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What you want to say – 22nd March, Week 12, 2017 March 22, 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. GW - March 22, 2017
Jim Monaghan - March 22, 2017

Given the rightwing government in the region, this is a relief. By contrast Le Pen and co are doing very well with the French young. Last night had a bit on Channel 4 news on the Identitaires, really worrying stuff. And disciplined, middle class cadres. Really worrying. https://www.channel4.com/news/frances-far-right-youth-movement-emerging-from-the-shadows

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Michael Carley - March 22, 2017

Saw that: they really do look like the kind of sharply-dressed articulate Fascists we want to worry about. They are organized and ready for violence, and look so, so plausible.

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2. makedoanmend - March 22, 2017

Sans comment:

“Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations…”

“The Red List”

http://www.iucnredlist.org/

(no, not them – another endangerment, this including of all life – and a list of all of those that have already become extinct)

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3. sonofstan - March 22, 2017

https://www.socialeurope.eu/2017/03/6-new-norm-progressive-left/

Note: by ‘progressive left’ he means old fashioned SDs. Still, a comfort to the ILP to know they are at the Euro average

Liked by 1 person

Ed - March 22, 2017

Absolutely no sign of any self-criticism or rethinking here:

“The social democratic core vote regards these parties increasingly as on the side of the establishment and interprets their key role in advocating internationalism and undertaking responsibility in government in difficult times as proof of that. The policy of the Third Way – increased international trade, support for international institutions and the reliance on free markets – has surely served to reduce income inequalities worldwide and lift hundreds of millions out of poverty. But the picture that appears to their core voters is that social democrats are indifferent to the personal cost in terms of loss of jobs to foreign competition, be it to companies operating in faraway countries or to workers of different nationality in one’s neighbourhood. In addition, the role of social democratic parties in stabilising economies following the financial crisis of 2008 has enabled populist competitors to paint them as being in the pockets of big banks and vested financial interests.”

The massive transfer of wealth from labour to capital, soaring inequality, destruction of jobs and public services, relentless attacks on working-class gains made over the last century—all reduced to ‘advocating internationalism’, ‘stabilising economies’, etc. And the costs of neoliberalism are all defined in terms of natives vs. foreigners (‘loss of jobs to foreign competition’ etc.), not labour vs. capital or bosses vs. workers. God help us if these are the kinds of people in charge of the fightback against right-wing populism.

Absolute nonsense about ‘the policy of the Third Way’ reducing global inequality; the reduction in inequality between nations has been entirely driven by economic growth in China, India and other Asian economies (Branko Milanovic has shown this very well); it has absolutely nothing to do with the policies adopted by centre-left parties in Europe or North America (the biggest losers from the last 30 years have been the working and lower middle-classes in the developed capitalist economies, as Milanovic also shows).

This was a very good piece on the Dutch elections, I thought—the most disappointing thing about the result wasn’t the well-deserved collapse of the PvdA, but the failure of the Dutch Socialist Party to make gains at their expense, for reasons that the author goes into:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/03/dutch-netherlands-freedom-party-elections/

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GW - March 22, 2017

Massive levels of self-delusion – classic former social democrat.

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4. Aonrud ⚘ - March 22, 2017

Enda Kenny has to stay, because the EU couldn’t cope with Brexit without him… or something.

Is there genuinely anyone out there who buys the view of Kenny as an international statesman and not an incompetent (albeit one with some wiliness within FG)? Has my bubble got that small that I missed them?

http://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0322/861596-enda-kenny-fine-gael/

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5. irishelectionliterature - March 22, 2017

I see RTE are to cut 200 jobs http://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/0321/861572-rte-land-sale/
Now I know it’s simplistic but do they really need to pay some of their ‘stars’ the salaries they do?
Does listenership drop when Marian or Joe are away and others are presenting the show?

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EWI - March 22, 2017

Now I know it’s simplistic but do they really need to pay some of their ‘stars’ the salaries they do?

Particularly when the money disappears into offshore tax havens like the Isle of Man. Scope for reducing the wage bill for the top ten earners, right there.

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6. CL - March 22, 2017

“Filmmaker Michael Moore on Wednesday urged the Democratic Party to declare a national emergency after the FBI said it was investigating whether members of Donald Trump’s campaign team had worked with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-moore-urges-democrats-to-declare-national-emergency_us_58d274d3e4b0f838c62e192d?imtyuyb4yu3t5u3di&

” For this, not one single fact has yet been presented, still only “assessments” based on purported motivations in the Kremlin. Nor is there any political or historical logic for this foundational allegation.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/might-neo-mccarthyism-mean-war-vs-russia/

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7. Tomboktu - March 22, 2017

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8. Jim Monaghan - March 23, 2017

Our fairheaded Fox strikes again.
https://ansionnachfionn.com/2017/03/23/the-socialist-party-takes-a-poke-at-the-socialist-workers-party/
THE SOCIALIST PARTY TAKES A POKE AT THE SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY

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9. Starkadder - March 24, 2017

Bus Eireann members have now gone on indefinite strike in response to the threat of job losses and recent pay cuts:

http://www.siptu.ie/media/pressreleases2017/mainnews/fullstory_20328_en.html

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Alibaba - March 24, 2017

Good news. Enough of that one day stoppage nonsense, especially when workers rights come into such serious attacks. Hopefully, on to more cheerier solidarity and supportive actions.

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10. Alibaba - March 24, 2017

Here is an LRB review of new books on the Russian Revolution:

‘Historians’ judgments, however much we hope the opposite, reflect the present; and much of this apologetic and deprecatory downgrading of the Russian Revolution simply reflects the – short term? – impact of the Soviet collapse on its status. By 2117, who knows what people will think?’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n07/sheila-fitzpatrick/whats-left?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3907&utm_content=ukrw_subsact

In a more cynical or noteworthy vein, depending on your point of view: ‘It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate, when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. It is far more difficult—and far more precious—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist.’

Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)

The LRB author indulges in a common assertion: ‘If there is a lesson to be drawn from the Russian Revolution, it is the depressing one that revolutions usually make things worse, all the more so in Russia, where it led to Stalinism.’

As for any denigratory remarks about Leninists or Marxists, I am remembering, once again, the comment of Terry Eagleton who said that you do not disown your belief in socialism just because Stalin’s executioners claimed to believe in it too.

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GW - March 24, 2017

Thanks for the link.

Mieville & Smith look worth a read.

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Starkadder - March 25, 2017

“.. it is the depressing one that revolutions usually make things worse..”

It arguably did in the US-had the American Revolution not happened, slavery could have been abolished by the London
government in 1833. Certainly the slaveowners would have had far less power under a hypothetical UK-ruled US.

Though of course, the mainstream media may pile all the ordure they wish on the French & Russian revolutions (and the
1916 Rising), badmouthing the US one is strictly verboten in such outlets.

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Dr. X - March 25, 2017

Or if the rising American oligarchy had stayed under the British Crown, it might have been much more difficult, or even impossible, to abolish slavery in 1833, or at any other time.

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Starkadder - March 26, 2017

“Or if the rising American oligarchy had stayed under the British Crown, it might have been much more difficult, or even impossible, to abolish slavery in 1833, or at any other time.”

I’m not sure about that. I don’t recall the elites in Canada, for instance, being able to strongly influence the London government during the 1783-1833 period.

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Dr. X - March 28, 2017

Aye, but it was a smaller population in Canada, and one in which the elites were still divided between Anglo and French – something which would finally be overcome (among the elites at least) in 1867.

And don’t forget that even after the final abolition of slavery within the Empire, British capital remained involved in the slave trade and the use of slave labour outside the Empire’s borders, and in remote places like Queensland you still had the kidnapping of people from e.g. the Solomon Islands for forced labour up to the 1890s.

Liked by 1 person

11. CL - March 24, 2017

“So we think of this as people, either quickly with a gun or slowly with drugs and alcohol, are killing themselves. Under that body count there’s a lot of social dysfunction that we think ultimately we may be able to pin to poor job prospects over the life course.”
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/23/521083335/the-forces-driving-middle-aged-white-peoples-deaths-of-despair

“As the fatalities mounted — hydrocodone and oxycodone overdose deaths increased 67 percent in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012 — the drug shippers’ CEOs collected salaries and bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars. Their companies made billions. McKesson has grown into the fifth-largest corporation in America. The drug distributor’s CEO was the nation’s highest-paid executive in 2012, according to Forbes. ”
http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news-health/20161217/drug-firms-poured-780m-painkillers-into-wv-amid-rise-of-overdoses

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12. CL - March 24, 2017

Major defeat for Trump:

“Donald Trump has reportedly pulled his healthcare bill after a Republican mutiny….
In what is the biggest crisis of his young presidency, Mr Trump was told by Paul Ryan that the bill would not pass the House.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/24/donald-trumps-obamacare-repeal-bill-hangs-balance-republicans2/

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13. Starkadder - March 24, 2017
14. dublinstreams - March 26, 2017

FactFind: One year in, is this really a “do-nothing” Dáil?http://www.thejournal.ie/do-nothing-dail-2016-2017-facts-3277846-Mar2017/ Iinteresting stats thats you can’t deny, the least amount of bills passed bar 1 other Dail ever. The slow government formation, Dail procedural changes is only part of the reason but it kinda misses the point, that the gov still mostly controls the amount of bills that get to the Dail, and can still delay and block bills from the opposition. Its the do as little possible government not the “do nothing Dail”.

I think what Pat Leahy has been saying about departments not producing legislation because it might all change with a new leader http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/kenny-farewell-has-government-in-suspended-animation-1.3024022 and a report about the lack of capacitiy of the OIreachtas to help TDs with Prviate members bills http://opac.oireachtas.ie/AWData/Library3/Final_Report_of_the_Capacity_Review_of_the_Office_of_the_Parliamentary_Legal_Adviser__OPLA_174723.pdf backs up my contentionand

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15. sonofstan - March 26, 2017

I’ll never believe anything i read in Slate again:

‘You [trump] dragged yourself to yet another meet-and-greet with a foreign leader whose professorial eloquence made you feel like a shlub. This time, it was Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’

Professorial eloquence?!

Liked by 1 person

CL - March 26, 2017

“The international media recognised a stirring lecture; the Irish media was allegedly too cynical and biased and missed it.

Now, there are several problems with this.

Mainly, it didn’t happen….

Kenny’s Government drags its feet on taking in even children in dire need. In a time of horrors, it allows a system that makes immigration to this country as difficult and unpleasant as possible.

The Irish emigrants, fleeing hunger and colonial despotism, seeking a new life for their children, “asked not what America could do for us but what we could do for America”.

Really? Desperate people, thinking only of America’s needs?”
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/gene-kerrigan/kennys-brave-lecture-to-trump-wasnt-brave-or-even-a-lecture-35565730.html

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - March 26, 2017

As usual, Kerrigan gives as accurate an account of what actually happened and calls it right:

“But there was no humanitarian stand; there was no media attempt to hide Kenny’s bravery. There was none to hide.
A remarkable little episode.”

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16. sonofstan - March 26, 2017

I wonder and worry about this; the liberal establishment in the US seems to think this kind of twitter excitement means something. If you’re relying on Enda Kenny to fight your battles……

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17. Alibaba - March 26, 2017

If you wish to know which writer had ‘perhaps the strongest impact on Lenin’ and ‘the book that radicalised Lenin, long before he encountered Marx’, read on:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/25/lenin-love-literature-russian-revolution-soviet-union-goethe

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18. ewolc - March 27, 2017
19. GW - March 27, 2017

This is important – we now have a handle on how the macro of man-made global warming leads on the micro level to a greater frequency of micro events.

The answer lies in a slower and more uneven gulf stream leading to quasi-stationary planetary Rossby waves – itself caused by smaller differences between polar and non-polar temperatures.

Original paper. Guardian ‘splainer.

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GW - March 27, 2017

I meant to write ‘greater frequency of extreme weather events’.

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20. Ghandi - March 27, 2017
21. sonofstan - March 27, 2017

The whole youth culture thing is finally dead. Tory minister says grime is like punk and he means it in a good way. MBE for Stormzy soon come.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/27/matt-hancock-mets-696-form-discriminates-against-grime-artists

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CL - March 27, 2017

“Godfather of punk, anarchist and former Sex Pistol John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten…came out in support of Brexit claiming the working class had spoken and that he would stand by them. He also claimed he could see a possible friendship in Trump, praising his ability to terrify politicians.”
http://www.itv.com/goodmorningbritain/entertainment/political-sex-pistol-johnny-rotten-backs-brexit-and-trump

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22. oconnorlysaght - March 27, 2017

Apparently Lydon/Rotten had not noticed that Trump had failed notably to terrify the ‘Freedom Caucus’ .

Liked by 1 person

23. Gerryboy - March 27, 2017

The political and philosophical opinions of celebs and rock stars are their personal opinions, whether they are ‘considered’ or unconsidered opinions. I think about Issues of the Day without reference to Bono, Daniel O’Donnell, Cliff Richard or Beyoncé. I don’t give a hoot what they think about sex, underwear or the price of turnips.

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WorldbyStorm - March 27, 2017

+1

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sonofstan - March 28, 2017

There’s a bit of me that thinks 2016 might really be The Year Punk Broke….

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WorldbyStorm - March 28, 2017

yeah, not a good year for it.

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24. Alibaba - March 28, 2017

I read in disbelief when Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was to be asked belatedly about the one million drink-driving breath tests recorded ‘in error’, that is, which didn’t occur or ‘how 14,700 wrongful convictions were secured’ since 2016. And as to those who say she ‘inherited’ these problems, that’s tosh. She was the Assistant Commissioner when some happened and was notified of exaggerated detection rates in 2014 when she succeeded Callinan. Only now when the story is broken is a so-called audit being carried out. This is the same person who is bad news on-going and who previously declined to stand aside when the activities of her office are being investigated.

Fair dues to Sinn Féin for mounting the pressure, but even a quitting O’Sullivan ain’t going to cut it, given the repulsive organisational culture, don’t you think?

Liked by 1 person

25. Joe Mooney - March 28, 2017

Fascinating article about a French youth culture phenomena that defied the Nazi’s and the Vichy regime –

“The Zazous were very obviously detested by the Nazis, who on the other side of the Rhine, had since a long time decimated the German cultural avante garde, forbidden jazz and all visible signs of…degenerations of Germanic culture…”

https://libcom.org/history/1940-1945-the-zazous

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