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Old 2017-03-23, 07:10 PM   #496
song
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Originally Posted by wobbling bear View Post
every year we meet, drink, play music and remember the days when we were students (50 years ago )
as usual someone sings the "brainwashing machine" song... the tradition is more than a hundred years old!
Wow, that’s really nice. We don’t do that in the US, at least not people from the schools I went to!

Once, I was at a party in France and got into a conversation with a painter, a friend of a friend. She was asking me about the dissertation I was writing in comparative literature, and about the relationship between Romanticism and Modernism, the Enlightenment and so on. I was stunned because people in the US had asked about my dissertation hundreds of times, but the resulting conversation was never more than a few sentences, and it almost always ended with “So what are you gonna do with that, teach?” Even more amazing was that after a moment other people started listening to me over her shoulder. Actually, I couldn’t believe it, so later I asked around, thinking maybe they were all academics in disguise or something, but they weren’t. Some worked in advertising, a few were artists. I don’t think any of them had an advanced degree, they just somehow considered literary history to be a matter of general public interest! I had never seen anything like that before.

With France’s current “socialist” president having an approval rating that is in the single digits, and the state of emergency continuing indefinitely, Le Pen probably does have a chance of winning the election. I know her party has roots in Hitler’s puppet French government, but I am not sure how fascist they are at this time, and I also know that having roots in Vichy is not unique to the Front National. François Mitterrand, in his youth, was a part of that operation too.
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Old 2017-04-21, 05:39 AM   #497
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so should we nuke the north K's

Pissing me off I'm right to say. I anit't in range, but fuck that stupid Kim fucked Un Ass name shit head, nuke him I say. Turd bastard fucktard. And I don't live in San D89eagio, anymore. Screw you guys I am going home.
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Old 2017-04-22, 05:20 AM   #498
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Uh, that's very noble of you. I guess.

I't more about what might happen to S. Korea and Japan. And Unicon 19 is going to be in S. Korea next year!

Any large nuclear exchange would affect basically the entire world. Everywhere is downwind from something like that...
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Old 2017-04-22, 04:21 PM   #499
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Americans like to characterize North Korea as living in the Dark Ages. We rarely talk about how, during the Korean War, the U.S. bombed North Korea into the Dark Ages. Then we clutch at our pearls, horrified, when North Korea scrambles to build nukes and missiles, as if we can't contemplate the defensive and deterrent value of such weapons.
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Old 2017-04-23, 12:59 PM   #500
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Kim Il-sung smashed the 7th US Cavalry Regiment, just as the Native Americans had done 76 years earlier at Little Bighorn, in Montana. He stopped the US-led drive to erase North Korea from the map, and these heroic victories give a certain legitimacy to the Stalinist regime that he founded, which has only been reinforced by subsequent decades of American warmongering. In the 1990s, Colin Powell said he wanted to turn North Korea into “a charcoal briquet,” and that’s pretty much what Trump and Mike “The Sword Is Ready” Pence are saying right now.

The US-led war killed 3 million people in North Korea and flattened every city, every town and every dam, causing flooding and mass starvation for the survivors of the bombing. Huge amounts of napalm were used on those people, along with some chemical and probably biological weapons. North Koreans know this, even if most Westerners have no idea.

Every April, though, North Korea hosts the International Spring Friendship Festival to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il-sung, and flies musicians into Pyongyang from all over the world, including the United States. A violinist who played that festival a few times told me he encountered a 50-member men’s choir there from Atlanta, and also a girl, -a flute player, I think- who was from Tennessee and had never been outside the US before!
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Old 2017-04-24, 04:51 PM   #501
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The US-led war killed 3 million people in North Korea and flattened every city, every town and every dam, causing flooding and mass starvation for the survivors of the bombing. Huge amounts of napalm were used on those people, along with some chemical and probably biological weapons. North Koreans know this, even if most Westerners have no idea.
I have no doubt about the horrors and savagery of past (and/or present) wars. What I do doubt is how much every North Korean knows. They have access only to propaganda. Only one state-sponsored TV channel, no Internet and, if we are to believe what former residents tell us, extreme amounts of indoctrination/brainwashing. People killed for expressing opinions. Whole families killed for saying something bad about the Kims. Not a nice place.

But I can't think of any type of war that would help those people. I hope our leaders are interested in what's good for people, more than they care about what's good for the military-industrial complex, and the size of our President's dick.
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Old 2017-04-26, 10:15 PM   #502
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Yeah, North Korean defectors are sometimes not so honest. One of them admitted to having made up key parts of his story (Escape from Camp 14) after it was published as a book and translated into 27 languages, and after he had been fêted by all sorts of “pro-democracy” foundations and American news outlets.

North Korean people are definitely kept in the dark in many ways, but they do know about the Korean War. A few years ago on You Tube, I watched a North Korean movie, Wolmi Island, that tells the story of an artillery unit that stood its ground against the US Navy. The movie gives an idea of life under a “Great Leader” who must be obeyed at all costs because his army is the only thing protecting the population from imperial slaughter.

He walked on water, North Koreans allegedly believe, but for them the Korean War, strictly in terms of percentage of the population killed, was equivalent to about 20,000 September 11ths. In addition, there was starvation, mass homelessness and torture and rape by US and UN soldiers, and by the capitalist military dictatorship that was installed in the South. Since the “Great Leader” put an end to this nightmare, maybe believing that he could also walk on water was not such a stretch.

Some North Koreans still go hungry, but they have a film industry, a subway system, music festivals and so on. Their kids play a lot of shitty patriotic music, but they play it well. Here in the USA, I once went to a recital of Korean music, played on a traditional instrument called the kayagum, and the performer told the audience that her instrument had almost completely disappeared from South Korea, and was only kept alive by the North’s musical education system. For a nation that was nearly erased, with more bombs dropped on it than were dropped in the entire Pacific theater in all of World War 2, North Korea is not doing so badly!

Other countries targeted by US imperialism are less fortunate. Iraq and Afghanistan lie in ruins. Syria is in the midst of a civil and regional war that is threatening to go nuclear. Libya, which until six years ago had one of the highest standards of living in Africa, no longer even has a government. It is ruled by warring Islamist factions and is starting to have a slave trade...
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Old 2017-05-02, 09:36 AM   #503
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North Korea is not doing so badly!
...
Other countries targeted by US imperialism are less fortunate.
the law of unintended consequences apply to politics and sometimes the future is not what we expect.
In the mid-sixties I lived in Morocco and I listened avidly to radio Algeria because I thought they were promoting ideas far better than the autocracy and corruption I witnessed home.
Now I admit that things do not turned up the way I expected: Morocco is now far more liberal than Algeria. I am not speaking of government here but on how the society evolved (this proves again that society can be more potent than governments).
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Old 2017-05-06, 08:02 PM   #504
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The PCF would have probably totally disappeared without a local anchorage. My brother lives in a very wealthy small town: a big dam being on its territory, they get a lot of money for that (tax on businesses). The town has had a "communist" mayor for the past 30 years. It has the biggest public library in the area, a pre-school/kindergarten, a canteen, a sport centre with lots of very affordable activities (from karate to ping-pong), a cultural centre (nephews play the piano and the trumpet) and so on. The other town on that territory has a similar budget. They have a bigger police force, one (private) tennis court and a (private) swimming pool, a lot of flowers across the city and the 16th century castle looks like it was built yesterday. Guess which town has a declining aging population?
Pierre,

I'm coning to Paris around May 22 for a few days. Can you write me back channel and exchange emails, if you'll be there?

William
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Old 2017-05-08, 09:30 AM   #505
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the hardest part is ahead

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Are we completly rational when voting ? this question is nagging me.
.... (and so on)
Well after all my irrational vote was shared (around 85% in my home town, almost 90% in Paris ... So we urban "elitists" we prefered optimistic dreams than nightmares ). Thanks to Austrians, people from the Netherlands and Canada who showed us that there were more options than Trump/Putin/Orban/Erdogan .... Hope that Poland, Germany, Italy , Spain,.. will join the train ...
(plus Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Scotland, nothern Ireland, greater London )
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Old 2017-05-17, 01:34 PM   #506
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Macron’s going to beef up NATO and the French military budget, bring back the draft, escalate the confrontation with Russia, put 10,000 new gendarmes on the street and make “changes” to the unemployment and pension systems. According to what I read, he was also the main author of the El Khomri labor law, which caused a revolt and helped his doomed predecessor’s historically low approval rating to finally break into the single digits.

The last round of the French election was actually quite similar to what happened in the US -voters were asked to choose between racism and World War 3- but the outcome was the opposite. Just as Trump has escalated the war(s) that he had talked about ending, though, I’m sure Macron will carry out the mass deportations and persecution of minorities that Le Pen was screaming for.
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Old 2017-05-18, 10:58 AM   #507
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escalate the confrontation with Russia
that really worries you hey!

for the labour laws: I was, in a former life, a CGT (remember those "red" guys?) elected labour representative... and yet I support (most but not all) what he proposes for labour laws ... Is my brain suffering from old age? (may be after all )

Now wait and see (for me, who remembers the war in Algeria, the fact that he denounced colonialism with harsh words is a good sign)

So until further notice I am a 'macronist' ... will you still share a drink with me?
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Old 2017-05-19, 06:25 PM   #508
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From what I have heard, full-scale war between the US and Russia would cause tens of million of deaths just within the first few hours. I am not saying that’s what will happen, but we may be closer to that point now than ever before, and the newspapers seem to be in war mode whenever they talk about Russia or Putin. The US imperialists might also attack North Korea or China. Again, I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but Obama started preparations for it with his “pivot” to Asia, and just today there was a very close encounter between US and Chinese military aircraft over the East China Sea.

You’re a former trade union official, but you support Macron’s labor policies? Well, the union I used to belong to (the AFT) always campaigned for politicians who supported similar measures, so I guess it’s no surprise.

Algeria had a heroic national liberation struggle in the 50s and early 60s, but you’re right that the Algerian government today is quite reactionary. I did meet some acrobats from Algeria once who were pretty incredible, and they told me that acrobatics is just part of Algerian culture, but in any case, France helped Obama destroy Libya and part of Syria, plus, if I’m not mistaken, has recently carried out military operations in Ivory Coast and Mali, and has lots of bases in its other former African colonies. Macron plans to expand the French military, so I doubt he will be closing any of these bases. His denunciation of colonialism is just hypocrisy.
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Old 2017-06-25, 10:25 AM   #509
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You’re a former trade union official, but you support Macron’s labor policies? Well, the union I used to belong to (the AFT) always campaigned for politicians who supported similar measures, so I guess it’s no surprise.
In the good old times we were called 'social traitors'
a recent poll showed that an overwhelming majority of trade-unionist supported Macron.
the general mood is that we are certainly going to be disappointed but that all other options were far worse !

Now elections in France were really funny ... a real firework! You had members of the same party supporting conflicting options (for instance, in my constituency, members of the green party supporting a 'bolivarian' candidate when other members of the same party did support her opponent ), you could see support for 'Macronists' coming from members of the communist party AND members of conservative 'republicans' ... funny!
Imagine that in the US: a new party pops out from nowhere just in between democrats and republicans and grabs the presidency and the majority in the senate!
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Old 2017-06-26, 04:58 AM   #510
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I am not saying that’s what will happen, but we may be closer to that point now than ever before, and the newspapers seem to be in war mode whenever they talk about Russia or Putin.
Close now? I hope not. I think the Cuban Missile Crisis was really "the brink" and the current situation is mostly posturing and rhetoric (I hope I'm right). North Korea has nukes but hopefully Kim is sane enough to realize that if he uses one, the consequences would probably be much worse for him than for anyone else.

Russia is rubbing its hands together and laughing at our incompetence over here while our President tries to pretend there was no meddling in the election or that Russian meddling isn't a big deal, while whatever the Russians have on him continues to run his playbook. God help us.
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Imagine that in the US: a new party pops out from nowhere just in between democrats and republicans and grabs the presidency and the majority in the senate!
That might actually happen going into the 2020 elections; I wouldn't be surprised...
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