Saturday, 31 January 2009


(Photo of Piece by Dennis Brown - November 2007)

The post the other day of the complete recordings of Turkey Bones & The Wild Dogs was inspired by recently meeting a bloke who it turned out was from Perth in Scotland.
When I was told this I casually mentioned that the only people I knew from that part of the world were the members of Turkey Bones (Scotty-vocals, Arab-bass, Herman-drums and Piece- guitar).
Dennis then mentioned that the last time he had been back home he had run into Piece at a Rezillos gig and you can see the resulting photo above.
I was trying to think when I first met Piece and it must have been 1977 or 78. From memory I seem to recall that he was a gas fitter and the house that I was living in at the time needed some work done.
At the time I was living right beside Alexandra Palace in North London and was hanging with a bunch of crazy guys who were mostly from Scotland and Liverpool who were all living in Muswell Hill.
I remember that Piece was sharing a house with Nik (from Alien Sex Fiend) and Razzle who would go on to drum with Hanoi Rocks before being killed when he was in a car that was being driven by Motley Crue's singer Vince Neill crashed.


Friday, 30 January 2009

Epic driving fail

John Martyn & Danny Thompson - Couldn't Love You More (OGWT 1977)

John Martyn - I'd Rather Be The Devil (OGWT 1973)

John Martyn & Danny Thompson - Big Muff

John Martyn - Small Hours (Live 1978)

John Martyn - Bless The Weather (Live 1978)

John Martyn - 1948 - 2009 R.I.P.

John Martyn passed away yesterday apparently from pneumonia.
Story from the 'BBC' here.
More John Martyn here and here and this will give you one of his best songs.

".....was just in the kitchen at lunchtime eating a sandwich with ben, when the news came on radio 4 that john martyn had died this couldn't truly be said to be "shocking" news, in the true sense of the word, but still, what a sad day....i remember the first night i met ben, over in the student union building, and we had a few drinks in the bar and then went back to his student bedroom....and of course the first thing i did was to rifle through his record collection, and discovered that we had precisely TWO records in common (vic godard, and the durutti column) which point he pulled out an album i had never even heard OF, let alone heard, and it was john martyn's solid air.....ben had only arrived in hull earlier that afternoon, same as me, but he'd already re-arranged his room to suit his preferences....the desk, that item you might imagine being central to a student's bedroom, if not very existence, he had stashed away safely out of sight on top of the wardrobe, and in its place now stood an old, battered trunk with a record deck on top, and to either side a huge pair of speakers, the like of which i hadn't seen before....on went solid air, and it filled the room, and that was that.....the first record we listened to together, cheers to you john martyn, bless you and the weather....xx"

(Tracey Thorn)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Turkey Bones & The Wild Dogs

1983 Anagram Records
ana 10

1984 McKechnie Gramophone Records
MAC 1/12

1985 ace records
Ned 13

Bart Simpson a scientologist?

Story from 'The Huffingfton Post' here.

44 degrees yesterday 44 today 43 tomorrow - too hot!!!

UPDATE: Was just walking home with son # 2 and we came across a bat that was on its back in the middle of the road. A stick was got and it was put in a quiet place after it was given a bit of a cooling down with water.
My Bindi Irwin moment (apologies Bella!)

Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Joe Henry - God Only Knows (Live Paradiso Amsterdam 12/02/08)

The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Obama: U.S. not your enemy

President Obama in his first formal interview since coming to power with the Dubai based Al-Arabiya Network.
Story from 'Politico' here.

Interesting comments from 'FP' here.

British OiNK users sentenced to community service

Story from 'Pitchfork' here.

EPIC fail!

The Folk Implosion - Natural One

Two songs by Lou Barlow


The Folk Implosion

Said I wouldn't do it, leave it alone
Tried to ditch it, followed me right back home
After a while I don't resist
I'm alive with a purpose
My way down looking for it
That's what I'm afraid of

When I finally hold it, arrive on the scene
The doors are open I can hardly breathe
And like every guilty feeling
I've forgotten before
Three hours later, I'm hungry for more
That's what I'm afraid of
I don't have the will to change
Not when it's so easy, to be easy

Resistance is low when I'm feeling bored
What I thought was fun isn't fun anymore
Gravity pulls neither wrong or right
The moon is full and we're out of our heads
Let's do it again and feel allright
The fight is over for now
The fight is over

'Too Pure'

Is something missing in my touch, a tension tugging at my smile?
If there's a right thing to say, I'm sure I missed it by a mile
Swallowed in some detail, heavy in my blood
I wanna hold you close, but I can't lift my arms up
Is there a reason for this distance?
More than the drug that floats my days
A nervous bug in my system, it keeps me edgy and ashamed
I've got a saint, never ever will forgive
That never understood me but still tells me how to live
It fits when I stretch and I stretch because I can
I stretch until I'm sore and then I open up for more
I do it out of habit, not addiction
And if I give it up, clean out my blood
Will I still feel bored and disconnected?
If I do it all for love, will I ever give enough?
'cause you can never be too pure or too connected
You can never be too pure or too connected
You can never be too pure

Monday, 26 January 2009

'Trout Mask Replica' amongst albums in the White House record collection

Story from 'Rolling Stone' here.

I is seriously shocked!

Leonard Cohen - The Future (Live 'Later with Jools Holland')

Review: Leonard Cohen 'A Day On The Green' Coldstream 24/01/09

(Photo by Simone Maynard.)

Michelle Griffin
'The Sunday Age'
January 25, 2009

Leonard Cohen
Day On The Green
Rochford Winery, Coldstream

LEONARD Cohen is like a horse whisperer, only for women. Even at 74, the dapper rogue could provoke sighs from women in the audience at Rochford Winery last night with his courtly songs of sex and regret. When he growled his sleazy 1988 classic I'm Your Man, women leapt from their picnic blankets to yell: "Yes, you are!"
At his first Australian concert in 24 years, Cohen seduced 7000 people — women and men — with an act polished by a year's touring and a lifetime perfecting his pitch: he charmed us, he moved us, and then he broke it to us gently. "I tried to leave you," he sang at his third and final encore.
Cohen is a funny man. The jokes may be bleak but he tells them with a rueful smile. "It's been a long time, about 15 years since I was on stage," he told the crowd. "When I was 60, a young kid with a crazy dream."
He may look frail, but Cohen put paid to his morose reputation with a vibrant set that lasted almost three hours. He certainly didn't perform like a man forced out of retirement to sing for his pension fund. Dressed like a preacher in three-piece suit, string tie and fedora, he literally skipped on and off stage between sets, swung tight-fisted like Sinatra during musical interludes, and performed a "white man dance" to whooping applause.
Cohen's baritone is, as he cheerfully admits, a rough diamond. His martini-dry vocals are complemented by a nine-piece band of accomplished musicians and singers, led by his long-time musical director, bassist Roscoe Beck. Folk classics Suzanne and Chelsea Hotel #2 were presented simply, but many highlights came from more recent songs, such as the witty Everybody Knows, soaring Anthem and wry calling card Tower of Song (featuring Cohen's one-handed synthesiser solo!)
Hallelujah came halfway through the second set. Cohen fell to his knees to wrest his best-known song back from all the artists who have covered it — Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, UK Idol's Alexandra Burke — and rediscovered its wild, black heart. Later, Cohen ceded control of lovely hymn If It Be Your Will to the angelic voices of the Webb sisters. Then he roared back into focus with the song of the night, a rocking and timely rendition of his 1992 number Democracy Is Coming to the USA.

A Thousand Kisses Deep
('A Day On The Green' - Coldstream 24th January 2009)

From the last time Leonard Cohen played in Melbourne nearly 25 years ago, I give you a 'new' song 'Hallelujah' as well as 'Democracy' live in Glasgow on the night Obama was elected.

It goes without saying that you should not do this

Go here to find out everything you need to know to change the message on those roadside signs.
(Via 'boingboing'.)
Very funny comments thread here.

Schoolly D - King of New York

Day of Shame, Day of Triumph (The Age 26/01/05)

Australians have a responsibility to acknowledge the first peoples of this land. It cannot be shirked, writes David Day.

For some years now, Australia Day has seen commentators berating us for not making a greater celebration of the day that marked the beginning of our nation. Other commentators berate us for celebrating the day that also marked the beginning of a tragedy for Aboriginal peoples. Both sides are right about the historical significance of January 26, 1788. It does mark the beginning both of Australia's shame and its triumph. This partly explains the muted way in which we tend to celebrate the day, for there is much to be ambivalent about.

When Captain Arthur Phillip and his officers splashed ashore at Botany Bay, they believed they were bringing civilisation to what one of the officers described as "a remote and barbarous land". But it was not an act of selfless charity. They had come to conquer. They had not come to live in an Aboriginal world but to dispossess the Aborigines of their land and compel them to live in a British world.
Phillip had been sent by the British government to take possession of the eastern half of Australia. The bold move was designed to give Britain a strategic presence in the Pacific, allowing it to challenge the tottering power of the Spanish and secure the sea route to China. Little thought was given to the incidental consequences for the Aborigines.

With the peremptory act of raising a flag at Sydney Cove and reading a proclamation, Phillip blithely made one of the greatest land grabs in history without even a token attempt to negotiate or compensate the traditional owners. Had they been invited to Phillip's ceremony, and realised its significance, the Aborigines might have made a more determined attempt to resist. In that first year, they certainly had the numbers to bring the half-starved colony to a premature end. But there was little sustained resistance, and even less after an outbreak of smallpox wiped out much of Sydney's Aboriginal population.

We continue to watch passively as Aborigines die from preventable diseases and as their societies are ravaged.

Laid waste by disease and alcohol and the disruption of their traditional living patterns over the succeeding decades, or killed outright by punitive expeditions, the Aboriginal population seemed set by 1900 to be headed for extinction. A population of a million or more had been reduced to about 60,000. In the minds of the colonists, there was a sense of sad inevitability about it all, along with a quiet sense of satisfaction that the eventual Aboriginal demise would remove any lingering feelings of uneasiness about the legitimacy of the British occupation. But the nature of our national origins clearly concerns us still.

Indeed, the shadow cast by Phillip and his officers, as they stood beneath the flag toasting the imposition of British authority, continues to darken our national life. Still unconfident in our relatively short-lived occupation of the continent, we shrink from undertaking those symbolic acts that would acknowledge the historic wrongs visited upon Aboriginal people and adequately recognise their status as first peoples. Just as in the past we took many of their children in an unsuccessful attempt to make Aborigines disappear from view, so we continue to press for them to blend into white Australia and become one people with us, thereby ceasing to pose a moral challenge to our occupation of their continent.

We continue to watch passively as Aborigines die from preventable diseases and as their societies are ravaged by the physical and psychological consequences of their historic dispossession, while comforting our consciences with the mistaken belief that they are the authors of their own misfortune. Rather than mobilising our resources to provide adequate medical, educational and housing facilities, we now compel outback Aborigines to wash their faces in return for the provision of a petrol bowser, thereby implicitly reinforcing the 18th-century view of the Aborigines as child-like savages who have to be civilised.

Of course, there is nothing to be gained by simply reproaching ourselves about the shameful acts in our past. Instead, we need to understand and acknowledge our history in all its complexity, from the grandeur to the genocide. We need also to situate our history within a wider context and understand that we are far from alone in dispossessing indigenous people of their land. Societies across the world, from Japan to Peru and Israel to Indonesia, live on land taken from indigenous inhabitants. The process of claiming and occupying those lands has helped to shape the nature of those societies, as it has shaped ours over the past two centuries. However, just because many other societies share our situation does not absolve us of our shameful neglect.

On this Australia Day, then, it is fitting that we acknowledge the historical importance of Arthur Phillip's foundational enterprise. Despite being dogged by ignorance and ill-luck, the first colonists overcame considerable obstacles to establish the beginnings of one of the great cities of the modern world and one of the most diverse and tolerant societies. But it is equally important to acknowledge the tragic outcome for Aborigines of the British invasion.

That tragedy continues, and it will persist as long as we push ahead with Phillip's original project of dispossession and refuse to recognise that we have reached an important point in the prolonged process, initiated by Cook and Phillip, of making this continent our own. After more than 200 years, and with a population of 20 million, the fear of ourselves being dispossessed has been largely allayed.

We should be confident enough now to recognise Aborigines as the first peoples of this land and to accord them the rights implicit in such status. It has proved to be a bounteous land. Its riches deserve to be shared more generously with those from whom it was taken. It is inevitable that Australians will be held to account if that responsibility continues to be shirked.

David Day is the author of Claiming a Continent: A New History of Australia.

For Michele (in Wonderland)!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

SS Maton up for auction

The guitar boat built by Maton for Josh Pyke's video 'Make You Happy' is up for sale.
Full story here.

PETA protest Hong Kong January 20th 2009

13 year old Sara plays drums to Rush's YYZ

Can we do the parents for child abuse?

The tee and the tag

From 'animalnewyork' here.


Friday, 23 January 2009

Gone partying!

My friend's bub turns one tomorrow.
Me and the Spacebubs will be there.
Back tomorrow no doubt hyped up after lots of red things!
UPDATE: ( world record set by Spacebubs for amount of strawberries consumed at one sitting!)

Obamania hits Japan

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Dead - Uncle John's Band (Mid-Atlantic Inauguration Ball 20th January 2009)

Mick Harvey quits Bad Seeds

(Photo of Mick Harvey at Mt. Buller ATP by TimN)

For a variety of personal and professional reasons I have chosen to discontinue my ongoing involvement with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
After 25 years I feel I am leaving the band as it experiences one of its many peaks; in very healthy condition, and with fantastic prospects for the future.
I’m confident Nick will continue to be a creative force and that this is the right time to pass on my artistic and managerial role to what has become a tremendous group of people who can support him in his endeavours both musically and organizationally.
It was a fantastic experience to finish my touring days in the band with the recent shows in Australia and the unique events that took place in conjunction with All Tomorrow’s Parties, especially Mt. Buller, which was one of the many highlights of my involvement with the band throughout the years.
I shall continue working on the Bad Seeds back catalogue re-issues project over the coming year and look forward to the new opportunities I shall be able to accommodate as a result of my changed circumstances.

– Mick Harvey, 22nd January 2009

Obama retakes Oath of Office

Following Tuesday's SNAFU, Justice Roberts & President Obama redo the oath at the White House.
Already some of our right wing friends are saying that as it was done in private (and possibly not redone at all) then Obama is still not legitimately President.
The photo above is of course a 'shoop'!

X - Bazooka

Don't forget that the wonderful illustrations of Kiki & Loulou Picasso can be found at their blog here.

Liverpool Street Railway Station London 15/01/09 11AM

Ad for T-Mobile UK

Keef by Sebastian Kruger

More from his blog here.

Obama calls Abbas

The new US leader told Abbas that the Palestinian president was the first foreign leader he called since taking office, said spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina."This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office," he quoted Obama as telling Abbas.

Story from 'AP' here.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Father & son no doubt!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Photographic source found for HOPE poster

Go here for the full story.
Update here.

The Saints - I'm Stranded (Live ATP Mt. Buller 09/01/09)

(Photo TimN)

Inaugural word cloud

Inauguration coverage from 'FP' here.

Daft Punk VS Adam Freeland - Aer OBAMA

President Obama

My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.
They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

"A little older, a little more confused."

Dennis Hopper quoted in Wim Wender's 'The American Friend'

Bloody Australian bastard!!!

Match report of Liverpool VS Everton from the BBC here.

Counting down!!!

Illustration by Gee Vaucher.
Originally used as the cover illustration for Tackhead's 'Friendly As a Hand Grenade'.

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen - This Land Is Your Land (Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert)

Thanx Paul for bringing this to my attention.

State secrets?

"...More dramatic was a weekend report by the Times‘ David Sanger that the White House had rebuffed Olmert’s request for new U.S. bunker-buster bombs and denied Israel permission to overfly Iraq in any strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.
Sanger described these U.S.-Israeli talks as “tense.”
Repeatedly, Israel has warned that Iran is close to a bomb and threatened to attack unilaterally. Indeed, Israel simulated such an attack in an air exercise of 100 planes that went as far as Greece.
Bush both blocked and vetoed that attack, says Sanger. But he did assure Olmert that America is engaged in the sabotage of Iran’s nuclear program by helping provide Tehran with defective parts.
This would seem a stunning breach of security secrets, but no outrage has been heard from the White House, nor has any charge come that the Times compromised national security."

Pat Buchanan January 18 2009

Read David Sangers article in the 'NY Times' here.

'Punishing the Palestinians' by Ralph Nader

January 18, 2009 -- In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli government.
The latest illustration of this Washington puppet show, backed by the most modern weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars annually sent to Israel, was the grotesquely one-sided Resolutions whisked through the Senate and the House of Representatives.
While a massive bombing and invasion of Gaza was underway, the resolution blaming Hamas for all the civilian casualties and devastation-99% of it inflicted on Palestinians-zoomed through the Senate by voice vote and through the House by a vote of 390 to 5 with 22 legislators voting present.
There is more dissent against this destruction of Gaza among the Israeli people, the Knesset, the Israeli media, and Jewish-Americans than among the dittoheads on Capitol Hill.
The reasons for such near-unanimous support for Israeli actions-no matter how often they are condemned by peace advocates such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, United Nations resolutions, the World Court and leading human rights groups inside and outside of Israel, are numerous. The pro-Israeli government lobby, and the right-wing Christian evangelicals, lubricated by campaign money of many Political Action Committees (PACs) certainly are key. There is also more than a little bigotry in Congress against Arabs and Muslims, reinforced by the mass media yahoos who set new records for biased reporting each time this conflict erupts. The bias is clear. It is always the Palestinians' fault. Right-wingers who would never view the U.S. government as perfect see the Israeli government as never doing anything wrong. Liberals who do not hesitate to criticize the U.S. military view all Israeli military attacks, invasions and civilian devastation as heroic manifestations of Israeli defense. The inversion of history and the scope of amnesia know no limits.
What about the fact that the Israeli government drove Palestinians from their lands in 1947-48 with tens of thousands pushed into the Gaza strip. No problem to Congress. Then the fact that the Israeli government cruelly occupied, in violation of UN resolutions, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and only removed its soldiers and colonists from Gaza (1.5 million people in a tiny area twice the size of the District of Columbia) in 2005. To Congress, the Palestinians deserved it. Then when Hamas was freely elected to run Gaza, the Israeli authorities cut off the tax revenues on imports that belonged to the Gaza government. This threw the Gazans into a fiscal crisis-they were unable to pay their civil servants and police.In 2006, the Israelis added to their unrelieved control of air, water and land around the open-air prison by establishing a blockade. The natives became restless. Under international law, a blockade is an act of war. Primitive rockets, called by reporters "wildly inaccurate" were fired into Israel. During this same period, Israeli soldiers and artillery and missiles would go into Gaza at will and take far more lives and cause far more injuries than those incurred by those rockets. Civilians-especially children, the infirm and elderly-died or suffered week after week for lack of medicines, medical equipment, food, electricity, fuel and water which were embargoed by the Israelis. Then the Israeli bombing followed by the invasion during the past three weeks with what prominent Israeli writer Gideon Levy called "a brutal and violent operation...far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south." Mr. Levy observed what the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann called a war against "a helpless and defenseless imprisoned population." The horror of being trapped from fleeing the torrent of the most modern weapons of war from the land, air and seas is reflected in this passage from Amira Hass, writing in the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
"The earth shaking under your feet, clouds of choking smoke, explosions like a fireworks display, bombs bursting into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, mushroom clouds of pinkish-red smoke, suffocating gas, harsh burns on the skin, extraordinary maimed live and dead bodies."
Ms. Hass is pointing to the use of new anti-civilian weapons used on the Gazan people. So far there have been over 1100 fatalities, many thousands of injuries and the destruction of homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, pharmacies, granaries, farmer's fields and many critical public facilities. The clearly marked UN headquarters and UN school were smashed, along with stored medicines and food supplies.
Why? The Congressional response: "Hamas terrorists" everywhere. Sure, defending their Palestinian families is called terrorism. The truth is there is no Hamas army, airforce and navy up against the fourth most powerful military in the world. As one Israeli gunner on an armored personnel carrier frankly said to The New York Times: "They are villagers with guns. They don't even aim when they shoot."
Injured Gazans are dying in damaged hospital corridors, bleeding to death because rescuers are not permitted to reach them or are endangered themselves. Thousands of units of blood donated by Jordanians are stopped by the Israeli blockade. Israel has kept the international press out of the Gazan killing fields.
What is going on in Gaza is what Bill Moyers called it earlier this month - "state terrorism." Already about 400 children are known to have died. More will be added who are under the rubble.
Since 2002, more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations have had a standing offer, repeated often, that if Israel obeys several UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders leaving 22 percent of the original Palestine for an independent Palestinian state, they will open full diplomatic relations and there will be peace. Israel has declined to accept this offer.
None of these and many other aspects of this conflict matter to the Congress. Its members do not want to hear even from the Israeli peace movement, composed of retired generals, security chiefs, mayors, former government ministers, and members of the Knesset. In 60 years these savvy peace advocates have not been able to give one hour of testimony before a Congressional Committee.
Maybe members of Congress may wish to weigh the words of the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, years ago when he said:
"There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis Hitler Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinian's] fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country."
Doesn't that observation invite some compassion for the Palestinian people and their right to be free of Israeli occupation, land and water grabs and blockades in the 22 percent left of Palestine?

From 'Information Clearing House' here.

Israel indicates rapid withdrawal of troops from Gaza

All IDF troops to be out of Gaza before Obama is sworn in.
Story from The 'Financial Times' here.

You know it seems to me that Israel doesn't really know where Obama stands in relation to his Middle East policy.
In the past Obama has said this.
If it is not put in the strongest terms just how unacceptable this bombardment of Gaza has been, then I think that they will feel as though they can go after Iran's nuclear facilities and then heaven help us all.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Officially old enough to know one minute!!!

One year to the tepee!!!
Some of you know what I am talking about!!!
Happy birthday Grant!
Happy birthday Buffy!

Gazans survey damage after three weeks of war

Story here.

Make My Funk The P - Funk!

Sly & The Family Stone - I Want To Take You Higher

Miles Davis & Friends - Live Paris 1991

Bono - You are an idiot!!!

"...Then it's time for the moment we've all been waiting for: Irish (but honorary American) combo U2. While most performers managed to contain themselves, despite the emotion of the moment, apparently Bono was a bit confused, deciding that he was being inaugurated. He-of-the-elaborate-shades spent half his time onstage speechifying embarrassingly, flubbing the year of MLK's speech, and waiting just a smidge too long between offering a tribute to "an Israeli dream… (dramatic pause)... and also… a Palestinian dream!" His gloating thank-you to the President-elect for using "City of Blinding Lights" during his campaign was also cringe-worthy—didn't anybody tell Bono they used a lot of different songs?"
(From 'Mother Jones' here.)


"And yet, as I stand here tonight, what gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between. It is you..."

'The Rising'

Bruce Springsteen performs at The Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC as part of the inaugural celebrations.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Official Presidential Portrait by Pete Souza

Israel to announce Gaza truce

Story from the 'BBC' here.

Two new songs

Michael Gira @ 'The Toff In Town' Melbourne.
(Photos by TimN)
'Opium Song - Reeling The Liars In'

Another 'one of many' (RIP)