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Re:

29 Sep 2017 22:47

djpbaltimore wrote:It seems like we are in agreement. Thank you for explaining why regime change will not happen whether Kim has nukes or not, which is why the issue is a red herring. The potential refugee problem is not a variable in the foreseeble future.


If China says "go" the Un's a dead man. At that point millions of refugees to China will be a better option than Un with his finger on the button.

Neither you or I are in a position to know the bolded above.
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User avatar Scott SoCal
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01 Oct 2017 18:24

Masked police in riot gear beating on peaceful protestors - throwing people from the stairs. Nice going, Rajoy. Enjoy your 'success'.
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Re:

01 Oct 2017 18:40

Jagartrott wrote:Masked police in riot gear beating on peaceful protestors - throwing people from the stairs. Nice going, Rajoy. Enjoy your 'success'.

It's a disgrace, the guy did everything to make the conflict escalate and was the best ally of the separatists, over the last few years he was one of the main reasons why the support for an indipendent Catalonia went from 20% to a bit under 50%.
The whole situation was handled piss poor and Rajoy just wanted to show them who's really in charge.
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01 Oct 2017 19:03

The Spanish govrenment is doing their best to increase support for Catalan seperatists
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02 Oct 2017 09:39

the mess over the catalonia referendum is too much...

i kinda sympathize with their right to choose sovereignty and independence, BUT - sort of like in a common divorce - it should be done properly. that is, at the right time, with the view of FAIRLY splitting property, debt, finances etc etc. even the very PRACTICAL POSSIBILITY of the success, particularly a chance of its acceptance by the eu and the neighbors should be considered by the split leaders.

none of it was present ! most blame should be leveled at madrid due to their absolutely inflexible, i'd even say totalitarian position. moreover, whatever was attempted was done incompetently...just take their central govt police failing to close the poling stations. if such an operation was considered it had to either be done with a lot more forces or just let go. the results of the failure was hundreds of injured voters, more emotions, more neutrals swinging to the separatists.

almost forgot my main thought - everyone is the loser in such a mess and the biggest loser is democracy.

what i primarily meant was that about half of the catalonians NOT in favour of the split instead of given an opportunity to express themselves, stayed home. again, its the central govt problem NOT working out a process to tap into ALL democratic layers,,,

in that regard, perhaps the british/scottish experience needs to be studied by the spanish ?
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Re:

02 Oct 2017 11:02



Speaking for the Netherlands, which is also mentioned in this article as an example, I think the Netherlands has simply become more right wing. Dissatisfaction concerning issues such as immigration and the EU play a big part in that. I think many of the remaining left wing voters felt they had to vote further left and progressive to compensate for the increasing right wing, conservative and nationalistic political tendencies. This led to a spectacular decline of the centre lef/labour/whatever party and they were supplanted by the green party as the biggest left wing party. Needless to say that the left wing voters are only hurting themselves, because the green party are a bunch of irrealistic and incompetent ideologues who will never get anything done (no offense to people who voted for them, I can definitely see good intentions there, but I'm very cynical about the party leadership), compared to the centre left party which actually managed to make compromises and form a coalition with right wing parties and had some real influence.

In a nutshell, issues such as the EU and immigration and economic crises cause increased polarization. The centre left parties have failed to deal with it adequately and fall prey to some further left and populistic gimmicks like Macron or green parties or stuff like that. Centre right parties on the other hand have managed to keep the anti-immigration parties and nationalistic parties, which spawn from the same polarization, abay for now, by becoming more right wing, conservative and nationalistic themselves. That's my take on it at least.
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02 Oct 2017 12:00

Rajoy and Juncker should resign immediately. What a disgrace.
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Re: Re:

02 Oct 2017 13:42

Maaaaaaaarten wrote:


Speaking for the Netherlands, which is also mentioned in this article as an example, I think the Netherlands has simply become more right wing. Dissatisfaction concerning issues such as immigration and the EU play a big part in that. I think many of the remaining left wing voters felt they had to vote further left and progressive to compensate for the increasing right wing, conservative and nationalistic political tendencies. This led to a spectacular decline of the centre lef/labour/whatever party and they were supplanted by the green party as the biggest left wing party. Needless to say that the left wing voters are only hurting themselves, because the green party are a bunch of irrealistic and incompetent ideologues who will never get anything done (no offense to people who voted for them, I can definitely see good intentions there, but I'm very cynical about the party leadership), compared to the centre left party which actually managed to make compromises and form a coalition with right wing parties and had some real influence.

In a nutshell, issues such as the EU and immigration and economic crises cause increased polarization. The centre left parties have failed to deal with it adequately and fall prey to some further left and populistic gimmicks like Macron or green parties or stuff like that. Centre right parties on the other hand have managed to keep the anti-immigration parties and nationalistic parties, which spawn from the same polarization, abay for now, by becoming more right wing, conservative and nationalistic themselves. That's my take on it at least.


Yes it seems that the Left is suffering an identity crisis in many countries not only within the EU.
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02 Oct 2017 15:47

I have to agree that the downfall of the center left started in the Schröder/Blair years, their pro neoliberalism stance alienated the working class and nowadays the classic center left working class voters often end up voting for the new right because they feel abandoned by the left establishment.
The green parties don't really care for the working class, they often seem to almost despise them and don't offer any alternatives to neoliberalism, they have become the to go party for the progressive upper middle class that often sees themself als the intellectual elite, they are bourgeois to the core.
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Re: World Politics

02 Oct 2017 18:18

Methinks that the Left's decline should be relativised. I'd rather agree with the phrase: "identity crisis".

With regards to socio-economy, it migt look like they are but regarding all cultural matters, their reforms are still persistent and even hard to defy, reforms such as: gay marriage, drug legalisation, etc. Even with regards to education, the focus is now still on secularism, mathematics more than languages and the pupils have more and more rights, the teachers less and less authority. I'm leaving aside the migration issue which is quite complicated.

At this point, many would object to me that there's a clear distinction between cultural liberalism, which is reputedly left-wing and economic liberalism, which is reputedly right-wing. Yet the first advocates of liberalism - 18th Enlightenment philosophers - did not distinguish between the two and they were considered Left-wing in their era. So cultural and economic liberalism stem from the same matrix: the Enlightenment. So the Left was the ideology of the rising bourgeois merchant class against the old landowning ruling (aristocrating) class.

It's only by the late 19th century, when the old landowning class declined because heavy taxation (such as inheritance tax, e.g.) and especially for France, the impact of the Dreyfus Affair, plus the 1945 "Cleansing" (massive execution of the last representatives of the Old Right, on the ground that they were Nazi collaborationists, which can be true for some but not the majority of them), that they liberals started to fill in the vacuum that had been left by the old landowners, namely the Right-Wing, while the Socialist started to consider themselves Left-Wingers. 19th century socialists and working-class movements neither considered themselves Left-winger nor Right-wingers. So when I see that recent Left-wing parties whether in Europe or in North America, I'd say they are sort of back to their roots and start to think that the solution for our working class (which has sadly become a "workless class") could come from Right-wing circles. In times of insane globalisation, it's a good thing to look back on our traditions and our ancestral codes.
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02 Oct 2017 18:59

The secularism and equality (homosexuality as well as women) isn't hard to understand, as one is directly from the Marx's views on religion, and the other a natural progression from both 18th century philosophers and Marx, once again, and early 20th century labour movements. The importance of 'stem' is harder, but I guess is to do with the left's belief in science and technological advancement which stems from Marx rather than any previous anti-indrustial socialists. However, of late the left is championing artistic subjects much more than the right. But I disagree with the claim that 'socialists' and anti-capitalists started in right-wing circles, when the 'left' began from revolutionary factions in France, no? The right were conservative and have mostly remained so, which in my mind means they could not have supported those causes.

Anyway, that's an argument that is never-ending. But I think the demise of the left in Europe is a theory that is slightly overblown. I agree with the lack of identity and direction, but I wouldn't ever consider "third-way" politicians to be social democrats or centre left. They are radical centrists, with (right) libertarian leanings. It just happens they rose in left of centre parties. Merkel is a good counter argument to this, her economic policies are very similar to Blair (probably further left) but she is in a nominally centre right party. But as a christian democrat she is less socially reformist. In Scandi countries the left parties are still doing pretty well, even if the Norwegian labour party just had a poor election (still biggest party, but were hoping for much more a year ago). The governing social democrats in sweden are comfortably ahead in polls, and in denmark the left-wing block is ahead. Spain's left is (properly) split for the first time in a long time, which is why PP always win. Italy only adopted an actual third way politician with the unelected Renzi, even if the previous PMs weren't exactly Berlinguer. France has an extreme blairite president, which shows those ideas are still popular (or more popular than le pen).

Basically, the article a year or two ago would have been much more apt than now. The centre left is undergoing a mini resurgence (and I am talking old fashioned social democracy, not blairism). After all, Blair's platform in his landslide 1997 was Corbyn's this year, just without the renationalisation and raised taxes. The same extra money promises. Portugal has seen a massive resurgence of the left, and in the UK it was basically a resurrection from presumed dead. The lack of identity comes from the hard left having a lack of moderity and fresh ideas, and centrist wings being happy with status quo. Nobody willing to take ownership and give new, innoviative ideas.
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04 Oct 2017 10:09

movingtarget
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Re: World Politics

05 Oct 2017 15:33

OCTOBER 4, 2017
Wheels and Deals: Trouble Brewing in the House of Saud
by PEPE ESCOBAR

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/04/wheels-and-deals-trouble-brewing-in-the-house-of-saud/

Cheers
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Re: World Politics

05 Oct 2017 18:53

blutto wrote:OCTOBER 4, 2017
Wheels and Deals: Trouble Brewing in the House of Saud
by PEPE ESCOBAR

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/04/wheels-and-deals-trouble-brewing-in-the-house-of-saud/

Cheers

...and there is this to add to a mix

Russia, Saudi Arabia cement new friendship with king's visit
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-saudi-terror/russia-saudi-arabia-cement-new-friendship-with-kings-visit-idUSKBN1CA1QU

is vlad getting bought by the saudi petro$$ or the aging king is out-chessed ?

dont really know what to make of it, except to view it as verrry interesting.
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Re: World Politics

05 Oct 2017 19:51

Thinking about the unthinkable: the possible consequences of a N. Korean strike:

http://www.38north.org/2017/10/mzagurek100417/

History is replete with “rational actors” grossly miscalculating, especially in crisis situations. It is possible that another North Korean nuclear test—especially if detonated in air or under water—an ICBM test, or a missile test that has the payload impact area too close to US bases in Guam for example, might see Washington react with force. This could include such options as attempting to shoot down the test missiles or possibly attacking North Korea’s missile testing, nuclear related sites, missile deployment areas or the Kim Regime itself. The North Korean leadership might perceive such an attack as an effort to remove the Kim family from power and, as a result, could retaliate with nuclear weapons as a last gasp reaction before annihilation. Therefore, it is worth reviewing the consequences if the “unthinkable” happened.


According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.


Expert analysis suggests that the North has the capability to arm ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads and has a baseline nuclear arsenal estimated at around 20 to 25 nuclear warheads with yields in the 15-25 kiloton range [5]. The September 3 nuclear test was likely a thermonuclear device with estimated yields between 108 and 250 kilotons [3], suggesting that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal could eventually be upgraded to consist of larger yield thermonuclear weapons.
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Re: World Politics

05 Oct 2017 20:31

Merckx index wrote:Thinking about the unthinkable: the possible consequences of a N. Korean strike:

http://www.38north.org/2017/10/mzagurek100417/

History is replete with “rational actors” grossly miscalculating, especially in crisis situations. It is possible that another North Korean nuclear test—especially if detonated in air or under water—an ICBM test, or a missile test that has the payload impact area too close to US bases in Guam for example, might see Washington react with force. This could include such options as attempting to shoot down the test missiles or possibly attacking North Korea’s missile testing, nuclear related sites, missile deployment areas or the Kim Regime itself. The North Korean leadership might perceive such an attack as an effort to remove the Kim family from power and, as a result, could retaliate with nuclear weapons as a last gasp reaction before annihilation. Therefore, it is worth reviewing the consequences if the “unthinkable” happened.


According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.


Expert analysis suggests that the North has the capability to arm ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads and has a baseline nuclear arsenal estimated at around 20 to 25 nuclear warheads with yields in the 15-25 kiloton range [5]. The September 3 nuclear test was likely a thermonuclear device with estimated yields between 108 and 250 kilotons [3], suggesting that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal could eventually be upgraded to consist of larger yield thermonuclear weapons.


....and Bush and Clinton could have solved this so easily....

Cheers
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Re: World Politics

10 Oct 2017 08:57

Strikes in public services, especially transport is terror. Fed up with it. The reforms by the EU commission (not the governments) are disgraceful but it's no reason to take the whole population as hostages. The right for strike should be preserved, protected and guaranteed in the private sector. Those usually have a good reason to protest. In the public sector you have a duty to serve the population, so no strike. They only think about their own personal comfort. They don't care about those who are willing to go to work and have no car. They do not care about the old ladies who need to do their shopping. The teachers don't care about their pupils. They only deserve contempt. :mad:
Echoes
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Re: World Politics

10 Oct 2017 09:23

Echoes wrote:Strikes in public services, especially transport is terror. Fed up with it. The reforms by the EU commission (not the governments) are disgraceful but it's no reason to take the whole population as hostages. The right for strike should be preserved, protected and guaranteed in the private sector. Those usually have a good reason to protest. In the public sector you have a duty to serve the population, so no strike. They only think about their own personal comfort. They don't care about those who are willing to go to work and have no car. They do not care about the old ladies who need to do their shopping. The teachers don't care about their pupils. They only deserve contempt. :mad:


Just because someone works in the public sector does not mean they should have to accept sub-standard pay or conditions. I'm sure the vast majority are well aware of the problems strikes cause, that's pretty much the point.
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