September 30, 2007

SKUDS SISTERS BROTHER plays percentages...

So electing people who do not know how the other half live is not such a bad thing in itself. Its bad if too many of them are in the same half, and therefore ignorant of the same half. It would also help if the old-Etonian crowd were merely ignorant of how the other half live, but isn't it more likely they just don't know how the other 90% live?

Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused What?

I was clicking in vain on Craig Murrays blog recently- heres why:

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has vowed to carry on making allegations against billionaire Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, despite attempts to silence him and his supporters.

Murray told The Reg: "If the man believes he was libelled then he should take me to court."

Murray's blog was deleted by its host on Friday after threats from Usmanov's UK legal team. It's expected to reappear in the early hours of tomorrow on an overseas server, and will repeat the charges that drew heavy fire from specialist libel firm Schillings.

The ex-diplomat says he has contacted Schillings to ask for clarification of which specific aspect of his allegations they contest, but has not received a response. "They say my book [Murder in Samarkand] is 'grossly libellous and defamatory', yet it has been widely available for a year and has sold 25,000 copies, without their actually taking any legal action," he added.

Murray's criticism of Usmanov stems from his rise in Uzbekistan following the collapse of communism to become one of Russia's richest men. He denies the accusations. His profile in the UK has skyrocketed since he followed Chelsea chairman and fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich into football investment.

Murray's blog entry about Usmanov, made September 2, were picked up by many political and Arsenal websites which later also received complaints from Schillings. It became the third-highest hit on Google for the search "usmanov", but was quickly removed from Murray's site after the first legal letter.

Tim Ireland, who runs the political site, which was downed along with Murray's site, has slammed Fasthosts' action, and denied the claim that they refused to comply with takedown requests after he repeated Murray's allegations.

I've noticed on Rachel North's blog that Bloggers have declared war on Usmanov. Like bloggers are going to take shit from Russian gangster capitalists..

here is the post which caused the commotion.

Arsene Wenger says:

"There is a kind of overdose looming.

"Suddenly the English model has gone from owner-supporters to owner-businessman.

"The danger wasn't there yesterday but it's there today. Of course you can have business integrated into the sport while still respecting the values of football.

"However perhaps it is time for people to worry."

September 28, 2007


Uncle Jimbo interacts with his local community.

September 26, 2007

Ex- Christians

We saw some people miraculously healed, and others entering a depressing decline and dying prematurely. We received many prophecies, some self-fulfilling, some “not yet come to fruition”, and some incredible ones spot on. In other words, church happened. And yet, through it all, I felt that “the Church” as a whole was so caught up in its own ways and traditions, be they sober Calvinists or leaping Pentecostals, that the whole kernel of Christianity as exepressed by Jesus himself was forgotten. I refer of course to Jesus saying we should love God with all our hearts and our neighbour as ourselves.

Well, the story rumbles on through a decline in church attendance and a depressing divorce for me, through a conviction that consciousness was merely a function of the brain, therefore everything is meaningless (see Ecclesiastes!), to a point now where I’m not sure if there is a God or greater consciousness at all, which I suppose makes me agnostic. Having said that, I AM sure that if God does exist, he is not correctly revealed in the teachings of the church, or indeed in the modern bible which appears to have been hijacked by a medieval junta of Roman Catholic cardinals for its own ends. At the moment I am interested in the bits they threw out, especially the Gnostic gospels which may give a more immediate and accurate view on what Jesus actually believed and taught.


...With his hands cuffed in front of him, he responded, "I don't care to see it because I am innocent. I don't care about it. I didn't do anything. I have done nothing."

He said he was traveling to visit his mother when he was "kidnapped" and brought to America.

"They want to force charges of terrorism against me," he continued. "I have nothing to do with al-Qaida. I have no relationship with al-Qaida. This is all unjust and unfair."

Prosecutors say Kassir and others wanted to set up the camp in Bly, Ore., to teach military-style methods so a community of Muslims could move to Afghanistan to fight or receive further training there. The camp was never realized...

...An indictment says Kassir told witnesses that he supported Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and that he had personally undertaken jihad training in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Lebanon.

In November 1999, prosecutors said, Kassir and Haroon Rashid Aswat were sent by Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to establish the training camp. After two months they left the U.S., with Kassir complaining that there were too few men and he was not going to waste his time.

Authorities in Oregon have said the camp never materialized beyond a dozen people taking target practice and was abandoned for unknown reasons. Bly is an unincorporated town of a few hundred residents, 230 miles southeast of Portland...

DOJ Announces Extradition of Accused Terrorist from Czech Republic

September 25, 2007


I saw more than 100,000 monks marching today. I'm not sure where the protests will lead to. This situation could get worse. We want some changes in Burma, but we want these changes leading to a better future. Sun, Rangoon

I saw about 40,000 to 50,000 people, including monks, nuns and ordinary people, marching along Prome road. That was at around 3:30pm. The protests will grow bigger day by day and I hope that they are not going to start killing people. We need help to save our people. Mr Tun, Rangoon

It is astounding to see such a great mass of people on both sides of the roads, some clapping and some crying, but all demonstrating their support for the monks and those chanting prayers. It's for sure that all these people showing their support are willing to be part of the mass protest. They do not trust the government though and think that they could be crushed, just like it happened in 1988. But if we are just bystanders, today's rare and momentous events might not lead to the fall of the regime. Kyaw, Rangoon

I am not sure where these protests are going to lead to, but I am sure that it's not at all a good sign. Many people are expecting that there will be a great change coming soon. I am not sure if the monks will be joined by students, workers, or even soldiers. We are very insecure because we don't know what the government is planning to do. There are some news in the government-controlled newspapers that the monks are trying to agitate the public. This can be a big excuse for them to start attacking the monks. I really want some changes in Burma but I am not sure where the change is going to lead us to. I hope there won't be any blood bath this time like there was in 1988. Soe Soe, Mandalay


It's the climax of 22 years of intensive debate and negotiation. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States voted against the declaration, whilst 143 nations voted in favour and 11 abstained.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The declaration on indigenous peoples, with its recognition of collective rights, will raise international standards in the same way as the universal declaration on human rights did nearly 60 years ago. It sets a benchmark by which the treatment of tribal and indigenous peoples can be judged, and we hope it will usher in an era in which abuse of their rights is no longer tolerated.’

September 20, 2007


This is Abu Abdullah's speech outside the US Embassy at the Koran desecration protests in 2005. I've been in contact with the family over a little while now and a fair bit has happened in Abdullah land. Unfortunately I can't report any of it just yet.

September 13, 2007

Purple reigns at the O2

Went to see Prince last night after buying the tickets maybe five months ago. Was OK. The O2 is not really my sort of venue as these sort of stadiums make a decent PA sound like a Tannoy. He did a great gig though, with all the hits, medleys of his stuff and other peoples and a couple of encores. In the end he left in a box and people clapped whilst it was wheeled off. The tickets were a bit of a lottery which ended up with us in the back row, but we were just high rather than a long way back. I still reckon the best ever Prince performance has got to be this one.

Lewisham 77

Remembering racism and when the SWP actually meant something.

September 11, 2007


OK. We've lost a great bloke to Canada, gained a new girl and a cat jumped on board in the process. There had been a strict (and strange) no animal rule, but the mice were turning the tide with their increasingly dominant behaviour.

When one jumped at my face bearing its teeth the CATS WILL BE SHOT notice came off of the cat flap and we started trying to recruit a killer. Over the last two years we have tried all sorts of humane traps, some stupid subsonic plug n things which were supposed to make a noise that mice didn't like (total shit). It always occurred to me that with so many cats wandering up and down our street the sensible thing to do was unblock the catflap but finding a cat which would come in and stay in proved difficult.

The stuck up cow next door just clawed to get out, the layed back ginger tosser down the end would come, eat and go. I took to late night furtive cat hunts armed with smoked makrel. As I was about to despair, I came down one morning to find


Shes been coming back frequently, refuses all treats, she just wants to catch the mice, if thats OK with us. We've been adopted. The most vocal opposition to animals in the house is now purring her praises.

In news from Belmarsh, Abdullah has let it be known that he'll take me for dinner whenever he gets out. But this time it will be Kaffir and Rice.

September 10, 2007


from an arts job website:

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If you think you're our next hot "trendspotter" than please get in
to find out more information.

Alternative Clubbing Symposium

A very interesting discussion about the past present and future of "concious alternative partying" is hosted here on Gungho media.

September 03, 2007

Goldsmiths MA screening

I didn't realise I still had so much enthusiasm for documentaries until the other day, when I went to the Goldsmith's MA screening. I could sit for days watching this type of stuff.

I was really pissed off about what I missed but to review a bit what I did see:

I walked in at the end of Aliya Salahuddin's My Sin and didn't really understand what was going on. Fortunately I spoke to her afterwards and she put me in the picture. What I saw was very well shot and, although I'm not really into narrated documentaries for myself these days, if I had as beautiful a sounding voice as Aliya's I would be.

Aliya has been working in Pakistani TV for 5 years as a producer and came to the UK to do this MA course and expand her horizons into the craft of film. Aliya's TV company campaigned to free women imprisoned for adultery. This film focuses on some of the women released back into a Pakistani society they are still shunned by. We spoke a bit about Pakistan which she reckons is much more secular than news we get over here would make out.

I didn't think Minou Morouzi's Anatomy of Failure was edited so well, but the information and interviews it contained gave a fascinating insight into those the guru Carlos Castaneda left behind. I've never read Castaneda's work but I met a few self styled guru's in India and this tale holds true to my suspicions about the dangers of believing your own bullshit and infecting others with it. I should imagine that if this was edited a bit better it would be the film with the biggest mainstream interest out of this bunch.

I can't see it on the bill but there was another fantastic film about a Turkish guy who lovingly crafted traditional musical instruments...

The last one I'll review here stuck out to me as my personal favourite- Tales from Small Town America by Filmmaker Erin Kennedy was a great rambling piece following her cousins memories of demented life in some backwater American shit hole.

Its weird what people choose to film and why people choose to film. I remember I started this blog thinking I wanted to be a documentary maker who was going to make a difference which seems laughable now. If my cousin could tell a simple story like Erin's I'd be switching the camera on him. Fantastic.