Saturday, September 30, 2006
Iraq at the Gates of Hell
George Bush's Iraq in 21 Questions
By Tom Engelhardt
"Recently, in one of many speeches melding his Global War on Terror and his war in Iraq, George W. Bush said, "Victory in Iraq will be difficult and it will require more sacrifice. The fighting there can be as fierce as it was at Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal. And victory is as important as it was in those earlier battles. Victory in Iraq will result in a democracy that is a friend of America and an ally in the war on terror. Victory in Iraq will be a crushing defeat for our enemies, who have staked so much on the battle there. Victory in Iraq will honor the sacrifice of the brave Americans who have given their lives. And victory in Iraq would be a powerful triumph in the ideological struggle of the 21st century."
Over three years after the 2003 invasion, it's not unreasonable to speak of George Bush's Iraq. The President himself likes to refer to that country as the "central front [or theater] in our fight against terrorism" and a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), part of which was recently leaked to the press and part then released by the President, confirms that Iraq is now indeed just that -- a literal motor for the creation of terrorism. As the document puts it, "The Iraq conflict has become the ‘cause célèbre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world, and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement." A study by a British Ministry of Defense think tank seconds this point, describing Iraq as "a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world"
So what exactly does "victory" in George Bush's Iraq look like 1,288 days after the invasion of that country began with a "shock-and-awe" attack on downtown Baghdad? A surprising amount of information related to this has appeared in the press in recent weeks, but in purely scattershot form. Here, it's all brought together in 21 questions (and answers) that add up to a grim but realistic snapshot of Bush's Iraq. The attempt to reclaim the capital, dipped in a sea of blood in recent months -- or the "battle of Baghdad," as the administration likes to term it -- is now the center of administration military strategy and operations. "
and Afganistan is falling apart too, or is that fallen?
How long before we can add Iran to the list of US failures?
Americans deserve better
Iraqis deserve better
Afgans deserve better
The people of this planet deserve better
the slaughter must cease
Friday, September 29, 2006
Anyway, before he tears me away from this, as he wants a beer and a walk... Last night I was reading about the battles of Stalingrad and Leningrad on wikipedia, clicking links, looking at photos and most interesting from a geeks perspective I spent a lot of time reading the discussion sections on some pages, where contributors to wikipedia discuss their editing changes and debate certain points - fascinating, to put it mildly, almost as much as the pages themselves.
For them that dig wiki, I suggest when trawling around the site reading pages that interest you, check the discussions, they can be an insight into the topic themselves, as well as a great spotlight on how different people from different parts of the world see and have learnt about some events/items.
From a sociological perspective and in the boys language, this shit is gold....
We really are a fascinating species.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
"President Bush on Tuesday said it is naive and a mistake to think that the war with Iraq has worsened terrorism, as a key portion of a national intelligence assessment by his own administration suggests."
San Francisco Chronicle
Jeeze, just how stupid does this mans puppet masters think the average American (and the rest of us) is?
Reality TV may not be making us cleverer but even the brain dead can see that the threat of terrorism has grown considerably since Septmeber 11, thanks to the actions of his regime....
... hell its the basis of just about every public speech Bush has given since 9/11.
The world is not a safer place Mr Bush, you have done your best to ensure this isn't the case and you and your cronies have done a sterling job.
I think Chavez has it right
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The investor ensign lifted the multicoloured frill behind his massive head. 'We are prepared to do business,' he said.
'I'm interested in alien philosophies,' Nikolai said. 'The answers of other species to the great questions of existence.'
'But there is only one central question,' the alien said. 'We have pursued the answer from star to star. We were hoping you would help us answer it.'
Nikolai was cautious. 'What is the question?'
' "What is it you have that we want?" '
Extract from Bruce Sterling's Cyrstal Express, a collection of his short stories.
Monday, September 25, 2006
It’s timely that Mark Farina’s - Sessions arrives on my doorstep only a day after seeing him play at Finetuned's latest Beat Boutique party. Timely because I'm still glowing from a top night out, a night that reminded me of all the positive and wonderful aspects of being in a dark room at a time I'd rather be sleeping.
Beat Boutique like Mr Farina, reminds one of a time and spirit now sadly lacking (devoid?) in much/some of today’s club land, the vibe and sense of community one not just experienced but grew to associate and expect from a night out, as Finetuned's parties continue to remind us... fitting that Mark Farina has just played at such a party.
With a history that spans over 15 years, Mark Farina by all rights should be past his use by date, for dance is a ever evolving medium, a music and style for now, one that is always looking forward to tomorrow. A musical and club environment that caters to youth far better than for those to whom mortgages, children and early morning meetings take precedence, yet with every 'youth' movement of merit dance has shown its willingness to embrace the old whilst catering to the young Perhaps its a young at heart thing or maybe for many the commercially driven aspect of dance culture and general culture, never ruined the vibe or turned them off what they first found at a club and continue to seek (or at least make the most of when its offered), be it via the music or simply in a club/party environment.
It says a lot about that culture that is house, and dance in general, when our heroes have been so for such a long-time, a testament to their forward vision and technical prowess. Or is it, perhaps those whom have been around for such a long-time are either simply too stupid or well rewarded to get a proper day job...thus retain their standing amongst their younger peers... or more to the point these visionaries have something more, something that makes then possibly unique in our ever changing club and music world. They haven't lost their interest and most importantly passion for this thing called house. If they weren't still pioneering a style that still works both musically and at a party level they would be working that bank job or whatever. Some, like Farina, haven't stopped progressing (or is that regressing?) as a DJ and selector. The musical style continues to evolve as do they, that is a wonderful thing... and this is well showcased on this discs.
Now those who enjoy and like a DJ mix CD to be a journey, best be on your way, for Farina's CDs are pretty much a club set, straight into the action no fucking about, for those wanting a gentle entry into these CDs might I suggest you find a fitting warm up mix... for on Farina's CDs one simply gets 36 cuts of jacking, boompty goodness mixed live, no computer trickery or tweeking, just straight up house mixed for the floor.
All the names one associates with this, cough, cough, splutter, underground (wonbling free) house style are found here in the mix; Sneak, Slater & Hogan, Iz & Diz, Bryan Jones, Joey youngman contributing tracks with various remixes from; our own Majik Johnson, Joshua, Cajmere (Can't wait for the next sessions, Cajmere vs Green Velvet out Oct 2nd), JT Donaldson, Patrick Turner and my beloved Greenskeepers.
The mix is what I'd call solid, there's no trickery or super clever stuff being done in the mix, for that’s not Farina's style, rather the mix is just right. Farina keeps the groove solid, the vibe upbeat and most importantly from my couch, its toe tappingly fun.
From my initial listen there's no anthems here, no tune that steals the show, which will no doubt mean these CDs may not gain the props nor critics stars that others can and do. For those who like, this style of house, clubbing, like to party and like to dance however, these two discs are the perfect ingredient for those coming summer nights when the home is converted in to a mini club, the furniture pushed aside and one gets down with friends for a night of merriment - possibly after a BBQ and day at the beach.
This couldn't be further from what many of us associate with MOS releases - especially them Aussie mutations’ - and that alone is a good thing. Like others in the rejuvenated Sessions series, Mark Farina's release is a reminder of what dance music is about, dance - the music and the action.
If Chicago influenced house is ya thing then this double CD set is a must have... cheers Mark Farina, Finetuned and Matt Stuart.. now to push play again...
Friday, September 22, 2006
I love this record, I have the original 12', from back when I used to import records, not for a job but simply for me. Originally released in 1988, so I guess I got mine 89 sometime.
Its possibly one of my most played records, I've played it on so many different stereos, in a variety of scummy and not so scummy flats, in clubs, on the radio so many, many times and still each and every time I drag it out or the many remixes of it I've acquired over the years it still floors me.
Last night it was the François Kevorkian remix, alongside some old Marshall Jefferson tracks (different versions of Move Your Body), as I awaited the spunks (friends nicknames - I kid you not, Hi Phil & Ren) to come round...
Now I've never rated my ability to describe music I adore, I'm much better at saying what I dislike about something, so I'll paste what one chap has said about Voodoo Ray from the discogs link (above)
"This is probably the greatest British house record ever made and certainly one of the most startling original pieces of house music ever created. The paradise ballroom mix is infact one of Frankie Knuckle's remixes which does not get the status or playtime it deserves. Of course the original is superb and just sounds
like it was made from another planet"
Well anyways, stick Voodoo Ray on and I'm in Bob's musical hog heaven with a big grin on me silly mug.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
One for today:
Bono is at a U2 concert in Glasgow when he asks the audience for some quiet.
Then in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands.
Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone...
"Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."
A voice from near the front pierces the silence...
"Well, F***ing stop it then!"
Monday, September 18, 2006
There are as of this moment 1,180 definitions for the term, bloody kids these days, I don't know.... however I quite like this one:
The most over-defined word on urban dictionary!
bob: omfg! have you seen how many definitions there are for emo on urban dictionary?
joe: no how many???
bob: like over 800!
joe: holy shit lets add another one just
for the heck of it!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I wouldn't be surprised if we have some leaf development by next weekend.... crikey!Yes my life really is this exciting and yes I don't know how I cope either...
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I use Wikipedia a lot, its an amazing online resource and constant source of enlightenment and information. thus I am not a supporter nor subscriber to the concept of mucking with wiki pages for the sake of it - theres been some well documented infractions of the spirit of wikipedia by some notable types over the past few years - US politicians being one that springs to mind. This is inexcusable and could compromise this marvelous resource.
Then theres the simply stupid and juvinaile antics that again I don't condone nor encourage but... one such entry that is now deleted, for obvious reasons, I came across on a UK Music Forum posted by the authors. It had me in stitches and still does on re-reading, a example of drunken foolishness and English humour and again whilst I can't condone such actions, I'm not going to deny myself a bloody good laugh.
The entry, below, concerns a DJ called Seb Fontaine:
"Born to a semi-professional DJ mother, Fontaine grew up in West London and became aware of club culture at a young age. He began DJing professionally in the late '80s after dropping out of college and he never looked back.
His first notable residency was in 1989 at the Fridge in Brixton followed by another residency at the Wag; he spun mainly rare groove at both clubs though also dabbled with hip-hop and ragga. More residencies followed -- Subterania, Glitterati, and more -- though it was Fontaine's stay at Malibu Stacey alongside Craig Richards that established his reputation as an up-and-coming DJ. At Malibu, he began spinning deeper, darker, and harder tracks; the kind of tracks that would become his trademark.
In 1998, Fontaine got his big break, a bi-weekly residency at Cream. Soon after, his residency became a weekly affair, and within a year he was spinning in Ibiza, where Cream hosted parties at Amnesia. During this late-'90s run, Fontaine's career progressed quickly. He not only took on more impressive and more frequent gigs, but also began his series of Prototype albums for Global Underground and his show for Radio 1.
He quit his residency at Cream in late 2002 to focus more on touring but recently returned to London to being a new monthly called "Type". A mix for Thrive records presented by Perfecto was released in July of 2003. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide
The biography above illustrates the well know story of international dj Seb Fontaine, what it fails to disclose however is the accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing that have been brought against Seb Fontaine or "Mad Dog El Fonty" as he is known in the Balkans.
In April 1992 as the Bosnian conflict exploded into life, the presence of a chirpy West London lad who liked to eat the hearts of his enemies as he listened to FSOL began to run rampant in the streets of Sarajevo.
Supported by Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, it is rumoured that in early 1994 Mad Dog El Fonty organised the Malibu Stacey Death squads who operated throughout the conflict Monday to Thursday between gigs. Seb's allegedly incredible capacity to wipe out entire villages by late thursday night then return promptly to london for his latest gig inspired several copycat dj's events at this time, indeed his apparent professional attitude to genocide inspired "Hanging Judge Jules" well documented excursion to Rwanda in late 1994.
Fontaine's bloodlust was only stopped when his chief henchman Jeremy Healy severely miscalculated international opinion by partcipating in the srebrenica massacre, unwisely believing that the international community would allow a rwanda style genocide being committed against white europeans.
Upon the signing of the Dayton accord it is rumoured Mad Dog El Fonty returned to London on a full time basis. There are unsubstantiated reports he has used his substantial disposable income to fund the conflicts in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Congo."
Friday, September 15, 2006
I don't get it, but then that doesn't surprise me as I am so not the target market for Mr Irwins work - I prefer my animal viewing to have some merit, not just cheap thrills.
Now following the death of Mr Irwin, it seems there are some who have taken matters into their own hands, at least ten stingrays have been found dead and mutilated on the beaches of Queensland in the wake of Irwin's death, prompting some speculation that the killings were done as revenge by fans of Irwin.
Two stingrays were found near Brisbane, while eight were found elsewhere. The tails of the stingrays had been cut off.
Wayne Sumpton of the state fisheries department said that fishermen who inadvertently capture stingrays sometimes cut off their tails to avoid being stung, but that the practice was "uncommon". Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin's conservation group Wildlife Warriors, said he was concerned the rays were being hunted and killed in retaliation for the TV star's death. He said killing stingrays was "not what Steve was about." (taken from wikipedia)
No, better to poke the Stingrays with a stick and taunt them for some cheap reality TV programme.... perhaps
Call me a hater, a cynic, whatever but I really don't get or buy into the personality cult that is/was Steve Irwin. I don't quite see what this man contributed to anything outside of the world of cheap TV shows aimed at the desensitised masses.
For more on the man and his detractors check his wikipedia page. Which has now been locked due to wikivandalism.
Down this way and I guess its no different in most countries where his various TV shows played, we're being subjected to Irwin overload, lots of repeat screenings of his shows, his movie, 20/20 and other shows of their ilk doing stories on the man and his life etc. A great earner for his estate no doubt.
Some months ago I read this piece on Australia zoo by The Opinionated Diner, crikey its a good and funny read.... Especially to anyone who has been a tourist in Australia. Since the death of Mr Irwin the Diner has done a update, which sums up many of my thoughts quite nicely, so best ya check that too.
Meanwhile more Stingrays are going to pay for Mr Irwins death with their lives... One has to wonder, if these people killing the rays lived somewhere else would they be packing the family car or themselves with explosives....
If these revenge killings continue, will the animal kingdom enact a revenge on us humans?
Thursday, September 14, 2006
That the final will be watched by 3 billion people
That the Rugby World Cup is the third biggest sporting event in the world
I am not even close to what one would call a rugby supporter but hell even the most obsessive of them surely can't believe some of the crap our politicians and sporting heads are starting to spout.
Now we're being subjected to a discussion about the various merits of building a brand new stadium to house the final (we need a stadium that can seat 60,000) or revamping Eden Park - the current stadium/park used for such games.
The cost is of course a major hurdle and issue concerning both options and the ever present problem of who will pay - private enterprise, Auckland rate payers, NZ tax payers or most likely a combination of all three.
I care a lot about how Auckland is developed, being a resident of the city an all that, as such I hope that a solution can be found that actually enhances Auckland, rather than my greatest fear that we waste a shitload of cash on something that will only be used and useful for this one event.
There are now stories concerning the prospect of a brand new stadium on our much under utilised waterfront, this has a lot of merit and if done in a well thought out manner Auckland could have not just the stadium but a wonderful parklike area on our waterfront, with all the transport facilities, businesses and most importantly from my perspective green spaces that a well thought out and planned development of this nature and size could embody. But and there is always a but, at what cost.
We already have a bunch of under utilised sports stadiums in the city, do we need another?
Would we be better off ignoring Eden Park and instead revamping or adding to the established North Shore stadium or Mt Smart one? I think so, as why potentially ruin our waterfront for a stadium - hell there's already one almost built there (woefully too small for much though).
I'd gladly say yep lets do the waterfront option if I had any faith in the council, govt and rugby administrators being able to agree and come up with one plan that they wouldn't botch horribly leaving the city with an eyesore, which is more likely the case, for we simply don't have the oodles of dollars available to ensure a good result.
As is often said down here, rugby was the winner on the day.... Wouldn't it be nice if for once Aucklanders (New Zealanders) were
For the life of me I have no idea why I made this post..... I think perhaps I have lost my mind
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The figure appeared in Disneyland over the weekend
A life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee has been placed in Disneyland by guerrilla artist" Banksy. The hooded figure was placed inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the California theme park last weekend.
It is understood to have remained in place for 90 minutes before the ride was closed down and the figure removed.
A spokeswoman for Banksy said the stunt was intended to highlight the plight of terror suspects at the controversial detention centre in Cuba.
Banksy is notorious for his secretive and subversive stunts - such as sneaking doctored versions of classic paintings into major art galleries.
He has previously added Guantanamo inmates to paintings, such as the one below.
Its been a busy time for Banksy :)
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Theres 100 remixes on this site, from some unknown and a few well known producers. The winner will be determined based on how many pre-orders are received by Saturday September 23. Its all a bit unclear how the comp works - stupid lack on information..
In the running for the competition prize is my friend Scott Lelo (Soultrust)
18. Lelo's Acid Bubble Mix (from the site link above)
If you're checking out the mixes make sure you check Scott's, as it would be well cool if he won or at least polled well.
Scott rocks, so does X-Press 2 so it all makes sense really, well to me at least.
For more check http://www.kill100.com/ its in shitty flash so I can't copy and paste the info about the prize etc here... I hate flash based sites, I really do...
Good luck Scott
Monday, September 11, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
This is the first in a series of pxts taken from my deck looking at the tree outside.
Its at this time of year I get slightly excited awaiting the tree to don its leaves, thus offering me a degree of privacy that allows oneself to indulge in nude sunbathing and/or star jumps.
Alright, the photo is a bit crap - like the phone that took it and the operator it must be said, basically what you are not seeing is all the buds just waiting to burst forth into lovely green leaves. I quite like trees.
I intead documenting the blooming of said tree this year... then well, I'll leave (excuse the pun) the rest to your imagination...
Thursday, September 07, 2006
and fuck me if Coro Street don't shit all over them all
I feel sad and lonely now
might be one of them evenings when Starship Troopers gets watched.....
Monday, September 04, 2006
Published: 03 September 2006
He has smuggled fake artwork into Tate Britain, and sprayed a vision of paradise on the Palestinian side of Israel's "security wall".
Now, the "guerrilla graffiti" artist Banksy has taken aim at the cult of empty celebrity and its current poster child, Paris Hilton.
The secretive artist has smuggled 500 doctored copies of Paris Hilton's debut album into music stores throughout the UK, where they have sold without the shops' knowledge.
In place of Ms Hilton's bubble-gum pop songs, the CDs feature Banksy's own rudimentary compositions. On the cover of the doctored CD, Ms Hilton's dress has been digitally repositioned to reveal her bare breasts; on an inside photo, her head has been replaced with that of her dog.
On the back cover, the original song titles have been replaced with a list of questions: "Why am I famous?", "What have I done?" and "What am I for?"
Inside the accompanying booklet, a picture of the heiress emerging from a luxury car has been retouched to include a group of homeless people.
In another shot, Ms Hilton's head has been superimposed on a shop window mannequin beneath a banner reading: "Thou Shalt Not Worship False Icons."
Instead of Ms Hilton's own compositions, the replacement CD features 40 minutes of a basic rhythm track over which Banksy has dubbed Ms Hilton's catchphrase "That's hot!" and other extracts from her reality TV programme The Simple Life.
The record credits have been re-edited to include thanks to the artist for his "wonderful work".
The bogus CD is not the first time he has branched out beyond the stencil graffiti that made his name. In 2003, Banksy glued one of his paintings on to a wall in Tate Britain, where it went unnoticed by staff for hours. The following year he smuggled a display case with a stuffed rat wearing sunglasses and a backpack into the Natural History Museum. At New York's Museum of Modern Art, he placed an Andy Warhol-style print depicting a tin of Tesco Value soup. Last year, he sprayed paintings on the Israeli security wall around the West Bank. "