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Gender: Female
Hometown: UK
Home country: UK
Current location: UK
Member since: Fri Oct 13, 2017, 06:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,966

About Me

I am a Brit. I am a working class child of the troubles in Belfast who now lives a life of privilege. I am an anti-racist, progressive monster for truth. If I fail in being that monster, call me out....

Journal Archives

The myth of the undeserving poor

Poverty researchers and activists have to battle against an ideological tide which insists that if you are in poverty it is either your own fault for not trying hard enough to get a job, or for failing to acquire the skills that would qualify you for a better-paid job. And if it is no one’s fault but your own, you have no justified claims against others or the state. At most, we might give assistance out of the goodness of our hearts, but there are no claims of right or justice.
As international and historical comparisons demonstrate, structural factors - most notably the state of the economy, government policy regarding minimum wage, unemployment benefits, housing support, income support, and the provision of public services – are the primary determinants of the level of poverty in any country. Of those vulnerable to poverty, individual grit, determination and resilience can sometimes make a difference. But it is also becoming more widely accepted that poverty grinds down people’s ability to plan and make effective choices.

And here we return to our starting point. Poverty is not so much about the choices people make, but rather what they find themselves forced to choose between. Economists love to teach us about the concept of “opportunity cost”: what you have to give up in order to pursue a particular option. Poverty can be understood in these terms. If you are rich, your choices have very little opportunity cost; if you are poor, the opportunity costs can be immense.


As Barack Obama said how do you 'Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don't have boots.'
There is absolutely no level playing field... We do not all have the same advantages in life.
I am not suggesting that for some they can have a truly crappy start in life and raise themselves out of poverty through dint of sweat, blood and tears. And well done to them. But that is not the norm. How we get brought up matters. Education matters. Wages matter. Mindset matters. Society matters. How we help people to be the best they can possibly be matters…

Do assholes ever change their spots?

Seemingly not...

They go together like David Jones and Kool Aid...

The sums don't lie...

... heh. Of course in a post fact world actual facts cannot compete with 'feelings'....

Republic? What Republic?


Senate Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent that threatens the republic itself. I'm not naive enough to think they would hold Democratic presidents to the low standard they've applied to Trump, but all future presidents will be able to point to Trump to justify:


a. Soliciting foreign attacks on our elections;
b. Using federal appropriations or other resources to pressure foreign governments to help them win reelection;
c. Implementing an across-the-board refusal to comply with any congressional oversight at all;
d. Firing the heads of the government's top law enforcement agencies for allowing investigations of the president;
e. Retaliating against whistleblowers and witnesses who testify before Congress;
f. Investigating investigators who investigate the president;
g. Attempting to retaliate against American companies perceived as insufficiently supportive of the president;
h. Attempting to award the president's own company federal contracts;
i. Using personal devices, servers or applications for official communications;
j. Communicating secretly with foreign leaders, with foreign governments knowing things about White House communications that our own government doesn't know;
k. Abandoning steadfast allies abruptly without prior warning to Congress to cede territory to Russian influence;
l. Destroying or concealing records containing politically damaging information;
m. Employing white nationalists and expressing empathy for white nationalists after an armed rally in which one of them murdered a counter protester and another shot a gun into a crowd;
n. Disseminating Russian disinformation;
o. Covering for the murder of a journalist working for an American news outlet by a foreign government that is a major customer of the president's private business;
p. Violating human rights and international law at our border;
q. Operating a supposed charity that was forced to shut down over its unlawful activities;
r. Lying incessantly to the American people;
s. Relentlessly attacking the free press;
t. Spending 1/4 of days in office visiting his own golf courses and 1/3 of them visiting his private businesses;
u. Violating the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution;
w. Misusing the security clearance process to benefit his children and target perceived enemies;
x. Drawing down on government efforts to combat domestic terrorism in order to appease a segment of his base;
y. Refusing to aggressively investigate and build defenses against interference in our election by Russia, after the country helped him win an election;
z. Engaging in a documented campaign of obstruction of a Special Counsel's investigation.
aa. Lying about a hush money payoff and omitting his debt to his attorney for that payoff from his financial disclosure report (which is a crime if done knowingly and wilfully);
bb. Coordinating with his attorney in connection with activities that got the attorney convicted of criminal campaign finance violations;
cc. Interfering in career personnel actions, which are required by law to be conducted free of political influence;
dd. Refusing to fire a repeat Hatch Act offender after receiving a recommendation of termination from the president's own Senate-confirmed appointee based on dozens of violations;
ee. Calling members of Congress names and accusing them of treason for conducting oversight;
ff. Attacking states and private citizens frequently and in terms that demean the presidency (see Johnson impeachment);
gg. Using the presidency to tout his private businesses and effectively encouraging a party, candidates, businesses and others to patronize his business;
hh. Causing the federal government to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at his businesses and costing the American taxpayers well over $100 million on boondoggle trips to visit his properties;
ii. Hosting foreign leaders at his private businesses;
jj. Calling on the Justice Department to investigate political rivals;
kk. Using the presidency to endorse private businesses and the books of various authors as a reward for supporting the president;
ll. Engaging in nepotism based on a flawed OLC opinion;
mm. Possible misuse of appropriated funds by reallocating them in ways that may be illegal;
nn. Repeatedly criticizing American allies, supporting authoritarian leaders around the world, and undermining NATO; and
oo. etc.


At this point, I would remind these unpatriotic Senators of the line "you have a republic if you can keep it," but a variation on this line may soon be more apt when Trump redoubles his attack on our election: You have a republic, if you can call this a republic.

It is exhausting just reading this list.

Shall we count the ways...

The present is a foreign country

You know the old saying that history is a foreign country? Heh. Today is a bloody foreign country. Listening to the radio, reading the news, reading blogs… there is no equilibrium. In a country where we are used to 90% of the people more or less agreeing in the direction the nation should take 90% of the time – irrespective of the way they vote at the ballot box – we are witness to the end of this era. Now – logic and reasoned debate has gone out of the window and the further the ‘mainstream’ push far left and far right – the more it is evident it is that the present has become a foreign country...

Robert Reich: Trump's impeachment shows US officials at their best and his allies at their worst

Trump has surrounded himself not with the best and most serious but with the worst and most dangerous: thugs, liars and white supremacists.

And yet in recent weeks, others in the Trump administration have shown themselves to be among the best and most honorable public servants in America, though Trump doesn’t see them that way.
The contrast could not be starker. On one side are dedicated public servants seeking to protect America. On the other side are Trump and his thugs, seeking to protect Trump.
Those who put loyalty to Trump above their duty to the United States are contemptible. Even if they don’t end up in prison like other Trump toadies, they have dishonored themselves and the nation.

But those who have devoted their lives to this country and are now risking everything by telling the truth are among America’s best. They deserve our deepest gratitude.


The contrast could NOT be starker. And they know it the smug, condescending, contemptuous, insincere, utterly devoid of self-respect wankers that they are, they just don't care cause white supremacist power plays

Republican coherence be like...

This makes more sense than the actual Nunes..
They really are this ridiculous

Chris Hayes spanks Trump with facts...

“He took an oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, and he has used the position to benefit himself instead. and not just to benefit himself, he benefits himself at the cost of the American interests, at the cost of American citizens, at the cost of America’s reputation, at the cost of Americans’ sovereignty and self-determination over our own electoral process.''


Is 2019 the new 1983?

Is Brexit the new Falklands? Both are significant external factors that impact significantly on voter behaviour.

Is Corbyn’s new manifesto the Foot manifesto? Corbyn’s manifesto is the most radical since Foots ‘longest suicide note in history’.

Is Boris the new Maggie? Widely despised and disliked, but using the external factor of Brexit, the way Maggie used the Falklands to get across the line?

I think there are some substantial if maybe shallow similarities… of course this is a different century and elections are run very differently and the demographics in the country have changed significantly, so I am not sure how much the similarities actually mean. Still, I thought it interesting.
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