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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 16 March

by Fran Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:12:39 PM EST

On this date in history:

1822 - Rosa Bonheur, a French animalière and realist artist, one of few female sculptors, was born. (d. 1899)

More here and here


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by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:13:20 PM EST
After winter comes spring « Vive l'Europe
It was one of those spring days embedded with latent energy back in Warsaw in 2004 when our professor, Bronislaw Geremek, facing his students from the podium of his chair in European civilization stretched his eyes and said: "And when you are in Brussels, and it is late in the day, and you are dealing with some technical detail of a regulation or a decision, never forget that Europeelle est quand même, merveilleuse!"

This was a man who had survived the holocaust in his native Poland, embraced communism in his youth, but for whom enlightenment meant freedom of all peoples and ideas, and a constant strive for peace in Europe - Geremek was imprisoned with Walesa in 1981 and represented Solidarity at the Round Table talks which gave birth to democracy in 1989. In a sense he - a historian by profession - opposed Europe's demons in all their forms throughout time, whether they took the forms of crusades or pogroms or ethnic cleansing or aggressive nationalisms, whilst refusing to believe that these sentiments would ever go away.

Europe is Europe for better and for worse.

Once again the great clock of history is moving and Europe, and the rest of the world, is faced with a Great Recession, which might make 2009 one of those years future historians will take reference to, for better or for worse, depending on how policies are designed to exit the current financial crisis, and avoid that it develops into a political crisis of unknown proportions.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... and avoid that it develops into a political crisis of unknown proportions.

What an interesting phrase.  Now exactly what could he be alluding to?  Hmmmmm.

And do the wealthy/powerful care?  Not really.  Only the peasantry gets hurt in these little affairs, if history tells us anything.  Maybe one of these days the peasants will wise up and bring about a different outcome.  Should I hold my breath?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:23:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Forum for Attacking Israel?: Germany Asked to Boycott UN Racism Conference - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The US, Canada and Italy have said they will not attend the United Nations Conference on Racism out of fear that it will be used primarily for attacks on Israel. With states like Iran, Libya and Cuba dictating the agenda, calls are growing for Germany to join the boycott too.

It was one of the low points in the history of the United Nations. In September, 2001, the South African city of Durban was playing host to the UN World Conference against Racism. The aim had been to officially declare slavery and colonialism as crimes.

Israel fears that the United Nations Conference on Racism next month will be taken over by an anti-Israel agenda. However, both in the conference room and outside it, one state repeatedly came in for diatribes: Israel, accused of being the spawn of racism and apartheid. It became clear that the attacks on Israel had been orchestrated by authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world. "The hate contingent has prevailed," wrote German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau at the time. The memory of the meeting was soon eclipsed, however, by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, which took place just four days after the conference ended.

Now this sad spectacle may repeat itself. The UN will hold a follow-up conference to the Durban meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, between April 20 and 24. Not only Jewish organizations fear that states like Iran, Libya or Saudi Arabia might turn the event into an anti-Israeli forum -- Canada, Italy and the United States have said that they will keep away from the event. The Obama administration has said the conference threatens, again, to unfairly single out Israel.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPIEGEL alert
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gulf Stream Blues: Could the Tories Bring the Euro to Britain?
Last night I slipped into an event at The Center which had gathered various economists and politicians to take a look at the current situation vis-à-vis Britain and the Euro. Had such an event been held a year ago, you probably would have been lucky to get three people to show up. After all, the debate about Britain joining the Euro had been dead in the water for years. But things are looking very differently recently after the unprecedented collapse in the value of the pound, and the assembled speakers at the session had some surprising things to say about what may be around the corner for Britain.

The pound has lost 30 percent of its value since last summer, the most dramatic drop in the currency's history. It's fallen from $2.00 to one pound in July to $1.39 to one pound today. The pound fell to just €1.02 recently, when it was €1.33 at the beginning of last year. So the situation for the sterling is bleak.

So now a debate which was once thought to be done and dusted is beginning to resurface, although not yet out in the open in Britain. Speaking at the session, former British MEP John Stevens observed, "It's much easier to talk about Britain and the euro outside than inside." Indeed Stevens, who just wrote a report concluding that the best monetary option for Britain is to join the euro, said that his report has received much more attention in the rest of the world than it has in the UK. In Britain, the currency problem remains the issue that dare not speak its name. Opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of the public opposes joining the euro, and no politician in today's Britain is willing to take a principled stand on an unpopular issue. Both Labour and the Conservatives know that reawakening the euro debate could easily have the effect of spooking British consumers even further. "If the public hears talk about joining the euro, there will be mass fear that Britain is really in trouble," Stevens said, perhaps only half joking. A country's currency has much to do with its national pride, and having to give up the pound would be a massive blow to Britain's self-esteem.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:20:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"If the public hears talk about joining the euro, there will be mass fear that Britain is really in trouble," Stevens said, perhaps only half joking.

Not joking at all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Britain joins the euro, they're doing it for the good of Britain, PERIOD!  What's in it for Europe?  Why do you want these dead-beat losers in your club?  What's the initiation fee?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain set to tear down its last statue of General Franco - Times Online

The last statue of General Franco in Spain is to be withdrawn almost 34 years after the death of the dictator.

The regional government of Melilla, one of Spain's North African enclaves along with Ceuta, said the bronze statue of General Franco would be removed "within the period of 15 days".

The move means no more commemorative figures will stand in public streets to the man who ruled Spain between the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 and his death in November, 1975.

Daniel Conesa, spokesman for the Melilla regional government, said the statue, which shows Franco standing, would be kept in storage then transferred to a military museum.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the statue, which shows Franco standing, would be kept in storage then transferred to a military museum.

I was hoping to put it on my lawn, as an inspirational piece.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:30:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:37:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beautiful!  What's the title/author?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nukees, the atomic comic strip by Darren Bleuel

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank You.  Now in my ET file with Dilbert.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a fan of Franco, but this is a result of a newly approved "Law of Historical Memory" which clearly has more to do with revenge than with memory.

Spain still has an unopened can of worms regarding its civil war and neither the left nor the right want to take an honest look.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:35:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 It's OK, the Brits will do it for you :-)  Apart from Orwell, more recently, there's Loach's "Land and Freedom":

The favorable reception of the film in Spain is indicative of its relevance today. Michael Eaude, in Britain's New Statesman, reports how the headline of an adulating review in El Mundo read, quite without irony, "Gracias por todo, Mr. Loach", and how the El País review gushed effusively about "this tender, yet furious picture ... incomparable ... It is the most beautiful tribute that the cinema has given to the memory of a free Spain". Eaude's review also writes of the apparent hold the movie took over many young movie-goers in Spain, who admitted to be enthusiastically discovering these complex aspects of the Civil War for the first time.
...
It is appropriate to close with the ever-hopeful Loach's comments from an interview in the Progressive magazine. On the subject of why he should be so insistent on marrying films and politics, and as to why the film should have relevance today, he answers: "Sooner or later something has to happen. We can't imagine this whole set-up going on for generation after generation, so something has to give. What will give, or where it will happen, I don't know. But when the possibility of transformative change happens, and people start to look around and say, 'Hang on, we actually need to take power here,' then people have to be organized. . . That's one of the reasons to do films, isn't it? Because the implication is that life doesn't have to be like this."

http://forlang.edgewood.edu/ian/Kentucky.HTM

There are powerful accounts in the Guardian of the experience of some of the few British survivors (in 2000) of the International Brigade, e.g.:


Wheeler had never crossed the channel before, but in 1938 he found himself crossing the Pyrenees with Jack Jones [later head of the Trades Union Congress], on the way to meet up with people who shared their beliefs. "There is nothing to touch the comradeship of the International Brigade. We knew the true meaning of international comradeship. We suffered together."

And suffer they did. Wheeler lost many friends. Such as Lewis Clive, who died fighting beside him. They came under fire suddenly and Wheeler felt something wet on him. It was the blood and brains of his friend who'd had the top of his head shot off. And Lawrence Pryme - "a little fellow, a frail chap, but with the heart of a lion" - who was hit on night patrol. Both his legs smashed so badly they couldn't move him. There was no stretcher, so Wheeler became a human stretcher. He lay down, and they lay Pryme down on top of him, "bleeding like a tap" and dragged them away from the danger.

Lawrence died later that night. But a couple of days later, while on patrol with a man called Snowy, George came across an irrigation system. They were thirsty and dirty. "We were on our knees, like schoolboys. We put our heads in, and then I said: 'I'm going to have a bath.' Snowy said: 'No, no we're in enemy territory.' I said: 'Bugger enemy territory, bugger Franco.' So I took everything off, and got into this beautiful cool water. Lawrence's blood was all congealed on me, and it came off in that water. Afterwards, we let the water go, and we saw Lawrence Pryme's blood falling down this network of trenches, irrigating the soil of Spain. It was a lovely tribute to Lawrence."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,395361,00.html



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 09:31:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you being facetious?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 10:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh ? I can't see anything other than honourable intent there. I felt that was a good thing to contribute.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:30:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't talking about the International Brigades.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Relax - just pulling your leg a little bit - but there is a serious point. I did read some time ago that Loach's film was well-received in Spain, some thinking that it was easier for a Brit to deal with these still very sensitive issues. Here's another report that some things in the film were news to some young Spaniards:


    Your own research has been on the revolutionary left and the POUM. And you sometimes speak at meetings on the subject. What sort of response do you get from the left?

The reception Land and Freedom got was very revealing in that it proved popular with young and anti-capitalist audiences (not with academics however!) and still does. One point that was frequently raised by many younger activists was that they were simply unaware that there had been a revolution at all in 1936. The organisational weakness of the revolutionary left today means that the possibilities of reaching a larger audience are limited. Thus whether the magnificent experience of the revolution, and not just the resistance to fascism, can be learnt is completely tied to the task of rebuilding this left.

http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=220&issue=111

But this was also a matter of when the film came out, 1995 and it seems the "pact of silence" "began to change" in 1996:


    How do the media and mainstream politicians in Spain today regard the civil war and the fascist years? My impression is that they virtually tried to ignore these things with the transition towards bourgeois democracy after Franco's death in 1975. Are things changing with the seventieth anniversary?

Underpinning the transition to democracy was the `pact of silence' which meant that the mainstream parties would effectively not talk about the war. This meant not that literature did not appear or that it was never mentioned in the media, but that those guilty of crimes committed during the nearly 40 years of dictatorship would not be brought to book. That is the opposite, of course, of what happened in Italy, Germany or other former European dictatorships. In a way it was similar to what was tried in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay (following the `Spanish model'), but even in these cases it could not be sustained and now there are a whole number of initiatives to punish those responsible for repression. But this has not been the case in Spain. Instead the idea was pushed, and still often is, that the civil war was a `war between brothers' (sisters, one assumes, were not involved), where both sides committed atrocities and `made mistakes'--a war that has to be, above all, forgotten.
...
This `pact of silence' about the civil war began to change after the PP won the elections in 1996, partly because the transition was now 20 years past, and both victims and those responsible for repression were now thinner on the ground but, above all, as a way of undermining the right, who were and are seen as the heirs of Francoism.
ibid



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the news, but that was 13 years ago, and it doesn't look to me like things are getting any better regarding the "pact of silence".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:47:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For instance,

Un concejal del PP tacha de "asesinas" a las Brigadas Internacionales · ELPAÍS.com (28/02/1996)A PP local councillor calls the International Brigades "murderers" - ElPais.com (28/02/1996)
El concejal de Festejos de Albacete, Antonio Rodríguez, del Partido Popular, calificó ayer a las Brigadas Internacionales como "banda de asesinos" y "auténticos carniceros". Rodríguez dijo estas expresiones en una reunión de la Comisión de Cultura del Ayuntamiento. Se debatía la concesión de una subvención de 300.000 pesetas al Centro de Documentación de las Brigadas Internacionales con motivo del 60 aniversario de la llegada de los brigadistas a Albacete. Tanto el PSOE como IU consideraron esta cantidad insuficiente para afrontar los actos previstos, por lo que votaron en contra de la cantidad propuesta.En ese momento intervino Antonio Rodríguez para decir que él tampoco estaba de acuerdo pero, por motivos diferentes, ya que no le parecía bien subvencionar a "una banda de asesinos".The Albacete local councillor responsible for festivities, Antonio Rodríguez, from the PP, called the International Brigades a "band of murderers" and "veritable butchers". Rodríguez said these things in a meeting of the Council's Culture Committee. A €1,800 subsidy was being debated for the Documentation Centre of the International Brigades on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Brigades to Albacete. Both the PSOE and the PP considered this quantity insufficient to face the projected activities, so they voted against the proposed amount. At that moment Antonio Rodríguez intervened to say that he also disagreed but for different reasons, as it did not seem right to him to subsidise a "gang of murderers".


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also in 1996, a group of Brigadists visited Spain and were shunned by the right-wing Government (see here in Spanish). Ten years later we had a Left-wing government so things were different. This has nothing to do with memory or with lifting a veil of silence, but with the grandchildren of those who fought the war still taking the same sides and jabbing at each other.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:13:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, my point was that the film came out some time ago. The guy interviewed - in 2006 - thinks things HAVE got somewhat better since then:


In recent years there has been an outpouring of books and documentaries (especially on regional television not in the PP's hands) on the Francoist repression. Previously, both the Socialist Party and the PP had avoided taking an official institutional position on even recognising the rights of those repressed, of the hundreds of thousands who had lost their lives, liberty and meagre property. Now there has begun the tentative recognition and economic compensation for victims and their families. However, this recognition has been painfully slow, and few of those who could have benefited when Franco died 30 years ago have done so.

This change is not just down to politicians. There has also been growing pressure from historians and relatives. Younger historians in particular have increasingly become committed to investigating rearguard repression and the little-studied early years of the dictatorship. A growing number of relatives who previously had not taken up the question, either because they were not aware of what had happened to their parents or grandparents or even because of the fear that still persisted in rural areas, have now begun to demand justice or at least recognition of what happened.
...
Other important new works which help understand the dynamics of the revolution include work on local history, for example, on the anti-fascist committees and on the experience of collectivisation, by both Spanish and foreign historians, which have deepened our understanding of the nature of the revolutionary process. Even hostile sources have to admit, for example, that collectivisation was `surprisingly' efficient and, with few exceptions point to the active involvement of masses of workers and peasants.
...
Perhaps the most encouraging sign is the interest that the POUM often provokes among younger activists. Obviously Loach's film has a certain amount to do with this. This may make orthodox Trotskyists nervous but the reasons why some young people are interested in the question are extremely positive for the revolutionary left. What the POUM represents for some of the new generation is a revolutionary alternative to anarchism, reformism and Stalinism
...



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:15:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ted Welch:
Previously, both the Socialist Party and the PP had avoided taking an official institutional position on even recognising the rights of those repressed, of the hundreds of thousands who had lost their lives, liberty and meagre property. Now there has begun the tentative recognition and economic compensation for victims and their families.
This has happened over the PP's vociferous opposition and accusations that ZP and the PSOE were opening up old wounds. This doesn't sound like "truth and reconciliation" to me.

And even then, the left thinks that the PSOE's "Law of Historical Memory" fell short of what was needed.

So this ends up looking like a partisan effort to get even.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This doesn't tell me when Paris will get rid of the Sacré Coeur...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please educate the Spanish. Why should Paris get rid of the Sacré Coeur?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:51:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was built on top of the Butte Montmartre after the Commune to celebrate the victory of reaction and religion, and it has remained a symbol of these ever since.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 02:10:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well they do have a LOT to get even with - after decades of Franco's dictatorship. A bit of partisanship seems quite appropriate.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 02:17:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, what we need is more partisanship and getting even for the grandparents. Great recipe for political stability.

Desmond Tutu didn't get a Nobel Peace Price for getting even for decades of Apartheid.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 02:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I didnt realise you were a turn-the-other-cheek Christian. In this context, the Left had better ensure that it IS partisan or it's going to get wiped out by right-wing partisans:


The right's reaction has predictably been even more severe. The PP has collected 4 million signatures calling for a state-wide referendum on the Catalan statute. This sort of provocation is part of a policy of mass mobilisation by the PP over the last year, which is unheard of for a supposedly democratic conservative party in Europe since the 1930s. Demonstrations of hundreds of thousands have been orchestrated by the PP over such diverse questions as opposition to gay marriage, defence of private education, opposition to the Catalan statute, opposition to any `concessions' to terrorism and even the return from Salamanca of civil war documentation belonging to the Catalan government. The tone and nature of such mobilisations are curiously reminiscent of the movement organised by the CEDA and the church in the pre-civil war years, despite all the obvious differences--least of all, a civil war is not an imminent threat, of course.

It is important to understand that the transition was not the break with Francoism that it has been made out to be by the political mainstream; that, albeit under a democratic guise, in terms of how the `nation' is perceived, the legitimacy of the monarchy, the continuing influence of the church, even the absence of a minimally decent welfare state, are all inherited from the dictatorship. Thus the fight for historical memory, even in the broadest sense, is a central political fight about the very nature of the contemporary Spanish state and democracy.

ibid



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ted Welch:
It is important to understand that the transition was not the break with Francoism that it has been made out to be by the political mainstream; that, albeit under a democratic guise, in terms of how the `nation' is perceived, the legitimacy of the monarchy, the continuing influence of the church, even the absence of a minimally decent welfare state, are all inherited from the dictatorship. Thus the fight for historical memory, even in the broadest sense, is a central political fight about the very nature of the contemporary Spanish state and democracy.
That is true.

But what is needed is not partisan bickering and an "Official Memory" shifting with the political party in power, but a "truth and reconciliation commission".

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 Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 07:53:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ted Welch:
Oh I didnt realise you were a turn-the-other-cheek Christian.
Neither did I. As it is, with both sides getting increasingly partisan, we run the risk of recreating the societal rifts of 75 years ago.

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 Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 07:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 It's politics, it's always a struggle; the Democrats in the US have tried compromising with the Right in the US. It didn't work, except for the Right, as the Democrats shifted to the Right. Now even with the US in such a crisis, the Right is still fighting tooth and nail to defend the privileges of their most powerful supporters.

Where did the "pact of silence" get the Left in Spain - apart from young poeople ignorant of the history of the Left in Spain (see quotations in previous comments) and so with little idea of alternatives that had actually been tried in the 30s - with some success - till the partisans of the Right crushed it.  

What Krugman says of America today applies more generally:

The central fact of American political life is the control of the Republican party by movement conservatives ... because of that control, the notion, beloved of political pundits, that we can make progress through bipartisan consensus is simply foolish
...
For now, being an active liberal means being a progressive, and being a progressive means being partisan.

The Conscience of a Liberal, p.272



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 10:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ted Welch:
Where did the "pact of silence" get the Left in Spain - apart from young poeople ignorant of the history of the Left in Spain (see quotations in previous comments) and so with little idea of alternatives that had actually been tried in the 30s - with some success - till the partisans of the Right crushed it.  
Well, people who fought the war (such as Santiago Carrillo) were willing to make that tradeoff to ensure that the transition to democracy was as bloodless as possible.

In addition, the alternative that was tried in the 30's was crushed by the Communist faction within the Republican side, not by the Nationalist (the right) as can be seen in Loach's film. Didn't you remember that part?

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 Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 10:31:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I did, seems you forgot what came next.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 06:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I didn't.

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 18th, 2009 at 02:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that, and if you accept the account of the recent actvism of the Right in Spain, do you disagree with Krugman's argument that being partisan is necessary ?  

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 06:50:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, what is necessary is "truth and reconciliation" so both sides have to face up to the skeletons in their closet and there is no occasion for further partisan activism.

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 18th, 2009 at 06:52:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK - that's your choice. Obviously I'm with Krugman - and Chomsky.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 09:50:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman is talking about something entirely different.

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 18th, 2009 at 10:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 OK, you want to continue - fine. IF you read what I said and what he writes, you'll see it's NOT "entirely" different. I was talking about the need to be partisan in the face of a very active and partisan Right, cf. the quote about this happening recently in Spain - which you didn't seem to disagree with. This includes, of course, as usual in politics, trying to control the historical record. The need for liberals/progressives to be partisan in the face of such  a partisan Right is exactly what Krugman is talking about, in the US context.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 07:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro chiefs ban 'Miss' and 'Mrs' - Telegraph
The European Parliament has banned the terms 'Miss' and 'Mrs' in case they offend female MEPs.

The politically correct rules also mean a ban on Continental titles, such as Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita.

Guidance issued in a new 'Gender-Neutral Language' pamphlet instead orders politicians to address female members by their full name only.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Completely loony Europhobic bollocks article from the Torygraph. Conservative MEPs froth at the mouth and we hear yet again about the bent banana. What's bent is these people's heads.

[Torygraph Alert]

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the Telegraph. I'd worry if they went europhile.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't bother me.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev poised to replace officials loyal to Vladimir Putin - Telegraph
President Dmitry Medvedev is preparing to clear out officials loyal to Vladimir Putin after drawing up a list of potential replacements for hardliners in the Russian government.

The creation of a list of allies dubbed the "Golden 100" signals Mr Medvedev's determination to assert his authority and build his own power base amid a growing split with his predecessor, who as prime minister has maintained a stranglehold on the Russian state.

Sources told The Sunday Telegraph that Mr Medvedev is poised to fire a raft of top officials, including regional governors appointed by Mr Putin, as the Kremlin seeks a scapegoat to ease growing public unrest over the country's devastated economy.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmmm...I'll believe it when I see it. Putin's a classic silovik, while Medvedev is the modern Russian technocrat, and this kind of split was wondered at even before the last Russian presidential elections. Notwithstanding the shouting match going on behind Kremlin walls between these two blocs.

I can see this getting support from elements of the technocrats, mostly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but my understanding is that loyalty to United Russia (Putin) elsewhere in Russia is overwhelming. I think the last thing anyone in Russia wants to see is the chaos of the Yeltsin years.

Putin's contract with Russia was for domestic stability and a better standard of living in return for greater state control over political life. Admittedly, the banking crisis has hit Russia hard, and the contract has become strained, but I don't see Medvedev pulling this off unless Putin's rural and urban-hardline support has seriously waned.

Consider that Medvedev would need to become his own prime minister, bypassing Putin, in order to make any appointments. Which makes it a huge political risk for Medvedev. But maybe he calculates that it's the best opportunity he'll get, so he might as well make the most of it. Maybe Putin will allow Medvedev to scapegoat a few ministers and remove some of the political heat the government as a whole is getting (and as long as it doesn't touch the core of Putin's support in the power ministries).

I've taken my eye off Russia for the past month or two. My mistake.

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

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French TV protests tax laws - The Hollywood Reporter PARIS -- France's private TV networks have banded together to protest a recent government tax on their ad revenue to compensate for the country's new ad-free public television initiative instated in January.
...
Both TF1 and M6 have seen their ad revenue plummet in the current economic climate -- a 5.3% loss for M6 in January and 3% in February and a colossal 17.6% for TF1 in January and 20.5% in February -- and those groups predict close to a 15% drop in ad revenue on the terrestrial networks in March.
...


Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 04:59:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if their ad revenue drops, they'll have less tax to pay.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Equal pay is a step too far in recession, says rights body | World news | The Guardian

The body responsible for safeguarding equality in the UK will tell the government today that the economic climate is too fragile to impose equal pay reviews on business.

With women's pay on average 17% less than men's and the gap increasing, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, formed 18 months ago, will say that the reviews should be excluded from the forthcoming equalities bill when it publishes its recommendations.

Summarising the strategy, the chief executive of the EHRC, Nicola Brewer, said an entirely new equal pay act was needed, and called for "radical reform in the future." This would be a long-term exercise, requiring several years of work. More immediately, the commission's approach is based on "encouraging" companies to improve their record voluntarily.

The Equal Opportunities Commission, the body which preceded the EHRC, had recommended that companies should carry out equal pay reviews as a first step to addressing disparities. But the EHRC does not want pay reviews to be in the equalities bill, due to be published next month. "They can be a helpful diagnostic tool, but they are not the whole answer. I think we do need to be realistic about the economic climate," Brewer said.

Pay audits are unpopular with businesses both because they are expensive and because revelations of pay disparities often unleash legal action by women who had not realised they were underpaid.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 04:56:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pay audits are unpopular with businesses both because they are expensive and because revelations of pay disparities often unleash legal action by women who had not realised they were underpaid.

Helen, In Wales ... you don't get softballs over the plate like this that often.  Take a few swings.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
too easy, I am staggered that there are still women working alongside men in same or equivlant jobs who get less money. There's just no excuse.

I do however have reservations about many of the statistics used in these discussions and the glass ceiling just looks like mistaken identity to me. I know many women dont get promoted to senior positions but it's for corporate cultural reasons that need addressing from other angles. The glass ceiling is an  unhelpful way of looking at it cos it ignores that most men don't get promoted through ability alone either.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:16:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Public Finance Magazine - News - Ireland in disarray as the Celtic Tiger loses its roar

It all looked so good - a Celtic Tiger that repeatedly produced annual growth of 9%. Scotland's nationalist government even talked of an `arc of prosperity' that drew together Ireland, Iceland and Scotland. Now it looks more like an arc of insolvency.

How life changes, as Ireland's ministers will readily testify. It is not merely that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's political strategy needs rethinking. Ireland's economic situation is so bleak that there are suggestions of support packages from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and even rumours that some EU countries want it to be evicted from the eurozone.

After months of trying to play down the scale of Ireland 's fiscal crisis, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has now admitted that the country expects to lose €18bn of its projected €55bn tax revenues for this year. An emergency budget is tabled for next month.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 08:00:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:13:47 PM EST
Julien Frisch: European Parliament elections 2009 (64): Main European youth organisations call for a true European debate during the EP election campaign
All major European youth organisations, including the
the (party) political youth organisations
as well as thehave signed and published a joint declaration asking for a proper electoral EP campaign.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:20:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe: Give Your Ideas A Face! - The New Federalist, webzine of the Young European Federalist

As young Europeans, sharing a vision of Europe based on the values of democracy, peace, human rights, solidarity, freedom and sustainable development, we recognise the success of European integration, but we stress that we can successfully face future challenges only if the EU will be able to speak and to act as a real political Union.

In the pursuit of a more transparent Europe, the European Youth Forum (YFJ) the Party-Political Youth Organisations - Youth of the European People's Party (YEPP), Young European Socialists (ECOSY), European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG), Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC), European Free Alliance Youth (EFAy) and the Young European Federalists (JEF) hope that in due time before June 2009 the citizens should know names and faces of the candidates to the main political positions of the European institutions. In particular the composition of the Commission should reflect the results of the elections as indicated by the Lisbon Treaty which has to be ratified as soon as possible.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:20:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An advent calendar for European Elections - Babel in Brussels (.en)

A good initiative of the Belgian European Movement, it distributes a citizen's calendar to count the days until European Elections.

Very much like an advent calendar, it gives a little surprise for each day for those lucky to possess one. Advice, testimonies and cartoons, everything has been imagined to make those pretty complicated elections clearer. To view the calendar for free (in french), please visit this website.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:21:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TH!NK ABOUT IT - european blogging competition 2009 » Blog Archive » "I think dismissing the EU as unimportant is utterly ridiculous"- Well happy birthday Judith!

A couple of days ago I presented to you the Dutch liberal politician Hans van Baalen. Judith Sargentini, the next politician to answer my questions is from the complete opposite side of the political spectrum, the left-wing/environmentalist party GroenLinks. My request made a small detour through the press office, but I must say: the outcome is a list of quite detailed answers and a very long post.
Furthermore, today apparently it's Judith's birthday. Now what better gift is there to give than a post on our Community?

1. Name: Judith Sargentini
2. Age: 34 (I will turn 35 the 13th of March)
3. Occupation: Partyleader GroenLinks for the European elections and currently partyleader in Amsterdam.

4. What did you vote in the referendum on a European Constitution?
In favour.

5. Shortly name 5 advantages of the EU.
-The countries of the EU are no longer at war with each other. Fighting with swords has become fighting with words (`Vechten is beckvechten geworden').
-Thanks to European rules our air is (slowly) getting cleaner, we must produce more `green' energy and are all EU-countries making efforts for a worldwide approach towards climate change.
-At the borders there are no barriers anymore and you are allowed to work in every EU-country.
-The EU has a border-crossing parliament to make laws and control the decision-making. This is unique in the world. Outside of Europe they are jealous of our model of peaceful cooperation.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECONOMY & FINANCE
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:14:43 PM EST
German Discount Supermarket Sells Cars | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 15.03.2009
The Germany-based Lidl supermarket chain is known throughout Europe and elsewhere for its cut-rate groceries, household items and other goods. But this week, they broadened their focus to the realm of the automobile. 

For the rest of this month, German customers of Lidl will not only be able to pick up bargain-brand potato chips and six-packs of beer. They can also purchase new cars.

 

At the beginning of the week, the chain began selling the Corsa model by Opel and the VW Polo Cross at discounts of more than 25 percent off their list prices.

 

But it's not as if potential buyers can just show up at the check-out counter and take one out for a test drive.

 

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:17:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'O for Old, D for Dumb': How German Seniors Lost Nest Eggs in Lehman Collapse - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Bankers called them "OD customers" -- "old and dumb" investors who let their advisors talk them into buying Lehman Brothers securities last year. They lost their savings in the financial storm, but now the injured parties are fighting back, with help from an experienced fighter.

They arrive like a flock of birds, a few minutes ahead of schedule. They laugh and hug each other, presumably pleased not to have to deal with their anger alone anymore. They wear stocking caps to ward off cold and carry signs to protest the indifference of society. The signs include slogans like "Phony Advice -- Total Loss" or "No More Money -- No More Confidence." They've come together to hold a vigil in downtown Frankfurt, and for many it's the first time they have ever demonstrated.

Housewives, retirees, teachers and plumbers have gathered on this cold February afternoon in the city's Bornheim neighborhood. They include small investors, ordinary savers, women who watch the popular "Tagesschau" TV news program. They are not speculators. They wanted their money managed conservatively. They didn't want to have to worry about their savings. They just wanted to watch their assets grow.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Housewives, retirees, teachers and plumbers have gathered on this cold February afternoon in the city's Bornheim neighborhood. They include small investors, ordinary savers, women who watch the popular "Tagesschau" TV news program. They are not speculators. They wanted their money managed conservatively. They didn't want to have to worry about their savings. They just wanted to watch their assets grow.

And where are the people who ripped them off?  Probably on a beach somewhere, contemplating their next scam.  Way to go people.  Let the criminals get away.  Then they can screw over your children/grandchildren, assuming they don't starve in the coming years.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ABI calls for European super-regulator - Telegraph
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), whose members control 15pc of the FTSE 100, has called for a "supervisor of supervisors" in Europe but said that the current UK system should remain intact.

A pan-European agency with decision-making powers on regulation across the European Union should be created, the ABI said in a consultation paper.

The new body should have teeth, and should be the "final arbiter between national regulators", according to Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's director general. For such an entity to work will require the UK to "learn to work in partnership with Brussels," Mr Haddrill added.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TPM: News Pages | Talking Points Memo | Insurance giant AIG to pay $165 million in bonuses

American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.

AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.

The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has asked that the company scale back future bonus payments where legally possible, an administration official said Saturday.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:29:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is now up to 450 million
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/AIG_pays_millions_in_bonuses_after_0315.html

"Ailing insurance giant AIG is planning to give out $450 million in bonuses this week to executives who led the firm to a $99.3 billion dollar loss in 2008."

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:14:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This whole "stealing from widows and orphans" thing has gotten just TOOOO easy.  No wonder they do it.  Suckers!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.moonofalabama.org/

http://www.leap2020.eu/Global-systemic-crisis-Alert-Summer-2009-The-US-government-defaults-on-its-de bt_a2250.html

Indeed our researchers anticipate that, before next summer 2009, the US government will default and be prevented to pay back its creditors (holders of US Treasury Bonds, of Fanny May and Freddy Mac shares, etc.). Of course such a bankruptcy will provoke some very negative outcome for all USD-denominated asset holders. According to our team, the period that will then begin should be conducive to the setting up of a « new Dollar » to remedy the problem of default and of induced massive capital drain from the US. The process will result from the following five factors studied in detail further in this GEAB:
......* « Strong inflation or hyper-inflation in the US in 2009? », that is the only question.  


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 10:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're playing my song. Bring on the summer.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernarke (?) just said today that crisis is practically over this year for USA and next year comes recovery...Does anybody listen to that clown any more?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 08:00:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never underestimate the number of stupid people in the US.  Swing that dead cat ... you'll hit a dozen.  Even the intelligent ones, if they're not facing immediate financial ruin, aren't paying attention.  They're all on auto-pilot.  "Everything will be fine.  This is America.  Other places have hunger but WE NEVER WILL."  Ah well, bring it on.  It's what evolution is all about.  Stupidity is not a positive survival trait, unless your last name is Bush.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 09:08:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just self-activation principles aka magical thinking applied to economics. If you close your eyes and believe hard enough.. you can do anything/what you want will come true.

Bernanke has given up believing anything he does will make any difference whatsoever, but he's got faith ... so everything will be okay.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Op-Ed Columnist - A Continent Adrift - NYTimes.com

The only thing working in Europe's favor is the very thing for which it takes the most criticism -- the size and generosity of its welfare states, which are cushioning the impact of the economic slump.

This is no small matter. Guaranteed health insurance and generous unemployment benefits ensure that, at least so far, there isn't as much sheer human suffering in Europe as there is in America. And these programs will also help sustain spending in the slump.

But such "automatic stabilizers" are no substitute for positive action.

Why is Europe falling short? Poor leadership is part of the story. European banking officials, who completely missed the depth of the crisis, still seem weirdly complacent. And to hear anything in America comparable to the know-nothing diatribes of Germany's finance minister you have to listen to, well, Republicans.

But there's a deeper problem: Europe's economic and monetary integration has run too far ahead of its political institutions. The economies of Europe's many nations are almost as tightly linked as the economies of America's many states -- and most of Europe shares a common currency. But unlike America, Europe doesn't have the kind of continentwide institutions needed to deal with a continentwide crisis.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 04:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is from Krugman.  Anybody going to step up and pop him one in the nose?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[Europe.Is.Doomed™ Alert]

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that all it's worth?  His Nobel Prize is rusting.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 01:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is It Time to Retrain Business Schools? - NYTimes.com

OHN Thain has one. So do Richard Fuld, Stanley O'Neal and Vikram Pandit. For that matter, so does John Paulson, the hedge fund kingpin.

Yes, all five have fat bank accounts, even now, and all have made their share of headlines. But these current and former giants of finance also are all card-carrying M.B.A.'s.

The master's of business administration, a gateway credential throughout corporate America, is especially coveted on Wall Street; in recent years, top business schools have routinely sent more than 40 percent of their graduates into the world of finance.

But with the economy in disarray and so many financial firms in free fall, analysts, and even educators themselves, are wondering if the way business students are taught may have contributed to the most serious economic crisis in decades.

"It is so obvious that something big has failed," said Ángel Cabrera, dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. "We can look the other way, but come on. The C.E.O.'s of those companies, those are people we used to brag about. We cannot say, `Well, it wasn't our fault' when there is such a systemic, widespread failure of leadership."

Critics of business education have many complaints. Some say the schools have become too scientific, too detached from real-world issues. Others say students are taught to come up with hasty solutions to complicated problems. Another group contends that schools give students a limited and distorted view of their role -- that they graduate with a focus on maximizing shareholder value and only a limited understanding of ethical and social considerations essential to business leadership.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 06:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From Henry Mintzberg:

The MBA Menace | Fast Company

This spring, more than 100,000 men and women in the United States--and many more overseas--will graduate with a master's degree in business administration. Management theorist and critic Henry Mintzberg has a few words for them.

Dear new MBA:
Congratulations! You have a sparkling new degree, highly prized in this world. You have learned a great many things about business. You have invested two years of your life, not to mention lost wages and a small fortune in tuition, in this impressive undertaking. As a result, you are fully qualified to go out and become a menace to society.

Granted, this isn't fully the fault of your school. Nothing personal, but full-time MBA programs by their nature attract many of the wrong people--too impatient and analytical, with little experience in management itself. These may be fine traits for students, but they can be tragically ill-suited for managers.

Conventional MBA programs then compound the error by giving the wrong impression of management: that managers are important people disconnected from the daily work of making products and producing services; that managing is largely about decision making through analysis; that managers pronounce deliberate strategies for everyone else to implement; and worst of all, that by sitting still in a classroom for a couple of years, you are now ready to manage anything.

The whole paper is worth reading. See also: Henry Mintzberg: Managers, not MBAs

Disclaimer: I've got a master in business administration (albeit a French one...).

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

by Melanchthon on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
27 Visualizations and Infographics to Understand the Financial Crisis | FlowingData
If there's anything good that has come out of the financial crisis it's the slew of high-quality graphics to help us understand what's going on. Some visualizations attempt to explain it all while others focus on affected business. Others concentrate on how we, as citizens are affected. Some show those who are responsible. After you examine these 27 visualizations and infographics, no doubt you'll have a pretty good idea about what's going on.

Some of these graphics have already been shown here on ET. The list doesn't include one of my favorites: The Subprime Primer

by Bernard on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 10:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Business | Council pension funds suing RBS

Two local authority pension funds have told the BBC they are suing Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for compensation.

The Merseyside and North Yorkshire funds accuse RBS of withholding the extent of the bank's problems before its government rescue last year.

The legal action against RBS, which has declined to comment, has been launched in the US. Other UK pension funds are said to be considering joining them.

They will be represented by Cherie Booth QC, wife of Tony Blair.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 10:19:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » Barclays - spinning out of control

To conclude here we'd refer back to what we will now call the Posen Doctrine - the bank crisis action plan recently put in front of congress by the deputy director of the Peterson Institute, Adam Posen.

This says, in short: sack `em. Sack the bank management, sack the regulators and sack the supervisors, because in a banking crisis all these parties are incentivised to lie and spin and obfuscate. Only then will you get the visibility and steeliness to decide which banks are going to survive and which should fail.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 11:08:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPECIAL FOCUS - Pre-G 20 Summit
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:15:18 PM EST
Here the official UK site for THE LONDON SUMMIT 2009
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
G20 - Pre-meeting - Moon of Alabama

Today the G20 Finance Ministers are meeting to prepare for their bosses come-together early next month.

The U.S. wants West European countries and Japan to spend more 'stimulus' money. The Europeans says that they are already spending enough when 'automatic stabilizers' are taken into account. These are unemployment and other social payments that increase automatically during a recession. In the U.S. many of such measures are not automatic and were put into its 'stimulus' package making it look bigger than the European ones.

The West Europeans want more global regulations for all things financial. The U.S. will fight new global regulations as it sees them as infringements on its sovereignty.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:16:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The West Europeans want more global regulations for all things financial. The U.S. will fight new global regulations as it sees them as infringements on its sovereignty.

fine, then put tariffs on them. Free trade without equality ain't free. Heel free trade ain't free anyway.

and if they wanna retaliate, f@ck 'em.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Business | G20 summit 'critical for economy'

The upcoming G20 meeting is critical if the world wishes to avoid the economic turbulence seen in the 1930s, the UK government has warned.

Cabinet minister Douglas Alexander said the summit in London of the G20 group of rich and emerging nations next month "was an important moment".

G20 finance ministers pledged to make a sustained effort to beat the recession after they met on Saturday.

But the talks took place amid differences on the best way forward.

The finance ministers also promised to continue with economic stimulus packages and low interest rates, and to increase IMF funding.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:21:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chancellor Confident G20 Summit Will End in Global Agreement | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 14.03.2009
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was optimistic world leaders would reach an agreement at next month's G20 summit in London, despite signs of rifts between Europe and the United States.  

Speaking after talks in London with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Merkel said she was confident a compromise would be reached by world leaders at G20 meeting scheduled for April 2.

 

"I'm very positive, I'm very optimistic that we will be able to come to an agreement together with the United States, with emerging economies such as China and India," she said Saturday, March 14. "We have to come up with substantive results."

 

Merkel added that the summit would "be a positive signal to the world that we want to promote growth."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel tips Brown's grand plan into crisis - Home News, UK - The Independent

Gordon Brown's grand plan to save the global economy was in crisis last night when the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, refused to commit to a new global fiscal stimulus package to steer the world out of recession.

In a pointed warning to the Prime Minister, the German leader said it was too early to measure the effects of the first multibillion-dollar stimulus to give the go-ahead for any more state aid.

Mrs Merkel was backed up by Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister, who said nations needed to assess the impact of earlier measures before making any further tax and spend decisions

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:23:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Along the way, despite the superficial similarities to the late 1990s, some extraordinary reversals have happened. Washington is lecturing the world on the dangers of fiscal prudence. The IMF is begging Asia for money. And Mr Brown is prioritising European unity. These are strange times indeed.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 06:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com / Comment / Analysis - The gap of twenty
With the crotchety air of a dowager duchess sending a sub-standard amuse-bouche back to the kitchens, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg prime minister and chair of the "eurogroup" of finance ministers from the single currency zone, added sniffily: "The 16 finance ministers agreed that recent American appeals insisting Europeans make an added budgetary effort were not to our liking."

Then again, FT writers sure haven't lost their style...
by Bernard on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 03:23:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:15:34 PM EST
OPEC members divided over cutting production - International Herald Tribune

VIENNA: Battered by falling oil prices even as they try to rein in production, the leaders of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathered here Sunday to decide whether further cuts would be necessary.

Some observers say the cartel will stop short of making another reduction in output, instead pressing its 12 members to comply more closely with earlier agreements to lower production quotas.

But as the meeting began, there were hints that some countries favored a tougher stance, and that at least a modest easing in production could be announced.

Chakib Khelil, the Algerian energy and mines minister, said he favored both better compliance and another cut, and suggested that if OPEC did not act, crude prices could resume the steep fall they have experienced since oil peaked last summer near $150 a barrel.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Water scarcity 'now bigger threat than financial crisis' - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent
Humanity is facing "water bankruptcy" as a result of a crisis even greater than the financial meltdown now destabilising the global economy, two authoritative new reports show. They add that it is already beginning to take effect, and there will be no way of bailing the earth out of water scarcity.

The two reports - one by the world's foremost international economic forum and the other by 24 United Nations agencies - presage the opening tomorrow of the most important conference on the looming crisis for three years. The World Water Forum, which will be attended by 20,000 people in Istanbul, will hear stark warnings of how half the world's population will be affected by water shortages in just 20 years' time, with millions dying and increasing conflicts over dwindling resources.

A report by the World Economic Forum, which runs the annual Davos meetings of the international business and financial elite, says that lack of water, will "soon tear into various parts of the global economic system" and "start to emerge as a headline geopolitical issue".

It adds: "The financial crisis gives us a stark warning of what can happen if known economic risks are left to fester. We are living in a water 'bubble' as unsustainable and fragile as that which precipitated the collapse in world financial markets. We are now on the verge of bankruptcy in many places with no way of paying the debt back."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chilean water rights system leaves town parched - International Herald Tribune

QUILLAGUA, Chile: During the past four decades here in Quillagua, a town in the record books as the driest place on earth, residents have sometimes seen glimpses of raindrops above the foothills in the distance. They never reach the ground, evaporating like a mirage while still in the air.

What the town did have was a river, feeding an oasis in the Atacama Desert. But mining companies have polluted and bought up so much of the water, residents say, that for months each year the river is little more than a trickle -- and an unusable one at that.

Quillagua is among many small towns that are being swallowed up in the country's intensifying water wars. Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than here in Chile, experts say, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment.

Private ownership is so concentrated in some areas that a single electricity company from Spain, Endesa, has bought up 80 percent of the water rights in a huge region in the south, causing an uproar. In the north, agricultural producers are competing with mining companies to siphon off rivers and tap scarce water supplies, leaving towns like this one bone dry and withering.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some economists have hailed Chile's water rights trading system, which was established in 1981 during the military dictatorship, as a model of free-market efficiency that allocates water to its highest economic use.

But other academics and environmentalists argue that Chile's system is unsustainable because it promotes speculation, endangers the environment and allows smaller interests to be muscled out by powerful forces, like Chile's mining industry.

"The Chilean model has gone too far in the direction of unfettered regulation," said Carl J. Bauer, an expert on Chile's water markets at the University of Arizona. "It hasn't thought through the public interest."

"Some" people say this.  "Some" people say that.

Some people say there are elves living at the bottom of their garden.

Giving a private company monopoly control of a necessary good is a disaster on-the-road to happening.


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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 04:50:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
`Green' dams hasten rape of Borneo forests - Times Online

THE island of Borneo, a fragile treasure house of rainforests, rare animals and plants, is under threat from plans for Chinese engineers to build 12 dams that will cut through virgin land and displace thousands of native Dayak people.

The government of the Malaysian state of Sarawak says the dams are the first stage of a "corridor of renewable energy" that will create 1.5m jobs through industries powered by safe, clean hydro-electricity.

Campaigners are furious but appear powerless in the face of a project they fear will compound the devastation wreaked on Borneo's peoples and land by previous dam projects and the felling of its forests.

They point to the ruin caused by the levelling of millions of acres of trees for oil palm plantations to meet the world's demand for biofuels.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia is weighing 2 latin bases, general says - International Herald Tribune

MOSCOW: A top Russian Air Force official said that the government was weighing whether to base strategic bombers out of Cuban territory or on a Venezuelan island that has been offered by President Hugo Chávez, according to the Interfax news service.

In comments made at an awards ceremony on Friday night, Major General Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of staff for Russia's long-distance aviation division, told reporters that either option would be practical.

"There are four or five airfields in Cuba with 4,000-meter-long runways, which absolutely suit us," he said. "If the two chiefs of state display such a political will, we are ready to fly there."

He confirmed that Chávez had offered the use of a military airfield on La Orchila island. "If a relevant political decision is made, this is possible," he said.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plain old Tit for Tat strategy.

The US is putting the anti-missile systems in areas Russia finds sensitive.

Russia puts weapons in areas the US finds sensitive.

shrug

My respect for President Obama continues to diminish.

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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 04:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US is putting the anti-missile systems in areas Russia finds sensitive.

Russia puts weapons in areas the US finds sensitive.

Plain old Cuban Missile Crisis?

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 04:59:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not at that point.

Yet.

I hope.

But that crisis was triggered by the US steadfastly retaining utterly pointless military installations in Turkey.  

So we may be heading down that road.  

Again.

eek


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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:08:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Self-referential Off Topic Comment.

I think I just committed a Public Act of Poetry, in the Second (Not Premeditated) Degree.

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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the absence of nuclear payloads for any of these systems means it's not in the same category of threat.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel's new defence minister accused of war crime - Times Online

A HAWKISH general, who cancelled a trip to London four years ago because he feared being arrested on war crime charges, is expected to become Israel's new defence minister.

Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, 58, former chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, is reported to have accepted an invitation from Binyamin Netanyahu, the incoming prime minister, to serve in the new government.

Renowned as a tough-minded commander, Ya'alon's legal problems stem from a decision in July 2002 to assassinate Salah Shehadeh, the commander of the military wing of Hamas, the hardline Islamic organisation that now controls Gaza.

Shehadeh, 49, who was blamed for scores of deaths and who masterminded the production of Qassam rockets that were fired into Israel, was killed by a 2,200lb bomb dropped on a building in Gaza City, where he and his family were hiding.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israelis 'firing live rounds' at West Bank protesters | World news | The Observer

Israeli armed forces and border police used the cover of the war against Hamas in Gaza to reintroduce the firing of .22 rifle bullets - as well as the extensive use of a new model of tear-gas canister - against unarmed demonstrators in the Occupied West Bank protesting at the building of Israel's "separation wall".

The tactics were highlighted on Friday, when a US protester, Tristan Anderson, 38, was hit in the head by one of the new extended-range gas canisters in the village of Ni'ilin, suffering an open wound in his skull and substantial brain damage. Anderson's friend, Gabrielle Silverman, claims he was struck by a canister fired from a high-velocity rifle. The Israeli military says stone-throwing "poses a threat to troops", and several officers have been injured by rocks.

It said troops used the permitted means of riot dispersal in Friday's incident, including tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and stun grenades.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we mustn't say they're racists or enacting apartheid cos that would be rude.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bolivia's Morales passes land from rich to poor-Rest of World-World-The Times of India
LA PAZ: Emboldened by a new leftist constitution, Bolivia President Evo Morales handed over ownership of farmland seized by the state from
wealthy estate holders to poor indigenous people.

Morales handed out around 94,000 acres (38,000 hectares) of lands recently confiscated from five big ranches in Bolivia's wealthy eastern lowlands, a stronghold of his conservative political opponents.

The ranchers have been accused of employing workers in conditions of semi-slavery. "Private property will always be respected but we want people who are not interested in equality to change their thinking and focus more on country than currency," said Morales, flanked by military and police personnel.

Among those who lost land was US cattleman Ronald Larsen, who has emerged as a key opponent of the Morales government's land reforms, which are designed to distribute more of the nation's riches to poor indigenous peoples.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That guy is a real work of art.

Associated Press

Bolivia's government is seeking to charge an American rancher and his son _ a former Mr. Bolivia pageant winner _ for their alleged role in violent protests against President Evo Morales' land redistribution plan.

Ronald Larsen, who has extensive land holdings in Bolivia, and his son Duston are named in a criminal complaint for "sedition, robbery, and other crimes." The complaint was announced on Friday by Deputy Minister of Land Alejandro Almaraz.

Ronald Larsen, of Montana, is accused of firing on Almaraz's vehicle and holding the minister hostage as he tried to carry out a government inspection of Larsen's ranch in southern Bolivia on February 29.

The face of white separatism in Bolivia

This [Note: see below] is not a new story, and in the context of repressive oligarchy it's frankly a really old one. What is new, is that this may be the only readable English translation of the report that originally appeared at Bolpress on April 5, 2008. Democratic Underground was all over the story, but had to rely on a Google translation.

There are several interesting aspects to the story. One is that in the version that appeared in the mainstream press, Ronald Larsen claimed that Bolivia's Vice Minister for agrarian reform showed up at his ranch at 3 in the morning, drunk, and because Larsen didn't know who he was, he shot out the tire on the Vice Minister's car to "shut him up." Of course this fanciful version leaves out a few details, such as the 24 foot trailer he parked on the road (among other things) to block the Vice Minister's entrance, and the brazen attack on the 80 or so people who accompanied the Vice Minister. Larsen may have to go back to Montana and see if he can figure out how to make a living when he has to pay his "employees" a living wage.

Which brings us to the second interesting aspect. There are reportedly 12 Bolivian families living on Larsen's pleasure ranch. Depending on the source, they are either indentured servants with no hope of escape, or happy little Bolivian campers. Judging by the nature of a boss who settles arguments at gunpoint, Machetera will leave you to draw your own conclusions. Certainly one has to wonder about what Larsen didn't want the Vice Minister to see.

<snip>

Officials from the Vice Ministry of Lands and the INRA (National Institute of Agrarian Reform) were attacked with stones, firecrackers and bullets in the vicinity of the Caraparicito ranch, located in Lagunillas, about 80 kilometers from Camiri. Those who planned and backed the attack are ranchers and landowners, among them a North American linked to political and business elites in the Santa Cruz (Cruceña) capital.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 04:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
good for Bolivia. landlordism was very much reponsible for chronic poverty in the third world and sluggish education reforms. in india unfortunately land reforms are under state jurisdiction and endemic poverty in some states is not going away because landlords dominate political life in these states. on the opposite side in kerala where landordism was abolished former ruling classes were investing hard on education trying to secure the future of their children.
by FarEasterner on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 03:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:15:54 PM EST
Way Off the Beaten Path: GPS Coordinates Are Becoming Latest Travel Destination - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Maps are so last century. These days, adventurers clutching GPS devices are conquering new territories -- map coordinates. In the Russian winter wilderness you can tread where no one has been before, for example, to 59 degrees north, 35 degrees east.

There are certain sounds that a cross-country skier definitely doesn't want to hear, especially when the day's destination lies 15 kilometers (nine miles) away across the snow-covered Russian wilderness.

The roar of a brown bear -- hunters shot two not far from here just this past fall -- would be one such sound. The growl of a wolf would be another.

But Vladimir Chernorutsky is prepared for wild animals. He's brought along a small stungun, several skyrocket fireworks and a dozen firecrackers of a brand called "Black Death." He plans to use them if necessary to scare away predators.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
how about this fantasist stays in civilisation where he belongs and leaves the wildlife alone.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:46:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | 'Supermodel' satellite set to fly

Europe is set to launch one of its most challenging space missions to date.

The Goce satellite will map minute variations in the pull of gravity experienced across the planet.

Scientists will use its data to improve their understanding of how the oceans move, and to frame a universal system to measure height anywhere on Earth.

The super-sleek spacecraft will go into orbit on a modified intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-west Russia.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KLATSCH
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:16:11 PM EST
Kiev mayor hopes to sing way out of crisis - Telegraph
Kiev's eccentric mayor has come up with a novel way to help the Ukrainian capital through its worst financial crisis since the Soviet era: he is going to sing.

Leonid Chernovetskiy has released an album of himself singing a medley of "heartbreaking 1980s love songs". So confident is he in his own talents that the mayor has predicted he will make $1 million a day in record sales, all of which will go into the city's coffers.

"I sing very well," Mr Chernovetskiy was quoted as saying. "I don't think anyone sings as well as me apart from, maybe, God."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May I suggest including One Toke Over the Line

on the album?

Attempted to find that old family favorite I'm a Deep Space Probe Heading for Jupiter but it's not available on YouTube.

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

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 05:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rachida Dati, the ousted Sarkozette, plots a political comeback - Times Online

THE French justice minister who returned to work five days after having a baby, only to lose her job, launched a political comeback last week, letting it be known that she will run for mayor of Paris.

Rachida Dati, 43, long seen as President Nicolas Sarkozy's favourite among the "Sarko-zettes" - his women ministers - lost his confidence and was ordered to leave the cabinet and instead run for the European parliament.

She used the launch of her party's European election campaign to deny she was a Sarkozy creation and to add gravitas to the "bling-bling" image attached to her since she posed in a £15,000 Christian Dior dress at a fashion gala.

"I conceive of political life as a passionate struggle," she said, before making vague pledges on crime, justice, human rights, the environment and foreign affairs.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Education | Warning over narcissistic pupils

The growing expectation placed on schools and parents to boost pupils' self-esteem is breeding a generation of narcissists, an expert has warned.

Dr Carol Craig said children were being over-praised and were developing an "all about me" mentality.

She said teachers increasingly faced complaints from parents if their child failed a spelling test or did not get a good part in the school pantomime.

Schools needed to reclaim their role as educators, not psychologists, she said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 07:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep hearing complaints about this from friends who teach at university level.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 08:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That and complaiints that course numbers must be kept up, so failing students isn't really an option either as colleges can't afford the reduction in funding if students leave.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 08:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The elite private universities are apparently the worst for this, since students are paying up to $50,000 a year in tuition and thus many feel they have bought success.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 08:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraqi footballer shot dead by fan

An Iraqi football player has been shot dead by a spectator as he was about to score an equalising goal.

The shooting happened in the last minute of a game between two local rivals on Sunday, police say



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 07:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable - Clay Shirky

Back in 1993, the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain began investigating piracy of Dave Barry's popular column, which was published by the Miami Herald and syndicated widely. In the course of tracking down the sources of unlicensed distribution, they found many things, including the copying of his column to alt.fan.dave_barry on usenet; a 2000-person strong mailing list also reading pirated versions; and a teenager in the Midwest who was doing some of the copying himself, because he loved Barry's work so much he wanted everybody to be able to read it.

One of the people I was hanging around with online back then was Gordy Thompson, who managed internet services at the New York Times. I remember Thompson saying something to the effect of "When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem." I think about that conversation a lot these days.


...interesting times...

Elizabeth Eisenstein's magisterial treatment of Gutenberg's invention, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, opens with a recounting of her research into the early history of the printing press. She was able to find many descriptions of life in the early 1400s, the era before movable type. Literacy was limited, the Catholic Church was the pan-European political force, Mass was in Latin, and the average book was the Bible. She was also able to find endless descriptions of life in the late 1500s, after Gutenberg's invention had started to spread. Literacy was on the rise, as were books written in contemporary languages, Copernicus had published his epochal work on astronomy, and Martin Luther's use of the press to reform the Church was upending both religious and political stability.

What Eisenstein focused on, though, was how many historians ignored the transition from one era to the other. To describe the world before or after the spread of print was child's play; those dates were safely distanced from upheaval. But what was happening in 1500? The hard question Eisenstein's book asks is "How did we get from the world before the printing press to the world after it? What was the revolution itself like?"

Chaotic, as it turns out. The Bible was translated into local languages; was this an educational boon or the work of the devil? Erotic novels appeared, prompting the same set of questions. Copies of Aristotle and Galen circulated widely, but direct encounter with the relevant texts revealed that the two sources clashed, tarnishing faith in the Ancients. As novelty spread, old institutions seemed exhausted while new ones seemed untrustworthy; as a result, people almost literally didn't know what to think. If you can't trust Aristotle, who can you trust?


Not just newspapers.


Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 07:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

This was, of course, a very welcome development, and more people began thinking for themselves, much to the annoyance of the Church and aristocracy. But, of course, complete cynicism and scepticism are self-defeating; even as independent a thinker as Chomsky uses (in a cautious, critical way) newspapers, even the WSJ :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 10:17:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Health | Vegetarians 'get fewer cancers'

A vegetarian diet may help to protect against cancer, a UK study suggests.

Analysis of data from 52,700 men and women shows that those who did not eat meat had significantly fewer cancers overall than those who did.

But surprisingly, the researchers also found a higher rate of colorectal cancer - a disease linked with eating red meat - among the vegetarians.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 10:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and if I drink less I'll live longer.. and exercise more. But what's the point ? Being good does not mean living forever. If youre prone to vegetarianism that's great, but I'm not. It's quality over quantity.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 16th, 2009 at 12:53:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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