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Wednesday Open Thread

by dvx Wed May 11th, 2011 at 11:53:47 AM EST

Commencing the downhill slide of the week!


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Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 11:57:34 AM EST
Irish Times: Pensions grab justifiable in these desperate times (Dan O'Brien)
[Governments] can employ people directly in the public sector. They can subsidise the private sector to take people on and keep them on. They can buy more goods and services from companies, resulting in more new hires. They can tweak the tax and benefits system to make work more attractive to the inactive. They can invest in "human capital" - economics-speak for making people more employable by training and educating them. And they can ensure that the cost of rules and regulations governing the hiring and firing of workers do as little as possible to discourage companies from creating jobs.

Five out of six of these broad areas of government action on jobs cost money. The Irish Government has almost none. And it is prohibited under the terms of its EU-IMF bailout from spending the very little money it has on anything the bailout supervisors say no to.

The troika told the Government that if it wanted to spend additional money on jobs it would have to find concrete sources of revenue to fund its initiatives. The Coalition chose the dubious, if expedient, option of taking from private pension pots. But before discussing the cons and pros of that issue, the more immediate question is whether yesterday's package will help the 300,000 people who are unemployed and the additional 140,000 who are entitled to claim the dole, mostly because they are underemployed.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 12:09:27 PM EST
Yay for straightforward thievery.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 12:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is sick.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:14:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU must stand for the European Unemployer

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:12:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starve or be a felon.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 06:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huge demonstration again in the 7th (if I haven't lost count) general strike since the <s>state of siege</s> memorandum with the troika.

Things are getting out of hand. Police attacked what was pretty much a relatively peaceful demonstration, with ferocity. Right now there is a demonstrator in the Nikaia General Hospital, fighting for his life after being severely hit (probably but not definitively by a police club) in the head. He has undergone surgery and the doctors say he will remain in critical condition for 48 hours. I hope and pray that he makes it OK, both for him and because if there is again someone murdered by the police, all hell will break loose.



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

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 12:50:09 PM EST
Huge demonstration again in the 7th (if I haven't lost count) general strike since the state of siege memorandum with the troika.

Things are getting out of hand. Police attacked what was pretty much a relatively peaceful demonstration, with ferocity.

Meanwhile, the Spanish left-of-center paper of record headlines The second general strike of the year in Greece endds in riots. First, they make a parallel between the injured protest and the three bank employees who died from a molotov cocktail months ago in another riot. Then they give the police version that the hospitalised protester was part of a group that attacked the police first. Only in the second half of the piece they give opinions of protesters. Meanwhile, Olli Rehn is quoted as asking Greece to "leave aside internal disputes" since "it's a mirage to think there are real alternatives to the economic reform programs". And the current situation "is a test of the credibility of Greek political forces".

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 01:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
- Arrest of demonstrator

- Police brutality

- Slideshow from today

The man beaten up and fighting for his life apparently was in a non-violent block of protesters attacked pretty much at random, according to Social Media (so not confirmed yet).

Tomorrow there is a protest at 7 in Athens (and possibly one in Thessaloniki as well) against police brutality. It doesn't seem like it will be peaceful...

Ugly, upon ugly, upon desperate...

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

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When Greece becomes a failed state, all the Austere Brussels Consensus assholes and xenophobes continent-wide will feel validated.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep thinking of the peasant's donkey in Brothers Karamazov.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 06:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any word on his condition?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ouch?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 06:04:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stable but critical. The doctors won't say more at this point.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 06:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks

What they are reporting is normal with head injuries.  The doctors won't be able to say what, if any, brain damage happened until he awakens.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 06:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Epidural haematoma is what they said, with some sort of compression of the brain - he had surgery and they can't yet tell how his situation will develop. The first eye-witness accounts report that the police officers attacked the main body of the protest march unprovoked

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 07:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
damn

Are they purposely trying to amp things up?

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

by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 07:26:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very possibly.

This is what neoclassical economics looks like on the street.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 07:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well judging from the Alfie Meadows case in the UK student protests, the next step when he comes through the brain injury is to charge him with attacking the police officers

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 05:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting explanation for the real intent behind anti-gay bill in uganda

Den of the Hyena - First they came for the homosexuals

What has changed? The answer is, again, rather complicated, but it centres on an increasing shift toward the kind of contempt for human rights shown in the bill itself. If we look at the bill in more detail we can see that it was never intended simply as an instrument for criminalising lgbt people. Because it's very difficult to prove a person's sexual orientation - certainly if they haven't had anal sex (which supporters assume, incorrectly, isn't practised by straight people) - homosexuality is something that anybody can be accused of. This provides an easy way of framing and disposing of political opponents (or those who simply fall foul of corrupt officials). And there's more. Simply knowing that somebody else is lgbt and failing to report it can lead to a prison sentence. This would criminalise parents who fail to turn in their children, but it is also, again, an easy means whereby to frame people.

The Anti-Gay Bill was always an attractive political tool to corrupt factions within government. What has changed is that the Ugandan government has now reached a point where it has more need of such measures to control an unhappy populace, and where it also needs a distraction. Those opposing the bill around the world need to think carefully about what that means.Yes, it is important to challenge the bill, but how many other stories do you see about Uganda in the Western news? With the focus on this piece of legislation it is all the easier for Museveni's government to get away with the other human rights abuses it is perpetuating and to keep foreign eyes off the protests and riots. Because ultimately, the suffering of lgbt people is unlikely to lead to sanctions or other serious forms of intervention.

When you want to be free to deal with a population using violence, you start by dehumanising them. That was easy for the Ugandan government and its allies to do with gays. Once that happened, ordinary people became more comfortable with the idea of lynch mobs. Some will have joined in, perhaps thinking they had to do it to protect their children, and once one has been involved in something like that it is harder to convincingly express moral outrage when one sees the same tactics used against other groups. Dehumanisation spreads. Police officers, too, become more comfortable with using violence against the population they serve.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 01:09:46 PM EST
BBC: Schengen state Denmark to re-impose border controls
The Danish People's Party (DPP) and its leader Pia Kjaersgaard argued controls would counter illegal immigration and organised crime.

...

The border controls were negotiated by the DPP in return for supporting the government's pension reform.

...

The newspaper Politiken notes that the use of customs officers would be a way of getting around the Schengen rules, as checks would be random.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 01:31:19 PM EST
Brooks: Bachmann's Turned Up Overdrive

"Global warming is a hoax," [Bachmann] asserts, her Midwestern twang buffered by the winning smile and hip-mom hair.  "First, because every point in the atmosphere is right next to the point beside it, where the temperature is exactly the same.  And that extends from point to point, in every direction.  That's why every place on earth always has exactly the same weather as every other place.  So there is no quote-unquote `warming.'"

Pure gold.

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

by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:14:08 PM EST
I think I just died a little reading that.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:17:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Brooks is a repug isn't he ? Aren't they supposed to be cheerleading the dumbest of the dumb as Broder did Palin ?

right now, the repugs candidate is gonna be The Grinch unless they stop talking up the never will be's.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I refuse to believe any of those quotes are real. In fact I want some of what Brooks' ate that day just so's he could invent them

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Small print, bottom of page:

This is a Parody of the New York Times, © 2011 The Final Edition


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:36:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, some (not so) small part of me actually wanted that to be true

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I seriously didn't think it was satire until I clicked the link.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What makes it so funny.  Only had to ramp-up teh Backmann and teh Brooks by a couple of notches.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good grief! Can people be such cretins and yet rise to be 'leaders'?

We're in worse shape than I thought....

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 02:43:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is getting frighteningly bad in "the world's only superpower". Just consider that the Democrats are almost as useless on dealing with defense, the economy and the criminal banking and business climate. One good sign: Raj Rajaratnam was convicted on all counts of insider trading, conspiracy and securities fraud. He had informants from Goldman, among others.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 08:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he the harbinger of a wave of prosecutions?

Or is he the fall guy for a whole generation of insider trading?

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

by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 02:58:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
obviously the one rotten apple, exposed to show the fundamental honesty of the entire system

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 05:22:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good news : I've won tickets to a beer festival !!

Bad News : It's on the other side of the country and there's no public transport.

So it'll cost me the best part of £50 to enjoy my free day out + camping cost. Did I ever mention I'm too old for camping ? And it's free to CAMRA members anyway !!!

But it's in cheddar, which is a lovely part of the country, so I'm tempted.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:00:25 PM EST
Can you re-coup expenses by flogging the tickets at the venue?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[And note how I used "flogging" in its Brit idiomatic definition to increase the "o'er, crikey, matey-me-duck" American/English communitarian solidarity here on ET.

I expect lots of 4's.]

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

by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:32:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expenses = £50. I may get b&b so = £100

Cost of ticket = £3

No

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheddar?

That's rather a cheesey venue, isn't it?

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now everybody is going to milk this, churning out the puns.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:38:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no whey

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 03:39:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheddar can be gorgeous.

(A bit of local humour there. Obviously, I don't expect you foreigners to get it.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 04:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 04:22:42 PM EST
For a second there I read commencing the downhill slide of the weak.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:18:15 PM EST
A couple of weeks ago I was having a beer in Montmartre (outrageously expensive), with my brother. We saw (for this is the sort of thing one sees in Montmartre) a long-haired gentleman on roller skates, ascending the steep cobblestoned street, pushing a pram with a small child in it.

My brother does a double take and says: "Talk about pushing shit uphill with a sharp stick!"

It's a proverb where we come from.

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

by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 03:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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