Doune The Rabbit Hole 450

I shall again be running the bar – the Whistleblower’s Arms – at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival from 22 to 24 August at Cardross, Port of Menteith.

I find this festival, which is very much a lifestyle event and features mostly new talent, an extremely life-affirming experience. Last year it brought me back from a very dark place. Some of this blogs most active commenters and helpers have been among the volunteers over the last couple of years, keeping the event going. Personally for me the festival is necessarily centred around Williams Bros and Thistly Cross, but there is a tremendous variety of music:


The event is very family friendly, and also an amazing place to meet new friends. It does not have any specific political orientation, but I might fairly say that the vibe is very much in line with the kind of unconstrained intellectual space promoted on this blog. On top of which Cardross is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The variety of local food on site, ranging from vegan to game, is one of the things I really enjoyed. It is a not for profit event and nobody gets a salary.

Tickets are not expensive by festival standards, and certainly cheaper than a weekend break in a hotel. But there is also the alternative of working your passage – the festival still needs plenty of volunteers.

I am genuinely looking forward to it enormously. Hope to see you there.

450 thoughts on “Doune The Rabbit Hole

1 11 12 13 14 15
  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Macky (07h58)

    I do like a man (?) who can take a reproach with a smile. So, to keep you smiling, here’s another reproach from Craig (the “The wrong referendum the wrong saviour” thread, 17 March, 07h16):


    Nobody has been more outspokenly critical of the West than I. I think that Chomsky’s quotation is absolutely right, and not only do I subscribe to it, I very actively live by it. I don’t think it is anything to do with self-hatred for the left to criticize the West.

    What is very, very wrong is for the intellectually challenged to conclude that the West is bad, therefore anybody who is not the West is good. That is a logical fallacy so childish it is difficult to take you seriously.

    What if you go back to my original post and tell me what is wrong about the observations I make about Putin’s Russia?”

    It’s in the second para if you’re short-sighted this morning!

    If the owner of this blog has difficulty taking you seriously, why should we humble commenters do so?

    Have a good day and….keep smiling!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    And so that your smile may broaden, I recommend a re-reading of your various whinings on Squonk (the “General discussion” thread of March this year), from which one gets a rather clear picture of why you threw a hissy fit and left Craig’s blog.

    “Klutz” is understating things, I’d say.

    And now go and do an honest day’s work, Macky.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    ‘It’ has certainly gone into overdrive, posting frenetically as Israel goes on another of its murderous sprees amidst the Arab ghettoes. Meanwhile our glorious TV news gives us quaking Israelis ‘sheltering’ in their luxurious bunkers from the onslaught of fireworks set off by their own people outside whilst Israel’s death squads bombard defenceless crowded Gaza with every conceivable barbaric weapon they dare without tipping worldwide revulsion into irresistible demands for a united response in kind. Holding back the mounting vomit is not recommended. This is the time when some mainstream TV newsreader should and must be prepared to say on air “I’m not putting up with disseminating these vicious streams of lies any longer” or similar and lets rip over this particular outright and disgusting Israeli fraud, eliciting sympathy and claiming victimhood, as always – a complete inversion of reality – whilst perpetrating another despicable mass killing and terrorising of half-starved and penned-in Palestinians.

    What Tony M said. It might almost be said that a shadow of justification for Israel might be dredged from this ongoing atrocity if any of the assaults on Gaza had actually achieved their stated objective of ending the (much more justifiable)resistance. Though it would have been the same sort of justification as the Nazis claimed for wiping out the Warsaw ghetto, it would at least have had some twisted logic.

    So far:
    Operation Rainbow (May 2004), Operation Days of Penitence (2004), the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict, Operation Autumn Clouds (2006), Operation Hot Winter (2008), Operation Cast Lead (2009), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), and Operation Protective Edge (2014)
    have all failed in their objectives. As has the ongoing trade embargo, border restrictions and refusal of access to construction materials to repair the wreckage.

    Ponder this, Israelophiles:

    So, in 2016, very predictably, we’ll be saying the same things yet again. Every two years, in goes the IDF.

    But the Quartet Peace Envoy will again be utterly silent. Historical note: Tony Blair has visited Israel 118 times. He has visited Gaza once.

    Keywords: Tony Blair, Gaza, IDF, Hamas, Warsaw Ghetto

  • Dreoilin

    “On one occasion, I remember Habbabkuk was offering to meet with you in London. Dreoilin, was Habbabkuk really relaying communication from you?”

    Of course not. And he didn’t offer to meet me in London. That was Villager.

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, 8 Jul, 7:19 pm:

    “The man [Brian Haw] was a demented, obsessive leech”

    Please explain why you think these three things.

  • Sofia

    “Operation Rainbow (May 2004), Operation Days of Penitence (2004), the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict, Operation Autumn Clouds (2006), Operation Hot Winter (2008), Operation Cast Lead (2009), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), and Operation Protective Edge (2014)
    have all failed in their objectives…
    and that’s just the last six years of it all.

    Maybe Dad can explain how the IDF identifies and locates terrorists like these?

    How can a country make itself safe like this? And just who gains from all this?

  • Sofia

    Ok. I listed ten, not six, years of slaughter.

    This whole horrible business will end one day, but I fear for all those who will have to resolve the accumulated pain and hatred and create shared future. Every dead child makes their job harder.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Germany may be celebrating over the World cup results so-far, but according to that hotbed of Putin Propaganda [Christian Science Monitor] the German populace is increasingly discontent with America.

    “I’m not sure the US has understood how disappointed its closest allies in Europe are,” says Josef Braml, a transatlantic expert at German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “This is not a self-confident superpower. This is a country that lives in agony.… For the German-American relationship, it’s difficult to look up to the US.”

    This anger and disillusionment in Germany dates back to the unpopular US invasion of Iraq, the fallout from the global financial crisis, and disappointment in President Obama – not to mention the 25 years that have passed since the Berlin Wall fell. But the NSA scandal was the tipping point. Today, palpable German anger has an impact on the transatlantic agenda, says Ms. Guérot, including a free trade deal called the TTIP and the crisis in Ukraine.

    Although the German government backs the TTIP for economic considerations, the NSA scandal adds to the ambivalence that the German public already feels about it. An Infratest Dimap poll from June showed that 55 percent of Germans fear that the TTIP will be disadvantageous for their country.

    “If you look at NSA, or TTIP, and Ukraine; what we believed the West to be is gone. It is basically an empty shell,” says [Ulrike] Guérot

    So, apart from Iraq, Financial Crash, Obama, NSA, TTIP & Ukraine “What has the USA done for us?,”

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Actually, I think I can answer that. UN report, 2012:

    Gaza will no longer be “liveable” by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the United Nations’ most comprehensive report on the Palestinian enclave said on Monday.

    What Israel would like to happen is that the kindly Western nations will accept responsibility for the wellbeing of Gazans. Since they obviously won’t be able to get a lot of aid in there due to the Israeli blockade, they, and perhaps neighbouring Arab states at their behest, will gradually be permitted to take refugees from what will then be a humanitarian disaster zone. So much nicer than ethnic cleansing, isn’t it?

    Then of course there will be an abandoned strip of land, handy for the beach and great for tourism – re-annex, and send in the bulldozers. Sweet.

    You may have read it here first.
    Keywords: Tony Blair, Gaza, IDF, Hamas, Warsaw Ghetto

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    My last was in response to Sofia’ rhetorical question, not YouKnow’s. Sorry, should have quoted it.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    an abandoned strip of land, handy for the beach and great for tourism…

    And how could I forget the offshore oilfield?

  • BrianFujisan

    Craig, Clark,

    I got the form for DTRH submitted…hopefully I’ll hear back soon…However i may be out of contact for a few days, as I’m off to the Outer Hebrides today… isle of Barra, and Vatersay 🙂

    Nevermind, would be great to see ya there… Grab a few Jars.. if not catch ya in Sept…
    AND WOW…WOW… What a night for you at the world cup…felt a bit sorry for Brazil…MEGA defeat…Well done Germany

    Dave with the Strangers Face… 🙂 @ 12;13 am

    its the same with US naming weapons after native American Tribes –

    Aircraft and missiles in service include the:

    • AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
    • UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter
    • UH-72 Lakota utility helicopter
    • CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter
    • OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopter, which the Army is considering retiring them
    • OH-6 Cayuse observation helicopter
    • TH-67 Creek trainer helicopter—the Army may retire them, too
    • C-12 Huron transport aircraft
    • RU-21 Ute electronic intelligence aircraft, a variant of the C-12
    • BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile

    The retired aircraft are the:

    • UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopter, retired in 2011
    • H-34 Choctaw transport helicopter, left service in early 1970s
    • RU-8 Seminole utility aircraft, 1992
    • H-21 Shawnee transport helicopter, 1967
    • OV-1 Mohawk twin-engine observation aircraft, 1996
    • T-41 Mescalero trainer aircraft, no longer in the Army but still flying for the Air Force

    Proposed but never fielded:

    • SM-64 Navaho experimental cruise missile, canceled in 1957
    • AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter, abandoned in 1972
    • RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopter, 2004
    • ARH-70 Arapaho armed reconnaissance helicopter, 2008

    Note that sometimes it’s not always clear whether a name is Native American or not. Is the C-12 Huron named after the tribe or the Great

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Dreoilin, Habbabkuk claimed to be speaking on your behalf yesterday:”

    Not really, Clark. I just allowed myself – in jocular fashion, given what I believe Dreoilin thinks of Macky – to speculate on Dreoilin’s reaction to the (un)welcome reappearance of Macky après “une aussi longue absence” (great film, by the way. 1961, dialogue by Marguérite Duras).

    As for “meeting up on London”, I think Dreoilin answered you. Your memory seems to be playing tricks.

  • Mary

    My comment on the More Dead Children in Palestine thread


    1 Jul, 2014 – 11:41 am

    Just some of the names for Israeli offensives against the Palestinians that I could remember or dug up. In no particular chronological order. All very lyrical names are they not?

    Operation Cast Lead
    Operation Summer Rains
    Operation Autumn Clouds
    Operation Brother’s Keeper
    Operation Pillar of Defence
    Operation Hot Water
    Operation Returning Echo
    Operation Rainbow
    Operation Days of Penitence

    And the big ones,
    Al Naqba aka The Disaster/Catastrophe
    The 1967 war Al Naksah aka The Setback!

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    The Quartet Representative, Tony Blair, popped up in December 2013, after a storm had exposed the critical fragility of Gaza’s infrastructure. Hooray.

    What was the result of his gentle appeal to the Israelis to be nicer?

    Increasingly difficult socioeconomic conditions, and more Israeli violence in January 2014 –

    Oh, and the Egyptians (under the then-unelected Sisi, whom the Quartet Representative is advising, for Qatari gold) closed Rafah for 25 days in January…

    Keywords: Tony Blair, Gaza, Sisi, Quartet Representative.

  • Mary

    Another allusion to Alice in Wonderland.

    Clinton and Kerry Call On Snowden To Submit To Sham Security State Trial
    Snowden Should Refuse to Play “Alice in Wonderland”

    by Kevin Zeese / July 8th, 2014

    Edward Snowden submitting to prosecution in the United States, would be like Alice going into the courtroom in Wonderland.

    Alice stood before the King and Queen of Hearts who served as the judges. Knaves were chained on the ground before them. The jurors, Alice realizes are ‘stupid things.’ The first witness against her was the Mad Hatter who is as mad as the culture he represents. The guinea pigs who protest are immediately “suppressed” by having the mouths tied up and being put into a bag and sat on by the King so their protests cannot be heard. The most important evidence in the trial was secret, a poem for which the author is unknown and concludes:

    For this must ever be a secret,
    Kept from all the rest,
    Between yourself and me.

    Alice realized the court room; with the icons of a justice system – a judge, jury, witnesses – was really a sham that mocks a legitimate legal process. To confirm her realization the King said after the meaningless secret poetry evidence, that it was “the most important piece of evidence” and “Let the jury consider their verdict.” The Queen retorts “No, no! Sentence first; verdict afterwards.”

    Last week former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined with the current Secretary of State John Kerry in urging Edward Snowden to come home and face prosecution.

    Clinton told The Guardian that he should “return knowing he would be held accountable and also able to present a defense.” When asked about whether he could really present a defense, Clinton said:

    In any case that I’m aware of as a former lawyer, he has a right to mount a defense. And he certainly has a right to launch both a legal defense and a public defense, which can of course affect the legal defense.


  • Mary

    Top Tory’s link to £800,000 donor
    Financial services minister Andrea Leadsom’s brother-in-law, an offshore banker, also gave £1m to other rightwing causes

    ‘An offshore financier who is the brother-in-law of financial services minister Andrea Leadsom has donated £816,000 to the Conservative party since she first successfully ran for parliament at the last election.

    Peter de Putron, a banker who lives in Guernsey and is married to Leadsom’s sister Hayley, also made a further £1m of donations to a party-backed campaign and a rightwing thinktank. Leadsom herself said that she was unaware of the donations made by a member of her own family, but a Labour MP asked whether the payments in effect amounted to a “cash for political office” arrangement.

    The payments from De Putron included cheques to the Conservative party totalling £200,000 in 2010, £66,600 in 2011, £129,800 in 2012, and £204,760 in 2013, made by a company called Gloucester Research, plus further, smaller sums to her local constituency party.’

    Much more detail –

    The pigs are rolling in the stuff.

    Offshore secrets of UK’s wealthy political donors

  • doug scorgie

    The cover-up begins:

    Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was chosen by the home secretary to head the inquiry into allegations of historical abuse.

    Questions are raised over Butler-Sloss inquiry position. She is Sir Michael Havers sister!

    Sir Michael Havers:

    “…intervened three times between 1981 and 1983 to stop the investigation and exposure of Establishment paedophiles, and to prevent the publication of stories which showed that Establishment figures were members of the Paedophile Information Exchange.”

    “Although none of this implicates Havers’ sister, Baroness Butler-Sloss,in any way, it seems at the very least deeply inappropriate to have someone heading a ‘historic’ child abuse inquiry whose own brother played such a major role in the protection of Establishment paedophiles throughout the 1980s.”

    “In 1981, Sir Michael Havers warned Geoffrey Dickens not to name senior diplomat Sir Peter Hayman as a paedophile in the House of Commons. Dickens ignored his advice, and was publicly condemned by Havers, who said “All Mr Dickens has done is make certain that Sir Peter’s shame and embarassment is known to the world. There cannot be any justification whatsoever for what has happened. How can the public have gained by this? How can it be in the public interest to name this man?“.

    “Sir Michael Havers defended the decision not to prosecute Hayman despite possessing a huge collection of images of child abuse including – as Barry Dickens revealed earlier this week – babies being abused in their prams. Dickens accued Sir Michael of taking part in a “whitewash and “the cover-up of the century”.

  • doug scorgie

    Just in:

    The retired judge appointed to chair a child abuse review has insisted she will not quit over her family connection with a previous probe.

    We might as well forget this “inquiry”.

  • Mary

    It’s another of my YCNMIUs Doug.

    HMG are standing by her and emphasize her ‘integrity’. I don’t think that is the question though.

  • Mary

    Eight children killed in Israeli airstrikes over Gaza

    9 Jul 2014

    Israeli forces killed six children when a missile struck a residential building in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

    Ramallah – Israel launched a major military offensive on the Gaza Strip Tuesday that killed at least eight Palestinian children and wounded dozens more in air and sea strikes.

    Israeli forces killed six children when a missile struck the home of alleged Hamas activist Odeh Ahmad Mohammad Kaware in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. The five families that reside in the building evacuated immediately after an Israeli aerial drone fired a warning missile. A number of neighbors, however, gathered on the roof in an effort to prevent the bombing. Shortly after 3 p.m., an Israeli airstrike leveled the building, and killed seven people, including five children, on the spot and injured 28 others.

    Hussein Yousef Hussein Karawe, 13, Basem Salem Hussein Karawe, 10, Mohammad Ali Faraj Karawe, 12, Abdullah Hamed Karawe, 6, and Kasem Jaber Adwan Karawe, 12, died immediately, according to evidence collected by Defense for Children International-Palestine. Seraj Abed al-Aal, 8, succumbed to his injuries later that evening.

    DCI-Palestine confirmed two other Palestinian teenagers died in strikes across Gaza. An Israeli attack killed Ahmad Nael Mahdi, 15, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, and wounded two of his friends, one of which remains in critical condition. Ahmad Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s Al-Shujaiyah neighborhood, and his 22-year-old cousin were killed while riding a motorcycle, DCI-Palestine sources said.

    DCI-Palestine is confirming reports of at least three other children killed in the strikes on Tuesday.

    “The death and injury to children caused by Israel’s military offensive on Gaza demonstrates serious and extensive disregard of fundamental principles of international law,” said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. “Israeli forces must not carry out indiscriminate airstrikes in densely populated areas that fail to distinguish between military targets, civilians and civilian objects.”

    Since the beginning of Israel’s ongoing military offensive on Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces have launched at least 146 strikes on Gaza. The strikes have killed at least 25 Palestinians and injured more than 100 others, according to news reports.

    International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires that all parties to an armed conflict distinguish between military targets, civilians and civilian objects. Israel as the occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, is required to protect the Palestinian civilian population from violence.

    While Israel relies on the principle of self defense to justify military offensives on Gaza, Israeli forces are bound to customary international law rules of proportionality and necessity.

    Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for firing around 120 rockets from Gaza into southern and central Israel, with some reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, according to Haaretz. Israel’s “Iron Dome” anti-missile system has reportedly intercepted at least 23 rockets. While minimal property damage has been reported, there have been no serious casualties.

    The Israeli military has mobilized thousands of reserve soldiers in preparation for any further escalation, according to news reports.

    Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007 by strictly controlling and limiting the entry and exit of individuals; maintaining harsh restrictions on imports including food, construction materials, fuel and other essential items; as well as prohibiting exports. Israel continues to maintain complete control over the Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace and territorial waters.

    The last major Israeli military offensive on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense, occurred between November 14 and 21, 2012. During those eight days more than 30 Palestinian children died in Israeli military attacks.

    Previously, Israeli forces launched a three-week intensive aerial and naval bombing campaign and ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, on December 27, 2008. At least 353 children were killed and a further 860 injured during the military offensive.

    Both Israeli military offensives were characterized by disproportionate force directed at government and civilian infrastructure, residential neighborhoods, and individual civilians. The stated objective of each operation was to end rocket attacks into Israel by Palestinian armed groups.

1 11 12 13 14 15

Comments are closed.