Saturday, 30 April 2011

Anthropology professor Chris Knight pre-emptively arrested before the wedding for planning 'street theatre.

Police State UK
RT @: Police commander Bob Broadhurst: “the threat to the is a threat to democracy"

B is for...

Evgeny Morozov
Anonymous to target Iran with DoS attack


“Committing a protest”: The Charing Cross arrests


"A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color."
Directed by Terri Timely

This royal wedding is Britain's Marie Antoinette moment

How well we do it! Was the princess beautiful in lace and was the prince charming? Indeed they were. The glorious pomp and circumstance did not disappoint those 2 billion worldwide watchers, indulging vicariously in the theatre of majesty. They tell us this is what we are best at, the great parade, the grand charade. If you weep at weddings here was one to cry for, for us more than them. The more extreme a ceremony's extravagance, the more superstitious you might feel about the outcome: the simpler the better the prognosis, in my experience.
But let's not speculate, for we know next to nothing of these best-marketed of global celebrities beyond the homely platitudes sparingly fed to the multitudes. We might agree that they are indeed "grounded"; we might ponder on the chances of a prince surviving so dysfunctional a childhood; or we may just wish them well and use the day off to party, as many did.
Is this what Britain is and who we are? Here was a grand illusion, the old conspiracy to misrepresent us to ourselves. Here arrayed was the most conservative of establishments, rank upon rank, from cabinet ministers to Prince Andrew to the Sultan of Brunei, the apotheosis of the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator in excelsis, a David Starkey pageant choreographed by Charles, the prince of conservatives.
Of course Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had no invitation, being the prime ministers who held back the forces of conservatism for 13 years. Displayed in all its assertiveness was a reminder of what Labour is always up against as perennial intruder. Constitutional monarchy is constitutionally Tory, the blue inherited with its wealth, in its fibre, in its bones.
The manicured story of the Middletons' four-generation rise from pit village to throne offers such perfect justification, living proof of David Cameron's promised social mobility, echoed in the jokey "It should have been me" souvenir mugs. Notwithstanding repellent sniggers of the Eton set who call the Middleton girls "the wisteria sisters" for their social climbing, or the "doors to manual" giggle at their former air steward mother, the Middletons belong in the top 0.5% of earners: children of new wealth always did marry into aristocracy. Besides, Kate Middleton, Samantha Cameron and the Hon Frances Osborne all went to the same school.
Yet despite months of coverage, rising to a crescendo of print and broadcasting frenzy this week, the country has remained resolutely phlegmatic. Cameras pick out the wildest enthusiasts camped out or dressed as brides, yet the Guardian/ICM poll and others put those expressing "strong interest" at only 20%.
In poll after poll, more than 70% refused to be excited. Laconic, cool, only half the population said they would watch Friday's flummery. Few are republicans – though latest YouGov polls show those of us hoping the Queen will be Elizabeth the Last has risen to 26% – but a healthy scepticism thrives. Not love of monarchy but fear of something worse wins the day as the spirit of "confound their politics" prevails over the thought of some second-hand politician as head of state.
A jaundiced view of royalty is not confined to blasé metropolitan sophisticates: you can hear it everywhere, north more than south, in any pub or bus stop and on Twitter – the knowing shrug that finds this stuff preposterous, childish and not who we are. How embarrassingly Brown stumbled trying to pin down an ineffable definition of Britishness. But he was fumbling for something other than images of monarchy and empire to assert, quite rightly, that this is not a conservative nation: after all, Cameron did not win the last election, even with an open goal. This may not be a nation of reforming radicals, but there is no lack of robust popular riposte to royal displays of inherited entitlement.
How will history look back on this day? Out in the world of bread, not circuses, in the kingdom behind the cardboard scenery, this has been a week that told a bleak story of the state of the nation. History may see the wedding as a Marie Antoinette moment, a layer of ormolu hiding a social dislocation whose cracks are only starting to emerge. The Office for National Statistics just showed GDP flatlining for the last six months, recovery stalled ever since the announcement of the government's great austerity. Most household incomes are shrinking – as never since the 1920s. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being cut, services slashed, £18m taken from the welfare budget, university fees in crisis, consumer confidence plunging.
This week I went to Barclays' annual meeting to watch another monarch, CEO Bob Diamond. He is in line for £27m pay this year, despite shares falling, £1.6bn profits lost and dividends cut – at a time when bank lending to manufacturing has fallen. Angry shareholders in the hall rose one by one to protest. Elderly, sometimes inchoate, they echoed the Association of British Insurers, who recommended voting against the bank's grotesque boardroom remuneration. But no, the little shareholders were voted down by unseen fund managers, all in the same game. The board shrugged off its critics, claiming that if they cut their own pay "we could very quickly jeopardise the true rewards of our success". But for how much longer?
The NHS, the most politically sensitive of public services, is warned by the public accounts committee that patient care is at risk in a £20bn cut with no plan for services that go bankrupt. The OECD, hardly a left-leaning organisation, this week warned that poverty in British households will rise inexorably so "social spending on families needs to be protected". But it is not being protected: the opposite is happening, as Sure Start is stripped bare. "Cutting back on early years services will make it difficult for the UK to achieve its policy of making work pay," says the OECD report.
Few yet realise the scale of the conservative revolution in progress. Professors Peter Taylor-Gooby and Gerry Stoker have just revealed that by 2013 public spending will be a lower proportion of GDP in Britain than in the US. They write in the Political Quarterly: "A profound shift in our understanding of the role of the state and the nature of our welfare system is taking place without serious debate." Can that really be done without rebellion? That will be the test of what kind of nation we are.
Polly Toynbee @'The Guardian'
Robots call people to tell them its illegal to read WikiLeaks during Canadian election. It's not.

Player Chickens

♪♫ Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan - Pancho and Lefty

Facebook takedown followup: what happened, and what Facebook needs to fix

The #ZUCKUP Dilemma

Today, without warning and without comment, Facebook deleted the pages of fifty predominantly left and student-run organizations in the United Kingdom. Having forged an uneasy relationship with Facebook, activists, culture jammers and revolutionaries around the world now face a tremendous dilemma.
On the one hand, it is true that Facebook's social networking platform has served revolutionary organizers well in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. The speed by which a call to protest can snowball into bodies on the streets intent on toppling a regime is awe inspiring and for the foreseeable future, Facebook will continue to play an important role in organizing protests and insurrections. And yet, Facebook is, in its essence, a capitalist business venture whose raison d'être is the commercialization of human relations. It is terrifying, and ultimately self-defeating that a commercially driven enterprise has insinuated itself into the soul of global activism.
On a deeper level, however, beyond all self-recriminations and angry tweets against Facebook's latest #zuckup the question remains: How will we, culture jammers, escape this dilemma? What are activists and revolutionaries to do in a world where a for-profit company has a near monopoly on social networking? Would thousands of us committing Facebook suicide wake Zuckerberg up? Could we jam Facebook into submission? Or must we develop our own non-commercial platform better suited to insurrection? What is the solution to this dilemma? How do we break the Gordian knot?

Balloons vs. Buffoon: Aerial Propaganda Hits Kim Jong Il

Feds drop charges against Bradley Manning visitor

Facebook Shamed by Copyright Screwup


Robert Fisk: Out of Syria's darkness come tales of terror

There is only one Kate in London


Emmylou Harris – Six White Cadillacs (Letterman 4/27/11)

This song is off of her new album 'Hard Bargain'

The Twilight Singers - On The Corner (Letterman 4/26/11)

lou charbonneau
REUTERS - Makeshift morgues in city Deraa hold 83 corpses, including women and children, killed in army attack -- rights campaigner
Breaking: Army finds Bradley Manning "competent to stand trial."
Contradictions in the Bible

It's Alright

Over 50 political accounts deleted in Facebook purge

Terrorists discover uses for Twitter

The Chaser's Royal Wedding | The Consummation


This England, 29.04.2011

Laurie Penny
Royal Wedding,austerity, unemployment, inner city riots. It's the 1980s again. The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Inside Syria's torture chambers: 'This regime is brutal but also stupid'

Music Fan Porn: Band Memorabilia That We Wish We Owned

Record label EMI published the results today of a charity auction it held earlier this month to raise money for tsunami relief funds in Japan. There was plenty of interesting material to be had, although it was, of course, all well out of our price range – but if you happened to have a spare $10k sitting around, you could have snapped up signed copies of David Bowie’s full back catalog, while $6,744 would have gotten you Billy Corgan’s handmade “Zero” t-shirt. The news got us thinking about other band paraphernalia we’d love to get our hands on – read on to see our selection, and let us know what you’d like on your mantelpiece.
Super Furry Animals’ blue rave tank
It was clear from the moment they first emerged from Wales in the mid-’90s that Super Furry Animals were a bit… different. Even so, they raised plenty of eyebrows with their chosen method of traveling to festivals around the time their first album was released: a bright blue tank. Apparently they convinced their record company to buy the tank instead of giving them an advance but hadn’t counted on how expensive it would be to run, and eventually had to trade it in for more practical transportation options. Amusingly, they sold it to Don Henley, who’s still driving it around his ranch in California.
 MORE @'Flavorwire'

Christopher Hitchens: When the King Saved God

The title page of the New Testament in the first edition of the King James Bible, published by Robert Barker (“Printer to the King’s most Excellent Maiestie”) in 1611.
After she was elected the first female governor of Texas, in 1924, and got herself promptly embroiled in an argument about whether Spanish should be used in Lone Star schools, it is possible that Miriam A. “Ma” Ferguson did not say, “If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the children of Texas.” I still rather hope that she did. But then, verification of quotations and sources is a tricky and sensitive thing. Abraham Lincoln lay dying in a room full of educated and literate men, in the age of the wireless telegraph, and not far from the offices of several newspapers, and we still do not know for sure, at the moment when his great pulse ceased to beat, whether his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, said, “Now he belongs to the ages” or “Now he belongs to the angels.”
Such questions of authenticity become even more fraught when they involve the word itself becoming flesh; the fulfillment of prophecy; the witnessing of miracles; the detection of the finger of God. Guesswork and approximation will not do: the resurrection cannot be half true or questionably attested. For the first 1,500 years of the Christian epoch, this problem of “authority,” in both senses of that term, was solved by having the divine mandate wrapped up in languages that the majority of the congregation could not understand, and by having it presented to them by a special caste or class who alone possessed the mystery of celestial decoding.
Four hundred years ago, just as William Shakespeare was reaching the height of his powers and showing the new scope and variety of the English language, and just as “England” itself was becoming more of a nation-state and less an offshore dependency of Europe, an extraordinary committee of clergymen and scholars completed the task of rendering the Old and New Testaments into English, and claimed that the result was the “Authorized” or “King James” version. This was a fairly conservative attempt to stabilize the Crown and the kingdom, heal the breach between competing English and Scottish Christian sects, and bind the majesty of the King to his devout people. “The powers that be,” it had Saint Paul saying in his Epistle to the Romans, “are ordained of God.” This and other phrasings, not all of them so authoritarian and conformist, continue to echo in our language: “When I was a child, I spake as a child”; “Eat, drink, and be merry”; “From strength to strength”; “Grind the faces of the poor”; “salt of the earth”; “Our Father, which art in heaven.” It’s near impossible to imagine our idiom and vernacular, let alone our liturgy, without them. Not many committees in history have come up with such crystalline prose...
 Continue reading
11 hours by road, an hour by boat in the Amazon and found someone who wasn't aware of the Royal Wedding. Thankfully rectified the situation.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Canada: Search 2173 US cables about Canadian government

♪♫ Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Passenger

Ethan Zuckerman
Thousands occupying traffic circle outside Buckingham palace, waving flags. Britons finally rising up against antiquated monarchy?

Moammar Gaddafi's Viagra war?

Johann Hari: Donald Trump's lunacy reveals core truth about the Republicans

Christiania, one of Europe's most famous communes, faces last stand

Vote yes to AV if you want to see Tories feel the fear again

Of course it is a snub. Of course it is deliberate. Not inviting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to the royal wedding, while inviting Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major, is a cold, calculated act of high establishment spite against Labour. The failure to correct it – especially when the invitation to the official representative of the Syrian tyranny was so speedily withdrawn – only confirms the miserable, petty, ill-advised disdainful nastiness of the original deed. And I blame Prince Charles. His reactionary fingerprints are all over the wedding's programme of events. This wasn't William's wish, they say.
What's more, it all matters. But not because a royal wedding invitation is itself important. It matters because the snub is a symptom of renewed establishment confidence. British royalty's enduring historic hostility to Labour – a hostility that has very rarely been reciprocated, it should be pointed out – is unsurprising, even today. But the snub might not have been so confidently and publicly delivered without the more general sense, which stretches far beyond the snobbish ghastliness of Clarence House, that it is now absolutely fine and dandy for a public person to parade outright contempt for the Blair and Brown Labour governments.
Prince Charles is not the first or indeed the most important person to allow his judgment to be carried away by the mood of anti-Labour dismissal. David Cameron himself gave way to it only a week ago, when he foolishly permitted himself to use a radio interview to wave aside Brown's passionate desire to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.
As for Blair – well, where do you start, save to say that in a culture in which Ian Hislop's weekly sneer on Have I Got News For You probably shapes more political attitudes than any of us will ever manage in a lifetime, the man we elected three times no longer even stands a chance of a hearing, never mind an invitation. Left and right have colluded in the process. But the political benefit from it is all on the right. As a result, the right no longer fears Labour. These snubs reflect that absence of fear.
God knows, I've had my criticisms of Brown. And I am not saying he is the ideal person for the IMF job; and I'm certainly not pretending his behaviour has made it easy for Cameron to support his case. Brown has not played this campaign well. But he is without doubt a plausible and serious candidate for such a post. As a former prime minister and long-serving chancellor, he is due a certain amount of courtesy and respect for his achievements, which were as real as his failures. He does not deserve to be snubbed like this by either prince or prime minister. But he can be, because Labour generates no fear among the Tories.
Last week's radio interview was a reminder that Cameron can sometimes be too cocky. He gives in to this over-confidence more than he used to. He did it again this week, to Angela Eagle. He needs to curb this unattractive occasional trait. It is politically dangerous, partly because moderate voters do not like it – Brown suffered from it, too – and partly because it is at odds with his greatest political strength, the clear-eyed strategic recognition that the Conservatives had to knock Labour off the political centre ground, and then keep them off it in the future.
But you can see why the prime minister is feeling so full of the joys of spring – in spite of economic flatlining, the unpopularity of his NHS reorganisation, a stalemate in Libya and the prospect of big Tory losses in the elections next week. All these ought to be pressing down on him, and some of them are, the NHS in particular. But Cameron nevertheless feels confident, because he is pretty sure that he has got Labour where he wants it, still off the centre ground on economic credibility and increasingly at daggers drawn with the Liberal Democrats, not least over the pivotal electoral event of this parliament, the AV referendum. Again, he is free from fear.
The AV referendum campaign ought to be an argument on the merits. It ought to be about fairness and, come Thursday, I suspect that for many voters it still will be. But it has been weighed down by party political calculation. In the process though it has restoked the Tory fear that is so conspicuously absent elsewhere.
The Tories may have hesitated initially over the referendum because they did not want to exacerbate their own relations with the Lib Dems, which were already becoming more brittle over issues like health and banking. But goodness, when they acted, they went for it with overwhelming force and resources, in effect taking over the no campaign as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Intelligent Conservatives like Cameron have always understood that the Tory interest is always likely to lie in defending the first-past-the-post system rather than a fairer voting system, and in preventing Labour and the Lib Dems from making common cause. That's why, a year ago, Cameron was so quick to seize his opportunity by offering coalition to Nick Clegg.
Labour, by contrast, has little understanding of what creates Tory fear. Labour still thinks short-term and tactically, not long-term and strategically. It is obsessed with the wrong target, with battering the Lib Dems, with punishing Clegg for the coalition and the cuts, and using those votes to propel itself back into an overall majority. The first part of that may well happen, starting with the local and devolved elections. The second part, though, is much less certain. It depends on breaking the coalition quickly and winning an early election. But that isn't going to happen, even if AV goes down.
If everyone in Labour thought straight they would see there is a powerful argument for saying that the coalition will be more weakened by a yes vote than a no. If you want to weaken the coalition you want the Lib Dems to be bolder in standing up for themselves against the Conservatives on a range of policy issues. That is more likely with the security of AV, which favours the Lib Dems because it is fairer, under their belt.
You also, however, want to weaken Cameron's standing in his own party and strengthen the influence of the more rightwing Tories to create mayhem. A yes vote would be a lightning rod for these angry Tories. That's why, if you want to harm the coalition, vote yes to AV. If you want to make the British establishment fear Labour again, vote yes. If you are happy to see Labour snubbed by princes and taunted by prime ministers, by all means vote for the status quo, and see where it gets you.
Martin Kettle @'The Guardian'

Water Changes Everything

The Case for Cursive

French football bosses asked to explain 'race quota'

Good Luck English Rose

Latest Wikileaks Release Shows How US Completely Drove Canadian Copyright Reform Efforts

With Wikileaks State Department cables showing how much the US influenced copyright policy in Sweden and in Spain, it shouldn't really be much of a surprise that the US unduly influenced copyright policy elsewhere as well. The latest Wikileaks report confirms what pretty much everyone knew already: copyright reform in Canada was driven mainly by US interests. Michael Geist points out some of the highlights, including the US Government demanding anti-circumvention provisions (things that the creators of those provisions in the US have even admitted were a failure). Yet, the US demands this, while maintaining that it would prefer there be few, if any, exceptions on circumvention:
If there are any exceptions to TPM or rights management information (RMI) liability, the exceptions should be clearly enumerated and narrow in scope
Separately, the US demanded third party liability on ISPs to pressure them into acting as Hollywood's private copyright police force:
A system of protections and obligations for ISPs that shelters them from certain liability, reduces and prevents copyright infringement on the Internet and provides incentives for ISPs to work cooperatively with copyright owners.
In response, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harpher seemed happy to promise such things, which explains why the Canadian government kept pushing so hard for anti-circumvention "digital lock" rules, despite widespread opposition to that key part of the proposed Canadian copyright reform. And yet, the US keeps complaining that Canada isn't ratcheting up its copyright laws fast enough, not recognizing the widespread public opposition that such laws are facing.
Embassy Ottawa remains frustrated by the Government of Canada,s continuing failure to introduce - let alone pass - major copyright reform legislation that would, inter alia, implement and ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties. Several recent factors compound this frustration, including the fact that:

-- the Prime Minister told the President last August that Canada would pass copyright legislation;

-- the November Speech from the Throne laying out the government,s Parliamentary agenda stated that it would "improve the protection of cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada, including copyright reform;" and

-- senior GOC officials, especially Industry Minister Prentice, repeatedly assured the Ambassador and senior Mission Canada officers that the copyright bill would be introduced "soon." Specifically, assurances were given that the legislation had been finalized and would be introduced prior to the Christmas recess, and then again immediately upon Parliament's return in January. Neither of which occurred.
Note that there is no discussion as to why Canada hasn't moved forward. No discussion of the rather effective opposition to overly draconian copyright laws. Just demands that Canada "do something," and plans for the US to keep applying more and more diplomatic pressure.
Even more telling, the US ambassadors only seem to speak with either the government or copyright holder organizations in all of this. In one cable, it discusses concerns from the recording industry and the movie studios that Canada's proposed legal changes don't go far enough. Nowhere do they seem to speak to actual consumers or to anyone who represents consumers. Because, you see, it's not about them. In fact, it appears that the "Canadian" Recording Industry Association has a very cozy relationship with the US government, with the two meeting to get feedback on proposals and strategize about policy issues. Again, no mention of any similar consultation with the people actually impacted by such changes in the law: everyone else. In fact, it seems like the only time the public is mentioned at all, it's to note how pesky it is that they don't seem to like these changes, and to explain why Canada has slow rolled the changes (because politicians were afraid negative publicity would hurt their re-election campaigns).
In one of the earlier documents linked above, the State Department (based on feedback from industry) criticize the idea of "notice and notice" rather than "notice and takedown" with a snarky complaint about how it's "if I told you once, I've.... told you once." Apparently, the officials don't recognize how notice and takedown invariably leads to false takedown and stifling of free speech (something we thought US diplomats were supposed to be protecting).
Once again, none of this is even remotely surprising. The US government, at the urging of the US entertainment industry, has been pushing its own brand of overly aggressive, speech stifling, copyright laws around the globe. It's just too bad that Canadian politicians apparently don't have the guts to stand up to bullying US diplomats.
Mike Masnick @'tech dirt'

Crowley hits Obama's 'inconsistency doctrine'

Watching the woyal wedding?

Don't be so fugn nⒶive!


Princess Diana
Look at them. He's thinking about helicopters, she's thinking about whether it's still acceptable to buy scratchcards.

Australia defence sex scandal cadets charged

Two men have been charged over a sex scandal at an Australian defence academy, in a row which led to a review of the military's treatment of women.
The cadets from the Australian Defence Force Academy are accused of secretly filming a female cadet having sex and broadcasting it on the internet.
They have been charged with misusing an electronic communications service. One has been charged with an indecent act.
The government has set up a number of inquiries in response to the scandal.
The 18-year old female cadet said that she had consensual sex with a fellow first-year cadet, which was then transmitted via webcam to six other cadets watching on a computer in another room.
Photographs of the encounter were also said to have been circulated around the academy.
The two men, aged 18 and 19, face possible jail terms if convicted.
The commander of the academy was ordered to take leave in the wake of the incident and at least two inquiries were initiated.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick was asked to conduct a review into the treatment of women both at the academy and in the wider military.
Reviews were also ordered into the use of alcohol and social media in the military.
The scandal followed another relating to the navy.
In February, the defence department released a report chronicling what it called a culture of predatory sexual behaviour on board the naval supply ship, HMAS Success.
It revealed a fiercely tribal culture in which women sailors were treated with disdain, alcohol was badly misused and discipline had broken down.

The Chaser's Royal Wedding

Jim Boardman
Good morning. Shanks wouldn't approve of a wedding taking place during the season.

Doug Stanhope - The cure for the royal wedding

(Thanx DJ Pigg!)

You get bread crumbs, they live a merry circus

Documents offer hints of legal strategy in WikiLeaks case

How to Make Your Lie Go Mainstream in 26 Easy Steps

(Click to enlarge)


Wal-Mart to bring back guns to hundreds of US stores

Telegraph names alleged rape victim in full Guantánamo release

The Daily Telegraph has published 759 of the leaked Guantánamo files it obtained from WikiLeaks, despite the files not having been redacted to remove sensitive information.
One of the documents published by the Telegraph today includes the full name of a boy detained at Guantánamo who, according to the file, was raped at the age of 15, just prior to being transferred to the camp.
The publication of his name appears to breach the Press Complaints Commission Editors' Code of Conduct, which states that "the press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences".
The PCC said today that it could not comment on individual cases before a complaint was made, but it "would of course consider any complaint".
No charges were brought against the detainee, who was captured by US forces in Afghanistan and transferred to Guantánamo Bay "because of his possible knowledge of Taliban resistance efforts and local leaders". He was released a little more than a year after being transferred to the camp.
The file has also been published by WikiLeaks and the Guardian but the Guardian has blacked out the text relating to the alleged assault.
In a statement sent to this afternoon, the Telegraph defended the move, saying it had undertaken "minimal redactions" and that its position was "supported by WikiLeaks".
"The Daily Telegraph takes its responsibilities when releasing confidential documents very seriously, but we believe this information is crucial for full public understanding of Guantánamo Bay. The newspaper has a long track record of redacting documents when necessary, including the release of hundreds of files relating to MPs expenses and the US diplomatic cables.
"However, in this instance, after taking detailed expert advice on the information already in the public domain and the importance of the documents to the general public and the detainees, we have decided to make only minimal redactions. This position has been supported by WikiLeaks.
"We have detailed security protocols in place for the handling of sensitive data by Telegraph employees. We have been alarmed at the reports of the apparent cavalier handling of data by former partners of WikiLeaks, which led to their relationships with the organisation breaking down."
Concerns have also been raised today that a number of the files published by the Telegraph contain unverified accusations against current and former detainees. Speaking to earlier today, Guardian investigations editor David Leigh said that the Telegraph's publication was "totally scandalous ... the most irresponsible thing that I can imagine".
"We took out the names of people who because of the British libel law we couldn't just publish unverified accusations against. We did a lot of redacting and the New York Times did a lot of redacting, but unfortunately WikiLeaks hasn't, and the Daily Telegraph has just published the lot."
The director of Reprieve, a human rights group set up to help the detainees of the Guantanamo Bay camp, wrote to the Telegraph following their initial coverage of the files, accusing it of "extraordinarily inaccurate journalism".
Clive Stafford-Smith's letter, which was not published by the newspaper but was sent to by Reprieve, says:
"The Daily Telegraph line about the Guantánamo WikiLeaks is extraordinarily inaccurate journalism: 'At least 35 Guantánamo Bay inmates fought against the West after being indoctrinated in Britain, leaked files disclose'. "You write that nine of these are British nationals and eight are British residents. I have helped to represent most of these men, and there is no credible evidence – zero – that any fought against the West." Stafford-Smith has also criticised the Guardian for its coverage, claiming in an article published by the newspaper that it took "a very credulous approach to the WikiLeaks exposé".
Joel Gunter @''

And so it begins...

Oslo Davis

Hitler VS Sony

William Gibson
The future tweets in it's sleep.

Bradley Manning no longer held in solitary confinement, Pentagon says

Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of leaking classified cables to WikiLeaks, is no longer being held in solitary confinement and is now being allowed to move among other military prisoners, according to the Pentagon.
Reporters were allowed to view the kind of accommodation in which Manning is currently being detained, at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, after he was moved earlier this month from Quantico marine base in Virginia as he awaits court martial.
His treatment in Virginia– which included 23 hours in his cell and being stripped down to a smock at night – was widely condemned by human rights groups including Amnesty International and the UN rapporteur on torture, who subsquently launched an investigation into conditions.
Manning is now detained among other medium-security inmates also awaiting military trial, according to Associated Press, which took part in a media tour of his new accommodation. The move implies that Manning has been cleared as a suicide risk, as any detainee deemed a risk of suicide would be held on their own.
It has long been a complaint of Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, that the advice of psychiatrists at his old prison in Quantico was ignored. Records show that mental health professionals regularly assessed him and found him to be no risk to himself, but Manning was kept on a "prevention of injury" order, which required him to be segregated from other inmates.
Reporters were told that Manning will, in future, be housed alongside another 10 or so prisoners, all of whom are awaiting trial. AP said he will have his own cell, wear standard prison clothing and have open access to a communal area except overnight.
With concern receding about the way Manning is being treated, the focus is now likely to swing towards the trial. No date has yet been sent for the court martial, though it is understood that the first subpoenas have been sent out for acquaintances of Manning to appear before a grand jury investigating the charges.
Manning faces multiple counts relating to the leaking of hundreds of thousands of documents and videos to WikiLeaks, which include the Iraq and Afghan war logs, and the US embassy cables disclosing secret diplomatic intelligence from around the world.
Last week President Obama was accosted by Manning supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco. The president spoke to one supporter and reportedly said: "He broke the law."
The supporters interpreted Obama's words as referring to Manning, and have complained that by declaring the suspect guilty the president has destroyed the chance of a fair trial.
Ed Pilkington @'The Guardian'

The Assassination of Julian Assange

Cue Outrage: Superman To Renounce U.S. Citizenship In New Comic

♪♫ Meat Puppets - Orange


Unfollowed: How a (Possible) Social Network Spy Came Undone

Attorney Challenges “Gag Order” on WikiLeaks Docs

The ongoing release of another large collection of classified documents by WikiLeaks concerning Guatanamo detainees creates a new set of challenges and opportunities for the detainees’ attorneys.  But the government says the attorneys cannot discuss those matters in the public domain, even though anyone else can.
Attorney David Remes petitioned a court yesterday to release him from all such restrictions regarding publicly available WikiLeaks documents.  His petition (pdf) was posted by Ben Wittes of Lawfare blog.
It was also reported by Scott Shane in the New York Times today, and discussed by Marcy Wheeler at EmptyWheel.
The petition argues that not only are continuing controls on publicly available information futile, they are unjust.  That is, they inhibit the attorney’s ability to act in the best interests of his clients by correcting errors or identifying exculpatory factors.
A response by the government will follow.
Steven Aftergood @'Secrecy News'

Word cloud and Word document for 2011 White Paper on National Defense

White Paper National Defense 2011

Twitter Ordered to Hand Over Personal Details of UK Politician’s Account

DJ echochorus - How I Ended This Summer Mix

01 relapxych.0 – city nightlight II
02 relapxych.0 – ripples on the surface of time
03 bvdub – different place
04 bvdub – nothing you can say
05 skyscraper – shaping the sky
06 cv313 – beyond the clouds
07 bvdub – i knew you then
08 hallucinator – hallucinator
09 the orb – baghdad batteries
10 bvdub – a silent reign
11 bvdub – isolation’s embrace


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Guantanamo's Child Soldiers

Policy Files: Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle


This 47-page document, published on March 28, 2002, "provides instructions and guidance on the classification of information involved in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle," the former being "the war on terrorism outside the United States," and the latter referring to "US military operations in support of homeland defense and civil support to federal, state and local agencies in the United States." As such, it provides exhaustive lists of what the classification procedures are for a vast range of eventualities.
Download the PDF file 

Charlie Connelly
I refuse to accept this wedding is a 'fairytale' until the Archbishop of Canterbury is eaten by a wolf wearing a lace cap and shawl.


Adam Bienkov
Sleeping rough before protesting against the govt: illegal and wrong. Sleeping rough before bowing your head to the Royals: a patriotic duty

WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database

The Mark of Cain (A documentary by Alix Lambert about the culture of Russian prison tattoos)

The Mark of Cain documents the fading art form and language of Russian criminal tattoos, formerly a forbidden topic in Russia. The now vanishing practice is seen as reflecting the transition of the broader Russian society. Filmed in some of Russia;s most notorious prisons, including the fabled White Swan, the interviews with prisoners, guards, and criminologists reveal the secret language of The Zone and The Code of Thieve.
The prisoners of the Stalinist Gulag, or "Zone," as it is called, developed a complex social structure (documented as early as the 1920s) that incorporated highly symbolic tattooing as a mark of rank. The existence of these inmates at prisons and forced labor camps was treated by the state as a deeply-kept secret. In the 1990s, Russia's prison population exploded, with overcrowding among the worst in the world. Some estimates suggest that in the last generation over thirty million of Russia's inmates have had tattoos even though the process is illegal inside Russian prisons.
The Mark of Cain examines every aspect of the tattooing, from the actual creation of the tattoo ink, interviews with the tattooers and soberly looks at the double-edged sword of prison tattoos. In many ways, they were needed to survive brutal Russian prisons, but mark the prisoner for life, which complicates any readmission to normal society they may have. Tattoos expressly identify what the convict has been convicted of, how many prisons he;s been in and what kind of criminal he is. Tattoos, essentially, tell you everything you need to know about that person without ever asking. Each tattoo represents a variety of things; cupolas on churches represent the number of convictions a convict has, epaulets tattooed on shoulders represent the rank of the individual in the crime world and so on and so forth.
The unflinching look at the Russian prison system is slowly woven into the film. Cells meant to hold 15 hold 35 to 45 men. Drug resistant tuberculosis runs rampant through the prison populations and prisoners are served three meals a day of watery slop. There are allegations of brutality by the guards. As these men deal with pestilence, violence and grossly substandard living conditions, the prison guards and administration put on a talent show.
The film served as source material for David Cronenberg's 2007 dramatic movie, Eastern Promises. He commented, "This is a very courageous documentary on the tattooing subculture in Russian prisons. I don't know how it ever got made, but it's beautiful, scary, and heartbreaking."

Saw this when it was on SBS many years ago. Starting at 11:47 check out the work of Aleksander Borisov, one of the most amazing tattooists ever...

Group passes on $500k-plus to WikiLeaks

Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

Gitmo, Wikileaks and a window on tyranny

Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement

Morrissey on the Royals

Fervent anti-Royalist Morrissey, whose swan song masterpiece in The Smiths was entitled The Queen Is Dead, has taken the impending Royal Wedding to lash out at the British monarchy.  Morrissey used an interview on BBC Radio 5 yesterday to dub the Royal Family as dole bludgers, accusing them of being ‘benefit scroungers’.
Morrissey questioned an interviewer who asked him if he’d be amongst the estimated two billion people watching the ceremony globally. “Why would I watch the wedding? Why would I watch it? I couldn’t take any of that seriously. I don’t think the so-called royal family speak for England now and I don’t think England needs them. I do seriously believe that they are benefit scroungers and nothing else. I don’t believe they serve any purpose whatsoever.”
Warming up to his topic, he added: “The press reports from Buckingham Palace tell you that people love them, but go out now and speak to people on the street and they will laugh at you. They really will.” Morrissey once fantasised in ‘The Queen is Dead’ back in the 1980s of breaking in to Buckingham Palace armed with just a “sponge and a rusty spanner”. His hatred of the Queen extended to her son Charles, Prince William’s old man, suggesting that he’d like to “appear on the front of the Daily Mail, dressed in your mother’s bridal veil.”
As recently as a few years ago he said of William’s Dad “The very idea of Charles being King is laughable. You might as well say that Ronnie Corbett will be king one day. I think that would give people more pleasure.” Clearly nothing has changed.

♪♫ Nostalgia 77 - Simmerdown (feat. Josa Peit)


Dominic Knight
I will shortly be releasing the Certificate of Inauthenticity for Donald Trump's wig.

The Story Of This Is The Sea: An Interview With Mike Scott Of The Waterboys

You only had to take one look at Mike Scott in the early 1980s to know that he was born to write. His carefully cultivated appearance – long dark overcoat with collar turned up to the wind, shoulder length hair only a shampoo away from Bob Geldof's unkempt mop and tucked away beneath a Greek fisherman's cap – gave him the look of a poet, conveying an earnest, literary image no doubt enhanced by his study of English literature in his native Edinburgh. Like Morrissey, who formed The Smiths around much the same time as The Waterboys were born, Scott was a bookish romantic and also a product of punk culture: while Morrissey was running the New York Dolls fan club, Scott was publishing a fanzine, Jungleland. But unlike Morrissey, Scott wasn't immersed in the kitchen sink culture of 1950s England encapsulated by Alan Sillitoe, and neither did he write of gritty streets and the day-to-day minutiae of dreary disappointment. Instead he buried himself in the work of William Butler Yeats, Robbie Burns and William Blake, dreaming of "unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers / Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears". Scott sought to give voice to a sense of the epic rather than the prosaic, almost guitar music's polar opposite of The Smiths, and he wasn't alone: U2 had made tentative steps towards grand themes on their early releases just as The Waterboys had on their first two impressive but nonetheless mildly technologically hamstrung albums. By 1985, however, the year that their third album, This Is The Sea, emerged, Scott had perfected a concept that The Unforgettable Fire, a year earlier, could only aspire to, a sound that rapidly became known as 'The Big Music'.
It took its name from a Waterboys song, the first single to be released from their second album, A Pagan Place. Though metaphorical in intent, its lyrics applied perfectly to the scale and grandeur with which Scott was beginning to carve his style: "I have heard the big music," he sang, "and I'll never be the same… I have climbed the big tree, touched the big sky / I just stuck my hand up in the air / and everything came into colour / Like jazz manna from sweet, sweet chariots". The album, however, was less successful at creating this sense of sweet euphoria: though its aim was ambitious – something to which opener 'A Church Not Made With Hands' and the mournful 'The Thrill Is Gone' testify, not to mention the eight minute waltz of 'Red Army Blues' – its reach sometimes fell somewhere short of Scott's target, partially due to the claustrophobic sound, a result of the fact that some of its tracks were little more than glorified demos. But that was, as Scott would have it, the river, and now he was looking to further, wider horizons: to the sea. With its follow up, Scott wasn't going to make the same mistake again...
 Continue reading
Wyndham Wallace @'The Quietus'


(Click to enlarge)



Josh Homme & Alain Johannes - Aqua Unit Patrol Squad One Theme

Arabic Calligraffiti: How Calligraphy Found Its Way Into Urban Arts


The 'carnival barker' speaks...


Glenn Greenwald: FBI serves Grand Jury subpoena likely relating to WikiLeaks

Steadman's unused Fear & Loathing title

Video from 1998 shows artist Ralph Steadman at work on the title treatment for the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This version ultimately wasn't used.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir
I'm sure could use some mail. Write directly to: Bradley Manning 89289 ~ 830 Sabalu Road ~ Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 USA

Chicago Odense Ensemble - Soup

A Lack of Crackers


Dub FX, CAde, Pete Philly & Mr. Woodnote - Supernova Pilot

Studio Version

William S Burroughs on trial for corrupting Turkish morality

The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into a book written by internationally renowned author William S. Burroughs. It was translated and published by Sel Publishing House in January.
The court referred to a report written by the Prime Ministry’s Council for Protecting Minors from Explicit Publications that accused the novel, “The Soft Machine,” of “incompliance with moral norms” and “hurting people’s moral feelings.” Sel Publishing issued a press release that included parts of their testimony in the court.
“It is impossible to understand the insistence in sending books written and published for adults to councils that specialize in minors. If we consider things from this perspective, then dozens of such reports could be written about TV channels, newscasts and thousands of books,” read the testimony given by the publishing house.
The testimony also argued that the Prime Ministry’s council had no credentials in literature, aesthetics or translation, thus causing what the representatives of the publishing house called a “freakish” decision by the council.
The council also accused the novel of “lacking unity in its subject matter,” “incompliance with narrative unity,” for “using slang and colloquial terms” and “the application of a fragmented narrative style,” while claiming that Burroughs’s book contained unrealistic interpretations that were neither personal nor objective by giving examples from the lifestyles of historical and mythological figures. None of the above, argued the publishing house, constitutes a criminal act.
The council went further and said, “The book does not constitute a literary piece of work in its current condition,” adding it would add nothing new to the reader’s reservoir of knowledge, and argued the book developed “attitudes that were permissive to crime by concentrating on the banal, vulgar and weak attributes of humanity.”
The representatives of the publishing house responded to these charges. “Just as no writer is under any special obligation to highlight humanity’s fair attributes under every circumstance, the measure of whether a book has any literary value or not, and the judge of what the book may add to the reader’s reservoir of knowledge, is not an official state institution, but the reader himself,” they said.
“Once again, societies comprised of modern, creative and inquisitive individuals are formed by reading and being exposed to literary texts and works of art that can be considered as the most extreme examples of their kind,” further asserted the defendants’ statement.
The testimony also invited members of the council to conduct “a simple Internet research” about the writer, and learn about the fact that Burroughs was one of the pioneers the “Beat Generation” that rebelled against the stagnant morality of the middle class in post-World War II America. The testimony also drew attention to the fact that the “cut-up” technique used in the book was once heralded as a great novelty among literary circles.
“Through this technique, Burroughs runs counter, not just to entrenched attitudes in people’s lifestyles but also in contradiction to [older] literary techniques. That being the case and since the aim of the book itself is to push boundaries, it is clearly absurd to search for criminal elements in the book by suggesting that the book does not conform with social norms,” further stated the press release.
“Moreover, it is also meaningless to expect William S. Burroughs, who was not raised in accordance with the National Education Law, or as an individual who ‘identifies with the national, moral, humanitarian, material and spiritual cultural values of Turkish society, and who always tries to exalt his family, country and nation,’ to have produced a text within this framework,” read the testimony. “It is clear and obvious that this case carries no weight nor any respectability outside of the borders of our country.”
“We demand an end to investigations that constrain our activities and the prosecution of books for any reason whatsoever,” concluded the statement.
@'Hurriyet Daily News'

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

ABC forced to pull Chaser wedding coverage

Just two days before Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to tie the knot, ABC TV has been forced to cancel The Chaser's one-off live coverage of the event due to what it says are restrictions imposed by the royal family.
The Chaser's Royal Wedding Commentary was due to air on ABC2 from 7:00pm AEST on Friday, offering viewers a satirical take on the royal wedding.
But now the live special - promised to be "uninformed and unconstitutional" - has been reluctantly pulled due to restrictions imposed over the Easter break.
ABC TV was initially advised by the BBC, and subsequently by Associated Press Television News (APTN), there were no coverage restrictions that would prevent The Chaser's wedding commentary.
But new conditions of use issued by APTN over the Easter break state footage cannot be used "in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content".
ABC TV director Kim Dalton says he is disappointed.
"The national broadcaster has acted in good faith in its negotiations around ABC2's planned coverage with both the BBC and APTN," he said.
"We're surprised and disappointed at this very late stage to be informed that any satirical or comedic treatment of the marriage of Australia's future head of state has been banned."
As late as this morning the BBC issued a new contract imposing additional restrictions on the use of its material.
"ABC TV had always planned to take the BBC's full coverage with commentary on ABC1, however, like other broadcasters, we thought Australians would appreciate an alternative take on this major event," Mr Dalton said.
"The Nine Network has Dame Edna giving her commentary and the Ten Network has the 7PM Project taking a light-hearted approach to the royal wedding.
"Our obvious choice for a light-hearted commentary is The Chaser team. Clearly, the BBC and Clarence House have decided The Chaser aren't acceptable."
The Chaser's Julian Morrow says the team accepts the ABC has been put in an "impossible position by people acting on behalf of the royal family".
"For a monarchy to be issuing decrees about how the media should cover them seems quite out of keeping with modern democratic times... but I suppose that's exactly what the monarchy is," he said.
"It's traditional for the condemned to appeal to the monarch for a stay of execution, so that's what we're going to do.
"Unfortunately it's also traditional for people who appeal for clemency to be executed."
Morrow says the move goes against free speech.
"It seems a bit crazy for the royal family to be trying to dictate the way they get represented in the media," he said.
"It seems a bit out of step with a modern democracy, but I suppose royalty is out of step with a modern democracy, so there you go."
The Chaser's Chris Taylor says it is an "honour" to be taken off air by the Queen herself.
The APTN advisory says the restrictions on the coverage of the wedding ceremony from Westminster Abbey have been agreed between Clarence House, the private office of the Prince of Wales, and the BBC.
According to the advisory, restrictions apply to the "period from the arrival of the first member of the royal family for the wedding service until the last member of the royal family leaves the main entrance of Westminster Abbey following the conclusion of the wedding service".
ABC1 will still be taking the BBC coverage of the wedding, including its commentary, and ABC News and ABC News 24's coverage will not be affected by the ban on ABC2 usage.
Australian Republic NOW!!!