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

30 September 2007

UK Petrol: Possible Pump Price Set To Pass One Pound (Plus) Per Gallon ... Soon ...


Boy, oh boy!

Is This Old Brit glad he doesn't do any driving these days.

Cor blimey, O'Riley!

Oy, vey!

By the bejeebers!

Jesus H. - and Holy shit!

Get a load of this, guys & gals.

Petrol prices could surge to near record highs from next week after the government's 2p rise in fuel duty is introduced from midnight on Sunday.

The 2p increase could push up the average price of unleaded petrol to about 98p, while diesel could exceed £1 if the cost is passed
on to motorists.

The increase, in line with inflation, was first announced in Gordon Brown's 2007 Budget when he was chancellor.

The duty rise comes amid soaring oil prices and high borrowing costs.

The Budget also outlined another rise of 2p a litre next April and a further increase of 1.84p in April 2009.
By the way, for the benefit of our American buddies, at today's exchange rates One GB Pound equates (as near as doesn't damned well make any difference), to TWO US Dollars.

Yep, you read that right. Can all you old (and young), Yanks imagine having to shell out $2.00 per litre for gas?

Eh? What?

Wha ... wha ... wh ... why ... bloody wars have started over (lots less than), something like this.



Best brace yourself and fasten the seat belt before reading the rest of this report.

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Debra Cagan; BushCo's Scary-Hairy, Iranian-Hater-In-Chief

Something for the weekend?

Try this for size.


What's the connection between the scary looking man woman weirdo person pictured below, and ...

(A) A bunch of British Members of Parliament.

(B) The current BushCo maladministration's biggest 'brass' boss (bar none), U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

(C) The international 'coalition of the willing' in Iraq. (Or whatever remains of it).

(D) A pathological (self confessed), hatred of Iran and all Iranians.

(E) The U.K.'s 'Daily Mail' mainstream newspaper.


Find out for yourself at this link.

* Huge hat-tip to Dubhaltach.

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26 September 2007

Iran, Nukes, America, Petrol & Bush:The True Tale Of The Wise Old Turkish Water Taxi Ticket Tout ...

The time:
Far off in the mists of a fortnight ago.

The Place:
'Land of Lights', ferry boat & water-taxi terminous, Fethiye quayside, Fethiye Bay, Mugla, Turkey, Asia Minor -- to mention but a few.

"Sod this," sez we, standing sizzling & sweating under the searing scorching sun.
"Let's ask if we can sit on that spare seat in the shade of the (open fronted), wooden shack of the old ticket seller while we wait for the ferry."

Then ... thereby hung this tale.

"English?" the elderly easterner enquired.

We told him we were.

"No problem. You very welcome."

He beamed as he beckoned and bade us sit beside him.

"Look," he said, and pointed to the old portable TV he was watching.

"American. Here. Ankara. Capital. Now. Today."

In spite of the pretty pathetic picture quality and seemingly, similarly sick sound system, we were soon able to see and hear that what he'd said was so.

It was one of Bush's blatant big fibber flunkies (we've forgotten already which one, but wtf anyway), doing what his arrogant awful ilk do best.

Talking a lying load of tripe-twaddle through his white plastic looking teeth. Oh, yeah, and the great goof of a goon had 'good hair' too. But being what and whohe was, he would have, wouldn't he? Well, don't they all;besides John Bolton?


"Iran," the old fellow announced. "Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear. Bush crazy man want more war. Says Iran nukes, nukes, nukes. Iran, no nukes. No, sir.

Iran, petrol! Iran, petrol, petrol, petrol!"

"Exactly, " we exclaimed in agreement, and at this point were beaming as broadly as the super-sun-tanned, old Turkish ticket tout/seller himself.

He went on. "Bush lies, lies, lies. Ha! Yes! Every peoples knows. All the peoples everywhere knows. NOT Americans. American peoples believes George Bush."

Can you imagine it? Finding such an unexpected (foreign), kindred spirit? And so far away from home? Someone else who hadn't drunk the cool aid? Another old man who knew better? Somebody else with some sense?

Then the smiling ticket seller suddenly switched to smirk mode.

"Iran, not Iraq," he said. "Iran, big space. Iran, 160 million peoples. Iran, big military. Iran, stronger Iraq. Iran, no scared Bush. Russia help Iran."

The more the man said the more he made our day. Even all the way over there in Asia Minor we weren't alone. We weren't the only ones. We weren't simply a single small voice in the wilderness.

The old Turk continued.

"Me Turkish. We Turkey. We near Iran. We no problem, Iran. Me no problem, Iran. Me no scared, Iran.

America not near Iran. Bush, not near Iran. Bush, problem Iran. Bush want petrol, petrol, petrol. Iran, no nukes. Iran, petrol, petrol, petrol.

Big, big problem -- all peoples problems. World's peoples problems. Because, Bush crazy man."

Then, the ferry finally turned up.

We shook hands. He smiled again. He slapped our backs.

"Maybe meet again. Tomorrow. Enjoy holiday. Enjoy Turkey."

We thanked him. We called him 'old friend'.

Then we stepped aboard the tiny ferry boat and set sail for Calis beach -- on the far side of the breathtakingly beautiful Fethiye bay.

** We didn't see the old ticket seller the next day, by the way. But we did see, smile and speak with our newly found 'Old Turk' friend several more times during our stay. And the most genuine marvelously memorable times they turned out to be, too.

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25 September 2007

This Old Brit Is Back In Town ... And Blogging ...

Bah, humbug!

Talk about back down to earth with a bloody big bump.

Take off from southern Turkey's Mediterranean coast in beautiful 90 degree wall to wall sunshine with just a gentle 4 mph breeze blowing -- then a mere four & a half hours later -- touch splash down into Merseyside's miserable 55 degree p*ssing down rain with accompanying, flaming 45 mph gales.

Can you say buffeted & battered?

Home sweet home, eh?

Huh. We'd most certainly say not.

No wonder we wander the world wherever & whenever we can. Eh?

Be it in search of some culture ... or a better kind of climate ...

... or better blinkin' still, both.

Ah, well. Whatever. What's new?

It didn't take too long for us to get right back to moaning & groaning, did it?

Seriously though, while we thank you for all your well wishes while we were away, as well as your kind comments along with your loyalty -- we genuinely wish you all could have come along with us. Really, we do.

Also, we sincerely hope every thing's been going as great for you as it has for us over the last fortnight. Honestly & truly.

Anyway, right now there's a real lot of real life stuff to sort out. Like unpacking properly, defrosting freezer contents, packing washing machines full of stuff of the smelly sort, shuffling off to the shops, spending what darned dosh we still have left on silly things like scoff and so on ... dee dah, dee dah, dee dah.

Don't think for one minute though that you're getting off that lightly - coz you ain't - coz we're back.

And by gawd, we'll be bloomin' well back again ... soon.

You'd better believe it.

** Btw, before we forget ... click on the pics ... then they'll be bigger & better.

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23 September 2007

Third T.O.B. Turkish Report ...


All apologies/excuses/etcetera edition.

I know, I know -- inspite of several promises ther are still no pictures posted.

But don't blame me, blame the bloody camera/puter smart-card reader.

I finally figured out that finding my way around my brother's lap top photo reader/loading/set up, et al is far too high falootingly advanced and technically smart for oldie like me and my ancient (and most probably, prototype), digital camera.

However, don't think that that's going to spare you being bored almost to death once I'm back home in a couple of days.

And another thing, have the hell would you cope using the Turkish language edition of Blogger?

While everything blogging & publishing comes almost as second nature when using the English version, it suddenly becomes as confusing as double-Dutch when all appearing on screen entirely in Turkish.

To tell the truth, the only times I've even sat at the PC since arriving here a fortnight ago is to make the very few blog posts that I have.

And what's more, I've been so out of any & all so called civilised 'loops' that I've not even read a single newspaper either - neither print nor online version.

Nor have I heard a radio, nor watched TV -- that is apart from a five minute snatch of a Bush flunky interview over here ( in the capital Ankara), the other day.

But that's a tale all of it's own -- best told in full, from home.

However, here's a clue; Iran.

Bye for now. Be good.

Normal service SHALL be resumed -- SOON.

And you can quite safely bet the farm on it. Believe me.


17 September 2007

Turkish Report #2


Phew! It's hot over here. Thank goodness my brother is fortunate enough to have a pool.

Which reminds me -- I'm having the same problems trying to download the pool-poseur-pics I've taken, as I am with all my other photographs. However, I know for a fact that there's no major problem preventing me from doing so -- just one I can't quite figure out yet. So don't panic (ha, as if anyone would), I've got quite a few I'm looking forward to sharing -- soon.

Took another trip over the mountains today, to lovely Olu Deniz, home of the famous Blue Lagoon -- and a (completely crazy if you ask me), parascender's paradise. The sky was thick with people who had jumped off mountain tops for most of the day. Thankfully they all seen to landed in one piece.

Gawd! What a sport - if sport is the correct word. Talk about taking life & death risks in the name of enjoyment.

Apparently seven have died doing this sort thing at Olu Deniz this year.

Also, we saw a bad accident on the mountain road while on our way back to Fethiye. Police cars, ambulances, etc.

Well, at least those involved would have stood a fighting chance of survival since they hadn't gone over the sheer cliffs.

I'm sure that anyone who has ever been to Turkey and witnessed the 'norms' of the Turk's driving abilities/standards will vouch for just how crazy they are on the roads. Someone quipped that the Turks drive neither on the right nor the left, but rather 'in the shade'.

Okay, back to the missus, brother and his wife on the terrace for some chi and chocolate - Cadbury's of course.

Incidentally, the sky right now is as clear as a bell, and completely star studded. There's a real crescent moon and believe it or not, rusty red Mars is glowing brilliantly in close attendance --making a beautiful, natural celestial facsimile of the Turkish national flag. On a night like this it is so easy to see how they came to choose the image they did.

Right then. Be back soon - hopefully with pic downloading problem solved.

G'night for now. Sleep tight. Sweet dreams. Take care.

14 September 2007

Turkish Trip -- Report # 1 ...


Thanks, everyone. All your good wishes & thoughts are appreciated. Really.

As expected at this time of year in Turkey - everything is perfect, weather-wise.

Today, Friday, is the second day of Ramadan. On Wednesday night it was almost impossible to get a proper night's sleep - though it obviously wasn't unexpected.

As is always the case, the drummers heralding the first day of Ramadan march the streets drumming, drumming, drumming and yet more drumming - almost throughout the entire night.

No real problem though -- we simply slept more soundly on Thursday night.

How the heck the more devout (less secular), Muslims manage to go from sunrise to sunset with sustenance - we'll never be able to figure out. Sheesh. Especially when working right through the day -- in these temperatures. They don't even have a siesta - as the Spaniards sensibly do. And, it gets even hotter here than Spain does.

So far we've not downloaded any photos from the camera but hope to do so this evening. Thereafter of course, there should be plenty more to share over the coming 9/10 days. So watch this space.

FWIW - useless information time: we're two hours ahead of UK time, and between five and eight hours ahead of US & Canada time.

Lazy day today. Afternoon at poolside planned. Afterwards - who knows? Depends how much time we've spent in the water and how knackered (or not), we are later this evening.

Tomorrow it's a drive into the mountains to see an old long abandoned village -- the name of which escapes me right now. No matter - reports and pics will follow - eventually.

Okay. Guess what's coming up next?

Chi time!

Chi is Turkish for tea, btw. And, boy do the Turks love their Chi. Maybe even more than we Brits do - hard as that may seem to be.

Bye for now. Be back on the blog soon - with some pics. So don't go away.

Stick with us. Stay tuned


10 September 2007

Taking Off On A Trip ...


Yep, you guessed it.

It's that time of the year again.

Time to flit off a fortnight.

Time to take another one of our (truly treasured), trips to Turkey.

Time to temporarily hang up any 'hang-ups'. Time to take some time out, to chill out.

Time to lay back, put our feet up, soak up some sun, top up our tans, sail into & out of some more sumptuous sunsets, relax a lot and just go with the flow.

All courtesy of one of our (better off than we ever were - by a long chalk), big hearted baby brothers.

Since, so far, sad to say, we've still not seen the slightest sign of success as far as the lottery's concerned.

Anyhow, though we won't be blogging as regularly as usual while we're gone gadding about & gallivanting, we'll definitely do our darnedest to send some bits & pieces of interest as often as poss.

Missus, and shipwrecks permitting, that is.


Relax, Rhona. Just joking.

Honestly, honey.

So, for now, take it easy.

Take care, too.

See you again, soon.

Btw, we will bring back some pics;we promise.


09 September 2007

Now - It's Neo-Nazi Israelis - So WTF Is Next ?

Just as we're close to concluding that the current, complete craziness constantly exhibited by all manner of extremists, fundamentalist maniacs, weirdo wingnuts, etc, proves that things can now only start improving -- our minds are bloody boggled by this -- via Israel's 'Haaretz'.

A gag order was lifted Saturday night on the arrest one month ago of the eight Petah Tikva teens, who are suspected of running the neo-Nazi cell.

The suspects, aged 17 to 19, confessed to assaulting dozens of people, mainly foreign workers around Tel Aviv's central bus station and Carmel market, causing many of them serious injury.

Six of the eight suspects have confessed to the charges against them, while two reported ringleaders of the group have professed their innocence. One of the reported leaders Eli Boanitov was quoted by police as saying, "I won't ever give up, I was a Nazi and I will stay a Nazi, until we kill them all I will not rest."

The suspects' remand was extended Sunday by three days, and the prosecution is expected to submit an indictment Tuesday.

Police confirmed that the majority of the suspects were enrolled in Israeli public schools, and at least one was drafted into the army. Police suspect that the youth who was drafted fled the country after
giving his army-issue M-16 to a member of the cell.

Police uncovered the cell a year ago, while investigating vandalism at the main synagogue in Petah Tikva, where neo-Nazis sprayed swastikas and Adolf Hitler's name on walls and prayer books. Computers seized from two suspects arrested in that case led police to dozens of video files documenting brutal assaults on foreign workers.

Russian neo-Nazi Jews?!

Who are also Israelis?!

Oy, vey.

Further words fail us.

See the shocking story for yourself.

Maybe you can make some sense of this stuff.

Since one thing's for sure ... we certainly can't.

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08 September 2007

"Fings Ain't What They Used To Be," In America Any More ...

We sincerely believe it's a crying (as well as needless), shame that in today's United States shysters such as the fat cat shown are constantly supported so strongly -- whether knowingly or not ...

... by so many simple fellow citizens as shown below.

The world left the US behind

If you look at the issues being debated in the wider world, the US is not at the forefront of global debate on any of them - except terror and security

By Tim Watkin

As George Bush strolls into the leaders' meeting at Apec, I half expect to see him rubbing his eyes in a somewhat sleepy, surprised manner, like a bear coming out of hibernation.

I've just been out of the US for a fortnight, and returning to the States this past week I can't help but notice how cut-off and caught up in its own concerns this country is at the moment.

I keep thinking of Rip Van Winkle or the film While You Were Sleeping, where a character goes into a coma or long sleep and awakes to find the world a very different place. Except in this instance Bush is Van Winkle and the film title would be While You Were Iraqing.

This is Bush's seventh Apec meeting, so you'd expect him to be a comfortable and dominant player. Yet there's a sense everyone else has moved on, while he and his country are still stuck in the same place they've been for years.
Shocked? You shouldn't be. All the same, see some more.

Part of the problem is that the US media remains guilt-stricken about its mistakes before the invasion of Iraq - its failure to question the spurious WMD evidence, Rumsfeld's strategies and the overall rationale for war.

As some kind of penance they now seem to cover little else. The odd natural disaster aside, the only other issue getting any widespread play is the 2008 presidential election. The Sunday TV morning talk shows have given up debating current policy and just debate the campaign ad nauseum.

In the past four years, America has taken its eye off the Pacific and China's growing influence to the extent that Bush this week has had to publicly deny that Apec has become a China summit.

While Bush spent US political capital in Iraq, China, India and Russia all regained status as leading nations in their own right, and others such as Brazil are staking their claim for a seat at the big table for the first time.

In the major world events of the moment - say North Korean negotiations or the Middle East peace process - America is either just one player among many or its influence is failing.

The changing tone was there for all to see at Friday's US-South Korea leaders' press conference. Close ally President Roh Moo-hyun was willing to press, even embarrass, Bush in public.

In previous years, with previous Presidents, he wouldn't have dared. These days, though, the US doesn't carry the same clout or demand the same respect.

The polite analysis is that Iraq has put the US in a reflective mood, reappraising its own assumptions about itself. Less politely, you could say it's getting horribly out of touch and behind the times.

The world is moving on without America.
When you're ready for reading the rest of this ultra-revealing report, just hit this link.

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07 September 2007

Bush, Iraq, Australia, APEC, OPEC And Kicking Ass ...

G'day, cobbers & sheilas.

Some messages sent straight from Oz, re: almighty APEC arseholes, effin' about and doing the dirty down under.

And surprise, surprise -- the biggest arsehole of them all (by far), puts his foot straight in it -- as always.

G.W. Bush, fresh from Iraq:"We're kicking ass," he told Mark Vaile on the tarmac after the Deputy Prime Minister inquired politely of the President's stopover in Iraq en route to Sydney.

G.W. Bush: More brain-dead blather: APEC, OPEC, SCHMOPEC ... whatever. Next year ... this year ... whenever ...

Our old selves: Goodgawdstrewth! Give us strength. The w*nker worsens by the week.

Sydney Morning Herald: Loudza lightest relighted reportz links.

Strewth, eh? Fair dinkum, dingos & possoms. Tie me kangaroo down, sports. Have a nice die, mites.

Messages ends, mites. That's all the Oz lingo what we know ow t'speak, mites.

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06 September 2007

Finale: Luciano Pavarotti Passes ...

The way things have been going around here recently one could be forgiven for thinking this was becoming a bit of an 'Obituary Blog'.

Luciano (Lucky) Pavarotti, the man who brought opera to the masses - though perhaps it would be more precise to say this marvelous man brought the masses to opera - has sadly bid his millions of fans worldwide, his final farewell.

His long running battle against pancreatic cancer is over; the maestro's pain is no more;for Luciano, the curtain's fallen for the last time. The final, finale is finished.

To do proper justice to this mountain of a man and his magnificent (almost magical), musical talent and career would take us however long it takes to write a book;a bumper, big thick book to boot.

So, we'll simply leave you to look at, listen to and enjoy this lovely little video of the master himself with two of his bestest tenor buddies, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo - as the tremendously talented trio take delight in delighting their audience with their super rendition of 'O Solo Mio'.

Bravo! Bravo, boys! Bravo!

Incidentally, we can't help but think that a king called Elvis would have enjoyed this enormously.

Remember the huge hit he had with 'It's Now or Never'?


05 September 2007

Olbermann On Bush And Iraq: People Are Still Dying Because Bush Is Still Lying

Yet again, thanks to MSNBC and Keith Olbermann, American patriot par excellence, the awful truth is told.

Men, women and children in Iraq are still dying daily -- because George W. Bush is still lying daily.

We repeat: George W. Bush continues to lie.

And we add: George W. Bush can't stop lying -- straight through the teeth of his silver-spoon-fed, orifice.


So what should Americans do?

What should anyone do?

What can anyone do?

We wonder; what say you?

Wasn't there once something called 'The Constitution'?

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04 September 2007

R.I.P. Jane Tomlinson - The Absolute BEST Of Our British Bulldog Breed ...

From this day on, our planet is a poorer place.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Tributes for 'inspirational' Jane
Jane Tomlinson

Tributes have flooded in for fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, after she lost her seven-year battle with terminal cancer aged 43.

Family, friends, politicians and the charities that benefited from the £1.75m she raised through a series of gruelling challenges have honoured her.

The married mother-of-three died at St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds on Monday.

Mrs Tomlinson's family said they were "heartbroken". Prime Minister Gordon Brown said she had "amazing spirit".

Read the rest of this report re; this absolutely lovely lady.

Then please, please read this too. Since the truth is (we'd venture to suggest), it's now the very least one can do.

But first, here are a few tasters to tempt you.

Even though she was in great pain - especially in her bones, neck, hips, back and shoulders - she took part in the London Marathon in April, a triathlon in August and, along with her husband, the Great North Run in October.


in March 2003, she set out, together with her brother Luke, on a 1060 mile bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End, stopping twice en route to receive chemotherapy.


And, almost unbelievably, days after finishing the journey, she completed a second London Marathon before returning to work as a paediatric radiographer.

But more was to come. She completed the gruelling UK Half Ironman triathlon competition in the autumn before collecting her MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in October.

All in all, she raised more than £1.5 million for Cancer Research UK and other charities.


In November 2004, she became the only cancer patient to complete a full Ironman triathlon, a daunting feat comprising a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle ride followed by a 26 mile marathon.


And in the summer of 2006, she crossed the United States, from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

But, despite her smiles at the end of her journey, the mammoth feat - 63 days on a bike, covering 3,700 miles - had left her seriously ill.

She was also disappointed that a lack of interest from the US media meant she only raised £100,000, well short of her expectations.


If you'd like to donate online (be it a little or be it a lot) to brave Jane's Appeal -- and we dearly hope you do -- please click this link.

This Old Brit and Richard thank you in advance.


03 September 2007

Bits About High Street Stores - Bargain Buy Clothes - And Sweatshops ...

If you ever shop for clothes in any of these high street stores;



Marks & Spencers.


Asda -- owned by -- Walmart.



H & M.

... here's something you should must see.

Okay, here's a headline from today's press.

The sweatshop high street - more brands under fire

Karen McVeigh -- Monday September 3, 2007 -- The Guardian
And here are some shocking snippets from the story.
Two of Britain's major high street retailers launched inquiries last night into allegations that factory workers who make their clothes in India are being paid as little as 13p per hour for a 48-hour week, wages so low the workers claim they sometimes have to rely on government food parcels.

Primark, the UK's second biggest clothing retailer, and the Mothercare, the mother and baby shop, were responding to a Guardian investigation into the pay and conditions of workers in Bangalore, India, who supply several high-profile UK and US fashion brands.
Workers and unions claim the conditions in the factories led to two tragic incidents this year.

In February, a young woman hanged herself in the toilets of one factory, Triangle Apparels, owned by Gokaldas Exports. A report by a number of Indian NGOS alleges that she was verbally sexually harassed and repeatedly refused permission for leave on the day she died.
... a nine-month pregnant woman from Shalina Creations, a factory supplying Gap, went into labour at work and subsequently lost her baby. Rathnamma, 27, a mother of two, claimed that she was refused immediate leave on March 29 this year, after going into labour. When she asked to go home, the production manager made her fill in forms that took an hour and a half, she said. "I was in such pain, I could hardly stand up."

When she finally made it outside the factory gates, she collapsed, she said, and gave birth to the baby in the street. A passerby helped her into an auto ricksaw, but when she got home, she discovered the baby was dead.
Hit this link to read the rest of this report.

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02 September 2007

New Orleans Now: Greg Palast, Poor Niggers And Blackwater Bastards ...

Forget all about the absolute shit recently spewed by G.W.B. regarding New Orleans, Katrina, etc.

Read a genuine journalist's first hand reports re; how things really are - 'way down yonder'.

Read it right now.

[Thurs August 30]

“They wanted them poor niggers out of there and they ain’t had no intention to allow it to be reopened to no poor niggers, you know? And that’s just the bottom line.”
So says New Orleans [black] resident Malik Rahim, while speaking to true American patriot, roving reporter and film maker, Greg Palast.

Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes.

But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing
“Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”

Erm ... excuse us?

Wait a minute ...


Privatised, paramilitary mercenaries?

Brazenly, roaming freely around America's roads & streets?

With powers to arrest regular, everyday American citizens?

In their own country? In America? 'The Land of the Free'?

For trying to enter their own homes?


Today, it seems, in the USA things are even worse than we thought they were. Much, much worse.

Right. Read on.

These aren’t just any homes. They are the public housing projects of the city; the Lafitte Houses and others. But unlike the cinder block monsters in the Bronx, these public units are beautiful townhouses, with wrought-iron porches and gardens right next to the tony French Quarter.

Raised up on high ground, with floors and walls of concrete, they were some of the only houses left salvageable after the Katrina flood.

Yet, two years later, there’s still bars on the windows, the doors are welded shut and the residents banned from returning. On the first anniversary of the flood, we were filming this odd scene when I saw a woman on the sidewalk, sobbing.

Night was falling.

What was wrong?

Find out for yourself at Greg Palast's website.

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Second Top British General (Tim Cross) Blasts US ...

Britain's Major General Tim Cross.

Is it tinfoil hat time?


Well, we two definitely don't damned well know.

Maybe you can tell us.

Three times, as we've neared completion of this piece - all of our copy has somehow mysteriously been 'disappeared'.

Disappeared completely. Totally. Inexplicably.

We wonder who to blame?

Blogger? AOL?. Sunday Mirror? Someone (or something) else?

So at this fourth attempt we're omitting our personal observations, opinions, sarcastic comments et al, and trying again using clip & pastes only.

General attacks 'flawed' U.S. Iraq policy

EXCLUSIVE Tensions between allies rise to fever pitch

By Rupert Hamer Defence Correspondent 02/09/2007

A second British General has attacked America's "fatally flawed" policy in Iraq, ratcheting up the tension between the two allies on the issue.

Major General Tim Cross - the most senior British officer involved in planning post-war Iraq - said he raised serious concerns with former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld BEFORE the invasion.

General Cross, 56, said: "Right from the very beginning we were all very concerned about the lack of detail that had gone into the postwar plan - and there is no doubt that Rumsfeld was at the heart of that process.

" I had lunch with Rumsfeld in Washington before the invasion in 2003 and raised concerns about the need to internationalise the reconstruction of Iraq and work closely with the United Nations.

"I also raised concerns over the numbers of troops available to maintain security and aid reconstruction. He didn't want to hear that message. The US had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy.

"Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea - they simply shut it out."

Read the rest of the Sunday Mirror interview report.

There's also an AOL related item.

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01 September 2007

British Army Boss Of Bosses, General Sir Mike Jackson, Attacks US ...

General Sir Michael (Mike) Jackson has never been known as a man who takes any prisoners. He was until recently the numero uno - bar none - head honcho of the British Army as well as all Britain's Military Services. In other words, brass-wise, they don't come any bigger. Make no mistake, this man is heavyweight.

Here are a few other things General Jackson is and was.

General Sir Michael "Mike" Jackson, GCB, CBE, DSO, (born 21 March 1944) is a British army officer, formerly Chief of the General Staff.

He was formerly commander of KFor in Kosovo as well as UNPROFOR (see Timeline of UN peacekeeping missions) commander in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He's also the man who once (basically), told US General Wesley Clark to go f*ck himself.

Check out General Jackson for yourself, at this link.

Anyways - to get back on tack, and down to the business of the day.

Gen Sir Mike Jackson attacks US over Iraq

By Con Coughlin and Neil Tweedie
Daily Telegraph - 11:56am BST - 01/09/2007

General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army during the invasion of Iraq, has launched a scathing attack on the United States for the way it handled the post-war administration of the country.

The former chief of the general staff said the approach taken by Donald Rumsfeld, the then US defence secretary, was "intellectually bankrupt", describing his claim that US forces "don't do nation-building" as "nonsensical".

Sir Mike's comments - made in his forthcoming autobiography Soldier, serialised exclusively in The Daily Telegraph - represent the most outspoken criticism of American military policy in Iraq to come from a senior British officer.

His attack - the first time he has revealed the depth of his anger towards the US administration - highlights the deep-seated tension between the British command and the Pentagon during the build-up to and the aftermath of the Iraq campaign in 2003.

Sir Mike, who took command of the British Army one month before US-led forces invaded Iraq, said Mr Rumsfeld was "one of those most responsible for the current situation in Iraq".
Ouch! Eh?

Read on.

Sir Mike says the failure of the US-led coalition to suppress the Iraqi insurgency four years after Saddam's overthrow was down to the Pentagon's refusal to deploy enough troops. A combined force of 400,000 would be needed to control a country the size of Iraq, but even with the extra troops recently deployed for the US military's "surge" the coalition has struggled to reach half that figure.

Sir Mike is particularly critical of President Bush's decision to hand control of the post-invasion running of Iraq to the Pentagon, when all the post-war planning had been done by the State Department.

"All the planning carried out by the State Department went to waste," he writes. For Mr Rumsfeld and his neo-conservative supporters "it was an ideological article of faith that the coalition forces would be accepted as a liberating army.
And there's much more where that came from.

Read the rest of today's Telegraph's report.

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