Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Abdullah Gul elected president in Turkey - I wonder if the date's been set for the military coup.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Bushwacker conjured up the name of Vietnam to boost his argument for staying on in Iraq. He throws in a few scary phrases, "boat people, education camps, killing fields".
Hang on a minute! Killing fields? That was Cambodia; Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. They were enemies of the Vietnamese and allies of - guess who! Why China, USA and UK.
I learned a few expressions from Vietnam before the US forces cut and ran; napalm, Agent Orange, tiger cages, My Lai, carpet-bombing, "barbecued monks".

Monday, August 20, 2007

In a recent article on the unrest in Pakistan Tariq Ali claimed that Musharraf's overtures to Benazir Bhutto are at the instigation of the US. Wasn't the US behind the coup that ousted Benazir? Didn't the CIA consider her a dangerous left winger, i.e., not right wing enough? Certainly it was the CIA that encouraged the military coup against her father. Then they had to kill off his executioner, General Zia, when he he wouldn't, or couldn't, rein in his heroin exporting generals.
It's said that in order to govern Pakistan one needs the backing of the three A.s - Allah, Army, America. At the moment Allah and America are at war, and the Army doesn't know which one to back. Benazir should stay in Dubai spending the Zardari loot, unless she yearns to join the long list of murdered Bhuttos.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some things that the public is not being told about the Utah mine rescue story. I especially love that quote from the New York Times apologist, “I’m told that 324 [safety] violations are not a lot”. I wonder who told him that.
Murray has barred the families of the trapped miners from speaking to the press. How did he manage that? Threats? Or did he just tell the press not to talk to them? Like British hacks, journalists cannot be bribed or twisted in the Land of the Free.

'But we get precious little on the Murray who had enough political muscle to get a Mine Safety and Health Administration district manager who had cracked down on safety issues at one of Murray’s mines reassigned (clearly, contributing $213,000 to Republican candidates over the last ten years, as well as another $724,500 to Republican candidates and causes through political action committees connected to Murray’s businesses, has its benefits). The Murray who rails against the United Mine Workers Association, claiming it wants “to damage Murray Energy, Utah American and the United States coal industry for their own motives.” The Murray who called Hillary Clinton “anti-American” for saying America needs a president who will fight for workers’ rights, and telling a Senate committee this summer that Al Gore and Congressional Democrats are bent on “the destruction of American lives and more death as a result of his hysterical global goofiness with no environmental benefit.'


Monday, August 13, 2007

Anthony H. Wilson
Reading through postings about the deceased it seems that those who met him, those not in the entertainment industry that is, found him to be a nice bloke. Those who never met him repeat the cliche "pretentious twat" (ad nauseam). It seems that Anthony H. had a public persona and a private one; the public one was, at least in part, a wind-up, one that worked well.
I was never very impressed by the music he promoted, and considered so important, but I never missed his "So It Goes" programme while it lasted. He seemed to be involved in the scene without getting down with the young in that patronising/embarrassing way (cf. Malcolm McLaren). He was always well turned out, which scores high marks with me. He was erudite, which which made him seem pretentious in some of the circles in which he moved. He was, in my opinion the opposite. He made the assumption that others were on his intellectual plane, which is the opposite of talking down to people.
He appears to have died poor, another high mark in my book. He helped others to make money in the music business without making any himself - a sharply trousered philanthropist.
I recall him saying something about seeing himself as an Andrei Bolkonsky, but knowing at heart that he was more of a Pierre Bezukhov. Well for me Bolkonsky was a cold fish, while Bezukhov wore his heart on his sleeve and always tried to do right in his bumbling way.
Happy birthday George Shearing, 88 years old today.
The first record I ever bought was "Lullaby of Birdland", composed by the maestro and played by his quintet. How long ago was that? I can't remember - mid-1950s sometime. By the time I went into the army in '57 the tune was reported to have been recorded by over a hundred other artists. I believe it was said to be the most recorded jazz number at that time.
Birdland was the New York jazz venue named after the immortal, but short-lived, Charlie Parker, nicknamed "Bird". Later the club's management barred the eponym, as entertainer and as patron, not respectable enough. Ars longa, vita brevis ... turpe lucrum potentissimum.
A New Zealand couple want to call their son "4real", but the authorities won't let them. The number's the sticking point apparently. If the proud, and prattish, parents lose the fight they are going to call the child "Superman". I'm sure he'll thank them one day.
Another couple, in the UK, have called their kid "Princess T'iaamiii" or something like that. They came up with the name after they dropped a Scrabble game. It turns out that neither parent can spell, so sooner that pick a name and show their ignorance by spelling it wrongly, they devised a name that nobody can spell.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bob Dylan, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, all in bed with Starbucks, but for more than seven dollars an hour (not guaranteed) - http://www.counterpunch.org/gross08042007.html

Saturday, August 04, 2007

On Tuesday evening (7th August) BBC Radio2 is broadcasting a programme of protest songs called "Power to the People". These will be the songs that the BBC banned at the time of their release, when they were relevant.

"Welcome to America, David, where people like you are paid for doing nothing." What a way to greet the world's number one shirt salesman. Yanks won't be buying Beckham shirts, the rest of the world will be pouring money into the Galaxy owners' coffers. So who's paying him to do nothing? The placard should have read "American dream, foreigners not welcome."
Capitalism and chauvinism are incompatible, even if the latter is a useful tool for capitalists to employ in dividing and controlling the labour force.