31 October 2007
Note to the Americans: the etymology of the word "democracy" shows that it comes from the Greek word demos (δημος), meaning "people" and the Greek word kratos (κρατος), meaning "power". Therefore who have no support amongst the δημος, such as Mr. Chalabi, get to have no κρατος in a democracy. Got it?
The entire and entirely depressing report, all 500+ pages of it, can be found here.
An unnamed source in the Sri Lankan government said off of the record that "we've got the CIA manual right here and according to their rules none of this is torture".
I am sure that most of his peers amongst the obscenely wealthy heartily agree.
The entire study (PDF) is to be found here.
Her columns may be found here and have also been collected in a book, Take Off Your Party Dress: When Life's Too Busy for Breast Cancer.
Note to Gordon Brown: Diego Garcia is British Sovereign Territory and you can tell him that he cannot use the airbase for such an illegal act. No really. You can!
30 October 2007
Note to Uncle Sam: whilst you are in a paying mood can we have the not inconsiderable sum that you owe London for the congestion charge? The Olympics bill is already playing havoc with my council tax!
In case any right wingers read this I do not want to be accused of ignoring the fact that this means that some Iraqi policemen actually showed up for work yesterday. Satisfied?
And yes this story does give me an opportunity, that I simply cannot resist, to titillate you musically with Kraftwerk.
I have got to get me one of these jobs.
After all if the CPSC worked harder and found more toys full of lead what would be left to give to America's darling (and not at all overweight) children this Xmas! We should just leave product safety in the hands of those who know best - the business owners and their actuaries who can make appropriate, market driven decisions based on the trade offs between the cost of settling lawsuits and lost sales/higher costs.
What did they leave out?
- FEMA will have plenty to do as climate change will cause extreme storms, like Katrina, to occur more frequently (obviously bad for your health).
- Malaria and dengue fever are on the way so buy some mosquito nets the next time you head down to buy more duct tape.
- Buy something nice for the grandparents for Xmas this year; they're probably going to die soon.
- Smog will worsen increasing the likelihood of lung disease. So if you haven't quit smoking yet don't bother.
- Severe water shortages will become common in the United States, especially in the West.
- Wild fires will become more widespread and occur more frequently.
And, pray tell, was the reaction of the Clove Valley Gun and Rod Club when asked for comment? Threaten the reporter in question with arrest.
For once I think Reverend Al doesn't go far enough. I think a demand that Cheney resign immediately is the only possible recompense for this "error". It is absolutely impossible for "I'm a Big" Dick or his team to be unaware of this ornamentation. There will have been Secret Service and Cheney staff advance teams crawling all over the venue for days, if not weeks, in advance.
Please Mr. Cheney. Just go now!
The goods news out of New York state is that this time, as far as I am aware, no human beings were shot by the Vice President either accidentally or with full intent.
It's a better deal than even Scooter managed.
29 October 2007
It makes me sad. It really does.
I know that those who are not deep thinkers and might try to compare these actions to the release of known terrorist Luis Posada Carilles by American authorities and the refusal to extradite Sr. Posada to either Venezuela or Cuba where he is wanted on charges of organising the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976. The plane blew up over the Carribean and all 73 aboard died.
Well I can tell you that there is no similarity at all between these two cases. One is a bad, Muslim evildoer who attacked lovely Americans and the other is a good, Catholic choir boy who attacked evil communists! Unfortunately I can't shed any more light on this or I would have to kill you.
In defence of the DHS Shahid Malik is brown AND Muslim AND had been running around the nation's capitol talking about acts of terrorism. He had been meeting with senior staff at the [drumroll] DHS! This is the second time Mr. Malik has been detained at US airports something that doesn't seem to happen to other, whiter cabinet ministers. Who says they aren't profiling passengers? Are they telling porkies again?
Maybe we need some faith based nuclear site security enhancements. We could tell the anti-abortionists that abortions are being carried out inside.Once there have surrounded the facilities even a pregnant thirteen year old with a court order who is bearing her father's child won't be able to get through. What chance would al Qaeda stand?
I do think that the study may have stacked the deck a bit as it looked only at high school players who didn't make it at the university level and then became cheerleaders instead.
It's not as if there are many people who fit this profile out there in the real world, right?
*Note : since there is no actual constitution in the UK I am never certain what it is politicians intend to change when they say that they changing the constitution but they keep on saying that they are changing something and they would never lie to us.
Don't, however, expect this to drive down the price of a leg of lamb for your Sunday roast. Rather than being sold for food the lambs will be incinerated (not by your Mum either). Apparently they are too young to be the kind of lamb Brits like and the French won't take them because of the foot and mouth thing.
I know some people that would volunteer should the Conservatives win the next election!
We can only hope that this act of protest was intentional on Keith's part and that he hadn't just gone wandering off, in an altered state of some sort, and run into the march by accident. We'll probably never know and neither will Keith.
Are they dead? Is the US government lying about the secret prisons? Both?
It just makes my chest swell with pride that I was graced to be born an American.
It's nice that there is good news ever now and then.
Of course if you were flying out of London Gatwick yesterday you would have had an extra few hours of summertime as the clocks didn't go back; leading to all sorts of fun and the odd missed flight I would imagine.
Those of you in the US. who normally would exit daylight savings time at the same time that we exit British Summer Time, are to be the beneficiaries of Captain Codpiece's boldest, and only, move to combat global climate change. You will stay on daylight savings for an entire additional week which should lead to the country saving enough energy to produce enough hydrogen to fuel the Gropenator's "green" Hummer for nearly the entire year!
27 October 2007
Maybe they should all calm down. I'm sure it was just because it was raining and she didn't want he hair to go all frizzy. I wear a head scarf a lot for just that reason. Give the woman a break!
Surely even those zealots who insist, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that the Second Amendment of the US Constitution gives an unfettered right to bear arms outside of a militia structure must agree that there are no restrictions on legislation that would mandate that these
Apparently some folks believe that atheists, like me, need a symbol of some sort to counter that Christian fish thing that is ubiquitous in America, but not elsewhere.
I have only two thoughts on the subject.
- I don't think we really need a symbol. An idea is powerful enough.
- Even if I did think we needed a symbol I'm fairly certain that the one chosen shouldn't be it.
Lust is blind.
No word if Judge Harris is related in anyway to Philadelphia Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni who decided that raping a prostitute was really just theft of services.
Very progressive thinkers - the both of them.
Note to gay marriage-phobics: this probably could have some impact as regards "destroying traditional marriage". I thought you should know.
If you are unfamiliar with the sport that is fifteen minutes of playing time that will take three or more hours to complete the Guardian offers a handy, dandy bluffers guide. (If you can't ba asked the real football kicks off in twenty one minutes!) My favourite bit is it's description of the mode of play:
"Game advances through series of staccato set plays, with one team in control of the ball until turned over.
Looks a bit like
Football with nothing but carefully rehearsed set pieces. Like watching Watford play Wimbledon in 1986.
26 October 2007
In completely unrelated news Captain Codpiece flew over the affected areas, stopped to hug some people (possibly FEMA employees posing as people) and promised the locals that they would not be forgotten in Washington like those folks in that other state whose name he's forgotten whose lives were terribly affected by the storm whose name he can't remember. He then flew off to raise some money and then clear some brush.
What are they thinking?
"Islam, unlike Christianity, is an all-encompassing ideology...It is not just something you do on Sunday. ... We (as Americans) don’t get that."
The rest, as per usual is complete and utter bollocks.
"But it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals."Hey, wait a second, she may just have a point. If there were no snow then Sonny Bono would still be alive!
So let's cut out the coddling and get bombing already! There are terrorists on the loose!
Scientists have listed twenty five species of primates, man's closest cousins, that are on the brink of extinction thanks to man's generous exploitation of the planet to sate his basest, consumerist urges.
The first on the list, from Madagascar, is Prolemur simus or the greater bamboo lemur, pictured below. More on the other twenty four later.
I can only assume that Captain Codpiece hit the snooze alarm and slept through the wake up call.
I wonder where Judge Roy Moore stands on this issue. It's a tricky one! Perhaps they can just come up with some sort of curtain arrangement like John Ashcroft used for Justice!
First of all let us consider the charges to which BP is pleading guilty. It has admitted to artificially inflating the price of propane in the US costing consumers in excess of 50 million USD. It has admitted on one felony clean air act violation for the explosion at a Texas refinery in which 15 workers were killed and over 150 injured. It has admitted causing the largest oil spill, over 200,000 gallons of crude, on Alaska's North Slope.
These are all serious crimes and yet BP has got off with "probation", whatever the hell that means for a multinational corporation, and a fine. If we compare the fine to the company's 2006 profits of 59 billion USD the fine amounts to less than 0.5% of one years net profits! Even worse compared to the market capitalisation of about 242 billion USD the fine is only about 0.14%.
Now imagine the uproar if an American citizen, perhaps through drunken driving, caused the deaths of let us say 5 other Americans and was given probation and a fine that amounted to 0.5% of their annual salary. If we use the median American income of about 46,000 USD for a family of four that would amount to a fine of about 230 USD!
Can you hear the outrage? I certainly can. Perhaps we need to ensure that others get to see just how easily BP is getting off for their negligence, mismanagement and outright fraud.
"Deep down I knew that if hell existed, it was a real place full of ruthless, venal people, like the commodity pits at the Chicago Board of Trade, Disney World, or oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court."
Richard Dooling - from his entertaining novel Bet Your Life.
25 October 2007
"We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base...If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States."
You may call me The Kingmaker!
According to the New York Daily News he said as recently as three months ago that he would never, ever do such a thing even if it meant that he would win the presidency!
*This includes any and all female executives as well!
I think there is a simple solution. God needs to tell Oral that She will separate him from his mortal coil unless the good people of American contribute the funds necessary to clear the over draft by, say, April Fools' Day. Don't believe for a moment that it wouldn't work!
Money well spent? You decide!
Note: I was going to work out the total cost per barrel but decided it would be too frightening, even for Republicans.
Listen - just stick to an assessment of the farming methods involved and let us, the consumer, make our own decisions on transport method and remuneration of farmers and agricultural workers. We're smart; we can do it. OK?
Today the Guardian publishes his first interview with a British paper. It is worth a read irrespective of which camp you are a member of.
"He just told me that nearly each day they pull into a parking lot, drink soda, and shoot at the cans. They pay Iraqi kids to bring them things and spread the word that they are not doing anything and to please just leave them alone."
Hey look we are all looking forward to the four year headline bonanza that his victory will bring but shouldn't we wait until at least one person has voted?
Note: despite the obvious fun that will be had I am not sure that I want Mr. Nutter to win after his campaign rejected the campaign motto that I thoughtfully suggested to them: "Nutter for Mayor - Who Else Would Want the Job?"
You have been warned.
In which I provide an unimpeachable argument for Conocoleezza Rice to use during her upcoming visit to Turkey
"Hey. We did it and look how it's turned out!"
Come on Connie - you can do it. Even Fonzie managed to admit that he was w-w-wr-wr-wrong!
For those of you who have forgotten -
"Although those wizards, I’m very very suspicious about what they’re doing in their spare time. So, I think, this is my conclusion, is that J.K. Rowling is a provocateur, did it on purpose, and now is going to let all hell break loose."
In related Bill-o news: still no apology to Shawn Hornbeck. Perhaps Shawn is an agent provocateur as well. Allowing himself to be kidnapped, imprisoned and sexually abused and then letting "all hell break loose". I will await clarification on this issue from Mr. O'Reilly.
24 October 2007
Israel has long fervently claimed that the Fourth Convention doesn't cover the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza because their occupation simply supplanted an existing illegal occupation by Arab countries. (Confused? I don't understand the logic either.)
After all a country thousands of miles away from the Middle East should have more say in how countries in the region interact than a country that is actually in the Middle East. Right?
Speaking for myself I had a halal salami sandwich for lunch today and am also allowing my beard to grow.
If I may speak for Rep. Tancredo, and I believe that in this circumstance at least I may, the answer is a clear and unequivocal "NO"!
Watching this makes me wonder if we should be ashamed, as a country, that a victim of abuse and torture at our hands communicates more thoughtfully and rationally than our elected representative.
"I will follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell and I will shoot him with your products".
Senator John McCain (R - AZ)- 23 October 2007 - to workers at the Thompson/Center gun factory.
Perhaps if (when?) he fails to secure the Republican nomination he can retire from the Senate and become a CIA hit man or a Blackwater USA "operative".
Rudy has been staunch in his defence of his old friend, who married Rudy once, noting that he has not been convicted of any crime. My question would be what skills and talents does this (sort of ex-)priest have to offer Rudy's management consulting firm or is this just a non-job to keep Msgr. Placa in underwear and whiskey?
Even if it is not illegal it is certainly unethical.
On the other hand if the thoughts of these scientists contradict the literal word of God as found in the literal worod of God as found in the English translations of the literal word of God in Greek and Hebrew they must be scorned, vilified and disregarded.
Well go on. Get at it!
You will find Ms. Partington's book on sale at Amazon.
That was until I heard that Jack Daniel's distillery might have to suspend production due to a lack of water.
Good thing I've switched to single malts. As far as I can tell there is still plenty of water in Scotland.
23 October 2007
When will it end? Where will the money come from? (Hint: if you're American and under twenty five you should be nervous.)
My message to the ball-less Democratic Congress:
JUST SAY NO!!!!!!
This is running the government like a business? Just what kind of business did they have in mind?
*Note: at current exchange rates 1.2 billion USD is enough to buy me roughly 231 million pints of London Pride!