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7 - 13 August 2017

by Bjinse Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 07:16:32 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:14:16 PM EST
2 AUG 2017: Irish Retail Workers Strike for Secure Hours
The strike ended with both sides agreeing to mediation through the country's Labour Court. That process ended in May when the court-appointed mediator announced a deadlock. And for the moment, Tesco has dropped its efforts to force the pre-'96 workers onto new contracts.

But it has, according to Mandate General Secretary John Douglas, "engaged in a deliberate campaign of retribution and penalization against Mandate members and activists who legally and peacefully participated in industrial action." Workers who picketed have been suspended for arbitrary reasons and had their hours cut. The company has also refused to provide pre-'96 workers with the 4 percent pay raise other employees got.
[...]
Since Ireland has no collective bargaining legislation, employers have no legal obligation to bargain. Forcing companies to the negotiating table is a big challenge. Private sector union density is currently at 17 percent, though that number is inflated since it includes workers--like those at Dunnes--who have joined a union but don't have a contract.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 10:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
desuetude

Welcome to Fascist Beach

Why are existing laws so rarely enforced?


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 02:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:14:21 PM EST
(Every federal gov't needs a reliable revenue stream, yo)

Madrid will push for a eurozone budget and eurobonds

Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos ...

< wipes tears > Remember this guy?! Lead character in BoES's road show to London back in '12. I got plenty mileage out of his upside sales pitches that summer, while the cajas were burning and the 'tag recessed to review EC commish J. Almunia's "stress test" um proofreading.
in June urged deep reform of the eurozone to include the creation of a "European monetary fund" and decide on "a certain percentage of national budgets["].

De Guindos told the Financial Times that Brexit and the Trump presidency were both factors pushing Europe and the single currency zone towards greater integration, although the proposed reforms would require amending existing treaties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated she would support the proposals although there is strong public resistance in Germany and she is up for re-election in September.

:: comment history
leading with 2011 diary "EC proposes Eurobonds"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 07:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:14:23 PM EST
Counterpunch Double Feature w/e 12 Aug 2017
(in case anyone wonders still how much the US has changed)

before WWI
A Short History of Presidential Bad Starts

The Trump presidency in six months has been the worst in U.S history but other presidents  also had bad starts, not on the same level as Trump but, near enough. ...

after WWII, Truman
Trump's "Fire and Fury" Wouldn't Be the First for North Korea
(Earlier this week I encountered a question about DPRK "paranoia" on a US-Eng. language reddit thread that chilled me to the bone: (para) "What did South Korea and Japan ever do to North Korea?")

How many know that, quoting historian Bruce Cumings, "far more napalm was dropped on Korea [than on Vietnam] and with much more devastating effect, since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had many more populous cities and urban industrial installations than North Vietnam.... By late August [1950] B-29 formations were dropping 800 tons a day on the North. Much of it was pure napalm. From June to late October 1950, B-29s unloaded 866,914 gallons of napalm." It was also known as "jellied gasoline." Regarding its effect on the human body, Cumings quotes the survivor of a "friendly fire" attack on Americans: "Men all around me were burned. They lay rolling in the snow. Men I knew, marched and fought with begged me to shoot them.... It was terrible. Where the napalm had burned the skin to a crisp, it would be peeled back from the face, arms, legs ... like fried potato chips...."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 03:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gen. MacArthur presented his own impressions of the early results at a congressional hearing in May 1951 after Truman fired him:
The war in Korean has already almost destroyed that nation of 20,000,000 people. I have never seen such devastation. I have never seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there. After I looked at the wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited. If you go on indefinitely, you are perpetuating a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind. [Quoted in Napalm: An American Biography by Robert M. Neer, 2013.]
[...]
But that calculation changed when large numbers of Chinese troops entered the war in October and November 1950."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 03:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll leave to the reader the futile task of recounting Japanese invasions of Korea in a reddit thread.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 03:46:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2016
China convinces G20 nations with `fair' communique
"We are in different worlds compared to 2008," a diplomat described. He recalled how there was an "extreme suspicion" about every issue in which China was involved few years ago. However the country has matured, he added.

2017
Commission exploring how to protect EU steel market from China

According to the new rules, the EU would no longer assess countries as a whole but would focus on the individual markets in those countries. If malpractice or free trade [?!] were discovered in any of them, there would be no problem in raising customs duties or non-tariff barriers.
[...]
"All the evidence clearly shows that China is not a market economy. There is no reason why the European Union should act this way with China. On the contrary, it should use all the instruments it has to defend itself against unfair competition and protect its industry and jobs," said the German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA).


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 04:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:14:30 PM EST
a sparsely populated region of the world which relies on food and energy imports to satisfy the needs of no one.

Egypt Curtails Access to Subsidized Food as Part of Reforms

Under a government decree, which was published in the official gazette on Tuesday, people earning more than 1,500 Egyptian pounds (about $84) a month would be excluded from getting ration cards. Beneficiaries were also limited to families with up to four members. The decree did not make clear what happens to impoverished families with five or more members.

R2P Austerity
The Egyptian government is looking to bring down its budget deficit to 9.1 percent in the current fiscal year, from 10.9 percent in the previous one by cutting spending and lifting subsidies.
[...]
Among the key measures undertaken within efforts to fulfill International Monetary Fund conditions for a $12 billion loan, Egypt devalued and then floated the national currency. ...


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:02:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the joys of land "eform". Egypt is in debt and so needs to make cash crops to sell to the West. So land that was previously rented to tenant farmers to feed themselves and provide a surplus for sale has been re-purposed with the farmes and their families displaced into utter penury.

Still, at least western bankers get to sleep on Egyptian cotton, so all is good

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The latest explanation of the electoral defeats of HRC and British europhiles: computational propaganda, the high frequency of "tweets" or replication of tweets ("re-tweets") produced by bot routines, "influenced" voters' selections. From the abstract of the study:

This working paper provides ethnographic evidence that bots affect information flows in two key ways: 1) by "manufacturing consensus," or giving the illusion of significant online popularity [?] in order to build real political support, and 2) by democratizing propaganda through enabling nearly anyone to amplify online interactions for partisan ends.

Like a  Hootsuite boss! This remarkable "manufacturing" device infests uh hidden networks of digital marketing managers across the nation. 1 user/3 profiles! Scalable! Just $99 per individual license!

More amazing is the authors' sociopathic research bias: tweet simulation of democratic participation satisfices examination of voters' preferences or prejudices("misinformation") AND institutional barriers (electoral college, gerrymandering, voter suppression, closed primaries, illiteracy) to an expected majoritarian outcome.

(Sumbuddy must have paid them a mint to stab each other in both eyes with blunt pencils.)

We supplement these findings ith a quantitative network analysis of the influence bots achieved within retweet networks of over 17 million tweets, collected during the 2016 US election. The results of this analysis confirm [!] that bots reached positions of measurable [!] influence during the 2016 US election.

But, wait. Co-author lays this incredible, dubious research design at the feet of The Zuck, .ru double agent?

Unfortunately, we're having trouble studying other platforms. Twitter's Application Programming Interface (API) is the most accessible, and that's why we spend the most time on Twitter. Facebook's API is less accessible, they don't share data, they don't work well with academics, they don't really respond to queries, and they never provide replication data. We know that they hire many data scientists who conduct experiments internally, but we assume those are used to improve the delivery of advertising or the user experience and are not designed to improve public life [?!].

jhfc. V for Vendetta premiered in 2005. Britain will prevail.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Aug 11th, 2017 at 07:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri Aug 11th, 2017 at 12:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Parked Electric Cars Earn $1,530 From Europe's Power Grids

While [Nissan Europe] has trials with more than 100 cars across Europe, only those in Denmark are able to earn money by feeding power back into the grid. There, fleet operators collected about 1,300 euros ($1,530) a year using the two-way charge points, said Carranza. Restrictions on accessing the market in the U.K. means the company needs to reach about 150 cars before they can get paid for power sent back to the grid. That could be achieved by the end of this year, he said.

Go, quadriatic equation, go negative.
Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?

United Nations projections indicate that between 1995 and 2050, the population of Japan and virtually all countries of Europe will most likely decline. In a number of cases, including Estonia, Bulgaria and Italy, countries would lose between one quarter and one third of their population. Population ageing will be pervasive, bringing the median age of population to historically unprecedented high levels.

The EUs need for more power from sparsely populated "North Africa" depends on it!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 01:49:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/6/24/151536/591

Some good discussion about Desertec we had here.

Also http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/10/23/54014/161
About biogas.
Sorry for lazy linking, I am on tablet

'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 Aug 12th, 2017 at 02:31:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose, one should characterize that thread a seminal discussion of the project. Commenters establish criteria by which to test the "good" value of its ethical construction that persist today. These pertain to technical feasibility and the subjective arbiter which is self-referential even within the most abstruse subtext of this discourse, extraterrestrial colonization. No where do commenters address capital expense (debt) incurred, demand, equity ("interest in"), or preferences of "North African" peoples purportedly investing in this EU project.

Three years later I contested this bias (2010).

The PwC business case, "100% Renewable, a roadmap to 2050 for Europe and North Africa," is here.

I still do. And little of eurotrib commenters' prejudices and advocacy for the project has changed despite a series of very unfortunate geopolitical events marshaled by NATO since 2007 to destabilize the sovereignty and security of "North Africa".

On those issues and others that directly express the economic interest in and priorities of the peoples of "North Africa" the gallery is silent.

Why is that?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 at 02:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question!
ET was initially founded by an energy investment banker, so rotated principally around energy and economics.
Later it became more sociopolitical, eclectic and cultural. .

'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 Aug 12th, 2017 at 08:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. I first met Jerome through my participation in EA2020 project. Energize America: Remember that? My task was constructing a US vehicle population model and glossary of assumptions from which to project fuel efficiency gain (loss) in bbl and USD, attributable to EA incentive proposals. Like others in this um primitive crowdsourced operation, I wrote a few (unorthodox) posts at DK to promote EA2020.

Of course, I migrated to eurotrib, when DK electioneering content began to curdle. I don't recall either Jerome,Crazy Horse, or Adam doing any business anywhere in Africa, do you?

That's alllll gone now. DK purged inactive accounts  records (and the glossary!) sometime 2013-2014. I've accidentally and deliberately purged many old files on obscolete, local drives. So goes the truth in "sociopolitical, eclectic and cultural" whathaveyou?

a whole language has vanished from the Western left's vocabulary: class struggle, international solidarity, peace among peoples, social justice, exploitation, poverty. They are so illiterate in left theory and experience that the call the ruling class's booth [SIC] on their faces, "the deep state..."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 at 04:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in the case of Libya, most of the Europeans were adamantly opposed to what happened, as I recalled, and for reasons that turned out to be quite prescient. Less so for myself. :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 at 03:56:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Manifest opposition by "most Europeans" to governments' war with, or meddling and interference in, Libya's sovereignty.
Libyan opposition fights for recognition both at home and abroad

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 at 05:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I meant was 'most Europeans on ET', but I omitted to say that last part.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Aug 15th, 2017 at 09:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:15:32 PM EST
World Bank | Africa Electricy Grids Explorer: All, Existing, Planned, interactive map, 2017

Weak Power Grids in [South] Africa Stunt Economies and Fire Up Tempers, 2015

The demand for power in Africa has become a major international issue. China has taken the lead in financing many power projects across the continent -- mostly hydroelectric dams, but also solar power plants and wind farms. Private companies from Asia, the United States and Europe are also supplying power to an increasing number of countries.


source: gain.org, 2015

World Bank | Access to electricity (% of population), table, 2014

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 05:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely another reason to ship this newly generated electricity to Europe...
by Bernard on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 07:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 07:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That conclusion relies on which of the three estimates of capacity and utilization I provided?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
None: I just forgot to add the <snark> tag. I was also reminded of the discussion about DESERTEC in another thread, and that electricity generated in Africa should be first put to use in Africa.
by Bernard on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italian winemakers expect less quantity, more quality after extreme weather
[T]he group expects harvests of prosecco, primitivo and pinot grigio to be of great quality, partly thanks to the fact that heat and dryness protect vines from disease and contribute to a greater concentration of nutrients in the fruit.
Climate change threatens European wine production

"It is entirely paradoxical," vineyard owner and Confagricoltura official Guido Folonari told Reuters. "Everything bad that could have happened, happened and yet we are heading for good if not excellent quality."

:: Previously in "As the Worm Turns"
The Brexit effect: 'Sudden drop' in Italian food and drink exports to the UK: "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly explicitly threatened Italy's economic development minister with a drop in prosecco sales if the UK was not allowed to stay in the single market."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 07:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:15:35 PM EST
Where is Cas "The Nudge" Sunstein? Inquiring social democrats the world over wonder idly.

Google Censors Block Access to CounterPunch and Other Progressive Sites

Under its new so-called anti-fake-news program, Google algorithms have in the past few months moved socialist, anti-war, and progressive websites from previously prominent positions in Google searches to positions up to 50 search result pages from the first page, essentially removing them from the search results any searcher will see.

But of course the GOOG has been overtly "curating" search results since the first notifications of embargoed duplicate results --regardless of rank-- began appearing.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 04:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pakistani Taliban launches English magazine 'Sunnat E Khaula' to urge women to take up 'jihad'
The English-language magazine also includes an article written by a Pakistani female doctor describing her decision to shun her western education and embrace Islam, titled "My journey from ignorance to guidance".

What else does zeenews.india.com publish? Typical westworld topical "content" with streaming TV!

Subaltern or subcontinental "insurgency"? You be the judge.

DISCLAIMER: No GOOG search results were mined in order to discover this URL.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 06:32:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:15:39 PM EST
Today -100: August 9, 1917: Of controlled food, conscription, and fake assassins

Now that Russia's political prisoners have been released, returning Siberian exiles are being feted and showered with gifts, leading, inevitably, to people like Catherine Smirnov, who made out like a bandit assassin when she claimed in Minsk that she had assassinated Ivanov, the governor of Odessa. ...

She did it her way.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 04:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 at 09:15:44 PM EST
A testament of the virtue or notoriety that 21st century innerboob scholarship offers. The internal inconsistency of the author's theory, or "manifesto", presents a formidable barrier to this reader's comprehension of "preferable," or biased, conditions required for the "psychological safety" of all. Or some? You be the judge.

Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:16:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just Gamergate philosophy. Gender is destiny, Gilead's revolution is protected by the menz, creating nu-troops is for the breeders.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 06:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the near future, following a US Supreme Court opinion of this 1st Amd. controversy, medical schools will adapt to "psychological safe" curricula. Medical students will practice all medical procedures on mannequins as well as cadavers. New suppliers will enter the mannequin and corpse markets and steadily improve features of their product lines with "life-like" responses to hand-manipulated stimuli until the obsolescence of such aids is obvious. No one will need a physical examination. No medical provider will require any, but law enforcement agents will. Jobs will be saved or created by these entrepreneurs. Credit offerings producers and consumers will multiple.

Florida School On Hook in Vaginal Ultrasound Case

Former students Melissa Milward, Elyse Ugalde and Ashley Rose were enrolled in Valencia College's medical diagnostic sonography program and claim they were told they'd have to perform vagina ultrasounds on each other to pass the class.
[...]
The women can also sue under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, Presnell ruled, because they allege that Valencia held female students in its sonography program to a different standard than male students because of their sex.[!]
[...]
During these ultrasounds, Milward and Ugalde were forced to expose their genitals [!] to their classmates and teachers, and the individual defendants instructed students performing the ultrasounds to move the probe `back and forth and up and down in the vaginal canal' when such motion was not medically necessary," Presnell wrote.

America will be great again.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 10th, 2017 at 07:43:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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