j.martin.pedersen | 1 Sep 10:22 2010
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Re: Thoughts provoked by the Platypus


On 31/08/10 16:09, raghu wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM, j.martin.pedersen
> <m.pedersen@...> wrote:
>> Try HC Andersen's Ugly Duckling -
>> what is that all about?
> 
> 
> Sorry if I sound ignorant, but what about "The ugly duckling"? I
> thought it was a children's tale and supposedly autobiographical. I
> didn't realize it had racist undertones. Can anyone point me to more
> information on this? Does the same apply also to Andersen's other
> works?

HCA just tells of life in a little duck pond (which is a common way of
describing "Our" country in Danish: "the duck pond") where the arrival
of someone who looks different causes a communal stir, leading to the
newcomers exclusion. Xenophobia in other words. Not to say that HC
Andersen was a racist or anything by any means, he just told the story
of life in "the duck pond". The point of reference was merely to suggest
that it has been a central issue for ages in Denmark.
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c b | 1 Sep 14:19 2010
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Is we or is we ain't in depression; chicken little

From: Jim Devine

I'm glad people have given up the idea that "we're still in a
recession" since a recession refers to the economy going down. It
stopped going down (and may have done so by NBER standards in July of
last year), and has had an anemic and inadequate (i.e. jobless)
recovery which allows it to have a second dip.

The idea that the US is in a depression is more apt, but remember that
history never repeats itself. There are a lot of differences from the
previous two depressions the US has had.

^^^^^
CB: Thanks for this. I didn't realize that a depression was defined
differently than a recession.
I must say that I didn't realize that the definition of recession
didn't include high unemployment as well as three consecutive quarters
of a fall in GDP.  I thought it was both in the late 60's text book by
Samuelson. I thought "they" ( the NC dominators ?) had dropped the
attention to unemployment because of the general conservative turn in
the profession, and a propaganda shift so that they could say the
economy is not so bad when it is bad for working people and the poor.

 Notice there is never any wide publication of the number of people
living below the poverty line as in the "old days" of the sixties and
seventies.  The word "poverty" has dropped out of the oligopoly media
vocabulary.

Seems to me the current definition of "recession" is basically a form
of rightwing propaganda, especially since wages have been stuck for 30
(Continue reading)

c b | 1 Sep 14:49 2010
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Renewed speculation on the character of the Chinese economy

From: Jim Devine

I know that the terminology hasn't been standardized, but contemporary
China seems an example of state capitalism, in contrast to the old
China (under Mao) which I'd call "bureaucratic socialism."
--
^^^^^^^^
CB: Based on past discussions, I'm thinking your analysis or
terminology here is based on the lack of democracy in the bureaucratic
socialism, and the fact that high level of state control doesn't make
it socialism in the state capitalism.

What do you make of Marx and Engels' definitions and statements on
socialism ? In the _Manifesto of the Communist Party_, et al.   That's
where I get my definition.  They don't seem to put as much emphasis on
democracy as you do.

 On the one hand, I respect your militant attention to democracy in
the sense of "all power to the People", popular sovereignty.  On the
other hand, given the history of capitalism/imperialism's willingness
to take matters to the most horrific warring and violence in the
history of the world in order to destroy socialism , of any form, it
seems impractical not to have significant centralization in socialist
states in a world with imperialism still.
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Patrick Bond | 1 Sep 14:41 2010
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(Fwd) Scenes of a 'success story': Moz IMF riot today

(Mozambique's extremely high GDP growth rates and nasty neoliberals make 
it a Washington fair-haired blue-eyed boy. But one of my students writes 
today from what is a popular warzone, just as impressive as a South 
African school or hospital by the looks of these photos - but the 
question is whether we'll see democratic, radical organising pick up 
from here onwards.)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	High Price on Basic Need Product provoke Chaos in Maputo
Date: 	Wed, 1 Sep 2010 13:00:06 +0200
From: 	Alcino Moiana <alcinomoyana@...>
To: 	

Dear Friends,

Maputo the capital city of Mozambique rose in chaos today as the 
government announced the rise of the main basic service and products as 
from 1 September, products like bread, electricity, water and petrol 
have been rising since early May this year, but due the last rise 
starting today the population mainly those coming from poor background 
living in the outdskirts of the capital, who claim that the cost of 
living is really suffocating their pocket have decided to move to the 
main streets, burning old tyres, waste containers, assaulting shops, 
banks and other public ad private properties as a way of calling for a 
government intervention. Police have been using rubber bullets and other 
means to disband the demonstrator who are not willing to cease their 
violent demonstration before government can say a word of solidarity and 
change their previous anouncement. Public transport such as taxis, 
commuter buses, buses, combis (matatus, daladala, chapas, candongeiro) 
have stoped carrying passenger due to the fear of getting their vehicles 
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Patrick Bond | 1 Sep 15:56 2010
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Re: [Debate] (Fwd) Scenes of a 'success story': Moz IMF riot today


  4 dead in Moz price riots

2010-09-01 14:26

          Related Links

    * Protesters march in Mozambique
      <http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Protesters-march-in-Mozambique-20100901>

Maputo - A private television station in Mozambique says four people 
including a child have been killed as police shot at protesters.

The S-TV station says the three adults were taken to hospitals, which 
declared them dead. The station says the child died but gave no details. 
Police could not immediately confirm the report.

Police opened fire on Wednesday on stone-throwing crowds who were 
protesting rising prices in this impoverished country.

Mozambicans have seen the price of a loaf of bread rise by 25%, from 
four to five meticais (from about 11c to about 13c) in the past year. 
Fuel and water prices also have risen.

Protests over high prices erupted into violence in Mozambique in 2008.

- AP

Protesters march in Mozambique
2010-09-01 10:07
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Jim Devine | 1 Sep 17:07 2010
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interesting...

from SLATE:
>>Castro Takes the Blame for Persecution of Gays

In an interview with a Mexican daily newspaper published on Tuesday,
former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said that if anyone is to blame for
the persecution of gays and lesbian during his country's Revolution,
it's him. "They were moments of great injustice, great injustice!"
Castro told La Jornada of the times he sent openly gay men to labor
camps throughout the 1960s and '70s without so much as a trial. "We
had so many and such terrible problems, problems of life or death,
that we didn't pay it enough attention," Castro said in the
wide-ranging, five-hour interview of the way gays were treated at the
time, according to CNN. "At the time we were being sabotaged
systematically, there were armed attacks against us, we had too many
problems," he said. "Keeping one step ahead of the CIA, which was
paying so many traitors, was not easy." In 1979, Cuba—and Castro, its
Communist leader since seizing power during the Revolution in
1959—decriminalized homosexual acts. More recently, groups in the
country have been pushing for the legalization of same-sex unions, the
BBC reported. Ill health forced Castro, 74, to transfer power to his
younger brother Raul in 2006.

Read original story in CNN
[http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/08/31/cuba.castro.gays/index.html]
| Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 <<

--

-- 
Jim Devine / "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti." (Go your own
way and let people talk.) -- Karl, paraphrasing Dante.
_______________________________________________
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Shane Mage | 1 Sep 17:25 2010
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after "we" "leave"

======================================================================
Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
======================================================================

In todays NYT the inef...f...able  Thomas Friedman writes:

"The president will not be remembered for when we leave Iraq but for  
what happens after we leave. That is largely in Iraqi hands, but it is  
still very much in our interest. So we need to retain sufficient  
diplomatic, intelligence, Special Forces and Army training units there  
to promote a decent outcome."

Shane Mage

"Thunderbolt steers all things." Herakleitos of Ephesos, fr. 64

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Jim Devine | 1 Sep 17:33 2010
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Re: Is we or is we ain't in depression; chicken little

cb:
> Thanks for this. I didn't realize that a depression was defined
> differently than a recession.

You're welcome. Note that there is no "official" definition of a
"depression." The one I use is from the cable-TV commercial: "I've
fallen and I can't get up." Even the definition of "recession" is
unofficial since the "official" namer of recessions (the NBER), is a
non-governmental organization. It's sort of a matter of people saying:
"those folks have set the dates of recessions based on real-world data
(and in a generally consistent way), so we don't need to do the work
and use our own definitions."

By the way, the pretty orthodox Money & Banking textbook by Lawrence
Ball I'm using has a different definition of "recession." He includes
the high-unemployment aftermath of the NBER recession as part of his
recession, dating its end as when the economy returns to full
employment. This is similar to CB's view.

> I must say that I didn't realize that the definition of recession
> didn't include high unemployment as well as three consecutive quarters
> of a fall in GDP.

it's two consecutive quarters, but that's a journalistic definition
which usually produces the same dating as the NBER definition. (The
NBER uses months rather than quarters to date recessions and GDP data
aren't available on a month-to-month basis.)

> I thought it was both in the late 60's text book by
> Samuelson. I thought "they" ( the NC dominators ?) had dropped the
(Continue reading)

Carl Dassbach | 1 Sep 18:13 2010
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Re: Is we or is we ain't in depression; chicken little

Currently, the govt defines poverty as an certain ludicrous income for a
family of 4 - around $18K a year.  As I point out to my students, working at
minimum wage it is possible for a hypothetical family of 4 - a male working
full time, a female working 20 hours a week because she stays home to care
for young children during the day, to be in poverty.  On top of that , they
have no health insurance because the earn "too" much to qualify for
Medicaid.  Using the govt. data, approx. 14% of the US population is poor.
To more accurately gauge the extent of poverty, sociologists (and others)
use the concept of "near poor" or poverty plus 25%.  Using this measures,
estimates vary widely but most settle around 20$ of the population which is,
btw, approx. the same amount of the population which fall into the category
of "wealth".  We have more poor people in America than in any other
industrialized country and, on top of that, most of them have not access to
health care.  Long live unfettered Capitalism.

-----Original Message-----
From: pen-l-bounces@...
[mailto:pen-l-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Jim Devine
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 11:34 AM
To: Progressive Economics
Subject: Re: [Pen-l] Is we or is we ain't in depression; chicken little

cb:
> Thanks for this. I didn't realize that a depression was defined
> differently than a recession.

You're welcome. Note that there is no "official" definition of a
"depression." The one I use is from the cable-TV commercial: "I've
fallen and I can't get up." Even the definition of "recession" is
unofficial since the "official" namer of recessions (the NBER), is a
(Continue reading)

Robert Naiman | 1 Sep 19:55 2010

Iraq/Afghanistan: A Promise Kept, A Promise Deferred

President Obama wants credit for keeping his promise to end the war in
Iraq. Some credit is due: the President reaffirmed his commitment to
withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, as required by
the agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. But only partial credit is
due, because the war-ending task is very far from complete.

As a candidate, President Obama said that he didn't just want to end
the war; he wanted to end the mindset that leads to war. While he is
drawing down from Iraq, he has done little to keep the promise of
ending the mindset that leads to war. A major component of the mindset
that leads to war is the belief that Washington can and should
determine who may participate in the governments of the broader Middle
East. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials are still working
to exclude from power people who are opposed to U.S. control over
their governments or a long-term U.S. military presence. This policy
is a recipe for permanent war. The example of Lebanon, where the U.S.
acquiesces to the participation in power of people who are opposed to
U.S. control, shows that it is not an immutable fact of nature that
the U.S. must continue to pursue this permanent war policy.

The fact that President Obama has only half-kept his promise indicates
that while he deserves partial credit, he also needs continued
pressure. On October 2nd, people from across America will be going to
Washington as part of the peace contingent of "One Nation Working
Together" to press the demands that the wars end and that the troops
come home. Everyone who can go should be there; everyone else should
help someone else get there.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/iraqafghanistan-a-promise_b_702172.html

(Continue reading)


Gmane