Friday, August 26, 2011
She may be the new face of revolution.
“Not since the days of Zapatistas' Subcomandante Marcos has Latin America been so charmed by a rebel leader. This time, there is no ski mask, no pipe and no gun, just a silver nose ring. Meet Commander Camila, a student leader in Chile who has become the face of a populist uprising that some analysts are calling the Chilean winter. Her press conferences can lead to the sacking of a minister. The street marches she leads shut down sections of the Chilean capital. She has the government on the run, and now even has police protection after receiving death threats. Yet six months ago, no one had heard of Camila Vallejo, the 23-year-old spearheading an uprising that has shaken not only the presidency of the billionaire businessman Sebastián Piñera, but the entire Chilean political class. Opinion polls show that 26% of the public support Piñera and only 16% back his recently ousted Concertación coalition. Wednesday saw the start of a two-day nationwide shutdown, as transport workers and other public-sector employees joined the burgeoning student movement in protest. "There are huge levels of discontent," said Vallejo in a recent interview. "It is always the youth that make the first move … we don't have family commitments, this allows us to be freer. We took the first step, but we are no longer alone, the older generations are now joining this fight." Click here for more
Click here for Bowie
The secret word is Next
Posted by Mick at 8/26/2011 06:58:00 AM
…to a gallery opening and live performance next Thursday September 1st at SPACE in Hackney, East London.
The event is a re-examination and maybe a celebration of the agitprop tome Watch Out Kids that Edward Barker and I put together way back in the 20th century and was a highly subjective compendium of counterculture graphics and the rogue philosophy of the psychedelic left. Since a gallery show, by definition, is primarily visual, the major tribute is really to the work of the late great Edward. But I will be showing up with master guitarist Andy Colquhoun – a once and future Deviant and Pink Fairy – plus our new friend and percussionist, Jaki Miles-Windmill, to perform poetry and other rhymed writings.
The deal is that doors open at 6.00pm; allowing us to stand around, drink 50p beer, pose and chat, observe and be observed, until sometime just after eight, when we the performers get down and perform. Finally after the show, we head into the after-party at which a good time will be had by all. All this wonder is all at…
129 – 131 MARE STREET
LONDON E8 3RH
020 8525 4330
Posted by Mick at 8/26/2011 06:45:00 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2011
This was Omar Bongo. He’s dead now, but his story – a snippet of which was sent to me by our pals at Delancey Place – is a near perfect example of why Africa is a bloody mess with AIDS, AK47s, famine, cocaine and gunpowder.
"Bongo's story is a miniature tale of what happened when France formally relinquished its colonies. As countries in Africa and elsewhere gained in- dependence, the old beneficiaries of the French empire set up new ways to stay in control behind the scenes. Gabon became independent in 1960, just as it was starting to emerge as a promising new African oil frontier, and France paid it particular attention. France needed to install the right president: an authentic African leader who would be charismatic, strong, cunning, and, when it mattered, utterly pro-French. In Omar Bongo they found the perfect can- didate: He was from a tiny minority ethnic group and had no natural domestic support base, so he would have to rely on France to protect him. In 1967, aged just 32, Bongo became the world's youngest president, and for good measure France placed several hundred paratroopers in a barracks in Libreville, connected to one of his palaces by underground tunnels. This intimidating deterrent against coup plots proved so effective that by the time Bongo died in 2009, he was the world's longest-serving leader. In exchange for France's backing Bongo gave two things. First, he gave French companies almost exclusive access to his country's minerals, on highly preferential terms that were deeply unfair to the people of Gabon. The country became known as French companies' chasse gardee - their private hunting ground. But the second thing Bongo provided was more interesting. He allowed his country, through its oil industry, to become the African linchpin of the gigantic, secret Elf system - a vast web of global corruption secretly connecting the oil industries of former French African colonies with mainstream politics in metropolitan France, via Switzerland, Luxembourg, and other tax havens.”
Click here for The Cadets
The secret word is Jane
Posted by Mick at 8/25/2011 04:55:00 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Those of you who have been paying attention may have noted that Doc40 has been a little neglected over the past few days. (My Facebook wall too, for that matter.) I guess it’s the result of having entered what feels like an aftermath. The UK urban riots are seemingly over, the News Corp scandal lulls in limbo. Similar could be said of the worst excesses of US democracy, so I’ve found myself with little in the short term about which to rant. Also my private life seems to have taken a turn for the amazing, but that’s a whole other story. (As in private!) I imagine, however, this abeyance won’t last so I might as well enjoy the rest while I can.
Click here for a symphony of porn stars moaning. (We've had a content warning inflicted on us. We might as well use it.)
The secret word is Interlude
Jerry Leiber – RIP
Posted by Mick at 8/24/2011 12:06:00 PM
While once and future Californians snigger at Easterners getting all aflutter at a mere 5.9 seismic event, the US looks to the safety of its own nuke plants.
TAKOMA PARK, MD - August 23 - A 5.9 magnitude that was felt up and down the US east coast was centered in Mineral, Virginia, home to the two-reactor North Anna nuclear power plant operated by Dominion Energy. North Anna sits just 90 miles south of Washington, DC. The plant automatically shut down following a loss of offsite power, but electricity is still needed to cool the reactor core and fuel pools. "Once again, Mother Nature is warning us that nuclear power is the most brittle of electrical power systems," said Paul Gunter, director of Reactor Oversight for Beyond Nuclear. "In times of national crisis or natural disaster, nuclear power becomes more of a liability than an asset," he said. All but one of the four on-site emergency diesel generators at North Anna started up as needed for reactor cooling and safety systems. However, cooling systems for the two spent fuel pools loaded with nuclear waste do not automatically get switched over to emergency power systems. Several other reactor sites along the eastern seaboard reported “unusual events” to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission but no others were forced to shut down. “The Obama administration – which still presses for more nuclear plants – and the nuclear industry and its lapdog regulator refuse to learn the lessons of Fukushima even when they are brought right home by this powerful quake,” said Linda Gunter, International Specialist at Beyond Nuclear. “Even the Japanese prime minister has acknowledged that Japan must move forward without using nuclear energy. Here at home it seems only public outrage can move our leaders. We got lucky again, this time, but at some point that luck will run out. We should not wait to pay that price but start a nuclear phase-out today.” The earthquake risks at North Anna were known as far back as 1970, a 1975 Washington Post article reveals. Then owner, Virginia Electric and Power Company, was fined an unprecedented $60,000 for building the plant on a known fault line which consultants retained by Vepco claimed did not exist. On-going updates about the post-quake status of US nuclear plants can be found on the Beyond Nuclear website.
Posted by Mick at 8/24/2011 12:00:00 PM