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

Open thread 18 - 25th May

by Helen Wed May 18th, 2016 at 07:15:51 AM EST

New thread, NewSpeak

Sorry for treading on your toes, Bjinse,  but I've got a few things to post that I would rather hung around a while

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 07:17:37 AM EST
I'd rather see that you or anyone with the available gnome powers to go ahead when there is need for a new thread. It's not a particular task I lay claim to, to the contrary!
by Bjinse on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:26:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Left Wing Nation - The Washington Post Nukes Donald Trump From Orbit

On Monday night, in the span of thirty minutes, The Washington Post launched a flurry of nuclear-tipped Op-Eds aimed directly at Donald Trump and the Republican Party. There was no dancing around the issue. No false equivalence between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. No "both sides do it" comparison of the GOP and Democratic Party. The Washington Post did something that is verboten in modern America: They spoke the unvarnished truth about Republicans and, wow, did it get ugly!

All the links and juicy quotes in their article

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 07:25:22 AM EST
Sorry if this is all in the "Can Trump really win the WH?" diary, but it's 100 comments beyond following now.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 07:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's his own fault. If he hadn't started with personal attacks on Bezos, I'm sure they would have continued to be "balanced".
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 07:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny how 'consolidation' in mass media can cut both ways. Who knew that some non-rightwing billionaire might buy a major newspaper so as to control the message. Must seem terribly unfair to Murdock.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 03:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Matt Taibbi looks at it from another angle

Rolling Stone - Matt Taibbi -R.I.P., GOP: How Trump Is Killing the Republican Party

Indianapolis, Indiana, May 3rd, 2016, a little before 8:30 p.m. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz strode onstage beneath a gorgeous stained-glass relief in the city's Union Station. The hall was doubling as a swanky bar for an upscale local hotel, and much of the assembled press was both lubricated and impatient. The primary had been called for Donald Trump more than an hour before. What was the holdup?

"God bless the Hoosier State!" Cruz said to whoops and cheers after he finally emerged. He was surrounded by a phalanx of American flags, family members and his gimmick running mate of six and a half days, Carly Fiorina, who stared out at the crowd with her trademark alien-abducted smile.

Cruz glanced back and forth across the room with that odd, neckless, monitor-lizard posture of his. He had to know the import of this moment. Nothing less than the future of the Republican Party had been at stake in the Indiana primary.

A Cruz loss effectively meant ceding control of the once-mighty organization to Trump, a seemingly unrepentant non-Republican more likely to read Penthouse than the National Review.

Before the vote, Cruz put it this way: "We are at the edge of a cliff, staring downward."

Now, Cruz was over that cliff, having been trounced 53 to 36 percent in his last-gasp effort to keep Trump from the nomination. In a detail the film-buff candidate Cruz would appreciate, he left Indiana with the same number of delegates as future senator John Blutarsky's grade-point average in Animal House: zero-point-zero.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 03:30:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The author of the above, Justin Rosario, should be cast as Spock in any future Star Trek episodes covering the original setting!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:38:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Paul Mason -  The leftwing case for Brexit (one day)

The leftwing case for Brexit is strategic and clear. The EU is not - and cannot become - a democracy. Instead, it provides the most hospitable ecosystem in the developed world for rentier monopoly corporations, tax-dodging elites and organised crime. It has an executive so powerful it could crush the leftwing government of Greece; a legislature so weak that it cannot effectively determine laws or control its own civil service. A judiciary that, in the Laval and Viking judgments, subordinated workers' right to strike to an employer's right do business freely.

Its central bank is committed, by treaty, to favour deflation and stagnation over growth. State aid to stricken industries is prohibited. The austerity we deride in Britain as a political choice is, in fact, written into the EU treaty as a non-negotiable obligation. So are the economic principles of the Thatcher era. A Corbyn-led Labour government would have to implement its manifesto in defiance of EU law.
A closer look at the leftwing case for Brexit
Letters: A truly leftwing agenda would be one based on cross-national cooperation and solidarity
Read more

And the situation is getting worse. Europe's leaders still do not know whether they will let Greece go bankrupt in June; they still have no workable plan to distribute the refugees Germany accepted last summer, and having signed a morally bankrupt deal with Turkey to return the refugees, there is now the prospect of that deal's collapse. That means, if thereported demand by an unnamed Belgian minister to "push back or sink" migrant boats in the Aegean is activated, the hands of every citizen of the EU will be metaphorically on the tiller of the ship that does it. You may argue that Britain treats migrants just as badly. The difference is that in Britain I can replace the government, whereas in the EU, I cannot.

That's the principled leftwing case for Brexit.

Now here's the practical reason to ignore it. In two words: Boris Johnson.

He neatly summarizes all of my reservations about how the European project has evolved from a social europe into a Thatcherite one. But his idea that, one day, when Britain reliably vote in leftish governments, we can leave to create a socialist utopia of our own, is simply the warmed over fantasies of Tony Benn from the 70s.

The world is too inter-connected now, for good and ill. Longing for isolationism is, to use Mason's slur late in the article, politically immature. I would rather fix the world we have and we'd best do it togeher

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 08:23:54 AM EST
I have to say I tire of Britain lecturing the EU for its democratic deficit. Whitehall has more power than "Brussels Bureaucrats" ever had. The EP has so little power because Britain led the charge to cede as few powers as possible to it. The EC is no more or less democratic than any EU government - all the Commissioners are appointed by the respective elected Prime Ministers of their countries, as are cabinet ministers in those countries.  Name me the EU  country that has an elected judiciary.

When most Britons complain about not being able to change the EU Government, their complaint is that THEY and THEY alone can't change it.  Which is as it should be. The EU Government, such as it is, is the consequence of numerous national elections, which, unfortunately for us, have been trending conservative for years, and are becoming even more hard line nationalist and conservative.  We may not like the trend, but it has been, in part, driven by the UK and is a consequence of the democracy we have in Member States.

Meanwhile English nationalists give the Permanent Government in Whitehall a free pass.  Rage at Brussels is no more than xenophobic chauvinism, narcissistic demagoguery, and imperialistic arrogance. It provides an outlet for class tensions within the UK bypassing the UK elite. The rest of the EU ends up having to deal with that shit. Economically it makes no sense at all, but perhaps politically, it has become necessary to save the EU.  The UK as we know it, meanwhile, will disintegrate.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 05:17:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mason deals with that in the first paragraph. And yes, one of the reason I have been so in favour of the EU is that it acted as a counter to Whitehall.

But what many in the rest of europe do not realise are the resentments stirred up by Whitehall which are blamed on Brussels. On so many occasions we hear the bleats of the "patriots" complaining about some multi-volume set of mandatory regulations and procedures "imposed by Europe", that are in fact a Whitehall interpretation of short guidance note.

then the "patriots" complain that "they just ignore this in France and Italy, it's not fair". To which you could point out that, of course they ignore it in France and Italy, because it's a guidance note. But tbh, facts don't have much force against the emotive head of steam.

These people are British libertarian tea party types, all the prejudice but with no shred of ideology.

Really, they don't like any government at all. Europe, UK, even local council. They'll put up with UK conservatives who, to some extent share the same prejudices. But they're not in favour.

So, you'll always have people moaning about Brussels and making up stories about their controlling bureaucracy, because they made the same complaint when it was just the UK govt. But it was Whitehall then and it's Whitehall now.

And that's not to really talk about those who just don't like non-white non-English people having anything to do with running England. The people who didn't even like it when the last Labour Cabinet was largely composed of Scots.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:46:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let alone at the end of WW1, when they had a Prime Minister whose first language wasn't even English.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Welch -- (gasp)!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 11:53:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Admittedly, an elected judiciary has not worked out all that well in the US states and municipalities which have tried it.  Much the opposite.
by Zwackus on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 08:35:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine, I think the concept is absurd. You want the best and brightest, not the most agreeable

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 10:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if we could only find a way to get appointed judges to be of high integrity and high qualifications. One popularly elected Arkansas Supreme Court Justice failed in her quest to be elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court when it was revealed that hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from her new husband, head of his own prosperous law firm, received a controversial decision for which is new wife was the deciding justice which benefited his client by millions. She was just a Republican young mother campaigning on family values and trying to do right by her children. Surely.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Call it Southern Gothic gender equality.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:45:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as the Federal court system proves an appointed judiciary doesn't work all that well in the US.  


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

by ATinNM on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 11:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Federal works better than the states, but that's damning with faint praise.
by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 10:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet it may be necessary to virtually refound the EU in order to obtain a union that will work for all. A structurally right wing union will lead to constant crisis and repeated disaster until it collapses or dissolves.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No "may" about it.  It either ends, or it reboots.
by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The debate over the UK EU referendum vote is beginning to either heat up or descend into truly surreal silliness; it really depends on your view.

Frankly, the entire debate is an argument within the Tory party and both factions are being as stupid as each other. Just the other week Boris described the EU unification process as;-

Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.

So far, so Boris. You can laugh, you can scoff, but nothing touches a man who will do anything to ensure his name is on Page One of the papers.  Whether it helps the Brexit campaign is an entirely other thing.

However, Remain has covered itself with something, but dignity wasn't it. They are trying a form of Rovian jujitsu and are trying to use project fear (of foreigners) . Cameron first stated that President Putin would want Brexit, then tacked by saying that if we vote to leave, ISIS itself will immediately attack.

At some point one of these buffoons will claim we're all going to die if the vote goes against them.

Meanwhile, having got their fingers burned by allying themselves with the Tories during the Scottish referendum, Labour are mostly standing apart. They largely want to remain, but I think they realise nobody will be listening to them as the two sides of the Tory party scream at each other idiotically. There's little room in the debate for measured thought.

Anyway, amidst all the screeching, the pollsters report that Remain has maintained a slim lead. Maybe 44/42, maybe 47/38, but it's not yet a decisive lead. This is problematic because if the vote is close, the losers will not accept defeat. And the prospect of a settled peace within the Tory party will vanish almost entirely; their differences are out in the open and, given the childish tantrums on display by both sides, the woundss will not heal. Rather they will fester and erupt, I can honestly see the conservative party being torn apart.

Can't wait

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed May 18th, 2016 at 02:39:23 PM EST
The Reagan/Thatcher Era is ending on both sides of the Atlantic at mostly the same time.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 12:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
one generation to implement, one generation to benefit, one generation to suffer the consequences

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 01:14:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only because these plundering Ponzi schemes have devoured all support structures, passed the knee in the yeast-growth curve, and started drowning in their own waste.  And the Ueberklass is shocked, SHOCKED to see this happen.
by rifek on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 10:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It is hard for a class to acknowledge a fact if by acknowledging that fact they undercut the justification for their existence."  -- With apologies to Upton Sinclair.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How Did the `Secret' Sykes-Picot Agreement Become Public? -- Atlantic.com
Monday marks the 100 years since the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the secret Anglo-French pact reached during the First World War that proposed splitting the Middle East up into zones of foreign control. The Middle East has been frequently afflicted with war since then, but the situation now -- with ISIS holding territory in Iraq and across the Fertile Crescent, civil war in Syria, government paralysis in Lebanon, growing autocracy and violence in Turkey, and talk of an intifada in Israel and the occupied territories -- has inspired particular debate on the century-old agreement's legacy [...]

The agreement was concluded in secret partly because it represented a betrayal of promises the British government had already made to Hussein bin Ali, the sharif of Mecca. During the war, in an effort to foment an Arab rebellion against the Ottomans, the British sought Hussein's support by agreeing to back the creation of an independent Arab state, with a few caveats. In what is known as the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, Britain laid out the conditions: It wanted to maintain rights in Baghdad and Basra, and it wanted to set aside pieces of present-day Syria, which it said were not fully Arab. The Arabs duly revolted against the Ottomans, with the help of the British military officer T.E. Lawrence. But after the war, the British would maintain that the correspondence did not represent a formal treaty, though Hussein and his family insisted it did. In any case, the promises made to Hussein were in irreconcilable conflict with the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

by das monde on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:00:25 AM EST
From DW

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 06:38:15 AM EST

Recognise the guy who's going to hell with a big bag of money? That's right... Winston Churchill.
Ginger Churchill heads to hell in Nazi mural - The Local
The remarkable story of how Churchill ended up before the court of ultimate retribution in a red wig began when a new priest, Josef Maisburger, took over the parish church in in the western Austrian province of Vorarlberg in 1934.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu May 19th, 2016 at 05:04:07 PM EST
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 09:57:38 AM EST
Ken Loach stuns at Cannes 2016 with Palme d'Or win for I, Daniel Blake | Film | The Guardian

Ken Loach won his second Palme d'Or - the festival's highest honour - for I, Daniel Blake, a social-realist drama about a disabled carpenter struggling with the red tape of the benefits system. The director, who turns 80 next month, returned from retirement to make the film, and took to the stage at the Palais to address the audience in French.

"The festival is very important for the future of cinema," he said, instructing all present to "stay strong."

Loach continued by saying it was "very strange" to received the award in such glamorous surroundings, considering the conditions endured by those people who inspired the film.

"When there is despair, the people from the far right take advantage," said Loach. "We must say that another world is possible and necessary."

Jury member Donald Sutherland praised I, Daniel Blake as "an absolutely terrific movie that resonates in your heart and soul," backstage during a press conference.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 04:11:22 PM EST
Perhaps Jeff Bezos buying a large share in WaPo was a good thing.

Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing  WaPo  OpEd  Gregory L. Diskant

In most respects, the meaning of the "Advice and Consent" clause is obvious. The Senate can always grant or withhold consent by voting on the nominee. The narrower question, starkly presented by the Garland nomination, is what to make of things when the Senate simply fails to perform its constitutional duty.

It is altogether proper to view a decision by the Senate not to act as a waiver of its right to provide advice and consent. A waiver is an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege. As the Supreme Court has said, " `No procedural principle is more familiar to this Court than that a constitutional right,' or a right of any other sort, `may be forfeited in criminal as well as civil cases by the failure to make timely assertion of the right before a tribunal having jurisdiction to determine it.' "

It is in full accord with traditional notions of waiver to say that the Senate, having been given a reasonable opportunity to provide advice and consent to the president with respect to the nomination of Garland, and having failed to do so, can fairly be deemed to have waived its right.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 11:27:14 PM EST
                          INJUSTICE 😭

I live such a placid, peaceful life that the killing of unarmed black kids by cops, the bombing of Palestinians by Israelis, all the major shit ... just passes me by, a curiosity. But today I had a very minor taste of what it may feel like. And, BTW, my typing this is catharsis (gesundheit) for this episode. Another learning experience among the apes.  🐵

This morning around 9:30, I'm in bed and I hear a commotion outside; I ignore it. My neighbor knocks on my door, says a street work crew would like me to move my car; it's in the way. Absolutely no warning before it happens. My neighbor asks if it's OK if he and the workmen move my car; I say "sure"; the doors are unlocked, it's in gear with the emergency brake on. I forget that the steering wheel locks without the key in the ignition. Fifteen minute later I go out, my car is "reparked",  slightly on the sidewalk, the product of reduced steering capability;  my car isn't blocking the sidewalk by any means. But, since I don't know how this is going to work out, I write down the license plate number of the work crew dump truck, very visibly, no words exchanged. I do some shit inside, go back to bed, ready to repark my car to it's old place once the work crew leaves. 3:00 ...  work crew gone, large square asphalt area where the crew dug and filled in. No big. Back my car up into it's old place, and I notice something on my windshield under the wiper. I think, "Maybe the crew left some kind of form for me to send in to complain. That would be decent of them."

Guess what !!!  It's a parking ticket for $52.50 for PARKING ON THE SIDEWALK !!!

I can imagine one of the asshole workman thinking, just before they left, "Let's fuck with the guy who took down our license number", and he calls the cops. Get this: I have to send the $$$ to REVENUE SERVICES; right to the point; This is how we make money !!

When I started typing this bit I was really pissed off !! Now I'm nice and calm, ready to be a good citizen, write out a check and chalk it up as a learning experience. All Clint Eastwood urges are gone. Fun, huh? 😒

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 24th, 2016 at 07:23:08 PM EST
I found a new method to "let it go". I'm watching my candle burn ... very calming. That and a Cubs/Cardinals game on the tube. Time to move on.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 24th, 2016 at 08:06:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have a little faith and you might have another cathratsis. Instead of/in addition to sending the check, if you look, you will probably find it is actually a summons. You can call the clerk of the court that issued the summons and ask to appear before the judge to explain what actually happened. You did not park the car on the sidewalk, the city work crew did. Also check to see if and if, how you were notified previously of the need of the work crew for access to the space where your car had been legally parked.

None of the crew likely has any idea of your situation. You could be disabled such that it is an ordeal to even get out to the car and get in. You could have only gotten to bed two hours before they showed up because of work, etc. In any case if they were unable to properly move and re-park your car they could have knocked on your door and asked for the keys. Actually, for all you know, they might have been able to park it without the keys, but were pissed by your not giving them said keys or whatever and then just picked up your car and moved it. I had that happen to me as a joke. Admittedly, it was with a Honda 600! But several strong workmen can even pick up a mid-sized sedan.

But take care to get the address of the court. I had a similar experience as I was preparing to go to Mayo last year this time. I came off the off ramp onto the freeway and accelerated to get around a slow poke in the right lane. In the process I went over the speed limit by close to 10 mph. It was then I saw the AR State Police cruiser in the median. I let off the gas and quickly dropped back to the speed limit but he nailed me anyway. He was merciful and only cited me for not having my seat belt fastened and not having proof of insurance. I could pay the fine and not have my insurance go up. But the summons was for the day I was supposed to appear at Mayo. So I went to the sheriff's Office to pay. They told me I could appear and show proof of insurance which would result in a reduction of the fine to $60. But I was afraid I would not be present at the appropriate time and paid the full amount as I did not want a warrant issued while I was in the hospital or just returning home in an unknown condition.

It took me another day of stumbling to every wrong courtroom in Mountain Home to find the right court where I found, to my delight, that I could appear anytime the court was in session to deal with the matter. So I got the necessary paperwork, went before the judge and told my tale of woe. He reduced the fine and ordered his clerk to issue me a check for the difference!

Sadly, he has just retired and I voted for the wrong candidate, who had knocked on my door and introduced himself, via early voting before the better candidate knocked on my door. Oh, well. But most judges try to be fair, at least on that level. They are glad to see someone who does not have problems with drugs or alcohol, etc. and it feels good to dispense justice AND mercy.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 24th, 2016 at 08:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for the advice. Check is in today's mail. Time to move on. On the bright side (there's always a bright side) it gave me time to revue all of the injustices I suffered in my lifetime and those suffered by others that I ducked. Wonderful planet/species you have here. Constantly abusing each other, over-breeding. Great place for a vacation if you don't have to live here.  ☮

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 06:17:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I certainly agree that there is no shortage of injustices we need to remedy and harms we need to mitigate, but, if the last 50 years shows us anything, is is that, through collective action, we can right some of those wrongs and mitigate some of those harms -- or we can, through inattention and resignation, allow them to return.

Eternal vigilance is a steep but necessary price to pay for a livable society and planet. Else we will all be bound by Sisyphus' curse.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:31:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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