30 December 2006
“I resolve to pay close attention to the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group’s report, as soon as it comes out on a books-on-tape version.”
“I resolve to make sure that by the end of 2007, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gets to spend more time with his family.”
“I resolve to tell John Kerry that I thought his joke was hilarious and he should keep ’em coming.”
“I resolve to learn how to use the Internets, especially the Google.”
”President Bush worked nearly three hours at his Texas ranch on Thursday to design a new U.S. policy in Iraq, then emerged to say that he and his advisers need more time to craft the plan he'll announce in the new year.” (Emphasis mine.)
"You know your country is in trouble when:Read the rest here.
The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.
Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.
The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.
The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.
An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country's 'Golden Years'.
Your country is purportedly 'selling' 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.
For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it's going to cut back on providing that hour.
Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is 'sectarian bloodshed' or 'civil war'.
People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that's been missing for two weeks."
Cosmopolitain London? Nope.
Try Newcastle!. "Ya not taakin shite, man!"
More information is available here.
Stories that vice-Decider Dick Cheney was moved to an undisclosed location during this faux crisis have not be confirmed.
Note: despite the fact that she hails from Bromley I've never seen her on the High Street, green, undressed or otherwise.
He was, undoubtedly, an evil man but killing him was not the answer although I suspect that there are those in the American government (and others) that are relieved that he has taken many embarrassing secrets with him to his grave.
For the terminally bored or enthusiastically royalist the full list (PDF) is available here.
29 December 2006
A White House spokesperson, speaking off the record said:
"Hey. Ice breaks off in my freezer all the time. It doesn't mean that my freezer is any warmer though, does it?"
His reaction? Hell no. I won't go.
As yet there has still been no sighting of the Bush twins in uniform.
"Golly I don't know. It looks pretty old to me though."
With the best of intentions he set out to book himself a holiday to visit his girlfriend who is living in Sydney Australia. Beaches, opera house, beaches, beer. Unfortunately when he went to book his plane tickets on the internet he misspelt “Sydney” as “Sidney” and he ended up in Montana instead.
No opera house. No Harbour Bridge. No bloody harbour! Oh, and it's fucking freezing!
I'm guessing that he won't make this mistake again anytime soon.
Not a minute too soon in my estimation. I mean is there any reason to suspect that Ottmar Hasler would be capable of fucking things up more than GW has?
Le Figaro explains. (An English translation is to be found here.)
Surely behaviour such as this shouldn't be expected in such a moral climate.
Now according to an AP poll George W. Bush is both the villain and the hero of the year for 2006 although he garnered only 13% to win the later competition even though he managed 25% in the former. Perhaps most worrisome for the lame duck President who obviously has one eye on his "legacy" in the listing of good role models he came in behind Katie Holmes and tied with Mel Gibson.
As arid regions suffer from increased drought and desertification armed conflicts over grazing rights and water are sure to increase throughout the globe.
So the next time that you are pumping petrol into the SUV take time to think of those who suffer to support your profligate lifestyle.
Is he that pissed off over Ford's statement that the invasion of Iraq was "a mistake"?
Meanwhile the progeny of "the Decider" (TM) continue to serve their Daddy's country in their own way.
One month? One week? One day? One hour?
In the meantime Israel believes that it is acceptable to prevent international aid or other funds that would be used to pay government workers wages from reaching Palestinian territory. The US apparently concurs.
Israel also believes that it is acceptable to arm one side in what would seem to be an impending Palestinian civil war. Again the US seems to agree.
Should the government fail to extradite Posada or, in lieu of that, put him into indefinite custody (Guantánamo Bay would be the perfect, if ironic, choice) it will prove conclusively that "war on terra" is indeed just an illegitimate exercise in noveau imperialism.
Communications between different projects in the same facility is restricted or barred. Equipment is ring fenced so that it may not be used by stem cell projects. It's a wonder that the scientists are allowed to talk to each other at lunch; maybe they don't.
Did Jane Jetson have a pair of these?
Once the press found out where he was it was a small matter to find out where he was staying. Lo and behold it turns out he was putting up in the lavish waterfront mansion of Bee Gee Robin Gibb.
It all seems innocent enough until one finds out that Gibb is one of those most active and outspoken in opposition to the government's plans to restrict copyrights.
Downing Street insists that the home has been paid for in a private commercial arrangement. Similar waterfront properties in Miami rent for from £10,000 to £40,000 a week. I hope that Cherie's practice is booming because the PM certainly doesn't make that kind of dosh!
28 December 2006
(Why do they call his place in Crawford a ranch anyway? If it was in New York or Virginia it would simply be "a country estate".)
"I would have left it alone” said Charles "Junior" Woodland after burning down much of his house attempting to thaw out the pipes with a propane torch.
The evidence? A 9mm bullet. Where is the young Mr. Bush hiding this evidence? In his head.
His lawyer is opposing the execution of the search warrant on the grounds of the right to privacy.
A man in Berlin has outdone even me after having to be rescued from a drain after falling in whilst searching for his car keys.
Well done mate!
Theoretically this was a valid excuse for not turning up to work but, as it wasn't true, she spent Xmas being grilled by the police and now faces a thousand Euro fine.
It would seem that the blasting required to lay the foundations is scheduled to begin at any moment.
I, for one, can't wait.
Is anyone at all surprised?
It is not just the Indian subcontinent that is at risk either. Heavily populated areas of Florida and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are also under threat. This is clearly not the time to buy a shore house.
Spanish Muslims have asked the Pope to intervene and allow Muslim worship at the World Heritage Site.
I wonder what has changed their minds as they usually ignore any scientific advice with which they don't agree especially on environmental matters. Perhaps Dick Cheney heard that they made for good hunting and no one told him that you couldn't just go to a farm in Texas where they released them in front of you and you could call it hunting!
In the black corner we have the lobbyists, the assembled scientific experts and the advertising might of the prepared foods industry led out of Battle Creek, MI by the industry behemoth Kellogg’s.
Who will win in the battle of the food labelling? The smart money ain't on the government!
27 December 2006
One of these measures would entail the opening of recruiting offices overseas and offers of fast track citizenship to recruits.
I think that soldiers such as these are ordinarily known as mercenaries.
Would he have ever been elected Governor in the first place if the people of California knew that he wasn merely a steroid abusing Austrian rather than a malevolent android?
As of Xmas day the death count in Iraq has surpassed the number of those who died on 9/11.
It sounds as if we are getting a negative rate of return to me?
Then the US decided it wanted in on the act and is considering building building a fence to keep the Hispanic neighbours from crashing the pool parties all the time.
Now Pakistan wants in on the act.
Who's next, I wonder.
Said Arvid Andreas Fosse, the local priest:
"They were supposed to ring in Christmas for one hour in the evening. I don't know what went wrong. But I'm surprised nobody called earlier."
24 December 2006
In the meantime I leave you with a short clip from my favourite anti-carol.
A longer version may be found here.
(Remember Kirsty in your prayers.)
23 December 2006
Don't they listen to our leader? Don't they know that it is a loony, far left conspiracy?
The Americans are denying it. This could be because it is untrue or because it is true and they don't want to admit that the intelligence services are still a shambles.
The French are denying it. This could be because it is untrue or because it is true and they don't want to admit that they were taking orders from the Yanks.
*Note to wingnuts - both occurrences allegedly happened in the last 3 years so it is on Bush's watch rather than Clinton's.
Spike that pigskin
The standard football goal celebration is long overdue a makeover. Expect tearing your shirt off and making a shushing gesture to be replaced by the NFL standard mass Bill Cosby-style funky jive dancing, provocative "spiking" of the ball in the opposition six-yard box and a 30-stone centre-half in tight, shiny trousers doing the Bruce Grobbelaar spaghetti legs.
Soak the manager
The traditional handshake to be phased out in favour of sneaking up behind the gaffer and pouring an enormous tub of Lucozade Sport over his head, thereby ruining (a) his extremely expensive black cashmere overcoat; and (b) any chance of that improved contract offer.
It's time for football to raise the light entertainment bar. The standard penalty-shoot-out-with-club-mascot-in-goal could easily be replaced by a 15-minute musical extravaganza starring Eminem, Barbra Streisand and Metallica, with at least one flesh-flashing "wardrobe malfunction" plus a heavy metal version of God Save The Queen. We can keep the raffle though.
Jazz up the roster
Having endured over a hundred years of professional football players with names like Alf, Gary and Keith, an injection of NFL exoticism can't come soon enough. Look forward to a future England XI made up of men called things like Chuck Tieclip and Jamal Johnson-Cheeseburger III.
Break it up a bit
Regularly exhausted by being made to concentrate for a whole 45 minutes, football supporters would welcome a US-style dumbing down into easy, bite-sized chunks. Expect to see Premiership games interrupted every two minutes by George Foreman trying to sell you his revolutionary fat-draining pasty-warmer.
Get some specialists in
Gridiron squads are all about specialisation: kicking teams, kicking return teams, Sunday afternoon at 3.42 with the wind from the south-west teams. Expect Premiership clubs to respond by employing a player whose sole job is to hoof the ball absolutely miles every 10 minutes while everyone else rushes after it. Although, those who saw Martin O'Neill's Leicester City may suspect he's already thought of this one. Barney Ronay
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ‘roun’In military terms isn't volte-face just a fancy term for retreat?
Turn me ‘roun’
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ‘roun’
I’m gonna wait until my change comes
Don’t let nobody turn you ‘roun’
Turn you ‘roun’
Don’t let nobody turn you ‘roun’
Wait until your change comes
I say I’m gonna hold out
Hold out, hold out
I say that I’m gonna hold out
Until my change comes
I promised the lord that I would hold out
I promised the Lord that I would hold out
Wait until my change comes
The war crime question needs to be seriously discussed as regards Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well.
ExxonMobil feels that the award is still too high and may appeal. The remaining 2.5 billion USD represents only slightly over two days of sales based on 2005 turnover. Not very punitive in my book!
Well done you lot and "Feliz Navidad".
The book is apparently a surprisingly strong seller in the UK.
Not the least of these differences in is their differing attitudes toward religion. One of the reasons I always note for my remaining here for fourteen years is that, as an atheist, I find that my religious beliefs, or perhaps better stated the lack thereof, are treated with more respect here and never with the scorn that was often the reaction in America.
Most Americans, by a sizable percentage, define themselves as religious. Now a new survey of British attitudes shows that not only are most British not religious, despite the fact that most people still identify themselves as Christian, but that more than 80% believe that religious faith does more harm than good versus only 16% who believe the opposite.
I would think that it will be a very long time, if ever, before this gap in thinking is closed.
22 December 2006
Until then, unfortunately, people like Congressman Robin Hayes (R - NC) will have a say in how the American government and the world are run. He thinks that we can bring victory and peace to Iraq if only we would convert the Muslim heathens to Christianity.
That kind of thinking has worked so well in the past.
In his column he quite seriously states that:
"The Saddam Hussein dictatorship was directly associated and supportive of the dark Islamist fascist perpetrators who attacked America and committed mass murder on September 11th 2001."
"He was...actively exploring ways to join forces with the al Qaeda movement."
"He was joined to the Islamist fascist goal of conquering and enslaving mankind in Sharia tyranny. Hussein and his ilk, in fact, were principals in the Islamist fascist terror movement."
God bless America.
So have a safe Xmas and keep Santa away from open flames!
What is it for anyway? Service to toffness?
Not to worry. Thanks to the miracles that are the semi-conductor, fibre optics and the internets, you need not miss a word. This year the message will, for the first time, be available as a podcast.
If you're really keen you can avoid the rush. If you go to www.royal.gov.uk you can pre-order it and it should be delivered to you promptly on 25 December at 3 PM. (Who wants to bet that doesn't go tits up?)
I guess this means that all those folks who insist on abstinence as the only way are warmongers, for today at least. Now get out there and get shagging!
*Note to wing nuts - the word "partner" is used in an inclusive sense here and married people are not excluded from having an orgasm with their spouse. There are not excluded from having an orgasm with someone else either but I suggest that they ask for permission first to avoid any unnecessary confusion. Remember - "all spouses are partners but not all partners are spouses"!
Perhaps there is the political will to deal with it in Congress now. But that will all change once the vested interests get to arm twisting and bribing (aka doling out contributions) and pointing out how all the other subsidies, save the one that benefits them, are anti-competitive.
Of course the attempts to eliminate or at least restrict legal and illegal immigration have been controversial and little, if any, direct legislative action has been taken. Is it possible that the "War on Terra" (TM) is being used as a smokescreen for more restrictive policies?
Nah! Forget I even mentioned it. The American government would never be so deceitful.
Can we judge a man by the company he keeps?
If he's George Bush of course we can!
Today's sunrise: 0803
As the country is host to the world's fifth largest natural gas reserves its former overlord, Russia, while want its influence felt as will China and Western Europe to whom it is a critical energy supplier. Of course, the Decider (TM) will probably want to mosey on through on the back of his faithful mount "Freedom Agenda".
If the Turkmen are not as unlucky as the Iraqis it is possible that things could get marginally better. Maybe, maybe not.
In a country that is home to the Vatican we can expect further developments.
Somehow I doubt it. After all the victims were only brown infidels. Now had they been white Christians that would have been a different matter entirely.
First the mundane.
The number one boy's name remains "Jack". (Jack? I always thought it was a nickname for John.)
The number one girl's name is now Olivia, overtaking Jessica whose reign only lasted one year.
Now for the omen.
With George Bush's popularity sinking ever lower everyday in the states the evidence of disapproval here is more subtle. Mohammed has overtaken George in this year's rankings coming in at 22nd.
21 December 2006
"I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States".
I guess it is OK as long as they exclude al Jazeera.
I hope this turns out for the best and that there needn't be a protracted court battle over this. I am sure that there are those, especially in America, who believe that she should be compelled to have treatment (unless she hasn't got insurance of course).
I think that this is one of the reasons I am an avowed atheist. I refuse to allow myself to believe in any superior, let alone omnipotent, being that could allow, or worse yet, cause, this to happen to a child.
I am sure that the appropriate folks will raise their voices in righteous indignation until the church deals with the matter.
Oh well. There's always the Kent Saturday Church League.
The new division will be responsible for the profiling of all domestic, industrial and experimental robots. Those found to have suspicious contacts, such as an assembly robot at a GM factory which was responsible for welds in a car in which Osama bin Laden once travelled, will be declared "enemy combatants" and may be permanently detained at Guantánamo Bay or other, invisible, American facilities or delivered against their will to the governments of allies in the "War on Terra" (TM). The division will also be responsible for illegally monitoring all robotic software on the planet for terrorist influenced code.
An unnamed DHS spokesman was quoted as saying:
"Go ahead give them human rights. Like we would pay any attention to that!"
You will remember Arar as the Canadian citizen who was seized by US authorities at JFK airport whilst in transit home from a holiday. He was delivered to Syrian authorities who tortured him and forced a confession from him. A Canadian inquiry has found him innocent of any connection with terrorism or terrorist.
I guess this is just one more mistake that the Bush administration is too frightened to admit to. It is just unfortunate that it happens to be someone's life.
This time it is Guns for everybody!
Good thinking Batman.
Probably not before the end of 2006.
From the Geneva Conventions:
Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
States which are Parties to a conflict shall provide all civilian hospitals with certificates showing that they are civilian hospitals and that the buildings which they occupy are not used for any purpose which would deprive these hospitals of protection in accordance with Article 19.
Civilian hospitals shall be marked by means of the emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, but only if so authorized by the State.
The Parties to the conflict shall, in so far as military considerations permit, take the necessary steps to make the distinctive emblems indicating civilian hospitals clearly visible to the enemy land, air and naval forces in order to obviate the possibility of any hostile action.
In view of the dangers to which hospitals may be exposed by being close to military objectives, it is recommended that such hospitals be situated as far as possible from such objectives.
The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.
The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants which have not yet been handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.
Perhaps George and Laura will prove an example to mothers and fathers across the land by marching the twins down to the nearest recruiting office right after Xmas and sign the two of them up for a tour of the garden spots of Asia.
The bad news is that his grandmother isn't too clever and neither are the security staff who stood by and watched the one month old child be put through the X-ray security screening at LAX.
How could they so hate freedom as to go this far?
No matter how reprehensible I believe his views to be I strongly believe that it is wrong to ban his, or any other's, speech if it stops short of inciting violence and that Germany and Austria have gone too far with these laws. Mein Kampf, the pathetic ramblings of Hitler's distrubed mind is banned in both countries. I think all Germans and Austrians should be forced to read it rather than being prevented from doing so!
It turns out that he was wrong and he managed to somehow survive the fall with just a punctured lung and a broken ankle. Perhaps gravity is somehow different in New Zealand.
Note: I find it terribly amusing that The Sun cannot bring itself to actually spell out the word "shit" in the story, substituting the ever popular "s**t" in its place. This despite the fact that it flashes tits (NSFW) all over page 3 six days a week. Oh well. Its owned by Murdoch. What did we expect?
It is a great comfort to me that I know that nothing of the sort could possibly happen today!
I wonder why he waited so long. Did the drugs just wear off or something?
20 December 2006
If they need a back up idea I'm sure that the Presley estate would be more amenable to the idea.
Rumours that Washington DC, Detroit and New Orleans are lobbying for Iraq to be joined to the union as the 51st state so that Baghdad will become eligible for, but not necessarily win, the distinctly un-coveted annual American Murder Capital award cannot be confirmed at this time.
Many American cities are reacting positively to the challenge.
They can if they can find more politicians like the late Charles Haughey the former Irish Taoiseach of Fianna Fáil. An Irish government investigation has found that he absconded with over €11.5 million of public money between 1979 and 1996. That's around €45 million in today's money.
If you're going to steal you should steal big and die before you get caught; both of which Mr. Haughey did.
Could it be the news that the US is seriously contemplating increasing the size of the American fleet in the Persian Gulf so as to flex its muscles at Iran?
The American state as it is today reminds me of an ex-body builder living with the after effects of a pattern of steroid abuse. It has muscles too big for its frame, a tiny willy, there are signs of brain damage and it probably has cancer.
Humiliated he may have been but he should not have been shocked. M. Jauffret weighs in at a svelte 160 kilos. Would you want him jammed into the seat next to you?
19 December 2006
Congress makes laws. The President ignores them. Welcome to the Imperial States of America.
Do read the whole thing but here are a few snippets to get you started:
"But compared with any other book on Paine I can think of, this one is casual, even perfunctory. Long before I reached the end of what is a very long short book, I was at a loss to know why it had been written."
"...this book, which reads like the work of a tired man. Too tired, to begin with, to check his facts."
"Hitchens’s casual attitude to facts is not compensated for by a corresponding precision with ideas, or any concern for the range, the richness, the complexity of Paine’s thinking."
Most American farmers have taken it to mean that it is a signal for them and their associations to spend millions lobbying the US Congress for subsidies and special treatment. What the "free market" capitalists actually mean that it is a sign that you should actually move into other goods or crops, if you are a farmer.
Obviously those American farmers who dealt with this message appropriately and stopped farming soy beans, tobacco or whatever and moved into marijuana have reacted appropriately and have therefore been richly rewarded.
All without subsidies.
We should all give thanks to those ganja farmers out there who have shown the American farmer how the market operates.
The American embassy says that it is assisting the Iraqi government in looking for him. I'll bet they're not assisting too hard.
How else can you explain so many new and fatal diseases? AIDS / HIV, drug resistant TB, variant CJD and now variant MRSA.
If anyone can come with an adequate explanation that doesn't involve evolution (or God hating mankind) please let me know! Ta.
18 December 2006
It is still hard to believe that there are no requirements to identify the inclusion of genetically modified (GM) ingredients in products in the US. Virtually all non-organic foods in the states contain one or more GM ingredients but no one is telling the Americans and it seems that they are blissfully unaware of the fact or its potential implications.
You have been warned.
Maybe if they knew they wouldn't be so eager to poison our rice!
Well their great tradition continues but it has now moved on to Asia. Santhi Soundarajan, an Indian silver medallist in the 800 metres at the recent Asian games in Doha looks to be stripped of her(?) medal based on the results of a gender test which apparently showed that she did not have the "sexual characteristics of a woman".
Now if I were a misogynist or a male chauvinist running dog I could joke that the gender test included parallel parking (which he passed) and picking the best handbag to go with a pair of shoes (which he failed).
But I'm not.
So I won't.
Sounds like he's one for the Army!
There is no word as to how he will enforce this requirement, although it is self evident when the bride is preggers or has kids already, nor why only the woman has to suffer prenuptial chastity.
Well Alice Beer, aged 94, spent the weekend camped outside the Trident base in Scotland along with other members of GOAT (Golden Oldies Against Trident).
I wish her well and thank her. I should be so dedicated! In fact we all should.
Surely it must have been the first panto-wedding! All I got to wear at my wedding was a DJ.
I hope I remember what I get!
17 December 2006
I think they should compromise and settle for "STUPID".
I know I am not important enough to be named as a leader of the liberal conspiracy but if at all possible I would consider it a great privilege if you would at least include me as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Yank in London
"I've actually had hundreds of marriage proposals since I left the jungle. It's incredible.
"We chose Lesotho because it wasn't even on the map, I'd never heard of it."
"To Mr Mandela. It was an honour to meet you. See you soon. David Beckham".
Then again as the people responsible for the research are from Harvard they are probably are a couple of those evil professors that David Horowitz is so kind as to warn us about.
Oh and the police squad running the investigation are convinced that they were being bugged.
Has anyone seen Patricia Dunn lately?