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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 January

by Fran Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:03:42 PM EST

On this date in history:

1921 - Birth of Friedrich Dürrenmatt, a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire.(d. 1990)

More here and here


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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:04:21 PM EST
Czech PM to announce euro adoption date November 1, 2009 - 02-01-2009 14:53 UTC - Radio Prague
Slovakia's prime minister Robert Fico, surrounded by a scrum of TV cameramen and photographers, withdrew the first 100 euros from a cash machine in the Slovak Parliament building in the opening minutes of 2009. Outside in the streets of Bratislava there were lavish fireworks displays and scenes of jubilation as Slovaks celebrated the adoption of the single European currency.

Slovakia is the 16th European Union member to join the Eurozone, and the first - not counting the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia - in the former Soviet bloc. New EU members have to adopt the euro - it's required under the terms of membership - so it's a question of when, not if.

But with Germany, Austria and Slovakia already using the euro and Poland hoping to follow suit in January 2012, the Czech Republic forms something of a hole in the centre of Europe. So far the present centre-right government has refused to set a firm target date for adoption. But that could be about to change, after this surprise announcement from prime minister Mirek Topolanek on Czech Television.

"Look - we are the first government that has actually done something towards adopting the euro. The public spending deficit for 2008 will be around 1.3 percent. Inflation is going to fall. It is self-evident that we will meet the Maastricht criteria. And after discussions with Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek and others, I can say with certainty that on November 1st, 2009, this government will announce the date for euro adoption."

(Hehehe, Topolánek is annoying President Václav "EUrealist" Klaus...)


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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:13:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 France 24 | Majority of Brits still against joining euro | France 24
Some 71 percent of respondents were against joining the euro, with only 23 percent in favour, the ICM survey for BBC Radio found.

People were unswayed by the recent rockiness of the pound, which has plummeted to almost parity with the euro after the Bank of England slashed interest rates to fend off recession.

The poll found that 69 percent of people felt such fluctuations made no difference to whether Britain should join the single currency and 14 percent said it actually made them less inclined.

Only 15 percent said the pound's fall made them keener on ditching sterling for the euro.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I noted in the debate over immigration yesterday, it's no surprise that there's such hostility to the euro when there has been little but propaganda against it in the newspapers and on radio and telly.

It is simply impossible to have a reasoned discussion about the pros and cons of such subjects when any such debate would be filtered through an almost universal filter of vilification.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:34:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why does the Eurozone want Britain?
by paving on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 04:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I visited in Kremnica/Slovakia between Christmas and New Year's Eve. I did not bring any Slovakian Crowns, thinking they must be prepared for Euros already. My only expenses would have been the entrance fee for the guided tour of the castle-church in the old town. However, they were not allowed to accept Euros yet -- so they allowed me in for free!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's one picture:

I have truckloads of others, may turn them into a weekend photo diary sometime.

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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that was taken at Disneyland! This is too pretty a castle to be a "real" one...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 05:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh... It was actually significantly changed in a 19th century renovation, but that attempted to restore the original Gothic appearance.

The Old Town of Kremnica is a late middle-age/early new age walled town that was preserved because the town escaped major wars and was stuck in development during the industrial era.

That church is something very special: it was originally most likely a castle tower for a minor count, before Kremnica was chartered as a free mining city. (The opposite, the conversion of a Romanesque cathedral into a castle, was more frequent.)

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

by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Viollet le Duc "let's make this look as it should have looked, not as it ever really looked" kind of 19th century renovation ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:04:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I.e. saving the building for posterity through a historically inaccurate restoration. Like this one, capped with a roof and lantern that are alien to local architectural practice.

Donjon du Capitole, Toulouse

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.

by Vagulus on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 09:12:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An aching example is the famed Eilan Donan Castle in Scotland. Aching because, if I remember correctly from my visit there, detailed construction plans surfaced just when the 'restoration' was completed...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 10:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or at least "we have no clue how it looked but make this look how we imagine it could have", yes, something like that. However, in this case, that affected the church interior mostly. On the outside, they re-imagined the pre-baroque tower top (which may or may not have been more steep than the baroque one; which you can see on this older and this 19th century drawing).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 10:50:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine Says Russia Threatens to Cut Gas to Europe | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 04.01.2009

"Gazprom has sent today a short-notice warning threatening to reduce Russian gas transit volumes by 52 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) in one of the major routes ... If this threat comes true this transit route to the EU would be practically excluded and out of operation," Naftogaz said in a statement issued in Kiev and Brussels.

The volume of 52 mcm/d is close to the winter consumption of a medium-sized country such as Hungary (population 10 million).

"This situation simply proves the fact that Gazprom is not capable to be compliant with its commitments versus the EU countries. This Gazprom decision is a direct threat to the EU's and Ukraine's energy security impacting detrimentally the whole gas transport system in Europe," the statement said.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:14:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 France 24 | Moscow blames Kiev for threat to EU gas supply | France 24
Naftogaz reiterated its claims that Russia was deliberately violating its supply obligations to EU countries, something denied on Sunday by Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov.
   
"Gazprom is providing gas at the entry to the Ukrainian gas transport system in full accordance with the transit contract and the requests of European consumers," Kupriyanov said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Romania, caught in Russia-Ukraine natural gas dispute. Ministers assures Romanians no problems should be expected - Regional Europe - HotNews.ro
Russian natural gas deliveries to Romania dropped by 30% to 40% starting Friday night as the dispute between Russia and Ukraine over Kiev's unpaid debt to Moscow unfolded. The situation may lust until Sunday, January 4, the head of Romanian gas transport company Transgaz Ioan Rusu told Romanian news agency NewsIn.

For the time being, the diminishing gas imports from Russia has not been felt by business or private consumers as the difference was covered from domestic resources.

The volume of Romania's daily natural gas imports usually amounts to 10 million cubic meters and it dropped by 3 million cubic meters on Friday evening, Rusu said. He assured Romania was ready to deal with a drop in gas deliveries as it can use its own reserves.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RWE Transgas reports first impact on Czech Republic from natural gas dispute
Importer RWE Transgas has reported a five percent drop in natural gas supplies to the Czech Republic from Russia. According to the firm, the drop is related to an ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine. A spokesman called the development the "first signal of the Russia-Ukraine crisis in the Czech Republic", adding there would be no effect on Czech customers thanks to reserves and alternative supplies from Norway. Russia cut off shipments to Ukraine on January 1 in a dispute over prices and on Saturday energy giant Gazprom charged that Ukraine was illegally siphoning off supplies intended for EU countries. Others who have seen a drop in supplies include Hungary and Poland.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Czech MEP dismisses Posselt's words on Beneš decrees
Czech MEP Jan Zahradil, of the Civic Democrats, has dismissed as "aggressive rhetoric" a call by Bernd Posselt, the leader of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft, for the Czech Republic to rescind the Beneš decrees. The decrees led to the expulsion of Czechoslovakia's Sudeten German population of around 2.5 million after World War II. On Friday Mr Posselt said the Czech Republic should take advantage of its EU presidency to lift the decrees and, in his words, "come to terms with its own history". But Mr Zahradil responded by saying that the Czech EU presidency would definitely not deal with matters which he said had already been addressed - and closed - on bilateral as well as multilateral levels.

(The decrets in question were issued by and named for by then Czech President Edvard Beneš right after WWII. The contentious ones declared the collective guilt of ethnic Germans and Hungarians and ordered their expropriation and expulsion. This ethnic cleansing was actually followed through to the most part against Sudetengermans. The decrees are still in the law books, as Sudetengerman collective guilt became part of national myth and there is fear of restitution laims; the EU sidestepped this issue during the accession talks.)


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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL FOCUS Global financial economic crisis

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:04:53 PM EST
Weak pound adds more than £3bn to Britain's EU bill - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Sterling's plunge close to parity with the euro has added more than £3bn to the amount the Government must pay to Brussels over the next three years. The figure has been inflated because the Government has to pay it in euros.

The increase comes on top of a trebling of the UK contribution to the EU - from £2bn this year to £6.5bn in 2010-11 - details of which were tucked away at the end of Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report in November.

The report revealed that Britain's net contribution to the EU will rise to £4bn next year and £6.5bn the following year. However, the Treasury has confirmed that Mr Darling's figures were calculated at a time when £1 was worth €1.4.

Opposition politicians last night condemned what they called the "perverse" additional penalty imposed on Britain by its troubled currency. But they claimed the problem was the legacy of the Government's decision to give up part of the UK rebate in 2005.

Oh my...


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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please don't expect this discussion to be conducted rationally. Europe is not a subject where honest debate is possible in the UK.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:37:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Consumer cash crisis turns the screw on the high street - Business News, Business - The Independent

In November, a survey by Nielsen, the market research firm, and trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that 21 per cent of families had no spare cash left after essential living expenses. However, sector insiders expect this to grow to at least 25 per cent by the spring.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey last week showed that six in 10 people believe they will have less disposable income in 2009 than they had last year. Those in the lower socio-economic DE classifications were particularly gloomy, with nearly 70 per cent convinced they would have less money to spend on the high street.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:11:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oxford Analytica: Romania faces imminent economic crisis - Business - HotNews.ro
Romania faces an imminent economic crisis in 2009, the signs of which were already visible in late 2008, Oxford Analytica says in a report, quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax. Oxford Analytica experts say Romania faces its first economic crisis since the fall of communism, as its 2008 performance, with a record economic growth of about 9% in the first nine months of 2008, was significantly slowed down by the global financial crisis.

The monetary policy was reviewed and marked by restrictions in the last three months of last year and sectors such as industry and the banking services needed government support.

But no bank in Romania was affected significantly by the international turmoil despite problems in the loan segment. Erste and Raiffeisen had to erase debts of hundreds of millions of euro following the Lehman Brothers and Icelandic bankruptcies, but Oxford Analytica experts forecast a profit recovery for the two banks active in Romania, given the support provided by the Austrian state.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Long two-piece essay.

The End of the Financial World as We Know It | New York Times Op-Ed - Michael Lewis

AMERICANS enter the New Year in a strange new role: financial lunatics. We've been viewed by the wider world with mistrust and suspicion on other matters, but on the subject of money even our harshest critics have been inclined to believe that we knew what we were doing. They watched our investment bankers and emulated them: for a long time now half the planet's college graduates seemed to want nothing more out of life than a job on Wall Street.

This is one reason the collapse of our financial system has inspired not merely a national but a global crisis of confidence. Good God, the world seems to be saying, if they don't know what they are doing with money, who does?

Incredibly, intelligent people the world over remain willing to lend us money and even listen to our advice; they appear not to have realized the full extent of our madness. We have at least a brief chance to cure ourselves. But first we need to ask: of what?

<...>

There are also a handful of other perfectly obvious changes in the financial system to be made, to prevent some version of what has happened from happening all over again. A short list:

Stop making big regulatory decisions with long-term consequences based on their short-term effect on stock prices. ...

End the official status of the rating agencies. ...

Regulate credit-default swaps. ...

Impose new capital requirements on banks. ...

Close the revolving door between the S.E.C. and Wall Street. ...

But keep the door open the other way. ...

The funny thing is, there's nothing all that radical about most of these changes. A disinterested person would probably wonder why many of them had not been made long ago. A committee of people whose financial interests are somehow bound up with Wall Street is a different matter.



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
were the authors.  (I did not credit Einhorn on the original post.)

Also, the entire essay is actually divided into two parts (I quoted from both above):

The End of the Financial World as We Know It

How to Repair a Broken Financial World

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's great, I was just going to post it myself.

It really shows that the Wall Street people are such thiefs.

It's not hard to compare the current crisis management with the one we had in Sweden back in 1992, and the main difference is: patriotism. Or rather the lack of it.

The regulators and bankers in the US quite clearly don't care about America. They put the special interests of the financial lobby in front of everything else. The FED doesn't care the least about unemployment, inflation or financial stability. Only about stock prices.

In Sweden, the bank CEO's and the public officials all knew each other and solely worked in the interest of the public.

I'm really quite shocked by the behaviour of the US elite. They are a bunch of thiefs who do not put their country first.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 01:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Op-Ed Columnist - Fighting Off Depression - NYTimes.com
The fact is that recent economic numbers have been terrifying, not just in the United States but around the world. Manufacturing, in particular, is plunging everywhere. Banks aren't lending; businesses and consumers aren't spending. Let's not mince words: This looks an awful lot like the beginning of a second Great Depression.

So will we "act swiftly and boldly" enough to stop that from happening? We'll soon find out.

...

The biggest problem facing the Obama plan, however, is likely to be the demand of many politicians for proof that the benefits of the proposed public spending justify its costs -- a burden of proof never imposed on proposals for tax cuts.

...

All of this leaves me concerned about the prospects for the Obama plan. I'm sure that Congress will pass a stimulus plan, but I worry that the plan may be delayed and/or downsized. And Mr. Obama is right: We really do need swift, bold action.

Here's my nightmare scenario: It takes Congress months to pass a stimulus plan, and the legislation that actually emerges is too cautious. As a result, the economy plunges for most of 2009, and when the plan finally starts to kick in, it's only enough to slow the descent, not stop it. Meanwhile, deflation is setting in, while businesses and consumers start to base their spending plans on the expectation of a permanently depressed economy -- well, you can see where this is going.



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 10:23:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Paul Krugman Blog - Economists behaving badly - NYTimes.com
Ouch. The WSJ's Real Time Economics blog has a post linking to Raguram Rajan's prophetic 2005 paper on the risks posed by securitization -- basically, Rajan said that what did happen, could happen -- and to the discussion at the Jackson Hole conference by Fed vice-chairman Kohn and others. The economics profession does not come off very well.
...
Larry Summers, I'm sorry to say, comes off particularly badly. Only my colleague Alan Blinder, defending Rajan "against the unremitting attack he is getting here for not being a sufficiently good Chicago economist", emerges with honor.

The metaphor used by Larry Summers (comparing the development of derivatives to the development of transports) is, IMHO, totally inappropriate, and I'm surprised (well, half surprised...) that no other economist debunks it.

 

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 11:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL FOCUS Gaza Invasion

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:05:20 PM EST
Israeli forces bisect Gaza and surround biggest city - Middle East, World - The Independent
The military used overwhelming firepower from tanks, artillery and aircraft to protect the advancing soldiers, and Gaza officials said at least 31 civilians were killed in the onslaught. The military said troops killed several dozen militants, but Gaza officials could confirm only four dead -- in part because rescue teams could not reach the battle zones. One Israeli soldier was killed.

...The new deaths brought the death toll in the Gaza Strip to more than 500 since Dec. 27. Palestinian and U.N. officials say at least 100 civilians are among the dead.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign minister: the right to defend one's nation does not allow for actions affecting civilians

In an official statement on behalf of the EU presidency, the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has stressed that the right to defend one's nation does not allow for actions largely affecting civilians. At the same time, the foreign minister stated that Israel's decision to send in ground forces was "not surprising". Along with negotiations towards a ceasefire, the Czech EU presidency is urging for humanitarian aide to be made available to Gaza Strip inhabitants. Mr Schwarzenberg left for the Middle East on Sunday, heading an EU mission focused on the current conflict. Other officials on the mission include EU External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Prior to the team's departure on Sunday, she stressed that the violence on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides needed to stop.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign minister: statement by spokesman "a serious mistake"

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Sunday that a spokesman for the EU presidency, currently held by Prague, had blundered in describing Israel's ground assault in Gaza as "defensive." "It was his personal mistake," he told Czech TV, adding it was a "serious one." On Saturday Jiří Potužník, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek's EU presidency spokesman, initially described the Israeli operation as "more defensive than offensive." and told AFP this was the position of the Czech prime minister for the European presidency. The Czech Foreign Ministry later changed tack, while Mr Potužník himself said his words had been misunderstood. The statement on Saturday was denounced by an aide close to the Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well by the radical movement Hamas.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Karel Schwarzenberg is as neoconish as they come in Europe, and so the fact that the Czech Republic was forced into this humiliating change of tone just a day after the announcement shows that thankfully, EU adults still could tell nasty children to behave.
by Sargon on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 08:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Qaddafi Foundation demands Czech Premier's apology over Palestine conflict


APA-Tripoli (Libya) The Qaddafi Foundation has announced that he would request the Libyan government to severe economic and political relations with the Czech Republic unless its Prime Minister formally apologises and withdraws his remarks regarding the Palestenians in Gaza.

In a statement here on Sunday night, the head of the Qaddafi Foundation, Seif Eleslam Qaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, said the foundation had the moral responsibility to request the State of Libya to take such a measure against any offending party.

by jv (euro@junkie.cz) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 08:47:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN Security Council fails to agree over Gaza ceasefire | World News | Deutsche Welle | 04.01.2009
US envoy Alejandro Wolff, who refused to support a draft text put forward by Libya, said there was no point in issuing statements that Hamas would ignore. Wolff added that the actions of Israel could not be compared with those of Hamas, which he described as a terrorist organisation. Egypt's ambassador to the UN, Maged Abdelaziz said it was regrettable that one council member refused to accept any statement at a time when aggression was escalating and more people were dying. France's UN envoy and Security Council president Jean-Maurice Ripert emphasised the need for an immediate and permanent Gaza ceasefire and humanitarian aid.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt condemns Israeli ground offensive in Gaza - Middle East, World - The Independent

...In a statement from the Egyptian presidency seen on Sunday, Egypt said it "places the onus on Israel for the innocent civilians martyred and wounded."

..."Egypt condemns in the strongest possible terms the beginning of Israel's ground operations in the Gaza Strip and the invasion of the territory by its forces," the statement said.

"Egypt once again calls upon Israel to end its aggression immediately and without preconditions, and calls upon the United Nations Security Council and Quartet to swiftly fulfil their responsibility without delay to end the Israeli aggression."




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU pledges €3 million emergency aid for Gaza | World News | Deutsche Welle | 04.01.2009
The European Commission has pledged an additional three million euros in emergency aid for Gaza. Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said in a statement that the situation for Gaza's 1.5 million residents was becoming more desperate by the day. He also urged the Israeli authorities to meet their international obligations and let the aid through.

€3 million? That's enough for what?


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

by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what they always do.

I remember, was that in 2002? when they invaded the left bank, accusing Arafat of eating children or something, Israeli soldiers entered the P.A. building and proceeded to destroy every single computer, all stuff that had been donated by the EU.

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

by nicta (nico&#65312;altiva&#8228;fr) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 03:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
John McCarthy: If it was your home, what hope 'restraint'? - Commentators, Opinion - The Independent
As Israeli ground troops entered Gaza, Hamas's already fragile incentive to rely on diplomacy alone was trampled underfoot

Israel's invasion of Gaza comes hard on the heels of its massive air campaign which, it says, is a justified retaliation for the Hamas rocket attacks against southern Israel. Every rocket or mortar fired from Gaza into Israel is reported to the international media and, at the time of writing, more than 400 had been counted during the week. Details of the Israeli attacks are harder to find, but the week's report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that the Israeli Air Force also dropped 400 bombs, not over seven days, but in just the first few minutes of its opening assault on Gaza. These and hundreds more bombs have killed over 400 Palestinians. The Hamas missiles have caused just four deaths.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Information about Hamas, beyond the usual agit-prop:

Hamas, Israel, Gaza and Violent Resistance

Hamas descended directly from an earlier Islamic movement concerned primarily with the provision of education, health care, food aid and other social services to Palestinians suffering under the Israeli occupation.

This group was funded by the Saudi monarchy and... the government of Israel! The latter provided the movement with land, buildings and no small measure of encouragement.

Hell bent as Israel was on undermining Arafat and the secular PLO, in the 1980s, Israel and the US supported the nascent, apolitical Hamas. Until, of course, Hamas and its growing constituency realized that they had the means to challenge the corrupt and compliant PLO.

More:

America's Hidden Role in Hamas's Rise to Power

The demands imposed at the insistence of the Bush administration and Congress on the Palestinian Authority in order to lift the sanctions appeared to have been designed to be rejected and were widely interpreted as a pretext for punishing the Palestinian population for voting the wrong way. For example, the United States demanded that the Hamas-led government unilaterally recognize the right of the state of Israel to exist, even though Israel has never recognized the right of the Palestinians to have a viable state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or anywhere else. Other demands included an end of attacks on civilians in Israel while not demanding that Israel likewise end its attacks on civilian areas in the Gaza Strip.

And this from William Sieghart,

We Must Adjust our Distorted Image of Hamas

Who or what is Hamas, the movement that Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, would like to wipe out as though it were a virus? Why did it win the Palestinian elections and why does it allow rockets to be fired into Israel? The story of Hamas over the past three years reveals how the Israeli, US and UK governments' misunderstanding of this Islamist movement has led us to the brutal and desperate situation that we are in now.

The three articles are worth reading in their entirety.

by Loefing on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:24:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for these Loefing.

I am appalled beyond words at the media and governmental madness, attacking Hamas at all costs, ignoring the genocide caused by American (US) bombs and Israeli ...there just isn't a word describing behavior so bestial against people of ones own tribe.

Imagine if it was Iran making these incursions against a segment of their population. But nuclear power Israel blowing 100s of tons of ammunition into the schools, hospitals, homes and public areas...imagine if England had decided to stop the Irgun terrorists, then the Stern Gang with these same measures. Imagine if David Ben-Gurion and his family were attacked by new bunker busting bombs and killed for not giving up Yitzhak Shamir...then bombing a classroom full of kids in order to kill Shamir, and an entire village to 'get' Menachem Begin while visiting a pharmacy.

These people justified the planting land-mines in Arab markets and blew up hotels and killed diplomates and decimated villages...and now they force people into camps and are killing them wholesale under the pretext that they are lobbing rockets from the area. And not just for the last week...but for years and years and years and years.

It is so much a microcosm of American arrogance and exceptionalism, so much a lesson in lies and deceits, so stark a representation of "If they accuse others, they are doing it themselves in spades"...it is a sickening portrayal of the worst in human behavior.

As someone who believes in the basic goodness of individuals, it frightens me.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 04:18:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As someone who believes in the basic goodness of individuals, it frightens me.

I couldn't agree more.

by Loefing on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 05:25:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whenever I see an article with a member of the Israeli government saying that they dont talk to terrorists, I do begin to wonder how cabinet meetings have ever worked there.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And there is HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics a study by the Strategic Studies Institute of the United States Army War College.

Teaser quote:

The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has heightened since 2001, even as any perceived threat to Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or even Syria, has declined. Israel, according to Chaim Herzog, Israel's sixth President, had been "born in battle" and would be "obliged to live by the sword." Yet, the Israeli government's conquest and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza brought about a very difficult challenge, although armed resistance on a mass basis was only taken up years later in the Intifadha. Israel could not tolerate Palestinian Arabs' resistance of their authority on the legal basis of denial of self-determination, and eventually preferred to grant some measures of self-determination while continuing to consolidate control of the Occupied Territories, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. However, a comprehensive peace, shimmering in the distance, has eluded all, even as inter-Israeli and inter-Palestinian divisions deepened as peace danced closer before retreating.

The above link is to a Top Level summary.  This link is to the full study (107 page pdf file.)

It is to be noted this study was written and published prior to the current invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Defense Forces.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:53:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel, according to Chaim Herzog, Israel's sixth President, had been "born in battle" and would be "obliged to live by the sword."

To bad "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword" is in the New Testament...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:05:43 PM EST
France 24 | Blast rocks Colombo as operation against rebels intensifies | France 24
AFP - Sri Lankan troops advanced Saturday on the military headquarters of the Tamil Tigers and engaged the rebels in fresh gunbattles, a day after capturing their de facto political capital.

The defence ministry said ground forces, backed by helicopter gunships and war planes, were moving towards Mullaittivu, the jungle district along the northeastern seaboard, where the Tigers have their main military facilities.

...In the capital Colombo, a bomb went off at a commercial area of the city on Saturday, wounding three civilians and damaging several vehicles, police said. A suicide bombing in Colombo on Friday killed two people and wounded 36.

...The pro-rebel Tamilnet website reported that a petrol station and a bus station were bombed by the air force on Friday morning, killing four civilians and wounding another eight.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:08:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Hasina offers rival a share of power | France 24

Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday she would share power with the opposition despite winning a massive majority in Bangladesh's parliamentary election this week.

Hasina said she was ready to offer a senior parliamentary post to her bitter political rival, Begum Khaleda Zia, who has rejected the results of elections that returned the impoverished country to democracy after two years of emergency rule.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:08:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Female bomber kills 35 at Baghdad shrine - Middle East, World - The Independent

The blast struck a checkpoint outside the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim shrine in Kadhimiya, a mainly Shi'ite area of Baghdad, as Shi'ites prepared for the Ashura holiday this week to mark the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

Many of the casualties were pilgrims from Iran, security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi said, underscoring the deep religious ties between the two majority Shi'ite countries.

"A woman wearing an explosive vest managed to reach one of the security checkpoints near the revered Kadhim shrine and exploded herself among a crowd of pilgrims," his statement said.

He gave an initial toll of 35 killed and 79 wounded. Iraqi security sources gave slightly higher casualty totals.

U.S. forces in Iraq came under an Iraqi mandate on Jan. 1 in step with a bilateral pact that will require the withdrawal of the 140,000 U.S. troops by the end of 2011.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:08:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Canberra formally rejects Guantanamo inmates | France 24

It was the second such request and was rejected on Friday night Australian time, [Deputy Prime Minister Julia] Gillard said.

"Those resettlement requests have been considered on a case-by-case basis, against our stringent national security and immigration criteria," said Gillard, who temporarily heads the government while Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is on leave.

"Assessing those requests from a case-by-case basis, they had not met our stringent national security and immigration criteria and have been rejected."

About 255 men are still held at Guantanamo, including 60 the United States has cleared for release but cannot repatriate for fear they will be tortured or persecuted in their home countries.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:08:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Raul Castro offers direct talks with Obama | France 24
Cuban President Raul Castro offered late Friday to enter talks with US President-elect Barack Obama, "without intermediaries." Castro said he hoped Obama could "do a great deal, could take positive steps."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:09:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Richardson withdraws bid to be Obama's secretary of commerce | France 24
Barack Obama has accepted the withdrawal of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's candidature as secretary of commerce. The Governor dropped his bid due to an investigation into a company that has done business with his state.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Obama rejects Blagojevich's Senate pick | France 24
President-elect Barack Obama said that he supports the Democratic Party's decision not to seat any candidate named by scandal-tainted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, accused of trying to sell Obama's vacant senate seat.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brian Eno: Stealing Gaza

It's a tragedy that the Israelis - a people who must understand better than almost anybody the horrors of oppression - are now acting as oppressors. As the great Jewish writer Primo Levi once remarked "Everybody has their Jews, and for the Israelis it's the Palestinians". By creating a middle Eastern version of the Warsaw ghetto they are recapitulating their own history as though they've forgotten it. And by trying to paint an equivalence between the Palestinians - with their homemade rockets and stone-throwing teenagers - and themselves - with one of the most sophisticated military machines in the world - they sacrifice all credibility.

The Israelis are a gifted and resourceful people who fully deserve the right to live in peace, but who seem intent on squandering every chance to allow that to happen. It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that this conflict serves the political and economic purposes of Israel so well that they have every interest in maintaining it. While there is fighting they can continue to build illegal settlements. While there is fighting they continue to receive huge quantities of military aid from the United States. And while there is fighting they can avoid looking candidly at themselves and the ruthlessness into which they are descending.

Gaza is now an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly...and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment?

Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now 'under attack' you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn't possibly reach an accommodation.

And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:41:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My only beef with the above is treating Israel as monolythic. Even if most of the Jewish population and almost all political forces in Israel support the invasion, when looking at the purposes served by this invasion, more partisan reasons (er.g. upcoming elections and an opposition leader previously trying to profile himself as a hardliner) may be more instructive than national interests...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:45:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think in this instance, you could call it monolithic, in that the Israeli establishment, representing the Israeli people, is the power that is promoting this. This is not a faction of the Israeli political community, it is all of them; there is no dissent here.

Of course, you can then argue the extent to which you can conflate the politicians of Israel with all Israelis, just as you can argue that the decision by the Westminster establishment in the UK to go to war with Iraq did not represent the whole will of the British people.

But, in a democratic society, we are, to all intents and purposes, involved in a representative government. We send people to parliament, both here and in Israel, to represent us, not reflect us. They decide in our name with our consent, if not with our agreement. Yes, I dissented from the Iraq war, but it was done in mine and 60 million other citizen's name and no hair-splitting can really deny a certain burden of, if not responsibility, then at least I will admit that our part of the invasion effort was unequivocally British and there is an association there.

So, yes, I will acknowledge that there is a peace movement in Israel, I will agree that not all Israelis agree with what is being done in their name. But it is still being done in their name and it is not unreasonable or unfair to describe the sentiments behind these actions as Israeli. And Eno's use is not a monolithic use, but entirely legitimate.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 06:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think in this instance, you could call it monolithic, in that the Israeli establishment, representing the Israeli people, is the power that is promoting this. This is not a faction of the Israeli political community, it is all of them; there is no dissent here.

You did not get what I said. As I stated explicitely, the point is not that there would be disagreement about attacking Gaza. The point is that the governing forces chose to escalate the situation into a major invasion to play tough before the elections, to catch the wind from Bibi Netanyahu's sail, who attacked them from the right. It can be this narrow-minded. And it happened before.

Let's remember Operation "The Grapes of Wrath", the 1996 bombing of South Lebanon most infamous for the shelling of the Qana shelter with 106 dead. That operation was ordered by the then interim government of Shimon Peres, who wanted to show himself strong before new elections. He still lost -- incidentally, to Netanyahu...

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

by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:19:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they did it to bolster their national security credentials then they're losing, Netenyaho has seen his projected seats rise from 11 to 16 since this started.

It's the same mistake Democrats keep making in the US. You can't be more hawkish than republicans so why get into that game (yes Hillary, we do mean you) ? however democrats can be much more sensible and balanced, which is why Obama got elected.

So if the Israeli centre/liberal (laughable as that sounds) want to beat the far-right, they won't do it by starting a war.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polls as of January 1 show 52% of Israelis in favor of air strikes on Gaza. An additional 19% support the ground invasion.

Poll: Most Israelis support continuing Gaza military op.

This is down from 81% in favor of "Operation Cast Lead" at its outset, but at 71% it's still a vast majority.

by Loefing on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:42:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Upon second reading, do you, too, think that contradicts what I said?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:40:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes
by Loefing on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 05:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:05:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How?

In light of your focus on "partisan reasons (er.g. upcoming elections".

Thems is mighty hollow pretexts, given the broader picture.

by Loefing on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the "broader picture" is the pretext and the "partisan reasons" are the real picture.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the real "broader picture" for you.

Map which hardly needs any additional commentary. Or if it does, let me know.

Livni and Barak's political ambitions, in full accord with their right wing counterparts, are to rid the region of native Palestinians.

Why is there any further question as to what the bestial Gaza offensive is about?  

by Loefing on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:32:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be compared with the proportion of Arab Israelis. Unless of course pollsters don't even poll them.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 04:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when the slaughtering is over.

Seriously, any israeli who is not screaming murder at this point is an accomplice.

You can't say "never again" and not go ballistic.

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

by nicta (nico&#65312;altiva&#8228;fr) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 03:19:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I debate minutiae when I want. The slaughtering is unlikely to stop permanently for the foreseeable future anyway. I think you failed to see the even stronger indictment in the election calculation motivation I suggested.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there really any other reason for the invasion than Livni's need to display the size of her cojones?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, what?!

 

by Loefing on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:08:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New prime minister, new invasion. Isn't that how it works? Livni has been criticised in the past for being indecisive, apparently, and now she's being more hawkish that the Chiefs of Staff, which helps her in the upcoming elections. Both Labour and Kadima have been making gains on Likud since the invasion began.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I should also note: wrong section! See Special Focus : Gaza Invasion section for other stories.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooops.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:56:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:06:23 PM EST
Soot reduction 'could help to stop global warming' - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent
Governments could slow global warming dramatically, and buy time to avert disastrous climate change, by slashing emissions of one of humanity's most familiar pollutants - soot - according to Nasa scientists. A study by the space agency shows that cutting down on the pollutant, which has so far been largely ignored by climate scientists, can have an immediate cooling effect - and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from air pollution at the same time.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IoS Investigation: Officials plotted Sellafield cover-up - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Top civil servants and nuclear administrators colluded to prevent MPs from challenging a massive sweetener to a private business taking over the running of Sellafield, internal documents in the hands of The Independent on Sunday reveal.

The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, also disclose that the Government pushed through the handover at breakneck speed because it feared that the "unstable management arrangements" of the controversial Cumbrian nuclear complex risked its safety.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:07:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooooh, fancy that. A government lies to the population about nuclear power issues. Whodda thunk it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:44:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists unlock secrets of Australia's giant 30kg koalas - Australasia, World - The Independent

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, giant versions of Australia's unique wildlife stalked the continent. There were kangaroos up to 3m tall and enormous wallabies, wombats and echidnas. There were also koalas: larger and weightier than the creatures sometimes seen today in eucalyptus trees.

Giant koalas died out about 50,000 years ago, along with most of Australia's "megafauna". For a long time, modern koalas were assumed to be dwarf descendants of those prehistoric animals. But now an Australian palaeontologist has established that the two koalas lived side by side - a finding that may throw new light on why the megafauna disappeared.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:07:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Search Expanded for Art Stolen from Berlin Gallery | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 04.01.2009
Police widened their search Sunday for 30 works of art, including prints by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, that were stolen from a Berlin gallery on New Year's Eve.

...The missing works include Picasso's 1947 Profil au Fond Noir and Nude in a Rocking Chair (1913) by Matisse as well as a sculpture weighing around 100 kilograms.

The works were on loan to the gallery and due to be shown in an exhibition scheduled to open mid-January. Police believe the thieves will try to sell the works on the international market.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | UK | Steam train near completion
The first steam engine to be built in Britain for nearly half a century has gone on show at the National Railway Museum.

Tornado cost £3 million and was funded entirely from donations.

(Video mini-feature via the link.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish these guys would get to build theirs, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:44:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes please, although I'd suggest that the 4-6-0 delivering 180 kph might have been okay in 2002, but is falling behind now. A 4-8-0 capable of 200/225 makes more sense now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and I wish some Germany- or France- ur US East Coast-based rivals would emerge who'd build a (2'B)(B2')...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there was a half hour TV prog about the project broadcast over xmas. However, surely the painting of the engine in LNER livery is incorrect as the engines were delivered after Nationalisation and so would have initially been painted black before acquiring BR Express Passenger Green once it was decided upon {/pedant}

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:51:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is an improved A1, thus a modern-day loco, so even BR colours would be incorrect.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 04:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, given as the improvements are internal and the outline is faithful, BR colours are the most legitimate. and if actual  AIs were still running, they'd be more like Tornado than as built.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 06:30:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My Fathers main complaint was that there was no chosen colour, and it was all done in Undercoat.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:53:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a long UK tradition to run engines in with a grey livery. Most "official" photos of new steam engines were in grey.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if there is English terminology for this, but in German, the grey painting steam locos were delivered with was specifically called "Fotografieranstrich" = for-photography-paint. In black & white industrial photography, engine parts had better contrast that way.



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

by DoDo on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 06:27:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know there is a british term and "photographic grey" rings a bell, but I'm not 100% sure.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 5th, 2009 at 07:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:06:54 PM EST
France 24 | Panicking airline staff remove US Muslims from flight | France 24
Nine Muslims, including three children and eight US citizens, were ordered off a domestic flight on an Airtran flight bound from Washington to Orlando, after a misunderstanding over a conversation about airline safety.

...Kashif Irfan, 34, said his younger brother Atif and his brother's wife were discussing the safest place to sit on the plane, when they were overheard by two young girls who told a flight attendant.

"My brother and his wife were discussing some aspect of airport security," he told the Post. "The only thing my brother said was, 'Wow, the jets are right next to my window."




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 03:07:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2008/12/pilger-british-blair-iraq  

Wishful thinking for 2009 - John Pilger

The good news for the new year is as follows

January: Tony Blair is arrested at Heathrow Airport as he returns from yet another foreign speaking engagement (receipts since leaving office: £12m). He is flown to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes for his part in the illegal, unprovoked attack on a defenceless country, Iraq, justified by proven lies, and for the subsequent physical, social and cultural destruction of that country, causing the death of up to a million people. According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, this is the "paramount war crime". The prosecution tells Blair's defence team it will not accept a plea of "sincerely believing". Cherie Blair, a close collaborator who has compared her husband with Winston Churchill, is cautioned.
....

Every month´s good news would be a great start, except for September.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
especially November

New Statesman - Wishful thinking for 2009

November: Gordon Brown is kidnapped, hooded and forced to listen repeatedly to his 2007 speech to bankers at a Mansion House banquet: "What you as the City of London have achieved for financial services, we as a government now aspire to achieve for the whole economy."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:51:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
101 ways to get rich without doing anything socially useful.  William Blum  
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2008/10/02/p29140

All these grown men playing their boys' games.  
....  
President Roosevelt, confronted in the 1930s with similar players, called them "banksters".  
.....  
Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good.

Long, but thought provoking.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 07:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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