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

Open Thread 24-30 April

by Bjinse Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 07:45:05 PM EST

The greatest threads are the simplest

by generic on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 03:45:34 PM EST
so glad I'm a T.....

{sound of chair scraping backward at high speed)

Thank you but I doubt we share any value of decency at all. Good night

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 05:06:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her: I'm so glad I'm a Tory.
Me: I'm amazed.  You do such a good imitation of someone with a conscience, a soul, and two brain cells to rub together.
by rifek on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 05:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Dr Derek Rowntree - Letters to the editor

At what point in this progress towards robots taking over everyone's job and leaving them without employment or, more crucially, income is someone going to notice that demand is falling off so precipitously for the goods and services that the robots have been producing (because not enough people can afford them any more) that the robots themselves are becoming redundant? And what then?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 05:11:36 PM EST
The end point of this is a retreat from the consumer economy to a tiny, elite-oriented robot economy of bespoke production for the owners, a tiny slave class kept desperate and willing to be servants so that the new owners can still enjoy the feelings of superiority that comes from kicking their inferiors, and everyone else can starve. Or will be shot/gassed/otherwise exterminated by robot enforcers.
by Zwackus on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 02:07:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is when they discover that the polution left over from when they were profiting from fossil fuels has made the earth uninhabitable and that most young women and men are becoming sterile and getting sick.

At least we can hope.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 at 03:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not a madman's nightmare ... it's been in the works for decades.  And guess what?  Since the biggest problem ... the MAIN problem ... is human overpopulation, mass extermination of humans may be the only method of saving the biosphere as a whole.  But you had been warned ... decades ago.  And now we have the mechanism for the extermination ... a Republican dominated U.S. government and a totally self-centered Emperor. Glad I'm over the hill ... the next 4 years should be very ugly.  Not that you didn't earn it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 10:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 07:45:22 AM EST
there is a whole species of libertarian that regards racism as a lesser sin than protesting against racism.

Bill Maher has issues with this as well. He's a funny guy when he's skewering the pomposities of the governing classes, but entirely blind to his privilege and seems to believe that kicking down as well as up is an antidote to accusations of hypocrisy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While our system is rotten at its root because it comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted, folks like Maher don't get that it's no solution to afflict the comfortable if you still afflict the afflicted.
by rifek on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 06:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Brexit Blog - Chris Grey - As the EU finalises its negotiating guidelines, it's time for Brexiters to get real

The future of Britain is going to be shaped to a far greater extent by Saturday's EU-27 Council meeting than it will be by the June general election. That is one of the many ironies of the Brexiter mantra of `taking back control', because whilst the chain of coming events was begun not by the EU but by the British referendum, the shape of those events will be very much down to the EU.

So insular has the discussion in the UK been before and since the referendum that one might think that Brexit is simply a matter of the UK formulating its demands. The EU will then fall into line because `it's in their interests' or `it's in Germany's interests' or even because `it's in German's car industry's interests'; and anyway because `we're the world's fifth largest economy'. There are many versions of this wishful thinking, all of them completely devoid of any understanding whatsoever of how the EU - or the world in general - operates. If it was how they think, then Britain would never have left the EU, since doing so is so far at odds with both our national and business interests.

It's true that in the immediate aftermath of the referendum Britain might have been able to pursue a soft Brexit of single market membership. That would have taken considerable diplomatic and political skill, but it might have been achievable. Instead, everything the government has done since then has had the effect of making goodwill and room for manoeuvre disappear. And not just the government. EU leaders (and their electorates) see and have disdain for the infantile headlines of the Brexit press, and they don't simply laugh off Farage's oafish rudeness, on the odd occasions he turns up at the European Parliament, or Johnson's boorish buffoonery about `prison guards' and `Prosecco exports'.

So whilst Britain has been engaging in an orgy of stupidity and insularity, the EU has, almost since the day after the referendum, been quietly and consistently developing its stance, as explained in this excellent three-part summary of the EU's position by David Allen Green of the FT. It is a stance that has changed very little from what was indicated before the referendum, and every leave voter who cared to could have known in broad terms what it would be. None of them can say there was no warning.

h/t ceebs

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:36:02 PM EST
"we're the world's fifth largest economy"

Not the present tense.
Give it some time...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 04:53:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly yes. I don't even dare think how far we're gonna fall, but chasms are beginning to open beneath us.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 07:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have faith.  The UK may hold position just because chasms are opening beneath everyone.  Except, of course, those wealthy enough not to have to worry about borders.
by rifek on Tue May 2nd, 2017 at 06:11:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is good, it also carries an implied condemnation of NuLab too.

Guardian - Thomas Frank - The Democrats' Davos ideology won't win back the midwest

The wreckage that you see every day as you tour this part of the country is the utterly predictable fruit of the Democratic party's neoliberal turn. Every time our liberal leaders signed off on some lousy trade deal, figuring that working-class people had "nowhere else to go," they were making what happened last November a little more likely.

Every time our liberal leaders deregulated banks and then turned around and told working-class people that their misfortunes were all attributable to their poor education, that the only answer for them was a lot of student loans and the right sort of college degree ... every time they did this they made the disaster a little more inevitable.

Pretending to rediscover the exotic, newly red states of the Midwest, in the manner of the New York Times, is not the answer to this problem. Listening to the voices of the good people of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan is not really the answer, either. Cursing those bad people for the stupid way they voted is an even lousier idea.

What we need is for the Democratic party and its media enablers to alter course. It's not enough to hear people's voices and feel their pain; the party actually needs to change. They need to understand that the enlightened Davos ideology they have embraced over the years has done material harm to millions of their own former constituents. The Democrats need to offer something different next time. And then they need to deliver.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 06:06:53 PM EST
They need to understand that the enlightened Davos ideology they have embraced over the years has done material harm to millions of their own former constituents.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 10:14:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's Tired Of All The Winning? - Albert Burneko - The Concourse
... yes, he is a spastic, Uristat-suppurating totalitarian anus ..., but at least there might be an electric nihilist thrill in seeing him bring his pro-wrestling heel act to the fusty business of governing. Even on the delivery of this, he has failed. His presidency ... is flaccid and dismally repetitive. Decreasingly ambitious promises are followed by instantaneous withdrawal at the first sign of opposition, then by petulant lashing-out at Democrats or conservatives or CNN or the New York Times, then by a mewling, self-pitying interview with an organ of the very media he pretends to despise, then by a shuffling of the craven frauds and stooges with whom he surrounds himself ...

The one thing Trump ever had going for him ... was a reef fish's reflexes in pursuit of the next news cycle ... In the campaign, those ... reflexes helped him crush the scattered field of GOP candidates and--give or take a few lucky breaks, a failing civil society that has cast tens of millions of frustrated people completely adrift, and a world-historically unloveable opponent who campaigned on the abundantly false notion that everything's already super duper awesome thanks to our meritocrat overlords--helped make him president. ...

The bright irony is that now that he's in the Oval Office, those reflexes do him no good: ... he has no other moves; of course he doesn't. He's globally incompetent ... a paranoid, doddering old shit-for-brains passing out framed printouts of the electoral map like Werther's Originals and calling up his air-headed dilettante son-in-law to come over and get the dang VCR working.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri Apr 28th, 2017 at 11:34:12 PM EST
Donald Trump's first 100 days have been a moneymaking success story
Like many previous presidents, he golfs. And like all presidents who golf, when he hits the green, he is accompanied by Secret Service agents. The agents use golf carts to get around the courses. And to get their hands on the golf carts, they need to rent them from the golf courses at which the president plays. All of this is fundamentally normal -- except for the fact that Trump golfs at courses he owns. So when the Secret Service spends $35,000 on Mar-a-Lago golf cart rentals, it's not just a normal security expense -- Trump is personally profiting from his own protection.
by das monde on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 01:42:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you're beginning to get the impression that DC is turning way from the WH shit-show and is getting on with "governing" as much as it can without him.

Governing is necessarily in quotes because we're talking about the GOP here whose idea of running things generally involves dreams of high speed and brick walls. They're having to learn on the job.

US government is being done by people who've never done proper governing before, which makes them incompetent amatuers. All the while trying to downplay and ignore the smoking crater where GOP dreams met reality up the road at 1600 Penn Ave.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 07:22:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Graduate [50th Anniversary]
It started six years earlier, before the Sixties really got going, with a bona fide graduate. Charles Webb left Williams College in Massachusetts in 1961, went home to California, and started writing a novel about a recent graduate who goes home to California and embarks on an affair with the wife of his dad's business partner. The real-life model for Mrs Robinson was apparently a Mrs Erickson, although there was no affair. As for the author, the real Charles Webb is far too unreal ever to be in a movie. He married a lady by the name of Eve but calls her Fred out of solidarity for a support group for men with low self-esteem. They've been together for half-a-century but got divorced some years back to protest the institution of marriage. He received $20,000 for the movie rights plus a ten-grand bonus, which isn't a lot for a film that grossed $105 million
by das monde on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:05:07 AM EST
by generic on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:18:20 PM EST
What else would a good neo-liberal do?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 08:02:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What this shows is solidarity between BUMPS.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 08:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. I really don't think there is a scenario in which Obama turns on Wall Street and joins a populist uprising against the bankster overlords, regardless of whether they want to pay him or not.

A lot of people want to think, "Oh, for all that money, they must be getting something back! Quid pro quo! Follow the money!" But really, $400,000 is pocket change to those folks and the institutions behind them. For a chance to see the former president in person, maybe say hello or shake his hand ... even after office ... a lot of people will pay a lot of money purely for vanity. And again, that's not a lot of money for those people.

by Zwackus on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 12:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Metropolitan police officer who has been crawling the London Marathon in a gorilla costume since the race began on Sunday morning has completed the 26-mile route.

Tom Harrison, who goes by the name Mr Gorilla, is raising money for the Gorilla Organisation. The 41-year-old Londoner started at 10.34am on Sunday and crossed the finish line at 11.45am on Saturday.

I hope a real gorilla would have been faster.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 at 04:18:33 PM EST
FT - Chris Giles - Britain's misplaced sense of economic superiority

Britain is traditionally confident about its economic place on the planet. With the fifth-largest economy in the world, the UK cleverly combines American levels of taxation with a European welfare state. Theresa May repeated 11 times in parliament on Wednesday that the country boasted a "strong economy" that depended on her "strong and stable leadership".

On some counts, the prime minister is correct. Britain's economy is no basket case but as a nation we suffer from misplaced economic superiority and exaggeration of our success. It is time for some truth telling.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 10:14:41 AM EST
by das monde on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 12:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How economists rode maths to become our era's astrologers
`The interest of the profession is in pursuing its analysis in a language that's inaccessible to laypeople and even some economists [...] What we've done is monopolise this kind of expertise, and we of all people know how that gives us power.'

Every economist I interviewed agreed that conflicts of interest were highly problematic for the scientific integrity of their field - but only tenured ones were willing to go on the record. `In economics and finance, if I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to write something favourable or unfavourable to bankers, well, if it's favourable that might get me a dinner in Manhattan with movers and shakers,' Pfleiderer said to me. `I've written articles that wouldn't curry favour with bankers but I did that when I had tenure.'

by das monde on Sun Apr 30th, 2017 at 12:57:25 PM EST
Great stuff, economists seem to be a postmodern caste of priests.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon May 1st, 2017 at 01:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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