Heath Ledger

Sadly found dead, he was genuinely talented and I always enjoyed his work. I think it is worth remembering an artist who contributed rather than just leeched off fame.

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The Shape Of Things To Come

“There is no evidence that these defendants personally maimed, kidnapped or killed anyone in the United States or elsewhere” Marcia Cooke, US district judge

Marcia Cooke, district judge in Miami, Florida, said in sentencing Padilla that she agreed with the defence that he had been subjected to “harsh” and “extreme environmental stresses” while held in detention which she took into account in his sentence.

Padilla was sentenced to a total of 17 years and four months in prison.  

While this is shocking enough in and of itself, Padilla’s sentence – in what at least one perceptive commentator called “the most important case of our lifetimes” – is particularly shocking because it sends a clear message to the President of the United States that he can, if he wishes (and as he did with Padilla), designate a US citizen as an “enemy combatant,” hold him without charge or trial in a naval brig for 43 months, and torture him – through the use of prolonged sensory deprivation and solitary confinement – to such an extent that, as the psychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty explained after spending 22 hours with Padilla, “What happened at the brig was essentially the destruction of a human being’s mind.” 

And here comes the recession, last time American fascists planned a coup, this time they already did that. Recession, repression, regression. The push for war finds another route in Argentina as Iran could face new sanctions and pre-emptive nuclear war is becoming ever so fashionable. The empire has Egypt under its thumb-

Egyptian security guards have fired into the air and used water cannon to drive back Palestinian women who tried to surge across the border from Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinians demanded the Rafah crossing to Egypt be reopened for vital supplies that are scarce because of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. A number of people were injured, mostly in scuffles, but several were seriously hurt, according to reports.

As Gaza is strangled, maybe not so much an isolated horror, but the laboratory

You know, now they use more drones and unmanned planes to do these crimes. They don’t need anymore to convince the pilots to shoot in Gaza, although there are many attacks by attack helicopters like Apache and stuff like that. But I think that many of the missions are done by the commander, that he can sit far away in a closed room in a commander ship in Tel Aviv or something like that and just press a button, and people are getting killed. And this distance between the decision to the result is what I think in the history calls the most horrible crimes ever.  

 And Israel is selling these drones to other countries. It’s one of our top products in the military industry that is blooming in a way. You know, the occupation is not so bad for some people in my society and in your society. It’s actually benefiting many people.  

Although the lockdown is taking its time here-

Plans for a wider rollout of identity cards to British nationals appear to have been delayed for three years. ID cards will be introduced for foreign nationals this year and “Phase II” of the scheme to introduce them for UK citizens was due to start in 2009. But documents leaked to the Tories suggest it has been put back to 2012.