Thursday, May 31, 2007

Creepiest Websites of the Day

Obviously, it goes without saying that Radical Islam and Scientology are by far and away the two greatest threats to our way of life and collective mental health in the world today. And it is right that they receive as much coverage as they do. However, I'd like to share a few links that are worth visiting briefly if you're the kind of person who enjoys feeling creeped out at the gradual realisation that there's a whole subculture of influential organisations out there devoted to fucking with everyone's heads for God knows what purpose...

Phew, it's just as well that so many ordinary people are aware of the kind of things these outfits do and know what to look out for.


You are sooooo busted - pt1

"Would you like a polonium spritzer with that?"

A friend of mine called me up this morning (cheers John) to tell me that I really should turn on
BBC News 24 to watch its headline story

It was, of course, Andrei Lugovoi, the man charged with poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, giving his frankly remarkable press conference.

My chum was thoughtful enough to appreciate that there’s nothing quite like watching a live feed before the editors get a chance to step in and the specialist correspondents have an opportunity to present the edited material in its ‘correct’ context

My chum is also aware that I maintain a particular interest in what goes on in Russia as the result a series of frankly remarkable business trips I made there a few years ago.

And what I saw was the tail end of the purest expression of kleptocracy I have ever seen in the Northern Hemisphere

Without rehashing the story of the oligarchs here, the country had been robbed blind and ownership of anything of any value had been transferred to a small band of crooks. All thanks to Boris Yeltsin’s quite staggeringly corrupt government and the assistance of hordes of Western economic advisers who maintained that the only way to save Russia was to destroy Russia.

Once the assets had been stolen, a fairly crude accounting trick that involved selling their output to offshore holding companies at knock down prices meant that the state’s share of the revenue from those assets approximated to something like fuck all.

Low-income earners couldn’t afford to pay any tax. Higher incomes earners didn’t have to. Middle income earners ended up footing all the bills. That was, at least, until there were hardly any middle income earners left.

Russia was broke

In spite of Western portrayals of the recently deceased Boris Yeltsin as being some kind of flawed hero of the Russia people, most of the people, aside from tourists, visiting his body weren’t paying their respects they were just checking to make sure the fucker was really dead

Yup, he's definitely not breathing...

Anyone wishing to study a highly compressed, edited highlight version of how globalisation works when totally unrestrained could do worse than study what happened to Russia in the 1990s

And it is worth studying. It's the Future

(as an aside, I didn't develop my views about untrammelled globalisation and klepto-capitalism sitting at a keyboard - I've seen the results first hand and they lick donkey nuts, big time)

Policemen weren’t being paid. Teachers weren’t being paid. You could sense that for a time there was a real, and very dangerous, prospect of the entire, very large, very heavily-armed, country breaking down completely

And then Putin came along

Without holding up Putin as any kind of paragon of virtue and to cut a long story short, Putin was given power by the people who were looting Russia and then, for reasons known only to Putin, he turned around and fucked them.

Which goes a long way to account for Putin's continuing popularity in the Russia, in spite of what the Western media, rather feebly, try to imply

Putin is clearly far from stupid and realised that there was no way he could take back the assets stolen by the Oligarchs without having to face some serious global repercussions.

On top of that, some of the smarter oligarchs realising which way the wind was blowing started selling large chunks of their stolen Russian holdings and exchanging them for Western assets. In money laundering parlance this is known as the ‘layering’ stage. A process which the British establishment has a long and distinguished record of bending over backwards to facilitate, Russian mobsters being no exception.

So, at first sight, Putin was stuck. Russia had been robbed of its most productive resources and unless Putin was prepared to expand the role of the Russian government to include British football club ownership he had a problem.

Only he didn’t have a problem. The thing about oil fields and aluminium mines is that you can’t physically move them out of the country. All Putin had to do was tax the shit out of their land value.

Problem solved

And he is starting to (this link is well worth a read)

So, as long as Putin or someone like Putin is in charge of the Russian government the net profitability of those resources for their thieving, scumbag owners (now Western as well as indigenous oligarchs) is severely reduced.

Basically, Putin has to go...


The Return of the Hamburglar

In spite of my better judgement I can’t help myself and I have to return to a subject I alluded to yesterday.

Several bloggers have already attempted to write objective accounts of what is going on, including this one here and here (edit: OK, the author of Link #2 has just fessed up to a soupçon
of subjectivity)

The short version of the story is that two British bloggers have been involved in a protracted and personalised dispute which has now culminated in a full-on virtual, and not so virtual, campaign against one of the bloggers.

Including some pretty vile, anonymous 'tribute' sites mimicking that person's blog

So, what's the deal here - are people really trying to get her to top herself?

Personally, I don't give a damn which one of the protagonists is 'right' or 'wrong' and I'm only commenting now because this corrosive nonsense is being willfully spread beyond their individual blogs.

God knows why, the bulk of British political and activist blogs are so fucking lame, but our current Government and mainstream media are obsessed with blogs. Did I say obsessed? Hate is the nearer the mark. I suspect that this is more to do with the future potential of blogs in the UK rather than their actual impact today; particularly once more people stop being Muppets and start to realise that all the shit that’s going down wasn’t Blair-specific after all. Whatever the reason, there are fuckers out there just itching to impose control on freedom of expression on-line...

The Internet was a mistake and now They want to rectify that mistake

"We can't very well have our products turning against us"

And, whether by accident or design, this current cyber-witch hunt is playing right into Their hands

This campaign is plain nasty and if it helps to establish a trend it threatens to provoke a blow-back that might impinge on the freedom of expression of all UK bloggers

I ask anyone who is currently participating in this nonsense to think very carefully about what they are doing and ask themselves if it is behaviour that they can be in some way proud of. I submit that it isn't

And given the relatively small circulation of this blog, I ask anyone bumping into this post who subsequently bumps into another blog that is taking part in this nonsense to at least think about asking the author if they've really thought through what the fuck they are doing.

NB All wanky emails threatening or disingenuously alluding to legal action can be sent to the address at the top of this page. At which point I will reproduce them in full on this blog and print off copies on nice soft paper so that I can wipe my arse with them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The non-existent NWO gets another boost

There have been some astonishing developments at the World Bank in the wake of Paul Wolfowitz’s fall from grace...

In a shock move, President Bush has decided to replace the outgoing creepy, NWO, globalist bastard with…

...another creepy, NWO, globalist bastard

Robert Zoellick is or has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission, The Bilderberg Group
and The World Wildlife Fund

Fuck me, if we were playing NWO-themed bingo Zoellick would have called 'house' years ago. Not that you’d notice from the gushing Zoellick bios the BBC and everyone else are putting out

Gordon Brnwo must be creaming his nappy

And if anyone bumping into this blog is labouring under the illusion that the WWF is somehow fluffy simply because it has a panda for a logo, it’s worth bearing in mind that past WWF presidents have included such illuminated elitist douchebags as Bilderberg founder Prince Bernhard and our very own, ultra-fluffy Prince Philip - the man who would like to be reincarnated as a deadly virus so that he can kill a few billion poor people to help reduce the ‘surplus population’.

Impotent, overweight, bamboo-chomping, genocidal c*nt...

I have no doubt that people will eventually cotton onto the connection between globalisation and elitist ecofascism simply because it is so blatant. It's going to take a while though and all sorts of heinous shit can happen in the interim

And if anyone bumping into this blog is labouring under the impression that the World Bank isn’t that significant, or that evil, here are a few links and names to get you started – Greg Palast/ Joseph Stiglitz/ Bechtel – any similarities between the way the World Bank/ Bechtel tried to fuck the Bolivians over with their water and what’s happening with the UK water industry (and everyone else's water industries) are, I’m sure, entirely coincidental

Warning: All of the above is, of course, part of a raving conspiracy theory and the World definitely doesn’t work that way and in reality everything happens by accident. It's just a coincidence that all those accidents repeatedly favour the same interests. Yes, definitely a coincidence.

And the sooner all bloggers get with the program, drop all the paranoid nonsense, start taking the mainstream media at face value, get stuck into some arguments about trivial or staged bullshit with people of slightly different beliefs or skin colour,
joining in witch hunts, and calling for properly-managed inquiries into the undoubtedly innocent and well-intentioned mistakes of our leaders the better

/ fucked off


Public Service Announcement

"This way children..."

Non-British visitors to this and other British based blogs might be unaware that a small section of the British Blogging Community
(sic.) is pioneering a voluntary self-certification system

If you see something like this button...

...displayed prominently on a UK-based blog you can be 100% confident that the author(s) has completely lost the plot and needs to sit down somewhere dark and quiet and think things through for a while

And if you don't know what I'm talking about please don't ask (you can ask this chap though). I really can't be arsed to deal with the poxy emails threatening me with bullshit libel actions that would undoubtedly ensue. Not this week anyway. (edit: I'm in the mood now)


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Belly of the Beast

As a few of my photo-chums know, I’ve just spent what for me is a buttock-clenching amount of money on a new compact digital camera.

One of the main reasons why I picked it up is that it packs the widest-angle lens currently available on a compact. Wide-angle compacts are thin on the ground because a) for technical reasons they are expensive to make, and b) most people are much more interested in telephoto lenses. I think that’s at least partly because long lenses appeal to the voyeuristic side of human nature.

However, most interesting pictures, certainly the most interesting photo-journalistic images, are usually taken with wide-angle lenses. That’s because to use a wide-angle lens effectively you have to get close to and become involved with your subject and even when you do there is still a lot of space that can be filled with context. Good wide-angle pictures tell a story.

So, for example, when I got up early this morning and went for a stroll around Vauxhall to take some test pictures with my new wide-angle camera I was able to include a discarded copy of
Hard On magazine in the foreground and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (very popular with readers of Hard On magazine) in the background...

Subject and Context

But there’s a lot more to Vauxhall than pavement filth and eye-wateringly aggressive gay drinking establishments. There’s the fabulously expensive new solar powered bus station

and the area is also littered with the latest manifestations of the Metropolitan Police’s ongoing campaign to deal with people’s perception of crime as well as crime itself. Because, as Commissioner Ian Blair so frequently reminds us, people’s fear of crime is rising even though crime itself is falling…

Leave it on show

Expect it to go

Chaucer would have been proud

Of course, Vauxhall’s most notable landmark is not the solar-powered bus station or the
Royal Vauxhall Tavern or warmly reassuring posters about street crime it’s…

Old Spooky

and what’s really cool is how you can stand in what presumably is the MI6 building’s alfresco party barbecue area/ mock pagan temple and line up Millbank Tower (ex Labour Party HQ), Thames House (Meye5 central) and the Houses of Parliament

Millbank Tower, Thames House, HoP

When it comes to being in the Belly of the Beast Vauxhall sure takes some beating.

Sadly, the old Millbank Prison that once stood on the North Bank of the Thames opposite the MI6 building’s location was demolished years ago. It would have fitted in with the current physical and psychological landscape perfectly…

The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell if they are being observed or not, thus conveying a "sentiment of an invisible omniscience." In his own words, Bentham described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example

I was particularly gratified this morning to notice that a fellow Pyramid connoisseur and MI6 Building fan had clearly left his mark on Vauxhall Bridge…

and that building does fascinate me. All buildings are an encoded statement of one kind or another. Unless, that is, they are perfectly rectangular and totally utilitarian which even then is a statement of sorts (‘
I’m cheap’, ‘I don’t give a fuck’).

And one thing’s for sure, the MI6 building is saying something. As well as being festooned with all sorts of peculiar little architectural features there is the small matter of the view from above...

Now I’ve said it before but to me it is reminiscent of the owl motif (aka ‘Moloch’) that crops up hidden in dollar bills, the Washington street plan and as the large concrete pagan idol, voiced over by Walter Cronkite, at Bohemian Grove in front of which past and current Presidents and Prime Ministers make mock child sacrifices (weird but true)...

On the other hand, someone has pointed out to me that it also looks like a Transformer Terrabot...

So, I have to concede that the Owl connection is hardly cast-iron

There's another possible connection/ synchronism that did tickle me though, I saw a clip from a restored print of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis a few months ago and the ‘Heart Machine’, the power plant running Metropolis is represented as the flaming idol Moloch, a furnace stoked on human flesh…

and guess what I was reminded of the moment I saw it...

Join MI6 today - it's a hoot...

Well, it was just a thought


Monday, May 28, 2007

The Truth is Out There ... and quite a few lies too

Further to that last post about militant Muslim demonstrations which, as ably researched and documented by The Antagonist, might not be exactly what they seem to be...

Postman Patel has picked up the torch and has spent some time mooching around forums like Stormfront and posted a couple of times on the fact that the BNP is taking the bait and reacting to the planned demo (/ staged provocation?).

Curiously, a couple of the Stormfront posts actually talk about making common cause with some Sikhs and Caribbeans who might be planning to hold a counter demonstration

Ho Ho Ho

So, presumably they wouldn’t mind if some moderate Muslims turned up and joined them as well.

One of the enduring mysteries of fascism is how so many ordinary people have been conned into supporting it over the years. By its very nature fascism only serves the interests of a tiny number of people at the very top and not the majority; White, Brown or any other colour. The trick is, of course, to take people who have grievances and concerns, sometimes legitimate ones, and bamboozle them into blaming completely the wrong people for those grievances and concerns.

I have yet to meet a single British Muslim who wants to obliterate Anglo-Saxon White British culture (whatever that might be). I have, however, met plenty who wish to retain elements of their own heritage in parallel with whatever everyone else is getting on with. They would also prefer it if our country stopped bombing the shit out of Muslims overseas on the basis of lies. None of this is a threat to the identity of this Nation.

I have read a lot about how Muslims want to take over our World in the newspapers though. However, those newspapers are owned by the kind of people who sit at the very top of the Pyramid and they do seem to dwell on the outrageous statements of the same half dozen or so militant Muslims; some of whom are recent 'converts', others who appear to be more than a little 'spooky', time and time again. There's a perverse, one-sided argument going on right now. Lots of non-Muslims are being wound up into demanding that Muslims be good citizens and 99.999995% of Muslims are fucked if they know what else they can do.

The number of Muslims calling for the kind of shit everyone is worried about is absolutely tiny.

And of that tiny number there are plenty of grounds to be a least suspicious that someone is putting some of them up to it, or at least giving them coverage vastly out of proportion to their significance or sanity

To be honest, your average BNP’er should be more concerned about the impact of corporate globalisation on that Anglo-Saxon White British culture they are so keen to preserve. It’s not the fucking Muslims who want to reduce us all to an homogenous, rootless, easily manipulated cultural pulp.

Wouldn’t it be something if the White nationalists, the Muslims, the Sikhs, the Caribbeans and everyone else turned up at Downing Street on June 15 and instead of yelling at each other, like they’re supposed to, had the common sense to come together and start hurling abuse at those who would set us all at each other’s throats instead.

Just for once

Well, you can dream can’t you


One thing that did strike me whilst reading around the issue of the planned protest was that, in spite of the fact that the organizers of this demo and their motivations are very murky indeed, there are people out there prepared to take it all at face value without any reservations

For example, Faisal Haque in his Daily Telegraph blog raised the possibility that someone, someone who isn’t a Muslim, might be shit-stirring

“However, I believe that this demo is being organised by agent provocateurs who will fuel the Government’s propaganda that the Muslim community is full of ‘radicalised’ hotheads. It will damage community relations and will be used to justify further erosion of the civil liberties of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims. Judging by the inflammatory postings on the petition website, it is clear that the mere advertising of this demonstration is causing a wave of Islamophobia.”

To which a couple of people commented with such astute replies as...

“David Albion's got it right. The Onanists in our government couldn't organise a bed in a bordello, let alone a decent scam along these lines. All they know how to do is put their hands firmly in our pockets.”

“Conspiracy theorys - It is utter rubbish to even consider the Govt we have would have the necessary wit to do anything like this. Best you collect your brothers and sisters together and say to them. We live in a Christian country abide by their laws and all will be well.”

All of which reminded me of something someone emailed me about yesterday. Something which may at first seem to be nothing to do with anything.

It was a link to a series of ‘UFO’ photos that has caused a minor stir on Flickr...

No, they’re not very good.

I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to this sort of thing and still prefer traditional techniques - using hand made models tossed into the air or dangling from a piece of wire rather than all this cgi nonsense…

© Billy Meier - full-time alien contactee and undisputed Master of one-armed Photoshop

One of the tricks that kept the discussion about the photos going on in Flickr is the fairly crude use of non-paid, easily opened Flickr accounts to post comments saying how convincing they are.

Hmmm, dodgy photos, fake identities... it must be some kind of a conspiracy

But, apparently, as mainstream wisdom goes, no-one is clever enough to pull a stunt like that


Winding people up with fake shit is the easiest thing in the World – particularly if they are packing the kind of razor sharp intellect possessed by the average Telegraph Online commentator

Curiously, and returning to the subject in hand, something similar seems to be going on with the Stormfront site. Some of the more aggressive commenting about the ‘British Oppression’ demo seems to be coming from ID’s that either haven’t been open very long or don't have much of a posting history


Like I've said before there are signs that we're in for an eventful summer. Our government is making no secret of the fact that it is just itching to declare a state of emergency and rush in powers that will enable our police to stop and interrogate people without having any reasonable grounds for doing so (!?)

and it's only going to take one excuse, just one...


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Brace yourself for the outrage

Kate Moss modeling the latest, and surprisingly charlie-stain free, addition to the Agent Provocateur range of lingerie - ...

If they haven't done so already, Agent Provocateur fans might like to read
The Antagonist's latest post on the British Oppression - Downing Street protest that apparently is being held on 15th June. There seems to be some question about who is actually organizing it. Though you can be fairly confident that half a dozen very stereotypically Muslim looking people will turn up and do, say or wave around something shocking that the TV and newpaper outfits will lap up with enthusiastic outrage.

The same old shit from the same old suspects

And The War on Domestic Terrorism calendar for June/ July is starting to fill up nicely. There's a Summer of Love ahead of us, that's for sure


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Not entirely a Ludicruous Diversion but...

Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

/ big Sherlock Holmes fan


Postman Patel has just blogged about a short Youtube video that attempts to deconstruct the only photograph that has been released of the four alleged 7/7 suicide bombers.

And fair play to him for doing so. This photograph is worth looking at and thinking about


There are, I believe, grounds for caution about expending too much energy on tearing this particular photograph apart or fixating on its significance as a potential ‘smoking gun’ of security force misbehaviour on 7/7. I have tried to raise those concerns in the past and, for my troubles, on one occasion was accused of being part of the ‘7/7 Conspiracy’.


First off, the picture is dodgy. No doubt. And it may have been tampered with...

But so fucking what?

Those of us who dabble with and challenge 'official' conspiracies need to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the psychology of denial - be we fighting it or, dare I say, suffering from it

Broadly speaking, the Luton photograph has one of three possible biographies…
  1. the photo is legitimate and the flaws are simply the result of compression and sharpening algorithms

  2. the photo is legitimate but was retouched slightly because… (insert plausible sounding official excuse here)

  3. the photo is illegitimate and a total mock-up

Even if they become aware of the flaws in the photograph, the people who believe the official account, and that is the vast majority of people, will be eager to believe that photo is flawed for some perfectly legitimate reason and they will embrace any reason that they are given.

The question for 7/7 sceptics is, if the photograph is such an obvious piece of shit, why is it so 'obviously' flawed? Are we to assume that state security forces don’t have the necessary in-house photoshop skills to do a decent job?

Or is it a deliberately rubbish piece of work

And if it is deliberately rubbish, why?

The Zapruder Film - 44 years of inconclusive mental masturbation and counting...

If people want to spend time taking the Luton picture apart that’s fine. However, they should be mindful of the fact that the results are unlikely to interest anyone except for people who already have doubts. On top of that, there’s a possibility that the photo deconstructors are taking someone’s bait.

Be careful

There is one claim made by the video that is flat out wrong. Near the start it says that 7/7 Luton photograph is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and says this is so because it is such a bad fake. Not true. Copies of the photograph are all over the web – including the Metropolitan Police’s own web site.

So, if it’s a cover-up it’s a pretty rubbish one.

As a slight aside, one thing that did freak me out a little was discovering that if you type ‘luton bombers 77’ into a Google Image Search a picture of me pops up in the first page of results...

Oooh-er, I'm not sure that I like that

And even though, and I stand on my record on this one, I am as interested in chanting monks, lunatic secret societies and all that other illuminati/ masonic/ Unified Conspiracy Theory
stuff as the next person, mixing it in with questions about 7/7, as the person who uploaded the video does, detracts from those questions and is likely to turn people off.

If the people grappling with 7/7 and using the Net as their mouthpiece aren't searching for evidence and lines of reasoning that will reach out to and win over the majority of ordinary people then what the fuck are they doing?

Whilst poring over the only photograph that has been released don’t let that be a distraction from the much bigger, potentially more fruitful question…

Where are all the other photographs and videos from that day?

As even the person who uploaded the video analysing the sole 7/7 photograph says in the description

London is crawling with CCTV cameras. There should be 100's of clips of cctv footage showing these supposed bombers on that day. Where are they all?

You could ask the same question about eye witness accounts of that day’s events or the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes a couple of weeks later. The paucity of imagery and witness testimony from those days available in the public domain is quite peculiar and a reason for concern in itself.

The existence of one shonky picture of the alleged 7/7 bombers is not a core factor in my personal scepticism about official accounts of that day. The fact that it is the only picture is.


Monday, May 21, 2007

A chilling read - (now slightly updated to be even more chilling)

Khalid Khaliq, 34 from Beeston, Leeds, who has been in custody for over a week and was charged late on Sunday and will appear today at City of Westminster Magistrates, central London, charged under the Terrorism Act 2000with possessing "a document or record namely the al-Qaeda training manual containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

If found guilty this carries a maximum sentence of ten years

The more I think about the wording of the charge the more I am fascinated by it. The 'document or record' doesn’t have to be illegal per se. Nor is there any requirement to prove that the person charged with holding the document was intending to do anything with it; just that someone, somewhere could find it useful.
Given that juries are responsible only for deciding whether an accused person is 'guilty as charged' and are not empowered to comment on the sanity of the charge itself, it's all quite sinister. The fascinating part is deciding whether the thinking behind the charge is more Orwell or Kafka. My money would be on Kafka

Flipping through an on-line copy of the Chilling Terror Manual in question I couldn’t help but be struck by the parallels with that other chillingly infamous document ‘The Anarchists Cookbook’. It too is a pile of old crap and highly likely to cause the death or injury of anyone dumb to make use of its contents. So much so that there has been persistent speculation over the years that the version of The Anarchists Cookbook in common circulation was edited and promoted by a US intelligence agency.


/ scratches chin

I was intending to reproduce an example page taken from the Chilling AQ Terror Manual at this point but decided that I have better plans for the next ten years. So, I'll paraphrase a section selected at random instead

How to assassinate someone in a car

1. Stop his car with another car
2. Get out of your car and kill everyone in the other car

Note: Make sure some of the assassins can drive

Having read through the Chilling AQ Terror Manual (‘chilling’ to some, laughably crap to others) I think that it’s fair to say that there are episodes of The Professionals that contain information that is more likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing acts of terrorism. And as for that old copy of Bravo Two Zero you might have knocking around the house somewhere I’d suggesting binning that fucker tout suite

Alternatively, if you find yourself developing a taste for this kind of thing may I recommend ‘
Tinman_999’’s Amazon shopping list entitled ‘Want a police file on you?’. Jihadists on a budget will be pleased to know that most of the books in the list qualify for Amazon Super Saver Delivery.

Tinman_999 is fifteen years old

And now strikes me as an excellent time to flush my browser's cache...


edit: Other bloggers (well, two of them) appear to be equally impressed with today's news - including Postman Patel and The Antagonist. A comment underneath Postman Patel's post is worth repeating here...

It is worth quoting Duncan Campbell from his original article of the Guardian on April 14, 2005 entitled 'The ricin ring that never was'

The most ironic twist was an attempt to introduce an "al-Qaida manual" into the case. The manual - called the Manual of the Afghan Jihad - had been found on a raid in Manchester in 2000. It was given to the FBI to produce in the 2001 New York trial for the first attack on the World Trade Centre. But it wasn't an al-Qaida manual. The name was invented by the US department of justice in 2001, and the contents were rushed on to the net to aid a presentation to the Senate by the then attorney general, John Ashcroft, supporting the US Patriot Act.

/ scratches chin for the second time today

No doubt, the BBC and other mainstream news outlets will be commenting on the civil liberties implications of the wording of the charge and questions about the provenance and dubious utility of the training manual at some point over the next couple of days. No doubt..

edit2: Khalid Khaliq has been released on bail. His case will be heard on July 2nd. Which ties in nicely with the second anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in which the BBC has obligingly reminded us with a cut and paste job at the end of the story about Khaliq's bail...

"Fifty-two people died and more than 750 were injured when suicide bombers attacked three London Underground trains and a bus almost two years ago"

... just in case anyone has forgotten.

The reporting of Khaliq's hearing will doubtlessly be a part of the tasteful and dignified celebration commemoration of the anniversary of 7/7 in which no-one will seek to make any political capital out of the death of 52 people (strictly speaking it's actually 56) or spout any deranged horseshit at all. None whatsoever


The Protocols of the Elders of Islam

Sadly, that interesting fan-produced analysis of A Clockwork Orange I mentioned a few posts back is currently not available on Youtube.

On the flip side, whilst trawling around trying to establish what happened to it, I found the most succinct riposte I’ve seen to people robotically dismissing what I personally believe to be open-minded and rational discussions on the basis that they are 'conspiracy theories' for a long time...

“What's 'weirdo' about conspiracy theories? There are conspiracies and people form theories about them... What would be weirder would be if the world and the Universe were exactly as they appear to us to be right now at this moment in time, on the so-called evening news.”

Nicely put, though I immediately thought of two people who would be surprised, and out of work, if the majority of people stopped believing that the world and the Universe are exactly as they appear to be right now at this moment in time…

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Dick, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Shit loads..."

Feel free to compile your own personal lists

This gave me cause for thought about Gordon Brnwo and his latest hobby of popping the words ‘new’, ‘world’ and ‘order’ into speeches at every opportunity, or how it is possible to slap pyramids and all seeing-eyes signifying the ‘natural’ order of things all over your money, intelligence service logos or even laid-out across your front lawn, and all the other certifiably weird stuff that goes on with hardly anybody commenting how rank it all is.

Gordon understands. People don’t see these things because people
know they don’t exist

He’s only a political genius


NB It goes virtually without saying that there is a massive difference between a Conspiracy Theory and Conspiracy Fact. Conspiracy Theories, however well documented and supported by evidence, are merely paranoid ravings, whereas Conspiracy Facts are the kind of narratives people like my heroes, those watchdogs of Western civilisation Michael Gove and Melanie Phillips, are handsomely-paid to propagate in newspapers and the state broadcasting corporation. Most notably the existence of a fearsomely well-resourced Islamic plot, directed from a cave somewhere (location unknown), to establish a global caliphate that will encompass North America and Western Europe through a two fisted strategy of subverting our cultural identity by packing our most important institutions full of Muslims AND randomly blowing up commuters with bombs made from chapati flour. Yup, that would do the trick. Definitely

This is obviously a real threat and we should all be crapping ourselves. It's not just our lives and limbs that are at risk. Our freedom and our very souls are at stake.

Hmmm... hang on a minute ... a plot to achieve global domination ... subversion of our Christian values ... a clash of civilisations. It all sounds so dreadfully familiar. Now where have I heard all this before? It's on the tip of my tongue...


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Taking Liberties 9/11

Over the last few weeks I’ve had several beery, caffeine and tobacco fueled chats with small groups of people who have expressed a shared sense of frustration about the behaviour of our government and the limited opportunities there are to legally and peacefully express that frustration and do something to change things...

  • You could attend some demos and waste your time annoying some rank and file policemen who probably love the current government no more than you do

  • You could write a blog but that’s essentially a passive occupation and one that will never reach the majority of people who simply don’t read blogs

  • You could hand out leaflets, file Freedom of Information requests, lobby and heckle media outlets to publish material that might wake a few people up.

    However, once again, even if you have some success you are unlikely to penetrate the skulls of the majority of people who are much more preoccupied with what they believe to be more important or more interesting things...

‘I know! Why not make a commercially-distributed feature film about the bad things that are happening in this country!’

Good thinking

And, as luck would have it, somebody has.

It’s called ‘Taking Liberties’ and the now mandatory attempt at a web-based viral campaign is underway...

including a Film Makers blog. A blog which includes the line…

“Though the death threats and accusations of us all being Hard Let/Hard Right/MI5 Agents are starting to trickle through”

It can’t be much of a trickle as I’m having real trouble finding anything on-line to that effect.

Hmmm, tempting…

I’ll pass on making any death threats, that’s not my style, and I haven’t actually seen the film, so levelling specific accusations of insecurity force involvement would be unreasonable and a little bit mental. There are, however, already grounds for caution as far as participating in the viral marketing of this movie or pointing people towards it without having seen it

Reasons why the old spider-sense is already tingling -

A glittering galaxy of celebrity gobshites…

The movie features the same old shower of ineffective tools of the state-funded, state-endorsed opposition; Titans of civil liberties such as Tony Benn, Shami Chakrabarti and Boris Johnson. The kind of people who already have copious access to newsprint and airwaves and have achieved precisely fuck all in the way of preventing the encroachment of authoritarian government in the UK over the last 10 years. Their only real achievement has been to fill a void that might otherwise have been occupied by someone with something genuinely challenging or constructive to say.

So, why anyone in their right mind would be expected to fork out eight quid and give up a Saturday night to watch more of the same useless bollocks eludes me.

"Shami Chakrabountybarti has been the director of Liberty since September 2003. After graduating from the London School of Economics, Chakrabarti worked as a barrister at the Home Office, before joining Liberty on 10 September 2001. She spent the following two years campaigning against the anti-terrorist measures which followed the 9/11 attacks in the USA, such as ATCSA, and is a prominent opponent of recent counter-terrorism legislation. She is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4 and to The Independent newspaper on the topic of human rights and civil liberties." - I had an interesting chat with a friend of mine yesterday who has direct personal experience of the kind of solid, 'effective' campaigning Shami has been engaged in, in the context of this story about 'sword and cudgel' brandishing peace protestors - it would be nice if that friend recorded her experience on-line at some point - you know who you are... ;-)

The marketing of the movie stinks of Michael Moore, tastes like Michael Moore, is Michael Moore…

Looking at the promo poster for 'Taking Liberties' for the first time I couldn’t help but be struck by how much it looked like publicity material for some awful piece of mainstream Hollywood tat. Some of the tag lines floating about reinforce that feeling. You know, guff like this...

‘You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! Robin Williams is The Ringtone Revolutionary. The unconventional civil liberties activist with a heart of gold’

Experience tells me that any movie which shamelessly describes itself as ‘Hilarious’ or ‘The most important film of the decade’ is highly unlikely to be anything of the sort.

The feeling of déjà vu was so strong I decided to click around a little to see exactly which other poster the ‘Taking Liberties’ poster reminded me of. I must have been lucky because it only took one click

Oh yes, Fahrenheit 9/11. And it only took a little more clicking to establish that ‘F9/11’ and ‘Taking Libertiesshare a producer.

Well, fuck me sideways. What a small world it is.

And I have seen F9/11

The movie that was going to swing the last US Presidential election from the war-mongering Republican to the anti-war (sic.) Democratic party. The movie that explained that 9/11 happened because a) George Bush is an idiot and b) the Saudis did it.

I’ve met a few people who have actually thought F9/11 was quite good; right up until I gave a couple of examples of why it is not. My favourite being the coverage of Bush’s behaviour in that Florida school on the morning of 9/11. Moore plays the scene as if Bush is a bumbling fool paralyzed by indecision. What Moore doesn’t ask, effectively misdirecting the viewer in the process, is why Bush’s security team didn’t whisk him out of the room as soon as they heard about the first, or even the second, WTC strike...

Moore’s entire film is a work of misdirection and somehow manages to spend 2 hours talking about 9/11 without actually addressing any of the serious questions arising from that day. Which is a major achievement in itself.

And on the subject of Michael Moore, I’d like to direct trivia fans to the part of his Wikibio that talks about the making of his first film Roger and Me...

“Moore was largely taught the craft of film making by his cinematographer Kevin Rafferty, who is ironically also a first cousin of President George W. Bush“

Ironic is not the word I would have used in that context

Taking Liberties totally misses the point (probably)

OK, not having seen the movie this is a speculative concern but I’d put money on this being the case.

One purpose for which Michael Moore’s movies such as F9/11 and Bowling for Columbine are genuinely useful for is as learning tools for the study of how people are wanked-off by faux opposition. In the case of F9/11, Moore employs two techniques in particular; heaping as much blame as possible on an expendable puppet idiot (Bush) and misdirecting the audience through acts of omission…

And lo and behold, who features prominently on the ‘Taking Liberties’ poster?

None other than Tony Blair

Given that the film is scheduled for general release on 8th June and Blair is leaving office on the 27th that yields a shelf-life for presumably one of the central themes of the movie of precisely 19 days.

You couldn’t make it up

One of the depressing aspects of the opposition to the erosion of civil liberties in this country over the last ten years is how so many people on the Left have kidded themselves that what has happened is some kind of Blair-specific aberration. Once Blair leaves, so the fantasy goes, everything will be just fucking peachy and life will somehow return to normal.

This fantasy doesn’t square with reality. Blair didn’t vote for That War on his own and the same bunch of elected turds who voted for That War have just voted, amongst many other shameful votes, to exclude themselves from Freedom of Information legislation.

Admittedly, I’m not being entirely fair on all Labour supporters. Given that the Labour Party has lost half its membership over the last few years, a good number of people on the Left clearly have twigged to what’s going on and presumably understand that it’s not a Blair-specific issue.

(And I’m not invoking any conspiracy theories here but there really is something quite creepy about how so many of the decent, senior Labour MPs who could have replaced or challenged Blair (or Brnwoown) have died, Omen-style, over the years)

Even if you kid yourself that we retain the democratic tools that enable us to ultimately vote out the worst offenders, that still wouldn’t be enough. So much of our critical national infrastructure, including our security infrastructure, has been handed over to quasi-autonomous or privately controlled organisations, beyond public scrutiny or account, that it simply defies rational belief that it is all down solely to Blair and his immediate circle or that the direction our government is pursuing will change once Blair leaves.

The system is fundamentally broke but don’t expect anyone speaking to a mainstream audience to address crucial questions such as ‘Who is benefiting from this?’, ‘How are they exercising their influence?’, ‘What can we do to stop it?

But the real killer omission I’m expecting from ‘Taking Liberties’, the omission that will have many viewers leaving the film with a nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right but they’re not quite sure what, is the fundamental failure by all corporate- and state-permitted opposition to tackle the central issue that drives so much of the repression our government is carrying out in our name…

If people continue to genuinely believe that the UK is infested with hundreds of terror cells comprised of thousands of highly trained, well-funded, suicidally motivated lunatics with access to nuclear and biological weapons, lunatics who want to kill as many people as possible simply because they live in a free country, then no-one is going to care a flying fuck about civil liberties

(though, obviously, neutering the terrorists' core motivation by cunningly making your country less free is an intriguing proposition)

I believe that, if not entirely a state-creation, there is absolutely no doubt that the terror threat is being cynically exaggerated to serve political agendas. There is also a real risk, and there are signs that this is indeed happening, that the War on Terror will become a self-realising myth. If you kick people long enough, particularly people who believe in something, they will kick back.

Not one fucker permitted mainstream opportunities to talk about the erosion of civil liberties will touch this issue with a barge-pole. Unless someone does, this civil liberties thing will, to put it bluntly, continue to be viewed by the vast majority of people as being a theoretical concern of a few chattering middle-class Whiteboys and a bunch of chippy Pakis who have no-one to blame except for people of their own kind

And that’s the sad truth

I know at least a few people out there share the feelings I had on 7/7 and the days that followed it. Without wanting to sound melodramatic, something profoundly Evil was unleashed that day and I’m not talking about Islamic terrorism.

I really hope that ‘Taking Liberties’ tackles that Evil head on. I honestly do. But I won’t be holding my breath.