It's been a rather longish week here, Window-ites. As a sort of compensation to listening to my long winded politicorants; I bring you an open letter to Prince Charles via the loverly peeps at theAntigeist:
"With all respect Sir, no one likes you. No one ever has. You are the saddest excuse for a prince the world has ever known. You are odd, cold, you don't photograph well, and you're boring. As a matter of fact none of your accomplishments, from your military service to your diplomatic efforts, have ever endeared you to your people. I bet even your Mum likes Andrew better. And with good reason. He's got pizzaz, a wry smile, he's dated porn stars. But you? It seems like you can't make a favourable impression on anybody, your life thus-far has been a senseless conundrum...unless your gay.
I can feel you shudder at the implication, thoughts of "What would become of the Monarchy? What would my Royal Subjects think of me?" I can't say what they'd think, but I can tell you what you would hear; A unison cry of "Oh!" bellowing forth from the Lake District to Brighton as everyone, the whole of the country, would finally put the pieces together. The shyness, the introverted behavior, the long, long voluntary stints in the Navy, the arranged marriage to the totally hot and much beloved Diana, your ditching her for a platonic existence with a mannish, horse-faced childhood chum, your impeccable (I must admit) taste in menswear, and finally, buggering your valet. You see, your being gay is the only thing that makes sense. " read it all for yourself...here
Mining the blogosphere just for you my darlings I came across this, Mango Pudding Blues, "About three days into it, as soon as I realized that my new job wasn’t like my last two evil motherfucking jobs, I felt a mainline seratonin rush, baby. You must get this; a hit of pure oxygen. Dizzyness. Paroxysms of joy. The shudder, the shudder of correcting brain chemistry washing out demons. The snapping of molecules into receptors. The bright firing of newly wired synapses blasting the cruft out of the carburetor. The buzzing ectoplasmic connection to the fractal universe, to history, to the gods. The ribbon in the sky! The ribbon in the sky! Like cocaine or a triple espresso, but cleaner burning. Like endorphins. Almost like being in love." Still cant get no satisfaction??? here from From the Spectator... Sympathy for the vicar.
Christopher Sandford says that Keith Richards — 60 next month — is a secret conservative: he eats shepherd’s pie, loves his mum and even goes to church
He doesn’t exactly look like your average squire, Keith Richards, with his piratical swagger and a complexion that’s been compared to old cat litter. But Keith, who turns 60 next month, is emerging as one of the most shockingly normal, and English, of rock stars, as well as one of the most self-aware. ‘I can be the cat on stage any time I want,’ he said some years ago. ‘I like to stay in touch with him.... But I’m a very placid, nice guy — most people will tell you that. It’s mainly to placate this other creature that I work.’ The man has dope convictions in three countries, after all. But he’s also a nostalgic and distinctly sentimental soul — a ‘diamond geezer’, awwwwwww!!!!!!
Related notes on two nasty cows: Columnist Julie Burchill is leaving Guardian, she mooed this upon leaving
"'The civility and solidarity which this great liberal newspaper has shown me has completely changed my view of what I was brought up to think of as complacent bourgeoise prison-visiting filth"
Jools, I'm fookin touched, truly. This same heifer bellowed racial slurs against Irish in 2002, of London mayor Ken Livingstone's spending on St Patrick's Day in London, when she criticised Ireland and described the country's flag as "the Hitler-licking, altar-boy-molesting, abortion-banning Irish tri-colour".
Rosie O'Donnell, bloated chat show hostess and alleged Queen of Nice, has been in a bitter feud with the publishers of her now defunct vanity publication "Rosie." Testimony has brought out some lovely observations about Miss O'Donnell's social and management skills when she confronted employee and cancer survivor,Cindy Spengler, head of marketing at the magazine, about her silence during the meeting, insisting she was as good as lying by keeping quiet.
"You know what happens to people who lie," the witness quoted O'Donnell as saying. "They get sick and they get cancer. If they keep lying, they get it again."
"If I went to a funeral this afternoon of a fallen soldier in Iraq, what would I say?
Did they fall there for democracy? They are not going to have a democracy.
It is going to be the Shiite democracy, like they have in Iran -- at best.
That is exactly what Secretary Rumsfeld said we were not going to have.
Was it for nuclear? No. Was it for terrorists? No, they didn't have terrorists there.
Your son gave his life for what? As their Senator, I am embarrassed. It wasn't for
any of those things. Why we went in, the administration has yet to tell us.
They keep changing the rules and the goalposts every time." --Senator Fritz Hollings,
Lies and the Lying Liars
In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said U.S. forces would be welcomed by the Iraqi citizenry and that Saddam Hussein had large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
Now, after both statements have been shown to be either incorrect or vastly exaggerated, Rumsfeld - with the same trademark confidence that he exuded before the war - is denying that he ever made such assertions.
"Before the war in Iraq, you stated the case very eloquently and you said . . . they would welcome us with open arms," Sinclair Broadcasting anchor Morris Jones said to Rumsfeld as the prelude to a question.
The defense chief quickly cut him off.
"Never said that," he said. "Never did. You may remember it well, but you're thinking of somebody else. You can't find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said."
The American Tax Dollar at Work: courtesy of http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/President Bush's entourage for his trip to London will include:
• Up to 250 Secret Service agents.
• Up to 150 advisers from the National Security department and about 200 representatives of other US departments.
• About 50 White House political aides.
• A team of 15 sniffer dogs and their handlers.
• A personal chef and his team of four cooks.
Among the equipment they will bring will be:
• Two identical personal Boeing 747-200s and a third chartered jumbo.
• One personal US Marine Corps Sikorsky Sea King helicopter and a second A VH-60N, a VIP version of the Black Hawk helicopter.
• Two identical motorcades each made up of 20 mostly armoured vehicles, including the President's converted Cadillac Deville.
• The "football", a briefcase carried by a military aide which contains the launch codes for America's nuclear arsenal.
Happiness is a warm gun
When I hold you in my arms
And I feel my finger on your trigger
I know no one can do me no harm
Because happiness is a warm gun.
"If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents," George Bush announced on the day he began bombing Afghanistan, "they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril."
For the past 55 years the US government has been running a terrorist training camp, whose victims massively outnumber the people killed by the attack on New York, the embassy bombings and the other atrocities laid, rightly or wrongly, at al-Qaida's door. The camp is called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by the US government.
Established in Panama in 1946 as a hemispheric Cold War beachhead, the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) now WHISC, which operates solely for the training of Latin American military officers, was moved to Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA in 1984. Over 60,000 have graduated. They include Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega and Bolivian dictator Hugo Banzer; the assassins of an archbishop, a bishop, six Jesuit priests and four American churchwomen; and countless other military strongmen responsible for the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands.
In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution, according to The School of the America's Watch, a watchdog organization. Even after these were made public, Defense officials continued to point out that most of the school's graduates had not committed the scores of human rights abuses against the millions of refugees fleeing the wrath that's come. This may be true. At the same time, for the last 55 years most of the Latin American military officers who actually ordered these abuses learned their lessons well through the US taxpayer-supported SOA/WHISC.
from Guardian and by George Monbiot -Tuesday October 30, 2001 "Last year, partly as a result of the campaign run by SOA Watch, several US congressmen tried to shut the school down. They were defeated by 10 votes. Instead, the House of Representatives voted to close it and then immediately reopen it under a different name. So, just as Windscale turned into Sellafield in the hope of parrying public memory, the School of the Americas washed its hands of the past by renaming itself Whisc. As the school's Colonel Mark Morgan informed the Department of Defense just before the vote in Congress: "Some of your bosses have told us that they can't support anything with the name 'School of the Americas' on it. Our proposal addresses this concern. It changes the name." Paul Coverdell, the Georgia senator who had fought to save the school, told the papers that the changes were "basically cosmetic".
But visit Whisc's website and you'll see that the School of the Americas has been all but excised from the record. Even the page marked "History" fails to mention it. Whisc's courses, it tells us, "cover a broad spectrum of relevant areas, such as operational planning for peace operations; disaster relief; civil-military operations; tactical planning and execution of counter drug operations".
Several pages describe its human rights initiatives. But, though they account for almost the entire training programme, combat and commando techniques, counter-insurgency and interrogation aren't mentioned. Nor is the fact that Whisc's "peace" and "human rights" options were also offered by SOA in the hope of appeasing Congress and preserving its budget: but hardly any of the students chose to take them.
We can't expect this terrorist training camp to reform itself: after all, it refuses even to acknowledge that it has a past, let alone to learn from it. So, given that the evidence linking the school to continuing atrocities in Latin America is rather stronger than the evidence linking the al-Qaida training camps to the attack on New York, what should we do about the "evil-doers" in Fort Benning, Georgia?
Well, we could urge our governments to apply full diplomatic pressure, and to seek the extradition of the school's commanders for trial on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. Alternatively, we could demand that our governments attack the United States, bombing its military installations, cities and airports in the hope of overthrowing its unelected government and replacing it with a new administration overseen by the UN. In case this proposal proves unpopular with the American people, we could win their hearts and minds by dropping naan bread and dried curry in plastic bags stamped with the Afghan flag.
You object that this prescription is ridiculous, and I agree. But try as I might, I cannot see the moral difference between this course of action and the war now being waged in Afghanistan."
and now Iraq.
Granted Mr. Monbiot comes off a bit strong, but What could the American government possibly be thinking!
A few bad apples?
TOM BEARDEN: The school's commandant, U.S. Army Colonel Glenn Weidner, disputes that assertion. read his comments here
I'm really interested in what you think, please leave comments, about this issue.
People from across the Americas will converge from November 19-21, 2003 in Miami, Florida to voice their opposition to the Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement (FTAA) and from November 21-23 in Ft. Benning, Georgia to speak out against the School of the Americas (SOA). Miami will be the host of the FTAA ministerial meeting, which brings together the trade ministers of the hemisphere to launch the final stage of the FTAA negotiations. Fort Benning is the home of the School of the Americas, where repressive Latin American troops are being trained as the military muscle to enforce exploitative policies.
"International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective.
The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible."
- Samora Machel (1933 - 1986)
Guest blogger Aniraz, talks about the virtues,vilification, and stereotypes, in living the hijabified life.
From the land of the big black buffalos, ~Aniraz
I was fourteen when I started wearing hijab. That age now sounds so young, but at the time, I felt like I was late in implementing this article of my faith. By 14 I'd already walked a very strange path, lived in two worlds, and done a lot of searching.
I'd heard all the warnings against it. It was subjugation. It was unfair. It was wrong. It was cultural. It was outdated. It was dangerous. My mom, a devout Christian, was terrified that a scarf on my head would make me a target. She warned me to expect to get hit with stray balls in gym class. Other well-meaning women told me my scarf would yo-yo between off and on when the boys in my classes decided they didn't like my scarf and started pulling at it. Then there were the fears my hair would thin from the stress of being covered all the time, or that my scalp would grow some fungus, or my ears would turn green
Granted, I did become a target. By the simple act of covering my head I discovered what an unnatural fear people have of the different and unknown. I was spit on, had things thrown at me, was condemned to hell by followers of other religions, saw mothers fearfully hide their children behind them when I passed by, hadboys try and pull my scarf off, girls called me names, teachers had very little patience for me and no slack was given in my doings. I found myself taunted and insulted by complete strangers for no reason aside from the fact that there was a piece of fabric on my head. But at the same time, I became a target for people's questions.
Not everyone is hateful and unkind, and to many, my scarf prompted questions. The day I came into school with that cotton-poly blend of black around my hair and neck, I suddenly became an ambassador for my religion. Peers, teachers, friends, strangers, everyone wanted to know why more about my religion and my choice. Most didn't even know I was a Muslim prior to me becoming a hijabi. I had to go home that night and get out some books and look up the answers to their many questions. It didn't stop there - over the years, I have had to learn more and more, to not only satisfy my own thirst for knowledge, but also the curiosity of others.
Profanity slowly fell out of my vocabulary. It didn't fit with what I wanted to be, what I was trying to uphold. I was an envoy for Islam and as many people in the US rarely meet obvious Muslims, I realized that I would be taken as an example of my faith. I learned to be kinder, to be more patient, to speak clearly and make clear points, to be understanding and to listen.
For the first time in my life I had to answer to other people. That first Ramadan in high school, when I forgot I was fasting and went to go and buy a juice, I was reminded, "Hey, aren't you Muslim?" Yes, I was, and because of my hijab, everyone knew it. I curbed my anger and bit back my tongue when provoked. Used to beone slight, one dirty look or snide comment, and I'd be fists clenched and ready to go. I couldn't fight with kids any more, because I knew that for many of the onlookers to those hallway brawls, I would just be that "Muslim girl in the scarf" who was fighting. That would look bad for my religion and for me so I learned patience and developed a thicker skin.
When my girl-friends were agonizing about their weight, looks, hair, complexions, and clothes, I was comfortable in my own skin. By covering my hair,dressing modestly and not painting my face I was a mind before just a body. I was well protected from the consuming obsession of the self. I never became anorexic, or a bulimic. I didn't spend money I didn't have on clothes that would become passe in a week. I didn't have to wake up two hours before school just to style my hair and put together an outfit. I didn't have to worry if my waist was small enough, chest large enough and bum firm enough for the general public's approval. By guarding my sexuality I waschoosing what to be defined by and what would be important to me. Yes, I was a woman, but I was not a woman for everyone's pleasure.
I was spared from so many of the falls teenagers have with the help of my scarf. It not only saved me from those awkward teenage bad-hair days, but it also kept me from having to get used and abused in the dating scene. By wearing my religious beliefs on my sleeve, or rather, around my head, it was made known that Aniraz was a practicing Muslim and she didn't date. My friends knew, and wouldn't play the part of go-between when approached. When harassed, I found myself defended by boys, often not Muslim, who respected me and understood my struggle. The part of prevention kept me from temptation.
Instead of striving for conformity and acceptance among my peers, like so many other teenagers, I found the strength to do what I thought was right and be different if I must. I bucked the trends and walked to the beat of my own drum. In time, beside me walked others. I found friends with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Hasidic Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Vegans and devout Hindus. Our paths headed in the same direction, against the flow of traffic and against the crush of society. In each other, we found support, likeness in our strangeness and the strength to decide for ourselves.
As I got older, stable in my beliefs, stable in my life, I became the rock among my friends. I saw them go through bad times - teen pregnancies, heartbreak, abortions, suicide attempts, depression, eating disorders and drug abuse - while I stood clear. We would cry on each others shoulders and I would try to offer a sympathetic ear and sound advice.
At times I had big shoes to fill. Sometimes I wanted to be silly too, to beirresponsible and foolish, to let go a bit, but I couldn't. The banner I waved above me, the banner of morality, self-discipline, personal accountability and faith, meant more was expected. I believed that God expected the best from us all, and each look in the mirror, where I saw my face framed in a triangle of fabric, was a reminder of that.
No, hijab is not everything. There is more to what I am than the scarf on my head, but I recognize how it has tested me, changed, tempered and bettered me. It has been hard, but I still have my ears, and no, they're not green.
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges --
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and wating for you. Go!" Arabella O'Buggery's World Tour of the Blogosphere
Ever winsome Arabella always up for a challenge has given herself a new assignment, a world-wide tour of blogs. Imagine if you will a cross between, Michael Palin, Phineas Fogg, and Nigella Lawson, all wrapped up in one delicious, jodhpur and pith helmet wearing package. Follow Arabella through the more dodgy corners of the blogosphere where she attempts to edify and entertain her one loyal reader. Where in the World is Arabella O’ Buggery???? Just follow the trail of kebab crumbs.