You heard it here first (unless Raymond, who recommended it to me, told you first): Alanis is back....

posted 16 February 2002
You heard it here first (unless Raymond, who recommended it to me, told you first): Alanis is back. Under Rug Swept is a fantastic album, and a return to form. I liked Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, but it wasn't nearly as catchy as Jagged Little Pill, which lost her lots of fans. This is good. And now, it's time for another

Minor Anti-US rant
I'm more than a little pissed off by Camp X-ray, and the treatment of prisoners there. Okay, so America has been attacked, now it's had a retaliatory war, and now it has prisoners. These people are clearly prisoners (you don't get much more obvious than locking them in cages), and they were taken during a war. That makes them -- listen carefully, George -- prisoners of war, and the Geneva convention is all about them. But, as the Onion pointed out, the GC was written when were fighting other white people. And that clearly doesn't matter now -- the one white, American Taleban is being tried in US courts while the brown people languish in cages and are called "illegal combatants".

This is more than the usual run of arrogant shit from the USA. If any other country were treating captives like this, America would be complaining -- indeed, as a former prisoner of the Hezbollah points out, they already have. But because they're the only world superpower, they get away with it. And there's not even any internal criticism, since that wouldn't be patriotic, an offence which it seems is now enough to get you arrested. That's what seemed to be the case of RaiseTheFist, an anarchist site with zero to do with the war on terror (apart from the standard bomb-making instructions every anarchist site in the world has). RTF recently had its servers taken, its premises ransacked and its author incarcerated, taken naked from his mother's house in the early morning by a load of LAPD with automatic weapons. This was made possible by the USA Patriot Act, which granted sweeping new powers to law enforcement officials that they promised they wouldn't abuse. According to the FBI, "People can rant and rave on the Internet all they want, but when they cross the line of calling people to action to violently overthrow the Constitution of the United States, they have a problem." Well, God bless that land of the free, eh?

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My second blog for the day, I'm trying to get up to date. I was amused by a controversy that...

posted 16 February 2002
My second blog for the day, I'm trying to get up to date. I was amused by a controversy that erupted when the Replican party's official Black Person, Colin Powell, said that he supports the use of condoms by teenagers. What's controversial about that? Well, George W Bush does not: he thinks abstinence is the only way. Leaving aside hilarity of such an obsolete issue still even being discussed, does anybody smell just a whiff of hypocrisy in a former cocaine-user and reformed alcoholic preaching that we should abstain from safe sex, which hasn't hurt anybody who hasn't asked nicely first?
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