How does it feel when your media thinks you are little babies who mustn’t be told the truth? And when last year they replaced the Taliban story for the Annie Leibovitz story, Newsweek didn’t mention her long love affair with Susan Sontag, calling it just a ‘close’ relationship in case the poor little babies got upset. This blog is named after something Susan Sontag said, suffice to say Newsweek just made the shit list.
After more than 80 years the AA is to abandon night patrols as part of a cost-cutting exercise by its venture capitalist owners.
The 15 million members of the motoring organisation will now have to make do with AA staff called out on a voluntary “pay per job” basis or local contractors.
News of the break with tradition emerged on the eve of a showdown between Damon Buffini, senior partner with Permira, the private equity company which part-owns the AA, and Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB general union.
Paul Maloney, a GMB official, said the decision to axe AA’s night patrols illustrated the “cost-cutting mentality” of Permira in particular and private equity companies in general. “The AA is currently running a campaign which says that its members have ‘got a friend’ in the AA. Well it seems their friend will come to their rescue before midnight, but not necessarily after that time. Some friend. If people are on call and not on patrol it is bound to take longer to get to the breakdown. If it is a garage contracted to the AA it is likely to take even longer. This is a serious problem for people who break down at night, especially women. Why has the ‘fourth emergency service’ been reduced to this?”
A spokesman for Permira said: “We want to move away from personal tactics get involved in a constructive debate.” Earlier this year, the GMB hired a camel to take part in a demonstration outside the church Mr Buffini attends, seeking to illustrate that it was easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than for a rich man such as Mr Buffini to go to heaven.
The GMB believes the private equity sector, which uses loans and investors’ money to buy up public companies, “asset strips” businesses and cuts costs to increase profits.
Since Permira and another company, CVC, bought the AA for £1.75bn from the utility giant Centrica in September 2004, the workforce has been cut by 3,000 to 7,000. The GMB argued that the management’s figures underestimated the cuts.
The RAC said it was increasing its night patrols due to increasing demand.-
They hired a camel to rake the piss out of the retard Buffoon Buffini, genius. Private equity? Just kleptocrat newspeak for rich powerful people servicing their greed addictions. I guess the RAC are happy, until they get bought out…
The impeachment threat is real, argues The Nation’s John Nichols, as shown by talk show pundits who have begun to discuss it seriously.
“Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough had me on his MSNBC show Monday night to talk about impeachment,” Nichols writes. “It was smart, civil discussion that treated the prospect of impeaching the president as a serious matter.”
“No, Scarborough is not jumping on the impeachment bandwagon,” Nichols adds. “He is simply treating the prospect seriously, as did CNN’s Wolf Blitzer earlier in the day.”
According to Nichols, “We are nearing an impeachment moment.”
“The Alberto Gonzales scandal, the under-covered but very real controversy involving abuses of the Patriot Act and the president’s increasingly belligerent refusals to treat Congress as a co-equal branch of government are putting the discussion of presidential accountability onto the table from which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to remove it,” Nichols writes.-
If the political class smother the call for impeachment then the people have no influence on the politician’s, which might be fun if enough of them realise it. There’s a high level of gun ownership in the US, an empire collapsing into chaos is nothing new. Just planting seeds…
I started Iran Blogapalooza to write about Iranian blogs and in the process an Iranian woman, Naj dropped by the blog and so this is the first Blogapalooza to feature a blog that was discovered because of the blogapalooza, which is great, an organic growth of the concept. So drum roll please and welcome Naj an Iranian woman scientist/researcher currently working in Canada. There is a huge Iranian diaspora and concern for their country and the drum beats of war is echoing around the world. Naj calls her blog Neo Resistance and she is kicking ass and takin’ names.Given the heightened tension at the present let Naj’s resistance tell you some stories:-
I just came across a nice blog The Osterley Times and this title:
Washington Snubbed Iran Offer- drawing attention to BBC’s report that Dick Cheney’s office turned down an offer from Iran in 2003, in which the Iranians offered all that the US could have wanted.
Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion. Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility. But Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office rejected the plan, the official said.-
She returns for a visit:-
I was surprised to realize America’s nuclear threat is not something that Iranians are paralyzed with–except the satellite/CNN-glued ones. I was amused to notice that Ahmadi-Nejad is taken far more seriously by the Western powers, than is by the Iranians.
His party got the boot in the recent city council election. He will get the boot in the next election. Not even the Supreme leader or the Mullahs are supportive of him! And this time around, less people willboycot the election!
When I was in Iran Saddam was hanged! Saddam who destroyed half of Iran. My mother cried, my father condemned death penalty, my sister called it a barbaric act, I considered it a huge mistake, and a lot of others shook their head in disapproval. (Revenge is not a Persian virtue) From my point of view the mood was sober. No one (not even the state television) cheered his death, althoughAhmadinejad gave a hefty sum to the Iraqi government to celebrate, I suppose.-
And she points to a very interesting film festival (yes panic now this may inspire me to make a new piece):-
In June 2005, Hamed Safaee, a graphic designer and one of the writers of TehranAvenue proposed the idea of “visual haikus,” poems that broke off of their written mold and transcribed themselves on celluloid or digital media. This lyrical approach became fodder for a festival: The One-Shot Film Competition . In the following months this idea was further developed — in the interim of a single “turning on and off of the camera,” or any other recording medium, simple images could be captured, without a need for technical acrobatics and or technological props, to get to the essence of the image. The One-Shot Film Festival called for a form of haiku, a sequence of images that is neither a short film nor a photograph, neither a funny report of an incident nor a makeshift collage relying on digital cosmetics — an uncut and fluid visual poem.-
An archive of films from this festival where you can download the short pieces is right here. For free!
And she digs up this dynamite quote:-
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.”
Or as it’s more commonly known US foreign policy since the 19th century. Anyway, she links to Norman Finkelstein’s website with clips of him debating Alan Dershowitz and adds this quick comment:-
Well, okey am I going to spend time figuring out who Alan Dershowitz is? The video above gives a glimps.-
Unfortunately I already know about Alan ‘torture warrants’ Dershowitz, she’s lucky if she can ignore him. She’s dug up some great stuff about Cheney, neo-cons, the Israeli lobby’s influence on US congress (free trips, top hotels, cash) and this interesting angle of the post 911 cultural shifts:-
But now, a group of Iranian-American feminist scholars are raising an alarm flag about “a particularly lucrative industry of Iranian and Muslim women’s memoirs [that] has mushroomed in the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities.” Niki Akhavan, Golbarg Bashi, Mana Kia and Sima Shakhsari, warn that “These women’s memoirs have assumed center-stage in appropriating the legitimate cause of women’s rights and placing it squarely in the service of Empire building projects, disguised under the rhetoric of the “war on terror.”-
She’s doing great work and if I may borrow one thing from her site it is this:-
So go and read some Iran facts from Naj, Now!
David Hicks plead guilty in a deal in desperation to get out of Gitmo where he as been tortured into mental ill health.
Justice was found later still blindfold but also with her hands tied behind her back and her scales shoved up her vagina, she refused to say who did it but it is well known she has had an abusive relationship with a Mr George Bush for some years now. Her sword is thought to be in possession of the pentagon a known organised crime syndicate