Sunday Dinner

April 20, 2008 at 3:55 pm (crap, voltairespriest)

Ok so this isn’t political at all but it came up in the google ads on the site gmail when I was deleting the spam tray. Feast your eyes and feel your mouths water. Whoar.


Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Casseroles Main dish

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 Baking potatoes, cut into
-1/8″ slices
1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed
-(12 oz)
1 c Thinly sliced carrots
1 c Thinly sliced onions
1/2 c Thinly sliced celery
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tb Flour
1 t Coarsely ground pepper
3/4 t Dried whole thyme
1 cn No-salt-added green beans,
-drained (16 oz)
1 cn No-salt-added whole
-tomatoes, drained and
-chopped (16 oz)
1 cn No-salt-added vegetable
-juice cocktail (5 1/2 oz)
Butter-flavor vegetable
-cooking spray

Cook potatoes in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Drain. In skillet, cook SPAM until browned; remove from skillet. Add
carrots to skillet and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add
onion, celery, and garlic; saute until vegetables are tender. Combine
flour, pepper, and thyme. Stir flour mixture into vegetable mixture;
cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add SPAM, green beans, tomato,
and vegetable juice cocktail. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer
5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat; arrange
potato slices over SPAM mixture to cover completely. Spray potato
slices with vegetable cooking spray. Broil 6″ from heat source 10
minutes or until golden.

(Original link here if you’re so sad and desperate that you want to check the recipe. I’d imagine it goes well with Frosty Jack or a similarly fine white cider.)

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Who Cares About Scientology?

April 19, 2008 at 8:07 am (cults, scientology, voltairespriest)

Just in case anyone was wondering why I bother having a go at the Church of Scientology, I thought I’d post you a video which explains some of the manifold reasons for campaigning against that abusive organisation’s existence. The video was made following the March 15th Anonymous protests against the Church of Scientology, and in the run up to their April 12th protests, on which I posted previously. It’s long-ish relative to the average online clip, but it’s worth following through.

(h/t – Xenu TV)

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Hope … lies in the proles

April 18, 2008 at 11:16 pm (africa, Civil liberties, class, democracy, elections, Guardian, Human rights, Jim D, unions, workers)

Wonderful news! Solidarity and working class resistance to oppression and tyranny are alive and well!

I wonder what this loathsome, Stalinist apologist for tyranny has to say? Presumably the South African dockers are racist, pro-imperialist stooges?

h/t: Tim and Modernity

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Definition of “battle axe”

April 18, 2008 at 6:01 pm (class, Jim D, labour party, politics, Tony Blair)

“Very well made, very sharp and largely very efficient at what they do”Gwyneth Dunwoody.

Old Labour right-wing. But Labour  through-and-through. She saw through that charlatan Blair and New “Labour”. Didn’t think much better of Brown. She had guts. She would have terrified the hell out of me if we’d ever met.

(Compare and contrast: this pathetic specimen…)

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A Global Challenge to a Global Lie

April 18, 2008 at 6:15 am (anonymous, cults, religion, scientology, truth, voltairespriest)

PhotobucketOur longer term readers may recall that I’m not a fan of the Church of Scientology. I despise their manipulative, money grabbing ways, I have nothing but contempt for their stupid back story (Xenu the nuclear bomb throwing alien), and I hate their stupid quasi-naval uniforms. But more than anything else I really do find it concerning that they appear to be so power-hungry, and I find it disturbing that so many ex-members report very real abuses within the ranks of the Church.

As such I was delighted last Saturday to be wandering through Birmingham city centre, only to encounter a noisy and rather striking demonstration of masked young people outside the building from which the Scientologists operate locally. They presumably wore the masks for fear of reprisals from the litigious, often aggressive Church. I got talking to a couple of them, and it would seem that their protest was part of a world-wide day of action against the cult. The masked people call themselves “Anonymous” and I’m not totally sure what their own political standpoint is, but their objective is quite clear – the destruction of the Church of Scientology. And I’ll have some of that.

If you want to find out more about Anonymous, the Enturbulation website is your best bet. On a final, amusing note, they have sent a little telegram to Dave Miscavige and the Sea Org boys across the internet:

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Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun

April 17, 2008 at 2:38 pm (Jim D, literature)

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn is dead.

Why does that make me feel sad? Maybe because of this:

“Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,

“Above us the intimate roof of the car

“And here on my right is the girl of

“my choice,

“With the tilt of her nose and the

“chime of her voice.


“And the scent of her wrap, and the words

“never said,

“And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.

“We sat in the car park till twenty to one

“And now I’m engaged to Miss Joan

“Hunter Dunn.”

Sad? Yes, because everything in that poem was true. Except the last two lines. Poor old sod.

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Bob Crow on Greg Tucker

April 17, 2008 at 11:04 am (good people, left, TWP, unions, workers)

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the funeral and wake for Comrade Tucker. It was a very inspiring event which was attended by around 250 trade unionists and political activists. I thought Bob Crow’s speech was very good indeed and am posting it here. Further videos, photos and tributes can be found on the Socialist Resistance website.

h/t Liam MacUaid

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One, Two, Three, Four, Bang!

April 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm (KB72, music, Rosie B, sport)

Simon Jenkins:-

Come on, confess it, you have not enjoyed a story so much in years. A round-the-world marathon with all-in wrestling, kick boxing, rugby tackling and sanctimonious steeplechasing, staged free of charge in the streets of London, Paris and San Francisco by the International Olympics Committee – and before the Beijing games have even started. To add to the joy, nobody gets hurt except politicians.

On one side are Gordon Brown, the Chinese politburo, Tessa Jowell, Ken Livingstone, the IOC fat cats and 1,000 jogging policemen, all playing “protect the holy flame” as if in a scene from Harry Potter. On the other side is an old-fashioned mob. The mob wins and the nation splits its sides with glee.

I have enjoyed it especially as I detest the Olympics and all the nationalistic fervour around it. I watched Kelly Homes winning the gold last Olympics but otherwise it wouldn’t occur to me watch someone running.  It’s a patriotic fix, which is harmless in small doses, but there is such a colossal expenditure and cod ceremonial fuss to give the crowd its patriotic fix. 

If you’re good at anything you want to compete with other people. Competition is part of humanity since the most cunning hunter was patted on the back by the most deft gatherer.  Rejoicing that the strongest and the best is a member of your tribe is older than David and Goliath.  But £30 billion spent for this little frisson is not worth it, and the good PR that the host regime tries to make out of it can be an ugly performance.

Imagine a music Olympics.  Huge sponsorship by Sony, complaints about how poor investment in musical education was letting our musicians down and everyone, including the tone-deaf, cheering on their nation’s bands.

Musicians are competitive of course.  At one end they get miffed if they are not chosen as the headliner at Glastonbury, at the other they gauge whether they got more applause than the other acts in the pub.  With overt competition comes corruption.  A Battle of the Bands is won by the band who has the most mates.  Introduce nationalism and see how a pursuit can be distorted from enjoyment of its intrinsic quality to other baser ends.  As it is, a Scottish contestant in X-factor will get the patriotic vote, however talentless they are.

The Eurovision must be the closest thing to the Olympics in music and what a farce it is, from the lousy songs to the partisan, nul points judging.  If we took it as seriously as the Olympics or the World Cup we’d be entering Radiohead or Franz Ferdinand, instead of the nobody singing a nothing song that we do put on and in the same way that footballers leave their clubs to play for their nation during a World Cup, so would musicians be summoned from the tour or the recording studio and put under pressure to win one for the country.

Beckham’s broken metatarsal generated agony and suspense  – will he play? won’t he? Imagine the news media in desperate question mode about whether Amy Winehouse would be sober enough to sing.  Tom Yorke is having one of his Green fits and insists on amplifiers powered by human-treadmill generators.  Sting denies rumours that he is writing the song, and it is given to Richard Thompson (as it should be, but it would really be given to Amanda Ghost and James Blunt).*

Unlike athletics music cannot be judged by an objective standard of first across the finishing line. If the judges are from countries that have a dark view of the UK – which is likely – we know we wouldn’t have a chance, and Westlife, the Irish team, would be standing on the podium, with tears on their pretty faces.

Special acoustic stadia would be built in every host country for the music Olympics and underused for the rest of time. A microphone once used by Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix’s guitar would be carried about in procession all around the world.  Afterwards, a few people would be inspired to try playing a musical instrument but soon give it up again.

And everyone but everyone would fail the drugs tests.

*(Best known song – You’re Beautiful)

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Now Fisk this

April 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm (iraq, iraq war, Jim D, media)

That strange man Robert Fisk, says the following in an interview published in today’s Morning Star:

“The first man I ever heard mention the danger of civil war in Iraq was Dan Semor, spokesman for the occupying powers in the Green Zone in August 2003. No-one had ever heard about the danger of civil war before, no Iraqi had ever mentioned it. I remember thinking: ‘What are they trying to do, frighten the Iraqis into obedience?’

“You don’t need to set up car bombs to divide people, you can do it quite successfully just by constant repitition – civil war, Sh’ites, militias, Sunnis, power. You create the narrative. And then, in due course, people fall into line because it is the only one they get.”

Will someone please explain to me what, exactly, that means? Have I misunderstood something? Is Fisk making some point so profound that it passes right over the head of a simpleton like me? Or can he really be saying that if you talk to people (“create a narrative“) often enough about something, it simply comes true? Or does that trick only work with Iraqis? Of course: the threat of civil war has nothing whatsoever to do with the activities of al Queda or the blowing up of of the Samarra mosque: it was simply created by the Yanks talking about it, wasn’t it?

People keep telling me that Mr Fisk is a “brilliant” journalist who has “unique insights” into the situation in the Middle East, so – probably – I’m missing something here.

Still, the Star interview does contain one unambigious and enlightening statement from Fisk:

“If you saw what I saw, you would never, ever think of supporting war of any kind against anyone ever again.”

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Constructive Dismissal

April 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm (funny, Human rights, Jim D, thuggery, twat, workers) ()

Barrister Daniel Barnett issues a challenge:

Here’s a dare: read this judgement of the EAT (Employment Appeals Tribunal -JD) and try not to laugh…

In this sorry story of bullying within a Peugeot dealership in Oxford, learn about the manager who “habitually grabbed colleagues…striking them in the testicles” and called a senior salesman “the old parsonage”, old buzzard” and “old git”. Try not to imagine the “hairdryer treatment” (aka the Sir Alex Ferguson treatment) dealt out to underperforming salesmen, or the peculiar games played with airguns and mini motorbikes…

Anyway, the EAT decided that such conduct was plainly and unarguably likely to destroy the employment relationship, and overturned the tribunal’s finding that there had not been a constructive dismissal (substituting a finding that there was one).

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