Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

Prime Minister Tsipras calls forEuropean reality consciousness as Greek debt talks kick off to resolve the crisis occasioned by a €330 MN due in payment on Friday.

It is a dispute about whether the eurozone’s creditors will release funds so that they can pay themselves and avoid having to call Greece in default.

Or to put it another way, it is all about whether the IMF and eurozone can keep up the pretence that Greece is a sound and solvent debtor.

Reaching its full energy level for the first time, the Hadron Collider in Switzerland began yesterday its epochal experiment in researching matter itself.

After nearly two years of maintenance and repair, as well as several months of recommissioning, the experiments at the world’s largest particle accelerator are ready to take data at the unprecedented energy of 13 tera-electronvolts (TeV) – almost double the collision energy of the LHC’s first three-year run.

It is hoped the development will mark the start of season two at the LHC, opening the way to new frontiers in physics.

In May scientists achieved test collisions between protons at 13TeV for the first time. The stage is now set for data to be collected from collisions within the LHC’s giant detectors.

Negotiations that have the prospect of lifting sanctions on Iran and bringing about a new orientation with the western world have shown great appeal for the citizens of that country.

Iran remains a theocracy in which citizens have only limited political rights. Most people I met said they would prefer a government that reflects the aspirations of a young and globalized population. Few, however, expect that the lifting of sanctions would produce a more democratic society anytime soon.

“It will have an economic effect, and life will be easier, but there won’t be a political effect,” an art student predicted. Then, like almost every other Iranian I met, he hastened to tell me how much he admires the United States. “Let me tell you a fact. Iranian people love American people,” he said. “Those people you see on TV yelling ‘Death to America’ are paid to do that. Anyone who says he doesn’t like America is either working for the regime or afraid to say what he really believes.”

Americans traveling in Iran are repeatedly surrounded by ecstatic Iranians. Many excitedly snap pictures of themselves with their new friends.


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The Roundup for June 4th, 2015

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.


  1. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 7:08 am

    morning, pups, here have the first fruits of the garden, broccoli rabe, eaten yesterday in salad, and a bouquet of peonies making the place smell wonderful.

  2. Beverly Lawson
    June 4, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Good Morning All & thanks, Ruth, for getting us started. Sounds like a lovely garden

  3. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Perfectly great, the growing here is amazing and my veggies never had it so good. Of course, it’s later than I am used to but this does work well for the stuff I like to bring to the table.

  4. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Good morning Ruth and thanks as always for the early post, nice for us retired folks to have a place to gather. I feel sorry for the Greeks, I’m sure they’ll get no sympathy from the IMF. Loved the Prime Ministers “reality consciousness” quote. Something all world leaders should consider.
    Perhaps I’m confused, but isn’t the u.s. fighting WITH Iran against ISIS? One nearly needs a scorecard.
    Glad the garden is doing well. My flowers are finally taking off after a rather rough start.

  5. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Good to see you.
    The Greeks are having to pay off debts that were taken out by corrupt leaders who took the money and ran, and the EU is going to have to deal with taking a loss for allowing banks to do deals that were outright robbery.
    What we are doing in the Middle East goes around and around, indeed. We need friendships, and need to get over old problems with past wrangles, it seems.

  6. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 7:40 am

    “allowing banks to do deals that were outright robbery”. Sounds rather familiar. I’d venture a guess that no one goes to jail.

  7. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 7:42 am

    It was awhile ago, but bonuses might have been more the reward than what it called for, and paybacks should have been in cash.

  8. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Morning All!

    As was told to me, Greece is broke. Bankrupt. But as long as they are not officially acknowledged as broke, the banks can continue to hold Greek bonds etc on their books at face value. They’ll be really hesitant to take that hit all at once. I agree with the author, the creditors will release the money to pay themselves.

    I can’t wait for data from this next run of the LHC. It ought to disprove a number of fairy tales, though I don’t know if they’ll prove anything. It really is going to be the first hard data from VERY new territory and I haven’t a clue what they’ll actually find. I wonder if they’ll find dark matter. If they don’t, then you have to wonder if it really exists. Which raises the question “what’s wrong with our math?”.

    And I really hope we work out a deal with Iran. And I hope that Israel and Saudi Arabia can live with it. If not, I fear we’ll see Israeli bombing runs via Saudi airspace.

    Boxturtle (Do not dispute the existance of luck. Believe in it and plan for it)

  9. Beverly Lawson
    June 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

    TX scores again…..Perry about to announce that he really will be in the race….”Ooooops”…Some people never learn.

  10. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:08 am

    thanks, yes, Greece is not being put on the books, just as the U.S. was let off easy when all our banks were claiming as net worth those toxic bonds that were actually less than worthless. Money is all about willing suspension of disbelief, at the core.

  11. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:08 am

    The Greeks could care less about sympathy, they want money. And they want their dignity back. Hell, they want their COUNTRY back. The banksters have little option but to go along, the hit on their books of a Greek default might kill a couple of the more exposed banks and will inflict great pain upon the rest and MIGHT require a large scale government bailout. You can make the case that The banks would be better off just forgiving the debt incrementally.

    We’re fighting with Iran against Isis. We’re fighting against Iran with Israel and Saudi Arabia. We’re fighting with Iran and Iraq. We’re fighting against Iran with NATO. It’s perfectly clear.

    Boxturtle (Winston Smith will be along in a bit to correct the history books)

  12. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Just heard Perry saying he can ‘get down there’ with working people – and know that the actual direction of travel would be UP.

  13. Marion in Savannah
    June 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Good morning, pups. Today we have Blow, Kristof and Collins. In “Romanticizing ‘Broken Windows’ Policing” Mr. Blow says some communities are being asked either to accept collateral damage in the war on crime, or complain about excessive force only to have criminals roam free. Mr. Kristof, in “Chemicals In Your Popcorn?”, says here’s how lax U.S. regulation risks consumer health. In “Old Age Versus Geese” Ms. Collins addresses the return of Sully Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson.

    HERE they are, and

    HERE’s Krugman’s blog.

    The coffee and tea are ready, and I’ve got apple and apricot muffins this morning. We had lots of rain yesterday, and this morning is just beautiful — cool (!) and sunny, and everything washed clean. This is the longest, loveliest spring I can remember in all the years I’ve lived here.

    So are the tin foil hat crowd all cowering under the bed, waiting for the LHC to create a universe-swallowing black hole? I seem to recall some howls about that in the past…

    Have a great day.

  14. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

    “We need friendships”

    Right. But yet what we’re looking for are very one sided relationships with us at the senior partner. And yet our diplomats are confused why those “third world” countries don’t just petition to join the United States.

    Friendship is based on mutual trust. We’re trying to build friendships based on being the biggest fish in the pond and a bully.

    Boxturtle (If you’ll be our friend, we’ll bully your enemies)

  15. Marion in Savannah
    June 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I’m jealous of your peonies. It’s too hot down here for them. I miss forsythia too — one of my favorite signs of spring. It doesn’t get cold enough in our winters to encourage blooming.

  16. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Prediction: Regardless of the “deal” the vulture funds that have bought a lot of the debt at fire sale discounts will demand repayment at full value. They’re watching Argentina.

    There are enough Greek bonds issued by non-Greek entities to give the vulture funds access to a non-Greek court that will allow them to attach assets.

    Boxturtle (The EU courts currently hate Greece. US courts LUV them banksters)

  17. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Did you notice that the clown car reference is starting to get Rupert’s feathers in a kerfluffle?

    Boxturtle (Note to Rupert: It’s not just the liberal media, it’s everybody BUT Fox)

  18. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:20 am

    thanks, Marion, hopefully Collins gives credit as Sully does to the great training his union insists on, and the high standards of equipping planes for emergencies?
    Since I came to PA there are wonderful peonies, rhododendron, and all sorts of flowers I love. Along with amazing veggies.

  19. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Oh, we’ll get black holes this time. Almost no question, if the theories are correct. And available data say they are. As for universe swallowing, well, they tend to evaporate in Attoseconds. One of the interesting pieces of data to come from this will be how fast they evaporate, this will enable scientists to refine the values of several universal constants.

    Boxturtle (Black holes are created in the upper atmosphere every day)

  20. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Our original relationships were with the tinhorn dictatorship governments that were put in charge to keep resources available for western powers. The resulting popular fronts are having to deal with us after that history, and that’s hard in view of their own relations with their own populations.

  21. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:26 am

    “He’s ditched the signature cowboy boots and added black-rimmed glasses. ” – CNN

    I told you when those glasses first showed up he’d never be photographed again without them.

    Boxturtle (He thinks they make him look intelligent and dignified)

  22. Marion in Savannah
    June 4, 2015 at 8:26 am

    “He thinks”

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  23. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:29 am

    You got it.

  24. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Argh! Hoist by my own petard!

    I should have said “His HANDLERS think…”.

    Boxturtle (Attn Handlers: If you want him to seem intelligent, keep his mouth shut)

  25. tjbs
    June 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Good morning all, far and wide,

    Sooner or later the financial rapists will be Frenched or actually lose their heads instead of being mentally deranged.

  26. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Good to see you.
    The out and out robbery of nations seems to have gone too far, and the people being asked to pay for their own ruin is not working out. Greece is a first, and Argentina is learning.

  27. tjbs
    June 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

    “. We need friendships,”

    But do other countries want friends like us ?

  28. Alice X
    June 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Morning all – got up in the middle of the night which is typical. Decided to try upgrading my system from 10.6 to 10.8 – not typical – the direction of the mouse wheel has reversed.

    Maybe coffee will help.

  29. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Right now, our sales line seems to be “You’d rather have friends like us than enemies like us”.

    Boxturtle (Hey, it worked well for the Mafia!)

  30. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Mice backwards, hmmmm?
    Good morning, hope the coffee makes it right.

  31. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I think I have the who do we like for this and who we don’t like for that down now, at least for this week. Just madness all the hell the way around.
    I stand corrected on Greece. Sympathy was a poor word choice on my part. They need money, of course, just like the poor and states need money here. And like the Greeks, I would like my country back as well, from Wall Street and special interests. Although I understand it’s a different kind of wanting our countries back.

  32. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 9:12 am

    “Collateral damage” used to be a phrase used to describe civilians killed by the u.s. in a foreign country that had just been bombed. Now it seems, it has come to this country. For some reason always involving the black population.
    “Criminals roam free”. Yes they are. Waiting on someone from Wall Street to go to jail.

  33. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Good morning Alice X. We seem to be experiencing the same malady. Last Saturday morning I woke up at 1:30 a.m. Laid there an hour and a half and realized I wasn’t going back to sleep come hell or high water, so just got up. It’s been 3:00 a.m. all week. I hate this, I’m not a wealthy woman but I’d give $50. for just 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep. So exhausted. If you if figure out a cure, please share.

  34. ms kitty
    June 4, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Hola, Ruth and dinerzens. Envious of the peonies, such a short early summer affair. It has become hot here. Took a ride over the landscape yesterday, a lot of green from recent rains. So beautiful. When I look at the sky, I think, “It looks like the sky, but what is going on up there is the end of life as we know it.”

  35. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 9:26 am

    The summer here stays like springs I am used to in N.TX., and yes, that means flowers.
    Don’t know if I can see skies as anything but nice, even knowing they and the oceans are so full of trash it’s scary.

  36. Boxturtle
    June 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I’m assuming you’ve already tried all the OTC remedies. During my misspent youth, I discovered that when I woke up for whatever reason and couldn’t get back to sleep marijuana would quiet my mind and allow me to sleep.

    Boxturtle (Naturally, I’m not recommending that to you. That would be illegal)

  37. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I could usually get back to sleep by turning on CSpan and setting its volume right at the verge of inaudible, try hard to concentrate on what they’re saying. Worked like a charm, when I was going through the hell of getting the house off my hands in TX.

  38. Alice X
    June 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I corrected it in control panel. Those geniuses at apple decided that the scroll wheel should be reversed.

  39. Marion in Savannah
    June 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I’ve found that Benadryl works like knock-out drops for me. (But I don’t take it too often, lest I get accustomed to it…)

  40. Alice X
    June 4, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I don’t lie there for too long – I just get up – usually after about four hours. I turn on the computer for a while. Then play the guitar or violin, or both for a while. Then back to bed.

    For three months I was taking a med twice a day – I was sleeping ten, eleven even twelve hours a night. Lot’s of times without getting up (except for the mandatory).

    That started to improve – last night all told I slept 6.5 hours. I was up an extra long time playing with the computer. It has been so annoying. I am always using old computers with old software with old operating systems. Eventually one is completely obsolete and can’t get online anymore. So I fixed it – sort of. Not totally – one important program – a database – would be $125 to upgrade – greedy SOBs – they never do much for the money, except adapt to new operating systems.

    I may have to take a nap.

    As far as a cure goes – until about six months ago, about once a week I would get substantially more than my share of brandy – knock it down and then sleep for a day (at least it seemed like it). It worked but I stopped for several reasons. One was I couldn’t afford it.

  41. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 10:13 am

    The OTC were a waste of money. Xanax used to help, but I think my dosage needs upped. I took anti-depressants for awhile for IBS. Slept like a baby but walked around all day feeling like a zombie. I simply cannot take those things. Didn’t think of the marijuana, but still have connections, (while I would never think of breaking the law). Pot seems to be different now, used to love the giggle weed. Now it’s different. Last time I smoked, not too long ago, it turned my knees to jello. I went to get up and promptly fell sideways, slamming my head into a kitchen cabinet door, and disabusing the door of it’s frame. So of course had to find someone to fix that. However, I did sleep quite well that night, don’t know if it was the weed or a concussion.

  42. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I have not tried that, however, depending on the subject matter, I’m one of those rare birds that like c-span. Maybe the weather channel would be a better fit.

  43. oldhippiejan
    June 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I have a particular love of rum and Coke. Have tried that, but must stop at one and that is difficult for me. Like you, the cost is also a factor.

  44. Alice X
    June 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Went to the food co-op yesteray. On the bulletin board the foster bunny is back looking for a home, s/he is so cute. Little dear, I would love to take her but I absolutely cannot afford to care for an animal. Can’t even quite afford myself right now.

    Meanwhile, via Yves Smith whose specially acute political/economic commentary is adorable (often baby) animals.

    This was from today’s links (speaking of bunnies as we were).

  45. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 4, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    came by for a quick visit. Oldhippyjan- I am a Registered Nurse. My wife has the same issues. As stated earlier- benadryl 25mg – 50mg works as an OTC. Also my wife uses magnesium pills and she swears by it. I am blessed with the ability to sleep standing up at any time. However the rare times when i can’t sleep – it worked for me.

    However- just a thought- sleeplessness is also a symptom of depression, you may want to consider that. See a doc if that seems to fit for you.

    Sleep well

  46. Ruth
    June 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    oh, I do like CSpan, and really want to listen, but it puts me right out at night, late.

  47. oldhippiejan
    June 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve tried antidepressants. The side effects were an abomination. The dry mouth made me more anxious, aggravated, and angry, turned my brain to mush, caused severe constipation, and cost me a fortune in dental bills from the dry mouth. Couldn’t live like that.