Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's new vice-president -
Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman.... Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks.
That treatment wasn't enough for Suleiman, so:
To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick.
After Suleiman's men extracted Habib's confession, he was transferred back to US custody, where he eventually was imprisoned at Guantanamo. His "confession" was then used as evidence in his Guantanamo trial.

General Suleiman may not get the top job. The Israelis, his closest collaborators, want him; and one assumes that Mubarak thinks he's the man to mind the shop. But the Yanks will stick out for their preferred puppet, el Baradi'i.

"Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss."
Or as Obama, Clinton, and the Little Sir Echoes of the UK government would put it, "orderly transition".
Press Release

Date: Sunday, 30 January 2011

Today, representatives of the of the Egyptian labor movement, made up of the independent Egyptian trade unions of workers in real estate tax collection, the retirees, the technical health professionals and representatives of the important industrial areas in Egypt: Helwan, Mahalla al-Kubra, the tenth of Ramadan city, Sadat City and workers from the various industrial and economic sectors such as: garment & textiles, metals industry, pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, government employees, iron and steel, automotive, etc… And they agreed to hold a press conference at 3:30pm this afternoon in Tahrir Square next to Omar Effendi Company store in downtown Cairo to announce the organization of the new Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions and to announce the formation of committees in all factories and enterprises to protect, defend them and to set a date for a general strike. And to emphasize that the labor movement is in the heart and soul of the Egyptian Peoples’ revolution and its emphasis on the support for the six requirements as demanded by the Egyptian People's Revolution. To emphasize the economic and democratic demands voiced by the independent labor movement through thousands of strikes, sit-ins and protests by Egyptian workers in the past years."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's reported on the BBC news that the Mubarak régime has closed down the alJazeera bureau in Cairo. But the BBC continues to operate unhindered. I wonder why ...
Oh, I see.
The Egyptian people called for the resignation of Mubarak, so he sacked every one of his cabinet and stayed on. If the people continue to call for his resignation he intends to sack the people and import some replacements.
(With a nod to the shade of Bertholt Brecht)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

When, on Monday, it emerged that James Murdoch, who is not a constituent of Cameron's, was also at the dinner, again there was no official confirmation. But now the words carefully chosen by sources did not imply a denial. The prime minister did not believe it was necessary to comment on private social engagements during a holiday period.
A spokesman said: "Clearly the prime minister does meet with people from the media from time to time. That is not at all unusual for prime ministers."
The burning question was would such a meeting lead to the prime minister speaking to Murdoch senior, and could any table talk affect the BSkyB takeover. "It would have no bearing on that decision, which is a decision taken by Jeremy Hunt and Jeremy Hunt alone,".
(Caroline Davies, Guardian)

"Rather than worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV channel, what we should recognise is that he has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person because of his huge investment in setting up Sky TV, which, at one point, was losing several million pounds a day.
We would be the poorer and wouldn't be saying that British TV is the envy of the world if it hadn't been for him being prepared to take that commercial risk. We need to encourage that kind of investment."
(Jeremy Hunt, of rhyming slang fame)

Friday, January 28, 2011

STS Bulletin no.33

"... leave no stone unturned"


"What do we do next, Mr. Murdoch?"

Egyptian Activists' Action Plan

Read and digest. Tiocfaidh ár lá.

(From posting by 'vza' on Very Angry Arab)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"There are some dark forces at work here." (Richard Keys)
Yes, Mr. Keys, and they were at work all the time you were on Murdoch's payroll.
I feel no sympathy for Keys or Gray, or Sheridan. But now all Murdoch minions now know; the film is there, the tapes are there. Go up against the Murdoch clan, upset their plans, and they will be released.
Listening to the radio this morning - Woman's Hour in fact - I heard an interview with Scotland's newly appointed Makar, Ms. Liz Lochead. The interviewer, Jenni Murray, pronounced the title 'maakar', but I've always thought that it was pronounced 'maker'. Looking in dictionaries, standard and dialect, I find that I've been wrong all these years. Unless (clutching at straws) my longstanding pronunciation can be found in some version of the Scots tongue.
One of the great Scottish poems is William Dunbar's "Lament for the Makaris" with its repeated doom-laden line, "Timor mortis conturbat me". It seems to hark back to Villon's Ballades " ... du temps jadis".
I think I recall reading a poem by Seán O'Brien modelled on Dunbar's Lament, though I can't remember who or what he was bemoaning.
Anyway, congratulations to Ms. Lochead, I was sort of hoping she might get the job - her or Tom Leonard.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the start of his three-day visit to the UK." (via Antony Loewenstein)

They certainly kept that quiet. Avigdor "the Cossack" Lieberman, the ersatz-Jewish Judeo-Fascist and advocate of ethnic cleansing. I wonder if our war criminal hunters are on the case.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Talk is easy when you have no intention of following it up with action. Mr Burt is not about to transform himself into a man of action for peace. Why not? Because he's an Israel lobby stooge. He used to be (and maybe still is, for all I know) an officer of that infamous bunch of Israel-firsters, the Conservative Friends of Israel.
The Foreign Office is stuffed with them, all appointed by our new prime minister, David "I’m-a-Zionist" Cameron. This misguided individual is famously quoted on the Friends of Israel website as saying: "The friendship ... will deepen, because the ties between this party and Israel are unbreakable. And in me, you have a prime minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible."

Mr. Burt is Alistair, minister at the Foreign Office. He is also, according to the article, one those snake-juggling, glossolalic 'Christians' who pray for a big bust-up in the Middle East to fulfil the prophecy of some nutter (or dope-fiend?) of the First Century CE. Then old Jerusalem Slim will gather up his chosen ones, including Alistair and Pastor Terry Jones, and swag them off to Paradise.
Just the kind of person we need to get involved in Middle East affairs.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The former British ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the inquiry in little noticed but fascinating testimony that Blair's claims were all "very much exaggerated". He warned that Blair was seeking "to cast a retrospectively benign light on a series of very bad decisions" and, by justifying what was done in Iraq in the past, to open the door to an attack on Iran in future.
Worth watching in Blair’s continues to be his tirades against Iran, misrepresenting the country and its leaders as an imminent threat in much the same way as he spoke of Iraq in the lead-up to the invasion. Sir Richard told the inquiry that he felt that "a military adventure against Iran" would be as illegal and unjustified as the one launched against Iraq.
(Patrick Cockburn)

What a farce. Another platform for Blair to spout his neo-con certainties of hate and bang the drum for war on Iran. In the first 90 seconds Blair had conflated Saddam Hussein and 9/11 and called for action - plainly meaning military action - against Iran. Meanwhile the establishment patsies look concerned and dance around small points, to give an air of spurious credibility to their pre-determined exoneration.
(Craig Murray)

The "straight kinda guy" - as the saying goes, if he swallowed a nail he'd shit a corkscrew. Still, he has now decided that he's deeply sorry for the million plus dead of his illegal war. Well it was the right thing to say at the time, whether he meant it or not.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finally got it.
Andy Coulson has resigned because he couldn't give the job 110 percent. Well, he was never going to hit that target.
Michèle Alliot-Marie, the French Foreign Minister, has demanded the release of the Israeli soldier and prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, who was captured on Palestinian territory during an incursion by Israeli forces. Shalit, who Alliot-Marie describes as a French citizen, has been held a prisoner since 2006.
Alliot-Marie has not yet mentioned the French citizen, non-combatant, and hostage of the Israelis, Salah Hamouri. Salah has been held by the Israelis since 2005.
Let us hope that Alliot-Marie is not guilty of double standards. She needs some good publicity after being caught offering the Tunisian dictator, Ben Ali, French troops to put down popular protests.
An interview with my son (private joke).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Will the traditional political parties, be they the PPP or the Moslem League (PML-N) of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the principal opposition group, know how to take their turn in attacking fundamentalism, and to set themselves up as a viable alternative to the extremists? The Pakistan press asked itself this yesterday, as the coalition government of Yousuf Raza Gilani broke up into pieces, smitten by the demands of the IMF. Exploiting the humanitarian disaster caused by the terrible floods this summer, the IMF refused to transfer to Pakistan the funds promised in 2008 in the form of a loan, as long as Islamabad has not applied the financial restrictions imposed by the IMF, which would even further reduce the earnings of the poorest people. In the meanwhile, even before the storms, one in four Pakistani, or about 45 million people, suffered from malnutrition.
The beginning of last summer, Islamabad was supposed to receive 1.3 billion dollars, part of a total loan of 11.3 billion. The IMF delayed the date of transfer, letting topple the Pakistan economy already heavily affected, notably by the cost of food, and of cotton, vital for the textile industry, an important source of export revenue.
(Trapped Between US Drones and the Dictates of the IMF)

"The new global order has condemned people to death. They don't care if people live or die."
(Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist to the World Bank)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NEW YORK, NY –On this the 25th anniversary of Dr. King’s holiday, baristas at the Astor Place Starbucks in Manhattan declared their membership in the 105 year old union the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a staunch and outspoken defender of workers’ rights including the right to a living wage and the right to join a labor union.
The baristas represent the latest group of workers at the coffee giant to join the ongoing struggle for a living wage, more consistent scheduling, more affordable health insurance, and to be treated with basic respect and dignity by management. “I am proud to join the growing ranks of retail workers organizing together in the largest and least organized sector of our economy and at a company that has created thousands of low-wage jobs,” expressed Astor Place barista Zelig Stern. In the last year, baristas in Omaha, Nebraska and Ft. Worth, Texas have also joined the IWW Starbucks Workers Union (SWU), showing that workers’ concerns with the company are far-reaching.
“We would just like to be treated like human beings and not machines,” said union barista and Astor Place employee Cason Bolton, Jr. in reference to Starbucks’ latest initiative toward mimicking the factory assembly-line, the “Beverage Repeatable Routine.”
Today the workers delivered a collectively written demand letter to the management of the Astor Place Starbucks. Their demands included a one dollar per an hour raise across the board for all store employees. While the company’s total net revenue for FY 2010 increased by 9.5% to $10.7 billion, according to the company’s Financial Report for Nov. 4, 2010, many of the retail location employees aren’t able to make ends meet with their low Starbucks wages and are forced to live below the poverty line, many requiring public assistance.

Monday was Martin Luther King Day. This year, for the first time, the pedlar of inferior coffee paid its 'baristas' at overtime rate for working on the public holiday. This long delayed concession was forced out of the anti-union monster by the Starbucks Union, IWW. No doubt the backlash is coming, and some of these Astor Place workers will be getting the boot, ostensibly for reasons other than union membership. Later they will be reinstated and compensation paid. This game has been going on for some years now. Presumably the compensation payouts amount to less than payment of fair wages an organised workforce would obtain.
The state of play
Andy Coulson knew nothing about phone tapping by News of the World journalists.
Lance Armstrong never took performance enhancing drugs.

In Coulson's case it turns out that he, the editor, was the only person in the building who didn't know what was going on. Incompetent or what?
Now the police are going to have to find another excuse for not investigating the Murdoch Mafia.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, today pledged to make public the confidential tax details of 2,000 wealthy and prominent individuals, after being passed the data by a Swiss banker who claims the information potentially reveals instances of money-laundering and large-scale illegal tax evasion."

Now he really is in danger of assassination.

One thing I don't understand about the Assange case; the UK has agreed to hand over to the Yanks anyone they want, no questions asked. It's supposed to be about extraditing terrorists, but the Blair and Brown governments couldn't wait to turn any poor sod over; fraudsters, hackers, dognappers. So why is it going to be easier for the Yanks to swag Assange off from Sweden?
Another question; is it legal to extradite someone to a country in which he/she might suffer the death penalty for their alleged offense. I wouldn't have thought that an EU member nation could do that.
Fifty years ago today US President Eisenhower warned his people of the burgeoning power of the "military industrial complex".
A famous speech, a timely warning - but did it do any good? Did it balls! Actions speak louder than words, but money speaks loudest of all.

"Meanwhile, a congressional watchdog group found in 2008, over 150 Members of Congress had $196 million collectively invested in defense contractors."

... not to mention Secretary of State Clinton, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

While trying to access (can't be done) I came across this logo which took my fancy. The source was

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make your own book bloc shield.

A gap in the market; I bet some firm is already planning to make superior versions of the shields, featuring the works of Milton Friedmann, Clive James, and the best-selling author Katie Price.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

FBI figures show between 2002 and 2005 there were 24 acts of terrorism recorded in the US; 23 of those incidents were carried out by non-Muslim,"domestic terrorists".
The picture is not dissimilar on this side of the Atlantic. The EU's little-noticed Terrorism Situation and Trend Report revealed that in 2009 there were "294 failed, foiled, or successfully executed attacks" in six European countries. The vast majority of these attacks – 237 – were carried out by separatist groups, such as the Basque Eta.
A further 40 terrorist incidents were by leftwing and anarchist groups, while rightwing terrorists were held responsible for four of the attacks. How many attacks were classed as having been committed by Islamists? Just one. That is the same number of attacks as committed by the CAV (Comité d'action viticole), a French group that campaigns against the import of foreign wine. In 2008, again according to EU figures, there were no attacks by Islamists at all. In 2007, there were four Islamist attacks out of 583.

Mehdi Hasan asks why Jared Loughner is a 'loner' and not a terrorist.
Jared is an all-American boy, if he doesn't like something he shoots it. That's why some Americans are calling him a hero.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

David Chaytor has been weighed off and is probably doing his time in that prison for posh people in the Home Counties. Eric Illsley has plead (pleaded?) guilty and will be joining him.
What puzzles me; how is it decided which of the fraudsters will be tried? Surely the majority of MPs in the last parliament had their hands in our collective pocket. Is the Met. going to charge them all, one or two at a time? Or are they cutting cards, low card gets charged? I don't see a pattern yet, apart from there being a dearth of Conservative fraudsters in the frame.
If I remember correctly (not guaranteed) Mr. Cameron got an early warning from the Torygraph, and was able to pay back his dodgy expenses before they let the dogs out.
Anyway, if we add up all the monies involved in current cases they look pathetic when compared to the £1.5 million that 'Smirks' Osborne has has managed to place beyond the reach of the taxman.

(Image lifted from the 38 degrees website [link below]. Remiss of me not to acknowledge.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A US military historian (and ex-air force officer) writes -
Let’s start with the fighting part of the equation. Are we truly the world’s greatest fighting force, not only at this moment, but as measured against all militaries across history? If so, on what basis is this claim made? And what does such triumphalist rhetoric suggest not just about our national narcissism, but Washington’s priorities? Consider that no leading U.S. politician thinks to boast that we have the finest educational system or health-care system or environmental policies “that the world has ever known.”

But this claim seems to be universal. How often do we hear mealy-mouthed British politicians claims that WE have the best fighting forces in the world? How do they know? How do they measure? They don't. They just open their mouths and flannel. I'm betting that the Turks give out with the same polish; and the mad dog Israelis (in spite of Hizbullah). Maybe every country with a standing army puffs up its soldiery with such hyperbole. Or maybe its just the nations addicted to invading other sovereign territories.
"We are all in this together" (David 'Dave'Cameron, PC.)

"In a cartoon, at a time when some government or other was pleading with us to tighten our belts or go to war, or both, an overseer stood over a shipful of galley-slaves with a whip in his hand urging them on with 'We're all in the same boat'."
(Michael Rosen, 2007)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I read that the fiction called Shameless is to return to our television screens for another series. It seems that the middle classes can't get enough of this distorted representation of the post-Thatcher proletariat. All prejudices confirmed by the jumped-up council estate escapee, Abbot (I forget his first name). If you want to join the middle class you must be prepared to denigrate your own people, your own background; ask Tony Parsons.
You know, we council estate dwellers, 'chavs' to the home-owning, expense account ratpack, cannot string a sentence together without throwing in a couple of "fucks". Plenty of strong language, some violence, and lots of petty crime, and there's your authentic working class, served up for the titillation of the petty (oh so petty!) bourgeoisie.

A propos Shameless, I note that Milord Prescott is pimping for some insurance company. He will no doubt be well recompensed for exposing himself to further ridicule and to accusations of unbridled greed.
A neighbour informs me that, during last month's bad weather, when some estates were left without public transport, and all of us were without waste disposal services, Lord Prescott had his bins emptied regularly, and had council employees on standby to clear snow from his driveway. Can it be true? Would our Conservative, sorry Lib-Dem, council pander to the overfed boor? Who can say?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Despite the Guardian’s international reputation as the Western newspaper most savagely critical of Israel’s actions, I quickly realised that there were, in fact, very clear, and highly unusual, limitations on what could be written about Israel.
Consider the following examples. One is an account I submitted based on my investigations of an apparent shoot-to-kill policy by the Israeli police against its own Palestinian citizens at the start of the second intifada. The article was sat on for months by the paper. Finally, after I made repeated queries, I was informed by the features editor that the article could not be used because it was no longer “fresh”.
I believe that the popular mood in Britain has turned rapidly against Israel over the past decade. Israel appears to have been initially fearful that the BBC might reflect such sentiments. But after considerable secretive pressure from the Israeli foreign ministry and its lobbyists, the BBC has moved in precisely the opposite direction.
Philo related a discussion he had with senior producers on television news, including the BBC, one of whom said to him candidly:
"We wait in fear for the telephone call from the Israelis.”

(Journalist Jonathan Cook, at Medialens)
"I should know better but I can't say no"
'Night Owl' is my favourite Gerry Rafferty song; while from the Stealer's Wheel songbook it's 'Star'.

In my younger, nomadic days it seemed that every big English town had its quota of young fellows down from Glasgow and environs; chancers, neds, wee bauchles, tough nuts and hard tickets. On the lookout for the main chance, for a 'brek', 'screwin' the heid'. Some were on the fiddle, some on the rob, and some on the beg. You'd meet them around the social security where you could read their slogans on the walls, "Tongs ya bass', 'Drummy'. Or outside the bookies waiting for a fellow-Jock to have a big winner and take them for a bevvy.
Whatever their chosen field of endeavour they were mostly broke and of no fixed abode. 'Doing a skipper', 'dossing in derries', the chosen way of life must have taken its toll. Life expectancy in Glasgow is pretty low, but for those exiles it must have been short and not at all sweet, unless they lucked into an entry into the settled community, or gave up the struggle and returned home.
Maybe some sociologist made a study of this particular sub-culture and a version of their story lies in some university library. If not it's probably too late now.
The reason for this peek into the past is that every time I hear Gerry R's 'Baker Street' the 'Glesca Boys' come to mind.

Light in your head and dead on your feet
This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people but it's got no soul
And it's taken you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it had everything
You used to think that it was so easy
But you're tryin', you're tryin' now
But you know he'll always keep movin'
You know he's never gonna stop movin'
'Cause he's rollin', he's a rollin' stone
The sun is shining, it's a new morning,
You're going, you're going home.

Gerry R. was a busker in London at one time, no doubt he knew whereof he wrote and sang. Perhaps this anthem is the only memorial of those Glaswegian émigrés.

Now Gerry Rafferty is gone. Requiescat in pace, as we 'wine-grapes' used to say.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The fifteen films thing of last week was good for me. I'm always trying to make lists but never manage to finish one. Naming fifteen films in fifteen minutes was good discipline; no pressure to produce a perfect list, just a list of films that came to mind. As I expected I missed out one film that would be compulsory on my list of personal favourites - The Seven Samurai. Only one, not bad for me.
Anyway it got me to review a list of favourites I've been trying to put together for months, almost a year. I thought up a few more, making fifty, if I've counted correctly. I suppose it's unfinished and is open to amendment, but I feel I've achieved something getting it this far. There are a few odds and sods tacked on, documentaries, etc.
Umberto Eco wrote an article entitled, "We make lists because we don't want to die". Maybe so - I like reading lists, God knows why. Here's one from a Paul Mann (Paragraph 1).

Now, my films; the first six are the cream of the crop, the rest come in no particular order -

The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
I Soliti Ignoti (Mario Monicelli)
The 400 Blows (François Truffaut)
Matewan (John Sayles)
Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Paradjanov)
Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein)
Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese)
The Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick)
The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
Confidential Report (Orson Welles
Deuxième Souffle (Jean-Pierre Melville)
Los Olvidados (Luís Buñuel)
Hue and Cry (Charles Crichton)
The Third Man (Carol Reed)
The Organiser (I Compagni) (Mario Monicelli)
Breathless (À Bout de Souffle) Jean-Luc Godard)
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa)
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick)
The Godfather, Part II (Francis Ford Coppola)
Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Werner Herzog)
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)
The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen)
His Kind of Woman (John Farrow (and ?)
Pulp (Mike Hodges)
Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch)
Badlands (Terence Mallick)
Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)
M. Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati)
Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler)
Zéro de Conduite (Jean Vigo)
Morgan, a Suitable Case for Treatment (Tony Richardson)
War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk)
Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch)
Beat the Devil (John Huston)
The Dead (John Huston)
Nazarín (Luís Buñuel)
Bande à part (Jean-Luc Godard)
Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi)
Waterloo (Sergei Bondarchuk)
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)
Danton (Andrzej Wajda)
Buffalo Bill and the Indians (Robert Altman)
The Wedding Party (Robert Altman)
Judex (Georges Franju)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies)
The Cradle Will Rock (Tim Robbins)

Plus some that I find interesting, but have doubts about -
Sait-on Jamais? (Roger Vadim)
(A portent of the Nouvelle Vague?)
La Notte Brava Mauro Bolognani)
(The leading characters resembled people I knew at the time)
Shoot the Pianist (François Truffaut)
(Interesting? Yes - worthy? Not sure.)

Some Documentaries -
The Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty)
(Real people in their real environment, but OK, some phoney stuff.)
On the Bowery
(What an eye-opener.)
Le Mystère Picasso (Georges Clouzot)
Jazz on a Summer Day (Bert Stern)
(Beautiful film)
A Great Day in Harlem (Jean Bach)

Films I haven't seen but need to see -
The Saragossa Manuscript (Wojciech Has)
Queimada (Gillo Pontecorvo)
La Tête Contre les Murs (Georges Franju)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Another of the many reasons to bring this monster down -
Yara explained that the chairman of Starbucks, Howard Shultz, is an active Zionist. She added that Shultz made a provocative speech blaming the Palestinians of "terrorism" and suggesting the Intifada as a manifestation of anti-Semitism.
She said: "I still can't understand how the Arabs can buy from a Murderer". Yara noted that Shultz announced after the recent "Israeli" attack on Lebanon, that Starbucks will increase the percentage of money donated to "Israel" by 12% to reach ... 1.5$ Billion annually.
We have lost Pete Postlethwaite, an actor with a great heart; also Pete Postlethwaite the activist -
"In 2003 he marched against the war in Iraq and was a vocal supporter of the Make Poverty History campaign." (from today's Guardian).

My old lady would have called him "one of ours"; Northern, Working Class, Catholic, a bit of a rebel.

Goodbye, Mr. Kobayashi.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

"Earlier this year British Telecom (BT) welcomed Bezeq International, the main provider of telecommunication services to the illegal Israeli settlements, into its Global Alliance.
"BT claims to conduct its business according to high ethical standards and corporate social responsibility."
"BT will profit from the occupation.
"A company used by so many of us has no business entering into a partnership with a company like Bezeq that has no regard for the rights of Palestinian people."
(Hugh Lanning, Morning Star, 30.12.10)

Others able to live with the occasional massacre -

Gogol Bordello, apt name for a parcel of whores

Johnny Depp, apt name for a politically thick twat (do I mean naïf?).