Showing posts from September, 2008

Six Years In Guantanamo

September 28, 2008 By Robert Fisk
The Independent

Sami al-Haj walks with pain on his steel crutch; almost six years in the nightmare of Guantanamo have taken their toll on the Al Jazeera journalist and, now in the safety of a hotel in the small Norwegian town of Lillehammer, he is a figure of both dignity and shame. The Americans told him they were sorry when they eventually freed him this year - after the beatings he says he suffered, and the force-feeding, the humiliations and interrogations by British, American and Canadian intelligence officers - and now he hopes one day he'll be able to walk without his stick.

The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years - repeatedly beaten and force-fed - not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. From the moment Sami al-Haj arrived at Guantanamo, flown there f…

The End of Voodoo Economics

Wall Street ideologues have been gambling our money and screwing us all. Now is a chance to correct their excessesBy Ian Williams27/09/08 "The Guardian' As the all-too-often selectively quoted Adam Smith actually said: "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind."No one can say that current events are a one-off. The get-government-out-of-business brigade, the masters of the universe, have in their three decades of unbridled power produced the savings and loan bail-out, the Mexican bond bail-out, the Asian currency crisis, the Enron and other related scandals, the tech bubble, the Long-Term Capital Management collapse and rescue, a wage freeze for working Americans and now this.And the irony is that these vile people who are now graciously agreeing to pocket a trillion dollars of taxpayers' cash have been arguing for three decades that government has no business in busin…

Trouble in Banktopia

By Mike Whitney

27/09/08 "ICH" -- - The financial system is blowing up. Don't listen to the experts; just look at the numbers. Last week, according to Reuters, "U.S. banks borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve nearly $188 billion a day on average, showing the central bank went to extremes to keep the banking system afloat amid the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression." The Fed opened the various "auction facilities" to create the appearance that insolvent banks were thriving businesses, but they are not. They're dead; their liabilities exceed their assets. Now the Fed is desperate because the hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the banks vaults have bankrupt the entire system and the Fed's balance sheet is ballooning by the day. The market for MBS will not bounce back in the foreseeable future and the banks are unable to roll-over their short term debt. Game over. The Federal Reserve…

House music all night long


Day Three / Album Three

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, A-Z: The Roots of Rock'n'Roll

Impeccably put together by precocious teen siblings - Kitty, Daisy and Lewis - this compilation gleefully rummages through the 1940s and 50s with such joy that both aficionados and those who wouldn't know boogie-woogie from rockabilly should be equally entertained. The high number of novelties - notably Louis Jordan's School Days and the Western Melody Makers' Who Put the Turtle in Myrtle's Girdle - heightens the impression that the trio were rocking to this stuff in the cot. But that innocence is balanced by rude sauce and sass: Rufus Thomas's Bear Cat, a hiss-spit riposte to Hound Dog, or the Swallows' It Ain't the Meat, a glorious celebration of the female body, whatever its shape. The siblings' own cover of a 1940s song, called Ooo Wee, is so authentic that only the demotic London accent gives its modernity away.

The Guardian

One word - awesome!

Day Two / Album Two

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Teenage brothers and sisters all over the world get together in their bedrooms and sing along to rock 'n' roll. But not all brothers and sisters are like Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, and not all siblings build a fully functional studio to record in, particularly one based on Memphis' legendary Sun studios. This is the North London family who, backed by their parents Ingrid Weiss and Graeme Durham, on double-bass and guitar respectively, raised the roof at the 2008 South By South West festival and have supported artists such as Mika and Razorlight.

R&B: they’ve got it; Swing: they've got it; Country, Blues, Hawaiian and Rock 'n' Roll... the list goes on. And, like true musicians they swap instruments as much as they swap tunes. But, despite the analogue production, what this album lacks is conviction.

The first single from the album, Mean Son Of A Gun, recorded for Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best record label, lacks …

Nail & Head - another Bob speaks

That's the problem. iPods are too hard to use. You can never find a USB cable. And what's with iTunes launching automatically, that SCARES PEOPLE! And thank god you can turn off automatic sync, to make it harder. And can you PLEASE tell me how to buy from the iTunes Store! What's this credit card information they keep asking for? Do you know what that is? I don't want to borrow any money... Or is it a credit like at the Zune Store? A point? That you can use to purchase music?

Thank god we've got people like Rio Caraeff over at Universal Music to help me. To make it easy. Now selling music on micro-SD cards.

Yes, I've got a phone with a micro-SD slot. I always take the back off my GSM phone. Yes, I decided on GSM because I travel the world. I believe CDMA carriers provide better service in the States, but... Yes, I'm aware that you can buy a BlackBerry with both chips. But usually when I go to Europe I take my U.S. phone and purchase a local chip and then go o…

Day One: Great additions to the CD collection

Apart from the plethoria of tracks and mixes I shall be grabbing off the net this week I am very excited about three albums I'm getting on CD - you know proper released music in the container the record company deems best to sell said music in/on.

Day One / Album One

Kimya Dawson - Alphabutt

Solo and as half of Moldy Peaches, Dawson has applied child-like wisdom and humor to adult issues like crack, romantic love, and the Iraq war. So it makes peculiar sense that she'd follow the freak success of the Juno soundtrack, which featured her on seven tracks, with a set of genuine kids songs. (She also recently became a mom.) But by the time she's halfway through the scatological title track — "C is for cat butt, D is for doo-doo" — it's clear this ain't Nickelodeon. Some songs are sneakily grown-up: On the rockabilly-ish "Bobby-O," the pink Speedo-clad hero loses his job as a water aerobics instructor because "he did something naughty/what it is, we…

Things I am excited about...

Relax... its been a long week


Every morning the birds wake me




Slaughter, Lies, and Video in Afghanistan

The Value of One, the Value of NoneAn Anatomy of Collateral Damage in the Bush Era
By Tom Engelhardt

In a little noted passage in her bestselling book, The Dark Side, Jane Mayer offers us a vision, just post-9/11, of the value of one. In October 2001, shaken by a nerve-gas false alarm at the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney, reports Mayer, went underground. He literally embunkered himself in "a secure, undisclosed location," which she describes as "one of several Cold War-era nuclear-hardened subterranean bunkers built during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, the nearest of which were located hundreds of feet below bedrock…" That bunker would be dubbed, perhaps only half-sardonically, "the Commander in Chief's Suite."

Oh, and in that period, if Cheney had to be in transit, "he was chauffeured in an armored motorcade that varied its route to foil possible attackers." In the backseat of his car (just in case), adds Mayer, "r…

9/11 Plus Seven

By Andrew J. Bacevich

The events of the past seven years have yielded a definitive judgment on the strategy that the Bush administration conceived in the wake of 9/11 to wage its so-called Global War on Terror. That strategy has failed, massively and irrevocably. To acknowledge that failure is to confront an urgent national priority: to scrap the Bush approach in favor of a new national security strategy that is realistic and sustainable -- a task that, alas, neither of the presidential candidates seems able to recognize or willing to take up.

On September 30, 2001, President Bush received from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a memorandum outlining U.S. objectives in the War on Terror. Drafted by Rumsfeld's chief strategist Douglas Feith, the memo declared expansively: "If the war does not significantly change the world's political map, the U.S. will not achieve its aim." That aim, as Feith explained in a subsequent missive to his boss, was to "transform the…

Music tastes link to personality

Musical tastes and personality type are closely related, according to a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world. The research, which was carried out by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, is said to be the largest such study ever undertaken. It suggested classical music fans were shy, while heavy metal aficionados were gentle and at ease with themselves. Professor North described the research as "significant" and "surprising". He said: "We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we've been able to look at it in real detail. No-one has ever done this on this scale before."
Prof North said the research could have many uses in marketing, adding: "If you know a person's music preference you can tell what kind of person they are, who to sell to.
"There are obvious implications for the music industry who are are worried about declining CD sales.
"One of the …


After a rough few days its time for a giggle


Friday, 05 September 2008 at 4:20

A night of music, art and performance.The evening kicks off with an art exhibition, featuring works by City, Mijic and Chadid.The lovely Judy Garment of the Hootchy Kootchy Girls Burlesque Troop will get the crowd warmed up with a bit of sizzle.

Then DJs, including:Issac Oron, Lady K, Scott Lelo(BMP, Soultrust), Brooke Caseyand Dave Davies