Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Truth About Media
A great article on tells it like it is!

"...this is an elite media system that has been designed, and has evolved, over many decades to defend the interests of the top 5% of the British population who own 45% of the nation’s wealth and who run the country. The idea that this system reports neutrally between the interests of corporate titans like O'Reilly [owner of the Independent] and impoverished civilians in the Third World, for example in Iraq, is just absurd."

The whole UKWatch site is pretty good and worth looking at!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Choke Back
It's great to see that Choke Mag is going to be back!!

Team Choke, Bristol's very own shoestring publishers and DIY music promoters, is relaunching its magazine for the radically altered world of 2006. The original Choke zine ran for thirteen issues between 2001 and 2004 before collapsing under the weight of its own pomposity and missionary zeal. 1st April will see the publication of our first issue in over a year....

V.Cool. You can get involved in it - see details by following the link.

PS. I wrote about US air strikes in Iraq over Xmas and how they, by definition of what they are, must also hit civilians. Well the recent botched strike in Pakistan goes to prove this point. Problem is that even in the target had been there (which he wasn't) - it still would have killed women and children in the process. I read that the difference between this attack and a 'terror' attack is that a 'targeted assassination' does not aim to kill civilians while an terror attack does. Its a lame point as its no consolation to the victims families - plus under what authority are you acting to be able to judge others lives in this manner? Plus more often than not it does not achieve the aim of reducing terror as each strike generates new recruits for terror groups and so on. What a crock of shit. This is terrorism; state terrorism - slightly different rules and paramters - but the end result is the same.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I was struck by a couple of comments posted on Bristol Indymedia; "Turkeys don't vote for Christmas but Consumerists of Consumas voted for Tony Blair. Let's bring back the true meaning of Christmas and work for an end to war and exploitation in the new year!" Which is a fair point, except that most of us, if not for the festive side of xmas would bother with it, as another pointed out; "Over the next 36 hours [over 24th Dec!], a very small minority of Bristolians, perhaps as few as three percent, will stagger out of their homes and head to a local building know as a church."

Given how nonreligious we are, its odd that our destiny should be intertwined with a guy who talks to god, indeed, god told him to invade Iraq...

A mural on the wall of the chapel at Abu Ghraib. Psalm 60-12: "Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies."

Bu$h said yesterday; "We're making darn good progress [in Iraq]."

No, but yer, but...

One Brit was killed and four were wounded in a roadside bombing in Basra on the 20th.

The commander of the American occupiers and the American ambassador got a jolt in Tikrit on the 22nd when a mortar exploded near a ceremony to handover a base to the U.S.-installed government which they were attending.

An Iraqi detainee screams "Allah" while tied down in a "humane restraint chair" at the maximum security section of the Abu Ghraib Prison October 28, 2005 on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq. His jailers, U.S. Army military police, said that he was being punished for disrespecting them, and that he would spend 2 hours in the chair as punishment. The suspected insurgent, a juvenile, had earlier been moved to the maximum security section of the prison for 30 days for attacking a guard in another section of the facility.

A juvenile in a solitary confinement cell. He was being punished for "talking through a fence to detainees in an adjacent section."

Searching for bodies in the rubble after the bombing, which hit a house and killed 6 people including two children. The military claimed that it one of its spy machines had spotted two men digging a hole by a road and followed them to a house; the house, and everyone in it, was then bombed.

Remember - God told him to do it. Just as he told us to go hog-wild in Broadmead and Cribs with our credit cards.

Praise be.

Source: 1 and 2

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dangerous Ideas

Edge has put a call out for scientists to submit 'dangerous ideas' - its a good read and here is one I liked by MIHALYI CSIKSZENTMIHALYI who is the director of the Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University...

"Generally ideas are thought to be dangerous when they threaten an entrenched authority. Galileo was sued not because he claimed that the earth revolved around the sun — a 'hypothesis' his chief prosecutor, Cardinal Bellarmine, apparently was quite willing to entertain in private — but because the Church could not afford a fact it claimed to know be reversed by another epistemology, in this case by the scientific method. Similar conflicts arose when Darwin's view of how humans first appeared on the planet challenged religious accounts of creation, or when Mendelian genetics applied to the growth of hardier strains of wheat challenged Leninist doctrine as interpreted by Lysenko.

One of the most dangerous ideas at large in the current culture is that the 'free market' is the ultimate arbiter of political decisions, and that there is an 'invisible hand' that will direct us to the most desirable future provided the free market is allowed to actualize itself. This mystical faith is based on some reasonable empirical foundations, but when embraced as a final solution to the ills of humankind, it risks destroying both the material resources, and the cultural achievements that our species has so painstakingly developed.

So the dangerous idea on which our culture is based is that the political economy has a silver bullet — the free market — that must take precedence over any other value, and thereby lead to peace and prosperity. It is dangerous because like all silver bullets it is an intellectual and political scam that might benefit some, but ultimately requires the majority to pay for the destruction it causes.

My dangerous idea is dangerous only to those who support the hegemony of the market. It consists in pointing out that the imperial free market wears no clothes — it does not exist in the first place, and what passes for it is dangerous to the future well being of our species. Scientist need to turn their attention to what the complex system that is human life, will require in the future.

Beginnings like the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, which focus on such central requirements as health, education, infrastructure, environment, human rights, and public safety, need to become part of our social and political agenda. And when their findings come into conflict with the agenda of the prophets of the free market, the conflict should be examined — who is it that benefits from the erosion of the quality of life?"


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

From The Wires...
A few links from the web I've been reading and would recomend...

There are three forces that can end this war and bring the troops home. The first is the Iraqi people themselves, who can defeat the American army through a war of attrition and general resistance. The second is a movement of the American people that builds its own autonomous power and forces American elites to abandon their imperial project in Iraq. And a third movement could involve American soldier resistance and refusal. In all likelihood, it will be a combination of all three that will end the war.

A good article, though about the US has lots of valid points for UK too. Robert Fisk has written a new article, and as usual its an amazing read. I got his book 'The Great War for Civilization' for Xmas (Fanks xxxx!!) and so far its an amazing read. Its rare you get both an amazing grasp of language, a deep intellectual insight and historical roots in one book - this has. Recommended. Anyhow, this is also a good review of the Middle East/Iraq in '05:

War without End
My year began with a massive explosion in Beirut, just 400 metres from me, as a bomb killed the ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri. It continued on 7 July when a bomb blew up two trains back from me on the Piccadilly line. Oh, the dangerous world we live in now. I suppose we all have to make our personal choices these days. Mine is that I am not going to allow 11 September 2001 to change my world. Bush may believe that 19 Arab murderers changed his world. But I'm not going to let them change mine. I hope I'm right.

And finally Aaron Spectre has got some amazing mixes you can download from his site - check out the 'Live @ Brussels Breakcore Gives Me Wood' which is him under the Drum Corps banner – wikkid.