Nellie McKay – Music and Politics and Censorship

This post is about Nellie McKay, which means we’re going to have a strong mix of music and politics. I’ll start with the music first before getting onto the politics. Talking of which, earlier this month Nellie McKay was interviewed by Jimmy Dore. During the interview she performed her updated version of the old Country Joe anti-(Vietnam) war song. Country Joe performed this song at Woodstock and famously asked the audience to spell out the word ‘fuck’…

Nellie McKay was born in London in 1982 (a fellow Londoner!). Her father is an English writer-director and her mother is an American actress. You’ll be hard pushed to detect McKay’s UK roots because she spent just about all her childhood in America, mostly in New York City. She studied jazz voice at the Manhattan School of Music, but did not graduate. Her performances at various New York City music venues, including the Sidewalk Cafe and Joe’s Pub, drew attention from record labels and in 2002 she signed with Columbia Records. Her debut album in 2004 is called ‘Get Away from Me’ and this track from it is called It’s A Pose, performed on the Conan O’Brien show…
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The Insanity of Nuclear Deterrence

I could really go into one about all this, but instead I’ll leave it to Robert Green, at a recent TED talk from New Zealand. It runs to about 20 minutes…

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Carry On Korea

Tuesday’s summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was yet another surreal moment amongst many in recent years. One of the funniest things about this summit has been the reaction to it. Trump fans are naturally enough crowing about ‘their man’ and what a genious he is (4D chess, and all that). Whereas Trump detractors are saying that the Singapore summit achieved nothing in real terms and was a dangerous move by a completely mad American president. My own opinion of it all tends to veer towards the latter: I think that the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-Un was a PR stunt by the American deep state (who completely control Trump). Previous presidents have mostly done a good job of masking the reality of the United States of America (particularly Obama, the ‘first black American president’, who made Bush junior look like a boy scout when it came to pushing the neo-con agenda). Donald Trump was foistered on the American public by the deep state, to try and persuade the public that it’s all ‘real’. Problem is that President Trump is a bit of a loose cannon, in that he doesn’t even bother disguising the fact that the USA is a rogue nation. Just about everything that Trump has said and done since he took office in January 2017 has not only alarmed a large number of Americans, it’s also alarmed the wider world. Amidst all the talk of war and sanctions and massive cuts to social programmes in the ‘Homeland’, etc, the deep state began to feel threatened by rising public anger. Hence the PR stunt in Singapore earlier this week, which was a lame attempt to put a cuddly face on one of the most violent and rogue nations that the world has ever seen.

Most people reading this will be familiar with Robert Fisk, but in case you’re not I’ll just say that Fisk is a multi-award winning Middle East correspondent, now with The Independent, based in Beirut. He has lived in the Arab world for more than 40 years, covering Lebanon, five Israeli invasions, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Algerian civil war, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the 2011 Arab revolutions. Yesterday Fisk was interviewed by Jeff Blankfort on KZYX Radio in California. The summit between Trump and Kim Jong-Un is touched upon briefly at the start of the interview, and then they move on to how this summit relates to present events in the Middle East. What I like about Robert Fisk is that he always tries to be non-partisan. The interview runs to about 25 minutes…

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The EU Article 13 – You Couldn’t Make This stuff Up

As usual where do I start..? The Trump – Kim Jong-un farce this week? The latest Brexit farce? The Russia World Cup farce? Here’s a subject that’s not a farce:

This is something that everyone needs to know, not just those who have walked through the door.

Article 13 Open letter – Monitoring and Filtering of Internet Content is Unacceptable

For further explanation of what this all means, here’s a segment from the Richie Allen show earlier this week…

We outnumber these psychopathic, controlling scum by 100s of millions to one, and as such can easily take them out. The problem is that most people still buy into the tidal wave of carefully crafted propaganda, which is why bods like me often despair.

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This House Believes Israel is a Rogue State

Many years ago I used to have some sympathy for Israel; but not any longer. Last Friday at the UN Security Council the United States was the only nation to oppose/veto a draft resolution calling for measures to protect Palestinians after more than 100 were killed by Israeli fire during protests at the Gaza fence…

This reminded me of a very good debate at the Cambridge Union that I watched three years ago. The motion was: ‘This House Believes Israel is a Rogue State’. I wanted to embed the video in this post, but surprise, surprise, the audio on this Cambridge Union YouTube video has been totally scrambled: you can’t hear anything. I did a search for it on other video platforms, and surprise, surprise, all audio scrambled (I’m not enough of a techy to know how they do this). There’s a ‘but’ here, and that is, if you’ve got headphones and plug them into your computer you can hear this debate perfectly. The proposition team included American academic professor Norman Finkelstein, author of one of the best books about the Holocaust, The Holocaust Industry; Palestinian academic professor Ghada Karmi (University of Exeter) and Jewish human rights activist Ben White.

The opposition team was lead by Vivian Wineman, president of UK’s powerful Jewish Lobby, the Board of Deputies of British Jews. She was assisted by Hannah Weisfelt, director of Israel lobby Jewish group Yachad and Davis Lewin, deputy director of another Israeli advocacy Jewish group, the Henry Jackson Society.

It’s well worth listening to (but you’ll need headphones; and if you want to get to the juicy bit go 1 hour 10 in, when Davis Lewin is roundly booed by the Cambridge Union audience). Here’s the link…

PS, I’ll try to capture this Cambridge Union video and put it up on another platform with full audio.

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Superorganism – Something For Your Mind

I’ve long been reaching the stage where, politically, things are now so mad (and this madness is accepted by the public) that I’m not sure if I can continue commenting on it. As if all the false flag ‘terrorist’ attacks in recent years were not bad enough, so far this year we’ve had the Sergei Skripal poisoning affair (which was like something from Monty Python) and this week we’ve had the fake murder of a Russian journalist called Babchenko. ‘Surreal’ doesn’t do justice to the current state of play (particularly since it could result in the final war on this planet); so, let’s have some music:

In February 2017 a group calling themselves Superorganism independently released online a single called Something For Your Mind. In the space of a few days, the song landed in Spotify’s esteemed New Music Friday playlist, racking up millions of streams. There are a number of extraordinary things about Superorganism and I’ll start with the first: although many musos collaborate via the internet (in early 2017 most of the members of Superorganism had not met in real life), it’s the first time, as far as I’m aware, that an independently released hit single came out of it. Here’s Superorganism performing Something For Your Mind in December 2017, recorded by KEXP in Rennes, France…

The second perhaps not so extraordinary thing about Superorganism (considering that they were collaborating entirely via the internet) is that the band has 8 members who come from all four corners of the world. In March of this year they released their self-titled debut album, ‘Superorganism’, released by Domino Records. Here’s a track from it called Relax
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On Being Unwell

I haven’t felt right for at least six months now. I’ve had some mega dental work done during February and March of this year (this involved nine appointments with Jean-Luc, mon dontist). I thought I’d get the dental treatment out of the way first, to see if this has been the cause of me generally feeling like shite for many months now. Nope, not the tooth problems: after dental treatment I was still feeling very rough, which included a very bad chest infection (now in my 50s I remain a heavy smoker). Then, earlier this month I had a blast from the past: a girl called Nicola contacted me, a girl I only met once briefly 19 years ago, and I’ve only had one other contact with her in the intervening years. Despite this, Nicola gets a brief mention in two of my memoirs, The Yukon Queen and The Iberian Job. This might all sound a bit weird to you, dear reader, but if I tell you that in April 1999 Nicola sold her Citroen 2CV to us, a 2CV that became the No.2 car in the 2CV Alaska Challenge, you might understand the connection between Nicola and I.

Nicola kindly bought the two aforementioned memoirs in which she gets a mention. This prompted me to have a read of The Iberian Job, a book I haven’t looked at since I wrote it in 2014. This memoir covers the years 2000 to 2007, which were the most stressful I’ve ever experienced in my life. Reading The Iberian Job produced a tidal wave of emotion in me. Re-living it all again; phew! I mention this because of how your emotional state can really effect your health. I’ve been on the cusp of bronchitis for weeks now, and for the last week it’s turned into a full blown chest infection.

I’m familiar with bronchitis because I got my first bout of it 20 years ago, when I was in my mid 30s. At the time I was still living in London, and smoking three packs of Stuyvesant a day. I went straight away to a doctor – if you’ve had this lung condition you’ll know how terrifying it can be, because you can barely breath. My doctor in London diagnosed acute bronchitis and prescribed anti-biotics, which did the job. My doctor also said that I had “dangerously high blood pressure” (180 over 30, if I remember correctly). I wasn’t given any treatment for the high blood pressure. I gave up smoking for a while, but it was the usual thing: as I began to feel better I started smoking again. However, I gave up the three packs of Stuyvesant a day and smoked roll-ups instead, which I’ve been on ever since. Incidentally, since that bronchitis 20 years ago the only other time I’ve had to take anti-biotics was in 2005, 13 years ago, when my elbow was ripped open to the bone in a work accident.

Fast forward twenty years, to the present, and last Monday I went to see a doctor here in France. I began by explaining to luh docteur that when I was a baby, just 18 months old, I was very, very ill with something that almost killed me. My body became covered in big, black blisters – it looked like I’d been napalmed. The blisters were incredibly painful to touch. The doctors didn’t know what the disease was, and for want of any better ideas they put me in the tropical disease unit of Guys Hospital (this in 1960s London). I was in that unit for six weeks and during this time I was given the Last Rites on two occasions. By some miracle I survived, but that mysterious illness left my lungs wrecked. In childhood I suffered frequently with bronchial asthma, and in adulthood the aforementioned bronchitis. I wonder what a psychiatrist would make of the heavy smoking?

Earlier this week my doctor here in France diagnosed a mega lung infection. She prescribed not just anti-biotics, but a whole host of other potions and lotions (the prescription cost me 72 euros). I’m now so zonked on all these drugs that I’m somewhat surprised that I can type this post. During the examination my doctor of course took my blood pressure, and I saw the look of surprise on her face: my blood pressure was absolutely through the roof (no surprise to me, because I’d been told that by another doctor 20 years previously in London). My French doctor told me that with such ridiculously high blood pressure I was seriously in danger of having a stroke. As well as medication for the lung infection she also prescribed me medication for the blood pressure, which I’ve got to take for the next three months.

I mention all this because I’m one of those people who shouldn’t really be here: that very serious illness I had when I was a baby should have killed me.

But I survived.

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Random Thoughts on Fascism

Our phone line has just been fixed after being out of order for eight days. This is not unusual in this part of the world. However, this time it wasn’t farm vehicles accidentally bringing down phone lines in the lanes, it was a fault with the phone wiring within the house. Cut a long story short, the telephone guy turned up on Friday morning and we managed to sort it out with some temporary wiring. The telephone system in our very large property is horrendously complicated and it will probably take me a while to figure out where the fault is. In the meantime, at least we now have some telephone and internet connection again.

Talking of which, for eight days the only access I had to information in the wider world was via our tv satellite system, which is all mainstream media. Oh-My-God, it’s dystopia writ large (which some high profile people are now railing against). We now live in a fascist lunatic asylum, a fascist lunatic asylum that is champing at the bit for World War Three, which will be the final war on this planet. These people are completely, totally and utterly insane. Fortunately there are still some who retain a modicum of sanity, whether you love George Galloway or loath him. I should also add that the HSBC are the most corrupt bank on the planet and to all intents and purposes they run Britain…

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Rumanian Folk Dances

After watching this garbage from a band I used to respect many decades ago, I thought I’d try to redress the balance. This is from a post I made a few years ago called A bit of Bartok which amongst other things features Janine Jansen performing the complete Rumanian Folk Dances at the Prinsengrachtconcert in Amsterdam in 2005. Bartok originally wrote this piece for piano, and it’s tough enough to play on that instrument, let alone on violin…

I’ll get onto what’s happening in France shortly.

With one hour to go until midnight on the last day of April 2018, I won’t be posting again until the merry month of May 2018, a month which is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 uprising in France, and which is just as pertinent now.

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It Gets Darker and Darker

Here we go again: I’ve never seen anything like it, with regard to the recent hit pieces by the Guardian, BBC, CNN et al, against independent journalists, academics, indeed any relatively high profile person who questions the official narrative (Moon of Alabama have recently published a very good piece which chronicles these attacks/smear campaigns). What’s terrifying about these (very clumsy) hit pieces is that they are co-ordinated across the entire mainstream media, a mainstream media that does not question the official narrative and hold power to account, which is what it is meant to do. The rot here goes back many decades. The following is a Guardian piece published in 2000, one year before 9/11:

Has Fleet Street been over-run by the intelligence agencies? David Leigh unravels the hidden network of spooks at the heart of the British press

(the link I’ve given is to an archive site in Iceland, because in this 9/11ian age things tend to go down the memory hole. At the time of writing the piece is still up on the Guardian web site and can be found here)

The almost complete take-over of news/information has been documented more recently in this 2016 piece by the Red Green Alliance:

Top German Journalist: MSM News is Propaganda, We All Lie For The CIA!

What’s even more terrifying than the fact that we no longer have any kind of a free press is where this is quite obviously leading to. We’re almost at the point now where any criticism of the official narrative could result in your arrest and imprisonment. The psychopaths who rule us have been passing laws to this effect ever since 9/11, and in this respect the UK is top of the tree:

Theresa May’s new Fusion Doctrine is the policy of a dictator. There was no discussion or debate with elected representatives. The surveillance state has just announced it has no limits. This really is quite scary stuff.

The Espionage Act of 2017 is designed to arrest and imprison whistleblowers, journalists and their editors and then treat them as foreign spies. The Committee to Protect Journalists defined this law rather charitably as “preventing journalists from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account.”

Here’s Scottish MP Tommy Sheridan, being interviewed earlier this week on the Richie Allen Show. Whilst Sheridan doesn’t go into too much detail about the subject matter of this post, I find the interview to be an interesting snapshot of where we are at the moment. Yes, I’ll say it again: it’s quite terrifying…

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Le Bon Dieu – Who was Jacques Brel? (reposted)

This used to be one of my most widely viewed music posts, a post I made back in February 2011. In the meantime copyright stuff has changed hands and YouTube has blocked the videos I embedded. This of course mightily pisses me off because I make no money out of this – there’s no adverts on this blog or calls for donations. I do it purely to highlight these artists with no personal gain to myself.

I’ve now embedded videos that should work in most territories, so if you’re unfamiliar and interested here’s a little taste of Jacques Brel…

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Public Service Broadcasting – If War Should Come

I’ve been doing a huge amount of gardening work this week and as a result I’m rather cream crackered, to put it mildly. So, before I address the latest political lunacy (which looks like it’s all about to kick off again), another music post: ‘Public Service Broadcasting’ are a London-based ‘alternative’ rock band. They are almost entirely instrumental and mix their music with samples from public information films and other copyright free material. Last year ‘Public Service Broadcasting’ released their third album, called Every Valley, which is all about the demise of the coal mining industry in Wales. Before I get onto that, here’s a track called Spitfire from their debut album, Inform-Educate-Entertain, which was released in 2013 and got to number 21 in the UK album charts (I find strong echoes here of Spectral mornings by ‘Cornershop’)…

In 2012, a year before their debut album, ‘Public Service Broadcasting’ released an EP called The War Room. This track from the EP is called If War Should Come (similarly, echoes of Frankie’s Two Tribes)…
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Psychopaths and Cockroaches

On Wednesday the American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, accompanied by seven warships, set sail for the Middle East. This flotilla will reach the eastern Mediterranean in about nine days time. Nine days until the end of the world..? Possibly – Trump, May, Macron and the rest of them are all batshit crazies who should be in jail rather than in public office. However, I do see some hope here: the psychopaths who rule us fear one thing more than anything else, and that thing is us, the plebs. Never have I seen public opinion so enraged with regard to this latest illegal war of aggression, a war being launched on the back of the quite blatant Salisbury poisoning and Syria chemical attack false flags (anyone who believes these events were real is, quite frankly, brain dead – and I should add that the aforementioned psychopaths are well aware that these events are staged). A YouGov opinion poll earlier this week showed that 43% oppose this latest war, with 22% in support and 34% don’t know. Going by what I see and hear, I don’t think this YouGov poll accurately reflects public opinion. An online poll conducted yesterday by the Glasgow Herald seems far more accurate, with 95% against military action. Likewise, Daily Mail reader’s comments tell a similar story. No one is buying this bullshit anymore. This is against the backdrop of continuing ‘austerity’ and an economy that’s about to collapse again, and the psychopaths want to blow billions of dollars on more murder in the Middle East while risking World War Three.

This brings me onto the presstitutes. Well, what can you say about the psychology of such cockroaches..? cockroaches who take a six figure salary to lie to the public and deliberately inflame tensions in a world where there’s still thousands of thermo-nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. In the present climate all it will take is just one missile fired accidentally and that’s it, we’re all dead. These cockroaches should be prosecuted; but at the moment the presstitutes are in ‘consideration mode’; ie, they’re trying to make it appear that this is not a mad rush to war. The Salisbury poisoning false flag, etc, shows what a lie this is. Consideration Mode does bring up some good moments, such as yesterday on the BBC Breakfast programme, when they interviewed Peter Ford, the former British Ambassador to Syria. Mr Ford tells it how it is and is well worth watching…

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The Guinea Pig in the Room

Last week there was another bizarre twist in the Salisbury poisoning affair, in that two guinea pigs belonging to Sergei Skripal died and his cat had to be put down after they were left in his home for weeks without food or water. As usual, you really couldn’t make this stuff up, could you. Likewise, with the present mad rush to World War Three; but amid all the doom and gloom there are some bright spots, and one of them (perhaps surprisingly) is Rupert Murdoch: earlier this month Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive at Porton Down, said that Porton Down scientists could not confirm that the ‘chemical weapon’ used in Salisbury came from Russia. This information destroyed the official narrative. At the time some people remarked that it seemed strange that Aitkenhead did not reveal this information at a press conference. He did so in an exclusive interview with Sky News.

For many a year George Galloway has had the Friday late evening slot on UK TalkRadio. Since last week Galloway has been on five nights a week, standing in for another presenter, and that will continue all this week. Galloway is very outspoken and has called out both the Salisbury poisoning and last weekend’s ‘chemical attack’ in Syria as false flags. Galloway describes his show as the last remaining free and open space in the mainstream media, and he often thanks his boss, Rupert Murdoch, for giving him such a platform.

Yesterday Fox News in the USA were banging on and on about the chemical attack in Syria, and the need to do something about it. This blanket coverage then suddenly stopped, as if a switch had been thrown, and then yesterday evening Tucker Carlson came out with this:

I never thought I’d get George Galloway and Tucker Carlson in the same blog post!

We live in strange times…

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On the Cusp

As I type this on a Sunday afternoon in western Europe, President Trump is in the middle of one of his Twitter storms. Here’s one of his Tweets:

The ‘chemical weapons attack’ this weekend in Douma, Syria is another blatant false flag that was predicted by the Russians last month, coming in the wake of the even more idiotic Salisbury poisoning false flag. The problem is that President Trump is not very intelligent and gets much of his information from Fox News, and Trump has surrounded himself with warmongering psychopaths. Judging by his Tweets this afternoon, Trump might order a cruise missile strike on central Damascus. If that happens the Russians have stated that they will respond in kind. I wonder if we’ll all still be here tomorrow? One can only hope that there will be some kind of civil uprising or military coup in the USA before the nukes start flying.

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