Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Poem for Yarmouk


Yesterday the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees released photographs of what it called "apocalyptic scenes " of Palestinians queing for food parcels in Syria's refugee camp.
A day earlier, UNRWA chief Flippo Grandi spoke of the shocking conditions he had seen inside the camp, which has been under seige and bombardment for months.
"It's like the appearance of ghosts" he said of the sight of thousands of Palestinians flooding toward an aid distibution point at the camp, when he was in the Syrian capital on Monday.

Poem for Yarmouk

Scenes of unimaginable desolation,
the sounds of devastated cries,
as Palestinians in Syria,
get caught up in a man made catastrophe.
The images that we see, only a hint,
of the suffering, deprivation and loss,
experienced daily by the inhabitants of Yarmouk ,
humanitarian aid blocked, people marooned,
shivering under a helpless sky,
forgetting to tell joy from bitterness,
in darkness, tears fall all around,
as walls of suffering hold there gaze,
while humanity fails to answer the need,
of a people driven to exile to a hostile land,
the smell of jasmine, far from there breath.

What can we do? How to explain?
How many questions can  there be?
as they shout in misery and desperation,
a mother tries to protect her newborn child,
to allow it to be safe from harm,
left out, and allowed to drift,
in this prison camp of stinging shadows,
going nowhere fast, with nowhere to run,
cornered in a hell that they did not choose,
another dark page in the passage of history,
a savage reminder of the sacrements of man.

ACT NOW THIS SIEGE MUST END
Various petitions online.
Here's one:-
http://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/uk_Government_United_Nations_Break_the_siege_of_Yarmouk_Damascus_and_Homs/pv=8


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Atos awarded new contract for N.H.S records! The mind truly boggles.


I was jubilant when I heard the news that ATOS the French company that has hounded our sick and disabled citizens to death, acting under Government orders, originally bought over by the old one (New Labour) had decided to withdraw its services as asssessor of people on disability benefits. A company that has declared thousands of people fit for work, and  within 6 weeks  of being declared fit for work, 10,000 people have since died, a dircreditable company with blood on its hands. A company that has made profits from the vulnerable, making nearly £2 billion from there contact awithout having paid a penny in tax.
A company that is simply not fit for purpose, I wrote a poem about rhem last week , and attended a demonstration against them in Carmarthen. Driven to give up there old contract  because of the depths of feeling against them, acting as a lighning rod for hatred and upset.
Now I have heard the almost unbelieavable news   that they will now manage the extraction of patient records from GP surgeries as part of the controversial NHS data-sharing scheme. They will now have access to  our family history, vaccinations, referrals for treatment, diagnoses and information about prescriptions, all our confidential data, D.O.B, postcode, NHS number and genders.
The governments insensitivity in handing over this new contract to this disreputable company is amazing, but knowing there track record I guess it is to be expected. Like ATOS, this Government does not care about the feelings of the people it is supposed to be serving.
The concern is not just from me, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA general practitioners committe, has expressed concern about the widespread confusion theses  plans couldmake. Damaging the trust built up between individuals and famly doctors. He said :-
"Patients visit their GP, they visit us and they entrust us with very personal, confidential information as part of their life-long record in general practice.
At the heart of our concern as GPs is that if patients mistrust or are concerned about the security of their data, or have concerns about how this data will be used, that would actually potentially, irrevocably damage that fabric of trust when a patient walks into their GP surgery.
That may actually have other consequences in the way the NHS rcords data, it may actually result in patient not attending their surgery at all, for fear or what may happen to their records.
Or they might be inhibited in being totally open about some things."
And I got most of the above information from the Torygraph newspaper.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10661359/Atos-awarded-contract-for-NHS-records.html . I do not have any trust in ATOS, let alone any faith in this Tory run government, to hand over this sensitive contract to such an unreliable organisation,they must be having a laugh. If there next step was to hand  over a contract to Count Dracula to manage the blood bank, in days like these, it would not be to surprising.
Tell your doctor that you do not want your records to be handled or shared in this manner.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Records are cracked but spin with delight


At home still play my old records,
that take me to uncontrolled steeples heights,
punk, jazz and blues, some reggae and soul,
psychedelic adventurers, world music cosmanauts,
celtic flowers spinning with benediction.

Entrapping time, drowning conversation,
in magical perfume, atoms of infinity.
supplicants of memory,
returning me to,
gardens  of youth.

Round and round, paint the sky,
with saluted cadence, discharging smiles,
floods of necessity, time capsules of electricity,
cicada's voice rumbles on,
ringing out loud, doubling horizon,
opening windows of perception,
rhythms endless stream,
resurrecting and carrying.

Transistors of heart's beat,
that feed my faith,
in pastures of endurity,
these tides release my dancing feet,
floating on rivers of delight.

Oceans of sound,  navigate uncharted
                                                 waters,
as the needle gets into the groove,
melding endlessly in gracious flight,
the blossom of chords and notes,
is enough to sustain and warm,
as melodies and songs, explode on
                                              tonque.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Chelsea Manning Statement on Winning Sam Adams Award


Because of her brave decision to blow the whistle on systematc deception and wrongdoing, Chelsea Manning has been awarded the Sam Adams Award ( named after a C.I.A whistleblower in the Vietnam War) for integrity in Intelligence. Edward Snowden also recieved the same award in an award ceremony held last month.Chelsea was awarded the prize in her absentia, as she is currently incarcentaed in Leavenworth prison.
In her statement accepting the award, Chelsea addressed  the unprecedented secrecy that the  U.S government is involved in. She describes how Washington describes whistleblowers as traitors, coupled with the deteroriation of due process guarantees, unveiling  the heart of the U.S's true principles.

Full statement below:-

The founders of America- fresh from a war of Independence from King George III - were particularly fearful of concentrating power. James Madison wrote that " the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
To address these concerns, the founders of America actively took steps when drafting the Constitution and ratifying a Bill of Rights including protections echoing the Libertarianism of John Locke to ensure that no person be " deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
More recently.though, since the rise of the national security apparatus - after a brief hiatus between the fall of the Soviet Union and the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center - the American government has been pursuing an unprecedented amount of secrecy and power consolidation in the Exexcutive branch, under the President and the Cabinet.
When drafting Article III of the American Constitution, the founders were rather leery of accusations of treason, and accorded special protections for those accused of such a capital offense, providing that a person shall be convicted of Treason inless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."
For those of you familiar with the American Constitution, you may notice that this provision is under the Article concerning the Judiciary, Article III, and not the Legislative or Executive Articles, I and II respectively. And, historically, when the American government accuses an American of such crime, it has prosecuted them in a federal criminal court.
In a recent Freedom of Information Act case - a seemingly Orwellian "newspeak" name for a statute that actually exempts categories of documents from release to the public - a federal district court judge ruled against the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Times and the ACLU argued that the documents regarding the practice of "targetted killing" of American citizens, such as the radical Sunni cleric Anwar Nasser al-Aulaqi were in the public's interest and were withheld improperly.
The government first refused to acknowledge the existence of the documents, but later argued that their release could harm national security and were therefore exempt from disclosure. The court however, felt constrained by the law and concluded that the Government had not violated the FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in in the FOIA requests, and could npt be compelled   to explain in detail the reasons why the Governments actions do not violate the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
However, the judge also wrote candidly about her frustration with her sense that the request implicated serious issues about the limits on the power of the Executive Branch under the Constitution and laws of the United States," and that the Presidential Administration had engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of American citizens, but in cryptic and imprecise ways." In other words, it wasn't that she didn't think that the public didn't have a right to know - it was that she didn't feel that she had the "legal" autority to compel disclosure.
This case, like too many others presents a critical problem that can also be seen in several recent case, including my court martial. For instance I was accuissed by the Executive branch, and particularly the Department of Defense, of aiding the enemy- a treasonable offense covered under Article III of the Constitution.
Grante, I received due proces. I received charges, was arraigned before a miltary judge for trial, and eventually acquitted. But the al-Aulaqi case raises a fundamental question: diod the Amercan government, and particularly the same President and Department. have the power to unilaterally determine my guilt of such an offens, and execute me at the will of the pilot of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
Until documents held by the U.S Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel were released after significant political pressure in mid 201, I could not tell you. And, very likely, I do not believe I could speak intelligently of the Administations's policy on "targetted killing" today either.
There is a problem with this level of secrecy, obfuscation, and classification or protective marking, in that they supposedly protect citizens of their nation; yet, it also breeds a unilateralism that the founders feared, and deliberately tried to prevent when drafting the American Constitution. Now, we have a disposition matrix," classified military commissions,and foreign intelligence and surveillance courts-modern star Chamber equivalents.
I am now accepting this award, through my friend, former school peerand former small business partner, Aaron, for the relaese of a video and documents that " sparked a worldwide dialogue about the importance of government accountability for human rights abuses, " it is becoming  increasingly clear to me that the dfangers of withholding documents, legal interpretation, and court jurisprudence from the public that pertain to the right to "life, liberty, and property" of a state's citizen is a fundamental and important to protecting against such human rights abuses.
When the public lacks the ability to access what its government is doing, it ceases to be involved in the governing process. There is a distinct difference between citizens, in which people are entitled to rights and privileges protected by and from the state, and subjects, in which people are placed under the absolute authority and control of the state. In essenc, this is the difference between tyranny and freedom. To echo a maxim from Milton and Foes Friedman: a society that puts secrecy - in the sense of state secrecy - ahead of transparency and accountability will end up neither secure nor free.

Thank you,

CHELSEA E. MANNING

More information on Chelsea here:-

http://www.bradleymanning.org/






Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Banker is back!



Bill Nighy returns in the new Robin Hood Tax film. He brings with him Andrew Licoln, Clarence Poesy, Javier Camara and Heike Makatsch, with music provided by Django Django contributing the track 'Default'.
The year is 2024, Europe has had a Robin Hood Tax for ten years and have been using it to fund public services and the fight  against poverty and climate change.
Everyone is delighted  with what it's achieved. Everyone, of course, except .... The Banker.

Add your name to others getting behind the European Robin Hood Tax here.http://www.robinhoodpetition.org

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

After Atos

 

A companion piece to last weeks post,  Atos is a French multinational IT services and consulting corporation currently undertaken work capability tests on behalf of the government, in their role of managers of  the Department of Work and Pensions Work Capability Assessments scheme. Atos has become  a lightning rod for widespread public anger  over their health test, known as the work capability assessment. The test has been critisised  for being crude and inhumane, amid mounting evidence that  hundreds and thousands of vulnerable people  have been wrongly judged to be fit for work and inelligable for government support. Rottenness lays at it's core.
Please consider joining  the many demonstrations that are taking place against this country tomorrow.
I will be attending the following one in Carmarthen.

https://www.facebook.com/events/416212641845306/

Full list available here

http://www.atoskills.tk/

an old poem of mine updated.


AFTER ATOS

A medical assessment,
that in 30 minutes dismisses
what general practitioners for years believed,
for some of us no human touch,
our claims rejected by remote computers.

In the shadow of these proclamations,
uncertainty lingers,
for the depressed, alienated and the wounded,
cast out into a world of make believe
into a sort of existential deception.

These persistent doubts create teardrops,
shattering lifes, half mended,
out of sight no apologies,
under their judgement, miracles created,
in and out through a one way system,
designed to  make us fail.

We are people not statistics,
not here to serve profits cause,
in unvanquishable number,            *
our spirits and determination remain,
as we remember those lost and killed,
in conditions still dignified with rage.

This trial of illusion,
leads to ill-starred nights,
boxed in corners of despair,
the sustenance of welfare and understanding,
recieved and now stolen,
this malicousness  simply has to stop.

This company profits from immoral agendas,
on behalf of a government, victims paying now ,
for the crimes of the bankers, who have bled us dry,
we are the voiceless but we are not yet invisible,
this process simply not fit for purpose,
Atos's acronym perfect,because they do not give a toss.

* (Thanks to Shelley)

Some good people

http://calumslist.org/

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/

http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.co.uk/



Monday, 17 February 2014

From Cardigan to Palestine



Friendship bracelets made by local children have been delivered to Palestine, to show awareness and solidarity.
My local Amnesty International Group recently ran a stall at the Cardigan River and Food Festival to make friendship bracelets for Palestinian  children.
Our group has  been focussing its support  on the two villages of Humsa and Haddiya, where inhabitants are at a constant risk of being forcibly evicted from their homes by the Israeli army and forced out of the area. They are also subject  to daily restrictions on their movements, and are harrassed  by settlers.
Humsa and Hadidya are hamlets in the Jordan Valley in Area C which makes up 60% of the West Bank in the Occupied Palestinan Territories. According to  the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs, 565 structures were demolished in Area C in 2013. More than 800 people  have lost their homes.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlements nearby Hadidya boast guest houses extensive agricultural land and red-roofed villas. with highly  developed, highly  profitable agrigultural, tourist and other businesses.  The Israeli army forces residents of Hadidya and Humsa to live in very difficult conditions. As well as being forbidden from building  permanent structures, they are not allowed to connect to electricity or water grids or dig new walls.
Palestinian residents are not even allowed to use the roads in the immediate area as these are exclusively for the Israeli settlers living in nearby sttlements such as Ro'i, Benqa'ot and Hemdat.
Under international law, the Israeli settlements in the Occupied  Palestinian   Territories are illegal and demolition  of Palestinian  property is prohibited unless absolutely necessary for military operations.
But in Haddidya and Humsa, the Israeli authorities are  determined to bulldoze through their homes, and international law.
The community in Haddiya is  paying exorbiant prices  for small quantities of water in mobile tankers brought in from several kilometres away for domestic use and for their livestock while Israeli settlers living nearby benefit from an abundant water supply.
At our local event in an act of solidarity more than 100 bracelets  made by children who attending the local food festival  were packed up  and given to an Eucemical Observer who was going to the Occupied  Territories.
According to an Amnesty spokesperson, the children were surpised and happy to be given bracelets that had been made for them by children here in West Wales.
Meanwhile Israel continues to bulldoze its way through International law. We should keep up the pressure  on Israel as long as it continues to violate the rights of Palestinian Communities like these.


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Untangle


Yesterday, had a Valentine poem, waiting to be shared,but as politicians nasty breath  reappeard on the horizon,the atmsoshpere  seemed to unconfortable, on the steps of uncertainty, as neighbours  hunger whispered. Occupy the paths of resistance, dance round the conformity of political scheme, when they call you up, answer with a four lettered word, rip the wind from  their sail, continue to follow, sky, earth, sun and moon, dance round their kettled corner, another world cannot be silenced, let resiliance feed necessary reason, oferflow their ideology with recurrent scream, anger is an energy, say what you have always wanted to say.Love serves no master, no borders of privilege.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Will the flowers of Gaza break Israel's siege this Valentine's Day?



Valentine's Day is almost upon us and for supermarkets and florists that means a massive  increase in the sale  of flowers. But how may romantic couples consider where the flowers we exchange are grown?
Farmers in Gaza have long been encouraged by Israeli export companies to focus their production  on high risk 'cash crops' such as flowers and strawberries, and the arrival  of carnations from Rafah to European markets for Christmas or Valentines' day is often cheered on by the Israeli Government  who uses it as a PR exercise to show how it 'facilitates' Palestinian exports.
Growing carnations for Valentine has long been a love's labor lost for Palestinian farmers in Gaza thanks to Israel's export restrictions. The blockade and restrictions have prevented Palestinian farmers from shipping their stock to Europe  forValentine's day in recent years, causing huge losses as exporters ended up either dumping truckloads of flower or feeding them to their sheep.
However, unsurprisingly , this is not the full story.

More here:-

http://palsolidarity.org/2014/02/will-the-flowers-of-gaza-break-israels-siege-this-valentines-day/

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

National demonstration against Atos


Next week on February 19, protestors will be gathering nationally  outside 144 Atos  centres to  peacefully protest against the inhumane and disgusting treatment of  people receiving emplyment support allowance, and its predecessors incapacity benefit and the severe disablement allowance.
The poor  treatment of  our countries most vulnerable citizens is well documented, so this protest will call for an apology from Ian Duncan Smith and Thiery Breton, Chairman and CEO of ATOS  to the growing number  of people who have sadly taken their own lives due to this government of millionaires  war of austerity on the poor, which has resulted  in changes to  the benefit system.

These include

Tim Salter 53 year old blind man suffering from agoraphobia

Lee Robinson 39, who was the first person in whose suicide could be attributed to the government changes.

Shaun Pilkington 58, who was sent a letter saying he was to lose his Employment and Support Allowance, which he got after a long-term illness.

Edward Jacques 47 who took a fatal overdose after his benefit payments were stopped.

Richard Sanderson 44 who stabbed himself in the heart.

Jacqueline Harris  53, oormer nurse, found dead at her home, after taking an overdose of medication after being  pronounced fit for work.

It seems targetting the vulnerable is now this Governments bloodsport of choice,  using an unfair target driven culture, it seems  also that the management of ATOS are pressuring assessors to fail many claimants and deny them the benefits that they depend on and entitled  to, in a heartles, incompassinate manner. Also it seems to me that the Government and Atos are being aided and abetted at the moment by the media, assisting them with a negative portrayal of the sick and disabled, distorting and misrepresenting us. Pitting the poor against one another, while  at the same time  slashing  taxes for banks, corporate giants and the richest people in Britain, the sale of their hypocricy is staggering.
In July 2013, ATOS whistleblower Dr Greg Wood lifted the lid on  the horrible culture that existed within the organisation - carrying out assessments that are simply not fit for purpose, I personally know of people who have not been assessed by humans, but by computer, and just waiting for a decision adds to an already very stressfuli existence, and contributes unessesssary burden.
The Government seems to carry on regardless and like ATOS simply don't give a toss, if ATOS were really doing  their job correctly they would have declared Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith unfit to do the job that he is supposed to be doing. I personally  have been assessed declared fit for work, appealed won,  moved into a support group where I have not seen anyone for over a year, and now have to undertake the whole gruelling process again. G.Ps medical reports are routinely ignored, simply the whole rotting procedure stinks. The scale of anxiety caused is immense.
ATOS's cruel insensitive tratment of vulnerable and ill people is utterly  reprhensible and should not be allowed to continue, the appeal process which many people are winning  is costly and unaffordable.
It is time this despicable company had its contract withdrawn and the Government started to put people before profit, that assesses people in a fair and dignified manner.

Please join me in one of the many demonstations that are taking place across the country and show some solidarity.

Details of where they are taking place can be found here :-

http://ukrebellion.com/atosdemo


https://www.facebook.com/ATOSNationalDemo

I am based in West Wales, and hope to head over to Carmarthen and attend the event there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/416212641845306/permalink/416212708511966/

Dennis Skinner on ATOS


Monday, 10 February 2014

William S. Burroughs ( 5/2/14 -2/8/97) - The Job



Continuing the celebrations to mark the centenary of William Burroughs birth, here is an extract from his 1969 book the Job. A book  built around  extensive interviews with William Burroughs  uindertaken  with Daniel Odier. Originally published by John Calder in France in 1969, it offers a brilliant and fascinating glimpse into Burroughs thoughts and ideas. Offering an insight to his political impuses.In which he  powerfully attacks our traditional values, with his sharp undiluted vision, provoking in a  a sincere, convincing way,  pointing towards another world. I present a series of extracts, the book essential reading for anyone interested in William Burroughs work. .

" Navigare necesse es. Vivare no es necesse."

" It is necessary to travel . It is not necessary to live."

These words inspired early navigators when the vast frontier of unknown seas opened to their sails in the fifteenth century. Space is the new frontier. To trvel  in space you must learn to exist with no religion no country no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence. Anyone who prays in space is not there.
The last frontier is being closed to youth. However there are many roads to space. To achieve complete freedom from past conditioning is to be in space. Techniques exist for achieving such freedom. These techniques are being concealed and withheld. In the Job I consider techniques of discovery.

London 1969

Language is a Virus from Outer Space



Your books since the Ticket that Exploded especially, are no longer "novels; a breaking up of a novelistic form is noticeable in Naked Lunch. Toward what end or goal is this break up heading?

That's very difficult to say. I think that the novelistic form is probably outmoded and that we may look forward perhaps to a future in which people do not read at all or read only illustrated books and magazines or some abbreviated form of reading matter. To compete with television and photo magazines writers will have to develop more precise techniques producing the same effect on the reader as a lurid action photo.

You wrote: " Writing is fifty years befind painting." How can the gap be closed?

I did not write that . Mr Brion Gysin , who is a painter and writer  wrote " writing is fifty years behind panting." Why this gap? Because the painter can touch and handle his medium and the writer cannot. The writer does not yet know what words are. He deals only with absractions from the source points of words. The painters ability to touch and handle  his medium led to  montage techniques sixty years ago. It is hoped  that the extension of  cut-up techniques will lead to more precise verbal experiments closing this gap  and giving a new dimension in writing. These techniques can show wthe writerwhat words are and put him in tactile communication with his medium. This in turn could lead to a precise science of words and show how certain word combinations produce certain effects on the human nervous system.

What is the important thing  in music, when you use music?

Music is extremely important. The whole Moslem world is practically  controlled by music. Certain music is played at certain times and the association of  music is one of the most powerrful. John Cage and Earl Brown have carried the cut-up method much further in music than I have in writing.

Do free men exist in your books?

Free men don't exist in anyone's books, because they are the author's creations. I would say that free men don't exist on this planet at this time, because they don't exist in human bodies, by the mere fact of being in a human body you're controlled by all sorts of biologic and environmental necessities.n this planet.

Is there a political path to the liberation of the world? Would a complete ideological change, the replacement of the capitalist world by a socialist world, for example, offer a solution?

It would seem to me most emphatically no, Because these are just battling around the same old formulas. What happens; for example, when the government takes over the so-called means of production? Nothing. Our factories in the West are practically state-owned now.

The anarchist is perhaps one of the few who offers a possible solution for the future. Do you believe  in the solution in which he proposes?

I don't really know what they are, although I would say this, that I don't believe in any solution that proposes halfway measures. Unless we can abolish the whole concept of the nation, and the whole concept of the family, we aren't going to get anywhere at all.

Do Good and Evil really exist?

Not in the absolute sense. Something is good or evil according to your needs and the nature of your organism. What opposses or tries to anhiliate any person or species is seen by that person or species as being evil. I think it's naive to predicate any absolutes there; it only has reference to the conditions of life of a given organism or species or society.

Is the destruction of the police machine still possible?

Possibly, yes. The machine is certainly on the defensive at the present time, and with enough resistance, worldwide, it is still possible. Of course the police machine isn't going to be smashed until we destroy with it the whole concept of a nation. I see a future where guerilla armies of liberation have arisen in South and Central America and Africa. "We will march on the police machine. Everywhere, we will destroy it. We will destroy the machine and all its records, and we will destroy the house organ of police machine which goes under the name of conservative press."

" Nothing is True - Everything is Permitted," Hassan I Sabbah says. Is this the principle of freedom?

Yes, I would say that. If nothing were true, everything is permitted. That is, if we realise that everything is illusion, then any illusion is permitted. As soon as we say that something is true, real, then immediately things are not permitted.

You speak of the necessity of breaking down the whole formula of seperate countries and nations. How can this be brought about?

At the present time we are all confined in concentration camps called nations. We are forced to obey laws to which we have not consented, and to pay exorbiant taxes to maintain the prisons in which we are confined. The pretext that there is any measure of consent involved or benefits recieved is wearing very thin indeed. The American people did not even  know that the atom bomb existed. Still less were they consulted as to whether or not it should be used. Thusone of the most disastrous decisions in human history, was made by incompetent, ill-informed, and ill-intentioned men.

Are the effects of  drugs worse than alcohol?

Alcohol sedates the front brain relieving anxiety and discontent and is certainly a factor in preserving the status quo in Western countries. Of all drugs in common use, alcohol has the worst statistic as regards damage physical mental and moral to the individual and to society. How many crimes are committed every day by people under the influence of alcohol, criomes directly traceable to alcohol, crimes that would not have been committed had the person been sober? Drunken fights, drunken murders, drunken car accidents. How much objectionable stupid boring behaviour is due to alcohol? How many people are degraded by its use? How much money and time is spent on alcohol? How much innefficiancy is caused by its use or by the after-effects of its use? And how many illnesses can be directly attributed to alcohol? Cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease. alcoholism, Korsokov's psychosis, stomach ulcers. How anyone can oppose legislation of cannabis without at the same time being an ardent prohibitionist is beyond my understanding?

Addiction is a prison. Is domination by drugs comparable to domination by the images and myths created by our civilisation? Is it worse?

It is verry dangerous to use the word "addiction" loosely, as addiction to images, myths, ets, thought this can occur. Addiction means something that causes acute physical mental discomfort if it is withdrawn. Perhaps the closes parallel is what I might  call an addiction  to rightness, to being in the right; such an addict - and their name is legion - experiences acute discomfort if his rightness is withdrawn. Without  it he is nothing, and he cannot adjust  to normal metabolism- that is, the realization that rightness and wrongness are relative concepts that have meaning only relative to position and purpose. I recall a French fascist who said : " Je ne comprends pas ces degeneres de la drogue comme William Burroughs." - (I wasn't on drugs at the time.) - " Moi, j'ai une seule drogue. C'est l'indignation." C'est la pire.. it's the worst drug of all.

You speak of the necessity of breaking down the whole formula of seperate countries and nations. How can this  be brought about?

At the present time we are all confined in concentration camps called natons. We are forced to obey laws we have not consented, and to pay exorbiant taxes top maintain the prisons in which we a are confined. The pretext that there is any measure of consent involved or benefits recieved is wearing vet thin indeed. The American people did not even know the atom bomb existed. Still less were they consulted or not it should be used. Thus, one of the most disatrous decisions in human huistoty was made  by incompetent, ill-informed, and ill-intentioned men.

Space is dream. Space is illusion. To travel in space tou must learn  to leave the old verbal garbage behind. God talk, priest talk, mother talk, family talk, love talk, party talk, and country talk. You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to see what is in front of you with no preconceptions.


William  Burroughs, London, 1969.

image from my 1984 Calder edition
of the Job. 




,,,

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Israeli fear boycott if peace talks fail



An international campaign to boycott Israel is gaining momentum in Europe. Eight years ago Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it started complying with International law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli-Apartheid  rapidly emerged in response to this call.The impact  has so far been minimal, but if US-led peace talks fail, some Israelis fear the movement will accelerate . especially with growing pressure from the European Union, a major trading partner. In the above video Al Jazeera's Atia Abawi reports from the Jordan valley.
The main reason  the boycott seems to be working is that it is grounded in the well documented fact of Israeli policies. The daily institutional discriminatiom faced by Palestinian citizens. From the discriminatory control and distribution  of water resources as reported by Amnest International,. Illegal settlements are still being used to colonise the West Bank, the Palestinians in Gaza are effectively sealed in an open prison. These are some of the reasons why I support this campaign. Whilst Israel continues to ignore International law  and continues its systematic human rights abuses.Growing numbers  from the world of academia, the arts world and faith communities  are now routinely working together to try and achieve some form of justice. Drawing on parallels of  the anti-apartheid struggle  in South Africa. These non-violent  forms of resistance using economic sanctions are proving to be effective. The world has tried constructive dialogue but Israel does not appear to be listening, so we have to keep up the pressure, in acts of international solidarity in the name of justice and frredom.
Once derided as the scheming of crackpots, the campaign is turning mainstream, as illustrated in todays Economist. Link here:-

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21595948-israels-politicians-sound-rattled-campaign-isolate-their-country.


The heart and core of the BDS movement is a need  for compassion , that is not seen  as bulldozers rumble through the streets of East Jerusalem, tearing down more Palestinian homes, the existence of apartheid walls, and the denial of basic human freedoms, such as movement and assembly, these are the principle reasons that motivate me.

More information here :-

.http://www.bdsmovement.net/

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Destroy All Rational Thought: Celebrating the Century of William Burroughs Birth (5/2/14 -2/8/97)



William Seward Burroughs  born today in 1914, in St Louis, Missouri, the grandson of the inventor of the Burroughs adding machine.Young Burroughs  went to Harvard university, graduated in 1936 with a degree in English literature and a $150 a month trust.Drifting around Europe for a while, with enough monety to sustain him, came back to America,  diddled around for a spell, a brief  period in the Army just after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, but was soon discharged, influenced by other writers who advocated the complete derangement of the senses, like Genet, Rimbaud and Artoud, t was not long before he fell into drug use.
Nowadays recognised  as one of the most culturally  influential and innovative artists of our time. Outsider, misfit, junky,homosexual, writer, painter, messiah, prophet, satirist, punk godfather, world and inner space traveller extrordinaire. he has been all these things.Those  marking his century will have a thousand different versions  of Burroughs to choose from. His novels, once banned and condemned over the years earned him membership in the American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters and the title Commandeur de l'Orde des Arts et des Lettres in France. I first came into contact  with his books about 1979/80, in my previous in my previous  incarceration as a heavy metal kid. His strange books, drawing me into his parallel world, a perfect accompianment for my emerging adolesence.Now my personal bookshelfs groan under the weight of his tomes, often I listen  to recordings of him reading from them, his distinctive voice, his rich elemental cadence  speaking to me about freedom, nothing short of complete liberation, this was his mission, unfortunately I am only human,  I have  not yet wrestled my way from Control, how they control  our bodies, our ideas, our imaginatuions, our spirits and our futures, but I try, and I remember that it was sweet William who first tempted me with new forms of thinking. His world was one that essentally contained no boundaries,  continents limitless with imagination. As Burroughs saw it history dissolves into a perpetual present, driven by need, control and the need to control. Throughout his life Burroughs continued to share his message, in his attempt at breaking down  the limiting structures that he saw, had been placed all around. His voice still lingers among us, with it's hypnotysing  magnetism, his almost deranged tones of prophesy and warning.
A true iconclast of the first order, his vision has provoked, outraged, and inspired countless numbers of people.


Alongside his friends, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Hunke, Gegory Corso and Jack Kerouac, Burroughs was part of the Beat Generation. Emerging out of the embers of the Second World War, this group of writers rejected social standards and celebrated narcotics, sexuality and Arcane religions in their witings. One of Burroughs first works Junky was  published in 1953, recently reprinted, exploring his intimate experiences with the world  of heroin, serving as a "memory excercise." He set himself  a daily schedule, helped   by injections of morphine. Originally published as a pulp paperback  under the pseudonym ' William Lee' with the lurid subtitle Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict.


 On  September 6, 1953, Burroughs accidentally killed his second wife Joan Vollmer after shooting her in the head, in a drunken  attempt to imitate William Tell's  feat of shooting an apple of his son's head. Burroughs  was charged with criminal impudence and eventually skipped bail, travelled to South America in search of a telepathy-inducing drug called Yage. These travels and his subsequent letters to Ginsberg  would serve as the basis of his 1963 book The Yage Letters.
He would later claim that he would never have become a writer, if  it was not for the guilt that he suffered after this unfortunate incident. The son that he had with Joan, Billy Jr was sent to live with his grandparents, Burroughs Sadly ever saw him, and Billy Jr, subsequently drank himself to death in 1981.
In 1956, Burroughs tried to cure his drug addiction with the help of a London Physician  named John Dent. It did not work, and he would spend the rest of his life reliant on methadone, but after living for a spell in Tangiers, where he had headed inspired by the works of the writer Paul Bowles, he wrote one of his most enduring works Naked Lunch.


A collage of disturbing, bizzarre and for some obscene images, of hallucinatory intensity, written whilst under the influence of various drugs. It  would become  his most famous and read book. It was here that he came  under the influence of the painter Brion Gysin, from whom he learnt the cut-up style, a technique  that would dominate his work for the rest of his life, with ideas and images repeating over and over again,  helping produce the works The Soft Machine (1961) The Ticket that Exploded (1962) and Nova Express(1963).

'All was enveloped in a flaming chromosphere..... Swirling within the incadescence of solar energy were sprays of blood.... Perception was heaving .....

WB - Nova Express

Gysin and Burroughs



'You were there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative.' -WB  Naked Lunch. 

   '  The word is divided
  into unite which be
all in one piece and
  should be so taken,
  but the pieces can be
had in any order being
 tied up back and
 forth, in and out fore
and arft like an
      inneresting sex
arrangement. This book
spill of the page
   in all directions
 kaleidoscope of vistas,
medley of tunes and
street noises, farts
and riot yipes and the
slamming steel shutters
   of commerce, screams
 of pain and pathos and
 screams plain pathic,
copulating cats and outraged
squawk of the displaces
bull head, prophetic
  mutterings of brujo in
  nutmeg trances, snapping
   necks and screaming
       mandrakkes, sigh of
orgasm, heroin silent
as dawn in the thirsty
  cells, Radio Cairo
screamink like a
berserk tobacco auction,
 and flutes of Ramadam
fanning the sick junky
like a gentle lush worker
in the grey subway dawn
  feeling with delicate
 fingers for the green
 folding crackle. - Naked Lunch

CUT UPS: WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS


He would travel extensively, moving to Paris to live at the famous Beat Hotel, where he joind a younger generation, which included the poet Gregory Corso,and a motly accumulation of misfits and outsiders, a feral crew of miscreants, living lives of excess, coming and going as they pleased, like the rats that scurried through it, a place that endeared itself to Burroughs,  perhaps because of its wildness and the fact that it's front doors were never locked at all. Whilst here  he undertook his most important work, his  second novel The Soft Machine  was assembled and written while he was at the hotel.
In the early 1960's Burroughs moved to London, where he would spend 6 years, supporting  himself and his continual addiction  by publishing extensively in  small literary presses and the burgenining underground scene, as  his avant garde reputation grew internationally, as the emerging hippy counterculture discovered his early work. Quietly going about his own business in St James, living at  Dalmery Court, 8 Duke Street, an unimposing place, near Picadilly, that I've visited once or twice as an act of homage. Not that much to see though. During his stay he took on the Church of Scientology, turning up outside their headquarters to take photographs, observe and simply annoy them. It worked they subsequently moved.
His  primal books releasing his anti-government ramblings, political  undercurrents coarsing through his work, libertarian, anarchistic, alternative models of thinking.Way beyond consensual reality.


In the 1970's he would move back to America,  first moving to New York, from where he would undertake extensive reading tours,becoming associated with other cultural players like Andy Warhol, John Giorno, Lou Reed and Patti Smith, Keith Karingand a galaxy of other famous names. He became this notorious literary celebrity, lovingly embraced by young new wavers and became a sort of Godfather  to the emerging Punk movement.
In 1981 he settled in Lawrence, Kansa, spending his time painting wonderful beautiful abstract picturesy, some used with the aid of shotguns, collaborating with  many from Bill Laswell, Michael Franti and his Disposable Heroes of Hipocricy and Ministry. Appearing in films, including a seminal appearance  in Guy Van Sants 1980 film the Drugstore cowboy.







William Burroughs shotgun paintings.


In 1990 he released the spoken word album Dead City Radio with musical back up from producers Hal Wilmer and Nelson Lyon and alternative rock band Sonic Youth. In 1992 he recorded with the Kurt Cobain, a piece called The Priest They Called him.
At the end of his life he was living in a two bedroom cottage, with his beloved feline companians,taking gentle stroolls around his garden, a lover of men and science fiction,  visited by admirers on his front porch. Despite his struggles with his addictions, his rage, with an 'ugly spirit' that he knew well, was able to quote Prspero, finding some kind of peace "But his rough magic, I here abjure."
For Burroughs the war on drugs were totally unachievable,  one that the world was incapable of winning, see the sad death of the fine actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this week. Burroughs considered  opiates to be depressents. They work on the back of the brain, suppressing the emotional and social centres of thought. This was for him was part of the addiction. An addict does not need society, feels no love or hate, gripped by this illness, that cannot be escaped, hooked in junk time, their mind and body becomes regulated  by their sickness, their addiction. But for Burroughs addiction was a general conditin limited to drugs. Politics, religion, the family, love are all forms of addiction. In the post-Bomb society, all the mainstays of ther social order have lost their meaning, and bankrupt nation states are run by control addicts.
Burroughs finally died in 1997 from a heart attack, still reliant on a methadone maintenence programe, but had survived most of his peers.His work   continues to inspire, influence, writers, lyricists and artists  of all kinds across the globe. Leaving behind a  solid body of work, his legacy still evolving, regarded as one of the greatest writers of our time. His final written words were "Love? What is it? Most natural  painkiller what there is. LOVE."
So thanks Uncle Bill,  happy birthday to you and I am grateful for your genius. I hope you are listening, this agent's words are still shared, this El Hombre Invisible, is still visible for all.

William Burroughs - Words of Advice for young people


Finally  thought I'd share this video it features one of the last interviews with William S Burroughs and previously unseen vintage footage  of him during the 50's and early 60's - The great Beat generation experiments took  place in Tangier, the Morrocan city  were Burroughs, Gysin and the Moroccan painter Hamri taught Jack Kerouac., Timothy Leary, and Ginberg how to live outside the law.
Also featured are the Master Musicians  of Joujouka collaborating with avant gade Dublim musicians, vterans of the Tangier Beat scene, and cutting edge writers. In addition, there is music from Bill Laswell, The Baby Snakes, plus contributions from Ira Cohen, Hakim Bey, and many more.

Destroy All Rational Thought.




We are all born to Go.


'After one look at this planet, any visitor from outer space, would say ' I want to see the manager.' - William Burroughs

' My power's coming ... My power's coming ---- ... And I got millions and mullions and millions of images of Me, Me Me, meee. WB - Nova Express.

Monday, 3 February 2014

No one is illegal, No borders are necessary


A companion piece to yesterday's post I guess, just some further thoughts.
I support free movement and equal rights for all. We as people should be tryng to promote unity between all.This is what a free society encompasses, the freedom of movement, including freedom of immigration and emigration. We should support the rights and dinity and respect of immigrants and refugees, and people forced to live without status.Many people are forced to live undocumented after having their applications for asylum refused, many esacaping persecution, in fear, escaping danger, in search of safety.Forced to live underground, hidden lives.
We all have the right  to settle wherever we please, are we not according to the principle ' From each according to his ability, to each according to her need' entitled  to equal access to the worlds land resources. Immigration  laws are inherently racist, because their purpose is to exclude outsiders, and feed and legitimise racism, and in the process causes intolerable  suffering to many people.
People of the world  should all be entitled to the same universal social, political and economic rights and conditions, with or or without papers, with  the same  entitlement to the world's resources.We should recognise the many valuable  contributions to society made by migrants, immigrants and refugees stretching  back centuries. Every country in the world has it's richness and diversity because of  the waves of immigration that have occurred. We should recognise the people who daily, risk everything, including their life, to leave their own country's, their family and friends, in search of a new and better life.
I see no contadiction in my support for the Palestinian people against their illegal apartheid wall, thewalls  that have been created  in open air prisons in Gaza, the West Bank, are the same as any other border wall strewn with barbed wire that bleed migrants, or walls that are erected  as barriers to dignity and humanity, from Mexico, and the internment camps of Australia, to Fortress Europe.
Imagine a world free of borders, it's easy if you try, the sky has none, no borders are necessary, no one is illegal.

No Borders News

https://www.facebook.com/NoBordersNews

Serj Tankien

   .


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Follow Bridges, Not Walls.



( Dedicated to Peter Seeger and all other followers of Freedom)

The only flags I follow
are those of red, black and green,
but also proudly stand ,
with my brothers and sisters,
the Palestinian.

I create my own propoganda,
avoid the mainstream news,
there versions of truth,
just a charade,
under the influence I dance,
avoiding the arrogance of powers
                                   that chain,
life is very dangerous,
and its getting very dark.

But on the margins,
along the cracks,
the invisible and powerless rise,
on the other side of walls,
dreams swat the air,
drives its mighty hammer,
in pursuit of fairness and justice,
                                       for all
a world of peace that displaces
                                        war,
as our keys, turn, turn, turn,
again, again and again,
the roads stretch out,
laden with hope.

Humanity twinkes with a new
                            sensibility,
watches as divisions blister,
while consciences affection ,
wraps her arms around our bodies,
in comradely tenderness,
I believe, all is not lost. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Checkpoint - Jasiri X



Jasri is a hip-hop MC in Pittsburgh, who uses the medium of Hip-Hop  to provide social commentary on a variety of issues, who recently returned from a visit to Palestine where he participated in a delegation with other Black American artists, activistse, writers and academics.
Last week he released 'Checkpoint,' a track based on the oppresssion and discrimination Jasiri X witnessed firsthand during his recent trip to Palestine and Israel. The video also features footage Jasiri  himself capyured of Israeli soldiers, as well as newsreel clips of IDF brutality against Palestinians and Internationals.It also features footage from their visit, and you'll see a cameo of the great Palestinian- American Poet Remi Kanazi.http://www.poeticinjustice.net/
Checkpoint is produced by Agent of Change, and directed by Haute Muslim.

Lyrics here:-

journal of the hard times tales from the dark side
Evidence of the settlements on my hard drive
Man I swear my heart died at the end of that car ride
When I saw that checkpoint welcome to apartheid
Soldiers wear military green at the checkpoint
Tavors not M16s at the checkpoint
Fingers on the trigger you'll get leaned at the checkpoint
Little children grown adults or teens at the checkpoint
You gotta put your finger on the screen at the checkpoint
And pray that red lights turn green at the checkpoint

If Martin Luther King had a dream at the checkpoint
He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint
It's Malcolm X by any means at the checkpoint
Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint

Seperation walls that's surrounding the checkpoint
On top is barbwire like a crown on the checkpoint
Better have ya permits if you're at the checkpoint
Gunmen on the tower aiming down at the checkpoint
The idea is to keep you in fear at the checkpoint
You enter through the cage in the rear of the checkpoint
It feels  like prison on a tier at the checkpoint
I'd rather be anywhere but here at this checkpoint
Nelson Mandela wasn't blind  to the checkpoint
He stood for free Palestine not a check point
Support BDS don't give a dime to the checkpoint
This is international crime at the checkpoint
Arabs get treated like dogs at the checkpoint
Cause discrimination  is the law at the checkpoint
Criminalized without a cause at the checkpoint
I'm just telling you what I saw at the checkpoint
Soldiers get bad attitudes at the checkpoint
Condescending and real rude at the checkpoint
Don't look them in the eyes when they move at the checkpoint
They might strip a man or woman nude at the checkpoint
Soldiers might blow you out of ya shoes at the checkpoint
Gas you up and then light the fuse at the checkpoint
Everyday you stand to be accused at the checkpoint
Each time your life you could lose at the checkpoint

If Martin Luther King had a dream of the checkpoint
He wake with loud screams from the scenes at the checkpoint
It's Malcolm X by any means at the checkpoint
Imagine if you daily routine was the checkpoint
At the airport in Tel Aviv is a checkpoint
They pulled over our taxi at the checkpoint
Passport visa ID at the checkpoint
Soldiers going all through  my things at the checkpoint
Said I was high risk security at the checkpoint
Occupation in the 3rd degree at the checkpoint
All a nigga wanna do is leave fuck a checkpoint

You can download the track here

http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/releases

and more of his stuff here

http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/