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

Bye, bye tribbers

by Ritter Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:05:32 PM EST

I didn't come here to become a crippled autist, nor to react to your comments like a desillusioned cynicist (rabid dog on the beach). Fuck that shit. I wrote some comments about KOS (and I still can't figure out what the EU equivalent is) and got no response, even raised some questions on behalf of your poorly written and commented MackyDee article- never got an answer, and you may Google the rest...What is wrong with you? Are you all hooked up to the beauty of eternal mathematical formulas? Your open constant cynicism, (snark, snark; snark... or do you need links(?), plus the high brow cultural wanna-be elitism, no Fast Food please) is not going to be a winning formula in order to become protagonists in the European struggle for the best ideas. (Your occasional input of good statistics apart). I see no protagonism here. Its just cynical words spoken on the theatre balcony of politics.


Display:
My heroes!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:10:52 PM EST
I imagine most of us prefer not to be lumped into some generic "you."  We are individuals making our individual contributions, and I know I want to be responded to as such.  

If you see no worthy protagonism here, I invite you to provide some.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:10:55 PM EST
what does GBCW mean?

alohapolitics.com
by Keone Michaels on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Goodbye, cruel world."
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Goodbye Cruel World.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Keone Michaels on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 03:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... don't make up for real intelligence.

Like the FBI, you have none.

by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:17:13 PM EST
PluPage,

I invite you to assist the event w<ith the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Ven. on Okt. the tenth here in Brussels. We will talk (moderated by "our" EU guy - the Emb of the EU at the UN in NYC) about all the things we highlighted in previous discussions on ET; namely Energy; Globalisation, Integraton of Countries, Peace Efforts, Social Protagonism, Complemantarity...<p> It will be a meeting between "our" old, wise guy in NYC and the Ven "hotspur" both akin to point out their political visions.

You can come and be part of it. Send me an email.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
your poorly written and commented MackyDee article
Who is you here? Haven't you figured out yet that diaries have individual authors and that they are not necessarily endorsed by the site, nor by any readers or commenters in particular?

By the way, I found your McD comment insightful and thought-provoking, but I didn't have anything cogent to say about it. Sorry to disappoint you.

I see no protagonism here. Its just cynical words spoken on the theatre balcony of politics.
You're so fucking arrogant. Not everyone is a paid operative of a political party like you are, so you can "make news not comment on it".

Of course, to want to be a protagonist you have to have an ego the size of Mont Blanc. My ego is big nut not that much. I also have a healthy dose of self-doubt and gave up on proselitizing when I was 16.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:20:17 PM EST
Okay, guilty of cynicism. Hands raised high in the air, it's my gift. My only gift.

Actually no, my cynicism is rooted in a set of moral values that is disgusted by the venality of egotistical politicians. I believe in Government, in the power of the will of the people harnessed to do good. I test every idea and act against its power to do good, or at least do no harm. I try to make that my gift.

But a protagonist ? I wish. I imagined once I had sound ideas, that from reading Kos and Digby and Harry's Place and others sillier than I dare admit I had a handle on what was going on. Then I ran into these guys. Now I sit back and enjoy the fireworks of real thinking in action.

Half the time I'm constrained from diarising cos I'm terrified that it will just be ignored. Politely, but well ya know. Of course the other half is that actually I'm not engaged enough to have that much to say.

But no protagonists ? Sir, ye jest !! Jerome is changing the nature of energy debate in the USA. If that ain't significant leadership, well grasshopper, what you seek is not here.

We're young, we're trying. This is a diffuse community spread across many countries who may not share an agenda, but we share the common strand of brave, militant, unapologetic liberalism that underpins everything here. David Sirota describes its emergence in the US as the tell-tale signs of a true progressive populist movement emerging.

Well it's happening here too, we are part of that movement. Maybe we will not be first among equals, but all streams run to the sea eventually. I am excited to be here, you could be too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:31:55 PM EST
By the way, in case you were nor paying attention, on this site we actually make an effort to navigate the morass that is the European Union and its badly designed website. We genuinely try to figure out if there is an opening where we can get our foot into any meaningful debate. But, you know what? There is none. The EU's communication policy is a joke, the websites seem designed to get you lost rather than give you access. Commissioner Wallström's blog is infested with trolls and has a nanny moderator that looks down on commenters. The EU's open consultations are also a smokescreen, or not intended for the general public, just the "stakeholding" locusts.

In case you haven't noticed, you are quite liked around here [at least by me] because of your witty, lateral-thinking comments, your street cred, and your inexhaustible photo archive. You also bring in insider information about a variety of topics. I have noticed what you're foing with the Venezuelans. What I've also noticed is that you're content to drop hints in random comments here and there, often in languages other than English without translation or a word of introduction. You could write a short diary every so often, you know? Maybe about Chavez? But no, you don't comment on news, you just make it happen.

You also drop names all the time. You have drinks with this or that MEP. Have you bothered to introduce the site to your contacts? Do you have any feedback that we might find useful to raise our appeal to those kinds of people? No, that would be being helpful but that would make things too easy for us and that's not like you, is it?

What's wrong with you today? Why do you have to take whatever it is out on ET?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:35:03 PM EST
We can do alot of things, Mig. It takes time.

You say: "Do you have any feedback that we might find useful to raise our appeal to those kinds of people?"

Two things:

  • a German friend of mine writes for 13 regional papers, every article of his reaches a public of 4 million readers - every day,

  • when I worked for the Socialist Group at the EP I spoke to MEP Vetter, head of the German Trade Unions Federation (20 million members) about something (I forgot what) of a UK MEP unionist colleague (membership 2.500). Negative response.

You got it - SIZE matters.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can do alot of things, Mig. It takes time.

Quite.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:22:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote 'We can do alot of things, Mig. It takes time.'

And the clock starts clicking: NOW

To be short: I will invite you to assist and to be part of the discussion on all the proposed issues (see above).

We gonna have an ET  meet-up in Brussels on the 9 - 10th of October. Let your ideas fly - we gonna be part of the American revolution! Starting down South.

I'll get into more specific details tomorrow.


"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In case you haven't noticed, we have one registered (never mind active) user per million English speakers

If SIZE matters to you, you'd better go look elsewhere.

ET's strength, whatever it is, is not its SIZE. Other things matter.

And I don't know what this good Ritter-bad Ritter routine you have going on is all about.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:32:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mig, you misrepresent my statement about SIZE. To be clear: I think that time has come to transform ET's  insight into SIZE and to stop the current ET tendency to drift towards and to indulge in blatant cynicism. (the snark baloney)

Protagonism should be the word which defines us.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I don't know whether to laugh or cry, I snark. For instance, when I take an honest look at the EU.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:51:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mig,

let's come together at the Brusseks meet-up in October and develop a kick-ass strategy. It feels so much better to act like responsible protagonists. Give it a shot. Europe is ready for our input.

Go ET protagonists!

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 06:06:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is ready for our input.

I'll believe it when I see it. Plan D... [funny, Plan D was launched on October 13 last year. Maybe we should have a little anniversary celebration]

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 06:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, you are swiping from the balcony.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, there is this big column in front of my seat so although I can hear the fat lady sing, I can't see a damn thing. I want my money back.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got it - SIZE matters

Ummm, I don't think you missed out two words from the sentence - of chequebook.

Kos only came to prominence not because of the fine and committed writing on the site, (well some of it anyway) nor because of their contributions to policy formulations (even Jerome's).

They got attention cos they deliver the bucks to campains. Tehy helped make primary Dean's campaign in 2003/4 a reality by delivery tens of thousands of dollars on demand. They can make the DLC tremble as they pound away at Lieberman because they can deliver tens of thousands of dollars on demand.

It's not because of what they say that matters, it's what they can bring to the party. Heads of Trades Unions with 20 million members get your attention not because of their personal qualities but because they can afford to BUY your time.

We can't do that. We cannot mimic Kos in that process one tiny little bit. As Mig demonstrates, the EU consultation system  protects and insulates itself very effectively from contributions from its citizenry, I suppose it suits the rich & powerful to only be disturbed by the rich & powerful. They have so much more in common after all.

So if you are expecting us to be a protaganist in any tradtional form you recognise, I think first some of us will have to become very rich indeed (I would happily volnteer). Failing that, we are going to have to evolve a non-traditional form of accessing the decision process. I hope you recognise it when we do as it is unlikely to come steeped in the odour of the cold hard cash you prefer.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it has been pointed out that, even if we wanted to organize ourselves politically and fund the organization with membership fees, we would not be able to do it as national legislation effectively prevents a trans-national political organization from even existing.

I think there might have been a story by Colman a year ago about this.

Think about it: 1500 registered members, €50/yr per member, that's €75000 a year. That would allow for some serious media impact and even running a couple of as as independent candidates for some office or other. But it would probably be illegal.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
national legislation effectively prevents a trans-national political organization from even existing.

Is this really true? If it is I'd like more information about it.

How does the PES deal with it?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The PES doesn't fund any political campaigns, it's just a social club for national party fat cats to schmooze.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not true in Swedens case. Anyone can for example donate to a political campaign.

Which I know because I am a flag-waiving member of The Pirate Party of Sweden which accepts international donations. And yeah, we checked that it is legal. Btw, we aim at having a european Pirate Party in the next EU elections.

</shameless selfpromototion>

I would say that a larger problem would be the aims and strategies of a trans-national political organisation. Political structures, organisations, experience and most debate are all national and different. There is no public EU-level organisations right now. But this is a chicken and egg situation, which can be solved. It is just a question of how.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:36:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We should revive Colman's story from last year and research what is and is notpossible in each EU member state. Then we can write to the European Commission asking them to harmonize campaign finance in a way that allows citizens to organize seamlessly across borders.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent idea!

I think we should also add a part on every member state about election systems and how campaigns are normally financed.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 02:43:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I might add, that I suspect the letter to the commission might not do the trick, we will gain some insight in where the EU political system is pushable.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 02:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I wrote in my diary Locustwatch Vision (October 24 2005)
EU legislative initiative is vested in the European Commission. To quote the Commission's own basic facts (emphasis mine):
Although the Commission has the right to take any initiative it considers appropriate to attain the objectives of the Treaties, most proposals are a response to legal obligations, technical requirements or to a specific request for action from another institution, a Member State or from the interested parties.
What this means is that the European Commission expects to be lobbied for new legislation.
Note that there is no pretense that proposals will be disinterested. If you think your needs as an individual or collective could be served by EU-level legislative action, you are expected to address the Commission with a request. At least that's my reading of it. And the commission is always talking about "stakeholders". An organized trans-national group which would like to constitute itself into a political party but is hindered by national legislation is a stakeholder and has a problem that can only be solved by EU-level legislative action and whose solution is consistent with freedom of movement, a leading principle of the EU.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You wrote in the diary you link
If you like to, you are very velcome to donate. If you do it would also be terrific if you end your sum with .03 € cents or something close to it (that would be .04 $ cents), so that what comes via the Eurotrib can be seen (Thanks to DailyKos for that idea).
Has anyone used this mechanism?

Anyway, I visited the donations page and I saw the following little table on the right-hand-side:

Membership [medlemsantal]
v         11000
muf          8503
mp          7862
pp          7321
kdu          4620
and thought "that can't be right, you can't have 60% more members than the Christian Democrats"... but it turns out 'kdu' stands for "KDU youth organization", haha. Anyway, I am very impressed by the fact that you are within spitting distance of the Green party and the Communist party. And you said you estimated that at 8,000 members your penetration in Swedish society would be large enough to give you a good chance of breaking the 5% barrier.

Arrrr, me protagonist mates and beauties!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 03:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh those cents, well, ehm, I...

akward paus

...forgot. So I have not checked with the cashier. Been busy. Will check with the cashier (so much for followup).

Quickly skipping to next item at hand:
Christian Democrats in Sweden are named Kd. The 'u' is for 'ung' (young), not union. The youth organisations are there for reference and to have some organisations to pass. We have been sending pressreleases for every organisation we have passed. When we pass the Greens (sometime in July probably) we will send a big one.

Right now the projection lands us at about 9000 members by election day which should give us something around 5% of the votes (for those who are not privy to previous conversations this is based on the number of voters/members in other parties), sailing over the 4% threshold (5% threshold is Germany).

Of course there is always the possibility that the other parties triangulate us out of the picture by copying over positions. Which would be cool.

Arrr!

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 09:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there might have been a story by Colman a year ago about this.

Ok, here it is:

Colman: What power do we have? (August 3 2005)

One of the successes of dKos and our other colleagues in the US has been fund-raising for candidates, choosing and backing politicians running for office who would have been ignored by the official Democratic Party. The near-win of Paul Hackett in Ohio yesterday is perfect example.

This is possible because any US citizen is permitted to donate to campaigns. Due to the nature of the EU, it does not seem that we can do the same at the national or EU level. While the amounts of money involved in most European elections are smaller than in the US, fund-raising is still an important activity for parties in Ireland and the UK and I assume in other states.

...

Are hassling the media and harassing our representatives the only two levers of power available to us in Europe? Is this a good thing?



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This seems pretty unfair, given the $millions that lobbyists are permitted to invest in the influence of law-making.
by cigonia on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:05:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You will notice if you read the diary that UK and Irish law is designed to make it easy for a company to donate to any political party (all they have to do is to pen an office in the appropriate country) while preventing individuals from doing it unless they are citizens or residents.

A stacked deck.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:07:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...you can even hire people to write LTEs for you at times. There are companies who write letters for a living...
by Nomad on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assume you can only get 150 people to agree to some narrow set of goals and donate €2 per week, plus free time (which as afew points out we pour into ET even though we can't really afford it anyway). You still have €15000 a year and several hundred man-hours per week for distributed research work.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:49:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<looking around, arms spread...> Huh??!?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:53:14 PM EST
Okay, let's then have a 'formal' ET meet-up in Brussels on October the 10th and become protagonists in the on-going discussion about: (see above). You are now "officially invited to participate. Bring your kids and spouses!

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all have personality checks. Some leave theirs more unchecked than others. As a result some eurotribbers are bound by political correctedness and stay polite and feel that adding smiley and snark signs is a necessity for better communication, others like you, poemless and Migeru are more open-mouthed and direct. We're diverse, basically.

Protagnism is going to take a while. Some people come up with good ideas once in a while about going further with ET (organizing workshops etc), but these get drowned too young because that's what we are, a young blog. At some point it's going to work. It did for kos, why not for us?

Cultural elitism is your perception. Jérôme, who wears a suit and tie & lives in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, and thus has all the external signs of a comfortable leftie, nevertheless likes to break rear-view mirrors of cars that try to run him down at pedestrian crossings (he's at 18 mirrors so far). So rebellion is there in each one of us, it just manifests itself diversely. Some of us were long-haired beatnicks, others still are, others yet are short-haired & clean-shaven spokesmen types.

We only try to sound correct and well-educated because we already all do the swearing and yelling in our everyday lives offline.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 04:57:10 PM EST
"Open-mouthed"?  

How could you say such a thing?  You disgust me.  I won't put up with this!  I'm outta here!  Ciao, suckahs!  ;)  <--(Look, I really do play nice and use snarky-face signs.)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:09:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's you and me in the balcony picture ;-)

Hardly representative of the brilliance here, and we never post charts. We just throw theatre programs down from the Gods...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:11:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm the narcissic version of the oldies in the muppet show. I chuckle and contribute little, and spend a lot of time re-reading my comments, sighing at the notion that I could have been a great sports column writer.

My friend who's currently working on an animated motion picture with Paramount once told me that 3D work is 5% actual work, and 95% staring at how beautiful your work is.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:14:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're not stealing my wind just now the Dutch cabinet just collapsed, are you?

In case Alex hadn't underlined it enough, ET is a young blog. For me, it has put me on a learning curve - and I daresay it has done so for others. On the other hand, you may already have the attitude and the arrogance to have what it takes to be a "protagonist" and life the live to be one - I daresay this blog is ready for that or for whatever protagonist role you want it to have. I think you deeply underestimate how long the process of energising people may take, or perhaps you wish to ignore that. Slowly, slowly, catch the monkey.

by Nomad on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:44:19 PM EST
Nomad,

geen kwade gevoelens, jij bent - natuurlijk - van harte welkom om aan dit projekt mee te doen. Echt, jongen!

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 05:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll just respond to you in English. For what's it worth, if that was a serious response... (I may need to point out that adding "Echt, jongen!" is pretty archaic Dutch and hence adds a denigratory undercurrent. Not that many of your English posts are different in the latter.........)

Of course I'm interested, I'm young enough to be foolish - if I haven't moved off the continent by then, and there's still a slight chance I may have.

by Nomad on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:32:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you see it that way, and I hope we can convince you to stay and bring your energy and your unexpected insights to fruition here.

As has been said above, we're still a very small blog. we all have busy lifes, and we try to do what we can, first by informing ourselves, thene spreading the information, then analysing it, and then trying to send our insights to the outside world. To do this requires a lot of efforts and time, and we're doing it on our scale, in addition to the snarky cynical commentary (which I'll agree is not absent from the site, and is part of its wealth of information).

Let's all bring more people over here, create a critical mass to become able to have action items, regular LTEs and, who knows, pulbications or other noticeable impacts in the real media.

And I must say I'd be particularly disappointed not to see your comments anymore.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 06:14:27 PM EST
Your open constant cynicism

What the fuck are you talking about? The only cynicism people show here is towards the sold-out media whores who ply the wares of neo-lib corporate capitalism and American imperialism to the entire listening world. What's your Bullshit Bingo, then, if it's not cynicism?

Oh, you mean we joke with each other? Wow.

And what's this shit about elitism? No, I do not like Fast Food and consider it an imposition of the corporate capitalist world on the poorer majority of citizens. Don't you fucking call me an elitist for that.

And what's this writing a bilious goodbye-cruel-world diary then coming around with the invitations to Brussels?

So we are just a bunch of individuals already spending more time than we can afford working towards an aim of intervening in some way (our aims are not even yet clearly defined -- but we're not going to take yours as a quick default solution, sorry, we're going to take the time it takes); meanwhile you're a paid party operative and you have connections we don't have. Stop being so fucking arrogant about it.

It would be a real pity not to see your comments here in the future. But if they have to be paid for with the kind of crap you wrote above, then (though I insist I would personally feel the loss) perhaps you should do as you say and go.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:37:05 AM EST
 I subscribe to all of the above by afew with this sole exception, noted:

  "...perhaps you should do as you say and go. "

  I don't really think you're expecting pay for your time here so my view is that, really, you ought to stick around and contribute as much as you can and want to; and when your posts don't draw the attention and the reaction they deserve, try, try again and try not to take it too personally.

 I have a lot of respect for most of what you write.

  To accuse people here of cynicism is one of the most outrageously funny and absurd allegations I've seen in quite a while.

  You think about it a moment: we come here, we debate, we take each other seriously when no one else beyond our personal circle of associates does, we care about the political life of the society in which we live--care about it so much that we spend hours reading, considering, writing, arguing and thinking some more.

   If that qualifies as what cynical people do, then I'm a cocked hat!

  The high-muckety-mucks you have the "privilege" to frequent--they're principals in "We'll fuck up the world for fun and profit, Inc."  so, if you can influence them, then please, by all means, do so.  But I have no interest or intention in lending any of my all-too-tiny support to their efforts.

  I'm a four-star outsider because among other things, I refuse the price of admission to the club even if an entry were possible, which it clearly isn't.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:04:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
we care about the political life of the society in which we live

And of societies in which we don't live, too.

By the way, if there were a "desillusioned cynicist (rabid dog on the beach)" competition here on ET, some of Ritter's comments would rank quite high, possibly even taking top spot.

So I strongly disagree with Trond Ove: if this is the stick, I'll let you guess where Ritter can stick his carrot. [Fortunately Oct 10 is 120 days away, so I'll have time to forget this idiocy. Unfortunately I don't think I'll feel like taking 2 days of vacation to go to Brussels in the autumn and schmooze with two ambassadors.]

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:12:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...perhaps you should do as you say and go. "

is the part of my comment I most disagree with myself.

I don't want Ritter to go!!

But I'd love Ritter to sort out some of his contradictions (insofar as they impact us via his comments and suggestions).

What are you, Ritter, a free-electron street-fighting man, or an insider-schmoozer in the corridors of power?

You know, I think a lot of us here don't easily engage in discussion on your comments because you so often pose as one or the other or both of the above. And you do so with a certain dose of self-righteousness.

A lot of us here want to move on to a phase of activism. First we want to get the ideas right, the facts (as far as they can be discerned) right, the metrics (possibly/probably new ones) right. That takes time -- all the more that we don't have much and are not paid to do this full time.

A little indulgence, a little understanding?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 I goofed in over-looking one other point on which I differ with afew--

  In general, I don't see any good use in this forum for the expression,

   "What the fuck are you talking about?"

  It implies that he or she to whom its addressed doesn't know what they're talking about.  That might be the case, but even if so, I don't understand the need to express that in such an insulting fashion.

  I'd love to see this expression disappear from our dialogues.  I don't think anyone here deserves it.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:31:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the fuck are you talking about?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jolly good, I say.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 "When angry, count to ten; when very angry, swear!" -- Mark Twain

 I swear, swearing has its place.  How can we adequately discuss the Bush administration without resort to some expletives un-deleted?

  That said, I'm for restraint and avoidance of the gratuitous use of such phrases.  Use all the swear words you like, just please, please, please don't ask me "WTFAYTA?" unless you want me to tell you in like terms, of course!  

 ;^)

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't being formulaic. I very rarely use this expression, and its use here was not gratuitous. I really do not think Ritter knows what he's talking about re: cynicism.

As for the swearing, I think Ritter's comments were offensive and plain wrong, and fully deserved a couple of fucks and shits.

If Ritter would care to tell us quite what he was hoping to communicate by way of criticism, we might then have a civilized discussion.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:18:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, we're having a civilised discussion all right, it's just that Ritter's idea of useful input seems to be "you can come play in my yard on October 10, two very important kids will be there, too!".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just trying to reformulate the incriminated expression... ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really do not think Ritter knows what he's talking about re: cynicism.

I'm going into even more risk than Trond Ove and claim that you don't know what he's talking about. Methinks Migeru in this thread is Exhibit A. Those who do try doing activism at EU level in practice are ridiculed from an armchair, lots of talk of smoozing and party soldiers, and any possibility to get in touch with the EU people is dismissed as worthless in advance. We may disagree on a lot with Ritter, and say repeating Dutch stereotypes is not the best rhetoric to forge EU activism, but Ritter at least tries in practice what we only talked about.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 02:39:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At every turn in my life I've been involved. I've been in student government in Madrid and in California, both in elected and appointed positions. I have represented Spanish physics students internationally, I have represented international students at the US federal level. I have created the position of International Students Affairs Officer at my US campus, I have made myself a sore thumb for my department defending teaching assistants and students, I have represented my campus at the state level. I have attended community forums in my London ward, I have been verbally abused (and have had some in my group physically abused) for demonstrating against the Iraq war in California. I have been one of a few thousand people to March under the pouring rain on March 15, 2003 in LA (much fewer people, but a more satisfying experience), I have borne witness to a friend in need at a labour relations hearing at my university campus.

You and Ritter have NO FUCKING CLUE what you are talking about.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well this thread is going well, isn't it?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not interested in discussing my "credentials" or anyone's and I feel personally violated by the need to present them to respond to understated accusations and questioning of character from DoDo and Ritter. Ritter's diary is trollish and insulting.

So there.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 04:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because you're petit bourgeois.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 08:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 02:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I could make a general suggestion, it might be more helpful if people could resist the temptation to attack or disparage people for their chosen forms of activism.

Or to put that another way: attacking the anarchist for being leery of centralised power is a bit silly.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Attack schmattack.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only those whom you appreciate can hurt you, DoDo. You hurt, but maybe you won't in the future.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's been par for the course since the first international.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A needlessly offensive comment, DoDo. Ritter backed his cynicism remark with only "snark snark snark", and I replied to that. You seem to see shadowy meanings that fit your own agenda, and your projection of your thoughts into finger-pointing at one individual is unpleasant and, imho, unjustified.

I don't see anywhere where you have retracted or apologized. A pity.

My whole point, picked up in other terms again later, is that Ritter criticizes this entire community for "non-activism" when he doesn't really make clear to us what "activism", in his view, should consist of: is it street-level leftist action, or is it back-door passes to meet powerful people who can "further our ideas"? He has often held out invitations etc, but never entered into truly brass-tacks discussions about what would be involved.

As for his being a party member, I'm sorry but I do not consider people who join a party as more virtuous than those who prefer not to.

So I don't just disagree with you, I object to your comment and in particular its personal attack on Migeru.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 02:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Ritter] has often held out invitations etc, but never entered into truly brass-tacks discussions about what would be involved.
Oh, he has, and for some reason [and despite having just joined ET] I wound up as the point-man forwarding his e-mails to "the group" and digesting our discussions back to him. In the end, we balked and I had to tell him "we'll be ready when we're ready". But this all happened off the blog.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 02:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you know, I wasn't party to that exchange.

What I meant by "brass-tacks discussion" was that I haven't seen Ritter, here on ET, explain and defend his vison of what activism under the auspices of a major centre-left party and by means of meeting well-placed people in Brussels might be.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 03:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll understand I'm not going to spill his e-mails in a diary... I already quoted him briefly once and I felt filthy about e-mail to blog crossover.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 03:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand. But my point that Ritter has never openly discussed his brand of activism here -- meaning the Brussels variety -- stands. I'm not jeering at it, I just don't know what it entails and will not entertain thoughts of joining it until I do.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 07:34:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

 ;^)

   YKWTFIATA ! Right?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:00:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IFWKWTFYATAYF!

:):):)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 12:22:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a protagonist for broader roles for the EP, for EU-wide tax harmonisation at a high level, EU-wide harmonisation of labour and environmental laws at a high level, for an EU-wide application of the German feed-in law, for a shift away of funds from highways to public transit, and a heavy tax on sports cars owned by Brussels bureaucrats, parlamentarians and lobbyists.

On the other hand, I see more truth in what you say than the others here. Though, as afew implied, it's a difference that we do politics in our spare time and you do it all day as a profession. Then again, that's true of many of Chávez's supporters in Venezuela. There is also a class issue here, though many would like to gloss over that.

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

by DoDo on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:13:32 AM EST
I'm a protagonist for...

You don't get it, DoDo, you're not on stage, you just rant from the balcony.

Ritter, on the other hand, can usher you backstage as he works for the theatre.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I got it, it's implicit in the second paragraph. Did you?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:31:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You quote afew who quoted me.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 05:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's another recursive spreadsheet...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we don't stop it quickly it will crash the site's database.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it only me or is anyone else also getting a whole bunch of déjà vus? The Matrix seems to have been reprogrammed.
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the PuppetMaster in the wings of the theatre?

Oops, just me being cynical... again ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:23:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it only me or is anyone else also getting a whole bunch of déjà vus? The Matrix seems to have been reprogrammed.
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:37:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to sneak a diary onto the front page during a glitch in the Matrix, but Agent Smith was quick off the mark.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I want to learn how to do the political equivalent of that bullet time thing.

That would be really cool.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to choose a slow news day ;-)


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 1st, 2006 at 04:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice rant but...from an outsider/lurker point of view, a little misguided.
This forum has members who range from mover-and-shaker types like Jerome (and from what you say, yourself) to intellectuals like Migeru. The ambiance is much more like walking into the middle of a heated philosophical discussion at an interesting cafe than the political convention that is Kos. FWIW, both are necessary in that it's hard to make concrete decisions without a lot of sound input, both practical and theoretical; but once that knowledge is gained, action should be taken to put that information to work.
From a personal standpoint, I find it difficult to join in a majority of conversations on ET because I'm simply not qualified to comment. Where I came from, I had a broad understanding of the culture and enough specialized knowledge of many issues to contribute positively to the progressive dialogue. I was known by most of the players on the political scene, and even counted some of them as friends so my opinion was trusted, and furthermore it mattered.
Since moving to England, I find that a lot of the issues this country is dealing with are subtly different, the way that the media deals with them is biased in unfamiliar ways. The attitude of "the man on the street" and its relation to both the political system and the way the media portrays it is also ambiguous. Until I have a better understanding of both this culture and that of greater Europe, it behooves me to keep on lurking rather than taking actions which are naive or misguided.
Your input as an activist is valuable and appreciated, but then so is that of the posters who offer observation, analysis, and even snark.
by northsylvania on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:17:26 AM EST
So you are also in England... I think a UK ET meetup is urgent. There are a lot of us (I bet easily a dozen just in London) and we should get to know each other.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:20:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are both too kind.
A UK meetup would be wonderful, though the main reason I missed the French one was not Francophobia, but being stuck in the States packing and fixing up the house to sell. It was finished just in time to miss YearlyKos. Feh.
by northsylvania on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 08:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Next good opportunity could be at the Great British Beer festival in the first week of August. There will be cider and much foreign (inc US) beer if British ale don't float yer boat.

Any interest ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 08:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If a beer festival is what it takes, by all means...

We should need our own tent if we get all 60+ of us to show up ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 08:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we get 6+ I'll be amazed, let alone 60 !! Especially as ThatBritGuy doesn't drink and may resent having to pay to enter a beer fest.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we get 6+ I'll be amazed

Then we need an alternative plan. This is ridiculous, what does it take to get UK ETers out of their dens?

I'm not too thrilled about paying to enter a beer fest either, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I flew the idea simply cos it's a novel thing to do and a semi-formal beer tasting might have made for a fun entree.

However, I'm perfectly happy to go elsewhere, but a lot of UK/South East England members seem to prefer not to socialise with us.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:25:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like I said, whatever works.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:28:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How in blazes did you people ever manage to run  empires? Did you just send the Irish and the Scots over to do it for you? Can someone pick a date and a place for a 51st state of the US meet-up and be done with it? I don't care if it's drinking beer, watching cricket or walking the treadmill in the local work-house. August/September sounds good. September is probably better if you want to avoid the holiday thing. Though I suspect people here may be more likely to be on holiday in September than in August.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:25:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your perspective as an outsider discovering the local rules would certainly be enlightening and interesting to us.

We don't want to get too cynical or jaded - we need new input, fresh blood!

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 06:29:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may dust off an old chestnut:
"Blog! I must write blog or die!"

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 07:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Ritter,

  Being the very smart person you are, you should have a good bit more to offer in influence here than to pout to a bunch of people who read and respect what you have to say and then say "Sayonara, cookie!"

  In a diary on a "More just society", I tried offering what is some of my best effort here; as I recall (without checking) you had fuck all (e.g. nada) to say about that piece of fluff; did I complain?  Nope.

  BTW, I wrote this just now in reply to your commment on Mickey D's:

  What do you call a Quarter-Pounder with cheese in Paris? de la merde

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:37:48 AM EST
If this diary was meant as a kick to get people to start moving towards what we always talk about then I have to say job well done.

Now put up a carrot thread where we can talk about the october meetup and everything should be well. Except for a bunch of grumpy old donkeys of course. Erm... Did I just piss off a bunch of people too now?

by Trond Ove on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 09:45:12 AM EST
a community especially if it is a critical voice.
by observer393 on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 11:23:41 AM EST
Pardon my ignorance, but is there some case of web-multiple personality disorder? I am really sorry if I like fresh baked baguettes with jamon and a glass of good beer as opposed to nasty-ass triple cheeseburger and fries that don't spoil for 2 weeks. Does that make me elitist? Sure. Or maybe I just think that after working our asses off day in and day out, we deserve something better than mass produced food.

As for the rest, I am not even going there.

Mikhail from SF

by Tsarrio (dj_tsar@yahoo.com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 07:40:09 PM EST
In part I agree. However:

-This show is awful!
-Terrible!
-Disgusting!
-See you next week?
-Of course.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 09:52:13 AM EST
jeez, go away for 10 days and this is the diary i reconnect with...

serious cognitive dissonance...

we are just pixels, and may not like each other in person at all; meanwhile some ideas get tossed around, some great, some greatly banal.

what's going on?

the apple of discord is thrown...

ritter, your comments are fun to read, but this is pure provocation, and operatically self-important.

those highpower dudes are bending your mind.

as a psych exercise, interesting...

ban snark, would ye?

shiver me timbers, you're asking to walk the plank!

this is a cool place to stop by and learn something, and most of us here aren't about to start a revolution, much as we'd like to.

we just want to have fun and get a little savvier, s'all.

are you an ex-street fighter turned diplomat?

whatever...

'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 Tue Jul 4th, 2006 at 08:35:12 PM EST


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