Saturday, June 20, 2009
Do revolutions in communication bring political upheaval? Or is it the other way round?
It certainly seems that revolutions in communication makes it easier for radical memes to spread.
The printing press paved the way for the Reformation. Ben Franklin and co began a revolution with their pamphlets. Red Russians consolidated their's via the rail network.
In the 1970s, the ayatollahs spread their radical message with cassette tapes. More recently, civil upheaval in Lebanon was coordinated by text.
Today, the memes run through twitter and facebook. Like the printing press - but unlike radio or television - the web communication revolution devolves power. I suspect big corporate politics, as well as big corporate media, will be casualties.
Thoughtful point. It has also been said that only the railroad & telegraph allowed the America to hold the Union together.
It strikes me that most human progress has taken place where practical communications have exceeded the reach of political rule - Europe from the Reformation onwards, Renaissance Italy, ancient Greece, arguably the world from about 1948 (decolonisation starts) to 1989 (fall of the Berlin Wall, the "end of history" & the "global warming" movement increasingly dictating to nations in the War Against Fire).
Some may be surprised that I count the fall of the Wall as restricting free thought but what it did was create a more unitary world & my point is that unitary societies are inherently less innovative irrespective of the intentions of leaders.
To extend the point a little where the borders of the state reach as far as practical communication is possible (Roman Empire, ancient Egypt the Persian Empire of Cyrus & successors) progress has been drastically slower. I don't know enough about the history of China to know if their eras of technological progress were during or immediately after periods when the country was divided into many kingdoms.
Of course as technological progress has continued travel speed has greatly increased & the size of empires has grown somewhat as well.
This suggests we are now at a cusp. Flying across the world can now be done faster than travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh 3 centuries ago & militarily it is barely possible to defend one part of the planet against another. Moreover we see governments, increasingly consisting if interchangeable cosmopolitan suits trying to enforce a united ideological dictat across the world (currently global warming but that is already being finessed into "climate change" & the underlying cause is simply telling people what to do). Thus if we don't, fairly soon, get off this planet we are going to have a unified & inevitably stultifying culture.
Alternately, if Einstein is right the speed of light is an absolute limit & a small fraction of the speed of light a practical limit, to physical communication. Thus the exercise of force is much more limited than communication at the speed of light, or indeed faster. So we are very close to a spacegoing human civilisation where the stultifying effect of empire can never exercise anything but a localised restriction on human progress.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Mr Berube is apparently a "professor" of "cultural studies" at some sort of hairdressing & television watching studies school called Pennsylvania State University.
At the time I attempted to ask Berube, on his own blog, what evidence he had to support his own position but he censored me.
So a few days ago I posted on his blog with results which can hardly be unexpected. All listed under. On checking him up on Google I found, to my considerable surprise, that he was about 50th in the listing of the "101 Most Dangerous Academics in America". Apparently he has achieved this by his cutting intellect & deep philosophical understanding in debate & lecture. I will admit that, when I took him on I had no idea what an eminent pillock he was.
He is also deeply opposed to any form of censorship having said in his attack on Chomsky that "the job of the intellectual is to tell the truth and expose lies” to quote yourself" & having criticised somebody allegedly partially reprinting remarks of his about the honour of his 101 accolade "Berube wrote a response to questions provided by Horowitz's assistant. Horowitz published only an excerpted version of his response, prompting accusations of dishonesty from Berube". Clearly only if he were not only thoroughly lost for any factual response but also a complete hypocrite would he censor my response. Obviously since I am publishing this that is what he did.
I will say that Berube alone does not represent the American intellectual "left". Chomsky is certainly a genuine intellectual & has shown courage in his defence of the Serbs (even though he accepts the "Srebrenica Massacre" as being largely genuine & I believe the evidence shows it is at, least largely, a deliberate lie & that the ICTY could prove it either way if any time they want the truth).
EDITED FROM HIS BLOG
69 A certain amount of hypocrisy on this subject considering that Mr Berube himself justifies the murder of thousands of innocent people by American bombers, while being himself a holocaust denier.
I would also say that censoring the fact that his friends have been cutting up thousands of people while alive because this is a political friendship is a certain amount of politicisation.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/13 at 12:34 PM
Ah, the long-awaited return of Neil “the Serbs were the victims all along of America’s fascist Muslim allies” Craig! Yes, well, I’ll be sure to tell my friends to stop cutting up thousands of people. Tomorrow, though. I’ve got some holocausts to deny today.
Posted by Michael on 06/13 at 12:52 PM
Friends don’t let friends cut up thousands of people.
Posted by JP Stormcrow on 06/13 at 01:08 PM
Despite Mr Berube’s wit that is precisely what our government has spent the last decade doing.
He knows that the entire media have been censoring such actions numercially less than, but in terms of obscenity exceeding Auschwitz.
It takes a particular sort of human being to deny that people cut open while alive so that Mr Berube’s friends could profit are victims.
Last time he decided to censor - lets see if this is his only possible answer again.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/13 at 02:30 PM
Hmm. In this competition of supporters of wars in Yugoslavia I can finally say “a pox on both your houses”. Although I’d say that just as I insist that my opposition to the US aggression isn’t the result of me personally gaining from it (the opposition) in any way, or predicated on me admiring Milosevic, I think it absurdly over the top to accuse Michael of supporting said aggression simply so his “friends” could make a killing (no pun intended) in the process.
Posted by christian h. on 06/13 at 03:02 PM
In other words, I happen to think Michael is wrong on this, and other issues. (As is Neil, for that matter.) Too bad. We all are wrong sometimes, that doesn’t make us evil or naive or whatever else.
Posted by christian h. on 06/13 at 03:03 PM
Michael, I know you had to make a lot of tough decisions during those years you were the de facto ruler of Kosovo. You should not have paid those organ trafficers to cut people up, though. Shame on you.
And you should just step up and admit that because you ruled Kosovo in the nineties, we have nothing to complain about when crazy Americans start shooting down doctors, policemen, and security guards. Don’t you see???
Posted by rm on 06/13 at 05:56 PM
Certainly you are nothing, Michael, if not a cutup.
Posted by Dave Maier on 06/13 at 07:17 PM
While the Bosnian Croat refugee elders (Čelo i Dragan) i tutor see the Serbs (and their attempts at ethnic cleansing and rape of Croats and Muslims) very differently than that sprezzatura NC, they have nothing but praise for Michael’s outstanding leadership in the Balkans.
Posted by spyder on 06/13 at 10:04 PM
I thank all my Internet friends for their praise of my leadership in the Balkans, and I thank them also for the profits they realized from cutting open live bodies, the kickbacks from which helped keep this blog running even in the darkest days of 1999.
But I strongly resent the suggestion that I “censored” Mr. Craig last time around. On the contrary, I allowed him to post a number of batshit insane comments, and when he called me “a corrupt racist Nazi liar” while accusing me of “rudeness,” I disemvoweled his final comment. Because no one has the right to show up on my blog and call me “rude.” That’s just wrong.
Still, I acknowledge that Mr. Craig is the real victim here, as were the helpless Serbs massacred by the US proxies known as the KLA.
Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 12:22 AM
The fact is that Mr Berube supported what he knew was a NATO war to assist in genocide. It was certainly not a “pox on both your houses” operation but a “depleted uranium & cluster bombs on Serb houses to help NATO armed Nazi gangsters* commit racial genocide” sort of operation. By the standards we used at Nuremburg those who supported it were certainly engaged in war crimes & crimes against humanity. The remarks by America’s current vice President that he wished to put the entire Serbian people in “Nazi-style concentration camps” proves that.
And that was before we knew that our governments were involved in cutting up living human beings.
As regards “rudeness” may I point out that my initial dispute with him was over remarks he made about Noam Chomsky, because he was opposed to the racial genocide Berube so enthusiastically supported. His remarks certainly involved “rudeness” to Chomsky.
As to whether it was improper of me to accuse him of “rudeness” to me - his remarks, while at no time attempting to introduce any hint of fact accused me of being a “genocide denier”, “bad foul dust” (really) & “truly insane”. This may be common by-play in his academic circles but I think my response:
57 - “Answer the question.
The rest is just rudeness & obfuscation.
58 Posted by Neil Craig on 07/01 at 12:46 PM
“the job of the intellectual is to tell the truth and expose lies” to quote yourself.
Assuming you claim to be an intellectual:
Answer the question. Tell the truth.”
...Was by comparison reasoned & restrained & resulted in him engaging in what he describes as “not censorship” but merely censoring me.
That Berunbe could preface his initial fact free attack on Choamsky with the “job of the intellectual” remark shows that he knows that he has prostituted any claims to intellectual status he may have in the interests of assisting people he knows to have committed crimes individually exceeding in evil, though not in numbers, those of Adolf Hitler.
The previous discussion is here & it will be obvious who was relying on rudeness. http://www.michaelberube.com/index.php/weblog/comments/971/
*That is the literal case. he KLA were recruited by NATO from gangsters, pimps & organleggers in Albania, Germany & New York’s jails rather than ever being a legitimate Kosovo organisation. That the media have lied about this as they have censored the news of the dissections of living people must be a matter of grave concern to ANYBODY who wishes to live in a free society.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 08:01 AM
Yes, as for my initial fact-free attack on Chomsky. Chomsky said this:
The worst crime was Srebrenica but, unfortunately for the International Tribunal, there was an intensive investigation by the Dutch government, which was primarily responsible– their troops were there– and what they concluded was that not only did Milosevic not order it, but he had no knowledge of it. And he was horrified when he heard about it. So it was going to be pretty hard to make that charge stick.
However, the NIOD report on Srebrenica to which Chomsky refers actually says this:
It is also not known whether Milosevic had any knowledge of the continuing Bosnian-Serb offensive that resulted in the occupation of the enclave. After the fall of the enclave, Milosevic made no mention to that effect to the UN envoy Thorvald Stoltenberg– he was too much of a poker player to reveal anything. On the other hand, Milosevic did express himself clearly later, in 1996, when he dropped the question to a group of Bosnian-Serb entrepreneurs as to “what idiot” had made the decision to attack Srebrenica while it hosted international troops when it was obvious that, in any event, the enclave would eventually have been bled dry or become depopulated. It is not clear to what extent that statement had been intended to clear his responsibility for those events.
And one of my points in that 2006 post was that it is possible to oppose the Kosovo war without indulging in apologetics for Milosevic. Why does Chomsky entertain such apologetics? I don’t know. You should ask him.
Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 08:17 AM
In normal circumstances if someone is “not known to have any knowledge” of a crime that is considered to be innocence. Being alleged to use the term “what idiot did it” would, to an impartial mind, not seem to be an announcement of personal responsibility.
I should admit that during the Milosevic trial evidence was introduced of Milosevic’s complicity in the alleged Srebrencia massacre. NATO general Wesley Clark testified, on oath, that for no apparent reason Milosevic had approached him at an international conference & solely in the presence of somebody who had since conveniently died, told him of his complicity. Milosevic said he was lying & a few minutes later Wesley Clark perjured himself by saying that there was no link between NATO & the KLA. This is the sole “evidence” of any sort brought, throughout the 4 1/2 years of “trial” that Milosevic had been personally involved in anything criminal.
Of course the only massacre agreed to have happened at Srebrenica was of 3.700 Serbss in surrounding villages carried out by our Moslem Nazi allies. Since this is more than the number of bodies found since & since the ICTY refuse to check their DNA for ethnic grouping it seems likely it was the only massacre.
This is supported by evidence from a Dutch soldier you mention:
“Everybody is parroting everybody, but nobody shows hard evidence. I notice that in the Netherlands people want to prove at all costs that genocide has been committed. (...) If executions have taken place, the Serbs have been hiding it damn well. Thus, I don’t believe any of it. The day after the collapse of Srebrenica, July 13, I arrived in Bratunac and stayed there for eight days. I was able to go wherever I wanted to. I was granted all possible assistance; nowhere was I stopped.”
-- Captain Schouten quoted below. Captain Schouten was the only UN military officer in Bratunac at the time a massacre is alleged.)
A number of other Dutch soldiers have agreed to testify to the same effect at the Karadzic “trial”. This is, of course, extensively reported by every newspaper & broadcaster in the NATO countries that is in the remotest degree honest.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 09:18 AM
The “pox on both your houses” remark was a bit of a joke, by the way, based on the fact that I rarely agree with that kind of argument, as regular readers know.
But it any event it wasn’t aimed at NATO and Milosevic (although I am no fan of the latter in the least, any more than of the former) but rather at two factions in the argument who desperately try to either make Milosevic out to be some heroic socialist standing up to the West while unfairly smeared by Western media, or on the other hand yell “genocide” about various Serb atrocities in order to link them up with Ruanda and ultimately the holocaust in people’s minds and thus justify the atrocity of NATO intervention.
For what it’s worth, I do not believe there is proof Milosevic ordered the Srebrenica massacre (which provably did happen and denial of which puts, imo, a person into dangerous intellectual territory). Using it to charge him with genocide was extremely flimsy even if we accept said massacre did, in fact, constitute an act of genocide (which it well might given the very expansive definition of that crime in international law). The reason for this charge was entirely political: if Milosevic had merely been charged with ‘ordinary’ war crimes (ample of evidence for his responsibility for those) someone might have justifiably asked why, say, Wesley Clark wasn’t in the dock for numerous blatant and deliberate violations of the Geneva conventions by forces under his command.
Posted by christian h. on 06/14 at 11:09 AM
Milosevic was only charged by the ICTY some days into NATO’s war & sg=hortly after Albright had publicly demanded it which certainly makes it look political. I think they had to charge him with genocide in Bosnia, particularly since when the indictment against him was “unsealed” it turned out that only the alleged Racak massacre had actually allegedly happened at the time NATO started bombing.
Milosevic could not be found not guilty since it was certain a war had taken place & if he was not guilty then, by definition Clark, Clinton et al were. In the end they compromised by poisonng him with rifampicine.
While denying the official Srebrenica massacre may be “dangerous” I strongly suspect Christian that you had not previously heard of the Dutch soldier’s denial of it. At the very least that should suggest that the media sources, which are almost everybody’s only sources are wholly corrupt. hat is indeed dangerous territory but I am informed that it is the job of the intellectual to tell the truth & I actually believe it.
Forensic tests of the Racak massacre show it was also a fabrication, that the innocent peasants shot were actually KLA soldiers with gunshot residue on their hands & that while William Walker, the US observer said that he had seen bodies shot in the face “execution style” this was a lie. Confronted with the evidence he admitted to the Milosevic “trial” that he had, for undisclosed reasons, lied.
Obviously were the US media not wholly & completely corrupt racist filth willing to tell any lie & censor any fact to promote genocide they would have reported this extensively. Such scum are hardly trustworthy reporters of Srebrenica either.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 11:46 AM
Impartial minds understand the difference between “it is not known whether X had any knowledge” and “X had no knowledge.” Likewise, impartial minds understand the difference between “‘what idiot’ had made the decision to attack Srebrenica while it hosted international troops when it was obvious that, in any event, the enclave would eventually have been bled dry or become depopulated” and “Milosevic was horrified when he heard about it.”
But I take your major point here, Mr. Craig. Because I accurately noted, three years ago, that Noam Chomsky misconstrued the NIOD report so as it make it sound more favorable to Milosevic than it really is, I am a hypocrite to call the murder in the Holocaust Museum “politically motivated.” You have an airtight argument there, sir, and you leave my metal arms hanging uselessly by my side.
Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 03:08 PM
You know, back when the Cathars were being wiped out, I remember thinking, “Strange as it seems now, one day an embarrasingly simple-minded version of Manichaean dualism will return, and ironically it will be an exclusively conservative worldview.” Boy, is my face red now.
if Milosevic had merely been charged with ‘ordinary’ war crimes (ample of evidence for his responsibility for those) someone might have justifiably asked why, say, Wesley Clark wasn’t in the dock for numerous blatant and deliberate violations of the Geneva conventions by forces under his command.
Uh, not to get all cynical or anything, Professor h., but I’m fairly sure that everyone would have known the answer to that question. So there was probably a little bit more to it than that.
Posted by mds on 06/14 at 05:54 PM
Yes mds, obviously that wasn’t the only reason. It was also useful in order to justify war - our gracious host isn’t the only one in the “responsibility to protect” crowd who draws a line at genocide. How convenient if the enemy of the day is guilty of one, then, isn’t it?
Posted by christian h. on 06/14 at 08:54 PM
Mr Berube in any remotely judicial the discovery that there is no evidence against somebody is equated with innocence. here is, for example, no evidence either way that you were the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll which means any reasonable person would assume you weren’t rather that that there was merely doubt as to your guilt. here are philosophical & indeed scientific reason as well as judicial ones for taking this as innocence.
I didn’t mention the museum murder either way & you are clearly throwing sand to pretend otherwise. The fact is that you are supporting war criminals, people engaged in racial genocide & worse.
Christian I’m not sure what “ample evidence” there is of Milosevic’s responsibility for ordinary war crimes was. Since the NATO funded “court” couldn’t find any I am not the only one seeking enlightenment. Certainly he did not invade foreign countries, he did not bomb civilians or indeed hospitals, he did not hire drug lords & gangsters to commit genocide, he did not cluster bomb NATO civilians, he did not blow up any American TV stations & to take it to true equivalence he did not bomb Washington to help ethnicly cleanse southern California & Texas of Anglos & liberate it from the US. here is not even evidence of him calling for the entire Anglo population of the US to be put in concentration camps, a remark so unexceptional that it has not prevented a corrupt, fascist & racist US President choosing the speaker as his Vice.
I look forward to you producing this evidence - you may find it less ample than you thought.
Posted by Neil Craig on 06/15 at 05:35 AM
I didn’t mention the museum murder either way & you are clearly throwing sand to pretend otherwise.
You might want to reread your first comment here, @ 69, which begins, “A certain amount of hypocrisy on this subject,” and then you might want to reflect on what the subject of this post was. Not that I have any confidence in your ability to read, or your capacity for reflection. But I wish you good luck with your future apologetics for Milosevic’s innocence and with your brave explorations of the dangerous intellectual territory of Srebenica denial. It has been most illuminating to hear from you again on these subjects, and to allow you to use up a bit of my bandwidth. And now that you have posted your final comment here, I bid you adieu.
Posted by Michael on 06/15 at 06:46 AM
At his point I response "The "subject" of your thread was a generalised objection to the politics of justification of killing by pointing to killings on the other side - something which has been, wholly dishonestly since so many of the alleged Serbian atrocities have been proven fabrications & since the atrocities you support by the US government are so many orders of magnitude worse than the stuff you feel warrents such discussion. I said absolutely noting about specific cases & you are simply throwing sand again.
I note you have not made even a perfunctory attempt to produce any evidence of any "ordinary war crimes" by Milosevic. Clearly you know there are none for which any real evidence exists." - & found that I had been barred.
I sent this to some other people who had commented:
"It appears that Mr Berube, who gives his word that he does not censor, has decided not to accept comments from me. e has the right to censor on his own blog but I think integrity would require him to admit that that is what he has done, rather than that I been convinced by the wisdom of his words.
Nor is censorship entirely consistent with with his loudly proclaimed desire for "truth" used in his disgraceful; attack on Chomsky." one of whom posted:
I for one am grateful for Mr. Craig’s follow-up via e-mail. Shame on you, Professor, for disrespecting the First Amendment by banning a commenter who has been given no opportunity to make his arguments in this forum, especially given your putative dedication to engagement and debate. The same old cut-and-paste assertions about the innocent Serbian blood staining your own hands, now coupled with accusations of hypocrisy because you thought the Holocaust Museum shooting was bad, should be addressed on the merits. Again and again and again.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to come up with some way to synthesize the radical notion that bad actions by one party don’t automatically excuse bad actions by another party. “Morality doesn’t work by double negative,” perhaps.
More generally, I’ve come up with:
Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad people and institutions frequently perform Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad actions for Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad reasons, leading to Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad outcomes. Pick each selection independently.
But I’m not entirely happy with the middle category being “morally ambiguous.” Suggestions?
Posted by mds on 06/15 at 12:03 PM
after which discussion petered out
Should Berube or anybody else wish to continue I will not censor. In particular i would be interested to see if Christian has checked if there is indeed "ample evidence" of "ordinary" war crimes by Milosevic. If so I suspect he will have found there isn't.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Calman report looks like a stitch up by the other 3 parties to give the illusion of change. I do not write of the refusal to give us a share of oil revenue since the argument against is reasonable. Oil prices fluctuate massively. Giving it to us would obviously be politically impossible without cutting the rest of the grant proportionately since, as English voters point out, we already spend more per head than them. That would simply make planning spending impossible.The Scotsman edited out the last 2 sentences of the first paragraph & both edited out the reference to airguns.
I write of the purely public relations call for us to get more of the income tax varying power which no government has come close to using. This is tokenism. The power we could & should get is to reduce Corporation Tax. Everybody knows it was the reduction in this that was the driver of the Ireland's 7% growth. This is why the SNP went into the last election promising to try & get us the power to reduce it. That was & still is the basis of their promise to produce a "Celtic Lion" economy matching Ireland's. It is also something then Labour leader McConnell promised to support (Scotsman 17/11/6) & that even the LibDems had been "looking at" cutting business taxes (Scotsman 3/7/6).
Whatever tokenism Calman has produced (airguns & extending a power we haven't used) if we actually want to grow Scotland's economy control of the levers which could most directly improve our competitiveness must be used & the most obvious of these is corporation tax. Everything else is smoke & mirrors.
Looking at the report [pdf p261) this is what it says about getting control of CT.
Devolving Corporation Tax would represent a shift in increasing the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament, although other taxes have a closer connection to the electorate. We are not convinced that allowing the ScottishBy "economic inefficiencies" what they mean is that that entrepreneurs would base decisions on where to locate not merely on "conventional" business costs but on taxes. Of course all businesses everywhere in the world make their decisions taking into account government taxes & regulation. However note that by saying this THE CALMAN COMMISION ARE ADMITTING THAT CUTTING CORPORATION TAX WOULD BE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE. If they didn't think it would persuade companies to expand their Scottish employment then there would be no effect & no such "inefficiencies"! There are 2 further fallacies in their position.
Parliament to determine a Scottish rate of Corporation Tax would produce harmful tax
competition because the scope to vary the rate is, in effect, constrained. Divergent
rates of Corporation Tax across the UK would create economic inefficiencies as firms
react to tax considerations rather than commercial factors. If tax competition did
occur, it would have the potential to be harmful rather than efficient. The creation
of compliance costs to businesses operating on either side of the border, as well as
the increased collection costs to government, would be especially undesirable in the
present economic climate.
Firstly that any business moving to Scotland must be matched by an equal cut in England. They should study Milton Friedman who said "Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another." This is one such - for every job gained by transfer from England we should expect a minimum of 1 from other parts of the world & another minimum of 1 from companies who, or whose bankers, would otherwise have decided such an investment would not be worth making. On top of that a growing Scottish economy produces resources some of which will, in due course, be invested in the rest of the world as well as more money for the Chancellor. Economic growth is, fairly obviously, not a fixed pie scenario.
The second fallacy is that this report is supposed to be about what is best for Scotland. Apart from the argument being wrong, if it were right it would be proper for Westminster MPs to turn it down on those grounds. It is highly improper of the Scottish ends of parties, however Unionist, to restrict, in advance, their request for powers in the interests of the Westminster end of the dog.
Their position is not only ignoring Scotland's interests in a putative Unionist interest but is economically flawed & a parochial view of the Union in which the rest of the world doesn't exist.
NOTE Previous Labour & LibDem apparent approval of CT cutting
On an entirely different subject I was on the radio Scotland phone in this morning. Gary's sermon was about potholes in our roads & whether we should, in this time of financial stringency be fixing them. I was given a few seconds to say that this was typical of the BBC. That they are constantly doing programmes about how we should spend more on enforcing nanny state regulations (for example yesterday his sermon had been on banning smoking in cars with kids in them in case they all died of passive smoking) but that when it comes down to basic infrastructure vital for the country's prosperity they say we don't have the money.
I got just long enough to say that & he moved on.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
If the government is directly spending above (25%) of GNP it shall be forbidden to increase the budget spending of any department of government beyond 50% of any inflationary increase. Hypothecated charges raised from specific duties & allocated to specific organisations not forming a formal part of government shall, if they & formal government spending exceed (30%) be limited in the same way.The chosen percentages are put in brackets & are, in my opinion & apparently in the public's opinion too, somewhat high. On the other hand they are about 50% of current government spending. The current hypothecation I can think of is the BBC licence fee. In theory National Insurance should be the same but it is administered as a purely government tax not on independent actuarial terms. Historically such things as tithings for an established Church would count this way. I can see a very good case for National Insurance to actually be run this way or for the health service to be funded from, for example if 1/3rd of income tax & 1/3rd of excise duties were legally committed to the Health Service it would stop such spending being a political football. Or 40% of fuel duty, £10 bn, could be hypothecated to an X-Prize Foundation independent of government.
In a declared national emergency this limitation may be suspended by a 75% vote of Congress, which must be repeated annually until it lapses.
Where UK government money comes from
Where UK government money goes
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
They have published these letters:
Rashid Hassan [letter, Jun 22] says "the British understand and respect only one language - outright defeat or victory in the conflict field. In relation to Afghanistan there is a special problem. The Brits are there with the very specific motivation of avenging the century-old defeats at the hands of Afghans." As a Brit may I say that I think we understand a few other things. The only avenging we went there for was [September 11, 2001]. If we were willing to give up running India 59 years ago it is improbable that we, or anybody else, would seek the very unprofitable task of running Afghanistan for any reason other than to stop the locals attacking other countries. Which [was] also the reason back when we had an empire.
Neil Craig (Jun 25, '07) See I am not against all British wars only the evil ones. This was not a letter copied to them but a direct response to reading Mr Hassan's
[Re The end of the post-Cold War era, Aug 13] The alleged "uni-polar world", ie, where everybody does what America says, is dead and buried. That is the lesson of the Georgian war. In mid-July the US sent 1,000 troops in a "training exercise" of the Georgian army. Presumably not unrelated to what that army was training for.
In 1995, US and British officers trained and de facto commanded our Croatian ... allies in the extermination of the 250,000-strong Krajina community. Ossetia was clearly meant to be a re-run of this. Instead, the Russians were able to annihilate their army in four days of combat and the Americans, despite encouraging [Georgia], were useless. Georgia may have been weak, but a counterattack in response to a surprise attack is not easy. Big countries can bungle in military matters, as Stalin proved in 1939 in his war against Finland.
Nor can we, with the experience of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, make any credible complaint about not respecting national sovereignty or "excessive bombing". We live on the same planet as Russia and we have to live together. For that we actively need to embrace international law.
The NATO countries have been at the forefront of saying that international law doesn't exist and it is perfectly OK for big countries and alliances to invade smaller ones. The Russians noted NATO's support of the "cleansing" of the Serb enclaves in Croatia (on which Georgia's actions were clearly patterned) and of our bombing of Yugoslavia to seize Kosovo. We have sown that wind and cannot expect, not merely Russia, but anybody, to allow us to be a referee enforcing rules that we have already torn up. In fact, the Russians have gone to some lengths to merely bend laws that we have previously broken. Law is not a luxury but a necessity for any society and as the world gets smaller adherence to international law becomes ever more vital. We should work with the Russians and everybody else to strengthen such law and establish consistent and relatively impartial rules on ethnic sovereignty (and many other causes of disputes) and then to keep them. The alternative is what happened in August 1914 but with modern weapons.
Neil Craig (Aug 14, '08)
It is not often that the first anniversary of the publication of a bureaucrat's biography deserves discussion, however this is one. A year ago Carla del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal published her biography. In it she confirmed having, eight years previously, investigated reports from Western journalists that the [Kosovo Liberation Army] KLA, had kidnapped and dissected, while still alive, at least 1,300 Serb teenagers and that the presumably tens of thousands of body parts had been flown out of Tirana airports to Western destinations.
Her team had indeed found a building where 300 of these murders took place together with forensic evidence proving this atrocity. Then she stopped the investigation. Since then there have been further investigations proving that such dissections were more extensive than thought and still going on. The European Union even appointed a lawyer to look into the matter.
Over the last year we have seen lead writers and front page articles denouncing the Chinese government for their "heavy handed" breaking up of riots in Tibet in which less than two dozen died, most of them ethnic Chinese. We have seen headlines and denunciations of Russia's action which prevented a Georgian attempt to "ethnically cleanse" the entire South Ossetian population. We have seen massive reporting of the Israeli war against Hamas in which about 800 people died, overwhelmingly Hamas combatants. How shameful that atrocities worse in numbers, infinitely worse in cruelty and forming only a part of the crimes carried out under a North Atlantic Treaty Organization authority have gone virtually entirely unreported by the British Press and broadcasters.
Neil Craig (Apr 1,'09)
Why has there been relatively little media coverage of the deaths in Sri Lanka when Gaza got front-page treatment for weeks? Perhaps because it is further away or because it is difficult for the media to portray it in terms of "goodies versus baddies".
Neil Craig (May 6,'09) Note how sending this to A was an afterthought to sending it to the conventional Anglosphere press - Sri lanka is further away from Britain but not from Asia. On the other hand they cut out the bulk of the letter which took the comparison on to Yugoslavia
[Re A reality check on Iran and the 'bomb' , Feb 28] Dear Editor, One explanation of [UK Minister of Justice] Jack Straw's decision that the public should not know of the British cabinet's discussions preceding the Iraq war is that politicians everywhere are becoming more concerned that they may, in future, be held to account for apparent war crimes ... This concern for future justice may also explain why, though our government made public the US Attorney General's advice on the legality of the Iraq War, they have refused to make public advice on the legality of whether the apparently even more dubious bombing of Yugoslavia was lawful or criminal ...
Many things happened in Kosovo under our [the UK's] occupation, such as the numerous massacres of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of 350,000; the kidnap of tens of thousands of schoolgirls (and boys) and their sale to Western brothels and the kidnap and dissection of at least 1,300 Serbian teens and their sale, in bits, to our hospitals ... It is unfortunate and almost inexplicable that these atrocities, some of them at least matching any act of Adolf Hitler, have gone essentially unreported by our media. Meanwhile, many innocent people, like the popular moderate Bosnian Muslim politician Fikret Abdic, whose only "crimes" were to support the survival of a multicultural state and to oppose the press gangs of al-Qaeda - then our convenient allies - languishes in jail.
Neil Craig (Mar 2,'09) same letter published by the Morning Star but nobody else
Not as many as the Star but I didn't send them as many.
What we have here is what is called in experimental terms a "control group". The 2 papers outside the NATO's control area have published several letters about acts of genocide where the facts are essentially undisputed.
With the exception of a few of my less detailed letters "our" media, both in Britain & America have 100% refused to publish. On statistical grounds this cannot possibly be coincidence. On statistical grounds any newspaper which was not censoring to cover up genocide would have wished to publish several letters also. Therefore this is deliberate fascist censorship.
It is therefore not only assumed but proven as a cold hard fact that the entire MSM in Britain & the USA are willing to censor absolutely any fact, not just in news columns but in what are meant to be "reader's letters" in support of absolutely any lie no matter how obscene, racist, corrupt or pro-Nazi. hat all of them are deliberately complicit in promoting fascism & genocide.
And today we are being told that the Iranian election was dodgy in exactly the same way these Nazi liars said about the Ukrainian & Georgian ones.
I think everybody should read overseas newspapers online regularly. It puts in perspective what we are told & Kipling's "And what should they know of England who only England know?" applies with even greater force to what we know of what the British & American media tell us.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Firstly the Morning Star
Why is the media silent on Sri Lanka?
Friday 08 May 2009 --- Why has there been relatively little coverage of the deaths in Sri Lanka when Gaza got front-page treatment for weeks?
Perhaps because it is further away or because Britain is in no way involved or because it is difficult for the media to portray it in goodies v baddies terms.
However, the coverage of both has been infinitely greater than that of the admission, over a year ago, by the chief Yugoslav war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte that she and NATO governments had known for many years that NATO police (formerly the KLA) had been dissecting hundreds, probably thousands, of innocent people, while they were still alive and selling the body parts to Western hospitals.
Since this is both closer and far more directly our responsibility than Sri Lanka or indeed Gaza, the only remaining reason for it going unreported is that it does not fit the media "goodies and baddies" story with which they and our political leaders sold that illegal war, hospital bombings and subsequent genocide.
Once again, NATO gets away with murder
13 Mar 2009 --- PHIL Brand's letter (M Star March 5) correctly points out that, though Serbs are being "tried" for war crimes, "no KLA men are on trial for atrocities carried out in the 1999 Kosovo campaign."
It is worse than that. The main atrocities were carried out by the KLA after the war.
Acts such as the Dragodan Massacre, comparable to My Lai, where 210 unarmed civilians were murdered in cold blood a few hundred yards from the British military HQ.
Acts such as the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 Serbs, Gypsies, indeed anti-Nazi Albanians.
Acts such as the kidnapping of thousands of schoolgirls to sell to brothels across Europe.
Acts such as the reported kidnap of 1,300 Serb teenagers and their dissection, while still alive, to sell their body organs to Europe's hospitals.
These are attested to respectively by Denis MacShane in Parliament, public record, Major Plummer of the Royal Greenjackets, Amnesty and chief "war crimes court prosecutor" Carla del Ponte in her autobiography published a year ago.
All are crimes orders of magnitude worse than anything credibly alleged against any Serbs and all were carried out purely because of NATO occupation and under the legal jurisdiction of NATO members.
All of these cases are criminal. All of them have gone unpunished. All of them have been essentially censored by our media.
Sickened by release of murderer Oric
08 July 2006 --- I WAS sickened to learn of the release of Naser Oric, the real perpetrator of the Srebrenica massacre.
Oric carried out repeated attacks on villages around Srebrenica, killing thousands of old men, women and children - 3,800 of whom have been identified by name - since the younger men were away at war.
Unlike the alleged later massacre of Oric's soldiers, for which there is virtually no credible evidence, Oric's genocide is certain.
Not only did senior NATO General Marrilon testify to this at Milosevic's "trial" but Oric showed journalists videos of him beheading women and children from his very extensive home video collection.
This was reported by the Toronto Star and Washington Post, but not elsewhere.
Letting this genocidal creature go merely demonstrates, if there was ever any doubt, that the "war crimes tribunal" is a wholly corrupt and racist propaganda instrument of a racist and genocidal NATO.
By comparison, the later alleged "Srebrenica massacre" of Oric's Muslim "warriors" which, unlike the primary genocide, has been massively hyped by the Western media, is certainly in part and probably wholly a deliberate propaganda "big lie."
What goes unreported is that the bodies were found near the sites of Oric's genocide and far from where they should have been if they were Muslim bodies and that, despite massive DNA testing of them against Muslim records - but not Serb - they have overwhelming proven "unidentifiable."
NATO and its semi-judicial hirelings have deliberately released the real author of the Srebrenica massacre because they know that the propaganda lie that they have told and the press and TV have dutifully sold for over a decade could not survive a conviction of this nazi war criminal.
Lib Dem leader guilty of double standards
Tuesday 04 July 2006 --- WHATEVER the reason, it seems indisputable that the Israelis are being held to a higher standard than other nations.
On Thursday's BBC TV Question Time, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen stated that Israeli reaction to the killing of two soldiers and the kidnapping of another by attacking a civilian power station "is a war crime under the convention."
The reasoning for this is that deliberately targeting civilians has been a war crime since Nuremberg.
Mr Stephen must be aware that, during the war against Yugoslavia, NATO bombers repeatedly attacked power stations. Indeed, they used graphite bombs deliberately designed to short out power systems and render them beyond repair.
The Lib Dem attitude to this aggressive and, therefore, illegal war was entirely and enthusiastically supportive. Thus, Mr Stephen has put himself in the, I believe, unique position as a party leader of saying that his party has been involved in war crimes.
To be fair, both Labour and the Tories have been guilty too, though SNP hands were not bloodied.
To continue being fair, destroying people's electricity was hardly the most serious war crime there. The war itself, being aggressive and launched without a UN resolution, was clearly a war crime and the allowing of the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 people and the genocide of 6,000 others in Kosovo after NATO took over is legally a crime against humanity.
28 March 2006 --- BY refusing Slobodan Milosevic access to his own doctor when he was very ill, the NATO-funded war crimes tribunal has a case to answer that it deliberately shortened his life.
It is not surprising that it chose to do this. The only evidence ever produced against him was when former NATO chief Wesley Clark alleged that, at an international conference, Milosevic had taken him aside to say that he had known about the alleged Srebrenica massacre in advance.
The only deliberate massacre that actually took place there was of at least 3,800 Serb civilians, about which the Muslim commander Nasir Oric boasted.
By comparison, the case that NATO leaders committed such crimes as starting aggressive wars, targeting civilian centres and knowingly assisting the KLA and Croatian and Bosnian nazis in ethnic cleansing is overwhelming.
The fact that the tribunal prosecuted Serbs and the Muslim Fikret Abdic, whose commitment to opposing our al-Qaida allies in Bosnia was deemed criminal, but no NATO leaders and only a few token nazis does lead one to think that NATO secured the best that money can buy.
When the history of these atrocities comes to be written, the role of our media will not appear honourable.
Throughout the period of the wars, reporting was done consistently from the anti-Yugoslav side and every propaganda lie, no matter how improbable, treated as fact.
The failure of the media to report on what it called "the trial of the century" as soon as it became clear that Milosevic was dismantling the prosecution case is also shameful.
I have no doubt that historians will agree with the evidence of Lord Owen that Milosevic was "the only leader to sincerely continuously support peace" and "a man to whom any form of racism is anathema."
That is a very fine epitaph.
No double standards for nazis This one from 4th March 2006 was also published by the Scotsman
Show Muslims it's safe to stand up
20 August 2005 --- NOW would be a good time to consider whether the conviction and 20-year sentence of Fikret Abdic for opposing al-Qaida's press gang was unjust.
If we are seriously asking moderate Muslims to stand and be counted, we have a duty not to imprison those who do.
Abdic was the most popular politician among Bosnian Muslims. He was a moderate, committed to free marketism and the Yugoslav union. As such, he was inconvenient to our leaders.
They funded Izetbegovic, a fundamentalist former SS member who eventually flew in al-Qaida members to make up the non-conscript part of his army. Eventually, Abdic led a popular Muslim rising against Izetbegovic and, particularly, his Afghan press gang.
After the Dayton agreement, the NATO-funded war crimes commission indicted Abdic for opposing al-Qaida, apparently at the behest of Izetbegovic, who wanted him excluded from standing in any election.
Paradoxically, immediately Izetbegovic died, the commission claimed to have been about to indict him.
Abdic was finally "tried," with the commission's approval, by the genocidal Croatian nazi Tudjman - immediately Tudjman died, the Nato commission claimed to have been about to indict him - and was sentenced to 20 years.
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that he was imprisoned purely because, when we were trying to destroy Yugoslavia, the last thing that we needed was a moderate Muslim leader.
It is equally difficult to escape the conclusion that, by supporting the continued imprisonment of the only Muslim leader that ever had a following among Christian Serbs and, indeed, the only one not implicated in their genocide, Gauleiter Paddy Ashdown and his supporters are acting to maintain divisions, which keep them in a job with fringe benefits not available here.
It's not just the 10th anniversary of Srebrenica
04 August 2005 --- YOUR newspaper gave extensive coverage to the 10th anniversary of the alleged Srebrenica massacre, though with no mention allowed of the prior murder of 3,870 Serbs in Muslim genocide raids or the question of exactly whose bodies have been found.
I trust that you will be giving a considerably greater amount of space to the anniversary of the Krajina Holocaust started on August 4 1995 by our Croatian nazi friends, under the de facto command and control of US and UK officers, and to the 250,000 people we helped to ethnically cleanse, of whom half are still "missing."
Journalistic integrity would seem to require proportionate coverage.
Why wasn't Muslim commander indicted for crimes?
01 August 2005 --- WE have seen a lot of media coverage of the fall of Srebrenica. Unfortunately, there has been absolutely no coverage of the events that caused it.
In the previous months, Srebrenica's Muslim commander Nasir Oric carried out dozens of raids on neighbouring villages in which he, often personally, murdered thousands of men, women and children.
This is attested to not only by reporters from the Washington Post and Toronto Star, to whom he proudly showed videos of him beheading Serb civilians, but also by the UN commander in Bosnia at the time.
Speaking as a prosecution witness, he told the war crimes commission: "I met Naser Oric much later, in March, when I intervened directly on the ground. The actions that you are referring to were one of the reasons for the deterioration of the situation in the area, especially in the month of January."
Naser Oric engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants.
This led to the Serbs seeking to arrange a ceasefire, which Dutch UN troops duly signed, guaranteeing that Oric's forces would be disarmed and prevented from launching attacks through ceasefire lines.
Unfortunately, the Dutch did not do so and he was permitted to continue his genocidal raids, leaving the Serbs with no alternative to taking the town.
These well attested facts, together with the fact that no other mass graves have been found, lead to the immediate conclusion that the bodies of the thousands of adults and children found very near the villages where Oric killed thousands of adults and children are not, in fact, those of Muslim soldiers, but of Serb adults and children.
The remaining evidence of Serbs massacring anybody consists of statements, some certainly untrue, made by Izetbegovic's Muslim government, witnesses provided by that government and forensic examiners based entirely in its territory.
The refusal of the war crimes commission to indict Oric for the genocide identified by their witness, though he is facing trial for lesser unrelated atrocities, proves that they are a body dedicated not to justice but to propaganda.
Assuming that Messrs Blair, Clinton, Kohl and every involved government and journalist have access to information equal to that available to any internet user, this proves that they have deliberately lied and censored over 10 years.
I had known of this letter previously indeed I defended it in strong terms when the LibDems used this as one of the "illiberal" letters I had had in papers. I said that for the "LibDems" to expel me for not censoring such genocide woyuld be incompatible with any claim to Liberalism. Norman fraser has since confirmed that that is precisely the reason these Nazis did so
Different responses to different massacres
12 May 2005 --- RECENTLY dumped minister Denis MacShane publicly expressed regret before the election that the media had given so little coverage to the finding of 1,500 bodies in a mass grave in Iraq.
Some years ago, as a result of a query that I had put to my local Labour MP, the same Mr MacShane, then a junior Foreign Office Minister, wrote to me to confirm the existence of a mass grave.
This particular grave was in Dragodan, a mostly Albanian suburb of Pristina in the British occupation zone, and was easily the largest ever found in Kosovo.
Two hundred and ten bodies had, by then, been recovered from it, mostly unidentifiable but many identified as Serbs who were proven to have been alive at the time NATO occupied the place and started handing out police uniforms to our KLA friends.
I had read about this on the net and been unsure of its veracity, since it had not been reported by our conventional media.
If Mr MacShane feels that the media should give more coverage to the discovery of mass graves, I would agree with him. If he is only calling for coverage of mass graves for which his government is not responsible, I would strongly disagree.
In a follow-up letter, I asked him what measures were being taken to bring the perpetrators of the Dragodan massacre to justice, but received no reply.
Fear for my country with current leadership
05 May 2005 --- AT one time, if a minister said something untrue to the House, even in a minor matter, he was expected to resign.
There were no quibbles about whether an untrue statement was a deliberate lie or told without concern as to its truth or if the minister hadn't been properly informed. In all cases, he was constitutionally expected to resign.
Today, we have a Prime Minister who, on receiving advice from his Attorney General that war would only be legal if it were possible to demonstrate hard evidence of non-compliance and non-co-operation and knowing that this was not so, sent him away to produce new advice. And he did so.
We have a PM who has constitutionally lied to Parliament, who is almost certainly a serious war criminal and who has encouraged "inevitable" and "massive" voting fraud.
Yet, under a corrupting electoral system, if he gets as much as one-third of the vote and 5 per cent fewer votes than the Tories, will still get an overall majority and, under our non-constitution, effectively absolute power.
It is almost superfluous to point out that he specifically promised, in 1997, that we would be allowed a referendum on this same corrupt electoral system.
I am certain that he would deny that that promise was a lie either, but it is difficult to see how it was truthful. I fear for the future of my country.
Birmingham fraud judge cannot be ignored 07 April 2005
Also published in the Herald
Kerry's KLA connection
01 November 2004 ---- DUTCH TV has made a programme on KLA financing of and jovial relations with John Kerry.
This hasn't been screened on British TV and I assume not in the US either.
Of course, normally to be joking with and taking money from a terrorist organisation known to have been engaged in genocide, linked to al-Qaida and trading in drugs and kidnapped schoolgirls would be considered a bit of a vote loser.
On the other hand, the KLA is our terrorist organisation, engaged in genocide, linked to al-Qaida, trading in drugs and kidnapped schoolgirls, so I guess that makes it all right.
As you can see these, with 2 exceptions, are about the war crimes against Yugoslavia. They are ones I sent out to the entire UK press & usually to much of the US press as well. As the search shows they have been published by this & one other paper in the entire English speaking world to whom I have written. I will write on the other tomorrow.
One reason I missed the Morning Star is that it does not get wide distribution. What my American readers will not know is that the Morning Star is a British national daily newspaper, traditionally linked to the Communist Party and widely acknowledged as the only English-language socialist daily.
It is also the only British national newspaper which has not demonstrably lied & censored, even in its letter columns, traditionaly the voice of readers, to promote genocide & war crimes. The fact that it & one other decided to publish so many letters, none of which were published by any part of the "official" press of both Britain & the USA shows beyond any honest dispute that they alone can claim to be honest, liberal & freedom loving. The Guardian, The Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times are corrupt racist Nazi filth. Obscene propaganda sheets whose journalists & editors do not exceed the moral level of guards at Auschwitz. Filth that will tell absolutely any lie & censor absolutely any fact to help their murdering Nazi masters. And the same in spades to the broadcast media. I remember when I did the Stop the war Coalition hustings I was impressed by the integrity of the elderly lady Communist candidate.
The facts are clear & open to no other interpretation.
On a personal level I have sometimes been disconcerted to find myself labeled "right wing" by friends as much as enemies. This is because I consider it proven that, in current technological circumstances, free enterprise has proven more efficient than what calls itself "socialism". If somebody presented facts I would change my mind, indeed in my youth I did think central planning had worked & under the mass technology of the Stalin era i am still not convined it didn't - then. It should not be a question dividing politics.
Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. -- Robert A. Heinlein
I slightly disagree with him here - political tags do have a real meaning it is just that the labels get abused by the scum. In particular "liberal" does have a distinct meaning, as one who supports liberty & thus does not desire to control people. Fascist has a meaning too. What has happened is that the people using such tags are often doing so dishonestly - in particular "fascist" which has a specific meaning of believing strong & centralised government is more desireable than liberty is a brand difficult to sell under that name which is why the fascists use the term "liberal" in the same way they talk of "humanitarian bombing" or the UAF being against fascism but such people are fascists not liberals.
I stand for human freedom, truth & against genocide - so does the Morning Star but not the "official" media in either Britain or the USA. Those who do so whether they call themselves communist, liberal, socialist, nationalist or conservative are on the same side on the important things.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Over-regulation being harmful to national wealth Congress shall make or maintain no law which, under reasonable cost benefit analysis, imposes a cost benefit ratio more than 4 times greater than allowed in a significant & similar situationThis would allow the challenging of an awful lot of "environmental" regulation which is hyped on scare stories & give a major incentive to fight such scares.
For example it would allow challenging the constitutionality of the EPA's regulation of CO2. If their cost benefit analysis was more convincing than the EPA's that the amount of damage caused by allowed industrial smoke release or indeed car exhausts was greater, proportionately, to the cost (Kyoto costs the world $800 million a day) then their rules would fail. I suspect an awful lot of nuclear regulation would also fall since nuclear involves slightly fewer deaths than windmills while producing more than 100 times as much power.
I think the long term result of this would clear away a very large amount of the regulatory mess that so restricts growth in western countries. I believe the ban on smoking in public places would also fail this test & indded cannt imagine it being passed in the first place though a limited ban or one that simply required pubs to have good air conditioning if they wanted to let people smoke might squeeze through.