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Class War in Europe

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In Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament adopted a law which forces workers to do overtime work up to 400 hours a year, practically introducing a 6 day working week. The extension of the working time reference period to three years means the employee may be obliged to work overtime for a long period, while waiting for the compensation for years.

It is contrary to the 2003/88/EC working time directive fixing the reference period for a maximum of 12 months.


In the UK



In Serbia

In Serbia's capital, Belgrade, thousands of people took to the streets again this weekend. 


The trigger for the current protests was a brutal attack on the head of the Serbian Left party, Borko Stefanovic. In late November, men in black shirts beat the politician with an iron bar in the southern Serbian town of Krusevac, leaving him seriously injured. President Aleksandar Vucic condemned the attack and the perpetrators were caught, but the opposition continues to blame Vucic's harsh rhetoric for a climate of violence in the country.



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Exactly--the right wing populists don't have any interest in class warfare.  They want a race war, up to and including genocide.

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1 hour ago, Cosmoline said:

Exactly--the right wing populists don't have any interest in class warfare.  They want a race war, up to and including genocide.

No, they have every interest in class warfare including the subjugation of impoverished ethnic groups.

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Mikey is right.


The clever thing about fascism is that you can oppress the fuck out of the 'master race', you just have to make sure you're oppressing the minorities a little harder.

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Precisely, Gringo.

Along with the persecution of jewish, roma and gay citizens, the first steps that fascists made, including Nazi Germany, were to privatise state owned enterprises, reduce corporate taxes and inheritance taxes, defeat the unions, and the suspend civil liberties.

It's all right their in the history books.


Edited by mikey mikey

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To look appealing to international Corporations, to draw them in. Low labor costs in Hungary, fiscally responsible in Britain, and just Left hostility is Serbia.

It fits a pattern I think.

National governments don't seem to mind acting harshly to their own lower classes if it gets them something. Plus it sends a message that it's up to you not them. They seek to create a different kind of citizen through this. I am guessing it will only backfire, you will get more protests, but I am guessing from a long ways away.




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15 hours ago, J H said:
  • To look appealing to international Corporations, to draw them in. Low labor costs

Plus it sends a message that it's up to you not them. They seek to create a different kind of citizen through this.

Both of these are myths, of course.

The former quickly developes into a race to the bottom. Examples of Indonesia or Thailand with slave and child labour stand as the destination to that course. And then, sooner or later, there's the Lewis Turning Point to consider.

The sink-or-swim implicit in the second does not apply to the "too big to fail" institutions. Moreover, the resulting byproducts of crime, disease, unrest and homlessness do not make it cost-effective for the nation as a whole. Just for a small section of it but that is not sustainable, no matter what our O'Brien-mimicking economists tell us about "new realtiies"  and a boot stamping on a human face.

Both assume that the leaders' intentions are aimed at some socio-economic transformation when really the pattern has been the "Third-Worldisation" of once social democracies.

More protests?

It could get a lot worse than that.

Edited by mikey mikey

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Either the EU ditches neoliberalism or its people will ditch the EU

We live in a world fashioned by Washington, and as 2019 approaches the dire consequences remain woefully evident.

In 1948 US State Department mandarin George Kennan – the man credited with devising the policy of containment vis-à-vis the Soviet Union at the end of WWII, – laid bare the focus of US foreign policy in the postwar period:

“We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population…Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern or relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreamings…We are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”

The “pattern of relationships” advocated by Kennan is embodied in the panoply of international institutions that have governed our world and dominated the planet’s economic, geopolitical, and military architecture in the seven decades since.

The World Bank and the IMF came out of the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, along with the establishment of the dollar as the world’s primary international reserve currency.

The Truman administration’s 1947 National Security Act gave birth to a US military-industrial complex that married the nation’s economy to what was destined to become and remain a vast security and intelligence apparatus.

NATO, an instrument of US imperial power, was established in 1949, the year after the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program) was rolled out with the objective of creating markets and demand in Europe for US exports; Washington having emerged from the war as a global economic hegemon and creditor nation without peer.  A similar plan was also rolled out to rebuild the Japanese economy on the same basis.

Pausing for a moment, it has to count as a remarkable feat of forward thinking on the part of US policymakers, embarking on a plan to not only affect the economic and industrial recovery of its two defeated enemies, Germany and Japan, immediately after the war, but turn them into regional economic powerhouses.

Subsidizing Europe’s postwar recovery was not only of immense economic importance to Washington, it was also of vital strategic importance in pushing back against Soviet influence in Europe. Immediately after the war, this influence was riding high on the back of the Red Army’s seminal role in liberating the continent from fascism, buttressed by resistance movements across occupied Europe in which Communist partisans had been most prominent.

A portion of Marshall aid money – in total some $12 billion (over $100 billion today) over four years between 1948 and 1952 – was diverted to fund various covert operations under the auspices of the CIA, designed to penetrate and subvert those governments and political parties that elicited a leaning towards socialist and communist ideas. 

In their titanic work ‘The Untold History of the United States’, co-authors Peter Kuznick and Oliver Stone reveal that one of those operations involved “supporting a guerrilla army in Ukraine called Nightingale, which had been established by the Wehrmacht in the spring of 1941 with the help of Stephan Bandera, head of the Ukrainian National Organization’s more radical wing OUN-B. The following year, Mikola Lebed founded the organization’s terrorist arm, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army…made up of ultranationalist Ukrainians, including Nazi collaborators.”

Given the nefarious role of Washington and its allies in aiding and abetting the rebirth of ultra-nationalism in Ukraine in our time, Marx’s dictum – History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce – is hard to avoid.

Another institution that was established with US economic and strategic objectives in mind was the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, the forerunner of today’s European Union. Yes, that’s right; the original incarnation of the EU was a triumph not of European diplomacy but US diplomacy.

In his 2011 book ‘The Global Minotaur’, left-leaning economist Yanis Varoufakis writes:

“Students of European integration are taught that the European Union started life in the form of the ECSC. What they are less likely to come across is the well-kept secret that it was the United States that cajoled, pushed, threatened and sweet-talked the Europeans into putting it together…Indeed, it is indisputable that without the United States’ guiding hand the ECSC would not have materialized.”

He goes on:

“There was one politician who saw this clearly: General Charles de Gaulle, the future President of France…When the ECSC was formed, de Gaulle denounced it on the basis that it was creating a united Europe in the form of a restrictive cartel and, more importantly, that it was an American creation, under Washington’s influence.”

Washington’s influence over the European Union continues to this day. Most prominently the economic model that underpins this crisis-ridden economic and increasingly political bloc, neoliberalism, is one made in America.

From inception as the lodestar of Western economic thought in the mid 1970s, prior to its adoption as the economic base of the US and UK in the early 1980s, neoliberalism has functioned alongside Washington’s military might and overweening cultural values as part of an architecture of imperialism to which European elites have signed up as fully-fledged disciples, consciously or otherwise.

De Gaulle, as mentioned, was no slouch when it came to understanding that the major threat to European independence and security lay in Washington not Moscow. He championed a ‘Europe of Nations’ after WWII, not supranational institutions that were established with the primary purpose of servicing US economic and strategic interests. As he famously proclaimed: “From the Atlantic to the Urals it is Europe, all of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.”  De Gaulle’s great fear was a “Europe of the Americans,” which alas is what transpired with the establishment of neoliberalism as the economic foundation of European integration three decades or so later.

De Gaulle took a dim view of the UK in the postwar period, considering London a proxy of Washington. It was a view that gained common currency within French political circles after the debacle known to history as the Suez Crisis, when in 1956 the French and British entered into an ill-fated military pact with Israel to seize control of the Suez Canal from Egypt and effect the overthrow of the country’s Arab nationalist president Gamal Abdul Nasser.

President Eisenhower forced the British into a humiliating retreat, threatening a series of punitive measures to leave London in no doubt of its place in the so-called special relationship. The French had been eager to continue with the Suez operation and were disgusted at London’s craven climb down in the face of Eisenhower’s intervention.

In 1958, two years after the Suez debacle, De Gaulle entered the Elysee Palace as French president. Thereafter, the humiliation of Suez still raw, he embarked on an assertion of the country’s independence from Washington that contrasted with Britain’s slavish and unedifying subservience. The French leader withdrew France from NATO’s integrated command and twice blocked Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) – the previous incarnation of today’s EU – on the basis that London would be a US Trojan horse if admitted.

There is, given this history, delicious irony in the fact that the country responsible for injecting the poison of neoliberalism into the EU – the UK under its fanatical leader Margaret Thatcher – is currently embroiled in a messy divorce from the bloc.

The EU in its current form is a latter-day prison house of nations locked inside a neoliberal straitjacket and single currency. Not only can’t it survive on this basis, but it also does not deserve to. Ultimately, either Europe’s political establishment decouples from Washington and its works – the Trump administration notwithstanding – or its peoples will decouple from them and theirs.

As things stand, the latter proposition is far more likely.



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Clashes in Barcelona after Spanish cabinet decides to hold Orange March there



Segur que tomba, tomba, tomba, 
i ens podrem alliberar. 


Edited by Beltaine fox

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Death rates for Americans have improved on average by 1% a year since 1950, according to an analysis by the Society of Actuaries. From 2000 to 2009, the long-term trend appeared to be accelerating, with annual improvements of 1.5 to 2%. From 2010 to 2014, death rates were only improving by about half one percent a year.

The broader trend isn’t unique to the US. The
 UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries found the U.S., Canada, and Britain have all experienced similarly slowing gains since 2011. 

Changes to life expectancy in the U.K. could cut 310 billion pounds from British private-sector pension obligations, or 15% of the total liability, PwC 
estimated in May, although other actuaries have called that figure “relatively extreme.”


Same story Mikey, old son. Just a different perspective.

Also, spare a thought for Lesotho as you Euro-trash your way around the Continent ya champagne socialist Charlie. Lesotho's still riddled with high HIV/AIDS related death, gastro-related deaths, malnourishment, tuberculosis FFS and syphillis FFS. The average income for a worker is US$1,200 a year.  Life expectancy at birth in Lesotho in 2016 was 51 years for men and 55 for women. It's truly a shithole.

Conversely, if unfit, obese, drug-addled, depressed or alcoholic Americans want to die younger, that's their choice. And they can always use a gun to hasten their demise should they wish. Gun ownership in Lesotho is much lower than the US, so opting out via the barrel of a gun is but a dream.

Irregardlessly, the US is at position 82 with 8.5 deaths per 1000 population in the table below, with the UK performing slightly worser at position 58.

As you can see, the Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania are in the top ten worst countries which is a fuckin' disgrace. China is a liar but.

Country Comparison > Death rate > TOP 100

Rank Country Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)
1 Lesotho 15 g.gif
2 Lithuania 14.6 g.gif
3 Bulgaria 14.5 g.gif
4 Latvia 14.5 g.gif
5 Ukraine 14.4 g.gif
6 Guinea-Bissau 13.9 g.gif
7 Chad 13.8 g.gif
8 Serbia 13.6 g.gif
9 Russia 13.5 g.gif
10 Afghanistan 13.4 g.gif
11 Belarus 13.2 g.gif
12 Central African Republic 13.2 g.gif
13 Swaziland 13.2 g.gif
14 Somalia 13.1 g.gif
15 Gabon 13 g.gif
16 Hungary 12.8 g.gif
17 Estonia 12.6 g.gif
18 Moldova 12.6 g.gif
19 Nigeria 12.4 g.gif
20 Croatia 12.2 g.gif
21 Zambia 12.2 g.gif
22 Romania 12 g.gif
23 Niger 11.8 g.gif
24 Germany 11.7 g.gif
25 Mozambique 11.6 g.gif
26 Slovenia 11.6 g.gif
27 Greece 11.3 g.gif
28 Burkina Faso 11.2 g.gif
29 Portugal 11.1 g.gif
30 Georgia 10.9 g.gif
31 Czech Republic 10.5 g.gif
32 Italy 10.4 g.gif
33 Poland 10.4 g.gif
34 Sierra Leone 10.4 g.gif
35 Denmark 10.3 g.gif
36 Isle of Man 10.2 g.gif
37 Uganda 10.2 g.gif
38 Zimbabwe 10.2 g.gif
39 Finland 10 g.gif
40 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 g.gif
41 Slovakia 9.9 g.gif
42 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 9.9 g.gif
43 Japan 9.8 g.gif
44 Mali 9.8 g.gif
45 Monaco 9.8 g.gif
46 Belgium 9.7 g.gif
47 Montenegro 9.7 g.gif
48 Austria 9.6 g.gif
49 Botswana 9.6 g.gif
50 Cameroon 9.6 g.gif
51 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 9.6 g.gif
52 Congo, Republic of the 9.5 g.gif
53 Armenia 9.4 g.gif
54 Cote d'Ivoire 9.4 g.gif
55 Malta 9.4 g.gif
56 South Africa 9.4 g.gif
57 Sweden 9.4 g.gif
58 United Kingdom 9.4 g.gif
59 Uruguay 9.4 g.gif
60 France 9.3 g.gif
61 Korea, North 9.3 g.gif
62 Angola 9.2 g.gif
63 Macedonia 9.2 g.gif
64 Spain 9.1 g.gif
65 Guernsey 9 g.gif
66 Guinea 9 g.gif
67 Netherlands 8.9 g.gif
68 Burundi 8.8 g.gif
69 Faroe Islands 8.8 g.gif
70 Trinidad and Tobago 8.8 g.gif
71 Greenland 8.7 g.gif
72 Cuba 8.7 g.gif
73 Canada 8.7 g.gif
74 San Marino 8.7 g.gif
75 Bermuda 8.6 g.gif
76 Barbados 8.6 g.gif
77 Puerto Rico 8.6 g.gif
78 Gibraltar 8.5 g.gif
79 Tuvalu 8.5 g.gif
80 Cook Islands 8.4 g.gif
81 Curacao 8.4 g.gif
82 Aruba 8.4 g.gif
83 Switzerland 8.3 g.gif
84 Grenada 8.2 g.gif
85 United States 8.2 g.gif
86 Kazakhstan 8.1 g.gif
87 Norway 8.1 g.gif
88 Palau 8.1 g.gif
89 Senegal 8.1 g.gif
90 Western Sahara 8.1 g.gif
91 Thailand 8 g.gif
92 Benin 7.9 g.gif
93 Dominica 7.9 g.gif
94 Malawi 7.9 g.gif
95 Mauritania 7.9 g.gif
96 Namibia 7.9 g.gif
97 China 7.8 g.gif
98 Equatorial Guinea 7.8 g.gif
99 Jersey 7.8 g.gif
100 Saint Helena 7.8 g.gif

Definition: This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging population.

Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of January 1, 2018


Edited by Snorky

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Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions

Life expectancy gains have stalled. The grim silver lining? Lower pension costs
8 August 2017, 10:00 CEST

Steady improvements in American life expectancy have stalled, and more Americans are dying at younger ages. But for companies straining under the burden of their pension obligations, the distressing trend could have a grim upside: If people don’t end up living as long as they were projected to just a few years ago, their employers ultimately won’t have to pay them as much in pension and other lifelong retirement benefits.

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We're talking a total decrease of 0.1%  from 78.7 years in 2016 to 78.6 years in 2017 or a total of 36.24 days, according to the CDC. Over a lifespan of some 78 years, that's less than half a day less life per year.

Big Pharma needs to invent some new drugs if US life expectancy is to increase, unaided.

If you want to feel really bad Mikey, corporations with defined benefit pensions have benefited marvelously from increased stock values underpinning pensions since Trump's election.

So much so, that some companies have stopped contributing to their employees' pension plan altogether as investment returns from the stockmarket since late 2016 have considerably exceeded the long term employer funding rate required to meet future benefit payments as recommended by an actuary and/or the pension plan's rules contained in the Trust Deed.

Also, marginal savings may be derived from less taxpayer funds being expended on some older ailing Americans who now die sooner rather than later and therefore use less government sponsored health services where applicable.



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On 1/24/2019 at 4:01 AM, mikey mikey said:


On 1/11/2019 at 7:52 PM, Snorky said:

We're talking a total decrease of 0.1%  from 78.7 years in 2016 to 78.6 years in 2017 or a total of 36.24 days, according to the CDC. Over a lifespan of some 78 years, that's less than half a day less life per year.

Big Pharma needs to invent some new drugs if US life expectancy is to increase, unaided.




Snorks, it's not Big Pharma but Big Sugar that is killing us -- we are an obese nation with all the associated chronic disease. Big Pharma Pusher takes the silver with the abuse of opiates. But a healthier diet would do far more than any potions or powders Big Pusher can gin up.

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I agree Starky. I was trying to be diplomatic using the word 'unaided'.

Big Corn Syrup appears to be causing Big Obesity.  A bit more Big Exercise and Better Eating would work wonders.

However, when Statins entered the US blood stream on a large scale, there was quite the boost to life expectancy which has plateaued ever since. 

If people aren't prepared to watch what they eat and get some exercise, then artificial life expectancy boosters are required.

Edited by Snorky

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