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

28 February - 1 March 2015

by DoDo Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 03:31:06 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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  • EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
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EUROPE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:50:50 PM EST
Greek bailout deal gets Bundestag green light | Business | The Guardian

The German parliament has backed the extension of the Greek bailout by four months with an overwhelming majority - the biggest yet of any Bundestag vote on measures to fight the European debt crisis.

But in a sign of growing scepticism over Greece's financial aid package within Germany, 29 MPs from Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc rebelled and voted against the plan. A total of 542 MPs voted in favour, with just 32 MPs voting against and 13 abstaining.

...The Bundestag vote was important because Germany is the dominant force in the eurozone. It means that Greece now has until the end of June to satisfy its lenders, before it can receive the final payment from its bailout programme, worth €7.2bn (£5.2bn).

Greece's financial position is still precarious, as it must repay a €1.6bn IMF loan in March and €7.5bn of maturing bonds held by the ECB in July and August.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:51:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schäuble′s Greece vote exposes slight rift in CDU-CSU bloc | News | DW.DE | 27.02.2015

... On Friday, Varoufakis, who became finance minister in January, called the hard-fought EU deal to secure the extension a "fig leaf" - "deliberately" worded flexibly to secure approval by eurozone parliaments. In an interview with Greek television, the outspoken minister said the government had worded the agreement vaguely at the suggestion of Greece's EU creditors: "Otherwise it would not be approved by parliaments."

...Tensions in Germany's ruling coalition emerged Friday after the Sächsicsche Zeitung regional newspaper reported that the senior Social Democrat Jörg Asmussen, formerly of the European Central Bank, had secretly reached out to Varoufakis at the beginning of February, keeping the CDU Finance Minister Schäuble out of the loop.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schäuble und Griechenlandhilfe - Machtlose Mätzchen - Politik - Süddeutsche.deSchäuble and Help for Greece - Powerless antics - Politics - Süddeutsche.de
Die ganze Debatte am Morgen im Bundestag, die relativ vielen Neinstimmen aus dem Unionslager, all das soll den Menschen im Land zeigen: Die haben sich diese Entscheidung nicht leicht gemacht.The whole debate in the morning in the Bundestag, the relatively large number of votes against from the CDU/CSU, all that was meant to show the people in the country that this decision wasn't taken lightly.
[...][...]
Es kann niemanden ernsthaft verwundern, wenn Varoufakis jetzt die Liste als ein Dokument "produktiver Undeutlichkeit" beschreibt. Er erklärt übrigens auch, dass ihn ein Finanzmister der Euro-Gruppe gebeten habe, die Liste nicht konkreter zu fassen. Sonst wäre sie womöglich nicht zustimmungsfähig gewesen. Das mag stimmen oder nicht. Aber klar ist: Beide Seiten müssen ein hohes Interesse daran haben, dass die Griechenland-Rettung nicht Ende des Monats abrupt endet. It cannot seriously be a surprise to anyone when Varoufakis now describes the list as a document of "productive vagueness". Incidentally, he also explains that it was a finance minister of the Eurogroup who asked him to not to take the list more specific. Otherwise it may not have been suitable for approval. That may be true or not. But it is clear that both sides must have a high interest preventing an abrupt end of the Greek bailout at of this month.
Es sei gerne noch einmal darauf hingewiesen, dass mit den Milliarden aus dem zweiten Hilfspaket, das jetzt verlängert wird, nicht allein die Griechen gerettet werden sollen. Nein, es sind vor allem die öffentlichen Haushalte und - zu einem geringeren Teil - die europäischen Banken, die vor einem finanziellen Härtetest bewahrt werden müssen, sollten die Kredite an Griechenland platzen. Es geht um dutzende Milliarden Euro, die dann auch deutsche Steuerzahler aufbringen müssten. Das ist es, was Schäuble meint, wenn er im Bundestag sagt, für Deutschland könne ein "großer Schaden" entstehen, wenn das Paket nicht verlängert werde. Und ist genau der Grund, weshalb Schäuble Varoufakis trotz aller Brachial-Rhetorik doch recht machtlos gegenübersteht.It shall be pointed out again with pleasure that the billions from the second rescue package that was now prolonged aren't only meant to rescue the Greeks. No, it's primarily the public budgets and - to a lesser extent - the European banks that need to be saved from a test of financial hardship, should the credits to Greece plop. This is about a dozen billion Euros which would then have to be doled out by German taxpayers, too. This is what Schäuble meant when he told the Bundestag that Germany may incur a "great damage" would the package not be renewed. And that is exactly the reason why Schäuble, in spite of all the macho rhetoric, is still facing down Varoufakis rather powerless.
Es wäre gut, wenn Schäuble sich nicht länger mit gespielter Empörung auf Mätzchen mit Varoufakis einlässt. In den Umfragen gewinnt Schäuble dadurch zwar immer mehr Sympathiepunkte hinzu. Die Griechenland-Rettung hingegen sehen immer mehr Deutsche skeptisch. Das ist gefährlich. Nicht helfen ist schon aus Selbstschutzgründen keine Option. Darum darf sich der Gedanke, Griechenland könne ja vielleicht auch fallengelassen werden, gar nicht erst festsetzen. It would be nice would Schäuble no longer get involved in antics with Varoufakis with mock indignation. This may get Schäuble a few more approval points in opinion polls. However, an increasing number of Germans view the Greek bailout with skepticism. This is dangerous. Not helping is not an option out of reasons of self-protection already. Therefore, the idea that maybe Greece could be allowed to drop should in no way be allowed to settle.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The new left in Europe needs to be radical - and European | Antonio Negri and Raúl Sánchez Cedillo | Comment is free | The Guardian

"A spectre is haunting Europe" read a recent headline in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, announcing the round of meetings between the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and his European counterparts. Just think of what would happen if Podemos wins in Spain: the spectre would turn into a monster, propelled by one of Europe's largest economies. In a few weeks, campaigning will begin in Spain and no doubt the European governments will redouble their efforts to frighten Spanish citizens away from Podemos. But what can Podemos tell us about Europe?

Since Syriza's victory in Greece, Podemos's position on Europe has been supportive of Syriza while prudently reserving its judgment. After all, Tsipras's strategy could fail in the brief interval that remains until the Spanish elections. But prudency is not the same as ambiguity. Nothing would be more dangerous than an ambiguous position at this point, given the negotiations under way between Greece and Europe on the viability of the policies implemented by the troika until now. There are now two Europes and it is imperative to align with one or the other. Podemos supporters know that victory is only possible by joining a front already opened by Syriza, one that must expand throughout the EU. The politics of debt and sovereignty, and the Atlantic question are all issues that can only be tackled at a European level.

Syriza's tactics and, in particular, its economic and financial policies already signal a plan for transnational cooperation and an abandonment of the anti-European rhetoric of "older" leftists. Of course, Syriza's wager is formulated in terms of defending national sovereignty ("against the troika", "against Merkel"), but in practice it implies an acceptance of a political intervention within and against the EU. It points the way to a coalition of the "Piigs" (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) as a new left able to overturn the status quo.

...We must be clear on this point. None of the countries in the EU, much less those in the eurozone, has full sovereignty any more. This is not necessarily a bad thing given their history. We must acknowledge that sovereignty in the sense of a power "in the last instance" now rests with the European Central Bank. We need Frankfurt and a European currency if we don't want to fall prey to global finance and to policies dictated by the US or other continental giants asserting themselves against Europe. But we must recover Frankfurt for democracy. Frankfurt should be stormed by Europe to turn the European parliament into a constituent assembly.

If I am not mistaken, the election date hasn't been set yet but it will be before December. If so, is there any way to force a significantly earlier date?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza and Podemos are also providing inspiration across the Atlantic.

In These Times: 8 Lessons American Progressives Can Take From Greece's Syriza and Spain's Podemos

Like most Americans involved in politics, we focus most of our time and energy on matters within our own borders. That's as it should be, if we are to change the direction that our country is headed. But it would be political malpractice not to spend a little time on what is going on in Europe.

You can't watch what is unfolding in Greece and not marvel at the clarity, fortitude and nerve of the new government there. In fact, we're pretty sure that many progressives across the U.S. are saying to themselves, even if just quietly, "We'd sure like to do that."

...

Syriza has also been level-headed--and so must we. There are at least four preconditions for Syriza's January electoral breakthrough that don't exist here: proportional representation in elections; an economic crisis of immense, social fabric-destroying proportion; a history of subjugation by foreign powers; and disciplined, determined activists raised in the radical movement. Still, there are significant lessons to learn from what is happening in the Mediterranean.

After this they go on to list the 8 lessons they draw from Syriza and Podemos.  For those of you have been on the ground in Greece and Spain, do these lessons ring true to you?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 03:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 06:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek and Spanish unemployment levels is clearly a sufficient condition but, perhaps, not a necessary one. Successful examples of alternatives in other countries could raise expectations so as to lower the threshold.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 01:59:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Newcastle prepares for first UK Pegida rally against 'Islamisation' | UK news | The Guardian

More than 1,000 anti-fascists and trade unionists are expected to take to the streets of Newcastle on Saturday to oppose the first demonstration in the UK by the anti-immigrant group Pegida.

The group's protests in Germany have attracted tens of thousands of people but opponents said the event in Newcastle was likely to attract a few hundred; mainly far-right activists.

"A hardcore of the usual suspects from the far-right fringe are due to turn up but it is unlikely to develop into anything more significant politically," said Nick Lowles, of Hope not Hate, which monitors extremist groups in the UK.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:53:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macedonia reels over evidence of Orwellian surveillance | Europe | DW.DE | 27.02.2015

A large group of journalists gathered this week at the headquarters of the biggest opposition party in Macedonian capital Skopje. They were personally invited to pick up folders and documents - filled with transcripts of their telephone conversations over the past couple of years.

"Over a hundred Macedonian journalists were wiretapped in the past years," opposition Social Democrat (SDSM) leader Zoran Zaev announced at minutes later. "These conversations show the link between the prime minister, the secret police and the media."

The journalists' phone transcripts were the fourth batch of such material released by Zaev's SDSM this year. The opposition leader claims there is evidence that over 20,000 people were wiretapped as part of a system of media surveillance implemented by the prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, his cousin, the secret service chief, Saso Mijalkov, and a few other close associates.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, I'm quite sure this level of surveillance is happening everywhere now. Technologically and financially it is well within the capabilities of all bu the smallest countries.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 01:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris Nemtsov, Critic of Putin, Is Shot Dead in Moscow - NYTimes.com

A prominent Russian opposition leader, Boris Y. Nemtsov, was shot dead in central Moscow late Friday night within sight of the Kremlin walls.

The murder of Mr. Nemtsov, 55, a first deputy prime minister under Boris N. Yeltsin who later helped organize opposition demonstrations against President Vladimir V. Putin, was confirmed by Russia's Interior Ministry shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.

A smooth-talking and worldly man who spoke accented but near-perfect English, Mr. Nemtsov rose to prominence as the governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and became a vice premier in the late 1990s, during the last years of Mr. Yeltsin's presidency.

Since leaving the Duma, the lower house of Russia's Parliament, in 2003, he has founded and led a number of opposition parties and organizations, the latest being the Republican Party of Russia - People's Freedom Party, a registered political party.

by Bjinse on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 06:14:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]



by Bjinse on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 06:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is potentially very destabilizing for Putin : His principal claim is that his rule alone can bring law and order to Russia. However, if senior politicians can be gunned down on the street, then that unique justification is negated.

Whether the Kremlin did it or not is beside the point, we now see that, far from bringing law and order, the very hysteria which Putin encourages as a response to opposition challenges has created a situation where armed gangs can "anticipate" his desires in such a manner and think they are justified; the very opposite of the law and order he claims to promote.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 01:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris Nemtsov's Killers Tried to Destabilize Russia - Gorbachev
Soviet ex-President Mikhail Gorbachev sees the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov as an attempt to destabilize Russia. He also warns against calls to give excessive powers to law enforcement and security agencies.

"The assassination of Boris Nemtsov is an attempt to complicate the situation in the country, even to destabilize it by ratcheting up tensions between the government and the opposition," Gorbachev said.

Yeah, Putin is professionally hysterical for years as a KGB alumni. Yet he has to work harder in securing his friends and enemies.

Law and order in Copenhagen, Paris, Sydney was supposed to be solid as well.

by das monde on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 09:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but my view doesn't require plotting and timing, just snafu.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 2nd, 2015 at 02:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greek finance minister says euro will collapse if Greece exits | Reuters

"The euro is fragile, it's like building a castle of cards, if you take out the Greek card the others will collapse." Varoufakis said according to an Italian transcript of the interview released by RAI ahead of broadcast.

The euro zone faces a risk of fragmentation and "de-construction" unless it faces up to the fact that Greece, and not only Greece, is unable to pay back its debt under the current terms, Varoufakis said.

"I would warn anyone who is considering strategically amputating Greece from Europe because this is very dangerous," he said. "Who will be next after us? Portugal? What will happen when Italy discovers it is impossible to remain inside the straitjacket of austerity?"

Varoufakis and his Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received friendly words but no support for debt re-negotiation from their Italian counterparts when they visited Rome last week. But Varoufakis said things were different behind the scenes.

"Italian officials, I can't tell you from which big institution, approached me to tell me they backed us but they can't tell the truth because Italy also risks bankruptcy and they are afraid of the reaction from Germany," he said.

"Let's face it, Italy's debt situation is unsustainable," he added, a comment that drew a sharp response from Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who said in a tweet that Italy's debt was "solid and sustainable."

Varoufakis's remarks were "out of place", Padoan said, adding that Italy was working for a European solution to Greece's problems, which requires "mutual trust".

Italy's public debt is the largest in the euro zone after Greece's and Italian bond yields surged in 2011 at the height of the euro zone crisis. They have since fallen steeply and have so far come under little pressure from the renewed tensions in Greece.

It requires mutual trust alright... trust our Dear Leaders have our best interest at heart, and trust on their part that we'll all continue to docilely put up with being had, gypped and conned six ways from Sunday.

Shhh, you might wake the baby!

'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 Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 09:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:54:27 PM EST
France makes U-turn on TTIP arbitration | EurActiv

In a letter to French MEPs, seen by EurActiv France, the French Secretariat General for European Affairs (SGAE) appears to have made a U-turn on the position so far defended by Mathias Fekl, the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade.

While Fekl has repeatedly expressed his government's opposition to the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), the SGAE is distancing itself from the anti-ISDS Lange Report, currently under discussion in the European Parliament's International Trade Committee ahead of a vote on 6 May.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of course they did, compliance with corporate demands is non-negotiable. All they were doing was domestic electioneering

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 01:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German centre-right `disappointed' over extension of French deficit deadline | EurActiv

On Wednesday (25 February), the Commission called on the country to bolster efforts to get its budget back in order.

The EU institution is setting the French government a new deadline, giving it until 2017 to bring new debt down to the 3% mark.

...Meanwhile, the chairman of Germany's centre-right group in the European Parliament, Herbert Reul, spoke of a "bitter disappointment".

...The fact that the EU's Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici is putting off sanctions again, wears away at the binding nature of these rules in an irresponsible way, Reul added.

...Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), called the postponement for France a "fatal signal" via Twitter and asked how Europe hopes to get Greece to credibly save in this way.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:54:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fratzscher: everyone has to hold a permanent negative trade balance with Germany and save at the same time.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 02:28:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece will leave euro, and the currency will collapse, predicts Alan Greenspan | Financial Post

The former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has predicted that Greece will be forced to exit the euro, as its new prime minister outlined plans last night to keep the debt-stricken country financially afloat.

In a bleak assessment of Europe's future, Greenspan, one of the most influential policymakers of modern times, said it was "just a matter of time" before Greece dropped out, triggering the eventual collapse of the single currency.

His stark comments came just hours before Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament he would on Wednesday ask fellow eurozone members in Brussels for an emergency short-term bridging loan, to allow Athens more time to negotiate a new debt deal.

Ah, the expert at crashing economies with his 2c, hear ye, the Master of Disaster!  

'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 Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 09:46:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything is ok, then.
by IM on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 12:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Faeroe Islands Boom by Selling Salmon to Russia
Because these 18 wind-swept rocky islands aren't part of the European Union, the volleys of sanctions and counter-sanctions have passed them by. Russia's food-import embargo last year retaliating against countries that sanctioned it thus handed the fishing-dependent Faeroes a virtual monopoly in Russia for their biggest export: fresh salmon.
by das monde on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 09:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:55:29 PM EST
American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh | World news | The Guardian

A prominent American blogger of Bangladeshi origin has been hacked to death with machetes by unidentified assailants in Dhaka, after he allegedly received threats from Islamists.

The body of Avijit Roy, founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site - which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation - was found covered in blood after an attack that also left his wife critically wounded.

...Hundreds of protesters rallied in Dhaka to denounce the murder, chanting slogans including "we want justice" and "raise your voice against militants".



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:55:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:55:51 PM EST
Switzerland becomes first country to submit Paris climate deal pledge | Environment | The Guardian

Switzerland has become the first country to formally communicate its contribution to a UN climate change deal: 50% greenhouse gas cuts on 1990 levels by 2030.

Released on Friday, the Swiss government says 30% of those cuts will be achieved within the country, with the remaining 20% through carbon markets or other forms of offsets.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgaria scraps incentives for new renewable energy installations | EurActiv

Bulgaria's parliament scrapped preferential prices for new renewable energy installations on Thursday as the country is struggling to cut deficits in the energy sector and keep a lid on consumers' utility bills.

Wind power farms and photovoltaic parks mushroomed in 2011, after Bulgaria introduced generous subsidies for renewable energy, guaranteed for 20 years and committed to buy all the energy produced by them.

But the incentives have weighed on the power costs in the European Union's poorest country, which has met its 2020 target for a 16% share of renewable energy at the end of 2013.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgaria's interest is evidently to keep on burning Russian gas.

(BTW, Euractiv: do you ever qualify subsidies to fossil fuels and nukes as "generous"?).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 02:31:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond the Swedish Model | Jacobin

There's this misconception about the Nordic welfare state: that it was only possible because of a high level of trust within the population. In the last few years, research has shown that it's actually an effect of the universal welfare system that people come to trust each other and then the welfare system becomes a further reflection of this.

But if you look, for example, at Milton Friedman's more polemical works, he says that if you want to cut the welfare system, you cut the subsidies and run it on deficit for a few years so that the quality drops -- then people won't be interested in defending the welfare system.

This is actually what the right wing normally does when it comes to power: they cut subsidies so that the quality of, for example, public schools drops, and then they propose private schools. People start saying, "Well, if public schools are so bad, then we have to have a private alternative for those who can afford it." This was an ideological attack and an explicit strategy to undermine trust in the welfare system.

At the same time, in Sweden, 80 to 90 percent of the public says that they would be willing to pay a higher level of taxes to fund higher levels of welfare. So the expectation of welfare programs is still quite high -- it's just not being pushed by any political party other than the Left Party.



'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 Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 08:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New US Patents Could Signal The End Of Pesticides & GMOs | Collective-Evolution
SMART Pesticides

Paul Stamets, the world's leading mycologist, filed a patent in 2001 that was intentionally given little attention. In the words of pesticide industry executives, this patent represents "The most disruptive technology that we have ever witnessed." The biopesticides described in the patent reveals a near permanent, safe solution for over 200,000 species of insects, and it all comes from a mushroom. After what is called "sporulation" of a select entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that kill insects), the area becomes unsuitable for whatever insect(s) the fungi are coded for. Additionally, extracts of the entomopathogenic fungi can steer insects in different directions.

This is literally a complete paradigm shift away from the entire idea of pesticides. Instead of aiming to kill all problematic insects, a farmer could simply disperse a solution of pre-sporulation fungi among his or her crops. The insects would then simply live their lives around the crops, paying no attention to them. This simple idea flies in the face of the current, poorly thought out practice of spraying ever-increasing amounts of pesticides on resistant bugs. Going further, this biopesticide would also eliminate the need for round-up ready GMO seeds and BT seeds that grow the pesticides in the crop and which needlessly endanger us, the consumer, in the process. Perhaps the most enticing element of this biopesticide fungi is that it's essentially free. According to the patent, it can be "cultivated on agricultural waste." We are looking at a 100% safe, natural technology that literally can end all GMO and pesticide manufacturers overnight with a new class of  SMART Pesticides.



'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 Mar 1st, 2015 at 06:58:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:24 PM EST
Angkor anger - naked western tourists offend Cambodians at sacred temples | World news | The Guardian
Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction - the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat - is suffering from a form of overexposure. At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.

...Angkor is not the only world-renowned site that has had to deal with nude tourists. In 2014, officials at Machu Picchu in Peru said they were increasing surveillance after visitors were caught taking nude photographs or running through the ancient site naked.

Amichay Rab, a 32-year-old accountant from Tel Aviv, Israel, was one of those tourists who posed in the buff. Rab documented his nude escapades while on a nine-month trip through Central and South America on his blog. Many of the photos were taken early in the morning before there were crowds, he said, and local residents often snapped the photos for him.

"I was anxious sometimes but was never afraid [of] getting in trouble as I was very discreet," he said. "I was waiting for the right moment in order to avoid hurting someone's feelings."

Tourists from the developed world are getting increasingly dissociated from the reality around their tourist destinations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because... Freedom!!!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 02:38:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The entire article manages not to give the slightest hint as to why getting naked at Angkor Vat is the cool thing to do for young Westerners.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 02:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does "why" even apply to the newest fad?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 05:02:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is still a pretty safe place to be

Even in times of global jihadism, the chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack are about as small as drowning in your own bathtub, being killed by lightning or be hit by a falling coconut. Moreover, the threat posed by "radical Islam" itself is grossly exaggerated.

...Between 2006 and 2013, less than one percent of all terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by radical Islamists. And before the assault on Charlie Hebdo in January, only the Madrid train attack in 2004 and the London tube and bus bombings in 2005 caused more than 10 deaths. On top of that, the vast majority of terror attacks worldwide occur outside Europe.

...Europe has seen by far worse times too. In the 1970s and the 1980s, terrorist organisations such as the Red Brigades in Italy, the Red Army Faction in Germany, the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland or the Basque separatist organisation ETA in Spain wreaked havoc across the continent.

...What holds true for "radical Islam" in general also applies to the much discussed phenomenon of "foreign fighters"...

Defending the security of European citizens is of course a legitimate concern. But inventing ever new legislation which is not proportional to the threat posed is not. Or do we, each time someone drowns in his own bathtub, invent new EU bath safety rules?



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ON THIS DATE


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:57:00 PM EST
28 February 1975 – Moorgate tube crash: a London Underground train fails to stop at its underground terminus, killing 43. The reason for the driver's failure to apply brakes is a mystery to this day


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:57:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 March 1815 – Hundred Days: Napoleon's ship lands on the mainland at Golfe-Juan


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:57:52 PM EST
Phone transcript reveals Sara Netanyahu rant at political rival's wife | World news | The Guardian

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli prime minister, has been thrust to the centre of his election campaign after the release of an alleged transcript of her ranting down the phone to the wife of a political rival during the war in Gaza last summer.

The transcript - written up by an an Israeli journalist who has heard the tape - was published as Sara Netanyahu gave a lengthy interview in which she alleged her enemies were trying to humiliate her in their determination to get at her husband.

Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party is nervous that the audio tape itself will be released to embarrass him on the eve of the 17 March elections in which, polls suggest, he is trailing his main rival, Yitzhak Herzog.

While she is not up for election, Sara Netanyahu, has been propelled into the campaign amid allegations regarding her behaviour towards staff in the prime minister's official residence and allegations of the couple's excessive spending funded by the state.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:58:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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