Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 10:00 pm
Hi Edgar - I've tried to reply to you before this but after several attempts I had to admit defeat.

On line again now (though I don't know for how long).

We are living in very 'interesting' times, aren't we?

Difficult times.

I see your signature is now Mr King - Smile

If you ever get around to reading The Tommyknockers (not one of his greatest books but I read it young) there is a guy in it – a drunk poet, who is my favourite SK character of all time. I get where he is coming from so badly that I go back to that dog-eared book again and again.

I think that is King's speciality. That he can make you love a character – despite the fact that they are a mess.

It has been weird without the internet, as I don't have television. But over the last few days, instead of getting frustrated and pissed off about it, I got down to some work – so there was an up side.

Good to see you, edgar - take care, mate - I think there are some difficult times ahead.

0 Replies
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2011 12:32 am
What to Do About the Mad Colonel

By Eugene Robinson

President Obama pledged that “the entire world is watching” the horror in Libya, but watching isn’t nearly enough. There is much more that world leaders—beginning with Obama—urgently must say and do.

The world’s censure means nothing to Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the dictator who vows to die rather than surrender the power he has held for four decades. At this point, the long-running debate about whether Gadhafi is mostly diabolical or mostly deranged is irrelevant. Despite his incoherent ramblings, he clearly is fighting not just for power but for his life.

The forces still allied with Gadhafi—his sons, parts of the military establishment, the mercenaries he has imported from other African countries—know that they are fighting for their lives too. They have opened fire with heavy weapons against unarmed protesters. They have trained sniper fire on peaceful funeral processions. They have terrorized urban neighborhoods with random gunfire designed to make people cower in their homes rather than join the uprising. If Gadhafi’s forces are defeated, the people’s retribution will be definitive and brutal.

I should say when Gadhafi’s forces are defeated, because ultimately the tyrant is playing a losing hand. He’s playing it skillfully, though, having managed to establish a relatively secure bastion in Tripoli. His message to the brave rebels who now control the eastern part of the country is: Come and get me.

Gadhafi appears to still control many of the country’s military assets. Ragtag bands of insurgents are no match for modern jet fighters or helicopter gunships or naval vessels that can bombard coastal population centers from miles offshore. Eventually, the people will surely win. But it is likely that thousands have already died—and abundantly clear that Gadhafi, even in a losing cause, is prepared to commit murder on a genocidal scale.


Gadhafi seems to have calculated that the longer he can drag out the conflict—and demonstrate that he still commands the capital city and a potent, if diminished, military force—the more likely it becomes that he can find some way to survive.

That’s where Obama and other world leaders come in. The immediate aim should be to separate Gadhafi from as much of his military strength as possible.

On Wednesday, in his first extended remarks on the crisis, Obama warned that “the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence.” Those words, while correct, were far too weak. Obama should state plainly that we no longer consider Gadhafi’s regime to be the legitimate government of Libya and that the dictator must immediately step down.

This will not have the slightest impact on Gadhafi, of course. But the message isn’t for the Mad Colonel, it’s for the military officers—the pilots of his warplanes and commanders of his warships—who must decide whether to follow his orders. They need to be told, in no uncertain terms, that if they side with Gadhafi they will suffer the consequences.

And those consequences need to be spelled out. A chorus of world leaders should make clear that those who commit war crimes, such as firing on civilians, will personally be held accountable. If the avenging mob doesn’t get them, international justice will.

The United States should lead NATO in immediately declaring a no-fly zone for Gadhafi’s military aircraft and announcing that Libyan airspace is being monitored for violations. You wouldn’t attempt to enforce such a ban immediately. The idea, again, should be to influence those who must choose whether to follow Gadhafi’s orders.

By radio, television and the Internet, the U.S. and its allies should blanket Libya with the message that the Gadhafi regime has forfeited any right to legitimacy. Libyans should have no doubt about where we stand.

Such actions will anger the leaders of autocratic regimes that have been reliable allies of the West, such as Saudi Arabia. The Chinese government may not be pleased at such “interference,” and the Russians may not be thrilled, either. But Gadhafi is a special case, as anyone who has seen his recent appearances can attest. The umbrella? The rambling, delusional speeches about how the protesters are on drugs? The vow to kill or be killed? This man is either a psychopath or a sociopath, but not a statesman.

Unambiguous, muscular words and credible threats are the least we can do for the people of Libya. Even by that low standard, we are falling woefully short.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


An opposition supporter stands in front of a charred security building in Benghazi. The building was destroyed a week ago as protesters put government security forces to flight.


outside the Libyan embassy in Washington D.C.


A demonstrator in Spain


Celebrations in Derna, a town in eastern Libya. The protesters here have expelled Gadhafi's forces.


A man jubilantly fires his gun into the air from an armoured vehicle in Shahat in eastern Libya.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2011 12:37 am
A deserter flashes victory signs in the eastern port city of Tobruk. Other forces still loyal to Gadhafi are waging bloody battles in the western part of the country to prop up the crumbling regime.

The rebels have adopted as their symbol the flag of the Libyan monarchy ousted by Gadhafi-led forces in a 1969 putsch.


Thousands of mourners gathered in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday for a funeral procession for a Libyan killed in recent clashes with security forces.

Much of the eastern part of Libya has been secured by rebel forces, who are now trying to fill the void left by a collapsed government.




Al Jazeera's Riz Khan discussing the issues with Mark LeVine, a professor of modern Middle Eastern history and Islamic studies at the University of California, Irvine; and Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University in New York.

Violence against revolution


Rebels lay siege to Gaddafi stronghold

0 Replies
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2011 01:01 am
I notice that text is loading with those wider gaps - which is a bit ****

My end, everything is so slow and tenuous, it's like playing Russian roulette I'm afraid anything that I post will just have to do - if it gets through at all I'll be amazed

such is life
0 Replies
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2011 01:04 am

Coalition under fire for changes to disability benefits

The government's own advisers have criticised its planned overhaul of the disability living allowance


'The medical was an absolute joke'

The government's reform of the disability benefits system has angered claimants, who say the new tests fail to identify why they can't work. Amelia Gentleman reports on the fallout of Cameron's war against 'sicknote culture'



Tony Elliott: 'I was thinking, "I'm a human being, me"'. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

New disability test 'is a complete mess', says expert who designed it


Blind people will lose £30 per week under new benefit regime, says RNIB


If you are claiming DLA for physical disability or PTSD or whatever - good luck. And remember- the shame is theirs.

FIGHT BACK - National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts – Day 3


Disability Benefit fraud amounts to 1% of the current claimants.

Meanwhile the corporations and banks are getting away with daylight robbery

There will be suicides.

What's it gona take?


NHS turmoil is just the start of Tory ideology run wild

Every public service will be put out for tender if Cameron gets his way, with contracts to trade and accountability gone


So was the 'safe' NHS a Tory lie, or are they just clueless?


Record number of young people not in education, work or training

Almost one million young people in Britain are unemployed, according to the latest figures.


Tuition fees: Teenagers seek human rights judicial review

Pair claim government ministers breached equality laws with decision to almost treble university fees


Britain can push democracy or weapons – but not both

David Cameron's arms-sale tour has mired him in typical liberal interventionist hypocrisy.



News on Libya - newest First

Gadhafi Forces Open Fire as Tens of Thousands Take to Streets of Tripoli


Libyan revolutionaries used dating website to dodge Gaddafi's secret police


Libya rebels isolate Gaddafi, seizing cities and oilfields


Live Blog - Libya


Gaddafi has lost it ...



Re-’Liberating’ Iraq


Don’t We Deserve Real War News?
by Kelley B. Vlahos,



"When CIA-agent Raymond Davis gunned down two Pakistani civilians in broad daylight on a crowded street in Lahore, he probably never imagined that the entire Washington establishment would spring to his defense."

Mike Whitney on the Lahore shootings


What can a person say after reading this? Sad

Behind the Arab Revolt is a Word We Dare Not Speak
John Pilger


Or how about this? Sad

0 Replies
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:32 am


These walls are friction
Post-punishment, addiction
Of a space
Silence is Nothing from the grave
Every word unheard I know will haunt me
Burned up by atrocity
It just can't eat enough of me
Inflicting pain on schedule
Like solitude, plugged and wired
Reduced by News
As it intrudes on wounds

I try to choke back the bones of their propaganda
As they shovel it over my tongue
Try to recognise what lies behind their pride
Pouring hate enough to make torture sweet
Sugar to the perverts in the rubber gloves
Smashing fist to face
Grim with rage
Shielded by a monotony of dead excuses
Torture debated
Invaded and paraded naked
With nonchalance
This 'bling' of human sins
Destroying body and mind with a dog's grin

I try to speak
For god's sake, I try to say
This hell they sell in fake defence
This game
Blind to the consequences
of the humiliation of mankind
Are we out of our ******* minds?
Are we slaves to The Master?
Letting our fingers rest for a breath
On the boards
Our ribs are keys
Our tears, our laughter

Endymion 2011

Torture No More

0 Replies
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2011 08:05 am




Senior doctors revolt against health reforms


Letters: No one voted for the NHS to be privatised


Lords debates NHS reforms - live



The 'Lords' pass the bill - Jesus wept

0 Replies
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2011 08:33 am

Making a Mockery of Democracy

Demand an end to news black outs on NHS reforms and all the rest.

Even the Guardian are getting criticised and rightly so.

The BBC are next to useless.

Time to switch off and wake up...
0 Replies
Reply Sun 16 Oct, 2011 01:17 pm
Occupy London protest camp at St Paul's as canon tells police to move

Anti-capitalists set for long haul outside cathedral as global action against banks and financial institutions gain momentum


In their stand against mammon, protesters occupying St Paul's churchyard to vent anger at reckless bankers found heartwarming support emanating from the house of God.

Far from requesting that the 300-strong crowd be removed from the cathedral steps on Sunday , the Rev Dr Giles Fraser, canon chancellor of St Paul's, requested that the police themselves move on as the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest entered its second day.

A line of officers had taken up position at the top of the steps to "protect" the building. "Which was very good of them," explained the canon. But then he had asked them if they would leave, "because I didn't feel that it needed that sort of protection".

And so those attending Sunday mass found themselves picking a path through the makeshift camp of around 100 tents erected at the foot of the cathedral's steps after Saturday's global day of action inspired by the US's Occupy Wall Street movement.

With the sermon of the day appropriately including a gospel reading about "God and money", the regular congregation was joined by some of the protesters. The canon had warned them the cathedral bells were "really loud", so it was an early start to their first full day of occupation.

An attempt on Saturday to set up camp outside the London Stock Exchange in nearby privately-owned Paternoster Square had been thwarted by police. But all the indications on Sunday were that a hard core of dedicated protesters were digging in for the long haul at St Paul's.

A field kitchen was being erected, offering basics donated by wellwishers. A first aid point was set up in front of a poster renaming the area as Tahrir Square. A media area, powered by a generator, was aiming to stream activities from the camp live on to the internet. A line of seven portable toilets had also been installed. "Pick up your litter" was one of the continual announcements over the camp's megaphone.

A spokesman said the purpose of the occupation was "to challenge the bankers and the financial institutions which recklessly gambled with the economy. This and 20 other occupations all around the UK have been directly inspired by what's happening all across America and especially in Wall Street."

Roy Alexander, 39, from Surrey, said: "We're planning to stay here indefinitely, we'll stay here and make a stand. I think we'll have more people join."



Julian Assange addresses the crowd on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral

"This movement is not about the destruction of law, but the construction of law."
Julian Assange

Occupy Wall Street protests go global (gallery)

Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2011 08:38 am

Family hits out at US in fury at fate of Awlaki's slain son


That's it for me. Game over.

(See start of this thread)
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2011 10:24 am
This issue is going to get bigger as the banks in the US are testing fees for use of Debit cards because they're not making any money through lending. They have the gall to get saved by taxpayer money, then turn around and start charging fees to use our own money. I think Bank of America started this, and many are now withdrawing their money from that bank.

I'm just wonder when banks will learn to start cutting expenses/branches/employees.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 01:40 am
Heard this song for the first time last night as it was sung by a childrens' choir in a choral competition.

I thought this thread was an appropriate place to share it:

Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 01:43 am
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 01:54 am
Hello to you again, Endy.

Thinking of you & the inspiring things you've said here & on other A2K threads.

And so hoping that you are OK right now.
And also hoping that you are writing.
Lots! Smile
0 Replies

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