Funding Mentalism

So Chris Morris’ Jihadi satire (the “Four Lions” film project) got turned down by both Ch4 & the beeb as noted here. Then another bulletin came forth via popbitch-

We told you that Chris Morris’ terror cell comedy had been rejected by a fearful Channel 4 and BBC. It seems they have a history of this. Muslim comedian Omar Mazouk was to present a mockumentary about misguided suicide bombers for BBC but this was also nixed. He took the idea to a TV network in Denmark instead, where it’s getting rave reviews. And putting two fingers up to TV commissioners, Morris is turning his Jihadi sitcom into a film. He’s got producers at Warpfilm and a distributor. All he needs now is enough money to make the film. Which is where we come in. Popbitch readers donating between 25 and 100 quid to help get the film made will get the chance to be in it. So get out your cheque book and burkha and email:

You can also check the warpfilms site. They are not asking for cash just yet but are seeing what the level of interest is to see if this is a viable way to get the film made. It’s ridiculous someone of Morris’ talent is being left in the cold by timid broadcasters but not really surprising. Below is his smackdown of Martin Amis (who is welcomed by the establishment -bad Manchester Uni, bad uni-, hmm funny that) which gives some clues as to where ‘Four Lions’ is coming from and why it should be a vital injection of intelligence and hilarity into our cultural waronterror ™ fog- Read the rest of this entry »

‘Preventable National Disgrace’

Border Agency? Lying thugs? Govt. covering up? Who’d a thunk it?

In October last year, The Independent ran a front-page article revealing 200 allegations of racist and physical abuse committed by British guards against failed asylum-seekers. Most of the cases involved abuse of immigrants during the process of being sent back to the countries from where they were fleeing persecution. The then Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) said it could not find evidence supporting such high levels of allegations and demanded to see all the cases so they could investigate. We agreed but said that permission first needed to be sought from the alleged victims and the groups representing them.

When the story was raised in the House of Commons, ministers defended themselves by accusing The Independent of failing to hand over full details of the claims. In short they were accusing us of exaggerating or inventing the story.

Since then, the Home Office’s own audit complaints committee has confirmed the similar high numbers of allegations of mistreatment made by failed asylum-seekers. It also reported serious failings in the investigations carried out by the BIA.

In July, asylum groups and lawyers working for the victims of abuse were able to hand over a dossier of complaints which had now reached 300 cases, around 50 of which were suitable for investigation by ministers. Lord Ramsbotham, a former chief inspector of prisons who read the report, said if only one of the allegations was proved it would amount to a “preventable national disgrace.”


Robbed fucking blind!

The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed’s expansion of liquidity, the biggest since credit markets seized up last year, came hours before the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry.

Vote all you like congress critters, it means nothing to the King, you won’t buy the toxic debt so as consolation the ‘fed’ showers them in cash and check McCain playing the Shock Doctrine card-

When asked about the economic crisis, John McCain called for a sweeping spending freeze.

Sen. John McCain: “How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs.”

Jim Lehrer: “Spending freeze?”

McCain: “I think we ought to seriously consider, with the exceptions of caring for our veterans, national defense and several other vital issues.”

Autumn’s Here!

Autumn has kicked in here which means high winds racing in off the sea and…the dodgy rusty old phone line (thanks privatised BT oversubscribed & TalkTalk) begins to leak zeroes and ones. So the wobbly connection might stifle blogging a tad (it’s intermittent tonight) or it might be ok mostly, there’s really no way of telling. So there you go. A virtually pointless post (what do you mean ‘as usual’). I’m going to have my fifth go at getting it improved but as the ‘fifth’ implies, results have so far been, er, none.

Meantime, have a whizzy pic (that’s the technical term for slow shutter blurry goodness which doesn’t do the camera justice but hey this isn’t an ad baby, it’s art!) I took with my new fone-not too expensive cos it’s 2 years old and out of fashion, but I had to get one even though I hardly use it hence pay as you go is the best cost benefit solution even though it means you have to buy a handset when the old one kaks it– apparently it was the model clumsily product placed in Casino Royale, (it can’t be much longer until every single prop is sponsored and the mise en scène resembles a racing driver’s firesuit) which I didn’t know and would have put me off, I feel so used & dirty now.

Government Giveaway

I was just declaring SORN via the directgov website on an old car that we can’t quite decide what to do with and at the end of the process (which is easy and much simpler than trogging down to a post office so yay for that) I got-

Your SORN declaration has been successful and you have now been automatically entered into a FREE Prize Draw for one of 3 brand-new Seat Ibiza  cars (unless you chose not to be entered in Step 1). Details of the prize winner will be provided at

Huh? So the govt. is doing prize give-aways like any sleazy corporation? Of course it’s a bit cunning as if you win you will be liable for tax etc but still WTF? And SEAT, got a good lobbyist have they? I see I could have chosen not to be entered but I missed it, silly me thinking that when I’m dealing with govt. sites to make legal declarations I have to be on the lookout for raffles! Also as part of the process you can tick a box to avoid you being sent offers and info, again like any business. Which I suppose to the consensus of our parties is true, all is commerce, public service is something plummy voiced actors talked about in black and white films. I have heard the idea that to get more voters it should be run as a lottery with every vote giving you the chance to win a million, which is how these suits think, not that over a third of people don’t vote because of lack of real alternatives, sod that, like we’re deviating from neoliberal dogma even as it destroys itself, nope we’ll retain power by having a minority vote for us by offering them a prize giveaway. Democracy Shmnocracy, Bingo or Sudoku, that’s your political choice.

Gagged Yet Parliament Listened

British troops who hand over prisoners in Iraq to US military personnel could find themselves facing prosecution, according to a legal opinion compiled for parliament. The finding has led to calls for the British government to rethink its current policy and investigate how the US treats its prisoners, and whether torture is employed against them.

Earlier this year the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition sought legal opinion from Michael Fordham QC on whether a human rights violation would arise under the European convention on human rights (ECHR) and the 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA) if an individual in British detention in Iraq were handed over to US military personnel, “despite substantial grounds for considering that there is a real risk of that person being subjected to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment”.

The conclusion reached by Fordham and his colleague Tom Hickman is that an offence would definitely have been committed. If acted on, the opinion could mean that UK troops would not be allowed to “render” detainees to the US military until it was clear that they would no longer face the possibility of torture or ill-treatment.

What prompted the inquiry was a statement made in February this year by Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier who was on active service in Iraq. In his statement, Griffin said that he was “in no doubt” that individuals handed over to the US military “would be tortured”. He cited what had happened to those detained at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram airbase and Abu Ghraib prison.

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Let Cyrus Explain

The IAEA has verified that all of Iran’s known (declared) nuclear activities are progressing under IAEA safeguards exactly as they’re supposed to be, and are not being used to make weapons. However, the IAEA has said that it cannot legally verify that there are no undeclared nuclear activities in Iran.

Naturally, this point is being manipulated and spin-doctored by the media to make Iran appear suspect. However, the IAEA’s refusal to guarantee the absence of clandestine nuclear activities in Iran is not because there’s actually any reason to suspect the existence of such undeclared activities — rather, its because the IAEA does not verify the absence of undeclared activities for ANY country that has’t signed and ratified the Additional Protocol. In short, it is a legal technicality, which is being exploited and misrepresented by the media for political purposes.

According to the IAEA’s own Annual Safeguards Implementation Report of 2004, of the 61 states where both the NPT safeguards and the Additional protocol are implemented, the IAEA has certified the absence of undeclared nuclear activity for only 21 countries, leaving Iran in the same category as 40 other countries including Canada, the Czech Republic, and South Africa:

“With regard to 21 States with both CSAs [Comprehensive Safeguard Agreements] and AP [Additional Protocol] in force or otherwise applied, the Agency concluded that all nuclear material in those States remained in peaceful nuclear activities. For 40 other such States, the Agency had not yet completed the necessary evaluations, and could therefore only draw the conclusion that the nuclear material placed under safeguards remained in peaceful nuclear activities.”

Iran has signed the Additional Protocol, voluntarily implemented it for 2 years (during which time no evidence of any clandestine nuclear activity was found in Iran) and has offered to ratify the AP once its nuclear rights are recognized. However to allow excess inspections under the AP when Iran is being threatened with bombings is to give away crucial intelligence that can only be used to make such bombings more effective.

Posted in Media. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

Mosque Gassed

In the wake of an alleged attack on a mosque in Ohio during a prayer session celebrating the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, questions are being raised about whether the distribution of millions of copies of an anti-Muslim documentary by supporters of the presidential campaign of John McCain may have contributed to the attack.

During Friday prayers at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, many of the 300 celebrants were suddenly overcome with fits of coughing and difficulty in breathing. Babies and children who were in a separate room were the most strongly affected, and according to the Dayton Daily News, one child told fire investigators of having seen two men spray something through the window of that room from a white can.

Chris Rodda, who serves as senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), has drawn attention to the attack and speculates that it may have been inspired by the distribution last week, through mailings and newspaper inserts, of millions of copies of a “fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary” called Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

Obsession was originally released in 2005 and was repeatedly broadcast by Fox News prior to the 2006 election. According to a description at NewsHounds, “The film was hosted by none other than Fox former morning chat show host, E.D. Hill … After a short film clip of generic Jihadists shouting (translated, of course) ‘bomb, bomb, USA, Death to America, and Kill the Jews,’ E.D. explained that Islamic Radicals are the ‘new Nazis and they want you dead.’ … The hour-long film was non-stop footage of various jihadist groups making anti-American and anti-Israeli statements.”

Although there has been no direct link established between Obsession and the events in Ohio, the documentary is clearly having an effect. The founder of the Interfaith Youth Core received a call from a Lutheran pastor, who told him that “his congregation has been involved in several interfaith projects, including allowing a group of Muslims to use the church for worship on Friday evenings while their new mosque was being built. … But recently, this pastor has fielded several angry phone calls from congregants condemning the decision to allow ‘dangerous people’ to use church space. Why these calls now … Last week, his community received the film ‘Obsession’ in the Sunday newspaper.”

Aziz Poonawalla, who blogs at BeliefNet, goes even further in his concerns, warning, “That DVD was intended to bring about precisely this kind of demonization. … Incidentally, it doesn’t stop here. There’s a new Islamophobic film due to be released in early October, in time for Eid al Fitr: The Third Jihad. This is a ‘tsunami of Islamophobia’ that is clearly aimed at influencing the election in November.”

Access Denied


Cindy Sheehan:- As of this writing, the corporate welfare plan was rejected by the House of Reps. It is a bad bill, and any of the amendments were only put there to try to pull the wool over our eyes.

Democrats: 141 voted “yea” and 94 voted “nay”
Republicans: 65 voted “yea” and 133 voted “nay”

So the bailout was rejected 227 to 206 [228-205] —-with Republicans killing it. It is just “back to the drawing board” for the corporate elite: Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer, Boehner and Bush..we still need to push for a bottom-up bailout!

Posted in Capitalism, Corporatism. Tags: . Comments Off on Access Denied

It’s Called Class War, Look It Up

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Paulson Jr

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Paulson Jr

The people’s representatives agree to give (an undetermined multiple of) hundreds of billions of dollars of American’s money (median wage, men$34,926  women$23,546) to people who just paid themselves $39 Billion in bonuses.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

If you haven’t already, get a copy of the instruction manual & join the resistance.

[Net Worth Figures from 2006 Sunlight Foundation & CNN Money]

Porn, Coke…Bailout!

GodlessLiberalHomo is investing in comedy gold, he says-

A Day in the Life of a Typical Wall St. Exec or Broker

Wall St. firms try to create this image of solidity and rectitude. However, having lived in NYC for a while, this is the image I have gotten of these people.

7:00-8:00 AM
Arrive at office. Eat free breakfast provided by employer. Skim quickly over financial sites.

8:00-10:00 AM
Snort coke and masturbate to Internet porn.

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Make sales calls (broker). Attend meeting (executive).

12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM
Have long lunch with several alcoholic beverages with Wall St. colleagues.

2:00 – 4:00 PM
Snort coke and masturbate to Internet porn. Make an occasional trade to look busy. Fill out form to get reimbursed for lunch.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Make sales calls (broker). Attend meeting (executive).

5:00 – 7:00 PM
Snort coke and masturbate to Internet porn. Take short breaks to eat free food provided by employer.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sober up somewhat on train to suburbs.

X-Band Aid

Could be nothing, business as usual-

The US has deployed an anti-missile radar in Israel that is mainly to warn of incoming Iranian ballistic missiles, Israeli state radio reports. The radar with a range of more than 2,000km is sited in the south of the country, the radio station said on Sunday. It is operated by a permanent 120-strong US army staff. The Associated Press news agency quoted officials as saying that the new radar was flown into Israel last week along with some 120 American crew members and has been set up at the Nevatim air base in the Negev desert.

An X-band radar is a powerful phased array radar that can target the warhead of a long or medium range missile in space. The US has deployed one in Japan and plans to install a larger X-band radar in the Czech Republic. The official linked the assistance to the US administration’s push for progress on a roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But it appeared to be more directly related to Israel’s concern about Iran’s nuclear programme.

And if you read this –How Israeli Backdoor Technology Penetrated the U.S. Government’s Telecom System and Compromised National Security– then at least you’ll know there are no surprises for Israel from US activity.

Burma- NLD Mark 20 Years

NLD 20th Anniversary (AFP)

Police in Myanmar are keeping a close watch on the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) as the party marks its 20th anniversary. A number of recently released political prisoners, including Win Tin, Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner, were among the 350 people attending Saturday’s ceremony.

Those attending the ceremony were videotaped and watched by at least 50 plainclothes security personnel. Witnesses said that between three and six NLD members were detained by members of the pro-government Swan Ah Shin group. Party officials said they were forced into a truck and taken to their homes.

In a statement to mark the anniversary, the party reiterated its call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for most of the last 19 years, and her deputy Tin Oo. It also demanded the freedom of Buddhist monks and ethnic leaders arrested by the military government.

“An indelible black stain will be tainted in the political history of Burma by the omission of the authorities to perform according to the laws enacted by themselves,” it said, referring to the country by its former name.

Bolivia, Race & Class

Via Otto @ Inca Kola News an essential article- Racism, Domination and Revolution in Bolivia by Adolfo Gilly– on the deep cultural roots of what is emerging and the racial and class dynamics so ignored by our media, as Otto says ‘If you are reminded while reading of the situation in Apartheid-era South Africa and the industrialized nations’ attitudes towards the black majority movement at that time, I wouldn’t be surprised.’ A wee excerpt [full article here]-

That dividing line is sharp and deep in Bolivia. It is not only a class domination, although that does exist. It is above all about a racial domination that was shaped in the colonial times and reaffirmed in the ogliarchic Republic from 1825 onwards.

In that domination, being a full citizen means being white or an assimilated mestizo. To become a citizen, an Indian must stop being Indian and see themselves and be seen as being white; break from their concrete historical community, that of the Aymaras, the Quechuas, the Guaraníes or another one of the many indigenous Bolivian communities; and enter as a newly-arrived subordinate into the abstract community of the citizens of the Republic. The Indian does not expect that the Republic will change and be like his people. Instead, it is required that these people change their men and women, renounce their identity and their history and be like the Republic of the whites, the rich, the eucated, the Spanish-speakers – where, for everyone else, the inerasable color of their skin will forever condemn them (those men and women) to second-class citizenship. That is the nature of this domination.

The strength of the revolution taking place in Bolizia is supported by an ancient civiliation, invisible in the law but one that persists in the languages, customs, belief, relationships of solidarities and communities, both rural and urban. The dominated brown-skinned people were not brought from other lands. There were there before, they were and they continue to be the native civilization. The filmmaker Jorge Sanginés, in an unforgettable film, called it “The Clandestine Nation.” Guillermo Bonfil named it “Deep Mexico: A Civilization Denied.” Following in their steps, I have named it “a subaltern civilization” in my book, “Historia a contrapelo.”

Clandestine, denied or subaltern, the social and cultural framework of those native civilizations appears at the moment of organizing the uprisings and the rebellions of their heirs and bearers, because those rebellions and uprisings are roots as deep as the root of racial domination.

Fascist FC

One of Silvio Berlusconi’s players at AC Milan has declared he is a fascist. Christian Abbiati, 31, an Italian international, said: “I am not ashamed to proclaim my political beliefs. I share [the] ideals of fascism, such as the fatherland and the values of the Catholic religion.”

The goalkeeper’s remarks, published today in Sportweek magazine, come amid debate over Italy’s fascist past and rightwing present under the leadership of AC Milan’s billionaire chairman.

The minority partner in Berlusconi’s parliamentary alliance, the Freedom People, is a party spun out of the country’s neo-fascist movement. Some members remain unabashed apologists for the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.

The defence minister, Ignazio La Russa, sparked a row this month after he paid tribute to Italian soldiers who fought alongside German troops in the second world war. His comments came after the mayor of Rome, Gianno Alemanno, told a magazine he did not consider fascism an “absolute evil”. Berlusconi dodged a question on his own views, replying: “I think only of working to resolve the problems of the Italian people.”

Troops on the streets, Roma being persecuted. So how will the EU deal with the fascism of in its midst? Fascism we helped keep ticking over.