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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

'No customs, no laws' (Tacitus)

Hicks to serve nine months' jail
Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks will be sent home to serve nine months in prison after being sentenced by a military judge at the facility.

Hicks, 31, was sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to supporting terrorism, but all but nine months of the sentence was suspended.
Nice deal eh!

Either maintain your innocent and be locked up for all eternity or admit your guilty and promise not to mention what torture methods were used on you and get a shorter sentence.

Makes one feel quite ill.

This is even more horrifying - 'In Britain, I have fewer rights than an animal'

When the man known as 'G' fled torture in Algeria, the UK offered the hope of refuge. But then he was detained for three years without trial. Now, living under stringent bail conditions, this member of the 'Belmarsh 12' is desperate to leave the country he thought would help him. He talks to Paul Donovan

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Opera Blogging

The Salzburg 1986 production of Verdi's Don Carlo conducted by Karajan.

Agnes Baltsa as the Princess Eboli singing O don fatale

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Iran and the Capture of British Marines

Captured sailor 'apologises over trespass'
Iranian television today screened footage of a second Royal Navy sailor apparently apologising for entering Iranian waters, sparking an angry response from a "disgusted" Tony Blair.

The man, who gave his name as Nathan Thomas Summers, is shown saying that the British party had "trespassed" into Iranian waters when they were seized last Friday.

But the videotape showed clear signs of editing, suggesting that his words were being manipulated.
Is this more disgusting than the 24 hr coverage of Saddam's execution?

Showing captured prisoners is against the Geneva Convention! Whoops, there goes that moral high ground we used to have...

Its strange, people are shocked that Iran kidnapped British troops, yet the British and American governments have no qualms about kidnapping 'suspect terrorist' and whisking them off to be renditioned, tortured and locked up without telling them what they are charged with. The MSM is concerned that these "confessions" by the British Marines may have been coerced, yet they accept KSM's (Khalid Sheik Mohammed) "confessions" that he did everything evil in the world for the last 500 years.

Links worth reading

Both Sides Must Stop This Mad Confrontation, Now

Iran and "hostages": image & meaning

A bitter legacy

The seizure of 15 British sailors by Iran is only the latest incident in a long and troubled history between the two countries. As Robert Tait reports from Tehran, most Iranians see Britain as an old colonial power that's still meddling in their affairs

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Bountiful Friday Cat Blogging

George (on the top perch) and Heidi (in the basket)

George and Heidi sharing the basket

Heidi giving her best impression of royalty

George enjoying the sun

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday Music Blogging

A incredibly fun production of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic The Pirates of Penzance, performing a musical number from it- With Cat Like Tread.

Jon English as the Pirate King and Simon Gallaher as Frederic

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'Problem' children to be monitored for signs of criminality
Tony Blair faced charges of taking a step further towards turning Britain into a surveillance state, after he set out plans to monitor children for signs of criminality, to allow police to collect more DNA samples, and to expand the use of CCTV cameras.

He also announced proposals to restrict the activities of career criminals after their release from prison and to review the operation of the police service.

Critics of the plan, which was published yesterday, said it was an erosion of civil liberties under the cover of fighting crime. Most controversial was a proposal to "establish universal checks throughout a child's development" to "identify those at most at risk of offending".

The tests could take place at key moments in a child's life, including the move from primary to secondary school, but it was unclear what form they would take.
This is very creepy, shades of Minority Report.

What sort of questions would they ask I wonder? Are you a criminal - Yes/No

Not the only creepy story today - Reid tightens up UK visa rules


Iraq - Feel The Surge

Iraqi police shoot Sunnis in 'revenge attack'
At least 45 Sunni men have been killed by off-duty police officers enraged at bombings targeting the Shia community, police and security officials said today.

The shootings in Tal Afar, a city in the north-west of Iraq, were an apparent revenge attack for yesterday's bombings that killed at least 63 people in a Shia district.

The officers were said to have started roaming around Sunni neighbourhoods on foot early in the morning, shooting at Sunni residents and homes, the Associated Press reported.

The shootings continued for more than two hours, officials said, before Iraqi army troops moved into the Sunni areas to stop the violence.
It was incredibly stupid of the coalition forces to disband what was left of the infrastructure, turning out Ba'ath party members and disbanding the army, they lost the 'war' there and then. There is a vacuum in Iraq and no one is there to fill it.

When the allies occupied Germany, they worked with the local government, whinch ofte contained Nazi party members.

The British used Japanese troops to re-occupy Indonesia for the Dutch.

Going back into history, both the British and the Romans co-opted the local elites, showered them with honors, to keep them on their side and to make governing a province easier.


Democracy must come from the people, from their own cultural backgrounds, it has to be organic. This is such a basic point it gets overlooked.

These types who think its the West's goal is to impose their Judeao-Christian version of democracy on other countries (which on its own is insulting and patronizing) seem to forget it took hundreds of years, revolutions, wars - civil and foreign, laws, pressure groups, rebellions, protests and so forth to get where democracy in the West is here today.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Northern Ireland

Paisley and Adams agree deal
Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams today agreed a date for the return of power sharing in Northern Ireland during historic talks at Stormont.

Following their first ever face-to-face discussions, the leaders of the Democratic Unionist party and Sinn Féin announced a target date of May 8 for the restoration of devolved government.
I'm thinking the British government threatened to cut off funding, which would mean no salaries, chauffeured cars or any other trappings of power, which they currently enjoy. The pressure no doubt came from their hanger ons and associates, who would also lose out if the money dried up.

Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams need each other, thats what it boils down too.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Niece Blogging

Seity feeding the ducks, geese and swans at the Crammer

A pair of Canada Geese

A lone Swan

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Extra Saturday Niece and Cat Blogging

My niece stroking Heidi, who has decided she likes the buggie too.

A rather beautiful close up shot of George, you can see his handsome markings

Heidi quite happy to sit on the buggie

George relaxing

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging



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Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday Ballet Blogging

Les Sylphides, Music: Frédéric Chopin, Choreography: Mikhail Fokine

With Marianna Tcherkassky (Prelude) & Mikhail Baryshnikov (Mazurka II)

Cynthia Harvey (Waltz I) & Cheryl Yeager (Mazurka I)

the other three parts can be seen here, here and here

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Four Years On!

Multiple blasts strike Kirkuk
Three car bombs and two roadside devices have killed 18 people and wounded 37 in Kirkuk, police say.

The blasts happened in different parts of the Iraqi city but exploded within a few minutes of each other. Police Colonel Taha Salaheddin said the first and largest attack on Monday, a car bomb near two mosques, killed 10 and wounded eight.

The bomb exploded in central Kirkuk's Sector 90 district which houses the two mosques, one Shia and one Sunni, as well as the emergency police command, Salaheddin said.

He said 10 cars were burned and 20 shops damaged.
The surge does not seem to have much effective in Iraq, deaths continue and have now approached the one million mark and the increase in pessimism amongst Iraqis about the current situation, and still the war supporters continue to insist everything is wonderful and that we who opposed it since the start are clearly 'islamofascists' and 'terrorist supporters' weakening their manliness, there need to kill, to live out their violent fantasies, sending other people's children to die for it. They cannot admit where and when they have gone wrong, instead choosing to bury their heads in the sand.

Iraqis do not trust U.S. Forces

A tale of two surveys.

Bush the Perfunctory

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Music Video Blogging

As its Comic Relief this evening, here is their charity single, a cover version of Aerosmiths/Run DMC's - Walk This Way by the Sugababes and Girls Aloud.

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Friday Cat Blogging

George and Heidi

Heidi relaxing as usual

George getting fuzzy tailed and quite worked up over two of our neighborhood cats passing through our garden.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gorgeous George

'Gorgeous' George Galloway came to speak at my University yesterday, the old gosplan Stalinist ham heh

He made some very good points thought, always worth a listen too.

The original venue had to be switched due to threats from BNP fascists here in Swansea.



Trident Obscenity Vote Today

Third member of government resigns over Trident
A third member of the government resigned this afternoon, as Tony Blair faced a major Labour rebellion over the renewal of the UK's nuclear deterrent.

With Mr Blair expected to have to rely on Conservative support to win tonight's vote on renewing Trident, Stephen Pound quit this afternoon, saying that he could not vote for the policy.

Mr Pound was until today parliamentary private secretary to Hazel Blears, the party chair and candidate for the deputy leadership.
£65bn is being spent on replacing our nuclear weapons, which will never be used.

Think of what good £65bn could do in say the NHS or finding alternatives to fossil fuels, there are plenty more worthy causes this money could be put towards rather than a redundant system.

Also it seems a little bit hypocritical that we're telling Iran off for possibly developing their own nuclear capability while the British government wants to replace its own nuclear arsenal.

I think the real reason the British government wants to replace our nuclear arsenal is because of France, heh.

I am currently watching the Commons debate on Trident and its depressing me, its so sad when certain sections of Labour and the Conservatives are in agreement over a wasteful policy.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Extra Sunday Cat Blogging

Heidi and George cleaning each other

Heidi and George

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Music Blogging

The song "Little Priest" from Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with Patti LuPone as Mrs Lovett and George Hearn as Sweeney Todd.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi giving George a good grooming

George returning the favour

Heidi showing who rules the basket by the window, as you can see Heidi ain't no dainty cat.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday Wagner

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

Ride of the Valkries conducted by Claudio Abbado, performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker

I will always associated this piece with the dawn helicopter raid scene from Apocalypse Now.

I think there is nothing wrong with enjoying Wagner's music, sure he was probably a bad person but what musician isn't? I make the observation that a lot of great music is made by bad people, just look at Marvin Gaye (shot by his own father) or Lou Reed.

Going back to composers, how many left their wives, had affairs, took drugs, died of syphilis and so on? A fair few I imagine.

I think to be a genius at what you do you have to be slightly mad or at least not normal.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Palestinian Poetry Blogging

The Kind Hearted Villagers

I did not yet know my mother's way of life,
nor her family's when the ships came in from the sea.
I knew the scent of tobacco in my grandfather's aba
and ever since I was born here, all at once, like a domestic animal,
I knew the external smell of coffee.

We too cry, when we fall on the earth's rim.
Yet we don't preserve our voice in old jars.
We don't hang a mountain goats horns on a wall,
and we don't make of our dust a kingdom.
Our dreams do not gaze upon other peoples grapevines.
They do not break this rule.

My name has no feathers, so I couldn't fly beyond midday.
April's warmth was like the balalaikas of our passing vistors.
It caused us to fly like doves.
My first fright: the charm of a girl who seduced me into
smelling milk on her knees, but I fled that meals sting!

We too, have our mystery when the sun falls from white populars.
We are overwhelmed by a desire to cry for one who has died for nothing,
and by an eagerness to visit Babylon or a mosque in Damascus.
In the eternal saga of pain, we are the teardrop in the dove's cooing.

We are kind hearted villagers and we don't regret our words.
Our names, like our days, are the same.
Our names don't reveal us. We infiltrate the talk of our guests.
We have things to tell the woman stranger
about the land she embroiders on her scarf
with the pinions of our returning sparrows!

When the ships came in from the sea,
this place was held together only by trees.
We are feeding our cows their enclosures
and organizing our days in closets made by our own hands
We are coaxing the horse and beckoning the wandering star.

We, too, board the ships, entertained by
the radiance of the emerald in our olive tree at night,
and by dogs barking at the fleeting moon above the church tower,
yet we were unafraid.
For our childhood had not boarded with us.
We were satisfied with a song.
Soon we'll go back to our house
when the ships unload their excess cargo.

from Why Have You Left the Horse Alone? (1995) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Amira El-Zein and edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Music Video Blogging

The Stranglers - No More Heroes

I love the Stranglers, brings up fond childhood memories of trips down to France, as it would be in my dad's CD selection for the drive down. No More Heroes is one of my favorite songs.

the other is Golden Brown, having been to Egypt it also makes me smile.

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Friday Fun

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.


Friday Cat Blogging

Heidi getting a hug from George



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Thursday, March 01, 2007


Click here to find out how to avoid arrest on Red Nose Day


The Failure Of The War On Terror

How the war on terror made the world a more terrifying place

New figures show dramatic rise in terror attacks worldwide since the invasion of Iraq
Innocent people across the world are now paying the price of the "Iraq effect", with the loss of hundreds of lives directly linked to the invasion and occupation by American and British forces.

An authoritative US study of terrorist attacks after the invasion in 2003 contradicts the repeated denials of George Bush and Tony Blair that the war is not to blame for an upsurge in fundamentalist violence worldwide. The research is said to be the first to attempt to measure the "Iraq effect" on global terrorism. It found that the number killed in jihadist attacks around the world has risen dramatically since the Iraq war began in March 2003. The study compared the period between 11 September 2001 and the invasion of Iraq with the period since the invasion. The count - excluding the Arab-Israel conflict - shows the number of deaths due to terrorism rose from 729 to 5,420. As well as strikes in Europe, attacks have also increased in Chechnya and Kashmir since the invasion. The research was carried out by the Centre on Law and Security at the NYU Foundation for Mother Jones magazine.

Iraq was the catalyst for a ferocious fundamentalist backlash, according to the study, which says that the number of those killed by Islamists within Iraq rose from seven to 3,122. Afghanistan, invaded by US and British forces in direct response to the September 11 attacks, saw a rise from very few before 2003 to 802 since then. In the Chechen conflict, the toll rose from 234 to 497. In the Kashmir region, as well as India and Pakistan, the total rose from 182 to 489, and in Europe from none to 297.
Isn't it time to admit TWAT (The War On Terror) is a failure?

Invading Iraq was a serious error in judgment, as it had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, yes Saddam was a horrible man but he was a dictator and a secular one at that, Bin Laden didn't like him and Saddam didn't like Bin Laden. There is terrorism there now but that was the result of the failures by the provisional authorities after the war, the dismissing of much of the state apparatus and the disbanding of the army, who were hungry, unpaid and had guns, there was the nucleus of the insurgency and now on top of an insurgency there is a civil war happening.

If the Bush Junta are really committed about dealing with terrorism, why don't they start with Pakistan? Specifically their border province of Waziristan, which shelters the former Taliban and Al Qaeda, a place where they can regroup, train and recruit new members. I recommend you check out this audio slideshow by Guardian reporter Declan Walsh.

The Bush Junta was so eager to invade Iraq and live out their Neocon fantasies that they neglected Afghanistan and now they are dreaming of bombing Iran, and how exactly is that tied into the 'war on terror' or dealing with Al Qaeda? I can't think of a rational reason, only to say that Iraq and possibly Iran is part of the divorcing from reality in the Bush Junta, their Neocon backers and their war cheerleaders. The Bush Junta so eager for glory cut corners, they did not try approaching this was a criminal matter, instead they have to dream up a war.

On top of this they have decided to make torture their key weapon in the 'War on Terror' thereby killing off whatever moral superiority they have (not that they started off with any), its sick the way torture has been condoned and those who support it are lower than pond scum.

Their stupidity, greediness and general laziness has cost lives and money.