Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: October 2005

29 October 2005

And Now Another U.S. Spy Story ...

Suddenly, it seems as though there's something of a surfeit of U.S. 'spy-stories' surfacing.

This afternoon someone dropped this bombshell in This Old Brit's in-box.

Isle man accused of selling secrets

Peter Boylan and Rob Perez Advertiser Staff Writers

The B-2's stealth design allows it to fly virtually undetected by enemy radar. All 21 of the B-2s in service are stationed at Whiteman.

A Maui resident who was a former design engineer for a large defense contractor has been accused of selling classified information about the B-2 stealth bomber to at least three foreign governments, the FBI said yesterday.

How does that sound for a completely unexpected and totally unpleasant; Aloha from Haiku, Hawaii, eh?

Noshir S. Gowadia of Haiku was arrested yesterday on suspicion of "willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it,"
So spake the F.B.I.

Then they said this too.

"This is an extremely important case and we won't be commenting until we're prepared to do so," said U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo in a telephone interview last night from Ontario, Calif.

Hmmm. " ... an extremely important case ... ".

Oh really ? Sounds sort of an understatement, some of us would say.

Particularly in view of the following few facts.

The B-2's stealth design allows it to fly virtually undetected by enemy radar.

The B-2 is a strategic, long-range bomber that can fly more than 6,000 miles before refueling while carrying 40,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear weapons, according to Northrop Grumman's Web site.

Its stealth design allows it to fly virtually undetected by enemy radar at a ceiling
of 50,000 feet.

During Operation Allied Force and Operation Enduring Freedom, the bomber performed missions up to 44 hours long, according to the company.

Next, here's more about the man involved.

From November 1968 to April 1986, Gowadia worked for Northrop Grumman Corp., which was involved in the design and manufacture of the B-2 Spirit Bomber, the FBI said.

During his tenure with the company, Gowadia worked in the development of the aircraft's propulsion system, the FBI said.
Then there's this on another Northrop Grumman guy -- and what he wouldn't say when asked.

Dan McClain, a corporate communications director for Northrop Grumman, declined comment yesterday.
But, courtesy of the intrepid journalistic trio of Christie Wilson, Peter Boylan and Rob Perez --at the Honolulu Advertiser -- you can learn a little more at this link.

27 October 2005

A Noble Cause, Or Two ...

Tonight we're tired because it's been a right blooming, bugger of a day.

We did most of the whole damned day in dry dock [hospital] taking tests. Tsk! Talk about trying times. Don't ask. The main thing is, we both made it back.

So that's the reason this edition's so short and sweet. See?

Financial affairs, our forte ain't -- but we wonder if we've not struck pay-dirt. We think we may have stumbled on a couple of keys to some of the secrets of the Bushco cabal's so-called 'noble cause'.

Anyhow, see what you think.

We'll donate the dots -- all you have to do is join them.

Here's the first.

Exxon in biggest ever US profits

Exxon Mobil is the world's largest listed oil company

US oil giant Exxon Mobil has posted a quarterly profit of $9.9bn (£5.55bn), the largest in US corporate history, on the back of record oil and gas prices.

Sure sounds like some especially sweet dealing's been done somewhere. Eh?

Profit was up 75% and revenue rose 32% to more than $100bn.
Okay, that's your first two dots done.

Now for your next one.

Shell buoyed by oil price surge

Shell is performing well despite the hurricanesProfits at oil giant Shell have surged as the recent rise in oil prices more than offset the cost of US hurricanes.
That was your third, so what follows is your fourth.
Current cost of supply (CCS) earnings rose to $7.37bn (£4.01bn) in the three months to 30 September.

And there are plenty more darned damning dots where they came from. Though as always, they're quite well camouflaged and dutifully disguised as far-too-high-falluting, high-finance-speak for most folk.

This Old Brit and Richard have always been inclined to call this category of crap a kind of conglomerate, corporate gobbledygook, con-artist type of talking.

You know -- the blind 'em with science and hit 'em all hard with packs of phony facts & figures, approach.

Anyhow, here are the latest low downs on the fat-cat, low life leeches living the high life at the expense of the rest of us.

So go on and give it a whirl. Do your own thing with dots. Suck it and see as they say. See if you too can see through them.

But whatever you do -- don't dare to mention the war.



26 October 2005

Special - Saddam, Sight and Sound Edition ...

In case nobody has noticed, around here we've not been blogging for a day or two.

But never fear - we're right back here - as plenty of people have had proof of in the past, This Old Brit and I have never, ever been known to 'go quietly'. In fact as so many folk have often found, we really are rather harder to get rid of, than herpes.

Heh -- whatever that is or whatever they are.

And the honest to God truth is that there's so much mega-stuff been going on [and still is] -- as I'm sure anyone who ever heard of high treason and treachery in the highest of high places being talked about, will already be more than well aware.

Well, that's our excuse anyhow, and we're sticking to it.

But even now, as we sit here to write - or type - we still feel filled with guilt.

We feel like some of those fabled, harassed housewives who find the easiest way out of taking 'proper' care of the kids [when so many different things seem to be bearing down] is to simply stick on a video for them, then leave them to it for a while.

However, never let it be said that we neglect our duties altogether, 'cos we don't.

So, as it will be around another 20 or so hours before business as usual is resumed, we're making a peace offering - sort of in semi-advance.

And here's how -- we're gonna give you all a little gift.

Yep, that's right, we're gonna give you a video to 'stick on'.

It's kinda, sorta, loosely related to lots of the things going on that we mentioned at the outset.

Precisely how you view the video will depend a lot on yourself.

Some readers [or should we say listeners today ?] will most likely learn a few new things, while some more might be merely - but timely - reminded.

And since we don't do things on the cheap or by half measures around here -- you'd better get the speakers turned on or the earphones hooked up -- because This Old Brit groaner, is gonna give you some of the original old groaner. Really. Honestly. Bing is thrown in for free.

Yep, that's right. You watch, while Bing sings.

So we'll see you again shortly -- but in the meantime we'll leave you to look, listen and learn.

Incidentally, please have a little patience, particularly if your internet connection speed isn't exactly supersonic. This may take a little time to download -- but we sincerely believe you'll find it well worth your while to wait.

Okay, so let's get this show on the road.

23 October 2005

Is Syria Already Set In U.S. & U.K. Sights ?

Ignoring in the first instance the insane, the imbecilic, the infantile, the illiterate, the ill informed, the stupid, and the senile -- who among us ever believed that Condoleza Rice was [as claimed] simply showing Jack Straw some Southern hospitality, when he took off to travel from the UK to the US earlier this week and took up her so called, cordial invitation to 'come calling' ?

Well now we know that those of us who sniffed the whiff of some trouble & strife being stirred up for someone, were bang on the button.

And that 'someone' it seems, is -- surprise, surprise -- yet one more of Israel's near neighbours; President Bashar al-Assadd's, Syria.

Sound sort of a 'same old, same old' scenario to anyone else besides This Old Brit ?

Then put aside a little time to peruse this particular piece from today's Sunday Mirror.

Here's the dateline, headline and by-line.

23 October 2005

U.S. and UK urge action against Syria over Hariri murder

By Lin Noueihed

BEIRUT (Reuters)
Uh, oh! Sound ever so faintly familiar ? It should do.

As the rabid Donald Rumsfeld once infamously informed us all - to paraphrase - "shit happens".

But first, it needs to be stirred. Eh ?

Here's some more from the Mirror.

The United States and Britain ratcheted up pressure on Syria on Sunday, saying a U.N. probe implicating it in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was "very serious" and the world must act.

Hah. That's apt.

The crooked cabals currently controlling both the UK and US governments are past masters at 'acting'. As should be expected of course, since they've been posing and playing the parts of proper politicians for a rather prolonged period -- and succeeding [so far] in pulling way too much wool over far too many folk's eyes.

In fact they've gradually gotten so good at playing their respective, repulsive and revolting roles that they've even managed to outperform the 'old pro' himself -- rambling, old Ronald Reagan.

But let's get back to the present for a peek at our possibly mutual future -- to coin another new Old Brit phrase.

Eh, what ?

Righty, ho!
And tally, ho!
So onward we jolly-well go.
"I am quite sure that when the international community gets together we will decide what to do but it can't be ... just left lying on the table," Rice said.
Then she added, rather overtly ominously.
"This really has to be dealt with."

Jesus. Just look at that last line.

Then look at this.

Straw, who has been touring Alabama with Rice, said: "The report indicates that people of a high level of this Syrian regime were implicated."

He added: "We also have evidence from the ... report of false testimony being given by senior people in the regime.

This is very serious."

Ahem. Again, look at the last line.

Damned right, Jack. It is very serious.

Many, may even say stark staring, stupe-effing-fyingly so. Whilst simultaneously wondering -- whether or not this scary 'shoulder-to-shoulder' dynamic duo, definitely share some sort of dual, weirdo death wish?

But even if it's true, why in the name of all that's sane should they settle on such a sick, sick, sick one ?

I mean -- actively and voluntarily seeking to sodding stretttttttttch ourselves to death?

Now, look to this link to learn more.

Finally, having finished reading Richard's most recent report - it's for you to decide for yourself; are these sleazey, slimey serial liars now trying to sell us - still more war ?

21 October 2005

Blair's "Bah, Humbug!" To London Bomb Victims ...

Someone should seek out some transcripts of several Tony Blair speeches -- and shove them straight up where the sun don't shine.

I speak of course of his serial shit-spewing regarding 'protecting' the British people, and his [oh, so compassionate] concern for our well being and welfare.

Right now, I'd readily risk real money [if I had it] at my local bookie's shop, that the ten thousand signatories to this petition would willingly wait patiently in line, for the privilege & pleasure of participating -- in said ceremonial shoving.

As would, no doubt, all their nearest and dearest.

Bomb victims in payouts protest

Garri Holness [pictured above] lost part of his leg in the 7 July bombings

Survivors of the 7 July London bombings and relatives of those killed delivered a 10,000-signature petition to Downing Street demanding better pay outs.

Many say they had no financial help and described the compensation scheme as slow, inadequate and insulting.
Sounds about par for the Blair boys' course, I'd say -- "... slow, inadequate and insulting".

Government rules mean bereaved families get £11,000 and the maximum for the seriously injured is £500,000.
Geeze. What generosity. Eh?

After the 11 September attacks, families of those killed received about $2m (£1.1m) from the US Government.

Even his blood-brother Bush with his so called, compassionate U.S. conservatives cared more for their innocent victims of terrorism than the phony Blair government does.

London bombing victims want the government to abolish the ceiling on compensation, as well as immediate help for victims and guaranteed long-term financial security for survivors.
And why not?

After all, it was the Downing Street poodle himself who virtually painted the big 'bulls-eye' on Britain's capital city, when he illegally went waging war in Iraq -- shoulder to shoulder with the Pennsylvania-Ave-dwelling, dolt.

Stacy Beer, 24, whose brother Phil, 22, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, died in the Piccadilly Line blast, said she was angry the families had been left to take action themselves.

"You cannot put a price on a person's life. No amount of money will bring them back, but money will help the survivors - it will help them rebuild their lives."

Brava, Stacey; well said.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Tony Blair said ......

Wait for it.

" ... a new scheme could be established to pay compensation to UK victims of terrorism".
Yes, Prime Minister. Of course it could be.

And pigs, I suppose, could be conned into believing they could -- maybe one day, some day, somehow -- be convinced that they could, maybe even effing fly.

Grrrr. Gawd, gimme strength.

Best you read the rest on your own I think.

Because right now I'm reading my rapidly rising blood pressure as a sign.

A sign I should go do a Garbo.

'Cos I'm angry again - and I want to be [left] alone.

19 October 2005

Spain Signs International Arrest Warrant Citing U.S. Troops In Iraq ...

It's doubtful this will find much mainstream media time or space, stateside.

So see it here, for yourself.

Spain orders arrest of US troops

The incident was a shocking end to the war for journalist's Spanish judge has issued an international arrest order for three US soldiers over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman.

Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp, of the US 3rd Infantry Division.

Talk about waving a red rag at an already raging rampant bull.

But BRAVO, all the same, sir. Y, Viva Espana!

Speaking on Wednesday, the judge said he had issued the arrest order because of a lack of judicial co-operation from the US in the case.
Well surprise, surprise. Who'da thunk it ? No U.S. judicial cooperation, eh ?

So what else is new ?

The incident was witnessed on TV around the world on the day before the fall of the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, as the Palestine was the base for almost all the foreign media crews in Baghdad.
Too ruddy right, it was.

The killing -- oops, sorry -- so called 'incident' was witnessed by TV viewers in their millions, [ including This Old Brit ] all across the globe.

Here's another relevant teaser taken from RTE ... the Irish TV/Radio, official news web-site.

A cameraman for the Telecinco Spanish TV service died this afternoon after being injured when a US tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel.
And another.

In total, four Reuters staff were injured in the attack. Mr Couso and 35-year-old Ukrainian-born cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, died later.
Here's some more of the same.

A correspondent for Al-Jazeera also died of his injuries following a strike on the station's Baghdad offices.
And there's more.

A cameraman was hit in the neck by shrapnel in the blast.
Then there's this.

Another Arab service, Abu Dhabi TV, said its Baghdad bureau was also hit.
But here's the best bit yet.

Gen. Vincent Brooks said US forces had been fired on 'from the (lobby of the Palestine) hotel', but could not explain how the return fire hit between 14 and 17 floors higher up.
Bollocks, General Brooks, that's bullshit.

In fact, it's bloody nonsense at best and a bunch of bleedin' lies at worst.

Millions of TV viewers across the globe watched it -- witnessed it with their own eyes, mister. This Old Brit, included.

There was no firing from the hotel. Nor from any place near it.

Not from anyone, anywhere --- except from your own adrenaline driven, trigger happy, blood thirsty, ill disciplined, dim witted tw*ts in that tank.

If ever there was a case of a smoking gun -- then this was the mother of them all -- sticking slap-bang straight out the centre -- of a U.S. tank turret.

Shame on you, General. And shame on those soldiers, so plainly to blame.

What they did that day was nothing less than wanton. It was downright deliberate and undoubtedly, unprovoked.

I repeat -- we watched it, mister -- in our millions, mate.

Argh. Methinks 'tis time to chill.

Time to take a tea-break.

And time for two good links.



17 October 2005

Harold Evans - on Media Whores and Heroes ...

Harold Evans is another old Brit but, Harold doesn't 'do' blogs.

( Since he's simply so much more up-market than me. See? )

Though that's not to say he doesn't usually have something to say or write which isn't well worth listening to, and/or reading.

Take for example, this excellent excerpt from his latest powerful op-ed piece, appertaining to some mainstream media whores and heroes -- of both the past and even more particulary, the present.

In my view, the safe "he-said, she-said, on-the-one-hand, on-the-other " style of journalism is an abdication of the journalist's responsibility to pin down the truth.

More concerned with advertising demographics than a functioning democracy, the networks blur the line between news and entertainment. Any time there's a celebrity crime or a missing blonde in California, the rest of America - the rest of the world - vanishes from the screens.

Les Moonves, the current head of Murrow's old network, CBS, has let it be known that he hankers to do the news "MTV-style".
Sound like Harold Evans could be your sort of scribbler?

Just as he is, This Old Brit's ?

Maybe ? Possibly? Probably ?

So, see some more, before making your mind up.

On the other hand, Mr Moonves, you could have television on television.

One of the extraordinary things about network TV is how little news video they show, cutting back to cotton wool commentary.
Blatantly biased, This Old Brit may well be -- but just like today's big-brother-bosses, Bush and Blair -- we, mere mortal munchkins must stand shoulder to shoulder -- if we're ever to win the war on error - upon error and error - etcetera.

Now, before looking for the 'link to the lot' that regular readers will realise is bound to follow below --- here's the header to the piece quoted from above.

Eh ? Erm ? Excuse me ?

But surely that's arse-ways around?!

That's obviously upside down.

In fact, it's actually, bloody well back to front.

Aha ..... wait a minute ..... by George, I think I've got it.

It's some sneaky sort of subtlety.

Like .... the last shall come first, and the first shall come last -- and so on & so forth?

Eh ?

Well ... we are talking about a pair of old Brits, for God's sake, so what the hell else would the world expect?

After all, don't we always end up doing everything our way -- in the end ?

Good night, and good luck ~~ A POINT OF VIEW

By Harold Evans

In his weekly opinion column, Harold Evans looks at the state of television in the US, and doesn't like what he sees.

Did we forget to tell you ? Sorry, we should have said.

Our old Harold is talking [almost] totally about T.V. -- U.S. style.

So, here comes that [almost] legendary link-to-the-lot.


And in the words of one of these two old Brits' all time, media heroes, Edward R. Murrow --------- good night, and good luck.

16 October 2005

Bush and Blair - Some More Secrets, Leaks and Lies ...

Since it's Sunday, selecting the snapshot shown above seemed sort of a sensible way to start today's Blog.

So smile a while now if you want -- for what follows is far from funny.

And while there can't be many left among us, who haven't yet found out for themselves that the holier-than-thou, wolves-in-sheep's clothing, shown above, are among the most hateful, hypocrites [masquerading as freedom loving and freedom spreading leaders] ever inflicted upon this earth's inhabitants --- even now, the more we learn, the worse it gets.

Because, believe it or believe it not -- yet another top-secret, Downing Street memo has turned up.

Yep. Really.

This U.K. Independent header from today's edition isn't just a hook to grab your attention -- it's a hook and a bloody half.

See for yourself.

Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi

By Marie Woolf, Political Editor

Published: 16 October 2005

Maybe you thought, as did so many others, that it was just Iraq and Iran set in the sights.

And, maybe you thought the Saudi Arabian and Pakistani governments were actually included in the [supposedly] long list of the Bush-Blair, coalition-of-the-willing's pals, eh?

Ha. So did the 'suckers' themselves.

Silly, Billies.

George Bush told the Prime Minister two months before the invasion of Iraq that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea may also be dealt with over weapons of mass destruction, a top secret Downing Street memo shows.

The US President told Tony Blair, in a secret telephone conversation in January 2003 that he "wanted to go beyond Iraq".

He implied that the military action against Saddam Hussein was only a first step in the battle against WMD proliferation in a series of countries.
What's more, Tony was told:

Mr Bush said he "wanted to go beyond Iraq ...
Oh what a tangled web we weave -- eh?

Trust us -- we're the democracy spreading, democratically elected, Christian charitable, leaders of the civilised free world -- eh?

Why .... erm .... the 'good guys' like us .... I mean ..... well .... we wouldn't lie .... now would we?

The confidential memo recording the President's explosive remarks was written by Michael Rycroft, then the Prime Minister's private secretary and foreign policy adviser.

He sent the two-page letter recording the conversation between the two leaders on 30 January 2003 to Simon McDonald, who was then private secretary to Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary.

Mr Rycroft said it "must only be shown to those with a real need to know ".
Oh really, Mr Rycroft ? You rancid lying rat.

Talk about stating the sodding obvious. Talk about unforgivable, underhanded understatement.

In fact, talk about a lying load of bomb-happy, shooting and looting, blood thirsty, murdering megalomaniacs.

Talk about George and Tony being the terrible twins.

And talk about a couple of blood brothers - better still - talk about brothers-in-blood ; blood by the stinking swimming-pool-full.

Eh ?

They should both suffocate in the stuff -- shoulder to shoulder -- and sickeningly slowly.

Okay. Take a rest from the rant and read on.

"If this letter accurately reflects the conversation between the President and the Prime Minister it will cause consternation, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

American policy in the Middle East for decades has been based on support for Israel and an alliance with Saudi Arabia," he said.

"If this was more than loose talk and represented a genuine policy intention it constitutes a radical change in American foreign policy."
To find out who had 'the above' to say -- and much, much more -- hit the link hereunder.

14 October 2005

Thatcher keeps Queen waiting - while she blathers to a Bush ...

Mad, Mrs Maggie Thatcher made merry this Thursday night, at her 80th birthday bash.

Alas, This Old Brit wasn't asked to attend.

Maybe she'd heard he'd had a bit of health hiccup - or then again, maybe she hadn't.

Shame really, because he so wanted to meet her, shake her by the hand and thank her for past services rendered.

Yeah. Really.

If it hadn't have been for her and her ignorant ilk, he may well have still been a true blue Tory -- instead of the 'traditional-not-new' Labour lad he became soon after she started serving up her own special sort of conservative crap.

And that's the truth. You'd better believe it.

She had the same effect on several other million Brits, too.

But, as they say, that's another story. So it's safely stashed away -- being saved for some special rainy day.

So for now, forget it, and simply settle for being shocked and awed by this.

Former Tory Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has celebrated her 80th birthday with the Queen and 650 guests at a dinner in a London hotel.

Lady Thatcher looked frail as she arrived 15 minutes late - aides said she had been delayed by talking on the phone to ex-US President George Bush.
Can you believe it ?

She kept her own Queen waiting while she blathered on the blower to a burned out, Bush ! ?

Charming, Margaret, darling.

Off with her head !


For the officially slanted & super-sanitized, pandering P.R. party-piece put out by the B.B.C. - click this little link :

Then for a real 'raving' related rant by the Mirror's really left leaning Labour lad, Kevin Maguire, click the link at the end of this tasty teaser.

But be warned -- cutie pie Kevin can certainly come on strong.
The Prime Minister who gave her name to the bitter 1980s was a hateful figure.

Even as her strength wanes and the clock ticks remorselessly, we should never forget or forgive what she did to people who refused to bow the knee and how she wrecked millions of lives.

THATCHER preached harmony, yet fractured Britain into an unfairer, more divided, unjust country.

She scrapped the link between pensions and wages, plunging elderly citizens into poverty.

A hair-brained monetarist experiment allowed the pound to soar, sacrificing untold numbers of jobs. But the PM who'd claimed Labour wasn't working thought unemployment topping a record three million was a price worth paying.

Riots ripped apart Brixton and Toxteth. Working people who stood up to her were ruthlessly crushed.

Trade unions were neutered, creating a hire-and-fire economy of insecure, poorly paid McJobs.

The long pit strike, when she intervened to prevent a deal with Arthur Scargill's miners, proved what a vindictive, evil figure she was.

North Sea oil was squandered, the family silver flogged off, as gas, airlines, buses, electricity, water, steel and car industries went under the hammer in an orgy of privatisation.

The brunt was borne by communities in the industrial heartlands.

Rioting broke out over the barmy poll tax forcing dustmen to pay the same as dukes.

Even the Falklands War, which cost the lives of 250 British servicemen and was hailed by her as a triumph, was down to her inept foreign policy.
Well ? What did I tell you ?

Boy, can that boy bellow.

Now go read the rest -- and enjoy!

12 October 2005

Syrian ' Suicide ' - Is This The Start ?

This will be the shortest Old Brit blog entry - ever.

One day after posting regarding US intentions/threats/whatever, toward Syria - comes this from the BBC.

Syrian minister 'commits suicide'

Kanaan (left) was Syria's top official in Lebanon for yearsSyria's Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan has committed suicide, the official news agency in Damascus says.

He was reportedly questioned by a UN investigator last month over the murder of ex-Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

For many years Kanaan was Syria's powerful intelligence chief in Lebanon, which was dominated by Syria until its military withdrawal earlier this year.

He returned to Damascus in 2002 as political intelligence chief and joined the cabinet in 2004.

"Interior Minister Brig Gen Ghazi Kanaan committed suicide in his office before noon," the Syrian Arab News Agency (Sana) reported.

I want to make clear that our relation with our brothers in Lebanon was based on love and mutual respect

The authorities are carrying out the "necessary investigation" into the incident,
Sana reported.

This Old Brit certainly knows how he sees it -- but like it says in his profile -- "You Decide".

* N.B.
Please don't let the brevity of this blog post detract from it's potential significance.

For now --- that is all.

Full latest from the BBC at this link:

11 October 2005

Is It God Who's Making Bush Mad ?

Next time G.W. Bush gets to hear God whispering in his ear regarding where next he wants mad King George to wage war, perhaps it would be proper for el pretzeldent to to commune with his creator concerning some especially important questions.

Questions to which the answers are as pertinent to all earth's people as they are to the plethora of corporate pricks who, some time ago bought Bush's soul - or as reasonable a facsimile of a soul as was ever available.

Questions such as -- 'Christ, King of Kings! Surely, you're kidding?' - or - 'Jesus! You jest?' - or - 'God! You must be pulling my plonker'.

If only the frat-brat, fortunate son hadn't have effed around all through his schooling, he might just happened to have heard about the ancient Greek playwright/philosopher, Euripides.

And if he had, he may well have realised a while ago that he was being set up - seemingly sacredly - for one truly almighty fall.

Wise, way beyond his young years, amongst Euripides' ultra-prolific production of pronouncements & proclamations during such a shockingly short lifespan, was the following famous one.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Variant: Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad.

Variant: Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.

Ring any bells, anyone?

Well, it was such a superb super-duper saying, that a thousand or so years later, even old Will Shakespeare himself sort of swiped it, to use in one of his own works.

And it's as true now as it was about 400 years BC.

How in hell the Crawford neocon-cowboy-clown still hasn't cottoned on -- well, maybe God alone knows.

Damn it, Old Brit, you're darn well digressing again.

Fair enough, friend -- so lets fast forward to yesterday's [London] Financial Times.

US 'seeks new Syrian leader' as pressure mounts

By Guy Dinmore in Washington Published: October 10 2005 03:00 - Last updated: October 10 2005 03:00

As it steps up pressure on Damascus, the US is actively seeking an alternative who would take over from President Bashar al-Assad, according to sources close to the Bush administration.

What? Even while the crazy carnage & chaos of Iraq and Afghanistan continue? Isn't that major league madness?

But it goes on, to get worse.

Feast your eyes on the following.

President George W. Bush, in an important speech last week on the war on terror and the ideology of Islamic radicalism, denounced Syria and Iran as "outlaw regimes" that acted as "allies of convenience" to the militants.

Yeah - remember Iran is still set squarely in his sights too.

Duh. Call me a monkey's uncle. Who would have Adam & Eve'd it?

How many foreign fronts does the fool think he can effectively fight on -- for fuck's sake?

Crazier and crazier, eh?

Surely, the current US criminal-cartel-ocracy's now gone completely crackers and finally flaked altogether.

Surely, they must have begun believing their own loony-load of lies.

Surely, they must now have started to swallow their own load [ as we Brits say] of bloody bollocks.

Surely, they must think their [mythical] multi-missions are actually accomplished.


Okay. Here's hoping you can handle this quick clip & paste.

Flynt Leverett, analyst at the Brookings Institution think-tank, believes the Bush administration is looking at mounting cross-border military operations into Syria.
Here's your last little 'hook' to look at before you hit the link.

A US official told the FT last week Syria had made the "unwise choice" of "allowing its territory to be part of the Iraqi battlefield".
Now read the rest:

Plus - Examples of Euripides - for the erudite among us:

09 October 2005

Is This Man Bush, Actually Murdering America ?

So we're starting this Sunday's blog with an excuse, again. And sad to say, it's the same old, same old - as I've previously pled - on occasions aplenty.

Me back aches. Me hips hurt. And I'm constantly craving more tea-breaks.

Not to mention all the extra time taken up by so many extra toilet trips.

And it's all the fault of flippin' old age. Believe me. Trust me - I'm an OAP.

Y'see - though the mind may remain razor sharp and [as we invariably insist to all who'll listen] the intellect, insight, inborn instinct and analytical abilities all remain remorselessly [and thankfully] intact.

For while freely admitting that current concentration spans are somewhat shorter than they should be - the comprehension element's actually improving -- in direct proportion to the growing number of birthdays being tucked under the belt.

In other words, although we're growing older - we're also growing wiser.

Cor blimey, Charlie.

Wrap it up, Richard.

Cut to the chase, Old Brit.

Move on, Mate.

This preamble's now resembling a ramble.

Okay, okay! Alright, already.

Over one whole day ago, this story should have showed up here - so I'm sorry. But, better late than never. Eh?

Here's the header.


America's sense of itself - its pride in its power - has been profoundly damaged.

By Dermot Purgavie, Veteran US Correspondent
This Purgavie piece actually made it to the UK's Mirror, on Saturday 8th.

Here's a paragraph plucked at random, to be used as a taster.

With TV providing a ceaseless backdrop of the country's failings - a crippled and tone-deaf president, a negligent government, corruption, military atrocities, soaring debt, racial conflict, poverty, bloated bodies in floodwater, people dying on camera for want of food, water and medicine - it seemed things were falling apart in the land where happiness is promoted in the constitution.

Sound about right, so far?

So see some more.

Americans feel ashamed by the violent, predatory behaviour Katrina triggered - nothing similar happened in the tsunami-hit Third World countries - and by the deep racial and class divisions it revealed.

The press has since been giving the country a crash course on poverty and race, informing the flag wavers that an uncaring America may be No.1 on the world inequities index.

IT has 37 million living under the poverty line, largely unnoticed by the richest in a country with more than three million millionaires.

Not nice - is it? But please don't shoot the pianist.

Next, examine this excerpt.

The US, we learn, is 43rd in the world infant mortality rankings. A baby born in Beijing has nearly three times the chance of reaching its first birthday than a baby born in Washington.

Those who survive face rotten schools. On reading and maths tests for 15-year-olds, America is 24th out of 29 nations.

On the other side of the tracks, 18 corporate executives have so far been jailed for cooking the books and looting billions. The prosecution of Mr Bush's pals at Enron - the showcase trial of the greed-is-good culture - will be soon.

But the backroom deal lives on and, in an orgy of cronyism, billions of dollars are being carved up in no-bid contracts awarded to politically-connected firms for work in the hurricane-hit states and in Iraq.

Then there's this too.

The war, seen as unwinnable, is becoming a bleak burden, with nearly 2,000 American dead.

Two-thirds think the invasion was a mistake.
Stomach still strong enough for a final cut & paste peek?

Americans have been angered by a reports that US troops have routinely tortured Iraqi prisoners. Some 230 low-rankers have been convicted - but not one general or Pentagon overseer. Disgruntled young officers are leaving in increasing numbers.

Meanwhile, further damaging Americans' self image, there's Afghanistan. The White House says its operations there were a success, yet last year Afghanistan supplied 90 per cent of the world's heroin.

America's sense of itself - its pride in its power and authority, its faith in its institutions and its belief in its leaders - has been profoundly damaged.
Please peruse, via the link provided, Purgavie's complete piece, personally.

07 October 2005

Who's Winning The World-Wide-Web War ?

Super! Spiffing! Splendid! Strewth!

Shout it out. Spread it around. Start believing in Santa again.

Because, unaccustomed as This Old Brit is, to blowing his own bugle - or trumpet - he hereby declares that those who enter here, need abandon all hope, no more.

Whoopee, wowzer, whizz-bang and wotchercock!

Feast your eyes on this.

Breaking America's grip on the net

After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments

Kieren McCarthy - Thursday - October 6, 2005 - The Guardian

So far, so good, eh?

You would expect an announcement that would forever change the face of the internet to be a grand affair - a big stage, spotlights, media scrums and a charismatic frontman working the crowd.

But unless you knew where he was sitting, all you got was David Hendon's slightly apprehensive voice through a beige plastic earbox.

The words were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come.

Has the heart started racing already?

Are the tingles running down the spine?

Is the mouse moving for you yet?

Do I detect digits, all quivering 'cross keyboards?

Survived the suspense so far?

Old allies in world politics, representatives from the UK and US sat just feet away from each other, but all looked straight ahead as Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government's unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium.


The issue of who should control the net had proved an extremely divisive issue, and for 11 days the world's governments traded blows. For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it.

But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure - Brazil relies on it for 90% of its tax collection - the question of who has control has become critical.

And the unwelcome answer for many is that it is the US government.

Aha! Until now, that is.

So see some more and cease to weep.

A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused.

The meeting "was going nowhere", Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

Much to the distress of the US, the idea proved popular.Its representative hit back, stating that it "can't in any way allow any changes" that went against the "historic role" of the US in controlling the top level of the internet.

But the refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control.

It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

Well, don't simply sit there like somebody stupid --- hit the link below --- then go man, go.

But before you do -- hands up, all those who said there's never any good news given out here ?


Y'know, sometimes, I don't think some darned folk deserve me ....

er, him ..... uhm, us ...... ermmmm, this blog.

Awh, whatever.

What are you waiting for?,,1585288,00.html

See also, this X-ref link to a good American friend & fellow blogger, Elaine.

05 October 2005

Galloway & Palast; Is A Prosecution Pending ?

Last month, George Galloway and Greg Palast both had public speaking engagements to fulfill for North American audiences. It just so happened that Galloway got to go first.

A quick count of the coppers in This Old Brit's personal coffers clearly confirmed what he'd suspected. Borasic lint -- skint -- flat broke.

Even the cheapest of cheapo round trip air tickets was unmistakably, unaffordable.

And any quaint notion of considering Cunard as a carrier, of course, was completely out of the question.

Ain't life a bitch?


As dearly as he'd have loved to watch and listen to both, he soon, sadly accepted the fact that this was merely one more of his dreams which wouldn't come true.

Bugger! And a bloody big, boo-hoo, too.

But back to business.

That Gregory Palast has written & published some pretty powerful pieces, definitely can't be denied. And This Old Brit once admired most of it as much as anyone else did.

But that was in the past, and this is the present.

Immediately prior to Palast's pre-planned 'articulation-appearances', he suddenly stunned some thousands of people when - from his website - without warning - he launched an astonishing personal attack on George Galloway.

Unashamedly and unbelievably, he'd decided to drag up the same old shit that had been previously hurled, repeatedly, at the Respect Party MP - re; some supposed financial irregularities, concerning the canny Scot.

A poisonous pea-soup of slurs, slanders, innuendo and [previously proven as] downright lies -- Palast lobbed the whole lousy lot all over Galloway, again!

And this in spite of the fact that Galloway had on several occasions taken several similarly stupid, shit stirrers to the courts and sued them -- successfully; without exception.

Witness for example, what's quoted below by Galloway.

Palast conflates meetings, truths and half-truths, statements taken out of context to produce a toxic smear which would be actionable in the country he claims to work in, my country. How many times do I have to respond to the ravings of guttersnipes?

Sounds like strong stuff, eh? Well, so it should be. One can easily imagine how sick & tired the burly Scotsman must be of having such, serial hatred continually rehashed and repeatedly hurled in his face.

How the hell could Palast have forgotten, or failed to grasp the fact that every slimy, sob who's so far failed to provide any evidence of such awful allegations, has actually ended up building up George Galloway's bank balance?

Surely, Palast's either totally 'lost it' -- or is totally desperate?!

Grab a glimpse of this, from the same source as above.

Until a couple of days ago I hadn't heard of Greg Palast in years, the man who claims to have been pursuing me with questions for two months.

He has never phoned, written, emailed or made any other contact with me, which is curiously reminiscent of the behavior of the US Senate committee.

Having now forced myself to look at his pernicious writing, it seems like the deranged ramblings you might expect to find pushed out from under the door of a locked ward.

He claims to be a journalist.

He clearly doesn't get much work.

Hmm. Maybe all of the above, eh? Maybe Palast has lost it - and is desperate.

But here's what Old Brit believes is the best bit -- what he calls Galloway's 'biggy'.

But what I will not tolerate -- and will sue in any territory where it is possible to do so -- is the lie that I personally benefited financially from the campaign.

That sounds like fighting talk. Both a threat and a promise, wouldn't you say?

Sort of like saying 'either shut up or prepare to pay up' - eh?

But before being let loose on the link to 'the lot' - please linger a little longer.

When Galloway left the US and crossed the Canada border to continue his tour, a good Canadian friend of mine [who I'd previously urged not to miss the chance to meet the man] got herself a ticket to a Galloway-talk.

So, on the eagerly awaited evening in question, she went.

She saw him, heard him, believed him, loved him, met him, spoke to him, shook hands with him and was by all accounts completely 'blown away' by him.

She even got herself a personally signed copy of his book - Mr Galloway Goes to Washington. ( Remember when he made monkey-mincemeat out of US Senator Norm Coleman & Co? )

What my fine friend Phyl from Toronto, also did - was pass This Old Brit's 'blog credentials' to Galloway. He told her he'd "be sure to check it out".

Well, maybe he did and maybe he didn't -- and maybe we'll never know.

But this morning, came something sort of special.

Only rarely does This Old Brit ever bother browsing through his automated [and often, far too filter-strict] junk-mail-bin ---- you know, just in case.

Now, hit the link to see what showed up - two weeks later than it should have.

03 October 2005

DeLay & Lady Thatcher Link ?

How's this for a headline ?

3 October 2005


Top secret probe into US 'favours for freebies scandal'

By Bob Roberts

MARGARET Thatcher is to be questioned by police over a secret corruption probe.

The 79-year-old former Premier is said to have met Republican Congressman Tom DeLay while he was on a suspected favours-for-freebies scam run by shady US lobbyists.

Of course, the iron lady won't have her armour plating tested by the Brit police's shoot first & ask questions later, brigade.

I mean, have you all gone bloomin' barmy?

Mad as a hatter she may well now be, but Maggie's still classed as a true-blue old Brit, by the boys in blue -- not just another, bloody Brazilian.

Surely you'd not forgotten the 'one law for them and a different law us' rule -- had you?

Police will "sensitively" investigate the meeting, which took place in May 2000.
Hmm. Don't you just love little 'leaks', like this!?

The Mirror definitely does. And congrats & kudos to them for daring to share such startling stuff.

In the dossier headed "Secret ...wider circulation forbidden", civil servants then warn ministers:"There would be considerable press interest in this case if it were to become public knowledge".

Well, they got that right. 'Cos there is --- 'cos it has.

So, suspecting that most Old Brit regular readers are already rearing to go read the rest, shutting up soon seems best.

But first, see if you can find some space in your mind to mull over this.

Ain't the timing of the telling of this tittle-tattle, type of tale -- kind of a queer coincidence?

Sort of spooky - if you see what I mean.

Hmm. Maybe the Mirror had at least half a hunch of their own, when they ever so casually included this rather revealing, and not entirely unrelated, reminder in their 'exclusive'.

The revelations will be a body-blow to Lady Thatcher's reputation ----- and dash Tory morale on the opening day of it's crucial party conference.
Hmmm, again.

Y'know, if This Old Brit was an old cynic too, he'd not shy away from saying he thought he'd once again - however briefly - detected that faint but familiar, famous aroma of rodent.

Right you are then. Seems about time to take a tea break again -- or maybe even a tin-foil break.

Eh? Ya think?

Remember this though -- one shouldn't ever be embarrassed at the thought of thinking the unthinkable.

The entire cast of characters in all such 'productions' as these, are always true pros.

Each and everyone of them got where they are today because they proved at some time or other in their past - to someone or other - that they plainly possess that [in]famous X-factor.

And as always -- the truth is out there.

Much more here in Mirror.

02 October 2005

Chris Patten Points at Putin, Blair, Bush, Cheney and more ...

Cripes, Christopher! Cor blimey, mister!

Here's hoping that book's a brilliant best seller.

Erm, 'ang on a mo, mate ? Which bloomin' book is that then?

Why, it's Chris Patten's most recently released one, of course. The one that seems all set to cast that proverbial cat amongst those proverbial pigeons.

Read on, and all should soon be revealed

It's called, Not Quite the Diplomat -- and when you read it you'll realise why -- rather rapidly.

Take a quick peek at this quote.

Pervez Musharraf is "not a democrat", Dick Cheney's style is to stick up "two fingers" to the outside world and Vladimir Putin is a liar. It is blunt riticism from former top diplomat Chris Patten, who has just published a new ook in which he lets rip at the world's most famous politicians.

Yeah, you better believe it is.

But it gets better.

Patten, who stood down as European Union external relations chief last year, ending more than a decade on the world's public stage, pulls few punches in recounting behind-the-scenes tales of life at the top.Getting the general gist, now? Catching Christopher's drift, yet?

Ready to read on?

Then be This Old Brit's guest.

Like many critics of Blair's obsession with media spin, he accuses the New abour leader of changing his views to suit public opinion.

"Mr Blair, a sually likeable man, has convictions to which he holds strongly - when he holds tem.

His convictions change on issues ... to reflect what he believes to be prevailing convenient opinion," he writes.

Ouch! Eh?

Dastardly Dick Cheney and his nasty, crappy neo-con crew, cop it full frontal too -- straight in their frat-brat, fat-cat faces.

Of the Americans themselves, Patten - who held the EU post from 1999 to last October and was seen as a key Atlanticist in Brussels - singles out the neo-conservatives led by Cheney for his most withering criticism.

"Mr Cheney does not do style. He is two fingers to style," he says, calling the US vice president gressively nationalist, conspiratorial, the patron of the Washington branch of the Likud party".

Patten doesn't pull punches, does he?

He is less reserved about the new US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, saying that "for him there is no United Nations, there is only one nation that counts, America. Cooperation is for sissies".

"Mr Bolton is the Pavarotti of neo-conservatism; his views have taken the roof off chancelleries around the globe," he writes.

And Berlusconi gets blasted - big time.

More recently Patten laments the time that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made a "toe-curling" defence of Putin's Chechen campaign, during an EU-Russia meeting under Italy's EU presidency in 2003.

Then there's this sarcky swipe -- aimed this time, at an Asian Big-Brother.

Pakistan's President Musharraf fares less well. "Whatever you say about General Musharraf, he is not a democrat," he says, adding that he "will not last forever".

Patten further proclaims - quite publicly and plainly - President Putin's a liar.

North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, along with France and Germany's leaders, don't escape Pattens' put-downs either.

Alright ...... alright. Enough already.

Go read the rest on your own.

There's much, much more at the two links below.

( Incidentally, if you find yourself feeling this book's a 'must-have' -- here's a few words to the wise.

Penguin's published Patten's 'Not Quite the Diplomat' at £20. The Guardian offers a 'special' £18 price deal of their own --- but an amazing Amazon 40% reduction is available to those in the know --- like YOU.

So you can order right HERE for only £12.

Which means, whenever anyone buys a book from Amazon via This Old Brit's button-link [near the blog's bottom] everyone's a winner. Because they get the sale - you get the book - I get a little commission. )

Okay, okay --- end of commercial break.

So here's your promised Patten links. Enjoy!