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

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 12 December

by dvx Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 04:04:19 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Music on this date in history:

2007 - death of Ike Turner, American musician(b. 1931).

More here and here.

 The European Salon is a daily selection of news items to which you are invited to contribute. Post links to news stories that interest you, or just your comments. Come in and join us!


The Salon has different rooms or sections for your enjoyment. If you would like to join the discussion, then to add a link or comment to a topic or section, please click on "Reply to this" in one of the following sections:

  • EUROPE - is the place for anything to do with Europe.
  • ECONOMY & FINANCE - is where you find what is going on in finance and the economy.
  • WORLD - here you can add links and comments on topics concerning world affairs.
  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - is about the environment, energy, agriculture, food...
  • LIVING ON THE PLANET - is about humanity, society, culture, history, information...
  • PEOPLE AND KLATSCH - this is the place for stories about people and of course also for gossipy items. But it's also there for open discussion at any time.
  • I hope you will find this place inspiring - of course meaning the inspiration gained here to show up in interesting diaries on ET. :-)

    There is just one favor I would like to ask you - please do NOT click on "Post a Comment", as this will put the link or your comment out of context at the bottom of the page.

    Come on and join in!

Display:
 EUROPE 



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:35:31 PM EST
Italian girl's rape claim sparks arson attack on Gypsy camp | World news | guardian.co.uk

A 16-year-old Italian girl whose claim that she was raped by Gypsies prompted a furious mob to launch an arson attack on a Turin Roma camp has admitted to police that she invented her story.

Hundreds of residents of the deprived Turin suburb of Vallette took to the streets on Saturday to protest after the girl, who has not been named, claimed she had been dragged behind a building and raped by two Gypsy men.

A splinter group of around 50 residents then marched towards a nearby camp where they reportedly called for all women and children to leave before throwing firecrackers and setting fire to caravans, shacks and cars.

Police officers evacuated the camp moments before the group arrived and no injuries were reported, but fire crews were unable to prevent the camp being destroyed.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hundreds of residents of the deprived Turin suburb of Vallette ...

?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 04:29:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once "concerned" citizenry could be roused to massacre populations of Jews (shockingly far too many to cite), the Sun in the UK was quietly proud to raise a mob who stormed a paediatrician's house cos they thought the brass plate said paedophile (deprived = illiterate).

Now we're moving on to gypsies.

As Colman and I discussed yesterday, one of the tools of "statecraft" is to always ensure there is an "out" group who can be victimised, who can be looked down upon. Gypsies perform that role now.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:17:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medvedev dismisses protesters' charges of election fraud | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 11.12.2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday said he disagreed with calls from protesters over the weekend to hold new legislative elections because of reports of fraud, but said he has ordered a probe into the allegations.

Tens of thousands gathered in Moscow and other cities in Russia on Saturday denouncing the polls on December 4 as a farce.

Several voters posted evidence online of voter intimidation and ballot stuffing, mostly in favor of the ruling United Russia party, which won a slim majority in parliament.

"I do not endorse any of the statements or calls that were made in the gatherings," Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:20:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police arrest another alleged neo-Nazi supporter | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 11.12.2011

A special police squad has arrested another person in connection with a neo-Nazi terror cell based in the eastern German city of Zwickau.

 

The German Public Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe said the man, 36-year-old Matthias D., was detained in the Erzgebirg district of Saxony, also in eastern Germany.

 

It said D. was "under definite suspicion of having supported the terrorist organization National Socialist Underground (NSU) on two counts."

 

In a statement, the Public Prosecutor's Office said he was "suspected of providing two flats in Zwickau to the members of the NSU as permanent accommodation."

 

Officers from the German Federal Criminal Police Office and Saxon police force have also searched three apartments, including that of the accused and of a woman suspected of assisting the neo-Nazi group.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:20:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU treaty: Clegg reveals deep coalition split in PM's use of veto | Politics | guardian.co.uk

A deep and seemingly irreconcilable rift between the Liberal Democrats and Conservative coalition partners has been revealed after the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, publicly admitted he was "bitterly disappointed" by the outcome of last week's European summit, where David Cameron wielded Britain's veto.

Warning that Britain could be left "isolated and marginalised" in the wake of the summit, Clegg exposed the depths of his unhappiness with Cameron's stance, saying "things would have been different" if he had been negotiating in Brussels.

Challenged that the outcome could mean Britain ending up outside the EU, Clegg said: "I will fight that tooth and nail. A Britain that leaves the EU will be considered irrelevant by Washington and will be a pygmy in the world when I want us to stand tall in the world."

Clegg joined a chorus of condemnation from other senior Lib Dems, with Lord Ashdown describing the use of the veto as a "catastrophically bad move", while the business secretary, Vince Cable, said Britain had "finished in a bad place" at the EU summit.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Translaton: Clegg sees an opportunity to advance himself since he's currently considered a nothing in Cameron's shadow. But

A Britain that leaves the EU will be considered irrelevant by Washington ...

is this something that Europeans want to hear?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 04:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, but it's as precise a definition of how the British political class see their role as you're ever likely to see.

They aren't European, nor do they even prioritise British concerns. For them, America is the perpetuation of the British Empire, its achievements are theirs and, by concerning themselves with advancing its agenda,  they will bask in its glories.

It's ghastly to live here at times. I still think that Blair put the needs of USA and harmed Britain to achieve it, which makes him a traitor in my eyes.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany's finance minister wins prize for European unity | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 10.12.2011
The committee for a German award honoring individuals who contribute to European unity declared German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble the recipient of this year's prize on Saturday.

The jury for the 2012 Charlemagne Prize said the 69-year-old conservative had been a major player in ongoing efforts to resolve the eurozone debt crisis.

The prize honors Schäuble's "major contributions to the stabilization of the monetary union and the deepening of the integration process," said a statement released Saturday.

It also recognized his "great efforts in overcoming the division of Germany and of Europe" and his role as a "significant player in virtually all the advances of integration in recent decades," the statement said.


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tory MP regrets stag party's Nazi toasts, SS costumes and waiter taunts | Politics | The Guardian

A Conservative MP who attended a party where friends allegedly chanted Nazi slogans and dressed up in SS uniforms, has apologised for "any offence that was caused" at the event.

Aidan Burley used the social networking site, Twitter, to say he did "deeply regret inappropriate behaviour by some guests at a stag party" he attended and was "extremely sorry for any offence that was caused".

[...]

The 32-year-old Cannock Chase MP was dining at a restaurant in the ski resort of Val Thorens, at Savoie, in the French Alps. Some of his 12 friends in the restaurant chanted "Hitler, Hitler, Hitler", according to the Mail on Sunday.

The paper claimed that the MP, who was elected in 2010, sipped wine while at least one man sitting near him goaded a French waiter, asking: "You are from Germany? No, you must be from Austria, then?" and "Are you insulting his Reich?"



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was at that party ... it was no big deal. It went something like this.



They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 04:41:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was Prince Harry there ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooops, mistakenly posted this in yesterdays Salon, so here again:

Former PM Villepin to vie for presidency in 2012 - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

Former French premier Dominique de Villepin announced on Sunday that he will challenge his political arch-rival, President Nicolas Sarkozy, in next May's presidential election. Villepin said he was running to "defend a certain idea of France".
by Fran on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 02:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy arch rival announces presidential candidacy | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 12.12.2011
Former French premier Dominique de Villepin has revealed he will stand as an independent candidate for the French presidency. The decision will see him take on bitter political rival and incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy.  

Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin announced his decision on Sunday to stand as a rival to President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race.

"I have decided to be a candidate in the 2012 presidential election," he told French television channel TF1.

"Ten years is too long" for the country to be ruled by Sarkozy, he said, accusing the president of abandoning French interests and allowing France to be humiliated by financial markets.

by Fran on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 02:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also reposted:

Daily Kos: Anti-Capitalist Meet-up: A Christmas Carol by the UK ConDem Government

This winter in the UK, the impact of austerity is biting and the evidence of its failure is banging Brits over the head. The promised economic growth is not happening, and blaming the eurocrisis for the situation just does not hold water. That has not stopped the government from pointing the finger at the euro, or blaming the evil trade unions, or the weather. When I read Sir Stephen Nickell (economist and Office for Budget Responsibility member) hoped for a white Christmas, as that would keep the UK out of a double-dip recession due to the bounce-back in the first quarter of 2012, I actually blinked. Praying for snow to prevent another recession is about all the UK Government can hope for these days (http://www.bbc.co.uk/...).
by Fran on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 02:57:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, if it wasn't for the sheer malevolence of what they're doing, their policies would be laughable, but I don't expect anything better from the Tories, this is what they do. What I continue to find staggering is that the Labour party are so captured by bankster economics that they don't have any alternatives whatsoever.

Is the point of the Labour party merely to implement the policies of the owners but to add a sticking plaster on some of the more obvious wounds ? Or should it be to actually run the country for the benefit of the majority ? I know that sounds practically revolutionary these days, but it seems to have slipped out of fashion for some reason.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Praying for snow to prevent another recession ...

Seems like this form of problem solving is coming back in vogue. Note Rick Perry's arena prayer meeting to tackle the Texas drought. Screw science ... appeal to supernatural beings. I just wish they would pray to some of my favorites ... Dr. Strange from Marvel or Dr. Fate from DC. Then we'd see some action.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: Waiting for the markets to give their verdict
26 EU member states agree to participate in a separate new treaty, to be finalised by March; a first market test of the summit's conclusion will come in the form of debt auctions in Italy, France and Spain this week; new treaty will include a stipulation that member states adopt a golden rule balanced budget agreement; Ralph Atkins writes why the ECB is unlikely to bring out the Big Bazooka; Jens Weidmann says agreement is over a fiscal pact, not a fiscal union: there can be no eurobonds now; also says that the ECB cannot, and will not, step up bond purchases; Jurgen Stark criticises the summit's decision to involve the IMF as an act of desperation; FT Deutschland says US Congress constitutes a brake on any further IMF involvement; Finland is opposed to QMV for the ESM, citing constitutional obstacles; the new treaty might also test the political consensus in the Portugal's government party; the troika returns to Greece for a new progress report; the BIS quarterly report says Italy can withstand higher interest rates for a prolonged period; also has data on the shortfall of bank funding during Q3; Mohamed El Erian says summit results are not sufficient to stop the crisis; Wolfgang Münchau says that there is no way you can create any meaningful fiscal union outside the treaty; Kevin O'Rourke, meanwhile, says to call such a procyclical adjustment a fiscal union amounts to Orwellian abuse of language.


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 05:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy Sells EU7 Billion in Bills as Costs Decline - Bloomberg

Italy sold 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion) of one-year bills, the maximum for the auction, and borrowing costs declined after Prime Minister Mario Monti's government approved a 30 billion-euro emergency economic plan.

The Rome-based Treasury sold the bills to yield 5.952 percent, down from 6.087 percent at the last auction on Nov. 10, which was the highest in 14 years. Demand was 1.92 times the amount on offer, compared with 1.99 times last month.

(...) The yield on the benchmark bond was 6.57 percent after the auction at 11:07 a.m. in Rome. That pushed the difference with German bonds to 4.5 percentage points, up from 4.21 percentage points on Dec. 9. Italy's next market test is Dec. 14, when it auctions as much as 3 billion euros of five-year bonds.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:15:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Hudson: Europe's Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy (December 6, 2011)
Disabling Europe's central bank to deprive governments of the power to create money

One of the three defining characteristics of a nation-state is the power to create money. A second characteristic is the power to levy taxes. Both of these powers are being transferred out of the hands of democratically elected representatives to the financial sector, as a result of tying the hands of government.

The third characteristic of a nation-state is the power to declare war. What is happening today is the equivalent of warfare - but against the power of government! It is above all a financial mode of warfare - and the aims of this financial appropriation are the same as those of military conquest: first, the land and subsoil riches on which to charge rents as tribute; second, public infrastructure to extract rent as access fees; and third, any other enterprises or assets in the public domain.

...

It also gives creditors control of fiscal policy. In the absence of a pan-European Parliament empowered to set tax rules, fiscal policy passes to the ECB. Acting on behalf of banks, the ECB seems to favor reversing the 20th century's drive for progressive taxation. And as U.S. financial lobbyists have made clear, the creditor demand is for governments to re-classify public social obligations as "user fees," to be financed by wage withholding turned over to banks to manage (or mismanage, as the case may be). Shifting the tax burden off real estate and finance onto labor and the "real" economy thus threatens to become a fiscal grab coming on top of the privatization grab.

Just three of many quotable paragraphs --- read it all.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 07:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And so the solution is ...

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:26:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 12:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krugman column: Depression and Democracy
It's time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression. True, it's not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that's cold comfort. Unemployment in both America and Europe remains disastrously high. Leaders and institutions are increasingly discredited. And democratic values are under siege.

...

Let's talk, in particular, about what's happening in Europe -- not because all is well with America, but because the gravity of European political developments isn't widely understood.

...

Specifically, demands for ever-harsher austerity, with no offsetting effort to foster growth, have done double damage. They have failed as economic policy, worsening unemployment without restoring confidence; a Europe-wide recession now looks likely even if the immediate threat of financial crisis is contained. And they have created immense anger, with many Europeans furious at what is perceived, fairly or unfairly (or actually a bit of both), as a heavy-handed exercise of German power.

The bulk of the article is actually about the Hungarian constitutional reform and authoritarian slide, not about the ECB-led "technocratic coup", but still...

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 08:58:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(h/t Drew)

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 08:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the technocratic coups, the EU has done itself no favors.  Throwing out the Greek and Italian PMs and replacing them with useful idiots -- and Monti wasn't even an MP -- only gives ammo to the Nigel Farages of the world.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 09:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Fidesz/Jobbik thing has nothing to do with the Euro crisis originally (or maybe it does have some elements of the same balance of payment crisis mixed in). But you could say European Social Democrats have done the EU no favours and you would be closer to the mark, because they enabled the Eurozone mess, they became neoliberal, and in Hungary they collapsed in Hungary on their own damn faults: basically the idiot Social Democrats created the conditions for a 60+% Fidesz majority by mismanagement up to 2006, lying to win reelection, and then having the 2008-9 crisis sweep them away.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 10:03:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:35:52 PM EST
IMF Resources to Counter European Crisis to Get Boost Without U.S. Backing - Bloomberg

In 2009, the U.S. led a global drive to increase the International Monetary Fund's firepower to help pull the world out of recession, pitching in $100 billion. This time, it's a bystander in a similar effort to counter the European debt crisis.

European leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to lend the IMF as much as 200 billion euros ($268 billion), opening the way for aid from nations such as Brazil and South Korea. While the U.S. supports the effort, it won't participate, an administration official said in Washington yesterday.

Any solution to the crisis should be led by European nations themselves, not the IMF, to assure financial markets, said the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. What's more, the administration of President Barack Obama would be unlikely to convince a Congress divided between Democrats and Republicans to approve money for the fund.

"Obama had a lot more political capital coming in 2009 when he was just elected," said Julie Chon, a former adviser at the Senate Banking Committee, which authorizes contributions to the IMF. "The crisis that's confronting the world today is a European-born crisis, so it requires European leadership, while in 2009 we were still fighting the remnants of a U.S. subprime crisis."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:30:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard a talk radio host yesterday frothing at the mouth with indignation that the U.S. would even consider helping Europe with funding for the IMF. Politically a hot potato here...
by asdf on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 01:30:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone crisis adds to shipping market woes - FT.com

Fears are mounting that the eurozone financial crisis could spark a fresh wave of shipping insolvencies, after funding problems at many leading European banks accelerated falls in vessel values, triggered by the worst conditions in some shipping markets in 25 years.

Several of the world's most important shipping financiers have told the Financial Times that liquidity problems are putting banks off financing potential purchases of ships that come up for sale, pushing down the values they achieve. That is prompting banks to worry about the value of similar ships pledged as collateral on their loans. A downward spiral in values is developing as falling values prompt banks to pressurise owners to sell off further ships.

The warnings come at the end of a year so grim for some of the most important shipping segments that many involved are already comparing conditions to the prolonged slump in the mid-1980s. One of the world's leading shipping conglomerates - Korea Lines - and one of the best-known tanker operators - General Maritime - have already collapsed into bankruptcy protection as a ship glut has depressed earnings.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Petrochemicals prices fall as demand dries up - FT.com

Prices of petrochemicals, which are used to make a wide range of products from plastic bags to office chairs, have slumped to their lowest in more than a year as global demand slows.

The drop in demand in China, the world's biggest importer of commodity plastics and a major exporter of plastic goods, has been particularly pronounced, suggesting industrial activity in the world's manufacturing hub could be decelerating even more than reported.

Government figures for November showed a slight contraction in China's overall industrial activity - the first in nearly three years - and a slowdown in both export and import growth. But analysts believe the sharp fall in demand for naphtha, a byproduct of crude oil, suggests the slowdown has been especially pronounced in sectors that use plastics, such as light manufacturing and construction.

"Prices of petrochemicals are a leading indicator of the global economy," said Shahrin Ismaiyatim, head of petrochemicals for Platts, the pricing agency. "Despite the strengthening in crude prices in the second half of this year that has not corresponded to the same rise in petrochemicals prices."



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gold Traders Most Bullish in Month on Debt Crisis: Commodities - Bloomberg

Gold traders are more bullish as investors buy metal at the fastest pace in a year to protect their wealth from Europe's escalating debt crisis.

Eighteen of 26 surveyed by Bloomberg expect the metal to advance next week, the highest proportion since Nov. 11. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold rose 108.5 metric tons to a record from the start of October, the most since the second quarter of 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The extra bullion is valued at $5.99 billion.

Investors are now making a $130.2 billion bet on gold as European leaders meet in Brussels to seek ways to tackle the crisis that means Germany and France are under threat of losing their AAA rating from Standard & Poor's. The European Central Bank yesterday cut interest rates for a second consecutive month to shore up growth, increasing the appeal of gold, which earns investors returns through price gains.

"People are buying out of concern, out of fear," said Mark O'Byrne, executive director of Dublin-based GoldCore Ltd., a brokerage that sells everything from quarter-ounce British Sovereigns to 400-ounce bars. Central banks "are all pursuing extremely loose monetary policies and we still have negative real interest rates. That makes gold attractive."



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Awakening in the Glow of a Bloomberg Terminal - NYTimes.com

As the European debt crisis roils the markets, American traders who once awoke at dawn are now rising in the dead of night to gain an edge when business begins in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Gone are the days when traders showed up to work just before the New York Stock Exchange opened at 9:30 a.m. Now, Wall Street has an unofficial opening bell: the 2:30 a.m. alarm clock.

"We have a new credo: carpe noctem -- seize the night," said Douglas A. Kass, a hedge fund manager who routinely sets his alarm for precisely that time to scan the headlines coming out of Europe. All last week, the musings of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other European leaders put the markets on edge. "You are almost forced to get up and watch the goings-on," he added.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There Will Be Blood » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

So what is actually happening to the euro? Let's take a step back from the panic talk. The most recent data from the COMEX suggests that speculators are heavily short on the euro and yet the currency has fallen less than 10 per cent from its recent highs.   The question one might legitimately pose is:  at what point does the current fiscal austerity produce higher deficits, which in theory should produce a weaker euro (as the euros become "easier to get")?

I have been wrestling with this issue, and keep getting back to a strong currency, even with increased fiscal deficits. Why?

For one, the ECB's bond purchases in the secondary market are operationally sustainable and non-inflationary.  When the ECB undertakes its bond buying operation, the ECB debt purchases merely shift net financial assets held by the `economy' from national government liabilities to ECB liabilities in the form of clearing balances at the ECB.  At the same time, so-called PIIGS government liabilities shift from `the economy' to the ECB.  Note: this process does not alter any `flows' or `net stocks of euros in the real economy.

As long as the ECB imposes austerity terms and conditions, the bond buying will not be inflationary. Inflation from this channel comes from spending.  However, in this case the ECB support comes only with reduced spending via its imposition of fiscal austerity.   Draghi has now made this explicit and it is almost certainly the German quid pro quo for tacitly supporting a proposed expansion of the Secondary Market Program (SMP).  And reduced spending means reduced aggregate demand, which therefore means reduced inflation and a stronger currency.   We also know from an authority no less than the Bank of International Settlements (ironically, the same initials as "blood in streets") that banks cannot lend out reserves, so increasing reserves in the banking system is NOT inflationary per se, as the Weimar hyperinflation hyperventilators continue to warn us.



'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 Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is interesting, because it suggests something obvious - 'investors' are deliberately trying to crash the Eurozone so they can profit from the crash.

This is not so very different to the usual asset raid that gives instant profits to 'investors' while destroying the productive capacity on a corporation. But this time it's on a much bigger scale.

So the point of austerity isn't to 'restore growth' - and those promoting it know damn well that this isn't the point.

It's to crash national governments with two aims - to enforce economic dictatorship, and also to make profits by cashing in short positions that are made more valuable because of the crash.

Real growth would wipe out the 'investors' who are betting heavily on fail, and who have been applying political pressure to guarantee that fail happens.

I wouldn't be remotely surprised to discover that some of our friends at the ECB are in on this game, and stand to profit from it personally.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As we've said before of Bernanke, he wasn't appointed by Bush/Obama to regulate Wall St, he was appointed by Wall St to regulate DC. similarly with the guys who advice Merkozy; their concern isn't good governance of the economy for the good of the people, it is to preserve the profiteering of the banksters for as long as possible. Policy is not strategic, it's always about positioning in tomorrow's markets.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
did you read the whole piece? i heard an interview with marshall auerback There Will Be Blood » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
MARSHALL AUERBACK  is a portfolio strategist with Madison Street Partners, LLC, a Denver based investment management group, and a Fellow with the Economists for Peace and Security.
on electric politics  with george kinney a couple of months ago, and he was brilliant, imo. this is the clearest account of why this whole kabuki is happening i have seen.

i really encourage all here to read the whole thing, but for those without time here's another teaser:

There Will Be Blood » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

In fact, it is doubly ironic that Germany chastises its neighbors for their "profligacy" but relies on their "living beyond their means" to produce a trade surplus that allows its government to run smaller budget deficits. Germany is, in fact, structurally reliant on dis-saving abroad to grow at all. Current account deficits in other parts of the euro zone are required for German growth. It is the height of hypocrisy for Germans to berate the southern states for over-spending when that spending is the only thing that has allowed Germany's economy to grow. It is also mindless for Germans to be advocating harsh austerity for the south states and hacking into their spending potential and not to think that it won't reverberate back onto Germany.

Now, of course, German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not consciously know all of these things.  In fact, she termed accusations of Germany seeking to dominate Europe "bizarre".  But it is clear to any objective observer that the political quid pro quo for greater ECB involvement in dealing with Europe's national solvency crisis is German control over the overall fiscal conduct of countries like Greece, Italy, etc. Mario Draghi is Italian, but the ECB head is playing a German game of chicken: he is embracing exactly the strategy that Angela Merkel's political director, Klaus Schuler, laid out several weeks ago: holding out for fiscal union commitments from the weaker "Club Med" countries, in return for turning the ECB into a lender of last resort.  So whilst many Germans might think they want a smaller, more cohesive euro zone without the troublesome profligates, the policy elites in fact recognize that a "United States of Germany" under the guise of a United States of Europe, actually suits their aspirations to dominate Europe politically and economically.  Which is why the outlines of a deal along the lines of increased ECB involved as a quid pro quo for greater German control of fiscal policy across the euro zone, is emerging.   It's the equivalent of the golden rule:  "He who has the gold, rules."

It is high stakes poker, and one which will ultimately lead to far more bloodshed.  The reality is that there is no plan B.  Just keep raising taxes and cutting spending even as those actions work to cause deficits to go higher rather than lower. So while the solvency and funding issue is likely to be resolved, the relief rally in the markets won't last long as the funding will continue to be conditional to ongoing austerity and negative growth. And the austerity looks likely to not only continue but also to intensify, even as the euro zone has already slipped into recession. So there appears to be no chance that the ECB would fund and at the same time mandate the higher deficits needed for a recovery, In which case the only thing that will end the austerity is blood on the streets in sufficient quantity to trigger chaos and a change in governance.



'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 Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:53:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2011/12/2011121074125944352.html

'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 Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 09:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:36:13 PM EST
Beyond Guantánamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- It is the other Guantánamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads. Today, it houses far more men convicted in terrorism cases than the shrunken population of the prison in Cuba that has generated so much debate.

An aggressive prosecution strategy, aimed at prevention as much as punishment, has sent away scores of people. They serve long sentences, often in restrictive, Muslim-majority units, under intensive monitoring by prison officers. Their world is spare.

Among them is Ismail Royer, serving 20 years for helping friends go to an extremist training camp in Pakistan. In a letter from the highest-security prison in the United States, Mr. Royer describes his remarkable neighbors at twice-a-week outdoor exercise sessions, each prisoner alone in his own wire cage under the Colorado sky. "That's really the only interaction I have with other inmates," he wrote from the federal Supermax, 100 miles south of Denver.

There is Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, Mr. Royer wrote. Terry Nichols, who conspired to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building. Ahmed Ressam, the would-be "millennium bomber," who plotted to attack Los Angeles International Airport. And Eric Rudolph, who bombed abortion clinics and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US Army Now Offers A Prison Guard Specialty Securing 'Civilian Detainees' - Business Insider

Every soldier that enlists in the Army chooses a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Designated by a number and a letter, the 31E MOS now includes advanced responsibilities including command and control of prisoner of war and civilian internee camps.

While the civilian designation likely applies to foreign nationals in their home countries, it reads more ominously now that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is getting nods from legislators as it makes its way through the Senate.

Part of the NDAA includes amendments allowing for the arrest and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens both at home and abroad.

Below is a portion of the MOS listing at GoArmy.com. 



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:06:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front - latimes.com
Reporting from Washington-- Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least they didn't fire a hellfire missile at them

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only on the internets...

I have to read ET to find out what's really going on in my back yard. (The Brossart's farm is likely less than a 2 hr drive from my rural location.)

I do recall the news story regarding the Brossart's unusual claim to cattle that had wandered unto their property.

I do not recall any mentioned of the use of predator drones in our local press.

I guess the next time I go to take a leak in the great outdoors it will have to be under the trees. It really hadn't crossed my mind that the drones would be used by local law enforcement.

If I run across any more info on this subject I'll be sure to pass it along to my ET news source.

NVA, a viable option when the political process fails.

by NorthDakotaDemocrat (NorthDakotaDemocrat at gmail dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 04:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NorthDakotaDemocrat:
I have to read ET to find out what's really going on in my back yard.

We aim to serve...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 05:17:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found the same thing. Democracy Now!, ET, and now Olbermann on Current TV. That's about it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:32:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this morning it's also on Buzzflash and Yves Smith's NakedCapitalism.

NVA, a viable option when the political process fails.
by NorthDakotaDemocrat (NorthDakotaDemocrat at gmail dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 12:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NorthDakotaDemocrat:
I guess the next time I go to take a leak in the great outdoors it will have to be under the trees.

Is it illegal to piss outdoors in North Dakota?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See 24/7/365 - Drone War Changed America by Magnifico on November 27th, 2011.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 12:53:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Observers question DRC election credibility - Africa - Al Jazeera English

One of the main observation missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo says that the results of the presidential election lack credibility.

In a statement released by the Carter Center on Saturday, observers reported that "the quality and integrity of the vote tabulation process has varied across the country, ranging from the proper application of procedures to serious irregularities, including the loss of nearly 2,000 polling station results in Kinshasa".

Observers said they found evidence of possible vote tampering, vote inflation in regions of the country favourable to the incumbent President Joseph Kabila, and instances of vote suppression in areas known to be bastions of support for the opposition.

Detailed province-by-province results show a pattern of ``impossibly high'' rates of voter turnout in places known to be strongholds of support for the 40-year-old Kabila, said a statement released by the Carter Center.

Although voter turnout throughout the country was less than 59 per cent overall, in several constituencies in Katanga province turnout was 99 to 100 per cent, and all, or nearly all, of the votes were cast for Kabila.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:44:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian army and defectors 'battling in south' - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of army defectors in southern Syria have fought with loyalist forces in one of the biggest armed confrontations in a nine-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, residents and activists said.

Troops, mainly from the 12th Armoured Brigade, based in Isra, 40km from the border with Jordan, stormed the
nearby town of Busra al-Harir, the Reuters news agency reported.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from near the Jordan-Syria border, said that the clash started when "tens of tanks mounted with machine guns opened fire in that area earlier on Sunday morning to try to put an end to a general strike" called for by the opposition.

The sound of explosions and heavy machine guns was heard in Busra al-Harir and in Lujah, an area of rocky hills north of the town, where defectors have been hiding and attacking military supply lines.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:44:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Noriega bound for Panama after 22-year absence - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Manuel Noriega, Panama's jailed former military ruler, is nearing the end of the journey back to his homeland after receiving final medical clearance to be extradited from France, where he was serving out a prison sentence for corruption.

His flight took off from Paris' Orly airport to head for Madrid on Spain's Iberia airlines, delivered directly to the aircraft by a four-car convoy and motorcycles that escorted him from the French capital's walked La Sante prison.

The flight left just after 8am for Madrid. Spanish airport authority AENA later confirmed the plane had taken off for Panama just before 2pm (13:00 GMT), after announcing two short delays.

Noriega, 77, is expected to be transferred to prison once he arrives in Panama, having been convicted in absentia of crimes during his 1983-89 rule.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - N Korea furious at South's Christmas lights plan

North Korea has warned South Korea of "unexpected consequences" if it lights up a Christmas tree-shaped tower near their tense border.

The North's state-run Uriminjokkiri website said it would amount to a form of "psychological warfare".

Seoul's annual tradition of lighting up a Christmas tree tower was suspended in 2003 following a warming of ties.

However, the South lit a tower last year as relations deteriorated between the neighbours.

The Associated Press quotes a defence ministry official as saying the South has agreed to allow Christian groups to light a further two towers this year.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:00:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:36:32 PM EST
2010 spike in Greenland ice loss lifted bedrock, GPS reveals

ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2011) -- An unusually hot melting season in 2010 accelerated ice loss in southern Greenland by 100 billion tons -- and large portions of the island's bedrock rose an additional quarter of an inch in response.

That's the finding from a network of nearly 50 GPS stations planted along the Greenland coast to measure the bedrock's natural response to the ever-diminishing weight of ice above it.

Every year as the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the rocky coast rises, explained Michael Bevis, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Geodynamics and professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University. Some GPS stations around Greenland routinely detect uplift of 15 mm (0.59 inches) or more, year after year. But a temperature spike in 2010 lifted the bedrock a detectably higher amount over a short five-month period -- as high as 20 mm (0.79 inches) in some locations.

In a presentation December 9 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, Bevis described the study's implications for climate change.

"Pulses of extra melting and uplift imply that we'll experience pulses of extra sea level rise," he said. "The process is not really a steady process."



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN climate conference approves landmark deal - Africa - Al Jazeera English

The president of the UN climate conference in South Africa has announced agreement on a programme mapping out a new course by all nations to fight climate change over the coming decades.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is also South Africa's foreign minister, said the 194-party conference had agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime to enforce their commitments to control greenhouse gases.

"We came here with plan A, and we have concluded this meeting with plan A to save one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren to come," Nkoana-Mashabane said.

"We have made history," she said.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Durban climate deal struck after tense all-night session | Environment | guardian.co.uk

A new global climate deal has been struck after being brought back from the brink of disaster by three powerful women politicians in a 20-minute "huddle to save the planet".

A major crisis had been provoked after 3am on Sunday morning when the EU clashed furiously with China and India over the legal form of a potential new treaty. The EU plan to bind all countries to cuts was close to collapse after India inserted the words "legal outcome" at the last minute into the negotiating text.

EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard, backed by UK energy secretary Chris Huhne, said it would have made the EU plan legally meaningless and would have forced the EU to walk away, effectively collapsing the negotiations.

With ministers exhausted after nearly six days and three nights of intense discussions, Hedegaard told the 194 countries in Durban: "We need clarity. We need to commit. The EU has shown patience for many years. We are almost ready to be alone in a second commitment period [to the Kyoto protocol].



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if anyone had to search for why the EU is being deliberately weakened by GS et al... this is one of the top three.

the others being resistance to the hegemon efforts of have any eurodata controlled, and resistance to corporatism.

4th and 5th...support for palestine, and being an example of 'soft power' more hearts and minds successful diplomacy.

6th... welfare states' health care

'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 Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 06:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to say that this is a good accord; but it's clear that without a steadfast EU, there would be no accord whatever, and the very idea of a global climate accord would have been sunk for a long time.

Hedegaard deserves a lot of credit personally for saving something from the wreck. She should be up for a Nobel prize in a few years, if even a halfway decent treaty emerges by 2015.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 09:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Carbon Onset: CO2 Debt of Climate Conferences Grows and Grows and Grows | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

DURBAN, South Africa--When roughly 25,000 people descend on a city to talk climate change, you can expect at least two things: mountains of waste and copious emissions of the greenhouse gases that they've come to talk about so seriously. To offset the hundreds of thousands of tons of these lightweight gases emitted in the pursuit of a global climate treaty, recent such conferences have taken compensatory measures, such as subsidizing retrofits of Bangladeshi brick factories, so that ambassadorial emissions are offset by a reduction in pollution from kilns.

Here in eThekweni municipality the local utility may have a small wind turbine spinning briskly on the roof of its headquarters, but the bulk of the power comes from coal, and the smell of smoke is evident except in those locales cleansed by sea breezes. In fact, 99 percent of the power here comes from burning fossil fuels, whether for electricity or transport. Yet, the municipality spent some $715,000 to ensure the greenhouse gas emissions of this conference are eventually tabulated--and accounted for rigorously.

The idea then is to offset the surplus CO2 by investing locally in emission reductions: There are free bikes for delegates (as well as free buses running on diesel partially made from coal). There is tree planting in Paradise Valley ("alien species" of trees are removed and replaced with "locally indigenous" varieties). And there is a 500-kilowatt (at peak sunlight) concentrated solar-photovoltaic array from France-based Soitec Solar--the largest in all of South Africa--in nearby Verulam (as well as one showcase array outside the conference itself). Finally, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change's 767 staff members offset their emissions by investing in CO2-reduction credits generated by switching a coal-fired brick kiln in Johannesburg to natural gas.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Geopolitics of Climate Change: Will China Become the Green Superpower? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

China's rise to superpower status seems unstoppable. But what course will it take over the coming decades? Let's take a look at two very different scenarios for the China of 2025:

  • Under the first scenario, China has become the largest economy in the world, due to a close trans-Pacific alliance with the US. The People's Republic mainly generates its wealth by providing its American neighbor in the Far East with cheap money and cheap consumer goods. But the toll for this strategy is high: Chinese CO2 emissions are now higher than the emissions of all other nations combined. Per capita emissions have soared even above the levels of the United States. As droughts, floods and food shortages increasingly ravage the planet, billions of people perceive Beijing as the main culprit behind climate change. More than 100 nations, including the EU, have formed an official alliance against "Chimerica," as the two superpowers threaten to destroy the biosphere. There are warnings of an impending "climate war."
  • Under the second scenario, China has become the largest economy in the world, due to a close Eurasian partnership with the EU and India. The People's Republic mainly generates its wealth by developing and exporting green technologies. In collaboration with the EU, Beijing has put in place rules against excessive indebtedness, which apply both to financial and "ecological" debts. The cost to the environment is now integrated into how Eurasian nations calculate their gross domestic product. CO2 emissions are beginning to decline around the world, except in the United States. The former superpower is culturally incapable of modernizing itself ecologically and is losing its power due to its addiction to cheap oil. Eurasia has become the new superpower, with China as the dominant force.


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that they are opening a coal burning power station every three days, I'd guess that the answer is No.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The strategy seems simple ... first control the entire planet, then save it. Priorities, priorities.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:34:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm told the sky in parts of China is green from the sulphur from burning dirty coal. If that doesn't make China a green superpower, I wonder what would...

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 11:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan uses tsunami victims' cash to shield whalers from activists - Nature - Environment - The Independent

Japan caused outrage yesterday as authorities confirmed it is diverting millions of pounds tagged for the reconstruction of its tsunami-devastated coast to protect its annual Antarctic whale-hunt.

Roughly 2.28bn yen (£19m) from a reconstruction fund for areas badly hit by the crippling 11 March earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster will be used to beef up security for the Japanese whaling fleet, which left port under heavy guard this week.

The money is part of about 500bn yen in "fisheries-related spending" green-lighted by parliament last month. Japan's Fisheries Agency justified the decision by saying that "safer hunts" would ultimately help whaling towns along the coast to recover.

"Many people in [those areas] are waiting for Japan's commercial whaling operations to resume," said the agency's spokesman Tatsuya Nakaoku. The agency said that some of the money is earmarked to allow the fleet to "stably carry out its whaling research".



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO: Fukushima Radiation Isn't Our Problem » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Tepco owns the 6-reactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan's March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.

So when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court Oct. 31 by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn't liable because it no longer "owned" the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.

"Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco," the company said. This stunned the Court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, "We are flabbergasted...."

(my bold, ed)

'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 Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:03:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's Bill Hicks to re-work his Rodney King trial sketch ?  "what balls....."

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:36:48 PM EST
With the Plan B decision, the Obama administration broke its promise - The Washington Post

It was a proud moment, in the East Room of the White House, on a beautiful spring day in March 2009. In the room were leading scientists, Nobel laureates, the president's science adviser and heads of organizations that had fought in support of scientific integrity in research and in government. I was excited to have been invited to watch President Obama sign a memorandum on scientific integrity.

The directive signaled that decisions about public health would no longer be blocked for reasons beyond scientific and medical evidence. Agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration would no longer have their decisions overturned by leadership that disregarded the science.

That promise was betrayed this past week when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA commissioner -- and all of the physicians and scientists at the FDA -- in blocking the agency's decision to allow an emergency contraceptive to be available over the counter for all who need it.

I resigned from the FDA in 2005 after serving for five years as assistant commissioner for women's health. I left because of my frustration that this safe and effective emergency contraceptive pill, Plan B, had been repeatedly blocked from going on sale over the counter. It was clear to me at the time that the recommendations of all the medical and scientific experts, both inside and outside the FDA, were being overruled by ideology, to the detriment of women and limiting their access to medicines.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 01:32:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Contagion: Controversy Erupts over Man-Made Pandemic Avian Flu Virus: Scientific American

It's a rare kind of research that incites a frenzied panic before it's even published. But it's flu season, and influenza science has a way of causing a stir this time of year.

Epidemiologists have long debated the pandemic potential of H5N1, a.k.a. avian bird flu. On one hand, the virus spreads too inefficiently between humans to seem like much of a threat: it has caused less than 600 known cases of human flu since first emerging in 1997. On the other hand, when it does spread, it can be pretty deadly: nearly 60 percent of infected humans died from the virus. For years now, the research has suggested that any mutations that enhanced the virus's ability to spread among humans, would simultaneously make it less deadly. But in a recent batch of as-yet-unpublished studies, two scientists - Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center, in the Netherlands - have shown otherwise.

Working separately, they each hit on a combination of mutations (five, in Dr. Fouchier's case) that makes H5N1 airborne (enabling it to spread readily between humans), without making it less deadly. In laboratory experiments, ferrets infected with this mutant strain passed it to other ferrets in nearby cages (ferrets are a common subject of flu studies because they react to flu viruses in a similar way to humans). A significant proportion of infected subjects died.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:01:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh good. Why not work on a more deadly smallpox while you're at it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the Higgs Been Discovered? Physicists Gear Up for Watershed Announcement: Scientific American

The physics buzz reached a frenzy in the past few days over the announcement that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is planning to release what is widely expected to be tantalizing--although not conclusive--evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle hypothesized to be the origin of the mass of all matter.

Many physicists have already swung into action, swapping rumors about the contents of the announcement and proposing grand ideas about what those rumors would mean, if true. "It's impossible to be excited enough," says Gordon Kane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The spokespersons of the collaborations using the cathedral-size ATLAS and CMS detectors to search for the Higgs boson and other phenomena at the 27-kilometer-circumference proton accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are scheduled to present updates December 13 based on analyses of the data collected to date. "There won't be a discovery announcement, but it does promise to be interesting," says James Gillies, spokesperson for CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), which hosts the LHC.



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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:01:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horses abandoned or sold for a pittance in weak economy - latimes.com
Arabians, paints and quarter horses that were once prized possessions of families throughout Southern California are increasingly being cut loose as unaffordable luxuries, especially in sprawling, working-class Inland Empire communities trampled by double-digit unemployment and pocked with foreclosed homes.

Some horses are sold off for a fraction of what their owners paid, saving them thousands in feed and care expenses. Scores of others have been abandoned, many found foraging for food along the Santa Ana River near Norco and Pedley or rescued from owners who starved them into bony cripples. Horse sanctuaries, some providing a home for more than 50 head, are struggling to stay afloat, and a few are declining to accept newcomers.

"Up until two or three years ago, we'd find maybe two abandoned horses a year. It's a horse a week now," said Allan Drusys, chief veterinarian for Riverside County's Department of Animal Services.

In October, Riverside County animal control officials seized 15 emaciated horses from a five-acre ranch outside of Murrieta, just weeks after two abandoned and malnourished horses were wandering around the outskirts of Perris. The county's new animal shelter along the Santa Ana River has a dozen stables, all full, and most horses there are facing possible euthanasia.


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 02:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Firm Apologizes for Project that Looks Like Exploding Twin Towers - DNAinfo.com
MANHATTAN -- A celebrated Dutch architectural firm that sparked a firestorm of controversy after it released renderings for a luxury development in South Korea bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Twin Towers on 9/11has apologized for the move.

Rotterdam MVRDV has worked furiously to stem fallout from "The Cloud," portrayed in architectural drawings as two skyscrapers joined at the middle by a billowing mass that, for many, evoked the September 11 terror attacks.

"MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11," the company wrote on its Facebook page, where irate commenters flocked to denounce the project. "It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process.

"We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 05:30:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


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 Sun Dec 11th, 2011 at 12:37:08 PM EST
A comment on a PR Week article Bosses Shocked By 'Unethical' And Outdated Tactics By Bell Pottinger.

"'We can help you to have the truth heard by the right people in a memorable and timely manner. We can help you to get the reputation you deserve. And what you deserve will depend on what you really are and what you really do. We will not, however, lie for you, lie to you or shine shit - for that you need advertising."


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 02:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In entirely unrelated BBC news: Faecal transplants used to cure Clostridium difficile

On the morning of the procedure, the donor will come into hospital and produce a sample. A relative is generally used, preferably one who lives with the patient, because living in the same environment and eating the same food means they are more likely to have similar bowel bacteria. About 30g (1oz) is taken and blitzed in a household blender with some salt water. This is poured through a coffee filter to leave a watery liquid. Dr MacConnachie inserts a tube up the patient's nose and down to the stomach. Other doctors use a different route to the bowels.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 12th, 2011 at 03:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]