Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: March 2007

31 March 2007

Hugh C. Thompson, Jr: Officer, Gentleman And Forgotten Hero Of My Lai Massacre

Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. (April 15, 1943 – January 6, 2006)

Following our previous My Lai massacre post -- please, please, please read this re; A forgotten American hero of the My Lai massacre.

And then please, please, please pass it on.

Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. (April 15, 1943 – January 6, 2006) was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

He is chiefly known for his role in curtailing the My Lai massacre, during which he was flying a reconnaissance mission.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Thompson joined the US Navy in 1961—then US Army in 1966, where he trained as a helicopter pilot.

He volunteered for the Aerial Scout Unit and was assigned to Task Force Barker to fly over Vietnamese forests and try to draw enemy fire to pinpoint the location of troops.

Serving as one door-gunner, his Crew Chief was Glenn Andreotta and his other door-gunner was Spc Lawrence Colburn. Both would later receive recognition for heroism for their role at My Lai, though Andreotta died three weeks after the event.

The massacre

After coming across the dead bodies of Vietnamese civilians outside My Lai on March 16, 1968, Thompson set down their OH-23. The three men began setting green smoke markers by the prone bodies of those Vietnamese civilians who appeared to still be alive, in order to call in medical assistance.

Returning to the helicopter, however, they saw Captain Ernest Medina run forward and begin shooting the wounded who had been marked.

The three men moved their ship back over the village, where Thompson confronted Lt. Stephen Brooks who was preparing to blow up a hut full of wounded Vietnamese.

Thompson left Andreotta and Colburn to cover the company with their heavy machine guns and gave orders to fire on any American who refused the orders to halt the massacre.

None of the officers dared to disobey him, even though (as a warrant officer) Thompson was outranked by the commissioned lieutenants present. Colburn later recounted the following dialogue[1]:

* Thompson: Let's get these people out of this bunker and get 'em out of here.
Brooks: We'll get 'em out with hand grenades.
Thompson: I can do better than that. Keep your people in place. My guns are on you. *

Thompson then ordered two other helicopters (one piloted by Dan Millians and the other by Brian Livingstone) flying nearby to serve as a medevac for the 11 wounded Vietnamese.

While flying away from the village, Andreotta spotted movement in an irrigation ditch. The helicopter was again landed and a child was extracted from the bodies, and brought with the rest of the Vietnamese to the hospital at Quang Ngai.

Thompson subsequently reported the massacre, while it was still occurring, to his superiors. The cease-fire order was then given.

After My Lai

Retained on the dangerous OH-23 Raven helicopter missions, which some considered punishment for his intervention and the subsequent media coverage, Thompson was shot down a total of five times, breaking his backbone on the last attack. He suffered psychological scars from his service in Vietnam throughout the rest of his life.

Exactly thirty years later, Thompson, Andreotta and Colburn were awarded the Soldier's Medal (Andreotta posthumously), the United States Army's highest award for bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy.

In 1998, Thompson and Colburn returned to the village in My Lai, where they met with some of the villagers saved through their actions — including Do Hoa, who had been pulled from the irrigation ditch at age 8. They also dedicated a new elementary school for the children of the village.

In 1999, Thompson and Colburn received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award. Later that year, both men served as co-chairs of STONEWALK, a group that pulled a 1-ton rock engraved "Unknown Civilians Killed in War" from Boston to Arlington National Cemetery.

In a 2004 interview with "60 Minutes," Thompson was quoted referring to C-Company's men involved in the massacre: "I mean, I wish I was a big enough man to say I forgive them, but I swear to God, I can't."

He served as a counselor in the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, and gave a lecture at the United States Naval Academy in 2003 and the United States Military Academy in 2005 on Professional Military Ethics.

At the age of 62, after extensive cancer treatment, Thompson was removed from life support and died on January 6, 2006 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. Lawrence Colburn came from Atlanta, Georgia to be at his bedside.

Thompson was buried in Lafayette, Louisiana, with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and a helicopter flyover.

Please read the full Wikipedia entry on the late Hugh C. Thompson Jr, right here.

We think it's the very least anyone can should do for this amazing American hero.

After all, wouldn't you agree with us that we owe him?


29 March 2007

Remembering The My Lai Massacre, And Lt William Calley ... And Colin Powell ...

Thirty six years ago today, the small piece of shit pictured above in a US Army uniform was found guilty of murder at a court martial for his part in the My Lai massacre, which claimed the lives of 500 innocent South Vietnamese civilians.

We remember the My Lai massacre well;too bloody well.

Who among any who knew could ever forget?

Or forgive?

Not us.

Nor should anyone else.

While the simple thrust and truth of this sickeningly, shocking and shameful US war crime story should be easy to see via these two links, we're sure many among our readers will want to follow some of the (inumerable), others to be found therein.

Especially, readers who are as interested as we always are in helping keep history 'straight'.

And to perpetuate the philosophy of our principled, personal practice (whenever possible), of naming and shaming -- particularly when there are BIG names involved.

You know, the high and mighty, as some would say.

Anyway, here's your first link:

29th March, 1971: Calley guilty of My Lai massacre - via the BBC.

Here's your second:

My Lai Massacre - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To sum up?

So what's new?

Some things never change.

In or out of uniforms, shits are still shits.

And evermore shall be.


28 March 2007

US/Iran War Game Already Under Way In The Gulf ...


We doubt there are many who haven't heard about the UK-Iran dispute regarding 15 British sailors and marines alleged to have illegally violated Iranian territorial waters and, who subsequently have been arrested re;same.

But just in case any one here has recently been out of the universe, and missed this so 'should-have-seen-it-coming' sort of spat,
here's the latest state of game play.

To continue talking games, how many Westerners have heard about a much more sinister (war), game begun within the last two days by the US?

The one right now being played out in the Gulf? The one involving the massive gathering of American air and sea forces?

At any rate, how many who rely solely upon Western MSM for their information?

Now hear this.

The US navy has begun its largest demonstration of force in the Gulf since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The exercises, just off the coast of Iran, involve more than 10,000 US personnel.

Kevin Aandahl, a US navy commander, declined to say when plans for the exercises had been drawn up.

The manoeuvres bring together two strike groups of US warships and more than 100 aircraft to conduct simulated air warfare in and above the crowded Gulf shipping lanes.

Military exercises involve the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, marking the first time that the two strike groups have operated in a joint exercise under the Fifth Fleet, the navy said.

"Two air wings from the aircraft carriers will conduct air warfare exercises while the surface components will conduct exercises in three general disciplines: anti-submarine, anti-surface and mine warfare," it said.

The Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, an island state that lies across the Gulf from Iran.

News to you?

Never fear; as long as This Old Brit's still here, Richard continues reporting.

That way, readers can continue doing the deciding.

Read the rest of this revealing Al Jazeerah English report regarding the latest US war game.


25 March 2007

Koko : Queen Of The Apes ...

Surprise, surprise.

Today is a special Sunday.

What's the betting that when you first saw the picture shown above you thought we were set to slide straight into some sort of sarcasm?

Another politician to be pilloried perhaps?

'Fraid not friends. Today we're giving politics a pass.

Instead, we want to share one of the most extraordinary stories we ever set eyes on.

The amazing animal above is called Koko. She's a mature 35 year old, 22 stone, lowland gorilla.

And surprise, surprise -- she speaks.

Can you say 'awesome ape'?

Prepare to have your mind blown -- in the nicest possible way.

My friend Koko ~~ the 22-stone gorilla.


22 March 2007

Will Any Americans Ever Again Give Peace A Chance?


Tonight, we're too tired to type much.

Nonetheless, we two old lions still want to send a special message to today's young lions.

We're both bloody well weary -- of war.

And we're wondering what went wrong.

And we wish with all our hearts ...

Well, watch this and listen if you really want to know what we wish.

Understand what we're saying?


21 March 2007

Barclays' Respond To The BBC; We're No Bank Robbers; Honestly ...

Barclays are without doubt one of the biggest wbankers in Britain.

Here's a headline about them that we heard about today --courtesy the good old BBC.

Mis-selling is 'rife' at Barclays

By Amanda Egbujo, Undercover reporter, BBC Whistleblower.
Now, if that doesn't bring about a rapid rise in the interest rate among readers - especially our Brit brothers & sisters - we don't know what will.

Read on.

A nine-month investigation by BBC reporters working undercover in a leading British bank has revealed a culture of ruthlessness and lies which will shock their customers.

Barclays recently announced record profits of £7 billion.

With a touch of glee, my bank trainer told a classroom full of call centre trainees that he "loved" getting customers complaining about bank charges.

"They'd phone up, start crying and blaming you and telling you their kids are going to starve. And I'd be like, 'I don't know you - I don't care'. I was just thinking 'you're not getting it back'. I was a right git."

This was an early insight into how life might be working inside a Barclays call centre in Doxford, Sunderland.

I have been undercover in one of the top British banks for the last five months - and it has been an extraordinary experience.

I've seen customers misled, lied to and treated with contempt.

I've seen people charged for financial products they neither asked for or knew they had.

And in a separate investigation I've also seen evidence of bank employees working with criminals to commit fraud.
Barclays? Bank robbers?

Nawrh, no way, sez they.

Would we lie to you? Would we con our customers?

Nawrh, no way, sez they.

Here's something else they had to say, today.

Barclays Bank said: "We are not in the business of encouraging or condoning mis-selling or inappropriate sales in any way whatsoever, and we stamp on that when we find it because it is completely inappropriate behaviour for a bank.

"We pride ourselves on being a responsible institution that puts its customers first."

It added: "People know we are a good bank, we're trustworthy, we do the right thing, ...
  • Okay, you should know the drill by now.

    Read the rest of this revealing report right here.

    Surely the BBC and Barclays bank can't both be right.

    Remember this though - in spite of anything anyone else says to the contrary - the customer IS always right.


    20 March 2007

    Iran Attack In April? Richard Reports. You Decide ...

    Well, we don't know about you -- but now we are really worried.

    Four days ago,
    Badger (a bloke who doesn't bugger about), put up a particularly 'plot thickening' type of post on his 'Missing (Arab) Links' blog.

    Here's a quick clip & paste but you should definitely read the full piece via the link above.

    Arab paper says Gulf regimes taking imminent Iran-strike reports seriously

    Al-Quds al-Arabi and Al-Hayat both give prominent play to a report in a Russian newspaper that said the US has past the point of no return for an attack on around 20 Iranian nuclear and military locations, scheduled for April 6 and code-named "Sting".

    The report also said the plant the Russians are helping build (Bushehr) will be spared. Russia, for its part, has warned the Iranian authorities of the planned attack and ...
    Today, Associated Press report this.

    Russia reportedly exits Iran nuke site

    By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer -- 50
    minutes ago

    VIENNA, Austria - Russia is pulling out its experts from the Iranian nuclear reactor site they were helping build, U.S. and European officials said Tuesday.

    The move reflected a growing rift between Iran' and Russia that could lead to harsher U.N. sanctions on the Islamic republic for its refusal to stop uranium enrichment.

    The representatives — a European diplomat and a U.S. official — said a large number of Russian technicians, engineers and other specialists have returned to Moscow in the past week, at about the same time senior Russian and Iranian officials tried unsuccessfully to resolve financial differences over the Bushehr nuclear reactor.

    They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because their information was confidential.

    "A good number of them have left recently," said the U.S. official, of the approximately 2,000 Russian workers on site of the nearly completed reactor outside the southern city of Bushehr.

    The European diplomat, who is accredited to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency' said a large number had left as recently as last week.

    Sergei Novikov, a spokesman for Rosatom, Russia's Federal ...

    Read the rest of AP's Russian report.

    The Russians are suddenly effing off out of Iran? And effing off, fast? For no other reason than a farting little financial fall-out ?

    Oh, yeah.


    Can you say convenient timing?

    Can you read between lines?

    Can you say 'likely story'?

    Can you manage simple maths?

    Well, we're sticking with what we said at the start.

    As of right now, we are really worried.


    19 March 2007

    Is MoveOn Manipulating Members To Vote For More War?

    We realised from the off what was happening with Pelosi and her Democratic Party pals -- even though we're thousands of miles away across the Atlantic.

    So as soon as we saw this in our inbox, and since it makes so much sense to us, we decided we'd help spread it.

    301-891-7770 * www.DemocracyRising.US

    March 19, 2007

    MoveOn is polling its members in a biased fashion about the Iraq supplemental -- they are doing their best to manipulate their members into supporting the slow bleed in Iraq that will result if the Pelosi-Obey supplemental is approved.

    More than 200 members of the U.S. military have died since the Democrats had the power to end this war. How many more? How many Iraqis?

    If you are a member of MoveOn vote to oppose the supplemental and tell MoveOn to join the rest of the peace movement in pressuring the Democrats to end the war -- not to continue it.

    What's wrong with the supplemental?

    The deadline for removal is not until August 31, 2008.

    And, even then loopholes will allow as many troops as President Bush wants to stay in Iraq to "capture or kill" Al Qaeda or other terrorists and to train Iraqi soldiers.

    These are loopholes big enough to drive a war through!

    The requirements for sending combat ready troops can be waived by the president so exhausted troops that are inadequately trained can be
    sent into this quagmire.

    And, the supplemental does not restrict the president regarding using the funds to attack Iran. In other words the supplemental is business as usual.

    The Democrats are voting to stay the course in the guise of a withdrawal plan.

    In fact, the Democrats have cleared the path for war with Iran.

    Tell MoveOn -- join the peace movement and tell the Democrats to end the war.

    Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, Democracy Rising,
    DemocracyRising.US P.O. Box 18485 Washington, DC 20036USA

    *N.B. All above emphasis is our own.

    18 March 2007

    West Point Graduates Against The War Berate Bush ...


    Make sure you see this.

    It should be self explanatory.

    Please pass it on.

    Sheesh. Shine a sodding light.

    We'd be more than a just a little bit bothered by this if we were you, G.W.B.

    Some strong signals for some West Point, officer-class, US military men to be sending to a Commander in Chief, wouldn't you say?

    Short, sweet and succinct enough to sink in?

    Ya think?

    Message ends.

    (Big hat-tip to Blu, regular commenter at Liberal Avenger.)


    17 March 2007

    US Christian Soldiers March Against Born Again Bush : Albeit A Bit Belatedly ...

    As self confessed, long time agnostics we've never thumped a bible in our lives.

    But that doesn't mean we never read one.

    And here is, in our own humble opinion, the best bit we ever found in the 'good old book'.

    Though it does seem that somewhere along the line, billions of Bible's must have been bollixed up time after time, after time -- by a succession of seriously stupid publishers and/or printers.

    Whether omitted by accident or by deliberate design, it's long been pretty obvious to us that countless Christians can't ever have cast their eyes on what - in our estimation - is THE single most important message - and surely the most easily understood - re: doing unto others as one would have them do unto us.

    In other words, we should treat everyone else exactly as well as we would wish them to treat us.

    Not exactly brain surgery or rocket science is it?

    And come to think of it, surely the same could be said about the bit about wolves in sheep's clothing.

    Anyway, while wading through today's US news headlines we happened upon this one.

    Christians gather for anti-war protest

    By Sarah Karush -- Associated Press Writer

    Take a look at this taster.

    WASHINGTON - Thousands of Christians prayed for peace at an anti-war service Friday night at the Washington National Cathedral, kicking off a weekend of protests around the country to mark the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

    Afterward, participants marched with battery-operated faux candles through snow and wind toward the White House, where police began arresting protesters shortly before midnight. Protest guidelines require demonstrators to continue moving while on the White House sidewalk.

    "We gave them three warnings, and they broke the guidelines," said Lt. Scott Fear.

    So, it's the same old 'three strikes and you're out' system, eh, Scott? Same for peaceful Christians as for common criminals, eh?

    Still, things could have been a lot worse we suppose.

    At least nobody's been thrown to any lions. Well, at the time of writing, not to our knowledge.

    Okay, here's the last teaser taken from today's report.

    "A lot of the rhetoric that we hear coming from Christians has been dominated by the religious right and has been strong advocacy for the war," Pattison said. "That's just not the way I read my Gospel."

    The ecumenical coalition that organized the event, Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, distributed 3,200 tickets for the service in the cathedral, with two smaller churches hosting overflow crowds. The cathedral appeared to be packed, although sleet and snow prevented some from attending.

    "This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong — and was from the beginning," the Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, one of the event's sponsors, said toward the end of the service to cheers and applause. "This war is ... an offense against God."

    In his speech, the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, lashed out at Congress for being "too morally inept to intervene" to stop the war, but even more harshly against President Bush' name.

    "Mr. Bush, my Christian brother, we do need a surge in troops. We need a surge in the nonviolent army of the Lord," he said. "We need a surge in conscience and a surge in activism and a surge in truth-telling."

    Hmm. Good going guys.

    We wonder what took you so long?

    Read the rest re; the revolt.


    16 March 2007

    Ex Brit Ambassador Craig Murray, On Khalid Sheik Mohammed Confession(s)

    We'd hate to be remembered as the only ones in the world who wouldn't stick a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed photo in your face.

    And incidentally, even as we write we're wondering how long we'll have to wait to hear the first calls of 'Crucify him';or something sickeningly similar.

    However, as far as any further writing on this particular topic is concerned - we needn't bother.

    Because we don't believe we could better this, by Craig Murray -- with whom we could not agree more.

    Secret Confessions and Torture

    Mohammed Sheikh Khalid has now, voluntarily and of his own free will, admitted he masterminded every significant event from the Norman Invasion through the bubonic plague, fall of Constantinople, and Great Fire of London, to the Battle of Little Big Horn, assassination of JFK and the Oklahoma bombing.

    Or he might as well have.

    The extraordinarily comprehensive list of terrorist outrages for which he claims responsibility would be beyond the capacity of any but the most brilliant and inspired mortal;Khalid, I fear, is a more run of the mill thug.

    But in truth, we have absolutely no idea what, if anything, he has confessed at all.

    Cast you eyes across the rest of this excellent, common-sense commentary by Craig Murray - former British Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan.


    15 March 2007

    Robert Mugabe; A Suitable Case For Regime Change Treatment?


    We've known almost since the outset about this particular evil-doer-despot and his despicable, dirty deeds over almost three decades.

    So when we saw this this morning, we decided we should seek to do something about it.

    Mugabe tells critics to 'go hang'

    Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has said Western critics of his rule can "go hang", in response to accusations of mistreatment of opposition leaders.
    Then we read this and became all the more determined.





    One of the world's ugliest, evil men - in so many more ways than one.

    Now, we're not nearly naive enough not to know we can't actually accomplish anything on our own. At least, nothing like nearly as much as we'd love to.

    But we do wonder why certain western, big brave leaders have for so long looked away from such a patently obvious 'suitable case for treatment' -- regime-change-wise.

    Why won't they invade this damned dictator's domain?

    You know, to try to bring to this prick's poor oppressed people some of the so sought after delights of the so-called, democracy & freedom they forever lay claim to being famous for?


    Wait a mo.

    Awrh, f...!

    We forgot.

    This 'orrible ogre don't own no oil.

    Trust us and our big bloomin' gobs again, eh?


    So sorry to have started stirring something up, sir.

    Looks like it's a clear cut case of carry on regardless, Robert.

    Back to bloody business as usual, eh?


    14 March 2007

    Rising Loan Repayment Rates; 2.2 Million American Homes At Risk ...

    Remember this old joke?

    The one that goes 'If you hang onto that old outfit for long enough it'll be back in fashion -- some day'.

    Well, it seems the same thing could could be said about old black & white photographs. Such as the one shown above - as well as the one at the bottom.

    But before you get that far, here's one of today's (several), harrowing headlines.

    As rates soar, 2.2 million Americans risk losing homes this year

    That certainly sounds like one hell of an awful lot of people.

    So, here's something we've snipped regarding just one of those 2.2 million people's present day, personal stories.

    ... a 47-year-old assistant optician, was tempted to take out a special high-risk loan targeted at people with low credit ratings.

    Today her monthly repayments have soared to 2,800 dollars, yet she only takes home 1,600 dollars.

    She is among 2.2 million people across the US who risk forfeiting their homes by the end of the year as they struggle to meet monthly repayments swollen by rising interest rates, and triggering fears that a financial crisis could sweep US lenders.
    Uh, oh.

    Talk about trouble brewing;this type of terrible, trouble.

    " ... I'm panicking every day.

    I'm not sleeping because I'm worrying.

    This house has been in my family forever and I don't want to lose it.

    But I can't make the payments they are asking me for," she told AFP.
    We don't damn well doubt it, dear.

    Especially not in view of the fact that this type of horrible hype was used so successfully for so long to sink so many hooks, so securely into so many unsuspecting trusting souls.

    "Blinded by their own greed and the incredible amount of money that was being provided by Wall Street, mortgage companies were making loans that were abusive," agreed Ira Rheingold, of the National Association of Consumer Advocates which has taken up Edwardsen's case.

    Some companies were filling out false applications to ensure the credit was agreed. In Edwardsen's case, she became a doctor with a monthly income of 6,000 dollars.

    "They were making loans and they knew people couldn't afford it and they made them anyway," Rheingold said, blaming "greedy deregulation, failure of the government to intervene and Wall Street's incredible appetite for high risk bonds that would pay them a lot of
    Just another sign of these twisted times?

    Last week as the shaky mortgage market dragged down the US stock market, US financial authorities toughened up conditions for approving such high-risk loans.

    But for some, the move comes too late.
    Oh, we see.

    Too late, eh?

    Well, they got that right.

    Read the rest of this report and see if any personal alarm bells should be ringing.

    Good night, kids.

    And good luck.


    12 March 2007

    Foreign (Free Spending), Tourists Flipping The US The Finger ...

    This afternoon we found the following headline - though we could never seriously consider the thrust of the piece re: falling US foreign visitors/spenders, to be actual 'news' to any of us outside the bubble.

    U.S. security scares foreign visitors away
    See below for some selected snippets from the story.

    According to figures from the Travel Industry Association of America, the number of travelers to the United States -- not including Canadians and Mexicans -- has dropped by 17 percent since 2001.

    Despite a record year for world tourism last year and a weak dollar against both the British pound and the euro, the number of visitors from Western Europe dipped by nearly three percent over the previous

    The pinch has been felt by businesses from California to the sunshine state of Florida, which draws tourists with its theme parks and beaches.

    According to industry lobbyists and analysts, the chief reason behind the decline is a convoluted visa process to enter the country and poor perceptions of treatment by pistol-toting and often stern-faced immigration officials on arrival.
    Read the rest of the report here.

    While we won't argue with any of that since it's all too true, we cannot believe that anyone can seriously swallow a story that omits to mention - or even acknowledge - that there's much, much more to all this than that.

    Such as the distinct possibility of being arrested and maybe genuinely 'disappeared' - after God knows what type of treatment's already been administered by armed to the teeth, power-mad, bully boy, control freak, wannabe-warriors policemen - a la so many other infamous, despised dictators/despots' totalitarian regimes.

    The forlorn fact is - whether decent, honest average Americans will face up to it or not - that all hope of any true Habeas Corpus has actually to be absolutely abandoned by any foreigner choosing to chance setting foot on 21st century BushAmerican soil.

    But to get back to business.

    The glaringly obvious ommision of the unarguable prime factor in the decline of tourists from abroad, is almost as tragi-comical as old Brit TV's series starring John Cleese as Basil in 'Fawlty Towers' -- and in particular one highly hilarious episode which so readily springs to mind.

    Remember Basil's bunch of German guests?

    Here's a clue to help remind you.

    "Don't mention the war!"

    11 March 2007

    This Time It's Personal;Special Sad Sunday Edition ...


    What a wonderful land. Filled full of fantastic fir, spruce and pine forests, and fairy-tale type castles nestling near lakes amid marvelous mountains.

    There's positively no point beating about the bush; Bavaria, Germany is beautiful.

    But so is Sophie - as you can see for yourself.

    Posted by Picasa

    Sophia Teresa - to give her her full title - is someone super-special to us.

    Born twelve years ago this coming August - Sophie shares her granddad's birthday.

    And by the way, this gorgeous little girl's granddad is none other than This Old Brit himself.

    By far the best birthday present ever presented to anyone;anywhere, at any time.

    But, the bad news is that Sophie's soon set to jet off to settle in Germany -- permanently.

    In couple of weeks time, Sophie's mum - our ex daughter-in-law - is due to remarry -- a military man. Then a couple of weeks later they'll all be off to live in Bavaria, where the new husband is to be based.

    There's hardly been a single week since Sophie was born that we haven't seen her - mostly right here at our house. When her mum works late - which is often - Sophie comes here for her evening meal. Also, we have her here to stay each alternate weekend; sort of 'sharing access' with her dad.

    Whenever any school holidays arrive - including the six (summer) weeks long end of term break -Sophie spends more time with us than she does with either her mum or dad. So much so that we've often joked that she should adopt us - and/or that without any further faffin' about or any more ado, she should just move in.

    But now it's all over.

    We just hope against hope that someone over there ensures there's a special spare space for Sophie -- somewhere extraordinarily special.

    Like in one of those fine fabled castles in the clouds;somewhere that's truly fit for our very own perfect little princess.

    Sophie's the light of our lives.

    Our hearts are breaking.


    09 March 2007

    Cow Killing Creeps; Suitable US Military Specimens?

    These two twerps terrorists turds sad sacks could well have had haircuts by now but, it's still how This Old Brit sees them.

    Which two?

    These two.

    Chris Jabco and Eric Smith, both from Bellefonte,
    And if either of this pair of pathetic prats ever managed to (or eventually may do at some time in the far-off future), master the awesome art of reading - and if they ever get round to reading this - here's a personal message for them:

    We've always strongly believed in naming & shaming and we're not about to stop now.

    Especially, where no-mark Neanderthals such as yourselves are concerned.

    And if seeing your shameful story sent around the world to all & sundry, upsets you -- so what?

    So sue us, shitheads;you make us sick.

    Jabco and Smith had been drinking and driving around looking for something to kill.

    Their actions, he said, "were premeditated, senseless, and your motivations were evil."

    Both big brave warriors, eh, boys?

    More like brain dead bloody Barbarians.

    Or, perhaps perfectly suited for something else;such as the last option on the following list:

    The judge said they could spend 48 hours in jail, two years on probation, and 100 hours caring for animals on a farm; avoid jail time but spend 200 hours on the farm and remain on probation for two years;

    ... or enlist in the military.
    Sort of says a lot - it seems to us - about a lot of things.

    Go kill human beings over there, so you don't have to kill cows over here.


    Read the rest of the relevant report re: these two retarded/repulsive reprobates.


    07 March 2007

    Iran, Israel And America: How The Whole World Sees Them ...

    Here's a small snip from a story everyone should see.

    BBC survey: Israel 'least popular' nation

    By The Associated Press -- London

    Israel, Iran and the United States are the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major nations.

    Canada and Japan came out best in the poll, released today.

    That's straight from Haaretz, today.

    Shocked? Surprised?

    You shouldn't be.

    See some more from the same story.

    Canada had the most positive rating in the survey of 28,389 people in 27 countries, with 54 percent viewing it positively and 14 percent negatively. It was followed by Japan and France.

    Respondents were also asked their views of the 25-member European Union; 53 percent saw it as positive and 19 percent as negative.
    Then there's this.

    Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively,
    We'd say that in any seriously civilised, 21st century society - such a sensible summary shouldn't surprise anyone.

    Should be sort of self evident, eh?

    Here's the Haaretz report.

    And again via Ynet.


    06 March 2007

    Blair For Dummies ...


    Flippin' 'eck.

    Please forgive our terrible, temporary memory lapse.

    After all we recently said about striving to stay fair and balanced, we (almost) forgot all about Blair;the other half of the Anglo-American Blood Brothers' act.

    But better late than never, eh?

    So, we present below - albeit a bit belatedly - our own poodle Prime Minister's extremely well earned, personal portfolio of "thousand word" pictures.

    Any questions?


    05 March 2007

    More US War-Waging Set For This Summer : In Australia ...

    Almost everyone has heard by now about US, VP Dick Cheney's recent trip to Australia for a face to face with another cretinous poodle Prime Minister friend, John Howard.

    Here's how it was all presented to the public by the mainstream media.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, there wasn't much mention by the self same 'msm' of anything at all re; the 'real' shocking story:excerpted below.

    In June this year, 26,000 US and Australian troops will take part in bombarding the ancient fragile landscape of Australia.

    They will storm the Great Barrier Reef, gun down "terrorists" and fire laser-guided missiles at some of the most pristine wilderness on earth. Stealth, B-1 and B-52 bombers (the latter alone each carry 30 tonnes of bombs) will finish the job, along with a naval onslaught.

    Underwater depth charges will explode where endangered species of turtle breed. Nuclear submarines will discharge their high-level sonar, which destroy the hearing of seals and other marine mammals.
    Hadn't heard, eh?

    No sweat cobbers, join the giant sized crew across the globe.

    Here's some more from the same scary story.

    Australians know little about this. The Australian parliament has not debated it; the media is not interested.

    The result of a secret treaty signed by John Howard's government with the Bush administration in 2004, it includes the establishment of a vast, new military base in Western Australia, which will bring the total of known US bases around the world to 738.

    No matter the setback in Iraq, the US military empire and its ambitions are growing.

    Australia is important because of a remarkable degree of servility that Howard has taken beyond even that of Tony Blair.
    And there's much more where this came from, friends.

    Go get yourself some extra Oz education, courtesy
    Znet and investigative Australian journalist supreme, John Pilger.

    * Btw, a big 'heads-up' thank you goes to regular Old Brit reader and commenter, Rosemary.


    04 March 2007

    Bush For Dummies : Part Two ...


    We received innumerable inflamatory and insulting comments - none of which made it past moderation - saying that in our previous post we showed too much sympathy toward the fate of 'the enemy'.

    So, to seek to show how sincerely we strive to stay strictly fair & balanced:

    Perhaps said sickos may feel better for seeing this second post.

    And perhaps some not-too-faint-hearted folk, especially fence sitters and suchlike, should see who else says the same as us:

    "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"


    Bush For Dummies ...


    If a picture's worth a thousand words then here's the longest post we've ever published.

    It's a three thousand word, straightforward summation of the current George W. Bush maladministration's criminal war record.

    And may nobody ever have any mercy on (what passes for), this man's soul.


    02 March 2007

    A Bit About Today's Third World America ...

    This Old Brit did a bit of own trumpet blowing yesterday, albeit in an innocent, light hearted, good natured way.

    But everything's different today.

    Sure there are still some pictures to see -- but today they're different too.

    Earlier on this afternoon, we went were we often go - to look at the Liberal Avenger's latest offering.

    We're glad we did; it was well worth the trip. Since thanks to
    Gordo from Appletree's excellent post we learned a lot today.

    Thanks, Gordo. And thanks also Liberal Avenger.

    We sincerely hope that today, in our own small way, we help both of you to surprise some extra readers.

    Perhaps the picture-clues we've posted can rouse enough curiosity to start the ball rolling, so to speak.

    Particularly, when partnered with this quick clipped & pasted taster.

    ... ugly aspects of modern America: a crumbling and inadequate infrastructure, the inadequate response of an uncaring government to Americans in dire need, and a growing population of Americans living in poverty.

    In short, the hurricane revealed that the United States is slipping toward Third World status.

    And the signs keep coming. The number of homeless Americans now stands at over 750,000, and 90% of our National Guard units are rated “not ready” to respond to a major crisis. The majority of the federal discretionary budget is spend on the military and on the Ministry of Love Department of Homeland Security. The federal debt keeps climbing, raising the threat of a currency crisis:

    We wonder who will be more shocked and/or sickened?

    Americans or others?


    01 March 2007

    An Old Brit Invite To Take A Traveller's Trip Down Memory Lane ...

    The page make take a little longer than usual to download today, since we've some special colour shots we'd love to share. Not taken by ourselves we hasten to add. These are all borrowed pics - from 'pros' and 'semi-pros'.

    You can call this 1st March post a 'Rambling Edition' if you like, but we'd rather refer to it as a 'Reminiscence Edition'.

    Twelve years ago this month we flew back home from one of the most fantastic foreign holidays we've ever experienced

    Yep. You guessed right. Like all good things, the week away had come to an an end, and we'd rather reluctantly bid bye-bye to Venice.

    However, within days of returning Richard was taken seriously ill - in fact, so serious as to be life threatening - literally.

    But hey, that was then and this is now - a dozen years down the line - we lived to tell the tale.

    So, happy anniversary to us, eh?

    Now, maybe having learned that, you can more easily imagine why certain fond memories have suddenly started flooding back. And in case we'd ever forgotten we'd like to remind ourselves (and any others who may ever have forgotten), it's good to be alive.

    Anyhow, here's the hotel where we stayed -- the beautiful 'Bellini'. Click their pics to enlarge. And please note that 12 years ago we were both working and earning and, that prices were one hell of a lot lower.

    Since then, early medical retirement has meant having unlimited time to travel -- albeit on a lot less extravagant/expensive scale. So we thought we'd take some time off from trying to solve the troubles of the world, and stroll down memory lane a little -- on a European (in lieu of global), scale.

    Below is beautiful Barcelona: Queen of Catalonia, North East Spain. It's our most oft visited foreign city, by far, and one of our best loved to boot.

    Thanks to lately being simply spoilt for choice by all the budget airlines now operating from our local (John Lennon International), airport, Barcelona really is only 'buttons' away -- price-wise, and just a couple of hours flight-wise.

    Viva Espana! Eh?

    Also, long live Easy-Jet, Ryan-Air, Thomson-Fly and several others. We salute you, sirs. True earth-shrinkers, are you.

    Then there's the following Spanish (Balearic), island in the sun - and the Med.

    Majorca (Mallorca), and its capital city Palma, complete with it's own very commanding, gothic cathedral.

    Of course we couldn't possibly not include (even closer to home), gay old Paris. Well, could we? In fact, how the heck could anyone? Crumbs - that would be construed as completely crazy.

    Then, situated somewhat more southerly is somewhere else in France we love. The lesser known French 'city of rivers' - Lyon - universally acknowledged gastronomic capital of the globe.

    And no trip down memory lane could ever be complete without mentioning Malta - with it's unarguably unique capital, Valletta. And you'd better believe us when we say it's 'Grand Harbour' is great; great with a capital G.

    Then there's that 'Jewel of the Adriatic' called Dubrovnik - in Croatia - part of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Incidentally, this is the most perfectly preserved, walled medieval city in the world. Can you say time-travel?

    Another old Yugoslavian gem is Kotor - hidden away at the extreme end of a long, deep fjord in magnificent Montenegro. And you thought there were only fjords to be found in Scandinavia, eh? Nawhr -- behold the breathtaking beauty which lies below.

    Okay, we know we're now in danger of darn boring you to death, but bare with us just a little bit longer.

    For we feel we would be failing in our duties - big time - if we forgot to invite you to feast your eyes on the beautiful, deep blue water, bay town of Fethiye.

    Sitting super-pretty, as it serially suns itself, on the superbly sumptuous south west, Med coast of Turkey.

    Which, incidentally, a few years back became home to one of our 'baby' brothers (retired) -- and thanks to his gargantuan generosity, for a few fantastic weeks each year -- it's become home to we two, too.

    Here it is below. Take a little look. We think you'll love it.

    Then there's our own (as well as the Beatles'), proud home city of birth; the busy, bustling, lively, lovely, maritime Liverpool - Merseyside.

    Last but by no means least, we invite you to view at our very own (mere five minute walk away), local neighbourhood beachfront - right here at coastal Crosby.

    Phew. Putting this particularly pictorial piece together has been a bit of bloomin' work of art all of it's own.

    Right then; reverting rather rapidly to real-time:

    At this point it's become patently apparent that we now need to brew up a cuppa, then to take that much needed tea-break.

    Meanwhile, we trust that this trip with us wasn't toooo tiresome.

    (Sometimes, one's entitled to a tad of self indulgence wouldn't you say?)