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.
Strategic Communication Laboratories is the leading supplier of strategic communications, information operations and public diplomacy to governments and military clients around the world.
The company is the exclusive licence holder of the BDi strategic communication methodology, which is the most advanced and effective persuasion methodology for social and group communication.
The company provides solutions mainly for defence, internal security and foreign affairs governmental departments, but also provides solutions for tourism, financial markets & investment and health programmes.
All very admirable, I'm sure you'll agree. One of their many services is to provide an OpCentre. What can the OpCentre do?
Launch a powerful psyop campaign against an engaged enemy
Engender support within the national community for proposed military action
Re-engineer foreign perceptions to potentially avert conflict altogether
Develop national resilience and behavioural compliance for homeland security issues
Produce powerful public diplomacy campaigns for political, economic, military issues
Maintain an 'always ready' public communication command centre for critical incidents
Develop more effective public information campaigns for social and health issues
The whole SCL website is extremely disturbing. Please explore it and then post a comment to highlight the part(s) you find the most chilling. See this article at Infowars for a thorough analysis.
For months I have been meaning to do a post explaining the whole Scotland/England thing as best I can. I am in England at the moment as it happens.
Thing is, when it is discussed it is usually from the historical angle and old injustices (and there are many) are always brought up. The thought processes of the English leaders are even in the 4th verse of God Save the Queen...
Lord grant that Marshal Wade May by thy mighty aid Victory bring.May he sedition hush, And like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush
I think I qualify as a rebellious Scot but anyway, it just shows you the thinking. It refers to the Jacobite uprising in the 18th century and the cultural, economic and political repression of Scotland that followed it.
But there are also many current injustices and rather than go into them all at the moment I will just post these lyrics which I think sum things up from the Scottish angle very well..
CAP IN HAND - The Proclaimers
I can tell the meaning of a world like serene I got some "0" grades when I was sixteen I can tell the difference between margarine and butter I can say "Saskatchewan" without starting to stutter
But I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land Cap in hand
I could get a broken jaw from being in a fight I know it's evening when the day turns to night I can understand why Stranraer lie so lowly They could save a lot of points by signing Hibs Goalie
But I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land Cap in hand
We fight-when they ask us We boast-then we cower We begFor a piece of What's already ours Once I thought I could make God a bribe So I said I was in his lost tribe Getting handouts can be so frustrating "Get in line son, there's five million waiting."
[He said] I can't understand why you let someone else rule your land Cap in hand
I have posted about this stuff here and here as well.
I am a bit of a monty python fan but i hadn't came across this song till now...
Henry Kissinger How I'm missing yer You're the Doctor of my dreams With your crinkly hair and your glassy stare And your machiavellian schemes I know they say that you are very vain And short and fat and pushy but at least you're not insane
Henry Kissinger How I'm missing yer And wishing you were here Henry Kissinger How I'm missing yer You're so chubby and so neat With your funny clothes and your squishy nose You're like a German parakeet All right so people say that you don't care But you've got nicer legs than Hitler And bigger tits than Cher
Henry Kissinger How I'm missing yer And wishing you were here
Well, I'm afraid that they do. Their sole purpose is to cause maximum damage in the most efficient way possible. Everyone knows and admits this. Except gun enthusiasts and firearm manufacturers.
As Eddie Izzard said: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people, and monkeys do too (if they have a gun)".
Hence the picture at the top. Give him a banana or there's a good chance your head will have some new ventilation. In fact the ape [UPDATE: thanks to guerrillasinthemidst for pointing out that chimps aren't monkeys but I can't find a picture of a monkey with a gun so that'll have to do!] probably has more intelligence than your average gun club member, so apologies to all our chimp readers out there. You're probably not as trigger-happy as your homo-sapien cousins.
There is a serious point in that line from Izzard: guns = death.
He obviously wanted to cause great harm. But did it have to be so easy for him? Why should civilians have access to such weaponry? Thankfully, even with strong opposition from the gun lobby the 1997 National Firearms (Amendment) Act banned handguns and made provision for a national firearms database to be set up. Still no sign of that database, sadly.
There's a saying - "When You Have a Hammer, Everything Looks like a Nail". Well, when you have a gun everything starts to look like a target. So it makes sense to limit access to guns and keep a very close eye on those who do. And that goes for "harmless" air-guns too. They can also inflict horrific injuries as can be seen by this boy's death and these other reports.
Following on from the entriely succesful liberation of Iraq a vacancy has arisen for a third member of the 'axis of evil'. Candidates will preferably be tinpot dictators who, although evil, will not pose any serious threat to the armed forces of the US and UK. Candidates will be expected to talk big whilst acting small. Previous work as a CIA operative is desirable but not essential.
Our generous package will offer a show trial upon completion of the job, possibly followed by several years of free hospitality or alterniatively and immediate termination (of you and/or your contract).
Candidates will initially be give interest free loans to buy US and UK weapons.
Penalty clauses may be invoked if these are not being used in line with our unequal opportunities policy.
As Michael hinted at the other day, there are now two tubs that shall be thumped from this site. The other is mine. Two heads are better than one and all that. Just hope I can match his standard (I need to be sycophantic, it's his blog really).
I'm sorry to whine as well but I too am rather busy just now. So sorry if the initial posts are rather short and sweet. This should change. I'm mainly busy due to my job as a government office drone. We're talking mind-meltingly, joy-sappingly busy. Right about now I'm wishing for the abolition of work.
This brilliant essay, which I only came across very recently through a friend's recommendation, just about sums it up. Or how about these anti-work sentiments in Is work bad for you? Talk about a rhetorical question! These facts and figures on the same site make for interesting reading as well.
It's sad that so much of our lives are taken up with just earning though, isn't it? I don't want to lie on my death-bed and think - "That office job was shit, every day like the last, disappearing into a chasm of apathy, tedium and fights over staplers. But it was steady and paid the bills, so it was worth it - wasn't it?".
I need to hatch a plan to escape, before I go off my chump. You may be able to notice my steady decline into insanity on this very blog, until my posts consist of the likes of "RaRR!!!! Must kill Th£M ALL!". Could be sooner rather than later.
Sorry there have been no posts for a while, as I have been moaning about lately I have been extremely busy - dogs don't walk themselves you know (well they do but i don't think the human race is able to accept that at the moment - the dogs seem fine with it).
Anyway, I have been really busy and consequently we have an announcement to make here at thumping the tub (in fact i think i just made it - did you notice the 'we'? hint hint nudge nudge).
Tomorrow for that.
In the meantime we have a new poll and a new warmonger of the week (scroll down right hand side). Bit of a british flavour to this one. 50% of readers on this site are from the UK and about a quarter are from the US so US readers willeither have to chekc it up or think about John Timoney (or even look him up as well!). it's not an entirely fair comparison but it is in the same neck of the woods.
If anyone cares the results of the old poll were as follows...
What Annoys You Most about Tony Blair?
Sanctimonious Git 8% Liar 3% Murderer 3% Poodle 14% The way he comes over all hurt if someone asks him a tough question 11% treatment of british workers 0% all of the above 62%
Blogger isn't uploading photos so WE were going to be really funny about this but unfortunately we can't be so fuck it.
One of the great things about the protest scene is the level of creativity that is constantly shown by the protestors. Here are some of my favourites...
First up we have 'Billionaires for Bush' ('You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Job!'). When they appeared in Edinburgh and also in other places they were getting abuse because people were taking them seriously...
Next up we have the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) who have made a name for themselves with some brilliant and brave street theatre. This one is from just before the G8 but there are loads more shorts about and by them.
Last but definitely not least we have the Yes men. If you haven't seen their movie try to make a point of it. I present a short they did about the Oil industry. I have rarely laughed so hard. It's not that difficult to see what they are implying here.
Someone got me one of those calendars for christmas - the one where you get a stupid Bush quote every day. Now the Bushism stuff is overplayed, although it is still occasionally amusing.
I don't find the ones where he mispronounces things that funny, just boring after a while. The ones that really get me are the ones where he clearly hasn't understood what is being talked about and that can sometimes make it quite scary.
The one I remember most clearly is the one where it was a conference about over-fishing. You have the environmentalists on one side saying if we don't stop fishing so much there will be no fish left. On the other side you have the fishermen saying that they won't have a job left and it will probably be the end for their towns if they can't fish. Arguments on both sides then. Bush stands up and says "I believe man and fish can co-exist peacefully".
Ok, so we can now sleep safely in the knowledge that we are not going to be declaring 'the war on fish' anytime soon but really, George, that isn't what we were talking about.
This little film attempts to explain why he trips over his words. I want to make it clear that I don't really buy the theory it puts forward but nevertheless, it is interesting. It is about 4 minutes long, though it seems to take a minute or two to load.
In the film he also states that he thinks that 14 year olds should be tried as adults. Does anyone know if they now do this? (in texas, it was an old speech)
It's a repost but it is one I was quite pleased with. And no, I haven't watched it yet...
SPECIALLY RUINED FOR A HOLLYWOOD AUDIENCE
I have always been a huge fan of Douglas Adams. Anyone capable of writing lines like "He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it" grabs your interest. Whilst I haven't always agreed with him in all that he says, he continually managed to be both flippant and profound at the same time - which is no easy habit to get into. He had an extraordinary amount of ability in the not-so simple art of putting one word after another.
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
"Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose."
"He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."
It just makes me laugh. It is not really science-fiction (he described himself as a comedy writer). Most science fiction is poorly written. Adams' work most certainly isn't.
I heard Hollywood was going to make a film of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and at first was pleased that the work would get to a wider audience. Then I panicked. I realised that even if it was done with the best intentions it was not going to translate to the screen. How do you translate "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't" or those I mentioned above into a visual image. It just won't work.
Then I noticed the Hollywood spin machine get into action. Several fake fan sites were set up to promote the film. Unsurprisingly, their reviews were always glowing. The repository for all things Hitchhikers - the 'Planet Magrathea' website - reviewed the film and said it was fairly poor. The man who wrote the review, after years of maintaining a brilliant website for fans chucked it in because of... "unwarranted, ill-informed personal abuse and libel which has been directed towards me on the IMDB, livejournal and many other websites in the wake of my review of the film."
Films cannot and should not replicate books exactly, it is a different medium and things have to be explained in a different way but despite this it often seems that things are not 'specially adapted' for the screen but instead are 'specially ruined' for Hollywood audiences.Adams himself was asked about the differences between UK and US audiences and whether or not things had to be 'dumbed down' for the US. He replied that there was no great differences between the two and that the 'dumbing down' was not something that US audiences demanded or needed. The decision to do it is made on behalf of the US audiences by TV and film executives.
Happy endings tend to get stuck on as well. The US version of the dutch film 'The Vanishing' is a classic example. The Dutch version is chilling and not a little superb. The US version is the most appalling nonsense. US audiences did not demand this. US executives decided that they should see a version with a preposterous happy-ending and not a straight remake of the Dutch film (better still, why not just watch the Dutch film - there are such things as subtitles). In changing the end they entirely changed the point.
Spielberg's attempt at War of the Worlds is another case. H.G. Wells' book is about the arrogance of the human race in assuming that they are the sum of all things. Spielberg's version is about a few flashy special effects and Tom Cruise 'growing up and accepting his responsibilities.'This is not to say that remakes cannot be done well. Most often they aren't, but occasionally they can be. Try the Orson Welles version of 'War of the Worlds' here.
Anyway, back to Adams. I still haven't seen the film but I have seen probably 10 minutes worth of clips and it is clear that a book that manages to take the finer points of philosophy (an academic friend of mine informs me that one section is 'inverse Kantian philosophy'), physics, metaphysics, astro-physics[i] and making sandwiches, has been transformed into a piss-poor slapstick with a couple of witty jokes.
I'll adapt an Adams quote to end..."In the beginning Hollywood was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. "
An excellent talk Adams did at the University of California just before he died entitled "Parrots, the universe and everything" is available here
He also wrote the funniest short story I have ever read, which is available here
[i] I don't know of any other writer who could have came up with a line like "in the end he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn't stand was a smartarse."
As promised, those who watched part 1 posted below seemed to get a lot out of it. This is part 2. It was made after the end of the occupation and tells an equally compelling story. Part 3 is still to come. These are some of the best programmes I have seen about the whole thing.
Take the time to watch this. It is the first part of three (I will pot the other two soon) and it is called 'Between Iraq and a Hard Place'. It shows the history of invasions of Iraq going back a hundred years and is also extremely funny. It was broadcast before the conflict began.
Seriously, watch it. Your history will improve no end and it will help put what is going on in a wider context.
I have been receiving some accusatory comments. I am not trying to start anything here I just want to point out a few discrepancies...
"Antiwar protesters advocate recklessness because they hate the west."
Firstly, what is more reckless, starting a war or trying to stop one?
Secondly, I do not 'hate the west' but I believe in getting my own house in order before I start shouting at someone else to clean up theirs. One act I would consider to be 'hating the west' would be giving loans to bloodthirsty dictators with taxpayers money and then demanding that the loans be used to buy weapons from western companies. The anti-war protestors did not do this, the western governments did.
As was shown in the Scott Report (an inquiry into the UK government and companies arming Saddam) between 1984 and 1990 there was 1744 applications to sell arms and 'arms related products' to Iraq. Remember this was AFTER he gassed his own civilians. 110 of those applications were rejected and 1634 of them were approved. They knew what he was doing - they didn't care.
(Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein - captions in the comments!)
Then look at Saudi Arabia, our supposed friends. There tends to be a lot of internal repression there. Any plans to invade? Don't think so.
They are even proud that Algeria signed up for the 'War on Terror'(TM) when they must know that if you look up 'Internal repression' in the dictionary, Algeria is quite high up the list.
Who is supporting Fascism here? It looks like the West doesn't it?
Saying that they have removed one fascist loses its glamour when they are continually supporting other ones. The west also does not have the right under international law to do what it is doing.
I can't remember the name off hand (I can trawl through some stuff and find it if anyone insists - Chomsky quotes it direct from the government in paper in one of the lectures on his site) but an American official said after Gulf War 1 that the ideal scenario for the USA was an 'iron-fisted Iraqi junta' - just with someone who wasn't Saddam Hussein.
I have always objected to the arms industry, not just arms in the hands of people I personally don't like.
Also, the enormous expense that hits the taxpayer and the INCREASED likelihood of terrorism means that the west is harming itself in all this.
If you tell a member of your family to stop drinking because you think they are harming their health do you do it because you hate them? I don't think so.
I have previously been accused of being 'pornographic' for publishing this photo. It is only pornographic if you get a kick out of it. I am appalled by it but I post it to show the link between actions (or even inactions) and consequences. If you support the policy you accept that these things are going to happen and believe it to be 'worth it'. I don't but some others obviously do becuase they keep supporting it and sticking up for it.
Finally, I have no romantic notions about the Iraqi resistance at all. I have went to some talks in various places done by refugees from the conflict and they all say more or less the same thing - That there is some popular resistance and some that are a nasty bunch. Nevertheless they all said that tensions will decrease once the Coalition leave. Also, they all more or less said the thing that is in the Gandhi film (I don't know if he really said it - a lot of the quotes in that film are not right) that there is no country in the world that would not prefer its own bad government over a good foreign one (or a puppet government).
I think this song sums it up well, you can listen to it or download it for nothing here
Operation Iraqi Liberation - David Rovics
We've got a situation and it calls for a solution
That upholds our domination of the planet
We're gonna make our case and we're gonna make it well
But if you don't like our logic you can can it
We'll use impeccable intelligence from any country in the world
As long as we all see eye to eye
And if we don't find quite what we need we know what to do
Just look into the camera and lie
Cause it's Operation Iraqi Liberation
Tell me, what does that spell
Operation Iraqi Liberation
O - I - L
And we'll lie about the missiles and the nuclear research
We'll lie about uranium
We'll build military bases and smile for reporters
As we give away bubble gum
And we'll lie about bin Laden and his connections with the Saudis
And we'll lie about 9-1-1
And we'll lie about the Baathists and their connections to Al Qaeda
Because we know there's none
And we'll lie about the North Koreans and we'll lie about Iran
And don't mention Israel
Keep those nuclear weapons out of this song
And it will all hold together swell
And now we'll liberate these people, we'll liberate their money
Having seen this programme would help but is not essential. In short it is a point about protesting and protestors. For sci-fi type reasons which I won't go into at the moment one of these people has lost his sense of anger, one has lost his fear, one has lost his guilt and one has lost his vanity...
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
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
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..
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.