Saturday, 23 April 2016

Adrienne Barbeau is alive and well

Adrienne Barbeau has NOT passed away

The moment woke up this morning and saw  this

6 Movies That Adrienne Barbeau Made Way More Awesome With Her Presence

I thought
"oh NO another one has gone" but I've checked and this classic movie actress is still alive and well,
and presumably just another smart casting decision away from another role. She was iconic in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK of course but a full blown movie star in THE FOG (1981), on a level with any of Hitchcock's female leads. Of course she has never been given anything like their level of recognition thanks to her loyalty to genre cinema. If she had been given a walk on part in any kind of worthy Oscar bait rubbish she'd be sitting with an academy award right now.

She gave birth to two twin boys in her fifties and still does soundtrack work.


Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

With regard to Prince I'm not that much of a fan beyond Around the World In a Day but I'm sure my previous blog post related to David Bowie applies. How many great Prince albums have gone by the wayside over the years just because he became less interesting and fashionable than talentless celebrity garbage? Did Prince just stop being talented in the 1980s? I really doubt it.


Victoria Wood CBE (19 May 1953 – 20 April 2016)

I once tried to explain the greatness of the Arctic Monkeys to some baby boomers by saying they were something like Victoria Wood writing songs for the Sex Pistols.  In terms if wit and commentary she was in that league, she was that relevant.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Post Brexit timeline

2016 : Britain votes for Brexit, immediate run on the £, 4 year year recession starts.
Inward immigration to England stands at 330,000 over calendar year.

2017 : EU in crisis reconstitutes as a far more centralised, decisive federal state.

2018 : Scotland votes to leave UK.
Inward immigration to England stands at 230,000 over calendar year.

2019 : Scotland joins new EU and immediately loses nearly all independence gained from leaving UK.

2020 : UK dissolved as Wales and Northern Ireland leave UK to join new EU.
After 4 years of recession inward immigration to England stands at 200,000 over calendar year.

2022 : Australia becomes Republic.

2022 : Canada becomes Republic.

2023 : Far right Conservative government in London abolishes child benefit, housing benefit, privatizes NHS, slashes 'red tape for business', introduces lowest corporation tax rate in the developed world. Then signs trade deals with NAFTA, China and India, relaxing visa requirements across the board. Inward immigration to England stands at 330,000 over calendar year.

2022 : Scotland becomes Republic.
Inward immigration to England stands at 400,000 over calendar year.

2024 : New Republican Administration in United States leaves NATO, followed by England. NATO is dissolved. New EU signs border treaty with Russia still run by members of Putin family.

2025 : With the open land border with the EU to the North and the open border policy with North/SouthAmerica and Asia inward immigration to England stands at 450,000, is rising 50,000 per year and national border security has been abandoned.

2040 : New Zealand becomes Republic.

pic from Jarman's JUBILEE

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Donald Trump's war hero wanted to start a nuclear war with China

Donald Trump's latest pronouncements on Korea, in which he almost laughs off the prospect of another devastating Korean war, come in the context of his previous remarks on military strategy.

“Within our military, I will find the General Patton, or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.”
Donald Trump

General  MacArthur's controversial military career was finally finished off by the Korean War, after MacArthur was sacked by President Truman for demanding the use of atomic weapons against China.

I won't cover Patton here, I don't have to I'm sure. MacArthur was a general known for self publicity (as was Patton) and was a strong focus for US Republican politics in an era dominated by the Democratic New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He had - at best - a spotty military record before we get anywhere near diplomacy.

We should perhaps gloss over MacArthur's use of the US Army against demonstrators during the Great Depression.

In 1941 McArthur was gifted nine hours notice to defend the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbour - he did nothing and the entire air US defence was destroyed on the ground by the Japanese.

"It has been difficult for historians to establish the reason for MacArthur's fatal inaction during the crucial nine hours that elapsed in Manila following news of the Pearl Harbor attack. There was no American government inquiry into MacArthur's behaviour of the kind that addressed alleged failures of command at Pearl Harbor. When informally questioned after the war, the chief actors in the Philippines disaster appeared to be concerned to protect their own reputations by shifting blame to others."

But in 1941 Republican friends in Congress and the American press protected him from criticism when the Philippines was overrun. These friends were even powerful enough to endorse MacArthur's "I WILL RETURN" pledge when he abandoned his army to the Japanese. While the main American attack to Japan was carried out across the Pacific by the US Navy and Marines MacArthur was able to justify a parallel, completely pointless campaign using US Army across the Southern Pacific to allow his ego to re-take the Philippines and the South West Pacific against isolated Japanese forces far way from the main action.

“The Philippines campaign was a mistake,” says the present-day Japanese historian Kazutoshi Hando, who lived through the war. “MacArthur did it for his own reasons. Japan had lost the war once the Marianas were gone.” The Filipino people whom MacArthur professed to love paid the price for his egomania in lost lives—perhaps half a million, including those who perished from famine and disease—and wrecked homes. It was as great a misfortune for them as for the Allied war effort that neither President Roosevelt nor the U.S. chiefs of staff could contain MacArthur’s ambitions within a smaller compass of folly. In 1944, America’s advance to victory over Japan was inexorable, but the misjudgements of the Southwest Pacific supreme commander disfigured its achievement.”
 ― Max Hastings, Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945

But it is Korea for which MacArthur will be remembered.

With reluctant Russian material support the North Korean army of Kim Il Sung invaded South Korea in 1950, initially with great success. The South Korean army had been given no artillery and tanks by the US, who were justifiably concerned that the brutal dictator of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, would invade North Korea. To his credit it was MacArthur who initially saved the day, masterminding a brilliant seaborne invasion behind the North Korean lines which saved the retreating forces and turned the tide of the war. That wouldn't be the last time the tide turned however.

As MacArthur's forces pressed into North Korea and neared the Chinese border he remained unconvinced of the threat of the 5 million strong Peoples Liberation Army over Yalu river to the North. We know now that the Chinese, still reeling from their a Civil War against a Nationalist army backed by the US, were deeply worried about the prospect of US troops on their border.  Hard line US Republicans had been complaining about the lack of a hard stance against 'Red China' for years, continuing after the Chinese Civil war was lost to support the remains of the Nationalist Chinese government on the island of Taiwan. With American troops racing towards them Chinese intervention in the Korean war was an obvious possibility.

As US/UN* troops approached the tense northern border at the Yalu river British politicians suggested a buffer zone at the Yalu, jointly policed by UN and Chinese troops.

This was McArthur's response:

"The widely reported British desire to appease the Chinese Communists by giving them a strip of North Korea finds its historic precedent in the action taken at Munich on the 29th of September 1938. To give up any portion of North Korea to the aggression of the Chinese Communists would be the greatest defeat of the free world in recent times. Indeed to yield to so immoral a proposition would bankrupt our leadership and influence in Asia and render untenable out position both politically and morally"
(taken from Korean War by Max Hastings)

He then gave an order requesting "all concerned" to make a "maximum effort" in the advance to the border with China.

It was shortly after this that the Chinese crossed the Yalu river with a vast army motivated to defend its borders. US and UN* were forced back to the nightmarish border situation we have today in a war which dragged on for another 3 years with hundreds of thousands of casualties, especially among Korean civilians.

MacArthur's increasingly farcical role in the Korean war ended when his constant demands for the  use of atomic weapons against the Chinese mainland grew too loud to ignore. US President Truman, who had been reluctant to even question MacArthur up to this point because of his continued strong Republican backing, was now forced into action and the increasingly rogue and out of touch general was effectively dismissed by the US president.

At the time it was thought - or more accurately promoted by US Republicans - that the Korean War was part of the Soviet master plan for conquering the Earth and that the North Koreans and Chinese were just puppets in their hands. Emerging history since has proved that to be yet another blindly ignorant interpretation of Asian political realities. The Russians provided only material support to the initial North Korean aggression and the Chinese intervened without consulting Moscow only when an army known to be a threat to their own newly installed government rolled right up to their southern border without warning.

The leadership and influence in Asia policy was pretty much the main foreign policy concern of hard line US Republicans from the victory of the Communists, (aka ChiComs), start of the Civil War in China, through Korea and onto the disaster in Vietnam. After their success in bringing peace and capitalism to China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos US Republicans turned their foreign leadership and influence to Israel, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan from the 1970 onwards.

*The United Nations fought in Korea! How, in the light of current Syria paralysis,  did that happen?
The Russians were not present in the UN to veto the vote..
US Republicans had refused to allow the new Chinese communist government into the UN - preferring to support the Nationalist survivors in Taiwan instead.  The Russians were absent from the UN in protest at this and so where unable to use their security council veto to block UN action in Korea.  It was the last time the Russians made this mistake and they have used their veto liberally since (as have the Americans, 90% of the time to block resolutions against Israel).