01-12 June, 2004

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, June 1st, 2004
at
10:22 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20040601
Jolly Good
Time
10:22
Andrew Bailey thinks I should have a bit of a relax and take my mind of things. He may have a point.

Here’s what he offered by way of relaxation. It really is quite wonderful, and we do have a rodent in the house, but I think I’ll stick with more simple pleasures for now.

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Date
20040601
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
10:25
Ruth (23, from Bolton) today tells us that she was stunned to learn that a thrid of Brits are too lazy to take a ten-minute walk. She said: “A short walk every day keeps me fit. I think everyone should o the same.”

Sadly, for reasons of space, Ruth was unable to also point out that she’s actually thirty-nine and has had four children. And that we should remember our boys on the Malabar front. *cough*

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Date
20040601
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:27
Washington Post – From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity – Scholars Say Campaign Is Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks: Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented — both in speeches and in advertising.

This from the camp that screams ‘Hate Criiiime!’ any time we dare point out that Bush is a lying crim. Much further down the chart, but somewhat related and worthy of attention:

Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics.

UPDATE – Oooh, lookie here… Yahoo – Bush Campaigns Heavily on Air Force One: President Bush is using Air Force One for re-election travel more heavily than any predecessor, wringing maximum political mileage from a perk of office paid for by taxpayers. (More over at CNN.)

Yet another landmark for the unprecedented un-president….

Back to the chart-toppers, there’s this wonderful piece of work in the 2nd spot. Joanne, if you’re watching, this is for you:

Flash video for the Beatles’ “Come Together”. (You’ll need a moderately wide pipe. It’s 7 megabytes and change.)

There’s also the Time article on Cheney that will be covered in a new post momentarily and this list:

Pros and Cons of John Kerry’s Top Twenty Vice-Presidential Candidates.

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Date
20040601
The Bush Administration
Time
10:43
Via the Tom Watson we all know and love comes a link to this whopper from the other Tom Watson we have yet to know but could come to love. Dick Cheney has been caught lying about Haliburton kickbacks!

Time – The Paper Trail: Cheney’s relationship with Halliburton has been nothing but trouble since he left the company in 2000. Both he and the company say they have no ongoing connections. But TIME has obtained an internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official – whose name was blacked out by the Pentagon – that raises questions about Cheney’s arm’s-length policy toward his old employer.

Guardian – Email shows Cheney ‘link’ to oil contract: Reports suggest that the process of awarding contracts has changed under the Bush administration. A report to the House of Representatives committee on government reform last week noted that $107bn in contracts had been awarded without open competition. Nearly three-quarters of those exclusive arrangements – worth about $88bn – involved work in Iraq, the report said. Halliburton has won a sizeable share of them.

CNN – Cheney office denies role in Halliburton deal: Vice President Dick Cheney’s office denied Sunday that he was involved in a coordinated effort to secure a multibillion dollar Iraq oil deal for Halliburton, his former employer.

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Date
20040601
Inneresting
Time
10:45
Ever wonder what happens to lighters that get left in the pub?

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Date
20040601
The End of Democracy
Time
10:48
Guardian – Making voters care: Yesterday the word from the worst-affected councils was reassuring. Even if today’s deadline is missed, the elections will go ahead as planned. But at best the result is that universal suffrage will no longer be quite so universal. Some voters will get more than a fortnight to send their papers back and some less than a week. Some may not be able to vote at all, unless they return their votes by hand. Once the results are in, legal challenges by failed candidates look unavoidable.

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Date
20040601
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:50
Washington Post – Why Hawks Should Be Angry: Bush could have responded differently. He could have embraced the heroes such as Spec. Joseph Darby, who sounded the alarm; William J. Kimbro, the Navy dog handler who refused to sic his dogs on prisoners; Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who wrote an honest report. He could have apologized to the people of Iraq, appointed an investigator from outside the chain of command, pledged to abide by the Geneva Conventions. Instead, he opted for a Nixonian strategy of damage containment, and a summer of piecemeal disclosure.

Not only but also, a few notes for your scarpbook. The online version really could do with some hyperlinked annotation, but it’s still nice to see comeprehensive messages like this on the front page of a newspaper….

Independent – An A-Z of the Iraq war and its aftermath, focusing on misrepresentation, manipulation, and mistakes.

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Date
20040601
Flash Games
Time
10:54
Fantastic intro, and a great game:

Hulk Hogan, He-Man and Mr T take on the Bush administration.

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Date
20040601
Interesting Times
Time
11:03
Thanks for all the email. I’ll be answering what I can individually later today – but in the meantime, I have this to tide you over….

I think I have a way of providing those with the power to remove Blair and his cronies with the motivation and elbow-room required to sort this out quickly and efficiently so we can all move forward. The time for action would be in the days following the European elections.

It’s got a pretty good shot at working, but I’m still pondering on whether it should be done. There’s a very strong argument that this move could more or less hand power to the Tories at the next election… but what also worries me is that a certain stubborn person may hang onto power until events force his removal anyway – and this will happen too late for the new cabinet to establish a suitable amount of goodwill/credentials/etc. ahead of the next general election (even if this is held over until 2005).

So, that’s where my head is at. And I’m still thinking about it. Bear with me.

UPDATE – You may want to read the blogged thoughts of Balders and Angel.

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Date
20040601
George “War President” Bush
Time
11:55
It was reported over the weekend that George W. Bush keeps and displays in the White House the pistol Saddam Hussein was captured with.

The Rude Pundit points out that it’s illegal to own a handgun in D.C. unless it was registered prior to 1976 and that the District of Columbia also does not allow firearms to be given as gifts.

He also asks:

- Did he receive a background check for the transfer of ownership?

- Is Bush licensed to possess a firearm in a federal facility?

War trophies are also a no-no.

UPDATE – That calls for a picture, that does. Big’un posted to B3ta.

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Date
20040601
Advertising Genius
Time
18:19
The shortlist is in for the Tory ‘please make us an ad campaign for free’ drive. As you might expect, the bulk of entries stink of professional cleveryness – which might have something to do with the Tories farming this out to ad agencies well ahead of the public release.

To put it bluntly, this whole ‘grass roots’ campaign is based on a lie.

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Date
20040601
Pretend You Care
Time
22:09
Be you in the UK or not, you should spend time getting to know Kat/Kathryn Pinder, or She Who Shall Now Be Known as ‘Kitten Off Big Brother’. She’s, like, a totally hardcore activist with genuine life experience.

And, until today, only worthy of this single entry in Google from an indexed PDF file.

Whoop, wait a bit… someone in Usenet has been kind enough to post her Friends Reunited profile that she really should have deleted before going into the house.

1991 Molescroft Primary School (St Leonard’s Road, Beverley)

1996 Cottingham High School (Harland Way, Cottingham)

1998 Longcroft School (Burton Road, Beverley)

1998 Denstone College (Uttoxeter, Staffordshire)

What I’m doing now: I am living in brighton and having a fantastic time. I am employed by connexions as a youth worker, working with 13 to 19 yr olds. Im hoping to move to Perth with my Australian girlfriend in September. Email me at…

Member’s Interests: Djing, Political activism, showing off.

I’m sure the phone number in this listing is also due for a hammering given its locality and the name associated with it, and the Brighton arm of the LGB is sure to receive a few calls from gossip-hungry journalists once they’ve finished milking her parents.

OK, that’s enough from me. I’m off to watch some paint dry.

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Date
20040601
Updates
Time
22:15
I’ve just finished writing my presentation for NotCon 2004. I was orginally going to do a rather vague thing on activism and search engine optimisation, but there’s just too much to say and I thought it would be better if I presented something genuinely and immediately useful.

My presentation is entitled:

HOW TO STALK YOUR LOCAL MP (IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES A DAY)

Regular readers will know that I’ve resisted this idea in the past (despite being a total hypocrite and keeping all the fun to myself), but MPs have had long enough to cotton onto this themselves. It’s time for a little tough love.

There’ll be an abridged (perhaps even an expanded) online version, but I’m deliberately holding back on this because:

1. I’m as busy as all hell.

2. I’m a total bastard and want to make sure that you attend the conference.

Little to no bloggage tomorrow, as I have some work-for-money to do. If I haven’t answered your email yet, it’s because I was working on my presentation. And the dog ate it. Honest, Sir!

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Date
20040601
Video
Time
22:20
Bush Family Fortunes. A documentary on the history of the Bush family and how George W. Bush got to the White House. Enjoy.

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Date
20040601
It’s War! Let’s Hug!
Time
22:49
I saw Tom’s link to it this morning and this post by Jeff Jarvis just now. I hate to be a killjoy, but I’m still not sold on Spirit of America. But – what the hell – I’ve linked to it now and you can do what you like with it.

What’s causing the uncertainty?

Well, if we showed this kind of cohesion and goodwill on a certain other matter, we could give the Iraqis what they really need – justice and stability (without one there can’t be the other) – and then send a bunch of food, tools and frisbees over knowing that the goodwill isn’t going to be wasted and the materials aren’t going to be pissed away in the storm of war. Or occupation. Or ‘temporary armed support’. Call it what you like.

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Date
20040602
Consume!
Time
10:16
Remember; it’s not about the oil…

BBC – Fuel protest plan for city centre.

Here’s an overview of what the papers are saying and here’s some analysis from The Independent. You’ll love the quote from Tony Blair that actually attempts to tie in with Big Brother of all things. There’s also a survey from the Churchill motor insurance company which indicates that ‘up to seven in 10 motorists would support fuel blockades’. Oh, and you can see copy of the (very old) email this article mentions, and some comments, by clicking here or here (there’s a lot of talk about how much of the current price is tax).

Similar industry-sourced statistics were around well ahead of the last big fuel protest; Alastair Campbell’s strategy of trying to distance the government from the issue (and at the same time involve themselves by demonising lorry drivers) didn’t get very far, as you may well remember.

Whoops. I take that back. It was very effective in stopping the protests themselves. Follow the trail:

Fuel crisis tests Blair’s leadership

Fuel protesters ‘like cornered rats’

Warning on fuel protest dangers

Did Blair back down? Hell, no! But Gordon Brown’s pre-Budget report offered certain concessions and played a very important role (when this card was played in conjunction with the demonising/danger Ace). But Blair didn’t back down. Blair never backs down.

A quick note for Americans; currently there’s fuss over your way about you paying $2 a gallon at the pump.

A quick distraction….

This is typical of a Murdoch paper. The headline says one thing, while the article says another…

Times – £4 gallon of petrol becomes a reality: The oil price rises mean that the £4 gallon of petrol came closer to reality in Britain, as fears of disruption to supplies from Saudi Arabia intensified after the weekend’s attacks by suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

Right, now, where was I? Oh, yes…

You pay $2 a gallon at the pump. We pay close to £4. That’s $7 and change in Yankee dollar, big boy.

And now fuel protests are scheduled for the day before (non-postal) polling day. Panic-buying may very well cause problems well before this.

It looks like al-Qaeda are going to play a role in the local and European elections after all.

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Date
20040602
Interesting Times
Time
10:54
Sudan? Go here.

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Date
20040602
It’s War! And You Just Volunteered!
Time
11:24
The Draft is back: and this time conscription is for women, too.

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005.

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Date
20040602
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:47
New York Metro – John Kerry Intern Scandal – The Education of Alexandra Polier: Falsely accused of having an affair with John Kerry, the “intern” sifts through the mud and the people who threw it.

Brian Flynn from The Sun is singled out for special mention. Read the article in full (or take a shortcut to the guts via Gawker) to enjoy the men and women from doorstop-central dodging and weaving and insisting that Alexandra go through ‘proper channels’.

“You’ve just ambushed me,” he cried. “You’ve ambushed me!”

Bwahahahahahaha!

UPDATE – The Sun’s version is now offline, but you can still search about today and confirm that this is a Brian Flynn story:

He Chopped Off My Hand: America gives back what Saddam Took Awayin Abu Ghraib prison

This was all part of Team Bush’s drive last week to reassociate Saddam with Abu Ghraib and shunt their own wrongdoings into the background…

Bush Meets Iraqis Maimed Under Saddam: “I’m honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein with six other Iraqi citizens as well who suffered the same fate,” Bush said, shaking the new hand of Qasim Ghida Kadhim at a photo opportunity at the Oval Office. “They are examples of the brutality of the tyrant.”

I think it’s pretty clear who Brian Flynn is working for, don’t you?

UPDATE – Tinfoil hats on, please. If you poke around, you’ll also find that Brian Flynn has boldly presented more than a few Iraq porkies, was behind many of the more sordid stories concerning Michael Jackson (see: Timely Arrests) and coughed up some juicy nuggets for the whole AIDS/porn-industry thing (see: War on Porn). Interesting, no?

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Date
20040602
Photoshopping
Time
14:58
Nominations are now open for this special Iraq War Memorial.

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Date
20040602
RWCs
Time
15:51
Yahoo – RNC Mocks Kerry Lifestyle in Online Game: In “Kerryopoly,” the Republican National Committee roasts the Democratic presidential candidate with an online satire of his well-heeled lifestyle.

Yes. Because George W. Bush is a stranger to wealth and privilege…

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Date
20040603
UKIP=BNP
Time
09:46
Howard: BNP a stain on British democracy.

BBC – UKIP hits back over Howard attack: The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has hit back after Tory leader Michael Howard branded them “extreme”.

*cough*

More on Howard later. For now, let’s have some more UKIP…

Johann Hari – Don’t be fooled: The UK Independence Party is not harmless.

Guardian – It feels like the BNP – only in blazers.

Anthony Wells – Swivel-Eyed Loons Triumphant.

Oh, and someone at the UKIP has been paying attention. Kind of. Take a look at this blog entitled ‘UKIP Uncovered’, which is actually just another layer of bulldust.

Finally, here for your reference is an edited transcript of their party political broadcast last night:

Hey, we’re not extreme! We’re nice! We’re reasonable. But here are some ‘facts’…. 75 million potential immigrants, Britain awash, etc. Look at out big truck with the word ‘NO’ on it! All of our healthcare and education problems can be fixed if we only take immigrants, the EU and other foreigners out of the equation. It’s the British way. Look at our BIG TRUCK! Again, we’re a reasonable lot, so here are some soundbites from people on the street. Look! One of them is wearing a turban! “I think healthcare is important…”, “I think education is important…” There you go. See? We’re not alone. And we also have A VERY BIG TRUCK! (Postal voters! Vote now before you have a chance to think it over!)

UPDATE – Now you can see it for yourself by clicking here (WMV file).

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Date
20040603
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:58
CBS – Enron Traders Caught On Tape. Read it. It’ll confirm a lot for you.

Oooh, and look what I found at the bottom of this page…

CBS – Bush, Atty Huddle On CIA Leak: President Bush has consulted an outside lawyer in case he needs to retain him in the grand jury investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year, the White House said Wednesday. There was no indication that Bush is a target of the leak investigation, but the president has decided that in the event he needs an attorney’s advice, “he would retain him,” White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.

Circle those wagons, boys!

UPDATE – (from a not-entirely-credible source, so do tread carefully) Capitol Hill Blue – Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative’s Name: Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative’s name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq.

Also of interest on Blogdex today; Neil Gaiman ‘fesses up to his daughter Holly. It all started when they were listening to Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”….

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Date
20040603
A Blog Is Born
Time
10:06
A new blog for you to enjoy: Spluttermonkey!

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Date
20040603
Googlejuice
Time
10:08
Sudan. More from this post at The UK Today.

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Date
20040603
In The News
Time
10:16
Smoking Gun asked to serve up to serve up Jacko “source”.

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Date
20040603
Please Remember To Keep Being Afraid
Time
10:18
CNN – House rejects constitutional doomsday measure: Determined to remain elected representatives, House lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed governors to name replacements if half the 435-member chamber died in a terrorist attack or other disaster.

But what about the Rapture? What contingency plan do they have for when the Rapture takes place?

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Date
20040603
Video
Time
10:23
Farenheit 911 – The Trailer (suitable files for all pipe sizes in Quicktime & Windows Media).

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Date
20040603
Genie Arse
Time
10:26
School-board Chairman’s plagiarised graduation speech tracked down with simple search in Google.

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Date
20040603
Fun, Fun, Fun!
Time
10:29
Remember; our government’s foreign policy has nothing to do with this.

It’s also nice to see Michael Howard acting so responsibly. And considering the hammering the tube system took during the last fuel protest, the planned strike couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Date
20040603
Goodbye, George
Time
10:34
Tinfoil helmet optional: The truth, hard as it is to accept, is that Bush is an Iranian agent.

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Date
20040603
Googlebombing
Time
10:40
#############################################

I hereby call for the following Googlebomb:

Opportunist

That is all.

#############################################

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Date
20040603
Free Speech
Time
10:43
Warning: This is what you get for daring to stand around with a bag on your head. (Cheers to Martin for the link.)

UPDATE – Some details and comment over at DailyKos.

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Date
20040603
Christianity Watch
Time
16:32
Please note the source of this information: The Anti-Christ is due to be revealed to the world in June and death awaits us in the skies above.

Damn. Our house is located directly under the sky. Perhaps now would be a good time to move.

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Date
20040603
Tony Blair
Time
16:45
Space Hardware: I want one single outcome from the upcoming elections. I want Blair to get a bloody nose. Ideally I want him to bleed so profusely that his own colleagues take advantage of his weakened state and finally find the guts to chuck him out the party.

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Date
20040603
Church & State
Time
16:57
Pennsylvania political push for Bush could cost churches tax break: President Bush’s re-election campaign is trying to recruit supporters from 1,600 religious congregations in Pennsylvania — a political push that critics said Wednesday could cost churches their tax breaks.

More from Yahoo: “If ever there were a question about the real intent of expanding faith-based initiatives and promoting a presence of religion in government, this tactic puts it to rest,” Rabbi Moline (of The Interfaith Alliance) said. “The Bush-Cheney campaign has dropped any pretense of honoring the separation of church and state mandated by the Constitution, and puts in jeopardy the non-profit status of 1600 houses of worship by asking them to engage in partisan politics. The President should repudiate this initiative immediately. 1600 Pennsylvania churches for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. How clever. How reprehensible.”

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Date
20040603
Goodbye, George
Time
17:03
CIA Director Tenet Resigns!. For ‘personal reasons’, of course…

Link via Atrios. Click here to read some comments.

Oh, and here’s a picture that says it all.

UPDATE – “We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleeza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately. George Tenet should also resign. I want to offer a special word about George Tenet, because he is a personal friend and I know him to be a good and decent man. It is especially painful to call for his resignation, but I have regretfully concluded that it is extremely important that our country have new leadership at the CIA immediately.” – Al Gore (the actual President) May 26, 2004

One down….

UPDATE – 1, 2, 3, 4 – I declare a flame war! Oh, and let’s raise a glass for Mr Chalabi, first man to stake a claim on the official fall guy.

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Date
20040603
The BNP
Time
18:15
Due another plug, I think.

UPDATE – The BNP site fell over about 2 minutes after I posted this. It’s not my fault, I swear!

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Date
20040603
Oldies But Goodies
Time
18:37
How long has it been since you visited Eric?

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Date
20040603
Updates
Time
20:34
As a daily read and a site that picks up on (and/or expands on) a lot of stuff I don’t have time to deal with myself, perfect.co.uk qualifies easily as a ‘follow me’ link – and has just been included as such.

Oh, I’ve been thinking about the upcoming transfer to Movable Type… it’s going to be a long, hard slog, but I think I have a way to do it and include all of the archives in MT format.

I’d want a couple of serious plug-ins, too. One plug-in I’d like is something that turns off comments once any given post drops off the front page. Another would let me enable/disable indexability for any new or existing post – with the default set to ‘off’ (see Web Directive No. 7).

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Date
20040603
Politics
Time
20:45
Is the Tory party due for a major bowel movement? Will Tim Yeo end up with less than 3 jobs? I hope not; I was just beginning to enjoy the show…

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Date
20040603
Consume!
Time
22:47
Oh, FFS…

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Date
20040603
Flash Thingies
Time
23:39
The buck stops where exactly…?

(Bloggage will be light tomorrow; if you haven’t been here for a while, scan for updates – there’s a few juicy bits hidden down there that you may have missed.)

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Date
20040603
Proper Gander
Time
23:43
Goebbels would be proud. (Link via Perfect.)

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Date
20040604
Goodbye, George
Time
09:36
Scotsman – CIA Chief Quit for Personal Reasons, Insists Blair: Mr Blair told BBC Breakfast today: “I would just say that the head of the CIA left for personal reasons. He said that very, very clearly. “As far as I understand it, the decision of the CIA director has got absolutely nothing to do with Iraq, 9/11 or anything else.”

Well, there you go. Here are some other official reactions and some from the public as well.

Independent – The Scapegoat?: George Tenet, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, resigned yesterday, the Bush administration’s de facto scapegoat for the fiasco of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the heavy loss of US credibility that followed.

Guardian – Farewell to the fall guy blamed for terror blunders : Now that Mr Tenet is outside the administration, much of the criticism – and there is plenty more to come with a string of inquiries under way into the double debacle – can be deflected away from the president as he approaches re-election.

That he was a Clinton appointee has absolutely nothing to do with it, either.

And now, some news that is no way related. Just a simple retirement. It was planned weeks and weeks and weeks ago. Honest…

BBC – Second top official to quit CIA: A second top CIA official is to retire from his post, less than a day after the surprise resignation of the agency’s director George Tenet.

Incidentally, The Sun have buried news of Tenet’s resignation in the lower right-hand corner of Page Two with a mere 79 words. But the opening paragraph still manages to set the scene for Team Bush…

The Sun – CIA boss stands down: CIA chief George Tenet quit last night, taking the blame for America’s failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Tenet, 51, said he was quitting for personal reasons but sources said he was being blamed for passing flawed information to the White House.

So there it is. George Tenet has the Bush administration’s ‘complete support’ (aaaaand cue: kiss of death).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040604
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:53
How Democracy Was Subverted in Peru: What they found was a stunningly bold and effective effort to circumvent three institutions key to maintaining democracy in Peru: the judiciary, the legislature, and the media. “Montesinos and Fujimori maintained the façade of democracy—the citizens voted, judges decided, the media reported—but they drained its substance,” McMillan and Zoido wrote. What’s more, by analyzing the size of the bribes, they demonstrate that the media, or more specifically, television, has become the most forceful of the checks and balances that underpin constitutional government.

And you wonder why Murdoch wants to ruin the BBC and establish his own terrestrial presence here in the UK?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040604
Interesting Times
Time
10:17
If we move, we move next Friday.

The name of the project is The Big Intervention.

You need to be ready.

Bloggerheads regulars (and irregulars):

1. Have you got a weblog yet? If you haven’t, get one. There’s no shame in starting with – or even maintaining – a ‘simple’ presence via Blogger.com, and it takes about 10 minutes to set yourself up. Need any help? Just ask. If you want a voice during this campaign you will need your own web presence.

2. Once you’re done and have made your first post – or, if you already have a weblog – make sure you are listed with each of the major blog directories.

I can’t stress that second one enough. In fact, here it is again;

Make sure your weblog is listed with each of the major blog directories! Blogdex is a bit shaky this morning, so you may have to do that one last, but please do it, because it’s the most important aggregator there is. Also, the processing of submissions can take anywhere from 2 days to 12 in some cases, so it’s very important that you do this today.

Get to it.

Erm, please.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040604
Google
Time
10:49
Oh dear, what an unfortunate side effect.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040604
Oldies But Goodies
Time
17:39
Welcome to the Interweb! Link via BBSpot.

(What are you doing still hanging around here? Go and build your sodding weblog!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040604
Stuff
Time
23:05
When I was 6 years old, I used to believe that magicians/illusionists got away with what they did because everybody in the audience blinked at the same time. I may have been onto something…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040606
Interesting Times
Time
01:08
Big Brother: What a bunch of fools. If they’d stuck with each other in that room, each one of them would have earned £50K in the free market easily. And they punked out the first time their prize money took one step down. Without even discussing it. And then Kitten – who folded faster than Superman on laundry day – had the audacity to scream ‘smash the capitalist state’ on her way out. FFS…

OK, that’s my priorities sorted. Here’s some not-at-all-important stuff.

The unprecedented un-president is at it again, messing with the political opponent of his faaaaaayvrit deputy“. Think about how you would react if Blair praised or criticised any policy of John Kerry. Australia must go to the polls soon; an election is visibly close. WTF does Bush think he’s playing at?

“International law? I better call my lawyer…”

May. Not. Be Necessary. He’s having enough trouble with the locals.

But it was all worth it. His foreign policy is extremely successful.

*cough*

And now this.

Here are some opinions.

Here’s a dirty great flame war.

Me, I plan to take a page out of the Book of Blair and not speak ill of the dead. Unless they’re a deranged fantasist.

Hey, a blog is born! This is kind of harsh, but Howling Spoons has visibly calmed over the last few days.

Everything else, watch the B3ta messageboard. It’s late, so I’ll probably refrain (oh, go on, then). But it would pay to watch for some artistic/personal reactions to this limit and beyond if you have the time to do more than simply scan the latest posts. But only if you’ve already built/prepared your weblog, of course. You’ll want a weapon in your hands during these coming weeks.

Oh, do you want some good news?

Think about all of those generic Tory posters you’ve seen about lately. Think about what the eye-catching strapline is (presented as it is in bold white on dark blue). Think about what you would remember from that if you ever wanted to find out more from a search engine.

Exactly.

(does small victory dance)

(UPDATE – Bugger. This was brand new yesterday (I See Red was 2nd for ‘let down by labour’), and has dropped off the chart today. Happens sometimes. It’ll be back tomorrow. For now I’ll just have to live with another fresh result: Michael Howard is today 3rd in Google for opportunist…)

If you’re a left-handed blogger or want to run a weblog and are left-handed, then get in touch. (Just thought I’d throw that in to see who’s paying attention…)

NotCon is going to be fun

At the time of the last event I was too commercial to be interesting. Lately I find myself too interesting to be commercial…

UPDATE – Here’s an interesting thought for you: There is one further aspect of last week that should not go unremarked. For the Prime Minister has, in effect, issued a challenge. Having blocked all independent routes to get at the truth, he is now saying that my proposals are “undemocratic”. In other words, he is saying that he is accountable only through the ballot box. That may have profound consequences. For when “Hutton”, “Butler”, “45 minutes” and “WMD” have moved to the periphery of public consciousness and we are all focused on some other political debate (such as the disgraceful decision to push ahead with university top-up and tuition fees), the nagging questions about the war will remain. And the only way to resolve them will be the way our votes are cast.

Do make sure that you vote this week. There are several unpleasant people counting on you forgetting or not bothering with stuff. A protest vote is inevitable. Your job is to make it a responsible protest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040607
Updates
Time
08:27
This could not have come at a better time. The system is in beta mode, so do what you can to test it to its limits and make good with the feedback when things go wrong. Robin’s post on this subject or this comment at Boing Boing should help you to understand how cool/useful/important this is. You may want to read either or both before you go and play.

I’ll be publishing a little something later this morning. A statement regarding Friday may not follow until later in the week. Some secret-squirrel emails may be going out in the meantime (it pays to think ahead). Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040607
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:50
Watch Matt Groening strain against his leash.

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Date
20040607
Updates
Time
11:00
As promised, here’s the web version of my talk at NotCon yesterday (there’s an increasing amount of reportage being posted here if you’re interested):

How To Stalk Your MP In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day

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Date
20040607
RWCs
Time
11:18
Just. Listen. To. This. (Requires Windows Media Player; link via Tom.)

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Date
20040607
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:21
Nigritude Ultramarine. Because it has to be done.

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Date
20040607
Inneresting
Time
11:54
Chain Saw Injury Statistics (via Everlasting Blort).

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Date
20040607
2004 – The Year of Zero Modesty
Time
13:20
Both Tom and myself have made the shortlist for the New Statesman 2004 New Media Awards.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a nomination.

(makes rude face at peeps who didn’t)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040607
The Interweb
Time
15:19
Top Ten Internet Fads (according to The Wave Magazine).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040608
The Big Intervention
Time
10:16
In quotes: What Blair said about Iraq’s weapons, before and after the war.

PM ‘delusional’ over Iraq WMD, says inspector: Tony Blair was branded ‘delusional’ yesterday over his continued insistence that weapons of mass destruction might still be found in Iraq. The charge was made by the man who headed the hunt.

Yet Blair was on Radio 4 just now urging us to hold our water – yet again – and wait a few months until the Iraq Survey Group publishes its report.

He also played that little game with UN resolutions and what action they may or may not have justified.

He may be an opportunist – but Howard is still right: For, along with the Lib Dems, the Tories are making the right noises on this, the defining topic of the Blair era. They are right, for example, to join Clare Short in demanding to see the full legal opinion issued by the attorney general on the eve of war. The government cites the longstanding “convention” that keeps such advice confidential, but the Conservatives retort that that makes no sense – not when the advice itself, in summary form, has already been released. Now that that is out, there can be no logic which keeps the grounds for that opinion, and the facts on which it was based, a secret. Moreover, it is disingenuous to speak of Whitehall conventions when the Iraq document was clearly the most important legal guidance of its kind for 50 years. It’s no good citing precedents like the Falklands conflict or the 1991 Gulf war, because legality was not an issue in either case (the law on repelling invasions being pretty straightforward). This was an exceptional episode, which broke all previous conventions: it’s no good standing on ceremony now.

Short version: If the case has been made, show us the proof.

Now to the guts of it…

Time and again Blair has said that we the people would decide if he was right at the ballot box.

1. By all means, let us ignore international laws and conventions and let the people decide. After the crime has taken place.

2. You don’t really think he meant it, did you?

Blair urges British voters to put Iraq feelings aside: British Prime Minister Tony Blair, back from the D-Day commemorations in France, urged voters Monday to put aside their feelings about Iraq when they cast ballots in EU and local elections this week.

So let’s push Iraq into the background. It’s not an important issue. In fact, let’s push Tony Blair into the background as well…

‘Invisible man’ attack on Blair: Tony Blair was dubbed “the invisible man” today after all references to him were kept out of Labour’s TV broadcasts and campaign leaflets for this week’s elections. Amid polls showing voters are set to punish the Government over Iraq, the decision underlines fears that the Prime Minister is the party’s biggest liability at the ballot box.

Blair: Labour ‘to decide my future’: Tony Blair has said it is up to the Labour Party to decide whether he should resign as leader. The prime minister had previously pledged to quit if his leadership became an electoral liability to his party.

I say again:

2. You don’t really think he meant it, did you?

Finally, putting his tomorrow-goggles on, Ken Livingston had this to say:

Coup against Blair ‘would be a disaster’: Ken Livingstone today warns Labour rebels that trying to overthrow Tony Blair could destroy the party, amid fears that a wipeout in this week’s local elections could trigger an attempted coup.

If we move, we move on Friday. Yes, the decision to move will be influenced in part by the amount of blood gushing from Tony Blair’s nose.

Today is a day of secretive emails and site builds. There will be few to no updates tomorrow.

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Date
20040608
Inneresting
Time
19:58
Hooray for days of yore.

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Date
20040608
Useful
Time
20:07
Check your vision.

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Date
20040609
A Blog Is Born
Time
08:46
An unofficial blog for Lewis Moonie, Labour MP for Kirkcaldy. A fine effort by DoctorVee!

Everything you need is here: How To Stalk Your MP In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day.

It really is ever so much fun. Trust me.

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Date
20040609
Tony Blair
Time
08:53
Perfect.co.uk – Use your vote on Thursday!

“Well, I voted for Labour in the last election, but…” is the new black. Or something.

Newsnight last night was awesome, BTW. This article focuses on what nobody wants to talk about, but the really fun bit was seeing all that promotional material from a few years back with Tony’s Big ‘King Face on everything. Three times over.

This time around he’s nowhere to be seen.

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Date
20040610
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:59
New York Times – Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn’t Bind Bush: A team of administration lawyers concluded in a March 2003 legal memorandum that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal antitorture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation’s security. The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons.

[Washington Post – Legalising Torture: There is no justification, legal or moral, for the judgments made by Mr. Bush’s political appointees at the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the world that sanction torture on grounds of “national security.” For decades the U.S. government has waged diplomatic campaigns against such outlaw governments — from the military juntas in Argentina and Chile to the current autocracies in Islamic countries such as Algeria and Uzbekistan — that claim torture is justified when used to combat terrorism.

You can see a copy of the leaked memo here (PDF format).

Also, just for giggles, it’s morning in America… again!

Vote Bush/Zombie-Reagan in 2004!

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Date
20040610
Inneresting
Time
10:02
Cherie Blair is a AAA+ eBay buyer!

The ID isn’t cheri-boo, it’s cherie_boo. You can see her profile here. Login, and you can see that she’s a great buyer and makes quick payments.

I hope she gets some good use out of those old flip-flops before she becomes the chief earner in her household and has to switch to the black & cream high heels.

Oh, and in completely unrelated news:

Scotsman – Vote for Sale on Ebay: A Londoner has attempted to sell his or her vote for the June 10 elections on eBay, it emerged tonight. The Electoral Commission confirmed that an advert had been placed on the auction website by a person apparently offering to vote according to the highest bidder’s instructions. The offer, which has now been removed from the website, was condemned by the commission and the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA).

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Date
20040610
Flash Thingies
Time
10:05
Where Did The Time Go?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Tony Blair
Time
10:07
Has Tony Blair inadvertently misled Parliament… again?

Independent – Ministers accused of misleading MPs over prisoner abuse: Mr Blair was accused of misleading Parliament after the Ministry of Defence admitted the number of cases of alleged abuses of civilians in Iraq being investigated by the military police were nearly double those previously given to MPs.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Thanks to Piers Moron, most of the public has it in their heads that the number of cases involving British troops mistreating Iraqi detainees isn’t 33 or 61, but zero.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
The End of Democracy
Time
10:09
Prescott claims postal voting is a success!

Postal vote trial boosts turnout!

Hmm, perhaps this has something do with the people who are working so hard to make sure that all of those postal ballots are filled out promptly and *ahem* correctly…

Times – Postal ballot marred by fraud: Postal ballots for (the) European and local elections were thrown into turmoil last night after a Times investigation uncovered widespread allegations of fraud, vote-stealing and intimidation. The investigation, which covered two of the four postal ballot regions, suggests that substantial numbers of voters have been intimidated into handing over blank ballot papers or forced to support a certain party. In one case, an employer allegedly told his staff that he would sack them all if they refused to support Labour.

UPDATE – Have you voted yet? I got up and voted before breakfast. The Lib-Dems got my vote as the least offensive buffer against the BNP and the UKIP. Labour will never get my vote while Tony Blair is in charge, but I’m pretty sure you worked that out already.

Oh, and Private Eye have gone to print with rumours that Robert Kilroy-Suck plans to ‘do a Sonia Gandhi’ if he’s elected….

UPDATE – John Pardoe: “The Labour Party continues to be the only real choice for the sane.”

I agree. But we can’t continue with that Blair fellow in charge, for reasons that I hope to explain clearly sometime very soon. For now, just go out and VOTE!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:19
and his minions…

How The Sun’s Brian Flynn made blonde journalist Alexandra Polier into “brunette Kerry intern”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:20
Independent – The Re-United Nations: The world’s powers yesterday called a diplomatic truce over the tragedy in Iraq as the United Nations Security Council at last gave unanimous backing to a new resolution charting Baghdad’s next perilous steps towards self-determination.

Now we get to watch Bush & Blair play with the blurring of time (well, you can’t argue that the war is illegal because we obtained a UN mandate…).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Updates
Time
10:23
More to follow this afternoon.

In the meantime, I need to hear from readers of Bloggerheads who live in a Labour-held constituency. After you’ve voted, of course…

Drop me a line.

JUST IN – Ahahahahaha! loggerheads to play honorary role in G8 summit. Those pesky turtles get everywhere… Also from Abnu; John Ashcroft sings!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:51
Doctor Vee requests guidance.

Blog:Vote comments on Doctor Vee’s efforts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Photoshopping
Time
12:38
It just feels like it is all….

Not only, but also:

Perfect.co.uk – Use your vote on Thursday (I’ve linked to the version with comments, as they’re worth a look-see).

UPDATE – Whoops. Link now fixed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
The Big Intervention
Time
16:39
I’ve just done the sums, and taking into account the % of people who live in a Labour constituency, the % of people who believe that Blair should no longer be PM, and the (quite small) % of people who are likely to get off their arses and actually do something about it, I’ve worked out that I need to reach at least 100,000 web users within about a week in order to meet the MPC (Minimum Practical Requirement).

Chasing Bush reached 125,000 people within 7days, so it’s not impossible. There’s just a lot of work to do is all.

Something you need to know:

If I do this project (and I still won’t know until early or late Friday morning if we’re going ahead), I will be putting everything behind it and calling in every favour.

But if we can’t do this, if I personally can’t motivate enough people to get on with a job that so obviously needs doing, then I’m dropping out of the political circus until after Blair is removed from power and/or the US presidential election takes place (on November 2, 2004).

Two reasons:

1. If I can’t make a difference, what’s the point?

2. If we can’t bring about responsible change now, then I fear a shitfight is coming. A bloody big one. I’ll need to shield my family from the worst of it, and that will take money. This means that pretty much everything on or around Bloggerheads that doesn’t make money will stop. (In fact, if the campaign fails, Bloggerheads will probably stop completely for a few weeks while I quietly lick my wounds in a darkened corner.)

I won’t be plugging generic Viagra on a daily basis, but I’ll probably lose the bulk of my audience. Still, if all we’re doing is shouting into the wind and making ourselves feel better, then I have to ask again… what is the point?

In short, if you believe in me, and if you value Bloggerheads, you need to get behind this.

That means not just sitting there and nodding your head in agreement. That means doing everything you can to help – and then wondering what else you can do.

Can you reach a well-known personality and get them to make a statement of support?

Can you raise enough money to place ads – big or small – in local or national newspapers?

Will you actually get up and walk away from the computer and dare to display this same bold attitude in real life by distributing posters/pamphlets?

We have a campaign window of 10 days. The more sudden and overwhelming the coverage, the more likely it is that this will work.

But this will require commitment. From me, and from you.

I’ll see you in the morning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Cool, Just Cool…
Time
16:44
It’s such a lovely day. Let’s go for a walk.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Spam
Time
17:51
Have you noticed how much of spam focuses on improving your quality of life? A bigger wedding tackle, improved tackle performance, income opportunities, mortgages, diplomas, anti-depressant pills, weight-loss products, etc. etc. etc.

I don’t know about you, but my my quality of life would be improved tremendously by the removal of spam. Mind you, I get spam offering me that, as well…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
17:59
A Metafilter thread on the Bush torture memo.

There’s lots in there, but you should dig though it, follow the links and consider the implications.

Besides, you need something to keep you busy until the whistle blows and I go over the top….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040610
Tony Blair
Time
21:07
The cat is away. I repeat: the cat is away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040611
The Big Intervention
Time
08:25
Here’s my statement. Press release is here.

We’re going for it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040611
The War on Terror
Time
08:50
CNN – State Department retracts terrorism assertion: The U.S. government acknowledged Thursday that a recent report declaring a decline in terrorism in 2003 was wrong. The report, released in April and touted by top administration officials as a sign of the success of the war on terrorism, was based on faulty data, said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. In fact, he told reporters, the corrected report will show “a sharp increase over the previous year.” The corrected version is not yet completed, he said. Secretary of State Colin Powell denied the errors were the result of an effort to make the administration look good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040611
Flash Music Video
Time
08:51
Say goodbye to Ray Charles in the most fitting way possible; by shedding a tear for all we have lost. Pride, freedom, brotherhood, and like that. (Oh, well you know, depreciation man…)

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Date
20040611
Photoshopping
Time
11:17
The good news is, it won’t be the door hitting his arse on the way out…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040611
The Big Intervention
Time
13:03
Election results keep coming in and things keep looking worse and worse for Labour unless they do the necessary…

UPDATE – And there goes Newcastle!

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Date
20040611
The Bush Administration
Time
13:41
Is Bush in trouble, too?

First they start whispering, then they start talking…

(Link via Perfect.co.uk)

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Date
20040611
The Big Intervention
Time
14:33
BBC – How bad is it for Blair?: Whether he can then get away with simply brushing aside these results as mid-term blues or whether they will spark a leadership crisis in Westminster will be the big question.

(Link via Wibbler, who has started this thread for the Metafiltarians to chew on.)

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Date
20040611
Flash Music Video
Time
16:06
We love you Grandad!

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Date
20040611
Tony Blair
Time
17:30
A few words from a humble Tory councillor: The Labour Party have lost in every area. That may mean RIP Tony Blair, it may also herald an Autumn election – because if Iraq is an issue and TB does manage to hang on – they will be scared witless at the prospect of a Kerry win in the US, because that may lead to the exposure of facts about the Iraq War, making the protest vote in the UK next May even worse.

May lead to the exposure of facts? May?

Pfft. And they call me an optimist.

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Date
20040611
The Big Intervention
Time
17:37
Guardian – Rocky night signals Labour’s three-day storm: In the coming inquest, starting with a sombre meeting of the parliamentary Labour party on Monday evening, Mr Blair will try to persuade his MPs not to panic, hold their nerve and recognise Labour’s standing has been overshadowed temporarily by Iraq.

Yes. Because it will all be over by Christmas.

Oh, and there’s that ‘panic’ word again.

UPDATE – Oh, do keep any eye out for official reactions like this from Downing Street Says.

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Date
20040611
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
18:00
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, now we hear of video footage of children being abused in Abu Ghraib. More here.

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Date
20040611
Flash Music Video
Time
18:36
Goodbye, Ronald.

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Date
20040611
Tony Blair
Time
18:59
Blair in civvies. Get used to it.

UPDATE – All that wagon-circling must make one dizzy. Especially if you have to do it all by yourself… Blair Era Not at End, Says Blunkett.

Oh, and you may want to check out a wide range of opinions being expressed at the BBC website.

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Date
20040612
The Bush Administration
Time
09:56
Everything Isn’t Under Control (requires DivX).

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Date
20040612
Tony Blair
Time
09:58
Independent – Blair says sorry as Prescott admits Labour got a ‘kicking’ for Iraq war: Tony Blair has admitted his decision to go to war in Iraq had cost his party support across the country and he apologised to the Labour councillors that lost their seats.

Today I’m putting together some pamphlets (and maybe even some stickers) and hitting Wimbledon to reach the constituents of Roger Casale (who looks to be a tough sell, but what the hell).








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