Trenchant Lemmings
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The weblog description is a misquotation from Steve Aylett's Indicted to a Party: What to Do, Who to Blame.
 
The weblog title links to the "No Country Redirect" version, for whatever that might be worth.
February 15, 2017
Pioneers

The parallel between the Nazi “revolution” in the 1930s and the neoliberal “revolution” in the 1980s and ’90s goes much further. The Nazis were also pioneers in what was then the uncharted economic waters of “privatization.” In the face of the Great Depression, states across the world — including the Social Democratic led Weimar Republic — nationalized key industries and, in some cases, like Germany, nearly the entirety of the financial sector. The Nazis — despite early propaganda indicating otherwise — were the unique exception. Not only did they avoid further nationalization but they innovated a process so idiosyncratic at the time that it required coining a German neologism: Reprivatisierung.

Quickly transferred into English as “reprivatization,” the phenomenon and its potentially salutary effects were observed by such notable organs of liberal economic thought as The Economist and mainstream outlets like Time magazine. Before Margaret Thatcher began the privatization of council housing and long before welfare reform was a twinkle in Bill Clinton’s eye, the Nazis were turning heavy industries, nearly the entirety of the financial and banking sector, and even some social services over to private hands and to new, innovative public/private hybrids. Even before this process was “enhanced” by “Aryanizing” previously Jewish held property, rates of privatization were as high the European average would become some 70 years later when neoliberal reforms began on the continent.


January 17, 2017
Oh. Snap.

But there is always the possibility that the origins of Trump’s zipped smile are cultural rather than personal. It is known, for example, that while Americans favour a full-blown smile that showcases the teeth, British people have historically preferred tight-lipped versions of the smile. There is every chance therefore that Trump’s zipped smile is actually a throwback to his Scottish ancestors – which would of course demonstrate that his public persona is far less American than he has led us to believe.
Wow. The Guardian just totally throws down.


January 11, 2017
Mot juste

So, I guess we can now expect a serious drop-off in the press describing Trump's administration as being a Golden Age for anybody.

Hey - if I was going to be crass I would have went with "well, that explains why he's orange". Give me some credit.

Jeff Sparrow has been making the entirely valid point that these kinds of allegations of sexual depravity made by intelligence operatives against their foes, official or otherwise, are pretty much a cliche - remember the discovered "silk pyjamas, cocaine and porn" tableaux that were standard to 1990s regime change operations? - but still... roflmao, as the old folks say.


January 08, 2017
Wasteland

This is a good one, although it does rather give away much of the plot of Happy Feet.



Not having seen it, I was surprised the penguin movie has this much carnage.


December 30, 2016
For observation

It’s fun to hear Trump talk about how Rosebud somehow works, the metaphor works, “I don’t know why it works, but it works. After all, Steven Spielberg paid a lot of money for it, so it must work. Paid a lot of money, maybe seven figures, six figures.”
For psychiatrists and neurologists, at least, a tiny skerrick of silver lining to the election of the Orange Id (although it is apparently risky to point out such silver linings, however obvious, as Amanda Palmer has just discovered, because Twitter is a 21st Century Moloch of faux outrage and its hunger cannot be sated) will be the opportunity to watch how someone this profound a narcissist behaves inside the narcissism generating pressure cooker of national leadership, particularly within the utterly deranged bubble of reality-denial that is the Oval Office. Arguably, they've never not had such an opportunity, but this time I think such study will be made much easier by the flamboyantly clueless flagrancy that's about to be brought to the role.


December 26, 2016
War

...Santa's best defense is that the North Pole is—spoiler—really cold. The US Navy doesn't have any icebreakers, and the Coast Guard only has two, both of which are research vessels. (An amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act would have commissioned four new icebreakers, but that's still pending congressional approval.) And unlike the Russians and the Finns, the United States doesn't have any ground units specifically trained to handle polar climates.

... Even if an expeditionary force succeeds in taking the workshop, the elves' sheer numbers make the possibility of a post-invasion insurgency likely.
- "What Would Happen If We Really Went to War Against Christmas?" by Tim Murphy
In the twenty fifth year of this endless war, on the banks of Lake Saimaa, I finally killed my first Santa Claus. It was pure luck... honestly. Murphy's law dictated that my comrades in arms, who were all better trained than me, arrived late, were held up, or stuck in the viscous mire of some tar pit, were assailed by the cold as the heating systems of their suits started to fail. Better still, some were kicked to death by a swarm of reindeer that swooped down from the sky, like silent Furies. The few that survived had an immediate encounter with a group of elves, or were seduced by the terrible and almost irresistible offer of presents packed with our heart's desires. I don't know what happened to them. No corpses were left to tell the tale.
- "Silent Night" by João Barreiros


December 25, 2016
Praise

What about Donald Trump? What is going to happen?

"If the question is how I personally feel about the situation, I am mixed: Hillary Clinton and the network around her imprisoned one of our alleged sources for 35 years, Chelsea Manning, tortured her according to the United Nations, in order to implicate me personally. According to our publications Hillary Clinton was the chief proponent and the architect of the war against Libya. It is clear that she pursued this war as a staging effort for her Presidential bid. It wasn't even a war for an ideological purpose. This war ended up producing the refugee crisis in Europe, changing the political colour of Europe, killing more than 40,000 people within a year in Libya, while the arms from Libya went to Mali and other places, boosting or causing civil wars, including the Syrian catastrophe. If someone and their network behave like that, then there are consequences. Internal and external opponents are generated. Now there is a separate question on what Donald Trump means".

What do you think he means?

"Hillary Clinton's election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better".
The stating of obvious truisms in the second response above from Assange's interview in La Repubblica is what the Guardian's headliners describe as "guarded praise for Trump" because apparently their grasp of the English language compares unfavourably to that of Italians.


December 19, 2016
Plan

Ah, December 2016, when we watched the section of the American centre-right that likes to imagine they are left-wing go collectively insane.

From here it deteriorates badly. Garland goes on to give his own personal account of the past few decades of U.S. and world history, in which absolutely everything is the product of a long, slow Russian master plan to bring America to its knees by encouraging the population not to trust the noble, hardworking CIA.


November 26, 2016
Ninety

Fidel Castro has died at the age of 90, Cuban state television has announced ...

... while declining to confirm the ex-President had been fatally weakened by eighteen days of laughing his ass off.


November 19, 2016
Question

Hey, apropos of nothing: is a road accident more fun to watch if it involves a clown car, or does that just make it more tragic? I'm asking for a friend.


November 18, 2016
Prevent

“A four-year-old boy described to teachers a picture he drew of his father cutting a cucumber.”

[also tviited]


October 31, 2016
A Left Defence of Halloween

This is fun, as Miéville usually is.


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