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

31 August 2008

A Bit About Old 'Beeb' Man Martin Bell - Author of "The Truth That Sticks" ... (Or Stinks?)

Remember good old Martin Bell? 'The Man in the White Suit'?

Martin Bell, the one time brilliant, brave , front line fighting BBC man? He
of that uber-rapidly increasingly rarest of breeds? That certain special species now nearly, entirely extinct?

You know, real journalists and/or war correspondents.

Well, anyway ...

Yesterday, on television, we watched
Anne Robinson, one of our scariest scouser sisters, presenting a special celebrity version of 'The Weakest Link'. Our man Martin was one of several 'Brit-News-Guys' contenders competing for some sorely needed cash for personally chosen charities.

It transpired that Bell was neither the (literally) weakest link nor the strongest, meaning that since he was ousted before the end we weren't ever enlightened as to which charity was his personal preference. However, we'd venture to suggest that it could well have had some sort of UNESCO connection.

But we waffle and digress. As, we quite cheerfully confess completely, we all too often tend to do. (Phew!)

Something Bell said to answer one of his sandy haired, host cum quiz mistress Anne Robinson's personal questions, seemed to us to sum up super-succinctly our own long standing, understanding of current press peoples' sickeningly sad situation(s).

Anne asked Martin how much he thought things had changed recently regarding reporting from war zones, hot-spots, such like, etc and so on.

Here's our hero's (had to be) paraphrased answer.

These days almost everybody is 'embedded'.
Even if & when one anyone somehow finds their way to a front line, they're bound to be rung on their mobile phone by "someone saying what to say."

We'd say that that says it all.

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29 August 2008

Gordon Brown's Government's Great British Gestapo Plot ...

Apparently, lots of us are learning a lot lately about a supposed terrorist type plot against Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

However, how many, we wonder, have as yet even begun to get to grips with the insidious implications of this mean spirited, mendacious miscreant of a man's government's shockingly sinister plot of it's own?

You know, the good old Great British Gestapo Plot.

What a woeful way to goddamn go, eh?

We began by giving Blair, Bush and their respective bunches of bad-ass bandits an inch, and the bastards took a million bloody miles. And when we say "bloody" we do mean "bloody".

Then, Blair buggered off before he was effed off, and we gave the supposed good-guy Gordo a go.

Now, super-snide as he so obviously is, this Brown bum gives us this shit.

Psst. Listen. Hear we now. We kid ye not.

We don't even dare to imagine what this mangy, manic mob of mega-Machiavellian madmen may have headed our way next.

Do you?

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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27 August 2008

East and West: Same Old Stupid Sabres Start Rattling ...

Today we're tired.

Sick and tired.

Up to our old eye-teeth.

So our post today is short and sweet.

US, Russia anchor military ships in Georgian ports

BATUMI, Georgia

A U.S. military ship loaded with aid docked at a southern Georgian port Wednesday, and Russia sent three missile boats to another Georgian port as the standoff escalated over a nation devastated by war with Russia.
Read the latest re: this current craziness.

If you still give a so & so toss, that is.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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25 August 2008

A Mind Boggling Bit About Another Old Brit : Super-Rosie-Swale-Pope


What a woman -- from Wales.

Is this a "great" granny or what?

And to think they thought the comic strip Wonder Woman was something special.

Well, Rosie's the real thing.

Welcome home for world runner, 61

Have crutches, will travel: Rosie Swale Pope was determined to carry on A grandmother is due to arrive home after an epic round-the-world run she began almost five years ago.

Rosie Swale Pope, 61, will finish her journey on crutches after injuring her leg on the final part of her journey of more than 20,000 miles (32,000 km).
Read the rest of this super-duper Rosie report.

If this lovely little lady isn't the absolute epitome of old Brit true grit, then we don't damned well know who, or what, the hell is.

Head straight across here, and read some of the super stuff on our intrepid Rosie's own special website.

(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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22 August 2008

Olympics : China Caught Out Cheating?

Even through all the heavy makeup along with the absolute absence of any signs of her having hips, it should have been obvious at the outset, even to the most short sighted of us, that the cute little Chinese gymnast called He Kexin was quite clearly, merely a kid.

International Olympic Committee launches probe into He Kexin's age

The International Olympic Committee
has ordered an investigation into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning gymnastics star because she was too young to compete.

An IOC official told The Times that because of "discrepancies" that have come to light about the age of He Kexin, the host nation’s darling who won gold in both team and individual events, an official inquiry has been launched that could result in the gymnast being stripped of her medals.

The investigation was triggered as a US computer expert claimed yesterday to have uncovered Chinese government documents that he says prove she is only 14 - making her ineligible to compete in the Olympics - rather than 16, as officials in Beijing insist is her age.


The IOC has been accused of deliberately ignoring the issue because it feared offending China.

Yet Giselle Davies, an IOC spokesperson, said tonight that because of troubling new developments, the committee had instructed the International Gymnastics Federation, the sport’s governing body, to investigate.
Read the rest of this sport report right here.

So, what we want to know now is whether or not both the US and the UK will soon be getting the medals they should have been given in the beginning?

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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21 August 2008

Oil, Gas, Wars, Pipelines, America, Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia : The Turkey Factor

As all regular readers will already be well aware, we absolutely abhor all war.

However, we have to admit that the recent South Ossetia related spats twixt
Russia and Georgia may, in the grand scheme of several recent politico-military 'sorties', not be all bad news. For the wider world, that is.

A great deal of distracting drivel regarding the return of an East-West 'cold war,' is curently being spouted, while most in the media are either too shy (or seriously too shortsighted) to even discuss something else: "the balance of power."

Well, we're certainly not shy. We never were and we never will be.

Anyone who honestly believed that 21st century Russia was a 'push over,' is/was sorely mistaken. Also, anyone who thought
Turkey was already well and truly bought and paid for, by the West, is soon set for some surprises. In our own (not so), humble opinion, that is.

Even a quick glance at the above pipeline map should serve to show all & sundry the strategic importance of modern secular Turkey.

When push comes to shove Turkey will take sides with whoever it deems necessary to look after itself and it's people.

The west needs Turkey far more than Turkey needs the west.

What's more, it appears that America still hasn't realised that though one can bully all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, no one can bully all of the people all of the time - not even the US.

Therefore, we're awaiting with interest, to say the least, further 'future developments'.


A U.S. official in Turkey said three U.S. military vessels were heading through Turkey's Bosporus, a strait that connects the Mediterranean with the Black Sea, to deliver aid to Georgia. Two of the ships were leaving Crete on Thursday. He declined to be named because he was not authorized to give that information to media.

Since Aug. 19, the United States has delivered aid to Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, on 20 flights.
Read the rest of this remarkably revealing, 'Associated Press' report right here.

Think about it. Would you really fall fowl of a big burly, next door neighbour who could, at a single stroke, all too easily pull all of your energy plug(s)?

We damned well doubt it.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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20 August 2008

R.I.P. A Grand Old Brit : Leo Abse


Love old Leo or loathe him, he was always true to old 'traditional' Labour values as well as to his personal principles ... regardless.

He was a one-off.

It's doubtful we'll see his like again. And that's a shame.

Oh, that we still had a some sincere, genuinely gentlemanly, honourable & honest, determined, dedicated and principled politicians such as Leo Abse.

Gay rights champion and former MP Leo Abse has died at the age of 91, according to a family friend.

The former Labour MP for Pontypool and then Torfaen died at Charing Cross Hospital, west London, on Tuesday night after a short illness.

Mr Abse guided a Private Member's Bill through Parliament in 1967 that legalised sex between men.

He was also credited with helping to liberalise divorce laws through the 1969 Divorce Reform Act.

Leo Abse was seen as a crusading backbencher

Mr Abse, who was in the Commons for nearly 30 years, is survived by his second wife Ania.

Learn some more about this amazing 'little big man'.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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18 August 2008

Musharraf Makes His Move ....

17 August 2008

Terry Pratchett Speaks Out About Sick & Sorry State of Britain's N.H.S.

Terry Pratchett launches attack on NHS

Terry Pratchett has criticised the NHS for failing to provide the drugs for Alzheimer's patients, while supplying Viagra for free.

The bestselling author, who was diagnosed with the early-onset form of the disease last December, has questioned why he and other sufferers are denied free access to the drug Aricept.

Aricept can slow the progress of the disease, and only costs £2.50 a day, but as there are 400,000 Alzheimer's sufferers in the UK, the NHS (National Health Service) has ruled out using it in the mild stages of the disease everywhere except Scotland.
Read the rest Terry's truly telling report, right here.


It's enough to make one want to be.

The late, great Nye Bevan must be turning in his grave.

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16 August 2008

The Great British Binmen Barricade ...


What is?

According to some our blog is. So are lots of our ideas, principles, beliefs, and so on.

Why, we've even been told on more than one occasion that all we ever write about is rubbish.

Well, today we ain't intending to dispute it.

People power. Don't you just love it?

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15 August 2008

10 Years On - The "Obscenity" of Omagh ...


Shown below are 28 faces of 29 mass murder victims.
At their family's request, the face of the 29th victim was never published for 'public consumption'.

Today's post is in respectful memory of the 29 innocent Irish civilians callously murdered in cold blood by cowards, in Omagh, ten years ago today.

Our only comment is this:

Our father came from a Scottish 'orange' Protestant family. Our mother came from an Irish Catholic family. Against the wishes of their respective relatives, they married -- and produced four sons and a daughter, including ourselves of course.

None of us have turned out be terrorists. Nor have any of us become murderers, nor extremists nor even plain old ignorant bigots.

Moral of our personal story?

You tell us.

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12 August 2008

The US, Russia, South Ossetia, Georgia, Europe and Much, Much More ...

Our old mate, R.J. Adams (author), across at his blinkin' super-brill blog 'Sparrow Chat' has posted a piece that just serves to strengthen our previous strong suspicions that he possesses some sort of supernatural powers.

Otherwise, how the heck could he consistently read our own ruddy thoughts?

Okay, playful teasing time's over.

Here's how he's started his latest most excellent post.

The Great Chess Game

Does this look like a man with a problem? Or, is he just badly in need of a tailor?

Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has to be either a man of immense courage and vision to take on the might of the Russian military and expect to win, or a downright bloody fool.

My money’s on the latter.

While the western media slags off Putin and Medvedev ......
So slip straight across to 'Sparrow Chat' to read the rest of another of his (as always), astoundingly astute premisses.

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10 August 2008

Crap Coney Island Insane Crassness ...

"Only in America!"

Yes, we know it's an oft overused, corny old quote - that's why we almost always avoid using it.

However, from time to time we absolutely, positively have to make an exception.

Today, is one of those times.


NEW YORK (Reuters)

A man with a black hood pours water on the face of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit strapped to a table: no, it's not Guantanamo Bay naval base, but New York's Coney Island amusement park.


Jeezus H. suffering Christ!

Just how sodding sadistic can some slimy, sick shits get?

Read the revolting rest of this Reuters' report, right here.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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08 August 2008

Russians Roll In To South Ossetia To Take On Georgia ...

This Old Nigerian: Nutter or Not?

Holy men's mobiles, Batman

We wonder whether this sort of silly stuff is starting to become unstoppable?

You know, regularly gabbing to you good buddy, God.

Apparently it's not just George Bush, Tony Blair, the pope and the barmpot above who have a hot line to Him inhabiting heaven.

Suddenly, it appears almost everybody's at it.

We've just read that for some considerable time now, far away in far off Africa the same sodding shit's been practised (seemingly, super-sucessfully), by an ancient Nigerian nutter.

Or is he?

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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07 August 2008

Did You Hear the One About Bush in Bangkok?

And now for something completely different.

Let's all lighten up a little, eh?

Remember - laugh and the world laughs at with you.

So here's some of the jokes, folks.

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06 August 2008

America's Atomic Attack at Hiroshima and Nagasaki : The Terrible Truth

So you've seen the pictures. And, for years you've swallowed US lies.

Well, we've got news for you.

This is the terrible truth - and it hurts - at least, it should do.


The most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and save lives.

"Even without the atomic bombing attacks," concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that ... Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including "capitulation even if the terms were hard". Instead, the US secretary of war,
Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was "fearful" that the US air force would have Japan so "bombed out" that the new weapon would not be able "to show its strength".

He later admitted that "no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb". His foreign policy colleagues were eager "to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip".
General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: "There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis."

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated,
President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the "overwhelming success" of "the experiment".

Read the revolting rest, right here.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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05 August 2008

6th August 1945:The Day Civilisation Died ...

Surely, the horrors of the Japanese city of Hiroshima remain proof positive that civilisation, as our world had come to know it, died an absolutely indescribable death on a sunny August day, some 68 years ago.

So fuck you,
"Fat Man." And fuck your bastard "Little Boy," too.

A mere four days after the horror of Hiroshima, the fate of a second city (Nagasaki), and it's entire civilian population, served to further prove our point.

So, today we unapologeticly post pictures of some shocking scenes, lest the world should ever forget.

And to think that even as we type there's a sizable number of despicable sub-humans amongst us, who still insist on shrieking in sicko-unison : "Nuke 'em!"

So, for all those who don't (or won't) remember, as well as any who never even knew,
here's a little something from the BBC.

Surely, as brother and sister citizens of the 21st century we should all learn, inwardly digest and remember.

(Cross posted at 'appletree')

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04 August 2008

As An Awesome American Associate of Ours Absconds to Australia ...

As our brave super hero, blogging buddy and all round general good guy, Gordo, absconds to Australia for a while, we're linking to this post of his.

When your read it you'll see why we say he's brave.

Though in all honesty we do have to wonder if our dear old missus may have been closer to the mark, when she muttered:" Brave? FFFFFlying with Qantas? Bloomin' brave? Flippin' 'eck, Brit! I'd say, more like bloody bonkers!"

Just jesting Gordo. Have a terrific time.

But don't forget what old (78 and sill going strong), Rolf Harris from Oz sang ...

There's an old Australian stockman lying, dying.
He gets himself uponto one elbow and 'e turns to his
mates, who are all gathered around and 'e says:

Watch me wallabies feed, mate
Watch me wallabies feed,
They're a dangerous breed, mate
So watch me wallabies feed

Altogether now!


Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl,
Keep me cockatoo cool
Ah, don't go acting the fool, Curl
Just keep me cockatoo cool

Altogether now!


'n' take me koala back, Jack
Take me koala back
He lives somewhere out on the track, Mac
So take me koala back

Altogether now!


Let me abos go loose, Lew
Let me abos go loose
They're of no further use, Lew
So let me abos go loose

Altogether now!


And mind me platypus duck, Bill
Mind me platypus duck
Ah, don't let 'im go running amok, Bill
Just mind me platypus duck

Altogether now!


Play your didgeridoo, Blue
Play your didgeridoo
Ah, like, keep playin' 'til I shoot thru, Blue
Play your didgeridoo

Altogether now!


Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred
Tan me hide when I'm dead
So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde

And that's it hangin' on the shed!!



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02 August 2008

Meet Little Danieal Kelly's Monster Mother

Oh, how we hope there is a Hell.

Philadelphia Police Department photo of Andrea Kelly.

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01 August 2008

Church Shooter Loved Wingnut Propaganda

Michael Savage became a multi-millionaire when he stopped peddling snake oil and started peddling hate

It didn't surprise me when police found books by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage in the home of Jim David Adkisson after Adkisson
murdered two people and wounded six during a shooting spree at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. After all, if you believed the crap that the bestselling authors on the right are spewing, it would be hard to escape the conclusion that you had a patriotic duty to kill liberals. After all, it's the liberals who are trying to take guns away from patriotic Americans like Jim David Adkisson.

Of course, there are also violent extremists on the left, but they tend to admire authors like Mao, Régis Debray, Eldridge Cleaver, and Frantz Fanon, not the popular mainstream authors of the left. That's because writers like Vincent Bugliosi, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, David Sirota, and Amanda Marcotte don't turn out hate-filled screeds that demonize liberals, intellectuals, and the entertainment industry (scapegoats who used to be referred to collectively as "the Jews", before Hitler made such shorthand unfashionable).

But that sort of crypto-fascist ideology is exactly what the popular political authors of the right are peddling. In their work, it's easy to see echos of Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West, which provided most of the underpinnings of the fascist movement. And Savage, Hannity, and O'Reilly aren't alone in pushing for their Americanized version of fascism. Pat Buchanan openly alludes to Spengler's work in Death of the West, and in Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, he argues that Churchill was wrong to oppose Hitler. In her book In Defense of Internment: The Case for “Racial Profiling” in World War II and the War on Terror, Michelle Malkin argues for imprisoning people based on their ethnicity.

Given the pervasiveness of fascist ideology among popular conservative opinion makers, is it any wonder that one of their admirers decided to shoot up a Unitarian congregation, or that others bomb clinics and assassinate doctors?


Note that when I say "popular" conservative authors, I'm not necessarily talking about the ones at the top of the bestseller list. I mean "popular" in the sense of being light and easily accessible as well as being widely read.


I should say a few words about the work of Oswald Spengler for the benefit of those unfamiliar with his work. Spengler held that civilizations inevitably pass through "seasons". In Spring, the civilization is strong, vibrant, passionate, and expansive. In Summer, the civilization matures and becomes more rationalist, and a more rigid hierarchy develops. In Autumn, the civilization is at the height of its power, but becomes overly rationalist and is undermined by the rise of the bourgeoisie (middle class). In Winter, the civilization goes into decline, weighted down by materialism, rationalism, and moral decadence.

Spengler's work is relentlessly pessimistic, but the fascists believed that they could renew their civilization (Spengler's admirers inevitably see their own civilization as being in either Winter or Late Autumn) by purging the "Winter" elements: materialism, rationalism, and moral decadence. In Germany and elsewhere in Europe, Jews were identified with these qualities, so it was natural for the fascists to see the purging of the Jews as the first step toward renewal. Urbanization was also thought to be a cause of these evils, so Hitler embarked on a pan-European war, with the goal of acquiring enough land in Poland and western Russia to empty the German cities and turn Germany into a civilization of yeoman farmers, thus returning German civilization to its Spring phase.

It's easy to see the hostility toward materialism (now promulgated by atheists, rather than Jews), intellectuals, the "decadent" entertainment industry, and urban life in the work of people like Savage, Hannity, and O'Reilly. You can even see it in the work of less angry conservative popular authors like
George Will and David Brooks. And increasingly, the modern Spenglers are becoming less shy in their calls for a fascist renewal, to be achieved by purging the soft, intellectual, and "deviant" elements from our society.

Spengler's ideas were made popular in the English-speaking world by historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who is still very much admired in both the United States and the United Kingdom. And it should surprise no-one to find that his admirers include some of the architects of the Neoconservative movement, including George Kennan and Henry Kissinger.


Spengler was not, of course, the first to believe that civilizations follow predictable cycles that end in decline, nor the first to believe that decline is caused by urbanization and materialism. And Hitler was not the first to believe that civilization could be renewed by pushing "non-civilized" people off of their land so that "civilized" people could become farmers and experience renewal. Thomas Jefferson believed that urbanization was killing the American spirit (at a time when the largest city in the US had
just over 50,000 people), and his policy of deliberately dispossessing Indians of their land was driven by his desire to empty America's cities and turn the US into a nation of yeoman farmers.

Note, however, that Jefferson did not favor forcibly driving the Indians from their land (that policy would come with the administration of Andrew Jackson), but instead pursued a strategy of offering credit to prominent Indians, which would then be paid off by ceding communal Indian land.

(cross posted at appletree)

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