Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Ronni Scotts

In Being In The Moment, Business, Daily Meditations, Media Dailies, Music For Pleasure, Prime Time News, Readers Choice, The Flying Muse, The Master Class, The Vitriolic Potical Corner, This Day In History, To Deal or Not on September 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Ronnie Scott (originally Ronald Schatt) was born in Aldgate, east London, into a family of Russian Jewish descent on his father’s side, and Portuguese antecedents on his mother’s.[1] Scott began playing in small jazz clubs at the age of sixteen. he toured with Johnny Claes, the trumpeter, from 1944 to 1945, and with Ted Heath in 1946, as well as working with Ambrose, Cab Kaye, and Tito Burns. He was involved in the short-lived musicians’ co-operative Club Eleven band and club (1948–1950), with Johnny Dankworth and others, and was a member of the generation of British musicians who worked on the Cunard liner Queen Mary (intermittently 1946–c. 1950) in order to visit New York and hear the new music directly. Scott was among the earliest British musicians to be influenced in his playing style by Charlie Parker and other bebop musicians.

In 1952 Scott joined Jack Parnell‘s orchestra, then led his own nine-piece group and quintet featuring among others, Pete King, with whom he would later open his jazz club, Victor Feldman, Hank Shaw and Phil Seamen from 1953 to 1956. He co-led The Jazz Couriers with Tubby Hayes from 1957 to 1959, and was leader of a quartet including Stan Tracey (1960–1967).

During this period he also did occasional session work; his best-known work here is the solo on The Beatles‘ “Lady Madonna“. He was said to be upset at the amount of his saxophone that made the final cut on the original record. In subsequent recordings Paul McCartney restored greater sections into the song.

From 1967–69, Scott was a member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band which toured Europe extensively and which also featured fellow tenor players Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, at the same time running his own octet including John Surman and Kenny Wheeler (1968–1969), and a trio with Mike Carr on keyboards and Bobby Gien on drums (1971–1975). He then went on to lead various groups, most of which included John Critchinson on keyboards and Martin Drew on drums.

Ronnie Scott’s playing was much admired on both sides of the Atlantic. Charles Mingus said of him in 1961: “Of the white boys, Ronnie Scott gets closer to the negro blues feeling, the way Zoot Sims does.”[2] Despite his central position in the British jazz scene, Scott recorded infrequently during the last few decades of his career. He suffered periods of depression and, while recovering slowly from surgery for tooth implants, died at age 69 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates prescribed by his dentist.[3]

He was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium.

The author Joel Lane is Scott’s nephew.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 47 Frith Street, Soho, London.

Main article: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Scott is perhaps best remembered for co-founding, with former tenor sax player Pete King, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, which opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London’s Soho district, with the debut of a young alto sax player named Peter King (no relation), before later moving to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street in 1965. The original venue continued in operation as the “Old Place” until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up and coming generation of domestic musicians.

Scott regularly acted as the club’s genial Master of Ceremonies, and was (in)famous for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. A typical introduction might go: “Our next guest is one of the finest musicians in the country. In the city, he’s crap”.

After Scott’s death, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene in June 2005.

Selected band line-ups

As well as participating in name orchestras, Scott led or co-led numerous bands featuring some of Britain’s most prominent jazz musicians of the day.

Alan Dean’s Beboppers


Ronnie Scott (ts), Johnny Dankworth (as), Hank Shaw (tp), Tommy Pollard (p), Pete Chilver (g), Joe Muddel (b), Laurie Morgan (d), Alan Dean (vocal).

Ronnie Scott Orchestra

– 1954, 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Derek Humble (as), Pete King (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Ken Wray (tb), Benny Green (bs), Victor Feldman (p), Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet

– 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Victor Feldman (p), Sammy Stokes/Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Big Band

– 1955

Ronnie Scott, Pete King, (ts), Joe Harriott, Doug Robinson (as), Benny Green (bs), Stan Palmer, Hank Shaw, Dave Usden, Jimmy Watson, (tp) Jack Botterill, Robin Kaye, Mac Minshull, Ken Wray (tb), Norman Stenfalt (p), Eric Peter (b), Phil Seamen (d).

The Jazz Couriers

Ronnie Scott (ts), Tubby Hayes (ts, vib), Terry Shannon (p), Phil Bates (b), Bill Eyden (d).

(On 7 April 1957, The Jazz Couriers co-led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, debuted at the new Flamingo Club in Wardour Street, Soho. The group lasted until 30 August 1959).

Ronnie Scott Quartet


Ronnie Scott (ts), Stan Tracey (p), Malcolm Cecil (b), Jackie Dougan (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet


Dick Pearce (tp), Ronnie Scott (ts), John Critchinson (p), Ron Mathewson (b), Martin Drew (d).

Selected discography

  • 1948: Boppin’ at Esquire (indigo)
  • 1958: The Couriers of Jazz! (Carlton/Fresh Sounds)
  • 1965: The Night Is Scott and You’re So Swingable (Redial)
  • 1965: When I Want Your Opinion, I’ll Give it to You (Jazz House)
  • 1969: Live at Ronnie Scott’s (Columbia)
  • 1977: Serious Gold (Pye)
  • 1990: Never Pat a Burning Dog (Jazz House)
  • 1997: If I Want Your Opinion (Jazz House)
  • 1997: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Jazz House)
  • 2000: Boppin’ at Esquire (Indigo)
  • 2002: Ronnie Scott Live at the Jazz Club (Time Music)

See also


  • Clarke, Donald (Ed.). The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Viking, 1989.
  • Kernfeld, Barry Dean (Ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Press, 1988.
  • Kington, Miles; Gelly, Dave. The Giants of Jazz, Schirmer Books, 1986.
  • Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd edition, Macmillan, 1998.
  • Ruppli, Michel; Novitsky, Ed. The Mercury Labels. A discography, Vol. V., Record and Artist Indexes, Greenwood Press, 1993.
  1. ^ The Man Behind The Club (Retrieved March 10, 2010)
  2. ^ “Ronnie Scott”, Brian Priestley, in Carr et al.
  3. ^ Jazz and death: medical profiles of jazz greats By Frederick J. Spencer. University Press of Mississippi. Page 2010
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (January 2010)

[Reprinted from Wikipedia]

Vocalist – General, Vocalist – Bass, Vocalist – Baritone, Vocalist – Tenor, Vocalist – Soprano, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Other Percussion, Violin, Trumpet, Saxophone, Keyboard, Piano, Background Singer, Harmonica, Flute, Other, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro.


John Francis Anthony Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987), better known as Jaco Pastorius, was an American jazz musician and composer widely acknowledged for his skills as an electric bass player.
His playing style was noteworthy for containing intricate solos in the higher register. His innovations also included the use of harmonics and the “singing” quality of his melodies on fretless bass. Pastorius suffered from mental illness including a Substance-related disorder, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. He died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale drinking establishment.
Pastorius was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists to be so honored (and the only electric bass guitarist). He is regarded as one of the most influential bass players of all time.

Listen Now…


BB King

In Music For Pleasure, This Day In History on September 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm

His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don’t look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can’t get enough of him.

For more than half a century, Riley B. King – better known as B.B. King – has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. Memphis was where every important musician of the South gravitated, and which supported a large musical community where every style of African American music could be found. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues.

B.B.’s first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis. This led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on black-staffed and managed Memphis radio station WDIA. “King’s Spot,” became so popular, it was expanded and became the “Sepia Swing Club.” Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.

In the mid-1950s, while B.B. was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, a few fans became unruly. Two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove, setting fire to the hall. B.B. raced outdoors to safety with everyone else, then realized that he left his beloved $30 acoustic guitar inside, so he rushed back inside the burning building to retrieve it, narrowly escaping death. When he later found out that the fight had been over a woman named Lucille, he decided to give the name to his guitar to remind him never to do a crazy thing like fight over a woman. Ever since, each one of B.B.’s trademark Gibson guitars has been called Lucille.

Soon after his number one hit, “Three O’Clock Blues,” B.B. began touring nationally. In 1956, B.B. and his band played an astonishing 342 one-night stands. From the chitlin circuit with its small-town cafes, juke joints, and country dance halls to rock palaces, symphony concert halls, universities, resort hotels and amphitheaters, nationally and internationally, B.B. has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 40 years.

Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist’s vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

In 1968, B.B. played at the Newport Folk Festival and at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West on bills with the hottest contemporary rock artists of the day who idolized B.B. and helped to introduce him to a young white audience. In “69, B.B. was chosen by the Rolling Stones to open 18 American concerts for them; Ike and Tina Turner also played on 18 shows.

B.B. was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He received NARAS’ Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1987, and has received honorary doctorates from Tougaloo(MS) College in 1973; Yale University in 1977; Berklee College of Music in 1982; Rhodes College of Memphis in 1990; Mississippi Valley State University in 2002 and Brown University in 2007. In 1992, he received the National Award of Distinction from the University of Mississippi.

In 1991, B.B. King’s Blues Club opened on Beale Street in Memphis, and in 1994, a second club was launched at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles. A third club in New York City’s Times Square opened in June 2000 and most recently two clubs opened at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut in January 2002. In 1996, the CD-Rom On The Road With B.B. King: An Interactive Autobiography was released to rave reviews. Also in 1996, B.B.’s autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (written with David Ritz for Avon Books) was published. In a similar vein, Doubleday published “The Arrival of B.B. King” by Charles Sawyer, in 1980.

B.B. continues to tour extensively, averaging over 250 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as “Payin’ The Cost To Be The Boss,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” How Blue Can You Get,” “Everyday I Have The Blues,” and “Why I Sing The Blues” are concert (and fan) staples. Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two #1 R&B hits, 1951’s “Three O’Clock Blues,” and 1952’s “You Don’t Know Me,” and four #2 R&B hits, 1953’s “Please Love Me,” 1954’s “You Upset Me Baby,” 1960’s “Sweet Sixteen, Part I,” and 1966’s “Don’t Answer The Door, Part I.” B.B.’s most popular crossover hit, 1970’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” went to #15 pop.


Little Miss. Mafia

In This Day In History on September 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm


X Factor hooker Chloe Mafia caught on camera snorting cocaine!

EXCLUSIVE by Will Payne

X Factor prostitute Chloe Mafia is caught on camera snorting line after line of cocaine – before going to meet a client for sex.

Our shocking footage shows the single mother hoovering up huge quantities of the drug, three days before an estimated 13m viewers watched her on last night’s show.

Click here to see the video.

The 19-year-old vice girl, who says she takes the Class A substance every night, then met a punter who she charged £450 for a sordid two-hour sex session.

Chloe’s drug binge took place in a hotel suite while a friend looked after her two-year-old daughter Destiny.

She expertly snorted four large lines of cocaine in just 50 minutes, taking her first hit minutes after arriving in the room.

And shockingly, mid-way through the drug session, she admitted to friends she is often high in front of her little girl – who she leaves with a pal in the hotel lobby while she meets clients for sex.

Speaking freely as she downed glasses of pink champagne, the wannabe pop star said: ‘This job, you know, it gets you bad with the coke. I hadn’t had it for two years and I started doing this work and now I do it every night. If I carry on like this I’ll be a coke-head as well as a hooker.’

She then described a binge with a drug-dealing client where she snorted so much she could not even open a wrapped loaf of bread.

She said: ‘Once I was in a hotel seeing this guy who sells coke and he got out a massive bag of the stuff and whacked it on the table. He cut up a load of massive lines – they were fat and long like sausages.

‘I didn’t even think it was that strong and I did loads but then it hit me and I was f****d. I went downstairs and the moment the guy on reception saw me he said, ‘You’re coked out of your head aren’t you?’.

‘I was so out of it I walked into the hotel kitchen, but once I got in there I couldn’t even open the packaging on a loaf of bread. I was that bad.

“One of my mates had been looking after Destiny while I was with the dealer, but she came into the kitchen and saw me. I felt really bad being that f****d in front of my little girl.’

Our drug-taking revelations will prove hugely embarrassing for The X Factor supremo Simon Cowell, who has been criticised for letting Chloe stay in the show despite her being a prostitute.

He has said: ‘We haven’t banned prostitutes. We can’t just take people off the show because they might do something that upsets some people.’

But it will be hard for bosses of the show, watched by millions of children, to defend her now.

Chloe, real name Chloe Heald – who was shown turning up late for her first Boot Camp practice session on last night’s show – denied being a sex worker this week, saying: ‘The claims I’m a prostitute have been heartbreaking.’

But our evidence proves she is just that.

The teenager from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, talks openly about her work and boasts she was late for Boot Camp because she had met a client the night before.

She told her friends: ‘When I was in London for X Factor I met this sexy guy from Facebook who keeps ringing me every day. He asked me what size clothes my daughter wears because he wanted to buy her some. He said he was going to take me on holiday and gave me his bank details.’

Chloe also said she arranged to meet a client after her first audition in Manchester.

But she failed to turn up after she stayed behind to speak to the show’s counsellors because she felt she had messed up her rendition of Shakira’s Underneath Your Clothes.

At one point during the teen’s cocaine session at the hotel in West Yorkshire she even tried to recruit her friend and another woman for a foursome with the client.

She said: ‘Tell him he can have three girls for the price of one, go on tell him. Ask him if he wants three.’

And one of Chloe’s friends says her drug habit is the main reason she has turned to prostitution. The friend also believes her behaviour is putting daughter Destiny at risk.

She said: ‘Chloe does coke every night of the week and struggles to function without it. She earns a lot escorting, but it all goes on clothes and coke. It can’t be safe looking after a child when you’re constantly on drugs.

‘Chloe often takes her on jobs. She’ll go upstairs with the client and her mate will look after Destiny in the hotel lobby. It’s a terrible environment for a child.’

Chloe also told of violence in her life, saying a heroin addict put a knife to her throat last Monday while Destiny watched from her pushchair.

Chloe, who has been arrested 140 times for a variety of crimes, said she had got into an argument with the woman at a railway station about Destiny being out with her at night.

She said in our footage: ‘Next thing, her boyfriend has passed her a knife and had it right to my throat while she’s pulling my hair. Destiny was right there. She saw the whole thing.’

Then she told of a male friend brutally ­attacking her – but added: ‘It’s only because he was p****d out of his head and on steroids.’

Chloe, who has had three boyfriends in the past month and still sees Destiny’s dad Ian Hough, said she is still on the look-out for a man and talked of The X Factor host Dermot O’Leary.

Deluded Chloe said: ‘I’m sure Dermot fancied me. He’d come next to me and put his arm round me and say, ‘You need a nice man to look after you’.’ And she said of Simon Cowell: ‘I wish I had sh***ed Simon. Then I’d be famous.’


In Business on September 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm


Swiss big bank rules to go further than Basel III: report
Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:34am EDT

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss regulators will ask big banks UBS(UBS.N)(UBSN.VX) and Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) to go one step further than their international competitors in the amounts of core capital they hold, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

A commission of experts on the “too-big-to-fail” issue would hand a report on Thursday to the Swiss Finance Ministry proposing Switzerland’s two largest banks should hold core capital of around 12 percent — 2.5 to 5 percent more than foreign competitors — SonntagsZeitung reported, citing commission sources.

Details of the report could be made public as early as Monday and the Swiss government was expected to discuss the proposals on Friday, the paper said.

Under new, international “Basel III” rules agreed earlier this month, banks will be required to hold top-quality capital — known as “core Tier 1” capital, and consisting of equity or retained earnings — worth at least 4.5 percent of assets and a “capital conservation buffer” of common equity equaling 2.5 percent of assets, bringing the total top-quality capital requirement to 7 percent.

They will also have to build a separate “countercyclical buffer” of between zero and 2.5 percent when the credit markets are booming.

Top officials at Swiss financial regulator FINMA and at the Swiss National Bank backed the Basel III reform package but said the new set of rules did not go far enough in addressing the problem of how to stop a big bank’s failure dragging down the whole country’s economy.

In the past Credit Suisse and UBS were also expected to comply with the “Swiss finish,” a domestic layer of bank capital regulation that went above international standards.

Credit Suisse would need around 15 billion of new capital and UBS 5.5 billion to reach the new 12 percent minimum for core capital, SonntagsZeitung said.

The two banks would consider contingent convertibles — debt that is converted into shares if a specified event occurs — to bolster their core capital if needed, the paper added.

Analysts have said retained earnings should suffice for UBS and Credit Suisse to build core capital that meets additional Swiss requirements of 3 percent above those in Basel III.

(Reporting by Jason Rhodes; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Islington’s dog-walkers should be pooh-poohed | News

In The Vitriolic Potical Corner on September 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Islington’s dog-walkers should be pooh-poohed | News.

Tony Sewell: ‘Black children are not victims of racism at school anymore’

Tony Sewell: \'Black children are not victims of racism at school anymore\'

COMMENTS: Tony Sewell

EDUCATION CAMPAIGNER, Dr Tony Sewell has claimed that black children do not fail at school because of institutional racism, but simply because they do not concentrate.

In a controversial article for magazine ‘Prospect’ the former Voice columnist who is also the director of Generating Genius, a charity seeking to get more black boys into university, said that poor parenting was to blame for a black child’s poor performance in school.

Although he admitted that black pupils were once held back by institutional racism, ‘times had changed’.

He writes: “What we now see in schools is children undermined by poor parenting, peer-group pressure and an inability to be responsible for their own behaviour.

“They are not subjects of institutional racism.” He said.

He continued in his harsh attack: “They have failed their GCSEs because they did not do the homework, did not pay attention and were disrespectful to their teachers.”

These views are in stark contrast to those held by Labour leader hopeful, Diane Abbott who once said “black boys do not have to be too long out of disposable nappies for some teachers to see them as a miniature gangster rapper.”

Reading University did admit that some teachers’ low expectations of black boys might be part of the reason why they underachieve.

In 2008, the Department for Education reported that only 27 per cent of black boys achieve five or more A*-C GCSE grades.

Dr Sewell said: “I believe black underachievement is due to the low expectations of school leaders, who do not want to be seen as racist and who position black boys as victims.”

Two tots die after mother locks them in cupboard for 10 hours

Two tots die after mother locks them in cupboard for 10 hours

ACCUSED: Edyan Farah

A MOTHER has been accused of killing her two children by cramming them into tiny cupboard with three of their siblings for approximately ten hours while she visited friends.

Edyan Farah, 28, returned to her home in Indianapolis, Indiana, to find her daughter Zuhur, five, and three year-old son Zakariya stiff and unresponsive.

Lt Jeff Duhamell, of the city’s police said: “It was one of the worst ones I’ve seen-to be placed In closet about 6ft by 18in and a bed pushed against it for a minimum of ten hours, we think possibly a lot longer, and probably not for the first time.

Somalian Edyan claimed that she was ‘not in her right mind’ when she locked her children away.

The bodies were discovered after a family friend became suspicious when Edyan refused to let anyone into her apartment.

Farah’s uncle revealed that when he arrived to the house and looked through the door of the apartment, he saw what appeared to be a dead child on the couch.

This led him to call the police despite experiencing opposition from Edyan who tried to prevent him from alerting the police.

Neighbours revealed that the children looked underfed before the incident. One neighbour said: “Every morning I would hear the little girl say, no, no, like she was locked out the house.”

The surviving three children, aged one, five and seven, have been placed in care.

Tests are being carried out to ascertain how Zuhur and Zakariya died. Toxicology tests could take up to a month.

Churches who give more will receive

Marcia Dixon

Churches who give more will receive

COLLECTION: Some churches ask for much from congregation but don\’t give

Why ministers should take a leaf out of billionaire Warren Buffett’s book

MONEY. IT’S a subject that is always very much on people’s minds, particularly in these cash-strapped times. But while people are interested in getting it and spending it, there’s not as much interest in saving it or giving it away.

However, one man, Warren Buffett – described as the world’s greatest investor – recently gathered together a group of America’s richest men and encouraged them to pledge to give away as much of their fortunes as possible to charitable causes whilst they are alive.

The attitude of these billionaires is a major contrast to some of the churches within the black community that seem to be on a never-ending quest to raise money – usually through their congregations.

A young man recently told me that the thing he remembered the most about his attendance at a church service was the minister’s request that as many people as possible in the congregation give £100!

Whilst most people recognise churches need money to carry out their work, the question that is often asked is, why do they have to make requests for money such a focal part of a service, and mention that they need a ‘special offering’ so often? It has now become an annoying and off-putting part of the public worship experience.

Maybe it’s time for church leaders to take a leaf out of the book of Buffett and co, who are making sure they go down in history as people who gave their wealth away for the benefit of others. Okay, they might be billionaires and have a lot to give away, but that doesn’t mean that those of us who have smaller incomes – including our churches – can’t be known as givers.

Our church leaders should be renowned for what they give back to others, not for their skill in extracting money out of people’s pockets, because one of the things that demonstrates someone has been touched by God is their willingness to give their time, energy or money to others.

More church leaders need to look at way they can serve their members and their community through giving and there’s a blessing in doing this. Not only will God be pleased but church members are more likely to donate more to their churches when they know the money they give is being used to help others.

One church I know invites a charity to give a talk to their congregation every month, and gives them a substantial contribution to fund their work. Others donate money to orphanages, support missionaries or provide funds to congregations based in the developing world.

More churches should also give consideration to setting up grant-making trusts so that they can fund good causes in their respective communities.

Buffett and co have set a good precedent that those with an abundance of wealth can follow. And don’t the scriptures remind us that it’s more blessed to give than receive?

Gay sex, fraud and a bishop ‘dripping with diamonds’ | News

In This Day In History on September 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Gay sex, fraud and a bishop ‘dripping with diamonds’ | News.


From the Black Herald:

The man set to become the new owner of Gatwick Airport tells Sky News how he is going to shake up Britain’s airport business. In an exclusive interview with Jeff Randall, Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, said he is going “to make Gatwick a truly first class experience.”

The man set to become the new owner of Gatwick Airport, tells Sky News how he is going to shake-up Britain’s airport business. In an exclusive interview with Jeff Randall, Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, said he is going “to make Gatwick a truly first class experience”.

However he cautioned it would take “somewhere between 12 and 18 months” before passengers started noticing a difference at the airport.  GIP agreed a £1.51bn deal with Gatwick’s current operator BAA last week, which represented a “good price”, Mr Ogunlesi said. The fund, which invests in the energy, transport and waste sectors, has already spent over £1bn so far this year, encouraged by falling asset prices. Mr Ogunlesi said the UK’s strong regulatory framework and attractive assets made “Britain a wonderful place to invest”.

“We love Britain,” Mr Ogunlesi added. The sale of Gatwick to GIP, which is subject to approval by the European Union, is due to be completed by the end of the year. The airport is currently run by BAA, which posted a pre-tax loss of over £780m in the first nine months of the year. The airport operator said it lost £225m on Gatwick after being forced to sell the airport by the Competition Commission.

Culled from Sky News.


Take a Giant Step, a play by Louis Peterson, opened on Broadway (1953).

Patrick Kelly, an African-American designer who became famous in Paris, born (1954).

President Eisenhower orders federal troops to Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. to prevent interference with school integration of nine Black students (1957).

Little Rock nine school integration

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Board of Higher Education of Mississippi to admit a Black student to university or be held in contempt (1962).

Executive Order 11246 which enforces affirmative action Issued by President Johnson (1965).

John T. Walker named the first Black bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington (1977).

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone makes statement saying that the United States’ “intelligence levels are lower than those in Japan because of African-Americans, Hispanics and Puerto Ricans.” Nakasone later apologized saying his remarks were misinterpreted (1986).


Merely mention the name John Coltrane and you’re likely to evoke a deeply emotional, often spiritual response from even the most casual jazz fan.

Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane was always surrounded by music. His father played several instruments sparking Coltrane’s study of E-flat horn and clarinet. While in high school, Coltrane’s musical influences shifted to the likes of Lester Young and Johnny Hodges prompting him to switch to alto saxophone. He continued his musical training in Philadelphia at Granoff Studios and the Ornstein School of Music. He was called to military service during WWII, where he performed in the U.S. Navy Band in Hawaii.

After the war, Coltrane began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie “CleanHead” Vinson Band, and was later quoted as saying, “A wider area of listening opened up for me. There were many things that people like Hawk, and Ben and Tab Smith were doing in the ‘40’s that I didn’t understand, but that I felt emotionally.” Prior to joining the Dizzy Gillespie band, Coltrane performed with Jimmy Heath where his passion for experimentation began to take shape. However, it was his work with the Miles Davis Quintet in 1958 that would lead to his own musical evolution. ” Miles music gave me plenty of freedom,” he once said. During that period, he became known for using the three-on-one chord approach, and what has been called the ‘sheets of sound,’ a method of playing multiple notes at one time.

By 1960 Coltrane had formed his own quartet which included pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Eventually adding players like Eric Dolphy, and Pharoah Sanders. The John Coltrane Quartet created some of the most innovative and expressive music in Jazz history including the hit albums: “My Favorite Things,” “Africa Brass,” ” Impressions,” ” Giant Steps,” and his monumental work “A Love Supreme” which attests to the power, glory, love, and greatness of God. Coltrane felt we must all make a conscious effort to effect positive change in the world, and that his music was an instrument to create positive thought patterns in the minds of people.

In 1967, liver disease took Coltrane’s life leaving many to wonder what might have been. Yet decades after his departure his music can be heard in motion pictures, on television and radio. Recent film projects that have made references to Coltrane’s artistry in dialogue or musical compositions include, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, “The General’s Daughter”, “Malcolm X”, “Mo Better Blues”, “Jerry McGuire”, “White Night”, “The Last Graduation”, “Come Unto Thee”, “Eyes On The Prize II” and “Four Little Girls”. Also, popular television series such as “NYPD Blue”, “The Cosby Show”, “Day’s Of Our Lives”, “Crime Stories” and “ER”, have also relied on the beautiful melodies of this distinguished saxophonist.

In 1972, “A Love Supreme” was certified gold by the RIAA for exceeding 500,000 units in Japan. This jazz classic and the classic album “My Favorite Things” were certified gold in the United States in 2001.

In 1982, the RIAA posthumously awarded John Coltrane a Grammy Award of ” Best Jazz Solo Performance” for the work on his album, “Bye Bye Blackbird”. In 1997 he received the organizations highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

On June 18, 1993 Mrs. Alice Coltrane received an invitation to The White House from former President and Mrs. Clinton, in appreciation of John Coltrane’s historical appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

In 1995, John Coltrane was honored by the United States Postal Service with a commemorative postage stamp. Issued as part of the musicians and composers series, this collectors item remains in circulation.

In 1999, Universal Studios and its recording division MCA Records recognized John Coltrane’s influence on cinema by naming a street on the Universal Studios lot in his honor.

In 2001, The NEA and the RIAA released 360 songs of the Century . Among them was John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things.”


‘Social workers believed that Baby P’s mother was caring’ | News

In Media Dailies on September 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

‘Social workers believed that Baby P’s mother was caring’ | News.

Shooting siege barrister was my only option, says police marksman | News

In Media Dailies on September 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Shooting siege barrister was my only option, says police marksman | News.

‘Curry King’ adds £2,500 spice to Oona King’s fighting fund | News

In Media Dailies on September 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

‘Curry King’ adds £2,500 spice to Oona King’s fighting fund | News.

It’s Ken v Boris again — Labour picks Livingstone for Mayor rematch | News

In Media Dailies on September 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

It’s Ken v Boris again — Labour picks Livingstone for Mayor rematch | News.

Williams backs celibate gay bishops | News

In Media Dailies on September 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Williams backs celibate gay bishops | News.

Diana Ross and Ru Paul – I Will Survive

In The Flying Muse on September 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.


In The Vitriolic Potical Corner on September 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm

BNP Regions Now Equipped to Spread the BNP Message

The British National Party’s Communications Department has equipped the party’s Regional Press Officers with the tools necessary to generate publicity and manoeuvre in today’s complex media world.

“Each regional press officer of the party has been given a highly detailed database of all regional media contacts, newspapers, TV, radio and even prominent blogs and publications,” said National Communications Officer Paul Golding.

“The Communications Department has access to an international database of media contacts, containing some 1.4 million journalists and other news outlets, this was obtained through the generous donations of party members and supporters. If you are one of those who gave to our media appeals, the party thanks you for enabling us to put such a tremendous system in place.”

“Each regional press officer is now in the process of setting up a regional press release system utilising the constantly updated data provided by the Communications Department. This will allow our press officers to generate publicity and drive the party into the news.”

“We have now moved into a completely unknown but very exciting realm with our public relations machine. We have 3 full time staff, dealing with management, media enquiries, design, editorial, media appearances, production (along with their other duties), complimented by 11 regional press officers utilizing multiple IT systems.

“We now have a complete nationwide department, responsible for media, literature, campaigns and cyberspace. It is indeed a most remarkable and complex machine but at last the British National Party are playing in the media ‘big league’ and we are only at the beginning of this journey.”

BNP Regions Now Equipped to Spread the BNP Message.

Nick Griffin and the Queen

Turned away: Nick Griffin was expected to attend the party hosted by the Queen

Queen bans BNP leader Nick Griffin from Buckingham Palace garden party

Sri Carmichael, Royal Reporter

The Queen today barred BNP leader Nick Griffin from her garden party at Buckingham Palace.

The far-Right politician, his wife and daughter were due to be among 8,000 guests this afternoon but, at the last-minute, Palace aides announced that he would be banned for using his invitation for “party political purposes”.

A statement issued on behalf of the Queen said: “Nick Griffin MEP will be denied entry to today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace due to the fact he has overtly used his personal invitation for party political purposes through the media. This in turn has increased the security threat and the potential discomfort to the many other guests also attending.”

A Palace spokesman added: “The decision to deny him entry is not intended to show any disrespect to the democratic process by which the invitation was issued. However, we would apply the same rules to anyone who tried to blatantly politicise their attendance in this way.”

Mr Griffin immediately condemned the decision, claiming it was a reaction to pressure from the coalition Government. He said: “I’m appalled. It’s an outrage and thoroughly anti-British.

“If there are rules about going as a political representative, we have to be told about them. I was told what to wear, where to go, but nothing about this.

“Another BNP MEP, Andrew Brons, has given interviews talking about his invitation and he’s still being allowed to go.” He said he did not “blame the Queen” and claimed Buckingham

Palace was under “enormous pressure from the Lib-Con coalition” to withdraw his invitation.

Anti-fascists welcomed the decision. John Mann MP, chairman of the Commons all-party group against anti-semitism, said: “I fully support the Palace’s actions — Griffin has once again proved he is an embarrassment to his constituents and to our country.”

Mr Griffin was set to attend a garden party last year as a guest of a BNP London Assembly member but pulled out after an outcry.

Downing Street said: “It was entirely a matter for the Royal Household. The Government was not involved.”

BNP chief nominated himself for party

Nick Griffin was able to nominate himself to attend the party using the ticket allocation granted to the European Parliament.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said all British MEPs are entitled to go and invitations are issued as matter of course when an application is received.

Last year Richard Barnbrook of the BNP received two tickets for a Palace garden party in his capacity as a member of the London Assembly.

He selected Mr Griffin as his guest but the BNP leader pulled out, saying he had “no wish to embarrass the Queen”.


The far right is on the march again: The rise of Fascism in Austria

In Austria’s recent general election, nearly 30 per cent of voters backed extremist right-wing parties. Live visits the birthplace of Hitler to investigate how Fascism is once again threatening to erupt across Europe.


Last updated at 6:52 PM on 18th March 2009

Supporters of far right leader Heinz Christian Strache (pictured in the flyers held aloft by the man at the front) gather at a rally in Vienna

Supporters of far right leader Heinz Christian Strache (pictured in the flyers held aloft by the man at the front) gather at a rally in Vienna

Beneath a leaden sky the solemn, black-clad crowd moves slowly towards a modest grey headstone. At one end
of the grave, a flame casts light on the black lettering that is engraved on the marble. At the other end, an elderly soldier bends down to place flowers before standing to salute.

From all over Austria, people are here to pay their respects to their fallen hero. But the solemnity of the occasion is cut with tension. Beyond the crowd of about 300, armed police are in attendance. They keep a respectful distance but the rasping bark of Alsatians hidden in vans provides an eerie soundtrack as the crowd congregates in mist and light rain.

We’ve been warned that despite a heavy police presence journalists have often been attacked at these meetings. If trouble does come then the mob look ready to fight. There are bull-necked stewards and young men who swagger aggressively.

Heinz Christian Strache
The Freedom Party leader Heinz Christian Strache

This is a neo-Nazi gathering and in the crowd are some of Austria’s most hard-faced fascists. Among them is Gottfried Kussel, a notorious thug who was the showman of Austria’s far-right movement in the Eighties and Nineties until he was imprisoned for eight years for promoting Nazi ideology.

Today he cuts a Don Corleone figure as he stands defiantly at the graveside. His neo-Nazi acolytes make sure no one comes near him and our photographer is unceremoniously barged out of his way.

Ominous-looking men with scars across their faces whisper to each other and shake hands. These are members of Austria’s Burschenschaften, an arcane, secretive organisation best known for its fascination with fencing, an initiation ceremony that includes a duel in which the opponents cut each other’s faces, and for its strong links to the far right.

Incredibly, standing shoulder to shoulder with these hard-line Nazi sympathisers are well known Austrian politicians. At the graveside, a speech is made by Lutz Weinzinger, a leading member of Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO), who pays tribute to the fallen.

This is a gathering in memory of an Austrian-born Nazi fighter pilot, who during WWII shot down 258 planes, 255 of them Russian. Such was Major Walter Nowotny’s standing at the time of his death in 1944 that the Nazi Party awarded him a grave of honour in Vienna’s largest cemetery, close to the musical legends Mozart, Brahms and Strauss.

But in 2005 that honour was revoked and his body moved to lie in an area of public graves. The decision infuriated the far right and made their annual pilgrimage an even greater event.

Today, the anniversary of Nowotny’s death, also coincides with Kristallnacht, the ‘night of broken glass’ in 1938 when 92 people were murdered and thousands attacked across Germany as stormtroopers set upon Jews in an outpouring of Nazi violence.

Some 70 years on from that infamous pogrom, the world faces a similar financial crisis to the one that precipitated the rise of Hitler and, in chilling echoes of Thirties Europe, support for far-right groups is exploding. Hitler’s birthplace has become the focus for neo-Nazis across the world.

And so I have come to Austria to investigate how Fascism and extremism are moving, unchecked, into the forefront of its society.

Last September, Austria’s far right gained massive political influence in an election that saw the FPO along with another far right party – Alliance For The Future (BZO) – gain 29 per cent of the vote, the same share as Austria’s main party, the Social Democrats. The election stirred up terrifying memories of the rise of the Nazi Party in the Thirties.

And just as the Nazis gained power on the back of extreme nationalism and virulent anti-Semitism, the recent unprecedented gains in Austria were made on a platform of fear about immigration and the perceived threat of Islam. FPO leader Heinz Christian Strache, for example, described women in Islamic dress as ‘female ninjas’.

Emboldened by the new power in parliament, neo-Nazi thugs have desecrated Muslim graves. Recently, in Hitler’s home town of Braunau, a swastika flag was publicly unveiled.

Austrian far right leader Heinz Christian Strache addresses a rallyAustrian far right leader Heinz Christian Strache addresses a rally

The FPO wants to legalise Nazi symbols, while its firebrand leader has been accused of having links to far right extremists.

After the FPO’s election victory, Nick Griffin, leader of the British Nationalist Party (BNP), sent a personal message to Strache.

‘We in Britain are impressed to see that you have been able to combine principled nationalism with electoral success. We are sure that this gives you a good springboard for the European elections and we hope very much that we will be able to join you in a successful nationalist block in Brussels next year.’

The message followed on from a secret meeting last May in which a high-ranking FPO politician paid a visit to London for a meeting with Griffin.

The relationship between the FPO and the BNP becomes more worrying as I learn of the strong links between Austria’s political party and hard-line Nazis.

Former Waffen SS officer and unrepentant Nazi Herbert SchweigerFormer Waffen SS officer and unrepentant Nazi Herbert Schweiger

Herbert Schweiger makes no attempt to hide his Nazi views. At his home in the Austrian mountains, the former SS officer gazes out of a window to a view of a misty alpine valley. Described to me as the ‘Puppet Master’ of the far right, Schweiger, 85, is a legendary figure for neo-Nazis across the world.

‘Our time is coming again and soon we will have another leader like Hitler,’ he says.

Still remarkably sharp-minded, Schweiger was a lieutenant in the infamous Waffen SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, an elite unit originally formed before WWII to act as the Führer’s personal bodyguards.

This is his first interview for four years and the first he has ever given to a journalist from outside Austria. It happens a few weeks before he is due to appear in court charged with promoting neo-Nazi ideology.

It will be the fifth time he has stood trial for breaking a law, the Verbotsgesetz, enacted in 1947 to halt the spread of fascist ideology. He has been found guilty twice and acquitted twice. It quickly becomes apparent that little has changed in Schweiger’s mindset since his Third Reich days.

‘The Jew on Wall Street is responsible for the world’s current economic crisis. It is the same now as in 1929 when 90 per cent of money was in the hands of the Jew. Hitler had the right solutions then,’ he says, invoking the language of Goebbels.

The room is filled with mementos from his past and indicators of his sickening beliefs. His bookshelf is a library of loathing. I spot a book by controversial British Holocaust denier David Irving and one on the ‘myth of Auschwitz’. On a shelf hangs a pennant from the SS Death’s Head unit that ran Hitler’s concentration camps. Such memorabilia is banned in Austria but Schweiger defiantly displays his Nazi possessions.

If Schweiger was an old Nazi living out his final days in this remote spot, it might be possible to shrug him off as a now harmless man living in his past. But Schweiger has no intention of keeping quiet.

‘My job is to educate the fundamentals of Nazism. I travel regularly in Austria and Germany speaking to young members of our different groups,’ he says.

Schweiger’s lectures are full of hate and prejudice. He refers to Jews as ‘intellectual nomads’ and says poor Africans should be allowed to starve.

‘The black man only thinks in the present and when his belly is full he does not think of the future,’ he says. ‘They reproduce en masse even when they have no food, so supporting Africans is suicide for the white race.

‘It is not nation against nation now but race against race. It is a question of survival that Europe unites against the rise of Asia. There is an unstoppable war between the white and yellow races. In England and Scotland there is very strong racial potential.

Our time is coming again and soon we will have another leader like Hitler

‘Of course I am a racist, but I am a scientific racist,’ he adds, as if this is a justification.

Schweiger’s raison d’être is politics. He was a founding member of three political parties in Austria – the VDU, the banned NDP and the FPO. He has given his support to the current leader of the FPO.

‘Strache is doing the right thing by fighting the foreigner,’ says Schweiger.

He is now in close contact with the Kameradschaften, underground cells of hardcore neo-Nazis across Austria and Germany who, over the past three years, have started to infiltrate political parties such as the FPO.

His belief that the bullet and the ballot box go hand in hand goes back to 1961, when he helped to train a terrorist movement fighting for the reunification of Austria and South Tyrol.

‘I was an explosives expert in the SS so I trained Burschenschaften how to make bombs. We used the hotel my wife and I owned as a training camp,’ he says. The hotel he refers to is 50 yards from his home.

Thirty people in Italy were murdered during the campaign. One of the men convicted for the atrocities, Norbert Burger, later formed the now-banned neo-Nazi NDP party with Schweiger.

Schweiger’s involvement earned him his first spell in custody in 1962 but he was acquitted.

A gathering of the Burschenschaften, a secretive nationalist group with far-right tendenciesA gathering of the Burschenschaften, a secretive nationalist group with far-right tendencies

At Vienna’s Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DOW), I speak to Heribert Schiedel, who monitors neo-Nazi activity. He tells me that the glue between people like Schweiger and the politicians are the Burschenschaften fraternities. Schiedel draws two circles and explains.

‘In the circle on the left you have legal parties such as the FPO. In the circle on the right you have illegal groups. Two distinct groupings who pretend they are separate.’

He draws another circle linking the two together. ‘This circle links the legal and illegal. This signifies the Burschenschaften. They have long been associated with Fascism and have a history of terrorism. Adolf Eichmann, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler were Burschenschaften – as are prominent members of the FPO in parliament.’

There are Burschenschaften groups all over Austria and 18 in the capital alone. Their activities range from quaint to disturbing.

At the University of Vienna, members of the Burschenschaften come to pay homage to a statue called the Siegfriedskopf (the Head of Siegfried, a warrior from German mythology). Their ritual takes place every Wednesday.
The university authorities wanted to remove the statue, but the government insisted it should stay as it is a protected monument. Instead, the piece was relocated to the courtyard.

Today, the Burschenschaften have been prevented from entering the courtyard and at the main entrance police stand guard as they hand out leaflets. Dressed in traditional uniforms, the Burschenschaften resemble colourful bandsmen and are a far cry from the shaven-headed thugs normally associated with Fascism.

But the groups have a 200-year-old history steeped in patriotism and loyalty to a German state. In 2005, Olympia, one of the most extreme Burschenschaften fraternities, invited David Irving to Austria.

As other students gather, there is tension in the air. One girl whispers that this group recently attacked students protesting outside the Austrian Parliament against the FPO.

A young student with round glasses and a scar on his left cheek, wearing the purple colours of Olympia, is handing out leaflets. Roland denies being a neo-Nazi but he quickly starts relaying his fiercely nationalist views.

Gottfried Kussel (second from right) among the gathering at the grave of WWII Nazi pilot Walter NowotnyGottfried Kussel (second from right) among the gathering at the grave of WWII Nazi pilot Walter Nowotny

‘The anti-fascists are the new fascists,’ he says. ‘We are not allowed to tell the truth about how foreigners are a threat.’

The truth, according to Roland, is that Muslims, immigrants and America are destroying his way of life.

‘We are German-Austrians. We want a community here based on German nationalism,’ he adds. ‘We must fight to save our heritage and culture.’

The Burschenschaften hold regular, secretive meetings in cellar bars around Vienna. Journalists are not usually admitted, but I manage to persuade a group of Burschenschaften students to let me see their traditions. Once inside, I find myself in a bar filled with 200 men sitting at long tables drinking steins of Austrian beer.

The Burschenschaften are resplendent in the colours of their fraternities. Old and young, they sport sashes in the black, red and gold of the German flag, and as the beer flows in this neo-Gothic building, chatter fills the room and cigarette smoke rises in plumes up to chandeliers hung from a vaulted ceiling.

‘Prost!’ the man sitting to my right toasts loudly. His name is Christian. He is no neo-Nazi thug, but instead a psychology student. His white peaked cap signifies that he is a member of a Burschenschaften group called Gothia.
Most of the men at this table are Gothia, including the man sitting opposite who ordered the beer. He glares at me again. He has long scars on both sides of his face that run from his cheekbones down to the edges of his mouth, and when he sucks on his cigarette he reminds me of the Joker from Batman. Christian has a dozen wounds from fencing, including five on his left cheek.

‘It is a badge of honour to duel,’ he says proudly, before explaining that this is an annual event and that one of tonight’s speeches will be on the ‘threat of Islam to Europe’.

Suddenly, everyone at our table stands amazed as FPO leader Heinz Christian Strache enters.

He is wearing a royal blue hat – signifying his membership of the Vandalia Burschenschaften – and after shaking hands with each of us he sits at the far end of the table. Shortly afterwards I’m asked to leave.

Although the Burschenschaften claims to be politically neutral, FPO flyers had been placed in front of each guest and it was clear this event was a political rally in support of the FPO – an event that would culminate with these Austrians, including a leading politician, singing the German national anthem.

After my encounter with the leader of the FPO among the Burschenschaften, I contact Strache’s press office to question his membership of an organisation linked to far right extremism, and ask why the FPO wishes to revoke the Verbotsgesetz (the law banning Nazi ideology).

In a response by email, Mr Strache replied that the FPO wants to revoke the Verbotsgesetz because it believes in freedom of speech. He denied having any links to neo-Nazi groups and says he is proud to be a member of the Burschenschaften.

‘The Burschenschaften was founded during the wars against Napoleon Bonaparte in the beginning of the 19th century. These are the historical origins I am proud of,’ he wrote.

Back at Nowotny’s graveside I think of the Puppet Master in his mountain home. How can a former Nazi still hold so much political sway? The Burschenschaften are here, too.

There are no ‘sieg heils’ and no swastikas for the cameras, but it’s clear that Fascism is back. These are not thugs merely intent on racial violence, who are easily locked up. These are intellectuals and politicians whose move to the forefront of society is far more insidious.

Through the political influence of the FPO it is entirely possible that the Verbotsgesetz could be revoked – and if that happens swastikas could once again be seen on Austria’s streets.

The ideas and racial hatred that I have heard over my two weeks in Austria are just as threatening and just as sickening as any I have ever heard. And they are a lot more sinister because they are spoken with the veneer of respectability.

The open defiance of these men honouring their Nazi ‘war hero’, and the support they are gaining in these troubled economic times, should be setting off alarm bells in Europe and the rest of the world.


The Best of British

In This Day In History on September 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Susan Boyle launches talent contest

Have you dreamed a dream of duetting with the ‘hairy angel’? Then your hopes could soon become a reality …

[Reprinted from the Guardian] -Tuesday 13 July 2010 13.25 BST

Reporter: Sean Michaels

Susan Boyle
Boyle-in-the-bag … Susan’s Search aims to find the singer a duet partner.

Susan Boyle would like to discover the next Susan Boyle. The world’s favourite Scottish singer has launched a new online contest, the winner of which will duet with Boyle on the 49-year-old’s forthcoming second album.

It’s called Susan’s Search. And although this makes it sound like a melancholy TV special about Boyle’s love life, the competition could well be the golden ticket for another lonely spinster sitting at home with her cat. After being discovered on Britain’s Got Talent, Boyle went on to release the bestselling UK album of 2010.

“When I did Britain’s Got Talent, I was given a chance by Simon Cowell to show what I could do,” Boyle explained in a video on her website. “This got me thinking about people who maybe missed the opportunity, so I came up with the idea for Susan’s Search … It’s about giving other people an opportunity … [to] live the dream.”

Boyle herself will be judging the contest, which invites contenders to submit videos via her YouTube channel. But although there’s already a raft of Boyle-a-likes, from the Chinese Susan Boyle to the Taiwanese Susan Boyle, those gunning for the prize will have to start shaking their jingle bells. To qualify, all singers must perform the Christmas classic Silent Night, which Boyle recorded for last year’s I Dreamed a Dream.

This popular carol is a little at odds with the reported style of Boyle’s second album, The Gift, which is due in November. For this, the singer is apparently exploring her “jazzy” 1960s side, revisiting what she called “my era”.

Perhaps there will be miniskirts.








World Builder

In Business, Daily Meditations on September 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm

…Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or Bends with the remover to remove.
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

World Builder from BranitVFX on Vimeo.

HSBC confirms boardroom shake-up

Mike Geoghegan
Mike Geoghegan is the latest banking boss to leave his position

HSBC has confirmed that its chief executive Michael Geoghegan is to be replaced by Stuart Gulliver – currently the head of the group’s investment bank.

Douglas Flint, currently HSBC’s finance director, has also been confirmed as the replacement for outgoing chairman Stephen Green.

Mr Green took up an offer of a UK government role earlier this month.

The moves mark a significant shake-up of leadership at the UK’s biggest bank.

Earlier HSBC denied reports that Mr Geoghegan was quitting after being told he was being overlooked for the position of chairman.


We need to restore trust in the banking industry by learning from mistakes made in recent years”

End Quote Douglas Flint In-coming chairman of HSBC

The bank has a history of promoting its chief executive to the chairmanship and Mr Geoghegan had been seen as a front-runner in the race to replace Mr Green.

In a conference call following the announcement Mr Geoghegan denied there had been any ill feelings over the chairman’s job.

“It’s been historical at this company that the chief executive goes on to be chairman but you have to be asked, and the reality was I wasn’t asked,” he said, adding that Mr Green’s decision to leave had “triggered” him to consider his own future.

‘Fundamental change’

In its statement HSBC said the appointment of Mr Flint as chairman has been made by a unanimous decision of the board.

“The nomination committee came to the unanimous conclusion that Douglas Flint was the best person – internally or externally – for the position, meeting all the core criteria,” it said.

Stuart Gulliver
Stuart Gulliver will be HSBC’s new chief executive, having headed the group’s investment bank

His appointment has also been approved by the City regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Mr Flint called the appointment “a privilege”.

“Our industry is in the midst of fundamental change which will redefine have banks operate,” he said.

“At the same time we need to restore trust in the banking industry by learning from mistakes made in recent years.”

Mr Geoghegan gave no indication of any boardroom bitterness in his statement, calling Mr Flint and his own replacement Stuart Gulliver “an awesome combination”.

Mr Gulliver will take over as the new chief executive from January next year.

The moves are the latest in a series of moves among the UK’s top bankers.

Earlier this week the chief executive of the Lloyds Banking Group, Eric Daniels, announced his plan to retire in a year’s time.

And earlier this month one of the world’s highest paid bankers, Bob Diamond, was confirmed as the next chief executive of Barclays.



In Business on September 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Networking should be part of your business creed. If it’s not, then you’re not paying proper attention and making use of every opportunity in front of you. There are networking opportunities that can turn into business relationships happening all the time. You just have to recognise and make use of them.

That means a lot of focus and concentration, all day, every day. It might seem like a great deal of effort, but after a little while it becomes second nature.

What’s a Networking Opportunity?

It would be easy to say “everything,” but it would also be an exaggeration. You won’t find one when you’re paying for groceries at the supermarket, for instance. Or will you? Perhaps the line is long and you strike up a conversation with the person behind you. He’s in business, in a field associated with yours.

Now that’s an ideal opportunity. You already have a bond – the grind of being in a queue – and you can exchange cards (always carry your business cards, even at weekends) and contact each other later. The unlikeliest event has just turned into a networking opportunity.

Something like that won’t happen often, but it does happen, and you need to be alert to take advantage of it. You might not be at work, but that doesn’t mean you can switch off. You need to remain ready.

There truly are networking opportunities everywhere. Start talking in the pub and you might find one, or if you stop at motorway services.

Being Aware

A lot of it is in your mindset. If you begin looking for networking opportunities in every facet of your life, you’re going to find them on a regular basis. You simply have to keep reminding yourself that they’re there, all around you.

Train yourself to it. You spend five days a week working. All those phone calls can be networking contacts, and the same with the e-mails you reply to or send. Think how you can leverage them into real networking contacts. What can you offer them that’s useful? Think in the long term. It’s not about one call or mail, but about building a relationship with someone. Networking, ideally, should be mutually beneficial. That rarely happens overnight, and in business, just like everywhere else, relationships take time to grow, so nurture the relationship.

Applying The Lesson

Once you begin looking at things with your new attitude, you’ll start seeing plenty of networking opportunities. It takes work and energy to pursue them all, but work can be a demanding mistress if you’re doing it properly, it demands a lot of dedication, and if you’re going to be truly successful, you have to give it that.

A lot of networking isn’t in making the contacts, but following them up and developing them. That’s what separates those with an interest from those who are really determined. Make the time to follow up on each contact (use the back of their business card to make a few notes about them as a memory aid). It doesn’t need to be a major communication, just a quick e-mail or phone call to start the ball rolling. Things will grow from there.


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Sep 24th 2010, 7:32 by K.C. | TOKYO

IN THE end, it came down to economic ties versus national pride. Business concerns prevailed—and so did China, in a sense. A bitter feud with Japan had been escalating since September 7th, when a Chinese fishing boat ran into a Japanese patrol in waters which both countries claim as sovereign territory. Today Japan released the boat’s Chinese skipper, who had been accused of bashing into the two Japanese vessels deliberately. With the release of the captain, Zhan Qixiong, the diplomatic world breathes a sigh of relief. But how to score this match? Japan comes off looking weak, as it succumbs to an avalanche of pressure. But the ferocity of the Chinese response has harmed China ultimately, by undermining confidence in China as a responsible stakeholder in the region.

Japan’s prosecutors chose not to indict Mr Zhan on the grounds that his act was not premeditated, according to Kyodo, the Japanese news agency. But the real reason was the vehemence of China’s reaction. Since the fishing crew and its captain were arrested, China has continually ratcheted up the pressure to have them returned. It cut diplomatic communications and even arrested four Japanese nationals, allegedly for filming in a restricted military area. China’s response seemed to take an especially nefarious turn when it apparently suspended its export of rare-earth minerals, which are vital to making electronics components used in everything from handheld gadgets to cars. On September 23rd China emphatically denied that it is blocking exports. And this may be true: there probably isn’t a formal directive. But in a country where informal rules abound, exporters know that it can pay to withhold shipments—in solidarity with a government that is angry at its neighbour.

At its heart, the squabble was not only about the Senkaku islands, called the Diaoyu by the Chinese, where the boat collision took place earlier this month. Instead, it was likely a message to other countries with which China has territorial disputes, particularly in the South China Sea. This week China showed that it is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to exert its maritime claims. Lately it has taken to calling the South China Sea, which it disputes with five of its South-East Asian neighbours, a “core national interest”.

Moreover, it forced the new Japanese government and Naoto Kan, its prime minister, to make a hard choice: between a handful of uninhabited rocks, far from Japan’s main islands, and the future of its economy. Japan’s decision not to go to the wall for its territorial claims looks expedient, but it may come to haunt it in the long term.

This has also been a test of China, though in a way the country seems not to understand. Its actions have called into question its maturity as a responsible international actor and undermined its pretensions to a “peaceful rise”. Other states observe a host of traditions to help see them work through border disputes and express their displeasure with one another. The melodrama of China’s reaction, entirely disproportionate to the matter at hand, made it impossible for the two sides to find a mutually acceptable outcome. The acute crisis may be over but this resolution is sure to usher in an extended period of chill between the countries.

Which is a terrible outcome. Until recently, both countries had seen their economies flourishing as a result of strengthening trade ties. Since 2009 China has been Japan’s number-one trading partner. And the new Democratic Party of Japan government is the most pro-China administration in recent times. All this goodwill is lost.


Business News

In Business on September 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm

“In life you don’t get what you deserve,
you get what you strategize for”

Strategy is the mean by which objectives are consciously and systematically pursued and obtained over time.

The word “strategy” derives from the Greek word stratçgos; which derives from two words: –

  • “stratos” – meaning army.
  • “ago” – which is the ancient Greek for leading/guiding/moving.

In its military aspect, the term had to do with stratagems by which a general sought to defeat an enemy, with plans he made for a campaign, and with the way, he moved and disposed his forces in war.

The strategy definition most commonly known today is as the art of analysing, projecting and directing campaigns.

Strategy is not planning. Strategy deals with competitive situation in an uncontrolled environment.

Planning deals with situations in a controlled environment.

Strategy is the greatest “winning tool” that man ever invented!

It enables the practitioners to see clearly the future of any encounter they undertake – Whilst reacting rationally and consciously without the need for intuition or guesswork.

It is the Art of the “Conscious Mind”; the Art of the General in the battlefield; therefore, it is:

“A style of thinking; a conscious and deliberate process; an intensive implementation system; the art of ensuring future success.”

When you know “what strategy is”, have learnt and practiced, you develop the strategist’s mind. “The Thinking General” has trained himself to think several moves ahead of his opponents.

Strategy is the art of success in utilisation of the mind; for the last 2500 years, it has been the preserve knowledge of the ruling classes in politics and business throughout the world.

Strategy, “the thinking of the General” is the Forbidden and Secret Art of Success for thousands of years!

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

Sun Tzu the Art of War


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Harry Potter Books Wanted, Book Shops in Rushden | Buy My Business

In Business, To Deal or Not on September 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm


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To Educate or Not

In The Flying Muse on September 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Six arrested after burning of Koran on 9/11 ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’ is posted online

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:53 PM on 23rd September 2010

A gang of men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 – and posting it on YouTube.

Six suspects were seized after allegedly setting fire to the Muslim holy book in the backyard of a pub.

The men, who hid their faces, then posted the video of the burning on the popular website.

Six men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 - and posting it on YouTubeSix men have been arrested after filming themselves burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 – and posting it on YouTube

In the film the gang are seen gathered round a copy of the Koran in the backyard of The Bugle pub in Leam Lane, Felling, Gateshead.

Appearing with what seems to be tea towels wrapped around their heads, the men show the holy book to the camera before dousing it with fuel from a red can and lighting it.

One man in a grey Adidas tracksuit and white trainers, who has a blue cloth wrapped around his head makes a series of obscene gestures towards the book as it burns.

Laughing, the track-suited gang shouts ‘This is for the boys in Afghanistan.  September 11, international burn a Koran day, for all the people of 9/11.

‘This is how we do it in Gateshead, right.’

One man then attempts to add more fuel, but instead sets the plastic petrol can on fire.

He then kicks the book across the yard, leaving a trail of flames which he is forced to hastily stamp out.

Koran burning
Koran burning

The men hid their faces behind what appear to be tea towels and claimed the action was ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’

The men claimed 'This is how we do it in Gateshead!' during the sick stunt The men claimed ‘This is how we do it in Gateshead!’ during the sick stunt

Police visited The Bugle last Wednesday after the video was posted online.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of stirring racial hatred, and have since been released on bail.

On Wednesday four more Gateshead men were arrested and bailed. None were charged.

The incident follows tensions in America after an extremist Florida pastor threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Terry Jones, of the Florida-based Dove World Outreach Centre, was warned by President Barack Obama that the controversial plan could be used to recruit extremists.

The event was eventually called off after U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates personally contacted Jones and told him soldiers serving in Afghanistan would be put at greater risk by his protest.

It does not appear that Jones was ever threatened with arrest, however.

The pastor claimed he had agreed to cancel the event on the condition that controversial plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York were axed.

Claiming ‘victory for America’, he said Muslim leaders had agreed to move the location of the Islamic centre.

The video shows the men laughing, swearing and dancing as they stamp on the burning KoranThe video shows the men laughing, swearing and dancing as they stamp on the burning Koran

But Sharif El-Gamal, who is behind the proposals to build the 13-storey centre near the site where Muslim terrorists killed 3,000 people in 2001, denied that any talks had taken place and said the mosque would go ahead as planned.

Back in Gateshead, a barman at the Bugle, who refused to give his name, said: ‘I had nothing to do with the fire. I smelt the smoke so I went outside to put it out.

‘The police came to the pub and searched it. We were closed for hours.

Pastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacksPastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn 200 copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

‘They took my mobile phones, some empty boxes the phones had been in, some CDs and DVDs, and all the tea towels.

‘They arrested me and another man and took us to the station. They were asking questions about who had been burning the book.’

He claimed the pub has been targeted by the police because some customers had links to the English Defence League, a far-Right movement which protests against ‘Muslim extremism’.

Around 30 men mounted a three-hour peaceful protest outside Gateshead Police  Station after the initial arrests were made.

In a joint statement, Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council condemned the book burning.

‘The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not at all representative of  our community as a whole,’ said the spokesman.

‘Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations.’

Police confirmed the arrests were in relation to burning the book, not for making, distributing or watching the video.

‘On Wednesday, September 22, four men from Gateshead were arrested on suspicion of stirring racial hatred,’ a spokesman said.

‘The arrests followed the videotaped burning of what are believed to have been two Korans in Gateshead on September 11.

‘Two other men have previously been arrested and bailed in relation to this  incident. Enquiries are ongoing.’

[Reprinted from the Daily Mail – 23/09/2010]

Read more:

“… there is nothing worse than ignorance on the subject of education. This is so because the subject of education claims dominion over the widest possible territory. It purports to tell us not only what intelligence is but how it may be nurtured; not only what is worthwhile knowledge but how it may be gained; not only what is the good life but how one may prepare for it. There is no other subject – not even philosophy itself – that casts so wide a net, and therefore no other subject that requires of its professors so much genius and wisdom.”

– My Silence Protects…

Never Do A Small Injury To Your Enemy…

Original Italian title: Il Principe (written c. 1505)

Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.

During the 18th century, the powerful Maroons, escaped ex-slaves who settled in the mountains of Jamaica, carved out a significant area of influence. Through the use of slave labor, the production of sugar in this British colony flourished. But the courageous resistance of the Maroons threatened this prosperous industry. These efforts included plantation raids, the killing of white militiamen, and the freeing of slaves. The threat to the system was clear and present; hence, the planters were willing to sign a treaty with the Maroons in 1738. The treaty offers good insight to the relationship between the planters and the Maroons at the time, and deserves further attention.

On March 1, 1738, the articles of pacification with the Maroons of Trelawny Town signaled to Jamaica that a new era was emerging. The English planters had feared the rising power of the Maroons, and therefore tried to subdue them. This proved to be unsuccessful, consequently causing the English to realize that making peace with the Maroons was the only possible solution. This treaty was the first of its kind and it demonstrated that a group of rebellious ex-slaves had forced a powerful class of planters to come to terms. This was an unlikely event during the eighteenth century, given the dominance of the planter class across the Caribbean. Yet the fact remains that the treaty did not solely serve the planters’ interest. For example, article three of the treaty states that the Maroons were given 1500 acres of crown land, a necessity for the Maroons to maintain their independent way of life. In addition, it made a boundary between the Maroons and the planters, which was to avoid future conflicts.

Another example of an unbiased stipulation is article eight of the treaty, which states: “that if any white man shall do any manner of injury to Captain Cudjoe, his successors, or any of his or their people, shall apply to any commanding officer or magistrate in the neighborhood for justice.” This showed some equity under the law between the Maroons and the planters. Furthermore, the fifth article of the treaty specifies “that Captain Cudjoe, and all the Captain’s adherents, and people now in subjection to him, shall all live together within the bounds of Trelawny Town, and that they have liberty to hunt where they shall think fit, except within three miles of any settlement, crawl, or pen; provided always, that in case the hunters of Captain Cudjoe and those of other settlements meet, then the hogs to be equally divided between both parties.” In other words, the English planters were willing to divide the game equally amongst themselves and the Maroons, but more importantly, they were giving the latter the liberty to hunt freely.

Although the articles of pacification granted the Maroons of Jamaica many privileges, it also attempted to limit their attacks against the system of slavery in general. There were hints of favoritism towards the planters, for example, article thirteen required that the Maroons continue to help clear roads from Trelawny Town to Westmoreland and if possible from St. James to St. Elizabeth. This was biased because, as free men, the Maroons were not entitled to labor for the planters. This showed that the planters viewed the Maroons to be inferior to them. Another bias in the treaty includes article eleven which states that “Captain Cudjoe, and his successors, shall wait on his Excellency, or the Commander in Chief for the time being, every year, if thereunto required.” This article reveals an attempt to keep the Maroons subordinate and under control. In addition to article eleven, another article that reveals a biased attitude is article fourteen, which affirms that two white men shall live with the Maroons “in order to maintain a friendly correspondence with the inhabitants of this island.” Even though this treaty was to encourage a friendly relationship between the two parties, it also gave white planters first-hand knowledge of the situation in the Maroon camp. Most important of all, the treaty also required the Maroons to act as a sort of police force for the planters, returning future runaways to the plantations, and drafting them to fight against future rebellions.

This treaty contained elements of fairness and favoritism that were evident through its articles. Some of these were beneficial to the Maroons, while others were not; however, the signing of the treaty indicated that the Maroons constituted a substantial threat to the planters. This treaty was not only ground breaking in that it recognized the Maroons and their needs, but also revealed that the English planters were fearful of the Maroons capabilities and ever-rising power.

How Laws Are Made in the Legislature

In The Flying Muse on September 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

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