Devizes Melting Pot
“Protection. Conservation. Restriction. Deep ecology. Give me deep technology any day. They don't scare me. "I'm damned if I'll crawl, my children's children crawl on the earth in some kind a fuckin' harmony with the environment. Yeah, till the next ice age or the next asteroid impact." (Moh Kohn, The Star Fraction)/ "This is the fight between God and the Devil. If His Grace is with God, he must join me, if he is for the Devil he must fight me. There is no third way" King Gustavus Adolphus
- Name: Moonbootica
- Location: Devizes, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
University graduate, currently working as an Information Assistant for the NHS. Interested in politics, history, sci fi etc.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Afghanistan: Opium wars
British troops have begun deploying in a Taliban-dominated area riddled with corruption and tribal rivalries, where the only industry is growing poppies. Tom Coghlan reports from Grishk and Lashkargar, Helmand Province
"Would the British let us send soldiers to take over their country?" The mood among the group of men on the banks of the Helmand River was menacing. All claimed to be Taliban fighters.
"If one Talib is in a village, the infidels bomb the whole village and kill innocent people," their leader went on. "The British should come and fight us face to face and stop using their planes. They have been here three times and been nicely beaten three times," he added, referring to ill-fated British imperial adventures of the 19th and early 20th centuries. "If there were two million foreign soldiers, we would defeat them if they fought us face to face."
There are already frequent clashes: yesterday Afghan security forces said they had attacked Taliban militants in a cave complex north of Lashkargar, capital of the anarchic southern province of Helmand, where the deployment of 3,500 British soldiers is gathering pace. Two Taliban fighters were said to have been killed and weapons seized.
Afghanisna has gone back to being a forgotten country, the Bush Junta wanted to invade Iraq all along and this was just a sideshow to butter up the public, and now its back to being a top opium producing country, I'm sure organised crime who make cash out of the heroin trade would like to thank the US and UK for doing such a good job.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Blair savages critics over threat to civil liberties
· PM responds to attack by Observer writer
· 'I will harry suspects from Britain'
Tony Blair launches an unprecedented assault today on the legal and political establishment, accusing it of being 'out of touch' with the people - and pledges new moves to 'hassle, harry and hound' suspected criminals from Britain.
In a passionate public exchange of emails with Observer columnist Henry Porter, the Prime Minister vigorously defends his stance on civil liberties and sketches out a new faultline in British politics over individual freedoms, crossing the traditional divide between right and left.
Admitting frankly that some of his own party as well as many Tories and the Liberal Democrats are ranged against him, he insists nonetheless that he is on the side of popular opinion and will not retreat, adding: 'I truly believe they are out of touch with their own voters.'
Critics such as Porter or Lord Steyn, the ex-law lord who recently accused his government of authoritarian tendencies and creating 'oppressive' immigration laws, had respectable motives but 'the practical effect of following the course you set out is a loss of civil liberties for the majority,' Blair concludes.
The sheer arrogance of Tony Blair is sickening, in his delusional view he is right and everyone else is wrong. I am starting to think he is mentally unhinged.
Blair has finally brought his authoritarian streak out into the open and I fear for our future.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Tory MP urges Iraq troop pull-out
A senior Conservative MP has called for British troops to withdraw from Iraq - going against his party's policy.
Michael Ancram, writing in the Daily Mail, says Iraq is effectively in a state of civil war and because of that, troops should be pulled out.
Downing Street said British troops would stay in Iraq until they had "finished the job" of bringing democracy to the country.
Conservative policy is also that troops should stay as long as necessary.
But Mr Ancram, former shadow foreign secretary and deputy Conservative leader, said: "It is time now for us to get out of Iraq with dignity and honour while we still can."
Mr Ancram said Britain must "not take sides between Sunnis and Shias".
"It has always been evident that in the event of civil war we should just get out," he said.
What is the world comming to when a posh Tory MP like Mr. Ancram is advocating rather sensibly withdrawal from Iraq? Politics has really turned upside down these days!
Michael Ancram is my hometown of Devizes's MP. He is married to Lady Jane Fitzalan-Howard (a daughter of the 16th Duke of Norfolk).
Thursday, April 20, 2006
China 'world's top executioner'
More than 2,000 executions were carried out around the world in 2005, the vast majority of them in China which remains the world's number one executioner, Amnesty International has said.
According to the human-rights group's latest report on the death penalty worldwide, China carried out at least 1,770 executions.
However, Amnesty said the real figure was probably higher.
A Chinese legal expert was quoted as saying the true figure was closer to 8,000.
In its annual report, released on Thursday, Amnesty said that China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US remained the world's leading executioners. Together the four countries accounted for 94% of last year's 2,148 documented executions.
This does not make for very nice reading, I have always opposed the Death Penalty, not even the most horrendous crime could ever make me support it. It makes me glad Britain stopped capital punishment in 1969, it is a barbaric pratice and open to abuse.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Millions of refugees are hidden victims of the West's war on terror, warns UN
Refugees fleeing persecution or civil war are becoming the hidden victims of the West's obsession with combating terrorism, the United Nations will warn in a report published today.
Only a fraction of the world's 9.2 million refugees have the means to reach the industrialised world to seek asylum. Those who do are increasingly likely to be treated like criminals as rich countries put up the barriers to keep out terrorists and economic migrants.
"More and more, asylum-seekers are portrayed not as refugees fleeing persecution and entitled to sanctuary, but rather as illegal migrants, potential terrorists and criminals - or at a minimum, as 'bogus'," the report by the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), warns.
It saddens me how people are closing their hearts to people displaced by conflict, the right wing press have taken the issue hostage and done a very good job of muddying the line between asylum-seekers and immigration. Refugees have become the perfect scapegoat of our times, it is easy to blame non-whites than to actually find real solutions.
Queen Elizabeth Won't Abdicate or Retire, Cousin Says (Update3)
April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Queen Elizabeth II will continue in her role until her death and won't abdicate or retire, a first cousin, Margaret Rhodes, said in an interview marking the celebration of the British monarch's 80th birthday.
``It's not like a normal job, it's a job for life,'' Rhodes, who meets regularly with the queen, told the British Broadcasting Corp. ``I'm perfectly sure that the vows she made on Coronation Day are something so deep and so special to her that she wouldn't consider not continuing to fulfill those vows until she dies.''
Longevity is common in the royal family, increasing the likelihood that the next in line, Prince Charles, 57, will be elderly when he takes the throne. His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, died in 2002 at 101. Some 57 percent of Britons want the Elizabeth II to reign until she dies, according to a poll published this week by broadcaster ITN.
I would like to see the monarchy abolished, I personally have nothing against the Windsors, I just don't think the insitution of monarchy has a place in modern Britain.
Royalty today represents everything that is vulgar, antiquated, fraudulent and toadying in this country.
I think A.A. Gill put it best:
"I mean what we do to the Queen and her family is inhumane. What other 80 year old woman would be force to do what Elizabeth Windsor does? We shold stop being humiliated as a nation by the exploitation of this over extended family. We stopped chimpanzees having to perform tea parties in captivity years ago - why do we still expect of these humans? Like Elsa, the Queen and her cubs should be set free. Why don't we have anybody at all? If the ambassador from Tuvalu or the Aston Martin owner's Club turns up just tell them she's out, running wild in the heather"
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Oil hits record $72 on Iran fears
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil hit a record $72.20 a barrel on Tuesday as Iran defied world pressure to halt its nuclear program, raising new fears of a cut in supplies from the world's fourth biggest crude exporter.
In London, North Sea Brent crude oil jumped 74 cents to set the new all-time high as Iran and the West exchanged increasingly sharp words over the Islamic Republic's determination to push ahead with uranium enrichment.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed to $70.88, smashing through its previous record of $70.85.
"The Iranian situation is making us all very nervous... We don't seem to be getting anywhere on the diplomatic solutions," said Deborah White, an analyst at SGCIB in Paris.
The ones who are benefitting from this nuclear standoff are the oligarchs. Not to mentoin that George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are both quite mad, we can only hope cooler heads prevail.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Iraq's political crisis deepens
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq was thrown into deep political crisis after leaders cancelled a much-awaited parliament session following their failure to resolve a bitter dispute over the prime minister.
Four months after the landmark elections for the first permanent post-Saddam Hussein government, Iraqi leaders continued to squabble over who would lead the next cabinet and also hold key posts in the parliament.
Iraqi Sunni and Kurdish groups have rejected the choice for prime minister of the country's powerful Shiite majority, outgoing premier Ibrahim Jaafari, while in a tit-for-tat political move the Shiites are opposing Sunni candidates for other posts.
The Sunni and Kurdish minorities accuse Jaafari of failing to curb the raging sectarian violence that has left hundreds dead since the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra on February 22.
Is this what the Neocons had planned for Iraq? Their hubris is bringing chaos and misery to the Middle East, the fact that the USA is even considering nuking Iran is frightening, you would think they wanted to wipe the Middle East off the map, their hatred for human life no knows bound, they have already ruined Iraq and they seem determined to do the same to Iran.
Be sure to check out Billmon's latest post, it makes for sobering reading - The Flight Forward
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Iran pledges $50m Palestinian aid
Iran will donate $50m (£28m) to help fund the Palestinian Authority, after the withdrawal of aid from the West, the Iranian government has announced.
The US and EU cut funding after Hamas - which they consider a terrorist group - won Palestinian elections in January.
Iran's pledge followed a visit from top Hamas official Khaled Meshaal, after the group appealed to Muslim nations to help make up the shortfall.
On Saturday Russia said it would also grant financial aid.
Mr Meshaal, at a fundraising event in the Iranian capital, Tehran, said the Palestinian administration was $1.7bn in debt.
He said a further $170m a month was needed to run the administration, out of which $115m went to paying salaries.
How ironic that a Shi'a Muslim country like Iran is prepared to give money to the Sunni Hamas government.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
This is a old family recipie for Lemon Cake
4oz soft margerine
4oz castor sugar
2 large eggs
4oz self raising flour
1oz ground almonds
1 table spoon of lemon curd
grated rind lemon (optional)
1 desertspoon of tepid water
1. shift together flour and ground almonds
2. cream margerine and sugar
3. add eggs beting in gradually
4. add lemon rind and lemond curd
5. fold in flower and almonds followed by Tepid water
Bake in greased 8" sandwhich tin at 350oF/Reg 4 for approx 30 minutes
Ice when cold with lemon glace icing using juice of grated lemon and a little clouring if liked.
You can either have it straight just with icing or you can put buttericing in (which my mother chose to do, she added twist to it by using lemon liqure in the butter icing)
Friday, April 14, 2006
US allies are behind the death squads and ethnic cleansing
Iraq's American overlords at last seem to have grasped the danger posed by their friends' militias. But it may be too late
Jonathan Steele in Baghdad
Generals want Rumsfeld to resign
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two more retired U.S. generals called for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign on Thursday, claiming the chief architect of the Iraq war and subsequent American occupation should be held accountable for the chaos there.
As the high-ranking officers accused Rumsfeld of arrogance and ignoring his field commanders, the White House was forced to defend a man who has been a lightning rod for criticism over a war that has helped drive President George W. Bush's public approval ratings to new lows.
Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni told CNN Rumsfeld should be held responsible for a series of blunders, starting with "throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq."
Rummy with either sheer delusion or arrogance thought he could occupy a country like Iraq with a small force, that proved a major blunder, its all very well invading a country, thats the easy part, occupying it is a totally different matter.
Bush won't fire Rummy because that will make his presidency look bad, it shows that he was wrong about Iraq and about the people he puts in charge of the 'war'.
More Britons have DNA held by police than rest of world
Anger as ban on glorifying terror comes into force
Controversial anti-terror measures planned in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings and brought into force yesterday have been given a hostile reception by MPs and civil liberty lawyers who branded them absurd and a curtailment of free speech.
The new laws, included in the Terrorism Act 2006, make it a criminal offence to say or do anything that glorifies terrorism. They also give more powers to the Government to ban groups which publish material that seeks to support any form of terrorism.
But MPs and civil liberty lawyers said the laws were unnecessary, as there was already legislation in place to combat terrorism.
Bit by bit NuLab erodes our civil liberties
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Sunday, April 09, 2006
THE IRAN PLANS: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
'US planning to attack Iran'
The US administration is stepping up plans for a possible air strike on Iran, reports in an American magazine and British newspaper say.
But Sunday's edition of the New York Times questioned the claims, quoting four Pentagon and administration officials as saying although the US has contingencies in place to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions, this did not equate to military confrontation.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in Monday's issue of the New Yorker magazine, quotes former and current intelligence and defence officials as saying the US administration increasingly sees "regime change" in Tehran as the ultimate goal.
I would like to know with what army Bush will invade Iran and impose 'regime change' the US army is already stretched due to its comitments in Afghanistan and Iraq. What makes the Bush Junta think they will do any better in Iran when they have failed in Iraq? I fear the Neocon's would like to drop nukes on Iran simply to end the prohibition against them
Any power that cannot fight a war on two fronts is finished.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
1/3 shot kahlua
1/3 shot baileys
1/3 shot vodka
1/3 shot tia maria
Stir over ice & strain into pony or chilled cocktail glass
Iraq three years on: Don't look away
And don't believe all that our leaders tell us about democracy. Three years after the toppling of Saddam, Iraq is a bloody mess. Yesterday 70 people were killed in an attack on a Baghdad mosque. Patrick Cockburn reports on three years of broken promises in a blighted land
A cruel and bloody civil war has started in Iraq, a country which Bush and Blair promised to free from fear and establish democracy. I have been visiting Iraq since 1978, but for the first time, I am becoming convinced that the country will not survive.
Three suicide bombers disguised themselves as women yesterday and, with explosives hidden by long black cloaks, killed 79 people and wounded more than 160 when they blew themselves up in a Shia mosque in the capital.
One bomber came through the women's security checkpoint at the Buratha mosque in northern Baghdad and detonated explosives just as worshippers were leaving at the end of Friday prayers. Two other bombers took advantage of the confusion to blow themselves up a few seconds later, killing the people who were trying to escape.
It makes me so angry to think that we were lied into an ammoral war, the Bush Junta (which includes Blair_ promised democracy instead all they have done is bring misery and death. Money which was supposed to of been earmarked for reconstruction has 'disppeared' (codeword for corruption, money being sent to coded Swiss bank accounts).
Iraqis have little or no infrastructure and now are at the mercy of a full blown sectarian civil war on top of the ongoing America and British occupation of their country.
Iraq is being sacrificed on the altar of profit and greed.
Fighters cross the divide for peace in Middle East
Bassam Aramin vividly describes the shock of his first meeting with the fresh faced, pony-tailed Noam Hayut. Three years ago, at the height of the intifada, Noam had been the commander at the biggest checkpoint in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah - for Palestinians like Bassam the most hated symbol of their lack of freedom of movement.
"I stared at his face and he said 'why are you looking at me?' I said: 'I want to be convinced you are an Israeli Jew who commanded the Qalandiya checkpoint. I don't see this in you. You are a human being.'" Both men recall it as a deeply uncomfortable first encounter, despite Noam's harsh self-criticism over what he did as an Israeli soldier and officer. "He said: 'I consider all of what I've done is terrorism,'" Bassam recalled. "I told him: 'It's true. All you did is terrorism.'"
"The first time I was speaking it was not easy for Bassam to hear what I did in Beit Jala [a notorious flash point of the conflict] or in the neighbourhoods around Qalandiya," remembers Noam. "And it wasn't easy for me to hear he attacked a soldier. I thought: that could have been me."
This is one of those rare postive stories to come out of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Hope seems in short supply at the moment in Palestine
Israeli missile kills two in Gaza
Palestinians decry US, EU aid halt
The Palestinian prime minister and president have lashed out at the United States and European Union for halting direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.
On Friday, Ismail Haniya, the prime minister and a Hamas leader, denounced the decisions as "hasty and unjust".
"The world should respect the choice of the Palestinian people," he added.
President Mahmoud Abbas said that "the Palestinian people should not be punished for their democratic choice".
By cutting the aid, the US and EU were "punishing all the people, workers and families", he said.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Security fears govern Iraqi lives
Iraq Shi'ite Alliance in dilemma over government
50 killed in Iraq mosque attack
Three suicide bombers killed 50 people in an attack on a Shia mosque in Baghdad today, Iraqi police said.
Two bombers blew themselves up inside the Buratha mosque, in the north of the capital, and another detonated explosives outside, Reuters reported.
The bombers were dressed in traditional Shia women's black robes when they struck. Some police sources said the attackers had been women, while others said there had been one woman and two men dressed as women.
The mosque belongs to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the most powerful party in the country's ruling Shia Alliance.
For the insurgents being in what Deadeye Dick Cheney referred to as their 'last throes', it seems to of lasted an awful long time.
It has been a bad week for the Bust Junta, first the revelation that Bush approved the leak of classified infomation in the face of criticism with his Iraq policy and the arrest of Brian Doyle, the the Department of Homeland Security fourth-ranking spokesman . On Charges of sexually preying on a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Helen and Sylvia, the new face of terrorism
Two grandmothers from Yorkshire face up to a year in prison after becoming the first people to be arrested under the Government's latest anti-terror legislation.
Helen John, 68, and Sylvia Boyes, 62, both veterans of the Greenham Common protests 25 years ago, were arrested on Saturday after deliberately setting out to highlight a change in the law which civil liberties groups say will criminalise free speech and further undermine the right to peaceful demonstration.
Under the little-noticed legislation, which came into effect last week, protesters who breach any one of 10 military bases across Britain will be treated as potential terrorists and face up to a year in jail or £5,000 fine. The protests are curtailed under the Home Secretary's Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.
Totalitarianism rears its ugly head.
All this anti terror legislation is doing is making dissenting a crime and punishing the innocent.
Which Trainspotting Character Are You?