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A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Eurasian consolidation ends the US unipolar moment ? Part 2 of 2 Fri Sep 24, 2021 18:32 | amarynth
By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times Part 1 is here The 20th anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, enshrined

offsite link Political Declaration adopted during the first ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends in Defens... Fri Sep 24, 2021 17:49 | amarynth 1. We, representatives of Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, the Lao People?s Democratic Republic, Nicaragua, the State

offsite link China in Action ? Carbon Neutral by 2050 Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:13 | amarynth
By Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog Transcript of a presentation at a Webinar sponsored by the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing 23 September 2021 An early priority for

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/09/23 ? Open Thread Thu Sep 23, 2021 23:00 | herb
2021/09/23 22:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link A Letter to the Taliban Thu Sep 23, 2021 22:41 | amarynth
Dr. Ejaz Akram, with Pepe Escobar – posted with permission and widely cross posted.    What happened in Afghanistan was not a mere change of government. A puppet state responsible

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Allegations of political criminality reported to An Garda Siochana

offsite link Minister Catherine Martin: Not fit to serve Anthony

offsite link Establishment media and delusional analysis Anthony

offsite link Youth power – Don’t ask – Take Anthony

offsite link When the establishment betrays the people?s trust Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link News Round-Up Fri Sep 24, 2021 00:18 | Michael Curzon
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about politicians? efforts to control the virus ? and other acts of hubris and folly ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Government?s Gamesmanship and Outright Cheating on Covid and Vaccines Diminishes Us All Thu Sep 23, 2021 21:55 | Will Jones
When it comes to providing the public with full, clear, honest information about Covid and the vaccines, the Government has been caught repeatedly putting spin and narrative ahead of transparency and truth.
The post The Government’s Gamesmanship and Outright Cheating on Covid and Vaccines Diminishes Us All appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link We?re Hiring! Thu Sep 23, 2021 18:45 | Toby Young
Michael Curzon is giving up his day job on the Daily Sceptic, having been poached by a national newspaper. He'll continue to contribute, but we'll need to replace him. Click on the link for more info.
The post We’re Hiring! appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Covid Unlikely to Mutate into a Deadly Variant, Says Lead Scientist Behind AstraZeneca Vaccine Thu Sep 23, 2021 17:39 | Michael Curzon
Covid is unlikely to mutate into a much deadlier variant because there "aren?t many places for the virus to go", says the lead scientist behind the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
The post Covid Unlikely to Mutate into a Deadly Variant, Says Lead Scientist Behind AstraZeneca Vaccine appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Record Numbers of Children Seeking Access to Mental Health Services Thu Sep 23, 2021 14:56 | Michael Curzon
Record numbers of children and young people are seeking access to mental health services, according to analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and an "unprecedented" number of children are waiting for care.
The post Record Numbers of Children Seeking Access to Mental Health Services appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

The Sunday Papers "Alexandrine Edition"

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Sunday March 19, 2006 15:31author by iosaf mac diarmada .:. the ipsiphiauthor address barcelona Report this post to the editors

It has been long observed that people for some reason on their non-banking days readily absorb shite about Dangerous Places, Famous People, Sensible Saving Options, Holidays, Interesting facts, Sport results, Media, gardening and health as well looking ahead at “democratic evolution” and looking back at "how history was made".

in this edition, the first since the "Mozart Edition" of Jan. 8, I will touch briefly on the three years since the Iraq war, Whats happening in France on the class politics front and in Peru and Italy on the lead-up to their general elections next month, and a even shorter mention of the Zapatista's other campaign in Mexico. & a bit of religiosity too.
get thee hence now!
get thee hence now!

If you're a church going christian of the western tradition today you hear a little bit of the story of how the Christ expelled the money changers from the Temple. & perhaps chat with your local cleric about whether that constituted violent or non-violent action, a political or theological act, and formed a substantial part of the background on the "Holy CV" which led him to being crucified, and allowed us to have an Easter Rising and Good Friday. Because De Valera cruising about in the Rolls Royce was never really what Easter was about.

Of course De Valera is dead now, mouldering in the grave, and we have a new DeV for this age, a tall guant and lean type. The prime minister of France, 52 year old Dominique de Villepin is currently facing a new wave of ire, this time from students. He's a very intelligent man, and one of those few types left who moulded as a dauphin to Chirac, represents the old haut bourgeois ruling class of the French state, not just the V republic. He's the sort of man who writes biographies of Napoleon, poetry in fine cloth bound editions to pass round his mates, could call Condoleeza Rice "darling" and not get a dark look, and notably drool over the forgotten Julia Tomeyshenko former
prime minister of the Ukraine.

He like I, (and one would presume many Sorbonne students) knows what an alexandrine is. But that's not the sort of person the French need as their prime minister. If you don't know what an alexandrine is, here's an example :-

Prêtez-moi l'un et l'autre une oreille attentive.
Je ne veux point ici rappeler le passé,
Ni vous rendre raison du sang que j'ai versé:
Ce que je fait, Abner, j'ai cru le devoir faire.

The first four lines of "Le Songe d'Athalie" by Racine (1639-1699)
lend me your waxy ears, I've not come to tell you what happened, nor to get all bloody technical on you in my verse justifying myself, I'm just doing it Abner matey coz I have to
Would be a pretty shitty translation and you wouldn't get far in the Sorbonne for it.

It is a pretty solid poem which illustrates well the rules of French prosady and the alexandrine with its 12 sylable rhyme. if we look at the second and third lines we see an example of what is called "masculine" and "feminine" ryhmes. Those lines end in full vowel sounds, that means they are masculine. There has been over 10 months of smoke in France. As we know there is never smoke without Fire.Don't get too focussed on the Flames, Look for the kindling
background links-

"The Selective & Collective memory : Memory as fetishised community : Communality as fetishised memorial" :-

I went to the BCN anti-war march 3 years on. Surrounded by people with fantasy flags. Those of the 2nd spanish Republic and the Soviet Union. I also noted a group of people whose way of making their point was carrying poster images of a lion in Afghanstan's zoo, which is now blind thanks to a US armed forces grenade. sentimentality is not a virtue in politics

The actual date of the Easter 1916 insurrection was - April 24th. The last meetings of the military council and the parallel and mysterious irish republican brotherhood of course taking place on the 23rd day of the 4th month. This year Easter falls on April 16th for western christians and April 23rd for orthodox eastern christians. So you could do a greek orthodox easter bunny sentimental communality thing and more *accurate*. The last official commemoration saw De Valera (DeV 1) cruise around in the then state rolls royce in 1966 on April 10th and repeat almost to the letter his equally fetishised peformance of 1935 which had been on April 21st. quite. its all bollox. fuking with your memory. I said as much in this comment last sunday -


Peru and Italy are going to general elections. Berlusconi needs no explanation anymore, but despite his vulgarity, and obvious unsuitablity to hold office, he really can sit down at the alexandrine table. DeV in France, Merckel the *non-elected* chancellor of the impossibly oligarchic coalition in Germany, & all the Blair's of Engurland. We are watching the democracy our forebears wanted expire like a burnt match. They call it meritocracy now, but is rule by dictat, decree and manipulation of public opinion by polling and commercial media.

Peru sees a three way contest. With a short period to go, Humala the "etnocacerista" is surging in the polls. ( background ). Peru saw terrorism for 20 years, the majority of victims were concentrated in one ethnic group. In total 69,280 persons (margin of error minimum 61,007 maximum 77,552) were killed. More than any war Peru had engaged in through her 180 year plus history. Background -
Humala is a good example of how the dialectic of marxism has gone very very weird. He's criticised by many for his racist ideology, (he's anti "white" Peruvians) and he has received the backing two months now of Chavez. Who of course in proto-caudillo mode, saw 75% abstention in his last elections. Its too early to call that election, I will append a lot of data in the comments to this article. Berlusconi too plays with the fascist phenomona in Italian culture, and it is a tradition. Europe, I have long maintained is "post-fascistic". And as we all ought remember neo-liberal corporations bed down with fascistic regimes as happily now as ever before.

Sub. Commandante Marcus & pals have been touring Mexico since January 3rd. It has been a learning curve for everyone. They have met with criticism from young urbanites that they are "utopian", "mountain types" with no "young fine gael policies". And they have also met with some strange welcomes. Three weeks ago, Marcus did his speeches on the need to focus completely on climate change and a proper central american co-ordination to prepare housing and emergency response to the new hurricanes. But the stage was decorated with the "fantasy flags". I laughed out loud to see him against a backdrop of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. The same sentimentality that brings out such stage decorations for the "theatrical road show" of the EZLN is the very same sentimentality, the very same "Selective & Collective memory : Memory as fetishised community : Communality as fetishised memorial" which will ensure post-fascism thrives in Italy and other states of the east in Europe. Please think about that.

I repeat :- sentimentality is a political vice.

On February 15th 2003, after a campaign which had begun during the war on Afghanistan the year before, an estimated 1.3 million people assembled in the city of Barcelona to call on the then prime minister Aznar to cease his support for the Bush / Blair axis. In these last 3 years attendance figures at demonstrations have been so exagerated perhaps by a popular wish to remember that day's extraordinary participation that a certain revisionism has taken hold. The group "contrastant" was welcomed by many when it finally corrected these exagerations and using scientific methods proved the attendances could not have been as great as at first suggested. But society certainly joined to say "No To War!". But I can not forget that in the last week the "drinking riots" , brough more young Spanish to the street than any politics of sentimentality or fetishised shame. = Stop flogging the dead horse. C/F

The Spanish armed forces who entered Iraq as part of the "coalition of the willing" understood their mission was to be a "humanitarian". Aznar at the Azores conference with Bush and Blair had insisted his troops would being food, water and medicines but not be a force of occupation. Indeed the Spanish media accompanying them happily shot video of young Iraqi kids in the Spanish sector singing "guerra no! guerra no!" ( no war! no war!) to the same melody that had spread throughout the peninsula at home. However, behind the media pitch, being stationed as a spanish soldier in Iraq was not easy, and we know now that the armed forces were attacked by the insurgency 33 times before their final withdrawl by the Zapatero regime in mid 2004. It is worth noting that Zapatero and his party the PSOE only gave their support to the various groups campaiging against the war on February 3rd of 2003. He had promised to recall troops from Iraq if elected and control over that country was not given to the UN after June 30th 2004. Consistently arguing that the war had been illegal. On April 18th 2004 four days after formally taking power, and one month after being elected Zapatero announced that the return of the 1300 Spanish troops stationed .The PSOE (Zapatero's party) were never a "pacifist party" and indeed since the withdrawl of the 1,300 troops from Iraq, they have sent troops to Haiti and Afghanistan. They presently contribute more NATO troops to Afghanistan than any other member. Under Zapatero's minister of Defence Jose Bono, spanish military spending increased, and arm supply orders were signed with many other countries, most notably Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. The re-equipment of the Spanish navy in the period 2003-2005 moved it into 3rd position for efficacy and power in the EU. Spain's armed forces also boast the largest percentage of any country for non-national officers and soliders recruiting widely in South and Central American societies. That being a tactic to balance the infamous US "school of the americas". At end Zapatero's foreign policy was sweetened by the withdrawl from Iraq, and allowed him to promote the "alliance of civilisation" The Spanish saw their popularity increase amongst their neighbours in the Mediterranean, and the "threat index" of a repeat of the March 11th Al Qaeda attack seemed to lower. That said, the majority of Al Qaeda suspects held globally (outside of Guantanamo) are held or were processed in Spain, and since March 11th several minor attacks have been reported as "foiled". The greatest criticism seemed to come from Paul L. Bremer ( the U.S. direct ruler in the first phase of the occupation), who lambasted Spanish armed forces behaviour during their stay, complaining in his biography that they had not "engaged the enemy". And we may also note that though Aznar is the single "world leader" who has met (either in office or out of it) George W. Bush the most, proving a warm friendship between the two, Bush has not yet officially met Zapatero.

The collective "SIOF" is still active and campaigns for the introduction of an option for Spanish State citizens
to withhold their taxes from military spending, as well as campaigning along with the mainstream party IU and its Catalan sister ICV for a withdrawl from NATO.
The group "espai alliberat contra la guerra" who emerged so dramatically from squatter, zapatista, alternative, anarcho-syndicalist and general european "eccentric exile" circles in the months before the declaration of war, won affection across the political spectrum for its very high profile and symbolic occupations of Barcelona's council properties which in each and every case, they were not evicted without their characteristic resistance, lots of media types filming and lots of people hanging in difficult to arrest positions on mountaineering ropes. They received the "blessing" of the local "stop the war coalition" as well as the majority of the Catalan commercial media most of their members moved on to focus thier energies in other similarly symbolic protests on migrant issues, housing issues, and have continued to be at the "non-hierarchial heart" of Barcelona's and perhaps Spain's leftwing. "Espai alternative contra la guerra" occupied all-be-it for short periods abandoned buildings at "symbolic" adresses; Dr Flemming square (named after the discoverer of penicilin for the health needs of the planet's poorest), Pi square, Arc of the Theatre street, and the old income tax offices of the state amongst others. The analysis of the assembly after many debates , was that the "root cause" of transnational conflict is "the quotidien war of poverty, exclusion, hunger, prejudice, disinformation, criminalisation, exploitation and insecurity". Within a few months of the start of the war, the group met in assembly and decided to "return to lists" thus disbanding, but many of its members continued to fight speculation and homelessness and went on a curve which brought them to occupy many buildings in the city, and have been since the March 11 bombings of Madrid in occupation of a former "guardia civil" barracks at number 11, Juan Bourbon street. One of the buildings they occupied before the war (next to Pi square) now bears a small plaque erected by the government, reminding the casual tourist in three languages that during the Spanish civil war of the 1930's, the square had been known popularly as "the square of the unknown volunteer".
The group "Aturem la guerra" (stop the war coalition) has never ceased in its attention to military conflicts worldwide, its campaign against the war on Iraq, was always tied to support for the Palestinian people, and those of Afghanistan, and in the last years support for the peoples of the Western Sahara. It has called an event for Saturday 18th March 2006
the group "peace foundation" boasting many members of Spain's academic community continued to collate data on conflicts and the quality of justice in societies affected by war, working closely with "Intermon Oxfam" (IO) and Amnesty international
The group "peace school" only a few weeks ago present a detailed report on those same conflict resolution processes suggesting that in the last 20 years decommissioning of arms and peace processes globally (from Ireland to Angola) have seen an estimated 1,129,000 people return to normal civilian life, and work within their societies to improve the lot of the poorest.

I couldn't write any review of these last 3 years without mentioning at least one Spaniard who died, in the service of media in Iraq. José Couso was a cameraman with TV5 one of Spain's terrestial channels, he was 37 years of age, married with two children then aged 3 and 6 years. He was in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad in 2003, a building which was clearly identified to the occupying forces and Iraqis as housing members of the international media and aid volunteer corps. They were protected under Article IV of the Geneva Convention 12/8/49 and its summary protocols and additions of 8/6/77 to which the USA is party. On the 8th of April 2003 he and others died after sergeant Thomas Gibson, captain Philip Wolford and lieutenant colonel Philip de Camp
of the the 64th armoured regiment of the 3rd division of infantry of the US Armed forces negligently and illegaly fired tank shells at that hotel. He was just one of many. The case against the USA for its illegal war and its wanton destruction of the Iraqi peoples' homes continue.

Pau = Paz = Pax = Bake = Siochain = Saleem = Shalom = Peace.

I happen to believe that ideas such as "black shamrocks" are the way to go, and in fact bring us back to the creativity that allowed millions of people to take part in political activity in 2003. I hope that my suggestion to "wear a purple afghani opium poppy for peace" in November is taken up, or at the last "a silver foil smack wrap for peace lapel pin".

We didn't lose.
They didn't win.
Lets not get sentimental about it.
Havea great week!

the last Sunday Papers "mozart edition"

{ all the Sunday Papers articles are © iosaf mac diarmada, I trust ye all to read them if you want, act or not on the suggestions, agree or not with the analysis, but don't go selling them in the USA as your idea. I had this problem years ago when a future trader started basing analysis of stock using me as an indicator. Just goes to show why capitalism is idiotic pants. and its coming back. }

This week's illustration is of the "expulsion of the money changers from the Temple" by "El Greco" or
Domenikos Theotocopoulos (1541-1614). Born in Crete he mostly worked in Spain. His eyes were fucked so he painted scenes which depict famous people who didn't really look like that, or could afford that sort of clothing, in a way which is even weirder. He's was a good example of a "great person with disablity".

author by Rt. Hon. Prof. Iosafpublication date Mon Mar 20, 2006 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Racine held seat number 13 on the Académie française (French Academy) from 1672– to 1699.
These are the people who today complain about the introduction of words like "le bubblegum, le basket, les cornflakes, and la télévïsïöñe" into the language. But of course they have no problem with "racallie". Despite its dubious etymology, many academics thinking it an english loan-word, emminent writers such as Guy Patín (1601 - 1672), Jean de La Fontaine (1621 - 1695) and Voltaire (1694 - 1778) used the dirty little word thus giving it "respectability". But when they used it, the effect was different to the current French regime.
[ you don't need to goto the sorbonne library this week, its all online on wikipedia ]

Athalie is one of the main plays by Racine.

(wiki :- "The quality of Racine's poetry is perhaps his greatest contribution to French literature. His use of the alexandrine is considered exceptional in its harmony, simplicity and elegance. Racine's work faced many criticisms from his contemporaries. One was the lack of historic veracity in plays such as Britannicus (1668) and Mithridate (1673). Racine was quick to point out that his greatest critics — his rival dramatists — were among the biggest offenders in this respect. Another major criticism levelled at him was the lack of incident in his tragedy, Bérénice (1670). Racine's response was that the greatest tragedy does not necessarily consist in bloodshed and death."

english link for the erasmus heads
french link for the barricades
(wiki :-
"Racine published Athalie in 1691. It tells the story about a queen of Judah during the reign of King Jehoram, who later ruled alone for 5 years. William F. Albright has dated her reign to 842 BC-837 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841 BC-835 BC")

Athaliah was a worshipper of Baal. And in many ways walked in the steps of Jeezabel on now that was once a very dirty word. But Jezebel was actually Athaliah's mother.

But of course we don't worry about things like that now. I can use HTML and call Mary Harney a painted jezebel, and no-one will complain.

Mary Harney! you are a painted Jezebel!

OK. that finishes my lecture today, please pick up your waste soft drink cans, take the chewing gum from under the desks, leave the hedgerow quietly, and get back to your barricades. If any of you want to do homework, I suggest an essay on what language you think the Christ used to get the money changers out of the temple.

author by -publication date Mon Mar 20, 2006 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors


oh! we are all bad words.
oh! we are all bad words.

we can all be slaves as well as scum and jeezebels.
we can all be slaves as well as scum and jeezebels.

no comment
no comment

author by iosafpublication date Mon Apr 10, 2006 15:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I suppose experts will start analysis now.
One person is still in a coma remember that not many experts are going to note it.
& the final arrival at the table of malcontents of Valerie Giscard d' Estaing will probably be chewed over too much. if you can't beat them - join them

author by Sorcha-bcn.publication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 23:53author email sorcha-bcn at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sorry to hijack this thread, but I'm trying to get in contact with the author "Isoaf", regarding a problem here in Barcelona.

If possible, could Isoaf please email me at

Many thanks.

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