July 8, 2012 archive

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The Economics of Ecology and the Tragedy of the Commons

  Elinor Ostrom, the only woman to ever win the Nobel Prize for Economics, died last month and we are all poorer because of it. She was a trailblazer in the field of economics, yet her findings have been largely ignored by politicians, policy makers, and the financial media. Few economists have ever even heard of her.

 Why is that? Because her conclusions don’t help the cause of large corporations, governments, the wealthy and powerful.

 She was Elinor Ostrom, a professor of political science at Indiana University, who devoted much of her career to combing the world looking for examples where people had developed ways of regulating their use of common resources without resort to either private property rights or government intervention.

 In these days of environmental destruction and economic distress caused by rapacious corporations, we need people like Elinor Ostrom shining a light on alternative economic theories more than ever.

Movie Matinee

Not quite sure what led Taylor Marsh to find this, but it’s one of TheMomCat’s favorite movies.

On This Day In History July 8

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 176 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1951, Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.


The earliest archaeological signs of permanent settlements in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the area near the river Seine from around 250 BC. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Geneviève Hill and the Île de la Cité. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, but later Gallicised to Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.

The collapse of the Roman empire and the 5th-century Germanic invasions sent the city into a period of decline. By 400 AD, Lutèce, largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was little more than a garrison town entrenched into a hastily fortified central island. The city reclaimed its original appellation of “Paris” towards the end of the Roman occupation.

The Paris region was under full control of the Germanic Franks by the late 5th century. The Frankish king Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. The late 8th century Carolingian dynasty displaced the Frankish capital to Aachen; this period coincided with the beginning of Viking invasions that had spread as far as Paris by the early 9th century. Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité; one of the most remarkable Viking raids was on 28 March 845, when Paris was sacked and held ransom, probably by Ragnar Lodbrok, who left only after receiving a large bounty paid by the crown. The weakness of the late Carolingian kings of France led to the gradual rise in power of the Counts of Paris; Odo, Count of Paris was elected king of France by feudal lords, and the end of the Carolingian empire came in 987, when Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected king of France. Paris, under the Capetian kings, became a capital once more.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Afghanistan aid: Donors pledge $16bn at Tokyo meeting

 Donors at a conference on Afghanistan have pledged to give it $16bn (£10.3bn) in civilian aid over four years, in an attempt to safeguard its future after foreign forces leave in 2014.

The BBC   8 July 2012

The biggest donors, the US, Japan, Germany and the UK, led the way at the Tokyo meeting in offering funds.

The pledge came as Afghanistan agreed to new conditions to deal with endemic corruption.

There are fears Afghanistan may relapse into chaos after the Nato pullout.

The Afghan economy relies heavily on international development and military assistance. The World Bank says aid makes up more than 95% of Afghanistan’s GDP.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan itself two roadside bombs killed 14 civilians and injured another three in the southern Kandahar province, regional police chief Gen Abdul Raziq said.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Libya elections: Polling station raids mar vote

French WWI artworks preserved in caves

Cultural Exchange: Pablo Escobar’s allure persists

Australia laid on silver service for Bin Laden’s protector

Seeds of aid bear fruit in Kenya

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread: What We Now Know

What Happens When You Elect Actual Socialists

Chris Hayes summarizes the news of the week as he talks about the intended tax hikes in France under newly elected President François Hollande. He is joined on the panel by Jared Bernstein (@econjared), MSNBC contributor, former Chief Economist & Economic Policy Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Senior Fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; Karl Smith (@ModeledBehavior), Assistant Professor of Economics and Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and contributor to the Forbes blog Modeled Behavior; Jamila Bey (@jbey), Contributing writer to Washington Post blog She the People, and reporter for Voice of Russia Radio; Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey), economic policy reporter for The New York Times.

Le Tour de France 2012: Stage 7

The Tour de France 2012, the world’s premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the race will take its course briefly along the Northwestern coast of France through  Boulogne-sur-Mer, Abbeville and into Rouen then into the mountains of the Jura, Swiss Alps and the Pyrenees.

We will be Live Blogging Le Tour 2012 every morning at The Stars Hollow Gazette starting at 7:30 AM EDT. Come join us for a morning chat, cheer the riders and watch some of the most beautiful and historic countryside in Europe.

Stage 7 – Tomblaine – La Planche des Belles Filles.  199 km

Stage 7 start and finish were two new locales for Le Tour, the village of Tomblaine and a ski station on the last summit of the Vosges, La Planche des Belles Filles. The riders left the plains and began the rigorous part of the race into the mountains. The mountains in this stage are considered “medium” but the last leg to the summit finish is a category 1 mountain with the last 850 meter at a leg muscle screaming incline of 14%.

Today’s stage start and finish are two new locales for Le Tour, the village of Tomblaine and a ski station on the last summit of the Vosges, La Planche des Belles Filles.



• Stage town for the first time

• 8,000 inhabitants

• Head of the canton of Meurthe-et-Moselle

A new town on the Tour de France’s map, Tomblaine is situated in the sphere of influence of Nancy, where the peloton has been going since 1905. Fausto Coppi, Louison Bobet and Bernard Hinaul have been winners there, but the memory which is the freshest in our minds is that of Christophe Mengin’s bitter disappointment in the 2005 Tour. The stage’s regional rider had every opportunity to win, by joining the breakaway of the day, and then leaving his fellow riders behind him in the final stretch. The several second’s lead that he still had after the red pennant should have been enough, but he was caught out by the rain and the rider from Lorraine finished his route by crashing into the barriers on the edge of the last bend. Italy’s Lorenzo Bernucci took advantage of his bad luck.

La Planche des Belles Filles

• Stage site for the first time

• The summit of the Vosges massive (1148 m) in Haute-Saône

The only ski resort in the department of Haute-Saône and the last summit of the Vosges, La Planche des Belles Filles (English: Board of the pretty girls) is going to make a promising entrance among the Tour de France’s finish sites. Although the final slope seems to be reserved for the strongest climbers, this place takes its name from a collective and hopeless flight of the women of the valley, who wanted to escape from a massacre declared by the Vikings during their conquest in the 15 th century. The station’s name, according to legend, dates to 1635 when a Swedish soldier engraved an epitaph to some local girls who drowned whilst fleeing him and his men.