February 28, 2009


With foreclosures skyrocketing and U.S. families sinking deeper into poverty, a number of organisations are turning to a new strategy to end homelessness: moving families into vacant, foreclosed houses that are currently owned by banks or the government...

...One advocacy group in Miami, Florida, Take Back the Land, has already moved seven families into foreclosed properties.

So far, city officials in Miami have declined to get involved, telling local newspapers that it is up to the property's owners - usually, the banks - to initiate any actions.

Four of the Miami families have already moved on to better situations, having been able to save up money during their months of squatting. Only once have police forced a family out of an abandoned property, but activists simply moved them to another one of thousands of vacant properties...


Third World Winners

Mohammed Younis on Newsnight (24.53 onwards)


February 26, 2009


Yeah you fuckers, give me my money you thieving bastards! ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

What should happen when a paper apologizes...


I know I don't write a lot about environmental issues here but I do want to save the world really. I have a ticket for the big Ecobuild shindig at Earls Court next week which includes Alastair Campbell and Michael Portilo as guest speakers for some strange reason. Also I might go learn to make a bicycle power generator.


February 25, 2009


...Interceptions of Taliban communications have shown that British jihadists – some "speaking with West Midlands accents" – are active in Helmand and other parts of southern Afghanistan, according to briefing papers prepared by an official security agency.

The document states that the numbers of young British Muslims, "seemingly committed jihadists", travelling abroad to commit extremist violence has been rising, with Pakistan and Somalia the most frequent destinations....

Wharar them new detonators like mate?

Bostin like arr..


I saw these online somewhere and sniggered. A few days later an ex girlfriend contacted me from Bangkok out of the blue wanting to buy me one for my birthday. She even guessed the colour I would have chosen. She knows me too well.

"Cos you are obsessed with fuckin Muslims innit..."


What I want to know is if this is offensive. I have no idea. I am taking a straw poll. If you didn't grow up in the UK, the Mister Men was a childrens cartoon in the 70s. I'd like to do a film maybe concentrating on black "post 9/11" humour among Muslims. Riz MCs Post 9/11 blues had trouble getting on the radio. Atilla's Jihadi calypso was in the circumstances a difficult one for me. His brother was also picked up by The Sun for apparent bad taste in comedy, he defends himself here.

When I go round Hajj's and there are people about he usually says something like "No sorry mate, we don't want any terrorists here..". If I was to turn up at an Islamic meeting to film wearing this T-Shirt would people be angry or would they laugh? The only "Joker in the pack" I have found among Mr Choudary's posse is Mr Waleed. I wonder what he would make of this.

I was always interested at the time in the contrast between the "Sling Your Hook" cartoon media image The Sun (who owe me money) painted of Hamza, and Hamza in Finsbury park. The "Mr. Jihad" on the Tshirt has a hook and some dynamite on his back.

Obviously if anyone is really offended I wont wear it. What would people think if someone who was darker skin than I with a bigger beard wore it? Someone gave me an orange "Guantanamo" shirt a while back which I didn't feel I could wear because of signals I thought it might give to the security services I meet sometimes on demos or at trials but I have less problem wearing this?

This is all just culturally interesting to me.



This is a real surprise. I am a bit confused about the grounds Mr Sugar has for sueing but such a high profile case will get to the bottom of this story if there is one. Hey, maybe he can sue The Sun for me!


February 24, 2009


Meeting advertised in The Sun (who owe me money) of all places..


February 23, 2009

If you have ever wondered...

The Bible mentions four powerful drugs, three that are stronger than LSD. They are wormwood, hemlock, gall and myrrh. None are ever used to induce visions of the Bible God. No prophet of God ever used drugs to speak or listen to God in the Scriptures. Anything that takes away the conscious control of our minds or feelings is a sin against our souls. No one has a right to put himself at the mercy of a chemical that opens the door of the mind to the spirit world outside of Christ's loving protection. No true disciple of Jesus uses drugs. The use of drugs to put us into contact with the spirit world is something that God hates with a holy anger because it brings such deep spiritual damage to the souls He has entrusted to us. It is worth a note to see that Jesus was offered a drug mixture only once in His life - and He refused it....


The Bible does not directly address any form of illicit drug use. There are no express prohibitions against cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), or methamphetamines (Meth). There is no mention of marijuana, peyote, magic mushrooms, or acid (LSD). Nothing is said about huffing, snorting, dropping, smoking, shooting, licking, or any other method of ingestion. This is not to say, however, that recreational drug use is permissible. On the contrary, there are several very clear biblical principles that place drug use well outside the realm of acceptable behavior...



Fears over 'summer of rage'

More than a third of voters believe the Army will have to be brought in to deal with a "summer of rage" on British streets as the recession bites, a poll showed.

The widespread fear of serious unrest was disclosed as a senior police officer warned activists were planning unrest and could find rioters easier to recruit because of the credit crunch.

Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Metropolitan Police's public order branch, said known activists were planning a return to the streets centred on April's G20 summit of world leaders in London.

And intelligence shows they may be able to call on more "footsoldiers" than normal due to the unprecedented conditions - which have led to youth violence in Greece and mass protests elsewhere in Europe.


February 22, 2009

Ajmer news

News from a bustling town just outside Pushkar in the state of Rhajistan, India.

Farmers kidnap tantrik for failing to provide treasure

..."He took my money told me where the treasure was hidden," said Gopal in his complaint.

"We tried to dig a lot but found nothing," the farmer wrote in their complaint. The farmers were annoyed and registered a case but some of them want to give him one more chance .Some of the farmers went the residence of Rampal in Kishangarh and asked him to come to their village but he refused to help them. Upon this, they took him by force to their vehicle. "We found that there are a lot of cases of cheating registered against this self-proclaimed tantrik,'' said police officials.

Villagers thrash doctor over woman's death

...According to the police, Raju, a resident of Raghunathpura, took his wife Nandu (22) to the government hospital when she got labour pains. "I admitted my wife at the hospital in the morning and she remained in the labour room till 3 pm. She was screaming inside and no one cared of her," alleged Raju...

No wood theft case recorded in Ajmer in past 20 days

... "Most of the tribals cut these trees and sell them to the mafias who manufacture illegal liquor" said Rab Nawaj.

Recently after the strictness shown by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, excise department along with the police raided 10 spots in Ajmer and Beawar cities. They destroyed the burners used to manufacture illegal liquor. The special team of city police raided Sansi Basti - situated just on the foothills of Taragarh and destroyed more than 10,000 litres of hand-made scotch...



Just one month since Barack Obama declared "we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals", his administration has disappointed human rights campaigners by sticking to the old Bush position on those America holds in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of prisoners held at Bagram airbase should not, they say, have access to American justice.

But we have learned of another secretive and controversial prison which is technically an Afghan jail where former inmates of Guantanamo and Taliban fighters are being held.


February 20, 2009


Stars from the ghetto- in the ghetto

From the rags to riches tail slumdog millionaire-

...They are not your typical movie stars. Ten-year-old Azharuddin Moham med Ismail lives in a lean-to made of tarpaulins and blankets. Nine-year-old Rubiana Ali's home is a tiny bubble-gum pink shack. A murky open sewer runs down her narrow lane.

Plucked from one of Mumbai's teeming slums to star in the Oscar-nominated hit "Slumdog Millionaire," they are India's real slumdog millionaires...


February 19, 2009


Loads going on in mad Jihadiland at the mo. I watched Richard Watsons Muslim first, British second on the iPlayer yesterday. I heard about the progress of this film a long while back from Mr Waleed and was at the Islam4UK meet that features in this doco, though I was outside having a cigarette and missed argument with Mr Watson. I blogged my version of events (THE MAGICIANS OF THE PHARAOH here)

From what I heard there certianly seems to be some beef between the guys and Mr Watson, or maybe the BBC in general. I don't know what about, maybe I will find out in due course when Mr Waleed gets back to me. I think they have another meet up coming up the beginning of March. When I was in Finsbury I thought the investment in tension between Muslims and media to be unproductive but unsurprising. Without going through specifics it is hard to unpick or to know how to go about filming. Of course I disagree fundamentaly with some of the fundamentals of Islam, but if I want to do something its really just to document, and if possible to look for solutions. I'm interested in who people think they are and the vison they have of Britain, now.

Anyway, in further "Abu news" Abu Qatada has been passed for deportation to Jordan so he'll be lost in the corridors of Brussels, or Strasbourg or wherever the fuckin European court of Human rights is for a little while. Oh and they want to give him money. Also heading that direction is Abu Hamza, who may be able to sit out his wait at home.

Whitehall torture by proxy, of course they do. I'm not even taking a position there- if someone knows about some up coming terr-ist attatcks how do you get them to tell you about it? I don't know. Anyway now the government are looking for Muslims with beards who want an Islamic state, don't like homosexuals, believe in Jihad and fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers.

Err.. OK. I know some of them. What happens now?

We want to label them as "Extremists" who "Don't share our common British ideals."

Err.. OK. Good. Do that. Lets label them as extemists. Maybe they should wear a fucking star or something? And while we are talking shared British values what is going to happen at Stonehenge next Solstice? Are you going to send extremists to stiffle common British values rearing their pretty little heads? Seriously. British values are important. I don't want to fight anyone for them, but I'd love to enjoy them you know?

The BBC go into a bit more detail saying

...that Muslim leaders who urge separation will be isolated and publicly rejected. He also said this would occur even if their comments fell within the law. This will include those who argue that Muslims should not vote and that homosexuals should be condemned on religious grounds...

I still don't get it. Isolated? Publicly rejected? By who? Richard Littlejohn in a dog collar? What does this mean in reality? They can't come to the party? From what I have seen I don't think they want to come to the party.

Down in Belmarsh the liquid guys are up again, with the prosecution telling a different (Gulzar-less) story and the first jury being mysteriously dsmissed by the judge. I don't know if I can be arsed to head down for any more of this.

Anyway what else? Oh. There is a jihad going on in Somalia where some of these guys come from. Hajj knew a couple of them. Said they were very nice. He was very surprised to see them naked outside a flat on TV.


Giving this man compensation is a triumph for democracy over medievalism- (The Times)

February 17, 2009


Haven't had much Uncle Jimbo for a while here he is with a message for Obama

Seriously tho...

Who needs this much money? Fuckin bailouts. Bail out!



Terrorist threat 'exploited to curb civil liberties'

Security measures brought in after September 11 attacks 'undermined the rule of law'

By Kim Sengupta

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has accused the Government of exploiting public fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties...

Rachel was saying this all along...


SHARIAH LAW for Swat Valley

..Pakistan’s prime minister welcomed a peace accord with Taliban militants that will see Islamic law declared in a former tourist destination northwest of Islamabad..


February 16, 2009

The Slums of the Future

Islam taking root in Kalash valley

CHITRAL: A young Kalashi boy who converted to Islam on Friday said that he was “feeling good after the conversion”. ...District Khateeb Maulana Khaleequz Zaman told the Hindukush Journalist Forum that a Karachi-based trust was supporting the conversion of indigenous Kalash people to Islam. “We motivate the Kalash people to embrace Islam,” the khateeb said. “It is our religious duty to make Kalash people Muslim.” Maulana Zaman appealed to all Muslims to help and support newly converted Muslim people. Experts warn that the indigenous Kalash culture will become extinct in the next 20 years as 15 per cent of the Kalash people convert to Islam every year.

Obviously as I am not a Muslim and I love Kallash culture this worries me.


This cost 2.2 million pounds

The first thing that happens when you Talk to Frank about Cannabis? He offers you a virtual spliff.


February 14, 2009

Changing the World

A great documentary about the Iranian revolution- The Man Who Changed the World is on the iPlayer. What surprises me is that a lot of the Iranians who were involved don't look like fundamentalists at all. If you like docos about global politics straight from the horses mouth, they have assembled a whole field of old horses for a whole series of this. Top stuff.

Also on the iPlayer- Around the World in 80 Faiths covering snake handlers, polygamists and The Burning Man festival.


February 13, 2009


A red carpet premiere missing its star- Independent
Tolerance? Thats just Double Dutch- Jon Gaunt in The Sun (who owe me money)
Flying Dutchman flies home with 'fascist book'- Channel 4 News
Two responses to Geert Wilders- Sid at Pickled Politics
Geert Wilder’s freedom of speech hypocrisy- Sunny at Pickled Politics

I am pretty non plussed about all of this. I can't see any point in stopping anyone speaking. Better out than in, whether I agree with it or not. Anyway, there is some truth in what Geert Wilders says. Some Muslims believe this is Islam. Some think this is taking the Koran out of context. If you look at The Supporters of Shareeah website from back in the day it says this

...The following verse makes it clear that there is no other reason to fight them except that they are Mushriks. Mushriks could save their blood, money and honour by entering a treaty with the Muslims or by paying Jizya (Islamic duty upon responsible, mature non-Muslims, not children below the age of puberty ). Refer to sura 9: v 5.

Also Allah said "Fight them until there is no more fitna, and the whole of the religion is for Allah". After these ayahs were revealed the Prophet e never made a treaty with the Mushriks until he died. The only alternative given to the Mushriks was Islam, sword or Jizaya...

Fitna is here. Some Muslims have made a film illustrating a Bible version of "Fitna" here.


February 12, 2009


The Spike got evicted today. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved there over the years. I have had some seriously good times in that place. As a band we have recorded there a few times and I have been to some legendary Halloween parties. The Spike is a South London community whether the council like it or not.

The auction will be in about a month, we have been working around the idea of getting a bid together as some sort of cooperative. The Spike were turned down, first time by Triodos, we think with some self build housing which retains the community aspects of the space maybe another stab?

The ballifs said they would give the guys two weeks notice. In the event they came in with a few Police at 7 AM. I would imagine the Police did a quick risk assesment, saw the big gate and that the space is pretty much inaccesible from anywhere else. They imagined what opportunty two weeks notice might give the sorts of people they see around here and thought surprise was the less man power option. I spoke to the Cops through the gate and they gave me a number at the council to ring to get our stuff out.

We were very lucky to do one of the final shows in the building. We heard of the eviction during rehersals and were lining up potential stand in venues, in the end the show was fantastic. I fucking love drunk shakespeare. Watching a group of nervous friends having the balls to voodoo their understanding of Lear just knocks the bollocks off of anything I have seen from people who have been to acting school.

Other reviews from friends of mine-

Its Shakespeare. I couldn't understand a fucking word etc etc.

I particularly love what the foreign accent does to Shakespeare. True, you often can't understand the words, but you have a different slant on the colour of the characters and the meaning. We practiced the eye pulling scene a few times, but having built the actual chair days before the production we had never had a run through where we haven't had to stop, check that the poor guy was comfortable, high enough on the chair, leaned far enough back that he could shout his lines into the air for all to hear etc..

In the event I was punching the air in front of me at the way a little slight of hand, some rustled up fake blood and a couple of lychees could provoke an audience. We were lucky that our original idea of using pigs eyes fell foul of the venues vegan rules. That cosmic conspiracy, and the line "If you see vengance" spoken to the eye as it looks into the teeth that will consume it- what can I say?

Top banana to all involved. It was definatley the biggest struggle so far for the actors. I really felt for them, but now we have Lear, as part of a repertoire.

We had some camera at the back but until I get the tapes I will just put this up.


February 08, 2009


Doctors and drug workers in Bristol have established a link between the use of Class C drug ketamine and severe bladder and kidney problems.

A BBC investigation for Inside Out West found a rising number of ketamine users in their teens and 20s were admitted to Southmead Hospital over the past year.

Many had to undergo operations - two even needed their bladders removing.

Doctors at the hospital conducted further research and discovered a similar pattern across the UK...


February 06, 2009


Wow that was amazing. Really painful to watch. Great, stark camera work. A tragedy which brings more honour to the sport of wrestling than any attempt with documentary could probably ever do. You can tell the writer loves these Wrestlers, and that the story of Randy the Ram is a tale which rings painfully true to all but a few of them.

What put the shivers up the back of my legs and arms was the incidental music. It wasn't obvious following the credits who was responsible for it. I was searching for the name of some post-rock group from the States, so I was very happy when I found out it was none other than Clint "Poppie" Mansell with guest guitaring from none other than Slash himself.

There is a great article about their union and its place amongst all the 80s hair metal here. Mickey Rourke also touches on his relationship with Guns and Roses in the interview below.

Nothing in the film is trying to be clever or judgemental, its just a classic American tale. I hope Mickey gets his Oscar. His acceptance speech could be taken from the closing scenes of the film eh.

February 05, 2009


"In one of the most complicated and polarised conflicts in the world, we examine the media coverage of the recent war and ask it it’s ever possible to achieve balance. While each side uses the media to present its own perspective to its own people in the Middle East, America, Britain and beyond, who are we to believe?"

Taking part will be Jonathan Miller, Foreign Affairs Correspondent for Channel 4 News, Alan Fisher, who is Al-Jazeera’s correspondent on the Israeli-Gaza border, Harriet Sherwood, Head of international news at Guardian News and Media, Ruthie Blum Leibowitz, features editor and columnist at the Jerusalem Post and Lior Ben Dor an Israeli affairs specialist based in London. Roy Greenslade, a leading commentator and columnist on the media and former editor of The Daily Mirror will chair the discussion.

Live online tonight at the Frontline club

February 04, 2009


Cannabis is the world's favourite drug, but also one of the least understood. Can cannabis cause schizophrenia? Is it addictive? Can it lead you on to harder drugs? Or is it simply a herb, an undervalued medicine?

Addiction specialist Dr John Marsden discovers that modern science is finally beginning to find answers to these questions. John traces the cannabis plants' birthplace in Kazakhstan; finds the origins of our sensitivity to cannabis in the simple sea squirt; and shows just what it does to our brains.

He meets people who have been changed by this drug in drastically different ways - from those whose lives have been shattered to those who lives have been revived.


February 03, 2009


...Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States...

via Rightwingsparkle here