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What you want to say – 18th October, 2017 October 18, 2017

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. Aengus Millen - October 18, 2017

How backwards are FF members to have voted for no change to the 8th. I have always gotten the feeling that they were more socially conservative then their fellows on the right wing, FG but this is ridiculous it puts them out of step with everyone under 40. One of their delegates said they want Ireland to focus on becoming a leader in giving palliative care to women carrying babies who can’t survive was just disgusting trying to make a virtue out of forcing women to carry dead or dying babies to term.


Joe - October 18, 2017

Yes. It could be a defining moment for FF. I’d say Martin would want them to fudge a bit more, try to appeal in some way to the under 40s. But the grassroots aren’t having it. So ultimately is FF doomed to wither away as its older, mostly rural membership dies off?

It’s also an indication that the Repeal the Eighth campaign will be hard-fought and hard-won. These people, the FF grassroots, represent the views of a substantial section of mostly rural and small town, middle-aged and older Irish voters.
The Equal Marriage referendum ended 62-38 I think. So the ‘Keep the Eighth’ campaign will probably start with that 38% and will hope to get a lock of the 62% on board.
Impossible to call at this remove.


GW - October 18, 2017

“…FF doomed to wither away as its older, mostly rural membership dies off?”

Here’s hoping.

But I thought we could write off FF after their (often corrupt) complicitiy in the banking crisis and the property bubble that went before it, so who knows.


Meru - October 18, 2017

“F.F. doomed to wither away”, prob. not? There seems to be so much understanding now between F.F. and F.G. that one kind of wonders if F.G. will allow F.F. the upper hand in the next election; in order that F.F. will access to the very maximum every and all Euro money, and so build and drive the economy. Voters now seem to understand the swing effect of F.G. rectitude and F.F. profligacy? And this time round even some F.G. may vote f.f.?
Anyhow, at the moment F.F. are advocating a tremendous vote-getter, the Treatment Purchase Fund.
But both these parties as always are forever wringing their hands about Unions and Labour, as if they expect us to believe that this cadre of the employed are the so very very important swing election vote. F.G. and F.F. never suggest to amend public service practice of hiring permanent employees, and when smaller commerce or the poor have problems with this cadre, these parties tearfully wring their hands; when the answer is astoundingly simple, – just advertise these jobs are 6-8-10 year contracts.
This would be better than the poor having to endure, when they must address their problems to same, these clerks who present themselves as ‘victims’, on cause of their own salary changes.


Aengus Millen - October 18, 2017

I’ve been thinking about this I don’t know if I expect FF to wither away in the near to mid-term. But I do think that there’s been a realignment in Irish politics to a more left vs right system and I think ultimately that if in the future the right has to combine into a single party FG will be the senior partner. They have Dublin, they have the connections with business and they are slicker and more modern for all that I find Varadkar’s bro-y persona as grating as the next person


Alibaba - October 18, 2017

The Fianna Fáil motion to keep the Eighth Amendment unchanged might come across as a ‘realignment in Irish politics’, especially given the very strong momentum for a referendum to repeal the Eighth and replace it with increased access to abortion. But not quite so. 

It’s noteworthy that when the referendum comes to the floor of the Dáil, FF and Fine Gael have promised their TDs a free vote on the outcome. And FG deputies won’t be held back at the races on this one. Watch them jockey for position in ensuring that the most limited provision replaces what’s currently available. They may do this to avoid the loss of votes in the next general election. 

Not one of the four main parties will implement the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly for broader termination access. Meanwhile Labour and Sinn Féin favour repeal and legislation only in cases of rape, incest, fatal feotal abnormality and where there is a threat to the health of the woman. In other words, in 99 per cent of the cases where women actually go abroad for abortion, these parties are effectively telling them to go to hell.

Tonight the Oireachtas Committee votes not to retain the Eighth in full. This was proposed by SF and seconded by FF and see who abstained or voted against it. 


All things considered, perhaps this may yet pan out in unexpected ways. 


Aengus Millen - October 18, 2017

Today’s actions are very confusing first we’re told fg and ff would combine to put off the vote on whether to retain the 8th. Then they combine with sf to bring on the vote today and 2 voted to remove the 8th and two abstained. Why did they vote with Sinn Fein? Why did their td’s abstain rather the vote against? Was the action at their ard fheis completely meaningless?


Alibaba - October 18, 2017

According to thejournal.ie:

‘Fianna Fáil’s James Browne, who abstained from the vote on whether or not the committee should recommend the Eighth Amendment not be retained in full (the vote passed), says he agrees with a referendum being held so people can have their say. He says he’s undecided as to what the wording of that referendum should be.’

The plot thickens.


dublinstreams - October 23, 2017

its time to decide James


2. Laurence Cox - October 18, 2017

Save the date:

“The rebirth of Marxism: haunting the future”

Keynote speakers: Toni Negri and Jodi Dean

Maynooth, 4 – 5 May 2018

In his play Marx in Soho, Howard Zinn has Marx ask “Don’t you wonder why it is necessary to proclaim me dead, again and again?”

May 5, 2018 will be Marx’s 200th anniversary – one among many anniversaries which remind us of Marx and Engels’ long-lasting impact on the modern world. As we send this out, we are sandwiched between the 150th anniversary of Capital and the 100th of what Gramsci called a “Revolution against Capital” in Russia. Our conference includes the May Day bank holiday, celebrated by the traditional labour movement – but it also marks the 50th anniversary of the start of “May 1968” in Paris, while “Ireland’s 1968” is sometimes dated to the violent suppression of a civil rights demonstration in Derry, five months later…

Full details at http://ceesa-ma.blogspot.ie/2017/10/the-rebirth-of-marxism-haunting-future.html

Liked by 1 person

3. makedoanmend - October 18, 2017

White Working Class America – Dead or Alive

The following is an excerpt from something called the Case-Deaton Study:

“Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century” Published 17/9/2015

excerpt (from “Signficance Section”):

“If the white mortality rate for ages 45-54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979.1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999.2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015.”

Majority of these lost lives are due to poisoning = predominantly alcohol and opiate.

The most ‘concrete’ suggestion is that pain (due to meagre medical coverage in the US?) along with underlying secondary economic stresses are driving a post Soviet style increase in substance abuse morbidity in the USA. I’ve also read elsewhere that overall white women’s life expectancy is under pressure, if not on a downward trajectory.

The normal caveats apply: inference and/or correlation doesn’t imply causation. It also takes quite a few studies to even begin to imply concrete causality.

For a 6 page version:


For 60 page analysis with many more data, charts and graphs:



FergusD - October 18, 2017
makedoanmend - October 18, 2017

Thanks for the links – very interesting but depressing info.

Capitalists cater for all occasions – from the cradle to the grave.


CL - October 18, 2017

‘Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., has withdrawn his name from consideration as America’s drug czar…
Marino is stepping back days after reports that legislation he sponsored hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration in its fight against the U.S. opioid crisis….
A joint report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes found that Marino’s measure “helped pump more painkillers into parts of the country that were already in the middle of the opioid crisis,”


CL - October 18, 2017

2017 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Investigative Reporting:

Eric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston, WV

‘For courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition, to expose the flood of opioids flowing into depressed West Virginia counties with the highest overdose death rates in the country.’


4. panablogblog - October 18, 2017

Public Meeting Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, D2 7.30pm
Ray McGovern
see: http://www.pana.ie


CL - October 18, 2017

=Interview with Ray McGovern — There was no “Russian hack”


Dr. X - October 18, 2017

Lyndon Larouche? The far-right cult leader? Really?


CL - October 18, 2017

‘LaRouchePAC Policy Committee member Diane Sare is joined by VIPS representatives Ray McGovern and Bill Binney to further explain the contents of their memo to the President exposing the dangerous fraud of Russia-gate. The presentations are then followed by a spirited discussion on how to defeat this attempted coup d’etat against the United States Presidency.’


Starkadder - October 18, 2017

According to Louis Proyect, Ray McGovern has worked with the LaRouche people before:

the article begins by citing the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) leader Ray McGovern, an ex-CIA agent who like Hersh and Theodore Postol was an “expert” that could be relied upon to clear Assad’s name. Ray McGovern has also been interviewed by the LaRouchites to prove that Russia did not interfere with the American elections.


Proyect also claims McGovern uses conspiracy theorist
Alex Jones as a source:

The sources for VIPS’ [a group led by Ray McGovern] most sensational claims, it turns out, are Canadian eccentric Michel Chossudovsky’s conspiracy site Global Research and far-right shock-jock Alex Jones’s Infowa



CL - October 19, 2017

Ray McGovern also writes for Executive Intelligence Review a Larouche publication.


CL - October 19, 2017

Here’s Ray McGovern speaking at a Schiller Institute confefrence:

‘The Schiller Institute is a conspiratorial, far-right international political and economic think tank, one of the primary organizations of the far-right political LaRouche movement’


Sean Dempsey - October 19, 2017

Do the PANA even know the type of fruit loops they are inviting or do they care?


Alibaba - October 19, 2017

Thanks for the revealing links and questions. I wonder what is the view of contributors to the site who promoted this Pana event. There can be errors or misunderstandings in anybody’s take which may be set to rights without too much difficulty. Hopefully, that can be so.


yourcousin - October 19, 2017

But does the site political orientation really matter that much though? And yes in answer to my own question, it obviously does, but I think the bigger question should really be the quality of the analysis. The fact that McGovern has had a Damascene conversion while encouraging to some folks does not inherently make his analysis any better. And that is what should concern folks. I get that to many people someone like McGovern seems like they are pulling back the curtain, but if we are intellectually mature enough we will understand that quality analysis is not only restricted by ideology. McGovern is not “all knowing” anymore than any other intelligence analyst.

I’m prepared to listen to and read Mr. McGovern, but his analysis still must stand on its own merits.


CL - October 20, 2017

The members of McGovern’s group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, spent their working lives in faithful service to the American empire. It is peculiar that in each case the ‘Damascene conversion’ occurred when they reached pensionable age.


5. FergusD - October 18, 2017

From Marxist economist Michael Robert’s blog:

“Puerto Rico thus became a large tax scam for multi-nationals. The main ‘exporters’ to Puerto Rico were pharma and chemical companies in Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland. Thus Puerto Rico imported pharmaceutical ingredients from low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and then exported finished pharmaceuticals to high-tax jurisdictions in Europe and the US.

As top economist Paul Krugman recently noted: “Specifically, PR runs, on paper, a huge trade surplus in pharmaceuticals – $30 billion a year, almost half the island’s GNP. But the pharma surplus is basically a phantom, driven by transfer pricing: pharma subsidiaries in Ireland charge themselves low prices on inputs they buy from their overseas subsidiaries, package them, then charge themselves high prices on the medicine they sell to, yes, their overseas subsidiaries. The result is that measured profits pop up in Puerto Rico – profits that are then paid out in investment income to non-PR residents. So this trade surplus does nothing for PR jobs or income.”

When there is any tax evasion going on Ireland seems to pop up!



GW - October 18, 2017

Oh FFS – Irish-goverment-facilitated corporate tax evasion is even screwing the desperate Puerto Ricans out of tax revenue.

Thanks for the heads-up Fergus – haven’t checked Michael for a while.


EWI - October 18, 2017

Just on the topic of Irish tax rates, is Trump blabbing US intelligence reports yet again?



dublinstreams - October 23, 2017

he might have been talking about effective rates or something


6. Michael Carley - October 18, 2017
Michael Carley - October 23, 2017

Went to see it, thought it was great. It is hammed up (it’s Iannucci) but seems to be fairly well-grounded. Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) does come out as caught been trying to survive and getting into position to make changes; Molotov (Palin) is unprincipled; Zhukov (Jason Isaacs) is all blustering bluff soldier.

Everyone on this site has been to the committee meetings …

The Morning Star didn’t like it:

BEST known for scripting the television comedies Alan Partridge and The Thick of It as well as its semi-spin-off film In the Loop, Armando Iannucci returns to the big screen as director and adequate if forgettable co-writer of this nowhere-as-clever-as-it-thinks-it-is parody.

Its farcical view of political infighting following the death of Stalin regrettably resembles a forgettable undergraduate comedy revue — think The Goodies Go to Moscow or Monty Python Meets Khrushchev — rather than being as clever or amusing as it thinks it is.

Which isn’t surprising, considering that the screenplay by Iannucci, David Schneider and two other collaborators is based on a French graphic novel, explaining the largely paper-thin characterisation and directorial overemphasis.
Iannucci’s been lucky in assembling a far-better-than-deserved cast, headed by Steve Buscemi as Khruschov and Michael Palin as Molotov.

Winston Churchill might have been speaking for the director when he wrote: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
Perhaps he should be Iannucci’s next cinematic subject.



WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2017

I’m genuinely looking forward to it! Good to hear. Interesting to see Zhukov who in his own way was a fine person etc.


Michael Carley - October 23, 2017

A friend who studied twentieth-century Russian history (though not exactly that period) reckons it’s pretty close to true, if you make the allowances for the form.

Some po-faced reactionaries don’t like it much:

But is the death of Stalin, and the murderous regime he ran, really something to ham up? The audience reaction to Downfall was serious reflection about the Hitler dictatorship and its grotesque finale. The Death of Stalin suggests that in the end Soviet politics under Stalin can be treated as opera buffa.

This contrast is not perhaps accidental. There still remains a certain ambivalence in the public memory of Stalin. Almost everything is now known about the systematic and large-scale abuse of human rights that occurred under Stalin’s rule – a scale that challenges belief. Yet Stalin is remembered as the man who modernised the Soviet Union and defeated the German attempt to conquer it, if not quite arm-in-arm with Britain and the US, then at least in expedient collaboration. He was lauded at the time in a western world that knew little about the horrors of the regime. For better or worse, the conventional narrative of the second world war in the west still has Stalin on the side of the angels, and Hitler in league with the devil.


Liked by 1 person

yourcousin - October 23, 2017

Very jealous of you Mr. Carley. Not sure when it will be released here.


7. sonofstan - October 19, 2017

Brexit watch:
The header in the Standard yesterday was something like ‘Brexit Squeeze on Wages Harming Millions: How Much Longer?’. It’s amazing how Osborne manages to escape any blame for the disaster that he and his mate led the country to.
Second thing: huge sequence of ads in Oxford Circus tube starting with a triple width ‘(image of heart) Immigration’, followed by details of how many people from how many countries are involved in making clothes for Jigsaw (medium level women’s fashion retailer), then load of pics of current Jigsaw stuff with the same ‘love immigration’ tag. It’s clever and slightly brave, maybe, but I bet they’re not running it in Newcastle….


WorldbyStorm - October 19, 2017

Your last point in a way gets to the heart of it. Great for London. But as you say, is anyone in Newcastle going to see them…


8. GW - October 19, 2017
9. sonofstan - October 19, 2017

A musical Turing test: 5 pairs of examples, one composed by Bach, the other by a bot trained to compose *like* Bach. I got 40% 😦



Geraldus Galwensis - October 20, 2017

Jazz musicians have been inspired by three things Bach excelled in:- a) rhythm; b) counterpoint, and c) fugue.
Here is a site in which classical enthusiasts discuss the Bach and Jazz (and some other) links. There are links to pieces of music.


In the 1960s somebody invented an electronic apparatus called the Moog Synthesiser and produced an LP record called Switched-on Bach.


10. GW - October 20, 2017

In some ways the current Chinese Communist Party congress is more important than anything happening locally.

It’s a couple of years since I read a reasonably good book on contemporary China. Can anyone recommend specialist blogs that aren’t written from the point of view that aren’t

a) business-oriented which regards the politics and social solely instrumentally


b) some US-Imperial think-tank’s thoughts about ‘the opposition’ (and their trusty MSM mouthpieces)?

I guess I should also discount Maoist (do they still exist?) true-believers who believe the current Leninist-capitalist ruling party is the one true way.


11. FergusD - October 20, 2017

News about Bombardier and a tie up with Airbus:


T May is “thrilled” by the new apparently, a major stake in Bombardier held by a (genuinely) EU company!

Liked by 1 person

12. Starkadder - October 20, 2017

“The members of McGovern’s group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, spent their working lives in faithful service to the American empire. It is peculiar that in each case the ‘Damascene conversion’ occurred when they reached pensionable age.”

That is rather odd, and warrants further scrutiny.

On a related note, I was deeply saddened to read that
Daniel Lazare, a leftist writer I once greatly admired, is now
writing defences of Assad and Putin, and even saying that
the view of Republican Steve King, Breitbart and Michael Savage
on Russia “made perfect sense”.

Liked by 1 person

13. CL - October 21, 2017

” The U.S. government had detailed knowledge that the Indonesian Army was conducting a campaign of mass murder against the country’s Communist Party (PKI) starting in 1965, according to newly declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. The new materials further show that diplomats in the Jakarta Embassy kept a record of which PKI leaders were being executed, and that U.S. officials actively supported Indonesian Army efforts to destroy the country’s left-leaning labor movement.”

” These records add important details to what happened during the 1965-1966 Indonesian massacre, one of the worst, yet least known, mass killings since World War II, in which an estimated half a million Indonesians suspected of being Communists were murdered by soldiers and paramilitary death squads….

The US government offered both direct and indirect support to the army during the killings and considered the bloodbath a momentous victory, shifting the balance of power in Southeast Asia”


14. Alibaba - October 23, 2017

Here’s what happened to a Prison Officer:

‘We’ll call him PO Pest, because he has come to be regarded as a pest by the system, for sticking his head above the high prison walls.’


15. CL - October 23, 2017

‘Women from Northern Ireland will be able to access a “comparable” abortion service to the rest of the UK when travelling to England for a procedure from the end of the year, equalities minister Justine Greening has announced. Travel costs will also be covered for those on low incomes.,,,
Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS,said
funded treatment in England is not the solution to the injustice of Northern Ireland’s archaic abortion laws. We know that even with financial support, the barriers to travelling for treatment will be insurmountable for some women.


16. Phil - October 24, 2017

There have been spome strange articles in the international press presenting the new Labour prime minister of NZ as some sort of anti-capitalist. Here’s a more accurate initial piece:


CL - October 24, 2017

‘Here’s a look at the international Trump effect: ….

Jacinda Ardern, 37, is New Zealand’s new prime minister. She opposes tax cuts and supports the welfare state, unlike Trump. However, she wants to lower immigration to New Zealand. That promptedThe Wall Street Journal to tweet last month: “Meet New Zealand’s Justin Trudeau (prime minister of Canada) — except she’s more like Trump on immigration.” Ardern said she found it “offensive” to be compared to the American leader. ‘


17. sonofstan - October 24, 2017

It gladdens the heart to see how willing the Labour right are to let bygones be bygones and row in behind the leadership.



Michael Carley - October 24, 2017

Second, you and your team must present a united front. From your overall definition of outcomes to the finest detail of the final terms, there has to be absolute consistency, coherence and clarity.

Fourth, you need to invest time and effort in building trust, a constructive relationship, and a reserve of goodwill; it’s very rare that antagonism delivers positive outcomes.

Forgive them, they know what they do.


18. sonofstan - October 24, 2017

I’ve just had an email from someone organising a conference I’m speaking at in a few weeeks time asking – with apologies, but in line with her university policy – for details of my nationality and immigration status…..


WorldbyStorm - October 24, 2017

FFS. Urghhhh


19. Michael Carley - October 24, 2017

And in further UK Higher Education news:

Academics are accusing a Tory MP and government whip of “McCarthyite” behaviour, after he wrote to all universities asking them to declare what they are teaching their students about Brexit and to provide a list of teachers’ names.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Conservative MP for Daventry and a staunch Eurosceptic, wrote to vice-chancellors at the start of this month asking for the names of any professors involved in teaching European affairs “with particular reference to Brexit”. Neatly ignoring the long tradition of academic freedom that universities consider crucial to their success, his letter asks for a copy of each university’s syllabus and any online lectures on Brexit.



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