03-14 November, 2003

This entry was posted on
Monday, November 3rd, 2003
at
9:51 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20031103
Emailing Tony
Time
09:51

Dear Tony,

Is it true that you’ve prayed with George W. Bush? And, if you have denied this, did you go to the trouble of denying it at least three times?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1075950,00.html

I’m not sure if I buy the ‘White House source’ bit in this article, but I know from bitter experience that any subject Alastair Campbell wants the press to avoid must have some serious meat on its bones:

“They have prayed together,” noted a White House source. He adds: “They have a strong Christian connection.” Blair’s aides are far less ready to stress that side of the friendship – the British public tends to squirm when politicians start talking about God and religion and faith. During a taped TV interview being conducted with Blair in the winter, the prime minister’s then-communications director Alastair Campbell warned a journalist off the subject of Christianity and that part of the friendship between Blair and Bush.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35242

George W. Bush has declared his leadership of the US to be the will of God – if not that of the voters. General William Boykin came right out and said it with:

“Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there.”

*ahem*… though Diebold may have had something to do with it, too:

http://www.why-war.com/features/2003/10/diebold.html

Anyway, this soldier of The Unchosen One went on to say that God was bigger than the ‘false idol’ Allah, and that the war on terrorism was a war against Satan. Makes perfect sense to me (though I think he may have got his placecards a little muddled there).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/17/wboyk17.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/17/ixnewstop.html

And what the heck is this about, if you don’t mind me asking?

Mr Blair had to be persuaded to drop the phrase “God Bless You” from his broadcast to the nation at the start of the war. One adviser told him that invoking God’s name would be a mistake because “you are talking to lots of people who don’t want chaplains pushing stuff down their throats”. Mr Blair responded by telling his aides that they were a “most ungodly lot” — but he was finally persuaded and closed his address with the words “thank you”.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-667521,00.html

I’ll be the first to admit that your support team are an ungodly lot. In fact, their knowledge of the scriptures is so muddled, they seem to think that God helps those who help themselves – to other people’s work…

http://www.bloggerheads.com/x-archive.asp?viewblog=20030822&date=22/08/03

…but what good does it do to deny your faith in such a way? I personally would find your defiance of the U.N. and the will of your own people a lot easier to understand if you felt that this illegal war on Iraq was the will of God. It would chill me to my bones and make me want to call for your immediate removal from office, but I’d still find it a lot easier to understand.

Yours in Christ,

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

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Date
20031103

Time
10:03
A very cool (and very long) 80’s Lyrics Quiz. Save it for lunchtime.. and no cheating with Google!

UPDATE – I got 86.

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Date
20031103

Time
10:05
Engineering experts perfect the art of beer mat flipping. More efficient solar panels can wait…

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Date
20031103

Time
10:07
Read about the Catholic high school girls who chased down and beat up a serial flasher here and here. (I’m reminded of Graham Chapman for some strange reason…)

Read about the sweet old ladies who disarmed and detained a shotgun-wielding home invader with a ham & pickle sandwich and a shot or two of rum here.

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Date
20031103

Time
10:14
Google is the Daddy, but will its stock bear fruit?

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Date
20031103

Time
10:15
They’ll be making the trains run on time next: Iraqis get 15% flat tax.

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Date
20031103
The End of Democracy
Time
13:00
Well, some citizens in Anchorage are aware. It’s a start…

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Date
20031103
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
13:11
I read this on the train into London on Friday:

The Independent: “An unprecedented security operation is being put in place to protect George Bush and his entourage from mass protests and potential terrorist attacks when they arrive in London in 19 days’ time.”

The majority of the budget is sure to go on the protection of his image rather than his person.

Also, thanks to Tom and Jackie, I now know that Nigella is in charge of nibbles for the state dinner.

It struck me on Saturday that the only semi-public appearance left to George W. Bush on his UK trip is a planned visit to the Cenotaph to ‘pay respect to the war dead’.

Turning what should be his greatest liability into an asset? Sorry, I’m not having it.

I have a plan ticking over in my head, but I have to do some secret squirrel stuff to make it all happen. With you soon… (And, no, we won’t be baring bums for this one.)

UPDATE – Here’s something to get your blood up:

Mark Morford at SFGate.com: “George W. Bush and his entire senior administration lied, and continue to lie, flagrantly, openly, knowingly, with full intent, about the need to drive this nation into a brutal and unwinnable and fiscally debilitating war, one that protects no one and inhibits no terrorism and defends nothing but BushCo’s own petrochemical cronies and political stratagems.”

UPDATE 2 – Oh, dear God!

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Date
20031103

Time
17:07
I’m going to be without electrickery for most of tomorrow morning, then catching up on stuff I should have been doing in the morning for most of the afternoon. I wouldn’t count on any bloggage if I were you…

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Date
20031104
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
11:44
Holy cow! Look what they’re trying to slip past you this week – the return of the draft!

American readers; prepare to die for your country like the meatbags that you are.

My suggestion to those of you who wish to avoid the draft is simple… sign up for the draft board! You’ll be sending your friends and neighbours off to foreign lands to die in the name of corporate assimilation, but at least you’ll get to see a lot of fit young men in their underwear. Maybe.

(Thanks to Pete for the heads-up. Actually, you can thank him for the rest of the bloggage, too… I’ve started, so I’ll finish. Etc.)

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Date
20031104
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:51
Remember the Homes & Gardens feature on Hitler that was blogged a while back?

A neat behind-the-scenes story has been growing and growing and growing.

Lawyers are like Rottweilers, folks. Often, all they have to do is bark.

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Date
20031104
Flash Thingies
Time
12:05
Thanks to Martyn, I enjoyed a jolly good belly laugh at the end of the world. Yes, we’re all going to die, but so long as we can do it with a smile on our face and a song in our heart…

Oh, and there’s this extraordinary effort to gaze in wonder at, too: Techno! Techno! Techno!

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Date
20031104
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
12:10
Meet some New York bloggers. Oh, it’s all so very mainstream…

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Date
20031104
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
12:14
LNR on Yahoo’s flawless business plan. Heh.

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Date
20031104

Time
12:15
‘Sweets’ handed out to classmates by five-year-old girl turn out to be ecstasy pills and balls of heroin and cocaine.

I say again: Techno! Techno! Techno!

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Date
20031104
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:17
The very long but very cool 80’s lyrics quiz from yesterday’s blog is charting well, as is this collection of very bad album covers.

The rest of the top 5 is taken up by comment spam, but I’ve already said all I’m going to say about that.

You can trace the victims of this comment spam attack here, here and here if you feel you must.

(Oh, and one of the sites has already been removed for spam abuse, so there is some justice on the loose today.)

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Date
20031104
Follow Up
Time
12:20
More on the anti-porn protesters that have been filming customers outside adult bookstores and posting their images on this website.

BTW, the founder of this anti-porn group – John Reneer – is on the Kentucky State Police’s sex-offender registry. For life. According to this article, the listing is a result of convictions for murder and sodomy… though hopefully not in that order.

UPDATE – See John Reneer’s listing at the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.

Oh, and in semi-related news:

Listed pee-do-files ordered to turn off their porch lights during Halloween. No eye candy for you.

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Date
20031104
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
12:31
Speculate on the upcoming change of guard in the Vatican at popecountdown.com (link via Ultimate Insult).

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Date
20031104
Bush’s UK Visit – Send in the Clones
Time
13:01
Here’s a picture of me at the B3ta bash dressed as George W. Bush. (Picture by Fnord.)

There’s a much better picture now lurking on my hard drive, but I’m saving that for something special.

I deliberately toured London in this outfit before and after the party (especially after, with lots of lurking in the Underground).

I found the experience to be quite illuminating, with reactions nearly always following this pattern:

- Fear. Sudden, pronounced, and unmistakeable.

- Relief.

- Laughter.

As I walked away from people, nine times out of ten I would hear those in groups start a conversation about George W. Bush. I figured this was a good and positive thing.

Given that George is unlikely to actually appear on the streets anywhere when he arrives for his visit, I’m thinking of sending in the clones, before and during his visit.

To dress as GWB, all you need is:

- dark suit

- white shirt

- red tie

- mask (cost varies from £11 to £20)

A sign saying something like BUSH IS NIGH probably wouldn’t go astray, either. A lot of people I stopped and talked to didn’t even know that he was coming to town. They do now.

There’s another sneakier plan in the works… but I’ll probably need an army of clones for that, too.

If you live in or around London, own a dark suit and red tie, and are willing to fork out £11-20 on a George W. Bush mask, then get in touch via this address to become a founding member of the clone army.

If not, well… I guess you’ll just have to settle for burning him in effigy like everyone else.

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Date
20031104

Time
13:25
Are your children foul-mouthed little bastards? Then try Oops Paste, the ‘soap-in-the-mouth alternative’.

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Date
20031104
The End of Democracy
Time
14:03
Good news: CNN finally picks up the Diebold story.

Bad news: It doesn’t mention the leaked internal memos at the centre of this issue, completely ignores Diebold’s clear conflict of interest, and heads the second half of the article with a none-too-subtle ‘Critics mistaken’ headline.

Fox also carried the story. Again, no mention of the memos.

You might want to read the related thread at Slashdot for more.

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Date
20031105
The End of Democracy
Time
09:07
A busy day today… so bloggage is going to suffer, I’m sorry.

Still, you’ll probably be busy enough following updates on the Diebold story. Once a decision is made on this case, you’re sure to hear about it first at the EFF website or the Online Policy Group website.

Just in case this is the first you’ve heard of it; leaked memos from an e-voting technology provider (Diebold, who just happen to be a major supporter of the Republican party) reveal that their technology simply isn’t up to scratch – and that they may not be the best company to trust when it comes to your vote.

Diebold has reacted to this criticism by issuing cease-and-desist orders to ISPs hosting the memos (or even linking to them) under recent copyright laws designed to halt the spread of illegal file sharing. Er, because they own the copyright on the internal memos.

Make no mistake; the memos (you can find them here) are damning in the extreme and this copyright gambit is only meant to stifle discussion of something that is very much in the public interest.

A win in this case will only be the beginning of the real story. Once it becomes clear to mainstream news providers that quoting from – or even mentioning – these memos is legally okely-dokely, all hell should break loose.

I say ‘should’, because even if mainstream channels are clear to report on this issue, there’s still no guarantee that they will (and if you don’t believe me on that point, then you haven’t being monitoring the kinds of things that aren’t being widely reported these days by the so-called ‘liberal’ media).

News links are below; keep a sharp eye out for updates:

The Register: E-voting vendor sued for DMCA takedown

CNET News.com: Students buck DMCA threat

Silicon Valley: EFF Looks To Block Diebold Threats

PCWorld.com: Company invokes copyright law to quash discussion fueled by stolen documents.

Slashdot discussion: Students, ISP Sue Diebold

Other stuff?

The ultimate mobile phone accessory is here, news of a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay who is suing the Pakistani and US governments for damages is here, and a vomit-inducing endorsement of George W. Bush is here.

That’s about it.

Oh, but do get in touch if you want to join the growing clone army (see below).

Cheers all.

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Date
20031107
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
10:10
All hail the democratic vision of George W. Bush, which will in no doubt be executed in accordance with his human rights record, his environmental policies and his real good smarts.

What a guy. I’m sure you’ll forgive me for having repeated dreams about strangling him with my bare hands.

New York Times: President Bush, who has been shielded from protests in recent travels, arrives in Britain on a state visit in two weeks, and the police here are weighing how to control promised street demonstrations without resorting to crowd control measures that could be seen as curbing free expression.

Translation: They’ll still be doing their best to hide dissent, but they don’t want to make arses of themselves in the process.

The primary purpose of Bush’s visit is to create propaganda assets that he can use to win the next election. In the end, their aims are in direct opposition to ours. A crunch is bound to occur.

The only way to avoid a complete PR disaster is to Call. Off. The. Visit.

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Date
20031107
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
10:13
Secret Israeli artillery test accidentally broadcast across the Middle East on open satellite channel.

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Date
20031107
Normal People
Time
10:16
Meet Magical Balloon-dude Dale. He’s not your normal ‘dog-making, heart-giving, sword-handing, balloon animal-making entertainer’. He’s a Master Balloonist.

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Date
20031107
Flash Thingies
Time
10:18
Unfortunately, nobody can be told what the Meatrix is. You have to digest it for yourself.

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Date
20031107
The End of Democracy
Time
10:21
Wired: An investigation by California’s secretary of state has revealed that Diebold Election Systems placed uncertified software on electronic voting machines in a California county.

But, they assure us, we shouldn’t worry about the integrity of votes. They were compromised, sure, we just shouldn’t worry about it is all.

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Date
20031107

Time
10:27
Genital Warts: The Musical! Songs include The Diagnosis, Here Come The Genital Warts and a ‘romantic ballad’, I Should’ve Told You. Sure it sounds like a weird idea, but I’m sure it will grow on you.

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Date
20031107

Time
10:30
You’ll want to pop over and see Luke today. His post on the media statement by Maher Arar puts my planned ‘witty’ one-liner to shame. He’s also organising a strong American presence for the anti-Bush protests in London.

See, Jack? We can tell Bush to sod off and maintain a stong relationship with the U.S.

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Date
20031107

Time
10:36
Babes and coffins. Insert ‘stiff’ joke here.

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Date
20031107

Time
10:37
I’m world-famous in The Netherlands again:

http://waylander.blogspot.com/

http://www.xs4all.nl/~remment/blogger.htm

http://www.nonzenz.nl/

Perhaps I should move there. I could be a renowned artist and sillyvision star. And I could own my own damned windmill!

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Date
20031107
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:39
George W. Bush’s ‘weblog’ is so bad, people have trouble believing that it’s real.

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Date
20031107
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:41
Damn. I did an email purge this morning, and I’ve forgotten who sent me this:

One man’s fabulous fight against comment spam. If you’re a blogger, it’ll cheer you up no end.

UPDATE – It was Rogi, the champ. Cheers, mate. I’ve been in an evil giggling fit since late last night over this one.

And, on a strikingingly similar note, via Elayne Riggs we discover the magical world of Harry Potter and the Nigerian Spammer.

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Date
20031107
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:46
New York Times: As American soldiers massed on the Iraqi border in March and diplomats argued about war, an influential adviser to the Pentagon received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal. Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search.

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Date
20031107
A Blog Is Born
Time
11:02
*sigh*

‘Santa’ has a blog. Shoot me now. Please.

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Date
20031107
Photoshopping
Time
14:57
Prince Charles denies rumour that we’re not allowed to talk about.

I posted a bunch of useful links regarding this subject yesterday, if you want to poke around a bit. Anyways, here’s a new image for you to enjoy. Apologies for my crap Latin.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:29
Paul Carr – what a sell-out! I just bet there’s a secret Google deal behind it.

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Date
20031110
The End of Democracy
Time
09:31
Tharrrr she blows!

New York Times: Some people find Mr. O’Dell’s pairing of interests – as voting-machine magnate and devoted Republican fund-raiser – troubling. To skeptics, including more than a few Democrats, it raises at least the appearance of an ethical problem. Some of the chatter on the Internet goes so far as to suggest that he could use his own machines to sway the election.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:35
Tom’s teen page has now matured to the point where it’s used as reference material.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:37
Via the wonderfully named WTF Is It Now?! we discover the infinitely useful Church Sign Generator.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:41
Michael Carroll uses 40-foot mobile home as centrepiece for bonfire. The news made Fark, but only because of the obvious trailer-trash joke.

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Date
20031110
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:44
You can dig through this or you can depress yourself with this. Your call.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:45
This made Andrew Hewitt smile. It made me laugh my ass off:

BBC: McDonald’s has expressed its outrage over how the latest Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary describes job prospects at the US fast-food giant. In its latest edition, the dictionary defines the term McJob as “low-paying and dead-end work”.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:49
Quite a bit of traffic over the weekend from folks trying to hunt down details of what Popbitch said about Prince Charles. For those still not in the know, the guts of the story is here at throneout.com (their site has been so overwhelmed by traffic that they’ve had to drop everything except for the one page that everyone’s looking for). Details aside, this editorial piece in The Independent nails what really matters and where the threat to the monarchy lies – erm, in lies. (Requires subscription, but it’s worth the read.)

Oh, and some damn fool put me in charge of the microphone at the local fireworks display. Somehow, I managed to resist the temptation…

UPDATE – Rogi may have a point, there… do you think they carved Sophie’s baby out early to take the heat off Charles?

Those shape-shifting lizards are devilishly clever…

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Date
20031110

Time
09:59
Moscow considers kissing ban.

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Date
20031110

Time
10:01
For your own safety, please do keep this in mind when you next consider parking illegally in a disabled space.

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Date
20031110
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
10:33
Hmm. That’s strange. I read this article on the Bush visit in The Observer on Sunday and I don’t remember seeing my name. Perhaps I dropped a piece of scrambled egg on it. Oh well.

Just in case you need a reason to join us for the protests next week; here’s a modest selection.

If you don’t want to dig through all of that, here’s one very good reason:

The Independent: An unprecedented array of US intelligence professionals, diplomats and former Pentagon officials have gone on record to lambast the Bush administration for its distortion of the case for war against Iraq. In their view, the very foundations of intelligence-gathering have been damaged in ways that could take years, even decades, to repair.

I’ve been telling you that I have a secret-squirrel plan, and I hope to draw the assets together for it over the next couple of days. To do that, I need to recruit a few willing bods. To do that, I need to tell you about the plan.

So here we go:

In reaction to our misgivings about censorship via crowd control the UK government has taken the position that we will not be forcibly kept at bay.

However… the itinerary is deliberately vague. Planned movements that we do know about are sure to be changed at the last minute to keep us away from the action. There is talk of shutting down whole streets (no doubt for ‘security reasons’) to shuttle Bush from place to place without confrontation.

These shadow-play and shut-down techniques are the last publicly-acceptable weapons left in their arsenal. And we’re going to stuff that up.

We’re going to stalk Bush with a purpose-built moblog.

No matter where he goes and no matter how many decoys they use to keep protestors from him, there will be one central database of information to keep people up to date with his current location at all times. Anybody with a mobile phone will be able to text information, and those with cameras in their mobile phones will be able to provide visual confirmation and images of protestors for the world at large to enjoy.

Recruiting and informing people on the ground isn’t going to be a big problem, but we’ll need moderators for reliable 24-hour coverage.

Theoretically, we could run it on textamerica.com, but a third-party solution such as this may be vulnerable to a ‘legal’ DoS attack, so I’ll be talking to a few clever builders and providers today to see if we can’t run it ourselves on a simple blog interface with multiple logins for moderators.

You know the address… get in touch.

Let’s show the world what the UK thinks of George W. Bush.

UPDATE – Inspiring art and inspiring music? I really do spoil you people…

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Date
20031110

Time
13:21
Via Greenfairy comes news of an artist suggesting parallels between 11/9 and 5/11 – by making images of Big Ben exploding. The Turner Prize awaits…

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Date
20031110
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
17:32
A little something from tonight’s Evening Standard (thanks, Justin):

1 – American officials want a virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protestors. They are demanding that police ban all marches and seal off the city centre. But senior Yard officers say the powers requested by US security chiefs would be unprecedented on British soil. While the Met wants to prevent violence, it is sensitive to accusations of trying to curtail legitimate protest.

As one of the people making those accusations, I say huzzah!

2 – But… the Met and the US Secret Service have reportedly agreed “rules of engagement” allowing Bush bodyguards to shoot anyone they believe is clearly threatening the life of the President.

Well, that’s us told. Forget Jack Straw and his ‘it might rain’ warning; it’s the bloody hail of bullets you’ll want to look out for.

Finally:

3 – They say terrorists could use the crowds as cover to attack the President.

Then tell him to Stay. At. Home.

FFS….

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Date
20031111
Emailing Tony
Time
09:14

Dear Tony,

I read your highly strategic statements with interest:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,1082435,00.html

“I say to those who will protest when President Bush comes: protest if you will. That is your democratic right. Attack the decision to go to war, though have the integrity to realise that without it, those Iraqis now tasting freedom would still be under the lash of Saddam, his sons and their henchmen.”

I recall you playing this same card just prior to the million-strong march in February. Suddenly the war was all about regime change. Way to appeal to our humanity, guy…

But, if that’s the way you want to play it….

I’d like you to have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq is highly unstable and that the US presence there is unsustainable, largely due to the fact that the decision to go to war against international law was The. Wrong. Bloody. Decision.

Anyway, let’s head back to the dissecting table:

Confronting critics who say political embarrassment lies ahead and that he must regret having issued the invitation, Mr Blair insisted he was not nervous: “I believe this is exactly the right time for him to come.”

Oh really? You don’t think it’s going to look like a sham when the man-who-isn’t-really-the-President is treated as an honoured guest by the Queen just as serious questions are being asked about her integrity? I can see the banners now:

CHARLES LOVES COCK (AND THE QUEEN LOVES BUSH)

On with the show:

(Blair) adopted an apocalyptic tone to justify Mr Bush’s visit, saying the battle for Iraq was more important than most people realised. “It is a battle of seminal importance for the early 21st century. It will define relations between the Muslim world and the west. It will influence profoundly the development of Arab states and the Middle East,” he said.

Oh, come now. Be serious. You’re not resting your hat on this peg, are you?

George W. Bush: “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3248119.stm

(ahem)

Robert Fisk: “Well said, Sir. George Bush Jr sounds almost as convincing as, well, Tony Blair. It’s all a lie. ‘We’ – the West, Europe, America – never ‘excused and accommodated’ lack of freedom. We endorsed lack of freedom. We created it in the Middle East and supported it.”

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=03/11/10/7610135

My actions in the coming week or so have very little to do with the war, if you must know. I’ve got my eye on the larger picture, and so do a lot of other people. If you think you’re going to fob us off with yet another round of ‘Oh, those poor misguided peaceniks’, then you’re very much mistaken.

Bush’s visit is nothing but a propaganda exercise. He plans to use it as an asset to help him diddle his way into the presidency for another term, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him take such a bold step forward on my turf. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that the power of the Antichrist compels me.

Let’s have a little look at the cost of the exercise, shall we?

Evening Standard: The Yard has cancelled all leave for the three-day visit and mobilised 3,800 officers for the £4million security operation.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/7602147?source=Evening%20Standard

Four. Million. Squid. To make Bush look good. Hell, you may as well just make a public donation to his campaign fund and be done with it. However, this modest amount is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t be long before some clever bod projects the cost of all those people taking the day off work, and the cost to London businesses resulting from their actions – and those who will try to keep them from Bush by shutting down large areas of the city.

And, yes, I still think you’re going to do your best to keep us from him; if not by force, then by misdirection.

As a result, we will be forced to use the technology that’s available to us, track him every step of the way and publish that information in real time. I’d like to apologise in advance for the security nightmare this presents you with, but it’s well within our rights and your actions – past and present – have made it necessary.

My advice to you now is as follows; if you want George W. Bush’s visit to be secure, then hold it on another island.

He’s not welcome on this one.

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

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Date
20031111
Bush’s UK Visit – Moblogging Bush
Time
10:00
OK, folks – here’s the nuts and bolts of the Bush-stalking moblog.

We’ll be running on a Moveable Type platform and publishing on a post-and-update basis. Input will be categorised as follows:

- Bush: Current Location Reports

- Bush: Decoy Watch

- Visions of Protestors

- Images of Chaos (caused by security measures)

- Protests in the News

- Lies in the Media

In short, through one central portal, anyone in the city or across the planet will know where Bush is at any given moment – and be able to see what a misguided venture the entire visit is.

We’ll need a bullet-proof host and mail/text server that can stand up to the demand (I’m still trying to source some of that) so, like the mirrors of the Diebold memos, the site can’t be shut down by lame DoS attacks against the host.

There will be a core information team of people we know we can trust. Their intelligence will be treated as a priority; but independently sourced information will be also published (and clearly identified as part of the ‘maybe’ pile) if it appears reliable and is confirmed by enough independent sources and/or a member of the core information team. (I’m anticipating at least some level of deliberate misinformation being fed into the system and the continued use of decoys by Bush’s hundreds-strong security team.)

Filtering will be done by a team of moderators operating from home or work; here and abroad (so folks in parts foreign can play a key role in the protests, too). Coverage will be around-the-clock. Anyone who has a well-established site with verifiable link-cred is welcome to apply as a moderator.

The information about Bush’s location will be available via text alert for those who are out and about and just need the raw data.

In the next few days, A4 posters will be made available for distribution throughout the city. They will clearly display the email and text addresses on-the-ground volunteers will need to submit their information, links and images (this information will also feature on nifty tearaway sections on the bottom, so folks can carry this information with them if they wish). There will also be a central information page about the campaign on the web and a possibly even an email designed for associate circulation.

All of the above will also make clear to people where they can sign up for text updates if they wish to protest effectively by being in the right place at the right time.

That’s it in a nutshell. All help is appreciated, especially from volunteer moderators.

You know the address… use it.

(Apologies to all those who have signed up to moderate who I haven’t got back to yet. I’ll be with you as soon as we have a facility up and running.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031111

Time
10:07
George Bush’s official visit to Britain condemned as insensitive and ill-timed by families of British troops killed in Iraq.

“I can’t stand the man,” said Mr Keys, whose son, Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, was one of the six Royal Military Police killed by a mob near Basra in June. “He has a nerve coming over to this country after all the misery he’s caused.

Oh yes, I can see that planned ceremony at the Cenotaph coming off a treat.

Here’s another:

Poll reveals that voters dislike Tony Blair’s close relationship with US President George W Bush.

And finally, in order to remain fair and balanced, here’s the view of your Super Soaraway Sun:

‘Tony Blair last night lashed anti-war critics who would have left the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein’s jackboot.’

Unbelievably, their ‘what to think’ editorial on Charlie’s tricky predickament today begins with the classic line:

‘If you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it’s the truth.’

Dare I say that you couldn’t make it up?

UPDATE – This is how Mr ‘I Love Free Speech’ likes to deal with protestors:

As president, Bush has widened his restrictions on demonstrations against his policies. Anti-Bush protesters are now relegated to what are euphemistically called Free Speech Zones. These areas are cordoned off as far as a mile away from the president and the main thoroughfares, so that Bush cannot see the demonstrators, or their signs of protest, nor hear their chants. The free speech enclosures are only for those who disagree with the administration’s current policies. Those citizens who carry pro-Bush signs are allowed to line the street where the president’s motorcade passes.

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Date
20031111

Time
14:26
BBC public opinion thingie: Should Bush have a state visit to the UK?

This is my favourite comment so far:

No, I won’t be protesting. The people who have joined the deluded, left wing, anti-American bandwagon will, of course protest, as is their right. We didn’t see any of them protesting at Saddam’s human right abuses though, did we?

Patrick Milne, UK

What a dipstick.

Oh, does anyone mind if I quickly yell ‘Support the troops!’, then stumble down the road, mumbling incoherently to myself?

UPDATE – Actually, that was kind of fun. Do you mind if I do it again?

‘Support the troops!’

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Date
20031112
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
09:50
Keep telling yourselves, folks – the cordons will be there to keep terrorists at bay, they are not designed to curtail our legal right to protest.

Here’s a clue for you; you always know which way the bull is blowing because The Sun always carries Blair’s lies in their purest form.

Apparently everyone’s worried because the combined target of Bush, Blair and the Queen will be too hard to resist.

Well cancel the bloody visit, then!

Oh, that procession down the mall that (allegedly) isn’t going to happen? I’ve talked to several journalists, and none of them can get a yay or nay out of Tony’s office about it.

Me, I’m beginning to suspect that they’re going to go for it. Why else would the mall be lined with so many flags? (Jeezum crow! I don’t know whether I need a sick bag or some accelerant…)

There are hints that Bush may be tripping off to Tony Blair’s constituency Sedgefield. But do remember that this visit is not about projected images and election campaigns. It’s about nurturing the special relationship between our two great nations…

Which is why there won’t be a single US citizen protesting the visit. No, not one at all – just us poor misguided peaceniks, malcontents and soap dodgers. The vocal minority, as they say.

Some dipshit on BBC2 yesterday said – we can only assume with a straight face – that it didn’t matter if a million people marched, that (theoretically) still left 56 million in favour of the visit.

FFS… talk about shaky ground.

If that is the case, then why cordon off large areas of London at the behest of the White House? Surely if we’re in the minority, then the stamping of our little feet will be drowned out by the cheers of flag-waving well-wishers.

The whole idea of Free Speech Zones that keep protestors miles away from the President and press is Doublethink at its finest. That’s government-enforced censorship, folks – and George W. Bush wants to bring it to London.

Blair has co-operated on this front before. During worldwide anti-war action back in March, London was the only city not to host a protest outside the US embassy.

Australia also co-operated with an exclusion zone well out of eyesight and earshot. The public were barred from Parliament house. A democratically-elected politician was not allowed to question Bush in what is officially a debating chamber.

Oh, and another highlight of the Australian visit – but you’ll have to be quick to see it – was that they ran out of police. Public servants were dressed up as police officers. Armed, presumably, with lethally sharp pencils and red tape.

Here, £4 million is being invested to fill the streets with police and keep the public at bay. This does not take into account the massive cost of shutting down whole sections of the city, just to provide this jumped-up tosser with a propaganda asset for the next election.

Crowd control and media control will come into play to project again The Big Lie.

Just what the fuck is going on here? How hard do these people have to grind their heels into our skulls before the majority wakes up to the fact that freedom is an illusion and that the Bush regime is the most dangerous political force on the planet?

I got an email this morning from a ‘grateful Yank’ who goes by the name of Susan. I’m going to sign off on this post with her comments instead of mine, because she really nails it.

Remember, this email comes from an American. Her beef – and mine – is not with America, but with the regime that has bastardised everything the US is supposed to stand for:

“I hope you shut the whole circus down when the clown gets there. Don’t let his storm troopers do to you what they’ve done to us. Bush is petulant, thin-skinned, and arrogant…he wants all of downtown London ‘sanitized’ so he can only see and hear those few suck ups and wannabees who are out to cheer his sorry ass. (He’s also a coward who gets scared that the crowds are going to rough him up.) No matter what you do, though, the moron will stand at some podium with his poodle on the left and the Queen on his right, and thank all the wonderful Brits who greeted him so warmly on his visit. It’s all about appearances.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
Photoshopping
Time
09:51
Here’s a poster for you to download and enjoy. I thought it might be fun to taunt the 250 or so trigger-happy morons that follow Bush everywhere.

You can download a large version here. Photocopy it up to A3, and get ready to duck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
Bush’s UK Visit – Moblogging Bush
Time
10:01
[Pardon me for repeating this post, folks. I need the info on the front page while I chase up a few things. I’m still tring to sort out an SMS facility that we can plug into the back-end. At no cost. Do get in touch if you’re from a company that would like to help out. The site is sure to get more than 100K visitors within the week. Hell, you can even put advertising in the outgoing text alerts if you want to…]

OK, folks – here’s the nuts and bolts of the Bush-stalking moblog.

We’ll be running on a Moveable Type platform and publishing on a post-and-update basis. Input will be categorised as follows:

- Bush: Current Location Reports

- Bush: Decoy Watch

- Visions of Protestors

- Images of Chaos (caused by security measures)

- Protests in the News

- Lies in the Media

In short, through one central portal, anyone in the city or across the planet will know where Bush is at any given moment – and be able to see what a misguided venture the entire visit is.

We’ll need a bullet-proof host and mail/text server that can stand up to the demand (I’m still trying to source some of that) so, like the mirrors of the Diebold memos, the site can’t be shut down by lame DoS attacks against the host.

There will be a core information team of people we know we can trust. Their intelligence will be treated as a priority; but independently sourced information will be also published (and clearly identified as part of the ‘maybe’ pile) if it appears reliable and is confirmed by enough independent sources and/or a member of the core information team. (I’m anticipating at least some level of deliberate misinformation being fed into the system and the continued use of decoys by Bush’s hundreds-strong security team.)

Filtering will be done by a team of moderators operating from home or work; here and abroad (so folks in parts foreign can play a key role in the protests, too). Coverage will be around-the-clock. Anyone who has a well-established site with verifiable link-cred is welcome to apply as a moderator.

The information about Bush’s location will be available via text alert for those who are out and about and just need the raw data.

In the next few days, A4 posters will be made available for distribution throughout the city. They will clearly display the email and text addresses on-the-ground volunteers will need to submit their information, links and images (this information will also feature on nifty tearaway sections on the bottom, so folks can carry this information with them if they wish). There will also be a central information page about the campaign on the web and a possibly even an email designed for associate circulation.

All of the above will also make clear to people where they can sign up for text updates if they wish to protest effectively by being in the right place at the right time.

That’s it in a nutshell. All help is appreciated, especially from volunteer moderators.

You know the address… use it.

(Apologies to all those who have signed up to moderate who I haven’t got back to yet. I’ll be with you as soon as we have a facility up and running.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
13:43
Clive Soley takes News International to task over their double standards.

You’ll want to watch what happens on this one. It’s about to get very interesting…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112

Time
17:08
That’s me; a dedicated follower of fashion. I like the way he’s hidden a blatant lie in the insult. The bulk of us are anti-Bush, not anti-American – and he knows it.

I love Britain. I’m also a supporter of the Labour Party (from time to time). That doesn’t stop me from thinking that Tony Blair is a power-mad douche bag.

BTW, bloggage will be light tomorrow. I’m building bits like mad… SMS – incoming and outgoing – is turning out to be a right pain in the butt…. but that doesn’t mean that I hate technology.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031113

Time
12:32
Hi Gang. I’m busy. Very busy.

However, I do have time to share this frisky Dubya doll with you, and to point out that everybody’s blaming each other for inviting Bush over on a State visit. The Foreign Office blamed Buckingham Palace. The palace assured us that it was done on Advice (with a capital ‘A’). Jack Straw is telling anyone who will listen that it was a committee decision (always a good sign).

A committee decision? By who?

Why, the Royal Visits Committee, of course – which is made up of Foreign Office officials and Buckingham Palace advisers.

*sigh*

Homeless abortions. Is there anything more tragic?

UPDATE – Hrm. I wondered when The Mirror would speak up. Welcome to the party, Piers. This time, skip the branding on the placards. m’kay?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
09:28
I’m busy building a holding page for Chasing Bush. Hang in there.

If you want something to do, sign this – and spread the link around if you have the hummus.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
10:53
Holding page is live. Please email me with any errors (I’m too damn busy to proof it myself).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:02
Go, Clive, go! Clive Soley, the latest MP to join the weblog community, has come out with guns blazing.

Here’s the full transcript of the point of order that started all of this:

BBC: Sun editor accused of ‘threats’

FT: MP in sex scandal spat with Sun newspaper

The Independent: A curious story of sexual harassment, £500,000 hush money and ‘The Sun’

Telegraph: MP accuses Sun of covering up office sex case

The Guardian: The case of the Sun editor, sexual harassment and a £500,000 payoff

I told you in was about to get interesting…

News International (owner and propieter, Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch) has accused Clive Soley of hiding behind parliamentary privilege, but Clive has stated that he never claimed that privilege in the first place and it looks like the issue is beyond the remit of the Speaker.

But the awareness is there, and we can build on that if we wish. We also need to stand by, ready to defend Clive when it’s claimed in The Sun or The Times that he’s a coke-sniffing devil-worshipper with links to Al Qaeda.

(Psst! Clive! Here’s the latest training manual. Keep it to yourself.)

It would probably also pay for bloggers who know some ex-Murdoch staffies to have a poke around and see what they can dig up.

Domination via media ownership is so 20th Century; let’s show Murdoch how it’s done on the Interwebnet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:05
And now, here is the news.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:06
Today and yesterday:

The Onion: Mom Finds Out About Blog

Heh. My Mum already knows about my blog. You know those moments when I get a little manic and do stuff that makes you go ‘Jebus H. Christ!’… ?

Well, I’m going to ask you right now to imagine what life is like for her and spare a thought for this poor woman and her 33+ years of suffering.

Hang in there, Mum. I’ll calm down sooner or later.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:17
The Guardian: A sacked GCHQ employee charged yesterday under the Official Secrets Act said last night that her alleged disclosures exposed serious wrongdoing by the US and could have helped to prevent the deaths of Iraqis and British forces in an “illegal war”.

(Watch out for a giant floating hamburger when you visit this link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:25
Gosh, you’re right. Perhaps I’ve been wrong about this man-of-the-people all along.

Scotsman: US President George Bush revealed today he will meet with relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq to tell them their loved ones died for a “noble cause”.

The sick bags are under your seats, folks.

Keep your head steady. With any luck, he’ll run into Reg Keys.

UPDATE – Reg Keys would most definitely like to meet with Mr Bush. Do you think he’ll get the chance?

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Date
20031114

Time
13:40
Americans living in London – click here!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Mindless Troll of the Day
Time
14:19
“I guess you socialist Europeans have nothing better to do. Go have some tea. We’ll protect the world as usual.” – Jay Peterka

Well, that’s me told.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Flash Thingies
Time
14:29
Look at how Lego bricks are made.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
14:29
From an interview with Gore Vidal: “Once you have a business community that is so corrupt in a society whose business is business, then what you have is, indeed, despotism. It is the sort of authoritarian rule that the Bush people have given us. The USA PATRIOT Act is as despotic as anything Hitler came up with — even using much of the same language. In one of my earlier books, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, I show how the language used by the Clinton people to frighten Americans into going after terrorists like Timothy McVeigh — how their rights were going to be suspended only for a brief time — was precisely the language used by Hitler after the Reichstag fire.”

More on this and his comments on Diebold et al over at LNR.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
14:35
George Soros pledges £9million to help oust Bush.

With that kind of money, we could organise a strike team (or perhaps hire a moody loner with a robot car) and place George W. Bush under citizen’s arrest the moment he hits the tarmac.

Just an idea…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
16:41
Heh. There’s a buch of right-wing trolls (or possibly just one locked in his bedroom and typing in a one-handed frenzy) on the loose at the Cancel George W. Bush’s State Visit to the UK petition.

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Date
20031114

Time
17:18
“Mr Bush seems to very much enjoy bombing people and making with the wrath and the vengeance. This offends our sense of fair play.”



More of this wondrous stuff can be found at British Spin. (Link via Tom.)

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Date
20031114

Time
22:00
Headline London: Mind-Virus Makes Television

It’s not much, but it’s a start.








About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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