Saturday, January 31, 2009

RIP John Martyn

jonny too bad - saw him at a bbc "live" recording once where he was supposed to do just 3 songs - he was skining up and asking bob harris (compere) for a light all the time, and after the 3 for the beeb, he played an hour and a half of requests for the audience

mostly stuff from solid air or before - unbelievable - what is cool is how he worked out the timing for his breathing so he could sing these very long lines, with all sorts of vocal trickery, while still playing a mean guitar (whether just straight acoustic like in Spencer the Rover or May you never or glory of love, or with fancy echo/slap effects as in Inside Out or Dealer or even a mix in a slow song like Dancing or One World ...)

sad day to see him go...says pneumonia - unnecessary - and that he was just starting a project with pharoah sanders - what might have been (recalls that hendrix was about to start recording with Miles Davis...when he passed away)

Monday, January 26, 2009

BBC not showing the DEC Gaza relief appeal

so i suppose one might just about argue that the "news" that the BBC won't show the
DEC's Gaza appeal on TV today has made the appeal more newsworthy - indeed, the BBC's website has had updates (e.g.) on the BBC's position on this every day since the DEC first said it was going to run an appeal, and one suspects more people have seen that than would watch a "live tv appeal" nowadays.....

ironic really

on the other hand, the BBC's position on neutrality is completely bogus in this case.
ANY appeal for help surrounding a war will be seen by some as partisan. The point of the DEC is that they are very specifically neutral in what the conditions for relief are. The BBC has a public duty to report this, and license payers should complain if they don't.

If I was into conspiracy theories, I'd say it was yet another example of the power of the Jewish lobby (board of british deputies) in the UK. I'd point out it has backfired (see first point in this post), and would refer people to Avi Shlaim's fine letter in the guardian today

Note that the Beeb's senior people made at least one provably false claim when saying that audeicens might confuse footage used during the DEC appeal with BBC coverage of the "conflict" - Israel didn't allow foreign journalists in to cover the conflict, so we know all the BBC footage during the conflict was from outside Gaza. The DEC footage is from AFTER the conflict and is obviusly not during wartime (you can see this clearly in the appeal on TV today). So the beeb are immoral and bad at lying too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

atheist bus driver...

so this guy refuses to drive the bus with the atheist bus slogan on it - i wonder if he refused to drive buses with adverts for jobs in the army (given he's an evangelical christian, shouldn't he have problems with the "shall not" and "kill" thing?)

perhaps he should also read

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the whitehouse agenda

is public - see
obama's agenda

lots of good stuff - especially support for science and technology and
re-build programmes

but i still say he should re-paint and re-name it the Black House...

my only disappointment is his unequivocal support for Israel on the same page as talking tough about Pakestan and Iran (but he does say specifically good things w.r.t Palestine)

doesn't seem too joined up there to me:(

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

gitmo closure will be its own epitaph

basically it will be impossible for any of the remaining prisoners in guantanamo
bay to get a fair trial anywhere n the world - evidence obtained by torture, distortions by their captors and the risk to them in their own contries are all factors - this is why Bush was so DAMN stupid having hte place setup, as there's no doubt amongst this lot, were some bad guys- but how will they ever be filtered out? what a mess

the whole point of european and US justice systems is that they evolved a number of checks and balances over the last 1000 years to give a good chance of catching bad guys, a low chance of false conviction of good guys, and incentive alignment (so police/government aren't incentivised to cook up false evidence or torture people) - this stuff stood up for 1000 years despite despots, revolutions, wars, terrorism and so on - even nazi war criminal accuses after Nuremberg were handled carefully, despite all the massive complexities of getting witnesses (alive, not taken into darkest russia etc)

then a bunch of jumped up no-good redneck pig-ignorant (sorry, pigs) newbies who have NO discipline and do not understand this, think they can idly change the rules over night.


bush (and blair)'s legacies: crap justice; crap security; crap governments; crap economics.

meanwhile, see the slate for a report on the first inkling that there might be legal cnsequences for bush's administration - I wonder if Blair can be got similarly (or extradighted to the US for trial) because of contrituting via the extraordinary rendition (aka abduction).?

Monday, January 12, 2009

so i suppose the real explanation of gaza is...

....that the israelis need a holding position for when they cease getting the US support (8 days from now) that Bush has been giving (even to the extent of overruling Condaleeza Rice recently on the UN vote where the US abstained).....

so this is the ultimate cynical pre-emptive strike...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Irony used to be part of native jewish humour

so the repeated cant that Hammas are terrorists
holding innocent victims in front of them while the israeli army has to shoot them to stop the missiles is based in a model of Hammas as some invading force in Gaza rather than a representative government (however dodgy)
the recent demo by pro-israeli supporters in london led by England's chief rabbi in trafalgar square repeats this sadly incorrect view of the world, which is simply not going to help anyone understand where to go next.

the sad irony is that the british army viewed early israeli settlers just before the declaration of the state of Israel as terrorists - indeed it is pretty hard to see how the Stern Gang's blowing up of the King David Hotel which killed 92 people (significantly more than the last 3 months of Hammas missiles) could be viewed as anything other. Yet the british went on to embrace the state of israel only 2 years later.

one more point: pro-israeli apologists like to say that Hamas cause the civilian deaths by hiding their weaponsmasters behind women and children - aside from the absurd contradiction inherent in this (Hamas are a govnemnet in gaza - they can go anywhere they like - the IDF choose to shoot at them, and could equally choose not to. the Israeli's kill palestinian civilians and must take 100% of the blame. But more critical still, the Israeli's 300,000 settlers in the westbank are doing EXACTLY the same thing (hiding a settlement behind civilians) and then getting a certain level of IDF support (bulldozoing any homestead of a Palestinian daring enough to object with actual action).

perhaps the israelis learn something new again from their own history. in particular, they should learn how long the memories are of victims, since that's where they start from themselves.

Friday, January 09, 2009

IDF cowards - goliath versus david...

so the striking thing about the current conflict in israel/palestine is the inversion of the old story - when the 6 day war happened, everyone looked at the Israeli's as the underdog - and the brace "david" fighting the mad arab invaders. Indeed, up until the recent fights in Lebaonon with Hezbollah, this was still somethigng the IDF could coast on

nowdays a new generation of wishy washy 3rd generation israeli soldiers don't cut the mustard and the image is one of a lumbering Goliath of Zion, ironically against the brave david of Gaza....

now we have a classic inversion

what a shame to make a mistake of such biblical proportions. I used to respect them

the final figures (1300 dead to 13) are basically proof of a crime. Olmert was quoted as saying that this was "inevitable" again (seems like the Israeli propaganda machine only has one word) and that a lower death count of Palestinians could only have been achieved at a higher death count of Israelis. Not true - if israel had kept previous agreements to open up borders (as per Egyptian brokered deal in summer 2008) then Hammas might have fired less missiles - and no deaths. Typical distortion of realty.

How many dead palestinians does it take to change the equation "X wants Y totally destroyed" from X=Hamas and Y=Israel, to X=Israel and Y=Palestinians. ?

When would you start to call it genocide?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

bendy buses, boris johnson, bikers

I still havn't met anyone who admits for voting for boris for mayor of london - I never understood how his "policy" of getting rid of bendy buses was going to attract the (generally alt) biker community anyhow

i think some people thought they were voting for the elizabethan Playwright, Ben Jonson
(author of the aptly titled "the devil is an ass" :-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

mullah versus moulah [b|w]ankers

this is the replacement for the cold war - the new crusade will be capitalism versus islamism....i suppose lotsa people have said this, but it seems more and more obvious - even Obama's US seems to be aligned this way during current events...


the word "banker" used to be a euphemism. now wanker is too polite for them.

Friday, January 02, 2009

no alternatives to war crimes in gaza?

Israeli Defense Minister Tzipi Livni claims that there is "no alternative" to bombing Hammas and associated diverse innocent bystanders back to oblivion.

Well there is - there is doing nothing. she claims Hammas will just go on lobbing missiles over the border. sure - at the current rate it would take them a year to kill as many people as Israel has done in 5 days. But would they? how does she know?
And what will they do as Israel goes on killing? does she think that support for Hammas (a US and Israeli supported democractically elected government in Gaza) will suddenly evaporate because of the assault? at which deathpoint will this happen? at what point will the death level and support level be "right" for Israel? what if she is simply wrong and the support for missiles is _proportional_ to the number of Gaza strip inhabitants killed? then what she is doing is not "the only alternative" - it is (as many people propose) the cause of the problem.

basically, as I've said often before, the state of Israel right now is behaving like one of the two optional behaviours for victims of child abuse (if you figure the Holocaust as massive chld abuse) - abusers either become extremely withdrawn, and difficult/autistic people, or else they become abusers. They perpetrate abuse. and they are perptetrating it on Gaza, and what will Gaza do in response? most likely, exactly the same thing again.

alternatives? Lizvni and her like do not understand the meaning of the word. this is fairly typical for fascists.

the latest in this line of control is that Israel won't let reporters into the area. They were happy to show off the "missile" (more like firework) damage caused by Hammas over the last few months, but are unhappy to let people around the world see the massive destruction they are wreaking on a re-nascent nation state. This is against Israeli law (by the way). I note that the Israeli primeminister is well versed in the art of misrepresentation ("how many rockets would be proportionate?", he asks. Well, doh, how many deaths/lives might be the question. "they shouldn't have started it" he says. well doh, how about not blockading their airspace and shoreline, so they can trade, get middle class and stop being terrorists then!).

what amazes me is that Israeli's vote for their stupid long-term suicidal governments instead of waking up and smelling the coffee ("Hell") and reading the writing on the wall (it's in their holy book) and crossing the rubicon.

here's what hammas has. fairly pathetic inaccurate, 10lb of fertlizer bomb.
in contrast, the IDF's kit includes 3rd generation laser guided kit at least as powerful as the old bolt which had 750lb of high explosive.

the IDF also has antimissile missiles and good radar. oh, and controls 100% of the sea and airspace in, around and above Gaza. oh, and UAVs. This is called a "killing ground".

yeah, Hammas should declare that Israel has a right to exist - co-exist might be a better way to put it- as that would kind of hint at reciprocation (e.g. rights for Palestinians in Gaza to live according to norms like abilty to travel, trade etc freely - the BBC have your say sight asked what should be done to get peace - as usual a bunch of ignorant right wing nutters dominate the contributions with calls for Hammas to "do something first". oh well - asking the public was always a stupid idea:)