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Left Archive: The Public Sector & The Profit Makers; Research Section Department of Economic Affairs – Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party, 1976 January 29, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Please click here to go the Left Archive.</a>

To download the above please click on the following link. publicsectorpro.pdf

Many thanks to Bobcat who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is a pivotal document as it outlines Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party policy in relation to the Public Sector. It is a precursor of the Irish Industrial Revolution which would be published some years later.

In the Foreword it notes that:

The purpose of this pamphlet is to show workers in the Public Sector why they must make common cause against the Private Sector.

The Public Sector must fight now or face a Pay Freeze that will never end. Questions of status and snobbery between different grades and categories must be abolished if Civil Service, State and Local Authority workers are not to join the ranks of the badly paid and exploited workers in the Private Sector.

Sinn Féin’s strategy is to support the expansion of the State sector in three areas. The first is to expand existing State bodies in energy, oil, gas and mines. The second is the establishment of a State Construction Co. The third is the expansion of the State into food technology, processing and marketing.

And it concludes:

The basis of these demands is the nationalisation of the Banks.

In subsequent chapters it addresses The Public Sector, Reasons for the Public Sector and The Lack of a Public Sector Ideology.

SatNOGS – $300 DIY Satellite Ground Station January 28, 2018

Posted by Citizen of Nowhere in Uncategorized.
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As a follow on from the last post about DIY Satellites, this one deals with a ground station that you can make yourself and hook up onto a piece of cooperatively owned and controlled infrastructure called SatNOGS.  The goal of SatNOGs is to provide an open world-wide platform for communicating with satellites using open communications.

Here’s an introduction from 34c3:

The ground station consists basically of an antenna – which can be fixed or can be rotatable -, an (optional) mechanism to point the antenna in the right direction, a software controlled radio unit, and a Raspberry Pi 3 (or similar) with a pre-built software image.  You can hog the ground station yourself or you can connect it to the wider SatNOGS network to let other people on the network schedule communications with satellites.  Because satellites pass over fairly quickly, the bigger the network and the more ground stations, the better the global coverage for SatNOGS.

This whole project is only possible because of the explosion in software-defined radio (SDR).  An SDR is a unit that does in software what radio amateurs used to have to do with hardware – allowing for instance radio communication anywhere between 10 MHz and 3.5 GHz in the case of the open hardware LimeSDR-Mini (Cost: $139).

The Open Source community has created open software like GNU Radio and open source hardware.  You can do all sorts of things with this combination of software and hardware – scan for microphone and video spying bugs, build your own LTE network etc. etc.

Here’s a list of all the satellites currently being observed through SatNOGS.   You can see the existing network of Satnogs Ground Stations here.

This is all within reach of someone who likes to tinker and learn, and Ireland has at the moment only one SatNOGS base station – a fixed antenna strapped to a chimney in Belfast.  So get building if this floats your boat – you’d certainly learn a lot!

Twinkle, twinkle January 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It seems so innocuous. Loft a small satellite into orbit that has a reflective surface, call it the Humanity Rocket, give it a limited orbital life and… hey presto, potentially open the floodgates for any old rubbish up in the sky – advertising, whatever…

This Business Insider piece gave an outline of the project… before the criticisms started:

That shiny, shimmering object suddenly sparkling in the night sky is a satellite launched by Rocket Lab, the latest edition to a growing cadre of space businesses.
On Sunday, the California-based company hoisted what it is calling the “Humanity Star” onto one of its rockets and launched the 65-sided geodesic sphere into orbit from New Zealand.
The idea behind the highly-reflective, disco-ball like object is that it will be a new focal point for everyone on Earth, according to Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s CEO.
“No matter where you are in the world, or what is happening in your life, everyone will be able to see the Humanity Star in the night sky,” Beck said in a statement. “My hope is that all those looking up at it will look past it to the vast expanse of the universe and think a little differently about their lives, actions and what is important for humanity.”

Lovely.

But not to astronomers…

But many astrophysicists disagree. Richard Easther from the University of Auckland told the Guardian that Rocket Lab may have unintentionally hit on a particularly sore point for his profession.
Light pollution is already a serious concern for scientists whose focus is on the stars, and the introduction of a glinting disco ball in space has not been widely welcomed.
“This one instance won’t be a big deal but the idea of it becoming commonplace, especially at larger scales, would bring astronomers out into the street,” Easther said.

He’s right. It’s not a big deal when it’s one. Though… what about when it is five or ten or fifty or a hundred. And why shouldn’t it be? Rocket Lab’s modus operandi, very small satellite launches from New Zealand at low cost is being taken up by others.

One alone is bad enough.

… as the director of astrobiology at Columbia University Caleb Scharf wrote in Scientific American, the star represented “another invasion of my personal universe, another flashing item asking for eyeballs”.
“Most of us would not think it cute if I stuck a big flashing strobe-light on a polar bear, or emblazoned my company slogan across the perilous upper reaches of Everest,” Scharf wrote.
“Jamming a brilliantly glinting sphere into the heavens feels similarly abusive. It’s definitely a reminder of our fragile place in the universe, because it’s infesting the very thing that we urgently need to cherish.”

Shameless internet cat lover pandering January 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Two cats arrived this Summer, courtesy of LeftAttheCrossroads, and they’ve their own blog (I have to make it clear I have no hand or part in maintaining or contributing to it). Social media – eh?

no fun January 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This is beyond depressing, an account of an alt-right get together in New York this last week.

Back inside, people danced to the musical stylings of DJ duo Milk N Cooks. On the stage two professional dancers, with identical short blonde hair and American flag leotards, shimmied back and forth.
People flooded to the dancefloor. Men loosened their ties. The DJs cycled through various 90s and early 2000s club hits and bar-mitzvah standards – In Da Club, Can’t Touch This. An older couple slow-danced sweetly to Africa by Toto.
As it neared midnight, Chumbawamba came on – “I get knocked down, but I get up again” – and the crowd shouted triumphantly along: “You are never gonna keep me down.”

Never liked the song, not much of a fan of the group, but Chumbawamba surely deserve better than that…

Sunday and the Week’s Media Stupid Statements… January 28, 2018

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Noted by Kathy Sheridan in the IT during the week – something that was quoted in the SBP.

“What farmer would abort a calf? You’d always give it a chance to live,” the anonymous TD told Hugh O’Connell in the Sunday Business Post.

Yep, another poll January 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This one from RedC/SBP.

FG 32% +5

FF 26% NC

SF 15% -1

IND 9% -1

IND ALL 3% -1

LP 6% NC

SOL/PBP 3% NC

SD 2% -1

GP 4% NC

It would be difficult to argue against the proposition that there is a home for pretty much every left-inclined voter at present, for better and for worse. That GP rating is intriguing to me. Somehow they’ve leap-frogged away from the disaster of the late 2000s and regained a fair chunk of their support. And the SDs, on the week of their Annual Conference they’d presumably have been hoping for better. Perhaps the AC will assist in bringing them more to the fore.

No sign of a McDonald surge, yet, for SF. And still FG sails on ahead. Just on that isn’t it remarkable how Enda Kenny turned that ship around. Granted it also took the fracture of the political system (or FF, which some might suggest amounts to the same thing) but somehow, somehow, FG is now the largest formation in the state and in this and other polls well ahead. FG should be lauding the last leader to the stars. All the while wondering how long the present leader’s popularity at large will persist. It will be interesting to see how his getting down off the fence on abortion provision works, he’s certainly been taking it slowly.

Anyhow, as RTÉ notes:

Support for Fine Gael in this poll is consistent with similar findings in an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll earlier in the week and last weekend’s Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll.

Forgotten Irish vinyl… January 27, 2018

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Thanks to Rock Roots for writing up two albums that unaccountably came into my hands in the recent enough past. Those are James Young’s Ulster Party Pieces. Young was a Northern Ireland comedian and Rock Roots has found an intriguing and mildly depressing story. The other was a home for a while for a young Rory Gallagher, that being the Fontana’s.

Rock Roots is a great resource uncovering albums that have slipped, unjustly, out of public memory.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Skylab #1 January 27, 2018

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Here’s a mid 1990s group which saw an assemblage of talents, producer Howie B, DJ Mat Ducasse, Debbie Sanders and Japanese duo Tosh and Kudo. Working collectively across two albums they brewed up a mixture of downtempo and ambient, all of which would be – perhaps – par for the course during that period if not for the side order of musique concrete.

A, Green Mammal 2, Shhh and other tracks are in some ways soundscapes. Electric Blue offers a bridge (perhaps reminiscent of FSOL) and River of Bass does more or less what it says on the tin. Seashell has curious wordless and almost haunted backing vocals that swoon in the background – like an edgier William Orbit (not a difficult achievement some might say). Indigo and Six Nine are arguably the finest tracks on the album. The former starts off to choppy guitar chords and electronica – you’ll find a mostly unnecessary Sabres of Paradise remix on YouTube, the latter almost seven minutes long with a treated guitar and string swells (as well as an highly entertaining series of samples that lead it off) provides almost a sense of respite from all that has gone before it on this most atonal of albums.

Although no slouch when it comes to all things dance/electronica/idm related in the 1990s I’m not entirely sure how I found this. I seem to recall finding it in Macs in the George’s Street Arcade- now long gone, of course – but what made me select it escapes me. Perhaps a positive review in Melody Maker. Whatever way it happened I’ve never had cause to regret it.

Six Nine

River of Bass

Seashell

Electric Blue

Indigo

Moon Duo Live January 27, 2018

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Went to see them last night in the Button Factory. I was thinking, when was the last time I was in there for a gig. I’d hazard a guess it was in the mid 2000s – The Soft Boys, Killing Joke or Calexico. It hasn’t changed much other than the bar being brought into the actual hall.

There was a This Weekend on Moon Duo some time back. They’re an interesting outfit. They’ve gone heavy on a sort of Jesus and Mary Chain/Spacemen 3 motorik pulse crossed with traditional psychedelia not a million miles away from Hawkwind (Clinic and Loop and the Stooges and Suicide are all in there too). It’s an attractive mix – guitars and keyboards merge seamlessly and, appropriately, hypnotic, sound. Ripley Johnson’s vocals slightly predominate, but Sanae Yamada’s vocals and backing vocals add something new. I really like the tension between Johnson’s guitar sounds and Yamada’s keyboards. Two albums last year, Occult Architecture Volumes I and II offered an expansive, perhaps too expansive, selection of tracks. Some complain they’re a bit samey, though JAMC like, Spaceman 3 like – doesn’t that go with the territory. It took a while to get into it, a song or so, but they dig deep. No question about it.

A great light show, an adherence to the spirit of the songs, if not actual replicas. They finished with their latest EP Jukebox Babe (an Alan Vega cover – natch and produced by Sonic Boom – natch) and a cover of No Fun – which seems appropriate. And very find they were too.

It’s oddly fast and languid, quite some trick to pull off. Still, they can rock out live. It doesn’t get very loud but there’s a lot of sounds there. Much to like.

Jukebox Babe

From Occult Architecture Vol I Cross Town Fade

From Occult Architecture Vol II the kind of fantastic and slightly Stone Roses like, were they to go full psychedelic, Mirror’s Edge

No Fun (Live)

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