Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bolivian President calls on the West to respect Pachamama

That statistic! I don't know who those three families are (but I bet Bush is one of them) but having a shared income greater than the 48 poorest countries! That is a statistic to quote in any discussion of global justice!

this site is awesome!

Oh and it contains the "truth".

Anyway, enjoy!

Sadly I am excluded from membership of this exalted organisation due to my inability to comply with the list of members' attributes (specifically #7).

BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHahHAAHhaahaHAHAHAAAAAaaaaaaaa . . . . .cough . . cough . . . .splutter . . . .erk!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

head of Catholic Church in Mozambique publically states that condoms come preinfected with HIV

Archbishop Francisco Chimoio is a perfect example of the idiocy of religion. Darwin award for that man!

electoral dysfunction

Johann brought out this old article he wrote during the last general election. Its pretty damning of the pseudo-democratic state of UK politics.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a twat

Let's see how the cristo-fascists of the US will respond to the content of his speech today. He denied that homosexuals exist in Iran and he denied that Iran had any intention of developing nuclear warheads. At least one of those two statements is blatantly false, so why not the other?

Nice one, you savage, mysogynistic fuckwit!

Labour reveals its hypocrisy in new and interesting ways

This week we have Hillary Benn, offspring of the legend that is Tony, calling for the Americans to adopt binding emissions targets. This is after the public furore over the Labour government was caught admitting its own renewable energy targets were unattainable and damning communications were leaked that revealed that civil servants were already looking for cracks in the legislation to manipulate instead of making real reductions. Also after the government has refused to apply tax to aviation fuel and to rule out runway expansion schemes at a variety of airports across the UK including Birmingham, Heathrow and Edinburgh which would result in increased emissions from aviation that would obscure and exceed any meaningful reductions in other areas.

The absolute pinnacle of climate change head- in-the-sand policy is the most important figure of all, however: The actual figure for emission cuts. George Monbiot has already pointed out that the figure the government gives for its overall emissions target- 60% by 2050- isn't enough. And the Labour government are very aware of this because they funded the Stern Report to establish what an effective figure for real change with a significant margin for error would be. And after funding it and crowing over the profundity of the results . . . . they walked away, shaking their heads and chuckling to themselves muttering "like its ever going to happen . . . . ."

Not a little hypocritical, yesno?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nick Cohen is a right twat but I agree with his position on Wahhabism

An interesting point to note about Nick's argument is that although he compares massive Saudi cash inputs to a hypothetical European Protestant evangelism in Saudi, this isn't a very good example. Much of Europe is now avowedly secular and so a better example, and one that is very much a reality in Saudi Arabia at the moment- unlike the banned evangelism of other religions- would have been the promotion of secular democracy. The Saudis are just as resistant to that particular piece of philosophy and it reveals a lot more of the insanity of their extremist position than any example of bible-bashing Jesus freak religion does (just as bad in my eyes).

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Interesting background to the insurgency and how small a part in it Al Qaeda play.

A fascinating book review from Znet. Anthony Arnove has written a text that lays out comprehensive arguments for a withdrawal from Iraq.

"The reality of the current and perhaps subsequent administrations is that any conjecture that relies “on the intelligence, rationality, or humanity of U.S. policymakers would be an unwise one.”"

Johann Hari also suggested a strategy for withdrawal which oozes common sense. It is the product of a US Senator called Geroge McGovern, a Vietnam Vet to boot.

it begins with a simple apology from the US, Britain and other invaders for the catastrophe we have wrought – the opposite of Bush’s deranged demands for thanks. There must then be a commitment to dismantle all permanent US bases on Iraqi soil, and to allow the ownership of Iraqi oil by all Iraqi citizens – with the royalties divided equally between every Iraqi and paid out as a regular cheque, like they do in Alaska.

The US then needs to convene a regional conference, at which they pledge to pay full-whack for an international stabilization force to police Iraq, manned exclusively by Muslim countries like Morrocco, Tuinisia, Egypt, and Jordan. These countries will need all sorts of financial inducements to send troops. Tough. Pay them. McGovern calculates that even at top-rate, this would cost $5.5bn – just 3 percent of keeping the US forces there for the next two years. Once the police are fellow-Muslims, the often-murderous insurgents will be much more isolated. Al Qaeda’s tiny presence (estimated by US generals to be fewer than 500 fighters) will be even more despised. Only troops like this could have the legitimacy needed to stop a genocide."

this is really fucking scary

The Guardian's article declaring that open warfare could erupt imminently is an appalling piece of journalism. Firstly it does not condemn the open aggression on the part of the US. It does not question any of the US's groundless excuses for their aggression and it simply comments that Gordon Brown will be faced with some sort of dilemma as to with whom to side in any ensuing confrontation- the answer to which should be obvious to anyone with the slightest trace of humanity. But the most alarming piece is the open statement by some ex-CIA source that the decision to go to war has already been taken without any evidence being presented to support such a threat to the already badly destabilised global security situation.

Basically, this is an open declaration of the of editorial team's indifference to another war of aggression by the US.

on the US escalation.
Possible consequences.

the broken down recovery vehicle, the private equity firm and £300 million tax-free profit

Rant . . . .rave . . . . inequality . . . .blah blah blah . . . . plutocracy . . . . waffle waffle . . . . rich getting richer . . . . . etc etc

the ethics of marketing- by Scott Adams

Friday, September 14, 2007

Edward Pearce writes epic prose

Here he's writing about the foolhardy invasion of Iraq. The subject is terrible but his prose is beautiful. Terrible, but beautiful.

Naomi Klein's new book - "The Shock Doctrine"

The Guardian serialised four extracts and there's oodles of discussion and comment, both insightful and malicious.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

continuing on the anti-Israeli theme . . .

. . . .Someone called Pencils made a great comment on the story I was ranting about in the last post. Anyway, this guy Pencil seems to be rubbishing the claim by the Jews to an ancestral homeland. The Hobbits angle is pretty witty. Anyway, here it is in full:

"Harry - sorry, that's a bit too cryptic for me.

TeachESL - The Palestinians before 1947 were rather obviously the people living in the land known since at least the time of the Philistines as Palestine (at least amongst other things like Canaan, Judea)..

Where does the word Jew come from? - I don't know where the English word 'Jew' came from - Judea? but, re the group of people who it refers to, I can't recommend highly enough 'the Bible Unearthed' by Israel's top archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, which is the state of the argument at present. Nothing is certain - a lot depends on the chronology of ancient Egypt and that could turn out to be completely wrong, but it seems certain that the Kingdom of David and Solomon never existed - at least in the form described in the Bible. There is no evidence for the Exodus and even the 'return' from Babylon is uncertain. There were certainly some hill tribes in Palestine or Canaan distinguished by their religious practices by at least 700 BC - anything else is uncertain. They first show up in solid history in the times of the Babylonians, Persians and Seleucid Greeks. It is possible that there may have been times previously when they had an independent state, maybe even a powerful one for a short time, but not even the Biblical accounts indicate that they usually had access to the coast or usually controlled the whole of Palestine. The earliest map I have seen of Jewish population distribution is of the situation just before the Roman's exiled the Jews from Judea. At that time there were more jews living outside of Judea than in it. There may have been as many jews living in Mesopotamia as in Judea, and there were Jewish populations scattered throught the colonies of both the Greeks and the Phoenicians/Carthaginians. That's something that could do with a lot more discussion. I think that there are plenty of clues that trade between the red sea and the Mediterranean was an important interest of the Jewish states, and the story of Ahab, Omri and Jezebel and their links with the Phoenicians point to a probable explanation - they developed a talent for trade and had a client relationship with the Phoenicians who allowed them to set up their own trading posts in their colonies - which seems to have continued under the Persians; and when the Greeks conquered the Persian Empire, the Greek colonies were open for trade, and this continued under the Romans. When their nation was dissolved they became, in Europe anyway, effectively a merchant guild with a common ethnic origin and religion, while Mesopotamia became the main Jewish population and religious centre. The Palestinians are the descendants of whoever remained or whoever came later- I think it unlikely that even in Roman times there was a Jewish majority in the Roman province of Judea , because it include non-jewish regions. Got a better explanation ?

"Who were the majority population in Jerusalem in the mid-1800's. Why do Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem? How many times in the Koran is the name Jerusalem mentioned? How many times is it mentioned in the Bible?"

Answer - don't know, don't care! I think you've fallen into the trap of taking as reality a myth that is no more real than ' the Lord of the Rings' - and is a lot less fun! What if the hobbits should buy up 6% of England from foreign absentee landowners, and the UN should give them 1/2 of the country and evict the English - after all, what Holy book mentions the English.? There are no hobbits? Well, I'm sure there are hordes of Americans and Russians who could come up with the papers to show that they had one hobbit grandparent."

The point is that Israel is now established and seems to be in the grips of an aggressively expansionist political ideology (zionism) that seems to be driven by the perception of a divine right to occupancy of a poorly defined region of the middle east with no legal, moral or historical justification. Such a policy relegates all other peoples occupying such territory to untermenschen and is profoundly similar to lebensraum. I don't have a problem with a secular Israeli state within the pre-1967 borders but this is simply monstrous.

another day in the Israeli propaganda war

I mentioned two articles from New Statesman, comprising a report and a retort re: Israeli Defence Force "holiday" (read: "indoctrination") camps for children.

Well, some twat posted this in response to my own post on the retort, where I recounted how I came across a crass obfutication in the first sentence and refused to read any more:

"Sonicdeathmonkey. - Your post sum's it all up. Why should you read further? The reason is to get the whole story. Not just to pick out the bits you want to somehow link to your belief or view.

Can you explain why in the Gaza strip / West Bank there are stories of children starving, no medicine, no jobs etc.. yet they always seem to be able to find money to pay for the rockets that are launched into Israel."

So I replied with this:

"Sappy, you didn't score highly at reading comprehenesion, did you? There is no "whole story"- as evidenced by Rutland's misrepresentation and obfuscation. Its just a propaganda exercise.

No, let me try an asnwer to your Gaza Strip question: The reason there are children starving in the Gaza strip is because Israel has destroyed their power plant, sewage treatement works, desalinisation plants, crops, families, buildings, industry and people and closed the borders almost permanenetly to trade. If you have none of these things left, you can't feed your children. You have nothing to do all day. So why not dig out that crate of rockets that some militants buried in your back garden a few years back and engage in some pathetic attempt at retribution? Its not right. I'm not justifying that attempt. I'm just trying to elucidate cause and effect.

Captain Rutland claims: "The assertion that the IDF intentionally or indiscriminately attacks civilians is both wrong and defamatory."

I don't have to post any evidence on this board at all to back up an observation that this is a blatant mistruth. Amnesty International, The International Committee for the Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontiers and Human Rights Watch have all presented cases that reveal the lie in this statement. Who are we going to believe? The IDF or the four most credible organisations in human rights advocation today?

As Aldous Huxley said:

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.""

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

AMericans don'can't even remember their own rights, let alone respect others but I don't imagine we are any better

This was what started me off.

At least the Americans have a written constitution- and one of the best on the planet, too. We in the UK have an unwritten constitution which is about as unaccessible as any legal or political document can be.
No wonder the UK population are the deprived monkeys of Europe.

the poignancy of war

7 US soldiers wrote an op-ed for the New York Times three weeks ago criticising the Bush administrations rationale for the war and questioning the point of their presence in Iraq. Whilst the article was awaiting publication one was shot in the head and flown the US for treatment. He is thought likely to survive. Not so two others, Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray, who died on Monday in a traffic accident.

peace activist has leg broken queuing to enter Petraeus hearing


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Statesman hosts a typically no-holds-barred discussion on Israel

Two articles, one from Matthew Holehouse, questioning the sense of the IDF's holiday camps for children to become indoctrinated with Israeli propaganda; the other from some IDF Captain responding to the article. I read Holehouses, posted a comment, then moved onto the Captain's. I got as far as the 1st sentence, where I encountered a blatant misrepresentation of Holehouse's position and read no more.

George Monbiot on pseudo-democracy and why people are too stupid to vote intelligently

George fuckin' rocks!

“People will often say, with pride: 'I'm not interested in politics.' They might as well say, 'I'm not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future.'"
--Martha Gellhorn

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
-- Winston Churchill

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
— Albert Einstein

this blogger predicts the collapse of the iraqi state within a year

Johann Hari says this:

"Almost every institution of the Iraqi state – the police, army, even the hospitals – are now bisected into Shia and Sunni wings who detest each other. What we are seeing in Iraq today is, in slower motion, what happened in India and Pakistan sixty years ago: the hellish ethnic cleansing of mixed areas, until everyone is trapped in homogenous blocks. There is a real and hefty risk that this will metastasize into an attempt to physically eliminate one of the groups. There is also a risk of the neighbouring countries invading, turning it into a Congo-on-the-Tigris, with the Saudis marching into defend the Sunnis, the Iranians invading to protect the Shia, and the Turks invading to prevent the creation of a mini-Kurdistan in the North.

But is this a case for keeping the US forces there? A recent, much-discussed-in-DC article in the New York Times by Brookings Institute scholars Michael O’Hanlan and Kenneth Pollack said so. They argued that ‘the surge’ of 21,000 troops into Iraq is finally working, and creating momentum away from sectarian violence.

If this was true, it would be important - but their own Institute’s figures show it is the opposite of the truth. It makes no sense to compare statistics on violence in Iraq month-to-month, because the violence fluctuates seasonally (as it does in most cities in the world). For reliable figures, you have to compare this July to last July. And what do you find in Brookings’ statistics? Iraqi military and police killed are up 23 percent. The number of people killed in multiple fatality bombings is up 19 percent. US troop fatalities are up 80 percent. The size of the insurgency is up 250 percent. Attacks on oil and gas pipelines are up 75 percent. The refugee outflow has doubled. Hours of electricity available per day are down 14 percent. Far from creating the space for political compromise among Iraqis, the Sunnis and secularists have marched angrily out of the Maliki government."

I reckon there's not long to go now. The US won't pull troops out whilst Bush is in power. For any reason, no matter how perversely motivated by their domestic political agenda and sheer selfishness. So the state will wobble on and on until some massive suicide bomb makes into the parliament and kills half the MPs and the state simply collapses. Then we have genocide whilst US soldiers stand by, not caring because fewer people are shooting at them now.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

By Henry Siegman. Read it.

green groups brand Labour's nuclear consultation "a sham"

Yes, your government is engaged in yet more nefarious subterfuge and pseudo-democracy. Not only is this delaying the generation of policy that will be vital to the fight against climate change but it is the SECOND time the government's consultation scheme has been damned by these groups. They are threatening to take the government to the High Court yet again to force it it engage in the "fullest public consultation" that it is obliged to.

Yes, these are the people who were voted in by you, the electorate. You made that decision and now the rest of us are having to live with the consequences of your fucking ignorance. When you are being flodoed out of your homes and having your roof blown off and the nation is swamped with eco-refugees I will be laughing my arse off.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

more noise about city bonuses and super-rich tax dodgers

Mark Braund rocks once again. See all the links in the first few paragraphs.