Archive for August, 2011

Wikileaks, Manning, G-8, Gaddafi, And China In Africa

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Wikileaks is still in business despite Assange being detained in Great Britain by the policy makers complying with the wishes of the USA. Bradly Manning is still being held by the US government as a warning to all others who would dare to leak as he did. It seems to me that it is becoming more and more evident that there are two levels of government, the bureaucracy that runs things day to day and the policy makers who play a charade of democratic government with their elections and such but behind the scenes with their black ops, controlled media and corporate money, they are willing to do what is necessary to retain power. The club is small, the group of 8, with an ancillary group of 20 that has a more limited access. The Russians are only in the group of 8 because of their nuclear capacity and because they made an effort to end the attempt at socialism and take up the cause of the capitalist project whole heartedly. This is all old news. The cabal has evolved over the centuries, once centered in Europe, it emerged out of the feudal ages with the advent of western mercantilism as a deal between the owners of the land and investors in overseas adventures, that rather quickly emerged in empires, first Spain and Portugal who lost out Spain due to wars in Europe and Portugal because of crusades in Morocco. Later the Dutch, Great Britain and France took up the mantle. The Dutch got pushed out by the British, and now Italy, Germany, the losers of the last great world war, are included along with the British, French, Japan, the USA, Canada and the belatedly added Russia.

Each of the nations has its vested interests, the Europeans had a desire to put a lid on Libya and take advantage of an opportunity to get back at Gaddafi for old grudges. He messed with Europe back in the 80’s and he had his hands in Africa right up to the present. What exactly Gaddafi was trying to accomplish, besides securing a place for Libya at the table of world decision making is unclear. Perhaps someday we will get a decent biography. From what I can tell Gaddafi went from being an Arab nationalist to a pan African nationalist with a desire to create some unified African state and in his efforts he supported a variety of different players including James Taylor in Liberia. He has a lot of friends in Africa and as can be seen some of his loyalists are particularly tenacious in their support of him and what he stood for. He was an independent player, attempting to carve out an Africa and Middle East that was not a puppet of European or American power. Ultimately it looks like he did not succeed as we see French, British, American and other military forces engaged in Libya to overthrow Gaddafi and his African allies. Token Arab forces have been engaged by the NATO group to give their actions a bit of cover of support from the Arab nations. No African countries have joined in the attack on Gaddafi, and several seem to have sent covert support. Africa is being prepared for the firm hand of neo-colonialism and the last of the powerful players on the continent who might interfere has been eliminated. The question now is what will China do?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2011/jun/13/wikileaks-bradley-manning

http://wikileaks.org/cablegate.html

http://wikileaks.org/gitmo/

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/08/29/Activists-plan-protests-against-G8-NATO/UPI-70071314644468/

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/g/group_of_eight/index.html

http://www.cfr.org/global-governance/group-eight-g8-industrialized-nations/p10647

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/03/25/all_the_colonels_kings?page=0,8

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/03/how-qaddafi-reshaped-africa/71861/

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/03/24/the_qaddafi_I_know?page=full

http://aidwatchers.com/2010/02/china-in-africa-myths-and-realities/

Wealth, Libya, & Illusions.

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

What if this is all an illusion? Many times on psychotropic substances I have watched the universe dissolve and reemerge out of seeming nowhere. I have seen reality become reduced to my self, and this self the only reality left. Scared that this was it, that I was going to be stuck with nothing but the self knocking around an empty universe when my fortune would change and some bird of paradise would come by and remind me that, yes there is a world outside of the imagination (these were usually late night ventures exploring the inner realms in a room without companions).

Mostly I realize it’s just me. My motor is running down.

I spent all morning working on a story. Rewriting, getting into it. Not questioning its validity until I got done, and then I thought of another completely different way to handle the tale. I let it sit. Second guessing myself always gets me in trouble. The best thing is to let it gel for a day and then come back and if it still seems like a good idea, then go for it.

But now my brain is tired and the computer is hot and uncomfortable in my lap. I read somewhere that letting the computer sit on your flesh for too long causes burns and sterility.

This link to an article about the subject is a bit dated but it is interesting.

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/hotlaptops.html

So where is Gaddafi? Today I read that the Guardian is reporting that British, French and Qatar and other special services troops were in Libya and had planned several successful actions by the rebels. They also had improved contacts between the rebel troops and the NATO planes to insure better ground-air target coordination. This does not sound in the least like it was meant to solely protect citizens. This was covert warfare not very well hidden. It would have been nice if the Guardian had released this information before the commitment of force.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/23/sas-troopers-help-coordinate-rebels

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/25/libya-conflict-british-french-soldiers-rebels-sirte

There is not even a hint of irony in the reporting.

It is the same old story, they lie, say oh no, we won’t do that, and then it turns out they did. In this case they are covering it up with an all is well that ends well sort of brief. Has it ended well? Depends on how you define a happy ending.
Personally if the Libyan people want to get rid of a dictator, I say more power to them. Whether you like Gaddafi or not, he was in power for a long time and forty years is probably too long for anyone to be in office. Too bad he didn’t go voluntarily. It seems he couldn’t comprehend that some of the Libyan people, perhaps even the majority simply don’t want him around anymore.
That is why we need periodic elections and recall processes in place. Even with our electoral process in place here in the USA we have big problems that are not getting resolved because of bottle necks at the top where money, well placed can hold up needed reforms or change for decades. Largely because the system was designed for a much smaller republic with a population one 100th of what it is now. It needs to be revised for modern conditions to counteract the influence of big money, but it won’t happen as long as big money has its fingers throttling the neck of the electorate i.e. Congress.
Democracy may not be the best form of government. The Chinese have something of a benevolent dictatorship. Rule by a party that claims to rule in the name of the people’s interest. Compared to India, China is a lot more efficient. But both countries have masses of poor people and large areas where peasant farmers are the rule. Both countries are taking a risk allowing a moneyed class to develop and enjoy ostentatious wealth while millions get by on little or nothing. They are playing with fire, as they gamble that they can develop fast enough to keep these millions occupied and at least give them the hope of a chance for a piece of the capitalist pie. It is an old carrot and stick game. People keep falling for it.
It’s anybody’s bet if we will be able to satisfy those millions before we run out of resources. Another way to deal with the problems would be to decide to distribute it all equitably and see what kind of a standard of living we would all have if that were done. The rich hate this idea.

From Wikipedia. Read it and weep.

A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. The bottom half of the world adult population owned 1% of global wealth.[10] Moreover, another study found that the richest 2% own more than half of global household assets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_wealth

The current GDP is about $65 Trillion dollars a year. There are almost 7 billion humans or about $9286 each. The IMF says the average income was about $10,886. Right between the average for Costa Rica and Iran according to their figures. With adustments for local costs of living I wonder if we could manage on that?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/05/world_gdp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Saturday Morning 9/11 Anniversay Coming Up.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I am supposed to be working on my book now. I told myself I wouldn’t write these blog posts as often and use the energy for rewriting and preparing my manuscript for publication. I certainly can’t use the sloppy writing style I use for this blog. It is a good way to let off steam, but as far as pursuing a literary career, blogging is not the way to go, at least not yet. It is becoming a more legitimate literary form and some people have actually marketed themselves into success stories via the internet by blogging. But that involves marketing in a manner that I am simply not prepared for.

I go to school and take a novel writing class and wonder why half the people there seem to be more interested in gossip than working on their books, but then perhaps this is their moment in the sun and need to communicate, I don’t know, I am more or less aloof in these situations, I want to get down to work, but then perhaps I am just a party pooper.

Switching to another subject, I read something this morning that makes sense regarding the anniversary of the 9/11 crap. Paul Craig Roberts wrote an article for Global Research “9/11 After A Decade Have We Learned Anything.” The link is below.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26174

In it he gives a reasonable credit to the 9/11 Truthers without becoming a believer in the conspiracy theories. Like me he believes the Government did cover up and mislead but it was more for the sake of avoiding embarrassing facts of lapses in security and judgment on the part of leaders, rather than a conspiracy to blow up the buildings and advance a neo-con agenda. That agenda was already in place as part of the Bush administration, they simply took advantage of the opportunity the 9/11 events presented to push for aggressive action in the Middle East to bring about western capitalist oriented leadership in those countries. At least that is my opinion.
What is the government hiding with all this hype about the hurricane on the east coast? Turn on NPR and all they talk about is preparations for a storm that is as far as I can tell, no big deal. It certainly is no worse than hurricanes I remember growing up on the east coast. New York City is evacuating whole neighborhoods? This is unheard of. Either they are beginning to take global warming seriously or they are hyping this as a distraction.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2011/08/26/get-real-hurricane-irene-should-be-renamed-hurricane-hype/

Forbes and Huffington Post both have writers who agree with me on this as far as the hype goes, but cover up? Nothing much I can see checking the Guardian.UK and CNN, just the usual propaganda around Libya, Bernanke not doing anything about the economy, and bombs in Nigeria and Algeria, both of them had some 18 people die. The one in Nigeria was linked to Al Qaeda, even if it is only in the imagination of some CIA analyst and the media flunkey that buys the government line.

See how cynical I have become, or rather, how complacent. There was a time when this would have outraged me. Now it just seems like the status quo. Rebel, hell, if only enough people were mad as hell, and ready to do something positive, besides picking a dictator. I am so alienated from the workings of the public enterprise that other than writing emails to my congresspersons, I have almost no connection to what is going on. I watch them pick apart my country with some mixture of sardonic humor and smug satisfaction, told you so, forty years ago. Did anybody listen? Well now you are listening, but what are you doing about it? I have tried my part, now I am a disabled voice in the wilderness, one of an increasing Greek chorus. Do you know what is blowing in the wind my friend?

Demographics are a ticking time bomb. We are almost at seven billion people and they all want their place in the sun. Do we fight over it or share it. What do we in the affluent world have to do? Well give up some of our affluence, our god given right to bomb the hell out of everyone else for starters. We need to share some of the abundance as well as plan for the future. It’s not that the USA and Europe should become one giant international aid agency; it is more that we need to participate in serious planning to deal with the problems of the world. There are agencies in the UN working on this but we need to make serious efforts to make this more than just a facade while the great powers go on with business as usual. Trillions are thrown away on bad business investments, why not take some of that productive capacity and put it to good use, eliminate the food distribution discrepancy for starters. Why is there still starvation in this world? That is a political decision and it is to our discredit that such conditions are allowed to exist.

I could go on. There are dozens of issues, global warming, deforestation, land mines, corrupt governments, all needing the firm hand of an intelligent public body empowered to set matters straight. We all know what needs to be done; we just need to make the politicians do it. My back is bothering me so I have to stop. As the saying goes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

3 AM, Can’t Sleep

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Thought I would impress the world with my lack of sleep. I took my last sleeping pill and half a pain pill. I am not exactly numb, but my body doesn’t ache as much as it usually does in the middle of the night. Funny, I can go all day and not have it bother me. A new thing is the computer shakes. I get to the point where my body rejects the computer. It simply won’t let me sit and stare at it any longer.
The computer is like the TV, a font of gibberish masquerading as wisdom. I even subscribe to Buddhist and Hindi sites for their pearls of wisdom. Usually they are about giving up attachment or to follow true wisdom. Not bad advice, just not very specific. I am busy with school and that explains most of the reason why I don’t write as often. This is cute, it’s like I am writing to a relative or friend. I could just be writing to myself for all I know. I have been getting lots of responses lately that are suspiciously generic. I wondered why a story I wrote a year ago would get someone to gush about how much they had wanted that information. Why wait so long to tell me? Mostly it’s because they are really just advertising products in their log-in names. So if a name links to a site selling something, I delete it now. Informational sites, other blogs are cool, but linking to an insurance company or somebody selling dead Jew lamp shades, well that is simply going to far. Mine is a non-commercial site, you can rant to me, just don’t try to sell me something or use my site as a tool to promote your products. You want to send me some money to advertise on my site, well I want to see the green. Since nobody has offered, I simply delete commercials, blatant or more subtle ones. It doesn’t leave too many comments left. Most people really don’t give a shit.

The smaller and smaller band of people who do care, the high school kids, old drug addled hippies, the occasional do-gooder liberal and the hardened lefties who have almost forgotten what they are fighting for in their little bunkers of ideology seem to be my companions. My former favorites were the anarchists, true believers in the cause of smashing the state, or smashing a McDonalds, or mom’s new car, whatever. Actually, most Anarchists are good sons and daughters and love their moms. Not so sure about the dads though. A lot of us come from single parent homes. I have spent 30 odd years as an Anarchist, and the habits run deep. But I was always a bit of a communist at heart. Just not that much, when I hang around Communists with a big C, I eventually get the feeling that someone is going to send me away for regrooving or up against the wall, motherfucker…

So the economy sucks, the Repubs want to take away Medicare, see if that doesn’t piss off the elderly and disabled. People like me. Obama, as bad as he is, needs to have his spine stiffened and stand up for our benefits. We worked for them, why give them a way to fucked up Wall Street types? What we need is a third party on the left. Damn, if only those Greens could get serious. They need a charismatic figure and some deep pockets. The Germans managed, so why can’t we? The Green Party, I mean, not the other thing, they did that too. Eager beavers those Germans.

Gaddafi Going, Going, Gone? Egyptain Elections

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

As of this afternoon the Gaddafi forces are still battling with the opposition. Obama has called for Gaddafi to give up, it looks like he plans to go down fighting, defending his Green Revolution. Al Jazeera and the BBC have both given heavy coverage of the rebels, almost exclusively supportive of their efforts. The Gaddafi government has had almost no favorable coverage.
The NATO countries with their bombers and agents on land have been able to shape some of the Libyan tribal people into a semblance of an army and have managed to destroy the Gaddafi loyalist forces for the most part after a six month long struggle. Tribal warfare may continue for a while if the tribes that supported Gaddafi are not included in the new government. Chances are though, that a deal was brokered and that is the reason why there was so little resistance Sunday when the rebel forces entered Tripoli.
Is there a united government ready to take over? Perhaps.
This is from the Guardian.UK
“NTC officials say that they will not follow Iraq’s “de-Ba’athification” approach of purging state institutions of all of those that worked with Gaddafi, and that they will seek to include people who worked with the previous regime in order to build a more representative and inclusive leadership. Smart as this seems, it will be difficult to rein in desires for revenge and mistrust will certainly be an issue. One of the immediate imperatives for the NTC will be to disarm the various opposition militias that have banded together to take on the Gaddafi regime, spearheaded by young revolutionaries known as the 17 February movement (after the date when the uprising began). The NTC will have to take account of their views or face the risk of internal dissent.”
We shall see.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/22/libya-government-post-gaddafi?CMP=twt_gu
The pressure is now on Syria to accede to the will of NATO.
Meanwhile in Egypt it seems the Muslim Brotherhood (Freedom & Justice Party) and the Al Wafd Party seem to be leading according to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll taken a couple of months ago. Results below:
“29% Not sure/Undecided
17% Freedom and Justice Party
11% Al-Wafd Party
7% National Democratic Party
7% Free Egyptians Party
5% Justice Party
4% Free Egypt Party
3% Egyptian Stream Party
3% El Karama Party
2% Egyptian Labor Party
2% El Ghad Party
2% Tagamoe Party
1% Al Wasat Party
1% Democratic Front
7% Other”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/26/egypt-political-poll-muslim-brotherhood-influence-troubles-for-west.html?om_rid=Nsfm59&om_mid=_BOMGO2B8chCZ6g
For information about all the parties see link below.
http://egyptelections.carnegieendowment.org/category/political-parties
The recent blow up between Egypt and Israel after several Egyptian police were killed as Israeli forces pursued guerrillas into Egypt after an assault that killed 8 Israelis. A biased but fairly comprehensive report can be found below.
From The Front Page Mag.com
“The fallout from the terrorist attack near the border town of Eliat this past Thursday that killed eight Israelis, and the subsequent pursuit of the murderers by Israeli security forces into Egypt that resulted in a confrontation with Egyptian police, killing as many as five, continues to be felt across the region.
Hamas launched a deadly barrage of rockets that killed one civilian and wounded twenty over the weekend, while Israel launched a series of air strikes that Hamas claims killed fourteen Palestinians. As Israeli politicians call for stronger action against the terrorists, the UN and Egypt are working to broker a cease-fire with Hamas. The terrorists agreed late Sunday to restoring the peace, but, according to the Associated Press, more rocket fire targeting Israeli towns was launched after the cease-fire deadline, and Israeli planes continued their strikes deep into Gaza. Apparently, not all Hamas factions have accepted the cease-fire and the violence continues.
The incident has sparked the most serious diplomatic row between Israel and Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was forced out last February. It has also further isolated Israel at a time when the Palestinian Authority is preparing to ask the United Nations General Assembly to grant it statehood.”

Where Are We?

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Where are we? Whirring around in space on what seems like an outer corner of our galaxy, not sure where the galaxy fits in the cosmos, but here we sit, scratching our butts, driving our cars, and eating whatever godforsaken thing we can stuff in our mandibles, and we are aware, goddamn it, we are aware of the universe in which we spin. That is the weirdest thing. Imagine a monkey sitting in his monkey tree thinking up the theory of relativity. What would he do with it? Humans, some of us dumb as a rock, others like lightning streaking across the sky but no matter what, each of us can wonder about the skies up above. Cavemen, if there really were such creatures, and not just survivors of a holocaust living in caves while their kids entertained themselves drawing on the walls, would have seen the same stars above. Perhaps they were in slightly different positions relative to the earth, and more easily seen in the pre-pollution environment, but they would be subject to the same flights of fantasy as we are in the 21st century.

There was a time when the 21st century was the future for me. I was in Boston in about 1973 and I/we were visiting the future while on acid when I was propelled to the time when I was old and the streets were cracked and there were fires everywhere. Fifty years hence, that would be about 2023, there will be a giant earthquake on the east coast. Interesting, because at the time I had never been in an earthquake. This was after my first visit to California but before I had experienced a real quake.

What I remember most was the fluctuating back and forth between the times. It was like blinds opening and closing, one side was 2023, the other 1973. There was also something about the reality of the future that was indeterminate. It might be like that, but then it might not. My two buddies who I was tripping with and I had agreed to meet in Boston in 50 years. One of them is dead now, he had OD’ed. I have kidney failure, and the other one is hiding out in Mexico. So right there the reality is different, unless we are going to meet in some ethereal Boston of the mind.

The internet didn’t exist back then, even the Exorcist hadn’t been released yet. I remember seeing it in Colorado, in the spring of 1974 with a friend who was terrified by the imagery. It made me laugh, I thought the effects were as bad as a Japanese Godzilla movie. It gave him nightmares, but this was the same guy who thought that the Nazis were on the rooftops in Amsterdam getting ready to shoot us. He had had too much hashish.

But Boston was a rundown mess in my trip to 2023. Fires, sirens, and earthquakes. What a place. I ended up going to a Vaudeville show with comedians and strippers. Again I wasn’t sure if this was 1973 or 2023 during the next war. It could have been either. Vietnam was just ending at that time and Watergate was warming up.

I hitched back to Connecticut the next day after panhandling money for a Dannon yogurt cup. No that was the day before. It seems to have been late fall and the weather was unseasonably warm. Earthquake weather. I fell asleep in a coal bin in the subway. I was covered in soot when I stopped to look at myself in a window, blackface. Eating eggs in a diner, some guy gave me a couple of bucks, cleaning as much soot off as I could in the bathroom. The waitress was nice. When was I?
Tripoli is falling in the reality I think I might be in…

Birthday Bummer In The Summer

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I woke up depressed, semi hung over from the sleeping pill I took last night. I spent the morning doing French class homework and was nervous because I did not think I knew it as well as I should. I went to class with a feeling of dread but it faded when I got there and realized I did two weeks worth of homework already.

I like my French class, and I like the teacher. She is cool and makes the class fun. I can’t say that for my Geography teacher who has trouble with the language and teaches in such a boring manner that I was actually almost going to walk out. But the class is so easy, I need to make up for the crappy grade I got last summer in Algebra. Any teacher who thinks Herbert Hoover is on Mt Rushmore, is in need of help.

My English class looks like fun. Science fiction is a blast from the past for me and this teacher is a SciFi buff.

But for a birthday this is pretty depressing. My girlfreind never called and the only cards came from my parents. At least one of my sons remembered to email me, but that is easy because of facebook reminders. I got lots of birthday greetings from strangers on facebook. Whatever good that does, I appreciate the greetings.

Vacation Over - Pharmaceutical Rip-offs

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Summer vacation is over. School starts on Monday. I had a lousy experience in Summer school. The medications I had to take caused me to lose sleep, get terrible headaches and become confused. This was because I had reached the donut hole in my insurance coverage and the replacement generics were wrong for me. My calcium levels went up to a dangerous level. It was only after a month of this that my doctor told me to switch to the expensive non-generic. What was once covered by a $5.00 copay is now $256 for a month supply of one pill. It sucks. I had to cancel my trip to France and stick around here. I didn’t want to take a chance of getting sick over there since my insurance won’t cover me overseas.

Fun stuff so I am waiting to see if the travelers insurance I got will refund my ticket. Meantime I hope my new prescription will let me concentrate and study without those blinding headaches I was getting.

I am also applying for jobs as required by unemployment. I got one interview. No job offers. Pretty sad, thirty years of experience in the printing industry isn’t worth much.

School should keep my mind occupied. I got zero financial aid. I was hoping that I would get enough aid to cover the cost of books. No such luck. I made $25,000 last year. Too much, apparently.

The only advantage I get is being disabled I get to apply for classes before the rest of the students. That means I get all the classes I apply for and I don’t have to pay tuition. Which is nice, but the books are the big expense.

I am watching a picture of water flow under Mt. Fuji. Japanese TV, they like to show pictures of flowers and stuff, when they are not talking about the latest radiation leak.

Well that’s it for now. Not going to get into politics today. I could. I have a lot to say about the rip-off of the consumer by the pharmaceutical companies, who are allowed to charge whatever they want to Medicare patients to use up our coverage on pharmaceuticals so we have to pay full charge in the so called donut hole. Money sink, where poor people have to pay an arm and a leg just because Bush wanted to make sure his buddies in the industry would let him pass some kind of pharmaceutical coverage.

Obama was supposed to get rid of the donut hole. That is all medications over $2850 a year are not covered until you reach $4550 when catastrophic coverage comes in. For me that means from May until December every year I pay or get generics that may or may not work.
Check out this link for more info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_Part_D_coverage_gap

Obama On Filling in the Donut hole

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/06/obama-back-on-health-care-the-doughnut-hole-will-be-gone.html

As of this year we only pay 50% of cost. That means the pills I am paying $256 for really cost $512. Now why doesn’t the Government negotiate prices? Because Obama, like Bush buckled in and let the pharmaceuticals charge what they want. Oh and then there are the patent laws which protect US companies from overseas generics. I found a source in Greece but they honor US patent laws. So I am screwed. No competition. Some free market. I call it socialism for the rich and the big corporations.

The Donut Hole will be filled according to Obama in 2020. That is 9 years from now. A long time for the pharmaceuticals to jack up the prices and charge what they want.

I find it hard to believe that the pills I take cost that much. This is sheer profiteering off of sick people who have no choice but to pay or be sick. It is not much different from armed robbery, only less honest. At least a robber is not pretending to be helping you.

We need socialized medicine more than ever. Now, let’s elect a president who gives us real universal coverage. We need a candidate of the people from the left. Too bad there is nobody willing to oppose Obama.

That’s all folks.

Word From English Anarchists On British Riots.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

This is what I have gathered today on the English Anarchist perspective on the riots. Some are fairly conservative and sympathetic to the people being trashed, others are more sympathetic with the rioters. I don’t get the impression that anarchists had anything to do with organizing these events. They are, like the rest of us simply caught up in events.

North London Anarchists from Solidarity claim not involved in looting. They believe in workplace struggle. Similar to many Marxist perspectives. I don’t know if this is the main English Anarchist group. I wrote to them asking for a more in depth picture. These guys seem to be Anarcho-Syndicalists. like the Wobblies here in the USA. They are not the sort to be out in the streets fighting cops at least not unless it is a labor issue. They represent an older tradition of working class anarchist organizing.

Other anarchists from the ALARM groups seem to have a different perspective, more supportive of the rioters. They seem to be more of younger anarchists. But again I am not there and these are perceptions gathered from their writing and my experience as an anarchist, not from observations on the ground. I am ready to be corrected if anyone has better info.

From North London Solidarity Federation.

“With media sources blaming “anarchy” for the unfolding violence in London and across England, the North London Solidarity Federation felt a response from an anarchist organisation active in the capital would be appropriate.

Over the last few days, riots have caused significant damage to parts of London, to shop-fronts, homes and cars. On the left, we hear the ever-present cry that poverty has caused this. On the right, that gangsters and anti-social elements are taking advantage of tragedy. Both are true. The looting and riots seen over the past number of days are a complex phenomenon and contain many currents.

It is no accident that the riots are happening now, as the support nets for Britain’s disenfranchised are dragged away and people are left to fall into the abyss, beaten as they fall by the batons of the Metropolitan Police. But there should be no excuses for the burning of homes, the terrorising of working people. Whoever did such things has no cause for support.

Much has been made of the fact that the rioters were attacking “their own communities.” But riots don’t occur within a social vacuum. Riots in the eighties tended to be directed in a more targeted way; avoiding innocents and focusing on targets more representative of class and race oppression: police, police stations, and shops. What’s happened since the eighties? Consecutive governments have gone to great lengths to destroy any sort of notion of working class solidarity and identity. Is it any surprise, then, that these rioters turn on other members of our class?

The Solidarity Federation is based in resistance through workplace struggle. We are not involved in the looting and unlike the knee-jerk right or even the sympathetic-but-condemnatory commentators from the left, we will not condemn or condone those we don’t know for taking back some of the wealth they have been denied all their lives.

But as revolutionaries, we cannot condone attacks on working people, on the innocent. Burning out shops with homes above them, people’s transport to work, muggings and the like are an attack on our own and should be resisted as strongly as any other measure from government “austerity” politics, to price-gouging landlords, to bosses intent on stealing our labour. Tonight and for as long as it takes, people should band together to defend themselves when such violence threatens homes and communities.

We believe that the legitimate anger of the rioters can be far more powerful if it is directed in a collective, democratic way and seeks not to victimise other workers, but to create a world free of the exploitation and inequality inherent to capitalism.”

More at this link
http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=north-london-solfeds-response-to-the-london-riots

This is from Islingtonalarm

A more poetic statement.

“What started in Tottenham spread like wild fire to Enfield, Brixton, Walthamstow, Dalston and beyond. Tonight I was walking the rainy streets of Islington, while all around me police sirens screamed passed, youth filled the streets in clusters of gangs on foot, push bikes and mopeds from Highbury & Islington, Essex Road, Angel to Liverpool Road. It seems the streets of London were alive with the crackle of enthusiasm and excitement. Bins overturned, shop windows smashed, information shared in a word of mouth manner. While the mainstream media enforced a black out, and Twitter trends evoked an evangelical condemnation, on the streets amongst the youth they knew exactly why they were there. No doubt these rioters will be labeled as thieves, thugs and hooligans. But these are our children and this is our future. When the system is based on competition, alienation and money this is what is created. An angry, frustrated youth with no hope for the future. No EMA, No Universities, No Youth Clubs, No Employment. So it’s only right that they rise up, smashing the windows of the high street stores, grabbing the goods that they spend all day striving after. Riots are the voice of the unheard. And instead of dwelling in the run down, crack infested ghetto’s across the metropolis, they decided to make themselves heard. The Police have no control and are scared. The kids have finally realised that they out number them and that they can’t be everywhere at once. It appears that the rainy weather was the Police’s saving grace. The youth will be scapegoated by the media and cracked down upon even more by the State – even though this was the initial spark that triggered the wave of unrest – but can you blame them for doing what they have done? Over hearing two teens heading to the Police Station just yards away: “We have nothing to lose, this is our only chance, come on man!” This is a sentiment that seems to be ringing true with all of us, not just amongst the disaffected youth, but all of us struggling in this corrupt and unfair system. Let the London Riots begin!”

For more info and lots of links
https://islingtonalarm.wordpress.com/tag/london-riots-tottenham-islington-brixton-walthamstow/

This is a video from The Circled A it is a special about the riots.
One hour long with comments from ALARM (All London Anarchist Revolutionary Movement).

http://thecircleda.com/2011/08/10/show-15-10-8-2011-london-riots-special/

Natural Foods And A Little Personal Stuff

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I was watching some documentary about factory farming on the POV channel and I realized there was a reason why I spent most of my adult life eating organic and vegetarian food. My only real vice was all the not necessarily organic drugs I took and letting the stress of my job get to me. I hated sitting in an office using a computer all day. I would take pain killers to deaden my body’s rebellion against the mind deadening mental work. I was either sitting there bored, looking stuff up on the internet or working manically to get a quote or a number of quotes done as fast as possible. I knew only two paces, fooling around or intense concentration.

In my youth I was among the people exploring healthy food, healthy lifestyles and I spent several years living on a commune where we grew organic vegetables, raised turkeys, chickens and goats, had connections with organic peach growers and canned our own fruit. We would glean potatoes from a farm in eastern Colorado and had a farm in another part of the state where we also had cattle. We were part of a network of communes all based on the same spiritual beliefs, a form of gnostic Christianity, mixed with chiropractic, spiritual healing and other new age techniques that had been developed over the past century as westerners became more aware of the various systems of healing and meditation developed in India and East Asia.

I stay away from the beef, but after my kidneys failed in 2010 I stopped being a vegetarian and ate whatever the doctors told me was what I should eat. I had to eat lots of protein, and stay away from dairy, many vegetables like avocados. It was a real mind fuck. My ideology was based partly around my diet. I realized I was now tied into the system literally being hooked up on a dialysis machine and taking lots of prescription pills.

After a year of this I realized that I still believed in the politics of natural food. It was factory food that I was against and even though I needed a lot of protein, there are plenty of ways of getting it without having to eat unhealthy factory food. So I am remembering my nature. I have always been into substances, but I have also been into some kind of intelligent usage. We are all addicted in some way or another, live in a sense is the biggest addiction. We all want it as long as we can have it. We live and die, and try to prolong it and avoid pain and do our duty as best we can.

Out of this complicated mess of a life I am turning my experience with life into something with meaning. I can’t be an anarchist because I need the reliability of a government. If people could decide from day to day whether or not to participate in the system I would be screwed. So a social democracy is my ideal now. Socialism headed to communism is the path I see us headed down, with as much freedom as is practical in a world of interdependence with a fragile ecology and global warming and overpopulation and rampant nationalism.

Right now factory farming feeds us but it is becoming more and more toxic and controlled by a smaller and smaller group of corporations. That is perhaps good to the extent that when we do nationalize it will be relatively easy. But the problem will be to reorganize and send many of these unemployed people back to the land to become organic farmers to make up for the deconstruction of some of the overly industrialized agricultural processes we now have in the USA. We need to end the addiction to fast food which means giving people time to relax and eat properly. Work should be reduced to 4 - 6 hours a day with 2 hours for lunch. People should be able to go home for lunch or have time to go to decent restaurants. Fast food on the McDonalds model should become antiquated and or illegal. A socialist system should not be simply a socially run version of capitalism. It should incorporate slow growth principals, ecologically sound development, renewable energy, recycling and healthy food for all. Slow down should be the motto of the New Socialist State. Follow the motto of the Native Americans who stated that anything done should be thought out for the next seven generations of consequences before we act.


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