31 October 2007

Have a laugh...

...with Peter Cook

It's like watching yeast

Oil now at 94 USD a barrel.

Does he have photos of Captain Codpiece doing something untoward to His Pet Goat?

It seems that the US government is once again pushing Ahmad Chalabi to assume a critical role in the (democratic???) government of Iraq.

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?

Justice done

Roy Pearson Jr., the complete tosspot of a Washington DC judge who sued a local dry cleaner for 54 million USD after they lost a pair of his trousers (and lost!) is now unemployed.

Please just make it stop!

Next week sees the publication of the first, but certainly not the last, book about the disappearance of four year-old Madeline McCann. After all it is nearly six months since she disappeared in Portugal.

Climate change ruining Australian economy


Drizabone has had to lay off of half of its staff because there isn't enough rain anymore to make it worthwhile to buy a raincoat, even a really good one!

Britain to reform abortion law?

To make it simpler and less stressful to get an abortion?

Become a Republican - they've got a really big closet!

Here we go again. What the hell is it with these guys anyway?

I heartily agree (and have been doing so since 2000)

Dennis Kucinich yet again creeps ahead in the eagerly fought battle over Yank in London's Democratic primary vote by questioning Captain Codpiece's mental stability.

Where can I get a ticket?

If you happen to be anywhere near Cullman Alabama you might get a change to see the Ku Klux Klan protesting the Ku Klux Klan which is, one has to admit, a sight one doesn't see everyday.

Happy Halloween - you're under arrest!

Tomorrow should see the local jails of Florida overflowing with six year-olds dressed up as Batman as police are reminding the state's citizens that it is illegal to wear a mask in public.

Today in necrophilia and just in time for Halloween...

...comes this touching story out of New Jersey (where else?) wherein one Anthony Merino has been arrested and lost his job to boot for allegedly engaging in non-consensual sex with the corpse of a 92 year old woman in a hospital morgue. Mr. Merino is currently being examined by doctors.

Clearly what we need is more stops with more and better searches

Because, despite making 44,543 stops under the Terrorism Act in 2005/2006, Britain only managed 105 arrests related to these stops and none of these were for terrorism offences. We are just not trying hard enough now are we. I would imagine if we stopped and search ever single Britain at least 4 times a day we would eventually manage to arrest someone, somewhere for terrorism and that would be an unequivocal success!

Eat less - skip Micky D's - live longer

In what can only be deemed bad news for a huge swathe of America's (and to a lesser extent Britain's) population we learn that body fat is linked to at least six different types of cancer. One of the key recommendations in the report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, in addition to the obvious "lose some bloody weight", is that red meat consumption be kept below 18 ounces (510 grams) per week.

The entire and entirely depressing report, all 500+ pages of it, can be found here.

Maybe routine but certainly not torture

Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has dismissed comments by a special rapporteur on torture for the UN Human Rights Council, Manfred Nowak that said that the government was routinely using torture against suspected members of the Tamil Tigers.

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".

Get the redactors ready!

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration may soon release data from its studies that indicate safety as regards air travel in America is much worse than previously thought. The Agency had been withholding the information from Congress for fear that it "would upset air travelers and hurt airline profits". (Emphasis mine.)

In praise of Warren Buffet

America's second richest man knows there is something wrong when he is paying the lowest tax rate amongst all of his office employees, including the cleaner, without even fiddling or resulting to shelters. He thinks that he, and those of his fellow Americans who are also stinking rich, should pay higher taxes.

I am sure that most of his peers amongst the obscenely wealthy heartily agree.

What do you know!

I think that this study from the University of Granada succinctly explains the hiring policy of the Bush Administration.

Prince Harry's bird trouble

This has not been a banner week for the royal family. First the gay-sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll blackmail case concerning a royal who cannot be named and now Prince Harry has been questioned by the Old Bill over the illegal shooting of two hen harriers on or near the royal family's Sandringham estate. Prince Harry and a friend just happened to be out shooting at the time. Both of the young men deny any knowledge of the incident which is a crime punishable by up to six month's porridge.

The state of America's health

The American Medical Association has released a study on the ever consolidating American health insurance industry and how the resulting lack of competition has meant bigger profits for insurers but higher premiums and poorer care for the insured. Whatever solution America ultimately settles on for universal health care, and there will one day be universal health care in America, must not be based on private insurers who add only cost and not value to the nation's health. If they are including the "solution" will ultimately collapse of its own weight.

The entire study (PDF) is to be found here.

R.I.P.

Dina Rabinovitch - 1963 - 2007. Ms. Rabinovitch was a columnist with the Guardian who had been writing a series of moving, ever so human columns about her battle with terminal breast cancer and its effects on her and her family.

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.

Let's recap

I think Jon Stewart is worried that his show always seems to take a break at the wrong time.

Why does Meir Sheetrit want to destroy Israel?

Israel's Interior Minister is calling for changes to the country's immigration laws so that Jews emigrating there would have to "swear allegiance to the country and pass a language test to ensure their knowledge of Hebrew is sufficient" before they could become citizens! An oath of allegiance? A language test? I eagerly await the roar of outrage from the American Christian right over such patently absurd citizenship requirements!

Running out of time

The are only 446 days left in the reign His Imperial Majesty Emperor George the Last of the United States and the Known Universe (God be praised) so Air Force is working overtime to get ready for Captain Codpiece's thoughtful gift for his successor, the long awaited air strikes on Iran.

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!

And this time they're angry!

Buddhist monks have returned to the streets of Myanmar/Burma to protest the military regime. We need to put pressure on our governments to ensure that the maxim diplomatic effort is made to force this brutal junta to step down and allow for a transition to a democratic government. (Note to Captain Codpiece: there is oil in Burma!)

I really shouldn't be telling you this...

...because of where I live but there are folks in America who are naming the British royal allegedly involved in this week's "blackmail a royal over gay sex and drugs" plot. I think that that is all I should say other than to note that if Queen Liz and eleven other very specific people were involved in a tragic air crash the man allegedly at the centre of this alleged blackmail would be king.

In which I prove I am not Clear Channel

By actually allowing you listen to something from Springsteen's new album. I reckon I can classify this as yet another reason I am glad that I fled the country.


I am, apparenently, a Hitler appeaser

At least that is Norman Podoretz's opinion and I am unqualified to argue.

Do want the good news or the bad news?

The bad news is that glaciers in the west of Canada are at a 7,000 year low.

The good news is they found some 7,000 year old tree stumps that they had been looking for.

"I swear there was a tank just here!"

The British Army is testing a prototype of an invisible tank. No word if "M" was on hand for trial.

Today in infamy (but only if you're Catholic)

Four hundred and ninety years ago today Martin Luther nailed his ninety five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Soon long gone


Today's soon to be extinct primate is the Gorilla gorilla diehli from Nigeria and the Cameroon, aka the Cross River gorilla.

Enjoy your holiday...



Happy Halloween! (Unless you are an evangelical Christian in which case you should just pretend it isn't happening!)

30 October 2007

Sweet Blackwater deal

America's ABC News has got its hands on a copy of the immunity deal given to the Blackwater USA mercenaries.

Coming soon to an Ebay near you!

A Virgin Mary on the rock. I'm not sure why she's wearing a necktie though.

Today in infamy

Forty six years ago today the Soviet Union exploded Tsar Bomba, the first hydrogen bomb with a yield of 50 megatons.

Most children left behind

As of 2006 the public schools in most southern US states had a majority of poor pupils. In 2000 only 4 states had such a majority. Yet another brilliant success story for Captain Codpiece and his minions.

The rent comes due

The United States hasn't paid any rent to the Japanese government on its embassy in Tokyo for a decade and the Japanese government has indicated that it would like to see a cheque at some point.

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!

My kind of surgery

"Scalpel"

"Yes Doctor"

"Suction"

"Yes Doctor"

"Retractor"

"Yes Doctor"

"Chili Sauce"

"What Doctor?"

Surf's up on the Tigris

The largest dam in Iraq, on the Tigris River north of Mosul, is at risk of imminent collapse and its failure could lead to the deaths of 500,000 innocent Iraqis (or 500,000 terrorists and evildoers if the White House gets to spin the story first). Should the dam fail catastrophically a flood wave as high as 20 metres could carry as far as Mosul, home to 1.7 million. The US Army Corps of Engineers has warned the American armed forces to move equipment and troops away from the Tigris flood plain near Mosul and has also reported that "little or no progress had been made to shore up the Mosul Dam since the May warning, largely because a $27-million project funded by the U.S. has been plagued by mismanagement and possible fraud".

Sox victory means that week long fan's dream finally comes true

When I congratulated the Boston Red Sox the other day for their swift World Series victory, and probable permanent burial of the curse of the Bambino, I forgot to mention how ecstatic this must have made Rudy Giuliani, Republican presidential candidate and career flip-flopper whose conversion from Yankees fan to Red Sox fan was completed just in the nick of time!

Progress report

Iraqi police discovered twenty decapitated corpses in north Baghdad yesterday.

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?

End of an era?

The glory days of petrol must surely be over if the German government is seriously considering speed limits for the autobahn. I am sure that Jeremy Clarkson is beside himself!

And yes this story does give me an opportunity, that I simply cannot resist, to titillate you musically with Kraftwerk.

How to get sacked successfully

Stan O'Neal, the (now former) head of Wall Street Bank Merrill Lynch has resigned (or "retired") after the company admitted it is exposed to somewhere between 7 and 12 billion USD in losses related to mortgage problems in the US. The good news for Mr. O'Neal and family is that he stands to "earn" nearly 160 million USD just for going away.

I have got to get me one of these jobs.

A brief detour down the high road

The Attorney General of Israel, Menachem Mazouz, has, temporarily at least, put a halt to the illegal plans to cut off fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip. I expect word of Mr. Mazouz's sacking quite soon.

Does America really want a President who can't do his maths?

Other than the one we have at the moment (who we don't really want). Well if we don't it is probably best not to vote for Rudy. I provide this information as a public service for those of you who have not as yet selected your "I won't be voting for Rudy Giuliani because" reason.

Planning a holiday in the states?

Now would probably be a good time to go.

"For God's sake don't flush!"

Officials in Germany were concerned after there were reports that each and every member of the Bundeswehr was using ten toilet rolls a day. With typical Teutonic efficiency a crack team investigated this shameful wastage only to find that the figure was actually ten SHEETS a day. A figure that amply shows the greenness of the German people. Sheryl Crow was said to be much relieved upon hearing of the revised figures.

Headline of the day

"Dog Shoots Down Hunter In Freak Accident".

The story provides no further explanation as to what "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney's spirit guide was doing in Poweshiek County Iowa.

Thanks but no thanks

The US Congress is trying to give the country's Consumer Product Safety Commission to take on a significantly increased budged, hire more staff (now that they've finally managed to get rid of most what they had) and try to do a better job of protecting American consumers but acting Commissioner Nancy Nord is having none of that and has quite unequivocally told Congress to keep the money. Ms. Nord's reticence is not surprising from someone who has worked only on one side of the corporate - consumer dialectic. (Guess which side! Go on!)

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.

When cows attack

A Sussex police inspector is finally out of hospital after recovering from wounds inflicted when he was attacked by about 50 (not) mad cows whilst enjoying the English countryside. So if you're planning a walk on the South Downs you should be on your highest bovine alert!

Value for money?

We'll never know what we are getting for the 43.5 billion USD the American government is spending on "intelligence" this year. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope against hope that they spend at least some of it wisely.

What they (accidentally) didn't tell you just might hurt you

It seems that when the White House edited the Congressional testimony of Centers for Disease Control Chief Julie Gerberding "for clarity" it is because they were shocked (shocked!) to find some clarity in it and that obviously had to be expunged!

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.
Other than that I don't believe that they cut anything of substance.

"I'm a Big" Dick's bad news

That exclusive "hunt" club where US Vice President "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney went "hunting" not very wild animals at the weekend has a 3 foot by 5 foot Confederate flag on display. Oh Dick, Dick, Dick. Did you really think no one would notice or, now that you have nearly completed your work on the Imperial presidency, do you simply not care?

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.

War drums winning?

It is a truism of the political world that if you say something, anything, enough times it becomes the truth. That strategy seems to be working for the resilient and marginally insane neocons who continue to push, push, push for a strike on Iran; 52% of Americans support a strike against Iran. 53% expect someting to happen whilst Bush and his minions are still in charge. I am not in the first 52% but I think I am probably in the later 53%.

Above AND beyond the law

It appears that Blackwater not only has immunity in Iraqi law, kindly given to them when an American imperial potentate was running the country, but the the US State Department has taken steps to immunise them from US prosecution as well.

It's a better deal than even Scooter managed.

Roman slum lord to evict 4,000

Well the Vatican has to find the money to pick up the tab for the perversions of those pederast priest somehow. I reckon real estate speculation is as good a way as any. So if some people suffer in the here and now they will be rewarded in heaven no doubt!

Soon long gone


Today's adorable photo of a soon to be extinct primate is the Madagascan silky sifaka (aka Propithecus candidus).

29 October 2007

The failure of American democracy and justice

I really never believed I would see the day when a recent American cabinet secretary would have to flee the jurisdiction of a mature democracy in fear that he would be arrested for crimes against humanity.

It makes me sad. It really does.

"Perhaps you didn't understand me when I said that you HAD TO go!"

For reasons unknown US State Department staffers aren't queuing up for secondment to that lovely, palatial new embassy on the banks of the Euphrates and the State Department might be forced to order diplomats to go. Is this a milestone?

Can Christianity be cured?

These folks seem to think it can. As they are experts (or perhaps ex-experts might be more appropriat) I find I must agree with them!

Twisted American knickers

To the considerable outrage of the Americans the Yemeni authorities have released Jamal al-Badawi, one of the leaders of the bombing of the USS Cole that resulted in the deaths of 17 US sailors. Al-Badawi, who had previously escaped from prison after being convicted in the bombing, turned himself in and then was released after pledging his loyalty to the government and promising to give up terrorism. The US State Department expressed their displeasure and said that "he was convicted in Yemeni courts and has been indicted in the Southern District of New York".

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.

What's the matter with America?

Watch and learn!

Britain receives expert advice on terrorism

The British government is guilty of ignoring terrorism warnings leading up to the 7 July attacks according to Saudi King Abdullah. King Abdullah is something of an expert on ignoring terrorist warnings and activity so I think we should take him at his word.

Recall the ambassador!

The US Department of Homeland Security expertly detained a British cabinet minister, presumably on suspicion of terrorism, at Dulles airport in Washington DC yesterday.

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?

Why does the US Department of Energy hate America (and freedom and the Baby Jesus)?

I only ask because they seem be having a rather difficult time ensuring that the nation's nuclear facilities are safe.

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?

Coming soon to an Ebay near you

A pastor in Västerås Sweden wants to build a life size Jesus entirely out of white Legos. What am I bid?

When the lights went out in Gaza

I want to get the jump on anyone who might be inclined to accuse me of anti-Judaism. I want to be quite clear that I am not in any way suggesting that Israel's reducing or cutting off fuel supplies from Gaza is in any way a collective punishment which would be forbidden under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, if said Article applied to the illegally occupied Palestinian Territories, which it doesn't. So there!

Cue the outrage

In a speech in Boston MA Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has compared the Israeli oppression in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories to apartheid thereby ensuring that he will be vilified as an anti-Semite. Those who will vilify him perhaps forget that he has some considerable expertise on the subject of apartheid. But never mind.

It depends on what the meaning of "not" is....

but I am inclined to agree with the Gropenator when he tells us that Cannabis sativa is not a drug. Apparently it is a leaf instead.

I'd say the curse is lifted

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series for the second time in three years. The Bambino must be resting comfortably now.

Now let's see what we can do about that billy goat out in Chicago.

Rome beatifies hundreds of fascists

The Vatican has held its largest even mass beatification ceremony elevating over 400 Catholics executed during the Spanish Civil War to whatever a beatified person becomes. Those so recognised were almost exclusively supporters of Generalissimo Franco whose forces were also responsible for hundreds of executions. None of these victims have as yet been recognised by the Church. Vatican spokesmen, and they will be men won't they, have said that the ceremony was held in the spirit of "reconciliation". Perhaps the word means something rather different in Italian.

What's the fatest growing religion in America?

None of the above. Secular Americans have increased from 8% of the population to 12% of the population in the past twenty years. I'm sure no other "religion" can boast of a 50% increase in that time.

Today in infamy

78 years ago today was Black Tuesday when first the American and then global stock markets crashed leading to the Great Depression.

Have we learned our lessons? Not entirely.

What size shoes was he wearing?

A Pennsylvania hunter claims to have a photo of a Sasquatch that he took with an automatic camera in Elk County. Somehow I have my doubts. But then one never knows.

That's vongole!

Scientists claim to have found a 405 year old clam in the waters off of Iceland. Should the claim prove to be true the shellfish would be the world's oldest animal.

No reports as to what sort of pasta they served it with.

The upside of the collapsing dollar

With the value of the US dollar in free fall we should certainly expect to see a pick up in American exports and, as a patriot, I can think of no better product with which to begin this upsurge than with guns.

American football is for poofs!

If you don't believe me just as the blokes who play it.

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?

Pas prêt-à-porter

Retailing chain The Gap has had to withdraw from sale clothing that it is alleged were manufactured in India by children as young as ten years old working in near slavery.

Remember you are what you wear!

Out! Out damn Scot!

The Tories have decided to push "constitutional"* changes that would see Scottish MPs prevented from voting on matter pertaining to England in Parliament. Only a cynic would suggest that the Conservative motivation for this has less to do with ensuring appropriate democratic representation and more to do with the party's complete inability to make up any ground north of the border. Therefore I am absolutely not going to make that suggestion, OK?

*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.

Now that Gore has a Nobel maybe Captain Codpiece will go to Cooperstown

Rivalling their completely unbiased "news" arm Faux Sports sensibly decided to include Our Great Leader as a baseball World Series hero prior to a match between Colorado and Boston. What will they think of next?


Paging Special Agent Starling

Up to half a million Welsh lambs are to be culled as they have been trapped in the hills after the livestock movement restrictions following the latest hoof and mouth scares. If they remain on the hills there will not be enough food for ewes to make it through the winter until the next lambing season.

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.

Tough on "net migration" - tough on the causes of "net migration"

Fresh faced young Tory leader has made a bold move to reduce "net migration levels". The most likely way for the Conservatives to accomplish this would be by driving British people to emigrate at higher levels to offset the influx from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

I know some people that would volunteer should the Conservatives win the next election!

Catch the last flight out

British Airways has finally made its last flight from Harare as it stops doing business in Zimbabwe after over sixty years. This is unlikely to be the straw that breaks the camel's back but eventually, with enough outside pressure, Mugabe will go.

Working class hero?

Keith Richards has taken to the streets to protests NHS cuts at his local hospital in West Wittering, Sussex. The hospital, coincidentally named St. Richards, is due to be downgraded.

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.

Los desaparecidos

There was a time when, even if we knew that the US sometimes played dirty, that in general rules and laws were followed. Now it would appear that laws or even basic morality no longer have a place at the table and that anything goes. The International Committee of the Red Cross now says that dozens of prisoners from the US secret detention programme, that the US government now claims is not active, at least for the moment, have simply disappeared.

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.

Today's daily double

As the USD dollar hits new lows against that failure of a currency the Euro the price of oil hits new highs. The only good news in this is that the combination of the two trends ensures that America is hit harder than the rest of us.

Yeah but can you make a FlufferPlumpynutter (PlumpyFlutternutter?) with it?

Médecins sans frontières has come up with a new food mixture called Plumpynut, containing peanut butter, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and enriched with vitamins and minerals, that is can feed to malnourished children and reverse their condition in a matter of weeks. The food requires no refrigeration and therefore is suitable for use in the most remote and deprived areas of the globe where electricity is not even a dream.

It's nice that there is good news ever now and then.

Soon long gone



Today's irrepressibly cute photo of one of the 25 most endangered primates is of Madagascar's Lepilemur sahamalazensis aka the Sahamalaza Peninsula sportive lemur.

@ 16:41

Yes - here in (on?) Old Blighty at least it is that time of year again. The clocks went back on Sunday morning and today the sun will set at 16:41 which means at 17:00 it will be dark. Too depressing to think about.

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

Brace yourself for the backlash

One of those America haters over at the United Nations, one Jean Ziegler who is the organisation's special rapporteur on the right to food, has called the ever growing use of so called biofuels "crime against humanity" for taking the food out of the mouths of the hungry. Clearly Hr. Ziegler doesn't understand how the free market works. If the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent invisible hand of the market decides that it is more important for a WalMart bagger in Utah to be able to fill up his SUV cheaply than a small, probably brown child somewhere in some God forsaken third world country has to go hungry then we must remember that the market has spoken.

Oh dear

America's first lady has been found guilty as sin of failing to sufficiently pander to the rabidly Islamophobic and racist Christian base (aka al Qaeda) of the Republican Party by wearing a head scarf whilst visiting Saudi Arabia.

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!

A modest proposal

The Philly area gives us yet another incident of a small child "accidentally" finding his parents' gun and taking it to school, possibly for show & tell. Fortunately the gun was not loaded and no one was hurt.

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 deadly weapons useful tools must be kept safely stored and out of the hands of minors. So let us do just that and whilst we are at it let's make it a felony with real jail time as a consequence. And since convicted felons give up their rights (like voting) let's make sure that these folks are not ever again able to purchase, possess or use firearms.

Why Grandma what a Big Dick you have!

American VP "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney, whose own company, Halliburton, did business in Iran in defiance of US sanctions whilst he was at the helm, is now in the business of warning non-US companies not to do what he did.

I'm not sure this works for me



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.

  1. I don't think we really need a symbol. An idea is powerful enough.
  2. Even if I did think we needed a symbol I'm fairly certain that the one chosen shouldn't be it.

"Why didn't you duck you fucking idiot! I said duck, damnit"

If you live in the lower Hudson Valley of New York you just might want to get you Kevlar underwear out. US Vice President "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney will be going hunting in your neighbourhood. "I'm a Big" Dick will be "hunting" at the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club which is one of those places where you get to shoot lots of not-so-wild animals and, if you're the Vice President, also a friend or two.

One hot pepper

A chili grown in India has set a new record as the world's hottest chili after it was measured with a rating of 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units. The Bhut Jolokia shattered the record of the previous holder, the Red Savina, which only managed 580,000 SHUs. By way of comparison the hottest chili I can handle, the Scotch Bonnet or Habanero, measures a paltry 100,000 to 350,000 SHUs.

Ouch.

I'd have thought he could have held out until the Xmas party

An Iowa man faces charges of indecent exposure after being found lying on the floor the gent's in a public building with his trousers down and in the loving arms of an "anatomically correct inflatable doll".

Lust is blind.

Our great human being of the week is...

...Anne Arundel County (MD) Circuit Judge Paul Harris who acquitted a man of beating his girlfriend because of the woman's refusal to testify he couldn't be sure that she hadn't consented to the attack.

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.

"This is your brain....

...this is your brain on war. Got it?"

Marriage on the rocks?

If so I hope you and your spouse didn't book a city break in Vienna this weekend in a desperate hope to reinvigorate your union as the city is the site of the world's first divorce fair.

Note to gay marriage-phobics: this probably could have some impact as regards "destroying traditional marriage". I thought you should know.

The not so endless summer

To the chagrin of dozens of dudes and dudettes British Airways is to ban surfboards from its planes as of 6 November.

{Yawn]

A bunch of overfed, seriously undereducated Americans have come to London to play a regular season American football (NFL) match at Wembley.

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.

I think the NFL bosses are a bit over optimistic if they think the sport will gain anything other than a cult following over here. Basketball has a much better chance.

Soon long gone


Today's picture of the world's most endangered primates is the Madagascan White-collared lemur (Eulemur albocollaris).

26 October 2007

Your tax dollars at work

In order to demonstrate how much better prepared and managed America's Federal Emergency Management Administration is now, during the California bush fire emergency, than it was during the Hurricane Katrina emergency FEMA held a press briefing in which FEMA's deputy administrator took questions from [drumroll] FEMA employees posing as reporters.

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.

Today in infamy

Five years ago today the standoff between the Russian security forces and Chechen separatists at a theatre in Moscow came to a horrible end with at least 150 deaths and more probably more than 200.

One does wonder...

...what the sentence would be if an Arab-American sent letters to his or her (real) American boss saying "Remember 9/11" and "You and your kids will pay". One suspects that it would be a trifle more than eight months in a halfway house. But then the woman in question "described herself as Christian" and in a Christian country....

You are fooling no one Mitt

We know that you know that we know that you know the difference between "Osama" and "Obama" and that this is just a ploy to fool large swathes of the Republican base - i.e. the congenitally stupid.

Another chink in that special relationship?

Godless Britain is to begin vaccinating 12 year old girls against the human papilloma virus thereby encouraging these girls to immediately go out, have sex and become sluts with tattoos and intimate body piercings.

What are they thinking?

Quote of the day (part the second)

Who says Americans have no sense of irony. From my former Senator, and future Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Little Ricky "Man on Dog" Santorum comes the following:

"Islam, unlike Christianity, is an all-encompassing ideology...It is not just something you do on Sunday. ... We (as Americans) don’t get that."

He was speaking to a crowd of dozens somewhere in the Pennsylvania hinterlands as part of "Islamo-Fascism Week".

Dana Perino makes a true and verifiable statement!

I am absolutely certain that her statement, vis-à-vis the "health benefits" of global warming, that "I'm not an expert" is inarguably correct.

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!

Why are Bush&co coddling terrorists?

How else can one describe the refusal of the American ambassador to Iraq to insist that the Iraqi government move militarily against the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK)? We all know that violence and mayhem are the only languages that terrorists and terror sponsoring states understand and that only military action will work to make them cease their evil-doing. And there is no doubt that PKK is a terrorist organisation. it is number 21 on the US State Department list.

So let's cut out the coddling and get bombing already! There are terrorists on the loose!

I think we should excuse "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney for this

After all he's an old, tired man with a bad heart and if he needs a nap in the afternoon that is certainly a higher priority than some old fire out West!


Why spoil a perfect record?

The US apparently had yet another opportunity to kill enemy number 1 Al Gore Osama bin Laden, that 6'5" Arab with a kidney condition that we can't seem to find, only two months ago and once again failed to deliver "American justice". It would seem that some members of the Faux News team are less than pleased with this revelation.

More good news!

To go with today's record high oil price we can add a new record low for the US dollar against the Euro at over 1.43 USD to get just one Euro. This is approaching where the pound was against the dollar not too long ago; it's now at 2.05 USD for a pound. This does not bode well for an economy that imports just about everything.

Has he been arrested yet?

Charges of crimes against humanity against former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have been brought in France under the 1984 Convention against Torture which has been ratified by both the US and France. Mr. Rumsfeld is currently enjoying a holiday in the country. Let's hope he never leaves!

Traded in the Hummer yet?

According to industry experts quoted in the Washington Post today an American attack on Iran would create "chaos" on the oil markets. Captain Codpiece and his minions must be terribly conflicted!

Did they have freckles as well?

According to new DNA research ginger Neanderthals would not have been rare. No wonder they died out!

And grown men wept

Channing Crowder, a linebacker for the Miami Dolphins American football side, who is due to play at Wembley on Sunday, was until recently blissfully unaware that English is spoken in England. Do you reckon he knows that he needs a passport?

What will history say?

The Bush legacy. What will it be? Will he be remembered kindly for the 2.4 trillion USD war that was going to pay for itself or for the 92 USD a barrel (and rising) oil price.

I reckon it's a toss up.

Soon long gone

(Note to Young Earth Christians - you can skip this post - it's of no interest - you think the planet is only 6,000 years old, you don't believe in evolution and then there's that dominion thing.)

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.

The future is not so bright

The United Nations' Environment Program has issued it latest assessment of the health of the planet and, frankly, the patient is in trouble. It is being described as a "final wakeup call" as global warming, an acceleration in the extinction of species and the difficulties to be faced in feeding a burgeoning human population put Home sapiens at risk.

I can only assume that Captain Codpiece hit the snooze alarm and slept through the wake up call.

The weekend drug report

In the UK snow use is up but skunk use is down as teenagers decide that cannabis in no longer cool not that it is only a class C drug.

Neither Pete Doherty nor George Michael could be reached for comment.

This park ain't big enough for the both of us

In a battle of twitchers v trollers trouble is brewing in Chicago's parks as men looking for birds are having to battle for control of the open spaces with men who are decidedly not looking for birds.

Blair! The Book!

Surprisingly St. Tony Blair has chosen Random House as the publisher for his eagerly awaited memoirs, working title "The Perfect Poodle", rather than a Murdoch imprint. He is rumoured to have received an advance of around 9 million USD; a wee step up from the Prime Minister's meagre salary.

Blue Jesus

This story made me laugh. An anti-pornography campaigner in Austria is pressuring the city authorities in Innsbruck to remove a publicly displaying crucifix complete with Jesus because our Lord and Saviour has his tackle out.

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!

Far too small a price to pay

At a first glance the 373 million USD fine agreed between British Petroleum and the US Justice Department seems like an awful lot of money but perhaps it warrants review in more detail.

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.

The rich get richer

As administrators try to wind up the affairs of Metronet, the cluster fuck that was the Private Public Partnership to maintain and upgrade the Tube in London, there is considerable and and deserving contempt for the £1 million payoff to the top five directors who ran the company (into the ground).

Quote of the day

"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

One wonders why

Why does the US Defense Department suddenly need funds to adapt B2 bombers to carry bunker buster bombs?

Is it a country? Does it begin with "I"?

Sounds like an equitable deal to me!

The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has said we will only agree to an extension of the US Air Force's lease on Manta air field on the countries coast if the US will lease Ecuador a military base in Miami.

"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."

I haven't smiled this much in weeks.

How do you spell S-C-A-P-E-G-O-A-T?

Reeling from the Blackwater scandal and a general climate of incompetence and stupidity the State Department has forced out their head of security Richard Griffin. He is leaving the office by 1 November and should be an executive vice-president at Blackwater USA by New Year's Day.

Thick as a brick

It wasn't that long ago that Captain Codpiece asked "is our childrens learning". Well the answer that comes back from the San Fransisco Chronicle's Mark Morford is "no - not a lot really".

I never realised my incredible, far reaching influence until now!

It seems like only yesterday I awarded Hillary Clinton a point for her announcement that she would support a filibuster of the telecoms company immunity act. It now seems that the Osama Obama campaign has been tracking my thinking and on the basis of this Senator Obama is now backing any filibuster as well.

You may call me The Kingmaker!

The Grandmother of all flip-flops!

Should he win the Republican nomination I think Rudy Giuliani can forget about any chance he may have had of winning his home state of New York now that the supposedly ardent Yankees fan has decided to support the Bosox in the World Series.

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!

Somewhere oil company executives are walking around with enormous erections*

Headline of the day: "London oil price hits record high: 86.28 dollars"

*This includes any and all female executives as well!

Today in infamy

Twenty four years ago today, under the Divine Guidance of President Ronald Reagan, the United States illegally invaded the island of Grenada and pissed off Maggie Thatcher in the process.

Previously unknown bipedal primate discovered in nation's capital

Meet the Spineocrat!

US considering use of military force in Iraq!

No really they are. And they're serious this time!

Well it worked before

The (not-yet-late) Oral Roberts has returned to his namesake university to help it out of a bit of a jam his son and his daughter-in-law got it into whilst running it (into the ground). Now we find that the university is over 50 million USD in debt.

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!

Never mind the capital...

...the "don't worry it's going to pay for itself" War in Iraq is going to cost the US taxpayer 415 billion USD in interest alone. This comes to, at a generous 3 million barrels a day, about 20 USD per barrel for every barrel of oil that Iraq produces in the next twenty years just to pay the interest!

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.

Rudy sleeps with the fishes

Well not exactly but there are stories all over the press today that la Cosa Nostra wanted to off Rudy Giuliani way back when he was a prosecutor in New York two decades ago. I stopped in a betting shop earlier and they have it as 5-2 on that Rudy's campaign leaked the story himself to help offset the negative impact of his penchant for cross dressing.

My personal war on Xmas

I saw someone, a bloke nonetheless, on the High Street earlier today who had purchased, on this the twenty fifth day of October, three rolls of Xmas wrapping paper. We haven't even had Guy Fawkes yet. What is wrong with these people?

Packing heat

There is something, well at least something and probably many things, wrong with America. Keeping that in mind go read this truly touching Faux News story about university students going to class in protest of rules that prevent them from bringing firearms to their remedial maths class.

Crazy mixed up criteria

I often buy organic foods but don't rely on them exclusively to feed myself. I am realistic enough to realise that if this ball of rock is going to be able to feed the 9 billion people that will crowd its surface in about thirty years' time some considerable amount of intensive, non-organic agriculture will be required. Nonetheless I just do not understand why the Soil Association, responsible for certifying organic products in the UK, has decided that it should consider the mode of transport used to bring products to the UK in its certification process. Even more so I don't understand how they can come up with guidelines that say that foods can still be considered organic if they have been shipped via but only if Fair Trade guidelines are adhered to.

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?

No middle ground

Almost no one who is aware of the case has a neutral opinion on the guilt of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal was convicted in 1982 of the murder of Philadelphia police officer and sentenced to death. Subsequent to his conviction, which is still under appeal, serious flaws in his trial have been revealed. Abu-Jamal continues to profess his innocence despite the fact that his confession to the crime was part of the evidence against him. He has become iconic in Philadelphia, and across the US, either as an innocent black victim of police conspiracy or, perhaps anti-iconically (sic), as a cold blooded revolutionary cop killer who deserved to die long ago.

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.

Progress report

A story from the IPS news service about the morale of American forces in Iraq says that the morale of troops is so poor that many outfits are engaging in "search and avoid tactics where they go out on patrol, park up somewhere and phone in once an hour to say they're still looking. One of the soldiers quoted in the article, now back in the states, said that he had recently received an email from a mate still in Baghdad:

"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."

Does that qualify as a surge?

Premature pontification?

Rather jumping the gun the Philadelphia Weekly blog Philadelphia Will Do has announced Michael Nutter as the winner of the mayoral election that isn't happening for another week and a bit.

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?"

Perhaps they were just trying to do something about overcrowding on the Tube

The inquest into the killing of the entirely innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes by armed police in London two years ago has been told that de Menezes was acting no differently thanany other London commuter on the morning that he was shot.

You have been warned.

And the sooner the better!

Perhaps in an effort to encourage him to go sooner rather than later ex-President Jimmy Carter has told Guardian America that George W. Bush will make a good ex-president. I fairly sure Mr. Carter is not being entirely serious.

In which I provide an unimpeachable argument for Conocoleezza Rice to use during her upcoming visit to Turkey

The increasingly irrelevant US Secretary of State is to visit Ankara next week to try and dissuade the Turkish government from invading Iraq. I think if Ms. Rice utters just the following simple words the Turks will be more than convinced:
"Hey. We did it and look how it's turned out!"

At least it is not socialised medicine!

The state of Israel is continuing to use the lure of medical treatment to coerce desperately ill Palestinians to become informers for the Israeli security forces. I don't know if this is illegal, it should be if it isn't, but it is certainly unethical and immoral. I can only assume that these comments make me an anti-Semite!

"You say 'Obama' - I say 'Osama' - let's call the whole thing off"

I'm sorry Mitt but I just don't buy the "slip of the tongue" explanation anymore.

The misogynist military?

There is not much meaningful coverage in the American press of the shooting deaths of two female US sailors by a male colleague in Bahrain but the Gulf Daily News out of the tiny island nation is digging up some of the details. It appears that the alleged shooter had previously attacked one of the women yet, despite being under restrictions, was still allowed to carry arms. More of the terrible pattern of violence against women in the US armed forces?

I am really looking forward to this!

Former Pennsylvania Senator Little Ricky "Man on Dog" Santorum is going to begin writing a sane and lucid opinion column for the Philadelphia Inquirer next month. I can hardly wait for the fun to begin.

Conocoleezza comes up short

Increasingly irrelevant US Secretary Conocoleezza Rice admitted that the United States had erred in the handling of Maher Arar case but still insisted that it was right to send him to Syria for torture intensive interrogation and to continue to bar him from the US.

Come on Connie - you can do it. Even Fonzie managed to admit that he was w-w-wr-wr-wrong!

Something very wrong here

Perhaps I am being naïve but I thought that the whole idea behind arming police with Tasers was to provide a viable alternative to the use of lethal force. Assuming that is true that I cannot understand how the University of Florida Police Department has cleared itself and its officers of any wrongdoing in the Tasering of U of F student Andrew Meyer for asking too many questions of US Senator John Kerry. His crime would appear to have consisted of being an obnoxious git.

For those of you who have forgotten -

In the department of not really news: O'Reilly is still an idiot

Oh dear friend, and source of much unintended levity, the great Bill-o O'Reilly once again loses the plot and accuses J. K. Rowling of being a gay agent provocateur because she said that she always thought of her character Dumbledore as being gay. According to Bill-o:

"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."

What with Halloween coming up we all must be on our guard and never, not even for an instant, turn our backs on a wizard.

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.

Important endorsement announcement

Barack Obama has locked up the critical Butter Cow Lady endorsement in Iowa. Next stop Pennsylvania Avenue.

24 October 2007

He's gone veto mad!

For a man that didn't veto anything for nearly six years he has certainly taken to the process like a fish to water. It looks as if Captain Codpiece is going to veto the Employment Non- Discrimination Act despite the fact that administration staffers were responsible for crafting exemptions within the bill so that religious bigots can continue to use their religious bigotry as an excuse for bigoted hiring and firing practices.

Israel to commit a pre-meditated war crime

With complete and utter disregard of its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention the Israel Defence Force plans to cut power to Gaza as a collective punishment for rocket attacks on Israel by militants in the territory.

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.)

Since Clarence Thomas's law degree is only worth 15 cents...

...perhaps we should make sure he only gets paid 15 cents on the dollar or about 29,000 USD a year. You won't be able to afford much porn on that Clarence.

Coming soon to an Ebay near you!

The Virgin Mary has appeared under an air conditioner in Del Rio TX and it has made parking rather difficult on Ware Street as pilgrims arrive from over one hundred miles away to witness the "miracle".

Would it really hurt so much...

...if just the once something like this would happen to me?

Most American households have incomes greater than 205,000 USD a year!!!

Of course to make that statement true I had to cheat and use the Mick Huckabee definition of "most".

Income data from here.

Today in infamy

Eighteen years ago today creepy television evangelist the Right Reverend Jim Bakker was sentenced to 50 years in prison for fraud.

In which I award Hillary a point...

Conocoleezza (accidentally) speaks the truth

The increasingly irrelevant US Secretary of State (and dedicated shoe shopper) has, probably inadvertently, admitted that Iran stands in the way of US interests in the Middle East and they better just cut it out.

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?

"American doesn't torture"...

...and a new book by Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, both attorneys for the (Un)American Civil Liberties Union, tells us just exactly how America doesn't torture. It's a relief that Captain Codpiece and his minions have finally been vindicated of these spurious charges!

Sacking watch

The coach of Philadelphia's American football team, Andy Reid, has received the dreaded owner's vote of confidence so it should only be a matter of time before he is unemployed. Coach Reid's only has managed two wins so far this season which equals the number of sons he has facing drugs charges.

Now that it is half over...

...how is David Horwitz's innaugural (and hopefully final)xenophobic and racist Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week going for you?

Speaking for myself I had a halal salami sandwich for lunch today and am also allowing my beard to grow.

It all depends on what the meaning of "eviscerate" is

It is a good thing that climate change is mythical because if it were real the severe editing of the scientific testimony of the director of the Centers for Disease Control Dr. Julie Gerberding before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to remove all reference to the severe and negative public health impacts of global warming would be a serious affair indeed.

"Congressman have you no shame?"

This is the question posed by Senator Richard J. Durbin (D - IL) to Republican Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo (R - CO) after Rep. Tancredo demanded that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service raid a press conference called by Sen. Durbin.

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"!

"Sorry about ruining your life but shit happens"

At least that seems to be the attitude of US Representative Dana Rohrbacher (R - CA) as he questions Maher Arar last week over Mr. Arar's illegal abduction by American intelligence and torture by their Syrian sub-contractors. (In Rep. Rohrbacher's defence his position is one teeny tiny bit better than the White House position which is, perhaps more simply, just "shit happens".



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.

First they will come for our guns and then they will come for our fertilizer!

Yesterday, overriding resistance from the farming community, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that will require registration and background checks to purchase ammonium nitrate, a popular fertilizer and potentially lethal explosive. The substance has been used in any number of terror attacks across the globe including Timothy McVeigh's bomb in Oklahoma City and the 1996 IRA bomb at South Quay (pronounced "Key") in London that destroyed the building I was working in at the time and nearly destroyed me.

Is this appropriate behaviour even for a certifiably mad Presidential candidate?

"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's new old friend

As if his defence of Bernie Kerik was not bad enough now it now turns out that Rudy has hired a (sort of ex-)priest who has been accused of child abuse to work in his consulting firm. The priest in question, one Monsignor Alan Placa, has not been charged of any sexual offences possibly due to the expiration of the statute of limitations but is now longer allowed by the Roman Catholic church to perform "priestly duties" or to appear in public as a priest. He stands accused of fondling young male students at a Roman Catholic school in New York.

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?

This isn't legal is it?

Disgraced Senator and patron saint of cottaging Larry Craig (Still Not Gay Damn It! - ID) has been using funds raised for his campaign to pay his legal bills associated with that incident (that shall not be described again) in the gent's at Minneapolis airport.

Even if it is not illegal it is certainly unethical.

Those damn dogs!

If researchers at the University of Manchester are to be believed documented changes in the St. Bernard dog breed, think small kegs of brandy, deal a telling blow to the "theory" of intelligent design.

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.

A thoughtful gift from the Vatican to the people of Latin America

What do you give the region that seems to have everything? Perhaps an epidemic of HIV/AIDS caused by the demonisation of the use of condoms by our friends in Rome.

Hey big spender

Given that the Republicans are almost always swift to attack "tax and spend" Democrats I eagerly await the spectacle of them turning on their own as "borrow and spend" Bush becomes the highest spending American President since LBJ.

Well go on. Get at it!

"and over every creeping thing"*

If Homo sapiens is one of the 50% of all species wiped out by climate change it is just possible that the planet stands a chance. Otherwise Mother Earth is in serious trouble.

*Genesis 1:26

Is it what they want?

The over-hyped US sponsor Palestine "peace" talks in Annapolis MD would appear to be little else than a cluster fuck that is doomed to failure. Operating on the assumption that the talks will fail I think that we can assume that increased intra-Palestinian violence will follow. Should the illegally occupied Palestinian territories collapse into a state of near total anarchy and civil war it is likely that Israel, and her American client state, will interpret that as licence to do what they will in Palestine and Gaze with further violent suppression of the Palestinian people and additional confiscation of Palestinian land in the name of "security".

The worst mayor in America?

I am suspicious of reason Magazine's rationale in picking Frank Melton of Jackson Mississippi rather than Philly's obvious contender John Street (Wilson B. Goode being retired).

I'll have the Tongue of the Judge with some Christians and Moors on the side

Today's Guardian provides us with a sampling of recipes from a newly released volume from Gill Partington entitled The Axis of Evil Cookbook. The books includes traditional favourites from all of George W. Bush's favourite countries: Iran, Syria, Cuba, Libya and North Korea. Judging by the inclusion of Libya, now a good guy, the publication has been sometime in coming to fruition. Assuming there is to be a second edition who should replace the former pariah state? Burma? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia?

You will find Ms. Partington's book on sale at Amazon.

If there is a Hell...

...Captain Codpiece will have his own private corner where his victims can visit him and explore the efficacy of the techniques he authorised whilst still alive using the Captain as a lab rat.

Now this is serious!

I haven't had to much to say about the severe drought in the American South East other than to note that it has much to do with too many people living in the wrong places with a cavalier disregard for their consumption of natural resources such as water. I reckoned that they have to live with what they have wrought.

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

How bad is the England football team?

Well if it is any indication Umbro, who is the team's kit supplier, has just been taken over by Nike.

"Father forgive me because I am a complete and utter cunt"

It seems that Baron Black of Crossharbour has found the Lord as he awaits the assignment of his cell mate. Sweet!

Paging Tony Soprano

New Jersey has a lot of catching up to do as the mafia now represents about 7% of Italy's GDP. That's more than just rubbish lorries and strip joints.

We ♥ Oral!!

No you dirty minded bastards. We're not talking about sex! We are talking about Oral "Give Me Loads of Money or God Will Kill Me" Roberts who has returned to his university to save it after allegations of corruption, mismanagement and (shock! horror!) sex impropriety under the administration of his son, Not So Oral Roberts.

Shocking!

In India six elephants got pissed on rice beer and ended up killing themselves by running into a high voltage wire. Is there no escape from binge drinking?

Blood money doesn't grow on trees...

...but it seems that Captain Codpiece thinks it does as he asks for yet another 45 billion USD to launder for the American defence and security industries through dead Iraqis and Afghans.

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!!!!!!

Calling all Yanks!!

They're doing a Guardian just for you. Enjoy.

A very sad day indeed

Vincent DeDomenico, co-inventor of Rice-a-Roni ("that San Fransisco treat"), has died at the age of 92.

No wonder the Republicans rarely win New Jersey...

...their state constitution prohibits idiots and the insane from voting! I'd think twice before approving that change in the language if I were them.

I know it is not because they can't find any fat people in America

For some reason a new series of anti-obesity advertisements from the US Department of Health and Human Services don't actually show any obese people. One demands to know why not!

The trouble with the American press...

...is that there really aren't any proper national tabloids in a position to give the Richard Scaife divorce the coverage it deserves. The split between the 75 year old right wing family values billionaire and financier of wing nuts everywhere has all of the necessary ingredients: alleged adultery with a part time hooker in a cheap motel (hourly rates!), household theft and canine custody. What The Sun could do with material like this!

We suck and we know it!

It would seem that the US State Department recognises that it is incapable of managing or controlling the "security" companies it employs in Iraq. An audit, due to be released shortly, is to tell us that the records associated with the State Department's 1.2 billion USD (that's $1,200,000,000.00*) contract with DynCorp to train the Iraqi police are so paid it is impossible to tell what service have or have not been received.

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!