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Total number of comments: 34 (since 2014-08-31 16:25:11)

George Carty

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  • The worst thing about Year One of Trump: Fascistization of Cable News
    • As well as rabidly backing Brexit, the Express and the Daily Mail in particular have also since the 1980s promoted a property-speculator culture that is in part responsible for the deindustrialization of Britain.

      Many British firms comparable to those of Germany's vaunted Mittelstand were starved of investment, or worse destroyed by asset strippers who made windfall profits by converting their sites to residential use (commercial and industrial property are taxed quite heavily with business rates, while residential property is much more lightly taxed -- leaving more of the rental income to be capitalized into the selling price).

      One reason why Germany is now the industrial powerhouse of Europe is that it retains nationwide rent control, meaning that investment money was used productively instead of squandered on bidding up land prices. Of course, this has been less of the case since the Euro was introduced -- German money poured into peripheral Eurozone property, with ultimately calamitous consequences for those peripheral countries.

  • Trumpist UK Thugs waving US Flags try to Apprehend London's Muslim Mayor
    • I'm guessing that these thugs have nothing to do with the original NO2EU (which was a leftist political party which opposed the EU for anti-capitalist reasons)...

  • Now they hate Universities: Trumpie anti-Intellectualism infects GOP
    • An even stronger driver of anti-intellectualism in rural Red America is that the cities and universities of urban Blue America rob Red America of its best and brightest young people.

  • Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East
    • I blame the Arab world's backwardness on OZAD (Oil, Zionism, Aridity and Diglossia).

      "Diglossia" refers to the fact that Arabic isn't really a single language: the spoken Arabic dialects have the same relationship to standard Arabic (fusHa) that the Romance languages have to Latin (with the classical Arabic of the Qur'an being like classical Latin, while MSA is more like medieval Latin).

  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • The younger generations are mostly willing to move to the big city in search of work, and mostly voted for Clinton (or for Remain in the UK). Trump and Brexit were driven by their boomer parents, who despise globalization for tearing their family units apart.

      It seems like the solution will have to be some way of bringing down housing costs in the big cities, so that young people can move where the work is without having to leave their elders behind.This is of course problematic though because many boomers already living in expensive cities have HELOCed heavily to fund their lifestyles, and would be ruined by a collapse of their inflated house prices.

    • Technology isn't always as all-conquering as you claim – here in Britain the post-2005 influx of Eastern European workers has led to a rise in the number of hand car wash businesses, which have largely replaced the older machine car washes.

    • Germany has to run a trade surplus almost as large as China's to support its industrial base, and is only able to do so while paying First World wages because it has specialized in premium-quality products (Audi, BMW and Mercedes cars for example) where price is less of an issue.

      Is Germany's model really exportable (sic) to other countries, given that the total demand for premium-quality products is limited?

  • Nice, France, Attack: A Gandhian Response to Serial Killers
    • Just like US snowbirds in Arizona and Florida, don't many elderly Europeans also like to spend their retirement years in the warm climate of the Mediterranean?

      Since Europe has too many old people in need of care, and north Africa has too many young people in need of jobs, doesn't that suggest that the establishment of communities in north Africa for European retirees would be an obvious way to level the demographics and kill two birds with one stone?

  • Did Trump-Style Islamophobia break up the European Union?
    • I suspect many Leave voters -- like many Trump supporters in the USA -- are old blue-collar workers who feel irretrievably screwed-over by globalization and are willing to do whatever it takes to bring it down even if it means that they personally end up even worse off.

      Kind of the economic equivalent of suicide bombers...

  • Think California’s Drought Is Bad? Try Palestine’s.
    • The US should stop military aid to Israel and spend the money instead on (nuclear- or solar-powered) desalination plants for Israel, Lebanon and (providing the coastal region can be sufficiently stabilized) Syria. The Palestinians should granted exclusive rights to the West Bank aquifers, with Israeli settlements (for as long as they exist) being supplied with desalinated water from Israel itself.

      Any attack on any of these desalination plants should be deemed a crime against humanity and result in Western military intervention against the attackers.

  • What if US & UN Sanctioned Israel over its Nukes as they did Iran over Enrichment?
    • AFAIK Iran was the only export customer for the F-14, and Israel was using F-15s and F-16s as far back as the '80s.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist
  • Shale Oil is no Savior- its rail cars keep exploding in our home towns
    • What is really needed to solve the West's problems with excessive oil consumption is to strike at its root – restrictions on land use (zoning laws, parking minimums and minimum lot sizes) which make it exceedingly difficult for developers to build anything other than car-dependent low-density suburbia.

      I would recommend the Japanese zoning law as a starting point for a replacement.

  • Contrary to Israeli PM, alternative to realistic Iran Nuclear Deal is *no* Deal
    • And let's not forget that it was the USSR rather than the English-speaking powers which bore the brunt of the war to destroy Nazi Germany. If Britain and/or the USSR had fallen, the only way the United States could have defeated the Nazis would have been by destroying them with WMDs.

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • Perhaps because Iran has a functional and explicitly Islamic government along with a reasonably functional economy (ie not an oil monoculture like Saudi Arabia)?

    • If you hate and fear Islam as much as the neocons do, mightn't a massive Sunni-Shi'a war be exactly what you want? The objective would be to do to Islam what the Thirty Years' War did to Christianity.

    • I'd call them "American Ahmadinejads", given that their apocalyptic thinking is similar to that of Iran's Hojjatieh.

  • Why Netanyahu's Congress Speech will Fail: Iran Can't be Stopped, only Monitored
    • I don't get why the neocons would want to antagonize Russia (or any other non-Islamic power, for that matter).

    • If the United States were to bomb Iran (or any other country with powerful air defenses) wouldn't it be using B-2 stealth bombers rather than B-52s?

      Israel doesn't have stealth bombers of course, but it could resort to its Jericho ballistic missiles.

  • Netanyahu urges Europe's Jews to move to Israel
    • In addition, I suspect that most Jews who do make the journey to Israel won't wind up living in Israel (where real estate prices are sky-high), but rather in the illegal West Bank settlements, where they'd be at even greater risk from Palestinian attacks...

  • French Pres. Hollande: Anti-Muslimism is as bad as Antisemitism: Muslims Must be Protected
    • France can't follow Keynesian policies because the Eurozone's rules forbid it – François Hollande is hamstrung, just as Ramsay MacDonald in Depression-era Britain was hamstrung by the gold standard.

      I suspect that this realisation is as much behind the surge in Front National support as racism is.

  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • One major reason why the Front National is polling well in France is the failure of François Hollande's economic policies. He desperately wants to help the French working class, but he is trapped by the Euro (much as Ramsay MacDonald – the Depression-era British Labour prime minister – was trapped by the Gold Standard). The Front National's policy of quitting the Euro (and presumably allowing the New Franc to depreciate so that France could regain competitiveness) probably looks like an attractive alternative.

      Anyway, could the Front National itself have been a target in this latest atrocity? Marine Le Pen has sought to distance the party from its neo-Nazi past as much as possible, as well as from genuine Islam-haters such as the Netherlands' Geert Wilders. Perhaps this attack was meant to bolster hard-line Islamophobes against moderates within the FN?

  • Did Drought and Climate Change cause Middle Eastern States to Collapse in 2014?
    • IIRC the Syrian drought was not caused by climate change, but by massively increased extraction of Euphrates water by Turkey (as they sought to better develop their south-eastern territories, in the hope that more prosperity there would end their problem with Kurdish terrorism).

  • Egypt Bans "Exodus: Gods and Kings", saying Jewish Slaves did not build Pyramids
  • China's Pivot toward Europe may Cut USA out of Deal
    • Not Lebensraum -- maybe like World War I German imperialism though.

      Lebensraum was about genocidal conquest of land (usually as a response to perceived overpopulation), not about mere economic domination. The only other similar events historically were the US wars against the American Indians, or perhaps the Mongol conquests in Central Asia and the Middle East.

  • UN General Assembly Demands Israel Mothball its Nuclear Arsenal
    • I can't believe your oft-repeated claim here that a mere 5 nuclear air-bursts would be sufficient to trigger nuclear winter – not when World War II saw two cities nuked and dozens laid waste by conventional bombing. Do you have a cite for it?

      As for it being suicidal for Israel to use nuclear weapons: I'd expect they wouldn't think of using them unless they were either nuked themselves or suffering catastrophic defeat in a conventional war. The thinking would be "we're all dead anyway – at least we'll take the Muslim bastards with us."

  • Americans ask Pres. Obama to show Thanksgiving Mercy to Gaza
    • This is Press TV – it's run by Iran, so of course all its female reporters wear hijab. ;)

  • How Israel's Bus Segregation Affects Palestinian Workers
    • The Haavara Transfer agreement was very cunning.

      The problem is that the Nazis wanted the Jews out of Germany. Unfortunately the Jews (understandably) wanted to take their money with them in the form of foreign currency, but Germany didn't possess enough foreign currency to make this possible (the Third Reich was desparately short of foreign currency for its entire period of existence). Perhaps that was what motivated Kristallnacht in 1938 -- the Nazis wanted to scare the Jews into leaving without their money.

      While Britain (like all countries during the Great Depression) was reluctant to admit penniless refugees, it did allow immigration to Palestine by anyone with at least £1,000 (under a so-called "capitalist visa"). The Haavara Transfer Agreement exploited this loophole by allowing German Jews to buy certificates from Berlin which credited them with enough pounds to buy the visas, which Zionist businesses could then use to buy German goods for sale to Jewish or Arab customers. This thus solved the Nazis' problem with their foreign currency shortage, by ensuring that no hard currency ultimately left Germany, only exports.

  • EU Foreign Affairs Head: A Palestinian State or Endless Conflict
    • "Right now the Arabs have the capacity to destroy Israel, but the existing Arab “leaders” much prefer their luxurious lives to the deprivation of war being vaporized by Israel's nuclear weapons, so they have kept a lid on the populations."

      Fixed it for you.

  • US strikes ISIL oil fields in Quest to Defund it: But will it Replace oil with Fracking?
    • Actually, nuclear power is the way to decarbonize our electricity generation system, as wind and solar are too unreliable and use up too much land. (Solar power could be useful for desalination though, as the fact that it produces a storable liquid product helps mitigate the intermittency problem.)

      There's a good reason why we started using fossil fuels in a big way about 300 years ago (we we running out of trees to cut down for firewood, even though the world's population was less than a tenth of today's value).

      And oil is already too expensive to be used much for electricity generation (except on small islands). Why do you think so many Middle Eastern countries (most famously Iran of course) are looking with interest at nuclear power?

      Oil is used overwhelmingly for transport, not electricity generation. If you want to reduce America's oil consumption you will need to replace car-dependent suburban sprawl with dense cities built around train networks. Throwing out overly-restrictive Euclidean zoning laws and replacing them with Japanese-style ones would be a good place to start.

  • The Syrian Maelstrom: How Repression, Drought & Climate Change Drove the Civil War
    • What the Middle East needs to prevent future disasters like this is a good number of desalination plants (nuclear- or solar-powered, not fossil fuel).

  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land
    • How much support for the West Bank occupation is coming from American and other Diaspora Jewish millionaires, who want to shift native Israelis into the illegal settlements so they can buy up their former properties in Israel proper for use as holiday homes?

    • Two important differences between Israel and apartheid South Africa:

      1) Apartheid South Africa was designed to give whites a high standard of living on the back of cheap black labor (which meant that expelling or exterminating blacks wasn't an option). Israel has always sought to AVOID dependence on Palestinian labor.

      2) Apartheid South Africa never built nuclear ballistic missiles, only free-fall bombs delivered by aircraft. If the rest of the world had closed ranks on Apartheid this nuclear force could be neutralized by conventional air defense measures.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers
    • I thought that Israel's nukes would only be used as a "take the bastards with us" measure if the Israelis believed they were already doomed.

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