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344 thoughts on “We’re Not Dead Yet

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  • Jon

    Yikes you lot, giving me work to do! Again, if squabbling could be avoided, that’d be grand. Perhaps if people see their name taken in vain in some way, if it is just a minor swipe, just ignore it. I appreciate it’s hard to do, but please rise above.

    One thing that might be worth consideration is this. If the topic is, say, alleged war criminals and their prosecution, write several paragraphs about what you think about it, possibly including the practicality of one approach or another. Have a discursive approach in your discourse, but, of course, please do not insist that one person or another answer you. Excessive focus on one person is discouraged, still.

    G’night all.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    ” if it is just a minor swipe, just ignore it.”

    Balsam in Gilead, Jon. Thanks. You may have saved me from the tall weeds of acrimony.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Ben Franklin (22h46)

    “I made no such plea,”


    So what did you mean by (at 22h08)

    “I studiously avoid talking with them about anything other than the weather or health matters…” ?

  • Herbie

    Habby asks

    “Just to help me understand your “answer” No 1 a little better: as an answer to the problem of the “elective dictatorship” (an all-powerful executive arising out of the legislature and against which the legislature can do little)… you are suggesting the abolition of the Monarchy, which has little legislative and no executive power, and its replacement by an “executive” President with “real” power??

    Glad if you could explain this rather puzzling statement.”

    It’s not puzzling so long as you understand the issues and aren’t fetishistic about the elements making up the constitution. I understand many are led to such views by our poor media, but still.

    You see, it’s all about balances between.

    The current elective dictatorship problem is produced by having an executive in parliament, which also controls parliament.

    So if you remove the executive from parliament and elect it directly, then parliament can hold this external exectutive to account, they each having their own idependent mandate and indeed constitutional role.

    dferstand many are led to such views by our poor media

  • resident dissident

    There is a good chance tomorrow that courts in Kirov will sentence Alexei Navalny, the Russian blogger and whistleblower on corruption in Russia, to a prison sentence on what looks very much like a manufactured corruption charge. Alexei has not sought to run away from Russia and it is reported that he will be taking spare clothed to the court tomorrow in case the worst happens.

    I suspect that there is also a good chance that the Russian authorities will also try and provide some cover for their prosecution of Alexei Navalny by announcing their granting of asylum to Edward Snowden.

    Alexei is a very brave and courageous person who also runs a Russian version of Wikileaks – which unlike Wikileaks which does not have any readily accesible leaks on its website relating to Russia dated after 2008 – contains many leaks in respect of corruption within Russia. Any true believers in liberty and freedom should be making their protests against the treatment of Alexei Navalny very clear and loud at this critical time.

    The silence coming from Wikileaks and the Assangistas on the treatment of Alexei Navalny is I’m afraid pretty deafening. Their “human rights” conference last week in Moscow said precious little about human rights in Russia and the panel even included Russian lawyers who had acted for the State in their attacks on non govermental organisations which are currently the focus of attack from the Russian authorities because they spout ideas and take actions that do not fit with the prevailing government ideology. That Assange (or his “independent” production company) receive regular payments from the state controlled Russia Today is also pretty well documented.

    It has been said by Luke Harding in his excellent book “Mafia State” that one of the best ways to understand Putin and the Russian government is by reading the novels of Mario Puzo. Those who understand the Russian government will know it is very unlikely that they will have granted favours to Assange and Snowden (who I believe has been very badly advised by Wikileaks in going to first China and than Russia) without wanting something in return.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Jon

    Thank you for your comments. However : when someone posts misleading and/or wrong information I think you will agree that others have the perfect right – even the duty – to correct it?

    Moreover : I believe I have the perfect right to identify the poster to whom I’m responding on the above grounds. Of people object to being shown up they should take more care about what they write.

    And finally, I didn’t insist that Flaming June should reply – I invited her to correct me if I had got something wrong in my factual correction.

    Good night.

  • Herbie

    “And that would include an excellent boarding school, not far from London called Brockwood Park where they tailor education to raise a new kind of human being with heightened levels of awareness”

    Now. Where have we heard that before.

    Leni…….it’s your closeup!

  • NR

    Those of you with ins to the palace, would you ask Kate to push harder. A royal birth is the only event, short of an large asteroid hitting NYC, that can save us from endless jabbering about Martin/Zimmerman.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Herbie (23h02)

    OK, thanks for that.

    This implies, I suppose, that you think the Ministers should also not be part of the legislature but chosen by the “President” (or directly elected like the President)? The US model, in other words?

  • A Node

    My attention was caught by this story in ‘Spiegel Online’ about Jimmy Carter saying “America has no functioning democracy,” which is quite a statement for an ex-pres.
    Here’s the Google translated website:

    But then I noticed that Carter said it in a speech “at a meeting of the ‘Atlantic Bridge’ in Atlanta,” and that reminded me of our old friend Adam Werritty, who was receiving funding at taxpayers’ expense to run a charity called ‘Atlantic Bridge’ founded by his, er, colleague Liam Fox, and whose aim seemed to be to promote the ‘common interests’ of dodgy corporations in the UK and USA. “Following criticism by regulators that the charity was too politically oriented to be eligible for charitable status, the UK wing disbanded in September 2011” [Wikipedia].

    Looks like the US end of the operation is still going strong, but given the interests it promotes, eg Philip Morris, Texaco and McDonalds, one has to wonder if it’s a likely platform for a genuine attack on the credibilty of US democracy, or perhaps a vehicle to enhance his credibility in advance of some double-dealing statesmanship?

    I’ve never been fully convinced by his ‘efforts’ on behalf of Palestine. I’m keeping my eye on you, Mr Carter.

  • Fred

    “No access to physical car electronics needed.”

    And no reason whatsoever it would be avoided.

    I honestly don’t believe the black hats would choose a very difficult unreliable method over a simple sure fire one.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “I honestly don’t believe the black hats would choose a very difficult unreliable method over a simple sure fire one”

    I’m not sure I would dismiss it out of hand, but it does seem to be a bridge too far for exacting an outcome. There are many other ways to do him in which would still leave a reasonable doubt as to foul play. They are risk-averse.

    Now, if you’re talking the Men in Black…..

  • AlcAnon

    Fred, I’ve no really strong belief that the car was hacked. I think it plausible.

  • A Node

    Fred: “I honestly don’t believe the black hats would choose a very difficult unreliable method over a simple sure fire one”

    Those academics didn’t seem to consider it too difficult.

    Also it’s worth remembering that the links AlcAnon supplied [thanks] refer to an analysis done in 2011. We can reasonably speculate that any government agency with an interest in the potential of such hacking may well have had a head start over the researchers timewise, maybe access to the source code of various ECU ‘widgets’, possibly even an input into said code, and a further two years developing their techniques. Not to mention a vastly huger research budget.

    Given what those geeks had achieved by 2011 with very limited resources in a short time frame, I think it quite plausible that remote wireless car-hacking is available to the ‘black hats.’

  • A Node

    You’ re right, AlcAnon, Atlantik-Brücke isn’t Atlantic Bridge. However, a look at its history doesn’t re-assure me that Atlantik-Brücke is any more likely to sponor attacks on the USA’s democratic credentials than Atlantic bridge …

    “Eric M. Warburg (founder of the firm currently known as Warburg Pincus) was one of the founders of Atlantik-Brücke, together with legendary editor Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt and other leading Hamburg citizens. In those Cold War times, the U.S. was looking for influence on Germany. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) probably gave the idea for founding the Atlantik-Brücke; Eric M. Warburg was a friend and consultant for John J. McCloy, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and President of the World Bank. The Atlantik-Brücke is the German counterpart for the U.S. based American Council on Germany (members include US diplomats Richard Holbrooke and Henry Kissinger).”

    I’ll bear your opinion of Carter in mind, but I’m still keeping my beady eye on him.

  • AlcAnon


    I recall chatting to a close relative of Jack Bruce who was apparently tripping on LSD at the time and claimed to be chasing a flying coat. As far as I was concerned he was wearing the coat.

    I wasn’t tripping as far as I recall but my memory is a bit shot.

    Ewige Blumenkraft!”

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)


    Kinda doubt it, unless it was just the afterglow from previously. But that’s judging it from my pov.

    But if he was, he’s the first musician I’ve ever heard who sounded good on L. Heh, I remember the Hollywood Bowl in say ’69(?) Santana opened and the next group was Youngbloods who I heard later were so freaked on some sunshine shit that they needed to come down and guzzled Rye whiskey. It wasn’t pretty.

    But Janis brought it back with her Kozmic Blues. Santana stole the show. The whole show. He was that good.

  • A Node

    Villager 17 Jul, 2013 – 12:01 am

    “What did the Flower-children bring us other than a popularisation of drugs?”

    Isn’t that enough? It was either that or world peace ….
    ….world peace would have been nice, but would I swap ….?

  • AlcAnon

    Oh I see Ben. You misunderstand. Jack Bruce wasn’t tripping – the relative I was talking to was. I’m not important enough to have been talking to Jack Bruce himself obviously.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    No problems. It’s nice to have another late night jock spinning discs.

  • AlcAnon

    Oh and I don;t think people chasing imaginary coats around buildings are typical of LSD trips either. Which is probably why it stuck in my mind. These things do…

  • Fred

    “Also it’s worth remembering that the links AlcAnon supplied [thanks] refer to an analysis done in 2011. We can reasonably speculate that any government agency with an interest in the potential of such hacking may well have had a head start over the researchers timewise, maybe access to the source code of various ECU ‘widgets’, possibly even an input into said code, and a further two years developing their techniques. Not to mention a vastly huger research budget.”

    Then again they could have just used Semtex and a timer then started a rumour on the internet about remote hacking ECUs so that anyone who suggests he was hit is immediately classed as a tin foil hat wearing nutter.

  • John Goss

    We’re not dead yet, but Dr David Kelly is. In fact ten years ago today his body was found in a wood on Harrowdown Hill. There was never a completed inquest into his death and there are many unanswered questions about why the proper legal process was not followed.

    A peaceful vigil is to be held outside the Royal Courts of Justice between 2-4 pm where people will be wearing gags as a protest against the truth having been gagged. Allow my indulgence with this article which raises some of the problems connected with the case. I should be obliged if people would share the article. Thanks. Must go. Got a coach to catch.

  • Flaming June

    Good John.

    This is one of the best articles I have read on the matter.

    David Kelly, ten years on: A spectacular failure of accountability
    Ironically, those calling for an inquest into David Kelly’s death – ten years on today – base their arguments on precisely the values held so dear by professional journalists: the need for a full, impartial appraisal of the facts without fear or favour.

  • Flaming June

    Whilst we continue to kill other humans with missiles from drones controlled via computer screens at RAF Waddington, these good people are facing charges following a protest there.

    Six arrested after drone protest at RAF Waddington
    UAVs are remotely controlled from the MoD base for use in Afghanistan against the Taliban

    ‘Supporters of the six, who were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, claim that police later visited homes in London and elsewhere and seized computer equipment.’

  • Flaming June

    Their trial takes place on 7th October.

    ‘The trial date of a Mansfield vicar accused of criminal damage after a break-in at RAF Waddington has been set.

    Rev Keith Hebden (pictured), based at St Peter’s, appeared before magistrates in Lincolnshire on 4th July along with five other defendants.

    The group, who claim they were staging a protest against the use of unmanned drone aircraft in Afghanistan, will go on trial on 7th October at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court.

    The group told the court that while they accepted they were on the Lincolnshire base without permission, they have pleaded not guilty to the charge on the grounds that they had “a lawful reason for being there to protest against the killing of civilians through the use of drones operated from RAF Waddington”.

    The other accused are Susan Clarkso (66) of Bath Street, Oxford, Christopher Cole (49), of Wilkins road, Oxford, Henrietta Cullinan (51), of Trumans Road, London, Martin Newell (45) of Mattison Road, London and Penelope Walker (62) of Gutham Street, Leicester.’

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