Archive for the ‘News’ 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 was just reading that German Investment banks would cook up dodgy deals in say Frankfurt and sign them at a desk in the IFSC. We were seen as the Wild West of international finance – utterly lawless, corrupt and with a financial regulator in a coma.

We are now also liable for the massive losses of German investment banks arising from the sub-prime and CDO fiasco. Depfa, a German investment bank, if it wasn’t bought by another bank, Ireland would now owe €180 billion – dwarfing the losses of Irish banks. Our exposure is much greater than realised.
This is probably why a country with a population of 1% of the EU was gobbling up nearly 30% of funds from the European Central Bank in the past year. They were desperately trying to stop the whole rotten and corrupt edifice from collapsing. It hasn’t worked but only compounded the problem.
The scale of the loses that we know of are just the tip of the iceberg. We are truly fucked if we allow ourselves to be bullied and intimidated into paying for them.

“Who Bankrupted Ireland?”

“Expect lots more national stereotypes to be wheeled out for ritual defamation……….They are bankers losses. It is NOT a question of Irish or German.
It is question of wealthy bankers from all countries not just Germany (almost every nation, Germany, America, Russia, France Britain, we did dirty work in Ireland) and their corrupt Irish helpers versus the people. It is not a question of should the Irish people or the German people pay. Neither people should. It should be the bankers who made the losses who should take them.
DO NOT allow the bankers to set us against each other as a cover for their crime and guilt.”

Has Fianna Fail sold our country to The Bilderberg Group & Goldman Sachs for 30 pieces of silver? Who is the head of the Bilderberg Group? None other than Domique “a crisis is an opportunity” Kahn,also head of the IMF. Who is advising Brian Lenihan? Peter Sutherland, also a member of the Bilderberg Group & Goldman Sachs.Who are the main Bondholders in Anglo?Goldman Sachs! George Osborne,also a Bilderberger,is lending Ireland money so that Irish taxpayer can pay back UK banks.
Goldman Sachs,”The Vampire Squid” are everywhere & exert inordinate influence.

Wise up, we live in a plutocracy:

The mainstream media has proven to be servile and little better than Pravda. RTE, Ireland’s state broadcaster, even cut a feed of our joke of a leader, Brian Clowen, being grilled at a press conference! Our media are still playing catch up.It’s pathetic.

I was patiently trying to explain to people the other day how our bailout bill could be hundreds of billions, as we are exposed to not just to our broken domestic banks, but also the shady investment banks that had shell companies in the IFSC as it was a financial wild-west with no regulation (I knew about it because I read this excellent blog here http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/) and people were saying – “but how can that be?” they said as they looked aghast, “how come that is not reported on RTE/Newstalk/TodayFM/the national papers etc” and I had to patiently explain to them that the mainstream media is an integral part of the whole rotten edifice.
Similarly, during the mass-hallucination that was our much vaunted boom, I had to patiently explain to people that it was a classic bubble built on a mountain of unservicable debt, and bubble’s always burst.
I sadly remember telling people NOT to buy property during the boom, as you will end up in negative-equity (I had to explain what that meant at the time to as the word just wasn’t in the popular vernacular) but they replied “renting is dead money” “& “how come the media don’t say this?” – because the media exists to make a profit from advertising revenue from the banks and property developers so they are inherently biased.
I do feel sorry for the people that drank the Kool-Aid though.
Thank god for what was sneeringly dismissed as “the alternative” media. Well, which media source was prophetic? Certainly wasn’t the mainstream media.
It looks like The Guardian is now up to speed – Ireland’s taxpayers will have to spend a massive €200 BILLION EURO – at least – to bail out foreign investment banks. €200 billion euros?! The Treaty of Versailles was a veritable bargain in comparison!

This whole sorry episode has been a harsh lesson in the rapaciousness of global capitalism for slow learners. It’s too late now.
We live in the plutocracy that Chomsky has been describing for years. 200 billion?! For fucks sake! Dark times indeed

The European banks that have exposure in Ireland are just taken a hammering on the markets.The Euro will probably be hit with a speculative onslaught and that’s curtains. Grim. Dark times. “The lamps are going out all over Europe and we will not expect to see them lit again in our lifetime”.

Our only hope is an orderly default. Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker and Bloomberg think this.

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 Freedom Flotilla is one of the most important direct actions of my lifetime. With its desperately-needed supplies and range of people from all over the world, representing sheer human decency, it sends a message of disgust to Gaza’s oppressor and, above all, reaches out unreservedly to the people of Gaza.” –John Pilger, 8 May 2010

The latest Israeli outrage has still come as a shock to a world long inured and desensitised to violence but tragically it was all too inevitable. Whenever the latest orgy of violence is unleashed by the belligerent, rogue state that is Israel, it receives a mild rebuke with a knowing nod and wink whilst it gets its wrist slapped from the EU and seldom, if ever,the US.
However as long as it is given full military, diplomatic and legal support by the United States, Israel can continue to display it’s abject contempt for International Law and give a two fingered salute to the rest of the appalled world.

Attacking a humanitarian aid ship in international waters is a grave act of piracy and such actions are utterly illegal. Launching a military attack on a defenceless boat is unimaginable in its sheer viciousness and undiluted thuggishness.

Israel’s shameless moral delinquency is stunning and the linguistic gymnastics that its silver tongued propagandists conduct as they try to defend the indefensible is stomach churning.

We have been here before.
The Israeli PR machine has gone into hyper-drive as they desperately try to excuse the inexcusable, as they have cynically attempted before, by spinning a pernicious tissue of lies, untruths and distortions by farcically shifting blame from the aggressor to the victim.

The list of Israeli outrages is long . A recent one was Operation Cast Lead, the violent, deliberate assault on the civilian infrastructure in Gaza in Jan ’09. The Israeli Human Rights Organisation, BetSelem has assessed those killed in Operation Cast Lead and of the 1387 killed, more than 1000 were civilians and 427 were women and children.

In Operation Cast, Lead Amnesty International has illustrated how Israel used anti-personnel weapons like flachettes and white phosphorus and how Israel targeted schools, hospitals, UN buildings in that orgy of violence.

The Shabra and Shatlia Massacres, The Lebanon War which resulted in 20,000 killed, launching mortar attacks on a UN Compound in ’96 killing in excess of 100 civilians, dropping one tonne bombs on apartment blocks in Gaza during the Intifada killing a dozen children and breaking tentative ceasefires in the process, deliberately shooting children, deliberately killing journalists, killing young international solidarity campaigners like Rachel Corrie….the bloodstained list of crimes is endless.

Democracy, we are repeatedly told, is the preferred political model that the US wants the world to adpot. Except when the people make the mistake of voting the wrong way as the people of Gaza did by electing Hamas to office.

If you vote the wrong way, you are routinely punished. This has happened repeatedly in history since the end of WW2 when the United States hegemony as a global “Hyperpower” went unchallenged, not least in 1973 when the democratically elected government of Chile was outed at the behest of the CIA. Similarly, the US supports and encourages the inhumane siege of Gaza as the long suffering people of Gaza made the fatal error of voting the wrong way.

The siege of Gaza is analogous to the siege of Warsaw. Whilst it is in vogue to draw parallels to the Holocaust and to what is happening in the Occupied Territories you have to be careful not to trivialise the Holocaust. It is instructive though that an Haaretz journalist quoted an IDF officer who said that “shocking it may sound, the IDF should study how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto”.
This should inform us the mindset of the military strategists in Israel who are shaping policy, a cruel, inhumane policy that relies on the indiscriminate use of violence, which is causing so much pain and suffering for the long oppressed Palestinians.

Israel has flouted international law before by ramming humanitarian aid ships containing journalists before however conducing an armed commando raid on a defenceless civilians and brutually murdering 10 humanitarians, some of whom were of concerned senior citizens is a new low.

Gaza, is in effect the world’s largest prison and is subject to a cruel, illegal medieval siege that has resulted in what the Red Cross calls “A full blown humanitarian crisis”. According to the UN, a shocking 80% of the population is reliant on humanitarian aid.

We should not lose sight of this humanitarian tragedy despite what Israel and it’s many apologists claim in the mainstream media as the media laughably strives for “balance” nor the the grim reality of the past 30 years. Israel, which is supported diplomatically, economically and militarily by the US – unwaveringly – has consistently obstructed and sabotaged any and every peace imitative to emerge which requires Israel to return the land that it has illegally occupied since June 1967. This includes the 1976 Syrian proposal to the UN and when Ehud Barack walked away from negotiations in Egypt in 2000 and everything else that has been mooted in between. Remember the much vaunted road map ? That was quickly eviscerated into nothing viable, where the Palestinians were begrudgingly offered South African style Batustans.

The Goldstone report which chronicled a horror list of Israeli war crimes during Operation Cast Lead was rejected by the US Senate. This is due to a combination of the reach and influence of the Israeli lobby along with the nefarious needs of the oil lobby and the military industrial complex which Eisenhower warned about which views Israel as a US Military Base in the Middle East “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.”

It will be illuminating to see if Obama condemns this murderous outrage or will he bow in a humiliatingly subservient fashion to the various lobby groups which funded his election campaign. The Israeli lobby – as outlined extensively and carefully with 100 pages of footnotes in this excellent book http://tiny.cc/ub9e4 exerts disproportionate influence in Washington and I am sure they are already spinning and briefing Senators, Congress, the media and the Democratic Party as to how they want the US to respond to this obscene atrocity.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” Edmund Burke famously observed.
When watching a harrowing documentary about Gaza, the comedian Frankie Boyle recently wrote :

A few years ago I watched a documentary about life in Palestine. There’s a section where a UN dignitary of some kind comes to do a photo opportunity outside a new hospital. The staff know that it communicates nothing of the real desperation of their position, so they trick her into a side ward on her way out. She ends up in a room with a child who the doctors explain is in a critical condition because they don’t have the supplies to keep treating him. She flounders, awkwardly caught in the bleak reality of the room, mouthing platitudes over a dying boy.
The filmmaker asks one of the doctors what they think the stunt will have achieved. He is suddenly angry, perhaps having just felt at first hand something he knew in the abstract. The indifference of the world.
‘She will do nothing,’ he says to the filmmaker. Then he looks into the camera and says, ‘Neither will you’. “

The brave souls of the Freedom Flotilla did attempt to do something.

They demonstrated the capacity of the human spirit to try to change the course of history and actually took it upon themselves to do something for suffering people. They did not shrug their shoulders and sigh indifferently, wondering what they could do to make a difference. They did not stand idly by and let evil triumph .

Let their deaths not be in vain.
For they have highlighted the unconscionable evil that is happening in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, land illegally occupied since the 1967 Six Day War and UN Resolution 242 requires that all land is returned. Once again the mask has slipped and the rogue state of Israel is depicted in the harsh light of day as the barbarous state that it is for the whole world to see.

Imagine the chorus of disapproval and voluminous outrage if an officially designated enemy such as Iran committed this atrocity ? I think you can imagine the bellicose demands for Iran to be attacked by US Cruise Missiles if it dared do such a deplorable thing.

Just as with apartheid South Africa and Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, states which are beyond the moral pale, should be shunned , ignored and boycotted until they decide to adhere to basic human rights and respect international laws.

Finally, watch out for the weasel words of Islamic terrorism or worse, “anti-semitism” when legitimate criticism of Israel is conveniently conflated with anti-semitism as a crude and cynical method of stifling much needed debate about a rouge state.

To invoke the charge of anti-semitism in criticising a pariah state is offensive to the millions of people who were systemically murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. By a tragic twist of fate, a Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein was on board the Freedom Flotilla as she recognised oppression, injustice and the cost of sitting idly by and ignoring it.
Imagine how depraved and unconscionably sad it would be if the Zionist Commandos of IDF murdered her? Would her relatives be “anti-semitic” if they condemned her death ?