November 9, 2011

Under attack by overwhelming economic forces, French and Germans consider retreat to citadel

Filed under: Economics, Europe, France, Germany — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 14:42

If they’re floating ideas like this, the Euro is done:

German and French officials have discussed plans for a radical overhaul of the European Union that would involve establishing a more integrated and potentially smaller euro zone, EU sources say.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave some flavor of his thinking during an address to students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, when he said a two-speed Europe — the euro zone moving ahead more rapidly than all 27 countries in the EU — was the only model for the future.

The discussions among senior policymakers in Paris, Berlin and Brussels go further, raising the possibility of one or more countries leaving the euro zone, while the remaining core pushes on toward deeper economic integration, including on tax and fiscal policy.

As in any retreat, some outlying forces (countries) will have to be sacrificed to save the main body (France and Germany). A small retreat may not be enough — but Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal are likely to be left outside the walls.

Penn State’s problem

Russ from Winterset loses his temper over the truly disturbing way Penn State is handling their child rape issues allegations:

So Joe Paterno is going to retire at the end of the season?

Whiskey? Tango? Foxtrot? Does Joe think he is going to be carried off the MISS PIGGY field to the BEAKER cheers of the DR. BUNSEN HONEYDEW crowd after leading Penn STADLER State to another GONZO bowl game? FOZZIE BEAR that noise. He should have the common DR. TEETH & THE ELECTRIC MAYHEM decency to slink out the back door of the coaching offices in shame like John SAM THE EAGLE Edwards leaving a session of a Federal RIZZO THE RAT Grand Jury.

That moderation expressed in my first update? KERMIT that. If Joe JANIS THE BASS PLAYER Paterno is allowed to coach another ANIMAL football game at Penn RALPH THE DOG State University, every WALDORF fan in the stadium who so much as smiles when their BERT team scores their first ERNIE touchdown can go Suck The Barbed Cock of Satan as far as I’m concerned.

BIG BIRD! Now I’m pissed.

And when you come back with the “look at all he’s done for the community” card, tell me this. How many other kids have been raped since 2002 because JoePa and the other jackasses at Penn State didn’t think it was necessary to get the police involved in this situation? Ten? Five? Even one? Is that a fair trade for all that Joe Paterno has done for his community?

If it’s not quite clear from context, he “replace[d] all but one of my f-bombs in the original draft of the post with the names of Muppet Characters”

Federalism does not mean “do what the Feds say”

Filed under: Government, Law, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:41

The US government is actively undermining California law when it comes to medical marijuana:

When you get a new car, you start noticing the same model all over the highway. It’s the same way when you figure out what California’s marijuana dispensaries look like — green crosses and signage about “medicine” and “420” start popping up all over the City of Angels: On your commute to work, in your neighborhood, around the corner from your favorite restaurant. To put it bluntly, it’s not hard to find weed in California.

But that all might be about to change. The state’s four U.S. Attorneys are gamely trying to alter the broadly popular status quo with arrests and threats of prosecution and property seizure for landlords who rent to dispensaries, a campaign announced in a rare joint press conference in October. Medical marijuana advocates call it an “intense crackdown” and have launched a lawsuit claiming the federal attorneys’ tactics violate California’s tenth amendment rights (Rick Perry, call your office).

State and local officials, meanwhile, are divided in their reactions to the influx of dispensaries in California, but many say that overly eager federal intervention is undermining the state-regulated medical marijuana system that they have taken pains to set up. In other words, as long as the federal crackdown contained itself to targeting egregious offenders of state law, it was hard for anyone to object; many applauded. But by raising the prospect of a federal assault on city mayors and town councils, Obama’s Department of Justice could be making more enemies than friends in California.

This is not news: Toronto is Canada’s least-liked city

Filed under: Cancon, Media — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 09:07

In fact, a strong case could be made that hating Toronto is one of the key factors that binds the rest of Canada together:

Ontario’s capital not only had the lowest rate of positive responses, it also had the highest rate of “very negative” responses. “Many Canadians have a hate-on for Toronto,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a Ryerson University politics professor. “Toronto is regarded as totally self-indulgent, so there’s a sort of ‘Who do they think they are believing they’re the centre of the country and the universe?’” Jim Milway, executive director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, said the poorer perception of Toronto — 19% of respondents gave negative responses — is due to animosity more than anything else. “It’s not necessarily that people like their city more than Toronto,” he said. “It’s that people just don’t like Toronto, period.” Prof. McGrane, of the University of Saskatchewan, said the “grudge” is rooted in historic grievances, particularly harboured by westerners who have long felt “left out.” “It’s not that we hate (Torontonians), but we’re a bit suspicious about them and their motives,” he said.

I can’t claim to have been everywhere in the country, but from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, hatred of Toronto and distaste for Torontonians is almost universal among Canadians.

Recapping World War 2 through Twitter updates

Filed under: History, Military, Technology, WW2 — Tags: — Nicholas @ 08:56

It’s a huge undertaking, but Alwyn Collinson will be sending out frequent Twitter updates with 72-year-old “breaking news”:

The account, @RealTimeWWII, features up to 40 tweets each day and has attracted almost 45,000 followers as German forces tear across Europe in the autumn of 1939.

It covers major military and political developments, as well as featuring eyewitness testimony from the battlefield, contemporary photography and newsreel footage.

Created by 24-year-old Alwyn Collinson, the project is an attempt to “help people feel like they’re there”.

“I’m hoping to use Twitter to help bring the past to life, helping people understand the past as people at the time saw it, without the benefit of hindsight,” he said.

“I want them to see that people then were just like they are.”

I’d follow this myself, but I’m already overwhelmed with all the Twitter accounts I currently follow. This is a much bigger undertaking than the “live tweeting” of the Battle of Britain by the Imperial War Museum.

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