November 29th, in Riga, where the NATO summit is being held, with a rather awkward friend, Vladimir Putin. But yesterday evening the Kremlin finally announced that the Russian president would "unfortunately" not be at the celebration. The deputy spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitriy Peskov, explained in Moscow that discussions had indeed taken place regarding such a trip. "But unfortunately, given the impossibility of coordinating the schedules of the heads of state, ultimately this trip will not take place," he said in very diplomatic terms. It must be noted that the possibility of this three-person dinner (since Latvia's President Vaira Kike-Freiberga was to be among the guests) provoked the anger of American President George Bush on Sunday  November 26th. Embarrassed by the scale assumed by this affair, the Latvian president then hesitated about issuing a visa to Vladimir Putin, thereby managing to offend the sensitivity of the Russians.

In fact, initially Vaira Kike-Freiberga had planned to make a gesture at one time or another "to wish a happy birthday" to the French president "with the heads of state and government present." The summit was to conclude with a lunch offered to her guests by the Latvian president. But the announcement of the Chirac-Putin dinner had upset this nice schedule.

According to Alliance officials, initially the French president wanted to celebrate his birthday in an Armenian restaurant in Riga, with his closest European partners and his Russian counterpart, but without Tony Blair or George W. Bush. Upon learning this, the American President reportedly intervened to block this plan. The Elysee [the president's office] presented a very different version yesterday: "President Putin expressed the wish to come meet the president of the Republic to offer his best wishes, as he has done with other heads of state and government," and "the idea was suggested by Russia of a three-person dinner, hosted by the president of Latvia."


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:43:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just so no one gets the wrong idea about what NATO is all about.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:25:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This whole thing is hilarious. Chirac might as well have thrown a stink bomb during the NATO meeting.

Gawd diplomacy can be petty.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet another Chirac's poorly thought out antic. Hoewever I appreciated Kike Freiberga's determination to keep Putin at bay refusing him visa. Even the smallest ones can change the course of future. Bravo.
by FarEasterner on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:41:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
George isn't ready for a new Yalta
by oldfrog on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:36:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Lord Ramsbotham exclusive: Justice system is absurd. Broken. Chaotic

The former prison chief lambasts a justice system in meltdown after Tony Blair's decade of failure on crime and punishment

 Yesterday's announcement that the prison population now exceeds 80,000 is the latest low point in what one can only describe as the Government's headlong and self-induced race to absurdity as far as the conduct of imprisonment is concerned.

The reasons for this dreadful figure are not hard to find. If you produce legislation that results in longer prison sentences, more people will be in prison. If you do not resource prisons, to enable them to conduct work, education and training, prisoners are more likely to reoffend, as proved by the fact that the reoffending rate among adult males has gone up from 55 per cent to 67 per cent in the past five years. If you continue to have a dysfunctionally organised prison service, you will continue to have dysfunctional organisation of an overstretched system. And so on.

Many people have been warning the Government about this for years but, instead of listening to those with practical experience, it has preferred to take advice from people who know nothing about running large organisations, let alone an operational service. When, as now, the whole is run by a home secretary who, within weeks of taking office, publicly described the Home Office and the overburdened immigration service as not being fit for purpose, and recently disparaged the probation service to prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs, you do not exactly have a recipe for getting out of what is an increasingly dire situation. Leaders undermine the morale of their own troops at their peril. If, at the same time, you continue to bombard them with a continuous torrent of flawed legislation, much of which replaces previous legislation before the ink on it is dry, you create a mess that can only be cleared up by long-term planning, based on discussion with those who understand not only what needs to be done but how it might be done. That requires ditching current plans that are marching the whole system into even greater chaos.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have the exact same problem in France. After years of tough talk, tougher laws, and dismantlement of all the soft mechanisms that allowed to deal with crime (prevention, parole, etc...), of course the situation is worse.

Brute force sovles very few problems. But it's the only thing that is talked about.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:02:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read somewhere that the Blair government, in less than 10 years, has passed more penal laws than had been enacted in the previous century.

It is the same pattern of change for the sake of change and legislate new laws instead of operating the existing ones effectively, that makes the Blair regime so ineffective administratively.

by Gary J on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because there's also this idiocy of evaluating the value of legislators' work by the number of laws enacted. "Is this what we pay MPs for?" kind of crap.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:10:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately it's not ineffective. It's been very effective - at breaking things and wasting time on trivial plays for the Daily Mail crowd.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And do not forget that if you have enough laws, everybody is guilty.

Which can be an end in itself.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is why I wrote ineffective administratively. It is (at least for a time)  effective politically, but it is not good government.
by Gary J on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 03:46:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shami Chakrabarti : Director of Liberty comments:-

"Before you decide whether the system is fit for purpose you have to decide what that purpose is.

In this country there is too much pressure on the criminal justice system because it is supposed to solve society's ills. But it is not the answer to everything; it can't be used to cope with the mentally ill, the homeless and problem teenagers. That's not what it is designed for; it can never be fit for that purpose. Politicians have created a panic about crime so the public now fear there won't be enough space in prison for all the people who are guilty of offences. They have trapped themselves in a debate where they tell the public there is nothing wrong with the system, then enact more criminal laws to change it."

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article2026804.ece

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: EU Commission Suggests Halting Part of Turkish Accession Talks

The European Commission on Wednesday called for a partial suspension of Turkey's negotiations towards European Union membership after Ankara refused to open its harbors and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes.

"We are going to recommend suspending the chapters of negotiations which are connected with commercial restrictions on Cyprus, which is between four and nine chapters out of 35," a

Commission source said.

"Turkey has undoubtedly made progress. But it has still not implemented all obligations it has agreed to," said Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

A spokesman for the Turkish representation to the EU in Brussels, Caglar Cakiralp, said eight "chapters," or policy areas into which the accession talks are divided, would be suspended.

He added that he considered the move too harsh.

"It means you suspend nearly the whole process," he said. "It's too much."

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is another of those situations where everybody knows what the final solution will look like, nobody disputes that resolving the issues in that way will be a good thing.

Yet somehow the vanity of politicians prevents them taking unpopular decisions that will ultimtely be to everybody's benefit. where do we find these people ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's mostly posing for elections next year.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:56:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Commission Cracks Down on EU Carbon Credit Give Away

On Wednesday, the European commission demanded from some EU counties, including Germany, to cut carbon credit permits for 2008-2012, under its European Trading Scheme (ETS), after over-supplying emission rights.

The ETS aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 8 percent by 2012 as it promised under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The scheme, established last year and ending in 2007, aims to reduce carbon emissions by providing a market-based trading system. It is based on limiting the total amount of CO2 emissions, but can offer control over reductions flexibly and at a low-cost.

It is designed to put caps on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by heavily polluting factories across Europe. But in 2006, the governments of some EU countries gave away free carbon pollution permits that exceeded the amount of pollution that was released -- which the European environment commission has decided to put a stop to.

Germany was the most generous, with France and Poland also handing out carbon credits faster than pollution can be emitted. Only a few countries -- such as Britain and Ireland -- distributed allowances that fairly matched the needs of big companies.

EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas criticized several European countries, including Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia and Sweden, for giving away too many pollution allowances that they hold in reserve for building new factories.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:49:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: EU embarks on tough carbon cuts

The EU has set tough carbon limits under the European Trading Scheme's second phase, to the consternation of some of the 10 states involved.

To make the scheme effective in tackling climate change, the EU has cut member states' carbon permits by 7% on average from 2008-2012.

Germany, a major polluter, said the stricter limits were unacceptable and would push electricity prices up.

Critics have accused nations of making carbon allowance levels too high.

The European Trading Scheme (ETS) aims to cut emissions by 8% of 1990 levels.

'Level playing field'

"Today's decisions send a strong signal that Europe is fully committed to achieving the Kyoto target and making the ETS a success," said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

This view was echoed by Michael Grubb, head economist of the UK's Carbon Trust: "They have done a lot to create a level playing field."

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: US threatens legal action over carbon emissions proposals

· Including airlines 'will push up cost of flights'
· EC says current system is not a level playing field

The EU is heading for a legal showdown with the US and Asia over plans by the European commission to bring all international flights to and from Europe into its carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS), its main weapon for fighting climate change.

Senior US sources warned yesterday the proposal to extend the ETS from heavy industry and power plants to civil aviation within the EU breached the 1947 Chicago convention on international air travel and would not survive legal challenges.

But Stavros Dimas, EU environment commissioner, insisted his plan, due to be adopted by the full commission on December 12, was compatible with the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. He said it was being drawn up after consulting senior lawyers and all challenges would fail.

Philippe Varin, chief executive of steel group Corus, claimed the scheme needed to be tightened and widened if it was to be effective.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the US would play merry hell if we tried to stick our noses into their domestic taxation arrangements, even when they impact our companies.

But somehow it seems perfectly reasonable for the owners to complain if the serfs get uppity.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUObserver: Germany clashes with Brussels over Emissions Plan
Germany has reacted with irritation to a European Commission decision to slash its allowances to emit greenhouse gasses, calling the move "adventurous" and terming Brussels' handling of the issue as "the opposite of transparency."

EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas on Wednesday (29 November) told Germany and eight other member states that their national pollution-reducing plans for the are too weak, demanding from Berlin that it reduce its carbon emissions by six percent to 453.1 million tonnes per year.

But FT Deutschland reports that Germany - the biggest polluter in the EU - immediately called Brussels' move into question with German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel calling the decision an "adventurous procedure."

This is great! For the first time in a long time, I'm cheering the Commission on...
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 08:02:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Sarkozy declares presidential bid

France's Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has declared his intention to run for the presidency next April.

The announcement had been widely expected, and Mr Sarkozy is the favourite to win the election, according to recent opinion polls.

His centre-right UMP party is due to select its candidate in January and President Jacques Chirac is not expected to seek a third term.

Whoever wins the UMP's race will face the Socialist Party's Segolene Royal.

"I feel I have the strength, the energy and the desire to propose a different view of France," Mr Sarkozy said in an interview to be published in a number of regional newspapers on Thursday.

"I have the ambition to develop a new relationship with the French based on two words: confidence and respect. Confidence in pledges made and respect for every Frenchman considered individually."

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libération has scooped him out by publishing his interview with other papers earleir than expected, so this is not making a lot of waves. Plus it's not like it's a surprise in any way.

I note that his slogan "rupture tranquille", while absurd on its face, hints at Mitterrand's "force tranquille", a interesting and unexpected move.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:05:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what do the slogans translate to in English Jerome?

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:24:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
force tranquille would be quiet, or steadfast, force.

rupure tranquille would be the same with rupture. It makes no sense, but it rings bells.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Times Online: 'London's bridge is falling down'

# Damning verdict on one-sided US-UK relations after Iraq
# State Department official says Blair is ignored by Bush

Timeline

In a devastating verdict on Tony Blair's decision to back war in Iraq and his "totally one-sided" relationship with President Bush, a US State Department official has said that Britain's role as a bridge between America and Europe is now "disappearing before our eyes".

Kendall Myers, a senior State Department analyst, disclosed that for all Britain's attempts to influence US policy in recent years, "we typically ignore them and take no notice -- it's a sad business".

He added that he felt "a little ashamed" at Mr Bush's treatment of the Prime Minister, who had invested so much of his political capital in standing shoulder to shoulder with America after 9/11.

Speaking at an academic forum in Washington on Tuesday night, he answered a question from The Times, saying: "It was a done deal from the beginning, it was a onesided relationship that was entered into with open eyes . . . there was nothing. There was no payback, no sense of reciprocity."

His remarks brought calls from British politicians last night for the special relationship to be rethought, but also attracted scathing criticism from one close supporter of the Prime Minister.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for all Britain's attempts to influence US policy in recent years, "we typically ignore them and take no notice -- it's a sad business".

It's not just "recent years". It's the story of US/UK relations since WWII.

And for this the UK will go on snubbing Europe?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:49:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"He only hits me because he loves me. It's my fault really."
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop being anti-American. Or anti-British. Or both. Stop hating people who speak English. It's not nice.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:07:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
K'es ki dit, l'monsieur?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the sad state of affairs that the constituency that is seen as being possible to swing between the two main parties is that of the readers of the daily mail, due to which a ludicrous selection of policies get enacted in this country.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:51:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The government seems to be owned by the arms trade and the City. They're the only sectors that make any money out of the 'special relationship' and the only ones who can make it look justifiable on something that might resemble rational grounds if you squint hard and do lots of drugs.

Politically it makes no sense at all. You can understand Thatcher and Reagan cosying up, because they were opportunists of a feather. But ten years ago the idea that Blair would ever have hitched his star to Bush's rickety wagon would have seemed ridiculous to most people.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:40:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The strangest thing is that I have found nothing but the most open contempt for George Bush and his policies in the City. I don't usually bring up the topic myself, but have found myself quite surprised to hear near universal contempt from British bankers for both Bush and Blair on the Iraq adventure - and not just in the past few months, that's been over the last 3 years.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:01:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The trouble is that the British political establishment are all star-crossed lovers of America.

We could use some clear-eyed realists in govt, not dewy-eyed romantics forever blind to the other's ills.

I find their pro-US syconphancy sickening. Not because I dislike the US : I dont. But because we are a european nation and this mooning across the atlantic makes us look pathetic.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:26:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're a European nation why do Commonwealth citizens get voting rights in the Westminster elections, but not EU citizens?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dunno. I imagine it's cos we're still notionally a monarchy and so all subjects of the Crown (inc commonwealth) have some form of voting right here.

But I don't really know. Anyway, as a spanish citizen, you can vote in spain and I won't be able to even when I move there. I'm not surprised it works the other way too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:54:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to this (PDF)
These countries give you voting rights after a set period:
Belgium Denmark Estonia Finland Ireland Lithuania Luxembourg  Netherlands Slovenia Sweden
regardless of nationality.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:09:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that is wrong when it comes to Sweden and national elections.

Local and regional you get to vote after living a certain time in Sweden, but for the national parliament citizenship is required.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:34:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is possible that the list is only for local elections. That seems to be the case in Belgium, too.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:53:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And in France. Local and European (this includes eligibility).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If by "London Bridge" they mean Britain's role as a bridge between America and Europe, I suppose a better headline would be "Trojan Horse is Burning Down"?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:27:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No hope of improvement...
Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: "These remarks reflect a real sense of distaste among thinking Americans for Mr Blair's apparent slavish support for President Bush . . . The special relationship needs to be rebalanced, rethought and renewed."


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:03:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
La Stampa and Corriere della Sera have finally gotten around to seriously covering Scaramella- a job done only by la Repubblica the past ten days.

Both papers reveal that Scaramella has been under investigation since January at the least. Transcripts of legally obtained taps have been leaked to both papers.

The excerpts indicate a conscious scheme on Scaramella's part to beaf up false evidence against Romano Prodi, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio (head of the Greens and now Minister of the Environment) and Antonio Bassolini, president of the Campania Region. In a conversation with Senator Paolo Guzzanti, Scaramella volunteers unsubstantiated charges against Pecoraro Scanio immediately after a violent diatribe in TV between Guzzanti and Pecoraro Scanio. Scaramella accused Bassolino and Pecoraro Scanio of being linked to the camorra and the KGB.

Scaramella used Litvinenko as a source that Prodi was a KGB informant. Litvinenko had always denied being Scaramella's source and further accused Scaramella of having tricked him into signing false revelations.

It has also been revealed that one of Scaramella's consultants was Bob Lady, the Milan CIA agent wanted for the Abu Omar kidnapping. A second CIA agent who collaborated with Scaramella is not named.

Other revelations have Scaramella allegedly sabotaging the San Marino investigation into a possible international arms trade involving Switzerland. By publicizing that investigation as a Russian "KGB" operation, Scaramella blew the investigation apart.

There are wire taps on Ukranian and Russian spies or criminals, such as Alexander Talik, that indicate bewilderment on their part over Scaramella's actions.

In a conversation with his wife, Scaramella tells her that the Teramo scam reported yesterday (in which hapless Ukranians were arrested for transporting Russian grenades to a Neapolitan address) had nothing to do with Guzzanti. The Berlusconi press campaign had trumpeted the story as an attempt to kill Guzzanti and Scaramella. Both received police escorts after that campaign.

A conversation in mid- February  2006, between Guzzanti and Scaramella shows that Scaramella knew he was being tapped. Investigators are presently seeking to discover who was Scaramella's informant within the Interior Ministry. Neither article points to the unprecedented Telecom wiretapping scandal that involves Tavaroli, Mancini and Cipriani.

Although Berlusconi is never named it is apparent from the conversations that Guzzanti met and discussed Scaramella's hokum with him and received encouragement to immediately publicize the false accusations against Prodi.

Public Ministers have asked parliament for authorization to use the taped conversations. By law any conversation with a member of parliament or in which the name of an MP is mentioned (a Berlusconi law) must have authorization by the parliament to be used in an eventual trial. Criminal elements need only drop the name of an MP to complicate any investigation.

By publishing these leaks, both the Corriere and the Stampa have once again joined in the battle against parliamentary attempts to limit press freedom.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you put this into a diary? I'll front page it. This is just too steamy...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:27:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Public Minister i.e., prosecutors?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RTE News: Gaidar family suspects poisoning (30 November 2006)
The family of former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar - who collapsed during a visit to Ireland last Friday - believes he was poisoned.

Mr Gaidar, who had been treated in a Dublin hospital after becoming ill during a conference in NUI Maynooth, is now being treated for a mystery illness in a Moscow hospital.

The Kremlin has said President Vladimir Putin telephoned Mr Gaidar at the hospital in Moscow yesterday and wished him a speedy recovery.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RIA Novosti: Doctors deem poisoning cause of Gaidar's illness - press-secretary (30/11/2006)
Doctors say the illness of post-Soviet Russian reformer Yegor Gaidar was caused by poisoning, but have not identified the poison, his press secretary said Thursday.

"This is not poisoning by spoilt food products," Valery Natarov said.

Gaidar's daughter Maria said her 50-year-old father and former acting prime minister started vomiting and fainted at a conference in Dublin Friday, and remained unconscious for three hours. Gaidar was taken to a hospital in Dublin and later transferred to Moscow.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:10:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL FOCUSNATO
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:34:49 AM EST
Spiegel Online: NATO IN AFGHANISTAN - Twisting and Turning over German Troops

Angela Merkel is resisting pressure from NATO: She refuses to station German troops in the south of Afghanistan. But she has agreed to let German troops conduct "emergency rescue missions" there. It sounds harmless, but it could have significant consequences for the troops.

If German diplomats are telling the truth, Tuesday evening's trip to the Riga opera house was a thoroughly pleasant affair. The heads of state of all 26 NATO countries were meeting in Latvia's capital. The summit's thorniest issue -- NATO's military mission in Afghanistan -- was negotiated during a working dinner. But there were no disagreements, at least according to German reports. "There were no accusations, no polemics. It was a very responsible discussion," German government sources said the following day.

This account of the meeting is surprising, at least at first sight. For weeks, a number of NATO partners -- led by the US, Great Britain, Canada and Denmark -- have conducted a genuine anti-German campaign. Germany has been repeatedly criticized for stationing its troops in the country's north, where they are accused of enjoying a kind of extended vacation, while others are risking their lives in the military skirmishes of the south. But Angela Merkel stood firm in the face of calls for sending German troops to the south. She refered again and again to the good work Germans are doing in the north.

Merkel's position didn't change fundamentally during the NATO summit in Riga. She was the third speaker at the dinner, after British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper. Merkel made it more than clear "that we are well positioned with our mandate and that there is no reason to change that mandate," according to government sources. Merkel had already told NATO's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer that Germany will not send additional troops to Afghanistan.


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:40:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good for her.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:25:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: NATO Decides to Bolster Troubled Afghan Force

NATO clinched an agreement Wednesday to bolster its troubled mission in Afghanistan by sending more troops and cutting restrictions on forces already there, while admitting that gaps remain.

Leaders of the 26-nation bloc, including US President George W. Bush, also backed a French proposal to set up a "contact group" to coordinate action to prevent Afghanistan slipping back toward chaos.

Closer to its traditional home ground, the leaders also agreed to admit Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to its Partnership for Peace program, a decade after the wars that ripped the Balkans apart.

The pledge on Afghanistan, announced at the end of a two-day summit in Riga, came after the United States and Britain in particular lobbied for more troops and fewer caveats on the forces in the violence-wracked country. European heavyweight states like Germany, France, Spain and Italy came under pressure to do more in southern Afghanistan, where British-led troops have faced a growing death toll in fighting against Taliban insurgents.

Chancellor Angela Merkel after the summit stressed that Germany's contribution to the Afghanistan mission was highly valued by its NATO partners. She had also once more assured alliance members that Germany would come to NATO's aid in emergencies beyond the locations where the Bundeswehr is deployed.

She added that solidarity demanded it and that it was clear "Germany wouldn't close its eyes to this solidarity."

As an example, she suggested evacuating wounded soldiers from other NATO states.


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still it's not easy to understand reasons on prolonging Afghanistan occupation by NATO. You defeated Taliban long time ago, right? Clearly the West turned out to be modern day Mordor, the Shadow in the West, with Dark Lord Bush in distant Washington and his puppets as Saruman Blair. Reincarnations of Evil.
by FarEasterner on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly the West turned out to be modern day Mordor, the Shadow in the West, with Dark Lord Bush in distant Washington and his puppets as Saruman Blair. Reincarnations of Evil.

Tragically, this is one of the best summaries of recent foreign policy I've read all year.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Nomad on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: NATO rebuffs Bush on troop restrictions in Afghanistan

RIGA, Latvia: Leaders of the 26 NATO nations failed to agree Wednesday on President Bush's demand that member countries with troops in Afghanistan lift their restrictions on how the troops are used. Those rules keep some soldiers from operating in the most dangerous part of the country.

Instead of lifting the restrictions entirely, France, Germany and Italy agreed to allow their troops to be sent in emergencies to bolster the NATO forces in the south, where Taliban forces have fought with renewed vigor.

The NATO leaders also unexpectedly opened the door to membership to Serbia by offering it partnership status, along with Bosnia and Montenegro. Up until now, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands have blocked Serbia because of its failure to arrest two men who led Serbian forces during the fighting in Bosnia - Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, who have been indicted for war crimes by the international tribunal in The Hague.

The offer Wednesday of offered partnership status - a step toward full membership - came with the condition that Serbia promise to try to capture the wanted pair and other figures charged with war crimes.

NATO's Secretary-General, Jaap de Hoop Schieffer, denied that the move constituted a softening of the alliance's position.


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:42:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oohh yeah!

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian:    
Blair insists Nato is winning the war in Afghanistan

· PM surprisingly upbeat on progress of conflict
· Countries agree deal on troop reinforcements

Tony Blair made the startling claim yesterday that Britain and other Nato members were "winning" the war in Afghanistan despite increased Taliban activity and a sharply rising death toll.

The prime minister was speaking to the press at the end of a two-day Nato summit in Latvia which exposed continuing divisions within the 26-member transatlantic organisation over the level of commitment to the Afghanistan venture.

Doubts about the military operation have grown this year as a result of a resurgence in Taliban operations that has left thousands of Afghans dead, as well as Nato troops. Two Nato soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb south of Kabul yesterday.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if Tony says we're winning the war, we all feel better, don't we?

Afew Get-That-Crack-In-Before-Anyone-Else-Does Technology ™
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well he's got me convinced, why would anyone doubt him?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:55:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:35:53 AM EST
Yahoo: U.S. bans sale of iPods to North Korea

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration wants North Korea's attention, so like a scolding parent it's trying to make it tougher for that country's eccentric leader to buy iPods, plasma televisions and Segway electric scooters. The U.S. government's first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.

Kim, who engineered a secret nuclear weapons program, has other options for obtaining the high-end consumer electronics and other items he wants.

But the list of proposed luxury sanctions, obtained by The Associated Press, aims to make Kim's swanky life harder: No more cognac, Rolex watches, cigarettes, artwork, expensive cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles or even personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis.

The new ban would extend even to musical instruments and sports equipment. The 5-foot-3 Kim is an enthusiastic basketball fan; then-Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright presented him with a ball signed by Michael Jordan during a rare diplomatic trip in 2000. Kim's former secretary, widely believed to be his new wife, studied piano at the Pyongyang University of Music and Dance.


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There really must be something snarky to say about this, but it just seems to be... self-snarking.  I mean, it sounds a little like something from The Onion.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
International Herald Tribune: The end of ingenuity

As the average EROI of an economy's energy sources drops toward 1 to 1, an ever-larger fraction of the economy's wealth must go to finding and producing energy. This means less wealth is left over for everything else that needs to be done, from building houses to moving around information to educating children. <...>

... the tar sands of Alberta, likely to be a prime energy source for the United States in the future, have an EROI of around 4 to 1, because a huge amount of energy (mainly from natural gas) is needed to convert the sands' raw bitumen into useable oil. <...>

Without a doubt, mankind can find ways to push back these constraints on global growth with market- driven innovation on energy supply, efficient use of energy and pollution cleanup.

But we probably can't push them back indefinitely, because our species' capacity to innovate, and to deliver the fruits of that innovation when and where they're needed, isn't infinite.

Sometimes even the best scientific minds can't crack a technical problem quickly (take, for instance, the painfully slow evolution of battery technology in recent decades), sometimes market prices give entrepreneurs poor price signals (gasoline today is still far too cheap to encourage quick innovation in fuel-efficient vehicles) and, most important, sometimes there just isn't the political will to back the institutional and technological changes needed.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When is it going to dawn on economists that it's energy return on energy invested and not "energy return on money invested* that is the critical quantity?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without a doubt, mankind can find ways to push back these constraints on global growth with market- driven innovation on energy supply, efficient use of energy and pollution cleanup.

But we probably can't push them back indefinitely, because our species' capacity to innovate, and to deliver the fruits of that innovation when and where they're needed, isn't infinite.

Sometimes even the best scientific minds can't crack a technical problem quickly

There's also the little issue of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which "the best scientific minds" of the 19th century discovered as a result of investigating how to improve the efficiency of steam engines to power the industrial revolution.

We've know the damn (negative) answer to the question for 150 years, and just about immediately after the question posed itself in the early 19th century, but the knowledge still hasn't made it the la-la land of Economics (except, possibly in "fringe" environmental economics).

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:31:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: What is a civil war?

When does sectarian violence in Iraq turn into a civil war? It's an issue we - and others - have been wrestling with for some time. This week, the US TV network NBC became the latest news organisation to describe the fighting there in such terms.

No-one who's watched, listened to or read the accounts of BBC correspondents Andrew North, Hugh Sykes, David Loyn and others in recent weeks, could be in any doubt about the level of violence seen in Baghdad and beyond.

NBC is hardly alone in characterising what's going on in Iraq in such terms - as early as April, Iraq's former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi described it as a civil war; six weeks ago, one of the most respected US commentators, Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, said he too was in no doubt that Iraq was in a civil war. The murder of more than 200 people when Sunni Muslim insurgents blew up five car bombs and fired mortars into Baghdad's largest Shiite district last Thursday, suggests they might be right.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:57:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A.P. via NYT: Aso: Japan Can Possess Nuclear Weapons

Japan has the technological know-how to produce a nuclear weapon but has no immediate plans to do so, the foreign minister said Thursday, several weeks after communist North Korea carried out a nuclear test.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who has called for discussion of Japan's non-nuclear policy, also asserted that the pacifist constitution does not forbid possession of the bomb.

''Japan is capable of producing nuclear weapons,'' Aso told a parliamentary committee on security issues. ''But we are not saying we have plans to possess nuclear weapons.'' <...>

''Possession of minimum level of arms for defense is not prohibited under the Article 9 of the Constitution,'' Aso said. ''Even nuclear weapons, if there are any that fall within that limit, they are not prohibited.''<...>

The non-nuclear stance, however, has come under increasing scrutiny since North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear test, which raised severe security concerns in Japan.

An empirical test for a variant of my brother-in-law's hypothesis?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eek²!


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:28:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I get an earful about the Japanese whenever I go out to eat with my Korean friend.  This guy worked for the Korean government and I think that he's pretty reflective of the way the the South Korean bureaucracy thinks.

The South Koreans will not be amused if Japan develops nuclear weapons, and this would probably cause South Korea to develop nuclear weapons as well.  The South Korean government and Japan do not  get along well with one another.

There's not a tremendous awareness of the negative colonial legacy left by the Japanese in Korea.  The South Koreans honestly are less worried about North Korea developing nukes than they would be about Japan.  There's a tremendous resentment that Korea is divided, and this idea that the Japanes never were made to pay for their actions in Korea.

Sometimes I play the devil's advocate and deliberately say things to draw a response from my friend.  He is very worried about his English, but when he gets a little heated he gains fluency.  We go in circles about Kim Jong Il and Bush.

One time I asked him how he though the South Koreans would respond if Japan attacked nuclear facilities in North Korea.  He said that an attack on North Korea would be like an attack on the South, and that the South Koreans would want to to hurt Japan then.

I get the sickening feeling that the Japanese and the South Koreans are deaf to one another, and that the Japanese might escalate without considering the consequences.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:30:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if Japan gets some nukes there can't the Koreas just join together, end the war and have both nukes and rice & computers?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:41:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only if were that simple.

The Koreans benefit from the status quo.

The Japanese feel that they can improve there positioon without paying a price.

The South Koreans are worried that the Japanese will create conflict.

Ick....

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Koreans benefit from the status quo.

The Japanese feel that they can improve there positioon without paying a price.

Could you expand on these two points?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:13:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The North Koreans don't have the ability to attack Japan, but they do have the ability to cross the DMZ.  If North Korea attacked the South in retaliation to a Japanese attack on nuclear facilities, Seoul would be in range of artillery from day 1 of any attack.  Tokyo is not in range of North Koreaa artillery.

Japan can attack North Korea, but North Korea can't attack Japan.  North Korea can attack the South if they feel that the Japanese intend to unseat Kim.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The North Koreans don't have the ability to attack Japan

Are you talking about reach or accuracy?  As far as Japanese civilians are concerned, I don't think it matters.

Can North Korean missiles strike Japan? North Korea has two missiles, and possibly three, that can strike Japan. The Nodong could deliver conventional and WMD warheads throughout most of Japan (including several U.S. military bases). However, given the missile's relative inaccuracy, the Nodong is more useful as a "terror weapon" against population centers than as a significant military system -- unless it is armed with a nuclear warhead. The Nodong is estimated to have a circular error probable (CEP) of 2-4 kilometers (km), which means half of the Nodongs fired would fall outside a circle of that radius.5 This poor accuracy means that North Korean efforts to strike U.S. bases in Japan would likely cause significant Japanese civilian casualties. The Paektusan-1 (also known as the Taepodong-1) is a two-stage missile with a Nodong as the first stage and a Scud variant as the second stage. The Paektusan-1 can strike anywhere in Japan's territory, but this system is even less accurate and less reliable than the Nodong.

Center for Nonproliferation Studies Monterey Institute of International Studies

CNS Special Report on North Korean Ballistic Missile Capabilities [PDF]

In any case, I just don't see it happening.  China is not stupid enough to let it happen; and I don't think Kim Jong-Il is that stupid either.  The possibility of some rogue elements in the NK military/government pulling a General Ripper always exists, but the likelihood of that happening seems just too small.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:50:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I read about Japan's relations with the rest of Asia, I sometimes wonder what Europe would by like today if Willy Brandt had not gone on his knees before the monument commemorating the ghetto uprising in Warsaw.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also that Germany was divided, Japan was never divided.  The denazification in Germany was much more profound than similiar efforts in Japan.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:29:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a picturesque illustration of Japanese racism
Separately, but still on the theme of go getting a bad press in Japan lately (no fault of go itself, mind you), the post-match commentary Ricoh Pairs final was disrupted by a racist old man in the front row who made a comment politely rendered as "a foreigner won" in the hearing of co-winner (with Inori) Cho Chikun. Cho blew up and pointed out he'd lived in Japan 40 years and could do without comments like that. With the 1,000-strong audience shocked into silence, ushers tried to remove the old man but he wouldn't budge. Eventually Cho told the ushers to desist as that would only make things worse. Racism is not new in Japanese go, of course. Go Seigen was a victim. But it seems indiscriminate. O Rissei seems to be another victim but Rin Kaiho is adored.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, sadly there is still too much such racism in Japan.  Too much.  For all the sophistication the Japanese have in so many ways, it becomes irrelevant in a single shot with this osrt of ugly and pathetic stupidity and ignorance.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Morales pushes through radical land reform bill

The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, has secured the passage of a sweeping land reform bill with the help of thousands of peasants who marched on La Paz.

He signed the bill into law at a midnight ceremony on Tuesday, prompting jubilation from his supporters, after overcoming fierce resistance from senators representing large landowners.

The law is intended to reverse centuries of discrimination against the indigenous majority by seizing 77,000 square miles of land deemed unproductive or illegally owned and redistributing it to the poor. "This is the struggle of our ancestors, the struggle for power and territory," he said. "Now the change is in our hands."

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:36:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian:      U.S.-Iraq Summit Abruptly Canceled

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - President Bush's high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday was canceled in a stunning turn of events after disclosure of U.S. doubts about the Iraqi leader's capabilities and a political boycott in Baghdad protesting his attendance.

Instead of two days of talks, Bush and al-Maliki will have breakfast and a single meeting followed by a news conference on Thursday morning, the White House said.

The abrupt cancellation was an almost unheard-of development in the high-level diplomatic circles of a U.S. president, a king and a prime minister. There was confusion - and conflicting explanations - about what happened.

Bush had been scheduled to meet in a three-way session with al-Maliki and Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday night, and had rearranged his schedule to be in Amman for both days for talks aimed at reducing the spiral of violence in Iraq.

The last-minute cancellation was not announced until Bush had already come to Raghadan Palace and posed for photographs alone with the king.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I get the impression that the number of people wanting to be seen with Bush is plunging rapidly.
by det on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:50:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Soon only Sarkozy will be left...



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More from the NYT: Iraq's Premier Abruptly Skips a Bush Session

[...]

 The decision [to cancel the meeting] occurred on a day that a classified White House memorandum expressing doubts about Mr. Maliki was disclosed and after Iraqi officials loyal to a powerful Shiite cleric said they were suspending participation in the Maliki government because he had ignored their request to cancel the Bush meeting entirely.

The president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were already aboard Air Force One, on the way to Amman from Riga, Latvia, where they had been attending a NATO summit meeting, when they received the news by telephone from the United States ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad. The White House insisted Mr. Bush was not upset and had not been snubbed.

"Absolutely not," said Dan Bartlett, counselor to the president. [yeah, right - ed.]

[...]

The White House tacked the hastily planned trip to Amman onto Mr. Bush's swing through the Baltics so he could meet Mr. Maliki on safe ground. But the careful orchestration leading up to the Bush-Maliki summit meeting -- including a news conference Tuesday in Estonia, where Mr. Bush promised to press the Iraqi prime minister on his strategy for stability -- was upended when The New York Times published the classified assessment of Mr. Maliki in Wednesday's issue.

The memo, written by the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said that while Mr. Maliki seemed to have good intentions when talking with Americans, "the reality on the streets suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what's going on, misrepresenting his intentions or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient."

Publication of the memorandum just as Mr. Bush was to see Mr. Maliki left the White House struggling to put a positive spin on the news on a day when it had hoped to highlight a decision by NATO members that would lift some restrictions on troops operating in Afghanistan.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gulf Daily News: Iran blasts US over policy

UNITED NATIONS: In an unprecedented letter to the American people, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday launched a scathing attack on US President George W Bush's foreign policy and urged a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. "Now that Iraq has a constitution and an independent assembly and government, would it not be more beneficial to bring the US officers and soldiers home and to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people?" the Iranian leader said in a letter released by his country's UN mission here. He pointed out that since the start of the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, "hundreds of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced."

"With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty," Ahmadinejad said.

"I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure." "Noble Americans, our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world," Ahmadinejad said as he sought to establish a direct dialogue with Americans by bypassing their government.

"Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society," he added. "The legitimacy, power and influence of a government do not emanate from its arsenals of tanks, fighter aircraft, missiles or nuclear weapons," he noted. "Legitimacy and influence reside in sound logic, quest for justice and compassion and empathy for all humanity," Ahmadinejad said.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:46:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you knew it already can you still call it news? Dept.:

NYT: Iraq Panel to Recommend Pullback of Combat Troops

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 -- The bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached a consensus on Wednesday on a final report that will call for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades now in Iraq but stop short of setting a firm timetable for their withdrawal, according to people familiar with the panel's deliberations.

[...]

But four people involved in the debate, representing different points of view, agreed to outline its conclusions in broad terms to address what they said might otherwise be misperceptions about the findings. Some said their major concern was that the report might be too late.

"I think we've played a constructive role," one person involved in the committee's deliberations said, "but from the beginning, we've worried that this entire agenda could be swept away by events."

[...]

As described by the people involved in the deliberations, the bulk of the report by the Baker-Hamilton group focused on a recommendation that the United States devise a far more aggressive diplomatic initiative in the Middle East than Mr. Bush has been willing to try so far, including direct engagement with Iran and Syria. Initially, those contacts might be part of a regional conference on Iraq or broader Middle East peace issues, like the Israeli-Palestinian situation, but they would ultimately involve direct, high-level talks with Tehran and Damascus.

Mr. Bush has rejected such contacts until now, and he has also rejected withdrawal, declaring in Riga, Latvia, on Tuesday that while he will show flexibility, "there's one thing I'm not going to do: I'm not going to pull the troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete."

Commission members have said in recent days that they had to navigate around such declarations, or, as one said, "We had to move the national debate from whether to stay the course to how do we start down the path out."

Their report, as described by those familiar with the compromise, may give Republicans political cover to back away from parts of the president's current strategy, even if Democrats claim that the report is short on specific deadlines.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:29:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT: U.S. Will Pay $2 Million to Lawyer Wrongly Jailed

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 -- The federal government agreed to pay $2 million Wednesday to an Oregon lawyer wrongly jailed in connection with the 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid, and it issued a formal apology to him and his family.

The unusual settlement caps a two-and-a-half-year ordeal that saw the lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, go from being a suspected terrorist operative to a symbol, in the eyes of his supporters, of government overzealousness in the war on terrorism.

"The United States of America apologizes to Mr. Brandon Mayfield and his family for the suffering caused" by his mistaken arrest, the government's apology began. It added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which erroneously linked him to the Madrid bombs through a fingerprinting mistake, had taken steps "to ensure that what happened to Mr. Mayfield and the Mayfield family does not happen again."

At an emotional news conference in Portland announcing the settlement, Mr. Mayfield said he and his wife, an Egyptian immigrant, and their three children still suffered from the scars left by the government's surveillance of him and his jailing for two weeks in May 2004.

"The horrific pain, torture and humiliation that this has caused myself and my family is hard to put into words," said Mr. Mayfield, an American-born convert to Islam and a former lieutenant in the Army.

"The days, weeks and months following my arrest," he said, "were some of the darkest we have had to endure. I personally was subject to lockdown, strip searches, sleep deprivation, unsanitary living conditions, shackles and chains, threats, physical pain and humiliation."

Fingerprint examiners at the F.B.I. erroneously linked Mr. Mayfield to the terrorist bombings in Madrid through a mistaken identification of a print taken from a plastic bag containing detonator caps that was found at the scene of the bombings. [...].

Despite doubts from Spanish officials about the validity of the fingerprint match, American officials began an aggressive high-level investigation into Mr. Mayfield in the weeks after the bombings. The fact that he had represented a terrorism defendant in a child-custody case in Portland spurred further interest in him. Using expanded surveillance powers under the USA Patriot Act, the government wiretapped his conversations, conducted secret searches of his home and his law office and jailed him for two weeks as a material witness in the case before a judge threw out the case against him.

The settlement includes an unusual condition that frees the government from future liability except in one important area: Mr. Mayfield is allowed to continue a lawsuit seeking to overturn parts of the Patriot Act as a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:34:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:36:26 AM EST
SFGate/Morford: Sex Will Make You Go Blind
Single? Under 30? You are in grave danger. Your government says so. Please, stop laughing

I think I get it now.

The latest pitiable GOP plan, from what I can tell, goes something like this: To make it all so absurd, to make the remaining Bush administration proposals and doctrines and cultural stratagems so outlandish and silly and degrading and insulting to your mind and your heart and your very own beleaguered genitalia that you cannot help but take note of their existence and laugh and cringe and sit back and go, Oh my God these people have got to be kidding.

At which point (they hope) you will turn to your spouse or your significant other or your dog and say, Hey honey, check this out, did you see the latest moronic and horrible dictum from the Bush administration? We should totally try it, just for kicks!

Then the GOP will gloat and say: See? The world still loves the GOP! Yay us! And then they shall proceed to smack themselves in the face with a brick.

It is the only viable explanation. It is the only way to account for something like, say, the latest twist in the Abstinence Education Program from Bush's increasingly laughable Department of Health and Human Services, a $50 million slice of embarrassing government detritus that is now actually encouraging all states to tell their single, youngish residents that they should -- how to put this so you don't shoot coffee through your nose? -- that everyone should avoid sex entirely, until they turn 30.

See? See your reaction? You are like: No way. You are like: Is the United States government really saying that? You are like: Laughter, a smirk, maybe a shrug and a sigh and a sad shake of the head and another glass of wine because, you know, what the hell is wrong with these people?


by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:41:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A new film now being released: Life in These United States.  Screenplay by Franz Kafka.  Directed by Andre Breton.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good thing that comment was signed by a user who is:

  1. old enough
  2. a certified US citizen

otherwise there'd have been trouble.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Produced by Friedrich Nietzsche.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Times: For $150, Third-World Laptop Stirs a Big Debate

One factor setting the project apart from earlier efforts to create inexpensive computers for education is the inclusion of a wireless network capability in each machine.

The project leaders say they will employ a variety of methods for connecting to the Internet, depending on local conditions. In some countries, like Libya, satellite downlinks will be used. In others, like Nigeria, the existing cellular data network will provide connections, and in some places specially designed long-range Wi-Fi antennas will extend the wireless Internet to rural areas.



When students take their computers home after school, each machine will stay connected wirelessly to its neighbors in a self-assembling "mesh" at ranges up to a third of a mile. In the process each computer can potentially become an Internet repeater, allowing the Internet to flow out into communities that have not previously had access to it. <...>

Each machine will come with a simple mechanism for recharging itself when a standard power outlet is not available. The designers experimented with a crank, but eventually discarded that idea because it seemed too fragile. Now they have settled on several alternatives, including a foot pedal as well as a hand-pulled device that works like a salad spinner. <...>

The project now has tentative commitments for three million computers and will begin large-scale manufacturing when it reaches five million with separate commitments from at least one country each in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Based on current negotiations, Mr. Negroponte says he expects that goal to be reached by mid-2007.

It got a significant boost on Nov. 15 when the Inter-American Development Bank signed an agreement to supply both loans and grants to buy the machines.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here's the killer app for it that will make it a success:

DOOM on the OLPC XO!

Now imagine you are the One Laptop Per Child software design team, and you've just received the very first order of Children's Machine XO's. Around a thousand pounds of laptops actually, and you wanna take one for a fun filled test drive.

You could play with all the software on them, like AbiWord or the Sugar OS, or you could install new software you've developed just for this working model.

Or you could do what Christopher Blizzard and friends did. You could get all old school crazy and install and play DOOM (the original) on the OLPC XO:



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Times: An Ancient Computer Surprises Scientists

... a century ago, pieces of a strange mechanism with bronze gears and dials were recovered from an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Greece. <...>

The Antikythera Mechanism, sometimes called the world's first computer, has now been examined with the latest in high-resolution imaging systems and three-dimensional X-ray tomography. A team of British, Greek and American researchers was able to decipher many inscriptions and reconstruct the gear functions, revealing, they said, "an unexpected degree of technical sophistication for the period." <...>

They established the date of the mechanism at 150-100 B.C. <...>

The mechanism, presumably used in preparing calendars for seasons of planting and harvesting and fixing religious festivals, had at least 30, possibly 37, hand-cut bronze gear-wheels, the researchers reported. An ingenious pin-and-slot device connecting two gear-wheels induced variations in the representation of lunar motions according to the Hipparchos model of the Moon's elliptical orbit around Earth. <...>

It seems clear, Dr. Charette said, that "much of the mind-boggling technological sophistication available in some parts of the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman world was simply not transmitted further," adding, "The gear-wheel, in this case, had to be reinvented."



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:59:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be interesting to hear dmun's take on this.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:34:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are comments on it in last night's Open Thread.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:11:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mig makes an interesting point:

And Archimedes' math was technically more complex than anything else for at least a millennium and a half.

And I can't agree more with Sven:

Way too cool in any case.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Archimedes' discoveries and inventions
Apart from general physics, he was also an astronomer, and Cicero writes that the Roman consul Marcellus brought two devices back to Rome from the ransacked city of Syracuse. One device mapped the sky on a sphere and the other predicted the motions of the sun and the moon and the planets (i.e., an orrery). He credits Thales and Eudoxus for constructing these devices. For some time this was assumed to be a legend of doubtful nature, but the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism has changed the view of this issue, and it is indeed probable that Archimedes possessed and constructed such devices. Pappus of Alexandria writes that Archimedes had written a practical book on the construction of such spheres entitled On Sphere-Making.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:36:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there any Archimedes alive today?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you refering to his mathematical genius, his engineering prowess, or his running naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting, "Eureka!"

8-p

In any field Benoît Mandelbrot should be a serious contender for the Archimedes Prize.  He'll never win a Nobel Prize due the intense dislike he has generated among mathematicans.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:21:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you refering to his mathematical genius, his engineering prowess, or his running naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting, "Eureka!"

Any of the above, but most interested in the first two.  (Probably quite a few candidates for the last one!)

In any field Benoît Mandelbrot should be a serious contender for the Archimedes Prize.  He'll never win a Nobel Prize due the intense dislike he has generated among mathematicans.

Fascinating.  I only knew of Mandelbrot by name in relation to "Chaos", in particular, the book.

Would you really put him in the same category as Archimedes, Newton and Gauss?  (My layperson's understanding of the conventional wisdom is that these are three giants of mathematics in history.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's way outside my area of expertise, but people have been speculating about this for years.

Most people think that technology progresses from the simple to the complex, but in mechanical things, it's often the other way around. There are lots of examples of complicated astronomical functions, even pre-dating the invention of the mechanical clock. There's record of a chinese water clock with even more complicated functions. One of the earliest known mechanical clocks had separate dials for the (even retrograde) motions of various "travelers".

The most interesting part of the article is the speculation that this was an ordinary object, one of many such devices. It's entirely possible, because it was made of expensive metal, which would have been re-used when the device outlived it's usefulness. This one survived in a shipwreck.

by dmun on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 08:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most people think that technology progresses from the simple to the complex, but in mechanical things, it's often the other way around.

People also have lots of wrong ideas about biological evolution, just look at Intelliget Design.

"Progress" is really a dangerous paradigm.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:21:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LiveScience: Scientists Levitate Small Animals

Scientists have now levitated small live animals using sounds that are, well, uplifting.

In the past, researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China, used ultrasound fields to successfully levitate globs of the heaviest solid and liquid--iridium and mercury, respectively. The aim of their work is to learn how to manufacture everything from pharmaceuticals to alloys without the aid of containers. At times compounds are too corrosive for containers to hold, or they react with containers in other undesirable ways.

"An interesting question is, 'What will happen if a living animal is put into the acoustic field?' Will it also be stably levitated?" researcher Wenjun Xie, a materials physicist at Northwestern Polytechnical University, told LiveScience.

Xie and his colleagues employed an ultrasound emitter and reflector that generated a sound pressure field between them. The emitter produced roughly 20-millimeter-wavelength sounds, meaning it could in theory levitate objects half that wavelength or less.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Magnetics used to be the bomb...


From the Molecular Magnetics website of the University of Nijmegen

by Nomad on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:51:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ScienceDaily: Extraordinary Life Found Around Deep-sea Gas Seeps

An international team led by scientists from the United States and New Zealand have observed, for the first time, the bizarre deep-sea communities living around methane seeps off New Zealand's east coast.

'This is the first time cold seeps have been viewed and sampled in the southwest Pacific, and will greatly contribute to our knowledge of these intriguing ecosystems,' says Dr Amy Baco-Taylor, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, who co-led the voyage with Dr Ashley Rowden from New Zealand's National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The 21-member expedition -- led by scientists from WHOI, NIWA, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) -- has spent the last two weeks exploring cold water seeps and other 'chemosynthetic' ecosystems around New Zealand's east coast onboard NIWA's deepwater research vessel Tangaroa.

Cold seeps are areas of the seafloor where methane gas or hydrogen sulphide escapes from large stores deep below. Like hydrothermal vents, cold seeps support unique communities of animals living in symbiosis with microbes that can convert these energy-rich chemicals to living matter (a form of 'chemosynthesis') in the absence of sunlight.

New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where at least four types of chemosynthetic habitats occur in close proximity, allowing scientists to address key questions about the patterns of biological distribution that cannot be addressed elsewhere.

The team visited eight cold seep sites on the continental slope to the east of the North Island, lying at depths of 750--1050 m.

'We discovered that one of these sites, "The Builder's Pencil", covers about 180 000 square metres (0.18 square kilometre), making it one of the largest seep sites in the world', says Dr Rowden.

A few cold seep sites were previously known along the New Zealand coast from geological and biogeochemical studies of the continental margin. But this is the first time the biodiversity of the animal communities living at these sites has been observed directly and thoroughly documented, providing the first discovery of cold seep communities in the entire southwest Pacific.

[...]

With the live video feed, the scientists observed 30--40 cm long tube worms emerging from beneath limestone boulders and slabs lying at the core of the seeps. Around the rocks were patches of blackened sediment and pockets of white bacterial mats. Most sites also had extensive shell beds consisting of live and dead shells of various types of clams and mussels. These were fringed with stands of another type of deep-sea tube worm that is also gutless and relies on symbiotic bacteria for its nutrition. Corals and, at two of the sites, numerous sponges, were also observed.

'We've collected samples of the animals living around the seeps for formal identification, but the distance to previously studied cold seeps implies that there are several species new to science among these new collections,' says Dr Rowden.

The team has also collected samples of the sediment and water surrounding the seeps for chemical analysis and used sonar to study the geological structures lying beneath them.

Deep-sea tube worms found around a methane seep off New Zealand's east coast during Tangaroa's voyage. (Copyright (c) NIWA 2006)

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:43:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:37:12 AM EST
Hi Fran,

Sorry, I am going to clutter your nice clean salon with four articles, and then I am going to run away!

f(^_^;)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mmmmmhhhhhh!!!!!!
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 12:53:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mmm-hhmmmm-hmmmmmmm-huh!

That means Hi! in Mumbleglot, language of the Mumbleronians.

The Mumbleronians always use four syllables where one would do.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:32:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uuuuhhhhuuuu - and a nice day to you afew!!!!
by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:39:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't worry, Fran, I'm seeing someone about this condition tomorrow!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of news today, there is still a lot left, but I have to get going now.

Hope you all have a nice day.

by Fran on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's what happens when you try to be nice to the U.S:

Blair dishonours his native land for all eternity by saddling himself with a faux cowboy

If I were British, I'd try to pass myself off as Canadian.

by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 01:47:00 AM EST
It was about the same with Spain when Aznar was in power.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:24:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
even for the UK? If only there were a British Zapatero.
by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EuroTrib Lesson of the Day:

Never attempt to adjust punctuation on a diary with a hangover, because you may accidentally hit the "Delete" button instead of the "Save" button."


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:09:12 AM EST
I have a copy of the text in my cache ... want it?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:17:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah.  Think everybody read it already, anyway.  I accomplished my "In Defense of Guys" mission.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:36:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ummm, I didn't. Wadd I miss ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 09:48:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think I saw it either.  How long was it up?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, though.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Umm, OK; just one question though - how did that diary get a hangover in the first place?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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