Monday, April 30, 2007

Drugs dont work...

Maybe they should legalise it and let the consumers decide what strength they want...

"In recent years, the average THC content of marijuana sold in Britain has doubled to 12 percent from around 6 percent, while in the Netherlands it is about 18 percent, Murray said.

Most users of cannabis still do not have a problem with the drug but a minority, possibly because of genetic factors, are vulnerable to long-term damage from modern skunk -- which Murray says is to old-fashioned dope what whisky is to lager.

The rise in THC content is linked with a decline in another active ingredient called cannabidiol (CBD), since the two products compete biochemically inside the cannabis plant.

CBD, which reduces anxiety but does not produce the euphoric high of THC, may help offset some of the paranoid feelings.

Markus Leweke of Cologne University said a clinical trial involving 42 patients showed CBD was as effective as the established medicine amisulpride, sold as Solian by Sanofi-Aventis, in treating patients with psychosis.

"It seems there are good guys and bad guys within cannabis," Leweke said."

more

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunderland

Sunderland and their three trinis gonna be playin in the premeirship next season



good article on manager Roy Keane here

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lara

"At the very end, a man who throughout his career had done so much to mask the deficiencies of his team had been undone by the foible of a team-mate. It was sad, but it was apt."

The Observer's Will Buckley on Brian Lara's final innings in Barbados

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Naomi Klein and the 10 steps to facism

"Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have."

more

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

Poet and professor Nikki Giovanni was at today’s memorial service

“We are Virginia Tech. We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. WE are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech. We are strong enough to know when to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again. We are Virginia Tech. We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did not deserve it but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, but neither do the invisible children walking the night to avoid being captured by a rogue army. Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Appalachian infant in the killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy. We are Virginia Tech. The Hokier Nation embraces our own with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies. We will prevail, we will prevail. We are Virginia Tech. "

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sea Turtles rock!



"Scientists today fired the starting gun on a Great Turtle Race between 11 leatherback turtles making their way from Costa Rica's Pacific Coast to the Galapagos Islands.

The female turtles, which have just laid eggs on Costa Rica's Playa Grande beach, have been fitted with satellite tracking devices and their progress will be charted on a website, where visitors can select a favourite to support.

The two-week race is designed to raise awareness of the plight of the leatherback, which has seen its numbers dwindle due to egg poaching, the destruction of nesting beaches, fishing hazards and ocean pollution."

more

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Let Us Live and Let Them Die"

A WHO staff member's parting salvo to the international health agency and its neoliberal approach to health:

Social scientist, Alison Katz has left the World Health Organisation
(WHO) after 17 years of devoted service, condemning its "Let us live and let them die" attitude, which sums up the neglect of millions of people over the past three decades, suffering and dying from diseases of poverty, including notably HIV/AIDS [1]. She is the second AIDS researcher to leave within the past 12 months.

"For over twenty years now, the international AIDS community has
persisted in a reductionist obsession with individual behaviour and an implicit acceptance of a deeply flawed and essentially racist theory." Katz writes. She believes that the narrow and totalitarian approach to AIDS by the WHO not only has had negligible effect, but also has betrayed public health principles and perversely forbidden exploration of any alternative perspectives. Like many others, Katz questions the exclusion of a plethora of co-factors known to increase biological susceptibility to infection by all disease agents, including HIV, among which are under-nutrition, poverty, powerlessness, and the basic necessities for a healthy and dignified life.

She believes that the WHO has fallen victim to neoliberal globalisation, and by default, to the economic interests of powerful nations and the transnational corporations. In an open letter dated January 2007 addressed to Dr. Margaret Chan, the incoming Director-General of WHO, Katz set out seven key points to steer her focus back to serving the public, including the critical importance of addressing the commercialisation of science, and the close relationship between industry and academia as highlighted in ISIS' Discussion Paper Towards a Convention on Knowledge.

The neoliberal approach to health

There is a strong tendency in the neoliberal approach to health - and particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS, to blame victims, Katz says, for their faulty or irresponsible behaviour. Demeaning stereotypes, coupled with flawed analysis, and ineffectual policies do not appear to have contributed to any significant decrease in infection rates in the worst affected regions such as the continent of Africa. Furthermore, the world's first global sex survey published in The Lancet in 2006 found that multiple sex partners were more common in industrialized countries where disease incidence is relatively low. According to Katz, the dominant neoliberal perspective reinforces the structures of hegemony that create poverty and powerlessness which are themselves the root causes of avoidable disease and death. (Poverty eradication must be central to change and the narrow focus to the problem is being challenged by women in Africa.

Eileen Stillwaggon, an associate Professor of Economics at Gettysburg College USA, says that the ecology of poverty must be understood, as populations that lack access to medical care and are already coping with parasitic and multiple other infections, are more vulnerable to other diseases, regardless of how they are transmitted. In this respect, HIV/AIDS is no exception. The public health principle, neatly summarized by Pasteur as "the bacteria is nothing; the terrain is all", applies to all the diseases of poverty. The focus on individual sexual behaviour is itself highly stigmatising - in addition to being unscientific. On an optimistic note, Stillwaggon observes that solutions to the problems caused by almost all the co-factors exist, and institutions, like the WHO are well placed to advocate for them among vulnerable populations. ISIS has proposed many affordable and patent-free alternative treatments
to the disease and its' co-factors in Unraveling AIDS.

In order to neutralise the entrenched neoliberal bias within
international agencies Katz believes that the WHO must return to its
founding principles and advocate for attention to root causes - the
social and economic determinants of health and disease. In today's
world, this implies denouncing unfair rules of trade and commerce, the exploitation of national resources, and ruthless liberalization foisted on developing countries, all of which have been shown to have devastating effects on the health of populations. Furthermore, the WHO must take the lead in providing scientific research with independent scientists free of vested interests. To achieve its mandate of "Health For All", the WHO must support serious science based on sound evidence. Millions of people's lives are at stake.

Political prejudice within the WHO

Katz worked for 12 years in the division of WHO dealing with family,
community, sexual and reproductive health, and 8 years in the HIV/AIDS department. In 1999 she responded to an Internet discussion posting from the perspective of biological vulnerability to HIV infection and racist assumptions underlying current policies and strategies. Her supervisor, on instructions from the executive director, immediately censored her by sending an email instructing that she must not debate this issue. At the same time she received a request from the editor of the African Journal of Aids Research to write up her ideas in an article. Shortly after that, she was isolated from all technical work within her department for 18 months.

Following her isolation, Katz's contract was not renewed, so she
submitted an internal legal appeal against the WHO for reinstatement and for a proper contract after serving 11 years on 37 temporary contracts. She won the appeal on condition that she leave the HIV/AIDS department. As a working mum supporting three children, she had no choice but to accept the Director General's offer.

Efforts on Katz's part to discuss alternative approaches with the WHO HIV/AIDS programme director and the UNAIDS executive director have consistently been declined, even after the publication of the Lancet series, mentioned above, which supports the perspective she is advocating.

Independence of international civil servants to fulfil WHO's mandate

Katz's concerns expanded to the question of independence of international civil servants, which is seriously undermined by neoliberal influence exerted through powerful member states, private
sources and extra-budgetary funding. Pressures at this level have
resulted in a repressive, authoritarian and hierarchical management
style, which discourages free debate. Katz joined the staff association to fight for proper contracts for all long term "temporary staff" - some 55 percent of the workforce. The success of this action was limited. A very small proportion of "false temps" were regularized into proper contracts and then through a major, costly "restructuring" exercise, many of these long serving staff then lost their jobs, often to inappropriately qualified appointees with better connections.

These struggles took place against what she describes as a background of nepotism, cronyism, corruption, harassment, financial mismanagement and chaotic, highly discretionary, human resources management. Furthermore there is an under representation of Africans, Asians, Latin Americans, or Eastern Europeans within staff departments. The predominant influence of the UK, USA and Canada, as well as Australia, and New Zealand; whose representatives are invariably white, male, Anglo-Saxon Protestants linked by powerful networks prevails.

WHO's first strike and out

Together with a small group in the staff association, Katz organized a one hour work stoppage, the first industrial action in WHO's history, in which 700 staff participated. Her post was abolished three weeks after the work stoppage and three weeks before the normal renewal of her 2-year contract. Swiss unions and staff association lawyers qualify this as interference in the right of association; the WHO administration qualifies it as a "coincidence".

Katz believes that the WHO must respect international labour standards, including negotiation status for the staff association, in line with ILO (International Labour Organisation) covenants; to provide workers with formal power, adequate funding, and strong links to a bona fide UN umbrella union. WHO staff should be held accountable to WHO's 1978 constitutional mandate, to the Alma Ata principles underlying Health for All, and to the UN Charter and should fully understand the duties and responsibilities of public service.

WHO's challenge to achieve Health for All

Katz calls for a return to a basic needs and rights-based approach to health in order to provide a sustainable and meaningful response to AIDS that is simultaneously a response to all the diseases of poverty. An alternative political strategy for AIDS and its co-factors would embrace macroeconomic reforms for a fair, rational and sustainable international economic order so that democratically elected governments may reasonably meet people's basic needs, including health, without external interference.

In her open letter, Katz urges WHO's newly elected Director General,
Dr Chan, to address the following major issues in order to fulfil her vision. A focus on inequality rather than poverty; holding meetings and consulting with the poor rather then the rich; a solid, equitable tax base, nationally and internationally, rather than public-private partnerships; knowledge for the public good rather than corporate "science"; respect for ethical values and an appropriate balance between loyalty to WHO's constitutional mandate and loyalty to current governments of powerful member states and current office holders.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cricket in 3D

This is crazy. If you cant see it on TV you can watch the cricket world cup in computer animation. Check it

The coverage is delayed by between 3 and 12 balls

Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus

"You have a person you can identify as someone who is creating racial harm and that's a legitimate reaction," Hutchinson said. "But I do believe that over time if that's the only thing that gets this intense reaction, then we're reinforcing this notion that that's all that racism is."

"We never get at ... broader inequality like poverty. Why is poverty racialized? Why are people of color in schools that are underfunded? We never tackle those bigger issues."

more

Sheldon in T&T Express

THE EDITOR:

It is quite appropriate that the Government has decided to pave the nation’s roads to the tune of $600 million in this election year, given that the roads of T&T perhaps best represent the manner in which we govern ourselves. If we initially ignore the coincidence that this age old ‘mamaguy’ election practice follows the announcement of public consultations regarding the scourge of crime in this 2007 electoral year, the resurfacing of the roads is great news. The roads of T&T need urgent attention. The transport of the nation needs urgent attention. But, will the approach of this resurfacing differ to any of the previous paving regimes that were blatant vote garnering ploys?

How do the roads represent the governance and the society? Firstly, consider the resources available, a never ending pitch lake much like the natural and human resources T&T is blessed with, the envy of many a nation but yet it cannot be managed properly to produce a desirable end product--- in this case a semi-perfect road. Secondly, consider that while the normal (and logical) practice is to remove the old layer of asphalt first, we take the approach that we just heap the new pitch upon the old. Not only is this a great metaphor of adding layers on top of the old problems but the side effects results in much more than a road with a humped profile that leaves the actual road higher than the pavement. Consider the flooding woes caused by this practice of which no self respecting engineer would be proud, or how this affects the drivers/cyclists that use those outer sloping lanes. This tradition further creates problems where previously none existed and the attempt to rectify it reeks of the attitude that brings no positive outcome for the vital aspects of society. An example of this? A simple ‘man-hole’ cover is turned into a perfect pothole by layers of asphalt and the answer is to paint a white circle around it in the hope that the driving public will avoid it. The symbolism of this procedure can be used across many segments of our society where the bare minimum is done to address self-created problems and the hope is that it can somehow be evaded.

Even the labour process of resurfacing offers representation of archaic practices that require a novel approach. In a nation 10 degrees from the equator and with a massive traffic problem, resurfacing is carried out during the working hours of the day? Minimise the disruption caused to already frustrated commuters by carrying out the work at night and also gain greater productivity from workers plying their trade of working with hot materials in cooler conditions. This some would say, is 2020 thinking. I will not go into the question of less work being carried out at night by workers, which is down to the deadlines set by the Ministry when planning such projects. (We do set deadlines, no?)

Finally, though the similes can go on and on, the resurfacing over age old roads signify the need to use public funds to gloss over the inadequacy that lies underneath. New roads are a much needed requirement, but it has to be done properly. Engineers point to the heat of T&T and the type of pitch that we use as a disadvantage to building perfect roads, but if sprawling, flawless highways can be built amongst deserts of the Middle East why can the art not be perfected for our roads?

Given his eagerness to respond to letters in the press (a practice to be partially commended as it at least displays his willingness to read the public’s view), Mr. Imbert will not be thrilled with the comments above nor the government with the metaphorical exercise, but it would be refreshing to know that an innovative approach was taken with this $600 million. Is that old bane of many, the old road going to be removed prior to resurfacing? It is so simple in helping perfect the roads that it baffles one as to why it is not done. Have other institutions such as WASA been consulted in this latest wave of road works to ensure that they do not dig up the new roads shortly after they are built, when in fact they can use the opportunity to carry out their own works with the minimum of disruption to the public? A sort of killing-two-birds-with-one-stone tactic (apologies to the bird lovers). Has there been any consideration to conducting the work at off-peak times? Where roads are being resurfaced in flood prone areas, is the road works going to include attention to the surrounding environs that cause the flooding?

Just a few questions to consider ensuring that this valid and much needed resurfacing represents forward thinking in keeping with the Vision 2020 concept and that it is not an archaic election gimmick that is being thrust upon voters as an insult to their intelligence. After all, we would not want the roads of our nation to continue to exist as a metaphor for the country through a $600 million trick, would we?

Sheldon Waithe

Thursday, April 12, 2007

John Pilger

We cannot look from the sides as we are led towards crisis over Iran

Bush and Blair have spent four years preparing an onslaught that is about oil, rather than non-existent nuclear weapons

John Pilger
Friday April 13, 2007
The Guardian

The Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes the moment her mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. "They were sick and some were dying," she said. "Then my mother saw these German women looking at the prisoners. This image became very formative in my upbringing, this despicable 'looking from the side'."

It is time we in Britain stopped looking from the side. We are being led towards perhaps the most serious crisis in modern history as the Bush/Cheney/Blair "long war" edges closer to Iran for no reason other than that nation's independence from rapacious America. The safe delivery of the 15 British sailors into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his rivals (until their masters got the wind up) is both farce and distraction. The Bush administration, in secret connivance with Blair, has spent four years preparing for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Forty-five cruise missiles are primed to strike. According to General Leonid Ivashov, Russia's leading strategic thinker: "Nuclear facilities will be secondary targets, and there are 20 such facilities. Combat nuclear weapons may be used, and this will result in the radioactive contamination of all the Iranian territory, and beyond."

And yet there is a surreal silence in Britain, except for the noise of "news" in which powerful broadcasters gesture cryptically at the obvious, but dare not make sense of it lest the one-way moral screen erected between us and the consequences of an imperial foreign policy collapses, and the truth is revealed.

"The days of Britain having to apologise for the British empire are over," declared Gordon Brown to the Daily Mail. "We should celebrate!" In Late Victorian Holocausts, the historian Mike Davis documents that as many as 21 million Indians died unnecessarily in famines criminally imposed by British policies. And since the formal demise of that glorious imperium, declassified official files make clear that British governments have borne "significant responsibility" for the direct or indirect deaths of between 8.6 million and 13.5 million people throughout the world - from imperial military interventions and at the hands of regimes strongly supported by Britain. The historian Mark Curtis calls these victims "unpeople". "Rejoice!" said Thatcher. "Celebrate!" says the paymaster of Blair's bloodbath. Spot the difference.

We need to look behind the one-way moral screen, urgently. Last October, the Lancet published research led by Johns Hopkins University in the US that calculated the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis as a direct result of the Anglo-American invasion. Downing Street acolytes derided the study as "flawed". They were lying. They knew that the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Sir Roy Anderson, had backed the survey, describing its methods as "robust" and "close to best practice", and that other government officials had secretly approved the "tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones". The figure of Iraqi deaths is now estimated at close to a million.

"This Labour government, which includes Gordon Brown as much as it does Tony Blair," wrote Richard Horton, the editor of the Lancet, "is party to a war crime of monstrous proportions. Yet our political consensus prevents any judicial or civil society response. Britain is paralysed by its own indifference." Such is the scale of the crime and of our "looking from the side".

As hysteria is again fabricated, for Iraq, read Iran. According to the former US treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, the Bush cabal decided to attack Iraq on "day one" of Bush's administration, long before 9/11 - and it beggars belief that Blair did not know that. The main reason was oil. O'Neill was shown a Pentagon document entitled Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts, which outlined the carve-up of Iraq's oilfields among the major Anglo-American companies. Under a law written by American and British officials, the Iraqi puppet regime is about to hand over the extraction of the largest concentration of oil on earth to Anglo-American companies.

Nothing like this piracy has happened before in the modern Middle East. Across the Shatt al-Arab waterway the other prize: Iran's vast oilfields. Just as non-existent weapons of mass destruction or facile concerns for democracy had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, so non-existent nuclear weapons have nothing to do with an American onslaught on Iran. Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never cited Iran for diverting its civilian programme to military use. For the past three years IAEA inspectors have said that they have been allowed to "go anywhere". The recent security council sanctions against Iran are the result of Washington's bribery.

Until recently the British were unaware that their government was one of the world's most consistent abusers of human rights and backers of state terrorism. Few knew that British intelligence set out systematically to destroy secular Arab nationalism and in the 1980s recruited and trained young Muslims as part of a $4bn Anglo-American-backed jihad against the Soviet Union. The fuse of the bombs that killed 52 Londoners was lit by "us".

In my experience, most people do not contort their morality and intellect to comply with the double standards of rampant power and the media's notion of approved evil - of worthy and unworthy victims. They would, if they knew, grieve for all the lives, families, careers, hopes and dreams destroyed by Blair and Bush. The sure evidence is the British public's wholehearted response to the 2004 tsunami, shaming that of the government. Certainly, they would agree with Robert Jackson, the chief counsel of the United States at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders. "Crimes are crimes," he said, "whether we do them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."

Like Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld, who dare not travel to certain countries for fear of being prosecuted as war criminals, Blair as a private citizen may no longer be untouchable. On March 20 Baltasar Garzon, the tenacious Spanish judge who pursued General Pinochet, called for indictments against those responsible for "one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history" - Iraq. Five days later, the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, to which Britain is a signatory, said that Blair could one day face war-crimes charges.

These are critical changes in the way the sane world thinks - again, thanks to the reich of Blair/Bush. However, we also live in the most dangerous of times. On April 6 Blair accused "elements of the Iranian regime" of "financing, arming and supporting terrorism in Iraq". He offered no evidence, and the MoD has none. This is the same Goebbels-like refrain with which he and his coterie, Brown included, brought an epic bloodletting to Iraq. How long will the rest of us continue looking from the side?"

· This is an edited version of an article in the current New Statesman; John Pilger's new film, The War on Democracy, will be previewed at the National Film Theatre in London on May 11 www.johnpilger.com

Fuzzy Marx

This is a discussion on Long Sunday about the same odd (it was from a MOD report) political economy post of a few days ago.

I liked this:

"There is Marx. Then there is fuzzy Marx. Fuzzy Marx is not a completely illegitimate way to think. It is distant from the full range of Marxists arguments. But it still employs important insights from Marx's work. So first let's take Marx. Why, according to him, is the proletariat the revolutionary class? It is not because workers are oppressed a lot. Lots of classes in history have been oppressed and had revolutions but have not produced all round liberation of humanity. Workers are the revolutionary class because the revolution they lead is not on behalf of a specific class interest. In Marx's account, the workers have been ground down almost to the level of the lumpenproletariat, and when they have a revolution it is not in order to promote a new, competing economic and political system but to destroy the class system root and branch, along with the state. The bit quoted above does not describe the middle class as propertyless. The report itself points out that the middle class has class interests. Thus any revolution a transnational middle class might take would not be the kind of action that Marx had in mind. But what if we think in a fuzzy Marx way? If we abstract from the mechanics of revolution that Marx predicted, we can still be interested in his overall claim that capitalism is ultimately headed for economic reefs. The question is, whether or not capitalism will finally produce a profound sociological split between the haves and the have-nots. But that split in itself is not enough. It must also be translated into a political force. This is a problem that Marx confronts: earlier class revolutions had been much more tactical and strategic precisely because the classes who led them had specific class interests they wanted to promote. To the extent that the workers had a class interest in 20th-century Europe it was reformist. To the extent that they didn't have a specific class interest to promote they were politically formless. The traditional Marxist picture of the middle class is of a group that flirts both with revolution and with reaction depending on what they are most afraid of at the moment -- workers who challenged private property or a dictatorial state that interfered in private life and the economy. But what might happen to the political thinking of a middle class confronted by globalization but not particularly worried about a workers movement? We don't know."

More here

Blairism

The troubled mindset of Tony

"Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem.

One accused him of misunderstanding the advice he had been given on the issue at a Downing Street summit.

Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".

Guardian article

full text of speech

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Google Earth and the genocide in Darfur

"Google Earth has added a Global Awareness layer to its maps program that lets you learn about the crisis in Darfur. By selecting the Global Awareness layer (in the lower left-hand corner of Google Earth) you can fly over enhanced satellite images of the war-torn region. Sprinkled over the map are icons that link to photographs, data, videos, and narratives of eyewitnesses to the genocide."

more

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Political economy

"The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx," says the report. The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: "The world's middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".

more

Thursday, April 05, 2007

AU students try to arrest Karl Rove

"WASHINGTON (AP) - More than a dozen protesters confronted White House adviser Karl Rove as he tried to leave a speaking engagement at American University, blocking his car and throwing things, officials said."

story first picked up by FOX and twisted somewhat. the papers arent telling the whole story.

I'll wait for a more accurate version of events and post that

UPDATE: from my friend megan who has a cool group blog, directing readers to the AU newspaper version

Joost

i just got my joost invite. The future of TV, as long as you got super high speed broadband, just got a whole lot more fancy. I thought i was on star trek or something. I can't believe i just lost an hour to this stuff. Its great. The picture is like real TV, you get all the good channels, and its all on your PC when you want it. its a bit like tivo, but for the laptop.

me likes

you should sign up.

A true great

Dennis Bergkamp, the first goal says it all

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Imperial hangover

What would happen if the UK decided to spend less on arms and imperial misconceptions? Could the money, the trillions, not be used to support education, health, sustainable energy? Surely with all the other big players in the world the US, China, Russia - Britain would do well to stand out of the way, our power is ineffectual and mostly for appearances.

JT gets us thinking about our Imperial Hangover, the shadow that moves the nation and its political leaders like fools.

jeremy taylor: Imperial hangover

"In fact, Britain has long been a second-rank player. It has no business retaining independent nuclear weapons (to use against who?) or renewing its Trident nuclear submarines; it has no business occupying a permanent Security Council seat when countries like Germany, Japan, India and Brazil don't have one; its remaining colonies like the Falkland Islands (and several Caribbean countries — the Caymans, Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat) should long ago have been divested and set up on their own two feet. Britain should be wholly engaged in Europe and the EU, not pretending to be an equal "ally" (i.e. field slave) of the United States.

And the irony is that the "New Labour" government of Tony Blair has been just as gung-ho about this neo-imperialism as Anthony Eden and Margaret Thatcher put together. And even more deceitful."