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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 20 September

by Fran Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:49:06 PM EST

On this date in history:

1920 - Alberto de Lacerda, a Portuguese poet and BBC Radio Presenter, was born.(d. 2007)

More here and here


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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:49:53 PM EST
EU Placates Tehran on Dissidents: Agriculture Ministers Rubber Stamp Terror List - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

One of the groups on the list is the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian dissident group. Its inclusion has long been the focus of controversy. Top European courts have accused the EU officials of having been far too lax in dealing with the truth and with fundamental principles of the rule of law.

The process by which the exiled Iranian opposition group was branded a terrorist group has been deemed unlawful by several courts. The courts have ruled that the fact that the parties involved have no opportunity to defend themselves is in contravention of their basic rights. Such concerns did not enter the minds of Europe's clueless agriculture experts when they approved the inclusion of the PMOI on the current list.

That was a crude "violation of the principles of the rule of law," according to prominent judges, lawyers and law professors from a number of countries who went to Brussels this week to vent their fury in the form of a collection of legal opinions.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:04:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps someone should explain to them that should they investigate and find that it is in fact not a terrorist group, but rather an opponent of terror, they could improve the statistics and claim "progress in the war on terror."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are agriculture ministers doing deciding who is a terrorist or not?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:46:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently, they can decide on issues not related to their field by acting as the Council.

Rapid - Press Releases - EUROPA

COUNTER-TERRORISM

EU list of persons, groups and entities subject to specific measures with a view to combating terrorism

- Adoption of a new consolidated list

The Council carried out a detailed re-examination of the EU list of persons and entities involved in terrorist acts (Common Position 2001/931/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001[7]).

In the light of that re-examination, the Council unanimously adopted a Common Position updating Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures with a view to combating terrorism.

It also unanimously adopted a Decision concerning the persons and entities listed under Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

The specific information on which this Council Decision is based will be communicated to the parties concerned by means of a "letter of notification"[8].

The parties concerned may ask the Council to re-examine their cases on the basis of documentary

evidence. The persons and entities subject to restrictive measures under Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 may also contest the Council's decision before the Court of First Instance, pursuant to the fourth and fifth paragraphs of Article 230 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

The above two acts, including the new consolidated lists, will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

For further information: information sheet on the EU list of persons, groups and entities subject to specific measures to combat terrorism.

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/080206_combatterrorism_EN.pdf



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:04:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Money That Belongs to Us All': Heads Roll in German Lending Bank Scandal - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
wo managers and one division head of the German state lending bank KfW were suspended Thursday after an emergency meeting of the administrative board in Berlin, amid uproar over a suspicious €300 million ($426 million) transfer made by the bank to Lehman Brothers on Monday -- just as the New York financial institution collapsed.

Critics were calling for heads to roll, and during a press conference after the five-hour meeting German Economics Minister Michael Glos, a member of the conservative Christian Democrats, announced the three suspensions. His Social Democratic colleague Peer Steinbrück, Germany's finance minister, said the suspensions would not be "the final word."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whether that transfer was legitimate or not (if they owed the money, then, even if Lehman is bankrupt, it can be argued that the payment had to be made. You don't always have a right to set-off, ie to cancel other obligations instead of making a payment).

What seems more ominous is the $8 billion transferred from Lehman London to Lehman NY over the ast few day before the bankruptcy. PWC, the liquidators in London, are now asking for the money back

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lehman transfer appears to have been to the holding company. This in and of itself is not suspicious especially as the holding company was having liquidity and credit problems and $8bn would dertainly have helped. But now that the various units may be sold off separately, PWC is suggesting the $8bn should count towards the value of the European franchise...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:58:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either way, so long as the money doesn't go to cover obligations that can be dumped on the US or UK public.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 12:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insulated from the Mayhem: Little Crisis for Europe's Banks - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Suddenly, stodgy banks are looking smart. And with former Wall Street giants toppling almost daily, some European banks are starting to look especially wise.

European banks are holding up pretty well amid the turmoil sweeping the industry. None of the Old World's biggest banks appears likely to fail or put itself on the block, analysts say.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US-Finanzrettungsplan: Dax schließt im Plus, US-Börsen gewinnen kräftig - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Wirtschaft U.S. financial rescue plan: Dax closes with plus, U.S. stock markets gain strongly - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - Economy
Hamburg - Die Aussicht auf ein umfangreiches Rettungspaket der US-Regierung für die Finanzbranche hat am Freitag die europäischen Aktienmärkte ins Plus katapultiert. Der Dax stieg um 5,6 Prozent auf 6190 Zähler und verbuchte damit den prozentual höchsten Kurszuwachs innerhalb eines Tages seit Ende Januar.Hamburg - The prospect of an extensive rescue package from the U.S. government for the financial industry catapulted European equity markets into positive territory on Friday. The Dax rose 5.6 percent to 6190, with that recording the highest single-day growth rate in percents since late January.
Im Wochenverlauf ergibt sich damit zwar ein Minus von 0,7 Prozent, doch angesichts der Horrortage, die hinter den Händlern liegen, ist das ein glimpflicher Ausgang.Over the last week, that still adds up to a minus of 0.7 percent, but given the horror days which lie behind the dealers, this is a mild outcome.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bouncing back! Record day for UK shares - Business News, Business - The Independent

At the end of a tumultuous week for financial markets, the FTSE rocketed 431.3 points to 5311.3 - a rise of 8.8 per cent.

It is the blue chip index's biggest one day rise since being established in 1984, adding £103 billion to the value of Britain's biggest companies.

Financial stocks were the top performing shares, led by Natwest owner Royal Bank of Scotland which posted a 32 per cent rise, Barclays up 29 per cent and Lloyds TSB up 20 per cent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Banks urged to 'come clean' over job cuts - Business News, Business - The Independent
Trade union Unite today demanded that the bosses of merging banks HBOS and Lloyds TSB "come clean" over speculation of job cuts as a result of the deal.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the end of a tumultuous week for financial markets, the FTSE rocketed 431.3 points to 5311.3 - a rise of 8.8 per cent.

Of course they did.  The Bush administration has just told them that there are no consequences to financial stupidity, and that the public will carry the can for stupid, selfish executives, no matter how insane they have been.

We don't have a market anymore.  We have a welfare system for the rich.

by IdiotSavant on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

We don't have a market anymore.  We have a welfare system for the rich.

We've had that for years now. what we now in addition is the blatant, in your face, acknowledgement of it, accompanied by the taunting "What are you going to do about it, suckers? We own you and we can take you down with us"...

And the Shock Doctrine in action.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But then there are assholes like me WHO HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE and would LOVE to see ... you know where THIS is going.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the Shock Doctrine in action.

That's the first thing that came to mind when Bush came out of his undisclosed location long enough to read a prepared statement about how this guvmint action is necessary to stave off even more dire consequences.  The fix is in.

The Associated Press: Bush to Congress: move fast on financial rescue

As negotiators from Congress and the White House worked feverishly through the weekend on a federal financial rescue package, President Bush asked lawmakers to look beyond partisanship and move quickly on the urgently needed measure.

Bush says U.S. financial rescue needed to prevent worse | Markets | Markets News | Reuters

"Further stress on our financial markets would cause massive job losses, devastate retirement accounts, further erode housing values, and dry up new loans for homes, cars and college tuitions."



We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 12:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, it's the financial version of the Iraq invasion/occupation.  How long till we regret this one?  Any takers?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 02:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calculated Risk: Bailout Proposal
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.


We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More like an international casino, where the house always wins.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 12:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bayern-Wahl: CSU strampelt gegen den Absturz - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Politik Bavarian elections: CSU struggles against the crash - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - Politics
Hamburg/Berlin/München - Gleich zwei Institute sagen den Christsozialen ein Ergebnis unter der magischen 50-Prozent-Marke voraus: 47 Prozent prognostiziert sowohl die Forschungsgruppe Wahlen fürs ZDF als auch Infratest für die ARD. Hamburg /Berlin /Munich - At once two institutes predict a result below the 50 percent level for the Christian Socialists: both the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for ZDF as well as Infratest for ARD [public TV channels] projected 47%.
Die Spekulationen, im Falle eines Wahlergebnisses von 50 Prozent minus X werde CSU-Chef Huber nicht zu halten sein und von Seehofer abgelöst, wies Ramsauer entschieden zurück...In reaction to speculations that in the case of an election result of 50 percent minus X, Huber can't be sustained as CSU boss and would be replaced by Seehofer, were rejected firmly by Ramsauer...
Parteichef Huber hatte bereits eine "Mobilisierungskampagne, wie wir sie noch nie erlebt haben" angekündigt. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen läuft der Geheimplan unter dem Codewort "Schweden", weil besagte Offensive in Skandinavien schon getestet wurde: Zwei Tage vor der Wahl werden die Wähler mit SMS, E-Mails und persönlichen Briefen bombardiert. So sollen die Unentschlossenen für die CSU zur Wahlurne getrieben werden. Party chief Huber already announced a "mobilization campaign, like we have bever seen". According to information received by SPIEGEL, the secret plan runs under the code word "Sweden", because said offensive has already been tested in Scandinavia: Two days before the election, the voters will be bombarded with SMS, e-mails and personal letters. The undecided are supposed to be driven to the ballot for the CSU.

Anyone versed in Swedish politics who recognises this?

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never heard of it.

IIRC there were some automatic robot telephone calls with recorded statements from leading politicians, but I didn't get any.

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:10:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither did I.

Maybe the CSU should check what their (probably very well paid) consultants are babbling about.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:16:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Riot police stand by for 'Anti-Islamisation Conference' - Europe, World - The Independent

Thousands of extra riot police were drafted into Cologne today to cope with expected violence between militant right and left-wing protesters as a bitterly contested pan-European "Anti-Islamisation Conference" got underway in the German cathedral city.

The three-day event is being staged by the city's far right "Pro Cologne" organisation which is campaigning to stop the construction of a mosque in a suburb and claims that Germany has fallen victim to creeping "Islamisation." The group has recently won seats on the city council.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fittingly the only government represented at the anti-Islamic meet is Italy. The Lega Nord, staunch Berlusconi ally with several key ministries, has its notorious hate-monger and crypto-Nazi Borghezio there.

It seems Le Pen will not attend.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive: Now the grassroots turn against Brown - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

A survey of rank-and-file Labour activists found 54 per cent would prefer someone else to lead the party into the next general election. Mr Brown's personal rating was lower than every other member of the Cabinet except the Chief Whip Geoff Hoon and the Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly.

The findings are a crushing blow to the Prime Minister on the eve of a make-or-break annual Labour conference in Manchester starting tomorrow....

If Mr Brown is forced to stand down, the Foreign Secretary David Miliband (24.6 per cent) is the favoured successor among Labour's grassroots. He is followed by the Health Secretary Alan Johnson (18.1 per cent); the backbencher Jon Cruddas (11.3 per cent); the Justice Secretary Jack Straw (9.6 per cent); Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman (6.6 per cent); the left-winger John McDonnell (6.5 per cent); the Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell (3.2 per cent); and the Schools Secretary Ed Balls (2 per cent).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Czech Republic to pursue EU enlargement to the Balkans during its six months presidency - 19-09-2008 13:54 UTC - Radio Prague
The Czech Republic is due to take up the rotating EU presidency at the start of 2009 - at a particularly challenging time. The prospects of EU enlargement to include western Balkan countries are a point of controversy with some members fearing instability from the region and others pointing out that until the Lisbon Treaty is in force the EU should not take on more members. Michaela Jelínková from the Government's Office for European Affairs outlines some of the challenges ahead and explains why the Czech Republic is committed to pushing ahead with EU expansion.

"The Czech Republic will definitely be involved in the last stages of accession talks with Croatia and we will also try to push forward the negotiations with other Balkan countries. Definitely Serbia is well on track, as you know. Progress has been marked in the field of cooperation with the International Court of Justice in the Hague and if more progress is made I think Serbia will do very well. As regards Cyprus, of course this is a very difficult issue, but both parties have just re-started negotiations this month and this will definitely influence progress in accession talks with Turkey."


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:46:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Officiel: les barons du Parti socialiste roulent pour Ségolène Royal It's official: the barons of the Socialist Party to roll Ségolène Royal
Pour les nouveaux alliés, la désignation du candidat à la présidentielle doit être «le résultat d'une primaire ouverte au plus grand nombre de sympathisants socialistes.» According to the new allies, the nomination as presidential candidate needs to be "the result of a primary open to the greatest number of Socialist supporters."
C'est signé. L'accord entre Ségolène Royal et les représentants de «la ligne claire», regroupement de grands élus locaux du PS derrière les maires de Lyon et d'Evry, Gérard Collomb et Manuel Valls, et le patron du conseil général des Bouches du Rhône Jean-Noël Guérini, est bouclé. Constatant «la proximité et la convergence des textes» déposés dans le cadre de la préparation du congrès de Reims, et brandissant leur «volonté de faire cesser la dispersion et la confusion préjudiciables au débat démocratique», ces deux composantes du parti «ont décidé d'en prendre acte en rédigeant une motion commune». It is signed. The agreement between Ségolène Royal and representatives of "the clear line", a grouping of major local elected officials of the PS behind the mayors of Lyon and Evry, Gérard Collomb and Manuel Valls, and the boss of the General Council of Bouches du Rhone, Jean-Noel Guerini, is complete. Noting that "the proximity and the convergence of the texts" filed as part of preparations for the congress of Reims, and brandishing their "willingness to stop the divisions and the confusion that is detrimental to the democratic debate", both components of the party "decided to take note of drafting a joint motion"



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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:13:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read the English translation and still don't have any idea what this means.
by paving on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That a powerful rival camp declared they will stop trying to undermine Royal's eventual choice as the Socialist Party's next presidential candidate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:40:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Glad I'm not the only one. My first suspicion was that she would 'roll', as in, depart. But the verb refers to them rolling or driving...and she certainly is smiling.

That picture carries one of the reasons that I like her. She has such a comfortable smile. Not made up, not too serene, just enjoying. And that, unsurprisingly, carries through with the things that she supports, and the way she supports them.

I wish her well. Someday there will be an era when good people can win, when we can have intelligent leaders.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I liked the photo for the contrast between her smile and that of the guy in the background: his appears to be a politicians' calclated smile.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Royal looks good on pictures ; but since the very awful performance she gave in the presidential election debate, it got mighty hard to trust her as actual leader of the left. Going to an election with as a big, important proposal that women cops in tough neighbourhoods will be driven home...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 03:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a funny thing.

According to the latest Figaro-TNS Sofres poll, only 34% have confidence in Sarko. However, only 37% (+2) wish Royal to play an important role - Strauss-Kahn and Jack Lang, two centre-leftists wooed by Sarko (the latter a full-blown traitor) rank above her. But, among those left of center, so does Paris mayor Delanoë ()49% -- and Trot leader Besançenot (43%, +3)!

But what's really interesting is opinion according to political orientation. Apparently, Royal is in a much closer packed top three for leftist voters, but centrists and right-wingers hate her much more than even the commie. Is this 'just' sexism?

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

by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sad that all our best reporters on French affairs are off-line when this happens. I'd like a diary enlightening us about the battles inside the PS, where from the little I gathered, Royal gets the support of the centrists, Martine Aubry that of the leftists, and Delanoë might be the one to go through in the choice of party leader with a uniter image. My impression is that even without the likes of Jack Lang, the centrists are ready to blow up the party if it doesn't go their way, but don't know about Royal.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
gets the centrists of the party, not of the population (well, both her and Delanoe are an odd mix of center-left and traditional left - just different mixes).

She also get the local militants and federations, as opposed to the Paris barons. Lyon and Marseilles and important federations, but they are not really barons.

It still looks like 3 blocks or equal size at this point. The only hope is that thi internal election allows for an uncontsted leader to emerge, with the party coalescing around him/her. If infighting goes on after the election, it will be catastrophic.

As a side note: most of the time, when I actually read texts written by either of the socialist leaders, there's very little to quibble with on the substance (ie they are on the left and they have appropriate policy proposals) - but somehow that is not the impression conveyed by the media, not by the supposely lefy intellectual, many of which have drifted right massively (whether for political/geopolitical reasons like Glucksmann and BHL (neocons-leaning), or for economic reasons like Attali and his ilk (neolib-leaning).

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It brings back DoDo's question of whether this (the press' movement to paint the wrong picture) points to a sexism.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:06:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two points :

Who writes the socialists' leaders' texts ? Themselves, or their advisors ? I'm not sure many of those written texts are actually read or cared about. Royal clearly said after the election that she didn't care all that much about the PS platform.

Are those lefty platforms actually defended by the PS leaders ? With all the calls for a Bayrou alliance, it's not all that clear. And it's clear the media - not only the intellectuals or the economists - have stopped to agree relaying any kind of leftish viewpoints on social and economic matters ; even Libé is often very centerish.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 03:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sad that all our best reporters on French affairs are off-line when this happens

They should be tied with metaphors and whipped with analogies for their sloth.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:00:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be more specific: it would be great if redstar, linca, Jérôme and Cyrille would all give their separate profiles/views of the left-of-centre main players here, especially Aubry and Besancenot [I don't know why I want to automatically attach a cedille to his c].

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:19:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I'm not following the innards struggle of the PS very closely. I don't watch the TV news, and right now none of the dailies is to my liking...

Also, it seems much of the struggle is straight about personalities, alliances, rather than anything really resembling political stances. For example, Royal getting Guerini's support is very important, not because Guerini would be anything like a heavyweight, but because the Bouches-du-Rhône PS section is one of the largest in France, carrying a lot of votes - many of which barely legitimate. The number of adhesion card given by the PS is rising fast, and not necessarily corresponding to an actual rise in live members : apparently the PS elections suffer a fair amount of manipulation.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh...

And what's your take on Besancenot?

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he seems to have replaced Laguiller as "that person who's truly far left but likeable". LCR replacing LO (which has its importance for those interested in actual trostkyist theory).

The first question being, is Besancenot an actual leader of the far left or just the mouthpiece of Krivine, the real boss of LCR since '68 ? (the situation in Laguiller's LO was similar, with Hardy the actual leader of that party).

Secondly, the far left has been in disarray, with the PCF getting closer to irrelevancy with each election season ; the more libertarian and ecologists elements, the "altermondialists", gravitating towards Jose Bove ; and LCR and Besancenot displacing Laguiller for the "popular far left vote".

Right now, it seems Bove is uniting with the Greens and "apolitical ecologist" Nicolas Hulot for the EP elections, thus leaving the far left political ground wide open for LCR. With European Elections, with their proportional representation and relative National irrelevance, usually marking the high tide of small parties, LCR could poll fairly high - it'll be interesting to see how much.

Besancenot may be the only real opposition voice heard regularly in the media, but I don't see LCR starting the kind of ground work necessary to create class consciousness - like what the PCF was doing in the '50s and '60s. So I'm not sure their popularity can translate to much more than the traditional - and more and more ineffective, with the current right wing media we're having - support for some more demonstration and strikes ; I don't see them helping give weight to the worker's side in the national balance of power.

As LCR is right now refusing any eventuality of government participation, there's also the danger they'd install themselves in the very comfortable position of an ineffectual, but long lasting, far left systematic opposition, which would even be worse.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:05:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dedefensa.org : Rumeurs polonaises, ou un écho de la non-Guerre froide
Polish rumors, or echoes of the non-cold-war


   
Il y a beaucoup de réunions en ce moment dans les pays autour du "front", c'est-à-dire les pays directement concernés par la crise géorgienne. C'est notamment le cas en Pologne. Les réunions, séminaires, etc., réunissent souvent des gens qu'on n'imagineraient pas voir ensemble selon les normes impliquées par nos vitupérations sur la "nouvelle Guerre froide", en l'absence d'autres qu'on imaginerait au contraire très présents si l'on s'en tenait à la logique de ces mêmes vitupérations dont ils sont coutumiers.There are quite a number of meetings happening these days in countries close to the "front line", ie the countries directly concerned by the Georgian crisis. This is particularly the case in Poland. These meetings, seminars, etc.., often get together people you would not expect to see according to the standards implied by our vituperative about the "new Cold War", and with the absence of other parties that one would expect to find there, according to the logic of the very same vituperative they are customary of.[...]
* On trouve dans ces réunions des gens aussi variés que des Polonais bien sûr, des Français et des Allemands, des Russes, des Géorgiens, des gens d'autres pays du Caucase. Il y a très peu d'Anglo-Saxons, avec les Américains quasiment absents et les Anglais à peine présents sinon par leurs positions extrêmes (voir plus loin). Cette absence confirment un des phénomènes principaux de la crise géorgienne, qui est la présence faible des Anglo-Saxons. (Cela n'est pas seulement une question de géographie, puisque d'autres Occidentaux, comme les Français et les Allemands, y sont très présents.)* In these meetings, one can find a diverse group of people such as Polish, of course, French and Germans, Russians, Georgians, people from other Caucasus countries. There are very few Anglo-Saxons, with Americans being virtually absent and the English barely present, but noted for their extreme positions (see below). This has confirmed one of the main features of the Georgian crisis, which is the low involvement of the Anglo-Saxons. (This is not just a question of geography, as other Westerners, like the French or the Germans, are very present.)
* L'état d'esprit des Polonais est très mélangé. On est loin, très loin d'un pays figés dans une position d'hostilité ou de crainte obsessionnelle. On trouve des positions plus fermes (anti-russes), d'autres plus arrangeantes vis-à-vis des Russes. L'impression qui prévaut est qu'il s'agit d'un pays dans un processus d'évolution et nullement bloqué dans une position donnée.* The mood of the Polish participants is very mixed. We are far, far away from a country frozen in a position of hostility or obsessive fear. There are stronger (anti-Russian) positions, while others are more arranging. The prevailing impression is that this is a country in an evolutionary process and not stuck in a given position.[...]
* A partir de plusieurs exemple précis dans ces réunions, avec toutes les références qui importent, on a pu juger de la position hystériquement intransigeante, anti-russe, etc., des Britanniques dans la situation actuelle. Le cas est si évident qu'on pourrait conclure que les Britanniques sont, dans ce petit monde de la crise géorgienne, très nettement isolés par leur discours absolument intransigeant. On ignore la cause directe et concrète de cette "politique"... Si l'on ajoute que les Américains brillent par leur discrétion, sinon leur absence, on jugera de la singulière position des Anglo-Saxons dans ce contexte de cette crise essentielle. Il est impossible, à cet égard, de ne pas faire un lien entre la situation de cette crise géorgienne et l'effondrement en cours du système financier complètement d'inspiration anglo-saxonne. Les répercussions de la crise financière pèsent de tout leur poids sur la politique en retraite des Anglo-Saxons dans la crise géopolitique de la Géorgie. La perception joue à cet égard un rôle fondamental, en influençant la psychologie; l'affaiblissement dramatique des conceptions anglo-saxonnes avec la crise financière mine tout aussi dramatiquement l'esprit offensif des Anglo-Saxons dans les crises géopolitiques, et particulièrement dans cette crise géorgienne.* From several specific example in these meetings, with all the references that matter, one could judge the hysterically intransigent, anti-Russian, etc.., position taken by the British in the current situation. The case is so obvious that we could conclude that the British are, in this small world of the Georgian crisis, very much isolated by their absolutely intransigent discourse. We don't know the concrete and direct reason of this "policy" ... If we add that the Americans are notable by their discretion, if not by their absence, we may assess the singular position of the Anglo-Saxons in the context of this essential crisis. It is impossible in this regard, not to make a link between the situation of the Georgian crisis and the ongoing collapse of the essentially Anglo-Saxon inspired financial system. The impact of the financial crisis weigh heavily on the political retreat of the Anglo-Saxons in the Georgia geopolitical crisis. Perception is playing, in that regard, a fundamental role in influencing psychology; the dramatic weakening of the Anglo-Saxon concepts with the financial crisis is also undermining just as dramatically the offensive spirit of the Anglo-Saxons in the geopolitical crises, especially in this Georgian crisis.

The TribExt bilingual column editor doesn't work on my computer, so I had to do it the old fashioned way...

Things seems to be progressing quietly behind the scenes in Eastern Europe, since the usual trouble makers are busy throwing good money after bad on Wall St...

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The English are still stuck in the Great Game. As a French commander remarked after the charge of the light brigade in the Crimea war, "It's magnificent but it's not war. It's madness."

It's still applies- perhaps because they see in Saakasvili an incompetent fool just like the commanders of the light brigade were.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the take of a Polish blog:

the beatroot: Sikorski with Laughrov

The New Cold war looks like this. Bit of a laugh, innit? (photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was in town today. The meeting with Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski was keenly anticipated by the media commentariat. Would Sergei the Russian Bear be taken to task by Rad the Eagle? Or was Lavrov going to roast the eagle on a spit? After all, it's Sikorski's signature on the anti-missile shield agreement.

...

So tension was high in Warsaw's Foreign Ministry this morning.

And then...nothing really happened.

...

The only tricky bit came when Sikorski brought up the embarrassing antics of some of Russia's generals. They love to get in the newspapers threatening to nuke Poland from the face of the universe. Which is quite rude, isn't it?

But all in all, this was not the hyper aggressive Russia we have seen, on occasion, recently.

The historic fear of Russia in Poland is entirely understandable. But having an ahistorical fear of them is not. Russia is in a very new place right now. It has economic power, not military. It will try to hang on to as much territory as it can. It does so because it feels threatened. It's from weakness not strength that Moscow is authoritarian and can bully.

And we should always ask ourselves: can the US, UK etc really accuse Moscow of being the bullyboy when they have taken it upon themselves to act like the world's policeman/humanitarian social worker - whether the `client' wants it or not - since the end of the Real Cold War.?

Beware the bear with a thorn in its foot. But in the end Russia needs the West as much as the West needs Russia. All talks and disputes should take that as their starting point.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The English are panicking that they are running out of oil&gas and have no policies to deal with that - except the one tested over the past 7 years - distract the populace with enemies and wars.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have one of the worst political cultures in the Western world, and a wretchedly ignorant and incompetent civil service.

I don't think it's deliberate distraction so much as bumbling from one crisis to the next, repeating free market ideology robotically, and - in some of the more extreme cases - secretly believing the Empire never really died.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I too have the impression that such strategic oversight of the long-term situation isd beyond that of the current British political elite, especially Brown. Who, again, strikes me as just dumb, a surprise after years of having been told how the wily Bliar fears him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a good theory. It's main weakness is that the British issues can be solved: they need just take a look at how their neighbouring countries are dealing with these issues, and how they have been dealing with them for the last few decades.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their Neighbouring countries are Ireland and France. You're not really suggesting the British government is going to look to the French, let alone the Irish, for best practice?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The case is so obvious that we could conclude that the British are, in this small world of the Georgian crisis, very much isolated by their absolutely intransigent discourse. We don't know the concrete and direct reason of this "policy"
The only explanation I can find is an atavistic throwback to The Great Game played between the British Empire and the Czars in Central Asia in the 19th Century.

In other words, the British political class is acting on a 150-year-old reflex.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU fails to deliver on defence
Former British diplomat paints a scathing picture

By Michel Kerres, NRC Handelsblad

When talking about the European defence initiatives, Witney's words have a cynical ring to them. He doesn't want to ridicule the work of his former colleagues, he says, but he wants to make something clear.

In 2005 the European Union set up a system of rotating 'battle groups', he explains.The various `battle groups' are on permanent standby, ready for action anywhere in the world. But before the soldiers can go anywhere, there is the small question of a decision on which of the seven head-quarters will lead the operation. ,,That is, if there is anywhere to send them in the first place, because a suitable conflict hasn't been found since 2005."

The EU does send out special missions but it isn't always easy to find personnel or equipment. It spent six months looking for helicopters for a mission to Chad. Eventually Russia stepped in. On September 1, the day on which European leaders discussed taking a tough stance on Russia following the conflict in Georgia, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made four helicopters and 200 staff available for the EU mission. The 27 EU member states spend over 200 billion euros on defence a year, but they couldn't find 16 transport helicopters...


by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So "fails to deliver on defence" means fails to send out battle groups to foreign countries in a rapid order?

Can we get defense to be out defense again and not offense?

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:30:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or we could go back to calling the respective government unit Ministry of War as it was in the 19th Century.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO rapid-response unit proposed to address fears about Russia
By Julian E. Barnes and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times

Seeking to reassure countries that have grown fearful of Russia, Western defense ministers will consider the creation of an easily deployable military force that could be sent into nations feeling threatened, a senior U.S. Defense official said Thursday.

The creation of such a force would take NATO back to its roots as a deterrent against Soviet might after years of concentrating on missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense chiefs plan to discuss the proposal at a meeting today. The Bush administration is pushing the idea as a compromise that could reassure allies without provoking Russia.

However, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stepped up the Bush administration's denunciation of Moscow, alleging in a speech in Washington that Russia had shown a "worsening pattern of behavior" in which it was "increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad."


by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:13:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gates Urges Cautious NATO Stance on Russia After Georgia Conflict
By Thom Shanker, The New York Times

With NATO divided over how to respond to a newly assertive Russia, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that he would urge alliance ministers meeting here to adopt a cautious and deliberate approach that would reassure newer members along the Russian border without provoking hostilities.

Mr. Gates has said he does not anticipate any armed Russian incursions into the territory of NATO member countries, but said Moscow was more likely to pursue strategies of "pressure and intimidation," including restricting its supplies of oil and gas, on which Europe depends.

Mr. Gates made his comments as the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, struck a conciliatory tone in Moscow, saying he hoped that Russia and the United States could find a way to improve relations.

by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh get real.

The EU isn't going to risk a war with Russia and the US doesn't have a modern army, anymore.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does still have a modern air force and navy, though, and too many people seem to think that's all it needs.
by Zwackus on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:47:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With reconnaissance satellites, long-range anti-ship missile armed drones, and medium range ballistic missiles a carrier based naval battlegroup is fish habitat.

The US Air Force hasn't attacked a modern, integrated, anti-aircraft defense since World War II.  

Either way, the attacking forces would be savaged.

(AFC, BBS)

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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps an emblematic case was the Russian "attack" on the Kitty Hawk in November 2001 during manouvers in the Korean Sea. The Russian migs broke through the US defenses twice and were gone before the US forces caught on.

Russians and Americans have been having cat fights for decades, up to 280 a year, under-reported "incidents at sea." They're heavy sparing partners- and quite often the Russians get the best. A war with Russia would be a total disaster for the world.

As for the Georgia campaign, the Russian attack was a classic low-level operation. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of their campaign was the lack of precision bombing. The Russians are deliberately using non-surgical weaponry as an admonition. And if their nuclear warheads are just as imprecise?

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, it is said airplane dogfights are passé, too: in a real aerial war, planes would shoot each other off the sky with rockets at a range of dozens to hundreds of kilometres.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The development of remote controlled aircraft, flying above radar acquisition - "drones" - armed with air-to-air smart missiles coupled with swarm technology - independent agents with cross-coupled communication - is leading to the potential obsolescence of manned attack aircraft.

AFAIK, this system is still in the 'talking' phase.  Throw some money at R&D and it could be developed.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK the nightmarish (because enabling even more reckless wars by people behind screens) idea of automatic airplanes is a dream for two decades now, but it only produced expensive but aborted development projects (a lot of the newer X-planes).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:46:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometime - when I'm not exhausted - and I'll run through the problems and how I would answer 'em.

But not today.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:40:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russians and Americans have been having cat fights for decades, up to 280 a year, under-reported "incidents at sea." They're heavy sparing partners- and quite often the Russians get the best.

LOL, that's not the impression one gets from watching Top Gun ;-)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I refuse to see any film that has a so-called "scientologist" in the crew.

As for top guns, Karl Rove's "Mission Accomplished" set was stolen from Putin. To clench the 1999 elections Putin piloted a SU-27 over Checheny with a top gun as co-pilot, Maj. Gen. Alexander Kharchevsky.

General Kharchevsky is the head of the 4th flight training center (CBPiPLS) from Lipetsk, where one of the most capable Russian Air Force units is based. Several years ago Kharchevsky visited the United States, where he flew a number of simulated combat missions on his Su-27 fighter against some of the best American pilots. Kharchevsky won all of the 26 missions flown. (It was after Kharchevsky's trip to the U.S. that several Western military aircraft manufacturers, including Lockheed and Saab, declined an offer by Sukhoi Design Bureau to conduct a public one-on-one close combat simulation at an international air show between any of the latest Western fighters and the Su-35 air-superiority fighter.)

On May 1, 2003 (or the day before), Bush co-piloted a plane onto the USS Lincoln to announce the Mission had been accomplished. He however resorted to a normal guy pilot, a very American thing to do.

A proper film would pit the two pilots against each other, maple syrup and apple pie. I'll go see it if there's no fuckwit scientologist in the cast. Hell, I'll even write the script. Dick'll be the evil guy.

PS. It was Kharchevsky who "sank" the Kitty Hawk.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What that is saying is not that the US doesn't have a first-class navy or airforce, but rather that currently the balance between defensive and offensive weaponry is heavily slanted in favor of defense, at horribly asymmetric costs.

One can read recent weapons initiatives in the US as ways to get around that.  If you believe some of the hype, the more or less canceled F-22 Raptor was supposed to be the key to cracking modern air defense networks, and its cheaper and less effective replacement, the Joint Strike Fighter, is supposed to have a good chunk of that capability.

Then there are the various anti-satellite weapons the US has been developing, to deal with the satellite tracking issues.

None of its ready for use, though.

And your downthread comment about the US Army is right as well.

by Zwackus on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:30:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The F-22 has not been canceled. Actually it is already in service with operative units. Only 20 or so, but more are rolling of the line.

And if the F-22 is as good as the US propaganda claims it is...

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:23:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:16:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The link doesn't work for me, but by all means buy Gripen instead. ;)

Not that the Americans are selling the F-22 to anyone, but the F-35 has gotten into developmental trouble... ;)

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:34:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bomb, bomb, Iran [or other place as required]

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:06:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:02:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who has a modern army then? I mean the US has the most advanced military technology and is spending the most money on military.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:43:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The equipment has been heavily used in Iraq, some of it is worn-out, some damaged, all of 'em need down-time for replacement and repair.  They've stripped the US of second-line equipment - from the National Guard and Reserve Units.  

The quality of people being brought into the military has lowered.  They are losing the NCO corp (the heart of a fighting force) because of Iraq.  The quality of the Army has lowered.  The suicide rate is appalling.

The US is spending a ton of money, per year, but that is spread-out over the standard bills just to have a Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp, National Guard (Territorials,) and their associated Reserve Units.  Billions of dollars per month goes to Iraq.  And so on and so forth.

Yes, the US spends a lot, too much IMHO, on its military but it's a 'holding action,' as it were.  


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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 09:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is still without any question what so ever the most powerful armed forces the world has ever seen.

The equipment has been worn down some, but that just mean more money to the military industrial complex.

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:25:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a very useful tool when the US wants to take on the military might of Haiti and Honduras.

Against sturdier foes armed with the very latest weaponry and a limitless budget - like Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan - its record isn't quite as convincing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:19:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq had its ass kicked, so did the Taleban. The North Vietnamese had no chance against the Americans in a conventional war and only launched that when the Americans were leaving.

But no, I've never claimed the Americans were good at counter-insurgency.

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:37:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kind of the point, isn't it?

One might say there is an established doctrine of how to beat the US military: Allow them into the country and then conduct guerrilla/insurgency warfare until they leave.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:26:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Counterinsurgency is an awful horrible thing to live through and the only people who do it are insane warlike dirt poor countries with huge birth rates and nothing to lose, except blood.

(And with the high birthrate that doesn't really matter).

In more developed nations where people actually want to live reasonable lives, like in Georgia, an insurgency is hard to imagine no matter how much the neocon press has been writing about it.

And when push comes to shove, if someone starts an insurgency against you, you very likely have done something very wrong.

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

by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:51:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Civilian deaths and destruction in modern wars is far greater than the purely 'military' deaths.  Think of the destruction during World War II - still on-going these many years later! - caused by aerial bombing of cities, transportation nexus, manufacturing areas, & etc.

when push comes to shove, if someone starts an insurgency against you, you very likely have done something very wrong.

Yeah.  Like invading their country.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:12:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah.  Like invading their country.
Exactly my point.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:41:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's the money going to come from?

Seriously.  The Bush administration and the GOP (neo-lib, conservative) dominance of economic policy over the last decades has gutted the US.  There isn't enough money to fight two wars, maintain a global military presence, bail-out the financial sector, pay for the weapons systems now coming on-line, and re-supply & equip the Armed Forces.  

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
America is full of money. It just has to be... redistributed.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The money is and has been redistributed: from the population to the oligarchs.  More monies thrown at the military would only acerbate this and the other economic problems the US is experiencing.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:30:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:50:23 PM EST
US Financial Crisis: 'The World As We Know It Is Going Down' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
By Marc Pitzke in New York

...

In fact, it really does look as if the foundations of US capitalism have shattered. Since 1864, American banking has been split into commercial banks and investment banks. But now that's changing. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch -- overnight, some of the biggest names on Wall Street have disappeared into thin air. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the only giants left standing. Despite tolerable quarterly results, even they have been hurt by mysterious slumps in prices and -- at least in Morgan Stanley's case -- have prepared themselves for the end.

"Nothing will be like it was before," said James Allroy, a broker who was brooding over his chai latte at a Starbucks on Wall Street. "The world as we know it is going down."

...

But what's really happening? Experts have so far been unable to agree on any conclusions. Is this the beginning of the end? Or is it just a painful, but normal cycle correcting the excesses of recent years? Does responsibility lie with the ratings agencies, which have been overvaluing financial institutions for a long time? Or did dubious short sellers manipulate stock prices -- after all, they were suspected of having caused the last stock market crisis in July.

The only thing that is certain is that the era of the unbridled free-market economy in the US has passed -- at least for now. The near nationalization of AIG, America's largest insurance company, with an $85 billion cash infusion -- a bill footed by taxpayers -- was a staggering move. The sum is three times as high as the guarantee provided by the Federal Reserve when Bear Stearns was sold to JPMorgan Chase in March.

(All emphasis mine)

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:02:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain and US crack down on hedge funds blamed for crisis - Business News, Business - The Independent

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) banned "short selling" of bank shares from midnight last night, after warnings that the practice helped fuel market turmoil that forced the dramatic £12.2bn takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB. This came as the New York Attorney announced his office had launched an investigation into illegal manipulation to profit from short selling. The move is to uncover whether speculators have spread misleading information or acted in concert to purposely drive down share prices.

Wealthy hedge fund traders, heavy users of the shorting strategy, have sparked fury after making millions from the collapse in value of UK banking stocks.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horse. Barn door.
by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as we know, the evil Hedge Funds™ were in charge of the US Federal Reserve Bank from 1987 to 2006.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who do they think is going to buy the (heavily discounted) assets dumped by banks in the lap of the taxpayers? Hedge funds, that's who.

But hey, when your only policy is distraction, it's par for the course.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:07:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Distraction, all right.

Short selling can be simulated at relatively low cost with options and futures. But the SEC and FSA have not banned options or futures on financial stocks.

Also, as the long/short hedge funds all, simultaneously adjust their portfolios to react to the new regulations you're going to see some deleveraging (which, when done by all, simultaneously is a Bad Thing™) and some large sector movements (blowing away the stability of correlation estimates).

It's all for show.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wall Street bailout could `cripple' federal budget
By Jared Allen and Jackie Kucinich, The Hill

Congressional budget writers are already starting to worry that the massive federal government bailout of Wall Street could have drastic repercussions on how the government spends money next year and beyond, regardless of the make-up of either end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.), a senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, as well as a former investment banker, stressed that the moves by the federal government to prop up the financial markets are positive and necessary. Still, the investments -- just because of the sheer dollar amounts involved -- could freeze Congress's ability to spend money on a host of things well into next year and beyond, he added.

"This cripples the domestic policy priorities of the next president, whoever it is, because it soaks up so much cash," said Cooper, a senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a former investment banker. "In the long term, it is good news because it will encourage better behavior from everyone."
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday the measure would cost "hundreds of billions" of dollars.

"Don't assume there will be revenue next year when we do this," said Rep. John Campbell (Calif.), a Budget Committee Republican, former CPA and member of the conservative Republican Study Committee who supports the Treasury proposal.

"I mean, we are talking what I think could be a half-trillion dollars," Campbell said, adding that while it's hard to say to what exact impact the bailout will have on the budget, there will be widespread pressure to keep federal spending low.

by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's going to make federal funding for health care plans and social security more interesting.

Neocon win! They keep the money, and destroy public spending on essentials.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the whole point. Makes it damned near impossible now.
by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:38:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless it is all kept in that mysterious place, "OffBudget". A war of a few trillion, bailing out the financial system, another trillion or so.

I hope we get more than pennies on the dollar from the estates of the millionaires and billionaires who fleeced the system for the last several years. I fully presume that the bankruptcy estate manager of the US will claim back everything that they stole plus more.

Will we have to pay for their dinners and the dinners of their families while they are in their holding cells, awaiting trial? Or will they work on chain gangs. I can only imagine that if people taking pictures of them pay a dollar or so per, that this will be more monetarily remunerative than whatever service they are providing; trimming hedges on the road, etc.

I wonder if we should short some of the drug companies since all the rich won't be able to buy their 'mother's little helpers' as they do now. Geez, in that scenario, Prada, Chris-Craft, et al will be in dire straits. How will the world survive?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"In the long term, it is good news because it will encourage better behavior from everyone."

Better behavior? As in, "begging us for their survival, and obeying our every orders and whims because they have no other choice to survive?"

The Shock Doctrine has come home.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US chief: Iran diplomatic solution imperative - Middle East, World - The Independent

In a highly unusual statement on the issue from the US Defence establishment the officer, who requested anonymity, stressed that a diplomatic solution was imperative to solve the crisis.

The commander, in the heart of US military policy-making, said that there was "a lot of rhetoric" over Israel's repeated threats to carry out air-strikes to stop Iran developing a nuclear arsenal.

However, he said, that an exercise by over 100 Israeli war planes in the skies above the Mediterranean in June showed the Israelis were practising for a possible offensive.

"But it would not be the right thing to do, it will open up another front and this is not going to help the situation in the region, Iraq or Afghanistan," said the officer. "A diplomatic solution is the only logical answer to this."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:24:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not all crazy.  But he is certainly not crazy for insisting on anonymity.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mbeki denies plot against Zuma - Americas, World - The Independent

In a statement issued before the three-day session of the ANC executive body, the President denied he had put pressure on prosecutors to charge his political rival, Jacob Zuma, with corruption. The case against Mr Zuma, who is the leading candidate to replace Mr Mbeki as South African president after being elected party leader last December, was dropped last week.

...

Mr Mbeki has been fighting for his political survival after being accused by a Durban high court judge of colluding with the country's national prosecuting service, in violation of the constitution, to lay a raft of corruption and fraud charges against Mr Zuma.

...

It was understood last night that the ANC leadership would adopt a resolution asking Mr Mbeki to resign voluntarily, instead of hounding him from office through an impeachment procedure or a vote of no confidence motion in parliament. That would see power temporarily moving to the Speaker of Parliament, Mbaleka Mbete, before Mr Zuma takes over in elections due early next year.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Livni faces coalition demands after slim win - Middle East, World - The Independent

The potentially pivotal ultra-orthodox party Shas immediately laid down tough financial and political terms for remaining in a government led by Ms Livni. She defeated the former military chief of staff Shaul Mofaz for the party leadership by just 431 votes.

While making it clear to Ms Livni he accepted the result of Wednesday's contest, Mr Mofaz confounded claims that he would seek a senior post in her government by saying that he did not want a ministerial or parliamentary post. He would instead find "additional ways to contribute to the state of Israel and my family."

(A plague on both houses, is my opinion)

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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Now he needs to make an ad about not meeting with Zapatero.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I LOVE the tone of the announcer.  Wonder how much they pay him to sound like an idiot?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am obviously not in their target audience.  That ad raises my opinion of Chavez quite a bit.  Who can oppose the right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination and freedom from foreign attack?
by Zwackus on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who? A terrorist-loving anti-american, that is who.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
damn that's some racist shit.

my favorite part is the "bleeping" of words in spanish that the english audience of course would not understand or be offended by.

by paving on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:17:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a Spanish version of the ad as well.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:19:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shorter McCain: The uppity negro will talk to the scary injun. We can't have that.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do they really believe that Spanish speaking swing voters (that is, apart from elite-in-exile communities) would buy this interpretation of Chavez?
by Zwackus on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:32:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They must, which is quite puzzling.

However, a lot of the Spanish-speaking US vote is "white" in Latin American terms - Chávez and Morales are too "indian".

You shouldn't underestimate the anti-indigenous racism in Latin America.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:20:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And what's your comment on this?

The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on McCain - TIME

Of course, there's a worst-case scenario: that McCain would, if elected, maintain his predecessor's chilly relationship with Spain. Spaniards may, on the whole, revile American politics and American comida de basura (junk food), but they still tend to measure their Prime Minister's international worth by the esteem with which the U.S. President holds him.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:37:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they still tend to measure their Prime Minister's international worth by the esteem with which the U.S. President holds him

That's Aznarite concern trolling - everyone knows Bush is an asshole and influence in the EU Council counts for much more.

As for the rest, see my comments in Thursday's Salon, Friday's Salon and Thursday's Open Thread. I am intensely annoyed by the attention paid to this non-event.


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I checked those comments before posting this question for you - yet I must admit I don't quite understand what you are annoyed about andin what sense this is a "non-event" for you. (Also see Marek's reaction to you.)

BTW, "I will stand up to those who want to harm the United States" sounds bellingerent to me.

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

by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Belligerent it is, but it was (to me) clearly boilerplate and not directed specifically at ZP.

McCain's intervention reads like "can you drop that Zapatero guy? I'm here to talk about Chávez and Morales".

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Obama should make an ad about "McCain will not talk to Zapatero if elected" based on this footage.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, I haven't seen such a longer version yet.

(My thinking BTW is that Juan Carlos's behaviour was even more off than Chávez's: stupidly enacting the image of a Spanish monarch still believing himself to be Emperor of all Spanish-speaking lands.)

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

by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, the Spanish right wing and its press corps reacted to this incident by saying that the King was statesmanlike and Zapatero was ambushed because he hadn't done his homework, and that Spain's international stature was clearly diminished since Aznar left.

I agree the King was simply off...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:17:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Solar-to-salt energy start-up gets $140 million in financing

LA Times Money & Co. Blog  4:00 AM, September 19, 2008

From Times staff writer Edward Silver:

Money may be evaporating on Wall Street, but $140 million is on its way into the accounts of a promising Santa Monica-based solar start-up.

SolarReserve, an offshoot of aerospace giant Rocketdyne, tackles the challenge of intermittency -- storing energy when the sun don't shine.

At the core of the utility-scale solution is a simple substance: salt, specifically a combination of sodium and potassium nitrate. It's the inventive way the salt is used that prodded venture investors to reach for their checkbooks this week to provide second-round financing for the firm.

Saltshaker_2 In SolarReserve's blueprint, arrays of specialized mirrors, called heliostats, track the sun's path and concentrate the heat on receiving towers that turn the salt molten. The salt holds its heat long enough to enable electric power companies to shift their output to peak times or nighttime. That power can fetch a premium price when demand is most intense and coal typically fills the bill.

Chief Executive Terry Murphy plugs the flexibility of the system, a traditional weak spot for renewables: "If you put energy into molten salt, you can store it in an insulated tank and use it on demand. We liken it to pumped solar," he said.

The technique proved itself in the Solar Two test project in the California desert, sponsored by the Department of Energy. Rocketdyne crafted some of the key technology for Solar Two and will equip SolarReserve's expansive plants



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The technique proved itself in the Solar Two test project in the California desert, sponsored by the Department of Energy.

This reminds me: I want a good percentage of all the sponsoring of tests like this, and all the bail-outs that my tax money is funding (plus the tax money of a few other of my com-patriots).

The right-wing 'flush it down the toilet' criminals and the selfish rich who took advantage of the hole they tried to build have all made a deep mistake. While it was only a few of us who said that history showed that capitalism doesn't work, is easily manipulated and requires bail-outs every 5-10 years (and the Great Depression was no fluke)...now there will be armies of us who know this and will refuse to listen to pandering 'representatives' or otherwise cooperate with their corporate socialism.

Rocketdyne...I grew up with them in my backyard. They left a huge tainted scar in the water supply, and for all their alleged imagination they couldn't help tossing engineers out of work whenever the feds got a skinny budget or gave the money to someone more compliant. Now they are using DOE money to prove their ideas and equipment...I want my percentage.

/rant

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I lived in the San Fernando Valley for 27 years and was likewise appalled by the pollution of the Simi Valley aquifer by percholorate from Rocketdynes Chatsworth test facillity.  I am glad, howerver, to see them putting their expertise to more beneficial uses.  The ability to time shift the availability of solar power is important.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:21:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am glad, howerver, to see them putting their expertise to more beneficial uses.  The ability to time shift the availability of solar power is important.

I don't disagree. I just am grousing at the ability of schools and corporations to suck money from us all, then patent what they develop...so that I get to pay for it again at top dollar.

If it is going to be capiralism, then I want a piece. If it is socialism, then lower the prices so that we all really profit, not just the execs.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:35:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europeans on left and right ridicule U.S. money meltdown

They list greed and Greenspan among the culprits, and there are comparisons to . . . Albania. But amid the gloating, there is fear for financial systems in Britain, Spain, Italy and elsewhere.
By Sebastian Rotella and Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
1:59 PM PDT, September 19, 2008
LONDON -- It's a rare day when finance officials, leftist intellectuals and ordinary salespeople can agree on something. But the economic meltdown that wrought its wrath from Rome to Madrid to Berlin this week brought Europeans together in a harsh chorus of condemnation of the excess and disarray on Wall Street.

The economy minister of Italy's conservative and pro-U.S. government warned of nothing less than a systemic breakdown. Giulio Tremonti excoriated the "voracious selfishness" of speculators and "stupid sluggishness" of regulators. And he singled out Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with startling scorn.

"Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis."

In an interview Thursday in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Tremonti drew a comparison to corruption-ridden Albania in 1997, when a nationwide pyramid scheme cost hundreds of thousands of people their savings and ignited anarchic civil conflict.

"The system is collapsing, exactly like the Albanian pyramids collapsed," Tremonti said. "The idea is gaining ground that the way out of the crisis is mainly with large public investments. . . . The return of rules is accompanied by a return of the public sector."

On the other end of the political spectrum, among leftists who have long predicted calamity for what they call the "savage neoliberal capitalism" of Wall Street, there were gleeful allusions to the stock market crash of 1929.

"Between the dread of a world in the midst of collapsing and the shiver of pleasure that finally something serious is happening to the kingdom of liberalism, how to orient oneself?" Eric Aeschimann wrote Thursday in the newspaper Liberation, a voice of French intellectuals whose disdain for capitalism persists in the 21st century.

Expressing nostalgia for "the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows," Aeschimann condemned as "extortion" the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tremoni is a major-league asshole, hardly representative of even the European right.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too irate to be coherent.

This bailout is beyond anything even remotely intelligent.  The buggers stole their way up, stole their way down, and are now getting trillions to save their butts so they can steal some more.

And the average American just says, "D'oh?"

I wish I'd moved to Sweden back when I had the chance.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:57:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And miss all this fun?  Com'on.  This little choo-choo has only started to roll.  I'm waiting for villagers with torches/pitchforks outside of mansions.

Food/gas shortages.  That's the ticket.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:19:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You go Twank! We'll be behind you all the way.  All the way behind you. :-/

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hang in there Geez.  You know how Maryscott O'Connor likes to rant?  I'm into fixin' shit.  And I got NOTHING to lose!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:30:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh the irony! We had exactly this kind of bailout 15 years ago in Sweden, and it worked well. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly the same?

IIRC, the swedish bailout consisted mainly of two things: an unlimited guarantee for bankcustomers to prevent a run on the banks (later scaled back) and the government taking over Nordbanken and Gotabanken (later merged to Nordea and sold of). The banks cost quite some as the debts exceed the assets, though I think it was a bit different to what is happening now in the US.

Citing Grave Financial Threats, Officials Ready Massive Rescue

The plan involves using hundreds of billions of dollars in government funding to buy bad loans, leaving banks with more money and fewer problems, according to two sources familiar with what was said at the meeting.

The main difference would be that the swedish government took over assets and debts (stockholders got nothing, as the alternative would have been bankrupcy), while the US is proposing to take only the bad and leave the good.

Though I have to admit that my memory of the events are kind of sketchy, and I fail to find a good link to back up my memory.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Swedish government did indeed buy up huge amounts of bad loans to get it out of the hands of Nordbanken. A quarter of the entire credit portolio was taken by the new state owned company Securum.

The other banks just managed to avoid that fate, even if it was a close shave for SEB.

Solving the crisis in this way would very likely have been against EU regulations, but thankfully Sweden was not part of the EU then.

The subprime mortage crisis is almost a blue copy of what happened here in 1991-1994. Google "Securum".

   

The Swedish approach to the problem of tidying up after the banking crisis by transferring troubled debt to specialized asset management companies is often held up as an example for other countries to follow. The most unusual aspect of Securum was the great degree of independence given to the company, combined with the rather broad terms in which its assignment was formulated. The Swedish state, as owner, announced that the winding-up would be permitted to take considerable time and that it should proceed keeping the best interests of taxpayers in view. In all other respects, Securum's board and management were given a great deal of freedom in shaping the company's policies. Moreover, the board was dominated by experts, with representatives of the ministry and the political domain being a limited element.

    Furthermore, the legal structure chosen was such that Securum's operations were not subject to the laws applying to financial institutions, particularly not the constraints imposed by the regulatory framework of banking legislation. The company was also allocated sufficiently substantial equity that the risk of the management needing to return to the owner and ask for more funds was virtually non-existent. Consequently, the material prospects of independence were good.

In a happy twist of fate, the guy who was put in charge of the swiftly created authourity "The Bank Support Committee" (generally called the "Bank ER") is now the the chairman of the Bank of Sweden, and another key person, Bo Lundgren, then minister of taxation (and later chairman of the liberal-conservative party) is now the head of the Swedish Debt Office.  

So for once we have smart expereinced people in exactly the right place to deal with this crisis



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:57:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The joke is on us since Market Fundamentalism remains alive and well in the European Commission and all our civil services, while the likelihood of stronger government control of the economy in the US is now relatively high.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, yes.

How long before we see the FT, the Econo, and random EUreaucrats touting the bailouts as proof of the robustness of free market fundamentalism?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:23:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congressional Leaders Were Stunned by Warnings

   By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Published: September 19, 2008  NYT

WASHINGTON -- It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"When you listened to him describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program "Good Morning America," the congressional leaders were told "that we're literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally."

Mr. Schumer added, "History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment."

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as "somber," Mr. Dodd cut in. "Somber doesn't begin to justify the words," he said. "We have never heard language like this."

"What you heard last evening," he added, "is one of those rare moments, certainly rare in my experience here, is Democrats and Republicans deciding we need to work together quickly."

Although Mr. Schumer, Mr. Dodd and other participants declined to repeat precisely what they were told by Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson, they said the two men described the financial system as effectively bound in a knot that was being pulled tighter and tighter by the day.

"You have the credit lines in America, which are the lifeblood of the economy, frozen." Mr. Schumer said. "That hasn't happened before. It's a brave new world. You are in uncharted territory, but the one thing you do know is you can't leave them frozen or the economy will just head south at a rapid rate."

As he spoke, Mr. Schumer swooped his hand, to make the gesture of a plummeting bird. "You know we'd be lucky ..." he said as his voice trailed off. "Well, I'll leave it at that."

As officials at the Treasury Department raced on Friday to draft legislative language for an ambitious plan for the government to buy billions of dollars of illiquid debt from ailing American financial institutions, legislators on Capitol Hill said they planned to work through the weekend reviewing the proposal and making efforts to bring a package of measures to the floor of the House and Senate by the end of next week.

-Skip-

But it was clear they continued to examine ways to make clear (Make it appear?) that the government was stepping up not just to help the major financial firms but also to protect the interests of American taxpayers and families by safeguarding their pensions and college savings, and by preventing any further drying up of consumer credit.

In addition to potential stimulus measures, which could include an extension of unemployment benefits and spending on public infrastructure projects, Democrats said they intended to consider measures to help stem home foreclosures and stabilize real estate values.

(My bold italics.)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:01:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This reminds me so much of the "We MUST invade Iraq" bullshit, and now we sit and regret it, and the bastards who lied to us are at it again.

America, the STUPID!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember the "We must invade Viet Nam" bullshit.

Americans fall for the same old line, all the time.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because it was true that one time.
by paving on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:19:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only TRUTH that I carry away from Viet Nam was that Lady Byrd (Bird?) Johnson owned a slew of Bell Helicopter stock in the mid '60s and LBJ got fabulously wealthy from Huey helicopters once the war cranked up.  

What's your TRUTH?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:36:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because it was true that one time

Not sure what "that one time" refers to.  Viet Nam?  

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

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On what planet are they living? How stupid are they?

Systemic rik has been discussed here on ET - on the basis of newspaper reports - for the past 3+ years.

So - how stupid do they think we are??

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On what planet are they living? How stupid are they?Given how the Beltway people behaved before and during the Iraq War, how can you be surprised?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So - how stupid do they think we are??
At least for the purposes of their own reelection, they seem to have a pretty accurate estimate of the stupidity of the general population, sadly.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some Wall St noob:
the government was stepping up not just to help the major financial firms but also to protect the interests of American taxpayers and families by safeguarding their pensions and college savings

Comedy gold.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both of which could be protected much more easily if the government provided better retirement benefits through social security, and effectively funded higher education.
by Zwackus on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Question for the financial mavens:

Stock markets around the world are "soaring" according to Sat. A.M. news reports, meaning ?

a. US taxpayers are becoming debt slaves

b. The end of the US Empire

c. The vultures are circling the half-dead corpse

d. Give your own interpretation.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:55:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, a MSNBC bimbo just asked if there is anything that could knock the economy out of the #1 news slot?

My answer: Of course.  If the Repubs/McCain ACTUALLY want to win this election (I'm not convinced they do), just let (ANOTHER) 9/11 happen in the US, a nuclear one would be sweet.  Then watch all of the US pussies fall in line.  Bye-bye Obama.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:13:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, nuking Iran.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "threats" are coming in.  Accept whatever the big-boys come up with or we could see a DEPRESSION with 12% (or higher ?) unemployment; reported 6% now.

So SHUT UP AMERICAN AND BEND OVER!!!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:21:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, now a Wall Street Journal half-wit on CSPAN Washington Journal says that the US could have a $1 trillion budget deficit next year.

Consequences (of even saying it)?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The government's action just seeded yet another mini-bubble. We'll see how long it lasts.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 09:10:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Arianna Huffington's great line
Watching John McCain thundering against Wall Street greed is like tuning into to the old Lawrence Welk show to find him doing a polka version of a hard-core rap song ("A-one and a-two, motherfucker!").


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't let the National Park Service privatize the inauguration route - Left I on the News

On March 20, 2008, a judge declared unconstitutional the practice of the National Park Service of exempting the Presidential Inaugural Committee from the ordinary permit process in order to give that private political advocacy organization exclusive rights to exclude the public from along the Inaugural Parade route. This meant that the public would actually be allowed to protest at the next inauguration. The horror!
To prevent this affront to democracy plutocracy, the National Park Service has re-written its regulations to set aside prime swaths of the Inaugural Parade route for the exclusive use of the corporate donor friends of the incoming administration. The period for public comment closes in a few days, September 22, and the more of us that protest this outrage, the better. To do so, go here here here (where you can also read more details) and scroll to the bottom where it says "Here is how you can send your comment" (ignore the link further up the page, which doesn't work). You actually have to type your own comment, but it's the sentiment that's important, not exactly what you say. Just say "no" to the regulations, "yes" to leaving the streets and sidewalks for the people, not big donors.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:50:57 PM EST
The Battle for the North Pole: Melting Ice Brings Competition for Resources - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

By Gerald Traufetter

Climate change is freeing the Arctic of ice -- and spurring a global competition for the natural resources stored beneath. Countries that border the sea are staking new territorial claims and oil giants are dispatching geologists. But what will the tug-of-war mean for the indigenous people and wildlife?

Part 2: An Arctic Cold War?

National covetousness and unclear rights of ownership could even lead to a cold war in the Arctic Ocean. Although the foreign ministers of the five Arctic nations came to a diplomatically worded agreement this spring to further strengthen "cooperation in the Arctic Ocean," this certainly does not stop these countries from embarking on a massive military buildup in the region.

Part 3: Russia Flexes its Muscles

The Russian Defense Ministry provoked Norway when it sent the warship "Severomorsk" to cruise the waters off Spitsbergen this summer. Two days later, the Russian air force conducted firing exercises over the Barents Sea with Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers.

It was all part of a series of previously arranged exercises. But Russian military leaders later said, with the poker faces and rhetoric of the powerful, that they had "reestablished a military presence in the Arctic." The fronts in the new Cold War are still drawn between the old blocs, and the theaters are the same, but exactly where these fronts are located remains unclear.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Art and War: Berlin's Jewish Museum Displays Looted Paintings - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Six decades after World War II, debate still rages over whether to force German museums to return valuable art pieces to their pre-war Jewish owners. A new exhibition in Berlin traces the fate of works looted by Nazis.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dispute among Islam Scholars: Did Muhammad Ever Really Live? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
A number of Islamic associations have put a quick end to their collaboration with a professor -- and trainer of people who are supposed to teach Islam in German high schools -- who has expressed his doubt that Muhammad ever lived. Islam scholar Michael Marx spoke with SPIEGEL ONLINE about what lies behind the debate and the historical person of the Prophet.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wealth of new species found at the Great Barrier Reef - Science, News - The Independent

Among the discoveries were dozens of small crustaceans, a rare insect-like animal with a whip-like back leg three times the length of its body and a jellyfish that floats upside down to dangle its tentacles in the sunlight.

About half of the 300 soft corals found are thought to be new discoveries, although they will only be given names and classified formally once the scientists have compared them against existing species. Unlike their hard-bodied cousins, soft corals do not build reefs but are nevertheless considered vital for the marine environment. These colourful animals can dominate some regions of the sea, covering up to 25 per cent of the ocean floor.

The four-year project is centred on the extensive coral reefs of western and north-western Australia and is part of a larger effort to take a census of all marine life in the world, due to be finished in 2010. When complete, the census will be used as a "baseline" to try to quantify the rate at which species are becoming extinct in the marine environment.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it possible to have an 'out-of-body'experience? - Science, News - The Independent

The Awareness during Resuscitation experiment (Aware) is an expansion of a pilot scheme run by the Human Consciousness Project at the University of Southampton, which specialises in studying the human brain, consciousness and death.

About 25 centres in the US and Britain, including Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, University Hospital in Birmingham and the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, will take part in the experiment. Over the next three years about 15,000 patients will be brought to these hospitals suffering from cardiac arrest. Around 1,500 are likely to be resuscitated and hundreds will probably claim they had some sort of out-of-body experience when they were clinically dead.

To test whether such experiences involve the mind leaving the body, pictures will be placed around the areas of the hospital where heart attacks occur most frequently, such as accident and emergency and intensive care units. The pictures will only be visible from above. If patients are able to describe these pictures, project leaders argue that scientists will have to rethink how they understand the mind.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rätselhafte Botschaften auf Plakatwänden (Zürich , NZZ Online) Puzzling messages on billboards (Zurich, NZZ Online)
Seit Jahren versieht ein Unbekannter in der Stadt Zürich Werbeplakate und Baustellenabschrankungen mit mysteriösen biblischen Sprüchen. Zum Schreiben verwendet er stets einen blauen Filzstift. Zwei Mitarbeiter der Universität Zürich haben das Phänomen untersucht.For years, an unknown person is tagging billboards and construction site covers in the city of Zurich with mysterious biblical sayings. For writing, he always uses a blue felt-tip pen. Two employees of Zurich University have studied the phenomenon.



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

by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 04:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If researchers want to read weird shit written all over town send them to the US, start with San Francisco.
by paving on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 04:21:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Welshmen who went up a hill, but came down a mountain | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Snowdonia's Mynydd Graig Goch, left, was a hill yesterday. Now it is a mountain. Photograph: Dr Jeremy Williams/Envirodata-Eryri

Hours of taking measurements in wind and rain have paid off for the proud people of Wales who woke up today to discover that they have a new mountain.

More than 7,000 satellite readings have persuaded the Ordnance Survey that Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia has been wrongly recorded as a mere hill for more than a century.

The difference is just 30 inches in rock and earth, but an enormous leap in terms of linguistics and status. Now reclassified as standing six inches over 2,000ft (609 metres), instead of the previous official height of 1,998ft, the craggy outcrop between Porthmadog and the Lleyn peninsular has become Wales' 190th official mountain.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This could be a movie!

Life imitates art.

by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"We're very pleased to have proved that Mynydd Graig Goch is a mountain and not a hill. The Ordnance Survey has agreed to update its maps on the internet straight away."

Paper maps will be corrected on the next print run, in a real-life rerun of the 1995 film The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain. Set in 1917 and starring Hugh Grant as a government cartographer, the comedy describes how Welsh villagers ingeniously challenge a proposed downgrading of their local landmark from a mountain to a hill.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 02:13:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i loved that flick...
sweet catch dodo!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 01:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hadron Collider forced to halt

Plans to begin smashing particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may be delayed after a magnet failure forced engineers to halt work.

The failure, known as a quench, caused around 100 of the LHC's super-cooled magnets to heat up by as much as 100C.

The fire brigade were called out after a tonne of liquid helium leaked into the tunnel at Cern, near Geneva.

Cant you just see the firemen reporting this with high pitched squeeky voices from all the helium.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:11:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could imagine them seeing their foot fracture into dozens of pieces on its second step into liquid helium.  No joke.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:26:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scary. Really.

And expensive.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not like theres a lot going spare either

Helium supplies endangered, threatening science and technology

The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world's largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Today marks the Beginning of the End (praise Jeebus) as early voting has started in Virginia.

Only 45 days until this damn thing is over.

Only 47 days until the kick-off of the 2012 US Presidential election.

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

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 10:45:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boing Boing
As I read the dense, long reviews and letters explaining the merits of this or that tool, it all seemed comfortably familiar. Then I realized why. These missives in the Catalog were blog postings. Except rather than being published individually on home pages, they were handwritten and mailed into the merry band of Whole Earth editors who would typeset them with almost no editing (just the binary editing of print or not-print) and quickly "post" them on cheap newsprint to the millions of readers who tuned in to the Catalog's publishing stream. No topic was too esoteric, no degree of enthusiasm too ardent, no amateur expertise too uncertified to be included. The opportunity of the catalog's 400 pages of how-to-do it information attracted not only millions of readers but thousands of Makers of the world, the proto-alpha geeks, the true fans, the nerds, the DIYers, the avid know-it-alls, and the tens of thousands wannabe bloggers who had no where else to inform the world of their passions and knowledge. So they wrote Whole Earth in that intense conversational style, looking the reader right in the eye and holding nothing back: "Here's the straight dope, kid." New York was not publishing this stuff. The Catalog editors (like myself) would sort through this surplus of enthusiasm, try to index it, and make it useful without the benefit of hyperlinks or tags. Using analog personal publishing technology as close to the instant power of InDesign and html as one could get in the 1970s and 80s (IBM Selectric, Polaroids, Lettraset) we slapped the postings down on the wide screens of newsprint, and hit the publish button.

it's a wonderful memory, what a breakthrough this was for the 70's.

the budding of a new paradigm, the happiest fusion of theory, often madcap, and practice, very funky, nutty, sometimes granola, always curious, very low tech when possible, playful...

co-evolution quarterly continued in the same vein, great articles about fascinating subjects, manna from heaven!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 12:34:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Kos: Allow Me to Put On a Tinfoil Hat...

In the late 18th century wars and trade with China, which sold many trade goods to Europe but the Chinese had little use for European goods (and demanded silver bullion for all payment).  (The trade imbalance literally) drained silver from the economies of Western Europe and the United States. Coins were struck in smaller and smaller amounts, and there was a proliferation of bank and Demand Notes used as money.

In the 1790s (due to Chinese hoarding), Britain suffered a massive shortage of silver coinage and ceased to mint larger silver coins. It issued "token" silver coins and overstruck foreign coins. With the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain began a massive recoinage program that created standard gold sovereigns and circulating crowns, half-crowns, and eventually copper farthings in 1821. In 1833, Bank of England notes were made legal tender, and redemption by other banks was discouraged.

 Wikipedia

plus ca change...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 11:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 02:51:25 PM EST
That's from me for tonight. I'll be filling in for Fran tomorrow, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:35:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!
by Magnifico on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:17:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seconded!
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:36:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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