Heartsick 157

Sometimes the horror of the abuse of power in the world just seems to close in, and I want to run away from the toil of blogging against it. To rage against the dying of the light is indeed noble; but also energy-sapping, and the light dies anyway.

Where do I begin? Not content with giving over the entire NHS budget to be plundered for private profit, the police service is now being privatised. The use of coercive force against its citizenry is the ultimate sanction of the state and must in a civilised society only be exercised with utmost restraint and control. Of course, in the last twenty years the British and US states have moved fast towards the use of fatal force against foreigners for profit, in their wild embrace of companies of mercenary killers. So while shocking, it is hardly surprising that politicians seek to find profit for their paymasters in use of state force against their own citizens. It makes you wonder whether anything the government can do would be so shocking as to wake the public from the lull of Simon Cowell or the Sun on Sunday. I fear in truth they could shoot asylum seeker children on the streets without the bulk of the population lifting a finger.

Then we have Obama on his knees before AIPAC, accepting his marching orders and promising that the US will participate if Israel decides to attempt to launch Armageddon. Are there no US taxpayers out there, unbesotted by religous fanatacism, who find it humiliating to have their national leader so obviously powerless and crawling before the Israeli lobby? Given that it is the US which funds Israel, and not vice versa, it is all very peculiar. Or is it simply that the US taxpayer funds Israel, but Israel funds US politicians, thus Israel is simply a de facto pimp in the diversion of taxpayers money into politicians’ pockets?

We then have the very largely state owned Natwest Bank increasing mortgage rates on households whose real incomes were already falling, with all the media politely reporting that this is due to higher rates Natwest is having to pay for inter-bank borrowing. Which is to ignore the tens of billions free cash Natwest has received through first bailout then quantitative easing, and their recent access to effectively as much as they wanted from the European Central Bank at just 1%.

I am not a fan of Putin; the real democratic deficit in Russia comes not from the bussing and vote-rigging, without which Putin would have probably scraped over 50% anyway, but in the lack of media access for the opposition and the use of state resources effectively to campaign for Putin. But how different is that from what happens in the UK anyway? How much airtime do voices against the war in Afghanistan get? Or against the bank bailouts?

One cheerful moment, on last night’s Newsnight. Jeremy Paxman actually challenged the Israeli Ambassador, who seemed keen to attack Iran, over Israel’s nuclear weapons. First time in years I heard such a thing on the BBC.

Then when the Israeli Ambassador replied “Israel is not the one threatening to attack other countries” Paxman replied “You just discussed attacking Iran”.

All of which is entirely obvious, but almost totally absent from broadcast media.

157 thoughts on “Heartsick

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  • Duncan McFarlane

    Boniface wrote “This is the usual godbanger copout, claiming the official loony instruction manual doesn’t apply to them, or is somehow ‘out of date’. ”

    No, i’m agnostic. I don’t know (or care very much) whether there’s any god or not. It’s not important to me.

    The fact is that in any piece of communication there is lots of room for the hearer/reader/listener – or both people talking to one another – interpreting what’s meant by the same words differently.

    That becomes even more true when you’re talking about interpretation of a book written a thousand or two thousand or more years ago.

    The reality is that there are multiple interpretations of every religion – and your claims that every word of these books must be held to apply today – and literally – is simply factually wrong.

    In reality different members of the same religion interpret what parts of these books are important and what those sentences mean and whether they’re meant literally entirely differently from each other.

    Not all Muslims believe women who committ adultery should be stoned to death. Not all Christians believe the Old Testament applies literally (or at all) to the modern day. And not all Jews believe the same about the Talmud. Even those who do believe they apply don’t all interpret each line to mean the same thing – they have all kinds of different interpretations of the meaning of them.

    Claiming otherwise is just factually wrong. You can quote every single word of the entire Talmud from beginning to end and that fact won’t change.

    Boniface wrote “Archimedes’ Principle or Pythagoras’ Theorems aren’t out of date, so why should the word of the Sky Pixie be out of date?”

    Here you compare apples and oranges. Mathematical theorems and principles of physics and engineering are in no way comparable to religious or moral beliefs. It’s like saying “Gravity isn’t out of date, so how can slavery be?” – because gravity is a physical force while slavery is a social convention and set of beliefs and practices.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    @JonesTheBurial “To Duncan Macfarlane re Assad and what is the truth as to who is http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread816654/pg1the

    Thanks, but not really convinced by that, as video editing can be done by either side and i’ve no idea a) who set up or funds that website or b) where they got the video or c) whether that’s actually Danny Dyem or someone pretending to be him in the very unclear video (with a strange sound track over it) or d) whether the video is edited

    It could as easily be that the Syrian government have made a fake video pretending it’s of Dyem saying that and then put it on the internet where people have picked up on it

  • Duncan McFarlane

    plus there is no way to hear what he’s saying clearly – even when he’s supposedly speaking english before the broadcast – to verify whether the subtitles on what he’s supposedly saying are accurate or not. I don’t speak Arabic, but the one line that is supposedly English can’t be heard clearly at all – and i suspect the Arabic ones can’t be made out clearly either

    There have been reports from journalists on the ground (including e.g Marie Colvin, who lost her eye reporting on war crimes by Sri Lankan forces – with the British government an ally of Sri Lanka and arming it during the genocide) and from Medicines Sans Frontieres doctors (who have also condemned torture by anti-Gaddafi forces in post Gaddafi Libya and the targeting of ambulances, civilians and the wounde in Bahrain) that Syrian forces are targeting ambulances, the wounded and doctors and shelling whole districts of cities.

    Those are sources that have proven themselves trustworthy. An internet video of unknown provenance that may have been edited has not.

  • boniface goncourt

    @Duncan McFarlane

    #Boniface wrote “Archimedes’ Principle or Pythagoras’ Theorems aren’t out of date, so why should the word of the Sky Pixie be out of date?” Here you compare apples and oranges. Mathematical theorems and principles of physics and engineering are in no way comparable to religious or moral beliefs.#

    You’ve made my point. The godsters claim that ‘theology’ is an exact science like physics. In which case, the instruction manual would be eternally valid. In fact, religions are just
    whatever crazy mixed-up nonsense the bloodsuckers and nutjobs can get away with at any particular time.

  • technicolour

    No, BG, you throw the baby out with the bath water, as I think Clark was saying earlier. Religions always contain some decent stuff, which ranges across denominations – the Jewish tradition of ‘loving kindness’; the Christian ‘love thy neighbour’; the Koranic: Whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Koran 99:7, 8)” etc etc etc

    It is possibly instructive of a person that they see only ‘the bad’.

  • boniface goncourt

    Where is the atom of goodwill in giving 100 lashes to a little girl who has been raped? And where was the Jewish loving kindness in Operation Cast Lead, where they murdered over 1400 innocent Gazans?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Boniface Goncourt wrote “Where is the atom of goodwill in giving 100 lashes to a little girl who has been raped? And where was the Jewish loving kindness in Operation Cast Lead, where they murdered over 1400 innocent Gazans?”

    and all Muslims , or all Jews are not responsible for that any more than all British people are responsible for Blair’s actions, or all French people for Sarkozy’s , or all Russian people for Putin’s, or all atheists for Stalin’s

    You keep on talking as if all people of any religion are extreme fundamentalists and take the whole of their chosen ‘holy book’ to apply literally, with the same meaning, in the present – they’re not and they don’t.

    No number of examples of some Jews or some Muslims having crazy beliefs or committing atrocities will prove that all Jews and all Muslims think or do the same. Only blind prejudice could conclude that they are all responsible for the actions of some of them. It’s like saying all black people are criminals by pointing to Mugabe, Idi Amin and their like. Ridiculous.

    This “they” you talk about is only one undifferentiated group of people in your head. In reality different Jews and different Muslims have completely different views and actions from one another.

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