Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Suggestion Box

...anyone who does have any ideas of inspiration - please stick them in this comment thread as Id love to hear them!

I think this is a terrific and interesting summary. Its from a hand wringing lefty-apologist and in some ways typifies what i mean about the lack of left right convergence on the issue of Islam.

I didnt mention religion as a seperate issue - and as a whole - but it worries me. We are getting more and more polarised as a nation over religion. As a very relaxed catholic i see the views on secularism becoming increasingly more important, even though ive argued very much against them in this past year and never thought that the UK would EVER need to think about this.


and lastly....'Eurabia'

"The possibility that some smelly little jihadi is looking at his computer screen, laughing and saying to his friend; "Look Ahmed.... They hate each other as much as they hate us.... this is going to be easy!", is perhaps not as remote a possibility as people may think. Some people need to get a fucking grip" (commenter at LGF)

Rightwing blogging doesnt seem to be about circulating whats hopeful and monopolising the propaganda war or battling the issues. Whereas it should be. I often think the Left and Right, the anti religious and the mod-religious DO need to converge on issues cleverly, if those issues are to be shouted down. The issue being islamic nuttism.

Some of the issue is down to the fact that the Establishment is comprised mostly of White Self Loathing Middle Class PC Liberals - so to be anti establishment or rebellious is to be in many ways anti-PC, anti-Islam, anti-everything. Where the Left have been slogan driven the Right now seem to be following.

Its not just about uncovering what the media misses anymore - its about hoping for the very worse to prove your point about it even if that is dangerously contributing to the issues you hate (eg the self loathing, hand wringing PC and anti democratic forces be they in your view Islam, the EU or New Labour or a useful combination of all three!).

And sometimes the arguments are not all they are cracked up to be. France is one such issue where people actually seem to be hoping for the very very worse. The issues -which are certainly there - sometimes get hyped out of all proportion by all the hyperventilating. The fact that most of the recent rioting occured in central Paris and was by white anarchists in the throws of extreme leftwing '68 throwback chic, or that France suffers from a deep underlying racism (but theyre secular socialists.. so say it aint so!?) which has long affected jobless North African third and fourth generations, slips on by.

And gives smelly gangstaboy-jihadiz an unnecessary sense of superiority.

"According to the information in our possession, Muslims voted in more or less equal numbers for both candidates - Sarkozy and [Socialist contender Segolene] Royal in Sunday's run-off..." says the head of the Islamic Council ...that Sarko cleverly set up a few years back and which consequently are very on board with the guy. If you look at the interactive voting map of the regions below, its pretty interesting overall.

And so much for Sarko being racist.

French footballer player Lilian Thuram has something to say on the above.

"Stop. There are many other means of being heard more effectively. We live in a society full of prejudices, this violence reinforces them whereas they should be fought.(...) people revolt when there is injustice...but Nicolas Sarkozy was elected democratically....and (contrary to what he was saying in a debate on racism that was too often 'banalise' )...what he is saying now is pretty good"

First there was Thatcherism...followed by Son of Thatcherism - Blairism...followed by not too distant French Hungarian cousin ....Sark-asm


Blogging is Bollocks: Rant Numero Trois

What was all that bollocks over Iran about?

Opening up a third front in the war on terror... or Iran, however you see it, at a time when we have fuck all to show in Iraq, stretched militaries both here and in the US and an incredibly important mission to win in Afghanistan with the start of their Spring Offensive isnt very smart. Sure everyone has opinions about it, right or wrong - but the level of crap that spewed forth towards the UK and its military just underlined a point: this isnt about 'the West'.


The Middle East is shit hot at this. Not only are they skilful using the media and internet in the service both of electronic jihad and the bamboozling of Western opinion by Muslim spokesmen ...but a collective outpouring of sentiment from across the Atlantic and in the blogosphere lamenting the fact that Britain didnt start world war three and slamming Britain and its military as 'wimps' was really quite, um - special.

If you'd followed the Iranian newswire, as I did, you would have seen it first hand. They loved our self loathing.

What sickened me most though was the desire for so many across the Atlantic, who yell about anti-americanism if you criticise their soldiers - ever - was the desire to whitewash our entire military over this.

Quite honestly thats the equivalent of me suggesting the US military is entirely comprised of rapists, torturers and gung ho morons who enjoy alientating the civilian population of the country they are trying to help. Or Jessica Lynch.

Isnt that what the MSM does?

We won that round of the propaganda battle by isolating Iran - but you could be forgiven for thinking we had lost if all you ever believe is knee jerk might is right - and that propaganda has nothing to do with it.

One of the things about the blogosphere I would have at least expected them to circulate in opposition to the MSM was this image below. Someone at Free Republic got that, i suppose. And Michael Yon is an absolute star.

But the comments and crap ive read over the last year and a half needling the UK over a nos of issues were pretty much confirmed in that little issue. ...along comes a situation where the world needs to take a collective deep breath and suddenly everyone is to put it mildly indulging that certain fantasy...

Ill borrow from Steve here : Bloggers and commentators can have teenage wank fantasies about what they'd like to do to the Iranians but that's all they'll ever be - fantasies"


Blogging is Bollocks - part 2

The media is trying to colonise the blogosphere.

All the major media outlets have comment pieces on them and in many instances the British media has started to cotton on to what issues are of interest and dig a little deeper - C4 Dispatches has, even the BBC is now looking into the issues and Sky even ran a piece on Hamas propaganda last week, amongst a whole slew of comment pieces in various broadsheets - to outsmart the MSM blogging has got to almost reinvent itself again.

Of course the blogosphere has been successful in catching the media out as it did over the Hitzbollah-Israel war last year and the appauling lies propagated as truths. In fact EU Referendum has a good piece here on another buiried issue.

But part of this means some joined up writing. Instead of all standing in various corners and screaming - blogs need to try to generate some much needed light instead of so much heat.

How About Rooting for the WEST for a change you rightwing scumbags!

For an example of one of the biggest cultprits Id be inclined to point to LGF. A clever blog that to its authors kudos has been incredibly successful and was definitely one of the original blogmasters to outwit the MSM.

But it often links to islamic sites where its commenters rush to pour in their special brand of vitriol and hatred that gives the too often undeserving recipients the moral high ground!

And its dislike of anywhere outside America is all too bleedin' obvious. And often indulged by the kind of British idiots that still unfortunately wash around these shores and who like nothing more than a bit of self indulgent self-loathing. The left and right seem to have so much more in common than they thought! The "Britain deserves to be bitten. They've invited the vampires in" attitude for example.

Along with its desire to hog the limelight - detracting from the blogospheres main strengths - the ability to work collectively. An example of this was when Pub Philosopher did some great work on the Clare College Cambridge nonsense that LGF didnt even bother to credit. There isnt much of an excuse for that really.

Great comment lifted off LGF and reproduced here in same shit in our own backyards :-

....."It's not just you either. I can't count the number of posts I read each and every day prattling on about the lack of moral fortitude or opposition towards any given issue that can be ascribed to the people of Britain, mostly based on what little representation our media affords the majority of our citizens....Need I point out that you would find it grossly offensive if we held to the view that Americans are little more than overweight, beer swilling, gun toting cowboys, sitting in their trailers and watching talk shows, waiting for the weekend when they'll be marrying their cousins?. Never mind that it would be an entirely crass and uneducated view.
So we just love to be bombed do we?. We'd just love to see our children blown to pieces by terrorists would we?. Whose arse did you pull that opinion from eh?. Also, since when did any single nation have the monopoly on historical infallibility?. Any person who wishes to express that their particular nation has never made a mistake or followed the wrong path before today is full of shit, end of story. No mans nation is unnacountable for its errors in the past, but the past is unchangeable. It's where we go from today that determines where we'll be tomorrow. As Churchill said: "If we open up a quarrel between the past and the present, we will find that we have lost our future"..."

I do wonder though - especially after the Iran issue: next!


Blogging is Bollocks - part 1

It is our job continually to retest old assumptions and to seek new ideas. But we must not try to find one unalterable answer that will solve all our problems for none can exist. Margaret Thatcher

I'm trying to get into perspective why i think blogging is a load of old bollocks and why its best left.
First up: The Right in the US and UK.... & Tony Blair.
Not your average homo-lefticus - credit where its due, morons!

From what ive read so far, the Right in the UK and US are happy to see the back of a man who stood firm after 9/11, took this country to war to fight terrorism, acted as a sort of Lawyer to the often hopeless George W Bush and who stood firm on Israel - all at a time many on the Left would have sold their souls to the devil on any of these issues. The right wing blogosphere spends a great deal of time issuing criticism to the Left on its reaction to 9/11, the War on Terror, Israel, anti-semitism, anti-americanism and the failure to grasp what it feels (uniquely you could be forgiven for thinking), is a basic fight for our shared values.

Interesting then that in their sending off of Tony Blair ive not see one sincere mention of the mans single and often lonely ability to cut through all of those apparently massively important issues in his own party and make a decent number of points.

Mr Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister between 1996 and 1999, speaking about Tony Blair last year during the Hitzbollah-Israeli conflict:

He said he believed Mr Blair had correctly judged this situation: "that this is not a local conflict between two tribes". He said Hezbollah regarded Israel as "the first step on the way to an Islamic empire"

"It is a mad wisdom and it should not be dismissed because it's mad, just as Hitler - he started off as an attack on the Jews and this is the same thing," he said.

"Tony Blair understands this. Some of the chattering classes do not. They learnt nothing from history. They really think it is a problem with Israel.

"Mr Blair is doing a great deal. He's standing up for his beliefs - he is nobody's puppet.

"He genuinely understands what is the correct picture. He is getting attacked from every side.

That makes him more of a leader, not less so.

"Leadership is tested in doing the unpopular things - not going with the flow."

Please show me a Western leader who has, on the international stage, been as outspoken on these apparently massive issues as Tony Blair or one who has dedicated as much energy since 9/11? At a time when we could have been under some nutjob commie, here we have a leader that makes clear his position on Israel. On democracy. On supporting our values. On reaffirming the problem of islamism. On daring to suggest that pernicious forces are at work globally formenting anti western opinion and who sees it as a wholly international problem. Anyone would think these issues are the kind to be easily unpicked. How can you implement anything at home and abroad when it takes the energy it does to sell the idea in the first place? And if the manner in which he went about it at home wasnt up to scratch where were the big demos, the fact come to think of it where is there any challenge from Opposition or opposition? I get the feeling its easier to point the finger and bemoan the fate of democracy than play a part in defining it.

Blair party speech

"This is a struggle that will last a generation and more. But this I believe passionately: we will not win until we shake ourselves free of the wretched capitulation to the propaganda of the enemy, that somehow we are the ones responsible.This terrorism isn't our fault. We didn't cause it. It's not the consequence of foreign policy. It's an attack on our way of life. It's global. It has an ideology"

"Yes it's hard sometimes to be America's strongest ally. Yes, Europe can be a political headache for a proud sovereign nation like Britain. But believe me there are no half-hearted allies of America today and no semi-detached partners in Europe. And the truth is that nothing we strive for, from the world trade talks to global warming, to terrorism and Palestine can be solved without America, or without Europe"

Blair on Israeli conflict

"The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict in Lebanon was clear. It was to create chaos and to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it."
The point is this. This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind....9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid, the countless terrorist attacks in countries as disparate as Indonesia or Algeria, what is now happening in Afghanistan and in Indonesia, the continuing conflict in Lebanon and Palestine, it is all part of the same thing. What are the values that govern the future of the world? Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division and hatred? My point is that this war can't be won in a conventional way. It can only be won by showing that our values are stronger, better and more just, more fair than the alternative. Doing this, however, requires us to change dramatically the focus of our policy..." ...."And most contemporaneously, and in some ways most perniciously, a very large and, I fear, growing part of our opinion looks at Israel, and thinks we pay too great a price for supporting it and sympathises with Muslim opinion that condemns it. Absent from so much of the coverage, is any understanding of the Israeli predicament..."

Blair - Council of Foreign Relations written piece in the US 2006

"....many in Western countries listen to the propaganda of the extremists and accept it. (And to give credit where it is due, the extremists play our own media with a shrewdness that would be the envy of many a political party.)"

"If we recognized this struggle for what it truly is, we would at least be on the first steps of the path to winning it. But a vast part of Western opinion is not remotely near this point yet.This ideology has to be taken on -- and taken on everywhere. Islamist terrorism will not be defeated until we confront not just the methods of the extremists but also their ideas. I do not mean just telling them that terrorist activity is wrong. I mean telling them that their attitude toward the United States is absurd, that their concept of governance is prefeudal, that their positions on women and other faiths are reactionary. We must reject not just their barbaric acts but also their false sense of grievance against the West, their attempt to persuade us that it isothers and not they themselves who are responsible for their violence"


Monday, May 07, 2007

Couple for the road:

Good read. Can't read French? tough! c/o l'Ombre (great blog) who notes what i thought:

"the banlieues failed to explode into an orgy of rioting and protest as certain folks (hoped) predicted".

I hope Nawal El Saadawi was as encouraged by Sarkozys words in his victory speech - to women in burqas (eg under Islam) - as I was.

She wrote the following letter c/o Ni Putes Ni Soumises:

Ségolène Royal, Nicolas Sarkozy. Vous qui aurez dans deux semaines les rênes de notre pays, puis-je vous interrompre quelques instants. Je sais que la campagne vous occupe pleinement, mais le sujet pour lequel je vous interpelle est suffisamment sérieux

A l’heure où vous lisez ces quelques lignes, une femme égyptienne, Nawal El Saadawi, est exilée de son pays et ne peut pas y revenir. Médecin psychiatre, écrivaine et féministe depuis près de 50 ans, Nawal a publié une pièce de théâtre en janvier dernier. Elle y écrit que Dieu est un esprit, et non une femme ou un homme. Pour cette « injure à l’islam », l’université islamique du Caire lui a intenté un procès.

Nawal is an Egyptian exile, psychiatrist wroter and feminist who has fought for equal rights in the muslim world and wants to get the Arab world out of 'l’obscurantisme religieux'. She made the mistake of publishing a theatre piece in which she likened God to a spirit - causing offence to Islaaaaaaaam! And so the University of Cairo has started legal proceedings against her.

Maybe they should contact Cambridge Uni for some pointers.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bye Chirac

Im still in France and will be for a while (this will be last post from me for a good while reckon, not sure about this blogging lark and so need some time away).

Its been fascinating to be here as the French election draws to a close. The tv and news is no longer allowed to report - allowing the traditional two days of reflection for the French public.

Ive been following the campaigns for over a year and now its crunch time finally. Everyone here wants to talk politics and share their views, considerable choice and real democracy has seen all the parties get a reasonable look-in.

The TV debate between the final two contenders did little to sway people one way of another in the end though Sego cam eout of it well - and neither did Bayrou who came out and damned Sarkozy on Friday in a day that offered up little other than desperation.

It seems as though the French have, barring some last minute shock, which i wouldnt put past them, made up their minds. Most felt the gaff prone Sego came across well in the debate but that it wasnt enough - and that Sarko though at times too often on the backfoot and unsure of how to tackle this woman, in the debate - had all the ideas. I also felt that Sego spent too much timing chalking up her resume for women. Anyway - 90% of the French public have now decided and the polls indicate a solid Sarkozy win - which would be fantastic.

Im not sure that I am the same as everyone on the right in that I view good and bad in all ideas but essentially want a strong leader in the West. I am fed up with the transatlantic nonsense. Chirac was a buffoon but then Bush is noone to hold up as an aspirational leader - and whats to come in both the UK and US fills me with a sort of malaise! For all his faults i still maintain Blair was a Tory and a strong one at that. The issue for me there was always how we eventually went to US hardcore style over substance in terms of personality and media driven agendas. All politicians rest on soundbites and that includes Sarkozy but he offers France a clear choice. Please point to what we have in comparison in the UK?

Anyway- the debate was substance over all too often simpering style. I hope that the French dont cave in at the last moment. Watching the UK elections in comparison you could be forgiven for thinking democracy is well and truly dead, finished, over. I caught the news on the BBC in time to hear one Scot moan that if this was a small African country the issue of the ballot paper spoiled would have resulted in international cries for a re-vote. Quite. The politcal stalemate was indicited nowhere more so than in the Tory victory - nothing short of sensationally boring. Across the Atlantic I gather a young Obama is seen as something of a breath of fresh air. But reading his speech on Harrys Place left me cold - rhetoric rhetoric and yet more rhetoric.. What are people voting FOR?

Thats the issue with Sego. And she though became desperate and ridiculous yesterday suggesting he was a threat to democracy. An offer of something clear and different to socialism on the table is a threat now. She looked ridiculous and i think that may have finished her off.

Slowly walking down the road flanked by muslims suggesting Sarko’s elections would spark violence to end her campaign she bemoaned what was to come in the face of a clear set of proposals to lift France out of 1968 politically. Sarko also used the banlieues at the start of his campaign - suggesting they would clean out the banlieues with a karsher. The issue goes to the core of some of the French worry.

Then of course she suggested Sarko was a mini-Bush - but not the war mongerer, rather the veneer of compassionate conservatism:

"He (Sarkozy) imitates George W. Bush in this technique of compassionate conservative. One cries over people. The various facts are used and, when one is at responsibilities, one does not act for the present and one promises for tomorrow. See the election campaigns of Bush, but, when there was the catastrophe of New-Orleans, one did not see it on the ground!...(Sarkozy) carries the same neoconservative ideology."

Sarko eventually put paid to her desperation in Le Parisien on line:

"To explain that if people don't vote for one candidate there will be violence is quite simply to refuse the democratic and republican expression of opinion. We've never seen this before, never. It's a worrying form of intolerance."..(Come to the Uk Sarko experienece itfor real and then revel in the future)...."Instead of explaining her propositions and criticizing mine, she has wanted to caricature me...I am myself, I defend my own ideas."

Good luck to him & cheerio at alst to Chirac Le Grand Voleur.

"Is he still the President? I thought it was the little guy?" from a cartoon last year