Saturday, 29 August 2009

find the priest. do not kill him.

do not kill the priest. find the priest.
do not kill the priest.

do what you want with the women and children.
last week it was reported that "About one hundred and sixty destitute northerners have been dumped on the outskirts of the Kaduna metropolis, allegedly by the Lagos State government, in its drive to free the state of the destitute and beggars, and who are mostly from the northern part of the country.

LEADERSHIP WEEKEND reliably gathered that the destitute were secretly dumped on Thursday at around 7 pm at Abuja Junction, along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, very close to the Federal Cooperative College, Kaduna. The group included men, women and children, mostly crippled, deaf, blind, lepers and others with serious disabilities.

This correspondent has it on good authority that they were evacuated by policemen of the state security outfit Operation Yaki, to the Kano Road resettlement camp of people living with disabilities at around 9 pm the same Thursday, while some of them have taken refuge in other parts of the metropolis."

i see the coming Tory storm, and it fills me with dread.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

"The fingers of the two women in Kandahar, a stronghold of the Taliban, were cut off because they voted"

Thursday, 20 August 2009

You're looking like
You've got some sun
Your blistered lips
Have got a kiss
The days are lit like everyone
30 seconds lads

Louis Carter, born Nuneaton, died near Sangin, aged 18 years of age, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Simon Annis, born Salford, died near Sangin, aged 22 years of age, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

James Fullarton, born Coventry, died near Sangin, aged 24 years of age, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Traces of the Western Slopes.

"The sound of magic music in his ears
Videoed by a bus load of tourists
Shiny shellsuits on, and drinking lemonade."
(latter brought to you by sd yt.)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

some of the news that is fit to print

individual moral agents with brains, spines and the capacity to doubt, who have been flattered with the respectful term insurgents, chose to murder, in cold blood, at least ninety-five of their fellow human beings, in Baghdad.

a spokesperson for the insurgents was not available for comment. colleagues of theirs did similar - if on a less horrific scale - in Kabul, and were rewarded with a truly disgraceful line from J Mirsky of West 11 in the middle of a well-meaning letter.

Monday, 3 August 2009

jesus. fucking. christ

The attackers, who carried out their raid at dawn, are believed to be one of the groups of Murle tribesmen that had attacked Lony village on July 29 and reportedly killing a couple and abducting a child.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Anne Carson

four of the fitties (to go with two earlier) from Battlestar Galactica 2004
The actresses Luciana Carro and Jennifer Halley

'"It is unbelievable the way the security forces went about indiscriminately shooting and killing innocent residents of Maiduguri, and members of Boko Haram," Shamaki Gad Peter, head of Jos-based League for Human Rights told IRIN.'
the first in an occasional series where i post a pic of the greatest footballers to ever stalk the earth

Gerd Muller, der Bomber
A car bomb has exploded in a crowded market place in the town of Haditha in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, police say.
At least six people have been killed and many more injured. The bomb exploded at 1030 local time
actor Ralph Fiennes is an ambassador for Unicef's UK arm.
the London Telegraph publicised his visit to Chad in May this year. the man's diary of that trip is here.

(now, i'm sure it's very easy to be cynical about celebrities, and i'm sure Mr Fiennes would admit he's no expert on the conflict there - at least before his visit - but, just. hey.)

reading this last Sunday i realised his accommodation in N’Djamena was a member of the same hotel group i had recently stayed in elsewhere. and that very morning i had been reading a Novitel pamphlet about all their outlets worldwide and found out they had a gaff in the Chadian capital. then hours later i read Fiennes describe drinking in its bar. the first and second times in my life i knew that N'Djamena had a Novitel.

don't you think that's a bit odd, the timing i mean?

well i did anyway.

At passport control I’m greeted by Michel, Unicef's Head of Security. He guides me through immigration and then takes me and Coco Campbell, a Unicef officer, to our accommodation, a Novitel Hotel, about five minutes drive from the airport. I can’t see much in the gloom save for some sparse lighting and a few fleeting figures on bicycles or motorbikes.
In the lobby of the hotel I meet up with another member of Unicef, Shima Islam, and Marco di Lauro from Italy, a dynamic adrenalised photo-journalist. We have a drink in the hotel bar which is full of Spanish soldiers. I walk to my room down a long dark open air passageway. My room is muggy. An ancient AC unit chugs away on the wall like a demented lawn-mower.

note: there's a broken link on the Unicef UK page between his fourth and fifth entries. the fifth, final entry is here.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

from BBC News, Friday, 31 July 2009

A series of bombings outside mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has killed at least 29 people, Iraqi police sources say.
More than 130 people were injured when the six apparently co-ordinated bombs struck five Shia mosques as worshippers were leaving after Friday prayers.
It was one of the deadliest attacks in recent weeks.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, condemned the attacks, saying targeting places of worship was unjustifiable.
The bombings come exactly one month after the US troops pulled out from cities across Iraq, handing over security to Iraqi forces.
They also come just days after US defence secretary Robert Gates said, during a visit to Iraq, that the security situation there had improved "amazingly" in the past three years.
He said the US might be able to withdraw troops a little more quickly than planned.

The attacks took place within a short period of time at mosques in northern, eastern and south-eastern Baghdad.
The deadliest attack struck a mosque in the Shaab area of northern Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and wounding about 107.
At least four people died in almost simultaneous twin blasts near Rasoul mosque at Diyala bridge in the south of the city, while 17 were injured.
One died in Zafaraniya, while several more were hurt in the Kamaliya and Ilam areas of the city, reports said.
And in a separate attack in the northern city of Kirkuk, two people were killed when a car exploded in a market.
The UN's Mr Ban condemned the attacks.
"Attacks against places of worship cannot be justified by any political or religious cause," he said in a statement.
"These attacks appear to be aimed at provoking sectarian strife and undermining stability in Iraq."
thanks to The Global Sociology Blog

"Fish study backs N.C. scientist
Pfiesteria can become a killing organism, chemist says": via Nomad

I dont see what that has to do with catchin birds.
The freedom of birds is an insult to me. Id have them all in

Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy

a recent issue of The Week (UK edition) - that weekly news anthology magazine - had a cover story and inside editorialising on the British inequality report hoo-hah. the editorial did its usual of rounding up and excerpting a few leader columns and so on discussing same, before an excerpt from the final leader column and conclusion, which is always where the anonymous leader writer of The Week appears to finally display their true sympathies.
(it's a bit shitbag, in a way. at least any other anonymous leader column in a proper newspaper is from the start clearly marked out, preferences wise, not this undergraduate essay style and/or **.)

David Goodhart from Prospect magazine was the person garlanded for his pointing out that set beside some other European relations, Britain doesn't do too badly, and historical trends about social mobility have to be viewed wrt the 40s-70s being a period of great change (de-industrialisation, the rise of the welfare state, the rise of the managerial and clerical classes), and that - finally - it is nonsense to claim we are doing that badly. (i would take issue with a lot of what Goodhart said in terms of, for instance, a higher proportion of British pensioners live below their national poverty line than seniors in many other EU countries).

but, hang on.

isn't Britain one of the most unequal societies in the developed world?
hasn't Britain been getting more unequal in the last decade and a half?

these two incredibly important objections were not mentioned in The Week's cosy and indefensibly complacent editorial.

since at least the US-led invasion of Iraq - when The Week editorialised in its favour, which was unremarkable, but then went on to claim, and this was remarkable, that opponents of the war were less nice people than supporters, they suspected (for balderdash, bizarre and incredibly offensive reasons that might have held water if George Galloway was a model anti-war opponent ***) - i have been a bit suspicious of this rag.

the careless and robust language here wrt the central implications of some recent notable research about British inequality continue to not endear it to me.

* with all due respect to Robin Carmody who i have not read for some time although the last time i did i gather there had been something of a change of direction at his gaff, so fair play, if that course is still being held to- and with the usual 'what do i know?' disclaimers

** i realise this sounds absolutist, which is funny given the one time David Goodhart has been praised around here it was when he was rightly criticising Hitchens for being too absolutist, not interested in incremental progressive gains etc. (whether that portrait of Hitchens is always fair and accurate, i take the fifth.)

*** well, perhaps George is a very nice bloke (i'm sure he is), but you know, not a total political thicko anyway, etc etc