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

24 - 30 April 2017

by Bjinse Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:37:45 PM EST

Your take on this week's news

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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:38:58 PM EST
Ivanka Trump jeered for defending father at women's summit - DW
Ivanka Trump was met with jeers from the audience of a female empowerment summit in Berlin on Tuesday when she tried to defend her father's attitude towards women.

The moderator asked if US President Donald Trump could really be seen as a champion of equal rights. The question alluded to the controversy that erupted last October, when leaked audio recordings of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women caused a firestorm of controversy during the presidential campaign.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:56:28 PM EST
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North Korea conducts live-fire drill with US submarine nearby, raising tensions - Guardian
The North Korean army conducted a live-fire drill with massed artillery hours after a US submarine armed with cruise missiles docked at a South Korean base for naval exercises, further raising tensions in a volatile battle of nerves in north-east Asia.

Between 300 and 400 long-range artillery pieces, capable of hitting Seoul, took part in the drill on Tuesday, according to the Yonhap news agency quoting government officials.

The exercise, on the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army, was a clear reminder that North Korea could destroy large swaths of the South Korean capital.

However, the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, chose not to use the occasion to conduct the nation's sixth nuclear test or launch a long-range missile - actions which the Trump administration said would trigger an unspecified US response

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:58:17 PM EST
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Who writes this guff? You start out with the US and North Korea both conducting military exercises and you somehow end up with an article about North Korean military drills threatening innocent cruise missile submarines.
by generic on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 01:45:43 AM EST
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Israel snubs German foreign minister in row over human rights talks - Guardian
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has abruptly cancelled a meeting with the visiting German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, in a high-profile diplomatic row over the German minister's plan to meet two Israeli rights groups.

Netanyahu's snub came after he issued an ultimatum to Gabriel to cancel meetings with military whistleblower group Breaking the Silence and human rights group B'Tselem.

Gabriel had responded by saying it would be "regrettable" if the meeting were cancelled and indicated his intention to go ahead with them. In comments to the German TV channel ZDF, he said it would be "inconceivable" for the German minister to cancel a meeting with the Israeli leader if the latter chose to meet figures critical of the German government.

"You never get the full picture of any state in the world if you just meet with figures in government ministries," he told the channel.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:59:39 PM EST
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University chief appeals for EU help to fight Hungarian clampdown  - Guardian
The head of a leading university threatened with closure in Hungary has made an emotional plea for help from the EU and accused the country's rightwing, authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, of effectively putting a gun to his head.

Michael Ignatieff, rector of the US-linked Central European University (CEU), said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the EU would launch infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government for its "outrageous" attack on academic freedoms.

The CEU was founded by the Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist George Soros after the fall of communism in Hungary. A higher education law approved this month and set to enter force in October sets out numerous tough conditions under which the university must operate. The law's passage through parliament prompted 70,000 protesters to flood the streets of Budapest.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 08:01:37 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 01:51:19 AM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:39:01 PM EST
by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 08:05:06 AM EST
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by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 08:06:10 AM EST
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In 2014 the CEO made over $12 million. Maybe the shareholders could demand some of that?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 08:14:07 AM EST
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Its as if shareholders get the profit, which is what's left over after running the business. Bizarre, radical idea.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 09:52:37 AM EST
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Sounds like Communism to me.
by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 09:57:49 AM EST
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Perhaps American Airlines should rename themselves Confederate Airlines : "Our staff will slave for all hours to give you a great flight"

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 06:56:17 PM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:39:03 PM EST
To Scare Dems, Trump Threatens to Light Himself On Fire - TPM
It now seems clear that next week President Trump plans to provoke a spending showdown that could well lead to a shutdown of the federal government. This is strange for so many reasons. The modern government shutdown goes back to the mid-90s. There were technically government shutdowns in earlier decades. But these were brief spending gaps in the context of on-going negotiations. It didn't occur to anyone to take the federal government hostage to extort policy changes from political opponents until the advent of the Newt Gingrich Speakership.
Now, are we going to have a government shutdown. I would say probably not. My colleague David Kurtz reminded me today how many shutdown scares and build-ups we've had that didn't end up happening. Like with Obamacare repeal, maybe they'll go low energy at the last minute and pull the plug on the whole idea. Maybe Trump will get bored and move on to something else. Maybe - this seems the most likely failsafe - congressional Republicans will refuse to go along realizing it's a political loser. Apart from the particulars of a shutdown fight, there are many Republicans, particularly in the Senate who don't like the wall either.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 08:07:47 PM EST
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It's an interesting situation simply because it's the first thing we've seen that Trump promised that wasn't just some campaign bullshit, but which he actually wants to deliver.

After all, he lies about everything. He lies and then, when he's cuaght in the lie, he just continues to lie. Even when challenged. His recent AP interview demonstrated an almost hallucinogenic detachment from any standard of truth or proven demonstration. As somebody noted, words have meanings, they matter, it's how we communicate ideas. But Trump shatters all concept of meaning. He says words, but they're jokes, they're just shooting the shit, they're in quotes, he heard somebody else say it, it was on the TV. The idea of meaning what you say and saying what you mean is utterly alien in this landscape.

But the wall, he wants. And he really, really isn't going to get it. It's probably the one thing where sufficient republicans will unite with the democrats to create a veto proof defeat.

Trump has got nowhere to go with this. It's not a question of whether he will lose, it's a question of how much Fox, CNN and the NYT will cover for the failure.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 03:25:45 PM EST
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Following President Trump's executive order in January, the Department of Homeland Security rolled out a new office to help protect the victims of crime from illegal immigrants on Wednesday. In the latest of Trump's methods to continue to crackdown on illegal immigration in the U.S., the White House also launched a new hotline in which victims or witnesses could easily report criminal incidents. But organized online under the #AlienDay hashtag, immigrants' rights activists claimed to have quickly overwhelmed Trump's hotline with complaints of crimes committed by space aliens.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 10:47:06 AM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:39:06 PM EST
One of the worst terrorist attacks in recent years happened a few days ago in India. Since they weren't Muslims, you may not have heard about it. NDTV:
In the deadliest Maoist ambush in years, 25 men of the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF died on Monday afternoon in Chhattisgarh's Sukma area. Six people were injured.The well-planned massacre was carried out by nearly 300 Maoists, a survivor said. At the time, the 99-member CRPF team was carrying out a sanitization exercise for an under-construction road in the area. Sukma is part of south Bastar, which for decades has suffered the Maoist menace. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Raipur today to pay tributes to martyrs. Since April 2010, nearly 200 security personnel have died in six major attacks in Chhattisgarh.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 09:07:00 AM EST
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The Age of War and Revolution | Ian Welsh -
I have labelled the next era "the age of war and revolution", in fact, there's even a category  for it.

I expect this for economic, geopolitical, technological and environmental reasons.

by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:01:01 AM EST
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Current Affairs | Culture & Politics -
There's something revealing in the disjunction between Hamilton's popularity in the world of online media and Hamilton's popularity in the world of actual human persons. After all, here we have a cultural product whose appeal essentially consists of a broad coalition of the worst people in America: New York Times writers, 15-year-olds who aspire to answer the phone in Chuck Schumer's office, people who want to get into steampunk but have a copper sensitivity, and "wonks." Yet because a large fraction of these people are elite taste-makers, Hamilton becomes a topic of disproportionate interest, discussed at unendurable length in The New Yorker and Slate and The New York Times Magazine, yet totally inaccessible to anyone besides the writers and members of their close social networks. When The New Yorker writes about a book that nobody in America wants to read, at least they could theoretically go out and purchase it. But Hamilton theatergoing is solely the provenance of Hamilton thinkpiece-writers. The endless swirl of online Hamilton-buzz shows the comical extreme of cultural insularity in the New York and D.C. media. The "cultural event of our time" is totally unknown to nearly all who actually live in our time.
by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 05:00:04 AM EST
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Why it's still relevant. Clinton should have read Current Affairs
She insisted that one speech should retain a "sappy" reference to the $2400-a-ticket Broadway musical Hamilton, despite several suggestions from speechwriters that it "connected with her liberal donors and cosmopolitan millennial aides but perhaps not the rest of the country." (Note that she did this even after Current Affairs had carefully explained how the idea of a nationwide mania for Hamilton is a myth that exists only among political and cultural elites.)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 06:18:01 AM EST
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Having said that, I must report from life on the other side, exemplified by Baltimore patrons of Teh Arts.

Last autumn my daughter and I took in a shew, The Book of Mormon (which must now be on its thirteenth tour life), at the Hippodrome. (Tickets $280+ the pair). There I felt myself as if transported by time to 17th century England for the premiere of As You Like it at the Globe ... or Camden Yards. For the the Hippodrome is shaped like the interior of a bulbous vat. And the audience, dressed in ahh leisure wear and being equipped with beer, popcorn, pennants and playbills, chilli dogs, &tc. up to the rafters, freely interrupted the cast's ahh Southparkian idiom throughout. No vegetable matter was tossed, however.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 01:40:54 AM EST
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It's on TV or it doesn't happen

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 06:54:15 PM EST
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Israeli politicians must be feeling neglected with all the attention on North Korea. They've now fixed the problem.
North Korea lashed out at Israel on Saturday after Israel's defense minister called the hermit kingdom's regime a "crazy and radical group," blamed it of being an ally of Syria's Assad and the Lebanese group Hezbollah and said growing tensions between the U.S. and Pyongyang have "direct implications" for Israel.

A statement released by the North Korean Foreign Ministry called Avigdor Lieberman's statement "reckless" and a form of "sordid and wicked behavior" that posed a "grave challenge to the DPRK.

In the statement, North Korea blasted Israel as the "only illegal possessor of nukes in the Middle East under the patronage of the U.S." It said Lieberman's comments were part of a "cynical ploy" to escape criticism of the occupation "of the Arab territories" and "crimes against humanity."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:08:06 PM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:39:54 PM EST
Escaped pet birds are teaching wild birds to speak English : TreeHugger -
Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops -- mysterious, nonsensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn't paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity -- and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives.
by generic on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 07:28:04 AM EST
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Yea, it's pigeon english

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 10:08:22 AM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:39:57 PM EST
by generic on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 03:51:59 PM EST
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Reebok features $425 'Sweat Shirt' following news of Nordstrom's muddy jeans

ahhh. Feel the breeze? Ghosts of le petit trianon yet breathe aspirations to pastoral freedums into the panopticon.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 12:59:54 AM EST
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Females is "slacks" and ...
While on vacation in the 1920's, fashion icon Coco Chanel accidentally was sun burned, an accident that changed the course of fashion history. The suntan, previously associated with peasants and outdoor workers, was now deemed fashionable, luxurious and coveted. To emulate Coco Chanel, Westerners put away their whitening make-up [cf. lead cosmetics in Aristotle, Politics], dropped their umbrellas and hats, stepped out from the shade and consciously tried to tan.

Are we risking our lives for fashion?
Physically? No. Intellectually, you betcha!

Rococo Pastoral Paintings And The Opposite Of Marxism

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 02:00:08 AM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:40:00 PM EST
On the 27th -100 Elihu Root departed for Russia to coordinate presumably mutually beneficial war efforts, exclaiming, "The world cannot exist half democratic and half autocratic. It must be all democratic or all Prussian."

Congress is still working on conscription. Opposition to it is fading for no obvious reason. The House rejects an amendment authorizing Pres. Wilson to accept Theodore Roosevelt's request to be allowed to raise a volunteer regiment to be sent immediately (if not sooner) to France. Actually, there's nothing stopping Wilson doing this now if he wants; this amendment is TR's attempt to do an end run around the opposition of Wilson and the War Department to his plan.

The New York State Senate passes a bill banning the past-time practiced at your classier recreational resorts of paying to throw baseballs at the heads of negroes.

Today -100: April 28, 1917: Of suspicious, surly, dangerous neighbors, conscription, and olde timey pasttimes

because democracy

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 01:14:35 AM EST
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by Bjinse on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:40:03 PM EST
Robert Pirsig obituary
Author of the 1970s cult bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

When, in 1968, Robert Pirsig, who has died aged 88, sent a synopsis and sample of his novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to 122 publishers, only one showed any interest, and James Landis, the editor who responded from William Morrow, warned him not to expect either a large advance or big sales. But within a month Pirsig set off on his Honda Super Hawk, accompanied by his young son, Chris, and friends John and Sylvia Sutherland, on the 17-day journey from Minneapolis to San Francisco that, six years, two drafts and some 700,000 words later, became the basis of an immediate bestseller. Millions of readers were drawn to this guidebook for the transition of a culture from the rebellious 1960s to the "me generation" of the 70s.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 08:03:22 PM EST
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Thank you, Phaedrus.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 09:04:25 PM EST
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