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

Tuesday Open Thread

by Jerome a Paris Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:20:28 PM EST


We don't condone
Berlusconi, Sarkozy and others: that goes for you too


Display:
Even across the Atlantic folks heard of the controversy over Rev. Wright's remarks. As most of you know I'm not a big fan of radical leftism, however it is so marginal in the US that anyone who worries about it as a danger is either being disingenuous or delusional. Radical right wing views on the other hand are absolutely mainstream. A case in point is the obscene Mark Steyn, someone who is far more extreme than Wright, yet is seen as a perfectly acceptable voice. Here's his latest:

Speaking of the Pope and religious values, Daniel Pipes gave a speech in Australia last night (actually it's tonight, Monday, but it's already tomorrow over there, if you follow, so it's the morning after the speaking engagement the night before) discussing what he sees as the three options for Europe - in his words, "Muslims dominating, Muslims rejected or harmonious integration."

The first is basically the Steyn America Alone option.

The second is Ralph Peters' contrarian view: Relax, there'll never be a Muslim Europe. The old fascist tendencies will reassert themselves and there'll be blood in the streets, mass murder, etc. Or, as The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto deftly summarized this optimistic view: "The Glass Is One-Sixteenth Full." The fascist resurgence - the strong man on a horse - is appealing to a certain segment but delusional: Jean-Marie Le Pen is in his eighties; the strong man is too old to get on the horse; Continental geriatro-neo-Nazis tottering on walkers aren't going to be ethnically cleansing cities full of 19 year old Muslims.

Yup, mainstream conservatism in America - a full blown Nazi resurgence in Europe, complete with genocide is seen as a hopeful vision. I think I'm going to be sick.

by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:32:07 PM EST
Welcome to the 1930s.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought we'd been there since the Reichstag FirePentagon Crash.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is "radical leftism"?  I'd settle for "liberal-ish" in America at this point.  Hell, at this point, I'd happily vote for anyone sane enough to say, "We're not going to randomly invade countries which haven't attacked us anymore just because the Very Serious People think it's awesome."  I feel like I'm a radical leftist by American standards half the time, and that's fucking pathetic.

And it's not as though Europe is in the midst of Marxist rebellion at the moment, being ruled by Brown, Berlusconi, Sarkozy, and Merkel.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's sort of my point. It is completely marginal - whether you're talking about radical greens pining for their agrarian Eden or Leninists stuck in nostalgia for the dictatorial planned economy or the vaguely Ward Churchilly types - no one cares outside a few college campuses and of course the right wing noise machine.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's probably being a bit generous, since the first and third groups are probably made up of the same three or four people.

What was Churchill's whole shtick, by the way?  I know he was angry about the Indians, but I never figured out what it was, exactly, that he wanted, because the coverage was just non-stop "Churchill Hates America, Freedom and Kittens" bullshit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought that in America movements like MoveOn are already considered radically left by the right wing noise machine.

Hell, they even tell me Steve Clemons is a leftist.

Where this leaves the actual radicals, I don't know.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:04:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They think Merkel and Chirac are leftists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared to Clinton and Obama, they are.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:51:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't want to get into the situation where I'm drunkenly shouting at an American "You wouldn't know a leftist if one came up and bit you" again

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who hasn't?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At some point continuing to read daily kos becomes nothing more than a vehicle for cultivating your anger.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Feel the anger flowing through you... you cannot deny the power of the Orange Side.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:53:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking about a diary on this, but after your comment, what more is there to add?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:31:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That will teach me not to snark.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:36:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, most people view the media much like they view advertising - the propaganda and emotional manipulation affect everyone but me, because I understand how it works. So I write a 2000 word essay on the topic, everyone nods in agreement, then go right back to media induced fear and loathing. What's the point?

I suppose I could whip up a personal narrative on how I (mostly) beat this out of my own system.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same way for many of us Americans.  I just go, look, despair and head for here or Docudharma or EENR.  Or get out the Strat and bug my office mates.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but they really love to troll for the genuine ones and suggest that mainstream libs share their views - it's their favorite one-two punch. The irony of course is that many of the radicals despise us wishy-washy libs about as much as they do the right.

Incidentally, another nice example of double standards is the treatment of Venezuela and Columbia. In both cases you have a genuinely popular and democratically elected leader with strong authoritarian tendencies. One harasses his opponents and applies heavy governmental pressure on the opposing media. The other does the same - plus has ties to death squads who kill and terrorize the opposition. Expressing sympathy for the former is a mark of dangerous radicalism and hatred for Freedom. Hailing the latter as a champion of Freedom is de rigeur among the center and the right.

by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:20:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get me started on the US media attitude to Columbia...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:41:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's spelled ColOmbia - just because it took me a while to figure out what you were talking about

I spent quite a bit of time in that country and it was an amazing place

there were a few things that surprised me about it:

  •  I expected the place to be as macho as Poland or Greece, with the men sitting and drinking coffee and the women doing all the work but that wasn't the case at all.  Later, I learned that Colombians were once considered to be great workers in the USA, until the narcotics over-shadowed that reputation.

  •  there are guns everywhere.  Even the traffic police in Bogota carry Uzis on their belts.  Every shop has an armed guard that stands outside the shop with a rifle ready to use.  This means that on a commercial street with shops on both sides, all you see are these armed men with their rifles.

  •  there are army posts all over, sand-bagged with soldiers at the ready behind machine guns.  this can be quite disconcerting for someone who isn't used to it.

  •  people spend the whole day walking their cows in the cities because they are landless.

  •  don't ever drive in Colombia unless you have piloted in Formula 1

  •  the Colombians are the kindest, most hospitable people you will ever meet.  
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's spelled ColOmbia - just because it took me a while to figure out what you were talking about

Considering where you live, you must have heard Kolumbien.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
zoe:
don't ever drive in Colombia unless you have piloted in Formula 1

Why?  Is no overtaking allowed?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:12:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
overtaking is only allowed when it is near impossible to do, and only on twisted mountain roads with no guard rails and 2000 feet drops at high speed with a car with no brakes - you get the idea

lots of those roadside memorials in Colombia...

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:16:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah yes - you mean like in Portugal?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or on a good many of the mountain roads I've driven in the US.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish financial directors should have no problem...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you've really lost me.  Do you know any Irish financial Directors?  They don't do overtaking.  They just own the road.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, forgot the link into today's Salon>

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, ok.  Don't know the guy. It seems he got off on a very minor technicality - a pretty common occurrence under Irish law.  The chief requirement is to have a good lawyer.  I would have thought that under a European Union, extradition wouldn't be required in the first place -but it looks as if we have some way to go.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:48:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... and Columbia.

The school or the space shuttle? ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't the school spelled "Columbine"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of the university in New York.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:05:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The school or the space shuttle? ;)

Gotta watch out for those death squads of political correctness crushing dissent on campus.

by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, not so far from the actual right-wing talking points.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not really very funny, is it?

I know a story of a person who lived in a small village in Colombia and returned from studying abroad.  The local priest asked him to teach English to the parishioners, but the guy declined because he didn't want to be involved with anything with the Church (but didn't say that - he declined politely).

A few days later, he was in a shop, when the shopkeeper told him that there were people outside waiting to kill him when he got out because he had dishonoured the priest.  He slipped out the back and left, never to return.  

This war between right and left in Colombia has been going on for 50 years.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where I'm thinking that having all these leaders in place just in time for the Grand Economic Meltdown is going to discredit the right for a good long time. They'll take the blame.

Sigh... one can hope.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That, or they'll scapegoat Mexicans here, Muslims there, and have us all living in some London-Finally-Gone-Over-the-Edge global police state.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:01:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have Arabs, or Turks, or East Indians. Can we stop using the code words of the right?

Oruse exclusively 'Christians' to describe the inhabitants of the US - it would actually be a lot more accurate and relevant.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But you know as well as I do that they're scapegoated that way rather than being seen as individual Arabs, Turks and East Indians, just as all Latinos are scapegoated as illegal Mexican immigrants rather being seen as Mexicans, Colombians, etc.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:59:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but there'sstill a twist to "Muslim". They were already scapegoated as Arabs, etc... before. But since 9/11 you add the religious war/crusade angle on top of that. And we fall in the trap that the only alternative to them is Christian, when it is anything but.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the "Arab" thing does go back at least to the Munich Olympics, but "Muslim" bashing only became a widely enjoyed sport after 9/11.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course Arab is maybe a little too specific.  Not really a broad enough net to cover all that get slandered, we have persians, turks,...."Arab" really doesn't cover the middle east all that well.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:37:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not how it works. If the discriminators call you an Arab, that's what they see you. (Also consider Sikhs post-9/11.)

When I was in then West Germany, where racial hatred then focused on "Turks" (and refugees), I made the experience that I am a Turk if I open my mouth and don't speak German.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
same thing happens in Québec - if you can speak Québecois, you are a Québecois, even if you happen to be Chinese

if you can't, you're an Anglo even if you have a French name

if you speak French like Jérôme, you're in trouble ;-)

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if you speak French with a mostly Swiss with a bit of American accent you can mutually mock each other.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a Swiss romand friend tells me about how he spent an entire year in Québec with everyone responding to him in English because they didn't recognize the accent he had in French!  

he was very disappointed.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mais lais Suiisseh n'onnt paas d'aacceneh

(ok, not really sure how to represent a Swiss accent in writing)

by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:29:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but maybe that's because I'm already familiar with the accent, having spent a lot of holidays as a kid in Valais.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 05:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

if you speak French like Jérôme, you're in trouble ;-)

Surely you mean:


if you speak French, like Jérôme, you're in trouble ;-)


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, I mean if you speak French with the same accent as Jérôme, you're in trouble.  they think French people are arrogant, in the same way that many Americans think people who speak English with an accent from England (except maybe Cockney), are arrogant.  

Comprende?

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:24:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by the way, Jérôme, how is your accent in English?  I have never heard you speak
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say he has a fairly light french accent in english, from the couple of sentances I've heard him speak on the TV.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's good.  A French accent is very difficult to avoid when speaking English, but a slight one  adds charm and people pay more attention to what one is saying.  
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 07:02:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's very sexy, oops I mean slight.
by Maryb2004 on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:37:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
aha, the truth is out!

this explains Jérôme's mainly female entourage!

by zoe on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 01:57:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 05:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your wife and children in reality

in the blogosphere, many DKosers and practically all Eurotribians, non?

by zoe on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe that should be Eurotribbles ( joke for Trekkies)
by zoe on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

If you speak French, then you're in trouble

"like Jérôme" provides no additional information in that sentence if you only use me as a notional Frenchman with no identifiable accent; otherwise it suggests that it is the way I speak specifically  which would get one in trouble. But maybe that's what you mean?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 05:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
language is funny isn't it?

no, I only used you as an example but meant all Frenchmen

by zoe on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if you speak French with the same accent as Jérôme, you're in trouble.  they think French people are arrogant,

Indeed, they are...

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

by Melanchthon on Thu Apr 17th, 2008 at 03:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no they won't - they'll just re-write history, the way they always do
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:05:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is hardly necessary.
Brown, who certainly has indeed some responsibility, is labour party, so the crisis may help the conservatives up in UK.
French and Italian banks had not too much losses, especially if one does not count Kerviel, who has not really something to do with the credit crisis. As well I doubt that there will be strong surprising downturns, and Italy is for sure not underregulated.
In Germany it were mainly public banks, where since many years market orientated people demand privatisation and anyhow the current economy is still better than 2003-2005, 2005 when a left orientated party chancellor asked for new elections because the country was seen in a deep crisis. This year will be a good year under recent German standards and next year is forecasted to be below average, but only a little (1998 - 2007 average in German growth was around 1.4%). Additionally it helps psychological that for the first time since quite some years we are doing better than the 'hyperdynamic supereconomy' USA. And this believe is spread among left people nearly as much as among right wingers.


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 02:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are going to be sick? Consider my choices...

  • In a formerly independent daily that was bought by an industrialist close to the main right-wing party Fidesz, a far-right 'intellectual' (who used to be a founding member of the former) publishes an op-ed in which he explicitely declares himself an anti-semite. After outrage on the other side, the paper's new owner declares his paper is for a plurality of opinions; and Fidesz boss Orbán shares smiling photos with the antisemite at Fidesz's 20-year anniversary party.

  • In the main literary weekly magazine, which is also a main liberal weekly, the local top libertarian intellectual turned top neocon fan publishes an article titled "Wilders' bitter truth". On Index.hu, an also liberal-minded news site, the top libertarian pundit blames the downfall of the Hungarian liberal party on pro-tolerance sociologists, whose multicultural dreams were supposedly negated by the supposed hard facts of "Gypsy-crime" at home and Muslims in West Europe.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:06:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/4/15/132029/224#37

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:05:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this case, as in the linked, you mistake the exposure of far-right rhetoric for its adoption in own use.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:08:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Steyn was eventually sacked as an Irish Times Columnist, but they never did publish my many LTE's lampooning him.  My favourite was when he was "debunking" all the people opposed to the invasion of Iraq.  He gave nine resaons why they were terminally stupid.  One was their lament that the weapons of mass destruction were never found.  He said they were, - "In Libya - close enough for me".  I gently suggested in an LTE that on that logic we should invade England if we suspect WMD in Iraq.  After all it is only a few thousand miles away.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:20:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Part V of A Journey into Sound will be a day (or two) late this week.  Co-presented by greg whitman and me, we have ze music--now we have to pull it together into diary form.

Meanwhile, on the strings of a Bozendorfer:



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:35:54 PM EST
thanks for these diaries, btw.  I love them  
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:05:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plunging Neckline: Merkel 'Surprised' by Attention to Low-Cut Dress - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wore a low-cut dress to the opening of the Oslo Opera House on Saturday. The media's eager focus 'surprised' -- though perhaps did not amuse -- her.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not predict that the dress she wore to the opera on Saturday -- with its very plunging neckline -- would draw as much attention as it did.

"The chancellor was a bit surprised that this evening dress caused such a splash" Thomas Steg, the government's deputy spokesman, told reporters Monday.

"That wasn't the chancellor's intention," Steg assured reporters, adding: "When there's nothing more important in the world to talk about than an evening dress, then you probably can't help it."

The dress in question was a long black dress with a blue bolero shawl. Merkel wore it Saturday evening when she joined King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway for the opening celebrations of Oslo's new €530 million ($840 million) Opera House.

Steg also expressed his hope that the Norwegian royal family did not feel one-upped by Merkel's dress, which admittedly "drew a lot of attention."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 01:59:40 PM EST
I think she looked lovely.  
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you...she looked great.

I have read all the comments about Merkel's dress this evening...it was a special occasion, and her dress was right for it, in my opinion.  Norwegians have had a dream about an opera house for 120 years...at last, here it is:

http://www.aftenposten.no/kul_und/article2362918.ece

(sorry about the bad link - videos and pictures from inside and outside if you click on the tabs.)

'Opening night at the Opera' - Aftenposten.no

The expression took on a whole new meaning in Oslo over the weekend, when the Norwegian capital's brand new Opera House officially opened in a blaze of formalities and fireworks.

(...)

Praise for the Opera House's architecture and acoustics was widespread. Paul Curran, due to take over as chief of the Norwegian Opera, had no doubts the Opera House would be a grand success.

"I've worked at the opera in Sydney, in Covent Garden and several operas in Europe, but I think this is the most beautiful Opera House I've seen," Curran said. "For me, it's a great honour to be part of the future of this building."

(...)

The opening of the Opera House has been called the biggest cultural event in Norway since the opening of the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim in the Middle Ages. The building, designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, is an impressive mix of white marble and glass rising from the Oslo Fjord. Admirers say it symbolizes Norway's icebergs and vast wintry spaces.

Saturday's opening events culminated in a massive fireworks display just before midnight. People streamed back to the building on Sunday, when the Opera House reopened for tours and ticket sales.

By early afternoon, long lines had formed at the entrance and all tours of the interior were sold out. It was still possible, however, for the public to wander all around the building and to the top of its roof, which offers a new view of the fjord and eastern downtown.

(...)

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why did it take 120 years?
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 07:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question.  First, we had to become an independent country...that happened in 1905.  Then building the nation from scratch was priority - and, naturally, an opera house was not first on the agenda for a very poor nation. It remained a dream. Then the war and occupation (1940 -45), and the rebuilding after the war. Always more 'important' buildings and projects to concentrate on. It must be said that opera has always been seen as elitist in Norway, so politically not easy to make it priority.    

About 20 years ago, it was finally decided that now is the time to build the opera. Then it took about 12 years of political wrangling to decide where it should be located, a few years of planning and building... And here it is.  

We have of course had opera before, but in a building not quite fit for purpose.      

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 07:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is SPIEGEL now the new BILD?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can never engage in shallow reporting while talking about shallow reporting.

It's fool-proof!

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Journamilism
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:41:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another great show of conspicuously avoiding shallowness through metacommentary, by DER SPIEGEL! Journalism!
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that as mammary commentary ;-)
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for thqt you want to read the Sun, with its daily topless models coment on the big issues in a speach bubble.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
are not allowed to let anyone know they are actually women. The men express "shock" at cleavage, while slinking off to trophy wives, mistresses, or prostitutes.
by Magnifico on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think what she wore was quite appropriate for her age, build, position the occasion and that she was the best dressed woman there.  

She either has very good taste in clothing, or employs someone who does.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. Merkel looked great! Her gown was perfect for the occasion: the opening of Oslo Opera House.
by Magnifico on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who cares? She's still an annoying right-wing politician (even if by far the least bad as right-wing politicians come).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
she's actually a pretty damn decent rightwing politician, which is a LOT better than most of the lefty ones we have these days.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:13:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better in what sense?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would have asked, what lefty ones?...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She has her good moments -  like stopping a new arms race by nixing the   new membership drive of NATO.

Also, she is a model for women everywhere.  Women are severely under-represented in positions of authority all over the world.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your argument would apply to Maggie Thatcher, too... I don't think that proving that a woman can be as swift a machiavellian power tactician as Kohl (because this is what Merkel proves) suffices for a good role model. I'd more wish someone like Ypsilanti would be counted as such.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:21:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't agree that that is what she proves.

I am no right winger but I was very glad that someone put a stop to this encirclement of Russia.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:24:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't agree that that is what she proves.

Don't implement any significant changes, but stay on top while letting your internal enemies self-destruct -- she was a good apprentice to the Godfather. (So good that she went Brutus over him in the party finance scandal, a move that anno dacuma launched her leadership bid.)

On the Russia policy, that certainly wasn't she. It's long-standing German Staatsräson, and it took some time (and some pressure) until Merkel swung behind Schröder's line.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schröder wasn't at the NATO Summit.  

She was.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well duh, being the current incumbent to lead a German delegation continuing to act according to German Staatsräson.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are minimizing her input in the decision making process.  Are you doing this because she is a woman?

I am sure she got a lot of pressure to be more of an Atlanticist on this question from her own party and from allies.

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How she looks - don't particularly care. Obsessions over  female politicians' clothes and in particular their breasts, not limited incidentally to public figures, bleh - right, left, or neither. Note how many articles or private discussions talk about how clothes show off women's breasts, note same with respect to how pants show off men's penises. The former are a bit more common than the latter.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but a lot of women take their cue from women they see as being successful, so in that regard, she is a role model for women
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:18:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you see, if you became Chancellor of Germany, and were invited to the opening of such an opera house, you wouldn't have to think about what it was you were going to wear, because you have seen pics of male Chancellors doing such things literally thousands of times.

Women cannot say the same and it's a whole new experience for all of womankind  every time this happens.  And, amazingly, it's 2008 of the C.E.  !

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:23:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are suggesting that womankind should be that much interested in what chancellors wear in the opera...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it does very much.

inappropriate clothing is a surefire way to erode one's image as long as people care about such things.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:29:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who cares?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:32:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
spoken like someone who has never had his authority challenged by co-workers or subordinates.
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So your answer is: your co-workers care.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you are putting words in my mouth

everyone cares about such things, or most everyone because outward appearance is one way we, as human beings, use to judge others

you have seen countless studies on such things I am sure

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Women have their appearance/clothing policed by co-workers (what are they making that they can afford that?  Is sexual harassment ok if she always wears short skirts?), employers (dress codes), mates (why don't you ever wear...), friends (you're not going out in that, are you?), complete strangers ("tramp"), religious authorities (dress codes), family (you're never going to find a husband dressed like that), media (is Merkel's gown too sexy?  vote now!) ...  It's not always the case.  But let's not pretend it never happens.

I suspect men face this to a lesser extent, usually with more attention paid to what their dress says about how much money they make than what it says about their sexuality.  Though I suspect there is a smidgen of that too.  

It's great to say, who cares?!  It's super that YOU don't care.  Lots of other people do, though.  We are still animals negotiating hierarchies.  We've not transcended into some otherwordly race yet...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:04:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is a long article (in fact several articles) in a political weekly that barely touches upon the issues in your paragraph countering this appearance policing, or is such care taken by the magazine only strengthening it? Because that's the issue here m-person turned on its head (congrants to her BTW) - I'm well aware of your points.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:50:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your question, nor was I responding to either a magazine article or zoe m-person.  I was responding to you and your continued "who cares" which seemed a bit flippant and undeservedly testy.  I couldn't tell if you were frustrated by the comments or just the fact that this person was posting, to be honest.  And if someone irritates you so much, and you know they will irritate you, why not ignore them instead of responding to them with comments like "who cares?" (This, from the very person who normally demands a high standard of intellectual integrity...)  

I've had to struggle to understand much of what is happening around here lately.  Many of you seem to be in a bad mood.  I don't know if it is the poor economic outlook or what.  But a drum circle may be in order...  For valid reasons or not, lots of people are feeling barked at and alienated.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't understand your question

That's bad because my continued questioning of who cares (to which I did get an answer) is directly connected. Either I parsed it badly, or you followed this discussion via Recent Comments. I am referring to the thread-starter SPIEGEL article on Merkel.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:17:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know what you are referring to.  I said I was responding to you not the article.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, so how should I better parse my question?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it helps to point out that my repeated "Who cares?" was a question, not a comment?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A question I answered no less!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet, you based your judgement of me on characterising it as a flippant, testy comment. So while you don't understand what I was out for, I don't understand what's your problem with me :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm putting words into DoDo's mouth here, but I think he's saying that women are doing a good chunk of the enforcing in order to establish their own pecking order, but this ultimately works against their own interests.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am not saying that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:35:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh. ok, I'm saying it.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm saying it too.  

No idea what DoDo's trying to say, though.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there is no name for these type of women, is there?

we should coin one.  

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:51:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not a "type."  Everyone does it to some extent or another.  It's just that some recognize and admit it and want to avoid it and some don't.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:52:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is protocol for these things.  Generally, a person is expected to dress in a way that reflects the occasion.  Unless you are a lifeguard you probably don't wear a bathing suit to work.  Because you are expected to send a message to people that you can differentiate between work and play - and you are there to work.  If you go to a funeral, you are expected to dress according to tradition out of respect for the dead, not like this.  If you go to a gala event, a tuxedo or evening gown are appropriate.  Evening gowns are not exactly meant to express androgyny.  Just the opposite.  People just are not used to seeing female heads of state, and therefore heads of state in evening gowns.  Suddenly they are reminded, gah!, it's a woman, and it feels inappropriate.  We're letting her do a man's job, she could at least pretend to be a man and cover those things, is what (some) people think to themselves.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure she's a potential role model, but that has nothing to do with what clothes she wears.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
spoken like someone who has never had comments made about his appearance at work! ;-)
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:31:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe.  But how many stories about Bush in the flight suit were there?  Let's be honest, that was basically the press standing around saying, "Wow, his cock is huge!"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said there's a lot more of it for women than for men, not that it doesn't exist for men. In that sense any individual story like this is not indicative of sexism. Just like a bunch of office drones speculating on a colleague's blow job skills isn't (similar discussions among women aren't unheard of and everybody, male or female, engages in sexual objectification occasionally - it's inevitable) But in the aggregate a pretty clear pattern emerges.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:31:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh.My.God.Marek.

That is exactly what sexism is!

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just screwing with you.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
really?  I must have missed that.
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it was more of a "his symbolic cock is apparently huge"

Reminds me of a bad joke the punchline of which is "the Potato, it goes in the front."

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson

by NearlyNormal on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:48:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yeah, it was "ZOMGWECANHAZTEHMANLINESSES!" -- the perfect way for the press to go along with its "rough, tough Texas cowboy" meme.  And, with that set, suddenly the bit on Kerry becomes, "Flip-flopper!  Wind-surfer!  He looks French!  What a pussy!"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like the way Frenchmen look.  Vereee sexeee!
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How's that?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like John Kerry, of course.  (And around we go!)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:59:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haha.  Er, I don't remember him being sexy.  Well, I think Putin is hot so I'm in no position to judge...  In fact, I'm in no position to judge those who judge Merkel!  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if Putin were  a few inches taller, he would have a chance with me ;-)
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:07:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
do you want us to send him platform shoes?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah, Putin's a child molester.  (ducks swing from poemless)  You saw the video.  (ducks)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, that's not a funny accusation to make.

He's eccentric.  Sure.  But not that.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, he's weird.  How's that?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:25:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Undeniably.  But in a cute way...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:28:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nah, I don't want him turning into Sarkozy!!!!!
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:18:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I heard! but shhhhh.  I'm saving that gem for O&E.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
relatively thin, not overtly muscular, craggy features, eyes are bright with intelligence (most of the time), well dressed compared to USAers, not "pretty boys"
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:05:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to send you a picture... ;-)

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Apr 17th, 2008 at 03:53:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Europe | Are Europe's MPs paid too much?

MPs' pay continues to provoke controversy across Europe.

From moonlighting or employing a student son to buying nappies on a ministerial credit card, MPs are under constant scrutiny for what they earn and the perks they enjoy.

Here, BBC reporters give the view from five European countries.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:00:12 PM EST
BBC NEWS | The Reporters | Mark Mardell

When Berlusconi was Prime Minister of Italy before, he wasn't always loved by his fellow European leaders.

His jibe about the German MEP playing the role of a concentration camp guard disgusted many.

At European summits, he was rumoured to go shopping in Brussels' upmarket antique shops when the meetings got too dull.

Aside from his ally in support of the Iraq War and holiday-home-guest Tony Blair, he hadn't many friends. But this time around, will he have a bosom buddy?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM EST
A little before the election he said he would place his first call to Sarkozy if he won, because that's what Sarko did to him.

Still... if Sarko wants to drop even further in the popularity ratings in France, being over-pally with Berlu would be a good way.

They can both fight over who is Tony's best friend.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:12:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because that's what Sarko did to him.

False, as always.

The first call Berlusconi received was from Zapatero by the way.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what did he say? "I'll congratulated your predecessor and will congratulate your successor too", I'd hope....

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Threat' to future of Russia oil
BBC News

The future supply of Russian oil is threatened by a likely decline in production levels, one of the country's top oil executives has warned.

Lukoil's Leonid Fedun said $1 trillion would have to be spent on developing new reserves if current output levels were to be maintained.

Recent figures show Russian output fell 1% in the first quarter of 2008.

The possibility of less oil from one of the world's key suppliers will add more pressure to prices now at record highs.

Is Russia running out or are they manipulating the market to send oil prices higher?

by Magnifico on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:47:25 PM EST
Why can't it be both?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I live in a Boolean world.
by Magnifico on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Down with the excluded middle!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuance blurs the life and death issues at hand.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:40:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peaking doesn't mean running out. On the other hand, the Russian executive quoted in the FT today said the word "plateau" about a million times, as if to reassure people.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See this diary by taonow on dK quoting GB:


(Reuters)

Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, on Tuesday called on OPEC members to boost production to counter rapidly rising oil prices, which have shot up 80 percent since a year ago, adding his voice to similar requests from the administration of President George W. Bush.

"We are not producing enough oil ... and we can take collective action to persuade OPEC and others to get the oil price down," Brown said in an interview on Sky Television.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:09:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"collective action": If you don't lower your prices we'll go on strike and stop buying oil?
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was in the FT today... what a wanker!

Does he say the same about the North Sea? If the UK were producing enough gas they wouldn't be dependent on imports from Russia!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg: Repsol and BG Group Jump on Oil Discovery in Brazil (Update 3) (April 15)
Repsol YPF SA posted its biggest gain in Madrid trading in almost six years and BG Group Plc climbed to a record in London after the Brazilian government said the Carioca oil field offshore Brazil may be the third-largest ever drilled.

Repsol, which owns a quarter of the Carioca field, rose 2.18 euros, or 9.3 percent, to 25.68 euros, the biggest increase since June 2002. BG, owner of 30 percent of the Carioca project, gained 66 pence, or 5.4 percent, to a record 1,288 pence, the highest close since the company sold shares in 1988.

The Carioca field may hold 33 billion barrels of oil, Haroldo Lima, director of Brazil's National Oil Agency, said at a seminar in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.



When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:49:45 PM EST
It is ahuge huge huge field... enough to make the slide after peak oil a little bit more easy sicne it is adding one field to the big ones...or at least this is the conclusion I get from looking at the numbers they give...

now...

are the numbers real? Will we really ahve a cusion from 2015 to 2025 to compensate for the expected declines?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:57:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The numbers are a wild extrapolation. And always bear in mind that total reserve size doesn't say anything about the rate of extraction: just as with oil sands.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I sort of discount those caveats... my point is if the order of magnitude of thenumbers is correct. I am not sure if theya re right or not... if they are is a very signficant discovery... if not... well propaganda.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was searching for my source on "wild extrapolation", but Jérôme just linked to it downthread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:20:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Luis de Sousa's post over at the Oil Drum - there cannot be any hard number because they have not even drilled the target reservoir yet!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've spent two days on management training. It's been really useful despite the trainer starting off by saying that he realised at a young age that he didn't have a talent for anything in particular, which is why he went into management...
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:51:11 PM EST
Hmph. I think this is the third time I hear/read someone quote a management trainer thusly...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 02:58:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember once interviewing people for an entry position in software engineering and one of the candidates saying he was applying for a management position.

I tried to explain to him that he would require some experience before being to attain such a level, but he, and HR, thought that he exhibited "leadership" abilities despite the fact that no such position was open!

by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:01:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not manager, management trainer. Unlike the latter, managers believe they have a talent for everything.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:06:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The principle holds that in a hierarchy members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain. Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence".


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's depressing.  I believe myself and colleagues came up with the theory that these incompetent people were never actually competent at anything in the first place and got promoted purely because their manager/team couldn't bear them any more and palmed them off elsewhere.  That and the fact that these people are usually significantly into 'blame culture' and accuse others when their own incompetence threatens to be revealed.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:47:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've always thought that people got promoted so they had enough people under them to repair the damage they could do, so the less competent you were the higher you needed promoting.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That works too!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 16th, 2008 at 02:31:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the place I was going to rent for a big event in September was disappeared from me today. We gort an email in the morning giving us an exclusive option for 8 days. Then the next day, another email saying that they actually had other demands for the date ,could we please take a decision quickly. Then today, when calling to take the option (basically to ask - how do we give you the downpayment?) they tell us it's been rented out already, they told us, and - they hung up on us. Call back, aghast - they hang up again.

Just wow.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:11:32 PM EST
Sarko?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:13:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put simply, you've been gazumped. The adoption of gazumping by the French has to be a sign of advanced Anglo disease.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:14:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there are enough of us, we could stage a coup or raid.  

Or you could write an LTE to Le Monde about said company's abhorent business practices.

Or you could tear down another wall and invite everyone to your place.  

Or contact the mob.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:09:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't one of the Chicago mob on their way to Paris at some point soon? ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm clean.

Doesn't Paris have their own mob?  If not, they should get one.  All the cool kids have them.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's government funded so isn't very efficient.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:59:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the connection?  Russia's gov't funded mob is pretty efficient.  Oh wait, maybe it's Russia's mob-funded government I'm thinking about.  Oh nevermind.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the mark of a good mob, keep everyone on their toes by their not understanding your organisational structure.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The friggin' Pope is going to be at Andrews Airforce Base any minute, and they've already shut down half the damned streets.  I envision great fun awaits on the Metro tonight.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:40:06 PM EST
Blessed are the Metro Users, for they shall inherit the Highway to Heaven.  
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 03:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I 'compensated' my depression over the Italian elections by re-watching episodes of that hyper-minimalistic animated classic, La Linea.

How many of you are familiar with it?



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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:14:13 PM EST
It played on TV when I was a kid. I loved it.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't seen it since I was a kid. Thanks for alerting me that they have it on Youtube now, I never thought to look.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also saw it as a kid, and maybe once or twice in-between, but as reminder, there was also Gigi D'Agostino: The Riddle:



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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and BlaBlaBla:



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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Erosion of Support for Free Market System: Global Poll

April 15, 2008
Supporters of Free Market Look for Strong Government Regulation

Full Report (PDF)

Majorities in most countries continue to support the free market system, but over the last two years support has eroded in 10 of 18 countries regularly polled by GlobeScan. In several countries this drop in support has been quite sharp.

The latest polling was completed before the current stock market volatility that began earlier this year.

Back in 2005 only one country polled--France--had more citizens disagreeing than agreeing with the statement that "the free enterprise system and free market economy is the best system on which to base the future of the world."

Displacing France as the least supportive of the free market system today is Turkey where approval of the free market system has plunged from 47 percent in 2005 to 34 percent now, while opposition has risen from 36 to 41 percent.

Support for free markets has also dropped 15 points in South Korea since 2005, though a majority (55%) continue to be supportive. Opposition there has jumped 20 points from 19 to 39 percent.

Support among Chileans is also down 14 points since 2003 when Chileans were last polled on this question.

Support in other countries is down by more modest though significant numbers: China (down 9 points), Britain (7 points), Brazil (7 points), Mexico (6 points), and Kenya (6 points).

The one country to show upward movement in agreement with the free market system is France--up five points. However, more continue to disagree (45%) than agree (41%).



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:30:55 PM EST
Why is France missing on the diagram?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:36:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because they're all communists, and are busy trying to bring down western capitalism, so of course they dont feel positive about the free market.

don't you know anything? ;-)

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So why leave Turkey up? The Great Good Muslim Ally Against Evil Muslims?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:51:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's a bastion state against the islamic and communist hordes.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because it doesn't "fit the data."

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of the sample on that particular graph.

Presumably a representative sample, but I must admit I have not gone through the full report.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 06:24:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much are 'free enterprise' and 'free market' actual ideas that are clearly defined in the minds of the interviewees, and how much are they just phrases associated with a certain ideology of economics? I don't know how realistic the completely free market is, and so to say we should rely on it for future of the world smacks of unthinkingness. It feels much more like the thought process goes from the phrases, then to who uses them, then to whether or not the individual is happy with their management of the economy, and that is what is being measured.

Just kinda thinking that when a majority of people also believe in 'strong regulation', then the ideas get a bit blurred.

Member of the Anti-Fabulousness League since 1987.

by Ephemera on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you all know, I've been reporting extensively on the no-goodnik pirates of Somalia and their positive impact on the earth's temperature.   Now, FP has a map up of the pirates' hijinks.  

In other vaguely odds and endsy news, Vovka officially accepted the UR position.  According to various news reports, that makes Russia a "one-party state" like in ye olden days.  Which would be true.  Except there are some other political parties in the Duma.  But just close your eyes and pretend they can't see you.

Anway, Pozdravlaiu, Vladimir Vladimirovich!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:37:52 PM EST
So does that mean he is still Dima's boss or not?
by zoe on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not Dima's boss.  Not technically.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 05:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

World's biggest grain exporters halt foreign sales

The global food crisis intensified on Tuesday as Kazakhstan, one of the world's biggest wheat exporters halted foreign sales and rice prices shot to a record high after Indonesia stopped its farmers from selling the grain abroad.

In another sign of turmoil, a big food company in Japan, Nihon Shokuhin Kako, said high corn prices had forced it to buy cheaper genetically modified corn for the first time, breaking a social, though not legal, taboo and signalling that opposition to GM foods could weaken in the face of record food prices.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:46:23 PM EST

Indonesia's export ban boosted the price of rice futures in Chicago to a all-time high of $22.17 per 100 pounds, up 63 per cent since January. Wheat prices moved higher to $9.11 a bushel and traders warned prices could rise further as the Kazakhstan ban together with restrictions in Russia, Ukraine and Argentina have closed a third of the global wheat market.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 04:47:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First and most Second Worlders can get around these high prices by buying grain in bulk and doing the necessary processing to turn them into eatables.

Africa, South America, Latin America, and most of Asia is in it neck deep.

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

by ATinNM on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:29:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
first worlders don't care, or at least not directly. If the wholesale price of rice   jumps from 10 cents to 25 cents pound it still doesn't make much of a difference. Same with the other big commodity crops. Where it comes into play is in the price of meat but that's just a shift in diet, unpleasant but it beats starvation by a long shot.  The difference between being poor as in an $8/hr job at Walmart vs. being poor and making 50$ a month in Bombay.
by MarekNYC on Tue Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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