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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 24 February

by Fran Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 04:26:23 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:53:34 PM EST
Al Jazeera English - Europe - Army grilled on Turkey 'coup plot'

Turkish police have begun questioning about 50 military officers detained on Monday over an alleged plot to destabilise the country and trigger a coup to topple the government.

Retired commanders of the air force and navy and the former deputy armed forces chief were among those being interrogated by police following raids in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

All the detainees were reported to have been brought to Istanbul, with some being questioned at the city's police headquarters and others having been brought to an Istanbul court on Tuesday morning.   

The dawn swoop has fuelled political strains and unsettled financial markets in the country, adding to tensions generated by a clash between the ruling AK Party and the secularist army and judiciary.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:58:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad that democracy won yet again. Since the islamic party won the presidency, turkey has had a whole rash of right wing plots thwarted. As they say, the plotters only have to get lucky once, democracy must win all the time.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the plotters only have to get lucky once, democracy must win all the time.

That may not be the case with Turkey. Elected governments have often been overthrown by the military, but Turkey keeps having elections. Perhaps the military and the more democratically oriented islamic parties will eventually come to an acceptable modus vivendi. They will certainly not get into the EU until they do.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Norman Tebbit apologises for kicking child dressed as Chinese dragon | People in the News | People | The First Post

hile Gordon Brown continues to claim that he has never hit anyone in his life, Norman Tebbit, the Tory grandee once labelled a "semi-house-trained polecat" by Michael Foot, has admitted "shoving" a child dressed as a Chinese dragon. However, some witnesses claim the "shove" was actually a repeated kicking.

Whether it was a shove or a kick, the big question is who started it: the dragon or the peer? And the answer depends on who you listen to. The press are divided, with the Daily Telegraph headlining its report 'Norman Tebbit jostled by Chinese dragon' while the Daily Mail seems to come down on the other side of the fence with 'Norman Tebbit attacks child in dragon outfit celebrating Chinese New Year'.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the actual story is "grumpy right wing xenophobe objects to a group of non-anglo-saxons having fun in his vicinity"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:16:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ol' coot gets props for his apology and wit, though:

Perhaps most surprising of all is the comparative good grace with which Tebbit has handled the fracas. He confirmed he had apologised to Chung, and said he "forgave" him. With a flash of his typical ambivalent humour, and a dose of self-awareness, he added: "As a new resident, we immigrants should adopt the customs of the community we go into. It is up to us to co-operate with the prevailing culture."


The march of civilizations is a series of defenses that man has put up against the dread of pure existence.
by marco on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 03:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - Europe - Serb police raid Mladic son's house

Serbian police are carrying out a raid on a Belgrade house in search of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander wanted on war crimes and genocide charges.

Masked and armed special forces blocked the street of a house believed to belong to Maldic's son Darko on Tuesday morning, in the first major raid for the fugitive since October last year.

Local media said Darko had arrived at the home last night after being away from it for a while.

Mladic has been at large since he was indicted by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1995.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Newsnight - Newsnight poll suggests Afghanistan war 'unwinnable'

Sixty-four per cent of British people think the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, a BBC poll suggests.

More than two thirds (69%) also think that the government has not done all it can to support British forces fighting in the conflict.

Only 27% agree that the government has given sufficient support to UK forces.

The poll was conducted for the BBC's Newsnight programme and included a random sample of 1,004 people in England, Scotland and Wales.

The data was collected between 19-21 February 2010, while more than 1,000 British troops were taking part in Operation Moshtarak as part of a 15,000-strong Nato and Afghan offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand province.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:06:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmmm, 1/3 of the British public are delusional

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why? Some of that 1/3 may simply have no opinion - I couldn't find full details of the poll to see how many are really delusional.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:28:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here you go Unfortunately its BBC web policy to provide links only to the homepage of organisation in case webpages are moved.

It appears 6% are dont knows, so 30% are dumb.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
30% are dumb

Or are Islamists with a different definition of "win".

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 06:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - 'Sheer miracle' that Newry court bomb did not kill

Police were left with just minutes to clear the area around Newry courthouse before a car bomb weighing up to 250lbs exploded on Monday night.

No-one was killed or injured in the blast which was heard two miles away. But police said that was a "sheer miracle".

Dissident republicans are being blamed for the attack in which a number of buildings were damaged.

Newry centre could be closed for two days as a security operation continues.

"We could have been looking today at multiple deaths," Police Chief Superintendent Alisdair Robinson said.

People were still being moved to safety at the time of the explosion.

"It was very significant," he 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 Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our equivalent of ETA. A bunch of violent nihilists who revel in hurt, pain, blood, chaos and mayhem. A plague of ulcerous boils on the lot of them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Dutch poll to be held in June after coalition collapse

The Netherlands is to hold a general election on 9 June, following the government's collapse at the weekend in a row over Afghanistan.

Disagreements within the governing coalition on extending troop deployments in Afghanistan led to the Labour Party withdrawing.

PM Jan Peter Balkenende had been considering a Nato request for Dutch forces to stay on beyond August 2010.

He will stay on as part of a caretaker government dealing with urgent matters.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - German Church leader Kaessmann admits drink-driving

The head of Germany's Protestant church has admitted drink-driving, after she was charged with passing a red light while three times over the legal limit.

Bishop Margot Kaessmann, appointed the church's first female leader last year, was arrested in Hanover at the weekend.

She told Germany's Bild newspaper: "I am shocked at myself that I could have made such a grave error."

Leaders of the 25 million-strong church are discussing how the incident affects the 51-year-old's official position.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the devil made her do it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking that maybe she was doing quality control on the communion wine.
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Strike hits flights from Paris airports

Flights have been cancelled at the two main Paris airports as French air traffic controllers begin a five-day strike over job loss fears.

Half of the flights in and out of Orly airport have been cancelled, while one in four from Charles de Gaulle have also been pulled from the schedules.

Staff are protesting over a deal agreed by six nations to modernise air traffic control that they say will cut jobs.

The strike is taking place during a school holiday in France.

Analysts said union leaders were also hoping to put pressure on President Nicolas Sarkozy's government ahead of regional elections next month.

The deal to modernise air traffic control was recently signed by France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's hard to know what to make of this - the unions say they worry about backdoor privatisation and "reform", but givne that they have been explicitly guaranteed their public sector (ie unsackable) status - and that further hires will also still be public sector, it seems like a corporatist fight against a reorganisation that, on its face, is much needed.

Not sure.

Protests against the strike is muted in France.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Google rejects Berlin's privacy concerns over Street View application | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 23.02.2010
Internet giant Google said Tuesday it aimed to launch its Street View application in Germany by the end of the year. Yet Berlin insists there are concerns that the technology could breach privacy laws. 

Google, which wants to extend its Street View panoramic photos to Germany later this year, has rejected strong privacy objections raised by the German government. Consumer Affairs Minister Ilse Aigner is demanding that the Internet giant only displays its imagery after each affected German citizen has given his or her permission.

Minister Aigner said her staff were consulting with justice ministry officials, with the aim of tightening legislation. She also demanded that Google be ready to make people's faces, car and house numbers, and even facades unrecognizable.

"A vague picture pixel change is not sufficient," she said in Berlin. "I do not share the company's assessment that all personal data concerns have been resolved." Her ministry, she said, had been flooded with calls by citizens worried about protecting their privacy.



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 Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 03:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guttenberg promises inquiry amid more reports of hazing in German military | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 23.02.2010
The extent of humiliating treatment of soldiers going through initiation rituals in the German military seems to be bigger than originally thought. Soldiers tell of rituals with names like "fire dance" and the "Jukebox". 

Germany's parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, Reinhold Robbe, said he had received 54 written accounts of abuse and degrading treatment since he submitted a report about hazing in the military.

Several of the letters he received from soldiers corroborated previous allegations that mountain infantry troops at a camp in Bavaria had been forced to drink alcohol and eat raw pork liver until they threw up.

Robbe, a member of the Social Democratic party, demanded that the training curriculum be changed and said that the "dangerous, tasteless rituals must stop."

Fire dances and jukeboxes

The new letters also bring to light other forms of hazing. One former member of the Marines said that new sailors were often subjected to harsh rituals during their first nights at sea. He described the "fire dance," in which a man was forced to strip off his pants and have a lighted wick placed in his anus; another in which a floor polishing machine with rough bristles was held against a recruit's naked bottom until the skin turned red.



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 Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 03:33:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Pacification' of Europe is threat to security, US tells Nato | World news | guardian.co.uk
Obama administration accused Europe's leaders of endangering peace because of reluctance to foot bill for adequate defence

The Obama administration accused Europe's leaders of endangering peace today because of their growing ­pacifism and reluctance to foot the bill for adequate defence.

In a withering attack on what Washington sees as European complacency in the face of new security threats, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, demanded root-and-branch reform of the transatlantic alliance, voiced exasperation with Nato bureaucracy and said it was becoming increasingly difficult for the US and Europe "to operate and fight together".

Gates told a Washington meeting of Nato officials and security experts "the pacification of Europe" had gone too far.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 04:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah this is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. How appropriate!
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:06:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, his Sec. Defense.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:19:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Cheney/Bush appointee.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:14:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that it is a pretty sure bet that Gates would no longer have the job if he were making speeches that seriously disagreed with the president's opinion.
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly. I just put in a reminder that he was first chosen by the Dark Side. And (for no good reason I can see) retained by the current administration.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it was an explicit show of bipartisanship, or something.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Obama writing the MIC at the top of his prom card.
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 11:41:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which he accepted with a speech arguing the concept of a "just war".

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 Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 03:26:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions -- not just treaties and declarations -- that brought stability to a post-World War II world. <...>

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another -- that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. <...>

So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions." A gradual evolution of human institutions. ...

Obama's Nobel Prize Speech



The march of civilizations is a series of defenses that man has put up against the dread of pure existence.
by marco on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms.

Cool. Never ending war...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stimulus, American style. As long as people are buying the debt...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:00:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would anything change if the Fed were the only buyer of US debt?
by generic on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thy've got a good game going with the longer durations though. As we say in the trade, Respect!.

I've noted that drunks also say this to each other in France to mark the fact the other drunk can drink more than the first. Respect!

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:13:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:37:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cool. Never ending war...

Yes, like World War II.

The march of civilizations is a series of defenses that man has put up against the dread of pure existence.

by marco on Thu Feb 25th, 2010 at 04:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How long are you dummies going to put up with this nonsense?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who knows ? Our elites are infected with deference to the needs of the Great leader across the water.

I'd like to think that there might be somebody in europe to stand up and say that america's bellicose "leadership" has been an absolute disaster. But there isn't.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:30:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The demilitarisation of Europe, where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it, has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st," he said. "Not only can real or perceived weakness be a temptation to miscalculation and aggression, but ... the resulting funding and capability shortfalls make it difficult to operate and fight together to confront shared threats."

But the whole point is that Europe's people don't want to operate together anymore.  They're not interested in war or warmongering or a foreign policy based on military force.

This deprives the US of auxiliaries.  Good.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 06:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gates told a Washington meeting of Nato officials and security experts "the pacification of Europe" had gone too far.

Next target of US destabilization policies: Europe!

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The offensive has already started couple of weeks ago, it seems; first target: the Euro...
by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:52:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you'd agree with Gates speech, as there has recently been complaints that the US is controlling Europe in a hegemonic way through it's displacement of European defence spending.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US is welcome to dismantle NATO...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you dislike NATO in itself, or would you be happy enough if the US just left the organisation? And would you like to see European nations to pick up the tab? I can't really see the problem with the US paying for our defence if they feel like it. From our perspective it's essentially free money.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We question the whole point of NATO. Who are we defending ourselves from again?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:43:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point in the discussion I always imagine Beaker from the Muppets running around with his hair on fire squeaking "The Russians are Coming!!!".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Starvid's Rysskräck Technology™]

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:50:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia never having accepted its history, not being ashamed of its crimes but rather glorying in them, acting in an increasingly assertive way against its "near abroad", rearming at a record pace with a special focus on amphibious and air assault troops, is of course nothing but paranoid fantasy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, NATO has made it clear they won't take the Russians seriously otherwise. Of course they're rearming. NATO is coming.

Same as Iran: the net result of US/NATO/EU/UNSC policy could only ever have been to increase the power of the nationalist/extremist wing. Look what's happened. Exactly as I've been saying for years. There might be another revolution, maybe, but I suspect that's mostly wishful thinking.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:04:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
Russia never having accepted its history, not being ashamed of its crimes but rather glorying in them, acting in an increasingly assertive way against its "near abroad", rearming at a record pace with a special focus on amphibious and air assault troops, is of course nothing but paranoid fantasy.

It sounds like that to me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:38:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At what point were the Russians actually coming? beyond 1945?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:58:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You might have heard about the Cold War, or about Russia repeatedly invading and occupying Central European nations. Czechoslovakia 1948, Germany 1953, Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Poland and so on.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remind me what the US/NATO/etc was doing at the time? I remember something about rescuing kittens from trees, but I forget the rest.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:08:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Defending Western Europe? I can't see how intervening within the Russian spehere of influence at those times would have brought anything but disaster.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:11:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By "defending" you mean "installing and supporting vicious dictatorships so long as they weren't commies"?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:16:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO did no such thing.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in the South American sense, perhaps.

But that doesn't mean there wasn't significant subversion of democracy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gladio was mainly a CIA operation, and it didn't screw up everywhere. Mainly in Italy. Italy being Italy, I can't say that's particularly surprising.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:01:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's very democratic development having been screwed by Gladio and its Mafia connections, "Italy being Italy" is a senseless comment. How can you predicate what Italy might have become without that gross interference?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hen or egg...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:31:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Including Gladio?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Italy being Italy" predisposed it to gross illegal interference by a foreign power?

In that case, maybe "Sweden being Sweden" predisposes it to gross illegal interference by Russia?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:59:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Occupying, fair enough, but Invading is a misrepresentation of history Czechoslovakia 1948 was a local Coup (with Soviet support admittedly) East Germany 1953 was putting down strikes (Particularly Brutally) but was hardly an invasion and so on.

And I thought that all the paperwork recovered from the  end of the cold war showed that (Much as the CIA's reports said) the soviets were convinced that they were going to be invaded by NATO and it was pretty much defensive on their part too.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:32:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Invading is a misrepresentation of history

Capitalism's showing its ugly face once more since the downfall of the USSR is no reason to belittle the nastiness of actually existing socialism. The invasion of Hungary made quite an impression on the West European Left at the time. To quote an article on the "first" New Left in the current, fiftieth anniversary issue of the NLR:

The `first' New Left was born in 1956, a conjuncture--not just a year--bounded on one side by the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet tanks and on the other by the British and French invasion of the Suez Canal zone. These two events, whose dramatic impact was heightened by the fact that they occurred within days of each other, unmasked the underlying violence and aggression latent in the two systems that dominated political life at the time--Western imperialism and Stalinism--and sent a shock wave through the political world. In a deeper sense, they defined for people of my generation the boundaries and limits of the tolerable in politics. Socialists after `Hungary', it seemed to us, must carry in their hearts the sense of tragedy which the degeneration of the Russian Revolution into Stalinism represented for the left in the twentieth century. `Hungary' brought to an end a certain kind of socialist innocence.

To quote Wikipedia:

On 1 November, Imre Nagy received reports that Soviet forces had entered Hungary from the east and were moving towards Budapest.[116] Nagy sought and received assurances from Soviet ambassador Yuri Andropov that the Soviet Union would not invade, although Andropov knew otherwise. [...]

This second Soviet intervention, codenamed "Operation Whirlwind", was launched by Marshal Ivan Konev. The five Soviet divisions stationed in Hungary before 23 October were augmented to a total strength of 17 divisions. The 8th Mechanized Army under command of Lieutenant General Hamazasp Babadzhanian and the 38th Army under command of Lieutenant General Hadzhi-Umar Mamsurov from the nearby Carpathian Military District were deployed to Hungary for the operation.[124] Some rank-and-file Soviet soldiers reportedly believed they were being sent to Berlin to fight German fascists.[125] By 9:30 p.m. on 3 November, the Soviet Army had completely encircled Budapest.

To say that the Soviets didn't invade Hungary because they were already occupying it seems to me to be a prevarication worthy of Bill Clinton. The basic fact is that violence was used to suppress a popular revolution.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 02:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Russia be so stupid to invade any country so desperately dependent on their energy. Who would they sell the gas to then? I know, china. So you think after France and Germany invasions of Russia they still don´t know what overreach means? You really think they are idiots.
by xurxo on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Further, I suppose you question the entire need of having armed forces? Because if you have armed forces, I see no reasons not to pledge to help defend each other.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:50:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that doesn't require NATO. As far as I can tell NATO's behaviour makes military conflict with Russia more, not less likely and I can only assume that that is the desired outcome.

Kill it, start again with something fit for purpose in 2010, not 1950.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:55:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO is a perfect defence organization. What's wrong with it? In what way would a replacement be better? What replacement would this be?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What? Perfect?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's wrong with it then? I can't see any issues. It's an organization for mutual defence under an American nuclear umbrella. Just what's needed. Without NATO we would risk a huge nuclear weapons proliferation among European nations.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without NATO we would risk a huge nuclear weapons proliferation among European nations.

You mean between France and Russia?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. More like Poland, Italy, Germany, Czech republic, Sweden, Finland, Hungary and so on.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am inclined to laugh, but that would be rude.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:01:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aquiring nuclear weapons it the only logical action when the enemy has them. Either you get them yourself, or you join an alliance which have them. As no European nation apparently will be allowed to cooperate with the US, the later action is the only possible. It's what the neutral states of Europe did until they were discreetly taken in under the US nuclear umbrella.

Most people might find it laughable today, but both Sweden and Switzerland pursued nuclear weapons programs. If European nations were deprived if US nukes, they'd start looking for other options.

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:05:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such as French nukes?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:06:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So we're supposed to entrust the most important security issues there are to a nation which is busy selling Russia invasion ships? I think not.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:15:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is Sweden in the EU?

Shouldn't a stronger EU common security policy allow Sweden to voice such concerns to France?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is Sweden in the EU?

For free trade reasons.

Shouldn't a stronger EU common security policy allow Sweden to voice such concerns to France?

Would the French care? If they did care about what we thought, they'd be listening already.

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I rather like the idea of EU level nukes.

By "mutual defence" you mean "invading countries the US doesn't like", I take it?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:14:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO nations are in no way forced to take aggresive actions. It's a defence organisation. If they do take port in US wars outside of Europe, they do that in their own right as sovereign states, not because they're forced to because they're NATO members. Sweden among others is in Afghanistan in spite of not being a NATO member.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:20:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're arguing canon law here. NATO's involvement in Afghanistan and its belligerent stance to Russia and its historical existence in opposition to the USSR makes it politically unfit for purpose. Not to mention its apparent domination by the US.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
None of this would change if we just invented a new organisation with a new name. It'll still be the same meber states and the same missions. Semantics won't change anything.

Of course, the way to reduce US influence in NATO is to increase European defence spending. The stronger the armed forces are, the less we need US support.

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What extra spending do we need for defensive purposes? Ok, that needs a diary to answer.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. A new organisation would be cleaner, especially if it didn't include the US or did include Russia.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:38:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such an organisation would be completely self-defeating.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why?

You seem to be assuming that Russia might actually be interested in invading Europe. I find that a bizarre belief.

Who exactly is Europe supposed to be defensive against?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Russia invade the EU?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:05:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And perhaps more to the point - what evidence is there in (say) the last fifteen years that Russia has been threatening the EU with invasion or attack?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:02:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't question the need for armed forces - well, I do, but the answer I get is that we need them. I don't even think that unilateral nuclear disarmament is a good idea. Wrong strawman.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never mentioned unilateral nuclear disarmament. Whoever has ever argued for that insanity? Btw, I've been working on a diary on the need to massively reduce nuclear weapons arsenals. Coming up in a while.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just heading you off.

I haven't seen it argued for here, but I bet you'll find proponents if you poke the place with a stick.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:06:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting and probably long overdue discussion. what is important is westerners' need for clarity in regard their russian policy. there was not so much to talk about it since russian georgian war but after some people in washington (for example clinton and jones) have assumed that russia is on board with iran sanctions I think there was vaccum with new or old ideas.

recently we with poemless discussed this problem and I have recommended her recent piece on Russia by Leon Aron from AEI. I promised to comment on Aron's ultimatum to Russia then unfortunately I have had absolutely no free time to spare so I'll try to do it here.

This ultimatum is a list of demands, conditions which Aron collected in corridors of power in the Western capitals and may be divided into two, concerning internal and external policies of Russia.

Here is the [adapted by me] list of demands on internal policy:


Pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky...

Bring the masterminds of the 2006 murder of opposition journalist Anna Politkovskaya to justice  ....

Conduct a swift public investigation into the torture and, in effect, judicial murder of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and prosecute those who ordered them...

Investigate the October 2009 local "elections," widely reported to be shamelessly rigged to ensure the victory of United Russia. ...

Audit state corporations. ...

Investigate the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. ...

Investigate honestly and fully the September 1999 apartment building bombings. ...

Relax and then abolish the Kremlin's censorship of television. ...

On pardon of Khodorkovsky - very unlikely then it's a matter of subjustice. On Politkovskaya - I would 100% agree. Her killing was and is a Russian shame. Magnitsky? Normal people do not know his name but it was very unfortunate incident. Rigged elections - I doubt that ruling class will ever admit the theft of votes. Russian elections need better monitoring by OSCE and other organizations. Audit state corporations - of course.  Litvinenko - doesn't Aron think that it would be difficult for Russian police to go to London? Anyway it was a British problem. Apartments bombing - Mr Aron apparently did not read Russian press for decades, this case was clearly cracked by police and terrorists have been sentenced. On the last demand on TV I would definitely agree but I think it is not so important question (Russian authorities better should not interfere in media business at all).

Overall this list of demands is quite weird and is consequence of Western media coverage of events in Russia. Besides some high profile criminal cases and TV censorship Mr Aron does not raise any really important issue for Russian internal policy like restoration of elections of local governors, police reform etc. Maybe the West is not interested in corruption free and democratic Russia?

The list of conditions on Russia's external policy is hotter, it includes:

Breaking with the Zero-Sum Mentality in Foreign Policy [this is demand to drop confrontational rhetorics]

A New Foreign Policy Agenda

... Should Moscow discard its zero-sum attitude and abandon the Soviet-style pursuit of great power status by opposing the United States and its allies, the West would welcome--rather than view with concern--Russia's role as a global actor.[39]

Iran. ...

      Voting with the United States, Great Britain, and France in the UN Security Council.

Afghanistan. ....

      Expanding Russia's materiel assistance to the Afghan armed forces, especially by donating used helicopters and small arms.[45]

Ukraine. ...

      End the brinksmanship with Kiev over the Russian Black Sea fleet and Crimea.

Georgia.

      Ending the insulting and belligerent rhetoric directed at Tbilisi.
    *

      Reassuring Georgia publicly that the war between Georgia and Russia ended in 2008 and that Russia is prepared to normalize Russo-Georgian relations.[46]
    *

      Using Moscow's influence on its clients Abkhazia and South Ossetia to begin reducing tensions between the breakaway provinces and Georgia.
    *

      Fulfilling Russia's obligations under the six-point agreement negotiated on August 12, 2008, by Medvedev and French president Nicolas Sarkozy by withdrawing Russian troops from all Georgian territory outside of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, beginning with the withdrawal of troops from the Georgian village of Perevi, where Russia continues to maintain checkpoints.[47]
    *

      Beginning to draw down the 7,000 Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and cancel the deployment of an additional 1,800 troops currently scheduled to arrive in Abkhazia this year.[48]
    *

      Beginning talks with Georgia on reducing tensions in the Black Sea, where Georgia's interdiction of vessels headed to Abkhazia and Russia's commitment to protecting them may escalate into an armed conflict.

Missile Defense and Arms Control.

Russia's vehement opposition to missile defense against attacks from rogue states like Iran and North Korea has been among the main irritants in U.S.-Russian relations. This resistance, in the main, has been driven not by any substantive threats that missile defense might pose to Russia but by the same zero-sum mentality that permeated other aspects of Russian foreign policy. To signal an evolution of its policy away from this modus operandi, Medvedev might consider:

    *

      Abandoning the propaganda fear-mongering about Russia's alleged inability to retaliate against an utterly inconceivable U.S. nuclear missile attack on Russia, if the United States deploys an area missile defense.
    *

      Adopting a less rigid posture with respect to the link between the reductions in offensive nuclear arms and missile defense.[49]
    *

      Embracing strategic global missile defense as extremely beneficial to Russian security and cooperate, in good faith, with the United States and NATO on its research and deployment.[50]


This list has probably more relevance to what is discussed here. You can decide for yourself whether this list is sufficient or not. I think Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians would like to add few more conditions. However I noticed the delicate dance the West is engaged with the Russian Bear, that's why all this talking business on NATO's future (they mean to preserve status quo), missile defense (which easily may unravel consensus on Iran and stall START talks indefinitely) and Georgia (I think anybody can agree that Moscow will reject all these demands by the West interpreted by Aron).

The net result is the ongoing Western-Russian dance will not likely to bring tangible positive results. However the dance may not bring negative ones neither. For that we should hope.

by FarEasterner on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 11:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The second list reads along the lines of, "Start doing what the US tells you to do."
by Zwackus on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO is competing with the EU's common security policy and European Defence Agency.

Since the US has different strategic interests from Europe, this is bad for Europe.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO doesn't have a policy of it's own. Like the UN, it's a vessel for the collective interests of the member states. Nothing stops EU to have an organisation of it's own in parallell which can channel common European interests (if there are any) which are not related to joint defence in Europe.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO doesn't have a policy separate from US policy. That's what the thread you linked to about US hegemony was about.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:12:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely disagree with that. NATO in no way forces any NATO state to do anything, beyond responding jointly against aggression in Europe against any memeber state. Full stop.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as the letter of the treaties goes, I agree.

As soon as you move to the politics of it...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:00:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two words. Argentina 1982. A NATO member faced armed aggression but because of the restrictions in the treaty, article 5 couldn't be implemented.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can disagree with it all you want. But you don't seem to have been listening to the intensely disapproving hemming and hawing from Washington when NATO members don't shoulder the manly burden of Nobel-winning militarised pacifism.

Admittedly the US can't force NATO members to act at gunpoint. But there's certainly a divergence of opinion about defence strategy, and - inexplicably - it always seems to be the US that sets that strategy, while the other nations are dragged along for the ride.

The UK has troops in Afghanistan - why, exactly? After seven years I still haven't seen a good official explanation, beyond the usual hand-wavey fighting-them-there non-justification.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are there because the Americans asked us to and we're their friends. It hasn't really got anything to do with NATO. On the contrary, non-NATO members have a greater motivation to help the Americans as to get in their good graces and possibly recieve aid in the event of conflict. NATO members will get that anyway and so have less need to help out.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, wait, I thought you were the realist? States don't have friends, just interests?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's in the interest of the United States to have sovereign un-occupied nations in Europe. But there is obviously also an issue of cultural affinity among western nations, not just among European nations.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:17:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is the war in Afghanistan in the interests of European NATO nations?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:23:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah. And no cultural affinity with Russia? Which definition of "Western" are we using today?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's hard to feel affinity with someone who occupied your nation or neighbouring nations for half a century and then isn't in the least ashamed of it. No one would like the Germans today if they hadn't completely repented, had a very low foreign policy for decades ("economic giant, political dwarf") and made a spiritual collective Canossa walk.

If Russia would imitate post-war Germany, all the tensions would go away in a couple of decades.

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand it is perfectly fine for the Baltic states to celebrate the Waffen-SS.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:07:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When someone invades you, you're not going to be very picky when asking for help. No one says Russians shouldn't be allowed to celebrate their war veterans.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

No one would like the Germans today if they hadn't completely repented

So who likes Germans today?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who made that argument, exactly?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fairleft IIRC, and people generally seemed to agree with it.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:39:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where? I missed that. So much to disagree with, so little time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:41:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here, and it wasn't fairleft but Alexander.

   

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

by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an interesting thread on hegemony that would be nice to extract to its own diary. There's also this terminal comment by Alexander in the same diary:
The relevant point is that NATO is a military organization consisting of a set of member states. Multilateralism in substance as opposed to form implies cooperation among equals. Since the military budget of the US dwarfs those of the other NATO members combined, it is not the case that the US in NATO is just first among equals. It basically calls the shots, and that is not multilateralism. The name for it is hegemony. (To get back to your point, hegemony does imply that the hegemon acts in the interests of the elites of the countries which it dominates.)



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:54:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be hegemonic only if the US forced the smaller member states into doing things. Thing is, NATO is run through a treaty which is very clear on the way the members have to act in certain situations. The Afghanistan war is not included there, so all NATO members which are in Afghanistan are there independently of their NATO duties, which is clearly showed by not all NATO members being present, but with plenty of non-NATO members also being there.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:14:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that NATO mutual aid was invoked to justify the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and is still used as the stick that's supposed to persuade member countries to contribute to 'our' brave etc.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:03:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at all. NATO mutual aid was invoked as a response to the 9/11 attack, not with the Iraq war. And the NATO treaty is only relevant for Europe, which is why NATO did not act against Argentina in 1982.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:22:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
9/11 didn't happen in Europe.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The actual treaty doesn't talk about Europe, but it's rather like this.

Article 6 (1)

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:

    * on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France (2), on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
    * on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:30:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politically the Iraq war was sold in the UK as a valid response to 9/11, and an imaginary threat to NATO members from Iraq.

Bush wasn't able to convince NATO members that Iraq was a good thing. But it wasn't for want of trying.

The lines between official NATO policy and unofficial US policy are far from clear. The US seems to think of NATO as a useful client organisation, and flies into rages when its members don't perform on cue - which is an odd definition of mutual, because the obligation is one way.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:51:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am dismayed every time I see the claim that Iraq was because of 9/11. Last time I saw this was in a 5-year anniversary issue of a Madrid free commuter newspaper.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:04:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only someone who tried really, really hard to avoid the reality-based community could believe Saddam had anything to do with 9/11.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's become the conventional wisdom that the US went to Iraq because of 9/11. Cheney must be pleased.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also:

BBC News - Iraq inquiry hears defiant Blair say: I'd do it again

He also stressed the British and American attitude towards the threat posed by Saddam Hussein "changed dramatically" after the terror attacks on 11 September 2001, saying: "I never regarded 11 September as an attack on America, I regarded it as an attack on us."

So an attack by a third party on the US somehow magically justified an attack by the US and UK on a country that wasn't involved, simply by narrative association.

All it takes is a 'dramatic change of attitude.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:57:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:07:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My Japanese students are all pretty surprised when I tell that the Osama bin Laden had no connection at all to Iraq.  They'd never heard anything different.
by Zwackus on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:35:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO mutual aid was invoked as a response to the 9/11 attack, not with the Iraq war.

NATO offered to invoke article 5, but the US declined the offer, preferring to invade Afghanistan as a unilateral operation with UK support.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 08:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

It would be hegemonic only if the US forced the smaller member states into doing things.

You mean something more violent than calling them "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," painting them as traitors non-stop in the media for months and organising boycotts of their products?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:04:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The government of a democratic state can hardly be held responsible for what its media says or does.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:44:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More from Gates:
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the difference -- the Soviet Union was in there for 10 years and then went home. They lost because of the challenges of fighting in Afghanistan. What are we doing differently, or how has time changed so that we don't have sort of the same situation the Soviet Union did?

GATES: Well, I think this is one of those cases where history is just completely misread. First of all, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. They killed a million people. They forced five million to flee as refugees. They conducted a war of terror against them. And they had major powers working against them, mostly us, and providing a steady supply of very sophisticated weapons to the mujahedeen.

We're in a completely different position. We've been invited in by the Afghans. Our presence there has been sanctioned by both the U.N. and NATO. We have 44 nations that are contributing troops, the heart of it being NATO but a lot of non-NATO partners. And we are partners with the Afghan people.

The US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 either never happened or was at the invitation of the Afghans!?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(source)

[Murdoch Alert]

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:47:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For Fox News, it even seems like a [Murdoch Alert]2 would be in order, no?
by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The good Afghans.

The Norman invasion of Ireland never happened either, since they were invited in by a distant cousin of someone or the other. Possibly the oldest excuse in the book.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or a lot of retroactive justification. You invade, you install a puppet, the puppet invites you to stay, therefore you were invited to come in.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, the Afghan government and people generally support the foreign troops. INcluding in the Pashtun areas. The Talibans are rather impopular.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:28:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do we know that?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There has been pretty extensive polling on Afghan opinions.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Links, links. Who did the polling? Where? How? Who provided security?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:40:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read it at a Swedish defence blog, but given that it has 126 posts tagged as "Afghanistan" I can't seem to find it at this time.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:24:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fully support your call for links and substantiation for a point like that.

However, it does not stretch the imagination to believe that the Taliban were unpopular.  These are the enlightened and tolerant group of people who banned shaving, after all.

The popularity or un-popularity of the invading forces is a whole other matter.

by Zwackus on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you been to Afghanistan?
by xurxo on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. Have you?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bienvenido a ET...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:31:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps we need some [Orwell Technology™ War is Peace] alerts.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tens of thousands protest across Spain at Zapatero's pension reforms - Times Online

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Spain last night in the biggest test of the country's Socialist Government, which is under pressure.

With a general strike threatened in the summer, the two biggest Spanish unions staged protests in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.

The Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) and the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), are planning to stage 57 protests in other parts of the country until next week.

Unions are angry about the Government's proposed pensions reforms which would extend the legal retirement age from 65 to 67.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France24 - Union workers march against plans to raise pension age

Unions workers took to the streets in several major cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, on Tuesday evening, in protest a plans to raise the retirement age.

Unionised workers marched in Spain's major cities on Tuesday against plans to raise the retirement age in the first open clash for six years between organised labour and a Socialist government now seeking to appease markets with austerity.

But the main protest in Madrid seemed noticeably smaller than recent demonstrations in the capital organised by groups such as the Catholic Church, in a sign that unions, who now only represent 16 percent of Spanish workers, may have lost some of the power to paralyse the nation they once had.

Bond markets are watching closely as euro zone members Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland struggle to cut huge budget deficits bloated by recession and the financial crisis, and to restore lost economic competitiveness.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Over 50 arrest warrants were issued today in Italy, Europe and the U.S. in the Fastweb tax probe. The scandal is considered one of the most colossal cases of tax evasion and relaundering in Italian history, allegedly implicating the Calabrian 'ndrangheta, for a sum of 400 million euro of evaded VAT. Prominent figures include Silvio Scaglia, the "magician" who invented Fastweb, and the Pdl Senator Nicola di Girolamo.

Di Girolamo is a controversial figure who was elected in obscure circumstances to represent Italians residing abroad in Europe. The electoral board had previously sought to invalidate his election because he was not really a resident abroad (Belgium). Now it appears he was elected through voter fraud engineered by the 'ndrangheta.

It is unlikely the Senate will grant authorization for his arrest, just as it has refused arrest of Berlusconi's national party coordinator Denis Verdini, an alleged key figure in the ever widening Civil Protection scandal.

This latter scandal appears to have tipped the scales against Berlusconi because of the high negative emotional impact of cynical profiteering against the Aquila earthquake victims. The scandal has caused the resignation of a top Roman judge for having allegedly funnelled investigative secrets through his son to key criminal players. His son then landed a top executive job with one of the alleged ringleaders. The Roman Procura is further seeking to dampen harsh internal criticism for having quashed their own investigation for well over a year into the crimes now denounced by the Florentine Procura.

This judiciary tumult points to deep involvement by the government executive in the entire affair. The recent attempts by the government to ramrod legislation through parliament to turn Civil Protection into a private entity beyond accountability and prosecution is now seen as a last ditch attempt to foil the top secret Florentine investigation.

This new Fastweb scandal which now implicates a party senator in alleged relaundering for the 'ndrangheta does not bode well for Berlusconi either- especially after his recent foreign tax haven amnesty that guarantees total anonymity and immunity from prosecution for the modest sum of 6% of the loot declared.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 06:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hasn't Fastweb been acquired by Swisscom a few years ago?
by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes- and they declared yesterday that at the time they were aware of fraudulent practices (though apparently not at this level). They have declared that they will collaborate with investigators. The investigation also involves other TLC companies operating in Europe.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:59:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found it not a little ironic that a Swiss-held company becomes embroiled in a tax evasion scandal of mega proportion...
by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

Sweden's reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

[...]

Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo's police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.

The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows, while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security door

[...]



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a [Zionist propaganda alert]?
by xurxo on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:33:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:33:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is now: ((*propaganda Zionist)) without the asterisk yields [Zionist Propaganda™ Alert] .

What is a good colour for this macro? Is Black okay?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:36:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An interesting map, from Corporate Europe (pdf):

Financial Lobbies- A guided tour through the Brussels EU Quarter

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:05:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:55:05 PM EST
Banks Pressure Customers on Overdraft Fees - NYTimes.com
For many households trying to improve their finances, tossing out pitches from the bank has become almost automatic. But in recent weeks, Chase has been fanning special letters out to consumers with an offer that it urges them not to refuse.
"Your debit card may not work the same way anymore, even if you just made a deposit. Unless we hear from you," the message, emblazoned in large red type, warns. "If you don't contact us, your everyday debit card transactions that overdraw your account will not be authorized after August 15, 2010 -- even in an emergency," with "even in an emergency" underlined for emphasis.
As the government cracks down on the way banks charge fees for overspending on debit cards, the industry is mounting an aggressive campaign aimed at keeping billions of dollars in penalty income flowing into its coffers. Chase and other banks are preparing a full-court marketing blitz, which is likely to include filling mailboxes with various aggressive and persuasive letters, calling account holders directly, and sending a steady stream of e-mail to urge consumers to keep their overdraft service turned on.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Toyota president says recall-hit firm 'grew too fast'

The boss of Toyota has admitted that the firm's rapid expansion may have led to safety issues which saw the recall of 8.5 million vehicles worldwide.

In a personal statement to be delivered to US congress on Wednesday, Toyota president Akio Toyoda said the firm's growth "may have been too quick".

He also apologised for taking too long to deal with safety issues.

James Lentz, US head of Toyota, has begun his appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Mr Lentz said that on one issue, "we failed to promptly analyse and respond" to information provided.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:09:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - US consumer confidence sees sharp fall in February

Confidence among US consumers saw a surprisingly sharp fall in February as concerns grew about the jobs market and business conditions, a survey says.

The Conference Board consumer confidence index fell to a 10-month low of 46, from 56.5 in January. Analysts were expecting a decrease to 55.

The report appeared to concern Wall Street, with the main Dow Jones index down 0.7% or 72 points to 10,312.

The data came as several US retailers reported higher profits but weak sales



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Confidence among US consumers saw a surprisingly sharp fall in February ...

"Surprising" only to financial journalists and other ignorant people.

I don't know what is so hard about understanding:

If people don't have money or access to credit they can't spend.

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

by ATinNM on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
just remember, the journalist Charlie Gibson, who was one of the questioners during the presidential debates, think he's on an average wage when he earns $200k. Journalists aren't feeling the pinch and, in their own eyes they're ordinary joes, so what's the problem ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:43:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Admittedly on arxiv1, this paper purports to show that:

I prove that if markets are weak-form efficient, meaning current prices fully reflect all information available in past prices, then P = NP, meaning every computational problem whose solution can be verified in polynomial time can also be solved in polynomial time. I also prove the converse by showing how we can "program" the market to solve NP-complete problems. Since P probably does not equal NP, markets are probably not efficient. Specifically, markets become increasingly inefficient as the time series lengthens or becomes more frequent. An illustration by way of partitioning the excess returns to momentum strategies based on data availability confirms this prediction.

So not only to markets not always work in practice, they probably don't work in theory.

by njh on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 04:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this true? I presume he's alluding to the fact that if the economy reaches a Nash equilibrium quickly, this means that it's solved a hard problem efficiently. But the problem of computing Nash equilibria in general is PPAD-complete. I don't think this implies P=NP, but I may be wrong.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:37:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Feynman once observed that the quickest way to solve Schroedinger's equation might be to set up the physical system and let it evolve.

That a complex system has a physical realization has no bearing on whether P=NP.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 06:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At an acoustical consulting firm where I once worked it was observed that we might not be able to solve the wave equation for a room, but that the room could.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the physical system is supposed to be made up of human beings acting supposedly in a fully rational manner, which is a bit different from these examples (besides the fact that it's not that easy to verify if the market has solved the problem as well as the physical system has).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Op-ed by one of Buffet's investment partners - well worth a read:

A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin. - By Charles Munger - Slate Magazine

In the early 1700s, Europeans discovered in the Pacific Ocean a large, unpopulated island with a temperate climate, rich in all nature's bounty except coal, oil, and natural gas. Reflecting its lack of civilization, they named this island "Basicland."
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 07:19:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It reminds me of Soros saying gold was in a bubble at Davos, moving to buy gold a few days later... Not that I don´t agree with the stated by Munger, I just think he is moving the market.
by xurxo on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:09:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treasury to Resume the Monetization of the Fed's Programs to Support the Wall Street Banks   Jesse's Café Américain

This Treasury Supplemental Financing Program is designed to provide public funds for the Fed's efforts to purchase and then liquidate toxic assets and derivatives from the financial sector, effectively absorbing their losses and monetizing them.

The Treasury creates new notes and sells them on the open market. The money obtained in these sales is deposited at an account at the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve uses this money to purchase toxic assets from the banks at its own discretion and pricing, subject to little oversight and market discipline.

....

Where this gets even more interesting is that the Fed in turn is buying Treasury debt after issuance through its primary dealers, debt that was issued by the Treasury to provide funds to the Fed.

Even more than a stealth bailout, this is starting to smell like 'a money machine.' Money machines are what Bernanke euphemistically called 'a printing press.' What is odious about this particular printing press is that the output is being given directly to a few big banks by a private organization which they own.

I believe that it is still illegal, by the letter of the statutes, for the Fed to directly purchase Treasury paper. But in this case, the Fed is buying Treasury paper with money supplied by the Treasury. Since the paper is passing through the marketplace, and the Primary Dealers are taking their commissions, it may be in conformance with the letter of the law. But it looks like it violates the spirit of the law.


Lets see, will this be o.k. because they are just replacing money that has been fecklessly destroyed? Have our treasury and Federal Reserve made the world safe for feckless bankers?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rogoff Foresees A Wave of Sovereign Debt Defaults

Kenneth Rogoff, former IMF chief economist warned that a series of sovereign debt defaults is likely to be in the offing. From Bloomberg:

   Following banking crises, "we usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults, say in a few years. I predict we will again," Rogoff,...said at a forum in Tokyo today.

    He said financial markets will eventually drive interest rates higher, and European countries such as Greece and Portugal will "have a lot of troubles....

    "It's very, very hard to call the timing, but it will happen," Rogoff, 56, said in the speech. "In rich countries - - Germany, the United States and maybe Japan -- we are going to see slow growth. They will tighten their belts when the problem hits with interest rates. They will deal with it."...

    Rogoff said Japanese fiscal policy is "out of control." Japan has the world's largest public debt, with gross liabilities that are approaching twice the size of the economy.

Rogoff is far from alone in seeing sovereign defaults as likely, but so far, the chorus of concern comes mainly from analysts and investors rather than well-known economists (Willem Buiter was notable exception in that regard). One correspondent said that one of his sources, with impeccable contacts, anticipates 12 sovereign debt defaults in the EU. And while Rogoff puts Greece and Portugal as top of his hit list, a recent Bridgewater report (no online source) took a hard look at Spain, and did not like what it saw:

   On net, Spain owes the world about 80% of GDP more than it has external assets. As a frame of reference, the degree of net external debt Spain has piled up in a currency it cannot print has few historical precedents among significant countries and is akin to the level of reparations imposed on Germany after World War I. We don't know of precedents for these types of external imbalances being paid back in real terms.

In the Great Depression, the debtor countries, who both defaulted and devalued their currencies by leaving the gold standard fairly early, did better than creditor countries (as in they suffered smaller drops in GDP and recovered faster). But it is not clear how this will play out in the EU, where the debtors cannot depreciate their currencies (and as we also noted, the recent example of Sweden v. Norway also suggests that currency devaluations are not always the tonic they are assumed to be).


12 sovereign debt defaults in the EU
Sounds "Doom worthy" to me. Perhaps we will have a de facto jubilee. If Japan and the U.K default is there any way that any nation can avoid default? But is Kenneth Rogoff SeriousTM? Perhaps he is. We might know soon enough.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:24:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
12 sovereign debt defaults in the EU

These need not necessarily be eurozone countries.

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 Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 03:44:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we could get a list of which countries engage in business transactions with Goldman...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ax3yON_uNe7I

http://maxkeiser.com/2010/02/16/what-do-they-know/

by xurxo on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 01:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
The banks are always searching for great business opportunities and the States that are about to go under have always been just that. Last November, with Greece in a full crisis, Goldman Sachs went back to Athens to the scene of the crime to put forward the suggestion of using the umpteenth financial instrument to push the Health Service debt into the future. Greece did not accept, or perhaps it was not able to accept.
The article also mentions Italy ... "Instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere." .... "countries like Italy and Greece entered the monetary union with bigger deficits than the ones permitted under the treaty that created the currency. Rather than raise taxes or reduce spending, however, these governments artificially reduced their deficits with derivatives." At the end of 2009, Greece's public debt was 298.5 billion euro. If Greece were to default, it would drag down with it many large banks. However, the Greek economy is only worth 3% of the European GDP. An intervention plan is possible. The true threat to European economic stability is Italy, according to Robert Mundell Nobel prize-winner for economics. Italy has about 1,800 billion euro in debt, six times that of Greece, a quarter of the whole European debt and it could be the target of speculative attacks. How many derivatives has the Treasury contracted to? And with whom? And with what conditions?


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:12:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:55:48 PM EST
Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Indonesia landslide claims lives

Five people have been killed and more than 70 remain missing after a landslide buried an office and fields at a tea plantation in Indonesia.

The landslide struck in Bandung district, south of the capital Jakarta, on Tuesday morning, an Indonesian official told local radio.

"Five people have been found dead and 72 are missing, 47 in the field, 15 in the office and 10 at the factory," Ahmad Kustiadi, a Bandung health ministry official, told the ElShinta radio station.

Step Vaessen, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jakarta, said that landslide had been caused by rain water and compounded by deforestation in the area.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lieberman is dying to say it | Al Jazeera Blogs
When Europe's blood pressure went up over the use of fake European passports in the assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, changed his line from ambiguity to deniability. There is no proof of Israeli involvement, he retorted. And that is that.
 
My guess is that Lieberman had to 'cut the ambiguity' because the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, does not want to further exacerbate tensions with its European allies against the backdrop of continued illegal Jewish settlements and a deadlocked 'peace process'. 
 
But Lieberman, the eccentric former nightclub bouncer, is dying to take responsibility for the assassination of Israel's "enemy combatant" to borrow from the Pentagon's dictionary.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there's any tension with europe at all. It's all a confection cos the Dubai authorities caught Mossad out. But, our elites don't really care what Israel (white people) do to terrorists (non white people). After all, we (unspecified elites) are at war with them (unspecified people with swarthy complexions) too. Just one less to kill

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - US vows probe into Afghan deaths

The US defence secretary has said that Nato forces are doing their best to avoid civilian casualties in Afghanistan, after an air raid killed 27 people, including women and a child.

Pledging a thorough investigation into Sunday's air strike, Robert Gates said he was "not defending" the incident in which Nato aircraft fired on three vehicles thought to be full of fighters, but which were instead carrying civilians.

"I'm not defending it at all. I'm just saying that these kinds of things, in many respects, are inherent in a war. It's what makes war so ugly," Gates said in Washington on Monday.

He said he had confidence in General Stanley McChrystal, saying the US and Nato commander in Afghanistan keenly understood the need to avoid civilian casualties and had made that a top priority.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry we blew up your town.

Sorry we blew up your convoy

sorry we bombed your wedding

sorry you were dressed just like the guy we meant to kill

...and the beat goes on. I'm convinced they're sorry. Just not sorry enough to avoid doing it again. And again.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not a word on responsibility. apologies would not suffice. after 9 years of wars and millions of deaths there were not many cases of conviction, except few Abu ghraib torturers. I just wonder what the bunch of humanitarian organizations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House etc is doing. they should scream on every corner but instead they shut their mouths up.
by FarEasterner on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:59:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Iran says Sunni group's leader held

Iran's state radio says its security forces have arrested a leader of an armed Sunni opposition group that is waging a violent low-level campaign in southeastern Iran.

The broadcast on Tuesday said that Iranian security forces had arrested Abdulmalik Rigi, leader of the Jundullah (Soldiers of God) group.

Jundullah has in recent years claimed responsibility for several bombing attacks inside Iran that have left dozens or people dead.

An Iranian politician said that Rigi was arrested while travelling on a flight heading to "an Arab country" via Pakistan.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - UK plane-spotters 'admit monitoring aircraft' in India

Two UK plane-spotters have admitted illegally monitoring aircraft in India, the MP fighting for their return home said.

Stephen Hampton, 46 and Steven Ayres, 56, both from Bristol, have been released on bail after being charged with intercepting communications.

MP Dan Morris said the men had pleaded guilty to a breach under the Telegraph Act at Patiala House Court in Delhi.

The men cannot leave India and their case has been adjourned until 3 March.

Wansdyke MP Mr Norris, who is in close contact with the families, said the men had now been released from a detention centre.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's slightly bizarre. It might mean they were spying, but it's more likely to mean they were trainspotting with scanner/receivers - which is a popular hobby in the UK.

I have no idea why they might want to do it in India as opposed to Hillingdon or Crawley.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Americas bloc excluding US and Canada is proposed

Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to set up a new regional body without the US and Canada, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has said.

The new bloc would be an alternative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), the main forum for regional affairs in the past 50 years.

Mexico is hosting a regional summit in the beach resort of Cancun.

The OAS has been dogged by rifts between some Latin American members and the US over economic policy and trade.

Its has also been criticised as promoting US interests over those of other members.

The new grouping "must as a priority push for regional integration... and promote the regional agenda in global meetings," Mr Calderon told the summit, which includes leaders and representatives from 32 countries.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:09:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From TPM.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), who found himself caught in a coup in Niger last week, was flown out of the country on an aircraft that may have been operated by a Blackwater subsidiary, Mother Jones reported today.

But in a statement to TPMmuckraker, Grayson's spokesman says the congressman -- who has been a fiery critic of the privatization of American foreign policy -- still believes the use of profit-driven contractors can be deeply problematic.

"The Congressman does not deny that there is admirable work being done by some employees of private contractors," said Todd Jurkowski. "However, he stands by his criticism of companies who have been found to cheat the American people, defraud our government, and unnecessarily risk the lives of members of our military, all in the name of making a profit."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 03:11:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:56:39 PM EST
Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Whaling body proposes compromise

The working group set up by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has proposed allowing a limited return to commercial whale hunts, in exchange for a reduction in the number of whales killed annually.

The proposal would allow Japan to continue its hunt of the mammals on a quota basis, while suspending its hunts for the purposes of "research".

The proposal, developed but not endorsed by a 12-nation IWC working group, calls for the suspension of "scientific whaling" - a loophole which Japan uses to circumvent the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.

It comes days after Australia threatened to take Japan to the International Criminal Court if it does not stop whaling in the Southern Ocean by November.

Japan has described the Australian threat as "unfortunate" and rejected suggestions its current hunt is illegal.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:01:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Waste law presented for Welsh assembly scrutiny

A proposal which would enable certain waste to be restricted or banned from landfill in Wales has been put forward.

The "measure" or law has been brought forward by Environment Minister Jane Davidson has been presented for the Welsh assembly's scrutiny.

It would also give ministers the power to set councils legally-binding targets for recycling, with penalties for failure.

It would also support a mandatory charge for using plastic carrier bags.

Ms Davidson said: " The way that we manage waste and protect our environment is critical to the future of Wales.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany to cut subsidies for solar energy | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 23.02.2010
A law proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government would greatly reduce subsidies for solar energy production, and in some cases eliminate them all together. 

The center-right German government is proposing legislation to severely reduce state subsidies to solar power in an attempt to prevent market saturation and save money.

The draft law, which both the German parliament and Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet are to consider in the coming weeks, would cut state-guaranteed prices by 15 percent for energy produced by solar panels on open ground.

It would also cut prices by 16 percent for solar panels on roofs, where 80 percent of solar panels in Germany are, and eliminate subsidies for panels placed on arable land. A previous plan by Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen was criticized for not going far enough.

"There must be no more panels installed on arable land," said Peter Altmaier, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrat Union (CDU) who follows the solar energy sector. "The objective is to reduce excessive stimulation without hindering an expansion of green energy."



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 Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 03:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish Town's Bid to Welcome Nuclear Waste Site Divides Region - NYTimes.com

ASCÓ, SPAIN -- Like any father, Jaume Ferrús, a lifetime resident of this isolated Medieval town in the Catalonian mountainside, is pleased that his daughter and young grandchildren recently moved back home.

What is more unusual is that he says he is unconcerned that the town is lobbying to partake in what could well be a generation-long commitment to housing nuclear waste.

Ascó, a town of 1,600 people that is already the site of two nuclear power plants, is now hoping to be selected as the location of a repository designed to hold 60 years' worth of waste produced in Spain's power plants, until at least 2075.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:57:28 PM EST
Stop insulting the elderly with crappy technology | News | TechRadar UK

There are plenty of reasons to worry about growing old.

You can feel invisible in a world that caters overwhelmingly for the young. Your body can let you down. You can end up driving a Toyota, or a Kia.

And you have to put up with people patronising you silly while trying to sell you overpriced rubbish.

Take a bow, Sagem, and take a bow, Broadband Computer Company. You've both sat down and thought, "Hmmm! What can we make for the generation that invented the personal computer, the internet and most of the technological innovations we take for granted as they move into their twilight years?"

The answer you came up with was "Expensive crap a toddler would find too simple." Nice!



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:59:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ACLU and EFF on school where spy-laptops were mandatory Boing Boing
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined the fray in Lower Merion, PA, where the local school district is being sued by a family whose son alleges that the school covertly photographed at home him using spyware they installed on all students' mandatory laptops. The ACLU has filed an amicus brief in support of the boy's family, and in this interview, EFF attorney Kevin Bankston discusses the law as it pertains to video wiretapping:


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:03:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This diary at Orange has jaw-dropping details. Somebody has got a huge fine winging their way

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 05:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is an amazing story, stunning that anyone thought they might get away with it and it wouldnt be a problem. (Hopefully somebody has rounded up the schools servers and probably the network techs home machine)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 06:47:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her Facebook status changed to "single?" Ur dumped - Yahoo! News

LONDON (Reuters) - Digital dumping is on the rise, according to a survey, with growing numbers of people preferring to use email and social networking Web sites to break up with their partners.

Over one third of 2,000 people polled (34 percent) said they had ended a relationship by email, 13 percent had changed their status on Facebook without telling their partners and six percent had released the news unilaterally on Twitter.

By contrast, only two percent had broken up via a mobile phone text.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking Philosophy | Terrorism or Not?

Andrew Joseph Stack III, apparently partially motivated by a hatred of the IRS, crashed his plane into an Austin building. This incident has been officially classified as a criminal act rather than a terrorist attack. However, some have contended that this is a case ofconservative terrorism. While this incident is a terrible one, it does raise the issue of what counts as terrorism.

From a purely cynical standpoint, it could be claimed that the label of terrorism is applied as a matter of politics. Acts are declared terrorists acts so as to gain some sort of political game piece to be played for an advantage. For example, the underwear bomber is a terrorist because this enables the Republicans to claim that a terrorist attack occurred on Obama's watch. In this current case, neither the Republicans nor Democrats can gain a political point by calling this incident terrorism and so they do not label it as such.

However, there seems to be a matter worth discussing here that is beyond mere political rhetoric.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heresy Corner: Simon's Big Day
A sizeable crowd of pro-science and libel reform campaigners gathered outside the High Court this morning to support Simon Singh as his celebrated defence against the British Chiropractic Association reached the Court of Appeal.

You won't, I hope, need reminding of how this bizarre case has progressed:


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:12:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Payment card skimmer secretly planted in gas station pump * The Register

Criminals racked up more than $11,000 in fraudulent payment card charges using a skimming device planted in a Utah-based gas station pump, according to reports.

The device was concealed so well that employees and users of the gas pump didn't spot anything amiss. When customers paid for purchases using credit or debit cards, the skimmer used Bluetooth technology to zap sensitive card information to a near-by receiver, police told local reporters.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Council backs down on CRB checking grown-up lecturers * The Register

Caerphilly County Borough Council has today backed down from its demands that performers and authors be CRB-checked before getting on stage in front of a grown-up audience.

The climbdown after a phone call from El Reg asking exactly how much protection an audience of grownups interested in Medieval murder mysteries really needed.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MPs bash broadband tax * The Register

MPs have branded the proposed 50p per month "broadband tax" unfair, arguing the government should allow market forces to decide who gets faster broadband.

The levy, due to be imposed on every landline telephone account, is intended to raise £175m per year to subsidise the rollout of next generation internet access to sparsely populated areas, where BT doesn't believe investment in fibre would be profitable.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MSNBC: Spain OKs new abortion law, angers church
Women who undergo the procedure will no longer face imprisonment threat

...

The new law allows the procedure without restrictions up to 14 weeks and gives 16- and 17-year-olds the right to have abortions without parental consent. The senate's passage of the bill Wednesday gives it final approval.

The bill brings the country in line with its more secular neighbors in northern Europe is the latest of a series of bold social reforms undertaken by Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who first took office in 2004 and has ruffled feathers among many in the traditionally Catholic country.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 07:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 01:57:55 PM EST
BBC News - Drunk man 'straddled aeroplane'

Two drunk men on a work night out sparked a terror alert after they broke into an airport and tampered with the controls in the cockpit of a plane.

Police on high alert arrived to find one of the men wearing a pink cowboy hat, straddling a plane and covered in foam from a fire extinguisher.

Pizza Hut workers David Sneath, 25, and Patrick Grigor, 24, climbed a fence to get into Dundee Airport, a court heard.

The pair were given a deferred sentence for one year to be on good behaviour.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 at 02:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Drunk man 'straddled aeroplane'
The pair were given a deferred sentence for one year to be on good behaviour.

What? No hi-security prison for the terrrists?
Aren't they Muslims? Or brown skinned?

Oh, wait...

by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:58:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Moulding music with The Plastiscines

"We think that rock and roll is way better in English," says Vandevyere, "so when we write a song, we basically write it in English".

The group are signed to Nylon Records, an off-shoot of the uber-hip style magazine. This put the quartet at an immediate disadvantage in a country that demands at least 40% French-language programming on its radio stations, but the group seem not to care.

"France is such a conservative country," Vandevyere declares.

Sorry lovies, this video is very conservative.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 04:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very rebellious.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 05:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Praise Marx and pass the lipstick...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 06:26:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Johann Hari

the reality of the Conservative Party today severely punctures Cameron's central pitch - and he knows it.

Since he became leader, he has been telling us "the Conservative Party has changed". But is it true? Let's start with the issue that Cameron said was "terrific evidence" of a "different Conservative Party" - global warming. Until 2005, he had never mentioned the subject, except to mock wind farms as "giant bird-blenders" and to demand "a massive road-building programme" in defiance of all environmental sense. But then he abruptly announced he was the true champion of this cause and people should "vote blue to go green." The influential website ConservativeHome thought the New Cameron didn't speak for the Party, so last month they commissioned a poll of the candidates selected to fight the most winnable Tory seats. They were asked to rank nineteen issues facing Britain in order of importance - and global warming came at the very bottom. The soon-to-be Conservative MPs think radically altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere is less important than imprisoning even more people and reclaiming powers from Scotland.

But even this is misleading. The party doesn't just accord a low priority to deal with this problem - most actively deny it exists. The Spectator's political editor, James Forsyth, reports: "At Tory country-house gatherings, global warming scepticism has replaced Europe as the issue of the day." Tim Montgomerie, the head of ConservativeHome and physical embodiment of the Tory id, says: "I'm confident the sceptics are going to win. It's for Cameron to decide how he's going to get out of this - he's lost the battle already." This has only grown over the past month, when a handful of the tens of thousands of scientists working on this issue have been shown to have made a few mistakes. The massed ranks of the Tory party have seized on this as "proof" that releasing massive amounts of warming gases into the atmosphere won't cause the planet to get warmer. The true message is: vote blue, screw green.

How about opposing the stale old prejudices the Party used to marinate itself in? In his mid-twenties Cameron went on a week long "jolly" to white supremacist South Africa, breaking sanctions against the regime, paid for by a shadowy pro-Aparthied lobbying group. But he says he regrets that and the party now abhors racism. There's a fascinating insight into whether this is true in the new book `True Blue: Strange Tales From A Tory Nation.' For the past three years, the journalists Chris Horne and David Matthews have volunteered for the Conservative Party, to uncover what its activists really think. Matthews is a warm, charismatic - and black.

Everywhere he went, he was treated with suspicion and contempt. Horne writes: "The proportion of people who gave him a wide berth was around three quarters, and it was hard to escape the conclusion that this was because he was black.... The Tories we met seemed fantastically uncomfortable around David." Even in the most liberal Tory surroundings, like inner London, there was a "constant, almost knee-jerk mild racism," where they felt the need to obsessively talk about immigration and race in disparaging ways in his presence. At a typical Tory dinner they attended, according to the book, Cecil Parkinson said of Africa: "God decided to create the most beautiful continent on earth - wide rivers, fertile land, and every kind of natural resource you can think of. An angel said to God - if you make a place like that then it will completely dominate the earth. And God said - wait until you see the people I am going to put in it." The assembled party members loved it, and said they missed good old Ian Smith, the last white supremacist ruler of Rhodesia.

When they were campaigning against the Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer, they were repeatedly told to emphasize she was an "outsider" and a "foreigner." Horne asked what it meant, and he was told: "She's a Jewess, but we aren't allowed to say that... So all we can say is that she got off the train from Hungary."

Everywhere they went, the Party's candidates and members said Cameron's claims to have reformed are mere spin to win the election. For example, Ian Oakley, who was selected to be Tory candidate for Watford, bragged: "Last year it was all green this, and all green that... all that bollocks. People just want lots and lots and lots of cheap petrol. And we are going to give it to them."



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 09:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jaw dropping... They look even worse than the French right-wing (a tall order already).
by Bernard on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
melo:
People just want lots and lots and lots of cheap petrol. And we are going to give it to them."

LOL

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 11:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
reads like the onion, huh?

deep understanding of britain's needs...

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

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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