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Weekend Open Thread

by Fran Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 11:49:10 AM EST

A loose ends Open Thread...


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So let loose or whatever - its the weekend. :-)
by Fran on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 11:49:54 AM EST
Hi, Fran! Have a great weekend.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 06:08:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's raining!  It's raining!

Which means:

It's flooding!  It's flooding!

(Life in the Desert, Episode 5)

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

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 12:04:12 PM EST
Woke up this morning to a pouring rain and pools of water standing around our house, which sits on a hill side with the land having a 3 - 5 degree slope. I have emptied right at 7" of water from my rain gauge in August so far. At least the rain has come no more than an inch a day. Others within a hundred miles have not been so lucky

The grass was sufficiently dry to mow by late Friday afternoon, so I mowed the section along the street - the easement - and one half of my neighbors front yard - the half with all crab grass - and it started raining again when I was about 2/3rds done. Yesterday's high was 84, today's is predicted to be 82. Cool but boring. Too wet to do any of the garden tasks at hand. Three dry days in a row in August appears to be too much to hope for this year.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 01:47:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ditto for Sunday AM.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 12:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the whole world is talking about how Oprah Winfrey was treated in Zurich.  

That story must have been in every single newspaper in the entire world.

It won't do tourism in Switzerland much good.  Ha ha!  It couldn't happen to a nastier bunch of people.  I have heard so many stories of racism in Switzerland, it's amazing.

by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 12:32:20 PM EST
the problem I have is that it plays so much into our assumptions about the level of general racism amongst the Swiss (Dear Fran obviously excepted) that I worry whether it might actually be what the shop claims, a mistake.

But I think 70:30 probability they were just being snobby racists.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 12:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they are snobby, no doubt about it.  They were snobby to me very often.

but my dear, dear friend in Zurich is Indonesian and she gets it almost every day.  

the Swiss sponge off the hidden assets of other countries and think they are well off because of who they are and how hard they work.  In Americanese, they say "He was born on third base and thought he had hit a triple".

by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:36:24 PM EST
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Have you got enough tar on that brush?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:40:29 PM EST
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maybe you should investigate the Swiss economic model.  
by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:49:17 PM EST
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the Swiss sponge off the hidden assets of other countries and think they are well off because of who they are and how hard they work.

Those spongers are the Swiss 1%. Those who are considerably less well off by who still identify with that 1% are little different than most US Tea Party members who identify with and are tools of the interests of the Koch brothers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 12:09:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.  Alas, assholes know no national boundaries.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 05:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My hotel manager in Switzerland during my recent holiday was a first-rate asshole. He was an immigrant from northern Germany, though... But the ladies at the two shops at Zurich main station where I bought presents (all of them locals based on accent) were rather nice. I left my briefcase in the first shop, but (falsely assuming that I put it away when I put the present away) I thought it was stolen when I discovered it's missing at the counter in the second shop. A fellow shopper lady wanted to buy me the present I left at the counter, while the shoplady advised me to go to the station police, but first I checked the dustbins on my route. I got back to the first shop when one of the shopladies returned, too, with my briefcase in hand: she was searching for me two levels up along the train tracks. That's three instances of helpfulness on own initiative I'm not used to, especially as a foreigner.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 06:33:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She should've just gone to City Hall and bought Zurich.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 05:37:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stephen Fry - The Daily Mail and Lord Dacre appeasing again

DM can stand for Direct Messages in Twitter or the Daily Mail out there in the big bad world. I don't read either, and all my friends know that I never read British newspapers of any kind.

Nonetheless there are always those that like to sympathise: today I've had plenty of, "Ooh you seem to have riled the Daily Mail" and "The Daily Fail have got it in for you today"... tweets. None of which has made me turn to the loathed organ in response and dignify it with reading whatever it is that it has written about me. I have pieced together that it's the usual "what right does the pompous luvvie have..." etc etc. Well, the same right as the pompous journo who wrote the piece I would assume. In other words the right of free speech. Are they suggesting I actually don't have the right to blog? Apparently the hate-piece* was put together by a disc jockey called Colin something or other whose great use for Lord Dacre, the Mail's autocratic führer, is that he is gay. "Hurrah! Stephen Fry doesn't speak for all gay people!" Well, of course I bloody don't and would never claim to. But if there's one thing the Mail can do better than any other paper it's erect a fake coconut and then knock it down and claim a prize.

I have helped spark a debate about the Sochi Olympiad and I can be as proud (or "smug" as they would undoubtedly call it) about that as I like.

A wonderfully restrained polemic

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 01:24:30 PM EST
Guardian - Dekka Aitkenhead - Labour must shout louder or risk election defeat, warns Andy Burnham

Labour's leadership must put its cards on the table before next spring and produce a set of policies which define the party or risk defeat at the next general election, the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has warned.

In a candid interview with the Guardian, Burnham voiced concern that time is running out to mount a coherent challenge to the coalition. The party under Ed Miliband still had time to present a distinctive economic alternative, but he warned that waiting longer would mean that the window will be closed.

"I think there's definitely a need to shout louder, and speak in a way that captures how people are feeling and thinking. There's definitely a need to put our cards on the table," he said.

Labour needs to have something to shout about. Right now they do not seem to have any actual alternatives to the Tory agenda. On issue after issue it is readily apparent that the Labour policy agrees with what is being done. Health policies, social policies, wlefare policies and, most important of all, economic policies; on every issue the NuLab poison has not been lanced, nor is there any sign that this will change.

So Labour skulk around, open to the accusations that they broke the economy and everything else in the country, because they act guilty and because they have no new ideas.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 01:35:26 PM EST
Sounds like the ideal time for a new party. Is the UKIP the only example of a new party possible in the UK? It dates to 1993 and self describes as 'libertarian'. Why should progressives continue to pretend that Labor acts in their interest or is interested in their agenda?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 01:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a nice idea but given the dynamics on the left, it would be impossible to make any electoral impact. All it would do would be to split the vote.

We need a consistent but influential critique of Labour policies from outside the party. But right now all of the money is coming from the Blairite filth

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 02:48:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The remnants of the TUC should provide a core.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 03:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If only; too often the TUC com over as the not-quite-good-enough for the Labour party

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 03:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately for Mr. Burnham the latest UK Polling Report has

CON 29%(+1), LAB 36%(-3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 17%(+1)

for an 84 Labour majority.

At the moment all Labour has to be is Not-Tories.  Something they can manage without doing anything.

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

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 07:45:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then the U.K. is doomed to have another Blarite Labour government and the stupid will continue to churn - barring the unexpected emergence of an actual leader. Miliband will become Miliband-aid to the cancer of financialization.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 11:00:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People can either:

  1. get off their asses and get involved

  2. sit back and continue to make a decision between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber

(Goes for the US, as well.)

UKIP has been working since 1993, positioning themselves to be the Not-Tory/Not-Labour choice.  Granted they are the Tweedledumbest choice, doesn't matter.  At some point they may become the majority party out of voter exasperation and spite.  

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

by ATinNM on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 11:35:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Get involved, how?

NuLab is hermetically locked down to keep working people out. You can turn up to meetings if you like, but if you're not a card-carrying Blairite you're a 'trouble-making militant extremist.'

Someone would have to create an alternative party -  and that needs leadership, persistence, tons of cash, and sympathetic media.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 11:45:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You ask, "Get involved, how?"

I don't know.  As Helen proved, below, I don't know enough about the on-the-ground political reality in the UK to do anything but babble.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Aug 12th, 2013 at 05:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UKIP has been working since 1993, positioning themselves to be the Not-Tory/Not-Labour choice.

not really. They are the British equivalent of the Tea Party. Any impact they have on the Labour vote is to attracte the Dixiecrat racists, who are nothing like as numerous as some Labour figures seem to think.

No, it's the Tory vote which is going to be split by unkip. Not by much, a few percent here and there, but enough that they could lose the 50 marginals that are the difference between power and opposition.

Yes, Labour will get in without trying and it's governments which lose elections, not oppositions which win them. But, having the Blairites return to power will simply continue the unbroken thatcherite hegemony which has wrecked this country over the last 35 years.

And I want something else, something better

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 12:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the revolution is staring

Filipinos destroy GMO "golden rice" saying -  we want to know what we're eating!

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/10/filipino-farmers-destroy-genetically-modified-golden-rice-crop s/

and remember, this was one of the most benefitical GMOs -  the rice with vitamin A added.  People don't want to eat it.  

by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:56:29 PM EST
Good link. The farmers are concerned with their fields being contaminated with GMO traits and their products being subjected to boycotts so they destroyed the test crop, hopefully before it was able to release pollen.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 05:14:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks
by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 05:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by stevesim on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 05:45:40 PM EST
He wants to build the first one between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but there's nothing about what happens during an earthquake.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 02:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great news from USA: daughter and her girlfriend getting married in NYC in October. Now they'll be able to do their federal taxes like "regular" married people.


'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 02:02:13 AM EST
Congrats!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 05:39:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just saw the first Perseid meteor this night, right at the end of a perfect three-minute, maximum relative brightness passage of the International Space Station.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 03:54:41 PM EST
The Dreadful Summer Wind | KUNSTLER

     Historians will remark that it was a beautiful August with bright days and cool nights for sleeping, and the Hamptons were ablaze with self-satisfied egos, and that nobody was paying attention to all the mischief that was set in motion the previous spring, not to mention the many seasons of bad behavior that preceded it. And when they returned from vacation, lo, the world was in crisis. What a surprise.

     The USA cannot come to terms with the salient facts staring us in the face: that we can't run things as we've set them up to run. We refuse to take the obvious actions to set things up differently. Instead, we've tried to offset the accelerating losses of running our unrunable stuff with accounting fraud, aimed at pretending that everything still works. But the accounting fraud has only accelerated the gathering disorder in the banking system. That disorder has infected our currency and the infection is spreading to all currencies. What a surprise that the first pandemic to strike an overstressed global immune system was not bird flu after all, but a sickness of money.

     Near the center of that money sickness was the blitzkrieg against gold and silver in the spring, when arrant serial selling dumps were executed against the money metals to un-money them. The net result was only that a lot of that ancient money flowed from the places pretending it was valueless to the places that never adopted that pretense. At stake in that rather massive movement was the supposed value of the other stuff that pretended to hold value, namely sovereign bonds, and especially the treasury paper issued by the USA. After all, US Treasury bonds and notes were, in the eyes of bankers, the functional equivalent of cash-in-hand. Alas, the world was starting to choke on it -- not least the US central bank itself, which had been gorging at the monthly auction buffet for years and was now stuffed to the gills. In fact, it had grown too fat to even leave the room where the buffet had been set up.



'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 Sun Aug 11th, 2013 at 09:41:23 PM EST


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 12th, 2013 at 02:52:58 AM EST
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