clever beard

I went to this seminar the other day... very interesting star studded line up including Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Meghnad Desai, Manmohan Singh and Kamal Nath the Commerce and industry minister.

Very interesting debate and discussion, Stiglitz in particular was storming, I'd like to get hold of his new book. Interesting point about liberalisation of labour markets having a greater effect on economies than liberalising capital markets.

"Prof Stiglitz's stress on movement of labour was endorsed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who observed that developing economies were becoming more restrictive with respect to immigration and the movement of labour. "Even economic theory has largely focused on merchandise trade and captial flows, paying little attention to the economics and politics of migration in the modern world," he said."


bishop tired and emotional

The bishop came out fighting yesterday, insisting he had probably been mugged and was having tests for amnesia - in spite of the presence of witnesses who claimed they had found him drunk in the back of their car, throwing their kids' toys out of the window and shouting: "I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do."


the age of the beard

Depp - cool

Th Guardian has just caught on to what some of us have known for years, Beards are now officially cool.

Jesus - groovy

Rasputin - full of ecstasy and fire

Che - guapissimo

Marx - still cool after all these years

we've all Bin there


Iraq Study Group Report - deride and conquer

Our embassy (in Baghdad) of 1,000 has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of fluency.

Summary if you can't be bothered to read it: stupidity beyond belief

skills to pay the bills

i got an email from michael albert himself telling me off for changing my card number and not telling him so he couldn't collect his sub off me which led me to think about how the poor sod prob has to spend an enormous amount of time chasing dentists for a few bucks to keep the show on the road so i thought i'd remind everyone to give, give, give to this, prob the most informative site there is.

if you do they send you a daily email which is wicked. so you get more than just a sense of smug self-satisfaction. donations start at $3 a quarter so don't be tight, have charity in your hearts.


in spite of the weather..

"The fundamental problem with the Labour Party is that they always believed that capitalism was progressive and that they could re-distribute the crumbs that fell off the table more equitably. This was always the reality of the Labour Party."

shockmenot- it's a socialist..

daily mail reading of the meter: scandalous! hallmark of true quality i suppose..

sympathetic look at the spanish revolution

I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors

The first account of testing LSD by Albert Hoffman. Since then it has been tested and used by intelligence agencies for multiple purposes, varying from a truth serum to chemical warfare

It seems that in the war on terror detainees have been "given a 'truth serum' of an lsd like chemical".

This information comes from lawyers reperesnting U.S. national, Jose Padilla in his fourth year of detention and only now facing trial on charges of conspiring to commit terrorist bombings. Not only is he the first U.S. national to be arrested and detainbed for being an enemy combatant on American soil he has been in solitary confinement for three years of his detention.

The case is seen as one of the main pillars in the fight against the erosion of rights that has been perpetrated by the current administartion. In this case detention without trial and an extremely dubious interpretation of legal speak to claim that a national on home soil could be an enemy combatant as opposed to a criminal terrorist, a postion which merits at least a trial.


Poirot vs. Bond

Litvinenko, Goldfarb, Scaramella, Hijo de Putin, Pollonium 210, sushi, acronyms, acrimonious, is this for real?

"A new 'soft' cold war"

the it was Israel brigade
Yukos, IAEA, Nevzlin etc.

"can only be obtained from a limited number of state run laboratories"
Buy polonium 210 online, $65

Poisoned umbrellas, Ricin, Bulgarian secret service, KGB, Georgi Markov "a spherical metal pellet the size of a pin-head embedded in Markov's calf"


dollar dollar bill y'all

Welcome to the jungle
We got fun 'n' games
We got everything you want
Honey we know the names
We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got the money honey
We got your disease

meanwhile in blighty nothing of the sort is going on...

On a scale of one to terrorist......

U.S. security agencies have developed another 'great' Orewellian system. This time ominously called the Automatic targetting system; innocent civilians will be here by given a terrorist score on entering the United States. The score will be devised by a computer based on a number of factors invasively gleaned from a variety of sources. This includes the airline informing them what the potential terrorist ate on the flight. When a host of factors are compared the computer then alerts Homeland security about individuals with 'suspicious or unatural behaviour'
I would love to know what a suspicious meal on a flight is: 'would you like the chicken or the veg sir? I'm sorry we've run out of the Jihadi feast'........


british democracy

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 20:23:03 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Cash for peerages - Newsnight
To: peter.barron@bbc.co.uk

Dear Peter,
last night's Newsnight programme investigated new details surrounding the cash-for-peerages scandal - in which it's alleged that Blair traded peerages to secure funding for his election campaign. I'm surprised that you felt that you could cover this subject, and the £60 million in undisclosed loans by the "main" political parties, without identifying to your viewers what the money was needed for in the "free and fair" elections of British "democracy."

You also managed to overlook the fact that the "main" political parties are already subsidised to the tune of over £30 million of taxpayers' cash, through Cranborne money and Short money, and the fact that they're facing bankruptcy because they lack popular support; combined, the three "main" parties have less than a million members from a voting population of over 42 million people.

Speaking to the Institute of Directors in 1998, Peter Mandelson clarifies why such huge amounts of money are needed to buy power in British "democracy": "It had been the job of New Labour’s architects to translate their understanding of the customer into offerings he or she was willing to pay for. And then, and only then, to convey to potential customers the attributes of that offering through all the different components that make up a successful brand – product positioning, packaging, advertising and communications."[1]

According to Peter Oborne the main parties used the same American software programme 'mosaic' to target those few hundred thousand swing voters in "key" marginals with surgical precision. Our political system is so moribund that only the key marginals are likely to change hands at election time. Through "focus groups" the parties identify what the voters in each key marginal like then offer them six "key pledges," which are somewhat anodyne that nobody would object to, in an effort to galvanise the vote in these key seats. These "local inducements" in the form of key pledges were considered necessary because, as Oborne noted, all three main parties' policies on several key issues - taxation, law and order, health, education - were so similar as to render any concept of "democratic choice" meaningless.

Party leaders and other senior politicians did their best to avoid the public, concentrating on stage-managed private rallies, photo sessions and events. This kind of posturing in front of adulating supporters is thought to provide a more positive "media image" and has been commonplace in America for some time. It's also quite expensive. Oborne noted that with an ever higher number of ideologically bereft 'career politicians' and dwindling grass-roots party membership, presentation is content. Policies are product lines, voters are sized up by the latest marketing methods, resulting in policies of "stupefying banality."

As Jeremy Paxman discovered during BBC election coverage New Labour also conducted trend analysis on actual postal ballot votes, before the main ballot, and altered their key propaganda messages based on this information. Even after this hugely expensive stage-managed media "campaign" and public relations exercise they still only managed to secure twenty percent of the popular vote - the lowest level of support since the 1832 parliament Act, in fact, the lowest level ever in a British election.

Don't you think you should have brought some of your more obvious related factual omissions to the attention of your viewers?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Fainton

[1] Market Driven Politics, by Colin Leys, p.68

peter Fainton's blog generally interested in british democracy...


"Well, I guess we can close the file on that one."

The US military also announced that two American soldiers died from their injuries in separate incidents in Iraq on Tuesday.

separate incidents!!

related news:

"They say that the killings and kidnappings are being carried out by men in police uniforms and with police vehicles," the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said to me with a despairing laugh this summer. "But everybody in Baghdad knows that the killers and kidnappers are real policemen."

Everything in Iraq is dominated by what in Belfast we used to call "the politics of the last atrocity".

mysteriously kids think violence legitimate tool to 'get what you want'

...be it the greatest material prize in history or simply the wallet of a plump recalcitrant turkey of a local.

'in a shocking development today it was announced that it is not just the uk govt who pose the direct major threat to the british public, and select foreign nationals, but that they also have also colluded in the creation of a society so jaded and hopeless as to have little more sensible to do with themselves than thrill seeking attacks motivated more by a desire to foster hard core street cred than actually produce useful material advantage.'

Chomsky: There's a name for that in the international affairs literature; its called maintaining credibility. You have to carry out violent acts to maintain credibility, even if the issue is insignificant.

where are these crazy kids getting these wacky ideas from?


suppose you had a holocaust and nobody came

in 1900, as today, US intervention was a crucial issue in determining the outcome of the presidential election. intervention that would ultimately largely be regarded as a failure, not because of the questionable morality of the claims being made and actions taken in the pursuit of those claims, but because of the cost to precious US manpower and resources.

terror? coming right up. freedom fries with dat?


blair - i fucked up - official

"shit happens, i mean niggas is dying on the streets everyday, as tupac said thats the way it is"


Walter.. you're not even jewish..

"When I was a skinhead, I used to go around saying: oh, those Jews, look at what they've done.

"A young person always needs to find an enemy and we found this enemy in Jews, blacks and Gypsies."

Six years ago, Pawel made a discovery that turned his life upside down - he found out that he was Jewish.

classic shomer shabbas material!


"war crimes complaints against rumsfeld et al"

yank-style fancy dress party.. going down in style..

The November 14, 2006, criminal complaint is a request for the German Federal Prosecutor to open an investigation and, ultimately, a criminal prosecution that will look into the responsibility of high-ranking U.S. officials for authorizing war crimes in the context of the so-called “War on Terror.” The complaint is brought on behalf of 12 torture victims – 11 Iraqi citizens who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and one Guantánamo detainee – and is being filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Republican Attorneys' Association (RAV) and others, all represented by Berlin Attorney Wolfgang Kaleck.

The complaint is being filed under the Code of Crimes against International Law (CCIL), enacted by Germany in compliance with the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court in 2002, which Germany ratified. The CCIL provides for “universal jurisdiction” for war crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. It enables the German Federal Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute crimes constituting a violation of the CCIL, irrespective of the location of the defendant or plaintiff, the place where the crime was carried out, or the nationality of the persons involved.

The complaint is related to a 2004 complaint that was dismissed, but the new complaint is filed with much new evidence, new defendants and plaintiffs, a new German Federal Prosecutor and, most important, under new circumstances that include the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense and the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 in the U.S. granting officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes.

complaint summary

list of torturing bigmacs

The complaint is being filed on behalf of 11 Iraqi citizens who were victims of gruesome crimes at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. They were severely beaten, deprived of sleep and food, sexually abused, stripped naked and hooded, and exposed to extreme temperatures.

mate that's nothing.. sounds a lot better than surviving on the streets of basra!

Guantanamo [...] methods included fifty days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory over-stimulation.

boo-hoo! you've obviously never been to a holocaust, have you?


Dow Jones Votes

The mid-term election results had fuelled concerns that greater control by Democrats could provide a less business-friendly atmosphere in Washington, particularly for defence, drugs, oil and insurance industries. Military contractors were among the biggest fallers, with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Halliburton among the key losers.

Elsewhere, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation was a key factor in the Dow closing at record highs - as was a jump in technology stocks.



2 semite fractions apparently intent on decimating each other- danke!

"Minorities are the biggest problem in the world," he said in his soft, Russian-accented English.

When Avigdor Lieberman, a populist Israeli politician frequently compared to Austria's Jörg Haider and France's Jean-Marie le Pen, proposed to bus thousands of Palestinians to the Dead Sea and drown them there, he was just a fringe member of government.

Mr Lieberman, whose addition to the coalition as "strategic threat" minister prompted the resignation of a cabinet colleague, also said that Israel's 1.25 million Arab minority was a "problem" which required "separation" from the Jewish state. "We established Israel as a Jewish country," he said. "I want to provide an Israel that is a Jewish, Zionist country. It's about what kind of country we want to see in the future. Either it will be an [ethnically mixed] country like any other, or it will continue as a Jewish country."

Mr Lieberman does not explain how he plans to separate Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, whose eastern half is home to several hundred thousand Palestinians but which Israel has annexed to form its "eternal and undivided capital". The aide said: "He will not compromise on Jerusalem."

telegraph, with picture of superiority complex semite in question

zmag, who seem intent in letting the supposedly inferior semite speak out:

"Our problem is with Israeli society," said Tibi. "The appointment of this racist and fascist sends a message to me as an Arab and a human being."

there's also an ongoing "incursion" into the gaza ghetto. apparently paramedics are standing in the way as per usual, and even the pope is quoted criticisin the good fight. Has he forgotten about the holocaust, and the fact that his boss jesus was a jew?

more laughs on the lse

The London School of Economics is embroiled in a row over academic freedom after one of its lecturers published a paper alleging that African states were poor and suffered chronic ill-health because their populations were less intelligent than people in richer countries.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist, is now accused of reviving the politics of eugenics by publishing the research which concludes that low IQ levels, rather than poverty and disease, are the reason why life expectancy is low and infant mortality high. His paper, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, compares IQ scores with indicators of ill health in 126 countries and claims that nations at the top of the ill health league also have the lowest intelligence ratings.

the afrikan is poor and stupid, the inglan is fat and stupid.. but no one talks shit like a proper academician


who's really a threat to us?

America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

Carried out as US voters prepare to go to the polls next week in an election dominated by the war, the research also shows that British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries were once cited by the US president as part of an "axis of evil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries with traditionally strong links to the US.


Britain has been labelled an "endemic surveillance" society by a new report that ranks the country along aside Russia and China in terms of state and commercial intrusion into people's lives.

Richard Thomas, the UK's independent information commissioner, said on Thursday that clear lines had to be drawn about how much information on people, such as their everyday movements or spending habits, government agencies and businesses are allowed to possess.


bored? got skype? game for a laugh?


sign up for the Republican party, '72 hour push'

With nothing more than a bogus US address and a few clicks, you can get access to a database of undecided voters who have either registered their number with the GOP or had their names and numbers brought by party wonks.

Call some of the famous 'swing voters' and blow their minds.

go on! you know you want to

they also flog mousepads

talking of beating the terrorists in the 'war of ideas' it now emerges that the Bush regime have censored climate change scientists from spreading their findings (the truth). The 'good' people of the white house are concerned about the dangerous message that these 'il-intentioned liberals' are spreading: 'this oil economy will drown us all!'
-national climate change march; Saturday 4th November, London, be there or get drowned!


Rummers to take up blogging......

The US defence department is setting up a new branch aimed at 'influencing' the media.....Donald 'goebels' Rumsfeld claims that the negative publicity that the US receives is due to terrorist manipulation of the press! This he claims keeps him up at night.....poor fellow. Funny that people don't believe them?

Man of his words, maestro of the tongue george W. has found a new war and has described the propaganda department as: 'the war of ideas'.

The department also aims to affect new media, such as blogging........



I ask if he wrote a different kind of song when he was drinking. He thinks about this for an instant, then says, 'No. I don't think so. I mean, one is never completely certain when you drink and do drugs whether the spirits that are moving through you are the spirits from the bottle or your own. And, at a certain point, you become afraid of the answer. That's one of the biggest things that keeps people from getting sober, they're afraid to find out that it was the liquor talking all along.'

For a while, Waits had that fear himself, the fear that when he finally dried out the songs would dry up, too. He worked through it, though. 'I was trying to prove something to myself, too,' he says, revealingly. 'It was like, "Am I genuinely eccentric? Or am I just wearing a funny hat?" All the big questions come up when you get sober. "What am I made of? What's left when you drain the pool?"'


three versions of judas

Not one thing, but everything tradition attributes to Judas Iscariot is false.
(De Quincey, 1857)

'valuable partners in the fight against terror'

According to a secret intelligence report, the CIA offered to let Germany have access to one of its citizens, an al-Qaida suspect being held in a Moroccan cell. But the US secret agents demanded that in return, Berlin should cooperate and "avert pressure from EU" over human rights abuses in the north African country. The report describes Morocco as a "valuable partner in the fight against terrorism".

CIA pilots, sometimes using false identities and whose planes regularly passed through Britain, ran up huge bills in luxury hotels after flying terrorist suspects to secret locations where they were tortured. But they revealed their whereabouts and identities by indiscreet use of mobile phones and allowed outsiders to track their aircraft's flights.


foley the paedo update

"What the hell is going on here? I can't say it was terribly shocking to see Fox's Bill O'Reilly repeatedly mislabel Mark Foley as a Democrat... three times. Wishful thinking can be a powerful motivator.

Then AP mislabeled Foley that very same day. Curious... verrrrrry curious."


putin welcomes rape

Putin praises sexual prowess of Israeli president -"He turned out to be a strong man, raped 10 women," the Russian president was quoted by Russian media as saying at a meeting in Moscow with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. "I never would have expected it of him. He has surprised us all, we all envy him!"


some classic race elitist nonsense- fresh off the academic press!

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

enjoy this


Canada troops battle 3m high Afghan marijuana plants

Thickets three metres (10ft) high readily absorb heat, making them hard to penetrate with thermal devices, said Gen Rick Hillier in a speech in Ottawa.

"You really have to be careful the Taleban don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests," he added.

Burning them is not an option as they are laden with water, the general said.

"We tried burning [the marijuana forests] with white phosphorous - it didn't work," said Gen Hillier.

"We tried burning them with diesel - it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now... that we simply couldn't burn them."

He noted that a couple of brown plants on the edges of some of the forests had caught fire but this had posed yet another problem.

"A section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," he said, speaking dryly, according to Reuters.

One soldier had told him:

"Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."


nothing to be said

Nothing To Be Said
Philip Larkin

For nations vague as weed,
For nomads among stones,
Small-statured cross-faced tribes
And cobble-close families
In mill-towns on dark mornings
Life is slow dying.

So are their separate ways
Of building, benediction,
Measuring love and money
Ways of slow dying.
The day spent hunting pig
Or holding a garden-party,

Hours giving evidence
Or birth, advance
On death equally slowly.
And saying so to some
Means nothing; others it leaves
Nothing to be said.


Updated Iraq Survey Affirms Earlier Mortality Estimates

Dirty university leftists...

As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes—violent and non-violent—are over and above the estimated 143,000 deaths per year that occurred from all causes prior to the March 2003 invasion.

...team up with lancet [pdf link] commies!

They hate our freedom! They kidnapped/tortured/shot themselves! Obviously!


no shit sherlock or liars and murders part n

Iraq war was terrorism 'recruiting sergeant'


George Bush yesterday suffered a blow to his argument that the removal of Saddam Hussein had made Americans safer after he ordered the release of an intelligence report warning the war in Iraq had become a "cause celebre for jihadists".


Despite attempts by Downing Street to play down suggestions that the conflict has made Britain a target for terrorists, the Home Office inquiry into the deadliest terror attack on British soil has conceded that the bombers were inspired by UK foreign policy, principally the decision to invade Iraq.



no shit sherlock journalist of the year - Jonathan Freedland

dazzlingly profits from fear at home

even something to do with all that council tax doe (never mind the locals)

no shit sherlock!


moron dismisses chomsky's 'hyperbole' with.... hyperbole


"What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?"

As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.

The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control everything.

They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.


The president then -- and this he said himself, he said: "I have come to speak directly to the populations in the Middle East, to tell them that my country wants peace."

That's true. If we walk in the streets of the Bronx, if we walk around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city, San Antonio, San Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens of the United States, what does this country want? Does it want peace? They'll say yes.

But the government doesn't want peace. The government of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.

full text here, video of speech

At a news conference after his spirited address to the UN on Wednesday, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death.

On Thursday, a call to Chomsky's house found him very much alive. In fact, he was struggling through "10,000 e-mails" he had received since the remarks by Chavez, who urged Americans to read one of Chomsky's books instead of watching Superman and Batman movies, which he said "make people stupid."

Chavez, while addressing world leaders at the UN, flagged Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, which Chomsky published in 2003, as a must-read. Chomsky said he was glad that Chavez liked his book, but he would not describe himself as flattered.

"We should look at ourselves through our own eyes and not other people's eyes," he said.

Chomsky said he had taken no offense at Chavez's remarks about his being dead. In fact, Chavez's promotion of the book propelled it on Thursday into Amazon's top 10 best sellers.

While retired from teaching full time, Chomsky still goes to his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, occasionally lecturing and also working on a new book.

At the UN, the remarks by Chavez on Wednesday set off a firestorm that nearly overshadowed the visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country has been under intense global scrutiny for its nuclear ambitions. From the podium of the General Assembly, the Venezuelan leader said he smelled lingering sulfur, left by US President George W. Bush, who had spoken there the day before and whom he branded "the devil."

Chomsky said that he would not choose to use the same harsh oratory, but added that the Ven-ezuelan leader was simply expressing the views of many in the world. And he said Chavez's anger was understandable.

"The Bush administration backed a coup to overthrow his government [the revolution will not be televised- highly commendable- enjoy!]," he said. "Suppose Venezuela supported a military coup that overthrew the government of the United States? Would we think it was a joke?"

Proving that he was still up for a lively debate, Chomsky then went on to talk about income inequality in Latin America, the history of the UN, Iraq, Iran, Fidel Castro and, finally, the man who so fervently admires him, Chavez.

"I have been quite interested in his policies," Chomsky said. "Personally, I think many of them are quite constructive."

So would Chomsky oblige Chavez's wish for a meeting, helping ensure that the South American leader will not have that regret to live with anymore?

"I would be happy to meet him," Chomsky said.