thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from oed.com). This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
IRRELEVANT
I thought I should just post something irrelevant for once. Any more nastiness in this blog and it would be the like the bible (well, I write about violence like in the bible, except I don't say it is justified. I don't really write about sex). Anyone else find it funny that the things they hold up as the most virtuous, the bible and Shakespeare, are rammed full of sex and death? And they talk about us having no values?!

Just my little joke. I went to a catholic school and was told at 6 years old that I was going to hell and then at 10 years old that I was the boy in the class most likely to become a priest. Consequently, I began to find the whole thing a bit absurd.

Has anyone heard any good jokes lately? I haven't heard one in ages. Here is the last decent one I heard.

Q. How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?

A. You put it in the microwave till its Bill Withers!



Music Fun... ITS NOT THE JAMES BROWN TUNE


posted by michael the tubthumper @ 6:48 pm   5 comments
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH
First of all, I just want to point out that the tubthumping idea for this site has NOTHING to do with that Chumbawamba song, and I didn't like it (though throwing a bucket of water on John Prescott was funny). It is about the definition of tubthumper...

Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter.

That settled it is time for the first business of the day...

I read this a while ago and it scared the shit out of me. Remember, if they have the ability to do this in one place they have the ability to do it anywhere. Going to copy most of it here and link to the rest...

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH
by Sharon Weinberger

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

LONDON-Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.
The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal.

This scenario may sound like a rejected plot twist from a mediocre Bond flick, but one company is dead set on making this fantasy come to life.

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

Just to the right of the ops center, a dark-suited man with a wireless microphone paces like a carnival barker, narrating the scenarios. Above him a screen flashes among scenes of disaster, while to his right, behind thick glass, workers sit attentively before banks of computer screens, busily scrolling through data. The play actors pause only to look up at a big board that flashes ominously between "hot spots" like North Korea and Congo.

While Londoners fret over fictitious toxins, the government works to contain the smallpox outbreak. The final result, according to SCL's calculations, is that only thousands perish, rather than the 10 million originally projected. Another success.

Of course, the idea of deluding an entire city seems, well, a bit like propaganda.


"If your definition of propaganda is framing communications to do something that's going to save lives, that's fine," says Mark Broughton, SCL's public affairs director. "That's not a word I would use for that."
Then again, it's hard to know exactly what else to call it. (Company literature describes SCL's niche specialties as "psychological warfare," "public diplomacy," and "influence operations.") The smallpox scenario plays out in excruciating detail how reporters would be tapped to receive disinformation, with TV and radio stations dedicated to around-the-clock coverage. Even the eventual disclosure is carefully scripted.

In another doomsday scenario, the company assists a newly democratic country in South Asia as it struggles with corrupt politicians and a rising insurgency that threatens to bubble over into bloody revolution. SCL steps in to assist the benevolent king of "Manpurea" to temporarily seize power.

Oh, wait, that sounds a lot like Nepal, where the monarchy earlier this year ousted a corrupt government to stave off a rising Maoist movement. The problem is, the SCL scenario also sounds a lot like using a private company to help overthrow a democratically elected government. Another problem, at least in Nepal, is that the king now shows few signs of returning to democracy.

The company, which describes itself as the first private-sector provider of psychological operations, has been around since 1993. But its previous work was limited to civil operations, and it now wants to expand to military customers.

If SCL weren't so earnest, it might actually seem to be mocking itself, or perhaps George Orwell. As the end of the smallpox scenario, dramatic music fades out to a taped message urging people to "embrace" strategic communications, which it describes as "the most powerful weapon in the world." And the company Web page offers some decidedly creepy asides. "The [ops center] can override all national radio and TV broadcasts in time of crisis," it says, alluding to work the company has done in an unspecified Asian country.

The government's use of deception in the service of national security is not new. During World War II, for example, Allied forces conducted a massive misinformation campaign, called Operation Fortitude, designed to hide plans for the Normandy invasion. More recent efforts have met with controversy, however. In 2002, the Pentagon shuttered its brand new Office of Strategic Influence after public outcry over its purported plans to spread deceptive information to the foreign press.

The rest of it can be found here

UPDATE

I just wanted to ask if anyone watches the film links when I post them? I know of hours and hours of stuff for free download that is fantastic so if anyone wants me to I will keep posting a bit at a time?
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:37 am   14 comments
Monday, January 30, 2006
PLEASE...
Please take a look at this post at Amelopsis Garden and lend your support... there is a marvellous woman that needs your help.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:30 pm   6 comments
PARTY POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR EXPLAINED - PART 1
Running alongside the 'Politician Speak Translated' series (parts one, two, three and four) I present the opening installment of 'Party Political Behaviour Explained'. Some of these are specific UK examples but I am sure there will be parallels where you are from. These series are intended to supply a handy guide for anyone powerhungry, greedy or bloodthirsty enough to be considering a career in the mainstream parties at the moment. For the rest of us, I just hope it makes things a bit clearer.

Appointing A Czar/Task Force etc - appointing a czar is a handy way of deflecting bad publicity on a difficult issue. Drugs for example, have been a major problem for years. Appoint a czar and all these problems go away. It's easy - the case of Keith Halliwell is a case in point.

Halliwell was appointed as the UKs Drugs Czar and given a remit to be extremely tough on both users and dealers. For his trouble Halliwell got a more high profile job at higher wages than before and the government got several things. Firstly, any successes could be claimed as government successes as the results came out in police reports and therefore "the new crime policies are working." Secondly any failures can be attributed to the failure of the Czar himself and not the government. And finally, any police excesses, despite the fact that you have encouraged tough policies, can be targeted at individual police forces or crime units and therefore the government also looks liberal and humanitarian. It's a win-win situation. Power without responsibility, perfect!

For a US example see Michael Brown.

The intelligence services have a term for this - a 'kite'. You fly the person out there all alone and then if he gets too hard to hold on to you let him go.

Visiting The Troops - All those liberals and pacifists will hate the leaders anyway but the leaders can at least win some votes from people who don't already hate them. Visiting the troops is a way of looking like you care. Even if they have been sent them halfway across the world on a fools errand or to do something for economic rather than humanitarian gain they still look like they have the interests of everybody at heart if they turn and give the troops a thank you speech.

Official Visits - Official visits are a great chance to improve popularity. After all, it looks important when a couple of world leaders are up on stage together with the world's media in tow. A couple of banal sound bites are usually enough to pacify the media, as they will have some good pictures anyway. Most of the business at these meetings is conducted long beforehand by diplomats anyway. Think of these meetings like a press conference when a sports player is invited to sign his new contract in front of the media.

Attending State Funerals - they aren't really in mourning for whoever has died, state funerals just give leaders a chance to get nattering with other leaders in a time and place where they aren't expected to come home with a trade deal.

Setting Up A Royal Commission (OR PLEASE INSERT LOCAL EQUIVALENT HERE)- A Royal Commission, roughly defined, is a panel made up of 'experts' on a certain topic who study it in depth and then report their findings. It's a useful tool for several reasons.

1. By the time the think tank reports most of the press and public have forgotten about the issue in question anyway.
2. If they don't like them they are not obliged to follow any of the recommendations.
3. Most think tank members are so dull that most of the public automatically switch off when listening to them anyway

ALWAYS MENTIONING CHILDREN - There is a reason why politicians always say things like "For Our Children, And Our Childrens Children." It has also often paid for politicians to use children to get elected by kissing babies etc etc.

The reason for all this is not always understood. People think it is a form of crawling, an attempt to seem like the mother or father of the nation but that is not really it. If a politician suggests that not acceding to a particual policy will damage the future of the electorate's children then they will be hitting the public in the one area where they don't want to take chances and framing their political opponents as 'anti-children' (I know it is an absurd phrase but I have seen it used in the Daily Mail).

UPDATE - make a point of downloading and watching this little satire about some of what I am saying above. It is a UK thing but again, I think the same sort of points apply.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:47 pm   9 comments
Saturday, January 28, 2006
IT BEGINS
Thanks to the disillusioned kid for this - I just had to post it. It was announced 3 years ago but we all missed it...

from now on WAR IS PEACE

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."

George W. Bush, June 18th 2002

UPDATE
There are some new links in the 'Some of the blogs I look at' section. According to one test the man behind disreputable lazy aliens is only 1% different from me. See if you can spot what the difference is. Say hello to the Rev. Billy Bob Gisher and get blown away by weapons of mass distraction. Try and stay unbrainwashed and thereby lose the noose round your neck.

Say hi to sarah and everyone at blunt cogs - which is one of the funniest things I have seen in blogworld.

This episode is about what to do when you get those anonymous commenters

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 12:46 pm   11 comments
Friday, January 27, 2006
ADBUSTING
Just some good subverts photos I have picked up lately. You probably have to have seen the UK commercials to get the last one.




There are links to Adbusters and to ArtNotOil in the links section. Take a look.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:40 pm   18 comments
Thursday, January 26, 2006
HAIFA ZANGANA

A couple of months ago I went to see a talk by Haifa Zangana at a University in Glasgow. She is an Iraqi-born novelist who was a prisoner of Saddams regime - so you might think she would be one of the few Iraqis who welcome the occupation. You'd be wrong.

Without any commentary, and just giving links where appropiate I would like to tell you some of the things she said. Some you will have heard of, some you probably haven't.


  1. 82% of Iraqis are anti-occupation according to a UK Ministry of Defence poll (also, Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province)
  2. Many of the political parties now operating in Iraq were formed outside Iraq in exile. They came over with the troops
  3. The handover of sovereignty was 'completely nominal'. In Iraq itself only a few media people knew about it (watch a BBC report here)
  4. Once up and running many of the parties began to divide into sectarian and ethnic parties. Many of them are there to represent US policy in Iraq
  5. Coalition groups in the new government took 3 MONTHS to decide ministries
  6. The former Minister for Culture was an ex-policeman
  7. Paul Bremer allegedly left Iraq with $9.9 billion (I assume she didn't mean him personally- see the quote and the links at the end)
  8. The US built 4 new prisons. 2 of these are in the British controlled areas
  9. There is a 'Brain drain' going on in Iraq as those who can leave do so to escape the violence
  10. Women are now not safe if they go out without being accompanied by a male relative. This was not the case before the occupation
  11. Despite the argument given that the Iraqi government is now sovereign the occupying troops are still not subject to Iraqi law
  12. Women are often arrested as hostages until male relatives turn themselves in and confess (and whether they are guilty or not). She said that ALL sides in the conflict do this
  13. A woman was arrested as a daughter of Al-Zarqawi. She was actually the daughter of the leader of an anti-occupation party
  14. Collective punishment is often used
  15. Mosques are providing basic services such as such as electricity
  16. She was on the BBC and every time she used the word "resistance" she was cut off
  17. The opening lines of the new Iraqi constitution "glorify the clerics in Iraq to detriment of everything else. Most Iraqis don't read by this part." She added that they don't read by that part bacause they feel the new constitution is "like something out of the dark ages"
  18. Most evenings on the pro-invasion Iraqi TV station there is an hour of confessions broadcast. People confessing to working with the insurgency. Many of them appear to have been beaten

There is an excellent documentary for free download about where some of the money went over the last couple of years. It's called "Beneath Iraq and a Hard Place" and follows on from the excellent "Between Iraq and a Hard Place" and "Beyond Iraq and a Hard Place."

I quote a small section...

"In one incident on the 12th April 2004, 3 'Black Hawk' helicopters, hired by the coalition authority, flew to Erbil in Northern Iraq to deliver over $1.5 billion in cash to a local courier. The main problem though,apart from the weight nearly bringing the choppers down, was that Bremer's people hadn't checked out the courier. Meanwhile at the authorities headquarters in Baghdad, cash was stuffed into plastic bags and delivered around the capital in pick-up trucks. A slush fund of $600 million in cash was kept in Bremer's office. The G.I. responsible for some $200 million dollars kept the key to the safe in his bike bag, which he left on his desk during his lunch breaks."

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:30 pm   7 comments
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
OUR LEADERS - PART 1 - 'JOKE' McCONNELL
I wanted to start a little series of profiles of some of the leaders of the world, and where better to start than at home?

Jack McConnell is Scotland's 'First Minister'. This position and the title came about when Scotland overwhelmingly voted to have a parliament of its own, devolved from Westminster. The title 'First Minister' was selected because it makes the holder of the title seem important but not quite as important as a PRIME Minister. This is vitally important if the ego's of the politicians in London are to be protected, which they must be, at any cost.

McConnell is the third person to be Scotland's First Minister. The first one, Donald Dewar died while in office. The second, Henry McLeish, was deposed after a scandal involving subletting office space and £36,000 pounds. In other words, losing the initial First Minister may be considered unfortunate, losing the second may be considered careless, but to lose the third would be a godsend.

Jack McConnell is not a man to be outdone when it comes to being 'fishy'...

According to Spinwatch, on 8 January, 2004 the prestigious journal Science reported that Scottish farmed salmon contained high levels of toxins. Using corporate front groups, the salmon industry quickly moved to spin the story and discredit the research. Spinwatch argues that the PR campaign implicated Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell, in a conflict of interest. The Executive pumped £1.5 million into the campaign to convince the public that salmon was safe. The most valuable gift McConnell received as First Minister was a pair of gold cuff-links given to him by Marine Harvest. McConnell's brother also runs a Marine Harvest fish farm.


McConnell was also implicated in the first lobbying scandal of the Scottish Parliament, know as lobbygate...

A newspaper alleged that an undercover journalist had evidence that the company's executives were offering preferential access to Scottish ministers and openly boasted that Mr McConnell was a former employee of the firm.

A parliamentary probe later cleared him of any wrongdoing and Mr McConnell's reputation stayed intact.


Yes, his reputation as F%*"^!&))$>>£%^(THIS SECTION HAS BEEN CENSORED BY THE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE - NB we call it an 'Executive' because Tony wouldn't let us call it a government) has been secured.

One significant record Mr McConnell holds is the record for the number of 'gifts' given to politicians in Scotland...
1 Jack McConnell, Finance Minister 1999-2000, Education, Europe & external affairs minister 2001, First Minister 2001-

120 [gifts]

Twelve bottles of whisky, two bottles of vodka, champagne, bacardi, liqueur, brandy and four bottles of organic beer from Allied Distillers, Inverness Council, Russia, China, Georgia and others. Nineteen tickets for football and rugby matches, films and balls from Celtic FC, Motherwell FC, BT Scotland, British Linen Bank, Scottish Screen, Associated Newspapers (owners of the Daily Mail) and others. Nine golfing items, including shirts from Western Isles Council, an umbrella from Silvercups Studio and a quaich from the Scottish Amputee Golf Society. Five pairs of cufflinks, including Gold salmon ones from the fish farming multinational, Marine Harvest. Dinner and overnight hospitality from Rupert Murdoch's News International, publishers of The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times.

If nothing else, the amount of alcohol he received proves his credentials as a Scotsman.

He was in trouble again recently when he holidayed with the presenter of one of the UK's main current affairs shows. Yet again, he was cleared.

McConnell is widely regarded as a machine politician - a man of no firm convictions who has played politics for power - not for any heartfelt feelings about issues. He supported the war in Iraq. He enjoys meeting other world leaders and significant people but is at something of a loss at what to say to them when they arrive. Tony told him never to talk to powerful strangers when he is not there.

In this picture Tony's hair appears ruffled and his shirt and tie look a little messed up. Jack is emerging from the car after him. Thumping the tub wonders what back seat shenanigans were going on? (obviously the term 'back seat shenanigans' refers only to possible political activity undertaken by the two leaders in the car on their way to wherever they were going that day).

It is not widely known that the job of First Minister has wreaked havoc with Jack McConnells knees. This is because of all the kneeling he has to do when Tony Blair enters the room.

He is often referred to as 'Joke' McConnell because many people feel that he just does what Tony tells him too. A poodle's poodle in fact.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:29 pm   3 comments
ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:32 am   0 comments
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
GEOFF HOON
I haven't got round to writing anything about this idiot, even though I have been meaning to for a while. He is Geoff Hoon, former UK Secretary for Defence. I think this picture should just about wrap it up.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:35 pm   5 comments
ANOTHER VID
I have posted this elsewhere but I really do think it is worth a look.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:42 pm   2 comments
PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTION

There is something in the UK that the media, politics professors and a whole host of politico's froth over - Prime Minister's questions (PMQs).

Roughly defined, this is a single half hour on Wednesdays at 12pm where Members of Parliament get the chance to question the 'Prime Sinister' about anything they choose to. The political classes trumpet this piece of political theatre as proof positive of the virtuosity of the UK political system. You can hear them asking questions like "Where else would a leader subject themselves to this 'ordeal?'" and "isn't our PM fabulous for doing it?"

It is often suggested that this is the only country in the world where a leader has to deal with such a thing. That is only one of the things that are misleading about the way this event is presented to us.

I want to make this clear...It is not an ordeal and it doesn't mean anything.

For the Prime Sinister really to be given a hard time at PMQs, a few things would have to change.

Firstly, they would have to stop planting questions with ambitious MPs. This trick is often used. Prime Sinisters like it because it eats up time and they can use the question to make a prepared statement at a moment when a lot of the country's political classes are looking on. Some of the questions are so fawning as to make one sick. Take this example....

Mr. Robert Jackson (Wantage) (Labour): Will my right honourable friend accept an invitation to visit the Rutherford Appleton laboratory in my constituency to see the new Diamond synchrotron, which is nearing completion there? It is the biggest single investment in the history of British science, made by this Government, and it is a very apt symbol of the commitment that this Government-and the Chancellor and the Prime Minister-have made to the future of British science.
What an ordeal eh? Imagine having to answer a question like that, the poor poor Prime Minister. Quite a bit of the half hour is taken up with this sort of nonsense. MPs like it because it gives them a chance to cosy up to the cabinet in the hope of getting a cabinet post in the future.

It all runs according to a formula. Questions are sent in two weeks in advance. This means that the PM will have all the answers worked out by some of the staff. All the PM has to do is read the answer. The PM will also sit with some of the staff and work out which unsubmitted questions might come up. MP's are not strictly supposed to do this but they occasionally do. The PM does not have to answer these questions if s/he doesn't want to. If the PM does not answer the question then the worst that will happen is that the PM will look bad in front of the public for about a minute and may get a bit of hostile coverage.

The leader of the main opposition party is allowed to speak or respond 6 times, the leader of the third largest party is allowed to speak twice. This means that whatever the opposition leaders (or anyone else) say to the PM, the PM will ALWAYS have the final word. If the PM is a reasonable debater then it is highly unlikely they will ever lose the debate.

The final, and most important thing that would have to change is that MPs would have to not be the spineless little corporate turds that, for the most part, they are.

Prime Ministers questions is just a piece of political theatre that helps to maintain the illusion that we are being given any choice other than rampant and rapacious capitalism. I am utterly fed up of people crooning about this event as if it meant something other than a few politicians stroking their ego's.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 12:31 pm   3 comments
Monday, January 23, 2006
NEW POLL
Old poll results suggested that only two people believed an attack on Iran would be a noble venture. Many more people didn't!

There is a new poll to the right. I am a bit busy this afternoon but there will be a proper post up later on. In the meantime, these people will be continuing to try and make your life a misery...

I suppose it all comes down to how you react to it....here is one way...
Alternatively, you could go to a fancy dress party...
But if none of this works you can just either dress your dog up as Yoda or buy a Shark Foetus in a jar. It takes all sorts. Thanks to Fatrobot for the shark thing and I can't remember where I picked up 'Yodog'

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:15 pm   4 comments
Saturday, January 21, 2006
THE BAD GEORGE
Following on from the post below about the good George (Orwell), I just wanted to direct you to a simple but effective little animation about him
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 7:04 pm   4 comments
THE GOOD GEORGE
It was 56 years ago today that George Orwell died. I have always been a major fan of his, in fact, I even have this picture on my wall at home. You look at it and he seems to stare at you and say "get a move on". The little picture of the house next to my profile is Barnhill, the house where he wrote 1984 on the Isle of Jura. I even went there on a sort of pilgrimage. It is possibly the most remote house in the British Isles. I think it is time for some of his finer quotes.

One thing about Orwell is that although he was definitely on the left he was the sort to tell his own team to get their house in order before they start abusing the opposition. Therefore I am putting up a couple of his criticisms of the left here...

"Sometimes, when I listen to these people talking, and still more when I read their books, I get the impression that, to them, the whole Socialist movement is no more than a kind of exciting heresy-hunt-a leaping to and fro of frenzied witch-doctors to the beat of tom-toms and the tune of Fee fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a right-wing deviationist!'" (The Road to Wigan Pier)

"It is fatal to let the ordinary inquirer get away with the idea that being a Socialist means wearing sandals and burbling about dialectical materialism. You have got to make it clear that there is room in the Socialist movement for human beings, or the game is up."
(The Road to Wigan Pier)

"Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."

"All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome."

"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper."

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals."

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them."

"War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. "

Enough for now. A good website for all things Orwell can be found here.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:56 pm   6 comments
Friday, January 20, 2006
NEW FEATURE!
just press play - this is a little clip from an australian comedy show. They are asking people in the US who they think should be invaded next in the War on Terror (TM)


posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:20 pm   15 comments
WTF?

Yes it's a NON-POLITICAL POST!

Just this once!

Will post normal stuff later. I just posted a message on antoher site about something and I realised it's getting me down that I haven't been up in the hills for ages. It looks like this over here.... Sign the guestmap (if you want to) and I can look at pictures of where you are at.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:33 am   5 comments
Thursday, January 19, 2006
IRAN
Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I am against anyone bombing anyone. End of story. I often think the best solution would be to get Bush, bLIAR, bin Laden (why do their names all begin with 'B' - I feel a conspiracy theory coming on!) and all the rest of them and put them on some island where they can sort it out among themselves and leave the rest of us to get on with being decent to each other.

Also, anyone who reads this will know that despite loving books I am not much of a poetry person. Nevertheless, with all the Iran stuff building up I would like to put this one and only poem on Thumping the Tub.

It was written by Michael Rosen just after the London bombings. It is called

DEAR NEW LABOUR

If you go into other people's countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.

You can call them what you like
You can tell us that our cause is noble
You can tell us that they're evil and we are good

But the rule remains:
If you go into other people's countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.

You can tell us that you've flushed out the troublemakers
You can tell us that you've neutralised the flashpoints
You can tell us that you've sown the seeds of the future

But the rule remains:
If you go into other people's countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.

STOP F*CKING ATTACKING PEOPLE!
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 6:31 pm   4 comments
ANIMATION
Tim Ireland has made a fantastic little animation. If you think some if is too close to the bone then read the bit at the end. It's a couple of minutes long.

Click here to watch it (you need sound).
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:41 pm   2 comments
INFLAMMATORY
More to come today but I loved this quote so much I just had to post it...

"Every now and then I am impressed with the thinking of the non-Indian. I was in Cleveland last year and got to talking with a non-Indian about American history. He said that he was really sorry about what had happened to Indians, but that there was a good reason for it. The continent had to be developed and he felt that Indians had stood in the way, and thus had to be removed. "after all," he remarked, "what did you do with the land when you had it?" I didn't understand him until later when I discovered that the Cuyahoga River running through Cleveland is inflammable. So many combustible pollutants are dumped into the river that the inhabitants have to take special precautions during the summer to avoid setting it on fire. After reviewing the argument of my non-Indian friend I decided that he was probably correct. Whites had made better use of the land. How many Indians could have thought of creating an inflammable river?"

from the Mohawk paper, Akwesane Notes
and please sign my guest map (thanks to Rachie and the others who already did). It's on the right after all the pictures...
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:43 am   6 comments
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
CONVERSATIONS WITH GEORGE, NUMBER 1
(This was my third ever post so most of the people who come here now won't have read it - and I still like it. Reposting it now because parts 2 & 3 are on the way)

The Following did not occur but by god how much do I wish it did. It may continue not to occur in instalments on this blog. The place where it does not occur is in a TV studio...

Presenter - Welcome, tonight we have a very special guest with us. The recent breakthrough in cloning technology has allowed Eric Blair aka George Orwell to come and speak to us. We hope to fill him in on recent events and that he can give us his perspective on them. Good morning Mr Orwell.

GO - Good Morning.

Presenter - First of all, I suppose we should start with the man who is, nominally at least, the most powerful on earth and that is the President of the United States, George W. Bush. [Shows him picture]
GO - [I looked] through the photographs in the New Year's Honours List, I was struck (as usual) by the quite exceptional ugliness and vulgarity of the faces displayed there. It seems to be almost the rule that the kind of person who earns the right to call himself Lord Percy de Falcontowers should look at best like an overfed publican and at worst like a tax-collector with a duodenal ulcer. But our country is not alone in this. Anyone who is a good hand with scissors and paste could compile an excellent book entitled Our Rulers, and consisting simply of published photographs of the great ones of the earth. The idea first occurred to me when I saw in Picture Post some 'stills' of Beaverbrook delivering a speech and looking more like a monkey on a stick than you would think possible for anyone who was not doing it on purpose.[i]

PRESENTER - You have a reputation as a stickler for the correct use of language so you should be aware that Mr. Bush is not often noted for his eloquence, in fact he admits himself that "I am not one of the great linguists." He often trips over his words and it is not always clear what he is trying to say. Yet when quizzed about this he sometimes appears to revel in it and many Americans seem to think it means he is a more down to earth and genial person, therefore not really a politician therefore more likeable. He even said he has coined new words like 'misunderestimated' and 'hispanically.'

GO - The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When the general atmosphere is bad the language must suffer. It is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes, but an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration.[ii]

Presenter - What form of regeneration though? In the 50 years since you passed many things have changed. The Soviet Union has collapsed and opposition to capitalistic forms of government have been marginalized for some time, though they occasionally appear to be on the rise again.

GO - Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can somehow be combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics.[iii]

Presenter - Ah, but who is to judge right and wrong? Most politicians believe they have right on their side. Mr Bush remarked that 'I know what I believe. I will continue to believe what I believe - I believe what I believe is right."

GO - ??

Presenter - How can you or anyone else claim to have the definitive answer on what is right or wrong? Is disseminating your opinions not just a form of imposing them on someone else?

GO - It can be argued that no unbiased outlook is possible, that all creeds and causes involve some lies, follies and barbarities: and this is often advanced as a reason for keeping out of politics altogether. I do not accept this argument, if only because in the modern world no one describable as intellectual can keep out of politics in the sense of not caring about them. I think one must engage in politics - using the word in the wide sense - and that one must have preferences: that is, one must recognise that some causes are objectively better than others, even if they are advanced by equally bad means.[iv]

PRESENTER - will the ideas of an individual person not always have a contaminating effect on others? Do the prejudices we all hold not make us all unsuitable to enter into politics?

GO - I do not know, but I do believe it is possible to struggle against them, and that this is essentially a moral effort. It is a question first of all of discovering what one really is, what one's own feelings really are, and then of making allowance for the inevitable bias. If you hate and fear Russia, if you are jealous of the wealth and power of America, if you despise Jews, if you have a sentiment of inferiority toward the British ruling class, you cannot get rid of those feelings simply by taking thought. But you can at least recognise that you have them and prevent them from contaminating your mental processes. The emotional urges which are inescapable, and are perhaps even necessary to political action, should be able to exist side by side with an acceptance of reality. But this, I repeat, needs a moral effort.[v]

Presenter - Thanks, we'll talk again soon.

[i] 'As I Please' 7th Jan 1944
[ii] From 'Politics and the English Language'
[iii] From 'Capitalism and Communism - Two paths to slavery'
[iv] 'Notes on Nationalism'
[v] 'Notes on Nationalism'
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:44 pm   5 comments
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
IT CAN'T BE, IT JUST CAN'T
This has to be fake but still....
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:54 pm   10 comments
25 YEARS OF ONE, 15 OF THE OTHER, 2 SO FAR OF THE LAST?
It is 15 years today that the first Gulf War (TM) began. Since then the UK and the US have been bombing Iraq. It is hardly ever mentioned that there were sorties almost every month in the periods between the two 'wars' and plenty of cruise missile attacks too.

Too often it is now suggested that the problems have all began since the end of the war, whether you believe them to be the fault of the US and UK or Saddam or the resistance, but this is simply not the case. That country was deliberately wrecked long before this war.

The sanctions regime imposed on Iraq after the first war reportedly left over half a million people dead. This was the United Nations estimate. Dennis Halliday, the former co-ordinator of the Oil for Food programme, as he left the job, predicted some of what we are seeing now...

"There is an awful incompatibility here, which I can't quite deal with myself. I just note that I feel extremely uncomfortable flying the UN flag, being part of the UN system here," he added.

Mr Halliday said it was correct to draw attention to the "4,000 to 5,000 children dying unnecessarily every month due to the impact of sanctions because of the breakdown of water and sanitation, inadequate diet and the bad internal health situation".

Mr Halliday argued that the
"alienation and isolation of the younger Iraqi generation of leadership" did not bode well for the future.

Likening their introverted development to that of Afghanistan's Taleban movement, Mr Halliday said younger Iraqis were intolerant of what they considered their leaders' excessive moderation.

Mr Halliday noted mosque attendance had soared during the sanctions era as people sought solace in religion - a change from Iraq's hitherto largely secular colouring.

"What should be of concern is the possibility at least of more fundamentalist Islamic thinking developing," he said.

"It is not well understood as a possible spin-off of the sanctions regime. We are pushing people to take extreme positions."


After leaving his position Halliday began campaigning for the sanctions to be lifted. His replacement Hans Von Sponeck also resigned. He stated

"As a UN official, I should not be expected to be silent to that which I recognise as a true human tragedy that needs to be ended...how long should the civilian population, which is totally innocent on all this, be exposed to such punishment for something that they have never done?"

In amongst all this there was 'Operation Desert Fox' in 1998 (16-19 December). This was another operation that was intended to destroy Iraq's weapon making capabilities. UN staff were evacuated from Baghdad and the USA and the UK began bombing. Around 100 targets were attacked. According to the BBC...

"more than 400 cruise missiles were fired from US ships in the Gulf and from B-52 bombers. The Iraqis say they shot down around a quarter of these. Nonetheless more cruise missiles were fired on Iraq in Desert Fox than during the entire Gulf War in 1991, although this time defence officials have been more circumspect in their assessments of their impact. Back then initial statements of success had to be severely scaled back as it became clear that many of the weapons had missed their targets or inflicted less than crippling damage.

Iraq's Ambassador to the UN, Nizar Hamdoon, said: 'I'm told that the casualties are in the thousands in terms of numbers of people who were killed or wounded'."

Since then of course we have had the second official war and the resistance and complete turmoil that exists in that country.

Of course Saddam was a major problem for the Iraqi people and to his neighbours. Of course the resistance are too. Robert Fisk has been reminding people not to be romantic about the Iraqi resistance and he knows better than most - he has been there. But 15 years of bombing and sanctions are not likely to predispose you to like anyone. For 25 years they were stuck with Saddam, add to that 15 years of bombing and sanctions imposed by the "international community" (sic) and now add the resistance bombs and the indiscriminate kidnappings. If the occupation had worked out the way it was supposed to we would have seen lots of expats heading back to Iraq but the opposite is happening. As many Iraqi's as can are fleeing the country. Stuck between Saddam, the USA and UK and the resistance, is it any wonder they want out?
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:54 am   5 comments
Monday, January 16, 2006
BIKO

There was a little advert for the African Nations Cup on TV last night. They asked a load of people who they thought was the most famous African. Unsurprisingly Nelson Mandela was the person that most people mentioned. Everyone knows Mandela's story, Non-violent and then armed struggle and eventually ending up as President.

There is another South African activist who doesn't ever seem to get as much publicity. Steve Biko was killed in police custody in 1977. The police said this was due to a hunger strike but Biko had massive head injuries. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said that...

"Biko sustained a head injury during interrogation on 7 September 1977, after which he acted strangely and was unco-operative. The doctors who examined him (naked, lying on a mat and manacled to a metal grille) initially disregarded overt signs of neurological injury."
I just want to give you some of his more inspiational quotes....

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Speech in Cape Town, 1971

"It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality."

"The system concedes nothing without demand, for it formulates its very method of operation on the basis that the ignorant will yearn to know, the child will grow into an adult and therefore demands will begin to be made. It gears itself to resist demands in whatever way it sees fit."
In "The Quest for a True Humanity"

"The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed change the habits of people. This change is not the result of force but of dedication, of moral persuasion."

"To get to the right answers, we must ask the right questions; we have to find out what went wrong -where and when; and we have to find out whether our position is a deliberate creation of God or an artificial fabrication of the truth by power-hungry people whose motive is authority, security, wealth and comfort."

There is a film about him called 'Cry Freedom' , which I have not seen. If you have, is it any good?

Oh and please join my guest map (down the right hand side).

UPDATE
With regard to some of the last posts and all the comments I would like to encourage everyone to have a look at this excellent little film (about 3 minutes long). Thanks to Nolff.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 10:36 am   11 comments
Saturday, January 14, 2006
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Is all the sabre-rattling that is going on over Iran going to lead to another Iraq style disaster?


Is it going to be targeted missile strikes with no ground troops?

Are the Israeli's going to do the attacking?

Will the US stop at anything short of attacking them? Is there going to be a peaceful solution?

Is it World War 3 time? Should we start making peace with estranged friends and relatives before we all die?

What do you think?

Also, I have been advertising this little advert that the TV executives thought you shouldn't see

www.brooklynbrothers.com/movies/un60.mov

Curious Hamster has done a good piece about it.

There is also a new guest map thing after the pictures down the right hand side. I will leave it up to see if anyone uses it and if no one can be bothered I will take it off next week.

UPDATE

Jaakko in the comments for this post has mentioned "hysterical scotland" so I have just decided to add this picture of what the UK and US are doing in their supposedly noble mission.


"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

George Orwell

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:43 pm   25 comments
Friday, January 13, 2006
CHANGES
(can't remember where i found this but thanks anyway!)

I made a couple of small changes to the site this week. There is a few new pictures down the right hand side, a new warmonger of the week and also a new opinion poll and you can now vote for as many of the options as you like. The results of the last one were as follows...

What would you most like to see this year?

Complete withdrawal from Iraq - 11%

Bush Impeached - 26%

Blair Impeached - 19%

A serious attempt to deal with poverty - 11%

Reality TV shows stopped - 4%

It's too difficult to pick - 30%

So many blogs are about what someone or other's cat did that day or some such bollocks but I have some of my favourites just below the links and I will mention them in time. Today though, it's time for some shout-outs. Do not take that as an excuse not to keep coming here though!)...

The curmudgeonly never fails to impress, particularly his 'News 2020' section.

I got some abuse from an anonymous poster on chickyog but I think I am big enough and ugly enough to cope with it.

Happy one year anniversary to the devils kitchen

The disillusioned kid always has good posts even if he ignores my comments and finally, chewy always knows best - get used to it.

As for the others, there are too many to mention at the moment but there are some good ones in the 'some of the blogs i look at' section.

Just leave you here with arnie showing his true colours....

March 1992 Spy Magazine article mentions a story confirmed by "a businessman and longtime friend of Schwarzenegger's" -- that in the '70s Arnold "enjoyed playing and giving away records of Hitler's speeches."

"My relationship to power and authority is that I'm all for it." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger at 44 to US News and World Report in 1990.

"People need somebody to watch over them... Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger at 44 to US News and World Report in 1990.

(from www.arnoldexposed.com
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 9:04 pm   6 comments
Thursday, January 12, 2006
FASCISM?
People use the word fascism (and for that matter anarchism/anarchy) without really knowing what it means. Fascism is used as a sort of general insult which means something vaguely unpleasant (anarchy is used when the word should be chaos).

A few years ago Norman Mailer said that the USA was a 'pre-fascist society'. In the UK, I hear and read about how we are progressing toward a fascist society. Lots of Blogs and websites are certain of it. Prescott Bush's links to Nazi industry and many other examples are cited as proof that we are on the way to a new fascism which is a cleverer beast than the old one.

Howard Zinn said that after World War 2, in which he served as a bombardier he looked around and realised that fascism had not been defeated. Hitler had been defeated, Mussolini had been defeated, the Japanese Empire had been defeated, but fascism still existed, in the military, the prisons and the schools to name but a few examples.

Two of my favourite journalists are in disagreement about it. Firstly, John Pilger seems fairly convinced, recently stating that


"[An] insidious tyranny is being imposed across the world...Bush has carried out the recommendations of a Messianic conspiracy theory called the "Project for a New American Century"...it foresaw his administration as a military dictatorship behind a democratic facade: "the cavalry on a new American frontier" guided by a blend of paranoia and megalomania. More than 700 American bases are now placed...at the gateways to the sources of fossil fuels and encircling the Middle East and Central Asia. The powers of the president have never been greater. The judicial system has been subverted, along with civil liberties. The former senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who once prepared the White House daily briefing, told me that the authors of the PNAC and those now occupying positions of executive power used to be known in Washington as "the crazies". He said, "We should now be very worried about fascism".

George Monbiot disagrees. He believes that there is a precedent for the Bush project but it is not fascism...

"Puritanism was primarily the religion of the new commercial classes. It attracted traders, money lenders, bankers and industrialists. Calvin had given them what the old order could not: a theological justification of commerce. Capitalism, in his teachings, was not unchristian, but could be used for the glorification of God. From his doctrine of individual purification, the late Puritans forged a new theology.

At its heart was an "idealization of personal responsibility" before God. This rapidly turned into "a theory of individual rights" in which "the traditional scheme of Christian virtues was almost exactly reversed". By the mid-17th Century, most English Puritans saw in poverty "not a misfortune to be pitied and relieved, but a moral failing to be condemned, and in riches, not an object of suspicion...but the blessing which rewards the triumph of energy and will."

So why has this ideology resurfaced in 2004? Because it has to. The enrichment of the elite and impoverishment of the lower classes requires a justifying ideology if it is to be sustained. In the United States this ideology has to be a religious one. Bush's government is forced back to the doctrines of Puritanism as an historical necessity. If we are to understand what it's up to, we must look not to the 1930s, but to the 1630s."


Monbiot's piece also covers the militarism and glorification of it that comes with the government currently in power in the US. He fits that into the model by saying that the late puritans are characterised as people who believed that "the world exists not to be enjoyed, but to be conquered. Only its conqueror deserves the name of Christian."

Fascism was defined by Mussolini as the merging of corporate and state power. Corporations now dominate states by lobbying them to death, putting their own men in (Cheney, Lord Sainsbury etc), or threatening to leave for other places and deny the nation the capital, but there is still state power to stop them.

Noam Chomsky has described a form of 'anti-politics.' Essentially, what he means by it is that corporations are 'unaccountable private tyrannies' and in their terms government has a flaw, which corporations do not have, which is that it is potentially democratic. Therefore corporate interests encourage anger to be directed at the government or things that are not real (e.g. all encompassing Jewish conspiracies, Communist conspiracies, massive terrorist networks and so on). This keeps public resentment and anger from focusing on anything except where power really lies - the corporations.

Currently, nation states are almost entirely under the heel of the large corporations but there is at least the potential to wrest some of the power back. I am not sure whether what exists at the moment is "military dictatorship behind a democratic facade" or whether it is some form of corporate mercantilism - a case can be made for both of these positions. There is one thing that is certain though. As distasteful as the politics and politicians of this time are, if we leave the corporations to keep having quiet words in their ears while we howl at the moon then we will be left with something much worse than the already diabolical position we are in now.

More activist time should be focused on the corporate world. In some sense every attack on the political systems gives the corporations the excuse they need to step into the void, citing their false claims to greater efficiency and taking ever more power for themselves. I do not say this because I am a fan of the current UK or US system of sham democracy, far from it. But it pays to be aware when you might be fighting someone else's battles for them.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 4:42 pm   11 comments
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
GUNS
I went to Canada a few years ago. I got talking to someone in a bar and I told him that not even the police are allowed to carry guns as a matter of routine here in the UK. There are certain armed police and more and more in the last few years but run of the mill police still do not carry a gun. He completely refused to believe me and wouldn't hear another word about it.

For the record I think there are 3 countries in the world where the police do not carry guns - the UK, Norway and Iceland, but if anyone can correct me on this please do.

Not growing up in a 'gun culture' it is sometimes hard to understand how the rest of the world and in particular the US thinks about it. The NRA and other psychos tend to promote the idea of gun ownership as a way to protect yourself from criminals but I had read into it that part of the idea was gun ownership to protect yourself from a tyrannical government. I am not in favour of gun ownership but I just want to raise an uncomfortable point.

Orwell, in a piece called 'You and the Atom Bomb', which I have seen conservative sites use to try and justify gun ownership, talks about whether ownership of weapons is conducive to freedom or tyranny...

"ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon - so long as there is no answer to it - gives claws to the weak."

The suggestion is that the atom bomb, as a complex weapon has led us into a greater form of tyranny than ever before. He goes on...

"Nevertheless, looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity...Had the atomic bomb turned out to be something as cheap and easily manufactured as a bicycle or an alarm clock, it might well have plunged us back into barbarism, but it might, on the other hand, have meant the end of national sovereignty and of the highly-centralised police state. If, as seems to be the case, it is a rare and costly object as difficult to produce as a battleship, it is likelier to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging indefinitely a "peace that is no peace".

The usual Orwell prescience is observable at the end. Though Iraq and others may be considered 'large-scale' wars they are not on the scale of what the world had just been through when the article was written (1945). In the same article he predicts the Cold War...

"So we have before us the prospect of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds, dividing the world between them...suppose - and really this the likeliest development - that the surviving great nations make a tacit agreement never to use the atomic bomb against one another? Suppose they only use it, or the threat of it, against people who are unable to retaliate? In that case we are back where we were before, the only difference being that power is concentrated in still fewer hands and that the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes is still more hopeless."

This is one of the few articles I don't really agree with Orwell on but you have to consider time of writing. The full effects of atomic power and weaponry were not yet known. I imagine he would have written something rather different were he around now. In fact, that's why I am writing this. As I said, I have seen people attempt to use this article as a justification for gun ownership but I want to point out that that argument is now redundant. If the state has the tank, the bomb, the nuclear bomb, chemical weapons, sound weapons and fuck knows what else, what point is there in owning a gun? If fighting won't work then other methods of resistance have to be employed.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:44 pm   12 comments
U.S. MONETARY Cost of the War in Iraq - other people are spending too, and the human cost is much higher
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping
    Links

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    NODOBY KNOWS ME
    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • TCOAW
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

    Who links to me?

    For a DotSCOT Domain!

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