We Supported Torture Flights

CIA jets suspected of flying terrorist suspects to secret prisons for torture have landed at commercial British airports and received help from UK air traffic control, the authorities have admitted for the first time.

Tony Blair has claimed that he has no knowledge of so-called torture flights coming in and out of the country, and has refused to hold an independent public inquiry.

The flights have been associated with the practice of extraordinary rendition. which involves taking terrorist suspects to foreign prisons and secret jails in Europe. Seventy-six planes used by the CIA are believed to have made stops in Britain since 11 September 2001, at Prestwick, RAF Northolt, Luton and Glasgow.
(Source: The Independent)

Yet more pure evil from the US government: kidnapping civilians and then flying them in secret to non-US locations where they can be tortured by the CIA. No evidence, no charges, no trials.

The USA is now probably the most dangerous rogue nation on earth. It’s the top of the pile simply because it’s the most powerful and its current administration seeks to wage a never-ending war on anyone it doesn’t like.

If you think I’m exaggerating, answer this: which other nation has kidnapped and tortured 500+ international civilians, illegally imprisoning them for four years?

What makes the situation even more appalling is that the UK is so under US thrall that our yellow government won’t even demand the release of the UK citizens who’ve been kidnapped to Guantanamo.

If the sheer horror of what’s happening to these people leaves you cold, let me make an appeal based on pure seflishness:

This could happen to any one of us. It could easily happen to you if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or perhaps say the wrong thing to the wrong person.

If we don’t campaign againt these injustices, we will ultimately become victim to them. All it takes is one change, once re-definition of the word “terrorist” and you could find yourself disappeared to a CIA torture cell.

Of course, Pastor Niemoeller said it all much more concisely:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

(Source: WikiQuote)

Archbishop Denounces USA

Archbishop Sentamu

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has launched a passionate attack on President George Bush, saying his administration’s refusal to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay camp reflected “a society that is heading towards George Orwell’s Animal Farm”.

“The US should try all 500 detainees at Guantanamo, who still include eight British residents, or free them without further delay. To hold someone for up to four years without charge clearly indicates a society that is heading towards George Orwell’s Animal Farm.”

The Government has already managed to secure the release, in March 2004, of the four British nationals who were detained at Guantanamo ­ Moazzam Begg, Feroz Abbasi, Martin Mubanga and Richard Belmar ­ although only after guarantees they would be constantly monitored and face an investigation to ascertain whether they can be charged in this country.

Washington had claimed all four were “enemy combatants” who trained at camps run by al-Qa’ida. But they were released after UK police concluded there was not enough evidence to charge them with any offence. The men said they had been tortured at Guantanamo, allegations the US denied.
(Source: The Independent)

Yet another independent voice speaks out against America’s war crimes. Sentamu is making simple, moral points that any civilised person would easily understand. But these points are apparently beyond the US government.

What legal right has the USA to hold these innocent civilians? None. They have no evidence, have brought no charges after four years.

But the neo-Nazis who now run the US government see no problem with that. They only have one law: might makes right. Which translates as ‘we’ll do what the hell we want, when we want.’ They ignore any law that is inconvenient to their programme of never-ending war and terror. But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Donald Rumsfeld said about the Kofi Annan’s call for closure of Guantanamo:

“He’s just flat wrong. We shouldn’t close Guantanamo,” he said. ” We have several hundred terrorists, bad people, people who if they went back out on the field would try to kill Americans … To close that place and pretend that really there’s no problem just isn’t realistic.”
(Source: The Independent)

Notice how Rumsfeld calls these people terrorists despite having not one atom of evidence, let alone having properly tried any of the prisoners.

That’s the American Way now: no evidence, no proof, no charges, no trial. You are simply disappeared to one of their gulags, where you will be tortured and abused till you die or go insane.

I’ll leave the last words to Sentamu:

“The American Government is breaking international law,” he told The Independent. “The main building block of a democratic society is that everyone is equal before the law, innocent until proved otherwise, and has the right to legal representation. If the guilt of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay is beyond doubt, why are the Americans afraid to bring them to trial? Transparency and accountability are the other side of the coin of freedom and responsibility. We are all accountable for our actions in spite of circumstances. The events of 9/11 cannot erase the rule of law and international obligations.”
(Source: The Independent)

Dream Songwriting

Henri Rousseau's 'The Dream'

Last night, after re-patching all my MIDI connections in the studio, I finally got to sleep at around 5am.

And I had the most vivid dream where I was playing a song I’d recorded on some fantastic bit of gear, the shape of which my brain can’t hold now that I’m awake. The song was ultra-poppy, in a 6/8, rollicking kind of way.

When I woke up, I could still hear the song in my head. So, I hurried downstairs and bashed it out on the piano. Sounds pretty good. But the weird thing is that it’s not the kind of thing I’d normally write. The chords are all over the shop and the vocal… well, to be honest, I’m not a good enough singer to sing it. The range is too big 🙁

I’d be interested to hear from any other songwriters who write songs in their sleep. This is the second time I’ve managed to carry a dream song into my waking world. The first time, I dreamt I met Michael Nesmith and he gave me this awesome country song.

The anxious part of dream songwriting is when you first wake: the song can quickly evaporate. I’ve had that happen quite a few times and the frustration is immense. You can hear wisps of the melody but it keeps slipping out of reach.

Maybe I should start sleeping with a little Casio next to the bed?

UPDATES ——————-

This news just in from Plans And Apologies lovely lad, Welsh Dave Williams:


I was interested in your post on song dreams as I have had them regularly. What often happens to me is I either dream of a song, or have a tune formulating itself in my head when I’m semi conscious just before sleep, and the next morning it comes back to me when I’m walking to town or wandering around the supermarket or something and usually fragments of the dream come with it.

I also seem to find that tunes I dream up are quite different from ones I think of when I’m conscious, mainly because I’m not putting my hands on a guitar and immediately figuring out a logical chord sequence, I’m trying to work
out what the precise noise in my head is and play it, and as it’s been arranged by my subconscious it’s usually pretty random.

Unfortunately, most of these songs end up shit.

What it always makes me think is, do non-songwriting types get tunes in their dreams as well, a concoction of whatever music they’ve heard that day rearranged and chopped up and stuck back together? Or is it the overworking songwriter’s brain constantly trying to work out new ways of sticking dem notes together? I don’t remember having any such dreams before I became obsessed with writing songs.

Apparently “Yesterday” came to Paul in his sleep. Or maybe I just made that up.

I’ll stop now.


I think he raises some good points there. Are there any non-songwriters out there who write in their sleep? And if you do, what does it sound like? God, that must be even more frustrating, not even knowing how to translate it into waking world music.

I dunno if Paul wrote ‘Yesterday’ in his sleep. I do know it was originally called ‘Scrambled Eggs.’ Yes.


Yet another roving report, this time from Matt ‘Where’s My Fucking iMac?’ Swan:

had a couple of pearlers, never could remember it properly in the morning… life gets in the way… or maybe breakfast.

We’re back to the scrambled eggs again, innit?

Judge Lambasts USA

America's Gulag

A high court judge yesterday delivered a stinging attack on America, saying its idea of what constituted torture was out of step with that of “most civilised nations”.

The criticism, directed at the Bush administration’s approach to human rights, was made by Mr Justice Collins during a hearing over the refusal by ministers to request the release of three British residents held at Guantánamo Bay.

The judge said: “America’s idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilised nations.” He made his comments, he said, after learning of the UN report that said Guantánamo should be shut down without delay because torture was still being carried out there.
(Source: The Guardian)

More criticism for America’s gulag, this time from a high court judge. Yes. If you aren’t already familiar, British high court judges aren’t known for being raving Commies. This is stinging criticism from a pillar of the British establishment.

Of course, the Bush government will shrug it off, as it did the UN report:

Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, dismissed its findings as a “rehash of old allegations” and “a discredit to the organisation”. “The detainees are being treated humanely,” he said. “Remember these are terrorists.”
(Source: The Guardian)

Hold on, I’ve got to turn on the big type for this bit for any Tories / Republicans reading…



No? So when Mr. McClellan says, “Remember these are terrorists,” that isn’t true or in any way proven. That’s just him lying through his big, proto-fascist mouth.

And right there is why the judge is right: the US government is now conveniently ignoring basic tenets of international law when they get in the way of its rapacious imperial programme.

This may work for the Bushites in the short-term but what does it hold for the future? If the US can throw the Geneva Convention and anything else it feels like out of the window, what does this mean for its citizens should they ever be captured by unfriendly forces?

The current US administration is a danger not just to the people of Iraq (and Iran and any other oil-rich nation), it’s also endangering the future safety of its own citizens and eroding previously seriously regarded universal human rights.

Torture, Murder And Kidnapping – The American Way

More American Torture at Abu Ghraib

Doesn’t it make your heart swell with pride?

Thank god our lads are keeping the British end up by beating the crap out of defenceless, helpless civilians. And corpses. Wouldn’t want anything like a fair fight, eh?

A video obtained by the London newspaper News of the World shows British Army soldiers in a Basra military compound brutally beating four Iraqi teenagers, and apparently kicking a dead man in the head.

The video was reported to have been filmed in January 2004 during widespread protests against the record levels of unemployment that have accompanied the US-led war and occupation of Iraq.
(Source: World Socialist Website)

Now we see the Anglo-American vision of a democratic Iraq: make any trouble and we’ll either beat the shit out of you or fly in the CIA to torture you to death. You have no rights, you are scum, your life is worthless.

Reminds me of the Chinese in Tibet.

Hold on a minute… I think I’m onto something here. Both Butcher Blair and Bush want to watch their entire civilian populations at every chance possible, issue ID cards, biometrically scan and track every journey. Both governments couch these attacks on our liberty as acts of immense patriotism and anti-terrorism.

If you just change “terrorist” to “counter-revolutionary,” you’ve got pretty much the Chinese dictatorship’s entire justification for its tyranny.

The irony being that since the UK and US are richer than China, they have more funds with which to oppress their people. Where do these funds come from? From our taxes! They’re going to charge us to remove our freedom. Takes the fucking biscuit when you think about it that way, eh? They we will buy the technology to remove our every freedom.

If you’re reading this in Britain or America, be aware that you will soon have less liberty than the average Chinese citizen. Every liberty stolen will be accompanied with proclamations about “Homeland Security” or “anti-terrorism.”

At the same time as spouting it’s lies about freedom and liberty, this is what the US government is actually doing:

More American Torture at Abu Ghraib

More American Torture at Abu Ghraib

More American Torture at Abu Ghraib

Here’s the latest UN report on the US’ Guantanamo Bay camp:

The 54-page report called on Washington “to close down the Guantánamo Bay detention centre and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.

The UN commission on human rights report was based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the US government.

The five envoys from the commission said photo evidence alone – corroborated by testimony of former prisoners – had shown detainees were shackled, chained, hooded and forced to wear headphones and goggles.

“Such treatment amounts to torture, as it inflicts severe pain or suffering on the victims for the purpose of intimidation and/or punishment,” the report said.

Some of the interrogation techniques used at the detention facility itself – particularly the use of dogs, exposure to extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation for several consecutive days and prolonged isolation – caused extreme suffering.
(Source: Common Dreams)

What has the US government done in response to this damning report? Why, just ignored and rubbished it. Just the same as the Chinese government ignores and rubbishes any criticism of its torture, kidnapping and murder of its troublemakers.

The US has been holding around 500 innocent people captive at Guantanmo for up to four years. No charges, no evidence, no trials. These people have been kidnapped, pure and simple.

Imagine if any other country in the world had done the same? Imagine if China had rounded up 500 Western civilians (some of them children) and held them in prison on the grounds that they may be counter-revolutionaries. No charges, no evidence, no trials. For four years. What would the reaction of the world be then?

And yet the mass media of the world is still sucking Bush’s dick, spreading his propaganda as gospel.

I have to repeat: if you’re reading this and you’re American, don’t think for a minute that I’m anti-American. I’m not: I’m anti the US-government just as I’m anti my own government, anti-Al Quaeda and anti- any regime or religious / political movement that seeks to deprive people of their lives or their liberty.

There are no sides here, they are all equally rotten. We seem to have leaderships on all sides who are all morally bankrupt, who are all mass-murderers and who are all evil in the truest sense of the word. Bush = Blair = Bin Laden.

Try to spot the difference.

Apple Spam

Third time unsubscribing

And still it comes!


(Insert joke about Apple being rotten to the core here.)

This may sound like I’m going barmy but I’m just fed-up with getting Jurassic news via Apple’s emails. Or vouchers entitling me to a massive 50p off my next purchase of over £5 million quid at the Apple Store. On a Wednesday. Between 2.43pm and 2.44pm.

Intel chips, iTunes acting like wankers towards indie labels, Logic Pro being completely un-Pro thanks to 10.4.4 breaking it… what’s going on at Apple? When did they become Microsoft?

Goodbye MurdochSpace, Hello (Again) Friendster!

Arsehole Murdoch
Murdoch – buying everything good and making it evil

I’ve just posted the below on my MySpace pages (personal and White Town):


Since MySpace is now owned by international arsehole Rupert Murdoch, I have decided to bugger-off to Friendster. You can find me at:


My MySpace page will stay up, purely to display this message. But I’m fucked if I’m going to funnel money (via ad revenue) to Darth Murdoch. Friendster isn’t that great but at least it isn’t evil (so far).


It’s a shame as MySpace seems to be exploding in usage beyond irritating teenage emo kids. But what the fuck – as if I’m going to support any of Murdoch’s businesses!

Click here for a few examples of why I hate this walking tumour.

Bless Playlist 14/2/06

Kelley Stoltz

Top new track tonight was Kelley Stoltz‘ ‘Ever Thought Of Coming Back.’ It’s from his ace new album, ‘Below The Branches,’ which was released last week on Sub Pop. I think this is going to be one of my top albums of 2006: it covers an enormous range, from the Beach Boysy ‘Ever Thought’ to the marvellously Bonzo ‘Birdies Singing.’ Hugely refreshing, it’s just lovely to hear an indie artist expressing themselves so non-generically.

The Minutemen

The best old track was The Minutemen‘s ‘Shit You Hear At Parties.’ Totally thrumming, still awesomely good.

In 1985, before the punk trio The Minutemen went on stage each night while on tour, the three would listen to the John Coltrane recording “Ascension.” “In fact we discovered jazz through punk,” former Minutemen bassist Watt writes in the book “Spiels of a Minuteman,” the second edition of which was just published by L’Oie De Cravan, the Montreal-based publishing house. “[We] loved what John Coltrane said about using music to ‘uplift people’ and that all of music was ‘one big reservoir’ w/all the notes and rhythms being tools to help tell your story. … We saw ourselves as a link somehow in a big chain stretching through time.”

During the first half of the ’80s, The Minutemen, along with Black Flag, The Replacements, Flipper, Hüsker Dü and Sonic Youth, were one of the core third-wave punk bands that helped bring rock back to its essence while bringing something new to the party. (The first wave being the mid-’70s New York bands; the second being the British bands that formed in reaction to the New York scene.)
(Source: Neumu)

Tonight, you heard:

Secret Machines – Faded Lines
Computor Rockers – Galaxy Defenders
Karneige – Dusted
Robag Wruhme – Hugendubel
Art Brut – Formed A Band
Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
VAEG – The Sturgeon
Actarus – Hundekeks
Goldspot – Friday
Marco Passarani – Again
Descendents – Descendents
Main Flow – Breaking Bread (Ft. Hi-Tek, Crunch EX, Holmskil, And Donte)
Ghosty – Big Surrender
Love Is All – Talk Talk Talk Talk
Jackal & Hyde – Dark Star
Bear Vs. Shark – Seven Stop Hold Restart
Herman Dune – Not On Top
Royce Da 5’9 & Mc Jean Gab’1 – Internationaly Known
Minutemen – Shit You Hear At Parties
Broken Social Scene – Major Label Debut (Fast)
Comateens – Get Off My Case
Brakes – Heard About Your Band
The Boss Hog Barbarians – Steady Smobbin (Dirty)
Funkstorung – Eyen
Grandaddy – Elevate Myself
The Red Chord – L Formation
The Get Up Kids – Valentine
Dilated Peoples – Back Again
Kelley Stoltz – Ever Thought Of Coming Back
The Samuel Jackson Five – If You Show Off The Milk, Who’s Gonna Buy The Cow?
The Durutti Column – Nina
Aceyalone And Rjd2 – All For U
The Human Value – Kill Pangs
Mikkel Metal – Align
Norfolk & Western – A Gilded Age
The Spinoffs – 99 Bitches
Miwon – Brother Mole
Various – Capsule – Le Salon
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Oregon Girl
The Lucksmiths – Camera-Shy
Milieu – Inline Track
Asian Dub Foundation – Naxalite
The Ladies – Non-Threatening
Cyne – Automaton
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit

Unsubscribe Haiku

Unsubscribe Haiku

I’ve already unsubscribed from Apple’s email thingy once.

And still they come!

I wouldn’t mind but it’s always old news, never anything actually breaking or tasty. Why can’t they do their mass mailings at the same time as they’re briefing the press? Then I could at least experience a smug frisson at advance notice of the latest Apple adventure.

So I got fed up and wrote them this unsubscribe haiku:

Like TV through space,
Apple emails deliver,
Echoes of the past

I expect an email about their great new 6502 chip any day now…