ACTIVISTS protested today outside Twickenham rugby stadium, where “human rights-abusing nations” were taking part in an armoured vehicle trade fair.
About 70 people took part in the demonstration in south-west London organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and supported by Campaign Against Arms Trade.
The local PSC group said that Israeli defence ministers were among the delegates at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 fair, along wth representatives of Israeli weapons giant Elbit Systems.
Also among the attendees was Italian arms firm Leonardo, part of a consortium of firms producing the Typhoon jets used by Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen, according to the fair’s events programme.
There’s a lot to explain …
My first website / blog – from 1998/9 – is mostly archived at https://geocities.restorativland.org/Athens/Olympus/1833/index.htm. Warning: the link to the ctheory site from the New diary page links to a site concerned with ‘toto’. I had no idea what toto was either. The ctheory<dot>com address was originally the Ctheory site concerned with Frankfurt School philosophy.
There is a page missing, called ‘deep DT’s first statement on race’ or something similar. It was an argument against racism, claiming that races do not exists since genes are so mixed. It’s a snapshot too so that the New Diary page that I claimed changes often but actually only occasionally changed often is a snapshot. I regard it as amoung the earliest blogs (weblogs) because that New Diary page changed i.e. had it’s commentary updated which is the essential element of a blog.
Geocities provided a minimal interface. I would create pages editing HTML before uploading to geocities. There were simple wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) code editors to create webpages then but they were crude and limited. CTRL-U or a similar command (press the CTRL and U keys together in your browser) allows you to see the simple HTML code.
Geocities was a very early part of the web that allowed individuals to crate websites and I think that it was for free. The geocities websites were popular. You can see some of my neighbouring websites at geocities here. Fascinating.
The geocities webpages were purchased by – I think – yahoo and shut down. It is only within the past few years that the historical archives have appeared.
I campaigned against the USUK second Bush-Iraq war that started in early 2003 using the usenet nntp messaging system. It is very similar to the original arpanet system of the earliest internet used by universities and may be an evolution of it. It was very powerful being monitored by governments and big news sites. Many of my posts can be seen in this listing (the first few pages). [13/11/22 I didn’t realise that the ‘Highway’ post was there initially. Google has censored it now, WTF are they afraid of?]
I also campaigned against the Iraq war starting 2003 in person. One of Stop The War coalitions slogans at the time was “Not in my name” and I would often be carrying a poster with that phrase. I was getting harassed by former boss of the Metropolitan Police and Tony Blair’s butler Ian Blair during this time.
I was still using usenet at the G8 protests in Scotland in July 2005. The London tube explosions of 7 July 2005 happened at the end of the G8 events in Scotland. I have produced an analysis of these explosions called the UNOFFICIAL NARRATIVE and there’s a link to the July 7 truth campaign on my blogroll. I concluded that they were dust explosions and that there were no terrrists.
to be continued
12 Nov 2022
So far: First website / blog archived at https://geocities.restorativland.org/Athens/Olympus/1833/index.htm, Then Usenet (NNTP, Network News Transfer Protocol) messages e.g. this listing (the first few pages).
I started using a blogging service provided by the Canadian host host cjb in January 2006. The url was blogs<dot>cjb<dot>net/dissident and some archives are available on the Wayback machine. cjb blog hosting was free again worked quite well except that there was a small limit to the size of posts (1kb ?) which I often hit. We’re getting closer to a conventional blog with that classic blog layout which I really like – a sidebar on the right with links to earlier posts. Results from a search on the wayback machine (some of them are quite poor with missing elements).
The very first post of 6 January 2006 is missing from the Wayback machine. It was “It’s an honour to join the dissident bloggers” mostly referring to Craig Murray’s blog.
Some posts disappeared from this blog – I suspect forcibly removed by the UK government or Metropolitan Police under Ian Blair. It’s a political blog attacking Blair’s and Cameron’s later Libservative governments and doing original investigative research into the London explosions and the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes. I appear to have established that Jean Charles de Menezes was murdered. I posted elsewhere and the server was snatched by British Transport Police shortly after my posting. It appears that the posting has resurfaced and accepted by many as proving that JCdM was murdered.
I moved away from this blog to the paid host tsohosts after the pages disappeared and cjb claimed to know nothing about it and no backups. With a paid host I got the domain name onaquietday<dot>org.
I started with this current host in March 2022 because I was disappointed with the service at my previous host. They were bought by a bigger player and suffered with poorer performance and service. I am very pleased with my current host – speed, support and value are excellent.
I moved the content of my previous blog to this one when I moved so please feel free to look about. There’s a search box and categories on the right hand side.
Suppose that I should provide some blogging instruction …
to be continued
14/11/22 One from the archives
August 14, 2006 – THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE: Reality is negotiated
A while ago I promised “the truth is out there” series of articles to promote conspiracy theories. Here’s a start.
Everyone has their own truth and their truth will be largely dictated by their perspective and disposition. Individuals with hugely different lifestyles, experiences and motivations will have hugely different ‘truths’ or pattern of beliefs, values, attitudes, prejudices, etc.
Reality is negotiated between different actors. New Labour seem to have incorporated this processs of negotiation into its policy-making and this was explicitly stated in the early New Labour period. This probably applies only to New Labour policies that are not not negotiable e.g. rabid Neo-Conservatism / Neo-Liberalism and Crypto-Fascism. New Labour know fully well that certain outcomes are favourable to themselves, their interests and purposes and they engage using lies and deception. We know that they lie – they have been caught out endless times.
The difference with Blair, Reid & Co is that they’re shameless and so don’t care – or perhaps don’t need to care – when they are caught out lying since they have never been held to account for their actions. This is deliberate – they actively evade accountability and responsibility for their actions.
My approach to reality is that there is one ‘real’ reality that is perceived and interpreted differently by different actors. When things happen, those things really happened but then the process of negotiation starts.
New Labour do not share this approach. They believe that reality can be negotiated, remoulded, renegotiated, reinterpreted or even censored long after the event. Their approach is remarkably similar to Orwell’s concept of ‘doublethink’ and betrays their shallowness and absence of any real values. For Blair, since reality is infinitely renegotiable, lying and deception is just a part of achieving what He wants.
“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.” Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Much of this derives from narcissist Blair. Blair has certainty in the total absence of any supporting evidence – even when there is plenty of evidence supporting contrary positions. How is this possible? Does it mean that He has special insight denied the rest of us common mortals? Does it mean that He can ‘feel’ the truth? Does He have powers denied to us mere mortals? Or perhaps He’s simply a sad, pathetic nutjob?
Although much of this derives with Blair, the Labour party cannot escape its responsibilities and blame.
more on conspiracy theories, Blair, New Labour and Fascism soon
14/11/22 Another one from the archives. John Reid is saying that suspected terrorists should be killed and Keir Starmer’s current Labour Party has been saying the same recently. So here’s the reality: if John Reid or Keir Starmer want somebody killed … they assign the status of (call them) a suspected terrorist and kill them. [15/11/22 Actually and as in the case of the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, they murder them and then lie profusely including calling them a suspected terrorist to justify the murder. ]
September 29, 2006 – Evil Fascist John Reid is just plain wrong
|Blair’s speech “The first rule of politics: there are no rules.”|
Of course there are rules – they’re called laws. What Blair means is that they have ruled as though there were no laws.
Reid must stand for PM to protect himself and the Blairites from the cells.
Evil Fascist John Reid’s speech
“It cannot be right that the rights of an individual suspected terrorist be placed above the rights, life and limb of the British people.It’s wrong. Full stop.
No ifs. No buts. It’s just plain wrong.”
Even if that suspected terrorist is a suspected terrorist only for his legitimate political activities that should be protected in a tolerant society?
But what about the suspected terrorists you have already killed or shot evil Dr. Reid? They were innocent. Do you undertand what is meant by innocent evil Dr. Reid? That’s one of our values but obviously not one of New Labour’s values.
It’s just plain wrong that evil Dr. Reid put right-wing death squads on the streets of London.
to be continued
16 November 2022. Let’s crack on with this. So far we’ve established that I am an experienced blogger. Today I’ll deal with the practicalities of setting up a blog and hopefully tomorrow we’ll discuss this blog post that I did recently. So the rest of this blog post is technical at a below novice blogger level about how to blog. Please avoid if not interested.
What you need to blog
Firstly, you need some sort of computer. You’re reading this so you’ve got access to something.
I have difficulties using a smartphone for blogging but know that some of you are wizards on them. If it’s all you’ve got it will do and you’ll improve with practice.
A tablet will work fairly well. My preference is a laptop or desktop puter running debian Linux. Shared puters are available at libraries, schools and universities, expect that you can find something.
Secondly, you need blog hosting. This is where your blog is kept and served to the internet. While you are able to do this yourself by installing a webserver, I would not recommend it because it will be slow with extremely limited bandwidth and very complex to set up and administer.
Speed, Support, Security
Hosting is free, cheap or more expensive. I would and do go for cheap but there are other considerations. You want a fast host because you lose viewers if your site is slow to load. You want a host with good support because you’re likely to need it. Free 24 hour support is the one to go for. You want a host that has some concern for and regular security practices including backups. More expensive is simply more expensive without any advantages over cheap and good.
I much prefer Linux based hosting because that’s what I’m familiar with. You will eventually need to execute commands on the server host so it helps if you’re familiar with the host system.
The best way to select a blog host is to read reviews and compare and contrast. Make sure it provides everything that you need. Shared hosting is fine. I recommend my current host (and they’ve got a very good offer on atm) – it’s for you to find out who that is ;) Free is probably slow and limited in some ways e.g. no domain name, I suppose acceptable if you just wanted to try at first.
Many web hosts attract new bloggers with a free domain name offer. It’s worth spending some time choosing a name. Onaquietday is not ideal because it clashes with Arundhati Roy’s statement that it pays tribute to — ‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.’ You get stuck with a name so give it some thought and decide what extension you want.
Watch out for extras that are sold with webhosting e.g. SSL certificates. You often don’t need those extras and they can be confusing. Try asking the host before signing up: Do I need that? What does it do? and do your own online research.
Hosting will cost a few $/E/£s a month, year or some other period. You will need to buy a domain name if it’s not included – up to $/E/£20 or so and up to $/E/£20 every 2 years to renew (keep) the domain name. I always used to get charged every 2 years to renew, looks like some hosts are charging every year.
Don’t worry about different currencies – just pay and it will get converted. You will need a credit or debit card and expect that a prepaid debit card will work. If not try elsewhere.
Blogging platforms are often a CMS – Content Management System – tweaked to be a blogging platform and this is a further consideration when selecting a blogging host. The most popular and the platform I use is WordPress. Other blogging platforms are available e.g. Joomla, Drupal or Ghost. It’s probably worth searching for a simple blogging platform and see what’s out there.
How to Create a Blog With Joomla
WordPress comes with a default theme – the theme being an interface between WordPress and the creator and between WordPress and how it appears to users. I updated from the default theme to the free (no cost) OceanWP theme because I needed better performance on mobile devices especially phones. I particularly needed reactive text (text that wraps to the screen size as it is resized).
Use a ‘staging website’ before making any changes.The staging website is a copy of your blog that is not publicly accessible. Test changes on it until you learn how to apply those changes to achieve what you want. You then need to apply those changes without any mistakes to the live blog or restore the staging website to the live blog if it’s all there with only the changes you want. You then need to delete the staging website and reload the cache.
Worpress uses plugins to alter it’s fuctionality. I use Akismet – an anti-spam comments filter, a lazy-load plugin that prevents loading of images until the user approaches them, a few extras for the OceanWP theme that I use, Yoast SEO which I tend to ignore and a 2-factor authentication plugin for extra security. I don’t use a caching plugin because I think that caching is already incorporated into the host server. It all seems to work well.
Posts are categorised and possibly tagged to help people search through posts. It essentially just groups similar posts together.
It’s worth watching a few vids and maybe read a few articles to learn how your blogging platform works. Search when you run into a problem – it’s very likely that many people have had that exact problem before. Your blogging platform will take some learning but just publish and get it out there, you’ll improve with experience.
Copyrighted and other content
This is a rough guide, not to be relied on as an authoritative statement of law.
You own the copyright on your own original work. Content on the web is usually owned by the publishing organisation and you’re only permitted to quote short, selected excerpts while providing a clear link to the original source. There is an exception for derived works but it needs to be more than trivial changes.
Content published under Creative Commons licences needs to be copied exactly, clearly attributed with details of the creative commons licence used. You are able to alter CC content to produce derived works, check the details for yourself.
Content published as press releases can be used as you like without attribution although I often do. I suggest that you respect any embargo requested.
As a less experienced blogger I used to quote newspaper articles at length. I got pulled up on it once by the Independent newspaper. As a rule of thumb I quote 3 paragraphs of a newspaper article. I sometimes quote more, especially two sections from different parts of a long article. The source are unlikely to be that concerned – you’re sending traffic to them through a clear link after all and news gets stale. I try to avoid linking to content that is restricted in some way e.g. a paywall or registration needed.
I never used to be concerned about images and just used them. There are many copyrighted images on this blog used without attribution. Image search engines often have an option to search for images under a creative commons licence so I do try to find them.
In the final analysis I am a not-for-profit blogger so that I am not profiteering through using others’ content and don’t have any money. You won’t get sued if you don’t have any money or other assets.
16 November 2022
To finish this Carry on Blogging post, we’ll take a look at a recent post of mine Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condems Just Stop Oil, presents a climate change speech in Buenos Aires and claims credit for dispatching Liz Truss. I quite enjoyed doing that one.
First off, it’s a pretty good title don’t you think?
The post starts with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan condemning Just Stop Oil. In the video calls the protests unlawful and unsafe and says:
“I think – you know – stopping ambulances getting to an emergency, stopping fire engines getting to a fire, stopping police cars going to prevent crime isn’t the way to make your case …”
Khan is parroting earlier comments made by UK Labout party leader Keith Starmer on LBC. He said
“I particularly think about the images we’ve seen of ambulances coming down the road, not being able to get through because people have glued themselves to the road.”
“I think it’s arrogant of those glueing themselves to the road to think they’re the only people that have got the answer to this. They haven’t got the answer.”
So I looked for those “images of ambulances coming down the road” and found this one where – despite the title – Just Stop Oil clear out of the way to let an ambulance pass
This one’s more confusing but at the end of the video there’s a claim that Just Stop Oil did let the fire engine pass. There’s certainly not much evidence of Just Stop Oil blocking emergency vehicles.
There are huge traffic jams in London – twice a day actually – so would it be fair to say that London traffic blocks fire engines and ambulances?
The article I quoted in my earlier post Just Stop Oil didn’t delay us getting to M20 crash, says ambulance service refute specific accusations made by The Sun and the Daily Mail that JSO delayed ambulances.
I think that it’s fair to accuse Labour politicians Sadiq Khan and Keith Starmer of supporting the right wing press in unfounded allegations. What Khan and Starmer are also doing is attempting to benefit politically from Just Stop Oil’s actions which have forced the debate.
The next part of the post quotes Sadiq Khan insists world leaders ‘meet words with deeds’ at climate change speech in Buenos Aires… after he and his team racked up 361,146 air miles lecturing the world on going GREEN.
The article and by extension me, are accusing Sadiq Khan of being a hypocrite, travelling all over the World to lecture people to be more green.
The article claims that Khan then proceeds to claim credit for getting rid of Liz Truss. We can’t really trust the Daily Mail and so don’t know whether he did this without making more enquiries.
But still a pretty good blog post, no?
Exploiting black labor after the abolition of slavery
The U.S. criminal justice system is riven by racial disparity.
The Obama administration pursued a plan to reform it. An entire news organization, The Marshall Project, was launched in late 2014 to cover it. Organizations like Black Lives Matter and The Sentencing Project are dedicated to unmaking a system that unjustly targets people of color.
But how did we get this system in the first place? Our ongoing historical research project investigates the relationship between the press and convict labor. While that story is still unfolding, we have learned what few Americans, especially white Americans, know: the dark history that produced our current criminal justice system.
If anything is to change – if we are ever to “end this racial nightmare, and achieve our country,” as James Baldwin put it – we must confront this system and the blighted history that created it.
During Reconstruction, the 12 years following the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, former slaves made meaningful political, social and economic gains. Black men voted and even held public office across the South. Biracial experiments in governance flowered. Black literacy surged, surpassing those of whites in some cities. Black schools, churches and social institutions thrived.
As the prominent historian Eric Foner writes in his masterwork on Reconstruction, “Black participation in Southern public life after 1867 was the most radical development of the Reconstruction years, a massive experiment in interracial democracy without precedent in the history of this or any other country that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century.”
But this moment was short-lived.
As W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, the “slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.”
History is made by human actors and the choices they make.
According to Douglas Blackmon, author of “Slavery by Another Name,” the choices made by Southern white supremacists after abolition, and the rest of the country’s accommodation, “explain more about the current state of American life, black and white, than the antebellum slavery that preceded.”
Designed to reverse black advances, Redemption was an organized effort by white merchants, planters, businessmen and politicians that followed Reconstruction. “Redeemers” employed vicious racial violence and state legislation as tools to prevent black citizenship and equality promised under the 14th and 15th amendments.
By the early 1900s, nearly every southern state had barred black citizens not only from voting but also from serving in public office, on juries and in the administration of the justice system.
The South’s new racial caste system was not merely political and social. It was thoroughly economic. Slavery had made the South’s agriculture-based economy the most powerful force in the global cotton market, but the Civil War devastated this economy.
How to build a new one?
Ironically, white leaders found a solution in the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States in 1865. By exploiting the provision allowing “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” to continue as “a punishment for crime,” they took advantage of a penal system predating the Civil War and used even during Reconstruction.
A new form of control
With the help of profiteering industrialists they found yet a new way to build wealth on the bound labor of black Americans: the convict lease system.
Here’s how it worked. Black men – and sometimes women and children – were arrested and convicted for crimes enumerated in the Black Codes, state laws criminalizing petty offenses and aimed at keeping freed people tied to their former owners’ plantations and farms. The most sinister crime was vagrancy – the “crime” of being unemployed – which brought a large fine that few blacks could afford to pay.
Black convicts were leased to private companies, typically industries profiteering from the region’s untapped natural resources. As many as 200,000 black Americans were forced into back-breaking labor in coal mines, turpentine factories and lumber camps. They lived in squalid conditions, chained, starved, beaten, flogged and sexually violated. They died by the thousands from injury, disease and torture.
For both the state and private corporations, the opportunities for profit were enormous. For the state, convict lease generated revenue and provided a powerful tool to subjugate African-Americans and intimidate them into behaving in accordance with the new social order. It also greatly reduced state expenses in housing and caring for convicts. For the corporations, convict lease provided droves of cheap, disposable laborers who could be worked to the extremes of human cruelty.
Every southern state leased convicts, and at least nine-tenths of all leased convicts were black. In reports of the period, the terms “convicts” and “negroes” are used interchangeably.
Of those black Americans caught in the convict lease system, a few were men like Henry Nisbet, who murdered nine other black men in Georgia. But the vast majority were like Green Cottenham, the central figure in Blackmon’s book, who was snatched into the system after being charged with vagrancy.
A principal difference between antebellum slavery and convict leasing was that, in the latter, the laborers were only the temporary property of their “masters.” On one hand, this meant that after their fines had been paid off, they would potentially be let free. On the other, it meant the companies leasing convicts often absolved themselves of concerns about workers’ longevity. Such convicts were viewed as disposable and frequently worked beyond human endurance.
The living conditions of leased convicts are documented in dozens of detailed, firsthand reports spanning decades and covering many states. In 1883, Blackmon writes, Alabama prison inspector Reginald Dawson described leased convicts in one mine being held on trivial charges, in “desperate,” “miserable” conditions, poorly fed, clothed, and “unnecessarily chained and shackled.” He described the “appalling number of deaths” and “appalling numbers of maimed and disabled men” held by various forced-labor entrepreneurs spanning the entire state.
Dawson’s reports had no perceptible impact on Alabama’s convict leasing system.
The exploitation of black convict labor by the penal system and industrialists was central to southern politics and economics of the era. It was a carefully crafted answer to black progress during Reconstruction – highly visible and widely known. The system benefited the national economy, too. The federal government passed up one opportunity after another to intervene.
Convict lease ended at different times across the early 20th century, only to be replaced in many states by another racialized and brutal method of convict labor: the chain gang.
Convict labor, debt peonage, lynching – and the white supremacist ideologies of Jim Crow that supported them all – produced a bleak social landscape across the South for African-Americans.
Black Americans developed multiple resistance strategies and gained major victories through the civil rights movement, including Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Jim Crow fell, and America moved closer than ever to fulfilling its democratic promise of equality and opportunity for all.
But in the decades that followed, a “tough on crime” politics with racist undertones produced, among other things, harsh drug and mandatory minimum sentencing laws that were applied in racially disparate ways. The mass incarceration system exploded, with the rate of imprisonment quadrupling between the 1970s and today.
Michelle Alexander famously calls it “The New Jim Crow” in her book of the same name.
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, with 2.2 million behind bars, even though crime has decreased significantly since the early 1990s. And while black Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 37 percent of the incarcerated population. Forty percent of police killings of unarmed people are black men, who make up merely 6 percent of the population, according to a 2015 Washington Post report.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose otherwise.
Question: Why does WordPress not allow the category ‘Black Americans’ with a capital ‘B’?