Monday, November 30, 2009

Your work has focussed on what you call the 'terrorism', the 'criminal acts' of the United States, and yet your parents view America as a safe haven, as a place of opporutnity and security, how do those two elements of your life fit together?

Chomsky: Very simple as in the same way it did for my parents, yes its a land of opportunity and in fact we know why: its a land of opportunity because the British colonists came and effectively exterminated the indiginous population, which is a typical property of settler colonialism the worst kind of imperialism, conquered half of mexico, instituted slavery, committed huge crimes and created a rich, prosperous country from which I benefit, enourmously. And since then have gone on to carry out horrendous crimes everywhere, the Vietnam war alone is probably the worse crime since the second world war, maybe 4million people killed, three countries devasted, these are real crimes and there are many others.

I don't want to go into detail I think its more the style of argument that I'm getting at now.

Chomsky: I think the style of argument should be to tell the truth, about important things..

Its very easy to condemn the crimes of others, Stalinist hacks condemn the crimes of the West, I don't applaud them for that. I applaud the Soviet dissidents who condemn the crimes of their own government.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly exaggerated computer predictions combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a rollback of the industrial age.”

But today's revelations show that Lord Goldsmith told Mr Blair at the outset, and in writing, that military action against Iraq was totally illegal.

The disclosures deal a massive blow to Mr Blair's hopes of proving he acted in good faith when he and George Bush declared war on Iraq. And they are likely to fuel further calls for Mr Blair to be charged with war crimes.
The USA’s ex-Vice President, the propagandist Al Gore, got audiences going ‘Aaah!’ by saying the bears had ‘nowhere else to go’. Really? The picture was taken in August, when the Alaskan ice always melts. The polar bears were fine. Think about it.

They can swim and they weren’t far from land. Recent studies show that most polar bear populations are rising.

The world was warmer than it is now in the early Middle Ages, long before industrial activity increased CO2 output, a fact that the warming fanatics have worked very hard to obscure.

Oh, and the most important greenhouse gas by far is not CO2 but water vapour, which is not influenced by human activity at all.

Read more:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It gets worse. As you type 'Michelle Obama' into google one of the first suggested terms after 'mother' is 'monkey'.

Why are our distant cousins not up in arms at this blatent attempt at defamation.

The bloc party video for 'mercury' springs to mind..

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Interestingly, exactly the same problem afflicts Al-Jazeera Arabic, which has never been profitable, and has to be heavily subsidised by the emir of Qatar, even though it is the most popular news channel in the Arab world. Western analysts usually ascribe Al-Jazeera Arabic’s problems to the fact that it is an independent broadcaster trying to operate in the undemocratic environment of the Middle East. What does this suggest about Al-Jazeera English’s problems?

Clearly, any fledgling commercial media organisation – if it did not already understand the commercial imperatives facing a broadcaster in the West – would have been able to draw obvious conclusions from Al-Jazeera English’s treatment. In fact, one could plausibly argue that Al-Jazeera is starting to draw the right conclusion itself, toning down its own coverage to ensure it does not sound too much like its more “controversial” Arabic sister channel. And it may yet choose to make further compromises in the hope of gaining entry to the US market.

Monday, November 16, 2009

all that women and ethnic minorities in parliament have proved is that they can be just as venal and crooked as anyone else. I'll stick with the class-ridden cravat &blazer brigade thank-you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First, he refers to something called 'Al Qaeda', on the assumption that there exists a defined, centralised organisation going under this name. Can he tell me: a) where I can find AQ's statement of aims, as opposed to baseless journalistic and political assertions of what those aims are; b)where and when it was founded, and by whom; c) how does it raise and where does it bank or store its funds, and how and to whom does it disburse them? d) what specific aims, methods, etc allow an analyst to decide whether an Islamist terror group is or is not affiliated to AQ, as in ‘such and such an action “bears all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda” ‘. What precisely are these 'hallmarks'? In what way are they different from the modus operandi of any fanatical Islamist terror group, and what reason do we have to assume that they are linked, except in the vaguest sense, with the actions of any other such group, Islamist fanatics existing in places as distant and different as Bosnia, Leeds and the Philippines, and often being from differing and even hostile types of Islam? e) what its political front organisation is, and how we can tell objectively that statements or actions attributed to AQ by journalists or intelligence organisations or governments are in fact connected with it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Passed unanimously, Resolution 1887 calls for the end of threats of force and for all countries to join the NPT, as Iran did long ago. NPT non-signers are India, Israel and Pakistan, all of which developed nuclear weapons with U.S. help, in violation of the NPT.

Iran hasn't invaded another country for hundreds of years -- unlike the United States, Israel and India (which occupies Kashmir, brutally).

The threat from Iran is minuscule. If Iran had nuclear weapons and delivery systems and prepared to use them, the country would be vaporized.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Another indication that the ridiculous amount of hatred aimed at Gordon Brown is entirely hollow and irrational.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Brown argued that it was a conflict that must be "prosecuted out of necessity" to protect this country and the wider world from terrorism. On the other, he warned President Hamid Karzai that in a country that had become a "byword for corruption" and cronyism, he would no longer put Britain's soldiers in harm's way unless Karzai improved.
Barack Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, is planning another war to add to his impressive record. In Afghanistan, his agents routinely extinguish wedding parties, farmers and construction workers with weapons such as the innovative Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of your lungs. According to the UN, 338,000 Afghan infants are dying under the Obama-led alliance, which permits only $29 per head annually to be spent on medical care.

Within weeks of his inauguration, Obama started a new war in Pakistan, causing more than a million people to flee their homes. In threatening Iran – which his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said she was prepared to “obliterate” – Obama lied that the Iranians were covering up a “secret nuclear facility”, knowing that it had already been reported to the International Atomic Energy Authority. In colluding with the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, he bribed the Palestinian Authority to suppress a UN judgment that Israel had committed crimes against humanity in its assault on Gaza – crimes made possible with US weapons whose shipment Obama secretly approved before his inauguration.
If people hate you, and you train and arm them, you are training and arming your enemies, the better to kill you – as we see. But none of the three front benches has the small courage to admit that the war was a mistake. When it was popular, they were happy to share in its popularity.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

There is a laboratory where these Tory policies are being played out now. It is called London. Boris Johnson said he was a "progressive conservative" who would "help the poor" and "green the city". One of his first acts in power was to lay off half the people in London government working on lowering the city's carbon emissions, and to kick plans to limit pollution levels into the long grass.

One year in, it is clear he has delivered handsomely – for the rich. He has given them a de facto tax cut by abolishing the extension of the congestion zone to well-heeled west London, and by abandoning the £25-a-day charge for SUV drivers. He has paid for it by pushing up costs for the poorest people in London, ramming up bus fares by 20 per cent. He has opposed all new regulation on the City of London, and still praises sub-prime mortgages – the cause of the Great Crash of 2008.

Under the Conservative council of Hammersmith and Fulham – named by Cameron as a model for how he will rule – things have gone further. It has paid for tax cuts by shutting down 12 homeless hostels, increasing the cost of meals on wheels for poor pensioners by 60 percent, and suddenly charging disabled people who need home help £12.40 an hour.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

In September, director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for leaving the U.S. in 1978 before being sentenced to prison for raping a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson’s house in Hollywood. During the time of the original incident, you were working in the industry, and you and Polanski had a common friend in theater critic and producer Kenneth Tynan. So what’s your take on Polanski, this many years later?

Vidal: I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?

First, I was in the middle of all that. Back then, we all were. Everybody knew everybody else. There was a totally different story at the time that doesn’t resemble anything that we’re now being told.

The media can’t get anything straight. Plus, there’s usually an anti-Semitic and anti-fag thing going on with the press – lots of crazy things. The idea that this girl was in her communion dress, a little angel all in white, being raped by this awful Jew, Polacko – that’s what people were calling him – well, the story is totally different now from what it was then.

You think anti-Semitism is motivating the prosecution of Polanski?

Anti-Semitism got poor Polanski. He was also a foreigner. He did not subscribe to American values in the least. To [his persecutors], that seemed vicious and unnatural.

What are “American values”?

Lying and cheating. There’s nothing better

You first started traveling to California in the 1950s; then you moved here. What’s the most dramatic change you’ve seen in this state since those days?

More foreigners. But that’s a very healthy change. At one time, California was the most parochial place on earth. It was kind of gooney. In a sense, Hitler put the United States on the map by murdering as many Jews as he could get his hands on and driving the others away. They came here, to America, and many to California. My first years here, right after I got out of the Army, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, and Thomas Mann dominated this town. We didn’t even have to develop people as good as this! We inherited