03-13 February

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004
at
9:15 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20040203
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:15
The Guardian – A half-truth may not be a lie, but it is still dishonest: Having been so emphatically acquitted of any wrongdoing by Lord Hutton, Tony Blair must be dismayed by the barrage of headlines and opinion polls suggesting that the country at large is far from impressed. A good cover-up requires at least a veneer of plausibility. In failing to provide one, Hutton has not only tarnished his own reputation, he has provoked a backlash far stronger than the one that would have greeted a more qualified government victory.

I’m hoping against hope that they’ve been paying attention to this backlash, and this is why they’re giving Charles Kennedy some ear-time on the focus of the finally-at-last-and-about-sodding-time WMD inquiry. Blair and his team would love to launch this based on the initial assumption that they’ve been cleared of interference. Which they haven’t. Unless you buy Hutton’s very forgiving description of this influence as ‘subconscious’…

Oh, and hands up who didn’t see this coming…

The Guardian – Blair alone after Bush WMD move

Let’s leave it be for the moment that Bush’s inquiry boasts a convenient focus of its own and appears to be a stalling tactic, let’s look at what the misguided peaceniks knew all along…. that Britain was needed in this illegal war to help make the case and give the raiding-party-of-the-willing an air of respectability, but the moment we became surplus to requirements, this relationship based primarily on appeasement would get us screwed in the end.

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Date
20040203
Dead Blog Holiday
Time
09:17
Bloody hell! Look at all this email! Please bear with me as I dig through it all.

If you need something to do in the meantime, go here and vote for Bloggerheads. If you’re new here, you may want to poke around the site first or check out the wrap-up of last year’s activitythen go here and vote for Bloggerheads.

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Date
20040203
Updates
Time
11:45
A massive update to the I Believe In The BBC page. Lots of words, lots of lovely links to follow.

And, just now rearing its head, the voice of opposition. I referenced Hutton, but didn’t mention it directly. Shame on me for my own personal whitewash. And curse my liberal elitism.

Oh, I’ll try to dig through all of the emails later and at the very least send bog-standard replies, but it may take a while…

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Date
20040203
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
12:20
An interesting allegation from Jackie turns up in the comments thread over at Brussels Blog: “I met the guy who created that ‘I believe in the BBC’ campaign last week, and all he could talk about was his hatred for Rupert Murdoch and how ‘People are stupid’ and can’t be trusted to figure things out for themselves.”

My exacts words, IIRC, were: “You would be amazed at how many stupid people there are in the world”

OK, so perhaps ‘blissfully ignorant’ would have been a little more correct (and not just in the political sense), but the difference between me and Murdoch? I acknowledge it. Given the chance, I’ll often work to correct it. Murdoch exploits it.

Why else do you think The Scum has shifted condensed editorial content to Page 3? They’re more than aware of the readership that only reads the headlines and mostly wants to know more about the girl with her tits out.

Today, (and I’ve scanned this, because there will be many that simply won’t believe it without seeing it) Zoe, 22, from London, uses her empowering platform to tell us that Blair was right to take Britain into the war with Iraq. And good for her.

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Date
20040203
The Hutton Inquiry
Time
12:24
LNR – Lord Hutton : Fair And Balanced

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Date
20040203
Video
Time
12:35
Ahahahahahahaha! Fox reports on BBC Lies! Lies! Lies!

It’s all very clear to me now. The only exaggeration (Lie!) about the Iraq war came from the BBC. The BBC cannot be trusted with its clear anti-war agenda and irrational frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Americanism.

UPDATE – They’re all corrupt, too.

Stick with Fox News, boys & girls. We’re so ‘fair and balanced’, we own the trademark!

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Date
20040203
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
12:44
The Guardian – Blair confirms new WMD inquiryMr Blair paid tribute to the intelligence services, stating that they do a “fantastic job for (the) country”, and adding that intelligence is “not an exact science”.

They have his complete support (insert knife) and confidence (twist).

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Date
20040203
Photoshopping
Time
13:07
Heh. Inevitable, really. An oustanding alteration by Blue Jez.

Well, we have to give the RWCs something to hang on to.

Incidentally, every time you say you don’t believe in WMDs, a chemical or biological weapons factory disappears into thin air.

Hmmm. Actually, perhaps this explains it all….

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Date
20040203
How Weblogs Work
Time
14:54
Given the incredible amount of support the ‘blind faith’ BBC campaign has received, this little bit of synchronicity doesn’t surprise me at all.

Actually, I was planning on writing an eloquent and thought-provoking post on the subject of synchronicity and our growing publishing community this very morning, but I just didn’t have it in me. (In fact, the thought may very well be lost forever. It had something to do with enabling technology and wider awakenings. And steam engines.)

UPDATE – Heh. This comment was just posted to Brussels Blog: Your “BBC Lied, Dr Kelly died” graphic implies that the Corporation may have been involved in Kelly’s death – an allegation strongly refuted by Lord Hutton – and can be construed as a libel. You would be well advised to remove it.

And now we have the synchronisation initially blogged, I have no choice but to acknowledge that his graphic is far, far prettier than mine, and subsequently I’m also clear to say the first thing that struck me about the ‘lies’ graphic: it really does look rather thrown together. And crap.

Kind of like his argument, in fact.

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Date
20040203
RWCs
Time
16:06
Thanks to Luke over at Expats, we now have John Gibson’s reply to the email he received from outraged Brits (in reaction to this outrageous report) to enjoy.

I’d love to tear this intestinal tract apart bit by bit, but I’m sure a modest biopsy will suffice:

John Gibson – “Excuse me, but I watched the BBC’s output during the war, and it was often shocking to see the network’s allegedly impartial reporters and anchors indulging themselves in snide asides about the Americans or President Bush – posing questions that revealed an anti-war and anti-American agenda, not to mention the huge issue of chasing Tony Blair around for the crime of being so friendly to the Americans.”

Excuse me John, but:

1. The Guardian – A survey of the main broadcasters’ coverage of the invasion of Iraq shows the claim that the BBC was anti-war is the opposite of the truth

2. The BBC even covered less protests than most networks.

3. I think I may have caught a snide aside or two. Both of the ones I recall were about ‘friendly-fire’ incidents. That’s not a BBC thing, it’s a Brit thing. We don’t like being shot at by people who are on our side. It’s just not sporting behaviour. Old fruit.

4. Tony Blair isn’t guilty of ‘the crime of being so friendly to the Americans’. He’s guilty of appeasing the man currently pretending to be your President.

5. Why do you hate America?

(Cheers to Web Frog for the handy linkage.)

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Date
20040203
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
16:39
OK, OK, there is other stuff going on in the world. And here it is:

Some sporting event known as the Superbowl just passed me by (and before you freak out, just let me point out that I care even less about Feetball and Crinket and the like). Many advertisements were shown, but this was not among them. Still, there was plenty for people to talk about afterwards.

Tinfoil helmets on…

What were the majority of people talking about yesterday? Right. What else is going on right now? Right.

Do you remember the Madonna/Britney/Christina snog? It happened at the same time Blair appeared at the Hutton Inquiry. (Oh, and when that 1977 interview with Ah-nold escaped from the Interwebnet.) Front page of every paper the next day was…? Bingo.

“I’m just saying is all” defence activated…. now.

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Date
20040204
Bunch of Stuff
Time
11:47
*pant*pant*pant*pant*

Sorry I’m late folks!

Right, what have we got to deal with…?

Inbox: Bloody hell! Again?! *sigh*

Referral Stats: Hm. I think I can safely ignore this twaddle. Oh, here we are! Oh, that is nice…

Right! Brain in gear. Deal-withs tabled. Let’s begin.

Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than the cracking of a language barrier. Here’s a grab of the ‘I Believe In The BBC’ campaign featured on Hossein Derakhshan’s Persian weblog. Very cheering.

It looks like I’m going to be busy for a bit going through the latest submissions and putting them live, so please bear with me while I get on with that.

In the meantime, just a gentle reminder….

You have voted, yes?

*ahem*

Incidentally, the quote provided by the Guardian is from the nomination submitted by Justin McKeating.

I can’t imagine why they didn’t use mine:

“I deserve this. Gimme!”

UPDATE – The I Believe In The BBC page has been updated with ten fresh entries. The pick of the bunch today is this post by Liam O’Donnel, which has some juicy links and points out that it’s not only television broadcasting that’s under threat from commercial interests that seek to control it, but also radio and our beloved Interwebnet.

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Date
20040204
Google
Time
12:39
Curse us and our liberal elitism:

http://www.google.com/search?q=uk+newspaper

http://www.google.com/search?q=uk+news

(Good to see Google still working in some cases… but that high NOTW placement is a bit of a worry.)

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Date
20040204
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
13:09
I watched Fox News for a while last night. It was a constant stream of shit which was a trial to watch, but it pays to know your enema.

What struck me most was the constant repeating of the network slogan:

“Fox News Channel—the network America trusts for fair and balanced news.”

You what?! They what?!!!

But then I took a closer look at the wording. Even if you took as a given that Fox News is shamelessly partisan and deliberately misleading, the strapline would stand up in a court of law. It’s the network that America trusts to deliver this fair and balanced news, whether or not this is actually delivered is not even implied. The extreme weight lent to right-wing editorials isn’t even mentioned.

Speaking of which…

This video editorial by Fox’s John Gibson (you can contact him here) has many people spitting chips at its cheek. That so many people are initially convinced it’s a hoax is a tribute to the level of bile Fox News is getting away with

Given the core issue that drives this editorial, the equal time required to respond to it would involve two minutes of someone calling Rupert Murdoch a greedy, conniving right-wing c**t…. but somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.

The other thing that struck me after my Fox-fest was how difficult it must be to carry on an intelligent conversation with someone who uses this as their main source of news. Not that this would ever happen. I’d be surprised if someone like this ever actually left the house.

UPDATE – I found this on my travels…

The Fox News Network – Violating the Public Trust I: Contemplating the state of news today, ex-Fox reporter Brian Karem doesn’t pretend to be objective. “Look under a rock,” he says, “and you will see the satanic face of Rupert Murdoch grinning like a Cheshire cat. Murdoch doesn’t know what ethical journalism is. He’s been single-handedly responsible for the lowering of standards and the obscuring of news and entertainment on TV. Murdoch doesn’t know the strong, rich traditions of a free press in this country. He is anathema to the democratic process. I look forward to the day his corporate empire is broken up and sold on the auction block like so many used cars.”

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Date
20040204
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
13:53
Blogdex is broken today. Daypop reveals continued interest in an actual picture of Janet Jackon’s boob. This picture dominated the front page of pretty much every newspaper in the U.S. (not that anything *cough* else is *cough* going on), but was censored in each and every case.

“My God! Look! A boobie!”

“Where?!”

“Silly boy. You’re not allowed to look at it, you’re just supposed to get angry about it.”

“Oh, OK. Say, it is true that Bush’s WMD Inquiry is a stalling tactic, stunted from birth?”

“….. My God! Look! A boobie!”

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Date
20040204
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
13:55
James AC Joyce – Why your Movable Type blog must die!

Hardly an inspired rant, but he more thna makes up for it with sheer spunk.

I’d still like to migrate to MT, but I’d a want a few extras, including automatic ‘search and destroy’ of past comments by anyone with a banned IP and the choice to label individual posts as ‘not for indexing’. As the directives say; ‘Thou shalt not pollute or corrupt search engines’

Bloggerheads’ archives are deliberately non-indexable for this reason. You guys know the level of daily output here, and how much of it is time-sensitive and/or covers what’s happening with other weblogs. If I feel an ongoing reference point is required, I get my hands dirty and build a page. It’s a pain in the arse, but it gets the job done.

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Date
20040204
Useful
Time
14:08
Ewwww… where have you been?

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Date
20040204
Richard Desmond Is a Pornographer
Time
14:13
I paused to think on this 2nd post on Brussels Blog yesterday. The original draft of IBITB did contain a passage along the lines of ‘a BBC that is above question would be equally dangerous’, but I dropped it, as I considered that point to be pretty obvious. As it was, many people made the point for me. (The same goes for the shameless exclusion of any reference to the issue that kicked the whole thing off.)

I do have one regret, however… and that is not mentioning the role of pornographer and broadcaster Richard Desmond, whose Express titles have been calling for the abolishment of the licence fee ever since their man Kilroy got the sack. Even if Desmond wasn’t in bed with Blair, the obvious way forward for any paper in this situation would be to carry on as normal and make good use of the new ammo. I knew it was coming, but didn’t want to take the focus off the larger and long-time threat that is Murdoch.

But, as it turns out, Murdoch and his editors appear to be more than aware of strong public feelings for the BBC (and distrust for the government they openly support) and seem to be taking a softly-softly approach for fear of getting their fingers burnt (as they did with Frank Bruno). As it stands, the smaller stinky-fish is making the most noise and he bears watching.

UPDATE – I stand corrected. There is exceptional Hutton coverage in today’s Scum.

(Oh, I have public information campaigns quietly simmering for both Desmond and Murdoch. Here’s a warm-up activity for the folks at home…. Ask any reader of OK! or The Express if they know who owns the title. They probably won’t. Tell them. Point out that he’s a major donor to the Labour Party if you like. Then ask if they know of any other titles, channels and websites that are owned by the same man. They usually won’t. Tell them. Most of them won’t believe you. Or invite you around for tea ever again.)

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Date
20040204
Only Interesting to Hardcore Geeks
Time
14:17
Cruel geeks name their son Jon Blake Cusack 2.0

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Date
20040204
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
14:19
The Independent was a bloody good read today:

Intelligence chief’s bombshell: ‘We were overruled on dossier’

We were overruled, says former intelligence chief, & the result was a dossier that was misleading about Iraqi WMD

Robin Cook – It will be a gross injustice if the intelligence services get the blame

That last one is a subscription link, but well worth a look. It shines a light into all the dark corners Blair would rather we were kept out of. There’s also this, which is lovely, but not-quite-worth-a-quid (and the opening paragraph says it all, really).

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Date
20040204
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
14:40
Here you go. Have a peek inside the latest Sun Reader Survey.

Also, there’s this from today’s Sun Says: “WHAT will the anti-war brigade do if the latest inquiry doesn’t go their way? March on Westminster? Strike at the BBC? Join the Lib Dems? It’s time we stopped looking backwards, and gave up trying to rewrite history. A poll shows 69 per cent of the public think it was right to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Enough said. The WMD non-issue is a major distraction for Tony Blair when he should be concentrating on real problems that affect real people … Like the NHS, education, transport, immigration and £50billion of squandered taxes. When is someone going to get excited about that little lot?”

Hell, I don’t know. I’m still thinking about boobies.

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Date
20040204
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:05
Bless Tom Watson and his cotton socks for doing his bit to support the BBC in parliament and for this shameless but selfless call for votes.

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Date
20040204
‘Viral’ Marketing
Time
15:55
Tch! Such a lot of noise for such a little biscuit (you can see more genius at work here).

1. I can’t see them getting very far being overly (and overtly) ‘clever’ about this. In fact, this is tragic, even with illustrations.

2. Shame on me for not realising that I could charge large fees for single photoshops simply by renaming them ‘creative pieces’….

So, here we are with the guts of it: “Advertising agency 20:20 London is helping the Lib Dems to develop a communications project detailing how Ken’s time as Mayor of London has led to higher taxes and poor services for the average Londoner.”

You want to take on Cuddly Ken, huh? Sorry, he’s a people person, and so far this clever-clogs campaign stinks of nothing but copy-written charisma.

Hmm, let me see, let me think…. if only there were a format that would allow them to communicate their message in detail as part of an ongoing campaign… perhaps even something that tackled the people-to-people aspect…?

Nope, sorry. I got nothin’.

Well, good luck with it. It looks like fun.

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Date
20040204
Updates
Time
18:21
Meeting tomorrow morning. I shall be late. Again.

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Date
20040205
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
15:07
Whitewash on the gates of Downing St?

Heckling of Blair from the Strangers Gallery?

The former effort is inspired; the latter disgraceful.

IMO, they should have spoken slower and enunciated…..

*ahem*

Howard: Blair should resign over WMD claim

1. Tony’s cover story seems to have serious implications, but I’d be more impressed by this call for Blair’s resignation if the Conservatives said or did anything worth a damn before the war. They were as much for appeasing Bush as Tony’s cronies were – and I won’t be forgetting that in a hurry.

2. For Hoon to claim that he didn’t see headlines about the 45-minute claim in the Scum – Blair’s most obedient and willing mouthpiece – is ridiculous. Just as an example; remember yesterday’s editorial? I not only blogged the text, I highlighted this passage: “It’s time we stopped looking backwards, and gave up trying to rewrite history.” Today, Tony Blair’s official spokesman spoke thusly: ““This does appear to be a bit of an attempt to rewrite history…” Now, are they following The Scum, or briefing them? In the case of the “45 minutes to doom” headline, do you think The Scum innocently misinterpreted the dossier (easy to do; take a look… chemical/missile/45 mins, it’s all there) or do you think that perhaps – just perhaps – they were briefed on this also?

3. He and his staff may have missed this front-page headline, but somebody sure as heck noticed Andrew Gilligan speaking out of turn at 6:07am on Radio 4. Selective perception, perhaps?

4. Actually, forget the newspapers, forget the eve-of-war speech. What I want to know is what rebel MPs (ding-ding-diddle-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding) were being told that evening in an attempt to bring them onside. Many of them would have needed convincing beyond a 3 line whip. What picture was painted in private corners… and did it involve claims of chemical and biological warheads atop ready-to-fire ballistic missiles?

5. Hooray for Robin Cook, who nailed it in his resignation speech: “Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term – namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.”

Oh, one thing I just want to wonder out loud… will the upcoming inquiry into the ‘failures’ of the intelligence services in the lead-up to war also focus on the role played by postgraduate students? They have a lot to answer for, by the looks of things.

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Date
20040205
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:21
I’m in a point-by-point mood today. Don’t ask me why.

Anyway…

I knew the word ‘bubble’ would appear in this article somewhere. I was predicting ‘campaign bubble’. I was wrong.

1. I never believed in Howard Dean as a blogger, because he didn’t run a genuine blog.

2. I’ve mentioned that before, but didn’t make a bunch of shouty negative noise about it, because I hoped it would turn and light would dawn on marble heads. Sadly…

3. I still believe in the power of the lower-ranks-up movement in the UK, which has set a very healthy precedent of direct, personal and actual blogging from the elected indyvijules themselves.

4. U.S. Senators are still left without a blog format because of the way things are set up. You can still change that.

5. It has to be noted that Clark *and* Bush launched blogs along simian lines (i.e. ‘monkey see’) and produced equally soulless campaigning wastelands.

6. Nobody listened to me during to dotcom bubble, either. I *am* getting used to that. But I’m ready to chew my own nose off, given the power I know is there. You, me, the next guy, and the guy standing next to him could make a few essential corrections to the world tomorrow if we really wanted to. (Oh, OK – the girls can come along too if they want.)

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Date
20040205
The pResident
Time
15:35
Washington Post – Bush’s Guard Service In Question: While none of the presidential candidates has directly criticized Bush’s service, some Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe, have accused the president of shirking his military duties in 1972, when Bush transferred to an Alabama unit. McAuliffe on Sunday called Bush “AWOL,” or “absent without leave,” during that period.

Hey, we already knew about this, didn’t we? Another good reason to get senators blogging…. we need to bring them into the loop.

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Date
20040205
Tim Yeo
Time
16:00
A little bird tells me that Tim Yeo will be on Question Time this evening.

From the site: As shadow culture secretary in 2002 he criticised the BBC licence fee as a “compulsory and regressive television tax” and said the corporation “could carry out its public service responsibilities for a significantly lower sum.”

Here’s more on that, just in case you happen to be in the audience and wish to bring it up.

However…

What I find most interesting is the bit about him having to restate Tory opposition to top-up fees after saying that he had an “open mind” on the subject. Heh. I’ve got a little something better for you. Rather than having an open mind, he appears to have an opportunistic one:

Tim Yeo (in 1988, methinks): “Does my right hon. Friend agree that since graduates generally enjoy above-average incomes it is entirely fair that they should contribute directly to part of the cost of their higher education, especially as there will be protection for graduates on below-average incomes?”

Also, perhaps someone would care to ask how he found time to appear on the programme, given that he is Shadow Secretary of State for Public Services, Health and Education, director of not one, but two companies, plus the writer of many a fine article on the subject of golf.

Give him hell.

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Date
20040205
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
16:04
Today Krystle (21, from Manchester) says of John Lydon using a naughty word on television: “I couldn’t believe my ears. There must have been loads of young children watching the eviction…. People should not be saying the C-word on telly at 10pm on a family show.”

Says the woman with her tits out…

Actually, she has a point. My young children are always up watching television at 10pm. I’ve tried sending them to bed earlier, but they keeping telling me to fuck off.

UPDATE – You can see more on this subject (and a lot of effing comments) here.

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Date
20040205
Follow Up
Time
16:11
Boobs!

Booooooobs!

Heh. Even the word is fun. Cheers, Peter V.

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Date
20040205
I Believe In The BBC
Time
16:38
The I Believe In The BBC page has been updated with eight more messages of support. I hope the shouty people linking to this little effort notice how many of these messages include actual (*gasp*) criticism and not just blind faith.

And, for the record, today Technorati reveals 26 links to the ‘BBC Lied’ post at BrusselsBlog… and 274 linking to IBITB.

So there.

UPDATE – I’d like you all to meet the next Director General of the BBC. (Link via Tom.)

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Date
20040205
Inneresting
Time
16:48
Let ze Federation of American Scientists tell you all about Ricin.

Also, learn about the tasty goodness of MREs.

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Date
20040205
Comics
Time
16:54
Heh. I knew it. I knew it!

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Date
20040205
I Believe In The BBC
Time
17:15
BBC staff take to the streets in protest at British government “attacks”

Meanwhile, Geoff Hoon looks for a hole to crawl into. Someone should tell him to look up. He’s already in one.

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Date
20040205
Photoshopping
Time
17:37
This is lovely. Really lovely.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040205
Updates
Time
17:41
Can I just quickly apologise to all the people whose emails I didn’t reply to today? Erm, and yesterday? Cheers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Tim Yeo
Time
09:36
I watched Tim Yeo take part on Question Time last night. It was a barrel of laughs. Jenny Tonge nailed him twice on Tory hypocrisy over this illegal war thing they’re suddenly so concerned about. (I’d like the think that – were I in her position – I might consider doing the same thing.)

The strange thing was, when Yeo started to defend his position and rattle on about the Good Things such as regime change, he sounded a lot like Tony Blair….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:38
James Mills has piped up in the comments under Clay Shirky’s ‘Exiting Deanspace’ post and kindly referenced my empty hyperbole.

Clay was too busy Being Right to notice that the comments came from an elected representative who runs his own weblog, but I’m hoping my own comments will help to correct that.

Howard Dean was shooting too high *and* firing blanks. I’m not at all surprised it amounted to a lot of shouting about nothing, because there was a heck of a lot of shouting and Dean’s blog contains a shedload of nothings. Running a weblog can help an elected representative to get re-elected, but not when it’s used as a campaign/fundraising tool. The secret is in using one to communicate in a way that establishes relationships and helps you to do a better bloody job.

So there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:49
The Scum (who appear to have finally cracked it with a successful royal honey-trap) out-do themselves in today’s editorial, which contains a terribly convincing message for Michael Howard: “The Tories will be the losers if Michael Howard continues his attacks on Tony Blair over Iraq’s weapons. People are tired of the whole issue. The war was fought and won, and the rows about the details in dossiers are irrelevant. Howard should turn his undoubted firepower on Blair over issues that might win him votes. He could start with crime, immigration, schools, health, tax and transport.”

Perhaps the money spent on troops (who are still in Iraq, BTW) could have been spent on crime, immigration, schools, health, tax and transport, but that’s by the by…

Also, Richard Littlejohn kicks in with the old one-two, seemingly defending the BBC but getting in an incredible number of shots in the process. I’ve highlighted the fun bits:

“There’s a lot wrong with the BBC — rampant commercialism, institutionalised Left-wing bias in news and current affairs, massive waste, a bureaucracy to rival Soviet Russia, an obsession with being an instrument of social engineering. It needs to be cut down to size.”

“The argument for reform is compelling. In a multi-channel era it’s difficult to argue in favour of an organisation funded by a poll tax, whether you watch it or not.”

“The licence fee is too high, the Beeb tries to do too much. But until someone comes up with a better system, we should hesitate before ripping it up altogether.”

But only a for a few seconds, mind. Murdoch’s a hungry man, and dinner awaits.

UPDATE – Not everybody is treading as carefully as Murdoch and his minions.

Oh, and there’s a little something sent in by Joe, too. Murdoch’s willing servants can sneer all they like about things like the Westwood walk-out (that, quite frankly, wouldn’t be a story without this whole Hutton thing) but why no mention of the reality TV show that set six contestants on the trail of a pre-operative transsexual they thought was a woman? The men quite rightfully took the producers to court, claiming ‘conspiracy to sexual assault, defamation, personal injury and breach of contract’. The matter has been settled out of court and the programme (which shows moments on ‘intimacy’ interrupted only by an unexpected discovery) is now scheduled to go to air. Presumably at sometime around 10pm in a f**king weeknight.

Why no outrage from The Scum? Well, the fact that it was produced for Murdoch’s Sky One may have something to do with that…. Background and further links can be found here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
South West Trains
Time
10:40
There’s going to be a live online chat with Andrew Haines (Managing Director of South West Trains) on Monday.

It’s probably going to as open and transparent as Tony Blair’s Big Abortion, but it may pay to fire a few tricky questions his way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
RWCs
Time
10:47
Good news for John Kerry. This mud-slinging exercise in Murdoch’s New York Post proves that he’s finally been upgraded to Actual Threat.

UPDATE – Nifty comment thread from Atrios is here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:48
Jimmy Carter has a weblog and Dick Cheney is being probed. Oh, and some guy by the name of Manuel Miranda just took a bullet meant for the Republican party.

Janet Jackson’s breast is still a popular subject. The first lawsuit has been filed and The Amateur Gourmet has a recipe for Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes, but let’s move on to today’s meaty subject…

CNN – Massachusetts court upholds same-sex marriage: Underscoring its original ruling last November, Massachusetts’ highest court said Wednesday that only full marriage rights for gay couples, not civil unions, would conform to the state’s constitution. The ruling sets the stage for Massachusetts later this year to likely become the first state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages.

The response from George W. Bush is the kicker. Please note the lack of mincing in his words. That sound you hear is one very big starting pistol…

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today’s ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. If activist judges insist on re-defining marriage by court order, the only alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
The Interwebnet
Time
11:51
A quiet word on the increasingly awkward subject of Orkut.

Also, FunJunkie is having fun with a new breed of referral spammer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Inneresting
Time
11:58
OK, so if you want to transform yourself into a woman, do you start from the head down or the bottom up?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Normal People
Time
12:01
Meet Greg Buell. He invented the Electric Windmill Car, and the government and Big Oil have been working to suppress it – and him – for 22 years. Leslie, who may or may not be his wife or girlfriend of the past, present or future, left him last month, and Greg is very depressed about that. Without his muse, he stands no hope of developing a cure for cancer and a system for gravity control. And that’s just what the government wants, obviously…

Look, it’s a long story, you may just want to make do with the poem that expresses his anguish and move on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Video
Time
12:11
This (*ahem*) interesting version of Sesame Street is 14 minutes long and 24MB in size (Windows Media File). You may want to read through the comments before you commit to it. Me, I’m posting this first, downloading now and planning to watch it over lunch. That may be a mistake. We shall see.

Back soon with a reaction…. have a nap while you wait.

UPDATE – It’s pretty juvenile.. and not in a good way. I want my 14 minutes back.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
13:31
Via a frightened ScaryDuck:

The Guardian – Blair may blog the next election

Operative word being ‘may': Douglas Alexander, Labour’s election coordinator, told Guardian Unlimited he is considering “all means to communicate with the voters directly” for the campaign, including an election blog.

Still, DA does point at Tom’s blog and make some promising noises. Maybe he gets it.

But he should be warned that…

No. No, I think I’ll stop right there.

(I was going to put some free advice here, but have decided not to after the 11 months of fun and games involved with just sorting out a publicly accessible email facility with Blair’s communications team… who still pretend that I don’t exist. And still owe me £2000 for the specs they ripped off.)

UPDATE – Last call for votes! Last call for votes!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Flash Music Video
Time
14:48
Let’s rock. (Keep the volume down in the office, it’s got some dangdoodle cusswords in it.)

UPDATE – You’ll be wanting to see the Quicktime video that’s available via this page, too. I won’t ruin the surprise. Let’s just say that it puts my Christ Girls idea to shame.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
14:55
Heh. Check out Harry’s proposed inquiry into the anti-war movement and the many, many comments that follow. You couldn’t get a better reaction if you pissed on an anthill.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040206
Spam
Time
16:08
MyDoom is definitely an address harvester… it appears to have infected at least one person who has my work email address on their computer. Now this address – which previously had been 100% clean – has just begun to receive spam. I’m as mad as hell, and hungry for blood.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Passing On
Time
09:45
Like a few million other people in an increasingly toxic world, I’ve developed an allergy to latex and latex-based adhesives.

You can stop sniggering at the back there. Apart from an ill-advised barefoot stroll along a major road (see: tyre particles on tarmac) which had me in salt-baths for 6 weeks and a move-it-yourself adventure with the production company I used to work for (see: cheap adhesive on packing tape) which saw me in cotton gloves for 6 months, my major problem for the last 20-odd years has been shoes.

In Australia, I went through well over a decade of sheer hell. Here in the UK, the climate is a lot more reasonable, but I still have to be very careful with my footwear.

Casual, I used to have that covered. Converse All-Stars did an admirable job, and all that was required was a tidy bit of surgery to remove the rubber ankle support. Sadly, Nike has recently bought Converse and my not-giving-money-to-scum-if-I-can-help-it policy means that – come summer – I’ll have to start looking for alternatives.

Right now, I have more pressing problems.

I’m not sure if you know this, but even most ‘all leather’ shoes are chock-full of rubber. Even those that don’t have a rubber sole directly vulcanised to the leather upper have rubber adhesives holding layers together and/or bits and rubber bobs for the toe moulding, the ankle support, the inner sole, etc. etc. etc.

It’s not something you can see, and – unless you want to enjoy blank looks from store attendants – it’s not something you can ask about. So, unless you can afford custom-made shoes (I can’t), that makes every shoe you buy a gamble.

So I gamble in charity stores.

A quick smell and feel usually helps to detect a glut of rubber in shoes. I admit this is pretty gross, given that we’re talking about pre-loved shoes here, and yes, this practice does get me a few strange looks from time to time, but it’s the only way to avoid major mistakes. However, even with this precaution, I can never be sure about a pair of shoes or boots until I’ve worn the suckers for a few days.

In 1999, my wife located a dynamite pair of suede boots in a charity store in Godalming. Before you ask, she refuses to sniff (so much for love), but on this occasion, she hit pure gold regardless of a disgraceful lack of quality control.

These boots were beee-eautiful! Snug, comfortable… perfect for the office, great for walking around in. No nasty adhesives, and the latex sole was kept well-separated from my feet by and all-leather interior, right down to the insole. I could wear them all day, every day, and not get a single tingle.

Sadly, on Friday, after close to 5 years of faithful service, one of them finally gave up the ghost and developed a fatal lesion of the sole.

My favourite, always-reliable, never-make-my-feet-cry-out-for-mercy suede boots now lie wounded in a corner of the kitchen, facing an uncertain future (I can try to get them re-soled, but there’s no telling what the adhesive involved in that operation will do to my feet).

Still, I *am* left with a few clues and the Interwebnet. ‘Flexa’ is still clearly imprinted on the insole, and this helped me to locate the Italian manufacturer, Rosetti. There’s also what appears to be a model number inside the neck of the boot (41657 D).

Email sent. Question asked. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE – Oh, cobblers! This is one very fast response, but it’s not what I wanted to hear…

—– Original Message —–

From: Mail Fratelli Rossetti

To: Tim Ireland

Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 2:11 PM

Subject: R: Flexa black suede boots (41657 D)

Dear Mr. Ireland,

We are very sorry to inform you that the style in the picture it’s not available, it was of the collection Fall/winter 1999/2000 .

Best regards.

Fratelli Rossetti S.p.A.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:41
Finally, we get to watch George W. Bush squirm. A bit.

It seems to me that Tim Russert asked some pretty soft questions and failed to nail Bush on a number of points. This is not a man who should be permitted to dodge and waffle (war against terror, war against terror…).

Also, there was no question about the whole gay marriage thing (disappointing, especially following this all-too-clear statement), but the question of his ‘service’ to the nation during the Vietnam War did come up. Finally. With all those all those photo-ops of him playing soldier, this will be a real vote-turner if the truth comes out.

A lot of people will be taking a very close look at George “I’m a war president!” Bush and his claims of solid service this week.

“I flew fighters and enjoyed it…”

Really, and in which dream was that, exactly?

“…and we provided a service to our country.”

What do you mean ‘we’, Chimpy?

What made me smile was his own personal version of ‘Why Do You Hate America?’ that he slipped in there. Referring to people who question his claims of service, he said: “I would be careful to not denigrate the Guard.” and “What I don’t like is when people say serving in the Guard is is may not be a true service.”

We’re not questioning the Guard’s service to the country, Georgy-boy, we’re questioning yours

UPDATE – And now, the response from the right. It appears to mostly involve prayer. Oh, and Washington Post reports on the interview and allows John Kerry to nail a few matters to the wall.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Follow Up
Time
10:46
Sharp-eyed Joe took note of the comment by Miranda Suit (‘of the broadcasting standards campaign group Media March’) in this BBC piece on sweary words blogged last Thursday. A WHOIS lookup on their website at goodsense.org.uk led him to what appears to be the force behind this pressure group at christian-voice.org.uk, whose aims are as follows:

- To uphold Christianity as the Faith of the United Kingdom

- To be a voice for Biblical values in law and public policy

- To defend and support traditional family life

- At all times to rely humbly on the blessing of Almighty God

Too bad they’re not based in the US. They’d be sure to get some serious funding under the current administration…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:58
Tom declares an interest in libdemwatch.co.uk – right now there appears to be a lot of fuss about nothings there. (You can read what you like into that, BTW…)

Also, Yahoo is catching up, but this category might make more sense with subs for left, right and centre….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
11:35
The Scum is a on a big readership drive this week. TV ads are pushing a ‘free and exclusive’ I’m A Celebrity… DVDs (token collect) and all this week their Page 3 girls will show off sexy lingerie ‘to give fellas gift ideas for Valentine’s Day this Saturday’. You can even send nifty text messages as part of what has been labelled ‘Sun Lovers Week’.

The TVCs scream : “The Sun – We Love It”

The promotion is titled: “Sun Lovers Week”

It’s pretty clear what they’re trying to get across here. I’ve half a mind to run a campaign of my own…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
11:37
The Independent – The 45-minute case collapses: PM and Hoon all but nailed on WMD.

The Scum – PM must fight home front: New poll shows ‘the nation’ is fed up with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Way to go Scum. You keep putting that ‘pressure’ on, boys. It’s time to move on, put this ugly business behind us, look to the home front, and embrace a brave new world of pre-emptive everything.

UPDATE – LNR picks some nits! They also have some thoughts on Flight 93 to share. Enjoy.

UPDATE – And yet more on Blunkett in this debut from Balders, known associate of ScaryDuck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Education
Time
11:55
Is this educational? How about this?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Seems Fair…
Time
11:58
Manorama deals ‘frankly and fairly’ with men’s issues. You’ll loved the scaled approach, I’m sure.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
12:01
Which America-Hating Minority Are You? (Link via vgnwtch.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Fair and Balanced
Time
12:03
Heh. The BBC – Is there no end to their lies? (Another quality link from Joe.)

Also, Stuart Hughes ponders on the current state of US news media (via Abnu). It’s worse than he thinks. The Bush administration has even taken measures to ensure that no real journalists slip into the US un-noticed. Their latest big catch? Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, who looked set to blow the whole Latin pop scam wide open before being rumbled…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
How Weblogs Work
Time
12:37
Bloggers thrown out of NY eatery let off Googlebomb to show their displeasure.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Updates
Time
12:54
More comments added to I Believe In The BBC.

Via comments at folk’s I came across a link to this handy transcript of John Gibson’s ‘fair and balanced’ view of the BBC. Also, IAmZero led me to these letters to John Gibson from Gr££dy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Flash Thingies
Time
13:47
1. What, no soldier suit?

2. Ahahahahahahahaha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
14:37
Browse through some more comments on that Bush interview from Calpundit or, if you’re in the mood for it, a lot of arguing about numbers.

Then check out the house of some crazy lady who never throws anything away and, when you’re done with that, throw some rocks at boys.

Oh, and when you’re done with that

If you haven’t voted for Bloggerheads in Backbencher’s Political Weblog Awards yet, then you have until midnight (GMT) to send an email to backbencher@guardianunlimited.co.uk with ‘Bloggerheads’ in the subject line (or just click here for a ready-made vote).

Then, bring forth your babies so I may kiss them. Be quick, though. I have to shuttle some voters in from the old folks home before their medication wears off.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Anyone but George
Time
15:47
Salon.com – Bush’s missing year: In 1972, George W. Bush dropped out of his National Guard service and later lied about it. With the media finally paying attention, will he now come clean? (Requires subscription or single ad view.)

Now it’s not just dedicated webnetters hunting down the paperwork and Bush has said in front of a nationwide audience that he’s willing to lay open his entire file to clear matters up , I dare to dream of a PR disaster…

Tch! To think that they flew him all the way out to that aircraft carrier for nothing…

UPDATE – Not only did he serve and fight and fly jets, he did it all side-by-side with Elvis. Just before he invented the helicopter. True fact.

UPDATE 2 – Atrios spells out why this matters, and over at MotherJones.com they have a fabbo timeline comparing the military experiences of George W. Bush and John Kerry. Dubya went over the top and dated the offspring of Richard Nixon, but it’s Kerry who got three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. There’s no justice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
Christianity Watch
Time
17:00
BBC – Christian question alarms flight: An American Airlines pilot terrified passengers on his flight when he asked Christians to identify themselves and went on to call non-Christians “crazy”. Some passengers on the flight from Los Angeles to New York were so worried they tried to call relatives on their mobile phones.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040209
I Believe In The BBC
Time
18:44
The Guardian – BBC cartoon ignites Catholic fury: The BBC has received “thousands” of complaints about controversial cartoon Popetown from viewers angry at the portrayal of a “corrupt” Roman Catholic church.

Corrupt? The Catholic Church? Never! Obviously this is a deliberately absurd work of fiction. I don’t see what the problem is…

(BTW, here’s the series page at the Beeb website and some background.)

Pope-loving peeps were shouting about this last week. Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, dug up some extra ammo so he could tie a cartoon into the question of journalism and said in this 4th Feb letter to The Herald that marking the 25th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the beatification of insta-saint Mother Teresa with a documentary about the Catholic church being less than helpful in the fight against Aids showed ‘gross insensitivity to the spiritual and historical significance of these moments.’

Okaaaay… respect the pomp, ignore the circumstance. Gotcha.

Fingers crossed that the BBC hold their ground.

UPDATE – Oh, there’s this too…

Radio 4’s John Humphrys had this to say about Alastair Campbell: “I’m not getting into a pissing match with him. I’ve known him a long time. I like him, and he’s loyal, amusing and clever, but he’s tried to destabilise the BBC in a pretty tacky way. Maybe he thought we were an easy target because we’re dependent on the government of the day…. I’m more than happy to have my record weighed in the balance with his. The public can make their own judgments. His triumphalist behaviour has probably helped the BBC.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Consumer Power
Time
09:52
Slashdot – California Man Sues Penis-Enlargement Firms. Links to Denver Post article and feature much discussion.

Related Link: As you would expect, the Do Penis Enlargement Pills Work? weblog (NESFW) that hooked many with its initial scepticism has turned out to be a blatant promotion, with endless keyword-weighted self-reference/affiliate links.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Viral Marketing
Time
09:54
(sings)

The Musical Mystery Quiz is waiting to take you away…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:56
Have you voted yet? Well it’s too bloody late now! Let this be a lesson to you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Follow Up
Time
09:59
Vegetarian Shoes were recommended by Adam, but a peek under the frameset shows us they’re mostly concerned with alternatives to leather, not rubber.

Alternatives to the original World’s Greatest Boots (by Rosetti) are available at two addresses in the UK:

- 177 New Bond Street, W1

- 196 Sloane Street, SW1

That’s useful information, in that I not only know where to get them, I also have a fair inkling of what the price range will be….

I think the most prudent move is to take a shot at getting the originals resoled and take it from there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Photoshopping
Time
10:09
George W. Bush dated the daughter of Richard M. Nixon….

I just couldn’t get that out of my head. I had to make a picture to share with the world.

(Note – Some facts may have been changed for the purposes of inner enlightenment.)

Also, found at B3ta: Holy crap! It’s the Squiggel of Death!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:17
BBC – Spot the fake smiles! Heh. That should come in handy.

That Bush transcript and Calpundit’s fantabbo ‘ARF’ find are also charting well, as is the somewhat over-enthusiastic Christian pilot blogged yesterday, but the biggest news this morning is the release of a ‘next generation browser by Mozilla.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
RWCs
Time
10:27
Yes Virginia, there is a sanity clause!

The New Republic – Attention Deficit: I’m not one of those who believes that a good president has to have the debating skills of a Tony Blair or the rhetorical facility of Bill Clinton. I cannot help liking the president as a person. I still believe he did a great and important thing in liberating Iraq (although we have much, much more to do). But, if this is the level of coherence, grasp of reality, and honesty that is really at work in his understanding of domestic fiscal policy, then we are in even worse trouble than we thought. We have a captain on the fiscal Titanic who thinks he’s in the Caribbean.

UPDATE – Read Mackubin Thomas Owens on the whole Bush/AWOL thing. Hardly a debunking, as many folks note in this very long thread at Fark.com… it also ignores the new information that’s come to light, and closes by presenting an opinion as fact.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Art
Time
10:36
This looks promising; Projekt30 aims to take online support for new artists to bring some crackers to the top for ‘bricks and mortar’ display. You can check out the latest online exhibition here and vote on artists on a ‘hot or not’ 1-5 scale. To avoid vote-driving (what, me?) they only offer a random selection of 10 artists at a time.

So, if I were to submit something, what do you think should be submitted?

- A collection of political ‘shops?

- The Star Wars Photoshopping Project?

- The 4007th Project?

- Something else entirely?

UPDATE – Heh. I just tripped over some 4007th fans.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Virus Alerts
Time
10:48
DoomJuice has emerged from MyDoom in an attack on the primary web presence of Microsoft.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
In The News
Time
11:02
Truck driver crashes on way to receive an award for driving a million miles without an accident.

11-year-old balances 11 teaspoons on his face.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Flash Music Video
Time
11:08
This flash show for The Beatles’ I Feel Fine is staggeringly beautiful, but you may need to recalibrate your eyes afterwards. (Links via Zfilter and Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:13
Tom reports on reactions to libdemwatch.co.uk

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
11:14
BBC – Bush and Cheney top aides testify: Senior aides to the US president and vice-president have been called before an inquiry into the leaking the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame. A newspaper columnist revealed her name last summer, saying White House officials had given him the information about Ms Plame, whose husband Joseph Wilson has criticised the White House. A deliberate leak of an undercover agent’s name would be illegal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Bush: AWOL
Time
11:20
Salon.com – Bush’s records: Still AWOL : President Bush told Tim Russert all his military records were made public in 2000, but there’s no evidence to support his statement.

The Boston Globe looks over the newer documents (not made public in 2000) and sees credit being given, but for what? The whole ‘when’ thing is a bit tricky, too. The Washington Post is also a bit confused, but they do note something interesting..

Washington Post – Defense Dept. Seeks Bush’s Guard File: The Defense Department has requested that President Bush’s payroll records from his service in the National Guard be sent to Washington from a DOD archive in Colorado, to ascertain whether they can be released to news organizations and public interest groups that have formally requested them in recent days, according to DOD officials.

So these records weren’t released in 2000, either? Oh well. Time to squeeze this and see what comes out.

(If you want to keep up, your best chance is at Calpundit. I have work to do.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
11:51
The Independent – Jones breaks cover again – Blair raised ‘false expectations’: Tony Blair undermined the global fight against weapons proliferation by raising “false expectations” about Iraq’s arsenal and by marginalising intelligence experts, Brian Jones, the key witness of the Hutton inquiry, has warned.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Flash Thingies
Time
14:26
Do something amazing today…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Only Interesting to Hardcore Geeks
Time
15:02
Finally a role-playing game that makes sense. Forget all of that forest and wizard and goblin rubbish, I want something I can relate to… like waking up naked in a strange house that has its own Commodore 64.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Updates
Time
15:09
1. The semi-munged link to Richard Allan has been updated with the latest URL.

2. Balders (champion of the oppressed and friend of ScaryDuck), should feel honoured. His brand new site The UK Today has warranted inclusion under ‘follow me’ after a mere 4 days and 6 posts. I’m looking forward to seeing a much, much more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040210
Inneresting
Time
16:28
Die-ins. They’re the new black, baby.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Virus Alerts
Time
09:21
Boy, Jackie is going to love this:

Why do viruses proliferate? Because People Is Stupid!

I know a lot of very smart people that I respect a *lot*, but the many of them are still prone to dodgy emails and websites, because they haven’t learned or – in some cases – cannot grasp/accept how the system works (and how easy it is for someone to get under your skin/guard/radar).

Ditto for more traditional forms of media, but in this case, the ignorance doesn’t come ready-made, it has to be nurtured. Happily, the larger your machine is, the better it is at controlling information that reaches peeps, overtly or covertly:

You can trust THIS. We don’t need to mention (that).

The most correct approach is to acknowledge that education is required and get on with that, but in current circumstances this isn’t going to be easy, and like it or not, most of the time you have to put all indicators such as IQ/education/experience/street-smarts aside and just admit it… People. Is. Stupid.

Not every written word you read is true* and – printed or online – it always pays to take a close look at the source of the information before you do anything dangerous. Like vote or spend money.

(*Feel free to ignore this…)

Anyway, on with some news you need to know:

Microsoft has a message for Windows users: patch your computers quickly. Screen-door technology strikes again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
RWCs
Time
09:28
It’s official; John Kerry is the man who will be taking on George W. Bush. How do I know this? Because Rush Limbaugh is already on the move…

A photo of John Kerry sitting behind (*gasp*) Jane Fonda during an anti-war rally at Valley Forge, PA in September 1970.

I’d be more impressed if it showed them shaking hands. Or better yet, if it showed John Kerry shaking hands with Ho Chi Minh.

*cough*

Oh and someone, somewhere, has a photo of George W. Bush with Richard Nixon.

(Found at Off On a Tangent and sure to spread fast. Freepers can actually be seen begging for it here. This is not going to be a pretty election.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Anyone but George
Time
09:49
New York Times – Bush busted for running carefully edited clips of his Meet The Press interview. Heh. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it looks like, but I’d really like to see it for myself. I’d particularly like to confirm the claim that ‘the words seemed to have been digitally enhanced, to do away with some stammering’. The pResident is one step away from being a hologram as it is.

UPDATE – CLAIM vs. FACT: The President on Meet the Press and Bush’s Spending Lie. Oh, plus I found someone who saw the video in question. Streamed, by the looks of things. Ho-hum. Also, they’ve taken the precaution of not just removing the relevant post, but also the video file it links to (the file ID was ‘730’). Oh well.

The text from the post, BTW, read as follows:



New Web Exclusive Video: Responsibility

Watch our new web exclusive video, “Responsibility” — where President Bush lays out his vision for America’s role in a changing world: www.GeorgeWBush.com/Responsibility/

Spread the word by sending the video or this blog entry to your friends!

Posted by GeorgeWBush.com at 04:32 PM

Technorati reveals that this post generated two (count ‘em – two!) inbound links.

Moving on…

Atalanta Journal – White House tries to quell criticism of military service. Check out Calpundit to follow this in detail, or check out this nice overview from The Guardian.

Me, I’d want to see documents showing what he did, not just something showing he was paid. I’d also like to see Bush nailed for lying about having released this kind of information in 2000.

Oh, and don’t you find it interesting that no-one who served alongside Bush has stepped forward to confirm his claims?

UPDATE – Yet another Thread of Infinity at Fark.com, with much shoutiness, some new information, lots of bullshit, the red herring of Kerry/Fonda and one quiet nail-head observation on the exciting week Bush is having: “I guess his Teflon just plum wore out.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:11
Technorati has a new ‘most popular products’ page. There’s also a zoomable chart of everybody’s favourite pissing contest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:16
Those rotten pillow-biting pinkos at The Guardian! Rigged! Riiiiiiiiigged!

Heh.

Pretty much one year on from Tom’s launch, and we’re already showing some impressive results – and some heartening diversity.

I’m not sure what the Hansard Society is planning, but I’m of the opinion that this will only continue to proceed in the right direction if we can make a few more of the right people Want To Get On With It.

Later this month, Tom and I are having a special seminar for Labour MPs to show them what this is (and isn’t), what it can do if they connect, and what will eventually happen if they don’t. I’d like to offer this same seminar to Lib-Dems and Conservatives, so if you know of any solid contacts (or if you’re a solid contact yourself) and want to make this happen, then get in touch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Death From Above
Time
13:20
The killer baskets Balders mentioned yesterday? Here they are in the news and here are some Farkers talking about it. Keep an eye out for the ‘scan and you miss it’ Hitchhikers reference.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
The Interwebnet
Time
13:28
Pornographer to sell whitehouse.com website. The kids are reaching school-age, and he wants out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Photoshopping
Time
14:48


“Oi! Down in front!”

Had to be done. There’s also a Forrest Gump version if you’d care to investigate.

UPDATE – Also, there’s this; Yeeeearrrrgh!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
15:33
BBC – Rumsfeld ‘unaware’ of WMD claim: US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he cannot remember hearing the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

Huh? What? No. Well, not to my recollection… lalalalalalalalalala this isn’t happening lalalalala….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040211
Goodbye, George
Time
17:22
New York Times – The President’s Guard Service: The issue is not whether Mr. Bush, like many sons of the elite in his generation, sought refuge in the Guard to avoid combat in Vietnam. The public knew about that during the 2000 campaign. Whether Mr. Bush actually performed his Guard service to the full is a different matter. It bears on presidential character because the president has continually rejected claims that there was anything amiss about his Guard performance during the Alabama period. Mr. Bush himself also made the issue of military service fair game by posturing as a swashbuckling pilot when welcoming a carrier home from Iraq. Now, the president needs to make a fuller explanation of how he spent his last two years in the Guard.

Washington Post – Guard Records On President Are Released: But the records — which McClellan said are all the documents that the White House has — do not show the exact nature or whereabouts of Bush’s service during that period. Military experts — including one cited by the White House — said such records should exist. In addition, according to the new documents, Bush was performing service or unit drills at a time when his commanding officers in Houston said they could not evaluate him because “he has not been observed” at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston — as they had written in previously released National Guard records. That report was signed by two officers on May 2, 1973, a day that the new documents show Bush was supposed to have been performing service in Houston.

Boston Globe – The honeymoon is over, Mr. Bush: The press has at last given itself permission to be tougher on misrepresentations that have characterized the Bush presidency since its beginnings…. Bush has had the advantage of a closely allied right-wing press, ranging from Fox News to The Wall Street Journal’s editorialists, the Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, and the talk radio ditto-heads. There is no comparable propaganda machine among his critics.But most reporters, in their hearts, want to play it straight. And, finally, they’ve had a bellyful.

And this is one awkward question regarding one single issue. God bless the emboldened press. If they’re actually willing to take Bush and crew to task, they’ll find stories coming out of every unplugged orifice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Guantanamo Bay
Time
10:22
Yahoo – 12th Jan: The future of nine Britons held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay should be resolved within weeks, Tony Blair has said.

News.com.au 12th Feb: Tony Blair apologised today for the time it has taken to deal with nine Britons held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but insisted they could only return home if deemed not to be a security threat.

1. Why do I have to read about this in a foreign newspaper?

2. The delay seems to be caused by Blair being forced to release these people and/or detain them indefinitely on British soil. The Bush administration is certain to frown on anything silly like a precedent-setting trial.

3. Just the Brits? Blair has some nerve playing The Great Humanitarian.

4. Oh well. At least a few of the kiddies are free.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Bush: AWOL
Time
10:25
USA Today – Ex-officer says Bush file’s details caused concern: As Texas Gov. George W. Bush prepared to run for president in the late 1990s, top-ranking Texas National Guard officers and Bush advisers discussed ways to limit the release of potentially embarrassing details from Bush’s military records, a former senior officer of the Texas Guard said Wednesday. (More on this from Calpundit.)

Also, the White House appears to have dug up someone who served alongside Bush. This letter appears to have been drafted and submitted to the Washington Times (a Moonie newspaper) independently, but just check out that prose, ladies and gentlemen!

Col William Campenni (retired) – ‘Bush and I were lieutenants’: While most of America was sleeping and Mr. Kerry was playing antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda, we were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat over the Canadian subarctic, the cold North Atlantic and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. We were the pathfinders in showing that the Guard and Reserves could become reliable members of the first team in the total force, so proudly evidenced today in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No doubt Col. Campenni failed to give any real details of whens and wheres (and failed to credit George W. Bush with the Order of Conspicuous Merit) because of the unnecessary cross-referencing that it would entail.

*ahem*

Atrios laughs

Counterspin fisks

Oliver Willis finds an almost identical letter from William Campenni, dated May 16, 2003. (That’s here, but be warned that this one is rather boring in that it contains no references to jet-eating sharks).

A letter like this that’s almost a year old and the White House couldn’t track this man down? He had to take action & write an independent letter? To the Moonies of all people? Puh-lease!

OK, let’s accept for a moment that Bush bravely flew his rickety, unreliable F102 over the shark-infested Gulf of Mexico…

1. Distance of Bush from sharks: 30,000 feet

2. Distance of Bush from Vietnam: 10,000 miles

“Momma Bird, this is Ladybird! I’ve hit some trouble over the Gulf. They came out of nowhere! Tell my mother that I love h*….”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
The War on Terror
Time
11:23
Back to Iraq – Bill Safire strangely uses the Zarqawi memo as proof that Saddam had links to al Qaeda. Instead it’s proof that the U.S. invasion has opened opportunities previously denied to terrorists.

Who’s rewriting history, exactly?

Actually, one thing does strike me about the memo that RWCs are shouting about; the plan to spark civil unrest. I’ve commented on this as a possible tactic being used against the UK and the US, given the seemingly convenient timing of many recent terror alerts (tanks rolled into Heathrow before the million-strong march, a high ‘unspecified’ alert during Bush’s UK visit).

Posted at Interwebnet.org on the 23rd Nov 2003: OK, so the terror attacks are coming from a shadowy cabal that wish to spread disorder and chaos; what better way to do so than to manipulate us in a way that leads to civil unrest and eventually, violent confrontation? The claim of convenient timing does not necessarily point the finger of blame at our government, but it does pose serious questions regarding overall responsibility.

Blair and Bush, in spinning their illegal war and generally using the terrorist threat as a propaganda tool, have actually increased the threat here at home. But that’s just the opinion of one misguided peacenik, you understand…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Christianity Watch
Time
11:24
The Calcasieu Parish School Board have declared tomorrow to be Abstinence Appreciation Day.

Has anyone told Richard Dasen Sr.?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
RWCs
Time
11:30
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Jane Fonda defends Kerry: “Any attempts to link Kerry to me and to make him look bad with that connection is completely false. We were at a rally for veterans at the same time. I spoke. Donald Sutherland spoke. John Kerry spoke at the end. I don’t even think we shook hands.”

Incidentally, the photo was taken in 1970. Fonda made her infamous trip to Hanoi in 1972. Shame on John Kerry and his lack of precognition.

Interestingly, this same article closes with White House press secretary Scott McClellan accusing the Democrats of “gutter politics” over the whole AWOL thing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Church & State
Time
12:08
Washington Post – Bush Plans To Back Marriage Amendment: President Bush plans to endorse a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman in response to a Massachusetts court decision requiring legal recognition of gay marriages in that state, key advisers said yesterday.

Jesse Taylor has described this as the “Only Straight People Count” Amendment… ‘a Constitutional declaration that heterosexuality is the only valid sexual orientation’, and the comments under this post raise all sorts of questions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
12:18
Channel 4 – The unseen cost of the war in Iraq: The true extent of US casualties in Iraq are still unknown. This has fuelled suspicion that the administration may be hiding the true human cost of the war and its aftermath..

No! Really?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Flash Thingies
Time
12:31
The Ultimate Insult has recommended some virtual knee surgery. Me, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Interesting Times
Time
12:37
Today is a lovely day to be alive and well and living in Elk Grove.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
How Weblogs Work
Time
15:01
Actually, this is how journalism should work, but never mind…

Oliver Wills: I got in contact with Bill Campenni, known as the witness (possibly) to George W Bush’s missing year…. When I asked him about being stationed in Pittsburgh, not Alabama and the fact that his story leads one to believe he was in grad school from ’71-72 (the same years as the hole in Bush’s record) and thus incapable of vouching for where the president was, his reply? An evasive “Nice Try”.

The White House couldn’t get in touch with him when given 10+ months. Oliver found him in a few hours. I smell plausible deniability. Nice try, Team Bush.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Updates
Time
16:43
I’m running AdSense on an evaluation basis.

First beef: I can’t configure the ads to spawn a new window.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
RWCs
Time
17:23
Matt Drudge (bullshit meters on full) is claiming that Howard Dean changed his mind and decided to stay in the game because he knew that a major story involving John Kerry and a female intern was in the offing.

(Cheers to Expats for the heads-up.)

UPDATE – Atrios reports that FOX News is already running with it… with only one unsubstantiated report from a website to go on.

Which just happens to be the same website that broke the Clinton/Lewinski story.

The related thread at Fark is bound to amuse…. but if you feel you couldn’t care less, then check out some Google logos for non-existent holidays instead.

UPDATE – Drudge was scooped by this much more balanced post from Watchblog. Rumour or truth? Sad thing is, not a lot of people are going to care. Unlike the service-record story, this has cock in it. And even if it’s disproved, the stain (sorry) and doubt will linger, aided by an air of familiarity.

And the timing? Delicious.

An AWOL ‘debunking’ letter to the Washington Times (from a man the White House failed to find but was tracked down by a blogger in a matter of hours). An instant-headline ‘scoop’ by Drudge (based on a rumour that had been doing the rounds for at least a week). On the same day.

Counterspin puts forward this opinion: It was Bush. (Ed note – for ‘Bush’ read ‘Rove‘) And we know it was Bush for the simple reason that the President was having a very, very bad week with this whole AWOL thing. And they desperately wanted to change the subject. Everything else they tried didn’t work. So, voila!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Photoshopping
Time
17:40

Inquiring minds want to know….

UPDATE – Forgot to blog this: Calpundit presents an interview with former Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett (who claimed that George Bush’s National Guard files in Texas were “cleansed” back in 1997). Includes (*gasp*) a modest level of corroboration.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040212
Interesting Times
Time
22:49
The Independent – Campaign gets dirty as muckrakers turn over Kerry’s personal life and Bush troubles return: The United States election is still almost nine months away. But if recent events are any guide, the campaign already promises to be the dirtiest on record – with much of the muckraking centred not on Iraq, but allegations of sexual infidelity and a war which ended 30 years ago.

This is an excellent (and distanced) overview of everything that’s happened over the last few days.

And we can’t have that, now can we?

Here’s some shameless and titillating right-wing opinion from Bizarro World to balance it out….

Republican cock good (1, 2, 3).

Democratic cock baaaad.

Soldier cock not worthy of inches. Not even when come in box.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:07
Drudge, natch. (Also, Ken & Barbie are splitting up).

Climbing fast is the post at Watchblog that scooped Drudge (and also bothers to present the information in context). Credit goes to The Guardian for their ongoing coverage of the Bush:AWOL story, but even this fine Indy piece didn’t appear until after penises entered the equation.

Hell, even I was inspired…

Click here to see a large version of this image in glorious Slandercolour.

The Bush:AWOL story took days to get some coverage in some broadsheets here in the UK. It barely rated a mention on radio or television.

Of course, all of this happened well after the story was being talked about for years on the Interwebnet. But documents weren’t released and the story wasn’t allowed to develop until it was officially in print and a few journalists finally became determined to do their job without the permission of the White House.

But then – just as this story looks set to break wide open – Drudge screams ‘INTERN!!!’ and within hours it’s reported there on Fox and here on Five.

The Scum, who printed Not One Word about the question of Bush’s service in the Guard when documents and questions were flying, is all over this immediately, naming the woman, quoting a ‘clinching’ opinion from her father (“I think he’s a sleazeball!”) and citing past affairs from past Democrats to help along the stink of familiarity. Then it’s back to business as usual, plugging a reality TV show on Murdoch’s SKY One about men being unwittingly set up on dates with a pre-op transsexual.

The BBC, to their credit, haven’t rated this as newsworthy. Yet. But soon they’re going to have to report on the fact that this is being reported.

And there’s the rub.

Many journalists will trip over each other to get to this woman – Alex Polier – and the story will snowball from every scrap they can dig up along the way. Because it has cock in it. And not clean, respectable Republican cock, but filthy uncontrollable Democratic cock. Hypocrisy lives and breeds in the right-wing media machine.

But, of course, we’re not allowed to point this out because it’s a Hate Crime.

Meanwhile, on the actual news front, the analysis of documents, the credibility of same and the chasing up of eyewitnesses who may or may not remember where the ‘war-president’ Bush was in his missing Guard years is mostly left up to the occasional journalist (as opposed to the entire penis-hungry machine) and a bunch of bloggers (many of whom you should be watching today for developments that are actually worth a damn):

Atrios

Calpundit

Counterspin

Oliver Willis

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
Flash Games
Time
11:13
More Yeti and penguin fun. This game is equally fun/violent, but a little more challenging.

UPDATE – Ah, someone’s seen the promise and thrown some development behind this. Check out the brand new Yeti Sports portal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
The Interwebnet
Time
11:16
The Register – MS Windows source code escapes onto Internet.

Expect your screen doors to start swinging off their hinges sometime real soon….

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Date
20040213
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
11:25
Powell loses it with staffer who dares to shake his head at his defense of prewar WMD statements.

CIA offers Iraqis cash-money for ‘detailed information on Iraq’s WMD programs and efforts to hide them.’

(Latter link via ScaryDuck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
Established Media
Time
11:35
CNN admits to overplaying Dean’s scream. It was played over 600 times in four days. And it’s a bit ‘king late for an apology.

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Date
20040213
Church & State
Time
11:37
A secretive quango operating under the Bush administration has declared about 200 television programs inappropriate for closed-captioning and denied federal grant requests to make them accessible to the hearing-impaired. Shows that will now be denied to the hard of hearing include Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and Scooby Doo. Witches, genies and ghosts? Does anyone else spot a theme here? You can find out more from the National Association of the Deaf if you like. Me, I want to know who’s on that five-member panel….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
Useful
Time
11:49
The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:52
Robin wonders how someone who isn’t a US citizen (and/or eligible to vote) can have an effect on the upcoming election.

Me, I just do a lot of shouting at people who can vote through my own little channel. But if you don’t have a channel, then Voices Without Votes wants to help you connect with chad-punchers. Cheers, Robin.

Also, Tom blogs on blogging for devolution.

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Date
20040213
Animal Kingdom
Time
12:00
More exploding whales for you.

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Date
20040213
Google – The Adsense Trial
Time
12:03
Yesterday: 1,199 ads served, 10 ads clicked (click-through rate 0.8%) and $2.10 earned. At this rate I may *just* be able to pay for my tracking…. and most of the people who are advertising (especially those selling SEO and blog ‘solutions’) aren’t worth spitting on. I have the feeling the ads will be restricted to areas like this after I’ve collected a full week of data.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
2004 – The Year of Zero Modesty
Time
12:28
I’m nothing if not gracious.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040213
Follow Up
Time
12:29
Wibbler has been on a diet for two weeks and all he’s lost is 14 days. I can relate; especially to difficulties with the ‘no food after 7 rule,’ which only works for layabouts without jobs.

(Psst! Wibbler! Let’s go do this. We can get some nice jubbly boobies for ourselves while we’re there, too. Or an extra willy. Then we’ll be newsworthy…)

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Date
20040213
RWCs
Time
12:39
Salon.com – Matt Drudge and the GOP smear machine are back in the Democrats’ pants (requires subscription or ad view): Late Thursday morning — with George W. Bush’s credibility damaged on several fronts as reporters demanded answers to questions about his National Guard service that should have been asked years ago — the Drudge Report defamed his leading Democratic challenger with a “world exclusive” smudge of personal dirt.

We try to get facts reported and they dismiss it as dirty tricks. They cut loose with a dirty trick, and it gets treated as if it’s a fact (or presented neatly as ‘What if it *is* a fact?’).

Nice system we have going here. I hope the wider journalistic community has actually had that bellyful they were bellyaching about a few days ago, and end up serving Drudge and Rove the enormous ship-sandwich they deserve. Anomalies like this are cause enough for hope.

UPDATE – Well done, the BBC. The first report on this just hit the radio airwaves, and it’s only because John Kerry has released a statement. I’ll bring you a link as soon as I’ve got one.

UPDATE – I really must flush my ears. It was in response to Wesley Clark’s statement. Sorry to get you excited.

UPDATE – Joe notes that, on his front page, instead of linking to the Times article, Drudge links to this itsy-bitsy scan that shows his ‘scoop’ on a front page but conveniently doesn’t show the text where General Clark calls the report “utter rubbish” or the bit that says: Drudge claimed that half a dozen news outlets were investigating the allegations against Mr Kerry, but most of them denied doing so last night.

UPDATE – Ah, here we go…. BBC – Kerry shrugs off intern rumour: “Well there is nothing to report, so there is nothing to talk about,” he told MSNBC television. “There’s nothing there. There’s no story.”

Yes there is. Even if there isn’t, there will be. Where there’s a willy, there’s a way!

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Date
20040213
Photoshopping
Time
13:36
Images of celebrities with phones. You know you’ll need one someday…

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Date
20040213
RWCs
Time
14:47
Washington Post – Bush Campaign Releases Video Attacking Kerry: President Bush’s reelection campaign directly engaged Sen. John F. Kerry for the first time last night with a harsh video calling him “unprincipled” and “brought to you by the special interests.”

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

You can see that video by clicking here.

1. It looks remarkably like a couple of the top offerings from MoveOn.org

2. The search engine angle is cute. How long do you think it will take us to make some worthy web pages the top search result for “Paybacks“, “Special Interests” and “Unprincipled“? I’d love to see this video withdrawn as quickly as the last one was.

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Date
20040213
Bunch of Stuff
Time
15:15
The latest B3ta newsletter is out. There’s a party and raffle in London tonight. And I forgot about it. Bugger. Now all I’ve got to look forward to is a night in with the family, stacking teabags and teaching the kids how to swear.

UPDATE – This week’s ‘shop theme is Zombies!. You’ll definitely want to check out this incredible first post by Frinky. (But if you think it might be too scarifying for you, there’s some non-zombie felt-covered porcine-porn (and a discussion on copyright to really pump your nads) here.)

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Date
20040213
I Believe In The BBC
Time
15:48
Ahahahahahahaha! I have some bits and bobs that are kind of overdue for inclusion on the I Believe In The BBC page, but – pressed for time as I am – I can only (very) quickly share with you the Bestest. Statement. Ever.

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Date
20040213
Bush: AWOL
Time
15:54
Bit by bit by bit….

Yahoo – Bush’s driving records disclosed: The White House disclosed information in documents Thursday showing that President Bush (news – web sites) had been arrested once for a college prank and was cited for two automobile accidents and two speeding tickets before he enlisted in the National Guard. The accidents and tickets were disclosed for the first time in response to questions about a portion of Bush’s military record that had been blacked out when the file was made public during the 2000 presidential campaign. The traffic violations are significant in the context of Bush’s military career. At the time Bush enlisted in the Texas National Guard, the Air Force typically would have had to issue a waiver for an applicant who had multiple arrests or driving violations. An officer who served at the same time as the president, former Texas Air National Guard pilot Dean Roome, was required by the Air Force to get a waiver for a $25 speeding ticket when he enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1967. There is no record of an enlistment waiver in Bush’s military file.

And: Bush’s military file contained a second document that also asked for information on any arrests. Portions of that page, his enlistment application, are also blacked out.

Finally, just before I toodle, here’s a nifty image presented as a tribute to all the flying Dubya did and the large number of peeps who didn’t see him do it. See you on Monday.

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Date
20040213
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
17:48
*cough*








About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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