31 July 2007
Let's do some research then shall we? RSF's most recent press freedom index does indeed list Cuba almost on the bottom at 165 and Venezuela fares little better at 115. Fair enough. Curiously however the State Department statement makes no mention of either the US's good friends Colombia and Mexico both of whom rank below Venezuela at 131 and 132 respectively. There is also no mention of the fact that the US doesn't exactly figure well in the rankings coming in at joint 53 along with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga and behind Mozambique, Macedonia and the Dominican Republic.
Well it has made me think anyway!
"We pay a premium on our properties to live in as near a rural environment as we can to London, thus enjoying the peace and relative tranquillity that this brings with it, together with a communal sense of good neighbourliness. If No 36 were to be changed into a 'hostel' this would change completely with the constant comings and goings ... similar to a small hotel."I spit in your general direction!
"[T]here is no provision for guarding the premises as there is with other military establishments or for protecting local people either from attack by terrorists, or by those taking revenge, who may themselves have lost family members ..."
(To be continued...)
30 July 2007
Perhaps I should ask Michael Moore.
We may not even want to know. I'm sure he slipped back to the cabin, got out the laptop and checked to see how many days were left!
(To be continued...)
29 July 2007
So on to the flag related news. New PM Gordon Brown wants government buildings to fly the Union Flag* everyday and not just on the limited days that used to be the case. The trouble is that Scotland is run by the Scottish National Party, a party that wants Scotland to be a real country and not just for football, and they are opting out of the flag flying thing.
*Despite what you think the national flag is called the Union Flag and should only be called the Union Jack when it is on a ship. I hope you find this message informative.
(To be continued...)
28 July 2007
Am I guilty of solecism or am I essentially correct?
Remember people have to pay Bill-O five bucks a month for the privilege of threatening Hillary. Do they get a badge along with the privilege or is that extra?
A Google new search for various combinations of Paul-Ross-Evans-terror-terrorist-evildoer yielded exactly zero valid results!
It is a real shame that Haliburton doesn't do the education thing because a 130 million USD no bid contract to provide these services would be a real "win-win" situation. I wonder how much Haliburton would charge for a school desk. 5K USD probably isn't high enough.
* Note: a Google search for "paris hilton" megastar disturbingly yields "about" 93,100 hits!
Perhaps it is because she is, by far, the most right wing of the Democratic candidates, and would be considered, despite Bill O'Reilly's characterisation of her as belonging to the "hard left", to be well right of centre everywhere but the US. I think that previously labelled her, in British terms, as being on the far right wing of New Labour, which puts her will right of centre, or a left wing Tory. I am glad that the pundits agree with me! (I think.)
"Red" Ken Livingstone - Mayor of London: "Stop being such a prat!"
Clive Stafford-Smith - lawyer: "Have you ever heard of Martin Luther King Jr.?"
Martha Nussbaum - professor of law and ethics: "You've got daughters. Sort it out will you?"
Shami Chakrabarti - director of Liberty: "Which word in 'human rights' don't you understand?"
George Monbiot - environmentalist: "If your grandchildren live in a horrible word you do know it will be your fault don't you?"
Anne Weyman - Family Planning Association: "And on abortion...you're not listening to me are you?"
"The Americans want so much to be the winners. The fact that they are sick with this illness, this winners' complex, is the main reason why everything in the world is so confused and so complicated," he said at a packed news conference.It's a good thing he doesn't know what he is talking about or we would be in big trouble.
Instead of ushering in an era of cooperation with the West, the USSR's collapse put the United States into an aggressive, empire-building mood, he said. Ultimately, that has led the United States to commit a string of "major strategic mistakes," he said.
"The idea of a new empire, of sole leadership, was born," Gorbachev said.
"Unilateral actions and wars followed," he added, saying that Washington "ignored the Security Council, international law and the will of their own people."
At least we can all be secure in the knowledge that we have someone trustworthy, thoughtful and diplomatic at the helm of the American state.
Good start Ed. Now let's see what you can do!
You have been warned.
*How doctors looked Mr. Cheney's alleged heart in order to install the device in the first place remains an unsolved mystery.
Meanwhile former Republican administration justice department lawyers are the most recent to write Gone-zo off.
Gone-zo just go please. We are all bored with this!
(To be continued...)
27 July 2007
"I just want to know what the heck they did with the water," she said. Bloody good question. I don't suppose it could have evaporated.
Their website is here or if you are so inclined send them an email of support at email@example.com.
As I know that the Decider(TM) himself reads this blog I shall point him towards this link to the Non-proliferation Treaty in case he has mislaid his copy.
Fortunately the US State Department assures us that these two men are just fantasists or, at the very least, no one in the US government has any recollection of anything, ever.
In any case I am sure that these alleged incidents took place before the US signed up to the human trafficking protocol.
In all seriousness I have, on two separate occasions, had highly remunerated job offers from the defense industry. In both case the jobs paid easily 20-30% above what was available in other industries. I had to make a choice between my "deeply held moral beliefs" and my livelihood. Money had to take the back seat. Should I have been allowed to take the job, at the high wages on offer, and also been allowed to refuse to work on any weapons related projects? Hey, now that I think of it, that sounds like a bloody good idea. I think I had best give my solicitor a ring!
Good to see that crotchety old Zeke is still running it. If my memory serves me well he used to work at Lenape Park before the canoe thing happened.
I have great confidence that this administration can be trusted to tell us the truth about the incident in the unlikely event that there is anyone in the administration that can remember anything about it.
One the list of barred items: jeans, sneakers, shorts, miniskirts, T-shirts, tank tops and flip flops. (I don't know about flips but there are certainly enough flops in the White House already.)
It is not known if these rules will apply to the twins.
I suppose if some of the FBI officials involved did some prison time that might help to even out the balance but I imagine that the statute of limitations has long since run out.
Meanwhile I think the Democrats finally can smell the blood that Gone-zo has been spewing into the water for 127 days and are demanding that a special prosecutor be appointed. They have also subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify. Earlier this morning I noticed when passing a betting shop that I could have gotten 1,000,000,000 to 1 odds that the subpoena would be honoured!
Unfortunately my optimism that a leader in today's Guardian entitled "Ending the agony: Attorney General" would cause the Decider(TM) to decide to decide (after all how could he ignore the opinion of Britain's leading left of centre newspaper) to can Gonzales was dashed when I found out that the piece was actually some meaningless piffle about restructuring the duties of the British Attorney General. Oh well.
(To be continued...)
26 July 2007
I'm with you all the way on this one "I'm a Big"! I don't like when Democrats invade my personal space either.
The people surveyed were obviously not real Muslims because we all know that Islam=Violence; just ask the Catholics.
On a lighter note do you know what the collective noun for a group of management consultants is?
An INSULT! (Remember you read it here first!)
If the Nailers logo is any indication I would say that there is definitely some hard core bondage (gay or straight?) going on in the locker room.
I will now hold my breath as I wait for the Right to notice this and congratulate the ACLU. Please send memorial contributions in the name of "Yank in London" to the ACLU!
How forcefully the news media interprets the criticism to be clearly depends on where they are sitting. Some see it as foot dragging (Christian Science Monitor). Others see the US as lagging it its arms deliveries (US News & World Report). The Boston Globe says that Ambassador Suaidaie is frustrated. New York's Newsday says that Iraq is calling for arms. This is strongest wording I can find in the US.
Outside the US some media are keeping the lid on the controversy with the Malaysia Star saying that the US must do more and the ABC in Oz also sees Ambassador Sumaidaie as being frustrated. The Arab Monitor from Italy sees Iraq to be at odds with the US.
Much of the rest of world sees the rift as more severe. Ambassador Sumaidaie is said to slam the US in the Melbourne Sun, the Times of India, the New Straits Times (Malaysia) and Al Sumaria RV (Iraq). Al Alam from Iran says that the ambassador blasted the US.
Unsurprisingly Faux News fails to mention the ambassador's criticism at all in their story and instead focuses on his desire for The Surge to go on and on. Go figure.
OK George. I am only going to tell you this once (more). Planning happens before; reacting happens after. Got it?
But if he does who should be his running mate? Jane or Spot?
Perhaps the Decider(TM) should decide to decide to commission the lovely Michelle Maglalang to produce a similar film once he decides to decide to (quite rightly and Constitutionally) inter all of America's Muslims and loony lefties!
It is widely believed, although it is totally unreported in the American press, that the Iranians see significant signs of American involvement in Iraq.
*I am not, of course, suggesting that any of my friends are overweight or obese. This is just a title for a post, OK?
Has Libya been off the roster of the "Axis of Evil" long enough to qualify? Will they check with Israel to make they don't plan on bombing it before construction begins?
The Reverend Jerry Falwell, being otherwise engaged in planning the end of time, cannot be reached for comment at this time.
In related news Kazakhstan seems to be in denial after race favourite, Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, failed a drugs test and withdrew. Has Borat weighed in on this yet?
I should think that Lynne Truss is rather pleased.
*A note to any idiots reading this post. Please look up the meaning of the word "pedant" before you make up your mind to burn down my flat. Thank you.
In the department of unintended irony House Minority Leader called the measure a "meaningless stunt" before voting for the measure along with 171 of his Republican "Stay the Course" colleagues!
It's a real shame that he was never taught the meaning of honour in all those years he spent at the training grounds of the North Eastern elite he so often disparages; Phillip Academy, Yale University and Harvard University. Perhaps that's why he got C's!
So long Ed; it's been good to know you.
According to the council's Speaker Christine Quinn:
"We recognize that those cell phones should not be on in school or during the school day...but they need to have them to and from, and we believe the Department of Education has to go out and figure out a way to make that happen." (Emphasis mine.)What an absurd argument. How did my and preceding (and I am afraid succeeding) generations ever survive without them? It is probably a good thing I haven't any kids because you can be damn sure that they wouldn't have a mobile at the age of ten or twelve.
I mean how good can a medical degree be if you haven't paid hundreds of thousands of USD for it?
25 July 2007
But Joni Mitchell? I love Joni Mitchell. I recognise that the career hasn't been going all that well of late but why Starbucks? Why now? What were you thinking?
I imagine that someone in the party will have a quiet word with him and the he will vociferously deny that he ever suggested a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate Gone-zo.
(Can we start calling this Gonezogate now?)
I thought you should now. More "facts" from the Decider(TM) may be found here. Don't forget your duct tape!
I hope they change their minds. Perhaps the Decider(TM) might finally want to attend one.
Corruption in the US of A means the Vice President convening an "energy task force" that consists solely of those with huge commercial interests in fossil fuels and then keeping the members of the task force and the conclusions secret from the American people. If he told us he would have to kill us.I think I prefer the Nigerian way.
Corruption in Nigeria means hiring an executive from Royal Dutch Shell to be the oil minister.
At the end of the day we are not going to tackle the problem with renewables alone and there is going to have to be sacrifice in both the North America and Europe as regards per capita energy consumption and lifestyle. I am sorry if that is inconvenient or unpalatable but I believe it to be the truth. It is also why I am extremely cynical about the planet's chances of get out of this without terrible, terrible difficulty. The level of understanding, concern and altruism required for action to be taken before it is too late simply does not, and I believe will not, exist. By the time the mass of westerners are willing to make these adjusts we will be well beyond the tipping point. Sorry but that's what I think. I wish someone could and would convince me otherwise!
The one thing I find amusing is continued outrage over the fact that one of the comments he quotes refers to the Pope as a "primate". Well Bill the Il Papa is a primate twice over. First he is, I believe, a human and therefore a member of the order Primates and second as he is the Pope and the Bishop of Rome he is also a primate within the Roman Catholic community. See Bill - a little play on words! Get it? I thought you might if I explained it carefully. I hope you can relax now. Get out the loofah and have a bath - alone of course!
The Islamic Republic News Agency out of Iran has a slightly different slant on the story.
(To be continued...below you can see my Senator - the Rt. Hon. Arlen Specer giving the sychophant a hard time.)
24 July 2007
Even Norm Ornstein of the right wing American Enterprise Institute said he "cannot think of one good reason" for the denial to a Congressman who serves on the Homeland Security Committee and went on to say that he finds "it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House".
Crikey does this mean I agree with the AEI? I think that I'd best sit down for a bit and rest.
At last someone is standing up for the secular state imagined by the founders of America! Unfortunately he is in Moscow (Russia not Idaho).
But they are list damn it! Of evildoers! Even though Messrs. Nada and Nasreddin have walked free in Italy I think we can be relatively secure in the knowledge that some day soon they will be walking down the street and a huge black SUV with tinted windows will appear out of nowhere. Masked men will shuffle them into the vehicle and they will be whisked away to a super secret location free from the needless impediments of the laws of evidence and guilt where they will have an opportunity to meet Truth, Justice and the American Way!
Whilst the American government has not yet officially responded to this specious and treasonous nonsense a highly placed anonymous source at the Pentagon did say the following:
"9/11! 9/11! Everything changed! Evil-doer! Evil-doer! Terror! Terror! Be very afraid!
No wonder he wants to bomb Iran; I suspect that they have a less-than-liberal attitude towards cross dressing in Tehran.
However he does not like to restrict himself to this literal interpretation of the Constitution when it comes to the perceived duties and powers of the presidency. If there is one thing that the framers seemed to unanimously agree on it was that they desired a weak executive with none, or at least few, of the powers that they associated with Kings and Emperors. The President, who is unlikely to have ever read the Federalist Papers or any of the other documents that help us to understand the thinking that went into the construction of the Constitution some years after the United States of America became a free country. He clearly does not understand the document's roots in English Common Law hence his total disregard for the right of habeas corpus. One suspects that perhaps his Attorney General does not understand this, or at least does not wish to understand it, as he has pointed out that habeas doesn't actually appear in the Constitution as a right; the framers would have felt that it was so basic that this inclusion was completely unnecessary.
What George really seems to want is an imperial presidency; one in which he says something and that is the end of the argument. His pronouncements simply trump anything that comes out of any other branch of government. He has ruled checks and balances extinct; perhaps he would term them "quaint".
Well it is time that we returned to a presidency whose powers are more in line with what was envisioned two centuries and a bit ago; where the president serves at the pleasure of the people; where the president is a servant of the people and not the other way around.
I remain thankful that I live on a hill.
But that provoked the ire of a local coven of Wiccans, witches and wizards who use the name because it refers to a special date or dates in the pagan calendar. The developers have finally backed down and agreed to change the name to "Highcross Leicester".
I have emailed the Rt. Rev. Robertson and I eagerly await the reply of our Lord Jesus (as channelled through Rev. Robertson) on this appalling development!
Do you think globalisation is having a positive or negative effect on your country?
UK positive 15% negative 53%
France positive 18% negative 53%
Italy positive 25% negative 553%
Spain positive 17% negative 54%
Germany positive 36% negative 42%
US positive 17% negative 45%
Do you think that the income tax structure in your country correctly taxes those who earn the highest incomes?
UK OK 16% Higher tax 58% Lower tax 8%We're not so far apart as one might think.
France OK 23% Higher tax 52% Lower tax 11%
Italy OK 13% Higher tax 62% Lower tax 18%
Spain OK 14% Higher tax 66% Lower tax 5%
Germany OK 20% Higher tax 63% Lower tax 7%
US OK 12% Higher tax 61% Lower tax 10% (Are you listening George?!)
The complete results (PDF) can be found here
If you are lucky, I mean really really lucky, AND you know someone with influence you could be one of the 63 Iraqis given refugee status in the US in the post invasion period.
Shameful isn't it.
Elsewhere Gone-zo is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee again today where the theme will be "what did the Attorney General forget and when did he forget it". A good time should be had by all!
(To be continued...)
23 July 2007
Why do I feel this way? I think my justifications fall into two separate areas: I believe that he has broken the law of the United States and international law as well and that he has repetitively and disdainfully betrayed the trust of the American people to whom he is ultimately responsible.
First of all what are the circumstances in which I believe that he has broken the law.
1. I believe that Mr. Bush and officials of his administration intentionally distorted facts as they knew them and lied to the American people in order to "justify" an invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq; that this invasion was not approved or ordered by the United Nations Security Council making it a violation of the United Nations Charter, to which the US is a signatory, and therefore in violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.
2. That Mr. Bush authorised US intelligence agencies including, but not limited to the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to violate the privacy of American citizens by circumventing court protections, including evading those mechanisms especially created for the purpose of allowing the government great latitude for surveillance in anti-terrorist operations, through illegal wire tapping and other electronic methods of surveillance.
3. That Mr. Bush violated US and international law by authorising the abduction and imprisonment without charge, counsel or trial nationals of other nations both witin and without US territory.
4) That Mr. Bush violated US and international law by authorising the extreme treatment of foreign nationals and US citizens under interrogation by American military and intelligence forces including the use of methods that qualify as torture.
5) That Mr. Bush has violated the provisions of the US Constitution wherein Congress is responsible for the development and passage of legislation and the Executive is responsible for enacting and enforcing these laws by using "signing statements" to prevent the implementation of specific provisions laws that were legally passed by representatives of the American people, which he signed into law and which he, like all other Americans, is obliged to obey.
Secondly these are the circumstances in which he has violated the trust of the American people (order not significant):
1) By allowing his Vice President Dick Cheney to secretly convene an "energy task force" in which only those with significant commercial interests were represented and also by allowing the Vice President to keep the subject matter discussed and the conclusions reached hidden from the American people who he has sworn to represent.So Mr. President I ask you to consider your sins; to repent your sins; and then resign.
2) By the intentional suppression of dissent and free speech on occasions when he was acting or speaking as the President of the United States, rather than as a private individual or even a political candidate, through manipulation of attendance and the repugnant creation of "free speech zones" where protesters and any who refused to sycophantically follow the President's agenda were isolated from the President, from the media and from the American people.
3) Through the commutation of the custodial sentence given to former highly placed White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, which was well within the sentencing guidelines that his Attorney General has admonished judges to treat as a minimum, for the obstruction of justice and lying to Federal officials. We, the American people, rightly expect our public servants to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the law as they perform their duties and, when found guilty of violating the law, we expect them to pay a higher price for any violations than an ordinary citizen would pay for the same offence not to suffer a lesser punishment.
4) That the administration under President Bush has continually suppressed scientific findings and edited scientific materials, paid for by the taxpayer, to fit a narrow political agenda. This is clearly a broad strategy of the President and his staff and has been executed across virtually even government department. This manipulation of science has led or may lead to distorted policies in areas as diverse as climate change and reproductive health.
5) That even before he was elected he violated the basic principles of democracy that arguing that it was more important to have an election result that to ensure that the votes of all citizens were counted; and through winning this argument becoming President against the wishes of the majority of the American people.
6) Through the politically motivated sackings of several US Prosecuting Attorneys attempted to divert the Justice Department from its primary responsibility, the rule of law and the US Constitution, and to make it a vehicle of political manipulation.
Should you refuse to do so I feel obligated to demand that the US House of Representatives do its duty and find that you must face an impeachment trial on these high crimes and misdemeanours.
In any case you must go. You must go now. You must take your underlings with you.
I bid you adieu!