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No-one gets married in a castle unless they own it

"No-one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behavior." --Carolyn Bourne to future daughter in law Heidi Withers. One bullet-point from a cascade of nuggets which the affluent Britisher meant to be a dressing-down of American would-be princess Withers, who shared it on Facebook.

Brits on Kenya: “Oopsies!!”

Turns out that the common knowledge of the past 50+ years was right, the American backed British colonial government was, despite American and British denials, murdering, torturing and "disappearing" people, just like they did in every other nation where they sent in the Royal Marines to take over the local management and "bring civilization to the Wogs" I'm sure the redcoats would love to see that particular word disappear, but hey, it shows the true nature of Imperialism and Colonialism in all its ugly inglory. What that means HERE, you know how the TeaBags and other Right Wing Extremists like the Klan and their "unofficial" affiliates the Minutemen like to harp on President Obama's Dad being a MauMau? And that the term "freedom fighter" is just a Liberal euphemism for barbaric terrorist? Like how the MauMau were supposedly preying on the defenseless and weak Colonial Overlords, the Darkie Horde (the stupid bastards say the same thing about the Nat Turner Rebellion in American Slavery) rising up against their lawful White masters with no reason, because they had been well treated, and given as much Human Rights as one could appropriately give Savages... I capitalized that last because Michael "Savage" Weiner likes to do that stupid racist bullshit, depicting any "savages" who defy the Natural White Order as brutal, vicious and stupidly bloodthirsty. The British also depicted his Irgun cousins the same way. Guess there's an Uncle Tom in every group. But the notion, for the past more than 50 years, was that the British were a benevolent Master Race and merely "misconstrued" as being The Actual Bloodthirsty Vicious Savages in the equation. Well, TeaBags and other Racist organizations, "Eat and smile, byotches!" Ok so that sounds unnecessarily harsh. No Indeed. It's Necessary. "Oh, Jonah with his Whitey Bashing again!" not really. I AM half white myself. I could point out that Indigenous Rebellions including oh, let's see, every American Indian nation/tribe fighting back against people who came in, took everything and decided to kill up a mess of folks for not getting off "their" land. But that would be yet another episode of overkill. And we're not supposed to report on things that happened in the past, but since "the past" starts anew at every heartbeat that would conveniently silence people. Also it's supposed to be bad manners and just plain Tacky to point out when "the past" is still happening. And enabled by Historical Hysterical Revisionists like Fox News, Heritage Foundation and the TeaTards and MinuteMurderers. Sure, they like to dress up and re-enact scenes from the Revolution and the Civil War ooo bad me! Naughty Wicked! I didn't call it "the war between the states". Scenes where British Colonialists rebelled over paying taxes which supported the very Colonialist armies which enabled them to remain in America in the first damn place. And killed mostly Other Colonials and British Soldiers, with a few Hessian mercenaries and of course as many American Indians as they could fit into the killing spree. I mean, that IS what the original Tea Party and Minutemen

Iran had ‘preconditions’ for nuclear talks, Great Powers miffed..

Actually Baroness Ashton and other "diplomats" said they were "disappointed". Baroness Ashton led a delegation from France, Germany, Russia, the UK, US and China, at the two-day talks. The international team had proposed a new version of a plan to keep Iranian enrichment within civilian-grade levels by having it send uranium abroad to be processed. But Western diplomatic sources have spoken of anger and frustration over Iran's behavior at the talks. But of course... Arrogantly demanding that one's own nation be accorded the same Sovereign Rights as any other is a privilege accorded to the Great Powers. "Simply EVERYBODY knows THAT, Dah-link" So the Baroness is pissed. GOOD. The Royals got snubbed by Peasants. GOOD. Apparently, unilateral demands should only come from the Empire. Only, since World War One they've shied away from being called that. One of the reasons for the British Crown starting the war was the same with King George V as it was with Elizabeth II, Iranian oil for the Empire. And Iraqi. Only it was under Turkish control at the time, and had to be taken away from Turkish control by force of arms. Arms carried in the arms of Peasants who had to be conscripted or cajoled into doing Their Masters' bidding. So they invented a lie, of course. Happens all the time in Diplomatic Circles, as Wikileaks has recently revealed. Just like Gueen Bess 2 cheerily signing on to the BushBlairCheneyCo. lies about WMDs both in Iraq and Iran, King George V jumped at a chance to pit "his" Imperial Army against those of his cousins in a gigantic game of Risk where the pawns actually scream, bleed and die when gassed, shot or bombed. By telling the Suckers errr "Loyal Subjects Patriots that they, as subjects and property of an Emperor, were to fight Imperialism. "That small nations would have the same rights as the the Great Powers." What a crock of Lying Pig Shit. The Emperors made out like the murdering bandits they were then and still are today. The peasants filled millions of graves. Same as always.

Nominate Julian Assange for a Nobel? Time Person of the Year? No, jail him.

I Am Just Sick. Julian Assange arrested, denied bail, confined to a UK jail cell deemed unsuitable for Bush, Blair or their murderous peers. Britain even assured Israel that its war criminals could visit England without fear of politically motivated arrest warrants. So much for the Assange-is-Mossad rumor. Arrested for what? Publishing evidence of governments conspiring against their peoples' interests, in their own words? Really, what's next for our pretense of Democracy? No, it was accusations of sexual impropriety, technically. Rape and molestation being the corporate media's chosen translation of how Swedes might describe a consensual sexual encounter gone off, according to post-coital television interviewees, turned insufficiently feminist-sensitive. Do I sound flippant? Two women in Sweden, described as groupies, of activist pedigree it's alleged, one elder cementing the resolve of the younger, shall we call them Lewinsky and Tripp, accusing Assange of disrespecting their gender. They play right into the stereotype I have of single-issue advocates who can't get past affronts to their own personal agendas. Whatever Assange's transgressions, is not the fate of the western world, the awakening of its public participants in the balance? Though Swedish authorities originally dismissed the accusations, the pair is determined to interrupt Wikileaks' Cablegate to school Assange in his bedside manner? Whether instigated by intelligence operatives or not, the charges made by the two women have been the only hooks which authorities have been able to get into Assange. Will extradition to Sweden to answer police inquiries lead to US rendition to a secret facility? Should we hope that at the very least the Brits resist US pressure to interrogate Assange, or affect the operation of Wikileaks by coercion and duress? We must hope the Assange's colleagues can secure Wikileaks before their sysadmin is tortured for his access codes. Hearing the New York Times assail the character of Julian Assange as having delusions of grandeur, I'm reminded of how a centuries earlier ruling class rid themselves of the populist scourge Napoleon. Defeated once, Napoleon was able to escape banishment and had but to set foot on French soil and with only the force of his personality he was able to reconstitute his campaign to free the European citizenry of their despotic monarchs. Defeated again, Napoleon was too popular to execute and so was banished again. This time, it's alleged, a heroic loyalist submitted to be contaminated with syphilis and thence to infect and ground the upstart Napoleon for good. The remaining Wikileaks crew is at greater risk than Julian Assange, lacking his media visibility, they could be disappeared without fanfare. But that's evidently a fading misconception of mine. Assange's high profile hasn't helped him.

Tribal Sovereignty means uh… you’re a sovereign entity, with a US passport.

Remember when George Bush couldn't define "sovereignty?" Maybe it wasn't his fault. How would you describe sovereign lands where US extraction and exploitative industries can operate without regulatory oversight, and tribes can issue identification papers unless they mean to travel somewhere. When the original Indian treaties were signed, US destiny was manifested with promises that the former landholders' sovereignty would be respected. The Iroquois Lacrosse team have just learned tribal sovereignty means carrying the occupier's passport. The US State Department at first refused to grant travel permission to the sovereign Iroquois because they didn't have the newfangled, traceable, trackable, American passport. When congressmen intervened on behalf of the Iroquois who did not wish to submit to United States stinkin' papers, the government relented, granting a one-time exemption. How do suppose they mean to explain that? A just-this-once exception on the sovereignty whatsit. But the lacrosse team's destination was England, and British bureaucrats held firm on the original argument that the sovereign Native Americans required non-Native American passports. Post 9/11 days are no time apparently to permit international travelers to pass themselves off with rinky dink documents issued by who knows what maize-republics. The USA may foist whatever charade it wants on its captive vanquished aborigines, that doesn't mean England has to play dumb too. Maybe the British are mindful not only that the Iroquois were among the inventors of lacrosse, but that they once used the pretext of a game to successfully storm an English fort. Is that among their worries, Post 9/11? Post 9/11 is no time for the pretense of sovereignty. Whether schoolchildren can grasp its contradictions or not. Here's Bush again, doing his best Miss South Carolina: "Uh, tribal sovereignty means that. It's sovereign. You're a, you've been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."

To GOL! or not to GOL! that was the question.

How would it have been played out in the press had the Team America gone on to at least a higher level of victory? We've already suffered through an anti-Immigrant slam against major league baseball, with all the appropriate "OUTRAGE! (copyright 1993-2010 Fox News Networks)" about Major League players getting visas and work permits when immigrating from Cuba and (gasp!) Mexico. Not any rage against any favoritism but the fact that people PEOPLE from Cuba and Mexico were given work permits in the first place. How dare they let more of THEM infiltrate America! Not much crying about the "patriotic" symbolism of some of our best baseball players being from places like Costa Rica. So how would it play out that a team built on the skills of Immigrants took the U.S. to a World Cup win? More to the non-point, how will it play out with the loss? Will immigration be blamed or praised? I should remind here, and probably should have much earlier, that somewhere near half, plus or minus a few points, of my own ancestors were immigrants. And that many of the "immigrants" who are taking so much heat from the Racists are actually Native Americans, kicked back and forth even in pre-Columbian times by that old devil Imperialism. Now defined more by arbitrary political boundaries than by any REAL considerations. My sister was born in England, off base and at home, rather than on "U.S. Soil" at the Mendenhall RAFB hospital. U.S. Soil could be and has been defined as ships flying the United States Flag. The El Paso County (Texas) Hospital District is about a mile and a half north of the Rio Grande, people born there are Citizens of the U.S. regardless of the citizenship of their parents, if an "All American" mother gives birth in a different hospital on the Mexican side of the bridge, the kid is automatically a U.S. citizen because his parents were. The first case scenario scares living Hell out of the Racists, and they complain about it bitterly. The second case scenario is accepted by them as being a matter of Divine Rights possessed by a narrowly defined group of descendants of Immigrants who happen to have English surnames and somewhat lighter skin tones. An "American" citizen couple with the surname Smith would experience less Racist bullcrap getting their kids citizenship determined than an American family whose ancestors were in Texas for thousands of years longer than the Smiths were, but have the surname Gonzalez. But of course, it's not racist. The Racist Anti-Immigrant Lunatic Fringe insist on that point. In the recent election cycle, Barack Obama was and still is questioned about his citizenship. Someway, somehow, an American who would have been an American citizen no matter what simply because his mother was a citizen, was involved in an elaborate plot to make it appear as though he had been born in Hawaii. A point of citizenship that would only make a rat's ass worth of difference if

Down to sports, empires are tribal

American World Cup viewers tuning in to watch their team face England on Saturday might be excused confusion about their adversary's flag. Instead of the British Union Jack, English fans waved a red and white standard usually only glimpsed in movies where knights fight dragons, crusades, or Braveheart.   That's the red cross of Saint George, dragon-slayer, minus the diagonal white-on-blue X of Scotland's Saint Andrew and the red X of Ireland's Saint Patrick. Where British dominion is concerned, natural resources and labor are commonwealth, assertion of athletic dominance is forever England. But the England team crest, with the three lions passant-guardant, dates to lionhearted King Richard, the early realm's warrior expansionist. Technically the heraldic cats are léopards, because the royal houses ruled in the language of the French, and these three show the empire's spots: Team England's badge invokes the era when "England" included the conquered Scotland, Ireland and Wales. As far as world onlookers cared, the first round pairing of USA versus England was an intramural match among conspiratorial members of the Coalition of the Willing. At best one could only root for the good cop colonizer. Early enough in the game, a score fumbled past England's goalie portended the Gods' ambivalence over the outcome. Like Olympic teams, the FIFA contenders are groupings of soccer all-stars whose day jobs mean playing side by side, for either Man United or Real Madrid apparently. It's hard to expect that team allegiances would defer to nationalism any more than to the federation's television revenues. The achievement of a tie for match USA - England guaranteed to string along the barely interested American TV audience. England, Scotland and Ireland were grandfathered into FIFA because, despite not being standalone sovereign nations, they originated the competition. Indeed Britain invented football, whose spread across the world is owed to European colonialism. Sovereignty is no small distinction when it comes to legitimizing sports teams. Taiwan and Tibet are not recognized by China for example, as the Korean halves reject each other, as the US might object to Puerto Rican or Hawaiian bids for succession. Today a pretense of sovereignty is enough to field a national soccer team. Take Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel, for example, and I needn't stop there. By what standard are they independent entities versus US client states? They have their own flags, for all the US cares, and I daresay American pride would be sacrificed for the political gain of either of these puppets excelling their master in sport. A success in sporting circles would only bolster the facade of their indigenous national sovereignty. Does it say something about the difference between contemporary empires and past, that the US doesn't need to stamp the red, white and blue unto its colonial projects? Nor dominate them in the arena? We can contrast America's far-flung possessions and occupations with the British Commonwealth, whose flags closely mimicked mother Britain's theme. But I'd like to clarify Ireland's representation on the British flag. The cross of St. Patrick whose outline

Running with the pedigreed dogs of war

The UK government didn’t want to risk the life of their young prince, nor the lives of his school buddies. Under a pact of secrecy, they were permitted to go shoot as many Afghans as they pleased, and when the story broke, they returned as brave heroes, all.

The Crawlers of St. Giles’s

This photograph by John Thomson appeared in a monthly magazine Street Life in London in 1877. Journalist Adolphe Smith added this caption: "Huddled together on the workhouse steps in Short’s Gardens, those wrecks of humanity, the Crawlers of St. Giles’s, may be seen both day and night seeking mutual warmth and mutual consolation in their extreme misery." Crawler was the rather pragmatic description of street people whose subsistence provided them not enough energy to walk. They crawled about city sidewalks "lacking even the energy to beg." They were not unique to England during the industrial revolution. Historians record the same term applied to prone indigents in Boston and New York. I had quite a time finding references to Crawlers online. The once pervasive term is now to be found only in specialized history texts about poverty. Do you think this disregard for fellow human beings cannot happen again? In many undeveloped countries there is such untreated poverty. But the Crawler phenomenon describes less the abject poverty than the indifference shown by those who had health and food and stepped over them. Today we count on social welfare programs to prevent such misery, but are we not steadily dismantling the safety net? Every time I see a report of someone being rejected from a hospital for not having health insurance coverage, when I see people being left to get by on the street, when I see the indifference of philanthropists to the hardship of the have-nots, I think about the Crawlers.

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