30 September 2006
29 September 2006
The Blighted States Of America And The End Of Civilization As They Knew It ...
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, our sane American cousins, for now it tolls for thee.
Courtesy of your crazed crew of ruling fello
Accuse us of alarmism and/or exaggeration if it helps you lay easier in your beds at night, but please don't claim you weren't warned -- many times -- by many people -- from many places -- continually.
So now it has finally come to pass; the end of civilization as you knew it.
And the victorious enemy came not from any far off land; the victorious enemy came from within.
But before you say This Old Brit & Richard have finally snapped -- read what's been written by Professor William Rivers Pitt in today's edition of the authoritative and widely acclaimed 'Tuthout'.
Then ask yourself this question: Has such a cerebral celebrity as Professor Pitt also snapped?
Here's a taste of Pitt's piece.
Here's the complete Professor Pitt piece.
In Case I Disappear
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t - Perspective
Friday 29 September 2006
I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed." A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said.
I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I thought.
Matters are different now.
It seems, perhaps, that the people who warned me were not so paranoid. It seems, perhaps, that I was not paranoid enough. Legislation passed by the Republican House and Senate, legislation now marching up to the Republican White House for signature, has shattered a number of bedrock legal protections for suspects, prisoners, and pretty much anyone else George W. Bush deems to be an enemy.
So much of this legislation is wretched on the surface. Habeas corpus has been suspended for detainees suspected of terrorism or of aiding terrorism, so the Magna Carta-era rule that a person can face his accusers is now gone. Once a suspect has been thrown into prison, he does not have the right to a trial by his peers. Suspects cannot even stand in representation of themselves, another ancient protection, but must accept a military lawyer as their defender.
Illegally-obtained evidence can be used against suspects, whether that illegal evidence was gathered abroad or right here at home. To my way of thinking, this pretty much eradicates our security in persons, houses, papers, and effects, as stated in the Fourth Amendment, against illegal searches and seizures.
Speaking of collecting evidence, the torture of suspects and detainees has been broadly protected by this new legislation. While it tries to delineate what is and is not acceptable treatment of detainees, in the end, it gives George W. Bush the final word on what constitutes torture. US officials who use cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment to extract information from detainees are now shielded from prosecution.
It was two Supreme Court decisions, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that compelled the creation of this legislation. The Hamdi decision held that a prisoner has the right of habeas corpus, and can challenge his detention before an impartial judge. The Hamdan decision held that the military commissions set up to try detainees violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions.
Read it and weep.
28 September 2006
George Bush, Tony Blair And Bill Clinton: Aren't They All Just Birds Of A Feather ?
Someone once said that one "can't be all things to all men."
Sadly, that said someone obviously gave professional politicians a pass on this particular pronouncement; professional politicians of all colours/stripes and of all nationalities.
And This Old Brit believes that Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and George W. Bush just about beat the bloody band when it comes to being better than most at mutual back-scratching -- as well as some serious and unashamed back-stabbing, whenever such need should arise.
The Bush-Blair picture (top left), is just one of many taken over the last few years. The other, of Blair and Clinton, was taken much more recently; to be precise, at Britain's ( just ended), 2006 Labour Party Conference. See below.
Damn. Does that seem as sickening to you as it does to us?
Tony Blair has no need for the Tardis or some other fancy time-travel machine to see his future when he has Bill Clinton.
And there's more.
Former President Clinton - he may keep the title but that word "former" now invariably precedes it - stood before the Labour conference to offer some gentle, brotherly advice on how the party should remain the "agents for change" to keep power.
Then there's this.
He was also there to offer some warm words of praise and admiration for his friend Tony Blair.
So Tony's a big buddy of Bill, eh? Just as he is of Bush, eh?
Even though Bill Clinton and George Bush (son of one of Bill's bestest golf-buddies), pretend to be in permanent, personal and political party opposition?
Phew. Please pass us the puke pail -- pronto.
And can you credit this -- without becoming befuddled by complete confusion?
Just look at the US where, he (Bill Clinton), said, so many of the economic advances made under his watch were being undone by his successor George Bush's Republican administration.
Bill (big-dog) Clinton stands on a stage right alongside his big buddy Tony (B-liar) Blair as he simultaneously slags off Blair's other big buddy, George Bush -- and we're expected to see nothing wrong in it?
So, we're supposed to (ever so silently), swallow such shameful shit?
We're supposed to show no sodding surprise?
We're supposed not to be shocked?
We're supposed to simply shut up?
We're supposed to show yet again that we really are all as stupid as we're supposed to be?
Well, This Old Brit is one who bloody well won't do any of the above.
What a shower of self serving, incestuous shits, these perverse pro-pol-sobs are.
What a bare-faced bunch of brazen, birds-of-a-feather.
What a double talking, trio of tossers.
Awrh, enough already.
Just back to blogging after an absolutely super sunshine break -- but already we're rudely reminded of the sort of serially, served-up shite that convinced us it was time to cop-out of it all for a while in the first place,
Read the rest of the relevant report right here -- and see if it revolts you, even remotely as much as it does us.
26 September 2006
Just In Case You Cared ... This Old Brit's Back Home ...
In the time honoured, well worn and corny, tired old words of all the worst travelogue narrators ...
"... and so it is with heavy heart that we finally bid a fond farewell to one of the finest jewels of the warm, deep blue Mediterranean Sea, the harbour city of Fethiye -- a veritable little piece paradise on Turkey's South West coast.
"Turkey - Asia Minor - where East meets West - and the very best of both worlds combine to woo & welcome us back - time and time again."
Okay, we know, we know ... the 'tired old', 'well worn', 'heavy heart' (and heavy lines & wrinkles), and 'corny' -- are only too obvious. But we should give a shit. Since we simply loved it there, and aren't at all ashamed to show such 'soppy' sorts of feelings -- bloody big time.
So, as soon as we've sorted out our luggage, shopped for some food, payed some outstanding bills and seen to some similarly, serial pain-in-the-arse, mundane matters -- we'll be back to banging on about all the kinds of things we always bang on about.
Yep. You bet we will.
Which, incidentally, should be within the next 24 hours.
By the way, before we bugger off again, for a bit -- did we tell you we missed you?
'Cos we did.
21 September 2006
Wishing You Were Here With Us In Heavenly Fethiye Harbour ...
Heavenly Fethiye Harbour.
Hello again from Turkey.
Wish you were here?
Well, we certainly wish you all were. Really. What a wow that would be, eh?
Anyway, in the meantime we've not an awful lot to report on other than to say that the millions of magnificent Muslim people of Turkey continue to act as unlike marauding, murdering terrarrists as possible -- as per usual.
In fact, they continue to help make our stay as near perfect as possible.
Apart from one wise guy, that is.
A con-man market trader we ran into yesterday. Well, there's always at least one of 'em where ever one goes, ain't there?
As expected, his first asking price for a nice leather belt was far too high, at 65 Lira.
Again, as expected, the traditional old barter-barter-barter routine brought the price down -- and down -- and down -- and down.
Eventually, he finished up making his final 'offer one couldn't refuse'. And, would you believe that the old rogue finally came down to just 10 Lira?
Yep, you read that right -- all the way down from an original 65 Lira -- to only 10 Lira.
Y'see, the poor fellow hadn't reckoned on ever having to deal with Mrs Old Brit. Since when she says 'no' -- you can bet you're bottom dollar (or lira, or pound or whatever), that she means 'no' -- in a big, big way. You'd better believe it.
So, as our final four days are now sort of staring us straight in the face, here's where we're signing off on another short 'drive by' post -- 'cos the truth is that we don't want to miss a minute of our remaining time here in Turkey.
In the meantime, stay tuned.
16 September 2006
A Postcard From Turkey ...
Sorry we took so long, but doesn't time fly when you're having fun?
Anyhow, better late than never, or so they say.
The truth is that we've been running the legs off brother Harry and his lovely wife Liz, and in Liz's case, indoors as well as outdoors.
Well, as you've probably guessed by now, we've not been kidnapped nor taken prisoner by any of those several million Muslims we landed amongst on Monday.
We doubt either will happen tomorrow, or even the next day.
Maybe one of you could contact Fox to tell them that, eh?.
Seriously though, it is PERFECT here -- with a capital "P".
The photo above is no fake. Not photo-shopped or altered/enhanced in any way at all.
I took it myself last night as the sun set over Calis beach, just outside Fethiye, Southern (Med coast) Turkey.
That was the view from the beachfront cafe/bar "NIL" as we sat back sipping some apple tea.
Well, sorry to say this has to be short & sweet, as it's an early start again tomorrow, since we're off for a full day's sailing around the "12 Islands" -- which we've done before -- and it's brilliant.
So g'night for now and we'll try to post again soon.
11 September 2006
In Search Of Some Sun, Sea, Sailing, Sight-Seeing And Some Sleep ...
So, once more we're setting off in search of some sunshine, sea, sailing, sound sweet sleep and -- don't laugh -- some culture.
Hopefully, some good stories, too.
Since we won't exactly be entirely cut off from civilization as we know it -- somewhere in Asia-Minor -- we'll post as & when and whatever we can, for the next fortnight.
Though it's likely to be somewhat sporadic rather than regular.
In the meantime, you all take care of you and yours.
And, keep on looking in from time to time.
'Cos we will.
10 September 2006
US Counterfeit-Christian Child Soldiers Being Brainwashed For Future Battles ...
Suffering Saviour, Batman! What a bunch of barmpots this sick shower is.
Well, we'd never have believed in a million years that we would ever find ourselves agreeing with anything articulated by any extremist, fundamentalist religious nutters.
Nope. Not any of them. Not at any time, nor in any place; America included.
But if we realise we're wrong about something, both This Old Brit and Richard are big enough men to admit we made a mistake.
So here's something that one raving, right wing religious nutcase named Becky Fischer said, with which we won't attempt to argue. Since she's hit the nail right on the head with her hammer. And boy, does she sure hit it hard.
Witness this crazed quote from said Ms "Jesus Camp" Fischer.
The Extreme liberals, they have to look at this and start shaking in their boots at what these kids will be like when they grow up, Fischer says in the film. If you want to see intense kids, passionate for Christ, this is it.
See what we were saying?
If we two liberals were living over in BushCo's neocon 21st century, USA dark ages, we certainly would be "shaking in our boots" -- at the shocking spectre of what could soon be coming (if left unchallenged), every single US citizens' way. Including the substantially sized section of sane ones.
In fact, we'd not only be shaking in our boots -- we'd be crapping in our collective kecks.
Scary? Sheesh. We should say so.
Some scenarios are so spine-shiveringly, scary that they simply have to be seen to be believed. We kid you not.
Over at 'Current Era' our friend Tom Rushing has unearthed another amazing (and at the same time absolutely appalling), video of young American kids actually being indoctrinated/brainwashed into becoming battling bands of 'Christian Soldiers'.
Huh! Can we all say understatements?
Here's the poor deluded kids' indoctrination video -- along with additional comment.
And here's something else you should see. It's where we clipped the frightening Fischer quotes from.
09 September 2006
9/11: Bereaved Mother, Donna Marsh O'Connor; On Pain, Blame And Shame
This coming Monday, the fifth anniversary of 9/11/01, we will be flying.
We're up and away somewhere special for a family visit, cum fortnight's sunshine break.
But we know for certain that come this Monday morning the whole wide world will be, in one way or another, remembering the terrible tragedy of the NYC twin towers.
And that all media - be it mainstream and not - will be broadcasting or publishing their various remembrance contributions.
Each one will be aimed at it's perceived (receptive), target audience.
Each one will be presented in it's own particular format and in it's own special style.
And no doubt each one will come with an accompanying, 'appropriate' message, which may or may not be an integral part of a particular 'agenda' -- be it overt or covert.
Now, all that being said, here's how we personally have chosen to participate (in our absence), in the day of remembrance.
We would like you to look at and to listen to, just one WTC bereaved mother, as she says how she sees it.
But before watching, be warned -- tear filled eyes and lump filled throats are almost guaranteed to accompany any viewing of this heartrending, gut-wrenching, six and a half minute video of her impassioned speech.
(Hat-tip to Doug Watt -- again).
08 September 2006
Fearless Fijians Fighting In Afghanistan And Iraq Alongside Brits ...
From Fiji in the South Pacific?
Those teeny-tiny, flippin' little Fijian Islands?
Fijians fighting in flaming Afghanistan? And Fijians fighting in flaming Iraq?
Fighting for we Brits' lying effing leader Tony Blair?
And his lousy, lying, layabout, leader mate, George W. Bush?
Officially fighting (and killing and dying) for (and in) the British Army?
Over 2,000 of them?
As well as all 'our own'?
And still we can't sodding sort anything out?
Yep. 'Fraid so, friends. You'd better believe it.
No wonder we hear the term 'clusterfuck' hurled around so often, eh?
We've known full well, ever since G.W.B. bragged about 'mission accomplished' -- then, Elvis-like, left the carrier -- that he'd lied through his teeth and that things weren't anything like he said they were. But the more we find out the more we realise exactly how bad a hell-hole it is that our boys in uniform are stuck in.
It's become increasingly obvious of late to even the most casual of observers, that there simply aren't enough British soldiers available to do the job they're being asked to do. So, surely this latest realisation should set some serious alarm bells ringing -- somewhere.
But will it?
We doubt it.
It absolutely boggles our bloody minds when we wonder just exactly how horrendous a state the British Army actually would be in, without fellows like these -- and various other foreign, fighting friends.
Get yourself a good gander at this.
Wages and pride draw Fijians to UK army
Two Fijian soldiers serving with the British army have been killed in the last week. But their deaths show no sign of deterring the large number of fellow countrymen prepared to enlist.
Then, think on this.
Faced with high unemployment at home, the British army is an obvious draw.
Almost half of Fijians are reported to live below the poverty line, earning an average of about £2,500 a year.
As Commonwealth citizens, Fijians are entitled to pay and conditions similar to those of British soldiers.
And before anyone tells us that this kind of thing is not really anything new -- there's no need to bother -- we know.
The point is that even with this sort of assistance we are now so obviously overstretched (with a capital "O"), that surely something's got to 'give' -- 'give' somewhere or other -- and 'give' soon.
Here's a last little clip & paste on which to ponder.
The risk of death appears to be less of a discouragement to would-be soldiers than other factors.
Scraping together the money for flights to enable completion of the army selection process in the UK can be difficult for many.
Sad isn't it? That 'the system' stinks so strongly.
Read the rest of this report right here.
07 September 2006
New Labour's Blair-Brown Bust-Up, And A Leadership Challenge From The Left ...
Hands up, anyone who can honestly say with their hand on their heart, that they recognise the grey haired guy shown left.
Hardly anyone, we'll wager.
So, helpful as ever, we're here today to tell you that this is who he is.
John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlingon and chair of the parliamentary Socialist Campaign Group ...So what? -- we surmise some are certain to say.
Mr McDonnell is the first MP to openly declare his intention to stand against Mr Brown following speculation that the chancellor would be unopposed in his bid for the leadership.Surprised?
Well, we're sure a lot of you are.
As indeed we pair were, when we first found out.
Here's another excerpt from the same Guardian piece published just a few weeks ago.
Mr McDonnell rejected claims that by standing he was set to scupper the chances of a more recognised leftwing challenger.
"It is perfectly open for others to put in their name and open the debate. What we aim to do is maximise our support."
Starting to sound sort of interesting, eh?
A bit of a dark horse hanging about, eh?
So, here's something straight from said dark horse's mouth.
"New Labour has systematically alienated section after section of our supporters - teachers, health workers, students, pensioners, public service workers, trade unionists and people committed to the environment, civil liberties and peace.
"Spin and allegations of sleaze are causing decent people to lose trust in our party.
"This is reflected in lost votes, lost elections, lost members and ...
Okay, teasing time is over.
Hit the link to learn more about the man.
06 September 2006
Blair Battered By Multiple Resignations; Is It All Finally Falling To Bits ?
Cor blimey, Mr Blair, is it all finally falling to bits?
Lots & lots of little bits?
Well now, what a shame, eh?
Ha. And we don't think, Tone.
What we really wonder though, is how in the name of heaven it's all lasted so long. And perhaps more to the point, is why?.
It's not as though you weren't warned. It's not like it should have come as shock.
And it's not like you haven't been pushing & pushing your lousy luck, is it?
So far today, things have been happening so fast that old codgers like us two can hardly keep up.
The truth is that the way things are going right now, they'll probably have changed again by the time we publish this.
Since even now, we already seem to be spoilt for choice as to which online media links are best to bolt on to our blog.
So what to do?
How about we simply set out a small assortment -- like those listed below ?
Then recommend that readers regularly log on to BBC news throughout the rest of the day.
Here are some links to start everyone off.
Now, they should keep you busy for a bit.
But stayed tuned, friends. Since we certainly suspect there could still be lots more fun to follow.
05 September 2006
Breaking The Silence: By John Pilger ...
For we two to even attempt to compete with one of the world's bravest (and best), foreign correspondents and film makers, the international media hero, Australian born John Pilger -- would be silly. Since we'd lose the competition hands down.
Why? Because the man's a world beater;that's why.
He's the man who first broke the infamous story of 'The Killing Fields' to the horrified world at large.
Okay? 'Nuff said? An adequate/acceptable testimonial?
Now, our only other words to readers are those we'll use to thank all who helped the following footage finally find it's way onto This Old Brit's blog today. Leastwise, we thank all those involved who we are aware of. If we've missed anyone out, we apologize in advance and welcome any reminders.
1./ John Pilger, multi-award winning, freelance journalist and serial truth-teller-supreme.
2./ Our very own, valued regular reader/commenter/reseacher, Griffon, for his heads-up.
3./ Information Clearing House who, as usual, carry just about everything the msm won't.
4./ ITV-1, (Independent Television), the #2 British mainstream television channel.
5./ Google Videos, from where we obtained the version used below.
And last but by no means least -- your good selves. Who, incidentally, have very recently taken This Old Brit's blog's visitor total to over one hundred thousand -- yep, really -- that's over 100,000. Thank you all so very much. If it hadn't been for your interest, support, encouragement, input and continuing loyalty we'd probably have packed it all in -- a long, long time ago. Really.
Today, we trust (nay, earnestly request), that once you've watched this fantastic film for yourself, you'll spread it far & wide in order that as many other people as possible may become equally enlightened -- be it simply enlightened somewhat further or, 'blindingly' enlightened for the first time.
So, ladies & gentlemen, today we are truly proud to present:
BREAKING THE SILENCE
A FILM - by JOHN PILGER.
Please, please pass this on. Thank you.
03 September 2006
Tony Blair: More Blood-Money And More British Body-Bags ...
As if this Sunday hadn't started off a sodding, sickening enough Sabbath when we read about 14 Brits being killed when their quarter of a century old, RAF aircraft came (or was brought), down in Afghanistan -- a little later in the day our friend 'Mark from Ireland' (in all innocence), managed to make matters much worse.
Figuratively speaking ,we hasten to add, not literally.
Anyway, here's our first piece of appalling news -- at it's nastiest.
MoD names killed British troops
The Ministry of Defence has named the 14 UK military personnel who died when their plane crashed in Afghanistan.
RAF Kinloss has paid tribute to its servicemen
The RAF Nimrod MR2 crashed on Saturday, killing 12 air personnel from 120 Squadron based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, Scotland, a Royal Marine and a soldier.
Wing Commander Martin Cannard, of 120 Squadron, said the victims were "great guys" and it was a "profound loss".
Then, take a good look at the next terrible tale, first made known to us by our remarkable and ever reliable, blogging friend 'Mark from Ireland'.
Yankee Poodle Tony's Government The BritishThe Blair Government has sold off 4½ million pounds worth of armoured personnel carriers for £44,000 including four to American mercenary firm Blackwater. British Ministers claimed that adaptations made to the MambaMine Protected Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), which if you follow the chain of ownership is manufactured by a BAE (British Aerospace) subsidiary, made it unsuitable for its use in Iraq which included the transportation of bomb disposal teams, and too difficult to maintain. The ministers appear to be being more than somewhat economical with the actualite. The that bought them for the princely sum of £2,933.33 apiece describes them as the armoured personnel carrier of choice for Blackwater ops in Iraq and clearly don't have any problem maintaining them as they're in daily use on Route Irish - the most dangerous road in the world. The British newspaper Scotland on Sunday first broke the story last Sunday and has an even more damning follow-up today.
Troops risk their lives in Land Rovers while MoD sells off armoured vehicles
Scotland On Sunday Sun 27 Aug 2006 BRIAN BRADY AND NIGEL GREEN
A FLEET of armoured vehicles has been sold abroad for just £44,000 despite the ongoing scandal of British troops forced to patrol war zones in thin-skinned Land Rovers.
The MoD sanctioned the sale of 14 mine-protected Mamba vehicles, which originally cost £4.5m, after an expensive revamp left them too heavy to go on patrol.
Here's Mark's (as always), marvelously researched & written and well worked blogpost on this, the latest of BlairCo's bolloxed-up, 'blood-money' matters.
01 September 2006
Tim Ryan Of Ohio And Rocky Anderson Of Salt Lake City -- Two Men With Spines ...
Have we got something special to show you.
So hold onto your hats everyone.
And boy, oh boy, oh boy, do we mean just that.
At last, you can see and hear (and we DO mean hear) a US Democratic politician with a spine.
An absolutely, exemplary example of an extraordinary, straight talking, tell-it-like-it-is, truth-teller.
One with as big a pair of the proverbials as it's probably possible for a politician to possess -- unless they were an actual elephant.
Maybe even a mammoth.
What a man this Timothy Ryan of Ohio is.
What a bloody magnificent, marvelous mountain of a man.
We're sure you'd rather hear this electrifying, Ryan speech from the floor of the House, than hear any more from us.
Take heart, too.
And hope that maybe there are more like this man, lurking somewhere in the wings .
** UPDATE: We've just been infomed that there ARE more men like this. Here's the proof. It's another MUST watch.
Here's Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson telling thousands of Utah protesters why questioning the Iraq war is the heart of patriotism.
Btw, big hat-tips to a couple of good online friends, Doug Watt and Stiff Mittens