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Open Thread 3-9 April

by Bjinse Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 at 07:07:40 PM EST

Every thread desires to live long, but no thread wishes to be old

by Bjinse on Mon Apr 3rd, 2017 at 07:10:08 PM EST
Oh god, who is next in the brexiteers tour of destruction? We've insulted just about every major country in Europe since voting to leave the EU, and now we'll be going to Bruseels hoping for goodwill in the A50 negotiations.

An increasingly forlorn hope methinks.

Even today, Theresa May is hoping to organise British aid for Yemen after it was bombed by our allies the Saudies using weapons we sold to them and tageting information provided by UK operations.

but first she saw fit to complain about an Easter Egg Treaure Hunt that didn't mention Easter and was thus anti-Christian. Except it did mention Easter, several times.

Please?? I'm begging you, I don't know how much more of this idiocy I can bear

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 4th, 2017 at 04:20:58 PM EST
and wtf have rabbits got to do with eggs anyway? I thought as mammals they had live young. And why eggs for easter?

And when did Jesus mandate minimum levels of chocolate solids as a percentage of gross weight to celebrate his death anyway?

The world's going mad I tell you

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 4th, 2017 at 04:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rabbits - hares, actually - and eggs were sacred to the Germanic dawn goddess Ēostre which, by an amazing coinky-dinky was celebrated in Eosturmonath aka April.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Apr 4th, 2017 at 08:33:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to a single reference in Bede, apparently. Who's not considered especially reliable on such things.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 5th, 2017 at 04:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spring, eggs and bunnies, well there's a fertility theme there. Not quite as blatant as when we up here put giant phalluses into the ground and dance around them at midsummer, and that didn't stop the church from trying to appropriate it as Jon the Baptist day.

Chocolate is just tasty, and of course gotta keep the wheels going somehow. Then comes quick fix diets after Easter.

by fjallstrom on Tue Apr 4th, 2017 at 09:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's still the Czech Republic. Or rather, there was. Here is Naked Capitalism commenting on the bicycle lock killing.
This is already causing political waves in CZ, where most of the comments on the news sites are along the lines "so we see, a different justice for EU immigrants and for the UK bullies" + a strong wish to get the UK "punished". This comes from population which up till now was rather positively skewed towards the UK. So unless a VERY good explanation would be coming from the UK shortly (which I doubt), UK just made an enemy from a former friend. Given that the Visegrad 4 (CZ, Slovakia, Poland + Hungary) now with UK out of the EU have blocking minority, and that Poles and Slovaks are already upset with the UK, this doesn't bode well for any Brexit deal.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Apr 4th, 2017 at 05:07:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Selling weapons and intelligence to thugs and then pretending to be shocked when they're used?  Pious whinging over "the war on Christianity"?  What does the UK think it is, the US?
by rifek on Wed Apr 5th, 2017 at 03:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mail Online - Peter Hitchens - It's WMD all over again. Why don't you see it?

Actually knowing something, remembering history or having experience of the world is becoming a disadvantage. How much easier it would be to join in with the flow of opinion about Syria, to listen happily to, and read contentedly, media reports on the subject.

As it is, I feel something close a physical pain as I do this.

Today's frenzy over alleged use of poison gas in Syria is the 2017 version of Anthony Blair's WMD in Iraq. Why can you not see it? Did you think they would do it in exactly the same way again? You are being assailed through your emotions, to act first and think long after, and far too late.

apologies for sending you to the Mail, but hitchens here does valuable service in reminding us to ask critical questions

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Apr 5th, 2017 at 08:41:46 PM EST
I have not been really convinced by any of the purported chemical weapons attacks in Syria - they are just so isolated, and tactically pointless, and strategically insane. As in, every time it looks like Assad might be consolidating foreign support in some way, ooh, look, another isolated chemical attack on a children's hospital.
by Zwackus on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 08:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite. And the only time I bothered to look closer, the UN Weapon inspector report, I found that one of the points used by public experts to triangulate the point of origin was entirely unrelated. No related chemicals, no munitions no nothing.
by generic on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 02:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, Hitchens does journalism

MailOnline - Peter Hitchens - Our 'noble' cause? Dropping bombs on behalf of Al Qaeda

Now we have definitely moved from being a post-war world to being a pre-war world. Madness and folly are loose again.

Consider first that early on Friday morning the United States Navy launched 59 cruise missiles on behalf of Al Qaeda.

If this is not bad enough for you, note that the President of the United States did not even bother to pretend that he was seeking United Nations cover for what he did.

Note next that in the same week our Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a duty visit to pay homage to the medieval despots of Saudi Arabia, who kindly buy our warplanes and bombs, and are currently using them to savage effect in Yemen.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 09:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PETER HITCHENS: Our 'noble' cause? Bombs for Al Qaeda | Daily Mail Online
As you ponder this, can I explain something about the place where the gas attack is said to have happened?

No independent Western journalist could go there. He or she would be killed or kidnapped within hours. Any report which comes from that region is filtered through people who you never see in the film that does get out. I have met men like them on my travels. I would not want to offend them. These are the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, alias the Al-Nusra Front, alias Al Qaeda, the Syrian `opposition' which we in the West have been supporting for several years.

And the Western media quotes them as witnesses, giving further incentive not to kill and kidnapp Western journalists.

by fjallstrom on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 at 02:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strike the "not".

Was going to write "not allow", but killing and kidnapping is more than just not allowing.

by fjallstrom on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 at 03:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Apr 6th, 2017 at 05:06:54 AM EST

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 12:43:51 AM EST
"I call them Baby Losers" - Youth in France - Zeit
Young people in France are poorer than their parents and are consumed by frustration. Only the Front National has recognized that resentment, says Louis Chauvel.

France is increasingly heading in the direction of southern European countries, where a university degree is necessary just to get a poorly paid job.... They are affected by a widespread societal slide, which I call the "spiral of decline." ... four factors: Unemployment and, as I already mentioned, precarity. The other two are low wages and a lack of political representation.

There hasn't been a renewal of the political establishment for around 30 years. ... Fillon as an example: He entered the French National Assembly in 1981, when he was 27. ...The lives of young people hardly play a role in French culture and intellectual life either: in the media, in literature, in the public debate, it's just old people talking to old people about problems facing old people.... [Young people] distance themselves from the political process [and radicalize]. ... You can find younger French in extremist left or environmental spectrums. ... On the other side is the only party pledging political renewal: Front National.

Marine Le Pen, has completely rejuvenated the party .... [Hayange's mayor] Fabien Engelmann, is from a leftist union family and, at 37, is quite young for French politics. People like him wouldn't otherwise have a chance to become mayor at that age, but Front National gives them such opportunities. ...

Zeit: But why do they go to Front National instead of continuing to support the Communist Party like their parents did?

Chauvel: Because the French left is still strongly shaped by the 1968 generation and there hasn't been a political renewal there either. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for example, became a local political leader in May 1968 as a 17-year-old.... even in the National Assembly, where there are lawmakers now in their 70s who were young activists 50 years ago. ... Nuit Debout movement... most of the movement consisted of older leftists who have dominated French politics for decades. At the same time, the economic policies being pursued by Front National aren't all that different from those supported by the extreme left ... Front National gives them the possibility to advance without having to take on aging Communist men.

... leading state officials and politicians have been denying the problem of social decline for decades. ... To avoid scaring the voters, politicians tell themselves and the people in the country that everything is just fine. ... We have seen, though, with the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, that people vote for those who recognize their problems, whether or not the solutions they propose will work.

... That is indeed a problem for Mr. Macron, that he is extremely ambiguous and optimistic and doesn't speak about the significant problems facing France. Ms. Le Pen and Mr. Macron will likely face off against each other in the second round of voting and Le Pen has a significant amount of ammunition to use against Mr. Macron. We cannot leave it to the pessimists to paint a realistic image of French society.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 04:01:23 PM EST
Are there ANY French left parties that offer career openings - candidate slots in districts that could conceivably elect a leftist - that young, aspiring activists could join?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 9th, 2017 at 07:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's what Mélenchon's movement, "Les Insoumis", claims to be about.
Looking at the candidates who they are supporting for the legislatives, yes, that is actually what they are doing. This electoral cycle is wide open, so a significant number of them are likely to make it.
A special case : François Rufin, independant journalist and film-maker, founder of Nuit Debout, is standing for parliament, and Les Insoumis are backing him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 at 04:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is a good thing, because Mélenchon himself is part of the same BB generation from May 1968, like Cohn-Bendit, and even though he has always compared his movement with Podemos or Syriza, his party & his campaign are still about me, me, me...

Enabling a new generation of activists is definitely the best thing he can do.

by Bernard on Mon Apr 10th, 2017 at 06:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Mélenchon campaigning on renewal. It would seem like he should. It would likely help his campaign. That, and specific policies to help those under 40 socially and economically. Pull Le Pen's teeth.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 11th, 2017 at 05:11:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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