Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another dangerous terrorist is taken out of circulation. It's a long spell of detention without trial for you, my lad.
"I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
"I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
General Smedley Butler

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Public Service Bulletin

In Hull there are currently 51 'jobseekers' for every job vacancy.
You may satirise the Pope, the Queen of England, or the President of the United States, but the person of Chicken-Hawk Netanyahu is sacred. Once more the British media (via a non-British owner) kowtow to the ethnic cleansers. As do the gutless post-Liberals; David Ward has been made to grovel for his equation of the genocide of Europe's Jews with the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Something I remember hearing from the late, lamented Dick Gregory.
We are constantly being told that smoking causes cancer, but people continue to smoke. Now if we were told that smoking caused white skin to turn black white people would give up on the habit immediately. So, he argued, for white people being black is worse than having cancer.
Perhaps so, but I see it another way. What people see is more influential than what they know but cannot see. Internal changes effected by cancer are not immediately obvious, whereas external effects, in this case the hypothetical change of skin colour, will usually prompt a reaction of some kind, perhaps a change of habit or régime.
Now it gets personal. Every twelve weeks I go for an injection and a check-up, the latter involving a monitoring of my weight. Last week I learned to my horror that I now weigh 14 stone (196 pounds, c 100 kilos ). For most of my adult life I've weighed about 11 stone. The external change is upon me.
The injection, or implant, I get is of female hormones. These are supposed to suppress the testosterone produced (I think) by my prostate. Linked to the tetosterone - I don't know how - are what are called 'prostate specific antigens' (PSAs) which can travel around the blood-stream. In my case the prostate is cancerous and the PSAs can carry particles of the cancer to other parts of the body. So the injection is a means of preventing or inhibiting the spread of the cancer.
All clever stuff, but there are the inevitable side-effects.
One of these is weight gain, around the waist and the pectoral area (man-boob alert!). Now I don't know if this increase is a continuous thing, or if, after a time, my weight will stabilise. All I do know is that it's a depressing experience, and affects my morale far more than the disease itself, which is out of sight, and which at present has little impact on my way of life. As an old man (and this is an old man's complaint) I can regard the damn thing philosophically. We've all got to go sometime, and for a male of my family, I'm a veritable Methuselah.
So I entertain the thought that one day my physical appearance will make life unbearable. What then?
Another memory from long ago. I recall hearing a report that the film actor César Romero had been arrested for drunk driving. While he was being interviewed by the cops he said, "I'm an old man and I just want to die." Those words shocked me and stayed with me. How could anybody WANT to die? How could a man who was affluent, successful, famous, feel that way? I was in my teens at the time, and thoughts of mortality were far from my mind. I assumed everyone had the same attitude. But age and physical deterioration begin to alter one's attitude to death. There must come a stage, should one live long enough, that the old carcass becomes something one needs to be rid of.

Happy days!

Correction: 196lbs approximates 89 kilos, not 100 kilos. Silly me!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Click on image to make legible.
(Copyleft Andrew Fisher)

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Having visited Auschwitz twice - once with my family and once with local schools - I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."
David Ward MP published these words on his official website. They were taken down, so Mr. Ward replaced them. Mr. Ward is now in trouble with his party and will probably face disciplinary action. That party is the so-called Liberal, so-called Democrats led by the dyed-in- the-wool Conservative Nick Clegg. Clegg, like Robert Ford in the song, is "a traitor and a coward" who has destroyed the credibility of the party he leads.
A spokesperson for the conscience-free party accused Mr. Ward of language that is unacceptable. Some of us believe that war crimes are unacceptable, but the post-Liberals prefer silence on that subject.

Re the Libyan "freedom fighters", the phrase "I told you so" must be on many lips. While the reply "We got the oil, who gives a shit?" will be on others.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I never liked Michael Winner - violent films, shabby treatment of those who couldn't complain. But since his passing I've learned a couple of things about him that I didn't know.

He turned down an OBE, though I can't help wondering if his reason might have been that he wanted nothing less than a knighthood.

He put that nasty piece of work Littlejohn in his place on a chat show hosted by that (I quote) "arsehole" -
“I’m quite appalled - and very nearly walked out - to be on a British television programme where lesbians are wheeled in for you to make smutty and offensive remarks to.
“I think it was an absolutely shameful exhibition of vulgarity directed toward a minority. I think the lesbians have come over with considerable dignity and you’ve come over as an arsehole.”

ADDENDUM, 24.1.13
I learned today that there are those who believe that Littlejohn protests too much about the gay community, and think that this obsession signals homosexual tendencies.
I looked him up on wikipedia and noted this piece of research from 2004 by Ms Marina Hyde -
In the past year's Sun columns, Richard has referred 42 times to gays, 16 times to lesbians, 15 to homosexuals, eight to bisexuals, twice to 'homophobia' and six to being 'homophobic' (note his scornful inverted commas), five times to cottaging, four to 'gay sex in public toilets', three to poofs, twice to lesbianism, and once each to buggery, dykery, and poovery. This amounts to 104 references in 90-odd columns — an impressive increase on his 2003 total of 82 mentions. There is, alas, no space for us to revisit the scientific study which found obsessive homophobes more responsive to gay porn. But Richard, we're begging you: talk to someone.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The route for the first two days of the 1214 Tour de France has been announced ( a couple of days ago in fact). The race passes through West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. The missing quarter? Yep, My Yorkshire. It's supposed to have been plotted so that no-one in Yorkshire is more than an hour away from the race. A likely story! I'm taking this personally.

Courtesy of FW John G.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

1,666 Welfare Reform Deaths
… each year where people who the DWP / ATOS medically assess and enforce as “fit-to-work” inconveniently die after their DWP / ATOS medical assessment. How can a DWP / ATOS assessment system be so fundamentally and fatally flawed – yet allowed to continue with ministerial impunity to answer for these deaths.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One of the pleasures of surfing the net is chancing upon a site such as Bibliotheca Augustana
So many goodies.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"It is a quite startling report: a well-analysed and quantified mea culpa signed by two eminent IMF economists, explaining quite clearly that austerity is a mistake, the result of a poorly designed computer model of economic prediction."

(Kristina Wischenkamper, L'Humanité)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

Events have diverted my attention from the current poetry season. Time to round it off.
No complete poem here, but some quotations from poems I'd like to print in full, but my understanding of copyright + internet is not up to the job.
First a poem by Maurice Rutherford on my bête noire, Larkin, and his standing among the majority of my fellow citizens. M.R. calls him "Old Bikeclips" as the man was wont to cycle around in search of places of interest in the city he despised.

(Maurice Rutherford)

Old Bikeclips with the size 12 oxfords wrote,
but eloquently, of a cut-price crowd
let's say we told those grim and head-scarved wives
from fishy-smelling streets that they were owed
a swipe at Hull's late bard 'Oozee?' perhaps
they'd gob out from the side of their own lives
'We've never 'eard of 'im down 'Ezzle Road.
No, bollocks. Poetsarra ... crowdacraps.'

The italics mark out Larkin's words. The last line echoes Larkin's - "Books are a load of crap", from one of his poems.

Douglas Young was, among other things, a poet, mainly in the Scots tongue. He was, during World War 2, leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party. He refused to serve in the armed forces, and claimed that a Scot could not be legally compelled to serve in the 'English Army'. For this stance he was imprisoned in Saughton Jail, Edinburgh, where he acted as an unofficial shop steward representing the inmates in their dealings with the prison staff.

(Sydney Goodsir Smith)

Douglas Young they've pitten by
In Saughton jail is he
He bides mang thae that rob and rape
That stude for Scotland free.

He testified gin unricht bonds
They tighter pu' the chains.


But bide a wee , me bonnie Lords
There's twa can play yir game
And we'll hae Doglas oot again
And Scotland rule her ain.

(The poem is printed in full here)

Friday, January 04, 2013

She may look like an innocent young girl to us, but to many Israelis she is a terrorist.
One day these heroes will show this photograph to their children and say, "Aren't you proud of your daddy?"
Keep a close eye on those terrorists, brave defender of Israel.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

(Mary Scully)

This young Palestinian, armed only with a slingshot, dodges a tear gas canister from Israeli soldiers using tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, & skunk bombs. The caption said, “clashes erupted” at a protest of Palestinians “against the construction of Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians.” Such a subtle way of describing settlers from places like Sheboygan, WI, Cincinnati, OH, & Kiev, Ukraine forcibly expropriating property that has belonged to Palestinian families for generations!

This is the weekly Friday protest held by Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh where the nearby Zionist settlement of Halamish has been engaged in land grabs since 1977 & in 2009 fenced off a vital spring on land privately owned by the Palestinian family of Bashir Tamimi. His nephew, Mustafa Tamimi, was killed by one of these tear gas canisters last December when an Israeli soldier shot him directly in the face with one.

This is a young man who’s been fighting his entire life against the predations & violence of Zionist expropriations & ethnic cleansing. He cannot hope to live a normal life without the big battalions of international solidarity actively rendering support--especially when the propaganda & military machines of several countries are directed at his jugular. Not everyone can march & rally but everyone can spread the word & tell the truth about what’s really going on between Israel & the Palestinians; everyone can join the boycott movement of Israeli products; & everyone can demand the US end aid to Israel & demand their own governments cease all complicity in Israel’s apartheid toward Palestinians. (Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA)
(Lifted from the Angy Arab's Comments Section)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! in an awful lot of languages.