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What you want to say – 30th July 2014 July 30, 2014

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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

Sports Special – what you want to say… July 28, 2014

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Here’s our weekly thread for people to talk, sound off, discuss, give out, or whatever they want about sport… and by the way, if anyone has posts they think would be appropriate for the site on sport send them in…

A collection of memorabilia relating to the conflict on the island… July 27, 2014

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…is reported about here. The collector Peter Moloney is looking for a good home for it. This is a very real issue for many with such collections, the ability of institutions to satisfactorily display and conserve them is often limited (indeed that was one reason the Left Archive came into being to make it easy to disseminate left materials publicly). Any suggestions?

The largest known private collection of memorabilia charting the bloody history of Northern Ireland is being offered free to a good home.
Despite spending most of his life building up the remarkable 38,000 item archive, retired London-based architect Peter Moloney wants to hand it over to a suitable institution that can preserve it.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/collection-of-troubles-memorabilia-seeks-good-home-1.1879607

Power July 27, 2014

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From yesterday’s Guardian, an example of unrepresentative (in the sense of democratically legitimated) commercial power and influence in a profile of Murdoch et al….

he is given secret briefings by intelligence agencies

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jul/25/-sp-rupert-murdoch-passive-power-hack-attack-nick-davies

Learning the World, or conservatism and climate change, two steps forward, one and a half steps back… July 25, 2014

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…this Slate piece here from earlier in the month is excellent in showing how conservatives in the US have modified their approach to climate change. And so they should, most would think, given the scientific consensus, and that consensus is difficult to overturn, if not indeed impossible.
So, here is the V 0.2 response…

(a) pro-science, anti-alarmist rhetoric exemplified by the climate optimists.

And that optimism:

Meanwhile, the optimists point out, more carbon in the atmosphere means greater plant productivity and new opportunities for agriculture. In fact, Heartland communications director Jim Lakely told me in a phone interview, “The net benefits of warming are going to far outweigh any negative effects.” Indeed, the institute recently published a study arguing just that.

Okay.

Fake online comments… July 23, 2014

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…great NPR On the Media which looks at the arrival of state-sponsored commentors online. Those of us familiar with sites like Politics.ie, or newspaper comments, will have seen numerous examples of same from people who would by any reasonable analysis appear to be operating on behalf of states various

I commented a while back on how the Guardian some commentors engaging in debate over the Ukraine/Russia situation were particularly inept, but of course it’s not just them. As the NPR programme notes the US has been at this too as well as – very obviously, other states.

What you want to say – 23rd July 2014 July 23, 2014

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32 comments

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

Sports Special – what you want to say… July 21, 2014

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22 comments

Here’s our weekly thread for people to talk, sound off, discuss, give out, or whatever they want about sport… and by the way, if anyone has posts they think would be appropriate for the site on sport send them in…

The far right’s new interest in social welfare… July 20, 2014

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reading the Guardian magazine yesterday there was a piece on fascism and fascists in Italy and in particular the skinhead subculture that is avowedly fascist (and it hardly needs to be said that skinheads are not a uniform whole and take different political positions across the spectrum). But this, this was important because it reflects a trend we’ve seen in Greece:

Fulvio explains: “I like the Social Republic period [also known as the Republic of Salò]; I like the name as well. I’m not nostalgic about civil war – I hate people who are obsessed with all that. Fascism is a source of inspiration: just like Roman culture inspired fascism, fascism inspires us today. But we know we could never go back to what it was, we have to adapt it to present times.”

And:

The current battlefield is social welfare.

It’s funny, as I read that I wondered what it meant… did they have some animosity towards those on welfare, but no, not a bit of it:

The various far-right groups gather in suburban streets abandoned by political parties; they hand out clothes to the unemployed and distribute food to the elderly and books to students. They occupy uninhabited buildings to house the homeless in the same way that the far left used to do. The SPQR skinheads have taken over an abandoned school with another group, CasaPound. “It’s a five-storey building and now we’ve got 15 or 16 families living there, who haven’t got money for rent. There was no water or power: we sorted it out.

Casapound is another expression of this, for more on which see here. But, Golden Dawn is reknowned for similar activities in Greece – and let’s not be naive – a lot of this, much of it, perhaps most, is about extending and expressing social control. But here’s the thing, however marginal and inept or successful (and GD seem to belong to the latter category, at least in terms of influence) they are engaging.

Of course one can see limitations on their ability to engage, after all, the next will repel as many as (or more than) it attracts.

The strong bonds between members are the key attraction for potential recruits, who are overwhelmingly young, white, working-class men who feel alienated from western, capitalist, multicultural society. There is an all-consuming macho cult, in which physical fitness and prowess are highly valued.

But it seems to me to be a serious and troubling development.

Solidarity with Gaza and Palestine – Sligo, 3 PM Saturday July 18, 2014

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