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What you want to say… Open Thread, 7th November, 2012 November 7, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free. Though I guess with the day that’s in it matters US political might take some precedence, and not just the Presidential election, but the Congressional and Senate races and the ballot initiatives referenced earlier in the week.

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1. bjg - November 7, 2012

Never mind them; what about OccupySandy? bjg

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

Some great work being done there and no mistake…

On another tangent entertaining to see the Israeli govt. attempt to walk back from Netanyahu’s frankly bizarre cosying up to Romney pre-election.

And here’s quite a good analysis I think:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2012/11/obama_the_moderate_republican_what_the_2012_election_should_teach_the_gop.html

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sonofstan - November 7, 2012

Was just going to post that. Despite the supposed polarisation of the US, fact is Romney was a moderate, consensus seeking Republican when he actually held office……. and so is Obama.

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CL - November 7, 2012

There are no longer any moderate Republicans in the Republican party; it has been taken over by extreme right-wingers. Obama has defeated the ugly forces of reaction, but he is to the right of that now extinct progressive Republicanism represented by La Follette and Tom Dewey.

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sonofstan - November 7, 2012

There are extreme right- wingers in the GOP certainly, but I think the left have a fantasy version of what republicans are and think that is a mirror image of the right wing fantasy of Obama as a Muslim communist, and about as true.

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CL - November 7, 2012

Obama is clearly and certainly not a Muslim: Paul Ryan is certainly a follower of the crack-pot right-wing ideas of Ayn Rand.
‘Young Guns’ is a book by Ryan and two other House
leaders, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy. The book which extols such right-wing luminaries as Milton Friedman, can be summed up in 4 words: Government bad, Markets great’.

Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann’s book is called ‘Its Even Worse Than It Looks.”

“Mann, who is a scholar at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, said the book was motivated not by a sense that today’s extreme polarization is unprecedented but by a fear of the consequences.

“Yes, we got through them,” he said, referring to the nation’s past political estrangements. “But one of those times we had to go through a war. Democracy is about living with each other and learning to live with our differences without resorting to arms.”

Ornstein, who is a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, said he and Mann, whose book blames the extreme dysfunction in Washington on the Republican Party, realize that “neither party is filled with angels” but think today’s GOP is a radical outlier in U.S. politics.

http://www.independentmail.com/news/2012/oct/17/political-scientists-worried-about-hard-edge-us-po/

‘The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition’- ”

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2012/05/mann-and-ornstein.html

Neither Mann nor Ornstein can be called leftwingers.

The significance of Obama’s victory is that it has repelled this extremist, reactionary, extremely dangerous anti-worker tendency.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

There’s a lot in what you say sonofstan. Particularly I think about the idea that Republicans are an homogenous mass of extremists. There are many – perhaps a majority – who would comfortably fit in FF or FG. A friend of mine is a US Republican and I’d consider them one of the most sane and astute political minds I’ve ever met, even if one some fundamentals we’d disagree hugely.

But all that said I wonder though if Romney’s previous position as Governor would be entirely mappable (to coin a term) onto a potential Romney presidency. I think you’re right that at heart Romney’s a pretty centrist US politician, but… the Republican party – in its most activist sense – itself has swung much further to the right since he was in Matt and as President the pressures resulting from that would be considerable – particularly from the R majority in Congress.

Certainly I’d be less convinced that as President he’d be as ‘moderate’ as Obama, if only because he’d have to keep throwing raw lumps of political meat to his rightward base, something Obama simply doesn’t have to do.

Jacob Weisberg on Slate put it well, I thought: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_big_idea/2012/11/why_romney_lost_he_couldn_t_separate_himself_from_the_republican_party_s.html

Many of his statements on these issues were patently insincere, but that was hardly reassuring. Romney’s very insincerity and flexibility made it improbable that he would stand up to the GOP’s hyper-partisan congressional wing once elected any more than he had during the primaries.

Then there was the fact of his clear detachment from the realities of life as it is experienced by vast numbers, and most certainly a majority, of Americans.

And then on a raft of issues he was clearly a neophyte, but most importantly, from our perspective on economics and foreign affairs. Where he wasn’t being expedient he simply appeared ignorant (and his analysis of the Israel/Palestine issue for an old two nationist like myself was breathtakingly partisan even in a US context of an absurd over identification of Israeli interests being coterminous with US interests).

None of this is to laud Obama for his ‘moderacy’ but I think on balance he is much less hostage to the dynamics outlined above than Romney. And yes, chances are a Romney presidency would be in some respects a bit like that of Bush, rhetorically much more right wing than the actuality. But still, that’s a chance I’m glad hasn’t had to be put to the test.

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CL - November 7, 2012

The article by Weisberg in Slate supports the claim of Ornstein and Mann that the Republican Party is a party of right-wing extremists.
On some issues Romney had as many positions as the Kama Sutra, but on economics he was a true believer in market fundamentalism, -which is to be expected from a successful, capitalist predator. But the would-be Predator-in-chief has now been defeated by the
Community organizer-in-chief.
The extremist true believers, Ryan, Cantor, and McCarthy hold key leadership positions in the Republican-controlled Congress, and will determine the future direction of the Republican Party, which is already a very cold house for that almost extinct breed, Republican moderates.

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sonofstan - November 8, 2012

The GOP has been no more ‘captured’ by the TP and the lunatic right than Labour here or in the UK was captured by Militant in the eighties. They remain a party that serves the interests of big business and the military industrial complex……just like the democrats. The left in the states and even more here in Europe is indulging is lesser evil-ism and giving itself pleasurable frissons of masturbatory horror by imagining that it has vanquished a great beast when really its just the same old other half of the same old double act.. The fantasy of the GOP transformed is the ultimate alibi for the failure of the left
to leave the lazy shelter of the Obamacrats.

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WorldbyStorm - November 8, 2012

That may be true to some extent, but it is still difficult not to see some clear policy implications that would impact much more negatively on working people if the Republicans had won – and even allowing for what I was saying about Democrats and unions it still has a residual link with them whereas we’ve seen what GOP reps will do in power to them.

And it seems to me that on many levels the GOP is historically much further right wing than it was. But even were it not the broader mood music of the socio-economic environment is and this is reflected back by the GOP (and the Democrats), so it’s not all masturbatory. Same sex marriage, even weak keynesianism, some toleration for unions, aspects of foreign policy, media ownership and control, the Supreme Court, and on and on, there are differences – and in many cases substantive ones – between how the situation would play out under the two parties.

And lesser-evilism is perhaps a rational response when there is no means for shifting either party from the left.

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CL - November 8, 2012

The Tea Party is a creature of corporate America, and is financed by such capitalist predators as the the Koch Bros.
As unpalatable as the Democrats are it is better for working people than the catastrophe of Republican extremism controlling the executive branch.
Thats the significance of Obama’s victory; he has repelled a vicious, ugly, truly reactionary tendency.
They won’t go away of course and its unlikely that whatever moderate rump remains in the GOP will have much influence on its future direction.

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bjg - November 9, 2012

You may be wrong in saying that the Tea Party chaps won’t go away. Some of their plans are out of this world …. http://azizonomics.com/2012/11/08/another-planet/

bjg

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2. bjg - November 7, 2012

Here’s a post that (at the end) puts OccupySandy in a context:

http://firedoglake.com/2012/11/04/useless-liberal-intellectuals/

I wondered what Joe Hill would have thought. bjg

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Feadog - November 8, 2012

I was only talking to him last night.

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bjg - November 9, 2012

I suspect you were only dreaming. bjg

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3. LeftAtTheCross - November 7, 2012

Today is the 95th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

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fergal - November 7, 2012

LATC-have you ever read Voline’s “The Unknown Revolution”?

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LeftAtTheCross - November 7, 2012

I haven’t, no. Why?

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fergal - November 10, 2012

Hi LATC,it’s a masterpiece and well worth a read.Voline thesis is that the Bolshevik party destroyed the revoultion in its infancy and not Stalin later on.It’s written from a left-libertarian perspective from a person who was around at that time. It’s partisan.passionate and powerful.

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LeftAtTheCross - November 10, 2012

Ah life’s too short to be reading anarchist stuff to be honest :-) I know that’s a bit closed minded of me but you know there’s only so much time and energy available. But thanks for the suggestion though Fergal.

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LeftAtTheCross - November 10, 2012

That reply reads as being very dismissive, and it’s not meant that way. To expand, everyone and their dog seems to have an opinion on whether or not the october revolution was a good thing or a bad thing, whether it lost the plot, and if it did when and who and what circumstances caused it to lose its way, etc etc. Sometimes I just think we should take the generous view and say that in the sweep of history it was a progressive event, and take it at face value to an extent. Sure the outcomes weren’t all positive, and we can and people do spend what varies between a healthy and obsessed amount of energy disputing the detail of what where who when and why things didn’t work out according to some utopian plan. I’m using utopian there in a negative sense. Was it Lenin, was it Stalin, was it Krushchev, was it Breshnev, was it Gorbachev, or none of the above, was it externalities, was it whatever? Back in the real world of people’s lives the really existing socialism managed to survive for 70+ years, with huge ups and huge downs. Personally I think it’s worth celebrating the achievements and not forgetting the anniversary of the start of the process.

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fergal - November 10, 2012

Hi Latc,your reply wasn’t read as being dismissive at all.I understand perfectly well that “there’s only so much time and energy available”. I’ve read the second part of your reply which is interesting. I suppose the real aim of Voline’s book is making sure that the same errors are avoided next time around!!

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LeftAtTheCross - November 10, 2012

What I’m sort of saying is that I’m not sure that it’s necessarily a simple task to agree what those errors were. By which I mean there’s a huge difference between those who might offer what is basically a positive critique of the sort of shortcomings that occur in any real world system, and those who set out to offer a basically ideologically hostile criticism.

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4. anarchaeologist - November 7, 2012

Victory again against Tesco in Smithfield. There’s stuff here http://wastedonarchaeology.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/tesco-foiled-again-by-the-liberty-boys-in-another-northside-rumble/

Tesco can now open up if they want, but without the off licence component of the shop. Hopefully the Board’s opinion on that one will prevail and they won’t start selling booze regardless and go for retention as they did on Thomas Street. They can well afford the fines.

Interestingly enough, the Board didn’t consider the fact that the spaces were owned by NAMA and wouldn’t grant us an oral hearing.

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D_D - November 7, 2012

A Tesco without an Off Licence. Tesco good, alcohol bad?

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Joe - November 7, 2012

Fair play, Anarchaeologist. Keep fighting.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

+1

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Tel - November 9, 2012

Surely the Liberty Boys would be being run out of Smithfield along with Tescos? : )

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EWI - November 9, 2012

Well done!

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5. CL - November 7, 2012

Hollande’s social democracy:

President Francois Hollande will raise France’s main sales tax rates to finance a cut in payroll charges, throwing support behind businesses for the first time in a bid to counter a record trade deficit and revive growth. …“The logic of cutting labor costs is an error of diagnosis and a social mistake,” Jean-Claude Mailly of the Force Ouvriere union said today on Europe 1 radio.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-06/hollande-to-raise-french-sales-tax-cut-spending-from-2014.html

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6. doctorfive - November 7, 2012

Almost inevitable watching attempts to rubbish Gabriel Byrne given our recent history of dismissing critics of top down green-jerseyism. Thought one or two in the press would be happy he nudged the door open from what had been blanket positive coverage up to now. Same old boosterism prevails.

The Farmleigh set trading on the same bullshit that got them through the last ten years.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

Varadker’s line on that was actually sexist I thought.

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7. ivorthorne - November 7, 2012

Recently, I’ve become uneasy about the amount of power Dennis O’Brien seems to have in this country. Since he’s come into control of INM, we’ve seen him promote his favourites. People like Sarah Carey and Shane Coleman say exactly what Mr. O’Brien wants and Mr O’Brien wants Fine Gael to stay in power.

Newstalk is a joke. According to Phoenix, O’Brien has dictated that Coleman should conduct all major interviews (especially if they have anything to do with tribunal findings) and so he can be confident that their coverage is favourable to him and his buddies in Fine Gael. Newstalk journalists have been instructed to focus on good news stories. They regularly promote cuts for public servants while scoffing at the prospect of increased taxation.

I guess that leaves either the Irish Times or the Irish Examiner. But Phoenix also informed me that Stephen Collins of the IT has links to FG. His daughter works closely with a FG TD. This seems to be a pre-requisite for getting a job as a political correspondent in Ireland. The Irish Independent’s Fionnan Sheehan is married to FF Averil Power. The Examiner is a decent enough paper, but it doesn’t have the impact that either of its Dublin-based rivals have.

This leaves RTE. Home to the patriarch of the Savage family. A place where most current affairs coverage is carried out by people who make a multiple of the average industrial wage. If any old PD wants a soap box, Marian Finucane is happy to oblige.

Bottom line, it’s hard to find any outlet in the media willing to provide a left leaning analysis of current affairs.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

It’s amazing, isn’t it? There’s an almost complete saturation of the orthodoxy in the Irish media. Just on RTE M Finucane is astounding in terms of the panels she assembles.

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ivorthorne - November 7, 2012

Finucane is probably the most obvious example. To a certain extent, with her, it’s up front. The links between her guests and the powers that be are pretty obvious.

With the likes of Coleman and Carey, it’s not always as obvious. Collins and Sheehan present as disinterested reporters when they are embedded in the circles from which the great and the good emerge.

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WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2012

Yes that’s true re Finucane, though it doesn’t make It less irritating!

I guess that’s how orthodoxies sustain themselves, eventually people stop questioning even the most obvious aspects if them.

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EWI - November 9, 2012

The Examiner is a decent enough paper

The Examiner loves to quote Richard Tol and a collection of right-wing cranks on a variety of topics such as climate change. “Decent” it isn’t.

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Blissett - November 9, 2012

Agreed, the examiner is a dreadful paper, and I say that even though that was always the paper in our house growing up. Cannot abide Shaun Connolly’s snarky pointless rants. O’Brien is passable. Otherwise as bad and all as the times is, better than examiner. (though examiner probably has some of the better GAA writers.)

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Ivorthorne - November 10, 2012

I guess the main reason I like The Examiner is that – unlike the other Irish broadsheets – it provides decent coverage of cuts to disability services. And while it gives space to cranks, it doesn’t seem to be as bad as the alternatives when it comes to playing favourites with particular politicians and parties.

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8. CMK - November 8, 2012

Has anyone else seen ‘The Sovereign Independent’ on sale in newsagents or elsewhere? I saw it with the rest of the newspapers in the local Tesco. If you see it, have a look at it; you’re in for a treat. Costs EUR 1.

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9. Brian Hanley - November 8, 2012

Some regular posters here might be interested in this new book on Sligo from 1913-23. It’s part of a series of county studies coming out over the next few years.

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/product.php?intProductID=1032

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Joe - November 9, 2012

There’s no need for this sort of microhistory on Sligo. Clearly trying to cash in on the League success. The definitive history of Sligo is There’s Only One Red Army. :)

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Ivorthorne - November 10, 2012

Any idea where I can get a copy of that book? I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy for a decade?

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Dr.Nightdub - November 9, 2012

Brian, any chance you could start recommending paperbacks please? :o)

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10. EWI - November 9, 2012

The real purpose (creeping privatisation) of the “shared services” agenda advances in the HSE:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1108/breaking18.html

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Joe - November 9, 2012

Yep. Creeping privatisation is the plan, not just in HSE, but across the public setor. It’s known as outsourcing in the Public Service Agreement. But the big ticket privatisation will be that kind of shared services stuff in the health sector. A job for IMPACT.

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CMK - November 9, 2012

Look, the union leadership could care less about outsourcing, it has no impact on them and so long as the workers transferred remain subs fodder, regardless of the terms and conditions they are forced to endure in the new ‘outsourced’ private entities, the union leadership and the full time officials could care less. They’ll deflect any tension resulting from the transfer down pointless consultative fora and wear a path to the LRC and other entities but the substance will that outsourcing will be entrenched and irreversible. They have to make fighting noises now but they won’t follow through as they have conceded the principle of outsourcing years ago, the PSA merely consolidated that concession.

The unions’ view, and by the ‘unions’ I mean the upper echelons not the members whose views don’t count, is that the most ‘positive’ position they can take is to rub off the rougher edges of the outsourcing process, to slow it down and/or fudge it but fundamentally to allow it proceed to its terminal point which will be the large scale outsourcing of mainly ‘back office’ and support functions but also, in time, ‘core’ functions. My view of the union leadership is that they have a fanatical dedication to the quiet life and to the ‘steady as she goes’ philosophy. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will deflect them from that dedication, no amount of austerity, no massive increases in unemployment, no massive cuts to their members’ pay or diminution in conditions will be allowed to serve as a pretext to upset the quiet life of our union leaders.

There is a huge and bitter, but completed unsurprising irony, in the 14 November European general strike. Over the years the union movement, at its official level, have been dedicated exponents of European solidarity based on the extention of the European Union and deeper and deeper integration into it. Yet, when millions of European workers, ya know the guys and gals one would think we are supposed to be in solidaristic relationship with, are planning for the largest strike in European history, we the chumps are going to be going it to worker and our unions are taking a very frosty approach to an example of real solidarity not the faux ‘solidarity’ that exists in the partnership addled brains of ICTU, SIPTU and the Labour Party. The union movement’s approach to 14 N is an implicit endorsement of the view that for union officialdom here ‘solidarity’ is an entirely abstract concept whose purpose is the decorate documents and rhetoric but which has, and will be permitted to have, any concrete expression like striking alongside, or even acknowledging, the efforts of our fellow workers across Europe.

Sorry for the rant, Joe, I see I have strayed off the point you raised initally.

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EWI - November 9, 2012

The question is how to fight it. Raising awareness that this is what’s actually happening is a first step, but what after that?

I don’t foresee many RTÉ or IT pieces on the looting and deterioration in the condition of working people associated with privatisations in the UK and elsewhere (for that on Irish news shelves, you’d have to read Private Eye!).

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CMK - November 9, 2012

Well, yes, that is the question. Sadly, I think most people are buying into the narrative being propagated in the mass media that fundamentally things are improving and that if we stick with the ‘tough’ decisions we’ll come of this in 2016 and get back to ‘growth’ and everything will be well in the world again – I think that explains the consolidation of FG’s support since they were elected. The fact that the debt/GDP ratio is worsening, and is apocalytic when considered in debt/GNP, and that that makes a second bailout inevitable; that economic growth is projected in a positive light and then revised downwards subsequently; that unemployment is stuck at nearly 15% and that emigration is roaring like the 50s are all being massaged by the media and not allowed to disturb the attempts to portray a positive picture – cf. Enda’s willing participation yesterday in what can only be termed a practical joke by the Germans. I’m more pessimistic than I’ve ever been about developments here and, in particular, the view, gaining traction, that the lack of protest here translates into silent assent to the austerity agenda. That latter interpretation is actually sensible and it provides great comfort to the Irish elite. The CAHWT provides some hope but by itself it won’t be enough to turn the tide.

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Joe - November 9, 2012

No need to apologies CMK. I want to rant too. I’ve paid my subs for 30 years and I find myself increasingly asking myself why.
On the outsourcing/privatisation thing, a bit like the way multinational water management(?) companies have their eyes on our water, multi-national back office companies are now circling our bureaucracies.
And as the rate of privatisation (“outsourcing”, nod n wink) increases, it’s dream come true time for the FG privateers.

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CMK - November 9, 2012

The likes of Serco, Capita, G4S and others are all licking their lips at the prospect of getting into the Irish public sector ‘market’. As EWI notes if you want to get a handle on the privatisation of essential public services works out in practice read the ‘Private Eye’ where you’ll get fortnightly updates on just how these companies operate in the UK.

On the unions I see ICTU have joined with their soul mates in IBEC to ensure there will be no strike in Aer Lingus over the pension issue. That strike being perhaps the paradigmatic example of just how bad things are getting for workers here, something which will only worsen, and where the issues are pretty clear cut where a pension fund is now severely underfunded. And yet, and yet, the union movement, embodied by ICTU, are working furiously to ensure that the strike, all above and in accordance with repressive legislation, won’t go ahead. I think the union leadership sense that if the strike goes ahead it could have some unpleasant, for them, consequences.

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11. EWI - November 9, 2012

Meanwhile, this isn’t the bad news that RTÉ implies it is:

“Energy, healthcare and the banking sectors were among the hardest hit after Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney, whose policy positions favored those industries. Defense shares also plunged.”

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/1107/wall-street-suffers-post-election-hangover-business.html

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12. EWI - November 9, 2012

John Quiggin – a name that should be better known generally on the left – digs into myths about labour market “inefficiencies” and “distortions”:

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/11/08/mulligan-talks-his-book/

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13. EWI - November 9, 2012

John Waters opines that clearly ‘real’ (white male) Americans didn’t vote for Obama:

the Democrats have availed of the old and new media to turn an eclectic bunch of minorities into a majority

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/1109/1224326363970.html

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CMK - November 9, 2012

Memo to John: white male Americans are now a minority. Get used to it.

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Bartley - November 9, 2012

Memo to John: white male Americans are now a minority.

Yeah!

And they’ve been so since 1790, at least.

In fact, pretty much since the US started doing a census.

That John Waters is such a slow learner!

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WorldbyStorm - November 9, 2012

Sort of missing the point of Waters spectacularly idiotic article there Bartley – and CMK’s critique of it too, come to think of it.

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EWI - November 9, 2012

And the major freaking out in the past decade by the racist white Southern base of the GOP about becoming a minority.

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14. anarchaeologist - November 9, 2012

If anyone’s knocking around Dublin tonight (Friday), they might consider coming along to an evening of song and stories, a benefit for the International Brigades Schools’ Essay Competition. It’s on in the Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square from about 8.30 and you never know who might turn up? It’s only a fiver…

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Joe - November 9, 2012

Aw anarkie, I’ll be in the Góilín in the Teachers Club tonight. If Christy Moore is your you-never-know-who guest, send him up to us for a song.

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15. EWI - November 9, 2012
16. EWI - November 9, 2012

Breivik fucker discovers that his life in prison isn’t going to be a pleasant, comfortable holiday camp:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20270325

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17. doctorfive - November 9, 2012

Will be interesting to see how events pan out on the 25th with Walmart etc.

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18. EWI - November 9, 2012

Corey Robins on the Austerity Trap for political parties (an old article, but I neglected to put it up here at the time):

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/08/30/were-going-to-tax-their-ass-off/

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19. Bartley - November 9, 2012

@EWI

And the major freaking out in the past decade by the racist white Southern base of the GOP about becoming a minority.

Regardless of who is freaking out, the demographic realities are pretty straight-forward:

– white males were always a minority in the US

– white babies have only recently become a minority of all US births

– whites of both genders are projected to become a minority of the total population by about 2042

– white voters will become a minority of the electorate some years after that, perhaps by 2050 (as the higher-growth ethnicities skew young).

So I guess it all depends on which reality J. Waters should be getting used to. Either he’s several centuries behind the curve, or several decades ahead.

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EWI - November 9, 2012

It’s pretty obvious that he’s plugged into the GOP of the here and now. Therefore their freakouts and prejudices get reflected in his inane articles, week after week.

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WorldbyStorm - November 9, 2012

Actually the point is that Waters implicitly positions ‘minorities’ in relation to whites. So all the hand waving about white males always being a minority is neither here nor there. The power relationship in the US was one of white predominance (actually a white elite for the most part) and minorities experiencing lesser or greater degrees of duress. The reality Waters should get used to is that the days of simple majoritarianism whether political or cultural are (arguably long) over.

But actually, to me it’s pretty obnoxious of him to frame the discussion in those terms in the first place. And of course he’s merely doing so with his GOP redux talking points line, as EWI says.

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CL - November 10, 2012

‘The power relationship in the US was one of white predominance (actually a white elite for the most part) and minorities experiencing lesser or greater
degrees of duress’-This is the key point. The loss of that power-or the prospect of losing it-has provoked a reaction among the power elite.
Bill O’Reilly’s lament, ‘The white establishment is now the minority’ obscures the fact that ruling oligarchies are always in the minority. The Obama victory has stalled the reactionary wave. If he blinks on the budget his supporting coalition will grow disillusioned and the reactionary forces will quickly regroup. But the organization he has kept intact since he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries is stronger now than ever with field offices throughout the U.S.
The two main political parties in the U.S are little more than vehicles to elect a president. But the Obama machine could be mobilized to push a truly progressive agenda. One dares hope,-again.

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20. Roasted Snow - November 10, 2012

Studying Pearse at the moment. Lots of History coming our way over the next few years. But we probably could predict what state 2016 commemorations will look like, maybe a common one on the Somme.

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Roasted Snow - November 10, 2012

In fact will the Left commemorate Connolly and Mallon in their own right as ICA men and reclaim Connolly as ours, not just another rebel, but a Socialist?

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EWI - November 10, 2012

Well, someone needs to do before they’re “reclaimed” by the forces of reaction (like Collins) and made safe in a perversion of everything they fought and died for.

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21. sonofstan - November 10, 2012

12,000 on the streets of Waterford protesting about health cuts and ‘other issues’ according to RTE. Anyone know more?

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anarchaeologist - November 10, 2012

It’s the regional hospital. They’re downgrading it to a shed with a few stretchers, a large box of plasters and a few asprin…

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sonofstan - November 10, 2012

That would still better than Wexford from recent experience.

Organised by two apparently ‘non-political’ woman via a facebook group, according to RTE ( a phrase which increasingly means ‘probably not true’): they talked to two FG TDs on the march who said they might have to think about voting against the government on this – does it ever occur to them lads that you shouldn’t just be defending your own hospital but thinking about, like, the quality of health care everywhere? In other words defending access to decent primary care from Donegal to Cork and maybe challenging the budgetary policy that determines the lack of same? Or woul that be too much consecutive thoughts one after th’ other?

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22. irishelectionliterature - November 13, 2012
23. sonofstan - November 14, 2012

Statement from Galway Pro-Choice concerning the death of Savita Praveen at UCHG on Oct 28th

For Release: Woman Dies in UCHG after Being Denied a Life-Saving Abortion

On Sunday the 28th of October, Savita Praveen died at UCHG after being denied a termination which would most likely have saved her life. She was 31 years old, married for four years and hoping to start a family.

If legislation is not introduced immediately, more women will die. Under the X Case ruling, women in Ireland are legally entitled to an abortion when it is necessary to save their life. However, legislation has never been passed to reflect this. It is the failure of successive governments to do so that led to Savita’s death.

Savita was first admitted to the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. Her doctor initially told her that she would be fine, but she refused to go home. It became clear that her waters had broken, and she was having a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). She was told that the foetus had no chance of survival, and it would all be over within a few hours.

However, her condition did not take its expected course, and the foetus remained inside her body. Although it was evident that it could not survive, a foetal heartbeat was detected. For this reason her repeated requests to remove the foetus were denied. By Tuesday it was clear that her condition was deteriorating. She had developed a fever, and collapsed when attempting to walk. The cervix had now been fully open for nearly 72 hours, creating a danger of infection comparable to an untreated open head wound. She developed septicaemia.

Despite this, the foetus was not removed until Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat had stopped. Immediately after the procedure she was taken to the high dependency unit. Her condition never improved. She died at 1.09am on Sunday the 28th of October.

Had the foetus been removed when it became clear that it could not survive, her cervix would have been closed and her chance of infection dramatically reduced. Leaving a woman’s cervix open constitutes a clear risk to her life. What is unclear is how doctors are expected to act in this situation.

Rachel Donnelly, Galway Pro-Choice spokesperson stated:
“This was an obstetric emergency which should have been dealt with in a routine manner. Yet Irish doctors are restrained from making obvious medical decisions by a fear of potentially severe consequences. As the European Court of Human Rights ruled, as long as the 1861 Act remains in place, alongside a complete political unwillingness to touch the issue, pregnant women will continue to be unsafe in this country.”

Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice member said:
“Galway Pro-Choice believes that Ireland must legislate for freely available abortion for all women. Deaths like Savita’s are the most severe consequence of the criminalisation of abortion, yet it has countless adverse effects. We must reflect long and hard on the implications of Savita’s tragic and untimely passing, and we must act to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

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Mark P - November 14, 2012

Incredibly awful. What a backwards shithole this country is. This issue has been kicked Dow the road for more than 20 years and six months and counting.

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Mark P - November 14, 2012

Protest tomorrow 6 at the Dail. I think there’s a vigil at 5 at Eyre Square in Galway.

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que - January 13, 2013

that kinda moanery you show and drawing to the negative is such a sad aspect of Irish society. Watched a programme about how our neighbours in Britain shipped thousands of kids abroad to populate australia, canada and so on instead of keeping them in care. Yesterday read about how Saville abused for 4 decades etc etc.
What happened to Savita is a disgrace. The tardiness shown is a disgrace and the mealy mouthed lies of those trying to argue against reform is a disgrace but could we leave out the parochial ‘ god this country is awful’ shite cause its no more shite than anywhere else in many respects and that crap doesnt help. There needs to be reform and people should attend that vigil and be counted but fight back without lashing our own backs in some weird act of self-disgust as a nation. We spent a bit too long doing that crap and its an excuse, not to mind simply inaccurate and diverting.

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24. yourcousin - January 13, 2013

I hate Baltimore

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WorldbyStorm - January 13, 2013

:) I’ve never been… but… I’ll take your word for it, a chara.

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25. yourcousin - January 13, 2013

Baltimore Ravens 38, Denver Broncos 35 in overtime knocking us out of the playoffs. Shoddy officiating and our secondary getting beat

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crocodile - January 13, 2013

T

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crocodileshoes - January 13, 2013

That hail mary was a real sickener, Yourcousin.

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yourcousin - January 14, 2013

yes, yes it was

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26. irishelectionliterature - January 14, 2013

Members of the Socialist Party operated as secret society for years within one of the main public service trade unions and were a disruptive influence, its former general secretary has said….

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0113/breaking36.html

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Scabby Rabbit - January 14, 2013

Lol, speaking of the Socialist Party, this looks interesting: https://www.facebook.com/events/389726094455421/

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sonofstan - January 14, 2013

Does they proof anything at the IT anymore? Twice in that article they refer to the ‘Social Party’ ……..

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Mark P - January 14, 2013

It’s always good to know that you’ve annoyed Blair Horan.

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Michael Carley - January 14, 2013

Well now:

He said their agenda was against bin taxes or against the EU and had nothing to do with the interests of ordinary workers.

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Ed - January 14, 2013

As opposed to Blair Horan being the spokesman for a group of TU bureaucrats who campaigned in support of the fiscal treaty and were given lavish coverage in the media; that, of course, was good honest bread-and-butter trade unionism, not like those nasty Trots campaigning on the other side who had nothing to do with ‘ordinary workers’.

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