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Black Friday Open Thread

by Jerome a Paris Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:47:18 PM EST

It's Friday! It's Open!


Display:

Areva contract with China to be paid in euros rather than dollars - report

PARIS (Thomson Financial) - The 7-bln-eur contract that French nuclear engineering firm Areva expects to sign this weekend in China will be paid in euros, not dollars as is usually the case with foreign contracts in China, Le Figaro reported.

Are you shopping today too, ie switching your increasingly less valuable dollars for variously useful stuff?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:47:47 PM EST

Today its "Buy Nothing Day" in the USA.

Tomorrow International BND.    

 


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't sure of the date. Thank you.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:49:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kind of an intriguing reversal of Gresham's Law.  We're starting to see Good Money drive out Bad.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:24:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't information the difference here? People can see that certain money isn't good, hence it can be driven out, whilst in Gresham's day bad money looked like good money...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:43:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gresham observed people would spend the Bad Money, so it would continue to circulate, and horde the Good Money.  This presupposes they had the information necessary to distinquish.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 02:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's exactly Gresham's law. When people consider a currency to embody lasting value, they tend to hold on to it. Currency considered of doubtful value (including counterfeit), will be passed on like a hot potato.

This was particularly applicable in the days of gold and silver coin, where the weight of precious metal mattered. In colonial America, shillings were little appreciated because they were often clipped to reduce the weight of silver. The "good" money people tried to get paid in and to hoard was the Spanish silver piece of eight, or dollar. Hence...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
courtesy of the torygraph.

I'm not buying shit and there is no black Friday even if it is to me for personal reasons.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hope tomorrow will be brighter...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:28:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a uniquely reasonable choice, I traded my dollars in for Euros a couple years ago. But my "disability pension"  is still paid in dollars. Bleegh.

I'm thinking of starting a foundation, and donating it, to pay for cracked corn to feed the pigeons at the St Pete Public library. Now, if I can just get three more contributors, we're set for the month.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 02:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not nice to gloat at others' misfortunes.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins
by EricC on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

An apocalyptic vision of how the world will look after the oil runs out has been given by a top scientist.

Richard Heinberg, one of the world's leading experts on oil reserves, warned that the lives of billions of people were threatened by a food crisis caused by our dependence on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.

Higher oil prices, the loss of farmland to biofuel crops, climate change and the loss of natural resources would combine with population growth to create an unprecedented food shortage, he claimed.

The only way to avoid a world food crisis was a planned and rapid reduction of fossil fuel use - oil, coal and gas - and a switch to more organic methods in the growing and delivery of food. It would mean a return to living off the land not seen for 150 years.

The stark predictions were made by Heinberg in a lecture to the Soil Association in London.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:48:58 PM EST
I think I'm going to stop listening to people who don't understand the meaning of the word "technology".

What is advocating if not a string of "techno-fixes"?

Technology: the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, esp. in industry.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:54:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Extraneous and asymmetrical validation by a recognized intellectual authority is validating.

(That's the Post Modernist way of saying, "Neener-neener!  I told you!  I told you!  Neener-neener-neener")

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 01:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Validation is validating.

That's post-modern for you.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I consider it my life's task to increase the totality of  ontological valueousity.

:-)

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am missing why Heinberg is such an 'expert', let alone a 'top scientist'.

 Even on his own website, he careful describes himself as 'one of the world's foremost Peak Oil (oil depletion) educators', and
' journalist, educator, editor, lecturer, a Core Faculty member of New College of California where he teaches a program on "Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community,"'

Of course, that doesn't mean his points are wrong, but it definetely doesn't make them are right, or important.  

by GreatZamfir on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 02:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
consider the source: a newspaper.

"World famous scientist" plays better, sounds much more impressive, than "Some dude who knows what he is talking about."

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More Jerome bashing from our least favorite Welshman. And I think he's taking a potshot at me as well.  Why is it that I think of the old line, "How do you know when a Welshman is lying?" when I read something written by him.  Well he is speaking English.

Why socialist economics on Dkos feels so dismal

Yesterday, I read on here another in the series of recommended diaries under the strangely xenophobic title of "The Anglo Disease". My heart sank as commentator after commentator propounded economic theory in the tired rhetoric of the extreme left-wing that I last heard in the UK in the 1970's. Throwing off the yoke of this enabled the British economy to become the largest in Europe, to the chagrin of many of its continental competitors.

What this language of socialist economics does is promote the real and unreal virtues of its philosophy whilst ignoring the fact that we progressive capitalists equally recognise not just the benefits of our system but also the abuses that can, and have, brought it into unwarranted disrepute..

Having a swipe at Ronnie Reagan and Maggie Thatcher doesn't bother me in what was written. Only partly satirically, but certainly with some satire, I admit that what really bugged me about hearing the attacks on even a Democratic president like Clinton, in that thread, is that the thoughts on which these were based seemed so utterly dreary,  uninviting and ...well, unexciting.

Then he went on to cite articles about how recent research has shown that people's assessment of their income situation is dependent on that of their peers.  Where there is greater peer group equality, peeople feel better off on the sole basis of their wage, compared to where the same wage is lower compared to te peer group.  

The econospeak for it is the difference between indepedent utility, my value for this good depends on only what I think of it, and interdepedent utility, my value for a good depends on who much I have of it relative to other people.  

It's the difference between the Lexus and the Olive Tree.  The Lexus is valued primarily because it's something that other people don't have, it's utility is interdependent.  The value of the Olive Tree is primarily independent, people value olives because they like to eat olives, it doesn't matter whether other people eat olives or not.

I've been writing about this and it's relationship to redistribution for the past week for a paper I'm doing for a class.  The key thing being that if utility is indepedent, then you can make people better off by growing the size of the economy, but if it's interdepedent, then the economy becomes a zero sum game.  Distribution matters in the latter case far more than in the first.  It's a major assault on welfare economics, and the politics of economic redistribution.  And European journals have been where most of this work has been published.

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

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 02:50:07 PM EST
is that the thoughts on which these were based seemed so utterly dreary,  uninviting and ...well, unexciting.

Because economics has to be exciting, like Enron, and Northern Rock ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the thread is a lot more interesting than the diary.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:09:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Armando did not like my diary either, finding it bigoted.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:11:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly people either have not read or have not understood the first Anglo Disease diaries where you made the explicit analogy with the Dutch Disease, which apparently nobody finds bigoted.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that an explanation of why it's called the Anglo Disease would remove the idea that it's somehow bigoted.  This having been said, don't forget that our friend Armando lawyered for Walmart, which is hardly a paragon of corporate social resonsibility.

The problem is that there's an increasing tendency to Liberalism, which really does nothing to deal with the economic issues that underlie much of the current economic debate.

Ironically, in the reading up I've been doing for this paper I've sacrificed my Thanksgiving to, there was a piece that linked the inability of individuals to attain status through consumption with the rejection of mainstream social values.  So the skinhead is driven at least in part by the recognition that while he will likely always be poor and looked down upon in a culture where economic inequality is prevalent, he can turn to race and culture as status markers that can't be taken away from him. This isn't an insolated idea.

The idea that people who can't succeed in the economy turn to other means to get status is something that many books have been written on in recent years, and of course there's the historical case of what happened in Germany.  And even in Rwanda, there was  increasing ineqaulity before the genocide broke out.  Capitalism as the peacemaker doesn't look like such a winner at this point.

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

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you've annoyed Welshman and Armando you're doing your job.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading Welshman is so inspiring, so exciting... zzzzzzzzzzzz snore....
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:44:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fucking concern troll ... can we ignore him now?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:59:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Give the guy a break.

He's just trying to get a job with the FT.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The brainscans stuff is hilarious. The addiction to non-understood curves and figures instead of actual reasoning and explanations is pathetic.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(Repost of a comment that I posted on the Orange site)
wu ming wrote:
any argument built on the idea of human nature as fundamentally driven by greed, competition and power over subordinates tends to overlook these sort of obvious counterexamples.

Our capitalist overlords can only assume that human nature is fundamentally driven by greed, because they're only driven by greed themselves.

I don't know how to name this, but it's just similar to the homophobic preachings of closeted homo rightwingers: obviously, if everyone else was as much interested in young boys as they are, humanity would cease to exist within a generation. They are so convinced that everyone is hiding the same urges that they are.

What our capitalist overlords and our gay republican overlords have in common is not just Fox News, it's that they probably believe that everyone else is just as crooked and evil as they are. That's also why they're big proponents of primitive religiosity such as 10 commandment displays: since they would (and probably do) get away with murder if they could, they assume that everyone else would too. So they try to brainwash everyone with their "thou shalt not kill", while doing all the killing they want, needless to say.

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 10:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the obvious thing that i missed at first was that if someone's feeling superior because they have more than the others, there is at least one person feeling inferior for having less.

which has its own cost as well, when you look a bit deeper.

recipe for an unhappy society.

the trick is, if you're reading that article from a marketista perspective, you're assuming that you're the guy with the higher salary.

by wu ming on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 03:48:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
from a marketista perspective, you're assuming that you're the guy with the higher salary.

That's exactly the marketista con-trick.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 11:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:01:43 PM EST
Returning home from a celebration, I took an evening train. As the train was braking for one stop along the way, there was a jerk as if the brakes stopped working for half a second, and we stopped with another jerk. After a minute or so, we still didn't depart, and there was the smell of burnt rubber. I saw people running outside, then looked out -- and saw formless metal in front of the locomotive.

It took me a dozen seconds to realise that it was a car. Caught in the road crossing just before the stopping place. I got off and headed into the opposite direction -- and there I saw a dead man lying on the platform. The first I saw. Later an eyewitness driver told what happened: a car with twqo onboard came to the crossing at speed, broke through the closed barrier, crashed into the concrete roadside barrier on the other side, and before the pasenger could jump out, the train hit them.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:09:49 PM EST
That's awful, it must really shake people up to witness something like that. I hope you are ok.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:12:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must be quite traumatic.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh DoDo, how awful.  I'm so sorry.  What a traumatic event.

Was everyone on the train all right?  Physically, at least?

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Physically, yes. For the train, it was just a minor jerk, I first thought maybe a brake shoe broke off. Psychically, the locomotive driver must be worst off.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary has the same rule as the French trains in that a train driver involved in an accident has to stop driving? It took an actual accident when a train driver had kept driving after witnessing a suicide for this polic y to be implemented.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:55:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, I'll go checking. But I do know that at the time Hungary led suicide statistics, a locomotive driver had on average multiple hits during a career. So if they stop driving, then temporarily.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 1977, a documentary writer, whom the regime granted the privilege to dig deep into social misery in real-existing socialism, wrote a book about railwaymen on the Hungarian State Railways. I just found an on-line copy. I think the first diary I'll write tomorrow will be a translation of the relevant part.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, the "stop driving" was temporary too. As in, don't keep on driving that train that was involved in the suicide.

Train drivers in that situation are given psychological counselling, and don't have to return to work immediately. The one who was involved in the accident had claimed he was ok.

Given the Paris metro statistics, each metro driver will witness a suicide in his career... So it's not specific to Hungary.

The amount of "Grave accident voyageur" - the notice the RATP gives in such a situation - is staggering, a very regular occurrence.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oew...such 'first time in your life' experience will not fade away immediatly.
I hope you manage to cope well with it.
 

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:28:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This kind of experience is very disturbing, and takes a long time to integrate. Similar story has happened to me, and is still very present.

I sympathize.

One way to talk about it without talking about it is to discuss how death has been relegated to the backyard, how  it's been mystified, hidden. How surprised we all are.

Who here knows how to clean a corpse?

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the thing is that I had to walk past the(/what I thought to be a?) corpse, did so looking straight ahead, but now I am thinking why I didn't look whether there is some life in him and if I can help. And that's a question my co-passengers must ask themselves, too. We're idiots.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can sympathize even more as I failed to save that person.

This is the reason why I said that where death is gone in our societies is important. We don't really know how to react, overwhelmed as we are by the sight of blood and probable pain. People with the best reaction call those who know better, the doctors, and that's it. Who will dare put their hands on a wound to stop bleeding?

The reason why I mentioned cleaning corpse is that even the natural death of our parents scares us. We call those who know better, yet again. We let strangers intervene in the middle of difficult moments because we are utterly unprepared, taken aback by something we live with everyday, our body.

I know my great grand mother knew how to clean corpses and she was just a farmer who probably had never left her village.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:06:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
We're idiots

Nah, you're not.
It was a first time experience, so you did not have a 'manual' in place to react.
I bet you even do not remember what you were thinking that very moment..just registering facts.
It's a very normal human reaction. I've seen it several times.

Coming days you will think a lot about this incident and by your saying 'we're idiots' you are preparing your 'manual' for next time to be not 'an idiot' again.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet you even do not remember what you were thinking that very moment..

Oh, but I do. "I won't gaze at it like those for whom a car crash is spectacle." And "I shouldn't step on anything police would consider as evidence". Wrong manual.

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:40:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As someone who has spent decades in volunteer emergency response work I respectfully disagree.

For someone untrained and unequipped it was the right manual.  With any head injury spinal cord involvement must be assumed.  When a person has damage to the cervical vertebrae moving the head even slightly could severe the spinal cord and kill them.  

You did what was right.  

You cleared the area and put yourself in a safe place -- when a car is mangled like you describe the danger of it catching fire is very real.  By doing so you allowed the responders clear and ready access to the victims and didn't increase the emergency by becoming a victim yourself.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No idiots there at all, 'cept possibly for the car driver.  To whatever degree it's a shock situation.  You do not judge your reaction under shock.

i hope you are with good friends, and are strong enough to let your own emotions and thoughts flow where they may.  We're all virtually here for you, with respect.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, don't go blaming yourself for what could've been. You ran from a celebration into a severely traumatic event - if you've not been drilled or prepared for situations like these, as most of us aren't, one's instincts are floundering. Also, you were only partially informed of the situation and of what was happening at that point.

Have you been (recently) trained in First Aid? If you have, perhaps only then one might start to walk down that road.

by Nomad on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:47:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This was a world-exclusive, heh. It took one hour from the accident for it to appear on the web page of a regular news outlet. A one-sentence blurb says one dead, so maybe the body I saw was 'only' seriously hurt. (He flew about 50 metres and his head was full of blood.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:48:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
:( Sorry to hear this. That has always been one of my bigger fears when taking a train.

Take it slow.

by Nomad on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the topic of indifference...

The other evening I took our child to the theatre and we took the tube back just one stop. When we got into the train there was a man collapsed on the ground. Everyone just avoided him, but nobody was doing anything. I decided to activate the emergency alarm but waited until we got to the next station (our destination) as there's no point in alerting the driver in the middle of a tunnel. The driver called someone in the station and waited for a few minutes until someone came down. A woman came over from the next car over and when she saw the man on the groung she said "he's just drunk asleep". I felt very uncomfortable throughout. I was convinced people must be thinking I was unnecessarily delaying their journey. I also did not want to do anything with the man myself. I just meekly waited for staff to come and do whatever they needed to do. But, to the woman's dismissive comment I thought, if any of us passed out in the tube for whatever reason, wouldn't we want help to be called?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:05:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of when I had my bike accident.  I'd fallen off, my bike was still half in the road and I was sat on the kerb clutching my face, bleeding.  A car drove past me, slowed down and I saw people peering at me through the windows. Then they speeded up again and drove off. Nobody asked me if I was ok, they just all had a good look and left me there, at about 8pm and dark.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ie to answer Migeru's question, yes it would have been nice for someone to show some concern in that kind of situation.  

I'd say it is far removed from the one DoDo was in today though since I was obviously moving and capable of sorting myself out. Frankly if I had been in that situation today and thought about trying to help, I doubt I would have because I just wouldn't have known what to do, I'd have been too shocked by it. That's a different reaction to one of not wishing to be inconvenienced by stopping to help someone.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from hanging out and caretaking the dying, i've discovered that you give a lot to a very enfeebled person just by 'holding space' with them, especially in situations when words are superfluous or inappropriate.

my first reaction would be to try and let the person know, without touching or moving them, that they weren't alone, or worse, surrounded by people who remained oblivious to their plight.

getting proper medical attention should also obviously be a top priority..

but only just less important would be trying to express solidarity and compassion.

that's a great story in magnifico's roundup this morning about an illegal immigrant who gave himself away to being arrested as the price to help a child who was in a car accident.

he should be offered an honorary citizenship!

'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 Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 06:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about the London underground, but in Paris the train will only stop at the next station when pulling the alarm - the reasoning being that that stop is less than a minute away, and the quicker way to get doctors on the scene inside the wagon is by being at a stop...

I also remember seeing someone on the ground in a station, apparently a drunk diabetic (only found out afterwards). Someone had already called the firemen, and when I enquired about it, and seemed ready to stay a bit, they took the next train... Better behavior.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 05:46:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the London Underground the alarm just alerts the driver, it's really an emergency alarm, not an emergency brake. I suppose emergency brakes only make sense in overground trains. Underground they're just a liability.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:08:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indifference...

Back in the 80's I was in Londen with a friend and two girl friends.
We were on the tube, destination Victoria station.
Tube overcrowded. we, first time in London feeling uncomfortable.
Suddenly, 2 meters away a man collapses...people moving up to make place he can fall on the floor and everybody looking elswhere.
Man on the floor starts to shake hevemently and making loud strange noises.
My friend and I make are way to the man by pushing violently people aside. The same moment, from the opposite side, a very young woman kneels near the man's head and put her fingers in the mouth of the man to grab his tongue.  She gave us instructions what to do and said this was a heavy epileptic case.
Fucking nobody else was doing something to help and people were even reluctant to make some place.

Suddenly , the speakers gave a loud beep and a very quiet voice announces the train wouldn't stop in Victoria station because of a bomb-alert.(It was the very same day an IRA bomb exploded in Tower museum, killing German tourists).

Nah, train accelerated while my friend and I were trying to hold the violently shaking man on the flour to avoid harming himself and the young woman franticly trying to keep his breath going on.

2 minutes(ages) later the train stops, everybody is leaving and other people enter the train.
I couln't find an emergency thing whatsoever, so I ran to the door and can yell to a man in uniform "call an ambulance" he replies "are you sure?" and I say "godverdomme yes!" The man starts to run and I feel the doors are closing, the girl friends came to help to keep the doors open so the train couln't leave.
Angry people all around, luckily after a few minutes a professional rescue-team arrived and took the man with them.
Nah, welcome to London.


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm getting old, this thing happened 17 July 1974.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 07:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you're good, D.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 02:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two days ago there was a press release from the European Commission:

EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases

Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T): selection of projects for the TEN-T multi-annual programme 2007-2013 and the annual TEN-T programme 2007

I understood this are not the final plans but proposals to be discussed in the EP Jan.2008.

There are several plans for new TGV lines, also in Belgium for a new Brussels-Strasbourg line.

I already read some critics who say half of the plans are not realistic.
What's your take?

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 03:58:50 PM EST
What was these commentators' standard for "realistic"? Economics, politics, construction time?

I may write a diary going through the full list tomorrow. (But I also still owe a diary on the recently opened Channel ÍTunnel Rail Link 2.)

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

by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I read it on an aviation site: "again some airtraffic will dissapear!"

But in the same time the EU is working on expanding, regulations, taxations, noise-levels of airports. There is a lobby of regional airports very active in Brussels now. They hope on a part of the cake as well. So if the EU puts his money in high speed trains what will be left for this regional airports? So they are questioning this and point to the massive amount of money going to the trains which will be 'unfair competition'.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 04:47:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Private Eye
"No wonder transport policy in Britain is stuffed. Officials are planning for the future using energy price predictions from a parallel universe - predictions like crude oil falling to $20 a barrel by 2010. In the real world oil almost hit $100 a barrel this month..."

The full article,(not available online) says that road widening projects  will apear unavoidable with the increas in road traffic that will occur with falling fuel prices, Electrification of the railways becomes uneconomic, and Tram systems benefits don't outweigh their costs.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:30:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently this report is the basis of UK transport planning for the next 30years!

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 06:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La la la la la LA LA LA LA la la la la LA la la la. (Etc.)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 07:19:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the tune? I can only hear the theme tune to the Banana Splits

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 08:05:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The transportation strikes about the pensions reform are suspended.

Well, all that the French media are talking about is "usagers" happy that they can go on their daily grind. Interviewing ordinary people, asking, "are you happy the strikes are over?", "Yes". That, and Sarkozy triumphing, "I promised a reform, and I done it".

Of course, the only reason there was a strike, and it lasted so long, is that the government refused to negotiate. Sarkozy wanted to beat a strike, and got that image in the media. Now he is going to give up concessions, real compensations, but the media aren't going to talk about that... It would destroy their hyperpresidential Thatcher narrative.

Yesterday there was a university-and-high-school student demonstration in front of the Sorbonne. According to witnesses, there was some violence. Strangely, we don't hear about that... The only demonstrators the government truly fears, as they are not union controlled, are the high school students.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 07:08:15 PM EST
I think that 75%"magnanimous compromise" mixed with the remainder of "boyish self deprecation" would be a smart tactical cocktail for Sarko- it would undermine the coming strikes. "Well, he compromised when the transport workers gave in---".
I think the press will tell us about it endlessly if he does offer real compromise- Sarko's image problem seems to be that he is emerging as the hyperkinetic snarling  egoist- almost the white nose effect, -rather like Uribe in Colombia- and that will need repairs.

"Come on, Nicholas- blow your nose before you go out there, and for God's sake stop biting reporters!"

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 01:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the press will tell us about it endlessly if he does offer real compromise

Well, I don't. What did he give to the medical students that were on strikes ? we don't know about it. What did he give to the fishermen on strike ? we don't know. The only time he went to see train drivers, he showed himself utterly incompetent on the subject - and we didn't hear about it. When it was reported he had a racist talk with other countries' head of states - we didn't hear about it.

MSM has stopped reporting about Sarkozy. It is only reporting what the Elysée wants it to say.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 04:32:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.fixingtheplanet.com/one-weeks-worth-food-around-our-planet

One week of food


Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45
Family recipe: Chicken biryani with basmati rice




United States: The Caven family of California Food expenditure for one week: $159.18
Favorite foods: beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder, ice cream


Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis Food expenditure for one week: 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15 Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream

by PeWi on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 09:00:21 PM EST
I forgot two:


Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
<snark>Favourite food? Liquid Bread?</snark>


Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23 Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

by PeWi on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 09:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how much of the "food" cost for the 1st World families was to repay the packaging and advertising costs.

I would guess 10% but ... let's see ...

According to the BBC the average British family spends "£470 a year" on packaging so that's 5.8% ....

and I can't find anything about advertising but I'd bet 4.2% is in the ballpark.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 11:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some alarm bells are ringing in Finland with falling demand in traditional markets for both newsprint and LWC paper. Paper machines are being shut down and people laid off.

But the fact is that 85% by value of Finnish fibre export is for packaging. The hot area is now 'fibre solutions' - which is paper engineering to produce materials that can perform like plastic packaging but are biodegradable and sustainably resourced.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 08:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems Germans spend on food more than others, perhaps due to rise of euro. Whatever the difference in spending prosperity does not bring happiness. When I was on camel safari in Thar desert simple water was all I dreamt about, and simple food (omlette and chapatis - unleavened bread like pancakes) prepared by guide cum cook was very delicious and salubrious.
by FarEasterner on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 01:42:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The best meal I have ever had was noodle soup after a 4 hour trek through the jungle when I was in Thailand.  And again, water.  In that moment I had never eaten anything so wonderful and could quite happily have only ever eaten noodle soup for the rest of my life!

On the whole, I find simple food is the best.  When you look at how much processed food the british and american families have compared to the Indian family, it's terrible.  On balance, my weekly food shopping is probably 80% fresh food (in terms of items/volume).

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 04:36:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i know what you mean, in wales...

the best for me was an orange after water-fasting in death valley california all day.

every scrap of peel tasted like heaven....

good thing it was organic!

'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 Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 07:00:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taken from this book. Photos taken from the Times

I think I already saw a link to those around these parts...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 09:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, for providing the proper credit (I got it from here: http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/food-for-thought.html)
by PeWi on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 09:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diaried here but always interesting to revisit!  I need to buy that book.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 05:40:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For everybody wanting to read a lengthy German text that is quite interesting:
http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/26/26670/1.html

It compares among other things, the different strike cultures in the two countries.

It brings it back to the French revolution and the success of the middle class to overthrow government - while in Germany the middle class revolution took place at a time (1848), when the working class was slowly planing to overthrow the government as well. That, the author claims, is the reason, why revolution means different things in these two countries, and why strikes are run differently today.

Well, this is my short summary, so to be taken with care (-;

by PeWi on Fri Nov 23rd, 2007 at 09:40:42 PM EST


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