:: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 ::

Deck the halls with hypertext markup language


Just popping in to say, well done Evo Morales.

Apart from that, that is all until the New Year, most probably.

Have a good one. Take a break. Quit surfing the 'net. Yeah, I mean you.

:: Alister | 3:41 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (5) comments

:: Friday, December 16, 2005 ::

Get yr web 2.0 on

Well the tendency of capitalism towards monopolisation has not abated and so the excellent services of del.icio.us and flickr not to mention blogger itself have been bought up by yahoo and google. These two seem to be shaping up as the "on the ball" companies as regards web 2.0.

The interactive web revolution is taking off regardless. I found, via del.icio.us a great little tool which is a firefox extension which shows blog comments about whatever page you are on. Hours of fun and time-wasting.

Via which I found this nice blog.

greengalloway: "From anarcho goth punk to the Heart of Darkness in the SouthernUplands via the fetishisation of consumer culture, postmodern chaos magick, psychogeography and imagined history - everything is true and nothing is permitted here... are we bored or are we just boring?"

:: Alister | 12:26 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (1) comments

:: Thursday, December 15, 2005 ::

A Rare Victory!

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Residents reject housing transfer Edinburgh tenants have become the first in Scotland to reject housing transfer. Despite threats and bribes from the council and being repeatedly told there was no alternative. These tenants have made clear that well-funded publically owned social housing is the way forward, not the transfer of those resources out of democratically accountable public hands.

Housing is a key issue in Edinburgh, thousands cannot afford to buy houses. Rising house prices mean that deposits take years to save up for first time buyers who are on average wages and don't have families willing to help out (ie most of us). Yet there is not the necessary investment in public housing to deal with that. Many are thrown to the mercies of private landlords, there has been a huge boom in "buying to let". And most of us who have had private landlords know what a pain they can be, not to mention the extortionate rent charged.

The ball is now in the council's court. They have spent enormous sums of money on promoting this neo-liberal project only to be defeated by a tenacious but seriously under-resourced (believe me) campaign from tenants. They should demand the dropping of the housing debt and start a huge campaign for investment in social housing.

More at SSP News.

:: Alister | 11:40 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (1) comments

:: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 ::

They're making a list...

They're checking it twice. Now, let's see who's naughty or nice. AlterNet: The 14 Worst Corporate Evildoers A handy list of the baddest baddies. Corporations have no morality, it goes without saying. They are profit making machines. They are not immoral, but amoral.

Features our pals Coca-Cola!


Coca-Cola Company is perhaps the most widely recognized corporate symbol on the planet. The company also leads in the abuse of workers' rights, assassinations, water privatization, and worker discrimination. Between 1989 and 2002, eight union leaders from Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia were killed after protesting the company's labor practices. Hundreds of other Coca-Cola workers who have joined or considered joining the Colombian union SINALTRAINAL have been kidnapped, tortured, and detained by paramilitaries who are hired to intimidate workers to prevent them from unionizing.

In India, Coca-Cola destroys local agriculture by privatizing the country's water resources. In Plachimada, Kerala, Coca-Cola extracted 1.5 million liters of deep well water, which they bottled and sold under the names Dasani and BonAqua. The groundwater was severely depleted, affecting thousands of communities with water shortages and destroying agricultural activity. As a result, the remaining water became contaminated with high chloride and bacteria levels, leading to scabs, eye problems, and stomach aches in the local population.

Coca-Cola is also one of the most discriminatory employers in the world. In the year 2000, 2,000 African-American employees in the U.S. sued the company for race-based disparities in pay and promotions."

Support Colombian Trade Unions! Don't buy Coke.

:: Alister | 12:34 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

:: Saturday, December 10, 2005 ::

Defining Torture

Hervé Le Tellier in Le Monde:

Peut-on redéfinir le mot torture afin de pouvoir la pratiquer ? Bien sûr, et c'est même digne d'une démocratie, à condition de redéfinir aussi le mot démocratie.

Is it possible to redefine the word “torture” in order better to practice it? Of course it is, and it is even worthy of a democracy, provided the word “democracy” is also redefined.

:: Alister | 8:49 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

:: Thursday, December 08, 2005 ::

Cindy and Rose

Cindy and Rose, originally uploaded by alister.

Cindy Sheehan and Rose Gentle at the Scottish Parliament today.

Military Families Against the War

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Cindy and Susan

Cindy and Susan, originally uploaded by alister.

Cindy Sheehan greets Susan Smith. Both lost their sons to the war in Iraq. They joined Rose Gentle in calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

:: Alister | 3:47 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

:: Monday, December 05, 2005 ::

Legacy of Blood

Max Hastings is a brilliant military historian, and an arch-Tory. His scholarly and popular books like Armaggedon are poisoned by his hatred for the Soviet Union. But his words on Iraq are well worth noting.

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | Sorry, prime minister, your legacy will be a disastrous foreign war: "Galling though it must be to him, Blair's legacy will be Iraq. It is plain that, whatever the outcome, it will not be a happy one. Whether or no the coalition forces swiftly depart, the saga will drag on for years, poisoning western relations with the Islamic world. It is unlikely that Iraq can be sustained as a unitary state. Much more bloodshed is to come.

No amount of massage can alter the fact that this was a war of choice, not necessity. Blair, intoxicated by the sensation of standing shoulder to shoulder with the most powerful man on earth in doing a good deed, committed Britain on a false prospectus and in the caravan of gross incompetents in Washington. The consequences threaten to be interminable, not least in this country's increased vulnerability to terrorism.

It is hard to imagine any political historian, never mind the British public, attributing our involvement in this shambles to anything beyond the misjudgment of one man, the prime minister. Posterity will be no more impressed by Blair's professed honourable intentions than by those of Anthony Eden in Egypt, half a century ago."

:: Alister | 10:19 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

:: Sunday, December 04, 2005 ::

Kate Rusby

kate rusby, originally uploaded by alister.

Kate Rusby live at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. November 27th 2005.

Never seen Kate and band before, indeed I knew her only by reputation and was unfamiliar with her music. A wonderful voice and warm, mischievous Yorkshire humour bringing life to folk music both traditional and contemporary from around England, Scotland and Ireland.

Pretty funny joke about maltesers too.

:: Alister | 7:07 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

:: Thursday, December 01, 2005 ::

Cameo Future Uncertain

Cinema chiefs announce a pub U-turn: "THE owners of the Cameo have staged a dramatic U-turn after plans to turn it into a pub and restaurant sparked a storm of protest.

Bosses of the Tollcross cinema have contacted leaders of the Save the Cameo campaign to say they are going to withdraw their planning application in the face of growing opposition.

The message was read out at a packed public meeting held last night to drum up support for the campaign to preserve Edinburgh's oldest independent cinema.

But Cameo owner City Screen said that, although it had instructed its architect to withdraw the application, it would still sell up.

More than 250 protesters crammed into the Central Methodist Hall to join MSPs, councillors and cinema experts in discussing how to save the 92-year-old building.

The head of the Film Festival and Filmhouse confirmed they would be willing to run the Cameo if a buyer could be found.

But city culture leader Ricky Henderson warned that the council did not have funds available to save the Cameo."

So it seems that there has been a massive public response in opposition to the plans to sell and/or turn most of the Cameo Cinema into a bar. The local MSP Sarah Boyack reports 1328 letters on the subject (hope she replies to them, she never replied to any I ever sent her.) Most people seem to feel the same way as I do, the Lothian Road stag and hen trail should not be extended any further into Tollcross. The opportunity now exists for the Cameo to be bought by the council and run by the Film Festival. Nationalise the cameo under democratic workers control and management!

:: Alister | 10:01 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments

Taking a year out from the booze

No not me. But this blogging comrade here. Another lefty Scottish blog, excellent. Hope it lasts longer than most.

Oh, and a belated happy St. Andrews day to you.

:: Alister | 9:33 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | | (0) comments