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

31 December 2007

A Hungry New Year In Iraq ...


Happy New Year?

For some, maybe.

For others?

Read this and weep.

From : اوروكنت.إنفو

Informazione dall'iraq occupato ~ Information from occupied iraq

أخبار من العراق المحتل

Saddam Provided More Food Than the U.S.

Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail*

BAQUBA, Dec 27 (IPS) - The Iraqi government announcement that monthly food rations will be cut by half has left many Iraqis asking how they can survive.The government also wants to reduce the number of
people depending on the rationing system by five million by June 2008.

Iraq's food rations system was introduced by the Saddam Hussein government in 1991 in response to the UN economic sanctions. Families were allotted basic foodstuffs monthly because the Iraqi Dinar and the economy collapsed.The sanctions, imposed after Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait, were described as "genocidal" by Denis Halliday, then UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq.

Halliday quit his post in protest against the U.S.-backed sanctions.The sanctions killed half a million Iraqi children, and as many adults, according to the UN. They brought malnutrition, disease, and lack of medicines. Iraqis became nearly completely reliant on food rations for survival. The programme has continued into the U.S.-led occupation.But now the U.S.-backed Iraqi government has announced it will halve the essential items in the ration because of "insufficient funds and spiralling inflation."


The imminent move will affect nearly 10 million people who depend on the rationing system. But it has already caused outrage in Baquba, 40 km northeast of Baghdad."The monthly food ration was the only help from the government," local grocer Ibrahim al-Ageely told IPS. "It was of great benefit for the families. The food ration consisted of two kilos of rice, sugar, soap, tea, detergent, wheat flour, lentils, chick-peas, and other items for every individual."Another grocer said the food ration was the "life of all Iraqis; every month, Iraqis wait in queues to receive their food rations.

"According to an Oxfam International report released in July this year, "60 percent (of Iraqis) currently have access to rations through the government-run Public Distribution System (PDS), down from 96 percent in 2004."The report said that "43 percent of Iraqis suffer from absolute poverty," and that according to some estimates over half the population are now without work.

"Children are hit the hardest by the decline in living standards. Child malnutrition rates have risen from 19 percent before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to 28 percent now."

Read the rest of this heart rending report from Iraq.

(Hat tip to 'sweet old lady')


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30 December 2007

Our Own Old Brit New Year Honours ...

Loyal regular readers may remember that last new year we decided to follow Her Most Royal Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth's example and produce our own 'New Year Honours'. Today, we're pleased to proudly present this year's list.

M'Lords, ladies, gentlemen and all & sundry others whom it may concern -- please be upstanding and pray silence for an all important, imminent announcement.

Wherein, we have great pleasure and pride (without prejudice), to announce and bestow our very own Old Brit New Year Honours.

For continued unstinting bravery, support, saint-like patience, loving loyalty, continuing encouragement, inarguable integrity, intermittent tittering, (occasional) commentorial temperance and undying, right honourable commitment to truth-telling -- it has today been hereby decreed that most well earned and unarguably richly deserved, official aristocratic British titles of the realm are hereby and henceforth to be implemented with immediate effect, upon each and every respected & revered regular at This Old Brit's and Richard's blog.

Implementation of aforementioned decree is hereby commanded and duly authorised this 30th day of December in the year of good grace 2007.

Herein layeth said promised official deeds of title. Simply follow two short step instructions as shown.

And, may milady of great fortune, good health, much wealth and eternal happiness speed unto thee and thine - and all others who have so steadfastly and serially sailed so similarly close to the wind - as wot we lot 'ere at our blog 'ave.

With bells, whistles, multicoloured silk ribbons and beautiful, blooming big bows on ; to be worn with pride.

N.B. Batteries not included.

Cash only -- without exception in the form of used, low denomination, non-sequentially numbered notes in plain brown envelopes, preferably via 1st class Royal Mail 'Recorded' or 'Registered' Delivery.

* Seriously, thanks so much for sticking with us - even when it hurt to. And may the coming new year bring you and all your loved ones nothing but health, wealth and happiness.

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29 December 2007

So, What's New In Iraq?


A year ago (almost to the day), we put together the piece that follows under the title: So, Saddam Hussein Swung; So What?

We believe it's time we published it again.

So, we see that Saddam Hussein swung.

So what?

So a single drop in the ocean (despot-wise), has (admittedly, deservedly), died as he had lived - via violence.

But we still say, so what?

Almost all of Saddam's enablers, armourers, accomplices, aiders & abetters and his equally evil, devious, leader peers elsewhere - especially in our respective, so called, civilised western countries' heinous hierarchies - still strut and stroll freely.

They still live lives of luxury as they feast off the fats of their people's lands, and at their leisure & pleasure sup freely of others' blood, sweat and tears. Including yours and ours.

They still grow richer as we, the overwhelming majority of the masses, grow poorer - and certainly neither simply nor solely in the most easily understood terms of filthy, tangible lucre.

They continue becoming increasingly more powerful and decreasingly less caring - as far as their ordinary fellow countrymen and women are concerned.

They continue organising and ordering the mass killings of innocents.

Also -- the premeditated, serial infliction of torture, pain, maiming, deprivation, persecution, and all manner of similar suffering for which they are responsible -- it all remains rampant, unabated, largely unchallenged and almost totally unrestrained.

None of the terrible trauma experienced by any who sincerely strive to stand up to them, or even strongly and conscientiously dare to criticize them, has ceased.

Nor have they even lessened. Neither in quantity nor 'quality'. Nor are they likely to.

So, Saddam Hussein has swung.

So bloody well what?

The serially spewed, shameless shit of the same old, same old smoke and sodding mirrors -- that's what. And that's all. And don't let anyone try to tell you anything different.

Invoking inane, hackneyed, blase, lame, repititious, stock utterances such as 'The world's a better place ...', they retain the audacity to attempt to placate any regular man & woman in the street's uncertainties with just such (and similar), transparent tissues of lies.

What a gargantuan barrel of bullshit. What a humungus load of bollocks. What sheer unadulterated, raw codswallop. What contemptible insults to, and reprehensible disdain for, our own common sense and basic intelligence.

When you awoke this morning where you aware of any improvements?

Like hell you weren't. Likewise we weren't. Likewise nobody else was.

Since, - for those who may not yet have realised it, we want to plainly point out that - the dead have definitely not risen. Not a single, solitary one of them.

No bloodied broken victims have become whole again. Nor are any of them likely to.

Useless, senseless, sickening (yet convenient and/or profitable), wholesale slaughter still holds sway -- and is set to continue to. All under the disingenuous guise of serving the 'national' interest.

Sincere dissent and/or serious discussion is still stifled -- and will continue to be.

Political, religious and racist scores - both national and international - are still settled daily, almost always unmercifully -- and will continue to be. Of that you may be certain. As a matter of fact you can quite categorically quote us on it.

The puke producing political pricks in power still proliferate -- and will continue to.

Needless wars based on patently outrageous lies are still being waged -- and will continue to be.

Moreover, even as we type, fresh carnage elsewhere is currently in the offing.

Plans aplenty are already well and truly laid.

The great game goes on.

More madness and mayhem is at this precise moment being arranged -- the bulk of it, in the most meticulous, cold blooded, calculated manner imaginable .

So Saddam Hussein has swung.

So we say again, so what?

The monied, powerbroking wankers of our world still decide (completely, callously), our collective (and mainly miserable), destiny.

And we can count on them continuing to -- for as long as we the people remain so appallingly apathetic as to always accept and allow it all.

So Saddam Hussein has swung.

So what?

(See what some of the Arab world is saying).

* N.B. One year later we can answer our original question ourselves. A lot more people have been killed murdered, and a lot more big-bucks-blood-money has been made.


(Cross posted at Appletree)

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28 December 2007

Tigers, Terrorists, Assassinations, Fishy Tall Stories, Benazir Bhutto, Uncle Tom Cobley And All ...


Remember Osama?

This Osama?

Been keeping abreast of reports re:
the bumping off of Ms Benazir Bhutto?

Endeavouring to differentiate between fact and fiction as far as the various, variety of versions of the US tiger attack saga's concerned?

Wondering why what should have been a short & sweet, straightforward three hour trip home for us turned into a torturous, ten hour travel nightmare?


Are you dopey dimwits dumb, or what?

It was Osama bin Laden's
Al-Quaeda's lot wot dunnit!

Yep. Them dirty dogs dun all of the above.

Obviously, elementary ain't it?

Everything is always Al-Quaeda. Except (maybe), the rigged George Bush (s)election and re-(s)election farces.

Whatever, wherever, whenever, however, whoever, why ever, shwyever, etcetera, etcetra -- it was Al-Quaeda wot dunnit!

(First post-Christmas, snark-post ends).


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22 December 2007

Special Merrie 'Ole Brit Christmas Edition ...

We're off.

But only for Christmas.

Be back soon.

(Like it or not).

In the meantime, here's hoping that everyone has their happiest Christmas ever.

Peace on earth ...

... and goodwill to all.


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New Labour's New Catholic Tony Blair : Conversion Now Complete ...

We see that Tony (the-liar) Blair has finally become a fully paid-up, official member of the fabled Ratzi Pack.

Tony Blair joins Catholic faith

Former PM Tony Blair has converted from the Anglican to the Catholic Church.

His wife [Cherie]and children were already Catholic and there had been speculation he would convert after leaving office.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Conner, who led the service on Friday in which Mr Blair became Catholic, said he was "very glad" to welcome him.

Last year, Mr Blair, who is now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not to send UK troops into Iraq.

And one of Mr Blair's final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the Vatican in June where he who met
Pope Benedict XVI.

Read the rest of the relevant irrelevant religion, report.

* At the time of pushing blogger's publish button, according to several usually extremely reliable anonymous sources, no changes at all in the status (religious or otherwise), of any of Blair's war dead have been reported.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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21 December 2007

Cold Comfort Coming For Millions Of Strapped-for-Cash, Americans ...

We've been suffering a streaming cold this last couple of days, and yep you guessed it, feeling pretty sorry for ourselves.

Maybe we should shut up, stop snivelling and count our blessings, eh? After all, there's always some poor soul a lot worse off than oneself, isn't there?

For perhaps as many as 27 million American adults, keeping warm this winter will mean borrowing money and 20 million will use credit cards to be able to afford their heating bills, according to a poll.

Nearly 12 percent of Americans say they will need to borrow money to pay winter heating bills; 9 percent will need to use credit cards to be able to afford their heating bills.

"Almost all the heating oil in this country is consumed in the Northeast, in New England, the midAtlantic states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

Residents of those areas could pay a total of $2,012 over the six winter months -- or an average of $353 a month -- to heat their homes through March 2008. That's a 34 percent increase over the previous winter's bills.
Read the rest of this report.

So, we suppose we poor old Brits should count ourselves lucky, eh?

Just imagine. We could be living in the wealthiest country in the world.

Brrr. Grrr. Perish the thought.

Since what with this sort of stuff, and the expense of health care in the states, we seriously surmise we wouldn't have survived this long.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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19 December 2007

Guantanamo Three Being Brought Back To Britain ...

Guantanamo three returning to UK

And even now, having had all this time to do whatever they chose to do (in secret), the United States still can't come up with enough evidence to charge any of these men with any recognisable crime.

Guantanamo three returning to UK

The Pentagon insists the three men are dangerous

Three British residents held by the US at Guantanamo Bay have been released after more than four-and-a-half years and will arrive back in the UK later.

Jamil el-Banna, Omar Deghayes and Abdenour Samuer are on board a chartered aircraft along with a doctor and Metropolitan Police officers.
The men's lawyers said their clients had all agreed to "voluntary security arrangements" upon their return home.


The men are expected to be taken to the high-security Paddington Green police station in London to be interviewed.

But Mr Stafford-Smith said he expected the men to be released without charge after questioning on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.


Amnesty International's UK director, Kate Allen, welcomed the release of the three men and said they should be treated "first and foremost as victims of a serious miscarriage of justice".

"It's important that the government speaks out about the hundreds of men still held there - including at least two other men with ties to Britain - Ahmed Belbacha and Binyam Mohammed. These men must not become Guantanamo's forgotten prisoners."

She called on ministers to condemn the practices of rendition and secret detention, which the organisation claims "have fed the system at Guantanamo in the past six years".
Human rights? Habeas Corpus? Home of the brave? Land of the free?
Naw, mate. No way, Jose. Not any more. Not in 21st century BushAmerica.

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

(Cross posted at Appletree)

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18 December 2007

Turkey Escalates Offensive Against Kurdish Communist PKK Terrorists In Iraq ...


Apparently, Turkey's finally fed up to the eye teeth of the murderous PKK communist, Kurdish terrorist group openly operating against the Turkish people out of Northern Iraq. Lately, with seemingly increased brazen bloody faced impunity.

Turkish soldiers cross into Iraq
Not before time, if anyone asks us.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga security forces told the BBC that the Turkish troops entered Iraq overnight in an area called Seeda Kan - in the triangle between Iraq, Iran and Turkey


Turkish President Abdullah Gul was quoted by Turkish media as saying the army was doing "what is necessary".

He declined to give any further details.

Weekend air raids

The troops move came after Turkish warplanes bombed suspected PKK bases in northern Iraq over the weekend.
Over 30,000 have already died since these rebels began running amok - and continually and deliberately targeting civilians as well as the Turkish military.

And, we might add, these terrorists continuously pay particular attention (especially during peak holiday season time) to the Med and Aegean regions' tourist resorts regularly frequented by Brits - along with many other (innocent), international 'happy holidaymaker' families.

Read the rest of today's British Broadcasting Corporation's [BBC] relevant report.

(Cross posted at Appletree)

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17 December 2007

Exceptionally Excellent And Extremely Entertaining, Extraordinary Educational Edition ...


How heavy would it be, to be hit with a timetable that simultaneously took in history, politics, English language, English literature, performing arts, cinematography, psychology, sociology, graphic design, fashion design and more?

You'd be surprised at how light & easy it could be.

So, please prepare to pass around the popcorn and prepare to be presented with a rare pleasure/treasure production, provided completely 'pro bono publico' for your personal enlightenment, education, edification and enjoyment ...


Any questions?


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16 December 2007

Another Hidden Horror In Iraq : Five Million Children Already Orphaned ...

Our regular, and highly regarded Mid-East correspondent, Duhbaltach, has asked for our assistance in alerting the wider world to the current - ever worsening - sickening state of affairs affecting the (still serially suffering), civilian citizens and orphaned children in Iraq.

And we're more than happy to help.

5 Million Orphans

By Khalil Ibn Hussein,

20 hours and 40 minutes ago

This is Aswat Al Iraq's English language version of this report هيئة النزاهة تكشف عن وجود خمسة ملايين طفل عراقي يتي which I posted immediately below. That's 5 million orphans created by the war America deliberately, cynically, and viciously, waged and continues to wage in Irak.

That is 5 million children both of whose parents are dead. That is the figure the green zone government admits to, the real figure is a lot higher as many orphans are taken in by relatives and not registered, nor does the figure include the children with «only» one parent dead.

There will be no further postings tonight.


5 million Iraqi orphans, anti-corruption board reveals

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Saturday , 15 /12 /2007 Time 6:32:11

Baghdad, Dec 15, (VOI) – Iraq's anti-corruption board revealed on Saturday that there were five million Iraqi orphans as reported by official government statistics, urging the government, parliament, and NGOs to be in constant contact with Iraq's parentless children.

The government should set up an institutional or legislative program to help the Iraqi orphans. Iraqi is an oil-rich country and it is not acceptable that its orphans remain groaning in this tragedy, the anti-corruption board chief, Moussa Faraj, said during a conference in Baghdad dedicated to orphans in Iraq.

The board on its own cannot meet the Iraqi orphans' needs, but there should be an organization or even a ministry to provide care for orphans,» he said.

The Iraqi parliament's women & family committee had proposed a draft law to set up a fund for the orphans.

During the conference, Wijdan Salem Mikhail, the Iraqi minister of human rights, said in a speech that the phenomenon «is one of the most passive things that grew immensely during the past few years due to destructive wars and unbridled violence in the country to unprecedented heights.

These factors have logically caused the number of widows and orphans to greatly increase, she said.

Aswat Aliraq

You can read the original report right here.

*(Crossposted at Appletree)

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15 December 2007

Belarus Backs Russia's President Putin Against Proposed American Missiles In Europe ...


While much of the western world passes popcorn and watches with wonderment, the Bali 'Climate Change' Christmas pantomime (seasonal, juvenile comical theatrical production ...)

Belarus backs Russia on missiles

Belarus says it is ready to "play its role" as a Russian ally if the US overrides Moscow's objections and creates new missile bases in Europe.

Russia has warned it may place missiles in Belarus to counter US plans for bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko praised ties with Russia as he hosted President Vladimir Putin in Minsk.
We wonder if anyone - with an IQ of even just double digits - will be at all surprised?

"Belarus is ready to play its role in the issues of the planned deployment in Europe of US missile defence systems," Mr Lukashenko said.

He did not specify what this role would be.

Last month, a senior Russian general said his country may place missiles in Belarus to counter US plans for bases in central Europe.

The US says it plans to build a missile defence system by building bases in the Czech Republic and Poland that could help intercept missiles fired from countries such as Iran.

Russia has however dismissed the alleged threat from Iran and said the US is targeting its territory.
Oh, dear. We wonder what would make Russia (and Belarus and many more completely comprehending countries), mistrust old Uncle Sam so much? Eh?

Read the rest of the most recent Russia-Belarus report.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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14 December 2007

Re: The International Red Cross, Israel And Palestine


Even the stones cry out.

Red Cross demands Mid-East action

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for immediate political action to contain the "deep crisis" in the West Bank and Gaza.

The statement was an unusual departure from its normally non-political stance.

The ICRC said the measures imposed by Israel had denied the Palestinian population the right to live a normal and dignified life.

And please don't anyone waste any of their time and/or energy trying to play the old well worn anti-Semitic card, since with us it simply won't wash. We are not in any way, shape or form against all Israelis nor all Jews.

What we are (unashamedly, unapologetically) against are the serially, abominable actions of successive Israeli governments, along with a varied assortment of aiding, abetting, enabling successive governments such as our own and and America's.

Read the rest re: the Red Cross report.

(Cross posted at Appletree)


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(Revised) Despairing Dying Mother Murders Young Son ...


It's difficult to describe how dreadfully upsetting we found the following.

Surely it has to be one of the saddest stories ever told.

An anguished cancer mum who had only six months to live could not bear to leave her son behind - so she ended his life before taking her own.

Emma Hart, 27, thought she had 16 months left and was "absolutely terrified" when doctors told her she would be dead in half a year

May they both rest in peace; forever, together.

Read the rest of Rod Chaytor's heartrending report.

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11 December 2007

A Real American Recession: Arriving Or Already Arrived?


Uh, oh!

Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads.

In a report "Recession Coming" released today, the bank's US team said the credit crunch had started to inflict serious damage on US companies


Like Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Brothers, the bank no longer believes Asia and Europe will come to the rescue as America slows.


Morgan Stanley is the first major Wall Street bank to warn that it is may now be too late to stop a recession, though most have shifted to an ultra-cautious stance in recent weeks.

The bank at first treated the August crunch as a "mid-cycle correction", much like the financial storm after Russia's default in 1998. But the collapse of the US commercial paper market has now continued for seventeen weeks, suggesting a "fundamental deleveraging of the banking system."
See today's scary story in full.

And if that isn't enough to make you see red ...
we strongly suggest you see what way the markets went today.


(Cross posted at Appletree)

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Progress Report:Israel-Palestine Path To Peace ...

Remember saying and/or hearing silliness such as this when you were a kid?

"Well, you started it!"

Then ask yourself the question - where did it ever get you? What it did it ever solve?

Israeli tanks, bulldozers move into Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli tanks and bulldozers backed by attack aircraft moved into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday in the biggest operation in the territory since Islamic Hamas forces wrested control in June, setting off clashes with militants.


An Israeli tank shell fired at a group of Islamic Jihad fighters killed three, while missiles fired from an aircraft killed two unidentified militants, hospital officials said.

Schoolchildren ran through the streets of Khan Younis, let out early from school so they could take refuge in their homes.


Tanks and bulldozers were about a mile deep inside southern Gaza, on the main road between the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, and deployed over a 2.5-mile stretch of territory.

The military described it as a routine operation "against the terror infrastructure." Militants in Gaza routinely fire crude rockets and mortars at Israeli border communities, and smuggle in weapons
from Egypt.

Residents and Hamas security forces said at least 30 tanks
and bulldozers took part in the operation, but the military said only 10 tanks were sent in.

Read the rest of the bad news.

So, who, in all honesty, did start this ongoing, and obviously, ultimately, mutually fatal fiasco?

The truth is that it depends upon where we (that's you, me, us) choose to (conveniently), enter the narrative.

Here's another truth - any insanely stubborn, self evidently futile 'eye-for-an-eye' philosophy can only ever end up one way - with everyone (without exception), being blinded:

"When I was a child I spoke as a child.

I understood as a child.

I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things."
How about you?

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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10 December 2007

Conrad Black Sentenced To Six & Half Years Behind Bars ...

Well, boo-bloody-hoo, awrh shucks and woe is we.

We do declare we're destined for the depths of darkest despair.

Since we're certain we're set to spend several sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, while weeping & wailing upon our pillow.

Black gets six-and-a-half years

Former media tycoon Conrad Black has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Read the rest of the report regarding this reprobate.

Then, take some time to take a look at this.

Here's a tiny taste of the tawdry tale it tells.

Lord Black's life of luxury revealed

The 500-page report that media group Hollinger International has filed with US regulators not only blasts former boss Lord Black for removing huge sums of money from the company.

It also lifts the lid on the extraordinarily lavish lifestyle he and his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, enjoyed - paid for, Hollinger alleges, by the company itself.
Sweet, isn't it? Nice work if you can it, eh?

Since it sure beats the shit out doing a decent, honest day's damned work.

* (Cross posted at Appletree)

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09 December 2007

Britain's Wind Power Plans For The War On Global Warming

Britain's wind power revolution

Hip, hip, hip .... it's good great news Sunday today, as we learn that the UK's all set to show the world the sensible way of solving the planet's most serious problem.

Britain is to embark on a wind power revolution that will produce enough electricity to power every home in the country, ministers will reveal tomorrow.

The Independent on Sunday has learnt that, in an astonishing U-turn, the Secretary of State for Business, John Hutton, will announce that he is opening up the seas around Britain to wind farms in the biggest ever renewable energy initiative.


Yesterday hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in 86 countries across the globe to demand urgent action from the Bali meeting. Several thousand campaigners marched in torrential rain through London to rally at the US embassy. Some posters carried a picture of President George Bush and the words "Wanted for crimes against the planet".


... announcement, which will be made at a conference in Berlin tomorrow, will identify sites in British waters for enough wind farms to produce 25 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2020, in addition to the 8GW already planned – enough to meet the needs of all the country's homes.

It means that within only eight years, Britain's offshore wind industry will be twice the size of that of any other nation in the world.

As an old Brit bulldog, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill once so famously said:"This England. This sceptered isle. This green and pleasant land."

But what about what the old boy didn't say?

Possibly, something such as .... set full square in the centre of a veritable surfeit of sustainable natural resources:sea and wind.

Yet it's taken until now for any of our leaders to latch on. Still, better late than never we suppose.

Read the rest of this environmental revolution report.

We wonder whether the wasters squatting in the White House are watching?

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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08 December 2007

Iraq War and Ongoing Occupation : Current Coalition Death Count ...

A picture's worth a thousand words?

Not always.

Here's one worth many more.

US military deaths in Iraq at 3,886

As of Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, at least 3,886 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The figure includes eight military civilians.

At least 3,165 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

And then there are more.

Nothing follows.

(Cross posted at Appletree)

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07 December 2007

Remembering John Lennon : Murdered in America ...


Twenty seven years ago today [8th December 1980] fellow scouser, John Lennon was shot to death in New York - by just another loon/loser with a loaded gun.

Some things never seem to change, stateside, do they?

We remember that dismal day as though it were yesterday - well, almost yesterday.

We remember too, the young [pre fame & fortune] Liverpool lad himself. We knew him you see.

We were never what one could call big buddies or best mates, but none the less, we knew him.

Our last personal memory of the young [very much a lady's man],
John Lennon was of him 'pulling a bird' in the Cavern club. A beautiful 'bird'. A 'bird' we'd 'fancied' for a while ourselves, but for over a week had been trying to 'play things cool'.

Way too cool as it turned out.

We wouldn't have minded so much, but the man had a million of 'em.

Incidentally, here's John with his first band [of Liverpool lads] -
The Quarrymen.

Can you imagine?

Switch on your speakers and click.


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Video Tapes and Lies: CIA Continues Coincidence/Conspiracy/Carelessness Crap ...


Cor blimey, Charlie. Can you Adam & Eve it?

(For the none intelligent intelligence types (lagging behind) among us, that's Cockney rhyming slang.

Take all the time you need to try to figure it out for yourself if you can't comprehend all that quickly. Since from here on in, we're staying schtum on said subject. After all, who ever said we were here to educate enemies? Especially, enemies within.

(Sarcastic British black humour ends.)

Unfortunately, much as we'd cherish the chance to show certain special things, we can't.

But we can show you - and speak shout out about - what follows below, since it's now in the public domain.

CIA destroyed interrogation tapes

The CIA destroyed the tapes when being scrutinised over secret prisons The CIA has confirmed that it destroyed at least two video tapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects.

According to the intelligence agency, the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of CIA agents and because they no longer had intelligence value.

But civil liberties lawyers have refused to accept this, saying the CIA previously denied such tapes existed.

They say the move appears to be an attempt to destroy evidence that could have brought CIA agents to account.

The New York Times, which broke the story, quotes current and former government officials as saying the CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005 as it faced Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program.

Officials feared the tapes could have raised doubts about the legality of the CIA's techniques, the newspaper says.
Well now, slap us in the kisser with wet flat fish and flatten us all with that fabled feather duster! Surprise, surprise. NOT.

They can recognise a vehicle registration plate from satellites circling in space. They can examine at will every single one of everyone's emails with ease. They can continually listen in to (and tape), all of our telephone talks.

Yet they can't (like even the most unsophisticated civilian TV techies do daily), simply blank or fuzz out faces?

Yeah, sure. And the band played 'Believe me if you like'.

Call this continual load of lying crap what you want to - coincidence, conspiracy, careless - or perhaps to put it more politely, a clear cut (and dried) case of economy of truth.

Whatever you care to call it, remember the famous literary line, "A Rose by any other name" ?

There are also questions over whether CIA agents withheld information from the courts and a presidential commission.

The CIA's failure to make the tapes available to a federal court hearing the case of the terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the 9/11 Commission could amount to obstruction of justice, according to the New York Times.

Well, we say the CIA are shower of shitty serial liars. What's more, we challenge absolutely anyone to prove us wrong.

Read the rest of this report.

*(Cross posted at Appletree)

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06 December 2007

Re : Omaha Mall Mass Murdering Suicide Shooter, Robert Hawkins ...


What a crying shame. What a wanton waste.

Yet another sickening American suicide bomber shooter story.

What another lethal lapse in US citizens' homeland security, eh?

And as if this ever escalating, US serial suicide shooters and mass murderers' shocking state of affairs wasn't sickening enough in itself, we get this sort of sheer stupidity from MSM America.

Clues sought after random US mall rampage
That's how one particular report starts.

And here's how the same piece ends.

The Nebraska incident was the latest in a series of shootings in the United States, which is home to more than 200 million privately owned firearms for a population of just over 300 million, authorities say.

In February, an 18-year-old Bosnian refugee shot and killed five people in a Utah shopping mall before being gunned down by police.

There have also been a series of school shootings this year, the worst being the Virginia Tech massacre in April, when 32 people were killed by a student who went on a campus rampage.
Clues sought, Sherlock? Did you say CLUES?!

Surely you're just joking?

Surely you read your own reports? Right through?

So what the hell is it you need? A damned diagram?

Read the rest of this Robert Hawkins related report.


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Ten Million Missing White House emails:Special Conspiracy Coincidence Edition ...

Apparently things are much more appalling than they already appeared to be, regarding the many millions of missing, important White House e-mails. As a matter of fact, at least 100% worse.

Consider the quickly clipped quote below, fresh from the fighting fellahs of the famous Crooks and Liars blog.

... Cafferty: A government watchdog group now says more than 10 million White House emails are missing.

Citizens for the Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) described this massive hole in White House email records last April.

At that time they thought the number was 5 million - Now they say it is more than 10 million emails.

In one of the great understatements of this here Christmas season, the group says that this revised estimate - quote - highlights that this is a very serious and systematic problem at the White House - unquote.

Both CREW and another private group called the National Security Archive are suing the Bush administration to try to get information about all these missing emails. The White House email problems first came to light during special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity.


By the way it’s against the law that these emails be destroyed or lost. They are supposed to be saved. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 mandates White House communications be preserved. Another law broken — Another example of nobody doing a damn thing about it.

So, see the rest for yourself.

Now, one quick question before we flit off for our tea-break.

Theory-wise, coincidence or conspiracy?

Remember, Old Brit Richard just reports.

You decide.

(Cross posted at Appletree)


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05 December 2007

Oh, Shit! Israel Suddenly Starts Shouting About America's New Iran Intelligence Report ...


Oh, shit!

Oh, no!

Just one day ago we finished our piece on the sudden American U-Turn re: their latest Iranian intelligence, with the sentence shown below.

Seriously, from where we're sitting this sudden turn of events smells strangely fishy, and we strongly suspect it's merely the first chapter of a distinctly new yarn story, as is yet to be told.

Just minutes ago we read this.

JERUSALEM - A U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran has stopped developing atomic weapons is putting a burden on the Jewish state, which has long relied on Washington to lead the international charge against Iran's nuclear ambitions.

With the U.S. now less likely to take military action, an increasingly nervous Israel might feel compelled to strike out on its own if it perceives a dangerous threat.

Israeli officials say their intelligence forces believe Iran is still working aggressively to build nuclear arms.


In 1981 Israeli warplanes penetrated deep into Iraq to destroy an unfinished nuclear reactor near Baghdad to prevent its use in a weapons program.

Israel has since taken delivery of about 80 aircraft fitted with long-range fuel tanks that would allow them to reach Iran, and it has acquired three German-built submarines reportedly capable of firing nuclear-armed missiles, with two more under construction.
Read the rest of this brand NEW, VERY worrying report.

Please, someone, anyone, anywhere ... for God's sakes, say it isn't so.


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04 December 2007

US Courts Calmly Claim Kidnapping Brits (And Anyone Else In The World) Is OK ...


This is a first for us.

We're speechless.

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they
are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.


Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Read the rest of this intolerable revelation.

Special relationship?

Don't sodding start us.

Special relationship, our arses!

* (Cross posted at Appletree)

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Iran: Intelligent Life Forms Found In US Intelligence Services ...


Well, well, well. Whadaya know? Who'd have thunk it, eh?

Iran welcomes new US intelligence report

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's foreign minister on Tuesday welcomed the U.S. decision to "correct" its claim that Tehran has an active nuclear weapons program, state-run radio reported.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was referring to a U.S. intelligence assessment released Monday that reversed earlier claims that Iran had restarted its weapons program in 2005 after suspending it in 2003.

"It's natural that we welcome ... countries that correct their views realistically which in the past had questions and ambiguities about (Iran's nuclear activities)," Mottaki said.
Read the rest of the report right here.

But before you do ... two things to take note of ...

(1) The timing of the release of this Intel ... why wait till now to tell us they were wrong?

(2) Read the news report precisely as it's written. Then, read it again ignoring all the included "could"s.

Afterwards, ask yourself the question, where do you draw the line when waffling on and on about "could"s and "could"s and still some more "could"s?

After all, today the Martians COULD land.

You COULD inherit billions of bucks from a hitherto unknown long lost uncle who just died in his sleep, deep in the darkest depths of ... well, anywhere at all actually.

There COULD be a second coming of E.T. on the cards.

The Pope COULD be a closet protestant simply posing as a pontiff.

And we COULD be typing this blog-post blindfolded -- with our hands tied behind our backs while hanging upside down, and singing 'Silent Night' -- in a spaceship.

Seriously, from where we're sitting this sudden turn of events smells strangely fishy, and we strongly suspect it's merely the first chapter of a distinctly new yarn story, as is yet to be told.

(cross posted at Appletree)

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03 December 2007

Sefton's Ex Mayor John Walker & Wife Jailed For Fraud ...


What a wonderful world we're all living in, eh? Not!

A veritable plethora of crooked, lying, pathetic politicians and poxy public servants presently appear to positively proliferate. And an ever increasing - numerically speaking - criminal class of so called civic dignitaries apparently also abounds.

The fact is that currently, in almost all political arenas and at all levels -- we the people increasingly seem surrounded by shoals of sickeningly self satisfied, self serving sharks & shysters. As well as by various venal vagabonds and several scores (or more), of straight out 'screw you' scoundrels -- by the stinking, shitty shovel-load.

Witness the sorry saga of our very own "worshipful" (ex) Mayor John Walker, rather recently accused, fairly tried, rightly convicted and eventually suitably sentenced, two faced fraudster extraordinare.

Ex-mayor jailed for benefit fraud.

A former mayor and his wife have been jailed for 15 months and eight months respectively for falsely claiming almost £50,000 in benefits.

John Walker, 57, the former mayor of Sefton, and his wife Catie, 43, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.


Judge Lewis said: "It is apparent that as the two of you postured in your civic finery being chauffeured around in your publicly funded limousine then, and for some years before, you systematically cheated the community which had honoured you.

"It is a disgraceful breach of trust."
By Jove, Judge, we think that you actually 'got it'.

Saying something such as that, and so strongly too, is almost enough to restore some measure of serious credibility to the judiciary in general.

Good on you, Gov.


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02 December 2007

Gillian Gibbons Update: British Muslim Peers And Many More Moderate Muslims Make Sincere Show Of Solidarity Against Sudanese Stupidity ...


British Muslim Peers set to see Sudan president

Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed
Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed hope to resolve crisis

Two UK Muslim peers who are in Sudan to lobby for a jailed British teacher to be released will meet the president on Monday, a presidential aide has said.

Baroness Warsi [Conservative peer] and Lord Ahmed [Labour peer] have delayed their return to the UK and Lady Warsi said they had "made progress".
Read the rest of this report right here.

And there was more heartening news (or bad news for the ignorant, bigoted loony-fundy buffoons of both sides), as more of the moderate majority of UK Muslims took to the streets of London and made their way to the Sudanese embassy to protest and to show their sincere support for a fellow Brit.

See some more re: that show of sanity and solidarity.

And then there's this.

Dr Imad Hassan, 45, is a Sudanese doctor and writer with a PhD in comparative religious studies who has lived in Britain since 1991.

He feels that someone from the Sudanese community must speak out against the ruling, and is planning to organise a protest from fellow scholars.

"I feel insulted as a Muslim by the government of Sudan, not by Mrs Gibbons," he told the BBC. "Describing the lovely children's toy with the name of Muhammad is a compliment, it is not an insult.

"If my own son calls a teddy bear Muhammad I would not rebuke him, let alone a non-Muslim teacher accepting children's natural lovely choice.

Read the rest of this report.


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01 December 2007

Celebrating The 65th Anniversary Of Britain's 'Beveridge Report' Revolution ...


Shown below is one of This Old Brit's favourite (best of the bulldog breed), old Brits -- Lord William Beveridge.

Today is the 65th anniversary of the start of this grand old gent's (very own), British Revolution.

And to think that so many still believe this country's last real revolutionary was old Oliver Cromwell, eh?

Though those who do certainly shouldn't feel too bad about it, since Beveridge's brilliant victory for the common people is without doubt 'the forgotten revolution'. In fact, many millions worldwide still haven't heard of it.

So, self confessed old rebs that we are, today we're endeavouring to further the education of any & all of those who believe (as we always have), that one's never too old to learn. At least, not while one wants to.

Right then, sit up straight, pin back your lugholes, quit the claptrap at the back of class and pay attention, since here's where the lesson starts.

December 1st 1942: Beveridge lays welfare foundations

The coalition British Government has unveiled plans for a welfare state offering care to all from the cradle to the grave.

The Beveridge report proposes a far-reaching series of changes designed to provide a financial safety net to ensure a "freedom from want" after the war is over.

Everyone of working age would be expected to pay a weekly national insurance contribution.

In return benefits would be paid to the sick, widowed, retired, unemployed and there would also be an allowance for families.


Medical provision was not [at that time] universally available to all and Britain's achievement, in his words, "fell seriously short" compared with other countries of the world.


A national health service would be provided offering free medical treatment and post-medical rehabilitation for all.


... the National Insurance Act was introduced in 1946, offering a state contributory pension for all, and the National Health Service founded in 1948, offering free medical care for all.
Looking to learn more?

Then what are you waiting for?

Click on this link.

( Cross posted at the (American) Appletree blog - where, we're pleased to say we've been invited to write on a regular basis.)


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Turkey To Take On PKK Terrorists In Iraq Where, When And How It Hurts ...


Turkey authorises Iraq strike.

The Turkish government has authorised the army to carry out strikes against separatist Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, said: "We made a decision at the cabinet meeting on November 28


After talks with Erdogan at the White House in early November, George Bush, the US president, called the PKK a common enemy and promised to provide Turkey with real-time intelligence on their movements.

Bush's pledge was largely seen as tacit US approval for limited cross-border Turkish strikes, mainly air raids, against the PKK.
If the truth be told, this news should come as no surprise to anyone, since it was always a completely cut & dried case of "when" - and not "if".

Read the rest of this report.


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