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

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Location: Devizes, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

University graduate, currently working as an Information Assistant for the NHS. Interested in politics, history, sci fi etc.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Chimp

Bush pledges 'terror war' victory
President George W Bush has said victory in Iraq is essential to the US winning the "war on terror" against the Islamist groups ranged against it.

The US would not leave Iraq until victory was achieved, he told military veterans in Salt Lake City, Utah.

And he warned Iran of "consequences" if it continued to defy the international community over its nuclear programme.

The speech is one of a series in which Mr Bush is defending his security strategy as mid-term polls approach.

"The war we fight today is more than a military conflict," Mr Bush said. "It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st Century."
So the gulf between what is going on in Iraq and what Bush and his Junta believe contiues to grow, the depths of their delusions is appalling.

While Bush was giving one of his rubbish speeches, death and destruction contiued in Iraq - Scores die in Baghdad rocket attacks
At least 46 people have been killed in a series of rocket attacks on homes and shopping areas in a Shia area of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Police sources said over 100 people were wounded during the near-simultaneous strikes on Thursday evening and the death toll was expected to rise as bodies were pulled from the rubble.

Thursday Ballet

Rudolf Nureyev & Carla Fracci in Jean Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer's ballet La Sylphide (1972).


More4 risks US ire with Bush assassination film
Digital channel More4 will court controversy once again this autumn with a fictional piece, shot as a documentary, about the assassination of the US president, George Bush.

Death of a President seems certain to cause a furore on the other side of the Atlantic when it is premiered at the Toronto film festival next month.

In the UK the 90-minute film will be broadcast first on Channel 4's digital service in October.

The drama takes the form of a fictional documentary looking back at the assassination of Mr Bush in October 2007, after he has delivered a speech to business leaders in Chicago.
If Channel 4 is not careful they might end up on America's most wanted list, they'll end up having their phones tapped and possibly hauled off to Guantánamo Bay!

You can be sure that the wingnuts will go nuts at this and start frothing at the mouth and falling overthemseleves to denounce it and claim the programme is being funded by al-Qaeda.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Opera Blogging - Verdi's Nabucco

S'appressan gl'istandti d'un'ira fatale (Nabucco gets a little too big for his boots and proclaims himself as God, only for the real God to come down and strike the crown from his head)

Renato Bruson as Nabucco


Iran's Khatami granted US visa
The United States has issued a visa to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, despite Washington's row with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Mr Khatami will be one of the most senior Iranian figures to visit the US since diplomatic ties were cut in 1979, apart from officials on UN business.

Mr Khatami's visit is being described as private.

The US state department said there were no plans for him to meet government officials.

Mr Khatami is to give a speech at Washington's National Cathedral on 7 September on the role that Islam, Judaism and Christianity can play in shaping peace.
Khatami was elected as a reformist with over 60% of the popular vote. Bush managed to be a complete idiot and failed to give Khatami enough support so the result of this incomptence was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Bush Junta seem to forget that Iran is not an Arab country, it has a different culture and a different history.

I get so annoyed the way Bush, Blair and their worshippers reduce everything to black and white, they have to oversimplify everything and have a very narrow viewpoint.

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

He Embraced His Murderer

He embraces his murderer. May he win his heart: Do you feel angrier if I survive?
Brother...My brother! What did I do to make you destroy me?
Two birds fly overhead. Why don't you shoot upwards? What do you say?
You grew tired of my embrace and my smell. Aren't you just as tired of the fear within me?
Then throw your gun in the river! What do you say?
The enemy on the riverbank aim his machine gun at an embrace? Shoot the enemy!
Thus we avoid the enemy's bullets and keep from falling into sin.
What do you say? You'll kill me so the enemy can go to our home
and descend again into the law of the jungle?
What did you do with my mother's coffee, with your mother's coffee?
What crime did I commit to make your destroy me?
I will never cease embracing you.

And I will never release you.

from Fewer Roses (1986) Mahmoud Darwish

Wednesday Random Photo Blogging

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gordon Brown

Blairites fear Brown will hijack review

Chancellor trains his sights on Blairite outriders

· Supporters of 'unfunded tax cuts' dismissed
· Senior figures fear trouble at conference
Gordon Brown today returns from six weeks' paternity leave to hit back at Blairite outriders amid growing concern from ministers that next month's conference will be dominated by arguments over the party's future.

The chancellor dismisses proponents of "unfunded tax cuts" and warns against "short-termist gesture politics". Labour insiders read his remarks, in an article for the Financial Times, as an attack not only on the Tories, but on the former minister Stephen Byers, who last week proposed axing inheritance tax and is described by colleagues as a Blair "ultra".

Mr Byers said the next year would be "make or break" for Labour and called for wholesale policy renewal in an article in the Times yesterday. He added that the comprehensive spending review would involve a fundamental reconsideration of priorities, although it might sound "of interest only to anoraks in the Treasury".
Interestingly enough Brown has been keeping a low profile, distancing himself from the PM and the recent terror flap, so you have to wonder what he is up to.

People forget that Brown is very much the architect of New Labour, that he shows unabashed endorsement of US economic model and is committed to the Neoliberal cause.

He won't make a very good PM, thoses who wait in the wings for years never make good leaders (see Eden), he will be a disaster for this country thats for sure.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Wheelie bin microchips could alert councils to big polluters
Microchips capable of assessing the weight of rubbish thrown out by each household have been quietly fitted to thousands of wheelie bins, it emerged yesterday. A string of local councils have distributed bins that can transmit information to a central database about the disposal practices of individual families.

The penny-sized microchips, first revealed by the Guardian in February, are placed in the lip of the bin and can be scanned as it is tipped into a dustcart to allow council officials to assess how many bins their refuse collectors have emptied, and to tell them apart in case of neighbour disputes. But the technology could be used more fully in the future. Some dustcarts contain weighing equipment which can then link this information to the amount of rubbish collected from each owner.
I assume if your recycling is not up to standard they haul you off to Belmarsh, as if we are not spied on enough by our own governments. I mean its creepy, what if this technology was to fall into the wrong hands? God knows what infomation they could collect on you. One more step to a Big Brother society.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday Read

The violence occurred despite unprecedented security and a ban on cars to prevent car bombs.

You wouldn’t catch me dead in Iraq

Scores of American troops are deserting — even from the front line in Iraq. But where have they gone? And why isn’t the US Army after them? Peter Laufer tracked down four of the deserters

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Government To Share Data

Britain is in real danger of slipping into fascism and actually you can see the seeds being planted now, what with ID cards, fingerprinting children, the recent London 'Bomb Plot', sharing data and Reid - an ex-stalinist - saying we need to give up our civil liberties in order to 'defeat terrorism'.

It pisses me off that the majority of my fellow Brits are quite happy to go a long with it.

Saturday Read

Reflections By An Arab Jew

by Ella Habiba Shohat

Irvi Nasawi: Sephardic & Middle Eastern Cultures

Ella Habiba Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies and Women's Studies at CUNY. A writer, orator and activist, she is the author of Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Univ. of Texas Press, 1989) and the co-author (with Robert Stam) of Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (Routledge 1994). Shohat co-edited Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation and Postcolonial Reflections (University of Minnesota Press, 1997) and is the editor of Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age, (MIT Press/The New Museum, 2000). She writes often for such journals as Social Text and the Journal for Palestine Studies.
hat tip to Eschaton poster Karin

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Opera

Edita Gruberova as Queen of the Night, from Mozart's The Magic Flute

Friday Cat Blogging

George and Heidi on top of one of our new bathroom units



Heidi making the most of the sun

George the sun worshipper

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Ballet

Alina Cojocaru as Cinderella (cor. Ashton), Royal Ballet

Pluto Has Been Kicked Out Of Solar Planet Big Brother System

Pluto loses status as a planet
Astronomers meeting in the Czech capital have voted to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.

About 2,500 experts were in Prague for the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) general assembly.

Astronomers rejected a proposal that would have retained Pluto as a planet and brought three other objects into the cosmic club.

Pluto has been considered a planet since its discovery in 1930 by the American Clyde Tombaugh.

The ninth planet will now effectively be airbrushed out of school and university textbooks.

The decision was made at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in the Czech capital Prague. Over 2,500 astronomers had been voting on a formal definition of a planet.
Poor old Pluto, clearly it did not have Diebold on its side.

If only Bush could be stripped of his Presidency and Blair of his Premiership.

Jeebus Fucking Christ on a Extra Springy Pogo Stick

Armed forces 'should sponsor schools'
Britain's armed services have been included as potential sponsors to run state schools in a list published yesterday by the Schools minister, Jim Knight.

Mr Knight, writing on the Euston Manifesto - a website aimed at encouraging progressive politics, argued that the armed forces could be enlisted as sponsors of Tony Blair's flagship "trust" schools. He said the sponsorship base should be widened to include more parents' co-operatives and schools sponsored by trade unions, the armed forces or environmental groups.

His comments sparked outrage amongst teachers' leaders last night. Steve Sinnott, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "Most of the organisations the minister mentions have a particular line to peddle... That is not necessarily in the interest of the children... and it should not happen."
How exactly is it progressive to insist that the British Armed Forces sponser schools? Jeez that is the kind of thinking that leads to fascistic militaristic socities, where children are trained to be soldiers from an early age and are ordered to fight for the 'Fatherland'. This type of thinking can only lead to bad things.

If you think the Euston Manifesto twats are tossers, check this group out - Scary, Mad and Powerful - why the Henry Jackson Society is coming your way.

What really annoys me is about how the Euston lot claim to be the 'decent left' and attack anyone else who is opposed to the illegal invasion of Iraq or supports the Lebanon as 'islamofascists', which is a nonsense term in itself. They seem to be doing their very best to squash dissent and not listen to alternatives, their shameless whoring for war and blantant imperalism cheering really makes me sick.

In that reguards they are more closer to the Neoconservatives, who are fascists in all but name.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Very Cool

Opening for biggest Hindu temple
The largest Hindu temple in Europe is opening in the West Midlands with a five-day religious festival.

From Wednesday priests are to perform a number of rituals to sanctify the £6.5m Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple of the UK in Tividale.

During five days more than 10,000 devotees are expected to visit the site, with most due at the weekend.

The temple's design is based on one of the holiest sites in the Hindu world, the Tirupati-Tirumala Temple in India.

Scores of sculptors and artisans from India have worked on the intricate carvings that cover the walls, ceilings, pillars and roof of the temple.

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The Hindu temple is the largest in Europe and is based on the Tirupati-Tirumala Temple in south India.

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Two fibreglass elephants stand as sentinels at the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple in Tividale, West Midlands which is being officially opened this week.

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Carved pillars adorn the temple which has cost about £6.5m to build, funded by donations and grants.

via Pickled Politics

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Earth Presses Against Us

Earth is pressing against us, trapping us in the final passage
To pass through we pull off our limbs
Earth is squeezing us. If only we were wheat, we might die yet live
If only it were our mother so she might temper us with mercy
If only we were pictures of rocks held in our dreams like mirrors
We glimpse faces in their final battle for the soul, of those who will be killed
by the last living among us. We mourn their children's feast.
We saw faces of those who would throw our children out of the windows
of this last space. A star to burnish our mirrors.
Where should we go after the last border? Where should birds fly after the last sky?
Where should plants sleep after the last breath of air?
We write our names with crimson mist!
We end the hymn with our flesh
Here we will die. Here, in the final passage.
Here or there, our blood will plant olive trees

Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Wednesday Random Photo Blogging

Close up of part of a Mosaic, from the Bardo Museum, Tunis, Tunisia

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Plane note prompts airport alert
A flight from Luton Airport to Majorca was delayed as police inspected an aircraft after cabin crew found a "scribbled note" on board.

The note was found on the back of a safety card as cabin crew prepared the plane for a 1430 BST take-off.

The aircraft was cordoned off as police went on board to inspect the plane.

The scare comes during a heightened state of alert at UK airports following an alleged bomb plot to blow up several transatlantic airliners.

A spokeswoman said that passengers, who had been kept in the terminal building during the scare, had boarded the flight at 1530 BST.
This is getting silly, when did Britain turn into a nation of bed wetters? Who are so scared they have 'Asian' looking people removed from planes and scribbled notes causing delays, who are prepared to surrender their civil rights.


Germany may block new EU members
Germany is threatening to derail the planned entry of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU on January 1, forcing its postponement for a year as fears grow over Europe's capacity to absorb new members.

Yesterday Horst Köhler, the German president, urged the two countries to overcome clear deficits in their judicial systems and in the fight against corruption ahead of a final "monitoring" report by the European commission next month on their progress towards meeting the political criteria for entry.

Germany, along with Belgium, Denmark, France and Ireland, has so far failed to ratify the accession treaty for Bulgaria and Romania and Mr Köhler indicated it would wait until after the commission report on September 26 to start the parliamentary process. Ratification is due by December 31 at the latest.
I've come to conclusion that much of our immigration legislation is based on the colour of skin, immigrants from the former Eastern bloc countries happen to be white, they are harder to point out and whip up hysteria about compared to brown skinned immigrants who can easily be singled out and targeted by the Daily Express or the Daily Mail.

Monday, August 21, 2006


My jaw just dropped when I read some of the Lizards (Little Green Footballs) comments about the removal of two Asian looking passengers from a flight from Malaga to Manchester via LGF Watch - Beware the beards of doom! , I think its appalling the way those plane passengers behaved, how two innocent men were thrown off the plane simply for the colour of their skin.

Its this kind of mob mentality which led to pogroms, The Burning Times and the communist witchunts of the 1950s, people become completly irrational,reason gets thrown out the window and mass paranoia takes over.

This brings to mind an excellent season three episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Joyce Summers joins her daughter on a nightly patrol and discovers the bodies of two dead children. After Giles concludes that the children were killed as part of a cult sacrifice, Joyce organizes a group of parents dedicated to ridding Sunnydale of witches and other evil-doers. Their first act is to tie Buffy, Willow, and Amy to stakes and set them on fire, along with as many of Giles' occult books as they could get their hands on. Giles and Cordelia rescue the girls by revealing that the dead children are actually a demon that feeds on communal fear. Unfortunately, they arrive too late to stop Amy from turning herself into a rat to escape the angry mob.—Short synopsis by Fluff.
This exchange between Buffy and her Watcher Giles should give you pause for thought

Giles: (sits on the table) Some demons thrive by fostering hatred and, and, uh, persecution amongst the mortal animals. Not by, not by destroying men, but by watching men destroy each other. Now, they feed us our darkest fear and turn peaceful communities into vigilantes.

Buffy: Hansel and Gretel run home to tell everyone about the mean old witch.

Giles: And then she and probably dozens of others are persecuted by a righteous mob. It's happened all throughout history. It happened in Salem, not surprisingly.

More Views

Muslims thrown off plane - for speaking Arabic

Money Walks, Rascism Flies

Fear-mongering leads to anti-Arab hysteria on airplanes

Paranoia in the skies

Sunday, August 20, 2006

More NuLab Authoritarianism

Reid wants to bypass human rights law and intern suspects

The fight against terror: Surveillance UK

Airports are getting back to normal, and Britain has eased its threat assessment. But on the streets, scores of top suspects are being followed as MI5 desperately seeks to head off 'dozens' of plots

The biggest surveillance operation in British history is under way this week as the authorities seek to track what the Home Secretary, John Reid, has called "dozens" of terror plots. While every police force in the country is now involved in investigating the alleged plot to bring down transatlantic airliners, MI5, the main counter-terror agency, is being strained to the limit as it seeks to head off the next threat.

"The one thing we can be sure of is that there will be a 'next one'," said a Whitehall source. "The big question, indeed, is 'Where next?'"

Ten days after the world learned about Operation Overt - the wave of arrests in this country and Pakistan which is said to have prevented the attacks on air travel - airports are returning to something approaching normal. Most flights are getting away, and the initial prohibition on virtually any hand baggage has been eased.
Its quite clear that John Reid (ex-Stalinist) is as deluded as his boss Tony Blair!

If you want to understand more about NuLab Authoritarianism check out this post by Liberal Review - NuLab: Hot to Trot, you will be suprised how many former Trotskyites and Stalinists are in the cabinet.

Sunday Reading

Money walks, Racism flies.

Comment: Revisiting Balfour

Alterman: Likudniks take on the Jews

Bush Is Crap - Says Tony

Michelle Malkin - Insane

I was perusing blogs this morning and came across this post by LGF Watch - A very British response to Michelle Malkin.... who linked to another blog - Chase me, ladies, I'm in the cavalry, it seems Michelle Malkin has rabidly attacked BBC 2's new comedy show Time Trumpet, created by Armando Iannucci over a clip called 'terrorism awards', it seems Michelle Malkin had a humour bypass, she cannot detect satire very well.

This rather reminds me of the fuss caused by another satire show, Brass Eye (created by Chris Morris) over the 2001 paedophilia special, which wasn't making fun of paedophilia itself but of the media fuss which surrounded it and the articifial hysteria and hypocrisy on the subject of paedophilia.

Michelle Malkin doesn't live here nor does she pay the BBC Licence so what effect does she think she will have with her little pathetic crusade? I tell you zero.

What a frightful horrible individual she is.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Very Interesting

As the clean-up operation gets underway some people have returned to their homes to reclaim anything they can salvage from the rubble. Some find only a few clothes.

Who is the Most Popular Leader for Arabs?
A public opinion survey conducted by the Ibn Khaldun Center in Cairo (sample of 1200 people), revealed that Hasan Nasrallah is the most popular leader, followed by Khalid Mish`al, and then Mahmud Ahmadinajad. Full results will be released next week.
Well done Bush! Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran. Maybe we need an update on 'US led democracy' in the region.

Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon
Hezbollah guerrillas clashed today with Israeli special forces operating deep in Lebanon, killing one military officer and wounding two soldiers, Israel's first casualties since a UN-brokered cease-fire took effect five days ago.

The army said its commandos entered Lebanon "to prevent and interfere with terror activity against Israel, especially the smuggling of arms from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah."

The army said the force completed its mission successfully, and that such operations would be carried out until an "effective" monitoring force is in place to prevent Hezbollah's rearmament. The operation was Israel's broadest since the cease-fire.
If the IDF had any original ideas in their head they would of attacked Hezbollah from behind, fly all their troops in to the Litani River and fight southwards, as Billmon noted very well "this IDF isn't showing that kind of creativity and daring".

More Views

The Destruction of Lebanon

Beirut fury at 'ceasefire breach'

Is an Arab revolution on the agenda? by Anne Ashford.

Israel’s political crisis

Recipe Blogging

West African Stew (Dom-ah-Dah)


Chicken (other meat or fish can be used)
Fresh tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Fresh peppers, chili peppers can be used dependant on how spicy you want your dish
Single Cream
Peanut Butter

(In the Gambia they would use water instead of cream and fresh peanuts that would also be ground into a paste. Sweet tomatoes would be used. You can add other ingridents if you wish)

Dice the chicken and cook in hot olive oil
Add the garlic to the chicken and stir in
Remove the chicken from the pan and set to the side
Cut the tomatoes and dice the peppers
Put the peppers and tomatoes in the pot and cook until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the tomato puree. When there is some moisture in the pan add about four large spoonfuls of peanut butter. Stir this in until it thickens. Add some cream and contiue to alternate between cream and peanut butter until you have a good consistency add the chicken back to the dish and stir into the sauce. You should now complete the dish to your own taste and serve with rice

Dom-ah-dah is a recipe handed down from mother to daughter and there is no formal measure of quanity. You need to select enough quanity of the main ingredient, dependant on the number of guests you have and then produce enough sauce to cover this. It can be a little hit and miss but its successful regardless of mixture of quanities. You will eventually achieve the taste you prefer.

Extra Saturday Cat Blogging

George and Heidi snuggle up

Be Very Skeptical

Five key questions for anti-terror investigation

· Arrested group were tracked for nearly a year
· Pakistani security services helped watch suspects

Nine days ago Paul Stephenson, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police, told the public his officers had thwarted a plot to commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale".

It was an apocalyptic scenario challenged at the time by journalists, who forced an admission that what was meant by these words was "on a scale never before witnessed in Britain", reducing the potential death toll from tens of thousands to hundreds. Today 23 suspects, two of them women, are being held on suspicion of plotting to commit terrorist offences. While police interrogate them, there are many unanswered questions.
Remember what a load of hot air the 'ricin plot' was a few years ago.

The media went on about a 'ricin factory' and that we were all going to die and in the end nothing was found.

The suspects themseleves last year were aquitted conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance in relation to the ricin plot. The CPS also abandoned plans for a retrial of Bourgass on the conspiracy to commit murder charge.

Either way its just another cock up along with the shooting of Charles De Mendez and the fiasco of Forrest Gate.

Expect that once the 28 days are up a small news story will appear on the back pages of the British newspapers saying 'the suspects were found to have no connection to the terror plot'

Friday, August 18, 2006


Dangerous Judges USA

Court rules wiretaps violate rights
DETROIT (Reuters) - A judge ordered the Bush administration on Thursday to stop a domestic wiretap program it says protects Americans from terrorism but which the judge said violated their civil rights.

The administration, buoyed by polls showing Americans back its handling of security and terrorism, appealed against the federal court ruling, saying: "We couldn't disagree more."

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said the wiretaps under a five-year-old "Terrorist Surveillance Program" violated freedom of speech, protections against unreasonable searches and a constitutional check on the power of the presidency.

"There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution," Taylor said in a 44-page ruling.
You know I would of thought the Bush Junta's wish for evavesdropping would have traditional conservatives up in arms even more, aren't they the ones who are into small government and privacy?

I don't see how any traditional conservative can support the Bush Junta's current policies. I mean the left kind of expects the eavesdropping , because that is a feature of big government, but I guess its more of a shock for the right, who should really be against this.

The Bush Cheerleaders have this slavish personality cult going on and screech if one dare raises an objection or offers another opinion, their political outlook is skewered.

The Neocons are out and out fascists, hard to believe that a majority are former Trotskyites.

Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi being naughty

George resting on my bed

Heidi e-mailing her fellow cat friends

George bathed in sunlight

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Majority believe west is losing 'war on terror'
Four out of five Britons believe the west is losing the "war against terror" and want Tony Blair to distance British foreign policy from the United States, a poll revealed today.

The YouGov survey for today's Spectator magazine, conducted following the arrest of 24 people in the alleged airline terror plot last week, also revealed that a majority thought it fairly likely Britain would suffer a terrorist attack in the next year, while a third thought it very likely.
But Mr Reid, who has been leading the government's response to last week's plot, will seize on the finding that 69% now believe terror suspects should be held and questioned for 90 days without charge.
Now the last figure is depressing, those 69% will be the first to surrender their human rights without a murmer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Random Wednesday Photo Blogging

A view of downtown and Islamic Cairo from the Citadel (in background you can see the Mosque of Ibn Tulun)

The Lebanon

Despite progress at the UN towards ending the fighting, vociferous protests against the conflict continued abroad.

Lebanese blast Arab rulers, praise Iran, Syria
NABATIYEH, Lebanon - There is little but contempt for Arab rulers among Lebanese Shias whose homes were destroyed in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, but support for Iran and Syria is stronger than ever.

Washington had hoped that Israel’s war with Hezbollah would deal a blow to the influence of Damascus and Teheran in the region. But following the five-week war, residents of the southern town of Nabatiyeh have lost none of their respect for Syria and Iran but are furious with other Arab rulers.

“From the first day, the Arabs watched from the sidelines,” said Mohammed Shaaban, 68, a retired businessman, as he surveyed the destruction of his three-storey villa.

“They should have taken a stronger position but they all have their private excuses.”

The mostly Sunni Muslim countries Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan—all key US allies—initially criticised Hezbollah for sparking the war with Israel in which more than 1,250 people died.
The Shiites are emerging as quite a political (Iran, Iraq) and military faction (Hezbollah) in the Middle East.

My Qatari pen friend Dana (who I stayed with when I was visting Cairo, they holiday there) is a Shia Muslim, her famliy actually can trace its origins back to Iraq.

She informed me that to her the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims was not that great, that it was not a case of the difference between Protestants and Catholics.

More News and Views

Lebanese army readies to move south

Reconstruction alone estimated at $7bn in Lebanon

Google Earth map of attacks on Lebanon

Israeli officials blame Bush for war.

Bitter Lebanese return to ruins of southern homes

Robert Fisk: In the face of Bush's lies, it's left to Assad to tell the truth

West Bank pullout may be next casualty

Israeli air strike hits house in southern Gaza Strip kills 2, wounds 4

Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian farm land in northern Gaza Strip for military installations

Refugees Return to South Beirut - Photo Report by Guy Smallman

Bahrainis Mark Hezbollah’s Victory

NuLab Authoritarianism

Blair's 'frenzied law making' : a new offence for every day spent in office
Tony Blair's government has created more than 3,000 new criminal offences during its nine-year tenure, one for almost every day it has been in power.

The astonishing tally brought accusations last night of a "frenzied approach to law-making" that contrasts with falling detection rates and climbing levels of violent crime.

The figures emerged as police chiefs disclosed they were considering asking ministers for a set of new measures to allow them to impose "instant justice" for antisocial behaviour.

The 3,000-plus offences have been driven on to the statute book by an administration that has faced repeated charges of meddling in the everyday lives of citizens, from restricting freedom of speech to planning to issue identity cards to all adults.
Blair's government have this stubbon and idotic belief that they can change people's behaviour with legislation. They ignore the laws we already have in Britain which have served us just fine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ex-Stalininst PM?

Reid's high profile raises prospect of leadership bid
John Reid is increasingly being tipped by Labour MPs to run for the party's leadership after dominating the headlines in the aftermath of the alleged terror plot.

The Home Secretary dominated the airwaves again yesterday following an early morning press conference outlining the lowering of the terror threat.

Many MPs believe his high profile in the Prime Minister's absence is an attempt to position himself as a potential challenger to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor. He may be viewed as a possible champion for Blairites who risk being left out of the forthcoming race unless he stands. "He's been here, there and everywhere. He obviously considers himself a potential candidate for the leadership," said Ian Gibson, a leftwing Labour MP. " If he pulls this off, a lot of MPs will think again about his chances."
Can't imagine anything worse for Britain if Reid got into power, you can kiss your freedoms goodbye. Whatever happens to Britain when Blair eventually leaves office, it won't be a happy ending.

The British government is trying to overturn hundreds of years of political development just because they are wetting their pants and are trying to convince everyone else to do likewise.

Blair's government is an enemy of liberty

More views

The Stalinist Cog, and the Terror Briefings.

The prime minister is gone, long live John Reid!

John Reid's tenuous grasp on reality rivals Blair's

Monday, August 14, 2006


Threat of attack downgraded to severe
John Reid, the home secretary, said early today that the threat to the UK from terrorism has been downgraded from critical to severe after an intelligence assessment suggested that an attack was no longer imminent.

The change was made by the Joint Terrorism and Analysis Centre based on the latest intelligence, a statement from the Home Office said.
Earlier yesterday Mr Reid had signalled yesterday that the government may revive plans to detain people without charge for up to 90 days as part of a package to deter a fresh wave of terror attacks.

The move reflects a toughening attitude across government in the wake of last week's alleged failed terror attack.
I am getting pretty fed up with the newscasters and the government telling me to be afraid all the time.

You are more likey to die getting out of bed in the morning than some distant 'terra attack'

Small arms fire kills more people every day than any terraist can hope to achieve.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Calm yourself down but Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran has his own weblog now.

will George Bush be temped to start up his own blog too?

The Lebanon

A truce has been reached but the Israeli raids into southern Lebanon continue.

More news and views

Targeted vituperation

Lebanon 'peace deal'.

Archbishop to hold vigil for Mideast

Descent Into Moral Barbarism

Should Alan Dershowitz Target Himself for Assassination?


via the The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب

Robert Fisk: Tea and rockets: café society, Beirut-style

This week: A close shave in downtown Beirut and why you'll never find our man in a flak jacket

Gaza hopes fade after withdrawal


Sadly I used to think living in Britain we would avoid being threatened to have our freedoms crushed, but now that seems hollow.

With the way the British government is going, freedom of speech, meeting etc. will just vanish and you know what the majority of the British people will go for it, having been scared enough to surrender them willingly.

We don't have a codified consitution and the only thing protecting us from total NuLab authoritarianism is the Human Rights Act, the Judges and the House of Lords (each which the government is trying to get around) and now it appears that 90 day detention is back on the agenda.

I am fed up of having to give up my freedoms just because the government says so.

More Views

Lord Stevens goes shouty-crackers... again

Imminent Threat Of Passenger Plane Bombings' Lies ...

The Real Reason the British Should be Frightened

How London's Terror Scare Looks From Beirut


Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Grandpa's 89th Birthday Party

my Gran and Grandpa

Fruit Salad (made by my Aunty Barbara)

Pavalova (made by my Aunty Shelia)

My Grandpa getting ready to blow out the candals on his birthday cake (made by my cousin Katie)

Seend Fête

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cock Up

Terror suspects identified

Bank of England freezes assets of 19 men

The Bank of England named and froze the assets of 19 of the 24 air terror suspects today.

Acting under the instruction of the chancellor, Gordon Brown, and on the advice of the police and security services, the bank froze the assets of 19 of those arrested yesterday in connection with an alleged plot to blow up passenger jets leaving UK airports for the US.

It acted under powers granted by the United Nations to tackle the financing of terrorism in the wake of September 11.

The oldest of the named suspects is 35 and the youngest 17. Thirteen are from east London - nine from Walthamstow, one from Chingford, one from Leyton, one from the Limehouse and Poplar area and one from Clapton.
If this 'terra plot' proves to be a load of bollocks then its safe to say no one will ever believe the security services ever again.

The suspects can be held for 28 days and I would not be suprised if they don't find any bomb making materials.

The security services's credibility is already under strain due to the shooting of Jean Charles de Mendez last year and the fiasco that was Forest Gate this year, and if this proves to be another cock up it'll just go to show that they are incomptent fools.

Also did you notice yesterday at the press conference, John Reid seemed to have had a hair cut and he was wearing a nice new suit, I mean I would of expected a bit of rumpling and perhaps a tired look but he seems to want to project an image of being in control.

I don't put much stock in the confession from the captured Pakistani suspect either.

Considering the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is involved and knowing their use of torture, the suspect would naturally tell them what they wanted to here.

More Perspective

Heathrow: mock-up, set-up, or cock-up?

Something doesn't add up

Friday Cat Blogging

George taking it easy

Heidi catching some zzzzzzz's

A Bit Of Late Night Fun

Your results:

You are Uhura

You are a good communicator with a
pleasant soft-spoken voice.
Also a talented singer.

Uhura 75%
Spock 57%
Deanna Troi 55%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt) 55%
Mr. Scott 50%
Chekov 45%
Will Riker 45%
Jean-Luc Picard 45%
Geordi LaForge 40%
James T. Kirk (Captain) 40%
Data 39%
Beverly Crusher 35%
Leonard McCoy (Bones) 35%
Worf 20%
Mr. Sulu 10%

Which Star Trek Character Are You?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Not Reported In The News

Lebanese hospitals have been stretched to the limit in nearly a month of Israeli bombardment.

Hezbollah's relief efforts reach thousands in Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon - While its fighters battle Israeli forces in the hills of southern Lebanon, Hezbollah's relief workers in the capital are fighting on a different front: in sweltering kitchens, on soccer fields and in makeshift clinics.

Known in the West mostly for suicide bombings and kidnappings, Hezbollah has emerged as the largest relief provider in war-ravaged Lebanon. Its efforts dwarf those of the government and international aid agencies, and they're cementing its role as Lebanon's leading social-welfare organization.

The militant group's vast social services wing is spending $500,000 a day to provide food, shelter, medicine and security in Beirut for 155,000 people displaced by the fighting with Israel, according to Hezbollah officials, who provided refugee rosters and intricate spreadsheets to document their work.
Hezbollah's softer side.

With the Israeli bombing campaign making it very difficult for aid to reach the Lebanon, Hezbollah provides much needed welfare to the inhabitants in southern Lebanon.

More funerals have been held on both sides of the border with no sign of an early halt to the violence.

Forgotten News

Gaza deaths in July highest since '04, report says

Aid blockade.

Israeli jets strike Beirut and Bekaa

Hizbollah fights Israeli push

Israel’s new Gulag

Attack outside Shia mosque kills 35

What you might have missed

Maybe I'm Just Cynical But There Is Something Fishy About This 'Terra Plot'

Every step of the way to departure gates, police watched passengers.

Plane plot investigators search houses
Police were today searching a number of homes and businesses in London, High Wycombe and Birmingham after the arrest of 21 people in connection with the alleged terrorist plot to blow up planes leaving the UK.

The home secretary, John Reid, said he believed all the "main players" in the plot were accounted for. The 21 suspects were being held in London's Paddington Green police station following the raids.

Nine houses were evacuated in High Wycombe around Walton Drive, where at least one person was arrested in one of a series of raids around the country last night. Police described the evacuation as "as a precautionary measure".
Until actual proof is shown and specifics given I am taking this all with a pinch of salt because it could be another cockup, where some spooks overheard some disgruntled Muslims in a mosque just talking about it and this is a case of ass saving.

This is all connected what with new terror levels being introduced last week, John Reid wanting to take our freedom plus the prospect of a new round of anti terror legislation when Parliament returns in September.

As for the banning of liquids, the duty free retailers won't like it.

I bet they will put pressure on the government to rescend this order, because it will hurt them finacially.

More Views

John Reid - removing our freedoms in order to preserve them

A golf-clap for Martin Whelton

"No dead Lebanese children on TV today"

Bomb Scares - remember the tanks at Heathrow!!

Future Indications: the "real" New Middle East

Never Give Up Your Freedoms!

But air traffic controllers and carriers had no option in many cases but to cancel flights. (Phil Coomes/BBC)

'Mass murder terror plot' uncovered

· Threat level raised to critical
· Plot 'to blow up US-bound flights'
· Claims that 10 planes targeted

A terror plot to kill thousands of people by detonating explosives on up to 10 transatlantic flights from the UK was disrupted by police and the security services overnight, it emerged today.

If successful, the alleged plot would have caused "mass murder on an unimaginable scale", Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan police deputy commissioner, said.

The alleged plan was to cause near simultaneous blasts on multiple flights - with planes travelling to the US a particular target - using explosives smuggled into passenger cabins inside hand luggage.

Mr Stephenson said 21 people were in custody today following raids overnight. He said he believed the threat had been thwarted, but US officials voiced fears that individuals linked to the plot could still be at large.
Isn't it funny that yesterday John Reid was going on about 'curbing our freedoms', plus with the introduction of new terror levels and now this?

I have a feeling this will be used as an excuse to take away more of our civil liberties.

Safe to say that The Lebanon will be consigned to the forgotten news pile that is Afghanistan, Iraq and The Gaza Strip.

More News and Views

They'll never take our freedaaaarrrgh!

Terrorism: you can get it in a can.

Red alert after police 'foil air terror plot'
* 'Liquid chemical devices in passenger bags' suspected
* US flights from UK were targeted, say Washington sources
* 21 arrests: main players 'accounted for' says Reid
* MI5 raises the threat level to critical - attack imminent

US raises air security alert to red for first time

BA grounds short-haul flights from Heathrow

Security scare hits shares

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

John Reid - All Your Freedoms Are Belong To Us

"People shouldn't be afraid of their government...governments should be afraid of their peoples" - V

Terror 'may force freedom curbs'
Britain might have to modify its freedoms in the short term in order to prevent their "misuse and abuse" by terrorists, John Reid has said.

He conceded that was never an easy request, but it was up to everyone to ask "what price our security, at what cost can we preserve our freedoms".

The UK faced its "most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War II", the home secretary warned.

He urged people from all communities to help by being vigilant.
This does not feel me with joy.

I am not giving up my freedoms to no one Mr. Reid thank you very much. So I refer to a quote which has stood the test of time

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Random Tuesday Photo Blogging

A Roman mosaic at the Bardo Museum, Tunis, Tunisia

Monday, August 07, 2006

What Else Needs To Be Said?

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While the UN fiddles... the Middle East burns
Israel suffered its worst casualties in its 26-day war on Hizbollah while United Nations negotiations for a ceasefire intensified.

A direct hit by a Katyusha rocket killed 12 Israeli soldiers in the border kibbutz of Kfar Giladi yesterday while a barrage of rockets aimed at Israel's third city, Haifa, left three civilians dead and 150 wounded.

On the other side of the border, 19 Lebanese civilians were killed by Israel's bombardment of southern Lebanon. The heavy casualties reinforced Israel's insistence that any UN ceasefire resolution must ensure that Hizbollah gunmen cannot return to its northern border. Diplomats hope that foreign ministers will vote in the next day or two on a United Nations resolution, despite Lebanon rejecting the US-French draft because it failed to order an immediate ceasefire and Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon.
Over the weekend there were many protests against Israeli agression around the world, for excellent coverage look here, here, here and here. This certainly reminds me of the thousands of protests that took place before the Bush Junta's illegal invasion of Iraq, showing that ordinary people do care and are interested in international affairs.

Protests against the Israeli offensive were held in Indonesia, Belgium and Egypt on Sunday - a day after tens of thousands took to the streets of London.

Latest News and Views

Agency forced to deliver aid by hand

15 killed in new Israeli attacks

Robert Fisk: This draft shows who is running America's policy... Israel

Israeli strike 'kills 40 people'

Prestwick protesters arrested for boarding US plane

Many aid agencies cannot reach those most in need - or have insufficient guarantee of their workers' safety.

A Bit Of Monday Fun

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The idealistic speechwriter is well-liked by just about everyone. He's known for his excellent writing, sense of humor, and tendency to be clutzy. Although being younger than the rest of the staff, he's often treated as so, much to his dismay.

Which West Wing character are you?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday Night Opera - Puccini's Turandot

Nessun Dorma Sung by Placido Domingo

Movie Review - Kingdom of Heaven

A rather good film

I really enjoyed this movie and was surprised it got slated by the critics, perhaps they did not like the message or seeing Saladin being merciful, who knows. It had excellent action sequences and the photography was amazing, loved the costumes and scenery as well.

There was a Battle of Hattin (1187) where Saladin captured the cream of European nobility which included King Guy of Jerusalem, as well as the True Cross, after the Bishop of Acre was killed in the fighting. Prisoners were Guy, his brother Amalric II, Raynald, William V of Montferrat, Gerard de Ridefort, Humphrey IV of Toron, Hugh of Jabala, Plivain of Botron, Hugh of Gibelet, and many others, this was a major setback for the Crusader movement and of course following that was the Siege of Jerusalem (1187) which saw the near total collapse of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and was the catalyst for the Third Crusade. So it was almost historically accurate (perhaps another reason the critics got all huffy).

It was a great historical epic and I thought Orlando Bloom was not too bad as the leading character and Liam Neeson was very good despite his short time on the screen.

So watch this movie, it will get you thinking of the past and the present and perhaps you will be more the wiser for it.

Ridely Scott is in a different league to the directors of Alexander and Troy, which were both trying to be Gladiator but failed miserably.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Extra Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi relaxing in her favourite chair

George all curled up

Three Weeks

Hizbollah rockets hit Israel; Lebanon bridges bombed

Bridge bombing paralyzes Lebanon aid pipeline
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israel's overnight bombing of highway bridges in northern Lebanon and strikes at a Hizbollah stronghold in south Beirut paralyzed aid convoys on Friday and relief workers warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Israeli jets destroyed three bridges on the main coastal highway linking Beirut to Syria, stalling an eight-truck convoy carrying food, shelter material and other aid to the estimated 900,000 Lebanese displaced by the three-week-old war.

Astrid van Genderen Stort, senior information officer for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the bombing had shut down the major relief pipeline for supplies traveling to the hardest-hit areas in the south.
Its now been over three weeks and what has Israel got to show for it? Plenty of dead Lebanese. This is tragic and things can only get much worse, considering at least 25 farm workers, including many Kurds and Syrians have been killed today.

There are also 300,000 Lebanese children who have been displaced by Israel's three-week war against Hizbollah.

A Palestinian woman holds a Lebanese flag during a rally supporting Hizbollah in the West Bank city of Hebron, August 3, 2006. Israeli jets pounded Lebanon and troops battled Hizbollah guerrillas on Thursday while world powers struggled for a plan to end a war which Beirut said has killed 900 people and wounded 3,000. (PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES)

More News and Views

What to do with Israeli statistics.

Blair delays holiday to work on UN peace deal

Iraq's Shias march for Hezbollah

Venezuela withdraws Israel ambassador

UN locked in resolution wrangle

Hezbollah defiant amid the rubble

Lebanon counts human cost of 23 days in firing line

Dozens of Israeli tanks push into Gaza Strip; 8 Palestinians killed in fighting

The usually bustling bazaar in Tyre has been left to the stray cats.

Friday Opera

Ghena Dimitrova & Placido Domingo The Riddle Scene from Puccini's Turandot

Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi relaxing

Heidi and George

George in deep reflection