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

My Photo
Location: Devizes, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Opera Blogging

Götterdämmerung, act two

Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (Bayreuth 1976, recorded 1980)

Manfred Jung as Siegfried, Fritz Hübner as Hagen. Conducted by Pierre Boulez, directed by Patrice Chéreau. Hagen is calling people of Gibichungs to wellcome Gunther und Brünnhilde.

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Monday, July 30, 2007


Iran attacks U.S. plans for Saudi arms deal
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the United States on Monday of seeking to create fear and divisions in the Middle East after reports Washington was readying major arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

A U.S. defence official said in Washington on Saturday the package could be worth some $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Washington is striving to assure its Gulf allies concerned by the growing strength of Shi'ite Muslim Iran and the war in Iraq that it is committed to the region and will stand by them, with arms sales being part of that process, U.S. officials say.

Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said the United States was trying to "create a fake arms race in order to make their big arms companies survive", the official IRNA news agency reported.
Fablous, an arms race in the Middle East, just what the area needs.

Curious state of affairs though considering that Saudi Arabia are believed to be funding the Sunni insurgents in Iraq to combat the rising power of the Shiites there, yet the US is giving them a $20 billion arms deal to a country run by the biggest bunch of crooks in the Middle East, a country which treats it women like shit, a batshit insane religious police and really awful human rights abuses.

This just goes to show what bullshit it is when the Bush Junta and their Neocon fuckheads are when they go on about 'democracy on the march', they don't care about the ordinary people of the Middle East, they are quiet happy to call Arab countries which serve their purpose 'moderate' like Saudi Arabia and Egypt but god forbid you step out of line, your branded a 'rogue nation'.

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More 'Success' to Chalk up to the Bush Junta

8 Million Iraqis in Immediate Need
New Oxfam Report Appeals to Global Community for Help
According to the report, more than eight million Iraqis are in desperate need of immediate humanitarian assistance:

* Four million Iraqis – 15% - regularly cannot buy enough to eat.

* 70% are without adequate water supplies, compared to 50% in 2003.

* 80% do not have access to proper sanitation.

* 43% live on less than a dollar a day.

* 28% of children are malnourished, compared to 19% before the 2003 invasion.

* 92% of Iraqi children suffer learning problems, mostly due to the climate of fear.

* 90% of the country's hospitals lack basic medical supplies.

* More than 15% are either internally or externally displaced.

As a result of the lack of adequate nutrition or clean water, resulting illnesses, particularly diarrhoeal diseases, have been on the rise.
This is the result of not planning or even thinking about the aftermath of a military invasion, and still the war supporters contiue to claim that Iraq is a country full of painted schools, what a delusion that proved to be and continues to be for them. To even point out what a clusterfuck Iraq is, opens you up to abuse, of being called a 'terrorist sympathies' or an 'islamocommiefascist', their depth of denial and ignorance continues to appall me.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Positive News

The Muslim community has rallied round to donate more than 20,000 bottles of water to flood-hit areas.

Mosques in Leicester raised more than £5,000 after Friday prayers yesterday to help those caught up in the disaster.

They also organised transport and donations of bottled water to people in Gloucestershire, which has been worst hit by the recent flooding.

A truck filled with half-litre bottles of water - donated by a Leicester businessman - was due to set off this afternoon.

Gloucestershire police will escort the lorry to where the need for water is most desperate.

The 21,000 bottles were packed through the day yesterday outside Evington Road Mosque.

The first load of water has been donated by a city cash and carry, which wished to remain anonymous.

The £5,000 raised will pay for at least one more truck-load of bottles to be sent next week.
Don't expect that news story to appear on LGF or be reported by batshit insane Melanie Philips.

For them and their ilk is so hard to comprehend that not all Muslims are after them, nor that they are taking over Europe and the UK.

h/t Fair Deal Phil

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging



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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Music Video Blogging

Bjork - Human Behavior

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Shahrastani: No Legal Oil Unions in Iraq

Unions Object to Draft Hydrocarbons Law, Call for Shahrastani's Resignation
WASHINGTON, DC (UPI) -- Iraq's oil minister said Iraq's oil unions are not legitimate and have no more standing in the debate over the oil law than an ordinary citizen.

"There are no legal unions in Iraq," Hussein al-Shahristani said Wednesday in response to a question about various factions' positions on the controversial oil law. "Those people who call themselves representatives of the oil workers have not been elected to the position."

Shahristani spoke to UPI by phone from Baghdad.

The lone remaining law from the Saddam Hussein regime kept by U.S. occupying powers and the successive Iraqi government is the one that bans worker organizing in the public sector.
It is a certainty that the oil companies operating in Iraq insisted that workers be prevented from forming unions.

So lets tally up the 'successes' of the Bush Junta's foray into Iraq
  • declining rights for women
  • sectarian violence
  • near slave labour
  • banning unions
  • little or no infrastructure
  • a mountain of bodies which would make Tamlerlane blush
  • massive displacement of Iraqi refugees

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mid Week Cat Blogging

George and Heidi making the most of the sun we had yesterday.

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Book Review

I really liked it, interesting twist, glad she didn't go for the obvious. Much more adult than her earlier books, mature themes, finished off the series in a marvelous way. Excellent allegories and themes throughout the book. It is pleasing to see youngster's getting enthusiastic about a series of books, and hopefully this will encourage them to read other novels.

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Music Video Blogging

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

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Despite Crackdown, Labor Abuses Persist

Low-Wage Workers on US-Funded Projects in Iraq Endure Dismal Conditions
Despite US measures designed to halt labor abuses perpetrated by contractors working on US-funded projects in Iraq, anecdotal evidence indicates serious problems persist.

American civilian sources working at military camps report low-wage contracted laborers having limited access to medical care, crowded and decrepit living quarters, and questionable food. Some were reportedly tricked into working in Iraq, and accounts of contractors holding employees' passports continue, despite an April 2006 order from the US military specifically barring the practices.
One worker suffering from diarrhea and vomiting was reportedly told the condition couldn’t be too severe since the employee had worked all day before reporting it. The doctor told the worker to “deal with it or go back” to Sri Lanka. “I asked one if he had any paperwork and he had none,” the contractor said.

Describing a photograph of the typical meal of mostly rice with a side of slop served to low-wage contract workers, the contractor commented: “This picture is of their food today. This is apparently a good day (with) double the usual meat portions.... The days are hit-and-miss whether they get vegetables.”
Hows that for progress! near slave labour, war cheerleaders don't concern themseleves with abuse of workers. 19th century imperialism is alive and well in Bush Junta's Iraq.

The occupation of Iraq has seen deteriorating conditions for women there as the conservative fundamentalists elements take over, its ironic how the invasion of Iraq has probably set womens rights there back 20, 30 years. Chalk it up another 'success' for those who argued for war.

Women Increasingly Targeted for Violence

Rights Activists, Aid Workers Victims of Conservative Religious Mores
BAGHDAD, 24 July 2007 (IRIN) - Haifaa Nour, 33-year-old president of the Women’s Freedom Organisation (WFO), one of the few women’s rights organisations in Iraq, said the threatening letters she had recently been receiving would not deter her from her job, even if it cost her her life. However, she acknowledged that for a woman activist the risks of doing humanitarian work were increasing daily.

“After the US-led invasion in 2003, women’s rights were well recognised... but unfortunately in the past two years our situation has deteriorated and the targeting of activists and women aid workers has increased, forcing dozens to give up their jobs,” Haifaa said.

“I know my life is under threat and I might be killed at any time especially for refusing to wear a veil or other traditional clothes, but if I do so, I will just be abetting the extremists,” she said.
They neither cared for the welfare of workers nor womens rights, all they wanted was to live out their computer game fantasies, fulfill their bloodlust and fill their coffers. It beggars belief that the Bush Junta and their Neocon tossers did not plan for the after effects of the invasion, instead having a deluded vision of Iraqs tossing flowers and hugging them, instead it is IEDs and car bombs.

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Few Muslims 'back suicide bombs'
Support for suicide bombings against civilians has fallen sharply across the Muslim world since 2002, a major survey has suggested.

However, 70% of Palestinians interviewed said they believed such attacks were sometimes justifiable.

The Global Opinion Trends survey, by the US-based Pew Research Centre, polled 45,000 people in 47 countries.

It also found widespread optimism in poor countries that the next generation will enjoy better lives.

And it suggested that people viewed the US as the most friendly country in the world and the most feared.
Can we now stop demonising and lumping all Muslims together? This poll clearly show that even amongst what appears to be a monolithic bloc there is a diversity of opinion, fluctuating views, just like in any community.

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Civil Liberties

The Australia connection

Mohammed Haneef is being held in a Brisbane jail for alleged involvement in the attempted car bombings in Britain last month. But does the evidence against the 27-year-old doctor stack up? By Barbara McMahon
In a photograph taken a few months ago on the golden sands of Surfer's Paradise in Queensland, Australia, Mohammed Haneef is shown smiling, with a protective arm around his young pregnant wife. The 27-year-old had recently left behind the grey skies of Britain, where he had been working as a junior doctor, for a job with better prospects at a hospital on the sunshine-soaked Gold Coast - and he looks like a young man with plenty to look forward to.

Today, any hopes Haneef may have had for the future are in tatters. In the wake of the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow last month, the Indian-born Muslim doctor - described by colleagues as "quiet and hardworking" - has been charged with supporting a terrorist organisation. A picture of him hunched in the back of a van, shoeless and wearing a prison jumpsuit, has been on the front page of every Australian newspaper, and he is now in jail, in solitary confinement. Despite the evidence against him being, at least on the face of it, weak and circumstantial, he is due to stand trial, and is almost certain to be deported whatever the outcome.
Absolutely appalling behaviour from the Australian government. Its beyond my understanding how anyone could treat a fellow human being this way.

Smith defends new counter-terror package

· Home secretary tells MPs 28-day limit is not enough
· Plan to permit post-charge questioning of suspects
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, yesterday presented the first detailed evidence to MPs for the case to go beyond the 28-day limit for holding terror suspects without charge.

Ms Smith made clear that today's counter-terrorism measures to be outlined by Gordon Brown will contain a detailed analysis of why new powers are needed 18 months after MPs last settled the issue.

Earlier this year the former home secretary, John Reid, said he had yet to see evidence from the police that it was necessary to extend the limit on how long police could hold suspects in detention without charge. The deeply contentious issue led to the first Commons defeat for Tony Blair when he attempted to extend the limit to 90 days in November 2005.
This is all about political posturing, the government is trying to look tough. Its quite amazing, even during the height of the IRA bombing campaign no anti terror laws like this were put in place. The bomb makers aren't even very good. I knew all a long that the government would push this, the failed bombings gives them an excuse. This 90 days detention policy was already soundly defeated in 2005, but they keep pushing it, its obtuse behaviour from the British government.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007


Supermarkets selling cheap booze to young drinkers face Brown's iron fist
A crackdown on supermarkets that sell cheap drink to young people is being considered by Gordon Brown as he decides how to tackle Britain's burgeoning binge-drinking culture. Experts have told Downing Street that the easy availability of super-strength lager and cider lies behind the rise in alcohol-fulled violence and the epidemic of related health problems, such as liver disease.

There is growing evidence that many young drinkers are consuming cheap alcohol at home before going out at night into bars and clubs, where prices can be three times as high. Around half of all Britain's drink sales are made at the six major supermarkets, where drink is often heavily discounted in order to encourage shoppers into the stores.
Every decade teenage drinking is suddenly hit upon as a 'new menace' when its been going on for years.

I was flabbergasted earlier this year when the government suggested parents who give their children alcohol should be fined and locked up, I mean surely its better for parents to teach their kids responsible drinking? Europeans have a much better relationship to alcohol than the British because at a young age they are taught responsibility.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Really good film, didn't drag and Dolores Umbridge was the scariest character in the whole movie, I mean seriously shivers down spine. Imelda Staunton portrayed Umbridge as a cross between her Vera Drake character and a sociopath I mean she was really evil, the evil which wears pink and is fluffy, was very close to the book.


Iraq and the British Army

UK troop reserves 'almost gone'
The head of the Army has warned that British troops are so stretched that the nation's military reserves are "almost non-existent".

In the memo, leaked to the Daily Telegraph, General Sir Richard Dannatt said the Army was undermanned because of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He also said vital equipment was being used "at the edge of sustainability".

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the forces were working hard but the current situation was "manageable".

General Dannatt also said the Army has "almost no capability to react to the unexpected".
Britain isn't leaving Iraq because of the politics, a lack of will amongst politicians and no doubt they are freaked out about somehow damaging their influence with America.

To every other person it makes sense to get out of there as soon as possible. All British troops are doing is remaining in their bases, not doing anything of consequence.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Opera Blogging

Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (Bayreuth, 1983)

Tristan - René Kollo, Isolde- Johanna Meier

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Friday Fun

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

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Cash for Honours

Blair welcomes decision not to bring charges
Tony Blair today said he was "very pleased" no one would face charges after the cash-for-honours inquiry.

The former prime minister, who was questioned three times by detectives as a witness, said that all those involved had been put through a "terrible, even traumatic, time".

He also defended the police, accusing the Scottish National party of putting them "in an invidious position" by making the original complaint.

In a statement, Mr Blair said: "This investigation has ended as I always expected it would. Those involved have been through a terrible, even traumatic, time.
This doesn't mean they are innocent, just means there was not enough evidence.

There was no direct evidence because it was a nod nod wink wink deal, you know a case of 'I can't promise you anything but...', this has been going on for years.

I think the British police were aiming to humiliate the government, or at least knock it down a peg or two.

It will make the government think twice before handing out peerages.

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Friday Cat Blogging

The cats in different places in the house

Heidi in the kitchen, hiding from the awful sucky weather we're currently experiencing here in Devizes (the little minx hates the weather when its cold and grey, she is every so grumpy and lets you know it!)

George on top of a cupboard in our garage (a favourite quiet spot)

Heidi snoozing upstairs on my bed

George relaxing

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Classical Music Blogging

Elgar's Cello Concerto

First Movement (Adagio - Moderato)

Cello: Jacqueline Du Pré
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Midweek Fun

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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The PPP/PFI Scam

Metronet calls in administrators
Metronet, the firm which maintains the bulk of the London Underground network, has called in the administrators amid serious financial problems.

Responsible for the upkeep of nine Tube lines, including the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central, Metronet was hired under a private-public financing initiative.

Following a cost over-run, Metronet said it was no longer able to meet its obligations without additional money.
Public-Private Partnerships are total scam, time and time again they have shown to not deliver what they promise, go overbudget and end up making its bosses very rich, not to mention their close relations with the government.

Londoners didn't want this for the tube but Brown, when he was Chancellor and his department pushed it through regardless (they didn't want to trust Mayor Ken Livingstone with it), they drew up a complicated contract (Brown does seem to enjoy creating byzantine policies) and those who warned against it have been proven correct.

Apparently they spent £5 million just drawing up the contracts, I mean bloody hell, all that money just for a piece of paper.

When PPP/PFI messes up, the taxpayers end up footing the bill. Its one huge swindle.

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George and Heidi enjoying a bit of sun

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Music Video Blogging

Groove Armada - Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday Cats

Heidi making most of the sun

George doing the same

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Civil Liberties

Half of terror suspects released
More than half of those arrested in the UK on suspicion of terrorism since September 2001 have been released without charge, according to figures.

Home Office statistics show 669 of the 1,228 people arrested in terrorist investigations were later freed.

Some 224 have been convicted in terrorism-related trials, with 114 awaiting trial.

More than 130 people have been charged under terrorism laws, while 195 were charged with other criminal offences.
Met given real time C-charge data
Police are to be given live access to London's congestion charge cameras - allowing them to track all vehicles entering and leaving the zone.

Anti-terror officers will be exempted from parts of the Data Protection Act to allow them to see the date, time and location of vehicles in real time.
Al-Qa'ida threat 'justifies new anti-terror laws'
Four thousand al-Qa'ida suspects and sympathisers are on M15's watchlist, the Home Office warned as it accelerated plans for new anti-terror legislation.

Ministers are actively considering a fresh attempt to extend the 28-day limit for which terrorist suspects can be held without charge because of the scale of the plots facing Britain.

Opposition parties and civil liberties groups warned the Government against using the terrorist threat as a justification for undermining human rights.

Lord West of Spithead, the Security minister, disclosed that police and security services were monitoring 2,000 suspects and a further 2,000 sympathisers. Two hundred suspected terrorist cells are being watched, of which 30 are thought to be gathering the material to launch an attack in the near future.
I just knew the failed bombings last month would lead to the government calling for more repressive anti terror laws which will make us much less safer, they were just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. Detaining a suspect for a unnamed amount of time seriously hurts relations with the Muslim community which hampers investigations. Its also wrong to hold someone for days and not telling them what they are charged with and denying them representation, its shameful behaviour from the government.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Graduation Day

My good friend Gemma and me before the ceremony

Me and my father

Me and my mother

Shaking hands with the Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University

More photos can be seen here

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Cats

George in one of his favourite places

Heidi the minx

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Ballet Blogging

Le Corsaire (music by Adolphe Adam)

Kirov Ballet, St Petersburg 1989

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Friday Cat Blogging



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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Music Video Blogging

Kanye West (I've seen him perform live!!!) - Stronger

Quite a cool tune, the video is a homage to Akira obviously and gotta respect the use of a brilliant Daft Punk track

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


End anti-marriage bias say Tories
Britain's tax and benefits system must lose its "anti-marriage bias" if the UK's "broken society" is to be fixed, Tory leader David Cameron has said.

He welcomed predecessor Iain Duncan Smith's social justice policy group report proposing 190 measures including tax breaks for some married couples.

He would not be "instantly picking and choosing" policies but wanted to hold a "serious debate" on the ideas.

Labour says the plans will discriminate against lone and unmarried parents.
Both Labour and the Tories have dug themseleves into a political hole because the way they have arrange benefits it is financially better for a couple to stay unmarried. An unmarried mother of two can get £400 in benefits, if she married her partner, he would then have to work many more hours to equal that

It has little to do with 'moral decline' or 'broken society', its all down to finances.

Further reading - Against tax breaks and policy gap

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Tuesday Cats

Heidi grabbing some wrapping ribbon

George mid washing, in a yoga pose

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Sunday, July 08, 2007


Many died instantly in the busy market, but others were trapped under the rubble of destroyed homes.

Deadly blasts hit Iraq
A suicide truck bomber has killed 23 Iraqi army recruits and wounded 27 others after he rammed into their vehicle while they were travelling on a road south of Baghdad, police and an army official said.

They said the incident on Sunday took place near the town of Haswa.

Two other blasts, nearly simultaneous car bombs, left at least eight people dead in Baghdad's Karrada district.

The twin car bombs struck around 10:30am (07:30GMT). The first exploded near a restaurant that was closed at the time.
You don't need to be a brain surgeon to realize that just because the bombing has been reduced in Baghdad, the insurgents are just going to bomb somewhere else less protected.

The US simply has not got enough troops to stop the insurgents transporting and setting off car bombs.

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Sunday Nature Blogging (Devizes)

The sun has actually made an appearance this weekend

Fluffy clouds and blue skies

A inhabitant of the Crammer

Swans and Ducks

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth

Live Earth gigs urge climate action
A series of concerts aimed at raising awareness of climate change are being held at nine venues across the world as part of the Live Earth day.

More than 100 of the biggest names in music are playing to crowds in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hamburg, London, Johannesburg, New York, Washington DC and Rio De Janeiro.

Organisers predict that live broadcasts on cable television and the internet could reach up to two billion people.

The televised events stretch to seven continents with a band of climate scientists playing at the British Antarctic Survey Station in Antarctica.
I am in two minds about Live Earth, on the one hand I think its a great way to raise awareness for the key issue of the 21st Century yet the other half is more cynical, what good will it really do? Will the people who attend it and watch carry its message forward? The music is not bad as well. I do think doing something is better than doing nothing.

Al Gore had the election stolen from him and he may of been perfect but he would of been better than George Bush and his Junta.

It has also stimulated debates round the blogosphere, a few I link here:

Chris Dillow - The Point of Live Earth

Craig Murray - Live Earth

David Osler - Al Gore and Live Earth

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging


Heidi sunning herself underneath the lamp (she is like a heat seeking missile)

George enjoying the sun

Heidi sitting next to the Qur'an

upstairs on my bed

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Friday Opera Blogging

Elizabeth Watts sings 'O mio babbino caro' from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2007

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Music Video Blogging

Dizzee Rascal - Old Skool

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cat Blogging For The Hell of It

Heidi and George resting after acting as a tag team and killing a mouse this morning

Heidi looking very pretty, the Nikon D40x really photographs her well, brings out her natural beauty

George looking handsome like he always does

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Monarchy

Watch the guards? That’ll be £10
The Queen may charge visitors £10 to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace as she ponders emergency measures to meet her repair bills.

The ceremony, whose origins date back to the Restoration in 1660, is one of the capital’s most famous free attractions, drawing 4,000 onlookers on a typical summer’s day.

The plan has been drawn up by senior royal aides after the government refused a request for an extra £1m a year to help fund urgent repairs to the crumbling palaces.
Brenda should pay out of her own goddamn pockets, can't believe she expects us the taxpayers to foot the bills for repairing Buckingham Palace. Its a sorry state of affairs that in the 21st century we still have an anachronistic thing like the monarchy, once upon a time there was a need for it, today its redundant its time has passed.

And can I just say, I don't care about Princess Diana's Death anniversary or the concert or her sons.

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A Close Up Photo of Gorgeous George (Taken with my Nikon D40x)

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