Hip & Groovy

Job done. All is well. She came out fine, is conscious talking and still listening to my iPod shuffle which I filled with her tunes and lent her and she listened to the whole op to distract from sawing and hammering noises, frankly I don’t think she’s going to give it back, she’s down with the pod!

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Hospital Wi-Fi

First, thanks for all the good wishes, I told my mum people from all over this earthy type thing were wishing her well, she was really chuffed.

Sitting around doing the waiting thing with the lombard powerbook, she should be in recovery in about 3/4 hour. We watched the news on her rooms tv, wow Diana’s mother ain’t a foul mouthed bigot or nuthin’.

The way this has worked out is the welsh NHS for arcane target meeting reasons is doing this via an english private ‘hospital’ that contracts to the NHS. Now ‘hospital’ because really it is a hotel with two op theatres and enough beds to keep them running. No casualty or long term treatments just this kind of work, an operation and some recovery. Thus it is a bit odd and plenty of snobby tory relatives & friends of me mother are jealous because she’s got a private hospital gig not a filthy evil communist NHS hospital. Which is a big load of crap, but it is obvious how that attitude is created and maintained, scattered about the reception atrium were the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. When they asked would she like a paper in the morning they said ‘would you like the Daily Mail?’ to which my mum replied ‘The Independent please’ rocking!

Watching as she went through numerous forms with nurses, the anaesthetist, the consultant doing the cut and paste job on the hip and the ultra smiley ‘ward hostess’ (with a breakfast menu) it is apparent how the mechanical bodily and bureaucratic needs are met and are part of the process but however nice everybody is there seems a gap where someone should be there for the persons overall treatment, the psychological or holistic aspects. I suppose that is what family attending is there to do, some people on your team to calm and soothe the nerves and to stand up to any wonky medico shenanigans. But it is a intimidating and she went into her upbringing of not causing a fuss mode a bit (whole polite generations of cap doffing Brits) but it all went ok and she recovered and asked (politely of course) the surgeon why his right hand had two huge lumpy banana like Elephant Man fingers, which y’know does cause a bit of apprehension in a surgeon’s soon to be patient. Apparently they are a birth deformity and he nevertheless pursued his career, after all have you seen most doctor’s handwriting?

So hoping all goes well, for all the pushing and prodding she went through she didn’t want to remove her dental plate until the last moment before they zonked her because she hates how she looks without them. Not vain I think, but wanting to retain her self and her dignity even in a hospital gown with marker pen all over her leg (because they really try not to do the wrong leg these days). And that’s important, really important the denial of person’s dignity is so routine so global it is good to be reminded how important it is. It’s no mistake the carefully psychologist designed processes they use in Gitmo and elsewhere have removing the person’s dignity as a top priority. It’s something we deny when we suppose a country will welcome our bombs and troops as if the people were helpless fools. Most times an oppressive regime survives not because of the defeat of the people but because of outside powers enabling it to continue, helping it continue it’s course. Sadam suited America until he didn’t, the Burmese junta suits many in ruling elites. If the lack of practical support shown to the people were instead applied to the ruling class, game over for the scumbags. And support and solidarity with people has become poisoned by imperial designs, but still we persist often now outside of state power, they can no longer be trusted, because dignity for all an equality of power is an undeniable and just goal. I think that’s a nice thing to say sitting in a private hospital using its wifi, those who think humanity is best thought of as self interested profit seeking animals are ever on the attack, to force us all to live as acquisitive predators. And right now public money is going into the private sector because of targets enforced by a conservative church of the free market overrun Labour party right here right now with this operation. But leaving people with little other choice (unless they are rich) is not an ideological victory, just the kind of harsh blackmail capitalists seem to enjoy. They are putting a monetary value on dignity and most of us have been priced out of the market. The NHS is one of the few bulwarks against that, and in that sense it is treasure beyond any fiscal value they could understand. I’m sitting in the reality of the attack on that, subtle, corporate with art photography prints sold by the metre on the wall. But you hear the whispered heresies- always get a consultant who does NHS work, if they are solely private there is summat wrong. If any complications arise they move patients straight to NHS hospitals where the care is better for difficult cases.

Time for a song-

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Hip Cats

I’ll be driving mum to the hospital for the operation on Monday. Thanks for all your good wishes. We shall see what we shall see.

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War On Democracy: That’s Right, Do What He Says, He’s Your Friend


President George W. Bush on Sunday toned down his rhetoric on democratic change, as he sought to persuade the Gulf states to reduce their ties with Iran.

Delivering the set-piece speech of his Middle East trip to an invited audience in a $3bn Abu Dhabi hotel, Mr Bush hailed the United Arab Emirates for having “shown the world a model of a Muslim state”.

Ah yes the UAE, and who better to judge a theocratic state than George W. Bush! Who’s with me? Anyone?

Ooh look you can use Hamed Saber’s Firefox add-on to get round internet censorship there, then you could report on the kind of nation Bush finds so appealing-

  • freedom of expression in all its forms – has still to be achieved in the UAE in spite of its media explosion. The hrinfo report begins with the most obvious example of censorship: the state-ordered shut-down of two Pakistani TV channels, Geo and Ary One, at the request of Pakistan’s military dictator, General Musharraf.
  • Authorities have blocked the formation of independent human rights organizations and exerted censorial pressure on a wide range of social activists…
  • The UAE has not signed most international human rights and labor rights treaties. Migrant workers, comprising nearly 90 percent of the workforce in the private sector, are particularly vulnerable to serious human rights violations.
  • Since 2000, the government has barred 12 prominent UAE commentators and academics from disseminating their views. In 2006 the government increased its persecution and prosecution of human rights defenders. In June 2006 the Federal High Court issued an arrest warrant for Muhammad al-Mansoori, president of the independent Jurists Association
  • Abuses against migrant workers include nonpayment of wages, extended working hours without overtime compensation, unsafe working environments resulting in deaths and injuries, squalid living conditions in labor camps, and withholding of passports and travel documents.
  • In March the government announced that it would legalize trade unions by the end of 2006, but as of November 2006 it had taken no steps to do so. Instead, in September the government introduced a law banning any migrant worker who participates in a strike from employment in the country for at least one year.
  • According to the US State Department, human trafficking to the UAE is an endemic problem.
  • The US, Japan, and the European Union are among the UAE’s main trading partners. In April 2004 the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US, and the two countries in November 2004 began negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement. The UAE is also negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union and Australia.

Hey, how does the CIA’s own world factbook compare eveeeel Iran with the UAE? Let’s have a look shall we?

  • Suffrage: (y’know voting) UAE- erm…none, on 18-20 December 2006; the new electoral college – a body of 6,689 Emiratis (including 1,189 women) appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates – were the only eligible voters and candidates.
  • Iran- universal once over 18. Which seems sort of democratic-ish, hmmm?
  • Judicial branch: UAE- Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president).Hmm, no universal vote and a judiciary packed by the President, no wonder George is keen.
  • Iran: The Supreme Court and the four-member High Council of the Judiciary have a single head and overlapping responsibilities; together they supervise the enforcement of all laws and establish judicial and legal policies; lower courts include a special clerical court, a revolutionary court, and a special administrative court.

Now what about that being a danger to the world and backing armed groups in other countries..

Mr. Bush focused not only on what the United States suspects are Iran’s nuclear ambitions but also its suspected support for Islamic groups and militants in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Oh my God!!! Evil Persian troublemakers in 4 other countries! And you can rely on Mr. Bush to tell the truth about these things, golly yes. Well that’s done it, clearly Iran has to be stoppe…sorry what was that? Over a thousand…a thousand what? Oh military bases, in what? 140 countries. Oh my god it’s worse than I thou…Sorry what? America, the USA has over a thousand miltary bases (or large armed groups directly supported by the US you could say) in 140 countries. Not Iran then? Oh…, erm, oh dear, that would seem to make Mr.Bush a bit of a cheeky motherfucker for giving such a speech, like a bully looking to get applause for knocking another country over. Hmmm.

Hey but don’t worry I’m sure the press will pick up on this, I can see it already, huge banner headlines

  • President and Military Chief of poverty stricken America continues aggression in plot for world domination!
  • Scared countries cower before drug crazed emperor’s warmongering speech!
  • Boozed up monkey boy spews some more shit only retards, bigots and ruling elites would buy!

So, having failed to appeal to opposition to Ahmadinejad (hey get rid of this guy and say hello to America, y’know remember the Shah and everything! You’d get free ‘Baywatch’ reruns!). And their own establishment throwing cold water on their plans, the war pimps (including their sidekicks in Israel) are selling an attack as a protective measure to the other countries in the region, or more like a mob protection racket- It would be awful sad if your country burnt down fella, why not help me out with this little Iran deal and I’ll make sure nuthin’ bad happens. Huh?