30.11.03

"We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police, we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving 70 hours a week to put food on the table - a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.'"

exactly what it is.
Center for Strategic and International Studies:

Although the United States has the world's most sophisticated technical systems for collecting and analyzing intelligence, Cordesman found, the Iraq experience shows that U.S. intelligence is "not yet adequate to support grand strategy and tactical operations against proliferating powers or to make accurate assessments of the need to preempt."

ted in 1953: "All of us have heard this term 'preventive war' since the earliest days of Hitler," he said. "I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing."
* noam chomsky observer profile - no point pasting really, just click.

* resources on legal suits filed against Ariel Sharon for the commission of war crimes.
Basic Statistics for United States Imperialism - very extensive, this extract is only part 1 of 10

Chronological list of interventions, with the purpose of effecting “regime change,” attempted or materially supported by the United States—whether primarily by means of overt force (OF), covert operation (CO), or subverted election (SE)

1893 – Hawaii (Liliuokalani; monarchist): success (OF)
1912 – China (Piyu; monarchist): success (OF)
1918 – Panama (Arias; center-right): success (SE)
1919 – Hungary (Kun; communist): success (CO)
1920 – USSR (Lenin; communist): failure (OF)
1924 – Honduras (Carias; nationalist): success (SE)
1934 – United States (Roosevelt; liberal): failure (CO)
1945 – Japan (Higashikuni; rightist): success (OF)
1946 – Thailand (Pridi; conservative): success (CO)
1946 – Argentina (Peron; military/centrist): failure (SE)
1947 – France (*; communist): success (SE)
1947 – Philippines (*; center-left): success (SE)
1947 – Romania (Gheorghiu-Dej; stalinist): failure (CO)
1948 – Italy (*, communist): success (SE)
1948 – Colombia (Gaitan; populist/leftist): success (SE)
1948 – Peru (Bustamante; left/centrist): success (CO)
1949 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): success (CO)
1949 – China (Mao; communist): failure (CO)
1950 – Albania (Hoxha; communist): failure (CO)
1951 – Bolivia (Paz; center/neutralist): success (CO)
1951 – DPRK (Kim; stalinist): failure (OF)
1951 – Poland (Cyrankiewicz; stalinist): failure (CO)
1951 – Thailand (Phibun; conservative): success (CO)
1952 – Egypt (Farouk; monarchist): success (CO)
1952 – Cuba (Prio; reform/populist): success (CO)
1952 – Lebanon (*; left/populist): success: (SE)
1953 – British Guyana (*; left/populist): success (CO)
1953 – Iran (Mossadegh; liberal nationalist): success (CO)
1953 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (CO)
1953 – Philippines (*; center-left): success (SE)
1954 – Guatemala (Arbenz; liberal nationalist): success (OF)
1955 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (CO)
1955 – India (Nehru; neutralist/socialist): failure (CO)
1955 – Argentina (Peron; military/centrist): success (CO)
1955 – China (Zhou; communist): failure (CO)
1955 – Vietnam (Ho; communist): success (SE)
1956 – Hungary (Hegedus; communist): success (CO)
1957 – Egypt (Nasser; military/nationalist): failure (CO)
1957 – Haiti (Sylvain; left/populist): success (CO)
1957 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): failure (CO)
1958 – Japan (*; left-center): success (SE)
1958 – Chile (*; leftists): success (SE)
1958 – Iraq (Feisal; monarchist): success (CO)
1958 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (CO)
1958 – Sudan (Sovereignty Council; nationalist): success (CO)
1958 – Lebanon (*; leftist): success (SE)
1958 – Syria (Kuwatli; neutralist/Pan-Arabist): failure (CO)
1958 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): failure (SE)
1959 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (CO)
1959 – Nepal (*; left-centrist): success (SE)
1959 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): failure (CO)
1960 – Ecuador (Ponce; left/populist): success (CO)
1960 – Laos (Phouma; nationalist): success (CO)
1960 – Iraq (Qassem; rightist /militarist): failure (CO)
1960 – S. Korea (Syngman; rightist): success (CO)
1960 – Turkey (Menderes; liberal): success (CO)
1961 – Haiti (Duvalier; rightist/militarist): success (CO)
1961 – Cuba (Castro; communist): failure (CO)
1961 – Congo (Lumumba; leftist/pan-Africanist): success (CO)
1961 – Dominican Republic (Trujillo; rightwing/military): success (CO)
1962 – Brazil (Goulart; liberal/neutralist): failure (SE)
1962 – Dominican Republic (*; left/populist): success (SE)
1962 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): failure (CO)
1963 – Dominican Republic (Bosch; social democrat): success (CO)
1963 – Honduras (Montes; left/populist): success (CO)
1963 – Iraq (Qassem; militarist/rightist): success (CO)
1963 – S. Vietnam (Diem; rightist): success (CO)
1963 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): failure (CO)
1963 – Guatemala (Ygidoras; rightist/reform): success (CO)
1963 – Ecuador (Velasco; reform militarist): success (CO)
1963 – United States (Kennedy; liberal): success (CO)
1964 – Guyana (Jagan; populist/reformist): success (CO)
1964 – Bolivia (Paz; centrist/neutralist): success (CO)
1964 – Brazil (Goulart; liberal/neutralist): success (CO)
1964 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/marxist): success (SE)
1965 – Indonesia (Sukarno; militarist/neutralist): success (CO)
1966 – Ghana (Nkrumah; leftist/pan-Africanist): success (CO)
1966 – Bolivia (*; leftist): success (SE)
1966 – France (de Gaulle; centrist): failure (CO)
1967 – Greece (Papandreou; social democrat): success (CO)
1968 – Iraq (Arif; rightist): success (CO)
1969 – Panama (Torrijos; military/reform populist): failure (CO)
1969 – Libya (Idris; monarchist): success (CO)
1970 – Bolivia (Ovando; reform nationalist): success (CO)
1970 – Cambodia (Sihanouk; moderate/neutralist): success (CO)
1970 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/Marxist): failure (SE)
1971 – Bolivia (Torres; nationalist/neutralist): success (CO)
1971 – Costa Rica (Figueres; reform liberal): failure (CO)
1971 – Liberia (Tubman; rightist): success (CO)
1971 – Turkey (Demirel; center-right): success (CO)
1971 – Uruguay (Frente Amplio; leftist): success (SE)
1972 – El Salvador (*; leftist): success (SE)
1972 – Australia (Whitlam; liberal/labor): failure (SE)
1973 – Chile (Allende; social democrat/Marxist): success (CO)
1974 – United States (Nixon; centrist): success (CO)
1975 – Australia (Whitlam; liberal/labor): success (CO)
1975 – Congo (Mobutu; military/rightist): failure (CO)
1975 – Bangladesh (Mujib; nationalist): success (CO)
1976 – Jamaica (Manley; social democrat): failure (SE)
1976 – Portugal (JNS; military/leftist): success (SE)
1976 – Nigeria (Mohammed; military/nationalist): success (CO)
1976 – Thailand (*; rightist): success (CO)
1976 – Uruguay (Bordaberry; center-right): success (CO)
1977 – Pakistan (Bhutto: center/nationalist): success (CO)
1978 – Dominican Republic (Balaguer; center): success (SE)
1979 – S. Korea (Park; rightist): success (CO)
1979 – Nicaragua (Sandinistas; leftist): failure (CO)
1980 – Bolivia (Siles; centrist/reform): success (CO)
1980 – Iran (Khomeini; Islamic nationalist): failure (CO)
1980 – Italy (*; leftist): success (SE)
1980 – Liberia (Tolbert; rightist): success (CO)
1980 – Jamaica (Manley; social democrat): success (SE)
1980 – Dominica (Seraphin; leftist): success (SE)
1980 – Turkey (Demirel; center-right): success (CO)
1981 – Seychelles (René; socialist): failure (CO)
1981 – Spain (Suarez; rightist/neutralist): failure (CO)
1981 – Panama (Torrijos; military/reform populist); success (CO)
1981 – Zambia (Kaunda; reform nationalist): failure (CO)
1982 – Mauritius (*; center-left): failure (SE)
1982 – Spain (Suarez; rightist/neutralist): success (SE)
1982 – Iran (Khomeini; Islamic nationalist): failure (CO)
1982 – Chad (Oueddei; Islamic nationalist): success (CO)
1983 – Mozambique (Machel; socialist): failure (CO)
1983 – Grenada (Bishop; socialist): success (OF)
1984 – Panama (*; reform/centrist): success (SE)
1984 – Nicaragua (Sandinistas; leftist): failure (SE)
1984 – Surinam (Bouterse; left/reformist/neutralist): success (CO)
1984 – India (Gandhi; nationalist): success (CO)
1986 – Libya (Qaddafi; Islamic nationalist): failure (OF)
1987 – Fiji (Bavrada; liberal): success (CO)
1989 – Panama (Noriega; military/reform populist): success (OF)
1990 – Haiti (Aristide; liberal reform): failure (SE)
1990 – Nicaragua (Ortega; Christian socialist): success (SE)
1991 – Albania (Alia; communist): success (SE)
1991 – Haiti (Aristide; liberal reform): success (CO)
1991 – Iraq (Hussein; military/rightist): failure (OF)
1991 – Bulgaria (BSP; communist): success (SE)
1992 – Afghanistan (Najibullah; communist): success (CO)
1993 – Somalia (Aidid; right/militarist): failure (OF)
1993 – Cambodia (Han Sen/CPP; leftist): failure (SE)
1993 – Burundi (Ndadaye; conservative): success (CO)
1994 – El Salvador (*; leftist): success (SE)
1994 – Rwanda (Habyarimana; conservative): success (CO)
1994 – Ukraine (Kravchuk; center-left): success (SE)
1996 – Bosnia (Karadzic; centrist): success (CO)
1996 – Russia (Zyuganov; communist): success (SE)
1996 – Congo (Mobutu; military/rightist): success (CO)
1996 – Mongolia (*; center-left): success (SE)
1998 – Congo (Kabila; rightist/military): success (CO)
1998 – United States (Clinton; conservative): failure (CO)
1998 – Indonesia (Suharto; military/rightist): success (CO)
1999 – Yugoslavia (Milosevic; left/nationalist): success (SE)
2000 – United States (Gore; conservative): success (SE)
2000 – Ecuador (NSC; leftist): success: (CO)
2001 – Afghanistan (Omar; rightist/Islamist): success (OF)
2001 – Belarus (Lukashenko; leftist): failure (SE)
2001 – Nicaragua (Ortega; Christian socialist): success (SE)
2001 – Nepal (Birendra; nationalist/monarchist): success (CO)
2002 – Venezuela (Chavez; reform-populist): failure (CO)
2002 – Bolivia (Morales; leftist/MAS): success (SE)
2002 – Brazil (Lula; center-left): failure (SE)
The granddaughter of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini says she is setting up a new party, after leaving the right-wing National Alliance.

Alessandra Mussolini quit the party - a partner in the government - after comments made this week by National Alliance leader Gianfranco Fini.

During a trip to Israel, Mr Fini called Mussolini's rule "disgraceful".

...

Mr Fini once described Benito Mussolini as the "greatest statesman of the 20th Century", but has long renounced fascist ideology.

During his visit in Israel he described Mussolini's rule as a "shameful chapters in the history of our people" and denounced as "disgraceful" the anti-Jewish laws approved in 1938.

Alessandra Mussolini reacted with outrage.

She said on Thursday that she was leaving the party, citing "incompatibilities not so much with my policies but rather with the family name I carry".

29.11.03

more black driver's seat lyrics.. original version of 'white man's got a god complex' (later public enemy) here..

28.11.03

Liberty press release;

"Liberty is acting for Katharine Gun, a former GCHQ civil servant who has today been charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act relating to public interest disclosures allegedly made in the run up to the Iraq War.

In a statement read out after the hearing by her solicitor, James Welch, Mrs Gun said she would defend the charges against her on the basis that her actions were "necessary to prevent an illegal war in which thousands of Iraqi civilians and British soldiers would be killed or maimed".

Katharine said:

"I worked for GCHQ as a translator until June 2003. I have been charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act. Any disclosures that may have been made were justified on the following grounds:

- because they exposed serious illegality and wrongdoing on the part of the US Government who attempted to subvert our own security services and

- to prevent wide-scale death and casualties among ordinary Iraqi people and UK forces in the course of an illegal war

No-one has suggested (nor could they), that any payment was sought or given for any alleged disclosures. I have only ever followed my conscience."


Notes for editors:

This case is likely to put the legality of the Iraq War on trial.

The Attorney General advised on the legality of the war. This advice has yet to be put into the public domain but has been called into question by leading QCs on all sides of the political spectrum.

The same Attorney General personally consented to this prosecution.

It is clear that the Government must be uncertain about the wisdom of this prosecution. It has taken 6 months to decide to proceed to charge."

From the Guardian, as linked above;

"The secret surveillance operation involved intercepting the home and office telephone calls and emails of delegates to the UN.

The NSA made clear that the particular targets of what was described as an eavesdropping "surge" were the delegates from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan, the six crucial "swing votes" on the security council.

A memo sent by Frank Koza, a senior NSA official, said the information would be used "against" the key UN delegations. "

No wonder the NSA are keen to keep their activites under wraps...
"A senior law lord last night delivered a scathing attack on the US government's and the American courts' treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, branding it "a monstrous failure of justice".

[....]

Lord Steyn said it was a recurring theme in history "that in times of war, armed conflict, or perceived national danger, even liberal democracies adopt measures infringing human rights in ways that are wholly disproportionate to the crisis. Often the loss of liberty is permanent".

[....]

"The purpose of holding the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was and is to put them beyond the rule of law, beyond the protection of any courts, and at the mercy of the victors," Lord Steyn said.

"The procedural rules do not prohibit the use of force to coerce prisoners to confess," he went on. "On the contrary, the rules expressly provide that statements made by a prisoner under physical and mental duress are admissible 'if the evidence would have value to a reasonable person', ie military officers trying enemy soldiers."

[....]

The concession extracted by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, that the British detainees would not face the death penalty, gave a new dimension to the concept of "most favoured nation" treatment, he said. "How could it be morally defensible to discriminate in this way between individual prisoners? It lifts the curtain a little on the arbitrariness of what is happening at Guantanamo Bay and in the corridors of power on both sides of the Atlantic."

27.11.03

A letter to Kirsty Scott, the Guardian editorial and Dr. Hans Köchler. Re: Lockerbie bomber must serve at least 27 years, The Guardian 25-11-03


Kirsty,

I read your article, as above, with interest.

What was most interesting about it was that, in common with all other articles on your website on this topic, no mention is made of the findings of Dr. Hans Köchler, Professor of Philosophy at Innsbruck University in Austria, and an independent observer (accredited as such by the UN) of the proceedings at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.

Whilst your article does allude to the possibility of an appeal it only mentions the possibility that a piece of evidence was planted and ignores many other, frequently more serious concerns with this conviction. Consider this extract from Dr. Köchler´s latest statement on the Libyan compensation payment;

"4. It is to be recalled that neither in the trial nor the appeal proceedings at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands was any material evidence presented linking the sentenced Libyan national to the crime. The verdict was entirely based on inferences and circumstantial evidence. Many of the statements of the Prosecution’s witnesses were contradictory – or even proven wrong in the course of the trial. The co-accused Libyan national, Mr. Fhimah, was acquitted by the Court – not because of lack of evidence (“not proven”), but because it was proven, in the opinion of the Court, that he had nothing to do with the crime (although the entire strategy of the prosecution was based on the assumption that the two accused had prepared the crime together).

5. The entire trial and appeal proceedings were characterized by a lack of adequate defense for the convicted Libyan national. The defense team in many instances had chosen not to use the evidence available and had thus created the impression of pursuing an agenda different from that of providing adequate legal defense in this particular case. All the details are contained in the undersigned’s observer reports of 3 February 2001 and 26 March 2002.

6. Furthermore, it is obvious that an intelligence officer alone – from whichever country – was never in a position of planning, financing and carrying out a terrorist act such as the bombing of a large jetliner in midair. It would have been the duty of the Scottish investigating authorities to continue their investigations so as to find out which persons from which country (or countries) actually ordered, financed and carried out the terrorist act."

Now reading your article, or others in the Guardian, would not give this impression whatsoever. None of these points is even mentioned. Certainly they are not explored so as to evaluate whether or not they might be correct. If these points are in fact correct it would be something of a scandel would it not that our government, in collusion with the US government, is attempting to frame a foreign national for a crime he could not have committed?

It seems to me the Guardian has done a thorough dis-service to this story. Did anyone from the Guardian actually attend the trial? Did anybody examine a non-governmental source about the trial? Would you please address the points raised with a new article and restore my confidence in the one paper I thought I could count on.

Thanks,

alan

p.s. another source worth reading is Edward S. Herman, Prof of Finance at the Wharton School.
ESF.

Lesson one is that the place to be is really Evian, Genoa or today, Miami. ESF is full of people with the right sort of concerns but the structure of the conference is presumably just the same as the interior of the G8 (badges, security, translation headsets, debate dominated by panels made of people largely from reformist interest groups) and I wouldn`t be surprised if a number of the delegates later find themselves crossing the fence as it were to become parliamentary liberal operators.

Judging by the vast number of ATTAC banners and flags on Sunday`s march they had the event fairly well stitched up with a message of moderation and guilt aversion rather than the spirit of disobedience and revolution that I had hoped. Hearteningly as it might be to sleep on a gym floor for a few nights with a group of bourgeoise kids who care about more than pop stars and big incomes (and to tell the truth the simple joy of remotely authentic engagement was energising) there was never the less the painful institutionalised castration of the debate by a creeping pragmatism that seeps in through a misguided faith in the possibilities a rigged game offers for improvement.

Everywhere the closeness to the flip side of the coin looms. Somebody tells us that Antonio Negri (recently released from prison) is talking at one of the smaller venues. We head over and the place has already filled up. The crowd outide begins chanting for Negri to come outside (despite the fact that hes just arrived in a hall full of people presumably also shouting for his attention). We disappear off to explore the intriguing gardens surroundnig the conference centre. An hour or so later Negri came outside and "debated" with Alex Callinicos (a marxist scholar and head of the SWP in the UK). Callinicos introduced Negri with an unnecessarily long, content thin eulogy. At which myself and phil began to ask "content?" to the packed crowd, the people climbing trees to crane their necks at the celebrity critique (available in all good books shops...). Our criticisms found some smiles but rather more frowns and we departed laughing to ourselves.

Lesson two is that a very different approach is needed if you want genuine participation. As it was you got too many speakers (six or so) speeching for too long (two hours plus) and then an hour or so of the more assertive members of the audience speeching too. Hearing lots of people speeching past each other is no way to spend your time. The authoritarian ethic lives and is happily reproducing itself across the spectrum of permitted "debate" in meetings like these. If you want praxis instead you need to be engaged in a job of work rather than a talking shop - this means organising and doing things at home, and taking the fight to the thieves wherever they meet. This is where youre gonna meet the seriously committed.

Still it was fun to go and was encouraged by the mood, as much as it points to problems to be solved, lessons have been drawn. Big fuck off to the dutch guy who confiscated all our cash at a petrol station near Breda. We did the decent thing, and you took the piss out of us...
wahey... my angry letter to the Greek embassy must have scared them.

while we are on quotes Jona, check these out...

I never would have agreed to the formulation of the CIA back in '47, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.
---Harry S Truman (1961)

Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography. -Paul Rodriguez

check this from an emial i received via katie:

'I had to watch it twice before I decided it wasn't actually a spoof.

"Anarchists...the delta force commandos of activism!"

words can't describe....this is just shocking. hilarious but tragic. make sure you'r sat down!'

make sure you've got sound on too...
elsewhere trouble is brewing again...

'One could not ignore the parallel between this and the U.S. manoeuvres orchestrated at the United Nations and at the League of Arab Nations in its attempt to isolate Iraq before the invasion' - Sharmini Peries on the growth of anti-castro rhetoric thats sounding all too familiar...

"the only totalitarian dictatorship existing in the hemisphere. We have come too far not to continue the journey and help the people of Cuba ultimately to achieve a democratic system where they can decide who their leaders will be through a free, open democratic process" - Powell speaking last june to the Organisation of American States, audaciously assuming that there is an ideological conflict between President Castro and his people...
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" - Voltaire
Millions risked on BAE contract;

"Taxpayers' money used to underwrite massive arms deal with shaky Saudi government"

26.11.03

Whitey on the Moon

A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey's on the moon)
I can't pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Ten years from now I'll be payin' still.
(while Whitey's on the moon)
The man jus' upped my rent las' night.
('cause Whitey's on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
I wonder why he's uppi' me?
('cause Whitey's on the moon?)
I wuz already payin' 'im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin' my whole damn check,
Junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin' up,
An' as if all that shit wuzn't enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an' arm began to swell.
(but Whitey's on the moon)
Was all that money I made las' year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain't no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey's on the moon)
Y'know I jus' 'bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I'll sen' these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)


love from knightsbridge, inglan.. surrounded by inbred heirs and spineless thieves
Victory;

"Thessaloniki:confirmed Report That all Seven Have Been Released On Bail"


Per Benji`s posting, you can see the fix up at this link.
Another letter to the Guardian...

I am writing to you out of deep concern for the 7 prisoners held in Greek jails and currently on hunger strike. Their deaths will not be a victory for anyone. I believe however that in the event of any deaths amongst them, the Greek state and justice system could be the biggest loser. Here are the problems with this case.

There is severe doubt over Simon’s arrest and the behaviour of police. The court must urgently reconsider the charges in the light of the video and witness evidence which appear to support Simon’s story that he was intent on purely peaceful political protest and was 'fitted up' by police. But at the very least I urge that he should be granted bail; his family are understandably very anxious about his state of health.

Simon Chapman maintains that he was engaged in peaceful anti-globalisation protests in Thessaloniki before he was arrested and charged with serious riot and explosives offences carrying a potential 25 year prison sentence. He claims he was overpowered with tear gas, attacked and dishonestly framed by police who allegedly removed his bag containing only water and clothes and planted on him a bag containing Molotov cocktails, an axe and a hammer. Simon’s claims are apparently supported by film evidence taken from a Greek television channel. The tapes, from two Greek channels, show Mr Chapman clearly wearing a blue rucksack during fighting with police. Separate footage then shows Greek police in riot gear collecting petrol bombs and other items into a black rucksack. Mr Chapman has been charged with possession of a black rucksack containing petrol bombs, a hammer and an axe.

I am sure the British, Spanish and Greek governments are aware of these facts and the failure to intervene in the light of extremely suspicious behavior by the Greek police and clear evidence is frankly disturbing. This blatant disregard for human rights and human life is not the behaviour of civilised states, who are constantly pretending to stand up for 'democracy' and 'human rights'. The ridiculousness of the Greek justice system is being exposed obviously; the swapping of a rucksack of the WRONG COLOUR, and the court's disregard for this fact is staggering. The slowness of the British government and press to make a fuss about these arbitrary arrests is also telling. Contrast their treatment with that of Vladimir Gusinsky, the former Russian media baron who was bailed within just four days of his arrest in Athens in the summer. It is strange to see that the system in Greece has different standards, none of [the seven] has a record nor any other outstanding warrants. I am sure that a British businessman would receive massive media coverage... remember the planespotters, they were all over the press, and the British government was active in its support for them and negociation with the Greek authorities. Double standards on all sides; again, even the Guardian has the nasty smell of the propaganda model lingering around it.

I look forward to your reply,

Benjamin Zeitlyn

try a search on the Guardian website for 'planespotters' and then one for 'Thessaloniki prisoners'...

press reports compiled by indymedia, even the Telegraph are skeptical. Also check out the photos and video footage available.

In the line of fire: The policing of mass demonstrations is becoming increasingly repressive and politicised article in the Guardian by the editor of the New Internationalist

25.11.03


NO MESSING

This is from the amusingly named interwebnet: The Free Speech Zone in Sedgefield passed without so much as a media blip. Result:

The Independent - Sweeping new emergency laws to counter UK terror: Fresh measures to deal with terrorist attacks and other emergencies are to be announced by the Government this week, allowing them to over-ride civil liberties in times of crisis.

Sunday Herald - Blair plans new laws to curb civil liberties:
The measures could potentially outlaw participation in a protest march, such as last week's demonstrations during President Bush's state visit, making it, in effect, a criminal offence to criticise government policy.

Like, say, if you wish to question the actual source of the attacks. Or the convenience of their timing. Or the effectiveness of government policy on the terrorist threat in general. Or the readiness of our government for such attacks. Or the policy of the government to roll out 'unspecified' terrorist alerts every time a major protest is on the horizon, thereby eroding public readiness should an actual threat come our way.

Over the pond, General Tommy Franks has said that if the United States is hit with 'a weapon of mass destruction', the Constitution will likely be discarded in favour of a military form of government. Meanwhile the New York Times reports that the F.B.I. has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at anti-war protests to its counterterrorism squads. As an example of possible illegal activities they cite 'using fake documentation to get into a secured site' - i.e. trying to bypass the unconstitutional 'Free Speech Zones'.

Are we still in any doubt about what these draconian measures are meant to control? Sure, the F.B.I. claims such measures are meant to help identify anarchists and 'extremist elements' plotting violence, but it's these new measures that will give birth to such violence. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bush is already getting away with inferring that the terror/Iraq link must be there, because terrorists are now in Iraq.

fight this. Now.
the sinister humour of george w. bush...!

"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." Bush told Governing Magazine back in 1998 when he was gov of Texas

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," Bush told CNN in December, 2000.

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it, " the appointed one told Business Week on July 30, 2001.

of course, he's just kidding... or is he?

21.11.03

Mom finds out about blog.

ESF piece coming soon, only just got home...

19.11.03

Out out damn spot! Don't know how many of you have been following the new black spot on Jupiter, nor how many of you followed the remote but scientifically plausible scenario of the crashing Galileo spacecraft creating a nuclear detonation in the Jovian atmosphere (one of those things that I liken to particle accelerators accidentally ending the universe - theoretically possible, though highly improbable). Anyway, here's a well-written article exploring a possible link between the two, with some pretty solid physics behind it. The author is Richard Hoagland, the former NASA man who is constantly making waves with his theories on artificial structures on Mars (which, by the way, are fascinating explorations of the current collective psyche) and he does a good job with this. Very even-handed until the end, when he gets a bit conspiratorial (though if you've followed his story it's an understandable reaction from his vision of events - but why bother with that caveat, as it is simply a universal truth?)

18.11.03

bad faith to authenticity - can sartre's metaphysic of man inform revolutionary subject? i would say so...

"Awareness of such freedom can be terrifying. Sartre gives as an example the experience of vertigo while standing on a cliff: One is aware that the freedom to move just a few inches would mean plunging into an abyss. But human beings are exceptionally good at hiding from our own freedom, a condition Sartre calls "bad faith.""
new nsarchives file on jfk and the diem coup. nothing too exciting but worth a look.

"A White House tape of President Kennedy and his advisers, published this week in a new book-and-CD collection and excerpted on the Web, confirms that top U.S. officials sought the November 1, 1963 coup against then-South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem without apparently considering the physical consequences for Diem personally (he was murdered the following day). The taped meeting and related documents show that U.S. officials, including JFK, vastly overestimated their ability to control the South Vietnamese generals who ran the coup 40 years ago this week."
"George,

Great job, keep it up!
Julie Burchill
Writer"

incredible... guardian staff, wasn't she the one with the anti-benn piece? and then there's thatcher's propaganda novelist fred forsythe. commentary obv. not required - if only things were that simple:

"Dear Mr President,

Today you arrive in my country for the first state visit by an American president for many decades, and I bid you welcome.

You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable.

I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin.

It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second.

Eleven years ago something dreadful happened. Maggie was ousted, Ronald retired, the Berlin wall fell and Gorby abolished communism. All the left's idols fell and its demons retired. For a decade there was nothing really to hate. But thank the Lord for his limitless mercy. Now they can applaud Saddam, Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il... and hate a God-fearing Texan. So hallelujah and have a good time.
Frederick Forsyth
Novelist"

17.11.03

jesse... can we have something firsthand on the ESF?

also could someone put a permanent link to SchNEWS on the site, the party and protest column on the website is good, it now includes a pretty comprehensive Bush protest guide, and my totaly unbiased view is that schNEWS is great

16.11.03

11.11.03

* "Dave Hill on the massive marketing and advertising machine aimed at our children." This article is not without interest; after all the $100 global annual per capita marketing spend is accurately described as the "largest psychological experiment in history" by NC and the effect this has on the least capable and most suggestable portion of the sample is something worth looking at. However, the level of criticism remains always, subtley, limited within certain borders. Conclusions are not reallly drawn, no proposals are actually asserted and causation is frequently denied;

"Awareness of global emblems is already strongly implanted in the very young. Last year the International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children reported that 31% of three-year-olds remember having seen the Coca-Cola logo, 69% McDonald's and 66% that for Kinder confectionery. Meanwhile, according to teachers surveyed for a Basic Skills Agency report, about half of four- and five-year-olds entering school for the first time cannot recognise their own names - or speak in a way understandable to others or count up to five. Could these things be connected? Could it be that their induction into consumer society is making our children fat, dull, prematurely obsessed with shopping and sex and that the situation is getting ever worse?"


[....]

"Where advertising is concerned, that picture is subtle, and not only with regard to diet. Three years ago Dr Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshire found that children under seven who watched the most commercial television also requested the greatest number of gifts in their letters to Father Christmas. She also compared the sample's wish-lists with those of children from Sweden, where no advertising to children is permitted. The Swedish children asked for a lot less. Sounds conclusive. But Dr Pine stresses that "direction of causality" is not proved by her results. "It could be that children who want more things expose themselves to more advertising rather than the other way round. It's the same problem as with trying to find links between violent behaviour and watching violence on television. It is a methodological minefield."

[so kids can't recognise their own names but can recognise multiple brand names, apparently causelessly, and in societies where consumptive propaganda is more carefully proscribed, consumption is coincidentally more conspicuous too... "We don't know whether there's any connection between not having advertising and not wanting things and having advertising and wanting things" perhaps these ruthlessly efficient corporate empires regard trendy advertising execs as worthy of charitable donations of vast fees, without any need for there to be anything other than a rather vague, intangible posibility that they might at least be humbly able to maintain their market share, heaven forbid attract new consumers to market!]

"Others agree. Dr Dale Southerton of Manchester University, who specialises in the study of consumer culture, cautions that there is more to its dynamic than simply commercial interests "targeting" children in order to generate "false" or harmful needs. Parents tend, for example, to direct their children towards products that reflect their own values. Talk of "pester power" fails to recognise that parents' anxieties about their children "fitting in" can be at least as acute as the children's. "It's a kind of irony," says Southerton, "that although parents fear children's consumption they embrace it too."

[Maybe, just maybe, advertising is poisoning all of our minds...]
*Nice to see at least someone has the balls to state the non-arse kissing obvious about George Bush's trip to the UK- that it is rather outrageous to invite someone who is regarded by much of the population as having waged an illegal and immoral war, expect them to pay for his trip and prevent them from expressing their dislike about points a and b;

"Ken Livingstone stepped into the row over the US president's state visit to London today, insisting that George Bush should witness those protesting against him, and that the capital's taxpayers should not foot the bill for his security.

Organisers of the various protests planned for Mr Bush's three-day visit are now in negotiations with police, after reports that a march down Whitehall to Parliament Square would be banned at the insistence of the White House.

The London mayor, who has already declined an invitation to meet the president and will be hosting a peace reception at City Hall instead, said any attempt to try and help Mr Bush avoid protesters would be "inconceivable".

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Mr Livingstone hoped there would not be a repeat of the "shameful" scenes that arose during the visit of President Jiang Zemin of China in 1999.

When he rode up The Mall, police stopped protesters from holding up protest banners and Tibetan flags.

"The Met police were requested by Foreign Office officials that the police should make sure he did not see the demonstrators," Mr Livingstone said.
Organisers of the various protests planned for Mr Bush's three-day visit are now in negotiations with police, after reports that a march down Whitehall to Parliament Square would be banned at the insistence of the White House.

The London mayor, who has already declined an invitation to meet the president and will be hosting a peace reception at City Hall instead, said any attempt to try and help Mr Bush avoid protesters would be "inconceivable".

"no thanks" to scumbag

*****

Around 2 million Britons, including 60% of hospital patients, are malnourished, according to a report published today.
The report, by the Malnutrition Advisory Group (MAG), suggested that £226m could be saved each year if the condition, which it says is often undiagnosed, was identified and properly treated.

Malnutrition affects the most vulnerable groups in the UK, including those with chronic diseases, the elderly, those recently discharged from hospital, and poor or socially isolated individuals.

inglan is a bitch
check out the work of Eduardo Galeano who is "regarded as one of Latin America's fiercest voices of social conscience. Yet he insists that language -- its secrets, mysteries, and masks -- always comes first" in an interview
here interesting books and articles, I have just ordered one...

10.11.03

wacky "art" project about acoustic mirrors developed during the war as an early form of radar... now being used for trendy purposes.

9.11.03

"Imagine the branes are linked by uncounted trillions of slightly elastic strings. The strings join points in one brane to corresponding points in the other brane.

As the branes separate, the strings are pulled taut. When the branes reach the limit of the string length, they draw together again. The strings are waves.



Suppose we simplify. Instead of trillions of strings, we generalize to show just one wave between the two branes. Like an infinity symbol between two planes. This is the space-time wave.



A similar structure results if we had made a conceptual leap of considering the two branes as sheets of corrugated perspex. When the corrugations are aligned the same direction, the two sheets touch at all points. If we then turn one sheet through 90 degrees, the corrugations themselves will make the sheets move apart so that they only touch at one point. We can say they separate as a result of a rotation.

Enough conceptualizing. Time for a reality check with human anatomy --where we find that the eyes and the sides of the head are two planes separated by a wave.
Looks like we are on the right track. And there's more."



isn't this flawed beyond belief? (let me know if i'm missing something)

linking the interbrane string-waves with the infinity symbol on a structural level can't possibly be sound (and doubt it would be on a conceptual level - where this could be methodologically consistent, if at all). same with seeing a correlation with structural similarities in human anatomy. the only thing that this could suggest is that there are universal categories of human perception, preset stencils that shape possible experience, ie. the mind-body link that is referred to seems to simply demonstrate this epistemic construct. only that in this empirical instance, it's about as absurd as making an etymological link between "branes" and "brains", as he seems to almost hint at, beyond his proposed structural similarities (ie. seeing dichotomies everywhere).

"There is a clear equivalence between brains and "branes"."

contentwise: this person seems to have become aware of paradigmatic relativity, which is interesting. eager application to theoretical physics is sweet. the copernican revolution he refers to is basically the kantian version of heliocentricity, transcendental knowledge - unity of subject and object. he arbitrarily applies it to the positivist mess, data that was never generated in light of subjective reflection.

hermeneutically: if the political implications of subject-object metaphysics were apparent, then we wouldn't have to try to emancipate ourselves from the power of the object by these means. these are unreflected outgrowths of opressed minds. not scientific, nor revolutionary - artefakte aus einem falschen leben?

does provoke reflection of course, which is pleasing. good to see people are thinking on own feet. mental slavery still very apparent though.
The IO Sphere is kind of an interesting theory... this one seems a bit clumsy and has much further to go, but this is the sort of blending of physics with spirituality (or, perhaps more accurately, east with west) that I think is the future of great thought. Feel free to check out this baby step, which at least provokes reflection upon various things (no pun intended, as you will understand when you check out the site).

6.11.03

n.b. Holger Meins: 54 days- 6'4, 100 lb at death

5.11.03

Update from Thessaloniki - Wednesday 5th November

- For the last week, all 5 hunger strikers have been requesting admittance to hospital. This is for the
reason that if they go to hospital but still refuse food, glucose, vitamins etc, the hospital should
refuse to take legal responsibility for them which is very serious. The prison should then also refuse to
take legal responsibility for them and they should be released. However the police have refused to allow
them to be admitted to hospital, and apparently they have authority in this matter, rather than the prison.

- On Monday night - 3rd November, Carlos Martinez - one of the 2 Spanish hunger strikers - was taken to a
hospital 8km outside Thessaloniki, by an entourage of about 50 police, some wearing balaclavas. On arrival
at the hospital he was not given a bed, but put in a chair with his hands tied behind his back, where he
was beaten by the police. Throughout the night, while he tried to sleep, Carlos was continually beaten and
kicked by police. His body and legs are covered in marks and bruises.

- Early on Tuesday morning Carlos was moved to another hospital. Nobody was informed of his whereabouts. In
the hospital he was not given a translator. Doctors tried to take blood from him, but thinking they were
trying to forcibly inject glucose, he refused. The doctors said that he he refused to accept tests, they
could do nothing for him.

- At 11.30 on Tuesday morning, the support group in Thessaloniki found out where Carlos was, and a
demonstration was held outside the hospital. Carlos' lawyer tried to get access to him, and after several
hours was allowed to speak to him, and received the above information.

- Carlos was returned to prison at 2pm on Tuesday, where he has since been seen by his doctor from the
independent medical team.

- All of the prisoners are in critical health and very weak. Sulieman Dakduk, the Syrian, is unable to move
from his bed. Simon Chapman is unable to sleep. Fernando Perez is passing blood.

- Demonstrations will take place in Thessaloniki on Friday and in Athens on Saturday.

- There will be a solidarity demo in London on Saturday from 11-1pm outside the Greek Tourist office
& Olympic airlines in Conduit St, London W1. Please plan solidarity actions wherevr you live.


not sure about this situation or the accuracy of reports, which are sent to me by the Thessaloniki prisoner support group... it seems pretty insane to go on hunger strike over this, but the Syrian guy faces death if he is deported. I think he has overtaken David Blaine now on 45 days...

3.11.03

t r u t h o u t - Victoria Collier | Computerized Election Fraud: A Brief
Whoa boys, this is huge stuff.

"  The Votescam investigation began in 1970, in – surprise!-- Dade County, Florida, where Ken ran for Congress (with Jim as his campaign manager) against Claude Pepper, the “Father of Social Security.”

  The Colliers were researching a book they were writing for Dell Publishing titled: “Running Through the System: Ballots Not Bullets,” an idea born from their involvement in the social upheaval of the sixties.

  Jim and Ken proposed that if our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights were indeed the rule of the land, real change could be made in America by working within the system -- more effectively, and much more safely, than waging bloody revolution in the streets.

  Putting their ideals, love of country, and political savvy to the test, the Colliers began their grassroots Congressional campaign  – and discovered exactly why the bullet, not the ballot, was being used to change the power structure in America.

  Ken was rigged out of the election through a vote scam, which the Colliers later discovered was used throughout the country for decades. It went like this: The local newscaster would announce during the broadcast of election returns that election “computer has broken down.” Instead of giving official returns from the County courthouse, the networks would be running vote “projections” for the rest of the night.

  Jim and Ken, who had garnered 30 percent of the vote and were excited about running again, noticed that when the vote totals came back on the screen after the announcement, they had mysteriously lost 15 percentage points. They didn’t get another vote for the rest of the night.

  This piqued their interest.

  When they examined the “official” election results from the Secretary of State’s office for the September primary, October run-off and November final election in Dade County, the record listed a total of 141,000 votes cast for the Governors race – in each election. The exact same number of total votes were cast for three elections with a different number of candidates running each time. The same identical figures were listed for the Senate race – 122,000 votes cast in the primary, run-off and final election.

  This, of course, is a statistical impossibility.

  When they compared the “official” vote results with a print-out of the vote “projections” broadcast by the TV networks on the final election night, they found that channel 4 had “projected” with near perfect accuracy the results of 40 races with 250 candidates only 4 minutes after the polls closed. Channel 7 came even closer; at 9:31 pm, they “projected” the final vote total for a race at 96,499 votes. When the Colliers checked the “official” number . . . it was also 96,499.

  “In hockey, they call that a hat trick,” the Colliers write. “In politics, we call it a fix.”

  The networks then made the astonishing claim that the results from a single voting machine somewhere in Dade County were run through a computer program in order to get these vote projections.

  Elton Davis was the computer programmer responsible for the magic formula that could convert one machine’s vote results into near perfect projected vote totals for 40 races and 250 candidates. When Jim and Ken confronted Davis in his office at the University of Miami, he responded: “You’ll never prove it, now get out.”

  Finally the networks claimed that members of the League of Women Voters were out in the field on election night, calling in vote totals to channels 4 and 7.

  When the Colliers confronted the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, she admitted that there were no LWV members out in the field that night. She broke down crying, saying “I don’t want to get caught up in this thing.”

  But there’s more.

  According to the print-out of the TV network’s election night “projections,” the networks were not receiving any actual voting results at any time during their broadcast, but had been using their own projections from the moment the polls closed. When they claimed that the courthouse computer had broken down, and they would no longer be reporting actual vote totals, they were lying. They had never been reporting actual vote totals.

  However, the final shoe dropped months later when an official press release appeared from Dade data processing chief, Leonard White, which stated emphatically: The county computer at the courthouse was never down, and it was never slow.

  This was the beginning.

  The Collier brothers had slammed their boat into the tip of a giant iceberg. As they continued to investigate, they were horrified to discover vote fraud collusion among key individuals in every branch and on every level of the American political system. Those who were not benefiting from the fraud were too afraid to fight it. Their search for justice led to dead-ends. Their lives were threatened, they were vilified as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream press, Dell publishing cancelled their book contract . . . and yet they persevered.

  The next quarter century was spent compiling a wealth of FBI documented evidence proving that elections in the United States have come under the tight control of a handful of powerful and corrupt people: Secretaries of State, Election Supervisors, Judges, owners and editors of the major media outlets, voting equipment corporations, and assorted key members of the elections establishment, including the League of Woman Voters. These groups have assured the dominance of the two party system, unfettered corporate control over government, and media censorship of issues most important to the American people, including the cover-up of vote fraud evidence."
Home and Gardens Magazine 1938. Who would live in an Berchtesgaden like this?

"it is over 12 years since Herr Hitler fixed on the site of his one and only home. It had to be close to the Austrian border" [ho, ho...]

[....]

"The colour scheme throughout this bright, airy chalet is light jade green. The Führer is his own decorator, designer and furnisher, as well as architect... [Hitler] has a passion about cut flowers in his home." [fond of puppies, kissing babies etc]

And he is seldom alone in his mountain hideaway, as he "delights in the society of brilliant foreigners, especially painters, musicians and singers. As host, he is a droll raconteur... " [such a charming man...]

Crazy how peoples' stock rises and falls... It's like in Deuteronomy "There is a time for all things. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to tell the critically reflected, considered truth and a time to repeat conventional pieties in the interest of prevailing power interests."

[...]

who's in here?

"look who's practising his archery in the garden: "It is strange to watch the burly Field-Marshal Göering, as chief of the most formidable airforce in Europe, taking a turn with the bow-and-arrow at straw targets of 25 yards range."

May as well make him Time Magazine man of the year (twice)... and all the time the harsh clicking of jack boots hammering down in unison, free at last from freedom, liberated from truth, looking to the leader, THE LEADER!

2.11.03

*Interview with Dr. Marx - vaguely amusing

DS How about Blair, Schröder, the third way?

KM Do I have to have a view about these people? To say that history will forget them is too grandiose. They won't even register. And this shows how low your lot has sunk. In my days we faced Bismarck, Lincoln, Gladstone and Disraeli... real enemies.

DS So that's it? The triumph of capitalism.

KM Quite, but let's be a bit dialectical. As this is not a system where everyone can win, there will be resistance. For now it's just puny sects playing at revolution. Or the "No Global" bunch , the anti-globalisers...

DS What do you think of them?

KM A mishmash of inchoate fragments. But better than nothing. At least they stand up to capital, but they won't change the world, let alone explain it.


*Fuku getting sloshed

1.11.03

the spoils of war....

"HOUSTON, United States (AFP) - US oil industry services giant Halliburton said Thursday its Kellogg Brown and Root unit's profits rose four-fold and sales leapt 80 percent, boosted by work in Iraq

"Profits from the unit's operations soared to 49 million dollars in the three months to September from 12 million dollars a year earlier, helped by "government services activity in the Middle East," Halliburton said.

"KBR, the engineering and construction division that netted a no-bid government contract to help rebuild Iraq's shattered oil industry, also posted an 80-percent jump in sales to 2.3 billion dollars"

....

"Mr. Cheney's office has said the vice president has no current ties to Halliburton and had nothing to do with the contract (!! i suppose soon they'll be insisting he is in fact an entirely different dick cheney to the one associated with haliburton...).He still receives deferred payments for services performed while he was employed by the company. Separately, Halliburton reported yesterday that its third-quarter revenue rose to $4.14 billion from $2.98 billion a year earlier, in part because of KBR's government work"

more from the man himself, this is an excerpt from chomsky's new book Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, released later this month (27th i think)
"The Iraq War and Contempt for Democracy" NC latest.