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

30 December 2008

With allies like Israel, who needs enemies?

Maybe it's time for American presidents to start putting the interests of America first

It looks like Israel's attacks in Gaza will create a lot of problems for Obama at the beginning of his presidency:

Israel’s massive three-day aerial assault on Gaza is likely to complicate President-elect Barack Obama’s hopes of aggressively pursuing Israeli- Palestinian peace negotiations, and risk inflicting greater damage to Washington’s standing in the Arab world, according to most analysts.

Indeed, if the current campaign goes on much longer and the Israelis launch a major ground invasion of Gaza as they now appear to be preparing to do, Obama could face a major international crisis -- comparable to Israel’s failed 2006 war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah -- just as he takes office in three weeks’ time.

"With this assault, the fallout has already started to spread considerably beyond the constituency of people who are Palestinians," noted Helena Cobban, a veteran Middle East analyst, who cited popular protests in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere in the Arab world since the Israeli campaign began Saturday on her blog, "It has already started, and we can confidently expect that the longer Israel’s assault is maintained, the higher the regional stakes will rise."

The Israeli attacks, which came a week after the expiration of an increasingly shaky six-month cease-fire, have so far reportedly killed more than 300 Palestinians, while two Israelis have died in rocket attacks launched from Gaza.
And it appears that the Israelis intend to maintain a very prolonged assault:

While Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak initially insisted that Israel’s war aims were designed to re-instate and strengthen the cease-fire, the former prime minister who hopes to reclaim that post as head of the Labour Party in Feb. 10 elections, appeared to broaden them in a speech to the parliament Monday in which he pledged "war to the bitter end" against Hamas -- the Islamist party that controls Gaza. Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon said Israel aimed to "topple Hamas."
So as Obama prepares to begin dealing with the worst economic crisis in 75 years and as he tries to extricate the US from Iraq and salvage the campaign in Afghanistan, he'll have to deal with another rise in Anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, thanks to the actions of our "ally". Thanks, guys. And thanks for quoting President-elect Obama out of context to make it appear as though he supports your overreaction:

"If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that… And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing," Obama had said at the time. In his speech to the Knesset Monday, Barak significantly repeated the quotation in defending Israel’s action.
And thanks also to President Bush, who seems determined to maximize the damage:

As with the 2006 war, the administration of President George W. Bush has offered strong backing for the Israeli attack, demanding that Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to a "sustainable and durable ceasefire."

"The United States understands that Israel needs to take actions to defend itself," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe at Bush’s ranch in Texas, where the outgoing president is spending the Christmas holiday. Johndroe called the leadership of Hamas "nothing but thugs" during a briefing on Sunday.
Bush also ordered the State Department to veto a United Nations resolution calling on Israel to cease its attacks. The US has vetoed 40 such resolutions since 1972, nearly all of which had passed with the near-unanimous support of UN member states.

Obama said during the campaign that he would make peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians a top priority, as a peace agreement would greatly enhance his ability to deal with important allies in the struggle against terrorism, including Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Turkey. It would also help Obama reduce Iranian influence in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. But Israel seems determined to ensure that such a peace will be impossible, at least during the first year or two of Obama's administration.

So why would Israel act with such careless disregard for the interests of its most important ally? Why would they pick now of all times to resist extending a ceasefire (Israel announced before the ceasefire ended that they would only extend the ceasefire if Hamas ceded power to the Fatah party, despite defeating Fatah in the last election)? Why pick this moment to launch an all out war on Hamas, in response to rocket attacks that killed a single civilian?

It seems clear that the Israeli government chose this moment to strike because Kadima, the party in power
faces an election in February, and trails the hawkish Likud party:

The seemingly most obvious reason would be Israel is attacking in response to Hamas ending the cease-fire and the drastic increase of rockets fired into Israel over the Christmas/Chanukah week. This does not wash out as Israel has sat on their hands through similar attacks during the time since Olmert became Prime Minister. Israel has suffered more casualties in a week’s period than they have this past week and done nothing. So, what makes this surge in rocket and mortar fire different causing Israel’s definitive response?

The coming Israeli elections are the determining factor in the timing and intensity of the campaign against Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli military has been ready and fully trained to complete the job for months but had been held back by the Olmert government. With the inability of Tzipi Livni to form a coalition government for Kadima after Olmert announced he would step down left the current ruling party in a bad political situation. Olmert, Livni, and the leadership of Kadima have seen the polls that show the Israeli public’s dissatisfaction with the lack of leadership and action against the Hamas rocket attacks. They can read the polls showing their probable loss of being the lead party to Likud and Netanyahu.
Another reason for the timing may have been the recent American presidential election. Obama will take office in January, and Olmert and Livni probably didn't think they could count on him to endorse an all-out war against Hamas. By using the expiration of a 6 month ceasefire as a pretext for attacking now, the Israelis could make such a conflict a fait accompli, thus forcing their "ally" to make a terrible choice: support Israeli aggression and lose the credibility and goodwill that Obama's conciliatory approach has earned him in the Middle East, or support Hamas. It appears that this consideration was also a major factor in the decision to attack:

Hamas officials, working through Egyptian mediators, had urged Israel to lift the siege of Gaza as the basis for continuing an extended ceasefire. Israel, including Foreign Minister, Tsipi Livni, of the ‘centrist’ (in the Israeli context) Kadima Party, rejected the proposal. Livni, who went to Egypt but refused to seriously consider the Hamas offer, is running in a tight race for prime minister; her top opponent is the further-right Benyamin Netanyahu, of the officially hawkish Likud party, who has campaigned against Livni and the Kadima government for their alleged ‘soft’ approach to the Palestinians. With elections looming in February, no candidate can afford to appear anything but super-militaristic.

Further, it is certain that the Israeli government was eager to move militarily while Bush was still in office. The Washington Post quoted a Bush administration official saying that Israel struck in Gaza, ‘because they want it to be over before the next administration comes in. They can’t predict how the next administration will handle it. And this is not the way they want to start with the new administration.’

The escalation in Gaza will make it virtually impossible for any serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at ending the occupation. It remains uncertain whether sponsorship of an immediate new round of bilateral negotiations was on Barack Obama’s initial post-inauguration agenda anyway. But the current crisis means that any negotiations, whether ostensibly Israeli-Palestinian alone or officially involving the US-controlled so-called ‘Quartet’, will be able to go beyond a return to the pre-airstrike crisis period.

That earlier political crisis, still far from solved, was characterized by expanding settlements, the apartheid Wall and checkpoints crippling movement, commerce and ordinary life across the West Bank, and a virtually impenetrable siege of Gaza that even before the current military assault, had created a humanitarian catastrophe.
In short, the new American president is being handcuffed by Israel's attacks, and at the worst possible time. Internal Israeli politics, rather than American initiatives, are determining how successful Obama's Middle Eastern policy can be. And because Israel has found that a constant state of conflict has the effect of binding America's fate to Israel's, they're doing what they can to ensure that the war continues.

There may have been a previous case in which a nation has been so badly abused by less powerful "ally", but I can't think of one.


I can't help noting that Mahmoud Abbas, who took over leadership of the Fatah party from Yasser Arafat, is trying to use the attacks to
gain political advantage and curry favor with the West, but I think that he'll only wind up marginalizing himself.

(cross posted at appletree)

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King of Jordan calls Bush on Israel bombings

We surmise it's safe to say there's a somewhat super-shortage in the United States, of any knowledge regarding Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, the American & English educated, well loved at home and internationally respected, wise (beyond his years) young King of Jordan.

Therefore, as eager as ever to enlighten, we want you to know the following.


The King of Jordan has today phoned President George W. Bush, telling him that "effective international efforts must be launched to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and end the suffering of the Palestinians".

The question is, of course, will mad King George react to sane King Abdullah any differently than he reacts to anyone else speaking sense?

Will he even listen, let alone try to learn a little? And even if by some miracle, Bush, for the first time, chose to make any serious effort to, has he lately, miraculously acquired an actual capability to comprehend?


Was Mohammed a Muslim?

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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27 December 2008

Re: Israel's serially state sponsored, shameless, merciless, criminal collective punishments

We know for certain that there will be many readers who will (equally as certainly) be expecting a post on the latest Israel/Gaza mayhem and madness.

Massive Israeli air raids on Gaza

Well, we've never been the type of people to deliberately disappoint.

The God of Abraham, if there is one, will not forgive Israel. Never. Ever.

Also, if there is one, he will, if his own words/promises are to be believed, visit the sins of the fathers upon their offspring for generations to come.

Israel has long since considered itself to be the Master Race of the middle east. And we all know what happened to the last lot of pathologically uber-nationalist, power mad, land grabbing, evil, extremist lunatics that tried to 'prove' that they were such.

Hamas runs Gaza by popular/democratic demand and with massive majority consent.

Because there are some violent Hamas hotheads, who could just as easily be referred to as patriots/partisans/freedom fighters/etc, use violence - Israel responds with overwhelmingly disproportionate violent collective punishment:apparently, always with impunity

Did the UK ever bomb Ireland because of the IRA? Or because of any of the murderous protestant paramilitary groups? Did the UK ever bomb Cyprus because of EOKA?

Did Spain ever bomb the Basque countries because of the terrorist tactics of the extremist separatists? Did Spain ever bomb Catalonia because of the active evil ETA members?

Did Italy ever bomb Sicily because of the long time treacherous murderous (on an oft proven, positively international scale), Mafia? Or did Italy ever bomb itself, because of the Red Brigade?

Did Germany ever bomb itself because of Bader Meinhoff?

Did Saudi Arabia ever bomb itself because of bin-Laden's al-Quaeda?

Did America ever bomb Saudi Arabia because of said same souless perpetrator of the awful 9/11 attrocities?

Did America ever bomb itself because of the KKK?

We could, of course, go on.

Successive, conniving cowardly Israeli governments have always acted as wantonly as they have, simply because they have always known that they can. Thanks, that is, to the successive manipulative enablers/users/string pulling puppet masters (perpetually pissing themselves laughing behind Israel's back, btw) of both US and UK big business backed governments.

Therefore, the US and UK ultimately share Israel's undying shame. As well as it's all too often so well deserved, increasingly widespread contempt.

Maybe, we in Britain and America will one day share with our own Frankenstein "friend," named Israel, an ultimate mutual fate.

If and when, God forbid, such terrible events should ever come to pass, who could in all honesty complain too strongly? Since for so many, many years said three countries have together, hand in hand, orchestrated/engineered/crafted/this whole unholy shit-storm of bloody biblical proportions.

And at the end of the day this is all to enable nothing more than a bloody big military base in the middle of the middle east. Regardless of the repeated ad nausium plain & simple lying crap of our supposed 'betters'.

Shame? Neither Israel, the US nor the UK powers that be have any. Never did. Never will.

It's all about money. All about making money:and more money:and more money:and more money. What's more, it's about making most of that money for the already unimaginably wealthy & privileged few, who already have far more than most of us could possibly imagine.

It always was and it always will be.

Finally, please pay attention to the following:

Might is certainly NOT necessarily right.

And two wrongs never made a right. Never did. Never will.

And didn't the (real or imagined) God of Abraham specifically instruct his 'chosen' people that all & any 'vengeance' was HIS? His alone? Not any mere mortal's? Be they Jew or Gentile?

Anyone wishing to support/explain/excuse/etc, this current Israeli government's ghastly, coldly calculated and premeditated mega "retribution" ... has absolutely every right to do so.

Moreover, we would most definitely defend to the bitter end, their undeniable absolute right to do so.

However, in the full and certain knowledge that there are, quite literally countless, public platforms provided for - and believe us, being more than well used for - the furtherance of support aplenty for Israel's actions... we here at this particular old Brit's blog, absolutely and unapologetically refuse to personally provide another one.

As is our own right. As neither Jew, Muslim nor Christian. We're avowed devout agnostics.

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26 December 2008

Bush pardons Cheney, Rumsfeld for 9/11 attacks

1975: Cheney and Rumsfeld begin assembling a team to execute and cover up the 9/11 attacks that would be carried out 25 years later. Eventually, the plot would grow to include dozens of military personnel, CIA agents, security guards, investigators, and media figures. Cheney and Rumsfeld's motive was to provide a pretext for joining an Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia and an Iranian invasion of Afghanistan, which is why all of the clues Cheney and Rumsfeld planted pointed to the Afghan government and to Osama bin Laden, the son of an influential Saudi businessman.

We always knew that the most controversial Bush pardons would come near Christmas, but nobody thought that he would be brazen enough to pardon his closest confidantes for their involvement in the 9/11 attacks:

President Bush issued sweeping pardons for Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for any involvement they may have had in orchestrating the hijackings that took place on September 11, 2001. President Bush offered a brief statement to reporters gathered in the White House briefing room, but did not stay to field questions.

"Now, I'm not saying we had anything to do... I mean, I'm not saying THEY had anything to do with the September the eleven," said Bush. "I'm just saying that if they did have anything to do with it, which they didn't, then there will be no prosecution and so you all can stop your witch, um, you know, when you look for witches like they used to. Witch trials, or whatever you want to call them. You can stop."
White House press secretary Dana Perino refused to comment on the pardons, beyond pointing out that she was in California and the president was in Florida at the time of the attacks.

(cross posted at


Tennessee families enjoy free coal byproducts


Grateful residents of Harriman, Tennessee got an early Christmas gift as their homes were literally flooded with byproduct from clean, affordable fuel that will help them keep warm through the winter months. The Tennessee Valley Authority generously provided the coal ash free of charge, along with gallons and gallons of delicious, refreshing water. There are few things more important for human survival than water and fuel for heat, but not everyone in Harriman appreciated the gesture:

What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity. Holly Schean, a waitress whose home, which she shared with her parents, was swept off its foundation when millions of cubic yards of ash breached a retaining wall early Monday morning, said, “They’re giving their apologies, which don’t mean very much.”

The T.V.A., Ms. Schean said, has not yet declared the house uninhabitable. But, she said: “I don’t need your apologies. I need information.”
I think Ms. Schean is correct in saying that she doesn't need an apology. What she needs is a huge warehouse to store all of her good luck! Coal ash comes from coal, which is America's most abundant source of clean energy. Tens of millions of dollars worth of coal were burned to produce all that ash, and Ms. Schean got a couple of million cubic yards of it for free. It's like winning the lottery without even buying a ticket!

Federal officials assured the public that the coal ash is harmless, but naturally the gravel eating tree-huggers and the pointy-headed scientists have a different opinion:
Read more »

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24 December 2008

Warmest Wishes Are Wending Your Way


Sincere seasonal greetings and warmest best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Peace on earth, and goodwill to all.

... and goodwill to all mankind

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree'.)

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NORAD tracks Santa over Aukland, New Zealand

You can follow Santa's path on the NORAD site, or download the Google Earth plugin. New videos will be posted throughout the night here.

NORAD: Bringing you a merry Christmas while we prepare for nuclear war.

(cross posted at appletree)


23 December 2008

Concerning US Army Recruiters (and other soldiers) Suicides

Recruiter suicides lead to Army probe


Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Henderson, a strapping Iraq combat veteran, spent the last, miserable months of his life as an Army recruiter, cold-calling dozens of people a day from his strip-mall office and sitting in strangers' living rooms, trying to sign up their sons and daughters for an unpopular war.

He put in 13-hour days, six days a week, often encountering abuse from young people or their parents.

When he and other recruiters would gripe about the pressure to meet their quotas, their superiors would snarl that they ought to be grateful they were not in Iraq, according to his widow.


The all-volunteer military is under heavy pressure to sign up recruits and retain soldiers while it wages two wars.


In all, 15 of the Army's 8,400 recruiters have committed suicide since 2003. During that period, more than 540 of the Army's half-million active-duty soldiers killed themselves.
Surely, somewhere in these same old, same old, sad and sorry US services' suicide stories a sombre moral lurks.

Read the rest of this clipped & pasted quotes' relevant Associated Press piece --
right here.

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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21 December 2008

Mike Connell : Deceased : Suddenly

We've been called conspiracy freaks, cranks, crazies, so on & so forth, several times before today. As well as worse things.

Well, we should worry. Not.

One of our most long standing virtual friends & correspondents is Pokey Anderson. She co-hosts a regular weekly radio programme in the Lone Star state of Texas. It's called the 'Sunday Monitor', and transmits on Sundays.

Pokey Anderson's about as awesomely astute and acutely aware, as they come. You'd better believe it.

Though you won't find Pokey's name plastered across the big name papers of the United States, she could certainly show the way to many other so-called, mainstream investigative journalists - who's names are far too many to mention. Even if we had the inclination. But we don't, so we won't. Since we don't believe so many of said stenographers are worth the waste of our time or effort.

So, here's an incredibly important uber-topical piece Pokey's pleased to share with us. Not altogether exclusively, but nonetheless, we're more than pleased and proud to be among some especially select 'associates' - with whom our old online pal, Pokey chooses to share. And so we present the following:

Who was Mike Connell?

Pokey Anderson
-- December 20, 2008

Investigative journalists online have been digging into the story of Mike Connell for two years. Connell's largely unknown role in elections and government technology infrastructure should be a top story of the year, yet major media have ignored it.

Last night, a small plane crashed and burned near Akron, Ohio, reportedly carrying only one person, Mike Connell.

Connell was close to Karl Rove, but Rove reportedly had threatened him of late. Connell's testimony re the Ohio 2004 election was being compelled in an Ohio court.

Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck sent a letter to US Attorney General Mukasey, July 24, 2008:

Dear Attorney General Mukasey:
We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to "take the fall" for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations ...

Who was Mike Connell? Who was he connected to? What did he have to do with the Ohio 2004 presidential election results? What about the US attorney firings? Find out in the independent media.


Are Rove's missing e-mails the smoking guns of the stolen 2004 election?
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
April 25, 2007

The GOP's cyber election hit squad
by Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis
April 22, 2007
Free and also
ePluribus Media, a collaborative citizen journalist site, first uncovered the complex Mike Connell story.

Ken Blackwell Outsources Ohio Election Results to GOP Internet Operatives, Again
by luaptifer
Tue Nov 07, 2006
ePluribus Media

Ohio's election website still sent real-time results to GOP mirror server
by intranets
Thu Nov 09, 2006
ePluribus Media

The GOP, and the Line that Jumped the Congressional Firewall
Mar 27, 2007

Who is Michael L. Connell? Part I: The Atwater School of Politics
Mar 28, 2007

Who is Michael L. Connell? Part II: Behind the firewall
Apr 02, 2007

Rove -ing emails: what else could go missing?
by Todd Johnston and Luaptifer
ePluribus Media
Sun Apr 22, 2007
BradBlog stories on Mike Connell

7/17/08: Ohio Attorney Files to Lift Stay on '04 Election Case, Cites Allegations, Evidence of Massive Fraud by a Number of GOP Operatives,

7/22/08: GOP Tech Guru Mike Connell 'High IQ Forrest Gump...At Scene of Every Single Crime' Say Ohio Attorneys,

7/24/08: Rove Threatened GOP IT Guru If He Does Not 'Take the Fall' for Election Fraud in Ohio, Says Attorney,

7/25/08: Cliff Arnebeck, OH Attorney, Interviewed Live on Peter B. Collins Show,

7/26/08: So Who Is Mike Connell? A Clip from 'Free For All' Gives You an Idea... ,


10/31/08: BREAKING: Federal Judge Compels GOP IT Guru Mike Connell To Give Deposition in Ohio '04 Election Case,


Velvet Revolution website, Rove Cybergate:

Raw Story has done a number of stories on Connell, including

Republican IT consultant subpoenaed in case alleging tampering with 2004 election
Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Monday September 29, 2008
Raw Story
'Karl Rove's IT guru' Mike Connell dies in plane crash
Saturday December 20, 2008
Pokey, old pal, you're an absolute star.

For far from the first time, we salute you.

Oh, that we ourselves owned far fewer years and possessed instead, lots more strength and stamina.

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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20 December 2008

This Old Brit's personal Xmas present to US President

Happy Xmas, (very temporary) President Bush.

Sad to say, sir, this Christmas we shan't be sailing, swimming nor even aviating the Atlantic to the states. So, we're sorry we won't be bringing you our extra special Xmas present in person.

More's the poxy pity.

Still, never mind though. Just keep smiling, sunshine.

We're sure someone as smart as yourself is already aware that it's the thought that really counts.

Eh, dunce 'Duce'?

Incidentally, we certainly shan't be the sole senders of such sarcastic, though supremely sincere, compliments of the season - you heel. (
See what we're saying?)

N.B. ** See also, latest trials & tribulations' stories concerning
Iraqi super hero, genuine journalist and shoe slinger supreme, Muntader al-Zaidi.

*(Coss posted across at 'appletree')

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19 December 2008

Bush says doctors may deny health care

I think part of the problem is that Bush doesn't understand what women's health care is all about

From the Washington Post:

The Bush administration today issued a sweeping new regulation that protects a broad range of health-care workers -- from doctors to janitors -- who refuse to participate in providing services that they believe violate their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The controversial rule empowers federal health officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan, doctor's office or other entity if it does not accommodate employees who exercise their "right of conscience." It would apply to more than 584,000 health-care facilities.

Women's health advocates, family planning proponents, abortion rights activists, members of Congress and others condemned the regulation, saying it would create major obstacles to a variety of health services, including abortion, family planning, end-of-life care and possibly a wide range of scientific research.
It's not hard to see who this regulation is aimed at. There are a couple of dozen terminally ill patients in Oregon who are prescribed lethal doses of medication every year under the state's Death With Dignity Act, and this regulation might make it slightly harder for these patients to undergo assisted suicide. But the real targets are the millions of women who will be denied abortions and birth control.

Already, women find it very difficult to obtain abortions and birth control, especially the "morning after pill", in many areas of the US. In South Dakota, for example, there are only two doctors who perform abortions, and there are no providers in Rapid City (metro population 250,000, 350 miles from Sioux Falls). This regulation will make it impossible for many women to get an abortion, or to get the morning after pill in a timely fashion. The effect will be most acute in rural areas, where women may also find it difficult to get birth control pills.

Technically, the Bush administration's new regulation doesn't discriminate against women by denying them access to health care, because there might be some doctor out there who decides that it's wrong to treat colon cancer because he objects to eating red meat on moral grounds, but in the real world virtually everyone denied care because of this regulation will be a woman.

Note that the "right of conscience" will only be available to workers in the field of health care. The Bush administration continues to pursue charges against
Ehren Watada, who objected on moral grounds to participate in Bush's war of aggression in Iraq. And for the past three years, the administration has hounded Thomas Tamm, who told the American people that their government was illegally spying on them.

Watada and Tamm are not given the "right of conscience", probably because they aren't trying to deny reproductive rights to women.

(cross posted at

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17 December 2008

Gordon Brown : Britain out of Iraq by July. (But what about an absence of any accompanying Afghanistan announcements?)

Arriving unannounced today in Iraq Gordon Brown announced that British soldiers will be out of that (criminally, cold bloodedly, premeditatedly and sickeningly mercilessly), quite callously 'crucified' country -- inside 7 months.

UK troops to leave Iraq 'by July'
While that's certainly the sort of of cheerful news that will make for many of us being able to have at least a little happier Christmas, all aint exactly as it first appears.

But what's new?

Remember this though -- only British boys & girls still surviving (and still in one piece) at the selected time, will be coming back to Britain under their own steam. Since, sadly, between now and July's end some are sure to have to be stretchered back to 'dear old blighty. Sadder still, some others are bound to be borne back by bearers, in bloody boxes.

But what's new?

Moreover, the British government's ever eager to spin to please, directly as dictated by Downing Street, partners in propaganda, the once so highly respected BBC, will continue to comply and play down the fact that many more members of our brave British forces are already earmarked for an unbelievably, flat out f*cked up Afghanistan.

So, once again a conspiracy of assorted slimy, snidey, shitty, soulless, cowardly, completely compliant, conniving, conscienceless spinners seeks to sucker us.



Such sods as recently have serially professed to sincerely and honestly represent, and to selflessly serve this country's substantial majority of decent citizens, quite simply, have neither any semblence of shame, nor the slightest sign of scruples.

And that's for sure.

Furthermore, on said (so sad) score you can (quite categorically) quote us.

* (Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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14 December 2008

Bush Booed Shooed in Iraq ...

Official history of Iraq reconstruction reveals incompetence on a Mugabean scale

(click to embiggen)

From the New York Times:

An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.

The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures.

In one passage, for example, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is quoted as saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’

Mr. Powell’s assertion that the Pentagon inflated the number of competent Iraqi security forces is backed up by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of ground troops in Iraq, and L. Paul Bremer III, the top civilian administrator until an Iraqi government took over in June 2004.”
Those phony numbers would help Bush win a narrow victory in 2004. Just as the Department of Homeland Security would issue a new terror alert whenever the president's poll numbers began to sag, so the Department of Defense would issue a rosy new progress report whenever events in Iraq indicated that the situation was spiraling out of control. In fact, it appears that from the beginning of the occupation, the White House saw the appearance of progress in Iraq as a means to an end, the end being the re-election of President Bush:
Read more »

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12 December 2008

Bush, not soldiers, responsible for detainee torture

The Senate Armed Services Committee sends out Captain Obvious to announce the verdict

From the New York Times:

The physical and mental abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the direct result of Bush administration detention policies and should not be dismissed as the work of bad guards or interrogators, according to a bipartisan Senate report released Thursday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee report concludes that harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were directly adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners. The techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, and until 2003, waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning.

The report is the result of a nearly two-year investigation that directly links President Bush's policies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, legal memos on torture, and interrogation rule changes with the abuse photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq four years ago. Much of the report remains classified. Unclassified portions of the report were released by the committee Thursday.

Administration officials publicly blamed the abuses on low-level soldiers-- the work ''of a few bad apples.'' Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., called that ''both unconscionable and false.''

The report comes as the Bush administration continues to delay and in some cases bar members of Congress from gaining access to key legal documents and memos about the detainee program, including an August 2002 memo that evaluated whether specific interrogation techniques proposed to be used by the CIA would constitute torture.
For at least five years, it's been clear to everyone with half a brain that torture has been the official policy of the Bush administration. They as much as announced it when they established a prison at Guantanamo and declared that they were not required to follow either American law or the Geneva Conventions when dealing with prisoners there. They openly declared their intention to send prisoners to nations like Syria for the purpose of having them tortured, and the barred the Red Cross from inspecting prison facilities and from interviewing prisoners. Abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred after General Geoffrey D. Miller was transferred from Guantanamo to Iraq to "Gitmoize" the prison.

We knew that Bush was authorizing torture before we re-elected him in 2004. Many of his supporters chose to pretend that they didn't know, but many others backed Bush because of his torture policy. And even though reporters like James Risen and Seymour Hersh documented the atrocities and policies that authorized them, the Justice Depaatment and Republican congress refused to investigate.

In other words, just as Bush can't lay the blame for the torture on "a few bad apples" in the military, Americans can't lay the blame on "a few bad apples" within the Bush administration. Americans supported Bush despite his torture policy. In fact, his unpopularity has very little to do with the fact that he authorized torture. His slide in popularity is attributable to his incompetence in dealing with the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina. If Bush were halfway competent, Americans would be quite willing to overlook his brutality, just as the Russians and Chinese overlook the brutality of Putin and Hu.

The end of the Bush regime does not signal an end to America's torture policy, but only a suspension. We won't see an end to this ghastly practice until more Americans come to see that torture is never justified, and that it's something that no decent person engages in, authorizes, or condones.

(cross posted at appletree)

11 December 2008

Max Planck Institute accidentally publishes ad for Chinese brothel


From the Independent:

A respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, something beautiful and elegant, to illustrate a special report on China. Instead, it got a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of stripping housewives in a brothel.

Chinese characters look dramatic and beautiful, and have a powerful visual impact, but make sure you get the meaning of the characters straight before jumping right in.

There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club on the front page of its latest journal. Editors had hoped to find an elegant Chinese poem to grace the cover of a special issue, focusing on China, of the MaxPlanckForschung journal, but instead of poetry they ran a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewives in action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition. Their "enchanting and coquettish performance" was highly recommended.

The use of traditional Chinese characters and references to "the northern mainland" seem to indicate the text comes from Hong Kong or Macau, and it promises burlesque acts by pretty-as-jade housewives with hot bodies for the daytime visitor.
(cross posted at appletree)

10 December 2008

Caption Competition Edition

08 December 2008

A bit about the blessed Barak Obama - or - A story of small change...

The working middle naive class can kiss my ass.

I got the boss's job at last.

And before anyone starts on us, just remember our blog title.

Political parties, politicians, governments, dynasties, Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers : they come and go - constantly.

"The Establishment" remains.

"The Establishment" prevails.


To believe otherwise is bloody barmy.

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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07 December 2008

Further to our fearless "name 'em and shame 'em" tradition: Special Sunday supplement issue re : NIKIOMAHE ARCHITECTURE

Gocek, Turkey c/o Paradise.

As all of our loyal regular readers are already well aware, we're big believers in the "name 'em and shame 'em" business. We always have been and always will be.

Therefore, today it gives us much more pleasure than usual to name some especially seedy, slimy serpents at NIKIOMAHE ARCHITECTURE

For such shysters to sink so low as to steal from
this poor old Brit pensioner/senior - well, putting it as mildly as possible, certain integrity challenged, cheap-skate, unethical, almighty assholes at - NIKIOMAHE ARCHTECTURE positively sodding stink!

How's this for a far from isolated incidence of hypocritical, crappy, unethical, unholy, unforgivable, indefensible counterfeit Christian shit?!

They should be ashamed of themselves.


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04 December 2008

Canada Crisis : PM Stephen Harper's shameless 'power politics' ploy

No wonder so many of us are so seriously sickened so often.

Canadian leader shuts Parliament to keep power

OTTAWA – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shut down Parliament on Thursday in an unprecedented attempt to keep his government in power, fending off a no-confidence vote he was all but certain to lose.


Governor General Michaelle Jean, who represents Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, granted the unusual request to suspend parliament.

Had she refused, Harper would have had two choices: step down or face a no-confidence vote Monday he was sure to lose.

Harper would not offer details on their conversation.
Read the rest of this report -- so long as you're not scared of being sickened.

*(Cross posted across at 'appletree')

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01 December 2008

Special Sickness Certificate Supplement


Don't go away.

Be back soon.

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