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

Friday Open Thread

by Fran Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:10:35 AM EST

Sticking with the theme of the last few days - it is Friday people! and the Thread is open...


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I tried to find an answer to afew's question - Migeru:
In a rare display of conspiranoia and faith in astrology, Afew "want[s] to know who is doing this. Or what the stars say."
-, but due to time restraint I was not able to go indebth. Surfing the tubes, I found that currently there is a square (tension aspect) between Mars the planet of fight and war and Pluto the planet of explosions and disruptions. Maybe we found the culprits for afew's malaise/challenges :-D
<okay, end of procrastination, back to work.>
by Fran on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:11:07 AM EST
What do you mean, "back to work"? Isn't this your work? ;)

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, actually that is what it sometimes feels like. :-)
by Fran on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:51:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

News footage of afew's problems with the Dog Star has just come to light...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:22:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mind-Reading Device Sends Twitter Messages

Twitter messages are so short -- a 140-character limit -- that you have to really think about what you want to say.

For Adam Wilson, thinking is all he has to do.

Earlier this month, Wilson thought of a tweet (the name for a post to the social networking site) and poof, his computer read his mind and sent the darn thing. At just 23 characters, Wilson's message, "using EEG to send tweet," was done with a computer setup that interprets brain waves.



"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:22:08 AM EST
Cool!

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 Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:24:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My email system has been working like this for years ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:35:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Watching MSNBC.  Old footage of W/Cheney/Rummy with the headlines across the Bottom:  Torture: Who Will Go To Jail  There might be reason for hope yet.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:34:16 AM EST
Looking at the poll results in yesterday's OT, Jesus will return on Sunday.  Get your questions ready!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 11:45:03 AM EST
Great.  Does time of day matter, and whose time?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I get up, I will er, contact Jesus.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 05:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's probably a plan so he dosent have to do any work. I mean look at that haircut, they're all workshy, those hippy layabouts.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great.  Jesus shows up and I'm not around.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 01:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You will still have the opportunity to continue the interrogation of the Lord herself on Monday.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 05:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How will we know it is She?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 03:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What signs shalt we see?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 03:47:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And will she still look great in those 3 inch red pumps after 2000 years?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 05:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There shalt be a diary.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 05:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There shalt be an Epistle

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 04:27:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 06:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

See your doobie and raise you the Kinks.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 04:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See your Kinks and raise you Bobby Bare



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

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 11:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 All in...



You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 11:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All out ...

:-)

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

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 11:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italian firm to farm buffalo in Chechnya, make mozzarella cheese

GROZNY, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Chechnya will introduce water buffalo to the republic and produce mozzarella cheese from the milk in a joint venture with the Italian company Agrotecnia, the Chechen government said on Friday.

According to a Chechen presidential statement, the Italian company's director headed a delegation to Chechnya to look into suitable locations to set up the company in the Grozny and Naursky regions of the southern Russian republic.

"We plan to create a dairy in the republic with 1,200 head of buffalo and greenhouses to grow vegetables, as well as set up Italian technology for the production of mozzarella," Marinella Tabet was quoted as saying.

I thought you guys had laws against this kind of thing.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:12:35 PM EST
Well, they won't be able to sell it under that name in the EU, as far as I know.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure how they'll finesse it, but in this case I don't thing too many people will mind:

Italy's toxic waste crisis, the Mafia - and the scandal of Europe's mozzarella - Europe, World - The Independent

It may be the moment when the throwaway society meets its retribution. A shadow this weekend hangs over one of the great staples of modern European life - Italy's mozzarella cheese.

The topping on a billion pizzas, the magic ingredient in a million salads, is at the centre of a major food scare involving pollution, corruption, the Mafia and southern Italy's remarkable crisis in waste management.

It centres on the buffalo milk used to produce the purest form of the rubbery, cream-coloured delicacy, now as prized an Italian export as extra virgin olive oil - mozzarella di bufala. High levels of dioxins, potentially hazardous pollutant chemicals, have been found in buffalo milk in a group of dairies in Campania, the southern province centring on Naples where most mozzarella production takes place. Related articles

Italy's public health authorities believe that the contamination is the result of illegal dumping of toxic waste in Campania, where the waste industry is under the control of the Camorra, the local branch of the Mafia, and where Naples and its region are undergoing a major waste management crisis, with disposal facilities either broken or full, and rubbish piling up in the streets.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:19:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh - good thing nothing's under the control of organized crime rackets in Chechnya.  LOL.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagining the smell of roast chicken-HAWK...Mmmmm Good!
by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:18:15 PM EST
You mean the kind that' been fattening on quailtard all these years?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 01:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 02:15:17 PM EST
CS Monitor: Russian president's new blog gets earful from the masses

Russia is going to the blogs.

Or so it may seem after the country's first Internet-savvy Kremlin leader, President Dmitry Medvedev, set up his own wide-open LiveJournal blog (click here to visit) aiming, according to his press secretary, to bypass bureaucratic barriers and engage his voters in direct and uncensored conversation.

Three days after the site was established, featuring video statements taken from Mr. Medvedev's Kremlin website, the president has yet to weigh in personally on any of the thousands of sometimes politically-charged comments posted by Russian visitors sheltering behind anonymous nicknames as various as "homo sapiens," "glukhoi" (deaf), and "uncle Sam."

by Magnifico on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 02:49:26 PM EST
I took a look at it.  Already 1500 comments had been posted by the time I saw it.  Sadly, Live Journal doesn't seem to encourage in-depth conversations, and there was a lot of silliness (with requisite Preved Medved!s), but there was some serious conversation about the state of internet access in the country, and some about e-democracy.  Anyone who has bothered to read the comments (and it is a bother, with LJ's platform) has some perspective on freedom to speech in Russia.  "Sheltering behind anonymous nicknames"?  Last time I checked usernames were ubiquitous on the internet.  The only people blogging using their full real names are looking for fame.  Additionally, LJ just has a much more goofy, unserious culture.  There may be some security in using a silly name - I know I was afraid to use my real name when I began commenting on the Bush Administration after the Patriot Act was passed.  But anyone can find out who you are if they want to.  If the state of things were really how the press describes, the comments would be full of only praise and seriousness, and fewer people would be willing to draw attention to themselves by commenting.  But it looks like the Russian youth are every bit as gregarious and open and embracing of new technology as anyone, and have the same fearlessness about it too.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 03:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 03:44:29 PM EST
There's a book about French government called "Les lilliputiens de la centralisation."  Heehee.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 04:02:01 PM EST
I hate writing CVs. I'm done for today. Need a beer. A good one. I'm turning into a grumpy old man.

*wanders offline, muttering grumpishly about cluttered papers, bananas and the inexactitude of life *

by Nomad on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 04:22:42 PM EST
http://www.neoconeurope.eu/index.php/Main_Page

Haven't had time to read it, but it looks interesting.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 06:19:29 PM EST
Our friend loafer spots that I have cross posted in the FT Alphaville Blog from the Labour List blog.

Now he has identified the enemy he lets me have it with both barrels.....

Loafer to CJC

What is the difference between land purchased in 1890 and inherited and land purchased in 1990 and inherited? Nothing.

What is the difference between land purchased in 1990 and shares purchased in 1990? Nothing.

Why do you want to tax someone because they have inherited land and not shares? Because you envy them.

There is no logic whatsoever to your arguments, and they have massive unintended consequences. Mind you - stupidity and illogical thinking hasn't stopped your party ruining the rest of the country, so go ahead. Your time is nearly up.

CJC to Loafer

My party? I think not. The sooner this government comes to an end, the better for all of us.

Taxation on privilege is entirely apolitical. I can assure you that I have nothing whatever do do with any party, and that the Labour party has, as far as I am aware, no more interest in a land value tax than does the Conservative party or Liberal party.

"Why do you want to tax someone because they have inherited land and not shares? Because you envy them."

Not so. I do not envy privilege. I just think that privilege should also come with responsibilities. Don't you?

I don't distinguish between land and shares other than in the nature of the privilege.

I advocate a tax on shareholders' unearned privilege of limitation of liability, through levying corporate revenues or cash flow.

I would use the levy proceeds to get rid of Corporation Tax, VAT and Tax on dividends. This would also get rid of huge deadweight costs and bureaucracy both in companies themselves (ie a large part of the finance department), in the Inland Revenue/Customs, and most of all in the professions.

As I have said, such a levy would have as much chance of implementation as a Land Value Tax or a Carbon Tax. ie zero.

So you're quite safe for the time being.

I believe that the logic of taxing privilege, and the unearned rents that flow from it, rather than taxing earned income, is actually pretty powerful, which is why the privileged went to so much trouble to discredit Henry George and his ideas.

It may not be logic that you agree with, although the economic efficiency of LVT is certainly logic that Milton Friedman, Sam Brittan, and Martin Wolf, among others accept.

To disagree with the premise underlying the logic is of course your privilege. But please do not say there isn't any logic, because that is simply not credible.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 06:26:42 PM EST
Loafer to CJC

My view on your lack of logic is simply based on the following;

Property consists of land and buildings and produces a taxable income. Your view seems to be that because land has a value simply because it exists, it should be taxed. Of course in reality, land is but one component, and in fact has buildings on it which produce an income or at an even more basic level has crops grown on it which produce an income. In any event, it produces a taxable income.

Shares are even more complex and consist of lots of different metrics including, for example, passive carriers of value like patents and brands which compare directly to land, and others like materials and machines for making things which compare to the buildings.

In a corporate world where many companies outsource all of the actual "making bit" to 3rd party specialist manufacturers, presumably for those passive companies which consists of brands, patents and historic intellectual capital, where the current owners of the shares did nothing to create that value, you will want a value tax on those shares too?

CJC to loafer

Knowledge is what is often called the "Creative Commons" and in the same way that land/location is enclosed by the privilege of absolute property rights so is knowledge enclosed by the rights of Intellectual Property, such as copyright and patents.

I have no difficulty with such property rights in principle, since it would be very difficult to invest either in location (to create buildings or productive arable land as you say) or knowledge (eg development and implementation of an idea) without such rights.

My logic - and that of Henry George - is simply that as a matter of fairness, those who enclose the Commons to develop it (such sustainable development being essential) should compensate those they exclude.

George's policy also tends to encourage the owners of location or knowledge to bring them into productive use. It is not a tax on Capital investment, as you seem to think. It is purely a tax on the privilege of exclusive absolute ownership of Commons, and on the unearned rents which result from this privilege.

A Limited Liability Levy is essentially a mechanism which taxes unearned rent of knowledge.
It would apply to the cash flow of of any Company which benefits from Limited Liability. But it's a concept with little or no possibility of implementation in that form because of the sheer number of vested interests it affects, and I see no point in arguing over detail when it's the principle I'm interested in.

My work has been in relation to the development of partnership-based (as opposed to statutory or judge-made) protocols as a framework for 21st century networked financial market transactions.

The concept of a Guarantee Society - whereby direct "Peer to Peer" trade credit is subject to a mutual guarantee and backed by provisions made by both buyer and seller into a default fund - is in fact an alternative to unsecured bank lending which IMHO can and will be introduced virally in the next few years. In the GS model banks become service providers who manage bilateral creation of credit, rather than risking their own capital as middlemen.

The point is that a Limited Liability Levy, and a Guarantee Society, have the same outcome. Both enable the monetisation of intellectual property, the former through the State as intermediary, and the latter without the State.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 05:28:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ferromagnetic Funk Fluid: The Music Video

The first five minutes are goofy, but the last 3:30 are worth it.  (Lyrics available by mouseover.)

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 10:48:42 PM EST


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