Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"All civilian deaths are to be condemned, but since Israel is their principal practitioner, Euro-American cant serves only to expose those who utter it. Overwhelmingly, the boot of murder is on the other foot, ruthlessly stamped into Palestine by a modern army equipped with jets, tanks and missiles in the longest-armed oppression of modern history." (Tariq Ali)

A good article by Comrade Tariq, though he soft-pedals a little too much on Hamas for my taste. I suppose anybody would look good when compared to the mass-murderers of Mount Zion.

I will also copy the words of Dr. Schlomo Schmeltzmann quoted by one commentator -
"In my childhood I have suffered fear, hunger and humiliation when I passed through the Warsaw Ghetto, through the labor camps, to Buchenwald. Today, as a citizen of Israel, I cannot accept the systematic destruction of cities, towns and refugee camps. I cannot accept the technocratic cruelty if the bombing...I hear familiar sounds today...I hear "dirty Arabs' and I remember 'dirty Jews'. I hear about 'closed areas' and I remember ghettos and camps. I hear 'two legged beasts' and I remember 'Untermenschen' ('subhumans')...Too many things in Israel remind me of too many things..."

"Voilà, voilà, ça recommence" ... (Rachid Taha)
"Obama has made no public comment on the strikes, which Israel launched on Saturday. Aides have repeatedly said he is monitoring the situation and continues to receive intelligence briefings but that there is only one U.S. president at a time."

While the above is true Obama has sent one of his errand boys, one Axelrod, to remind the media of what he said before the campaign for the presidency. This was basically - go ahead Israel, kill more Palestinians.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Terrorists start young in Gaza; the youngest of these little girls was four years old. I'm sure the hero who ended their short lives will receive a medal.

"I wish to bathe in the blood of Palestinian babies." (Condoleezzaa Riice)
Did she say that, or have I got the quote slightly wrong?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas."
(Haaretz, via Angry Arab)
Eighteen months ago a wise man wrote -
"Now the Palestinian people have a government vilified by western governments and media. Hamas are 'terrorists', so anything that happens to the Palestinians now is of their own doing. Let slip the dogs of war. The world's third most powerful military state feels threatened by its sickly Islamic neighbour. The Hamas fighters will be easily defeated, unlike the better armed Lebanese Hizbullahi fighters. Then the massacres can begin, and we in the West can stand by and watch with a clear conscience."
No, wait a minute, it wasn't a wise man, it was me. The US/Israeli game plan was that obvious. My conclusion is - the Palestinian people have been sentenced to death by Washington. They are to be snuffed out. "La question arménienne n'existe plus", said the Turk. A similar fate awaits the Palestinians; first Gaza, then the West Bank, then the Israeli Arabs. It may take some time, but it's achievable. Who will prevent it? The UN? The EU? The Arab League?
There will be hand-wringing, but the FINAL SOLUTION is in the interest of all the world powers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What is to be done to stop these savages? As long as the most powerful state in the world continues to bankroll the genocide, it will continue unabated.
Where, I wonder, is Peace Envoy Blair today? Let me guess, halfway up some billionaire's arse.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sad to hear of the death of Harold Pinter, our most important playwright. When I first saw Donald Pleasance in "The Caretaker", I heard people I'd been listening to for years - dossers, drifters, misfits. Pinter got it down, nailed it. I thought "This bloke's met the same people I've met". Had anyone done it before? I don't know, but Pinter's was the first that I heard doing it, That made him brilliant in my eyes, and ears.
I listened to the BBC report on his death last night. After talking about his work the reporter got on to his politics, the phrase "champagne socialism" was used. His anti-war, pro-human rights stance was treated as some sort of mental aberration that detracted from his work and somehow diminished his stature. It causes one to wonder if BBC reporters and commentators are required by the conditions of their contracts to belittle anyone whose political position is too far to the left (which, for the BBC, need not be far).
If someone like Pinter can go from relative poverty to achieve fame and fortune through a talent that brings pleasure, and perhaps, enlightenment to others, and then use an influential voice deliver a progressive message, that is no bad thing. Break out the champagne, comrades. But continue to speak for the the disadvantaged, the disenfranchised, the imprisoned, the tortured; and bollocks to the begrudgers the BBC.
The general thrust these days is: "Oh come on, it's all in the past, nobody's interested any more, it didn't work, that's all, everyone knows what the Americans are like, but stop being naive, this is the world, there's nothing to be done about it and anyway, fuck it, who cares?" Sure, as they say, sure. But let me put it this way – the dead are still looking at us, steadily, waiting for us to acknowledge our part in their murder.
(Harold Pinter)

Goodbye too to Eartha Kitt, who told Lyndon Johnson what she thought of his South-East Asian war, and found herself out of work in her native land for four years. What did Orson Welles call her, the sexiest woman alive? Something like that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Speaking to reporters in Downing Street, the prime minister said: "What I have learned from this byelection is that people are prepared to support governments that will help people through the downturn and offer real help to people."

"However, a briefing paper obtained by the Mail on Sunday said the government was looking at plans to abolish some of the £500m in interest free loans from the social fund handed out to more than 1 million benefit claimants each year.
"The document suggested that, in future, some of the loans would be made through credit unions, which charge interest rates of up to 26.8%."
"Why don’t 90 percent of the abuses of power we look at on this site get covered by the national media?" Asks a reader of the linked (US) report. Simple, the mainstream media have power and they abuse it. "Power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot", as some hypocrite who could have curbed that power once said.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"At the age of 15, Davy Graham was filmed playing an incredibly complex guitar arrangement of Cry Me a River," says McTell, looking at his copy of Graham's debut album. "All of us guitarists - Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jimmy Page, myself - owe it all to this wonderful musician. For my 19th birthday, a friend of mine bought me a copy of Anji and I was the first person on my block to learn to play it. That was my big achievement. But Davy never runs out of ideas, and there has not been anyone who has come close. He was on the same level as Miles Davis and all of the jazz guys, and the rest of us couldn't really pretend to understand what he was doing."
I was looking for an article on Davy to link to when I came across these words of Ralph McTell's. I didn't find the article, so I'll just copy out this story from a clipping. The article is by Will Hodgkinson who called Davy "gracious but eccentric".
"A trip to a nearby pub ended in disaster, when hearing Roll With It by Oasis on the pub stereo induced a panic attack in Graham. We returned to his flat, and for the rest of the evening he stood in the middle of his bedroom and played the mandolin with his eyes closed, smiling in beatific concentration."
Quite understandable really.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I've just learned of the death, yesterday, of the great Davy Graham. One of the giants of British music, on whose shoulders others stood in order to see further. I've seen and heard him on TV, in films and on the net; I have most of his recorded output, but I never saw him live. Now I never will. This is sad news for me, and, I'm sure, for many others.
The Guardian (per Ben Myers) has collected the video clips which are on the internet, and published them in one place. I've linked to them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Muntadhar az-Zaydi - good idea, poor execution. Or was "the dog" too nimble for him? As someone has pointed out, Bush got plenty of practice in dodging the draft.
I hope the poor fellow gets out alive, but I fear the worst. Bush's request for clemency is one that the Iraqi puppets will feel able to ignore.
He is a journalist, let's hope his colleagues show some solidarity.
There's one born every minute, goes the saying - and any one of them would qualify to run a British bank.
"Cupidity plus stupidity", whose definition was that?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Should have joined the Euro.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Re yesterday's comment that the assassins of Jean Charles de Menezes would soon be promoted - it turns out that the officer who gave the order to kill has already been promoted.
Why is it that a police officer who kills is guaranteed promotion?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The two Doncaster lawyers have been struck off by the Law Society for ripping off sick miners. Now they're out of work and will have to survive on the £150 million they stole from their clients. Sorry, did I say stole? My mistake, they didn't steal anything, it seems. So they won't be paying anything back.
They took advantage of their position to exploit the working class - that's capitalism, folks, nothing wrong with that.
All this reminds me of the VENDSIDE scam; a firm set up by officers of the scab union UDM to cheat sick miners out of their compensation money. Whatever happened to those thieving, belly-crawling parasites? Nothing, I suppose. After all they did sterling work in their day for the boss class and its agent, the Thatcher government.
Interestingly Beresfords and Vendside/UDM were in cahoots at one time.
Now it can be told. The coroner at the Menezes inquest tried to clear the court of the public and the press while he addressed the jury. The public refused to leave (God bless 'em!). The coroner placed a gagging order on the media, preventing them from reporting such unusual occurrences as the defence team's boycott of his summation.
All his machinations were in vain, the jury returned a verdict he didn't want, but not, unfortunately the one that the one they would have returned had he not forbidden it.
The Home Secretary has issued a statement sympathising with the police in their inability to do the job properly.
I predict that the killers will be soon be promoted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Speaking to reporters in Downing Street, the prime minister said: "What I have learned from this byelection is that people are prepared to support governments that will help people through the downturn and offer real help to people."

That was then, this is now -
"James Purnell was accused of introducing a version of the American 'workfare' today after he published plans to ensure that most benefit claimants are preparing for employment.
"The work and pensions secretary said that under the proposals in his white paper on welfare reform 'virtually everyone' claiming benefits would have to do something in return for their money."
"Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said that, while the Tories were supportive of the plans, they were almost identical to their own ideas, published in January."
"The minister also criticised the treatment of some customers forced to pay higher charges because they use pre-payment meters or who can only be served by a single supplier, warning that the government would take action to stamp out unfair charging."
Oh yes, It's going to happen one day.
I bought some stamps, second class, yesterday. What did I get? A special Christmas print depicting transvestites, ugly men dragged up as ugly women. What is it about men dressed as women that people find comical? And what is it about this exercise in bad taste that the Post Office deems aesthetically pleasing?
I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

March 19, 2008
I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. We can responsibly remove 1 to 2 combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them [in] 16 months. After this redeployment, we will leave enough troops in Iraq to guard our embassy and diplomats, and a counter-terrorism force to strike al Qaeda if it forms a base that the Iraqis cannot destroy.

December 7, 2008 (Meet the Press)
We are going to maintain a large enough force in the region to assure that our civilian troops--or our, our, our civilian personnel and our, our embassies are protected, to make sure that we can ferret out any remaining terrorist activity in the region, in cooperation with the Iraqi government, that we are providing training and logistical support, maintaining the integrity of Iraq as necessary. And, you know, I--one of the things that I'll be doing is evaluating what kind of number's required to meet those very limited goals.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Henry Kissinger, mass murderer, sponsor of terrorists, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has given his seal of approval to Obama's security appointments.
I suppose "change" could have meant bombing different countries.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A school in Chesterfield is closing down its library and sacking the librarian. The school is to become a "virtual learning environment". Is that virtual as opposed to real? I expect we'll soon hear a statement from the department that used to be "of education" that students, who used to be pupils, are to be reclassified as customers. It's all about choice, you see.
It seems that books are no longer "cool", to use a middle class expression. Schools all over the country are closing down their libraries and joining the Microsoft dependant multitudes. Soon their student-customers will be able to work towards qualifications in text messaging,video gaming, and operating a till.
De Menezes coroner rules out unlawful killing verdict (today's Guardian)

Who could have predicted that? Not me, my money was on him recommending an open verdict, but he's gone further and said he wants "lawful killing". Cheeky bleeder!

Monday, December 01, 2008

One leader of the Bajrang Dal (a paramilitary Hindu right-wing group) described his own role with pride: "There was this pregnant woman, I slit her open. ...They shouldn't even be allowed to breed. I say that even today. Whoever they are, women, children, whoever, nothing to be done with them but cut them down. Thrash them, slash them, burn the bastards. ... The idea is, don't keep them alive at all; after that, everything is ours." ... All of this is terrorism, but most of it doesn't reach the world's front pages. When it does make it into newspapers outside India, the word "terrorism" is rarely used. The result is a perception, in India and abroad, that Muslims are the bad guys in every incident of terrorist violence.

(via Yasmin and Molly's blog)
More than 2000 Muslims were massacred in Gujarat in 2002 - poor people, native people, and no Europeans. Hovels were ransacked and destroyed, hotels, airports and railway stations were untouched. So not such a big story then?
When I first heard reports of the Battle of Mumbai I thought, "This is Muslim payback for 2002", but not so according to the Indian authorities. So what is the truth? We're not going to get that from the Indian authorities, or the Pakistani government, or for that matter from the British or US intelligence apparatus.
Is there a "Deccan Mujahidin"? Were the terrorists trained and equipped in Pakistan? Could the attentat have been executed without local support and intelligence? The Indians appear to be peddling that line. Could just ten gunmen have caused such mayhem and held out against armed police and military for so long?
The British media were selling a line that this outrage was directed at westerners, and that people holding British and US passports were being singled out. The casualty figures don't support this claim - 188 dead, of whom 28 were foreigners, one being British. It appears from these figures that no particular group was targeted; that this was the kind of atrocity favoured by fascists (stategy of tension) and religious terrorists. That is, there was no goal beyond maximum human casualties and maximum destruction of property; in other words terrorism in its purest form.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that governments sometimes use this form of terrorism in order to make their populations less resistant to their arrogation of excessive powers, and suppression of civil rights. An external agent is always blamed.
I also forgot to acknowledge the linked article by Professor Martha Nussbaum.
There is some unconfirmed information on the terrorists on wikipedia under the title "Deccan Mujahidin.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'A former communications intercept operator says U.S. intelligence snooped on the private lives of two of America's most important allies in fighting al Qaeda: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Iraq's first interim president, Ghazi al-Yawer.'
'David Murfee Faulk told he saw and read a file on Blair's "private life" ...
A spokesman for Blair, who stepped down as Prime Minister in 2007, said there would be "no comment" on Faulk's allegations.'

Special relationship, eh? Did nobody trust that "pretty straight sort of guy"?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Linked video on the Hull accent - one clown tells us that Hull people say "er ner" for "oh no", "sner" for snow, and "fern" for phone. He then reads a poem containing the words toad and folk. Does he pronounce them TURD and FURK? Of course not, he says tawd and fawk. I think it's called cognitive dissonance; or maybe it's brainwashing.
Anyone who wants to hear the Hull accent in all its glory should listen to the actor Peter Martin. I don't know, maybe he's retired, he used to be in Emmerdale. Barry Rutter, another Hull-born actor, does it when playing rough-arses, but, being a stage actor, he probably has other accents. Tom Courtenay, however, has gone all posh on us, though I seem to recall him doing "Hull" in "King and Country", when he played a squaddie sentenced to death for desertion.
They just won't let it lie
Two examples -
i)The Vatican has decided to forgive John Lennon for saying, forty years ago, that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. I always thought he'd said that they were more famous than Jesus. Whichever word he used he was right at the time. He didn't say that they were in anyway superior to J.C., or that they'd taken his place in the hearts of the Church Militant, just that they were better known.
Of course the nutty devil-dodgers in the Land of the Free did their pieces over the remark and built a bonfire of the inanities, but that's the Yanks. The rest of the world, most of whom were not Christians, wondered what the fuss was about, if they even knew about the fuss. What did the Pope of the day say? Probably, "Trouble with beetles? Send for pest control!"
Whenever the Pope or one of his minions makes one of these anouncements I hark back to the Maid of Orleans, the girl the Catholic Church burned as a heretic in 1431, and pronounced a saint in 1920.

ii) Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players to grace the beautiful game comes to Britain. What do the British (English?) media want to talk about? The bloody "Hand of God!" Let it go, for Christ's sake, let it go!
An interesting statistic on the radio (BBC Radio4) this morning; 50% of respondents to a survey on religion in Britain stated that they didn't believe in God. Now where are their opinions heard on the airwaves? I've listened to homilies from practitioners of Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism on the BBC, but if you lumped the adherents of all those religions together they wouldn't amount to 10% of the population. Naturally I would expect no other policy from the BBC, voice of the established order. Shut us out, it makes no difference, our numbers increase.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I liked Paul Ross's comment on his brother in hiding, "He's on the Sachs offenders register."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Despite being the 7th richest man in the United Kingdom (Guardian, 2003), with extensive business and political dealings in the UK, and being a person of interest in the US Presidential election, Nadhmi Auchi's name has, as far as we can establish, not appeared in a major British newspaper since May when the censorship attacks began."
A tale of censorship featuring in the latest Private Eye.
URGENT: Kidnapped by the Israeli Navy


Fifteen Palestinian fishermen along with three internationals have been kidnapped in Palestinian waters by the Israeli Navy. They were fishing seven miles off the coast of Deir Al Balah, clearly in Gaza fishing waters and well within the fishing limit detailed in the Oslo Accords of 1994.

The fishermen and the human right's observers were transferred from 3 separate boats to the Israeli warships. Other Palestinian fishermen reported that the 3 boats were seen being taken north by the Israeli Navy.

The three internationals are Andrew Muncie from Scotland, Darlene Wallach from the United States and Victor Arrigoni from Italy. The U.K., U.S. and Italian embassies in Tel Aviv have been contacted and know about the abductions.

Please call the Israeli Ministry of Justice at +972 26 46 66 66 and register your outrage over these illegal actions by the Israeli Navy. Then call the Embassies in Jerusalem and make sure they know that many of us are appalled by Israel's illegal search and seizure.

Stephen Brown, UK Consulate +972 25 41 41 00
U.S. Consulate General + 972-2-6227230
Luigi MATTIOLO, Italian Ambassador +972 3 5104004

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head." Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

_At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."

_Racist graffiti was found in places including New York's Long Island, where two dozen cars were spray-painted; Kilgore, Texas, where the local high school and skate park were defaced; and the Los Angeles area, where swastikas, racial slurs and "Go Back To Africa" were spray painted on sidewalks, houses and cars.

_Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted "assassinate Obama," a district official said.

_University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.

_Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.

_Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.

_A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted 'Obama.'

_In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying "now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"All these people that run studios - they go to Washington, they hang around with senators, they hang around with CIA directors, and everybody's on board."
(Bob Baer, ex-CIA)
Or how the CIA runs Hollywood. I knew "Animal Farm" was a propaganda job, I didn't know the CIA owned the film rights. Did you see "The Quiet American (disowned by Graham Greene), "The Recruit", "The Good Shepherd", "Charlie Wilson's War"? Then you've been got at by the American Stasi. Any deprogramming courses available?

Friday, November 14, 2008

I see that Plastic-Features Ronaldo can't manage on £120,000 a week and wants a £40,000 pay rise.
How much is it that United owe? £667,000,000? In for a penny in for a pound, more cream for the fat cat. The punters will stand for it, they always have.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day
I joined all the other grey heads at the cenotaph to remember the fallen. Some younger people there as well, but mostly grey panthers. Only three left of the WWI veterans, so they say. Fred Karno's army, parade dismissed.

We are Fred Karno's army
The ragtime infantry
We cannot fight, we cannot run,
What ****ing use are we?
And when we go to Berlin
The Kaiser he will say
"Ach,Ach, Mein Gott!
What a bloody rotten lot."
We're the ragtime infantry.

I think it went like that.
Also the ninetieth anniversary of the death of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who died of his wounds as the church bells rang out to mark the ceasefire.

Où sont Raynal Billy Dalize
Dont les noms se mélancolisent
Comme des pas dans une église
Où est Cremnitz qui s'engagea
Peutêtre sont-ils morts déja

Some lived , some died.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Speaking to reporters in Downing Street, the prime minister said: "What I have learned from this byelection is that people are prepared to support governments that will help people through the downturn and offer real help to people."

Ed Balls, the children's secretary, and Yvette Cooper, the chief secretary to the Treasury, have launched an attack on the so-called London living wage – the £7.45 an hour recommended minimum for all workers in the capital. They claim it would be "artificial, inflationary" and not "necessary or appropriate."
Barack Obama -> Rahm Emanuel -> Benjamin Emanuel -> Irgun Tzvi Leumi ->
The bombing of the King David Hotel
The Deir Yasin massacre
British soldiers hanged with piano wire.

Barack "Skinny Legs" Obama -> Arnold Schwarzenegger -> Gustav Schwarzenegger -> the Nazi Party.

Obama's next selection, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan? Well, maybe his son.
I really resent having to listen to all that meaningless guff about the stock market with every news bulletin. I wonder, what percentage of the population actually owns shares? Certainly a minority, and anyone with a real interest in this form of gambling will need more than the basic information giving that comes with the news. No this is propaganda. It's saying "If this doesn't concern you then you are a nobody. You count for nothing, and don't forget it."
Dr. Joe Moran of Liverpool John Moores University described these messages from our masters as being " ... like a prayer or an incantation", and " .. a daily tutorial in neoliberalism, the lesson is always the same: you can't buck the market."
Utah Phillips also commented on this in his own way.

The Talking NPR Blues
By U. Utah Phillips

I turned on my radio… spun the dial
Thought I'd listen to some news for a while
I grabbed the knob, spun it around,
Got NPR… here's what I found…

Real news? Hardly a trace
Just one damn marathon market place
The Nasdaq's up, the Dow's in the cellar
And NPR sold out to Rockefeller

Hostile take over… Real hostile.

Well I hear about all the anti trust
And all the day traders who bit the dust
Mergers, buyouts and acquisitions
Low down crooks in high positions

Wheelers, dealers, and CEO's
Fired and paid off through the nose
Buying yachts and fancy homes
With the bail out money from the savings and loans

And I get pissed… Off that is.

It's dot com this and dot com that
The underwriters are getting fat
On airwaves stole from you and me
By a bunch of thieves called the FCC

They don't give a damn what we want and need
They've all caved in to corporate greed
And sold us out to the ruling class
Well the whole damn bunch can kiss my… …Dot Com!

This is a family show folks
The FCC says watch your language
What's yours?

I got tired of being treated like a veg
So I called up the station and canceled my pledge
In a mighty act of liberation
Sent the money off to my community station

I said "I love you"

But if you blow it
I'll sure as hell let you know it
I'll knock the radio off the shelf
Buy a transmitter and do it myself

Whitebeard the Pirate

This is radio station H O B O
Broadcasting on a vagrancy of 60 to 90 days
Signing off
For now.
A couple of people making points that I'd like to endorse -

First Jo Brand in the latest edition of the Radio Times: "Too much comedy these days attacks the same targets. There's a huge anti-chav/anti-poor people thing going on; almost an Orwellian situation, where we set up poor people to laugh at them. That's why I've never been much of a fan of Little Britain. I think the targets are just too easy. I'd rather see comedy having a go at rich people, powerful people, right wing people."

Next Gore Vidal to David Dimbleby on US politics: "I know the territory. I'm surprised you even asked me, because I know too much about the subject - you like to get people who don't know much about the subject." (from yesterday's Guardian)
The old fellow knows the BBC well.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Angry Arab writes -
"Remember me when Obama will endorse an Israeli war on a refugee camp and on a Lebanese village, and he will call that justified self-defense. Remember me when Obama will mourn the deaths of Israelis and will celebrate the deaths of Arabs and Muslims. Remember me when he orders his first bombing campaign on some remote area of Pakistan. Remember me when he betrays the poor in favor of Wall Street. Remember me when he will betray the aspirations of black people in favor of the white middle class that is now the headline of the Democratic Party. Remember me when Obama will not fight for his health reform plan, and will he not deliver on many of his promises. Remember me when Obama will stick to his campaign promise of opposing gay marriage. Remember me when when Obama will continue to blame the failure of the American occupation of Iraq on the Iraqi people themselves."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Well I got it wrong, the old white man couldn't rely on his fellow party members to rig the election. This is not a new experience for me; before the last presidential election I predicted that Bush would win a second term, and would immediately reintroduce the draft.
Now we have to ask; how long before someone makes an attempt on Obama's life. Place your bets, Messieurs-Dames. Next question how long before he bombs somebody? Angry Arab says within six months, I give him 18 months if he can survive the "lone nut's" bullet that long. I reckon the CIA will be training some lone nuts up in case Obama does attempt something radical. I should add that the odds against him doing anything to upset the 2% who own 50% are long indeed. I quote, "Look, I am a pro-growth, free-market guy, I love the market."
"Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama?"
That from Ralph Nader's open letter to Obama (linked).
Over here it was a short step from "Things can only get better" to war crimes. Or as Pete Townshend put it
"Here comes the new boss,
Just like the old boss".

Friday, October 31, 2008

Further to yesterday's remarks about the misrepresentation of our pronunciation. After writing it I did a search and hit upon the linked article. Hardly a word in it represents correctly the way we speak. Still if it gives visitors a laugh at our expense then it's all worthwhile I suppose.
The phrase that really got my goat is the one including the spelling "curld" for cold. Anyone with the slightest acquaintance with Hull should know that we pronounce that word "cowld". Gowld for gold, sowld for sold, owld for old, towld for told, there's no mistaking that pronunciation for anyone that listens. I left a comment to that effect on the page. I'll wait to see if it appears there.
" ...when his hire was announced I sent an email of protest to her, the only one I have sent in my entire career. I knew this would end in tears because it could only end in tears."
Paul Gambaccini
"If the BBC still has the courage to take risks it should do so on issues of significance - through journalism, not comedy. With the news industry in crisis, the BBC has a superb opportunity to advance the cause of investigative reporting and the classic fourth estate ideal of holding power to account. The sadness of Mark Thompson's term as DG to date is that it has attempted too little of this. His post-Hutton BBC seems terrified of serious, significant risk. That is among the reasons that it employs fools to boast about who they have slept with in preference to tough, "edgy" journalists. Andrew Gilligan does not insult harmless grandfathers. His targets deserve the attention he gives them."
Tim Luckhurst

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Summatup wi' yer peas, pal? Stop mernin'. Tha'll get nowt else from us tonight"
That's the way we're supposed to talk in Hull, according to somebody who writes for the Guardian, and thinks Hull is a suburb of Rotherham.
First sentence passes muster, but "tha"? The only people in Hull who say "tha" are John Godber and the South Yorkshire crew he's brought in to play Hull people at his Hull Truck Theatre. I'm assuming that that's the source of this hack's version of the Hull dialect and accent. Oh yes, and that abortion called "Learn Yourself 'Ull" or something similar, which was slapped together by some piss-taking southerner who came up here on the make. He's responsible for the "mernin'" myth. In Hull moaning and morning have the same pronunciation, and it's mornin' not mernin'. We don't call the Pope the Perp, we call him the Pawp, and we make fawn calls, not fern curls, you tin-eared twat!
Too late now; look up the Hull accent on the internet and you'll find all that fern curl nonsense. The wikipedia article on Hull repeats the falsehood, though qualifying it with "in and around parts of Hull", otherwise it's description is acceptable. What really annoys me is I see this crap repeated by Hull people who would rather believe what's written by some middle-class southerner than the evidence of their own ears. Is this the Hull version of the cultural cringe?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PEOPLE POWER! While you're at it, Thomson, why not give the Augean Stables a complete going over? Get rid of all the filth.

Correction (31st October): Thompson, not Thomson.
I nominate Seán Hughes to replace J.Ross on his radio and TV shows. After all he's already stood in for him elsewhere without any problems.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bête Noire time -
This morning the BBC reported the US army's incursion into Syria and subsequent killing spree. Correction: the newsreader stated that the the Syrians were claiming that the raid had occurred and the Yanks weren't commenting. For the BBC this means it might not have happened.
This was followed up by a reporter in Syria giving further details of the raid that may not have happened. If the Yanks issue a denial, I expect the reporter to come back on air to say it was all a dream. He ended his report with a suggestion that the Syrians had been asking for it.

Meanwhile we are presented with the edifying spectacle of the BBC defending the perverts Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.
"In October 2008, Ross and Russell Brand made a series of allegedly 'obscene' phone calls to 78 year old actor Andrew Sachs as part of Brand's pre-recorded BBC Radio 2 show. During the first phone call, Ross shouted out "He fucked your granddaughter", referring to Brand's previous on-air claim that he had sexual intercourse with Sachs' granddaughter Georgina, a member of the group 'The Satanic Sluts'. Mr Sachs and his daughter Kate were said to be left deeply upset by the incident"

We may expect the broadcasting of obscene telephone calls to become a regular feature of the BBC Radio entertainment output.

On the subject of obscenities, the fat saviour of Radio1 -
" ... I was suddenly confronted by a terrifyingly plausible vision of the future in which Chris Moyles is suddenly only the second most gormless and insufferable prick on Radio1."
(Charlie Brooker, "Dawn of the Dumb")

Sunday, October 26, 2008

STS Bulletin no.13
Oligarch, a successful Russian thief. A successful British thief is an entrepreneur. Richard Branson is not an oligarch because he is not Russian.
The oligarchs of Russia were originally referred to in their homeland as the kleptocracy, another Greek word and a favourite of mine. No British media outlet would use this word (British libel law) so oligarch is the acceptable label.
"Behind every great fortune there lies a crime." (Honoré de Balzac, "Il y a un crime caché à l’origine de chaque grande fortune.")

No punches pulled; no holds barred; no lie unspoken; no bigot silenced. US politics, just a sack of shite.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How strange! Yesterday I opened my paper and my prayers were answered. The first thing I saw was a photograph of a couple identified as Tom Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes. How is it that I never heard Mr. Cruise's name mentioned along with the lady's?
So no subliminal message, apart from, "These people are important to you. You must take an interest in them". I suppose it's human being as brand.

Also, in the same edition, an opening salvo against the greenwash industry. A weekly column is promised exposing all the lies, and all the dodges. Then I open the paper this morning and am greeted by a full page advert by Captain Ahab (*$$), scourge of the third world. In it the captain defines "sustainable" as = "good". This may be a corrective to the previous day's article which declared "sustainable" to be one of those meaningless words favoured by the greenwashers. The Captain also boasted of his cooperation with those saviours of the planet, Conservation International.
Sat sapienti.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Deripaska, a name I'd heard and that's about all. Russian, filthy rich, sniffing around Arsenal, no doubt bent as a poker.
Well it seems we're going to hear a lot more about this gent for a while, so I looked him up on wikipedia, and linked to his entry.

On the subject of names that are just that, something puzzles me. There is always a name kicking around that seems to have no person attached to it, at least as far as I'm able to discern. The current non-person is Katie Holmes. Who or what is Katie Holmes? Could be a film or a book for all I know. Could be a real person or fictional. All I know is, not a day passes but that I hear the name, but never hear anything else. It's like that Derren Brown act, where he plants words in people's minds, to be activated later as behavioural prompts. Maybe one day I'll be walking round a store, see some product emblazoned with the words "Katie Holmes", and I'll feel an urge to buy it.
Of couse I could just look the name up on the net, as I did with Mister Deripaska, but I'm playing along, anticipating the outcome.
A previous name that kept occuring and recurring was Hannah Montana. I now know that this is a fictional character used by Disney to gouge money out of kids, but for a long time I kept hearing this name without a clue as to its meaning. I did realise, however, that I needn't concern myself as I wasn't part of the target audience.
Soon the mission of Katie Holmes will be revealed to me, by which time the hucksters will be peddling another name-in-isolation.
I suppose I should accept that, if I have to be told who or what these names represent, I'm just not in the swim, in the loop, up to snuff, or ... (whatever the correct term is).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Further to the jolly rogering of our citizens by NHS Hull:
The local paper has published two interviews on this topic, both in favour. One interviewee was the bloke lined up to skipper the yacht, the other was some bloke from another quango. It seems that the SS Profligacy scheme is not going to get any heat from the local press, though its readers are singing a different tune.
I liked the suggestion by one reader identified as "Julia, East Yorkshire", as did others, so I take the liberty of posting it here. I hope that I'm not breaking any rules.

Why on earth are they thinking of buying a yacht, I have teenagers and even they dont think its a good idea, get real, this is not going to get kids working after they have done some sailing. If the money cannot go into our hospitals where it is desperately needed then get the kids to do some real work and start some allotments from scratch, this will teach them team work, in all weathers, and everything they grow can be sold and money put back into nhs or use the food to give the local hospitals and underprivileged families fresh vegetables instead of processed ready meals this will give the kids a better sense of satisfaction and will teach them the values of real food which will in years to come save the nhs a fortune.
Was it yesterday or was it the day before? I'm watching the telly, there's this woman talking, and I hear her say "My legs literally turned to jelly". Literally, Missus? Jelly, Missus? Go on!
Listening to the news programme on Radio 3 this morning I heard Professor Eric Hobsbawm discussing the current economic situation. HOBSBAWM? What's the matter with the Adam Smith Institute? Has their hidden hand bullshit become so unfashionable? The BBC giving aid, succour and appearance fees to Marxists, what will their masters at MI5 have to say about this?

Next: the BBC hires John Pilger to to film a series of documentaries.
"That'll be the day" (C.H.Holly).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I still think the old white man will win, whatever the polls say.
Apparently the key state of Colorado has already rigged the ballot in favour of the Republican.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brown and Darling said they'd do anything necessary to support the finance sector.
Brown says he'll do anything he can to help the unemployed.
Spot the difference.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This may be hard to believe. Something called NHS Hull, which calls itself a "primary care trust", is buying a yacht for £400,000. This is for the benefit of young people's health, nothing else.
When I see the word "trust" in the name of any organisation my suspicions are aroused. I get the impression that once any bunch of chancers identify themselves as a trust they become answerable to nobody. Am I wrong? This removal of the National Health Service from any sort of meaningful oversight was step one in the Thatcherite privatisation plan. Bring on the quangocrats, dodgy businessmen, Tory placemen and their wives, concubines and catamites. Throw in a few consultants sick of serving the great unwashed, and the whole idea of a public service is undermined.
Suddenly the funding begins to disappear down the proverbial black holes. Everything becomes more expensive when competition is introduced - why is that? Still there's always enough for the managers to award themselves a juicy pay rise. Then there are the other perks. How about a yacht, gang? Of course we'll have to find some tenuous link to primary care. I know our primary care is reserved for ourselves, but we can't be too blatant, can we? We let the young offenders play with it for part of the year till the furore dies down, then it's OURS.

At the moment our local politicos are accusing each other of rubber stamping this insult to the people of Hull. We await further revelations, but expect none from the local media. Off to the lodge with you all!
There is a firm of coffee vendors that is advertising its product on the telly at the moment by telling how kind it is to the coffee growing communities. I never believe this sort of propaganda. I'm assuming the fair trade movement is making inroads into its profits.
Anyway this particular outfit is boasting of its collaboration with the Rain Forest Alliance, lovely name. So off to the world wide web to learn about the Jolly Green alliance; OH, OH, OH! it's a greenwash scam. It's one of those PR outfits paid to shout louder than the objectors and drown out their protests. There's another bunch called Conservation Internamtional that whores for some of the most evil organisations on the planet; Monsanto, McDo...., Exxon Mobil. It must be cheaper to throw money at these professional liars and tricksters than to ease up on the destruction of the planet.
I don't believe the stuff that these thimble-riggers spew out, but I have to admit as well to a degree of scepticism about the whole fair trade business. Just as protest movements are always riddled with police spies and provocateurs, so I expect any organisation that threatens unbridled profit-making to be subject to subversion and manipulation.
What little faith I had in the fair trade movement was quickly dissipated when I picked up a leaflet listing fair trade outlets in my area. On that list was one multinational corporation that cheats and mistreats its employees, cheats its suppliers and lies to its customers. In addition I'm told its product is crap. It was, at the time (maybe still is), behind the eviction of indigenous people from a fertile coffee producing area in Mexico. And, surprise, surprise! It funds Conservation International. I hate to advertise - let's just say it's a coffee peddling outfit called Ahab's, or something like that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In dramatic contrast, in the neoliberal phase after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system in the 1970s, the US treasury now regards free capital mobility as a "fundamental right", unlike such alleged "rights" as those guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: health, education, decent employment, security and other rights that the Reagan and Bush administrations have dismissed as "letters to Santa Claus", "preposterous", mere "myths".
"Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business," concluded America's leading 20th century social philosopher John Dewey, and will remain so as long as power resides in "business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda".
Professor Noam Chomsky (via Angry Arab)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

'The Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure. The only scripted word the doll says is “mama.” There is a sound that may resemble something close to the word “night, right, or light.”'
Claim Fisher-Price, but American Christians (you know the type)know better. That doll says "Satan is king", and "Islam is the light".

Wal-Mart is removing the dolls from its outlets, possibly to forestall an affray with the talking Jesus dolls.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I've heard a rumour that sporting folk who place a losing bet at the bookies can now demand that the government pays them out as if they'd won. I'm sure that can't be true - can it?
A neat summation I read in Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury" strip today,
" ... privatizes profit but socializes risk".
Maybe it's not original, maybe it's common currency in certain US circles, but it's new to me.
"On run-of-the-mill stories too, the demand from the news desk was the same: could I get an official source to confirm the story? It happened even when I had seen something with my own eyes. And an official source meant an Israeli source. It felt almost as if the Israeli government and army had to give their seal of approval before a story could be published"
Jonathan Cook
“Editors hardly ever need to bare their teeth against an established journalist because few make it to senior positions unless they have already learnt how to toe the line.”

There's more on Organised Rage.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Return of the Eminence Grise
... or should it be Eminence Verte Avocado? Welcome back Don Niccolo Machiavelli. Now Gordon has allowed you within striking distance he'll probably hand you the knife to insert between his shoulder blades. Or do you intend to leave that foul deed to the Milliband Tendency who are taking over the cabinet piecemeal?
Will you be reciting your mantra as confidently as ever, "Deregulate, Deregulate!" Maybe that's why you're leaving the EU job, now they've seen the end result of your blueprint for chaos. But Gordon wants you, I wonder why. Maybe he's thinking of old Don Vito's advice to keep one's friends close, but one's enemies closer.
I wonder, weren't the super-rich of the mainland Europe as free with their largesse as your rich and powerful patrons back home? Surely Bela Lusconi could have found some dirty work for you at Strasbourg, in return for the freedom of his Sardinian condominium? Or maybe he saw someone as devious and corrupt as himself, that is, someone against whom a ten foot bargepole wasn't long enough to prevent contamination.
And Gordon let you back in.

... and Flogger Kelly - out of the cabinet for the sake of her family, and on notice to quit Parliament altogether. I wonder how long she'll be doing the domestic thing. How long before she puts her inside knowledge to good use in the job market. Then it'll be, "Stuff the family, I'm gonna get rich!"

Friday, October 03, 2008

Joe Kinnear addresses the jackals of the press (not for the faint-hearted)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm looking at this bloke and wondering who he reminds me of - oh aye, Donald Fagen.
But I'm also listening to what he's saying, and that reminds me of Chuck D. - "Don't Believe the Hype".

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A quote from an article by Senator John McCain in a magazine for actuaries, just published -
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation ..."

Food for thought there.
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
(via Angry Arab)

Meanwhile back home the three main parties are banding together to give their combined, and unconditional, support to the incompetents and the fraudsters responsible for the meltdown. No-one demurs, no privy councillor sworn to maintain the status quo at all costs can demur. We are now without a parliamentary opposition at this time of "crisis" (their description, not mine). Bush and Paulson must envy our sellout politicans, and their unelected shadow government.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"I think the media has assumed up to now that this inchoate left-right revolt would have a walk-on part in the near inevitable passage of the TARP. Wrongly as it turns out. This is now a river that has burst the banks of official politics."
Paul Mason

I know that me and my kind are going to pay for all this eventually, but seeing share prices tumble, and seeing houses stolen from those who need public housing losing their value, SCHADENFREUDE.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Arsenal 1, Hull City 2
Arsene Wenger, Nicolas Sarkozy, Nick Hornby, Kevin Costner, Usama Bin Ladin, Alisher Usmanov - your boys took a hell of a beating!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"The Dems have sunk so low that they would rescue a proposal by a President with a 19% approval rating which is being opposed by House Republicans. Really pathetic."
(Yasmin, at )

Friday, September 26, 2008

Speaking to reporters on the eve of his performance, McCartney said: "The world knows about the conflicts that have been in that region and I like to think that if I go to a place it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one and I hope that the idea will spread." He added: "People ask this question through the years: 'Do you think music can change things?' I think it can. I think it's good for people's souls. I think without music it would be a seriously bad world. I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs."
What a creep, and so full of himself - as pompous and as useless as Nobo.

"Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran"
(Headline from the same edition)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Half the population has seen very little real growth in recent years, and the bottom third has suffered an absolute fall in income for five years. People feel it, yet no one says it. As Labour blathered on about high GDP growth, whose growth was that? Official figures show it was among the top 20%, and mostly the top 5%.
Centrica's chief executive has just had a £1m pay increase, up to £4.8m, despite - or because of - this winter's 35% gas bill rise.

(Polly Toynbee, no wonder the rich vilify her)
Lance Armstrong getting back in the saddle (yawn), the biggest cycling bore since Miguel Indurain, a return to robotic riding.
Now if I were a genuine cynic, instead of an idealist in fear of drowning in a sea of hypocrisy, I might be thinking along these lines -
L. A., well advised, always managed to stay a step or two ahead of the dope testing technology. When it began to catch up, time to retire. New advances in test beating techniques, back into competition. No, no, perish the thought!
I wonder what Dr. Ferrari's doing these days.
Ruth "Flogger" Kelly to resign from government to spend more time with her family. Let's see - she married in 1996 and has four children. It took some time to realise that her family needed her. Didn't I hear that she was due for the push?
Now, I wonder, who will be the Pope's representative in Her Majesty's Government?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I forgot to comment at the time on the passing of former Detective Sergeant Challenor of the Met. who slipped off the hook three weeks ago. The Challenor case was a big deal back in the sixties; that and the Sheffield Rhino Whips case - heady days!
Challenor had a proud career in the CID, blithely fitting up anyone he didn't like. He was, for some reason, particularly vindictive towards people with disabilities and people of a Mediterranean appearance. Possibly this was connected to his wartime experience in Italy as a POW.
Challenor slipped up when, at a political demonstration, he nicked one Donald Rooum, a peace activist, along with some others. He charged them with possession of offensive weapons, to wit, carrying bricks about their persons. Rooum refused to roll over, did not cooperate, i.e., avoided all contact with the magically manifested brick, and so was able eventually to prove his innocence. In the course of doing so he exposed Challenor as a bent copper, more than that, a nutter out of control.
None of which fazed the judge, who found Rooum not guilty but refused his application for damages. He also found some other poor joker guilty on the same discredited evidence from the same discredited copper. The Met. of course was not interested in delving into Challenor's murky past; too much perversion of the course of justice, too many compromised coppers.
But the genie was out of the bottle and some sort of action had to be taken. Challenor was declared to be a bad boy, but a nut case (true), therefore unfit to stand trial for his many crimes. He was committed to a mental institution, and after a few weeks, quietly released, later to obtain a job in the legal system (no kidding!). We may assume that he received a full pension for his contribution to the maintenance of law and order. After all he was never found guilty of any offence.

Addendum: after writing the above I took a look at wikipedia to see if there was anything on the Challenor case there. I found the linked article. Reading it I learn that I was too dismissive of the Metropolitan Force's response to the affair. Though Challenor got away with his crimes three other tecs were jailed.
I also learn that "doing a Challenor" became police parlance for retiring on grounds of illness to avoid investigation. If memory serves there was a lot of that about at the time of Operation Countryman and during the Stephen Lawrence investigation.
Wikipedia also has an article on Donald Rooum.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The inquest into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes kicks off today. I predict that -
a) the coroner will recommend to the jury that they return an open verdict
b) if the jury returns a verdict of unlawful killing the CPS will declare that it's not in the public interest to prosecute the killers
c) we'll hear a lot about coppers who have been traumatised by the incident and deserve our sympathy and a big lump of public money.
Headline in this morning's Guardian - "Brown plans crackdown on world markets" - similar to E.L.Wistey's plans for world domination.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"This would be easier if it were a dictatorship." George W. Bush on the financial midden.
Sorry George, you're stuck with an oligarchy. Never mind, they'll soon be done with you, then you can come over to the UK for your honorary knighthood.
US presidential election campaign: some donations from the finance/insurance/real estate sector -

Obama, Barack $24,860,257
McCain, John $22,108,926
Clinton, Hillary $21,697,347

Friday, September 19, 2008

"The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR) published its weekly report on the Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian areas in the period between 11 - 17 Sep. 2008. During the reported period, Israeli soldiers carried out 47 invasions, killed one Palestinian child, wounded 22 civilians -- including four children -- and kidnapped 39 civilians including five children." And Hillary Clinton is busy demonstrating against threats to Israel. The US press has not reported the daily threats against Lebanon from Israeli leaders. Also, there is a funny game that US press plays: Israel would make threats against some Arab country. And then somebody in that Arab country would say: IF Israel attacked us, we will fight back against Israel. It is then that the US press takes notice and then headlines: the Arabs are threatening Israel. The Arabs are threatening Israel.

(Angry Arab)
"Like scores of evangelists and hypocrites and moralists who spew and praise family values and pretend to be holier than thou and are then regularly caught cheating or found to be perverts, these Bush hypocrites who spewed for years the glory of unfettered Wild West laissez-faire jungle capitalism allowed the biggest debt bubble ever to fester without any control, and have caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

"They are are now forced to perform the biggest government intervention and nationalisations in the recent history of humanity, all for the benefit of the rich and the well connected. So Comrades Bush and Paulson and Bernanke will rightly pass to the history books as a troika of Bolsheviks who turned the USA into the USSRA."
(Nouriel Roubini)

I know I should object to the Bushwackers being called socialists, but, as it is probably the epithet that would most offend them, I'll let it ride.
"What could be better than robbing the ones who rob us and distributing the money among the groups which are denouncing this situation and building alternatives?" he asked.

What indeed?

Other banks said they would have no trouble writing off the lost money.

We know that. They've plenty of experience writing off the massive debts of defaulting governments and corporations.

Still, fair play to Enric Durán, and same again when you're ready.
STS Bulletin no.13
Short selling - prior to deregulation this was known as cooking the books.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New to Me
'Missing White Woman Syndrome', a media-based disorder. I have noticed the symptoms, but didn't realise that there was an identified syndrome. Referred to in Obsolete's blog, this day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When I read on the BBC website that Celtic supporters were complaining about a Rangers song which included the words "The Famine is over, why don't you go home?" I thought they were overreacting. But it seems that the BBC and others are being a little coy about this song. Their reports are written in a way that suggests that the words quoted above are the cause of complaint, but not so. Here's a report that gives a better flavour of what is sung -
" ... a song which accuses Irish Catholics of ‘fondling their children’, of being Nazi sympathizers, which mocks the Great Famine and which ends in Rangers’ very own version of ‘Send the Buggers back’."
So not very accurate reporting by the BBC website, the Guardian and others.
Celtic supporters often complain of a media bias against them and their club. Is that the case here? Or are the media afraid to expose their public to the full strength of Orange bigotry in the West of Scotland?

Only a game!
Listening to Radio 4 this morning I heard one Sir Howard Davies pontificating, for a tidy fee no doubt, on the current economic situation. He informed that we could be in for another Great Depression "if governments don't get it right".
So now the moneygrubbers have cleaned up someone else will be called on to sort out the mess and backfill the mysterious "black holes". I thought the philosophy was to leave the market to find its own level. Don't tell me that that was all cobblers, that we were being conned by the sainted Milton and his Chicago Boys; that old Sir Alf Sherman was full of shit.
"Governments must intervene" is the new slogan, and the taxpayer takes on the role of White Knight.
Here's a excerpt from Sir Howard's CV on wikipedia -
His notable appointments have included Executive Chairman of the Financial Services Authority from 1997-2003. he was the first Chairman of the FSA, the single financial regulator for the UK financial sector. He constructed it from nine previously separate bodies. He was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 1995 to 1997, until the incoming Labour governemnt asked him to create the new regulator. Prior to this, he served for three years as Director General of the Confederation of British Industry. From 1987 to 1992 he was Controller of the Audit Commission. He was also a non-executive director of GKN between 1989-1995, and a member of the International Advisory Board of Natwest bank from 1991-95.

So the great and good Sir Howard appears to have been part of the problem before he became a consultant on solutions. It reads like he was the creator of the financial regulator that doesn't regulate. He was at the table with all the decision-makers from 1987 to 2003 as the gravy train gathered speed and hurtled towards the buffers.
Surely a peerage is in the offing.
Passing the shops on the road today I began to wonder - are the Poles a nation of shopkeepers?

Monday, September 15, 2008

"When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor."
(Steely Dan)

Will they dive? I doubt it. They've got their loot stashed away in the same dodgy banks the tinpot dictators and the drugs kingpins use. It's other people's money they gamble with and lose.
Reagan's dead, Thatcher's gaga, but their legacy lives on.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sign here -

I wonder if the present King of Morocco has carried on his father's heroin refining business (export only).
Announcing his policy of elastoplast for gaping wounds Poor Old Gordon Brown said he expected the energy companies to foot the the bill for plasters. An energy companies spokesperson then popped up and told the British public that the Prime Minister can say what he likes and the energy companies can do as they like, and their customers were going to foot the bill. Well no, he actually said that the energy companies would decide who foots the bill, but that's the same thing.
He was probably reading from a crib sheet provided by Mark Steel -
"The more we put up prices, the more profit we make, which means we won't have to pass the need for higher profits on to the customer in the form of increased prices. So, the higher the price you pay, the better off you are. If you want to pay really low prices, then next time you get a gas bill, why not send us double the amount charged, along with all your belongings?"
STS Bulletin no.12
Global Franchise Entity
Most people would call it a Premier League football club.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hooray! Hooray! A boost in the cold weather payments; the £8.50 we never qualify for becomes £25 we'll never qualify for. Fiscal prudence indeed!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination ... The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

I repeat - unhinged.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I love these names of Glocky Mom's brats: Bristol, Track, Trig, Willow, Piper, all sort of unisex, or perhaps asexual. I hope she keeps breeding and coming up with even wilder stuff. This woman is unhinged and truly fit to hold high office in the Land of the Taste-Free.
I try to avoid obscene* language on the web, but I can't resist this yarn about the execrable KKKelvin McK. in yesterday's Guardian Diary -
"In 30 years of employing people I've never seen racism," wrote Kelvin in the Sun yesterday, and while that may be true, one suspects he may have heard a few ripe things. Like the time, long past, when one executive wondered how South Africa would cope "when the darkies come down from the trees". Or the occasion, when the same guy told colleagues of switching TV channels because he was not interested "in a lot of fucking bollocks about an emaciated coon". The coon that time was Ghandi. It was all documented in 1990's Stick It Up Your Punter, an eye-popping account of the Sun in its wilder days - and the authors were under the impression that the executive was Kelvin. Maybe they were wrong. We all make mistakes.

* Another example of my antiquated terminology. The fashionable label is "strong language". Ghandi so spelled in the original.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Our business-friendly government, embarrassed by rocketing energy prices, asks the energy profiteers to give back some of their obscene profits to help their poorer customers. The profiteers tell the government to get stuffed, and rightly so. The facilitators of an uncontrolled market economy deserve the contempt of their beneficiaries and the wrath of their victims.
So poor old Gordon Brown tries another tack; penalising the robber barons is short-termism, he avers. He, sound man, advocates long term solutions. So that means we're all going to have more of those long-life bloody light bulbs.
Here I must quote the Baron Keynes, "In the long term we are all dead." (Under current conditions, probably of hypothermia.)
Our business-friendly government has been trying, for some time now, to "nudge" (buzz word) the energy profiteers into giving up their token racket, by which they overcharge the poorest of the poor for their gas and electricity. The profiteers respond with a "One day, maybe", and carry on with the extortion. They love to rub the government's nose in it.
Meanwhile the TV news broadcasters ask the the robber barons to send a spokesperson to defend their profiteering. The profiteers tell the newscasters to get stuffed. They do, however, send along a handout which a presenter duly reads out. Nobody would dream of telling these rogues "If you can't face questioning, we're not delivering your bullshit to the people who pay our wages." Now that would take backbone.

Our business-friendly government can't do anything to help the poorest sector of the population, but it can and will find money to help house owners (for which read mortgage owners) in negative equity. For decades now successive governments have helped the middle-classes to accrue wealth by means of small scale property speculation. Protective practices have ensured that property was a risk-free investment. Now external factors beyond government control have intervened in the UK property market. Values, it seems, can decrease as well as increase. What a shock to the denizens of that repository of all that is good, MIDDLE ENGLAND. Someone's going to pay for this. Oh yes, that'll be me and my kind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This is what the "War on Terror" is about.

"In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002
Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County
Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC
Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of
Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik
Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max
Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism
enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum
penalty ... They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I read that 80% of news coverage in our press is lifted straight from press releases. That explains a lot. Why get off your arse when the PR agencies, spin doctors and ad-men will force-feed you like a Strasbourg goose? Investigative journalism - that's one of those old expressions surviving in the vocabularies of ancients like me. Habeas Corpus is another.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's wrong with this picture? It shows girls checking their GCSE results. Their head covering suggests that they are Muslim and are conforming to their religion's modesty rules. But one is not, her arms are bare.
This suggests to me that this whole headscarf business is about fashion, not modesty or piety. Educators should be careful and ensure that their pupils are not taking the piss. Most British people are so ignorant of other cultures, and this includes people in authority who, fearing to err on matters of faith and culture, go to ridiculous lengths to avoid giving offense. This plays right into the hands of the "political correctness gone mad" choristers. The wilfully offensive are supplied with ammunition by cross-cultural illiterates.

A personal note: when I was doing my national service training our platoon was ordered to spend one Sunday tidying up on the rifle range. I can't remember, but I think it was a collective punishment for some transgression.
Anyway, one smartarse piped up with "Sir, I'm a Catholic, we must keep holy the sabbath day." "Oh well", says the officer, "All RCs fall out!" It was pure bluff, but it worked, because the officer and the NCOs weren't catholics and were in the dark. Better safe than sorry, the Roman Candles skived off fatigues. But it was up for grabs; if a Scots Presbyterian had got his shout in first the dumb subaltern would have been equally at a loss. Unless one of the NCOs was a jock. My memory let's me down on that point.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our refusal comes first and foremost as a protest of the separation, control, oppression and killing policy held by the state of Israel in the occupied territories, as we understand that this oppression, killing and routing of hatred will never lead us to peace, and they are all contradictory to the basic values a society that pretends to be democratic should have.

To read the full statement of these consciencious objectors click on the link to Molly and Yasmin's blog.
Forgotten History? Suppressed History?
A helpful reminder of the origins of the racist state of Croatia, whose leaders are keen on joining the EU. I recall when that sorry statelet came into being a British TV reporter speaking in reverential tones of "the flag of the ancient nation of Croatia".
The last thing any British news reporter needs is a historical context to a story.

'This summer Dinko Sakic, the 86-year-old former commander of Jasenovac, the notorious second world war concentration camp, was buried in his Ustashe uniform, the Croatian equivalent of the Nazis. After the war, Sakic emigrated to Argentina but returned after Croatian independence in 1991. He was welcomed back like a celebrity. In his interviews, Sakic repeated that he regretted nothing. What Sakic should have repented was that tens of thousands of inmates in Jasenovac were murdered under his command. He also personally executed two Jewish prisoners ... At his funeral a Dominican priest, Vjekoslav Lasic gave a speech in which he advised Croats to admire Sakic and to take him as an example.'

More on the history of our Croat allies here -

Friday, August 29, 2008

The BBC have been at it again, acting as messenger boy for the Repressive State Apparatus. A programme about al-Qa'ida was broadcast on behalf of MI5 and was a complete fabrication. The following is lifted from the Guardian Diary -

Interesting noises from the BBC following items on our front page and here in the diary telling how spooks keen to taint the al-Qaida brand spun a line to documentary makers, the better to reinforce the impression that the terrorists are in crisis. "We are pushing this material to UK media channels, eg, a BBC radio programme exposing tensions between AQ leadership and supporters," the experts wrote in a leaked document. We noted that a programme, Al-Qaida's Enemy Within, was broadcast on Radio 4 on August 7. It was repeated on the World Service on Wednesday. The BBC said there was no link between the Whitehall spinning and the programme as transmitted, though Nicola Meyrick, the executive editor of radio current affairs, now reveals on her blog that the reporter and producer "did have some contact" with the spooks while the programme was being made. However they did not meet them until the main batch of interviews had been completed, Meyrick insists. The spooks supplied her team with briefing materials, but she says they didn't use them. It was "a completely independent and impartial piece of journalism", she writes. And so we could conclude that the spooks were exaggerating. It's happened before, apparently.
"Shortly before midnight on August 7th Mr Saakashvili ordered a bomb barrage using Grad multiple-rocket launchers. This lasted through the night. Even his supporters agree that the use of indiscriminate Grad rockets, which killed civilians, was disproportionate and merciless. Mr Saakashvili said he was restoring “constitutional order”. But then so did Russia when it bombed Grozny in 1994. That Russia provoked Mr Saakashvili consistently is clear, but it is equally clear that Mr Saakashvili allowed himself to be provoked." (via Angry Arab)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Protesters at the Beijing Olympics, our media invariably referred to them as "human rights activists". They were no such thing, not the ones getting the oxygen of publicity on my telly anyway. They were supporters of Tibetan separatism, and "Free Tibet" was their only slogan. The billion plus Chinese suffering at the hands of the oligarchy were of no interest to those western tourists with attitude. The message conveyed to me was "Tibetans good, Chinese bad".
So who will be the next president of the USA - the black warmonger or the white warmonger? My money's still on the old white man.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation (MoPDC) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), in separate reports, said that millions of Iraqi children are orphans, without shelter, or imprisoned in Iraqi and American controlled prisons. Recent statistics conducted by the MoPDC reveal that "the number of orphaned Iraqi children has reached 4-5 million and that there are some 500,000 street children."

A further study conducted for the UNDP by the Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science, found that "acute malnutrition among Iraqi children has almost doubled since the US invasion despite UN efforts." The study based on a survey of 22,000 Iraqi homes said that approximately 400,000 Iraqi children now suffer from malnutrition and said that acute malnutrition has increased to 7.7 percent since March 2003 for those aged between six months and five years.
Officials from Childhood Voices Association, a children's non-governmental organization, say that "there are 11,000 children addicted to drugs in Baghdad alone, that many girls aged 12 to 16 years old have been victims of rape, and that many girls aged 12 years and above have endured sexual harassment." The organization also quotes international reports stressing that "more than 1 million Iraqi children have entered the labor market with the increase in the rate of poverty (one third of Iraq's population live under the poverty line) and that they suffer violence and sexual abuse."

According to their report, 1.3 million children aged 8 to 16 years old, equal to 6.1% of the population, have become workers. It is also being reported that 1300 children are currently being held in detention centers and in government prisons."

Like the British and US media I'm too squeamish to show the images that accompany this piece, called "Destroying the Children of Iraq" at

Friday, August 22, 2008

The GCE results have been announced. The requisite hugging and squealing film clips have been shown on the TV news, and Lord Adonis is rubbing his hands. Several Hull schools have failed to meet his phoney result levels and he can look for privateers to take them over. If he gets his way they will become Macademies of Burger-flipping; or schools of snake juggling and speaking in tongues where the kids will be taught the five thousand year history of the universe.

A good role model for these new academies is getting some well deserved publicity today. This is the College of International Cooperation and Development, Winestead, East Yorkshire, where the students are taught street begging and recycling second-hand clothes (or rag-gathering, as we used to call it). Now the students are complaining about the curriculum, but as it's a private business it seems that the people who run the college and pocket the proceeds of their students' work experience are not breaking any rules.
That's the way to run a macademy - exploitation, exploitation, exploitation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The drug cheat who shouldn't have been allowed to compete at the Olympics wins gold in her event. The BBC commentators are full of admiration for this women who has struggled against adversity to triumph. The adversity, remember, is her cheating, getting penalised, and enduring well deserved obloquy.
I wonder what the runners she beat to the gold think of it all.
As I said before, the best advice to young athletes is - do the drugs, don't do the tests, go to the Olympics.
Although I have not yet succumbed to the lure of reality television it is difficult to avoid the trailers the channels put on just before other programmes start. Thus I know that there are two elements essential to this form of entertainment-
i) someone has to break down and cry, and
ii)an inordinate amount of hugging is called for.
Soon there will be a clip show called, "100 Best Reality Show Sob Sessions", and another called "100 Best Reality Show Hugs".

I don't expect to see Christopher Brookmyre's Reality TV proposal commissioned -

Instead of a show that intrudes upon, patronises and humiliates "ordinary" people, I suggest one that intrudes upon, patronises and humiliates TV presenters and the executives behind these abominations; a show that takes apart their lives, foibles and failings and then helps them reconstruct themselves in a manner more acceptable to the prejudices of the programme's target demographic.

"This week, we'll be meeting Tabitha. She's a successful television presenter with her own production company, but she doesn't know which lap-dancing club her coke-addled boyfriend is currently favouring, and is still trying to prove her worth to a father who always seemed to love her older sister more. She recently spent more than she pays her char per annum to have her home 'spiritually cleansed', owns a wardrobe worth more than the average house and hasn't worn the wrong thing since her second-form end-of-term disco. Nonetheless, she wouldn't be able to tell you the name of the prime minister without Googling, and can't find her own £40,000 wet-room without her PA relaying directions via her BlackBerry. Tonight, we're going to help her calculate the true worth of her existence using our famous vacu-ometer. Then, after we've talked her down from the ledge, we'll have our regular consultant Deirdre on hand to give Tabitha some tips on building relationships with people whose affection won't be conditional upon her haircut."

The show is going to be called: So You Want to be a Bit Less of a Twunt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"After all the usual sponsorship announcements and, United being United, the far-too-enthusiastic welcoming of corporate guests from Saudi Arabia ..."
Premier League football, what a spewsome affair! Beyond the hype, a cesspool.
Remember, America's present-day excesses are tomorrow's New Labour solutions.
In New York, the police department took control of school safety in 1998 under the Giuliani administration; by the 2005-06 school year, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the city employed 4,625 school safety agents and at least 200 armed officers, making the NYPD School Safety Division the 10th-biggest police force in the country—larger than those of Washington, DC, Detroit, Boston, or Las Vegas. "We are treating the kids like potential criminals," says Donna Lieberman of the NYCLU. In January, a five-year-old named Denis Rivera was handcuffed behind his back by an NYPD school safety officer for throwing a tantrum in his kindergarten class in Queens.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"There are no military installations in the city of Tskhinvali. In fact, there are no military targets at all. It is an industrial center consisting of lumber mills, manufacturing plants and residential areas. It is also the home to 30,000 South Ossetians. When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery last Thursday, he knew that he would be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway."

Mike Whitney in Counterpunch.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ms. Julie Burchill has gone from atheist to "Christian tryer" ( My God she tries!) -

(by Alex Comfort)

Let them turn to the bottle
the Yogi and the rope
some of them go to Uncle Joe
some of them to the Pope -

One by one grown prosperous
of excellent intent
they set there names on the payroll
of God and Government;

one is turned evangelist,
another is turned knight:
let them go wherever they wish -
we will stay and fight.

I may come to the light at last
as others have come there;
I think they will not put my bones
in Moscow's Red Square:

I can turn both coat and mind
as well as any man -
I think they will not put my head
towards the Vatican.

All fierce beasts grow corpulent,
mature and come to hand.
Lions lie down with sheepskin wolves -
we will see them damned.
“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”
George W. Bush. Seriously, that's what he said.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Some quotes I've heard or seen recently and need to record -

"The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists."
Ernest Hemingway. Gleaned from a comment on Molly and Yasmin's blog.

"While I tell you this quite happily, I will not
go on oath as to its accuracy."
Ian Duhig, "Sweet Things" (poem).

"capitalism is the devil's wet dream"
Ani DiFranco, "Serpentine" (poem).

"90% of sci-fi is shit, but then again, 90% of everything is shit."
Theodore Sturgeon, quoted in John Patterson's column in yesterday's Guardian, Film and Music.

"They're all a lot of jumped-up fascist bastards!"
Rab Nesbitt, the Sage of Govan, in a clip on the telly last night. The clip was from the eighties, and I think he was describing Thatcherite politicians, but I reckon it'll do for politicians in general.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Can't read or write? Never mind! have a few O-levels.
Education, education, education.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

According to Seumas Milne -
The CIA has in fact been closely involved in Georgia since the Soviet collapse. But under the Bush administration, Georgia has become a fully fledged US satellite. Georgia's forces are armed and trained by the US and Israel. It has the third-largest military contingent in Iraq - hence the US need to airlift 800 of them back to fight the Russians at the weekend. Saakashvili's links with the neoconservatives in Washington are particularly close: the lobbying firm headed by US Republican candidate John McCain's top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, has been paid nearly $900,000 by the Georgian government since 2004.

But underlying the conflict of the past week has also been the Bush administration's wider, explicit determination to enforce US global hegemony and prevent any regional challenge, particularly from a resurgent Russia. That aim was first spelled out when Cheney was defence secretary under Bush's father, but its full impact has only been felt as Russia has begun to recover from the disintegration of the 1990s.

Behind Saakashvili, Bush, the World Bank and Ukraine, or Yulia-Timoshenkovia as it is soon to be called. So to say, as some do, that his days in power are numbered, is naive. Georgia, or Georgibushia, as it is soon to be called, knows better than to remove America's mouthpiece. Remember, Iraq was an ally of the US once.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inflation is at 4.4% and rising. For some that figure is meaningless. Those who use up the bulk of their income on the basics; food (prices up 13%+), rent (zoom!), and fuel (whoosh!) are suffering from inflation of a much higher percentage. Most people don't believe government figures on inflation and cost of living anyway.
But help is at hand, Yvette Cooper says that the government is going to rectify things by cutting taxes. The poor are suffering so give the better off a handout. That's New Labour thinking. It's also Conservative thinking though they don't have to justify their discredited policies - tax cuts and more privatisation, same as New Labour - while the press are going for Big Business Brown and his motley milly band of top job jockeys.
Meanwhile the locusts are coming. My missus went shopping at Netto this morning and the place was crawling with middle class intruders snapping up the bargains. So we can expect that bastion of proletarian prudence to fall to the affluent and penny-pinching hordes. Is nowhere safe from these pushy people?

Mention of jockeys brings Alan Johnson PC to mind. He's keeping a very low profile in these days of backstabbing, rumour-mongering and insincere declarations of loyalty. Is he keeping aloof from this distasteful infighting? Or is he just waiting till the other contenders have sickened party members with their posturings and their ill-disguised treachery? Then he can offer his services as leader and claim the crown. My money's still on A.J.
Those Moroccans have been at it again, NOT kidnapping Aryan children. When are they going to live up to the stereotype the British media have created for them?

Monday, August 11, 2008

"We helped to trash Iraq, but we don't like it up us."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor in Guantánamo, put the trial in a disturbing light. He testified that he was informed by his superiors that only guilty verdicts would be tolerated. He also said that he was told to bring high-profile cases quickly to help Republicans score a pre-election public relations coup."
From the New York Times, via Yasmin and Molly's Blog.

Salim Hamid Hamdan, having been sequestrated at the Guantanamo Gulag for five years, was put on trial and found guilty of being Usama Bin Ladin's driver. He was sentenced to five years and five months imprisonment.
I assumed that this sentence was passed because he was about to be released and might sue for false imprisonment. Having a guilty verdict against him would have forestalled that action.
However it seems I got it wrong. We are now informed that, on serving out his sentence, Hamdan will continue to be held as an enemy combatant. So Col. Davis's election connection seems to be the only reason for this farce.
Only in America - sorry! Only in not-America.
What is this fashion with TV interviewees? After replying to a question they hesitate for a second, then it's "... and yeah!" and off they go again. Or it's the alternative "... but yeah!" and away. Everybody's doing it, almost if it's required of them.
"Bush said that the Russian attacks on Georgia marked a 'dangerous escalation' of the crisis and urged Moscow to halt the bombing."

Bush, the man of peace, eh! You have to laugh. But those Russians, couldn't even be bothered to rustle up a dodgy dossier. Call yourself a statesman, Putin?

Friday, August 08, 2008

George Bush kept human rights high on the Olympic agenda today by calling for freedom of expression and religion just hours before he was to attend the opening ceremony.
(From today's 'Guardian')

"The abuse was horrendous, it was physical, as well as psychological. It was torture," Sharp said. "When you're locked up in such a place and treated so horrifically, they don't exactly give you a calendar, but she says it was a very long time, years for sure ... They [her captors] were Americans, there's no doubt about it."
While Sharp declined to give details of the alleged abuse, Siddiqui's sister, Fauzia, told a press conference yesterday in Islamabad that Siddiqui had been "raped repeatedly". Sharp said Siddiqui was not getting proper treatment for a bullet wound, which may have gone septic.
(From today's 'Guardian')

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Further thought on the "abducted child" soap opera -
Not long ago she was sighted in Morocco, land of swarthy non-Christian people. Every British racist knows that swarthy people can't keep their hands off fair-skinned women and children, so this was ideal tabloid fodder. Well, now the Belgian paedophiles and the swarthy circus folks (gipsies?) are in the frame, could the Moroccan government do a Robert Murat on behalf of its maligned citizenry, and sue a selection of British newspapers for damages and a grovelling apology?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Concerning the "abducted" child - you know, THE "abducted" child, the only one in the world:
isn't it strange that the abductors allowed their kidnap victim to wander around unguarded telling people she'd been kidnapped and the perpetrators were nearby?
Isn't it strange that the Dutch police didn't follow the sighting up and try to rescue this unfortunate, settling for passing the information on to the Portuguese police?
Doesn't it sound like pure fantasy?
Still it helps to keep the story going and to sell papers. Who, I wonder, shifts more newsprint, the long-dead Princess or the missing bairn?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This evening on Radio 4 will be broadcast a programme I intend to miss. One David Aaronovitch is going to tell us what happened to the generation of '68, "the cream of his generation". Well he was 13 years old at the time and I was 29, so I may not be counted among the cream. According to this expert (translation: "know-all, mamzer") "most have become part of the establishment they rallied against". Most? Of all those tens of thousands? Here's one who became part of New Labour's underclass, and I imagine there are more like me than the sell-outs Aaronovitch "networks" and schmoozes with, and who he thinks are representative of the soixante-huitards.
The left has always been used by the greasy pole climbers, particularly the Labour Party ("left" being used very loosely here). "Shits that passed in the night", to borrow Albert Meltzer's phrase. I think of people like Prescott who posed as militants and waited to be bought off. People like Blair (once of CND) who joined the Labour Party when others were deserting it in droves, knowing how easy it would be to rise to the top and take it over, aided by the middle class Nomenklatura, Mandelson and his Machiavellian kind.
The first time I saw Aaronovitch he was fronting a TV book programme. He impressed me (adversely) by throwing a book he didn't like across the studio. An attention grabbing gimmick and a despicable act. I've loathed the man ever since. He speaks of himself as if he is a socialist, probably meaning that he votes Labour. This, he believes confers some validity on his constant criticism of anyone (so many) to the left of himself. He is a jackal in sheep's clothing, and he'll always find work at the BBC, along with Michael Gove, Bernard Ingham, Anne Leslie and Melanie Phillips.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Not everybody was a fan.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn represented the dubious moral claims of the protagonists during the Cold War, especially the American-led side. There is no doubt that Solzhenitsyn's literary greatness or genius was highly exaggerated, and the Nobel committee's decision is only one proof. This man who was lionized as a symbol of freedom was a fascist, through and through. If American knew more about him and his views they would think twice about honoring his memory. He hated everything about America and Americans, and complained about the music that Americans listened to. He argued that Americans unlike other people would not fight for an ideal. He was truly an obscurantist, anti-Semite, reactionary, traditionalist, misogynist, and a man living in the past--the medieval past. He volunteered in communist organizations early and not so early in his life, and then later would claim that he was a struggler against communist tyranny. In fact, he dreamed of writing a definitive history of the Bolshevik Revolution, before he decided to celebrate the pre-Bolshevik past. He defended the successor organization to the KGB, and would express the most reactionary views against progress and freedom. And the numbers he claimed about the communist past and the number of prisoners were simply invented by him.
"Angry Arab" (As'ad Abu Khalil)

Thatcher WAS a fan, though she couldn't pronounce his name. But then she was also a fan of Pinochet.