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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 5 March

by Fran Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:06:56 PM EST

On this date in history:

1882 - Dora Marsden, an English feminist editor of avant-garde literary journals, and an author of philosophical writings, was born. (d. 1960)

More here and here


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by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:07:30 PM EST
Experts: Merkel Putting Germany First in Election Year | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 04.03.2009
Domestic interests are beginning to set policy as German Chancellor Angela Merkel positions herself to vie for re-election in September. That means disappointments for some of Germany's international partners. 

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, together with their preferred coalition partner the Free Democrats, may be attracting a solid majority in recent public-opinion polls. But Merkel is surely aware of how volatile the political situation is in these economically troubled times.

 

So the chancellor, experts say, is already realigning her government's policies to appeal to the home-front. The most recent example came last weekend, when Merkel led opposition to a proposed 180 billion euro ($226 billion) aid package for eastern European economies at an EU summit in Brussels.

 

"The concerns in the German population about jobs and the economic outlook are huge," Klaus-Peter Schoeppner, the head of polling group Emnid, told Reuters news agency. "Against that backdrop, I really don't see a way for Merkel to explain to the voters that Germany must help out other countries, whether they are in the euro bloc or outside."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:10:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Parliamentary Committee Votes To Ban Seal Products | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 03.03.2009
The EU could soon be off limits for seal products. European parliamentarians have voted to outlaw these goods, with the exception of traditional Inuit hunting. Opponents say the ban may break international trade rules. 

The European Parliament's internal market committee has voted to strictly ban trading throughout the EU in products derived from seals. A report approved by the committee on Tuesday, March 3, said the ban would cover seal products, as well as meat, oil, blubber, organs and fur skins.

 

The parliament said in a statement that it had reacted to concerns by non-governmental organizations and public opinion in most member states about seal killings.

 

"A clear majority of citizens across the European Union are horrified by the cruel clubbing to death of thousands of seals every year," said Arlene McCarthy, the committee's chair. "They do not want these products on sale in the EU and today, the internal market committee has backed citizens' demands for a ban."

 

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:11:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton to map out priorities with European ministers - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER/BRUSSELS - US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will meet her European counterparts in Brussels this evening for a "transatlantic dinner" ahead of the Nato ministerial meeting on Thursday set to focus on Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and Russia.

"She will convey on behalf of the Obama administration our commitment to revitalising Nato, listening to our allies and consulting, hearing their views and building strategies together," Kurt Volker, the US permanent representative to Nato told EUobserver.

Hillary Clinton is set to ask for a greater European commitment in Afghanistan

The informal get-to-know-each-other meeting will also see non-Nato foreign ministers from Finland, Sweden and non-EU nation Switzerland attend.

Renewed commitment to the Nato operation in Afghanistan, which the Obama administration has put high on its agenda, is set to dominate the talks.

Ms Clinton will likely also be faced with questions regarding the planned US missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic after reports that President Barack Obama sent a secret letter to Moscow offering to back down from the project in return for Russian support against Iran's nuclear programme.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:11:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU launches gender gap awareness campaign - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Women earn an average of 17.4 percent less than men across the EU's 27 member states, with the greatest gender pay difference seen in Estonia, EU statistics released ahead of international women's day show.

Part of a campaign to raise awareness of a situation that has changed little in recent years, EU studies show the discrepancy is largely due to an undervaluation of women's work, stereotyping and problems with balancing work and private life.

Women account for just a quarter of government ministers in the EU

The situation is most acute in Estonia, where men on average earn almost a third (30.3%) more, followed by Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Germany.

At the other end of the scale, the pay gap is lowest in Italy (4.4%), Malta (5.2%) and Poland (7.5%). However, these countries also show relatively low participation of women in the workforce.

"Tackling [the situation] requires action at all levels and a commitment from everyone concerned, from employers and trade unions to national authorities and every citizen," said EU social affairs commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Women the Answer to Ending Recession, EU Commissioner Says | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 03.03.2009
More women in the workplace could help lift the European Union out of recession and limit the impact of future financial crises, an EU official said. The gender gap in Germany is especially high, statistics show. 

"Discrimination produces inefficiency," said European Equals Opportunity Commissioner Vladimir Spidla at the launch of a European campaign against the gender pay gap on Tuesday, March 3. "It is precisely during times of crises that we should be most active."

 

Some 58 percent of women and 72 percent of men of working age in the EU were employed  -- with 31 percent of women and 7 percent of men in part-time jobs, according to an EU employment report. 

 

Spidla quoted a series of studies showing that a more active participation by women in the workplace helps make businesses more efficient and avoid riskier investments.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Polish dream turns sour - Home News, UK - The Independent
When Thomas and Zibi came to Britain, jobs were easy to come by. Now they are sleeping in a tent, victims of a recession that has destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of migrant workers

Thomas and his brother Zibi were trying to keep themselves warm at their riverbank home yesterday by huddling round a small, smoky fire built from green sticks. A pot of water bubbled away and all around the trees and undergrowth, which only partially concealed their makeshift shelters from curious passers-by, were festooned with clothes and plastic bags.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A statistically insignificant anecdote, this, but we recently had a child leave my class at school.  His space was open for several weeks before it was filled.

The school is in the centre of the most densely-populated-by-Polish-immigrants area of allegedly the most densely-populated-by-Polish-immigrants city in the UK.

It's a been a long time since we had a child leave, whose space wasn't snapped up by the following Monday.

by Sassafras on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. Low skilled workers are invariably the ones who take the brunt of the pain during a recession. being mgrants makes it worse, but these issues affect a lot of brits here as well.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - Europe - Agents raid Ukraine state gas firm

National security services have raided the headquarters of Naftogaz, Ukraine's state energy company, in what they said was part of a criminal investigation.

The agents, who were armed and wore masks, were searching for documents in connection with an investigation into an alleged diversion of gas worth $900m, a spokeswoman for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said.

Marina Ostapenko said Naftogaz knew that the SBU would be taking documents from its headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine's capital, adding that the raid was "within the framework of the law".

Naftogaz was involved in a gas pricing dispute with Gazprom, Russia's state energy company, in January, which led to severe energy shortages across Europe for two weeks.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:13:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Khodorkovsky shouts 'Shame!' as he faces threat of 20 more years in prison - Europe, World - The Independent
Fresh charges of money laundering and fraud against former oligarch

The Russian former oligarch Mik-hail Khodorkovsky appeared in court in Moscow yesterday at the start of hearings in a new criminal case that could send him back to prison for 20 more years. The former chief of the Yukos oil company, Mr Khodorkovsky was Russia's richest man until his arrest in 2003.

Dressed in jeans and a black sweater, with his grey hair cropped short, he made his first public appearance in the Russian capital since being sentenced to eight years in prison in 2005. Alongside him was his former business partner, Platon Lebedev, who is also serving an eight-year sentence. Both face new charges of money-laundering and embezzlement.

Security was tight at the Khamovnichesky Court, a scruffy building overlooking the Moscow River in the centre of the capital. The road had been closed to pedestrians and police patrolled the street with sniffer dogs ahead of Mr Khodorkovsky's arrival. The initial hearings were closed to the press, with television cameras allowed into the main courtroom for just a few minutes before proceedings started at midday. There were chaotic scenes outside the court during the hour before, with journalists jostling for admission, and lawyers for the defence elbowing their way through to get into the court.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:13:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had lunch with Khodorkhovski in Paris back in 1998, we sat side by side and discussed the merits of the latest Nokia phone ;). I also met him less intensively at various bank meetings. Lebedev I also met; we had some tense negotiations in September 1998, after the Russian moratorium on debt (which hit Yukos rather directly then) in the hotel particulier in central Moscow that was one of their headquarters. They had a rather spectacular French wine cellar, then.

Meeting with a number of Russian gazillionaires in various fancy settings (I was able to try out a number of nice Parisian restaurants) has left me with the pleasant feeling that they are not that different from us, in fact.

But Khodorkhorvski did impress more than others. Beyond being smart and determined, he was clearly more disciplined.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's also been disciplined more, clearly.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Did Medvedev Give Khodorkovsky A Lift To His Trial?

THE MEETING SOUNDS LIKE A SCREENWRITER'S DREAM: incarcerated ex-oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, flying across Siberia to the former's trial in Moscow -- on the latter's presidential plane. Strange as it seems, eyewitnesses who saw the plane before takeoff believe it really happened.

Khodorkovsky, whose oil company was gutted by the Kremlin after he expressed political aspirations in 2003, has been in a Siberian prison since 2005. On February 19, President Medvedev paid an official visit to Chita, a Siberian city not far from the prison. The next day, Khodorkovsky arrived in Moscow to stand trial. Witnesses say the plane used to transport Khodorkovsky bore the presidential standard along with the logo of the private government airline reserved for top Kremlin officials. There has been no official confirmation from the government that the president gave Khodorkovsky a lift to his trial, but it would be foolish to expect one.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:26:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where is Poemless when we need her?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ummm...

"You repatriate some of the billions you stashed, and your late appeal might be successful".

"...and my bank account number is....."

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine it's all in other's hands now. He's quite safe where he is, modest living aside.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary buries two Roma killed by hate - International Herald Tribune

TATARSZENTGYORGY, Hungary: Thousands of people, mostly Roma, joined the funeral procession Tuesday of a young boy and his father who were shot dead last week in the latest in a series of attacks on Roma in Hungary.

A crowd of about 5,000, which also included politicians from parliamentary parties and civil rights activists, gathered around the graves of the two victims in the village of Tatarszentgyorgy, 65 kilometers, or 40 miles, southeast of Budapest.

Black-clad mourners wept and when the coffin was lowered into the grave in the small hillside cemetery, the world-famous 100-member Gypsy Symphony Orchestra started to play.

"We seek the forgiveness of the mourning family and...our Gypsy brethren whom for 500 years we have owed an embrace," the Hungarian Methodist pastor Gabor Ivanyi, who is not Roma, said as he addressed the gathering. "We are a deeply moved and ashamed people."

The killings last Monday were the latest in a series of more than a dozen attacks on Roma in Hungary in which seven people have died over the past year.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For background and an earlier report, see this long comment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 6th, 2009 at 08:43:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU to slap tariffs on US biodiesel - EUobserver
EU governments Tuesday agreed to slap tariffs on US biodiesel, the International Herald Tribune reports diplomats as saying. Europe has repeatedly complained that American biodiesel is subsidised twice, both by the US and EU states. The EU commission is to set the tariff level some time next week.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:17:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Directorate of Communication - Italy ratifies Protocol abolishing the death penalty in all circumstances - Statement by Terry Davis

Statement by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Strasbourg, 03.03.2009 - "Italy has today ratified Protocol 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights. This Protocol bans the death penalty in all circumstances, and Italy is the 41st European country to take this important step which consolidates the death penalty-free zone throughout Europe."

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europeans start race for NATO leadership - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - After waiting for the Obama administration to take office, European states have started floating names for the next NATO secretary general to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, whose mandate ends on 31 July.

Although there is less than a month to go until the 60th anniversary NATO summit in Strasbourg/Kehl, member states are still in the early stage regarding the nomination of the next NATO chief, Herman Schaper, the Dutch ambassador to the alliance, told EUobserver.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's (r) mandate is associated with George W. Bush's (l) presidency

"We waited for the Obama administration and only started two to three weeks ago to invite countries to present their candidate. At this moment there is no official candidate," Mr Schaper explained.

Asked about the chances for an Eastern European secretary general, Mr Schaper said that there were already two names floated from Poland and Bulgaria - foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski and former top diplomat Solomon Passy, respectively.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While the symbol of holding a cross-border summit is nice, the security procedures that are being put in place are a nightmare for inhabitants. Residents in large chunks of the city will require special passes to be able to go home.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:48:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As this is a defence boondoggle, can't they be holed up in one of their more pointlessly large sites that already have all the security schemes in place ?

Given how the elites are increasingly of a class separate from us, hows about they make it official and disappear somewhere they don't bother us.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:34:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do they need special security procedures for a cross-border meeting at a Schengen border?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:45:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
surely any security procedures would be special at a Schengen border

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not because of the cross border, it's because of all the heads of State and their paranoias. Plus, Sarkozy has fired all the prefects that alloed demnstrations near him during his trips, so the new prefects overdo security measures now.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 04:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to signal this article in Nature (pdf!) , which is explicative, albeit a bit old. also an editorial dated february 5th.

Protests seems to have an effect tough.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 05:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come in, Come in...  We've been expecting you.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:07:50 PM EST
You are number 6.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Number nine, number nine! Are you in trouble?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:07:54 PM EST

Enquête après une plainte d'Aurélie Filippetti pour violences conjugales

PARIS (AFP) -- Une enquête préliminaire a été ouverte à Paris à la suite d'une plainte déposée par la députée socialiste de Moselle Aurélie Filippetti à l'encontre de son compagnon pour violences entre conjoints, a-t-on appris mardi de source proche du dossier.

Cette plainte a été déposée le 6 février par la porte-parole du groupe PS à l'Assemblée nationale à l'encontre de son conjoint, l'économiste Thomas Piketty, selon cette source, confirmant une information du Figaro.

(...)

Agée de 35 ans, Aurélie Filippetti figure en troisième position sur la liste du PS pour les élections européennes de juin dans la région Est.

Filipetty, a socialist MP, and the third in the Socialist list for the Euroepan elections in the Eastern region, has filed suit against her partner, Thomas Piketty, for domestic violence.

We've quoted Piketty rather often on ET (see this most recent storyby afew); his best know work is his study on income inequality ovr the century, using tax returns, which has been quoted widely - and he is now the boss of the Paris School of Economics - so it was a surprise for me to see his name pop up in this story. I've actually met Aurélie Filipetti in 2007, during the 2007 presidential campaign, when I was invited as a blogger on Europe 1 - she was invited to the same show, and we ended up sitting at the same table in th studio.

Weird. And sad, as conjugal violence is a rather big black mark in my mind.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:17:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Compare and contrast with the similar event that happened in 2007 with the then Minister of the Interior and his wife...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:17:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in this case it took a month, 2 years ago it came out faster...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 04:32:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did it get printed in Le Figaro or Libération two years ago ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 05:56:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Swedish social democrats and conservatives to gain in European elections - EUobserver
Swedish conservatives and social democrats stands to gain in June's European Parliament elections. A new Skop-poll in Dagens Nyheter predicts they are to win respectively 35.6% and 31.7% of votes (up 11% and 13.4% on the 2004 elections). The EU-critical Junelist is in for 3.5%, down from 14.5%.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Européennes J-100 : le tableau de bord des têtes de liste | Elections 2009 | EurActiv.fr: L'actualité des politiques européennes en France
A 100 jours des élections européennes, EurActiv.fr fait le point sur les têtes de liste pour le scrutin des 6 et 7 juin prochain, parti par parti, région par région. Ce tableau sera régulièrement remis à jour.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for digging up all these European elections articles!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv.com - Hungary's Democrats squabble over list leader | EU - European Information on EU Elections 09

In a move that surprised and infuriated some, the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) suddenly decided to switch candidates at the top of its party list for the EU elections last week. Without consulting the party's only MEP, Péter Olajos, who had been considered favourite to head the list, the MDF leadership decided to nominate former finance minister Lajos Bokros instead, a member of the Socialist cabinet in the 1990s.

"The controversies and the internal struggles for power which shadowed the life of the MDF have now entered a stage where they can lead to irreversible changes," Olajos said, objecting to the fact that the decision was taken while he was at an ACP-EU meeting in Guyana. 

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For more, see The Moustache of Reform to the EP(P)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 6th, 2009 at 08:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv.com - Czech parties fire first shots of EU election campaign | EU - European Information on EU Elections 09

The main Czech political parties are gearing up for the EU elections by loading their electoral narratives with negative attacks against adversaries, neglecting to take a stance on European issues.

The governing right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the left-wing Social Democratic Party (CSSD) have initiated largely negative campaigns for the next elections to the European Parliament, set to take place on 4-7 June. 

Internal rather than pan-European issues are largely expected to dominate debates during the pre-election period. The opposition CSSD is widely expected to win the elections and will consider the ballot successful if it gains eight to ten of the 22 seats reserved for Czech MEPs. 

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:26:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
seems to have some pretty extensive coverage of the elections on his blog. We should invite him to crosspost here!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:53:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the first of many polls of voter preferences in Italy shows the collapse of the Democratic Party (PD). It has lost a third of its electorate in a year. If the elections were held today the PD would garner no more than 22%. Other parties that were part of the previous left electoral coalition have gained ground, notably Di Pietro's Italia dei Valori Party that has doubled consensus, now at 8%. The far left remains divided, although a coalition of some of the micro-realities could garner 6%. Another 3% would be lost under the threshold. The "centrist" party, UDC, has gained a few percentage points to nearly 8%. The rightwing coalition continues to enjoy popularity with Berlusconi's personal political entity, the PdL, at over 36%. The racist Lega Nord party has grown slightly to 9%.

This is all tentative, since a new law in the making has yet to be passed. It will determine strategies and tactics that may alter the present situation. But then the majority's bill is also tactical, very much a part of the process, just as the Porcellum electoral law was in 2006. However, it is unlikely to greatly alter the weight of the two blocks: a solid rightwing sweep with a fragmented left bleating about local victories in far-flung corners.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure if you've seen these two articles by UCLA historian Perry Anderson (Editor of New Left Review) in LRB:
Both are big articles, I was wondering what you make of them, if of course you find the time and the inclination to check them out!

I note in passing that Anderson's article on the Cyprus issue was spot-on IMHO and an excellent introduction to the problem.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 07:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for pointing him out. I have just done a fast read through and find both articles on target. He even points out a little known fact theorized by a Palermo judge on what brought on the political institutional crisis in the Nineties: corruption had been financed by a flexible exchange rate, domestic inflation and deficitary finance. Realigning with Europe dried up resources for oiling the machine. This coupled with the fall of communism and the crackdown against organized crime by American policy makers put Italian politicos on the defensive. The Milan judges moved in on a system that was already in deep crisis.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 06:05:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BNP uses Polish Spitfire in anti-immigration poster - Telegraph

The party's 2009 European Elections poster shows a nostalgic picture of a Second World War fighter plane under the slogan "Battle for Britain".

But RAF history experts have identified the iconic Romeo Foxtrot Delta Plane as belonging not to Britons but to a group of Polish pilots instead.

The plane was actually flown by the celebrated 303 Squadron of the RAF - made up of Polish airmen rescued from France shortly before Nazi occupation.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:12:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
England - forward to the 20th century!

Even our racists are useless.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:30:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ECONOMY & FINANCE
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:08:38 PM EST
General Motors seeks EU government bail-outs - EUobserver

American, Detroit-based car manufacturer General Motors has asked EU governments to come to its rescue as the company struggles with a major cash-flow problem that threatens thousands of jobs in Europe.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday (3 March), the company's chief operating officer, Fritz Henderson, said the company could run out of cash supplies by as early as next month, reports the Financial Times.

GM currently provides direct employment to over 50,000 people in the EU

"We would try to stay alive, but there's no guarantee we could stay alive," he told reporters at the motor show. "We would become insolvent at that point."

GM provides direct employment for over 50,000 people in Europe, with major plants located in Germany, Spain, Poland, Belgium and the UK.

About 25,000 of these jobs are in Germany, 7,000 in Spain and close to 5,000 in Britain. Another 5,000 jobs are located in Sweden, mainly at carmaker Saab, which is owned by GM.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UBS Names Former Finance Minister Villiger Chairman - Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG, Switzerland's largest bank, nominated former Finance Minister Kaspar Villiger as chairman of its board of directors, replacing Peter Kurer after one year amid a probe into whether it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes.

Kurer's departure comes less than a week after UBS called former Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Oswald Gruebel, 65, out of retirement to replace CEO Marcel Rohner. Villiger, 68, will step down from board positions at Swiss Reinsurance Co, Nestle SA and Neue Zuercher Zeitung if elected by shareholders on April 15, the Zurich-based bank said today.

UBS is being sued by the U.S. over the names of as many as 52,000 clients, after agreeing last month to hand out details of a few hundred customers to avoid prosecution on a charge that it helped rich Americans evade taxes. The bank is cutting 11,000 jobs after more than $50 billion in losses from the credit crisis, and clients withdrew $195 billion of assets last year.

"This is a clean slate," said Christian Stark, an analyst at Credit Agricole Cheuvreux in Zurich who has an "underperform" rating on the stock. "Villiger hasn't got the banking experience, but his political background may be useful in dealing with the U.S. and European Union."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saving Opel: Merkel Critical of GM Bailout - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

A plan to make Opel largely independent of General Motors, and save the German carmaker from failure, will cost at least 3,500 jobs, says the head of GM Europe. The Detroit automaker hopes to free Opel to win financing from a skeptical German government.

German carmarker Opel said Wednesday it expected to slash at least 3,500 jobs as part of its plan to re-establish the General Motors subsidiary as a largely independent operating unit. The layoffs are part of a rescue plan the company has submitted to the German government in the hope of obtaining federal financial aid for ailing Opel.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let us Start Thinking About a Post-Recessionary Europe « A View from the Outfield

We are in the midst of a global recession.  All kinds of experts are beavering away writing deep and impenetrable analyses about financial regulation. Government leaders meet, making one pronouncement after another, in an attempt to shore up an ever tightening spiral of decline.  Each day almost brings news of some other catastrophe or business failure.  Massive amounts of money are being thrown at the stumbling economy. Where, when will it end?

We all assume that it will end.  That the efforts now being made on our behalf will succeed and that our economic jumbo will pull out of its nosedive and begin climbing again. But what I want to ask is this:  where are we trying to get to?

Let me explain. Let's jump forward a few years (and it seems unlikely we shall be again in any routine market situation anytime soon) and ask what we want post-recessionary Europe to look like?

Is all the current activity directed simply at recreating 2006 - the last year before the financial cracks began to be noticeable?  Having skidded off the road, is the extent of our ambition just to get back on tarmac again and to carry on speeding as before?

Certainly we shall repair the car, fit better brakes and steering; we shall stand less chance of coming off the road; but is it the intention that by 2012, say, we shall all be rolling along, as before?  The container ships brimming once again with Chinese manufactures, shops full, lights on, a new car every three years?  Is this the vision?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a good question, but there's no point asking us.

I have assumed up to now that, despite the evidence that we simply cannot return to the condition of 2006, that is exactly where our politicians are attempting to go and damn the consequences. He needs to grasp them warmly by the throat and scream that we cannot go back to 2006 however hard they try. That ship has sunk.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That ship may have sunk but what other ship do you propose that "They" will agree to?  "They" will still want to own/control everything of value, let "us" starve while "we" clean their toilets, and ANY other ship is simply unacceptable.  "Let the world burn" is their bumper sticker.  "They" will then order the world according to their design once they have someone clean up the piles of bodies.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 06:52:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am afraid you are right...it has been so always on this globe.Why TF every time we expect it to change is beyond me...It's a bloody human nature (greed) and also deadly sin that will kill us all in the end...rich and poor...all together...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 10:47:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
optimistic tone and say that all is not lost.  Might make for a rousing diary.  The conditions of the past are not the conditions NOW.  Communication control, very important to past dictatorships, is befuddled with the internet.  It's incredible that I'm one of the few people I know informed on things going on in Iceland, Ireland, and Greece; Thank You ET!  Plus we have other technologies we can draw on.

Gloom and Doom doesn't have to be our end or the start of a new round of "same old/same old" but we sane educated folks have to make some serious decisions involving birth control, etc.

I'm actually optimistic for the future.  And if things go badly I'll get my head clubbed in and that will end my visit to this delightful little berg.  I win either way.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 09:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, our savior will be avian influenza, which will play the part that the plague did in previous centuries. By significantly reducing the population, we will move towards a seller's market for labor.

"There is a real possibility that the virus will mutate and become easily transmissible between humans. If this occurs we could see the start of a new influenza pandemic."

The WHO and FAO said that, while it is still relatively difficult for humans to be infected by the H5N1 virus, about 50 percent of those infected die.
"The avian influenza virus is also not currently able to spread easily between humans, but influenza viruses are known for their ability to change quickly and can become more adapted to humans with dire consequences," the statement said.

On Saturday a woman died from the H5N1 strain of the virus in Vietnam's first avian influenza fatality of the year. An eight-year-old girl, infected in January, has since recovered while a third victim is still in a Hanoi hospital.

http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23629&Itemi d=32

[asdf's Crystal Ball of Doom™ Technology]

by asdf on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 12:17:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There seems to be a trade off between infection rates and mortality. My guess is that mortality is high when the virus action is genetically very specific, which is why famiilies often go down together, but neighbours don't.

Not that a highly infectious variant with 'only' 10% or 20% mortality wouldn't be a terrible thing.

But the early variants of H5N1 were showing 80% mortality even with world class intensive care. If that's down to 50% after a couple of years, that's almost encouraging.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
There seems to be a trade off between infection rates and mortality.
The most virulent strands die off because they kill the hosts too quickly to infect other hosts.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, the 1918 influenza episode infected about half of the global population. If the mortality rate is 50% and the infection rate is 50%, 25% of the global population dies. This is comparable to the effect of the plague in Europe.
by asdf on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France and Germany at odds on budget deficits at a crucial time - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN:

In the past when the European Union was paralyzed by a crisis, France and Germany would come to the rescue. Their leaders have not always seen eye to eye, but over the decades they have generally found compromises that have kept the European integration project alive.

Now, with the financial crisis showing no signs of bottoming out, the opportunity for Paris and Berlin to promote unity should have been ideal. Instead, they have adopted opposing approaches over how Europe should respond to the global meltdown.

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to prevent Europe from attempting to spend its way out of the crisis. Her big concern is the explosion of public debt and the ensuing specter of inflation. Ever since the 1920s, when galloping prices wiped out Germany's wealth, inflation has been the bête noire of the German psyche.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, in contrast, has been advocating both protectionist policies and big spending programs, much to the exasperation of Merkel's economic advisers. In order to counter Sarkozy's ideas, Merkel has begun forging alliances with small and medium-sized countries, something which another conservative chancellor, Helmut Kohl, was adept at.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This I don't like to see. If France and Germany can't find some common ground, it bodes no good for the EU. Ok, so everybody knows this. Perhaps then you might be able to tell me to what extent this Sarkozy-Merkel divide is a product of personality? Historical accident? Would any other pair of leaders be out there pouring gas on the flames like this article makes these two appear to be doing? Is the article a huge overstatement that should come with a [Murdoch Alert]?

Because I thought that everyone agrees that protectionism is about the worst idea at this time. And how likely are Merkel's inflationary fears? I would have thought that deflation is the bigger worry at this point.

But I'm no economist and maybe I'm way out in left field with this, so anyone who cares to straighten me out, feel free.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 08:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget that this is an über-Villager writing this, and they are always keen to portray Franco-German tensions. In this case, there is a reality of the Merkel-Sarkozy tension, but it still does not eliminate the strategic commitment by both countries to, ultimately, have EU-compatible policies.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 04:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv.com - Almunia backs EU bonds, has eurozone bailout plan | EU - European Information on Economy & Euro
Issuing joint EU bonds, or EU-backed government debt, to raise money for troubled member states is "possible and reasonable" but unrealistic in the short run, EU Economic Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said yesterday (3 March). For the first time, he also hinted that the EU has a strategy for rescuing insolvent eurozone members.
In a landmark speech in Brussels, Almunia shed light on two of the most controversial issues debated in Europe over the past months.
"If you are asking me whether a common issuance of bonds is reasonable, I will tell you that it is. But it is up to member states to decide, and many of them oppose the idea," he said during a conference organised by the European Policy Centre (EPC).
The commissioner has so far always avoided making clear comments on the common issuance of government bonds by a group of member states, hiding behind fierce opposition from Germany and the Netherlands.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Igor Panarin: U.S. Will Collapse By Next Year

MOSCOW -- If you're inclined to believe Igor Panarin, and the Kremlin wouldn't mind if you did, then President Barack Obama will order martial law this year, the U.S. will split into six rump-states before 2011, and Russia and China will become the backbones of a new world order.

Panarin might be easy to ignore but for the fact that he is a dean at the Foreign Ministry's school for future diplomats and a regular on Russia's state-guided TV channels. And his predictions fit into the anti-American story line of the Kremlin leadership.

"There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010," Panarin told dozens of students, professors and diplomats Tuesday at the Diplomatic Academy _ a lecture the ministry pointedly invited The Associated Press and other foreign media to attend.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martial law ? Sounds like a freeper.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:00:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but he's not sharing!  The creep.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 08:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Panarin thinks in a post-collapse U.S., Alaska will revert to Russia. Plus his idea of rump states just doesn't make sense. If the United States collapse, why would states even still exist to form rump states along state lines?

His theory of martial law works well within the Bush administration mindset, but I do not see it with the Obama administration mindset. I think the Panarins of this world would like to see another U.S. civil war. I think we Americans will disappoint him.

His triggers for a U.S. civil war were economic decline, which is happening, mass immigration, which isn't happening because of the economic decline, and moral degradation. Now I don't know specifically what he thinks moral decline is, but I'm guessing it is gays and god related and not state-sanctioned torture and the fraud economy.

All in all, the U.S. is more likely to start another foreign war than a domestic one. The danger for U.S. collapse comes more from the drug war in Mexico spilling over the border than from the economic meltdown.

I think he's a fruitcake.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the comic strip "Non Sequiter" logic that says start with whatever conclusion you would like to see/propose and then backtrack with any path, valid or no, which will connect that future to now.  He would like to see the US disintegrate so he fishes around for any conditions which might promote that disintegration.

If the US was going to fall apart, the best opportunity would have been for Bush/Cheney/Rummy to let YET ANOTHER terrorist strike hit America LIKE THEY DID KNOWINGLY ON 9-11 (I say again!) and then try to completely shut down all US freedoms.  That would have done it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Panarin thinks in a post-collapse U.S., Alaska will revert to Russia.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:10:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's a known fruitcake. He's a kind of Russian Limbaugh - he'll make up any old nonsense for attention.

There are rumours - there are always rumours - that he's Putin's pet propaganda creature. So this would be more wishful thinking and suggestion than reality-based reporting.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interview with the mad professor

How will the country be divided? Mexico is obviously in the south. What else?

A: There are six parts altogether. The first one is the Pacific Ocean coast of the USA. I can give you an example: 53% of San Francisco's population is Chinese. The Governor of Washington state was an ethnic Chinese; its capital, Seattle, is called the gate of the Chinese emigration to the USA. It is obvious that the Pacific Ocean coast has been gradually influenced by China. The second part in the south is definitely the Mexicans. In some areas, Spanish has become the official language already. Then comes Texas which has been openly fighting for independence.

Damn. This guy is a loony tunes freeper. And he's in charge of diplomat training for Russia. All you folks talking about how responsible and sane Russia is compared to the US, and the need to break with Atlanticism in favor of a closer relationship with Russia, ummh, you sure about that?

by MarekNYC on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 06:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a Neaderthal.

Okay, Igor, listen up:

(1) About a fifth -- that's about 20% (1/5) -- of San Francisco's population is Chinese.  Not 53%.  Asians, broadly, aren't even 53% of the city.  They're 33%.

(2) Seattle is 17% Asian.  And the former governor of Washington is named Gary Locke.  (I know, the name alone screams, "CPC Spy.")  I'm not sure what Locke's ethnic roots have to do with it, since, as Ambassador ShitforBrains has presumably seen, we do elect people from ethnic groups -- you know, like the current President -- which are not dominant in the electorate.

And for Seattle being the "Gateway to Chinese emigration" -- yeah, I guess that would be true if we were still living in 1800s.

The second part in the south is definitely the Mexicans. In some areas, Spanish has become the official language already. Then comes Texas which has been openly fighting for independence.

(3) Yes, Igor, Spanish is the official language in some places in Mexico.  In fact, I'm pretty sure you'll find it's the official language in all of Mexico.  (Note he says "Then Texas" after mentioning all that.)

The only evidence -- and, granted, it was just a quick Google -- I can find of Spanish being an official language anywhere in the US is in a small border town in Texas called El Cenizo.

Have a few more glasses of vodka and get back to us, Igor.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me much more likely that Canada and the U.S. would merge. Not very likely, but more likely than a split-up of the U.S.
by asdf on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 12:21:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the background story line of the table-top role playing game Shadowrun you had both: the US broke up and the North-Eastern chunk merged with (most) of Canada.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 01:55:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got a point there, Marek.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I don't know about dean Panarin and his predictions but what Gerge Soros  has said lately is still in my mind...And he said that this crisis is not to be compared to great depression of 1929 but to the colapse of USSR. So (acording to Soros)what Panarin has predicted looks possible.
As for me I am still waiting to see USA pack their military bases around the world and go home.That would be a good sign for me...
Of course before they do so they'll first try to force everybody else to pay so that they can stay. Honestly I do not see who is going to be willing ( let alone able) to pay. Lately I do not fear that much that USA will start another war...they have no money (and can't borrow) to do that.
So we'll see...who ever survive will tell this story about fallen empire of this century...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 11:04:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

GE Shares Fall to 18-Year Lows

Shares of General Electric Corp. fell for the fourth straight trading session Wednesday to levels not seen since 1991 as the cost of protecting the debt of its ailing financing arm continues to soar.

Shares ended down 4.5% and fell as much as 18% to $5.73 at one point Wednesday amid concerns about its liquidity position and whether it would need to raise capital. Shares have now lost more than 25% since its opening last Friday, the day it cut its dividend in a move meant to alleviate those very same concerns.

GE reiterated Wednesday that it has no need to raise additional capital, saying it has "stressed" its big financial-services portfolio to prove it.

Credit default swaps -- a key gauge of creditworthiness -- on General Electric Capital Corp. continued to show levels indicative of distressed companies. Traders are willing to spend $1.45 million, plus an annual fee of $500,000, to protect $10 million of the financing arm's senior bonds against default for five years, according to broker Phoenix Partners Group. CDS were quoted at 13.5 points up front Tuesday, and 10.75 points up front Monday.

The stock has been pounded this week as investors grew nervous of a potential need for equity, though GE has said it doesn't anticipate raising equity.

[Jerome's WEEEEEE™ Technology]

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:23:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Technology | ToysRUs pays $5m for toys domain

Toy retailer ToysRUs has paid $5.1m (£3.6m) for the Toys.com domain name.

The amount has surprised onlookers and hints at a deeper commitment to online retailing for the toy giant.

It is believed to be the biggest payout for a domain this year but has some way to go to beat the $14m paid for sex.com in 2007 or the $9.5m paid for porn.com.

UK domain name seller Sedo said it had seen prices halved for .co.uk domain names since the economic downturn started to take hold.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:32:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-Leaders of Countrywide Profit From Bad Loans  NYT

CALABASAS, Calif. -- Fairly or not, Countrywide Financial and its top executives would be on most lists of those who share blame for the nation's economic crisis. After all, the banking behemoth made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering.

So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess.  Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide's former president, and his team have been buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over from other failed banks, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. They get a piece of what they can collect.

"It has been very successful -- very strong," John Lawrence, the company's head of loan servicing, told Mr. Kurland one recent morning in a glass-walled boardroom here at PennyMac's spacious headquarters, opened last year in the same Los Angeles suburb where Countrywide once flourished.

"In fact, it's off-the-charts good," he told Mr. Kurland, who was leaning back comfortably in his leather boardroom chair, even as the financial markets in New York were plunging.

As hundreds of billions of dollars flow from Washington to jump-start the nation's staggering banks, automakers and other industries, a new economy is emerging of businesses that hope to make money from the various government programs that make up the largest economic rescue in history.

Perhaps this should become a case study in Business School MBA programs: "How to Profit on Both the Front End and the Back End of Business Disasters."  And they are hardly alone, as the article shows.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bear Stearns' Jimmy Cayne does not luv him sum Frodo:

WSJ | Bear Stearns' Jimmy Cayne's Profane Tirade Against Treasury's Geithner

"The audacity of that p--k in front of the American people announcing he was deciding whether or not a firm of this stature and this whatever was good enough to get a loan," he said. "Like he was the determining factor, and it's like a flea on his back, floating down underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, getting a h-d-on, saying, `Raise the bridge.' This guy thinks he's got a big d-k. He's got nothing, except maybe a boyfriend. I'm not a good enemy. I'm a very bad enemy. But certain things really--that bothered me plenty. It's just that for some clerk to make a decision based on what, your own personal feeling about whether or not they're a good credit? Who the f-k asked you? You're not an elected officer. You're a clerk. Believe me, you're a clerk. I want to open up on this f---r, that's all I can tell you."

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

[Drew's WHEEEEE™ Technology]

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 08:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has this guy heard of the species of clerk called banking regulator?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the fact that he hasn't suggests there might be a problem.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking Shop With a `Vulture' Investor -- Daily Intel -- New York News Blog -- New York Magazine
V: I heard this yesterday: The top five U.K. banks have $10 trillion of assets and their GDP is only $2.13 trillion. The whole country could fall into the ocean.


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 04:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Business | UK car sales 22% lower last month

Sales of new cars in February were 22% lower than a year earlier, the latest industry figures have shown.

The number of new UK registrations in February was 54,359, down from 69,610 the year before, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 05:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report: Wall Street Spent $5 Billion For Political Influence | Political Hotsheet - CBS News
A group called Wall Street Watch is out with a report that finds that "Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.7 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists" between 1998 and 2008.

The report, "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America," concludes that the contributions were "aimed at undercutting federal regulation" and ultimately "led directly to the current financial collapse."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 06:00:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:08:57 PM EST
Five Security Council Powers, Germany Offer Direct Dialog With Iran | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 04.03.2009
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany on Tuesday offered direct dialogue with Iran to solve the ongoing nuclear standoff with the Islamic Republic. 

A joint statement from the six nations -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany -- called on Iran to "take this opportunity for engagement with us and thereby maximize opportunities for a negotiated way forward.

"We remain firmly committed to a comprehensive diplomatic solution, including through direct dialogue," the so-called P5+1 nations said in a statement read to a closed-door meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors in Vienna.

The six voiced serious concern at Iran's atomic advances and increasing restrictions on UN inspectors trying to keep track of them, but did not mention toughening sanctions as a way to rein in Iran.

Sanctions threats have been common in statements by Western members at earlier IAEA meetings. But Russia and China oppose further punitive steps.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:11:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton backs move to freeze out Hamas rule - International Herald Tribune

RAMALLAH, West Bank:

The U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, held talks on Wednesday with Palestinian leaders over whether Israel's next government would commit to a U.S.-backed peace process leading to a Palestinian state.

A day after pledging that the Obama administration would always protect Israel's security, Clinton visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank to deliver a message of support for President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

"We are very committed to your efforts in this leadership of President Abbas," Clinton told Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the point man in Western-backed reconstruction plans for the Gaza Strip that freeze out the territory's Hamas  rulers.

Hamas, which won a parliamentary election in 2006, violently wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's Fatah faction in 2007. The West shuns Hamas over its refusal to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim peace deals.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, the joy of democracy. Just make sure you choose the party your colonial overlords demand of you.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:12:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brown: Special relationship 'unbreakable' - Americas, World - The Independent

Addressing congress Gordon Brown hailed the special relationship saying, "There is no power on Earth that can drive us apart."

He also issued a call for America to take a lead in the world's battle against recession and climate change.

In a speech to both houses of Congress, the Prime Minister urged the US political elite to "seize the moment" by joining Britain and the rest of the world in international cooperation to tackle the economic crisis and "build tomorrow today".

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gordon Brown tells Congress: work with 'your friend Europe' - Times Online

Gordon Brown will urge America's political elite today to shun protectionism and work with "your friend" Europe and the rest of the world to solve the global economic crisis.

In a speech to both Houses of Congress, Mr Brown will call on the US not to turn in on itself, warning that the financial problems facing them are global and can be dealt with only if they "seize the moment" and resort to international co-operation.

The Prime Minister will attempt to speak on behalf of the European Union as a whole when he says that - for the first time in living memory - the entire region is united in wanting to work with America.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:21:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Love-struck Gordon Brown kept at arm's length by Barack Obama :: Toby Harnden

He is not a figure who currently attracts much sympathy back in Blighty but it was hard not to feel a teeny weeny bit sorry for Gordon Brown today. There we press were this morning in the freezing cold outside the White House watching increasingly frantic British officials trying to salvage what they could from a visit that was clearly going awry.

"But this is not what we negotiated," said one plaintively, through the railings, to a supremely unconcerned Obama aide. Another talked of "fine tuning" that was still going on, just as a Secret Service agent on a loud hailer told him to move further away so the gate could be kept clear.

We received an apology-laden email from the British Embassy stating icily: "There is no flexibility in the White House today."

A press conference that had apparently been promised had been cancelled at the last minute due to the snow (on the ground for 24 hours and forecast several days earlier). Now the British diplomats were faced with a situation of no more than 16 of the 33 press who'd flown over from London even seeing President Barack Obama.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This must make Sarkozy and his cronies vaguely happy?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no more than 16 of the 33 press who'd flown over from London

WTF???

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theres hands to shake and interviews to have on the plane over and back. You've got several hours where the politicians have nothing better to do than talk to the press.  For an editor it's almost worth selling your children to get onto that flight after all it proves you're 'Serious' about the news.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Britain's Brown Warns US Against Protectionism
By Desmond Butler, AP

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday an "economic hurricane" has swept the world and U.S. leaders shouldn't view the crisis as limited to America's borders.

In a formal address to a Joint Meeting of Congress, Brown said that U.S.-European relations were at an all-time high and that the two nations must seize on the opportunity to bring about change. He warned that protectionism ultimately makes every nation vulnerable because "a bad bank anywhere is a threat to good banks everywhere."

"No matter where it starts, an economic crisis does not stop at the water's edge," he said told lawmakers gathered in the cavernous House chamber. "It ripples across the world," declared Brown, whose speech was applauded on several occasions.

I'm still not convinced all protectionism is a bad thing.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He warned that protectionism ultimately makes every nation vulnerable because "a bad bank anywhere is a threat to good banks everywhere."

That would make interdependence and cross-border exposures bad, surely?

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:03:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course...they are partners in this biggest crime of all times (worldwide man made recession) and are both broke as states and actually very rich as individual robbers...who would even like to drive them apart?
Maybe just those to hum they own those trillions and zillions of fake money they prodused...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 11:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CNN.com: International Court issues arrest warrant for Sudanese president
The International Criminal Court at the Hague issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur.

It is the first arrest warrant ever issued for a sitting head of state by the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.

Bashir is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The warrant does not mention genocide, but the court may issue an amended warrant to include that charge later, ICC spokeswoman Laurence Blairon said.



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economy to Dominate Annual Chinese Gathering
By Michael Wines, The New York Times

China's national Legislature begins its tightly scripted annual meeting on Thursday with an agenda dominated by the ruling Communist Party's two overriding concerns: riding out the global economic crisis and keeping citizens' unhappiness with their lot from boiling over into public unrest.

In the nine-day session of the National People's Congress, about the only suspense involves whether the government will propose to add still more stimulus spending to the $584 billion that China's leaders already have pledged to help the slumping economy. On Wednesday, Asian and European stocks rose in part on hopes that it would.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is to speak early on Thursday to the 3,000-odd delegates, and is expected by many analysts to set a target for 8 percent growth of China's gross domestic product in 2009, the same as in previous years. The government has long said that that rate is needed to hold down unemployment and the potential for social unrest. The economy logged a 9 percent rate last year, even after a sharp slowdown in the last quarter.

But a number of experts believe that a 2009 growth rate of 6.5 percent or 7 percent, meager by recent Chinese standards, is increasingly likely. Some financial analysts predicted this week that the government will propose spending vast new amounts to head off a sharper decline, although the consensus view is that new spending, if any, will be more modest.


by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexico's drug war creates new class of refugees
By Andrew Becker and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

Business owners, law enforcement officers, journalists and other professionals are among those seeking asylum in the U.S. -- even when it means sitting in jail...

The number of asylum requests filed at U.S. border entries by Mexican nationals nearly doubled to almost 200 in the last fiscal year, and the pace has increased this year. Seventy Mexican asylum-seekers filed petitions in the first quarter, most of them in El Paso and San Diego. The figures are small compared with the vast scale of illegal immigration, but many fear explosive growth if the bloodshed worsens.

Drug violence in Mexico has claimed at least 7,000 lives in little more than a year, most of them along the border and many carried out to maximize their gruesome effect. Mass killings and beheadings have had a terrorizing effect on border towns from Texas to Tijuana...

Asylum-seekers are among the most desperate people confronting immigration officials. Deporting them to their homeland can be a death sentence. But under U.S. law, fear of criminal violence is not recognized as grounds for asylum.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:26:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:09:22 PM EST
Baxter Sent Bird Flu Virus to European Labs by Error  - Bloomberg.com: News

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Baxter International Inc. in Austria unintentionally contaminated samples with the bird flu virus that were used in laboratories in three neighboring countries, raising concern about the potential spread of the deadly disease.

The contamination was discovered when ferrets at a laboratory in the Czech Republic died after being inoculated with vaccine made from the samples early this month. The material came from Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter, which reported the incident to the Austrian Ministry of Health, Sigrid Rosenberger, a ministry spokeswoman, said today in a telephone interview.

"This was infected with a bird flu virus," Rosenberger said. "There were some people from the company who handled it."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sumatran tigers fight back against extinction - Telegraph

Two illegal loggers were the latest to be killed, bringing the toll to eight in the last five weeks.

The loggers were attacked in their forest hut on Sunday night in the third such incident since late January, according to a conservation official in Jambi province on the island of Sumatra.

"They were playing guitar and singing in their temporary hut in the forest when a tiger suddenly attacked one of them," said the official, Didi Wuryanto.

"After having paralysed the first victim, it ran after another man and mauled his head and chest while his friends were watching."

Human-animal conflicts are a rising problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelagic nation with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:15:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geneva Motor Show: Nissan to unveil new plug-in car - Telegraph
A plug-in car capable of going 100 miles on a single charge is to be unveiled by Nissan later this year.

With a top speed of around 70 mph, the Japanese manufacturer claims that the new - and as yet unnamed - car will go faster than any other purely electric vehicle.

However the car will be made in Japan and America, rather than in Sunderland. It will, however be sold in Europe from 2011.

It is the latest in a series of electric cars being announced by manufacturers.

Unlike the Vauxhall Ampera, which was announced at the Geneva motor show, the Nissan will not have an additional petrol engine.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Health | Bionic eye gives blind man sight

A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a bionic eye.

Ron, 73, had the experimental surgery seven months ago at London's Moorfield's eye hospital.

He says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks, using the bionic eye, known as Argus II.

It uses a camera and video processor mounted on sunglasses to send captured images wirelessly to a tiny receiver on the outside of the eye.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:18:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Chimps craft ultimate fishing rod

Scientists believe they have solved the mystery of why some chimpanzees are so good at catching termites.

A team working in the Republic of Congo discovered that the chimps are crafting brush-tipped "fishing rods" to scoop the insects out of their nests.

They filmed the wild primates using their teeth to fashion the tools.

Writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the researchers said the probes' frayed ends helped the chimpanzees to collect more termites.

Lead researcher Crickette Sanz, from the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said: "They have invented a way to improve their termite-fishing technique."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Climate 'hitting Europe's birds'

Climate change is already having an impact on European bird species, according to British scientists.

Details of the study by an international team of researchers have been published in the journal Plos One.

Some birds are expected to do well as temperatures rise, but these are in the minority, the researchers write.

"Overall, the trend is towards net loss," said a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which contributed to the study.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shoes and Nazi Bazookas: The Prehistory of Adidas and Puma - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

During World War II, industries big and small all over Germany became part of Hitler's massive war machine. The change even affected the predecessor of footwear legends Adidas and Puma, which -- oddly enough -- manufactured Germany's version of the bazooka.

When the starting shot rang out, the athletes surged forward. Jesse Owens dug his spikes deep into the racing track of Berlin's Olympic Stadium -- and the best sprinter of his day dominated the 100 meters race to win a gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games. America's black superstar took home a total of four gold medals. And each of his victories represented minor triumphs for two German brothers as well -- Adolf ("Adi") and Rudolf Dassler -- the manufacturers of the sprinting shoes that carried the sprinter of the century from victory to victory.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:28:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a dinosaur handprint reveals
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times

"What this seems to imply is that, even from fairly early in their history, dinosaurs were entirely bipedal and weren't using their forearms to support themselves in any way," said paleontologist Tom Holtz of the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the research.

"Because of that, the hands could specialize as weapons, to grab on to a struggling animal or to fight with other dinosaurs," he said.

The handprints are among more than 1,200 dinosaur tracks deposited in mud along the shores of an ancient lake, then buried and fossilized. Most of the tracks are similar to ones found at other sites, said paleontologist Andrew Milner, lead author of the report published Tuesday in the online journal PLoS One.

But one set of tracks shows the trail of a carnivore called a theropod leaving the water and climbing up a low hill on the shore.

The tracks clearly show the hind feet and, occasionally, the dragging tail. But at one point, Milner said, the theropod apparently stopped and crouched to rest.

At that point, between the footprints, is the clear circular impression of the ischium or pelvis, "basically a butt print," Milner said.

And to each side of the tracks are the handprints, which are mirror images of each other. They clearly show the third digit pressed into the ground and traces of the second digit, with the claw curling inward.

The hands were positioned as they would be for "holding on to a basketball rather than dribbling it," Holtz said.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What this seems to imply is that, even from fairly early in their history, dinosaurs were entirely bipedal and weren't using their forearms to support themselves in any way," said paleontologist Tom Holtz of the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the research.

(my emphasis)

Not all dinosaurs, surely? Maybe a better statement would be "there were entirely bipedal dinosaurs from fairly early in their history".

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
globeandmail.com: The rights wheel of fortune (March 3, 2009)

Three years ago, Mr. Fulton got a call from a deep-voiced stranger who wanted to sign up for his women-only gym. Two days later, he got a visit: The stranger turned out to be a preoperative transsexual. Mr. Fulton, perhaps with his female clients' reactions in mind, hesitated. A week later, he received a lawyer's letter demanding an apology and a cash settlement. He refused, and now is trapped in human-rights commission hell.

"I'm probably screwed here," he said last week after a mediation session proved unsuccessful. He's right. Here's why. The offended party gets a free lawyer. Win or lose, he pays nothing. But the defendant always pays. If he decides to put up a fight, he might have to spend $100,000, maybe more, even if he wins. The case could drag on for years. Related Articles

Lawyers who act for people such as Mr. Fulton usually advise them to settle. That typically entails a modest sum of money paid to the complainant, an abject letter of apology, and an agreement to post a prominent sign guaranteeing (for example) equal treatment for all self-identified women, regardless of the configuration of their private parts. They must also agree never to disclose the settlement or any of the details.



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 04:52:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the article it looks like Canada has got itself into a bit of a tangle over the practicalities of how the legislation actually works in practice and is producing difficult results.

Personally, in the UK I think that the issue is very different between pre and post op transsexuals. But it's worth adding that many regimes insist that the pre-op patient may make no compromise with society and is forced into such legislation to establish rights to do that which is hard for society to accept.

However, in the US, there are real issues about access to the operation which mean many transsexuals live their life as pre-ops.

But there are so many opinions on what is or is not appropriate that you cannot assume my view is definitive or even a majority one.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 03:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:09:44 PM EST
UK University Offers Masters In The Beatles

LONDON -- The city of Liverpool already has a Beatles museum and its airport is named after John Lennon. Now a local university says it rolling out a graduate program entirely devoted to the Fab Four.

Liverpool Hope University said Tuesday that its new master's program, "The Beatles, Popular Music and Society," would give students the opportunity to analyze music and culture through the band's work.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ted Kennedy to get knighthood - Americas, World - The Independent

Senator Edward Kennedy, patriarch of one of America's most fabled political families, has been awarded a honorary knighthood, it was announced today.

The award, in recognition of Kennedy's service to the US-UK relationship and to Northern Ireland, comes as Prime Minister Gordon Brown visits Washington to meet with President Barack Obama and address the US Congress today.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either his retirement is imminent, or US chambers are about to indemnify this expressly unconstitutional boon.

Article 1, §9, clause 8

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

Figures.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty sure the whole knighthood-without-really-being-a-knighthood element makes that a non-issue.

Calm down, MT.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:59:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state."

That's the rule of law in the US: "of any kind whatever". Guess why? Conference of a foreign title of nobility, with or without expressed hereditary property rights, realizes political or social allegiance to the Crown of England. Ambivalent allegiance of a "person holding any office or trust" in the US governments diminunizes sovereignty of the republic, democratic so-called. That's what your "Founding Fathers" believed before and after debating allegiance to the Crown as opposed to British Parliament.

And an order of knighthood is not a Grammy Award® by ballot.

20 years from now you'll be telling someone, "Calm down. Viscount McConnell hasn't much longer to live."

Or, "The Queen is not a king."

Or, "The Consititution is just a piece of paper."

See. Now. The more I think about this, the more pissed off I become. I don't care how many motherfuckin tumors...

Time out for MT.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 06:53:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for all the news! Is spring making an appearance in your part of Switzerland yet?

Here in the U.S. Pacific NW, it is still rainy but getting warmer. The trees are budding, but no leaves yet.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:40:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, spring has tried rearing its head, but not very successfully. But like in your place, I think it will need only a few sunny they and it will explode into green and colors. :-) At least I hope so.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 01:12:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 07:29:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Magnifico on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 12:29:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A FOUR MINUTE FILM that only runs for 2:23.  This is such an appropriate metaphor for

  1.  All advertising

  2.  Most/all governments

  3.  The DOW

  4.  Your choice.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 10:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Telegraph: Dr Who Dalek found in pond

A Dalek from Dr Who was found submerged in a pond by volunteers enlisted to clear it of rubbish...

Sales executive Marc Oakland was pushing a rake around the bed of the shallow pool when he found the object with its distinctive eye stalk.

The 42-year-old said: "I'd just shifted a tree branch with my foot when I noticed something dark and round slowly coming up to the surface.

"I got the shock of my life when a Dalek head bobbed up right in front of me...

Pond warden Tony Brown, 70, was leading the volunteer squad clearing dumped rubbish from the pond, near Beaulieu, Hants.

He said: "We made a very thorough search of the rest of the bottom of the pond and there were definitely no alien remnants lurking.

"We've all agreed it best to keep the pond's exact location under wraps.

"The last thing we want are sci-fi fans descending on the pond frantically seraching for other Dalek parts."

by Magnifico on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was it dead?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ROFL

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 08:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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