December 29, 2016

George Michael: an original in an industry that is gradually fading

Posted in Irish Independent · 153 comments ·

More than 30 years on, I still break out in a cold sweat at the opening bars of ‘Careless Whisper’. I am back in the teenage disco. Once the saxophone ushered in the full, rounded tones of George Michael, red-haired lads like me knew the night was over.

The slow set wasn’t designed for redheads. It didn’t matter how much spadework we had put in, the slow set separated the redheads from the rest. Us carrot-tops may have been able to compete in the chats, laughs and yarns, but when it came to the holy grail of teenage south Dublin — the successful slow-set snog — redhead boys hadn’t a prayer. Only the very brave or very drunk teenage girl would regard a redhead as a scalp.

That was just the way it was.

A vicious, adolescent apartheid operated at the slow set and hunky, dark, Mediterranean George Michael tended to signal the beginning of the end for walking Duracells like me. It seemed to me that redhead boys were more likely to be refused entry into bars and clubs than others. I was sure the bouncers hated us.

And so the earliest iteration of my relationship with George Michael is bittersweet, but — wow — he was such a talent. The stories of his generosity are legendary. He supported nurses and miners, not to mention the fact that he gave his less-talented Wham! partner, Andrew Ridgeley, the rights to ‘Careless Whisper’ just so his mate would have some cash. This was a decent bloke.

Listening to the range of his music is a pure joy.

George Michael was, like all creative people, a completely independent soul, who was prepared to take on the industry when he felt his art was being hijacked by the machine.

Before most artists, singers and writers copped on, Michael realised that the artist had to control his material. His legendary rows with his record label, Sony, centred on the control, as well as the timing, of his album releases. The record company wanted a neat, evenly-spaced schedule, allowing the company to extract as much as possible from each album before milking the fans with the next. This was how the normal commercial product cycle played out. Michael didn’t agree with this sequential approach. For him it was all about the inspiration.

He paid heavily for this stance. By the late 1990s, when he was a world superstar and should have been enjoying an unparalleled purple patch, his prodigious output was damaged by ongoing legal battles with the record label.

But his legal battles signalled the end of an era and the beginning of something totally different, whereby disruptive technologies have destroyed the music industry business model. The irony is that the George Michael versus Sony battle was the last great battle of the last big war. Today, neither the artist nor the record company gets the money. Now the lion’s share of the cash from music goes to the owners of streaming platforms.

This is a travesty and the same process will afflict other industries in time.

In a sense, George Michael was the last superstar of an old age. He was involved in such a lengthy legal battle with Sony because of the enormous financial clout he had. There was simply too much money at stake for the record label to back down.

In truth, he was one of the last generation of songwriters to be paid properly for their work. Today musicians with amazing talent aren’t paid because the advent of streaming has gouged the value out of the artists and, worse than giving that value to the music industry, the internet is transferring value to the owners of platforms like Spotify, Google Play and Pandora.

Now people expect to get music for free and the income goes to the owners/shareholders of these platforms, rather than the old industry producer, record label or the creative artist.

Let this be a warning to all of us. The music industry is a cautionary tale of the massive damage disruptive technology can do to assumptions underlying existing business models and career choices.

What is happening now to musicians is also happening to journalists and others who write for a living. Many journalists can’t make a living because people want their information for free and aren’t prepared to pay for it. Ultimately, if the consumer doesn’t want to pay, the producer goes bust. Automation is making this process endemic.

In time, so-called safe professions like lawyers and accountants, and indeed doctors, will go the way of musicians and journalists. The disruptive technology that will make accountants obsolete is already here. Any job that is formulaic and repetitive, such as bookkeeping, accountancy and the law, will be made redundant on an industrial scale. I mean, why pay a human when a machine can do it for free?

Technology is the silent killer of the bourgeoisie. It knows no boundaries, limits or nationalities.

Think about what has just happened in the past decade in George Michael’s industry — the most glamorous, best-financed industry in the world, where the consumers weren’t just buyers of products, they were fans! If technology can destroy such an industry, it can destroy any industry.

So what do we do in the face of the relentless march of technology?

Well let’s go back to the teenagers — or at least go back to what we tell teenagers today. In Ireland, we are training teenagers to obsess about Leaving Certificate points as if the professions, which the points system aims to perpetuate, are stable and certain in the face of such technological assaults. This is nonsense. The professions are over.

We shouldn’t be training our teenagers in the chimera of fake stability. Teenagers need to be trained to deal with ambiguity, not certainty. The key characteristic for a sovereign life, one that ultimately doesn’t depend on the suit you wear or the title you possess or the company you work for, is not to be fragile. It is essential to be robust in the face of adversity. This means we have to show them how to embrace uncertainty.

George Michael was an original in an industry that is disappearing. What happened to music in his many decades at the top will happen in most industries. The only difference now is that change is happening quicker.

  1. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    No one seems to care that Mrs Debbie Reynolds has also died. Now, t h a t was good pop music!


    • McCawber

      Carrie Fisher had a sad life.
      Her mom must have had many years of upset watching her daughter’s struggles.
      Perhaps a happy release from the agony of a parent mourning her child.
      I hope so.

  2. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Mrs Carrie Fisher, who also died, was my first romantic love in life as Princess Leia. Obviously, she was not aware of that, neither was Ronald Reagan that he was my childhood hero.

    “Now people expect to get music for free and the income goes to the owners/shareholders of these platforms, rather than the old industry producer, record label or the creative artist.”

    There was a very good book written on that topic:

    • Funny, Ronald Reagen was my childhood enemy then I grew up to see him reincarnated as George W Bush who I always regarded one of the most evil people ever to have lived. It puzzled me how one evil person can become reincarnated to another evil person while both are still alive.

  3. Onda

    George Michael was a really nice, understated and slightly shy person when I knew him in the 1980’s

  4. Peter Atkinson

    Funny you should mention formulaic and repetitive. Eventually there are only so many variations on chord sequences before repetition occurs. I think we have reached critical mass. Technology will now produce a song based on criteria fed to it anyway. It’s called Dance Music and the kids can’t get enough of it.

    The art of conversation is dying a very slow death too. No longer are kids sitting in groups interacting on a personal human basis. Rather they are sitting in groups armed with smartphones and tablets interacting with technological friends miles away.

    Friendships are now defined by Facebook et al. It was considered a novelty to have a Facebook friend a while back. Now if you’re not on the Facebook friends list you’re nothing. Worryingly it’s now caught on with the mothers and fathers of those children.

    The result of the above scenario is isolation. We are supposed to be social animals yet we are getting more and more isolated as technology advances. Maybe at some stage in the near future we will have a room full of holographic Facebook friends to interact with.

    I bet the publican is wondering where his future fits into all this

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I pretty much agree with every single word you’ve said. Especially about the art of conversation.

      “technology will now produce a song based on criteria fed to it anyway.”

      “Friendships are now defined by Facebook et al.”

      Sometimes I think that if you were to shut down the internet (say as a result of a cyber war), you’d have like 10,000 suicides amoung the young people in Ireland within a week: those people would virtually not exist outside Facebook (we can see that by suicides of teenagers experiencing cyber-bulling – I had like one fist fight a week in primary school at least, most of them involuntarily, and never felt suicidal – we are grooming via Facebook characters very weak, very dependent on the opinion of others).

      Books, money, good deeds, painting – all of this is now replaced by “likes” as a social currency amoung the youngest. Then the reality kicks in and it turns out that life is not about having 200 “likes”.

      Of course, someone might say that “likes” are important because they build a social network.


      If every person among those 200 “likes” is equally stupid – then we are not learning anything by having 200 “likes” any more than by having one…

      • Truthist

        The “likes” aul caper goes on here too in this blog ;
        But, in a more tactical & skillful way.
        All for a strategy.
        “Pushing the envelope” will definitely earn u “dislikes”.
        And, most folks wanting to say “like” will not do so.
        Beware of bloggers ;
        Most of them can be very petty & mischievous, & vindictive.
        Trust only in God ;
        Christ & the Spirit are 2 of the 3 facets of God.
        And, Christ is against Usury ;
        Given that Christ is God, we MUST reject Fekete’s claim that “usury is acceptable for import-export transactions”,
        The Real Bills Doctrine”
        I understand that the real bills doctrine is enticing within present-day scheme of things.
        But, fek-it !
        I trust that it is permissible to be Christ-orientated during Christmas ?
        Christ — as a man — was a Truthist too. 8-)

        • DJR

          Of course it’s permissible for you to be Christ-orientated during Christmas, if that’s what you’re in to.

          But then you say, “Given that Christ is God, we MUST reject…”!!!

          • Truthist

            No illogicality there on my part DJR.
            I am reminding the blog that God forbids usury [ i.e. "the charging of interest on monies loaned out to borrower" ].
            So, “we MUST reject Fekete’s claim that “usury is acceptable for import-export transactions”,
            The Real Bills Doctrine”

          • DJR

            Hi Truthist,

            I don’t have a reply button below your post, so just to clarify…
            What I was pointing out was the illogicality of there being a god who can forbid something, or tell us what we MUST do!

          • Truthist

            I have no problem with u having this as ur personal view-point.
            But, u should appreciate that I have categorical claim to say so to all the Christians & Muslims ;
            Hypocrites that most of the Christians are today, I have the right to behold them to honor what they are at pains to appear to practise.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          In current Carolingian Europe, George Michael would not be allowed to name his song “White Christmas” (recent story of a few thousand people Belgian town not to allowed to use the word “Christmas” because it would hurt the religious feelings of… four Muslims living there) – it would have to be “White Season Greetings”. No, that’s not PC too (because of the word “white”).
          “Non-white season cock suckings” would be better.

          Btw, DJR would probably not like this:

          “Michael Brown, a guitarist who worked with George Michael about ten years ago, said the two regularly prayed together. [...] Brown said he professed his Christian faith to Michael soon after they met and that Michael had a lot of questions about Jesus. Brown said he ended up performing over 100 live shows with Michael over a period of four years, and that George Michael would seek out Brown before going on stage and would ask him to pray.”

          P.S. I am not against the “likes” as such – I am against a culture which forces kids to derive their social status entirely on “likes” and encourages them to spend time on writing/reading bullshit to:

          1. Use them as slave labour to do free product placement for companies.
          2. Divert their attention from things that might start them to question the system (such as Facebook censorship).

          “I am walking into the building”
          “I am in the building”
          “I am walking up the stairs”
          “666 people like that.”

          • DJR

            No problem with that – freedom of religion & freedom from religion.
            Though freedom from all religion – be it Christian, Muslim or Consumerism would be preferable.
            Just to add, the Season was celebrated in Ireland long before the Christians came along!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “the Season was celebrated in Ireland long before the Christians came along!” – so it was in Poland – which obviously was not called Poland before 10 century AD.

            I am sure you are aware of all the symbolism taken by Christianity from earlier religions, including dates.


            This is not the reason why “Christmas” is banned in many German or Benelux towns (so far Ireland stays put) and replaced by “Season Greetings” – a vulgar, cowardly, shameful fear and hypocrisy is the reason.

            Therefore I am an enemy of “Season Greetings”. It’s Europe. It’s Christmas.

            The fact that we used to sacrifice virgins by smashing their heads with a stone in the middle of the stone circle before we started to sing carolls and be nice to virgins does not mean we should revert to smashing their heads.

            Unless, of course, someone is called George Soros and ritual sacrifice does not bother him as long as he can make money off it…

        • Why not get some knowledge of the Real Bills Doctrine before pontificating about it? There is no charging of interest involved; no so called usury involved; No fiat currency involved; no exchange of money involved. Merely the final settlement be made in gold coin to settle the outstanding difference in accounts if any.

          A good read and study period is needed before any further negative comments are made or at least are substantiated.

          The mystery readily finds its solution if we contemplate that the Bank of England acted as the clearing house for real bills financing world trade between 1815 and 1914. This was history’s most successful episode demonstrating the power and the potential of the RBD. By 1913 world trade in consumer goods had reached a high mark that was not surpassed until the 1990′s. In whichever countries they were domiciled, the exporter billed the importer and the terms of the bill “91 days net payable in London” were standard

          • “It is incumbent on the detractors of the RBD to explain how the phenomenal increase of world trade in consumer goods, on which the remarkable prosperity of the world before World War I depended, was possible with only a negligible amount of gold changing hands.” Antal Fekete.

          • The RBD is an indispensable tenet of a free society.

            “The outbreak of World War in 1914 put an end to international bill circulation and wiped out world trade in consumer goods almost entirely. When the war ended, the garrison states that emerged did not allow real bill trading to recover. Bill trading assumes that the gold is outside of the banks, in the hands of the people. Strategic imperatives called for the concentration of monetary gold in bank vaults. People had to be weaned from the gold coin. Nor was the reintroduction of real bill trading considered an option at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 that was charged with the task to regenerate the world economy and trade after the ordeal of World War II. The world is still doing without the benefits of real bills. Trade has been placed under the direct control of governments. Political, not economic considerations govern the flow of consumer goods across international boundaries. Government regimentation of the lives of the people has become virtually complete.” AF

            Again we return to the function of the central banking system as a modus operandi for the enslavement of the people of the world. Central banks control the movement and circulation and pricing (but not the value)of the gold and silver. Gold and silver coin must be allowed free circulation as money, as a medium of exchange and account. A return to the RBD would encourage trade but necessitate the freeing of honest money and allowing it to function as it should.
            Dorothy in silver slippers on the yellow brick road was on the way to freedom. Like her we must advance and tare down the veil and expose the wizards of Wall St and The City of London etc for who they really are.

          • ” Please remember that you have seen it here first: the main cause of the Great Depression of the 1930′s was government sabotage of the Real Bills Doctrine of Adam Smith. The world’s monetary and payments system is still limping from crisis to crisis, and will continue doing so until the RBD is fully rehabilitated.” Antal Fekete.

          • “”The enemies of freedom, the managers of the unconstitutional irredeemable dollar, are rubbing their hands in joy while getting ready to shout from the rooftop that “we have told you so”. They understand what the Misesians do not: the “100 percent gold standard” is doomed to failure. If implemented, it would cause depression, bankruptcies, and unemployment. The Great Depression of the 1930′s would be repeated, which was due, not to fractional reserve banking, but to government sabotage of the market’s clearing system, the international real bill market.”" Antal Fekete.

    • Funny, Ronald Reagen was my childhood enemy then I grew up to see him reincarnated as George W Bush who I always regarded one of the most evil people ever to have lived. It puzzled me how one evil person can become reincarnated to another evil person while both are still alive.

    • Maybe at some point in the future the technology will not need us any longer. Humans may become as obsolete and as few as dray horses which had huge numbers up to 100 year’s ago, with just a few kept in zoos. Maybe us humans are just stepping stones in something else’s plan or evolution.

    • McCawber

      Actually the art of conversation is dying a very quick death.
      The mobile phone being the main culprit.

  5. Truthist

    Very talented Irish writer died yesterday ;
    Mr. Anthony Cronin
    . results for search terms ;
    Anthony Cronin AND Irish writer
    . article ;
    Ref. article above ;
    “He had Honorary Doctorates from several institutions such as
    Dublin University,
    the National University of Ireland
    the University of Poznan.”
    Cronin’s novel “The Life of Riley” I encountered as radio novel on BBC 4 ;
    Superb !

  6. Irish PI

    Should have come to Limerick then David.All the ginger nuts got the slow dance sets in the 80s.

  7. Sideshow Bob

    Growing up in the era of Wham! the only word I could associate with the music of George Micheal was phony.

    Particularly stark in that era of very artificial post-modern pop was George Michael’s contrast with Boy George who wore his sexuality on his sleeve, no feigning for market gain about being heterosexual, and who with Culture Club, produced much better and more genuine pop songs than Micheal in Wham! as far as I can remember. I am a close fan of neither.

    Grunge, with deliberate uncouth-ness and noise, eventually emerged as the antidote to these disgustingly saccharine sweet, perma-tanned, coiffured unreal music industry creations. 3 piece bands with short sharp messages and garage sounds replaced this repulsively artifical syn-pop and sentimental power-ballad era. Kids in the 1980s that grew up being fed this manicured s***e as future music industry target clients rebelled and said no more. Thank f***ing God.

    George Micheal was no music hero: he was an industry stooge who went along with things, until he thought he didn´t have to anymore.

    Damage to the music industry has never been done by “insiders´´. It has always been done by “outsiders´´. George Micheal was just an “insider´´ who didn´t know which side his bread was buttered on. One among many who tried to get into it, he got lucky and then didn´t know how to handle it when he got there.

    He is reported to have been a kind soul, and his premature and seemingly preventable death is a small tragedy in it´s own way for his close friend and family in particular, but it is nothing more than that.

    • SMOKEY

      Couldnt agree more, he was mediocre at best in my estimation. Another bloated junkie who throws it all away acting like a spoilt brat. Elvs Presley died because he was the first SUPERSTAR who didnt have a benchmark to relate to. He could have been saved from himself but the flow of information wasnt as strong then. NOW?? You know why and how you can deteriorate from drugs, unsafe sex, and alcohol, its been repeated time and time again so if you die young, it is usually your own fault. That said safe sex isnt as fun as good sex so I get it. Ace Frehley, Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards and Iggy Pop are the exception, not the rule. Anyway, its a shame someone like Bono wouldnt pop his clogs so I wouldnt have to look at his fat ugly smug face ever again.

  8. Sideshow Bob

    ´´Well let’s go back to the teenagers — or at least go back to what we tell teenagers today. In Ireland, we are training teenagers to obsess about Leaving Certificate points as if the professions, which the points system aims to perpetuate, are stable and certain in the face of such technological assaults. This is nonsense. The professions are over.

    We shouldn’t be training our teenagers in the chimera of fake stability. Teenagers need to be trained to deal with ambiguity, not certainty.´´

    Uncertainty in the long term doesn´t safely pay 25-30 year mortgages for amounts in the 100s of 1,000s of euro. Civil or Public service jobs might, depending on where you are and if you can be promoted. With housing completely given over to the free market for provision how can a dead industry rejuvenate itself solely on the basis of providing housing in the long term just to public servants? Who else will have the income streams to pay mortgages? Who will want to finance an unsafe market? And of course People in construction need to be able to pay 25-30 year mortgages, too. Without this they aren´t going to start or expand their businesses i.e. expand capacity and get house building going. It is a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum on the whole.

    Going back to the theme that I qouted above; instability and uncertainty. I think lots of people under 40 can identify with instability, and almost everyone under 30, if we wish to speak in broader strokes on this matter. I think, too, when you tell someone who is young with no commitments that the future is uncertain, you get long term commitments being ignored or put off or given up on. Hence, declining birthrates, less demand for home ownership, less saving, more living for the moment and ultimately more boom and bust where instability in the central job market and basic cultural mentalities creates instability in other markets such as housing, education and health.

    And you are wrong about the professions too, I think. To deal with technological assault they have already developed a pronouncedly unequal “outsider / insider´´ paradigm inside of themselves. That has been going on for many years, sinec computers turned up I think, but the crash brought it into sharp focus.

    Sometimes, I really think you are quite a clueless commentator David McWilliams. Maybe less flying around and a little more research and interviews would educate you.

    The professions will still exist long into the future. A self selected core part ( not a meritocracy mind, just well connected types and their mates ) constitute a well earning group of “insiders´´ and have closed ranks and will not admit new members to this set-up for life core, except for a few choosen acolytes, proteges and yes-men. Think of them as golden circles. The “technological assault´´ as it is put here is being warded off by playing off the professional “outsiders´´ against each other in a wage/contract price war. You see tech innovation means less jobs while increased 3rd level graduate numbers means more people looking for these fewer jobs and so, a sellers market for employment contracts. These tech adept “outsiders´´ never make enough money to form their own business and have their heads immersed in constantly learning the technology and trying to ward off their competition ( each other). Also they are kept at a distance from clients and key contacts. So these conditions, and other measures, prevents “outsiders´´ from using their technological know-how from leveraging the true advantage they hold and from really threatening the “insiders´´ position. A key external measure is the existence of new anti competitive barriers like for instance requiring that in order to get a contract you must already have done similar work of the same size and have insurances for that meaning that no new competitor can enter a market from scratch, only existing firms can tender for work. PM process BS is great for deploying this in particular. A huge mountain of bureaucracy, documents, pointless meeting and title have been set up to insulate the “insiders´´ from the technological advancement that would make them redundant. This is how this works. Take a genuine look and see.

    As an example, this has been happening for 10 years now in the building industry, and is one of the reasons it is dysfunctional. The professions are still there right with all the same central people who were there long before the crash. Given the Government is the biggest paymaster in the State right now this situation will continue to consolidate in the medium term.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Sorry typo at `pointless meeting(s) and title(s)´.

    • Truthist

      I believe that u are correct Sideshow Bob.
      So, what should the outsiders do ?

      • Sideshow Bob

        Truthist, I can only answer regarding construction and my thoughts are as follows.

        They would have to be able to get to the clients ( potential or current ) and by-pass the various blocks.

        Not sure how. Would require the outsiders to realise that they were outsiders and unify purposely and avoid undercutting each other at their own expense. It would require new products and networks willing to work with them to make true dinosaurs of the established insiders.
        They simply wouldn´t know how to respond to a new paradigm.

        It would likely require finance which would be difficult for the outsiders to obtain. One of the Mike´s on here floated the idea a while back of a national development bank which is common in developing countries as being necessary for things to move forward. I agree that something like this would be necessary, some form of publicly backed but financially sound bulwark. Risk would have to be priced into things ( i.e. via interest rates and limits ). This aspect must be kept real.

        More than anything it would require some purposeful Government deregulation and attempts to reduce bureaucratic complication. The Government via various publicly projects and the release of ex-NAMA lands is almost the most significant player in the market. Almost no new `providers´ can get work with them.

        I don´t see the prior two points happening, so I think we will trundle onwards as we are until the Government or a Government call a halt to the capital expenditure bandwagon.

      • contact23

        excellent piece there by sideshow bob, there is a way to counter the insiders and that is a tried and tested but ultimately unstable structure and that is to organize the outsiders together in a form of co-op, yes Irish farmers have led the way here , and also lessons can be learned from their mistakes, how to structure and organise it is the key but it does give a way of pooling resource which is the only counter small producers/suppliers can muster, and the sooner the better before impossible obstacles are positioned.

        • Sideshow Bob

          Hi Contact23.

          Yes, farmers have arrived at these types of solutions in the past. I think they have a better sense of the common good, and of common sense at work. Farming is a bit timeless, in a way. They have independence and no boss looking over their shoulder telling them how to think also which has to be a good think for tings like this.. They had things like the GAA the Church, the local pub, etc, to bring them together on a local level.

          Modern Irish professionals don´t have this context and close simple links. Even starting a conversation would be hard. Anybody raising a head above the parapet would be likely to be ridiculed initially and victimized I would say if they made any progress by the “insiders´´.

          Saying that a bit part of me would like to have a go at it!

    • Truthist

      Very interesting & “constructive” from both of yee :
      Sideshow Bob
      Many thanks
      Although, I must say that I have some confusion & quibbles about some points highlighted & advocated.
      But, I trust yee welcome my Detective Columbo attitude.

  9. douglaskastle

    I feel mixed about the observation here. The “traditional” music market that is getting destroyed was a fluke if it’s time. 100s or 1000s of musicians trying to make a crust, but only a few, some admittedly with talent, win the lottery and get to live millionaire lifestyle, but the 99% remainder don’t and drift out of the scene. (Ricky Gervais none withstanding)

    Technology has only levelled the playing field and the real world model should be getting paid for a live performance, not endless royalties for an album recorded over a weekend back in the 70s.

    My view is that musicians should work and get paid for the work, but that is getting up on stage a getting paid the that. However it falls back to the rest of us, the punters, to feel that what is being offered is worth it and a willingness to cough up. The artists that embrace the live market have the best chance of survival. The rest, tell the black smiths I said hello!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Technology has only levelled the playing field and the real world model should be getting paid for a live performance, not endless royalties for an album recorded over a weekend back in the 70s.”

      Very good point. Two additions:

      1. Sometimes playback fails during the current pop-stars gig and it turns out that they absolutely cannot sing.
      2. Johann Sebastian Bach, who composed nearly 300 cantatas, was sick one day (his duty was to prepary a new cantata for every Sunday mass), so he used the cantata he had already prepared some other week. The outraged faithfuls of the Leipzig church of St Thomas protested that they had already heard that. It rather proves the point of the great Austrian spiritual father of the period instruments movement that:
      a) People had much better memory and musicality in the past.
      b) The future will remember our times as a strange age of musical restriction and primitivism whereby music is conceived as something trapped in on a plastic disc, and repeated over and over again hundreds of times.

      An observation of mine: pop music of the 70s v pop music of the 2010s:

      King Crimson would have been able to play all current pop songs (and improvise to it).
      But none of the pop (I am talking pop, not rock) stars of today would be able to perform any of King Crimson’s greatest songs.

      • douglaskastle

        @Grzegorz I agree with both of those points and could probably add 10 more.

        I wonder if DaveMcW could do a study on the artificial need for “growth” of the content in the music world when there is a huge catalogue of content that people haven’t even heard.

        Do we need new music when technology allows us access more old, but unheard music?

    • Exactly right. Musicians were overpaid for decades by monopolistic practices of extortionately overpriced vinyl, cassettes and CDs etc. If they can’t earn a crust by touring in today’s changed landscape then tough – they are simply not good enough. There was too much mediocre music around in any case. These people make ‘songs’ for God’s sake, they don’t operate on sick children. That being said, I thought George Michael was a nice bloke and had a few good songs. Sad to die at his age and apparently not happy in his life. I found it odd that his self-deprecating appearance in the aforementioned Ricky Gervais’s ‘Extras RIP.

      • …sorry, meant to say this (hate this blogs’ layout- it’s awful):

        …I found it odd that his self-deprecating appearance in the aforementioned Ricky Gervais’s ‘Extras’ was not mentioned in any of the obituaries that I read. It was very funny. RIP.

  10. StephenKenny

    The idea that streaming is destroying the music industry really isn’t fair on the streaming services. Spotify pay over 80% of their income in royalties – unfortunately not much of that gets to the artists, the vast majority ending up in the pockets of the record companies. Spotify make a healthy loss every year, in spite of their rapidly growing paid subscriber base – ‘do the math’.

    The record companies hold all the cards, but they saw the error of their cousins over in video, who enabled Apple to dominate, and they are aware that they must allow a number of strong, competing, streaming services to co-exist, or they’ll end up beholden to Apple or Google.

    If you want to look for the great change in this industry, it’s the demise of radio. How many people used to make mix tapes by starting off recording John Peel’s show? Or the Top 40?

    • Truthist

      Hi Stephen,
      Please be so kind as to explain what u mean by ;
      “healthy loss”

      Thanking u in advance

      • StephenKenny

        Spotify may be in real trouble as economies of scale are not operating quickly enough for them to stay in business, or they may not have sufficient economies of scale available to stay in business.

        But to be charitable, one might say that they are spending to expand, so as to achieve economies of scale. So you could call their losses ‘healthy’, as they are part of the process of becoming profitable.

        But their future, or lack of it, is absolutely in the hands of the music industry, and the deals they are prepared to offer.

        • Truthist

          Cheers Stephen.
          And, it is such a good explanation that I will copy & paste into word-processing document & file under biz-models category.

  11. Pat Flannery

    Read George Soros today on the danger of fascist dictatorships and mafia states being on the rise:

    “I was an avid supporter of the European Union from its inception. I regarded it as the embodiment of the idea of an open society: an association of democratic states willing to sacrifice part of their sovereignty for the common good.”

    … he continues …

    “After the Crash of 2008, the EU and the Eurozone became increasingly dysfunctional. Prevailing conditions became far removed from those prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty, but treaty change became progressively more difficult, and eventually impossible, because it couldn’t be ratified. The Eurozone became the victim of antiquated laws; much-needed reforms could be enacted only by finding loopholes in them. That is how institutions became increasingly complicated, and electorates became alienated.

    The rise of anti-EU movements further impeded the functioning of institutions. And these forces of disintegration received a powerful boost in 2016, first from Brexit, then from the election of Trump in the US, and on December 4 from Italian voters’ rejection, by a wide margin, of constitutional reforms.

    Democracy is now in crisis. Even the US, the world’s leading democracy, elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president. Although Trump has toned down his rhetoric since he was elected, he has changed neither his behavior nor his advisers. His cabinet comprises incompetent extremists and retired generals.”

    … and finally …

    “I am particularly worried about the fate of the EU, which is in danger of coming under the influence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose concept of government is irreconcilable with that of open society. Putin is not a passive beneficiary of recent developments; he worked hard to bring them about. He recognized his regime’s weakness: it can exploit natural resources but cannot generate economic growth. He felt threatened by “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere. At first, he tried to control social media. Then, in a brilliant move, he exploited social media companies’ business model to spread misinformation and fake news, disorienting electorates and destabilizing democracies. That is how he helped Trump get elected.

    The same is likely to happen in the European election season in 2017 in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. In France, the two leading contenders are close to Putin and eager to appease him. If either wins, Putin’s dominance of Europe will become a fait accompli.”

    Sobering thoughts for all of us from a man who knows the world.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Sobering thoughts for all of us from a man who knows the world.” – who knows the world so much that made money on collaborating with the Nazi Germany by stealing money from Jews about to be holocausted.

      The problem with the Maastrich Treaty was that when Germany or France started breaching it as first, there was no one to punish them – but they used the same Maastrich Treaty to punish smaller competitive economies.

      Not Maastricht Treaty is Europe’s main problem, but Germany: Germany is too strong to play fair with smaller countries, but too weak to guarantee Europe safety or stability.

      Therefore some European countries need the US to counterbalance the influence of Germany, which strategy is to make sure that other economies are not competitive to it.


      The US power is waning and the US has its own problems.
      And these problems are in lion’s share the fault of the political camp that Hitleree represented, and the likes of the Nazi criminal George Soros.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        George Soros on sending his fellow Jews to death camps and stealing money from them: “it was the happiest time of my life”. Jawohl, Herr Soros!

        “Wenn der Sturmsoldat ins Feuer geht, dann hat er frohen Mut
        und wenn das Judenblut vom Messer spritzt, dann geht’s nochmal so gut.”
        “When the stormtrooper enters the fire, he keeps his courage high,
        And when the Jewish blood springs from the knife (which is what the Jihadists let in by Germany against the EU law will do, hence massive flights of Jews from France to common-sense prevailing Poland and record number of applications for Polish passports from Israel – G.K.), then everything will be good again”.

        Young Soros brat would have approved.
        Heil Hitler!
        __/ /

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Cannot render Mr Soros’ and the vast majority of peaceful (Islam is a religion of peace and always was – though in fairness some Irish Imam’s went vocal against letting in the extremists) refugees beloved symbol :-( – the lines shift.

          I think only Adam would know the solution – I cannot work WordPress (cannot even insert any picture, maybe I have an obsolete version).

          In Microsoft Office, the Soros-sign works like this: keep holding the alt button and type
          21325; you will get the result


          • Truthist

            I tries ur “21325″ + “alt” trick in MS Word ;
            Absolutely nothing got produced.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Yes, one has to configure keyboard layout in Windows prior to that so that one can type all additional symbols; you can then assign swastika symbol ? .

            Btw, I wonder if you remember my earlier detailed post on that topic explaining that contrary to what people think that the symbol originates from India, it is actually older than than – it originates from what is today Ukraine, from Aryans before they went to India, and then it was brought back from India.


            These are a sideline, unimportant issues. The important issue is how wicked one has to be to participate in the Holocaust as a teenager, and have no remorse about it (even Heinrich Himmler – the second most evil of all Nazis to Martin Bormann – had awareness that what they were doing was not exactly glorious (in his famous speech).

            And, George Soros was not that entrepreneurial as he portrays himself to be (actually, he came from already privileged family).

            I tell you who was entrepeneurial as a kid – Richard Branson writes in his autobiography that when he was four, his mother drove him miles apart from their house in London and asked him would he be able to come back. He said he thought he would, so she said “get out and do so”. It took him a few hours, but he came back. He writes that nothing was ever difficult for him after that, that he skipped college and earned his first million before he was 19.

            I believe his story – my parents did something similar around that age, except only in the supermarket. When I was 9, I would travel on buses (my urban area had 3 million people). When I was 14, I would travel Poland 600 km on my own.

            Except – socialist, Soviet occupied Poland was not a place to make a million dollars, unless your parents were communist spies. Or even a thousend.


            Compare my go-and-explore upbringing to that of current kids in Ireland: we knew a girl, who, when she was 15, was still not allowed to leave her e s t a t e. What is amazing – she never revolted against that.

            Most kids aged 15 need to be picked up by car from any destination further than 5 miles.

          • Truthist

            So, u point out that the Jewish Mr. George Sore-ass / Soros [ Not his real name though ; It is actually George Schwartz ] is a Nazi ;
            True !
            And, just to balance the ledger, the “charming” German Mr. Heinrich Himmler whom u say was the # 2 most evil Nazi — Mr. Martin Bormann being for u the # 1 — was, in normal hereditary terms, Jewish ;
            Although, he would not be Jewish according to Jewry’s own pre-conditions ;
            According to Jewry, to be a Jew one’s mother has to be Jewish.
            Anyway, Himmler’s grandfather was a Jew.
            And, Himmler was a Zionist in effect also.
            Yes, that very Heinrich Himmler who was the boss of the Gestapo, & the SS, & Interpol, & was also the director of mass killings of prisoners in concentration camps & more victims at other locations.
            Here is a notable extract from
            “Himmler had Jewish connections.

            Reportedly, Himmler’s grandfather was Jewish.

            Himmler neice, Catharine Himmler, married an Israeli

            Himmler’s SS cooperated with the Haganah, the Zionist underground military organization in British-run Palestine.

            [ The Zionists are in bed with the Nazis ]

            The Gestapo’s Eichmann was Jewish.

            “Documents about Eichmann are bound by a 50-year secrecy order.


            In his book The Order of the SS (1981), Professor Frederic Reider explains how the Nazi Third Reich and Zionist Haganah worked together to encourage Jews to move to Palestine. (National Medical Association).

            “At the time when Eichmann took over the Sub-department IV B4 in the R.S.H.A., which had been established to settle the Jewish question, he (Eichmann) was not himself anti-Semitic.

            “His functions led him to collaborate closely with the World Zionist Organisation and to make contact with the leaders of the secret Zionist organisation, Haganah.

            “He even went himself to Palestine in 1937, in the company of Oberscharfuhrer S.S. Sergeant Hagen, the successor to Leopold von Midenstein, to examine the problem….

            “By the end of 1939, 150,000 Austrian Jews had left, by choice, to go to live in Palestine, as had also 120,000 German Jews and 78,000 from Bohemia/Moravia.

            This emigration had been organised by the S.D., with Hagannah’s approval, and was carried out clandestinely by boat, despite the draconian measures taken by Britain to stop it…”

            Eichmann also had the Madagascar Plan, whereby a national Jewish homeland would be set up in Madagascar.

            Himmler and Heydrich approved, and on 18th June 1940 Hitler himself told Mussolini ‘an Israeli state might be set up in Madagascar’.

            The project came to nothing. [ National Medical Association ]

            Jewish historian David Cesarani, in Eichmann: His Life and Crimes, states that as a child Eichmann was persecuted because he looked Jewish.

            Eichmann’s stepmother had Jewish relations and Eichmann associated with Jews.

            Eichmann learned Hebrew, visited Palestine and worked closely with Zionists preparing Jews for emigration. [ Eichmann was Jewish ..."
            And, Heydrich was Jewish.
            And, so was Goebbels [ Head of Propaganda ]
            And, so was Wilhelm Canaris [ Admiral, & Head of German Intelligence ] in WW2.
            The list of Nazis who were Jews is both shocking & very long.
            By the way ;
            Himmler’s niece married a Jew, & she lives in Israel.
            Here is an interesting article from Henry Makow ; born a Jew.
            Henry Makow is in my opinion 1 of the few great men in public life today.
            TITLE, & BLURB ;
            World War Two Was a Charade – The Proof!

            April 7, 2016

            “Martin Bormann, who signed Hitler’s pay cheques and knew everything about the Nazi war effort, was an Allied spy.
            The book “Op JB” (1996) by John Ainsworth-Davis describes in detail his rescue by the British from the ruins of Berlin in April 1945.”

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            When one discusses such issues, one should reach for primary sources. I do not think that the statements made below by Messrs Aanirfan/Makow are fully accurate.

            I find it sometimes irritating that there is no crossexamination of sources (and rarely, if ever) and no references to primary sources on this blog (especially when it comes to military issues), when radical statements are made (particularly about Russia – too often only Russian sources are quoted here, or Russian-established websites like the “Canadian” Global Research; the same intellectual laziness goes on about some anti-Russian statements here, but the former takes place here dozens of times more often; or about Mr Trump).

            “And, Heydrich was Jewish.
            And, so was Goebbels ”

            Starting with Dr Goebbels, his mother, Mrs Katharina Maria Odenhausen, came from the village of Uebach-over-Worms in Holland, and occasionally would laps into Rhenish Plattdeutsch when speaking with Joseph. His father was Fritz Goebbels – that is the spelling
            in Paul Joseph’s birth certificate – a Catholic. He did not like him; this is what Dr Goebbels wrote about his father in his diary after he had died:

            “‘petty minded, grubby, beer swilling pedant, concerned only with his pathetic bourgeois existence and bereft of any imagination.”
            “I just can’t understand why Mother married the
            old miser”.

            There are rumours that his mother’s family came from Spain. But even if we consider them (and none of the authors provide any documents or primary sources tracing Dr Goebbels’ family), he would still not be a Jew according to the Nuremberg Laws – if you look at “Erste Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz”, November 13, 1935, &5 (signed by Der Führer und Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler, Der Reichsminister des Inneren Frick, and Der Stellvertreter des Führers R. Heß – Reichminister ohne Geschäftsbereich – reference: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1935, Nr. 125, S. 1333f.), then you will read the following:

            “(1) Jude ist, wer von mindestens drei der Rassen nach volljüdischen Großeltern abstammt. § 2 Abs. 2 Satz 2 findet Anwendung. – so who meets AT LEAST THREE OF THE CONDITIONS SET OUT BELOW – G.K.


            a) der beim Erlaß des Gesetzes der jüdischen RELIGIONSGEMEINSCHAFT angehört hat oder danach in sie aufgenommen wird,

            b) der beim Erlaß des Gesetzes mit einem Juden verheiratet war oder sich danach mit einem solchen verheiratet,

            c) der aus einer Ehe mit einem Juden im Sinne des Abs. 1 stammt, die nach dem Inkrafttreten des Gesetzes zum Schutze des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre vom 15. September geschlossen ist,

            d) der aus dem außerehelichen Verkehr mit einem Juden im Sinne des Abs. 1 stammt und nach dem 31. Juli 1936 außerehelich geboren wird.”

            Now, when we dealt with Dr Goebbels, let’s have a look at Heinrich Himmler.

            “Anyway, Himmler’s grandfather was a Jew.”

            Himmler’s father Gebhard was from a family of farmers and craftsmen from Ansbach in northern Bavaria. His grandfather – Konrad Himmler – was the illegitimate son of Johann Hettinger and Johanna Himmler.

            Mr Gebhard’s origins are decisively German.

            Himmler’s mother, Anna Maria Heyder, was the daughter of a Bavarian tradesman and of very similar origins to her husband Gebhard (look in Richard Breitman, 1991, ‘The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution’, 1st Edition, Alfred A. Knopf: New York, p. 9) – an extremely pious Catholic too. There are no reasons whatsoever for supposing she had any jewish ancestry, and none are given by Messrs Makow or Aanirfan (interestingly Himmler did believe he was descended from a convicted witch).

            Himmler’s only Jewish connection is that his great niece – Katrin Himmler – married and has children by a Jew (look at Katrin Himmler, 2007, ‘The Himmler Brothers: A German Family History’, 1st Edition, MacMillan: Basingstoke, p. 4).

            “Himmler and Heydrich approved, and on 18th June 1940 Hitler himself told Mussolini ‘an Israeli state might be set up in Madagascar’.

            The project came to nothing. ”

            The main reason why the remaining Jews (and the Poles too, but for a different reason of saying no to Hitler’s offer of attacking Soviet Russia together with Germany and Japan) ended up in death c amps rather than in other countries was THE RESISTANCE OF THE UNITED STATES TO ADMITT ANY JEWS TO THE US (including Pat’s beloved California).

            When the international conference was called in summer 1938 in Evian at the Geneva Lake, NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD apart from Colombia agreed to receive the German Jews, including the US, who set up the conference, but were most opposed to receive any Jews (the US refused to grant visas even to those Jews that Poles rescued from the Holocaust, and when they found out – via Poles Witold Pilecki/Jan Karski about the Holocaust, they imposed a censorship on any information about the Jews getting to the US from Europe (the British envoy, Anthony Eden, was even scared – this is in the official documents of the White House – that Hilter might release the Jews from Holocaust, in which case England would have to receive them).

            Coming back to the 1938 conference, the Peru representative had even refered to the US refusal to take any Jews from Germany as a justification of Peru’s refusal (I am translating from the original: “on this, as well as on other matters, the US are for as an example of carefulness and common sense”).

            Australia for example said that they would love to take some Jews, but they won’t, because that would anger the Australian… trade unions. The British doctors threatened with the national strike if Britain agrees to take any Jews (they did take some eventually): “none of our doctors wishes that our country is flooded with the wave of migrants”.

            “Martin Bormann, who signed Hitler’s pay cheques and knew everything about the Nazi war effort, was an Allied spy.
            The book “Op JB” (1996) by John Ainsworth-Davis describes in detail his rescue by the British from the ruins of Berlin in April 1945.”

            The available evidence would rather suggest that Martin Bormann was a Soviet spy.

            “And, Heydrich was Jewish.”

            Inaccurate – Heydrich was a Mischling zweiten Grades, according to the Nuremberg Laws. Jewish were, i.e., Eichmann and Milch (Luftwaffe general – as you know, Luftwaffe were particular cunts in Poland (in contrast they were very kind to the French), bombing primarily civilian targets – people on roads trying to escape towns, and hospital; amazingly, they took great pains not to bomb the US/British embassies – can you imagine being in the US embassy in September 1939? You can see the Holocaust of the Poles, flames everywhere, and no flower touched within the radius of 200 metres of your embassy – as ordered by Luftwaffe).

            “This emigration had been organised by the S.D., with Hagannah’s approval, and was carried out clandestinely by boat, despite the draconian measures taken by Britain to stop it…”

            At least that I can agree with.

            As late of October 1941 a ship from Germany full of Jews arrived in Lisbon (at that time the only nation that suffered from the Holocaust were the Poles).

            Few people know (and probably noone in Ireland) that you could get to the Mediterranean from Germany via Dardanele and Romania till the end of the war, and that the danger for the Jews trying to escape from the Nazi Germany was, until 1942, not the Nazis, but the Soviets: they would try to torpedo every ship with Jewish refugees. Even less people know that it was mainly the Sefardian Jews that were forced to leave – the Ashkenazi German Jews could stay and, for example, make a career in Wehrmacht in some cases (I am talking about the Jews in the light of Nuremberg Laws). This explains why in 1945 the allies saw a fully functioning… synagogue in Dresden, with a Jewish Ashkenazi community of over 10,000, whose only nuissance was that they had to report to Gestapo once a week. And so the great Rabbi of Berlin Dr Israel Goldstein said (for reference, see “Georgette Goldstein-Laczko, “Die Geschichte des Rabbi Goldstein in Berlin”, Heos-Verlag, Tuebingen-Paris, p. 142) that over 30,000 Jews got to the Holy Land via Syria and Romania under the auspices of the Red Cross, and protected from the Soviet mines and torpedos by Kriegsmarine (in one such case, on 24 February 1941, the Soviet Russia killed 763 Jews on the drifting ship “Struma” north of Bosfor); a similar event took place on August 3, 1944 (yes: FORTY FOUR!), when three ships with Jewish refugees “Morina”, “Bulbul” and “Mefkure” were attacked by a Soviet submarine – this was not for military reasons, because when the Jews started to jump out of “Mefkure”, the Soviets started shooting at them from machine guns – but Kriegsmarine defended two other ships.

            Btw – you know who was the most anti-Jewish Nazi (it’s hard to pick one, but I am talking about antisemitism so hideous that it borders on grotesque)? Why, Julius Streicher (a socialdemocrat, btw). He did not want to kow-tow to Hitler. Do you know how Hitler dealt with him? He showed him documents proving that Streicher was Jewish. The last words of executed Streicher were, in 1946 (according to official Nuremberg Trial documents) – “Holy Parim 1946 – and now to God”. He was burried as Abraham Goldberg.

            Also interesting are the origins of the “Voelkischer Beobachter” – Hitler bought it for 30,000 DM he got for that purpose from a chap called Trebitsch-Lincoln, evangelical pastor in New York, then in England, director of a nafta company, English MP from the Liberal Party – and a German spy at the same time!
            After Hitler had bought it, he nominated one Holoschi as a Technical Editor of “Voelkischer Beobachter”. Holoschi was, without a doubt, a very atypical Nazi – a Hungarian 100% Jew, a son of an authentic Rabbi (Dr Ernst Hanfestaengl, “Zwischen Weissen und Braunen Haus”, R. Piper u Co.Verlag, Munich, 1970, p. 106).
            Only Goebbels could compete with Trebitsch when it came to anti-semitic articles. He died in Tibet, where he tried to stage an anti-British uprising. Voelkischer Beobachter devoted an entire issue to him, with a moving memory of Trebitsch written by Alfred Rosenberg himself.

            I wonder if it was Trebitsch who helped Hitler to get, in 1932, money from the following banks: Mendelsohn & Co in Amsterdam ($10m and $15m), Kuhn, Loeb & Co, L. Morgan & Co, Samuel & Samuel.

            The most loyal donor to Hitler was Shell, which – through London bank Samuel & Samuel – gave Hitler 10m golden guldens as late as in 1937 (I quote after the “Hamburger Fremdenblau”, February 15, 1939).

            Do you know what? As you know, I studied the Nazi law for 6 month – which probably makes me the main expert on that in Ireland – I am now bored writing about Jews. Can we talk n o t about the Jews? Because I do not think that having exhausted the topic and debunked a few myths, I will touch on this subject any time soon…

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Holoschi – in Hungarian that name is spelled Holoszi, read Holoshi.

            My name btw is pronounced:


            It would be nice if you learned it, as a Christmas present (apparently there is a Gaelic version of that name: Gregair, but I never met any Irish speaker who would confirm that).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            who meets AT LEAST THREE OF THE CONDITIONS SET OUT BELOW = now I am the one who is innacurate, because section 2 goes to point d) – so FOUR conditions, not three!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Well, 5 if we include point 2 – but that’s obvious, because of course, because point 2 is a special case of someone meeting the condition set in point 1.

            Btw, no Polish nationalist had ever thought along the lines set out in Nuremberg Laws.
            On the contrary, the father of Polish nationalists, Roman Dmowski, was first in the world to warn about Hitler in writing, when the British ex-prime minister adored Hitler long after Dmowski wrote his warning (even Churchill wrote as late as 1938 that he wished England had a leader like Hitler, and they were Irish TDs other than from Sinn Fein (Costello for example) who praised Hitler’s Holocaust in the Dail after the news could no longer be contained).

            P.S. Despite all that cry about the Nuremberg Laws, until 1938, a Jew in Nazi Germany enjoyed actually a better legal protection (including social) than someone born in Ireland from non-Irish parents (or the illegal Irish in the US for that matter).

          • Not sure on that one but I could look into it Grzegorz.

            In related news this is interesting and indicative:


        • Truthist

          That aspect of modern-day fear-mongering the Jews out of Europe is only 1 of the motives by the Dreadful Few.
          That particular motive is that the Jews in Europe go to Israel so as to boost the numbers there in what is a very harsh hot & bright climate ;
          Quite intolerable to live long-term.
          The Jews in Europe are very happy in Europe, & do not want to live in Israel.
          Hence, the Zionists are at pains to create devices to force them to go there.
          Echos any times past ?

    • StephenKenny

      Soros is a financial speculator, and a vocal supporter of state sponsored social engineering, and of state sponsored ‘regime change’. He comes from a world where there is an equal and opposite loser for every winner. I’m not sure I’d trust him to feed my cat.

    • Sideshow Bob

      The Putin Puppet thing was invented to deflected attention from Clinton and Obama´s support of various Al-Qaeda linked Sunni terrorist groups (rebels?) in Syria and in Libya.

      Essentially this article is a clear Cock and Bull story from Soros to support that narrative.

      Perhaps he is writing to support an investment position in some way. Maybe with defense contractors that stand to lose now that Russia and Putin may not be public enemy no.1 anymore?

      For an example of his highly selective vision on this topic, there no mention in his piece of the successive Middle East wars led by Democratic and Republican administrations , of the damage inflicted, of the huge cost and all round waste involved. Or the defense contractors that won big, Halliburton, etc. I am not sure how anyone can speak in broad terms about the last 30 years or so and not mention those wars. Or of the eight or so Muslim countries more recently bombed by Obama ( with Hillary as his sidekick ) including two OPEC members.

      Funny the way the military-industrial complex dosen´t appear at all and by extension the recent re-positioning of Russia as America´s new (old) enemy is not mentioned. This American military industrial complex needs new enemies. Real ones, providing worthwhile difficult to get at targets that could potentially even fight back. Not just a bunch of goat herders with not two cents to rub together between them, some vintage AK-47s, a very bad aim and no fear of death.

      Another thing about Obama and Clinton: political commentators have noted that nearly all US presidents including and since Kennedy sought to reduce tensions between the USSR and the US, culminating with Ronald Regan helping to end the Cold War. Obama has been a complete exception to this. His administration has ratcheted up tensions. Face it; he is a hawk in dove´s clothing.

      As for proof of Putin´s fake news agenda – where is it exactly?

      Democratic insiders likely leaked the DNC info, because they didn´t like what was going on. Funny that Democrats with a conscience.

      The following is from RT, from a SUPPORTED recent article called “Red Scare 2: Russia and the 2016 election´´.

      “One of the Podesta emails appears to corroborate this explanation. On December 21, 2015, The Hill columnist Brent Budowski advised Podesta to deflect uncomfortable questions about ISIS by going after Russia.

      “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria,” Budowsky wrote.

      Actual quoted email suggesting a media `message´ of Trump as Putin´s :

    • Pat, I cannot believe that you published this for any other reason than to wave a red flag in front of a herd of bulls. Wicked fun!!!!
      Soros’s record is out there for all to see. He is a Fascist manipulator. Definitely an insider.
      I’ll say no more as It is already said here by others

      • Pat Flannery

        Tony Brogan: actually it was a blue rag in front of a herd of red bulls :)

        • Sideshow Bob

          Donald J. Trump ?@realDonaldTrump, Dec 23 2016 -

          Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: “In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.” So true!´´

          I am thinking of joining twitter just to follow this guy. He is intriguing me, as much as the sour grapes still being directed at him.

        • the colours are reversed to what they should be. Quite Orwellian. The Democrat leftish should be RED Whereas the GOP rightish should be blue. BUT as the GOP seems to equal the DEMS when it comes to deficits on the budget the colours should be red white and blue or blue white and red just like several other countries with national debts from deficit financing.

          It sure is a confused world. But it is a fact that the banksters and their allies have us all under wraps.
          Wakey wakey before it is too late except for armed insurrection.

          • Pat Flannery

            Tony Brogan: the tribal colors may not be so reversed after all. Red has become very appropriate for the GOP since its Trumpistas would rather believe the Kremlin than Langley.

            But American institutions are strong, Trump will have his ass kicked by the American intelligence community when they “brief” him next week. He will find out that being CEO of a powerful COUNTRY like America is very different from being CEO of a mere corporation.

          • StephenKenny

            I doubt it. The credibility of western intelligence services could possibly get lower, but there really isn’t much further for it to fall.

            They’ve spent the last 20 years being spectacularly wrong, and just plain failing. Unless, that is, it was their goal to help spread death, anarchy, chaos and horror on a scale unseen in many decades, and to do it at unthinkable cost to the US and other taxpayers.

            It’s hard to have any respectable all for these organisations, or for their staff, when they leave such a trail of dishonesty, disaster, and failure in their multi trillion dollar wake.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Red has become very appropriate for the GOP since its Trumpistas would rather believe the Kremlin”

            What about President Obama’s reset, withdrawal from the anti-rocket shield, ad letting Gazprom to extort the monopoly rent from eastern Europe?
            Ever heard of that, Pat?

            Plus, while most of the accusations of Trump-Russia links turned out to be inaccurate, it was the Clinton Foundation that was selling uranium to Putin.



            You won’t find out about any of it if you only take information about Trump from the “Family Guy” ;-)

      • Sideshow Bob

        Ever seen a bull penned in on a street and being deliberately vexed by crowd or even a single idiot? Near Valencia in the mountains in villages they do this at night with the bulls horns on fire – toro del fuego – while everybody gets really drunk.

        Not a nice sight!

  12. McCawber

    Disruptive Technologies => More Productivity => Fewre real Jobs => Utopia or Dystopia
    Will the people be able to choose.

  13. “As we end the year, there is nearly no “RISK premium” anywhere to be found. In fact, the mainstream explanation for higher rates is the “reflation” trade, I disagree. I believe the higher interest rates are a function of liquidity tightness. The old debt/growth leading to more debt/more growth circle has been broken because “debt saturation” levels have been reached. The central banks are stuck as they have cornered too much collateral and are now being forced to look at other markets (including equities) to on load to their balance sheets. Risk premium serves a very important purpose in “pricing” assets. Central banks have tried to negate this concept and have only created a scenario of “premium” nowhere and “risk” everywhere. In a world with more debt and the worst debt ratios ever, risk is unaccounted for.

  14. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Inspired by the story of George Soros’s colourful though disgraceful (and hopefully soon to ended) life of a criminal and a Nazi (though an authority for some readers), I’ll try once again to see if that works (should it work, copyright Grzegorz Kolodziej):


    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      No it did not. Hmm… Anyone has an idea how to draw a swastika in WordPress, to commemorate Soros’s participation in Holocaust?

      It reminds of that story from eastern Germany in the 90s, told by my German friend Gabriele, who is from Leipzig, and verified by me independently.

      They discovered a swastika in the forest in Thuringen, designed in the 30s by a local Gauleiter growing brown-leafed trees in the middle of the green forest. Someone spotted it after so many years, and they had to cut off the brown trees. But then it turned out that empty spaces left by cut-off brown trees made the swastika so visible that it could now be seen by passengers planes.
      What now?
      The local German government decided to cut off the entire Nazi-forest.

  15. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Third time lucky?:


    • Grzegorz Kolodziej


  16. Truthist

    We are all being played again by The Dreadful Few in their obligating on us to embargo whatever nation they stipulate ;
    Grzegorz Kolodziej
    December 30, 2016 at 3:14 am
    “… Plus, while most of the accusations of Trump-Russia links turned out to be inaccurate, it was the Clinton Foundation that was selling uranium to Putin. …”

    • Truthist

      If there is any trade to be done with the pariah “rogue” State, it must only be done by The Dreadful Few.
      U have to admire the supreme cunning of how The Dreadful Few edges out of the competition, & extracts “captive-audience” prices from the pariah “rogue” State .

      • Truthist

        Typo ;
        U have to admire the supreme cunning of how The Dreadful Few edges out the competition, & then extracts “captive-audience” prices from the pariah “rogue” State .

    • Truthist

      True !
      Shame that none of the “former” candidates is truly a Truthist ;
      Trump is closest to being a truthist with the truth that he dared to tell.
      But, he told lies too.
      Then again, both Hillary Clinton, & Sanders, are hipocrites.
      I too busy now to supply the evidence Pat.
      Incidentally, 2 public figurs combining both “Populism” & “Truthism” would be :
      Mr. Louis Farrakhan
      Mr. Ron Paul [ However, Ron Paul could be more "truthist" ]
      For sure, these 2 together — ideally as joint Presidents or revolving Presidents — would be considered the dream ticket by most folks of that country.

      • Pat Flannery

        Truthist: no need to bother yourself with evidence that Clinton & Sanders are both hypocrites, I know they are, especially the two Clintons. But neither Clinton nor Sanders, nor any other candidate, are now going to be President, Trump is. That is the reality we have to deal with over the next four years. Our job therefore is to separate Trump truths from Trump lies and I am glad that you Truthist are dedicated to doing just that.

    • McCawber

      And Hulary is???

      • Pat Flannery

        McCawber: and Hilary? She should adopt Al Gore’s opening line: “I am Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States of America.”

        Like Al she is now just another historic figure who must shuffle off the world stage and leave the limelight to the new American President, Donald Trump, which is where our attention must now be directed.

        As the Trump one-man-show unfolds over the next four years we will see him in the bright lights of total and continuous exposure, which is what he signed up for.

        So, let the show begin, consigning all the unsuccessful candidates to history.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Ad-hominen rubbish top to bottom. Prejudical opinionating masquerading as analytical thinking for the already prejudiced.

      Where has Mr.Logic where are you now?

      Max Keiser has been pointing out what he thinks Trump´s strategy is. And he has spoken to many analysts who give unfiltered and unedited opinions, frequently and freely to his show. The theory has its origins in Pure Americana. Trump is forming “a posse´ of bad-ass gunslingers to haul the system into line. Prior reputations count for nothing in the battle ahead, new ones will be forged. This is just like the plot of the `Magnificent Seven´ which was a re-make of Kurosawa´s superior `Seven Samurai´ (which in-turn owed a debt to John Ford´s westerns).

      Logically if you want to defeat hackers you employ ex-hackers.

      Similarly, if you want to defeat bankers you employ ex-bankers.

      What he does deserve as much as anybody who goes into a fresh job, having earned it, is an opportunity to do the job before being judged. And anybody who can´t do that does not deserve to be listened too.

      And as for crony capitalism – The Clintons have almost reinvented it – and the America that was paying attention noticed that. There are too many examples to mention.

      As for this championing of Obamacare – well that is BS – all of the key swing states, the ones that won it for Trump – had huge levels of price gauging engaged in by health-cover providers in monopoly positions with elation to Obamacare cover.

      Here are the numbers.

      Ohio: 13.12% increase
      Florida: 17.40% increase
      Pennsylvania: 32.5% increase
      Iowa: 20.46% increase
      Michigan: 16.06% increase
      Wisconsin: 20.39% increase

      So, I posit what really killed off Hillary was Obamacare.

      Election map here:

      Premium map here:

  17. Pat, actions speak louder than words.
    We speculate
    If Trump betrays then the action on the streets will not be instigated by Soros.

    Trump needs to disclose the real state of the economy and show what is inherited or he is going down with the collapse of the economy which is what is planned FOR

      • Pat Flannery

        Tony Brogan: I am just trying to define our roles. Some here will want to form a Trump Greek Chorus echoing his every utterance as the “absolute truth” while others like me will want to take a more Nietzsche-like approach to this new Trump absolutism.

        • forget the labels.
          Nobody lives up to the expectation of a defined label.
          We are all individuals with our own biases and experiences affecting our utterances and behaviour. Sometimes they change minute by minute and others never change no matter the environment or evidence or experience.

          • Pat Flannery

            Tony Brogan: I just like consistency, like in establishing a brand name.

          • Fair enough,Pat. Like the coffee I buy. I know what I am getting.
            One of our politicians, in Canada, The name escapes me, was challenged about a campaign statement/promise. “oh that was said during the election.” This indicated that getting elected was the aim. The means justified the ends. Then once elected they could do as they wanted.
            It is common enough that all Politicians, good or bad, are labelled as liars.
            This is too bad as no right minded person in politics gets a fair chance, being surrounded with scoundrels and liars.

            But then the MSM pose no real challenge being in on the game. So it is up to the population to challenge the status quo and not let the politicians get away with it.

            Let us hope that the populist uprising which whether he is one himself or not, Trump tapped into as did Bernie Saunders.

            Perhaps we shall see trump appeal to Saunders for support as an assault is mounted on the mainstream parties by the independents with both really are.

            That would be an interesting result. Laissez-faire economic policy to create the wealth that also has social policy that looks after the dispossessed.

            Capitalism with a Conscience.

            I like that slogan for the next election.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Tony Brogan: I just like consistency, like in establishing a brand name.”

            Then you really must like me, Pat: I am the most consistent person here regarding Trump:

            1. I first wrote here on this blog, and first in Ireland, that if Trump wins the primary, he has the best chance to win the election (which I proved in the past, quoting mine and others first statements about Trump from the past – Tony was also very early with his support on Mr Trump, though he did not actually predict that early that Mr Trump would win (one other person did).
            2. I also said that my preferred candidate would be Mr Ben Carson, and I still stand by my word.
            3. Then I put my money where my mouth is, and placed a bet on Trump in October 2015, and another one in March 2016.
            4. I also mentioned Mr Trump’s meeting with the Polish diaspora, and based on that, I said that Mr Trump is not t h a t pro-Russian as he is portrayed, that he is p r o – A m e r i c a n in first place, and that the US-Russia relations will improve, but because Mr Trump – like President Reagan – will negotiate with Russia and China FROM A POSITION OF POWER. I also said that under Mr Trump, there will be no new Maidans. All of this can be tracked from my comments on this blog.


            What happened?

            1. Mr Trump won.
            2. I won.
            3. Maidan attempt in Poland last week failed.
            4. Not only the new Trump administration will keep its promise to locate the US bases in Poland, but Mr Trump’s envoy in Warsaw (he came all that way just for this) has signed a deal with Poland to sell Poland (for a fraction of what Clintons used to charge) JASSM-ER missiles (which was my desiteratum from my article I published in Poland in June), whereby Poland is t h e o n l y c o u n t r y i n t h e w o r l d allowed to buy this version of JASSM missiles.

            But you know what?

            Forget missiles.

            I am going to make it very simple for our readers.

            The main reason I think the Trump presidency will be better than Clintons/Obama is this:
            For them, what came at first place was: genderism anti-science, global warming scam, money from Saudi Arabia, kow-towing to Nazis like Soros, selling secret technologies to Russia if only it would make them richer.

            For Donald Trump – AMERICA IS FIRST.
            Trump’s tricks and him being spoiled?
            You know what?
            After Clintons, noone gives a damn…

            P.S. You are not in that Californian independence thing I HOPE???!

          • Pat Flannery

            Grzegorz Kolodziej: I like consistency in people’s thought processes, not because they are right all the time.

            I rely on the dialectic method and do not like to engage with people who do not believe in it, which may explain why I engage with some posters and not with others. Obviously I consider you one of the former (even though I fear you are not always right and sometimes lose your way in the dialectics).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “even though I fear you are not always right”

            Thanks God for that – if I thought I am always right, I would be clinically insane [and I know I am not – a few years ago, I ended up in a hospital for a long time; they did not have a proper place at first and it was an emergency – my organism stopped taking any food – so they had to put me in the lunatics ward (i.e., one guy in our room, after years of taking morphine, beat some teenagers up on a beach, because he believed that he was a government agent and IRA was about to assasinate him; one night he woke me up and asked me who owns this large hotel – I said we are in a hospital – whereupon he asked me “someone bought a hotel WITH the hospital?”);

            so why I know I am not insane – all me mates were busy and no one visited me until the weekend (and, like I said, I had just split) and I felt lonely (no books at that stage) – so no wonder when a good looking Trinity student on internship visited our room, I kept her for entire 45 minutes, with her doing various physical and verbal tests on me.

            Eventually, she said: “I am only a student here and I am trying to diagnose your mental illness for my college, but I am having trouble with you because it would appear you are completely normal”.

            I said: “I AM completely normal – I am only here because they did not have any other bed for me, and I have kept you for so long because you are good looking”.

            So I am one of a very few people on this blog who can certify that I am not clinically insane.


            A few weeks later, I was still in that ward with the insane (the hospital thought I had a good influence on some of them, insamuch one guy who did not speak to anyone started talking to me) me mates brought me my books. I was just reading George Berkeley “Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous”. A doctor entered a room and asked me what I was reading.

            I said: George Berkeley.
            She asked: “what is it about?”
            “The book argues that we cannot be sure that matter or other people actually exist”, says I.
            “How so?” – says she.
            “For example, do you see that tree outside?” – says I.
            “Yes, and?”
            “And, you see, I don’t see it” – I joked (Poles usually joke without smiling for a greater effect).

            She gave me that knowing smile that you would give to someone of whom you suspect that at some stage something must have gone really wrong in his life, but at the same time he has to be forgiven because he is also an imbecile.

            But the “chased by the IRA” insane guy woke me up that night to ask me what I meant by saying “I don’t see it”.

          • Pat Flannery

            Grzegorz Kolodziej: the “chased by the IRA” insane guy who asked what you meant by saying “I don’t see it” had a valid point. The “it” you “saw” was only your mind’s construct of a visual phenomenon which may be quite different from his mental construct of the same visual perception. In other words “reality” is subjective. Maybe he was the most sane person in the ward.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            He made a valid point, deffo.
            Although I doubt that while making his point he was implying that my mind’s construct of a visual phenomenon may be quite different from my mental construct of the same visual perception… He was a unusual person – even his name was unusual – Finn.

            Berkeley made his first approach to his “esse est percipi” in his earlier work, “An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision” (1709), that had been translated into Polish by a friend of mine.

            But it was not until the said “Dialogues” that his arguments in favour of what you just said found their final shape in his so called Master Argument (btw, the “Dialogues” are brilliantly written from a literary point of view – I consider Berkeley the best master of style among philosophers, after Nicolás Gómez Dávila (whome I consider t h e best), and even before Plato, Seneca, Nietzsche or Schopenhauer].

            The Master Argument can be summarised like this: we cannot actually conceive of mind-independent objects, that is, objects existing unperceived and unthought of, because in order to conceive of any such things, we must ourselves be conceiving them.


            The Master Argument seems to conflate the object of perception (what we conceive with) and its content (what we conceive of—the content of our thought) – a distinction first made by Bolzano, but developed by Kazimierz Twardowski in a way that led Twardowski to sustaining conclusions regarding theory of intentionality that were opposite to Bolzano’s (namely that there are no objectless presentations, no matter how strange and improbable that object is – even Even presentations of contradictory objects have both content and object)

            To that, it can be argued – in support of the great Irishman – that we cannot represent unconceivedness, because we can never experience it; and because we cannot represent unconceivedness, we cannot conceive of mind-independent objects.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Premature and involuntary posting:

            To that, it can be argued – in support of the great Irishman – that we cannot represent unconceivedness, because we can never experience it; and because we cannot represent unconceivedness, we cannot conceive of mind-independent objects.


            This line of defense of Berkeley’s argument has been refuted in the 1930s by another great Polish philosopher, Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, and here is how:

            Kazimerz Ajdukiewicz compared the language used by George Berkeley to the language of syntax, because the former reduces relations of the mind to its objects to relations between thoughts.


            The ordinary way of speaking about objects employs semantic relations, so Berkeley’s claim

            esse = percipi

            is similar to an attempt to define semantics in a purely syntactic language.

            However, due to Alfred Tarski’s results about the relation between syntax and semantics, this is
            i m p o s s i b l e.

            What Ajdukiewicz has done is he compared the language used by Berkeley to the language of syntax, because the former reduces relations of the mind to its objects to relations between thoughts.

            Tarski was another Polish philosopher who shaped the mathemitical logic of the 20th century – between late 20s and late 30s, Poland was world’s leader in analytical philosophy and logic – so much so that the then best American philosopher Quine came to Warsaw to learn Polish to read Jan Lukasiewicz (who emigrated to Ireland after WWII) in original;
            Germany for example, although it had been the world centre of philosophy only 30 years before Ajdukiewicz refuted Berkeley, was lagging behind Poland in philosophical development – for example, Edmung Husserl based his theory of intentionality set out in the Logical Investigations (1900/01) on Twardowski’s earlier distinction between act, content and object, whereby Husserl did not understand some subtleties of Twardowski’s arguments – as a result, Husserl writings are much less precise than Twardowski’s.

            And this leads us to… California!!!

            During WWII, Alfred Tarski settled in California (nomen omen, at the University of Berkeley). The way he settled there was very accidental – he traveled to the United States to attend a congress of the Unity of Science movement and … WWII broke out!

            You might be surprised to know to having settled in California, he practically built the modern mathematical logic in California from scratch – with virtually all most prominent Californian logicians being students of either Tarski or Carnap (btw, do you know that Karl Popper considered his most important philosophical moment in life a conversation with Alfred Tarski on a bench in Vienna, where Tarski explained to Popper his model theory?).

        • Truthist

          Well, Pat, u are valid in being critical against Trump if it is in this regard at least ;
          Trump’s hostility to the long suffering Palestinians.
          This feature of Trump’s manifesto is a real nasty one ;
          Trump will support Israel to move its capital to Jerusalem.
          Trump will move US Embassy to Jerusalem.
          Trump’s Planned US Embassy Move To Jerusalem is on Palestinian Property
          Walid Khalidi.

          Journal of Palestine Studies
          One of the most difficult issues of the final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is Jerusalem.

          The complexity of this issue has been compounded by U.S. actions to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and by allegations that the prospective site of the embassy is Palestinian refugee property confiscated by Israel since 1948.

          Evidence of Palestinian ownership of the 7.7-acre site-the subject of this report-was gathered by a group of Palestinians from the records of the United Nations Conciliation Committee on Palestine (UNCCP) in New York, the Public Records Office (PRO) in London, the U.S. State Department (DOS), the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israeli Land Registry Records (Tapu), the Israeli Ministry of justice, and heirs of the original owners.

          The research extended over a six-year period and involved some forty individuals.

          Although hampered by the inaccessibility of the site to surveyors and by Israel’s rezoning and reparcellation of the land in question, the evidence yielded by this research shows that at least 70 percent of the site is refugee private property, of which more than a third is Islamic waqf (trust). On 15 May 1948, the last day of the Mandate, the site was owned by seventy-six Palestinians.

          On 28 October 1999, the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) addressed a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright outlining the results of this research and requesting a meeting to share the findings with the DOS.

          It was only on 28 December that the DOS replied to the effect that any data that the group had should be communicated to the DOS “to be kept on file.”

          Given the grave implications of the embassy issue for the peace process and the credibility of the United States, the ACJ felt as a result of the correspondence that it had no alternative but to go public.

          • Pat Flannery

            Truthist: that was why Netanyahu was so enraged at the recent UN resolution. If Trump now tries to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem it would necessitate the US leaving the UN. That will never happen. This guy is totally out of his depth.

        • Truthist

          Absolutism upon Trump !
          ==> Trump absolutism for that absolutism.
          That is the game plan.
          Trump has been absolutely trumped by u know who even before he contested the primaries to become the Republican Party candidate.
          Just like Hillary Clinton.
          And, just like Larry Sanders
          Here, Pat ;
          U concerned about this ?
          Californians — other than the Latinos — in the main are most likely all for that particular absolutism, I guess.
          Please do feel that I am being personal Pat ;
          But, it is correct that I pursue this aspect with u.
          I also do not trust Trump.
          But, I definitely prefer him to Hillary Clinton or Sanders.
          And, yes, of the candidates, I preferred Carter ;
          Because of his stance on Right to Live ;
          Particularly on his anti-abortion stance.
          That man showed “moral courage”.
          He is not just a highly educated & skilled surgeon.
          But, I had misgivings about him on Israel.
          Ron Paul & / or Farrakhan are proven leaders.
          Carter should be a great addition to them.
          Israel is ambushing the Trump administration
          29 Dec 2016

        • Truthist

          Typo ;
          Please do NOT feel that I am being personal Pat

          • Pat Flannery

            Truthist: I try to stay away from likeableness and unlikableness. I think of myself as a policy wonk and try not to express an opinion on a person per se, only on their policies and on the underlying worldview I think informs those policies. Because I am human I sometimes fail and express disgust or admiration for an individual, but I try to stick with policy only.

            As for Californians’ perceptions of Trump, they are horrified because he is the very antithesis of everything they have created in their State. I think you will be hearing from them a great deal during his presidency. They are not going to roll over for him, nor should they, he was not elected King.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “I think you will be hearing from them a great deal during his presidency.”

            Well, Pat, as long as they do not detach California from the US – for the California Independence movement (I bet you did not know that!) has actually been established and funded by Russia, with its leader even… living in Moscow!

          • Truthist

            There were Russian settlements in California before it became part of USA.
            Just for interesting anecdotal & a little bit relevant sake I mention this.
            No need to divert into new sub-discussion.
            What a pity that this blog does not have a format whereby, with agreement by a quorum of regular posters, we place certain posts or threads — AND with facility for revision — in an archive as authoritative info., or authoritative positions, on important topics.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “There were Russian settlements in California before it became part of USA.”

            Well, yes, but if we are to by this line of reasoning, them the entire Ukraine (including Donetsk), Baltic states and Belarus should belong to Poland and Lithuania, as historically, it was a part of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania!


            When China organised a conference in Warsaw 16+1 (16 central and eastern European countries + China), they have made a remark that for the last 400 years, Poland has been constantly withdrawing from its territories in the east…

            So perhaps it’s better if the borders stay where they are – that means no separatist Californian movement.

            Pat still did not answer if he is in that movement – I now have a terrible suspicion that he is, but does not want to admit.

          • Pat Flannery

            Grzegorz Kolodziej: silence is not an indication of guilt. I am aware of the California Independence movement but profoundly disagree with it. But tell me more about its Russian founder.

            I like George Soros’ explanation as to why he supported the EU: “I regarded it as the embodiment of the idea of an open society: an association of democratic states willing to sacrifice part of their sovereignty for the common good.” I would apply that to both the EU and the US.

            BTW I am a philosophy alumnus of St. Kieran’s College Kilkenny, founded in 1782 now part of NUI Maynooth. George Berkeley is an alumnus of the “other” (Protestant) Kilkenny College. About the only thing we have in common is that we both studied in Kilkenny and both have California connections, mine real his not so real.

            During my days in Kieran’s I remember protesting to my learned clerical tutors that the Enlightenment philosophers, including Berkeley, had become obsolete with the revelations of quantum theory and the uncertainty principle. That did not go down well in our priestly dialectics, mainly because calling the whole concept of “being” into question undermined their favorite “proofs” of the existence of God. Kieran’s is now (appropriately) an exclusively theological university. I sometimes wonder if my recalcitrant philosophy days there hastened the process.

            I often joke that I became an atheist in the seminary, but I prefer to think I am a progressive trying to synthesis new knowledge with old, which is what I was trying to do in Kieran’s.

            Who was it that said “the only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery”? Oh yes, I think it was my favorite socialist, Harold Wilson. I am sure that little piece of ideological bait will draw an interesting response from our resident conservative-in-chief, Tony Brogan.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “silence is not an indication of guilt.”

            Silence is not an indication of guilt, by it’s good to know that you profoundly disagree with the Californian seraparatism movement.

            So living in California, you have to be aware of the “Yes California” movement attempts to organise a statewide referendum on independence to be held in 2019. They use the progressivist rhetoric, behind which they have their own Agenda. Enough said they are twinned with the pro-Kremlin group called the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia.

            Their leader, Marinelli, who in September moved to Russia, says his campaign receives no foreign funding – but I know enough from my political activity in Poland to know how the groups who received no funding differ in apperance with those who do (just look at the ignominous Soros- and Germany-paid coup attempt in Poland, where a Led Zeppelin-level of professionalism stage had appeared in Warsaw in front of the Parliament BEFORE the attempt was made in the Parliament to obstruct the 2017 budget voting, and thus overthrow the Szydlo (read Shidlo) government).

            They will find some appeal among dissapointed voters like you, I am afraid:

            ““We believe the country is like a Titanic (that I agree with – G.K.), and the election of Donald Trump is the equivalent of the Titanic hitting the iceberg.”

            Just to show you what clowns the referendum guys are – Marinelli actually voted for Trump, and Sanders before – but WHAT one would not say for money if one has a whore mentality?

            Marinelli took part in the annual “Dialogue of Nations” conference, organized in… why, California of course? – in Moscow by the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia.

            Attended by representatives of mostly left-wing separatist movements from Western Europe, the U.S., and Russia, the conference was held at the Ritz-Carlton and funded by a grant of 3.5 million rubles ($54,000) from the National Charity Foundation.

            And who is funding the “Anti-Globalist Movement”? Why, Kremlin of course. His leader, one Mr Ionov, postulates (in his post dated Nov 14) that Russia should take Alaska and seize Hawaii, which “could become Russia’s second Crimea,” citing an agreement between one of Hawaii’s chiefs and a Russian explorer in the 19th century.

            “Yes California” is “closely coordinating” with the “Texas Nationalist Movement”.

            They have just opened an embassy in Moscow (for you do not need any funding to open an embassy, wink wink).


            P.S. Perhaps you’d care to read this report:


            P.S. I have noticed a curious thing – “Friends” intro riff was ripped off from Black Sabbath second song from “Master of Reality”:


        • Sideshow Bob

          what you really are is a comedian specializing in irony, Pat.

          Ad Hominem attacks have no place in cold reasoning, and your inability to deal with obvious factual contradiction in your premises and investing yourself emotionally in a position makes you a `debater´, not a practioner of logic. This is why you get the `hump´ and belittle people and disengage. Emotion has no decisive place in logic. Logic is Vulcan after all! or was it Greek?

          Here are two refreshers for you:

          “Premise – From Wikipedia,

          A premise or premiss[a] is a statement that what an argument claims will induce or justify a conclusion.[3] In other words: a premise is an assumption that something is true. In logic, an argument requires a set of (at least) two declarative sentences (or “propositions”) known as the premises or premisses along with another declarative sentence (or “proposition”) known as the conclusion. This structure of two premises and one conclusion forms the basic argumentative structure. More complex arguments can use a series of rules to connect several premises to one conclusion, or to derive a number of conclusions from the original premises which then act as premises for additional conclusions. An example of this is the use of the rules of inference found within symbolic logic.

          Aristotle held that any logical argument could be reduced to two premises and a conclusion.[4] Premises are sometimes left unstated in which case they are called missing premises, for example:

          `Socrates is mortal because all men are mortal.´

          It is evident that a tacitly understood claim is that Socrates is a man. The fully expressed reasoning is thus:

          `Because all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, Socrates is mortal.´

          In this example, the independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, “all men are mortal” and “Socrates is a man”) are the premises, while “Socrates is mortal” is the conclusion.

          The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.

          Ad hominem

          (From Wikipedia)

          Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.[2]

          Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is normally categorized as an informal fallacy,[3][4][5] more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance.

          However, in some cases, ad hominen attacks can be non-fallacious; i.e., if the attack on the character of the person is directly tackling the argument itself. For example, if the truth of the argument relies on the truthfulness of the person making the argument—rather than known facts—then pointing out that the person has previously lied is not a fallacious argument.´´

          Here follows an image from when Socrates fighting for democracy!…

          • Truthist

            Very funny 8-) ;
            And, says ewes with a poker face or serious face ; Polish-style i.e. ; Ref. another post of urs today.
            I also think that the likes of this serves for to uncover if ur posts are being read fully or even at all.
            Grzegorz, I wonder did u look at that ?
            I myself did not have an in-depth look yet.
            But, anyway, the type of format that that blog uses I think is better than Davids.
            There may be better formats than that one.
            I hope that blog format of is free to use.
            If it is not free to use, I wish to know what the costs are.
            Perhaps someone will enlighten me as to a good + free OR good + cheap blog or forum “format”.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “Grzegorz, I wonder did u look at that ?
            I myself did not have an in-depth look yet.
            But, anyway, the type of format that that blog uses I think is better than Davids.”

            Yes, I did, but I’ll stay with David’s blog for the following reasons:

            1. It’s too time consuming to be on both blogs (especially if you are also writing articels for a Polish magazine).
            2. I am grooming David McWilliams to either establish a new political party or to become the President in Ireland within the next 2 decades.

            The hour is not propitious for that yet (I think this is one of the reasons he withdrew from “Democracy Now” – I have to admit I was approached by them at some stage, and one other party too), for in order to achieve that, first one has to wake up the Irish from their lethargic somnabulism they are happy to be in (well, not readers of this blog, but most folks on the rugged island).
            In order to wake them up, I must first undermine the foundations of cultural Marxism in Ireland.
            It’s a long and unrewarding path.


            I am a very patient person, as every girl who knew me would testify. And trained in sociocybernetics too.

          • Sideshow Bob

            ha ha Grzegorz…better chance of him ending up as President McWilliams, on a ticket of becoming Ireland´s first ginger president, sort of reverse minority rights thing, as there is f*** all chance of him ever forming a political party!

          • Sideshow Bob


            I din´t know if you saw this film `The Big Short´ but there is a quote in it you might like, so if you haven´t here it is;

            “The truth is like poetry– And most people f***ing hate poetry,”

            Overheard in a Washington D.C. bar by Michael Lewis, author of `The Big Short´.

          • Truthist

            Agree Sideshow Bob 8-)
            Bit like the frustrating experiences of African-American preacher David Carroll trying wake up his audience of men ;
            Interesting, helpful, & dare I say amusing, is the frankness.
            Quite listenable to whilst reading / writing other stuff.
            All men of all ethnicities & nationalities can learn more about their own “modern” women from what David Carroll reveals.

  18. Sideshow Bob

    Who cares about Trump?

    This is reality in Ireland.

    Here are some similar stories from America:



    So which one of you irrelevant dinosaurs has a rag to wave from your armchairs thousands of miles from Ireland about these things?

    Which one of you knows something real about Ireland today. Because I don´t see it.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “So which one of you irrelevant dinosaurs has a rag to wave from your armchairs thousands of miles from Ireland about these things?”

      Yea, one day I got a good lashing on this blog for writing too much about Dublin and its communication problems, and that these are local problems.

      Well, guess what?

      The conservative (or nationalist) mindset is to focus ON LOCAL PROBLEMS.

      One cannot seriously claim that one is anti-globalist and talk abstractions (which are also important) a l l the time. This would be like those communist who would not have time to help the elderly person carry her bags because they are busy loving the whole mankind.

      From Alexis Count de Tocqueville’s “On Democracy in America”:

      Chapter XVI


      “It has already been shown that democratic nations have a taste and sometimes a passion for general ideas, and that this arises from their peculiar merits and defects. This liking for general ideas is displayed in democratic languages by the continual use of generic terms or abstract expressions and by the manner in which they are employed. This is the great merit and the great imperfection of these languages.”

      “Democratic writers are perpetually coining abstract words of this kind, in which they sublimate into further abstraction the abstract terms of the language. Moreover, to render their mode of speech more succinct, they personify the object of these abstract terms and make it act like a real person. Thus they would say in French: La force des choses veut que les capacites gouvernent.

      I cannot better illustrate what I mean than by my own example. I have frequently used the word equality in an absolute sense; nay, I have personified equality in several places; thus I have said that equality does such and such things or refrains from doing others. It may be affirmed that the writers of the age of Louis XIV would not have spoken in this manner (THIS IS VERY INTERESTING AS IT COMES FROM SOMEONE WHO REMEMBERED HOW THE FRENCH SPOKE BEFORE THE REVOLUTION – G.K.); they would never have thought of using the word equality without applying it to some particular thing

      (that’s the difference between traditional philosophy, like Hegel, and ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY, like Searle – Aristotle is considered a spiritual father of analytical philosophy – G.K.);

      and they would rather have renounced the term altogether than have consented to make it a living personage.

      These abstract terms which abound in democratic languages, and which are used on every occasion without attaching them to any particular fact, enlarge and obscure the thoughts they are intended to convey; they render the mode of speech more succinct and the idea contained in it less clear. But with regard to language, democratic nations prefer obscurity to labor.”

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “This is reality in Ireland.

      This information should be given in conjunction with this information:

      What’s wrong with drinking pints before Christmas?
      Nothing – let them take ectasy tablets and order prostitutes if they want to, and in someone wants to get sodomised in the Dail bar – God have mercy on him.


      Before WWI, in non-Byzantine civilisation countries, these functions like an MP, town councillor, etc, w e r e____h o n o r a r y____functions (still are in some towns in the US).

      In other words – in 19 century they, not the taxpayers, had to pay for those pints.

      Would that not cleanse the political life in Ireland?
      Yes, you can be in Dublin City council or a President of Ireland – pray, do stand up for the election.


      Dear (literally) Michael D,
      You won’t get paid for it.
      Ha ha ha.
      Ha ha ha ha ha!
      Buahahahaha! :-)

  19. mike flannelly

    Sideshow Bob.

    Peter McVerry has acknowledged that where there are shelter needs, there are costs. Rentals or house repossessions.

    My opinions are as follows

    One of the main costs for rentals and reposessions are the failure of the FG/LAB/Irish CB & Irish economists to face up to bad debt costs.

    The solutions “ARE” and were not that costly.

    1. To restructure a mortgage with an interest only restructure till end of term would have cost “ZERO “. From 2010 it would have been max 23 yrs.

    Full asset value on banks balance sheet.
    23 yrs safe shelter needs and options after full term to pass on property to family willing to clear capital costs. The property should be in a plus equity position after 23 yrs of savage insurance gouging and public service costs gouging.

    Alternatives took by FG/LAB/Irish Central Bank & Irish 2016 economists was to force ( voluntary sell under court threat) sell to vulture funds that pay no rent tax to a gouged Irish economy.

    2. Industry best practice split mortgage restructure.
    This is where the high ratio debt capital and intetest portion of a mortgage is parked till end of term ( 23 yrs max) and the REAL sustainable capital plus interest portion of debt is serviced.

    If 150,000e was the parked portion then the costs per restructured mortgage would have been 1125e /yr.

    Today there are 100,000 mortgages in arrears. The cost spread among Irish banks would be .113bn

    Each of Irelands banks are boasting 1bn profits. We want more bonuses and dividends they say. We are overcharging consumers with variable contracts they boast. Isolde Goggin is silent with regard to this consumer threat to my knowledge.

    Restructuring 100,000 mortgages in an industry best practice restructure would have cost less than ” 5% “of each banks profits.

    So something “SMELLS.”

    Something just doesnt add up with failed irish bankers.

    There were and are very CHEAP solutions.

    To restructure 400,000 mortgages in 2010 would have cost between “zero ” and .45bn per yr. 23 yrs max.

    Colm McCarthy cant understand the QE 80bn per month in negative yields logic.
    If a portion of that money were forced on banks then the EU would have no bank problems.

    Something SMELLS.

    Jesus rte, Mary Lou and St Jack never wonder where the 2008 to 2016 100bn euro “extra” national debt came from.

    We hear about 13bn.

    What about the extra 100bn or 3.5bn interest costs?

    Lots of REAL questions for 2017.

    The old days of rte, bankers and union victim spin are over.

    This is now a transparent Ireland.

    A lot of top guns seem to be caught with their drawers down.

    They have names and we discuss them every day. Time for them to jog on.

    Before there is a witch hunt.

    Solutions are always better than a witch hunt but some witches just wont jog on.

    ce la vie.

    Here s to a healthy and happy 2017.

    There are always solutions for the greater public good. Corruption and old fashioned cluelessness prevent this.


    • Truthist

      Pat, I already understand some of ur argument.
      Please keep refining ur explanation of :
      original Problem[s]
      correct Solution[s] to be performed “then”
      wrongful “Solution[s] performed “then”
      present-day Problem[s]
      future Problem[s] if ur proposed present-day Solution[s] not performed
      present-day Solution[s]
      Hint ;
      U may have to create website [ perhaps of WordPress ] for to present all of the above as “info-graphic” ;
      I suggest that as far as possible u explain with :
      And, if u can also create minimalist explanations so that each cogent & snappy explanation enlarged sufficiently for easy viewing can still fit on T-shirt ;
      Perhaps on front & back.
      Then give those nicely cut T-Shirts to good-looking & decent & intelligent & hustle-wise young ladies to wear with ablomb around college campuses,… & not forgetting … “the Dail bar”.
      ACTION !

      • Truthist

        hustle-wise = econ. hustle-wise
        hustle-wise = econhustle-wise
        Anyway, the whole economic crisis is a “hustle” being played on Irish Nation of Irish State.
        People need to become “economic hustle wise”.
        I am not adverse to creating new words when necessary.

      • Truthist

        Typo ;
        ablomb = aplomb

    • Truthist


      Sorry Mike ; And, Pat too
      My posts above are obviously intended for Mike.

    • Sideshow Bob

      Hi Mike,

      Yes, the whole game of `pretend and extend´ with no repossessions has been hugely damaging and turned the bailout into effectively huge transfer of wealth out of the general population to protect exposed property owner´s and as an extension the bank´s balance-sheets.

      A true marking to market exercise ( i.e. with re-posssessions and fire sales ) would have shown up the true extent of the over valuation. I think it is still grossly overvalued.

      There were two more state interference in the market, rent supplement and of course NAMA´s monopoly on viable sites. these three are rarely spoken about in terms of their combined effect on the situation that exists. Some people complain about them individually but no one joins the dots. I guess this is to do with the level of involvement of society in property shenanigans and our true understanding of it all, i.e. too many people, and classes of people, had skin in the game without having an effing clue about it.

      I would say that I am not sure that there is a model that could accurately predict if the solution you suggest would have worked or not. I think there are too many quantifiable presumptions ( too general ) built-in for it to work but exercises like the one in that article show the folly of the false financial games that are / were occurring.

  20. Truthist

    I just noticed a new post on discussion to last article of Davids ;
    December 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    “They are not racist, atavistic or deluded. They are simply on the outside.”
    And they are all invited to give their opinion on the future of Europe on

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “They are not racist, atavistic or deluded. They are simply on the outside.”

      Who are “they”?

      I clicked on the link provided, but this did not bear expected fruits (in terms of answering the question above) :-(

  21. Truthist

    Latest Re ; George Michael

    Heroin not ruled out in pop star’s death

    Nicola Harley

    31 Dec 2016

    George Michael’s death could be linked to heroin, after a post-mortem exam proved inconclusive.
    The 53-year-old was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day. More tests, expected to take a number of weeks, will be conducted on the singer, who, it has been claimed, had battled a heroin addiction this year.

  22. Truthist

    The envelope around the truth is sufficient as the truth sometimes ;
    Even for me, Truthist.
    “No thank u Mam.
    I think we have seen enough.” 8-)
    And, to think that there is serious talk from high circles that this person is a future USA President.

  23. Truthist

    New Zealand to suffer devastating economic crisis by the Banksters so ?
    Netanyahu ‘told New Zealand backing UN vote would be declaration of war’

  24. Truthist

    I will not let the year pass without giving thanks to both Grzegorz & Sideshow Bob for yer sincere concern & sympathy expressed to me upon yee learning here on this blog that I experiencing another spate of harsh “homelessness AND rooflessness”, & shortly after that I facing as a result very serious health issues.
    Thank u.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      From Arthur Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms, p.50:

      “The conviction that the world, and therefore man too, is something which really ought not to exist is in fact calculated to instill in us indulgence towards one another: for what can be expected of beings placed in such a situation as we are? … this … reminds us of what are the most necessary of all things: tolerance, patience, forbearance and charity, which each of us needs and which each of us therefore owes.”

      Excerpts rom the poem “The Envoy of Mr. Cogito” by Zbigniew Herbert:

      you were saved not in order to live
      you have little time you must give testimony

      be courageous when the mind deceives you be courageous
      in the final account only this is important

      and let your helpless Anger be like the sea
      whenever you hear the voice of the insulted and beaten”

      and do not forgive truly it is not in your power
      to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn

      beware however of unnecessary pride
      keep looking at your clown’s face in the mirror
      repeat: I was called—weren’t there better ones than I

      beware of dryness of heart love the morning spring
      the bird with an unknown name the winter oak ”

      “go because only in this way will you be admitted to the company of cold skulls
      to the company of your ancestors: Gilgamesh Hector Roland
      the defenders of the kingdom without limit and the city of ashes

      Be faithful Go”

      • Truthist

        Of course intimidation, incrimination, & ridicule are just some of the tactics that adversaries — & incredibly for the novice & dare I say the experienced hero, one’s cohorts & even the victim[s] u are trying to lift with u or they as the only beneficiary — use.
        If u observe & really investigate Irish society & history as it was, & is, IN IRELAND [ NOT Irish emigrant locations ], u will eventually understand how we are still a conquered people.
        Most Irish are 2-faced & lack moral courage.
        And, I could add a lot more negatives.
        Michael Coughlan has given the most significant insight many times on this blog ;
        But, it went unrequited.
        Michael says ;
        “We are scum !”
        But, obviously not everyone.
        But, yes, the majority ;
        Or, the critical mass is so.
        But, increasingly more on top of that critical mass.
        Truly, we have to deal with this “scuminess” problem before we can truly fix the other problems.
        However, we can still commence fixing all the problems.
        But, they will not be satisfactorily fixed until we fix the “scuminess” problem.
        “A nation divided unto itself cannot stand.”
        As long as “scuminess” reigns, the nation is divided.
        So, we cannot stand.












        inter alia

    • Sideshow Bob

      I hope things have improved since and will continue to improve for you this year, Truthist.

      Empathy costs me nothing here on a blog but I do hope you receive it from those that are in a position to help you in real ways.

      I think this crisis will run for many years, so the only suggestion I can make is make sure you look after number one and stand tall you owe nobody an explanation nor apology for anything. Of course, I wish you the best of luck.

      • Truthist

        Thank Sideshow Bob,

        Ur sentiment means a lot to me.
        U are for righteousness.
        And, thankfully, a great many of this blog are too.

        Also, I greatly value ur knowledge about the whole housing legal spaghetti junction.
        Rather than only share moans, we should for one be seeking to educate each other with smart handles on useful AND damn pertinent subjects.

        Construction Studies — incl. architecture layout / use of space, housing / home / dwelling rights versus “natural” law & “common” law & “constitution” inter alia, the worthiness of modular construction policy for any 1 dwelling or work unit, the worthiness of repeat de-constructable-constructable type constructions, inter alia — is one we all should be attending ourselves with every day ; if only for 30 minutes.
        A course over 90 days that is referred to in every discussion here, & whereby certificates are given for :
        attendance [ virtual ]
        passing of exam ; No grades ; Pass or Fail ONLY

        Ditto for the following subjects :

        Analytical Logic

        Civil Service Studies [ incl. the essential module "Civil SERPENTISM" ]

        Sound Money

        Austrian Economics

        Truthful Irish History

        Futurism ; Technology, Sociology ?, inter alia

        Law ; Natural Law, Common Law, Constitutional Law, & Law of the Jungle, …

        Practical Crafts

        Computer Skills


        Creativity & Invention & Innovation & Design & Intellectual Property Basics

        How to deal with :

        Politicians [ Unelected, Elected, Governing, Pensioned ]
        other Politicos [ Spivs & Spiveens in Quangos, etc. ]


        inter alia

        And, obviously some more subjects.

        Just typing as I think.

        I must submit this thought bubble as is ;
        A non-internet commitment beckons.

        Thanks again Sideshow Bob.

  25. McCawber

    Ah the curse of red hair.
    My brother had red hair and whenever any of us got into trouble (eg boxing orchards) it was always the redser that got fingered.
    Happy New Year to one and all.

  26. The Obama legacy.
    Nobel peace prize for getting elected. Then droning on an on with hundreds arbitrarily killed on foreign shores, Then bombing the heck out of sovereign nations and destroying them in the name of establishing democracy, And supporting the draconian restrictions of reduction of personal freedoms and search and seizure without cause. finally stepping in to impede a smooth transition of Government to Trump.
    Left behind is the highest level of debt ever seen both in absolute and percentage terms. The highest unemployment rates since the great depression, The lowest workforce participation rate in 60 years, and the lowest overall standard of living since 1970.

    The Trump trap is set. Crash the economy, blame Trump and exert centralised government to “Save” us all.

  27. Truthist says ;

    Pizza-gate is bunk !

    But, Makow says Pizza-gate is not bunk !
    Makow tweets a link Re ; artist that Hillary Clinton President Election Campaign Chairperson Mr. Podesta admires so much ;
    It is very sick stuff

    So, definitely, something demonic going on with folks linked to Pizza-gate.

    And, how about Kathy O’Brien accusations against Hillary Clinton ?
    . ; Hmm…m !
    Podesta’s Artist –
    Stuff so bad journalists do not show it in articles

    29 days ago by gizmosia 56

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