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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,679

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Capitalist world is facing systemic crisis

... 40 years ago, faced with the "stagflation" crisis of economy, Western countries chose neoliberalism. By adopting neoliberalism, financial monopoly capital gradually usurps political, economic and cultural power in Western capitalist countries. Capital does away with social barriers and facilitates production, exchange, distribution and consumption, reshaping the world in keeping with its nature. The last round of global financial and economic crisis is a vehement outbreak of this contradiction.

In fact, the financial crisis in 2008 declared the failure of neoliberalism, and also provided a historic opportunity for Western countries to adjust their policies accordingly. However, financial capital pulled itself out of the crisis in the name of pumping up the market with public funds. As a result, financial capital not only hasn't suffered setback but has grown stronger since the crisis.

In this process, in order to save financial capital, the level of national debt in Western countries rose sharply, which led to the proportion of national debt in GDP of these countries increasing by an average of 30 percentage points. After that, the US and other countries took further tax cuts to stimulate the economy, which aggravated the fiscal crisis. Meanwhile, Western countries generally adopt extremely loose monetary policies. On the one hand, interest rates are rapidly reduced to a very low level. On the other, a huge amount of capital is injected into the market through multiple rounds of monetary easing. The aim of this policy is to make it easier for businesses and households to borrow at a very low cost, and then investment and consumption can be boosted. However, due to the economic downturn and pessimistic expectation for the future, many enterprises and families try to de-leverage and cut debt. And the slow growth of investment and consumption results in a long-term stagnation of the economy...

... What makes matters worse is that the new wealth of many countries flows to the rich on a large scale, and the gap between the rich and poor widens. What’s more, it’s hard to accept that many reform measures urgently needed by Western society that aim to curb financial speculation and fraud and alleviate contradictions of new liberalism cannot be carried out because of resistance from monopoly capital. The financial and economic crisis in Western countries is gradually turning into a serious social and political crisis. What's more, Western mainstream ideology, including neoliberalism, can neither explain nor solve the current systematic and institutional contradictions of capitalism, and the cultural crisis is becoming more and more intense.

The author is associate dean at the School of Marxism, Tsinghua University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn


I see there's a change.org petition to the EU Comission asking for Brits to retain EU citizenship

if they so want it: https://www.change.org/p/european-commission-continued-eu-citizenship-for-brits

I am British and European. I was born a European citizen, and I have enjoyed the great benefits of citizenship throughout my life. As things stand, this will sadly end in 2020. Suddenly in 12 months time, Brits will no longer be European citizens. We will be losing part of our international identity. Please sign this petition, urging the European Commission and EU, to maintain European citizenship for those that would like to keep it, but who stand to lose it due to Brexit...

A comment:

Does the UK government have the legal right unilaterally to remove our EU citizenship? Including those who were born EU citizens and those who were disenfranchised by the 2015 UK Referendum Act? Isn't this for the EU to decide?

And there's a group or poll here with the same aim with over 136000 signatures: https://www.eucitizenship.org.uk/

Brexit:What changes after the 31st?

... The EU is Britain’s biggest market for financial services, worth about 26 billion pounds a year in exports. That level of business has helped to keep London as one of the world’s biggest financial centres and made the financial industry Britain’s most important tax-raising sector...


Effectively, nothing. There will be a business-as-usual transition period until the end of 2020,
meaning that investors in Britain and the EU will see no change in services on Monday, Feb. 3.

All EU financial rules will still be applicable in Britain until the end of December...


... Britain and France, the EU’s two nuclear armed U.N. Security Council permanent members, have long been by far the bloc’s leading military powers. Britain was also the bloc’s only member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing group, giving it privileged access to the output of U.S. spies. To contain the damage from Britain’s exit, the bloc is keen to keep London in a tight security and defence relationship in the future.

The departure of a traditional proponent of trans-Atlantic ties will leave more say to Paris, which has greater ambitions for the integration of European defence...

... With Germany seen leaning more towards a traditional French model of a strong state role, Britain will be an absence in discussions about industrial policy, vetting foreign investment, state aid to industry and creating national champions...

... Britain was by far the largest EU state outside the euro zone, meaning the other eight countries that have kept national currencies lose their most important ally when their interests diverge from those of states that use the euro...


Trump's reckless rampage quickens Rapture

by Amed Khan

... The impeachment-fearing president - a permanent foreign policy novice - proudly understands nothing about the region, its politics, or its religions.

That means that like Bush before him, Trump remains susceptible to manipulation from top advisers who have larger plans. Just as Bush got steered down the road of Iraqi ruin by Dick Cheney, who kept one eye on his Halliburton stock, as well as a flock of neoconservatives who remained committed to their decades-long plot of Iraqi regime change, Trump's advisers on Iran include key players like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.

Both believe there is a battle between good and evil that will end with the "Rapture" - following an apocalyptic war in the Middle East, Jesus Christ will return to Israel, bestowing eternal redemption to Christians, who will be "raptured" or ascended, into heaven...

If extremists like Pompeo and Pence want Trump to create chaos in the Middle East in order to quicken the Rapture, they ought to just say so and let swing state voters this year decide if that's America's best path forward.


Australia: Indigenous peoples' rightful role as guardians and caretakers

... Australia was founded on the lie that this country was terra nullius. It was founded on the lie that white men are the superior species. It was founded on the lie that the country was previously “unsettled” and that importing animals, plants, pests and unsustainable farming practices was how best to “settle” this “wild” land... Within my lifetime, I have seen the same lies play out to justify the Northern Territory intervention, to attack land rights, to justify inaction on climate change, to deny the stolen generations ever happened, to dehumanise and delegitimise the plights of Indigenous peoples, the unemployed, the entire “left”-leaning population.

These contradictory lies have necessitated a phenomenal amount of cognitive dissonance within the population in order for them to feel that patriotic pride that usually comes out so strongly in the form of flags, flag capes, flag thongs and alcoholism...

... Australia is home to the oldest living cultures on Earth – cultures that understood the health of the land, the water, the animals and the people are one and the same. We cannot take Australia back to its pre-invasion state, but we can move forward into the future embracing these same principles, and returning Indigenous people to our rightful role as guardians and caretakers...


Pedro Snchez voted back in as Spanish prime minister by Congress

... As expected, the leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE) won a simple majority of just two more “yes” than “no” votes. In the end, 167 deputies voted in favor (PSOE, Unidas Podemos, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Más País, Compromís, Nueva Canarias, Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) and Teruel Existe); 165 against (Popular Party (PP), Vox, Ciudadanos (Citizens), Together for Catalonia, Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), Navarra Suma, Coalición Canaria, Foro Asturias and the Regionalist Party of Catalonia (PRC)); and there were 18 abstentions: (Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and EH Bildu).

Sánchez will now head the first coalition government since the days of the Second Republic (1931-1939). Sources at La Moncloa, the seat of the Spanish government, said that he could be sworn in and appoint his Cabinet as early as Wednesday.

The new PSOE-Unidas Podemos administration is planning to introduce tax hikes for higher earners and large corporations, and to increase the minimum wage. But the coalition government falls short of an absolute majority in Congress, and will require bill-by-bill support in order to get legislation passed...


Hubo un lugar (Diego el Cigala)

Brucia La Terra - LUPA

People Get Ready (Joss Stone)

So Anglosphere and Commonwealth take priority over EU on trade

... As to this fabulous agreement, it will be "a new relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation, not on the EU's treaties or EU law". Furthermore, "there will be no political alignment with the EU". It will "keep the UK out of the single market, out of any form of customs union, and end the role of the European Court of Justice".

Just so that there is no misunderstanding, the Manifesto goes on to list the attributes of this future relationship. It will, we are told, allow us to take back control of our laws and our money and control our own trade policy. We are also to have an Australian-style points-based immigration system. A new Conservative government would also raise standards in areas like workers' rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment. And it would ensure we are in full control of our fishing waters.

But then comes the key part. "We will negotiate a trade agreement next year", the Manifesto says, "one that will strengthen our Union". Crucially, it then tells us, in bold, "we will not extend the implementation period beyond December 2020"... The thing is that there are no "new post-Brexit freedoms" that come to us on 31 January, the date Brexit is supposed to be "done". We move immediately to the transition period where we are still bound by the full range of the EU treaties, the only difference being that we no longer have any representation in the Commission, the Council or the European Parliament... The thing is, though, that we know that a trade deal is possible by the end of December 2020, as long as Johnson elects for a "quick and dirty" agreement. And there is nothing in the Manifesto which precludes him taking that line. The word "comprehensive" attached to the trade agreement does not appear anywhere...

... Here, we have an interesting conundrum as the Manifesto pledges that the new government will aim to have 80 percent of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. These deals are supposed to be negotiated in parallel with the EU deal... But the very fact that a deal with the US, for instance, could only be concluded once Brussels had been squared, might actually incentivise Johnson to get the EU out of the way as quickly as possible, regardless of short-term problems... What we could be looking at, therefore, is a major sea-change in trade policy, breaking away from Euro-centric deals in favour of the Anglosphere and the Commonwealth. And as long as Johnson sees no great harm in weathering a few years of lean times while he settles his new trade policy, there is every reason why he should aim for concluding negotiations with the EU by the end of December 2020...

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