Birthday Synth!

It was my birthday yesterday! My mrs. bought me this fantastic little synth:

Waldorf Blofeld

Click the pic to have a look at a lascivious unboxing of the wee beastie! 🙂

Sadly, my new baby is a bit poorly, generating grotty chirruping sounds, background distortion and spontaneous glitchtronic odysseys. So, I’m waiting to for it to be exchanged. Even so, with the burps, it’s a great synth and I can’t wait for a working machine! 😀

MPs Play Dumb Over Torture

Baha Mousa - murdered by UK troops.

MPs and peers have said they may have been misled over UK troops' use of banned interrogation methods in Iraq.

Not all troops had known "conditioning" techniques such as hooding and sleep deprivation were banned, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said.

The committee had received assurances by a minister and a senior military officer that they did know.

The use of such techniques emerged after the death of Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa in British custody in 2003.

(Source: BBC News)

Oh… the poor MPs! They were misled! They had no idea the same interrogation techniques they’ve been sanctioning since the ’80s were going to be used in Iraq! They thought all the squaddies would be giving the Iraqis nice cups of tea and slices of battenburg!

Soldiers follow orders. Those orders come from their superior officers and, eventually, the policy behind those orders comes from government. The fact that British MPs are playing dumb over the hideous torture and murder of Baha Mousa and countless other Iraqis shows how bankrupt and craven this Blairite regime is.

We are governed by war criminals.

And one question: what kind of soldier could ever, ever imagine kicking a detainee to death is allowed by any international convention? Who are we sending out there?

If you’re un-familiar with how our troops treat innocent Iraqis, have a read of this:

British soldiers killed a 26-year-old Iraqi civilian by repeatedly beating him on the neck, chest and genital areas, High Court judges have heard.

Baha Mousa was one of six Iraqis whose families are challenging the UK Government’s decision not to hold an independent inquiry into their deaths.

Fellow hotel worker Kifah Taha al-Mutari said soldiers competed to see who could kick detainees the furthest.

A witness statement by Mr Mousa’s father, Daoud Mousa, was also before the court.

In it he recalled seeing his son’s body covered in blood and bruises: “He had a badly broken nose. There was blood coming from his nose and mouth. The skin on one side of his face had been torn away to reveal the flesh beneath.

“There were severe patches of bruising over all of his body. The skin on his wrists had been torn off and the skin on his forehead torn away and there was no skin under his eyes either.

“I literally could not bear to look at him.”

(Source: BBC News)

Yes, this all seems like perfectly civilised and normal behaviour for British troops. After all, they’re their to liberate the Iraqis from Saddam, who was a torturer and a murderer!

I’m sure Mr. Mousa’s family will, one day, thank us for our grand charity!

Why Is This News?

27-07-08

Reports from Iran say 29 people have been executed by hanging in Tehran.
Among them were convicts found guilty of murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking, state television IRIB reported on its website.
All the executions took place on Sunday morning in Tehran’s Evin prison, the report said.
(Source: BBC News)

Firstly, I’m against the death penalty. So, Iran murdering these citizens is an abomination. It is murder. State-sanctioned murder but murder nonetheless.

BUT…

Why are we seeing this news story about Iran? Why isn’t every execution carried out in America newsworthy? George Bush is personally responsible for 155 death penalty executions… I don’t see any article about him?

I suspect that anything that is bad news about Iran is getting pushed forward by the people who control our media. Texas executing scores of prisoners – well, what purpose does it serve to report that? How does that help the anti-Iran propaganda war currently being waged by the US and UK and their allies?

It doesn’t, so it won’t become a news story. Similar to all the Afghans and Iraqis being shot at checkpoints by UK and US troops – well, that’s not news is it? We only report car bombings by “sectarians”, the people we murder don’t count.

Murder is murder.

Any country, any country that carries out the death penalty is a barbaric, un-civilised country.

Canon A590 IS Test Shots

Canon A590 IS Test Shots

For years, I’ve been using a Fuji F10 as my walkabout compact camera. It’s particularly good at clubbing shots because it has great high-ISO response.

But, I saw a Canon A590 IS going for a silly price so I took a risk and bought it. Well, I’m glad I did as it seems at least as capable as my old Fuji and, maybe, even a little smoother for clubbing pics. Here’s one I grabbed with the 590 from Tuesday’s Refuse Revolt night:

Refuse

Pretty good for the lighting conditions! Of course, that shot (and the gallery it links to) have been tweaked to look as good as possible. If you want to see completely un-tweaked shots, click the pic at the top of this post. 🙂

Today Was… Flying Ant Day ’08!

FLYING ANT DAY IN DERBY 2008

Well, at least in Derby it was. Walking around town, the little bastards kept flying in my face, down the back of my shirt into my mouth.

It’s a few days later than last year’s Flying Ant Day. Maybe they were finishing off the Snow Storm mission on GTAIV. That is particularly hard if your over-sized mandibles obscure the jump to the speedboat.

Ahhh… ANTS!

British MPs: USA Lying About Torture

Amnesty Protest

The British government should not rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, a report by MPs says.

The foreign affairs select committee said the UK and US differ on their definitions of what constitutes torture and it urged the UK to check US claims.
(Source: BBC News)

Hmmm… this new report by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee basically boils down to this:

“We don’t believe the US when it says it’s not torturing people. If we go along with them, we’ll create even more enemies in the Muslim world than we already have by illegally invading Iraq looking for the phantom menace of WMDs. Let’s distance the UK from the US as much as possible! At least on this issue…”

So, the UK government is saying that the US government is not to be trusted about how it defines torture? Here’s another choice quote:

“The committee’s conclusions amount to saying we can no longer rely on assurances from a US administration that purports to uphold the civil and political standards of behaviour”
– Andrew Tyrie MP
(Source: BBC News)

That seems like a pretty major split between allies to me. If we can’t trust the US about torture, what can we trust them on?

But wait… now there’s a new phantom menace the US is peddling: IRAN!

Mr Obama agrees with Mr McCain that a nuclear Iran would represent a grave threat to US interests.

He would approach the issue by pursuing diplomatic options, including holding a meeting – without pre-conditions – with the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he has also said he would do everything in his power to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, and would keep the threat of military action on the table.
(Source: BBC News)

Oooh, lookeee! Another oil-rich country that’s suddenly a huge threat to the US and THE WHOLE WORLD! I wonder if their WMDs will be any more real than Iraq’s? Looks like the new puppet of American capitalism is already dancing his masters’ jig beautifully! Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

Will the UK learn from the bitter lesson of Iraq? Will we follow the warmongers and torturers into yet another disastrous bloodbath?

I guess it all depends on much profit the UK can make out of it and how much oil the US gives us to buy off our troubled consciences…