clinton

ABSURDNESS FOR SATURDAY

Rage against the machine went on stage at the Reading music festival dressed like this.

The BBC report about the gig said this…

Rage Against The Machine have returned to the Reading Festival with a passionate headline performance on the main stage.

They made a political statement from the start, coming on stage dressed in orange jumpsuits and fully hooded, a probable reference to US foreign policy. They then proceeded to play opening song Bombtrack in the costumes.

Lets look at that line again, did you notice?

“a probable reference to US foreign policy”

Good grief.

But then, there is the better side to the BBC which is making programmes like this…

If you want a laugh this saturday then this is what you have to watch..

CLINTON: HIS STRUGGLE WITH DIRT

VOMIT PART 2

As I said in VOMIT (Part 1), and old photo and a borrowed line but some things make you think that there isn’t enough vomit in the world…

I actually have an old video of U2 on stage when he use to phone the whitehouse at the end of every gig and it was when Bu$h Snr was about to leave and he said..

“I just want to tell George I won’t be bothering him anymore. I’m gonna be bothering Bill Clinton now.”

This appears to be Bono’s version of bothering him.

Also, congratulations to 1820.org.uk for reaching their 500th post [1]. Go over and join the fun and the daily maybe has an interesting little survey you might want to take part in.

[1] If you want to know what 1820 was all about it was the Scottish War of Insurrection (actually one of a series) and you can read about it here.

(Thanks to whoever alerted me to the photo. It was a while ago and I can’t remember now so sorry and thanks anyway!)

FLAGS, BALLOONS AND BULLSHIT

Will have another post later on but for now I just want to point you to this…

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger looks back on the US presidential campaigns he has reported and draws parallels with the current ‘ritual danse macabre’ that covers for democracy and the veiled propaganda that accompanies it.

THE DANSE MACABRE OF US STYLE POLITICS 

The former president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere once asked, “Why haven’t we all got a vote in the US election? Surely everyone with a TV set has earned that right just for enduring the merciless bombardment every four years.” Having reported four presidential election campaigns, from the Kennedys to Nixon, Carter to Reagan, with their Zeppelins of platitudes, robotic followers and rictal wives, I can sympathise. But what difference would the vote make? Of the presidential candidates I have interviewed, only George C Wallace, governor of Alabama, spoke the truth. “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans,” he said. And he was shot.

What struck me, living and working in the United States, was that presidential campaigns were a parody, entertaining and often grotesque. They are a ritual danse macabre of flags, balloons and bullshit, designed to camouflage a venal system based on money power, human division and a culture of permanent war.

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THE ELECTORAL SIDESHOW

With all the hullaballoo going on about the US primaries a lot of people seem to be forgetting about some of the skullduggery that has surrounded electoral politics in the USA in recent years.

Below is the transcript of a incredibly important piece Democracy Now did about it the other day with someone who was jailed for his role in warping the election process (even more than it already is). Below that is also a fabuluous little piece from Bill Hicks…

Guest:

Allen Raymond, Former Republican operative who served jail time for phone-jamming in New Hampshire in 2002. He is author of “How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative.”

AMY GOODMAN: As we continue on election news, New Hampshire is not just known as a key primary state; it’s also gained attention for hosting one of the biggest election scandals of the last decade. On Election Day in November 2002, the telephone lines at the New Hampshire Democrats’ voting headquarters received scores of hang-up calls in a phone-jamming scheme intended to block a Democratic get-out-the-vote campaign. The Republicans won the Senate race, with John Sununu beating out the Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate seat.

Two top Republican campaign officials were later convicted: Charles McGee, then the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party; and James Tobin, then the northeast regional director of the Republican National Committee. Tobin’s conviction was later overturned pending a retrial.

Democrats say the scheme may have gone higher than New Hampshire Republicans. According to phone records, Tobin made two dozen calls to the White House in the twenty-four-hour period before and after the election.

Also convicted was the head of the telemarketing firm that made the calls on behalf of his Republican clients. Allen Raymond and his company GOP Marketplace received more than $15,000 for the phone-jamming scheme. Raymond served three months in prison in 2006.

Now, Allen Raymond has come out with a tell-all book. It’s called How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative. In addition to the phone-jamming scheme, Raymond details other Republican tactics. In a New Jersey congressional race in 2000, Raymond’s firm used scripted, phony automated phone messages to try to play on white voters’ racial prejudices. Carefully selected white households were called with a pre-recorded message featuring an African American speaker urging listeners to vote Democratic. Union households were called with a similar message, but this time with an actor speaking in a heavy Spanish accent. Republicans thought this would take advantage of worker fears of losing their jobs to Latin American immigrants.

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