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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  • angrysoba

    Courtney Barnett: Duncan – let us all be sensible.


    .
    I agree, and I must say that Duncan McFarlane is easily one of the most intelligent and sensible posters here. I also hope that my endorsement of his posts doesn’t prejudice people against him.

  • Chienfou

    @Nobody – “Try and find a copy of it on the net. Good luck – it’s nowhere.”
    .
    How hard have you looked? Just typing “Talmud” into Google gets you to several online versions. There is also a link from the Wikipedia page to this one:
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm
    .
    There’s even a Kindle version from Penguin Classics! So it’s hardly a secret text known only to the faithful is it?

    so its hardly a secret book.

  • Iain Orr

    @ Down with this sort of thing (on 6 March at 8.11 pm and 10.06 pm): I’m not sure that Obama can be excused on the lines of “Politicians say things readers want to hear”. Not always – a recent UK example was Ken Clarke taking the unpopular line that there are too many people in jail in the UK. Yes, politicians have to negotiate the waters of the mass media, well-charted as they are with hazards. But, as the Leveson Inquiry has been showing here, it’s not far from courting popular opinion for electoral advantage to political corruption.

    .
    In my new GP’s waiting room this morning I came on the 30 January issue of Time magazine (cover “Obama’s* World”) with an article about and interview with Obama by Fareed Zakaria, titled “The Strategist – The question isn’t whether Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy President. It’s whether he can be a great one”. That makes the case for the defence, and quite well. However, it is slightly undermined by the back page interview with 39th US President Jimmy Carter which tells it like he sees it, eg:” We are completely in bed with the Israelis, who are persecuting the Palestinians horribly, and this is contrary, I think, to the best interest if Israel.” The rest is well worth reading. I can’t find it on the web but a fuller excerpt is at http://www.journalofamerica.net/html/how_many.html
    * My spell-checker wanted to correct that to “Osama’s”!

    .
    Your excellent gloss on baseball slang is a reminder of how skilled Obama’s word-craft is (and Craig’s). But does commitment go with the skill?

  • Mary

    For your consideration. The author welcomes comments. See below.
    .
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/02/22/one-state-vision-a-republic-of-all-of-its-citizens/
    .
    One of our esteemed VT columnists, Sami Jadallah is part of a team that worked together with many friends to come up with an amazing document entitled ONE STATE: A State for All Citizens, which we all hope can capture the vision of what Arabs and Jews should and must work toward for a lasting well living future.
    .

    Please read the attached document
    .
    Then, please send Sami an email with your ideas, thoughts, and support for this outstanding endeavor. Maybe write an article on the subject or tell your friends on Facebook. Whatever it takes. Peace is needed for everyone now.
    .

    In fact, after years of hate and failure, it’s time for everyone to put down their weapons and have breakfast together instead under one name, one state for all.
    .

    John Allen

    GM, VeteransToday.com

    .

    “Let us all celebrate freedom and liberty one country at a time. The true test of a nation and people is how to manage and build a new nation where justice, liberty, equality, accountability and transparency become the rules of law, and where government becomes the servant not the master of the people”

    Sami Jamil Jadallah
    email: sami.jadallah AT gmail.com

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    Cameron’s ‘warning’ of Iranian missiles reaching London are more pathetic when you think the UK has 200 thermonuclear warheads mounted on Trident missiles sailing around the planet in Vanguard subs.
    .
    The justification for such an expensive and advanced weapons system is that it will deter *any* nation from attacking us with similar weapons.
    .
    This begs the question, if the nuclear deterrent has been working successfully for 60 years against the likes of China, Russia and even Luxembourg then why does Cameron assume that it will not work with Iran?

  • Mary

    The esteemed John Hilley.
    .
    Wednesday, 7 March 2012
    Bombing Iran – the media’s war calendar
    .
    On Channel 4 News (March 2), Matt Frei, reporting from Washington, and Jon Snow, back in the studio, exchanged almost jocular words on the likelihood of Israel or/and the US bombing Iran.
    .
    The tone was one of ‘convivial chat’, akin to neighbours speculating across the garden wall on whether or not we’ll get a good summer.
    .
    This ‘will-they-won’t-they’, wager-type narrative is typical media fare, treating Iran, Iranians, as something distantly abstract, an un-people, the discussion stripped of all immediate consideration for the carnage that may soon be visited on them and their society.
    .
    Imagine a similar kind of correspondents’ exchange asking whether Iran will opt for a spring or autumn strike on Tel Aviv.
    .
    /..
    http://johnhilley.blogspot.com/2012/03/bombing-iran-medias-war-calendar.html

  • DownWithThisSortOfThing

    Ian Orr I’m not sure that Obama can be excused on the lines of “Politicians say things readers want to hear”.
    .
    I was not excusing him as such, just trying to shed some light on the confusion about his AIPAC address and his actual stated policy. Which has remained very consistent.
    .
    I do think he’s handled Netanyahu well though. You could almost see that Netanyahu was physically smaller in their joint press conference, he was staring at the floor looking glum, indeed it looked liked he’d been properly chastened.

  • boniface goncourt

    @ DownWithThisSortOfThing

    There was no one called Moses, which is not an Egyptian name, but a title, meaning ‘Rev.’ He did not lead the captive Jews into the desert, for there were no captive Jews. Neither is there any historical truth at all in the Torah. No King David or Solomon, no Esther, Jacob or Joseph, none of the Andrew Lloyd Webber cast at all. Even mainstream biblical scholarship
    considers the OT ahistoric. It is all just a swashbuckling bodice-ripper, its borrowed legends bullshit genealogies and invengted miracles designed to provide a mangy ragbag of bandits [= Egyptian ‘hibaru’] with a bogus historical provenance.

    @nobody

    The Talmud is indeed a cookbook of horror, but you are somewhat missing the point. The noble Gerald Kaufman, Norman Finkelstein and other ‘self-haters’ are NOT ‘Jews’, in Atzmon’s sense of ‘category three Jews’ – tribal fanatics devoted to extinguishing the goyim. ‘The Jews’ are not a race or nation, not even a religion, but a made-up artificial tribe, like the
    Mafia or the Scientologists, whose members are constantly vexed how to define themselves. Being Sicilian does not make you a mafioso, just as not everyone with a fondness for wisecracks and chicken soup is a ‘Jew’. Atzmon urges us to favour the reason and tolerance of ‘Athens’ over the hate-filled, superstitious ignorance of ‘Jerusalem’.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    @Boniface The noble Gerald Kaufman, Norman Finkelstein and other ‘self-haters’ are NOT ‘Jews’, in Atzmon’s sense of ‘category three Jews’. Whether they’re ‘category three’ Jews or not, they consider themselves Jewish, do not interpet the entire Talmud to apply literally to the present day and have every right to define Judaism differently from the most extreme Zionists.
    .
    Claiming tolerant and progressive Jews aren’t really Jews plays straight into the hands of the extremists – who say the same – that these aren’t real Jews but supposedly “self-hating Jews” or whatever.
    .
    Even being a Zionist does not mean someone has to have the kind of views some people have accused them of having in this thread – it can mean just believing the state of Israel has a right to exist on the pre-1967 war borders or some similar negotiated borders, alongside a Palestinian state.
    .
    Taking the entirety of the Bible, Quran or Talmud literally and taking it all to apply to the present day is a view only taken by some people of each religion – many people of each religion don’t interpret them to mean anything of the kind, which is why claiming that anyone who is from one of these religions is automatically an extremist by quoting excerpts from them is daft.

  • Komodo

    Nevermind: You are right. I omitted all mention of our oil buddy’s little fleet of German submarines (supplied at a discount to expiate some carefully-nurtured guilt) armed with US-supplied cruise missiles tipped with oh dear me no not US nuclear warheads, currently patrolling Israel’s sovereign coastal waters within its 2000-mile limit (extra zero intentional). Pure coincidence that Iran is nearby. Or the 6th Fleet, for that matter.
    .
    BTW, what has Israel ever done for us?
    The kind of dirty work we do not want to be associated with, maybe? Can’t think of anything else.

  • technicolour

    Strange how the Talmud is a ‘cookbook of horror’ (sic) and yet the Jewish ceremonies I’ve attended insist on and repeat the message of ‘loving kindness’. Too much reading and not enough real experiences, one deduces.

  • technicolour

    ‘What has Israel ever done for us?’ (Komodo)

    What have you ever done for me? What has Burma ever done for Ireland? What does that have to do with anything?

  • Fedup

    Komodo,
    “BTW, what has Israel ever done for us?”
    Ensured daily tally of death and destruction wreaked upon the Palestinians, by the ziofuckwits, has promoted an indolence among the plebeians at large to accept: injustice, belligerency, theft, murder, apartheid as an insuperable part of existence in the Mid East. The lands that its resources are sequestrated (for almost no price) for the benefit of feeding the war machines and the warmongers in the West.
    ,
    The political corruption and total disregard of the wishes of the plebeians in the West becoming the new normal, which is complemented with even more repression and erosion of our human rights (terrorist are coming to get you), in sort of a butterfly effect.
    ,
    There is lot of shit piled on our plates that would not be there if that wanker Balfour had not given the lands of the Palestinians to “people without lands” at the behest of his bum chum Rothschild.
    ,
    So you see how much Isreal has done for us?
    ,
    Is there no fucking reference to Mars anywhere in that Talmud or whatever? There is a whole fucking planet out there, all awaiting to be colonised by a Master Race. (one can only live in hope).

  • HappyLarry

    Totally agree Craig. The MSM sanitises the news and very rarely poses the awkward questions those with an ounce of intelligence are screaming out for them to ask.
    I find blogs like yours are a valuable source of uncorrupted news. It surprises me that, given the desire of organisations such as the BBC and Channel 4 to be technologically savvy, they do not regularly report on blogs. Channel 4 News has started reporting on Twitter comments recently but they degrade the significance of the medium by picking stupid examples like Katie Allsop and her views on a mansion tax.

    Only the Keiser Report on Russia Today gives any attention to online-only articles and, in doing so, perhaps illustrates the biased nature of the MSM.

  • nobody

    Yes, Yes, mea culpa,
    .
    I should have said an uncensored Talmud. Funnily enough, that sacred-texts site referred to above admits to this censorship, albeit by way of the word ‘abridgement’. This abridgement was apparently due to the fact that ‘the debate spins off into complete obscurity’ whatever that means. Why that should matter with a text document, the entirety of which would only comprise a paltry couple of megabytes, escapes me. Isn’t it a holy text every jot and tittle of which is sacred?
    .
    I guess it depends on who you tell it to because between the above non-reason and the Talmud’s own command that “If a Jew be called upon to explain any part of the rabbinic books, he ought to give only a false explanation. Who ever will violate this order shall be put to death,” I’m thinking that the latter would probably count more heavily for the Rabbi who did the abridging. Don’t you think?
    .
    Ugly+sober – If only you’d been there back when the white supremacists were sending me death threats on account of being a tool of the Jews. You could have sorted them right out. Never mind.

  • boniface goncourt

    @ Duncan McFarlane
    # Taking the entirety of the Bible, Quran or Talmud literally and taking it all to apply to the present day is a view only taken by some people of each religion….claiming that anyone who is from one of these religions is automatically an extremist by quoting excerpts from them is daft. #

    This is the usual godbanger copout, claiming the official loony instruction manual doesn’t apply to them, or is somehow ‘out of date’. Archimedes’ Principle or Pythagoras’ Theorems aren’t out of date, so why should the word of the Sky Pixie be out of date?

    SURA XXIV.-
    The whore and the whoremonger – scourge each of them with an hundred stripes; and let not compassion keep you from carrying out the sentence of God”

    That’s the word of ‘Allah’, innit? He wrote the Qu’eeran. That’s why the beardies have to flog rape victims and…well, just about anybody. THE BOSS SAYS SO.

    @ technicolour

    # Strange how the Talmud is a ‘cookbook of horror’ (sic) and yet the Jewish ceremonies I’ve attended insist on and repeat the message of ‘loving kindness’. Too much reading and not enough real experiences, one deduces.#

    From the Talmud…

    Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a gentile, there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.

    Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.

    Soferim 15, Rule 10. This is the saying of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai: Tob shebe goyyim harog (“Even the best of the gentiles should all be killed”).

    “Yebamoth 59b. A woman who had intercourse with a beast is eligible to marry a Jewish priest. A woman who has sex with a demon is also eligible to marry a Jewish priest.”

    Sanhedrin 55b. A Jew may marry a three year old girl (specifically, three years “and a day” old).”

    “Sanhedrin 54b. A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old”

    etcetera

    Voltaire observed that only the Jewish religion forbade women from having sex with goats, presumably because it was popular…

  • glenn_uk

    Nobody: Do you think you could ease up on the Jew-bashing just a bit, maybe? If we take all this religious BS seriously, and regard Jewishness as being strictly down the mother-line and all that, then I should confess straight out – my own wife is a Jew. Her mother, mother’s mother, and so on (back to the Austrian Jews persecuted out of Nazi Germany by the skin of their teeth) were Jews. That’s how she got to be where she came to be when I stumbled across her, not realising (of course!) that this 18-yo Jew was guilty of such vast crime, both past, present, and in the decades to follow.
    .
    In her defence, she absolutely despises Israeli foreign policy, and detests Zionism. But that doesn’t excuse her from being a Jew, it surely goes without saying!
    .
    An irrelevant point to the truly fixated with Jewish stereotypes, but she was also brought up as a devout Catholic (her Jewish mother having been a Nun back in the day).
    .
    Confused? You will be by the next episode!
    .
    Political beliefs aren’t defined by race, gender or skin colour. Ease up on the Jew-bashing, eh?

  • CheebaCow

    Techni: “Too much reading and not enough real experiences, one deduces.”
    .
    You sum it up perfectly.
    .
    Glenn: “I stumbled across her, not realising (of course!) that this 18-yo Jew was guilty of such vast crime, both past, present, and in the decades to follow.”
    .
    That’s how they get you, it’s the oldest trick in the book! 😉

  • Komodo

    “What has Israel ever done for us?’ (Komodo)

    What have you ever done for me? What has Burma ever done for Ireland? What does that have to do with anything?”

    (Technicolour)

    I am just still trying to find out what terrible obligation we have to this bunch of mostly Central European zionist psychopaths who have determined our foreign policy for the last twenty years or so. In what way does our staunch support of the most intransigent and violent state in the ME benefit us? Let’s put aside questions of morality – these are disposable items when we are dealing with anyone else, as any Afghan can tell you. What is the practical benefit TO US of having created (for the people we helped to liberate from the Nazis), a state in which they can spit on international law and incite us to bomb their neighbours while risking fuck-all themselves? In which they can develop weapons of mass destruction free from any hint of inspection? Which can confine a million citizens indefinitely to a ghetto modelled on 1940 Warsaw? There must be something. Bagels, maybe?

  • technicolour

    Komodo: the majority of people living in Israel are not ‘Central European Zionist psychopaths’: their present far right regime does not represent the people, any more than Blair represented the UK.

    As for why the UK has any obligation: Israel is supported by the US and the UK is the US’ second lieutenant. Israel provides the US with a testing ground for new weapons and an effective power base in the region.

  • carole

    blimey, not sure some of your commentators here are going to help cheer you up enough to keep going! I use vimeo’s art/animation/music clips to try to find proof that people are still creating positive things. Try this:
    http://vimeo.com/37940683
    I liked the lyric “to fall is connected to trying”
    kind wishes for your continued blogging

  • Fedup

    Komodo,
    What is the practical benefit TO US of having created (for the people we helped to liberate from the Nazis), a state in which they can spit on international law and incite us to bomb their neighbours while risking fuck-all themselves? In which they can develop weapons of mass destruction free from any hint of inspection? Which can confine a million citizens indefinitely to a ghetto modelled on 1940 Warsaw?
    ,
    There is nothing as in ; None , nil, zealch, fuck all, ….. in it for us.
    ,
    However as to why US has to put up with the bunch of crazed ziofuckwit lunatics, whose track record in barbarous behaviour is far worse than the Genghis hoards, was explained away in a programme about the shitty little strip of land and its belligerency towards Iran, aired on al Jazeera. The investigative reporter for Haaretz: “Isreal’s nuclear weapons, affords her the capability of saying no to US”. These psychopaths are blackmailing the US and toadies, no less.
    ,
    BTW Warsaw ghetto was more comfortably provided for than the Gaza, judging by the recent records of lack of food, water, and medicine, electricity, etc. in the Gaza open air concentration camp.

  • Anon

    Nobody, people write “holy books”. How can you criticise them when they put something evil in, and then criticise them again when they take it out?

  • Komodo

    Technicolour:
    I was referring to the regime. Which is what we are propping up with our acquiescence. The majority of Jews living in Israel are, however, Ashkenazim of Central European origin, whether sabraorolim. The state is arranged for their benefit…right of return, settlements, security, the lot. The indigenous and other Mediterranean Sephardim are looked down on by this majority. The regime reflects the priorities of the demographic.
    Re. the rest, precisely. We’re second lieutenant, which means we are inextricably tied to some extremely unintelligent foreign policy, and loathed throughout most of the Arab world. Possibly all of it, but you don’t piss off paying customers. And we are spending billions to buy kit from the US which is too old for them to give to the Israelis, and drop it on people the Israelis don’t like. So: what have the Israelis ever done for us? The balance sheet looks pretty negative to me. And that’s without the King David Hotel…

  • Mary

    There was slaughter in Gaza yesterday. The first death toll from drone attacks was announced as two killed but through the night on the World Service, it rose to 12. Kevin Connolly gives a word for word Mark Regev reasoning for the slaughter on the ZBC website.

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