Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Live 8 for G8 summit week

Top News Article | Reuters.com

So the British holiday weekend is over and the French holiday week appears to be beginning. It's back to the grind here but cheered a little by Bob Geldof's announcement about an hour ago that the new Live Aid concerts are go. The link is for Reuters, but additions may be here.

London's concert will be in Hyde Park on July 2nd and I gather it will be FREE! The event is specifically designed to raise money (expect requests for healthy donations) for "Make Poverty History" but also hopes to take advantage of media attention of the G8 summit the same week. McCartney and U2 are probably the headliners, but rumours of the Stones are circulating too. As with the original Live Aid (Bob insists this is not Live Aid 2 but "Live8") there will be simultaneous concerts in at least five other cities around the world. So congrats to all who are making it happen.

According to today's wires, Blair is running around European leaders trying to get the new EU constitution scrapped altogether now. That runs rather contrary to my last-minute ruminations of last evening (below). We'll see. He is of course doing all this whilst on holiday (again) in Italy. The more intelligent line is probably from Jack Straw who wants to let things settle down a bit.

Maybe later, maybe not.

Monday, May 30, 2005

So they did say "Non" and life goes on

Party time for the No camp as Chirac is left in weakened position

The opinion polls were right and the French no longer approve of the Europe they helped create. Or maybe they just don't approve of their government and this was a good way to show it.

What a change since 1968! For nearly forty years the effects of the student uprising have influenced French politics. The polaristion of those times led successive adminstrations to maintain a fine balancing act to appease both left and right of the political spectrum. In my mind it all added to the uniqueness of French culture. Now, however, the people have voted in a very different way. This time the right and the left have found common ground and jointly overwhelmed those trying to maintain the centre ground. That such old enemies have found common purpose is actually the real reason their decision will almost certainly remain absolute.

Nonetheless, it's a shame! I have always been a keen European (even Internationalist in the days before imperial resurgence) and the need for a federation of nation-states to counter-balance the likes of Amerika is more acute than ever. France, like Britain, is a strong defender of its own cultural identity, but I can only see such regional differences as enhancing the diversity of the European Union itself. The only real problem with Europe is its beaurocracy, which, as here in Britain itself, seems designed to hinder and obstruct all processes of goverence beneath it.

The press here have been asking whether the outcome in France will affect the decision to go ahead with Britain's own referendum on the matter - the main suggestion being that there is no need now that the constitution cannot be changed in the light of the French decision. On the other hand, writing more than a week ago, John Snow of Channel 4 News, said he had it on good authority that Blair would plough ahead regardless - possibly just to steer the country through a process that (whatever the actual outcome) would be the mark of his departure and a place in history.

I also think, that like France, we need to go through this! Britain, more now than ever, has been behaving like an American colony, operating under the guise of self-determination. Although we have a historical reputation for being an independent "bridge" between Amerika and Europe (largely due to the legacy of both language and financial institutions) this is no longer the case. Europe does not want or need a direct conduit to Amerika's imperial pursuits, it needs an identity and set of collective values it can call its own, with a cohesive administration to counterbalance the nightmare festering across the Atlantic. It needs to be a "union" in every sense of the world.

For someone who claims to want Britain "in" Europe, Blair's policies suggest the opposite. The French have cited the "Anglo-Saxon" agenda as a major cause of the rejection of the proposed constitution and who can blame them? Until we Brits commit ourselves one way or the other, we are part of the problem.

At the end of the day, the French decision may do little than curtail the speed and method of change in Europe. Certainly the greater part of the constitutional aspirations can be modified and implemented through the existing legislative process in Brussels - it will just be even more beaurocratic and confusing than before. A consensus here and a consensus there, but no firm direction, clear policy or unified commitment.

Such impotence! Bush will be pleased at least!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Springing into Summer

Met Office: Weather and climate - South-east England

Having awaited forever for summer to arrive in London, it's now come with a vengence. I think today is the hottest for May in around 80 years. Thus, I can be forgiven for basking in it.

Actually, I'm not. The sudden shock has made me feel lazy and even a return to the great outdoors feels daunting right now. I also have one hell of a lot of revisional work to do on the website which is getting in the way of the usually automated progress of the day.

Global warning in this vincinity can for all practical purposes be interpreted as cooling. Melting ice, rising sea levels, arctic winds and a shift in the gulf stream currents have seen to that. The renewed government focus on developing wind power certainly makes sense now we're getting so much more of it and I've been intruiged to see some wonderful new designs being displayed, large and small, for town and country - even quiet and compact for your own personal rooftop. The improved aesthetic will do much to help change public opinion - they may even start a trend.

Signs are good for this holiday weekend at least. Now if only solar power were as reliable here as the wind, we might really get closer to target without compromising our so-called living standards. Now where's that moisturiser gone?


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Liberty: Human Rights mean thinking too

Liberty Human Rights
It's a late quickie today. The above link is for "Liberty" for no particular reason other than they deserve one.

The issue I wanted to comment on is not actually in the news today - but it's an unhealthy trend all over Amerika these days. Some months ago I posted a link to an article on "Bush's Parks" and the way a number of heritage landmarks had been re-signed with 'creationist' notices at odds with the traditional evolutionary explanation for their presence.

Now I'm not saying that Charles Darwin will forever remain the definitive authority on matters evolutionary, not that our knowledge of planetology and archeology will not subject to future revision, but this new insistence that everything in the world was created by divine decree is beginning to irritate me. In the last week alone I have come across endless small news articles from around the states where local government and schools in particular are trying to re-write history and religious chronology.

That a huge backward mass of middle-Amerika no longer seem to want to live in a secular state (despite it's constitution saying it must be one) suggests a manipulation of democracy to the extent of propaganda. The resulting narrow worldview is akin the its government dares criticise in regimes elsewhere.

What horrifies me most is the education aspect of this mind-control. Those reaching adulthood in a decade's time may do so without having learned any alternative viewpoints. They will be a mallable offspring of today's climate of fear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

On global mOILbilisation

I guess this will be headline news today unless some diversionary headline appears later. Our western obsession with oil supply, in an era where our own territorial resources are becoming rapidly depleted, has frequently been alleged to be the real reason for recent excursions into Afghanistan, Iraq and others. Now we finally see the fruits of the first of several corporate projects that have been conducted with total disregard for the environment, local cultures and national boundaries.

This pipeline will indeed change the world, but it's story is one of greed. It will probably serve its purpose for a few decades more, but its legacy will be one of rape and pillage of the planet. Maintaining its future security may well be the cause of further war and strife, so if today is marketing as a cause for celebration - think twice!

The latest show from "In These Times" starts with a fascinating interview with graphic novelist, Marjane Satrapi. She discusses her art, the new book "Embrioderies" and the true nature of women in her home country, Iran. Not to mention Amerika. 15 minutes to absorb you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Women and Men same, except in competition

What Women Want - New York Times

This links to a column by John Tierney in the New York Times. It's nothing profound but is one of those quirky little pieces I find interesting to read. The jist of it is about research by economists trying to figure out why there are less women in the top tiers of business. The conclusion is that women prefer not to compete whereas men love to. I'd suggest that the word "compete" is the problem itself and that in this instance should be replaced by "gamble".

As a male of the species, I certainly do not fit this particular stereotype. As a humble creative type, I do not relish partaking in competition and will avoid the idea of gambling at all costs. As a Capricorn I'm ambitious, but I work to get things done - not to win or lose in some notional hierarchy. So maybe I'm a woman in disguise - I've certainly always found them the easiest sex to work with.

According to the article, shareholders themselves are increasing seeing the male desire for competition as a liability. As gamblers by nature, they cannot be trusted to run a company without taking risks or departing the playing field at an inopportune moment. Women, on the other hand, will nurture a company and focus on its growth. Maybe feminism, in the commercial world at least, is at last, er ... , queen!

On a vaguely related point, I was considering the next race for the White House. Assuming Bush doesn't do a Hitler and declare himself the supreme ruler of Earth, it's fair to say there will be the usual contest - or should I say "competition". All heavily packaged and marketed of course. Given there is a fair chance the Democrats could nominate Hillary Clinton and that (excluding Rumsfeld) Bush's second in command increasingly seems to be Condi Rice, could we see these two warring away in the election stakes?

Funny thing - whoever won there'd be a woman in the White House. Maybe that's a cause for optimism in itself!

Monday, May 23, 2005

More on Underpants

The Future this week

Barely a week after Richard Neville delighted us with Condi Rice in his blog (see below somewhere) today brings an update his main site with an equally enthralling pot pourri of images featuring Australian premier John Howard. Satire is Richard's forte, but his writings are crucially serious.

On the offchance that anybody does check this column more frequently than every 24 hours, this one is late. Notwithstanding yesterday, there was another crash this morning. Probably my fault for trying to write it whilst simultaneously viewing some heavy news downstreams.

Talking of news, the big news here in London is the absence of it. Or rather the absence of the broadcast BBC versions. Yep - we're back on the old treadmill of unions protesting job cuts and even Jeremy Paxman is apparantly out on the picket line. Last time the beeb laid off people, they ended up outsourcing half their programmes and effectively employing more people through the production companies set up to cope. This dispute doesn't sound so easy to fix as new technology streamlines the system. Tonight we'll have to make do with Channel 4 News ...


Hi, Jon Snow here with what's cooking in the newsroom.

How to cope on a day without Paxman or Humphrys...


Very disorienting business having the Beeb on strike. It has an
enormous effect on news in the ether, particularly on radio. The commercial
alternatives, I heard this morning, didn't make much of an attempt to
fill the gap . The BBC strike itself is interesting. All of us who work
in the industry knows th at in many regards the BBC is, er, how does
one put it, 'over-set', but how do you sort it without killing off the
golden goose? As for the solidarity of the day, there's a bit of
strike-breaking here and there but a good old-fashioned strike it is, none
the less. A strange thing to behold in the 21st century. We'll have the
latest at seven.

An unorthodox way to get on the property ladder

A rum religious business: the Greek Orthodox patriarch in Jeruslaem is
at the centre of a scandal, accused of selling centuries-old religious
property in the most sensitive quarter of Jerusalem to an unnamed group
of Jewish businessmen?

His church has sacked him, and he denies any wrongdoing. Is it a case
of dirty business, monkey business, or just ecclesiastical business?
All the answers at seven.

Now they want their money back


Britain is belly-aching about its EU budget rebate - in reply to the
belly-aching from just about everyone else in Europe who want to see it
ended. Is the key the impossible dream? That of reforming the
outrageous unfairness of the Common Agricultural Policy. Then there is the
ticking time bomb that is the French vote on the EU Constitution this
weekend. Should anyone worry?

The hero in a heroin battle
Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai is in Washington. He looks like a super-hero
in his fetching green robes but is trying to put a small sense of
distance between his and America's interests. Poppy production is back at
its peak so not all in the garden is rosy.


Now that's naughty, but it made a timely arrival right this second. Talk about co-incidence! If you're dying for moving pictures tune in at 7pm (UK).

If I had to recommend another source, CBS News in the states always seem to have a healthy mainstream balance and their news clips are not only free, but can be loaded individually making the process of watching very quick. They'll make a good alternative to the lack of late-night beeb.

With this kind of chaos, it's no real revelation that Blair's government are unwilling to tackle the absurd layers of beaurocracy that hinder its function and cost a fortune to run. Imagine laying-off reduntant civil servants - 2 in every 3 of them I imagine. The issue of cutting waste and maintaining employment is one that needs to be addressed in the digital age. More people working less hours would be the ideal, but somehow enabling people to keep their living standards (money money money) at the same time. Britain did once initiate a "Three Day Week" back in the 1970s - it didn't go down at all well.

Sunday's missing column was mainly full of art links.

Duggie Fields
One of the principal "post-pop" artists, this is an absorbing site. The sound is done with flash and works particularly well, but his art is presented with good old-fashioned GIFs and some extraordinary simple optical tricks. Well worth checking out.

Most of the others are in my link monitor - HERE if that's not where you are already.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ten Lies About Health

Ten Lies About Health Your Doctor Taught You

This morning's entry seemingly got lost in a machine crash prior to publishing, so here's a quick link for your personal consideration.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Knickers & The Art of Humilation

In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths - New York Times

Yesterday afternoon's late link was for my eTV Broadband system and may have taken a while to load. This link above will take you to the actual story.

The item didn't get the coverage it deserved on last night's UK television service. Whilst it did make the BBC late night programmes, it was couched in general coverage of prisoner abuse with principal focus centering on the protests about US treatment of the Koran itself. Overshadowing everything however, was a lot of fuss about Saddam in his knickers! Or rather, Saddam in some ill-fitting, presumably prison-issue, pair of American desisnged Y-Fronts. One wonders if the real humiliation was to show him clad in an imperialist western garment the aesthetic of which bears an uncanny resemblance to a straight-jacket.

I like seeing people in their underwear. It can be sexy of course, but that's not my point. What people wear in the street as a fashion statement is generally an expression of their conformity, unconformity or contrived exhibitionism. Unless they're actively expecting to get their kit off at some point, chances are people will simply be wearing something underneath that makes them feel comfortable. Back in the 1970s, a female photographer (whose name temporarily escapes me!) published a book entitled "Rock Stars In Their Underpants" - it caused something of a stir in those days but was intruiging largely because her subjects had been captured in inpromptu situations, the resulting portraits revealing a lot about her subjects in a way slightly at odds with their public persona.

Although opposed to the invasion of Iraq, I'm no fan of Saddam Hussain and there is a long social history (worldwide) of publicly exhibiting wrong-doers for the purpose of humiliation that could, in the right context, justify the release of these pictures. The real outrage here is that the context is not right - the images are out-of-date and the media have been duped into engaging in a titillation bonanza that will be probably unseen by Saddam himself and serve only to anger those trying to moderate the civil strife in what's left of his former domain.

Cultures belong to themselves and whilst we can criticise or even oppose them, we have no divine right to interfere with them. Saddam was a dictator and had few friends in the land he once ruled, but he did, in the wholly abstract sense, represent them. The iron fist of his rule, corrupt and ethnically-biased as it was to our eyes, nonetheless maintained a unity of sorts in what was a modern, functioning state. Personal freedoms and self-determination may have been absent for many, but revolution comes from within not without. Natural change, when it had come of its own accord, might not have been democratic or even secular, but would have been culturally valid in the Arabic world. It would also more than likely have been very bloody, for such is part of that culture! Yet it would probably have been cleaner and more definitive than the mess created by the present Anglo-American interference.

The majority of Iraqis today do not look back favorably on Saddam himself, but they probably look back longingly for the symbol of unity that, as an icon, he provided. In parading him on the world stage this way, the issue of not really one of Saddam's humiliation at all. He is not even exposed naked. Rather, it is the (minimalistic) dressing of a broken man in the trappings of the imperial conquerer, that represents a humiliation for a culture itself. It is an insult, pure and simple! It will antagonise the Islamic territories and further the cause of the civil war now ranging in Iraq itself.

I am reminded of Ghandhi and how real peaceful change can occur. Maybe what Iraq needs is a new cultural icon prepared to brave the world wearing his or her real cultural underwear. But that's a metaphor and not something I would dare insult them by asking.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Bagram File

The New York Times > International > Interactive Feature > The Bagram File

As if Abu Grahib wasn't enough, this one's just come in from the New York Times.

Watching The Neighbours

AlterNet: DrugReporter: Spy vs. Spy

Yesterday I was dicussing the likelyhood of Blair's UK government actually managing to reverse recent cannabis law reforms. It's hard to believe they'd get much support given the commonplace recreational nature of the herb - it's use spanning both class and generations in the 21st Century. Then again, the new "listening" government listens most to it's own beaurocrats, not the electorate, pandering to a statistical notion of middle England who will willingly accept whatever line is currently promoted from on high (misnomer). I thought I'd finished with the subject (for this week at least) until I remembered the above link.

In the sixties and seventies, Britain's drug laws were more frequently used as an excuse to harass minority groups who were engaged in otherwise law-abiding activities which were nonetheless deemed by the powerbrokers to represent unwelcome social and political trends. Generational attitude shifts and modern surveillance techniques have made this particular practice largely reduntant, but a concerted propaganda campaign could easily reverse mainstream opinion amongst a public who do not as a rule consider too deeply the messages they are fed. Fortunately, the media in Britain are not the subserviant beasts or pushovers experienced elsewhere in the world and the British people have never tolerated overt oppression.

Amerika is different. The land that gave us rock 'n' roll also gave us Kent State. In the USA, the scattered masses that make up its majority have been all-too-willing to accept federal decree as gospel regardless of its political colour. Once incumbant, the president (or dictator) attains the authority akin to absolute monarch - the constitutional checks and balances dragging at a snail's pace behind the Oval Office march. In a climate of fear, suspicion breeds more suspicion and communities become insular. If your perceived lifestyle (cheap petrolium and consumer trinkets) is under threat, it becomes easier pursuade you that the cause is close to home. The trouble of course is that with everyone spying on everyone else, community itself becomes de-stabilised and leads to eventual civil strife.

I digress. But if anti-drug legislation like that described in the article can be enacted, it would be a smaller step to extend the philosophy to cover other areas. Amerika'd not watching it's own ass - but sure as hell is stratching it!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Always the best Weekly Cartoon

Growing Pains 5/11/05

Okay. I don't have much time for writing today so here's an unashamed plug for Thursday's regular treat - the new cartoon from Mark Fiore. One of the sharpest political artists on the web, Mark's original traditional cartoons have evolved to become a weekly animated offering over the last few years. Bush and Iraq are the regular topics, but sometimes Gay Rights and the Pot Campaign get a see-in too. It should be your regular date and is always running at my site too.

Back tonight or tomorow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bletchley Park: Where your PC was born!

Bletchley Park
This morning's link is to the site celebrating the house where Alan Turing and others broke the Nazi Enigma code in WW2. Less celebrated is the fact that Churchill ordered the destruction of everything after the war because he felt the technology was too dangerous to be made public. As a result, the work was developed by American Intelligence (who also co-opted a few ex-nazis for good measure) after the war and Britain pretty much lost all claim to the innovations that run our world today.

USA Intelligence today is of course a misnomer. "Unintelligent" (in the extreme) seems to be the word that best describes their ability to interpret information. There's litle problem with their now mind-boggling technology, but there's one hell of a problem with their mindset. Glued to yesterday's broadcast of British MP George Galloway combating the American Senate was theatre of the absurd - my only regret was that as a party leader (Respect) he was unable to attend Britain's new parliament opening and give Blair an equally effective performance.

Like many, my heart goes out to Kylie. Behind the flirtation and public mask there is a very spirited woman there and I'm sure she has the strength to overcome whatever transpires. I don't have the direct links to hand, but CBS News has had a lot of coverage on breast-cancer recently with good interactive features on symptons and the recent announcement that new cures have been found.

Kylie and Galloway almost overshadowed Britain's big news - Blair's new intentions as the listening (?) authoritarian governor...


• Animal Welfare Bill
• Armed Forces Bill
• Charities Bill
• Childcare Bill
• Child Contact and Inter-Country Adoption Bill
• Civil Aviation Bill
• Commissioner for Older People (Wales)
• Common Land Bill
• Company Law Bill
• Compensation Bill
• Consumer Credit Bill
• Corporate Manslaughter Bill
• Counter Terrorism Bill (draft)
• Coroner Reform Bill (draft)
• Criminal Defence Bill
• Crossrail Bill
• Education Bill
• Electoral Administration Bill
• Equality Bill
• EU Accession Bill
• European Union Bill
• Fraud Bill
• Government of Wales Bill
• Housing Benefit Bill
• House of Lords Reform Bill
• Health Improvement and Protection Bill
• Identity Cards Bill
• Immigration and Asylum Bill
• Incapacity Benefit Bill
• Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill
• Judicial Pensions Bill
• Legal Services Bill (draft)
• Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill
• Marine Bill (draft)
• Mental Health Bill
• Merchant Shipping Bill
• Natural Environment Bill
• NHS Redress Bill
• National Lottery Bill
• Northern Ireland Counter- Terrorism Bill
• Northern Ireland Election Bill
• Olympics Bill
• Parental Rights Bill
• Pensions Bill (draft)
• Protecting Vulnerable Groups Bill
• Regulation of Financial Services Bill
• Regulatory Reform Bill
• Road Safety Bill
• Tourism Accommodation (Wales) Bill (draft)
• Transport (Wales) Bill
• Violent Crime Bill

The big question is whether his own party backbenchers will support him because of the lack of majority or whether they'll oppose him to negate his majority in getting new legislation through. Commentators seem to think he'll be able to do a lot of meddling by changing the rules under existing legislation where he can't push new legislation through an increasingly rebellious-sounding House of Lords.

A reminder that you can actually post your own comments to this column. Just click on the little arrow by various entries.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

When his webmistress sleeps

When the webmistress sleeps

This is the blog from my old friend Richard Neville and one of those reads I always look to foward to. Wish it was daily. Today's posting is all about Condi Rice in Iraq and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Richard was the original editor of OZ magazine, a student rag in early sixties Australia that later became a psychedelic flagship in the UK. Notorious and most celebrated for the trial that brought some serious farce to the English courts. To read more about OZ check out www.richardneville.com for Australian stuff (and more of Richard's current writings) or my own archive here for UK archives.

Oz in the UK had close connections with the counterculture charity "Release", co-founded by Rufus Haris and Caroline Coon. Caroline was and still is an artist and you can see some of her wonderful paintings in a new gallery here. Best of the new batch is probably a depiction of Kosovo. She was also one of the speakers in Trafalgar Square - see entry two days ago.

One of the photographers on the spot in those heady days was Phil Franks. He too has a new portal here with photos, history and more.

Back in the 21st Century UK we're awaiting the Queen's speech to find out what Balir and his cronies intend to decree next. And is it a trend for all former home secretaries to try and re-invent themselves as "Mr Nice Guy". First Howard and now Blunkett. Someone really should tell them that the public or not totally devoid of memory. Today it's official, 62% of us want proportional representation. I doubt if we'll hear much of that in the speech.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Should we now boycott Boycott

the Mail online | Mail - news, sport, showbiz, health and more | Cannabis: The great debate

This link will connect to an earlier article by journalist Rosie Boycoot. It comes from Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. The paper is not one I normally choose to get it my daily inbox so I missed a new article which the same person apparantly wrote last Saturday. Oddly, a search at the Mail's engine coughed up this link instead of the new one, which may be just as well.

I glanced a hard-copy cutting of Saturday's article yesterday and it is hard to believe what amounts to a double-turn by a seasoned and usually intelliegent campaigner. In particular, she has a bee in her bonnet about the street weed known as "Skunk" in relation to which she seems to accepted a third-hand opinion that it proves a worse threat than the drug Heroin. Rot. Like all such issues, the threat is a lack of quality control which only exists because the British establishment throws the whole debate into a law enforcement issue rather than the social/medical territory in which it belongs.

Like many, I have some grave concerns about genetically-modified foods, but not enough to stop me eating (I'm vegetarian) products like soya when I know the source. My concern more is with the effect GM crops may have by infecting the natural eco-system. The herb from which the offending substance is derived is a known all-round natural medicine, praised by homeopaths and generally preferred by a historic breed of royalty, politicions and aristocrats. The fact that the empire of earlier times relied on opium trade and associated wars was simply a means to provide the masses with a cheap, less-effective substitute.

When the female hemp plant derivatives accidently found themselves included in a treaty to stop this trade, the rising breed of modern pharmaceutical companies had a field day extracting and modifying components from every natural medicine they could find in order to produce new mass-market chemicals to individually satisfy myriad ailments. Since these did not present an all-round cure, more and more products have been devised to add to the current mix we now obediantly consume. Commercial interest has paid little attention to the side effects of these laboratory products, less still to the interaction between them. Worse still, those that still preferred to inhale their chosen medicine were seduced by the equally prolific tobacco packaging trade - themselves a dab hand with chemical additives and plant modification.

Today's empire is driven by oil and other energy sources and the global economy relies on the promotion of consumer products we rarely need. Corporations don't want to see or acknowledge products that would in themselves reduce the demand for their other products and medicine is no exception. Governments too are complicit - despite evidence to the contrary, they are unwilling to take action against the smooth flow of taxation through which they function. Idealogy only gets noticed if it indicates a new source of monetary flow.

Street drugs only represent a threat when their very criminalisation has been rise to an underground economy will little or no regard for ethical conduct, a situation the universal de-criminalisation of recreational drugs would start to eliminate. The problem is that those who would meddle with and poison otherwise natural resources illegally are taking their cue from the supposedly "legal" practices of a greater society. Small changes in the mechanics will mean nothing until there is a serious change in attitude.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Grandma's Cannabis Education Drive

Welcome to my website - grandma-eats-cannabis.com

I just encountered an extraordinary person and this is a link to her site. She was the surprise speaker at today's pot education rally at Trafalgar Square here in London. This particular granny has experienced more than her fair share of government sponsored pharmaceuticals, the side effects of which are far more serious than those attributed to marijuana. The lady and woken up to the fact and is making some highly articulate noise on the matter.

London was blessed with the perfect day for such an event - sunshine and warmth for the first time in ages. The square was full and wide variety of speakers turned up to talks about the law, medicine, horticulture and the wider uses of the hemp plant. Highlights included Release-founder Caroline Coon, the evr charming Mr Nice (Howards Marks) and jazz veteran George Melly. The day rounded off with a few acoustic musicians who had many on their feet and dancing.

A sucess all round, it was an opportune time for another rally and even the media appeared to give it some coverage this time. Special thanks are due to Andy Cornwall as ever for pulling it all together and making sure it went without a hitch.

As they say - no victim, no crime!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Cannabis Education Rally 15th May

Cannabis Education Rally 15th May
With Britain's newly re-ected government threatening to do a U-turn on their ealier reclassification of cannabis thre is a new wind in the air for the law reform campaigns. the annual Mayday march and festival in London's Brockwell Park didn't happen this year, but a number of groups have come together for a polite march starting at Russell Square, 1pm this coming Sunday. It aims to arrive in Trafalgar Square around 3pm when speakers like Caroline Coon, Howard Marks and George Melly should ensure both an educational and even entertaining event. If in London, show your support.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

[E] - Global Warming: The Conveyer Slows (By Jim Motavalli)

[E] - Global Warming: The Conveyer Slows (By Jim Motavalli)
Shifts in the movement of the gulf stream have already had an environmental impact on more remote western areas of Britain like the Scilly Isles, but this article rams home the message that global "warming" will probably mean "cooling" for those of us in Britain and other parts of Europe.

Quick Welcome

Hi. I'm Mal Burns and this is my new live column at blogspot. You can find my quick site at http://www.burnsite.co.uk/dailymal for uncommented links but from today most of them will appear here. My principlal concerns are with Gaian Affairs, Counterculture and Visual Arts but I reserve the right to rabbit on about anything I wish.