Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: April 2008

29 April 2008

Totally Not Gay Republican Chokes on Testicles

Nothing makes a Republican's mouth water like a handful of delicious testicles

Every year, the elites of the Republican party gather at the Georgetown club for a totally not gay all-male dinner in which the main course is lamb fries. For those who didn't grow up on a gay farm, "lamb fries" are sheep's testicles.

I'll let Rachel Maddow describe what made this year's Republican testicle-eating fiesta noteworthy:

Ted Stevens there, Cheney there, Ed Rollins, the former V.A. Secretary Jim Nicholson, the White House counsel is there – Fred Fielding, all at this Paul Laxalt dinner at the Georgetown club. And the dinner makes the Washington Post today because at the dinner, the White House counsel Fred Fielding. Choked.

He got something stuck in his throat while he was eating. He got a very public administration of the heimlich maneuver from a Mitt Romney campaign guy named Ron Kaufman, who ran up behind Fielding and heimliched him – then Ed Rollins the Huckabee campaign manager took over and he started heimliching him. Then Rollins pulled over a chair and jumped up on it to try to get a better angle for heimliching the White House counsel – and finally – after all this ...

Boink! The offending, choking thing, either pops out of the Fred Fielding’s mouth, or it pops down his gullet, one or the other. There are conflicting reports. But it’s good news. The White House Counsel, Fred Fielding – successfully heimliched... Not dead.

In other words, what makes this event newsworthy is not that a bunch of Republican bigwigs were eating testicles at an all-male dinner, but the fact that there was a Republican who had a problem with eating testicles. Other than that, it was just a regular day in the Gay Old Party.

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)


27 April 2008

Argh!! Today's Afghanistan Attack Against Karzai In Kabul ...



It's quite possible that one of our younger brothers could have been caught up in this. He's over there - among 'foreign dignitaries'. Really.

Karzai unhurt after parade attack

At least two people have been killed and 11 were hurt in an attack on a military parade in Kabul attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Security forces whisked Mr Karzai and other dignitaries away and hundreds fled as shots rang out. Two MPs were reported to be among the wounded.

The parade was a celebration to mark 16 years since the overthrow of the country's Soviet-backed rule.

A spokesman for the Taleban said the movement had carried out the attack.

Read the rest and watch the film footage.

Then please cross your fingers for 'our kid' - and for us - that 'our kid' stays safe.


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Babies seized by Robert Mugabe's forces as Zimbabwe hounds voters


What will be the next horror that Robert Mugabe unleashes on his country?

Now that it's become clear that Robert Mugabe has lost Zimbabwe's presidential and parliamentary elections, his supporters are employing extraordinary tactics in an attempt to win an anticipated runoff through voter intimidation. They are calling their efforts Operation Where Did You Put Your Cross?

Scores of children and babies have been locked up in filthy prison cells in Harare as Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, sinks to new depths in his campaign to force the opposition into exile before an expected run-off in presidential elections.

Twenty-four babies and 40 children under the age of six were among the 250 people rounded up in a raid on Friday, according to Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Yesterday they were crammed into cells in Southerton police station in central Harare. The families were rounded up from MDC headquarters, where they had sought refuge from violence in the countryside.

Thought to be directed by top military officers, Operation Where Did You Put Your Cross? has prompted thousands to flee. They are trying to escape the so-called war veterans, who are attacking people and burning down hundreds of houses for voting “incorrectly” in last month’s elections.

“The only game in town is a run-off,” said George Sibotshiwe, Tsvangirai’s spokesman. “The recount was just to buy them time to smash people’s heads in, so when they go for a run-off nobody will even be thinking of voting.”

The regime’s strategy is to ensure that by the time of the run-off, Mugabe would have a clean sweep in rural areas, where 70% of Zimbabweans live. A police officer admitted yesterday that he had been instructed not to interfere with war veterans as they carry out their campaign of terror.
(Cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)

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26 April 2008

Shocking, Scary, Special Saturday Supplement: Dangerous Dogs, Bulls and Sharks ...


We love animals as much as (if not more than), anyone else does ... but boy, oh boy!

What a bloody, wacky, weirdo week it's been.

Shark kills swimmer off US coast. (USA)

Social worker bitten by rabid dog. (UK)

Man is 'killed by bull' in field. (UK)

Incidentally, to see some other 'bad' luck catching up with some more shameless, saddistic toro-tormentors when certain poor persecuted bulls succeed in striking back - big time -
hit this link.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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The Sad State of America's National Discourse

'Journalists' like this pick the topics and frames for our national discourse

Here are some of the latest sins of the Washington Press Corps:

Chris Matthews, speaking about the candidacy of Barack Obama:

You got to talk like a firebrand because if you‘re carrying their fight for them, they‘re going to like you. You know, a lot of white people root for black athletes because they‘re winning for the home team.
Remind me never to hire Chris Matthews as a political consultant. Obama ought to talk like a firebrand? Why? So people will be reminded of such popular figures as Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Jeremiah Wright? Matthews worked as a Democratic political operative back in the 1970s, which helps explain the steady erosion of support that the party endured during that era. Matthews helped draft Jimmy Carter's infamous 'Malaise' speech, and he continues to demonstrate the political savvy that went into writing that address.


George Will:

After 1962, when New York City signed the nation's first collective bargaining contract with teachers, teachers began changing from members of a respected profession into just another muscular faction fighting for more government money.
In the real world, the teaching profession has become much more prestigious since then, and now ranks among the most highly respected vocations in America. Polls indicate that Americans have far more respect for teachers than they do for clueless political commentators.


Crazy Dolphin Lady:

America is Mr. Obama's problem. He has been tagged as a snooty lefty, as the glamorous, ambivalent candidate from Men's Vogue, the candidate who loves America because of the great progress it has made in terms of racial fairness. Fine, good. But has he ever gotten misty-eyed over . . . the Wright Brothers and what kind of country allowed them to go off on their own and change everything? How about D-Day, or George Washington, or Henry Ford, or the losers and brigands who flocked to Sutter's Mill, who pushed their way west because there was gold in them thar hills? There's gold in that history...

Any cynic can wear a pin, and many cynics do. But what about Obama and America? Who would have taught him to love it, and what did he learn was loveable, and what does he think about it all?
Henry Ford was a fascist who distributed copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and was awarded a medal by none other than Adolf Hitler. And Peggy Noonan thinks that if you don't love Henry Ford, then you don't really love America. And if America is really as great as Noonan says it is, why would anyone have to teach Obama to love it? Wouldn't the experience of living in America teach him that?

The folks at Media Matters point out that if Noonan really wanted to know what Obama thinks of America, she could just
read his book.

Richard Cohen, on Hillary Clinton:

It is hard to think of anyone who has worked longer or sacrificed more for the presidency. She is indomitable, steadfast, gutsy and all those other things we know -- smart, for instance. She also can be, in private and sometimes in public, charming and awfully good company. Her wilderness -- that mess about Monica, a pain so exquisite even John Yoo (George W. Bush's former torture consultant) would have winced -- would seem to entitle her to some sort of reward, a happy ending for her if not for us.

But she has gone too far -- too much disturbing stuff, some of it shocking in its coarseness... her stunning Moses Moment, that polygraph buster about being under sniper fire in Bosnia. It was a defining time in her campaign, not because she exaggerated or lied -- call it what you want -- but because the statement was hurled into a gale of contrary evidence.
Richard Cohen, on John McCain:

He's an honorable man who has fudged and ducked and swallowed the truth on occasion -- about the acceptability of the Confederate flag, for instance -- but always, I think, for understandable although not necessarily admirable reasons.
Richard Cohen, on Barack Obama:

We are learning that he, too, can do the F's -- fudge, fib or forget. I don't believe him on the Second Amendment -- and he says one thing on NAFTA in Ohio and a campaign adviser whispers another to Canada by way of reassurance.
In other words, Cohen thinks it's OK for John McCain and Barack Obama to lie, but not for Hillary Clinton. And there's three other points here worth making:

1) The 'fibs' of Obama turn out to be a vague personal opinion of Cohen's, and a rumor that has
since been debunked.

2) McCain's lies about his position on the Confederate flag were FAR more egregious than anything Clinton said about her trip to Bosnia. Clinton can be accused of self-aggrandizement. But when McCain falsely claimed that he believed the Confederate flag should be allowed to fly over the South Carolina state capital, he was pandering to racist elements within the Republican Party because he was afraid he'd lose the South Carolina primary if he failed to do so. In other words, McCain's lie was not "understandable" in the sense that he was doing a bad thing in order to achieve a good end. It was "understandable" in the sense that we intuitively understand that unscrupulous politicians like McCain will say anything in order to get elected.

3) Richard Cohen is an idiot

Those are just a few recent examples of the cluelessness of the people who shape our national discourse. I know some people who wonder why Americans seem to have so little understanding of politics and current events. But after reading the work of the Washington Press Corps, I'm amazed that Americans have any understanding of these topics at all.

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)


24 April 2008

Obama, Clinton, Elections, Selections, Smoke, Mirrors, Vote Rigging Counting and Similar Shady Stuff


Ah, well.

Certain US folk are strongly suggesting everything's over, already.

Most of the same sages are also claiming Clinton's in and Obama's out.

In other words, they're saying: "The fix is in."

Honestly. Sincerely. Seriously.


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23 April 2008

23rd April:Saint George of England's Day:Everything You Never Knew About The 'Dragon Slayer' -- and more.

Today it's Saint George (of England's) Day.

Also today, it's time for you to tell the truth.

So, hands up those of you who already (honestly & truly), knew - and/or remembered.

Then, hands up those who also knew about the self same ....

St George the Turkish Arab
Not very many we'll wager.

Now, take a look at this terrifically tasty teaser.

He was born in Turkey; his mother was Palestinian. He's so multicultural we have to share him with Lithuania, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Moscow, Istanbul, Beirut - and Palestine itself.

If he ever came to England, it wasn't for long. Welcome to the world of Saint George, patron saint of England, whom we celebrate today, April 23 - the same day, by astonishing coincidence, that we celebrate the birth of the giant of English literature, William Shakespeare.

All nations need heroes. What we know of St George makes him a fine one - though very little of his story can be a certainty. But from fairly contemporary references, it looks as though he was born a Christian in Cappadocia, now in eastern Turkey and may have been of some "Darian" - Persian - blood too.
Sez who?

Jack Straw, that's who.

So read the rest, and learn and inwardly digest.

Ain't a decent edumacation an absolutely amazing, awesome attribute to 'ave?

Eh? Wot?

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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Awakening Councils Demand Expulsion of Iranian Ambassador

Awakening units go out on patrol

Here's a story I didn't see in the English-language press:

The “awakening councils” in al-Anbar have demanded the expulsion of the Iranian Ambassador, saying that he and al-Qaeda had coordinated attacks against them in the governate.
It's hard to tell exactly what's going on here. The idea that there is extensive cooperation between Iran and al-Qaeda is ridiculous. Members of al-Qaeda believe that Iran's Shiite leaders are heretics, and Iran is much more vulnerable than the United States to attacks by al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist organizations. Al-Qaeda is thought to be behind numerous bombings near Iran's border with Pakistan. Iranian officials would have to assume that any materials or training given to al-Qaeda would one day be used against Iran.

So, have the leaders of the Awakening Councils become convinced by American officials that Iran is helping al-Qaeda? Or are Council leaders pretending to be convinced, in order to justify their calls for the ambassador's expulsion? Sunni leaders have been concerned about Iranian influence on the Iraqi government for quite some time, but it would be impolitic to accuse Prime Minister Maliki of being an Iranian puppet at a time when the US is aiding both the Maliki government and the Awakening Councils.

In any case, one has to wonder whether the Awakening leaders have been goaded by their American sponsors into accusing the Iranian government of aiding al-Qaeda, as part of the ongoing American effort to force a confrontation with Iran. Because if that's not the case, then it would appear that Awakening Councils are trying to pit the Americans against the Iraqi government in an effort to force the government to cede more autonomy to the Councils. If that's the case, they've picked a good time to make their play. Muqtada al-Sadr is perilously close to starting an all-out revolt against the Iraqi government and the American occupiers. If he does, and if the Awakening Councils re-join the insurgency, then Iraq will be right back to where it was in the summer of 2007: in total chaos, with gun battles, and car bombs erupting every day, all over the country.

And just in time for the American election.

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)

22 April 2008

Historic Win Exposes Rampant Sexism in Racing World

Danica Patrick wins her first Indy car race

When Danica Patrick won the Japan 300, she became the fist woman to take the checkered flag at a major Indy car race. Most of the coverage of the event was as positive as you'd expect, but there were a few cases in which sportswriters went to bizarre lengths to find fault with Patrick's win.

For example, veteran race commentator Bob Margolis said that Patrick's win "was more a triumph in public relations than auto racing", because it was a "fuel mileage race", rather than a "wheel-to-wheel battle". Just a week before, Margolis
wrote this:

Are you a fan who likes fuel mileage races? I think it separates the men from the boys and shows which team can best make use of their resources.
When the Trailer Park Feminist pointed that out, I thought it was probably an aberration. Even in this day and age, I could imagine sportswriters muttering amongst themselves that Patrick's win was unremarkable, but I thought that they'd be smart enough to be publicly magnanimous. If not for the sake of decency, then at least to avoid reinforcing the stereotype of the Neanderthal racing fan. But I was about as wrong as I could be.

Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press said that the win was
too long in coming. Forget the fact that most drivers on the circuit don't win a race during their first four seasons, and forget the fact that Patrick has consistently been one of the top drivers on the circuit. Unless Patrick won her first race within her first couple of seasons, any of her racing achievements would become meaningless. Can anyone imagine Samuelson holding a man to that standard?

Meanwhile, Robert Weintraub of Slate said that it
wasn't any big deal, since the talent pool of Indy car racers has become so diluted. But I don't remember him or anyone else at Slate denigrating the achievements of Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia because of the dilution of talent in Major League Baseball.

The treatment that Patrick got from some sportswriters mirrored the sexism that
other drivers have aimed at her:

I just don't think it's a sport for women, and so far, it's proved out. It's really not. It's good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity, it gives them publicity. But as far as being a real true racer, making a living out of it, it's kind of tough.
--Richard Petty

I think Danica's pretty aggressive in our cars. I mean, you know especially if you catch her at the right time of the month, she might be trading plenty of paint out there.
--Ed Carpenter

A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car. And the mechanics wouldn't concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in?
--Jenson Button
And over at Alaska Report, the editors found a more subtle way to throw a dash of sexism into their coverage. They featured a terse report, and illustrated it with this photo:


Seriously, what's wrong with these people? How hard is it to congratulate a woman for winning an auto race?

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)


Amnesty International's Waterboarding Video ...


Via all three bottom links (below), you can watch the actual/awful torture technique of WATERBOARDING.

But only if you want to.


Malcolm Nance, who trained hundreds of US servicemen and women to resist interrogation by putting them through "waterboarding" exercises, demanded an immediate end to the practice by all US personnel.

He said: "They seem to think it is worth throwing the honour of 220 years of American decency in war out of the window. Waterboarding is out-and-out torture, and I'm deeply ashamed President Bush has authorised its use and dragged the US's reputation into the mud."
Read the rest of this revealing 'Independent' report and see the video, right here.


Credit and kudos also due to Amnesty International. And, to

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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21 April 2008

UK Regulates Psychics

It's about time these things were regulated

Mentalism is big business, which is amazing when you consider the fact that there's no evidence that anyone can see the future, read your mind, talk to the dead, or heal people. Maybe that's why there's been such an outcry from Britain's psychic community over a new regulation that would require psychics to either prove they can perform as advertised, or state that their performances are for entertainment or research purposes only.

I've had friends who worked as psychics, and I can attest to the fact that most psychics sincerely believe in their powers, and provide harmless entertainment and, in some cases, comfort to their clients. But there are also charlatans who warn of impending disasters unless they're given a sizable payment, or who pretend to communicate with their clients' dead relatives, or whose claims of healing powers convince their clients not to seek medical treatment for serious conditions. Those are the psychics that the new law is aimed at, and they are
throwing a fit:

Fortune-tellers, mediums and spiritual healers marched on the home of the British prime minister at Downing Street on Friday to protest against new laws they fear will lead to them being "persecuted and prosecuted".

"If I'm giving a healing to someone, I don't want to have to stand there and say I don't believe in what I'm doing," said Carole McEntee-Taylor, a healer who co-founded the Spiritual Workers Association. "By repealing the Act, the onus will go round the other way and we will have to prove we are genuine," McEntee-Taylor told Reuters. "No other religion has to do that."
Comparing psychics to priests is a clever tactic, as most religions make unverifiable claims. For decades, Scientologists have been dodging regulations and taxes by claiming status as religious leaders, so it's not surprising to see psychics using the same tactic. What's unclear is why a healer like Ms. McEntee-Taylor should be regulated as a priestess, rather than as a doctor. Still, it brings up an intriguing question: when clergymen make claims about the material world, should they be subject to regulation? Check out these faith healers and "Prosperity Gospel" preachers who promise riches in exchange for donations, and ask yourself whether or not you think these people should have to prove their claims:



To me, it seems perfectly reasonable to regulate such practices, just as the UK government now regulates fortune tellers and psychic healers. Meanwhile, over in the US, Senator Charles Grassley is still investigating whether various preachers of the Prosperity Gospel are
abusing their tax-exempt status. Let's wish him luck.

(cross posted at appletree)

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19 April 2008

Confirmation That The UK's Gone Completely Crazy and Proof Positive That Plenty of our Policemen are Pure Plonkers


Okay, here's your chance to contribute a personal two penneth re: some of the super-stupidity and ensuing insanity so often let loose whenever the lunatic fringe of the fundamentalist, extreme Political Correctness Police are let off the leash.

Take a look at the stop sign shown above, then complete the caption with your own last word.

But before you do, we strongly suggest you first have sight of (at least), this short cut & pasted snippet of nonsense.

Nurse sacked after smacking son

A former school nurse is to take legal action after she was sacked for smacking her 10-year-old son at home.

Susan Pope, from Malvern in Worcestershire, was arrested and her children taken from her after her eldest son reported her to police.

She said she was detained for 32 hours by West Mercia Police after the incident in May last year. [*See also West Mercia Police Authority.]


Charges against her have since been dropped and her son has withdrawn the accusations.
Read the rest of this report.

Spoiled rotten, sly, scheming, cock-sure, super-stroppy, sicko kids of a certain sort - don't you just love 'em?

And as for some of this country's all too often ever-so-sanctimonious (holier than ye or we), so called police officers ...

Purleeze .... just DO NOT sodding start us.

While we may well be left leaning, ultra liberal, Liberals with a capital "L" - we're certainly not lunatics.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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17 April 2008

A Quick 'Old Brit' Politi-Pix Quiz ...

16 April 2008

On Popes And Prime Ministers Intent On Making Their Marks In America ...


We see the present Pope's popping in to the US to ... er ... um ... do whatever it is that Popes do when too many of their boys have been caught with their kecks down causing considerable consternation (again), 'cos they've been doing to/with some younger boys ... er ... um ... what it seems so many Popes' boys can't stop doing.

Nevertheless, here's the sort of thing the BBC are saying today:

Pope may find US on his wavelength
Read the rest of the Beeb's report and see what you think yourself.

We also see that simultaneously (and coincidentally?), current British Premier and ex (super-successful), Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is popping across the pond to drop in on a bunch of Bush's big wbanking buddies.

As we said at the outset, we're not exactly sure what the Pope's flying visit's real purpose is but, we definitely do know what Gordo's prime purpose is. Regardless of the much publicised (and most welcome) Robert Mugabe warnings being bandied about - Gordon Brown wants to (personally), put to all to the US high flying financial fellows. In short (in private), he's 100% certain to say to the super-shysters ... stop self-serving yourselves good-style ... and stop screwing everyone else.

Read the BBC's relevant report right here.

However, whether absolutely anything that either (sorta-semi-celebrity), visitor says during the course of their respective stop-overs will be understood by George W. Bush, is definitely open to debate.

And, we're not just talking foreign visitor's accents when calling into question the crazed Crawford cowboy's (probably completely), problematic powers of comprehension - or quite possibly an absolute absence of any -- at all.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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Help Prevent Prostate Cancer


According to the BBC, regular masturbation might help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, so I'm asking all bloggers to republish this photo of Salma Hayek. Together, we CAN make a difference.

(cross posted at appletree)


15 April 2008

Pirates can claim UK asylum


From the Times:

The Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.

The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.
There's really no good choices here. If you don't arrest the pirates, the problem will get worse, and morale will suffer. There were 40 pirate attacks just last year. If you do arrest them, then you either have to grant them asylum, or they will be beheaded or mutilated. My guess is, the Royal Navy will try to just ignore the problem and see if it goes away.

(cross posted at appletree)


13 April 2008

'Public Committee Against Torture in Israel' : Special Indictment Edition ...


We don't suppose it's any sort of 'scoop' to say that a special relationship between the US and Israel has been discovered ...

... nor, to a slightly lesser extent, lots of long standing, shameless UK-Israel joint bloody ventures.

However, it may come as a surprise to certain parties, to be informed of some of Israel's ever increasing 'invisible imports'- especially, some shipped across the Atlantic from some of their so patently supremacist/racist, ever over-eager to assist, 'big-bucks-boys' brothers and/or allies in America.

Including (criminal), collective punishment practices.

As well as, apparently, some old fashioned low-life, low-tech, low-cost, torture techniques.

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli security services use family members of Palestinian prisoners to apply "illegal psychological pressure" and force detainees to confess, a new report on torture released on Sunday said.

The 83-page report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel revealed the use of interrogation methods condemned as torture or ill treatment under international law, which "cause severe psychological suffering to interrogees and to their innocent relatives," it said in a statement.

It cited six detailed cases and said agents of Israel's internal security service Shin Beth often told prisoners that loved ones were also in detention and being tortured.

In one case, such pressure led the prisoner to attempt suicide several times, the report said.
Read the rest of the relevant report right here.

But before we sign off, we want to state as plainly and clearly as we possibly can that we're making no apology for publishing this particularly appalling photograph, once again.

Remember this poor Palestinian kid? The little lad so petrified by some despicable, pathetic pricks in the IDF, that he quite literally peed his pants?

The truth is that over the years we've learned that many, many big brave IDF poorly trained, undisciplined conscripts have long had habits of forging some special relationships of their own. And, perhaps not too surprisingly, so often so many of these shameful relationships seem to involve showing their 'strength' by shoving around innocent, civilian infants.

We wonder what this lovely little Palestian boy will be when he grows up. Eh?

Always assuming of course, that the lad's lucky enough to be allowed to.

Incidentally, we used to have a couple of authentic videos filed away on our previous PC showing children being used by Israeli soldiers as human shields. Maybe a reader can help us out/back us up on this.

For the record, one video shows a child being forced (by some IDF heroes), to enter houses/buildings about to be seached - in front of said heroes themselves.

Another shows a kid sat/stuck on the bonnet/hood of one of their patrol vehicles, and securely strapped there by being bound (by his arm), to the front windscreen's metal grill.

Quite a lot longer ago we watched with horror the video footage of a hidden TV cameraman's irefutable evidence of the work of the worst of the IDF's uniformed neanderthals.

A kid had thrown some stones at their patrol then run away. Several of them - chased and eventually caught the kid. Some of them forced the lad onto his knees and held him there while others, using large heavy rocks, deliberately, systematically and mercilessly pounded the lad's wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders and shoulder blades.

We never did get to see the victim's actual injuries at close quarters, nor did we ever learn what happened to him afterwards. But of one thing you can be certain, those injuries must have been horrific. At the very least, the lad must have been maimed for life. At worst, unless treated expertly and quickly, they may well have (eventually), proved fatal.

We'll never know the final outcome for the unfortunate victim involved. And we'll never forget what unforgivable wanton wickedness we witnessed.

We swear, by whatever and/or whoever anyone wants us to, that what we've just said we saw ... is true.

So help us.

*** UPDATE ***

Our sincere thanks to 'MO' who just emailed some "human shield" links.

*(Cross posted at

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12 April 2008

Ye Olde Europe's New Politics : Special Sunday 'Spanish Senoras' Supplement ...


Several times recently we've sensed some subtle suggestions that there might be some sort of sexism being practised by our ourselves - politically speaking, that is.

Especially, concerning our personal preference of candidate for the immensely important position of official Democratic nominee, for the soon upcoming US presidential election.

So we're grasping this special historic opportunity to show that we're certainly no sexists. No way, Jose.


Viva Espana!

Sock it to 'em good style, Senoras.

Show the real, MCPs and sexists the way.

All the way ... home.

Women dominate Spanish cabinet
Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has unveiled his new cabinet, which for the first time includes more women than men.
Read the rest of this remarkably refreshing European report.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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US Gives Military Aid to Human Rights Abusers

Your tax dollars at work: A child soldier in D.R. Congo, armed and trained with the help of Uncle Sam

From Inter Press Service:

Washington is providing military aid to six of the countries cited in the U.S. State Department's latest series of human rights reports for recruiting and using child soldiers. They are Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda.

A new study by the Washington-based Centre for Defence Information (CDI) charges that, while child soldiers are often recruited and deployed by rebel groups over which the government has little control, in other cases the recruitment is being carried out by directly by governments and government-supported paramilitaries.

For example, the CDI reports that in Chad, government security forces recruited and retained child soldiers and compelled forced labour by adults and children. It says that human rights abuses included killings and use of child soldiers, adding that government and other armed groups continued to use child soldiers.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the CDI reports that government military units and armed groups continued to recruit and maintain child soldiers in their ranks. It notes that military authorities took no action against commanders who employed child soldiers, and says that while the government reached agreements with militias for the demobilisation of child soldiers, the groups did not generally respect the agreements.
Nice to see that the Bush administration is still committed to spreading democracy and human rights across the globe.

(via appletree) (cross posted at Liberal Avenger


11 April 2008

Bush Administration Can't Keep Its Story Straight On Threats

Bush and his cronies can't decide which lie to tell next

What a difference a day makes. One day Ambassador Ryan Crocker states the obvious: al Qaeda is a much greater threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan than in Iraq. But that's a bit inconvenient for the Bush administration, because it implies that to the extent that the Iraq War has diverted attention and resources from Afghanistan (and boy howdy, has it!), the Iraq War has helped al Qaeda.

So the next day, the White House makes a ridiculous "correction." The official story is that al Qaeda in Iraq is
exactly as dangerous as al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Of course, that's ridiculous on its face. There's never been any danger that al Qaeda and its allies would take over Iraq. They're not even popular among the Sunni minority in Iraq. In contrast, al Qaeda's allies once ran Afghanistan and allowed them to openly operate a recruiting and training base inside the country. Those allies were propped up by the Musharraf government in Pakistan. They still control much of western Pakistan, where they harbor Osama bin Laden himself. In the unlikely (in fact, impossible) event that al Qaeda gained control of Iraq, they would control a vast supply of oil. If they gained control of Pakistan, they would control nuclear weapons.

So it's no contest. Obviously, al Qaeda in Iraq is less of a threat than al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Bush administration is lying. Again.
Read more »

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09 April 2008

Beijing, China, Olympic Games and Gordon Brown ...


Good for you, old el Gordo!

PM not attending Olympics opening

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Downing Street says.
Read the rest of the report right here.


The capital city of the
People's Republic of China?

Hosting the next
Olympic Games?

What sort of sick sodding joke was this idiocy in the first place, anyway?

We say the entire sordid shower of self serving shysters on the Olympic committee who (so shamelessly), cast their votes for such stupidity at the outset, should be unceremoniously sacked - at the very least. And, sacked straight away - if not sooner.

Well, we'll tell you this for free, friends - they would be if we had our way.

*(Cross posted at appletree)

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Bill O'Reilly Attacks Martin Luther King, Jr.

This was supposed to be a parody, but Bill O'Reilly made it real (click to inflate)

It's hard to see why Bill O'Reilly has the most popular show on the
White Supremacy Channel. On a network that features an endless parade of racists, O'Reilly's hate speech doesn't really stand out.

I used to think that O'Reilly drew more viewers than his colleagues because he was smart enough to hide his bigotry in coded language and the spurious logic of the White Supremacy movement. But he's
not as crafty as I thought he was:

On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, O'Reilly distills the legacy of King down to one question. The question O'Reilly considers the key to understanding King's life-long work is whether or not King despised America. And how does O'Reilly's respond?

"That question is very difficult to answer precisely."
That's a really outrageous smear of the greatest American leader of the last half century. But O'Reilly wasn't through:

He also denigrates the whole of the population for which King fought and died. In discussing African-Americans and others who defended the reputation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, O'Reilly used his Talking Points Memo last Friday to disparage the very people most harmed by the sort of prejudice that is still with us forty years after King's death.

"Now there is no question that millions of Americans do despise the USA. I hate to say it, but it's true. And they see themselves as victims of oppression from a corrupt government and system."

In context, there is no question that the millions to whom O'Reilly refer, who despise America and see themselves as victims, are African-Americans.
The irony, of course, is that it's not King or Wright or those who admire them who hate America. It's O'Reilly who hates America. He hates the music that most of us listen to. He hates our favorite movies. He hates out literature. He hates "multiculturalism", which means that he hates most American subcultures. And he hates the women, Hispanics, and blacks who are offended by the way he scapegoats them for everything that goes wrong in this country. If you add up all the people O'Reilly hates, you find that he hates a substantial majority of Americans.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Rupert Murdoch will burn in hell for putting this pig on the air.


The folks at
Brave New Films point out that the filth that's broadcast on Fox tends to spread like a virus to the rest of the mainstream media:


I can't wait until CNN and ABC News pick up the "MLK hated America" meme.

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)


08 April 2008

NATO leaders lower Afghanistan expectations

After 6 years, it's time to face reality in Afghanistan (click to inflate)

From the Toronto Star:

A weak, wobbly country where things still blow up regularly. But one with its own small army which, though also weak and wobbly, will be just strong enough to hold Afghanistan together. A police force still riddled with corruption, but not so corrupt as to be unable to bend the will of the people toward it, rather than the Taliban. An Afghanistan still awash in drugs, where women's place in society would make the average Westerner recoil and the prisons remain the stuff of nightmares. And finally an Afghanistan that our soldiers might be able to get the hell out of in a few years, at least as a hard-fighting force in the dangerous south.

Drill down through all the rhetoric dished out at NATO Bucharest summit last week – including the salute-inducing 1,320-word Strategic Vision statement signed by the 40 world leaders trapped in the Afghan vise – and the grim reality begins to emerge. Reading between the lines leaves little doubt that the bedraggled mission in Afghanistan is coming to the conclusion that lowering its lofty goalposts is the only way out.
So after six years of fighting, the war in Afghanistan can only be won by changing the definition of "victory". Keep in mind that this is the country in which our primary foes really are a bunch of extremist theocrats who aid and protect al Qaeda, and who could take over the country if we don't figure out a way to stop them. This was the important fight, not Iraq. And now it looks like the best we can hope for is a country that sends us heroin instead of hijackers.

I have to wonder if we could have done better, had we not committed most of our resources to the war in Iraq.

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger) (via appletree)


06 April 2008

Latest Shocking O.E.C.D. Story: Special Shameful Sunday Starvation Supplement...


We think this particular post is what's classed as a photo-essay.

Most of the Western world's politicians should be ashamed.

And so should some of ourselves.


"These figures leave us in no doubt that the world's richest countries are failing to meet their promises to the poorest countries, especially in Africa," said Max Lawson, policy adviser at Oxfam. "The human cost is huge."

The EU's spending target on aid of 0.7% of national income by 2015 also looks badly off track, with aid from the world's richest countries falling from 0.31% in 2006 to 0.28% in 2007.

The OECD report shows only seven countries met or surpassed the 0.7% target, with Norway (0.95%) and Sweden (0.93%) topping the chart.

Though the United States made the largest donation ($21.75bn), it contributed lowest percentage of national income, coming bottom of the charts at 0.16%. The US spends the equivalent of $73 per American each year on aid, but $1,763 a person on defence.


Read the rest of this report right here.

Now, here's the start of our short photo essay.

This is an African child.

This is another.

This is an English kid.

These are American kids.

This is an Englishman.

This is an American.

Oops! Sorry, we suddenly have to dash.

So we're stopping posting this piece at short notice. Since the missus has started shouting us to come and sit and eat.

And seeing as it's Sunday, as usual it's set to be especially scrumptious.

'Cos it's a whopping, lip smacking serving of the best of British roast beef. Served with, of course, a mouth watering mixture of steaming mixed fresh vegetables, a lovely large Yorshire pudding and naturally, it's all absolutely smothered in a sumptuous, rich, thick, hot tasty gravy.

But please don't allow any of that stop your good selves from saying something.

Portal to The Organisation for Econonomic Co-Operation and Development. "O.E.C.D."

(Cross posted at appletree)

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