Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

There has been a lot of commentary on this case. The most important one is that this is a debasement of the English language and a two-fingered salute to all victims of the violent crime of rape to call consensual sex rape when the condom broke.

All you need to know is what the world’s leading feminist, Naomi Wolfe had to say on the case. I like Naomi a lot and I have read one of her books. She is incredibly smart and astute.

Julian Assange Captured by World’s Dating Police.

Of course if we dig a little deeper we find this startling revelation.

Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative.

Murkier and murkier.

Of course the CIA do specialise in smearing officially designated enemies. They have a long, sordid and blood stained history. There have been many worthy books written on their atrocious conduct. Irish journalist Alexander Cockburn’s Whiteout is probably the best account of their nefarious deeds with regards to selling cocaine so they could illegally procure arms for Iran.

Perhaps the most salient summary of the case is this from Roissy in DC or Citizen Renegade which is now his prefered nom de guerre. In his piece the links that he sources demolish any veneer of legitimacy to these trumped up charges.

I’ve written before that false rape accusers ought to be punished the same as actual rapists, with jail time. It is as evil as real rape. Their lies destroy lives. Tossing them in jail for years will send a valuable message to women everywhere that they will not escape the consequences of smearing a man who didn’t fulfill their romantic expectations.

Indeed. The bigger crime here is that this whole affair will lead to a watering-down of the crime of rape in the public’s consciousness and arguably it will make it more difficult for genuine rape victims to come forward.

What is shocking is that soi-disant feminists could traduce and betray their gender like this.

Tragedy as farce as pointed out over at Counterpunch.

The farcical rape charges have once again been leveled against the Pentagon’s Public Enemy Number One.Julian Assange now stands accused of: (1) not calling a young woman the day after he had enjoyed a night with her, (2) asking her to pay for his bus ticket, (3) having unsafe sex, and (4) participating in two brief affairs in the course of one week.

These four minor charges, worthy of Leopold Bloom’s mock trial in the Nightown chapter in Ulysses

Indeed.

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I told you so

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Current Affairs, Middle East
Tags: ,

So, Wikileaks confirmed it.

Mummar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, made explicit and “thuggish” threats to halt all {British} trade deals with Britain and harass embassy staff if Megrahi remained in jail.

*sigh*

As I said here last year:

This is cynical real-politick, business interests and the eternal quest for profit masquerading as justice.

George Celente would be proud.

I originally wrote this piece, which was dripping in satire, in October and posted it on Facebook. Since I wrote it, depressingly but not surprisingly, one prediction has already come true and the other, whilst there was no national strike, we did have violent student riots in Ireland and England.

  • Brian Cowen announces that Ireland is broke
  • Another European country with a strong sense of social activism goes on national strike and chuck a few bottles at riot police.
  • More miners get stuck down a mine because we have an over-reliance on fossil fuels and tragedies happen in a random, flawed, imperfect world, especially in countries with lax labour laws.

Over to you Gerald.

Fuck this shit.

I am going on a low information-diet or cultivating selective ignorance. Kudos to Tim Ferris for arriving at this concept.

I was reading a recent Noam Chomsky interview on How the Media Subdues the Public(which is actually a great synthesis of his common refrain over the years about the malfeasance of the media in its unwavering subservience to maintaining the status-quo) and I thought, fuck this shit -why am I even bothering reading this?

Far from offering you a unique advantage, knowing inordinate amounts of information and all shades of tat and trivia as a result of devouring multiple media sources just makes you increasingly depressed, anxious, edgy and despairing of humanity.

We really are just arapacious,violent primate and every day I see more and more depressing evidence of this.

Consuming news is akin to being administered an anaesthesia as you have to learn to inure and inoculate yourself against the depraved depths our species and society are capable of plumbing. Just when you think you have read about a new low, as inevitable as the changing of the seasons,  your senses get assaulted with yet more torrid tales of abject grimness.

Even just casually flicking through a newspaper, The Guardian or The Irish Times are just as guilty of bringing their readers on voyerstic misery tours as the salacious tabloids who cynically treat their prole audience with withering contempt, leaves you feeling empty and queasy. Everyday there is yet another unrelenting tsunami of human misery, financial disaster, environmental doom, political incompetence and a prurient interest in the private lives of inconsequential celebrities along with a morbid obsession with all shades of criminality and human suffering.

Digesting such toxicity on a daily basis can only be bad for your mental health, mood and general well being.

Seriously.

What do you need to know all this otherwise useless information for anyway?

Yes, useless information. News and information that is about as useful to you personally as a condom machine in the Vatican.

Unless that condom machine has extra-strength anal condoms of course.

Does what you read in the news *really* impact on your life or affect you on a day-to-day basis?

I am a recovering news junkie and media addict but I think it was all really worthless.

Was being a news junkie any more worthy or less degenerate than being say a chronic gambler, a sex addict, an alcoholic or opium addict? Not that I had any of those vices I hasten to add *cough* but they are just as detrimental to your mental health and well being as a purportedly lofty but pointless interest in the world around you.

I know pretty much every twist and turn of the seemingly intractable Middle East Peace Process but now that I think about it, I am just absorbing the suffering of other people and then despairing at the medias complete inability to report it properly.

Why should you take on board more misery in your life? I know all of this information and detail but really, what good is it?  Who benefits? What’s the point?

Even having more than a passing understanding of history still does little for me personally to bother affecting meaningful change or shaping society towards a better end. It is not as if we ever learn from our collective mistakes or can chart a more progressive, sustainable and equitable path for ourselves.

I remember reading a book called The Black Swan which in essence was about the impossibility of and our complete inabilty to, predict epoch defining events like 9-11 or the recent economic crisis. Despite the fact that any sane or sober person could have seen that the orgy of consumerism that lead to the biggest credit bubble in history was going to burst – Cassandras such as Dean Baker, Nouriel Roubini & David McWilliams aside – people still insisted on drinking the Kool-Aid and continued to deny what was happening around us.

This reminds me of an Arthur Miller quote: Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense………. so the evidence has to be internally denied.

It is an all too human coping mechanism for a brutally unfair world where most people’s live are nasty, brutish and short. (hat tip to Edmund Burke)

So what good can really come of being informed? Is being able to hold forth at a dinner party on the issues of the day so that you can wax lyrical in a pretentious fashion to your friends really that important? They would rather dull themselves to your witless witterings by drinking more and playing footsie with the person sitting beside them. No really, they would. News and current affairs are all just conversational window-dressing.

News runs in periodic, predictable and repetitive cycles anyway. Here is a prediction for some news stories over say the next 6 months:

  • Some celebrity turns out to be human by being caught having an affair by the prurient press and an ensuing scandal erupts
  • Some politician turns out to be human, is found guilty of corruption and an ensuing scandal erupts.
  • Apple launches a newer, shiner, iPhone with go faster stripes and one million geeks masturbate in unison to celebrate.
  • Steve Jobs turns out not to be human and a million more geeks masturbate in an even more frenzied fashion.
  • More miners get stuck down a mine because we have an over-reliance on fossil fuels and tragedies happen in a random, flawed, imperfect world, especially in countries with lax labour laws.
  • Countries which followed the Anglo-Saxon, neo-liberal model of economic development in particular, e.g, the USA,the UK, Ireland continue to lurch from one fiscal crisis to another because it was ever thus and it is the nature of the beast. The governments declare an end to such booms and busts until the next boom.
  • Another European country with a strong sense of social activism goes on national strike and chuck a few bottles at riot police.
  • More people die needlessly in an insane and unwinnable war on drugs. Just like in prohibition era Chicago in the war on alcohol. This doesn’t stop the tabloids from connecting the dots and going on a moral panic which is just a thinly veiled attempt to sell more papers to a frightened and stupefied public.
  • Another celebrity turns out to be human by being caught having an affair by the prurient press and an ensuing scandal erupts.
  • Another politician turns out to be human, is exposed as being comically incompetent and an ensuing scandal erupts.
  • Any alphabet soup of any terrorist/freedom fighter groups the RIRA, ETA, CIRA or any shade of the multiple Islamic varieties let off a bomb
  • A Western power,i.e the US or Israel (the UK has no money to maintain the RAF anymore), bombs Iran (as long as they are not white, it’s alright, if they are brown, there are bombs going down) to maintain an influence in an oil-rich region but under the spurious pretext of fighting a war on terror or insert any random bullshit excuse for waging illegal war here
  • Another sex scandal within the hopelessly reactionary, medieval, deeply corrupt and amusingly superstitious Catholic Church emerges.
  • The liberal intelligentsia erupt in a panic over allowing Muslims the right to engage in hopelessly reactionary, medieval, deeply corrupt and amusingly superstitious practises under the veil (boom!) of encouraging multi-culturism. A lofty debate opens up about the cultural merits of female genital mutilation. To condemn female genital mutilation it is to be guilty of Islamophobia.
  • More right-wing groups emerge, like the Tea Partiers and the English & European Defence League, hi-jacking legitimate criticism of the worst aspects of Islam as a flag of convenience for disliking people that look different to them.
  • Nick Griffin says fuck this BNP shit, converts to militant Islam and becomes a suicide bomber using his artificial eye as the detonator.The bomb fails to explode.
  • Rupert Murdoch clones himself. The clone kills Rupert Murdoch and turns News International into a radical, left-wing organisation. Without missing a beat, Glenn Beck starts quoting Marx and sets up The Coffee Party.
  • Brian Cowen announces that Ireland is broke and wonders if independence was really just an ingenious, diabolical plan that was carefully concocted by The Brits to bankrupt Ireland
  • Another celebrity turns out to be human by being caught having an affair by the prurient press and an ensuing scandal erupts

There, I have just saved you valuable time and mental energy from needlessly reading news for the next six months.

Trust me, being informed is seriously over-rated.

Aside from eliciting a few cooing “ohh, you are so smart & knowledgeable, my gina is tingling, ahh” responses, which may massage your otherwise fragile ego, you really are better off drinking from the blissful cup of ignorance.

Now use that time you have saved from consuming media to fully enjoy the full bloom of life by listening to more life enriching music, spending more time enjoying the conviviality of great friends, savouring a delicious wine or immersing yourself in more absorbing novels than you have been and crucially having a laugh.

Because in the endless reaches of cosmic time………….nothing really matters.

No really, it doesn’t so don’t worry 🙂

Nothing you do or nothing anyone around you does has any lingering consequence. It is all illusory and ephemeral. It is as fleeting as ray of sunshine shimmering on a lake on a summer’s day. It will all eventually turn to silence and dark. A hundred years from now, nobody will ever know you existed or what your hopes, dreams and fears were.In the unlikely event that they do, they won’t care. A hundred years of solitude indeed.

Those endless thought loops that preoccupy you about random, trivial nonsense are a complete waste of your time as is worrying about what other people think as they are too busy worrying about what other people think of them.

Reading newspapers, which I recently heard the excellent comedian Jeremy Hardy describe as being the equivalent of reality television for educated people, along with magazines, journals and a plethora of their online incarnations are a complete waste of your increasingly precious and diminishing time.

Life is beautiful.

Well, it can be if you choose it to be.

Miring yourself in human misery on a daily basis is masochistic.

Avoid it.

Embrace the positive aspects of humanity and eschew the rest, especially the media with their assembly line of predictable negativity.

Your psyche will thank you for it.

The Sunday Times has broken a story where they have secured leaked ministerial letters which reveal that Al -Megrahi, the Libyan convicted for the Lockerbie bombing on the shakiest of dubious evidence, was released to further Britain’s commercial interests.

This just reinforces an argument I made in my previous post. The sheer mendaciousness of Nu Lab is truly breath-taking. They have taken the dark arts of spin and amorality to dizzying heights.

Will the real truth about the Lockerbie disaster be revealed in the fullness of time?  Probably.

However, like with the Downing Street Memo – where it was exposed that the UK Government knew that Saddam Hussein posed no military threat with alleged WMD’s but commenced with an illegal and disastrous war anyway – when the truth is dragged kicking and screaming into the harsh light of day it will be too late as I suspect that the real perpetrators will have shuffled off this mortal coil or have slipped into frail old age.

I just thought I would share some thoughts about the release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi.

I believe that, despite the media hysteria surrounding Al Megrahi’s release, that it was the right decision to make as it was not only humane but he should *not* have been convicted in 2001 and was the victim of an egregious injustice.

The decision to release him was probably rooted in reasons that where a cynical mix of politics and business rather than releasing him on ground of compassion. I can smell when there is a whiff of injustice and with Lockerbie there is a malodorous stench that reeks of injustice.

Having studied this case extensively over the years, my interest having been provoked from reading the excellent investigative journalism of the late Paul Foot , I would share the opinion of the victims spokesperson, Dr. Jim Swire that Megrahi had “nothing to do with the bombing” and that his conviction was “one of the gravest miscarriages of justice in history”.

This view was echoed by Robert Black QC, an Edinburgh University professor emeritus of Scottish law, “No reasonable tribunal, on the evidence heard at the original trial, should or could have convicted him and it is an absolute disgrace and outrage what the Scottish court did.”
Even Nelson Mandela – a tireless advocate of justice and has more than a passing familarity with wrongful incarcerations doubted Al Merghai’s guilt, visited him in prison and demanded a re-trial.
The trial in 2001 was farcical in that key evidence collapsed or was not presented and other key evidence was withheld.
One of the principal witnesses in the trial was exposed as a lying fantasist and was subsequently dismissed by the judge as lacking credibility.
The conviction rested primarily on the prosecution’s star witness, a Maltese shopkeeper called Tony Gauci , who was revealed to have been carefully groomed and coached * twenty-three* times by the police before the trial and he was also shown a photograph of the accused before the trial– Al Megrahi – whom he later identified in court. Shockingly, it has recently come to light that Gauci received 2 million dollars from the CIA.

Having read about the details behind the Lockerbie bombing, it would appear that Libya had no involvement with the bombing………………..but Syria and Iran probably did in cahoots with the PFLP.

The most plausible theory is that Lockerbie was a revenge bombing for the US shooting down a civilian Iranian airliner some months previously
This is repeatedly ignored and overlooked, as the blame was conveniently shifted onto Libya , with the shakiest of concocted evidence .

Crucially, it was revealed that the luggage room in Heathrow was broken into on the very same day of the Lockerbie bombing – it seems that this is where the bomb was loaded – yet this was criminally ignored at the trial, along with other key evidence.
This is the main feature article which is worth reading – it is Paul Foot’s extensive investigation into Lockerbie in 1995 and was published in The Guardian. A classic example of crusading investigative journalism (re-published on a blog)*

In the event of a re-trial, a veritable Pandora’s box of dirt and shady dealings would have been exposed and Al Megrahi would have been inevitably released, as his co-accused was. Thus he was released on “compassionate grounds” to avert this embarrassing re-trial from seeing the light of day.
What might also have been exposed is that the CIA used to let Middle Eastern drug dealers with connections to Oliver North ship heroin to the United States and they ensured that certain bags where not searched at airports to facilitate this.

This is actually a matter of historical record – Senator John Kerry conducted a Congressional hearing on this and rebuked the CIA for smuggling drugs. I happen to have read a number of books on this very subject – probably the best of which is Whiteout – The CIA, Drugs and The Press by the excellent Irish journalist Alexander Cockburn (who now lives in the US) where he demonstrated that the CIA used to import drugs into the US to illegally fund dubious wars and preferred guerrilla groups in South America and to release hostages in the Middle East.

It is certainly possible that the PFLP or contractors, working for the Iranians, used this CIA loophole to place bombs on board with the heroin.
It would perhaps explain why mysterious bales of heroin where found on a golf course around Lockerbie and amidst the wreckage in a second location and subsequently not produced as evidence in the trial.

Of course Britain has lucrative trade agreements that it is keen to sign and seal with Libya and it has already been demonstrated that getting an innocent Libyan released formed part of these trade deals, one of which was a substantial deal that Tony Blair brokered for BP worth $900m when Libya came in from the diplomatic cold and ceased to be shunned as a pariah state.

It has been revealed that the UK Foreign Office was involved in the Al Mergahi case, despite earlier denials and Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son has let the proverbial cat out of the bag by letting it slip that Al Megrahi’s release was connected to negotiations with Britain over oil and gas. This is cynical real-politick, business interests and the eternal quest for profit masquerading as justice.

Such accusations immediately elicited indignant denials from the Machiavellian Peter Mandelson and howls of derision from Gordon Brown, which reminded me of Claude Cockburn’s quip which the great Australian journalist John Pilger frequently invokes – “Never believe anything until it’s officially denied”.

No matter how disgusted some people may feel over the jubilant scenes of Al Megrahi’s release in Libya, we should remember that he should not have been convicted in the first place and that his conviction made a mockery of any notions of justice, law and humanity that the judiciary of Scotland purports to uphold . At least a wrongfully convicted man has been released to join his family and die with dignity.

The real crime is that the likely perpetrators of Lockerbie will never be prosecuted and justice will cruelly elude the families of the 270 people who perished in the December sky over Scotland twenty-one years ago.