Setting the World to Rights 380


Just got back after a long chat with Julian Assange. We were joined for a light supper by the ever interesting and ebullient Yanis Varoufakis. Another of those brilliant evenings that will live in the mind.

Julian is very aware of the persistent rumours about his position or health. He is fine apart from a cold, and buoyed by recent events.

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380 thoughts on “Setting the World to Rights

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  • Sharp Ears

    Not ‘el lider’ as some here are calling ex President Castro, but ‘el Presidente’ the 17th president of Cuba from 1976-2008.

    Jeremy Corbyn has had the grace to say this when visiting Oxford to launch the party’s national campaign day for the NHS –

    “Fidel Castro was a massive figure in the history of the whole planet, ever since the revolution in 1959.

    “There are stories of his heroism while living in Mexico in exile and then the boat to Cuba, the march to Havana and the revolution in 1959.

    “He managed to bring good quality health services to all the people of Cuba, good quality education to all the people of Cuba and, of course, he had a foreign policy which was global, but particularly important in Southern Africa in supporting Angola against the apartheid regime.”

    “I think history will show that Castro was such a key figure, it seems he has been with us forever,” he told the Press Association.

    From Theresa May there is nothing, needless to say, just a half hearted comment from the oaf currently in office at the Foreign Office.

    • Habbabkuk

      “There are stories of his heroism while living in Mexico in exile..”

      __________________

      Heroic deeds while living in comfortable exile? You make him sound like all those Bolsehevik exiles in Siberia. For real heroism in exile please refer to those millions of victims of El Lider’s spiritual father, one Mr Stalin (the “Little Father”).

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ~”…and then the boat to Cuba…”

      ____________________

      Less dangerous and a lot more comfortable than the boat journeys undertaken by those fleeing from El Lider (and I don’t mean in 1959 either).

      **************************

      Pass the sick bucket, someone!

  • lysias

    Trump victory means no war with Russia. This Jill Stein voter considers that reason to celebrate.

  • lysias

    Obama has issued a statement on Castro’s death. It is on the whitehouse.gov web site. It is a remarkably respectful statement.

    • Kief

      Trump is creating his own Murderer’s Row to get rid of Social Security (privatised) with chief henchman Paul Ryan. I and Assange continue to be ‘buoyed’ by recent and future events.

      • RobG

        Most of the NHS is now privatised (the ambulance service almost entirely so). Child care NHS services in certain parts of the country are now run by someone called Richard Branson, and this sort of stuff goes on and on.

        All this is enabled/legislated by a bunch of totally corrupt criminal loons who the British public are bamboozled into voting for by the Presstitutes, and by the army of online trolls. The Presstitutes and trolls have no honour, no sense of morality and are vermin of the lowest order.

    • Habbabkuk

      “Am I going mad..?”
      ___________________-

      You are mad but you are also forgetful.

      Mrs Thatcher privatised neither.

      • RobG

        *Cue the clip of a tearful Thatcher leaving Downing Street for the last time*

        Despite winning all those elections, Thatcher was so fecking mad that eventually her entire Cabinet revolted against her.

        It’s on record by numerous Cabinet ministers who were there at the time.

        We can also look at the Thatcher legacy…

      • Laguerre

        “Mrs Thatcher privatised neither.”

        It’s a common fault of the most stupid American commenters to imagine that because x didn’t happen, x was never desired. Habby, I take to be intelligent, but apparently not here.

    • Sharp Ears

      Exactly so RobG

      She had Professor Enthoven over from the US of A.

      All Right now The new reforms would be unthinkable without the Thatcher years, says Professor Alain Enthoven, architect of the internal market.
      6 May, 1999
      ‘Despite the rhetoric, and I can understand that every political party wants to distance itself from the other one, I do see that a lot of what is happening is building on the reforms of the early 1990s,’ says Professor Alain Enthoven.
      https://www.hsj.co.uk/home/all-right-now-the-new-reforms-would-be-unthinkable-without-the-thatcher-years-says-professor-alain-enthoven-architect-of-the-internal-market-mark-crail-reports/29810.article

      He is an American economist. worked for the Rand Corporation (enough said) and worked with Kaiser Permanente. Look them up.
      Professor Alain Enthoven has published widely in the fields of the economics, organization, management and public policy of health care in the U.S.A., the U.K. and the Netherlands. In his research, he studies the causes of unsustainable growth in national health expenditures and the costs of health insurance, and possible strategies for moderating this growth while improving quality of care. His recent work is focused on integrated delivery systems and on the potential for exchanges to correct some of the main deficiencies of employee based health insurance.Show More https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/alain-c-enthoven

      One of Thatcher’s grandchildren, the whippersnapper Jeremy Hunt, recently paid a visit to Kaiser Permanente. Nice photos Jeremy!

      NHS and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, Visit the CTH
      Representatives from the National Health Service of England, along with British Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, paid a visit to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health on June 2. This marks the second visit to Kaiser Permanente for the Secretary.
      https://centerfortotalhealth.org/tag/jeremy-hunt/

      His predecessor as Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, who put through Cameron’s Health and Social Care Act, 2012, (currently responsible for dismantling OUR NHS) got a peerage and a job with Bain and Co, the Yankee multi-tentacled management consultants,

  • Kief

    “Assange and Wikileaks are riding a wave they helped create, of generalized resentment among citizens in the United States and elsewhere who are convinced that dark forces across the globe are conspiring against them. Those citizens are partly right: Russian intelligence and their Wikileaks minions are indeed conspiring against them. Conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and “freedom” activists who applaud these kinds of activities, and who wish for Assange’s freedom, are dupes. They are also sympathizing with their own enemies, which also makes them fools.

    It even makes them useful idiots, one might even say.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/09/julian-assange-is-a-russian-front-man-not-a-freedom-fighter/

    • Herbie

      The Russians don’t need to leak anything.

      There’s enough division within the US for there to be leaks aplenty from within.

      • Kief

        Yes. I’ve already seen your review of objective information distribution and the tireless efforts of Assange to publish them all… lol.

        • Herbie

          We’ve just come through the most divisive election in recent US history and rather than conclude that that divisiveness produced the leaks, you conclude that “it’s the Russians wot dunnit”

          I’ve argued that were an external leaker required then it’s much more likely to be the Israelis.

          Means, motive and opportunity, you see.

          And modus operandi.

    • geoff

      Gee, you are reference an article by Tom Nichols? Couldn’t you find a better propoganda source?

        • bevin

          To dispute the facts they first need to be discovered. In the claims that Assange is a Russian agent and that Russia is conspiring against the people of the US, there are no facts: a few half truths, ripped out of context and stewed in the old Cold War propaganda of anti-communism/russophobia.
          The United States is falling apart, not because of Russia but because of the uncontrolled greed of the ruling class and the growing consciousness of its victims that they are being plundered, plucked and shorn by the rich.
          And you are, like your candidate Hillary, taking Wall Street’s part and blaming everyone but the guilty for their crimes.

        • geoff

          Russia has nuclear weapons, but its GDP is about the size of Spain, and shrinking. Do the sums to see how significant Russia is. As for facts –
          ‘The connections between WikiLeaks and the Russians are obvious’
          Like the rest of the article – it has few facts, just false assumptions and tries to tell a (poor) story from them

    • Macky

      Tom Nichols; “WikiLeaks is a functional subsidiary of Vladimir Putin’s intelligence services”

      Julian Assange:” We have published over 800,000 documents of various kinds that relate to Russia. Most of those are critical. And… a great many books have come out of our publications about Russia, most of which are critical. And our documents have gone on to be used in quite a number of court cases, refugee cases of people fleeing some kinds of claimed political persecution in Russia, which they use our documents to back up. “

  • bevin

    counterpunch.org has four articles today on Castro, including essays by Tariq Ali and Saul Landau.

    • Habbabkuk

      In other words, article by the usual suspects.

      Tariq Ali – as I’ve had occasion to say a couple of times on here – has not moved on in nearly 50 years. A well-off, armchair revolutionary not one of whose dire prophecies has been realised – an almost extinct volcano with only curiosity value as a reminder of the “revolutionary” 1960s.

    • lysias

      Speaking of never moving on, that strikes me as a good description of neocons, liberal interventionists, and everybody else that can’t abandon a Cold War mentality.

      • Habbabkuk

        Mr Tariq Ali is certainly by no means the only public political figure who has not moved on.

        But he is perhaps unusual in that none of his prophecies have ever been realised and that he remains impervious to reality.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s good to read that Mr Assange is safe and well, albeit, still being vilified, by the usual suspects.

    A very interesting documentary, came across my path last night, regarding black prejudice, and the astronomical rise of prisoners in the USA, of African, American descent.

    More interestingly, is the laws that have seen mainly, African America’s imprisoned for in some cases life sentences for committing one offence, such as possessing or selling crack cocaine.

    I was however unaware that a council similar I’d imagine to that of the HJS, exists in America, that creates possible laws, that are then lobbied to American politicians, and if those laws are seen as implimentable, by the politicians they sometimes go on to become law.

    Bill Clinton was a strong admirer of ALEC, and by 2014, the USA had the highest amount of incarcerated citizens in the world, well over 2 million people.

    Why so many prisoners, I hear you say, well from what I can gather, ALEC has strong backing from huge corporations in America, and it began working hand in hand (covertly of course) with (CCA). The Corrections Corporation of America, which builds and runs private prisons, in conjuction with the US government

    The name by which this private body goes, by is (ALEC) American Legislative Exchange Council. They have created such laws as the Three strikes and out” and the “Mandatory sentence”that has seen American’s receive a life sentence, without parole in the US.

    It would appear that ever stricter and probably unfair laws, need to be created in America, by ALEC and passed into law, in order to keep the private prisons run by CCA full to capacity.

    Here is that fascinating documentary, for anyone who wants to know why African American’s are more likely to end up in prison. They have been portrayed as rapists, murders and drug dealers.

    http://putlockers.ch/watch-13th-online-free-putlocker.html

    Even the much lauded film Birth of a Nation, gave the American negro a bad press.

  • giyane

    When political ants like Castro and Al Qaida bring the superpowers to the brink of nuclear war, suddenly the political leaders wake up to their own folly for using proxies in war.
    Now where could we usefully put Al Qaida for 50 years out of harm’s way? a small island somewhere … a few miles offshore…brainwave! Send them to the UK!
    ” O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay ” Erdogwan is a genius. Export all the Daesh to Quba, short for Queen’s Britannia. A small independent state run by a right wing failed dogma and glorying in a faded colonial past.

    While the rest of the world moves on the proto terrorist Brits and their pit-bulls can host the fuck-wits of political Islam, if they’re not already doing so!

    • SA

      You could do much better than lumping a mainly independent nationalist revolutionary with a regressive religious death cult sponsored and constructed by a superpower and it’s proxiestogether in one sentence as “political ants”.

  • Sharp Ears

    Trump trumpets from his gilded throne

    Donald Trump sees ‘wonderful’ future for Cuba after Fidel Castro death

    While Barack Obama offers a “hand of friendship” to Cuba, the President-elect says Castro’s legacy will be ones of “horrors”.

    Donald Trump says Cuba can move towards a “wonderful future” following the death of Fidel Castro.

    Leaders from all over the world have been reacting to the former Cuban president’s passing following a long illness.

    In a statement, the President-elect said Castro’s legacy would be “one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights”.

    He added: “It is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

    “Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”

    http://news.sky.com/story/obama-offers-hand-of-friendship-to-cuban-people-10673005

    Nice.

    The US gangsters-in-charge from New York and Florida will be piling in to Havana with the aim of restoring Cuba to its US backed organized crime Batista type days.

    Chapter and verse here.

    Washington and the Cuban Revolution Today: Ballad of a Never-Ending Policy
    Part II: Triumph and Reaction
    by Ike Nahem / July 22nd, 2012
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/07/washington-and-the-cuban-revolution-today-ballad-of-a-never-ending-policy/

    Links to Pt1 and Pt111 here and to other articles by Ike Nahem who is a Cuban working in America as as Amtrak locomotive engineer.

  • Habbabkuk

    What is all this chatter about “thank God Julian is safe” anyway?

    Was he ever not safe since holing up in the Ecuadorian Embassy?

    It all sounds like a drama artificially created by the Friends of Julian: first there are cries of “he’s in danger” or “he’s been killed” or “he’s at death’s door” and when it comes out that this was all garbage (of course) the FoJ can prove their devotion yet again on sundry blogs.

    It’s really infantile.

    • Republicofscotland

      Habb.

      Fascinating to see that anyone asking after Mr Assange’s situation, or state of health, moderately irks you.

      Can elaborate more as to why that is? I’m sure most readers and commentor’s would like to know.

      Thanks in advance.

  • Republicofscotland

    Habb.

    Can it “really” be said that Castro, caused more suffering and pain, and killed more people, than all the US presidents since Kennedy.

    Of course Castro was no shrinking violet, and brutally put down his opposers and dissenters. We need not look far to find his detractors in the Western press, lets just say that, El Comandante, outlived many of his Western protagonists, including several US presidents.

    He would not yield to American oppression.

      • Republicofscotland

        Tell me Norton, what you mean by your above statement?

        Or is it more throwaway nonsense, I mean your second comment, is somewhat non sequitur, in relation to your first comment, is it not?

          • Republicofscotland

            Norton.

            The World is moving to the right, yet Scotland moves to the extreme left?

            Perhaps if you’d paid more attention, you’d have noticed that Scotland has mainly been a country leaning to the left, not communist in nature, but more socialist, in its tendencies, a admirable quality, don’t you think?

            As for the “world moving to the right, or more precisely the alt-right.

            In my opinion, that move is a consequence of Western/Israeli/Saudi actions. Possibly beginning with the war on Iraq, which created the first mass refugees to flee to Europe, and further afield.

            Buoyed, by their success in duping the public, destroying and asset stripping Iraq, the West and Israel and Saudi Arabia, continued their onslaught on the Middle East, under the guise of rooting out terrorists.

            Afghanistan was next in line, to be stripped of its abundant natural assets, and opium, again we were fed the false dogma of hunting down terrorist. Again many civilians dued or were displaced forever.

            Next it was Libya, that felt the wrath of the true axis of evil, and millions of Libyians fled to Europe and surrounding countries.

            Then Syria came under the crosshairs of the warhawks, still the premise lay in defeating terrorism, and removing a evil dictator by the name of Assad.

            Yet millions more refugees fled in terror for their lives, as the true axis of evil, attacked Syria without a proper UN mandate.

            Currently Yemen and South Sudan, are the focus of the true axis if evil, no one really knows yet, how many people have died or been displaced by their actions.

            Now that those millions of poor souls have entered Europe, hoping to build a new life, a life OUR governments destroyed, so that corporate faceless b*stards could grow extremely rich.

            We are now being fed the racist and xenophobic line, that the refugees are draining Europe of its resources, and putting its infrastructure under immense pressure.

            The press and politicians are complicit in this fiasco, now the far right or alt-right have gained ground in Europe, and at the very heart of the problem, lies the actions taken by the true axis of evil, all those years ago which began in Iraq.

            We the public have been manipulated from the beginning, and will continue to be manipulated, until we decide enough is enough and take a stand.

          • Loony

            The world is not moving to the right, and it is not moving to the left.

            All that is happening is that the people are challenging a corrupt and rotting establishment that exists only to enrich itself. The establishment is too stupid to read the writing on the wall and are making manifest their contempt and distaste for the masses – hence the media obsession with racists, sexists and various phobias.

            Trump is a manifestation of popular discontent and appears to be of the right. Bepe Grillo is a manifestation of popular discontent and appears to be of the left.

            The game is in play but those who think they set the rules have no idea as to what game is being played. The media and official commentators are now acting very much as though they were cricket umpires overseeing a chess match – i.e. they are deeply confused and appear as mere buffoons.

  • RobG

    The death of Castro and Cuba…

    Despite being a third world country, Cuba has the best free healthcare system in the developing world, and is second to none in the entire world when it comes to certain types of surgery.

    In Cuba, education at all levels is free of charge.

    In Cuba the state bank really is controlled by the state, and it regulates interest rates and money flow in the interests of the people.

    In Cuba the Arts are actively encouraged (Cuban ballet, for example, is world class).

    I could go on and on about this ‘socialist hellhole’; but here’s the rub which might get the attention of people in USUK: in Cuba housing is practically free of charge…

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2016/02/cuba-sale-160215095947647.html

    This little nation in central America has been under financial and military attack from the USA for more than half a century, but it’s withstood it all.

    RIP Fidel Castro.

    • Anon1

      “I could go on and on about this ‘socialist hellhole’; but here’s the rub which might get the attention of people in USUK: in Cuba housing is practically free of charge…”

      It’s comments like this that make me think that asteroid can’t come soon enough. He is perhaps middle to late middle aged and he still believes in “free”. God help us all.

      • RobG

        The psychos/loons who presently run the UK never mention ‘social housing’ (aka council houses), and instead prattle on endlessly about ‘bettering yourself’ by ‘getting on the housing ladder’, despite the fact that there are now millions in the UK who can’t afford this.

        What the psychos/loons mean is that they want you to take out a mortgage (even if you can’t afford it), which means interest payments, which means debt enslavement.

        It’s all about debt, because it’s a nice little earner for the 1%. It has nothing to do with the good of society/the nation. It’s all about raw greed of a tiny percentage of people/vermin.

        No, there is no such thing as a free lunch, except for the lunatics/vermin, who think that they can still get away with exploiting the plebs.

        Your time is almost up, Pal.

        People aren’t going to put up with this bullshit much longer.

    • John Goss

      I agree. One day a new USA might emerge. The video is disturbing as well as heartening. At least Gaddafi had the wealth to provide a socialist society. The Israelis, Yanks and its puppets, don’t like that. Their solution is to create a failed state and transfer all the shared resources into the pockets of a few. Sad. But that is what they do.

      • John Goss

        In view of that I would like to suggest to the mods that the blog be restructured. Responses to responses tend to lose the continuity. They become anachronistically incomprehensible, difficult to know who is responding to who, and I think the problem is due to responses going down too many levels. I would prefer only one. The gist of a comment’s argument often gets lost in the traffic of inane, and sometime insane, follow-up comments. It was a good experiment. What do others think?

        I will repost this as a comment on its own so the mods don’t lose it.

  • Sharp Ears

    WikiLeaks urges people to stop requesting Assange ‘proof of life’
    26 Nov, 2016 03:59

    WikiLeaks has effectively asked people to knock it off when it comes to requests for evidence that Julian Assange is still alive.

    Exactly one month since the whistleblowing organisation polled the online community for ways to prove their co-founder’s continued existence, WikiLeaks has now urged people to stop asking for Assange ‘proof of life’.

    “Please stop asking us for ‘proof of life’. We do not control Assange’s physical environment or internet connection. @MashiRafael does,” the whistleblowing website tweeted on Thursday.

    The 45-year-old has been living within the confines of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than four years. His political asylum follows fears he may be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks-related activities.

    Rumors of the Australian’s untimely demise began to swirl in October. Hearsay coincided with Assange’s internet access being tampered with and a particularly prolific period for WikiLeaks, during which Gmail messages from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair were published online.

    READ MORE: WikiLeaks says Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet after new Clinton emails published

    Unusually-coded tweets published by media organisation around the same time also gave rise to suggestions that Assange’s death had activated a mysterious ‘dead man’s switch’.

    However, a month since people voted for video ‘proof of life,’ it appears that WikiLeaks has had enough of the requests. They are now suggesting that all Assange death inquiries be directed at Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa.

    The 45-year-old has been living within the confines of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than four years. His lolitical asylum follows fears he may be extradited to the US over WikiLeaks-related activities.

    MORE: WikiLeaks says Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet after new Clinton emails published

    ,The nation’s government became antsy at the beginning of October that WikiLeaks could influence the US election and admitted placing a temporary restriction on Assange’s internet.

    READ MORE: Assange: Clinton is a cog for Goldman Sachs & the Saudis (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT)

    In early November, RT exclusively screened journalist John Pilger’s interview with Julian Assange, in which talked about becoming “institutionalised” from living inside the London embassy “without sunlight” and limited access to the outside world.

    https://www.rt.com/viral/368231-wikileaks-assange-proof-ecuador/

  • RobG

    On other matters, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture this week…

    http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611220050.html

    At the time of writing it’s not known if further damage was caused to the already wrecked reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (where there are 3 full-size reactors that have been in complete and ongoing meltdown since 2011). The quake also caused a small tsunami, which didn’t do much damage but would have still washed more radioactive crap back into the dying Pacific Ocean.

    It’s kinda fun writing about the twilight years of the human race.

    • John Goss

      It’s not funny at all.

      Unfortunately it is not possible to turn the clock back. Worse than that nobody has learnt the lesson and nuclear power is still seen as the best source of energy. It is the same idiots that led us into all the wars that look for profit in dangerous technologies like nuclear fission and fracking. It is a sick world RobG.

      • RobG

        John, we do live in a very sick world, but we musn’t let us get it down.

        Much like the banking system, if people knew the real truth about nuclear there’d be a revolution tomorrow morning (to paraphrase Henry Ford).

        We’re up against a huge and vile propaganda machine and an army of trolls, and leaders who are complete psychos.

        If the half-way sane amongst us can battle through all that, maybe we’ll meet on the other side, in a much better world.

        We’ll still have our arguements, but we will no longer be arguing in a complete lunatic asylum.

      • lysias

        I understand nuclear power plants are needed to provide the fuel for more nuclear weapons. Interesting article by Andrew Cockburn in the latest Harper’s Magazine about the New Red Scare, the revivified Cold War, and the Obama administration’s plans to spend an estimated $1 trillion in modernizing the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. And that’s before the inevitable cost overruns.

        The New Red Scare.

        I happened to attend a talk by Cockburn at the Oxford reunion in D.C. a few months ago. He was already talking about that $1 trillion plan then. And one thing that he mentioned then that I did not notice in the Harper’s article is that the modernization plans include producing nuclear weapons with a much smaller yield. Which would make it much more conceivable to actually use the things.

  • Anon1

    Never, ever forget that Fidel Castro created a thriving, free, democratic and wealthy Latin American community. In Miami.

    • Laguerre

      The Cubans of Miami are particularly mafistic. If you want the worst of future societies, look at the mafiosi of Miami. Castro is a saint in comparison.

        • Macky

          Just highlighting the true background that the film is based around, namely that Between April 15 and October 31, 1980, in what became known as “Mariel boatlift” Castro allowed 125,000 “social undesirables” to leave for Florida; he emptied his hospitals of such people, and similarly had prison inmates rounded up for shipping over.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Hunter S. Thompson planned a book around those events, called The Silk Road. Excerpts were published in Songs of the Doomed. Two guys look forward to scamming the latest deluge of Cuban immigrants and get more than they bargained for when they are stuck in Miami with an army of ex-convicts, lunatics and psychopaths. Hysterical.

          • Macky

            @JSD, thanks for the Hunter S. Thompson tip, The Silk Road sounds well worth tracking down, but a quick google search failed, so I’ll try again later;

          • John Spencer-Davis

            The book was never published and I have no idea if it was even finished. I doubt it. The only published matter from it is in Songs of the Doomed. Google won’t assist you!

          • Resident Dissident

            What do you mean by “social undesirables”. Totally sickening Stalinist language.

          • lysias

            It’s not just Stalinist. Being “asocial” (asozial) was a crime in Nazi Germany for which you could be — and many people were — sent to a prison or a concentration camp.

          • Resident Dissident

            You are right Lysias – the Marxist Leninists share a similar contempt to those who hold different views to them as do the Nazis. Those who make references to the “sheeple” or call majorities who vote against their views stupid are just exhibiting the same symptoms of autocracy in a milder former.

  • Anon1

    Another dictator worshipped by the far-left. Forget about the atrocious human rights record, the firing squads, torture, intimidation of dissidents, or the almost complete ban on free speech.

    “Oh but the health care was rather good”.

    Didn’t the trains run on time in Germany as well?

    • Laguerre

      As opposed to the dictators worshipped by the US. At least Castro did something for his country, Pinochet did nothing.

      • John Goss

        Pinochet did worse than nothing. He had killed and raped, dog-raped and beaten thousands of Chileans. He helped Thatcher with her war in the Falklands, the one that got her re-elected (because everybody loves a lovely war). Idiots. As a reward she refused to hand him over to the Spanish to face his crimes. What a lovely history we have.

        Entrer RD.

        • Anon1

          Oh look, the topic has been successfully switched to Pinochet and Fatch.

          I wanted to hear about your support for Castro, John. You being a human rights activist and all that.

          Where are your principles, John?

          • Laguerre

            “Oh look, the topic has been successfully switched to Pinochet and Fatch.”

            Anon1 prefers that we forget right-wing crimes, and that we concentrate on those of the Left.

          • Resident Dissident

            While you and Mr Goss on the other hand like to bring up right wing crimes as the justification for the crimes of those you believe to be left wing. Do you understand that this is not a coherent argument?

          • Resident Dissident

            Hardly – the post itself contained claims from Craig and Snowden that what May was doing was worse than many autocracies – presenting evidence that worse things were going on in an autocracy that week was entirely germane to that debate. Of course since Macky she feels quite within her rights to dismiss and rubbish any arguments against her autocratic position from a social undesirable such as myself – which is quite convenient as she lacks the necessary intellect to address them.

        • Resident Dissident

          If you want to judge Castro by the standards of Pinochet – then might I ever so kindly suggest that you piss off from a blog that used to be about human rights. Do you understand that human rights are meant to be absolute not relative – this is why you end up supporting people like Ghadaffi, Saddam, Assad, Ceaucescu, Putin and Castro. I daresay that as a Christian you will be able to join up with your heroes in another place – just guess who they will select to send to their rather warm prison camp.

          • Kief

            Heroes seem to be objects of convenience in the course of time, Roles change almost as often as the underpants/bras of the confused. Herbie may be correct in that right/left are positions without meaning any longer. Comments here certainly reflect that weird construct.

          • lysias

            Deposing Saddam had such great results. Deposing Ghadaffi had such great results.

            Christian, did you say? How have the Christians of Iraq fared after the U.S. invasion and the deposition of Saddam? How have the Christians of Syria fared since the U.S. started supporting jihadists in that country? How will they fare if the jihadists win the civil war?

            The Pope warned Bush what the effects of a U.S. invasion of Iraq would be for the Christians of Iraq. Warnings that were quickly borne out in the event. Warnings to which Bush paid no heed.

          • Kief

            Lysias and others seem to be ok with serial child-rapists as long as they contravene the status-quo. Red Russians/White Russians…..viva la difference !

        • Resident Dissident

          Of course Mr Goss will not appreciate the irony that his current hero Mr Putin and some of his friends (look up Petr Aven) used to see Pinochet’s Chile as something of a role model to be followed in Russia.

    • Mick McNulty

      If this snooping law goes through then by default we will be answerable to it. If your boss can access your web surfing history then won’t he be able to ask why you were searching the pay packages of his competitors? Or your bank ask why you were searching the terms and conditions of changing your mortgage over? By the very nature of this access surely we will be obliged to answer to what is uncovered?

      It’s totalitarian, and I think when people suffer its costs for web surfing ages ago (job loss, bank account closed, benefits stopped etc), there are going to be some very violent reactions to it. Dead bosses for a start.

  • RobG

    And I forgot to mention that Cubans all pay taxes, which pays for their education, healthcare, etc.

    In otherwords, the nation’s wealth isn’t allowed to be stolen/ripped-off by the 1%.

    Those who support the 1% are the prattling, drunken idiots.

    Does Anon1 have anything further to say?

  • John Goss

    I would like to suggest to the mods that the blog be restructured. Responses to responses tend to lose the continuity. They become anachronistically incomprehensible, and difficult to know who is responding to who. I think the problem is due to responses going down too many levels. I would prefer only one. The gist of a comment’s argument often gets lost in the traffic of inane, and sometime insane, follow-up comments. It was a good experiment to change the blog’s structure but at least before you knew what day it was and could see if others had responded (now they are often on another page. What do others think?

    • lysias

      It has often happened to me that, when I hit “Reply” to a comment and then typed in a comment, it did not get posted beneath the comment to which I was meaning to reply.

      • Resident Dissident

        It’s pretty simple really – if you want to reply to a particular post and there is a reply button then you press that and your reply appears underneath. If there isn’t a reply button then you go and press the reply button at the start of that thread and your reply will be added to that thread at the bottom. If you want to change the subject completely then don’t press reply and you post will appear on its own at the end of all the postings and not connected to anything, unless you make a x reference in the text. Please mods – do not go back to the old system it just encouraged off topic posting and you had to read the whole tread including all the drivel off topic to know what related to what.

        • Resident Dissident

          And as you can see my advice to Mr Goss has not diverted the whole debate – which is of course how it should be.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          I would add to that: If there is no reply button on the particular comment I wish to reply to, then I look above that comment – which may have further comments above it also with no reply buttons – until I see the first comment with a reply button. Then I reply to that, and it adds my comment underneath the comment I wish to reply to and as near to it as possible (there may be intervening replies).

          I’m not sure that is the same as “the start of that thread”, which I would interpret as the very first posting generated to which there are replies. But perhaps I am mistaking RD’s meaning and we mean the same thing.

          If the replies to a posted comment are very numerous and include sub-threads and replies to them, it can certainly be confusing to work out who is replying to what. To be truthful I don’t remember what the old system was like, but as far as I remember I prefer the new system.

          • Resident Dissident

            Yes it is the same thing – if people wish to start sub threads then that is their prerogative, but then there is no obligation on others to follow much as the poster might wish them to do so.

      • Paul Barbara

        The answer seems to me to be post the link on the article you are replying to, with the part you are specifically replying to, as a separate comment, particularly if there are a lot of posts after it (particularly if you play ‘catch-up’, like I often do).

  • J Galt

    “Castro survived 634 CIA attempts to assassinate him”

    Mmmm…..

    Usually one’s enough – ask the Kennedys!

    • lysias

      Castro had better security. There are reasons for suspecting that there were participants in the assassination conspiracy in the ranks of the Secret Service that was supposed to protect JFK, but, even if there were not, they certainly fell down on their job. Many of them had, contrary to regulations, been out drinking until late the previous night.

      There have been similar scandals involving the Secret Service in recent years.

      • Paul Barbara

        Many of the Secret Service were extremely angry about being ordered not to follow proper procedure, and about the change of route – they knew it was dangerous. And Military Intelligence got there too late, but deployed watching likely buildings and areas where assassins would likely set up firing positions. I’m not sure who ordered the Secret Service to drop normal procedures, but it definitely occurred. Lee Harvey Oswald was one of the Milittary Intel who tried to stop the assassination; the policeman, Tippett, was another, who went to extricate LHO from Dallas, but was himself killed (not by Oswald).
        See ‘Hit List’ by Belzer and Wayne.

      • Mick McNulty

        I would think the Cubans already have a plan with an Operation name to liberate Guantanamo when the world finally turns against America. A bit like the Allies did when that lost of Nazis set up death camps.

        I believe Guantanamo was set up to liquidate enemies of the empire, albeit after show trials and faux appeals to give it all an air of legality. But the resistance proved too strong to allow the US to murder with impunity, or the war might be taken to the politicians and generals in DC. In the unlikely event America becomes unassailable [ha! ha! ha! HA!] then Guantanamo will exterminate not just “terrorists” but any resistance fighters, financial backers, spokespeople, witnesses and non-Muslims who challenge the US.

        • michael norton

          I wonder if they will render IS fighters from Syria/Iraq to Guntamano, when the Islamic State in the final stages,
          they would have to make it big enough to hold 100000 persons.

          I wonder if they will render to Guantamano,
          those persons who have funded Islamic State?

          • michael norton

            I would like to see the BBC do an hour and a half programme on the Islamic State.
            They could show where the money came from.
            They could show Islamic state trading oil with TURKEY.
            They could show TURKEY treating disabled Islamic State “moderates”
            They could show the air-drops of munitions, then trace that back.
            Do you think an hour and half would be long enough or would it be better done in a half hour programme, each night for a week?

  • RobG

    And I think I should repeat this link again, for newcomers who might not be familiar with what goes on in threads like this on high profile political boards…

    https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

    These vermin are all on tax payer’s money, folks.

    You can have a laugh with the vermin:

    They defend blatant corruption.

    They defend pedophilia.

    They defend blatant warmongering.

    Amongst other dreadful things.

    But the sad fact is that we now live in societies that are infested with vermin.

    • Kief

      No one is forcing the local idiotry into making absurd statements that have no truisms and rarely make any genuine sense.

      I think Idiocracy is the culprit rather than covert ops.

      • bevin

        Do you understand what a ‘truism’, as opposed to a truth, is? Your contributions are notable for their bluster and add little to the discussion.

        • Kief

          Both of the above need some context to their self-contradictory ideas. Focus on facts not the knee-jerk deflection to syntax or grammar. It’s very transparent.

      • bevin

        There you go again!
        Nonsense.
        Like all defenders of the status quo you long to be mistaken for what, clearly, you are not. And what is not particularly admirable either.
        And then, having been caught in your pretensions, you project desperately-accusing others of what only you are doing.
        You are quite capable of using plain English, why not content yourself with doing so, and being judged on what you say rather than on what you might be?

        • Kief

          So you can’t figure me out and that’s MY problem?

          All you have to do is apply that reading comprehension…use some reference materials to comprehend meaning of specific words….study up on alliteration and metaphors and you should be fine. Other than than, continue in your confused and wrong-headed state of mind.

  • bevin

    “Tariq Ali – as I’ve had occasion to say a couple of times on here – has not moved on in nearly 50 years. ”

    What exactly does this mean? Has anyone got any ideas?
    Is it suggested that Ali ought to have become an apologist for capitalism and imperialism?
    Since the 1960s much has changed but the trajectory of the planet towards disaster is a constant. Unless we replace capitalism with a system designed to protect the world from the consequences of unrestrained greed and the empowerment of all, equally, we are close to self extinction.
    Those who have ‘moved on’ by averting their eyes from danger may have improved their fortunes but they have done so by condemning their descendants to living in Hell.

    • Kief

      ” Unless we replace capitalism with a system designed to protect the world from the consequences of unrestrained greed and the empowerment of all, equally, we are close to self extinction.”

      Talk about cognitive dissonance. You preferred the pro-Putin Trump to Hillary to avoid war whist Donald is the penultimate capitalist. What the fuck are you people on? I want those drugs….today.

      • Macky

        Cognitive dissonance ? I think your man Tom Nichols may have it !;

        Tom Nichols; “WikiLeaks—citizens of the world that they are—never seem able to leak anything damaging to the interests of the Russians.”

        Julian Assange:” We have published over 800,000 documents of various kinds that relate to Russia. Most of those are critical. And… a great many books have come out of our publications about Russia, most of which are critical. And our documents have gone on to be used in quite a number of court cases, refugee cases of people fleeing some kinds of claimed political persecution in Russia, which they use our documents to back up. “

          • Macky

            ?? Why do you think there’s a search facility there for ?!

            Over 500,000 hits for Russia, over 70,000 for Putin.

            Do you honesty believe that Assange would risk his & Wikileakes reputation by lying about something like ths, especially when they could be called out on it by serious professional investigators ?!!

          • Resident Dissident

            Those hits are in leaked documents from Western Governments – how many leaked documents from the Russian regime under Putin has Wikileaks posted? I have previously posted the link so this time I would like Macky to do his own research before making his claims based on his ideology rather than facts.

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