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What you want to say – 1st March, Week 9, 2017 March 1, 2017

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.

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1. CL - March 1, 2017

“On February 27, 1933 the German Parliament building burned, Adolf Hitler rejoiced, and the Nazi era began….
The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime….
In 1989, two centuries after our Constitution was promulgated, the man who is now our president wrote that “civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins.”…
The aspiring tyrants of today have not forgotten the lesson of 1933: that acts of terror—real or fake, provoked or accidental—can provide the occasion to deal a death blow to democracy….
In rhetoric and action, the Trump administration has aggrandized “radical Islamic terror” thus making what Madison called a “favorable emergency” more likely.”
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/02/26/reichstag-fire-manipulating-terror-to-end-democracy/

Hyperbole?

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James - March 1, 2017

Yes. Trump does not have a mass movement, an SA.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2017

Yes, agreed, it’s a different phenomenon. Slower, more an exaggeration and accentuation of pre existing trends.

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oconnorlysaght - March 1, 2017

Actually, the reichstag fire, too, began the accentuation of existing trends. Germany had been run by Presidential decree, overriding the parliament, for nearly three years. All Hitler had to do was persuade Reichstag and President to give him the authority to make such decrees (the Enabling Act).
Bad and all as is the US situation, its democracy is not quite the basket case it was on the eve of Hitler’s takeover.

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oconnorlysaght - March 1, 2017

Correction: ‘the basket case German democracy was on the eve…’

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yourcousin - March 1, 2017

While America circa 2017 is certainly not Europe between the wars I think some parallels are useful. I know I’ve broken this chest nut out before but I often recall Black Lamb and Grey Falcon as a harbinger of dark times,

“On February eleventh his Vice-Chancellor, Major Fey, and Prince Starhemberg went out into Vienna and led the police and the Heinnvehr in a systematic battue of the Social Democrats. They had very little difficulty in finding their victims as so many of them were residents in these huge blocks of fiats. These they surrounded, bombarded, and cleared of their inhabitants. Civil war can keep secret its casualties, and it has never been ascertained how many of these luckless tenants were killed, imprisoned, or turned loose homeless and destitute; but such victims must have numbered many thousands. It was at this holocaust that my chauffeur with the blindish blue eyes had assisted, by driving Major Fey about from massacre to massacre, because he thought it was time somebody did something. ”

The idea that, “it was time someone did something” is something many of us fear in modern society. And well we ought to.

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WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2017

Now you’re both really depressing me. More.

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Alibaba - March 1, 2017

Just thought I’d mention a book I’ve come across on the subject of fascism in Italy and Germany: ‘Fascism and Big Business’ by Daniel Guerin. Although it was first published in 1936 and revised in 1945 and 1965, it still makes for shrewd observations and well worth the read.

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yourcousin - March 1, 2017

WBS,
The irony of life is that I spent much of the run up to the election “defending” Hillary on places like here and elsewhere and now I argue with the newly mobilized “resistance” to Trump trying to point out to them about the underlying reasons the Democrats lost in the first place. While I appreciate folks like my mom, aunts, cousins etc being mobilized they still don’t recognize, let alone have answers to the underlying roots causes of Trump’s rise and Democrats role in that rise (capitalism and a slavish devotion to the market).

It’s also worth noting that much like Putinology simply studying Trump misses the wider narrative in the rise of the Tea Party and the bat shit crazy wing of the Republican Party AND then there is the day to day resistance which takes the form of advocating for immigrants, community/workplace organizing and confronting the ascendant fascist tide wherever it may pop up its head (mixed metaphors, sorry).

But right now there is nothing wrong with being depressed as long as it does not lead to apathy or a “dark night of the soul”. There is plenty of work to do, far too much to let ourselves mope about.

Alibaba,
It’s now on the reading list. I’m still trying to power through Realpolitik by Bew something or other. I’m currently looking to pick up for my birthday, (in two weeks) some books on collective guilt and post fascist restructuring in society. I have a feeling we may need something like that soon enough.

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WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2017

“But right now there is nothing wrong with being depressed as long as it does not lead to apathy or a “dark night of the soul”. There is plenty of work to do, far too much to let ourselves mope about.” That’s a very fair set of points. It’s not the end of the world. But it’s going to take a lot to make things better.

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EWI - March 2, 2017

The idea that, “it was time someone did something” is something many of us fear in modern society. And well we ought to.

A frightening number of people have no problem with a military dictatorship (so long as they’re not on the receiving end of it).

There’s also this:

Trump signs some items, takes some photos and pauses just before leaving, joining in on a “USA” chant while pumping his fist.

http://ijr.com/2017/02/810965-trump-ditched-the-press-to-have-dinner-heres-how-the-president-acts-when-no-one-is-watching/

(note: this ‘reporter’ has since been confirmed as being deliberately placed in the restaurant by the Trump gang to provide a fawning piece, and, presumably, further humiliate the White House press corps)

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FergusD - March 6, 2017

Guerin’s book is very good. For me it exploded a number of myths about Facism (e.g. that they nationalised industries) and explains its class basis.

Interesting here are the comments about the period before Hitler in Germany and Austria, where the right made gains and attacked the left. I think that may be more analagous to the present situation, in a way. There was also a far right govt in Spain (CEDA, Gil Robles) before the civil war and Franco:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mar%C3%ADa_Gil-Robles_y_Qui%C3%B1ones

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2. paulculloty82 - March 1, 2017

Eoghan Harris’s brother, a Cork County Councillor called Joe, has joined the Soc Dems, so expect pieces calling the SDs good Aristotleans!

Liked by 1 person

3. Tomboktu - March 1, 2017

Does anybody here know if this recognition of Traveller ethnicity involves a Dáil motion or is it just a speech by the Taoiseach?

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WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2017

That’s a great question. I don’t know.

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Alibaba - March 1, 2017

Regarding state recognition of Traveller ethnicity:

http://www.paveepoint.ie/a-historic-day-for-irish-travellers/

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CL - March 1, 2017

“The findings of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study 2010 which revealed that life expectancy at birth for Traveller males is 15.1 years lower than the general male population and suicide rates among male Travellers are 6.6 times higher than among the general male population has largely been met with inaction by the State. Evidence shows that racism has a negative impact on one’s mental health…
We understand acknowledgment of our ethnicity will not be a panacea for Traveller inclusion in Ireland. However it is a key milestone on our path towards inclusion.Major challenges such as the need for direct political representation will remain. We want and need to be part of the political fabric of this State.”
http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-minority-ethnic-status-matters-a-traveller-view-1.2994178

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Tomboktu - March 1, 2017

I’m told there isn’t.

I’d have loved it if something stronger than Dáil and Presidential statements had occurred — I remember the sheer emotion of watching the marriage referendum results come in, and important as the declaration is, I think seeing the elected representatives of the people in Dáil Éireann casting their votes would have been a worthy way to mark the event.

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4. Starkadder - March 1, 2017

I see Shane Ross is refusing to intervene in the dispute over Bus Eireann:

http://www.thejournal.ie/shane-ross-bus-eireann-3264932-Mar2017/

I wouldn’t be surprised if the government responded to the strike by trying to abolish the free travel and freezing out older /disabled bus travelers.

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Starkadder - March 3, 2017

Surprise, surprise, the RTE news bulletin this morning gave a lengthy piece to the Bus Eireann management’s PR-woman and none at all to any of the union reps.

Who needs Fox News or Russia Today? RTE are doing a fine job of clogging the airwaves with biased, right-wing sludge.

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5. sonofstan - March 3, 2017

” he [Trump] discussed his Jan. 25 executive order to create an office called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement or VOICE within the Department of Homeland Security, with the express purpose of “making public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens.” (Note there’s no requirement that these “aliens” are in the country illegally.)”

Holy fuck.

As Salon correctly note, this has very disturbing resonances

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/02/trumps-office-of-immigrant-crime-has-sinister-implications-and-dark-echoes-of-history/

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CL - March 3, 2017

“When photographs recently emerged showing Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump’s high-profile deputy assistant, wearing a medal associated with the Nazi collaborationist regime that ruled Hungary during World War II, the controversial security strategist was unapologetic.”
http://forward.com/news/national/364085/sebastian-gorka-trump-aide-forged-key-ties-to-anti-semitic-groups-in-hunga/

“House’s omission of Jewish victims from its Holocaust Remembrance Day statement on January 27 raised unanimous objections from the community.To defend it, the White House sent out Deputy Assistant to the President, Sebastian Gorka.”
forward.com/fast-forward/363065/top-white-house-adviser-wears-nazi-collaborator-medal/

“Across America, Jews from Montana to Philadelphia face a frightening new reality of hate and terror.”
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/jewish-americans-worry-article-1.2986323

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6. CMK - March 3, 2017
WorldbyStorm - March 3, 2017

100% agree

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7. CL - March 3, 2017

“Somehow, Traveller’s rights have never been as popular a cause as Gaza, water charges, gay marriage, or even the burkini ban…
The visible pain and hurt etched into the faces of the very few Travellers who survive into old age is eloquent in itself, it needs no comment or argument. Their stories of institutional abuse, their constant fear of having their children taken from them by the State, were harrowing to hear….
the least that can be expected is an official apology from the State for the awful crimes that have been committed against them by the State since its foundation.”
http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/is-it-time-for-an-apology-to-the-traveller-community-1.2995506

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8. ar scáth a chéile - March 4, 2017

LRB blog post on murders of environmental activists in Honduras:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/03/03/john-perry/murder-in-honduras/
Let’s remind Dub-to-be Obama of this part of his legacy when he’s getting his blue jersey

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9. CL - March 6, 2017

“FBI Director James Comey asked Justice Department officials to publicly reject President Donald Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, the New York Times reported Sunday.”
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-director-comey-asked-doj-reject-trump-s-wiretap-claims-n729351

The FBI Director is saying that Trump is a liar.

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Alibaba - March 6, 2017

I am wondering if James Comey was appointed in the previous administration and similar to the woman who stalled Trump’s executive order on immigration from seven countries, that is, both awaiting the chop when new political appointments are made.

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CL - March 6, 2017

Yes, Comey was appointed by Obama, but Trump kept him on. Maybe he wants to retire…

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ivorthorne - March 6, 2017

I suspect that there are many people in such positions who recognise that this is not a normal administration and that keeping their jobs might mean doing things that might see them punished in the future.

Better to be fired now.

On a sidenote, it is an utterly bizzare situation to live in where the POTUS seems to get his information from Fox and Breitbart. Trump may be clever in a sly sort of way, but he is clearly not very intelligent.

And on another sidenote, reports are in that he asked some golfing partners if they’d ever “fucked a n*gger”.

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sonofstan - March 6, 2017

Did for Earl Butz….

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CL - March 6, 2017

The current conspiracy, that Obama ‘wiretapped’ Trump, derives from Louise Mensch, a former Conservative member of the U.K parliament.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/04/did-donald-trumps-accusations-barack-obama-wiretapping-stem/

Mark Levin, inspired by Mensch, went on a mad rant on his radio show, and this was then picked up by Breitbart and then to Trump.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/06/media/mark-levin-joel-pollak-breitbart-trump-obama/

Mensch also believes that Andrew Breitbart, founder of Breitbart News, was murdered by Putin.
http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/26/msnbc-panelist-spouts-loony-conspiracy-theories-on-the-internet/

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10. FergusD - March 6, 2017

The Donald does seem to be able to mess up even the simplest things:

https://www.indy100.com/article/donald-trump-st-patricks-day-17-march-make-america-great-again-shamrock-mistake-7613416?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

He has Irish ancestory apparently – then again who doesn’t? Spread the lurv.

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Starkadder - March 6, 2017

Steve Bannon, the Piter De Vries to Trump’s Baron Harkonnen,
is a strong admirer of the pornographically racialist novel
“The Camp of the Saints” by the French monarchist
Jean Raspail :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-camp-of-the-saints-immigration_us_58b75206e4b0284854b3dc03?

Also: why is the average Republican more vulnerable to “fake news” and conspiracy theories than members of other US parties? The Religious Right influence seems to be to blame:

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/christian-rights-origins-fake-news-and-alternative-facts

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CL - March 6, 2017

Trump’s mother Mary Anne MacLeod spoke Gaelic,-she was from the Hebrides.

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yourcousin - March 6, 2017

He has Irish ancestory apparently – then again who doesn’t?
Me, that’s who.

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Michael Carley - March 6, 2017

Wait ’til you run for president.

Liked by 1 person

yourcousin - March 6, 2017

I can’t even get elected to “head of the house” when I attempt a coup!

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - March 7, 2017

Still no result from your bid for power Michael? Does the Electoral Reform lot not work weekends?

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Michael Carley - March 7, 2017

I was not elected.

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sonofstan - March 7, 2017

Sorry to hear that.

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Michael Carley - March 7, 2017

It was interesting to get a couple of messages from people saying they were sorry I wasn’t elected, and that they valued having an independent voice.

It was a very odd election: UCU Left did not do anywhere near as well as they might have and Broad Left got most of their candidates in (better vote management I think). I think it being a General Secretary election year changed the electorate a bit as well.

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WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2017

Likewise Michael. Fair dues for getting involved.

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11. Michael Carley - March 7, 2017
WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2017

Perhaps the most stupid piece I’ve read in a long time. Her argument t as to what constitutes a nation is all over the shop, essentially boiling down to ‘the UK but no one else’. And the way she uses terms interchangeably, what does she mean by Britain? And what ‘ancient unity of the British Isles’. Quite bizarre and fundamentally undemocratic too.

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sonofstan - March 7, 2017

I got as far as ‘the most troublesome bits of the British isles…’ – would it ever occur to her that, for the rest of us on these islands, and for much of the rest of the world, ‘the most troublesme bit etc….’ has always been England?

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EWI - March 7, 2017

She’s moron. Scotland was only joined to England in the 18th century, Ireland in the 19th. Hardly ancient!

And what exactly is the ‘spectre’ of a united Ireland? Inquiring minds want to know.

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WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2017

Indeed ! I would too. Isn’t it telling how she has a platform in a national newspaper and can write stuff like this to her hearts content?

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EWI - March 7, 2017

Phillips’ argument appears to be that Ireland isn’t a real nation or country, but that ‘Britain’ is eternal and indivisible.

Next up: she trots out the old chestnut about the English being the lost thirteenth tribe of Israel (the cause of much digging by English Victorians on Tara for the Ark).

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Michael Carley - March 7, 2017

I had a quick look at the BTL comments and they all seemed to be saying much the same. It’s unusual to get such unanimity and correctness.

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WorldbyStorm - March 7, 2017

I can’t seem to access them

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EWI - March 7, 2017

Does Emmanuel Kehoe have a blog or column anywhere, does anyone know?

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