Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2010 10:06 am
@msolga,
sorry, Olga - I'd just read something by D that made me loose it for a moment. Wasn't sure if I could keep it together - my question to you was a kind of reaction to that.
I'm not really sure what I was asking - maybe it's an unfair question, anyway.
But I get so ******* angry when I read posts (like about the community centre in New York) that want to overlook all the terrible **** that has happened to Muslim people in the middle east - and in the west.
Can you believe that a Muslim mother who died and whose children went to see her laid out (at a hospital here in England) found her body to be covered with strips of bacon? More and more I think about the Nazi attitude towards Jewish people back when.
In fact I think it is a bit of a joke that people are nervous about 'radical Muslims in America'
It's obvious to me that it is the Muslims who need to be afraid.

I'm not even sure that some people understand what has happened in Iraq.
I mean the extent of the damage done. Or why. Or how.

It's so frustrating.
Sometimes i get the feeling people are pretending not to understand.

I suppose what I'm asking is how to cope with the outrage Smile

Hey Olga - I have missed you
I hope you are doing okay and that life is treating you kind
all the best

(I'll be back)
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2010 10:14 am
@Endymion,
I've missed you around these parts, too, Endy. Smile

It is after 2 am & I'm kinda (actually very) zonked. I've just read what you've posted. I want to read it again when I'm much more alert. I hope that's OK.

You take care, Endy.
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2010 07:49 pm

http://stopwar.org.uk/images/stories/steve_bell_blair_book_signing.jpg


At Tony Blair's book launch in Dublin, we were given a preview of what was to come when hundreds of protesters turned up calling for justice. Eggs, shoes, flip-flops and other assorted footwear were thrown in his direction and one protester attempted a citizens arrest. You could say he was given the boot.

So Tony cancelled his book signing at Water stones in London, no doubt fearing a worse reception.

A part of the London protest was directed at Waterstones as a company (led by the writer Ian Banks), for offering to help Blair out - and as well as the crowd willing to show disapproval by peaceful demonstration, the rather creative face book page that was recommending people move his book from the autobiography section to elsewhere, had 8000 willing participants last I heard.
'A Journey' found it's way into such sections as 'crime' or 'fantasy and horror' in book shops across Britain.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs660.snc4/59995_1365067535762_1503846787_801480_5665727_n.jpg

When Blair announced that he was cancelling his book signing at Waterstones, he also announced that instead, he would be having a 'party' to celebrate his book – at the Tate Modern, later in the day.

Immediately, the writer Ian Banks was relieved, by none other than the artist Tracy Emin, who joined the protest at the Tate's willingness to pick up where Waterstones had left off. A case of out of the frying pan and into the fire, me thinks. (I know which of the two I would rather not have to deal with in Tony's shoes). Not only that, but art students and activists declared they would be holding a mass 'art' demonstration outside the Tate, including a gathering of national Blair Heads, complete with blood stained hands.
Remember the dead soldier's dad Peter Brierley who refused to shake Blair's hand, saying,'"Don't you dare. You have my son's blood on your hands."
I do. And so do many.
Anyway, it looked like Tony might end up making an 'exhibition' of himself at the Tate...

So he cancelled his 'party'.

Of course he says he didn't cancel for himself but for non-political guests who might be 'frightened' by the demo. He says he cancelled to save the police the trouble. He says he cancelled so as not to disturb the public. In fact, he says he cancelled for a lot of reasons, but me, I think it was because of Tracy....

http://stopwar.org.uk/images/stories/blair_bars_400.jpg


"My aim is still, that one day we will see Tony Blair in court for the crimes he committed.”

-Peter Brierley, whose son was killed in Iraq

*

“I still hold him responsible for the death of my son.”

-Rose Gentle, whose son was killed in Iraq

*

“ ... the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ...

More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile ... The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up ... a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again."

William Blum

*

"You've got to put in prison those who deserve to be there"
-Tony Blair, 6 September 2010

*

“On tour, you try to shove feelings of doubt to one side. But one day a comrade said, "Why are we here?" and the question hung around. Nobody seemed to know. I suppose all young soldiers are naive. The culture of the army is obedience, and you believe your government has your best interests at heart.
But when I returned home after seven months, I was determined not to be blind any more. I read about the history of the conflict and began to realise I had been duped. This wasn't a war about liberation, it was about strategic influence; about economics and mineral wealth.”

Joe Glenton – war veteran and one of 11,000 British troops who have gone AWOL since 2003
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2010 08:25 pm
@msolga,

hey Olga - thanks for letting me know
It's 3:22 here now - so I'm off to get some kip, too

Good to talk to you again
e
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2010 04:55 am


Picturing Pakistan


The photograph below was taken on Saturday 4th Sept, a month after the floods hit Pakistan.


http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00442/Saturday_-_Pakistan_442502s.jpg

An aerial view shows a flooded village in Rajanpur district of Pakistan's Punjab province. Flood waters threatened to engulf two towns in southern Pakistan on Saturday, a month after the disaster began, as the United Nations warned that tens of thousands of children risked death from malnutrition.


A collection of images taken over the last month



http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-122396-galleryV9-ormm.jpg




A Pakistani family stand on their farm compound surrounded by flood waters near Bachel in Sindh province. More than three weeks after the disaster, the full extent of the tragedy still remains unclear.


http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-121003-galleryV9-hfwt.jpg



This photo provided by the United Nations shows flooding near the city of Multan in Pakistan on August 15, 2010. "This has been a heart-wrenching day for me," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after seeing the devastation. "In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this."



http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-122968-galleryV9-pbdl.jpg




A boy tries to keep his food dry in a flooded area near Basira village in Punjab. We are dealing with a "slow-motion tsunami," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a dramatic appeal in New York last Thursday.





http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-120402-galleryV9-xxma.jpg



A boy holds his sibling as flood victims wait on roadside for food handout from motorists in Pakistan's Punjab province on August 11. Due to the massive scale of the disaster, many victims have received no assistance.






http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-120758-galleryV9-dclg.jpg



Rivers, swollen by monsoon rains, have flooded into mountain valleys and agricultural plains, killing an estimated 1,500 people and leaving about 2 million homeless. This view from a Pakistan Army helicopter on an aid mission on August 14, 2010. The county's agricultural heartland -- including rice, corn and wheat fields -- have been devastated by the floods.





http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-120997-galleryV9-lvtv.jpg



A relief camp for flood victims near Dera Alayar, Pakistan. While local charities and international agencies have helped hundreds of thousands of people with food, water, shelter and medical treatment, the scale of the disaster has meant that many millions have received little or no assistance. The UN has voiced fears that disease in overcrowded and unsanitary relief camps may yet cause more deaths.




http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-120981-galleryV9-caul.jpg




http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-121224-galleryV9-otdh.jpg




An elderly man with his handicapped son in Mingora. The two lost their home in the floods and are now reduced to begging for a few rupees.



http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-121100-galleryV9-zylr.jpg




Hundreds of bridges in Pakistan, including this one over the Swat River, have been destroyed by the flooding.


http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-120756-galleryV9-iijr.jpg



http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/8/9/1281358900959/Pakistani-villagers-chase-011.jpg




http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/8/9/1281358893191/A-family-takes-refuge-whi-004.jpg


http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00428/pakist2_428000t.jpg



http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pixies/2010/9/5/1283720334540/Children-at-a-roadside-sh-006.jpg


Quote:

"Up to 3.5 million children are at high risk of deadly water-borne diseases"

Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)




0 Replies
 
mushypancakes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 12:39 pm
Thinking of you, Endy.
I knew you'd be posting about the tragedy in Pakistan. I hope a lot of people see your thread. More people need to see it.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:13 am
@Endymion,
I notice Tony Blair's book is in the fantasy & horror section of that book display, Endy. Most appropriate! Wink
I saw an interview with him publicizing his book on the ABC last week. Still rattling away about "no regrets", " the right decision at the time", WMDs, etc, etc, etc ....
No wonder the British despise him so much!
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 10:29 am
@mushypancakes,
mushypancakes wrote:

Thinking of you, Endy.
I knew you'd be posting about the tragedy in Pakistan. I hope a lot of people see your thread. More people need to see it.


Many readers follow this thread, but, in my case at least, words don't come easily. The matter presented is self revelatory.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 01:11 pm
@Endymion,


...Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre is to close

http://www.hmg.gov.uk/epetition-responses/petition-view.aspx?epref=NoChildDetention#detail
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 01:12 pm
@Endymion,
Endymion wrote:

When you care about human rights and you worry about the way humanity is going, it is easy to feel paralysed by events.
It's too easy to get lost in all the political bull-****.
To think, ' What's the ******* point, trying, hoping?'


Just want you to know. I'm not giving up this thread yet.



me neither...

x
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 01:32 pm
But what can we do Endy? Our thoughts and sweet phrases are no use to those people. The pictures of them disturb everybody except maybe a few nutcases. They are heart-breaking.

No other culture ever came to the aid of distressed peoples anywhere near what we have done. And we all know more needs to be done. And we have to keep in shape ourselves to be able to do more. That's what Dylan reminded the world of in his brave Live Aid speech.

I hope your pictures have a lasting effect and are seen by a lot of people.

Did you see that bloke trying to wash the red sludge off that big furry dog in Hungary with a hosepipe?

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2010 05:17 pm
This may have been posted before, sorry, I don't always follow, but here is where I first read about Assange; I think it is a useful article -

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/06/07/100607fa_fact_khatchadourian
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 06:16 am
@mushypancakes,

Hi mushypancakes - i don't know if you are still around after all this time, but I was thinking of you when i posted this

Happy Christmas
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 06:18 am

Thank you all for your posts- wishing you all a happy Christmas

0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 06:24 am
http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00513/london-confront_513205s.jpg


http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00513/london-fence_513202s.jpg

Parliament Square

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00513/london-barrier3_513208s.jpg



http://blogs.independent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/jodymcintyre1-300x204.jpg
A screen grab from the YouTube video showing Jody McIntyre being dragged from his wheelchair at the fees protests (see video below)


When I watched the film footage of Jody McIntyre, a disabled protester, being tipped from his wheel chair and dragged helplessly across the road by the police, I was disgusted and ashamed.

full footage


(WARNING strong language)


But the story didn't end there.

Later, I watched him (via recorded youtube) being interviewed on the BBC by Ben Brown.

If you think the footage of the police action against Jody McIntyre, a 20 year old activist with cerebral palsy was offensive (and worrying) – check out this BBC interview with him:



Totally shameful.

The worst piece of broadcasting I've ever seen by the BBC.

So, I complained.

Later, the BBC put out this statement by blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/12/interview_with_jody_mcintyre.html

Again, utterly shameful.

Kevin B for the BBC wrote:
I am aware that there is a web campaign encouraging people to complain to the BBC about the interview, the broad charge being that Ben Brown was too challenging in it.


This is rubbish – people (And there have been over a thousand on the BBC blog alone) are not complaining about Brown being too challenging – Hell, Jody McIntyre had every reason to be shaken up by Browns sneering contempt, the interruptions, the insensitive questioning - but the lad ran rings around the mean-minded, git. What people are complaining about are the BBC's standards, ethics, morals, and cowardice.

In addition, although the BBC has refused to say how many official complaints they have had, twitter have announced the number to be at least 5000



But the story of Jody McIntyre doesn't end there.

He had an article in the Independent, in which he wrote about The Daily Mail depiction of him as 'Andy' from Little Britain. He says:

Jody McIntyre wrote:


…..that over 500 people have already complained about Richard Littlejohn’s depiction of me as Andy from Little Britain (I don’t wear vests for a start), shows whose side the public are on when it comes to what’s acceptable where mocking disability is concerned.

(Taken from Jody McIntyre : Who’s apathetic now?
http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2010/12/15/jody-mcintyre-who%E2%80%99s-apathetic-now/


Also

Jody McIntyre wrote:
To those who believe I should just ‘take it’, I have taken it but I still don’t believe being dragged out of your wheelchair is an acceptable consequence of attending a demonstration against rising tuition fees.


Jody McIntyre wrote:
I would not attend a demonstration without having a basic understanding of the issue at hand. To those trying to veil a three hundred percent increase in tuition fees and the abolition of the EMA (educational maintenance allowance) as a progressive measure, it’s deceitful and dishonest. It is the EMA that keeps students like my 16-year-old brother in college. Let the crumbling coalition government desperately clutch for straws of support but they’ll find them few and far between.
As a result of events on the 9th December I will be pursuing legal action against the police. But I do not because I see myself as a victim. The real victims are the likes of Alfie Meadows who was hospitalised as a result of his injuries.


He's right, Let's not forget Alfie Meadows, 20, treated for bleeding on the brain after being allegedly struck with a police baton in an incident which has been referred to IPCC

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/student-operation-tuition-fees-protest


Alfie (who is recovering) also experienced an 'insult added to injury' moment.

Guardian wrote:
Police officers 'tried to stop hospital staff treating injured protester'

The mother of 20-year-old Alfie Meadows, who required brain surgery after allegedly being hit by a police truncheon, claimed that when her son was taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital officers objected to him being treated there.

Susan Matthews, 55, said that only the intervention of an ambulance worker allowed her son to receive urgent medical treatment for the stroke he suffered after receiving his injury. "If he hadn't, Alfie would have been transferred and he could have died," she said.

After allegedly being hit by police, the philosophy student fell unconscious and later sustained bleeding on the brain.

His mother added: "The ambulance man took us to Chelsea and Westminster hospital. That [hospital] had been given over to police injuries and there was a standoff in the corridor. Alfie was obviously a protester and the police didn't want him there, but the ambulance man insisted that he stayed."

She said that he was then asked to take Alfie to another hospital. "The ambulance man was appalled and he said: 'I'm getting angry now, and I'm not going to do this.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/12/police-injured-protester-hospital


*

Student protests: Met under fire for charging at demonstrators

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/26/student-protests-police-under-fire?intcmp=239


Follow students from Birmingham university and Westminster Kingsway college as they take to the streets in central London to protest against tuition fee rises and are kettled in Parliament Square

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/video/2010/dec/10/student-fees-protest-london-video




****************************************************************


and at last -


Quote:
Jody McIntyre: 'Why is it so suprising that the police dragged me from my wheelchair?'

The sight of a man allegedly being dragged out of his wheelchair at last week's protests was shocking to many. Not to Jody McIntyre himself


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/15/jody-mcintyre-protester-dragged-from-wheelchair


Well worth a read and good luck to him.




More......









But hey – I try to look on the bright side. Mark Steel helps:

[b wrote:
Mark Steel: A clear case of attack by wheelchair[/b]]

Presumably the police turned to each other in shock, spluttering: "Oh my God, he's rolling straight for us. These riot shields and helmets with visors offer woefully inadequate protection against such a persistent rolling machine. If we're lucky our batons can buy us some time, but his momentum is terrifying, it's like a cerebral palsy tsunami."
Maybe this is how to win in Afghanistan. We recruit a multiple sclerosis battalion to roll mercilessly through Helmand province and the Taliban will run away shrieking in fear.
Even as they showed the film on the news, Ben Brown said it "appeared to show Mr Mcintyre being pulled from his wheelchair", with a lingering ambiguous "appeared", as if he was going to add: "but it turned out to be a stunt staged by Derren Brown. We were misled by the power of suggestion, and when you look more closely you can see it's a butterfly landing on a petal."
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-a-clear-case-of-attack-by-wheelchair-2160454.html



Footage shows protester dragged from wheelchair

Criticism grows as police admit to talks over use of water cannons


By Michael Savage and Nigel Morris

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/footage-shows-protester-dragged-from-wheelchair-2159570.html


Just want to say – I heard Mr Assange's lawyer described this country's attitude towards his client as 'Orwellian'

– After being a witness to Jody McIntyre's treatment, by the media as well as the police, And the treatment of Alfie Meadows, who could easily have died - I must admit – it's looking more ominous.

But let's not forget the 500 people who complained to the The daily Mail, the 5000 who have complained to the BBC, the 500 (now over a thousand) commenters on the BBC blog, the hundreds on the guardian and Independent articles and those who have written to their MPs to complain about the Police's actions, not just in Jody McIntyre's case, but over the course of these demonstrations so far.
Oh, and one Ambulance driver, who saved Alfie Meadow's life by standing up for what's right.

I'm not saying all the students on the demonstration were behaved. No more than all the police were. But however we slap it together, we all know these students were stitched up. Nick Clegg promised, he signed a pledge to the students that if they put him in power he would NEVER vote to raise the fees. He said it was time to build some trust. And so they trusted him. They voted him into power and just look how he has betrayed them.

This isn't going to go away.

I hear some people say – well, those kids were naïve if they trusted him.
Were they? So why did the people around them who knew that it was all lies say nothing?

Quote:
Revealed: Lib Dems planned before election to abandon tuition fees pledge

Exclusive: Documents show Nick Clegg's public claim was at odds with secret decision made by party in March

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/11/12/1289592932983/Nick-Clegg-holds-up-the-p-006.jpg

In addition to the party's manifesto pledge, Nick Clegg signed an NUS pledge in April to vote against any increase in tuition fees. Photograph: NUS press office

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/lib-dems-tuition-fees-clegg


Are students meant to be inspired?

Seeing Jody being pulled from his wheelchair and dragged across the road, made me very angry.
When a person witnesses a David verses Goliath moment like that, it hits hard because of the symbolism of it. Perhaps we are seeing the first stirrings of revolution.

http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/dynamic/00513/london-churchill_513223s.jpg

Not a bloody revolution where riot police get to play polo with kid's heads, but something radically different. A revolution of the mind. Because we are learning aren't we? We're getting a different kind of education. We're discovering exactly what it is the media and the politicians and the big, mega-rich companies can not give us, because they can't even imagine it. The thing we need now, more than anything. Hope.

Well, we'll just have to look else where for that.



Thanks for reading this.

Peace
endy

(a partially disabled, life long Lib-Dem supporter, who wants his bloody vote back)
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 08:08 am
http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00477/cartoon201010_477761a.jpg



Government Cuts



There will be cuts they say
Who decides where to slice?
A person can be 'disabled' in strange ways
Including being left to rot
On a monthly scrap
True

Work or go without they shout
But some denied
Incapable of fighting back
Will fall
Let's not pretend
There will be no suicides

I'm not exactly surprised
Only stunned by how much it matters
Pride is oddly skin deep
Scars can be dug into or smoothed over
Filed on their database as a number

And no matter what
You may have given
Or what more they may decide to take
When we are as children punished
Patronised
Rubbished

Hey -

Don't be discouraged by their wrist action
Their pin-striped scalpel of politics
You are used to feeling stung, remember?
It takes courage to admit your limitations
It takes bravery to choose to live

While the rich elites gather to discuss
Which of us to cut up
May I respectfully suggest...
No matter where you cast your vote
You keep your chin up
And guard your throat





Endymion 2010
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  3  
Reply Fri 24 Dec, 2010 07:04 pm
WikiLeaks cable reveals secret pledge to protect US at Iraq inquiry

Ministry of Defence told US that UK had 'put measures in place' to protect American interests during Chilcot inquiry

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-chilcot-iraq-war-inquiry

So now we know. For sure.
I've no doubt that there will be someone telling me I must have been an idiot not to know.
And the truth is that deep down I knew it, but there is this stubborn ******* part of me that insists on believing that my elders and betters- those who are handed positions of power and responsibility, those who are given the honour and privilege of governing and representing their country, will, at the end of the day, do the right thing by their countrymen.


Remembering The Chilcot Inquiry

Reg Keys wrote:


As it was coming to an end, I was beginning to feel numb. Six-and-a-half years have taken away the passion of the anger, and I have become pragmatic and resigned to the fact that Blair will walk through all this Iraq controversy with impunity. Iraq had taken on the context of a runaway train, and no one seemed able to stop it. At the end of the session, Sir John Iraq War Inquiry asked Blair whether he had anything else to add, his sharp reply of "No" was followed by Iraq War Inquiry asking: "Do you have any regrets, Mr Blair?" After a few rambling sentences, Blair said: "No. No regrets."

At this stage, some members of the public could contain themselves no longer. One man stood up and shouted: "Come on, Mr Blair, there must be one regret." Two bereaved mothers broke down in tears; another man shouted: "Surely, Blair, you regret the death toll?" This was the only time during the whole day that I became emotional: seeing the two mothers crumple into the arms of relatives, sobbing; seeing Tony Blair stride out with arrogance, without even a glance at the hurt he had caused. He left the room to the strains of one man shouting, "Murdering bastard Blair!" I noticed Iraq War Inquiry, as he left the room with the other members of the committee, look and take note of Theresa Evans, who was sobbing uncontrollably, clutching a little locket, bearing her son's photograph, the rose she had been wearing now lying crumpled on the floor. To my amazement, I had remained silent.

Home:

On the train home that evening, I regretted not speaking out as Blair left. I had prepared words, but the sight of the mothers breaking down choked me up and I could not find the voice. I wanted to say: "Blair, look at me! You are a pathetic excuse for a man. You have brought shame upon yourself and shame upon the armed forces. This isn't over yet."
Although I knew it was.


Reg Keys, whose son was killed in Iraq


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/31/reg-keys-blair-chilcot-iraq-inquiry



As if to add insult to misery, I heard that America recently gave Tony Blair the 'Liberty' (or was it the 'Freedom') medal.

<i wonder if there was a cigar with that?>

I thought at the time, I might never laugh again - but then I heard they were giving George Bush the 'Freedom' (or was it the Liberty) medal - and I discovered I was wrong.

Anyway, perhaps you may know the kind of laugh I'm talking about. It's the kind that leaves you cold. Thinking about the war on 'terror' that continues daily, across expanding territories, with rising death tolls, despite now being longer than both WWI and WWII combined.

(Is it just me who has to pinch myself)

I already knew, as anyone with more than half an ounce of sense knew, that the inquiry was not going to touch Tony Blair. He and George Bush conspired to engage in an aggressive war against a sovereign country who thought we were their friend. They hanged a tyrant and replaced him with a multitude of tyrants, many of them domestic. And, like so many heads of state, our leaders have become (seemingly) untouchable. They can steal from the poor to empower the rich. They can put whoever they choose in prison indefinitely, order assassinations, destroy whole villages, weapons- test their ever-more-powerful tools of war on defenceless citizens and turn their backs on rape, torture, murder and injustice – and get away with it. They can put in place a fascist state that keeps their own country's citizens dumbed down, afraid, paranoid and compliant. They can make up rules as they go. Feed their propaganda through the media - even change the law to suit them. But one thing they can't do is bury history. They can propagandise it, twist it, hide it, ridicule its 'old fashioned' naivety, for sure - but that still won't be enough to erase what is written in the blood of those who have suffered and died before us.


Quote:
To initiate a war of aggression...is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
Nuremburg War Tribunal



I can't argue with that.


*

UPDATE

Tony Blair and Jack Straw recalled to Chilcot inquiry

Tony Blair has been recalled to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war to clarify his evidence.

The Telegraph wrote:
”The Chilcot committee has also been studying the 400,000 secret documents on the conduct of the war published last month by WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website.”


For anyone not sure what the leaks are exactly:

Der Spiegel wrote:
The confidential dispatches begin with a cable from Dec. 28, 1966 and end on Feb. 28, 2010. They include situational reports from US Embassies across the globe sent to Washington. Some are also instructions from the State Department sent to its overseas posts. Most of them are from the administration of US President George W. Bush and from the beginning of the presidency of his successor, Barack Obama.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,731645,00.html
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Dec, 2010 06:48 am
http://www.antiwar.com/photos/christmastruces.jpg

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-christmas-truce-when-the-guns-fell-silent-520598.html


Johann Hari: The under-appreciated heroes of 2010

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-underappreciated-heroes-of-2010-2168227.html
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Endymion
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Dec, 2010 12:45 pm
How to cut tuition fees

Charlie Brooker



You can't put a price on a good education. Except, actually, you can – and it turns out that price is just over £9,000 a year.

Unsurprisingly many students are furious at the hike in tuition fees; but apart from shouting about it or trying to smash the Treasury to bits with sticks, what practical steps can we take to make education more affordable?

Nine thousand pounds a year sounds like a lot – but actually, it's shitloads. Yet it turns out that if you divide shitloads by 52, it comes out at around £173 a week, which sounds more achievable. Especially if your course only lasts seven days. So let's only provide week-long courses.

Obviously, to compress a three-year course into one week, the field of study will have to be streamlined a bit. Whittled down. Reduced to a series of bullet points. But in many cases, that's an advantage.

Take history. There's already far too much of it. In fact, mankind is generating a "past mountain", which grows 24 hours in size every single day. No one can be expected to keep all of that in their head. There simply isn't room. Even award-winning historians will be lost for words if you unexpectedly leap out in front of them and demand they list everything that happened on, say, 6 July 1919, before the special quiz music ends, especially if they thought they were alone in the house.

So instead of studying the whole of human history, why not focus on a concentrated period, such as the most exciting five minutes of the second world war? That way you just get the fun bits with the machine guns and everything, and there's none of that boring exploration of the "consequences" or the "causes" or "how we can stop it happening again". The philosopher George Santayana famously remarked that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. But if you have forgotten history, you won't know you're repeating it – so it won't matter. And you won't have heard of George Santayana, either. Which is just as well, because, to be honest, he sounds like a bit of a smart arse.

Likewise, when it comes to studying politics, let's not waste time examining both sides of an argument – that's just confusing. Instead of learning the pros and cons of say, slavery, why not just learn the pros? Not only is it far quicker, but you actually stand more chance of getting a job when you graduate, perhaps as a feisty TV news pundit or Daily Express columnist. Or as the owner of a cotton plantation.

Speaking of careers, there are far too many courses with no clear vocational goal. If you're not studying with a view to ensuring your future prosperity, why, precisely, are you bothering to read the Decameron? For the cultural benefit of all mankind? Look around you. Culture's doing just fine without your help. We've got everything we need – from cage-fighting at the lowbrow end of the spectrum through to the dizzy heights of James Cameron's Avatar right up at the top. There's something for everyone.

Rather than providing frivolous courses in artsy-fartsy-thinky-winky subjects with no obvious revenue stream, our educational institutions could save a lot of time and unnecessary expense by only providing courses that train students for jobs we're definitely going to need in the brilliant future we're steadily carving for ourselves. What's the point in learning botany? We all know there won't be plantlife. Apart from maybe the odd triffid, or whatever sort of moss can withstand a dirty bomb. So why bother learning about it? There's no money to be made.

Instead, let's focus on giving young people the skills society will be crying out for in the years or months to come. Practical vocations such as water-cannon operator, wasteland scavenger, penguin coffin logger, Thunderdome umpire, dissident strangler, henchperson and pie ingredient.

Come to think of it, even those courses are going to be costly, and the eventual wages so insultingly low it'll take them three lifetimes to repay the loans. They can make up some of the shortfall by taking part in medical experiments, fellating ministers or breeding offspring for food, but the chances are that the big society will never recoup the funds it lent to these little people.

Which leaves us one final option. Let's simply give up. You know, as a species. Put an end to this weird "progress" experiment we've all been taking part in and actively revert to the level of farmyard animals. They look happy, don't they, with their tails and their mud? Let's join them.

Starting tomorrow, let's stop bothering to learn or teach anything. Within months the whole world will be far simpler for all concerned. We can issue the next generation with a few basic instructions, some warm clothes and toilet paper, and leave them to it.

Eventually society will regress to the point where there are only two words – "boh" (meaning good) and "bah" (meaning bad). Everything will be either bah or boh; we'll shuffle around bah-ing or boh-ing, chewing the cud or eating the vitamin rusks they occasionally fire in our direction from the turrets on their trucks. And everyone will be happy. Or ignorant. Or both.

Merry Christmas.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/20/charlie-brooker-how-cut-tuition-fees
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  3  
Reply Wed 19 Jan, 2011 12:20 am
Vatican Warned Irish Bishops Not to Report Abuse


DUBLIN (AP) — A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims' groups described as "the smoking gun" needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.

The newly revealed letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican's rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland's first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.

The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church's right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/18/world/europe/AP-EU-Ireland-Catholic-Abuse.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

i'd better not comment on this one

well covered by the NYTimes
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