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

European Breakfast - September 20

by Fran Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:39:05 AM EST

"Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms."

Groucho Marx


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by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:39:49 AM EST
BBC: Second night of Budapest violence

Police and demonstrators have clashed for a second night in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, amid calls for Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany to resign.

Police on horseback charged a group of protestors who were attempting to reach the governing Socialist Party's HQ.

Several people were injured in the clashes, which followed a 10,000-strong peaceful protest outside parliament.

The demonstrations were sparked by the release of a tape in which Mr Gyurcsany admitted lying to win re-election.

About 1,000 protestors broke away from the peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament building and tried to reach Republic Square, the BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest reports.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a little more detail:

There were around 15,000 in the evening at the Parliament. Attempts at keeping things peaceful had some comical elements: for example one speaker warned the crowd that 'provocators' plan to break through the cordons in a few hours; meanwhile the right-wing private news TV that covered yesterday's siege in cheerleader mode switched to calling the rioters rioters, and excused their reporter's partisanship yesterday with being under the influence of tear gas...

Then the troublemakers activised themselves. This time, a 50-member hardcore (who ignored the calls for peaceful protest) first wanted to take the state radio. Police quickly pushed them away, and instead of returning with 500 comrades collected at Parliament (who by looks and accessories were definitely mostly football hooligans), they headed along a main road for the Socialist party HQ. Police stopped them only once there, pushed them from the square in front. What followed was even more like after a football match: police chased them along two main roads.

Damage may have been less despite extending along a much larger area and including a burnt police car. 97 hurt (a bit less than yesterday: police was better prepared), 98 arrested (12x more than last time).

At this moment, there are around 60 people at the permanent protest before Parliament.

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Makeshift barricade (which wasn't of much use to its creators):

This time the clean-up started right after the police action.

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:24:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, I'd be curious as to your reaction to this column, if you have time.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will do in a moment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:33:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Almond in the Guardian: Truth in the free market

Hungarians have been fed lies consistently since 1989 - it is post-communism's dirty secret

So far true...

In 1956, when Khrushchev's "secret speech" revealing the truth about Stalin's rule was leaked, it set off a crisis across the communist bloc, peaking in the Hungarian revolt. This Sunday, the fuse was lit by the leak of the Hungarian prime minister's crude admission to a secret Socialist party meeting in May: "We lied throughout the past one and a half or two years. We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening and also at night."

Gyurcsány's words were actually a direct reference (with a slight variation) to something a radio speaker said during the revolution, on 31 October 1956 ("We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening, we lied the whole day on all wavelengths!").

The scenes outside Budapest radio 50 years ago and outside state television now could be confused. Then, students and nationalists ripped up the communist flag. Now they tear down the EU flag. Each time the regime's defenders denounced hoodlums and fascists, but each time it was the revelation of government deceit which set off the explosion.

Bullshit. The link between Khrushchev's speech and the storming of the radio building is rather distant... the storming was intended to break down censorship in monopolist state media, not something existing today. Also, in 1956, there were hundreds of thousands on the streets, and fighting with guns at the radio. It is the far-right protestersd and rioters who want to see a parallel.

When the goulash hit the fan

Sigh...

Gyurcsany's spin doctors tried some quick footwork. They claimed that admitting lying to the electorate is truth-telling: "Trust me. I'm a liar."

Well, yes, but as I told the other day, the leaked speech itself supports the spin inasmuch as it was meant to get his party to break with past practise and start reality-based 'reforms'.

The opposition is also discredited. Demonstrators jeered opposition deputies when they arrived at Budapest's parliament. Gyurcsany's own words are true in this regard: "Lying is a crime of the entire Hungarian political elite."

There was jeering at everyone without distinction. Reportedly including a Chinese delegation and tourists. This may have two explanations: one, not recognising who belongs to which party; two, the anti-Fidesz part of the far-right types at the protest, for whom Fidesz was indeed discredited. That all political parties have been discredited for a large part of the population does not mean that the demonstration consisted of these people...

n reality, electorates have been consistently lied to since 1989: that is post-communism's dirty secret. Promised west European levels of prosperity and welfare if only they support reformers, time and again ordinary people east of the old iron curtain have been told the day after the polls that austerity measures are now essential. Locked into a macro-economic framework dictated by Washington and Brussels - meeting IMF requirements and convergence criteria for the euro - New European politicians offer their electorates no real choices.

The above paragraph is entirely correct.

Gyurcsany is the classic post-communist success story. As a model young post-communist he knew that government contacts are vital to business success in the "free market". When a state socialist economy is privatised it is essential to have inside knowledge about what is worth buying at the fire-sale of communist assets. Nothing illegal in that. There were no rules.

Again entirely correct. If I call the previous system state capitalism, that also means that system change was also the transformation of de-facto owners of capital into legal owners of capital.

I think I will write in the comments.

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 05:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for that. It's hard to engage with some of these things from afar. Bits (like the last two paragraphs you mention) clearly have a ring of truth and other bits seemed very distortive.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 05:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment is up signed as "Daneel".

What is the time limit for posting another comment at commentisfree? I can't find a FAQ that explains it.

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you got the following reply...
Why do we have Mark Almond writing the article and Daneel posting a comment when transparently Daneel is far better informed and far more thoughtful?
LOL

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Got three-four more replies of that kind -- should I await an email from Guardian?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 02:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can tell you categorically, from personal experience, that tear gas does not cause partisanship.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't know...
Tear gas has propelled me into immediate and energetic support of the "Let's get out of here" party at least a couple of times...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:22:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction: the small group was at the radio at the same time when the 500 went to the Socialist HQ. Also, when the latter were pushed out to a main road, they swelled to some 3,000 with new arrivals from the protest before Parliament, but the latter dispersed quickly. Police can't be too proud again, as they practised two steps forward one step back while they waited for reinforcements. Some more images -- a rioter:

Here is something for conspiracy theorists -- a satanist policeman?



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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:26:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Clinton, Gingrich Both Defend the Pope

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, longtime foes in American politics, forcefully defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday against a wave of Muslim criticism over a speech last week.

When asked about the controversy prior to her speech at an American Cancer Society event, Clinton, D-N.Y., said the pope's follow-up statement should have been enough to settle the matter.

``It's just outrageous and offensive that people would be threatening violence against him based on what he said, especially when there is so much they should be working on together,'' Clinton said.

The former first lady has a huge lead in her Senate re-election bid this year. Her opponent, Republican John Spencer, had criticized her Tuesday for not speaking out in the pope's defense.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dawn: Muslim groups call for unequivocal apology: Bush, Rice defend Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY, Sept 19: Pope Benedict faced a growing chorus of demands on Tuesday for an unequivocal apology for remarks seen as portraying Islam as a violent faith, despite attempts by western leaders and churchmen to defuse the crisis.

Even Washington got involved, with President George Bush saying the pope was `sincere' when he said sorry that his words had been misunderstood, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praising the pope's `love of humanity'.

"We all need to understand that offence can sometimes be taken when perhaps we don't see it," Ms Rice told ABC television.

But for many Muslims, the pope's attempt to explain himself on Sunday did not go far enough and observers were waiting to see if he would speak about it again at his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Poland's President Wants Peace Role

NEW YORK (AP) - Poland's president said Monday he wants his country to be an active broker of world peace and his government could send hundreds more troops than it has already pledged to a U.N. force in Lebanon.

Last week, Poland said it would increase its troop contribution to a NATO-led force in Afghanistan from about 100 now to 1,000 in February.

In an interview with The Associated Press in New York, President Lech Kaczynski criticized the European Union, which Poland joined in 2004, for its reluctance to commit more forcefully to peacekeeping missions around the world.

He said it was ``one of Europe's maladies'' that it was not able to muster the number of troops needed to quell conflicts.

``A union of 25 rich nations should not have trouble getting ready 100,000 well-trained and well-equipped troops,'' said Kaczynski, who was in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly this week.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't realize Poland is rich.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland ranks 24th in the world by GDP, but 51st by GDP (PPP) per capita.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would you conclude "lower middle class" or "middle middle class"?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel Online: LETTER FROM BERLIN - Is Germany Ready for a Gay Chancellor?

Berlin's popular gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit has become a more powerful force in German politics since he was re-elected on Sunday. Berliners like him because he embodies the city's tolerant and cosmopolitan image. Media commentators are now speculating that he could even become chancellor one day. But the country's homosexual lobby group has its doubts.

Embracing your wife or husband for the cameras after winning an election is standard procedure for politicians, just like kissing babies. It was no different on Sunday for Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit who gave his partner Jörn Kubicki a firm, fond hug on stage at a Social Democrats meeting as party workers chanted his nickname: "Wowi, Wowi!"

Conservative challenger Friedbert Pflüger had tried unsuccessfully to make political capital out of Wowereit's homosexuality during the campaign, telling a rally: "Berlin deserves its own First Lady for a change!" The jibe didn't work. Pflüger's conservatives didn't have a chance, falling 2.5 percentage points to 21.3 percent. Wowereit's center-left SPD gained 1.1 point to 30.8 percent, winning him a second five-year term as top representative of Germany's largest city.

His policies weren't popular in his first five years. He cut wages in the public sector and slashed housing subsidies to tackle the city's staggering €60 billion debt, and he failed to make big inroads into the unemployment figures, still high at 17 percent.

Yet voters credited him with enhancing Berlin's image as a hip, tolerant, cultural city. He has wooed international film-makers to make movies in Berlin, and under his watch the city has increasingly become a magnet for artists, fashion designers, writers and high-profile exhibitions. Tourism is also doing well.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:51:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't give too much significance to this victory -- Wowi won but his SPD still got just 30.8%, and his main opponent Pflüger was one of the least popular figures in the CDU (he is whom I think is closest to the US neocons in ideology, he was Merkel's controversial foreign policy expert during the Iraq mess.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WTF?! Yesterday's Bildzeitung (the paper that makes the Sun look responsible) led with the page 1 headline Wowi 1st Gay Chancellor?.

<sigh> Spiegel and substance used to have a lot more to do with one another.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:05:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Sarkozy in 'public lie' over immigrant residence permits

The French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been accused of interfering for electoral reasons in the allocation of residence permits to immigrants.

Politicians from the left and the far right accused M. Sarkozy of mishandling, and then meddling in, a plan to legalise illegal migrants who had children in French schools. The allegations are embarrassing for M. Sarkozy, who looks certain to be the main centre-right candidate in the presidential elections next spring.

Ségolène Royal, the front-runner to be the Socialist presidential candidate, said M. Sarkozy had been caught out in a "public lie".

In June, M. Sarkozy announced plans to crack down on illegal immigration and expel anyone found to be living in France without official papers. After an outcry about the possible expulsion of French-born children, M. Sarkozy issued a circular to government officials asking them to give residence papers to any families well "integrated" in French life, especially to those with children in school.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:07:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Canard Enchainé quotes a high interior ministry official this morning and confirms that after Sarkozy gave target numbers in July, the approach switched from qualitative (looking at each case on its merits) to quantitiative (not using more than the allocated quota of regularisations)

This story is a big pain in the butt for Sarkozy, and it has legs, I hope its keeps on being pushed. I'll do my bit here on ET.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:11:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However bad the French approach, it doesn't sound anything remotely approaching the barbarity of the UK process.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:30:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Financial Times: Prodi attacked over contacts with Iran

Roman Catholic and conservative Italians on Tuesday attacked Romano Prodi, prime minister, for pursuing high-level contacts with Iran at a time when Pope Benedict XVI is under fire from the Tehran leadership for provocative remarks about Islam.

The criticisms of Mr Prodi's foreign policy created trouble on a second front for the premier as he fought to emerge from a domestic imbroglio involving Telecom Italia, the giant telecommunications company.

Mr Prodi has agreed to a request from Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran's president, for a bilateral meeting in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.

The meeting would be a rare example of face-to-face talks between the Iranian leader and a western head of government, and would come at a moment of sensitive diplomacy between Iran and western countries.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
News to me. The attacks that is. Usual bitchiness from the opposition? That would be physiological.

Did the FT bother to note that Teheran President Ahmadi-Nejad downplayed the Pope's unfortunate remark? On the contrary, the first graph points to Tehran intransigence on the affair.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahmadi-Nejad's words as reported in the Italian press:

In Caracas
"I nurture respect for Benedict XVI. I have heard athat on his part that the words he pronounced were badly interpreted."

Later in NY
"The Pope modified his previous affermations. We believe that all religions ought to be interested in peace."

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:08:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so can we assume prodi would NOT be for sanctions against iran?

i have a hunch italy wants to be seen as international 'honest broker'.

does prodi have any skeletons in the armoire?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

'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 Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wiki English alleges he has some skeletons but should be changed (if it hasn't been changed already). Berlusconi's government and press had systematically accused him of all sorts of crimes either through the non-existant Telekom Serbia scandal or the charge of mismanging the break-up of SMI long, long time ago.

Italy does have a role in Iran since long ago. Prodi's government feels that talks with Teheran have not been exhausted- Solano is still talking. So Prodi could press for sanctions if there is no other choice.

As for the opposition's "typhons in a teaspoon" their banking on the Tronchetti resignation at Telecom to embarass the government. Thanks to the substantial parity in the Senate, the opposition has forced Prodi to explain the government position on Telecom in parliament as soon as he gets back from NYC Thursday.

After a round-the-world junket from China to LA to NYC, Prodi should be allowed a few days to review the case. But that's politics. Even Bertinotti, president of the House of Deputies, is busting Prodi's ass over this non-existant scandal.

By the way, in five years of government Berlusconi never addressed parliament on an issue. Not only, in major scandals such as Nigergate, he only sent undersecretaries, the last cog in the wheel, to refer in parliament, invariably after midnight.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Chirac backs UN compromise on Iran

Jacques Chirac, France's president, on Monday pushed the United Nations Security Council to scale down its threat of sanctions against Iran, even though Washington wants to maintain international pressure on Tehran.

Mr Chirac's appeal, made in a rare interview with French radio, mirrors the position of Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, who indicated his support for a compromise last week.

Earlier this year, the Security Council backed a resolution calling for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment by August 31 and warned of economic sanctions if Tehran failed to do so.

At the same time, the world's big powers told Iran it had to suspend enrichment, which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons-grade material, before formal negotiations could begin on improving ties between Tehran and the west. But some EU diplomats, including Mr Solana, have responded favourably to a compromise floated by Iran, whereby Tehran would halt enrichment not before but during negotiations.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:12:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, the above is from Financial Times.
by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And in today's paper:


Bush and Chirac heal rift on Iran

George W. Bush, the US president, and Jacques Chirac of France said yesterday they had reached a common strategy for starting negotiations with Iran that would appear to involve the US putting on hold its drive to impose UN sanctions.

In a speech to the annual UN General Assembly, Mr Bush directed his words at the Iranian people, saying they deserved freedom from leaders who funded terrorism and pursued nuclear weapons. But he made no mention of sanctions and the tenor of his remarks was more cautious than usual.

Before arriving in New York, Mr Chirac had caused a storm in the White House by stating his opposition to sanctions.

Yesterday, the two presidents, at a joint press conference, went to great lengths to project an image of unity as a week of intense diplomacy began.

Mr Bush set out a sequence of events that could lead to the US joining high-level negotiations with Iran for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. He said the EU3 - France, Germany and the UK - would continue to talk to the Iranians so they would verifiably suspend their uranium enrichment programme. Then the US "will come to the table".

Mr Bush indicated the US would, for the time being, suspend efforts to rally support at the UN for sanctions.

Despite the mention of military forces moving into the Gulf, this looks smart. First "talks" without the US, no Security Council sanctions, then temporary suspension of enrichment, then "talks" with the US, then maybe something else.

The diplomatic dance beats the hell out of any alternative.


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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:23:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Germany Struggles to Explain Far-Right Election Success

Politicians are scrambling to clarify why the far-right NPD won seats in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's state assembly last weekend. But explanations should be replaced by long-term deliberation, say analysts.

The debate about right-wing extremism in eastern Germany has been reignited following the success of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) in Sunday's elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The NPD won 7.3 percent of the vote, giving it six of the 71 seats in the eastern German state's legislature.

Gideon Botsch from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies at the University of Potsdam said the election results were to be expected.

"We had feared it would happen, so we weren't surprised," said Botsch, an expert on right-wing extremism.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:16:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can anyone knowledgeable about German politics do a diary on this?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 05:27:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT: Minister `invented' World Bank row


Hilary Benn, the British development secretary, manufactured this week's row over the World Bank's corruption strategy in a bid to boost his chances of becoming deputy leader of the Labour party, a senior Bank official has charged.

Paul Wolfowitz is "disappointed" with Mr Benn's actions according to the World Bank president's camp. A senior official, close to the World Bank's board, told the Financial Times: "Benn is revealing himself to be an ambitious political climber who misled his hungry press corps by tossing them some fictional red meat.

"He manufactured a non-crisis to score points in the UK by pretending to stand up to the Bank," he said. "It plays well in the party leadership race back home but has absolutely nothing to do with helping poor people who are starving or dying from preventable disease."

The attack comes amid rapidly deteriorating relations between the UK and the World Bank, headed by Mr Wolfowitz, the controversial former US deputy defence secretary.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spank dat Wolfie!

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins
by EricC on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:40:47 AM EST
Guardian: Coup as army seizes power in Thailand - Tanks on streets, martial law imposed

Thailand was thrown into turmoil and martial law yesterday when the army sent tanks and troops into the capital to wrest power from the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, as he attended the United Nations general assembly in New York.

In the first military intervention for 15 years in the notoriously coup-prone country, the army threw a cordon of tanks round the government offices in Bangkok, seized control of television stations, and revoked the constitution. The coup leaders ordered all soldiers not involved to remain in their barracks. Hundreds of troops were deployed at crossroads and outside hotels and near the royal palace.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: The autocratic billionaire accused of running his country for personal gain

t has been almost too easy to caricature Thailand's Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra; like Silvio Berlusconi, the European counterpart to whom he is so often compared, he gave plenty of ammunition to his enemies.

The billionaire businessman described Washington as a "useless friend" after the Americans denounced his human rights record, and he fumed that " the UN is not my father" after stern words from diplomats questioned his bloody campaign against drug-dealers, which resulted in 3,000 extra-judicial killings.

He even hid the first outbreak of bird flu in a vain attempt to protect Thai poultry exports, almost risking a global pandemic in the process.

The anti-Thaksin chants that resounded in Bangkok's streets and outside shopping malls this spring were gradually taken up by Thais across all generations and classes. And now the army has risen up against the autocratic policeman turned billionaire premier.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just seen Margret Becket on SKY news saying
'We are never happy to se military attempts to overthrow a government'.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:12:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unintentional irony is always the best sort, isn't it?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:19:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of Condi Rice lecturing Chavez about "democratic legitimacy" at the height of the failed 2002 coup.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:42:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We promote peace and democracy.
You are dangerous populists.
They are terrorists.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:44:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. Just wow.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Iranian president labels US a lawbreaker  

· Britain and America are accused of aggression
· Bush urges 'ordinary people' to shun extremism

The intensifying war of words between Iran and the United States reached the floor of the United Nations last night when the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accused America and Britain of violating international law.

Mr Ahmadinejad's speech only once directly referred to the United States, but was infused throughout with criticism of the "exclusionist policies" of what he called the "hegemonic power" and its grip over the UN through its membership of the security council.

"The question needs to be asked: if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom who are permanent members of the security council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the organs of the UN can take them to account?" he said.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:05:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the mad little mouse that roared...

'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 Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel Online: TOXIC-WASTE SHIP "PROBO KOALA" - Profits for Europe, Industrial Sludge for Africa

Europe wouldn't take the ship's stinking, poisonous cargo. So it sailed to Africa and dumped the toxic mess into an Ivory Coast lagoon. Just the most recent example of western nations using Africa as a toxic waste dump.

The worst is when it rains. The water flows through the streets of Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast, located next to a series of lagoons. With the water comes a toxic soup of industrial poison -- a dark, glistening mess reeking of sulfur and rotten eggs. The caustic fumes it releases cause vomiting, nosebleeds, headache and rashes.

The hospital in Cocody, a downtown neighborhood in this city of 4 million, is in a state of high alert. Women stand waiting in the hallways, pressing paper masks tightly against their noses and mouths. Masks are currently a hot commodity in the Ivory Coast, where street dealers sell them for 20 West African centimes apiece.

A little over a month ago, a fleet of tanker trucks loaded with a toxic brew of cleaning chemicals and gasoline and crude oil sludge was dispatched into the streets of Abidjan. Under cover of night, the drivers secretly dumped their loads in 14 locations around the city -- near vegetable fields, fisheries and water reservoirs. All told, the cargo amounted to 528 cubic meters (18,857 cubic feet) of toxic waste that had reached the West African coast on board an oil and cargo freighter.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there it is...in a  nutshell...once again....and again....

and we wonder why the young disaffected want to go medieval on our countries?

radical abuse spawns radical abuse....

what part of 'action-reaction' do our 'leaders' not get?

'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 Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:09:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Melo, why do you hate freedom?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:14:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
freedom is fine, it's just what these poor fucks have, freedom to wander through their evil toxic swamp of a town, so we are free to buy our chemicals and not pollute our precious countryside, and chem companies are free to make bux off voiceless peoples' suffering...

yeah and i'd like a world free of this shit!

'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 Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Annan Calls for Unity in Emotional Adieu

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - In an emotional farewell, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed for nations and peoples to unite to combat widespread contempt for human rights, religious divisions, brutal conflicts and an unjust world economy.

Annan's opening address to the 61st annual U.N. General Assembly hit many issues on the ambitious agenda that leaders of the 192 member nations confront - reviving a stalled Mideast peace process, curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, getting U.N. peacekeepers into conflict-wracked Darfur and promoting democracy.

But it was overshadowed by a bloodless coup in Thailand in which the military overthrew popularly elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as he was in New York for the ministerial meeting. Thaksin initially switched speaking slots so he could make his speech on Tuesday evening, a day earlier than planned, but later canceled the address.

Trying to build bridges with people in the Middle East angry with the United States over Iraq and Lebanon, President Bush assured skeptical Muslims he is not waging war with Islam and urged support for the people trying to transform the region and bring Mideast peace.


by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
will annan go down in history as particularly effective?

he seems a decent man, though out of his depth in what must be one of creation's hardest jobs.

the scandal with his son didn't help, neither the constant eavesdropping, undermining, orchestrated media swiftboating and petty sniping from the usa, whose choice of bolton said all needed to be said about the white house's esteem for the institution.

imo, the un should move to geneva....

nice idea, america, can we place it somewhere safer and really give it wings?

'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 Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:15:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Organic Consumer Association: USDA to Rubber-Stamp Contamination of Food with Illegal, Genetically Engineered Rice

   * USDA to Rubber-Stamp Contamination of Food with Illegal, Genetically Engineered Rice Banned in Japan and Europe
      U.S. Dismantles Regulation of Genetically Engineered Crops to Serve Interests of Biotechnology Industry
      Press Release - Center for Food Safety, Sept. 11, 2006

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today initiated fast-track market approval of an illegal, genetically-engineered (GE) rice variety that has contaminated long-grain rice throughout the South, throwing rice markets into turmoil and potentially causing harm to consumers and the environment. Bayer CropScience developed the rice, known as LL601.  Bayer field-tested LL601 from 1998-2001, but for unknown reasons never applied to USDA for market approval.

Though LL601 is illegally present in rice supplies, and has not undergone meaningful reviews for potential health or environmental impacts, U.S. authorities have failed to recall LL601-contaminated rice supplies or food products.  In contrast, Japan has banned U.S. long-grain rice imports, and the European Union is testing all U.S. rice shipments and rejecting those that contain LL601.

Bayer is now asking USDA to grant retroactive market approval of the illegal rice, even though the company gave up plans to market LL601 in 2001 and it remains untested.

"Illegal, potentially hazardous rice in grain bins, on supermarket shelves, in cereal, beer, baby foods, and all rice products.  It should be a no-brainer ­ recall this stuff to make sure no one eats it," said Joseph Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety.  "Instead, USDA plans to rush through 'market approval' of a genetically engineered rice that Bayer itself decided was unfit for commerce.  Why?  To free Bayer from liability."

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 01:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Die Zeit: End of the New American Century? - In America at present, a completely un-American debate is germinating: Is it time for neo-conservatism's obituary?

If political theories have an address, the address of neo-conservatism reads 1150 17th Street NW, Washington, DC. There on the fifth floor in rather ordinary-looking offices reside a half dozen right-wing intellectuals, who supply a steady stream of arguments for the propagation of democracy and a world dominated by America. The little club is called The Project for the New American Century RealVideo. In 1997 nearly every important American neoconservative signed the club's founding charter. The thinking that evolved here then circulated amongst a group of friendly think tanks. With the election of George Bush to the presidency and especially after 9/11, the significance of the think tank increased, even if the staff size remained small. Neo-conservatism was a dominant force in American foreign policy, and the network of friends had become a network of power.

Now, nine years later, the Project for the New American Century is closing - due to a shortage of funds, it is said. Those that remain there are looking for work. Their ranks are thinning. The New American Century has taken too long to arrive. An ideology is packed up and in moving crates. One couldn't have a sight more pregnant with symbolism.

One needn't look long for the crisis of neo-conservatism. The magic word is Iraq. The central project of this foreign policy school, the democratic transformation of Mesopotamia [Iraq], has not gone as hoped. Theory didn't withstand contact with reality, and that reality has now swept away some theoreticians. And at the same time, a harvest of new treatises is emerging.

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 02:22:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they are disbanding this front organisation, but they have started others. And Wolfie is at the World Bank, Perle is on the roam in Europe.

I think the obituaries are a little premature.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 03:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't "right-wing intellectual" a contradiction in terms ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got to have a brain to be an intellectual.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins
by EricC on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT: Doubts Increase About Strength of Iraq's Premier

BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 -- Senior Iraqi and American officials are beginning to question whether Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has the political muscle and decisiveness to hold Iraq together as it hovers on the edge of a full civil war.

Four months into his tenure, Mr. Maliki has failed to take aggressive steps to end the country's sectarian strife because they would alienate fundamentalist Shiite leaders inside his fractious government who have large followings and private armies, senior Iraqi politicians and Western officials say. He is also constrained by the need to woo militant Sunni Arabs connected to the insurgency.

[...]

Bush administration officials have repeatedly cautioned that Mr. Maliki needs more time. "This is a national unity government of many, many moving parts," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He has got to negotiate as he goes."

But diplomats who deal with the Bush administration on Iraq issues, and recently departed officials who stay in contact with their colleagues in the government, say the president's top advisers have a far more pessimistic view.

"Bye bye love, bye bye happiness..."

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NYT: After Remark, Judge in Trial of Hussein Loses His Post

BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 -- Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Tuesday fired the judge overseeing the second phase of the trial of Saddam Hussein, accusing him of bias toward the deposed Iraqi ruler.

Aides to Mr. Maliki said pressure had been building from Kurds and others to oust the judge after he told Mr. Hussein in court that he was not a dictator.

The firing was condemned by human rights advocates as improper political interference by Mr. Maliki's government, which is dominated by Shiites and Kurds persecuted during Mr. Hussein's rule. Human Rights Watch said the firing "sends a chilling message to all judges: toe the line or risk removal."

Bassam al-Husseini, an aide to Mr. Maliki, said the prime minister's office asked the Iraqi High Tribunal to remove the judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, a Shiite who was also a judge under the Hussein government.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah. It's always the puppet's fault...

(BTW, for background on the post-election maneuvers of the Iraqi groups and the US, read Gilbert Achcar's guest commentary at Juan Cole.)

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also in his laters post:

Juan Cole: 4 GIs Killed; at least 64 Iraqis Killed; Massive Bomb Near Mosul (September 20, 2006)

We historians don't approve of great man theories of history, and I don't think the main problem is Maliki.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:46:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good find!

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:00:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WaPo: Boeing Wins Deal For Border Security

Aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co. has won a multibillion-dollar contract to revamp how the United States guards about 6,000 miles of border in an attempt to curb illegal immigration, congressional sources said yesterday.

Boeing's proposal relied heavily on a network of 1,800 towers, most of which would need to be erected along the borders with Mexico and Canada. Each tower would be equipped with a variety of sensors, including cameras and heat and motion detectors.

The company's efforts would be the basis of the government's latest attempt to control U.S. borders after a series of failures. The contract, part of the Secure Border Initiative and known as SBInet, will again test the ability of technology to solve a problem that lawmakers have called a critical national security concern. This time, the private sector is being given an unusually large say in how to do it.

Boeing sold its plan to the Homeland Security Department as less risky and less expensive than competing proposals that would have relied heavily on drones for routine surveillance work. Boeing plans only limited use of small unmanned aerial vehicles that could be launched from the backs of Border Patrol trucks when needed to help pursue suspects.

The system is to be installed first along the Mexican border in an area south of Tucson known to be a key crossing point for illegal immigrants. The company has said it can deploy the system along both borders within three years.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS AND THAT
by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:41:13 AM EST
Reuters: Czech it out: sex machine museum

Sept. 19 - Perhaps proving history can be sexy - the first ever museum dedicated to sex machines threw open its doors.

The museum is the result of its founder and owner Oriano Bizzochi's thorough research and curiosity.

With a video

by Fran on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 12:53:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It took Reuters just two or so years to notice?
by Sargon on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't think it was exhaustive field research?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone from Reuters got on vacation to Prague and wanted the entry fees to all the nightclubs, strip joints, etc. covered by the employer, perhaps?
by Sargon on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 04:47:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Independent;-
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1621766.ece

A team from Oxford University has discovered that the Celts, Britain's indigenous people, are descended from a tribe of Iberian fishermen who crossed the Bay of Biscay 6,000 years ago. DNA analysis reveals they have an almost identical genetic "fingerprint" to the inhabitants of coastal regions of Spain, whose own ancestors migrated north between 4,000 and 5,000BC.

The discovery, by Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, will herald a change in scientific understanding of Britishness.

People of Celtic ancestry were thought to have descended from tribes of central Europe. Professor Sykes, who is soon to publish the first DNA map of the British Isles, said: "About 6,000 years ago Iberians developed ocean-going boats that enabled them to push up the Channel. Before they arrived, there were some human inhabitants of Britain but only a few thousand in number. These people were later subsumed into a larger Celtic tribe... The majority of people in the British Isles are actually descended from the Spanish."

So all the kerfuffle about gibraltar is resolved; it's spanish cos the the British are spanish too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow... Folkstone flamenco? Portsmouth paella? The Sierra Snowden? It boggles the mind.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 06:58:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do flamenco and paella have to to with the Celts? How about bagpipes and seafood?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:09:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, man.

Celtic fishermen are not Iberian fishermen as "Iberian" is actually a technical name for non-Celtic inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula. Much was made of calling the people of the Peninsula at the time of the Roman conquest "Celtiberians", resulting from the intermarriage of indigenous Iberians and immigrant Celts.

We have bagpipes in North-Western Spain, too, you know?

This, of course, will do nothing to change "the scientific understanding of 'Britishness'". Where does the writer think the Celts of Spain came from? Central Europe.

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

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 07:07:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a lot being mixed together here.

I would say that "Iberian" in this context simply means people who originated from the area now occupied by Spain and Portugal.

Whether these people had celtic culture at that time or acquired it later is open to conjecture. The timescales for the Iberian migration from the south and the celtic arrival (suppposedly) from the east are very similar so it could be that this was a method of arrival.

It's interesting as I was certainly under the impression that the celts arrived in Britain through E Europe and germany across the N sea and then on south down the Atlantic coast. This suggests things happened differently.

However the bagpipe is not a scottish specific instrument but is in fact of Middle Eastern origin. It was common throughout europe before the advent of keyboard instruments (with which they cannot harmonise)

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:03:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether these people had celtic culture at that time or acquired it later is open to conjecture.

As a matter of fact, it's not. There was a thriving Celtic culture in North-western Spain (just like there was one in Brittany in France).

The article saying

Don't tell the locals, but the hordes of British holidaymakers who visited Spain this summer were, in fact, returning to their ancestral home.

...

DNA analysis reveals they have an almost identical genetic "fingerprint" to the inhabitants of coastal regions of Spain, whose own ancestors migrated north between 4,000 and 5,000BC.

and talking about generic "coastal regions" makes it sound like the Celts come from Benidorm. They are found in the Spanish Northwest, in Galicia. I am, in fact, not aware of Celtic archaeological remains anywhere else.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To my knowledge, the Celts came to the Iberian peninsula a few centuries BC, and had kingdoms down to the South of Portugal, all eliminated by Carthago and the Romans in time.

Anyway, if the scientists knew what they were doing, then their samples weren't from Galicia, and they consider that as a back-migration.

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

by DoDo on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:26:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm... Checked wikipedia...

History of the Celtiberians

The earliest Celtic presence in Iberia was that of the southeastern Almería culture of the Bronze Age. In the tenth century BCE, a fresh wave of Celts migrated into the Iberian peninsula and penetrated as far as Cadiz, bringing aspects of La Tène culture with them and adopting much of the culture they found. This basal Indo-European culture was of seasonally transhumant cattle-raising pastoralists protected by a warrior elite, similar to those in other areas of Atlantic Europe, centered in the hill-forts, locally termed castros, that controlled small grazing territories.

...

According to the theory developed by Bosch Gimpera (Two Celtic Waves in Spain, 1943), the earliest Celtic presence in Iberia was that of the southeastern Almería Culture of the Bronze Age; in the 10th century BC, a fresh wave of Celts migrated into the Iberian peninsula and penetrated as far as Cadiz, bringing aspects of La Tène culture (5th century BC) with them and adopting much of the culture they found.

Goes to show how poorly this was taught in school back in my day... Now, the fact that there was a migration into the British Isles is not new
Sometime before 500 B.C., Celtic tribes began reaching Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Anthropologists believe that waves of different Celtic tribes migrated to Ireland and Britain over long periods of time. While many tribes came from the European mainland, a large number also migrated from the Iberian Peninsula.
but maybe what is new is the absence of a substantial migration from Brittany?

In any case, this

"Although Celtic countries have previously thought of themselves as being genetically different from the English, this is emphatically not the case," Professor Sykes said.

"This is significant, because the idea of a separate Celtic race is deeply ingrained in our political structure, and has historically been very divisive. Culturally, the view of a separate race holds water. But from a genetic point of view, Britain is emphatically not a divided nation."

seems to me tendentious. Humans are defined as much or more by their culture as by their genes. If an invading culture manages to convince the local people that they are not Celts, it's as good as if the Celtic population had been physically displaced. It's not as if Celtic culture is carried in the genes.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, by the way, it is interesting that the study is of the Y chromosome, that is, it traces male lineages. The article mentions all major waves of invasion into the British islands.

I would venture that a study of mitochondrial DNA, which traces female lineages, would paint a different picture as it is easier for a predominantly male army to come, conquer and interbreed than for an entire balanced population to move into a previously populated area.

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

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting.  Because this is the most common explanation I've been given for my swarthy Irish ancestry.  Who the hell knows?  But the Spanish teacher at my high school took me under her wing, convinced of my Spanish origin when I told her, that no, my olive skin and dark features come from my Irish genes...  She practically jumped for joy at thought of having one of these specimens of Spanish virility in the British Isles in her little school.  Freak.  

I still have people stop me on the street and start asking me things in Spanish.  Don't speak a word of it though.

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

by p------- on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:39:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you were of Italian descent?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:40:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at all, but I sometimes get that too. :)

(By %: Irish, French, Native American, some German, a smattering of Scottish, English.  I'm a total mutt.)

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

by p------- on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 08:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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