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In story: Words or something

Re: Words or something
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Beware of Plato! He describes what he wants to happen. Even with the defeats and invasions the Athenians kept a functioning democracy working for Athens into the era of the Roman Empire. Plato's ideal is the philosopher king and Plato privileges that king with the gift of 'the noble lie' - a high minded sounding label for ordinary lies and propaganda. It is sad that Socrates is preserved mostly in Plato's dialogues.
 

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Words or something

Re: Words or something
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by das monde on
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In story: Words or something

Re: Words or something
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Other people will pay the price, some perhaps, with their lives;

Starting with the million of people who voted themselves out of healthcare coverage.

Trump Takes First Whack At Obamacare

In one of his first official acts as President, Donald Trump issued an executive order taking his first swing at Obamacare. The order, signed in the Oval Office this evening, directs the federal government "to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the Affordable Care Act. But beyond its general emphasis on easing the burden and giving the states more flexibility, it doesn't offer specific guidance or direction.
by Bernard on
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In story: Words or something

Re: Words or something
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by Bernard on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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After the US, far right says 2017 will be the year Europe wakes up
France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen called on voters across Europe to "wake up" and follow the example of US and British voters.

Speaking at an unprecedented meeting in Germany of Europe's rightwing populist parties, she said Brexit would unleash an unstoppable wave of "all the dominoes of Europe". And after Brexit, she added, before an audience of several hundred, the election of Donald Trump was a "second coup".

"His position on Europe is clear. He does not support a system of the oppression of peoples," she said, to enthusiastic applause. "2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up. I am certain 2017 will be the year when the people of continental Europe wake up."

by Bernard on
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In story: Words or something

Re: Words or something
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Words matter, and that is partly why Trump has been such a disaster even before he took office and made a single Presidential decision.  Other people will pay the price, some perhaps, with their lives; but it will never be the Donald's fault. For him words matter only in the moment, to get the reaction he wants, to be disowned later, if that suits his purpose. It was the fault of the listeners for having taken him seriously.  Losers. And now half of the USA is complicit and the other half worried it cannot escape complicity. And the world holds its breath:

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? "

                        - WB Yeats
                     THE SECOND COMING

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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As Zwackus has noted, I'm just not a celebrity, nor a card carrying journalist, so my opinions simply don't matter that much!

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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Maybe they could give Frank a full Op/Ed next time.
by Bernard on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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The overwhelming majority of people, and probably of governments, in the EU27 don't even realize the Ulster/Eire border might possibly be an issue to work out post-Brexit. No ill will, mind you, just that the Emerald isle, as beautiful as it is, is a bit remote and not well known by most continentals.

I'm pretty confident that if both parts find a workable solution that keeps smuggling and tax fraud to a level small enough to be safely ignored, the rest of the EU will be quite happy with the arrangement. In that regard, the EU propensity towards half-baked compromises may be quite a good thing.

by Bernard on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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Though I get that you would want a more elaborate argumentation, I think it works well as LTE. It sets out a likely scenario and the consequences of it.

And I agree, that sounds like the things will likely go.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Open Thread 16-22 January

Re: Open Thread 16-22 January
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By the end of Inauguratiion Day, the Cheeto in Chief and his band of bully boys had already removed the LGBT and climate change pages from the White House website.
by rifek on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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cos that's politics. they know there's no mileage is opposing a referendum with a popular mandate, but actual legislation is a different fish

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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I get a small amount of hope from the point that the campaign hasn't even started for real. That should mean a lot can still happen.
by fjallstrom on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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So how was the Marriage Equality referendum held and passed by a large (62-28) majority with EVERY party supporting it?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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I meant if Le Pen meets somebody, somebody wins with a hefty margin. So if the polls are worth anything, Le Pen is unlikely to win.

Other polling PS-Republicans appears to be more 50-50.

So the mission if one dislikes both Fillon and Le Pen is to get somebody else to the second round.

If Macron is not actually surging, and it is just a (desperate?) ploy to build a narrative before PS settles on a candidate that takes a big chunk out of Macron's support, the alternatives to Macron are Mélenchon or the PS candidate.

And therefore I still wonder if there is any chance the small left parties in the 0-3% range could see a chance of being part of a shot at an actual Mélenchon win and support him for concessions. So any chance of leftist unity there?

(My gut says no, but it does not actually hold any knowledge of small french left parties, it is just inherintly pessimistic.)

by fjallstrom on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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And are you suggesting that the catholic church no longer rules the Republic? Cos I'd beg to differ.

It doesn't matter what the majority think, almost all politicians are dyed in the wool religionist maniacs, Ireland is no different. I don't know why but politicians, as a breed, are more gullible devout than the people they represent. So, in the Dail, the catholic church still shakes the corridors of power.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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I think the cowardice here will be that of the EU and UK who should be discussing this from the get go.

Frankly, even allowing the suggestion of a hard border returning destabilizes the peace process. Which means that the EU/UK have to use their imaginations to create something new. Falling back into old thinking, of believing that we can return to the status quo ante, betrays everybody who worked so hard for peace.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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You forget the Catholic Church still ruled Ireland in 1979 and it is still official Church teaching that "artifical" contraceptives are a mortal sin. An aspirant leader of a major party would not have been able to simply legalise contraceptives and survive, so Haughey used the fig leaf of medical necessity and professional control knowing full well that would, in practice, make them widely available. I would argue that he at least addressed the issue, while the real political cowards opposed him and/or did nothing.

In the current context, is it cowardly to seek to prevent a re-emergence of the communal tensions that gave rise to the Troubles even at the cost of some corruption/smuggling?  After all N. Ireland has been put in a situation not of its making.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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An Irish solution to an Irish problem, eh?

It's a solution as old as time, it's called "giving them enough rope".

They did it a lot in the Soviet bloc; people on the inside would be granted access to what would be punishable contraband. It wouldn't be legal, it wouldn't be official but, so long as you were doing good work for the State, you'd have no problems. A bottle of good Scotch, proscribed literature or even rock and roll records.

But if you stepped out of line, it would provide the authorities all the ammunition they needed to wreck your life and that of those you loved forever. And they'd never need mention the actual thing you were beng punished for.

So, that contraception thing is a load of old balnoney. It's not an Irish solution, it's plain cowardice and corruption. Just like always

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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So we are all agreed that the most likely outcome is a Le Pen Fillon second round and with Fillon winning? Is there no way the left and centre can get their act together to prevent this outcome?  Where stands Fillon on Brexit?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Le Pen trumps all?
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Le Pen would not win.
But that is likely to be even worse. Le Pen would be a major embarrassment for France - but it would lead to gridlock. There is absolutely no chance that the FN could win the legislative elections, so the prime minister would make a point of standing up to her every step of the way.

Fillon would almost certainly have a majority everywhere (the Senate's system strongly skews it towards the right, and they will run the score in the legislatives). So he would be unopposed to implement his utterly insane programme.

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Le Pen trumps all?
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I know the current polls show Fillon beating Le Pen by a large margin,  They also showed everyone beating Trump.

France, unlike the US, is a democracy. The national polls showed Clinton beating Trump, which she did. If the national polls in France as as accurate as the US ones were, Fillon will win.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on
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So we must reconcile ourselves to the second round being between Le Pen and Fillon, or is there a realistic chance that some other candidate (besides Macron) will make it into the second round?

This feels a bit like the Bernie/Hillary battle.  Progressives wanted Bernie, and had great difficulty reconciling themselves to Hillary. So Hillary failed to get out the Dem vote and Trump won.

I know the current polls show Fillon beating Le Pen by a large margin,  They also showed everyone beating Trump.  But if Fillon fails to get out any but the neo-liberal vote (as I expect), does that mean Le Pen wins?  I could even see Le Pen winning much of the leftist anti-globalisation vote as well as tapping into a populist anti-establishment meme.

So will Le Pen eventually Trump all?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: LTE: Brexit will break things...

Re: LTE: Brexit will break things...
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"An Irish solution to a European problem" is a riff on An Irish solution to an Irish problem, a phrase popularised by then Health Minister, Charlie Haughey, when he introduced a Bill in 1979 to allow contraceptives to be available in Ireland (against the teachings of the Catholic Church), only on medical prescription, "for the purpose of bona fide family planning or adequate medical reasons."

Physicians and pharmacists who had moral objections would not be obliged to write or fill such prescriptions. Everyone knew that, in practice, everyone would be able to find a doctor and pharmacist to obtain contraceptives if they wanted to, at a price, and the law would increase the monopoly and stranglehold those professions would have on Irish healthcare. (Another important lobby appeased...)

Wikipedia defines the phrase as meaning "any official response to a controversial issue which is timid, half-baked, or expedient, which is an unsatisfactory compromise, or sidesteps the fundamental issue"...

That about covers it, although we sometimes wear such fudged compromises as a badge of honour... A former boss once told me that an ability to "tolerate ambiguity" was an essential quality for any senior manager... when I disagreed with some company decision. In other words, forget about it, move on, it will only be observed or cause a problem in exceptional cases...

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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What Bernard says.

(Including the reference to the excellent Daniel Schneidermann).

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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And if you assume Le Pen makes it to the second round the problem becomes how do you stop Fillon being her opponent...

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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There are a few things to keep in mind:

Only the first two candidates at the end of the first round do qualify for the second round in May. In all the polls you refer to on Wiki (the French language page is more up to date), Macron never makes it to the second round (except in one corner case: Montebourg as the PS candidate - won't happen). So, fat lot of good does it do to Macron's candidacy if he can't proceed past the first round. This is what Daniel Schneidermanw has pointed out: pollsters name Macron as the winner while the very same poll shows no chance of qualifying for the second round.

The other point is that Macron candidate is largely a creation of the media who have all been fawning over him even before he announced he would be running (and even foreign media apparently). This has generated a lot of frothiness and we should be well advised not to get taken into it.

After all, let's not forget he was Hollande's adviser at the Elysée for a couple of years and then Economy Minister where he deregulated a lot of things, endearing him to right wing bosses who love neolib "reform". Again, as Schneiderman writes, maybe Macron, "the candidate of blissful globalization, the candidate of Brussels and banks, would be the second round opponent Marine Le Pen is dreaming about".

by Bernard on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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I disagree that that's the only chance. Looking at the polls for the second round, everybody beats Le Pen. Well, Hollande was tied (iirc) but then again he has a extremely low approval rating, so I think that reflects the break down of the voters who dislike both. Otherwise Le Pen polls 30-45% in the polls I can see on Wikipedia (and the higher numbers are not from the last year).

So I more think that whoever meets Le Pen will win.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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Which is why I am trying to find a scenario which would allow someone other than Le Pen and Fillon to make it to the second round. This requires, firstly, that the left and centrist vote is not so fractured that none of their candidates make it to the second round.  And secondly it requires that if someone other than Le Pen and Fillon makes it to the second round, that they can unite the bulk of the left and centrist vote behind them.  Both tall orders, I would have thought (from afar).

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Macron Surges in the Polls

Re: Macron Surges in the Polls
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Just to be clear: Fillon is not an alternative to a hard-right winner.

Actually, if he were, then there would not be a serious risk of a hard-right winner. But he is not, and thus alas it is almost a certainty.

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
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News and Views

 16 - 22 January 2016

by Bjinse - Jan 15, 65 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Start of 2017 News

by Bjinse - Jan 8, 76 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Open Thread 16-22 January

by Bjinse - Jan 15, 11 comments

I'm quite illiterate, but I thread a lot.

 2017 Kickoff Thread

by Bjinse - Jan 8, 27 comments

2017. There we are.

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Top Diaries

Words or something

by Drew J Jones - Jan 21
5 comments

Macron Surges in the Polls

by Zwackus - Jan 18
34 comments

Is it Worth it?

by Frank Schnittger - Dec 30
36 comments