White Light/White Heat

It’s Friday the 13th and the world gets crazier by the day. So, lets have some music, in the shape of the Velvet Underground’s second album, ‘White Light/White Heat’, which was released in 1968. ‘White Light/White Heat’ is not an easy one, folks. With it’s wall of chaotic sound, ‘White Light/White Heat’ is a bit like having your tongue sand papered. People seem to either love or hate this album. One reason people hate it is because it’s quite different from the Velvet’s debut album in 1967, called ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ and often hailed as one of the most influential albums of all time, but at the time ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ was a commercial failure. The Velvets ditched Nico and their manager, Andy Warhol, and after extensive touring went into the studio in 1968 and turned up the amps, in both senses of the word. This is the title track from the album, White Light/White Heat

Incidentally, the sound quality on all these tracks is not going to be good, because the sound quality on the original album is appalling, even for back in the 1960s. I wouldn’t advise listening to this album with headphones.

Some would argue that ‘White Light/White Heat’ is the only true Velvet Underground album, since it’s the only one that has the four original members of the band: Lou Reed, John Cale, Stirling Morrison and Maureen Tucker on drums. John Cale left the Velvet Underground shortly after the album was made. This next track is called Lady Godiva’s Operation, and is about a transsexual’s botched labotomy operation…
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Catalonia – the White Knight is talking backwards

I posted this earlier this evening on a discussion board. I was going to hold fire on my blog to await the events in Catalonia during the next few days, because who knows what’s going to happen. However, my post on another board this evening is very relevant, so I’ll duplicate it here…

This Sputnik piece was published in June 2015:

“Spain’s elite has learned a lot by observing their Polish peers, and they realized that they can reap specific benefits by being America’s regional doormat. Inviting the US to use the country as a launching pad for neo-colonizing Africa is supposed to raise its prestige in the eyes of American decision makers, who could then lobby their European (specifically German) underlings to lessen the painful austerity measures they’ve forced upon Spain. If the US could command the EU to enact self-inflicting damage with their anti-Russian sanctions, then there’s no question they could also order it to relieve their pressure on Madrid as a political reward to their proxy.

Another benefit that Spain’s leaders want to receive from the US is unwavering support against the Catalonian independence movement. Spain wants to scare the US into falling for a 21st-century ‘domino theory’ in order to anchor its Atlantic ally’s unconditional support for the government, arguing that the independence of Catalonia could lead to a chain reaction of similar movements in Spain’s other regions that would eventually wipe the once-unified country off the map, and with it, America’s new springboard to West Africa. It wouldn’t be a surprise if it further embellishes the fear mongering by hinting that the ‘Catalonian contagion’ could spread throughout the rest of the EU and endanger the US’ other bases, too.”

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201506011022806081/

If interested, some more info…

https://elpais.com/elpais/2013/01/06/inenglish/1357475959_823002.html

Also of interest, perhaps, is that Telesur are barely reporting what’s going on in Spain, although Telesur are heavily reporting the satellite that Venezuela have just launched (with the help of the Chinese), and Venezuela have recently announced that they are going to abandon the petrodollar. Here’s the report about the satellite that Venezuela have just launched:

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/This-Is-Technological-Independence-Maduro-on-Sucre-20171008-0027.html
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Torn Muscles

After some recent heavy lifting I’ve now got strained muscles, not just in one arm but in both arms. My right shoulder is particularly bad, but I won’t bore you with all that. It’s difficult to gather your thoughts when you’re in pain, yet I shall attempt to do so here:

The appalling police brutality that took place during Sunday’s Catalonian independence referendum has largely been overshadowed by the massacre in Las Vegas. On Monday the EU Commission put out a statement about the events in Catalonia. The statement said that Catalonia is an internal matter for Spain, and did not specifically condemn the police brutality, despite the fact that it goes against the EU’s core values, as expressed in article 2 of the EU’s founding treaty and article 21 of the charter of fundamental rights. The EU won’t be able to distance itself for much longer, because Catalonia plans to declare independence next Monday. Judging by the state violence witnessed last Sunday, this declaration of independence is not going to have a rosy outcome.

The nightmare aspect of what’s going on in Europe at the moment was further enhanced yesterday, when the state of emergency in France was incorporated into French law, making it permanent. The state of emergency was first introduced nearly two years ago, in the aftermath of the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, and it was only supposed to last for three months. Since then the state of emergency has been extended seven times, following various terror attacks, and now it’s written into law (there was another ‘terror attack’ in France last Sunday, just to jolly things along). The now permanent state of emergency is a serious erosion of civil liberties. Amongst other things it allows the security services and police to act without judges’ approval or judicial oversight, to carry out night raids, and to place people under house arrest. Right from the start it was planned to make the state of emergency permanent, but there have been massive public protests against it. The surprising thing is that the new state of emergency law breezed through the French parliament yesterday, with 415 lawmakers voting for it, and just 127 voting against it. When the state of emergency was introduced two years ago the EU did make some noises about it…

“It was with some concern that I learned that its extension appeared to be under consideration,” the pan-European human rights watchdog’s president Thorbjoern Jagland wrote in a letter to French president Francois Hollande on Monday (25 January).

“I would like to draw your attention to the risks that could result from the prerogatives conferred on the executive by the provisions that apply during the state of emergency if they are not accompanied by appropriate safeguards from the point of view of respect for fundamental freedoms,” Jagland wrote.

https://euobserver.com/justice/131994

… but now that the state of emergency has been permanently written into law, as far as I’m aware the EU haven’t said a peep about it, despite it being a quite blatant step towards the police state. This, on top of what’s going on in Spain, which also seems to be going down the police state route.

One French deputy who voted against that new law yesterday is Jean Luc Mélenchon, an independent standing under a mass movement he founded called La France Insoumise (Unbowed France). Mélenchon is often described as a ‘hard left firebrand’, but in old money he’s centre left. Here he is speaking in the French parliament last summer. Mélenchon is mainly addressing the reforms to employment laws that Macron is pushing through by presidential decree, but he’s also addressing the neo-con agenda that more and more people are waking up to (there should be English sub-titles on the video, but if not click on the first little icon on the right of the toolbar).

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The Empire – A Day In The Life

Yesterday was certainly eventful in the American Empire. Things kicked off with the Catalonian independence referendum, and we started seeing scenes of incredible police brutality towards perfectly peaceful people who were trying to cast a vote (yes, the independence referendum was illegal under present Spanish law, but the violent way in which the state reacted to it has never been seen before in western Europe in modern times). Then, while images of the state violence in Catalonia were flooding social media, we had two ‘terror attacks’, one in Canada and one in France, in Marseille (which is not a million miles from Catalonia). The day was rounded-off by the worst mass shooting incident in modern American history, which took place in Las Vegas. This mass shooting has completely dominated today’s news cycle. What to make of it all?

What we saw yesterday in Catalonia was the veneer of the Empire stripped bare, to reveal the extreme violence within. Anyone who goes against the wishes of the Empire gets totally crushed (watch what happens if Jeremy Corbyn becomes the next UK prime minister). The Empire’s power comes from its dominance of global finance (mostly the petrodollar), the biggest military machine the world has ever seen and the biggest propaganda machine ever seen. So what do I mean by the ‘American Empire’? Well, I would say it’s a combination of a totally corrupt right wing American government (Republican and Democrat – there’s no real difference between them) and trans-national corporations. In otherwords it’s fascism writ large. Just about all the countries in the ‘western sphere of influence’ are vassal states of the Empire, with no real independent foreign policy or independent financial system. Trudeau in Canada, May in Britain and now Macron in France are prime examples of Empire lackeys. They quite blatantly don’t work for their people, so why do people vote for them? why do people buy into this shit? Cue the biggest propaganda machine in history.

When trying to interpret yesterday’s events you have to take into account that the Empire is incredibly psychotic and violent, and it’s an Empire that’s now in its death throes, and so is trying to roll out the full-blown police state to try and preserve itself.

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They’re Fecking Demented!

About three and a half years ago an uncle of mine was diagnosed with vascular dementia which has grown progressively worse. The last time I saw my uncle was in October 2016, when he and my aunty came over to France for a visit. Then in his early 80s, my uncle is a tall man who’s physically very fit for someone that age. One day my mother and aunty went out on a shopping expedition and I volunteered to look after my uncle, who couldn’t be left on his own. I cooked my uncle a big fry-up, because he has always had a hearty appetite. As we sat there in the kitchen my uncle just about remembered who I was, but he didn’t know my mother (his sister-in-law), and whilst he remembered my aunty he didn’t know that she was his wife. By early 2017 my uncle’s dementia had got so bad that he had to go into a care home. My aunty just couldn’t cope with it anymore.

My uncle is just one statistic in what is now a worldwide epidemic of dementia. That link I’ve just given suggests that dementia is caused by lifestyle, because it’s quite prevalent in the western world, but it’s also very prevalent in the developing world, particularly parts of south east Asia. This haphazard incidence rate can also be found in the corresponding cancer epidemic. You’ll know where I’m going with this when I say that cancer was a rare disease before the nuclear age. Radiation has its biggest effect on the auto immune system, and cancer is the disease that will spring to most people’s mind; but there’s lots of other diseases that result from a compromised immune system, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease (if interested do a search for ‘Chernobyl heart’). There’s now a growing body of research which says that certain forms of dementia are caused by radiation, and it’s long been known that dementia is linked to a compromised immune system. NASA have acknowledged the radiation – dementia link for years now.

Since the Trinity test in 1945 thousands and thousands of nuclear bombs have been tested. Then there’s all the nuclear ‘accidents’, such as Fukushima, which at the time of writing has been continuously spewing radiation into the environment for six and a half years and may well be an extinction event. Radiation is invisible. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it. If you could see it, and you looked out of your window, there would be a smog, like those photographs of polluted Chinese cities. Here’s part of a speech that John F Kennedy gave in 1960…

“It is true that the amount of radiation created by bomb tests so far offers no serious threat to the well-being or existence of mankind as a whole. But it is also true that there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose. Perhaps we are talking about only a very small number of individual tragedies – the number of atomic age children with cancer, the new victims of leukemia, the damage to skin tissues here and reproductive systems there – perhaps these are too small to measure with statistics. But they nevertheless loom very large indeed in human and moral terms.

Radiation, in its simplest terms – figuratively, literally and chemically – is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal.”

John F. Kennedy, 1960

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/Milwaukee-WI_19600402-Wisconsin-Assoc-of-Student-Councils.aspx

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Uber and CETA

It was announced by Transport for London (TfL) today that Uber will be stripped of its licence to operate taxis in the Capital, because “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility” in relation to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks. Uber has responded by saying that it plans to immediately challenge the ruling by London’s transport authority in the courts. Incidentally, Uber only got its licence due to high level corruption in the UK government.

On a related matter, UK prime minister Theresa May was in Canada earlier this week for trade talks. This was all about a trade deal called the ‘Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement’ (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, a trade deal that came into effect yesterday. The UK will remain part of CETA until (or if!) Brexit happens in 2019. Theresa May was negotiating with the Canadians for a separate stand-alone CETA after the UK leaves the EU. Naturally enough, this pleased the Brexiteers; but as is often the case, things are not quite what they seem.

CETA is a sister deal to the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership’ (TTIP), a proposed trade deal between the USA and EU. I say ‘proposed’ because TTIP died a death last year following massive public protests against it. TTIP contained many assaults on civil liberties, but the most egregious was the ‘Investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS), which allows corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals – special courts – for pursuing policies which harm their profits; ie, it gives corporations legal power above sovereign governments, which includes power above government legislation about such things as health and safety and the environment (if interested you can find a longer read about it here).

Trade deals and all their acronyms are not exactly riveting stuff, so let me get back to Uber, which is a large multi-national corporation with its headquarters in the USA. Under CETA any US company with offices in Canada (which is just about all of them, including Uber) can also use this trade agreement to deal with the European Union. CETA also contains the Investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. In otherwords, CETA is just TTIP by the back door. This perhaps leaves the 64,000 dollar question: will Uber try to overturn the Transport for London decision in the UK courts (which will be costly and time consuming), or, now that CETA is a formal EU trade deal, will Uber invoke the Investor-state dispute settlement mechanism?

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Rocket Man and the Shooting Star

In my previous post, which was about the petrodollar and likely collapse of the American Empire, I gave the opinion that Trump & Co are mad enough to actually start a war with China. One day after I made that post, President Trump gave his first address to the United Nations. Here are some highlights:

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime… The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos… My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse… We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47838.htm

Most of the UN ambassadors listened to Trump’s speech in stoney silence, because of course the hypocrisy it contained is quite breathtaking. More than that, an American president threatening so many nations has never been seen before at the UN – not least, Trump’s threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea; ie, kill more than 20 million people. I believe it was The Saker who described the present US administration as a bunch of five-year-olds on LSD. Even the UN Secretary-General intimated that Trump should have shown more statesmanship with his speech. Trump’s hate-filled speech won’t go down well with Russia and China, two countries that are starting to realise that they are also on the list for ‘regime change’. My biggest worry is that Russia and China won’t wait until they are attacked by America, but instead might launch a pre-emptive strike in the hope of decapitating the American Frankenstein.

It could be argued that in 1945 the German 3rd Reich came to an end and it was superseded by an American 4th Reich. The present appalling state of international relations reminds me of a Tintin book called The Shooting Star. Georges Remi, aka Hergé, drew The Shooting Star in 1942 and it is perhaps the most remarkable of all the wartime Tintin books, and is the first that gives the reader a peek into Hergé’s psyche. The plot of The Shooting Star centres around a giant meteorite that is heading directly for earth, about to bring an end to civilisation. Instead, the meteor veers harmlessly away, leaving behind an earth tremor and a slab of meteorite in the Arctic Ocean. The meteorite slab contains a valuable mineral and two rival expeditions set out to find it. Hergé did not usually go in for symbolism, preferring to score points with humour, but wartime was a special case. The sense of doom in the opening pages of The Shooting Star is palpable, with the frames drawn in stark contrasts of light and shade and the style downbeat. The streets of occupied Brussels convey a menace that leaves little doubt what the approaching meteor is supposed to represent; but Hergé is producing the book under the watchful eye of the Gestapo (during the war Hergé was working for Le Soir, a nazi controlled newspaper) and so the race to find the meteorite slab in the Arctic Ocean becomes a rivalry between a European expedition and an American expedition. The Americans are cast in the role of the bad guys. This perceived anti-Americanism (which can also be found to some extent in The Broken Ear) is one reason why The Adventures of Tintin were never widely published in the USA until recent years (by Little Brown).

Between 1930 and 1976 Hergé completed 23 Tintin books, and they all had a happy ending…

If you are a fan of the Tintin books, or are someone who is curious to know more, you can find my Tintin Pages here.

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Do MI5 shop at Lidl?

The terror attack last Friday at Parson’s Green Tube station seemed to be a lucky escape for the people involved in the incident. I say “seemed” because as is often the case with these recent terror attacks there are lots of anomalies. With regard to Parsons Green I suppose the biggest anomaly is that we were told there was a flash and a bang and flames, yet the images of the device show no sign of damage to the plastic bucket which contained the explosive, nor damage to the Lidl shopping bag that the bucket was sitting in, and there’s no damage to the surrounding carriage furniture. Hmm, I wonder what Sherlock Holmes would make of it all?

Since 2009 there have been 9 terrorist incidents in the UK, and 5 of these incidents have occurred this year, including Parsons Green last Friday, and these have been some of the worst attacks over this eight year period. They’re really ramping up the terror, and the question is, why? Well, it’s against the backdrop of an incompetent and deeply unpopular Conservative government. Then there’s Mr Corbyn, a real socialist who seems highly likely to become the next prime minister of the UK, possibly even before this year is out. There’s a growing hatred and distrust of the Establishment, fueled by the plebs being able to access uncensored information on the internet, an internet that the Establishment now want to control and censor (to stop bods like me writing posts like this). There’s all kinds of dynamics to this in the UK, but there’s also dynamics in the wider world that effect what happens in the UK. I’m not talking about the huge amount of bombs the US Empire drops on dusky skinned people. No, I’m talking about the collapse of the US Empire.

US hegemony comes about largely because of the petrodollar, whereby all the world’s oil is traded in US dollars, which gives Uncle Sam a disproportionate amount of financial clout. Some oil producing countries have resisted the petrodollar. In 2002 Iraq started selling its oil in Euros. Likewise in 2010 Libya started selling oil for gold instead of petrodollars. Oh, and incidentally, both these countries had a nationalised central bank. Anyhows, we all know what happened to Iraq and Libya, and needless to say that despite the chaos now reigning in these two countries they are once again selling their oil for petrodollars, and they both now have a private central bank. Venezuela, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, has recently announced that it’s going to stop using the petrodollar. Iran is abandoning the petrodollar, so is North Korea. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

The increasingly erratic behavior of the US Empire (little things like constantly breaking international treaties, and stomping around the world like a demented Frankenstein while engaging in endless illegal wars) has pushed Russia and China into an alliance, which includes their own international banking system, trade deals, and (more importantly) abandoning the petrodollar. Before the end of this year the Shanghai International Energy Exchange will open for business, in which countries will be able to trade oil in the Chinese yuan currency, which is backed by gold (the dollar is not backed by gold). The United States of America presently has what is probably its most bizarre government ever (and that’s saying something). How these batshit crazies are going to react to the petro-yuan is anybody’s guess. I’m of the opinion that Trump & Co are mad enough to actually start a war with China.

But I won’t go into all that here. In this post I’m trying to figure out how all this relates to things in Britain, which is the Empire’s premier poodle, a poodle that most likely will soon have a socialist prime minister who’s no fan of the neo-con Empire. So, this latest ramp-up of terrorist attacks: the London Bridge attack back in June took place just days before the general election, and shortly before and after the attack the Presstitutes ran a large number of articles accusing Corbyn of being a terrorist sympathiser (a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ who has banned Saudi Arabia from the forthcoming Labour Party conference). Likewise, the earlier Manchester Arena attack in May took place during the general election campaign. The latest attack at Parsons Green Tube station took place on the same day that a poll was released which showed that Labour will win the next general election with a majority, a poll that was buried in all the hype and hysteria about the ‘terror attack’ (this might be why Parsons Green was such an amateurish attack, because it was done at the last minute to bury the poll). Coincidence? Perhaps you think I’m some crazy conspiracy theorist, because we have a ‘special relationship’ and America would never use violence to try to steer the course of a country’s politics? Well, it’s matter of historical record that this is precisely what America does; and remember, we’re talking about an Empire here that’s starting to come apart at the seams and is growing increasingly mad and desperate.

The British and American security services are joined at the hip (which makes every single member of MI5, MI6 and all the rest of ’em complete and utter traitors; not to mention mass murderers). If interested you can find a long read about it here.

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Cognitive Dissonance and Dust

In this anniversary week of the September 11th attacks in 2001 I’ve read an awful lot of arguements about it all, both from those who believe the official narrative and from those who believe it was some kind of inside job. I’ve always been with the latter arguement, but I’m not going to spew forth on that. Instead, two videos. The first explaining the role of the mainstream media (in this instance the BBC, but the rest are just as bad), and the second explaining what apparently took place with the twin towers before our very eyes:

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September 11th

Today is the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, a series of events that have so many anomalies, and have had such dreadful consequences, that it’s difficult to know where to start. I suppose we could start with Thierry Meyssan, a respected French academic, who in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon was the first person to ask: where is the plane? Meyssan’s book about the Pentagon attack became a bestseller in France in 2002, and could be said to be the first major 9/11 conspiracy theory. Of course, a plethora of other conspiracy theories have followed over the years (my favourite is by Dr Judy Wood) and there’s continuing vicious infighting between the various ‘Truthers’ as to how 9/11 was actually done. The events of September 11th 2001 were very complex, with lots of different things occurring. You don’t need to be able to explain it all to show that it was an inside job (it will probably be a long time, if ever, before we find out what really happened on that day), and you don’t have to concentrate on the twin towers. All you need to do is show that one aspect of it is not as it appears, and then the rest of the official 9/11 story falls to bits like a house of cards. I would say that the best smoking guns are the Pentagon attack, the strange collapse of WTC 7 later that day and then the anthrax attacks a week or so later.

But I’m not going to get into all that now. Instead I shall use this anniversary of 9/11 to shamelessly plug one of my books: The Iberian Job is my third memoir and covers the years 2000 to 2007. The following excerpt from the book relates what I was doing on September 11th 2001:
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Due to the bottlenecks and increasingly awful traffic in London, I used to do most of these surveys on a bicycle. Home was Catford, in south east London, about 8 miles from the West End; 30 minutes on a bike, as much of it as possible through parks and pedestrian walkways. Yup, I was one of those cyclists from hell: no helmet, no lights, ignoring red lights, whizzing along pavements and going in the wrong direction on one-way streets. The cycling was one aspect of living in London that I enjoyed. People come from all over the world to see landmarks such as Tower Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, and all the rest of it. For me they were just an everyday backdrop to my working life.

On September 11th 2001, which was a Tuesday, I had to do an afternoon survey at a small office block across the road from Victoria Station. At just after 2pm I navigated around Parliament Square, heading for Victoria. As a cyclist from hell I always listened to a Walkman. News started coming through that a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York, where it was just after 9am. The thinking seemed to be that an accident had occured. My survey at the office block involved a few hours work. As I wandered around with a tape measure one of the on-site engineers told me that another plane had gone into the south tower. Terrorism. By the time I was cycling back through Parliament Square both World Trade Center towers had collapsed. There were loads of rumours flying around, one of which claimed that there were hijacked planes heading for the UK Parliament building. I jumped a few more red lights and made my way south over Westminster Bridge. They cleared the airspace over London. It was the first time I’d ever seen my hometown in the day without a single plane in the sky.

At the end of these cycle surveys my first port of call would always be the Clock House pub on Peckham Rye, a friendly and traditional hostelry located most of the way back home to Catford. The Clock House not only did a good pint of beer they also did excellent steak and chips, much needed after all the cycling. On that September 11th I got there at about half five in the afternoon. Upon ordering my pint the first person I encountered was a guy with an American accent. He hadn’t heard the news and when I told him about the events in New York he looked at me as though I were mad. In fact he laughed at me. I told him to go find the nearest tv set.

_________________________________________

The Iberian Job is available as an e-book or a paperback from Amazon and from most other online stores.

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Rosetta Tharpe was born on a cotton plantation in Arkansas in 1915. Both of Tharpe’s parents were musicians and her mother was also an evangelist and preacher for the Church of God in Christ. By the age of six, Tharpe had joined her mother as a regular performer in a traveling evangelical troupe. Billed as a “singing and guitar playing miracle,” she accompanied her mother in performances that were part sermon and part gospel concert before audiences across the apartheid American South. In her adult life, Tharpe became a pioneer of mid-20th-century music and attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll.

This first track is from a performance given at a disused railway station in Manchester, in the north of England, in 1964. It’s called Didn’t It Rain – which might be appropriate for the city of Manchester…

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the godmother of rock and roll”. She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
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About That Hydrogen Bomb…

Since news came through this morning that North Korea had tested another atom bomb – and the North Koreans claimed it to be a hydrogen bomb – I’ve been keeping an eye on the MSM news channels to gauge their reaction. The MSM have wheeled out lots of pundits today to comment on the North Korean nuclear test, but no experts on nuclear weapons; until the BBC News 24 bulletin at 5pm this afternoon, when such an expert was given some air time. This expert – whose name I can’t now remember – used couched language to sort of say that it wasn’t a hydrogen bomb and probably a sophisticated ‘conventional’ atom bomb. Also this afternoon The Guardian have published an ‘explanation’ that uses even more obscurification.

Nuclear bombs that are capable of causing mass destruction come in two flavours of death. Firstly there are fission bombs, which work by splitting atoms (just like nuclear power stations do). Secondly there are fusion bombs (also known as hydrogen bombs or thermo-nuclear bombs) which work by fusing atoms together. A fusion bomb releases much, much more energy than a fission bomb (up to a 1000 times greater energy). The bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were fission bombs. Thus far a fusion bomb has never been used in anger. Thesedays a fission bomb is relatively easy to build. The very difficult bit is getting enough enriched uranium or plutonium for the warhead. This is why the likes of the USA, Russia, China, Britain and France have large scale nuclear power plants, to get the fuel for nukes (without this incentive, nuclear power is a highly dangerous economic white elephant), nukes whose warheads degrade over time and have to be replaced with fresh enriched uranium or plutonium every five to ten years, depending on the type of weapon.

Fusion bombs, on the otherhand, are much more difficult to build. This is because tremendous amounts of heat are required in order to make atoms fuse together and release mega amounts of energy (the sun is one big ball of fusion reactions). To achieve nuclear fusion the Dr Strangeloves first explode a fission bomb, and the heat from it then allows the fusion bomb to explode. Both the fission and fusion bombs are in the same warhead and the process all takes place within fractions of a second; ie, it’s not noticable that there are actually two nuclear explosions. The Strangeloves have also refined the process of mass extermination, whereby after the fission explosion and then the fusion explosion there are further fission explosions, once again all taking place within fractions of a second.

With regard to North Korea, they almost certainly have a small number of fission bombs, but seem to be still struggling to develop a missile that can carry these bombs. As far as fusion bombs go, Pakistan hasn’t yet been able to build one, and neither has India (although there are questions over that), so it seems doubtful that North Korea has the technology to develop such a weapon, let alone to be able to deliver it on a missile; but that won’t stop the Presstitutes from telling you that North Korea has missiles that carry hydrogen bombs.

It’s no wonder that they assassinated President Kennedy…

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Cranial Capacity 1400cc

I finished my fourth memoir earlier this year. It’s called Cranial Capacity 1400cc and covers the decade between 2007 and early 2017. The book goes into a lot of the French stuff that I often bang on about on this blog and it runs to about 64,000 words. This fourth memoir is a bit different from the previous three, in that the previous three memoirs related action and adventure and travel to weird and wonderful places. Cranial Capacity 1400cc is all about my life in France, a country I haven’t been outside of for the last ten years. The problem I had with the book is that it starts with the renovation of a large 300-year-old stone house, and plasterboard and paint is not exactly high adventure. However, once you get beyond the first chapter I start telling the story of a radio production company I tried to get off the ground here in south west France. The following excerpt is from chapter two, ‘Local Radio France’…
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Beneath a vast blue sky, vineyards stretched away to every horizon. I turned off the lane, drove down a short track and pulled-up beside a stone barn. A fifteen minute drive from the town of Cognac had brought me to the barn, which was the home of Chris and Mandy Smith. Mandy was a jazz and cabaret singer who played with a band in the local cafes. She was about the same age as me with medium length blonde hair. Mandy took me into the huge kitchen and introduced me to her husband. Chris sat at a counter while he put some finishing touches to a painting of the surrounding vineyards. Mandy went upstairs to get herself ready for the interview. While she was gone Chris made me a cup of coffee and we talked about renovation work. It had taken him and Mandy two years to do up the barn (sound familiar?). Now they were in the process of doing up two smaller properties next to the barn, which they planned to rent out as gites. They were also in the process of putting in a swimming pool.

When Mandy returned she looked rather glamorous. It turned out that she thought it was going to be a tv interview. I showed her the digital voice recorder and microphone and she laughed. We went to her office and conducted the interview there. I was having a bad day and made a balls-up of things. Mandy didn’t mind and practically interviewed herself, all the while we were interrupted by her nine-year-old daughter. That interview with Mandy later took an awful lot of editing.

France is a very big place, you have to do lots of driving, and so for the Musique sud-ouest stuff I always tried to line up two or more interviews on a given day. After seeing Mandy my next port of call was to see the jazz and blues singer Sophie Borgeaud. Mandy idolised Sophie Borgeaud and jumped at the chance to come along with me and help with the interview. Sophie Borgeaud lived in the town of Saintes, in the Charente-Maritime. From Savignac to Cognac is about a three hour drive. From Cognac to Saintes is about an hour’s drive. Mandy and I jumped into my 2CV and headed west.

In her younger days Mandy had been a presenter on the British Forces Radio Network in Germany, and she was intrigued with me and Local Radio France. She’d given up her singing career when her two daughters were born. Now that the daughters were older, Mandy had recently resumed her singing. Mandy possessed a great sense of humour and was not afraid to taunt the boss of Local Radio France.

Saintes is quite a big place with a lot of historic buildings. During the Roman times it was capital of Aquitaine. Sophie Borgeaud’s house lay in the old town, on the left bank of the Charente River. Mandy and I got totally lost in the maze of streets, and ended-up going the wrong way down a one-way street in order to get back on track. We found the house, and after ringing the doorbell a middle-aged guy with a big handlebar moustache emitted us into a cobbled courtyard that had a glass roof. We were then ushered through some imposing double doors, into the house. It was a huge, old place and I half expected to see a butler and maids walking around. Sophie Borgeaud was waiting for us in her drawing room. We sat down at the table. The middle-aged guy brought in tea and cakes and joined us.

Sophie Borgeaud’s career is an interesting and varied one. As well as being a jazz and blues singer, she worked in French television, worked for Fortune Magazine in New York, and as a studio actress in the Los Angeles Theatre. She has also been a tour manager for artists including Harry Belafonte, Lou Reed and Rickie Lee Jones. Sophie was a small woman who for some reason reminded me of Edith Piaf with blonde hair. As we munched on our cake she tried to put us at ease.

The middle-aged guy went by the name of Jean-Marc. A guitarist, Jean-Marc had recently teamed up with Sophie to make an album called The Best Of Love. The interview we were doing was to promote the album. Normally when carrying out these interviews I made notes beforehand, scribbling down the kind of questions I wanted to ask. For some reason on this occasion I hadn’t done this. As I’ve said, I was having a bad day. I asked some really dumb questions, to which Sophie responded to as best she could. There were long, pregnant pauses when I couldn’t think of anything to ask her. The interview staggered along in this manner for about five minutes. Sophie, Jean-Marc and Mandy tried to stay serious, but eventually they began cracking up with laughter. This broke the ice. Mandy, who knew a lot more about Sophie Borgeaud than I, sort of took over the interview, which then started going really well.

I’m a fan of Lou Reed, so when the interview was done and dusted I asked Sophie what life had been like on tour with Lou. Her eyes twinkled and I was told some tales, tales which I couldn’t possibly repeat here.
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Cranial Capacity 1400cc is available from Amazon as an e-book and paperback, and is also available from most other online stores.

The (heavily edited!) interview I did with Sophie Borgeaud can be found here.

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Memories of Princess Diana and the Royals

I’m a Londoner born and bred (I was born in the Old Kent Road in 1964). The house I lived in was 6 miles from central London. I worked as a self-employed draughtsman (technical drawings, used as the basis for manufacturing things). About half of my work involved going out on site surveys, where I would take measurements in order to produce manufacturing drawings. From about the mid 1990s the traffic in London got so bad that I gave up using a car for work in town, and instead used a bicycle. I remember one day when I stopped my bicycle at traffic lights on The Mall (a short distance from Buckingham Palace). I’m by the curb on my bike and a big limo pulled-up beside me to stop at the lights (where a large group of children were crossing the road). I found myself just inches away, through bullet-proof glass, from the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. I was amazed at how well they both looked, despite their great age. It took more than a minute before we could get going again. During this time Queenypoos ignored me, staring straight ahead. The Duke of Edinburgh, though, turned his head round and we looked at each other curiously for a while. It was a strange moment before the lights released us and the Royal limo sped off to Buckingham Palace.

On the morning of Saturday 6th September 1997 I was in central London again to do a site survey. This time I was driving a car, because weekend traffic in London at that time was still sane. On the car radio I was listening to the funeral service for Princess Diana, which was taking place nearby in Westminster Abbey. There were loudspeakers relaying the service to huge crowds outside, which I could hear against the seconds time lag on the radio broadcast. Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, gave a now famous speech in which he criticised the royal family. Elton John gave a rendition of Candle in the Wind to honour Diana, and lots of other music was played. Amongst that music was Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

I’m no fan of the royals, but I did like Diana, because despite all her faults (of which there were many) she did have the guts to stand up to these inbreds. So, on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s murder, by way of tribute, here’s the mid section of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Nolan on violin and Vernon Handley conducting…

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Barcelona – Another Day, Another False Flag

In my previous post I was banging on about false flag terrorism, but after I posted it I realised that I didn’t directly give any examples (because, to be honest, I get bored with it all). So, in this post I’m going to try to give you some evidence that the recent ‘terror attack’ in Barcelona was a complete hoax; but before I get into all that let’s have some cute kittens…

You can find further examples of ‘Barcelona cute kittens’ on Twitter here and here. They did a similar thing in the immediate aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks in 2015. Cute kittens, ay, instead of photos and video of what actually happened. So, let me get onto last week’s terror attack in Barcelona. The following mobile phone footage has been widely circulated in the mainstream media. You’ll notice that some of the ‘victims’ have been pixilated out, presumably so that viewers aren’t distressed by the horrific injuries…

The following is exactly the same video, except without the pixillation and without the two Beeps, which are apparently there to cover bad language…

You might notice that the pixillation in the censored video is not hiding horrific injuries, and one of the pixilated victims appears to be a mannequin, bizaarely naked from the waist down. Also, the two Beeps in the censored video aren’t there to cover bad language, and seem to have been put in just for effect. In fact, even if you go through the censored video frame by frame, and look really closely, you seem to be seeing a mix of mannequins and the usual crisis actors. The cute kitten trick is making it a bit harder to figure out exactly what happened in Barcelona last week. Of course, if the authorities want to stop people like me speculating all they have to do is release some CCT footage of the event – because these terror attacks all take place in areas that are bristling with CCT cameras – but they never do. I wonder why that is?

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