28 February 2007
It would seem that the US government has no faith in the democratic institutions of its allies and will not permit the accused to be extradited to stand trial.
Why? Why? Why? Are these the actions of a free state with respect for law and its fellow free and democratic nations?
I say it is not and it is a disgrace. (And completely predictable.)
I'm fairly good at maths and the way I figure it that means that they reduced their original number by over 35%. That is really not very good at all. I think the appropriate grade would be a 'D' along with a note to the effect that the student "must try harder".
Oh, for fuck's sake, what was I thinking? This doesn't make any bloody sense even if we consider the source.
At my age I think it just best that I sit down a while.
I knew that there had to be an upside to having a royal family.
27 February 2007
when Srebrenica fell I fell with her
when the men and children fell I fell with them
the hands I hold before me are stained with blood
is it mine or theirs?
23 Killed in Afghan Blast; Cheney OK
What's all the rush all about you ask. Well last week Mr. Stanton announced that he was planning to have a sex change. Mr. Stanton, who is a married father, has said he wishes to retain his position and has received support from the mayor among others.
"Our concern is, this could quickly unravel the Anaheim Resort area and the golden egg that it is for Anaheim."
*Not in My Backyard
Too bad Antonio (Justice Scalia's real name - the Adolph thing was just my way of poking fun at him)! I'm sure you were looking forward to getting another wife, or a dog, or whatever.
Now a study of US census data by McClatchy Newspapers shows that nearly 16 million Americans, over 5% of the population, are living in "deep or severe poverty". I guess those tax cuts didn't really help now did they?
Surely not! Not Bush&Co! They would never lie to us (unless it was for our own good of course).
You're right. It can't happen there but it can happen here. In the words of Education Secretary Alan Johnson:
"It's the child that is at the centre of this, it's the parenting that matters, it's not the form of the relationship".
I know that when I go out to eat when I am in the states and I am forced to eat at one of these places I generally have only a starter for my entire meal. Even that is often too large a portion for a sensible meal.
These zealots, who have done Zumbo such a disservice, are acting as though gun ownership were a religion. In a way I reckon they're right.
Other sources, however, couldn't disagree more.
The decision will probably hinge on the testimony, if allowed, of his jailers as to the actual treatment received.
Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 quid.
The British are also concerned that plans to by the Americans to attempt to eradicate the opium crop will drive impoverished farmers without alternate sources of income back into Taliban hands.
It is too bad Prince Bandar isn't still the Saudi ambassador to the United States or he could pop round to the White House this evening and discuss the matter with the Decider (TM) whilst they have a private smoke on the balcony. Perhaps they could work out the schedule for the invasion at the same time.
I'm not sure it matters what their motivation is. It is clear that these are just unpleasant people. I wonder if they are Christians in good standing or not.
It must make Xmas shopping that extra bit more difficult.
Or not as the case may be. The company in question, Pink Meet and Greet, "blamed problems on individual members of staff" and said that "it was no longer trading".
And, in case you missed it, you needn't worry about your mobile phone either. Rumours that mobiles would ignite the fuel were also a myth just like global warming.
Well done ladies! Perhaps you should change your name to Phi Beta Barbie.
He must watch Jerry Falwell religiously.
I suppose that what they are really upset about is that Cameron asserts that Jesus's body is in the tomb which would mean that the alleged son of God did not literally rise from the dead. Do you think that they have ever heard of metaphor?
26 February 2007
So why, I ask myself, is it that there are no Bush extended family members who have made this excellent career choice and are proudly defending their country? Anyone?
I see that you have decided that you are a scientific expert and have been kind enough to inform us that global warming is a myth, that it isn't happening and that it is not based on facts. To use your words "global warming, at least as we think we know it, does not exist".
In that case I have decided to anoint myself as a Biblical expert and I am willing to trade you myth for myth. (Hey - I have at least read the book though admittedly in translation.) I say that the world was not created in seven days around six thousand years ago. That the biblical creation story is just a myth.
Go ahead Reverend. Your turn!
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yank in London
I would certainly hope that it doesn't come to the last resort of removing the child from the family but clearly something has to be done for this kid or he isn't going to live very long. If all other measures fail then I guess there is no alternative but surely there must be something that can be done. The mother indicates that he won't eat anything but processed foods ("Connor had a mouthful of apple once and he didn't like it") and I'm sure we all know kids whose diets are troublesome but even if he only eats rubbish he surely is getting way too much of it.
There are certain to be those who will say that the mother's rights are being infringed but surely the interests of the lad must come first mustn't they?
Of course if I pour through the detail of the Pentagon's record budget request I am sure that I will find that these shortcomings have already been addressed and that the spending isn't all on toys.
Happy trails Louis.
Well done lads.
No mention of cutting US aid because he's a fucking military dictator he overthrew a legitimately elected civilian government. What ever happened to the "Freedom Agenda" anyway?
Meanwhile across the great water a Canadian court has ruled that the process by which Mohamed Harkat, an Ottawa resident, was found to be a member of al Qaeda was "fundamentally unjust". This finding will undoubtedly put on hold his scheduled deportation to Algeria, a country from which he fled as a political refugee in 1990. He blames an informer-for-profit or possibly the Algerian government for the evidence given to the Canadian security authorities.
What impact, if any, will the situation of the UK deportees to Algeria have on the news this morning that the UK can deport radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan under a regime whereby Jordan vows that he will not be mistreated. I have no doubts that Qatada is a bad, and possibly evil, human being. However the quality of his humanity does not diminish it and he, like all of the rest of us, should have the right not to be tortured. To disregard his rights, as much as some of us may wish to, lessens us all.
Read it and find out.
25 February 2007
At least that is what one hopes.
I am but one of 300 million voices, a registered voter, an American and, despite what you believe in your darkest of hearts, a patriot. My voice says: :"No. We, the American people, are not open to more violence, more bloodshed and more tragedy for millions of people in the name of your neo-colonialist mission. 300 million times no!"
In other football news we expect results from the Craggy Cup to be coming in shortly!
Well guess what. I am not sympathetic. I have been a left wing American all of my life and I have never, I repeat never, had the opportunity to support a viable candidate. Welcome to politics on the margins my friends. I hope you don't mind keeping me company for a while.
24 February 2007
Why doesn't he just tell Barack Obama, ooops, sorry, Osama bin Laden, to dress his storm troopers up as innocent American kids? Why do members of the Republic Party hate America so?
In order to combat the lefties that are somehow behind the controls of Wikipedia some complete moron has decided that there was an overpowering need for a, get ready for it, Conservapedia. But won't this have a right wing bias which some enterprising soul will need to balance out by founding the Farleftapedia (TM)?
At least it isn't the Carling Premiership anymore.
The Associated Press have a story on a related topic: "Americans Underestimate Iraqi Death Toll". The AP have polled Americans and found that, while they can tell you with reasonable precision* how many US soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq, they woefully underestimate the price paid by the Iraqi population at large. The median estimate came in slightly below 10,000 whilst reliable figures have put the loss of life to be at least 50,000 with several estimates that are significantly higher.
*Addendum: most Americans estimate the US death toll at around 3,000 with the actual figure currently at a bit over 3,100 but both of these numbers fail to take into account the 800 civilian employees that have lost their lives performing tasks that in other wars would have been done by the Army. Speaking for myself, and I consider that I am reasonably au courant, would have put the contractor number much lower at perhaps 200 to 300. I think that is a number that will surprise most folks.
Do you think he talks to brother Alec much these days? Or to brother Daniel for that matter. Who knows extreme sports might of help to the wayward Baldwin.
I foresee an exodus of American right wing Christian nutcases who trundle off to Iberia to seek advice as to how to adjust the American Constitution in this direction.
We must not forget to condemn the actions of any state who represses freedom of expression.
I ask again. Is he leaving anytime soon? Please.
23 February 2007
Janus will be envious
Mr. Vice President, please don't shoot me for asking this but how does this square with your administration's stated position that the British withdrawal is a sign of success?
And there I was thinking that it was just the Qur'an that promoted violence.
Let's face it the American people should not be aware of the lies that their government is telling the rest of the world. After all it is hard enough to keep up with the lies the American government tells the American people!
At least they are consistent. China, Israel, Russia and the US have all refused to sign up to the land mine treaty as well.
Like Mr. Mbanga I can remember when Mugabe was on the side of the righteous but that now seems a very, very long time ago.
Since he only killed atheistic communists it doesn't really count as terrorism I guess.
Christ this is hard!
The Guardian reports today that the Decider (TM) make actually do something good and support Zambia as it tries to defend itself against so called vulture funds which are seeking, quite legally but reprehensibly, to claw back payments for debt incurred by the country. The fund in question, Donegal International, is owned by an American and bought the debt valued at 30 million USD from Romania for 3 million USD. He has already won a judgement against Zambian assets in the UK in the British courts.
The amount in question is equal to or greater than the amount of debt relief that the poor Africa country has received from the West. The President is said to be concerned about this and has the power to block attempts at collection in the US. Should he do so he can expect to hear from me:
"Well done Mr. President. I'm with you all the way on this one. (Just don't get fucking used to it, OK?)
Scientists are going to attempt to plug up the volcano with balls. Really big concrete balls. If it doesn't work I wouldn't want to be around when the 250 kilo concrete lumps come down.
I haven't read the fine print of the release but I am sure that somewhere in there you will find a qualifier that suggests that in order to proceed with this concept that obscure and isolated sections of the internets will need to be designated as "free speech zones".
Anything sound at all familiar to anyone?
In the meantime Increasingly Irrelevant US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes noises with her sabre.
Yesterday his compensation claim was rejected by the High Court on the grounds that he had been held based on a request for extradition to the US and that he was not wronged "in the domestic criminal process". Essentially they have told him to go see the Yanks about the money. I assume that this will not prove to be fruitful.
I don't believe that he has had as much as a whisper of apology either.
*Note: Mr. Raissi in that the request for extradition was handled under the old agreement with the United States which required the Americans to present a prima facie case. Under the new and controversial agreement such evidence is no longer required for extraditions from the UK to the US but is still required for extraditions in the opposite direction.
Tough on investigations into corporate fraud - tough on the causes of investigations into corporate fraud
I am certain that these moves are solely in the interests of streamlining government processes and are not at all politically motivated.
22 February 2007
I hope that I am wrong.
I am afraid that in certain circumstances I must and this short and succinct delineation of the "Scooter" Libby / Valerie Plame food chain is one of those circumstances.
Note to the Decider (TM): if Scott McClellan really spoke for you back in 2003 you've got quite a few folks to sack. If you hurry you can get it done tomorrow morning and release the news on Friday afternoon. You have to admit that you love to bury bad news by releasing it on Friday afternoons. Why should this be any different?
The document is called "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel" has been produced in conjunction with the Committee of Arab Mayors in Israel and "has been endorsed by an unprecedented range of Arab community leaders".
I have always felt that the a reason, perhaps the primary reason, that Israel does not have a written constitution is that to put down in black and white a definition of the state of Israel as a state for and of Jews, and Jews alone, exposes that policy as a racist one which would lose it much international support and which would be an anathema to many of Israel's citizens.
It is hard to say how the Israeli state, or the United States for that matter, will react to this once it is put into a position that it has to deal with it directly. Does it expose itself as a racist state? Does it consider the possibility of a one, secular state of greater Palestine as the ultimate solution to the seemingly intractable problems it faces today but at the price of the loss of a Jewish state?
You know that sometimes, just every now and then, I get to thinking that the death penalty isn't such a bad thing after all.
"As church related agencies, we are driven by our faith that life is sacred, because we believe that all people are created and loved by God. Cluster munitions maim and kill indiscriminately."
"The escalation of the conflict and its possible spread beyond the Iraqi borders will inevitably result in catastrophic consequences and not for the Middle East alone...I believe Washington understands this."
Is anyone surprised?
If you can keep a secret, at least from Bush&Co, I will inform you that Tony Blair is hinting that he might actually deal with the elected government of Palestine in defiance of the Decider (TM).
The raid occurred on Monday and the US forces arrested ten security guards and "confiscated their licensed weapons". (Are you listening at the NRA?)
We should also no bet surprised that I can find no coverage of this outside of the Middle Eastern press and the Guardian. The International Federation of Journalists has also issued a press release condemning the raid.
Is anyone keeping score? Who's left other than Australia? Fiji? Liechtenstein? The Holy See?
In an act of civil disobedience against this complete idiocy I propose to spend the afternoon in a English pub getting pissed on fine Cuban rum and smoking noxious Cuban cigars in defiance of the US Treasury.
If they are concerned about ensuring that all competitors are treated fairly why are the prizes in the doubles competitions increased to twice that of those for the singles?
OK. I'm ready. Abuse me.
*In my defence I am most definitely not a sexist!
The Western press has been at best sceptical, and at worse downright critical, of these claims but the undoubtedly independent Gambian press quickly cuts them down to size. Not only that but they expect a huge influx of the diseased, deluded and deranged to soon descend upon their country.
His body is to lie in an undisclosed location where it can be visited by US Vice President "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney whilst he is in hiding so that he may have his blood refreshed by transfusions from fifteen year old virgins.
Today St. Anthony went further. In speaking on the Radio 4's the Today Programme he denied that he was in any way responsible for the "very grim situation" in Iraq and left open the possibility that British troops might return or, one suspects, not leave at all should condition further degenerate.
Does he have a departure date yet? If not - why not?
It's easey peasey George.
21 February 2007
I've been to Iceland and there aren't a lot of trees around to begin with so it isn't like they were hiding in the nearest forest as there isn't one.
When is the American inspection scheduled?
"We want to complete the mission, we want to get it done right, and then we want to come home, with honor."
20 February 2007
Are the parents married (to each other)? If yes continue
Are the parents different sexes? If yes continue
Does either parent speak a language other than American? (Note: English may be acceptable.) If no continue
Are both parents Christians or similar religions like Catholic or Mormon? If yes continue
Is either parent an Indian? (Asian or American) If no continue
Does either parent read more than three books a year? If no continue
Is at least one parent clinically obese? If yes continue
Does at least one parent own a gun? If yes - we've got a winner!
In the fall of 2004 I edited Bad Subjects #70, an issue that featured essays on a wide variety of topics including a piece by Rebeca Siegel about the correlation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. At the time, there was (and still is) a great deal of controversy taking place in academia because various scholars/teachers had been pushing their respective universities to divest funds from Israel because of their treatment of Palestinians, and their continual defiance of U.N. law. In addition, a growing number of scholars were beginning to raise general concerns about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. While anti-Zionist perspectives had been most clearly articulated by, and thus associated with, faculty and students in Middle East Studies and Ethnic Studies programs, there were more professors outside of these fields that were becoming visibly upset about the policies of the Israeli government and the general project of Zionism. Among those dissenters were Judith Butler, a well known and respected Jewish academic who teaches at U.C. Berkeley. In an essay entitled “The Charge of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and the Risks of Public Critique” Butler spoke out against the manner in which anti-Zionism had been publicly conflated with anti-Semitism by a wide variety of public figures including Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard.
Perhaps Ted Haggard can help him down the 100% straight and narrow. (Ted's website is "in transition" very much like the great man himself.)
Are we in a situation where we may have to rely on a serving high ranking military officer refusing orders from the Decider (TM)? I, for one, certainly hope not but what else will stop him should he make up his limited mind?
I didn’t go through any abuse during detention.
I have gone through abuse during detention.
The number of Iraqis in American, rather than Iraqi, detention now exceeds 15,000. The current level is higher than it has been since the war started.
*To anyone who disagrees with my assessment I challenge them to name one accomplishment that she has managed to achieve in her time at the State Department. (The North Korean negotiations do not count as she was detached from the process.) We are all aware of the swathe of destruction that she left behind as a result of her tenure as National Security Advisor.
The HRW investigators where kept under 24 hour surveillance but still managed to uncover "unfair trials, detention of children and oppression of women and foreign laborers". Imagine what they may have uncovering had they been given unfettered access.
HRW news release
The score card on these two? Successes - nil; failures - two.
Yesterday he essentially compared himself to George Washington or, to use his own words, "first George W". Who's next? Gandhi? Jesus?
Rumours that his megalomania has caused him to consider hiring a psychic (perhaps Cherie knows a good one) to actually predict when people are going to fall ill and allow their treatment in advance cannot be confirmed at this time.
It may not however, prevent the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego from using bankruptcy to escape obligations to their flock as the first civil trials related to sexual abuse by priests within the diocese are due to open.
Shame, shame, shame.