Let’s remember this vote when NuLabour asks for our votes, 299 votes carried stopping an inquiry into the war-

The prime minister has survived a Commons call by the Conservatives for an immediate inquiry into the Iraq war. MPs rejected an attempt to force an independent probe, despite support from the Lib Dems and 12 Labour rebels.

The government’s parliamentary majority of 67 was more than halved as it won by 299 to 271 votes. A government amendment, recognising an time will come when an inquiry is “appropriate” but not during “important operations” in Iraq, was passed.

It was carried by 299 votes to 259 – a government majority of 40. Gordon Brown had said before Tuesday’s votes that there would be an inquiry when it is appropriate, but to hold one now would be a diversion for UK troops serving in Iraq.

No Gordon you didn’t say that, what you did was repeat Bush’s words when denying any oversight of how he acts. Yeah uppermost in a squaddie’s mind is what’s going on in Westminster, if it was, they wouldn’t be serving in the first place maybe. It’s also important no one looks too closely as the real ‘surge’ is underway (and btw, the ‘surge’ is a PR term that media adopted like good lackeys. Because ‘reinforcements’ doesn’t sound quite as exciting and has intimations of armies in trouble and conjures the spectre of defeat)-

The Iraqi executive branch, controlled by the 5 Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish Separatist parties want to make sure their rivals won’t win the next elections expected to take place before October. But unlike other pre-election preperations that include TV advertisements and sticking posters around the streets, the separatist Shiites in the Iraqi executive branch sends 50,000 troops to Basrah to kill their rivals (the nationalist Shiites).

what a great democracy Iraqis are enjoying!

This Bush-Maliki “preparation” started some hours after dick cheney pushed the executive branch to pass a the “provinces law” last week. The new law will decide whether Iraq will be partitioned into smaller sectarian regions, or will continue to be a united country with one central government.

Five Iraqi cities are under curfew and people from all around the country are participating in the nation-wide civil disobedience that was called for by al-sadr movement.

The Iraqi executive branch, backed by the US occupation authorities, described civil disobedience in Iraq today as “terrorism”. An Iraq government spokesperson said that individuals joining the nation-wide civil disobedience that was called for by Al-Sadr movement will not be tolerated, and that it falls under the counter-terrorism act #13, issued in 2005. The Iraqi Executive branch threatened to punish any governmental employees who don’t show up during the next day.

Yet again trips by the Bush cabal are quickly followed by conflict, funny that eh?

And something is really annoying me and I thought it wasn’t related to this post, but then I realised it was. I read this at C&L-

Pat Buchanan – First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.
Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Because that’s the same exceptionalism, white colonial paternal conservative bullshit that also frames the Iraq war, a rapist saying not only were they asking for it, they enjoyed it and they are only complaining to make trouble because you didn’t say you loved them. Utterly psychotic, utterly deluded fucking white patriot shit. Except it’s hardly ever remarked upon when it is operating in the context of Iraq, the kindly empire will bring freedom & democracy to the oppressed savages in the sandy places. Many Democrats & Republicans colluding in the nationalist fantasy of a massive militarist empire that somehow acts as a global Santa Claus, firm but fair, a good cop. Well Buchanan’s idiocy is the same as that idiocy.

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Mehdi Kazemi Now At The Mercy Of The Home Office

Which is not a good situation to be in. So boys and girls, here we go, the background-

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London to study English in 2004 but later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.

In a phone conversation with his father in Tehran, Mr Kazemi was told that, before the execution in April 2006, his boyfriend had been questioned about sexual relations he had with other men and under interrogation had named Mr Kazemi. Fearing for his own life if he returned to Iran, Mr Kazemi claimed asylum in Britain. Late last year, his claim was refused. Terror-stricken at the prospect of being deported, he made a desperate attempt to evade deportation by fleeing to the Netherlands

What happened in the Netherlands (from Paul Canning’s blog)-

As you may be aware from the BBC, the 19 year old gay Iranian refugee Mehdi Kazemi has lost his case in the Netherlands and the Dutch are refusing to reconsider.

The United Kingdom had sent a formal request to Holland asking for Mehdi’s return to Britain, in order to proceed with his deportation to Iran.

Now then the Home Office/Border and Immigration Agency are (well not fit for the purpose) operating a policy of appeasing immigration demagoguing scum stoked by tabloid imbecility so they routinely ignore the dangers people face if forced back to their countries. In this case it also reveals their absurd and bigoted hypocrisy-

Home Office’s position is that people like Mehdi can be homosexual ‘on the quiet’, therefore no ‘risk’, therefore we can send them back. That somehow homosexuality is a ‘lifestyle choice’. Meaning that they ‘choose’ to be persecuted, they ‘choose to break laws’.

The problem is a homophobic Home Office whose actual policy towards gay refugees is interchangeable with Iranian policy towards gays: it’s a ‘choice’.

So current state of play- he is on his way back to Britain where sufficient pressure and visibility will force the Home Office to actually live up to their pretence that they do not deport people who would be in danger. So, bring the noise-

Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP
House of Commons, Westminster,
London, SW1A 0AA
By Telephone and Fax : 01527 523355

By E mail:
Home Office email


And of course sane and intelligent people can do this without it meaning bombing Iran is a splendid idea. I’m sorry I have to always say this, but right wingers & war pimps really are that stupid.

Conrad Black Eats Porridge!

Yep, sometimes bad things do happen to bad people, cosmic karmic equilibrium is harmonised or…it couldn’t happen to a nicer (scummier) bloke-

Former media tycoon Conrad Black has started his six-and-a-half year jail sentence at a Florida prison. The former owner of the Daily Telegraph was convicted of three counts of fraud and one of obstructing justice. The fraud involved millions of dollars that was siphoned-off from his media firm Hollinger International. The UK peer will serve his sentence at a low-security prison 50 miles north west of Orlando in central Florida. He will also have to pay back $6.1m (£3m).

I’d like to think there’s still room at that country club jail for Rupert…

All You Racists Are Bound To Lose

Ok let me catch you up a bit here, right wing libertarian ‘blogger’ Guido Fawkes/Paul Staines launches legal threats on blogger Tim Ireland, he calls for help and people responded. Now Blairwatch have posted about it and include a very useful link to Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion where the proprietor digs into and recounts much of the right wing /libertarian history of supporting the South African apartheid regime. This I think is crucial reading (UPDATE: Now reproduced below in full). Now as an erudite and learned writer he makes great efforts to be polite and fair which I admire him greatly for, his research is terrific and it’s a brilliant post.

Anyways, the pro-South Africa rightlibs did often pretend they were in it because they were anti the ANC which they saw as a communist terrorist group, so they might argue- we’re not racists were just not supporting the ANC and that just so happens to entail (for them) backing the apartheid governments of successive pasty racist fuckwits. This was common in Young Conservatives and Young Republicans, I vaguely ran into some of these people in the past. We didn’t get on.

Well fuck all their equivocating bullshit. This is how it goes, if you didn’t feel it deep down in your soul that such a regime is just plain wrong and those opposing it must be supported then my friend, you were/are a racist piece of shit. South Africa trumped politics (well for decent people) it was simply wrong, Raygun and Maggie’s support for the regime showed though how easy it was for bigots to pretend their personal failings were a point of view, they still do that (Hey Dick!). Some have maybe woken up to this now, but mostly they just hide their racism in polite company while pursuing right wing policies that always just so happen (Oh what’s a libertarian and/or conservative to do! Oh dearie me!) to give the shit end of the stick to anyone not white. The Anglosphere movement is a good example. As is almost all tory policy. Ahem. What often happens when they get called on this is they whine or get lawyers. But all their obfuscation & belligerence can’t hide what they are, and baby, All You Racists Are Bound To Lose.

Update: From Chicken Yoghurt (backup)

In case anyone would feel the need to ask Richard to take the article down, I have – along with Alex Harrowell who has more on this – reproduced his post here in full. I would ask you to do the same, ‘in the interests of public enlightenment’ as Alex puts it.

And thus here it is-

The Libertarian Right and Southern African in the 1980s: Some Brief Notes

When Paul Staines was first threatening bloggers with libel actions last year over the republication of a 1986 report from The Guardian, not much was made of a second report from the following year:

…Between 6pm and 8pm tomorrow some 150 selected members of the Young Conservatives will be guests at the South African Embassy for a drinks party. According to the invitation, the host is the Counsellor at the Embassy, a Mr. C. Raubenheimer, and the shindig is to mark the departure of a Mr. P. Goossen…The invitation list was drawn up with the help of David Hoyle, chairman of the Conservative Student Foreign Affairs Group, who devotes a lot of his time arranging support for the Nicaraguan contras. Read the rest of this entry »

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Human Rights Act(ing Up)

So the Ministry of Justice (cue establishing shot of imposing leviathan structure, ominous music and title crawl) has kept a survey from 2004 about the Human Rights Act (HRA)under wraps and now releases it with zero publicity. Hmm –

The poll of 2,000 people featured in a report which found there was widespread support for a law on human rights.

A spokesman said: “The overwhelming conclusion shows 84% of the general public agree it is important to have a law which deals with human rights in Britain.

“Since this research was undertaken, the government has undertaken a campaign to promote better understanding of the Act and to ensure that public authorities are more aware of their duties to the public under the Act.”

Except that is not the way the story is spun, that is from a few papragraphs down, the way the report is being spun is ‘ Them damn furrners are scamming our kindly human rights laws’-

It says 57% agree that too many people, mostly asylum seekers and other “foreigners”, take advantage of the Human Rights Act, while 40% agreed that the Act has caused more problems than it has solved. One in 10 people believe criminals and lawyers are taking advantage of the Act.

Now is drawing attention to this and leading the story saying most people think them damn furrners are scamming the law a good thing, is it going to make people think about their ignorance of the act and their bigoted assumptions? Or is this framing an example of that? Can you guess?
The good news is most people agree with having human rights law enshrined in our national laws and the government claims to want to further ‘educate’ people on the law and alleviate misconceptions. Yet the report is sensationally lead with just such a misconception. And why was this report sat on? Was the ministry trying to avoid inflaming bigotry at a sensitive time? Or was it emabarrassed that most people support the law they were breaking domestically and via cooperation with America all over the world? Or is it this growing prejudice that no one wants to talk about?

The report presents the findings from the Human Rights Insight Project, which set out to establish whether human rights could be used empirically as a tool to improve the public’s experience of public services and if so, how we in government could encourage and facilitate this. 

So it sounds like they are more concerned with a consumer level of interaction, of ‘experience’ of their dealings with the government (summary). All of which pales into ironic insignificance when you realise this a government that has committed the ultimate war crime of choosing a war of aggression all the while lying to its people. No wonder we are to be treated as consumers, not citizen’s, or equals. And the attitude to ‘the other’ displayed in people is only a smaller version of the callous disregard for the people we’ve killed abroad. Murderous imperialism is fuelled in part by a certain level of domestic support (a third to a half) that is in turn created simply by capitalism, where compettiton removes empathy, where life is hard already and slowly the sickness of ‘do it to them before they do it to you’ takes hold. That is the bad news in the survey, a sizeable proportion of people are resentful of outsiders & minorities and they appear proud of that and feel aggrieved more is not done against the unfavoured groups who ‘take advantage’ of the act. The abused becoming the abuser. The ‘flexible’ workforce does learn fast.

The ‘war on terror’ and continuing freemaket conservative polices will only increase this prejudice, more pressure, more ‘competitiveness’ more killing for profit. More oppressive regimes supported for the efficient sweatshops they run making more people trying to escape that misery, who will find refuge in the countries most benefiting from the economic inequality (while professing ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’) has turned to hatred. And the media profiting from that global market will not be the ones to inform people this racism is wrong, that the global exploitation inherent in capitalism creates migrants and asylum seekers, that governments and corporations should be held to account for denying us our rights. It’s simple divide and rule, toss the the more idiotic people through their idiotic media some misleading titbits about asylum seekers and companies being sued for a slippery floor and bingo they reduce thought about human rights to a non-elite-threatening level. Like those who attack the Iraqi’s for not building a working super conservative free market corporate friendly ‘stable’ state, we are attacking people, reduced to symptoms (which we then deny) of our own wrongdoing- Of our restless, aggressively acquisitive ruling elite’s crimes against humans and their rights everywhere.

A Town Called Malice: Oh Yeah, Jena Ain’t Racist

A white supremacist group will be allowed to hold a rally here on Martin Luther King Day without posting a $10,000 bond after a federal judge questioned the constitutionality of the law requiring the bond, officials said Friday. The Nationalist Movement, based in Learned, Miss., wants to protest a march held last September to support the Jena 6…

The group challenged the ordinance in federal court and a judge indicated during pre-trial conferences that the city ordinance was constitutionally “faulty,” Mayor Murphy R. McMillin said.

Town counsel Walter E. Dorroh Jr. said the ordinance “puts an undue burden on the First Amendment Rights of indigent persons, and indigent organizations, such as the Nationalist Movement.”

Oh yeah, boo-hoo-hoo the poor nazi retards. The Mayor, Town counsel, on MLK day? Oh yeah absolutely nothing institutionally fucked up here. The Jena 6 have become the means by which this towns festering sickness has been revealed. What a godforsaken shithole, the Mayor can use that if he likes if they want a town slogan.

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The Border & Immigration Agency Is Not Fit For The Purpose

After a documentary exposed racist abuse at an immigration jail (detention center? No, jail. Enough newspeak) because apparently the service’s own management and governement inspectors do not do their jobs, an official review was ordered and carried out by Focus Consultancy between 30 January 2007 and 9 March 2007. Focus Consultancy’s website is currently offline, (so erm I guess they are not putting all that public money into servers). Border and Immigration Agency Chief Executive Lin Homer is a NuLabour apparatchik failing upwards who escaped serious trouble in vote rigging scandals in Birmingham-

“The petitioners also accused the city’s returning officer and chief executive Lin Homer of failing to discharge her duties in accordance with electoral law. Judge Mawrey said that Ms Homer “threw the rule book out of the window” to deal with overwhelming numbers of postal vote application forms received.”

She was upset Charles Clarke lost his job and in this dreadful fawning interview in the Grauniad she thinks the public sector isn’t ‘pacy enough’ and she loves big brother-

Homer says early trials of the e-borders programme mean the agency already captures between 22 and 24 million passenger movements electronically, which have generated about 12,000 alerts and 1,000 arrests.

And from the Times we learn -shock horror- she is trained in the law, oh you cheeky technocrats you- and sees what she does as a business. The banality etc. anyway onto the report, which is interesting in light of what I wrote yesterday (and I had no idea this was coming out) excerpts-

(PDF) When detainees were asked if there was a Race Relations Policy at the detention centre, awareness of there being such a document varied greatly, between 73% of respondents at Haslar IRC and Lindholme IRC knowing of its existence, 45% at Colnbrook IRC , 43% at Oakington IRC, 39% at Tinsley House IRC, to only 13% at Harmondsworth IRC. (The other detention centres scored 60% and above.)

All centres, except Harmondsworth, returned between 10-50% of the staff questionnaires that were sent to them prior to the inspection visit. Pressure of work notwithstanding, this fact was indicative of staff attitude towards race relations at Harmondsworth IRC, and highlighted potential difficulties for the successful implementation of the policy.

many of the detainees that were interviewed felt that formal complaints were “a waste of time” because “no action was ever taken.”

Training (specific and bespoke cultural communication, diversity and race) was not being renewed regularly, as per the UKIS Standards of annual refresher training.

Race equality and cultural awareness days for staff and detainees were lacking at some centres and there was no evidence that staff knew the legal definition of a racist incident as defined by the McPherson Report. (“A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”.)

Privacy of the system varied greatly from having to ask officers for a complaints form at one centre, because they had previously been “wasted and used as scrap paper” and the forms being made available with privacy envelopes, in places which were outside of the CCTV system, such as laundry rooms at another centre.

Unfortunately, the majority of detainees had little faith in the RRC (race relations) meetings and did not believe that any change could take place as a result of attendance. They therefore saw verylittle point in coming forward.

Detainees had no confidence in the complaints procedure; they felt that they would be bullied by officers if they complained. They saw formal complaints as a means of ‘giving officers an excuse to bully!’ The problem was compounded by the fact that complaints boxes, including IMB boxes, were all within sight of patrolling officers.

Asked what could be done to a detainee to repatriate them one reply was-

There are no limits it is our job to get them back to their country and that, at the end of the day, is what we have to achieve, whatever it takes.

Or in one instance-

When asked: “What is the best way to treat a detainee?” – “You won’t go far wrong if you treat a detainee like a 5 year old.”


  • One female officer at Colnbrook, near Heathrow airport, who taunted the detainees by saying “Animals, lock-up time,” also described immigration offenders and failed asylum seekers as “black bastards”.
  • At Lindholme immigration removal centre in South Yorkshire, one member of staff described north African detainees as “donkeys”, accompanied by “full animal sounds”, the report said.
  • At Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, also near Heathrow, the investigators found that in-house inquiry repeatedly missed alleged racism.
  • There were even “staff on staff” problems at Harmondsworth, where an auditor overheard a senior officer tell an Asian colleague: “Talk proper, I can’t understand you.”

    And at Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire, which was badly damaged by a fire shortly after its opening in 2002, the report recommended cultural awareness training for staff after a CCTV operator raised the alarm about a “riot” in the library which was, in fact, an enthusiastic game of checkers by Jamaican inmates. “Their loud speech and slamming of fists on the table had been interpreted as aggressive behaviour,” the report said.

    The inspectors also found a “tense” atmosphere at Campsfield House in Oxfordshire, where a member of staff said: “If this was white British people in here we would be a lot stricter, it is because they are black people that we are afraid.” A member of staff at Yarl’s Wood told auditors that white detainees were treated with more discipline, but the presence of black people caused “paralysis and a softer approach”.

    Jeebus! Racists, idiots, authoritarians. The service attracts them all and clearly they are setting up a system where complaints are stymied (the detainees are absolutely correct the complaints procedure is a waste of time, it is gamed to absolve the jailers and destroy complaints) and abuse runs rampant built around an iniquitous policy. I hate the phrase but the Border and Immigration Agency is not fit for the purpose, in fact for any purpose. It’s a real life Stanford prison experiment going on unseen and encouraged because awful politicians and awful media make these into unpeople, ‘illegals’. If this agency interacted with more favoured groups it would be a scandal, that there is not a huge furore over this migrant gulag is a thoroughly shameful expression of national bigoted cruelty.

    If It’s What You Want

    Well it might seem a little harsh but apparently conservatives wish to make that term synonymous with bigot, well ok, if that’s what you want…bigots.

    According to the ACLU, administrators later told Laccone’s father the shirt had upset a conservative instructor and interfered with her ability to teach. In Thursday’s letter, they argue the T-shirt “intended to convey a particularized, political message that lesbian identity should be celebrated and is a source of pride.”

    I mean they had cornered the market on- shit for brains, retards, scumbags, fascists, imbeciles, cretins, motherfuckers, wankers, throwback Neanderthal knuckle dragging lizard brain arse faces, Bush supporters…, oh where will their greed end? Must they posses every term of abuse and own it for themselves? And those are just the ones in English!

    Update: They backed off. Some people might say it was the ACLU and public attention, but we all know they read this and saw the error of their ways, ahem.

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    Institutional Gunism

    In light of the establishment defence of murder enthusiasts the Metropolitan police it might come as a bit of blow that it turns out not content with raiding and shooting someone once, they really really want to shoot them again-

    According to the brothers, one officer emerged from the car carrying a handgun. A second officer allegedly shouted “shoot him, shoot him, put him down.” Mohammed Kahar said that he then replied: “Don’t shoot me, my hands are in the air.”

    The brothers say they were manhandled off the motorcycle and one was pushed to the ground while the other was handcuffed. They claim that they were called “Paki”, “tossers” and “wankers”. Mohammed Kahar said he heard one officer say “that’s the two brothers” and another asked “how many millions do you get?” – presumably a reference to compensation to be paid to the men over last year’s raid. Their sister, who was passing by on a bus, intervened and was charged with a public order offence for which she has been issued with a fixed penalty notice.

    An independent witness to the incident, who does not want to be named, said in his statement: “I saw an armed officer…holding a black gun about 50 cm long and pointing this at the men on the bike.” He said he had heard a male voice shouting “shoot him, shoot him”. He said he also heard one of the brothers say “are you going to shoot me again?”

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    Write To This Newspaper About Its Racist Cartoon

    (Via Lenin’s Tomb & Crooks & Liars)


    Nazi-style cartoon depicting Iranians as roaches fleeing a sewer, write your complaint to:,

    So another prong of the campaign to normalise an Iran Attack, base ignorant racism depicting human beings as verminous insects to make it easier for people to assent to murdering them, it is as C&L say a Nazi-style propaganda image. Write to the above addresses, we must give the war machine no quarter- no lie, no attempt to ‘other’ their target should be allowed to pass. Take a few minutes, calm down then write expressing your disgust and demanding a full retraction and apology.

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    Our Genocide Is Better Than Your Genocide

    The somewhat inconsistent/incoherent Anti Defamation League has at last recognised the genocide by Turkey against the Armenians. For a long time it’s head Abe Foxman (never too worried about Palestinians being defamed, especially when they did the defaming) didn’t want to admit there was a genocide-

    Foxman has particularly distinguished himself by indulging in spineless acts of rhetorical ambiguity, declaring that “this is not an issue where we take a position one way or the other. This is an issue that needs to be resolved by the parties, not by us. We are neither historians nor arbiters.”

    The debate is about politics, in particular the important multilateral relationship between Israel, the United States and Turkey – one of the world’s few Muslim-majority countries that is also a democracy. As the ADL put it in a recent statement: “Turkey is a key strategic ally and friend of the United States and a staunch friend of Israel, and in the struggle between Islamic extremists and moderate Islam, Turkey is the most critical country in the world.”

    So now Turkey which has funneled millions into bribing ‘lobbying’ (most notably former GOP house leader Denny Hastert-They paid him $500,000 in $200 dollar amounts so it didn’t have to be itemised and therefore traced in public filings.) to stop America recognising the genocide is looking to get Israel to pressure the ADL into de-recognising what it has only now recognised-

    As a result, Israel has come under increasingly heavy diplomatic pressure from the Turkish government to help reverse the decision. The Turkish Foreign minister and the presidential candidate Abdullah Gul registered his “anger and disappointment” at a meeting in Ankara with Israel’s ambassador, Pinhas Avivi. Foreign ministry sources described this meeting to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz as “shrill”.

    Despite pressure from some Israeli intellectuals and scholars of the Jewish Holocaust as well from the small Armenian community here, Israel has refrained from officially recognising the massacres to avoid rupturing its strong diplomatic relations with Turkey. Mr Gul reportedly told the Israeli ambassador that Turkey knew Israel was not responsible for the ADL decision but believed Israel could have done something to prevent it.

    And then there is how Holocaust survivors are treated by the state of Israel-

    A representative of the treasury told a special Knesset hearing concerning survivors’ financial situation on Sunday that some 180,000 Israeli Holocaust survivors do not receive any form of assistance from the state.

    Noach Flug, president of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, participated in the hearing. According to him, 80,000 of the survivors – one third of all survivors in Israel – are officially considered poor. They are mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who are not entitled to compensation stipends from Germany.

    Somewhere the lessons to be learned were rejected and at the end of it all is this-

    Within the Jewish community it has always been considered a form of heresy to compare Israeli actions or policies with those of the Nazis, and certainly one must be very careful in doing so. But what does it mean when Israeli soldiers paint identification numbers on Palestinian arms; when young Palestinian men and boys of a certain age are told through Israeli loudspeakers to gather in the town square; when Israeli soldiers openly admit to shooting Palestinian children for sport; when some of the Palestinian dead must be buried in mass graves while the bodies of others are left in city streets and camp alleyways because the army will not allow proper burial; when certain Israeli officials and Jewish intellectuals publicly call for the destruction of Palestinian villages in retaliation for suicide bombings or for the transfer of the Palestinian population out of the West Bank and Gaza; when 46 percent of the Israeli public favors such transfers and when transfer or expulsion becomes a legitimate part of populascourse; when government officials speak of the “cleansing of the refugee camps”; and when a leading Israeli intellectual calls for hermetic separation between Israelis and Palestinians in the form of a Berlin Wall, caring not whether the Palestinians on the other side of the wall may starve to death as a result.

    Because away from the power broking and Realpolitik what genocide means is a powerful group of humans killing a less powerful group of humans and all the bartering of influence to stop the Armenian genocide being recognised is wholly obscene. Made even more repulsive by the parties involved having been on the receiving end of a genocidal attempt at mass extinction, showing that the race between learning from history and the abused becoming the abusers is always handicapped in the abusers favour by ambition, greed and wilful ignorance.

    Fundamentalists Call For Holy Crusade In Iraq & Applause


    On the most dangerous soil in our world, we’re taking a team of performers, professional athletes, and evangelists on a mission that will be both entertaining, as well as lend tremendous solitude to our men and women stationed in this war torn country of Iraq. We are most excited about this crusade and yes we are willing to go to the front lines with a very encouraging word straight from God, to our troops. We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region.

    I had on a podcast of the Bob Kincaid show (mp3 here last hour)where he interviews Max Blumenthal about the OSU and then saw Crooks & Liars had also picked up on his article in the Nation about OSU-

    Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official arm of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program 

    Another blogger wonders why these upright fundies favour such homo-erotic art work, Max Blumenthal is forthright when he describes them as deluded people who can’t accept themselves and so seek to rid the world of what tempts them, be it porn, drugs or non-straight/unmarried sex. That they provide support and moral justification for the Iraq war is what makes them invaluable to the empire’s death machine. A former Air Force JAG officer is fighting against the fundies because-

    the Dominionist Christian… it’s an imperious, fascistic contagion without a conscience.  

    bushcross.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

    Friday! Julian Clary & Grant Lee Buffalo

    It’s a double bill because of the intertubes problems that wiped out last Friday, first up a clip from an Australian chat show. I was looking for some specific sketches from an Oz comedy show called Fast Forward, the ones I wanted weren’t to be had but on the way I found this clip of one of the performers presenting his own chat show. Now what is great about this is- Julian Clary when he was all but banned from UK TV because of a great gag about fisting the conservative chancellor live on TV toured Oz a fair bit and so he is a guest (in his full early 90’s stage costume regalia, sequins ahoy!) on Steve Vizard’s show. Then Vizard has on an old time football star (the ‘Moose’ oh yeah, you better believe it) who has retired and is plugging his crappy book. The guy is quite literally paralysed by homophobia, at first he won’t even sit next to Clary, or discuss him, the audience does laugh too much at a rubbish joke the old player makes but mostly Clary keeps them on his side with his sheer bravura and wit. (the beginning is a bit dodgy as it is videoed off TV with a camcorder, but stick with it) Enjoy!

    Second is Grant Lee Buffalo’s Lone Star Song, a corker with this great phrase- ‘disciples with artillery’ off their Mighty Joe Moon album. Have a Rockin’ good Friday!

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    Lynching By Proxy


    As I type this I have on my person a deadly weapon. It is not an assault rifle, nor is it a smaller sub-machine gun. It is not any kind of rifle, nor is it a handgun. Aha you might think, it is a bladed weapon, perhaps I have a samurai sword resting in a scabbard across my back. No, I don’t. No flick knives or hunting weapons, and no bows, sling-shots or throwing stars. Not even a nunchuk. Is it my cat who while a furry love muppet can easily kill and eat rabbits and whom (perhaps) I have trained to attack on order. No, she is a cat, she’d just look at me, shrug and go and lay down in the sun somewhere. Is it my own highly skilled hands, trained in deadly martial arts? No.

    In fact at this point you may be running out of ideas what the offensive weapon I have about me is, well, please don’t be shocked but I have left some information out- I have a pair of the weapons. Indeed I am not rolling with a single deadly device, I have two. These lethal instruments of death are in fact my No Sweat canvas baseball boots. Now you may be confused, perhaps if they were sweatshop made I could claim some harm has come from these casual rubber and canvas shoes. But they are 100% union made fair trade items of footwear. So how can I claim they are dangerous weapons? Well it is because of the judgement of a small court in rural Louisiana where shoes such as these are considered so dangerous:-

    On the morning of the trial, the DA reduced the charges from second-degree attempted murder to second-degree aggravated battery and conspiracy. Aggravated battery in Louisiana law demands the attack be with a dangerous weapon. The dangerous weapon? The prosecutor was allowed to argue to the jury that the tennis shoes worn by Bell could be considered a dangerous weapon used by “the gang of black boys” who beat the white victim.

    The trouble started under “the white tree” in front of Jena High School. The “white tree” is where the white students, 80 percent of the student body, would always sit during school breaks. In September 2006, a black student at Jena high school asked permission from school administrators to sit under the “white tree.” School officials advised them to sit wherever they wanted. They did. The next day, three nooses, in the school colors, were hanging from the “white tree.” The message was clear. “Those nooses meant the KKK, they meant ‘Niggers, we’re going to kill you, we’re going to hang you till you die,'” Casteptla Bailey, a mother of one of the students, told the London Observer.

    The Jena high school principal found that three white students were responsible and recommended expulsion. The white superintendent of schools over-ruled the principal and gave the students a three-day suspension saying the nooses were just a youthful stunt. “Adolescents play pranks,” the superintendent told the Chicago Tribune, “I don’t think it was a threat against anybody.”

    Black students decided to resist and organized a sit-in under the “white tree” at the school to protest the light suspensions given to the noose-hanging white students. The white district attorney then came to Jena High with law-enforcement officers to address a school assembly. According to testimony in a later motion in court, the DA reportedly threatened the black protesting students saying that if they didn’t stop making a fuss about this “innocent prank”, “I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen.” The school was put on lockdown for the rest of the week.

    Racial tensions remained high throughout the fall. On the night of Thursday November 30, 2006, a still-unsolved fire burned down the main academic building of Jena High School. On Friday night, December 1, a black student who showed up at a white party was beaten by whites. On Saturday, December 2, a young white man pulled out a shotgun in a confrontation with young black men at the Gotta Go convenience store outside Jena before the men wrestled it away from him. The black men who took the shotgun away were later arrested; no charges were filed against the white man.

    On Monday, December 4, at Jena High, a white student – who allegedly had been making racial taunts, including calling African-American students “niggers” while supporting the students who hung the nooses and who beat up the black student at the off-campus party – was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. The white victim was taken to the hospital treated and released. He attended a social function that evening. Six black Jena students were arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. All six were expelled from school.

    The all-white jury which was finally chosen included two people friendly with the district attorney, a relative of one of the witnesses and several others who were friends of prosecution witnesses.

    And what kind of a place is this Jena?

    Jena, with a population of less than 3000, is the largest town in and parish (county) seat of LaSalle Parish, Louisiana. There are about 350 African-Americans in the town. LaSalle has a population of just over 14,000 people – 12 percent African-American.

    This is solid Bush and David Duke Country – GWB won LaSalle Parish 4 to 1 in the last two elections; Duke carried a majority of the white vote when he ran for Governor of Louisiana. Families earn about 60 percent of the national average. The Census Bureau reports that less than 10 percent of the businesses in LaSalle Parish are black owned.

    Jena is the site of the infamous Juvenile Correctional Center for Youth that was forced to close its doors in 2000, only two years after opening, due to widespread brutality and racism including the choking of juveniles by guards after a youth met with a lawyer. The US Department of Justice sued the private prison amid complaints that guards paid inmates to fight each other and laughed when teens tried to commit suicide.

    Oh, well maybe they enjoy being ridiculed by erm, virtually everyone else on planet earth for being inbred mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Bush voting, lynch happy, racist retards. But…attention on this case might actually prevent them from getting away with this proxy-lynching-by-court scam of theirs. If you are a US resident you can (you should) click the banner below and you will be taken to a petition to have the Justice Dept. review and hopefully intervene in this pathetic travesty of a legal process.


    h/t Tom at Automatic Preference & Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican.