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What you want to say – 14th December 2016 December 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

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


1. Phil F - December 14, 2016
2. Phil F - December 14, 2016

Free bus rides – interesting tactic used by bus drivers in Hamilton (NZ’s fourth largest city): https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/free-bus-rides-in-hamilton-on-thursday-thanks-to-union-drivers/

Liked by 1 person

3. Michael Carley - December 14, 2016

I am a third of the way through Grand Hotel Abyss about the Frankfurt School. Has anyone here who knows more about the school read it (SoS?) and do they have any views on it?


sonofstan - December 14, 2016

I *think* I’m getting it for Christmas. I’ll get back to you…

Martin Jay’s ‘The Dialectical Imagination’ has been my go- to source for dates/ facts for a long time.


4. crocodileshoes - December 14, 2016

An interviewer on a radio news show tells a Garda that he and his colleagues are paid €100,000 a year ‘if their pension pot is included’. Try using that to pay your rent or your gas bill. Truly, we have passed from the The Age of the Economist into the Age of the Actuary.


6to5against - December 15, 2016

Its worse than that.

To reach the figure of 100,000 they have to factor in the cost of buying a product in the financial marketplace that currently doesn’t exist, and to include all of the extortionate costs that such a product would probably entail if it did exist, as well as the profit that would have to accrue to the person selling it – should anybody chose to do so at some point in the future.

And in order to carry out this meaningless calculation, they used the costs put forward by the financial industry – who have been campaigning for years against public pensions because they don’t get to make any profits from them, nor charge extortionate fees.

And this gets reported as news.


5. Michael Carley - December 15, 2016

I discovered today that Frederick Douglass toured Ireland during the Famine and had a couple of things to say about the Irish as slaves:



sonofstan - December 15, 2016

I read ‘How the Irish Became White’ recently – hadn’t grasped before then O’Connell’s pretty admirable stance on slavery, and how it divided Irish America.


Michael Carley - December 15, 2016

Haven’t that, but this was recommended to me, and I found the bit about Douglass as I flicked through it with a coffee after it arrived:


Coincidentally, I also came across O’Connell in a history of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion. Apparently, the ill-feeling against Irish Catholics in the US Army was heightened after news of his anti-slavery stance became known in the US.


yourcousin - December 15, 2016

I read that book years ago. I once asked an academic about and was told that some of the stuff in the book was academically sketchy, whatever that means. Have heard anything like that or did you pick up on anything reading the book?


Michael Carley - December 15, 2016

It was briefly discussed here last year:


Brian Hanley reckoned it was interesting but not convincing.


sonofstan - December 15, 2016

Pretty much my opinion. Lots of interesting info on the way though.


yourcousin - December 15, 2016

Man you two are on top of your shit. Tip of the hat sirs, tip of the hat.


CMK - December 15, 2016

This is a great read. Short, sharp and well written.



CL - December 15, 2016

“But his horror at the conditions of the poor in rural and urban Ireland as the Famine took hold enraged him. He describes to Garrison the streets teeming with wretched beggars and homeless, starving children whose pleas “were such as to make me ‘blush and hang my head to think myself a man’. I speak truly when I say I dreaded to go out of the house.
It was a sensitivity that, as his biographer William McFeeley notes, was probably not shared by many of his liberal hosts who were quick to deplore the treatment of Africans in America but could not see their fellow countrymen begging on their doorsteps.”


Michael Carley - December 16, 2016

How many of us have met Irish people whose anti-racism stops at Travellers?

Liked by 1 person

6. Alibaba - December 15, 2016

I was asked for my view on what was called “the ashes for cash scandal”. It seems people converted to using wood-burning boilers in the Renewable Heat scheme in the North, but the subsidy given was greater than the value of the fuel used. This could involve excess payments of more than £400 million. A whistleblower’s concern to the authorities suffered a delayed response. Some have called on First Minister Arlene Foster to resign as she was Head of Dept when this happened.

I take it for granted that Foster is an ugly political personality. Scratch the surface and you will probably see someone more reactionary than mega bigot Ian Paisley. Yet I am not so sure that this scandal is a resignation matter, unless it can be proven that Foster or her supporters personally benefited from it. Is it possible that it was a bureaucratic cock-up? What’s more, Forster is still awaiting questioning about a bigger public finance scandal.

A special Assembly meeting is due to meet next Monday to discuss the scandal. SDLP has suggested a motion of no confidence and the Ulster Unionist Party and Alliance members may support it. Sinn Féin Minister of Finance Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was pressed on BBC Radio about whether he had confidence in Foster. He replied by saying he would not “engage in any politicking” on the issue.

This item below has come to my notice too:

“Arlene needs to resign. Take to the streets! Demand her resignation!
People Before Profit have called a protest at the Guildhall, calling on Arlene Foster to resign over the Renewable Heat scandal. People are outraged because we’re told day in, day out that there is no money for benefits or for public services, but here we have £400 million wasted due to sheer incompetency.

Coming hot on the heels of the Social Investment Fund fiasco, it seems anything goes up on the Hill as long as DUP-Sinn Fein dominance is maintained.

The Coalition partners stage occasional sham fights to maintain credibility. But mostly they are watching and scratching one another’s back.

Sinn Fein goes easy on the DUP now, perhaps remembering how helpful the DUP was two years ago when Spotlight exposed a phoney “research” organisation which Sinn Fein had used to claim a staggering £700,000 in “expenses.”

In the last three years, the DUP has had involvement in the Red Sky affair, the Nama scandal, the SIF/Charter NI fiasco and now the bonfire of public-money that is the Renewable Heat scheme.

But the Assembly hasn’t laid a glove on either wing of the Executive.
None of this is accidental. The Stormont structures are designed to sustain a system based on the idea of communal solidarity. Bread and butter issues don’t figure when it comes to forming or getting rid of a government. In practice, it is permissible to plunder the public finances – but not to upset the Orange-Green balance.

Working-class people should take a hard look at the parties which have either been involved in or turned a blind eye to these events.
Arlene Foster is unfit for office. She should resign without further ado.
Join us at the Guildhall, 5pm – Friday December 16”

Any thoughts?


7. Alibaba - December 15, 2016

‘If Assad Takes Eastern Aleppo He Will Think He’s Won the War …:

‘But there are limits to Assad’s military success. This has been underlined by the recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra by Isis fighters who are once again executing captured Syrian soldiers in the streets of the modern city. The Syrian army, like all other combatants in the Iraq-Syrian civil war, is short of troops to replace casualties.’



8. CL - December 15, 2016

“The idea that a US president-elect would take the word of the Kremlin over that of CIA officials and even the most senior members of his own party is already bizarre and dangerous. But the simultaneous nomination of Tillerson — the long-time CEO of ExxonMobil, America’s most powerful energy company, which has tens of billions of dollars invested in Russia — to be America’s top diplomat takes this love affair with a major adversary to a level unprecedented in US history.”-Nina Khrushcheva


CL - December 15, 2016

“There is strong evidence indicating that Democratic email accounts were breached via phishing messages, and that specific malware was spread across DNC computers. There’s even evidence that the attackers are the same group that’s been spotted attacking other targets in the past. But again: No one has actually proven that group is the Russian government (or works for it). This remains the enormous inductive leap that’s not been reckoned with…”


9. sonofstan - December 15, 2016

I see Indo staff are protesting at capitalists behaving like capitalists.

Liked by 1 person

10. roddy - December 15, 2016

The staggering 700k was over a 5 year period for upwards of 30 MLAs ie 4k per annum per MLA and I can assure you as someone who knows how tight a grip SF holds on finances,no MLA would have benifited personallly from this.It’s also good to see these lads rallying against Arlene as a few months ago they were on the same side as Arlene and every far right nut job in the Brexit poll.


11. Starkadder - December 15, 2016

I see the odious Alex Jones is targeting Christine Pelosi, after the latter announces she was going to try & brief the Electoral College on the results of the inquiry into the DNC:


What’s the betting reactionary sites like Infowars end up sucking up a lot of disillusioned people who could be getting involved with left-wing causes instead?


12. CL - December 16, 2016

“We need to establish a frontier in a populist way —the people versus the establishment and the elite… The difference between left and right is that we construct different forms of “the people.” … Left-wing populism is crucial to bring together all these struggles of identity alongside the working-class issues…

“There is no political expression for the real demands of the people other than Trump right now..

In the present state, we really are in a condition that is much worse than 50 years ago.

We need a war of position where progressive forces can build real influence in civil society, the dominant institutions, mainstream culture, and the media.”



13. Michael Carley - December 16, 2016
yourcousin - December 16, 2016

Now shouldn’t that be in, “Signs of Hope”?

Liked by 1 person

14. Tomboktu - December 16, 2016

The speech by Olivier De Schutter in the document at the link below might be of interest to CLRers. It traces some of the key moves to reduce employment rights in European countries and (limited) efforts to use human rights law to resist that.



15. botheredbarney - December 16, 2016

Santa Claus – to be or not to be. Deep Questions time during the festive season. Slavo Zizek answers: “If you suspend this fiction you let people live in a brutal chaotic world.”



16. roddy - December 16, 2016

Joe McCann was a hero to all republican factions.


17. sonofstan - December 19, 2016

Ive just been introduced to the concept of the ‘geographical centre of population’ the point in any country where there are as many people to the north and south, and east and west, of that place; or, another, and amusing, way of thinking of it- if the country was a flat plane and everyone stood exactly where they lived, this is the point below which you could balance it on the tip of a very strong pencil. For the island of Ireland, it’s Kilcock, one of the more geographically imbalanced examples.


18. botheredbarney - December 20, 2016

Christmas pudding flambé with VSOP brandy? Maybe some would like to listen to some jazz piano flambé as an alternative dessert.

Here it is: http://www.openculture.com/2016/12/acclaimed-japanese-jazz-pianist-yosuke-yamashita-plays-a-burning-piano-on-the-beach.html

Happy Christmas, and if you visit the beach be sure to dress appropriately, as the Japanese pianist certainly did.


19. Blade Sprinter - December 20, 2016

Mick Fealty is a coward who banned me from his site and refuses to state his reasons. Personally I think it was my first comment which pointed out he had just outright rejected the Principle of Consent in the north.

Either way, he refuses to state which comment or rule I broke. He just did not like someone who pointed out his fallacies.

Typical Unionist behaviour really.


20. roddy - December 20, 2016

Some years ago,unionist / Tory spokesman Trevor Ringland (and self appointed “reconcilliation promoter”) posted on Fawlty’s site,demanding that Gerry Adams depart the scene and beg forgiveness for his “crimes”.I pointed out that Trevor was anunrepentant RUC apologist and therefore was in no position to demand”contrition” from anybody. Fawlty’s response was to immediately ban me.Since that I have found that the best way to put manners on him is to put awkward questions to him when he strays onto other sites to pontificate .He’s much more modest when he can’t control the agenda.


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