Moving on
Towards Better Times...?

Monday, October 30, 2006

We have moved!

We have moved to Spain, yay!

However, we have no internet access yet so I am unable to post often.

Will update with more cynical thoughts when I can!

posted by summersun70 at 11:21 AM


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Guardian Unlimited _ UK Latest _ Minister forced into climbdown

Vera Baird QC withdrew comments she made last week about the Recorder of Cardiff, Judge John Griffith Williams, getting "wrong" the sentence of paedophile Craig Sweeney.

Her outspoken attack deepened the crisis over "lenient" sentencing and led a senior judge to publicly condemn her actions. In an apologetic letter to her boss, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Mrs Baird said: "I should not have made those comments on the case following your statement outlining the position of the government...."

Vera Baird's attack on Judge John Griffith Williams was orchestrated deliberately as part of the Blair Government's campaign to discredit the judiciary. But she appears to have lost her 'supporters' along the way ...

This type of attack is reminiscent of historic attacks on the legal system by those who wish to instigate a totalitarian regime. Hopefully this time the plan has become transparent...

Read the full story via CommonTimes

posted by summersun70 at 9:47 PM


The Sacred Moment: ON TORTURE

In the week when Torture should be paramount in our minds, here is a post from 'The Sacred Moment' with links to essays on Torture.
Compelling but disturbing reading.

Read the full story via CommonTimes

posted by summersun70 at 7:53 PM


Have we become desensitized to the horrors of torture?

"It is not true, as many in the Arab world believe, that the United States has embarked on a reckless campaign of torture and abuse of its Arab prisoners of war. But what has happened—a slow slide from coherent, consistent standards for interrogation and treatment of prisoners to a sometimes ad-hoc, occasionally brutal search for information at all costs—should warrant public outcry. That it has not suggests either that this shift doesn't interest us because it affects outsiders, or that we no longer consider torture or near-torture to be beyond the bounds of civil conduct."

The statement above is the conclusion to an in-depth 'interactive primer on American interrogation'. The whole article, plus an audio link, can be found at Slate Magazine.

It makes for disturbing reading and must surely question the belief that some of us still hold that 'we' in the West uphold the values of a 'civilsed World'.

Tags: ,

posted by summersun70 at 7:11 PM


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Amazing Amnesty International Ad Campaign

Found at adland:

"Amnesty International in Switzerland broke a new outdoor campaign May 29th that was created by Walker Werbeagentur Zuerich. The campaign uses the tagline "It's not happening here but it's happening now", in various languages, from French to German. Using the transparent billboards, the campaign aims to show people what is going on in the world, even if it's not happening in front of them at the bus stop. The ads portray issues in countries like Iraq, China, and Sudan."

Below are a couple of the billboards:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I think this is a brilliant campaign. It's a pity that more countries do not use it. Maybe in time?

Surely it will be impossible to stand at a bus stop next to one of these images and not feel compassion and the need to change things in some way?

One can hope.

posted by summersun70 at 3:12 AM


Saturday, June 10, 2006

No Surprises...

Chemical bomb raid men released

LONDON (Reuters) - Police have freed without charge two men arrested during a raid on a London house that police suspected of being used for making a chemical bomb......

...... Police found no bomb in a search of the house in the ethnically mixed area of Forest Gate in east London.

The men, aged 20 and 23 and reported to be brothers, were released on Friday evening. Police had a warrant allowing them to question them until Saturday.

Lawyers for the men have said they deny any involvement in terrorism.

"The intelligence received by police continues to be developed and the Metropolitan Police will continue to exhaust all lines of inquiry," a police statement said.

Police thanked local residents for their "tolerance and understanding" during the operation......

...... London police Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman apologised for the disruption caused by the raid on Thursday but said the police had "no choice" but to act on "very specific intelligence".

The whole article is here: newsbox.msn

My Comments

Thank goodness the police and intelligence services have done the correct thing (well ... after doing a very incorrect thing in the first place ...).

And as to their "specific intelligence", one could argue, "specific to whom?"

This whole charade has deepened resentment in Muslim communities and this is totally understandable.

It has left many of us in the UK even more sceptical of the stated intentions of the police and intelligence services.

It has also made us even more aware that 'if your face doesn't fit' (for whatever reason; be it race, ethnicity, culture, or political affiliations), you had better be on your guard.

The battering down of your door by heavy-handed, gun-wielding 'terrorist seekers' could happen to you next.

posted by summersun70 at 5:36 AM


Thursday, June 08, 2006

David Cameron - 'man of the people' - well .... maybe ...

Cameron outlines new 'equality'

David Cameron has outlined his desire for equality and redistributive taxation to show how he plans to shake up the Tory party.

.... Mr Cameron ... said that while he wanted greater equality and redistribution, that did not mean penalising the super-rich.

"My view is that the greatest concern we should have is not the gap between David Beckham's wages on the one hand, and someone on benefits on the other," he said.

"I don't think making the top 1% richest poorer makes the 10% poorest richer."

[try saying that quickly without stumbling!]

".... Cameron also confessed to liking the music of socialist protest singer Billy Bragg.

He also revealed that Kirsty MacColl's version of Bragg's A New England almost made it on to his list of eight favourite records for his recent appearance on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

Defending his choice, he added: "The idea that you can't like the music of people who don't agree with you politically would kind of limit your musical choices a bit." ....

[ It sure would!]

The whole article can be found at

Cameron sure is a 'man of the people' ..... isn't he ......?

I could say that it is easy to listen to Billy Bragg and enjoy his music while you are lounging in your expensive student 'digs' without a care in your enclosed little World. However, it's a bit different when Bragg's lyrics actually validate your own experiences.

But that would be too cynical .... wouldn't it ....?

posted by summersun70 at 6:53 AM


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blair begins covering his tracks .... again ....

Blair defends police terror raid

Prime Minister Tony Blair says he is not afraid of a Muslim "backlash" in the wake of an anti-terror raid on a house in Forest Gate, east London.

He said he backed the police and security services 101% and he refused to be drawn on suggestions that the armed operation had been a failure....

.... Mr Blair said it was essential the police took action if they received "reasonable" intelligence suggesting a terror attack.

But asked if he feared a Muslim backlash following the raid, Mr Blair said: "I'm really not.

"I think it's a real mistake to think that the average person from the Muslim community is any different from anyone else.

"They know perfectly well there is a problem with terrorism." ....

.... But he refused to comment on suggestions that the raid had been a failure.

"I think we should be very, very wary of drawing conclusions," he said.

"Let's just wait and see. There may be a whole series of things they need to look into in relation to that." ....


I'm sure there will be ....

posted by summersun70 at 1:01 PM


Quotation Day!

The World is crazy and sometimes I just feel like chilling out and forgetting all the crap that modern life spews up.

So today, I'm having a break from the political comments and posting a few quotes that I picked up at BigCite:

Never stop learning; knowledge doubles every fourteen months.
-- Unknown

An excess of courage, in the wrong circumstances, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time, can have far worse consequences than cowardice.
-- Takashi Matsuoka

History is rarely made by reasonable men.
-- Terry Goodkind

History is written by the victorious, the liars, the strongest, the most determined. Truth is found most often in the silence, in the quiet places.
-- Kate Mosse

The best way to make money is to start your own religion.
-- Ron Hubbard

You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon. Need I say more?
-- Chris Rock

Okay - I suppose most of these quotes were political in some way. I can't escape it, can I?

Never mind, here's a nice quote to finish:

It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.
-- Joe Moore

I think I'll go find a penguin right now ...


posted by summersun70 at 3:13 AM


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Another Fine Mess?

Chemical bomb suspects deny attack plot

LONDON (Reuters) - Two brothers suspected of plotting to make a chemical bomb for an attack in Britain have denied all accusations, their lawyers said on Sunday, as police continued to search their home.

The men, aged 23 and 20, were held during a dawn raid on Friday when more than 250 police officers, some in chemical protection suits, stormed their house in east London.

The 23-year-old brother was shot in the shoulder during the raid, one of the biggest operations since last July's suicide attacks in London, although police said it was not related.

Specific intelligence had suggested the house might have been used to make a toxic bomb for an attack in Britain, police sources said.

"He says there's absolutely not a word of truth in any of it," the wounded brother's lawyer Kate Roxburgh told reporters. "He says the police are not going to find anything because there is nothing to find".

His brother's lawyer, Julian Young, said earlier his client had also denied he was involved in any terrorism plot, adding: "To date I have seen no evidence showing that he has been".

Both men are being questioned at London's top security Paddington Green police station after the wounded brother was moved there from hospital on Sunday.

Police said they were still concentrating their search on the suspects' house in Forest Gate, an ethnically mixed area with a sizeable Muslim population. They searched the men's work places on Saturday.

Officers are looking for "some form of viable chemical device" that could kill -- a conventional bomb laced with toxic material, a police source told Reuters.

Both men's lawyers rejected newspaper reports that the 23-year-old suspect had been shot by his brother in a scuffle with police.

"When he was shot he was standing on the stairs, his brother was a couple of stairs up and behind him," Roxburgh said, describing the report as "absolute nonsense".

British firearms police have been under the spotlight since they shot dead an innocent Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, in the weeks following last year's suicide attacks. They wrongly identified him as a suicide bomber.

Young said the case struck him as similar to the Menezes shooting.

Asan Rehman, a spokesman for a family arrested from a neighbouring house but then freed, told Reuters the two brothers, were Muslims and of Bangladeshi origin.

Police have said nothing suspicious was found in an initial search of the house and that neighbours are not in danger.

My Comments

First, I hope that if something incriminating is found ... eventually .... that it will have been found in a fair and honest way ......

That what is 'found' is actual evidence which can truly be seen to justify raiding people's homes ready to shoot to kill.

That, if and when it is agreed that no evidence of bomb making equipment can be found, the brothers are not held on other charges which appear to have been produced purely as 'justification' for the raid and the shooting.

That this wasn't simply another dreadful case of 'act first and think later' or that the brothers didn't come under suspicion purely because they were young, muslim men.

Because that would be totally unacceptable.

posted by summersun70 at 8:56 AM


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