Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Live 8 Live

London Bombings: July 7, 2005, An Anniversary

July 6, 2007 | By | No Comments

Two years ago Your Business Blogger sent the Little Woman to the G-8 with the B3: Bono and Branson and Bush. Scotland and England are still being bombed by the jihadists.

Not the US of A. Not yet. We must be doing something right.

Follows is a re-post of Charmaine’s reporting from Edinburgh and London on 7.7.05.

charmaine_richard_branson.jpg

Charmaine on the plane with Richard Branson


Following is an edited cross post from Charmaine’s Reasoned Audacity, July 1 – 7, 2005.

A year ago, Charmaine calls early morning from Edinburgh. “I’m having trouble flying into London,” she says.

I’m still waking up. I ask, “When can you come home?”

“I don’t know,” she says, her voice unsteady, “They’re still clearing the bodies.”

A wake up call.

London, welcome to the war.

It started, as most things these days do, with Powerline.

Following is original posting from London as Charmaine called it into me, when her site went down. Any inconsistencies may be due to transcription overload.

This is Jack, the husband: Charmaine called. Her site is still down, but she wanted to file a report to Powerline.

“Flew into Heathrow airport and took a $150 cab ride into north London to conduct interviews and document the bombsites. Bobbies cordoned off area around the sites sealing the scene of the explosions. I got to within a block or so of Edgware Tube station entrance with Londoners sitting calmly, relaxing in pubs. Everything is strangely calm, business as usual. I interviewed a woman, an interior designer, expecting some emotional display. There was none. “We don’t do a lot of group hugging in England,” she said, making me think of the stiff-upper lip. “We are not sentimental.”

london_donotcrosstape.jpg

And she seemed to reflect the mood of the London population. Not for what they were doing but for what they were not doing: No candles, no out-pouring of grief, no hoards of gawkers milling around police tape, no teddy bears, no bouquets of flowers. No movement. No tears. Everything normal, except, maybe for that bus with the top blown off. Workers cleared and cleaned up the area real well. Spiffy. And got back to their pints.

I visited hospitals and learned that ‘only’ 37 were confirmed dead at that time. More confirmations were expected.

There were no moms with little children in downtown London. I interviewed middle-aged businessmen on cell phones and kids with Mohawks, none who were surprised.

Londoners gently reproached me about my concern over the bloodshed, “You Americans get sentimental over silly things. We’re used to getting bombed.” The IRA Troubles had hardened hearts as well as the London infrastructure.

I expected some grief, at least as much as there was when Lady Di died. And grief I got. I interviewed three very ordinary, normal teenaged English Muslims, one with short spiky hair (dressed not unlike my 10 year-old-dude). All three seems to be parroting Muslim talking points. “The bombings were a conspiracy by Blair to generate support for the war,” they recited in a charming British accent.

The bombers were quite indiscriminate. Edgware is not far from the heart of Little Beirut, a Muslim ethnic neighborhood.

A young British black woman told me, “The bombings are Tony Blair’s fault — they killed a 100 thousand Iraqis — and it’s like a boomerang [coming back at the British].” Most everyone I talked to believed that the British caused the bombing or had it coming.

Of the dozen or so people I interviewed only white males in business attire expressed surprise that anyone would think the British were at fault in anyway.

But these gentlemen were the minority. Most felt that the Brits were complicit. The people at London’s ground zero were sounding like the “wobbly” Spanish after their train bombings.

The day is a cloudy, cold, rainy 7.7.”

Charmaine is still out on the streets — 9pm local London time and will be sending pictures soon.

Read the entire story at My Wife Flew off with Bono and Branson; Bombed in London 7.7.05 .

See Charmaine and Michelle Malkin work to keep the Muslims from sawing off more heads.

CMR Salamander points to HotAir with video.

04 Jul

By

7 Comments

Richard Branson Responds to the Corruption Question

July 4, 2005 | By | 7 Comments

charmaine_richard_branson.jpg

On the plane with Richard Branson

Two things are abundantly clear in traveling with Richard Branson and the ONE campaign activists: first, they know they have to address the corruption question; and two, their responses to the question are pro forma because they view the issue of corruption (despite protestations to the contrary) as being somewhat peripheral.

Scott Johnson at Powerline writes about the Live8 phenomenon today and quotes his reader, Julian Biggs, who argues:

Time after time, the TV announcers [covering Live8] reminded us that things are “even worse in Africa than they were before Live Aid 20 years ago!” Clearly, none of them considered this might tell us something about the efficacy of Live Aid and its use of cash to solve problems caused by massive political corruption.

Good point. So why do Branson and Co. treat “massive political corruption” as peripheral?

group_on_steps.jpg
Photo op on the tarmac at Heathrow: Bob Geldof, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Branson, Female British rocker, Natalie Imbruglia, Charles McCormack, President of Save the Children

In responding to a question about corruption at yesterday’s press conference, Branson said, with a clearly well-worn joke, that corruption was something like marital affairs — people like to blame men, but “it takes two to tango.”

Much overly hearty laughter at Sexual-Joke-Made-By-Rich-and-Famous-Man.

Foreign companies, he argued, should be penalized if they try to bribe lobal officials. BUT, he emphasized, “a lot of African companies are getting it together on corruption.” Nigeria for example. (Coincidentally, this week saw the launch of Virgin Nigeria, the newest Branson venture.) He argued that it is “quite easy” to blame a lack of investment in Africa on corruption, but that “as a business man, my belief is that corruption is on the decline.”

Branson emphasized that investing in Africa “makes good business sense. It’s not a charity.”

Later, as we walked toward boarding the flight to Heathrow, I asked him if Africa was going to be a focus of his business expansion beyond his investment in Virgin Nigeria. “Yes.” (He stood in line with everyone else to board the plane, greeting all comers very congenially.)

There was one person who seemed to take the corruption issue more seriously: Djimon Hounsou, the Oscar-nominated actor from Amistad and Gladiator, was the first one to raise the issue of corruption, even before the question from the floor. Perhaps not coincidentally, he was also one of the very few actual Africans present. He is originally from Benin, which is in West Africa. He argued that in order to combat corruption, elections in Africa need to be monitored, and the use of aid monies must also be monitored.

tarmac_charmaine.jpg

On the tarmac at Heathrow

Tomorrow, I’ll be attending a briefing on “What the G8 Must Do on Debt” hosted by the Jubilee Campaign. (As well as trying to avoid rioting anarchists.) This reflects the One Campaign’s call for debt cancellation. Anyone have questions they’d like to have asked? Shoot them to me!

###

Challies asks, “What to change the world? Go to church.” Not Live 8.

Junkyardblog has Madonna and the digitus impudicus at Fooling. Thanks to PyroManiac and Challies

USS Neverdock asks,“Looking for justice”, “start a revolution”, “create good government”, are these people seriously talking about, dare I say it, regime change?in Africa, Are You Listening?

WILLisms says, “I have no doubt that Bono is sincere in his concern for Africa, but, watching Live 8, the effort really just missed the point. Millenium Challenge Accounts are what the world needs to get on board with, not awareness for the sake of awareness.” Read more at Certified Classy #5

Digitus says in Recent Articles about Live8 performers that “They were there to reach down and help us help the poor, but meanwhile, backstage they while snarfing up the lobster, caviar, and $14,000 gift bags given for free to the A-listers like Madonna…”

John Detained by Police Here in Edinburgh

July 4, 2005 | By | One Comment

My new blogging buddy, John Aravosis, who is staying in a different hotel than I am, was caught in the riots earlier this evening here in Edinburgh and detained by the police. . .

My family is very pleased that I wasn’t nearby, but (since he is okay), I am planning to give John grief for landing in the middle of the action without me.

More seriously, this level of rioting when the summit doesn’t even begin until Wednesday doesn’t bode well for this city. Pictures on the local news of children sobbing in the streets are heart-breaking.

Riding into the city on the bus this afternoon, we passed a Starbucks with enormous glass windows in the downtown area, and Greg Beals, a globe-trotting journalist on assignment here with NY Newsday, predicted it would be smashed by week’s end . . .

###

Enjoy the Covered Dish over at Basil’s Blog

Wizbang asks Will Live Aid End Poverty?

Read David Adesnik (Oxford and UVA) on Oxblog and the Starbucks irony at Letter From a Victim of Starbucks. Frothy.

Two Different Welcomes: Bobbleheads and Cute Kids

July 4, 2005 | By | No Comments

When we touched down in Edinburgh earlier this afternoon, two very different welcomes greeted us: Bobbleheads and Cutie Pies.

kids_tarmac.jpg

Okay, so the whole kids with flags waving thing was totally staged. But it was adorable — who can resist those rosy Scottish cheeks and the hand-drawn “Welcome to Edinburgh” sign?

Inside the terminal, however, the welcome was a snarky one. The Bobbleheads awaited.

No one ever explained exactly what the Bobbleheads were about — maybe it was all just for laughs? Kind of Disney-esque? John and I stood surveying the scene and debated as travellers vied to get their picture taken with the Bobs. Could have been. . .

bobbleheads.jpg

But when I arrived at Allison House, there they were, featured in the local paper — the very same Bobbleheads marching carrying a “Make Poverty History” sign. Something of local celebrities apparently.

Was it meant to be all in fun? Nah.

bobble_shoes.jpg

The Bobbleheads’ shoes . . .very European.

###

Villainous Company says that Live8 is, “a fundraiser in which not one thin dime is going directly to the intended recipients” in The Song Remains the Shame.

In the Agora points us to organizations needing donations through The ONE Campaign.

The Great Separation reminds us that American Out Gives Europe 15 to 1.

Richard Branson Press Conference

July 3, 2005 | By | No Comments

press_conference_edited.jpg

Charles McCormack, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Branson and Jamie Drummond

Running for the plane. Highlight from the press conference.

Jamie Drummond, executive director and co-founder of DATA (who looks and sounds just like Ewan McGregor), said that the ONE Campaign is becoming “like the NRA for the poor.”

Everyone laughed, and Richard Branson responded, “or like the AARP. . .”

Much more later. Both Djimon Hounsou and Richard Branson addressed the corruption issue extensively.

On to Edinburgh. . .

press conf kids.jpg

Live8 and G8 coverage continues…

###

Feld Thoughts on Live8 and Pink Floyd.

Live8 and more at Joho the Blog

Culture Vulture has impressions of Live8

The OfficeWebLog has analysis.

Mudville Gazette does it all at Open Post.