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

It's election weekend

by kcurie Sun Nov 20th, 2011 at 09:17:40 AM EST

[This] sunday there are general elections in Spain.

The mood is weird. Everybody knows that the right-wing party PP (Popular Party) will win. In a landslide. But how big is this landslide going to be? Everybody says a huge majority.

[editor's note, by Migeru] The PP got the lead in voter intent in mid-2009. At that point both parties were tied at around 40%. The latest polls give the PSOE 30% and the PP 45%. However, the polls also point to a participation rate around 65%. Compared with the 2008 results (73% participation, 44% PSOE and 40% PP out of votes cast with 11 and 10 million votes respectively) this means that between nearly three million voters will sit it out, that the PP will gain less than half a million votes and that the PSOE vote will collapse to under 7 million votes, below its 2000 result. Also, the combined PPSOE vote will go from 61% of eligible voters to 49%. About 700,000 people more than in 2008 will vote for third parties. In terms of seats, out of a 350-seat parliament the move will be from 169 PSOE and 154 PP to maybe 195 PP and as little as 110 PSOE.
So is there anything to see?

Well, maybe the victory is shorter than expected. This is something to see. Alternatively, you can also check if all the polls are right and it will be huge loss for the social-democrats PSOE.

There is another little thing you can check: how the small parties will perform.

So here is a brief description of PP and PSOE positions and the small parties. Be aware, though, that the left is basically in the streets shouting "do not vote PPSOE". Unfortunately, all polls suggest that this is the sociological left, the one in the streets, you know.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Winning list by district:

fontpaged with minor edit - Nomad

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Is it me, or it's the end of the eurozone?

by kcurie Fri Jun 17th, 2011 at 08:00:11 AM EST

I wanted to write something in a diary. I wanted to say that down down deep in my brain I thought something about the European crisis that my conscious brain was not aware.

I need to explain..and I need therapy...I need social support. I need comments telling me that I am wrong.

front-paged by afew

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Macroinformation for the #spanishrevolution

by kcurie Thu May 19th, 2011 at 02:01:02 PM EST

So, you may have read something about young people gathering in Spain. I actually just got from a meeting in front of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin. It was a quite interesting crowd. They were all very smart, very political, and well-organized.. they just do not know exactly where it will go.. but it seems that a reform of the voting system and Europe is something that united all the people there. Luckily, on social issues it was a left-right wing crowd.

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Stupid or evil?

by kcurie Tue Jan 11th, 2011 at 03:13:06 PM EST

I wrote down this great (oh yeah great) comment in the Krugman site regarding the Portugal DOS attack.

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What a GREAT capitalism refoundation

by kcurie Sat May 15th, 2010 at 09:16:07 AM EST

It is not easy... it is really not easy to explain what is going on in the economic world. With so much nonsense in the radio , TV and newspapers... how do you respond? How do you explain what is going on? the card game is a brilliant idea.

Here I propose a short, simple (as simple as possible but no more than necessary) explanation that we should disseminate.

I tried the other day to write the minimum needed to explain it. So, I ask for your input. What would you need to write down to explain what is going on... in something that does not last more than a couple of pages?

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What should Spain do?

by kcurie Wed Apr 28th, 2010 at 06:26:53 AM EST

Now, really a simple question (or two).

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Today, he died

by kcurie Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 03:48:54 AM EST

Originally published on November 3

He was close to 101. Today Claude Levi-Strauss died.

This is a short diary so that anyone interested can post here whatever he/she likes.

For my part I will only make a short comment.

A Giant has passed - promoted by Migeru

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Our world

by kcurie Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 09:05:52 AM EST

Given the recent article and diary related to human behaviour, brain functions and Enlightenment, I think it is time to remember what we are trying to do here in ET and the best way to get there using what we can do best: put ideas from different sources together and devise and action plan.

What we all want to do is to see on Earth the Star Trek mythology (Star trek: The Next Generation mostly). We want a human species having a sustainable economy where everyone is included and where every human being can differentiate itself through their personal or communal narratives (our own personal vision of the world). No wars, no famine, no uber-rich , no misery. A Western-Eastern world where we are valued by the narratives we generate independently of how forceful other try to make us fit a particular stereotype. An advanced technological world which understands any particular culture. Personal desires and wishes are dealt with according to cultural reference frames and proposals to change people's behaviour are done through ideas and not "facts on the ground" (like wars and violence).

The question is how to to get there... And to get there we must understand human behaviour. But basic human behaviour is basically fixed by structural narratives. At the same time particular human behaviour (my behaviour being different from yours) is related to personal accepted narratives. This diary is basically about explaining what this last paragraph means.

Excellent essay for a Sunday afternoon - Nomad

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Spanish preventive bail-out to conquer Europe

by kcurie Wed Oct 8th, 2008 at 11:26:13 AM EST

Things are getting interesting in Spain... with the most conservative (in the good old sense of the word) and sound banking system the government has made a huge move to compensate for the lack of foreign liquidity and, if I may say so, has also done a preventive bail-out... and guaranteed all but the takeover of any foreign bank in trouble we Spaniards wish to control.

The news is below... and I need input from people who know more... but my rule of thumb has always been that Spanish banks are in trouble if around 25 % of people stop paying mortgages... and right now Spanish banks are increasing profitability at ratios of 10% above pre-bubble huge incomes.
[editor's note, by Migeru] Mortgage delinquencies have doubled in a year, and were up from 1.6% to 2.15% between June and July. This worries Solbes and the Bank of Spain says "there is no reason for unjustified worries [LOL!] because Spanish [financial] institutions are adequately prepared to face these challenges". (links in Spanish)

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Campeones Campeones

by kcurie Sun Jun 29th, 2008 at 05:33:20 PM EST

This will be a very brief diary......

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EUROPE.IS.SO.DOOMED. Narrative Edition

by kcurie Mon May 12th, 2008 at 05:32:47 AM EST

My dear fellas. Europe is so Doomed

It has been a long time (like, a day, or even more) since anybody wrote a Europe.Is.Doomed diary, and an even longer time has passed without me introducing newcomers to the "NARRATIVE".

It is about time that we recall again all our conventional wisdom about reality, enlightenment and anthropology 101 with the excuse of a wonderful wonderful, really wonderful (or the "wond") tale about mortgages and the European economic world.

Today, we will visit a textbook example of how narratives interact with each other to create semi-structural myths which in turn can get close to losing internal coherence.

Yes.. the "Europe.Is.So.Doomed" narrative strikes again in a mindblowing attack leading to this MY HUMBLE POSITION PAPER.

Read it and go shout it from the hilltops! - Promoted by Migeru

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DEVELOPING: ETA terrorist attack

by kcurie Fri Mar 7th, 2008 at 09:22:45 AM EST

Just two hours ago and two days before the general election in Spain, ETA has killed a Basque politician and former office holder.

Isaías Carrasco was shot three times in front of his wife and daughter. He had no bodyguards since he was no longer a member of the Social-Democrat group in the Mondragón city council.

The election campaign is officially over... the left-wing government is really shaken. PM Zapatero's face when he received the news at a rally is that of a shattered man. The right-wing PP cancelled also all their activities.

We will follow the developments here... but anything you have heard before about the general election to be held in two days's time is now officially "not valid". Now, everything is possible.

Spanish community... please... update... at will...

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Spanish Debate LIVE-BLOG

by kcurie Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 02:41:17 PM EST

[editor's note, by Migeru] With additional formatting and corrections.
Today is the big day in Spanish politics. Today is the big debate: after 15 years, a major TV confrontation in Spain between the two major parties.

Come next 9th of March, we select the Congress of Spain in general elections. The two main parties are the center-left PSOE currently in power and led by Prime Minister Zapatero, and the PP (center-right/hardcore-right) led by Mariano Rajoy. Today they face each other. We hope to follow the debate for all those interested.

Let me recall that it is highly unlikely that any of the two big parties will be able to form a government without the help  of other small parties (greens/left-wing IU, catalan nationalists CIU, Basque nationalist PNV, or some smaller regional parties).

Nevertheless, the party which gets more seats in Congress gets to set the agenda and initiate the coalition talks with other parties. It is highly unlikely that the loser will form the government unless the right-wing party wins by a very narrow margin and does not find any partner among the big nationalistic parties (Catalan and Basque). [editor's note, by Migeru] This is quite likely considering that the PP is campaigning on explicit anti-Catalanism.

A win by Zapatero will throw the right-wing party into disarray and will solidify all the social reforms introduced by Zapatero, together with the very centered (a la more than Clinton) economic policy.
On the foreign front... pro-EU, against Iraq involvement... and against any US conservative administration.

A right-wing win means the end of some of the social reforms, a US-style reduction in taxes, and a firm pro-US policy... something like Blair. It would also lead to a major earthquake for the Europe left as the two main representatives (Spain and Italy) would be out of government.

(Note: this is a community thread.. any relevant comment will be place in the main thread. Spaniards are encouraged to participate.. as is anyone alse interested).

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A Christmas tale

by kcurie Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:53:57 PM EST

I have been reading absolutely flabbergasted the latest discussions.. I was so flabbergasted that I stayed away of one of my favourite topics: Anthropology, science, magic and religion.

It is in this time of emergency that I think I should break my vow (becasue that's why vows are for, to disobey them) of not writing anything serious or relevant anymore.

So for the first time in a long time I am going to write something very very serious (you'd better hit the rec bottom and fast!.. what the hell Mig you'd better frontpage this :) [editor's note, by Migeru] Yeah, why not?). It is time to humble humbilly save this community (yeah sure *)

Once upon a time I had a master... a master that taught me "the secret",  yeah the secret.. the secret about how to really overcome the wedge philosphical barrier among members of the left.. the so-called rationalists uberscientists vs spiritualists-magic-youcrazyscientists.

I must say I hate those words for the two cathegories because we are all different (as the life of Brian proved). So here I am , sharing with you one of the most deep secrets... all with the hope that this small secret/tale will show that we have more in common that we dare to speak... and hoping that we all will be friends again after the christmas drunk party is over and that everybody will be happier than before Xmas.

Follow me below the fold to the christmas tale.

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Socratic economics VI: all I know is I know nothing edition

by kcurie Thu Nov 22nd, 2007 at 01:35:41 PM EST

Today: I know nothing edition

I have been trying to get an answer in the comments and everybody seem as puzzled as me .. (or well. they think I am stupid so why bother)...So I will launch a diary that I hope it will be promoted by the powers to be and answered by the experts in the field

I would like an answer to one simple question...

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Kofi Annan interview

by kcurie Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 12:33:53 PM EST

SNARK.... I thought we all need a little bit of loosing it up. Specially myself after an awful week in Barcelona and after so much reading you write about war with Iran and oil over 100$... let's look a bit at the bright side of life (while we can :))...translation below the fold

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Do we care?

by kcurie Tue Oct 16th, 2007 at 05:15:46 PM EST

Sorry .. but do we care?

Really Do we care about the state of the world...? about the real state of the world... I am not talking about the rich world, or about the lack of oil, or private cars..but about the other not-so capitalistic world...

Caring means worrying about global warming  and the rest of humankind. Thanks to Gore and IPCC we hear about global warming..and probably because it will affect us... but what about other people? Do we worry, not in the western sense of making them "richer", but in the sense of knowing if their lives are worthwhile.. in other words, do we care about if other human beings have food and sanitation secured???

Yes that's all...Anthropology taught long time ago that cultures need humans, so they need safe and clean food and water to thrive.. (given that most of the people can get shelter and money is mostly paper) easily... but I do not hear about it...

Even when the UN report of the Millennium goal is already out for 2007.. I did not hear a word.. anywhere.

Follow me please.

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by kcurie Sun Oct 14th, 2007 at 02:14:48 PM EST

LUC : Law of Unintended Consequences.

This is the lemma I use to sum up the Bush-Cheney administration. They try to pursuit one goal and turn out to get something completely different (Monty Python style). This may seem a rather stupid assessment of how Bush has made an impact in the US society and in the Iraqi society but not the world. Well, actually, it may be not so stupid assesment for the US since P. Krugman says that if they would have been more competent the US would not be a republic by now. But just because we know that the US tortures, it is in huge debt, the middle class is been strongly hit by the credit bubbles, the elites do not care about children’s health care, and does no do anything  to address global warming, it does not mean that other administrations or more competent people would have carried it through in a different way, maybe they would have hidden those aspects better. Bush is the symptom , not the disease, some people here say.

In a word, I have always thought that the big difference between Reagan and Bush has always been the disdain of the administration (and the USSR of course). And now brace yourself, because , while this disdain has destroyed Iraq and it is in the process of create a complete and awful Gilded Age in the US, the net result for the world has been "LUCILY" HUGELY POSITIVE… provided they DO NOT BOMB IRAN

Follow me below the fold….

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Bush words. Big Scoop.

by kcurie Wed Sep 26th, 2007 at 01:24:19 PM EST

Today El Pais got a big scoop.

El Pais, Spain's largest newspaper, part of a center-left Spanish media Empire (PRISA), has obtained the minutes of a conversation between President Bush and Prime Minister Aznar in February 2003 in Crawford, days before the introduction of the second UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Spain, the UK and the US demanding that Saddam Hussein disarm and which would eventually be withdrawn to avoid an embarrassing defeat. In the resolution there was no mention of possible retaliations if Saddam Hussein failed to comply. Bush and Blair sought a second resolution allowing for the use of force and war if Saddam Hussein did not disarm. Of course, according to them Hussein was openly armed and he would never disarm.

As far as Europeans go, we knew the war was a done deal. I am not sure about Americans. [editor's note, by Migeru I was in the US in 2002/2003 and I was fully aware of what was going on through American media, so I don't think Americans have an excuse]

So it may be useful for Americans to see the minutes. And still I think it is specially relevant to get a transcript because it gives you an idea of the kind of language, narrative and assumptions being used behind the scenes. Did they believe that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons? It was obvious that Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear program since that is impossible to hide... but did they believe their own rethoric... did they believe in the UN's role... We more or less know the answer... but you need the language to get an insight. So I have thought that a proper English translation of the Spanish transcript from El Pais is absolutely essential. I also think it may be useful for our American counterparts in the blogosphere...

And you will find that some sentences are pure gold

Follow me below the fold... but I do not provide commentary, that is not the purpose of this diary. I leave that to you :)

[editor's note, by Migeru See also Booman's story on Booman Tribune, with a translation of El Pais' background piece]

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Lessons in language.

by kcurie Mon Jul 9th, 2007 at 11:26:07 AM EST

The anti neocon vision is here: Piranha vision

Committed to an existence in which only observable experience is real, the Pirahã do not think, or speak, in abstractions and thus do not use color terms, quantifiers, numbers, or myths. Everett pointed to the word "xibipío" as a clue to how the Pirahã perceive reality solely according to what exists within the boundaries of their direct experience which Everett defined as anything that they can see and hear, or that someone living has seen and heard. When someone walks around a bend in the river, the Pirahã say that the person has not simply gone away but xibipío ‘gone out of experience,’  Everett said. They use the same phrase when a candle flame flickers. The light ‘goes in and out of experience.’

I still recall the first day that one  universals fell down. I was probably 10 and somehow I woke up and stand tall and tired.. My mom hug me up and said "come on.. it is not like you are going to work the fields"... I , of course, did not understand. "what do you mean , mom?", "Well I mean you are not going to harvest like your grandma at your age".. she answered. "When was that?" I replied. I was known in the family by my insistence of knowing when things happened instead of why things happened... and with numbers attached to them.. that's why I asked the numbers of all the buses that came by during six months at the age of 2 (The patience of my mother answering them was for sure breathtaking.) Once she provided a date I trusted her.. but how was that possible.. how?.. and I did not utter a word...I could not comprehend...until.. LIGHT  "Do you mean that there are children who do not wake up in the morning and go to school?" My mom smile back....There it was... my first cultural ethnocentric urban european belief smashed with a smile... at the age of 10...

Follow me below the fold...

From the diaries - whataboutbob

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