19-30 April, 2004

Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 April 2004

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Uncategorized

This entry was posted on
Monday, April 19th, 2004
at
9:21 am and is filed
under Page 3 – News in Briefs, Uncategorized.

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Date
20040419
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:21
Robert Fisk: By endorsing Ariel Sharon’s plan George Bush has legitimised terrorism.

George W. Bush: Good boy, Tony. Goooooooooooood, boy!

*cough*

BBC: Arab press scorns Bush, Blair pledges. And with good reason, you would think. Remember, it’s not assassination or terrorism if you have an army and use fancy rockets.

Tony Blair: I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr….

Tony Blair: I was right!

Daily Kos: Pro-war people were wrong: Even at the height of war fever, Bush’s lies were being exposed almost immediately after uttered (nothing that has subsequently “emerged” should be a surprise to anyone paying attention). But there was ONE particular fact that fully exposed Bush’s lies for what they were — not a single Iraq neighbor signed up for the fight. Not a single Iraq neighbor considered Saddam a threat. That should’ve told us everything we needed to know.

CNN: Woodward shares war secrets

Bob Woodward: Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched. (You’ll love the bit about Karl Rove and the almighty Powerpoint presentation.)

Terry Jones: Everyone agrees that President George Bush’s lobotomy has been a tremendous success

Johann Hari: Richard Littlejohn is an ass.

I smell Murdoch. So does Nicholas Watt.

Some prick has been spamming the world with a bloggerheads address. My Inbox is chock-a-block with returned emails.

Finally, just last Wednesday I was citing this as an excellent example of viral simplicity. Now we have this doing the rounds and charting quite well on Blogdex: Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!

Oh, and that wonderful Flash thing I’ve got you waiting for? It may take a while longer. There’s a ‘must do’ that I have to address first. With you shortly. Friday latest.

(Gavin? I’ll be with you in a minute, honey. I’m just freshening up.)

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Date
20040420
In The News
Time
15:10
1. Woof!

2. Oh dear….

3. Druids! Heed this example! Your country needs you!

4. Told you so – ‘king Murdoch. This link requires a subscription, but here’s the meat for the archive and my own personal reference: What tipped the balance, according to cabinet sources, was that Mr Murdoch made it clear he could not support the re-election of a Labour government unless it offered a referendum. The implied threat was that his four papers, notably The Sun, would not back Labour.

Murdoch wants this referendum because he knows he can scupper it. Probably with a heady mix of nationalism and constant references to our lives being ruled by ‘a bunch of foreigners that you didn’t vote for’.

Just for the record, Mr Murdoch is a foreigner. And nobody voted for him.

UPDATE – Don’t go hoping for Friday. Going public on Monday now seems more likely. But it’s coming together nicely, thanks for asking.

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Date
20040421
Updates
Time
11:25
Still building. It’s eating up the hour-a-day I normally spend doing the hardcore blogging, but we’ll be back on track soon.

To keep an eye on Bush & Co., see American Leftist, Atrios, Expats Against Bush, Talking Points Memo or The Washington Monthly.

To keep an eye on Blair & Co., see The London News Review or The UK Today.

For Iraq, see Baghdad Burning.

For the latest bits and bobs that you may or may not care about, see Blogdex or the Technorati chart. (Treat any link trail that starts at Instapundit or Little Green Footballs with a big grain of salt.)

For harmless fun, see The Ultimate Insult, hang around the B3ta Messageboard, check out this nifty link digest from that same board or discover Attu Sees All.

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Date
20040421
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
11:26
Charlotte (19, from Ipswich) ‘reckons’ Tony will be stunned by The Sun’s poll on the EU constitution. She says: “The PM will choke on his cornflakes when he reads how many Sun readers don’t want him to sign up to the constitution. In his heart of hearts, he knows they represent the country.”

This is probably my most favouritist tit-tastic editorial evah! It’s almost as if she were channelling Rupert Murdoch himself.

And just in case you’re in any doubt about What To Think about the issue (must obey girl with boobs, must obey girl with boobs), from The Sun Says (headlined today as ‘No’ contest), we have this: “Tony Blair needs to look no further than The Sun’s referendum on the European Constitution. Tens of thousands of readers voted a resounding NO by a majority of 97 per cent yesterday.”

Or did they…?

As their own figures clearly show, out of the 3 million-odd readers they reached yesterday and asked for their opinion, only 36,379 bothered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. (We’ve danced this dance before, if you recall.)

So, really, the ‘vote’ result looks like this:

NO to EU – 1.2%

YES to EU – 0.3%

No opinion – 42.7%

Waiting to see what the girl with the tits says: 55.8%

OK, so I made a bit of that last bit up; but you get the gist of things, I’m sure…

I love this, also from today’s main editorial:

“Mr Blair promises an honest and open debate on the most crucial issue to face this nation in decades. The Sun will make sure this happens.”

And this:

“We will continue to tell our ten million readers openly and honestly how the constitution would take power from this country and hand it to an unelected European elite.”

Again, I feel the need to remind peeps that nobody voted for Mr Murdoch, and it is he who is behind this spectacular U-Turn from The Man With No Reverse Gear.

(Oh, and from that last article, we can see that Tony may be Rupert’s bitch, be he still knows how to talk tough. Via a spokesperson. Neil Kinnock, a vice-president of the European Commission… said Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers had influenced the decision to hold a referendum “substantially” because their representatives made it clear that they were intent on “continuing to distort” Britain’s relationship with the EU. The Murdoch press was “building a boil” and the Prime Minister had taken a decision to “lance it”, he said.)

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Date
20040421
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:28
Khaaaaaaaaaan! is holding steady in the top spot.

Just under that is this:

“I don’t mean to be a gay jackass but…you’re Quentin Tarantino AND YOU ARE THE BALLS!”

Then it’s dead people, hope for the Bushies, yet another piece of plastic you can’t live without, and a little blog-debate thing in The Guardian.

Oh, and my referral logs and twitching ears led me to Accordian Guy, who has published some notes from the latest BloggerCon:

BloggerCon Notes 1

BloggerCon Notes 2

BloggerCon Notes 3

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Date
20040421
Fair and Balanced
Time
11:44
FOXNews accuses Al Jazeera network of biased reporting and hate-mongering. Yet it dares to ‘promote itself as independent and professional, with journalistic integrity’.



(Link via ScaryDuck.)

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Date
20040421
Flash Thingies
Time
13:25
I have no idea what this is about.

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Date
20040421
Video
Time
13:45
Hah! To think that I almost missed out on The Jesus Christ Action Figure. (Requires Quicktime.)

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Date
20040421
Useful
Time
13:49
Babelfish finally does Dutch to English and vice-versa.

Hello aan al mijn lezers in Nederland. Gratie mijn Dutch.

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Date
20040422
Flash Games
Time
00:29
Kill Bill! And there’s plenty more where that came from….

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Date
20040422
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:38
Today would be a good day to cruise the B3ta board, I’m thinking…

“He’s what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger.” – Ron Atkinson (who has obviously been quoted wildly out of context).

Oh, when poking around for the actual quote, I found this lovely post to Usenet that’s a prime example of a troll and/or flame-bait. The strangest things amuse some people.

Moving right along…

CNN: Fury over Diana crash photos

I’m outraged!

(show me the pictures)

It’s shameful!

(show me the pictures)

Also, just very quickly from me is this look at today’s newspapers, in light of Blair’s bitch-slapping from The Scum and this interesting u-turn of events:

Independent – Boost for Howard as ‘Express’ decides to back Tories

e-politix – Blow for Blair as Express backs Tories

Guardian – Express gives up on Blair

Reuters – Blair loses paper’s support over EU vote

Finally, Y. Bee Normal points us in the direction of George Says. Choose your background, choose your pose, choose your position.

I’m still working; you’re still waiting. Friday delivery don’t look too good. Actually , Monday looks kind of shaky, too. What I wouldn’t give to be able to build, write and broadcast full-time… (Mind you, it’s not all bad. I did just get to spend the last two days optimising a lingerie site.)

UPDATE – An early ‘straight to hell’ moment from B3ta.

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Date
20040422
Established Media
Time
11:20
Dail Mail rips off the Interweb. Again. They’re so very clever, and worth every penny. Oh, and the web is populated entirely by scam-artists and pee-doh-files. Make sure you avoid it at all costs. Otherwise you’ll ruin the surprise for tomorrow’s edition.

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Date
20040422
Normal People
Time
11:39
I’m sorry, but I have to laugh…the look on this man’s face is priceless.

UPDATE – Now animated for your viewing pleasure. You may also wish to take a moment to ponder the mullet connection.

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Date
20040422
Photoshopping
Time
13:39


Had to be done.

I can already see lots of traffic hunters on the loose arming up for ‘CBS Diana crash photos’ etc, but the most interesting thing today is a Usenet or Technorati search on the subject, which shows that the R/L split in America is so pronounced that ‘outraged’ RWCs are actually getting serious ear-time with their whole ‘freedom-hating Kerry-donating TV station shows how low liberals will stoop’ bull.

Yes, we all remember Diana fondly as the Republican’s Princess…

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Date
20040422
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
14:00
Top spot: Slate – The Depressive and the Psychopath. At last we know why the Columbine killers did it.

You can also watch a logo come together, if you want. I’ve blogged a Tron costume here before, I’m sure, but the model didn’t ooze sex like this man.

Not only, but also… shots fired from the left and right. Mostly from the left. Erm, because we’re right:

Doonesbury gets harsh.

The Pentagon have deleted from a public transcript a statement Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made to author Bob Woodward suggesting that the administration gave Saudi Arabia a two-month heads-up that President Bush had decided to invade Iraq.

Fables of the Reconstruction – A Coalition memo reveals that even true believers see the seeds of civil war in the occupation of Iraq.

ABCNEWS.com : U.N. Officials Bribed by Saddam? (Please note the question mark.)

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Date
20040423
Updates
Time
10:00
OK, here’s the poop…

The stuff that’s been going on in the background for Hamster Lad is at full secret-squirrel status and will have to remain so for a while. Sorry about that.

But I did promise delivery of something public and that will be coming your way sometime early next week:

1. I have to wait until after the submission deadline at midnight tonight to release the public jobbage.

2. It’s not *quite* ready yet, anyway.

Stand by.

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Date
20040423
Established Media
Time
10:02
I take it back. The Daily Mail didn’t rip of the Interweb. Again. It ripped off the Independent, who featured Mr Wezorek’s fine work on Wednesday and – to their credit – gave a full name and link/URL credit before going on to do their own version.

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Date
20040423
The War on Terror
Time
10:03
A permanent security screen is to be installed in the House of Commons at a cost of £1.3m.

It has been announced that this is in response to “clear intelligence” of a “specific threat”…

Angela Browning, the Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton, warned that any chemical attack in the chamber could mean “we could all be doomed to die”. She brandished an Estee Lauder bottle, taken “at random” from her handbag, which she said could contain “anything sufficient to kill everyone in this chamber and the galleries today”.

FFS…

1. Blair must think we have very short memories.

2. The House of Commons has far more vulnerable weak spots than the air space between the public gallery and the main chamber. They’re either kidding themselves or bullshitting us.

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Date
20040423
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:14
Mostly old news today, but here are a few climbers:

Memory Hole – 361 photos of miltary coffins at Dover Air Force base. (Their server is a bit shaken by the traffic; your mileage may vary.)

The story behind the photos is just grand: Since March 2003, a newly-enforced military regulation has forbidden taking or distributing images of caskets or body tubes containing the remains of soldiers who died overseas. Immediately after hearing about this, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request (for) all photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB.

Job. Well. Done.

Somewhat related, what with the US public not being allowed to see the fruits of Bush’s labour and all…

Seattle Times – Woman loses her job over coffins photo: A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday’s edition of The Seattle Times.

And definitely related, because you could be next…

Yahoo News – Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force: A senior Republican lawmaker said that deteriorating security in Iraq may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft.

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Date
20040423
Right Vs. Correct
Time
10:28
Annan accuses oil-for-food critics of treating corruption allegations as facts, ignoring program’s benefits.

Compare and contrast…

MarketPlace – Spoils of War: Not all of the $22 billion being spent to rebuild Iraq is going where it should. Who’s watching the money as it streams through Baghdad? Just about no one, and bribes and black marketeering are rampant, witnesses say.

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Date
20040423
Interesting Times
Time
10:58
Those of you who read Private Eye will know that Mr Desmond has been (ahem) rambunctious and outspoken in many a high-level meeting.

1. Isn’t it funny how this particular outburst goes fully public on the very day he turns on Blair?

2. Isn’t it funny how everyone who crosses or questions Blair ends up getting fitted for a light-weight straightjacket?

Now things begin to tie together… please bear with me.

The Guardian – Labour MP gets set to fight St George’s corner: Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, is aiming to slay the dragon of official indifference to England’s patron saint. “It’s time to reclaim symbols of Englishness, like the flag of St George, for moderate, tolerant people,” he said.

Instead of, say, The Sun today jumping all over St George’s Day in their anti-EU fervour. (OK, OK… I’ll try to be fair. They do do deal with some more important issues today. Such as treating allegations as fact, for instance. Oh, and holding a Posh & Becks referendum. Which will influence us all. Obviously.)



The Express also takes full advantage of St George’s Day – by going all-out with an all-guns logo-led attack on Blair. Suddenly, everything they normally hold back becomes a weapon (such as the ‘revelation’ that Alastair Campbell is still the main spinner for Downing St). Today Desmond has also targeted some key marginals in a two-page spread (which also includes an anti-Blair song by two music teachers) and granted Michael Howard a whole page on which he is permitted to make his case.

Oh, and the Lib-Dems are playing their part by laying into Desmond over his shouty-crackers moment.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting week next week. And I have my own cat (almost) ready to release among the pigeons.

Stand by. Please do stand by.

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Date
20040423
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:03
Tom points us toward this new Tory-watch blog. I hope Hamster Lad is paying attention. He may learn a thing or two.

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Date
20040423
Huzzah!
Time
11:18
FunJunkie submits to my subtle political influence; backs Tom Watson’s call to make St George’s Day a public holiday. Why should the goose-steppers have all the fun?

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Date
20040423
Advertising Genius
Time
11:31
Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha!

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Date
20040423
Inneresting
Time
11:35
How do you think you’d go in a Chinese driving test?

Includes the Best. Question. Ever:

“If you come across a road accident victim, whose intestines are lying on the road, should you pick them up and push them back in?”

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Date
20040423
Video
Time
11:38
Presidential Campign Commercials from 1952-200. (Requires RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. Link via Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20040423
Spam
Time
15:18
This is just too clever for words:

Just got this from CNN Osama Bin Laden has just been captured! A video and some pictures have been released. Goto the link below for pictures, I will update the page with the video as soon as I can:

http://220.##.###.54/pics/ God Bless America!

UPDATE – Cheers to Nick, who’s coughed up two links relating to this:

Panda Software Reports a Spam Message That Downloads a Trojan

‘Bin Laden Captured’ E-mail Downloads Trojan

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Date
20040423
Video
Time
15:22
Tedi the ultimate fighting teddy bear unleashes his plush fists of fury! (Multiple formats.)

UPDATE – Via NTK (large Quicktime file): Bogdan Raczynski’s Renegade Platinum Mega Dance Attack Party! Expect to this copied for a mainstream music video within 3-6 months.

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Date
20040426
Weekend Reading
Time
09:45
Peter Cole – Some friend the ‘Express’ proves to be: It cannot have been comfortable for Labour having the support of a newspaper owned by a German-hating pornographer with the sort of views on crime and punishment, asylum and immigration that the Express has promoted. Whether Michael Howard, for whom all has gone so well lately, is welcoming his new ally is something a politician of his sagacity should not be expected to disclose.

Andy McSmith – One word from Murdoch and the PM panicked. That word was ‘traitor’: Mr Blair’s advisers flatly deny the Prime Minister entered into a pact with the devil – Mr Murdoch, trading a referendum for a promise that his mass circulation newspapers would not follow the Daily Express in switching their support to the Conservatives. Members of Mr Blair’s circle point to the remorseless treatment the Prime Minister received last week from The Sun as proof that no such deal had been struck.

No, a deal most certainly has been struck. The harsh treatment last week was to show everybody who was whose bitch.

Moving right along…

Simon Carr – Our leader will resign in the summer – you heard it here first, I hope. Subscription/payment is required, so here’s the guts of it for those of you in the cheap seats: If he were to hand over power to Gordon Brown after the next election we would all recoil, would we not, at a Soviet-style breach of the democratic process… so the blinding insight is this: they’re going to do the decent thing! Oh, and the punchline to all of this is: Gordon Brown loses. They haven’t seen that coming.

I read that last article, smiled, and quietly cursed thieves of time. Stand by. Please do stand by.

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Date
20040426
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:48
1. “If you are not the Crackhead that took my sparkplugs, please disregard this posting.”

2. Comment spammer of the day is Ramona Luv, the Latina Porn Star (links to SFW link cosmos, but watch your step after that).

3. Some pictures ‘a friend brought back from Iraq.’ (Warning: Some pictures are pretty graphic.)

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Date
20040426
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
09:57
Today’s boob-brandishing commentator Melanie (22, from Watford) wears a little too much make-up for my taste, but it’s hard to argue with her fury over government waste. She says: “To think that £20billion of taxpayers’ money can be squandered on red tape is horrifying. Our schools and hospitals desperately need that money, not a bunch of bureaucrats. It’s got to be tightened up to make sure our taxes reach frontline services.”

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Date
20040426
The Bush Administration
Time
10:01
Via The Ultimate Insult:

Make George deliver the speech that you want to hear. (Please Note: the database of available expressions and phrases does not include the words ‘wrong’ or ‘mistake’…)

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Date
20040426
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:04
Just to let you know, the quite excellent efforts of The Memory Hole made the news over here, and not in a small way. This is from the front page of Saturday’s Independent

The image turning America against Bush.

Add to this the untimely death of Pat Tillman and last week’s War President image and this week may see an awakening in America not unlike the one that followed George’s 87billion-dollar-moment.

Of course, I could be wrong. For clarity we turn to Rush Limbaugh: “In each one of those flag-draped coffins, there is a Pat Tillman, an American. They deserve to be honored and respected — not criticized, not judged, not impugned, and not used to advance particular political agendas.”

Yes, quite. And the coffins weren’t hidden from the American public to serve a political agenda. Not at all.

UPDATE – The Memory Hole today carries the following clarifying statement: “It turns out that one-fifth of the Dover casket photos show the Columbia astronauts, who were military personnel. The other 288 pictures show war fatalities.”

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Date
20040426
Civil Liberties
Time
10:22
Guardian – Fast track for ID cards: The legislation to introduce the first national identity card scheme for Britain for 50 years is to be introduced to parliament in the autumn and will be on the statute book before the general election, David Blunkett predicted yesterday.

The cards are designed to protect us against terrorists. Just like the new security screen in parliament.

Eye 1104 counters this with ‘the 7,000 security passes that went missing or were stolen from staff at Westminster and other government offices last year’…

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Date
20040426
The End of Democracy
Time
10:32
El Reg – California set to reject Diebold e-voting machines: California’s state election commission is likely to throw out Diebold’s current electronic voting machine, obliging counties to replace them before the November elections. The ATM giant faced a savaging at hearings yesterday, and the company may face civil and criminal proceedings as a consequence of using uncertified software.

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Date
20040426
Normal People
Time
11:06
Kevin Spacey is ‘a bit of a weirdo’ says his brother, the Rod Stewart impersonator.

On a completely unrelated note:

Lovers climb tree in Central Park, then have sex. The parents of a 17-year-old lad disapproved of his relationship with a 30-year-old preoperative transsexual, so the couple took the obvious step of climbing a tree to protest. One confused onlooker thought the display of nudity and oral sex had something to do with ‘tree people, Greenpeace or something’… proof that Rush Limbaugh is winning, perhaps?

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Date
20040426
The Interwebnet
Time
12:34
Tron Costume Guy speaks of his new-found Interweb fame.

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Date
20040426
Normal People
Time
15:26
“Most likely it was probably a lower spirit pretending to be Hitler.” Well, obviously. What else could explain it?

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Date
20040427
Tony Blair
Time
08:56
1. Crikey! That’s a bit good, isn’t it?

2. Oh, FFS…. (Link via James.)

3. It’s ready. I have to do some testing, sort hosting and build it a home. With you shortly.

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Date
20040427
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
13:13
OK, here it is:

Labour: I See Red (Labour Needs Leadership Change)

All feedback is appreciated, but please don’t complain that the text moves too fast, as this is deliberate. It gives you a taste of how I feel on a daily basis.

1. This is not the fabulous and magical Flash show I’ve been promising; this is something else entirely. But it had to happen first. Sorry about that.

2. This is only my second time out on Flash – and it’s been a year since JPEG Baby – so it did take a while. Sorry about that.

3. This is not an entry for Hamster Lad’s ‘send us free stuff’ Let down by Labour wankage. Neither is it the material designed to subvert that campaign (which must remain under wraps for an indefinite period). If anything, this is a by-product. The need to subvert Hamster Lad’s tosspot of an idea had me thinking for three straight days on the best way to communicate my disappointment with the current regime and ways of prompting a healthy and necessary change. This is one of the results, and it also serves to let the Tories know that they’re playing a dangerous game running around with pointed fingers. FFS, somebody could put an eye out.

4. Tim Yeo should have warned them that this would happen. That he didn’t suggests that he was being either arrogant or ignorant. Again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040427
Flash Games
Time
16:21
Can you win the War on Terror?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040427
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
16:23
It’s Kerry-Bashing Day today:

Did John Kerry throw away his medals? Or not? Or somebody’s else’s? Or not?

Drudge has a transcript of the interview, which is nice. Saves making stuff up.

www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com

For clarity on this subject, see this new video from MoveOn.org

Oh, and Iraqis aren’t too impressed with the design for their new flag. They should be grateful. The original draft was a montage of corporate logos.

UPDATE – There are discussions about the new flag design at Metafilter and Fark. Best comment so far:

“Horrible. This doesn’t look like any of the flags from our other states.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040427
The Bush Administration
Time
16:30
Bush to Press: “You’re Assuming That You Represent the Public. I Don’t Accept That.”

If you think that’s arrogant, check this out.

Also; 15-year-old boy draws Bush as Devil… which draws questions from the Secret Service.

UPDATE – More on the latter, courtesy of Boing Boing, who also picked up on the glasses moment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040427
Fun
Time
17:21
The Dome offers much more adventure than you would expect from an empty building.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
11:10
BBC – Michael Howard has used his party’s latest glossy advertising launch to attack Labour’s record since 1997.

Guardian – Tories unveil new campaign advert

So submissions closed on Friday and they’re ready to launch on Monday? Something stinks, and here it is…

From a comment at this Voxpolitics post:

One thing CCO isn’t shouting from the rooftops is that they opened this competition to the “creative industries” (i.e. trendy spec-wearing ripped jeans fans) the week before they opened it to the public.

So much for placing one’s trust in the great unwashed. Letdownbylabour.com is as big a sham as Blair’s Big Conversation

Anyway, apart from the clever-clogs posters, they also have a fisked manifesto…

Conservatives.com – Labour’s real manifesto: The pledges and the reality: Conservatives have published a new document Let Down By Labour: The real Labour Manifesto which highlights the gulf between what Tony Blair promised in 1997 and what his Government has actually done after 7 years in power.

We’re looking at 64 pages of PDF here, folks.

It uses the word ‘Iraq’ once, but Doesn’t Mention The War. Here’s why:

FEBRUARY 2003: EVE OF WAR

Who voted against military action based on current/past UN resolutions (none of which justified military action)?

Labour – 14%

Conservatives – 0%

(Lib-Dems – 100%)

We do slightly better on the word ‘rail’ (13 references), but while they quite rightly criticise Labour for their inaction over the last 7 years, they gloss right over the fact that they built this fundamentally flawed system in the first place.

Michael Howard voted for it, as did Tim Yeo. In fact, the Yeo-meister had this to say about it:

“Railway privatisation, of which I have long been an enthusiastic supporter, is the first and long overdue step towards rebuilding a golden age of rail….” – Tim Yeo, 1997

(ahem)

Moving right along….

That’s two quotes from the flash jobbie so far, so now seems as a good a time as any to mention the requests that have come in for a transcript that can be read at a leisurely pace. A jolly good idea. I should probably include some link annotation as well. I’ll work on that after my first decent night’s sleep in two weeks, if that’s OK with you.

Poking around the incoming links for Labour: I See Red, we can see the cracking of the language barrier (always a kick for me), lots of positive comments (just run the URL through Technorati if you’re curious) erm, and some not so positive…

“This is amateurish and crappy to look at, but I agree with its main thrust.”

Heh. Well, so long as the main thrust meets with your approval. Mantlepieces, fire-stoking, and like that.

Also, if you pop along to this thread at educationnet.org, you’ll see that this chap regards the depiction of Michael Howard as a vampire to be a ‘racial slur’. Racial slur – that’s a hate crime, isn’t it? Bus-ted.

Random Ramblings were kind enough to link and lead me to this very interesting campaign: Help Beat Howard. I may have to throw some weight behind that.

I have to give a large amount of credit to Balders, who did the bulk of research for the project and collaborated on the script.

Today, he’s put the Labour Needs New Leadership poster page up on his site and included an independent statement that’s quite striking. Note how closely his feelings of disappointment match those that the Conservatives wish to exploit.

The Tories are playing a very dangerous game. Here’s hoping we can teach them *exactly* how dangerous.

Link. Discuss. Enjoy.

This search at Blogdex shows that Tom’s weblog is the 3rd most-linked site or page referencing ‘labour’ over the last 3 years. I’d like to top that if I can.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
South West Trains
Time
11:20
BBC – Slam door train extension sought: Three rail operators in the south of England (South West Trains, South Central and South Eastern Trains) have asked to continue using slam-door trains until summer 2005.

Time to break out the wood screws and electrical tape, folks….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Flash Thingies
Time
11:23
Go and play with some faces.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:27
Back To Iraq is well worth a visit today. Recent posts include Fallujah, the flag and a preview of a book proposal. Jump in and have a say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Video
Time
11:32
Wok Boarding! (Link via BoingBoing. Requires Quicktime.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:43
Yahoo News – Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials. Worth reading in full (killthepresidentkillthepresident).

Bush’s ‘human kleenex’ moment is charting well, and Kerry’s in for more bashing too:

John Kerry Must Go – Note to Democrats: it’s not too late to draft someone—anyone—else (killthepresident).

There’s also an interactive $50 bill (killthepresident), free ice-cream (killthepresident) and an ‘Iraqi holding a cardboard sign’ message generator. (See here (killthepresident) if you don’t know what that last one is about.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
eBay
Time
11:55
Someone’s been watching Jay Maynard and learning.

Want to sell a wedding dress on eBay? Get yourself a dead-sexy model.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Flash Games
Time
13:45
Run & Roll!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Tony Blair
Time
15:17
Oh, don’t look so surprised….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
15:20
Curse the liberal media! Right-wingers are linking to this claim that WMDs have been found in their droves and are claiming – wait for it – that we haven’t heard about it because of a reluctant administration and a media cover-up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Useful
Time
15:50
Displaying an email address on a website or linking to it with a mailto: jobbie is one of the surest ways to get spammed from here to enternity.

It’s too late for me, but you may be able to save yourselves a lot of hassle by using this nifty mailto: encoder for any new email addresses you publish. (Link via Off On a Tangent.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Kerry Bashing
Time
16:47
Thomas Oliphant – I watched Kerry throw his war decorations

Ah, but you see… he’s press. Doesn’t represent the public. And should be ignored.

Also, we have this…

Washington Post – Stooping Low to Smear Kerry: Funny, isn’t it? When Bill Clinton was running against Republican war veterans in 1992 and 1996, the most important thing to GOP propagandists and politicians was that Clinton didn’t fight in Vietnam. Now that Republican candidates who didn’t fight in Vietnam face a Democrat who did — and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts while he was there — the Republican machine wants to change the subject. Thus the shameful display on the floor of the House of Representatives last week as one Republican after another declared that what mattered was not Kerry’s service but that he decided afterward that the Vietnam War was a terrible mistake for our country.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
17:00
Well, well, well…. isn’t this interesting?: The new flag is the work of an Iraqi artist resident in London called Rifat Chadirji whose design was the best of those considered. He is also the brother of Nassir al-Chaderchi, the chairman of the IGC committee charged with choosing a new flag for Iraq.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Flash Games
Time
17:39
Million-dollar Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace Invaders! (Registration is required, but we *are* talking about a million squid here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Flash Music Video
Time
17:48
If you need something to calm your nerves after I See Red, I can heartily recommend this wonderful pre-election broadcast.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040428
Flash Games
Time
17:57
Burn it! Burn it all!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Flash Games
Time
10:01
Get-a-Head is very much like that Yeti/Penguin thing, but with robots.

Oh, there’s a new Yeti/Penguin game, but it’s already overloaded. Your mileage may vary.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:03
Robin Cook: The diplomats are right: Blair has been short-changed by the Bush administration: It shows how far we have slid into confrontation with the Islamic world that ‘Arabist’ should now be a term of abuse.

This article requires payment/registration, so here – as usual – is a scrap of meat for the poor: Anyone who chooses to dismiss their message is (also) rejecting the collective view of diplomats who have represented Britain in five continents. But it is true that the list of signatories is rich in experience of the Middle East region and specifically includes two former ambassadors to Iraq itself. In a rational world their first-hand knowledge of the region would be respected as a source of authority and not a cause of suspicion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Useful
Time
10:12
Ugandan Discussions: The Private Eye Cover Collection

Awesome. Absolutely awesome.

I tripped over this during the final stages of image research for I See Red, but Toby deserves a nod for reminding me to post it.

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Date
20040429
Clickiness
Time
10:16
Click here to donate a mammogram.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Photoshopping
Time
10:24
I had to drop that nice Mr Desmond from the Red line-up for reasons of space, so here by way of apology is a lovely image of the world’s favourite publisher doing what he does best.

Click here for a lovely 1024×768 desktop version.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:31
CBS – Last month, the U.S. Army announced 17 soldiers in Iraq, including a brigadier general, had been removed from duty after charges of mistreating Iraqi prisoners. But the details of what happened have been kept secret, until now.

Isn’t this the kind of thing we were supposed to be liberating them from?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Weblog Marketing
Time
10:46
Guardian Online – Rebuilding Lego – How the Danish manufacturer uses the web to fight its way out of a financial crisis. They could be doing more – much more. Sadly, they don’t want my help shifting bricks.

Also from GO today… Trouble at the Top: It is surprising that, unlike the Democrats in America, not one of the three mainstream UK political parties has its own official weblog. This failure to embrace new technology has meant that all three parties have been pipped at the post by lone political activists belonging to deadly rivals. All three parties now have unofficial blogs dedicated to their undoing.

It’s not as if someone didn’t see it coming, either. Life can be so frustrating sometimes…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
RWCs
Time
11:34
Yes, everybody who objects to the actions of the World Bank and the IMF looks and acts like this. Remember kids; don’t stand up for what you believe in, or people may point and laugh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Curse the Liberal Media
Time
11:44
Neil Gaiman and ScaryDuck would like to draw your attention to a bill that has been introduced to the House of Representatives ‘to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts’ – brought to you by this cunt and this motherfucker.

You’ll be impressed with the detail; and their awareness of the versatility of profanity. Which is used sparingly and only in the proper context at Bloggerheads, obviously.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
The War on Terror
Time
12:00
All 10 people arrested this month in a major anti-terror swoop in northern England have now been released without charge.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Just Plain Sad
Time
12:50
Word!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
The Bush Administration
Time
13:08
The Onion – Sept. 11 Could Not Have Been Prevented Without Accruing A Lot Of Overtime

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
Proper Gander
Time
13:10
Guardian – Koreans die ‘saving Kim portraits’: Many North Koreans died a “heroic death” after last week’s train explosion by running into burning buildings to rescue portraits of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, and his father, the North’s official media reported yesterday.

I am somewhat reminded of Comrade Ogilvy who – at the age of three – refused all toys except a drum, a submachine gun, and a model helicopter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
FFS
Time
13:19
Yes, softening the promotion will make a world of difference. Not that you need promotion now the press is doing all the shouting for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040429
The War on Terror
Time
14:14
Spy Blog – Bad smell in the House of Commons – £2 million wasted on a “security screen”: The “security screen” can drown out the shouts of protestors, and its looming presence is presumably psychological pressure to enhance the “bunker mentality” of MPs when voting for Anti-Terrorist measures.

(Link via Backword.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Activism
Time
09:45
Just to let you know; I won’t be marching this May Day.

Resist is still on the case and determined to march.

The ever-creative Space Hijackers are also going into bat.

Everyone else is going to a picnic in St James’ Park

But not me. I’m spending the day with my kids. We’re going to go to the museum and see dinosaurs.

I have no excuse. Last year’s little incident resulting me in promising the wife that I wouldn’t put myself in that position again. Now, technically I could still march and not put myself in that exact position, but I learned long ago that it doesn’t pay to play word-games with your partner.

So, congratulations to the Blair government for wearing me down and stopping me from participating in this disgracefully socialist event.

That said…

There are two methods the police use to sabotage this event:

1. The police immediately cordon off the march in order to marginalise it. This cordon gets tighter and more aggressive as time goes on. Eventually tempers fray and (with any luck) the batons come out. Hooray for the police for cracking down on the violence they themselves cause.

2. Not only during May Day, but on other marches, lots of police are kept busy photographing protestors. They’re deliberately overt about this, and it’s intimidating enough to discourage many fringe supporters. Again, a wonderful way to marginalise. It also helps keep the numbers down when the event takes place on a weekday, as they have a habit of releasing images of ‘suspected troublemakers’ to the media and not everybody is keen for their employer to see such an image published in such a context.

I can’t think of anything to combat the former, but I think I have the latter nailed. It’s just a damn shame that I didn’t have the time to bring it together this year.

So, next year…

I won’t be marching.

I will, however, be observing. Me, and hopefully about a hundred or so other people with digital and mobile phone cameras. I want to document the event from start to finish on one central moblog that anyone can upload to and – while we’re about it – I also want to catalogue the face of each and every policeman who attends, matching faces to badge numbers wherever possible.

Just to see how they like it.

And to make clear what happens before images of ‘May Day violence’ reach you via the usual media channels.

(For news on May Day in the UK, see this special May Day 2004 section at Indymedia.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:08
In the top spot is that wedding dress on eBay. Winning bid: $3,850.00

Under that, Google files their S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 300 images from 1800 sites (I have to show that ‘number of items displayed inside the shopping cart icon’ idea to our developers), possible solutions for sex-starved astronauts and everyone’s favourite McPaper publishing a poll showing that Iraqis are running out of patience.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
10:18
One day I really must get around to publishing the best of Peter Broderick’s emails. (I don’t mind giving out his name, because I’m sure it’s an alias. Incidentally, it was also the alias used by the character Dr. John Kimble in a 1963 episode of The Fugitive.)

‘Pete’ has been emailing Tony Blair (or thinking that he’s been emailing Tony Blair) for years now. He even sends copies to a variety of world leaders, a number of government departments in the UK, the headquarters of NATO, the head office of Interpol and the FBI. Among others.

‘Pete’ is also very paranoid. And a tad delusional. Here are a couple of recent samples:

From: Pete Broderick

To: vice-president@whitehouse.gov, tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk, newyork@fbi.gov, president@kremlin.ru, president@whitehouse.gov, paul.mowat@fco.gov.uk, marrena.marren@fco.gov.uk, kay.sweet@fco.gov.uk, gerhard.schroeder@bundestag.de, ctc@un.org, clu@fco.gov.uk, children@interpol.int

Date: 23/4/2004

Subject: Spam

–>

–> Hi,

–>

–> As so much of the SPAM that has been generated to date, is advertising

–> VIAGRA, etc, would it not be a good idea to ask CRISPIN BLUNT,

–> conservative MP for REIGATE, home of PFIZER, in a deal arranged with

–> Crispn Blunt, to approach PFIZER, and obtain an explanation, to the

–> SPAM, especially in regards to the coded meassage, that were carried

–> at the foot of most pages of SPAM.

–>

–> With Repect

–>

–> Pete Broderick

–>

–> P.S. George, with regards to any accrual of funds following Oxfam, DC

–> & Rhonda MOORE, could you put 10% of the money into OXFAM, and

–> get the FBI, and the IRS, to monitor its progress, and assist spending

–> projects?etc.

From: Pete Broderick

To: vice-president@whitehouse.gov, tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk, recruitment@gchq.gsi.gov.uk, newyork@fbi.gov, president@kremlin.ru, president@whitehouse.gov, paul.mowat@fco.gov.uk, marrena.marren@fco.gov.uk, kay.sweet@fco.gov.uk, inquiries@un.org, gerhard.schroeder@bundestag.de, governor@governor.ca.gov, ctc@un.org, clu@fco.gov.uk, children@interpol.int

Date: 23/4/2004

Subject: April’s planning

–> Hi, I received a message from korun@undp.org, it contained a

–> W32.Netky.P@mm virus, its FILE NAME: id09509.zip, FILE TYPE:

–> application/octet-stream.

–>

–> It was sent on Thu 1st Apr 2004 @ 11:37:25 -0.5.00.

–> The SUBJECT : 0i09u5rug08r89589gjrg

–> The message read po44u90ugjid(cyrillic b)k9z5894z0.

–>

–> Thi suggests N Koea, have agents in Sth Korea, & will N kOrea may

–> start hostilities against Sth Korea, over accident.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
10:26
Lots in The Independent and around the traps today about Tony Blair’s future. Of course, Balders & I can’t take the credit. We just saw it coming…

Independent – Ministers close ranks to shore up ‘isolated’ Blair

BBC – Ex-ministers rally to Blair on EU

Tony Blair: “Let’s put aside the froth of the past few days and get on with it.”

Independent – How unprecedented ambush fuelled leadership speculation: “Everyone is talking about whether Tony is going to go,’ said a senior Labour backbencher. “You can’t go on for ever in the modern media age. Seven to 10 years seems to be the limit. They are no longer talking about if, but when Tony steps down.”

Guardian – Mutterings, briefings and speculation – just another worst week for Blair: Instead it was left to Peter Mandelson, Alan Milburn and Stephen Byers, the praetorian guard outside the cabinet, to rally to Mr Blair’s support. As one of them put it: “We formed a circle around him” – before conceding that they did not have the numbers to create a circle, only a triangle.

Meanwhile, Labour: I See Red continues to tick along nicely. It spent its first day in Google’s database in the 24th spot for queries relating to ‘labour leadership’… today it’s at 20.

If it cracks the top ten over the weekend, it should reach an entirely new and highly targeted audience.

Climb you little bugger, climb!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
The Bush Administration
Time
11:10
Washington Post – 9/11 commission visits the White House – that meeting at a glance

SF Gate – Four Treasury agents track bin Laden and Saddam money, while 21 work Castro: The Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden’s and Saddam Hussein’s money, documents show.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:26
Washington Monthly – Fun in Falllujah: I suppose there’s no choice but to trust the commanders on the ground to take this risk, especially since a full-scale assault seems like the only alternative, but it still fills me with foreboding. There are at least 2,000 heavily armed insurgents in Fallujah, and this new army will be poorly trained, half the size of the forces they’re fighting against, commanded by a former Saddam loyalist, and possibly infiltrated by insurgents. I sure hope they know what they’re doing. It seems a rather desperate gamble.

Baghdad Burning – Of Chalabi, Flags and Anthems: I also heard today that the Puppets are changing the flag. It looks nothing like the old one and at first I was angry and upset, but then I realized that it wouldn’t make a difference. The Puppets are illegitimate, hence their constitution is null and void and their flag is theirs alone. It is as representative of Iraq as they are- it might as well have “Made in America” stitched along the inside seam.

Local6.com – Photos Show Apparent Abuse Of Iraqi Prisoners. Flame on.

UPDATE – Oh, here’s some good news… Guantanamo official to monitor prison. To make sure everything’s on the up-and-up, you see. Pfft!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Photoshopping
Time
11:39
Theme: modern products with a vintage twist.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Flash Games
Time
11:49
How long can you keep Steven Norris out of the red?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
The War on Terror
Time
12:03
Balders comments on MI5 is publishing its terrorist threat assessment online.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
12:09
Toby has found us a complete gallery of the ‘mock’ torture of Iraqis by US soldiers, plus comments.

Makes. Me. Sick.

A quick word about the ‘isolated’ nature of this incident; these soldiers lived and worked in a wider culture that allowed it. They even felt comfortable enough to record this dehumanising spectacle. Think about that.

This isn’t an anomaly. It’s a symptom.



UPDATE – Hooray for tasteful headlines!

UPDATE 2 – Back To Iraq comments on the role of private contractors and the ‘but we had no training for treating people like human beings’ defence. Oh, and here’s someone else who likes human pyramids.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040430
Flash Music Video
Time
16:50
The Chipmunks go hardcore. Modem-users be warned; it’s 7megs and change.








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