29 December 2008


It seems as if every year someone the world will miss dies at Christmas. This year there were two: Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter and my favourite Catwoman Eartha Kitt.

They shall be heroes

Amongst the illustrious guests at Barack Obama's inauguration next month will be some, but not all, of the "Little Rock Nine whose attendance at a previously all white high school in Little Rock Arkansas over fifty years ago required the intervention some damned activist judges and the US Army.

Returning to the blogosphere...

...following the Christmas frenzy. I've just returned from several lovely days in the Kentish countryside to find that Captain Codpiece's competence remains unchanged in the (thankfully) final days of his imperial reigh.

22 December 2008

A seranade for "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney

It seems that the evil one behind the throne has no regrets. Nonetheless I would think he probably should avoid holidaying in Spain in his retirement. They take a hard view on war criminals there.

And so in memory of "I'm a Big" Dick I give you the Sparrow.

A good week for Leonard Cohen

Sorry for the hiatus but suddenly Xmas activities seem overwhelming. I'm finally off duty for the year and have finished my shopping as of an hour ago so there is hope. Off to the pub for a pint.

In the meantime Leonard Cohen should be happy as three versions of his song Hallelujah find themselves in the British holiday charts; a so-so version by a reality TV (not really a) star is Xmas number one, Jeff Buckley's extraordinary version at number two and Mr. Cohen's own version snuck in at number thirty six.

16 December 2008

04 December 2008

A great and important American voice falls silent

The great America folk singer and activist Odetta has died at 77. Sadly she was hoping to be able to sing at Obama's inagguaration next month.

02 December 2008

War is Peace

Captain Codpiece has finally expressed regret over Iraq. Unfortunately his regret is that the intelligence was wrong NOT because he sent his country to war without any legal justification. But it's a start.

01 December 2008

Today in Schadenfreude

Anorexic, radical right wing hag-ette Ann Coulter has had her jaw wired shut. I would have preferred that it was welded shut but one must take what one is offered!

Today in infamy

On this day in 1955 a tired Negro woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a richly deserving white man and America has been heading down the slippery slope towards multi-culturalism and away from the Anglo-Saxon dominated society envisioned by the founding fathers every since.

28 November 2008

How I spent my Thanksgiving

I spent the first hour and a half of the day testing fuzzy matching algorithms and then spent the next six hours reviewing a (not quite normalised) data model. I rounded this lovely day off by watching Portsmouth fail to beat AC Milan.

I hope yours was better.

25 November 2008

There is no joy in Whoville...

...or in Louisville for that matter as Dr. Seuss's lawyers strike. Of course it probably serves them right for thinking that they could just have a "LouWhoVille" celebration without even asking.

Unfortunately looters will not be shot on sight

Wachovia Corporation which has seen losses of over $30,000,000,000 in the last half of a year and is fleeing to the hopefully safe arms of Wells Fargo in a "merger" that was forced upon it by its dire financial position looks set to award $98,000,000 in platinum parachutes to its top ten executives should the merger go through.

The first person to say that they "earned it" gets waterboarded.

Apparently the tips ARE good!

It seems as if your mohel might be making a quid or two from recycling your sons foreskin. Waste not, want not, eh?

Mr. Darling's stealth sin tax

Those of us with the character flaws that lead us to smoke and drink were left out in the cold yesterday by the Chancellor's reduction in VAT to 15% as he increased alcohol & tobacco duty by the 2.5 percentage points necessary to offset the reduction in VAT. Anyone want to guess whether this increase is reversed when VAT rates go back up in a year's time? To quote the immortal Damon Runyon:
"The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet it."

24 November 2008

He came in just under the wire

According to the BBC...
"1555: Mr Darling says VAT will be cut from 17.5 to 15% until the end of next year, coming into effect next Monday."

Sometime in the next half hour or so...

...the Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is set to announce a reduction in the standard VAT rate from 17.5% to 15%; an announcement that will send financial controllers up and down the country, often accompanied by their sales and marketing staff, in search of their IT support staff to ask the following two questions:

"Can we deal with this in the next 6 days?"


"Can we do it properly?"

The answers in virtually all cases will be "probably" and "probably not".

I await the approach of my local finance folks with bated breath.

The death knell for Islam?

Rumours have it that paler-than-pale rock legend and life long weirdo Michael (now Mikaeel) Jackson has converted to Islam in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the no fly list Wacko. I don't think you're going to like it there.

They make such a lovely couple

Former publisher of the pre-eminent right wing publications the Daily Torygraph and the Jerusalem Post, and convicted felon, Baron Black of Crossharbour is begging Captain Codpiece for a pardon. This is hardly the act of the innocent man the poor Peer claims to be but then who believes him?

Today in infamy

At least the day is infamous if you are one of those who, like former US Vice Presidential nominee Sarah "Ramb-ette" Palin", believes that the planet is about 6000 years old. On this day in 1859 The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and an anti-scientific "scientific" industry is born!

The friends we keep

The Ottawa Convention to ban land mines is ban the use of land mines is ten years old and guess who hasn't ratified or signed it? Go on. I know you can.

21 November 2008

"Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence!"

US Federal Judge Richard Leon, a rock solid conservative judge, has upset the court of Captain Codpiece by ordering the release of five more innocent men, in this case Algerians, from the Guantánamo Bay Beach and Leisure Resort. He demanded that they be released "forthwith" which I assume means sometime after President Obama's inauguration.

Happy Birthday!

Today is the 110th birthday of surrealist painter AND famous Belgian René Magritte. All is not what it appears to be.

Today in Schadenfreude

If this video from the G20 is any indication Captain Codpiece isn't one of the cool kids anymore.

Gone but not forgotten

With her usual tastefulness Ramb-ette pardons a turkey in Alaska whilst the pardonees friends and neighbours are slaughtered in the background. I'm surprised she didn't gut one for us whilst she was at it.

Obama's not even President yet...

...and already he's destroyed America. Curiously the dangerous and unabashedly leftist NY Times fails to mention the decline of American influence in it's headline preferring to highlight the waning appeal of al Qaeda instead and it's equally treasonous liberal counterpart the Washington Post decided to focus on nuclear proliferation and scarce natural resources. Why do they hate America so?

War crimes conference planned for February in London

Rumours that former US Defence Secretary Donald "The Unknown Unknown" Rumsfeld and by-then former US Vice President "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney will be on hand to offer pointers cannot be confirmed at this time.

I may attend if my work schedule permits.

20 November 2008

Terrorism spews forth from the occupied territories!

Lawless zealots in Hebron have desecrated a place of worship and vandalised a cemetery whilst elsewhere on the West Bank illegal squatters attacked peaceful farmers and Christians who accompanied them. Surely these vicious terrorists must be wiped out, possibly by an attack from an unmanned drone, and if innocent civilians were to die in such an attack that is the price that must be paid if these cowardly evildoers insist on sheltering themselves amongst the civilian population instead of standing up and fighting like men.

Hey, wait a second. These weren't evil acts of mindless and unprovoked aggression by Muslims but legal and legitimate acts of self defence by members of the heroic (if illegal) Jewish community in the (illegally) occupied territories.

We must salute them for their valour and their steadfastness, right?

18 November 2008

A musical I would (and probably will) pay to see

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, have created the Mormon Musical! When's it coming to the West End, eh?

If he does nothing else

Following through on this will make Barack Obama's Presidency a success.

My new hero

A toddler named Will at the Phillies World Series parade.

Today in Schadenfreude

A jury in Kentucky of all places has found the head of the Imperial Klans of America personally liable for $1,000,000 in damages in a suit brought by a Hispanic teenager savagely beaten by racist thugs on the orders of Imperial Wizard Ron Edwards. It is expected that the ruling, if upheld, will drive the poor man into bankruptcy. I don't think Mr. Edwards should expect a Federal bailout anytime soon.

And the truth shall set you free...

Lord Bingham, a highly respected former Lord Chief Justice, has broken the omertà surrounding Lord Goldsmith's advice to then PM St. Tony Blair over the (illegal) invasion of Iraq and made the rather bold statement that this act by the US and the UK was a "serious violation of international law"; a statement that, if true, would seem to mean that St. Tony, Captain Codpiece and any number of those around them could be considered war criminals.

A bad idea on so many levels

The Great State of South Carolina is planning a sales tax holiday to encourage the state's residents (and perhaps those of nearby states as well) to buy more firearms.


17 November 2008

(Catholic) Ignorance is Strength!

According to the Right Reverend Patrick O'Donoghue, Catholic Bishop of Lancaster there are too many educated people amongst the laity and they are damaging the Church's holy mission to brainwash the ignorant. (I must admit that I have paraphrased him rather loosely but I think I am communicating rather accurately the gist of his message!)

I'm sure that good old Bill Donohue will agree wholeheartedly.

Quote of the day

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."------- Albert Camus
Certainly true in my case!

Already with the creeping socialism

Even before known Red sympathiser Barry Obama takes the oath of office some government agencies are getting ahead of the game and trying to help out real people rather than richly deserving billionaires.

"Well if you want us to count ALL the votes...

...maybe we won't send a convicted felon back to the Senate.

"I thought you said you'd bring the salt!"

It looks as if you Yanks will have to drive more carefully this winter as there doesn't seem to be enough salt to go around.

14 November 2008

"Hey nice tattoo. Where'd you get it?"

"Oh, just down the cat house mate and now they even let me in for free!"

Well you have to admit they're consistent

Captain Codpiece and his evil minions have been hard at work pushing through anti-plant and anti-human regulatory changes at the behest of their good friends and benefactors in the country's boardrooms. The thinking was that if they pushed the changes through by 1 November that Obama wouldn't be able to overturn them without restarting the lengthy and complicated consultation process. Fortunately for the planet and the humans the legal minions seemed to have forgot to read their law books.

I love Schadenfreude on a Friday afternoon; it tastes like victory!

For Mitch

13 November 2008


At the age of thirteen I snuck off, with my mate John and his older sister Sarah into Philly to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience. My parents thought I was bowling. Now the last member of the Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, is dead.

How am I supposed to deal with this?

Just in case we need reminding...

...that the best reason for voting for Barack Obama is the status of the US Supreme Court SCOTUS itself reminds us by ruling that testing equipment to be used to kill humans is more important than the lives of Cetaceans.

"If that joke wasn't nailed to it's perch....."

The Beeb claims to have the ancestor of Monty Python's famous Dead Parrot Sketch in a 4th century Greek joke book.

12 November 2008

Dear Governor Palin

God does not give a shit if you decide to run for President or even if you become President. She is otherwise engage trying to whether there is a pattern to prime numbers or trying to remember how many dimensions She created or trying to understand Bucky balls.

So when the voices in your head start firing up just remember that it is time for extra medication!

11 November 2008

I must be prescient

I had completely forgotten that, way back in July, I had reserved a copy of The Gods That Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future before the Gods really failed! I've just picked it up. I'll let you know how it is.

Now if I could just pick horses!

Nil points

A Deutsche Bank analyst has set a target value 0f $0.00/share for the once lofty General Motors with predictable results.

The headline of the day...

...comes to us from KRGV-TV, Newschannel 5, out of Weslaco TX and is presented without comment:
"Jesus Image Spotted in Church"

They must be owned by News Corp

The Sapulpa Daily Herald from Sapulpa OK forget to report that Barack Obama had won the US Presidential election even though they did report that The Aged One won most of the votes in Creek County, where Sapulpa is located. The nation isn't colour blind just quite yet.

How do you spell "e-n-t-r-a-p-m-e-n-t"?

At the trial of five men accused of attempting a terrorist attack against Fort Dix in New Jersey the chief FBI informant admitted that at least three of the me considered him the brains and the leader of the operation and that they were reluctant to go through with it.

Nonetheless as the men are foreign born Muslims they are undoubtedly evil doers and deserve the punishment they are likely to get.

Second class soldiers

If you are a woman serving in the American armed forces, at home or abroad, and you are sexually assaulted by a fellow serviceman expect to pay for your rape kit. Did someone appoint Sarah Palin Defence Secretary whilst I wasn't looking?

Not with a bang but a whimper

Captain Codpiece plumbs the depths that even Richard Nixon could not as his disapproval rating soars to 76%. The only question I have is what the fuck is wrong with the other 24%!

Today's chuckle

07 November 2008

Surely God can sort this out

Those rapacious capitalists great men (and a woman or two) of God who run America's mega churches are worried about the recent FCC regulation that will open up white space to new technologies will cause interference with their wireless microphones and without them how will they ever squeeze every red cent out of their parishioners show the faithful the true part to salvation.

Don't anyone tell Tommy

This is terrible news. Is the last pinball machine manufacturer on the brink of going out of business?

Rush Limbaugh - secret Stalinist

The big fat idiot is planning a purge of the Republican Party and only the purest of the pure true believers will remain. Whether he will introduce a random drug testing policy is not, as yet at least, certain.

06 November 2008

Wingnuts will be wingnuts

Just because they can there is already an impeach Obama group on Facebook. Clearly these bozos don't understand the idea of "high crimes and misdemeanours", which Bush & Cheney have arguably committed, and the fact that they don't agree with all (or any) of Obama's positions; a situation that clearly doesn't reach the "high crime and misdemeanour" threshold. Not to mention the fact that someone who doesn't actually hold a Federal office as of yet is certainly not impeachable.


In neo con cloud cuckoo land

The bitter, sarcastic and elitist Robert Novak wants to deny President Obama and his party a progressive mandate preferring instead to see an unchanged world.

05 November 2008

And now for the fireworks!

Not because of the election result but because it's Guy Fawkes Night when we (tastefully) celebrate the hanging, drawing and quartering of a Catholic terrorist some 402 years ago.

Say goodbye Joe

(Soon-to-be-ex-member-of-the-Democratic-caucus-or-my-name-ain't-Yank-in-London) "Holy" Joe Lieberman apparently thinks that he was destroying America all of those years he was a mole in the Democratic Party.

I may have been misled

It appears that the most historic feature of Barack Obama's victory last night was not that he is younger than Yank In London. I must follow these things closer.

A word of advice for the President Elect

Don't take any advice from Silvio Berlusconi. Just don't. Trust me on this OK?

Well given that he is an undercover communist...

...I'm sure that the Obamas will call the new puppy something all American like Rover but I have little doubt that during the secret cell meetings in the Oval Office the mutt will answer to his true name of Fidel.

A question for the American right

Will you, however reluctantly, admit that there is a progressive mandate both for the White House and the Congress or will spend the next two years bemoaning the failure of democracy in America?

Ramb-ette's last laugh

She may have failed to stir up the religious right enough to push The Aged One to victory but should, as appears likely, the people of Alaska elect a convicted felon to the US Senate she will, I think, get to appoint a replacement after his inevitable resignation; at least until a special election can be held.

And in praise of (soon to be) President Obama

He was articulate and inspirational (and the crowd was very, very happy).

Now I think we should allow him a few days to mourn his gradmother.

In praise of John McCain

He was articulate and gracious in defeat. Unfortunately not all of his supporters were.

Without comment

The front page of The Guardian

300+ and cruising

I think I can safely go to be and leave assessment of this until the (late) morning.

The right thing

Reports are trickling in that McCain has rung Obama to concede. No lawsuits then. I think we should all be glad for that.

A moment in time

History was made this morning; somehwere around 04:05 GMT.

For the first time in history the President Elect of the US is younger than Yank in London. I reckon I better get used to it.

Congratulations Barry.

Shamelessly stolen from Rolling Stone

On to more improtant subjects

Assuming the current projections hold up there won't be a Republican in the White House after January. So when can Yank in London make his much anticipated return to his homeland*? (He hasn't been there since 2001 just before the inauguration.) I'm thinking late spring in time to catch the Phillies but before the weather gets too bloody hot.

*Not to stay of course.

So the question occupying everyone's mind is...

...will Yank in London get heartburn if he has a (hopefully not premature) celebratory pastrami sandwich at 3 AM. I'll get back to you shortly.

All over but the suing?

If the projection of Ohio for Obama holds up then I think the Aged One's only remaining chance is to call out the lawyers. Let's hope he doesn't.

It couldn't happen to a nicer girl*

We bid adieu to Elizabeth "I'm not Godless but she is" Dole. Good news even if I'm not enthralled by her opponents defamation suit. It's no insult to be called Godless. I hear it all the time.

*Note: I didn't actually mean this - I know lots of nicer girls.

Can I go to sleep now?

As a Pennsylvania voter I feel as if I've done my part as PBS, Reuters and even Faux News are calling the Keystone State for Obama. A good sign. I've been predicting for two years that whoever wins two out of Pa, Florida and Ohio wins; full stop. Good start to have one (hopefully) in the bag.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 104: he hates the troops or at least he seems to hate the idea of them voting. Nice guy.

140,000,000 reasons to be thankful Rudy Giuliani can only vote once or twice

According to America's ex-mayor:
"If people were walking into the polling booth thinking terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, probably no way that Barack Obama has a chance of winning. McCain wins."

This morning in (not exactly) news

NBC News goes out on a limb and predicts the Democrats will hold the House. Christ the entrails of the dead pigeon on the street outside my flat told me that two days ago.

Obama voting shenanigans exposed in Hawaii

Clearly the voting rules in The One's sort of home state were written in his favour as votes cast for him by dead people will count. Reports from San Clemente California that Richard Nixon has voted for Obama three times today cannot be confirmed.

04 November 2008

Feeling pre-exit poll stress?

Perhaps this live webcam of a box of puppies will help. I'll be back after a wee kip!

Steeling myself to get through the next 12 or so hours

Purchase sufficient tins of Old Speckled Hen? √

Purchase sufficient packs of Drum (and Rizlas)? √

Purchase snacks (including pretzels) √

Wear lucky Phillies shirt? √

Wear lucky socks? √

Purchase split of (cheap) champagne? (Just in case) √

Have cyanide capsule inserted into false tooth?

Oh fuck. I forgot the most important bit. What if it all goes tits up again?

In any case I'm off home to have a wee nap. Be back around midnight I reckon. It's going to be a long night.

I, for one, am suspicious

Despite assertions to the contrary by the Republican campaign vice presidential candidate Sarah "Ramb-ette" Palin did not release her medical records yesterday. A two page letter from her GP saying that she's healthy no more suffices as a replacement for actual records than a letter from one's headmaster saying one was "rather clever" would be enough when submitting one's school records for entrance to university.

Call me cynical, and many have, but I reckon there's something here.

Your election day special

The police find IEDs in Texas. When will Faux News ask if Obama is to blame?

03 November 2008

Oi matey - your bleeding fifteen minutes are over already!

In an age of meaningless celebrity he is the ultimate meaningless "celebrity". It is clear that (not) Joe the (non-)plumber is a self promoting prat with no ideas to articulate and no talents with which to entertain us which makes him the perfect prop for the self-proclaimed pundits of the right and the "fair and balanced" folks at Faux News but one would think that even the Faux idiots would have the common sense to show him the door when he questions Senator Obama's patriotism and status as an American says that his "ideology is something completely different than what democracy stands for". One would of course be wrong because if (not) Joe the (non-)plumber says it it must be true.

I'm not sure if this is an idicator of anything....

...but a book by that America hating American Rashid Khalidi is currently about 2450 places higher in the Amazon ranking of book sales than John McCain's Faith of My Fathers.

Is it just me...

...or is there something dodgy going on with Ramb-ette's medical records? For a young, allegedly healthy woman, there shouldn't be much to hide, should there?

It does give one pause.

Don't call us, we'll call you

The Iraqi (not quite a) government is still waiting for an American response to requested changes in the "security" pact between Iraq and the US that would allow the US to remain in Iraq "legally" next year (and beyond). The US is balking at Iraqi demands to have some measure of control over US troops and mercenaries contractors. Look for Bush to push something through before he leaves office that will tie the hands of any future president.

A (not so) fond farewell

Whilst most of the chattering classes on focused on tomorrow's US election historian Simon Schama takes to the pages of The Guardian today to bid adieu to the "nowhere man", George W. Bush.

Unfortunately there are still 77 days left in which Captain Codpiece and his evil minions can wreak havoc on the world.

01 November 2008

A great man passes

The great writer and great American Louis "Studs" Terkel has died in Chicago at the age of 96. He will be missed.

Cloud cuckoo land (Alaska style)

Convicted felon, and cranky old person, (hopefully soon to be ex-)Senator Ted Stevens is claiming he has been convicted of anything. I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt. After all when we're his age we're all going to forget a thing or two, aren't we?

With some Republican you hardly have to scratch the surface at all

Meet David Storck, chairman of the Republican Party of a county in Florida and repentant spammer who sent out a email to his loyal supporters complaining about

"car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama...This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs....After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black."

His explanation for this wee slip up is that he forgot to read the email first; so he's just an idiot and not an idiotic racist then.

A day in mudless Mudville

They had some kind of part in Philadelphia yesterday. I couldn't make it (but I was at the first one!)

I have a problem with this

It is clear what the clearly desperate and deluded Elizabeth Dole was trying to do when she put out an ad essentially saying that her opponent, Kay Hagen, was "godless". But for Ms. Hagen to sue Dole for defamation is just plain wrong. It is no more defamation to be called an atheist than it is to be called a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim or a Jew. Now if she had called her a Scientologist that would be different of course.

Have we no shame?

I think the answer is "no" as Captain Codpiece and his evil minions are working to ensure that seventeen innocent Chinese men will remain behind bars at Gitmo (or elsewhere) for the rest of their lives. Perhaps we can can take steps to ensure that Captain Codpiece, "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Conocoleeza Rice, Alberto "Gone-zo" Gonzales and John Woo join them there.

Just taking the piss

The Royal Bank of Scotland was gracious enough to accept £20,000,000,000 of taxpayer money to refill the coffers but that won't stop them from shelling out huge amounts of dosh in the form of discretionary bonuses to their (dis)investment bankers who were largely responsible for the emptying of the coffers in the first place. Kudos to Vince Cable of the Lib Dems for calling them on it!

Don't anyone tell Michelle Malkin....

...but it seems that actual Jewish Israeli women have taken to wearing that symbol of terror, the keffiyeh. Why do they hate freedom?

31 October 2008

OK, so I'm down me local...

...having a pint and watching the Phillies celebration on the wireless. Too fucking cool, eh?

God I love Harry Kalas!!!!

Attention Philadelphia

Won't someone please send me some photos from the parade? Please?

I was at the last one!

She's no atheist....

...she's a decent human being. The ad is offensive and so is anyone who tries to defend it.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 103: he seems to have been jilted by (not) Joe the (non-)Plumber. It is really just so sad. And I thought they made a lovely couple.

Just good old fashioned investigative journalism

The (slightly less than) eminent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, owned by renowned wing nut Richard Mellon Scaife, has been working overtime on the election coverage demanded by its owner and has discovered that Pittsburgh's hookers just love Obama! Thanks Dick.

I wonder if Dylan gets royalties for this

The Washington Post has a rather strident opinion piece today about The Aged One's most recent desperate smear attack on Obama for daring to speak to a natural born American, well respected (except by Republi-cons) scholar Rashid Khalidi, entitled "An 'Idiot Wind'".

Apparently the Straight Talk Express is barred from the High Road.

All I want for Xmas...

...is one of these!

The gift that keeps on giving

It seems that on his way out the door Captain Codpiece intends to make things just that much nicer for a wide array of business interests and that much worse for Americans, human beings and the planet. The list of proposed new regulations would:
  • Allow federally funded health care workers to refuse to perform abortions
  • Impose mandatory drug testing on miners (whilst doing nothing to improve their abysmal and dangerous working conditions)
  • All the Interior Department to approve development projects without scientific input (they'd just ignore it anyway)
It's always Xmas for business interests in the Bush White House innit?

You may find this of interest

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has quietly asked the Attorney General to investigate MI5 and the CIA for possible criminal wrong doing in the torture of UK resident Binyam Mohamed. Mr. Mohamed was "rendered" to Morocco where his "interrogation" alleged included incisions on his penis amongst other indignities and degradations.

Could this be the end of a beautiful friendship?

It will also be interesting to see if any of the US press pick up the story. In addition to The Guardian the story has been covered here by The Independent, The Times and, rather surprisingly the right wing Daily Mail, although they couldn't bring themselves to use the word "torture" without putting quotes around it.

30 October 2008

I just had to share Harry Kallas with you!

The economic climate sucks for almost everyone...

...but not everyone. 3rd quarter earnings are being announced in the energy sector and if you're Valero Energy (42% year on year), Murphy Oil (+190% year on year), Marathon Oil (+102% year on year) or Occidental Petroleum (+72% year on year) things are pretty good indeed. There there's Royal Dutch Shell, whose profit rose 71% to $10,900,000,000 for the quarter (or about $120,000,000 a day); British Petroleum whose profits rose 148% to $11,500,000,000 for the quarter (about $126,000,000 a day); and of course my old employer Exxon whose profits rose a mere 58% to $14,800,000,000 ($163,000,000 a day) to shatter its own quarterly profits record.

Life is good, eh?


Exposed! Drunken British plot to destroy American democracy (or something like that)with about £150! Off to Gitmo with this insidious woman (one Claire Hazelgrove) I say!

Jeez - you'd think that they didn't trust us!

Now those contrarians at the heart of the Iraqi government are demanding that the forces agreement with the United States to given the Iraqis the power to veto any incursions into their neighbours' turf. Why do they hate freedom so?

Well what did we expect from a woman who thinks the planet is 6,000 years old??

Over on the Guardian website today Adam Rutherford, from Nature, explains to us why Ramb-ette's injudicious comments about research into Drosophila melanogaster, or more specifically Bactrocera oleae, has made her a laughing stock amongst scientists along with most folks who have a reasonably adequate education.

More on the endorsement front

This has got to really hurt. One of the unelected prophets of the neo-conservatives, and author of The End of History, the eminent Francis Fukuyama, has announced he's voting for Senator Obama. His reasons?

"I’m voting for Barack Obama this November for a very simple reason. It is hard to imagine a more disastrous presidency than that of George W. Bush. It was bad enough that he launched an unnecessary war and undermined the standing of the United States throughout the world in his first term. But in the waning days of his administration, he is presiding over a collapse of the American financial system and broader economy that will have consequences for years to come. As a general rule, democracies don’t work well if voters do not hold political parties accountable for failure. While John McCain is trying desperately to pretend that he never had anything to do with the Republican Party, I think it would a travesty to reward the Republicans for failure on such a grand scale."

Of course at least Mr. Fukuyama has admitted he might have been wrong unlike the host of lesser (and non-)thinkers who rely so heavily on his earlier work.


Senator Barack Obama admits to being a "secret communist"!

Live from Mudville!

Despite having to endure the longest match in World Series history, at some 50 hours and counting, the losingest team in professional sport history has managed to win the "World Championship" for only the second time, increasing their frequency of success to about once every 62.5 years.

I didn't stay up to watch it although I do have it recorded and will probably watch it this evening; after a few celebratory pints down the pub. However I did receive a frantic phone call somewhere around 2 AM this morning from the 6 1/2 year old grandnephew with the news. I wonder if his Mum ever got him to sleep last night.

In any case the win was followed by the traditional mildly homo-erotic scene of about 30 writhing men in uniform in a pile pile on the floor which can be seen at the end of the clip below.

29 October 2008

Pretty scary stuff

Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun footage of some of the love filled people leaving a Ramb-ette rally.

Step right up

Get your talking points right here!

Video found courtesy of Oliver Burkeman's election blog over at The Guardian. I hope it makes you smile!

Hero of the day

Rather surprisingly is Florida's Republican Governor Charlie Crist for extending the hours for early voting in the state.

Because ensuring that everyone gets the same chance to vote should not be a partisan issue!

Well what do you know?

Watch Faux News' Megyn (couldn't her parents spell?) Kelly melt down and then suggest that the Faux-workdoesn't tolerate sarcasm!

Once again...

...I'm not so proud to be a Pennsylvanian (although not all of the folks on the video are shameful).

Today in Schadenfreude

Don't everyone weep at once. On the German markets hedge funds, described by some as "asset-stripping locusts", bet on VW stock falling last week but were caught out by the announcement the Porsche was taking over and had cornered about 75% of its much larger rival. Suddenly these funds faced ruin as they were bidding against each other for the remaining 5% of shares (about 20% are owned by the German state of Lower Saxony) and the price soared to in excess of €1000, four times the price last week. According to this article from The Guardian "some fund managers were reportedly in tears as they realised the scale of their losses". I am trying very, very hard to be sympathetic to their terrible predicament but am failing miserably. Does this make me less of a decent human being?

World Series cluster fuck continues

Game 5 of the 2008 World Series is already the longest game in the history of baseball and is scheduled to get longer; they might try and finish it tonight weather permitting. Do they have any idea how bloody difficult this is to take from 5,700 km 3500 miles away?

And the answer to this question is "how can you be so stupid of course She does!"

28 October 2008

On the endorsement front

Obama has picked up the endorsements of the Benton County (Ark) Daily Record, the Wausau (Wis) Daily Herald, the Commercial Dispatch of Columbus Mississippi, the Chippewa Herald of Chippewa Wis,Britain's conservative Financial Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Anchorage Daily News.

McCain gets the endorsement of (not) Joe the (non-)plumber.

Damn liberal press.

How's that abstinence thing working out for you?

Not so well as it turns out. It seems that the offspring of American evangelicals like sex earlier and more often than the average American kid. Surprise! Surprise!

Curiouser and curiouser

As I noted earlier I was sure that the right wing nuts would not scream about an impending terror attack over the arrest of two good white, Christian Americans for planning a suicide attack that would have seen over 100 people killed because of their race, some of them mutilated, and the assassination of an extremely prominent American politician. However one would think that the main stream press should have the fucking cojones to call it what it is; a planned terror attack on the American mainland. I would be wrong! Shame, shame, shame!

Dear Mr. Monbiot -

I hope you are braced for the hate because once the American wing nuts get wind of your column in today's Guardian the sliming will begin. The column begins:

"How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist?

Like most people on my side of the Atlantic, I have for many years been mystified by American politics. The US has the world's best universities and attracts the world's finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage."

And ends:

"Obama has a lot to offer the US, but none of this will stop if he wins. Until the great failures of the US education system are reversed or religious fundamentalism withers, there will be political opportunities for people, like Bush and Palin, who flaunt their ignorance."

I hope you're prepared George (and don't try to correct them on their spelling - that's like poking a hornets' nest).

And his number shall be six, thrice score and six

Watch this video clip from the Guardian web site. How did we ever get to this place where seemingly well educated people have so little knowledge of the world around them? There is something truly terrifying about this.

Today in Schadenfreude

It's been a long time coming but Alaskan slimeball (soon to be ex-) Senator Ted Stevens is is now a convicted felon. But before we feel too sorry for the ranting octogenarian there is always the possibility that he will get a pardon from Captain Codpiece and he is still eligible for his Congressional pension not to mention the tax payer funded socialised health care benefits he's in line for as well.

There is a special circle in Hell...

...reserved for parents who think it is ever a good idea to allow their eight year old children to fire assault weapons. I can only hope that an eternity in Hell is sufficient punishment for Charles Bizilj of Connecticut who saw his eight year old son kill himself whilst firing an Uzi at a gun show. One would hope that there will be prosecutions but I suspect that the police and prosecutors in Connecticut are too busy busting potheads to face up to the righteous anger (and deep pockets) of the NRA should they try and prosecute.

Heroes of the day

We should all be thankful for, and proud of, the dozens of call centre workers, men and women who probably really need the money, who walked away from their jobs in Indiana rather than recite some vulgar bile about Obama to Indiana voters at the behest of the straight-talking (irony intended) John "The Aged One" McCain and his lunatic sidekick Sarah "Ramb-ette" Palin.

Well done and thank you.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be (and probably won't be) President

Number 102: suddenly, in addition to having to fight to win (and probably lose) traditional Republican strongholds such as Colorado and Virginia he suddenly finds himself in a street fight in his home state of Arizona. Could he be heading for McGovern territory? (Not that he is nearly as good or honest a man as George McGovern was.)

How do you say "Jihad" in Redneck?

Let us pause for a moment and imagine that 2 Muslim-American men are arrested by the FBI and it becomes public knowledge that these two Muslim-American men had plans, however confused or hopeless they might be, to kill over 100 American Christians, including decapitations, and then assassinate John McCain. Can you imagine the wave of righteous outrage and bile that would come spewing from the American radical right if these two men, instead of being sped off to Algeria to be tortured and then sent to the Guantánamo Bay Beach and Leisure Club to languish outside of the reach on American or international law, they were merely charged with "with possession of firearms, threats against a presidential candidate running and conspiring to rob a gun store".

Yes - the spittle filled braying would be truly terrible to endure so I can hardly wait for the wave of outrage over the fact that these two Christian-American men, who were clearly planning an act of terror (which would make them terrorists), who indeed intended to be "suiciders", are being treated so fairly and charged with such low level crimes. Could it be that if one's plans are simply to decapitate some niggers and assassinate an American hating socialist it really isn't that big a deal?

I wait, with bated breath, to be proved wrong.

All I have to say...

...is what the fuck were they thinking? I had left instructions with my sister that it was OK to ring me in the middle of the night if the Phils won. When there was no call I assumed the worst but the worst was worse than I anticipated.

27 October 2008

Is Iraq a sovereign country?

If so perhaps someone in the Iraqi government could tell us who in the government authorised the US to violate Syrian sovereignty from Iraqi soil with a raid that either killed some dangerous evil doers or some not so dangerous construction workers depending on who you believe. Perhaps Captain Codpiece just wanted to stick something into the hornet's nest one last time before he retires to his country estate.


It's not even Halloween and already they've got fucking Xmas lights up on Bromley High Street. Another nine weeks of agony then

The end of British Summertime blues

The clocks went back on Saturday night (whilst I was watching the Phillies) and now it is 17:00 and nearly pitch black.

It sucks. It's time for four or five months of fighting off SAD.

Another fine day in Mudville

The Phighting Phils crushed the Rays in World Series game 4 last night and the Philadelphia sports writers prepare to get their hyperboles out!

Still dreaming.

26 October 2008

Oh the Faux-ness!

All credit to Joe Biden as he treats this "journalist" with the scorn and incredulity that she deserves. It would seem that Faux New has finally dropped any pretense of be a news channel.

Dear Melanie Phillips

In answer to your question: "almost certainly". Now just fuck off will you, you're annoying me (but that's my fault for actually reading your drivel).

For those of you planning to be in or about Cleveland next Sunday...

...this could be of real interest.

More joy, some mud

I managed to stay up and watch the Phillies last night; probably the only match I'll see live. And I must say it was well worth it if a bit tense.

A man can dream; even at my age.

25 October 2008

(Not so) proud to be Pennsylvanian

The New York Times reported yesterday that an email being sent to Jewish voters in Pennsylvania from the Republican Party's "Victory 2008" Committee and signed by prominent supporters of The Aged One likens voting for Obama to the rise of Hitler. Clearly the Republican GPS is set to send them rather permanently down the low road.

So like what will they have to do to get the merit badge?

Britain's Boy Scouts are to begin getting sex education AND free condoms. Things certainly were different in my day!

Just plain wrong

You know what? America's politicians (and pundits) don't get to refer to the US as the "greatest country in the world" as long as her citizens are having to skip taking rather important medications because there just isn't enough money to go around. I wonder how the "pro Life" people are going to fight back against this!

Heroine of the day

Meet Chaylee Cole, a university student from Weston WV, who lost her part time call centre job last week for refusing to call some of those "real Americans" down there and spew out hate against Senator Obama.

A bad idea on so many levels

Someone in the government's National Weights and Measures Laboratory thinks it might be a good idea if pubs should be able to serve up beer in 2/3's of pint. For starters what the hell would we call it? A two thirder?

And just a word of to the (ever helpful) bar staff at The Partridge if you try ever try to slip one of this by me it's heading straight back for topping up!

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 101: his running mate clearly thinks that left wing bombers are "unrepentant terrorists" but Godly Christian right wing bombers are merely "unacceptable". I think that that clearly shows how unqualified she is, don/t you?

So what's with the extraneous exclamation point?

Photo shamelessly stolen from FiveThirtyEight.com and presented without additional comment.

Captain Codpiece reserves the right to lie

How much longer do we have to put up with these cunts?

"More tea vicar?"

It may be slightly anti-social (and certainly more noticeable now that smoking is banned in England's pubs) but it seems that smelly farts help to lower one's blood pressure. I apologise in advance but I've gotta think of my health!

The America I just don't know...

...but still the America I'm running away from.

All I can say is that if Tracy Kerlee truly has "Christian values" thank God I'm an atheist! (Irony intended.)

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 100 (I'm not going to make it to 1,000 am I?: he and his campaign will lie about anything. I can only hope that this woman gets a bit a jail time over this.

Why does Focus on the Family hate God?

Those lovely folks are having an anti-h*m*s*x**l anti-love in out in Denver where one of the speakers, one Joe ("Doesn't Do) Dallas, is on records as saying

:"Even if homosexuality is someday proven to be inborn, inborn does not necessarily mean normal, or divinely sanctioned."

So why does Mr. "Doesn't Do" Dallas think that God is so incompetent?

Now this is interesting

In today's Independent the eminent Middle East reporter Robert Fisk reports that the Iraqi police believed that Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal was in the employ of the American "intelligence" services shortly before the illegal invasion of Iraq in yet another failed attempt to build a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

Question of the day

As posed by Michael Tomasky in today's Guardian: is it all over for The Aged One except for the recriminations?

24 October 2008

Can't someone please make it stop????

No really. I mean it this time. Over on one of Faux News' websites some geezer named James Pinkerton works out that there are less than six degrees of separation between Barack and Beelzebub. Really. I'm fairly certain he's not being ironic!

Go ahead, call me cynical

But I can't be the only one who is wondering whether this might not be in some way related to this, can I?

21st century Fascism

It turns out that the recently deceased extreme right wing Austrian hate-monger Jörg Haider, may have had a bit of a thing going on with the man who is his successor at the helm of the Bündnis Zukunft Österreich.
Stefan Petzner told Austrian radio that Mr Haider, whom he met five years ago, was "the man of my life".
The BZÖ claims the relationship between the two men was strictly platonic.

Hr. Haider was married with two kids.

If it walks like a mea culpa...

...and talks like a mea culpa it's probably a mea culpa. Former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the revered and beloved Alan Greenspan, announces that he is shocked and appalled that the unregulated markets he so vociferously promoted just don't seem to work.

More mud - less joy

The (not so) Phighting Phils dropped game 2 of the World Series last night and therefore it is not too soon to panic!

23 October 2008

How's that trickle down thing working out for ya?

When I first moved here I used, half ironically, describe America to my British mates as a First World country and a Third World country sharing the same geography. Well I think this story goes a long way towards proving that if you wait long enough reality has a way of killing off all irony. American cities in particular are hotbeds of inequality on a par with such notable "cities on hills" as Abidjan and Nairobi and the life expectancy of black Americans is roughly the same as the life expectancy in China and parts of India.

The most egalitarian city in the world? (Prepare for wingnut heads exploding!)

Beijing. Thank heavens that communism has turned out to be such a failure and the unbridled free market such a success story, eh?

Dear Governor Palin,

The problem with your latest hare-brained scheme to put the election in God's hands is that I think you will find that She is not registered and, even if She tries to register, I am certain she will not have adequate federal government approved photo ID. (Of course, if I am proved wrong, this geezer might want to consider another appeal!)

Kind regards,

Yank in London

I need an American (resident) to do me a favour

Courtesy of Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett stolen base last night American residents are entitled to a free Taco Bell taco. Would someone go claim mine and then tell me how it was?


Come the revoluition...

...we have another fine candidate for first up against the wall in Alexandre Mouradian who is suing his employers for the incredibly precise sum of £92,571 for allegedly short changing him over the bonus he awarded himself (yes - you read that correctly) for the second half of 2006. The amount he is suing for represents about 5% of his total compensation of £1,632,000 for the second half of 2006. (Yes - you read that correctly - for the second half of 2006!) Mr. Mouradian had awarded himself 92% of the total bonus for that period and allocated absolutely nothing to about half his staff.

I think the "cunt" word is the only adequate description, don't you?

Friends like these

The British High Court has strongly (and quite rightly) criticising the American government for refusing to disclose evidence related to the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed. Mr. Mohamed is a British resident who has been (illegally) held at Guantánamo Bay Beach and Leisure Resort for nearly six years. Prior to his incarceration at Gitmo American "intelligence" services has (illegally) "rendered" him to Morocco where Mr. Mohamed's attorneys argue the torture took place; the treatment included (blokes should take a deep breath before reading further) slicing his penis. The Guardian article goes on to say

In a particularly damning passage, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said claims by Mohamed's lawyers that the US was refusing to release the papers because "torturers do not readily hand over evidence of their conduct" could not be dismissed and required an answer.

The British government is bravely siding with the Yanks because the American government is essentially threatening to take its ball and go home by withholding intelligence data.

Once again I am reminded that it is not only possible, but often necessary, to be ashamed of the actions of one's government.

The joy of Mudville!

I shall be a happy camper all day thanks to the Phighting Phils success in game 1 of the World Series. I would celebrate with a pint but it is a bit early; I'll have to settle for a coffee.

22 October 2008

Suffer the Phillies fan....

As a third generation Phillies fan, whose family has supported the hapless lot as long as they've existed, I would like to say I couldn't have said it better.

Say it ain't so Joe Barack!!

If these latest aspersions from The Aged One about Barack Obama are true I think I need to fly to the states and see if I can retract my absentee vote! Clearly I cannot in good conscience support someone who supports Tampa Bay.

You will note that the article states that McCain "mistakenly" used the team's old name but I doubt that it was accidental. It is nearly certain that, as the Antichrist, Senator Obama would indeed be supporting the DEVIL Rays!

Just a good cuppa Joe?

The Starbucks on Bromley High Street has a sign posted in their window offering 87,000 varieties of coffee. My evil twin wants to go in and demand that they recite the list before I make up my mind as to what to purchase. Should I let him have his way?

21 October 2008

Captain Codpiece sorts out his retirement home

Against the odds he decides to keep the Guantánamo Bay Beach and Leisure Club open even in the face of the financial downturn which mucst be crippling next year's bookings.

For Spurs fans everywhere

I wouldn't want you to miss these (courtesy of The Guardian).

In praise of Colin Powell

Yes - Secretary Powell does have a lot to answer for but at least, in process of endorsing Barack Obama this past Sunday, he said out loud what everyone else inside the beltway has lacked to courage to say and that is, in response to The Aged One's off the cuff "defense" of Senator Obama:

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?' The answer is 'No.
That's not America

And a message to those merchants of hate, who I can only hope did not see him on Sunday morning or read what he said, attest that the endorsement is not based on thought or philosophy but simply "because the brothers hand together: isn't it time you found somewhere else to live?

18 October 2008

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 99: just because he's running for President and his wife is stinking rich it seems that Verizon is giving them very special treatment indeed; although a man with a history of cancer might want to think twice about living just so close to a mobile phone mast!

Discrimination in the name of God

Even in his (hopefully) final days Captain Codpiece continues to push the boundaries of his Imperial power as the White House says that it has the power to bypass laws that should prohibit public money from going to religious organisations that have employment policies that prevent them from employing anyone who does not belong to their sect.

The next time I talk to God I am going to ask Her if She thinks that is right.

I'm worried....

...that Ramb-ette might have to cancel her acting debut on Saturday Night Live tonight now that she admits that she only travels to pro-American places and we all know that New York City doesn't fit into that category what with all the commies and homosexuals and Muslims!

Will I awaken feeling refreshed?

Thanks to that ever useful website EXPOSEOBAMA.COM I now know that the junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama has us all hypnotised and now we have this 60 page document (PDF) that tells us how he does it (and how you can use the same techniques to seduce women/men/sheep)!

Meanwhile in Cloud Cuckoo Land

The American Taxpayer is poised to pour $700,000,000,000 or more into the country's failing banking industry but the news of the failure of the banking industry hasn't yet reached the payroll departments of said banks as somewhere around 10% of that money is going to be immediately siphoned off into the bank accounts (probably off shore) of the banks' top staff. Money well spent I'd say.

Of course before we get to high and mighty about this on my side of the Big Water we should probably note that the bonuses are still bubbling up in The City.

I think I gotta get me one of these "jobs".

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 98: (stolen shameless from Simon Hoggart's column in today's Guardian. Mr. Hoggart met up with a long time British resident Yank* this week who told him:

"People keep telling me that John McCain spent five years in a Vietnamese prison," he said. "Well, so did Gary Glitter, and I'm not voting for him either."

*Not me.

When they came for our chocolate sex toys...

...I did nothing because I was not a chocolate sex toy and look what happens. Ann Summers has had to pull all of it's chocolate sex toys and "spreads" from their shelves due to contamination with melamine. Clearly abstinence is the only response!

I smell an invasion comin'!

At the very least, if the discovery of up to 20,000,000,000 barrels of oil off the coast of Cuba will see the end of the Helms-Burton Act as American oil executives clamber to get their hands on the money.

If the figure is roughly correct the find will put Cuba's reserves at nearly 70% of those in the US. (What's the Spanish for "drill, baby, drill?)

17 October 2008

Why does the Supreme Court...

...hate America so much that they want cheaters to be able to vote?

Will they be called BASBOs?

Harry Fletcher of the Probation Officers' Union thinks that discredited bankers should be given ASBOs. I think that just forcing them to wear hoodies and shop at Primark would probably be punishment enough!

Not just any old amendment!!

Ramb-ette's consort, the First Dude of Alaska, has said that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution "isn't just another amendment"; you know like the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, the Thirteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment or even the Nineteenth Amendment. I should like to thank Todd for clearing that up for me.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 97: he has some rather dubious friends who have made rather a lot of money whilst (not exactly) "supporting the troops".

It must have been all that free checking

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is having a wee look at now defunct Washington Mutual.

16 October 2008

Is it all over but the collecting?

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is already paying out to punters who bet on an Obama victory. The total bill is expected to be in excess of €1,000,000.

Come the revoluition...

...these cunts are first up against the wall (and I mean that)!

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't (and probably won't) be President

Number 96: as you will note in the video below he seems to have developed 1,000 facial tics and other expressions; all of them unpleasant. If these are not the result of a nascent drug habit I would suggest he get out on the street and develop one! (I would recommend Seconal, Valium or Quaaludes.

From the department for hubristic cojones

Lloyds TSB Bank may yet scupper the British bail out deal as it negotiates for easier repayment terms for the tax payer money it is begging for. I am certain that there are tens of thousands of Lloyds TSB customers out there who are eager to share their pleasant and satisfying experiences in obtaining "easier repayment terms" on their mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts. Right?

On the letters page of The Guardian...

...a right wing libetarian explains the causes of the current financial crisis. If I may paraphrase Mr. Holcbert of the Ayn Rand Center: "too much regulation". I feel obligated to share the letter with you in it's lunatic entirety below.

"President Bush said the US government will 'aggressively' use a 'wide range of tools' to resolve the financial crisis. Apparently, Bush's 'wide range of tools'" is not wide enough to contain a single free market policy. All the 'tools' our government has aggressively used to