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

30 April 2007

The Driftglass Dilemma -- Laugh Or Cry?

We can not take any credit for this at all. But we can give credit where it's due, and that's what we want to do.

Thanks a million, driftglass, Mike and Jen and The News Blog.

And, another huge heads-up, hat-tip to our faithful friend from California, Mister Michael Scott.

Just one thing though, before you go read the following fantastic piece in full -- the 'joke' in question is one of those that will have you in two minds -- as to whether you should laugh or cry.

So, sitting suitably comfortably?

Right, y'are then.

Here we jolly well go.
If you are unfamiliar with the Dirtiest Joke in the World, here’s a little primer.

It’s a gorgeous day here in my city and I’m going to pack up my laptop and find a lovely place to eat. So in lieu of a Sunday sermon, here’s my version:
The Republican Party walks into the American people’s living rooms, and says, "We're the Family Value’s Party, and we'd like to represent you."

The American People say, "Sorry, but we’re a little leery of Family Values parties. They tend to be scams run by demagogues.”

Republican Party says, "But this is really special."

The American People says, "Okay, well what's the act?"

The Republican Party replies, "Well after the worst attack on American soil in history, we hijack the nation's grief and rage to plunge us into a war with entirely the wrong country.

“Then we let the actual terrorist responsible for the attack to sit in a comfy chair on the edge of the stage and ................
Now, hit it here to read the rest.
You'll regret it if you don't.

Believe us.


29 April 2007

Folkestone Earthquake And The Channel Tunnel;Hmm - We Wonder - What If ?

Well, well, well.

We were certainly shocked (to say the least), when we saw this story today.

Earthquake shakes parts of Kent

An earthquake has shaken parts of Kent, damaging buildings and disrupting electricity supplies.

Homes in five streets in Folkestone had to be evacuated because of structural damage including cracked walls and fallen chimneys.

The magnitude 4.3 tremor struck at 0819 BST and experts said its epicentre was a few miles off the coast in the English Channel.

(Read the rest of the report.)

And we have to say that we were extremely surprised to see - or rather not to see - any mention, at all, anywhere -- re;the Channel Tunnel.

But then on second thoughts, we weren't really surprised at all.

Not once we'd woken up properly - to the fact that it's from Folkestone, whence one's famous Channel Tunnel runs.

After all, alarmists aren't us.

With we stiff-old-upper-lipped Brits - stoicism rules.





Labels: , ,

28 April 2007

US Missiles In Eastern Europe: Will Putin Put Up With Much More?

Many among us can quite clearly recall that not so long ago George W. Bush confidently claimed to have looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes - and that at that moment he had seen the Russian president's very soul.

Perhaps then, one ought easily be forgiven for wondering why any man with such magical, mystical powers coupled with a claim to constantly communicate with the creator (allegedly on a rather regular basis), couldn't see this coming .

To say something such as Staring one in the face and/or Sucker punch, seems to us to be mega-mega-massive as far as understatements are concerned.

Putin steps up missiles warning

Mr Putin has made a series of comments against missile defence

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that US plans to build a missile defence system in eastern Europe would raise the risk of "mutual destruction".

Sounds like some strong stuff, eh?

Read on.

Mr Putin spoke a day after threatening to halt involvement with a treaty limiting conventional arms in Europe.

"The threat of causing mutual damage and even destruction increases many times," he told Russian media.

"This is not just a defence system, this is part of the US nuclear weapons system,"
Read the rest of this Russian report.


Labels: , ,

26 April 2007

21st Century Bush-America And Fascism ...

If you didn't read this great Guardian article on Tuesday then we strongly suggest you read it today.

In fact, we really recommend reading it right now -- while it's still not too late -- we hope.

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

Tuesday - April 24, 2007 - The Guardian

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations.

Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled.

Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the US.
So hit it here to see the 10 steps for yourself.

Any arguments?

Then take them to the tw*ts in the White House.

* (Hat tip to Michael Scott.)

Labels: ,

24 April 2007

Jessica Lynch; Pat Tillman;'Truth Telling' to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ...



Held prisoner?



Maybe abducted, deconstructed and/or even dissected - with or without any anaesthetic - by some unimaginably awful, alien Muslimislamofascistinsurgents?

Or by some similarly shocking, sickeningly uncivilised, enormously evil, enemy Iraqi entities?

Aided and abetted by a bevy of naughty nurses, a pack of perverted physicians and a shower of sex crazed surgeons?

In a huge hospital of horrors, inhabited by indescribably insatiable, insane slaves of Islam?

Perhaps - if it were possible - what was actually supposed to have happened was originally scripted to have appeared (to the public), to be something substantially more serious? Severe in the extreme even?

Well, now you can hear the true story straight from Jessica Lynch's own lips -- as opposed to the previous official, hype-tripe-lie-fest-burger fed to all those gullible enough to swallow same.

But before you watch & hear what follows, we'll tell you something for free.

By publicly speaking her personal truths to power, this truly honourable young woman has just shown all & sundry that the reality is -- she's even braver than we all were originally led to believe (by the nose and up the garden path), by her so-called elders, betters and superiors.

Shame on them.

Now, having watched that, we want you to
hit this link to 'The Gavel' to see & hear some more; not just about Jessica's story but about the late lamented, Pat Tillman's too.


Labels: , , ,

23 April 2007

Best British (And NATO?) Battle Tank Bombed & Battered In Basra ...


The 'best' battle tank that we Brits - and indeed NATO too - currently posses is the Challenger 2, as shown below.

That's why when we read one particular recent Iraq war report, official confirmation today, we were worried.

Iraq bomb penetrates British tank

A British Challenger 2 tank has been penetrated by a roadside bomb in Iraq, leaving the driver seriously injured, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

A spokesman said the tank had been on routine duties in a western district of Basra when it was hit on 6 April.

It is believed to be the first incident where a Challenger tank has been
breached by such an attack.
Read the rest of this rather alarming report, which is of course being played right down by the British Army brass

Then see what the experts originally said about this top tank -- and maybe worry even more.

The Challenger 2 is the best protected tank in NATO (10) incorporating Chobham second-generation armour plating. Its NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical protection) system is capable of dealing with all known threats and, for the first time in any British tank, the crew compartment has both a heating and a cooling system.

Here's more about this tank; supposedly the best protected in NATO?!

In light of what's just happened, we'd say one really must now wonder whether or not everything claimed regarding Challenger 2 - is all that it's cracked up to be.

What would you say?

Maybe more to the point, we wonder what our own (self styled), 'war lords' will say -- and do?


Labels: , , ,

22 April 2007

Latest Lowdown On Louse Wolfowitz, World Bank Robber Boss ...


How the hell Paul Wolfowitz managed to wangle his way into the presidency of the World Bank -- for the life of us, we'll never be able to figure out.

Will you?

Awrh, well. Whatever.

Here you can read a little of the latest lowdown on the louse.

Two years ago, Wolfowitz, former U.S. deputy Defense secretary, became president of the World Bank.

His significant other, Shaha Riza, was a senior official there. To comply with the bank's strict nepotism rules, he had her transferred to a temporary job at the State Department.

This, of course, made Riza an innocent victim - not an uncommon occurrence where such rules are too rigid. But then Wolfowitz overcompensated.

He ensured that she would be guaranteed promotions, automatic evaluations of "outstanding" and raises worth more than $200,000 over five years, way more than if she had stayed at the bank.

"I made a mistake, for which I am sorry," Wolfowitz now says, adding
that "in the larger scheme of things, we have much more important work to focus on."

But the work and the mistake aren't quite so easily separated. Since taking over at the bank, Wolfowitz has been on an anti-corruption crusade.

By handling his companion's deal as he did - she is said to make $193,590 a year, more than her ultimate boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

So, that's the sort of stuff this schmuck is into into, eh?
When he's not sucking his comb on camera, of course.

Nor when he's picking his nose in public.

Nor when he's posing for photos while poking his too long, unclipped toe nails through the holes in his (some say, sweaty) socks.

We wonder why anyone in the world would want to allow a sleazy, weasel like Wolfowitz to rob run the World Bank?


What a class act, eh?

Nice work if you can get it, eh?


Labels: ,

20 April 2007

Bush 'Upbeat On Iraq' Bullshit; His Latest Load Of Lies ...

Here's how one BBC piece began today.

Bush upbeat on Iraq security plan

There are now almost 80,000 US and Iraqi troops in Baghdad

US President George W Bush has said early indications suggest a security operation begun in Iraq more than two months ago was "meeting expectations".

You can read the rest of this puff-piece, right here.

Now, here's how another BBC piece began today.

Despair stalks Baghdad as plan falters

By Andrew North BBC News, Baghdad

The US surge involves intelligence-led raids to track down militants

Trying to get into the centre of Baghdad earlier this week offered one view of how far away the Americans and Iraqi authorities are from gaining control here.

We were at the airport. Just before we were due to leave, the entrance car park was hit by a car bomb.

US troops and private security forces who guard the perimeter locked the whole area down for the next four hours. No traffic was allowed in or out.

While we waited with scores of other vehicles, mortars were fired at the airport. Fortunately for us they landed on the other side of the runway, plumes of smoke shooting into the air.

You won't have heard about any of this because at the same time a series of other far more serious attacks was taking place.

One was at the Sadriya market in the city centre, where a massive car bomb killed more than 140 people.

And here's how that piece ended.

An average of 80-90 Americans die each month. And US personnel have just had their tours extended by another three months.

But, as it has always been since the 2003 invasion, it is the Iraqis who suffer most.

No-one knows the exact figures, but at the end of another week of unspeakable, random carnage, hundreds more Iraqi families are grieving.

Exhaustion and despair hang over the country.

And there are no signs of change.

Hit this link to read the rest of this report.

Any questions?


Labels: , , ,

18 April 2007

An American Ailment ...

Today in the UK, 'The Independent' published a must-read piece written by Rupert Cornwell.

Here's a quick clip & paste from same.
On Tuesday, in what passes for a relatively quiet news day in Iraq, wire services reported the deaths of 56 people in violence across the country...
However, for today, Wednesday, the fatalities figure increased four to five fold.

But to get back to clipping and pasting.
... some of them gunned down, some killed by a suicide bomber, some discovered as decomposed or decapitated corpses. But we heard not a word of that ...
You didn't?


Well, we definitely did.

But don't worry. If you're one of the ones who haven't yet heard, read right on.
... nor of the trial in absentia in Italy of a US soldier accused of shooting dead an Italian intelligence agent, nor of the report that North Korea may be about to shut down a key nuclear reactor (which would be very big news indeed if true.)

And somebody shot dead the Mayor of Nagasaki.

But who cares?

Instead, nothing but Virginia Tech.

Yet, however exceptional the event, there is something formulaic, even routine, about the coverage.

There is no soul searching, no wondering what might be wrong with a society where such things happen so frequently. You hear no new arguments, for deep down there is nothing new to be said.

No detail of the tragedy is too tiny to recount; from where Cho went to high school to the thoughts of the postman who delivered mail, to where the family lived in the Virginia suburb of Centreville (and never met him).

Yet America is showing scant sign of addressing the far bigger issue - of whether it is finally time to get serious about gun control.

So unless you were born an ostrich - and love your lot in life - we recommend reading all of Rupert's report. We really recommend it.

Below is the link to hit. Make sure you don't miss it.

A brutal truth: Massacre is just part of everyday life in America.


Labels: , , , ,

17 April 2007

American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] - George Soros Speaks Out ...

George Soros certainly isn't the sort of man who is stupid enough to speak about something he doesn't understand.

No way, Jose; that's not how multi-billionaires are made.

So, as soon as we saw this story today we were completely convinced - in an instant - that we should share it.

US-Israel ties bad for peace:

George Soros, the billionaire investor, has added his voice to the debate over the role of Israel's lobby in shaping US foreign policy.

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros takes issue with "the pervasive influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]" in Washington and says the Bush administration's close ties with Israel are obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Soros, who is Jewish but not often engaged in Israeli affairs, echoed arguments that have fuelled debate in academia, foreign policy think tanks and parts of the US Jewish community.

"The pro-Israel lobby has been remarkably successful in suppressing criticism," wrote Soros. Politicians challenge it at their peril and dissenters risk personal vilification, he said.

Now, amble along to Al Jazeera English and acquaint yourself more fully with some all too seldom discussed (at least sensibly and publicly), Israel-US facts -- financial and otherwise.


Labels: , ,

US Military Brass Piss On The Graves Of Dead UK Comrades ... Yet Again ...

What manner of miserable, misbegotten, wretched wankers won't help friends in need? Seemingly, on a serial basis.

Have you heard the latest puke provoking report regarding America's adamant refusal (yet again), to provide important pertinent information to we Brits, it's greatest allies as it wages it's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan?

Coroner attacks 'inexcusable' US

Andrew Walker was the coroner at the Matty Hull inquest

A coroner has called it "inexcusable" that US authorities failed to release evidence about the first UK casualties of the Iraq war.

Andrew Walker was speaking at the reopening of an inquest into the fatal helicopter crash in March 2003.

The eight servicemen died along with four US marines in Kuwait.

American authorities would not give evidence or provide relevant videotape to the court despite all efforts by the MoD, the coroner said.

'Strenuous attempts'

Mr Walker, Oxfordshire's Assistant Deputy Coroner, criticised US authorities for failing to provide "vital" information during the controversial Matty Hull inquest last month.

And as if that recent 'Matty Hull Insult' wasn't a sufficient enough shower of sputum in the eye of their (now shown to be completely undeserved), best friend, we're subjected to this US shit.

Mr Walker said that despite "strenuous attempts by his office and the Ministry of Defence", the US had again said it would not provide any American witnesses to give evidence at his hearing.

"We are again at the beginning of an inquest without the necessary answers to the questions from the US service personnel," he said.

Read the rest of this sickeningly shameful story.

See also, the Matty Hull inquest report.

Talk about an unbelievably ungrateful bunch of despicable, dishonourable, undeserving bastards.

In This Old Brit's book, the turds responsible for this second inexcusable, unforgivable slap in the face are both beneath contempt and beyond redemption.

May said cretins (soon) reap all they have (so selfishly), sown.

Further words fail.


Labels: , , , ,

13 April 2007

President Hilary Clinton; True Or False Or True Or False Or True Or False Or True Or ...?

Quite some time ago we were asked by an angry (and alarmingly aggressive), American elsewhere on line: "Since when did damned foreigners have the right to pass opinions on possible future US presidents?"

Our answer was short & sweet.

"Since the day the US decided it wanted to rule the whole damned world," we said.

To date, our personal stance on said subject still hasn't altered at all.

Of course we don't want the Republican party still in power after the next US presidential election. That should go without saying.

And of course we'd much, much, much prefer that the Democratic party was presented with a mandate to put one of it's people into the White House.

But -- the proper person -- not just some one wearing the proper colours.

So, it's with that in mind that we want you to watch this.

Isn't it about time the American people stopped to think a little? And to remember a little?

Then, to put someone in charge who would honestly & truly put the American people first?

Instead of any prospective candidate who serially and unashamedly sought through (same-old, same-old) phony political practices (like never ending flip-flops) to primarily serve themselves?

Well, we know what we think.

We bet you know, too.


Labels: ,

11 April 2007

Bush Wants War Czar - But Nobody Wants To Know ...

Today, thanks to MSM we found this.

Gates announces longer tours in Iraq

By Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Beginning immediately, all active-duty Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours — three months longer than the usual standard, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

It was the latest move by the Pentagon to cope with the strains of fighting two wars simultaneously and maintaining a higher troop level in Iraq as part of President Bush's revised strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.
Read the rest here.

Then we found the following.

White House seeks war "czar" for Iraq

By Tabassum Zakaria - Washington (Reuters)

Help Wanted:
White House seeks high-profile manager of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

In a tradition of presidential trouble-shooting, the White House is considering creating a "war czar" post in the National Security Council and has put out feelers to some retired generals to see if they would be interested.

But no takers so far.

The Washington Post said at least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks had turned down the position.

Retired Marine Gen. John "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO' name commander who rejected the White House overture, told the Post: "The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going."
Read the rest here.

Posted by Picasa
So, perhaps the emperor does have some clothes; styled as above and worn at Waterloo.

Labels: , , , ,

10 April 2007

Iraq Sends America An Illegal Invasion Anniversary Message At Easter ...


Surprise, surprise.

Well, well, well.

Whadaya know?

Who the heck would have thunk it?

It seems there are many more than one may have imagined who have been, like ourselves, in a message sending mood.

Now, let's see if we can remember who it was who once so famously said: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."

Oh yeah, we remember.

It was none other than Abraham Lincoln himself.

We bet if old Abe was still around today he'd probably be plenty proud of such a brave bunch of people as those shown above.

You know what we mean?

What with standing up for themselves, speaking truth to power, such like and so on.



Labels: , , , , , ,

08 April 2007

And Now, Iraq's Ali A. Allawi And Another 'America' Message ...

Staying on the subject of sending Bush some messages -- how does this seem for size?

NEW YORK - In a rueful reflection on what might have been, an Iraqi government insider details in 500 pages the U.S. occupation's "shocking" mismanagement of his country — a performance so bad, he writes, that by 2007 Iraqis had "turned their backs on their would-be liberators."

"The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order," Ali A. Allawi concludes in "The Occupation of Iraq," newly published by Yale University Press.

Allawi writes with authority as a member of that "new order," having served as Iraq's trade, defense and finance minister at various times since 2003. As a former academic, at Oxford University before the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq, he also writes with unusual detachment.
Certainly sounds like some super-strong stuff, eh?

And there's much more of the same from whence that came.

Click across to Associated Press to see said story yourself.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Please Help Spread Our Easter Message To Bush And Blair ...


This Easter Sunday we want to send a special message.

It's to U.S. President George W. Bush and U.K. Premier Tony Blair - - those two self proclaimed Christian leaders of the free world.

And we're especially requesting all you regular readers to help get our immensely important message across -- in whatever ways you wish

Since we mean this most sincerely.

Thank you for your time and trouble.

May you and your loved ones have your happiest Easter holiday ever.


Labels: , ,

06 April 2007

All About Arrests, Brits, Iran, Intel And A Sky News 'Spy' Scoop ...

Seen right, reading a prepared statement regarding recent Iranian arrest related 'events' involving himself and 14 other British military personnel mates, is Royal Marine Captain, Chris Air.

But there's something else this same young officer recently had to say ... to a Sky TV News reporter ... some days before being 'invited' to take a fortnight's all-expenses-paid, Iranian interlude.

An offer which, as the whole world now knows, was one that he and his buddies could not refuse.

But to get back to the basics of 'the latest'.

Read this.

In His Own Words

Thursday April 05, 2007

Captain Chris Air of the Royal Marines revealed to Sky News that he and his colleagues had been gathering intelligence on the Iranians.

Here follows the full transcript of that interview.

Captain Air: "This is what's called an IPAT - an Interaction patrol whereby we come alongside or even board the fishing Dhows and basically interact with the crew.

"It's partly a hearts-and-minds type patrol, whereby we'll come along and speak to the crew, find out if they have any problems and just sort of introduce ourselves, let them know we're here to protect them, protect their fishing and stop any terrorism and piracy in the area.

"Secondly it's to gather int (Intelligence).

Read the rest of the Sky News 'spy-scoop' right here and now.

Then when you've read that,
you MUST watch this -- to see & hear young Captain Chris Air interviewed for Sky News -- while actually engaged in Gulf operations (live upon the proverbial high-seas), shortly before the shit hit the fan.


Labels: , , , , , ,

04 April 2007

Iran-UK Sailors Stand Off Sorted; Civilised Common Sense Diplomacy Prevails ...

So, we see some pure & simple common sense, once applied properly, soon sorted this stupid shambles out.

Surprise, surprise, eh? Not.

Amazing how things have a habit of turning out right when all adults involved actually behave like adults, ain't it?

Well, we're pretty sure most people have by now read at least some of the hundreds of headlines regarding this sorry saga's apparently happy ending.

Still, just in case anyone around here has been temporarily comatose ...

Here are three short related reports we consider worth reading.

BBC link 1.

BBC link 2.

BBC link 3.

And there's this simplified summary of both versions of events, which we feel is well worth while giving a gander.

So, warmongers please note; diplomacy won the day.

No winners; no losers; no needless dead.

Not exactly brain surgery or rocket science, was it?


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

02 April 2007

Crooked McCain's Iraq Trip Con ...


We see McCain buggered off to Baghdad to try to prove his big fat porky point about what a peaceful place it is.

Well, we wonder whether he's had a chance to see what we've seen yet.

What John McCain Didn't Tell You

by Larry C Johnson

While John McCain was excoriating the press in Baghdad yesterday for not presenting the "full story" about how swell things are in Iraq he neglected to mention the pre-visit security sweep that made that neighborhood stroll so safe.

I am sure you have already heard about the 100 soldiers, the three Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache gunships that accompanied his entourage, but did you hear about the soldiers who swept the area before the American legislators and their security team showed up?

Who cares about those mooks? They are expendable.

John McCain and Lindsey Graham put American soldiers' lives at risk just so they could have a photo op. That's the bottom line.

Why didn't they do a ride along on a real patrol? Perhaps they could have joined the U.S. team that responded to an ambush of an American patrol yesterday? Of course a total of six U.S. soldiers died in that operation.

Read the rest of this report at 'No Quarter'.

Who the hell does this man McCain think he's kidding with this kind of crap?

And anyway, in order to find out for himself any real, everyday Iraq facts at all, he needn't have bloody bothered going anywhere.

Other than right here.

And don't just take our word for it; go see for yourself.


Labels: , ,