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

31 August 2007

10 Years On; Remembering The Death Of Princess Diana ...

Though it seems like only yesterday to we oldies, it was a full ten years ago today that the life of
Diana Princess of Wales was so suddenly and sadly, snuffed out;like a candle in the wind.

And just as clearly as we can still recall where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the numbing news of the deaths of (among others too numerous to mention), her husband Prince Charles' grandfather,
King George V1, the US President John F. Kennedy, and the many victims of the 9/11/2001 WTC tragedy -- we doubt we'll ever forget the day Diana died.

There's something else we doubt will ever leave our memories - Princess Diana's funeral - and the heartrending rendition by her friend
Sir Elton John, of his specially revised (by Bernie Taupin) version of "Candle In The Wind".

Incidentally, it's fair to warn that many may do well to keep a handkerchief handy before viewing the following video.

Rest in peace, dear Diana, 'The People's Princess'.

** UPDATE: The service of remembrance -- including young Prince Harry's tribute to his late mother.

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30 August 2007

Iraq: Deadly Cholera 'Attack' ...

As if Iraq wasn't already (as near as damn it), a living hell on earth for each and every one of the the sorry souls presently sinking fast in the quagmire that country's become -- no matter which side, nor whatever cause said sorry souls are fighting for. Eh?

Remind us again, if you can, what was it that Donald Rumsfeld once (so sneeringly), said "happens"?

No matter, now. It's not important, now.

But believe us, this is something that is important now. As a matter of fact, this is a matter of life and death. Quite literally. Yet another one.

Deadly cholera outbreak in Iraq

An outbreak of cholera in two northern Iraqi provinces has killed eight people and infected 80 others, the Kurdistan Regional Government has said.

Kurdish Health Minister Zeryan Othman said local health authorities were also treating 4,250 suspected cases of the disease in Sulaimaniya and Tamim.

A report by the UK-based charity, Oxfam, and the NGO Co-ordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI) last month warned that 70% of Iraq's population did not have adequate water supplies and that only 20% had access to effective sanitation.

The minister said 2,350 people were also suffering from diarrhoea in Sulaimaniya and a further 2,000 in Tamim.
Read the relevant report from the BBC.

Weapons of mass destruction, anyone? Invisible insurgents? Enemies within? Maybe even elephants in living rooms, eh?

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29 August 2007

An American Obsession? Arms For Arms Sake?

We wonder where an average US citizen draws the line - 'friend or foe' wise?

By which we mean - is there anyone - anyone at all - absolutely anywhere - who many millions of Americans do not perceive to be posing some sort of serious threat, against their person?

It seems to us, to almost (quite sincerely unfacetiously), beg the question 'Why do so many Americans hate so many Americans?'

Mind you, perhaps it does help to explain, at least to a certain degree, the serial aggression and violence shown by successive US governments toward such an awfully long (and ever lengthening), list of other nations.

After all, what else should one expect when so many, so called 'fellow' Americans appear to actually be perpetually afraid - even of one another - and even inside the (supposed) safety of their own country?

Indeed, oft times, seemingly, practically petrified.

Look at this little lot.

U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people

Tue Aug 28, 2007

By Laura MacInnis

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

"There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.
Read the rest of this report at Reuters.

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28 August 2007

Fair And Balanced Press Report Reading, Regarding Iran

Nobody needs us to tell them what kind of patent propaganda, lying crap & belligerent bloody balderdash BushCo -- with a whole heap of help from the likes of (rancid Rupert Murdoch's) FAUX/FOX/NEWS -- is currently spewing regarding Iran, so we won't even try to.

However, we're always more than happy to help those who want to help themselves when it comes to a question of 'fair and balance' - proper.

Read regular Iranian online press reportage -- first hand.

Try starting with the ...
Then there's the ...
Also there's the...
And there's more.
Read about them right here.

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Re: Possible Paedos/Pedos/Pervs ...

Apropos our previous (appeal) post appertaining to possible paedophiles/pedophiles/perverts ...

... well ...

... we're underfuckenwhelmed.


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26 August 2007

Paedophiles / Pedophiles / Perverts: Help Richard Bust These Bastards ...

This is serious - so I'm keeping it as short & sweet as poss.

I want help to bust what I believe is possibly (at worst) a paedophile/pedophile ring or (at best) a group of sick perverts with unhealthy/univited interests in young girls.

Here's the bones of it.

I recently posted on the web a photo of my 12 year old granddaughter. Today I find it's been "favourited" by a certain individual on an internationally known/used photo website.

I immediately took the required action to remove granddaughter's photo from said individual's 'control/use' - and to simultaneously prevent person from even 'viewing' any more of my family photos.

When checking out/following up for myself on this matter .... I find other individuals are - shall we say - "involved".

Also, it seems each of those individuals then have their own "involvees".

Bottom line:

I want/need many bloggers -- especially the BIG bloggers -- ie;those with the required common sense, nouse, interest, integrity, resources, ability, credibility, readership, clout, decency and downright determination ... to help investigate and/or expose these pieces of excrement.

I also want/need as many readers as possible to help get this 'cry for help' out there, where I want/need it to go/be.

Please reply/respond either by comment here or by email, via profile page.

Note though, that no further info on this will be forthcoming from me for anyone who I am not 101% certain of -- identity and/or credibility wise.

Think on it. It could be your kid(s) or grand kid(s).

In fact it may have happened already, but you're not yet aware of it.

Thanks in advance.

Please don't let me down.

I can't do what needs to be done, on my own.

25 August 2007

Liverpool's Shame:The Shooting Of Little Rhys Jones ...

Time was when we used to take pride in being British. Time was when we loved being labeled Liverpudlians. Time was when we cherished our 'scouser' heritage.

But time's a terribly tough taskmaster, and as ever was the case, the times they are a'changing.

And not always for the better. Indeed, lately, sad to say, far too often for the worse.

Witness what follows.

Read this and weep.

Seven held over Rhys Jones murder

Saturday August 25, 2007 - Guardian Unlimited

Seven people, including two girls, were being held tonight over the killing of 11-year-old Rhys Jones.

Six of them were arrested in raids today around the Croxteth area of Liverpool where the schoolboy was shot on Wednesday.

Police were granted an extension to detain the sixth, a boy of 15 who was arrested yesterday.

The six people taken custody today were boys aged 15 and 16, a man aged 19 and girls of 15 and 18. The 19-year-old needed hospital treatment after falling from the back window of his home apparently trying to escape arrest. Another 19-year-old was also arrested later in the afternoon.

Rhys was killed by a teenager on a BMX bike who fired bullets from a handgun as the young football fan walked home with friends across a pub car park.

Two bullets hit a car but a third hit Rhys in the back of his neck.

He died as his mother Melanie, who had run to the scene from their home nearby, held him in her arms.

Read the rest of this heartrending report.

As we said at the outset, we used to be proud of this place.

But that was then.

THIS - is now.

So who's to blame?

Parents? Police? Schools? Teachers? Government? Judiciary? Legal profession? Arms dealers/gun runners? Our children? Ourselves?

To varying degrees - and though it hurts us like hell to have to say it - we believe the actual answer is "all of the above."

Yet at the same time, we soooo sincerely want (several) certain somebodies to prove us completely wrong.

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23 August 2007

G. W. Bush:Vietnam & Iraq Analogy Quagmire ...

We weren't sure whether we should laugh or cry when we learned of President Lame Duck's latest load of bullshit likening Iraq to Vietnam.

And as if that in itself wasn't amazing enough, the draft dodging, chicken hawk AWOLer had the audacity to dare to use the word "WE".

The Analogy Quagmire

By Dan Froomkin - Special to
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

President Bush boldly entered risky rhetorical territory this morning, likening the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

It's an analogy Bush typically avoids, given how strongly Vietnam is associated in the national consciousness with the concept of quagmire -- and with its lesson about the limits of American military power

Read the rest of that report right here.

"We," eh? What a nerve. What a wanker.

Who the hell does this damned dickhead of a despot think he's kidding?

As far as George W. Bush was concerned, fighting in Vietnam was for fools. Fools like other mothers' sons, husbands, brothers, etc.

And don't forget double dealing, double talking dirty Dick Cheney, Dubya's chicken shit, cohort Vice President. A draft dodging prick of prize proportions who brazenly (and openly), boasted how he had "other priorities" when it came to fighting 'for his country' in Nam.

Get the gist? See what we're saying?

We're saying lying, yellow bellied, shameless, sob chicken shits!

And while we're on the subjects of sobs and mothers -- let's not forget big Babs.

In fact, let's never forget that wicked witch of a woman.

Not ever.

Remember that old cow's (in)famous quote?

So, like mother - like son, eh?

Shame on the shits; the whole sick, sodding, crooked, cowardly shower of them.

Shame on them all - almighty arseholes that they are.

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This Old Brit AWOL? Missing In Action? Or What?

We heard rumours that either we went missing in action or (even worse), went AWOL.

Wrong in both cases -- we're happy to be here to tell you.

Cross posting the following August 20th piece from our other blog (Proudly Presents), should speak for itself, so to speak, re;solving the mystery of our recent unannounced recess/absence - blog wise.


She's the most gorgeous granddaughter on the globe.

And by the way, a happy birthday to me too. Yep, really.

Now, can anyone beat that for the best bloomin' birthday present possible? What an absolutely beautiful birthday gift to get, eh?

Sophie's shown below with her doting grandmother/nana - Rhona - Mrs Old Brit.

Sophie's flown in from Germany for a fortnight, so that among plenty of pleasant other things we can share a super birthday celebration -- together!

And incidentally, Sophie flew over all alone;not for the first time either. Mum puts her aboard at the German end, and dad collects her at the UK end.

Kids today, eh? Born jet-setters. Nothing seems to phase them at all.

(*Click pic to enlarge)

Oh, I almost forgot to mention.

Today, Sophie's 12.

And me?

Today, I'm older.

** Stay tuned. Normal service set to be resumed - soon.

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19 August 2007

Iraq Invader Occupiers: What Coalition? Willing Or Otherwise ...

It looks like the latest flurry of finger pointing and fallings out among 'friends' means the blame game's already begun -- in earnest.

Iraq war wise, that is.

See below for some snips from Sunday edition shown above.

Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.

Two generals told The Independent on Sunday last week that the military advice given to the Prime Minister was, "We've done what we can in the south [of Iraq]". Commanders want to hand over Basra Palace – where 500 British troops are subjected to up to 60 rocket and mortar strikes a day, and resupply convoys have been described as "nightly suicide missions" – by the end of August.

Before the invasion in 2003, officers were told that the Army's war aims were to bring stability and democracy to Iraq and to the Middle East as a whole. Those ambitions have been drastically revised, the IoS understands. The priorities now are an orderly withdrawal, with the reputation and capability of the Army "reasonably intact", and for Britain to remain a "credible ally".

The final phrase appears to refer to tensions with the US, which has more troops in Iraq than at any other time, including the invasion, as it seeks to impose order in Baghdad and neighbouring provinces.
Tensions? Tut-tut. Who would ever have thought it, eh?

American criticism of Britain's desire to pull back in southern Iraq has recently become public, with a US intelligence official telling The Washington Post this month that "the British have basically been defeated in the south".

A senior British commander countered, "That's to miss the point. It was never that kind of battle, in which we set out to defeat an enemy."

Immediate American discontent is said to centre on the CIA's reluctance to leave Basra Palace, an important base for watching Iran, which may explain why Britain has held on to the complex until now.

But last week it was reported that US intelligence operatives were in the process of pulling out.

Really? Already?

Further ahead, the US is concerned over the security of its vital supply line from Kuwait, with some American commanders saying that if the British withdraw, American troops will have to be sent south to replace them.

The UK and US 'Special Relationship'?

It sounds to us that it's more a case of a (bloody well and truly), 'broken down' relationship -- and that's putting it mildly.

Here's today's Independent's relevant report in it's entirety.

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Another Clinton Government? Memo To U.S. Cousins:You Definitely Deserve Better

The Clintons?

Well, if you want to know what we think, our honest answer is that you can keep 'em.

If it's your belief that after a dozen damned years of Bush family rule along with eight under Clinton's control that another four (maybe even eight) of the same, seems a sensible idea ... then ... duh!

So why in the world, we wonder, was there so much flaming fuss a couple of centuries ago regarding being beholden to any 'Royal Family'?

Ah well, whatever turns one on, we suppose.

But we do believe that anyone wanting a few facts placed before them to personally peruse in peace & quite (before hurling themselves headlong for Hilary), should see at least some of this straight talking stuff.

Clinton is able to make a shedload a money because he is contrasted with the despised Bush as the flawed good guy who did his best for the world and brought economic boom to the US – the fabled American dream no less. Both notions are finely spun lies. What Clinton and Blair have most in common is that they are the most violent leaders of their countries in the modern era; that includes Bush.

Consider Clinton’s true record.
For instance and/or for example:

In 1993, he pursued George H W Bush’s invasion of Somalia. He invaded Haiti in 1994. He bombed Bosnia in 1995 and Serbia in 1999. In 1998, he bombed Afghanistan; and, at the height of his Monica Lewinsky troubles, he momentarily diverted the headline writers to a major “terrorist target” in Sudan that he ordered destroyed with an onslaught of missiles.

It turned out to be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest pharmaceutical plant, the only source of chloroquine, the treatment for malaria, and other drugs that were lifelines to hundreds of thousands. As a result, wrote Jonathan Belke, then of the Near East Foundation, “tens of thousands of people – many of them children – have suffered and died from malaria, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases”.

Long before Shock and Awe, Clinton was destroying and killing in Iraq. Under the lawless pretence of a “no-fly zone”, he oversaw the longest allied aerial bombardment since the Second World War. This was hardly reported.

At the same time, he imposed and tightened a Washington-led economic siege estimated to have killed a million civilians. “We think the price is worth it,” said his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, in an exquisite moment of honesty.

Clinton’s economic “legacy” – like Blair’s – is the most unequal society Americans have known.
And no, the preceding clip & paste quotes aren't from any GOP, wingnut or neocon source. Far from it in fact.

Read right on to find out for yourself.

Incidentally, we're certainly inclined (so far), to like the look of this particular U.S. Democratic presidential candidate.

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Israel's Shameful Indifference Toward Some Special Old Israelis ...

Bloody brilliant isn't it?

Same old, same old as far as the wealth gap goes. The rich get richer at the expense of the poor who get poorer still.

The government of Israel, like the government of the United States and the government of the United Kingdom, has plenty of dosh to dish out so long as it's in the direction of and for the benefit of, certain selected sectors of their respective citizens.

And the government of Israel, just like the governments of both the United States and the United Kingdom definitely do not deem some of the most deserving (and vulnerable), members of their so called civilized societies worthy of (completely affordable), special support -- no matter how dire their present predicaments, nor no matter the urgency of their needs.

Shown above is sick old Leopold Rosen.

Holocaust victims living in poverty

By Jacky Rowland

The Israeli government has been criticised for "severe shortcomings" in its treatment of elderly holocaust survivors.

A report from the state comptroller's office blamed red tape for preventing effective assistance being provided and urged action to help the ageing victims.

Leopold Rosen measures the world by the pipe that connects him to his oxygen machine. He suffers from several chest complaints dating back to when he hid from the Nazis in a forest in Poland.

The German government pays him compensation every month and he gets a small pension from Israel, but he can barely pay for both his drugs and his food.

"I was born of the 5th of June, 1922. Do I have time to wait for help from the government? There are a lot of people in the same position. They don't have time to wait," he told Al Jazeera.

Holocaust survivors have been trying to embarrass the Israeli government into action.

At a recent event, protesters wore symbols from the Nazi-era to drive home their point.

There are about one quarter of a million Holocaust survivors in Israel and official figures say that one in three of them live below the poverty line.

We think that last sentence is worth repeating -- so repeat it we will.
There are about one quarter of a million Holocaust survivors in Israel and official figures say that one in three of them live below the poverty line.
Read the remainder of this shameful story right here.

Then read this closely related report by 'The Jewish Chronicle', published earlier on this year.

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17 August 2007

Russia, China And Several Asian States Hold Joint Military Exercises ...

Thus sayeth Russia's President Putin.
"We have decided to restore flights by Russian strategic aviation on a permanent basis," Mr Putin told reporters at joint military exercises with China and four Central Asian states in Russia's Ural mountains.

The BBC reports today:
Russia restarts Cold War patrols

Russia is currently rebuilding its armed forces

Russia is resuming a Soviet-era practice of sending its bomber aircraft on long-range flights, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Mr Putin said the move to resume the flights permanently after a 15-year suspension was in response to security threats posed by other military powers.

He said 14 bombers had taken off from Russian airfields early on Friday.

The move came a week after Russian bombers flew within a few hundred miles of the US Pacific island of Guam.

A few days ago Moscow said its strategic bombers had begun exercises over the North Pole.
"Flights by other countries' strategic aircraft continue and this creates certain problems for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation," he [Putin] said.
Remember this?
In last week's incident near Guam, the Russian pilots "exchanged smiles" with US fighter pilots who scrambled to track them, a Russian general said.

The US military confirmed the presence of the Russian bombers near Guam, home to a large US base.
And remember this?
Last month two Tupolev 95 aircraft - dubbed "bears" according to their Nato code-name - strayed south from their normal patrol pattern off the Norwegian coast and headed towards Scotland. Two RAF Tornado fighters were sent up to meet them.
And now we learn this.
Russian bombers have also recently flown close to US airspace over the Arctic Ocean near Alaska.
Seems it isn't only submarines Russia's sending sniffing round the Polar Region, eh?

Read the rest of this Ruski related report right here.

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16 August 2007

This Old Brit's Personal Elvis Presley Tribute ...

On the 30th anniversary of his untimely death how could we ever be forgiven if we didn't pay a tribute of some kind to the late lamented Elvis Presley - "The King" of rock & roll?

Though at this time we'd point out that our particular Elvis favourites were invariably his ballads.

Anyway, here's his Wikipedia entry.

Then there are these two very diffent videos we hope you'll enjoy.

First, a handsome young Elvis sings 'Love Me Tender'.

Next, there's this seriously sad rendition of 'My Way'- when the end truly was near - though few of us realised at the time how close it was.

Hit this link to savour plenty more professional performances.

And finally, a few photographs that pretty well speak for themselves re: this unparalleled performer extraordinaire's personal 'rise and fall'.


15 August 2007

Ongoing Rape Of Iraq ...

For all the faux-patriot prats preferring to pretend the Iraqi people should show some sort of appreciation for the 'freedom' they've been brought by Bush & Blair Co, here we present another opportunity for the pricks to puff up their chicken boned chests with counterfeit pride, while simultaneously slapping themselves on the their pathetic good ole backs. Pricks.

In Iraq, sex is traded for survival

By Afif Sarhan in Baghdad

The US invasion and the sectarian war have created thousands of widows in Iraq [AFP]

When Rana Jalil, 38, lost her husband in an explosion in Baghdad last year, she could never have imagined becoming a prostitute in order to feed her children.


"When I came home with some food I had bought from that money and saw my children screaming of happiness, I discovered that honour is insignificant compared to the hunger of my children."

Iraqi widows desperate

Prior to the US invasion, Iraqi widows, particularly those who lost husbands during the Iran-Iraq war, were provided with compensation and free education for their children. In some cases, they were provided with free homes.

However, no such safety nets currently exist and widows have few resources at their disposal.

According to the non-governmental organisation Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), 15 per cent of Iraqi women widowed by the war have been desperately searching for temporary marriages or prostitution, either for financial support or protection in the midst of sectarian war.

Nuha Salim, the spokesperson for OWFI, told Al Jazeera: "Widows are one of our priorities but their situation is worsening and we are feeling ineffective to cope with this significant problem. Hundreds of women are searching for an easy way to support their loved ones as employers refuse to hire them for fear of extremists' reprisals."

She said the NGO has documented the disappearance of some 4000 women, 20 per cent of whom are under 18, since the March 2003 invasion.

OWFI believes most of the missing women were kidnapped and sold into prostitution outside Iraq.

Although few reliable statistics are available on the total number of widows in Iraq, the ministry of women's affairs says that there are at least 350,000 in Baghdad alone, with more than eight million throughout the country.
And if you think those statistics are shocking, you need to read the rest of this report right now.

Some sort of sick, sodding sob liberators we in the West turned out to be, eh?

We should be ashamed.

And when the day we are called to account comes, may our own sorry souls (somehow), be shown (at least a little) more mercy than we deserve.


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14 August 2007

Ailing Americans' Abysmal Health Care & Lousy Life Expectancy Expose...

Even as old Brits long used to wondering why & how in the world our American cousins can't (even in this the 21st century), come up with some sort of civilised National Health Service similar to ours, an absolutely amazing report in today's 'Guardian' took us completely by surprise.

In fact, to say it came as a truly terrible shock to us, is in all probability one of our understatements of the year decade.

How's this for a horror story?

US tumbles down the world ratings list for life expectancy

Ewen MacAskill in Washington and agencies
Monday August 13, 2007
The Guardian

A combination of expensive health insurance and an ever-increasing rate of obesity appear to be behind a startling fall by the US in the world rankings of life expectancy.

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place in 20 years, according to official US figures.

Dr Christopher Murray, head of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said: "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries."
Read the rest of this report re: the 'shock & awe' state of the increasingly, sickly United States.

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13 August 2007

Karl Rove Resigns ...

Karl is Kaput

Rove resigns.

So long, you smarmy, slimy SOB.

We wish we could say it's been nice.

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12 August 2007

Facing The Facts Of A Futile War - And A (Near) Future Draft ...

The war?

WHO - AND WHAT - THE F**K is it good for?

And now there's talk of the need for further fodder the draft.

What, we wonder, will it take?

When will enough be enough?

America's 'war tsar' has called for the nation's political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yep, you read that right.

In a radio interview, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said the option had always been open to boost America's all-volunteer army by drafting in young men in the same way as happened in Vietnam. 'I think it makes sense to consider it,' he said. Lute was appointed 'war tsar' earlier this year after President Bush decided a single figure was needed to oversee the nation's military efforts abroad.

Rumours of a return to the draft have long circulated in military circles as the pressure from fighting two large conflicts at the same time builds on America's forces. However, politically it would be extremely difficult to achieve, especially for any leader hoping to be elected in 2008.

Bush has previously ruled out the suggestion as unnecessary.

Lute, however, said the war was causing stress to military families and, as a result, was having an impact on levels of re-enlistment. 'This kind of stress plays out across dinner tables and in living-room conversations within these families. Ultimately the health of the all-volunteer force is going to rest on those sorts of personal family decisions,' he said.

A draft would revive bad memories of the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s when tens of thousands of young men were drafted to fight and die in Vietnam. Few other policies proved as divisive in America and the memories of anti-war protesters burning their draft cards and fleeing to Canada are still vivid in the memory.

One has to wonder how deep the current American NeoCon Maladministration wants the hole to get, and how many more bodies they're prepared to pile therein prior to ceasing all (eventually inevitable), excavations.

Every American man, woman and child of reading age should see a certain story from today's UK 'Observer'.

Said story starts ...

Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare.

Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day.

As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.
Please prepare to be appalled by the full report - to be found right here.

( * Includes numerous quotes from US troops there on the ground.)

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11 August 2007

Ground Zero And Giuliani Latest: Misspoke Or Lied?

It's not for us to label ex New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani a liar, but when New York firefighters say he is, nor is it for us to argue -- even if we believed they were wrong.

Here's a couple of paragraphs we pinched from 'The New York Times' - purely temporarily of course, since unlike some others around here (who shall remain nameless), we're neither crooks nor creeps. Nor do we misspeak and/or lie.

"He is such a liar, because the only time he was down there was for photo ops with celebrities, with politicians, with diplomats," said deputy fire chief Jimmy Riches, who spent months digging for his firefighter son.

"On 9/11 all he did was run. He got that soot on him, and I don't think he's taken a shower since."

Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, a union that fiercely opposes Giuliani, said he doubted Giuliani misspoke.

"I think he was simply showing what his true character is — a self-absorbed, self-deluded promoter who got caught and is now just simply trying to backtrack," Schaitberger said.
Strong stuff, eh?

And there's more;the firefighters weren't alone in fingering this smarmy schmuck and his serially sickeningly shameless, puke inducing phoniness and pathetic self promotion.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards offered his own criticism of the former mayor.

"That's all we need is another person trying to exploit the tragedy of 9/11," Edwards said while campaigning in Las Vegas.

"What he ought to be talking about instead is trying to explain why the firefighters and the first responders didn't have the equipment ... to get the job done."
Exactly, Mr Edwards. Excellent, Esquire.

Read the rest of this Giuliani 'pants on fire' piece.

And always remember the ancient adage - there's no smoke without fire.


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08 August 2007

US Treasury: China's Preemptive Financial Nuke Option ...

Sooner or later something was going to have to give.

Those in the know and those with the know-how have been screaming about something like this slowly sneaking up on the USA for a long, long time.

One could quite reasonably call it the ultimate 'Made in China' product.

The inscrutable, far eastern, financial nuke.

China threatens to trigger US dollar crash

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Daily Telegraph - 08/08/2007

The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of US Treasury bonds if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation.
China threatens to trigger US dollar crash

Henry Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, met with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Beijing last week

Two Chinese officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning, for the first time, that Beijing may use its $1,330bn (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress. Shifts in Chinese policy are often announced through key think tanks and academies.

Described as China's "nuclear option" in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is breaking down through historic support levels.
It is estimated that China holds more than $900bn in a mix of US bonds.
He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went further yesterday, letting it be known that Beijing had the power to set off a dollar collapse, if it chose to do so.

"China has accumulated a large sum of US dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in US Treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency," he told China Daily.
None of us need be Wall Street whiz-kids before being able to figure out for ourselves precisely what the 'big picture' here is all about.

Nonetheless, read the rest of this revealing British press report right here.

Buddy, can you spare a dime?


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07 August 2007

G.W. Bush: Support Sinks To Record Low ...

According to AP, earlier today:

Bush Down To His Base Of Support

By Deb Riechmann -- Associated Press Writer


To see the type of person who still backs him, President Bush need only look in the mirror.

Hammered by bad news in Iraq, congressional investigations and recent failed domestic initiatives such as immigration reform, Bush's job approval rating has spiraled to record lows for his presidency.

Since we're sure you can't wait to learn more, we won't waste any more time.

Here's the link - so hit it.


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05 August 2007

Proudly Presenting Paul Potts - A Special Young Brit ...

It's not fair.

Life's a bitch.

There's no justice in this world.

The ordinary man in the street doesn't stand a chance.

We're wasting our time.

And, television only ever turns out total crap.

Oh really?

It's time to think again friends.

There's always an exception to any rule.

See this super story of an extremely special, young 'no hoper' called Paul Potts.

Please watch and listen to all three videos to follow Paul's progress.

And if by the end, you too haven't had the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, lots of large lumps lodged in your throat, and several times had at least a tear or two trickle down your cheek --- then you must have died a while ago -- but not noticed.

Moreover, you obviously never had a heart or soul.


Of course he won.

As we've always believed and repeatedly said:" If we don't have a dream, how we gonna have our dream come true?"



04 August 2007

70,000 US Bridges Suspect - Including Brooklyn Bridge ...

Here's a clip from the UK's 'Independent'.
In New York City, attention was focused on the Brooklyn Bridge," which recently failed a state safety test. Engineers said the problems were for the moment concentrated on approach ramps from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides. A refurbishment of the span is planned for 2010.
Recently failed a safety test, eh?

A 'refurbishment' is 'planned', eh?

Set to start sometime in 2010, then?

That's in three years time, eh?

Oh, goody. Great. That's that sorted then.

Eh? Ya think?

Providing said ancient structure's still standing of course.

In the meantime, rather 'they' have to use it than 'we' have to use it.

Amazing, ain't it?

This abysmal American Maladministration apparently has all the money in the world available when it comes to waging wars, but as for spending tax dollars at home to properly maintain it's homeland interests and keeping it's citizens out of harm's way - well, that's another story.

But it's not just a suspect Brooklyn Bridge that we'd be seriously wary of crossing - oh, no - not by a long chalk.

Here's another 'Independent' clip.
Federal officials have admitted that as many as 70,000 bridges across the US had recently been rated "structurally deficient", the same designation given to the span that catastrophically failed during rush hour on Wednesday, sending scores of vehicles and their passengers plummeting 60ft.
Yep, you read that right -- 70,000 -- we repeat -- SEVENTY THOUSAND US bridges have been officially declared "structurally deficient".

Heh. 'Structurally deficient', eh? As was THIS one in Minneapolis, eh?

Still, we suppose it certainly sounds a billion times better than simply saying straight out that they're downright, damned dangerous, doesn't it Dubya?

So, we were wondering Mr President, what do you suggest everyone does now?

Bring 'em on?

Move on?

Get over
it them?

Well, we know what we think.

BushCo would be best advised to start waging a 'war on rot'. Beginning in his own back yard, so to speak. If only for the sake/safety of his fellow Americans.

Read the rest of today's 'Independent's (alarmingly), revealing report on America's current, clear and present danger(s).

'The enemy within' - anyone?

Huh. Heck of a job, George.


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03 August 2007

Insurance Companies' Katrina Cop-outs

After our initial - and instinctive - thoughts regarding the regrettable loss of life due to the Minnesota bridge collapse, our second thoughts (understandably), soon turned towards all involved individuals' insurance - or lack of it.

Then, while still reading latest online updates, like a bolt from the blue a BBC breaking news flash lit up our monitor screen. And we could barely believe what we were witnessing.
Court backs insurers over Katrina

A US federal court has ruled that insurers do not have to pay for the flood damage in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Yet another clear-cut case of W-T-F?


The court said the insurers were not liable even if there was negligence.
The court's decision overturned an earlier ruling by a lower court.
The insurers involved in the case were Allstate, Travelers and the mutual insurer State Farm.
Read a bit about Allstate.

Read a bit about The Travelers.
Read a bit about State Farm

Is this actually the authentic 'American Way' - or what?

If you're a corporation you're 'quids in'. Period.

If you're a mere
munchkin citizen - tough shit. Period.

Have there ever been more exasperatingly awful, excruciating examples of some of the "unacceptable faces" of Capitalism than the world constantly witnesses coming out of America? And, on a damned daily basis at that.

Profits before people - at all costs?

Companies and/or corporations rule? For better or for worse?

Conglomerates 'ubber alles'?

What an perfectly perverted, putrid Philistinian philosophy. And amazingly, still seen as the norm in this the 21st century;at any rate, in the (entirely erroneously), supposed home of the brave and land of the free.

Regular Americans have a right to receive better treatment than this. Indeed, they (so self evidently) downright deserve better. Much, much better.

Read the rest of this heartrending BBC reporting right here.

Read it and bloody well weep.


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02 August 2007

Russia Flags North Pole Claim ...


We wonder how well this will go down?

Okay, we agree;you're right.

That really was a corny, photo-op-intro if ever there was one.

All the same, when viewed in the context of the following Russia related report, our opening question could scarcely be considered less than a serious query.
Russians plant flag on Arctic seabed

By Douglas Birch, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - Two deep-diving Russian mini-submarines descended more than 2 1/2 miles under North Pole ice to stake a flag on the ocean floor Thursday, part of a quest to bolster Russian claims to much of the Arctic's oil-and-mineral wealth.
Uh, oh.

Anyone else hereabouts sense signs of a distinct (if so far, still distant) chill in the air?

Could there be another kind of cold war coming?

Think on this.

The stakes involved could hardly be any higher - and there's always plenty of 'pro' players (poker faced or not), seeking a slice of some action in this sort of super-big-bucks game.

Witness a quick clip & paste from the BBC site.
Several countries with territories bordering the Arctic - including Russia, the US, Canada and Denmark - have launched competing claims to the region.

The competition has intensified as melting polar ice caps have opened up the possibility of new shipping routes in the region.
Read the rest of the relevant Russian/Polar report right here.


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01 August 2007

John Pilger Points To BBC Anti-Palestine Stance ...

John Pilger, renowned investigative journalist and documentary film-maker, is one of only two to have twice won British journalism's top award; his documentaries have won academy awards in both the UK and the US.

In a New Statesman survey of the 50 heroes of our time, Pilger came fourth behind Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. "John Pilger," wrote Harold Pinter, "unearths, with steely attention facts, the filthy truth. I salute him."
See why we so often pick up on a John Pilger piece?

Seen his latest (so-called-liberal-BBC), expose?

Here's how he opens.
It Never Happened...

By John Pilger - Published 26 July 2007

Concealed during the Alan Johnston kidnap crisis was the fate of a Palestinian cameraman shot by the Israelis. The BBC, desperate to deny charges of "bias", refused to follow the story.
Then he goes on:
One of the leaders of demonstrations in Gaza calling for the release of the [kidnapped] BBC reporter Alan Johnston was a Palestinian news cameraman, Imad Ghanem. On 5 July, he was shot by Israeli soldiers as he filmed them invading Gaza. A Reuters video shows bullets hitting his body as he lay on the ground. An ambulance trying to reach him was also attacked. The Israelis described him as a "legitimate target". The International Federation of Journalists called the shooting "a vicious and brutal example of deliberate targeting of a journalist".

At the age of 21, he has had both legs amputated.

Dr David Halpin, a British trauma surgeon who works with Palestinian children, emailed the BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen. "The BBC should report the alleged details about the shooting," he wrote. "It should honour Alan [Johnston] as a journalist by reporting the facts, uncomfortable as they might be to Israel."

He received no reply.

The atrocity was reported in two sentences on the BBC online. Along with 11 Palestinian civilians killed by the Israelis on the same day, Alan Johnston's now legless champion slipped into what George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four called the memory hole. (It was Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth to make disappear all facts embarrassing to Big Brother.)

While Alan Johnston was being held, I was asked by the BBC World Service if I would say a few words of support for him. I readily agreed, and suggested I also mention the thousands of Palestinians abducted and held hostage. The answer was a polite no; and all the other hostages remained in the memory hole.

Or, as Harold Pinter wrote of such unmentionables: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened . . . It didn't matter. It was of no interest."
And there's much more absolutely unmissable stuff in this (also absolutely unmissable), latest Pilger power piece.

Why, he even gets round to 'mentioning' Rupert Mudoch.

Now, please read all Pilger's marvelous article.


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Murdoch;Dow Jones;WSJ;The Bad News ...

Apologies in advance for being the bearers of such shocking & scary news regarding the most recent Rupert Murdoch outrage.

Rupert Murdoch has won his battle to take over rival US media business Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal.

No wonder the wanker's laughing.

He's gone and grabbed himself something else.

His News Corporation company is paying $5.6bn (£2.7bn) for Dow Jones, after agreement was reached between the two boards.

As significantly, Mr Murdoch has managing to secure the backing of a majority of the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of the Dow Jones' voting shares.

Although the Dow Jones board has backed the deal, one of its directors resigned in protest at the move.

Dieter von Holtzbrinck said he was "very worried" about the impact of the bid on the Wall Street Journal's editorial independence

Another, Leslie Hill, reportedly quit as a director as the final deal took shape.

News Corp has vowed to respect and protect the paper's position.

However, critics point to Mr Murdoch's track record of interfering in the editorial decisions of papers that he owns, such as the New York Post and The Sun.
What happens next?

With the majority of Bancrofts pledging their support, a meeting of all shareholders will be convened in either September or October to vote on the deal - with it likely to proceed.

Read the rest of the related BBC report.

Who was it who said;"All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."?

In case you're one of those who don't watch or read or listen to the his news, find out for yourself all you'll ever need to know about this man.

We suggest he should enjoy it while he can. Since considering the shape he's in and the age he's already attained, we reckon he's likely to learn pretty soon that a certain old saying still rings as true as it ever did; 'You can't take it with you'.

Remember though that in the meantime, as far as the many millions of gullible and/or naieve among us are concerned - whatever Murdoch decides then decrees - more often than not dictates the course of most people's daily lives and by logical extension the shape of almost all prospects for their futures.


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