fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
Today was the day that Margaret Thatcher's death was announced. The former Prime Minister died today of a stroke.

No, I don't care how old she was. Unlike so many of those who rued the day she was born, she lived entirely too many bloody years.

Some of her words ...

"... the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in." ["Mrs Thatcher fears people might become hostile if immigrant flow is not cut". The Times. 31 January 1978.]

"... in many ways [minorities] add to the richness and variety of this country. The moment the minority threatens to become a big one, people get frightened." ["Britain: Facing a Multiracial Future". Time. 27 August 1979. Retrieved 20 January 2011.]

She objected to immigration, which back then meant Vietnamese boat people. But that was not the limit of people to whom she objected, and worked against.

Economically, she presided over a recession in the early 1980s, and her policies saw three million people made unemployed, rising to 3.3 million in 1984. Her response: to shut down and privatise Britain's state-run industries: railways, coal, oil, gas, water, buses and public transport. They all went to private hands, without deregulation - and immediately they were seized by asset strippers, who turned them into the rapacious, marauding private companies which are ruining the economy today, overcharging for basic services such as water, gas and electricity, bringing whole high streets to their knees and turning them into shuttertowns and ghost towns because no small firm can afford to run their premises with the rates they are being charged as businesses.

Her regime committed a number of atrocities, and was mired in scandal.

She curbed the power of the unions, using the press to demonise the left and turn it against itself. Frankly, at that time that did not require much effort. When the miners began to strike across the country in protest at Thatcher's plans to shut down Britain's coal mining industry, she turned the police into virtually a private army against them, beating down the miners and breaking the NUM, the National Union of Miners. She then went ahead and privatised the coalmining industry, leading to the destruction of a way of life which had been the backbone of Britain's economy for centuries. Miners' Strike 1984-'85 on Wikipedia, Battle of Orgreave (Yorkshire) - a battle in which the police only prevailed through infiltration of the protesters by MI5 officers as agents provocateurs.

Under her regime, another crucial element of Britain's economy also fell foul of her butcher's axe - the kissing cousin of the coal mining industry, the steel industry. British Steel

A close friend of Dame Shirley Porter, under her regime the "Building Stable Communities" regime was, basically, massive gerrymandering - forcing poor and unemployed people out of their communities so that, under the guise of "gentrification," affluent tory-voting middle class dupes could be put in their place again, shifting Labour constituencies towards the tories.Dame Shirley still has not been stripped of her title, despite efforts to do so since 2003.

The Westland Helicopter Crisis, also known as The Westland Affair, was an early political scandal which could have brought her regime down as early as 1982. Some political experts maintain that it was her efforts to distract the country from the corruption exposed by Dame Porter and Westland that the Falklands War of 1982 was started, possibly by the deliberate sinking of the Argentinian Navy vessel the General Belgrano. Falklands War, General Belgrano

Then there were the little matters of state censorship during the Troubles, where the voices of Irish people were censored, requiring that news reporters employ actors' voices to speak for Irish politicians; Clause 28, later passed as Section 28 of the Local Government Act (1988), which stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship" and led to a shameful demonisation of LGBT groups across the country; coverups of places such as Bryn Estyn as part of a massive national organised child abuse scandal; and last, but by no means least, the famous Community Charge or Poll Tax, which prompted the Poll Tax Riots and, ultimately, brought about the end of Thatcher's political career.

In March 1988, three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members - Danny McCann, Sean Savage and Mairéad Farrell - were shot dead in Gibraltar. A Thames TV show of the investigative journalism show This Week, titled Death On The Rock, examined the shootings and asked why there was no attempt by the Special Air Service (SAS) to arrest the IRA members. People could only conclude that the SAS had been operating as a death squad, carrying out state murders along the lines of the squads being used by the Argentinian military junta at the time.

At midnight on December 31, 1992, Thames TV permanently ceased broadcasting - some say, silenced as a reprisal by the government for Death On The Rock.

Oh, and let us not forget, the year before she was booted out of office, the government's divisive, derogatory, egregious response - in collusion with the News Of The World newspaper, editor Kelvin McKenzie and Sir Norman Bettison - to the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy of 1989. (Personal note: This was the last football match I ever watched on TV. I'd only watched three in my life - they were Bradford when the stadium caught fire, Heysel Stadium during its disaster, and lastly Hillsborough. Every time I watched a live match on TV it seemed disaster followed - so nowadays I avoid the TV altogether when the footie is on).

Margaret Thatcher's regime, known as Thatcherism, was a vast, ugly train wreck. Everything she touched brought evil and despair to whole communities, and like any schoolyard bully the government of its day - the same tories shamefully carving up this county today - insisted on gloating at the poor and disenfranchised, telling the people of this country that their pain and suffering were all their fault.

It wasn't the kids' fault when Margaret Thatcher cynically killed off the program of giving free milk to school kids - a policy instituted in a previous regime to ensure that kids would have protein and calcium to promote their general health. She did this to save money. She will always be known across the land as "Maggie Thatcher, Milk Snatcher" to this day, and forevermore, long after today.

On another, closing, personal note: As someone who lived through that time of darkness, when it seemed that nothing could stop the tories raping the country, I remember the things that people did while living in Margaret Thatcher's regime. I also remember saying "Never again," when they were swept out of power in 1997.

So when people accuse me of bad taste for celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death today, I can only point them to the links above, and probably to other sources of independent accounts of life during her brutal, brutish regime, and laugh.

Today, a tyrant is dead. And other tyrants currently in power must know that their time will come when they, too, will be ushered out of office and into taxis, departing to obscurity amid jeers.

This is how I want to remember her:
despairing, as she had caused so many others to despair.
So many.

Crossposted from this post here.

fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
James Herbert had died

James Herbert, RIP. A sad day for horror )
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, RIP

Published time: March 06, 2013

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has passed away at the age of 58 following a two-years-long fight against cancer and a severe respiratory infection. His untimely demise raises serious questions about the future of the oil-rich regional power.

The president of Venezuela died on Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro. This comes weeks after his return from Cuba where he underwent a cancer operation. His 'delicate condition' had recently worsened due to complications of a respiratory infection, and official reports said he was breathing through a tracheal tube, unable to speak.

One of the world’s best-known socialist leaders and a staunch critic of the United States, Chavez had been battling the disease for nearly two years, undergoing four surgeries and several sessions of chemotherapy in Havana.

Despite his ailing health, Chavez was reelected in November to a fourth term. However, he was not able to attend his January 10 inauguration ceremony, which cast doubt on the succession of power in the country. Prior to his death, the Venezuelan opposition called for a new election should Chavez be unfit to take over the office.

The Venezuelan president was one of the most controversial world leaders in recent history, and a vocal critic of 'US imperialism.'

Chavez began his adult life as an army officer in Venezuela's paratrooper unit; he staged a coup in 1992 along with other disgruntled members of the military in an attempt to overthrow the ruling government of Carlos Andres Perez.

The coup failed, and Chavez spent two years in prison until he was pardoned; this marked the beginning of his momentous career in politics.

He then founded the revolutionary political party 'Movement of the Fifth Republic' and ran for president in 1998, promising economic reforms and campaigning against government corruption.

He won the presidency in 1999 by riding a wave of popular outrage at Venezuela's traditional political elite.

Chavez has remained in power continually since then, except for a brief period in April 2002 when he was removed by military leaders over his controversial plan to tighten his personal grip on the state-run oil industry.

He returned to power, but a stalemate ensued, which led to referendum in 2004 on whether Chavez should remain president. A majority of voters chose for Chavez to complete his term.

Revolutionary or autocrat?

Mr. Chavez promised Venezuelans 'revolutionary' social policies targeting the 'predatory oligarchs' of the establishment. Since he came to power, most major Venezuelan companies have been nationalized. Since 1998, more than 100,000 state-owned cooperatives – which claim to represent some 1.5 million people – have been formed.

His supporters say he speaks for the poor, while his critics argue that he has become increasingly autocratic.
In 2010, Amnesty International criticized the Chavez administration for targeting critics following several politically motivated arrests.

Freedom House listed Venezuela as being only 'partly free' in its annual Freedom in the World report in 2011.

Although freedom of the press is enshrined in the 1999 Venezuelan constitution, in 2009 Amnesty International criticized Chavez for “discriminatory policies that have undercut journalists' freedom of expression."

A strong regional player

Chavez may have been a source of controversy in foreign policy more than any other area, refocusing Venezuelan policy on economic and social integration in Latin American.

He introduced what became known as 'oil diplomacy' on the continent, saying that his country has “a strong oil card to play on the international stage. … It is a card we are going to play with toughness against the toughest country in the world, the United States.”

Chavez brokered deals to exchange Venezuelan oil for Brazilian arms, for Cuban expertise and for Argentinian meat and dairy products. He also partnered with Latin American leaders on energy integration, and has vigorously pursued efforts to expand trade integration across the continent.

He was a vocal supporter of Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in her long-running dispute with Britain over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Hostility to the US

Throughout his presidency, Chavez was particularly hostile towards the United States, which he blamed for the failed 2002 coup against him. In December 2011, Chavez also speculated that the United States could be infecting the regions leaders with cancer. He objected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and said that he considered George W. Bush to be an 'evil imperialist.'

He threatened to stop selling oil to the US in the event of another attempted coup, but also donated heating oil to help the victims of hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, which destroyed fuel processing facilities in the US.


Chavez developed strong ties with the government of Iran and introduced industrial, economic and energy cooperation with the Islamic state. Chavez and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly declared their alliance in what the Venezuelan president called an attempt to “liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke,” declaring they were an “axis of unity” against “US imperialism.”

Chavez also expressed a favorable view of Iran’s controversial nuclear power program and denied that Iran aims to develop atomic weapons, much to considerable alarm in Washington.


Under Chavez, Venezuela also strengthened relations with Russia. Since 2005, Venezuela has purchased $4 billion worth of arms from Russia, including 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, and the two countries have held joint naval exercises in the Caribbean Sea.

In 2010, Chavez announced that Russia would build Venezuela’s first nuclear power station, and that the nation had agreed to a further $1.6 billion in oil contracts with Moscow.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro has argued that “the unipolar world is collapsing and finishing in all aspects, and the alliance with Russia is part of that effort to build a multipolar world.”


While Chavez is regarded as a hero of socialism by many at home and abroad, he leaves behind a country in crisis.

His government is widely blamed for mismanaging Venezuela's economy; with inflation running at 18 percent, another credit devaluation is likely. The country's homicide rate is likewise staggering – in 2010, Caracas had the world’s highest murder rate. Corruption is notoriously rampant in virtually every public institution, and consumer goods are scarce.

During the November elections, Chavez defeated opposition candidate Henrique Capriles by 11 percentage points. Critics accused his government of controlling the media and election apparatus, and of employing bullying tactics to discourage competition.

There is now a chance that Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s chosen successor, could face a steep challenge should he run in the country's forthcoming presidential election.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Default)
Posted in the Illuminati_Order Yahoo Group:

Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:58 am (PST)

RAW moves on 18.01.32 - 11.01.07

The phenomenon which will forever live in his followers and friends passed away yesterday at 4:50 AM on a binary date - 01 / 11.

Robert Anton Wilson has affected so many and will be missed greatly.

Here is the last entry on his blog:-

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night

Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.

Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.


* * *

So there you have it. The co-author of the legendary Illuminatus! Trilogy, and a host of other counterculture books, is no more. That which he was, his unpredictable eigenvector, has permanently collapsed into the quantum noise.

One insight from RAW will give you some idea of what he meant to us - well, me and a few people I suspect have the same feelings as I do:-

I Don't Know

Wavy Gravy once asked a Zen Roshi, "What happens after death?"

The Roshi replied, "I don't know."

Wavy protested, "But you're a Zen Master!"

"Yes," the Roshi admitted, "but I'm not a dead Zen Master."

* * *

We'd miss you, if you were taken from us in good health. As it is, now your pain is over, enjoy your journey home, sir, "like a tired child home from a really wild circus".

And we'll miss you, each in our own way, according to our choice.

Hail Eris.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I know they hardly declare this day a national holiday or anything, but this is the 32nd anniversary of JFK's assassination, as well as the anniversary of the deaths of C S Lewis and Aldous Huxley - who both died on the exact same day in 1963.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
This news is very sad for fans of Grange Hill.

Goodbye, Mr Bronson.


May. 19th, 2005 01:08 pm
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
This is sad news, which I learned today from [ profile] nematoddity.

I liked Frank Gorshin. Over here in the UK, he was always known for his role in the 1960s Batman as The Riddler, and also for his role as Bele in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" in Star Trek, but he made appearances in loads of other places, too, and every time, I'd sit up and pay attention.

Damn, this is sad news.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
Just received word that the actor Jerry Orbach, who played Detective Lennie Briscoe in the TV series Law & Order and Private Eye Harry McGraw in the TV series Murder, She Wrote, died today.

Rest easy, Jerry.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
We're just getting news in today about an earthquake in Indonesia. A big one, apparently.

Edit: It was a big one. And it was followed by a tsunami. There could be thousands dead.

2013 Edit: Adding the Wikipedia entry and a Youtube video here - features which were not available back in 2004.

I'm putting this lot here to mark the event. It must never be forgotten.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
Today is the 41st anniversary of the deaths of John F Kennedy, C S Lewis and Aldous Huxley, who all died on this exact same date in 1963.

This time last year, on the 40th anniversary, I was at work in Mecca Bingo. I wandered in that morning, clutching the copy of Fortean Times I'd only just picked up, and said "Paranoid? Moi?" before opening the magazine up to reveal the cover - which was all in black, with the words "WHO SHOT JFK?" writ large in bold white letters on the cover.
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Shadow person)
I am so looking forward to Saturday night / Sunday morning.

One reason: the clocks go back an hour.

An extra hour in bed. W00t! :)

Sunday won't be entirely a happy day, though, because it's Samhain, and it being the Day of Rememberance for the dead, there are an awful lot of newly - deceased people just starting off their postmortem existence, many of whom arrived at the Far Side only recently.

This site lists the most famous ones. It's been a very sad few months for celebrity deaths, and the most recent ones are listed here.

For this year alone, the ones I'm particularly sad about are:

Julius Schwartz (comic editor/agent) -- Dead. Died February 8, 2004. Born June 19, 1915. Edited many DC comics for many years, including Superman.


Cecily Adams (casting director/actress) -- Dead. Lung cancer. Died March 3, 2004. Born February 6, 1958. One of the actresses who played Moogie on Deep Space Nine, casting director for That '70s Show, daughter of Don Adams. Make memorial contributions to: Cecily Adams Fund

Paul Winfield (actor) -- Dead. Heart attack/diabetes. Died March 7, 2004. Born May 22, 1941. Played a memorable Martin Luther King, Jr. in a '70s miniseries, nominated for an Oscar for Sounder

William H. Pickering (rocket scientist) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died March 16, 2004. Born 1910. Manager of the Mariner missions to Venus and Mars in the '60s

Jan Berry (singer) -- Dead. Died March 26, 2004. Born April 3, 1941. Part of the early '60s duo Jan and Dean who brought you "Little Old Lady from Pasadena"

Peter Ustinov (actor/writer) -- Dead. Heart failure. Died March 28, 2004. Born April 16, 1921. Spartacus, wrote Monsieur Rene, good will ambassador for the UN

Alistair Cooke (radio commentator/author) -- Dead. Died March 29, 2004. Born November 20, 1908. Retired from doing a weekly radio show for the BBC after doing it for over 60 years weeks before he died; host for Masterpiece Theater for over 20 years


Norris McWhirter (Guinness World Records curator/commentator) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died April 19, 2004. Born August 12, 1925. For the first 50 years of his life, shared an almost identical biography with his brother and frequent collaborator Ross. IMDB

Estee Lauder (entrepreneur) -- Dead. Cardiopulmonary failure. Died April 24, 2004. Born July 1, 1906. Created and marketed high quality, expensive cosmetics


Tony Randall (actor) -- Dead. Died May 17, 2004. Born February 26, 1920. Best-known for the television version of The Odd Couple's Felix, great as many characters in The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, became a first-time father at 77(!), making him older than other famous first-time fathers like Cary Grant at age 62.

Richard Biggs (actor) -- Dead. Torn aorta (see John Ritter). Died May 22, 2004. Born March 18, 1960. Starred on Babylon 5 as Dr. Stephen Franklin, soaps, and recently on Tremors Make memorial contributions to: Richard Biggs' Children College Fund. IMDB

Archibald Cox (Watergate prosecutor) -- Dead. Died May 29, 2004. Born May 17, 1912. Fired by Nixon during the Watergate hearings

Sam Dash (lawyer) -- Dead. Died May 29, 2004. Born 1924. Senate counsel during Watergate


Ronald Reagan (actor/president/governor (CA)) -- Dead. Pneumonia/Alzheimer's disease. Died June 5, 2004. Born February 6, 1911. Helped America "to believe in itself again" while ignoring America's flouting of international law during the Iran Contra scandal, an ex-husband of Jane Wyman, helped to bring Alzheimer's out of the closet.

Ray Charles (blues legend) -- Dead. Died June 10, 2004. Born September 23, 1930. Cultural icon, singer, pianist. "Georgia on My Mind" . IMDB

Danny Dark (voice) -- Dead. Died June 13, 2004. Born 1940. Voice of Superman in the '70s and '80s, did voiceovers for NBC and Bewitched

Bob Bemer (Pioneering geek) -- Dead. Cancer. Died June 22, 2004. Born February 4, 1920. Helped to develop the ASCII character set, COBOL and the ESC sequence


Marlon Brando (actor) -- Dead. Died July 1, 2004. Born April 3, 1924. Played iconic characters including the Godfather and Stanley Kowalski, born on the same day as Doris Day. IMDB

Jerry Goldsmith (composer) -- Dead. Cancer. Died July 21, 2004. Born February 10, 1929. Wrote the score for Planet of the Apes (plus The Man From UNCLE and some Star Trek movies, not to mention Star Trek: The Next Generation!), won an Oscar for The Omen.

Jackson Beck (voice over actor) -- Dead. Old age. Died July 28, 2004. Born July 23, 1912. Performed Bluto in '40s and '50s Popeye cartoons, did "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman!" for many Superman cartoons.

Francis Crick, Ph. D (DNA researcher) -- Dead. Colon cancer. Died July 28, 2004. Born June 8, 1916. Co-discoverer of DNA, co-winner of a Nobel Prize for medicine for 1962, wrote The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul


Red Adair (Oil well fire expert) -- Dead. Died August 7, 2004. Born June 18, 1915. Famous before the Gulf War - John Wayne played him in 1968's Hellfighters IMDB

Fay Wray (actress) -- Dead. Died August 8, 2004. Born September 10, 1907. King Kong.

Laura Branigan (singer) -- Dead. Aneurysm. Died August 26, 2004. Born July 3, 1957. "Gloria" and "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" Make memorial contributions to: Project Angel Food


Russ Meyer (maker of busty movies) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died September 18, 2004. Born March 21, 1922. Vixen movies and many other "uplifting" flicks

Tim Choate (actor) -- Dead. Motorcycle accident. Died September 24, 2004. Born October 11, 1954. Zathras on Babylon 5 ... Make memorial contributions to: The Tim Choate Memorial Fund, PO Box 861355, Los Angeles, CA 90086


Janet Leigh (actress) -- Dead. Vasculitis. Died October 3, 2004. Born July 6, 1927. She didn't take a take a shower for years, once married to Tony Curtis, mother of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Rodney Dangerfield (comic) -- Dead. Heart disease. Died October 5, 2004. Born November 22, 1922. Finally getting respect?

Christopher Reeve (director/actor/advocate) -- Dead. Systemic infection/heart failure. Died October 10, 2004. Born September 25, 1952. Superman, Somewhere in Time, became a major spokesman for paralysis research after his 1995 accident [[I hated updating this record almost more than anyone else's over the last seven years - he was a man of great courage and was an example to the rest of us.]] Make memorial contributions to: Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

John Peel (DJ) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died October 26, 2004. Born August 30, 1939. Legendary British DJ and voice-over presenter.

You'll note more than one name linked to Superman has passed this year. I've bolded them. It has, in fact, been a very sad year for Superman fans.

I'm strongly considering a Superman theme for my Samhain altar this year, accordingly.

Janet Leigh

Oct. 5th, 2004 02:07 pm
fiat_knox: silhouette of myself taken at sunrise (Photo of me)
... passed on Sunday, age 77.

Apart from the shower scene in Psycho, I can't say I actually remember her for much else, although I do know she starred in other movies.

However, I do know that she brought Jamie Lee Curtis into the world, and for that I do hold Janet Leigh in high regard, because Jamie Lee Curtis inherited her mother's acting skills and developed them in her own way.

I do feel sad for Janet's loss, and I also feel for the family now mourning her passing. Namu Amida Butsu.

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