Monday, January 29, 2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Scum Always Rises To The Top . . . of the sitemeter

If the traffic to the blog is anything to go by, I'm guessing that tonight's 'Law and Order' was a repeat of their 'Scumwatch' episode.

I wonder what American readers think when they find this old post from the blog, rather than a link to a fictitious website dedicated to outing paedophiles? And why are they looking for it in the first place?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

IWW Benefit Show for Fired Warehouse Workers

Via the NYC IWW Newsletter Wobbly City:

Saturday, January 27th @ 71 Troutman St. , Bklyn. , NY .

Doors open @ 8. Music @ 9.

$7 before 10pm. $10 after 10pm.

'Red Card' specials all night!

$2 beers. $3 cocktails.

In an attempt to rise out of sweatshop conditions, local workers in the Brooklyn wholesale food distribution industry have engaged in strikes, protests, and filed lawsuits alleging minimum wage and overtime violations. Over 2 dozen workers from 2 warehouses were fired in the past month in retaliation for their union membership and immigration status. These workers need your support as they struggle to enforce the minimum wage and demand their right to organize.


It’s time to show your love for the community of which we are all an integral part. Good times, great music, and an even better cause:

Featuring LIVE performances by:

  • The Set of Red Things
  • the Dynamite Plan
  • Hi Coup
  • Gordo Brega
  • *** Then dance the night away with DJ Mikey Mike, spinning the best hip hop, R&B, and funk of the past two decades! ***

    Pick 'n' Mix Revol Trix

    "A week on Wednesday, I need seven white, four brown . . . A couple of gingers thrown in for half price? OK, but I must insist that they wear bobble hats. No donkey jackets.
    Placards, whistles and slogans will be supplied on the day."

    Apparently the '68 generation are getting themselves all in a tizzy at the news that professional protestors are hiring themselves out for the day at the going rate of 150 euros. I'm just pissed that the only thing I can come up with in response is that bleedin' quote from Strummer yet again.

    I'll get my coat . . . and my petition.

    Spiders On Drugs - a social experiment

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    About Last Night . . .

  • Carole King
  • Eugene O'Neill
  • Michael Harrington
  • Alfred Adler
  • Perhaps a rehashing/reworking of Nic Roeg's 1985 film, 'Insignificance?

    Tag under 'a mere trifle' 'musings on a cold winter night in Brooklyn'.

    Up there with Rodney Marsh's anecdote about Sir Alf?

    Lovely anecdote about the late Celtic great, Charlie Tully, - a footballer so old school, that he doesn't just predate YouTube clips, he predates the Cathode Ray Tube itself - from the footie section of today's Guardian:

    ""At Windsor Park a year earlier, [1952] he scored from a corner again, this time in a 2-2 draw with England. However, he's more remembered for his pre-match chat with his marker Alf Ramsey that day:

    "Tully: 'What's it like to be an automatic selection for your country, Mr Ramsey?'

    Ramsey: 'It's an absolute privilege, Mr Tully.'

    Tully: 'Good, because you won't be one after today ...'"

    Tully scored two goals that day, but he was wrong in his prediction for Sir Alf. Sadly for Alf, this was the much more famous game that signalled the end of his international career.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    "An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"

    Further to this recent post on the blog, Next Left Notes carries Jim Crutchfield's report of the IWW's marches for Immigrant Workers' rights that took place yesterday in New York on MLK day, which is a public holiday in the States. Thomas Good provides the visuals that accompany the report.

    Sadly, I was elsewhere . . . doing a 'Tommy Jackson'. It'll undoubtedly come back to haunt me.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007


    "In light of the celebrity guest appearance by Sylvester Stallone today on the pitch before our game with Reading FC, David Moyes's nickname for Everton, 'The People's Club', has been revised so that we will now be known as 'The Plastic People's Club'.

    Please ensure that there are no naked flames placed near the celebrity fans.

    Thank you for your cooperation."

    Peter Crouch goes to pick up the subbuteo figure that someone has flicked onto the pitch at Vicarage Road.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Friday's Playlist #6

    An ongoing series:

  • Down the Tiny Steps, 'Handstand' (Get While The Getting's Good compilation)
  • Sonic Youth, 'Sunday' (A Thousand Leaves)
  • blaknoisewhitesoul, 'RuleBreaker'
  • Wire, 'French Film Blurred' (Chairs Missing)
  • Dr Who, 'London Town'
  • Down the Tiny Steps, 'Infintea' (Live Radio Scotland session)
  • XTC, 'Helicopter' (Drums And Wires)
  • Superqueens, 'Rat Poison' (Royal Shit)
  • The Rakes, 'Dark Clouds' (B-side to 'Retreat')
  • High Priests, 'Hibernation'
  • 800,000 Privileged Youths Enlist To Fight In Iraq

    WASHINGTON, DC—Citing a desire to finally make a difference in Iraq, in the past two weeks, more than 800,000 young people from upper-middle- and upper-class families have put aside their education, careers, and physical well-being to enlist in the military, new data from the Department Of Defense shows.

    "I don't know if it was the safety and comfort of the holidays or what, but I realized that my affluence and ease of living comes at a cost," said Private Jonathan Grace, 18, who was to commence studies at Dartmouth College next fall, but will instead attend 12 weeks of basic training before being deployed to Fallujah with the 1st Army Battalion. "I just looked at my parents in their cashmere sweaters and thought, 'Who am I to go to an elite liberal arts college and spend all my time reading while, in the real world, thousands of kids my age are sacrificing their lives for our country?' It's not right." READ MORE

    Of course, it's a clever piece of satire from the usual sources. It's not as if real life could come up with something so outlandish. Could it?

    Hat tip to Morgan.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    David Ervine

    One of my favourite socialist writers, Richard Montague, has penned a short obituary for David Ervine over at the SPGB blog, Socialism Or Your Money Back.

    The 'Alan in Belfast' blog also carries a thoughtful piece on the passing of Ervine.

    Old Jokes Home #2

    No, not this, this:

    "Slowly but surely, though, I [Chic Charnley] started to realise I could make a living out of the game. I was a full-time player and people started to say nice things about me. I can remember at half-time in one game going into the Kilbowie stand at half-time. Andy Roxburgh was the Scotland manager at the time and he came in after me to get a cup of tea. I said to him: "Andy, any chance of a cap?" He replied: "Why? Is the sun in your eyes?" That wasn't bad from him.

    Sounds like a Chic Murray special to me, but nonetheless I recommend you check out what is a funny and informative article that passed me by at the time about a player who passed under the radar to all but the chosen few during his stop-start career.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Singed Elmo's Fire

    Aah, the healing power of laughter. "No soft toys were hurt during the course of filming."

    Hat tip to Pandagon.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    PRESS RELEASE: Sweatshop Workers Fired En Masse For Organizing a Union


    Industrial Workers of the World IU 460

    January 9, 2007

    Sweatshop Workers Fired En Masse For Organizing a Union

    Anti-Immigrant Backlash In Brooklyn Leaves Warehouse Employees Without a Job in the New Year

    Brooklyn, NY - Twenty-two Mexican and Chinese immigrant workers at two Chinese food warehouses here, in a fight against sweatshop conditions, have been fired in retaliation for their efforts. Both employers had negotiated contracts with the workers’ union, the Industrial Workers of the World, but repudiated their agreements without warning and fired all of their union employees. The employers told workers that they were being fired for failure to produce legal immigration documents, but when one worker did produce legal documententation, he was ignored. The union believes the sudden demand for immigration documents was a pretext for a concerted attack on a burgeoning organizing campaign in what had been a non-union industry built on callously exploited immigrant labor.

    "This is horrible--we make him money and now he tosses us into the street like we're garbage," said Pedro Hidalgo Campos, a fired union worker, referring to Handyfat owner Dennis Ho. "Just because we asked for fair wages and decent treatment."

    In an attempt to rise out of sweatshop conditions, workers at the two companies, Sunrise Plus Corp. (formerly EZ-Supply Corp.) and Handyfat Trading Inc., have engaged in strikes and protests, and have filed lawsuits complaining of systematic minimum wage and overtime violations. The firings come shortly after the companies, which supply food and supplies to many popular Asian restaurants in New York City, hired a new lawyer known for a no-holds-barred approach. Workers in the United States must be paid the minimum wage and have a right to organize regardless of immigration status.

    "You think you can kill us but you can't," said IWW organizer, Billy Randel. "We're a scrappy bunch and we're used to fighting. This union is not going to go away."

    In addition to filing anti-retaliation legal actions, the union is picketing the employers and has called for a march on Martin Luther King Day against EZ-Supply, Handyfat, and two other recalcitrant food warehouses where workers have joined the union seeking to better their very difficult working conditions.


    Daniel Gross


    Retail Workers Union IWW IU/660

    Ph:(917) 577-1110

    Fx:(917) 591-6128

    Insert Random Smiths Song Title Here*

    A non-story until it actually happens, but enough to set the Will amongst the Drink Soaked Trots for the time being.

    *'Is It Really So Strange?' or 'Stockholm, Here We Come'?

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Random thoughts on a Monday mourning

  • When the hell did Paul Sturrock become manager of Swindon Town?
  • The Smith/McCoist dream team? Three words: Barnes and Dalglish
  • Why does wikipedia insist that Steve McMahon won 17 caps for Scotland?
  • Downloaded 'This Life + 10' off the internet but I can't be arsed to watch it.
  • Should Hackney and Williamsburg be twinned?
  • A comrade told me yesterday that the SPGB was recently referred to as 'Cafe Radicals' on an internet discussion list. Don't know how to respond to this. Have I suddenly been teleported back in time to Greenwich Village 1915?
  • About six months ago I was listening to wall to wall Maximo Park. What was I thinking?
  • Spotted via various Brit blogs that 'Ugly Betty' has just debuted on British tv. Before it gets dismissed as nothing more than a piece of fluff - and what's wrong with fluff, btw - please check out this canny article that was published on a few months back, and makes the case that: "those who have taken the title's bait and examined only the aesthetics of the show have missed the point. "Ugly Betty" is not about being unattractive, or at least not simply about being unattractive. It's about class. And ethnicity. Its smart take on cultural and economic differences, enmeshed as it is in a fresh, funny package, makes it positively subversive television."
  • Ever wondered why Fabio Capello has it in for David Beckham? Wonder no more: it turns out that Cappelo was part of the Roma team spanked 4-0 by Swindon Town in the 1969 Anglo-Italian Cup. Beckham reminds him of a tattooed - but not as talented - Don Rogers.
  • The first five seconds of Jarvis Cocker's 'Fat Children' is a rip off of Bikini Kill's 'Carnival'.
  • Dennis Kucinich will not be the next President of the United States.
  • Despite their outward appearance, calzones taste nothing like cornish pasties.
  • The second grumpiest man on the UK Left Network now has a blog.
  • iTunes keeps insisting that I listen to Kingmaker when I put it on shuffle. I don't want to.
  • The consistently excellent Commie Curmudgeon blog has a (not-so-recent) post on James Brown and "black capitalism" .
  • 9/10 anarchists still annoy me.
  • . . . but at least they are not as irritating as teenage maoists living in AmeriKKKa.
  • New York now has an Anarchist Bookfair. Can I face rejection on two continents, if and when I try to book a table for the WSPUS?
  • 'Little Miss Sunshine' is a sweet film, but in no way does it deserve the Oscar buzz currently surrounding it.
  • I wish I could cook bake.
  • I think I'm a 'climate canary'.
  • The blog reached 140,000 page views yesterday.
  • Top Chef's Marcel is misunderstood.
  • Michael Howard has a MySpace music page. Check out the acoustic version of 'Spanish Bombs'. I think it's sweet.
  • If I could visit anywhere in the world, it would be Stockholm. Don't ask me why.
  • With regards to blogging, I'm still officially on hiatus . . .
  • It's January and people in New York are wearing shorts. It'll be sunglasses next.
  • If Tony Benn tells that anecdote about Ramsay MacDonald and the chocolate biscuit one more time . . .
  • I really want to read this novel.
  • . . . and this one.
  • Final thought for the post and to return to the whole 'hiatus' business. Though I know that I won't follow through on her wise advice, I know in my heart of hearts that 'Boynton', a blogger recently profiled at Normblog, hit the nail on the head when she wrote: "it's worth seeking out new pathways and it's easy to become beholden to posting rather than to reading . . . If ennui strikes, take a break from posting and read." That's me and blogging in a nutshell.
  • Sunday, January 07, 2007

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Friday's Playlist #5

    An ongoing series:

  • The Mystery Jets, 'Ageless' (Eel Pie Island EP)
  • The Reindeer Section, 'Where I Fall' (Son of Evil Reindeer)
  • The Long Blondes, 'Giddy Stratospheres'
  • Flowers, 'After Dark'
  • The Long Blondes, 'Autonomy Boy'
  • George Michael, 'Shoot The Dog' (Patience)
  • Mull Historical Society, 'Barcode Bypass' (Loss)
  • The Reindeer Section, 'You Are My Joy' (Son of Evil Reindeer)
  • Morrissey, 'Life's A Pigsty' (Ringleader of the Tormentors)
  • Terry Hall, 'Sonny And His Sister' (Laugh)
  • Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Knocking Moz off the bottom of the page

    John at Counago & Spaves has a post about a couple in Iowa who had an idea for a neat variation on the anarchist-inspired 'Phone In Sick' day.

    Internationale Whistling Super Heroes aka 'Did Someone Mention a Hiatus? '

    The best thing that Van Morrison has done in years.

    Hat tip to Mike at his ickle red page.

    I'm still on hiatus #4 (hon . . . fuck it)

    A few minutes is a long time in Wikipedia publishing.

    There has got to be a connection between Le Guen getting the boot, Davies (probably) being touted as his possible successor, and the wee bit of editing of Billy Davies entry on Wikipedia. Look under 'playing career'.

    I've provided a screen grab 'cos no doubt the entry will be corrected quicker than you can say: 'Rangers: Glasgow's third team'.

    I'm still on hiatus #3 (honest)

    A few days is a long time on the dark side.

    Only yesterday, speculation was rife that Ferguson was heading south, despite the fact that he flattered to deceive at Blackburn previously, but was as it Le Guen stripping Barry Ferguson of the captaincy that was his undoing?

    Nope, it was results like this, this, and this - amongst others - that was his downfall. A pedigree of three titles with Lyon ensured that if Rangers were getting the results, Le Guen could have given Nacho Novo the captaincy and no one would have batted an eyelid. However, when a team is on its uppers, then that's when the rose tinted spectacles of 'tradition, history and past success' - and all that sickly sweet bullshit - kicks in. Celtic's been prone to the same sort of footballing spin in the past, and one shouldn't be too surprised that the same (re)invention of tradition has now befallen Rangers and its supporters.

    My tip is that Billy Davies - currently at Derby - will be the next manager of Rangers. He's proven himself at both Preston and Derby, coupled with the fact that he is one of their own, will make him a favourite of both the fans and the press. I also think that a lack of immediate transfer funds, and the fact that the job currently looks like a bit of a poisoned chalice, will mean that Murray won't be looking at the continent for the next manager of Rangers.

    I'm still on hiatus #2

    Nice quote that caught my eye in the obituary for Seymour Martin Lipset that appeared in today's New York Times:

    "In that article, he [Lipset] wrote about meeting Gen. Colin L. Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a cocktail party and telling the general that they had both been born in Harlem, grown up in the Bronx and graduated from City College.
    “I did not add what was more relevant, that he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps, while I joined the youth section of Young People’s Socialist League, Fourth International,” wrote Mr. Lipset, who remained a socialist through graduate school . . ."

    I'm still on hiatus

    Part of the purpose of setting up the unofficial page for the Socialist Standard on MySpace was so that it could provide an outlet for publicising old articles from the Socialist Standard on the internet. On a number of occasions, many of these articles have appeared on the net for the first time.

    Great minds thinking alike - and all that jazz - has meant that other members of the 'World Socialist' tradition have also been using the internet to dust down old articles from the revolutionary press to bring to a wider audience.

    The following links are to articles from the Socialist Standard that are appearing on the internet for the first time. Apologies to the non-British readership for the heavy slant towards British and Irish politics but hopefully, in time, there will be reprints from such old socialist journals as 'The Western Socialist', 'Socialist Clarion' & 'Fulcrum', to name but three journals published in North America down the years.

    As a point of information, the International Socialists, the group referred to in the articles from the Socialist Courier blog, are the modern day British Socialist Workers Party.

    Hope people find the articles of interest.

    Recent reprinted articles posted on the Mailstrom blog:

  • James Connolly: an Assessment (from the October 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard)

  • Scotch Mist (from the July 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard)

  • Recent reprinted articles posted on the Socialist Courier blog:

  • Inside the Bolshevik Cul-de-Sac (from the April 1970 issue of the Socialist Standard)

  • Report of a debate with the International Socialists (from the July 1970 issue of the Socialist Standard)
  • Wednesday, January 03, 2007


    Light blogging for the forseeable future. No need to visit in the interim.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    "The rich declare themselves poor richer."

    Thought George Michael was a hero for doing this, but I now think he's a wanker for doing this. And I don't care if he does donate the $3m to charity. What makes it worse is this info from the same article:

    "Not everyone is for hire though. U2 have said they will only perform in front of ordinary fans."

    Christ, looks like 2007 is going to be a conflicted year.

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    January 2007 Socialist Standard

    The January Socialist Standard can also be viewed as a PDF here.


  • Think Globally, Act Globally
  • Regular Columns

  • Pathfinders Monkey Business
  • Cooking the Books #1 Who’s to blame for carbon emissions?
  • Cooking the Books #2 Global Turbulence
  • Greasy Pole Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
  • 50 Years Ago Day-To-Day Runners of Capitalism
  • Main Articles

  • A Free Market Guru Gone Wrong The death of the economist Milton Friedman at the age of 94 last November has robbed the free-market of perhaps its greatest advocate of modern times, but his views were wrong in theory and a failure in practice.
  • Adam Smith: capitalist icon? Money makes this capitalist world go round. So the Bank of England's decision to feature Smith's face on its twenty-pound notes, starting this spring, certainly seems appropriate.
  • Might is Right Everybody is talking about “human rights” these days but what are they and will they always need protecting?
  • Iraq in Chaos According to reports in the papers and on the television, Iraq is now falling apart. Why?
  • Zionism and anti-semitism Two dangerous ideologies that thrive on each other.
  • Nonprofit Production: Wave of the Future Why not extend the principle of production for need to the world economy as a whole?
  • Reviews, Letters, Meetings & Obituaries

  • Book Reviews Democracy and Revolution: Latin America and Socialism Today by D.L Raby; Bad Food Britain by Joanna Blythman; Tricks of the Mind By Derren Brown
  • Letters to the Editors Details of Socialism
  • Meetings Edinburgh, London, Manchester & Norwich.
  • Obituary Paula Winters
  • Voice From The Back

  • Patents and profits; Housing Madness; Hollywood and Reality; Land of the Free?; Growing Old Disgracefully; Another Aspect of Globalisation