Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zygmunt Bauman: liquid fear and online alienation

Zygmunt Bauman talks to al Jazeera about the state of the world (video).

Around the 20' mark Zygmunt also briefly touches on how the Internet further divides us, rather than bringing people together (as marketingspeak would have us believe). The minimum social veneer that mediates our behaviour in the offline world is something we're unlearning when at the click of a mouse someone can be permanently excluded from another person's comfort zone.

Well worth a quick gander, IMO...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beautiful People supporting the Brexit...

By its friends yee shall know it:

Donald J. Trump

Sarah Palin

Alex Jones

Pamela Geller

David Icke

Kilroy Silk

Marine Le Pen

Andrew Anglin (editor of The Daily Stormer)

Roosh V. (rapy pick up artist)

Milo Yiannopoulos

Nick Griffin

Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, EDL founder)

Paul Weston (Liberty GB)

Thomas Mair (accused of the murder of Jo Cox)

Paul Golding (was a member of the neo-Nazi National Front, and once attended the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday while drunk and wearing women's underwear on his head)

Geert Wilders

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit: a second referendum? Be heard!

After the 'British' self-inflicted head blow called 'Leave won', some kind of fightback is now to be expected.

A petition is currently under way:

We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.

At the time of writing, 1,277,999 people have signed it and the sign-up rate is over 1,000 per minute!

Sign the petition!, scheduled to be discussed in Parliament shortly.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Andrew Graham-Dixon: Low Life roaming the Low Countries

Andrew Graham-Dixon, double barrelled airhead whose praise for a single Caravaggio could easily comprise a million syllables, turns out to a toffish racist.

In his three parter 'The High Art of the Low Countries' Andy finally turns his attention to Belgium (in part 3/3) with a racist vengeance that would make some UKIPers blush. The festival of ignorance and undiluted bigotry starts at about 30' into this shameful document.

What's the point of Belgium [he asks]? Well, there was one once!

As if the reason for the creation of Belgium has any relevance to the lives of today's Belgians/

[Acc. AG-D] Belgium's cultural identity is hard to define, if easy to mock!
To underscore this, he goes on to quote the French poet Baudelaire, who apparently once said:
Belgians are the stupidest race on Earth!

Andrew should perhaps know better than to further promulgate the racist rantings of this poet (no matter how brilliant he may otherwise have been). Instead our racist art critic just... erm, quotes, don't you know?

He plods on:

This nation, if it truly is one, doesn't even have a common language: three AND counting!

Counting... It's true: on its Southern border with Germany the French speaking part of the country has a small enclave of German speakimg Belgians. The sheer cheek of these people!

More evidence of Belgian perfidy:

Antwerp hates Brussels, while Brussels detests Brughes.

Jokes about the British North, reciprocated with jokes about 'that London' spring to mind here but not to our artful zealot!

Yeah, take this, erm... "Belgium":

Even now, Belgium excels at making everything as complicated as possible!

Another zinger:

Belgians don't know who they are!
Belgium's catastrophically complicated structure, blah blah blahdiblah

So catastrophic it's one of the richest countries in the world! And one of the more important members of the EU...

How is it possible that on the otherwise politically correct BBC, this kind of nonsense that denigrates an entire country, its people and its culture, stands in for high brow cultural 'critique'?

Of course no Sunday Telegraph penning toff can sign off without first taking a swipe at the EU, which 'Belgians desperately embrace... in search of an identity!'

Follows then a demolition job on one of the most successful cartoon figures (Tintin) and its creator Hergé, as well as on two largely forgotten and widely despised visual artists, René Margritte and Paul Delvaux. Both get a kind of pseudo-Freudian treatment (which perhaps they deserve), as if they're somehow representative of (to Andrew's mind) Belgium's sickness of the soul/psyche.

As regards Tintin/Kuifje (yep: it too is bilingual!), listen FOOL: it's a highly successful cartoon for KIDS. Intellectual masturbation by faux-psychoanalytical racist tossers like you doesn't mean it's anything near what your impenetrably dense word salad tries to imply it is.

This tosspot is of course also the author of that ultimate bit of crapola about Adolf Hitler:

‘What I think is horrible and compelling is that the whole Nazi project began with art,’ Andrew Graham-Dixon is telling me. ‘Hitler wasn’t just a watercolourist who went into politics. Hitler was the most influential artist of all time.’
Perhaps one shouldn't be surprised that the vanity project that is Andrew Graham-Dixon comes up with these racist humdingers. What kind of man would offer the following description of himself on his own website:
WELCOME to the website of Andrew Graham-Dixon, one of the world’s leading art critics. A fully searchable archive of Andrew's written work, including his current weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph, forms the heart of this website - more than a million words on all aspects of the visual arts! An invaluable resource for schoolchildren, undergraduates, mature students - in short anyone interested in art.

Considering Andrew's indomitable verbosity, that bit about a million words is at least sure to be true...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Congratulations Ireland!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

BREAKING: Bush And Cheney MAY HAVE Said Some Lies In Lead-Up To Iraq War

Everybody with two brain cells to rub together at least SUSPECTS that there was some fishy business in the run-up to the war on Iraq, what with the fact Saddam had not attacked us, no WMDs were ever found, etc. And Iraq is back in the news right now, mostly because Jeb Bush, brother of brush-clearing, flightsuit-wearing George W. Bush, has been stepping all over his own dick for a week, trying to explain how the Iraq war wasn’t a mistake, except that it was, NO YOU SHUT UP, etc. Marco Rubio got in on the action too, dancing a jaunty jig on his own dick, because Questions Is Tough.

Well now, we have some more concrete information as to exactly HOW the Bush administration may have done all its lying, in the form of Mike Morell, a high ranking CIA dude who used to be Dubya’s CIA intelligence briefer. Morell appeared on Hardball Tuesday night and explained, under the duress of Chris Matthews’s verbal waterboarding, that he would tell Bush and Cheney things, at which point they would go on television and instead say whatever they had wanted to say in the first place. For instance, he claims he did not tell them that Iraq had the capability to make a nuclear bomb, which to Dick Cheney’s lying ears, apparently sounded just like “IRAQ HAS NUKES, BOMB BOMB BOMB!”:

Host Chris Matthews asked Morell about a statement Cheney made in 2003: “We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” Here’s the conversation that followed:

MATTHEWS: Was that true?

MORELL: We were saying—

MATTHEWS: Can you answer that question? Was that true?

MORELL: That’s not true.

MATTHEWS: Well, why’d you let them get away with it?

MORELL: Look, my job Chris—

MATTHEWS: You’re the briefer for the president on intelligence, you’re the top person to go in and tell him what’s going on. You see Cheney make this charge he’s got a nuclear bomb and then they make subsequent charges he knew how to deliver it…and nobody raised their hand and said, “No that’s not what we told him.”

Morell goes on to say that it is NOT his fault that Bush and Cheney went on teevee and made up their own bullshit, and it was not his responsibility to watch all their interviews and speeches to make sure they weren’t lying or otherwise fucking up. And meh, that might be true, since he was sort of in a “serving at the pleasure of the President” situation. However, he outright admitted that yes, they did misrepresent his briefings “on some aspects.” So, again, try to cloak the shock boner that this story just gave you, about how Bush and Cheney might be lying liars who lied. A lot.

Chris Matthews correctly noted that this revelation is a “big deal” and Morell agreed that it is also a “big deal,” so we have consensus, on this being a big fucking deal, since Republicans just LOVE to fall back on the whole “all our intelligence was wrong, it was nobody’s fault!”

How many people actually share the blame for the run-up clusterfuck that led to the actual-war clusterfuck? Who knows, but the answer is probably somewhere between WE’LL NEVER TELL and ALL OF THEM, KATIE!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

No Miscegenation Please: we’re Israeli!

Jaw dropping stuff here by David Sheen. Only in the Only Democracy in the ME™!

Watch on Utoob:

What needed to be said…

The best thing about this political moment in the U.S. (if not for the good people of Iraq) is that the rise of ISIS and the Republican candidates’ embrace of the Iraq war is posing that deep and permanent question to the American public, Why did we invade Iraq?

Last night Chris Matthews asked that question again and David Corn said it was about the neoconservative desire to protect Israel. Both men deserve kudos for courage. Here’s part of the exchange:

Matthews: Why were the people in the administration like [Paul] Wolfowitz and the others talking about going into Iraq from the very beginning, when they got into the white house long before there was a 911 long before there was WMD. It seemed like there was a deeper reason. I don’t get it. It seemed like WMD was a cover story.

Corn: I can explain that. For years. Paul Wolfowitz and other members of the neocon movement had talked about getting rid of Iraq and there would be democracy throughout the region that would help Israel and they came to believe actually a very bizarre conspiracy theory that al Qaeda didn’t matter, that Saddam Hussein was behind all the acts of violence…

Matthews: The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney.. it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, .. it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a neverending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. … we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran.

What a great exchange. And it shows up Paul Krugman, who mystifies this very issue in the New York Times. (“Errors and Lies,” which poses the same question that Matthews does but concludes that Bush and Cheney “wanted a war,” which is just a lie masquerading as a tautology.)

Here are my two cents. We invaded Iraq because a powerful group of pro-Israel ideologues — the neoconservatives — who had mustered forces in Washington over the previous two decades and at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor. It’s a variation on a neocolonialist theory that pro-Israel ideologues have believed going back to the 1940s: that Palestinians would accept a Jewish state if you got rid of their corrupt leadership and allowed the people to share in Israel’s modern economic miracle.

The evidence for this causation is at every hand.

It is in the Clean Break plan written for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996 by leading neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser — all of whom would go into the Bush administration — calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein and the export of the Palestinian political problem to Jordan.

It is in the Project for a New American Century letters written to Clinton in 1998 telling him that Saddam’s WMD were a threat to Israel. (A letter surely regretted by Francis Fukuyama, who later accused the neocons of seeing everything through a pro-Israel lens.)

It is in the PNAC letter written to George W. Bush early in 2002 urging him to “accelerate plans for removign Saddam Hussein from power” for the sake of Israel.

the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an “Axis of Evil.” Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles — American principles — in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred.

It is in Netanyahu testifying to Congress in 2002 that he promised there would be “enormous positive reverberations” throughout the region if we only removed Saddam.

It is in Wolfowitz saying that the road to peace in the Middle East runs through Baghdad. (Possibly the stupidest thing anyone has ever said in the history of the world, including Douglas Feith.)

It is in all the neocon tracts, from Perle and Frum’s An End to Evil, to Kristol and Kaplan’s The War Over Saddam, to Berman’s Terror and Liberalism, saying that Saddam’s support for suicide bombers in Israel was a reason for the U.S. to topple him.

It is in war-supporter Tom Friedman saying that we needed to invade Iraq because of suicide bombers in Tel Aviv– and the importance of conveying to Arabs they couldn’t get away with that.

It is in the head of the 9/11 Commission, former Bush aide Philip Zelikow, saying Israel was the reason to take on Iraq back in 2002 even though Iraq was no threat to us:

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002. “And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”

It is in Friedman saying that “elite” neoconservatives created the war in this interview with Ari Shavit back in 2003: 

It’s the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It’s the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

It is in Tony Judt’s statement about the Israel interest in the war back in 2003:

For many in the current US administration, a major strategic consideration was the need to destabilize and then reconfigure the Middle East in a manner thought favorable to Israel.

And yes this goes back to rightwing Zionism. It goes back to Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol launching neoconservatism in the 1970s because they said that the dovish policies of the Democratic Party were a direct threat to Israel– an analysis continued in this day by Norman Braman, Marco Rubio’s leading supporter, who says that the U.S. must be a military and economic power in order to “sustain” Israel.

An Economist blogger wrote several years ago that if you leave out the Zionism you won’t understand the Iraq war:

Yes, it would be ridiculous, and anti-semitic, to cast the Iraq war as a conspiracy monocausally driven by a cabal of Jewish neocons and the Israeli government. But it’s entirely accurate to count neoconservative policy analyses as among the important causes of the war, to point out that the pro-Israeli sympathies of Jewish neoconservatives played a role in these analyses, and to note the support of the Israeli government and public for the invasion. In fact any analysis of the war’s causes that didn’t take these into account would be deficient.

Many writers, including Joe Klein, Jacob Heilbrunn, and Alan Dershowitz, have said the obvious, that neoconservatism came out of the Jewish community. And I have long written that the Jewish community needs to come to terms with the degree to which it has harbored warmongering neoconservatives, for our own sake.

But America needs to come to terms with the extent to which it allowed rightwing Zionists to dominate discussions of going to war. This matter is now at the heart of the Republican embrace of the war on Iran. There is simply no other constituency in our country for that war besides rightwing Zionists. They should be called out for this role, so that we don’t make that terrible mistake again. And yes: this issue is going to play out frankly in the 2016 campaign, thanks in good measure to Matthews.