The View from April 2008
US elections 2008: Activists are calling on George Bush and the presidential candidates to boycott the Olympics over China’s human rights record – but why stop there?
15 April 2008 1:43PM
Gordon Brown is boycotting the boycott but Sarkozy isn’t.
I’m practising hard for the solo synchronised boycotting – I hope to be able to get in shape for 2012 where I will definitely not be attending the London Olympics.
I am also investigating the hop, skip and boycott, the clay pigeon boycott, the 50km boycott, and the relay boycott. I am also hoping to be selected to carry the flag at the opening and closing boycott.
The 2012 torch boycott has also been cut back and instead of doing a world wide boycott will only be boycotting 3 villages in the Yorkshire Dales and a pub in Wolverhampton.
9 April 2008 2:25PM
I just bought some vegetable-plastic hybrids, at least there were vegetables inside and they were covered in plastic.
Intellectual Property Rights
11 April 2008 10:15PM
Just spotted this on El Pais – maybe worth checking it out:
‘Universal considera que tirar un CD promocional a la basura es ilegal’
(Universal considers throwing a promotional CD into the bin is illegal)
Apparently if someone throws a CD in the bin and a collector picks it up out of the rubbish this is unauthorised distribution – so next time you get a free CD on the front of a magazine be careful what you do with it.
The US government’s efforts to discredit Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders illustrate the lengths to which it will go to stifle left-wing movements
5 April 2008 1:35AM
10 WORST STATES TO BE BLACK
|STATE||BLACK PRISONERS AS % OF TOTAL BLACK POPULATION||RATIO OF BLACK TO WHITE IN PRISONS AND JAILS||BLACK % OF STATE POPULATION|
Although federal statistics show the rates of illegal drug use for whites, Blacks and Latinos to be within a single percentage point of each other, African Americans are an absolute majority of the people serving time for drug offenses. The start and inescapable fact of double-digit disparity between Black and white incarceration rates is hard to miss, and harder to explain, except in terms of a consistently applied, if rarely acknowledged policy of racially selective policing, sentencing and imprisonment.
|STATE||BLACK TO WHITE IMPRISONMENT RATIO|
|North Dakota||12 00|
Tips have long been used by employers to justify low wages, but customers aren’t the solution – political parties are 5 April 2008 11:07PM
‘How about people working on commission with no or minimal salary? Should that be outlawed?’
8 April 2008 10:14PM
Countries that promote and harbour terrorists?
‘Washington D.C. May 18, 2005 – The National Security Archive today posted additional documents that show that the CIA had concrete advance intelligence, as early as June 1976, on plans by Cuban exile terrorist groups to bomb a Cubana airliner. The Archive also posted another document that shows that the FBI’s attache in Caracas had multiple contacts with one of the Venezuelans who placed the bomb on the plane, and provided him with a visa to the U.S. five days before the bombing, despite suspicions that he was engaged in terrorist activities at the direction of Luis Posada Carriles.’
Who said the Americans don’t do irony?
‘On September 28, 2005 a U.S. immigration judge ruled that Posada cannot be deported because he faced the threat of torture in Venezuela’
In my town, which has the highest proportion of benefit claimants in the UK, the better-off despise those on benefits
‘Suggesting that where the employed send their kids to school has more effect on ‘turning the community around’ than the unemployed, oh I don’t know, actually getting a job, seems a bit far fetched.’
1/ If you separate communities at school age you separate them for life – Northern Irish History 101
2/ Yes let’s all 4-6 million (the figures vary) on JSA and IB who could work all run out and get a job. Doh – only 650,000 vacancies – many of those down to churn and most of the others the kind of job you probably wouldn’t even consider. How about a zero hours contract where you travel in to work and if you aren’t needed you go home again without even getting travelling expenses? No? Well how about 12 hours a week on 5.60 an hour cleaning? No? how about a ‘good’ job – Teaching Assistant 5.70/hour usually less than 30 hours thereby reducing eligibilty for WTC and of course you only get paid during term time.
Speaking up for inheritance tax The government has undermined its commitment to making opportunities equal by capitulating to a rightwing challenge on this vital tax
15 April 2008 1:29PM
The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
The Man Who Was Thursday, G K Chesterton
‘The [IHT Disregard] is the price of a fairly modest house in most parts of the UK’
It affected at most 6% of tax payers – how many £300,000 houses are there in, say, Hartlepool, Grimsby, Livingston or Neath?
But then it’s OK increasing income tax allowances from the bottom up as those who get the most gain the most, try changing a tax from the top down and hear the squeals.
15 April 2008 2:27PM
‘A group of the United States’ most wealthy citizens have urged Congress to reject a plan by the new Bush administration to phase out taxes on estates and gifts by 2009… Mr Buffett, who himself did not sign the petition because he thought it did not go far enough, said that repealing the estate tax would be a “terrible mistake”…. It was like “choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics”.
Removing the tax would lead to the creation of an “aristocracy of wealth” instead of a meritocracy, he added.
Estate taxes are assessed on the net worth of an individual at death.They are levied on any sum over the first $675,000, at rates ranging from 37% to 55%.
Only 2% of Americans who die annually pay the tax.’
Just a question – if house prices drop by 15% will all those who asked for it to rise in line with house price increases back calls for it to be reduced similarly?
The US supreme court’s decision to uphold Indiana’s restrictive voter ID law supports the Bush administration’s disenfranchisement of Democrats
30 April 2008 12:47AM
Isn’t it amazing that politicians from mature ‘democracies’ who lecture Mugabe, Castro, the Chinese etc on their lack of democracy will do virtually anything to stay in power short of adopting fully democratic practices.
Tit of the Day
Today is Mel Philips of the Daily Mail. If she had half as much intelligence as a deck chair she’d be far less dangerous than is currently the case.
Her piece on the Mail today is entitled A dangerous enemy of democracy. Maybe the stupid right wing idiot should buy a mirror.
There are lots of threats to British Democracy at the moment.
Hundreds of Parliamentarians voting through NHS changes that benefit them financially.
MP’s voting through Welfare ‘reforms’ on the basis of lying to the people, press and parliament.
A ‘Free Press that fails to report protests; look in the mainstream media for this
Threats to monitor all web communications.
A Government for sale (see below).
And what does this overpaid idiot concentrate on as the greatest threat to British democracy?
She’s been off on a crusade recently against government sleaze; particularly scathing here
And also here:
The only thing that’s awesome here is the brazenness of the boast. Given the enormity of the ‘cash for access’ scandal under the last Labour government, it beggars belief that anyone in politics would ever again explicitly solicit party donations in return for political access and influence.
So, as someone so obviously interested in the morality of Government maybe she reported on the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for UK Defence who happened to have, inside his Office, someone funded by a foreign government.
Liam Fox, maybe still considered by some as a possible Tory leader is farily unremarkable in many ways; he’s a right wing hypocrite with a sense of entitlement, cares little if anything for laws that he believes should only apply to other people and, like 80% of the party, is a member of Conservative friends of Israel.
Well that’s not a big deal so far, Israel has a lot of support inside the other political parties as well.
Fox, however, was also founder of Atlantic Bridge whose stated aims were:
THE FURTHERANCE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC, IN AREAS OF COMMON INTEREST, FOCUSING, PARTICULARLY BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY ON FREE TRADE, ECONOMICS, HEALTH AND SCIENCE. RESEARCH INTO RELATIONS BETWEEN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, WITH THE AIM TO RAISE CULTURAL AWARENESS AND IMPROVE LINKS.
So, just another right wing think tank it would appear until we look at someone who, upon a cursory search, never appears to have been mentioned by the Great Harridan, Adam Werrity, former Executive Director of Atlantic Bridge and distributor of ‘I am Liam Fox’s PA’ Business Cards, indeed at a Middle East Conference was listed as
“Dr. Adam Werritty, Advisor, Office of Shadow Defense Secretary; UK Executive Director, The Atlantic Bridge”
Who funded Werrity? First place to look, obviously, the Guardian:
So we turn to the Telegraph
Mr Werritty is reported to have paid for travel around the world from a company that received funds from G3 Good Governance Group and Tamares Real Estate, an investment company owned by Poju Zabloudowicz, the chairman of Bicom.
Jon Moulton, a venture capitalist, is also said to have provided money to Pargav Ltd, the firm which is alleged to have bankrolled Mr Werritty.
Over the past few days, speculation has mounted as to how Mr Werritty was able to join Liam Fox on more than 20 overseas trips including official visits, conferences and holidays.
It has now emerged that six different people and companies each paid up to £35,000 to Pargav since last year.
What is Bicom?
Who is Poju Zabloudowicz? The Jewish Chronicle list him at No 30 in their Power 100.
In September 2005 when Cameron was planning his Conservative leadership election campaign he met Zabludowicz for a coffee. Zabludowicz was suitably impressed with what he heard, and Cameron received £15,000 from Zabludowicz over the course of his election campaign. To ensure that the donations complied with election law, he made the donations through his British subsidiary Tamares Real Estate Investments
Again from the Telegraph
Adam Werritty was at a meeting between the former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox and the Israeli secret service, Whitehall sources have disclosed.
Ms Philips seems to have missed all this in her staunch defence of British Democracy from the nuclear-armed, US-backed might of George Galloway and the Ed-Miliband Labour candidate as London Mayor, Ken Livingstone.
The screaming Agrat Bat Mahlat finishes her article with
When my book Londonistan was published in 2006, my warnings about the supine response of the British governing class to the Islamisation of Britain were dismissed as scare-mongering.
What we are now seeing, however, is of course far more alarming even than that response by a complacent and ignorant elite which appears to be possessed of a desire for cultural suicide.
With George Galloway and Ken Livingstone manipulating Islamic religious extremism in order to gain power for themselves, we now stare at the appalling vista of a political landscape transformed by religious sectarianism.
The very democratic process is at risk of being turned into a vehicle for the promotion not just of religious bigotry but of the destruction of the West itself.
As mainstream politics steadily disintegrates into incompetence, irrelevance and public scorn, a lethal interloper is now poised to fill the vacuum.