Sunday, November 30, 2008

keeping it in the family


- Torture, embezzlement and collusion with totalitarian regimes who happen to offer excellent profit-making opportunities, that is.

1939: POLAND. The government of Poland takes legal action against the Upper Silesian Coal and Steel Company, the gigantic complex at Oswieczim. Upper Silesian is owned by three of the major American figures behind the Hitler Project, Averell Harriman and George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush, great-grandfather and grandfather respectively of George "I'm A Lyin' Guy" Bush, in cahoots with German Hitler Project leaders Frederick Flick and Fritz Thyssen.

The bulk of the steel being produced at Oswieczim is being used to make weapons for the Nazis' planned conquest of Europe and the Soviet Union. . . . .
read the rest from MTWSFH

the UK government is shit . . .


. . . as Jonathon Porritt observes, they are doing little to nothing to address the fundamental flaws of the economic system that has led to the current collapse and the looming climate/ecological disaster.


Friday, November 28, 2008

"The Isle of Man has deliberately created legislation to facilitate [tax evasion]"


This is a really nice, easy to grasp, yet hard hitting article on tax evasion. In case you might consider this to be a dull-sounding, fringe issue the charity Christian Aid recently calculated that global tax evasion costs 5.6 million children their lives every year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Or not, as the case may be.

It seems like all upstanding commentators are wading in against the collective fuckwittism of Mark Townsend and Nick Denning. Their article that intiated this clusterfuck, essentially a gossip-column detailing the paranoid neuroses of the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit, is archived by UK Indymedia here (see also IM's excellent analysis of it). The Media Lens posse have dealt with it summarily in a scathing assault on Guardian Media Group's outright hypocrisy. SchNEWS, a site I am unfamiliar with, did an extensive piece rubbishing it (although they also try to associate the treatment of the environmental movement with that of the animal rights movement, which is absolute shit because if you don't want the benefits of modern medicine you just have to stop going to see doctors- don't try to prevent the rest of us leading long and healthy lives. Climate change and peak oil, on the other hand, affect us all). The ex-Principal Speaker of the Green Party, Derek Wall, has covered it scathingly, drawing heavily on the SchNEWS article. Five academics, including two professors, penned a letter of objection to the Observer, protesting that
"Research on environmental direct action taken in the name of Earth First! in the past 16 years shows that activists are overwhelmingly committed to nonviolence, and are not using terrorism, violence, or any other direct action to seek to reduce the Earth's human population."
Rossinsibird laid it down too (word!). As he points out, the offending article was quickly removed from the Guardian website.

Media Lens had a conversation with Kevin Smith, one of the organisers of the Climate Camps, which are slandered in the article as hotbeds of violence and malign intent. He had this to say:

“I appreciate the efforts of Stephen Pritchard in going through the process of holding the journalists in question accountable and making the decision to retract the piece, but I don't want to get into the mentality of being grateful when it’s just horrendous that the article got printed in the first place. These 'green backlash' pieces were common at the height of the anti-roads protests in the Daily Mail and such papers, but I didn't expect that sort of thing from the Observer.

“I'm also incredulous that such odious, shoddy journalism was able to make its way through all the various layers, people who should have checked it out and spotted it for what it was.

“It's difficult when we spend so much time having to talk about the heavy-handedness of the police and repudiate these sorts of insidious aspersions, when what we are trying to do is have a serious conversation with the mainstream media about the real issues - the unsustainability of the model of constant economic growth in the face of the enormous ecological catastrophe we are facing.” (Email to Media Lens, November 25, 2008)
It has been observed by the Media Lens chaps that this deliberate culturing of fears relating to so-called "eco-terrorism" is a deliberate tactic by the media. This "manufacturing of consent" is fully intended to generate a backlash against legitimate and progressive policy for the good of the corporate sponsors and ideological masters of the media houses, who will benefit from the continuation of "business-as-usual". That last paragraph about violent policing is particularly poignant when you consider this other paragraph from the letter to The Observer mentioned above:
"When, in the late 1990s, some American politicians and media started to call activists 'eco-terrorists', it was the start of a concerted campaign which prepared the way for repressive policing and new laws curtailing fundamental civil liberties. Is the same thing about to happen here?"
Similar concerns were voiced in the SchNEWS article:
"Another possible explanation is that the growing movement against climate change has got the state more worried than we realise, and the idea is to spread fear amongst activists that they are being heavily watched. At the moment campaigners are generally regarded in a positive light and public support is absolutely crucial for successful defiance of the state. Just look at how lightly anti-GM activists and peace protestors are treated by the authorities compared to their animal rights counterparts. Perhaps the time has come to drive a wedge between environmental activists and the general public, and of course the best way to do this is with the emotive issue of ‘violence’. Are we observing the beginning of a smear campaign?"

In light of the fact that this scandalously fear-mongering tripe made it into a national paper it is an understatement to point out that editorial oversight was slightly lacking here. The other conclusion is that someone wanted that story out there. If you read this you will surely see that such material is subjected to multiple levels of editorial review before being released. That this happened suggests either incompetence or collusion between them, neither of which bode well. Even though its been retracted it was still up there long enough for it to be picked up by all the usual frothing suspects around the globe so despite the retraction the impact of this crap remains.

Bizarrely, Nick Denning appears to be an officer in the Royal Anglian Regiment! Just what his role in this debacle is remains to be elucidated. Credit to Ian Bone, who has been trying to work it out. At this point, the Observer's response to his enquiries as to Denning's employment status with Guardian News Media comprises the sole phrase "god, Bone, you're a cunt!", via its Propaganda Dispersal Expert David Rose. I should add that Bone's assertion that Denning is an "Intelligence Officer" seems doubtful. I tried googling the man's name and found a few mentions of a Lieutenant or 2nd Lieutenant "from Colchester" with that name in action in Afghanistan and he is clearly a mechanised infantry officer.

Clearly, Mark Townsend himself is a lying little cunt and Nick Denning is a pig-ignorant fuckstick. As for David Rose, he is obviously a cockweasel.

in the economic crisis we face, replacing Trident is even more of a Fucking Stupid Idea than it was before


It was always obvious to anyone who didn't have their head firmly embedded in some vested interest's rectum, that the idea to replace the Trident nuclear deterrent was another product of that mythical object that resides somewhere in the cellars of Whitehall and has been responsible for so much government policy over the decades: The Fucking Stupid Idea Box [FSIB]. That Edward Pearce is dedicating column inches in the Guardian to laying out exactly how stupid this idea is really brings home what toerags our politicians are for not seeing this themselves, despite the current fiscal clusterfuck.

Lets say the true cost of the program would be half of the top-end estimate of ~£70 billion. Canceling it would still take a healthy chunk out of the national debt, which is going to hit £1 trillion by ~2012. An interesting figure is that of the annual interest the government pays on its national debt- some £30.8 bn this year. Seems like there would be a whole lot more money for services if we could reduce that a little bit, yesno?

While we're saving, why not plump the budget with a few more billion by clamping down on the FSIB's other eructations: The government could simply refuse to handle any planning applications for coal-fired power stations, new roads, runways and other outright insanities. Lets also not bail any more banks out, lets just nationalise them with only token remuneration to the shareholders who sat by wanking over their dividends while the directors ran the banks up the proverbial creek. Lets invest the money instead in some nice, renewable generation capacity, some new, high-speed train lines and some nice, ultra-efficient social housing projects. I could go on but I've got to stop fantasising- the longer you do it for, the more painful it is to return to the real world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

more energy insight


Following on from Friday's installment from Greenpeace we have another profoundly informative document from Corporate Watch. Their report, titled Technofixes, details the ineffectiveness of the techno-fixes being pushed by the corporations and their vested interests. But, detailed and hard-hitting as that section of the report is, that's not its greatest merit. The greatest insights flow from the section that deals with the sociopathy associated with this techno-centric approach and the economic absurdity of the UK, and other government's funding policy. Such policy inevitably allocates funds to research projects generated by the corporations themselves, in order to enrich themselves and to circumvent the emergence of any meaningful competition to their pleasantly profitable status quo. You really should read the report. I hope they've sent copies to every MP.

A misanthropic aside: I had a funny thought when writing that last sentence, as I searched my mind of who else might be swayed by receiving a copy of this report. I couldn't imagine anyone who wouldn't be either indifferent (MPs) or outright hostile to it (most corporations). Then I thought of one person who might be very interested: Documentary producers. This report contains the perfect subject material for an Adam Curtis film. Maybe someone should suggest that to the Corporate Watch massive . . . ?

what rossinisbird says about what the Daily Mash says about Brown's tax relief


Tax relief? Hand relief, more like.

Mash it!

Jonathon Porritt: "Its the population, stupid!"


This is so well laid out that I'm in awe. Plus, check out this statistic:
"just three spoonfuls of oil provides the equivalent amount of energy as 8 hours of human labour"

As Jonathon observes, Greenpeace's refusal to publish this article is:
"gutless and less than honest in addressing population issues."
Anyone who is serious about addressing climate change, human rights abuses and social inequality needs to engage with this debate sensibly and rationally. Including, might I observe, the Green Party of England and Wales, of which I am a member.

why can some environmentalists not resist gross exaggeration?


What is it that makes the most committed and ardent environmentalists pen statements like the following?
"The evidence is conclusive: Climate Change, with it’s escalating greenhouse gases, is a symptom of our greedy consumption of planet Earth. It threatens the very life of all remaining species, plant forms, oceans and waterways as well as human life."
That last sentence is just plain bullshit. No biologist or climate scientist has ever tried to qualify such a statement. Not even the most apocalyptic future visions from the science fiction genre are laced with such grim predictions. So why do environmentalists feel justified in making them?

The fact is that life is virtually ineradicable on this planet. Even if the entire atmosphere and aquasphere were to be summarily sucked out into space and a kilometre-thick slab of bedrock shaved from the surface and sent screaming into the sun, these little fellows would still persist. So why? Why make such sweeping statements when they are patently implausible to any but the most screamingly ignorant post-modernist luddites and ignorant peasants? Its not as if anyone needs to exaggerate the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss upon our way of life. The hard facts are quite scary enough for anyone with the smallest sliver of imagination. Can you imagine never seeing another bird again? Those flitting silhouettes with their piping voices whose beady eyes betray their saurian ancestry. Anyone who has looked into the eye of an enormous herring gull cannot help but let the words "Jurassic Park" skim across their consciousness. Well, if we continue to prophylactically administer pesticides, destroy rural habitat and rape the seas of their bounty then most birds will be lost to our little island nation. Notice that I have deployed the qualifying term "most" because there are certain members of this taxonomic class that you cannot imagine being extinguished. And so it is for much of life on this planet. The diversity, the wealth, will be lost, leaving behind those who are adaptable or opportunistic enough to persist- such as the humble pigeon- or those who are robust enough to survive amidst the more inhospitable habitats that offer nothing for humans to exploit.

Whether this exaggerative phenomenon is just puffed-up and inappropriate hyperbole or plain ignorance of reality is irrelevant. It goes against everything that environmentalism stands for. The environmental movement is an evidence-based one. It is the antithesis of the unevidenced, soothing assertions of the politicians and corporations. It is a long, hard look at the likely consequences of all that is wrong with our society and culture. It is the search for ways of avoiding the megadeaths of innocents that will inevitably result from our apathy to those same ills. Its solutions are derived from informed debate and stand up to critical analysis. It is the truth.

So why do otherwise-respectable and conscientious campaigners engage in such dishonesty? The poorly-researched assertions against which I rail are profoundly counter-productive to the dissemination of that truth. Anyone who has watched the failure of our government to tackle climate change or biodiversity loss in any meaningful way knows that the battle is far from won. We have achieved few major victories in the decades since the publication of Silent Spring. The limitation of damage to the ozone layer from CFCs, the Water Framework Directive, the IUCN and more. These are piecemeal victories. All these are irrelevant if we fail to make further progress. They will become anomalies. Fading shrines to a utopian vision. The fact is that most of the work is left to do and the bewildered herd who stand in the way of progress have little grasp of the interconnected nature of the social, political, economic and natural challenges facing us. However, the fragments they absorb from episodes of CSI, BBC documentaries and the occasional glimpse of a current affairs program they see before switching back to Strictly Cum Dancing quite possibly leaves them with enough knowledge to see through the emotive declarations of imminent extinction. And so the seeds of doubt are sown. The already uphill battle for progress on the political field steepens further by having to work against the implanted doubt. Meaningful change becomes even less likely because of incautious and overly emotive statements.

So please, for the sake of us all, for the sake of the unborn children, STOP EXAGGERATING THE THREAT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION AND STICK TO THE FACTS ! ! ! !

Friday, November 21, 2008

energy insight


Greenpeace published a review they commissioned on the 2020 renewable generation target. Its got some interesting bits, chief among which is that we won't be experiencing blackouts any time soon, despite what the tabloids say. What it does propose is the eminently sensible idea of a long-range plan for building renewable capacity to replace retiring generation and the establishment of just exactly what comprises "security of supply".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

UK pseudo-democracy


New Zealand just had a general election. Their Green Party polled 6.43% of the vote, winning them 8 seats in parliament - 6.56% of the 122 seats.

In the UK general election in 2005, the Green Party of England and Wales polled 1% of the vote and won none of the 646 parliamentary seats. Proportional allocation of seats to the GP vote would be 6 seats. Not zero.

Like the Electoral Reform Society, punkscience advocates the Single Transferable Vote. We also advocate Direct Democracy and Compulsory Voting. Citizens have responsibilities as well as rights (although I'm a cosmopolitan [Article 15] and I'm opposed to the freedom to wantonly reproduce [Article 16:1]).

government hypocrisy


"when the US and some other countries gave a trillion-dollars-and-still-counting in low-interest loans and other subsidies to their own banks, it constituted just the kind of unfair competition and non-tariff barriers to trade that they were busy condemning at the G-20 meeting"


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

thee evill weed

These seem pertinent:
From MTWSFH. Who rules.




Straw & Goldsmith: "la la laaaaa - we're not listening ! !"


A senior law lord who's just retired has decided now, after the deaths of a million Iraqis and over a hundred UK servicemen and women, to voice his opinion that it was illegal. Lord Goldmsith and Jack Straw, predictably, denied any wrongdoing.

"Goldsmith added that Tony Blair had told him it was his "unequivocal view" that Iraq was in breach of its UN obligations to give up weapons of mass destruction."

So that's alright then, because Tony is George and Jesus's best buddy and he wouldn't tell you something like that unless he had utterly incontrovertible evidence that it was the case. Would he?

Straw said:

"However controversial the view that military action was justified in international law it was our attorney general's view that it was lawful and that view was widely shared across the world."

So widely shared that the global forum for diplomacy rejected it out of hand and a grand total of five countries, including the primary aggressor, out of a total of 196 contributed material support. Yeah, Jack. Rally widely shared.

Sunday, November 16, 2008



I'm skeptical about the new US president's ability to enact real change in the world's most fucked up democracy. These guys are too.

Eon royally suck ass


Googlebombing session. Please click the following link:


(From Merrick).

Friday, November 14, 2008

good music


Punkscience is listening to Joey Nightmare. Enough distortion and guitars to satisfy, great vocals and funky beats.

real punkscience from Science Punk


This site rules.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Queen Elizabeth metaphorically man-checks economist


This is . . . . just . . . . awesome.

"An entire profession now appears to have suffered a collapse. Last week the Bank of England decided, overnight, that the ideal way to grapple with the financial crisis was not with a high interest rate policy but with a low one.

This week a political community adamantly opposed to cutting taxes, indeed having begged and borrowed from Asia rather than do so, suddenly thought tax cuts an excellent thing. This was not Keynes finding a new opinion when the facts no longer supported the old one. It was a colossal U-turn."

Cornish independence


Peter Tatchell has a CiF piece on Cornish independence and why the Cornish should be allowed to identify themselves as a national minority, like the Welsh and Scots. Devolution has worked staggeringly well in both of those nations with Westminster's rule-by-diktak being rightly humbled in areas such as education and defence. So why not Kernow?

This creeping devolution represents a potent route to a velvet revolution against the centralised, old-school-corporate-whores of Westminster.


Splendid follow-up to Tatchell's article with some level-headed criticism of Peter's attempt and some insight in the comments. The long and the short of which is that the people of Kernow want their own regional assembly. The Lib-Dems currently rule the region politically on a platform of delivering such but have failed to produce anything. Politicians failing . . . . hmmmmmm, how odd!

Monday, November 10, 2008

is this the stupidest article The Guardian has ever published?


Yes, this. In light of these CiF pieces (one, two) published a few months previously, one of which contained the memorable quote:

"The word 'eco-terrorism' is an insult to the human victims of real terrorism"

They then go and plaster that headline across their website.

See? Fucking ridiculous.


Merrick picked this up and wrote two good posts on it. One at Bristling Badger and the other at UK Watch. Checkit!

Friday, November 07, 2008

as previously observed, nuclear generation sucks big, floppy donkey dicks


Merrick rules:

"No British nuclear power station has ever been built to budget. The last one, Sizewell B, cost more than twice the estimate. The first of the new generation stations, Olkiluoto in Finland, found itself more than a billion pounds over budget and two years behind schedule at only two and a half years into construction.

Even with the taxpayer coughing up for a load of British Energy's debts, it couldn't stay afloat on its own. In 2002, just six years after privatisation, the government bailed it out with over £5bn of taxpayer's money.

These days, our government assures us that the owners will pay for all the decommissioning. They are lying. In order to get the industry and investors to sign up, the government agrees a set maximum price for waste disposal and decommissioning when it gives approval for the station. Any over-runs in cost (and when has the nuclear industry not delivered those?) will be paid for by the taxpayer."

Jacqui Smith, ID cards and being caned on your bare bottom


Mash it!


The Mash also looks at the US's newly elected president with a healthy degree of skepticism that I endorse unreservedly.

"If your life is such that you're placing all your hopes in a politician, then may I humbly suggest you get yourself a crate of superlager and a cardboard box and stop wasting everyone's time."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

the British Chamber of Commerce are all cockweasels


A perfect model of corporate sociopathy, laid out by some bloke called Denis McShane, who happens to be a Labour MP. He describes how the BCC publically scorns such "burdens" to businesses as asbestos legislation, data protection laws, regulations to limit exposure to vibrations and noise that produce crippling injuries, the anti-smoking laws and even disability discrimination, building fire regulations and legislation limiting pollution. The BCC's fanatical promotion of the corporate ideology that seeks to externalise all risk to the public sphere and internalise profits is the precise definition of corporate sociopathy. It is the conviction of the exceptionalist: That all profits should accrue to you and all costs are Somebody Else's Problem. Their lobbying activities needs to be exposed for the threat to society that they are.