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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogging Fun

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Students stage rally against top-up fees
Most people believe that the new £3,000-a-year top-up tuition fees for university students will put young people off doing degree courses according to an opinion poll for the National Union of Students.

Around 15,000 students from across the country are expected in London today at an NUS demonstration in Trafalgar Square against both the introduction of top-up fees and the potential lifting of the £3,000 ceiling on them, a move which critics claim would produce a two-tier university system with access based on wealth.

The ICM survey for the union, which represents the 2.3 million students at Britain's 161 universities, found that 74 per cent of the public believe the spiralling cost of a three-year degree - now estimated at £33,000 - will deter applicants.
Universities need to return to their medievel roots scholars working co-operatively and independently of the state

Not as technocratic factories producing corporate office drones

The whole idea and purpose of a university has been totally perverted

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Opera

Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann with Placido Domingo as the writer and composer Hoffmann.

Mum and Me at Play Night Club, Swansea On Wednesday Night

Pro Lifers Are Horrible People

Nicaragua votes to outlaw abortion

· Church-backed law to include 30-year jail terms
· Cross-party support for bill in run-up to election
Nicaragua last night voted to outlaw all forms of abortion, including operations to save a pregnant woman's life, after a campaign by the Catholic church.

The main political parties supported a bill establishing jail sentences of six to 30 years for women who terminate their pregnancies and doctors who perform the procedure.

The proposal was fast-tracked through parliament in the run-up to a presidential election next month, prompting accusations that it was an opportunistic vote-grabbing ploy.

The bill, if signed into law by President Enrique Bolaños, will overturn a 130-year-old policy permitting abortions in exceptional cases and put Nicaragua among several countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, with total bans. Latin America seemed to be going the other way, with Mexico, Colombia and Chile signalling possible moves to loosen abortion laws.
This news makes me very angry and very sad at the same time, lately there has been a rising tide of misogyny and violence towards women and the religious fundies need to take away a women's right to choose, just because you make abortion illegal does not mean it is going to stop, it will just go underground, it will happen in the backstreet which will cause more deaths due to unsanitary conditions, meanwhile the wealthy will just go abroad for it.

Yet these fundie idiots who screetch about about how evil abortion is are equally preaching against contraception and proper sex education, you know perhaps if contraception was encouraged and sex education was taught better then there would be less need for abortions.

These 'Pro-lifers' don't care about preserving life, all they want to do is control a woman's body, with this act Nicaraguan women are consigned to a life of misery, danger and possibly death.

In the end abortion is a private medical matter between a woman and her doctor, it has nothing to do with you, me or the religious establishment.

And its not just going on in Nicaragua, its happening in The USA, Poland and even here in The UK. Also Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, (which is ironic when you consider 'freeing women' was one of the reasons why the UK and USA went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, now this seems to be going down the pan).

More Views

More on Misogyny

Misogyny and fascism

The doctor said to me: 'Couldn't you just go through with the pregnancy?'

Nine women share their personal stories of abortion

Kingdom of the Cats

Prince George

Princess Heidi

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday Ballet Blogging

Black Swan Pas De Deux from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by American Ballet Theatre with Angel Corella as Prince Siegfried and Gillian Murphy as Odile.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Were It Up To Me To Begin Again

Were it up to me to begin again. I would make the same choice. Roses on
the fence.
I would travel the same roads that might or might not lead to Cordoba.
I would lay my shadow down on two rocks, so that birds could nest on one of the boughs.
I would break open my shadow for the scent of almond to float in a cloud of dust
and grow tired on the slopes. Come closer, and listen.
Share my bread, drink my wine, don't leave me alone like a tired willow.
I love lands not trod over by songs of migration, or become subject to
passions of blood and desire.
I love women whose hidden desires make horses put an end to their lives at
the threshold.
If I return, I will return to the same rose and follow the same steps.
But never to Cordoba.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

British Muslims

Muslims in London face 'serious discrimination and prejudice'
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, today published a new report, 'Muslims in London'.

The report draws on a range of data to illustrate the diversity of London’s Muslim communities and barriers faced by Muslims in everyday life and comes ahead of the first ever Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square, organised by the Muslim Council of Britain and the Mayor of London.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: “London's future success and prosperity as a global city depends on our ability to welcome and respect people from all over the world. One in twelve Londoners is Muslim and the London’s Muslim communities, in all their diversity, must play an essential part in the life of our city.

“However Muslims in London face serious discrimination and prejudice. London’s Muslims have the lowest rates of employment of all the faith groups. Only 15 per cent of Muslim women aged 25 and over work full time compared with 37 per cent of women in the general population. Muslims are disproportionately victims of religiously aggravated crime, more so than any other faith.
This is depressing but not suprising, considering how over these past few weeks there has been a steady stream of stories to do with British Muslims, which has led to paranoia and fear and creates a whole poisonous them vs. us atmosphere, which is so beloved of both sides who keep pushing for a 'clash of civilizations'.

This in turn taps into the British government's obsession with taking away our civli liberties bit by bit, scare the populace a lot and they will gladly hand over their freedoms, Muslims are just the latest fear tool used by governments to push their authoritarian agendas.

On a more lighter note as the above article mentioned, Eid ul-Fitr begins this week.

UK Muslims left puzzled on Eid moon sighting

So when is, or was, Eid-ul-Fitr?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Yet Another Quiz

Your Depression Level: 32%

You may be depressed.
While you can be moody, your moods generally fall within the range of normal.
It's up to you to decide if you're depressed... or if you're simply having a bad week.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Movie Review - The Departed

Frank Costello: "In this archdiocese, God don't run the bingo".

Just been to see The Departed, excellent movie.

The direction, action sequences and the acting, all come together to make for a high quality movie. The cast is stella, and who knew Leo DiCaprio could act! Took me half way through the movie to work out it was actually him. Jack Nicholson also brillant. Excellent supporting cast too.

I love the gangster genre anyways and I love Marty Scorsese's movies and this is him on top form.

I've watched the original Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs on which this is based on and its an brilliant adaption.

So go see this movie which has depth and emotion amidst all the bloodshed.


The Daily Show: Abandon news all you who enter here

'The Daily Show' is a US institution: a thorn in the side of Bush and voice of a young, disaffected generation. John Oliver, a British comedian who has become one of the show's stars, explains its unique satirical power in a world of 'suspicion and panic'

Chris Morris's The Day Today and Brass Eye were doing a parody of television current affairs and satirical spoof documentaries long before the Daily Show came along.

Plus it was much more sharper also, Chris Morris remains a genius, the way he skewered the media was just so brilliant, he took no prisoners.

The Daily Show is funny but seems a pale reflection of Chris Morris's creations.

In case you had forgotten:- In this video Chris Morris makes fun of Pulp, Peter Sutcliffe (the yorkshire ripper) among others

Sunday Fun

I am nerdier than 31% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Opera

Teresa Berganza with Placido Domingo sing final scene "C´est toi, C´est moi" from Bizet´s Carmen.

Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi in deep contemplation

An action shot of George (he has been going loopy over mum's new Hello Kitty mobile phone attachment).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Positive News

Top judge backs Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act is a vital part of the fight against terrorism and should be strongly supported, the Lord Chief Justice has warned.

Resentment and support for terrorism will grow, if immigrants feel their human rights are not being respected, Lord Phillips said in a speech.

Ministers have warned that it may have to be re-examined, if it proves to have hampered the fight against terrorism.

Some measures have been scrapped after being found to break human rights laws.

Control orders had to be brought in to contain foreign terror suspects after the Law Lords ruled detention without trial was illegal under the Act.
Good on you Lord Chief Justice Phillips. This needs to be hammered home time and time again.

No wonder Blair is doing his best to get around the Human Rights Act to satisfy NuLab's authoritarian tendencies.

Thursday Ballet Blogging

Anna Pavlova in "The Dying Swan", Kirov Ballet 1907

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Another Road in the Road

There is yet another road in the road, another chance for migration.
To cross over we will throw many roses in the river.
No widow want to return to us, there we have to go, north of the
neighing horses.
Have yet we forgotten something, both simple and worthy of our new ideas?
When you talk about yesterday, friend, I see my face reflected in the song
of doves.
I touch the dove's ring and hear the flute-song in the abandoned fig tree.
My longings weeps for everything. My longings shoots back at me, to kill or
be killed.
Yet there is another road in the road, and on and on. So where are the
questions taking me?
I am from here, I am from there, yet am neither here nor there.
I will have to throw many roses before I reach a rose in Galilee.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hello Big Brother

More news from the clampdown.

Universities urged to spy on Muslims
Lecturers and university staff across Britain are to be asked to spy on "Asian-looking" and Muslim students they suspect of involvement in Islamic extremism and supporting terrorist violence, the Guardian has learned.

They will be told to inform on students to special branch because the government believes campuses have become "fertile recruiting grounds" for extremists.

The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to "collaborating with the 'secret police'". It says there will be "concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)".
Well thats certainly going to spread mistrust and resentment, on the one hand the government keeps telling the Muslim community to deal with their extremists then they insist on having lectuerers spy on Muslims, which will no doubt drive young disaffected Muslims into the arms of the extremists, its a self perptuating cycle.

This is NuLab at its most mangerial, needing to control very tiny detail and interefering in people's lives.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Beautiful And Beloved Niece Seity

Saturday Cute

Kitten Composer

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Opera

Angela Gheorghiu singing Sempre Libera from Verdi's La Traviata

Guantanamo Bay

'Guantanamo abuse boasts' probed

Red Cross sees key terror inmates
Red Cross officials have for the first time visited 14 top terror suspects transferred from secret CIA jails to Guantanamo Bay, the Red Cross says.

The meetings occurred during a visit to the US naval base that has just ended.

The Red Cross delegation - which saw a total of 454 suspects detained at the facility - gave no names.
Its very simple, either prosecute these 'terror suspects' or let them go, holding them in limbo makes no senses, if they are that dangerous then surely the Bush Junta must have plenty of evidence to convict them.

Because I bet most of the inmates at Gitmo are Afganis who had nothing to do with Al Qaeada or the Taliban and were picked up in the massive sweeps or were given to the coaliation for reward money.

If you have hard physical evidence prosecute, don't just hold them on hearsay or conspiracy charges.

Friday Cat Blogging

George in the highchair yet again!

Heidi licking her lips.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday Ballet Blogging

Le Corsaire - Le Jardim Animée

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Bloodbath in Iraq

War caused 655,000 deaths in Iraq.

'655,000 Iraqis killed since invasion'
The death toll among Iraqis as a result of the US-led invasion has now reached an estimated 655,000, a study in the Lancet medical journal reports today.

The figure for the number of deaths attributable to the conflict - which amounts to around 2.5% of the population - is at odds with figures cited by the US and UK governments and will cause a storm, but the Lancet says the work, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, has been examined and validated by four separate independent experts who all urged publication.

In October 2004, the same researchers published a study estimating that 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the war since the beginning of the March 2003 invasion, a figure that was hugely controversial. Their new study, they say, reaffirms the accuracy of their survey of two years ago and moves it on.
I don't know how the war whores can live with themseleves, their ongoing cheering for this bloodbath is just sickening.

This is a bad situation whichever way you look at it, Over 300,000 Iraqis have fled homes since Saddam's fall, so I'd like the Bush Junta and their imperalist apologists to explain to me why Iraq is a so much better place since Saddam was captured?

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

The Night There

The night there is pitch black...and roses are fewer
The road will fork even more than before. The valley will split open
and the slope will collapse on us. The wound opens wides. Relatives flee.
Victims kill each other to erase their victims' sigh and find relief.
We'll know more than we knew before. One abyss will lead to another.
When we embrace an idea worshipped by tribes and branded on their
vaninishing bodies,
we'll witness emperors engraving their names on grains of wheat to show
their power.
Aren't we changed? Men follow the teaching of the sword
and spill blood. Let the sand pile up.
Women who believe in what's between their thighs follow the teachings of lewdness.
Let the shadows shrink.

Yes I will follow the path of the song, even though my roses are fewer.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Tories

Cameron races ahead of Brown in poll for PM

Tory right urged to back Cameron
Former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major has warned the party's right-wing that they risk continual electoral defeat if they oppose David Cameron's shift to the centre ground.

He said the party should never have moved to the right in successive election defeats since he left Number 10 in 1997 and asked critics of Mr Cameron's re-positioning: "How many elections do they wish to lose by moving to the right?"

Since becoming Tory leader last year, Mr Cameron has focused relentlessly on shifting the Conservative party away from its reputation as "the nasty party" in a bid to reclaim the centre ground from New Labour.
The Toffs have grown tired of the Oiks running the Conservative party and have staged a takeover.

I do get worried when I start to agree with Cameron, but then that is a reflection of how far right Labour has gone.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday View Blogging

The Mumbles, Swansea, Wales

The Veil

Dangerous attack or fair point? Straw veil row deepens

Minister's remarks fuel claims of Islamophobia crisis
The issue had been troubling Jack Straw, and though he must have known that it might cause offence, he decided to raise it regardless.

One of Labour's most experienced politicians, Mr Straw addressed a gathering of Muslim leaders, sharing his disquiet over women who veiled their faces, and recalling a meeting he had had at a constituency surgery in Blackburn with a woman wearing a niqab.

It was a strange matter to raise at talks which had been dominated by a debate over Iraq's role in swelling British extremism, and his intervention stuck in the minds of those who were there. "He said, some of my constituents who have been accepting of the hijab are greatly concerned about the niqab," said one who was there. That discussion was almost 12 months ago. Mr Straw was warned at the time that any attempt to publicise his concerns would provoke anger. But a year later, and apparently unprompted by Downing Street, he chose to do so again, this time to the media.
This is a complex issue with no satisfactory answer.

I believe no where in the Qu'ran is the veil mentioned, I suspect its a cultural pratice, The relevant verse says something like this:"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them when they go out or are among men." (hat tip to Echidne of the snakes), so its really down to how one interprets 'outer garment'.

I do know the Byzantines and the Ancient Greeks were veiling their women long before Islam came along.

Islam asorbed and adapted the cultures which surrounded it, it could not avoid it being in such close proximenty to the Byzantines and the Persians, the two major powers at the time when Islam emerged in the 7th century.

It worked both ways also, as the Muslims forbid depictions of the prophet they chose to create patterns instead, which are quite intricate, and this must of had some affect in the Byzantine Empire, when you look at the Iconoclasm period during the reign of Emperor Leo III the Syrian or "Isaurian," (reigned 717-741; born in eastern Anatolia).

More Views

Veil fetishism.

Straw and the veil: second thoughts

Veiled threats?

The big debate

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Opera Blogging

The famous sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, followed by the end of the act. Patrizia Ciofi is Lucia, Rollando Villazon is Edgardo, Marie-Nicole Lemieux is Alisa, Roberto Frontali is Enrico and Roberto Scandiuzzi is Raimondo...

Friday Cat Blogging

It has returned!

George in the highchair

Heidi yet again resting on my bed

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday Ballet Blogging

Yelena Kuzmina as Ballerina in Boris Eifman's ballet Red Giselle

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Yes I am back, finally got my internet connection sorted out!

so here is some more Mahmoud Darwish

I Belong Here

I Belong Here. I have many memories. I was born as everyone is born.
I have a mother, a house with many windows, brothers, friends and a prision cell
with a chilly window! I have a wave snatched by seagulls, a panorama of my own.
I have a saturated medow. In the deep horizon of my word, I have a moon, a birds sustenance, and an immortal olive tree.
I have lived on the land long before swords turned me into prey.
I belong here. When heaven mourns for her mother, I return heaven to her mother.
And I cry so that a returning cloud might carry my tears.
To break the rules, I have learned all the words needed for a trial by blood.
I have learned and dismantled all the words in order to draw from them a
single word: Home

from Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahamoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché